The Influence of Nutrition on Mental Health (Part 2)

Scientists are enthusiastically immersing themselves in the field of Epigenetics, which is the study of environmental factors on gene changes. Using twins, Epigenetics has led to innovative discoveries in mental disorder studies. If genetics were strictly the deck of cards that we were dealt, then why would one twin have schizophrenia and the other one is spared? Epigenetics has linked such disorders to “environmental changes such as stressful events or diet.”
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Health researchers in England and Scotland are coming up with research that is prompting government advisors to recommend a ‘Food for the Brain’ campaign.Awareness that poor nutrition leads to: increasing crime rates, depression and poor school performance has led to this conclusion. The Parliamentary Food and Health Forum have issued a report urging the (UK) government to fund a campaign to research; increase awareness; and encourage the populace to eat more fish and whole foods, high in essential fats, vitamins and minerals.

The Parliamentary Food and Health Forum wants more money spent on researching the link between diet, nutritional supplements and mental health. They advocate that doctors be better educated nutrition-wise; and that mental patients should be checked for nutritional deficiencies. This would be the first line procedure by the NHS (National Health Service – UK) and government funded healthy breakfast clubs at schools; government campaigns promoting the importance of optimum nutrition for mental health.

Patrick Holford, director of the educational charityFood for the Brain says: “Less than half a percent of all money for medical research is spent on nutrition largely because there are no patented, profitable drugs at the end of it. Most doctors today have virtually no training in this area and simply don’t know that improving diet and supplementing specific nutrients often works as well, if not better than drugs for treating depression and mental illness. We welcome this report. which fairly and squarely recommends that government should put more money where our mouths are.”

“We desperately need funding to follow through on extremely promising preliminary studies that suggest that optimum nutrition can improve behavior, academic performance and reverse symptoms of depression and even schizophrenia”. The Food for the Brain website,  provides free on-line advice for those with mental health concerns.

“Our results are extremely encouraging, “ says Mary Ann Mumford, former NHS Primary Care Trust CEO, now director of the charity’s outpatient clinic, the Brain Bio Centre in London. This group is pioneering nutrition-based treatments for ADHD, depression, schizophrenic and dementia. “I’m. convinced that an optimum nutrition approach is a vital, and often ignored, piece of the equation for reversing most of the prevalent mental health disorders that General Practitioners see on a daily basis.”

The Brain Bio Center offers nutrition information related to:


Autism./Bipolar disorder

Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Depression


Parkinson’s Disease


Recent research has reported :

* Children with learning and behavior problems improve focus, concentration and school grades when given essential fat supplements; and IQ scores when given multivitamins.

* Eating breakfast and low glycemic load (GL) diet, low in sugar, improves behavior/concentration.

* Supplementing essential fats improves depression.

* Supplementing B vitamins improves depression and symptoms of schizophrenia, and stops or slows down memory decline in older people.

“Optimum nutrition is a forgotten factor in mental health today,” says Professor David Smith, chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Food for the Brain Foundation and Emeritus Professor at Oxford University. If interested, please  There is a 40 page report by the Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum, which may be downloaded.

Patrick Holford is the United Kingdom’s leading nutritionist and a foremost authority on health. He is the founder of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London and the author of The Optimum Nutrition Bible and many other books. He teamed with an American Hyla Cass, M.D., who is an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine ; and a prominent psychiatrist and expert in nutritional medicine to write Natural Highs: Feel Good All The Time. Dr. Cass who resides in Pacific Palisades, California has written a number of other health books.

Dr. Cass is a fine motivational speaker. After hearing her speak at the Health Freedom Expo in Long Beach, I bought her books Natural Highs and 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health. She helps people get weaned off of psychiatric drugs by putting them on specific amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients. Many young people are being put on psychiatric drugs, which aren’t the answer they need. These drugs have serious side effects and don’t address the true cause of their problem: Malnutrition. They simply are not getting the nutrients they need to keep their brains fed right. Dr. Cass has some very well proven answers that would benefit those who want to break free from addictive medication that won’t provide a cure. A real cure exists, when people no longer use drugs and stabilize their brains by feeding them right.

Amino acids are especially valuable and recommendations are given in both these books I was guided to experiment with tyrosine, which I bought from a company called Solgar. It is recommended for brain support I also started using tryptophan, which worked for me. I use it at bedtime and have no more problems falling asleep. There was a problem years ago with tryptophan, when a Japanese manufacturer used genetically engineered material in order to cut costs in the manufacturing of his product A large number of people became ill and all tryptophan was taken off the market. It is now back on the market. I have been using it for about a year without a problem. The product I am using was formulated by Nutraceutical Science Institute., which may be purchased at:

Natural News did an article: Depression and Mental Disorders can be Prevented and Treated with Simple Healing Foods (August 07, 2005).   It stated as follows:  The food supply is causing depression in this country. It’s all the refined ingredients that have had their nutrition stripped away. That’s what is causing depression, but what do we do in this country to treat depression? We come up with new drugs like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloff. And we give them to people and sometimes charge them thousands of dollars a year to stay on these drugs. They don’t need drugs — what they really need are just healing foods. They need to go to the grocery store, shop for some healthy foods and eat those foods in order to have healthy brain balance and avoid depression. It’s not that difficult.”



This NN article has a good take on the solution to mental health problems, BUT some of the foods that are being recommended ARE NOT the way to go. Molasses was recommended and I learned years ago that the manufacturing process utilizing high heat in processing sugar cane renders molasses worthless. Another food that was touted – wheat germ – and the latest information states that it can actually cause brain damage. It becomes rancid very rapidly – and rancid food contributes to heart disease. In addition, if a person is allergic to wheat – wheat germ will not produce a beneficial effect.

It is too bad that most health research in the United States has not directed enough money to nutrition research, because good health is not as financially rewarding.Bad health is what brings the maximum amount of money to the medical field. Many doctors are totally antagonistic to information regarding nutritional supplementation. I spoke to a prominent psychiatrist who scoffed at the idea that B vitamins could be beneficial in treating mental illness. Many doctors have not had one course in nutrition – so they erroneously believe it is of no value.

Most psychiatrists prescribe drugs, not nutrition.. ABILIFY is one of the newer atypical anti-psychotic drugs. We will cover this below. Two of the older antipsychotic drugs which I had “experienced” in the sixties were stelazine andthorazine. A footnote in a journal put out by the Citizens for Human Rights International stated: December 1, 2005:  Researchers found that 18% of nearly 23000 elderly people taking the older antipsychotics died within the first six months of taking them. I didn’t stay on these drugs very long, because they made me feel like a zombie. Eventually, I was put on lithium, but It made me look and feel, as if I were eternally pregnant and I couldn’t keep my weight down.

My mental problems stemmed from my restricted diets. I was phobic about being fat, so I lived on a perpetual diet. Whenever I over-indulged, I would cut back drastically. It took years, before I became aware of the importance of getting the right nutrients for the brain. As I wrote previously, the shock treatments that I had been given wiped out important memories. I didn’t recall that I had been on a 600 calorie-a-day diet for 4 months, before I wound up in the hospital in 1963.  It was years later I came across a journal I had written with this information. It took many more years of nutritional research, before the right information started to surface. Few health researchers, even today, have the right answers, because the food industry is running the show. It’s their research which is being provided to Americans – and the world. It is all based on setting nutritional standards, which will guarantee the sales of their processed foods.

Keeping a food journal is ultra important, because you want to know you are eating the right foods. If you don’t eat enough of the right foods, you will wind up with problems; both mental and physical. I learned the hard way. Most young people are on legal drugs, because they are not getting the nutrients they need. The side effects of these drugs are horrendous. I mentioned Abilify previously. The information insert lists hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar) and diabetes. It and other antipsychotic drugs have caused a potentially fatal condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Patients who develop this may have high fevers, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, irregular pulse or blood pressure, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and heart arrhythmias (irregularities).  Body temperature regulation – disruption of the body’s ability to reduce core body temperature – has been attributed to antipsychotic agents such as Abilify.

Psychostimulants, newer antidepressants, older antidepressants, antipsychotic, anti-anxiety drugs, Lithium, and barbituates all come with a myriad of dangerous side effects. If you are using any medication, it pays to check out The Physician’s Desk Reference at:



Many people think lithium is safe. However, in order to achieve a “sedating” effect. The “therapeutic” dosage that psychiatrists use is near toxic; ie., so poisonous that it can cause serious harm or death. Medical experts state that the almost inevitable result of lithium not being metabolized is that it can lead to kidney damage. Lithium is even more hazardous when too much of it accumulates in the body and the toxicity from this can lead to permanent brain damage and death. It has 59 side effects

Drugs are not the answer. Learning how to eat right is the best prevention in the world. Depending on people who dispense drugs is like letting foxes guard the chicken coop. They have no motivation to point people toward natural nutrition, because once people learn how to eat right – they will not need drugs.

Think about the number of Hollywood stars who have wound up on medication, or in mental hospitals or dying from drug problems: Actors such as, Gene Tierney, Frances Farmer, Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Veronica Lake, Patty Duke, Mariette Hartley, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Brook Shields, and Rosemary Clooney, etc. What is the common denominator? Poor nutrition and radical dieting in order to look good on the screen, which throws the body and brain out of balance Many young actresses today are mentally unbalanced from trying to keeep their weight down – and putting the wrong food and substances in their mouths. Then, they too get hooked on drugs, legal and illegal.

The simple solution is eating foods that provide nourishment for the body and the brain. There are other countries that are getting involved in making this a reality. It is time that more Americans got on this bandwagon and demanded that our government – not permit food manufacturers to provide the research for our universities. If health is a major goal, the only way to achieve it – is by feeding our bodies right. This means people need valid information; not information provided by food manufacturers to promote their toxic products. Their self-serving propaganda has unbalanced Americans mentally and physically. America is a very sick country! Our life expectancy is shorter than many other countries – and we spend more on medical care than any other country in the world.

Shakespeare was reputed to have said that man has lost his ability to reason. If this was bad 400 years ago, it is far worse today. I attribute much of this to eating substances, which can’t be called food.  Real Food nourishes the brain. The wrong food and substances destroy it.

Healthfully Yours,

Barbara Charis

2 thoughts on “The Influence of Nutrition on Mental Health (Part 2)

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    1. Barbara Charis Post author

      Lorri, thanks for leaving a comment. I have been immersed in research for another book…have not had the time to even look at my website. It took 33 years of research and hundreds of thousands to do my first book. It is about 98% valid. However, I want the next one to be 100%. The first is more of a transition book for people who are not ready to eat primarily raw foods. Sharing from the Heart recommends steaming vegetables and eating fruit raw. Now, I am aiming for primarily raw on a daily basis. There were no stoves for hundreds of thousands of years…and mankind survived as foragers. Agriculture has not been around that long in the time table of history. My nutrition research has been ongoing for 54 years, but I have been seeking answers relating to nutrition, since I was a child. My father was into nature, exercise and fitness…and told us how bad margarine was in 1942. He also did not believe in dairy. So, I kind of got off to a head start. I was fairly healthy as a child. My main problem was being born in the Great Depression – didn’t scarcely eat for my first 12 years. However, I learned it is better to eat less than to eat the wrong foods. I am a very healthy 80 year old, because I learned how to eat the way our Creator intended for us to eat.


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