Extensive animal data show that dietary manipulation affects brain plasticity and there are now data from humans to suggest the same:. Finally, while there are yet to be published RCTs testing dietary improvement as a treatment strategy for depression, the first of these is underway and results will be published within six months:.
Eva is correct and there is extensive evidence behind her contentions. I have posted multiple links to the science below. I have believed, and loudly stated, for a long time that poor nutrition was most probably a leading factor in the mental disease that runs rampant in my family. Perhaps genetic testing should be made less expensive and more available to the general population. Our foods are rampant with chemicals, hormones, and …? Some families can barely afford to subsist, much less pay high prices for the healthier foods.
I think this article is very informative. The links provided are a great place to start on finding information. Sometimes we need to first be made aware that this information exists; than search for ourselves the information pertinent to our own situations or lifestyles. Thank you berry much for your article and the links provided to give me further resources to find more info on Fitts subject.
Nutrition and poor mental health
The meds are awful for your metabolism, and create brain fog. The bipolar is well controlled now, but after a few years of pre-diabetes, and not doing anything about it, I crossed the line to diabetes with a HGB A1C of 7. Refusing to take yet another med, I went to see a nutritionist who is also a doctor and can write scripts for tests. I wanted to know exactly what my body needed before adding anything to the chemistry that is me. She performed four tests: vit D, ferritin, the Spectracell, and the Alcat food sensitivites. My vit D was deficient, so we added a supplement, ferritin was off the charts, so I started donating blood, Spectracell showed me exactly what I was deficient in relative to nutrition and aging, so I could get onto only those supplements or precursors I needed for a healthy immune system, also brewing my own Kombucha for probiotic and ployphenols and the Alcat showed me precisely what foods cause inflammation in my body.
I went through a lifestyle change with no refined sugar, wheat, or soy and limited dairy minimal raw, grass fed. Upped the organic vegetables, lowered carbs limited to legumes and wild rice , no fried foods or processed foods. Added krill oil. No cooking with any oil but coconut or red palm. I eat meat or fish once or twice a day, less than 4 oz.
My psychiatrist and my medical doctor are impressed. My LDLs have come down to 76 from TC down from to My HDLs up to 66 from My Hgb A1C is now 5. No mood swings, no depression, no manic episodes. Tranquility, serenity and feeling energized. Increased productivity and the brain fog has lifted. My name is Carol Chester. I have been experimenting with diet since the mids. Regardless of what evidence is presented, I go by how my body feels after eating.
Plant-based foods seem the best for me, combined with daily exercise. I had to do something about my weight, my food addictions and overeating. I could eat bags of junk snacks washed down with sodas, with no thoughts on what it was doing to my health. Well I did IT! I quit eating all meat except WILD fish, scallops, occasionally.
Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses
All the colors of the rainbow, nuts, seeds, beans, and of course fruits and veggies. If you want off your meds, then start researching what REAL food can do for you. Petrovich—I tried the veggie thing-and guess what?? I became so supersensitive to aromatic hydrocarbons ie-perfumes-heat from gas furnaces-kitchen cleaners-all phenol based products This actually caused a severe rise in blood pressure. I am now undergoing the debacle — started 2 days ago — beginning with either the chocolate food craving or the depression — one of the two symptoms causing the other — what caused which one to begin — no one seems to have any help or answers or understanding.
I am 69, female, as I mentioned before and I want to add that my diet not only improved my mental well being, but I was able to finally get off of prozac. I was depressed about my weight, my needing knee replacements, but I overcome all of these hurdles and continually focused on what my final results will be. In my opinion, the continued use of high quality fish oil, high in DHA, for all these years benefits my brain health as well.
I was surprised to find out low my Vitamin D level was. It is normal now, and I highly recommend that everyone get their Vitamin D checked. Ask for it to be checked. I found out that most PC doctors never check it. To sum up my lifestyle, EAT a healthy diet, stop eating fast food, junk, and eventually your body will heal.
It is challenging to figure out what is causing what, once the cycle has been initiated. I usually have my patients start with an elimination diet along with therapy with one of the therapists I work with for 3 to 4 weeks and then slowly reintroduce foods to see if there is a trigger. I also make sure they are on probiotics. I refer, of course, to a recent editorial in the Lancet, but other examples abound. Remember when being gay was a psychiatric illness, then—poof no pun intended —after some political pressure, it was no longer?
I also wonder how many of the complainers have actually read the research. Not very scientific. Love the complaints. This is not a medical journal nor academic paper. The article had to get approved by the editor with Harvard-quality standards. These factors are increased when looking at college students on an Appalachian campus, a region plagued by poor health, low socioeconomic status, and poor access to health services [ 25 ]. The present study found that individuals on an Appalachian college campus face food insecurity at This is consistent with previous studies showing rates of food insecurity on college campuses to be much higher than the national average [ 23 , 37 ].
Nutritional psychiatry: can you eat yourself happier?
This is of concern for college campuses, as food insecurity has been linked to poorer physical and mental health [ 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 ]. These studies have hypothesized that food insecurity may be adding additional stress, contributing to worse mental health, and that food insecurity leads to lower dietary quality, providing the brain with less key nutrients for optimal function.
The causes of this relationship need to be further determined, however the current body of knowledge has implications for current action by policymakers. Dietary interventions have shown that providing access to healthy foods can improve mental health symptoms, and thus interventions for this population should aim to provide healthy foods required for improved mental health [ 38 , 39 , 40 ].
In a study that examined a fruit and vegetable intervention on young adults, only those who were provided with a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables showed a significant increase in fruit and vegetable consumption and overall well-being [ 38 ]. Another study that provided tools and foods to depressed patients to follow a Mediterranean diet showed improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms and high adherence to the diet, even sustained at 6 months [ 39 ]. This highlights the importance of providing access to the healthy foods to enable individuals to adhere to a healthy diet.
Thus, alleviating food insecurity on college campuses should be a priority in order to improve the well-being of students.
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- Relationship between Diet and Mental Health in a Young Adult Appalachian College Population.
This study adds to the body of work showing health disparities faced by Appalachia and the factors contributing to the mental health status of college students and provides a potential solution for improving their mental health. There are a few limitations to the present study.
First, we used self-reported mental health days rather than asking respondents if they have received a mental health diagnosis by a professional, because not all individuals with mental health disorders have received a medical diagnosis. The intention was to better capture data from those with symptoms of a mental health disorder. In addition, the DSQ includes items in the fruit and vegetable domain that are not healthy sources of fruits and vegetables, including fried potatoes and salsas, and thus were removed from the score in this study.
This study focused on fruits and vegetables because they are considered to be indicative of overall diet quality [ 30 ], and on added sugars because of their evidence of being detrimental to mental health [ 32 , 33 ]. However, this study did not examine meat and saturated fats, which may be detrimental for mental health as well. Another limitation of the DSQ is that it accounted for frequency of consumption, or times per day, and not volume of consumption. Food insecurity was determined using a self-reported tool and is thus a perception, which may not reflect true food insecurity, and may not take into account other factors that cause a poor diet.
The data used in this study was collected from one university, and thus may not be applied to every college environment in Appalachia. Student major was not accounted for, which could contribute to the stress of students as well as their health knowledge, potentially altering their behavior. Future work will include the use of a validated diagnostic tool, such as the Patient Health Questionnaire, and Beck Anxiety Inventory. In addition, the diet quality will be better screened for using a tool that encompasses a variety of foods with quantities consumed measured. Finally, data will be collected from multiple Appalachian college campuses.
To conclude, this study gathered data on a population that is understudied, despite their high risk for poor health due to low healthy food access, low socioeconomic status, and a high stress college environment. This study added data on the frequency and contributors to mental health symptoms in young adults on an Appalachian college campus. These individuals are at an important life-stage, where optimal physical and mental function is required to succeed. Identifying areas of need for this population is important to inform interventions.
Why nutritional psychiatry is the future of mental health treatment
The results of this study are important to show that providing access to affordable healthy foods can improve the rates of mental health disorder symptoms in this environment. Access to healthy foods and dietary quality are associated with mental health, and these factors are modifiable. Improving these factors can improve the mental health of students, and thus may enhance their academic success. Research design was developed by R. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Nutrients v. Published online Jul Rachel A. Wattick , 1 Rebecca L. Hagedorn , 1 and Melissa D.
Find articles by Rachel A. Rebecca L. Find articles by Rebecca L. Melissa D. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Jun 18; Accepted Jul This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Young adults in Appalachia may face poor nutritional status due to low access to healthy food and high mental health symptoms attributed to high stress and the college environment. Keywords: mental health, young adult, diet quality, food insecurity, college, student. Introduction Mental health disorders affect Materials and Methods 2.
Design This cross-sectional study investigated a convenience sample of young adults attending a large, Appalachian university in fall Participants and Procedures Undergraduate and graduate students attending a large, Appalachian university in the fall semester were recruited. Survey Design The item survey was developed by researchers from a multistate, collaborative university research group. Statistical Analysis Descriptive statistics were computed for all demographic and health questions. Results The survey was completed by students.
Table 1 Characteristics of respondents and correlations with depression status. Open in a separate window. Table 2 Characteristics of respondents and correlations with anxiety status. Table 3 Logistic Regression model predicting depression status in male and female students. Table 4 Logistic regression model predicting anxiety status in male and female students. Discussion To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the relationship between mental health, diet quality, and food insecurity in a young adult population attending an Appalachian university while examining differences between sexes.
Author Contributions Research design was developed by R. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare no conflicts of interest. References 1. National Institute of Mental Health; Mental Illness. Elliott J. Psychosocial interventions for mental and substance use disorders: A framework for establishing evidence-based standards, by institute of medicine IOM J.
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