Schizophrenia, Depression, and the Little-Known “Mental Health”/Dietary Link: An Interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Did you know your food can affect your mood? What you eat and the state of your digestive system can keep you healthy and happy or may cause schizophrenia, depression, and developmental disorders.
Did you know there could be a link between mental health and your diet?
Imagine treating schizophrenia, depression, ADHD and ADD, bipolar disorder, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder with food instead of medicine!
In the UK, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has uncovered a link between mental health and the food we eat. Prompted to look outside conventional medicine for a solution to her own child’s developmental disabilities, Dr. Campbell-McBride found that digestion plays a major role in healthy development, mood, and mental health.
Today we discuss her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome and the link between mental health and diet that could change your life!
Q. In your book, you talk about the gut-brain connection. What is it and why is it important to psychiatric patients?
A. No system in your body functions in isolation. They are all connected, so it makes logical sense that all of our systems (cardio-vascular, digestive, nervous systems) operate together and affect one another.
Most psychiatric patients suffer from digestive problems. They have unhealthy inner ecosystems where there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast and fungus; they cannot digest food properly. This creates a large number of neurotoxins that can move from their intestines through the damaged intestinal lining into the blood stream where the toxins are carried to the brain.
This reality makes digestive health imperative for anyone with a mental disorder. Correcting digestive health can treat the disorder, and in some cases heal it.
Q. Where do the dangerous neurotoxins come from that may cause schizophrenia, depression, and other mental disorders?
A. One source of neurotoxins is digestion of certain foods, especially processed foods like sugar, flour and milk products.
For example, many people who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, ADD,ADHD, and autism also have an overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans. Candida and other yeasts feed on glucose from sugar and digest it differently from the good bacteria in your gut.
Candida albicans (and other yeasts turn dietary glucose into alcohol (ethanol) and its by-product acetaldehyde.
These toxic products of impaired digestion can:
- Reduce stomach acid
- Damage your gut lining
- Impair your immunity
- Affect your metabolism
- Cause brain damage
So for many people with digestive problems, consuming sugar is like consuming alcohol.
Q. Now it makes sense why sugar is known as the “white death.” What about gluten and casein? Many people with developmental and mental disorders avoid them. Why?
A. Gluten and casein are two other dietary substances that are difficult to digest and may contribute to mental health problems.
Gluten is a protein found in grains, and casein is a protein found in milk and milk products. Many people with digestive dysfunction (and mental disorders) struggle to digest the proteins in gluten and casein. Their bodies turn these proteins into substances similar to opiates like morphine and heroin.
Researchers believe that these substances get into the brain and affect it just like the drugs would and could be a cause of schizophrenia, depression, and other mental disorders.
Q. So you’re saying that improper digestion might be a leading cause of schizophrenia, depression, ADD and ADHD, and autism. How does digestion become so impaired to allow these disorders to develop?
A. Any of these mental health conditions is due to a complex set of factors that is different for each individual. Gender, genetic makeup, pre-natal nutrition, drugs, environmental factors and more all contribute to a person’s development.
In most cases, those who suffer from mental health disorders like depression and schizophrenia, and from developmental disorders like autism, something has harmed the beneficial bacteria in their gut, sometimes before birth and sometimes later on in life.
Some common culprits that damage gut flora include:
- Over-the-counter pain killers
- Birth control pills
- Diets full of sugar and processed foods
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, shows how digestion can affect your mental health. With clear explanations and helpful diagrams, she clearly shows how food can change your mood, and more! While Dr Campbell McBride’s dietary suggestions follow the guidelines of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Donna Gates recommends that EVERYONE read The Gut and Psychology Syndrome today to learn valuable information that will enhance your understanding of the connection between the brain in our gut and the brain in our head!
Q. How can we heal the intestines and in turn heal our mental health?
A. Diet and lifestyle are two key factors that can cause schizophrenia, depression, autism and other mental disorders. Similarly, diet and lifestyle can heal mental and physical health.
If digestion heals, then the brain can also heal. Soon, mental disorders will be a thing of the past!
A Great Complement to The Body Ecology Diet!
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, delves into the functioning of your intestines and explains in detail how digestion and mental health are intricately connected. She also gives wonderful advice on how to heal your gut with diet.