A meaty question when it comes to mental health

PEOPLE who don’t eat much red meat may be susceptible to mental disorders such as depression, but eating too much red meat has a similar effect, research shows.

Researchers from Deakin University showed that among 1000 randomly selected women, those who ate both less, and more, red meat than recommended by Australian dietary guidelines, were twice as likely to have major depression or dysthymia.

The results, presented at last week’s conference, remained significant after adjusting for overall healthy diet.

Similarly, women who ate less than the recommended amount of red meat were 15 times more likely to have bipolar disorder, and those eating more were eight times more likely to have bipolar disorder.

Women who ate less red meat were also nearly twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder.

Lead author Dr Felice Jacka, NHMRC research fellow at the Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit at Geelong Hospital and Deakin