Monday, 20 October 2008

Food for the Brain

As well as being a homeopath I am very interested in how diet and lifestyle can affect health and mental health in particular. I recently went to London to attend a conference organised by Food for the Brain - they are a charity whose aim is to raise awareness of the link between learning, behaviour, mental health and nutrition. Food for the Brain have done some excellent work, particularly in schools and young offenders institutions. These studies have shown great improvement in learning ability, attention and behaviour by using supplements of vitamins, fish oils and/or improving diet.

The speakers at the conference were leaders in their field and had come from all parts of the world to present their current research. The conference covered nutrition and child development, Alzheimers and memory loss, addiction and psychiatric disorders.

The majority of the conference delegates were nutritionists but it was interesting to see that there were also many nurses, psychiatrists, GPs and teachers who wanted to know more about current developments in these areas.

A recent government report said

A diet lacking essential nutrients or containing ingredients that are detrimental, is likely to have adverse consequences for brain function, mental health and behaviour. Evidence of the links between nutritional status and childhood disorders, depression, aggressive and anti-social behaviour merits further publicly funded research. Because of the major potential benefit for the fields of education, crime, health and well-being of vulnerable sections of society, we believe more research is urgently needed in this area and we recommend that more Government resources are devoted to this.

The Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum, 2008

For more information have a look at the Food for the Brain website