Mushroom intake and depression: A population-based study using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005-2016

J Affect Disord. 2021 Nov 1:294:686-692. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.080. Epub 2021 Jul 22.


Background: Mushrooms contain numerous bioactive compounds that may be associated with reduced anxiety including vitamin B12, nerve growth factor, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents. We hypothesized that mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of depression in American adults.

Methods: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2016 was used. Up to two days of 24 h dietary recall were analyzed to assess mushroom intake frequency. Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9, score ≥ 10). We used multivariable logistic regression models, adjusting for potential confounding factors.

Results: Among 24,699 participants (mean (SE) age: 45.5 (0.3) years), the weighted prevalence of depression was 5.9%. Mushrooms were consumed by 5.2% of participants. Compared with the lowest tertile of mushroom intake, participants in the middle tertile (median intake = 4.9 g/d, number of cases = 16) had lower odds of depression (adjusted OR = 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16, 0.60) while those in the highest tertile did not differ (median intake = 19.6 g/d, adjusted OR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.47, 1.78, number of cases = 22) (P-trend = 0.42).

Limitations: Cross-sectional data and lack of information on specific types of mushrooms consumed.

Conclusion: Mushroom consumers had a lower odd of depression. However, we did not observe a dose-response relationship.

Keywords: Depression; Diet; Epidemiology; Mushroom; NHANES.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agaricales*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Patient Health Questionnaire
  • United States / epidemiology