Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nutrition the key to beating the bottle

Ever more doctors believe that a diet of fish, high-cholesterol food and vitamins is the best cure for alcoholism

The news earlier this year that Britons are the heaviest drinkers and the most obese in Europe is no coincidence to Dr James Braly, the author of Nutrition Revolution and Dangerous Grains. Braly, though still a lonely voice, belongs to a growing band of alternative practitioners who believe that nutrition and alcoholism are intrinsically linked. In Braly’s addiction recovery centre, Bridging the Gaps, based in Winchester, Virginia, the emphasis is placed squarely on diet rather than drugs.
“Patients are first hooked up to an IV [intravenous drip] for ten days and fed high levels of fish oils (3 and 6), vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium and zinc because their gastrointestinal systems have been grossly compromised by their habit,” he says. “This is followed with a wholefood diet (including four to six servings of fish a day, as well as high-cholesterol foods such as eggs), exercise and therapy. The combination has meant that 85 per cent of my patients do not succumb to a relapse. Coffee is also forbidden because it raises cortisol levels, reduces dopamine and leads to cravings of carbohydrates and sugar.”

Braly’s theory is that most alcoholics are depressed, and that depression and low cholestoral are linked. Ergo, by attacking depression with high-cholesterol foods such as eggs and foods high in mood-boosting amino acids, such as fish, patients are more open to the therapy needed to beat their addiction. The severity of “abstinence symptoms” (cravings, anxiety, fuzzy thinking, restlessness) are radically reduced within the first few days of his treatment, he says, allowing patients to be receptive to counselling and exercise programmes.

Source - Times

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