TF Archives

'Dance Therapy' - Naturopathy for the Jilted Generation by Phil Watkins

Author: Phil Watkins
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Feeling Flat-

Hi everyone.
Most of you may know me from my role at Tranzfusion as a reviewer and interviewer, but now it's time to Phil Watkins the Natural Therapist! I am a third year Naturopath student who has just begun clinical studies, a qualified Flower Essence Therapist and have been known to be a fairly good Thai Massage Therapist as well.

It makes me happy to be able to bring this column to you regularly. I will be covering various issues that I believe to be more of the REAL issues that Effect us on a day to day basis. The type of things that tend to bring us down a little bit and stop us from living our lives to the level that we all aspire to deep down.

This month I will be looking at just what it could be that makes us feel flat sometimes-

We all have had occasions where we get up in the morning and have that unsettling feeling that things just aren't quite right. Feeling down, confused, tired, apathetic and having thoughts about ourselves that can be very out of place. Although we are all intuitive, a lot of time this can be due to a dietary deficiency of some description and this is to be our theme the month.

Adequate vitamin and mineral levels are one of the main, and also most widespread, difficulties that people have in maintaining in their daily lives. Hopefully, at the same time as looking at this we will be able to dispel some of the myths surrounding Multi Vitamin supplements as well.

First of all, I am going to look at some of the pathways the body takes in order to create energy from the food we eat. Also, the vitamins and minerals that are involved in the many steps the body creates to give us the energy we need to even get out of the door in the morning!

As you may or may not know, the majority of the body's energy, commonly called "ATP" (Adenosine triphosphate for the Scrabble players) is created by the glucose we get from our daily diets. This glucose can come from many sources both natural and synthetic. You can get natural sources from fruit and vegetables and I would without doubt say that this type is most beneficial for your body as it very easily utilised internally and doesn't often have the nasty side effects of synthetically created sources.

Anyway moving on, those involved in trying to lose weight, which is starting to become a national obsession due to the amazing levels of obesity in our country, may be aware that excess glucose is stored by the body in form of adipose tissue or what is commonly known as fat. This isn't the body's way of trying to make us look bad when we go out, but to make sure we have the ability to maintain sufficient energy levels for our daily lives and also for the more essential processes in our body that help us stay alive.

Once again this is where the consumption of artificial sugars such as Aspartame in Diet Coke (yes, regardless of what they say on the can Diet Coke does retain some of its sugar content) tends to be placed in the reserves more often by the body in preference to more natural sources. This build up of glucose reserves then causes an increase in our fat levels as it is not broken down by exercise and other energy burning activities, consequently causes us to pile on the pounds.

Now what role does this take in making us feel flat and what does it have to do with our vitamin and mineral intake-

Basically, in order to both create the fat stores and then recreate glucose for ATP formation from those fat stores, the nutrients Vitamin B3 and Magnesium are needed. These are both required for the process to even start so if you are not getting an adequate intake of both of these nutrients then it makes it incredibly difficult for your body to even begin to give you the energy you require to get through your day both physical and mentally. To be precise these nutrients are involved in over twenty different