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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Oct-11-18, 07:43
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teaser teaser is online now
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Default Study firms up diet and depression link

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas...81010093645.htm

Quote:
Does fast food contribute to depression? Can a healthy diet combat mental illness?

In an unusual experiment, James Cook University researchers in Australia have found that among Torres Strait Islander people the amount of fish and processed food eaten is related to depression.

A JCU research team led by Professors Zoltan Sarnyai and Robyn McDermott looked at the link between depression and diet on a Torres Strait island, where fast food is available, and on a more isolated island, which has no fast food outlets.

Dr Maximus Berger, the lead author of the study, said the team interviewed about 100 people on both islands.

"We asked them about their diet, screened them for their levels of depression and took blood samples. As you'd expect, people on the more isolated island with no fast food outlets reported significantly higher seafood consumption and lower take-away food consumption compared with people on the other island," he said.

The researchers identified nineteen people as having moderate to severe depressive symptoms: sixteen were from the island where fast food is readily available, but only three from the other island.

"People with major depressive symptoms were both younger and had higher take-away food consumption," said Dr Berger.

The researchers analysed the blood samples in collaboration with researchers at the University of Adelaide and found differences between the levels of two fatty acids in people who lived on the respective islands.

"The level of the fatty acid associated with depression and found in many take-away foods was higher in people living on the island with ready access to fast food, the level of the fatty acid associated with protection against depression and found in seafood was higher on the other island," said Dr Berger.

He said it was important to remember that contemporary Western diets have an abundance of the depression-linked fatty acid (n-6 PUFA) and a relative lack of the depression-fighting fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA).

"In countries with a traditional diet, the ratio of n-6 to n-3 is 1:1, in industrialised countries it's 20:1," he said.

Professor Sarnyai said depression affects about one in seven people at some point in their lives and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately affected by psychological distress and mental ill-health compared with the general population.

"Depression is complex, it's also linked to social and environmental factors so there will be no silver bullet cure, but our data suggests that a diet that is rich in n-3 LCPUFA as provided by seafood and low in n-6 PUFA as found in many take-away foods may be beneficial," he said.

Professor Sarnyai said with the currently available data it was premature to conclude that diet can have a lasting impact on depression risk but called for more effort to be put into providing access to healthy food in rural and remote communities.

"It should be a priority and may be beneficial not only to physical health but also to mental health and wellbeing," he said.



Firming up a link is not the same as establishing causation... clearly people in more "isolated" regions are going to be exposed to different social stressors. The proportion of people you interact with that are friends and family versus strangers is likely to be higher.
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Oct-11-18, 09:49
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Teaser, most people reading this study need it interpreted into layman terms..... if you would. n=6, n=3 PUFA, etc
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Oct-11-18, 10:58
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is online now
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Probably people are more familiar with the terms omega 3 and omega 6. The basic hypothesis is that the modern diet, with higher levels of omega 6 vs. omega 3 contributes to depression. There are various pathways that might be implicated in this--for instance, cannabinoids, the same class of substance that gives marijuana its effects on mood, are synthesized from fatty acids, particularly from polyunsaturated fats. Also inflammation is implicated in depression and other brain-related disorders, and omega 3's are more involved in anti-inflammatory activities where omega 6's are more involved in inflammatory pathways.

One thing about this--if the hypothesis is correct, we might have to play the "long" game. Studies in the 60's showed omega 6 content in human fat stores as low single digit percents--more recent studies show it going as high as 30 percent in some modern populations. There's the effect of your last meal--and then there's the effect of your own fat stores.

The endocannabinoid thing--there's a line of research in mice connecting "overeating" with endocannabinoid production from omega 6 linoleic acid. At 8 percent linoleic acid, anywhere from low to high fat, the animals eat to get fat. At 1 percent linoleic acid they remain lean--the supposedly fattening effect of the high fat diet disappears. No idea how/if this translates to humans but... on the standard diet, roughly half the fat we oxidize in a day comes from fat stores, half from diet. Somebody eating no omega 6 fatty acids at all, but with 30 percent omega 6 linoleic acid in their fat stores, if they were to release their fat in the same ratio in which it's stored, could still be working from a pretty high omega 6 level. And of course calories from fat stores would go up on a calorie restricted diet.

The endocannabinoid "bottleneck" is production of arachidonic acid from the linoleic--also a potential bottleneck for inflammatory eicosanoid production. Omega 3 fatty acids either downregulate production of arachidonic acid (enzymes that produce dha also produce arachidonic acid) or in the case of alpha linolenic acid, compete for the enzymes that produce both arachidonic acid and dha, epa etc.
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