Despite the overwhelming prevalence of anxiety disorders in modern society, medications and psychotherapy often fail to achieve complete symptom resolution. A complementary approach to medicating symptoms is to address the underlying metabolic pathologies associated with mental illnesses and anxiety. This may be achieved through nutritional interventions. In this perspectives piece, we highlight the roles of the microbiome and inflammation as influencers of anxiety. We further discuss the evidence base for six specific nutritional interventions: avoiding artificial sweeteners and gluten, including omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric in the diet, supplementation with vitamin D, and ketogenic diets. We attempt to integrate insights from the nutrition science-literature in order to highlight some practices that practitioners may consider when treating individual patients. Notably, this piece is not meant to serve as a comprehensive review of the literature, but rather argue our perspective that nutritional interventions should be more widely considered among clinical psychiatrists. Nutritional psychiatry is in its infancy and more research is needed in this burgeoning low-risk and potentially high-yield field.
Front Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 12;12:598119. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.598119. PMID: 33643090; PMCID: PMC7907178.