Vegetarian diet may increase your depression risk, study finds

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Scientists from the Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences found that eating a vegetarian diet may increase depression risk.

Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning, you may be depressed.

The exact cause of depression is unknown. It may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

In general‚ about 1 out of every 6 adults will have depression at some time in their life.

Depression affects about 16 million American adults every year. Anyone can get depressed, and depression can happen at any age and in any type of person.

Several studies have examined the link between a vegetarian diet and the risk of depression, but because of inconsistency between studies, the exact association remains unclear.

In the current study, researchers aimed to check the link between vegetarian diets and the risk of depression in published studies.

Studies were included if they examined mean levels of depression and risk for depression in vegetarians compared with nonvegetarians.

The team found that adherence to a vegetarian diet was associated with a 53% greater risk of depression compared with that of omnivores.

Further analysis of depression risk suggested that results depended on the type of vegetarian diet and the country where the study was conducted.

For studies that assessed a semivegetarian diet and those conducted in Europe and the United States, there was a positive link between a vegetarian diet and depression.

A semi-vegetarian diet (SVD), also called a flexitarian, is one that is centered on plant foods with the occasional inclusion of meat.

Comparing mean depression scores showed no evidence of a difference between vegetarians and nonvegetarians.

The researchers suggest that a vegetarian diet may strongly increase depression risk. however, the findings were not robust, and more studies are needed to see the vegetarian diet and depression association.

The research was published in Nutrition Reviews and conducted by Siavash Fazelian et al.

If you care about mental health, please read studies that ultra-processed foods may make you feel depressed, and Vitamin D could help reduce depression symptoms.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce the risk of dementia, and eating more nuts may help lower the depression risk.

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