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Does full-fat yoghurt reduce depression risk in women?
10 October 2016 @ 22:36

A CURIOUS study at the University of Navarra seems to show that regularly eating yoghurt can cut the risk of suffering depression for women – but it has to be the full-fat variety, because low-fat yoghurt has the reverse effect, researchers claim.

Led by Professor Miguel Ángel Martínez González, head of the Faculty of Medicine at the Pamplona college, the experiment took 14,359 men and women who had not been diagnosed with depression and studied them over a 10-year period.

The participants habitually consumed full-fat or low-fat yoghurt or prebiotic fibre sources.

A total of 727 cases of depression were diagnosed over the 10 years, but the risk was found to be 22% lower in women – although not in the case of any of the men – who ate at least one full-fat yoghurt a day, with the risk reducing in line with consumption level.

In contrast, a direction relationship was seen between the consumption, and amount eaten, of low-fat yoghurt, especially in the first few years of the study.

No relationship at all was found between the consumption of prebiotics and depression.

The experiment was based upon the growing belief that diet can influence brain chemistry, and thus the onset of depression, with risk factors relating to changes in intestinal bacteria – a theory supported by the results of testing on rats and mice in laboratories.

Yoghurt, specifically, was studied because of its probiotic content, meaning it contains live bacteria which 'eats' bad bacteria in the intestines.

Prebiotics relate to dietary fibre which feeds the naturally-present intestinal bacteria.


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