Nutrients And Mental Health

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Now It’s Time To Take On Brain Health

Have you ever noticed that your brain doesn’t always work as well as you’d like it to?

You know what I’m talking about! We’ve all had the experience when we’re tired, hungry and haven’t had our coffee — we get — well — for lack of a better word — brain farts.

You can’t recall names, facts, and things that were just on the tip of your tongue.

Recent research indicates the brain requires not just good blood flow, but essential nutrients as well as detoxification.

According to the Lancet, this goes for depression as well.

Given that a great many people, especially teens (a whole raft of ill nourished and hormonally driven humans) don’t eat particularly well — supplemental nutrition is critical.

Even if the only supplement you give is an Omega 3 Fatty Acid that will make a world of difference for a teen.

At the Delmar Wellness Center we find a great many people with functional disturbances respond to nutritional therapy.

Everything and anything can respond with nutrition as micronutrients are the basis of all physiological reactions in the body.

One case in particular was fascinating to me. I was in practice for only about 10 years when my father, who was still practicing at the time, saw a patient who had suffered a mental breakdown and was experiencing hallucinations and was talking to himself all day long.

The children brought their father in and after about 3 weeks on substantial doses of brain nutrients (like the ones listed in this article and a couple of herbs) he became lucid again.

I was shocked because I was certain this fellow was headed for the psyche ward.

It turned out that after his wife died he had no desire to cook or eat; which is not uncommon. The lack of nutrition combined with his grief led to the mental breakdown.

After he moved in with one of his kids and was properly nourished, he was fine.

Eat well and keep in touch,

Dr. Olejak


Diet, Nutrition Essential For Mental Health


Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaborative study has revealed.

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry today, leading academics state that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognise and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

Lead author, Dr Jerome Sarris from the University of Melbourne and a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), said psychiatry is at a critical stage, with the current medically-focused model having achieved only modest benefits in addressing the global burden of poor mental health.

“While the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a key factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology,” Dr Sarris said.

“In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health,” he said.

Findings of the review revealed that in addition to dietary improvement, evidence now supports the contention that nutrient-based prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level.

Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

“While we advocate for these to be consumed in the diet where possible, additional select prescription of these as nutraceuticals (nutrient supplements) may also be justified,” Dr Sarris said.
Associate Professor Felice Jacka, a Principal Research Fellow from Deakin University and president of the ISNPR noted that many studies have shown associations between healthy dietary patterns and a reduced prevalence of and risk for depression and suicide across cultures and age groups.

“Maternal and early-life nutrition is also emerging as a factor in mental health outcomes in children, while severe deficiencies in some essential nutrients during critical developmental periods have long been implicated in the development of both depressive and psychotic disorders,” she said.

A systematic review published in late 2014 has also confirmed a relationship between ‘unhealthy’ dietary patterns and poorer mental health in children and adolescents. Given the early age of onset for depression and anxiety, these data point to dietary improvement as a way of preventing the initial incidence of common mental disorders.

Dr Sarris, an executive member of the ISNPR, believes that it is time to advocate for a more integrative approach to psychiatry, with diet and nutrition as key elements.

“It is time for clinicians to consider diet and additional nutrients as part of the treating package to manage the enormous burden of mental ill health,” he said.

Jerome Sarris, PhD et al. Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry, January 2015

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