IJPS April 2011
IJPS October 2011
IJPS April 2012
IJPS October 2012
IJPS April 2013
IJPS October 2013
IJPS Apirl 2014
IJPS October 2014
IJPS Apirl 2015
IJPS Apirl 2016
IJPS October 2016
IJPS Apirl 2017
Review Article

Review Article

Nutrition and Mental Illness

Mamta Mital,1 Samiksha Kaur,2 Jai Singh Yadav3

1Psychologist, Bureau of Psychology

2Psychologist, SRLN hospital, 3Asst. Prof. IMS. BHU.


Nutrition is a scientific discipline with food as a major focus of interest. as per definition “the science of foods, the nutrients and other substances there in: their action, interaction and balance in relationship to health and disease the processes by which the organism insight, digests, absorbs transports and products. In addition, nutrition must be concerned with social, economic, cultural and psychological implication of food and eating.”

The body needs nutrition in specific amounts. Some are needed in relatively larger amounts (macronutrients) and some in smaller amounts (micronutrients). But they are all equally essential for our health. Nutrient plays a significant role in the body. It is necessary nutrients must be balance. Balance means that the nutrients needed by the body should be provided in the right amount and proportions. When nutrients are imbalance then a person face a physical and mental health problem.

It is quite true health is a state of complete well being and not just the absence of disease. Every one knows about the physical health and relation with imbalance diet but little known about its relation about mental health. So nutrient is as necessary as for physical health its two time necessary for mental health. Mental health is more complex then physical health. It is much more difficult to measure mental health. Though, it can usually recognize the extreme case of mental illness rather easily. It is difficult to categorize who are normal in other way but may have a problem understanding another person’s view point. Such problem if they are sufficiently serious and persistent would definitely be indicative of poor mental health. Physical health, mental health and nutrients some interrelated. Like blood pressure is a physical problem but it correlated with anxiety, and stress and abnormal nutrients also. In the same way a child have polio so he is grief and pity. Such feeling may constantly trouble him and prevent him from interacting in a normal fashion with others. And polio is also apart of malnutrition.

Further, discuss any thing its need to be familiar with malnutrition. Malnutrition is an impairment of health resulting from a deficiency, excess or imbalance of nutrients, both deficiencies under nutrition or over nutrition result of ill mental health. Poor mental health is a result of mental disorder, know we concern about the relation with mental disorder and deficiency of nutrition.

Keywords: Nutrition and mental health

Iron and mental illness

Iron is essential for many enzymes. In relation to mental health, it is found in the brain and is necessary for production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin.1 these neurotransmitters play a role of mental health. In a study 192 females showed level of ferritin   (a measure of iron store) was found significantly lower in depressed women as compared to non depressed women.2 An another study found iron deficient women of child bearing age showed after iron supplements improved mental health and decreased level of fatigue. Iron deficiency produces the lack of attention and concentration, flutiness, agitation, decreased mood, irritability, and insomnia. Its ideal dose is 15-30 mg a day for good maintenance.3 nutrients supplement treatment may be appropriate for controlling MDP, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Eating disorder,ADHD, Addiction, Autism, and OCD4

Function of diets and role of elements also play a role high level of phosphorus, calcium, and zinc has been shown to reduce iron absorption. Iron level can also low when poor dietary level of vitaminB12, folic acid, vitamin A, C or E. 

Magnesium and mental illness

A study of mental disorder found increased level of magnesium achieving clinical remission in schizophrenic patients. Stress was also found in severely ill psychiatric patients, this could execrable symptoms such as anxiety, fear, hallucination, weakness and somatic complains.4 Another study on 116 children diagnosed as ADHD found supper element (magnesium, copper, zinc, calcium, iron) of deficit then healthy children. In this study found 75 ADHD children have magnesium deficiency and need to super elements. Children irrespectively of other mental disorder eg selective mutism, anxiety and strutting 63, conduct disorder and disruptive behavior 47 disorder have also deficiency of super element then other healthy children.6 Long term treatment with psychoverlan in 19 young female have been found that use of syrup and capsules as average month of 11.4 found girls were improved by harmonizing effect of the drug on psychic and negative functions. Furthermore, study found reactive behavior and variety of psychiatry patients were control by the treatment of magnesium.7 He explains about the role of magnesium with psychiatric disorder and his efficacy. He found positive result 155 psychiatric ill patients.8

Magnesium positive role is not only for the psychiatric illness but study highlight about the auditory brain stem problem in a study found use of super aliments of magnesium auditory brain stem problem reduced.8 magnesium ideal dose is 125-300 mg /day.9

Calcium and mental illness

Food is necessary for survive, it is nourishes both mind and body. Unavailability of nutrients makes a deficiency for mental health. On of the most common problem is a depression. Depressed individual often have excessive calcium levels particularly those with bipolar disorder. Calcium works with magnesium to maintain and balance.10

Vitamin and mental illness

Vitamin is important for the mental health; sub clinical deficiencies can produce depression. Its can be treat by super elements, because bodies cannot create vitamins, so well ballenced supplements diet is necessary to maintain for body and mind. A study showed that single dose of 3 mg vitamin C reduced symptoms by 40% in eleven manic and twelve depressed and stress disorder patients. Vitamin C improve the health depressed with smokers also.11,12,

Amino Acid, Folic Acid and Mental illness

Amino acid and folic acid is the building block of protein or raw materials for neurotransmitters and other regulating components. Amino acid is directly related to mood and depression.13, Phenyl nine, tyrosine tryptophen. Phenyl nine and tyrosine produce the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and tryptophan. Its converted with serotonin then amino acid fighting the depression. Ideal dose of folic acid is .8 mg everyday.14,15

Other nutrients and mental illness

BBC news reported 1999 low cholesterol levels were linked in both men and women to depression and anxiety. 39 % women compare for study 19% were normal after the increases of cholesterol level. Post pat ram disorder was also relating with omega -3 fatty acids. Deficiencies of Omega 3 fatty acid produce the PPD.13,14,15 1-2gm omega 3 fatty acid added EPA decreased manic and depression.11,16,17,18


Nutrition is necessary for physical health as well as mental health. We focus on this chapter which type of deficiency produce the mental illness. So be concentrate choose with the food for better mental health.


1.        Bear J, Iron deficiency alters brain development and functiong. journal of nutrition.2003, 133:14688-14728.

2.        Vahdat Shanat Panahi M.,Vahdat Sharit Panaahi Z., Moshtagghi M., Shabhazi SH., and Abadi A, the relationship between depression and serum ferrtin level. Eur. Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007, 61(4): 532-5

3.        Patterson AJ., Brown Wj., Roberts DC.,  Dietery and supplement treatment in general health and fatigue in Australion women of childbearing age. Journal of Am coll Nutr, 2001,20 (4): 337-42

4.        Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE:  Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCR). Archives of General Psychiatry 2005, 62(6):617-627

5.        Kirov, GK., Tsachev, KN. Schizophrenia and depression deficiencies. Neuropsychobiology 1990, 23 (2): 79-81.

6.        Starobat Hermelin B The deficiency of selected bioelemants on hyperactivity in children with certain specified mental disorders. Ann aced med stetin, 1998, 44, 297-314.

7.        Germay, Heinze H. long term treatment with psychoverlan in children and adolescents withbehaviour disorder. Fortschr Med 1978 Aug 24:96 (32)

8.        Kirov GK., Birch NJ., Steadman P., Ramsey RG., Plasma magnesium level in a population of psychiatric patients correlations with symptoms. Neuropsychobology. 1994, 30 (2-3): 73-8.

9.        Cevette MJ., Frarz KB., Bry RH., Robinette MS., Infuence of dietary magnesium on amplititude of wave V of auditory brain stem response. Otolarygol head neck Surg.1969, Nov 101 (5) 537-41.

10.     Eby GA, Eby KL:  Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Med Hypotheses 2006, 67(2):362-370

11.     Skutsch GM:  Manic depression–a disorder of central dopaminergic rhythm. Med Hypotheses 1981, 7(6):737-746.

12.     Bell IR, Edman JS, Morrow FD, Marby DW, Mirages S, Perrone G, Kayne HL, Cole JO:  B complex vitamin patterns in geriatric and young adult inpatients with major depression. J Am Geriatric Soc 1991, 39(3):252-257

13.     Naylor GJ, Smith AH:  Vanadium: a possible aetiological factor in manic depressive illness. Psychol Med 1981, 11:249-256

14.     Young SN:  Folate and depression–a neglected problem. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2007, 32(2):80-82.

15.     Adams PB, Lawson S, Sanigorski A, Sinclair AJ:  Arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid ratio in blood correlates positively with clinical symptoms of depression. Lipids 1996, 31(Suppl):S157-S161.

16.     3Murray CJL, Lopez AD:  The Global Burden Of Disease. World Health Organization 1996, 270.

17.     Skutsch GM:  Manic depression: a multiple hormone disorder? Biol Psychiatry 1985, 20(6):662-668. P

18.     Maurizi CP:  The therapeutic potential for tryptophan and melatonin: possible roles in depression, sleep, Alzheimer's disease and abnormal aging. Med Hypotheses 1990, 31(3):233-242.

19.     Janicak PG, Lipinski J, Davis JM, Comaty JE, Waternaux C, Cohen B, Altman E, Sharma RP:  S-adenosylmethionine in depression. A literature review and preliminary report. Ala J Med Sci 1988, 25(3):306-313