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Mental Health and Nutrition

Depression and anxiety: exploring micronutrient interventions

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Wellbeing and the mediaYou would likely notice an increase in a variety of wellbeing interventions in the media recently. Some of these are called complementary and alternative medicines. These approaches are often popular as add-ons to conventional medications or as alternatives to seeking medical intervention. Complementary and alternative medicines are increasing in popularity as more people look for additional...

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...

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.

Exploring the microbiome and its relationship with infant health

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For the past several years, through the NUTRIMUM study, Te Puna Toiora | UC’s Mental Health and Nutrition Research group has been investigating the effect that micronutrient supplementation, and maternal depression and anxiety can have on infant development. One of the aspects of interest in this research has been the collection of microbiome samples from mothers and infants, in...

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.

Is there any evidence for using micronutrients for the treatment of mental illness?

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The notion that good nutrition is good for the brain is not a new idea. What is relatively new is that, until recently, there were very few well conducted studies examining whether a broad spectrum approach using doses of nutrients higher than what you could get out of a daily diet, could treat a mental disorder.At our lab at...

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...