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Mediterranean Diet Reduces Depression Risk

Posted Jan 22 2010 11:46am

Individuals who follow the Mediterranean dietary pattern, rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and fish, appear less likely to develop depression, according to a study in a recent issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Previous research has suggested that the monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil, used abundantly in the Mediterranean diet, may be associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms.
Almudena Sánchez-Villega., Ph.D., from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, and colleagues studied 10,094 healthy participants who completed an initial questionnaire between 1999 and 2005.
Participants reported their dietary intake on a food frequency questionnaire, and the researchers calculated their adherence to the Mediterranean diet based on multiple components: Moderate intake of dairy products, low intake of meat and high intake of legumes, fruit, nuts, cereals, vegetables, and fish.
After a midpoint of 4.4 years of follow-up, 480 new cases of depression were identified. Individuals who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had a greater than 30 percent reduction in the risk of depression than whose who had the lowest Mediterranean diet scores.
Components of the diet may improve blood vessel function, fight inflammation, reduce risk for heart disease, and repair oxygen-related cell damage, all of which may decrease the chances of developing depression.
In addition to a healthy diet, acupuncture can aid in the treatment of depression by:
• Increasing cerebral serotonin, which has anti-depressant analgesic effects.
• Reducing fatigue and other symptoms of depression.
• Elevating mood.
• Stabilizing hormonal imbalance.
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage for the treatment of a wide range of conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment at the Clinic call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.

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