September 11, 2017

Positive correlation discovered between hemoglobin A1c and depression in individuals

Nedley Clinic confirmed findings that linked energy-dense foods such as meat (excluding fish and cheese) consumption to levels of hemoglobin A1c in clinically depressed individuals.

A new study presented at the International Conference on Diabetes highlighted diabetic individuals with comorbid depression. An analysis of the study looked at 309 participants of a 10-day plant based residential depression recovery program. During the 10-day program, their Beck Depression Inventory scores plummeted from an average of 24 (Moderate to Severe Major Depression) down to an average of 6 (no Depression). The groups A1c was positively correlated to their before and after Beck Depression Inventory scores. It was found that compared to no meat intake, consumption of meat at least twice a day was associated with higher hemoglobin A1c levels.

Neil Nedley, MD, states “Diabetes patients with comorbid depression can have less self-care and treatment adherence, glycemic control, and increased mortality. These intertwined symptoms are often termed ‘diapression’. Treatment is challenging because depression can increase diabetes symptoms, decrease self-care behavior, and increase disability rates.”

"Energy-rich foods can induce a diabetic state' in individuals. This has not been well studied in depressed individuals. Nevertheless, we can confirm a positive correlation,” says Francisco Ramirez, MD.

The 10-day plant-based residential depression treatment program teaches participants various lifestyle habits such as nutrition, physical exercise, circadian rhythms, bright light, sleep, avoiding negative distorted thought, enhancing frontal lobe function, and making and staying with positive lifestyle choices. The program includes doctor, psychiatric, and spiritual counseling visits. Each participant completes depression and anxiety assessment tests and questionnaires to provide a baseline. Hemoglobin A1c was assessed through blood samples on the first day of their residence. After completing the 10-day program, a final 75 item questionnaire is given including follow up doctor assessment, psychiatric counseling, and blood work to chart successful progress.

"This approach to comorbid diabetes and depression can have profound life altering benefits. Not only will patients live longer, but will live happier and healthier lives. This methodology is far cheaper than traditional diabetes and depression treatment modalities" said Neil Nedley, MD.

International Conference on Diabetes, presented July 2014.
Further information or press inquiries may be obtained by contacting

Communications and Media Relations

Cami Martin, cami@drnedley
or Francisco Ramirez, MD,

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