Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Not that you ever needed an excuse to order a burger, but scientists have now proven that they can actually help to make you happy…
Reporting in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers said they had found that beef was the only food linked to lowering risks of depression, in a study of 440,000 Brits.
They cited that nutrients in beef, such as iron and B vitamins which aid the brains functioning, could be part of the reason that the meat has such an effect.
“This is the first study reporting a potential, beneficial causal effect of beef intake on lowering the risk,” said the team of psychiatrists, who worked for various centres around the world, including the National Taiwan University and Massachusetts General Hospital.
“There is extensive evidence that diet may influence the risk and symptoms of depression.”
They added: “We found that higher beef intake may be protective against major depressive disorder.
“A recent review of the association between meat abstention and depression showed mixed results.
“However, the majority of studies, and especially the most rigorous ones, demonstrated a higher risk of depression in those who avoided meat.”
The data collected was sourced from 440,000 people who were part of the UK’s Biobank database, and from 45,000 people who lived with depression.
The scientists looked at genes that were potentially associated with eating more beef and also explored if genetic makeup could be linked to depression.
And the findings proved that several dietary habits had a genetic link to severe depression.
Non-oily fish was one of the foods linked with higher risks of depression and depressive illnesses. However the researchers say they still need to provide further validation of their findings.