Dietary supplements do not help prevent depression
A recent study has shown that you cannot prevent depression by taking supplements daily. But there are ways to reduce the risk of depression, according to previous research.
More and more people are suffering from mental illness
According to health experts, the number of people with depression in the world has increased significantly. Also in Germany and the EU, more and more people suffer from mental illness. Therefore, it is not surprising that many seek ways to reduce the risk of depression. As a recent study showed, dietary supplements are not suitable.
Dietary Supplements for the Prevention of Depression?
Although previous scientific research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be suitable for Alzheimer's disease prevention, years ago, researchers reported that such fatty acids are hardly effective in depression.
Now, a recent study has also shown that depression cannot be prevented by taking supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids and other ingredients such as vitamins and minerals daily.
This has been demonstrated in the MooDFOOD study, which investigated the preventive effects of dietary supplements and psychological counseling on healthy diet and lifestyle for depression.
As Leipzig University Hospital writes in a communication, researchers from Leipzig University's Medical Center were involved in the study together with 14 other research institutions from Europe.
The main findings of the MooDFOOD study have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Examine participants with increased disease risk
The study showed that more than 1,000 obese or overweight people from four European countries participated in the study.
These individuals were at increased risk of developing depression and reported at least mild depressive symptoms at baseline, but no depression.
The subjects were randomized to groups and either taken a dietary supplement daily consisting of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, folic acid, selenium, vitamin D and zinc or a placebo supplement.
In addition, half of all participants participated in professional psychological counseling in individual and group sessions on a healthy diet and lifestyle with the aim of establishing a healthier nutritional pattern.
No more effective than placebo supplements
The study showed: "Daily intake of supplements for one year cannot prevent the onset of a depressive episode in the sample being studied; dietary supplements do not have a preventive effect on depression." Elisabeth Kohls, who coordinated the project at Leipzig University.
"The dietary supplements were no more effective in the study than the placebo drug, in some analyzes even worse," the researcher said.
"For a professional psychological consultation on a healthy diet and lifestyle could also be detected in the sample, no preventive effect."
Trust in methods and treatments with documented effects
"These results are important for the millions of people with depression and the general population in Germany," said Prof. With. Ulrich Hegerl, co-author of the article, director of the Psychiatric Institute and Psychotherapy in Leipzig and chair of the German Depression Aid Foundation.
"Depression is a serious, often life-threatening disease. They reduce life expectancy by an average of ten years," the expert said.
"As with any serious illness, both prevention and therapy should be based on proven methods and treatments. To affect the course of the disease, this includes drug therapy and psychotherapy, but not dietary supplements," says Hegerl.
"It is understandable that people are looking for ways to reduce their own risk of depression. We now know that supplements tend to be inappropriate."
Reduce the risk of disease
However, previous studies have shown that there are ways and means to reduce the personal risk of depression, including through regular exercise.
Just a few months ago, US researchers reported that physical activity and exercise help reduce the risk of depression significantly. (Ad)