For my 300th article (and the first for 2015) I’m going to follow up on #297 from Dec 8 on mental health.
Dr. Julia Rucklidge in her TEDx talk suggested we reconsider our current treatment approach to mental illness – psychiatric medication first, followed by psychological therapies, with nutrition as an afterthought (if considered at all). Instead she proposes the first priority be lifestyle factors (healthy eating, exercise, supplements) and when necessary psychological treatment, and save medications for when these approaches prove insufficient.
Anthony Stephan, founder of TrueHope, argues that it’s better to nutrate our brains than to medicate them. He prefers to call mental illness “nutritional deficiency mood disorders” and believes that given sufficient nutrients the body can heal itself.
Putting nutrition first makes sense to me. The brain makes up 2% of body mass but consumes 20% of our energy and uses a disproportionately high amount of our daily intake of nutrients. How can we expect it to function properly if our diets are depleted in essential nutrients? Kaplan & Rucklidge in their December 9, 2014 madinamerica.com article “Nutrient Boosting of Medications” put it more technically:
...psychiatric symptoms may be the result of inborn metabolic dysfunction associated with slowed metabolic activity caused by insufficient vitamin and mineral cofactors.Note that nutrient dosages much higher than the RDA are usually required to compensate for these metabolic dysfunctions.
Research on micro-nutrition and mental illness (25 published studies to date) shows positive often dramatic improvements with a broad spectrum high dose nutrient supplementation on a variety of conditions: depression, bi-polar disorder, autism, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, stress, anxiety, mood & behavior, and addiction. Over the last 16 years TrueHope and its micronutrient supplement has helped tens of thousands of people with mental illness return to a normal life and either reduce or eliminate their psychiatric medications. Shouldn’t this be our primary treatment for mental illness: nutrate rather than medicate?
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.