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A higher frequency of low-fat dairy consumption may be associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms.
A higher frequency of low-fat dairy consumption may be associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms.

Low-Fat Milk, Yogurt May Reduce Depression Risk

Low-Fat Milk, Yogurt May Reduce Depression Risk

New research suggests that low-fat dairy may benefit mental health, too.
In a study of more than 1,000 adults from Japan, researchers found that those who consumed a higher amount of low-fat milk and yogurt were less likely to develop symptoms of depression, compared with those who consumed lower amounts of these dairy products.
Study co-author Prof. Ryoichi Nagatomi, of Tohoku University in Japan, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.
Depression - also referred to as major depressive disorder - is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
While symptoms of depression vary from person to person, they may include persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or helplessness, irritability, fatigue, problems sleeping, and thoughts of death or suicide.
For their study, researchers set out to investigate how the consumption of certain low-fat and high-fat dairy products individually impact the risk of developing symptoms of depression, medicalnewstoday.com reported.
The research included 1,159 adults from Japan aged between 19 and 83 years, majority of whom were women.
Participants disclosed how often they consumed low-fat and whole-fat milk and yogurt in a dietary questionnaire.
Symptoms of depression were assessed using the 20-item self-rating depression scale.
The team identified depressive symptoms among 31.2% of men and 31.7% of women. Compared with adults who reported no consumption of low-fat dairy products, those who consumed low-fat milk and yogurt between one and four times weekly were less likely to have symptoms of depression.
Commenting on their findings researchers said: “The current results indicate that a higher frequency of low-fat dairy consumption may be associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms.”
No link was identified between the consumption of whole-fat dairy products and depression. Researchers hypothesize that this may be because the trans-fatty acids in whole-fat milk - which are associated with depression - were offset by an amino acid in milk, called tryptophan.
The team said further studies are needed to pinpoint the mechanisms underlying the link between low-fat dairy intake and a lower risk of depression.

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