BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) — Vegetarianors or vegans may be at increased risk of depression, with vegetarian-oriented people three times more likely to take prescription drugs for mental illness than the average person, according tomedia reports. The study, based on 160,000 studies, also showed that a third of vegetarians may suffer from depression or anxiety. The researchers reviewed 18 studies on the link between mental health and eating meat habits, involving 160,257 participants.
They concluded that vegetarians or vegans were significantly more likely to develop depression, anxiety and self-harm, and that not eating meat could be a “behaviour marker” that suggested that people’s mental health was poor. We need more research data to verify.
Researchers at the University of Alabama in the United States say people who don’t eat meat are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, or self-harm, and our study doesn’t support people’s overall mental health rather than eating meat.
Study author Dr Edward Archer, of the University of Alabama, said: “While the health risks and benefits of meat and vegetarianism have been debated for centuries, our findings suggest that carnivores have better mental health, and this finding has implications for defining ‘healthy eating’, which may need to be emphasized in assessing the benefits and risks of specific dietary patterns.” “
‘Overall, if you want to avoid an increased risk of depression, anxiety and self-harm, eat meat,’ says Aseem Malhotra, a British cardiologist. If you’re a vegan, or an ethical vegetarian, you need to pay more attention to protecting your mental health.
Vegetarianism lowers cholesterol index
The researchers’ analysis of 50 recent studies showed that vegetarians ate more green vegetables, fruits and nuts a day, meaning they ate less saturated fatty acids. These vegetarian foods are rich in natural ingredients, such as soluble fiber, soy protein and phytosterol (a cholesterol found in plants), which can lower cholesterol.
Dr. Yoko Yokoyama, a researcher at Keio University in Japan, found that vegetarians had an average of 29.2 milligrams of total blood cholesterol of 0.1 liters lower than meat eaters. They define vegetarians as “people who eat meat less than once a month.”
For meat eaters, following a vegetarian diet reduces cholesterol by 12.5 milligrams per 0.1 litreof blood. Those who follow a vegetarian diet for a long time may have healthier bodies, and different diets between meat and vegetarian diets may have an effect on blood lipids, the researchers note in the journal Nutrition Review. (Ye Ding Cheng)