Why Do We Have a Massive Increase in Mental Illness?

“When essential trace minerals and water-soluble vitamins are missing from our diet, it can dramatically alter our biochemistry, which can be an underlying cause of mental illness.”

The surge in the prevalence of various mental illnesses and neurological disorders, including autism, tardive dyskinesia, ADHD, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, MS, epilepsy and depression, has raised significant concerns among researchers, healthcare professionals, and the general public. While these conditions have multifaceted causes, their increasing occurrence has spurred questions into the potential contributing factors. Environmental factors, genetic predispositions, changes in diagnostic criteria, and evolving societal pressures are among the variables thought to influence the rising rates of these disorders.

Advances in medical knowledge and diagnostic tools have enabled better detection and understanding of these conditions. However, there is a pressing need to explore the potential role of missing elements in the overall equation, such as the impact of lifestyle, nutrition, and early interventions, to mitigate and even reverse the growing burden of mental and neurological disorders in today’s society. Understanding what might be absent in our current approach to mental health and neurological well-being could hold the key to producing positive changes in prevention, treatment, and support systems.

Vitamin B6 deficiency

Simple B6 deficiency can cause serious mental health issues for life unless the situation is addressed. Vitamin B6 was first proposed as a supplement in autism because of its previous use in schizophrenia and seizures. This occurred at the same time as the idea that autism is a biological, neurologically-based problem which was first proposed by Rimland in 1964 in his book Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior.[1]

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study vitamin B6 was used in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia in patients with schizophrenia. “Fifteen inpatients with schizophrenia who met research diagnostic criteria for tardive dyskinesia were randomly assigned to treatment with either vitamin B(6) or placebo for 4 weeks in a double-blind crossover paradigm.”[2] Result showed that “[m]ean scores on the parkinsonism and dyskinetic movement subscales of the Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale were significantly better in the third week of treatment with vitamin B(6) than during the placebo period”[3] meaning that vitamin B(6) appeared to be effective in reducing symptoms of tardive dyskinesia.

L-Tryptophan and vitamin/mineral supplementation

Similarly, to vitamin B6, L-Tryptophan has been proven to be effective in neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia too. “Administration of the serotonin precursor L-tryptophan in a patient with neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia, produced a dramatic reduction in the severity of the abnormal movements within 24 hours. This report supports our hypothesis that alterations in the function of serotoninergic neurotransmission are implicated in the pathophysiology of neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia.”[4]

If pyridoxin B6 can make a difference with mental health, you can imagine the increased benefits when using 50mg of P5P form in each L-Tryptophan capsule. “Tryptophan (Trp) plays a significant role in the human organism and serves as a precursor for a wide range of bioactive compounds, including major neurotransmitters. Research indicates that tryptophan might be deficient in subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” The results of the study showed that “Trp level in ASD subjects is critical and that intake of B vitamins and magnesium with diet might influence its metabolic homeostasis.”[5] Other studies have also proven the correlation between tryptophan levels and autism spectrum disorder and stated that “decreased tryptophan metabolism may alter brain development, neuroimmune activity and mitochondrial function. Our finding of decreased tryptophan metabolism appears to provide a unifying biochemical basis for ASDs and perhaps an initial step in the development of a diagnostic assay for ASDs.”[6]

Oral vitamin/mineral supplementation has also been proven to be beneficial “in improving the nutritional and metabolic status of children with autism, including improvements in methylation, glutathione, oxidative stress, sulfation, ATP, NADH, and NADPH. The supplement group had significantly greater improvements than did the placebo group on the PGI-R Average Change. This suggests that a vitamin/mineral supplement is a reasonable adjunct therapy to consider for most children and adults with autism.”[7]

Lithium and L-Glycine

Lithium is both an element and a mineral locked within salts. Lithium salts have the power to change the brain: they were the first drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat mania, depression and bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Health. No one knows exactly how lithium works to stabilize mood. Studies show multiple effects on the nervous system. In 2008, researchers reported in the journal Cell that lithium interrupts the activity of a receptor for the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Glycine is the simplest nonessential amino acid and is probably the third major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain; glycine therapy readily passes the blood-brain barrier. Glycine is necessary for central nervous system, it can help prevent epileptic seizures, since it inhibits neurotransmitters. It is also useful in the treatment of manic (bipolar) depression. In clinical studies, glycine enabled individuals experiencing acute manic attacks to feel calmer, and cessation of the manic episode occurred within one hour. Patients taking lithium for depression have shown an increase in plasma glycine. Glycine is also effective for treatment of hyperactivity. Although having too much within the body can cause fatigue, the correct amount produces energy.

The feel good notion that we are all created the same is just not true. This has nothing to do with race, skin colour or financial status; although having access to money offers greater choices, there are plenty of folks with money that are not healthy. If we consider the idea that we enter the world in perfect health, from day one either we become stronger or we become weaker, we mostly need to follow the family traits. There is a scripture in Deuteronomy 5:9 that speaks of “the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children” and according to Webster’s dictionary they paraphrase its meaning as “that children often suffer for the bad things their parents do.” When in clinical practice, I used to do electrodermal testing (used to screen the electro-acupuncture points in regards to organ health and bodily functions), and I would take it with me to test on some international travels. My findings revealed that various cultures had their own health predispositions. Latin American countries were heavy pork and meat eaters with beans and rice as their staples, the majority had liver stagnation and colon health issues. Middle Eastern countries, which eat an abundance of bread and carbohydrates, produced yeast infections such as candida albicans, a naturally occurring fungus. The same would apply for those eating a Mediterranean diet with emphasizes on healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and lean meat—they were surprisingly healthy with few allergies. We pass these traits and rituals to our children and to their children and it is not unexpected to see the same health or disease patterns from generation to generation unless the practices are altered.

When we begin seeing disease rise exponentially in all sectors, including children, we must examine what has changed. I have always been of the opinion that the human body can take a massive amount of abuse and still maintain a healthy state and the reason this happens is that the basic needs are supplied. It comes down to what you do not do. Today with the emphasis on prepared processed food, harmful pesticides and herbicides, food grown with new fancy names so they do not appear scary (e.g. biomass instead of sewage sludge fertilizer, bioengineering formerly known as genetically modified organism, GMOs or entomophagy, the practice of eating insects for their protein content). We must diligently read our labels as these perversions of nature are appearing very commonly on popular brand name foods. Since the food supply is becoming void of most trace minerals and essential vitamins, the lack of these in our diet will create an avalanche of disease processes and we can see this clearly when examining mental health conditions.

According to a book by Kimberly D. Wiley and Mohit Gupta, vitamin B1 (Thiamine) “deficiency can affect the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems, as commonly seen in wet beriberi, dry beriberi, or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Worldwide it is most widely reported in populations where polished rice and milled cereals are the primary food source and in patients with chronic alcohol use disorder.”[8]

When essential trace minerals and water-soluble vitamins are missing from our diet, it can dramatically alter our biochemistry, which can be an underlying cause of mental illness. In this case, suicidal thoughts can become a manifestation of brain circuitry gone out of balance from a nutritional deficiency; research is demonstrating that suicide may have biochemical underpinnings. B-vitamins such as thiamine or B6, zinc, vitamins C and D, healthy cholesterol, lithium, folate, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids can all be helpful in mitigating mental health disorders including suicide when properly assessed. If we give the body what it lacks and needs, I do believe we can drastically improve most health conditions and save lives.

We need to cover the basics to remain healthy, which means taking a fully activated super multivitamin complex like Next Generation Super Multivitamin with Opti-Cal/Mag Complex, and trace minerals such as Lithium Homeopathic and B6 the activated P5P form in L-Tryptophan.

Additional Reading:


[1] Massachusetts General Hospital. 2023.

[2] Lerner, V et al. 2001.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Sandyk, R et al. 1988.

[5] Kałużna-Czaplińska, Joanna et al. 2017.

[6] Boccuto, Luigi et al. 2013.

[7] Adams, James B et al. 2011.

[8] Wiley, Kimberly D. and Gupta, Mohit. 2023.