Purpose of The Study
A recent research reached a conclusion that there is in existence a clear connection between sticking to Mediterranean diet and a reduced likelihood of depression.
The University College London, UK led the study with the primary purpose of contributing information to the development of recommendations for those professionals that work with individuals who have depression issues.
It isn’t uncommon for people to feel low or get sad often times, most especially as a reaction when they encounter distressing situations. However, depression isn’t just about getting sad or feeling low once in a while. It has been described as a psychiatric condition. The symptoms of depression are often expressed in low mood, tends to persist longer than occasional sadness and is usually more severe.
There are different types of depression. While it is true that most of the different forms have similar symptoms, it should be noted that each of the forms gets expressed in a pattern different from the other.
The most popular kind of depression is the major depressive disorder. This can be so severe in some people to the extent that it prevents them from leading a normal daily life.
Two years ago in the U.S., about 16 million adults reported that they were suffering from a minimum of one major depressive episode that lasted for two weeks or even more in the past year. The figure accounts for 6.7% of people in America.
Mediterranean Diet And Risk Reduction
Mediterranean diet is a diet that is rich in the plant like fruits, legumes, vegetables, olive oil, fish and nuts.
Depression has been pegged as the psychiatric condition that takes up cost the most in the more advanced regions all around the world. As such, the researchers noted the need to get evidence on the effect of nutrition on this condition.
The researchers went through already published research works. They were able to find 41 studies that had gone on an assessment of individuals who stuck to a healthy diet and the link it had with clinical depression or depressive symptoms. They carried out the different observational research using different measures.
Out of all the studies analyzed and reviewed by the researchers, 21 were conducted longitudinally. A longitudinal research is when the researchers studied the participants of the study over a definite period of time. The remaining 20 studies were carried out in a cross-section manner, i.e. the researchers took a snapshot and searched for connections within the snapshots.
Four out of the 21 longitudinal studies focused on the extent to which 36,556 adults adhered to a Mediterranean diet and the studies also searched for any form of connection with depression. A study of data gotten from the studies showed that following this Mediterranean diet led to a 33% decrease in the likelihood of getting depression as compared to sticking to another diet.
With the use of data gotten from five out of the longitudinal studies, the researchers discovered that a diet that is pro-inflammatory had ties with an increased likelihood of depression. The whole data was gotten from 32,908 adults that lived in the US, UK, France, Australia, and Spain.
According to the researchers, a pro-inflammatory diet is one that is made up of a high level of sugar, saturated fat, and processed foods.
Their conclusion was that sticking to a diet that is healthful, particularly a Mediterranean diet, or an avoidance of a pro-inflammatory diet seems to give some sort of protection from depression as seen in observational studies.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Camille Lassale, pointed to the existence of compelling evidence which indicates that a relationship exists between your mental health and your diet’s quality.
She added that the relationship goes beyond an indirect effect of the impact of the diet on the size of your body or any other health aspect that can impact a person’s mood.
All the data for the analysis was gotten from observational studies, and so it made it difficult for the authors to categorically say that the studies actually show that healthful diets can help to prevent depression. The only thing is that the evidence gotten is quite consistent with that particular idea.
The authors expressly suggested that the result of their research is providing a considerable evidence base for the assessment of the place of dietary dynamics in preventing depression.