Friday, December 21, 2012

Nutrition and Behavior - a neglected link?

Excerpted from my Christmas letter for this holiday season:

Now violence has intruded itself into our holiday season, and we are led to wonder what prompts such vicious behavior. All sorts of causes are cited, but some important ones are overlooked or ignored.
  • Barb Stitt, probation officer, in her book, Food & Behavior: a Natural Connection, relates how the behavior of probationers turned around when she improved their nutrition, emphasizing vitamin B complex. Too many nutritionally deficient, refined foods (junk food) leads to a 'jumpy' brain, prone to violent outbursts.
  • Dr. Stitt worked with a school in Wisconsin to improve the school meals which resulted in a remarkable improvement in student behavior.
  • Several experts have highlighted the importance of adequate omega-3 essential fats for brain health, as they are a major component of brain tissue, but many folks are short on omega-3s and long on omega-6 fat, which crowd out the omega-3's. Bizarre behavioral problems can result.
  • An article by Kevin Drum in the latest issue of Mother Jones details the close correlation between leaded gasoline and crime some twenty years later when the children exposed to lead grow to be troubled young adults. He asserts that the fall in crime in recent years is related to the earlier outlawing of leaded gas, but he feels that investing in cleaning up the remaining environmental lead contamination would be a worthwhile investment.
  • And the new kid on the block, vitamin K2, very essential for brain health (& heart health, bone health, etc.). And where is it found? Pasture-raised eggs, butter, lard & meat, especially liver, the very foods our health authorities have been demonizing! See Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox for the details. All you folks taking supplemental calcium and vitamin D need to read this!
  • And now I read of another neglected and easily corrected deficiency that can cause really strange behavior - Could It Be B12? - a serious, often hidden, and neglected deficiency!
  • There are more links on my website,, about the nutrition behavior connection - find 'violence' on the site map and follow the link. Be aware that good nutrition and detoxification are far more important than medications, guns, more police, or more prisons to end these irrational behaviors.
 Why is it that with all the talk of guns, gun control, prisons, and whatever to attack the problem of violence, there is so little recognition that some well planned, inexpensive supplements might calm the troubled mind? Why are we so reluctant to acknowledge that the highly processed junk foods that constitute the typical diet of too many Americans might be contributing to the problem? Could it be that profits and sales are more important than health and a tranquil society? After all, if we all started eating real food and got truly healthy, there are several industries that would suffer decline!

I'd like to close with a quote from Jurriaan Kamp, Editor of The Intelligent Optimist  

"Please take a moment with me to direct your love to not just the young victims of the overwhelmingly painful massacre at the school in Connecticut and their families, but to all people who live in challenging, sad and painful circumstances in our world. Anyone can turn into a gunman if s/he is feeling left out, disconnected and lost. A gunman shames us all. Let's make sure that we take care of all our sisters and brothers.
"Let's focus on a world that we do want to create and live in. Let's ignore the media that will spread ever more fear with their reporting.
"We need CHANGE. We long for PEACE. So let's think PEACE. Let's dream PEACE.  Let's do PEACE. Every day. Let's feed our minds and souls with possibility.
This very touching poem by by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA, exemplifies the possibilities - Prayer for Newtown