Guest Article & Information Acquired from Professionals in Continuing Medical Education
The diet of individuals struggling with mental illness is often inadequate, so there is obvious interest in exploring the possibility that mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress could be aggravated by nutritional deficiencies. A growing body of literature links dietary choices to brain health and the risk of mental illness. Vitamin deficiencies can affect psychiatric outcomes in several ways: -'Deficiencies may play a causative role in mental illness and exacerbate symptoms, vitamin insufficiencies (defined as subclinical deficiency) may compromise recovery, and genetic differences may compromise vitamin and essential nutrient pathways'.
What causes these deficiencies? We need only consider the high-sugar, low-fiber, additive-preserved foods that many people consume on a regular basis. Combine this with the malabsorption of nutrients that accompanies poor nutrition. It is a well-known fact that nutrient levels are declining even in healthy foods, due to modern agricultural practices. The use of prescription medication, including antidepressants and antipsychotics results in drug-induced nutrient depletion that goes largely undetected all lend themselves to lack of proper balance for overall health.
How can you tell if you are experiencing symptoms of a malnourished brain? The brain uses over 80% of the nutrition that is consumed. Some of the common symptoms are widely overlooked as 'normal'. The results of vitamin C deficiency causes fatigue and psychological abnormalities. Folic acid deficiency causes depression and inhibits the response to antidepressant drugs. Subclinical vitamin B12 is relatively common in old age and is associated with cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. Thiamine, Zinc and niacin deficiency may manifest as confusion, psychosis or neurocognitive dysfunction. Vitamin D deficiency can cause or predispose to depression and seasonal mood disorders. Many of these are experienced in day to day life but can be reduced or eliminated by proper nutrition. Proper attention to diet and appropriate supplementation with a micronutrient formula containing vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B, niacin, thiamine, zinc, and vitamin D can prevent deficiencies and the associated biochemical imbalances, may lower the dosage requirement for antipsychotic drugs and reduce adverse effects resulting from toxicity. In addition to these micronutrients, there are many other essential and non-essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids which support optimal functioning of the brain and central nervous system which help revolutionize mind and body health.
What sets one micronutrient or multi vitamin apart from the rest? Choose a broad spectrum multi nutrient that provides minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants in a synergistic combination that are properly balanced. Keeping in mind that a product that has been clinically studied and proved itself over the years will be more successful in delivering the results that you will feel.
A proper balanced diet of organic, non-processed foods and sugars, at least 30 minutes of exercise, simple 10 minutes of meditation or relaxation with quality micronutrient supplement will help ensure that you are giving your brain what it needs to thrive the way nature intended.
This column is sponsored by Good ‘n’ Natural in Steinbach.