- A gluten-free diet (GFD) appears to improve depression symptoms in patients with gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, according to a meta-analysis of prospective studies.
Why this matters
- Mood disorders are associated with a range of gluten-related disorders.
- Clinicians should consider a GFD for patients with gluten-related disorders who have or who are at risk for depression.
- Meta-analysis of 13 prospective studies (3 randomized controlled trials and 10 longitudinal cohorts; n=1139) that met eligibility criteria after a search of CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane Library.
- Funding: No external funding.
- GFD was associated with a reduction in pooled mean depressive symptom scores in GFD-treated patients (standardized mean difference [SMD], −0.37; P<.0001 i>2=38%).
- No difference was found in mean depression scores between patients with gluten-related disorders and healthy control patients after 1 year (SMD, 0.01; P=.94).
- GFD was associated with a 31% reduction in patients positive for depression (risk difference, −0.31; P=.003).
- Gluten challenge (vs placebo) showed a trend toward worsening of depression symptoms for nonceliac gluten-sensitive patients (SMD, 0.21; P=.25; I2=19%).
- Small number of included studies, participants.