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The Nutrient Theory of Mental Health

What causes mental illness?

Ask any psychiatrist or doctor what causes mental illness and they will tell you the same thing – no one knows exactly. There does appear to be a strong genetic factor in illnesses such as bipolar disorder, clinical depression and schizophrenia. Even though the gene location was recently discovered, the way the illnesses happen is still a mystery. Yet some intriguing possibilities are now coming to light.

Chemical imbalances in the brain

The most common explanation for mental disorders is a chemical imbalance in the brain, but how and why these imbalances happen is not yet known. Since a complex web of nutrients, such as zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, are the building blocks that the brain needs to make the right amounts of important chemicals such as neurotransmitters, it makes sense that a lack of these nutrients could cause the chemical imbalances of mental illness.

A genetic need for more nutrients

As early as the 1960s, Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes, speculated that some people have a genetically-based need for more vitamins and minerals than other people. He wondered if mental illness could be the result of failing to meet these extra requirements. Research is now showing that Dr. Pauling may have been right. Dr. Bruce Ames, at the University of California, Berkeley, has shown that genetic mutations often result in an increased need for nutrients. He also found that taking extra amounts of these nutrients could correct the deficiencies. If a person with a genetic need for more nutrients does not get them or cannot absorb them, it makes sense that this person would, over time, become deficient.

Lack of nutrients affect brain growth factors

Brain growth factors are necessary for keeping the neuron branches healthy and connected, so that proper signals can be sent. Many nutrients have been shown to increase brain growth factor levels. A lack of these same nutrients leads to brain cell shrinkage and brain cell death. It’s not a stretch to imagine that this could play a significant role in mental illnesses.

Nutrients that depend on each other

Numerous studies have been done on the relationship between single nutrients and mental health, but none have ever turned up a “miracle nutrient.” At Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd., we believe that a broad spectrum of deficiencies results in the symptoms of mood disorders, not a deficiency of one single nutrient. And since a deficiency in one nutrient has been shown to interfere with the absorption and/or metabolism of other nutrients, a chain reaction can result in multiple deficiencies. This is the foundation of the EMPowerplus Advanced™ formulation. It provides a broad spectrum, highly absorbable range of nutrients that are essential to brain function, and it delivers them in a balance that allows inter-dependent nutrients to work together.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial Table 1: Micronutrient-mood case studies and case series (PDF)

Clinical Trial Table 2: Micronutrient-mood randomized controlled trials (PDF)