BOSTON: A recent study showed a connection between depression, food, and the emergence of frailty.
This study was published in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
Affecting 10-15% of older persons, frailty is characterised as an identifiable state of heightened vulnerability brought on by a loss in function across several physiological systems. It frequently co-occurs with other medical problems, such as depression. Affecting 10-15% of older persons, frailty is characterised as an identifiable state of heightened vulnerability brought on by a loss in function across several physiological systems. It frequently co-occurs with other medical problems, such as depression.
The development of frailty is thought to be significantly influenced by diet. This is one of the first studies to attempt to understand the relationship between dietary inflammation and frailty and depression.
Previous studies have shown a correlation between an inflammatory diet, which includes artificial trans fats (like partially hydrogenated oil), refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats, and the risk of developing frailty.
The Framingham Offspring Study’s results were used in a study titled “Association of the pro-inflammatory diet with frailty onset among adults with and without depressive symptoms,” which sought to ascertain whether people with depressive symptoms are more prone to developing frailty in response to dietary inflammation.
Data from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort were used in the study. The 1,701 non-frail participants provided baseline information on their diet and mental symptoms and were tracked for approximately 11 years before their frailty status was reevaluated. Inflammatory food was linked to an increased risk of frailty, according to the study, and this link was somewhat stronger in people who had depressive symptoms.
According to the researchers, since people who experience depressive symptoms frequently have greater levels of inflammation, adding dietary inflammation to that level could hasten the onset of frailty.
The study’s principal author is Courtney L. Millar, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Marcus Institute of Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, and Harvard Medical School. This study discovered that depressive feelings may make people more prone to becoming feeble as a result of eating an inflammatory diet. This shows that eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory substances (such as fibre and plant-based chemicals called flavonoids) may benefit in preventing the onset of frailty, according to Dr Millar.
According to the exploratory data, middle-aged and older persons who consume a pro-inflammatory diet are more likely to simultaneously acquire frailty and depression symptoms than they are to do so separately.
This study builds on two earlier ones by Dr Millar, one of which showed that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may prevent the onset of frailty and the other which demonstrated that a pro-inflammatory diet increased the risk of frailty development. Both of these studies were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
According to Dr Millar, “this study adds to our understanding of the connection between dietary inflammation, depression, and frailty.” “Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre, flavonoids, and other dietary antioxidants may be even more crucial for individuals who are depressed.”