Scientists from Pompeu Fabra University found the role of proline in the development of depression.
The results associate the consumption of a proline-rich diet with a greater tendency to develop depression.
The research is published in Cell Metabolism and was conducted by Dr. José Manuel Fernández-Real et al.
In the study, the team examined the type and number of amino acids in the diet of the participants. Participants also completed a questionnaire to measure their depressive mood.
The researchers were surprised that what was most associated with depression, evaluated through this questionnaire, was the consumption of proline.
Blood tests showed that the concentration of proline is one of the metabolites most associated with markers of depression.
But not everyone who had a high intake of proline referred in the questionnaire to be more depressed.
When studying these people’s intestinal microbiota, the team found a link between depression and bacteria, as well as between depression and bacterial genes associated with proline metabolism.
To find out if the presence of proline was a cause or a consequence of depressive mood, participants’ microbiota was transplanted into mice.
The team found the mice that became more depressed had received the microbiota of participants with high proline, or more depressed people.
Different genes associated with the transport of proline were also found in the brains of these mice.
The team says these results demonstrate the importance of proline and its influence on people’s depressive mood, which so far had not been taken into account.
The study also opens the way for new studies to find possible diet-based treatments for depression.
If you care about depression, please read studies about a core feature of depression, and common depression drugs linked to early death risk.
For more information about depression, please see recent studies that doing this can reduce depression relapse, and results showing this therapy can effectively treat pain, depression and anxiety.
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