Boxing Nutrition: The links between micronutrients and Mental Health
Brain biochemistry relies on nutrients to carry signals. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals or an excess of saturated and trans fat alters brain function and mood.
This concept has been under study for nearly 100 years. Even back then researchers had noticed an improvement in symptoms of major depression and bipolar disorder with changes in nutrients.
The evidence on the relationship between micronutrients and mental health is growing. Recent studies suggest that better diet quality is associated with less mental illness.
A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition investigated the nutrient intake of people with mood disorders and micronutrient levels present in their blood.
Many of the study’s participants had inadequate intakes of thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, and zinc. A deficiency in a lot of micronutrients means a lot can go wrong with their bodies and brains!
When you consume an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, you could enhance the therapeutic benefits of antidepressants or mood depressants. In some cases, ample micronutrient intake has led to a reduction in the dose required.
Some medications also raise your need for some vitamins and minerals because they interfere with nutrient metabolism. You don’t want your mood to fluctuate even more because the medication itself is preventing you from absorbing the nutrients you need.
Micronutrients are dietary components, often referred to as vitamins and minerals, which although only required by the body in small amounts, are vital to development, disease prevention, and wellbeing. Micronutrients are not produced in the body and must be derived from the diet1.
Deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate and zinc can have devastating consequences. At least half of children worldwide ages 6 months to 5 years suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiency, and globally more than 2 billion people are affected2.
Impact focuses primarily on helping to eliminate deficiencies in iron, vitamin A, iodine, folate and zinc.