Nutrition and Neurotransmitters: The Nutrient Bases of Behavior

by Michael D. Chafetz, Ph.D.

Prentice Hall Advanced Reference Series, 1990

Nutrition and Neurotransmitters is an amazing little textbook that author Dr. Mike Chafetz crafted not just with facts, but with ideas, in this classic volume that was ahead of its time.

Before it became popular to do so, he was looking at the growing evidence of how nutrients affect brain and behavior. In the authoritative Nutrition and Neurotransmitters Mike helps the reader ponder the myriad of connections between behavior, nutrition, and the way things can work or go faulty in the brain-behavior system. While Mike informed me that many of the facts are now out of date, it will be clear to any reader that Nutrition and Neurotransmitters is still quite informative for the reason stated in the introduction. “… it should be noted that this is more than a book of facts. The joining of nutrients and behavioral function into one research area is such a new proposition that this is of necessity also a book of ideas.”

The work covers “The Interactions of Diet, Brain, and Behavior,” and “Introduction to Neuroanatomy,” “Serotonin and Behavioral Quieting,” “Catecholamine and Behavioral Arousal,” “Acetylcholine: Diet Affects Memory and Movement,” and “Excitatory Amino Acids and GABA.” In Part III is on “Macronutrients” and Part IV on “Micronutrients,” with discussions and reviews of how these nutrients impact on cerebral activity and the biochemical conditions in the body and brain.

Nutrition and Neurotransmitters is still available for $72, or used for a song, from various sources on the web. A visit to “Neuroscience for Kids” will prove that some are still pointing to the information in this important reference.

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