Summary of Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast #42

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

This video discusses the importance of nutrients for brain health and performance, including omega-3 fatty acids, phosphatidylserine, and choline. It also reviews the benefits of supplementation with creatine and glutamine for people with sleep apnea or other conditions that can lead to cognitive decline.

  • 00:00:00 Foods that are good for your brain in terms of focus, brain health, and longevity are reviewed. The three major signals that combine to drive your food choices are discussed. The key takeaways from a previous episode on time restricted feeding are summarized, including the benefits for weight loss, fat loss, organ health, quality sleep, and cognition. ROKA, a sponsor of the podcast, makes sunglasses that solve the problem of sunglasses that have to be taken off if you switch from a bright to a shadowed area.
  • 00:05:00 This video discusses the benefits of nutrients for brain health and performance, as well as the advantages of using ROKA eyeglasses and sunglasses. Athletic Greens, Headspace, and Logitech are all sponsors of the podcast. The video also describes the neuroplasticity literature and the neuroplasticity super protocol.
  • 00:10:00 The Huberman Lab podcast discusses the importance of sleep, exercise, and brain health, and discusses how certain foods, like fat, impact neuron function.
  • 00:15:00 Huberman discusses the importance of essential fatty acids and phospholipids for brain health and performance. He notes that most people are getting enough omega-6s, but most are not getting enough omega-3s, which is important for depression, mood, and cognitive function. He discusses sources of essential fatty acids, including fish, chia seeds, soybeans, and other plant-based foods. He notes that although fish and animal products are good sources of essential fatty acids, people can also get them from plants.
  • 00:20:00 This podcast discusses the nutrients and compounds that support brain health and performance. Omega-3 fatty acids, phosphatidylserine, and choline are mentioned as important nutrients for brain health. Phosphatidylserine is found abundantly in meats and fish, and can be obtained from cabbage as well. Choline can be synthesized from choline and betaine, both of which are abundant in meat and fish. Supplementation with phosphatidylserine is not necessary for significant benefits, although 300 milligrams per day is the recommended dose. Fish and meats are good sources of phosphatidylserine. Choline is synthesized from choline and betaine, which are both abundant in meat and fish. Several studies have found that choline improves cognitive function, reduces cognitive decline, and is beneficial for Alzheimer's disease.
  • 00:25:00 Huberman discusses the importance of dietary choline in supporting cognitive function, phosphatidylserine, and omega-3 fatty acids, and provides tips on how to obtain the necessary levels. He discusses the relationship between choline and egg consumption and the importance of hydration and electrolytes. He also discusses the use of fish oil supplements to enhance brain function.
  • 00:30:00 The Huberman Lab discusses the benefits of nutrients for brain health and performance, including liquid fish oil, choline, creatine, and phosphatidylserine. The podcast suggests that people supplement with at least five grams of creatine per day to get the cognitive benefits.
  • 00:35:00 According to the video, creatine supplementation has been shown to improve cognition in people that are not getting creatine from animal sources. There is some evidence that creatine supplementation can also enhance cognition in people that are also eating animal products.
  • 00:40:00 This podcast discusses the benefits of nutrients for brain health and performance, including blueberry extract, glutamine, EPA and DHA fatty acids, phosphatidylserine, choline, creatine, and anthocyanins. A study published in 2019 found that anthocyanins may offset cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients, and that glutamine can offset sugar cravings. Supplements of glutamine may help improve cognitive function in people who suffer from apnea, a condition that can lead to cognitive decline.
  • 00:45:00 This video discusses the importance of nutrients for brain health and performance, and reviews research showing that glutamine, among other nutrients, can offset the negative effects of sleep apnea. It mentions that all of these nutrients can be found in food, and that supplementation is not necessary for most people.
  • 00:50:00 The video discusses how the senses of taste, bitter, sweet, umami, salty, and sour are transduced into electrical signals and sent to the brain. The gustatory nerve sends information about what is being tasted to the insular cortex, which is responsible for interoception, or our perception of what's going on inside our body.
  • 00:55:00 The Zuker Lab studies how neurons in the brain respond to different flavors and tastes, and how this affects the preference for those flavors. They found that the preference for a flavor is not directly related to the taste on the tongue or in the deeper layers of the brain, but is instead a result of coordinated activity between the body and brain. This allows for changes in taste preference by rewiring the brain's reward systems.

01:00:00 - 01:40:00

The Huberman Lab discusses how different foods and compounds impact brain health, both in the short and long term. They also talk about how food preferences are formed and how they can be changed. Finally, they mention their partnership with Thorne, a company that produces quality supplements.

  • 01:00:00 The video discusses how the gut nervous system (GNS) regulates food intake and digestion. Neuropod cells in the GNS respond to amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids in food, and send signals to the brain that trigger the release of dopamine. These neurons are also involved in signaling when a food is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 01:05:00 The Huberman Lab discusses the benefits of consuming fermented foods, which include enhancing the quality of the gut mucosal lining and promoting the gut microbiota that are not good for us to flourish. The work has been carried out in mouse models and in parallel experiments in humans. Sugar-containing beverages are preferentially consumed by mice and humans, and this preference is driven by the nutrient and taste content of the beverages.
  • 01:10:00 This video discusses how the brain is motivated to pursue things, including snacks and food, based on their impact on blood sugar levels. The video also discusses how artificial sweeteners can have different effects on the brain depending on if they are consumed as a standalone sweetener or as part of a meal.
  • 01:15:00 Research suggests that artificial sweeteners can lead to the development of addiction-like behavior in humans, as well as increased blood sugar levels. The study also found that consuming artificial sweeteners with food can increase insulin levels, which can lead to pre-diabetes.
  • 01:20:00 The Huberman Lab discusses how consuming artificial sweeteners can disrupt blood sugar management, and how this can have negative consequences for brain health and performance. The paper referenced discusses how short-term consumption of sucralose with carbohydrate impairs neural and metabolic sensitivity to sugar in humans. This research is important as it highlights the importance of Match or Mismatch between perceived taste and effect on blood sugar and metabolism.
  • 01:25:00 The article discusses how nutrients for brain health and performance can be affected by how the individual perceives the food. Huberman Lab's 42nd podcast discusses this in more detail. The effect of this on how the food tastes and how the body utilizes it is still unknown, but is something to consider.
  • 01:30:00 The video discusses the idea that beliefs about foods can affect how our brain works, and that this is not simply a placebo effect. According to the data in humans, ingesting foods that are good for us can quickly induce a subjective experience of liking them more. This has important implications for the way we perceive and interact with food, and can help us to make healthier choices for our overall health and well-being.
  • 01:35:00 The Huberman Lab discusses how different foods and compounds within foods impacts immediate and long-term brain health. They also discuss how food preference is determined and how to reshape it.
  • 01:40:00 The Huberman Lab partners with Thorne to provide high-quality, safe supplements that athletes and others can trust. If you're interested in supplements that Andrew uses, you can find them at and get 20% off your purchase. Finally, thank you for your interest in science.

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