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Study Finds Possible Link Between Carb Consumption And Depression In Women

If you say hello to a baguette and soda one too many times, a recent study suggests, you may also be welcoming depression-like symptoms.

Those are the findings of a recent study at Columbia University Medical Center, where Dr. James Gangwisch and a team of researchers discovered that women who consume a lot of complex carbohydrates (e.g. sugary soda, bread, white rice) are also more likely to suffer from depression.

The results made their rounds through news outlets yesterday, with CBS News picking up the story and noting that the link between refined carbs and depressions isn’t as much of a closed case as people think it is.

Dr. Gangwisch, when speaking to, said the results are somewhat inconclusive because they don’t show “a direct cause-and-effect relationship.”

It is already well known that people who suffer from depression tend to crave carbohydrates.

The link between refined carbs and depression may be because, as the carbohydrates break down into sugars, blood levels increase and a woman’s chance of become depressed increase along with it.

The study wasn’t all about the consumption of carbs, though. Researchers found that women who ate healthy — “whole grains, vegetables, fruits” — decreased their chances of depression.

The analysis also found that those who ate lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dietary fiber appeared to see their risk for depression drop.

Columbia University’s study observed more than 70,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. A sample of nutrition and mental health notes were also used in the study. quoted Washington University (St. Louis) nutrition director Connie Diekman as saying that the results of the test might be different if different demographics were used in the study.

The outcomes could be very different in younger women due to hormones, and of course in men.

Gangwisch’s article was published this past Wednesday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 

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