Recent studies have shown that some cases of Bipolar disorder can be treated using natural methods. This article and accompanying video discuss natural bipolar treatment options. There are additional resource links at the end of this article.
Recent research on various nutrients has suggested that some mental illness might be ameliorated by supplementation. Much work has focused on essential fatty acids (1), although various minerals are also being studied (especially zinc). We are evaluating a broad-based nutritional supplement that contains primarily trace minerals, plus vitamins and amino acids.
Recent work has suggested that crops grown with western farming methods contain fewer of these essential nutrients than they did in years past (2) . Although we have been examining the effects of the supplement on a variety of psychiatric symptoms in both children and adults, it appears to be particularly promising for bipolar disorder in adults.
We will present an open case series of 10 male patients aged 20-46 years who thus far have taken the supplement for 1.5 – 6 months. Four were diagnosed with Bipolar I, four with Bipolar II, one with Bipolar Mixed, and one with Bipolar-NOS. In most cases, the supplement has entirely replaced psychoactive medications and the patients have remained well. Side effects (e.g., nausea) have been rare, minor, and transitory. In all cases, the patients have been evaluated periodically with the Hamilton-Depression Scale, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and the Young Mania Rating Scale.
The change in mean scores for each scale from study entry to the time of the last visit are as follows: Ham-D (20.4 to 8.2), BPRS (37.3 to 9.9), YMRS (16.8 to 6.1), and OQ (75.2 to 48.2).
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the supplement for Bipolar I has been funded and began in July 2000.
Authors: Bonnie J. Kaplan1, PhD; J. Steve A. Simpson1, PhD, MD; Richard C. Ferre2, MD; Chris P. Gorman1, MD; David McMullen1, MD; – 1Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 2Salt Lake City, Utah
AbstractPresented at the Canadian Psychiatric Association annual meeting October 4, 2000, Victoria, British Columbia.
1. Stoll AL, Severus E, Freeman MP, Rueter S, Zboyan HA, Diamond E, Cress KK, Marangell LB: Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder: A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Archives of General Psychiatry 1999; 56:407-412.
2. Mayer AB: Historical changes in the mineral content of fruits and vegetables. British Food Journal 1997; 99:207-211