March 30, 2023 | 8:00 p.m
Your comfort food may be letting you down.
Researchers have found another piece of the puzzle to help those suffering from depression.
A new study published in the journal Science has found that eating too many burgers and too much ice cream can cause bipolar, anxiety and other mood disorders — as well as hinder the effectiveness of treatment.
Foods like meat and dairy are high in glycine, an amino acid that delays signals to the brain.
By eliminating these behaviors, people may be more responsive to medication.
“There are limited medications for depression,” said Kirill Martemyanov, professor of neuroscience at the University of Florida. said in a statement. “Most of them take a week before they get in, if they do at all. New and better options are really needed.”
In 2020, an estimated 21 million American adults had a major depressive episode, National Institute of Mental Health. According to Southwest News Service, medical expenses associated with depression cost the United States $326 billion annually.
This new research could help develop drugs that work faster.
Martemyanov and his team worked on this discovery for many years.
“It’s amazing how basic science goes. Fifteen years ago we discovered a binding partner for a protein of interest, which led us to this new receptor,” Martemyanov told SWNS. “We’ve been unwinding it all this time.”
In a 2018 study, they implicated a receptor called GPR158 Stress-induced depression If mice lack the gene for the GPR158 receptor, they respond better to stress.
The researchers achieved a breakthrough in 2021, when the Martemianov team solved Structure of GPR158. They found that it was more similar to bacteria than to human cells.
“We were barking up the completely wrong tree before we saw the structure,” Martemyanov explained. “We said, ‘Wow, this is an amino acid receptor. There are only 20,’ so we screened them right away and only one fit perfectly. That was it. It was glycine.”
Glycine is marketed and sold as a nutritional supplement that can improve mood. Depending on the cell type, it can send slow or excitatory signals according to SWNS.
“We desperately need new depression treatments,” Martemyanov said. “If we can target it with something specific, it makes sense that it can help. We are working on it now.”