Mental Health Information

  • Nearly 20% of adults are on some kind of SSRI or antidepressant.
  • Up to 10% of American children suffer from mental illness.
  • Research indicates that there is a direct-line relationship between the nutrient pool within the body and the production of our personal brain chemistry, specifically the saturation or depletion of 5 neurotransmitters in the brain: GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphin and dopamine. These specific transmitters help to create the “chemistry of emotion” and are responsible for the depth of moods, depression, anger management, problem resolution and energy and activity levels. In a nutshell they: enhance the brain’s ability to calm itself, are involved in perception processes, are involved in mental energy and long-term memory, have potent analgesic (pain relieving) properties which mediate negative mood patterns, facilitate critical brain functions and are responsible for fine motor control, pleasure and sexual arousal. 
  • One of the most influential controls over the levels of transmitters is nutrition; vitamins, minerals, amino acids, EFAs and enzymes. 
  • When we do not make the necessary nutrients available to the body, we are unable to produce the amino acids/neurotransmitters we need.
  • Shortages lead to anger, depression, hyperactivity, drug/alcohol cravings and unpleasant moods.
  • Adequate digestion is therefore key to this process!
  • Vitamin B6 is a cofactor necessary to create these brain chemicals.
  • Low B6 symptoms include: depression, difficulty recalling dreams, insomnia, learning difficulties, mental stress, nervousness and premenstrual tension.
  • Causes of low B6 are: alcohol, estrogen, contraceptives, antidepressants, lack of B6 food choices, food processing, poor digestion and drug use.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide!
  • Nutritional causes of depression: frequent consumption of caffeine or sucrose, deficiencies of biotin, folic acid, vitamin B6, B2, B1, B12 or vitamin C,deficiencies of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium or potassium and food sensitivities. 
  • We look at the world through the glasses of our hormones: too little serotonin, the world looks depressing, too much testosterone, the world looks aggressive…….
  • Nutritional Therapy approaches mental health from the foundations of good health: diet, digestion, blood sugar balance, fatty acid balance, mineral balance and hydration. 

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Kristy Corah, NTP

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