because prevention is better than cure.

because prevention is better than cure.

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Antipsychotics, Omega 3 and Schizophrenia (2021)

This study explored antipsychotics, omega 3 and schizophrenia. The review compiled previous studies surrounding treatment of schizophrenia using omega-3 and looked at what pathways in the brain are impacted by an omega-3 supplementation. After compiling information on omega-3 and anti-psychotic drugs it was found that the drugs used to treat schizophrenia and omega-3 supplementation impact […]

B12 & Cognition (2011)

This study investigated B12 & cognition.  This study compared markers of vitamin B12 deficiency with various measures of brain shrinkage (MRI scans) and function (neuropsychological test results) over a 5 year period.  Results indicated that Methylmalonate, a specific marker of B12 deficiency, may affect cognition by reducing total brain volume. However, the effect of homocysteine (nonspecific to vitamin B12 deficiency) on cognitive performance may be mediated through increased white matter hyperintensity and cerebral infarcts.

Bilingualism & Cognition (2015)

This study investigated bilingualism & cognition. Study included 28 older adult participants – 14 monolingual participants and 14 bilingual participants (who had been bilingual since before age 11). All participants were subjected to a fMRI and had no diagnosed mental health conditions.

Bilingualism & Cognition (2017)

This study investigate bilingualism & cognition. The study was a meta analysis of studies. Inclusion criteria was studies investigating bilingualism in the elderly with relation to Alzheimer’s disease risk. 6 prospective cohort studies were selected and 8 retrospective studies were selected. Of the 14 studies, only 2 had a monolingual control group. 14 studies selected for analysis. Study indicated that bilingualism may be protective against memory decline in older adults.

Breakfast & Cognition (2006)

This study examined the relationship between consumption of breakfast  & cognition. Subjects included 7,343 10th grade students from Oslo, Norway who completed a questionnaire assessing these variables. The main finding from this study was that eating breakfast regularly is associated with less mental distress and improved academic performance.

Calcium & Cognitive Decline (2007)

This study investigated calcium & cognitive decline. A total of 4,500 elderly people were involved in a 5-11 year study of the effects of blood calcium levels on cognitive decline. Cognitive function was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and other measures of attention and memory.

Chromium & Depression (2003)

This study investigated chromium & depression. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study of 15 subjects, chromium picolinate was observed to improved the moods of 70% of those taking chromium compared with 0% on placebo.

Cognitive Performance & Fish Intake (2007)

This study examined the relationship between cognitive performance & fish intake. The study included 2,031 elderly Norwegians. The researchers report those eating at least 10 grams of fish a day performed significantly better in tests for cognitive performance than people who ate less than 10 grams of fish and fish products. The best test scores occurred in those who consumed the most fish and fish products, which equates to 75 grams per day.

Dementia & Alzheimer’s (2007)

This study investigated dementia & Alzheimer’s. Over 8000 over-65s were monitored for development of dementia and Alzheimer’s over a 4 year period and details of their dietary habits were analysed. Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables was found to be associated with a decreased risk of all types of dementia. Weekly consumption of fish was also associated with a decreased risk of all dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease but only amongst those people who do not have the genetic variation called ApoE4.

Depression & Processed Foods (2009)

This study investigated depression & processed foods. Eating a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression, according to a recent study.  Data on diet among 3,500 middle-aged civil servants was compared with self reported depression five years later.

Diabetes & Schizophrenia (2008)

Research has investigated the link between diabetes & schizophrenia.  This study looked at 99 patients with schizophrenia.  Their 2 h post prandial plasma glucose was tested prior to medication and then again after 6 weeks on medication.  The results were compared with a matched healthy control group.  The study found a significant difference in baseline […]

Does HRT help prevent dementia?

A recent study suggested that women carrying the APOE4 gene taking HRT had a better delayed memory score. We found that this statement to be inconclusive and misleading.

Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s – Amyloid Protein vs Homocysteine Testing

Worldwide 46.8 million people have dementia. In the UK, 1 in 14 people over 65 have Alzheimer’s, the most prevalent form of dementia; and increasingly dementia sufferers are also struggling with other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and depression. Research on new strategies for earlier diagnosis is among the most active areas in Alzheimer’s science. This […]

Essential fatty acids & mental health (2005)

The study investigated essential fatty acids & mental health. A review finds that there is an association between depression and low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and that low levels of the fatty acids in red blood cell membranes are found in both depressive and schizophrenic patients.

Exercise & Cognition

Neuroscientist Dr Wendy Suzuki discusses brain changing benefits of exercise in her TED Talk.

Fish Consumption and Depression (2016)

A sample of 2,034 individuals (age >55) in Singapore were studied to explore the link between fish consumption and depression. The study was conducted as part of the Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies (SLAS) project and results were adjusted for all other possible factors such as smoking, exercise, diabetes etc. Individuals consuming fish three times per […]

Fish Oil & Cognitive Decline (2007)

This study investigated fish oil & cognitive decline. 210 men aged 70 to 89 years old were followed for 5 years. There was a significant association between intake of fish oil (EPA and DHA) from diet and rate of cognitive decline, with those taking in the most fish oil from oily fish showing the least decline in cognitive function.

Fish Oil & Depression (2011)

This study investigated fish oil & depression. Moderate dose of Omega-3 fish oil was observed to improve mood in depressed elderly. In this small randomised controlled trial, a group of elderly people with mild to moderate depression were given either a fish oil capsule (with 300mg of the omega-3 essential fats EPA and DHA) or a placebo for six months. The researchers found that intervention with the fish oil was clinically effective.

Fish oil & psychosis (2008)

The study investigated fish oil & psychosis. Individuals at extremely high risk of developing psychosis appear less likely to develop psychotic disorders following a 12-week course of fish oil capsules containing long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Those taking the capsules also showed signs of reduced positive, negative and general symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenic patients may […]

Folate & Depression (2004)

This review explored folate & depression. A review of all randomized controlled trials that compared treatment with folic acid or 5′-methyltetrahydrofolic acid to an alternative treatment, for patients with depression. Three randomized trials (247 participants) were included. Two studies assessed the use of folate in addition to other treatment, and found that adding folate reduced Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores on average by a further 2.65 points [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38-4.93].

Folate, B12 & cognitive impairment (2007)

This study investigated folate, B12 & dementia. Whilst a high folic acid and B12 intake in the elderly may be protective against age-related memory decline, those with a high folic acid intake, from fortified food or supplements, but a low B-12 status have more memory decline and hence a greater risk for dementia.

Homocysteine & Brain Atrophy (2002)

The study investigated homocysteine & brain atrophy. Through MRI examination of the brains of 36 healthy elderly individuals, results indicated that there appears to be an association between brain atrophy (shrinking) and higher levels of homocysteine. However, due to the small sample size further research is required to substantiate these findings further.

Homocysteine & Brain Shrinkage (2011)

This study investigated homocysteine & brain shrinkage. UCLA School of Medicine researchers inlcuding a sample of 732 elderly people subjected to MRI brain scans, found that those with raised homocysteine levels have greater brain shrinkage regardless of age and diagnosis.

Homocysteine & Cognition (2007)

This study evaluated the association between plasma homocysteine levels and cognition. The presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in 1215 elderly subjects (aged 60-85years) from Korea was assessed. Individuals with MCI may be at an increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Homocysteine levels, in addition to folate and vitamin B12 levels were measured in blood samples. The presence of MCI was assessed by an independent physician using Mayo clinic criteria which included: 1) memory complaint, preferably corroborated by an informant; 2) objective memory impairment for age; 3) largely preserved general cognition; 4) essentially normal activities of daily living; and 5) no dementia.

Homocysteine & Dementia (2002)

This study investigated homocysteine & dementia. A total of 1092 subjects without dementia (667 women and 425 men; average age, 76 years) were followed for an average of 8 years. Their homocysteine levels were monitored. The study used multivariable proportional-hazards regression to adjust for age, sex, apolipoprotein E genotype, vascular risk factors other than homocysteine, and plasma levels of folate and vitamins B12 and B6. Over a median follow-up period of eight years, dementia developed in 111 subjects, including 83 given a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The multivariable-adjusted relative risk of dementia was 1.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 1.9) for each increase of 1 SD in the log-transformed homocysteine value either at base line or eight years earlier.

Homocysteine & Dementia (2011)

This study investigated homocysteine & dementia. In a meta-analysis of studies (a collation and analysis of a group of studies on the same topic), the results of eight studies (involving almost 9,000 subjects) found that at 5 µmol/l increase in homocysteine level was associated with a 35% increase in incidence of dementia.

Homocysteine & Schizophrenia (2006)

This study investigated homocysteine & schizophrenia. Forty-two schizophrenic patients with elevated plasma homocysteine levels were administered vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid or placebo for 3 months. Homocysteine levels declined with vitamin therapy compared with placebo in all patients.

How can Niacin support Schizophrenia?

In the UK, at any one time about 220,000 people are being treated for schizophrenia by the NHS. Whilst it is a less common mental health condition, statistics show that there is a higher risk associated to suicide and greater vulnerability to physical conditions like diabetes, perhaps due to medications such as antipsychotics. Due to this, statistics […]

Improve your resilience to stress through diet

Stress is part and parcel of life and in balance can actually be healthy. It keeps us motivated, helps us get out of bed in the morning and can be a good warning sign that things aren’t working for us in our current everyday lives, and encourages us to make positive changes.  However, what happens […]

Iron & Depression (2007)

This study investigated iron & depression. Two hundred women who were not anaemic had their mood and blood iron levels measured. The iron levels in the women who were rated as depressed (67) were significantly lower than in the healthy controls (125).

Iron deficiency and schizophrenia (2018)

This paper investigated iron deficiency and schizophrenia. Previous research finding that iron deficiency may alter dopaminergic transmission, this study was conducted to identify whether low blood iron levels could be related to severity of schizophrenia symptoms. This study was conducted on 121 patients during their first episode of schizophrenia disorder. Symptoms were measured using the […]

Low Essential Fats & Schizophrenia (2008)

In a study of people with schizophrenia, measures were made of levels of essential fats in red blood cells. Essential fats were found to be lower in this sample, than in the sample group without schizophrenia. In addition, an association was observed between levels of essential fats and severity of schizophrenia symptoms experienced. Sumiyoshi T […]

Mediterranean Diet & Depression (2009)

This study investigated the mediterranean diet & depression.  In a study of over 10,000 healthy Spanish participants – those who followed a Mediterranean diet most closely had a greater than 30% reduction in the risk of depression.

Microbiome, Anxiety & Depression (2011)

This study investigated the microbiome, anxiety & depression. It is understood that there is constant communication between the gut and the brain (the gut-brain axis). In this study, mice were fed a strain of probiotic (gut bacteria) or placebo. The mice who received the probiotics showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than the unsupplemented mice (controls).

Micronutrients and Childhood Psychosis (2012)

 This study investigated micronutrients in childhood psychosis. Childhood psychosis is difficult to address effectively with conventional pharmaceuticals, many of which have adverse long-term health consequences. In contrast, there are promising reports from several research groups of micronutrient treatment (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids) of mood, anxiety and psychosis symptoms using a complex formula that appears to be safe and tolerable.

Nutrients & Brain Aging (2011)

This study investigated nutrients & brain aging. In this ground-breaking study, 104 healthy elderly people (with an average age of 87) had blood levels of 30 different nutrients measured. Mean age was 87 ± 10 years and 62% of subjects were female. Results suggested that two NBPs associated with more favorable cognitive and MRI measures: one high in plasma vitamins B (B1, B2, B6, folate, and B12), C, D, and E, and another high in plasma marine ω-3 fatty acids. A third pattern characterized by high trans fat was associated with less favorable cognitive function and less total cerebral brain volume. Depression attenuated the relationship between the marine ω-3 pattern and white matter hyperintensity volume.

Nutritional & lifestyle changes to support SAD

SAD, which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, isn’t just a case of the winter blues. It is a form of major depression and can be seriously debilitating, causing symptoms such as chronic low mood, excessive sleeping, carbohydrate cravings, irritability, poor concentration, low libido and lethargy. SAD occurs most typically throughout the winter months and currently […]

Nutritional Status of Older Adults and Health (2017)

This study looked at the correlation between nutritional status of older adults and health. Correlation was observed between quality of nutritional status and depressive symptoms. Elderly individuals who perceived that they had poorer health, were also observed to be at higher risk of depression. The full text can be accessed here Jung, S. E., Bishop, […]

Omega 3 & Bipolar (2006)

This paper investigated omega 3 & bipolar. In a 12-week, double-blind study individuals with bipolar depression received either 1 g of EPA a day, 2 g/day or placebo, alongside their existing medication. Effectiveness of this treatment was assessed using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), as well as the Young Mania Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI).

Omega 3 & Cognitive Decline (2007)

This study investigated omega 3 & cognitive decline. This was a prospective study of 2,000 people aged 50 to 65 years old. Results indicated that risk of global cognitive decline increased with elevated palmitic acid in both fractions and with high arachidonic acid and low linoleic acid in cholesteryl esters. Higher n-3 HUFAs reduced the risk of decline in verbal fluency, particularly in hypertensive and dyslipidemic subjects. 

Omega 3 & Cognitive Performance (2007)

This research investigated omega 3 & cognitive performance. Dutch researchers used data from a trial involving 404 men and women (average age 60 at the start). The researchers report that higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a 60 % lower decline in mental processing speed over three years.

Omega 3 & Depression (2007)

The study investigated omega 3 & depression. In a small study, specific areas of the brains of deceased patients who had suffered from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) were compared with the brains of ‘age-matched normal controls’. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA was significantly different (-22%) in the brains of the individuals with depression, compared to the normal controls.

Omega 3 and schizophrenia (2016)

This study investigated omega 3 and schizophrenia. Specifically, the study explored the effect of omega-3 supplementation in symptom severity in schizophrenic patients over a long period of time, as previous studies have had mixed findings when interventions lasted 10-12 weeks.  A randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted over 26 weeks to study whether omega-3 fatty acids […]

Omega 3, Depression & Bipolar (2007)

This study investigated omega 3, depression and bipolar. A meta-analysis (review of studies to date) by scientists in Taiwan suggests that omega-3 fatty acids have significant antidepressant effects in patients with depression and bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia & gluten free, low carb diets (2009)

 Research has investigated schizophrenia & gluten free, low carb diets. The research relates the case of a schizophrenic woman whose symptoms improved when she was put on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. This highlights the possible link between coeliac disease and schizophrenia.

Sleep Hacks to Improve Mental Wellbeing

Just one night of little sleep can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing and cognitive function.  Although it may appear that our brain completely switches off whilst we’re sleeping, it is actually performing highly sophisticated tasks and is very far from being inactive. During sleep the brain replays memories from the day, sifting out […]

Socialisation, Education & Cognition (2008)

In this study memory change over 6 years was assessed using a large scale sample (16, 638 elderly individuals born <1948) from Health and Retirement Study. Growth curve models were analysed with reference to memory recall of a 10 word list and levels of social integration (i.e with family, volunteering, marital status).

Stress & Food Preferences (2020)

This study explored stress & food preferences. 232 Flemish students completed a food frequency questionnaire and psychological tests to measure stress levels, during exam period, to determine effects of stress on food choices as part of a longitudinal study.

The Relationship between Stress and Nutrition

When in balance, stress can be helpful. It keeps us motivated, helps us get out of the bed in the morning, and can serve as a warning sign that we need to make some lifestyle changes. Prolonged stress, on the other hand, can have serious consequences for our wellbeing, not least because of its impact […]

Tryptophan & Emotional Processing (2006)

This study assessed  tryptophan & emotional processing. It explored whether tryptophan (TRP) induces cognitive changes opposite to the negative biases found in depression and characteristic of those induced by serotonergic antidepressants in healthy volunteers.

Vitamin D & Cognition (2006)

This study examined vitamin D & cognition. Vitamin D status, cognitive performance, mood, and physical performance in older adults was assessed. 58% of the participants were found to have abnormally low vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D & Depression (2008)

This research explored vitamin D & depression. Dutch researchers compared vitamin D levels with mood in a study of 1,282 elderly people and found that vitamin D levels were 14% lower in those with depression. Measures of parathyroid hormone (high levels of which are associated with depression) showed that this hormone was 5-33% higher in elderly individuals with depression.

Vitamin D & Schizophrenia (2021)

This study was conducted to investigate vitamin D & schizophrenia. The study especially looked into sunlight exposure and symptoms of schizophrenia. 52 patients took part in the study and had their serum 25OHD levels measured to understand their current vitamin D level in the blood. The severity of symptoms was measured using the scale for the assessment of negative symptoms (SANS).

Vitamins, Minerals & Mood (2007)

This study investigated vitamins, minerals & mood. 225 hospitalised acutely ill elderly people were either given a normal hospital diet plus multivitamin and mineral supplements (providing 100 per cent of the Reference Nutrient Intakes for a healthy older person for vitamins and minerals), or a normal hospital diet plus a placebo for six weeks.