Introduction: 'Nutritional Psychiatry' is an emerging area of research that has great potential as an adjunctive tool for the prevention and treatment of diverse neuropsychiatric disorders. Several nutrition-related aspects, such as obesity, dietary patterns, gut microbiome composition and gut permeability, bioactive food compounds, and nutrients can influence pathways implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders.Areas covered: Here, the authors review the current evidence on nutrition-mood interaction and nutrition-based treatments for the two main mood disorders, i.e., major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.Expert opinion: Consistent evidence from observational studies has pointed out the association between a 'healthy' diet, generally characterized by a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and good quality sources of protein (i.e. fish and/or seafood), and decreased risk of mood disorders and the parallel association between a 'Western' diet pattern and increased risk. However, only a few clinical trials have evaluated the effect of nutritional interventions on the treatment of these conditions. The bidirectional interaction between the brain and the gut, named 'brain-gut-microbiome axis' or 'gut-brain axis', plays a key role in the link between nutrition and mood disorders. Therefore, nutrition-based strategies for gut microbiota modulation are promising fields in mood disorders.
Keywords: Nutrition; bipolar disorder; depressive disorder; diet; microbiota; mood disorders; nutrients; probiotics.