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Almost two years into the pandemic, it’s safe to say that citizens around the world are experiencing mental health issues like never before. Studies are coming to terms with dramatic dips in mental health, especially among young women, citing findings such as “nearly seven in ten women under age 30 report a negative mental health impact from the pandemic,” and “nearly six in ten adults worried about getting sick from COVID-19 and say it has had a negative impact on their mental health.”
The kicker is, we weren’t exactly successful on the mental health front even just two years before. During 2015-2018, it was estimated that 13% of adults in the United States were taking some form of antidepressant, a number that has steadily risen over the past decade.
Julia Rucklidge, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch in New Zealand, says this steady rise in dependency on psychopharmacology could be a direct consequence of not getting enough micronutrients in our daily diet.
“Optimizing nutrition is a safe and viable way to avoid, treat, or lessen mental illness. Nutrition matters. Poor nutrition is a significant and modifiable risk factor for the development of mental illness,” Rucklidge shared in her Ted Talk, The Surprisingly Dramatic Role of Nutrition in Mental Health.
Psychiatric Drugs: A ‘Hole’ Other Problem
Let’s talk about psychotropic drugs. There are five main types: antidepressants, anti-anxiety, stimulants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. They have long been considered the accepted, mainstream course of treatment for mood and mental health disorders and, as a result, many Americans use them on a daily basis. One study found from 2005-2010, approximately six percent of adolescents between the ages of 12-19 were prescribed at least one. A more recent study from 2016 claimed one in six adults in the U.S. were taking a psychiatric drug. Dr. Rucklidge has been noticing similar trends in her home country of New Zealand.
“In 2012, half a million New Zealanders—that’s one-eighth of us—had been prescribed an antidepressant,” Dr. Rucklidge reports. “That’s 38% higher than five years previously.”
Taking it one step further, Dr. Rucklidge wanted to learn if prescription drug use was actually helping those it was prescribed for. In a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) titled “Three Year Follow Up of the NIMH MTA Study,” researchers analyzed the effect that medication management, behavior therapy, and usual community care had on 579 children with ADHD. In the three-year follow-up, they discovered that the group of children who received medication management did not significantly improve compared to the children who hadn’t received medication. In the follow-up study, researchers learned that those who had received medication actually fared worse than their non-medicated counterparts.
“Children with depression who were treated with antidepressants were three times more likely to convert to bipolar disorder than children who were never given these medications,” Dr. Rucklidge summarized in her Ted Talk.
This begs the question: are psychotropic medications leaving a hole in our mental health success? Although antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic medications have been shown in many cases to provide short-term relief of symptoms, a growing body of research shows that they can have negative side effects and may not provide long-term relief.
Dr. Rucklidge believes those answers can be found in her research on clinical-strength micronutrients.
Better Nutrients for Better Mental Health
In 2009, Dr. Rucklidge received funding to run a randomized placebo-controlled trial that focused on using clinical-strength micronutrients for the treatment of ADHD in adults. In this study, they gave individuals up to 15 pills a day with 36 different nutrients. It is worth noting that since this study was published, the micronutrients have been formulated at an increased potency, so fewer pills are needed per day to achieve the same result.
“Within just an eight-week period, twice as many people responded in the micronutrient group compared to the placebo,” Rucklidge found.
“Twice as many people went into remission in their depression, in the micronutrient group. Hyperactivity and impulsivity reduced into the normal, non-clinical range. And those who were taking the micronutrients were more likely to report that their ADHD symptoms were less impairing and less interfering in their work and social relationships than people who were on the placebo.”
Excitingly, Dr. Rucklidge isn’t the only scientist finding these types of results.
Most recently, Hardy Nutritionals® Daily Essential Nutrients was studied in the first-ever fully-blind placebo-controlled university trial for pediatric ADHD. The independently funded study yielded ground-breaking results wherein researchers reported that Daily Essential Nutrients dramatically improved emotional regulation and aggression in children with ADHD.
In all, Hardy products are backed by over 40 independent university studies that have shown these broad-spectrum micronutrients can be effectively used to treat mental health and mood disorders--without the long-term side effects often associated with psychiatric drugs.
Which Micronutrients to Take
Dr. Rucklidge has done so many studies on micronutrients in her career that she has literally written the book on it.
Her TedTalk is a great introduction to micronutrients, the effects on our brains when we don’t receive enough of them, and how psychotropic medication has become such a big part of our day-to-day lives. But she also discusses the best way to get micronutrients into our bodies. Unfortunately, with the modern western diet and soil depletion, just eating right isn’t going to provide enough nutrients to address severe mood and mental health symptoms. To function at our best capacity, our bodies need a broad spectrum of super-potent, highly absorbable, ultra-balanced micronutrients. The broad-spectrum clinical micronutrients found in Daily Essential Nutrients are clinically proven as the first line of defense option when it comes to mood and mental health. Available in capsules or powder, Daily Essential Nutrients is non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly. It is also recommended by hundreds of health care professionals worldwide.Hardy’s micronutrients are backed by peer-reviewed published research, including studies by Dr. Rucklidge herself. Clinicians and psychologists have recommended these micronutrients to their patients experiencing bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, sleep issues, anxiety, and ADHD and have seen amazing results, without turning to prescription medications.
To see videos featuring doctors discussing their patients' outcomes using Daily Essential Nutrients, click here.