Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Diet, Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

News Brief by Lushna Mehra

Members of teams at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University have conducted studies that underscore the important relationship between diet and nutrition on mental health. Dr. Jerome Sarris of the University of Melbourne noted that mental health is affected by many factors, but nutrition deficiencies now appear to be correlated with psychiatry just as much as it is with the other biological systems.  
Overall analysis of this relationship shows that improving diet and developing a nutrient-based prescription for patients are both ways in which mental disorders may theoretically aid both individuals and the population.  Specifically, the most effective nutrients found in the conducted studies include omega-3s, B vitamins, choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine, vitamin D, and amino acids, which all contribute to better brain health. 
Sarris stated that these nutrients could potentially be prescribed to patients as supplements.  Felice Jacka of Deakin University highlighted that multiple studies show a negative correlation between healthy diets and risk for depression and suicide.  She notes that nutrition deficiencies throughout critical periods in early development are related to incidences of depressive and psychotic disorders. 
Early onset ages associated with depression and anxiety stress that nutrition, especially in the earlier years, may prevent some of the most prevalent mental disorders.  Dr. Sarris concluded by saying that diet and nutrition should be focused on as the new direction for attempting to treat or prevent mental illness.

University of Melbourne. "Diet, nutrition essential for mental health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2015. .
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