DASH diet could reduce risk of depression

A preliminary study due to be presented to the American Academy of Neurology, has revealed that a diet constructed to help combat high blood pressure, could also reduce the development of depression.

A dietary approach to stopping hypertension (DASH) is a diet has been proven to reduce the high blood pressure, which can increase risk of stroke. DASH suggests a diet of fat-free diary, reduced meat with an increase in fruit, vegetables and grain.

The study involved 964 participants, observed over six and a half years, with a average age of 81.

“Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke,” said author of the study Laurel Cherian in a press release.

Participants were spilt into three groups, two of which followed the DASH diet closely and those that followed a more ‘Western diet’. Those that adhered to the DASH diet were 11% less likely to become depressed, whereas those that stuck to a diet of high saturated fats, red meat, low in fruits and vegetables were more likely to develop depression.

It has been stressed by Cherian that this does not prove that the DASH diet leads to a reduced risk of depression; only an association and further studies are needed to confirm the results.  The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in April.

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