Vegetarians and vegans may be more likely to be depressed, a new study claims.
Researchers from the University of Alabama recently found one in three vegetarians have suffered from anxiety or depression in their lifetime.
When compared with meat-eaters, people with a plant-based diet were twice as likely to take prescription drugs for mental illness and nearly three times as likely to consider suicide, the research claims.
The analysts said their study ‘does not support avoiding meat consumption for overall psychological health benefits’, according to MailOnline.
Scientists looked at 18 studies – involving 160,257 people – that scrutinised the link between eating meat and mental health.
The study – entitled ‘Meat and Mental Health: A systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety and related phenomena’ – determined that those who did not eat meat had ‘significantly’ higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety and self-harm.
For all the latest news and updates on Coronavirus, click here.
For our Coronavirus live blog click here.
It was suggested that turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet could be a ‘behavioural marker’, meaning that these individuals were already experiencing poor mental health.
However, this theory is unconfirmed and needs more research to support it.
The University of Alabama study was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Dr Edward Archer, one of the authors, said: ‘While the risks and benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets have been debated for centuries, our results show that meat eaters have better psychological health.’
He said that people may need to seriously consider their mental health when ‘evaluating the benefits and risks of particular dietary patterns.’
Writing on Twitter, Aseem Malhotra, an NHS Consultant Cardiologist, added: ‘In general, if you want to avoid increased risk of depression, anxiety and self-harm behaviour then do eat meat.
‘If you’re vegan or vegetarian for ethical reasons, then please personally invest extra in strategies to protect your mental health.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Thanks https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/30/vegetarians-are-likely-depressed-meat-good-mental-health-12631970/