The brain's main function is to track desirable molecules in the environment
and cause them to flow through the body. Since the brain is the organ of the
mind, molecular influences on the brain are manifested as mental influences. We
can assume that if a person's brain gets the right signals from inhaled and
ingested chemicals, then he or she will remain on a stable, adaptive course. If,
on the other hand, the wrong signals are received from the ingested chemicals,
then he or she follows a wobbly course, unstable and maladaptive.
Mind-brain-body is one, interacting, whole-system. Disturbances in mental states
have physical causes - cellular, biochemical dysfunctions. Food, as body-input,
is the molecular substrate of body-mind, the foundation level, which permits or
denies healthy function at higher levels of integration.
Without a healthy body-input, mental health is an impossible goal. People
tend be unrealistic about what substances they can safely ingest, inhale and
inject into their bodies. Alcohol and other chemicals easily and profoundly
affect their mind. They believe that they are tougher than they really are.
One of the common causes of misunderstanding human behavior is ignorance of
food and environmental chemicals that affect brain function. The bad chemicals
come from many directions in the food, air, water, from a street vendor, from a
pharmacy, from a pub, from a cafe, from a health food store, from a friend, from
an enemy, from an unknown donor who lives thousands of miles away. Workplace
exposures to neurotoxic chemicals are perhaps the most obvious neurotoxic events
and are somewhat regulated by government agencies in the US and Canada.
Bad chemicals can disturb brain function in entire populations. Bad
chemicals are more powerful than good intentions and good ideas unless the good
idea is to remove the bad chemicals from the environment. Behavioral adaptation
to environment is intermeshed with molecular adaptation. This means that mind
and body interact with environment as a single integrated unit. Molecular events
are more likely to determine mindbodybrain events than mental or behavioral
events are likely to determine molecular events.
The food supply is critically important to brain
function. There are many ideas which link food ingestion and the environment to
brain dysfunction and disease. We can ask some simple questions to inspire
further inquiry, such as: Are mental and neurological diseases diet related?
Are the victims deficient in critical nutrients, or poisoned by excesses of
nutrients? Are some dementias caused by the toxicity of food additives,
pesticides and/or food contaminants? Do these diseases combine food toxicity and
food allergy and emerge slowly in complex combinations? Do the most afflicted
people drink more alcoholic beverages, tea, and coffee; eat more fast foods,
cheese, bread, or meat? Where do they live? What environmental toxins are common
in their food, water and air?
These and related questions about diet and disease have seldom been answered
in terms of meaningful research; however, there are a thousand clues in the
research literature which point to diverse problems and many potential solutions
. My experience with food-related psychopathology suggests that modern diets are
probably responsible for cerebrovascular disease, most strokes, all diabetic
neuropathies, some learning and behavioral problems in children, some mental
illness, some depressions, some dementias and some neurological disease of
unknown origin. The mechanisms are of these disorders are multiple and complex.
Patients with delayed pattern food allergy (as I define it) often present
with neurological symptoms, especially memory loss, lack of concentration,
emotional instability, motor and perceptual problems. Many of these people
functioned in an adaptive dysfunctional state for many years. Some may hold
responsible jobs. Their slowly increasing cognitive disability was concealed or
overlooked by family, friends, co-workers, and by the patients themselves.
Here is a short check list for identifying food-related problems:
Nutrient Deficiencies Nutrient Excesses
Nutrient Disproportion Toxic Effects
Metabolic Diseases Food Allergy
Proteins, Peptides Food Additives
Colon Metabolites Food Contaminants
Listen to an overview of brain dysfunction
You are viewing the Brain Mind Center at Alpha Online, a Division of
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1995. Alpha Nutrition is a trademark and a division of Environmed Research Inc. Understanding the human brain is essential to become a well-informed, modern
Stephen Gislason MD, the author of
the Human Brain, is a physician-writer who is good at making complex subjects more
understandable. This is a book with important ideas, so be prepared to read
and then keep the book as reference.
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