Use of Micronutrients Attenuates Cannabis and Nicotine Abuse as Evidenced From a Reversal Design: A Case Study
ABSTRACT Prior research shows that micronutrients, particularly amino acids, can assist individuals with substance dependence to quit various drugs of abuse, including cannabis, alcohol, and cocaine. As part of a wider investigation of the impact of micronutrients (mostly vitamins and minerals) on psychiatric symptoms, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety, we observed that many participants reduced or eliminated use of alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis. One case using a single-case reversal (off-on-off-on-off) design is presented and shows not only on-off control of psychiatric symptoms as micronutrients are consumed or withdrawn, but also simultaneous on-off use of cannabis and cigarettes, despite not directly targeting this substance use as part of the treatment protocol. This case adds to a growing body of research supporting the use of micronutrients in the treatment of psychiatric symptoms and suggests it may extend to substance dependence. Micronutrients, by assisting with mood regulation and reductions in anxiety, may assist with successful cessation of drug use. Alternatively, they may directly impact on the brain reward circuitry believed to be involved in the expression of addictions, thereby providing the appropriate precursors and cofactors necessary for adequate neurotransmitter synthesis. This case should continue to stimulate researchers to consider the role of nutrients, in particular vitamins and minerals, in drug treatment programs and encourage more rigorous trials.
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ABSTRACT: Ingesting minerals and vitamins in combination makes physiological sense, and research on the use of broad-spectrum formulations for psychiatric symptoms is increasing rapidly. This review covers formulas consisting of at least four vitamins and/or minerals and includes four experimental designs: randomized controlled trials, open-label trials, case-control studies and case studies with within-subject crossovers. Nevertheless, there is evidence for the efficacy of micronutrients in the treatment of stress and antisocial behaviors as well as depressed mood in nonclinical and elderly populations. Many reports studied mood changes in healthy populations, making it difficult to generalize to clinical samples. There is also preliminary support for the treatment of autism with micronutrients. However, despite positive preliminary findings, there are less data available to support efficacy of micronutrient formulas in treating bipolar disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and substance abuse/dependence and no clinical trials have been done with clinically depressed or anxious patient samples, psychosis or eating disorders.Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 01/2013; 13(1):49-73. DOI:10.1586/ern.12.143 · 2.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several different vitamins and minerals appear to be effective augmenting agents for mood-modifying drugs, but are not potent monotherapies in themselves for treating psychiatric disorders. In contrast, broad-spectrum micronutrient interventions appear in early trials to be as effective as psychiatric medications with fewer adverse effects for treating mood disorders, ADHD, aggressivity, and misconduct in youth and adults. Broad-spectrum treatments also may improve stress responses, cognition, and sense of well-being in healthy adults, but have been less well studied in youth. Current clinical data justify an extensive expansion of research on micronutrient mechanisms and treatments in psychiatry.Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 07/2014; 23(3):591-672. DOI:10.1016/j.chc.2014.04.001 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic psychiatric illness, which often co-occurs with other common psychiatric problems. Although empirical evidence supports the short-term efficacy of pharmacological and behavioural treatments, families often search for alternative treatment methods because of concerns about side effects and safety, cost and access, as well as fears about long-term exposure to psychotropic medications. This review presents the published evidence on use of broad-spectrum micronutrients to treat ADHD symptoms. This approach makes physiological sense in that nutrients are required for many critical biochemical reactions to occur, ranging from manufacturing neurotransmitters, to providing the mitochondria with essential nutrients for energy production, to assisting the gut to heal from inflammation. Multi-nutrient treatment approaches are an intriguing yet under-researched area; all but one of the trials conducted in the last decade have shown benefit for the treatment of ADHD symptoms, and the one negative trial likely used doses too low to effect change. However, the methodologies have varied widely from case-controlled studies to open-label trials to one randomized controlled trial. Sample sizes have typically been modest, although the effect sizes have tended to be medium to large. What is required now is replication, as well as investigation into the optimal ingredient range and optimal doses of nutrients. We discuss the proven and potential benefits of the broad-spectrum nutrient approach, considering the heterogeneous nature of ADHD.CNS Drugs 07/2014; 28(9). DOI:10.1007/s40263-014-0190-2 · 5.11 Impact Factor