Mental health

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Articles​

Meat and mental health: A meta-analysis of meat consumption, depression, and anxiety

URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408398.2021.1974336

Journal: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Publication Date: 10/2021

Summary: In this meta-analysis, we examined the quantitative relation between meat consumption or avoidance, depression, and anxiety. in June 2020, we searched five online databases for primary studies examining differences in depression and anxiety between meat abstainers and meat consumers that offered a clear (dichotomous) distinction between these groups. Twenty studies met the selection criteria representing 171,802 participants with 157,778 meat consumers and 13,259 meat abstainers. we calculated the magnitude of the effect between meat consumers and meat abstainers with bias correction (Hedges’s g effect size) where higher and positive scores reflect better outcomes for meat consumers. Meat consumption was associated with lower depression (Hedges’s g=0.216, 95% Ci [0.14 to 0.30], p < .001) and lower anxiety (g=0.17, 95% Ci [0.03 to 0.31], p = .02) compared to meat abstention. Compared to vegans, meat consumers experienced both lower depression (g=0.26, 95% Ci [0.01 to 0.51], p = .041) and anxiety (g=0.15, 95% Ci [-0.40 to 0.69], p = .598). Sex did not modify these relations. Study quality explained 58% and 76% of between-studies heterogeneity in depression and anxiety, respectively. The analysis also showed that the more rigorous the study, the more positive and consistent the relation between meat consumption and better mental health. The current body of evidence precludes causal and temporal inferences.

Key Takeaways

Individuals who consume meat had lower rates of anxiety and depression than vegans.

Vegans Are More Anxious and Depressed than Meat Eaters

Meat and mental health: a systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety, and related phenomena

URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408398.2020.1741505

Journal: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Publication Date: 04/2020

Summary: To examine the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health and well-being. A systematic search of online databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Medline, and Cochrane Library) was conducted for primary research examining psychological health in meat-consumers and meat-abstainers. Inclusion criteria were the provision of a clear distinction between meat-consumers and meat-abstainers, and data on factors related to psychological health. Studies examining meat consumption as a continuous or multi-level variable were excluded. Summary data were compiled, and qualitative analyses of methodologic rigor were conducted. The main outcome was the disparity in the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and related conditions in meat-consumers versus meat-abstainers. Secondary outcomes included mood and self-harm behaviors. Eighteen studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria; representing 160,257 participants (85,843 females and 73,232 males) with 149,559 meat-consumers and 8584 meat-abstainers (11 to 96 years) from multiple geographic regions. Analysis of methodologic rigor revealed that the studies ranged from low to severe risk of bias with high to very low confidence in results. Eleven of the 18 studies demonstrated that meat-abstention was associated with poorer psychological health, four studies were equivocal, and three showed that meat-abstainers had better outcomes. The most rigorous studies demonstrated that the prevalence or risk of depression and/or anxiety were significantly greater in participants who avoided meat consumption. Studies examining the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health varied substantially in methodologic rigor, validity of interpretation, and confidence in results. The majority of studies, and especially the higher quality studies, showed that those who avoided meat consumption had significantly higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm behaviors. There was mixed evidence for temporal relations, but study designs and a lack of rigor precluded inferences of causal relations. Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health

Key Takeaways

Meat eaters had less anxiety and depression that those who abstain from eating meat.

Vegans are More Anxious and Depressed

Changes in Food Cravings and Eating Behavior after a Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction Intervention Trial

URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/1/52

Journal: Nutrients

Publication Date: 12/2019

Summary: Compared to low-fat diets, low-carbohydrate (CHO) diets cause weight loss (WL) over a faster time frame; however, it is unknown how changes in food cravings and eating behavior contribute to this more rapid WL in the early phases of dieting. We hypothesized that reductions in food cravings and improved eating behaviors would be evident even after a relatively short (4-week) duration of CHO-restriction, and that these changes would be associated with WL. Adult participants (n = 19, 53% males, mean ± SD: BMI = 34.1 ± 0.8 kg/m2; age 40.6 ± 1.9 years) consumed a CHO-restricted diet (14% CHO, 58% fat, 28% protein) for 4 weeks. Before and after the intervention, specific and total cravings were measured with the Food Craving Inventory (FCI) and eating behaviors assessed with the Three-Factor Eating questionnaire. Food cravings were significantly reduced at week 4, while women had significantly greater reductions in sweet cravings than men. Dietary restraint was significantly increased by 102%, while disinhibiton and hunger scores were reduced (17% and 22%, respectively, p < 0.05). Changes in cravings were unrelated to changes in body weight except for the change in high-fat cravings where those who lost the most weight experienced the least reductions in fat cravings (r = −0.458, p = 0.049). Changes in dietary restraint were inversely related to several FCI subscales. A short-term, low-CHO diet was effective in reducing food cravings. These data suggest that in subjects that have successfully lost weight on a low-CHO diet, those who craved high-fat foods at the onset were able to satisfy their cravings—potentially due to the high-fat nature of this restricted diet.

Key Takeaways

Low carbohydrate diets for as short as 4 weeks can reduce food cravings, including sweet cravings, and accelerate weight loss.

Having Cravings While Dieting? A Ketogenic Diet Can Reduce Cravings and Improve Weight Loss

Treating binge eating and food addiction symptoms with low-carbohydrate Ketogenic diets: a case series

URL: https://jeatdisord.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s40337-020-0278-7

Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

Publication Date: 01/2020

Summary: Many patients with obesity and comorbid binge eating symptoms present with the desire to lose weight. Although some studies suggest that dietary restriction can exacerbate binge eating, others show dietary restriction is associated with significant reductions in binge eating. The effect of a particular type of dieting on binge eating, the ketogenic diet (a high fat, moderate protein, very low carbohydrate diet), is not known. We report on the feasibility of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet initiated by three patients (age 54, 34, and 63) with obesity (average BMI 43.5 kg/m2) with comorbid binge eating and food addiction symptoms. All patients tolerated following the ketogenic diet (macronutrient proportion 10% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 60% fat; at least 5040 kJ) for the prescribed period (e.g., 6–7 months) and none reported any major adverse effects. Patients reported significant reductions in binge eating episodes and food addiction symptoms including cravings and lack of control as measured by the Binge-Eating Scale, Yale Food Addiction Scale, or Yale- Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale modified for Binge Eating, depending on the case. Additionally, the patients lost a range of 10–24% of their body weight. Participants reported maintenance of treatment gains (with respect to weight, binge eating, and food addiction symptoms) to date of up to 9–17 months after initiation and continued adherence to diet. Although the absence of control cases precludes conclusions regarding the specific role of ketogenic diets versus other forms of dietary restriction, this is the first report to demonstrate the feasibility of prescribing a ketogenic diet for patients with obesity who report binge eating and food addiction symptoms. Further research should seek to reproduce the observed effects in controlled trials as well as to explore potential etiologies.

Key Takeaways

Low carbohydrate ketogenic diets can be an effective way of reducing binge eating episodes and stimulating weight loss in individuals with binge eating disorder.

Ketogenic Diets Can Reduce Binge Eating

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplementation and the Treatment of Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29076953/

Journal: Psychosomatic Medicine

Publication Date: 02/2018

Summary: Acetyl l-carnitine supplementation significantly decreases depressive symptoms compared with placebo/no intervention, while offering a comparable effect with that of established antidepressant agents with fewer adverse effects.

Key Takeaways

Supplemental carnitine, a nutrient only found in meat, improves depression with similar effectiveness as antidepressant drugs but without side effects.

Struggling With Depression? You May Not Be Eating Enough Meat

Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466124/

Journal: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Publication Date: 06/2012

Summary: In Western cultures vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders. However, there was no evidence for a causal role of vegetarian diet in the etiology of mental disorders.

Key Takeaways

Vegetarian diets are associated with increased mental disorders, but it has not been proven that the vegetarian diet is the cause of these disorders.

Will a Vegetarian Diet Make You Crazy?

Psychological benefits of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome—A pilot study

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666307002644

Journal: Appetitie

 Publication Date: 11/2007

 Summary: 25 obese women with PCOS were randomized to a HPLC diet vs LPHC for 16 weeks. HPLC group showed a significant decrease in depression. Weight loss was equal.

Key Takeaways

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome improve depression with a high protein low carbohydrate diet.

Struggling with PCOS Depression? Try a High Protein Low Carb Diet

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