A few years ago my family and I stayed with a doctor that said when he was a med student he volunteered to be tested for effects of LSD. I found this so interesting, and especially because this took place in a rural area in Canada. Since then I have been doing a fair bit of reading about the doctors involved in the LSD research in prairie farmland Canada in the 1950's.I remember hearing that if someone was taking psychedelic drugs and wanted to "come down" or sober up to take mega doses of Niacin (part of vitamin B complex). I did not realize that medical response was discovered in Canada and led to understanding the conditions of some mental illnesses.
When ever I meet someone who suffers from depression, or stress I know right away that they have severe vitamin B deficency. A major contributor to our low level malnutrition isn't because we aren't eating enough, it's what we eat. The thing is, almost no one believes this when you tell them. It is impossible to convince most people that their diets and the lifestyle to create these farm diets may actually be the source of their depression and poor physical energy. One fifth of the average diet is from wheat or farm products. Minimum. And these food products are sadly lacking in high nutrition, often the nutritive value has been synthisized and added after processing (cereals, flour, noodles and bread for example all have synthethic iron and vitamin B added. These synthetic vitamins are not as easily absorbed by our system as natural food supplements and food sources.) Even so-called natural or whole grain bread and noodles still offer very few benefits, in fact they leave us hungry and we over eat to compensate for malnutrition, and then often gain weight. Depression may be from our agricultural lifestyle. Is farming the worst mistake in human history? Jared Diamond (author of Guns, Germs and Steel thinks so...he wrote an article that still is compelling in 1987...click here...
Excerpt from an interesting website..."Sometime afterward, I tried niacin to see if it would help my own touch of sleeplessness. I found it worked nicely, and it only took a little to do so, perhaps 100 milligrams at most. Any more and I would experience a warm “flush.” But then I found that when I ate junk food or sugar in quantity, I could hold 500 mg or more without flushing a bit. And when I took all that niacin, instead of flipping out, I was calm. In Vitamin B-3 and Schizophrenia, Dr. Hoffer explains why this is so:
1) As a rule, the more ill you are, the more niacin you can hold without flushing. In other words, if you need it, you physiologically soak up a lot of niacin. Where does it all go? Well, a good bit of it goes into making nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD. NAD is just about the most important coenzyme in your body. It is made from niacin, as its name implies.
2) Niacin is also works in your body as an antihistamine. Many persons showing psychotic behavior suffer from cerebral allergies. They need more niacin in order to cope with eating inappropriate foods. They also need to stop eating those inappropriate foods, chief among which are the ones they may crave the most: junk food and sugar.
3) There is a chemical found in quantity in the bodies of schizophrenic persons. It is an indole called adrenochrome. Adrenochrome (which is oxidized adrenalin) has an almost LSD-like effect on the body. That might well explain their behavior. Niacin serves to reduce the body’s production of this toxic material.
How could some of this research apply to learning challenges for children?
Or relieve depressions and stress for adults? Stress, depression and eating habits are also linked to our hormones. Farm foods like bread, wheat, flour, rice, noodles break down very quickly in our stomachs and turns to sugar. These foods turn to sugar much quicker than nutrient rich foods like meat and fiberous vegetables. This warns our hormones that we are in a sugar high and need insulin. So then we are pushing extra insulin into our systems too quickly. Our bodies are being over exposed to hormones. Mood disorders have been associated with several hormone malfunctions including thyroid and diabetic diseases.
Osmond and Hoffer not only worked on LSD but also on niacin, which is now called vitamin B3. It is Bill W. himself who made this term popular, after he realized, thanks to the two researchers, the antipsychotic potential of this vitamin when given in supraphysiologic doses. B3 became known as a treatment for alcoholism, as well as for LSD-induced and schizophrenic psychosis[http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_niacin.html Vitamin B-3: Niacin and Its Amide by A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.]. The underlying adrenochrome and kryptopyrrole (mauve factor) hypotheses were met with stiff, unsubstantiated opposition. The B3 protocol for alcoholism, despite encouraging results, fell into oblivion amongst the Alcoholics Anonymous organization, which gradually became a faith-based organisation reflecting the orientations of the other AA co-founder.
Beyond his interest in drug- and vitamin-assisted therapeutics, Osmond conducted research into the long-term effects of institutionalization, and began a line of research into what he called "socio-architecture" to improve patient settings, coining the terms "sociofugal" and "sociopedal", starting Robert Sommer's career, and making fundamental contributions to environmental psychology almost by accident.
Dr. Osmond died a couple years ago but I think the work he and Dr Hoffer did still offers us much science to reject the farm lifestyle with poor nutritive products and the stress that adds to malnutrition and then mental illness and a lowered quality of life and happiness. Why are we so obsessed with farming? Why do we even believe it is a wonderful romantic occupation? Why do we insist on eating processed farm products like wheat, bread, flour, noodles, sugar and rice? Are we addicted to depression?
Is there another way to make a living?
Check out the terrific blog called How To Save The World sometime. Dave Pollard has all kinds of resources and cool links, this post is just a namesake for his enthusiasm.