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Video: Dietary Supplements Can't Prevent Depression
Dietary Supplements Can't Prevent Depression
Daily supplementation does not help prevent the onset of clinical depression. A more effective method of preventing major depressive disorders may be regular lifestyle training to help improve diet and eating behavior.
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Daily supplementation does not help prevent clinical depression, according to a new MooDFOOD Trial by an international team of scientists and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). A more effective method of preventing major depressive disorders may be regular lifestyle training to help improve diet and eating behavior.
Scientists compared different dietary and lifestyle strategies that can alter the mood and well-being of people who are overweight (BMI> 25) or obesity, since the experience of depression is often accompanied by overweight.
The study involved more than 1000 people from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain who were not depressed, but had an increased risk of developing it. Over the course of the year, half of the main group of participants received daily supplements and the other half received a placebo.
In addition, half of the participants received psychosocial and behavioral therapy (training in strategies for coping with bad moods, reducing snacks, and switching to a Mediterranean diet) to help them change their eating habits and eating patterns.
The study found that placebos and supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D, omega-3 acids, zinc, and selenium were similar in depression.
Behavioral therapy aimed at maintaining healthy eating behavior and improving diet has not been effective in preventing depression in general. However, there was some evidence of prevention of depressive episodes in those participants who attended the recommended number of sessions.
Consequently, behavioral therapy only works when it has a sufficient "dose" and the patient's ability to sufficiently change their diet and eating habits.
“Because depression is such a common problem, finding effective, widely available population-based ways to prevent depression is an important goal … This experience clearly demonstrates that nutritional supplements do not help prevent depression. It has been suggested that eating and dietary changes can help prevent depression, but this warrants further study,”said Professor Ed Watkins of the University of Exeter and a member of the research team.
This project is the largest randomized clinical trial investigating the impact of nutritional strategies on the prevention of clinical depression. Its coordinators - Professor Marjolein Visser and Professor Ingeborg Brouwer of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - noted three important findings of the researchers:
A healthy diet (a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes and olive oil, low in red meat and fatty dairy) can reduce the risk of depression.
- In obese people, weight loss can reduce symptoms of depression.
- Current evidence does not support the use of nutritional supplements to prevent depression.
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