Topics from the book,
Some Topics from the bookTuning into the Universe
Connected to the Environment
How Many Senses?
Right & Left Brain
History of Mind Drugs
Prescription Drug Abuse
Psychiatry versus Biology
Mechanisms of Brain Dysfunction
Nutrition & Brain
Allergy and the Brain
Wheat Gluten and the Brain
Is Stress Real ?
Elixir of Sanity & Joy
Is Stress Real?
We Prefer Clean Air, Pure Water, Healthy Food and Clear Minds
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
The Brain Mind Center
Topics from the book, The Human Brain by Stephen Gislason MD
Further reading: Alpha Nutrition Program, Neuroscience Notes, Intelligence and Learning
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