INTRODUCTIONAs we well know by now in class, the brain is made up of billions of neurons and transmitters and is incapable ofregenerating itself and does not make new neurons, but recently scientist have begun to research the effects thatproper nutrition has on the brain. Through these next few slides I will explain what I have learned by researching hownutrition effects the brain from our time in the fetus to our current age.
The fetal brain is most effected as itgrows rapidly from the 10th to 18thweek of pregnancy. This is where theimportance of nutrition begins tocome into play. Without a healthynutritional diet during this time andthroughout pregnancy can lead togrowth issues, complete devastationto the nervous system that can lastseveral years after birth, mentalretardation and/or behavioralproblems. Above is a picture I haveprovided to show the growth of thebrain from the websitehttp://www.psyking.net/id187.htm
The science of nutrition and brain function is still evolving and is a relatively new study, but what scientist have found out is that nutrients are essential to human brain function. If a brain were to have B12 and iron deficiencies, it could lead to impaired cognitive function due to nerve fiber complications. Cognition- the ability to use simple to complex information to meet the challenges of daily living; www.dictionary.comWWW.ARS.USDA.GOV/IS/AR/ARCHIVE/AUG07/AGING0807.HTM
At the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition ResearchCenter on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, the head ofneuroscience James Joseph ran a study using rats, where the control group was fed standard chow and the test group were fed antioxidants to show the effects on the brain such as vitamin, strawberry extracts, or spinachextracts and did not experience any age related cognitive performance losses that the control group displayed and reversed age related deficits and showed high stamina, they put the rats in mazes and were amazed with the results. Control group Test group
During these tests they found thatdepending on what OxygenRadical Absorbance Capacity(ORAC) units, (which include bothfat and water soluble values) foodcontained had a higher effect onthe test rats and while the braincannot heal itself it does needoutside nutrition and vitamins tohelp it stabilize and reach its fullpotentialMicroglia- repair mechanismsinvolving neural immune cells thathelp to heal and protect injuredbrain tissue
During these next few slides I will be talking about what the brain needs to run properly, diet andneurotransmitters
The brain needs special material to run properly:glucose, protein, vitamins, minerals and essentialchemicalsglucose- the preferred form of energy for many of the bodycells including the brain and muscle cells and is found inmany food sources. There are a variety of foods that thebody either chemically reduces to glucose, which isabsorbed into the bloodstream or is chemically convertedto glucose such as starch, which is made up of long chainsof glucose molecules chemically connected together. Otherfood sources include lactose, milk and other dairy productsProtein- large molecules made from amino acids, whichare enzymes and hormones. Food sources of proteininclude meat, eggs, beans and dairy products.Essential vitamins and minerals-Vitamins and mineralsare needed by the body but not produced by the bodytherefore must be taken in as part of the diet.“Biochemistry”; Reginald Garrett, PH.D. and Charles Grisham, PH.D.; 2007
Diet and neurotransmittersCertain foods contain precursors or starting material for someneurotransmitters. If a diet is deficient, the brain will not be able toproduce some neurotransmitters. Neurological and mental disordersmay occur when this balance is upset. Examples of neurotransmitterprecursors include:Aspartic acidCholineGlutamic acidPhenylalanineTryptopleanTyrosineFaculty.washington.edu/chudler/nutri.html
ASPARTIC ACIDUsed to make aspartate, the building blocksof protein. Found in peanuts, potatoes, eggsand grains
CHOLINEUsed to make acetycholine, which effects both the peripheral nervoussystem and central nervous system and is the only neurotransmitterused in the motor division of the somatic nervous system associatedwith the voluntary control of body movements via skeletal muscles;found in eggs liver and soybeans
GLUTAMIC ACIDUsed to make glutamate which plays a keyrole in long term potentiation and is importantfor learning and memory; found in flour andpotatoes
PHENYLALANINEUsed to make dopamine, a simple organic chemicalreleased by nerve cells to send signals to other nervecells, there are five known types of dopamine receptors.Found in beets, soy beans, almonds, eggs, meats andgrains.
TRYPTOPLEANUsed to make serotonin, found in the GI tract, platelets, and centralnervous system. They act as many functions in the brain such asregulation of mood, appetite and sleep. Serotonin also has cognitivefunctions including memory and learning. Found in eggs, meat, skimmilk, bananas, yogurt, milk and cheese.
TYROSINEUsed to make norepinepherine, which functions as theneurotransmitter released from the sympathetic neurons affecting theheart. As a stress hormone norepinepherine affects parts of the brainsuch as amygdala where attention and fight or flight responses arecontrolled. Found in milk, meat, fish, and legumes
Finally, to conclude my presentation I thought I would inseta video where an experienced neurosurgeon talks aboutthe effects of nutrition and brain health. Thank you fortaking the time to read through my slideshow, I hope youfound something new and interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms U0imEAlUg