The Brain / Food Connection

I read a lot on food and nutrition.  It absolutely fascinates me.  I could easily read for hours and hours on the topic every day if only there were more hours in the day.  Since Celiac disease has become a part of our lives I have become increasingly aware of the effect that food has on mental health as well as physical health.  I hope that one day I will get up the nerve to tell our story publicly.  I think that most bloggers, whether intentionally or not, tend to portray their lives as maybe a bit more rosy than they really are.  Maybe it is human nature to want to hide the flaws but I think it is a rare and wonderful thing to come across someone who lays it all out there for all to see and learn from.  This blogger did just that.  I was in awe of her honesty.  She has an amazing story to tell about recovery from bipolar disorder.  I applaud her bravery. 

Earlier in the week came this article from BBC news.  Depression is linked to processed food.   Antidepressants are among the top 3 most prescribed drug classes (along with analgesics and antihyperlipidemics) and we are eating more processed food than ever.  It isn’t really a surprising link is it?  This is one area I can speak from personal experience.  Food does have an enormous impact on mood.

Just today, like icing on a cake, I find this article.  It’s called “Gut Microbes Influence Behavior”.   The first line reads: Mice lacking normal gut bacteria show differences in brain development and behavior.  It’s a fascinating read. 

Did you happen to read the timeline for the movements of the Tuscon shooter in the hours that led up to the shooting?  He made repeated stops to convenience stores.  What do you think he was buying?  I think we could probably guess.


5 thoughts on “The Brain / Food Connection

  1. Thank you so much for posting us. It is amazing what food can do to your body. I never thought about it in the same light that I do now since our recent issues. The more I read, the more alarming the findings are. Gluten alone is linked to just about every ailment….and it’s natural. It’s scary.

    My mother has been in tremendous pain. The pain radiatiated from her back through her hip and prevented her from sleeping night after night. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Yesterday her food panel showed gluten intolerance and allergies to just about everything (including many vegetables) and we learned that these allergies were the culprits in her pain….not fibro. This is why some days she would hurt and others would be mysteriously fine (depending on the foods she had eaten and who would ever suspect a vegetable of all things) . It’s a shame that so many of us are suffering with ailments and drs. are just treating the symptoms instead of getting down the the root cause.


    • As you are well aware, I am no doctor however it seems like there is a high probability that your mother has a leaky gut. A leaky gut is a real thing. It is quite literally where undigested food matter leaks out of the small intestine and causes systemic reactions. That’s why it can appear like there are many food allergies. Please have her check out GAPS. (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) It is about healing the gut wall. It is not an easy diet but living like that isn’t either. Many people are able to heal their gut walls and then are able to reintroduce those foods again in the future. I know “The Healthy Skeptic” has written about leaky gut several times. He can explain it much better than I. There is also a yahoo group for GAPS too. They too are a great collective resource. Sounds like your whole family needs an overhaul of their diet, hey? Leaky gut can be hereditary….
      I couldn’t agree more about most doctors being content to treat the symptoms instead of finding the cause of the symptoms.


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  3. I, too, find it extremely interesting, though I don’t think I spend as much time reading up on it as you! One of the litany of things I was dx’ed with, before the “hub” was found to be celiac disease, was moderate depression. I never medicated, and looking back, I don’t know how I weathered that! I am not exaggerating when I say that I think my son’s diagnosis eight years ago (which led to mine) saved my life. Looking back, I think I was seriously well on the road to schizophrenia.

    A former neighbor of mine (who was dx’ed with celiac disease — as well as several siblings, her mother, and one of her children — as a result of witnessing our own family’s transformation after our own diagnoses) wrote her masters thesis on the connection between celiac disease and various mental health illnesses. It hasn’t been studied enough in the States, but there are a number of European studies that link a wide variety of mental illnesses to CD. It’s been a while since I read up on them, though…


    • Have you ever written about the details of that transformation? If you ever come across studies like the ones you mention please forward them. In one of Dr. Russell Blaylock’s lectures he sites a study that looked at schizopherenics who were institutionalized since they were able to control their diet. In that study 100% of the patients improved so dramatically they were removed from medications and discharged from the hospital. How did they change their diets? They removed gluten. Of course these patients were discharged and started to eat gluten again and relapsed. I agree this needs far more research. My cynical self wonders if there is not a lot of research in this area because pharmaceutical companies are generally the ones who fund research and they would not make any money from a study like this. This would also explain why there are more studies like this in Europe. More weight to my theory that gluten is poison for most people.


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