OPTIMISM: Can a controlled diet help ease depression?

Media release

07 March 2024

Deakin University researchers are seeking Geelong participants for a novel study evaluating the role of diet in the treatment of moderate to severe depression.

The four-week study will measure the effect of two different dietary patterns on symptoms of depression.

The Deakin team is working with collaborators APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork, who are world renowned researchers in the gut-brain axis.

Researchers from Deakin's Food & Mood Centre are looking to recruit people from Geelong and Melbourne who have diagnosed depression, no specific dietary restrictions and are willing to attend two in-person study visits in Geelong.

Study lead Dr Heidi Staudacher says all meals and snacks will be delivered to participants for the duration of the trial.

'We are recruiting 44 adults living with depression from the Geelong and Melbourne regions,' Dr Staudacher said.

'Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two dietary patterns and for four weeks must only consume the meals and snacks provided to them.

'We will measure changes in depressive symptoms, and other symptoms such as anxiety and gut symptoms, over this period.

'We will also collect blood and stool samples. We hope these will provide further information about how different dietary patterns influence the gut-brain connection.'

For more information on the study: https://foodandmoodcentre.com.au/optimism-participate/

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