In addition to helping protect us from heart disease and
cancer, a balanced diet and regular exercise can also protect the brain and ward
off mental disorders.
"Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the
brain," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and
physiological science who has spent years studying the effects of food, exercise
and sleep on the brain. "Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter
our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that
changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities,
protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging."
Gomez-Pinilla analyzed more than 160 studies about food's
affect on the brain; the results of his analysis appear in the July issue of the
journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience and are available online at
for Life: Can Exercise Make You Smarter?
Mary Carmichael, Newsweek online, April 9, 2007 [Full Text]
... With regular exercise, the body builds up its levels
of BDNF, and the brain's nerve cells start to branch out, join together and
communicate with each other in new ways. This is the process that underlies
learning: every change in the junctions between brain cells signifies a new fact
or skill that's been picked up and stowed away for future use. BDNF makes that
process possible. Brains with more of it have a greater capacity for knowledge.
On the other hand, says UCLA neuroscientist Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a
brain that's low on BDNF shuts itself off to new information. In his
Nutrition: Food for Thought
17th 2008, From The
CHILDREN have a lot to contend with these days, not least
a tendency for their pushy parents to force-feed them omega-3 oils at every
opportunity. These are supposed to make children brainier, so they are being
added to everything from bread, milk and pasta to baby formula and vitamin
tablets. But omega-3 is just the tip of the nutritional iceberg; many nutrients
have proven cognitive effects, and do so throughout a persons life, not merely
when he is a child.
Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a fish-loving professor of
neurosurgery and physiological science at the University of California, Los
Angeles, believes that appropriate changes to a person??s diet can enhance his
cognitive abilities, protect his brain from damage and counteract the effects of
ageing. Dr Gomez-Pinilla has been studying the effects of food on the brain for
years, and has now completed a review, just published in Nature Reviews
Neuroscience, that has analysed more than 160 studies of food??s effect on the
brain. Some foods, he concludes, are like pharmaceutical compounds; their
effects are so profound that the mental health of entire countries may be linked
Los Angeles Times:
Nutrition: Remember this: Benefits of gingko are minor
Chris Woolston, Los Angeles Times Jun 18, 2007
... Ginkgo may be the most scrutinized supplement to ever
hit health store shelves. There have been hundreds of ginkgo studies, including
many classic rats-in-a-maze-type investigations and dozens of human trials.
According to Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at UCLA and a
spokesperson for the Society for Neuroscience, the bulk of these studies point
in the same direction: Ginkgo probably can help improve thinking, but not by
much. "It won't make you a genius," he says. ...
to Get Smart. Really
N. Phatarphekar | 11 July 2009 [Full
... ??I??m lucky that I love fish,??says Dr.
Fernando Gomez Pinilla over the phone, and that??s no frivolous foodie
confession from this professor of neurosurgery and physiological science at the
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is talking about his latest
scientific research which happens to have spilled onto his dinner plate. It
shows that a fish-n-fruit-rich diet can improve brain function, protect the mind
and stave off mental ageing. ??The brain, more than any other organ in the body,
consumes a tremendous amount of energy. It??s also subjected to a lot of
oxidative stress which results in cell damage,??he says. ??Fish, berries and
antioxidants reduce and reverse this. They also protect the learning and memory
nerve membranes.??Docosahexaeonoic acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid that makes
up about 30 per cent of our nerve cell membranes, is also found in oily fish
like salmon and sardines, while its vegetarian version linolenic acid is present
in walnuts and flax seeds. Tanking up on these fats improve memory and learning.
By J?rg Blech | 20 December 2008
A German based, international magazine.
... ??In Los Angeles schlie?lich widmet sich der
Neurobiologe Fernando G??mez-Pinilla an der University of California dem
Ph?nomen. "Die Nahrung wirkt auf das Gehirn wie ein Arzneimittel", erkl?rt der
geb??rtige Chilene, dessen Forschung sich vor allem um Omega-3-Fetts?uren dreht.