Jul 28, 2018
This week on MIA Radio we
interview Dr Julia Rucklidge. Dr Rucklidge is professor
of clinical psychology at the
University of Canterbury in New Zealand and she leads the
Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group. Originally from
Toronto, Canada, Julia completed her PhD at the University of
Calgary followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hospital for
Sick Children in Toronto. In the last decade, she and her lab have
been running clinical trials investigating the role of
broad-spectrum micronutrients in the expression of mental illness,
specifically ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress.
Julia has over 100 peer-reviewed
publications and book chapters, has been frequently featured in the media and
has given invited talks all over the world on her work on nutrition
and mental health.
- What led Julia to her interest
in nutrition and how it may have a role in responding to mental
disorders, particularly Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Why using the Recommended
Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals may not be the
best approach when responding to psychological
- How Julia went about setting up
a Randomised Controlled Trial to investigate the effect of
micronutrients and minerals on behavioral problems.
- That the most consistent finding of the study is that the
individuals taking micronutrients improved more in their general
functioning and impairment when compared to those just taking a
- That it’s hard to move away from
the conception of mental illness as a chemical imbalance in the
brain, partly because of the vested interest in keeping it
- That there is no opportunity to
patent nutrient therapies, so there is little incentive for
research and limited commercial interests.
- Why a single nutrient response
might not be the best approach for someone who wanted to use
nutrition to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
- How a dietary deficiency of
Niacin during the 1930s led to a condition called Pellagra which
often manifested as psychotic symptoms.
- What led to the flagging of a
2014 TEDx talk Julia gave entitled “The surprisingly dramatic role
of nutrition in mental health”.
- How Julia felt about her talk
being flagged by TED.
- How many historical medical
advances, now accepted as the standard of care, at the time flew in
the face of conventional scientific thinking.
- How difficult it has been to
communicate with TED about the flagging of the talk.
- How Julia hears from many people
who get in touch to share that they are struggling with psychiatric
medications and instead want to look to nutritional
- That the best advice is often
simple, eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce the amount of
Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group
treatment of ADHD in adults: A one year follow up of a randomized
and Stress in Children Following an Earthquake: Clinically
Beneficial Effects of Treatment with Micronutrients
double-blind randomised, placebo-controlled trial of a probiotic
formulation for the symptoms of depression
The Surprisingly Dramatic Role of Nutrition in Mental
TED Betrays Its Own Brand
By Flagging Nutrition Talk
Contact the Mental
Health and Nutrition Research Group
Mad Diet by Suzanne