A soon-to-be-released book, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Psychiatry, by Stradford, Vickar, Berger, and Cass, lists a number of nutrient therapies found to be beneficial for mental health problems.
- Niacinamide– for Alzheimers disease treatment and prevention- up to 6000 mg daily.
- Methylation supporters– affect dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin to impact memory, mood, concentration, and sleep. These include folic acid or tetrahydrofolate, B6, B12, and SAM-e. Folic acid may be low in depression or schizophrenia. Vitamin B12 may improve depression and prevent Alzheimers disease. Vitamin B6 in a dose of 100 mg daily may improve PMS, and improve IQ in children with developmental disorders. SAM-e, also a methyl donor, can help depression in a dose of 400- 1600 mg daily.
- Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA, are beneficial for depression, bipolar disorder, as well as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
- Vitamin D– individuals in the highest quartile of vitamin D concentration had lower incidences of depression and psychotic behavior, compared to those who had the lowest levels.
- Calcium, magnesium and zinc– Low levels of these minerals are often found in depression and other psychiatric disorders. Supplementation should be routine.
Also discussed was the high incidence of celiac disease or gluten intolerance in patients with psychiatric disorders. These individuals are allergic to gluten or gliadin, proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. Most of them are unaware of having gluten sensitivity, and their only manifestation may be a psychiatric disorder. The incidence of gluten sensitivity in schizophrenic patients is three time higher than in the general population. It is suggested that all patients with a psychiatric disorder be screened for gluten sensitivity, since avoidance of gluten may be curative.
Allan Sosin MD
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