Skip to main content Skip to main content
Integrative Psychiatry

Advanced Nutraceuticals by Lawrence Cormier, MD

By February 16, 2021No Comments

There’s nothing inferior about being an integrative mental health practitioner who focuses on identifying symptom clusters and patterns, and then proceeding with a nutraceutical treatment plan thereafter.

While identifying root causes is more at the root of functional medicine and integrative psychiatry, they both lead to treatment and to happy patients.

Learn more about Advanced Nutraceuticals with Dr. Lawrence Cormier by watching this video.


There’s nothing inferior about being an integrative mental health practitioner who focuses on identifying symptom clusters and patterns, and then proceeding with a nutraceutical treatment plan thereafter.

While identifying root causes is more at the root of functional medicine and integrative psychiatry, they both lead to treatment and to happy patients.

Often, your initial nutraceutical interventions can get you on first base and can produce some benefits during the first month of a treatment while you’re pursuing the more time-consuming, expensive diagnostic tests in the functional medicine realm while you’re doing gut work, dietary and other interventions that take more time to take root.

Nutraceuticals Overview – Safety

Since matters of safety, informed consent…efficacy is really fundamental to integrative practice, to feeling comfortable treating patients with nutraceuticals. Individuals who are ill, they might have suicidal ideation. How comfortable are you treating someone you know, with someone who is depressed with suicidal ideation, for instance, someone who is in an active bipolar state? Some general considerations regarding safety as quality control.

Even some of the high-end products that are manufactured in the US are using base products that are manufactured in China and India, as are most pharmaceuticals nowadays as well, different formulations even for the same biotherapy, particularly if we’re talking about botanicals. There could be interactions, even though there are nutraceuticals, these are real therapies. And then there’s ethical considerations including selling products in your office. And then you don’t want to promote too much the mentality that the only way to help someone is a pill, you know, and then for the patient, there will often be greater out of pocket costs, the pill burden, multiple dosages per day. And then you know, they buy different products they think are the same.

It’s really important to be a bit compulsive about monitoring the products the patient is taking at your follow up appointments. Don’t fall into a complacent state. The patient will come in and they’re in a different state of symptom relapse or new side effects. They say they’re taking the same product; it was on sale at the end cap at the supermarket and you find out it’s actually something different.


Magnesium is an essential nutrient, a giant in terms of micronutrients, often overlooked, it doesn’t, you know, hold the same potency perhaps that SAM-e and many other bio therapies do. They can be interactions, very well tolerated. In terms of serious safety concerns, although GI side effects are common, if someone has chronic kidney disease, you need to be mindful of that since you can get a greater retention.

More Nutraceuticals – Essential Nutrient for Depression

B vitamins can be used as monotherapies, but most of the evidence bases as adjuncts. We have B6, B9 and B12 that really stand out for the CNS. But really, it’s you know, there’s value in all of the B vitamins. The use of methyl folate is to some degree in my mind determined by a person’s MTHFR status, it’s a test that you can get down with Quest and LabCorp. Most insurance plans will cover it. Medicare does not so you don’t get your patient stuck with a $400 list price bill. Vitamin C. I don’t really think of it. But I mean this is actually a substantial evidence base, mostly from last century.

Frederick Barrett is a cognitive neuroscientist with training in behavioral pharmacology, and the Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Dr. Barrett has been conducting psychedelic research at Johns Hopkins University since 2013, and his research in healthy participants and in patients with mood and substance use disorders focuses on the psychological and neurological mechanisms underlying the enduring therapeutic and other effects of psychedelic drugs. In 2017, he received an NIH “R03” grant as Principal Investigator to investigate biological mechanisms of psilocybin effects, the first federally funded research since the 1970s administering a classic psychedelic to people with psychedelic effects as the primary focus. He has developed measures of subjective effects of psychedelic drugs, and has also published first-in-human studies characterizing the acute and enduring effects of psilocybin on the brain. He is currently leading clinical trials to investigate the use of psilocybin to treat patients with major depressive disorder and co-occurring alcohol use disorder, and he is leading a number of ongoing studies aimed at better understanding the psychological, biological, and neural mechanisms underlying therapeutic efficacy of psychedelic drugs.

Will Van Derveer, MD is co-founder of Integrative Psychiatry Institute (IPI), along with friend and colleague Keith Kurlander, MA. He co-created IPI as an expression of what he stands for. First, that anyone can heal, and second that we medical providers must embrace our own healing journeys in order to fully command our potency as healers.

Dr. Van Derveer spent the last 20 years innovating and testing a comprehensive approach to addressing psychiatric challenges which transcends the conventional model he learned in medical school at Vanderbilt University and residency at University of Colorado, while deeply engaging his own healing path.

He founded the Integrative Psychiatric Healing Center in in 2001 in Boulder, CO, where he currently practices. Dr. Van Derveer regards unresolved emotional trauma as the most significant root cause of psychiatric symptoms in integrative psychiatry practice, along with gut issues, hormone imbalances, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other functional medicine challenges. He is trained in Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Internal Family Systems, and other psychotherapy techniques. His current clinical passion is psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, which he mentors interested doctors in providing. An avid meditator, he has been a meditation instructor since 2004.

For the past several years Dr. Van Derveer has taught psychiatrists and other psychiatric providers integrative psychiatry in a number of settings, including course directing the CU psychiatry residents’ course as well as with Scott Shannon and Janet Settle at the Psychiatry MasterClass. In addition to his clinical work and teaching, he was co-investigator in 2016 a Phase II randomized clinical trial, sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He continues to support this protocol, now in a Phase III clinical trial under break-through designation by FDA.

Dr. Van Derveer is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine (ABoIHM) since 2013, and he was board certified in the first wave of diplomates of the new American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABIM) in 2016.