The times they are a changing. Used to be if you had depression, why you had a Prozac deficiency. But no drug comes without some downsides. Less libido. Rebound trying to get off. No one mentions the link of SSRIs to possible future neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Or even cancer. And, these meds cost a lot of dough and create wide spread wear and tear on the entire health care system.

What may be coming to the rescue… NUTRITION!

The International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research has put out a new short and sweet consensus statement. It emphasizes that there is now robust epidemiologic, scientific, and clinical evidence showing that diet can both “prevent” and “treat” mental health disorders. They are cost-effective. They work. And they don’t cause negative side effects like meds do.

The society statement recommends advancing nutritional medicine in the field of psychiatry. They want to start teaching the application of healthy foods and the use of nutraceuticals at the undergraduate and graduate levels. But then they hope to take control.

They hope to create “nutraceuticals prescriptions.” You will have to go see a psychiatrist to get the prescription that’s going to be a new medicine that makes money for Big Pharma.

Follow the money.
They are not recommending nutritionists.
The committee summarized cogent bullet points that many of us have been seeing/saying/practicing for about 40 years, but hey, better late than never.

  • Unhealthy foods are ubiquitous.
  • They are addictive.
  •  They are contributing to a tsunami of ill mental health globally.Nutrients and better food choices improve mental health, cost less than drugs, and are highly effective.
  • They highlighted nutrients (which the nutritional communities have been discussing for the past half-century):
     Good guys: Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine, vitamin D, and amino acids.
    Bad guys: Junk food.

Their new idea:
1) The doc will recommend a healthier diet and, then,
2) Will probably write a prescription for mood supportive nutraceuticals, that,
3) You will need to get at a pharmacy.

This will start to limit what supplements you can buy at the health food stores. You will have to see a mental health professional or MD to get these scripts. This is a paradigm shift; the adding of nutrition consciousness to psychiatry. But follow the money. And the power. Uh oh!

Let’s keep our right to purchase the nutraceuticals on our own, or from recommendations by knowledgeable nutritionists who have been working in this arena much longer than the psychiatric profession.

The nutritional community has been emphasizing the food/brain/emotional link for many decades. The accumulating scientific literature has been growing but continued to be ignored by most of mainstream psychiatry and medicine.

Now they want to dive in and own the lake.

This committee wants to educate new students to assess randomized trials and translate them into practice. But much of natural multi-content foods does not lend itself to the randomized trail paradigm started for drugs that are unnatural and the human body has never experienced before.

It’s a new turf war.

Currently, undergraduate boards in medicine and psychiatry are not required to have any nutritional psychiatry or nutritional medical components other than biochemistry. No present training links nutritional deficiencies to cause or management of psychiatric disorders. They will be starting from ground zero.

Psychiatrists and many modern medical docs are about 50 years behind the times of understanding in-depth nutrition, the role of the gut and digestion in nutrition, the role of the microbiome and the brain. And the role of hormones that lean on nutrients that lean on digestion, all hum or clack together, creating peace of anxiety. We know this. This is a huge connect-the-dots. Not a lot of docs know this and certainly not the first 20 years of graduates of these new psychiatric nutritional institutions.

But I am sure they are going to want, soon, to be the ones to tell you what nutrients and foods to take to avoid the anti-depressants and antipsychotics they have been doling out for decades.
I say hire us who have been using this evidence-based science for years with great results. Invite us in to teach your newbies. And then, let the patient’s and public keep their consumer and patient rights.

World Psychiatry. 2015;14:370-371.