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The New Brain Nutrition Blog

  • Atzeni

    Mediterranean Diet – Responsive Microbiota to Reduce Frailty: A New Study Published in the GUT Journal

    Aging is a condition associated with systemic physiological decay, characterized by chronic inflammation, cognitive impairment, and frailty. Well-established findings support the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) as a valid strategy to address frailty, also due its modulatory effect on gut microbiota. The NU-AGE dietary intervention project is a
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    Bacteria From Our Gut Can Make the Main Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Ineffective

    Researchers from Groningen University, The Netherlands discovered that bacteria from our gut can metabolize and block the action of the main drug used to treat Parkinson's disease [1]. Parkinson's disease is related to low levels of dopamine in the brain and the main treatment for the patients is levodopa (L-dopa), a precursor of dopamine.
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  • Rabionet Janssen

    Revealing the Genetic Basis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    Hi. I am a geneticist at the University of Barcelona, and, in collaboration with psychiatrists at the Hospital de Bellvitge, our group studies how genetics can influence obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I am quite sure many of you have heard about OCD. Maybe you imagine OCD as just being insistent on having things perfectly organized,
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    What’s So Special About Fatty Fish?

    Fish is an important component of a healthy diet. Especially fatty fish types such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon are often mentioned in relation to brain health. Many people take fish oil capsules aiming to improve their mood or feel more focused, or even in the hopes of preventing dementia. What makes fish, and especially fatty
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    Feeling stressed because of COVID19? How to feed your brain to optimize mental wellness under lockdown

    Although you might be under lockdown, you are still allowed to go to the supermarket to buy food. The following information might help in terms of making healthier choices on what foods to buy. When we are under high stress, we can often reach for foods that are “comforting” (like cookies, donuts, cake, pastries, and chocolate bars), but
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    ADHD and its Frequent Comorbid Conditions

    Having Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be quite a burden to someone’s quality of life. People with ADHD generally have problems with regulating their attention and their impulses, resulting in concentration and memory problems as well as reckless behaviour [1]. Luckily, this condition is receiving more attention these
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    Vegan Diets and Healthy Minds

    Vegans abstain from all animal products, for example, meat, fish, milk and dairy products, honey and other substances from animal origin, like milk powder. Nevertheless, countless foods remain that are "vegan" by nature: vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, rice, nuts, pasta (if made without eggs, of course), and so on. By contrast,
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    Crohn’s Disease – Therapeutic Options Beyond Medication

    Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the gastrointestinal tract – causing injuries or wounds anywhere in between the mouth and anus. Symptoms usually start in young adults, but can also occur in children or later in life. Often, it takes quite some time until a doctor diagnoses it because of the wide variety of
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  • 032020-Siegl

    Does Pizza Contribute to a Healthy Lifestyle? Insights From Research.

    In September 2019 the Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded at the renowned Harvard University. Contrary to the well-known Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded annually to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think." As a psychologist in the New Brain Nutrition team, I am interested in the effects that diet can
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  • cholesterol

    Low Cholesterol Levels in Boys Predict Impulsivity in Adult Men

    Traditionally, cholesterol levels are associated with elderly people having to watch their diet and possibly take statins to prevent excessive cholesterol in their blood from causing cardiovascular problems [1]. But too low levels of cholesterol can also cause problems. Being an essential building block of both hormones and cell membranes
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    Bipolar Disorder and Lifestyle Steps for Self-Management

    Interview with Annett Oehlschläger, author of the book "You can eat stability?!“ After listening to a talk given by Miss Oehlschläger at a conference on bipolar disorder in 2019, and learning how she, as an affected person herself, manages her disorder, I decided to conduct this interview with her to stress the importance of a solid
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  • Autism and the gut microbiome

    Can the gut microbiome help us treat autism?

    Can the gut microbiome help us treat autism? Can the gut bacteria help us to fight autism? According to a recently published study, introducing bacteria from healthy individuals into the gut of the children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can markedly improve not only gut function but also the severity of ASD symptoms. ASD
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  • JoinSummerSchool

    Summer School on Brain, Bacteria and Behaviour

    Master students, PhD candidates, post-doctoral scientists and other early career researchers are lucky this summer: from 13 – 17 July they can join the first Radboud Summer School on Brain, Bacteria and Behaviour. During this intense week students will learn from various international experts in the field about the gut microbiome – brain axis,
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    Feeding the Brain: How Does it Work?

    Every day, our brain depends on what we eat. First and foremost, the brain needs tremendous amounts of energy, that can only be derived from food. While the human brain constitutes only two percent of the body’s weight, it consumes twenty percent of our daily energy intake [1]. When we eat too little, our brain is one of the first organs to
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  • mental-health-3337026_1280

    Insulin in the Brain: Emerging Therapies for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Insulin and diabetes Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas. It regulates the metabolism by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood into liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells. When the blood glucose level is high, the beta cells secrete insulin into the blood, and when glucose levels are low, the
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    The Healing Powers of Your Beliefs

    The occurrence of placebo effects has been known for a very long time. A first “trick trial” concerning it took place in the late 1500s when instead of holy water, ordinary water was placed in a religious flask and given to a girl who was said to be possessed by the devil – which caused her to contort in pain. Likewise, when priests read a
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  • vitamin d and sunlight

    The importance of vitamin D intake when sunlight is scarce

    When exposed to UVB-radiation, the human body produces vitamin D out of cholesterol. Vitamin D is therefore also known as the “sunshine vitamin”. Healthy vitamin D levels in people are thought to play a role in preventing several health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, mood disorders, diabetes and other autoimmune
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  • micronutrient supplements

    Should Micronutrient Treatments be Recommended based on Existing Nutrient Levels?

    I have noticed a growing number of companies offering to measure nutrient levels and then offering a personalized treatment approach to address deficiencies identified. I have also been sent individual blood results from members of the public and asked whether the results can be used to direct the best treatment. Others contact me and tell me
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  • boy and girl on computer

    How Does Participating in a Clinical Trial Work?

    Meet Tim: he is an 8-year-old boy, living in the Netherlands with his parents and younger sister. A couple of years ago, Tim was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Disorder (ADHD). His psychologist recommended to participate in the TRACE study: this study examines the short- and long-term effects of dietary treatments
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  • ice-cream-cone-1579124_640

    Feeding The Brain Under High Stress

    When we are under high stress, we can often reach for foods that are “comforting” (like cookies, donuts, cake, pastries, and chocolate bars), but these foods may not be the best choice for feeding your brain under stressful and demanding circumstances. Comfort foods are often calorie-rich but nutrient-poor. Further, under high stress (and
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  • thomas-kelley-j5DeBxBUwHw-unsplash

    Eating Under Stress

    Stress tends to mess with our eating habits. In times of stress, some people eat more, while others eat less. The type of food people eat also changes: compared to non-stressed individuals, stressed individuals more often eat unhealthy foods. Laboratory experiments have shown that stress causes people to make unhealthier food choices. In a
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  • weights of depression

    Depression, aggression, and Vitamin B1 thiamine supplements as a new treatment

    What is vitamin B1 (thiamine)? Thiamine, which is also known as vitamin B1, is an essential micronutrient, which is required for metabolism, enzymatic processes and conduction of nerve signals. All living organisms use thiamine, but it can be made only in bacteria, fungi and plants. In humans, gastrointestinal microbiota also produces
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  • micronutrients for adhd

    Continued micronutrient treatment associated with long-term ADHD symptom improvements

    Children with ADHD who keep taking micronutrients over one year are mostly in remission in their symptoms with no side effects The results from a University of Canterbury (UC) study into the longer term effects of micronutrients on ADHD symptoms in children was recently published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
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  • Screen Shot 2019-11-05 at 8.21.51 PM

    Participating in a Scientific Study: How Does That Work?

    Meet Tim: he is an 8-year-old boy, living in the Netherlands with his parents and younger sister. A couple of years ago, Tim was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Disorder (ADHD). His psychologist recommended to participate in the TRACE study: this study examines the short- and long term effects of dietary treatments
    Read more
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    Facets of Impulsivity – Differences Between Patients with BPD and ADHD

    Facets of impulsivity – Differences between patients with BPD and ADHD It’s more than likely you have done it before, said something reckless you later regretted or sent a quick and rude response to an email with annoying content. It means that you acted impulsively, or in other words, you had a rapid and unplanned response without appropriate
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  • acai-bowl-3613793_1280


    Chia Who? – The Superfood Trend "I have a green smoothie every morning with chia seeds and acai berries, you should try it too! I feel so fit and healthy!" Have you ever heard this or a similar sentence in your life? In recent years, more and more people have been talking about superfoods. There are many new restaurants with superfoods on the
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    Measuring Behavior in 3-Year-Olds

    To investigate whether nutrition plays a role in inhibitory control and executive functioning early in life, we collected data on behavior using different tasks (see previous blog). To perform these tasks, we choose to visit the children at home with the aim 1) to burden the families less, and 2) to test the children in their home environments
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    Should You Prepare for Grocery Shopping? The Role of Hunger.

    Have you ever done your weekly grocery shopping and ended up with more than actually written on your grocery list? Everybody has at least once experienced how it is to buy food in a supermarket with hunger and buy much more than planned. The widely known recommendation: Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry!!! But is it only a myth
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    Stress and Nutrition: Hungry Brain

    In times of stress, there are mainly two eating patterns in which people react: some tend to eat less, some eat more (Yau & Potenza, 2013). The latter then, unfortunately, develop a desire for more salty, sweet and fatty foods, leading to negative health consequences such as weight gain (Groesz et al., 2012) which in turn may influence
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  • Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 9.15.41 AM

    What is a Healthy Diet?

    A healthy diet has numerous benefits. But what does a healthy diet consist of? And how do we, researchers, measure diet quality? What’s considered a healthy diet in one country or culture, may not be regarded as such in another. For instance, low-fat and unsweetened dairy products are regarded as healthy in my country, the Netherlands, but
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About the author

New Brain Nutrition is the public dissemination effort of Eat2beNICE, a consortium of 18 European universities, hospitals and agencies doing research on the connections between nutrition, lifestyle and mental health. We look to attract members of the public, health professionals, and representatives of industry and government to help develop healthier lifestyles and improved mental health.

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