(NaturalHealth365) Psychiatric disorders are often made worse by an improper diet. Now new research out of Johns Hopkins Medicine has found that cured and processed meats could cause mania, especially in persons who already have bipolar disorder.
The study involved an analysis of over 1,000 persons both with and without psychiatric disorders. The researchers looked at the diets of the participants and found that those who frequently ate hot dogs, salami, jerky and other processed meats containing nitrates were prone to an abnormally elevated mood state.
This ‘manic state’ is characterized by unfounded euphoria, hyperactivity and persistent insomnia.
Nitrates in processed meat could be a cause of bipolar disorder
The study found that persons hospitalized for manic episodes were over three times more likely to have eaten nitrate-cured meats than those who never had a serious psychiatric disorder. The findings were published in the July 18 issue of Molecular Psychiatry.
This recent research confirms that consuming certain foods as well as gut bacteria composition could play a prominent role in many psychiatric conditions. The correlation between nitrates and mania was also corroborated in a study on rats.
For this study, when rats were fed a similar ratio of food with nitrates as a human might consume, it was found that their gut bacteria showed different patterns than rats not fed nitrates. The animals also showed differences in their brains that resembled bipolar disorder.
Now we just need the psychiatric community of healthcare providers to embrace the importance of improving the diet.
Processed meat and nitrates in food can cause high-risk behavior
Conventionally speaking, the cause of many psychiatric disorders remain a ‘mystery.’ And, while genes and family history may be factors, researchers have been exploring environmental factors, including diet, to see if it plays a role.
This new research adds to the evidence that certain diets and potentially the amounts and types of bacteria in the gut may contribute to mania and other disorders that affect the brain.
Manic states can be dangerous due to a higher likelihood of delusional thinking and risky, dangerous behavior. Manic states can last weeks or months and in many cases require hospitalization. And, bipolar disorder affects around one to 3 percent of the population.
Avoid nitrates in food by eating organic meat, fruits and vegetables
Nitrates have been used as a cured meat preservative for decades. In recent years, cured meats have been linked with neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers.
This recent assessment now clearly connects them with the dangerously elevated mood state of mania. Some researchers have also found a correlation between gut bacteria composition and brain health, further corroborating the findings.
No doubt, the research we’ve highlighted today only adds to the long list of health concerns about most processed foods. Naturally, due to these unwanted risks, it’s always best to eat organic meat, fruits and vegetables – whenever possible.
Think of it as the best insurance policy money can buy. A proper diet contributes to cellular health, brain health, hormonal balance and an ideal body chemistry.
All of these factors support good mental health and dramatically reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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