With pharmacological approaches both costly in developed nations and largely inaccessible in developing countries, scientists and public health experts are looking at nutritional approaches to address mental health issues. Jerome Sarris, from the University of Melbourne (Australia), and colleagues submit that: “Evidence is steadily growing for the relation between dietary quality (and potential nutritional deficiencies) and mental health, and for the select use of nutrient-based supplements to address deficiencies, or as monotherapies or augmentation therapies.” The team submits that in addition to addressing diet quality, there is sufficient evidence to support the notion of nutrient-based therapies to assist in the management of psychiatric disorders. Studies show that a number of nutrients associate with brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids. The study authors urge that: “We advocate recognition of diet and nutrition as central determinants of both physical and mental health.”
Jerome Sarris, Alan C Logan, Tasnime N Akbaraly, G Paul Amminger, Vicent Balanzá-Martínez, Marlene P Freeman, et al. “Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry.” The Lancet Psychiatry, January 25, 2015.