Association between vegetable, fruit, and flavonoid-rich fruit consumption in midlife and major depressive disorder in later life

Translational PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | September 30, 2022



Unlike previous studies, the current study included males and females in the analysis. It was shown that a diet rich in raw fruits and flavonoids in mid-life significantly reduced the risk of MDD in later life.

Data were obtained from 1204 participants (40-59 years of age) who were enrolled in the Japan Public Health Center study. The participants completed food frequency questionnaires from which fruit, vegetable, and flavonoid-rich food (> 50 mg/100 g) intake was determined.

The characteristics of participants in the highest quintile of fruit, vegetable, and flavonoid-rich food intake were as follows: older; female; unemployed; no alcohol consumption; and non-smokers.

The risk of MDD decreased (OR=0.34) in the highest quintile of total fruit intake (excluding juice and flavonoid-rich foods).

Among flavonoid-rich foods, strawberry intake was associated with a decreased risk of MDD (OR=0.37) in the highest quintile.

No association was demonstrated between vegetable intake and risk of MDD.

The associations held after adjusting for sociodemographic variables, including physical activity.