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Nutrient power natural healing for Mental Disorders April 26, 2014. William J. Walsh, Ph.D. Walsh Research Institute Naperville, IL. Walsh Research Institute. Nonprofit organization Expertise in behavior disorders, ADHD, autism, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimers

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Nutrient power natural healing for mental disorders april 26 2014

Nutrient powernatural healing for Mental DisordersApril 26, 2014

William J. Walsh, Ph.D.

Walsh Research Institute

Naperville, IL

Walsh research institute
Walsh Research Institute

  • Nonprofit organization

  • Expertise in behavior disorders, ADHD, autism, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimers

  • International physician training

  • Research

Clinical experience william j walsh ph d
Clinical ExperienceWilliam J. Walsh, Ph.D.

  • 10,000 Behavior

  • 5,600 ADHD

  • 3,500 Schizophrenia & Bipolar

  • 3,200 Depression

  • 6,500 Autism

Massive chemistry database
Massive Chemistry Database

  • Laboratory testing of 30,000 mental health patients and controls.

  • More than 3 million chemical test results for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, depression, autism, etc.

  • More than 2 million medical history factors for these populations.

Database findings
Database Findings

Striking blood/urine chemistry

differences between mental illness

populations and the rest of society.

Walsh WJ (2012). Nutrient Power. Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY.

Crayton JW, Walsh WJ (2007). J Trace Elements Med Biol.21:17-21.

High incidence imbalances in mental disorders
High-Incidence Imbalances in Mental Disorders

Methylation Disorder

Zinc Deficiency

Copper Overload

Folate Deficiency or Overload

Pyrrole Disorder

Toxic-Metal Overload

EPA, DHA, and/or AA Deficiency

These factors have a powerful impact on synthesis of neurotransmitters and regulation of receptor activity.

Frequent questions from mainstream medicine
Frequent Questions From Mainstream Medicine

1. How could vitamins & minerals possibly help a patient with a serious mental illness?

2. Don’t you really need a powerful drug to get the job done?

The power of nutrients
The Power of Nutrients

1. Neurotransmitter synthesis

2. Epigenetic regulation of gene


3. Reuptake processes at synapses

4. Antioxidant Protection

The brain is a chemical factory
The Brain Is a Chemical Factory

  • Serotonin, dopamine, and other NT’s are synthesized in the brain.

  • The raw materials for NT synthesis are nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

  • A genetic or epigenetic imbalance in a nutrient needed for NT synthesis or regulation can result in serious mental problems.

Norepinephrine synthesis
Norepinephrine Synthesis

Pyrrole disorder
Pyrrole Disorder

  • Double deficiency of B-6 and Zinc

  • Reduced Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA

  • Depletion of GSH, MT, Cys, SOD, Catalase

  • Supplements of B-6 and zinc can normalize pyrrole levels, often resulting in elimination of symptoms and the need for psychiatric medication.

The three musketeers of antioxidant protection in the brain
The Three Musketeers of Antioxidant Protection in the Brain

Glutathione: First line of defense,

Metallothionein: Nature’s back-up system,

Selenium: Speeds up the process.

Methylation and mental health
Methylation and Mental Health

  • Methyl is a dominant factor in epigenetic processes,

  • The methyl/folate ratio has a powerful impact on neurotransmitter activity at synapses,

  • More than 60% of anxiety, depression and psychosis patients exhibit a serious methylation imbalance.


  • >20,000 genes in every cell’s DNA, each capable of producing a specific protein,

  • Liver, skin, brain, and other tissues require a unique combination of proteins,

  • During gestation, methyl “bookmarks” attach to DNA to regulate gene expression in each tissue,

  • Environmental insults at any age can alter gene bookmarks and produce mental disorders and other disease conditions.

Histones support structures for the fragile dna
Histones – Support Structures for the Fragile DNA

  • Composed of 8 linear proteins twisted together like a ball of yarn,

  • Originally believed to serve only as structural support for DNA packaging,

  • Later found to inhibit or promote gene expression, depending on chemical reactions at histone tails.

Gene expression requires uncoiling of dna
Gene Expression Requires Uncoiling of DNA

  • Gene expression involves direct interaction of RNA polymerase and transcription factors with DNA. These large molecules cannot gain access to DNA/histone regions that are densely compacted,

  • The gentle attachment of DNA to histones involves electrostatic attraction – DNA is a weak acid and histones are mild bases (pH above 7.0),

  • Acetylation decreases histone pH, causing uncoiling of DNA; methylation increases histone pH, increasing DNA/Histone compaction.

Methyl acetyl competition
Methyl-Acetyl Competition

  • Competition between acetyl and methyl groups often determines whether genes are expressed or silenced,

  • Acetyl bookmarks promote gene expression,

  • Methyl bookmarks inhibit expression,

  • Nutrient therapy can change methyl/acetyl ratios and adjust production of enzymes that control serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission rates.

Reuptake transport proteins
Reuptake Transport Proteins

  • Primary determinant of neurotransmitter activity at serotonin & dopamine receptors – concentrations of serotonin and dopamine are less important,

  • Transmembrane proteins that remove neurotransmitters from the synapse (reuptake) like a vacuum cleaner inhaling dust particles,

  • Formed by gene expression: the number depends on methyl/acetyl competition at specific DNA regions.

Enzymes dominate the methyl acetyl competition
Enzymes Dominate the Methyl-Acetyl Competition

  • Acetyl-Coenzyme A and SAMe are the donors of acetyl and methyl, respectively – but their concentrations in brain cells are relatively unimportant.

  • Acetylases, deacetylases, methylases and demethylases dominate attachment or removal of acetyl or methyl groups.

  • Epigenetic nutrient therapy for adjustment of serotonin or dopamine activity concentrates on the enzymes.

  • Example: B-3 inhibits a major deacetylase inhibitor, thus increasing expression of SERT, DAT transporters and reducing serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission.

Epigenetic insights into nutrient therapy
Epigenetic Insights Into Nutrient Therapy

  • Niacin, niacinamide, and SAH act as dopamine reuptake promoters,

  • Methionine and SAMe are serotonin reuptake inhibitors,

  • Folates reduce synaptic activity at serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine receptors,

  • Zinc and glutathione increase NMDA activity,

  • Many nutrients influence neurotransmitter activity and brain function.

Folate considerations
Folate Considerations

  • Folic Acid, folinic acid, and/or L-methylfolate elevate SAMe/SAH in undermethylated persons.

  • However, folates also increase gene expression of SERT transport proteins, resulting in reduced serotonin neurotransmission.

  • Most undermethylated depressives with low-serotonin activity are intolerant to folates.


Epigenetic disorders triggered by an environmental insult
Epigenetic Disorders Triggered by an Environmental Insult

  • Abnormal methylation and oxidative overload

  • Environmental insult

  • Cases of sudden onset after normalcy

  • Persistence of condition after onset

  • A multitude of characteristic symptoms

  • .

Epigenetic model of autism
Epigenetic Model of Autism

  • In-utero undermethylation results in weak protection against oxidative stress.

  • Autism Onset: Environmental insults cause collapse of oxidative protection, resulting in deviant gene regulation marks (epigenetics).

  • After onset, autism can persist a lifetime since DNA bookmarks survive cell division.

Walsh theory of schizophrenia
Walsh Theory of Schizophrenia

  • Methyl imbalances or oxidative stress produce deviant bookmarks during gestation, resulting in weakened protection against oxidative insults,

  • Mental Breakdown – Triggered by emotional or physical stresses that overwhelm oxidative protectors & produce deviant DNA bookmarks,

  • SZ disorder doesn’t “go away” since the deviant marks survive cell divisions.

Mounting evidence of an epigenetic gene regulation disorder
Mounting Evidence of an Epigenetic Gene-Regulation Disorder

  • Schizophrenia

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • Paraphilias

  • Autism

  • OCD

Wri bipolar research w walsh and r devito
WRI Bipolar ResearchW. Walsh and R. DeVito

  • Manic phase involves excessive neuron firing throughout the brain,

  • Assumption: High neuron firing caused by reduced ion gradients and threshold voltages throughout the brain,

  • Leading suspects: (a) Low ATP production at mitochondria; (b) poor glial cell regulation of ion gradients and cell voltages.

Mainstream psychiatry misconceptions
Mainstream PsychiatryMisconceptions

  • Depression regarded as a single entity with variations along a central theme. Treatment of choice -- SSRI antidepressants to elevate serotonin activity at synapses.

  • Schizophrenia regarded as a single entity, with variations along a central theme. Treatment of choice -- Atypical antipsychotic medications.

Chemical classification of depression
Chemical Classification of Depression

  • My large depression database has identified

    five high-incidence biotypes,

  • The biotypes represent very different disorders,

    each with unique neurotransmitter imbalances

    and symptoms,

  • Separate treatment approach needed for each biotype.

Ssri antidepressants
SSRI Antidepressants

  • Increase serotonin activity in brain -- Generally effective for undermethylated and pyrrole-disorder depressives (53%),

  • Can cause suicidal & homicidal ideation in low- folate depressives, especially young males.

  • Inexpensive blood tests can identify persons who must avoid SSRI antidepressants.

Nutrient therapy outcomes
Nutrient Therapy Outcomes

- Separate nutrient therapies developed

for each depression biotype,

- Outcome studies reveal 80% of patients report treatment effectiveness & ability to reduce or eliminate medication.

Nutrient power natural healing for mental disorders april 26 2014

Other Forms of Schizophrenia

Thyroid Deficiency



Cerebral Allergy

Drug Induced Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia biotypes
Schizophrenia Biotypes

  • Overmethyation: Classic paranoid schizophrenia; Auditory hallucinations, paranoia, high anxiety.

  • Undermethylation: Delusional beliefs, catatonic tendencies, OCD behaviors.

  • Pyrrole Disorder: Combination of hallucinations and delusions; severe anxiety and mood swings.

    NOTE: All biotypes involve oxidative overload.

Biochemical treatment of schizophrenia
Biochemical Treatment of Schizophrenia

  • Therapy using vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other chemicals that are natural to the body (drug-free),

  • Separate treatment approach for each biotype.

  • 85% of families report major improvements, reduced dependence on medication, and lessened side effects.

Advanced treatments for addictions and ocd
Advanced Treatments for Addictions and OCD

  • Focus on increasing glutamate activity at NMDA receptors, without increasing glutamate activity at other receptors:

    • D-Serine

    • D-Cycloserine

    • N-Methylglycine (Sarcosine)

    • Glycine

Biochemical individuality
Biochemical Individuality

  • Humans exhibit great diversity in blood and brain chemistry.

  • Because of genetics and epigenetics, most people are deficient in several nutrients and overloaded in others.

Nutrient deficiencies that impair brain function
Nutrient Deficiencies that Impair Brain Function

  • Zinc

  • Methionine

  • Folic Acid

  • Vitamins B-6 and B-12

  • Niacin/Niacinamide

  • DHA, EPA, AA (essential fatty acids)

  • Antioxidants: Se, GSH, Vitamins C & E, etc.

  • Magnesium

Nutrient overloads that impair brain function
Nutrient Overloads that Impair Brain Function

  • Copper

  • Folic Acid

  • Iron

  • Methionine, SAMe

  • Toxics: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, etc.

    NOTE: Multiple vitamin-mineral supplements are usually ineffective and can cause harm.

Individualized nutrient therapy
Individualized Nutrient Therapy

  • Medical history and review of symptoms,

  • Special blood/urine lab tests,

  • Diagnosis of chemical imbalances,

  • Prescribed nutrient program aimed at

    normalizing brain chemistry.

Key laboratory tests for mental health populations
Key Laboratory Tests for Mental Health Populations

  • Plasma Zinc

  • Serum Copper

  • Serum Ceruloplasmin

  • Whole-Blood Histamine

  • Serum Folate

  • Urine Pyrroles

  • Serum Homocysteine

  • Vitamin D

  • SAMe/SAH Ratio

Nutrient therapy examples
Nutrient Therapy Examples

Undermethylation: SAMe, methionine, zinc, calcium, inositol, serine, magnesium, vitamins A, B-6, C, D, and E.

Excess Dopamine Activity: Folic acid, B-12, niacinamide, zinc, manganese, DMAE, vitamins A, C, and E.

Copper Overload: Zinc, molybdenum, vitamins B-6, C and E, MT-Promotion formulation.

Pyrrole Disorder: Vitamin B-6, zinc, biotin

Treatment outcomes compliant assaultive subjects
Treatment Outcomes:Compliant Assaultive Subjects

High incidence chemical imbalances in adhd
High-Incidence Chemical Imbalances in ADHD

  • Elevated Cu (68%)

  • Insufficient ceruloplasmin (92%)

  • Zinc depletion (96%)

  • Methylation disorder (55%)

  • Pyrrole Disorder (30%)

  • Malabsorption (11%)


  • Biochemical imbalances are exhibited by most persons with a mental disorder.

  • These imbalances can adversely impact neurotransmitter synthesis & regulation.

  • Most families report improvement, following nutrient therapy to normalize chemistry.

  • The emerging science of epigenetics is leading to vastly improved natural therapies.

Pfeiffer s law
Pfeiffer’s Law

“For every drug that benefits a patient, there are natural substances that can produce the same effect”.

Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD

Thank you

Bill Walsh, PhD

Walsh Research Institute