The simple observation that associated mental health with food choice, ingestion and availability were apparent to the earliest of clinicians and for many people the use of foods and food concentrates have been both a help and a hindrance in managing mood and more complex neurological challenges.
Nutritional Therapists familiar with the work of Dr Abram Hoffer will be aware that some of the early work looking for bio-markers linked to nutrient need and supra dose supplementation has produced remarkable improvements in some people. However the pharmaceutical industry drove the attention of relevant clinicians towards pharmaceutical intervention, and whilst some surgical approaches have long been abandoned, talking therapies and drug therapy remain the primary point of intervention.
Though the field is in its infancy, food psychiatry is increasingly being embraced by clinicians and researchers, as a paper published earlier this year in the Lancet Psychiatry attests. “Although the determinants of mental health are complex,” the authors wrote, “the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that diet is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.” Other recent work found that simply discussing diet with a counsellor for just 6 hours over the course of 2 years dropped Beck Depression Inventory scores by 40% in elderly patients with depression.
International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR)
Has recently been formed to provide access to studies exploring the role of food in mental health, open to all disciplines it looks likely to provide a platform for relevant additions to data pools from which practitioners and clinicians can draw on for application in care.
Their web site is worth a visit. International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR)
 Sarris J, Logan AC, Akbaraly TN, et al. Nutritional medicine as mainstream psychiatry. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015;2:271-274.
 Reynolds C. Research update: healthy aging and prevention of late-life mood and cognitive disorders. Program and abstracts of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 2015 Annual Meeting; March 27-30, 2015; New Orleans, Louisiana. Session 303.