Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vitamin C, Niacin, and Multivitamins – Insurance Against Eating Disorders (Anorexia and Bulimia)

If you are caring for an anorexic, vitamins complement all other treatment approaches. You can confidently pursue vitamins simultaneously with any other treatment options that you believe will help. The behavioral psychologists that specialize in eating disorders are not trained in nutrition and are not qualified to recommend nutritional approaches. Without further training, it would be unethical for them to make recommendations concerning vitamins.

Vitamins are so safe that you are empowered to research the relationship between eating disorders and vitamins on your own, and to provide treatment on your own. Treatment is easy, just go down to the corner store and purchase vitamin C, time release niacin, and multivitamins. If you want a second opinion, you’ll need to seek out an orthomolecular physician.

Eating disorders are the only remaining vitamin deficiency diseases in the developed world. There is a scientific consensus that eating disorders are intertwined with vitamin deficiency. If you don’t eat, you can’t consume the R.D.A.’s for essential nutrients. Anorexia is a known symptom of pellagra (niacin deficiency) and beriberi (vitamins B1 and B2 deficiency). Many other mental health problems are associated with vitamin deficiency. Vitamins are not a magic cure for eating disorders, and should not be substituted for the advice of specialists. There is much to gain and nothing to lose, however, by providing anorexics with vitamins in addition to following the advice of eating disorder specialists.

I believe that vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamins can reduce the incidence of full-blown eating disorders. All parents of teenage girls should consider supplements. Thanks to the ready availability of supplements, it is straightforward for parents to ensure that their children consume ample amounts of essential nutrients for just pennies per day. Now that’s inexpensive insurance.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger Rusty Hoge said...

There has been considerable research done with nutrition and mental disorders. Some of these works consider nutrients such as niacin in pharmacalogical doses as in Linus Pauling’s co-edited Orthomolecular Psychiatry with David Hawkins in 1973. A favorite of mine that considers how elusive food intolerances affect us mentally is Brain Allergies – The Psychonutrient Connection by William Philpott.

Steve is absolutely correct to advise supplementation in cases of “mental” illnesses. Beyond the disease process itself and how certain nutrients may be directly curative, eating disorders exaggerate the poor nutrition and lack of adequate nutrients that plaque the general population.

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