Navigation Links
Could Food Flavors Act Like Mood-Stabilizing Drugs?
Date:8/20/2012

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The notion that eating certain foods when feeling blue is a form of self-medicating is gaining traction after scientists identified some ingredients very similar chemically to a widely used prescription mood-stabilizing drug.

The research, scheduled for presentation Sunday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, builds on a large body of evidence reporting mood-boosting effects from chocolate, teas, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and other comfort foods.

"The tendency to depression in its many forms has increased due to our stressed society, [and] antidepressants are effective for only 50 percent to 60 percent of patients," said study author Karina Martinez-Mayorga, who initiated the study while at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, in San Diego. Martinez-Mayorga is now a research scientist at the Chemistry Institute at the National Autonomous University in Mexico.

"All this suggests the need for creative and new strategies," she added. "I'd like to emphasize that our primary interest is in flavors for enhancing mood in normal, healthy people during 'down times' not [associated with] clinical depression."

Study funders included Robertet Flavors, Inc., which manufactures flavor compounds and other products.

Martinez-Mayorga and her team used "chemoinformatics," which utilizes computers to screen the chemical structures of more than 1,700 food flavor ingredients for similarities to approved antidepressants, marketed drugs and substances with established antidepressant effects. She did not identify specific ingredients or flavors, since the study is ongoing, but reported that some bear a striking chemical similarity to the prescription drug valproic acid.

Also used to treat seizures, valproic acid helps stabilize manic symptoms -- such as an abnormally excited mood -- associated with bipolar disorder, which is marked by periods of depression alternating with mania. The drug is sold under brand names such as Depakote, Depakene and Stavzor.

Food industry research on mood modulators has focused on less-severe mood changes, she noted, and patients taking prescribed antidepressants should continue to do so.

But her team's future research may result in dietary recommendations or new nutritional supplements with positive mood effects, she said.

Sharon Zarabi, a nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said she wasn't surprised by the study, given an ever-growing supplement market that seeks to identify key nutrients and duplicate them in pill or extract form.

But Zarabi pointed out that it's well established that various food groups have mood-modulating effects. For example, protein from meat, fish, poultry and eggs is known to increase levels of "feel-good hormones" affecting alertness and energy, she said, and unrefined carbohydrates raise levels of a brain neurotransmitter that diminishes pain and increases calmness.

"I personally believe everything you eat affects the way you feel," she said, adding that she encourages her patients to seek key nutrients from whole foods. "We don't need supplements and pills ... we need food for fuel, so if we look to our food to give us energy to perform throughout the day, at the same time we'll be getting the proper nutrients for neurotransmission."

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about valproic acid.

SOURCES: Karina Martinez-Mayorga, Ph.D., research scientist, Chemistry Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, and formerly at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego; Sharon Zarabi, nutritionist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Aug. 19, 2012, presentation, American Chemical Society annual meeting, Philadelphia


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. DNA wires could help physicians diagnose disease
2. Red wine compound could help seniors walk away from mobility problems
3. Could FastStitch device be the future of suture?
4. Scientists decode TREX which could see new treatments for cancer realized
5. Could Chocolates Antioxidants Boost Brain Function?
6. Coach could be key in helping stroke patients
7. Could Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Pose Skin Cancer Risk?
8. New bat virus could hold key to Hendra virus
9. Researchers fish-eye view could offer insights for human vision
10. Usain Bolt could break his own record with the help of altitude and the wind
11. Depression Could Shorten Cancer Survival, Study Suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Could Food Flavors Act Like Mood-Stabilizing Drugs?
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Columbus OH. Dr. Justin Harper, Founder of Juvly Aesthetics ... in the country to sit on the 2017 National Advisory Board for Allergan’s Facial ... Dr. Harper helped propel the clinic from a small start-up to number 78 in ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... AutismOne announced the Board ... of Integrative Medicine and available for application on Saturday, May 27, 2017, following ... in Colorado Springs. , Ed Arranga, president of AutismOne, stated: "Many of the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Square, PA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... online and across a variety of business channels. , While many results are ... of any public relations program. , When it comes to measurement, firms should ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Perry, GA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... headquarters to Marshallville, Georgia, in early March. , The seed processing plant opened in ... the location since 2016. The new office allows opportunity for transition of Patten Seed ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Oily skin is a common and ... Advanced Dermatology has a lot to offer to the discussion of dealing with ... news is that there are many home remedies that can help remove the oily shine ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... Md. , March 27, 2017  ImMAGE Biotherapeutics ... its immunotherapy successfully passed early toxicology and efficacy studies. ... system to target a specific protein, MAGE A, in ... negative breast cancer. After 4 weeks ... able to show very little toxicity in a full ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... STUTTGART, Germany , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... provide over 7,000 attendees and more than 600 ... learn, and discover opportunities and solutions that will ... - 6 April 2017 at the Messe Stuttgart, ... is the preeminent medical technology platform showcasing the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... CHICAGO , March 27, 2017  A ... Educators (AADE) found that Medicare,s Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) ... diabetes testing supplies. The lack of choice forces beneficiaries ... can have dire health consequences. AADE,s ... reports by AADE and others pointing out the inherent ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: