Ed Watkins, professor at University of Exeter recently conducted a research to understand the role of nutritional supplements in preventing depression. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the findings. The impact of diet and eating behavior is more than consuming nutritional supplements to prevent depression. Watkins along with the team of international researchers made efforts in understanding the relationship between depression and being overweight. There is a link between these two conditions.
Rising Incidence of Depression Needs Further Investigation
The MoodFood trial study evaluated various nutritional and lifestyle strategies in obese people (with body mass index more than 25). These strategies impacted individuals’ overall wellbeing and mood.
More than 1,000 respondents participated from Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., and Spain with high risk of depression. Half of them received daily nutritional supplements and placebo to the other half. One group also received behavioral and psychological therapy to help change habitual dietary behaviors and patterns.
The result showed that supplements having vitamin D, folic acid, and omega-3 fish oils did no good than placebo in reducing depression. Whereas behavioral therapy was also not effective in preventing overall depression, but it helped in preventing a few episodes of depression. This suggested that if participants took sufficient dose of therapy then it would change their habitual dietary behavior. However, it’s certain that nutritional supplements do not prevent depression. Further investigation is required to understand food-related behavior in managing depression.
Apart from nutritional supplements, healthy dietary patterns such as intake of vegetables, fish, whole grains, and pulses might reduce the risk of depression. Even weight loss helps in reducing symptoms of depression.