Taken from Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford
“More people suffer from depression and schizophrenia than any other mental health problem. 1 in 20 people are diagnosed with depression. 1 in 100 are diagnosed with schizophrenia.”
Both are, for the most part, curable with the right nutrition plus psychotherapy.
This section of the book was full of hope for me and I am hopeful will be for my readers too! My heart was racing as my eyes skimmed through the pages – I had heard whisperings for years, knew people first hand who had successfully fought these illnesses without drugs – but I had not held in my own hands the weight of research behind this idea - not in one spot - until now.
In this post I talked a bit about how things like blood sugar and allergies are all linked to low mood. If you suffer from depression and haven't already read this post, please follow the link and start there.
Depression is 10 times more common today than it was in the 50’s
Classic symptoms are:
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Poor concentration
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Thoughts of suicide or preoccupation with death
- Loss or increase of appetite and weight
- A disturbed sleeping pattern
- Slowing down – physically and mentally
Four or more of the above symptoms? Read these posts!
There is no single cure.
BUT it's a good idea to keep neurotransmitters in balance – that is what the drugs aim to correct but have lots of nasty side effects. Holford recommends 100-300 mg of the amino acid 5-HTP twice a day to boost serotonin levels. Tyrosine at 500-1000 mg 2 x daily helps those who feel a distinct lack of drive as well.
St.John’s Wort – gentle with minimal side effects, not addictive, enhances sleep and dreaming.
Annual death rate of death by overdose on antidepressant drugs is 30.1 per 1 million prescriptions
No one has ever died from an overdose of St.John’s Wort! (pg.243)
Other supplements that have been proven to help are:
- Omega 3 fats (and in order to turn omega 3's in to building materials for the brain....we need the B's - especially...)
- B12 Folic Acid,, B3 and B6 , which in turn further promote the brain's production of serotonin and other key neurotransmitters....We are fearfully and wonderfully made aren't we?
Under-active Thyroid is a common link to depression as well- best way to find out is to do the basal temperature test - most accurate method!
Patrick Holford has a website www.foodforthebrain.org. I recommend this free questionnaire through his site- I took the questionnaire myself a while ago and it helps to narrow down your specific needs and things you can talk to your health practitioner about - like which blood tests would be good for you to take, what areas like allergies or blood sugar that you might want to direct your attention towards.
Looking for more research pertaining to depression and nutrition? some is listed here
I am writing more - much more - this is a HUGE topic - coming soon - Atypical depression and Manic depression!