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The diet that could reduce the risk of depression

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A new study has provided further evidence that a healthful diet is good for the mind as well as the body, after finding that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may help to lower the risk of depression.

Researchers have found that people with closer adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) were less likely to have depression over 6.5 years than people with lower adherence to the diet.

Study co-author Dr. Laurel Cherian, of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and colleagues are due to present their findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting next month, which will be held in Los Angeles, CA.

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It is estimated that around 16.2 million adults in the United States — or approximately 6.7 percent of the country’s adult population — had at least one major depressive episode in 2016, making it one of the most common mental health conditions.

People with depression may experience persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or irritability, and they may lose interest in once pleasurable activities, have difficulty sleeping, and even have suicidal thoughts.

A family history of depression, traumatic or stressful experiences, and physical illness are among the risk factors for depression. But a new study suggests that we may be able to lower our risk of the condition simply by eating better.

The study included 964 adults who were an average age of 81, and they were followed for an average of 6.5 years.

At study baseline, all subjects were asked to complete dietary questionnaires. The researchers assessed these to establish adherence to various diets, including the Western diet, the Mediterranean diet, and the DASH diet.

The DASH diet is an eating plan that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but low in foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats. It was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as a way to lower blood pressure.

The study participants were also assessed for symptoms of depression during the follow-up period.

Compared with subjects who had the lowest adherence to the DASH diet, those who had the highest adherence were found to be 11 percent less likely to develop depression.

But a Western diet was found to have the opposite effect, and the closer the subjects’ adherence to this diet — which is high in saturated fats and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — the greater their risk of developing depression.

Dr. Cherian notes that this study only shows an association between the DASH diet and lower depression risk, so it is unable to prove cause and effect.

That said, she and her colleagues say that further research is warranted to determine whether this eating plan could help to prevent one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S.

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Tanzania: officials summons WHO over Ebola claims

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Tanzania’s government has summoned the World Health Organisation’s local representative over claims that they’re concealing information on Ebola virus infections in the country.

On Saturday, WHO said in a statement that it had learned of one suspected fatal case in the main city, Dar es Salaam, and two other infections but, despite repeated requests, was given no information.

Last week, Tanzania said it had no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola.

Government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said on Twitter that the ministry of foreign affairs had summoned the WHO’s Tigest Ketsela Mengestu to obtain “in-depth details from the agency on reports circulating in the media”.

A short video clip has also been posted on the ministry’s Twitter account, showing Dr Tigest clarifying at a meeting with Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Damas Ndumbaro that the WHO did not say there was Ebola in Tanzania:

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WHO rejects claims to issue a statement on existence of Ebola in Tanzania.

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More than 2,100 people have died during the current Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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WHO accused Tanzania of hiding information on Ebola victims

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Ebola virus has cause major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in Africa.

The number of cases has began to decline gradually, following the commitment of substantial international resources.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rebuked Tanzania for failing to provide information about possible Ebola virus infections.

The WHO said it had learned of one suspected fatal case in Dar es Salaam and two others but, despite repeated requests, was given no information

Tanzania has said it has no suspected or confirmed cases.

The latest outbreak has killed more than 2,000 in eastern DR Congo, with Uganda battling to stop any spread.

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