Julia Rucklidge - Mental Health & Nutrition Research: Te Puna Toiora

University of Canterbury, Christchurch NZ. Striving to find nutritional approaches that work to treat many mental health problems.

We are Te Puna Toiora, a Mental Health and Nutrition Research lab, in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing, University of Canterbury, Christchurch. We will post on this page about ongoing and upcoming studies at our lab, so if you have an interest in mental health and nutrition, or you or someone you know is affected by a mental health condition and are interested in nutritional treatments, keep an eye on this page for any studies you may be able to be involved in.

Operating as usual

JCPP Advances | ACAMH Child Development Journal | Wiley Online Library 08/07/2024

Another exciting study.. this one on diet. In the 1970s, there was alot of interest in elimination diets (removing all kinds of potential allergens such as dairy, gluten, salicylates, etc) for the treatment of ADHD which lost traction with the increasing use of stimulant medications and indeed many experts claimed diet had no impact on ADHD.

That story is changing from recent studies and the exciting thing about this latest study called TRACE is that it shows that the full elimination may not be necessary but that removal of UPFs is the key to reducing impairing ADHD symptoms.

Regarding clinical practice, the findings suggest that for families considering a dietary treatment for ADHD, starting with a healthy diet is a low key, feasible and defensible option.

JCPP Advances | ACAMH Child Development Journal | Wiley Online Library The TRACE study examined short-term effects of an elimination diet (ED) and healthy diet (HD) in children with ADHD: fewer ED (34.5%) than HD (50.6%) participants showed improvement in ADHD and/or em...

07/07/2024

This is such a good news story - such a simple way to support mothers during pregnancy and to help launch her offspring to a great start to life. Micronutrients led to more regulated babies. Read Dr Campbell's summary of her PhD for more information on what we found.

https://blogs.canterbury.ac.nz/science/2024/06/12/from-womb-to-world-the-role-of-micronutrients-in-shaping-infant-development/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2E8nyQgvezF2CPTMP9Exv_a0q8-TD2t104ZR2lGmbFu9g_Vq8pelpk1t0_aem_q_wLo6ww-lTZVRyx09m0YQ

From womb to world: The role of micronutrients in shaping infant development 30/06/2024

This is such a good news story - such a simple way to support mothers during pregnancy and to help launch her offspring to a great start to life. Micronutrients led to more regulated babies. Read Dr Campbell's summary of her PhD for more information on what we found.

https://blogs.canterbury.ac.nz/science/2024/06/12/from-womb-to-world-the-role-of-micronutrients-in-shaping-infant-development/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2E8nyQgvezF2CPTMP9Exv_a0q8-TD2t104ZR2lGmbFu9g_Vq8pelpk1t0_aem_q_wLo6ww-lTZVRyx09m0YQ

From womb to world: The role of micronutrients in shaping infant development Pregnancy is often a time of joy for many, while for some it can be a time associated with challenges such as maternal depression. Numerous studies have documented the impact of depression and other mental health issues during the prenatal period on infant development. Prenatal depression impacts ap...

08/06/2024

You might be asking how it is possible that the same combination of micronutrients treats ADHD, antenatal depression, anxiety and stress. Too good to be true? Not at all. We need the full array of vitamins and minerals to support optimal brain health. When there are deficiencies relative to the brain's needs, we see emergence of symptoms. Fix the chemistry and symptoms improve. Simple as that. The medical model has led us astray to think that we need different drugs for different disorders. Instead let's remember what Linus Pauling said: "What is probably inherited in mental illness are genes that regulate brain metabolism of essential nutrients." .co

06/06/2024

Finally published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open and Early Human Development by 2 UC grads Drs Hayley Bradley and Siobhan Campbell. Great news story for those struggling with antenatal depression. Positive effects of micronutrients for mum and offspring with minimal side effects. For more info check out our Conversation piece

For women with antenatal depression, micronutrients might help them and their babies โ€“ new study 05/06/2024

After years of publishing on micronutrients and their benefits to mental health, I have noticed that the media much prefer to pick up on negative stories about supplements and seem to dismiss any positive news stories. My lab just published a series of ground breaking studies in reputable journals on how to support mums during pregnancy and their infants (all summarized below) with barely a mention in the media and surprisingly little social media response as well. Why is that? Would it be different if we had published about a new drug to treat antenatal depression, reduce risk of post natal depression with minimal side effects and calm offspring? This work is proof of principle that our food environment is toxic and a mismatch for our brain's needs. What will it take for society to pay attention that suboptimal nutrition is contributing to the mental health crisis? RNZ Matt Doocey MP Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support MHAPS Mental Health Coalition University of Canterbury Gumboot Friday

For women with antenatal depression, micronutrients might help them and their babies โ€“ new study Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet of pregnant women with antenatal depression not only reduced their symptoms and improved their functioning โ€“ it also benefitted their infants.

Effect of antenatal micronutrient or antidepressant exposure on Brazelton neonatal behavioral assessment scale (NBAS) performance within one-month of birth - PubMed 04/06/2024

Current NZ Ministry of Health guidelines for pregnancy only include folic acid, iodine, and for some - vitamin D and iron. Check out the positive effect a broad spectrum micronutrient intervention for antenatal depression had on infant regulation. Better than current standard care.

Effect of antenatal micronutrient or antidepressant exposure on Brazelton neonatal behavioral assessment scale (NBAS) performance within one-month of birth - PubMed In-utero micronutrient exposure appears to mitigate risks of depression on infant outcomes showing positive effects on infant behavior, on par with or better than typical pregnancies and superior to antidepressants. Limitations include differential exposure to micronutrients/antidepressants and lack...

Micronutrients could improve antenatal depression, study shows 04/06/2024

One mum's story from partipating in the trial: "Amberโ€™s baby was born full-term at 38 weeks, she immediately noticed how aware of his surroundings he was.

โ€œWhen he was born we were so amazed by this calm perseverance that he has, when he wants to figure something out he sits and takes a breath. He never gets stressed, he never gets upset, he just works it out.โ€

She said now, at 3 years old, he is advanced in his memory and speech."

Micronutrients could improve antenatal depression, study shows The first study of its kind showed mums felt their depression improved, and improved outcomes for their children.

For women with antenatal depression, micronutrients might help them and their babies โ€“ new study 03/06/2024

Great news for people struggling with antenatal depression. This is a positive news story with impressive outcomes for the infants too. Offers new choices. Thanks to all the mothers who participated. This series of publications has been years of hard work in my lab, especially Drs Siobhan Campbell and Hayley Bradley, to get these papers out. All links to the publications included in this article. Please share widely!

For women with antenatal depression, micronutrients might help them and their babies โ€“ new study Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet of pregnant women with antenatal depression not only reduced their symptoms and improved their functioning โ€“ it also benefitted their infants.

31/05/2024

Speaking at Nerd Nite Christchurch next week on UPF and mental health....it's not all about SUGAR!

Weโ€™re back at A Rolling Stone on 5 June for NN ChCh #21 ๐Ÿป๐Ÿพ

Snag some tickets at the link below before theyโ€™re gone! ๐Ÿค“

https://events.humanitix.com/nerd-nite-chch-21?c=fb

14/05/2024

Wondering what to do before the ski season? Head to Tekapo for the weekend for some cold water swimming yoga, cooking lessons, stargazing and inspirational talks! Use this discount code BT2024JULIA www.breathetekapo.com

Breathe Tekapo 2024 14/05/2024

Wondering what to do before the ski season? Head to Tekapo for the weekend May 24-26 for some cold water swimming yoga, cooking lessons, wellbeing activitirs, stargazing and inspirational talks! Use this discount code BT2024JULIA

Breathe Tekapo 2024 Inspirational wellness leaders, invigorating workshops, and opportunities to relax and refresh amidst the stunning Mackenzie landscape.

Photos from Julia Rucklidge - Mental Health & Nutrition Research: Te Puna Toiora's post 22/04/2024

COME ALONG AND TRY OUT AN ICEBATH THIS FRIDAY 26th APRIL. ๐ŸงŠ๐ŸงŠ

Ice baths will be available from 9.30 - 11.00am in the Haere-roa court yard, at the University of Canterbury.

Come join in on the fun! Everyone is welcome!! Push your limits and test yourself with a cold dip.๐Ÿฅถ

BYO towelโ„๏ธ

Photos from Julia Rucklidge - Mental Health & Nutrition Research: Te Puna Toiora's post 09/04/2024

Love graduation especially when there is a new Dr who specialized in nutritional psychology. So proud of Dr Siobhan Campbell. Results of her PhD to be announced very very soon on her fascinating findings on the impact of micronutrients on infants. Klara Richter also got her Masters thesis looking at infant regulation across time. Stay tuned!!!

Photos from Julia Rucklidge - Mental Health & Nutrition Research: Te Puna Toiora's post 09/04/2024

So so proud of another Dr graduating from the lab. Congratulations to Dr Siobhan Campbell who did her PhD on the effects of micronutrients on infant behaviour. Very exciting results to post very soon. Stay posted.

05/04/2024

Only 20 tickets left for honest conversation on the impact our food environment is having on mental health.

Parenting with Confidence is a workshop series for parents across the Waimakariri District. The workshops focus on specific topics to help parents find their confidence in parenting, explore the important issues effecting families across the district and help connect a community of like-minded parents.

Hear from our expert speaker Dr Julia Rucklidge, Professor of Psychology at University of Canterbury and Director of Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab. Dr Rucklidge is passionate about advocating that a good nutritional foundation is central to helping people prevent and recover from mental health challenges. For more than a decade, her lab has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the treatment of mental illness, including ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress.

Thursday 11 April from 7-8.30pm at MainPower Stadium in Rangiora. The event is $10 per person โ€“ please register to attend ๐Ÿ‘‡ https://events.humanitix.com/parenting-with-confidence-2axwjru6

Photos from UC Psychology, Speech and Hearing's post 26/03/2024

Ice bath happiness!

Photos from Julia Rucklidge - Mental Health & Nutrition Research: Te Puna Toiora's post 24/03/2024

REMINDER: Ice baths are happening tomorrow: 9.30 - 10.30am at University of Canterbury, in the Haere-roa Building courtyard.๐ŸงŠ๐ŸงŠ๐ŸงŠโ„๏ธ

Photos from Julia Rucklidge - Mental Health & Nutrition Research: Te Puna Toiora's post 22/03/2024

COME ALONG AND TRY OUT AN ICEBATH NEXT TUESDAY 26th MARCH!!๐ŸงŠ๐ŸงŠ Class PSYC214 will be trying out cold water therapy from 9.30 - 11.00am in the Haere-roa court yard, next Tuesday. Come early to get a spot, everyone is welcome to join in. Push your limits and test yourself with a cold dip!๐Ÿฅถ BYO towelโ„๏ธ

18/03/2024

Come along and join in on a FREE YOGA class at 10.00am TODAY (Tuesday 19th March) and/or 10.00am FRIDAY 22nd March. These yoga classes will be held in the University of Canterbury Haere-roa building courtyard (or inside the building if raining). Please bring along a mat or towel to sit on. Everyone is welcome to join- UC students or not, bring along your friends!๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ These classes will run for 50 minutes.

18/03/2024

Come along and join in on a FREE YOGA class at 10.00am TOMORROW (Tuesday 19th March) and/or 10.00am FRIDAY 22nd March. These yoga classes will be held in the University of Canterbury Haere-roa building courtyard or if rainingโ€ฆ at the University Canterbury Rec centre sports hall. Please bring along a mat or towel and your friends! Everyone is welcome to join- UC students or not. ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ These classes will run for 50 minutes.

17/03/2024

So many amazing speakers and workshops. What a great way to spend a weekend as we head into winter .tekapo

Breathe Tekapo 17/03/2024

So many amazing opportunities for relaxing in Tekapo as we head into winter...

Breathe Tekapo FOOD Workshop details MOVEMENT Workshop details INSPIRATION Workshop details NATURE Workshop details WEEKEND PROGRAMME KEY DATES Breathe Tekapo 24-26 May 2024 SUPER EARLY BIRD // 11 March 2024 Tickets on sale, Super Early Bird -pricing in place EARLY BIRD // 2 APRIL 2024 Early Bird pricing in place....

10/03/2024

Reminder!
Free meditation class tomorrow- 10.00am at the University of Canterbury.

Haere-roa Building Courtyard [90 Ilam road]

Come along and join in on a FREE GROUP MEDITATION CLASS at the University of Canterbury led by an instructor. Students enrolled in PSYC214 are trying out Meditation - the invite is open to ALL UC students and public members to join in.๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ The class will start at 10.00am (and go for 50 minutes) on Tuesday 12th March and Friday 15th March. Both meditation classes will be held at the University of Canterbury, in the UCSA / Haere-roa building courtyard.

08/03/2024

Although UK based, it is available for anyone to sign up. 8am in NZ....13th march

08/03/2024

Come along and join in on a FREE GROUP MEDITATION CLASS at the University of Canterbury led by an instructor. Students enrolled in PSYC214 are trying out Meditation - the invite is open to ALL UC students and public members to join in.๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ The class will start at 10.00am (and go for 50 minutes) on Tuesday 12th March and Friday 15th March. Both meditation classes will be held at the University of Canterbury, in the UCSA / Haere-roa building courtyard.

Growing an Urban Food Forest in a Public Park โ€“ Happen Films 01/03/2024

A must watch! Only 15 minutes. Imagine if all our local parks had a Food Commons. The supermarkets might go out of business! Learn where your food comes from...Ka pai Toha Kai Happen Films

Growing an Urban Food Forest in a Public Park โ€“ Happen Films This documentary shares the inspiring story of Roimata Food Commons, an urban food forest initiative in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Photos from UC Psychology, Speech and Hearing's post 27/02/2024

What a great first lab for PSYC214, The Science and Practice of Wellbeing. Teaching students about how to grow their own food from seeds, learning about the important role of food in wellbeing. UC Psychology, Speech and Hearing UC Science University of Canterbury

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Our Story

We are Te Puna Toiora/the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab, in the School of Psychology, Speech, and Hearing, University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

We will post on this page about ongoing and upcoming studies at our lab, so if you have an interest in mental health and nutrition, or you or someone you know is affected by a mental health condition and are interested in nutritional treatments, keep an eye on this page for any studies you may be able to be involved in.

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