Poor eating habits contribute to depression
Although there is rarely just one cause, a poor diet often makes a significant contribution to depression. A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter brain function and lead to depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.
Deficiencies of vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12; C, biotin, pantothenic Acid or folic acid - and minerals - zinc, selenium and chromium - can lead to depression.
Just recently, a very thin teenage boy came to see me as a patient after suffering with depression for about six months. When I asked about his meals, he told me that he usually did not eat anything during the day until he returned from school. My treatment plan for him was fairly simple: eating at regular intervals, testing for food allergies and eliminating the allergens, taking a high-potency multivitamin, and fish oil. By his next appointment, just two weeks later, the depression that had cast such a dark cloud on his life began to lift, simply from eating and adding missing nutrients.
Because the brain requires a constant supply of blood sugar, several studies have shown hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) to be common in depressed individuals. Reactive hypoglycemia is often caused by eating refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour. A study of six countries showed a highly significant correlation between sugar consumption and the annual rate of depression.
Nutrition can powerfully influence cognition (awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment), emotion and behavior. “Numerous studies,” cited by Melvin Werbach, MD, ”utilizing rigorous scientific designs have demonstrated impressive benefits from nutritional supplementation.”
An insufficiency of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), fish oil being the best example, has also been linked to depression. The commercial refinement of fats and oils has meant lower availability of EFAs in the diet, conversion of EFAs into toxic compounds and blockage of EFA metabolism.
Studies have shown that countries that eat lots of fish have low rates of depression. The medical literature has also demonstrated that a relative EFA deficiency triggers changes in fatty acid levels in the red blood cells and in serum fatty acid composition that contributes to depression. Because the brain is the body’s richest source of phospholipids (a type of fat) and proper nerve cell function is extremely dependent on proper membrane fluidity, changes in membrane fluidity affect behavior, mood and mental function.
In another new study, people who added a daily dose of EFAs to their regular antidepressant treatment had significant improvement with: less anxiety and sadness, better sleep, increased sexual desire, and decreased suicidal tendencies.
Until next month, remember the fish story!
Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.
Placer County News HeadlinesMesa Verde Country Top 5 Winter Experiences in Southwest ColoradoCortez, Colo. - Mesa Verde Country in Southwest Colorado is a great winter destination. The area boasts mountains, sunshine and everything travelers need for the perfect cold-weather getaway
BottleRock Presents Vines & VibesNapa, CA, - BottleRock Napa Valley presents Vines & Vibes, the fourth annual Do It For The Love Benefit Dinner and Concert on Thursday, May 24, 2018, on the rooftop of the Archer Hotel
2018 Lexus GX570 remains luxurious SUVRoseville, CA,- What most drivers will like about the 2018 Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions
Tree Harvest Cannabis Festival Cancelled, Fall Dates PossibleWoodland, CA- The cannabis themed Tree Harvest Festival scheduled for April 20- 22, 2018 has been cancelled due to a municipality withdrawing authorization
Roseville Gas Prices Ease SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville have eased slightly this past week despite the strong upward trend and anticipation of prices pushing toward the $4 gallon mark
Roseville City School District Awarded $400,000 Grant(Roseville, CA) - Roseville City School District (RCSD) is poised to be the recipient of $400,000, all aimed to benefit its middle school students through
Kay U. Brooks presented with Don Poole AwardSacramento, CA,- Attorney Kay U. Brooks of Weintraub Tobin was recently awarded the Sacramento Region Community Foundation's prestigious Don Poole Award for her significant contributions
Arson Damage at Margaret Azevedo Park in RocklinRocklin, CA,- On February 17th 2018 at about 10:38 PM, Rocklin Police Officers responded to Margret Azevedo Park in the report of a play structure on fire
Roseville City School District Honors Teachers of the Year(Roseville, CA) - The Roseville City School District (RCSD) recently announced their Teachers of the Year. Heidi Polewaczyk and Michael Larsen have been selected
Roseville Gas Prices Throttling HigherRoseville, CA- A quick look around Roseville had motorists noticing gas prices trending upward. Prices in Roseville have pushed past the $3 mark
IHOP Pancake Drive-thru Benefits UC Davis Children's Hospital(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - On Monday, Feb. 26, pancake lovers can drive through, eat their fill of short-stack pancakes and make a donation to support sick and injured children at UC Davis Children's Hospital
Wild Bill's 16th annual Tattoo-a-thon Feb. 24th(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Wild Bill's 16th annual Tattoo-a-thon will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 8 a.m. to midnight. Thirty tattoo artists have volunteered to work 16 hours during this year's event and all proceeds