We recently received an exciting update from Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, an independent academic scientist who has championed micronutrient research (including Daily Essential Nutrients) for well over a decade.
To assist in the continued forward movement of nutrition and mental health research, Dr. Kaplan has established two Nutrition and Mental Health Funds, managed by completely independent community foundations. The fund in the United States is managed by The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care; the Canadian fund is managed by The Calgary Foundation.
Here's a brief video introduction from Dr. Kaplan on the United States Nutrition and Mental Health Fund, which is now accepting donations:
If you can donate to help the fund reach its first $100,000, please do! Even small donations can make a BIG difference.
Make a U.S. tax-deductible donation today.
Here's a brief video introduction from Dr. Kaplan on the Canadian Nutrition and Mental Health Fund, which is now accepting donations:
Make a Canadian tax-deductible donation today. (Click on "Select from All Funds" and enter "Nutrition and Mental Health" in the search field.)
When there are sufficient funds to support research studies, there will be a proper peer review system utilized to allocate grants. [Please note: none of these funds will ever be dispensed to Dr. Kaplan personally or to Hardy Nutritionals®.]
To follow the progress of the Nutrition and Mental Health Fund, please 'like' and 'follow' them on Facebook.
Fund advisor Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, PhD is a member of the new International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR). For many years, she studied developmental disorders in children, especially ADHD and reading disabilities (dyslexia). Also, with her students, she investigated the characteristics of adults with ADHD. Such work led her to further investigations of the role of nutrition. Another interest has been the mood symptoms that accompany ADHD and learning difficulties, and the role of micronutrient treatment of mood, aggression and explosive rage. This progression of topics has resulted in a research program focused on the role of nutrition in brain development and in brain function, especially the use of broad spectrum micronutrient treatment for mental disorders.
MentalHealthExcellence.org has a more information on The Nutrition and Mental Health Fund. Here are some snippets from their site:
"A fund ready for donors. The Nutrition and Mental Health Research Fund will support research and education on the ability of multi-nutrient treatments to reverse and prevent the onset of psychiatric symptoms. It seeks to raise an initial $100,000 for its first round of research grants."
Where the problem lies
"Scientific reports accumulating for the past 15 years have shown dramatic restoration of good mental health in people consuming broad-spectrum formulas of micronutrients (mostly minerals and vitamins). Initially, these results were surprising, because the prior century of research had shown very modest improvements with nutrient treatments. But there was a key difference: the older research consisted of studies of single nutrients, and the modern research is studying formulas with multiple nutrients. The tremendous advantage of broad-spectrum formulas is that they represent what the brain actually needs: all dietary minerals and vitamins, on a daily basis, and in proper balance.
"Unfortunately, it is primarily the single nutrient treatment studies that receive government funding, in part because they appeal to our Western way of thinking that there is a silver bullet for every problem (e.g., penicillin for a specific infection, so why not vitamin D for depression?). But humans need many (perhaps at least 50) micronutrients for optimal brain function. Why would anyone expect a single nutrient to have a significant impact on complex brain function? At best, single nutrients appear to boost the impact of medications, but our goal is to restore normal brain function: this achievement requires a broad spectrum of nutrients.
"We need to build our scientific knowledge about the treatment of mental health problems with formulas containing multiple micronutrients. There have been two significant obstacles up to this point: the excessive influence of pharmaceutical companies which spend billions of dollars on clinical trials but will not support nutrient treatment trials because they will not benefit financially, and the bias of conventional funding sources (mostly government agencies) toward supporting clinical trials of single nutrients. These two obstacles have prevented the flow of funds to support research on multi-nutrient treatments, even though those are the treatments that have been shown to have the greatest benefit for mental health."
Help is on the way
"Fund donations will support additional research on these multi-nutrient treatments. Although the evidence is strong that dietary habits are associated with psychiatric symptoms, there are two areas in particular needing additional research: 1) the ability of multi-nutrient treatments to reverse psychiatric symptoms, and 2) evaluation of the use of nutritional interventions to prevent psychiatric symptoms. The first goal of this fund will be to enhance our scientific knowledge of the potential uses of broad-spectrum nutrients for both treatment and prevention.
"Once further research data has accumulated, the fund will support knowledge translation and dissemination to professionals and the public."