Depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. The exact cause of depression is unknown; however, recent research suggests oxidative stress may play a vital role.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals produced as a by-product of many cellular reactions overwhelm the body’s own natural antioxidant supply.
Current thinking associates oxidative stress-induced inflammation with many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; and with several other disorders including depression.
The authors of this current study published in PLOS ONE reviewed over 100 relevant articles and discovered disturbances in a number of different oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in people with depression. In addition, free radical levels were higher and natural antioxidant levels lower in those who were depressed. Following antidepressant medication, an improvement was seen in antioxidant levels that corresponded to a reduction in oxidative damage.
Few studies have explored the potential benefits of antioxidant supplementation on depression and the authors believe this topic deserves further research.
To read the full study click here.