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Depression and Nutrition
  1. #1
    jurplesman is offline New Member
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Depression and Nutrition

    I am new to his board, and so I don’t know whether readers are interested in the topic of Nutritional Aspects of Depression.

    The conventional treatment for depression is by way of drug therapy and/or psychotherapy. I see depression in its many manifestations such as addiction, anxiety attacks and phobias, as a form of brain disorder, that can be treated without recourse to drugs.

    Studies have shown that many depressed people, including alcoholics and other addicts, suffer from insulin resistance (hypoglycemia).

    This means that the brain does not receive the appropriate level of glucose. The brain although two per cent of the body requires a steady supply of glucose as its only source of energy. When there is insulin resistance, the receptors for insulin fail to transport nutrients such as glucose across cell membranes, including brain cells. This results in the body pumping more insulin into the system, called hyperinsulinism. This then results in a sudden crash of blood sugar levels. When there is a sudden fall in blood sugar levels, the brain sends hormonal messages o the adrenal gland to secrete adrenaline into the system.

    Adrenaline functions to raise blood sugar levels by converting glycogen stores into glucose in case of emergency. But adrenaline is also a panic hormone - the flight/fight hormone - causing unexplainable attacks of fear. These internally driven fear responses are paired with stimuli in the environment by a process that psychologists call “reverse conditioning’. This explains the phenomenon of phobias. The overproduction of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol may be seen as the symptoms of various forms of mental illness. Many artificial drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and chemical tranquilizers antagonize the actions of stress hormones, but these unfortunately these substances are very addictive and further interfere with the synthesis of other beneficial neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

    Drugs whether legal or illegal do not seem to address the underlying biochemical abnormalities that are responsible for mental illness.

    If mental illness is indeed caused by a brain disease, then it is to be expected that a person will have ‘psychological experiences’ that should not be confused with the causes of mental illness. This is often assumed by psychologists who believe that psychotherapy (talk therapy) will change mental processes (illogical patterns of thinking) that are thought to cause mental illness.

    Thus mental illness can be treated primarily by rectifying the biochemical processes responsible for mental illness.

    Fortunately, patients suffering from these brain disorders can help themselves by a change in diet. It has taken many years for the general public to understand that nutrition is related to health. But the connection between nutrition and MENTAL HEALTH is still vehemently rejected by most professionals and medical consumers. No doubt this is encouraged by the commercial medicalization of our health.

    However, once we realize that most of the neurotransmitters and enzymes are synthesized from the food we eat, it is just a small step to come to understand that treatment of mental illness must be by means of nutritional therapy.

    A major culprit in ill-health in our food is sugar. Excess sugar consumption in our Western diet causes the break down of insulin receptors, thus triggering hyperinsulinism. This sets in train a series of hormonal and neurochemical abnormalities evident in most degenerative diseases, one of which is mental illness.

    One very important and essential step in the treatment of mental illness, whether anxiety attacks, depression or even Bipolar Disorder is the adoption of the hypoglycemic diet. This diet slows down the absorption of glucose, even out blood sugar levels, hence avoids excesses of stress hormones. It is accompanied by various vitamins and minerals that are known to be low in people with mental illness.

    Nonetheless, psychotherapy can be useful. A person likely to suffer from the effects of ‘psychological’ stress, as a result of a poor self-image, or lack of social skills, may produce stress hormones that interfere with the synthesis of serotonin. Our web site has a self-help PSYCHOTHERAPY course free of charge.

    Clinical Nutrition is evidence based medical science, not very well understood by most doctors and psychologists. This may be one reason why commercial medicine and psychology have such a poor success rate in the treatment of mental illness and addictions.

    If you are interested in this approach please read:

    “Nutritional Aspects of Depression” at:

    The body runs the brain.

    Jurriaan Plesman
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-20-2015 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Nikita is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004


    Thank you for this information, jurplesman.

    I'm looking forward to reading more on this approach.

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but many of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

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