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Diet & Depression
Some of the Research

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Last update 3/10/2015

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  • Bhatia MS, Allergy to tartrazine in alprazolam. Indian J Med Sci 1996 Aug;50(8):285-6
    "Allergy to tartrazine-containing psychotropic medication (especially antidepressants) had been reported. 20 patients of apparent allergy to tartrazine-containing alprazolam brands in 480 patients exposed to the dye are described. Rechallenge with non tartrazine-containing alprazolam brands did not produce the similar allergic reactions."

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  • Corvaglia L, Catamo R, Pepe G, Lazzari R, Corvaglia E, Depression in adult untreated celiac subjects: diagnosis by the pediatrician, American Journal of Gastroenterology 1999 Mar;94(3):839-43
    "Untreated celiac disease can lead to serious behavioral disorders. We describe three adult patients with undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease without particular intestinal signs, causing persistent depressive symptoms in three of the parents of our pediatric patients... In all three patients, the depressive symptoms improved quickly with a gluten-free diet. In conclusion, celiac disease should be taken into consideration in the presence of behavioral and depressive disorders, particularly if they are not responsive to the usual antidepressive therapy. "

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  • Kamel MM, El-lethey HS, The Potential Health Hazard of Tartrazine (Yellow 5)and Levels of Hyperactivity, Anxiety-Like Symptoms, Depression and Anti-social behaviour in Rats. (Scroll down to #183), Journal of American Science, 2011;7(6)
    "Tartrazine-treated rats showed hyperactivity in open field test presented by increased horizontal locomotion. . . Furthermore, tartrazine intake significantly promoted depression as expressed by prolonged immobilization during forced swim test. Impairment in social interaction test was also detected . . . This study provides sufficient scientific evidence that a causal link truly exists between tartrazine and inflection of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression-like behaviours in rats and points to the hazardous impact of tartrazine on public health."

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  • Novembre E, Dini L, Bernardini R, Resti M, Vierucci A, Unusual reactions to food additives, Pediatria Medica e Chirurgica 1992 Jan-Feb;14(1):39-42
    "...In this study, we report two cases of unusual reactions to food additives (tartrazine and benzoates) involving mainly the central nervous system (headache, migraine, overactivity, concentration and learning difficulties, depression) and joints (arthralgias), confirmed with diet and double blind challenge. The possible pathogenetic mechanisms are also discussed."

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  • Quines et al., Monosodium glutamate, a food additive, induces depressive-like and anxiogenic-like behaviors in young rats. Life Sciences, 2014, Jun 27;107(1-2):27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.04.032
    " Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been the target of research due to its toxicological effects. Aims: We investigated the depressive- and anxiogenic-like behaviors in rats exposed to neonatal subcutaneous injection of MSG. ... Male and female newborn Wistar rats were divided into control and MSG groups, which received, respectively, a daily subcutaneous injection of saline (0.9%) or MSG (4 g/kg/day) from the 1st to 5th postnatal day. The behavioral tests [spontaneous locomotor activity, contextual fear conditioning, and forced swimming test (FST)] were performed from the 60th to 64th postnatal day. ... Key findings: The MSG exposure increased the immobility time in the FST and the freezing reaction in the contextual fear conditioning. ... In conclusion MSG-treated rats are more susceptible to develop anxiogenic- and depressive-like behaviors, which could be related to a dysfunction in the serotonergic system "

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  • Tavakkoli-Kakhki et al., Food-based strategies for depression management from Iranian traditional medicine resources. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 2014 Feb;16(2):e14151. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.14151
    " ... Food-based strategies for depression management in Iranian Traditional Medicine resources involving both prevention and treatment parts have been classified under three headings singular foodstuffs, combined foodstuffs, and nutrition rules with the separation of prohibition and prescription items. Among the prescribed or the prohibited singular and combined foodstuffs in Iranian Traditional Medicine manuscripts, only the effectiveness of fish, garlic, milk, oregano, mint, and spinach on depression has been examined by modern medicine methods. The presented food-based strategies in this study introduce a precise management for depression benefiting from Iranian Traditional Medicine Resources.

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  • Walton, Hudak, & Green-Waite, Adverse Reactions to Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population , Biolological Psychiatry, 1993 Jul 1-15;34(1-2):13-7
    "This study was designed to ascertain whether individuals with mood disorders are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of aspartame. ... the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression. ... there was a significant difference between aspartame and placebo in number and severity of symptoms for patients with a history of depression, whereas for individuals without such a history there was not. We conclude that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener and its use in this population should be discouraged."

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  • Zeisel SH, Dietary influences on neurotransmission. Advances in Pediatrics 1986;33:23-47
    "Diet clearly influences neurotransmission. ... Components of foods can also be used as drugs. ... Tryptophan, tyrosine, and choline may be useful in treatment of humans with sleep disorders, pain depression, mania, hypertension, shock, or dyskinesias. Other components of the diet that may affect behavior include food additives ... Given that there is little potential for harm and that there is a subpopulation that may respond, a trial of a diet that contains no food additives may be a valid diagnostic approach for children with attention deficit disorder who do not respond to stimulant therapy or for children for whom stimulant therapy is not desired...."

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