Vegetarians especially males are at greater risk for depression than their meat-eating counterparts, according to a new research.Vegetarian diets are associated with cardiovascular and other health benefits, but little is known about mental health benefits or risks.Therefore the study was conducted to study mental health benefits or risks of vegetarian diets.
In the study conducted by National Institutes of Health (NIH) it has been found that –
- Vegetarian men had higher depression scores after adjustment for potential confounding factors.
- Nutritional deficiencies may account for these findings, but reverse causation and residual confounding cannot be ruled out.
The findings have been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
In the study, Self-report data from 9668 adult male partners of pregnant women from group like ALSPAC was included considering various parameters like vegetarian or vegan, dietary frequency data and the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale (EPDS). Continuous and binary outcomes were assessed using multiple linear and logistic regression taking account of potential confounding variables including age, marital status, employment status, housing tenure, number of children in the household, religion, family history of depression previous childhood psychiatric contact, cigarette and alcohol consumption.
It was found by Dr.Joseph R. Hibbeln and associates that Vegetarians [n = 350 (3.6% of sample)], had higher depression scores on average than non-vegetarians (mean difference 0.96 points [95%CI + 0.53, + 1.40]) and a greater risk for EPDS scores above 10 (adjusted OR = 1.67 [95% CI: 1.14,2.44]) than non-vegetarians after adjustment for potential confounding factors.More than 9600 men showed that those who reported being vegetarians or vegans had significantly higher scores on a depression-measuring scale than non-vegetarians.
It was concluded that Vegetarian men have more depressive symptoms after adjustment for socio-demographic factors. Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. in cobalamin or iron) are a possible explanation for these findings, however, reverse causation cannot be ruled out.
For more details click on the link: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.051