Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

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9780195388541: Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings
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Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCP potentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do cigarettes help relieve anxiety? Can eating less food preserve your brain? What are the possible side effects of pills that claim to make you smarter? Why is it so hard to stop smoking? Why did witches once believe that they could fly? In this book, Gary Wenk demonstrates how, as a result of their effects on certain neurotransmitters concerned with behavior, everything we put into our bodies has direct consequences for how we think, feel, and act. The chapters introduce each of the main neurotransmitters involved with behavior, discuss its role in the brain, and explain ways to influence it through what we consume.

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Review:


"An absolutely fascinating read (or book) peppered with gems of surprising information on how certain foods, plants, nicotine and drugs (legal and illegal) alter the very essence of your brain cells' functioning and thus your behavior and mood. Don't deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading it."
--Jean Carper, author of Your Miracle Brain and 100 Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss.


"Your Brain on Food provides ample and important food for thought in a delightfully written reader-friendly style. Kernels of history sprinkled throughout the book provide both interest and insight into how our appetites influence our brains and, and thus, our thoughts and actions. Gary Wenk has provided a compelling and much-needed antidote to commonly available misinformation about nutrients and brain function. Readers will be richly informed--as well as entertained."
--James L. McGaugh, Research Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine


"All of us are impacted by a bewildering array of psychoactive drugs and foods, some being agents of abuse and others being of importance in treating disease. Gary Wenk, a nationally eminent neuroscientist, provides a gripping account of the neurotransmitters that enable neurons in the brain to talk to each other and shows how drugs as well as substances derived from foods exert their psychoactive influences. Wenk has a gift for making complex concepts crystal clear and relating seemingly arcane science in a fascinating, lucid fashion--as gripping as a detective story. This is an invaluable book for anyone who is curious about the brain and its functions."
--Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University


"Intriguing"
--Scientific American MIND


About the Author:

Gary L. Wenk is Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular, Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, The Ohio State University.

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