The association between protein consumption from animal and plant sources with psychological distress in older people in Mediterranean region

Nathan D’ Cunha, Alexandra Foscolou, Stefanos Tyrovolas, Christina Chrysohoou, Loukianos Rallidis, Evangelos Polychronopoulos, Antonia-Leda Matalas, Labros S. Sidossis, Nenad Naumovski, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The potential for diet to prevent and treat mental health conditions is an exciting area of investigation; however, the impact of different protein sources on mental health outcomes is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between dietary protein intake and psychological distress, in people aged >50 years of age, living in Greece. METHODS: A combined data set of older people living in the Athens metropolitan area and 20 Greek islands, from the ATTICA (n = 1,128) and MEDIS (n = 2,221) population-based cross-sectional studies was developed. Anthropometric, clinical and socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics, and protein consumption (total, animal, plant) consumed based on validated FFQ, were derived through standard procedures and questionnaires. “Psychological distress” (PDS) was assessed as a combined variable representing symptoms of depression and anxiety using Item Response Theory methodology and fitting a Graded Response Model. RESULTS: Animal protein, but not plant protein intake, was associated with higher PDS following adjustment for age, sex, education level, Mediterranean diet adherence and physical activity (b±SE: 0.399±0.090, p = 0.003). Following analysis by Mediterranean diet adherence level, among low adherers, animal protein intake was positively associated with PDS (b±SE: 1.119±0.174, p = 0.003), and no associations were observed in moderate or high adherence groupsin regards to plant protein intake and PDS. CONCLUSIONS: Animal protein intake is associated with PDS, suggesting a bi-directional relationship, which may be influenced by Mediterranean diet adherence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNutrition and Healthy Aging
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020

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    D’ Cunha, N., Foscolou, A., Tyrovolas, S., Chrysohoou, C., Rallidis, L., Polychronopoulos, E., Matalas, A-L., Sidossis, L. S., Naumovski, N., & Panagiotakos, D. B. (2020). The association between protein consumption from animal and plant sources with psychological distress in older people in Mediterranean region. Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3233/NHA-190079