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Special Issue "Diet and Mental Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Lesley MacDonald-Wicks

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Dietary patterns; diet in prevention and treatment of mental health; dietary methodology; omega 3 fatty acids; antioxidants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this special issue we will welcome original research and systematic reviews of the literature on the role of food and dietary patterns in the prevention and treatment of mental health, across the spectrum including mental health/wellbeing thorough to mental illness. This issue will focus on the diet and dietary patterns broadly rather than bioactive substances, non-nutritive supplements and/or complementary medicine.

Dr. Lesley MacDonald-Wicks
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Dietary patterns
  • Nutrition
  • Mental Health/wellbeing
  • Cognition

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Relationship between School Gardens, Food Literacy and Mental Well-Being in Youths Using Photovoice
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061354 (registering DOI)
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
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Abstract
The goal of the project was to gain an understanding of the relationships between secondary school youth experiences in school gardens and their mental well-being. Over the course of five months, sixteen youths participated in a photovoice research project in which they expressed [...] Read more.
The goal of the project was to gain an understanding of the relationships between secondary school youth experiences in school gardens and their mental well-being. Over the course of five months, sixteen youths participated in a photovoice research project in which they expressed their personal experiences about food and gardening through photography and writing. The aspects of secondary school youths’ life experiences affected by exposure to school gardens and their impact upon their well-being were identified. The youth explicitly associated relaxation with the themes of love and connectedness, growing food, garden as a place, cooking, and food choices. They were able to demonstrate and develop food literacy competency because of their engagement with the gardening and cooking activities. Youth clubs or groups were identified as a key enabler for connection with other youth and adults. Youth shared their food literacy experiences, observing that their engagement improved some aspect of their mental well-being. Through the photovoice process, the youth identified how their involvement in green spaces enabled connections with others, and highlighted aspects of personal health and personal growth, all of which contribute to their mental well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Depression and Physical Activity Affect Diet Quality of Foreign-born Latina Women Living on the U.S.-Mexico Border
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061254
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 2 June 2019
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Abstract
There is increasing evidence that depression may affect diet. However, little is known about the association between depression and diet quality among foreign-born Latinas. We hypothesized that depressive symptoms would be associated with poorer diet quality in foreign-born Latinas. Furthermore, we believed that [...] Read more.
There is increasing evidence that depression may affect diet. However, little is known about the association between depression and diet quality among foreign-born Latinas. We hypothesized that depressive symptoms would be associated with poorer diet quality in foreign-born Latinas. Furthermore, we believed that physical activity (PA) would have a protective effect on diet quality for individuals experiencing depressive symptoms. Our study evaluated the diet (Healthy Eating Index) and PA (Actigraph GT3X activity monitors) of 534 foreign-born Latinas with and without depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale). A series of logistic regression models were estimated to examine our hypotheses. As predicted, Latinas who were depressed had significantly lower odds of having a high-quality diet than non-depressed Latinas. Unexpectedly, among Latinas who met PA guidelines, depressed Latinas had a significantly lower probability of having higher-quality diets than their non-depressed counterparts. Our findings support current research stating that depressive symptoms are associated with lower Healthy Eating Index scores. More research is necessary to elucidate the relationship between PA and dietary quality of depressed Latinas. Innovative approaches to address mental health and the stressors that can compound its severity are needed to improve diet quality among foreign-born Latina women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Anxiety and Depression Traits Induced by Energy Restriction: Predictive Value of the Baseline Status
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061206
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract
Current evidence proposes diet quality as a modifiable risk factor for mental or emotional impairments. However, additional studies are required to investigate the effect of dietary patterns and weight loss on improving psychological symptoms. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Current evidence proposes diet quality as a modifiable risk factor for mental or emotional impairments. However, additional studies are required to investigate the effect of dietary patterns and weight loss on improving psychological symptoms. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of energy-restriction, prescribed to overweight and obese participants, on anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as the potential predictive value of some baseline psychological features on weight loss. Overweight and obese participants (n = 305) were randomly assigned for 16 weeks to two hypocaloric diets with different macronutrient distribution: a moderately high-protein (MHP) diet and a low-fat (LF) diet. Anthropometrical, clinical, psychological, and lifestyle characteristics were assessed at baseline and at the end of the intervention. The nutritional intervention evidenced that weight loss has a beneficial effect on trait anxiety score in women (β = 0.24, p = 0.03), depression score in all population (β = 0.15, p = 0.02), particularly in women (β = 0.22, p = 0.03) and in subjects who followed the LF diet (β = 0.22, p = 0.04). Moreover, weight loss could be predicted by anxiety status at baseline, mainly in women and in those who were prescribed a LF diet. This trial suggests that weight loss triggers an improvement in psychological traits, and that anxiety symptoms could predict those volunteers that benefit most from a balanced calorie-restricted intervention, which will contribute to individualized precision nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Dietary Vitamin K and Depressive Symptoms in Late Adulthood: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from a Large Cohort Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040787
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
Few studies assessed the associations between dietary vitamin K and depressive symptoms. We aimed to investigate the association between dietary vitamin K and depressive symptoms in a large cohort of North American People. In this cross-sectional analysis, 4,375 participants that were aged 45–79 [...] Read more.
Few studies assessed the associations between dietary vitamin K and depressive symptoms. We aimed to investigate the association between dietary vitamin K and depressive symptoms in a large cohort of North American People. In this cross-sectional analysis, 4,375 participants that were aged 45–79 years from the Osteoarthritis Initiative were included. Dietary vitamin K intake was collected through a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized in quartiles. Depressive symptoms were diagnosed using the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) ≥ 16. To investigate the associations between vitamin K intake and depressive symptoms, logistic regression analysis were run, which adjusted for potential confounders. Overall, 437 (=10%) subjects had depressive symptoms. After adjusting for 11 confounders, people with the highest dietary vitamin K intake had lower odds of having depressive symptoms (OR = 0.58; 95%CI: 0.43–0.80). This effect was only present in people not taking vitamin D supplementation. In conclusion, higher dietary vitamin K intake was significantly associated with a lower presence of depressive symptoms, also after accounting for potential confounders. Future longitudinal research is required to explore the directionality of the association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between the Intake of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Depressive Symptoms in Elderly Japanese People: Differences According to Sex and Weight Status
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040775
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been shown to have preventive effects against depression. In this study, we aimed to investigate the associations between the intake of n-3 PUFAs and depression among people according to sex and weight status. We utilized cross-sectional data [...] Read more.
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been shown to have preventive effects against depression. In this study, we aimed to investigate the associations between the intake of n-3 PUFAs and depression among people according to sex and weight status. We utilized cross-sectional data from the Shika study in Japan. The study was conducted between 2013 and 2016. Data were collected from adults older than 65 years. Invitation letters were distributed to 2677 individuals, 2470 of whom participated in the study (92.3%). We assessed depressive states using the Japanese short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). We assessed the intake of n-3 PUFAs using the validated food frequency questionnaire. One thousand six hundred thirty-three participants provided data, among which 327 (20.0%) exhibited depressive symptoms. When we performed the stratified analysis by sex and weight status, there were significant inverse relationships between total n-3 PUFAs, individual n-3 PUFAs, and n-3/n-6 PUFAs ratio and depressive symptoms in overweight/obese females. No correlations were observed between n-3 PUFAs intake and depressive states in males. The results demonstrated a relationship between n-3 PUFAs deficiencies and depressive states, particularly in overweight/obese females. Dietary modifications may help to prevent depressive symptoms in overweight/obese females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Long-Chain Fatty Acids and Cognitive Performance in Older Australian Adults
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040711
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
Convincing evidence exists for the positive effect of an improvement in diet quality on age-related cognitive decline, in part due to dietary fatty acid intake. A cross-sectional analysis of data from the Hunter Community Study (HCS) (n = 2750) was conducted comparing [...] Read more.
Convincing evidence exists for the positive effect of an improvement in diet quality on age-related cognitive decline, in part due to dietary fatty acid intake. A cross-sectional analysis of data from the Hunter Community Study (HCS) (n = 2750) was conducted comparing dietary data from a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) with validated cognitive performance measures, Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen (ARCS) and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Adjusted linear regression analysis found statistically significant associations between dietary intake of total n-6 fatty acids (FA), but no other FAs, and better cognitive performance as measured by the ARCS (RC = 0.0043; p = 0.0004; R2 = 0.0084). Multivariate regression analyses of n-6 FA intakes in quartiles showed that, compared with the lowest quartile (179.8–1150.3 mg), those in the highest quartile (2315.0–7449.4 mg) had a total ARCS score 2.1 units greater (RC = 10.60466; p = 0.006; R2 = 0.0081). Furthermore, when n-6 FA intake was tested against each of the ARCS domains, statistically significant associations were observed for the Fluency (RC = 0.0011432; p = 0.007; R2 = 0.0057), Visual (RC = 0.0009889; p = 0.034; R2 = 0.0050), Language (RC = 0.0010651; p = 0.047; R2 = 0.0068) and Attention (RC = 0.0011605; p = 0.017; R2 = 0.0099) domains, yet there was no association with Memory (RC = −0.000064; p = 0.889; R2 = 0.0083). No statistically significant associations were observed between FA intakes and MMSE. A higher intake of total n-6 FA, but not other types of FA, was associated with better cognitive performance among a representative sample of older aged Australian adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
Open AccessArticle
Association between Lower Intake of Minerals and Depressive Symptoms among Elderly Japanese Women but Not Men: Findings from Shika Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020389
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship of mineral intake, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, with depressive symptoms in both genders in the Japanese elderly population. A total of 1423 participants who were [...] Read more.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship of mineral intake, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, with depressive symptoms in both genders in the Japanese elderly population. A total of 1423 participants who were older than 65 years old were recruited in this study. Mineral intake was analyzed using a validated and brief self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale. A logistic regression model was applied to determine the relationship between mineral intake and depressive symptoms. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 20%. Except for sodium and manganese, mineral intake was significantly lower in the depressive symptoms group. There was no difference of mineral intake between male participants with depressive symptoms and those without such symptoms. However, in female participants, mineral intake was significantly lower in participants with depressive symptoms compared to those without such symptoms. Potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and copper were significantly and negatively correlated with depressive symptoms among female participants, but not male participants. Our results suggest that the deficiencies in mineral intake may be related to depressive symptoms, especially in women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Depressive Symptoms and Vegetarian Diets: Results from the Constances Cohort
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1695; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111695
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 27 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The association between depressive symptoms and vegetarian diets is controversial. This study examines the cross-sectional association between depressive symptoms and vegetarian diets while controlling for potential confounders. Among 90,380 subjects from the population-based Constances cohort, depressive symptoms were defined by a score ≥19 [...] Read more.
The association between depressive symptoms and vegetarian diets is controversial. This study examines the cross-sectional association between depressive symptoms and vegetarian diets while controlling for potential confounders. Among 90,380 subjects from the population-based Constances cohort, depressive symptoms were defined by a score ≥19 on the Centre of Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale and diet types (omnivorous, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian and vegan) were determined with a food frequency questionnaire. Associations between depressive symptoms and diet were estimated through logistic regressions adjusting for socio-demographics, other foods, alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical activity and health-related concerns; specificity analyses considered the exclusion of any other food group. Depressive symptoms were associated with pesco-vegetarian and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets in multivariable analyses (Odds-Ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.43 [1.19–1.72] and 1.36 [1.09–1.70], respectively), especially in case of low legumes intake (p for interaction < 0.0001), as well as with the exclusion of any food group (e.g., 1.37 [1.24–1.52], 1.40 [1.31–1.50], 1.71 [1.49–1.97] for meat, fish and vegetables exclusion, respectively). Regardless of food type, the Odds-Ratio of depressive symptoms gradually increased with the number of excluded food groups (p for trend < 0.0001). Depressive symptoms are associated with the exclusion of any food group from the diet, including but not restricted to animal products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Potential of Carnosine in Brain-Related Disorders: A Comprehensive Review of Current Evidence
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061196
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract
Neurological, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders represent a serious burden because of their increasing prevalence, risk of disability, and the lack of effective causal/disease-modifying treatments. There is a growing body of evidence indicating potentially favourable effects of carnosine, which is an over-the-counter food supplement, [...] Read more.
Neurological, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders represent a serious burden because of their increasing prevalence, risk of disability, and the lack of effective causal/disease-modifying treatments. There is a growing body of evidence indicating potentially favourable effects of carnosine, which is an over-the-counter food supplement, in peripheral tissues. Although most studies to date have focused on the role of carnosine in metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, the physiological presence of this di-peptide and its analogues in the brain together with their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier as well as evidence from in vitro, animal, and human studies suggest carnosine as a promising therapeutic target in brain disorders. In this review, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the role of carnosine in neurological, neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders, summarizing current evidence from cell, animal, and human cross-sectional, longitudinal studies, and randomized controlled trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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Open AccessReview
Nutritional Modulation of Immune and Central Nervous System Homeostasis: The Role of Diet in Development of Neuroinflammation and Neurological Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1076; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051076
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 2 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
The gut-microbiome-brain axis is now recognized as an essential part in the regulation of systemic metabolism and homeostasis. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that dietary patterns can influence the development of metabolic alterations and inflammation through the effects of nutrients on a multitude of [...] Read more.
The gut-microbiome-brain axis is now recognized as an essential part in the regulation of systemic metabolism and homeostasis. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that dietary patterns can influence the development of metabolic alterations and inflammation through the effects of nutrients on a multitude of variables, including microbiome composition, release of microbial products, gastrointestinal signaling molecules, and neurotransmitters. These signaling molecules are, in turn, implicated in the regulation of the immune system, either promoting or inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the expansion of specific leukocyte subpopulations, such as Th17 and Treg cells, which are relevant in the development of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions. Metabolic diseases, like obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, are related to inadequate dietary patterns and promote variations in the aforementioned signaling pathways in patients with these conditions, which have been linked to alterations in neurological functions and mental health. Thus, maintenance of adequate dietary patterns should be an essential component of any strategy aiming to prevent neurological pathologies derived from systemic metabolic alterations. The present review summarizes current knowledge on the role of nutrition in the modulation of the immune system and its impact in the development of neuroinflammation and neurological disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Mental Health)
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