People Who Consume Unhealthy Diets Report Higher Levels of Depression: Study

Sick african-american man having fever, measuring body temperature with thermometer, touching forehead in bed, copy spaceAccording to a new study, people who consume an unhealthy diet are more likely to suffer from depression. So, if you’re trying to watch your waistline, you may also want to watch your mental health.

The research from Macquarie University analyzed data from 169 adults aged 17 to 35 and found that those who consumed a Western-style diet were more likely to have lower levels of kynurenic acid (KA). This small molecule is essential for several bodily functions.


Previous studies have shown that Western-style diets that are high in fat, sugar, and processed foods are associated with an increased risk of depression. However, this is the first time a biological link showing the kynurenine pathway has been established.

The link between depression and food may be in how the body produces important molecules and metabolites necessary to keep it functioning. For example, the amino acid tryptophan, found in foods like dairy products, poultry, oats, nuts, and seeds, is broken down into metabolites. These metabolites are used to protect the brain, regulate behavior, and control inflammation, which is linked to diseases including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and dementia.

In breaking down the tryptophan, the body produces serotonin and melatonin. Or it can be processed by the kynurenic pathway, which creates KA and other essential metabolites linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

This new study is the first time that anyone has been able to show that a Western-style diet has an effect on the way tryptophan is metabolized in healthy young people. As with most metabolites, the level of KA in the body can be problematic. Too little KA is associated with depression, but too much has been linked with schizophrenia.

Healthy levels of KA are essential for reducing the risk of depression, and this new research shows the importance of food in the regulation of this metabolite. Regular physical activity is also vital for healthy KA levels.


So, if you’re feeling down, it may be time to increase your exercise routine, overhaul your diet, and reach for some fresh fruits and vegetables instead.

A Healthy Brain

Keeping the brain functioning at peak performance throughout life is essential. However, numerous factors can take a toll on the brain, affecting memory, concentration, and overall brain function.

The Smart Pill can help to enhance cognitive function and memory through 9 ingredients that help to support, nourish, and maximize brain health. These include ginkgo biloba, huperzine A, bacopa extract, rosemary extract, and a B vitamin complex. This unique formula helps to boost circulation, fight free radicals, and provide nutritional support to assist with cognitive function.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.