Posted by: richarlm | October 17, 2018

Diet and Depression: What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health

Fruits and vegetables

The following is a transcript of a Research that Matters piece from A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity, YOUR HEALTH Radio October 12, 2018

Dr. Adam Goldstein: A recent study in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry, that was looking at junk food and mental health. Do those foods actually increase the level of inflammation in the body? And this is what this particular study was looking at. Eating the junk food appeared to increase the risk of becoming depressed and the reason they thought that might occur is because these types of foods actually lead to inflammation. Foods that contain a lot of fat, sugar, processed foods. Systemic inflammation and in that case they argued that these types of foods are very similar to what you might from smoking, obesity, lack of exercise; things we talk a lot about on Your Health. And the question was, was this a causal relation or an association? And they looked at actually multiple studies, we call these sometimes systematic reviews, they put all these things together including reviewing five studies that looked over periods of time almost 33,000 adults from five different countries including the United States. They believe that these results are causal. So it wasn’t like, that people were depressed and then they started eating these foods, which one could see. But that the eating of these foods occurred before people became depressed and the more one ate of these foods the more one became depressed. This is certainly food for thought, pun intended. But it also suggests, perhaps as doctors and patients come together and mental health providers and really talk about depression, that maybe, diet becomes an important consideration. Maybe we talk about and share data that one of the ways to cut down on chances of depression or to get over depression is by eating foods that do not cause systemic inflammation. I’d encourage Your Health listeners to talk with your doctor about this type of research and what it may mean for your health.

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