More produce, less Prozac

More produce, less Prozac

Panelists at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists conference agreed that vitamins and minerals can be more powerful than pharmaceuticals when it comes to improving mood and energy.

Vitamins and minerals can boost energy levels and enhance mood, particularly in people prone to anxiety and depression, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago.

A change in eating patterns may be more potent than pharmaceuticals when it comes to mental health, agreed speakers on the panel session entitled: “Diet, Mental Energy and Mental Well-Being: A Landscape Overview of the Science and Consumer Perceptions.” Panelist Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, discussed findings of a series of studies she recently conducted surrounding food and mood.

Kaplan found that of the 97 adults with diagnosed mood disorders in one study, those who had a higher intake of vitamins and minerals over three days “were significantly correlated with overall enhanced mental functioning,” according to a release about the event.

One compound that's shown promise is curcumin, an extract of the spice tumeric. A study published last year in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica Drug Research found that a form of curcumin called BCM-95 was equally effective when compared to Prozac and another antidepressant.

[For the complete business angle on curcumin and other leading polyphenols, check out the Nutrition Business Journal / Engredea business monograph report on polyphenols.]

Kaplan said that “the number one cause of acquired insanity is imperfect nutrition, but with the growth of psychiatric medications in the 1950s, psychiatrists moved away from addressing mental issues through dietary intervention,” reported IFT Live, the expo's show daily. The article noted that in the United States, there are now three times as many people on disability for mental illness than there were in 1987.

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