Audio & video media exploring relevant topics.


The Microorganisms in Our Body That Keep Us Alive – Naveen Jain – Bulletproof Podcast – Video & Audio

The human body relies on millions of microorganisms to keep us alive. This army of independent contractors helps the human body digest and deliver nutrients, combat disease, and even power our cells. Dave welcomes Entrepreneur and Moon colonizer Naveen Jain to the podcast to discuss these amazing little machines, and to warn us about how modern day conveniences such as processed foods and antibacterial soaps threaten to destroy this delicate and life-sustaining ecosystem housed within our body.

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The surprisingly dramatic role of nutrition in mental health | Julia Rucklidge | TEDxChristchurch – Video

“This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this critically important talk, clinical psychologist Julia Rucklidge explores a range of scientific research, including her own, showing the significant role played by nutrition in mental health or illness.

Julia J Rucklidge, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally from Toronto, she did her training in neurobiology (McGill) and Clinical Psychology (University of Calgary). Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. For the last 6 years, she has been investigating the role of micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety and more recently, stress and PTSD associated with the Canterbury earthquakes.”

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MTHFR and Mental Health: Understanding the Overall Effect of Individual Genetic Mutations SNPs – Mensah Medical – Video

“The popular genetic testing for MTHFR, MS, and other SNPs, are qualitative in nature but are limited in their ability to accurately determine the overall effect of individual genetic mutations. Learn how overall methylation status is critical for the treatment of autism, anxiety, behavioral/learning disorders, depression, bipolar, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.”

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Scientific published research exploring relevant topics.

Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables – Frontiers in Psychology – 10 April 2018

Background: “Higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, rich in micronutrients, have been associated with better mental health. However, cooking or processing may reduce the availability of these important micronutrients. This study investigated the differential associations between intake of raw fruits and vegetables, compared to processed (cooked or canned) fruits and vegetables, and mental health in young adults.”

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The Gut Microbiome Feelings of the Brain: A Perspective for Non-Microbiologists – Microorganisms – 12 October 2017

Abstract: “Objectives: To comprehensively review the scientific knowledge on the gut–brain axis. Methods: Various publications on the gut–brain axis, until 31 July 2017, were screened using the Medline, Google, and Cochrane Library databases. The search was performed using the following keywords: “gut-brain axis”, “gut-microbiota-brain axis”, “nutrition microbiome/microbiota”, “enteric nervous system”, “enteric glial cells/network”, “gut-brain pathways”, “microbiome immune system”, “microbiome neuroendocrine system” and “intestinal/gut/enteric neuropeptides”. Relevant articles were selected and reviewed. Results: Tremendous progress has been made in exploring the interactions between nutrients, the microbiome, and the intestinal, epithelium–enteric nervous, endocrine and immune systems and the brain. The basis of the gut–brain axis comprises of an array of multichannel sensing and trafficking pathways that are suggested to convey the enteric signals to the brain. These are mediated by neuroanatomy (represented by the vagal and spinal afferent neurons), the neuroendocrine–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis (represented by the gut hormones), immune routes (represented by multiple cytokines), microbially-derived neurotransmitters, and finally the gate keepers of the intestinal and brain barriers. Their mutual and harmonious but intricate interaction is essential for human life and brain performance. However, a failure in the interaction leads to a number of inflammatory-, autoimmune-, neurodegenerative-, metabolic-, mood-, behavioral-, cognitive-, autism-spectrum-, stress- and pain-related disorders. The limited availability of information on the mechanisms, pathways and cause-and-effect relationships hinders us from translating and implementing the knowledge from the bench to the clinic. Implications: Further understanding of this intricate field might potentially shed light on novel preventive and therapeutic strategies to combat these disorders. Nutritional approaches, microbiome manipulations, enteric and brain barrier reinforcement and sensing and trafficking modulation might improve physical and mental health outcomes.”

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Mitochondrial Agents for Bipolar Disorder – International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology – 27 March 2018

Abstract – Background: “Bipolar disorder is a chronic and often debilitating illness. Current treatment options (both pharmaco- and psychotherapy) have shown efficacy, but for many leave a shortfall in recovery. Advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder suggest that interventions that target mitochondrial dysfunction may provide a therapeutic benefit.”

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A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial) – BMC Medicine 2017

Abstract: “Background: The possible therapeutic impact of dietary changes on existing mental illness is largely unknown. Using a randomized controlled trial design, we aimed to investigate the efficacy of a dietary improvement program for the treatment of major depressive episodes.

Methods: ‘SMILES’ was a 12-week, parallel-group, single blind, randomised controlled trial of an adjunctive dietary
intervention in the treatment of moderate to severe depression. The intervention consisted of seven individual
nutritional consulting sessions delivered by a clinical dietician. The control condition comprised a social support
protocol to the same visit schedule and length. Depression symptomatology was the primary endpoint, assessed
using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included
remission and change of symptoms, mood and anxiety. Analyses utilised a likelihood-based mixed-effects model
repeated measures (MMRM) approach. The robustness of estimates was investigated through sensitivity analyses.

Results: We assessed 166 individuals for eligibility, of whom 67 were enrolled (diet intervention, n = 33; control,
n = 34). Of these, 55 were utilising some form of therapy: 21 were using psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy
combined; 9 were using exclusively psychotherapy; and 25 were using only pharmacotherapy. There were 31 in
the diet support group and 25 in the social support control group who had complete data at 12 weeks. The dietary
support group demonstrated significantly greater improvement between baseline and 12 weeks on the MADRS
than the social support control group, t(60.7) = 4.38, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d = –1.16. Remission, defined as a MADRS score <10, was achieved for 32.3% (n = 10) and 8.0% (n = 2) of the intervention and control groups, respectively (χ2 (1) = 4.84, p = 0.028); number needed to treat (NNT) based on remission scores was 4.1 (95% CI of NNT 2.3–27.8). A sensitivity analysis, testing departures from the missing at random (MAR) assumption for dropouts, indicated that the impact of the intervention was robust to violations of MAR assumptions. Conclusions: These results indicate that dietary improvement may provide an efficacious and accessible treatment strategy for the management of this highly prevalent mental disorder, the benefits of which could extend to the management of common co-morbidities."

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Dissecting Bipolar Disorder Complexity Through Epigenomic Approach – Nature: Molecular Psychiatry – 2016 Aug 2

Abstract: “In recent years, numerous studies of gene regulation mechanisms have emerged in neuroscience. Epigenetic modifications, described as heritable but reversible changes, include DNA methylation, DNA hydroxymethylation, histone modifications and noncoding RNAs. The pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, may be ascribed to a complex gene–environment interaction (G × E) model, linking the genome, environmental factors and epigenetic marks. Both the high complexity and the high heritability of bipolar disorder make it a compelling candidate for neurobiological analyses beyond DNA sequencing. Questions that are being raised in this review are the precise phenotype of the disorder in question, and also the trait versus state debate and how these concepts are being implemented in a variety of study designs.”

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The Effectiveness of Targeted Nutrient Therapy in Treatment of Mental Illness – ACNEM Journal – 2010 Nov

Abstract: “In a pilot study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of targeted nutrient therapy, the clinical progress of 567 patients with a range of mental illnesses receiving established medical treatment in conjunction with a targeted nutrient program were assessed by clinical outcome after 12 months.

492 of the 567 patients interviewed commenced treatment and of these 382 complied for one year.

The verified diagnoses included Autism Spectrum, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Of the total treatment group, 110 (23.6%) failed to complete one year treatment, 221 (44.9%) noted major improvement, 91 (18.5%) noted partial improvement, and 70 (14.2%) noted nil improvement in 3 nominated quality of life outcomes. These outcomes were compared to a comparison group (26) not receiving the equivalent nutrient treatment of which 5 (19%) noted major improvement, 5 (19%) noted partial improvement, and 16 (62%) noted nil improvement. Hospital admission was substantially lower in the treatment group.”

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In The News

News articles exploring relevant topics.

How analyzing feces could unlock the secrets of good health.

via on 4/14/2018

The right kind of diet may give the brain more of what it needs to avoid depression, or even to treat it once it’s begun.

via on 4/2/2018

Several studies show that healthy eating is connected with better mood.

via on 3/29/2018

Studies suggest the microbes inside us could hold the key to treating a plethora of conditions. Nicola Davis explains why.

via on 3/26/2018

New research has shown a powerful link between depression and a poor diet.

via on 3/20/2018

As part of the fight against mental health problems we have a very much underutilized tool – food.

via on 5/22/2017

The field of nutritional psychiatry is taking off as scientists home in on the ingredients for good mental health and cognitive staying power.

via on March 2016