Another One for the Mediterranean Diet!
Mediterranean Diet May Keep Late-Life Depression at Bay

SAN FRANCISCO — Adherence to a Mediterranean diet may guard against late-life depression, new research shows.
Investigators from Hellenic Open University in Patras, Greece, found that for older individuals who adhered to a Mediterranean diet, the likelihood of developing depression was significantly decreased.
Dr Konstantinos Argyropoulos
“The truth is, there are very few studies investigating the impact of adherence to the Mediterranean diet in later life. Up until now, they have largely focused on mid-life, so this is one of the first studies focusing on an older population, and these results suggest the Mediterranean diet may affect the likelihood of depression, regardless of age,” principal investigator Konstantinos Argyropoulos, MD, PhD, told Medscape Medical News.
The study was presented here at a press briefing held at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2019 annual meeting.
Elderly Depression Common
A large body of research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil, with moderate consumption of fish, poultry, and alcohol and that eschews (avoiding) red meat and sugar, has a positive impact on physical health, including longevity and a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“It also emphasises getting plenty of exercise and enjoying meals with family and friends,” said Argyropoulos.
More recent research has examined its impact on mental health. In 2017, a randomised controlled trial published in Nutritional Neuroscience and reported by Medscape Medical News at that time showed that a Mediterranean-style diet significantly improved symptoms and quality of life for patients with severe depression.
Research also suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet may stave off age-related cognitive decline. Argyropoulos said the diet’s positive impact on the brain may be because it combines foods and nutrients potentially protective against cognitive dysfunction or dementia, such as fish, vitamin B12, folate, and antioxidants.
Recent research estimates that almost 20% of older adults will experience at least one episode of major depression and that such episodes have more negative consequences in this population. Diet and lifestyle may be one way of mitigating this risk.
The goal of the research was to estimate the prevalence of late-life depression and its potential association with adherence to a Mediterranean-based dietary pattern and other risk factors.
The cross-sectional study included 154 active members (mean age, 71 years) who were attending five open day-care centres in the municipality of East Attica, Greece, from March to May 2018.
At Botanica Medica our Naturopaths are well aware of the importance of  exercise, a good diet and the effect it can have on your life both physically and mentally. They come across lots of interesting studies and are always updating their knowledge. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our Naturopaths call Botanica Medica on 8271-1827 today. They are only to happy to share the knowledge they have gained through their studies and patient outcomes, and get you feeling better. Botanica Medica is located at 97 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood and appointments are available Monday to Saturday including some after hours.
Mediterranean Diet May Keep Late-Life Depression at Bay
Caroline Cassels, May 21, 2019
Medscape Medical News.
Investigators from Hellenic Open University in Patras, Greece,
Comments by Dr Konstantinos Argyropoulos MD, PhD
Artwork created in Canva