"Something is going seriously wrong": Leading the charge on brain nutrition with trailblazing citizen science

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Copyright: thesomegirl | Getty Images
Copyright: thesomegirl | Getty Images

Related tags Cognitive health

"We have to put mental health at the top of the agenda", says Patrick Holford, as he leads the charge on nutrition for brain health with a citizen science programme expected to gather one million participants by next year.

Patrick Holford is an author and spokesman on nutrition and mental health, and as founder and CEO of the UK charity foodforthebrain.org, he is leading an unprecedented mission to help the public to improve their brain health through better nutrition.

Spreading the word about declining IQ scores across the globe since the 1970s, Holford advocates for a diet high in fats and essential vitamins and minerals, as he argues the drop in intellect stems from diets based around refined carbs and sugar.

"There have actually been three government reports since 2010 that have rated mental health problems as the number one most expensive and urgent health issue... and this reflects the fact that depression, autism, ADHD, dementia, are all on the increase.

"Studies on the IQ are showing about a 7% decrease in IQ per generation since the 1970's so something is going seriously wrong."

He adds: "We have a massive increase in children's mental health problems and in some parts of the UK 50% of women are on antidepressants... so it is a major issue.

"It is extraordinary that it's not being addressed and that's one of the reasons why, at foodforthebrain.org, we're making as much noise as we can."

His charity is now using at home blood spot tests alongside digital cognitive health questionnaires to analyse the nutrition and cognition status of thousands of participants.

Providing these participants with nutrition advice and building a huge databank to back its cause, the charity hopes to catalyse a widespread shift in perceptions around mental and cognitive health.

Listen to this podcast with NutraIngredients Europe Editor Nikki Hancocks, for the full details.

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