Can proper nutrition regulate mood swings?

January 23, 2013

In a new study, preliminary data yields conflicting but mainly positive evidence for the use of n–3 fatty acids and chromium in the treatment of bipolar depression. Limited evidence found that inositol may be helpful for bipolar depression, but larger sample sizes are needed. Preliminary randomized, controlled trials suggest that choline, magnesium, folate and tryptophan may be beneficial for reducing symptoms of mania.

An article published in the current issue of analyzes the role of nutrition in , with particular reference to their most extreme forms (bipolar disorder).

Pharmacotherapy is the first line of treatment for bipolar disorder, but many patients continue to experience persistent subthreshold symptoms. Alternative adjunct treatments, including nutritional therapies, may have the potential to alleviate and improve the outcomes of standard pharmacotherapy. The aim of this paper is to critically review the current and mechanisms of action of nutrient-based therapies alone or in combination with commonly used pharmacotherapies for mania and bipolar depression. The investigators conducted a Medline search for clinical trials conducted with humans, published in English from 1960 to 2012 using nutritional supplements such as n–3, chromium, inositol, choline, magnesium, and tryptophan alone or in combination with pharmacotherapies for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Preliminary data yields conflicting but mainly positive evidence for the use of n–3 fatty acids and chromium in the treatment of bipolar depression. Limited evidence found that inositol may be helpful for bipolar depression, but larger sample sizes are needed. Preliminary randomized, controlled trials suggest that choline, magnesium, folate and tryptophan may be beneficial for reducing symptoms of mania. Given the potential public health impact of identifying adjunct treatments that improve psychiatric as well as physical health outcomes, nutritional treatments appear promising for the management of bipolar disorder but require further study.

Explore further: Lawson researcher sings the baby blues

More information: Sylvia, L. et al. Nutrient-Based Therapies for Bipolar Disorder: A Systematic Review. Psychother Psychosom 2013;82:10-19.

Related Stories

Lawson researcher sings the baby blues

August 22, 2012
The impact of bipolar disorder during pregnancy has been hotly contended among the research community. Now, a new study from Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University is sorting out the debate and calling for ...

Scientists uncover genetic causes of bipolar disorder

October 24, 2011
Researchers at the University of Leeds investigating the genetic causes of bipolar disorder have identified two new drugs – one of which has already been found safe in clinical trials – that may be effective in ...

Recommended for you

Depression changes structure of the brain, study suggests

July 21, 2017
Changes in the brain's structure that could be the result of depression have been identified in a major scanning study.

Many kinds of happiness promote better health, study finds

July 21, 2017
A new study links the capacity to feel a variety of upbeat emotions to better health.

Study finds gene variant increases risk for depression

July 20, 2017
A University of Central Florida study has found that a gene variant, thought to be carried by nearly 25 percent of the population, increases the odds of developing depression.

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

In making decisions, are you an ant or a grasshopper?

July 20, 2017
In one of Aesop's famous fables, we are introduced to the grasshopper and the ant, whose decisions about how to spend their time affect their lives and future. The jovial grasshopper has a blast all summer singing and playing, ...

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

July 20, 2017
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.