A prominent psychiatric textbook, “Complementary and Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice“, published in 2017 by the American Psychiatric Association, features broad-spectrum micronutrients as a “physiologically sensible approach” to treating mood and mental health disorders.
Now backed by over 30 independent medical journal publications for the treatment of mood and mental health disorders, broad-spectrum micronutrients are becoming an increasingly viable alternative to psychotropic medications in the medical community.
Published by the American Psychiatric Association and designed as a modern handbook for psychiatrists, Complementary and Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice focuses on evidence-based treatments and includes a chapter on using micronutrients to treat mood and mental health.
Broad-Spectrum Micronutrients vs. Single Micronutrients
The authors first examine the evidence with respect to “single nutrients”, or single element therapy, such as using magnesium or Vitamin B12 for the treatment of mood dysregulation and mental health.
“Adjusting a single micronutrient may not have much impact because 1) micronutrients typically act together…2) many enzymes have cofactors, so adjusting one may have little effect; and 3) treating with a single micronutrient can be disruptive by creating imbalances…”
At Hardy Nutritionals®, we use an analogy that we call “the dam theory“. In this analogy, the dam represents the human body. If there are no deficiencies in the dam, the dam holds water and functions as it should. If there are no deficiencies in the body, it too will function as it should. However, if there are multiple deficiencies (holes) in the dam it will cause the dam to leak. Like dams, if there are multiple deficiencies in the body, it won’t function optimally either.
While using individual (or several individual) elements to try and achieve a desired health effect is a popular idea, prevailing research shows that providing individual nutrients to the body can create other imbalances.
Broad-Spectrum Micronutrient Treatment of Psychiatric Symptoms and Disorders
According to the authors, the most desirable broad-spectrum micronutrients typically consist of:
- At least 10, preferably more (25 or so), minerals and vitamins.
- Individual ingredient doses exceeding the RDA.
- Balanced ratios.
- High bio-availability.
- High quality control.
- Absence of botanicals that interfere with drugs.
- Availability of peer-review studies on safety and efficacy using comparable formulations.
The authors also note that “A broader range of micronutrients is more likely to provide more pervasive physiological changes, including more wide-ranging enhancements of central nervous system (CNS) activity. Broad-spectrum mineral-vitamin combinations have been evaluated for treating violent behavior and conduct problems, ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and substance use disorders. Broad-spectrum interventions have also been examined in nonclinical (“normal”) populations for improving mood, cognition, sense of well-being, and stress tolerance.”
Not only can clinical broad-spectrum micronutrients, such as Hardy’s Daily Essential Nutrients, help support improved mood stability and mental health in those with common diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and bipolar disorder, broad-spectrum micronutrients have also been shown to improve mood, cognition and stress in study participants who had no mental health disorder.
News of the inclusion of broad-spectrum micronutrient therapy in this important psychiatric publication, comes on the heels of a recently published double-blind university study, which demonstrated that Hardy Nutritionals® broad-spectrum clinical micronutrient formulation, Daily Essential Nutrients, is a safe and effective alternative to stimulants for treating pediatric ADHD.