Although it is written for therapists I feel that Holistic Solutions for Anxiety and Depression: Combining Natural Remedies with Conventional Care, written by Dr. Peter Bongiorno, ND, is a great resource for anyone working with individuals with anxiety or depression, and this includes nutritionists.
As a nutritionist who works primarily with women with anxiety, I was so pleased to receive a physical review copy of this wonderful book. I did purchase the kindle but a real book is just so much nicer!
It’s also perfect for the anxious individual who taking charge of their own health and wants to become more empowered. It would also be a perfect book for the anxious person to share with their open-minded therapist or doctor.
Here are some of the reasons why I really enjoyed this book:
- The extensive coverage of diet – Dr. Bongiorno favors a Mediterranean diet and cites research supporting this way of eating for mental health (I’d add more red meat and skip the grains, especially gluten)
- The recommendation to eat crunchy vegetables based on the research about crunchy foods making us feel happier and calmer
- The coverage of nutrients such as 5-HTP and tryptophan. Dr. Bongiorono will use 5-HTP first (he feels its “more effective at crossing the blood brain barrier) , whereas I tend to start with tryptophan. But he does say that “when dosed accordingly, tryptophan appears to be quite safe and effective.”
- The coverage of GABA: “GABA supplementation helps open chloride channels in neurons, which hyperpolarizes them, so that the positive charges remain on one side of the membrane, which inactivates the nerve cell. This slows firing and calms the brain.”
- The coverage of vitamin B3: one way it helps mood is “its ability to inhibit the liver enzyme tryptophan pyrrolase. This enzyme breaks down tryptophan making it less available to produce serotonin. Vitamin B3 is also responsible for activating the enzyme that converts tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan.”
- The coverage of lithium orotate: “It is suggested that lithium’s beneficial effects on mood may be due to its oxytocin-raising properties.” He suggests using it with an oxytocin-raising massage! Oxytocin also helps with social anxiety: Oxytocin and social anxiety, pyroluria and depression?
- The fascinating discussion of the 5-HT1A receptor and oxytocin
- The history of the discovery of serotonin (clams used it to keep their shells closed)
- The coverage of light therapy, getting house-plants and a mind-body approach
As you can see, it includes plenty of geeky science, something I really love!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bongiorno on The Anxiety Summit – our topic: Serotonin and Anxiety, Happiness, Digestion and our Hormones. Dr. Bongiorno’s speaking is as eloquent, factual and caring as his writing.
Dr. Bongiorno has been kind enough to offer a copy of his book as a giveaway. We’ll do a drawing and select one lucky reader and announce the winner next Friday. If you’d like to be entered in to the drawing simply comment below and share: why you’d like to win the book which section you’re most excited about reading and why (just go to the Amazon preview and check out the table of contents) which holistic approaches you already use with patients/clients or you’ve used yourself This drawing is open to practitioners and non-practitioners alike.
Peter Bongiorno, ND, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, is co-director of InnerSource Natural Health and Acupuncture in New York City. President of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians, he is a contributor to numerous blogs and online magazines, including DrOz.com and Sharecare.com, and is regularly interviewed as a natural medicine expert on national television and radio.