Researchers investigating bipolar disorder believe weight control and a diet with anti-inflammatory properties could positively affect an individual’s response to treatment, according to a study published on Sunday.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, as “a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”
It is can be a debilitating illness in which sufferers experience intense shifts in mood, energy levels, activity levels and sleeping patterns, with many prone to suicide attempts.
NIMH estimates that 2.8 percent of U.S. adults had bipolar disorder in the past year and an estimated 4.4 percent of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
Despite this, little is known about the illness and how it occurs, making treatment a lengthy and difficult process.
Based on the preliminary results of this latest study reported on by Science Daily, researchers believe dietary advice possibly should be included in treatment plans.
“If we can confirm these results, then it’s good news for people with bipolar disorder, as there is a great need for better treatments for the depressive phase of bipolar disorder,” said lead researcher Melanie Ashton of Deakin University in Australia.
The team of international scientists set out to establish whether those with healthy eating habits who consumed foods that did not contribute towards inflammation could respond better to treatment.
To determine this, they conducted a study of 133 participants who were randomly assigned a combination of compounds used to treat diseases, such as the anti-inflammatory amino acid n-acetylcysteine.
This was issued on top of the participant’s standard treatment.
After 16 weeks researchers found that those who had a better-quality diet, a diet with anti-inflammatory properties, or a lower BMI, showed better response to treatment than those with low-quality diet, or a diet including foods that promote inflammation, or who were overweight, Ashton said.
Commenting on the results, Professor Eduard Vieta of Barcelona, who was not involved in the study, noted that the findings could benefit patients with bipolar disorder, but more research was first required.
© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.