Your Brain on Food by Gary L. Wenk

Your Brain on Food by Gary L. Wenk

Table of Contents

Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings 3rd Edition

Your Brain on Food – An internationally renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Wenk has been educating college and medical students about the brain and lecturing around the world for more than forty years. He has published over three hundred publications on the effects of drugs upon the brain. This essential book vividly demonstrates how a little knowledge about the foods and drugs we eat can teach us a lot about how our brain functions.

The information is presented in an irreverent and non-judgmental manner that makes it highly accessible to high school teenagers, inquisitive college students and worried parents. Dr. Wenk has skillfully blended the highest scholarly standards with illuminating insights, gentle humor and welcome simplicity. The intersection between brain science, drugs, food and our cultural and religious traditions is plainly illustrated in an entirely new light. Wenk tackles fundamental questions, including:

· Why do you wake up tired from a good long sleep and why does your sleepy brain crave coffee and donuts?
· How can understanding a voodoo curse explain why it is so hard to stop smoking?
· Why is a vegetarian or gluten-free diet not always the healthier option for the brain?
· How can liposuction improve brain function? 
· What is the connection between nature’s hallucinogens and religiosity?
· Why does marijuana impair your memory now but protect your memory later in life?
· Why do some foods produce nightmares? 
· What are the effects of diet and obesity upon the brains of infants and children?
· Are some foods better to eat after traumatic brain injury?

Editorial Reviews


“The quality of the information in this book is impressive. I appreciate how the author addresses some of the mainstream supplements and their true effect on the brain.” — Doody’s

— Scientific American MIND
“All of us are impacted by a bewildering array of psychoactive drugs and foods, some being agents of abuse and others being of importance in treating disease. Gary Wenk, a nationally eminent neuroscientist, provides a gripping account of the neurotransmitters that enable neurons in the brain to talk to each other and shows how drugs as well as substances derived from foods exert their psychoactive influences.” 

— Solomon H. Snyder, MD, Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University
“An absolutely fascinating read peppered with gems of surprising information on how certain foods, plants, nicotine and drugs (legal and illegal) alter the very essence of your brain cells’ functioning and thus your behavior and mood. Don’t deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading it.” 

— Jean Carper, author of Your Miracle Brain and 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss
Your Brain on Food provides ample and important food for thought in a delightfully written reader-friendly style. Kernels of history sprinkled throughout the book provide both interest and insight into how our appetites influence our brains and, thus, our thoughts and actions. Gary Wenk has provided a compelling and much-needed antidote to commonly available misinformation about nutrients and brain function. Readers will be richly informed-as well as entertained.” 

— James L. McGaugh, Research Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine
“Wenk has written a book that is both accessible to readers with limited knowledge of the relevant science and also highly informative” 

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About the Author

Dr. Wenk is a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University. He is an internationally recognized research investigator of age-related brain disorders, an award-winning educator and author of more than 300 research articles and chapters. He served on the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University and was the Director of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory & Biological Basis of Behavior Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. Dr. Wenk was elected a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his distinguished contributions in the field of neuropharmacology, neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammatory processes. He has been interviewed about his work by Dr. Oz, NPR, WBZ, WJR, CBS, ABC, and CNN and currently serves on the State of Ohio Governor’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.

Originally published: July 2010

AuthorGary L. Wenk

Genre: Thesis