The Connection Between Metabolic Health and Depression
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that there is a strong association between poor metabolic health and depression. Metabolic health refers to the state of an individual's metabolism, which includes factors such as blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body weight.
Research has shown that individuals who have poor metabolic health are more likely to experience symptoms of depression than those who have good metabolic health. For example, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that people with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abdominal obesity) were more likely to have depression than those without metabolic syndrome.
Another study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2017 found that women with obesity and insulin resistance (a marker of poor metabolic health) were more likely to have depressive symptoms than women without these conditions.
There are several theories as to why there may be a link between poor metabolic health and depression. One possibility is that inflammation, which is often present in people with poor metabolic health, may contribute to depression. Additionally, metabolic dysfunction can lead to changes in the brain that affect mood and behavior.
Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between metabolic health and depression, there appears to be a strong association between the two. It is important for individuals to prioritize their metabolic health through healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, which may also have positive effects on their mental health.
Here are five studies that have investigated the association between poor metabolic health and depression, along with links to their abstracts:
- Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.
- Insulin resistance, depressive symptoms and smoking in Australian adults: results from the 2011-12 National Health Survey
- Association between metabolic syndrome and depressive symptoms in Korean adults
- Depressive symptoms and insulin resistance in young adult males: results from the Northern Finland 1966 birth cohort
- Obesity and depression: results from the longitudinal Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study