Feeding Your Brain - Macleans.ca

Feeding Your Brain

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A diet of eggs, beets and fish might not sound appetizing, but it could make you smarter, according to a study just released by MIT.

A team of biologists have found that when gerbils were fed all three of these foods in different combinations, the rodents were better able to perform cognitive tasks like navigating mazes. The brains of the animals were then dissected and compared to the control group. Those with the enhanced diets were also found to have an altered biochemistry, suggesting that the diets had caused physical changes inside the gerbils brains.

Eggs contain choline, beets have uridine monophosphte (UMP) and fish oils are high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are all necessary for healthy brain membranes.

Since the gerbils brains were only analyzed for four weeks, it is unclear whether the rodents would continue getting smarter if they were kept on the enhanced brain food diet. Nevertheless, the scientists say the next stage is to apply these findings to humans. “Now that we know how to make gerbils smarter, its not too far a stretch to hope that people’s intelligence can also be improved,” said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal, where the study was published. “Quite frankly, this can’t happen soon enough.”