Major review asks which supplements really aid mental health – Medical News Today

Some supplements, such as omega-3s, may indeed benefit mental health, according to a major new review.

Controversy surrounds the inclusion of nutritional supplements in mental health treatments, with much research proving inconclusive. A major new review now explains which supplements have shown the most promise for specific mental health conditions.

“While there has been a long-standing interest in the use of nutrient supplements in the treatment of mental illness, the topic is often quite polarising and surrounded by either over-hyped claims or undue cynicism,” says Joseph Firth, Ph.D., a senior research fellow at Western Sydney University, in Australia.

Indeed, over time, different nutritional supplements have received, by turns, either approval or disapproval from nutritionists and researchers. Studies have concluded either that supplements can benefit various aspects of physical and mental health or that they have no significant effects at all.

In particular, supplements as potential aids in the treatment of mental health conditions have received a lot of attention of late, what with recent research suggesting that the diet may play a key role in psychological well-being.

So can supplements help support mental health, or are they of little use in this regard? To try and settle the matter, Firth and colleagues recently conducted the largest review of the existing evidence to date.

“In this most recent research, we have brought together the data from dozens and dozens of clinical trials conducted all over the world, in over 10,000 individuals treated for mental illness,” Firth says.

The researchers looked at which supplements were likely to help improve symptoms of specific conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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