Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nutritional Influences on Mental Illness

Nutrition and mental health are related.

As scientific research and medical observation has shown, nutritional deficiencies could lead to depression and a host of other emotional and physical problems. Depending on severity of nutritional deficiency, symptoms such as loss of appetite, irritability, confusion, oversensitivity to noise, inability to concentrate, panic, apprehensiveness, insomnia, memory loss, and even hallucinations may appear.

For instance, according to Dr. Melvin Werbach in his book "Nutritional Influences on Mental Illness," depression can be partly traced to elevated levels of sugar and lactate acid in the body. Psychological and emotional disorders have also been closely linked to a deficiency in Vitamin B-complex vitamins, which are especially important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

The brain, which coordinates the mental and emotional life, requires many different nutrients to function. It can only receive these nutrients through the bloodstream. Thus, if some essential nutrients are lacking in the diet, the brain suffers from that deficiency.

In psychotherapy, the nutritional deficiency aggravates the psychological and emotional problems of recovery even more.  Indeed, with food as with exercise, the interdependence of a sound mind and a sound body is clear.

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