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Participants had to be readily available for a 12-week period and have the ability to eat foods as prescribed, without religious, medical, socio-cultural or political factors precluding participation or adherence to the diet.
Participants were ineligible if they had: (1) a concurrent diagnosis of bipolar I or II disorder; (2) two or more failed trials of antidepressant therapy for the current MDE; (3) known or suspected clinically unstable systemic medical disorder; (4) pregnancy; (5) commencement of new psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy within the preceding 2 weeks; (6) severe food allergies, intolerances or aversions; (7) current participation in an intervention targeting diet or exercise; (8) a primary clinical diagnosis of a personality disorder and/or a current substance use disorder.
We conducted a systematic review and identified a number of interventions with a dietary change component that had examined mental health-related outcomes .
Whilst approximately half of these studies reported improvements in measures of depression or anxiety following the intervention, at the time of the review no studies fulfilling quality criteria had been conducted in mental health populations or had been designed to test the hypothesis that dietary improvement might result in improvements in mental health.
The robustness of estimates was investigated through sensitivity analyses. Of these, 55 were utilising some form of therapy: 21 were using psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy combined; 9 were using exclusively psychotherapy; and 25 were using only pharmacotherapy.
There were 31 in the diet support group and 25 in the social support control group who had complete data at 12 weeks.
This protective effect was statistically significant in those with type 2 diabetes, who comprised approximately half the sample .
Using a randomised controlled trial (RCT) design, we thus aimed to investigate the efficacy of a dietary program for the treatment of major depressive episodes.
Depression symptomatology was the primary endpoint, assessed using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at 12 weeks.The possible therapeutic impact of dietary changes on existing mental illness is largely unknown.Using a randomised controlled trial design, we aimed to investigate the efficacy of a dietary improvement program for the treatment of major depressive episodes.Broadly defined, participants had to report a poor (low) intake of dietary fibre, lean proteins and fruit and vegetables, and a high intake of sweets, processed meats and salty snacks.If participants were on antidepressant therapy or undergoing psychotherapy, they were required to be on the same treatment for at least 2 weeks prior to randomization.