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Many mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are associated with poor dietary quality and nutrient intake. There is, however, a deficit of research looking at the relationship between obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality.
This study aims to explore the relationship between OCD severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality.
A post hoc regression analysis was conducted with data combined from two separate clinical trials that included 85 adults with diagnosed OCD, using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5. Nutrient intakes were calculated from the Dietary Questionnaire for Epidemiological Studies version 3.2, and dietary quality was scored with the Healthy Eating Index for Australian Adults – 2013.
Nutrient intake in the sample largely aligned with Australian dietary guidelines. Linear regression models adjusted for gender, age and total energy intake showed no significant associations between OCD severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality (all P > 0.05). However, OCD severity was inversely associated with caffeine (β = −15.50, 95% CI −28.88 to −2.11, P = 0.024) and magnesium (β = −6.63, 95% CI −12.72 to −0.53, P = 0.034) intake after adjusting for OCD treatment resistance.
This study showed OCD severity had little effect on nutrient intake and dietary quality. Dietary quality scores were higher than prior studies with healthy samples, but limitations must be noted regarding comparability. Future studies employing larger sample sizes, control groups and more accurate dietary intake measures will further elucidate the relationship between nutrient intake and dietary quality in patients with OCD.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is often challenging to treat and resistant to psychological interventions and prescribed medications. The adjunctive use of nutraceuticals with potential neuromodulatory effects on underpinning pathways such as the glutamatergic and serotonergic systems is one novel approach.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of a purpose-formulated combination of nutraceuticals in treating OCD: N-acetyl cysteine, L-theanine, zinc, magnesium, pyridoxal-5′ phosphate, and selenium.
A 20-week open label proof-of-concept study was undertaken involving 28 participants with treatment-resistant DSM-5-diagnosed OCD, during 2017 to 2020. The primary outcome measure was the Yale-Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), administered every 4 weeks.
An intention-to-treat analysis revealed an estimated mean reduction across time (baseline to week-20) on the YBOCS total score of −7.13 (95% confidence interval = −9.24, −5.01), with a mean reduction of −1.21 points per post-baseline visit (P ≤ .001). At 20-weeks, 23% of the participants were considered “responders” (YBOCS ≥35% reduction and “very much” or “much improved” on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale). Statistically significant improvements were also revealed on all secondary outcomes (eg, mood, anxiety, and quality of life). Notably, treatment response on OCD outcome scales (eg, YBOCS) was greatest in those with lower baseline symptom levels, while response was limited in those with relatively more severe OCD.
While this pilot study lacks placebo-control, the significant time effect in this treatment-resistant OCD population is encouraging and suggests potential utility especially for those with lower symptom levels. Our findings need to be confirmed or refuted via a follow-up placebo-controlled study.