Depression, Is It Treatable in Adults Utilising Dietary Interventions? A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials

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Abstract

This systematic literature review examined whole food or whole diet interventions to treat depression. The inclusion criteria encompassed adults, depression, a recognized depression scale and a whole food or diet intervention. APA PsychINFO, CINAHL, the Cochrance Central Register of Controlled Trails, MEDLINE and Scopus were searched for original research addressing diet as a treatment for depression in adult populations. The quality of the study was assessed using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Quality Criteria Checklist. Seven studies; with 49,156 participants; met the eligibility criteria. All these studies found positive outcomes with depression levels decreasing after dietary intervention. The calculated effect size varied from small (Cohen’s d = 0.32) to very large (Cohen’s d = 1.82). The inconsistent nature of the studies limited the synthesis of the data. Recommendations are provided to enhance future study design and measurement outcomes. Overall, the findings show a positive result for diets that promote an increased intake of fresh produce, wholegrains, low-fat dairy and lean protein sources, while also decreasing the intake of processed and high-fat foods. No funding was provided for this review. The protocol for this review is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020210426).
Original languageEnglish
Article number1398
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

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