Introduction: Depression is a mental disorder associated with biological, environmental and psychological factors. Depression is estimated to be a disease that requires the second largest expense on treatment. Chronic stress will reduce serotonin activity and storage and also stimulate the adrenal cortex to release cortisol and other glucocorticoid hormones. Nutritional intake such as carbohydrates and protein also plays a role in depression with various mechanisms. The study aims to investigate the role of psychosocial stressors, carbohydrate and protein intake on serum cortisol and serotonin levels in patients with depression
Methods: The study used an analytic observational approach with a cross sectional design. Subjects were selected by consecutive sampling and were asked to fill out the general characteristics questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) - II to determine depression levels, Holmes Rahe scale to measure psychosocial stressors, food frequency questionnaires to measure carbohydrate and protein intake. Subjects who met the inclusion criteria were taken blood samples to measure the cortisol and serotonin levels.
Result: Of the 79 subjects, 57 (72%) women and 22 (28%) men with an average age of 43 Â± 3 years. A total of 64 (81%) subjects were with mild psychosocial stressors and 5 (6%) were severe. Psychosocial stressor were not significantly correlated with either serotonin (p=0.479), nor cortisol level (p=0.625) Carbohydrate were not significantly correlated with serotonin level (p=0.628) and cortisol level (p=0.252). Protein was not significantly correlated with serotonin level (p=0.688) and cortisol level (p=0.110).
Conclusion: There was no correlation between psychosocial stressors, carbohydrate and protein intake with serum cortisol and serotonin levels in depressed patients.