Under laying causes such as diet influence depression
Dr. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, PhD, department of clinical science at the University of Las Palmas and Dr. Miguel A Martínez-González, MD, MPH, PhD, Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at University of Navarra at the Medical School, and evaluated the role of diet in preventing depression and found the evidence to be scarce.
According to the authors some evidence suggests that depression shares common components with cardiovascular disease. The authors explain “Both are associated with low-grade inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and worse lipid profiles. This tends to suggest that the underlying causes, such as a diet high in trans fats, are also the same.”
While there is plenty of evidence that there is a link and that fast food increases the risk of depression while the Mediterranean diet lowers it, but most of the studies did not show a cause.
A Dr. Sanchez-Villegas point out it is hard to be certain that the diet is responsible for depression or if it is depressed people making bad choices. Other problems in the study included confounding factors which could influence dietary such as exercise or alcohol or even genetics.
The authors write in their summary; “To confirm the findings obtained in these initial cohort studies, we need further observational longitudinal studies with improved methodology, as well as large randomized primary prevention trials, with interventions based on changes in the overall food pattern, that include participants at high risk of mental disorders.”
This study appears in the open access journal BMC Medicine.
In 2009, Dr. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, and colleagues evaluated the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet plan (MDP) and the incidence of clinical depression.
The study included 10,094 healthy Spanish participants from the SUN Project. The SUN project is a Mediterranean dynamic prospective follow-up (cohort) study assessing participants every 2 years. The recruitment started in 2000 and it is permanently open (this is a dynamic cohort).
In their conclusion the authors had wrote; “Our results suggest a potential protective role of the MDP with regard to the prevention of depressive disorders; additional longitudinal studies and trials are needed to confirm these findings.”
This study appeared in the journal Psychiatry, October 2009, Vol 66, No. 10.
Numerous studies have looked at the association between the Mediterranean diet and the prevention of depression. Overall, most studies agree that the Mediterranean diet may have significant value when it comes to the prevention and treatment of depression.
The SUN study and the accompanying case-control study (Public Health Nutr. 2006 Feb;9(1A):127-31.) support the benefits of a Mediterranean diet and olive oil against coronary heart disease and hypertension.
Information on the Mediterranean diet can be viewed online at Oldways.