Good evening everybody and thank you very much for coming out tonight to listen about the nutrition of Melton Health the scientific evidence and I’m Lorraine and I’m working UCD I’m the head of human nutrition in UCD and I work in the Institute of food and health in this building here and my main research team is really trying to.
Understand how we metabolize our food and how the food that we metabolize has an impact on our on our health and while mental health is not a main focus we do some work in.
The area and I’ll touch on that at the end now I chose to add the scientific evidence at the end of my title and the reason I chose.
To do that is that there’s a lot of evidence are not a lot of information about food and food and nutrition and its effects on different health parameters.
That isn’t scientifically proven or doesn’t have a strong scientific evidence base to it and what I’m going to focus on tonight is really what we would consider as scientists as important scientific evidence and what there is in the in the context.
Of nutrition and mental health so then what I’m going to do then through the next 40 to 45 minutes or so is to give you.
A background really on the different levels of scientific evidence and I’ll give you an overview of the emerging evidence there is today on nutrition and mental health or diet.
And mental health I’ll end up with some conclusions on on that topic and then I’ll talk a little bit about some of the work that’s emerging from.
Our from our own work in the context of personalized nutrition so just to start with in about evidence and this is a pyramid that we often talk.
About when we talk about scientific evidence and I’ll talk through this because it makes it it’ll make sense and where we get our information from so that we can make dietary guidelines or.
We can make recommendations for different Health’s different health and disease conditions so at the very bottom we have what we call observational studies and these are studies where we look at a parameter in our case it’s.
Nutrition our diet and we look at it in relation to either a disease outcome or a health outcome and these are what we call observational studies and examples would be case studies or cohort studies and this is really just looking at associations so there’s no directionality involved in it and.
We can’t infer any directionality we’re really just looking at the associations between different parameters so.
Hence it’s at the lower end of the of the pyramid it’s really kind of the base level of of evidence however if you have multiple studies that are showing you the same evidence from these observational studies then you can start to pull these together and start to get a better insight to what may be happening and then you can start to design what we would call it the ultimate study which are these experimental studies or these.
Randomized controlled trials.
So these are our gold standard and we really want to have randomized controlled trials if we’re going to make recommendations and by randomized controlled trials what we’re trying to do is to say if we modify or we change the diet of an individual can we impact on their health or their health outcomes so this is where.