Are processed foods causing mental illness?

August 28, 2016

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, Vitamins

Julia Rucklidge from Canterbury University has suggested that (opens new window) processed food may be a cause of a mental illness epidemic.

I'm not sure that a) there is an epidemic, or b) processed food is a cause. Julia says:

"Our diet has changed so rapidly over 50 years that it's hard not to believe that it's having some impact on our mental health"

Julia has completed several studies at Canterbury University on the EM Power Plus multi-vitamin products. The company making these pills has a chequered history in Canada where it is produced, with authorities unhappy about the claims they make about being able to treat many serious mental health issues including ADHD, depression, bipolar and OCD. Interestingly, the Stephan family who created the company have been in the news recently because of the death of a child (opens new window) in the family who was treated with natural remedies for meningitis.

Julia has also mounted a challenge to the Natural Health Products Bill - a piece of legislation intended to ensure that alternative medicines are regulated in order to protect consumers.

The article also says:

"Research has shown that eating more fresh foods consistent with a Mediterranean-style diet, and eating less Western foods, could reverse spiralling rates of conditions such as ADHD, anxiety and depression."