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Folate status and mood: is there a relationship?

  • Emma Williams (a1), Barbara Stewart-Knox (a1), Chris McConville (a2), Ian Bradbury (a3), Nicola C Armstrong (a1) and Helene McNulty (a1)...

To explore the relationship between subjective mood, folate status and homocysteine in healthy individuals.


Subjective mood assessments were completed twice daily over the course of one week using the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). The PANAS is a validated scale which considers mood state on two distinct continua, one reflecting positive mood and the other negative mood, each requiring response to 10 adjectives on a Likert scale. A blood sample was taken on one occasion at the start of the week during which subjective mood was assessed and analysed for red-blood-cell (RBC) folate, serum folate and plasma homocysteine concentrations.


Male volunteers aged 19–47 years (n = 58) were recruited from local industries.


High concentrations of RBC folate were associated with less variability (lower standard deviation) in negative mood (P = 0.023). Subjective mood, however, was not related to serum folate or homocysteine.


This study appears to be the first to uncover an association between long-term folate status and subjective mood (employing the PANAS) in healthy males. More research is needed to further explore the relationship between nutritional status and mood.

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