Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance

Episode 42 of the Huberman Lab Podcast: "Nutrients for Brain Performance"

Listen: YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Spotify

In this episode, Dr. Huberman describes science-supported nutrients for brain and performance (cognition) and general nervous system health.

He describes ten tools for this purpose, including specific amounts and sources for Omega-3 fatty acids, which make up the “structural fat” of neurons (nerve cells) and allow them to function across our lifespan. He also reviews data on creatine, phosphatidylserine, anthocyanins, choline, glutamine and how they each impact brain function in healthy people seeking to reinforce and improve their cognition and in those combatting cognitive decline. Dr. Huberman describes both food-based and supplement-based sources for these compounds and their effective dose ranges based on peer-reviewed literature.

Then he reviews the three factors: gut-brain signaling, perceived taste, and learned associations that combine with the metabolic and blood-sugar-elevating effects of food to determine what foods we seek and prefer. Amazingly, it’s not just about what tastes good to us. Next, Dr. Huberman explores how we can leverage the neural circuits of learned food preference toward seeking and enjoying the right foods for brain health and performance. He also reviews new data on non-caloric sweeteners and why consuming them with glucose-elevating foods can be detrimental, in some cases rapidly leading to insulin dysregulation. This episode covers more than ten actionable tools for those seeking to improve and/or maintain brain function. It explains modern neuroscience underlying our sense of taste, our food-seeking preferences, and brain metabolism.

Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Food & Brain Function Introduction
  • 00:02:08 Summary: Critical Aspects of Time Restricted Feeding/Fasting
  • 00:04:19 Sponsors: Roka, Athletic Greens, Headspace
  • 00:08:24 Neuroplasticity Super Protocol (Zero-Cost Tools) Online
  • 00:09:22 Eating to Enhance Brain Function & Foundational Aspects of Brain Health
  • 00:13:00 Eating Fats for Brain Health, EFAs Phospholipids (Tool 1: 1-3g EPA Omega-3/day)
  • 00:20:35 Phosphatidylserine (Tool 2: 300mg/day)
  • 00:22:15 Choline, Egg Yolks (Tool 3: 1-2g/day Threshold)
  • 00:28:26 Hydration & Electrolytes (Tool 4)
  • 00:29:50 Liquid Fish Oil/Capsules (2-3g EPA per day; 300mg Alpha GPC 2-4X/week)
  • 00:32:22 Creatine for Cognition (Tool 5: 5g/day)
  • 00:36:28 Anthocyanins, Dark Skin Berries (Tool 6-10mg/day (Extract), 1-2 cups Berries)
  • 00:41:19 L-Glutamine (Tool: 1-10g/day) & Offsetting Apnea & Inflammation
  • 00:49:23 Neural Basis of Food Preference, Yum, Yuck, Meh; Taste, Guts, & Beliefs
  • 00:55:25 Taste is 100% In your Head
  • 00:59:50 Gut Neurons Controlling Food Preference: Neuropod Cells; (Tool 7: Fermented Foods)
  • 01:06:14 Capsule Probiotics, Brain Fog
  • 01:07:16 Learning to Like Specific Tastes: Sweetness & Brain Metabolism
  • 01:12:11 Hard-Wiring & Soft-Wiring
  • 01:13:25 Artificial & Non-Caloric Sweeteners: Safe or Harmful Depends on (Glucose) Context
  • 01:18:15 Non-Caloric Sweetener & Insulin; (Tool 8: Don’t Have w/Glucose Elevating Foods)
  • 01:22:17 Beliefs & Thoughts; The Insula; (Tool 9: Pairing-Based Reshaping Food Preferences)
  • 01:30:42 Liking Neuro-Healthy Foods & Bettering Brain Metabolism (Tool 10); Food Wars
  • 01:36:05 Food Reward & Diabetes, Obesity; Important Review Article (See Caption)
  • 01:38:28 Synthesis, Zero-Cost Support, Future Topic Suggestions, Sponsors, Supplements