Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil reduces symptoms of depression

depression is a mental illness The most common in the world, with 280 million patients, it is estimated that 3.8% of the population is affected, including 5% of adults and 5.7% of adults over 60 years of age. The annual prevalence in Spain is around 6%. And the most alarming thing is that the incidence is only growing.

Preventing relapse of depression with the Mediterranean diet (PREDIDEP)

Five years ago, a research group coordinated by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in collaboration with recruitment centers in Vitoria, Pamplona, ​​Madrid and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, launched the initiative “Preventing the relapse of depression with the Mediterranean diet ” (PREDIDER). It all started with the premise that Intervention with patients’ diet may influence this condition.. Considering that depression and cardiovascular disease share common pathological mechanisms, such as the presence of inflammation or oxidative stress, it is logical that the chosen model was the Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, which gave such good results in the PREDIMED and CORDIOPREV studies. cardiovascular disease research.

IN In 2019, 52 men and 144 women aged 18 to 86 years who had experienced at least one episode of depression in the past five years were recruited.. A portion of these patients followed the Mediterranean pattern, using olive oil as the main source of fat, while the rest followed a control diet. The olive oil sector, through the Interprofessional Organization of Spanish Olive Oil, was responsible for the supply of extra virgin olive oil for this study. Participants were advised to take at least four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day.

Research results

The results of the project are now brought to the attention of the scientific community around the world through prestigious publications (Experimental Gerontology and Nutritional Neuroscience). And they are very encouraging, as he explains. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, Study Coordinator: “Following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil appears to have a beneficial effect on patients recovered from a depressive disorder, reducing their residual depressive symptoms in both the short and medium term. Participants with residual depressive symptoms classified as The Mediterranean diet with the addition of EVOO significantly reduced these symptoms (from 2 to 3 points). both short-term and long-term; “In the control group, there was no significant reduction in depressive symptoms at any follow-up.” The doctor especially emphasizes the progress made by patients in terms of quality of life. They were given a questionnaire to assess four physical dimensions of quality of life and the same number of mental ones: “It is interesting to emphasize result obtained for the so-called “mental health” and “vitality” (both mental domains), as well as for the general mental indicator. “Patients following a Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO achieved significant increases in scores on these three measures by approximately 7, 9, and 3 points, respectively, after two years of treatment.” Almudena Sanchez-Villegas says these results need to be taken into account in clinical practice from now on: “The recommendation to follow this extra virgin olive oil rich diet to patients with a history of depression should be included in their routine pharmacological and/or psychological clinical monitoring and control.”

Interprofessional’s collaboration with this group of researchers is part of the policy of promoting innovation, which is a hallmark of the Organization, explains. Rafael Sánchez de Puerta, responsible for research, development and development: “There is no future without innovation. For this reason, we have been collaborating for 15 years with researchers from all over the country to achieve advances that will make our olive groves and companies much more competitive and sustainable. At the same time, we advance health research such as PREDIDEP, the fight against breast cancer or gestational diabetes, by providing product for research without interfering with it. We must not forget that the majority of consumers who purchase our oils around the world do so because they want healthy eating“-

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