3

votes

Red meat reduces depression? What do you think of this study?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Ok, so here's an interesting study -- Curious about what people think.

Red Meat Consumption and Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Here's a summary link for folk who don't have access to the actual article, since the journal doesn't have an abstract up.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:50 PM

I see your point -- which is why it's important to purchase your meat from a local source. Our local farmer doesn't ship to the big slaughter-houses. Instead, they've gotten an exemption to use a local butcher to handle the slaughter and processing of their meats, with the assurance that the killing will be quick, the animals will be properly hung and processed, and that the stress level of animals waiting to be slaughtered will be minimized by both space and baffles. Unless you kill your own meat, it's the best option I've found.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:46 PM

There are many kinds of 'red meat' that aren't beef. Duck is considered a 'red meat', as is lamb, venison, bison, goat, ostrich, buffalo, etc. The differentiation is in the amount of iron in the meat. Red meats are high in iron. "White" meats, including things like chicken, turkey, rabbit, fish, etc. -- not so much. So it is actually -appropriate- to use the word "red meat", rather than "beef".

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 27, 2012
at 07:38 AM

What kind of "red meat"? Beef, veal, lamb? Chicken thats been attacked by spray paint? I am assuming beef, but it really really really irks me that people keep referring to "red meat" instead of just "beef". Worse if they used this word for the study.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 22, 2012
at 08:18 PM

I agree, the study is bull.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Just because it's good for depression doesn't mean it isn't bad in some way. The study is bull anyway.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Yeah, I'm not the only one who has been listening to Robb Wolf rant a little... :D

Fb10cf8e5dbac271762e13721181d5dc

(453)

on March 22, 2012
at 03:01 AM

Observational, yes, but I sure hope it leads to further investigation and some controlled studies!

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:52 AM

The study is an observational study. For the same reasons the red meat and cancer study(ies) are flawed (they are observational), this study has that same problem. It's observational. Good for formulating a hypothesis to test in a clinical trial, but proof of nothing.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 22, 2012
at 12:47 AM

I didn't have time to comment earlier, so I just put the article up -- however, though it is anecdotal, I can tell you that my companion, who is a depressive bi-polar, improves substantially if I make sure that we have rare or near-rare beef for 3-4 days running, along with things like goose eggs (which have a HUGE yolk). It certainly isn't scientific proof -- but that's why the article grabbed my attention.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on March 21, 2012
at 11:33 PM

Are you calling Wheat Belly tripe?

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on March 21, 2012
at 08:32 PM

I wonder if that could be due to the specific amino acid contents and ratios? Interesting though, thanks for sharing.

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10 Answers

8
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on March 21, 2012
at 11:25 PM

Mainstream (non-paleo) people tend to associate red meat with just protein and fat, but they overlook its impressive nutrient profile. A 1/2 lb sirloin steak yields almost a full day's RDA of vitamin b6, vitamin b12, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. It also has a fair amount of phosphorus, riboflavin, and thiamin.

Emily Deans writes:

"Nutritionally, CoQ10, carnitine, B-vitamin, and selenium deficiencies can also cause mitochondrial dysfunction directly. Mitochondria desperately need these micronutrients to do their work efficiently.

Symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction can be non-specific, but the cognitive symptoms are very similar to those found in depression, including impairments in attention and executive function and memory."

Here is a link to an article from her about zinc and depression:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/07/zinc-and-depression.html

Depression and b vitamins:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/08/depression-and-b-vitamins.html

Selenium and depression:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/11/selenium-and-depression.html

Dietary fat intake and depression:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/01/dietary-fat-intake-and-depression-risk.html

And cholesterol and depression:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/09/intriguing-links-between-depression-and.html

So, even though the methodology of the study isn't very good, the link between red meat and happiness makes complete sense.

UPDATE: Robb Wolf just posted an article by a guest author about the relationship between nutrition and depression:

http://www.robbwolf.com/2012/03/23/nutrition-depression/

7
Medium avatar

on March 21, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Red meat makes ME happy. I've never agreed with a study more and I've only read the title.

6
D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on March 21, 2012
at 09:39 PM

It has as much scientific merit as the red meat and cancer study.

Stop supporting tripe; like Wheat Belly too...

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on March 21, 2012
at 11:33 PM

Are you calling Wheat Belly tripe?

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:52 AM

The study is an observational study. For the same reasons the red meat and cancer study(ies) are flawed (they are observational), this study has that same problem. It's observational. Good for formulating a hypothesis to test in a clinical trial, but proof of nothing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Yeah, I'm not the only one who has been listening to Robb Wolf rant a little... :D

3
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 21, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Sadly, the researchers have no idea why.

Hmmm.. could it be that it is healthy for you and healthy people are happy people? Nah..we all know red meat will kill you.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 22, 2012
at 08:18 PM

I agree, the study is bull.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Just because it's good for depression doesn't mean it isn't bad in some way. The study is bull anyway.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:48 PM

It's a crap observational study. Just as crappy as the ones that tell us every slice of bacon will take 9 minutes off our life. The best is to ignore all crap studies so that they eventually go away. Picking and choosing the ones that support your conclusions is bad from either side.

1
Cdef1e5eb5c76ab3d68552a2144f1c29

on July 27, 2012
at 06:42 AM

My only problem, going from vegetarian to carnivore again is the whole Cattle Slaughter industry. It's hard eating red-meat and such, when I know how brutal the killing floors can be. Systematic slaughter seems so much worse compared to going out and hunting your own food like our ancestors. That and the fact that there's so much pollution from the cattle industry.

So I eat red-meat for its health benefits, but i'm still a bit torn because of the ethical reasons.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:50 PM

I see your point -- which is why it's important to purchase your meat from a local source. Our local farmer doesn't ship to the big slaughter-houses. Instead, they've gotten an exemption to use a local butcher to handle the slaughter and processing of their meats, with the assurance that the killing will be quick, the animals will be properly hung and processed, and that the stress level of animals waiting to be slaughtered will be minimized by both space and baffles. Unless you kill your own meat, it's the best option I've found.

1
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on March 21, 2012
at 11:52 PM

I think we need to take this study with a grain of salt before we all hop on the confirmation bias wagon ;)

1
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on March 21, 2012
at 09:23 PM

I'm going to have to save this study. And another excuse to get moody vegans to eat some pot roast. Buhahahaha!

0
D3e2d42bef585ff98d8ab62631bf487a

on March 22, 2012
at 12:03 AM

Given Eric S' post, I thought to compare the nutrient profile of the more affordable ground beef (90% here) to sirloin steak.

NUTRIENT CUT RDA DV% [3 ounces] B6: Ground 15 Steak 30

B12: Ground 35 Steak 20

Selenium: Ground 26 Steak 36

Zinc: Ground 38 Steak 33

Pretty surprising, huh?

I hope the source is trustworthy. And this was clearly not grass-fed beef based on the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Ground: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/6197/2 Steak: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3798/2 [Note that the steak I selected was "Beef, top sirloin, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 1/8" fat, select, cooked, broiled"]

0
9fe21321f0e2ca22605bc0ca7eee29bd

on March 21, 2012
at 09:51 PM

The study was based on food frequency questionnaire responses. Even if you're willing to look beyond that, the study also said people who ate too much meat were more likely to suffer from a depressive disorder than people who ate the recommended amount.

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