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A burger might cheer you up: Beef is only food linked to a lower risk of depression, study reveals

Beef was the only food linked to a lower risk of depression in a study using data from 440,000 Britons

A burger could lift your spirits: Beef is the only food associated with a lower risk of depression, study finds

  • Beef was the only food linked to a lower risk of depression in a study of 440,000 Britons
  • Nutrients in beef – including iron and B vitamins – may be responsible
  • Beef may be protective with nutrients beneficial in preventing depression

If the thought of a salad makes you glum, enjoying a juicy burger is the best way to lift your spirits, say scientists.

Beef was the only food linked to a lower risk of depression in a study using data from 440,000 Britons.

Nutrients in beef — including iron and B vitamins known to help brain function — may be responsible for the protective effect, researchers reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Beef was the only food linked to a lower risk of depression in a study using data from 440,000 Britons

Beef was the only food linked to a lower risk of depression in a study using data from 440,000 Britons

“This is the first study reporting a potential causal and beneficial risk-reducing effect of beef consumption,” said the team of psychiatrists from National Taiwan University, Massachusetts General Hospital and other centers.

“We found that high beef consumption could protect against major depressive disorder,” they added.

The researchers studied data from 440,000 people stored in the UK Biobank database and 45,000 people with depression.

“This is the first study reporting a potential causal and beneficial risk-reducing effect of beef consumption,” said the team of psychiatrists from National Taiwan University, Massachusetts General Hospital and other centers.

They looked at the data on genes associated with eating more beef, then they checked whether the same genes were also associated with the risk of depression. Non-oily fish were associated with a higher risk of depressive illness.

It’s unclear how beef might be protective, they said, but added that it contains nutrients that may be beneficial in preventing depression, including zinc, iron, B vitamins and proteins.

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