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Mental health concerns and Heights

Dietitian Sophie Medlin looks at the effect of diet on mental illness.
Sophie Medlin
Head of Nutritional Research
June 09, 2020
3 min read

There are several possible ways that mental illnesses like anxiety, depression and bipolar can be affected by dietary factors.

Inflammation

Inflammation has been shown to play a significant role in the development of depression and other mental health problems. Chronic inflammation can affect anyone, and is associated with lifestyle factors including stress, smoking, weight gain, sleep deprivation and diet.

Dietary patterns that mimic the Mediterranean diet (click here to find out more about that), are associated with lower levels of inflammation.

Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet, and there’s strong evidence to suggest that it works as an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s high omega 3 content is one of the reasons it has been shown to improve the efficacy of anti-depressants. (Heights has all the benefits of omega 3 fish oil, in a vegan friendly form, from algae, where fish get their source from, making it more environmentally sustainable!)

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is shown to be higher in patients with depression, and to add insult to injury, people with depression are also less able to tolerate oxidative stress during acute episodes.

To combat the negative effects of oxidative stress, the body needs to consume plenty of antioxidants like those found in vitamins E and C. The best way to obtain antioxidants through your diet is by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and/or supplementation.

Neurogenesis

Neurogenesis, also known as brain plasticity, is the process of generating new connections between brain cells and is essential for learning, memory and mood regulation, essentially, your brain’s ability to grow and change throughout your life.

There are proven links between cognition and mood to neurogenesis occurring in the adult hippocampus. Therefore, an alteration in the brain’s neuroplastic function can be associated with mental illness.

To manage neurogenesis, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as well as other neurotrophins (e.g. bcl-2 and vascular endo-thelial growth factor) need to be at an optimal level. A diet high in carotenoid-rich fruit and vegetables has been shown to improve BDNF levels, and food with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and nutrients such as fatty acids, polyphenols, l-theanine and vitamin E, can also help to stimulate neurogenesis(Yep, they’re all in Heights.)

The future of mental health treatment?

In recent research, Vitamin E has been shown to help prevent Parkinson’s Disease, one of the biggest neurodegenerative diseases. And may pave the way for further studies to confirm its use in protective care in the future.

There are no known contraindications to taking Heights alongside treatment for mental health conditions. 

In fact, there is some promising evidence that many of the ingredients could make conventional treatments for mental health conditions more effective and research is strongly supportive of the benefits of taking a multivitamin of our nutritional profile alongside anti-depressants however, we’ll always recommend consulting your doctor before taking Heights.

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