Monday February 18, 2019

Depression May Reduce Arginine Levels In Your Body

Arginine is an amino acid which the body uses to produce nitric oxide

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Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
  • People with depression have lower arginine levels
  • Taking arginine can help cure depression
  • The tests are still going on

People with a major depressive disorder (MDD) have lower levels of naturally occurring arginine in their body than their non-depressed controls, a study has found.

Arginine — an amino acid which the body uses to produce nitric oxide — is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, which also plays a role in vascular regulation.

Depression reduces arginine levels in the body. Wikimedia Commons
Depression reduces arginine levels in the body. Wikimedia Commons

“It is possible that depression-induced inflammatory responses lead to reduced arginine levels. This may result in insufficient production of nitric oxide for the needs of the nervous system and circulation. However, we don’t know yet what exactly causes reduced arginine bioavailability in people with depression,” said lead author Toni Ali-Sisto, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland.

“Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression. That’s an area for further research,” Ali-Sisto said.

Also Read: Eat Grapes To Ward Off Depression

The study, published in journal Affective Disorders, involved 99 adults with the diagnosed major depressive disorder and 253 non-depressed controls. The concentrations of three amino acids, namely arginine, citrulline and ornithine, were analysed from their fasting glucose samples, and this data was used to calculate their global arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR).

The GABR is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and the ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide.

Arginine can be used to reduce or even cure depression. VOA
Arginine can be used to reduce or even cure depression. VOA

The results showed that people with depression had weaker arginine bioavailability than their non-depressed controls.

However, in people who had recovered from depression the arginine bioavailability was found to be slightly higher than in people who remained depressed, the researchers said. IANS

Next Story

Premature to Say Social Media Use Leads to Depression

Examining the role that these differences play will help clarify the ways in which social media interacts with mental health, with implications for parents, policymakers, and healthcare professionals alike, the study noted

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York.. VOA

Use of social media does not necessarily cause depressive symptoms later in adolescents and young adults, according to a recent research.

The study, however, showed that relatively higher depressive symptoms resulted due to more social media use later only among adolescent girls.

The latest study stands in contrast to recent claims that suggests teenagers’ use of social media could lead to depression.

“You have to follow the same people over time in order to draw the conclusion that social media use predicts greater depressive symptoms. By using two large longitudinal samples, we were able to empirically test that assumption,” said lead author Taylor Heffer from the Brock University in Canada.

For the study, the team surveyed 594 adolescents and 1,132 college undergraduates.

The results, published in Clinical Psychological Science, showed that social media use did not predict depressive symptoms later among adolescents or college undergraduates; rather, greater depressive symptoms predicted more social media use over time, but only among adolescent girls.

Depression
Depression is a common mental disorder. Flickr

“This finding contrasts with the idea that people who use a lot of social media become more depressed over time. Instead, adolescent girls who are feeling down may turn to social media to try and make themselves feel better,” said Heffer.

Overall, the research suggests that the fear surrounding social media use and its impact on mental health may be premature.

“When parents read media headlines such as ‘Facebook Depression’, there is an inherent assumption that social media use leads to depression,” added Heffer.

Also Read- Exercise Can Help Fight Against Deep Abdominal Belly Fat: Study

In addition, different groups of people use social media for different reasons including making social comparisons or while feeling down. While another group of people may use it for more positive reasons, such as keeping in contact with friends, according to the study.

Examining the role that these differences play will help clarify the ways in which social media interacts with mental health, with implications for parents, policymakers, and healthcare professionals alike, the study noted. (IANS)