Vitamins & Mental Health

Last week I introduced the weighty topic of mental health, and started to consider the important part that nutrition has to play. This week I’m going to look a little closer at vitamins specifically, and their role in mental health. 

Let’s first consider some of the water soluble vitamins:

Deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine) can result in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a condition that is similar to dementia, and associated with memory loss, confusion, personality changes, and above all, brain damage. Those with very heavy alcohol use are at particular risk. 

Vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) are all directly involved in the functioning of the methylation cycle. This is a complex area, but one that can be easily simplified. If the methylation cycle is adversely affected (which can result from a deficiency of any of the above four vitamins), a molecule called homocysteine is not recycled. This in turn leads to a shortage of neurotransmitters (messenger molecules for the nervous system), and thus a chemical imbalance. The upshot here can be depression and reduced mental health. 

Vitamin C deficiency has been linked with fatigue, perhaps by virtue of its established role in boosting the absorption of iron, and therefore preventing anaemia. Fatigue certainly influences mental health, albeit often in a temporary fashion. Also, vitamin C is needed for the production of the well known neurotransmitter, serotonin, and as an antioxidant itself, vitamin C may also have a more chronic role to play in the health of brain tissue. 

The role of the fat soluble vitamins in brain function and mental health is less well understood, but is nevertheless a growing area. As I have discussed in a previous post, vitamin D is being linked with a huge range of health outcomes reaching far beyond its classical role in bone health - and mental health is no exception. There is a growing body of evidence linking vitamin D to brain development and function, with vitamin D receptors having been seen in various areas of the brain that themselves are thought to be linked with the onset of depression. 

Vitamin E is another important antioxidant that may help to protect the integrity of the brain tissue, particularly through preventing membrane damage. Some studies have also suggested that low levels of plasma vitamin E are found in depressed patients, although the causation of this is unclear. 

This brief rundown already gives a clear indication that vitamins have a major influence on mental health. Of course, I would always advocate trying to obtain all of your vitamins from the diet, but a high quality micronutrient such as those from Supplicity can also help to fill in the gaps. Next week, I will continue (and conclude) this theme, by looking at the role of minerals and other dietary components in mental health. 

Tom Hollis RD

Consultant Dietitian, Supplicity

Vitamin E slows Alzheimer’s progression

Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were able to care for themselves longer and needed less help performing everyday chores when they took a daily capsule containing 200 IUs of alpha tocopherol, or vitamin E, a study has found.

Compared with subjects who took placebo pills, those who took daily supplements of the antioxidant vitamin E and were followed for an average of two years and three months delayed their loss of function by a little over six months on average, a 19% improvement. And the vitamin E group’s increased need for caregiver help was the lowest of several groups, including those taking the Alzheimer’s drug memantine, those taking memantine and vitamin E, and those taking a placebo pill.

The new research, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. (JAMA), also cast doubt on earlier findings suggesting that vitamin E supplements hastened death in those with Alzheimer’s. The study found that subjects taking vitamin E were no more likely to die of any cause during the study period than those taking memantine or a placebo.

The findings offer a slim ray of hope that the progressive memory loss and mental confusion that characterizes Alzheimer’s can at least be slowed by an agent that is inexpensive and easily accessible. Far more expensive drugs that come with greater risks and more side effects have failed to do as well in altering the trajectory of the disease.

The authors of the study called the outcomes seen among those who took vitamin E “a meaningful treatment effect” that was on a par with those seen in clinical trials of prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They expressed surprise that those taking memantine along with vitamin E did not show a delay in functional loss. Possibly, the researchers noted, memantine may disrupt or hinder the metabolism or absorption of vitamin E.

"For people who are in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, I think any delay in the rate of progression is meaningful and important," said Maurice W. Dysken, the study’s lead author.

While memantine has shown itself effective in slowing loss of function among patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, its effectiveness in earlier stages of the disease has been less well explored.

In an accompanying editorial in JAMA, Dr. Denis A. Evans, a neurologist at Rush University Medical Center, called the effects of vitamin E “modest” in that it appeared to ameliorate symptoms rather than disrupt or reverse the inexorable march of the disease. Given the expected swelling numbers of those at risk and the discouraging record of progress in finding therapies that could reverse or cure Alzheimer’s, Evans wrote, a shift in emphasis toward the prevention “seems warranted.”

The study is one of the largest and longest to track participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. It followed 561 patients, 97% of them men, from 14 Veterans Affairs medical centers around the country. Researchers tracked each subject for as little as six months and as long as four years after diagnosis with possible or probable Alzheimer’s disease of mild to moderate severity.

Subjects were assigned randomly to one of four groups: 139 subjects got a hard-gelatin, liquid-filled capsule of 200 IUs of DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate (“synthetic” vitamin E) and a maintenance dose of 10 mg. of memantine; 140 got the vitamin E capsule and a memantine placebo; 142 got a placebo vitamin E capsule and memantine; and 140 got placebo vitamin E and placebo memantine.

Using a 78-point inventory of “activities of daily living,” researchers evaluated subjects’ function every six months, and asked caregivers to report on dementia-related behavioral problems and how much assistance the subjects needed in six major areas of activity. They also assessed subjects’ memory, language, gait and general mental function.

While subjects on memantine and those on the placebo required increased caregiver assistance ranging from 2.2% to 2.43% annually, caregivers of those taking vitamin E reported their time spent assisting the patient increased annually by 1.48%.


The most important benefit of a cucumber is that it helps in revitalizing the skin. You can use a cucumber to improve your complexion as well as treat open pores. For those of you with freckles, cucumber is rich in vitamin E so it’ll help treat freckes, blemishes and wrinkles. Overall, cucumber contains mostly water which helps in keeping the skin hydrated and moisturised. Last only four days if kept refridgerated.

Learn more here

So, I’ve never been one to sugar coat things. Pregnancy is one of those subjects that is very often sugar coated. Of course I’d not give back any moment of parenting, as I have the best child ever created, but I will openly say that my pregnancy SUCKED! I had so much water retention that I felt like I was going to pop, on top of the fact that I had a pretty big baby, I felt and was hugeeeeee. Hence this post. The dreaded stretch mark. I didn’t get any, and you know why?!?!? COCONUT and VITAMIN E oil!!! I swear it is amazing and will save your body from any form of scarring. Although, stretch marks from pregnancy are marks to be proud of, they can make you feel a little self conscious. So why not try to avoid them?



Women regardless should be taking vitamins however, there are several that are primarily for beauty.

Biotin - known as vitamin H - for hair and nails. It is found in many cosmetics and health products for the hair and skin

Evening Primrose Oil - a natural source of the unsaturated fatty acid (GOOD!), Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), that promotes women’s health and helps provide nutritional support for PMS.* <— curb those mood swings and flow ladies!

Vitamin E - Great for skin and prevents dry damaged skin. Good for your hair and nails as well. check out this link for more information.

CoQ-10 - also known as Coenzyme Q10 or Ubinquinol. Similar to Vitamin E. These vitamins run about $55 for Nature Bounty brand at any CVS. But the results for your skin is worth it.

Ladies and gentlemen believe me I take these vitamin daily and I have proof that the results are worth the regime and money. As a makeup artist I refer all my clients with acne issues and skin irritation and are prone to dry patches to take these vitamins on a daily basis. 

Try to stay clear from Oils, it is the actual chemical in it’s purest form and you may see clogged pores instead of clear skin. The capsules are the exact dosage one should take so I highly recommend the pill form. I do have the Vitamin E Oil for those rare occasions that I have a dry patch (especially during these winter months)

I hope this helps some of you and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 


Vitamin E in Canola and Other Oils Hurts Lungs

A large new Northwestern Medicine study upends our understanding of vitamin E and ties the increasing consumption of supposedly healthy vitamin E-rich oils – canola, soybean and corn – to the rising incidence of lung inflammation and, possibly, asthma.

The new study shows drastically different health effects of vitamin E depending on its form. The form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol in the ubiquitous soybean, corn and canola oils is associated with decreased lung function in humans, the study reports. The other form of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol, which is found in olive and sunflower oils, does the opposite. It’s associated with better lung function.

This study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health grant R-1 AT004837.

Read More

almond butter is a great substitute for peanut butter. Peanut butter is great, but almond butter contains much more vitamin e (vitamin e protects your cells from oxidative damage.) If you’ve never tried almond butter, you need to try it! It is very easy to make- just place some almonds in a high intensity blender until the butter forms!


Invest in some Vitamin E.  Your skin and hair will thank you for it. 

Vitamin E is a powerful Fat-Soluble Antioxidant which means that you are basically restoring damaged property in your body. It is necessary for structural and functional maintenance in and around your body. 

Here are so major benefits:

  • Stimulates hair growth (especially for eyelash and eyebrows)
  • Even skin tone
  • Radiant Skin
  • Gaining youthful, supple skin
  • Decreasing premature wrinkles
  • Decreasing stretch marks
  • Treats scars
  • Healthy strong nails which leads to growth.
  • Helps sunburns

The list really does go on.

Here is a link to one of my favorite websites, talking about different ways to use it:

You can buy the pill or oil. You can also poke the pill with a needle and get the oil out so you have a 2 in 1 type product. Its good to take a pill every day and use oil on your skin and hair at night.

My skin and hair suffered for years due to lack of education and I finally became a girly girl.  I am passing my remedies to you so you never have to suffer.

Stay tuned for a full review on all the vitmain and oils I use for my glow inside out.  I will have it up by next week with pictures under the “Body” link.



Ever wonder if your vitamin is really good for you or not? Here is an eye-opener I wrote for you:

Each year, Americans spend more than $28 billion on supplements assuming that they are both safe and effective. More than 100 million Americans consume vitamins, minerals, herbal ingredients, amino acids, and other naturally occurring products in the form of dietary supplements.

Exposures to vitamins, herbs, protein powders, and botanicals accounted for more than 29,000 calls to US poison control centers in 2009. 3,000 were treated in health care facilities, 500 were moderate to severe outcomes, and there was even ONE death! Now compare this to the medical mayhem of about 783,936 deaths by pharmaceuticals each year… there is no comparison.


Here is a list of my favorite all natural beauty products. Although I occasionally use drugstore/mainstream brands, I find that these natural alternatives work best for my face, body and hair.

The prices listed below are from the brand’s online store, and most times, they are much cheaper in-store. You can find these products at most health food stores, and some stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. Also, feel free to use other brands. This is just what I like! 

Until next time, 

Peace, love and fierceness.

Do you take vitamin E? Ever wonder what is the best vitamin E around? Read my article to find out the best form of vitamin E:

Vitamin E has many true benefits for our body and we need to take a vitamin E supplement that is well balanced and high in all constituents—alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols. Read your labels carefully to avoid any vitamin E made by a process called esterification, Most of esterified vitamin E is not labeled as “esterified”, but rather as “acetate” or “succinate”. Make double-sure that you are taking the mixed tocopherols though as the fractionalized dl-alpha form can be toxic taken alone. The alpha without the gamma causes dangerous shortfalls in the gamma form in your body. READ MORE>


I never knew anything about The Body Shop, one day me and my best friend ended up in there and we were looking around. I am very picky when it comes to my face products because I have pretty clear skin and tend to only get a pimple or two around when I get my period. I have oily skin but in the winter I get dry areas. So we were looking around and I see a whole line of vitamin E products and I love vitamin E for skin (haven’t tried any vitamin E products for hair yet).  I had a vitamin E lotion years ago my mother gave me and it was amazing for my skin but once it ran out I had no idea where she got it from and she didn’t remember. I decided to try out the Vitamin E overnight serum and the eye cream because I have dark circles under my eyes. I admit the products are kind of pricy in my opinion but they are amazing. When I use both of them every night I really see a difference in my skin. I was using them for about two weeks when I noticed my dark circles lightening up and blending better with my skin color and other marks I have on my face were clearing up all together. You have to be consistent with it to work because I notice now when I put it on once in a while it doesn’t really do the trick, for me anyway. I recommend you guys to try products from The Body Shop; I believe they are worth the money. My best friend also tried products from their tea tree oil section and she loved it as well.