It’s well-established that healthy fats such as animal-based omega-3s — especially DHA — are vitally important for your brain health, but other nutrients such as vitamins are also necessary for cognition and the prevention of neurological disease and mental disorders.
Psychiatry typically relies on drugs as a first line of treatment, but even more severe psychiatric problems have been shown to benefit greatly from nutritional interventions.
One nutritional deficiency in particular that has the potential to wreak havoc on your psyche is niacin (vitamin B3). Pellagra1 is a condition caused by niacin deficiency, and two of its clinical manifestations include delirium and dementia. Interestingly, schizophrenia appears to have some of the features of pellagra.
The disease originates in your gut and is associated with malnourishment and the “poor man’s diet” consisting primarily of corn products. Pellagra was epidemic in the American South during the early 1900s, and we just might be dealing with a similar epidemic of malnutrition today.
That said, other vitamin B deficiencies, including B1, B2, B6, B8 and B12 also have an uncanny ability to produce symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and can be a valuable treatment adjunct.
B Vitamins Are Important for Psychiatric Conditions
“When used as an adjunctive with antipsychotics, certain vitamins and minerals may be effective for improving symptomatic outcomes of schizophrenia, by restoring nutritional deficits, reducing oxidative stress, or modulating neurological pathways.
Lead author Joseph Firth, based at the University’s Division of Psychology and Mental Health, said: ‘Looking at all of the data from clinical trials of vitamin and mineral supplements for schizophrenia to date, we can see that B vitamins effectively improve outcomes for patients.’
B deficiencies play a causative role in mental illness and exacerbate symptoms psychiatric symptoms which can result in poor nutrition vitamin insufficiency — defined as subclinical deficiency which may hamper recovery.
‘This could be an important advance, given that new treatments for this condition are so desperately needed.'”
Vitamins B6, B8 and B12 for Schizophrenia
The meta-analysis5 in question, which investigated the effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on schizophrenia, found that studies using high doses of vitamins B6, B8 (inositol) and B12 in combination were very effective for improving schizophrenic symptoms. Low doses were ineffective.
They also found that supplementation with B vitamins appear to be most effective when implemented early on. According to Firth:
“High-dose B vitamins may be useful for reducing residual symptoms in people with schizophrenia, although there were significant differences among the findings of the studies we looked at.
There is also some indication that these overall effects may be driven by larger benefits among subgroups of patients who have relevant genetic or dietary nutritional deficiencies.”
One of the reasons for B vitamins’ effect on a wide range of mood disorders and neurological and psychiatric conditions relates to the fact that these vitamins have a direct impact on the methylation cycle, and are required for the production and function of neurotransmitters and the maintenance of myelin, the fatty sheath surrounding your nerve cells.
Without this protective coating, nerve signals become slow and sporadic, which can lead to motor function problems, cognitive losses and changes in mood. B8 also aids in cell communication, allowing your cells to properly interpret chemical messages and respond accordingly.6
Meanwhile, B6, folate and B12 (in combination with S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe) regulate the synthesis and breakdown of brain chemicals involved in mood control, including serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Hence, a deficiency in one or more of these B vitamins can also play a role in depression.7
The Surprising Links Between Pellagra and Schizophrenia
In 2012, I interviewed Dr. Andrew Saul on the topic of using vitamin B3 (niacin) for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
Saul is editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and among his 11 book credits is “Niacin: The Real Story,” which he co-wrote with one of the leading niacin researchers and world authorities on the therapeutic use of niacin, Dr. Abram Hoffer.
Niacin, Hoffer found, may actually be a key treatment for psychological disorders, including schizophrenia.
“Dr. Hoffer … started doing tests, studies, and research into niacin back in the early 1950s. And by 1954, Hoffer had performed the first double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition studies in the history of psychiatry,” Saul said.
“Hoffer had a Ph.D. in biochemistry … He was also a medical doctor … a board-certified psychiatrist and head of psychiatry for one of the provinces in Canada … Hoffer reasoned that schizophrenia had symptoms that were very similar to those of pellagra.
Pellagra is extreme or total niacin deficiency. Pellagrans also — in addition to skin problems and many other things — have mental illness symptoms.
When vitamin B3 or niacin was first added as an enrichment or as a fortification to flour, about half of the people in mental institutions went home. This is not a well-known fact.
They were there not because they were mentally ill — because of genetic, environment, or social reasons — but because they were malnourished …
He wondered about the half that didn’t go home … [H]e started giving what at the time were preposterously high doses of niacin: 3,000 milligrams a day. And he was curing schizophrenia in 80 percent of the cases … Hoffer saw again and again that niacin worked.
Then he studied it, did the placebo-controlled, double-blind test, and started writing paper after paper on it. At that point, the American Psychiatric Association literally blacklisted him.”
Niacin May Also Work for Other Mental Disorders
A key point brought up in Saul’s interview is that certain people have what Hoffer referred to as niacin dependency, meaning they need far more niacin on a regular basis than normal. Essentially, they’re beyond deficient — they’re dependent on high-doses of niacin in order to remain well.
This particularly appears to be the case with mental disorders. According to Saul, other researchers have since confirmed Hoffer’s findings, and found that niacin can also be successfully used in the treatment of other mental disorders, such as:
- Attention deficit disorder
- General psychosis
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
B12 Deficiency Is Common
While vitamin B12 is easily obtained from animal protein foods such as meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs, advancing age can diminish your body’s ability to absorb the vitamin from food.10 Your body’s ability to absorb B12 depends on three factors: adequate stomach acid, the enzyme pepsin and gastric intrinsic factor. With age, stomach acid often diminishes. You may also have insufficient amounts of acid if you take acid blockers for heartburn.
Many also lack gastric intrinsic factor. Pernicious anemia is an even greater concern, as this condition effectively prevents the absorption of B12. Vegans and strict vegetarians are also at high risk of B12 deficiency unless they take a high-quality supplement, since B12 is primarily obtained from animal foods.
As noted by Dr. Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam, a psychiatrist at Wayne State University School of Medicine and co-author of a 2009 case report on vitamin B12 deficiency and depression in the elderly:11
“[I]t is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of individuals over the age of 60 years may suffer from B12 deficiency and it is believed that atrophic gastritis type B, which may afflict 20 to 50 percent of the elderly, may lead to poor absorption of B12 and folate …
In this report, we describe an elderly woman who suffered from severe psychotic depression who did not improve with conventional treatment but recovered significantly following administration of vitamin B12, illustrating the possibility that vitamin B12 deficiency may play a role in the development of mood disorder.”
B Vitamins Also Protect Against Dementia and Slows Alzheimer’s
Vitamins B6, B9 (folate, or folic acid in its synthetic form) and B12 have also made headlines for their powerful role in preventing cognitive decline and more serious dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, mental fogginess and memory problems are two of the top warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, indicating its importance for brain health.
Here, one of the mechanisms of action is the suppression of homocysteine, which tends to be elevated when you have brain degeneration. One study confirming this was published in 2010.12 Participants received either a placebo or 800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, 500 mcg of B12 and 20 mg of B6. The study was based on the presumption that by controlling homocysteine levels you might be able to reduce brain shrinkage, thereby slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Indeed, after two years those who received the vitamin-B regimen had significantly less brain shrinkage compared to the placebo group. Those who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the trial experienced brain shrinkage at half the rate of those taking a placebo.
A 2013 study13 took this research a step further, showing that not only do B vitamins slow brain shrinkage, but they specifically slow shrinkage in brain regions known to be most severely impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, in those specific areas the shrinkage is decreased by as much as 700 percent! As in the previous study, participants taking high doses of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 lowered their blood levels of homocysteine, and brain shrinkage was decreased by as much as 90 percent.
Where to Find These Valuable Brain Nutrients
Mood disorders, cognitive decline and psychiatric problems can have many underlying factors, but addressing your diet is often a good place to start. Not only can nutritional deficiencies wreak havoc with your brain function, your gut health also plays an important role, and toxic exposures from your diet or environment can also contribute.
Ideally, you’d want to address all of these issues. I’ve written extensively about all of them. As for nutritional deficiencies, B vitamins appear to be very important, as are animal-based omega-3, vitamin C and vitamin D. As a general rule, I recommend getting most if not all of your nutrition from REAL FOOD, ideally organic to avoid toxic pesticides, and locally grown. Depending on your situation and condition however, you may need one or more supplements.
To start, review the following listing of foods that contain the B vitamins discussed in this article. If you find that you rarely or never eat foods rich in one or more of these nutrients, you may want to consider taking a high-quality, ideally food-based supplement.
Also consider limiting sugar and eating fermented foods. The entire B group vitamin series is produced within your gut, assuming you have healthy gut flora. Eating real food, ideally organic, along with fermented foods will provide your microbiome with important fiber and beneficial bacteria to help optimize your internal vitamin B production.
|Nutrient||Dietary Sources||Supplement Recommendations|
|Niacin (B3)||Liver, chicken, veal, peanuts, chili powder, bacon and sun dried tomatoes have some of the highest amounts of niacin per gram.14||The dietary reference intake established by the Food and Nutrition Board ranges from 14 to 18 mg per day for adults.
Higher amounts are recommended depending on your condition. For a list of recommended dosages, see the Mayo Clinic’s website.16
For pellagra, discussed above, doses range from 50 to 1,000 mg daily.
|Vitamin B6||Turkey, beef, chicken, wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, potatoes, sunflower seeds, pistachios, avocado, spinach and banana.17,18||Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins, especially B6.19 One serving (2 tablespoons) contains nearly 10 mg of vitamin B6.
Not to be confused with Brewer’s yeast or other active yeasts, nutritional yeast is made from an organism grown on molasses, which is then harvested and dried to deactivate the yeast.
It has a pleasant cheesy flavor and can be added to a number of different dishes.
|B8 (inositol/biotin)||Meat, egg yolks, fish, liver, poultry, nuts and legumes.20||B8 is not recognized as an essential nutrient and no recommended daily intake has been set.
That said, it’s believed you need about 300 mcg per day.
Vitamin B8 is sometimes listed as biotin on supplements. Brewer’s yeast is a natural supplemental source.21
|Folate (B9)||Fresh, raw, organic leafy green vegetables, especially broccoli, asparagus, spinach and turnip greens, and a wide variety of beans, especially lentils, but also pinto beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy and black beans.22||Folic acid is a synthetic type of B vitamin used in supplements; folate is the natural form found in foods. (Think: folatecomes from foliage, edible leafy plants.)
For folic acid to be of use, it must first be activated into its biologically active form (L-5-MTHF).
This is the form able to cross the blood-brain barrier to give you the brain benefits noted.
Nearly half of the population has difficulty converting folic acid into the bioactive form due to a genetic reduction in enzyme activity.
For this reason, if you take a B-vitamin supplement, make sure it contains natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid.
Nutritional yeast is an excellent source.23
|Vitamin B12||Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, including foods like beef and beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs that block the uptake of true B12.
|Nutritional yeast is also high in B12, and is highly recommended for vegetarians and vegans.
One serving (2 tbsp.) provides nearly 8 mcg of natural vitamin B12.24
Sublingual (under-the-tongue) fine mist spray or vitamin B12 injections are also effective, as they allow the large B12 molecule to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE
That's right -- as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) -- All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.
It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video. He's going to be the talk of 2016.
One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique system that changed his life forever.
I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.
Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.