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Can the diet affect on the course of mental illnesses?

An increasing number of studies provide evidence that the diet may play a role in the pathogenesis of mental disorders and their treatment. However, the evidence is so far thin.

DietLargely mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders or schizophrenia can now be treated with medication and psychotherapy. However, as more and more studies show the diet plays a major role. In addition, the growing knowledge about the brain metabolism can prove that dietary habits or deficiency of certain nutrients can influence on the development and course of mental disorders.

Thus, epidemiological studies have shown that there is a correlation between a low intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids and the development of schizophrenia and depression. In studies have shown that the selective intake of omega-3 fatty acids has a positive effect on these diseases. Researchers assume that the intake of fatty acids alter the cell membrane and thus also may affect on the transmission between brain cells.

Mediterranean diet strengthens the brain.

Even dementia might be treated by so-called Mediterranean diet consisting of plenty of fish, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, and have shown a positive influence. And lately it is discussed whether a deficiency of iron, iodine, selenium and zinc lead to developmental of disorders in the child’s brain and cause allergy during the pregnancy.

Not to be forgotten is the fact that among the consequences of mental disorders under or over weight are paramount. So obesity is one of the most serious side effects of many drugs that are used for example in case of schizophrenia or depression. This can lead to further social overweight as a result of drug treatment to a lack of adherence to treatment. Therefore, the best decision will be take consultation with nutritionist, compose an exercise program and accompany drug therapy with a cognitive behavioral therapy.