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Vegetarianism Linked to Depression

Vegetarianism Linked to Depression

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:

Source: self

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  1. Living examples are abundant of life time vegetarians who have been ebullient in their respective endeavours and have been extroverts and inspiring , in India and even globally. However the nutritional component of certain deficiencies related to neuropsychology in some may require further study in different subject population. Dr Murar Yeolekar Mumbai.

  2. user
    prof Dr vinod shah November 28, 2017, 11:27 am

    Jain community is pure veg as per censeus in India the community is prosperous as compare with others and they are physically and mentally fit on veg meals excluding onion and garlic in meals so I do not agree with the study may be in western world it may?

  3. In that case the same factors should cause similar illness in women too.So ,why is it common in vegetarian/ vegan males?

  4. vegan or vegetarian diet as a whole we consider is not correct variable to make a hypothesis as whosoever nd whatsoever someone is eating if does not contain balance of fat, carbs and proteins definitely it will lead to poor nutritional score, there are many factors in depth like how happy is person in married and unmarried life, its very broad terminology which cant be taken into account for depression