Doctor: Moufidath Adjibade

Title: Nutritional determinants of mental health in two French cohorts : sU.VI.MAX and NutriNetSanté

Supervisor: Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot

Doctoral school: ED 146 Doctoral school Galilée, University Sorbonne Paris Nord

Date of thesis defense: 11/2018

Thesis summary:

Depression is a common mental disorder and the leading cause of disability worldwide. It has been associated with poor quality of life, physical decline, and increased risk of premature death. In addition, depression leads to a considerable economic burden, making it a major global public health. Protective and risk factors are diverse and include modifiable lifestyle indicators. Several studies have suggested that diet may play an important role in the risk of depression, but few of these studies have investigated the relationship between « a priori » dietary scores and depression. This thesis thus aims to investigate the relationship between overall diet quality evaluated using various nutritional « a priori » scores and incident depressive symptoms, using the data from SU.VI.MAX and NutriNetSanté cohorts. Our findings showed an inverse association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet or nutritional recommendations (French and international) and the risk of incident depressive symptoms. However, the study on adherence to the Mediterranean diet showed significant results in men only. Moreover, « pro-inflammatory » diet was positively associated with the risk of incident depressive symptoms, but in the SU.VI.MAX cohort, the associations were significant only in some subgroups of the population: men, smokers and participants with low physical activity. We also showed that an increasing number of « healthy » lifestyle indicators was inversely associated with incident depressive symptoms. All of these findings suggest that promoting « healthy » lifestyles (including « healthy » diet) could be an important strategy in primary prevention of depressive symptoms.

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