A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom and the Gladstone Institutes, in San Francisco, CA, has recently studied how eating a diet high in saturated fats might make depression more likely, using mouse models to do so.
The investigators — led by Prof. George Baillie, from the University of Glasgow — note that this is a particularly important research topic, as obesity-related depression seems to happen via different mechanisms from depression in otherwise healthy individuals.
In its study paper, which appears in the journal Translational Psychiatry, the research team explains that many people with obesity and depression, who doctors treat with regular antidepressants, do not see any benefits from the treatment.
At the same time, people with obesity and depression also do not experience some of the side effects that people typically associate with those antidepressants, such as further weight gain.
“When compared with patients of normal body weight, overweight and obese patients showed a substantially slower response to antidepressant treatment, less improvement in neuroendocrinology and cognitive processing, and less antidepressant-induced weight gain,” the researchers write.