Dr. Sharon Campbell is part of a team that will examine whether symptoms of despair and losing interest in activities that were once pleasurable result from the production of free radicals - and whether a diet rich in vitamin E could quench the free radicals.
Dr. Sharon Campbell is part of a team that will examine whether symptoms of despair and losing interest in activities that were once pleasurable result from the production of free radicals - and whether a diet rich in vitamin E could quench the free radicals.

ETSU research team will study links between diet, depression

Published 9:03am Thursday, July 24, 2014

Could what you eat put symptoms of depression on a diet?
A team from East Tennessee State University is studying the possibility.
“An estimated 20 million American adults live with major depression,” Dr. Sharon Campbell said, noting it “is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for those in the 15-44 age range.”
And while medication can treat depression, she said “various drugs are only 30-50 percent effective, and a mere 17 percent of people who take antidepressants experience full remission.”
Summed up, team will examine whether symptoms of despair and losing interest in activities that were once pleasurable result from the production of free radicals – and whether a diet rich in vitamin E may quench the free radicals.
“The underlying mechanisms behind depression are not known,” Campbell says, but one factor can be psychosocial stress.
“Such stress results in the formation of free radicals, and they result in diseases of inflammation,” she said. “A change in diet improves symptoms of inflammatory-based diseases—in particular, following the Mediterranean diet has provided relief from the effects of depression and anxiety.”
The team will use a university Research Development Committee grant for the study. Campbell, a faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Department of ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine, will be joined in the project by Biomedical Sciences colleague Dr. Greg Ordway, Dr. Russ Brown of the Department of Psychology and Dr. Aashish Morani, a post-doctoral fellow working in Campbell’s lab.
“To date,” Campbell said, “we have found that mixed tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E found in palm oil, reduced ‘depressive-like’ behavior in rats that are under stress.
“The ultimate goal of this research is to determine which free radicals are produced during depressive episodes, so that treatments that target these free radicals may be developed.”
For further information, contact Campbell at 439-2029 or campbese@etsu.edu.

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