Nutrients boost mood

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New research published in World Psychiatry has provided an overview of the benefit of specific nutrient supplements across a variety of mental health disorders.

Led by Sydney’s NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University the study is said to have examined 33 meta-analyses of randomised control trials and data from 10,951 people with mental health disorders, including depression, stress and anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“This mass of data has allowed us to investigate the benefits and safety of various different nutrients for mental health conditions on a larger scale than what has even been possible,” said lead study author, Dr Joseph Firth, a Senior Research Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University and Honorary Fellow at The University of Manchester.

It has been said that while the majority of nutritional supplements did not significantly improve mental health outcomes, researchers found strong evidence for certain supplements, including omega-3 supplements, special types of folate and the amino acid, N-acetylcysteine.

However, there is currently no compelling evidence for the use of vitamins and minerals for any mental health disorder.

Senior study author, NICM Health Research Institute’s Professor Jerome Sarris added: “Future research should aim … to better understand the underlying mechanisms so we can adopt a targeted approach to supplement use in mental health treatment.”

The review involved researchers from Western Sydney University, King’s College London, The University of Manchester, The University of Queensland, ORYGEN National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, University of Toronto and KU Leuven.

To access the research, visit – http://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20672