NUTRITION AND YOUR MIND: The Psychochemical Response by

NUTRITION AND YOUR MIND: The Psychochemical Response

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Watson, a research physiologist, postulates that malnutrition can cause mental illness and that psychiatrists are barking up the wrong syndrome in looking for purely psychological causes and cures. Each of us, he theorizes, has our own ideal diet and if we deviate from it we will develop increasingly severe mental symptoms, from laziness on down. The main argument of the book is developed in the dozen or so case histories of patients whose mental illnesses have been cured by dietary change. Dr. Watson also reprints a scientific paper on his research which gives statistical backing to his theories and outlines possible metabolic changes to account for what he has observed. Although his samples are small, Watson makes a fair case for believing that extreme diet deficiencies, e.g., the one patient who ate only hamburger, can aggravate mental disturbances. He is also on firm and well-traveled ground in his assertions that there is no strict scientific evidence that orthodox psychotherapy has ever helped anyone. But his strong implication that good nutrition leads to mental health is unsupported and he ignores the overwhelming evidence for the role played by social factors in producing mental disease. Despite his overgeneralizations, and perhaps because of them, Dr. Watson's book will provoke some professional flak as well as interest for that popular audience which neo-faddists like Adelle Davis attracts.

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 1971
Publisher: Harper and Row