Transfats lead to a greater risk of depression

12,059 SUN project volunteers who have had their diet, lifestyle and ailments analysed over six years, have helped researchers at the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria conclude that the ingestion of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially produced pastries and fast foods, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) and saturated fats increase the risk of suffering from depression, whilst the ingestion of olive oils protects against mental illness.

At the beginning of the study none of the volunteers suffered from depression, but by the end, 657 new cases had been diagnosed. The participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats had a 48% greater risk of developing depression than those who did not consume trans-fats, and the more trans-fats the volunteers consumed the greater the harmful effect.

The team, led by Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Professor of Preventative Medicine at the Univeristy of Navarra, also analysed the consumption of polyunsaturated fats (in fish and vegetable oils) and olive oil on the incidence of depression, and discovered that they were associated with a lower risk of depression.

Source: Plos One


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First Published January 2011

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