Advertisement

Food and the Brain

  • R. J. Wurtman
  • J. Growdon

Abstract

The rates of synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin, acetylcholine, and probably also norepinephrine depend physiologically on the availability to the brain of their precursor molecules, the nutrients tryptophan, choline, and tyrosine, respectively. The brain concentration of each precursor can rapidly be influenced by the diet; food ingestion thus readily modifies the synthesis of each of these neurotransmitters in brain. Brain neurons that utilise serotonin, acetylcholine, or norepinephrine are involved in neuronal networks that control a number of body functions and behaviours (for example, appetite, food choice, sleep, memory, and mood). Thus dietary constituents are able normally to affect these functions and, when given as large doses of pure nutrients, to serve as treatments for brain diseases involving monoaminergic or cholinergic neurons.

Keywords

Tardive Dyskinesia Cholinergic Neuron Brain Neuron Brain Serotonin Plasma Tryptophan 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Fernstrom, J. D. and Wurtman, R. J. (1971). Science, 173, 149–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cohen, E. L. and Wurtman, R. J. (1975). Life Sciences, 16,1095–1102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Growdon, J. H., Hirsch, M. J., Wurtman, R. J. and Weiner, W. (1977). New England Journal of Medicine, 297, 524–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schwartz, J. C., Lampart, C. and Rose, C. (1972). Journal of Neurochemistry, 19, 801–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wurtman, R. J., Larin, F., Mostafapour, S. and Fernstrom, J. D. (1974). Science, 185, 183–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moir, A. T. B. and Eccleston, D. (1968). Journal of Neurochemistry, 15, 1093–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wurtman, R. J. and Fernstrom, J. D. (1972). In: Perspectives in Neuropharmacology, Ed. Snyder, S. H. Oxford University Press, New York, 143–193.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fernstrom, J. D. and Wurtman, R. J. (1972). Metabolism, 21, 337–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fernstrom, J. D. and Wurtman, R. J. (1971). Science, 174, 1023–1025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Partridge, W. M. (1977). In: Nutrition and the Brain, Volume I, Ed. Wurtman, R. J. and Wurtman, J. J. Raven Press, New York, 141–204.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fernstrom, J. D. and Wurtman, R. J. (1972). Science, 178, 414–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cohen, E. L. and Wurtman, R. J. (1976). Science, 191, 561–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hirsch, M. J. and Wurtman, R. J. (1978). Science, 202, 223–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hirsch, M. J. and Wurtman, R. J. (1979). Brain Research (in press).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ulus, I., Hirsch, M. J. and Wurtman, R. J. (1977). Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (US), 74, 798–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Davis, K. L., Berger, P. A. and Hollister, L. E. (1975). New England Journal of Medicine, 293, 152.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Botticelli, L. J., Lytle, L. D. and Wurtman, R. J. (1977). Communications in Psychopharmacology, 1, 519–523.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Scally, M. J. and Wurtman, R. J. (1977). Journal of Neural Transmission, 41, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gibson, C. J. and Wurtman, R. J. (1978). Life Science, 22, 1399–1406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Applied Science Publishers Ltd 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Wurtman
    • 1
  • J. Growdon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyTufts University Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations