Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mental Illness and Diet

There are plenty of indicators that some mental disorders are driven by biological issues such as a lack of key nutrients in the diet.  This is a test done using fish oil as a supplement.  This is actually a good choice because all life on earth was biologically engineered for the sea first.  Thus supplementing with a diet high in products from the sea should eliminate any deficiency in anyone’s diet.

I presume that is what fish oil does best.

The take home message here is that mental disturbance is well treated first by a strong improvement in the diet toward sea foods and yes even fish oil which surely concentrates nutrients from the liver.  That way even if we do not know the specific deficiency we are possibly covering all such possibilities with this.

In fact it is good sense to always normalize the patient of any ailment with such a dietary regimen.  Someone needs to design a derivative broth that achieves exactly this.

For whatever reasons that I do not understand, we do not have a medical protocol of patient normalization in which all ailments are first treated.  If the body is known to be receiving all necessary inputs then any related possibilities are simply eliminated.

A person suffering from poor mental health can then be treated far more specifically and surely.  This is also true for common diabetes whose care is often disturbed by dietary practices that possibly were a contributor to the observed symptoms.

Our problem is that we have never wanted to associate our food intake with chronic ill health and most are in denial.  Properly restoring the diet to support a sea based nutrient profile could be rather surprising.

This item is an advocacy piece and overstates the case but still hangs on good science.  Let us not call it a breakthrough though.

Mental illness breakthrough: fish oil prevents psychotic disorders

Thursday, February 18, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer

NaturalNews has already reported on the amazing array of health advantages linked to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a "healthy" fat found in certain foods such as salmon and walnuts. For example, researchers have documented that omega-3s can help prevent heart arrhythmias and treat depression (http://www.naturalnews.com/027285_o...). These fatty aacids also appear to have an antiaging effect on cells
Get ready to add another remarkable benefit to the list of omega-3 benefits: now scientists have found fish oil supplements containing omega-3s may stop people at high risk for severe mental illness from becoming psychotic.

Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are devastating forms of mental problems in which people lose contact with reality and can end up, in worst case scenarios, hurting themselves and others. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a psychosis is usually characterized by delusions and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations). The treatment is primarily heavy duty, side effect riddled psychiatric drugs and/or institutionalization.

But what if people a high risk for this mental illness could be prevented from having a psychotic disorder in the first place? That may be possible, thanks to omega-3 fatty acids. 
Omega-3s prevent psychotic disorders

According to a report just published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, people at extremely high risk of developing a psychosis were found to be less likely to develop psychotic disorders after just 12 weeks of taking fish oil capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids. The study authors pointed out that omega-3 supplementation may be effective because individuals with schizophrenia have an underlying dysfunction in fatty acid metabolism. 

"Early treatment in schizophrenia and other psychoses has been linked to better outcomes...intervention in at-risk individuals holds the promise of even better outcomes, with the potential to prevent full-blown psychotic disorders," the authors wrote in their article. 

G. Paul Amminger, M.D., of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and Orygen Youth Health Research Center in Melbourne, Australia, headed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to test whether omega-3s could influence the risk of progression to psychosis in 81 individuals considered to be at extremely high risk for the disorder. The research subjects had displayed a decrease in their ability to function and they also had already developed mild psychotic symptoms, transient psychotic episodes and/or they had a family history of psychotic disorders. Those criteria, the researchers stated in their study, are used to identify individuals whose risk of becoming psychotic may be as high as 40 percent over the course of a year.

For about three months, 41 of the research subjects were given daily fish oil capsules containing 1.2 grams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The other 40 participants were given a placebo. When the study ended, about 94 percent of the subjects were still in the study and two taking the omega-3s, or only 4.9 percent, had developed a psychotic disorder. On the other hand, 11 in the placebo group (27.5 percent) had become psychotic. The difference between the two groups was extraordinary -- 22.6 percent.

What's more, supplementation with the fatty acids significantly reduced mental illness symptoms and improved overall functioning, too. Not surprisingly, there were virtually no side effects associated with the fish oil pills.

"The finding that treatment with a natural substance may prevent or at least delay the onset of psychotic disorder gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotics for the prodromal (early symptomatic) phase. Stigmatization and adverse effects -- which include metabolic changes, sexual dysfunction and weight gain -- associated with the use of antipsychotics are often not acceptable for young people," the scientists wrote in their study. 
"Long-chain omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the risk of progression to psychotic disorder and may offer a safe and efficacious strategy for indicated prevention in young people with subthreshold psychotic states." 

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