Following the MedDiet Improves Depression Symptoms in Young Men

Jennifer E. Engen

Adopting the Mediterranean diet can sig­nif­i­cantly con­tribute to improv­ing symp­toms of depres­sion in young men.

This is the most sig­nif­i­cant con­clu­sion of a ran­dom­ized con­trol trial con­ducted by a team of Australian researchers on a group of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

(The study results) sug­gests that med­ical doc­tors and psy­chol­o­gists should con­sider refer­ring depressed young men to a nutri­tion­ist or dietit­ian as an impor­tant com­po­nent of treat­ing clin­i­cal depres­sion.– Jessica Bayes, researcher, University of Technology in Sydney

During 12 weeks, dozens of young patients affected by mod­er­ate to severe depres­sion saw rel­e­vant symp­toms con­nected to their con­di­tion cur­tailed due to the adop­tion of the Mediterranean diet.

According to the study, pub­lished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the results are so sig­nif­i­cant that they high­light the impor­tant role of nutri­tion for the treat­ment of depres­sion and should inform advice given by clin­i­cians to this spe­cific demo­graphic pop­u­la­tion.”

See Also:Health News

The trial was com­pleted by 72 young men who were divided into two groups: one adopted the Mediterranean diet, and the other was a con­trol group.

The lat­ter was sub­jected only to befriend­ing ther­apy to rein­force social con­nec­tions. Assessments were con­ducted at the begin­ning of the trial period, after the first six weeks and at the end.

These assess­ments showed how spe­cific scores meant to mea­sure the con­di­tion were sig­nif­i­cantly higher in the MedDiet group. As a con­se­quence of the healthy diet, the scores related to the patients’ qual­ity of life also improved sig­nif­i­cantly.

We were sur­prised by how will­ing the young men were to take on a new diet,” lead researcher Jessica Bayes of the University of Technology in Sydney’s school of pub­lic health told Neuroscience News. Those assigned to the Mediterranean diet were able to sig­nif­i­cantly change their orig­i­nal diets, under the guid­ance of a nutri­tion­ist, over a short time frame.”

It sug­gests that med­ical doc­tors and psy­chol­o­gists should con­sider refer­ring depressed young men to a nutri­tion­ist or dietit­ian as an impor­tant com­po­nent of treat­ing clin­i­cal depres­sion,” she added.

The Mediterranean diet is plant-based and mainly com­prises veg­eta­bles, legumes, whole grains, fish, nuts, and olive oil with mod­er­ate dairy and meat con­sump­tion. During the trial, the patients sig­nif­i­cantly reduced their intake of sugar and processed red meat.

There are lots of rea­sons why sci­en­tif­i­cally we think food affects mood,” Bayes said. For exam­ple, around 90 per­cent of sero­tonin, a chem­i­cal that helps us feel happy, is made in our gut by our gut microbes.”

There is emerg­ing evi­dence that these microbes can com­mu­ni­cate to the brain via the vagus nerve, in what is called the gut-brain axis,” she added. To have ben­e­fi­cial microbes, we need to feed them fiber, which is found in legumes, fruits and veg­eta­bles.”

The link between the Mediterranean diet and depres­sion increas­ingly have been explored over the years.

A 2019 Australian study found sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits were reported by adults under 35 years of age who adopted the healthy diet.

See Also:Med Diet Linked with Better Sleep in University Students

However, the researchers warned that while there is con­vinc­ing obser­va­tional evi­dence for a link between diet qual­ity and depres­sion, the evi­dence for a causal rela­tion­ship is still emerg­ing, par­tic­u­larly in rela­tion to young adults.”

A more exten­sive analy­sis, pub­lished in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2019, looked at 16 pre­vi­ously pub­lished peer-reviewed stud­ies com­par­ing the effects of dietary inter­ven­tions to non-dietary con­trol con­di­tions involv­ing more than 46,000 par­tic­i­pants.

The researchers noted that the results were con­sis­tent with the fact that dietary inter­ven­tions hold promise as a novel inter­ven­tion for reduc­ing symp­toms of depres­sion across the pop­u­la­tion.”

The ben­e­fi­cial effects of the Mediterranean diet on patients with depres­sion seem to extend to older adults as well.

At the 2019 annual meet­ing of the American Psychiatric Association, a study was pre­sented show­ing how adopt­ing the Mediterranean diet might reduce the risk of depres­sion symp­toms later in life.

The study’s find­ings indi­cated that an eat­ing plan with a high con­tent of veg­eta­bles but lit­tle intake of poul­try and alco­hol proved to be the most ben­e­fi­cial.

One of the results of the lat­est research shows how intro­duc­ing the Mediterranean diet as an inter­ven­tion was well-received by the patients them­selves.

Nearly all our par­tic­i­pants stayed with the pro­gram, and many were keen to con­tinue the diet once the study ended, which shows how effec­tive, tol­er­a­ble and worth­while they found the inter­ven­tion,” Bayes con­cluded.

Next Post

Ebenezer Samuel Shares 3 Factors Every Workout Program Needs

You might have a hard time determining exactly what you need for your workout plan. That’s okay! There are some specific exercises that you know you should probably include in your training in some form, and your goals (and time and energy constraints) will dictate much of the rest. Still, […]
Ebenezer Samuel Shares 3 Factors Every Workout Program Needs