It’s Not The Winter Blues, It’s Your Winter Diet!

That's the name of this year's first podcast, and it is up and available now. The feed for all my podcasts is here. And, as promised, here are the show notes:

Br J Community Nurs. 2009 Oct;14(10):422, 424-6. Dietary factors and depression in older people.

Williamson C. British Nutrition Foundation, London.

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions and can affect people of all ages, but it is becoming more common among the older population with increasing life expectancy. Observational studies have found poor micronutrient status (particularly folate and vitamin B12) to be associated with an increased risk of depression in older people. Supplementation with folic acid has been shown to enhance anti-depressant drug treatment and there is preliminary evidence that supplementation with certain micronutrients may help improve depressive symptoms in older patients. There has also been a lot of interest in the role of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in depression.

Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age.

Akbaraly TN, Brunner EJ, Ferrie JE, Marmot MG, Kivimaki M, Singh-Manoux A. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

 BACKGROUND: Studies of diet and depression have focused primarily on individual nutrients. AIMS: To examine the association between dietary patterns and depression using an overall diet approach. METHOD: Analyses were carried on data from 3486 participants (26.2% women, mean age 55.6 years) from the Whitehall II prospective cohort, in which two dietary patterns were identified: 'whole food' (heavily loaded by vegetables, fruits and fish) and 'processed food' (heavily loaded by sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products). CONCLUSIONS: In middle-aged participants, a processed food dietary pattern is a risk factor for CES-D depression 5 years later, whereas a whole food pattern is protective. 

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