Depression Recap and possible pure diet intervention

My earlier posts were done before I had build up an analysis application for modifying the microbiome.

Depression often runs in families. The earlier naive assumption is that it was inherited by DNA. Today we know that both DNA and microbiomes are inherited. The microbiome is much easier to modified than DNA. This title says it well:
The relationship between dietary quality, serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level, and the Val66met polymorphism in predicting depression.[2017]

  • “Higher dietary quality was associated with both decreased depression incidence and severity in this cross-sectional analysis. “

DNA Aspect

There is some associations that have been found, but no simple smoking gun at present, a few recent papers

Diet and Depression

Direct Studies on Depression

  • ” Low intake of riboflavin[Vitamin B2] was associated with an increased risk of depression in women but not in men.” [2016]
  • “An “omnivore” like diet high in amino acids, cobalamin [Vitamin B12], zinc, phosphorus, saturated fat, cholesterol and pantothenic acid[Vitamin B5] is associated with reduced psychological disorders. ” [2018]
  • Vitamin B-6 and depressive symptomatology, over time, in older Latino adults.[2018]
    “Our data suggest that identification and treatment of vitamin B-6 deficiency may be a useful preventive approach in this population.”
  • Saffron (powder or tea)
    • ” The administration of a standardised saffron extract (affron®) for 8 weeks improved anxiety and depressive symptoms in youth with mild-to-moderate symptoms, at least from the perspective of the adolescent. However, these beneficial effects were inconsistently corroborated by parents.” [2018]
    • ” In fact, saffron with its active ingredients (Crusin and Saffranal) by serotonin and dopamine secretion in the brain, help in reducing depression among recovered consumers of methamphetamine living with HIV/AIDS.” [2018]
    • ” Saffron has beneficial effects on depression and homocysteine level in patients with major depression.” [2018]


Some of the newer articles:

  • “Compared with their healthy counterparts, increased Actinobacteria and decreased Bacteroidetes levels were found in female and male MDD patients, respectively.” [2018]
  • “As a result, 279 significantly differentiated bacterial proteins (P<0.05) were detected and used for further bioinformatic analysis. According to phylogenetic analysis, statistically significant differences were observed for four phyla: Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria (P<0.05, for each). Abundances of 16 bacterial families were significantly different between the MDD and healthy controls (P<0.05). ” [2018]
  • “10 clinical trials with a total of 1349 patients were reviewed, comparing the use of probiotics to placebo controls. There was no significant difference in mood between the treatment and placebo group post-intervention”  [for depressive symptoms] [2018] – These studies are likely for “standard” probiotics (Lactobacillus, etc).
  • ” (R)-ketamine, but not lanicemine, significantly attenuated the altered levels of Bacteroidales, Clostridiales and Ruminococcaceae in the susceptible mice after chronic social defeat stress (CSDS).” [2017]

Diet Only Interventions Possibilities:

  • B Vitamins:
    • B2
    • B5
    • B6
    • B12
  • Amino acid supplementation
  • Zinc,
  • Phosphorus,
  • Saturated fat,

From the microbiome site, we have the following recommendations as generic results.

  • Barley
  • Walnuts
  • Cranberries
  • Fish Oil
  • Pomegranates
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)
  • Peas
  • Baby aspirin

Do not go:

  • Gluten-free
  • Avoid high sugar content

This is an education post to facilitate discussing this approach with your medical professionals. It is not medical advice for the treatment of any medical condition. Always consult with your medical professional before doing any  changes of diet, supplements or activity. Some items cites may interfere with prescription medicines.