Diet s Double Impact Mason Study Reveals Link Between Nutrition Diabetes Mental Health
In a recent study conducted by Mason researchers, it was revealed that individuals with diabetes are two to three times more likely to experience depression compared to those without diabetes, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control. The research delved into the complex interplay between nutrition, mental health, and diabetes, shedding light on the significant impact of dietary choices on both conditions.
Assistant Professor Raedeh Basiri led two literature studies aiming to unravel the intricate relationship between poor nutrition, the likelihood of acquiring Type 2 diabetes, and its impact on mental health, including anxiety and depression. The findings underscore the bidirectional nature of the connection, indicating that mental health issues can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and, conversely, diabetes raises the likelihood of developing depression and anxiety. Nutritional interventions were identified as potential strategies for addressing both health concerns.
Basiri emphasised, “Our findings underscore the pivotal role of dietary choices in reducing the risks associated with both diabetes and mental health. The implications of these findings extend beyond the scientific community, as they hold promise for informing public health policies, health care practices, and dietary recommendations that can positively impact the general population.”
The research aims to empower individuals to make informed and health-promoting dietary choices, serving as a proactive strategy for the prevention and management of diabetes, as well as anxiety and depression.
Specifically, the study highlights the association between a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Conversely, a diet high in processed foods was found to increase susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
Furthermore, the research team identified that a diet lacking essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, selenium, chromium, and magnesium, is associated with exacerbated symptoms in both mental health and the development of Type 2 diabetes. This underscores the importance of nutrient-rich dietary choices for overall health and well-being.
“Current scientific evidence underscores the potential benefits of adopting a well-balanced dietary regimen in decreasing anxiety and depression symptoms while enhancing glycemic control in individuals with diabetes,” concluded Basiri.