Te Puna Toiora: Mental Health and Nutrition Research

The Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group, established in 2012 by Professor Julia Rucklidge, is dedicated to conducting independent research investigating the impact of nutrients and nutrition on mental health. Studies are conducted across a broad range of health areas including ADHD, depression during pregnancy, anxiety, insomnia and addictions. The group has helped many families all over Aotearoa New Zealand with this approach, but more research is needed.

The research has been generously supported by donations from people all over the world dedicated to finding new solutions to mental illness. The Mental Health and Nutrition Research fund supports ongoing research and PhD scholarships in the area of nutrition and mental illness.


The research group independently tests new, groundbreaking multinutrient formulae, probiotics and other natural, beneficial substances. Studies are run on many different psychological disorders, including ADHD (in both adults and children), addictions, depression, and stress. The group uses all kinds of different trial designs to test these products, including multiple baseline designs, open label, and the 'gold standard' of clinical testing, the randomised, placebo-controlled trial (RCT). 

Current research includes:

  • The High Anxiety Pyrrole Intervention (HAPI) Trial, exploring the effects of micronutrients zinc and B6 on anxiety
  • The Taiora Trial, balancing emotions in adolescents with micronutrients
  • The SUNNY Trial, investigating whether a vitamin or mineral formula can improve children's emotion dysregulation and irritability, granting a beneficial impact on the overall wellbeing of the children and their whānau.