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Type: Thesis
Title: The neurological impact of specific nutrients on female stress: a two-phase, sequential, mixed methods study
Author: McCabe, Delia
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: The Joanna Briggs Institute
Abstract: A growing body of literature suggests that the intake of specific nutrients impact mental health, and recent findings support a causative relationship between dietary patterns and affective disorders, whilst also providing evidence of a robust relationship between affective disorders and chronic stress. There is however a paucity of evidence regarding the relationship between chronic stress and nutrition. This thesis reports on research aimed to provide insight into the relationship between chronic stress and the intake of specific dietary nutrients among women. A systematic review examined the current evidence regarding nutrient intake and stress levels. A cross-sectional survey followed, in which a sample of women provided information regarding their perceived stress levels and nutrient intake via diet and dietary supplements. A participatory action research project concluded the study, wherein the lived experience of stress and the role of diet and/or dietary supplementation to manage stress was investigated. The systematic review revealed that there was insufficient evidence to support the intake of specific dietary nutrients either via diet or supplementation to manage stress level. After adjustment, data from the cross-sectional survey revealed a further lack of evidence to support a robust relationship between stress and specific nutrients consumed via the diet or supplementation. The lived experience of stress and the use of specific nutrients to manage stress among a group of women in the PAR project was influenced by relationships and confusion and scepticism regarding the usefulness of nutrients to impact mental wellbeing, while early life stress and thinking patterns were further factors influencing the experience of stress. Evidence regarding the neurobiological efficacy of nutrient intervention is required to support decision-making by clinicians and policy makers in light of the well-established role that chronic stress plays in the development of affective disorders among women globally. This study provides a first step towards the development of a knowledge base regarding the role that specific nutrients play in the stress response among women, although further research is warranted due to the far reaching neurobiological effects of chronic stress.
Advisor: Lockwood, Craig
Barker, Timothy
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, The Joanna Briggs Institute, 2019
Keywords: Female
dietary supplements
adaptation, psychological
stress, psychological/psychology
mood disorders/epidemiology
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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