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Vegetarianism and veganism compared with mental health and cognitive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Nutr Rev. 2021 03 09; 79(4):361-381.NR

Abstract

CONTEXT

Vegetarian and vegan diets are increasing in popularity. Although they provide beneficial health effects, they may also lead to nutritional deficiencies. Cognitive impairment and mental health disorders have a high economic burden.

OBJECTIVE

A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between vegan or vegetarian diets and cognitive and mental health.

DATA SOURCES

PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Proquest databases were examined from inception to July 2018.

STUDY SELECTION

Original observational or interventional human studies of vegan/vegetarian diets were selected independently by 2 authors.

DATA EXTRACTION

Raw means and standard deviations were used as continuous outcomes, while numbers of events were used as categorical outcomes.

RESULTS

Of 1249 publications identified, 13 were included, with 17 809 individuals in total. No significant association was found between diet and the continuous depression score, stress, well-being, or cognitive impairment. Vegans/vegetarians were at increased risk for depression (odds ratio = 2.142; 95%CI, 1.105-4.148) and had lower anxiety scores (mean difference = -0.847; 95%CI, -1.677 to -0.018). Heterogeneity was large, and thus subgroup analyses showed numerous differences.

CONCLUSIONS

Vegan or vegetarian diets were related to a higher risk of depression and lower anxiety scores, but no differences for other outcomes were found. Subgroup analyses of anxiety showed a higher risk of anxiety, mainly in participants under 26 years of age and in studies with a higher quality. More studies with better overall quality are needed to make clear positive or negative associations.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION

PROSPERO registration no. CRD42018097204.

Authors+Show Affiliations

GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences , University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain. Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain. Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain. CIBERObn (Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición), Zaragoza, Spain.Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain. Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain; the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain. CIBERObn (Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición) , Zaragoza, Spain.Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32483598

Citation

Iguacel, Isabel, et al. "Vegetarianism and Veganism Compared With Mental Health and Cognitive Outcomes: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." Nutrition Reviews, vol. 79, no. 4, 2021, pp. 361-381.
Iguacel I, Huybrechts I, Moreno LA, et al. Vegetarianism and veganism compared with mental health and cognitive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2021;79(4):361-381.
Iguacel, I., Huybrechts, I., Moreno, L. A., & Michels, N. (2021). Vegetarianism and veganism compared with mental health and cognitive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews, 79(4), 361-381. https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuaa030
Iguacel I, et al. Vegetarianism and Veganism Compared With Mental Health and Cognitive Outcomes: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2021 03 9;79(4):361-381. PubMed PMID: 32483598.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Vegetarianism and veganism compared with mental health and cognitive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. AU - Iguacel,Isabel, AU - Huybrechts,Inge, AU - Moreno,Luis A, AU - Michels,Nathalie, PY - 2020/6/3/pubmed PY - 2021/5/18/medline PY - 2020/6/3/entrez KW - anxiety KW - cognition KW - dementia KW - depression KW - memory KW - mental health KW - stress KW - vegan KW - vegetarian diet KW - well-being SP - 361 EP - 381 JF - Nutrition reviews JO - Nutr Rev VL - 79 IS - 4 N2 - CONTEXT: Vegetarian and vegan diets are increasing in popularity. Although they provide beneficial health effects, they may also lead to nutritional deficiencies. Cognitive impairment and mental health disorders have a high economic burden. OBJECTIVE: A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between vegan or vegetarian diets and cognitive and mental health. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Proquest databases were examined from inception to July 2018. STUDY SELECTION: Original observational or interventional human studies of vegan/vegetarian diets were selected independently by 2 authors. DATA EXTRACTION: Raw means and standard deviations were used as continuous outcomes, while numbers of events were used as categorical outcomes. RESULTS: Of 1249 publications identified, 13 were included, with 17 809 individuals in total. No significant association was found between diet and the continuous depression score, stress, well-being, or cognitive impairment. Vegans/vegetarians were at increased risk for depression (odds ratio = 2.142; 95%CI, 1.105-4.148) and had lower anxiety scores (mean difference = -0.847; 95%CI, -1.677 to -0.018). Heterogeneity was large, and thus subgroup analyses showed numerous differences. CONCLUSIONS: Vegan or vegetarian diets were related to a higher risk of depression and lower anxiety scores, but no differences for other outcomes were found. Subgroup analyses of anxiety showed a higher risk of anxiety, mainly in participants under 26 years of age and in studies with a higher quality. More studies with better overall quality are needed to make clear positive or negative associations. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration no. CRD42018097204. SN - 1753-4887 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32483598/Vegetarianism_and_veganism_compared_with_mental_health_and_cognitive_outcomes:_a_systematic_review_and_meta_analysis_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/nutrit/nuaa030 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -