Dietary fiber intake and depressive symptoms in Japanese employees: The Furukawa Nutrition and Health Study

Nutrition. 2016 May;32(5):584-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.11.014. Epub 2015 Dec 23.


Objective: Dietary fiber may play a favorable role in mood through gut microbiota, but epidemiologic evidence linking mood to dietary fiber intake is scarce in free-living populations. We investigated cross-sectionally the associations of dietary intakes of total, soluble, insoluble, and sources of fiber with depressive symptoms among Japanese workers.

Methods: Participants were 1977 employees ages 19-69 y. Dietary intake was assessed via a validated, brief self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios of depressive symptoms adjusted for a range of dietary and non-dietary potential confounders.

Results: Dietary fiber intake from vegetables and fruits was significantly inversely associated with depressive symptoms. The multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for the lowest through the highest tertile of vegetable and fruit fiber were 1.00 (reference), 0.80 (0.60-1.05), and 0.65 (0.45-0.95), respectively (P for trend = 0.03). Dietary intake of total, soluble, insoluble, and cereal fiber was not associated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Higher dietary fiber intake from vegetables and fruits may be associated with lower likelihood of having depressive symptoms.

Keywords: Cross-sectional studies; Depression; Diet; Dietary fiber; Japanese.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Diet* / ethnology
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fruit* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Occupational Health / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Solubility
  • Vegetables* / chemistry
  • Young Adult