Food and Behaviour Research

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Professor Malcolm Peet, MB, ChB, FRCPsych

Professor Malcolm Peet

Consultant Psychiatrist in the NHS and former Head of the University Department of Psychiatry, Sheffield

Research Interests:

Professor Malcom Peet is a Consultant Psychiatrist with Doncaster and South Humber NHS Healthcare Trust, and Honorary Professor at the University of Sheffield and at Sheffield Hallam University.

From a background of research in psychopharmacology, Professor Peet has been studying the role of nutrition in mental health since 1990. He has pioneered research into the role of omega-3 fatty acids in both depression and schizophrenia - including controlled treatment trials - and remains at the forefront of international research in this field. He has also shown that schizophrenia is more severe in countries where the national diet is higher in sugar and saturated fats, while depression is more common in countries with lower intakes of omega-3 from fish and seafood. These findings could help to explain why depression is more common and schizophrenia more severe in developed countries than in the developing world.

Professor Peet continues to investigate the links he has found between diet and mental health, and to explore plausible mechanisms. More recently, his research has also focused on the practical applications of nutritional interventions within mental health services in the United Kingdom, and their implications for professional training. He has published and lectured extensively on the topic of nutrition and mental health, and is highly skilled at communicating the latest research and its implications to public and professional as well as academic audiences.

Recent Publications:

PEET M. (2008), Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of schizophrenia. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci.; 45(1):19-25. Review. PMID: 18587166

Jazayeri S, Tehrani-Doost M, Keshavarz SA, Hosseini M, Djazayery A, Amini H, Jalali M, PEET M. (2008) Comparison of therapeutic effects of omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid and fluoxetine, separately and in combination, in major depressive disorder. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. Mar;42(3):192-8.PMID: 18247193

PEET M. (2007). Membrane fatty acid deficits in schizophrenia and mood disorders. In: Fatty Acids and Oxidative Stress in Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Editors: Reddy R & Yao J, Nova Science Publishers, NY.

FREEMAN M P, HIBBELN J R, WISNER K L, DAVIS J M, MISCHOULON D, PEET M, KECK P E Jr, MARANGELL L B, RICHARDSON A J, LAKE J, STOLL A L. (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids: evidence basis for treatment and future research in psychiatry. Journal of clinical Psychiatry, 67 1954-67.

PEET M, STOKES C. (2005). Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Drugs, 65 1051-9.

PEET M. (2005). Nutrition and schizophrenia. World Reviews of Nutrition and Dietetics, 95 17-28.

PEET M. (2004). International variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and the prevalence of depression in relation to national dietary practices: an ecological analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 184 404-8.

PEET M, SHAH S, SELVAM K, RAMCHAND C N. (2004). Polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in red cell membranes of unmedicated schizophrenic patients. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 5 92-99.

PEET M, GLEN A I M, HORROBIN D F. (Editors) (2003) Phospholipid Spectrum Disorders in Psychiatry and Neurology. Marius Press, Carnforth, Lancashire.

PEET M, HORROBIN D F. (2002). A dose-ranging exploratory study of the effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in patients with persistent schizophrenic symptoms. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 36 7-18.

PEET M, HORROBIN D F. (2002). A dose-ranging study of the effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in patients with ongoing depression in spite of apparently adequate treatment with standard drugs. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59 913-19.