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Editor's e-Note
Multiple factors contribute to the development of mental health disorders, and it is widely accepted that therapy and medication are the gold standard for treating these disorders. Research is showing that nutritional therapy may have the potential to contribute to the holistic healing of mental health disorders. This month’s E-News Exclusive highlights the research that is substantiating this perspective. Read how nutritional therapy may be one of a range of tools that can support recovery.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website, including our new Peer Perspectives section, at; like our Facebook page; and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Nutritional Therapy in the Treatment of Mental Disorders
By Susan A. Knight

It’s well understood that psychosocial, medical, and developmental factors contribute to mental health disorders. While psychotherapy paired with medication is widely viewed as the most effective way to promote recovery, nutritional therapy has garnered interest for its potential to support treatment and recovery efforts.

Nutritional therapy is part of the broader field of nutritional psychology that looks at how nutrients affect mood and behavior. As a growing body of scientific evidence provides greater insight into the relationship between various nutrients and the body’s biochemical functions, nutrition is increasingly being viewed as a relevant factor in mental health. The evidence suggests that targeted nutrient intake, in the form of food or dietary supplements, may help to improve the efficacy of conventional treatment approaches.

Alleviating Symptoms With Dietary Supplements
Vitamins and minerals are referred to as micronutrients. They don’t provide energy to the body in the way that macronutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) do. However, micronutrients are an essential part of nutrition, supporting a wide variety of metabolic and biochemical processes within the body. Micronutrient deficiencies have long been known to contribute to illness and disease—so much so that historically, vitamins were discovered primarily through the deficiency diseases that would arise when the vitamin was absent in the diet.

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Tech & Tools
Rural ED Patients See Health Care Provider More Quickly if Hospital Is Equipped With Telemedicine Services

Patients at rural hospitals with telemedicine services see a health care provider six minutes more quickly than patients in hospitals that have no such technology, according to a new study from University of Iowa researchers.

The research team measured the impact of emergency department (ED) telemedicine services on timeliness of care in rural hospitals. The study looked at data collected from 14 hospitals in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota that subscribe to telemedicine services from a single ED telemedicine provider located in Sioux Falls, SD. The team matched 2,857 ED cases that used telemedicine services with nontelemedicine controls.

The results, recently published in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health, showed that telemedicine decreased door-to-provider time by six minutes. This provider could be either a local provider physically assessing the patient or a telemedicine provider—whoever was available first.

The first provider seeing the patient was a telemedicine provider in 41.7% of telemedicine encounters, and in these cases, telemedicine was 14.7 minutes earlier than local providers.

The researchers also noted that among patients who were transferred to other hospitals, the length of stay at the ED in the first hospital was shorter for patients who had telemedicine consults. The authors suggest that this reduced time may be due to remotely located staff completing administrative and charting tasks, allowing local staff to concentrate on patient care.

Read more »
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