Folic Acid Impacts Suicide Risk


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Twelve-point-two million Americans suffered from suicidal thoughts in recent years. One-point-two million of those individuals attempted suicide and rates have risen 30 percent since the year 2000. However, recent research found that prescription folic acid reduced suicide thoughts by 44 percent in patients.

Research from the University of Chicago examined folic acid treatment from over 800 thousand Americans, and their suicidal behavior over a two-year period.

Douglas Ruderfer, PhD, Associate Professor in Genetic Medicine, Biomedical informatics in Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center says, “What we found is that there actually is independent genetic risk, that is contributing directly to suicide attempt, that is not simply through the risk of psychiatric disorders.”

Patients who took folic acid encountered a 44 percent reduction in suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors.

Ruderfer explains, “That is independent of psychiatric conditions which often present with suicide attempt but is biologically correlated with other non-psychiatric risk factors.” (:10)

While many individuals who consider suicide have underlying psychiatric illnesses, there are also genetic risks for suicide attempts and that genetic risk can lead directly to a suicide attempt without existing psychiatric illness. Experts reported sleep disorders, smoking, and other harmful behaviors were all also contributing factors for suicide.

Experts say folic acid is an affordable supplement that is accessible without prescription. The vitamin folate B can also be consumed by eating foods with fortafolite acid such as nuts, peas, and fruit juices.

Contributors to this news report include: Ally Stratis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.


REPORT #3041

BACKGROUND: Suicide is in the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Between the year 2000 to 2018, suicide rates grew by 30 percent. Almost 46,000 people died by suicide in the year 2020, and 12.2 million people suffered from suicidal thoughts. One death is reported by suicide every 11 minutes. Attempted suicide is commonly caused by serious physical, emotional, and mental health issues. Suicide is often linked to self-injury cases and acts of violence. Many people who reported struggling with suicidal thoughts also suffered from clinical depression. While depression and mental health factors have always been strongly correlated to suicidal behavior, there are parts of suicide that cannot be explained by depression. There are parts of suicide that are linked to genetic predisposition that leave many individuals at risk.


THE STUDY: Recent research has found that folic acid as a supplement was linked to reducing suicidal thoughts and actions by 44 percent. The University of Chicago examined folic acid treatment from over 800,000 individuals over a two-year study. They tracked their thoughts and acts of suicidal behavior for the entire duration of the study. Their study found that there was an independent genetic risk that aids in suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This research showed that there are parts of suicide that cannot be related to or explained by psychiatric disorders. They found that patients who took a folic acid supplement had a lower risk of experiencing suicidal and self-injury thoughts.


NEW REGULATIONS: The study that claims folic acid supplements to help with social thoughts and behaviors was published in the online journal JAMA Psychiatry. They found that there are not actual side effects to consuming folic acid and it is low in cost. Also, unlike many medications and anti-depressants commonly prescribed for suicide ideation and depression, it does not require a prescription. It is an over-the-counter supplement that can be purchased by almost any adult. It is also vitamin B that can help the body produce healthy cells. While it aids in helping with suicide risk, there are other existing benefits to consuming folic acid on a daily basis. Many medications and conditions can leave us with a decrease in folic levels as well. Not only was folic acid associated with decreasing suicide risk, but it also can help those with depleted folate which is a risk of many medications.


* For More Information, Contact:             Craig Boerner

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