Monday, August 7, 2017

More Meat, Less Depression

On the mental health front, one skirmish in the battle against depression has just been won. Among the several ways you can overcome depression is this one: Eat meat. Yes, indeed, researchers have discovered that vegetarians— including vegans—are more likely to be depressed than healthy, happy meat eaters.

The Daily Mail has the story:

Vegetarians are often fond of preaching the healthy virtues of their meat-free diet.

But giving up chicken and beef in favour or carrots and broccoli is making them more miserable, say experts.

Going veggie may leave devotees suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can affect their mental health.

A study by Bristol University of almost 10,000 men in the south west of England found that those who gave up meat were almost twice as likely to suffer depression as those on a conventional balanced diet.

It found the 350 committed vegetarians had a higher average depression score compared to others.

The paper, in the Journal of Affective Disorders, said a veggie diet led to lower intake of vitamin B12 and greater consumption of nuts rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which may be linked with greater risk of mental health problems.

The results are intuitively obvious. Giving up chicken and steak for carrots and broccoli will make anyone depressed. The same holds true for those who replace fish with lettuce.

The story continues:

The authors discovered just over half of vegans and 7 per cent of vegetarians were deficient in vitamin B12 – which is found in red meat and plays an important role in producing brain chemicals that influence mood.

The study states that diet is known to play a part in depression, and that deficiencies in iron is another possible explanation for the findings.

Those who had been vegetarian for longer showed a trend towards higher depression scores over time.

However the authors did not rule out that the decision to adopt a vegetarian diet may be a symptom of depression.

Glad to see that the author included the qualification in the last sentence. It might be the case that depressed people are more likely to go vegan. And yet, if they see grass and twigs as the cure for their depression, they will find out that they are mistaken.

Anyway, we need more studies to be more definitive. But, now you do not need to feel guilty for eating that T-bone.


trigger warning said...

Meat is even more beneficial when you kill and process it yourself. Plus, you get to spend time exercising outdoors.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I suspect many vegetarians choose their path because they don't any to be involved in killing. Yet most plants die when harvested, too. Vegetarians seem incapable of distinguishing harvesting animals from murder. This is the reason they are depressed -- they have an excruciating conscience, and believe themselves surrounded by death. So much becomes optional, including their own health.