Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The effects of nutrients on mood

  • David Benton (a1) and Rachael T Donohoe
Abstract
Abstract

A recent major theory was that a meal high in carbohydrate increased the rate that tryptophan enters the brain, leading to an increase in the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin that modulates mood. Although such a mechanism may be important under laboratory conditions it is unlikely to be of significance following the eating of any typical meal. As little as 2–4% of the calories of a meal as protein will prevent an increased availability of tryptophan. Arguably the food with the greatest impact on mood is chocolate. Those who crave chocolate tend to do so when they feel emotionally low. There have been a series of suggestions that chocolate's mood elevating properties reflect ‘drug-like’ constituents including anandamines, caffeine, phenylethylamine and magnesium. However, the levels of these substances are so low as to preclude such influences. As all palatable foods stimulate endorphin release in the brain this is the most likely mechanism to account for the elevation of mood. A deficiency of many vitamins is associated with psychological symptoms. In some elderly patients folate deficiency is associated with depression. In four double-blind studies an improvement in thiamine status was associated with improved mood. Iron deficiency anaemia is common, particularly in women, and is associated with apathy, depression and rapid fatigue when exercising.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The effects of nutrients on mood
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The effects of nutrients on mood
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The effects of nutrients on mood
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: Email: d.benton@swansea.ac.uk
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 771 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 878 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.