Eating meat may IMPROVE mental health and one in three vegetarians are depressed, study claims

MAILONLINE

Study found vegetarians are twice as likely to take medication for mental illness

Scientists found vegetarians are nearly three times as likely to consider suicide

Researchers reviewed 18 studies involving a total of 160,257 participants

A vegetarian or vegan diet may be increasing the likelihood of depression, a US-based study has found. People with a plant-based diet were twice as likely to take prescription drugs for mental illness and nearly three times as likely to contemplate suicide. The report, which looked at more than 160,000 people, also found that a shocking one in three vegetarians suffer from depression or anxiety. Researchers reviewed 18 studies examining the relationship between mental health and eating meat, involving a total of 160,257 participants. They concluded that vegetarians and vegans had ‘significantly’ higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety and self harm. The researchers suggest that avoiding meat may be a ‘behavioural marker’ indicating people already with poor mental health. This is a suggestion that requires more research to back it up, the researchers say. University of Alabama researchers write in the study: ‘Those who avoided meat consumption had significantly higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm behaviours. ‘Our study does not support avoiding meat consumption for overall psychological health benefits.’

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