Orthomolecular Medicine – A Leading Light For Mental Health and Nutrition, Mental Diseases

Are we in The Dark Ages? When it comes to mental health diagnoses in the 21st century, it often seems that way. Yes, drugs can help extreme symptoms, but with a 10% ‘success’ rate, modern drugs seldom help anyone truly recover. Parents and other family members of those with serious mental diseases are often at their wits’ end.

Too many people are suffering-not getting well on present day “medication only” policies of mental wards of our leading hospitals. Seldom do patients’ physical health get investigated for deficiencies of healthy nutrients such as B12, other B vitamins, Vitamin D or Omega 3 fatty acids, bowel problems, food allergies or mineral deficiencies, such as zinc.

Thousands of accounts of deficiencies affecting mental health can be found in respected journals and daily newspapers: Vitamin D preventing depression, Omega 3 fatty acids helping to prevent suicides and post-partum depression, food allergies affecting mental health and children – triggering ADHD, hypoglycemia causing anxiety, bipolar or other symptoms of mental disorders.

What Early Research Supports Healthy Nutrients for Mental Health?

In the early ’50′s Abram Hoffer, MD, with a PhD in biochemistry conducted double-blind studies for the treatment of schizophrenia. Hoffer headed up a research team of 30 in four mental hospitals and three psychiatric wards in Saskatchewan, Canada. Eight double blind studies came out of this extensive research that showed that certain B vitamins, especially niacin, B3 could help schizophrenia. Forty years of research can be found on orthomed.org about orthomolecular medicine to treat mental disorders and physical illnesses.

Schizophrenia symptoms including paranoia and other serious symptoms were reversed in 80% of cases within two years if the patient was started on the treatment of B3 (niacin). Along the way, other protocols natural to the body were researched by medical scientists and added for even more benefit. These treatments are inexpensive and effective and can be added to medication with better outcomes.

Dosages of dietary supplements depend upon each individual’s tolerance and needs and can often change over time. (Niacin can cause a flush in the body, but is not dangerous. There are non-flush formulas.) Symptoms of bipolar, depression and anxiety can also be lessened.

Is Orthomolecular Medicine Used for Mental Health Disorders?

Orthomolecular medicine, a term coined by Linus Pauling, double Nobel Laureate involves treatment by optimizing health and treating disease by providing correct amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids and other substances which are natural and essential to the human body.

Your body is powered by your dietary intake – nutrients. There is no steel plate cutting off your brain from your body. The brain is 60% fat and it needs quality fats, vitamins and minerals to thrive. Those eating deep fried foods such as French fries need information on eating healthy. Rancid fats get lodged in our bodies in places where healthy fats should be to power the body – especially the brain.

Why Don’t You Know About Mental Health and Nutrition?

Vitamins, minerals or other natural substances can’t be patented. No vitamin sales people knock on physicians’ doors with free samples. Also, nutrition is low on the list of subjects in medical schools. However, orthomolecular psychiatrists or other health professionals check for many nutrient deficiencies as possible causes for mental disturbances. Abundant Information is available about nutrition health benefits.

What Physical Problems can Affect Mental Illnesses?

High or low blood sugar levels cause mental symptoms to peak.
B12 deficiency causes confusion, fatigue, weakness and severe mental symptoms.
Anemia (low iron levels) is sometimes confused with dementia.
Low thyroid has been shown to be common for those with schizophrenia.
Low levels of Vitamin D stores directly relate to depression.
Those with mental illness often have food allergies or digestive problems.
Some fear that vitamins in high dosages are “not safe”. View testimony before the Government of Canada, House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, regarding nutritional supplement product safety (Ottawa, May 12, 2005). Ignorance abounds on the subject of vitamins.

Our society needs to restore the lost minds of people who suffer episodes of mental health problems. The lucky ones who recover using orthomolecular treatments can become productive members of society. They can enjoy life and contribute.

Let’s end the dark age of treatment of those with mental diseases. Contact The International Schizophrenia Foundation and the Journal of OrthomolecularMedicine and help those desperate for recovery to step into the lig

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Vitamin D and Thyroid Disease – Can Increasing Vitamin D Intake Improve Your Thyroid Treatment?

There is some evidence that thyroid treatment will be compromised if adequate vitamin D blood levels are not maintained. But maintaining recommended levels often requires stronger supplements than we might expect.

ARE DEFICIENCIES IN VITAMIN D AND THYROID PROBLEMS LINKED?

Several articles published over 20 years ago reported that patients with hypothyroidism had low levels of Vitamin D. But the NHANES health study of over 15,000 Americans found that vitamin D deficiency is common throughout North America and certainly not peculiar to people with thyroid problems. So is there a link between hypothyroidsm and vitamin D deficiency?

ACTUALLY…WE DON’T KNOW

We do know that vitamin D and thyroid hormones bind to similar receptors called steroid hormone receptors. And we know that a particular gene in the vitamin D receptor will predispose people to autoimmune thyroid disease such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. But more research is required to determine if the same gene impacts vitamin D absorption or the transformation of vitamin D into its final state as a hormone.

SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

In his book “Thyroid Power” Richard Shames argues that thyroid treatment may not work if a person does not have adequate blood levels of vitamin D. Similar to the recommendations of the Vitamin D Council, he recommends that thyroid patients maintain levels of 50-60ng/ml or 125-150nmol/L throughout the year. Maintaining these blood levels requires most people to take vitamin supplements. This is especially true for people subjected to a “vitamin D winter” when the ultra violate rays of the sun are too weak to produce vitamin D through our skin.

The Vitamin D Council suggests that people living north of the 32 latitude (which is north of Boston, Rome or Beijing) consider the following program to maintain optimal blood levels:

Late Fall and Winter: 5,000 IU

Early Fall and Spring: 2,000 IU

Summer: regular sunbathing may be sufficient

As many of us are vitamin D deficient, some experts recommend that we take 5,000 IU vitamin D daily for three months before taking a 25(OH)D blood test to identify the supplement level required throughout the year.

The timing of the blood test is especially important as we are at our peak vitamin D level around September in northern climates and at our lowest level in March. A blood test taken during the summer will not help us to find the correct supplement strength to maintain adequate blood levels throughout the winter if we live in a northern climate.

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