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Diet & Depression

Research Menu ||| Last update 11/23/2013

Listed in alphabetical order by first author:
Bhatia 1996Allergy to tartrazine in alprazolam.
Corvaglia 1999Depression in adult untreated celiac subjects: diagnosis by the pediatrician.
Horrocks 1999Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid.
Klaassen 1999Mood effects of 24-hour tryptophan depletion in healthy first-degree relatives of patients with affective disorders.
Edwards 1998Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in the diet and in red bloodcell membranes of depressed patients.
Novembre 1992     Unusual reactions to food additives
Zeisel 1986Dietary influences on neurotransmission.


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  1. Allergy to tartrazine in alprazolam. Bhatia MS, 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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  2. Depression in adult untreated celiac subjects: diagnosis by the pediatrician, Corvaglia L, Catamo R, Pepe G, Lazzari R, Corvaglia E, 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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  3. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in the diet and in red bloodcell membranes of depressed patients. Edwards R, Peet M, Shay J, Horrobin D, Journal of Affective Disorders 1998 Mar;48(2-3):149-55
    The findings raise the possibility that depressive symptoms may be alleviated by n-3 PUFA [Omega-3 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid] supplementation.
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  4. Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid. Horrocks LA, Yeo YK, Pharmacological Research 1999 Sep;40(3):211-25
    [DHA is one of the omega-3 essential fatty acids] "... The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability, whereas deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning ... The visual acuity of healthy, full-term, formula-fed infants is increased when their formula includes DHA ... DHA deficiencies are associated with foetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, unipolar depression, aggressive hostility, and adrenoleukodystrophy....DHA is present in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and mother's milk. DHA is present at low levels in meat and eggs, but is not usually present in infant formulas.... DHA has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis, depression, adult-onset diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, and some cancers."
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  5. Mood effects of 24-hour tryptophan depletion in healthy first-degree relatives of patients with affective disorders. Klaassen T, Riedel WJ, van Someren A, Deutz NE, Honig A, van Praag HM, Biological Psychiatry 1999 Aug 15;46(4):489-97
    "...Overall, after 6 hours, TRP depletion lead to a lowering of mood ... Mood changes and gastrointestinal side effects were significantly more evident in FH+ subjects than in FH- subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis that subjects with a positive family history for depression are predisposed to increased vulnerability to the adverse consequences of serotonergic imbalance."
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  6. Unusual reactions to food additives, Novembre E, Dini L, Bernardini R, Resti M, Vierucci A, 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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  7. Dietary influences on neurotransmission. Zeisel SH, 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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