Diet & Neurochemical imbalance

by Trace on March 11, 2010

All vitamins and minerals are involved in one or more biochemical pathways Omega3Seedsand/or physiological actions which influence the function of the human brain.

Most vitamin and mineral deficiencies result in psychiatric symptoms in a significant number of people.

For example, Low Vitamin D levels – extremely common –  have been linked with SAD – SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER and other forms of depression. (see pg 56 How To Overcome Stress Naturally)


Common chemical imbalances related to emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression include:

  • Reduced availability of neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine,
  • Lower levels of serum Magnesium, Zinc or Potassium
  • Unhealthy, or deficient levels of essential vitamins like B6, B9, B12 and Vitamin-C
  • Increased cortisol stress hormone levels


Eating refined sugar produces a surge of insulin and stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin). This puts great stress on our hormonal system and promotes inflammation.


If you suffer from some kind of addiction:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Opiates
  • Caffeine
  • Shopping/gambing disorders
  • Marijuana
  • Valium
  • Ritalin

… then there are real biochemical reasons why you can’t just quit as you wish. Dietary, nutritional and environmental therapies can have a powerful effect on the biochemical aspect of addictions.


Change your Food to Change your Mood

Chapter 5 in How To Overcome Stress Naturally, I interviewed Julie Wood, Registered Nurse, Aromatherapist and Nutrition Medicine Practitioner.  Julie Says:

Brain Chemicals that Affect Your Mood

There are three main chemical neurotransmitters in the brain: dopamine, noradrenalin and serotonin.

Dopamine and Noradrenalin are the brain chemicals that keep us alert: they empty-mindhave a tendency to make us think more quickly and they increase motivation, mental acuity and productivity.

Serotonin on the other hand is the calming brain chemical: it produces a relaxed, more focused, less anxious, less stressed, more euphoric feeling.

How does food affect mood?

  • Fluctuations in blood sugar levels are associated with changes in mood and energy, and are affected by what we eat.
  • Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine) influence the way we think, feel and behave. They can be affected by what we’ve eaten.
  • There can be abnormal reactions to artificial chemicals in foods, such as artificial colourings and flavourings.
  • There are reactions that can be due to the deficiency of an enzyme needed to digest a food. Lactase, for instance, is needed to digest milkglasslactose (milk sugar). Without it, a milk intolerance can build up.
  • People can become hypersensitive to foods. This can cause what are known as delayed or hidden food allergies or sensitivities.
  • Low levels of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids can affect mental health, with some symptoms associated with particular nutritional deficiencies.


For example, links have been demonstrated between…

  • low levels of certain B-vitamins and symptoms of schizophrenia,
  • low levels of the mineral zinc and eating disorders, and
  • low levels of omega-3 oils and depression.

Poor Digestion

  • Poor digestion leading to an accumulation of undigested foods in the gut can result in poor absorption of nutrients and a build up of toxins or malabsorption in the bowel leading to bowel dysbiosis “Leaky gut”
  • Our bowel has a large number of neurotransmitter receptors and these can be affected, as well as toxins escaping the bowel and ending up in the brain interfering with the neurotransmitters in the brain.
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