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Integrative Psychiatry

Nutrition and Mental Health By Mary Rondeau, ND

By August 31, 2020No Comments

Understanding micronutrients and mental health, Dr. Mary Rondeau talks about how we target dietary eliminations and reintroductions.

Understanding reduced caloric intake in fasting and how that might relate to mental health and where food elimination testing might be useful.

Traditional diets which are mostly wholefood based seemed to reduce depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders. Looking at how diet affects are sleep and its connection in our mental health, diets high in fiber are more associated with more restorative and deeper sleep compared to high fat and high carbohydrate diets which negatively affects sleep quality.  This is what causes increase of food intake in odd hours of the night, doing something inactive which ultimately leads to weight gain.

Processed foods make up to 61% of what an average American eats. Which basically means that when looking in the portion of the grocery cart the area where a child sits is the only healthy foods everything else is packaged.


We’re gonna talk about micronutrients and mental health and how you target dietary eliminations and reintroductions, understanding reduce caloric intake and fasting and how that might relate to mental health, and where food elimination testing might be useful. If we look at a wide variety of population studies, we see that traditional diets which mean Whole Foods based for whatever culture the study was done in seemed to reduce depression, bipolar, and anxiety.

Traditional diets are often high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish or meat depending on where the culture is, As said, with Sea Culture versus an inland based culture.

We look at just sleep and the effect that diet has on sleep, and we know the connection that sleep has on our mental health. The connection is quite clear. High fat diets and carbohydrate diets negatively affect sleep quality, diets that are high in fiber are associated with more sleep restoration. When looking at experimental sleep restrictions, these lead to physiological, hormonal, and food behavior changes. If we are not sleeping very well, oftentimes another meal is added. So, if somebody has insomnia and they’re staying up really late at night, usually that person is going to eat another meal if not a snack. And so, we see a increase in food intake, we see a decrease in physical activity. As people are up at odd hours of the night, they’re usually not doing something active and that really affects the whole system. More which leads to weight gain.

As a whole the vitamins and minerals are needed for neurotransmitter synthesis and neuronal function. Our membranes help regulate membrane function. Think about calcium channels, Lithium has one of the longest traditions in psychiatry and we’ll talk about it in its relationship to magnesium.

How bad are diets? Processed food makes up 61% of the foods that Americans eat. That’s basically means that the portion of your cart at the grocery store, only the place where your purse or where your kids sit, is the healthy foods everything else is going to be packaged. This equates to about 1000 calories per day that Americans eat that is grain like based products, sugary drinks, chips and desserts.

So how can we make sure that when we do recommend a dietary change that it is successful? By far, the biggest thing is that when people go to eliminate foods out of their diet is, they don’t take them out long enough. They say I eliminated gluten for one week, or I did dairy for two weeks, that is simply just not enough time to determine if there’s going to be benefit  and one aspect of that is if you’ve ever read any food labels, you will see that dairy and gluten, soy and corn are in everything. So, it oftentimes will take a week or two for patients just to truly become compliant on the diet recommendations and find all the sources that are in their diet. And then one big thing to watch out for is making sure that adequate calories are in the diet if you’re doing any type of an elimination diet because, if someone becomes calorie deficient in that time, oftentimes we can already see increased anxiety or increased agitation  if they’re just not eating enough of the rights stuff.

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.