Why reducing red meat may double risk of Depression and Anxiety

About six years ago, this study came out showing a correlation between low red meat intake and an increased risk of Depression and Anxiety. Unfortunately the study was small and lacked the important detail that everyone wished to know.

Whats in red meat that makes it so special?

Fast forward six years and this new study comes out showing that those with low blood levels of L-Acetyl-Carnitine are more prone to Depression. L-Acetyl Carnitine is produced from an amino acid called Carnitine.  So what’s that got to do with red meat?

Guess which food is highest in Carnitine?

Yes, you guessed it, red meat.

Here is a chart which demonstrates the staggering difference in Carnitine from red meat versus other sources.

Food Milligrams (mg)
Beef steak, cooked, 4 ounces 56–162
Ground beef, cooked, 4 ounces 87–99
Milk, whole, 1 cup 8
Codfish, cooked, 4 ounces 4–7
Chicken breast, cooked, 4 ounces 3–5
Ice cream, ½ cup 3
Cheese, cheddar, 2 ounces 2
Whole–wheat bread, 2 slices 0.2
Asparagus, cooked, ½ cup 0.1


There are many other reasons why someone could be Depressed but this is yet again another study highlighting the important role diet can play in Depressive disorders.

I’ve already discussed many other reasons in my previous article. With a range of studies showing increased mental health issues from deficiencies in Folic Acid, B12 and Vitamin D, the questions remain…

When will it become standard for these deficiencies to be tested?

Why isn’t Nutritional Therapy offered as a front line service to help those who are struggling with their mental health?

My hope is for a future where Doctors, Psychiatrists, Nutritional Therapists and Personal Trainers work alongside each other to bring fresh meaning to the term Holistic Healthcare.

Maybe I’m a dreamer but I believe that day will come.





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