Effects of dietary supplements on depressive symptoms in older patients: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirate University, UAE.
Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.3). 10/2007; 26(5):545-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.clnu.2007.06.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effect of nutritional supplements on mental health in older patients has received little attention so far. The aims of this trial were therefore to test the effect of nutritional support on older patient's depressive symptoms and cognitive function.
In this prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we randomly assigned 225 hospitalised acutely ill older patients to receive either normal hospital diet plus 400 mL oral nutritional supplements (106 subjects) or normal hospital diet plus a placebo (119 subjects) daily for 6 weeks. The composition of the supplement was such as to provide 995 kcal for energy and 100% of the Reference Nutrient Intakes for a healthy old person for vitamins and minerals. Outcome measures were 6 weeks and 6 months changes in nutritional status, depressive symptoms and cognitive state.
Randomisation to the supplement group led to a significant increase in red-cell folate and plasma vitamin B12 concentrations, in contrast to a decrease seen in the placebo group. There were significant differences in symptoms of depression scores in the supplement group compared with the placebo group at 6 months (p = 0.021 for between groups difference). The effect of supplement was seen in all patient groups including those with no symptoms of depression, mild depression and those with severe depression (p = 0.007). There was no evidence of a difference in cognitive function scores at 6 months.
Oral nutritional supplementation of hospitalised acutely ill older patients led to a statistically significant benefit on depressive symptoms.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The important role of diet in cardiometabolic health is generally well recognised; for mental health, it is not so well understood. However, lifestyle risk factors for poor physical health are the same risk factors for mental illness, including poor diet. This is reflected by the high level of poor physical health in people with mental illness. Mediterranean, whole food diets have been associated with reduced risk for chronic disease, but very little research has investigated their mental health benefits. We provide a model for the pathways by which food components provided by a Mediterranean-style diet can facilitate healthy brain function. We then review evidence for the role of selected nutrients/food components - antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins - in the brain and, hence, modulation of cognitive function and mental health. Converging evidence indicates multiple pathways by which these nutrients can assist in brain function, drawing from studies investigating them in isolation. There is very little work done on synergistic actions of nutrients and whole diets, highlighting a need for human intervention studies investigating benefits of Mediterranean-style diets for mental, as well as cardiometabolic health.
    The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 03/2013; · 4.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ingesting minerals and vitamins in combination makes physiological sense, and research on the use of broad-spectrum formulations for psychiatric symptoms is increasing rapidly. This review covers formulas consisting of at least four vitamins and/or minerals and includes four experimental designs: randomized controlled trials, open-label trials, case-control studies and case studies with within-subject crossovers. Nevertheless, there is evidence for the efficacy of micronutrients in the treatment of stress and antisocial behaviors as well as depressed mood in nonclinical and elderly populations. Many reports studied mood changes in healthy populations, making it difficult to generalize to clinical samples. There is also preliminary support for the treatment of autism with micronutrients. However, despite positive preliminary findings, there are less data available to support efficacy of micronutrient formulas in treating bipolar disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse/dependence and no clinical trials have been done with clinically depressed or anxious patient samples, psychosis or eating disorders.
    Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 01/2013; 13(1):49-73. · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Depression is a highly recurrent and debilitating psychiatric disorder associated with multicausal origins. Impairments in the monoaminergic transmission, increased glutamatergic excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and deficits in neurotrophic factors are the main hypothesis raised in order to explain the etiological basis of depression. Although the current antidepressant therapy usually alleviates symptoms and prevents recurrence of episodes, the delay in the onset of the therapeutic effect and the refractory or intolerant responses exhibited by a large number of patients are the main drawbacks of the current therapy. For these reasons, several studies have dealt with the investigation of alternative therapeutic approaches or adjunctive strategies which could improve clinical outcomes. One potential adjunctive treatment with conventional antidepressants involves the use of nutraceuticals (a food, a part of a food, a vitamin, a mineral, or a herb that provides health benefits). In this review, we will focus on the main nutrients, phytochemicals and food that have been shown to have beneficial effects against depression.
    Food & function. 10/2013;