Amino acid deficiencies in schizophrenia and depression

Amino acids are building blocks of proteins and act as intermediates in metabolism.

Therefore insufficient proteins or poor absorption can lead to physiological impairment. I had a patient who suffered from chronic dry and infected skin. She was a very strict vegetarian with little or no protein in her meals. Upon my advise, she put back eggs and vegetarian proteins in her diet and her condition improved significantly.

You don’t need a lot of meat or vegetable protein but you do need protein in every meal (say 20%). Many of us in affluent Singapore may not have any protein deficiency. However, the absorption of it is another matter. Therefore, adding herbs such as Bertram ( as tablets or spice), nettle (as in Phytocel) or some bitter herbs such as gentian (as in my SL Bitter) helps in absorption of proteins.

Many of us are not aware that amino acid imbalance plays an important role in neurological conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, anxiety, insomnia, and panic attacks. For example, low level of the amino acid methionine has been associated with fatty liver, schizophrenic and autism. It also tells us something about poor phase 2 liver detoxification.

From my experiences, assessing any imbalance in amino acids and other neurotransmitter deficiency is a safer option compared to the pharmaceutical drug approach in resolving cases such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.

In all such cases, the holistic approach is always necessary; treating the body, mind and the soul all at the same time as detailed in my book From Leaf to Life.

About Sebastian Liew

Matthew Wood, the renowned American herbalist described Sebastian as ‘one of the most unique and talented practitioners of natural healing and herbalism.’ The New Paper (Singapore) called Sebastian Liew 'The Medicine Man'. Indeed, Sebastian is a qualified and registered Medical Herbalist (accredited by the National Herbalists Association of Australia), with a Master's degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of New England, Australia. He is the first medical herbalist in Singapore and is known to popularize phytotherapy (Western herbal medicine), European traditional medicine, and St Hildegard medicine (Germany) in Singapore and probably in Asia. Sebastian has 20 years clinical work experiences and treated numerous patients with different medical conditions from all age groups in his Singapore clinic. Sebastian authored the book, Leaf to Life: The Natural Approach to Slow Down Aging and Living a Healing Life, which set the fundamentals for healthy aging and the prevention or treatment for almost all diseases. Please visit website
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