Nutritional Factors Affecting Mental Health

Clin Nutr Res. 2016 Jul;5(3):143-52. doi: 10.7762/cnr.2016.5.3.143. Epub 2016 Jul 26.


Dietary intake and nutritional status of individuals are important factors affecting mental health and the development of psychiatric disorders. Majority of scientific evidence relating to mental health focuses on depression, cognitive function, and dementia, and limited evidence is available about other psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. As life span of human being is increasing, the more the prevalence of mental disorders is, the more attention rises. Lists of suggested nutritional components that may be beneficial for mental health are omega-3 fatty acids, phospholipids, cholesterol, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Saturated fat and simple sugar are considered detrimental to cognitive function. Evidence on the effect of cholesterol is conflicting; however, in general, blood cholesterol levels are negatively associated with the risk of depression. Collectively, the aims of this review are to introduce known nutritional factors for mental health, and to discuss recent issues of the nutritional impact on cognitive function and healthy brain aging.

Keywords: Cognitive function; Dementia; Depression; Healthy brain aging; Mental health.

Publication types

  • Review