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The Impact of Enriched Mediterranean Diet on Mental Health and Depression

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The Impact of Enriched Mediterranean Diet on Mental Health and Depression

A Mediterranean diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil has been found to improve mental health and combat depression, according to a new study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience. The study was coordinated by Dr. Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, a researcher in the area of Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition, and had the collaboration of Ana González-Pinto, group leader and scientific director of the Mental Health area.

The study included 52 men and 144 women between the ages of 18 and 86 who had suffered at least one episode of depression in the last five years. The results showed that the Mediterranean diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil not only prevents depression but can also achieve a notable reduction in the manifestation of depressive symptoms. Additionally, the study found that the effectiveness of the intervention with the Mediterranean diet on the symptoms of depression was maintained over time.

Dr. Sánchez-Villegas commented that “It is the first time that a long-term evaluation of a dietary intervention has been carried out, including a follow-up and intervention period of two years, in this type of patients.” The researchers believe that the study provides new perspectives on the influence of diet on mental health and could lead to the development of mental health strategies based on the diet to complement more traditional approaches in the treatment of depression.

According to the researchers, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest dietary models in the world and is a modifiable lifestyle factor that could influence the onset, development, and prognosis of depression. Furthermore, they emphasize that the nutritional interventions of the Mediterranean diet are safe and economical interventions that could be a great tool for the prevention of secondary depression if its preventive properties are confirmed in future clinical trials in major depressive disorder.

This study sheds light on the potential of diet to impact mental health and offers hope for those suffering from depression. The findings could lead to new approaches in the treatment and prevention of depression, and provide valuable insights into the relationship between nutrition and mental well-being.

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