A lack of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD. Nutritional psychiatry is a growing discipline that focuses on the use of food and supplements to provide these essential nutrients as part of an integrated or alternative treatment for mental health disorders.
Studies increasingly suggest that, just like their physical health counterparts, mental health disorders can be safely and effectively improved through use of the correct micronutrients.
In the case of depression, for example, research has shown that magnesium supplements may be an alternative to antidepressant drugs and that omega-3 supplements can help treat even major depression. Similarly, low levels of B vitamins are known to be common in depression and supplementation with these nutrients has been shown to improve depression outcomes.
With studies also showing high-dose B vitamins can reduce schizophrenia symptoms and that micronutrient supplements are helpful to children with severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the future for nutritional psychiatry is looking bright.