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A burger might cheer you up: Beef is only food linked to lower risk of depression, study shows

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A burger can cheer you up: Beef is the only food linked to a lower risk of depression, study shows

  • Beef was only food associated with lower risk of depression in study of 440,000 Britons
  • Nutrients in beef — including iron and B vitamins — may be responsible
  • Beef may be protective with nutrients beneficial in preventing depression

If the thought of a salad makes you feel gloomy, a juicy burger is the best way to cheer yourself up, scientists say.

Beef was the only food associated with a lower risk of depression in a study using data from 440,000 Britons.

Nutrients in beef — including iron and B vitamins known to aid brain function — may be responsible for its protective effect, researchers reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Beef was the only food associated with a lower risk of depression in a study using data from 440,000 Britons

“This is the first study to report a potentially beneficial causal effect of beef intake on lowering risk,” said the team of psychiatrists from National Taiwan University, Massachusetts General Hospital and other centers.

“We found that higher beef intake may be protective against major depressive disorder,” she added.

The researchers studied data from 440,000 people stored in the UK Biobank database and from 45,000 people with depression.

“This is the first study to report a potential beneficial causal effect of beef intake on lowering risk,” said the team of psychiatrists from National Taiwan University, Massachusetts General Hospital and other centers.

They examined data on which genes were associated with eating more beef and then checked whether the same genes were also associated with the risk of depression. Non-oily fish was associated with a higher risk of depressive illness.

How beef may be protective isn’t clear, they said, but they added that it contains nutrients that may be beneficial in preventing depression, including zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein.

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