Brain Health, Nutrition

Study Shows Connection Between Schizophrenia and Food

I don’t think anyone here would at all be surprised to hear what you eat affects your health.

And for that matter, no one would be surprised to hear  what a pregnant mother eats affects her child’s health.

Which is why this new study forms the basis of a cautionary tale about what a mother eats and how it affects the mental health of her child.

A recent study may have found a link between the formation of schizophrenia and how a mother ate during her pregnancy.

The study was conducted by scientists from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Tokyo, Japan, and they reported their findings in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

While this was not a human study, the results could be extrapolated to human health quite easily. 

In their research, the observers noted that mice who didn’t get enough of the right kind of omega-type fatty acids in their diet (Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 AA) early on had a much higher chance of bearing young who had altered gene expressions that could lead to schizophrenia-like symptoms later in life.

The reason they focused on these two nutrients over any others is because there have already been studies linking developments of mental disorders to the lack of these nutrients in a standard diet.

To find out exactly how these nutrients affected the development of schizophrenia, the team deprived the pregnant mice of Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 AA

When those pregnant mice had offspring it didn’t take long into adulthood before they started manifesting symptoms common to schizophrenia. These include: depression, memory impairment, and low motivation.

Another thing they noticed was the prefrontal cortex of these mice were impaired because of the lack of fatty-acids. 

The prefrontal cortex is the center of the brain associated with working memory, attention, error-monitoring, decision-making, and social cognition.

Their observations showed these adult mice had their prefrontal cortex affected because the team found that hundreds of genes had been affected by DHA and AA deprivation.

As Medical News Today wrote, “In particular, they found that DHA and AA deprivation had reduced expression in a group of genes that are also known to be “downregulated” in the brains of people with schizophrenia.

It appeared that lack of the two fatty acids had reduced the influence of the genes by increasing levels of DNA methylation, an “epigenetic process” that places chemical tags on the gene.

The affected genes influence oligodendrocytes, which are cells that surround neurons, or brain cells, and help them to communicate with each other.”


This Sensitive Area Of The Brain 
Was Also Affected

Another thing that happened when the mice didn’t get enough DHA and AA, was the genes related to GABA neurotransmission were negatively altered, (GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human brain).

These changes in the mice were nearly identical to what we’ve found when studying the brains of deceased people who had schizophrenia. 

And their findings didn’t end there.

They also observed without DHA and AA the mice “had several other downregulated genes that code for nuclear receptors, which are a class of proteins that attach to DNA and trigger protein-building in cells.

The researchers then traced the downregulated nuclear receptor genes to the higher levels of DNA methylation in the genes that influence oligodendrocytes, and which were thus ultimately responsible for their altered expression.

Through this sequence of steps, the team was able to show how a change in diet led to long-lasting alterations in gene expression.” 

Here’s what this means.

First off, it pays large dividends to center your diet around nutrients known to positively influence health. If you were to refer back to my article on fish oil the other day, you’ll see how important those kinds of nutrients are.

And the second thing is this gives us opportunities in the medical community to create drugs for people who’ve already sustained damage.

If you’d like to get my most recommended fish oil click here or on the picture below to get yours today

Talk soon,

Dr. Wiggy

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