New research investigates whether taking nutritional supplements and changing dietary habits can help prevent depression. On a global level، we are now facing two concerning epidemics، one of which relates to the health of the body and the other to that of the mind، namely، obesity and depression.
In the United States alone، approximately 70 percent of all men and women are overweight or have obesity، while about 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults live with major depressive disorder.
Previous studies have suggested that people who are overweight or have obesity are also more likely to experience depression، leading researchers to wonder whether making dietary changes could help fend off depression.
In a new study called the MooDFOOD trial، a team from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom، Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands، the University of Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca، Spain، and the University of Leipzig in Germany decided to find out whether different dietary strategies would have any effect on mental health outcomes in overweight or obese people.
"Because depression is such a common problem، finding effective and widely available ways to prevent depression at a population level is an important goal،" notes Prof. Ed Watkins، one of the study authors.
The researchers' findings، which now appear in JAMA، offer some hope that certain dietary interventions could be helpful. However، the overall suggestion is that simply making nutritional changes may not be enough to prevent instances of depression.