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Dietary nutrient status linked to depression in HIV carriers

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By David Liu, PHD

Sunday Dec 23, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Low intake of dietary nutrients may play a role in the development of depression symptoms, according to a study in International Journal of STD &AIDS.

The study led by J. Purdomo from The Albion Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Australia and colleagues found HIV carriers who experienced depressive symptoms were more likely to have lower intake of fiber, vitamin A, magnesium ,and folate, compared with those who did not suffer depression. 

This cross-sectional study was intended to compare dietary intake in individuals with HIV virus who experienced symptoms of depression with those who reported they  did not suffer depression.

Specifically, compared with 37 non-depressed individuals, 21 depressed HIV carriers had lower mean intake of fiber (16.1 vs. 25.4 g/day), vitamin A (801.5 vs. 1524.8 mg/day), magnesium (299.8 vs. 380.0 mg/day) and folate (26.8 vs. 402.9 ug/day).
 
The study also found that depressed subjects were more likely to fail to achieve the recommended intake of these nutrients with the exception of folate, compared with those who did not have depression.

The researchers concluded "The study found that depressive symptomatology in PLHIV (people living with HIV) was associated with poorer dietary nutrient intake."

Other nutrients may also play a role. For instance, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression symptoms.

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