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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 11, 927 - 935

Review article

Nutrition and mental disorders during the life span: an overview of scientific evidence

A. Oenema, D. de Ruijter, C. Vingerhoets, I.S.M. van der Wurff, D.J. Bos, M. Nicolaou, M. Bot, E.J. Giltay, R.J.T. Mocking

background Nutritional interventions are scarcely used in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders.
aim To summarize scientific evidence on the relation between nutrition and mental health, across the life span.
method An overview of the literature based on recent knowledge syntheses, meta-analyses and original studies.
results Healthy dietary patterns are associated with a lower risk for depressive symptoms among adults and potentially also among children and adolescents. Dietary interventions can be effective in reducing depressive symptoms among high-risk groups and can have a beneficial effect in the treatment of depression. Meta-analyses of randomised studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can be of added value in the treatment of adhd in children and of depression in adults.
conclusion Promotion of healthy dietary patterns in line with National guidelines for healthy diets is important in the entire spectrum from good mental health to a chronic disorder. More attention for improving healthy dietary patterns among patients with mental disorders can lead to important health gains.

keywords dietary patterns, life course, omega-3 fatty acids