(taken from chapter 32 of “The New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind, by Patrick Holford)
I know I said I was going to do Manic Depression - still on it's way - this topic came up and was a bit more pressing for me so I hope you don't mind the diversion!
- One in four people are addicted to SOMETHING – tea, coffee, sugar, nicotine, alcohol, tranquilizers – something!
- Genes are important and play a role
- But genes are only one side of the equation – predispose it but don’t determine it
- “By providing optimum nutrition for a person…their mood, energy, and general well-being can be so substantially improved that compensations using addictive substances no longer become necessary.” (pg356)
- One study with mice prove this – two groups – one group given junk food the other given a healthy diet – both with free access to water and/or alcohol. The junk food mice soon became alcoholic and died prematurely. The healthy mice did not choose the alcohol and lived to a ripe old age.
- Also to note is that the mice, as they became more interested in the alcohol they became less interested in any food – leading to a downward spiral…
Most alcoholics and drug addicts have HYPOGLYCEMIA – one way of raising your blood-sugar level is to smoke a cigarette, drink coffee, eat chocolate, drink alcohol or take a drug.
Addictions have a lot in common with hidden allergies. Often the allergic substance becomes addictive, and if it is not consumed, withdrawal symptoms set in, which can be relieved by consuming the allergen.
Many people who regularly consume alcohol also become allergic to it, or to something in it.
ALCOHOL: the greatest anti-nutrient of them all.
Well proven to deplete almost every vitamin (A,B1,B2,B6,folic acid, B12,C,D, and E), mineral (calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and selenium) and amino acid(trypophan, taurine, glutathione etc.) essential fat (omega-3, omega 6) as well as disturbing blood sugar control.
MANY OF THE SYMPTOMS AND PROBLEMS OF ALCOHOL ABUSE ARISE DIRECTLY FROM THESE NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCES. For example, tryptophan depletion leads to depression, while B-vitamin deficiencies make you anxious, unable to concentrate, and even feeling like you are crazy.
*So the first step in treating addiction is to prepare the person for withdrawal by CORRECTING THESE DEFICIENCIES. GIVING ALL ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS IN OPTIMAL AMOUNTS DRAMATICALLY REDUCES CRAVINGS FOR ACOHOL.
In a rat study, rats given B1 vitamins cut their drinking by a staggering 80 %
Lots of nutrients protect the liver too – Taurine, choline, glutamine, glutathione, and many others.
HOW TO QUIT:
- Alcohol: a number of researchers reports have found that mega-doses of a cocktail of nutrients, given orally as supplements or intravenously, can virtually eliminate symptoms of withdrawal. “A whole-food diet plus a multivitamin kept 81 % of alcoholics off booze six months after withdrawal, compared to 38% left to their own devices.
- Cigarettes: an alkaline diet with plenty of fruit and veggies and high doses of Vitamin C and niacin as well as other nutrients. – most smokers are hypoglycemic so a diet with COMPLEX carbohydrates (brown rice, beans, lentils, no refined white flour products) AND no sugar, tea, and coffee is essential. Extra chromium, B6 and zinc also help to stabilize blood sugar. Nutritional factors PLUS counseling are highly effective
- get professional help and guidance
- deal with psychological issues with a psychotherapist
- increase your intake of nutrients, including a high strength B complex plus niacin 500 mg, pantothenic acid 500 mg, vitamin B6 100 mg, folic acid 1 mg, vitamin C 3-10 g a day spread throughout the day.
- Take L-glutamine powder, 5 g am and pm plus enough essential fats including GLA, EPA and DHA and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
- Come off your addiction slowly
- Eat an extremely healthy diet that supports your brain:
- wholegrains (such as rice, buckwheat, millet, rye, oats, whole wheat, spelt or quinoa), lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies per day. Choose dark green, leafy and root vegetables such as watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans and peppers, either raw or lightly cooked and limit your consumption of starchier veggies like potatoes.
- Choose fresh fruit such as apples, pears, berries, melon or citrus fruit. Have bananas in moderation. Dilute fruit juices and only eat dried fruits infrequently in small quantities preferably soaked.
- Avoid sugar and foods containing sugar – this means anything with added glucose, sucrose, or dextrose, malt sugar, honey. Don’t be tempted to go for sugar substitutes – they all keep sugar cravings alive and most are detrimental.
- Combine PROTEIN foods (fish, meat, eggs, beans)with carbs by eating cereals and fruit with nuts or seeds, having carbohydrate rich foods with protein rich foods (fish, chicken, lentils, beans or tofu)
- Eat breakfast every day!