by Ruth Leyse-Wallace PhD, RD
iUniverse, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2008, 299 pages.
Reviewed by Dennis Moore
April 20, 2010 (San Diego) -- You are what you eat! That is the premise of Dr. Ruth Leyse-Wallace’s book on nutrition and mental health, Linking Nutrition To Mental Health. The book provides a scientific exploration of the correlation between eating right and mental health.
This scholarly examination on the health-nutrition link is certainly food for thought for anyone wanting to eat right and to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
The author reports on the latest and most compelling findings about the ways in which diet, supplements, genetics, and health conditions can make a difference in mental health. She explores how the short-term and long-term intake of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, medications, alcohol, and caffeine can potentially influence mental functioning, and she explains her emerging Theory of PsychoNutriologic Person.
The author also cites a review of NIMH-funded published research that suggests a strong association between depression and osteoporosis. “ Symptoms of depression included loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, including sex; fatigue and decreased energy; difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions; insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping; appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain; thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts; restlessness and irritability; and persistent symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain,” she writes.
Dr. Leyse-Wallace attributes some of her insight in writing this book to her colleagues at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital in San Diego. She expresses her appreciation to those colleagues for their interest in the nutritional care of patients at the hospital. The author has practiced clinical dietetics in psychiatric facilities at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, as well as facilities throughout the country.
To a lay person such as myself, far greater than an evidentiary summary, Linking Nutrition to Mental Health gives tailored recommendations to individual, healthcare providers, and scientists for putting these groundbreaking research discoveries into practice to achieve a vastly improved quality of life. Recently diagnosed with dysthymia, I am now looking at health and nutrition in a whole new light, as I am sure others will, too after reading this book. I strongly recommend this book to any and everyone concerned about what they eat and about their overall health.
Dennis Moore is a member of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild. He has written for LifeAfter50 Magazine in Pasadena, California, and the Baja Times Newspaper in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.