Dietary intake in patients with major depressive disorder - A pilot study

Yueh Hsia Quo, Mei Chih Tseng, Chin Hua Liu, Shih Yi Huang

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary intake of naive patients with major depression disorder (MDD). A dietary assessment was conducted with outpatients in the Department of Psychiatry of Taiwan University Hospital (Taipei, Taiwan) during May 2002 and May 2003. We recruited 31 first diagnostic MDD patients (12 men and 19 women) and 41 gender-and age-matched healthy subjects as a control group, and then evaluated their blood biochemistry, psychiatric assessment, and 3-day dietary record. The MDD patient group had a higher familial history of hereditable diseases than did the controls (32.2% vs. 5%, p = 0.002). In the biochemical analysis, the blood sodium, phosphorus, and direct bilirubin of the MDD group were significantly less (p <0.05) than those of the control group, whereas the neutrophil count was higher than that of the control group (p = 0.031). Data of 3-day dietary record showed the calorie, carbohydrate, fat, protein, and dietary fiber intake levels of the MDD group were significantly lower than those of the control group. Dietary intake levels of tyrosine, tryptophan, and the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio of the MDD group were significantly lower (p <0.05) than those of the controls. Dietary intakes of calories, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, vitamin E, B 1, B 2, B 6, B 12, C and niacin were less than those of the control group and even less than the average dietary intake of 2002 in Taiwan. In conclusion, MDD patients showed lower calorie, cholesterol, and micronutrient (e.g. vitamins and minerals) intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalNutritional Sciences Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Dietary intake
  • Major depression disorder
  • Nutrient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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