By: Alea Ruf
On: 28 November 2022

Do you eat more, less or the same when feeling stressed?

Even though many of us associate stress with eating more (i.e. overeating), research has shown that we differ in the dietary response to stress1: Some of us eat more, some eat less, while others show no change. Predicting who falls into which group is, however, very difficult, and research findings have been inconclusive. In our recent study, we found that situational factors might play a bigger role than stable individual factors, such as age, gender and BMI, in determining how stress changes our eating behaviour. Who of us eats more when feeling stressed? Knowing who is at risk for stress-induced...

By: Carolina Ramos
On: 28 October 2022

Did you know that Alcohol Abuse could Damage Intestinal Microbiota?

The detrimental effects of alcohol on health are widely known. Alcohol abuse is linked to several inflammatory pathologies, such as liver, intestinal and mental diseases (1). When we consume alcohol, there is minimal absorption of alcohol in the mouth and oesophagus, approximately 20% of the alcohol consumed is gradually absorbed in the stomach, and 70% of the alcohol absorbed in the small intestine (2). Because our gut comes into direct contact with the alcohol we ingest, it is in the alcohol-gut interaction that many of the pathologies associated with alcohol consumption originate; and it is here that our gut microbiota...

By: Barbara Šakić
On: 5 October 2022

What Genetics Can Teach Us About Mental Health

Is mental illness caused by our genes, our lifestyle, or both? What role do genes play in psychiatric disorders such as depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Research into the genetics of psychiatric disorders could provide us with the answer.But why would we care? Well, such discoveries can increase our understanding of the role our genes play in mental health and the biology behind these disorders. This can further help us improve the effectiveness of treatment and develop better diagnostics.   Role of Genetics in Psychiatry  Our genes can be seen as a recipe in a cookbook. Our genetic makeup contains information...

By: Dr. Manuel Schlipf
On: 4 August 2022

Why is it so difficult to change health-related behavior?

When you read the blogs on this website, you will know how healthy lifestyle and nutrition can contribute to mental health. With this information it should be easy for everyone to eat healthy, stop smoking and increase their physical activity, shouldn’t it? In reality, it is very difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle, even when you know all the facts. Why it is so difficult to change our habits? Unlike what many people think, common sense or the right information about good health related behavior is not always enough for changing bad habits. It is more complex than that. Our...

By: Hannah Dorsman
On: 13 June 2022

Vitamin D and Students´ Mental Health

The exam season is almost upon us. Days in the library are getting longer and the urge to just go for some comfort food in the evening is growing. Unfortunately, this also means that our vitamin D levels are at a risk of falling. This can have a negative impact on our mood and overall mental health, which is exactly what we do not want during the busy weeks surrounding our exams. WHAT IS VITAMIN D? Truth is, Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, but a hormone that takes care of the uptake of calcium and phosphate in our...

By: Mandy Meijer
On: 9 June 2022

Picture a scientist – a gender imbalance in science

If you ask children to draw a scientist, they will probably picture a white man. There are less women than men in science, and thus female scientists are less visible for children [1]. The name of a 2020 documentary movie comes from that phenomenon: Picture a Scientist [2]. The documentary tries to answer why there is a gender imbalance in science. A leaky pipeline and implicit bias The main reason for this imbalance is called the ‘leaky pipeline’. The number of female/male science students are quite balanced. But women are facing difficulties when trying to get higher positions in science...

By: Hans van de Velde
On: 31 May 2022

What are the challenges for people with ADHD eating healthy?

During the annual meeting of the EU project Eat2Benice, Hans van de Velde, vice-president of ADHD-Europe, talked about the challenges for people with ADHD to eat healthy. We all know that we should eat healthy. But putting this knowledge into practice is often very difficult. And for individuals with ADHD this might be extra difficult, due to the symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and lower self-control. This is an appeal for scientists of how they can help individuals with ADHD to eat healthy What are the ADHD-challenges to eat healthy? Here are some examples from the ADHD community: People with ADHD...

Obesity Stress (credit David D'amore) By: Arawa Kolossa
On: 4 May 2022

Obesity: Don’t Stress About It

Were you ever fat shamed? If yes, It must have not felt good to hear that. I am sorry this happened to you. This is not another blog on how unhealthy and life-threatening it is to be obese. Instead, I will focus on recognizing stressful situations and explain what stress is and why it is related to obesity. Most importantly, at the very end  I’ll tell you some techniques on how to handle the fuss that comes from being obese. No one can deny the health issues related to being overweight, as no one can deny the effect of stress...

gender specific gut bacteria By: Yangwenshan Ou
On: 4 May 2022

Are your gut bacteria sex-specific?

Numerous biological differences exist between men and women. This seems to be even true for the make-up of our gut bacteria. Researchers have found that the communities of gut microbes look different in adult men compared to women. This leads to new questions about when these sex-related differences arise during development. To study gut microbiota differences between men and women, researchers investigated thousands of poop samples, mostly from healthy adults [1 – 3]. They found that on average, women had higher levels of the bacterial genus called Bacteroides, and lower levels of Prevotella. Interestingly, both bacteria types can play both...

adhd and micronutrients By: Prof. Julia Rucklidge
On: 3 May 2022

Accumulating Evidence for the Benefit of Micronutrients for Children With ADHD

I am more excited about a recent publication than I have been of some of my own work. And that’s because Johnstone et al conducted an independent randomized placebo-controlled trial (RCT) as a replication of a study my lab published in 2018 using micronutrients as a treatment for ADHD in children and they found very similar results to those we reported in our paper. Replication in science is vital and this study, along with our 2 studies, one with adults and one with children, is sufficient to making micronutrients as a treatment for ADHD more mainstream. Indeed, 2 independent RCTs...