Both Mediterranean and Paleo Diets Linked to Lower Risk of Anxiety, Stress, and Depression

Muslim woman holding fish. Ikan” by U.S. Agency for International Development/ CC0 1.0

…in Muslim Iranian women, according to an article at Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.

There’s a lot going on in this study. I didn’t understand some of the statistics. Click the link for full details. Here’s the abstract:


Psychiatric disorders have been a challenge for public health and will bring economic problems to individuals and healthcare systems in the future. One of the important factors that could affect these disorders is diet. 


In the current study with a cross-sectional design, we investigated the association of Paleolithic and Mediterranean diets with psychological disorders in a sample of adult women. 


Participants were 435 adult women between 20 and 50 years old that refer to healthcare centers in the south of Tehran, Iran. The diet scores were created by the response to a valid and reliable semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and the psychological profile was determined by response to the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). The multivariable-adjusted logistic regression was applied to compute the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). 


After adjusted for potential confounders, it is evident that participants in the highest Paleolithic diet tertile had lower odds of depression (OR = 0.21; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.37: P < 0.001), anxiety (OR = 0.27; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.45: P < 0.001), and stress (OR = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.32; P < 0.001) in comparison to the lowest tertile. Furthermore, those in the third tertile of the Mediterranean diet score were at lower risk of depression (OR = 0.20; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.36; P < 0.001), anxiety (OR = 0.22; 95% CI: 0.13, 0.38; P < 0.001), and stress (OR = 0.23; 95% CI: 0.13, 0.39; P < 0.001) compared with those in the first tertile. 


The result of the current study suggests that greater adherence to Paleolithic and Mediterranean dietary patterns may be related with a decreased risk of psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

  Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet
front cover of paleobetic diet

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