Study Says Low Fat Milk, Yogurt May Help Reduce Risk of Depression; It Offers Mental Health Benefits Too

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Apr 17, 2017 05:10 PM EDT

New studies reveal that low-fat milk and yogurt help reduce risks of depression. Those who consumed a large amount of low-fat milk are unlikely to experience depression symptoms. (Photo : Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Weight conscious individuals often rely on low-fat dairy products to keep their waistline in check. A recent study, however, has revealed that low-fat milk or yogurt can help reduce the risk of depression. Likewise, it offers mental health benefits to individuals as well.

A recent study involving more than 1,000 adults in Japan revealed that people who consumed a higher amount of low-fat milk and yogurt face reduced risks of developing symptoms of depression as opposed to those who took lower amounts of dairy products. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Medical News Today reports that although symptoms of depression may differ from one person to another, they generally include persistent sadness, feeling of hopelessness, guilt, or helplessness, fatigue, irritability, sleeping problems, fatigue, and suicidal tendencies. Prof. Ryoichi Nagatomi, study co-author, and his colleagues have associated intake of dairy products with depression.

The research involved 1,159 adults from Japan between 19 and 83 years old, mostly women. The participants disclosed how often they consumed low-fat and whole fat milk and yogurt in a dietary questionnaire. Cheese, butter, and other dairy products intake were not included in the questionnaire.

The Health Pilot revealed that people who consumed low-fat milk and yogurt between 1 and 4 times weekly were less likely to experience symptoms of depression. The results remained after several factors have been considered such as age, sex, overall diet and lifestyle, and health condition.

"The current results indicate that a higher frequency of low-fat dairy consumption may be associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms." said the researchers. The study did not determine a link between consumption of whole-fat dairy products and depression. The researchers came up with the conclusion that more studies are required to identify underlying mechanisms between low-fat dairy intake and reduced depression risk.

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