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“Transformational” Breakthroughs In Our Understandings of Nutrition and Brain Health


“We live in a transformational moment for understanding the etiology of mental disorders,” stated a team of researchers led by MIA Blogger Bonnie Kaplan of the University of Calgary publishing in Clinical Psychological Science.

The current revolution, they wrote, is being driven by “the rapidly accumulating knowledge of how inflammation, microbiome imbalance (gut dysbiosis), oxidative stress, and impaired mitochondrial output affect brain function.” The researchers reviewed the scientific literature on each of these topics in relation to the causation of experiences of depression, bipolar, psychosis and overall brain health.

“The mechanisms reviewed in this article constitute a new model for understanding the etiology of the symptoms of mental disorders,” they concluded. “A bright new future of understanding, preventing, and treating mental disorders awaits us, and these advances surprisingly will return us to what our ancestors knew and accepted a century ago.”

Kaplan, Bonnie J., Julia J. Rucklidge, Amy Romijn, and Kevin McLeod. “The Emerging Field of Nutritional Mental Health Inflammation, the Microbiome, Oxidative Stress, and Mitochondrial Function.” Clinical Psychological Science, February 2, 2015, 2167702614555413. doi:10.1177/2167702614555413. (Abstract and full text)



The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee releases its report

The USDA will base its national guidelines on this later in the year.

Some highlights:

  • A healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.
  • A diet higher in plant-based foods…and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet.
  • It will take concerted, bold actions…to achieve and maintain the healthy diet patterns, and the levels of physical activity needed to promote the health of the U.S. population. These actions will require a paradigm shift to an environment in which population health is a national priority and where individuals and organizations, private business, and communities work together to achieve a population-wide “culture of health” in which healthy lifestyle choices are easy, accessible, affordable, and normative