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Gut Health = Mental Health? The Impact of Diet and Dietary Supplements on Mood Disorders

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Depression and mood disorders impact a significant number of our population. The purpose of this review was to investigate the current literature on dietary strategies or supplements that may impact mood and cognition.

Recent Findings

Several recent studies and reviews have found that promoting a “healthy” diet may help improve depressive symptoms, and that such interventions are cost-effective. Other reviews have found that there may be some benefit to multiple dietary interventions/supplementations on a variety of mood disorders.

Summary

While these studies offer a safe, cost-effective option, the quality of evidence is poor. Regardless, promoting a healthy diet including healthy fats, whole grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables promotes not only mental health, but also a variety of other chronic conditions. Thus, while not ready as standalone therapy, dietary counseling/intervention should be included as we address mental health concerns of our patients.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Mueller, M., Ganesh, R. & Bonnes, S. Gut Health = Mental Health? The Impact of Diet and Dietary Supplements on Mood Disorders. Curr Nutr Rep 9, 361–368 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-020-00340-2

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Keywords

  • Mood disorders
  • Depression
  • Probiotics
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Ketogenic diet