While fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, a new study says that this vital nutrient shares a link with a reduced risk of depression, especially in pre-menopausal women. Depression is a common yet serious mental health condition, affecting more than 264 million people globally, with even more numbers increasing over time. In 2010, the prevalence of major depression was found to be higher in women than in men with a global annual prevalence of 5.5% and 3.2%, respectively. Changes in hormone levels in premenopausal women have been linked to depression.
According to the results of a study including 5,807 women, dietary fiber intake was found higher in the non-depression group than in the depression group. Additionally, no difference was reported among post-menopausal women. A high-fiber diet possibly lowers inflammation by adjusting both the pH and the permeability of the gut, which in turn alters neurotransmitter concentrations to reduce symptoms of depression. Thus, while premenopausal women experience an inverse relationship, there was no such association found among postmenopausal women.
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Yunsun Kim, Minseok Hong, Seonah Kim, Woo-young Shin, Jung-ha Kim. Inverse association between dietary fiber intake and depression in premenopausal women. Menopause, 2020; Publish Ahead of Print DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001711