Bio-Chemical Micro-Nutrient Deficiency & Adjustment Research
LOL – that’s quite a title for this informative post.
I collect science and automotive magazines from Goodwill for good reading. I read some of the most interesting things about all kinds of things out here in the big world and the cosmos. A lot of the health related science articles seem to be relevant in my adult life. Sometimes I stumble onto a health article about mental disorders.
Getting down to mental health
In 2005 Discover published an article about nutritional deficiencies and how they directly affect our bio-chemistry causing a myriad of imbalances in our general health, specifically as it relates to the brain and mental disorders.
Vitamin Cure (FROM THE MAY 2005 ISSUE)
Can common nutrients curb violent tendencies and dispel clinical depression?
A number of common nutrients may help alleviate mental illness when taken in higher-than-normal doses. A few of the most promising candidates (nutrients) follow.
Folic acid: Folic acid is a B vitamin essential to mood regulation and the development of the nervous system. Patients deficient in it appear to respond poorly to antidepressants. In one 2000 British study, 127 patients taking Prozac were also given either 500 micrograms of folic acid a day or a placebo. The folic acid group did significantly better, in particular the women, 94 percent of whom improved compared with 61 percent in the placebo group.
Magnesium: It’s long been known that magnesium can act as a sedative. Some studies have also found magnesium deficiencies in patients with depression, although the evidence is inconsistent. The mineral may help other mood-stabilizing drugs work better. Researchers at the Chemical Abuse Centers in Boardman, Ohio, found that combining magnesium oxide with the drug verapamil helped control manic symptoms in patients better than a drug-placebo combination.
Chromium: Several studies have suggested that chromium picolinate may help alleviate depression and improve the response to antidepressants. In one small trial at Duke University, 70 percent of the patients who were given chromium picolinate improved, while none of those given placebos got better.
Inositol: This sugar molecule appears to make the brain’s receptors more sensitive to serotonin, one of the chemical messengers that mediate mood. In a series of short-term placebo-controlled trials, researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that large doses of inositol—12 to 18 grams a day—helped alleviate depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“common nutrients may help alleviate mental illness when taken in higher-than-normal doses”
This strikes an interesting perspective on managing mental disorders. Nutrients listed are a great launch pad but the best thing to do is research. Familiarize ourselves with the side-effects of having a bio-chemical imbalance, this is key to successfully managing things many suffer from such as bi-polar, manic-depression and mania.
How else beside vitamins?
Because this is all related to micro-nutritional levels and bio-chemical health we can find other places to supplement these nutrients. For example, our nutritional intake directly impacts the presence of micro-nutrients needed to perform metabolic functions affecting bio-chemical processes such as balancing hormones directly linked to our mental state-of-being.
This leads to the conclusion that any nutrient intake is involved in mood stabilization. Some nutrients are better for us than others within respective levels considered to be normal in a healthy human. Those of us who struggle with mental illness are especially faced with deficiencies that cannot support or maintain healthy levels.
Ok, how does it work?
I’ve read this is related to genetic triggers in our DNA passed down from our parents. While there is little evidence to support there is a specific gene for say, bi-polar disorder, it is clear that environmental variances are related to the genetic structures we are born and develop by.
I have one interesting example of metabolic functions affected by nutrient levels and how that leads to bio-chemical normality. I subscribe to a newsletter published by Julie A. Fast, author of Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and regarded as a mental health pioneer. Julie emailed her newsletter and addressed a reader inquiry about sunlight and moods.
Julie outlines four keys to managing moods when it’s sunny outside (because sunlight metabolizes in our bodies as micro-nutrient). Here’s are the basis for each key she writes about.
The main goal is to create a circadian rhythm plan that makes sure you get light at the right times.
- It’s about when you get light if you have bipolar disorder- not always how much.
- During sunny times- the amount of light that goes into your EYES is the problem.
- Darkness is associated with depression even if it’s not actually making us more depressed.
- Electronic devices increase light into the eyes.
There are tips for each of the keys outlined above and a great write-up about sunlight and mood management.
Be Happy by Peter Griffin – Supplement Close Up by K Whiteford – Nutrient Oil Capsules by Lynn Greyling – Sunlight by MALIZ ONG
This post was last modified on January 23, 2015 - learn more.
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