Changes in endothelial function and depression scores are associated following long-term dietary intervention: A secondary analysis

Lisa J. Moran, Carlene J. Wilson, Jonathan D. Buckley, Manny Noakes, Peter M. Clifton, Grant D. Brinkworth

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Cross-sectional studies show associations between depression and endothelial function (as measured by endothelium-dependent brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation [FMD]); but it is not known whether changes in these parameters are associated following dietary management. We have previously reported that compared with consumption of a high-carbohydrate (HC) diet, despite comparable weight loss, a very low-carbohydrate (LC diet) impaired FMD and increased depression. The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis to examine whether there was an association between changes in FMD and depression. Methods: Forty-seven overweight men and women (body mass index 26-43 kg/m2 and ages 24-64 y) completed a 12-mo randomized controlled trial during which participants consumed either an energy-restricted, isocaloric LC or HC diet. Weight, body composition, Homeostasis Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA), depression (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]), Anxiety (Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI]) and FMD were assessed before and after the intervention. This secondary analysis focused on multiple regression analysis of these parameters. Results: Changes in BDI were independently predicted by changes in FMD (β = -0.356; P = 0.026) but not by diet intervention assignment or changes in weight or HOMA. No variables were significant predictors of the change in STAI. Conclusions: Over time, impairments in FMD were independently associated with increased depression, independent of diet composition, or changes in weight and insulin resistance. This data supports a mechanistic association between depression and endothelial function, which may influence long-term health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1271-1274
Number of pages4
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Diet
  • Endothelial function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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