Food and Behaviour Research

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Sodium and potassium excretion predict increased depression in urban adolescents

Mrug S, Orihuela C, Mrug M, Sanders PW (2019) Physiol Rep.  2019 Aug;7(16): e14213. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14213. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here


This study examined the prospective role of urinary sodium and potassium excretion in depressive symptoms among urban, low-income adolescents, and whether these relationships vary by gender.

A total of 84 
urban adolescents (mean age 13.36 years; 50% male; 95% African American) self-reported on their depressive symptoms at baseline and 1.5 years later. At baseline, the youth also completed a 12-h (overnight) urine collection at home which was used to measure sodium and potassium excretion.

After adjusting for baseline depressive symptoms, age, BMI percentile, and pubertal development, greater 
sodium excretion and lower potassium excretion predicted more severe depressive symptoms at follow-up, with no significant gender differences.

The results suggest that consumption of foods high in 
sodium and low in potassium contributes to the development of depressive symptoms in early adolescence, and that diet is a modifiable risk factor for adolescent depression.

Interventions focusing on diet may improve mental health in 
urban adolescents.


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