2018 commentary: Nutrition <=> Mental Health

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2018 commentary: Nutrition <=> Mental Health

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:54 pm

Nutrition and mental health: bidirectional associations and multidimensional measures
https://journals-scholarsportal-info.pr ... hbaamm.xml

"If modification of diet could help prevent mental health conditions, or reduce their symptoms, the benefits could be large: mental health disorders are common around the world(1) and their health burden is high and increasing(2). Brain structure, brain function and neuronal plasticity are all influenced by nutrients, and the immune system and antioxidant defence system too; thus there are various plausible mechanisms through which dietary factors could influence mental health(3).
However, there is more to the link between nutrition and mental health than the role of nutrients in biological mechanisms that may influence mental health. Associations between nutritional factors and mental health are likely to be bidirectional. While nutritional factors may influence mental health, mental health may also influence diet and nutrition. For example, inability or lack of motivation to purchase healthy foods and prepare these, preferential selection of foods that may enhance mood such as sweet foods(4), changed physical activity levels and possible interactions with psychiatric drugs(5,6) are all factors that may cause a person’s diet to change with the development of poor mental health.
As with the study of many disease outcomes, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that dietary patterns may influence a person’s chance of developing poor mental health, particularly depression.
With both nutrition and mental health being multidimensional entities, and associations likely being bidirectional, much research work needs to be done to find better ways to utilise nutritional factors in the prevention of poor mental health and to establish how we can best help people affected by poor mental health to eat a healthy diet. This is certainly a cause worth putting our minds to."
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!
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