Julia J Rucklidge

Julia J Rucklidge
University of Canterbury | UC · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

136
Publications
112,968
Reads
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4,569
Citations
Introduction
Julia J Rucklidge, PhD, is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at the University of Canterbury. She studies the interface between nutrition and mental health. She is co-author of THE BETTER BRAIN and developed an online course on nutrition and mental health on EdX.
Additional affiliations
December 2000 - July 2007
Canterbury District Health Board
Position
  • Medical Professional
September 2000 - present
University of Canterbury
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 1998 - September 2000
SickKids
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (136)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The therapeutic use of nutrient-based 'nutraceuticals' and plant-based 'phytoceuticals' for the treatment of mental disorders is common; however, despite recent research progress, there have not been any updated global clinical guidelines since 2015. To address this, the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) an...
Data
Online resource for the paper "Recruitment and retention of participants in longitudinal studies after a natural disaster" https://figshare.com/articles/online_resource/Online_resource_1_and_2_docx/14410700
Article
Objective Previous research indicated that the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines of prospective trial registration with clearly identified primary and secondary outcome measures are only adhered to in 14.4% of studies published in the top five psychiatry journals between 1 January 2009 and 31 July 2013. This study examin...
Article
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Objective: The term "Mauve factor" (pyrroluria) dates back to 1958 when Dr. Abram Hoffer defined the condition as elevated levels of pyrroles in the urine, currently called hydroxyhemepyrrolin-2-one (HPL). It was suggested that the raised pyrrole levels lead to depletions in zinc and vitamin B6, which, in turn, were hypothesized to result in a rang...
Article
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Background: Misconceptions about ADHD stigmatize affected people, reduce credibility of providers, and prevent/delay treatment. To challenge misconceptions, we curated findings with strong evidence base. Methods: We reviewed studies with more than 2,000 participants or meta-analyses from five or more studies or 2,000 or more participants. We exclu...
Article
Although current evidence confirms the importance of diet for mental health, many psychologists avoid discussing dietary intake with clients, questioning whether this information is within their scope of practice. This article provides psychologists with a review focused on the connection between what we eat and how we feel. Eating a healthy, whole...
Article
Natural (e.g., earthquake, flood, wildfires) and human-made (e.g., terrorism, civil strife) disasters are inevitable, can cause extensive disruption, and produce chronic and disabling psychological injuries leading to formal diagnoses (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]). Following natural disasters of earthquake (Christchurch, Aotearoa/Ne...
Article
Climate change and population growth will increase vulnerability to natural and human-made disasters or pandemics. Longitudinal research studies may be adversely impacted by a lack of access to study resources, inability to travel around the urban environment, reluctance of sample members to attend appointments, sample members moving residence and...
Article
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This systematic review and meta-analysis focused on randomized controlled trials (RCT) of multinutrients consisting of at least four vitamins and/or minerals as interventions for participants with psychiatric symptoms. A systematic search identified 16 RCTs that fit the inclusion criteria (n = 1719 participants) in six psychiatric categories: depre...
Article
Aim: Fish oil supplements are regulated in New Zealand under the Dietary Supplement Regulations (Section 42, Food Act 1981) and therefore are not subject to the same level of scrutiny and regulations as medicines. We investigated accuracy of labelling, stated health benefits of fish oil supplements sold in New Zealand, and risks relating to possib...
Article
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Introduction: Vitamin and mineral nutritional supplements are becoming increasingly popular as alternative treatments for anxiety and depression, as issues such as side effects from medication, failure to respond to psychotherapy and workforce limitations pose barriers for successful treatment. Areas covered: This review covered double-blind, rando...
Article
Background: Head hair analysis has been used for decades to clarify mineral relationships to symptoms of ADHD, but there is little consensus among findings. We sought to explore 33 hair element concentrations and their 528 calculated ratios among two groups of boys, one with ADHD and one without. Method: 107 boys aged 7–12 years were recruited; 55...
Article
Objective: We investigated whether changes in serum nutrient levels mediate clinical response to a micronutrient intervention for ADHD. Method: Data were compiled from two ADHD trials (8-10 weeks), one in adults ( n = 53) and one in children ( n = 38). Seven outcomes included change in ADHD symptoms, mood, overall functioning (all clinician-rated)...
Article
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Many patients prescribed an antidepressant stop taking it because of side effects. Genetic factors and psychological factors including state or trait anxiety, may explain variation in side effect outcomes. Our aim was to examine the relative contribution of genetic and psychological factors in people with self-reported antidepressant side effects....
Article
Objectives: The prescription of psychotropic medication used to treat psychiatric disorders has increased worldwide over the past two decades and has been discussed widely in the literature; however, limited data have been available for New Zealand. The current article aimed to address this knowledge gap. Methods: Prescription data obtained from T...
Article
Objective: This article presents 1-year follow-up of a randomized placebo-controlled trial with open-label extension evaluating the efficacy of a broad-spectrum micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) intervention. The object was to determine if dominant treatment at follow-up was associated with differential psychological outcomes. Methods: Ninety...
Article
To the Editor The MooDFOOD randomized clinical trial¹ found that neither multinutrient supplementation nor food-related behavioral activation therapy reduced major depressive disorder episodes in overweight or obese adults with depressive symptoms. However, the low rate of conversion to major depressive disorder of only 10% after 12 months vs 33% e...
Article
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It has been widely hypothesized that both diet and the microbiome play a role in the regulation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviour. However, there has been very limited scientific investigation into the potential biological connection. We performed a 10-week pilot study investigating the effects of a broad spectrum micronu...
Article
Objectives: There is an increasing body of literature documenting the efficacy of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) interventions for the treatment of psychiatric problems in the short term; however, long-term safety is largely unexplored. The goal of this observational study was to investigate the safety of two commercially available broad-sp...
Article
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Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show significant abnormalities on MR imaging in network communication and connectivity. The prefrontal-striatal-cerebella circuitry, involved in attention is particularly disrupted. Neurometabolites, the biochemical structures that support neurological structural integrity, particularly...
Article
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Purpose of Review There is an increased use of dietary and nutritional treatments among families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. With unclear and sometimes contradictory information regarding the effectiveness and safety of such treatments, this review crit...
Article
The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, a chronic neurodegenerative condition, is increasing as is the need for effective treatments and preventions. The underlying pathology of Alzheimer's is not yet fully understood, so existing research has focused on understanding the prominent features of the disease. These include amyloid plaques, which accumu...
Article
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Exposure times and dosage required for dietary components to modify DNA methylation patterns are largely unknown. Aim: This exploratory research represents the first genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation changes during a randomized-controlled-trial (RCT) for dietary supplementation with broad spectrum vitamins, minerals and amino acids in human...
Article
Background: Intent-to-treat analyses from a randomized controlled trial showed significant between-group differences favouring micronutrient treatment on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement, but no group differences on clinician, parent and teacher ratings of overall ADHD symptoms. There was an advantage of micronutrients over placebo in im...
Article
Purpose of Review There is an increased use of dietary and nutritional treatments among families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. With unclear and sometimes contradictory information regarding the effectiveness and safety of such treatments, this review crit...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Anxiety and depression are conferring an increasing burden on society. Although treatments exist for both conditions, side effects, and difficulties accessing treatment prevent many people from receiving adequate assistance. Nutritional approaches have demonstrated some success in treating anxiety and depression. We plan to investigate...
Article
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Background: Depression and anxiety are common mental health concerns worldwide. Broad-spectrum multi-vitamin/mineral approaches have been found to alleviate a number of psychiatric symptoms. We investigated the effects of a nutrient intervention program, which includes optimizing vitamin D levels, on depression and anxiety outcomes from community-...
Article
Background: Evaluation of broad-spectrum micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) treatment for childhood ADHD has been limited to open-label studies that highlight beneficial effects across many aspects of psychological functioning. Method: This is the first fully blinded randomized controlled trial of medication-free children (n = 93) with ADHD (...
Article
Do psychotherapies work primarily through the specific factors described in treatment manuals, or do they work through common factors? In attempting to unpack this ongoing debate between specific and common factors, we highlight limitations in the existing evidence base and the power battles and competing paradigms that influence the literature. Th...
Article
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Many aspects of human development and disease are influenced by the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Understanding how our genes respond to the environment is central to managing health and disease, and is one of the major contemporary challenges in human genetics. Various epigenetic processes affect chromosome structure and a...
Article
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This study examined the effects of micronutrients on children with clinically elevated stress and anxiety 23–36 months after experiencing a natural disaster (a major earthquake). A single-case multiple-baseline design allocated 14 children (7 males, 7 females; aged 8–11 years; 10 with formal anxiety-disorder diagnoses) randomly to 1, 2 or 3 week ba...
Article
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Objective: To explore risk behaviors in adults with ADHD, testing the possible mediating role of reward sensitivity and temporal discounting. Method: 66 adults (43 men, 23 women; 18-65 years) completed clinical interviews and self-report measures of ADHD symptoms, risk-taking behaviours/risky experiences and experimental measures of temporal discou...
Article
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Objectives: This trial investigated whether probiotics improved mood, stress and anxiety in a sample selected for low mood. We also tested whether the presence or severity of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and levels of proinflammatory cytokines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and other blood markers, would predict or impact treatment respo...
Article
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Background: The recent addition of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th ed.) has highlighted the seriousness of this disorder. Many alternatives to psychoactive medication in the form of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts have been trialled by women seeking a natural treatment approach. We plan to...
Article
Objective: Selective outcome reporting poses serious implications on our evidence base for best practice. The extent to which selective outcome reporting and trial registration occurs in the wider psychotherapy literature needs to be investigated. Method: Randomized controlled psychotherapy trials published between 2010 and 2014 were selected fr...
Article
Insomnia is a debilitating condition causing psychological distress and frequently comorbid with other mental health conditions. This study examined the effect of 8 weeks of treatment by broad spectrum micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) on insomnia using a multiple-baseline-across-participants open-label trial design. Seventeen adults were rand...
Article
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To the Editor: The very useful case report by Wong et al1 illustrates the potential harm of psychosis resulting from concurrent administration of over 50 ingredients, including 18 unregulated herbal agents, 19 digestive enzymes, 6 probiotic strains, and other over-the-counter substances. This is a valuable cautionary message, but the title and abst...
Conference Paper
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The role of good nutrition for resilience in the face of stress is a topic of interest, but difficult to study. At times of high stress, stress response and short-term survival take precedence over other long-term biological needs to ensure survival of the organism. The stress response is metabolically intensive and therefore has a high nutritional...
Article
Personality disorders are common, and the core problems of interpersonal dysfunction and social disturbance are difficult to treat. One area gaining international attention is the impact that diet and nutrients can have on psychiatric/psychological symptoms. There are no empirical studies studying the specific relationship between nutrition and per...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical effect and safety of a broad spectrum, 36 ingredient micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) in treating children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: This open-label, on-off-on-off (reversal design) study followed 14 participants (8-12 years of age) wit...
Article
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Context: The theory that supplemented probiotic bacteria could affect psychological outcomes has recently been outlined in narrative reviews; to date, however, this area of research has not been systematically reviewed. Objective: The objective of this review is to compare the effects of probiotics with those of placebo on psychological outcomes a...
Article
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Objective: To address the bias occurring in the medical literature associated with selective outcome reporting, in 2005, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) introduced mandatory trial registration guidelines and member journals required prospective registration of trials prior to patient enrolment as a condition of publi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder which can impact different aspects of sufferers’ lives, including their social skills. We present TARLAN, a game that teaches social problem-solving skills to ADHD children. TARLAN is a simulation game with 40 scenarios based on children’s everyday experiences. We conducted...
Article
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Psychiatry is at an important juncture, with the current pharmacologically focused model having achieved modest benefi ts in addressing the burden of poor mental health worldwide. Although the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of men...
Article
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We live in a transformational moment for understanding the etiology of mental disorders. The previous leap in understanding occurred 60 years ago, which led us to incorporate psychopharmacology into our curricula to address the chemical basis of neurotransmitter function, especially as explained through the then-popular catecholamine hypothesis. Th...
Article
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic psychiatric illness, which often co-occurs with other common psychiatric problems. Although empirical evidence supports the short-term efficacy of pharmacological and behavioural treatments, families often search for alternative treatment methods because of concerns about side effects and...
Article
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To investigate whether micronutrient supplements shown through research to have perceived benefits in the treatment of psychological/psychiatric symptoms in children have similar vitamin ingredients and doses to over-the-counter dietary supplements. We conducted a systematic review to identify studies that used micronutrients for the treatment of p...
Article
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The aim of this study was to explore whether individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk of harm over the lifespan due to increased rates of self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour, and whether this association is mediated by psychosocial factors. Sixty-six adults (43 men, 23 women; 18-65 years) particip...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Despite widespread use, there is little data investigating the long-term impact of micronutrients on psychiatric disorders. This study investigated the naturalistic outcome 1-year post-baseline of a randomized controlled trials (RCT) that compared micronutrients with placebo in 80 adults with ADHD. Method: All participants were contac...
Article
We investigated whether micronutrients given acutely following the Christchurch earthquakes continued to confer benefit 1 year following the treatment. Sixty-four adults from the original 91 participants experiencing heightened anxiety or stress 2-3 months following the 22nd February 2011 earthquake and who had been randomized to receive three diff...
Article
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Objective: To examine the rates of psychiatric comorbidities within a New Zealand sample of adults with ADHD compared with a community control group. Method: We merged six data sets to obtain a sample of 222 adults (158 ADHD, 64 controls). Comorbidities were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual o...
Article
Full-text available
The role of nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is gaining international attention; however, treatments have generally focused only on diet restriction or supplementing with one nutrient at a time. To investigate the efficacy and safety of a broad-based micronutrient formula consisting mainly of vitamins an...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: We investigated the relationship between impulsivity, as measured by delay and probability discounting, and gambling-related cognitions and behavior in adults with and without ADHD. Method: Adults who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) diagnostic criteria for ADHD (n = 31) and controls (n = 29)...