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ItemSo depression is an inflammatory disease, but where does the inflammation come from?Berk, M ; Williams, LJ ; Jacka, FN ; O'Neil, A ; Pasco, JA ; Moylan, S ; Allen, NB ; Stuart, AL ; Hayley, AC ; Byrne, ML ; Maes, M (BMC, 2013-09-12)BACKGROUND: We now know that depression is associated with a chronic, low-grade inflammatory response and activation of cell-mediated immunity, as well as activation of the compensatory anti-inflammatory reflex system. It is similarly accompanied by increased oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), which contribute to neuroprogression in the disorder. The obvious question this poses is 'what is the source of this chronic low-grade inflammation?' DISCUSSION: This review explores the role of inflammation and oxidative and nitrosative stress as possible mediators of known environmental risk factors in depression, and discusses potential implications of these findings. A range of factors appear to increase the risk for the development of depression, and seem to be associated with systemic inflammation; these include psychosocial stressors, poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, altered gut permeability, atopy, dental cares, sleep and vitamin D deficiency. SUMMARY: The identification of known sources of inflammation provides support for inflammation as a mediating pathway to both risk and neuroprogression in depression. Critically, most of these factors are plastic, and potentially amenable to therapeutic and preventative interventions. Most, but not all, of the above mentioned sources of inflammation may play a role in other psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
ItemThe association between diet quality, dietary patterns and depression in adults: a systematic reviewQuirk, SE ; Williams, LJ ; O'Neil, A ; Pasco, JA ; Jacka, FN ; Housden, S ; Berk, M ; Brennan, SL (BMC, 2013-06-27)BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that diet modifies key biological factors associated with the development of depression; however, associations between diet quality and depression are not fully understood. We performed a systematic review to evaluate existing evidence regarding the association between diet quality and depression. METHOD: A computer-aided literature search was conducted using Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO, January 1965 to October 2011, and a best-evidence analysis performed. RESULTS: Twenty-five studies from nine countries met eligibility criteria. Our best-evidence analyses found limited evidence to support an association between traditional diets (Mediterranean or Norwegian diets) and depression. We also observed a conflicting level of evidence for associations between (i) a traditional Japanese diet and depression, (ii) a "healthy" diet and depression, (iii) a Western diet and depression, and (iv) individuals with depression and the likelihood of eating a less healthy diet. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first review to synthesize and critically analyze evidence regarding diet quality, dietary patterns and depression. Further studies are urgently required to elucidate whether a true causal association exists.