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 sliew

I am a practicing Medical herbalist and doctor of naturopathy from Singapore.
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