Is the circuitry of ‘human chemistry’ modifiable?

chemistry

The human chemistry is a buzzword in the modern era, defining human relationships, personalities, laws of attraction and repulsion and also the love-hate relationship.

The brain is both an electrical and a chemical machine. Being the greatest electrical generator of electricity, it sends electric currents throughout the body through neurotransmitters, which then send energy and information to the rest of the cells, glands and organs. These are also responsible for diverse functions. While there are more than 100 neurotransmitters in the brain, there are a few which dominate selective areas of the brain and perform activities which determine, virtues like initiative, relationships, mood, brilliance and sleep patterns.

Thus, dopamine is responsible for alertness, acetylcholine for thought processing time and the speed with which the brain works. Similarly, GABA is responsible for tranquillizing of a calming response and serotonin for productive regenerative sleep. The glutamate is responsible for highest mental activities like judgment, reasoning, abstract thinking and finally creating a spiritual state. It is, therefore, evident that these chemicals give shape to the human personality whether you are rational and achievement- oriented, innovative or intuitive, calm and composed or aggressive, or have an aptitude for adventure, passion and independence.

Interestingly, the food and exercise pattern can modify the concentration of amino acid and to a certain extent, influence human personality or what is called — human chemistry.

Since neurotransmitters are synthesized from amino acids available in diet, it is interesting to speculate and infer that food sources and nutrition could act as an effective therapeutic modality. Vegetarian diet is rich in GABA and non-vegetarian is high in acetylcholine which could be responsible for the differential behaviour of the persons taking a specific diet.

Dopamine is found abundantly in walnuts, chicken, cottage cheese; Acetylcholine is present in eggs, whole grain bread, meat, liver, etc. Serotonin is found in cottage cheese, wheat germ, avocado, turkey etc., while almonds, banana, spinach, walnuts, oats, brown rice, etc., are rich in GABA and flax seed oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Yoga and aerobic exercises bring about a rise in the levels of dopamine, GABA and acetylcholine levels while anaerobic exercises build up the Serotonin levels in the brain.

It can be inferred that a modification in the diet and exercise regimens can in fact bring about a change in the mental processes. It would not be an exaggeration to state that, “You are what you eat”!

Neurotransmitters are synthesized from amino acids…it is interesting to speculate and infer that food sources and nutrition could act as an effective therapeutic modality… responsible for the differential behaviour of the persons taking a specific diet