Should I get my nutrient levels checked to determine if I need to take a supplement?

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I have noticed a growing number of companies offering to measure nutrient levels and then offering a personalized treatment approach to address deficiencies identified. For example, I was asked by a member of the public what I thought of Spectral Cell Laboratories.Spectral Cell offers micronutrient testing from white blood cells (not the usual from serum or plasma). They test...

Can mineral-vitamin treatment change the microbiome? Yes it can!

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Do people who suffer from specific psychiatric symptoms, like those associated with ADHD, have a different bacterial microbiome than those who don't have these symptoms? Are our bugs making us impulsive? Therefore, what if we changed out these bugs? What's the role nutrition plays? Professsor Julia Rucklidge explores some exciting connections.

Sleep tips following stressful events

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In the aftermath of major stress and exposure to traumatic events most adults will experience sleep disturbance of some kind. This may include difficulty in falling asleep when first going to bed, often accompanied by repetitive, intrusive thoughts that can’t be ‘turned off’, more frequent waking during the night with difficulty resuming sleep, and waking early in the morning....

Gut gardening to improve mental health

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The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, and research is finding that this microbiome has important impacts on our health and wellbeing. However, what do you do when you feel that your gut microbiome needs a boost? It is possible to change your microbiome, for both better and worse?University of Canterbury MSc Psychology student Jessica Heaton outlines interesting ways to improve our gut microbiome's bacterial diversity, and how this can impact our physical and mental health.

Pleading for accuracy in trial reporting

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Last week, Mariska Bot and colleagues published a clinical trial in JAMA whereby they randomized overweight or obese adults with subsyndromal depressive symptoms to placebo, micronutrients (400 mcg folic acid, 800IU vitamin D, 30 mcg selenium, 100 mg calcium, and 1412 mg DHA+EPA), micronutrients plus behavioural activation or placebo plus behavioural activation. Their primary outcome was cumulative onset of...

Translating science to the real world: Nutrition as a front-line form of treatment after a traumatic event

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Disasters, both natural (e.g., earthquakes, floods) and human-made (e.g., terrorism, civil strife), affect communities worldwide, often causing immense disruption and suffering, and lasting psychological injuries.Living and working in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand has meant we have had our fair share of traumas, but then also the opportunity to study the effect of nutrients on our resilience.For example, on February...

Nutrition as part of the solution to the mental health crisis

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There has been a small explosion in research using nutrients for the treatment of mental illness over the last decade. The general premise is that our brains need nutrients to function and chemicals that are essential for good mental health, like dopamine and serotonin, require micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals.Preliminary clinical trials are putting micronutrients and good nutrition on...

Can nutrition be part of the treatment for antenatal anxiety and depression?

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Pregnancy is a time where many physiological and psychosocial changes occur. It can bring feelings of excitement but also apprehensiveness and stress and is a period of increased vulnerability for the onset or relapse of mental illness. The most common mental health problems during pregnancy are anxiety and depression which are amongst the leading causes of maternal morbidity and...

Kai and mental well-being

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This Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori | Māori Language Week 2019, Taryn Hale showcases the importance of traditional kai in Te Whare Tapa Whā, the Māori wellbeing model.

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Nutrition

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Not just a knock on the headA Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a trauma to the head that can cause damage to the brain. Data shows that the majority of TBIs are received from car accidents and falls. This makes children highly vulnerable.TBIs can be hard to diagnose. It is not uncommon for people to brush...