Tuesday, August 21, 2007

About 'Optimum Nutrition for the Mind'.

Patrick Holford started out as an experimental psychologist before he became a nutritionist as a result of a chance encounter. So he obviously has an interest in mental health - hence this book. He basically argues that mind and body are not separate. The book is fairly scientific and he refers a lot to studies and reports. There is an extensive 'references and resources' section at the back. This is quite useful when you need to know where to go next, where you can obtain certain supplements, how to find a nutritional practitioner, or where you can go for various tests. These are mainly based in the UK however.

Throughout the book there are some case histories as well as short questionnaires to see whether you are deficient in this or that. There is a chapter on addiction, bipolar, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and depression. Complex carbs are important, amino acids (eg 5-HTP or Serotone) and the essential fats, Omega 3's and 6's. He also refers to helpful herbs and 'smart drugs and hormones'. He has an interesting viewpoint on Lithium.

Naturally diet is key, but Holford is good at understanding that every individual is different and has different needs. This is what is ignored largely in psychiatry...if you are diagnosed bipolar you somehow get thrown in to one homogenous group and treated accordingly.

I don't think he is too dogmatic. He gives you ideas that you can try. If one doesn't work you can try something else. It's about learning to trust your body. I find his viewpoint liberating and refreshing...but then I guess I would, wouldn't I? Anyway I'm doing pretty well on the Low GL Diet (Low Glycaemic Load). In terms of sorting out my food obsession and getting rid of cravings it's worked better than anything else ever has. I had a feeling my blood sugar must be up the creek and my eating really was pathological at times.

It's quite a big thick book with a lot in it. Pretty good value for money. There is also his website 100% Health though I caution suggestible people like myself not to go too mad buying the latest 'must-have' supplement unless you can afford it! But there are lots of interesting articles on there, some of which you have be a member to read. I'll be back soon to write my latest news. Love, Zoe.

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