A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED)

Natalie Parletta, Dorota Zarnowiecki, Jihyun Cho, Amy Wilson, Svetlana Bogomolova, Anthony Villani, Catherine Itsiopoulos, Theo Niyonsenga, Sarah Blunden, Barbara Meyer, Leonie Segal, Bernhard T. Baune, Kerin O’Dea

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Abstract

Objectives: We investigated whether a Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet) supplemented with fish oil can improve mental health in adults suffering depression. Methods: Adults with self-reported depression were randomized to receive fortnightly food hampers and MedDiet cooking workshops for 3 months and fish oil supplements for 6 months, or attend social groups fortnightly for 3 months. Assessments at baseline, 3 and 6 months included mental health, quality of life (QoL) and dietary questionnaires, and blood samples for erythrocyte fatty acid analysis. Results: n = 152 eligible adults aged 18–65 were recruited (n = 95 completed 3-month and n = 85 completed 6-month assessments). At 3 months, the MedDiet group had a higher MedDiet score (t = 3.95, P < 0.01), consumed more vegetables (t = 3.95, P < 0.01), fruit (t = 2.10, P = 0.04), nuts (t = 2.29, P = 0.02), legumes (t = 2.41, P = 0.02) wholegrains (t = 2.63, P = 0.01), and vegetable diversity (t = 3.27, P < 0.01); less unhealthy snacks (t = −2.10, P = 0.04) and red meat/chicken (t = −2.13, P = 0.04). The MedDiet group had greater reduction in depression (t = −2.24, P = 0.03) and improved mental health QoL scores (t = 2.10, P = 0.04) at 3 months. Improved diet and mental health were sustained at 6 months. Reduced depression was correlated with an increased MedDiet score (r = −0.298, P = 0.01), nuts (r = −0.264, P = 0.01), and vegetable diversity (r = −0.303, P = 0.01). Other mental health improvements had similar correlations, most notably for increased vegetable diversity and legumes. There were some correlations between increased omega-3, decreased omega-6 and improved mental health. Discussion: This is one of the first randomized controlled trials to show that healthy dietary changes are achievable and, supplemented with fish oil, can improve mental health in people with depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2017

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Fish Oils
Mediterranean Diet
Mental Health
Randomized Controlled Trials
Depression
Diet
Vegetables
Nuts
Fabaceae
Quality of Life
Snacks
Cooking
Chickens
Fruit
Fatty Acids
Erythrocytes
Education
Food

Cite this

Parletta, Natalie ; Zarnowiecki, Dorota ; Cho, Jihyun ; Wilson, Amy ; Bogomolova, Svetlana ; Villani, Anthony ; Itsiopoulos, Catherine ; Niyonsenga, Theo ; Blunden, Sarah ; Meyer, Barbara ; Segal, Leonie ; Baune, Bernhard T. ; O’Dea, Kerin. / A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). In: Nutritional Neuroscience. 2017 ; pp. 1-14.
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A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). / Parletta, Natalie; Zarnowiecki, Dorota; Cho, Jihyun; Wilson, Amy; Bogomolova, Svetlana; Villani, Anthony; Itsiopoulos, Catherine; Niyonsenga, Theo; Blunden, Sarah; Meyer, Barbara; Segal, Leonie; Baune, Bernhard T.; O’Dea, Kerin.

In: Nutritional Neuroscience, 07.12.2017, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED)

AU - Parletta, Natalie

AU - Zarnowiecki, Dorota

AU - Cho, Jihyun

AU - Wilson, Amy

AU - Bogomolova, Svetlana

AU - Villani, Anthony

AU - Itsiopoulos, Catherine

AU - Niyonsenga, Theo

AU - Blunden, Sarah

AU - Meyer, Barbara

AU - Segal, Leonie

AU - Baune, Bernhard T.

AU - O’Dea, Kerin

PY - 2017/12/7

Y1 - 2017/12/7

N2 - Objectives: We investigated whether a Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet) supplemented with fish oil can improve mental health in adults suffering depression. Methods: Adults with self-reported depression were randomized to receive fortnightly food hampers and MedDiet cooking workshops for 3 months and fish oil supplements for 6 months, or attend social groups fortnightly for 3 months. Assessments at baseline, 3 and 6 months included mental health, quality of life (QoL) and dietary questionnaires, and blood samples for erythrocyte fatty acid analysis. Results: n = 152 eligible adults aged 18–65 were recruited (n = 95 completed 3-month and n = 85 completed 6-month assessments). At 3 months, the MedDiet group had a higher MedDiet score (t = 3.95, P < 0.01), consumed more vegetables (t = 3.95, P < 0.01), fruit (t = 2.10, P = 0.04), nuts (t = 2.29, P = 0.02), legumes (t = 2.41, P = 0.02) wholegrains (t = 2.63, P = 0.01), and vegetable diversity (t = 3.27, P < 0.01); less unhealthy snacks (t = −2.10, P = 0.04) and red meat/chicken (t = −2.13, P = 0.04). The MedDiet group had greater reduction in depression (t = −2.24, P = 0.03) and improved mental health QoL scores (t = 2.10, P = 0.04) at 3 months. Improved diet and mental health were sustained at 6 months. Reduced depression was correlated with an increased MedDiet score (r = −0.298, P = 0.01), nuts (r = −0.264, P = 0.01), and vegetable diversity (r = −0.303, P = 0.01). Other mental health improvements had similar correlations, most notably for increased vegetable diversity and legumes. There were some correlations between increased omega-3, decreased omega-6 and improved mental health. Discussion: This is one of the first randomized controlled trials to show that healthy dietary changes are achievable and, supplemented with fish oil, can improve mental health in people with depression.

AB - Objectives: We investigated whether a Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet) supplemented with fish oil can improve mental health in adults suffering depression. Methods: Adults with self-reported depression were randomized to receive fortnightly food hampers and MedDiet cooking workshops for 3 months and fish oil supplements for 6 months, or attend social groups fortnightly for 3 months. Assessments at baseline, 3 and 6 months included mental health, quality of life (QoL) and dietary questionnaires, and blood samples for erythrocyte fatty acid analysis. Results: n = 152 eligible adults aged 18–65 were recruited (n = 95 completed 3-month and n = 85 completed 6-month assessments). At 3 months, the MedDiet group had a higher MedDiet score (t = 3.95, P < 0.01), consumed more vegetables (t = 3.95, P < 0.01), fruit (t = 2.10, P = 0.04), nuts (t = 2.29, P = 0.02), legumes (t = 2.41, P = 0.02) wholegrains (t = 2.63, P = 0.01), and vegetable diversity (t = 3.27, P < 0.01); less unhealthy snacks (t = −2.10, P = 0.04) and red meat/chicken (t = −2.13, P = 0.04). The MedDiet group had greater reduction in depression (t = −2.24, P = 0.03) and improved mental health QoL scores (t = 2.10, P = 0.04) at 3 months. Improved diet and mental health were sustained at 6 months. Reduced depression was correlated with an increased MedDiet score (r = −0.298, P = 0.01), nuts (r = −0.264, P = 0.01), and vegetable diversity (r = −0.303, P = 0.01). Other mental health improvements had similar correlations, most notably for increased vegetable diversity and legumes. There were some correlations between increased omega-3, decreased omega-6 and improved mental health. Discussion: This is one of the first randomized controlled trials to show that healthy dietary changes are achievable and, supplemented with fish oil, can improve mental health in people with depression.

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KW - Fish oil

KW - Intervention

KW - Mediterranean diet

KW - Mental health

KW - Omega-3

KW - Omega-6

KW - Quality of life

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