The lab boffins in Trinity College did farmers a good service this week, The Dealer saw, by confirming once again the crucial importance of meat, fish, eggs and dairy produce to a balanced diet.

A research paper from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) published in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition showed that low vitamin B12 status is linked to depressive symptoms in older adults. B12 is present in meat, fish, eggs and dairy produce.

However, one in eight older Irish adults are reported to have low B12 status.

This can lead to anaemia, impaired cognitive function, or damage to the protective covering that surrounds the nerve fibres of the brain.

“Understanding the link between low B12 status and depression in later life is important as depression is a risk factor for functional decline, admission to residential care and early death,” the researchers stated.