Part 4 of how NUTRITION has a HUGE impact on your BRAIN!
Everything in your brain is something you ate, something you made from something you ate, or, in a few cases, something your mother ate. Nutrition impacts your mental and emotional health, the function of your five senses, and your conscious and unconscious control over your body movements.
Join me as I lead you in a safari through the textbook, “Neuroscience,” pointing out along the way all the interesting connections to nutrition. Listen in for part 2 on the COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS! Mental and emotional health, cognitive performance, and sleep!
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In this episode, you will find all of the following and more:
00:39 Cliff Notes
12:08 Anatomy of the brain
16:41 The role of the basal ganglia in suppressing the investment of energy in any type of program until there is a worthwhile reason not to suppress it, and how dopamine acts as a signal of value in the basal ganglia via disinhibition
24:56 Why we can view Parkinson’s as fundamentally not a problem with movement but as a problem with a perception of the value of investing energy in controlling movement
28:23 Tonic and phasic dopamine and the importance of COMT-mediated methylation for regulating the tonic level of dopamine
36:34 The importance of GABA in suppressing the programs that dopamine doesn't signal has value in order to make the dopamine signal of value meaningful
37:28 Overview of the autonomic nervous system; the sympathetic nervous system mediates the fight-or-flight response, and the parasympathetic nervous system mediates the rest-and-digest response.
41:11 The roles of acetylcholine and norepinephrine in the autonomic nervous system, and the importance of nitric oxide to the sexual functions of the autonomic nervous system
44:28 Sleep and circadian rhythms, the importance of vitamin A, morning sun exposure, and avoiding blue light at night
48:12 Melatonin synthesis, the importance of vitamin B6, BH4, oxidative stress, vitamin B5, methylation, and tryptophan uptake into the brain
51:10 Why you can't mimic your natural melatonin rhythm with melatonin supplements
52:55 Antidiuretic hormone, the importance of light hygiene for preventing you from getting up to pee in the middle of the night, and why salt might also help
56:14 Whether the timing of carbohydrate, protein, and choline supplements makes a difference for your daytime wakefulness, your nighttime sleepiness, your deep sleep, and your REM sleep
01:00:44 The possibility that glycine and magnesium could help get rid of conditioned fear responses
01:01:30 Thoughts on consciousness; are we a ghost in the machine, or are we just a machine?
01:06:25 The default mode network is fundamentally about our inward, introverted-directed processes, contrasted with the executive control network, which is fundamentally about our relationship to the outside world and our extraverted functions.
01:10:52 How activities that had nothing to do with people skills but allowed me to flex my extroverted muscles, like exploring the outside world on my own, helped me with my people skills
01:16:48 Nutrition cannot replace the cognitive work necessary to have a healthy mindset and life, but nutrition does make it easier to do the right thing for your mental health.