Diet intervention may drastically improve depressive symptoms

In past research studies, diet intervention is recognized for its beneficiary effects on cognitive health. In a new study, however, conducted by researchers from Macquarie University in Australia, they found that consuming a healthy diet may improve depressive symptoms among young adults. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The results were achieved by recruiting 101 adults with depressive symptoms in either a brief 3-week diet intervention group or in a habitual diet control group. The progress of diet intervention in all participants was measured using self-report questionnaires and spectrophotometry.

The study’s co-authors write: “One-hundred-and-one individuals were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to the Diet Group or the Control Group. Upon completion of the study, there was complete data for 38 individuals in each group. There was good compliance with the diet intervention recommendations assessed using self-report and spectrophotometry.”

As attributed in the findings, the participants assessed in the diet group demonstrated less severity of depressive symptoms compared to the control group. The results, researchers proclaim, are the first of its kind associating diet intervention with decreased depressive symptoms among young adults.

“This study examined for the first time whether a brief diet intervention could improve depression symptoms in young adults,” said Heather Francis, the study’s co-author. “These results are the first to show that young adults with elevated depression symptoms can engage in and adhere to a diet intervention, and that this can reduce symptoms of depression.”

“The findings provide justification for future research into the duration of these benefits, the impacts of varying diet composition, and their biological basis.”

“We hope these findings provide the impetus for future research examining whether the recommended diet can be sustained over longer durations in this population and whether the effects on depression symptoms are maintained.”

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