FOOD and/or chemical allergies can create emotional, behavioural and mental symptoms such as panic attacks, compulsive behaviour, depression, psychotic episodes, or hallucinations. They can also contribute to many less severe mental and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate, or feelings of being in a mental “fog”.
Brain allergy, or ecological mental illness, is the general term used to describe such abnormal reactions to food and other substances.
The brain is perhaps the most delicate organ of the body, using sometimes as much as 30% of all the energy we derive from food, so it is sensitive to food. Allergies to food can upset levels of hormones and other key chemicals in the brain, resulting in symptoms ranging from depression to schizophrenia.
The abnormal reactions involved in brain allergy have been documented in medical literature for over a century.
- In the 1993 book, Food Allergies and Environmental Illness, Dr K. Mumby writes that he has seen allergy (food and environmental) lead to “heightened sexual feelings, murderous assault, schizophrenic psychosis, woolly thinking, hallucination, hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, dyslexia and autism”.
- Dr James C. Breneman, chairman of the Food Allergy Committee of the American College of Allergists, states in his 1984 textbook on food allergy that brain allergy is a common cause of everything from “poor concentration and neurosis to epilepsy and schizophrenia”.
- G. Speer in his book Allergy of the Nervous System, published in 1970, presents evidence that shows that emotional and neurological symptoms arising from allergies have been recorded since the 1920s.
- In 1905, Francis Hare, an Australian doctor, wrote Food Factor in Disease, in which he gave numerous examples of patients whose symptoms include “mental problems” that were caused by various foods.
Food is the culprit. In the 2000 book, Brain Allergies: The Psychonutrient and Magnetic Connections by Philpott W.H. and Kalita D.H., Dr Philpott provides numerous examples including: hyperactivity in a child being caused by string beans; violent anger in a woman that was triggered by oranges; sensitivity to wheat in a 17-year-old who had been classed as mentally ill for 3 years; watermelons leading to depression and irritability in a 12-year-old; manic depression being caused by milk in a 30-year-old patient.
In their book, Food Allergies Made Simple, medical doctors Agatha and Calvin Thrash and co-author Phyllis Austin cite a convincing study: “[A study in which] 2 groups of schizophrenics admitted to a psychiatric ward and placed on different diets, revealed that those placed on the cereal-free, milk-free diet improved more quickly and were discharged from the hospital in half the time of the group given the standard diet.”
A controlled trial that looked at food allergies and sensitivity to naturally occurring salicylates in patients diagnosed as suffering from alcohol dependency, major depressive disorders, or schizophrenia, found that patients with diagnosed depression had the most allergies:
- 80% were allergic to barley.
- All were allergic to egg white.
- Over half the alcoholics tested were found to be allergic to egg white, milk, rye, and barley.
- 80% of schizophrenics were found to be allergic to both milk and eggs.
Salicylates are found in foods from plants: most fruit, some vegetables, herbs, spices, tea and flavour additives. Citrus fruit, berries, tomato sauce and mint flavouring are naturally high in salicylates and so are processed foods with those flavours.
~ Edited excerpts from BRAIN FOODS: Which Foods are Brain Boosters and Which are Brain Busters, a CAP Guide booklet