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Diet, environment, and mental health 

Diet, environment, and mental health
Chapter:
Diet, environment, and mental health
Author(s):

Ursula Werneke

, and Ingvar A. Bergdahl

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198792994.003.0047
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date: 26 February 2020

This chapter reviews dietary and environmental factors that may affect mental health. It takes a public health angle but examines the individual patient perspective where relevant. In the first part, the chapter looks at the impact of various nutritional constituents on mental health, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Then, it reviews the evidence for diets and ‘superfoods’, which people might try to improve their mental health. Here, the focus is on neurodevelopmental disorders, depression, and psychosis. Potential interactions between foodstuffs and psychotropic medicines are also explored. The final part concerns environmental toxins that populations may be exposed to that may affect mental health, including lead, methylmercury, and various organic compounds.

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