Vegetarian diet and the risk of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

  title={Vegetarian diet and the risk of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies},
  author={Mohammadreza Askari and Elnaz Daneshzad and Manije Darooghegi Mofrad and Nick Bellissimo and Katherine Suitor and Leila Azadbakht},
  journal={Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition},
  pages={261 - 271}
Abstract Previous studies reported inconsistent findings regarding the consumption of a vegetarian diet with mental health outcomes, specifically depression, anxiety and stress. A systematic review was conducted to summarize the current state of literature regarding our understanding of the association between a vegetarian diet and depression, anxiety and stress. A literature search was completed using Scopus, PubMed, and the Web of Science for relevant articles published prior to July 2020… 
Role of dietary factors in the prevention and treatment for depression: an umbrella review of meta-analyses of prospective studies
  • Yujie Xu, L. Zeng, +6 authors Guo Cheng
  • Medicine
    Translational Psychiatry
  • 2021
Overall, the associations between dietary factors and depression had been extensively evaluated, but none of them were rated as high quality of evidence, suggesting further studies are likely to change the summary estimates.
Vegetarian Diets and Eating Disorders in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review
Vegetarianism seems to be associated with eating disorders, and longitudinal studies are needed to establish temporal patterns between vegetarianism and the emergence of disordered eating.
Vegetarian Diet Is Associated with Lower Risk of Depression in Taiwan
Taiwanese vegetarians had a lower risk of developing subsequent depressive disorders compared with non-vegetarians, indicating that diet may be an important measure for the prevention of depression.
The Association of Plant-Based Diet With Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Prospect Cohort Studies
Background: The association between plant-based diets and cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains poorly characterized. Given that diet represents an important and a modifiable risk factor, this study
Plant-based dietary quality and depressive symptoms in Australian vegans and vegetarians: a cross-sectional study
Plant-based dietary patterns (vegan and vegetarian) are often considered ‘healthy’ and have been associated with broad health benefits, including decreased risk of obesity and ill health
The association of plant-based dietary patterns and psychological disorders among Iranian adults.
The results indicated that greater adherence to the overall plant-based diet and healthy plant-Based diet was inversely associated with psychological disorders, while following unhealthy plant- based diet increased the risk of anxiety and psychological distress.
Meat and mental health: A meta-analysis of meat consumption, depression, and anxiety.
The analysis showed that the more rigorous the study, the more positive and consistent the relation between meat consumption and better mental health.
Plant-based dietary indices and stress in female college students: a cross-sectional study
It is found that healthy plant-based diets are associated with lower psychological stress in young Saudi women, and this finding highlights the importance, especially for female students, of following diets that are also healthy and rich in fruits and vegetables.
Vegetarian or Vegan Diet: Stimulating or at Risk to Mental Health?
This chapter presents an overview of the most recent scientific literature with some emphasis on aspects of the relation between psychiatric disorders and personality characteristics in subjects with a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle compared to subjects who do not follow this lifestyle.


Diet quality and depression risk: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.
There is evidence that a higher quality of a diet is associated with a lower risk for the onset of depressive symptoms, but not all available results are consistent with the hypothesis that diet influences depression risk.
Depressive Symptoms and Vegetarian Diets: Results from the Constances Cohort
Depressive symptoms are associated with the exclusion of any food group from the diet, including but not restricted to animal products, and the Odds-Ratio of depressive symptoms gradually increased with the number of excluded food groups.
Dietary patterns and depression risk: A meta-analysis
The results of this meta-analysis suggest that healthy pattern may decrease the risk of depression, whereas western-style may increase therisk of depression.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary patterns and depression in community-dwelling adults.
The results suggest that high intakes of fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains may be associated with a reduced depression risk, however, more high-quality randomized controlled trials and cohort studies are needed to confirm this finding.
Vegetarian diet is inversely associated with prevalence of depression in middle-older aged South Asians in the United States
Investigating associations between a vegetarian diet and depression among South Asians in the United States found vegetarian diet was found to be inversely associated with the prevalence of depression.
Vegetarian diets and depressive symptoms among men.
Vegetarian men have more depressive symptoms after adjustment for socio-demographic factors and nutritional deficiencies are a possible explanation for these findings, however reverse causation cannot be ruled out.
Empirically derived dietary patterns in relation to psychological disorders
Recommendation to increase the intake of fruits, citrus fruits, vegetables, tomato and low-fat dairy products and to reduce the intakes of snacks, high-fat Dairy products, chocolate, carbonated drinks, sweets and desserts might be associated with lower chance of psychological disorders.
Dietary patterns and depressive symptoms in a UK cohort of men and women: a longitudinal study
No association between dietary patterns and depressive symptoms was found after taking account of potential confounding factors and the potential temporal relationship between them, suggesting that previous studies reporting positive associations may have suffered from reverse causality and/or residual confounding.
Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey
The analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.
Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis
The analyses are consistent with the hypothesis that low vitamin D concentration is associated with depression, and highlight the need for randomised controlled trials of vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of depression to determine whether this association is causal.