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A position statement published in World Psychiatry has highlighted an urgent need to integrate nutritional support into mainstream approaches for the prevention and treatment of mental health problems.

“Present treatment of mental disorders is achieving sub-optimal outcomes; in addition, little attention is given to preventative efforts. Due to the immense burden of mental disorders, there is now an urgent need to identify modifiable targets for the prevention of mental disorders and have a fundamental role in the promotion of mental health.”

The position statement comes from the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and calls for a new integrated paradigm in psychiatry where nutritional considerations (both educational and prescriptive) can be considered ‘mainstream’.

“In addition to dietary modification, we recognise that nutrient-based (nutraceutical) prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level. Many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including: omega 3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D and amino acids. While we advocate for these to be consumed in the diet where possible, additional select prescription of these as nutraceuticals may also be justified.”

Sarris J, Logan A, Akbaraly T, et al. International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research consensus position statement: nutritional medicine in modern psychiatry. World Psychiatry. 2015; September 25, 2015. doi: DOI: 10.1002/wps.20223.

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