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The Brain is the General!
• Any illness will age the brain!
• Disorders of the brain, affect the body,
mind, and spirit.!
• Why not treat the command centre as a
• Why not learn to feed your brain!!
Brain Physiology: Review
A highly complex organ
• 100 billion neurons.
• More connections than stars in
the universe .
• Uses 25 % of body’s energy.
• 1.4 kg.
• 60% fat.
• NEUROTRANSMITTERS are
the brain chemicals that
throughout our brain and body.
• The brain uses neurotransmitters
to tell your heart to beat, your
lungs to breathe, and your
stomach to digest. They can also
affect mood, sleep, concentration,
weight, and can cause adverse
symptoms when they are out of
• Many are made from essential
amino acids from nutrients
(primarily proteins) in our diet.
The EDGE Effect
Nutrition and Neurotransmitters
The low dopamine effect:
• Decreased libido.
• Weight gain.
• Carbohydrate, sugar and cafeine cravings.
1. DOPAMINE (cont) :
• Building block is phenylalanine (or tyrosine).
• Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that
occurs as a constituent of many proteins and
is normally converted to tyrosine in the
The low serotonin effects:
• Anxiety in typically low stress situations.
• Impatience without explanation.
• Fatigue when you should feel rested and energized.
• Cognitive impairment (inability to focus, poor memory, lack
of mental clarity).
• Negative thoughts with no apparent cause.
• Strong sugar cravings.
2. SEROTONIN (cont)
•Building block is tryptophan.
• Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning
it must be found in the diet. Tryptophan is
a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
3. GABA :
Low GABA effects:
• Carbohydrate craving.
• Muscle tension (especially in neck and back).
• Night sweats and tachycardia.
• Emotional immaturity, phobias, anxiety (panic too), and
• Poor verbal memory.
• Attention Issues - Impulsivity, and disorganization.
• Building block is glutamine.
• Glutamine in an amino acid that is a major
precursor for the neurotransmitter, GABA,
and is especially important when the body is
subjected to stressful situations. Glutamine
is an amino acid that is naturally produced
by the body. However, it is important to
introduce glutamine in the daily diet in order
to increase the synthesis of protein and the
well functioning of immune and nervous
3. GABA (cont)
• There is no current recommended daily intake (RDI) for glutamine.
• The best (but not the only) food sources of glutamine are the following:
Beans and legumes.
Beet, Spinach and parsley.
Meat and poultry.
Organ meat (in particular liver).
• Nutrition work hand on hand with conventional
treatment of mental illness to improve
• In nursing care nutritional interventions may
decrease the incidence or severity of the different
mental illness. When used as treatment methods,
nutritional interventions may reduce the
utilization of the dose of psychotropic drugs.
• For new mothers who are nursing and do not
want to take medication for depression, nutrition
and dietary changes may represent viable
alternatives. In addition to therapy and other
alternative therapies, nursing nutritional
intervention can be helpful in relieving depressive
symptoms and improving overall well-being.
• Overall maintaining a healthy brain is essential to ensure
a good quality of life.
• Research has proved that adding the right food to the
daily eating regimen will improve the functioning of
neurotransmitters, which increases the chances of
maintaining a healthy brain.
• Nursing nutritional interventions play an important role
In the treatment of some mental disorders, as they will
enhance the efficiency of the conventional treatment.
• Leyse-Wallace, R. (2013). Nutrition and
mental health. CRC Press.
• Bodnar, L. M., & Wisner, K. L. (2005).
Nutrition and depression: implications
for improving mental health among
childbearing-aged women. Biological
psychiatry, 58(9), 679-685.
• Davis, J. M. (2008). Nutrition,
neurotransmitters and central nervous
system fatigue. Nutrition in sport, 171.