Pro-inflammation diet could raise depression risk by 15%

In June 2019, The Journal of Nutrition published the findings of researchers in France who had investigated any connection between a pro-inflammation diet and depression risk.

For their data sample, the researchers used results from the French NutriNet-Santé study of over 26,700 participants between the ages of 18 and 86.

Researchers analyzed participant responses measuring 24-hour food intake over a 2-week period at baseline, at 1-year follow up, and at 2-year follow up. They then organized participants into four groups depending on how closely those responses matched a pro-inflammation diet.

A pro-inflammation diet is high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and carbohydrates and heavy on fast foods and sweets, which is typical of Western diets.

The researchers also defined incident cases of depression symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale at baseline and for at least one follow up.

What the researchers discovered was that when compared to participants who followed a pro-inflammation diet the least, those who most closely followed a pro-inflammation diet had a 15% increase in risk of depression symptoms.

This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.