Dr. Ruan, MD

How Food Affects Mental Health

November 16, 2019 Cheng Ruan, MD Season 1 Episode 1
Dr. Ruan, MD
How Food Affects Mental Health
Show Notes Transcript

I sit down for a heart to heart with Functional Medicine doctor Yousef Elyaman, MD, founder of Absolute Health in Ocala, FL. We discuss the root causes of mental health issues, how different components in food affect neurotransmitters, and how some nutrients are neglected leading to mental health issues.

Speaker 1:

Everybody. This is Chang Ron. I'm here with dr Yosef, Ellie Amman . And the first time that we met was actually February of 2017 and he's the first speaker that , uh, that I came across for the Institute of functional medicine and where he was teaching the , uh, the cardio-metabolic knowledgeable in functional medicine. But today we're going to focus on what does mental health actually mean. Is there a physical component to it or is it just all mental, which we both agree is probably a physical component to it. And we reaching well beyond just the mental health. What are some of the triggers that may be existing early on the lives that we're not even thinking about? So , um, so the first question I want to ask you is , um , in terms of mental health and mental illnesses, what are the physical and environmental contributions to the mental health?

Speaker 2:

Okay . So from a functional medicine approach, we , we do something called [inaudible] where we look at, as you're aware of the functional medicine matrix, and it's showing that you can have biochemical imbalances and they can throw off your psychological, spiritual state. But you can also, the psychological, spiritual state can cause biochemical changes and physical changes. I don't know if that's what you were getting at or, yeah. So from a food expect a affecting mood point of view there . There are actually multiple ways that we can look at it. We can look at it from a neurotransmitter point of view. So neuro-transmitters are your serotonin and dopamine and the those basically neuro-transmitters if your , if your neurotransmitters are off. One of the things that we do in conventional medicine is we give medication.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Like antidepressants or Sunday depressants ,

Speaker 2:

some things like that. Right ? But if you look at what the antidepressants do, they're making these neuro-transmitters stay longer in your brain. They're not actually increasing them, but from a food point of view, so we'll take one a serotonin for example. Right ? So in order for, in order for you to make serotonin, you need a amino acid called tryptophan, which means you have to have enough protein included, which, which contains the trip to fan. You have to be able to break down that protein into, into the amino acids, including trip to fan . So if you don't have enough stomach acid or if you're blocking, you can have an issue and then you need certain vitamins in your food plan or in your diet in order to convert into the trip to fan. So just from a food point of view, if you're not eating enough protein or if you're not getting enough of your vitamins, you won't be able to make the serotonin. And if you don't make serotonin, you can get anxious and depressed.

Speaker 1:

Right. It's just one of them. So, and serotonin is actually made in the gut. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

What about 90% of it can be made in the gut? Um, the other, the rest will be made in different parts of the body, including the brain. But yeah, the , the , they call the gut the second brain,

Speaker 1:

right? Well, I call it the first brain. Yeah . Well, there's more neurons I think, in the, in the microbes that are in the gutters , in our entire nervous system. Um, so, you know, speaking of serotonin, so for serotonin is what makes people happy. And so , uh, what makes people sleepy is melatonin. And so Melton is actually made from Ceratin and so you have the depressed and anxious and insomniacs right. But the underlying issues , still the absorption of that ship to fan from the diet and converting it using components of micronutrients from other foods into, you know, five HTP. Uh, and then ultimately that becomes serotonin in the brain.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, right. And I actually let , let me talk about the melatonin. So you mentioned the melatonin. So serotonin becomes melatonin and without melatonin you don't sleep properly when you sleep. That's actually when you make your serotonin. So you end up in this vicious cycle to where you can't sleep. And if you can't sleep, you can't make those neuro-transmitters . Even if you had adequate, adequate food plan and adequate diet, and then it's a vicious cycle, low serotonin, low melatonin, right , asleep . And then it just becomes a perpetual cycle and your metabolism can become all over the place if you don't get the adequate sleep. Right. Absolutely. Okay . 25% risk of all types of mortality or all types of death if you don't get adequate sleep. So.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha. Yeah . So, you know, it's, it's important to eat the food and have the trip to fan. Um, but it's not all about protein, right? There's other things that we have to consume for trip defense even turned into that serotonin so it can have the newest transmitted effect on us. Right? What are those things that need to be consumed?

Speaker 2:

So definitely vitamins and minerals and with your vitamins, we like looking at the B vitamins in particular. Um , out of your B vitamins. Some people, their B vitamins need to be in the activated form. And the example is B six B six is one of the things that is needed to make those neurotransmitters , including the , the tyrasine . So, so B six needs to be activated to S to a vitamin called P five P. and, and what we'll do, like in functional medicine is sometimes we'll give people the activated form because the , they get the inactivated format of food. There's full eight , which is, which is the natural form of folic acid that needs to be activated into methylfolate . There's 12 that needs to be activated and also riboflavin that needs to be activated. So you need those B vitamins, they need to be activated. But I think what a lot of people end up forgetting about is those phytonutrients and phytonutrients. That's the different colors in the fruits and vegetables that actually have healing properties in them. And when we eat all of these processed foods, we're not going to get the right amount of fighting nutrients. And when we eat nonorganic foods or foods that have a high amount of pesticide that may be counteracting some of that effect.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah. Pesticides are a whole new category dive hours into about right. But sticking with the food for right now. So there's those micronutrients. Uh , and of course there's the phytonutrients that are contained within the food . So I think, you know , um, and the inhuman development humans were trekking . Matic means that we see three ranges of colors. Uh , carnivores are usually dichromatic. They usually see too much narrower, two range of colors. And so , uh, the truck chromatics are usually , uh , towards the omnivores and the herbivores. So we're actually made to see a lot of these colors. And so we can actually pick out foods , um, from really far away zone and pick out the food. That's what we did, but well before grocery store existed. Right? And so, you know , I think , uh , nature allows us to choose micronutrients, not saying, Oh, this has to be six, this is be five . I was like, Hey, these are the colors that we actually need. So naturally we consume that. So our body, and these are what we call, you know , adjuvants are cofactors into activating that, that neurotransmitter process. Right? Right, right. And so if this is, this is something that , uh, becomes a topic of debates and , uh, how, how much protein or how much of vegetables we actually need to activate this new transit process , is there a magic number? So I picked up , like you said, it's , it's a debate,

Speaker 2:

right? The , what I usually tell my patients is at least six servings of vegetables, two servings of fruits, and try to get multiple colors. From a protein point of view, that's a little bit different. You'll see different numbers out there. I'd say in general, don't go less than 70 grams of protein. Even, even if you're plant-based and you're staying away from, from me , it's completely, but I wouldn't go less than 70. And it depends on are you trying to reduce fat or are you trying to stay healthy? What the ratios are. But yes, protein is extremely important. Uh , it slows down when you consume protein in your food plan, yeah , it's going to slow down how fast sugar was going to go up in your body. And when sugar rises too fast in your body causes all kinds of other things, including crashing your , your sh . If your sugar shoots up too fast, then the body drops it too fast. And then that low sugar is going to affect your mood, which your , your body will get ravenous. You can get angry, irritable. So that can affect your mood as well. Right? So,

Speaker 1:

and so in the , there's another component of food which we call autoimmunity , where our immune system , um , can start attacking components that either w either within the food or the food are causing components to go into the bloodstream. The , our body attacks it. Can you talk about how auto immune disease really affect like mood and brain?

Speaker 2:

No, absolutely. And it's for different reasons. One is, one is if, if your body is attacking itself, right, it doesn't feel good. Your body is going to, can release , um , what's called cytokines, which, which can affect the brain and affect the way that we feel. But also there may be, there may be certain foods that cross-react where your body will attack that food and then turn around and attack a part of the brain. And that's another gluten as an example of that. People that have on shoes .

Speaker 1:

So I'll give you an example. Um, and I'll never forget her. And you used look at my website. She's all on my website. So she's a , when she came to me, she was 18 years old and then , um, but she was very depressed , uh , very anxious and her Instagram, which is really, really dark. And uh, what , when she came, she really didn't have any gut issues, but we ended up discovering that she had antibodies against gliadins, which is in gluten. And , uh , and she turned out she actually has celiac disease but never really had any gut issues. And celiac disease is actually gotten disorder that's categorized. And so what happened with her is that when we took that away, it's like her mind woke up so she didn't remember her old self. She didn't remember even the first time she came into the office. And then she went from like a DNF student to like a and B student and she has you graduated high school and now she's in college and she has a job and her major is actually neuropsychiatry. Right. And so, and that's heard around like maybe, you know, she started really improving about a week to two weeks in. But you know, we actually did a brain mapping on her and it was massive difference between, you know, the first time we did bring Matt in and five months later she looks completely like a different person. And if you look at her personality, she is like a different person. It's like she woke up and she's been that way since she was maybe in her early preteen years too . Once she was 18 and so we found out that she has other auto antibodies. So she has something called [inaudible] , Kinji , fibrate antibodies, antisera Beller antibodies and the anti glial sounds buddies. And these are actually the body creating antibodies that are cross reacting with the food components in , in gluten that's cross reacting and causing issues with the brain. So she manifested as a brain disorder prior to manifesting celiac disease as a gut disorder, which we now classify that silly, I can do psychosis syndrome. And so , um, I have a feeling that this happens, we often move more often than people think.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. And it's the challenging thing. And actually the humbling thing is that if you don't look for it, you're not going to find it. So that patient would have, if nobody said, get off of a gluten free or go onto gluten free diet or food plan, then how many antidepressants, which she had been on that caused how many other issues? And then, I mean, she may not be alive today and yet it's more common than we think. And unfortunately with the way that they process foods, we're not eating certain foods and certain seasons anymore. We're eating foods, same foods all year round and gluten, dairy, corn, soy are thrown in everything. I mean, pick up a can of soup and then you'll see all of these different foods that could be bothering us.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Or have a bag of Cheetos and you have all that stuff. Right.

Speaker 2:

And your patient, what's, what's interesting too is your patient could have had an identical twin with the same exact genes that didn't live in the same environment, that did not have the same thing happened to her and never have a problem with gluten.