The most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with mental disorders are of omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Lack of these nutrients can affect Brain function.
Research shows that deficiency of nutrients can have a negative effect on mood, loss of appetite can worsen depression. (Rao et al., 2008)
Individuals without knowing make poor food choices and select foods that might actually contribute to depression. There is evidence that shows a connection between low levels of serotonin and suicide. “Low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, obesity, chronic pain, depression, and migraines” (Dr.Dave).
Neurotransmitters like serotonin are highly influenced by the billions of “good” bacteria that make up a person’s intestinal microbiome, which is the genetic material of all the microbes bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses that live inside the human body (Hair, Sharpe, 2014). These bacteria play an essential role in a person’s health because they protect a person’s intestines and ensure they provide a strong barrier against toxins and “bad” bacteria. It limits inflammation and improves how well a person absorbs nutrients from their food. (Selhub, 2015).
In the article Nutritional psychiatry your brain on food: discusses how “Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain.” How does this relate to depression? “About 95% of a person’s serotonin is produced in their gastrointestinal tract, this does not only help a person digest food but also guide their emotions (Selhub, 2015).