A recent study in the US has showed that vegan or vegetarian men have greater propensity for depression than those that eat meat.
The study enrolled over 9600 men in the National Health Institutes (NIH) in the US, and showed that men that claimed to be vegetarian or vegan had higher scores in a depression scale than “non-vegetarians”.
Furthermore, a significant number of vegetarian or vegan people had a score greater than 10, the equivalent to mild to moderate depression. “Nutritional deficiencies, like the lack of Vitamin B12 or iron, are a possible explanation for this fact” speculated the scientists from the study.
The key investigator of the study, Joseph R. Hibbeln, interim chief of the nutritional neuroscience section of the National Institute for Alcohol and Drug Abuse of the NIH added that since red meat is rich in vitamin B12, this nutrient may have played an important role in the results.
“If someone decides to be a vegetarian or to eat less meat, they should follow the recommendations to ensure they have a healthy amount of vitamin B12 in their bodies” said Dr. Hibbeln to the “Medscape Medical News”.
Vegetarian diets have been associated with several health benefits, but little is known about the benefits or risks to mental health. referred the scientists.
“Vegetarian diets have been associated with decreases in cardiovascular death risk, obesity and diabetes, leading to questions about its potential benefits to mental health, or in contrast , if the lower ingestion of nutrient readily available in food excluded causes adverse consequences to the mental well being”, added the scientists.
Either way, whether you have chosen to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or you eat meat, always try to ensure you take the necessary measures to maintain your levels of Vitamin B12 and iron… just in case! 🙂