Strong Metabolic Foundations Support Healthy Minds


ormally I run screaming from panaceas, from any health advice that claims to help just about everything.

Basic Micronutrients are my one exception to that rule. Here’s why:

Farming today has changed drastically over the last hundred years, at least in the industrialized world.

Mechanization and nitrogen-based fertilizers have enabled an explosion of nutrient-depleted foods.

Nitrogen fertilizers do nothing to replace trace minerals mined by decades of harvests.1,2,3,4

New generations of herbicides bind tightly to trace metals in topsoil making them unavailable to crops and those of us who eat those crops.5,6,7

Cooking breaks some nutrients down, warehousing and processing still others.8,9,10

Decades ago I noticed I got much better results from acupuncture if I could convince patients to take a quartet of basic micronutrients.

Eventually I noticed I didn’t need needles to heal chronic metabolic disease at all.

I also noticed everyone’s mood improving. That makes sense because while the brain is only 2% of the body’s weight it uses 20% of the body’s energy. That means any issues with nutrient support tend to show up as changes in mood or behavior first.11,12,13,14,15

Today they’re the essential foundations of my work. Something’s happened to our food … or people wouldn’t respond as reliably to them as they do.

B vitamins are essential catalysts for the body’s production of energy, as they are for anything else the body likes to make (like proteins, which run the show.)

Think of B vitamins as the body’s spark plugs. Better yet, a weird hybrid of spark plug and auto parts store.

Trace minerals are like the body’s nuts and bolts: we don’t need a lot of them by weight, but they’re crucial to everything the body likes to put together.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are like the electrical system. They actually play many roles but the most important have to do with ensuring good communication between and within cells. Neuro-, immune- and hormone receptor sites are all made from essential fatty acids. So are crucial second-messenger communication molecules that carry signals from cell receptors to parts of the cell that respond to those signals to make things happen. Like reading this sentence.

Antioxidants keep the whole show running clean. Ever notice how much easier it is to cook something in a clean kitchen? How much smoother a clean car runs?

That’s one of the the things antioxidants do for the body’s metabolic pathways: keep them running clean.

Of course there’s far more to all of this. Vitamin C, for example, is the raw material from which the body makes connective tissue. That’s not just skin, muscle and tendon but also blood and our immune systems.

Want stronger connective tissue? Consider taking more vitamin C.

Omega 3 EFAs are natural anti-inflammatories.

The list goes on.

With trained eyes we can learn to perceive these effects in those who come to us for help, and leverage that awareness to help our clients and patients learn what they need to know to become full partners in the healing process.

Key to making an investment in Basic Micronutrients pay off are the details of formulation of certain of them. Trace minerals need to be chelated, combined with amino acids, to ensure assimilation. Some people need methylated B vitamins; others are poisoned by them. EFAs need to be made just right or they’re rancid-on-arrival.

This course teaches the use of Basic Micronutrients to support any course of healing work with a special focus on mental health.

If we learn to spot the behavioral and cognitive symptoms of nutrient deficiencies early on and address them, we can spare the rest of the body much of what passes for the signs of normal aging down the road.

OnDemand Webinar

recorded Sunday, May 22, 2022

4 California BBS CE Hours


  • Enrollees will be awarded their hours/credits/points upon successful completion of a short quiz.
  • A short history of farming
  • Metabolic functions of Basic Micronutrients
  • Critical supplement formulation details
  • The best products I’ve found
  • (None of which I sell)
  • Contradindications

OnDemand Webinar

recorded Sunday, May 22, 2022

4 California BBS CE Hours


  • Enrollees will be awarded their hours/credits/points upon successful completion of a short quiz.
  • A short history of farming
  • Metabolic functions of Basic Micronutrients
  • Critical supplement formulation details
  • The best products I’ve found
  • (None of which I sell)
  • Contradindications

Course Description:

A large body of research documents improvement in mood and cognition when those experiencing a wide array of symptoms resupply basic micronutrients often present in limited amounts in today’s highly industrialized diets. This course focuses on:

  • the role of micronutrients in neuronal and mitochondrial function
  • a brief history of highly-industrialized food through a nutrition lens
  • the importance of a matrix of nutrient interventions rather than single nutrients
  • basic micronutrient sources: evaluating the quality of commercially-available supplements
  • the research: historical development, structural issues
  • intro to the evidence base: nutrients and anxiety, depression, ADHD, developmental issues.

This Course Is For:

This course is designed for those in a helping profession (Psychologists, Marriage and Family
Therapists, Social Workers, Counselors, and other integrative health professionals including
acupuncturists, chiropractors and others.

Participants will:

  • Be able to explain in simple language the role of B vitamins, trace minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants in helping to support cognition and emotional health,
  • Understand crucial details with respect to nutritional supplement formulation,
  • Know which specific products to the best job of covering those details (none of which the instructor sells,)
  • Be able to explain why the Standard American Diet doesn’t supply adequate quantities of basic micronutrients.

Duane Law, L.Ac. is among the earliest acupuncturists licensed in the US. For forty years patients have been bringing him medical challenges unresponsive to conventional care and he’s been able to help nearly all of them.

Duane’s courses are known for being colorful, entertaining and loaded with evidence-based facts. He believes in teaching by telling stories and sharing personal anecdotes from his practice and his own self-care explorations. While the occasional data dump is inevitable in continuing ed courses he takes pains to ensure that all learning styles are accommodated.

Following are a few of the thousands of peer-reviewed published studies examining the effects of micronutrients on mental health issues.

The literature is mixed, and here’s why: 1) The body’s a complex phenomenon dependent on multiple inputs. Studies looking to document nutrient effects by trying one nutrient at a time (the way one would study a pharmaceutical) miss the network effects of supplying a matrix of nutrients. 2) Dosage and formulation factors weigh heavily. Each trial tends to use a single dosage whereas effective clinical practice typically involves finding the correct dose for the individual, as metabolic requirements vary widely. 3) Sometimes researchers aren’t familiar with the crucial necessity of making sure nutrients are supplied in the right forms from a source that knows how to prepare them well.

Even so, it’s interesting that there’s so many positive outcome studies published given these structural challenges in examining the effects of nutrients on mental health.

 1. Mayer, AM. Historical changes in the mineral content of fruits and vegetables. 1997. British Food Journal 99(6): 207-211.

 2. Davis, DR. Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence? 2009. Horticultural Science 41(1): 15-19

 3. Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. 2004. J Am Coll Nutr. 23(6):669-82.

 4. Montgomery DR, Biklé A, et al. Soil health and nutrient density: preliminary comparison of regenerative and conventional farming. 2022. PeerJ. Jan 27;10:e12848.

 5. Strom, S. Misgivings About How a Weed Killer Affects the Soil. New York Times: Sept. 19, 2013.

 6. Zobiole LHS, deOliviera Jr RS, et al. Glyphosate reduces shoot concentrations of mineral nutrients in glyphosate-resistant soybeans. 2010. Plant Soil 328:57–69.

 7. Nguyen NK, Dörfler U, et al. Large variation in glyphosate mineralization in 21 different agricultural soils explained by soil properties. 2018. Sci Total Environ. 627:544-552.

 8. Khair-un-nisa A, Tarar OM, et al. Study to evaluate the impact of heat treatment on water soluble vitamins in milk. 2010. J Pak Med Assoc. 60(11):909-12.

 9. Riccio F, Mennella C, Fogliano V. Effect of cooking on the concentration of Vitamins B in fortified meat products. 2006. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 41(5):1592-5.

10. Watanabe F, Abe K, et al. Effects of Microwave Heating on the Loss of Vitamin B(12) in Foods. 1998. J Agric Food Chem. 46(1):206-210.

11. Fanjiang G, Kleinman RE. Nutrition and performance in children. 2007. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 10(3):342-7.

12. oyle NB, Lawton CL, Dye L. The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety. 2016. Magnes Res. 29(3):120-125.

13. Young LM, Pipingas A, et al. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. 2019. Nutrients. 11(9):2232.

14. Moritz B, Schmitz AE, et al. The role of vitamin C in stress-related disorders. 2020. J Nutr Biochem. 85:108459.

15. Du J, Zhu M, et al. The Role of Nutrients in Protecting Mitochondrial Function and Neurotransmitter Signaling: Implications for the Treatment of Depression, PTSD, and Suicidal Behaviors. 2016. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 56(15):2560-2578.

Provider and Instructor: Duane Law, L.Ac. Duane has taught acupuncturists since the 1980s and has been a provider of continuing education for mental health professionals in California since 2000.

The Basic Micronutrients and Mental Health course meets the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, 4 PDA points as required by NCCAOM, and 4 hours of CE credit as required by the California Acupuncture Board.

Normally there are no refunds issued to enrollees after the course begins or once course materials are viewed or downloaded, except if you’re really annoyed for some reason get in touch and we’ll work things out to your satisfaction. The same applies to anyone with a grievance.

If you need special accommodations for any reason please let us know at the time of your enrollment in the course by sending me a message, texting or calling me at (310) 498-2777.

Course certificates for live course attendees will be provided by email within 48 hours at the end of the seminar. Asynchronous attendees viewing the webinar recording will be asked to pass a short quiz; the passing rate will be 70% correct and certificates for these students will be provided by email within 48 hours of completing the quiz. Asynchronous attendees seeking NCCAOM PDAs will also need to complete a worksheet.

Duane Law, L.Ac. (CAMFT 102132) is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs; and by NCCAOM (Provider #9140) and the California Acupuncture Board (CE Provider #1667) to provide continuing education for acupuncturists.

Duane Law, L.Ac. maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

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