Friday , August 19 2022

Appendices do not protect against depression


The speculation about the relationship between diet and psyche always leads to the most difficult theories and recommendations. Suppliers of dietary supplements are keen to offer products that help prevent depression or relieve symptoms of depression. One must forget that completely: By taking supplements you can't prevent depression.

This is the main finding of the MooDFOOD study, which looked at whether dietary supplements and psychological counseling on a healthy diet and lifestyle protect against depression. The research involved researchers from 15 European research institutions, including scientists from Leipzig University. Over 1000 participants in the study were overweight or obese patients from four European countries. They were at greater risk of developing depression and reported at least the symptoms of mild depression in the baseline (but there was no obvious clinical depression present).

Nutritional supplements: Not better than placebo

In the study, participants were randomly divided into two groups. Topics in one group ("intervention group") used a daily dietary supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, folic acid, selenium, vitamin D and zinc. In the second group, participants received a placebo. In addition, half of those taking part in the study received professional psychological counseling in individual and group sessions on a healthy diet and lifestyle, with the aim of establishing a healthier nutrition pattern. Conclusion: "The daily intake of dietary supplements for a period of one year can not prevent the beginning of depression chapter," Dr. Elisabeth Kohls, study coordinator. Therefore, the dietary supplements in the study were not more effective than the placebo preparations, even worse in some analyzes. The preventative effect of professional psychological counseling on the subject of healthy nutrition and lifestyle could not be tested in the study.

DocFood says

There's nothing to add to this except the good advice: Stay from supplements that promise you help or protect you from depression! Professor Ulrich Hegerl, co-author of the study, stresses: "You should rely on methods and treatments with proven effects in prevention and therapy." These include drug therapy and psychotherapy, but not dietary supplements. "It is understandable that people are looking for ways to reduce their own risk of developing depression. We now know that dietary supplements are somewhat unsuitable", summarizing the Hegerl results of the study.

Picture of Daniel Reche from Pexels

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