Orthomolecular Medicine – A Leading Light For Mental Health and Nutrition, Mental Diseases

Are we in The Dark Ages? When it comes to mental health diagnoses in the 21st century, it often seems that way. Yes, drugs can help extreme symptoms, but with a 10% ‘success’ rate, modern drugs seldom help anyone truly recover. Parents and other family members of those with serious mental diseases are often at their wits’ end.

Too many people are suffering-not getting well on present day “medication only” policies of mental wards of our leading hospitals. Seldom do patients’ physical health get investigated for deficiencies of healthy nutrients such as B12, other B vitamins, Vitamin D or Omega 3 fatty acids, bowel problems, food allergies or mineral deficiencies, such as zinc.

Thousands of accounts of deficiencies affecting mental health can be found in respected journals and daily newspapers: Vitamin D preventing depression, Omega 3 fatty acids helping to prevent suicides and post-partum depression, food allergies affecting mental health and children – triggering ADHD, hypoglycemia causing anxiety, bipolar or other symptoms of mental disorders.

What Early Research Supports Healthy Nutrients for Mental Health?

In the early ’50’s Abram Hoffer, MD, with a PhD in biochemistry conducted double-blind studies for the treatment of schizophrenia. Hoffer headed up a research team of 30 in four mental hospitals and three psychiatric wards in Saskatchewan, Canada. Eight double blind studies came out of this extensive research that showed that certain B vitamins, especially niacin, B3 could help schizophrenia. Forty years of research can be found on orthomed.org about orthomolecular medicine to treat mental disorders and physical illnesses.

Schizophrenia symptoms including paranoia and other serious symptoms were reversed in 80% of cases within two years if the patient was started on the treatment of B3 (niacin). Along the way, other protocols natural to the body were researched by medical scientists and added for even more benefit. These treatments are inexpensive and effective and can be added to medication with better outcomes.

Dosages of dietary supplements depend upon each individual’s tolerance and needs and can often change over time. (Niacin can cause a flush in the body, but is not dangerous. There are non-flush formulas.) Symptoms of bipolar, depression and anxiety can also be lessened.

Is Orthomolecular Medicine Used for Mental Health Disorders?

Orthomolecular medicine, a term coined by Linus Pauling, double Nobel Laureate involves treatment by optimizing health and treating disease by providing correct amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids and other substances which are natural and essential to the human body.

Your body is powered by your dietary intake – nutrients. There is no steel plate cutting off your brain from your body. The brain is 60% fat and it needs quality fats, vitamins and minerals to thrive. Those eating deep fried foods such as French fries need information on eating healthy. Rancid fats get lodged in our bodies in places where healthy fats should be to power the body – especially the brain.

Why Don’t You Know About Mental Health and Nutrition?

Vitamins, minerals or other natural substances can’t be patented. No vitamin sales people knock on physicians’ doors with free samples. Also, nutrition is low on the list of subjects in medical schools. However, orthomolecular psychiatrists or other health professionals check for many nutrient deficiencies as possible causes for mental disturbances. Abundant Information is available about nutrition health benefits.

What Physical Problems can Affect Mental Illnesses?

  • High or low blood sugar levels cause mental symptoms to peak.
  • B12 deficiency causes confusion, fatigue, weakness and severe mental symptoms.
  • Anemia (low iron levels) is sometimes confused with dementia.
  • Low thyroid has been shown to be common for those with schizophrenia.
  • Low levels of Vitamin D stores directly relate to depression.
  • Those with mental illness often have food allergies or digestive problems.

Some fear that vitamins in high dosages are “not safe”. View testimony before the Government of Canada, House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, regarding nutritional supplement product safety (Ottawa, May 12, 2005). Ignorance abounds on the subject of vitamins.

Our society needs to restore the lost minds of people who suffer episodes of mental health problems. The lucky ones who recover using orthomolecular treatments can become productive members of society. They can enjoy life and contribute.

Let’s end the dark age of treatment of those with mental diseases. Contact The International Schizophrenia Foundation and the Journal of OrthomolecularMedicine and help those desperate for recovery to step into the light.

High Blood Pressure – Risks, Treatments, and Medical Research

 

High blood pressure is also known as hypertension, and it is a condition that affects millions each year. If left alone, hypertension can significantly decrease a person’s quality of life. Among other things, it increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and aneurysms. All of those things can be fatal, or at the very least life changing events.

Research on hypertension focuses on narrowing down the overwhelming majority of cases for which a discernible medical cause for the hypertension is not known. It is estimated that in upwards of eighty five percent of cases, while high blood pressure is noted, it is unable to be traced back to a medical condition causing it. This makes the treatment of high blood pressure a far less exact science that it could otherwise be.

There are a few known causes of hypertension. One of these is kidney disease. Your kidneys act as scrubbers for your blood, removing toxins and garbage from the blood and passing them out of your body. When kidneys begin malfunctioning, the garbage and toxins can build up in the blood. Simple liquid dynamics say that if the same amount of liquid is forced through an increasingly narrow channel, the pressure of that liquid will go up. This is essentially what happens when kidneys start to fail; the garbage builds up on the walls of blood vessels, pressure.

While this is one example of what researchers call secondary hypertension, it is a relatively small slice of the overall case load. Far more cases are dubbed primary hypertension, which has no discernible cause. The best remedy in those cases is for scientists to prescribe medication designed to lower blood pressure.

However, when looking at the kidney failure case, the blood pressure problem could be far more directly solved by going after the root cause, of which hypertension is merely a symptom. For as many as ninety five percent of cases, the primary cause is unknown, and scientists are left treating the symptom. Given the harsh side effects associated with blood pressure medication, this is a less than ideal situation to be in.

Medical Research Questions Answered

Controversy and the medical industry have long been bedfellows. This was been the case since the days when morphine was an indispensable ingredient in children’s cough mixture and mercury was the panacea that cured everything from a grazed knee to cancer of the colon. A controversial issue that is in and out of the news these days is paid medical research performed on volunteers. Many people believe that it exploits those who struggle to support their families or those who find themselves in strange countries and are struggling to survive economically. Proponents of the practice, however, believe that it is vital to gain necessary insight into the functioning of new drugs. Supporters also claim that the volunteers are well informed of the process before hand and are simply reimbursed for their time and inconvenience. They are not paid for risks taken.

Advertisements for volunteers often make it sound like participating in medical research is the most fun that you can have, barring that dream that you have about flying. They emphasise that the demand is great for paid research and highlight all of the possible things that you can do with the extra money. They draw attention to the fact that most clinics have comfortable features so that you can relax, play pool, watch TV, and catch up on your reading. They make it sound as if it’s like going on a short holiday that ultimately benefits mankind.

Before you can register as a volunteer for medical research, you have to fill in a registration form that requires your personal details as well as details about your current and medical health. They want to know if you currently suffer from afflictions like asthma, seasonal heyfever, hepatitis or liver problems, neurological problems, thyroid problems, irritable bowel syndrome, depression or if you have ever tried to commit suicide. Your body mass index is important, as is your blood pressure. Additional required information includes: whether or not you take regular medication, are a smoker, drink regularly, or use recreational drugs. Volunteers are also asked about dietary habits, and, if they are female, what their child bearing statuses are. Anyone from 18-85 years old can qualify.

The length of each research study depends on the registration outcome and can range from a few hours to 5 months or more. If you don’t have the time for lengthy trials there are studies that take place on outpatient visits. There are also weekend studies, which may suit students or full-time workers.

All trials have to be approved by the Ethics Committee before they can begin and all doctors are bound by the Declaration of Helsinki guidelines for conducting medical research. All drugs are subjected to rigorous tests in pre-clinical trials before they can be given to healthy volunteers. Volunteers are well informed of the drugs that are going to be tested on them, as well as on the possible side effects and risks involved. The side effects are usually minimal, such as drowsiness and headaches. The studies are made as safe and risk free as they can possibly be. Every contingency is planned for.

Volunteers don’t enter the process as lab rats, at the mercy of mad scientists in lab coats. They have rights, one of which is to have the procedure explained to them in full. They sign a consent form to indicate that they understand the procedure and what it is that they are agreeing to do. Volunteers are able to choose the studies that they want to take part in. One of volunteers’ most important rights is to be able to withdraw from any trial at any stage without any justification. This may or may not affect payment depending on the clinic concerned. They also have the right to privacy, and information about their participation in medical research is kept strictly confidential.

There have been cases where medical research has gone horribly wrong. People have been paralysed. Some have even died when all they were supposed to be testing was a harmless aspirin-like drug. However, the cases where the research has benefited the sick and the dying have far outnumbered the casualties of the trials. A few headaches and some drowsiness seems a small price to pay in the search for a drug that could possibly alleviate great suffering, or even cure a terminal illness.

Beware of Oversimplifications – Health And Wellness

In their desire to make sense out of health information, people often oversimplify the truth. For example, potato chips have long been reputed as a junk food. Actually the quick cooking process of potato chips preserves its nutrients better than mashed, boiled, or baked potatoes. Ounce per ounce, potato chips provide more nutrients than other forms of potatoes. However, because potato chips are cooked in oil, they are high in fat and calories and are not recommended for people trying to lose weight. By being aware that the truth is not simple for most health issues, the tendency to oversimplify and over generalize health information can be thwarted.

Health Discoveries Take Time

Health discoveries often mean media headlines, but a cardinal rule of science is that findings must be replicable. Health information based on a dramatic discovery is not usually valid unless it is confirmed in several follow-up studies or experiments.

Criteria of Valid Reliable Health Information

Health information should be valid and reliable and based on scientifically controlled studies. In health research, validity means truthfulness. If a study is designed and conducted properly, its findings are likely to be valid. For example, it was found that adding vitamin E to human cells in the laboratory stimulated cell division and growth. This was used to support the erroneous conclusion that vitamin E would delay the aging process. This was not a proper generalization because a simple laboratory experiment is not a valid procedure for demonstrating something as complex as aging.

Reliability is another key criterion for evaluating health information and refers to the extent that health claims can be consistently verified. If a claim is reliable, it can be demonstrated to occur consistently in study after study. Researchers speak of findings as statistically significant when they are considered reliable. Statistical significance means that the probability that a study’s findings are due to chance alone is less than 5%. That is, 95 out of 100 times similarly designed studies would yield similar results. Because thousands of studies are performed, however, some studies that yield statistically significant results eventually prove to be wrong. Consequently it takes hundreds of studies, many of them conflicting, to create a consensus on a particular health issue. Any health claim worth considering should be based on numerous studies or experiments conducted over many years.

Health information must also pass scientifically controlled, double-blind studies. The classic study includes at least two groups in which one is an experimental group and receives some form of experimental treatment and the other is a control group and receives no treatment. The double-blind feature of a study means that neither the researcher nor the subjects know who is receiving an experimental treatment. If a researcher wanted to prove, for example, that a particular brand of soap prevents athlete’s foot, two groups would be needed. One would use the experimental soap, and the other would use a placebo or soap substitute. Researchers administering the soap treatment would not know which soap they were using, nor would the subjects in the experimental and control groups. Therefore if the experimental group has significantly fewer cases of athlete’s foot, the results can be attributed to the treatment.