SMILES diet improves depression     
Improving your diet could be an effective treatment for depression according to new Australian research published in BMC Medicine.

Leading the first randomised controlled trial to explicitly answer the question: If I improve my diet will my mental health improve? Australian researchers from Deakin and Melbourne Universities have found that dietary improvement may indeed offer benefits to people suffering from major depression.
Conducted over 12 weeks, the Supporting the Modification of lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States (SMILES) trial evaluated an adjunctive dietary intervention among 67 people.  Participants were randomised to receive either the diet intervention (n=33) or social support (n= 34).  At 12 weeks, 31 people in the diet support group and 25 in the social support group had complete data with the diet support group demonstrating significantly greater improvement between baseline and at 12 weeks.

“The dietary intervention comprised personalised dietary advice and nutritional counselling support, including motivational interviewing, goal setting and mindful eating,” the researchers explained.

The Mod/Med diet – based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece and previous dietary recommendations for prevention of depression – focussed on supporting consumption of 12 key food groups: whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, low-fat and unsweetened dairy foods, raw and unsalted nuts, fish, lean red meats, chicken, eggs and olive oil.

“We reported significant reductions in depression symptoms as a result of this intervention and these effects appear to be independent of any changes in BMI, self-efficacy, smoking rates and/or physical activity.”

“The results of this trial suggest that improving one’s diet according to current recommendations targeting depression may be a useful and accessible strategy for addressing depression in both the general population and in clinical settings,” the researchers reported.

Addressing the issue of more healthful diets being more expensive than a less healthful diet, the researchers completed detailed modelling of the costs of 20 of the SMILES participants’ baseline diets and compared it to the costs of the advocated-for diet.  Results showed that an average of AUD $123 per week was being spent on food and beverage for personal consumption, and the recommended diet was AUD $112 per week.

“The results of this RCT offer further support for the need to focus on addressing poor diet in clinical practice and provide some guidance regarding the strategies that used to support this imperative such as possibly adding clinical dieticians to multidisciplinary mental health teams,” the researchers concluded.
At Botanica Medica our Naturopaths are well aware of the importance of 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. Botanica Medica is located at 97 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood and appointments are available Monday to Saturday including some after hours.
BMC Medicine 2017 15:23 DOI: 10.1186/s12916-017-0791-y
Tuesday 13th of June 2017
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