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Dec. 11 NAMI session to look at nutritional supplements for mental health

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For years it has been a common practice for many to take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement in the form of a pill. That along with a healthful diet, including mostly fresh vegetables and fruits, is considered enough. But is it? The one pill probably doesn’t have enough of every vitamin and mineral needed to fully sustain the body. Our food supplies, even if organically grown, are typically grown in depleted soils so as to be significantly deficient in minerals compared to 100 years ago.

Looking at just the one mineral magnesium, it is known that 75 percent of the population of the United States is deficient, according to Dr. Sruti Lam, MD, ND. “A woman needs 300-320 milligrams daily and a man needs 400-420 milligrams.”

Dr. Lam goes on to explain that magnesium is used to produce serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, and helps form the energy in our cells’ “power houses” called mitochondria. Magnesium deficiencies can cause depressive symptoms, anxiety, muscle aches, bone loss, and sleep disturbances. A one-a-day, comprehensive supplement cannot address the magnesium need, let alone the complete need for other vitamins and minerals. At the same time, the fact that some types of magnesium supplements are better absorbed into the body than others and that some types can help certain parts of the body rather than others cannot be overlooked. For instance, magnesium glycinate is well-absorbed and helpful particularly for muscles and to address neuro inflammation whereas magnesium L-Threonate is easily absorbed through the blood brain barrier to nourish that vital organ.

Dr. Ben Johnson, MD, DO, has stated that there are other supplements besides minerals that are natural antidepressants such as the amino acid L-theanine, the herb curcumin, and SAMe. Dr. Neil Nedley, MD, suggests the use of the amino acid tryptophan and Omega-3 oils to improve focus and concentration. “They help with mood and help prevent mania spells,” Nedley reports. Krill oil and organic flax seeds are safe sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.

There are adaptogen herbs, other minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and natural substances that can help prevent and address mental health issues safely, economically and without side effects. Use of these along with exercise, a nutritionally-dense whole-food diet, and daily sunshine provides a protocol for healing. These supplements and practices not only form the basis for good brain health but for good health throughout the entire body.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at The Commons at Central Hall in Dover-Foxcroft, a free video presentation, “Supplements: Treatment Without Side Effects to Heal Mental Illness,” will be shown. Participants will learn about the most significant minerals, vitamins, amino acids, herbs and other natural substances and how to use them to prevent and heal mental health challenges.

To attend this useful program, please register at 924-7903 or at nami.piscataquis@gmail.com.

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