Monday, July 14, 2008

How Food Impacts Mental Health

Are you really what you eat?

I've come to realize that what I put into my body has a huge impact on how I feel both mentally and physically. If you've read past posts on my blog, you probably realize I think that Omega 3 fatty acids are wonderful. I honestly believe it is like a wonder drug -- although all natural since basically you can get your omega 3s from fish, flax seed or walnuts.

Science Daily had a great article about how food affects the brain. The opening paragraph sums up a lot of what I try to focus on in my life.

In addition to helping protect us from heart disease and cancer, a balanced diet and regular exercise can also protect the brain and ward off mental disorders.

"Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain," said Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science who has spent years studying the effects of food, exercise and sleep on the brain. "Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging."

The article talks about the importance of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to your mental health ...

Here's the full article:
Scientists Learn How Food Affects The Brain: Omega 3 Especially Important

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Black Box Suicide Warning for Epilepsy Medications

I just came across an article about how research has shown that epilepsy medications can cause increased suicidial tendencies in patients. The FDA was considering making drug companies include a black box warning on the following medicines: Carbamazepine (marketed as Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR), Felbamate (marketed as Felbatol), Gabapentin (marketed as Neurontin), Lamotrigine (marketed as Lamictal), Levetiracetam (marketed as Keppra), Oxcarbazepine (marketed as Trileptal), Pregabalin (marketed as Lyrica), Tiagabine (marketed as Gabitril), Topiramate (marketed as Topamax), Valproate (marketed as Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon) and Zonisamide (marketed as Zonegran).

I thought is was interesting since so many of the epilepsy drugs are used to treat bipolar. In the end the advisory panel is advising that they do not this the statistics are enough to warrant putting the strong label on them.

Read the full article here:
FDA Advisers Don't Back 'Black Box' Warning for Epilepsy Drugs