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Bipolar disorder: A Balanced diet aides treatment

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Diet quality can affect many aspects of one’s physical health and psychological well-being. New research investigates whether or not these factors can also affect the effectiveness of treatments for mood disorders — particularly bipolar.

These are the “highs,” during which the person feels euphoric and may engage in dangerous behaviors, and the “lows,” characterized by depression and lethargy.



Since two opposite mood extremes characterize this disorder, it is often difficult to treat both the “highs” (or “manic episodes”) and the “lows” (or “depressive episodes”) with the same efficacy.

New research presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology congress, held in Barcelona, Spain, now suggests that weight and dietary habits may influence how effective treatments for bipolar disorder actually are.

 In particular, a healthful diet may aid therapy for depressive episodes, note the study authors. They also explain that, conversely, a poor diet could contribute to heightened inflammation, which may have a negative impact on a person’s symptoms.

“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,” states lead researcher Melanie Ashton, from Deakin University in Geelong, Australia.

The team comprised scientists from numerous academic and research institutions across Australia, Germany, and the United States.

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How diet may impact therapy results

Ashton and colleagues conducted a clinical trial for which they recruited 181 participants, of whom 133 provided all the data necessary for the final analysis. All the participants experienced bipolar depression, which is the depressive phase of bipolar disorder.

For a period of 16 weeks, the team randomly allocated all the participants to receive one of three types of treatment:

  • a mix of nutraceuticals (or natural nutrients sometimes used as alternatives to drugs and that may help treat or prevent chronic diseases), including the anti-inflammatory substance n-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • only NAC
  • a placebo
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The investigators administered these treatments alongside the participants’ normal medication for bipolar disorder.

At the start of the trial, the team also collected relevant information from the volunteers, including: their body mass indexes (BMIs), measures of depression, and to what extent they were able to function normally on a day-to-day basis.

The researchers assessed the volunteers’ progress every 4 weeks — including 4 weeks after the cessation of the experimental treatment. They also asked them to answer questionnaires that evaluated dietary habits.

This allowed them to give scores to each participant depending on how healthful their regular diets were.

 Good-quality diets included high consumption of fruit and vegetables, whereas poor diets relied on food high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates, as well as excess alcohol consumption.

Ashton and her team categorized healthful diets as anti-inflammatory and poor-quality diets as pro-inflammatory, based on their contents.

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-MedicalNewsToday

Health & Lifestyle

Climate change forces El Paso to make treated sewage water turn into drinking water

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As the global climate changes and water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, a number of cities such as India, Australia has earlier express their concern to reduce water shortage.



The authorities has disclosed to her citizens stating that “What we are seeing is a systematic increase in temperature, so we’re seeing the snow-melt runoff earlier…and more rapid melt than average. And again, for a given level of snow-pack, less runoff actually reaching the river and reaching our reservoir.

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However, in a bid to mitigate the water shortages,  El Paso is set to become one of the first cities in the US to treat sewage water and turn it into drinking water.

Chief technical officer of El Paso Water, Mr Gilbert Trejo said that the facility to treat sewage water with multiple steps of filtration such as carbon and UV filtration to make sure no pathogens or microbes are present.

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Adding that It will help to solve a major supply problem in the city and what’s more, some locals even say it tastes better.

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Food & Cuisine

Satellites warn African farmers of pest parasitic diseases

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Prof Charlotte Watts, chief scientific adviser for the UK’s Department for International Development, which funds the plant doctor scheme, says a new initiative with CABI and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) will use the network to prevent, rather than just reduce infestations.



When speaking to the newsmen, she expressed that the idea is to use satellite data collected by the UKSA to develop a system that is able to predict when pest infestations will strike a week or more in advance.

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It is also designed to inform the farmers through mobile phone alert for them to take precautions, adding that it will help boost farmers incomes and mitigate poverty rate.

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The modern forecast is being used in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia and will be rolled out soon to other part of the world.

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