Your Brain On Food
Is chocolate or exercise better for your brain? What happens when you eat cinnamon ? How many cups of coffee per day is too much or enough ? Part psychologic study,
In his new book of the same name (Your Brain on Food) Wenk revisits some of the most important of these questions–with expanded answers. He discusses some of these, and offers insight into the positive–and negative– consequences of what we eat. Wenk also offers a roadmap for using food to turn off and on different neurotransmitters in the body, and explain why “eating your feelings” isn’t just an expression
Gary L Wenk Ph. D., a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, is a leading authority on the consequences of chronic brain inflammation and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. He is also a member of the OSU Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair.
Wenk also does a great job of driving home some “big picture” ideas in neuroscience and drug chemistry. One of the ideas he returns to over and over is the idea that how easily a chemical dissolves in lipids (fat) determines how quickly it gets taken up in the brain.
He first mentions this idea in the section on amphetamines, where he describes how chemical changes to the structure of amphetamine (i.e. adding a greasy methyl group to make it into methamphetamine) can increase its potency. He then returns to this idea several times in later chapters when discussing other drugs; by the end of the book, even if you don’t remember any of the specific drugs he talks about, you will remember remember that making a drug more fat-soluble makes it more potent. Several other important “big ideas” get similar treatment.
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