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Causal influence of dietary habits on the risk of major depressive disorder: a diet-wide Mendelian randomization analysis

By Tzu-Ting Chen, Chia-Yen Chen, Chiu-Ping Fang, Yen-Feng Lin

Posted 14 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.12.20150367

Background Some evidence suggests that diet may potentially increase or decrease the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the association between dietary habits and MDD remains controversial. The aim of this study is to systemically investigate the causal influence of dietary habits on the risk of MDD by Mendelian randomization (MR) using diet-wide and genome-wide summary data. Methods To perform two-sample MR, we collected publicly available genome-wide association studies' summary statistics for dietary habits from GeneATLAS (n = 452,264) and MDD from Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (n = 43,204). We used a weighted median approach to synthesize MR estimates across genetic instruments. For the robustness of our results, we compared weighted median results with an inverse-variance weighted method, weighted mode method and MR-PRESSO. We also assessed the bidirectional relationships between dietary habits and major depressive disorder through bidirectional Mendelian randomization. Results Beef intake showed significant protective effects on MDD ({beta} = -1.33; p-value = 0.002; Bonferroni-corrected p-value = 0.034; 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]), and cereal intake was nominally significantly protective ({beta} = -0.15; p-value = 0.010; 51 SNPs). We obtained similar results by using an inverse-variance weighted method and weighted mode approach despite results in the weighted mode test being non-significant. We also found a potential effect of MDD on tea intake ({beta} = 0.13; p-value = 0.021; 12 single SNPs). Conclusions In this two-sample MR, we observed that higher beef and cereal intake may be protective factors for MDD. We also found that MDD might trigger patients to drink more tea. Potential mechanisms need to be further investigated to support our novel findings.

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