Pharmacology is the study of drug action.More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and exogenous (external) chemicals that alter normal biochemical function. This field encompasses composition and properties, interactions, toxicology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities. Pharmacology deals with how drugs interact within biological systems to affect its function. In the application of food and beverage, pharmacology looks at the chemicals or nutrients contained in a particular food or beverage and examines the the body's reaction to the substance. These reactions can be physical, mental, preventative, an inducer, with both positive and negative affects.
On the basic level of how Food affects mood much of the research I have done indicates that its not only the chemicals that we intake that alter our mood but it’s the deficiencies in our diet that lead to problems in our psychology. I found that foods has the natural ability to alter the production or release of neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby altering mood. Dr. Richard Wurtman found that nutrients in foods are precursors to neurotransmitters and depending on the amount of precursors present in the food you eat, the more or less of a certain neurotransmitter is produced. Although this process may seem fairly straightforward, it is complicated by the fact that foods most often are made up of more than one nutrient, and how those different nutrients interact will also impact the production and release of neurotransmitters.Table of some of these loosely connected ideas from multiple small studies
Protein and AlertnessProtein foods are broken down into their amino acid building blocks during digestion. One amino acid, called tyrosine, will increase the production of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters are known for their ability to increase levels of alertness and energy. No one eats pure tyrosine, but eating foods high in protein will give you a slight mental boost. High protein foods include fish, poultry, meat, and eggs. If you can't eat those, try high protein foods that also contain significant amount of carbohydrates, such as legumes, cheese, milk, or tofu.Carbs for Relaxation/Anti-StressEating carbohydrates will trigger the release of insulin into the blood stream. Insulin goes about clearing all the amino acids out of the blood, with the exception of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that normally gets crowded out by other amino acids in its attempt to cross the blood brain barrier, but when its competitors are out of the way, it enters the brain en mass. Once in the brain, the tryptophan is converted to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has the effect of reducing pain, decreasing appetite, and producing a sense of calm, and in too large a quantity, inducing sleep. And Research has shown that dieters tend to become depressed about two weeks into a diet, about the time their serotonin levels have dropped due to decreased carbohydrate intake. Healthy carbohydrate foods include whole grain breads and crackers, whole grain pasta, rice, cereal, and fruits.Caffeine and Anti-depressionDespite its bad rap, caffeine can do some good. For mild cases of depression which do not need medical attention, a little caffeine can be an effective antidepressant. It has the added benefit of not needing to increase the dosage daily to get the same effect. Long term evidence more than supports the safety of a cup or two of coffee a day. More than that however can begin to have counterproductive effects in some people.Folic Acid and DepressionFolic acid deficiencies have been linked to depression in clinical studies. Folic acid deficiency causes serotonin levels in the brain to decrease. Psychiatric patients with depression have much higher rates of folic acid deficiency than the general public. Although the studies around folic acid and depression is not directly linked it was found that people with depression have a folic acid deficiency which leads to a depressed mood. By increasing folic acid it can help boost a persons moodEggs and Memory/ConcentrationOne nutrient that many of us are apt to be low on is choline. Choline is a B complex vitamin that is concentrated in high cholesterol foods like eggs and liver. A lack of choline can cause impairment of memory and concentration. Choline is a precursor to the brain neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is linked to memory. People given drugs that block acetylcholine flunk memory tests. Low levels of acetylcholine have been linked to Alzheimer's disease and poor memory.
Although the word “superfood” is notused among the scientific world, it is widely used to market foods that has many health benefits. These superfoods claim to affect energy, increase sexual potency, improve cognitive skills and protect us against diseases such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even cancer. Not only does the term not have a scientific definition, these superfoods can be potentially be just as harmful as they are beneficial if they are overly consumed. So the role of dieticians and nutritional scientists is to dispute claims made that consuming particular super foods can have a health benefit but there are many cases where scientist have found chemicals in foods to alter our body and mood. Present day, marketing is leading the way of superfoods before many of these claims can be tested or shown to have the desired affect. However, there is some truth in many of these claims and below are some foods that deserve some recognition:Dark ChocolateSalmonWine
contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.Endorphin Production – pain reliefSerotonin - regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, and some cognitive functions including memory and learning.theobromine is used as a vasodilator (a blood vessel widener), a diuretic (urination aid), and heart stimulant.Isn’t chocolate high in fat?Here is some more good news -- some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, 1/3 stearic acid and 1/3 palmitic acid:Oleic Acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil.Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but one which research is shows has a neutral effect on cholesterol.Palmitic Acid is also a saturated fat, one which raises cholesterol and heart disease risk.Meaning that only 1/3 of the fat in chocolate is bad for you
In a study conducted by researchers at the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland, the effects of dark chocolate on mood was observedThe participants were classified as having either low or high anxiety traitsHuman subjects with higher anxiety traits showed a distinct metabolic profile indicative of a different energy homeostasis, hormonal metabolism, and gut microbial activity (so these people differed from the gneral public)Participants were administered 20 grams of dark chocolate twice a day — mid-morning and mid-afternoon — for two weeks. During the study, researchers measured their levels of stress hormones in blood and urine samples collected 3 times a day to measure any metabolic changes.
Dark chocolate reduced urinary excretion of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines and partially normalized stress-related differences in energy metabolism and gut microbial activitiesThe study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of free living and healthy human subjects, as per variation of both host and gut microbial metabolism.
Reduction in the risk for fatal heart arrhythmialower triglycerides which are linked to cardiac diseaseBoost HDL cholesterol - HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attackPrevention against high blood pressureanticoagulant for blood – work toward the prevention of strokesImprove dementia and mood disorders
-pan fried salmon depletes many of the benefits of salmon
Patients with major depressive disorder have high rates of cardiovascular disease and other medical problems. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly those found in fish and seafood, have cardiovascular health benefits and may play an adjunctive role in the treatment of mood disorders.Patients in the omega-3 PUFA group had a significantly decreased score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression than those in the placebo groupThe data from these studies suggests that omega-3 fatty acids are a reasonable augmentation strategy for the treatment of major depressive disorder. More research is necessary before omega-3 supplements can be recommended as monotherapy for the treatment of depression. However, for many individuals with major depressive disorder, augmentation with omega-3 fatty acids should be considered.Other studies showed that volunteers who reported fish consumption in the middle of the range (112 grams or 4 oz per day) were 30 percent less likely to show signs of depression, anxiety, or stress.
- Marlene Freeman (2009) – Data from placebo-controlled treatment studies suggests that omega-3 fatty acids are a reasonable augmentation strategy for the treatment of major depressive disorder. More research is necessary before omega-3 supplements can be recommended as monotherapy for the treatment of depression. But for many individuals with major depressive disorder, augmentation with omega-3 fatty acids should be considered
Start with BasicS!!!Wine contains high levels of flavonoids whichare abundantly found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Flavonoids are synthesized only in plants. From human nutrition perspective, flavonoids are important components of a healthy diet because of their antioxidant activity. Because of the antioxidative property, it is studies suggest that flavonoids may delay or prevent the onset of diseases (such as cancer) induced by free radicals. They also inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation by free radicals. Flavonoids have been reported to have negative correlation with incidence of heart disease. Furthermore, flavonoids have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, and vasodilatory effect. (widely accepted that LDL oxidation may be central to cardiovascular diseases) Since red wine is produced by fermentation in the presence of the grape skins, red wine has been observed to contain higher levels of flavonoids
A study that helps support these claims is done by Kerry and Abbey who studied red wine and its ability to inhibit LDL oxidation.They concluded that antioxidant compounds in red wine can associate with LDL particles following an incubation in whole plasma, which can exert an antioxidant effect and, in so doing, can inhibit the uptake of the lipoprotein by macrophages.
Functional food or medicinal food is any healthy or fictional food claimed to have a health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients.The general category of functional foods includes processed food or foods fortified with health-promoting additives, like "vitamin-enriched" products. Fermented foods with live cultures are considered as functional foods with probiotic benefitsFunctional foods are an emerging field in food science due to their increasing popularity with health-conscious consumers.But beware, as I stated before the superfoods are more of a marketing ploy to get these health conscious consumers purchasing their products. Many companies take these research studies, take them out of context and draw loose connections between the ingredients in their products to the health benefits found in the research.Even though some of their products may contain the original ingredient, many times the nutrients and chemicals responsible for the health benefit is lost during processing. For instance depending on the way you cook salmon and deplete much of the omega-3.
Pharmacology of Foods and Beverages<br />Keala Richardson<br />
Overview<br />What is Food and Beverage Pharmacology<br />Basic Theory of How Food Affects Mood<br />Rise in the “Superfood”<br />Example of Foods and Beverages with health benefits<br />Functional Food Claims (Beware of Marketing)<br />
What is Pharmacology<br />The study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and exogenous chemicals that alter normal biochemical function<br />Encompasses composition and properties, interactions, toxicology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities<br />
How Food Affects Mood Theory<br />Nutrients in food are a precursor to neurotransmitters<br />
How Food Affects Mood Theory<br />Protein and Alertness<br />Carbohydrates and Relaxation/Anti-Stress<br />Caffeine and Anti-Depression<br />Folic acid and Depression<br />Eggs and Memory/Concentration<br />
Rise in the “Superfoods”<br />Highly generalized and used as a marketing tool. Scientists must work to dispute these claims<br />Below are some foods that have studied and shown to benefit our body and mood<br />Dark Chocolate<br />Salmon<br />
Dark Chocolate<br />Basics<br />Lowers Blood Pressure<br />Lowers Cholesterol<br />Stimulates endorphin production<br />Raises serotonin levels<br />Contains theobromine, caffeine and other stimulants<br />Isn’t chocolate high in fat?<br />
Dark Chocolate <br />(2009) Martin, F.J. et al.<br />Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjects<br />Participants with higher anxiety traits showed to have a different metabolic profile<br />Participants were given 40 grams a day for 14 days<br />Measured levels of stress hormones in blood and urine to measure metabolic changes<br />
Dark Chocolate<br />Reduceurinary excretion of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines and partially normalized stress-related differences in energy metabolism and gut microbial activities<br />Study provides strong evidence that daily consumption of dark chocolate sufficiently modifies the metabolism of humans<br />
Salmon<br />Basics<br />Omega-3<br />Reduction in the risk for fatal heart arrhythmia<br />Lower triglycerides<br />Boost HDL cholesterol<br />Prevention against high blood pressure<br />Anticoagulant for blood<br />Improve dementia and mood disorders<br />Many more!<br />
Salmon<br />(2003) Kuan-Pin Su et al<br />Conducted an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, comparing omega-3 PUFA (9.6 g/day) with placebo, on the top of the usual treatment, in 28 patients with major depressive disorder.<br />Patients in the omega-3 PUFA group had a significantly decreased score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression than those in the placebo group<br />Omega-3 could improve the short-term course of illness and were well tolerated in patients with major depressive disorder.<br />
Salmon<br />The body uses omega-3 fatty acids for building neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain<br />Omega-3 PUFA, cannot be synthesized and must be obtained from the diet. Therefore, the abnormalities of PUFA composition in cell membranes can alter membrane microstructure, and then result in abnormal signal transduction and immunological regulation.<br />
Wine<br />Basics<br />Reduce the risk of heart disease<br />Reduce risk of certain cancers<br />Slow the progression of neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease<br />
Wine<br />Kerry and Abbey – studied red wine and how it inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in vitro<br />Results were in-line with other research about LDL<br />
Functional Food Claims<br />Healthy or fictional food claimed to have health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients<br />Functional foods are an emerging field in food science due to their increasing popularity with health-conscious consumers.<br />BEWARE <br />
Sources<br />Martin, F.J. et al. (2009) Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjects. J. Proteome Res. <br />http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm<br />European Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 14, Issue 2, March 2004, Page 173, Kuan-Pin Su, Shih-Yi Huang, Chi-Chiang Chiu, Winston W. Shen<br />Journal of the Science of Food and AgricultureVolume 81 Issue 9, Pages 842 - 852Special Issue: Nutritional Enhancement of Plant Foods (NEODIET)Published Online: 13 Jun 2001<br />Nicole L. Kerrya and Mavis Abbeyb, *a Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australiab CSIRO, Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide, AustraliaReceived 20 December 1996; revised 2 June 1997; accepted 25 June 1997. Available online 13 January 1998. <br />