How Foods and Nutrients Control Our Moods | Episode 11

03.15.2021 - By Huberman Lab

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This episode explains the brain-body connections that allow the specific foods we eat to control our moods and motivation. I discuss the vagus nerve and its role in dopamine and serotonin release in the brain. I review Omega-3 fatty acids and the key role of the gut microbiome in supporting (or hindering) our mental and emotional states. Many actionable tools are reviewed and discussed related to fasting, ketogenic and plant-based diets, probiotics, fermented foods, fish oils, artificial sweeteners, specific supplements that promote dopamine and serotonin, and some remarkable behavioral (and belief) effects. Thank you to our sponsors: Theragun - InsideTracker - Athletic Greens -   Our Patreon page:   Supplements from Thorne:   Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Microbiome: Anti-Depressive Effects of EPAs Free Resource: Links to Studies on Supplements Discussed   Timestamps below. 00:00:00 Introduction 00:05:00 Emotions: Aligning Mind & Body 00:06:41 Nutrients, Neurochemicals and Mood 00:08:39 Primitive Expressions and Actions 00:12:30 The Vagus Nerve: Truth, Fiction, Function 00:15:45 “Vagus Stimulation”: A Terrible Concept 00:16:35 Polyvagal Theory 00:18:27 Vagus Senses Many Things, & Moves Our Organs 00:19:35 Sugar Sensing Without Perception of Sweetness 00:23:00 Eating-Induced Anxiety 00:27:30 We Eat Until Our Brain Perceives “Amino Acid Threshold” 00:29:45 Reward Prediction Error: Buildup, Letdown and Wanting More 00:32:01 L-Tyrosine, Dopamine, Motivation, Mood, & Movement 00:34:04 Supplementing L-Tyrosine, Drugs of Abuse, Wellbutrin 00:38:29 Serotonin: Gut, Brain, Satiety and Prozac 00:43:38 Eating to Promote Dopamine (Daytime) & Serotonin (Night Time) 00:44:30 Supplementing Serotonin: Sleep, & Caution About Sleep Disruptions 00:46:40 An Amazing Cost-Free Resource with Links to Science Papers 00:48:05 Mucuna Pruriens: The Dopamine Bean with a Serotonin Outer Shell 00:51:00 Emotional Context and Book Recommendation: “How Emotions Are Made” 00:54:55 Exercise: Powerful Mood Enhancer, But Lacks Specificity 00:56:45 Omega-3: Omega-6 Ratios, Fish Oil and Alleviating Depression 01:01:00 Fish Oil as Antidepressant 01:02:40 EPAs May Improve Mood via Heart Rate Variability: Gut-Heart-Brain 01:07:24 Alternatives to Fish Oil to Obtain Sufficient Omega-3/EPAs 01:09:05 L-Carnitine for Mood, Sperm and Ovary Quality, Autism, Fibromyalgia, Migraine 01:16:29 Gut-Microbiome: Myths, Truths & the Tubes Within Us 01:21:55 Probiotics, Brain Fog, Autism, Fermentation 01:25:20 Artificial Sweeteners & the Gut Microbiome: NOT All Bad; It Depends! 01:28:00 Ketogenic, Vegan, & Processed Food Effects, Individual Differences 01:33:20 Fasting-Based Depletion of Our Microbiome 01:35:20 How Mindset Effects Our Responses to Foods: Amazing (Ghrelin) Effects! 01:38:30 How Mindset Controls Our Metabolism 01:41:03 Closing Comments, Thanks, Support & Resources   Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman's teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed. [Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac]

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