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The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder And Folic Acid

bipolar disorder and folic acidIntroduction

You may know someone or have heard of someone who has Bipolar Disorder and is taking Folic acid supplements.  The question remains why is this person with Bipolar Disorder taking Folic acid supplements.  This article will answer this particular dilemma.  It will describe what Folic Acid is, in addition to providing the connection between Bipolar Disorder and Folic acid.

What Is Folic Acid?

What is Folic Acid?  This particular section of this article will answer this question.  According to, “Folic acid is a type of B vitamin that is normally found in foods such as dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, whole-wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach.”  Therefore, according to this particular source, Folic acid can be found in foods listed above.  However, according to the information provided by, it is also worth noting that “an association between folate levels in the blood and mood” does exist.

What Is The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder And Folic Acid?

According to, the following information can be stated about the connection between Bipolar Disorder and Folic acid:

A 1989 clinical review published in the journal “Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry” states that folic acid deficiency is very common among patients with psychiatric disorders, and symptoms of these disorders tend to be more intense in patients with folic acid deficiency.  The authors suggest that folic acid supplementation is beneficial for some patients suffering from bipolar disorder due to low cost and risk levels.  Another review, published in the January 2005 issue of the “Journal of Psychopharmacology,” suggests that supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B-12 can improve the treatment outcomes of people suffering from depression because these nutrients work together to increase levels of S-adenosylmethionine, a chemical that plays a role in the manufacturing of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  The results of this review show promising benefits for those suffering from depressive episodes due to bipolar disorder.

In addition, according to, Folic acid supplements also have been shown to provide “relief from bipolar mania,” as well.


To end this article, it is not uncommon for individuals with Bipolar Disorder to take medications prescribed by their psychiatrist, in addition to taking supplements, such as Folic acid supplements.  While psychiatric medications such as antipsychotic medications can help stabilize someone with Bipolar Disorder, Folic acid supplements can also provide relief to individuals experiencing symptoms associated with depression or mania in Bipolar Disorder.


The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder And Folic Acid

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder And Folic Acid. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Sep 2016
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