Excerpts From NIH Article
Alternative Nutritional Therapies For Psychological & General Health
Studies have shown that Daily Supplements of Vital Nutrients Often Effectively Reduce Patients' Symptoms. Supplements that contain Amino Acid Peptides are converted to Neurotransmitters that Alleviate Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Mood Swings, Insomnia, Fatigue.
Many Antidepressants, AntiAnxiety & Mood Stabilizers and other Prescription drugs can cause Severe side effects, which usually Discourage Patients from Taking their Medications. Such Unwilling Patients if Left Untreated Due to Lack of Other Choice Of Treatments are at a Higher Risk for Complications
One way to Avoid Medication Related Sideeffects is to Offer Alternative or Complementary Nutritional Treatments. Although further research needs to be done to determine the best Recommended Doses. We Recommend Doses of Dietary Supplements Based on Effectiveness Studies and then Adjust the Doses based on the Results Obtained.
Many Psychiatric & Prescription Drugs cause Unwanted Side Effects Like Weight gain, Sedation, Sexual S/e, Dizziness, Tremors, Etc. Sometimes side effects can be So severe and Unpleasant that many Patients are Forced to Stop Taking Them. Therefore, It is Imperative that We Provide our patients with Complementary Nutritional Therapies.
The Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies seen in Mental Disorder Patients are of DHA/EPA Fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which the body converts into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),, B Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino Peptides that are Precursors to Neurotransmitters. Replenishing These Nutrients in Adequate Amounts Reduces the Intensity Of Symptoms
Summary of proposed causes and treatments for common mental health disorders
Depression has been known to be associated with deficiencies in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, and GABA. As reported in several studies, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, and Methionine are Often Helpful in Treating Many Mood disorders, Replenishing these Nutrients may Leads To Tranquility, Sleep, Improved Mood
Replenishing Dopamine and Norepinephrine Nutritionally Can Lead to Alertness and Arousal. Methionine combines with ATP to produce S-adenosylmethionine which facilitates the Production of Neurotransmitters in the Brain.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) & Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have shown to elicit Antidepressant effects, Possibly by due to conversion into Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Other Chemicals the brain Needs.
Other theories state that EPA and DHA affect signal transduction in brain cells by activating Peroxisomal Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs), inhibiting G-proteins and Protein kinase C, as well as Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium ion channels.
In addition Certain Essential Nutrients & Minerals -MethylTetraHydrofolate, Pyridoxine, Pentothenic Acids, Niacinamide , Thaimnine and Magnesium Deficiencies have been linked to depression. Randomized, controlled trials that involve folate and B12 suggest that patients treated with 0.8 mg of folic acid/day or 0.4 mg of vitamin B12/day will exhibit decreased depression symptoms . In addition, the results of several case studies where patients were treated with 125 to 300 mg of magnesium (as glycinate or taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime led to rapid recovery from major depression in less than seven days for most of the patients .
Some biochemical abnormalities in people with bipolar disorder include oversensitivity to Acetylcholine, Excess Vanadium, B Vitamin Deficiencies, a Taurine Deficiency, Anemia, EPA/DHAfatty acid Deficiencies, and Vitamin C Ceficiency.
Bipolar patients tend to have Excess Acetylcholine Receptors, which is a major cause of depression and mania [42,43]. Bipolar patients also produce elevated levels of vanadium, which causes mania, depression, and melancholy [44,45]. However, vitamin C has been shown to protect the body from the damage caused by excess vanadium. A double-blind, placebo controlled study that involved controlling elevated vanadium levels showed that a single 3 g dose of vitamin C decreases manic symptoms in comparison to placebo .
Taurine is made from cysteine that is known to elicit a calming effect. A deficiency may increase intensity of manic episodes. The combination of essential vitamin supplements with the body's natural supply of lithium reduces depressive and manic symptoms of patients suffering from bipolar disorder
Another well-known factor for mental disorders is that cells within the brain require fattyAcid Oils in order to be able to Transmit Signals That Enable Proper Thinking, Moods, and Emotions. Numerous Studies have shown that Adequate Doses of EPA added to one's daily intake decreases manic/depressive symptoms better than placebo
Prescription lithium is in the form of lithium carbonate, are responsible for most of lithium's adverse side effects. Some of the more common side effects include a dulled personality, reduced emotions, memory loss, tremors, or weight gain. A Dietary form of Lithium is preferred because the orotate ion crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily lithium carbonate. Therefore, Ororate form of Lithium Salt can be used in much lower doses (e.g. 5 mg) with remarkable results and no side effects [
Clinical trials involving Studies have also shown that the amino acid-derivative, taurine, as an alternative to lithium, blocks the effects of excess acetylcholine that contributes to bipolar disorder
List of possible causes and treatments for bipolar disorder including specific doses as well as supplementary information
Disturbances in amino acid metabolism have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Specifically, an impaired synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system has been found in schizophrenic patients. High doses (30 g) of glycine have been shown to reduce the more subtle symptoms of schizophrenia, such as social withdrawal, emotional flatness, and apathy, which do not respond to most of the existing medications. An open-label clinical trial performed in 1996 revealed that 60 g of glycine per day (0.8 g/kg) could be given to schizophrenic patients without producing adverse side effects and that this dose led to a two-fold increase in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) glycine levels. A second clinical study treated patients with the same dosage divided into 3 doses within 1 week. This form of glycine treatment led to an eight-fold increase in CSF glycine levels .
The most consistent correlation found in one study that involved the ecological analysis of schizophrenia and diet concluded that increased consumption of refined sugar results in an overall decreased state of mind for schizophrenic patients,
The VegEPA capsule contains:
• 280 milligrams of EPA from marine omega-3 fish oil
• 100 milligrams of organic virgin evening primrose omega-6 oil
• 1 milligram of the anti-oxidant vitamin E
• An outer capsule made out of fish gelatine
For schizophrenic patients, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplements inhibit the effects of EPA supplements so it is recommended that the patient only takes the EPA supplement, which the body will convert into the amount DHA it needs [59-65]. Double-blind, placebo controlled studies, randomized, placebo controlled studies, and open-label clinical studies have all shown that approximately 2 g of EPA taken daily in addition to one's existing medication effectively decreases symptoms in schizophrenic patients [59,60,65].
Therefore, it is clear that nutrients which increase serotonin levels will reduce the symptoms of OCD. Using Amino Acid Precursors to Serotonin, and tryptophan supplements (which are better than 5-Hydroxytryptophan) will increase serotonin levels and treat OCD .
A commercially available supplement called Amoryn has recently proven to help patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and OCD [69,70]. The main ingredient in Amoryn, St. John's wort, has been shown to help OCD patients better deal with their recurring thoughts and compulsions. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies were recently performed that compared the affects of a 900 mg daily dose of St. John's wort extract to 20 mg daily doses of Paroxetine (Paxil) or Fluoxetine; which are both SSRIs used to treat OCD. In comparison to patients taking Paxil, those who took the St. John's wort supplement showed a 57% decrease in OCD symptoms and were 47% less likely to exhibit side effects . In comparison to patients taking Fluoxetine, consumption of the St. John's wort extract reduced 48% of OCD patient's symptoms .
Many of these studies were done in the 1970s and 1980s, but were soon discontinued because they were underfunded. Nutritional therapies have now become a long-forgotten method of treatment, because they were of no interest to pharmaceutical companies that could not patent or own them.
Instead, the companies that funded most clinical research spent their dollars investigating synthetic drugs they could patent and sell; these drugs however usually caused adverse side effects.
There is tremendous resistance to using supplements as treatments from clinicians, mostly due to their lack of knowledge on the subject. Others rather use prescription drugs that the drug companies and the FDA researches, monitors and recalls if necessary.
However, for some patients, prescription drugs do not have the efficacy of nutritional supplements and they sometimes have far more dangerous side effects. So Most Doctors avoid these supplement therapies because of a lack of knowledge and unwillingness to use treatments not backed by drug companies and the FDA.
Proper medical diagnosis and a clear description of all possible treatment options should always be the first plan of action when treating mental disorders. However, the final decision on whether or not to try nutritional supplements as a treatment must be based on the patient preferences.
Now with consumers becoming more interested in natural and holistic therapies, nutritional therapies have been well-received, and some studies are again underway in these areas. New well-designed clinical studies are being published daily on the positive effects of nutritional and supplement therapies on all types of disorders and diseases. It will take some time for clinicians to become educated on all the options available, but this is an important task that should not be ignored.
Those with influence in this field should continue to examine natural treatments on the scientific level in order to increase the availability of grant money for this type of research. This will lead to a surge of researchers who will submit proposals for grants enabling laboratories to further investigate the hypothesis that proper nutrition contributes to better mental health.
Psychiatrists treating patients with mental disorders should be aware of available nutritional therapies, appropriate doses, and possible side effects in order to provide alternative and complementary treatments for their patients. This may reduce the number of noncompliant patients suffering from mental disorders that choose not to take their prescribed medications. As with any form of treatment, nutritional therapy should be supervised and doses should be adjusted as necessary to achieve optimal results.