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News2015October › Depression could be a nutritional deficiency › October 2015

Depression could be a nutritional deficiency

Is depression actually a nutritional deficiency? Some researchers think so, and say that the Mediterranean Diet-rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts-is one of the best ways of preventing the problem

Is depression actually a nutritional deficiency? Some researchers think so, and say that the Mediterranean Diet-rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts-is one of the best ways of preventing the problem.

They have noted that those who eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish, are less likely to suffer from depression.

Researchers from the University of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands tracked the health and diets of 15,093 participants who were all healthy at the start of the 10-year study. During the course of the trial, around 10 per cent were diagnosed with clinical depression or took an antidepressant drug-and the researchers noted a strong correlation between the condition and the type of diet that was being eaten.

Those who ate a Mediterranean diet or a similar diet known as Alternative Healthy Eating, which is also rich in fruits and vegetables, were far less likely to suffer from depression. Moderate alcohol intake is also common to both diets.

Even following the diets occasionally seemed to have a protective effect. Indeed, there seems to be a plateau; those who were zealously following one of the diets every day didn't reduce their risk for depression any further than those who occasionally followed it.

(Source: BMC Medicine, 2015; 13: doi: 10.1186/s12916-015-0428-y)


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