GFD may ease depression in patients with gluten-related disorders

  • Busby E & al.
  • Nutrients
  • 8 Nov 2018

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • 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.

Study design

  • 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.

Key results

  • 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%).

Limitations

  • Small number of included studies, participants.

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