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Real Stuff: Nutrient Therapies Treating Chronic Disease #48
In this episode of Food, Success & Life for the Modern Woman, Julia Rucklidge talks about her trials in using micronutrients for the treatment of mental illnesses. She shares about the advances they have made in learning what can lead to reducing and eliminating symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, PMS, depression in both adults and children. Her research is quite astounding and she’s making waves to change the way we treat our illnesses with methods other than drugs.
In the trials they perform in her research lab, they take an approach where they give everyone the same micronutrients, and then test to see if and how that worked. It’s difficult to give everyone something different and pin point the trials that worked. They give people a broad spectrum of micronutrients, in levels that are higher than the average recommended allowances but in a safe level and within a therapeutic range.
They did trials with ADHD. Half went into micronutrient and half went into placebo groups, and those that were on the micronutrient group showed significant changes in their ADHD symptoms.
They also just completed a study to explore ceasing smoking. Now doing a study for women experiencing PMS symptoms, to treat women naturally and looking at women and depression, women with postpartum depression, helping people with insomnia, children with ADHD, etc.
What is the best way to spread the word and talk to practitioners about this? Disseminate results.
Step 1 – Studies need to be submitted into a journal to have great impact and be taken seriously.
Step 2- Media will be present to listen to results. They will help spread the word to the masses.
Step 3- Julia is spreading the word, public speaking, interviews, podcasts, get the information to the public, and now trying to get the information to politicians.
Step 4- Need to convince authorities that it’s better and cheaper than the alternative which is drugs. This is difficult because most drugs’ patents are coming to an end, so they are becoming cheaper. Gearing their research towards finding out if they can make micronutrients cheaper.
Bottom line is that it’s hard. There’s a monopoly on healthcare by pharmaceutical companies.
Use of nutrients to impact adults with ADHD
Her lab did an amazing trial. It was only done for 8 weeks due to funds. It often takes several months to start to see a difference in a study. Despite that, they were still able to identify differences. They found that about 50% to 60% of people given micronutrients showed a great response during that period of time, 20% to 30% showed mild change over that period of time. And, a 20% to 25% of people don’t respond at all. This could be due to genetics, other diseases, other factors, etc.
While they were targeting ADHD symptoms, they also noticed better response in terms of mood, sleep, calm, and reduction of panic attacks. And in terms of long term, people who stayed on the nutrients they no longer met criteria for ADHD. Those that did not continue on the nutrients, regressed back to where they started before the trial.
Dr. Rucklidge foresees her lab being in the company of the big researchers in 10-20 years from now, and hopes that the research being done will hit mainstream.
Let’s make noise and keep spreading the word!
About Julia Rucklidge:
Julia Rucklidge is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, she did her undergraduate training in neurobiology at McGill University in Montreal. She then completed a Master’s and PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology followed by a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
In 2000, she joined the Department of Psychology where she teaches child psychology in the Clinical Psychology Programme and more recently, introduced the topic of Mental Health and Nutrition into the wider psychology program. Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions.
In the last decade, she has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety and stress and PTSD associated with the Canterbury earthquakes.
Julia has over 100 publications and was the recipient of the Ballin Award 2015 from the NZ Psychologist Society, an award that recognizes notably significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Links and Resources
- Follow Julia on Twitter @JuliaRucklidge, like her on Facebook and email her a firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To learn more about the studies of micornutrients on mental illnesses, also listen to our interview with Dr. William Walsh
- If you missed it, listen in on our last podcast episode: