Friday, February 01, 2019

What Effect Do Diet and Nutrition Have on Mood?

Nutrition, Diet, and Mood

We all know intuitively and from practical experience, that diet affects mood. But there is surprisingly little research on something that on the face of it seems so clear.

What does the science say about nutrition and mood?

Observational studies suggest that several nutrition factors are associated with mood and cognition, including omega-3 fatty acid intake and vitamin B12, and that metabolic disorders resulting from lifestyle (including diet) like atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes are associated with reduced mood and increased rates of depression. (1)
Overall diet ‘quality’ is strongly associated with depression scores, (2) and diets of poor nutritional quality (i.e. high intakes of refined foods and low intakes of vegetables, fruits, and other unrefined foods) result in higher rates of mood disturbance. (3) In particular, vegetables, fruits, fat (especially saturated fat), and dietary variety, total water, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and selenium intake are associated with higher mood, (4) as are diets higher in potassium and magnesium (which are often a ‘proxy’ for unrefined diets with higher vegetable intake). (5)
A recent systematic review concluded that DASH, vegetable-based, low-glycaemic index diets, and Ketogenic and Paleo diets could improve mood more than other diet types. (6)
There are, however, few randomised, controlled studies on the effects of dietary change and nutrition on mood. In one such study, a nutrient-dense Mediterranean diet was compared to habitual diets in young women. The dietary intervention resulted in significant improvements in vigour, alertness, and contentment. (7) Similar improvements were observed in a 10-day crossover trial of a Mediterranean diet in women, (8) and improved mood and depression resulted from an 8-week Mediterranean diet including dairy. (9) vigour and fatigue were also improved in a 10-day ad libitum vegan diet delivered to 16 non-vegetarians. (10)
In a comparison study of a low-fat diet and a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, mood was improved similarly between groups but symptoms of negative affect and hunger improved to a greater degree in patients following the ketogenic diet. (11) No significant difference in mood was found between those following a 3-day high-carbohydrate diet or a low-carbohydrate diet following an exhaustive glycogen depletion exercise protocol. (12) In another calorie restricted study comparing a low-carbohydrate and low-fat intervention, overall mood, depression, and anxiety scores were improved markedly by both diets at week-8 but over twelve-months, the low-carbohydrate group had worse depression, mood, and anxiety scores than the low-fat group but these were still improved compared to baseline. (13) Interestingly, a very-low-calorie diet of 400 kcal per day, rising to 1200 kcal per day compared to a standard calorie-reduced diet of 1200 kcal, both groups improved mood similarly. (14) While in another low-calorie diet study, a slight reduction in depression scores was observed. (15)


Overall, practically any change in diet and particularly any change to a diet that is of better overall quality, with greater intakes of unrefined (natural, whole, less-processed foods) improves mood, irrespective of the diet and any differences between individual diets are small.

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1. Rogers PJ. A healthy body, a healthy mind: long-term impact of diet on mood and cognitive function. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2001;60(1):135-43.
2. Kremer PJ, Leslie ER, Berk M, Patton GC, Toumbourou JW, Williams JW. Associations between diet quality and depressed mood in adolescents: results from the Australian Healthy Neighbourhoods Study AU - Jacka, Felice N. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2010;44(5):435-42.
3. Quehl R, Haines J, Lewis SP, Buchholz AC. Food and Mood: Diet Quality is Inversely Associated with Depressive Symptoms in Female University Students. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. 2017;78(3):124-8.
4. Zulet MA, Martinez JA. Association between mood and diet quality in subjects with metabolic syndrome participating in a behavioural weight-loss programme: A cross-sectional assessment AU - Perez-Cornago, Aurora. Nutritional neuroscience. 2015;18(3):137-44.
5. Torres SJ. The interaction of diet, obesity and mood to stress response. Deakin University; 2008.
6. Arab A, Mehrabani S, Moradi S, Amani R. The association between diet and mood: A systematic review of current literature. Psychiatry Research. 2019;271:428-37.
7. McMillan L, Owen L, Kras M, Scholey A. Behavioural effects of a 10-day Mediterranean diet. Results from a pilot study evaluating mood and cognitive performance. Appetite. 2011;56(1):143-7.
8. Lee J, Pase M, Pipingas A, Raubenheimer J, Thurgood M, Villalon L, et al. Switching to a 10-day Mediterranean-style diet improves mood and cardiovascular function in a controlled crossover study. Nutrition. 2015;31(5):647-52.
9. Davis CR, Dyer KA, Hodgson JM, Woodman RJ, Keage HAD, Murphy KJ. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods improves mood and processing speed in an Australian sample: results from the MedDairy randomized controlled trial AU - Wade, Alexandra T. Nutritional neuroscience. 2018:1-13.
10. Olabi A, Levitsky DA, Hunter JB, Spies R, Rovers AP, Abdouni L. Food and mood: A nutritional and mood assessment of a 30-day vegan space diet. Food Quality and Preference. 2015;40:110-5.
11. McClernon FJ, Yancy Jr WS, Eberstein JA, Atkins RC, Westman EC. The effects of a low‐carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low‐fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self‐reported symptoms. Obesity. 2007;15(1):182-.
12. Prusaczyk WK, Dishman RK, Cureton KJ. No effects of glycogen depleting exercise and altered diet composition on mood states. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 1992;24(6):708-13.
13. Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Wilson CJ. Long-term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood and Cognitive FunctionEffects of Diet On Mood and Cognitive Function. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(20):1873-80.
14. Wadden TA, Mason G, Foster G, Stunkard A, Prange A. Effects of a very low calorie diet on weight, thyroid hormones and mood. International journal of obesity. 1990;14(3):249-58.
15. Heller J, Edelmann RJ. Compliance with a low calorie diet for two weeks and concurrent and subsequent mood changes. Appetite. 1991;17(1):23-8.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Why non-Roma business shouldn't use 'Gypsy' in business and product names

The term Gypsy is commonly used in all manner of brand-names, products, and product descriptions. It has become synonymous with a free-spirited, wandering lifestyle, and thus, is evocative for those people who use it. But the use of the term by non-Romani people is incredibly problematic.
Gypsy is an exonym for the Romani people. This means that it was a name given to the people by those external to the culture, in this case, Europeans who mistakenly thought the Romani people were Egyptians, and thus, this became shortened to ‘Gyptian’ and eventually ‘Gypsy’. This takes on other forms too, like Gyppo (or Gippo/Jippo), which have negative connotations, and lends itself to the pejorative ‘gypped’, meaning ‘cheated’ or ‘swindled’. While most people would agree (at least when they become aware of the etymology) that using ‘gypped’ to describe being cheated or swindled is flat-out racist, the use of Gypsy, it would seem, is seen as less clear.

Read the rest of the article here:

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Academic publishing: Ripping academics and users off, since way back when.

Imagine you received this proposal:
Step 1: Perform research
Step 2: Analyse said research
Step 3: Write up research into an article of a sufficient standard to pass rigorous peer-review
Step 4: Submit to a journal
Step 5: Pay to submit your content to a journal which profits from your content...

I can't think of any other business model in the world in which you pay to have someone else sell your work.
Imagine if the Rolling Stones had to pay to submit their tracks to iTunes and then received none of the proceeds from record sales... Or if an author had to pay to submit their book to Amazon Kindle and then received none of the book royalties...

Now, I'm not suggesting that scientists should get proceeds from academic articles because that might throw up a whole bunch of additional conflicts and cause serious problems for the scientific process (mainly that people might only perform 'sexy' or trending research to get the greatest monetary return) but, it seems completely crazy to me that we pay to have our content drive a profit for large publishing companies.

People see open-access (OA) publishing as a solution to this.'s not. OA is great because it allows people to read scientific material for free but many people don't realise that there are very high article processing charges associated with OA journals. So the burden of payment is on the author and institutions like universities to foot the bill for publishing. Consider that many universities and colleges are at least partially funded by the government, and so, the profits of publishers are also by proxy being supported by the taxpayer.

So, institutions, researchers, scientific authors, and you, the taxpayer are paying for publishing companies to profit from the work that scientists seldom profit from themselves.
Of course, publishing isn't without cost...BUT also consider that because most scientific material is now presented and read online, there are lower costs to publishing than ever before. Every stage in the process is easier, from editing to typesetting and formatting, through to presentation online. Journals also rely on volunteer peer-reviewers (other scientists) and sometimes volunteer editors and thus, a lot of the work that takes place to take a manuscript from submission to publication is completely gratis...

So, either you pay (to read the article in a paid journal) and the author/institute pay a lower (but often still considerable) charge, or you can read the article for free, but the author needs to pay a substantial charge to have their work published and read.

Something has to change. We are forced to play the game and submit to journals that have sufficient impact to allow our work to be read and cited, and thus become part of the 'canon' of knowledge in our area of science. But it's an expensive game to play and it's one that doesn't have anything close to a level playing field.

I want to change publishing. That's why we have started The Journal of Holistic Performance, a peer-reviewed journal that has a 'Diamon Open Access' model of no article processing charge or acceptance charge to authors and is completely free to read.

Our mandate at JHP:

The Journal of Holistic Performance (JHP) is an international, peer-reviewed journal publishing reviews, case studies, and original research focused on evidence-based holistic nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and lifestyle interventions. We believe that for too long, quality academic publishing has been too expensive for authors and institutions, and for readers and has relied on the goodwill of both authors and volunteers, in order for publishing companies to profit off the work of scientists. That is why JHP is a 'Diamond' Open Access journal with no charge to read and download articles, no article processing or publication fees, and only a nominal fee to submit a manuscript (approximately $10USD levied by our journal host). We aim to encourage graduate and post-graduate students, clinicians, and professional researchers to publish with us and experienced researchers to publish articles of interest to the academic, health practice, and wider community. By eliminating financial and administrative barriers to entry for publishing, whilst maintaining exemplary standards of peer-review and scientific validity, we week to become the premiere journal in the field of holistic health and performance.

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