RE: Depression and vegan diet
Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 8:20 AM
There are some studies that show vegetarian diets may help with depression. Here are a couple of summaries of more recent ones (and links to where you can find them at PCRM.org):
2010: Vegetarians have lower instances of depression, according to a new study in Nutrition Journal. Researchers looked at 60 vegetarians and 78 meat-eaters in the southwestern United States and found that vegetarians scored significantly better on standardized mood tests. The mood tests measured depression, anxiety, and stress and were compared to food frequency questionnaires. The vegetarians consumed less eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid—all animal sources of omega-6 fatty acids—but reported higher mean intakes of plant sources of omega-6 and omega-3.
2012: Vegetarian diets improve mood and lower stress, according to a new study in Nutrition Journal. Researchers asked 39 meat-eaters to begin one of three different diets—a vegetarian diet, a meat-based diet, or a meat-and-fish-based diet. They found that after just two weeks, vegetarians scored significantly better on standardized mood and stress tests. The mood tests measured depression, anxiety, and stress and were compared with food frequency questionnaires. The vegetarians consumed less eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and less arachidonic acid, an animal source of omega-6 fatty acids.
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education