More Evidence Links Mediterranean Diet to Less Depression

 

Adherence to a healthy diet, particularly the plant-rich Mediterranean diet, and Ignor of sugary processed foods that promote inflammation are associated with a reduced risk for depression, a new systematic review and meta-analysis suggest.

This is yet more verification  that a healthy diet not only improves  corporal health but also mental health, lead author Camille Lassale, PhD, research associate, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health,  academy College London, United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.

For mental health professionals, these new results provide  supplementary support for advising patients to  come behinda healthier diet, added Lassale.

“A bad or unhealthy diet is responsible for so many other diseases, so you can’t go wrong by advising patients to reduce processed foods and try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into the diet,” she said.

The findings were realesed online September 26 insideMolecular Psychiatry.

“Convincing evidence”

After searching the literature for relevant English-language studies examining the impact of diet on depression, the researchers included 41 studies in their study. Most studies generally joined healthy participants.

Of these studies, 20 were longitudinal and 21 cross-sectional designs. Of the longitudinal studies, researchers included only those who had “a reasonable level of adaptation” to account for lifestyle factors that could affect depression, such as smoking, physical inactivity and high body mass index, Lassale said.

The analysis compared a wide range of a priori dietary results. Some studies contain more than one such index.

Ten analyzes used the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS), seven the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), four the Dietary Approach to Hypertension (DASH), nine the Dietary Inflammation Index (DII), and 15 used a variety of other scores.

The MDS contains nine items: five as useful (fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish), two as harmful (meat, dairy), one on dietary fat and one on moderate alcohol consumption.

The three cross-sectional studies that examined the Mediterranean diet gave contradictory results. However, the results of four longitudinal studies showed that the risk of depressive events was lower among those in the highest category of diet compliance (overall odds ratio). [OR]0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 – 0.82) compared with those who had the lowest level of compliance.

  • What you take can have a capable effect on how you feel.
  • Testimony suggests that certain eating plans like the Mediterranean diet can help allowance the symptoms of depression.
  • The Mediterranean diet also seems linked to a variety of other brain benefits like keeping the mind cuspidateas we age.

 

Mood food

Explaining the link between mood and food is tricky.

There are lots of other element that may be require.

  • Being unless can cause loss of appetite, and someone who is sentiment low might not look after themselves so well
  • Happy humans may be more likely to lead healthier lifestyles (not drinking too much alcohol – a well-known mood depressant)
  • It might be that eating bad foods – lots of sugar and highly processed foods – raise the risk of depression, meaning eliminating these from your diet is important

Without tightly managed trials, it is vaguehow big an impact following a Mediterranean diet might have.

Biological mechanisms

Several biological mechanisms could explain the relationship between diet and depression, said Lassale.

One is that plant-based, unrefined, fiber-rich, B-group vitamins and polyphenols have an anti-inflammatory quality and can have a direct impact on the functioning of the brain, brain structure and neurotransmitters.

“There is a strong inflammatory cause of depression,” Lassale noted. “We find that people with depression have higher levels of C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation.”

Many of the foods in the Mediterranean diet are rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are not only anti-inflammatory but can also reduce oxidative stress, he said. “They can have direct effects on the plasticity of brain cells”.

Another possible path through which the diet can affect the mood is the axis of the microbiome-intestine-brain. Healthy foods could modulate the relationship between bacteria in the intestine and in the brain, said Lassale.

He noted that this mechanism is gaining interest among researchers studying depression.

Nutritional psychiatry

The region of nutritional psychiatry has emerged recently – around a decade ago – and it is now rapidly. But results from experimental studies, despite giving us an indication on the map of the association, can’t tell us if the link is causal – only a randomised controlled trial can do this.

The recent SMILES trial was the first study to given evidence that diet can affect  slump. People allocated to the diet group improved their depressive symptoms after 12 weeks, compared with the control group who received social support.

The growing evidence for nutritional psychiatry  advisevthat GPs and mental health professionals should now gravely consider including dietary counselling for patients who are at harm of depression.