Doctor: diet can impact mood

Dr. Bonnie Kaplan will visit Cayman next week to hold a number of seminars explaining how diet can affect a person’s mood and impact mental disorders. 

Dr. Kaplan, a professor at the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Calgary and a clinical scientist in the Behavioural Research Unit at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Centre in Canada, will speak at the Health Services Authority and St. Matthew’s University as well as at a free public seminar at the Marriott Hotel.  

The title of her seminar at the Marriott is “Taking control of your mental health”. 

“I’m going to talk about general issues related to nutrition and how our brains work. I’m going to address five myths we’ve all been told about nutrition… For example, the first one ‘With a normal diet, you can get enough vitamins and minerals”. That’s something to be sceptical about. 

“I’m going to be talking in that context about the use of vitamin and mineral supplements to treat emotional and behavioural problems,” Dr. Kaplan said. 

Her research into the effects of diet and supplement on mental disorders has involved both adults and children. 

“Our brains get a litre of blood infused every single minute that our heart is pumping. That blood brings oxygen and nutrients… There are good reasons to believe that there are people who are in need of more than the average amount of nutrients,” Dr. Kaplan explained. 

She said diet has been proven to affect moods, explaining that a constant diet of fast food has been shown to cause depression and anxiety in some people. However, the extent to which this type of high-fat, high-sugar, highly processed diet is likely to have a bigger impact on the mood of people who may already have or are prone to mental or emotional problems is not yet certain. 

Dr. Kaplan promotes the idea of people taking charge of their own health – monitoring their food intake, exercising, getting enough sleep, ensuring relationships in their lives are healthy, being kind to others and taking the vitamins and minerals they need.

Local group, Making A Difference, has invited Dr. Kaplan to speak at the free seminar it is hosting at the Marriott on Tuesday, 19 February, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. All are welcome. For more information, call Darrell Dacres of Making a Difference at 928-1503. 

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