Effects of Diet on Learning and Memory By Jim Ward
ORGANIC COMPOUNDS • LIPIDS - fats and oils • CARBOHYDRATES - sugars and starch • PROTEINS - made of amino acids • NUCLEIC ACIDS - made of nucleotides
What Do We Know? • High Fat and Cholesterol = Heart Damage • Sugar Imbalance = Pancreas Malfunction • Low Folic Acid = Embryo Deformations • Low Calcium = Bone Loss • Alcohol = Liver Damage • Smoking = Lung Damage • ??? = Brain Inefficiency and Memory Loss
Omega - 6 Fats in oils and dressing in pork and beef in processed foods in fried foods BAD FOR BRAIN cause neurons to become more rigid Omega - 3 Fats in fish and seafood in nuts and legumes in green leafy plants in olive oils GOOD FOR BRAIN cause neurons to become more fluid Omega-6 Fat vs. Omega-3 Fat
RATIOS OF OMEGA-6 FATS to OMEGA-3 FATS • Optimal ratio is 1:1 • Brain Impairment occurs at ratios over 4:1 • Average American diet is over 20:1 • Asians have lowest ratios • Hispanics and African Americans have highest ratios
SODIUM (Na) in processed foods in table salt causes brain tissue and blood vessels to become more permeable high levels decreases brain performance POTASSIUM (K) in fruits and veggies in beans, nuts, milk In some fish counteracts high sodium levels low ratios of sodium to potassium increase brain performance Sodium vs. Potassium
What Does The Research Say? • Benton (1991) - 6 year olds given multivitamins for 6-8 weeks increased and average of 7.6 points on intelligence tests • Murphy (1998) - School aged children who ate breakfast performed much higher in math than those who skipped breakfast (also had less behavior problems and absences)
What Does The Research Say? • Greenwood (1996) - Rats fed varying diets high in saturated fats showed cognitive impairment in direct correlation to the amount of fats consumed • Connor (1996) - Rhesus monkeys fed low amount of Omega-3 fats with high Omega-6 fats showed cognitive damage and vision impairment
How Can Students Maximize Their Brain Power Through Diet? • Eat Breakfast • Consume healthier snacks (fruit not chips) • Decrease Intake of Saturated Fats • Decrease Omega-6 fat to Omega-3 fat Ratio • Decrease Sodium to Potassium Ratio • Take a Multivitamin (even Fish Oil)
BIBLIOGRAPHY • Benton, D. (1991). Vitamin and mineral supplements improve intelligence scores and concentration of six-year old children. Personality and Individual Differences, 12 (11), 1151-1158. • Benton, D. (1990). Vitamin/mineral supplementation and intelligence. Lancet, 335(8698), 1158-1160. • Benton, D. (1988). Effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on intelligence of a sample of school children. Lancet, 1(8578), 140-143. • Eaton, S.B. (1996). An evolutionary perspective enhances understanding of human nutritional requirements. Journal of Nutrition, 126, 1732-1740. • Greenwood, C. E. (1996). Cognitive impairment in rats fed high fat diets: A specific effect of saturated fatty acid intake. Behavioral Neuroscience, 110(3),451-459. • Hibbeln, J. R. (1998). Fish consumption and major depression. Lancet, 351, 1213. • Murphy, J. M. (1998). The relationship of school breakfast to psychosocial and academic functioning. Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine, 152(9), 899-907.
BIBLIOGRAPHY • Schoenthaler, S.J. (1991). Controlled trial of vitamin-mineral supplementation on intelligence and brain function. Personality and Individual Differences, 12(4), 343-350. • Schoenthaler, S.J. (1991). Controlled trial of vitamin-mineral supplementation: effects on intelligence and performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 12(4), 351-162. • Stephens, L.J. (1995). Essential fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62, 761-768. • Wainwright, P.E. (1998). A saturated fat diet during development alters dendritic growth in mouse brain. Nutritional Neuroscience, 1, 49-58. • Yehuda, S. (1998). Fatty acids and brain peptides. Peptides, 19(2), 407-419. • Yudkin, John. (1991). Intelligence of children and vitamin-mineral supplements: the DRF study. Discussion, conclusion and consequences. Personality and Individual Differences, 12(4), 363-365.