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Sep 24, 2020
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The role of diet in preventing and treating depression is often overstated – new study

The role of diet is tend to exaggerate both the media and many scientists. New research says there is not enough evidence.

The evidence that diet can prevent depression has been weak. German scientists spoke about this in the journal PLINS ONE.

The relationship between diet and depression is a popular topic of research and media coverage. Scientists from Leiden University analyzed 50 scientific papers devoted to this issue. They believe that the findings of many previous studies significantly exaggerate the impact of nutrition: the available evidence does not support strong claims about the benefits of a diet for depression.

The authors of a third of the scientific papers reviewed concluded that diet and depression are closely related. At the same time, no major meta-analysis has yielded such a result. The meta-analysis (analysis of all available scientific data), which was carried out by the authors of the new study, also did not demonstrate a positive effect of the diet on depression.

"Experimental data do not show a strong link between diet and depression prevention and depression treatment," said study lead author Florian Thomas-Odenthal.

Thomas-Odenthal noted that study authors often strongly sympathize with the importance of diet for depression. Such ideas easily find their way into the media. He believes that scientific journals should be more picky about articles on this topic.


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