CenTrial Logo

Clinical Study Shows Mediterranean Diet Benefiicial for Depression


Clinical trial shows Mediterranean diet is beneficial for depression in young males

Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and young adults are particularly susceptible. In fact, research shows that depression affects 1 in 8 males each year, with young adulthood presenting an opportunity for early dietary interventions. A clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that a Mediterranean diet (MD) could be beneficial in treating depression in young males.

Clinical trial

The study was a 12-week, parallel-group, open-label, randomized controlled trial that assessed the effect of an MD intervention in the treatment of moderate to severe depression in young males aged between 18-25 years. The study compared an MD intervention with befriending therapy for the control group. The study assessed participants at baseline, week 6, and week 12, with adherence to the MD, measured using the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Score (MEDAS). The primary outcome measure was the Beck Depression Inventory Scale-version II (BDI-II), and the secondary outcome was quality of life (QoL).

After 12 weeks, the group that followed the Mediterranean diet had significantly higher scores on the MEDAS scale compared to the group that received befriending therapy, with an average difference of 7.8. The group following the Mediterranean diet also had a significantly greater reduction in Beck Depression scores compared to the befriending group, with an average difference of 14.4. Additionally, the Mediterranean diet group had a significantly greater improvement in quality of life scores compared to the befriending group, with an average difference of 12.7.

These results demonstrate that compared to befriending, an MD intervention leads to significant increases in MEDAS, decreases in BDI-II score, and increases in QoL scores. The findings of this study highlight the important role of nutrition in the treatment of depression, and clinicians should consider recommending dietary interventions to young male patients with clinical depression.

A Mediterranean diet is rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and olive oil, with moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy. This diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, improving cognitive function, and reducing inflammation. The MD is also associated with a lower risk of depression, and this study provides further evidence for its potential as a treatment for depression.

The MD may help improve depression symptoms by providing key nutrients that are important for brain function. For example, the MD is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health and have been shown to improve symptoms of depression. The MD is also high in antioxidants, which help protect the brain from oxidative stress, and B vitamins, which are important for neurotransmitter synthesis.


This study provides further evidence for the potential of an MD as a treatment for depression in young males. Based on the trial findings, clinicians should consider recommending dietary interventions to young male patients with clinical depression, and future research should investigate the potential of dietary interventions in other populations and the long-term effects of dietary interventions on depression. The findings of this study highlight the importance of nutrition in mental health and provide a promising new approach to treating depression.

Share this article with a friend:

Get emailed clinical trial results in the categories of your choice:
Free subscription to clinical trial results

20,000 clinical trials are seeking participants.
Signup and be matched to trials near you
This free service will notify you of current and future clinical trial matches.

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.