Nutrition for Mental Health


Symptoms of mental health can often be related to biochemical imbalances. At the Natural Patch we use specific pathology testing not commonly used by other doctors, including blood and urine tests, to help identify biochemical imbalances. The results are used with a patient’s symptoms, to individualise a treatment plan. These tests are repeated to see how well you are recovering.

The correct (orthomolecular) nutrients can assist with balancing the biochemistry. Nutrients can help to enhance, and in some cases, may reduce the need for medication. However, The Natural Patch is not a medical practice.

At the Natural Patch we are not just treating the symptoms, we are looking for the underlying contributing causes. We take a detailed patient history looking for events that may trigger changes in your health. Clients with problems with their mental health undergo detailed questions which allows us to group your symptoms into groups or themes according to the biochemistry. This work was developed in the private clinic of Psychiatrist Dr Carl Pfeiffer and continued after his death, by Chemical Engineer William J Walsh PhD. Bill’s skill developed patterns related to the biochemistry and developed the use of the appropriate nutrients, for each individual, in high enough doses to supply the co-factors and co-enzymes needed, to stimulate repair and return to closer normal functioning.

Addressing underlying biochemical imbalances can help you return to optimal health. By understanding there are underlying biochemical issues that may be contributing to symptoms, helps to remove the stigma from a mental health diagnosis, and may help give you more hope.

Histamines, METHYLATION AND Oxidative Stress

These are descriptors developed by the Pfeiffer/Walsh Clinics in Chicago to describe the differences they observed in patients attending their clinics. The descriptors are quite useful in the clinical setting to help describe to people, in simple terms, the basic reasons for their specific biochemistry. For eample, High levels of Pyrroles in Urine tell us about the severity of oxidative stress, and people with different methylation profiles respond differently to treatment interventions due to their different biochemistry. Based on this they will respond well to the correct prescription and poorly to the incorrect prescription. 

Patients who understand they have their own specific biochemistry changes that need to be managed in a targeted way, which is right for them, are empowered to work collaboratively, taking co-responsibility for their recovery.


Methylation Is A Biochemical Process Involving A Group Of ‘Methyl Molecules’ – And It’s Essential For Your Body To Function Normally. Every Cell Needs Adequate Methylation For Normal Growth And Repair, For The Body To ‘Detox’ And Eliminate Potentially Dangerous Substances, And For Optimal Function Of The Brain's Neurotransmitters That Influence Moods.

When These Methyl- Molecules Are In Short Supply The Result Is Undermethylation And It Can Have A Number Of Effects. Undermethylation Is Associated With A Range Of Physiological And Psychiatric Disorders Such As Migraines, Allergies, Sleep Disruption, Mood Regulation, Memory Problems, Depression, And Schizoaffective Or Bipolar Disorders.

Many Undermethylators Display ‘Type A’ Personality Traits. They Are Highly Motivated, Competitive, Perfectionist, High Achieving And Frequently Have Successful Careers. They Appear To Be In Good Health. On The Other Hand, Undermethylation Can Also Be Associated With High Inner Tension, Depression And Obsessive-Compulsive Tendencies.

Undermethylation Reduces The Production Of Serotonin And Dopamine, Two Powerful Brain Chemicals Known As Neurotransmitters. They Help Send Messages Between Nerve Cells In Your Brain And To The Rest Of The Body To Regulate Our Actions, Thoughts And Moods. Serotonin Is Often Called The ‘Happy’ Neurotransmitter. It Has A Calming Effect And When Undermethylation Causes Levels To Drop, It Can Result In Anxiety Or Depression. Dopamine Is The Neurotransmitter That Motivates And Stimulates Actions That Lead To Feelings Of ‘Reward’ And Satisfaction.

Undermethylators Often engage In Activity That Naturally Raise Dopamine Levels. They Eventually Experience Exhaustion And ‘Burn-Out’ , And Often Turn To Substance use and can Become Addicted – Perhaps To Alcohol Or Coffee – As An Alternative Way To Achieve The ‘Reward’ Sensation.

Undermethylation Also Interferes With The Production Of Glutathione. The Liver Needs This Protein Compound To Carry Out Its Major Role In Removing Toxins From The Body. Glutathione Is Also Important As An Antioxidant To Prevent Cell Damage.

Undermethylation Also Affects The Body’s Access To Methyl-B12, And Activated Form Of Vitamin B12; A Deficiency Can Lead To Low Energy Levels, Poor Concentration, Sluggish Thinking And Anaemia. 

Over-Methylation (Histapenia)

Histapenia is a shortage of histamine in the body.  Histamine is a major brain neurotransmitter, but is known popularly for its role in allergic symptoms. Patients with low blood histamine tend to have depressed metabolism, a pear shaped body and some may have certain psychological conditions such as anxiety and classic schizophrenic symptoms (paranoia, grandiosity, hallucinations).

According to Prof. Pfeiffer, people with histapenia tend to have classic signs, including canker sores, difficult orgasm with sex, no headaches or allergies, heavy growth of body hair, ideas of grandeur, undue suspicion of people, racing thoughts, the feeling that someone controls one’s mind, seeing or hearing things abnormally, ringing in the ears, high anxiety and food sensitivities.

Histapenia, is characterized by elevated levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, low whole blood histamin and low absolute basophils. These same patients are found to have high copper levels. Copper toxicity decreases blood histamine and is linked with psychosis.

Pyrroles (Pyroluria)

Pyrrole disorder, also known as pyroluria, kryptopyroluria, kryptopyrole or Mauve disorder is a biochemical imbalance involving an abnormality in the synthesis and metabolism of haemoglobin. It can be purely genetic, or acquired through environmental and emotional stress. It is very common in people with gut hyperpermeability syndrome (leaky gut), particularly after the use of a lot of antibiotics.

All cells in the body produce waste or by-products as a result of biochemical processes. The by-product of haemoglobin is called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) also known as Pyrrole. People who have Pyrrole Disorder, produce excessive amounts of these Pyrroles which then bind to and deplete Zinc and Vitamin B6 and reduce the use of the Omega-6 fat GLA. Thus, these nutrients cannot be used by the body in sufficient quantity. As Zinc and Vitamin B6 are important co-factors for adequate neurotransmitter production and function, a depletion results in less-than-optimal neurological function. 

Zinc is essential for 100’s of processes in the body and is particularly important for healing, immune function, digestion, neurotransmitter activation, physical growth, memory, insulin sensitivity and control of blood sugars, DNA replication, prefrontal cortex development, detoxification, and even skin health.

Zinc and B6 are essential for production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (our happy hormone), melatonin (our sleep hormone), GABA (our relaxation hormone), and acetyl choline which is important for memory. They are also involved in production of our steroid hormones such as cortisol (our anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy hormone and stress hormone) and the conversion of oils in the body (fat metabolism, liver and gall bladder issues and weight control). The oils EPA/DHA but mostly GLA are found to be low in those with pyrrole disorder and are damaged by oxidative stress/free radicals/toxins created by pyrrole.


Copper is essential for good health and is required for several physiological functions such as the production of neurotransmitters (Dopamine, noradrenaline), the enzyme cytochrome C oxidase (breaks down Vit C), for lactase activity (lactose digestion) and for elastin and collagen production, to name a few. Therefore sufficient amounts of copper are necessary for good health. however, real problems can occur when levels become excessive. Copper toxicity appears to be far more common than copper deficiencies and can be just as devastating to your health as heavy metals such as mercury and lead can be. Unfortunately, for many, copper toxicity is largely being ignored by the mainstream medical profession.