Tuesday January 28, 2020

Consuming Sugary Treats may Trigger Depression: Study

Shun sugary treats to avoid winter depression this X'mas

0
//
Sugar Depression
You need to avoid eating sweets this season if you do not want to suffer from depression. Pixabay

Like any holiday season, you are once again surrounded by sugar plum pudding, chocolate cakes and sweet treats, but skipping those this time will help you ward off depressive illness especially if you are prone to depression, suggest researchers.

Eating added sugars — common in so many holiday foods — can trigger metabolic, inflammatory and neurobiological processes tied to depressive illness, said the study from a team of clinical psychologists at the University of Kansas published in the journal Medical Hypotheses.

Coupled with dwindling light in wintertime and corresponding changes in sleep patterns, high sugar consumption could result in a “perfect storm” that adversely affects mental health.

depression
Consuming sweets and sugary items can trigger depression. Lifetime stock

“For many people, reduced sunlight exposure during the winter will throw off circadian rhythms, disrupting healthy sleep and pushing five to 10 per cent of the population into a full-blown episode of clinical depression,” said Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology.

Ilardi, who co-authored the study with Daniel Reis (lead author), Michael Namekata, Erik Wing and Carina Fowler (now of Duke University), said these symptoms of “winter-onset depression” could prompt people to consume more sweets.

“One common characteristic of winter-onset depression is craving sugar,” he said.

Avoidance of added dietary sugar might be especially challenging because sugar offers an initial mood boost, leading some with depressive illness to seek its temporary emotional lift.

When we consume sweets, they act like a drug.

“They have an immediate mood-elevating effect, but in high doses they can also have a paradoxical, pernicious longer-term consequence of making mood worse, reducing well-being, elevating inflammation and causing weight gain,” said Ilardi.

The investigators reached their conclusions by analysing a wide range of research on the physiological and psychological effects of consuming added sugar.

Sweets depression
When we consume sweets, they act like a drug. Pixabay

It might be appropriate to view added sugar, at high enough levels, as physically and psychologically harmful, akin to drinking a little too much liquor.

“Alcohol is basically pure calories, pure energy, non-nutritive and super toxic at high doses. Sugars are very similar. We’re learning when it comes to depression, people who optimise their diet should provide all the nutrients the brain needs and mostly avoid these potential toxins,” Ilardi explained.

The researchers found inflammation is the most important physiological effect of dietary sugar related to mental health and depressive disorder.

“We know that inflammatory hormones can directly push the brain into a state of severe depression. So, an inflamed brain is typically a depressed brain. And added sugars have a pro-inflammatory effect on the body and brain,” said the researchers.

Our bodies host over 10 trillion microbes and many of them know how to hack into the brain.

“Many of those parasitic microbes thrive on added sugars, and they can produce chemicals that push the brain in a state of anxiety and stress and depression. They’re also highly inflammatory,a the team wrote.

Also Read- New AI can Reduce Risk of Suicide Among Youth

Ilardi recommended a minimally processed diet rich in plant-based foods and Omega-3 fatty acids for optimal psychological benefit.

As for sugar, observe caution not just during the holidays, but year-round. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s how Cyberbullying Leads to Depression Among Youngsters

Online bullying more horrifying, leads to depression in youths

0
Online bullying depression
Cyberbullying amplifyies symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people. Pixabay

As researchers have found that cyberbullying amplifyies symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people, health experts here also stressed that in some cases it can be far more horrifying than physical bullying.

According to the experts, cyberbullying is when a child, teen or youngster becomes a target of actions by others — using computers, cellphones or other devices — that are intended to embarrass, humiliate, torment, threaten or harass.

It can start as early as age eight or nine, but the majority of cyberbullying cases take place in the teenage years, up to age 17.

The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, addressed both the prevalence and factors related to cyberbullying in adolescent inpatients.

Online bullying depression
From setting beauty standards and norms to trolling every act has a significant effect on the psyche of internet users, especially on youth and children, it leads to stress and depression. Pixabay

“Even against a backdrop of emotional challenges in the kids we studied, we noted cyberbullying had an adverse impact. It’s real and should be assessed,” said study co-author Philip D. Harvey, Professor at University of Miami in the US.

According to the researchers, children with a history of being abused were found to be more likely to be cyberbullied.

The study of 50 adolescent psychiatric inpatients aged 13 to 17 examined the prevalence of cyberbullying and related it to social media usage, current levels of symptoms and histories of adverse early life experience.

Conducted from September 2016 to April 2017, the research team asked participants to complete two childhood trauma questionnaires and a cyberbullying questionnaire.

Twenty per cent of participants reported that they had been cyberbullied within the last two months before their admission.

According to the researchers, half of the participants were bullied by text messages and half on Facebook.

Transmitted pictures or videos, Instagram, instant messages and chat rooms were other cyberbullying vehicles, the study said.

Online bullying depression
Children with a history of being abused suffer from depression. Pixabay

Those who were bullied had significantly higher severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anger, and fantasy dissociation than those who were not bullied.

According to findings, participants who reported being cyberbullied also reported significantly higher levels of lifetime emotional abuse on the study’s Childhood Trauma Questionnaire than those who were not bullied.

The internet not only covers the huge part of our lives nowadays, rather it actually dominates today’s generations’ lives, according to the expert.

“From setting beauty standards and norms to trolling every act has a significant effect on the psyche of internet users, especially on youth and children, it leads to stress and depression as well,” Mrinmay Kumar Das, Senior Consultant, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

Also Read- Full Vaccination of Children Reduces the Risk of Hospitalisation: Study

To reduce the risk of falling in this trap, Das suggested: “Keep an eye on the people you interact with online, keep your personal information or private details safe. Also keep in mind that your children who apparently act normal may also be dealing with cyber bullying.”

“Hence keep communicating with your children, rather than scolding them and forcefully limiting their internet use, support them to come out of this depressing phase, encourage them to indulge in other activities like games, music, etc,” Das added. (IANS)