Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brain food

In the July, 2008 issue of the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science Fernando Gómez-Pinilla summarizes the latest findings concerning the effects of various foods on the brain, noting that some foods have a drug-like effect. "Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain," Dr Gómez-Pinilla stated.
"Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging."
In an analysis of over 160 studies, omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, and ALA) emerged as significant dietary compounds to enhance learning and memory, and prevent mental disorders. "Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal brain function,” Dr Gómez-Pinilla observed. “Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in rodents results in impaired learning and memory." Continue Reading

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