nutrition and intelligence

Luc.Krols krols at
Fri Jan 13 05:52:18 EST 1995

On Fri, 13 Jan 1995, Clemens Suter-Crazzolara wrote:

> > > > grenadine (=a lot of glucose, a color and a taste). It puts my brains in 
> > > > a boost tempo and I could study for longer periods. I never studied 
> > > > during the year so I had to study hard during the examination period. I 
> > > > think the effect is mainly because of the glucose because for your 
> > > > brains it is very important not to go under the 5 mM glucose level.
> > > > 
> > > Sounds like b***sh*t to me. Probably the placebo-effect, don't
> > > you think ?
> > 

 No, not at all. It is really quite clear to me. The glucose is the energy 
 and the vitamines are essential cofactors for the metabolism. Glucose 
 is very fast taken up into the blood and is the only substrate the brain 
 can metabolise. If you go under the 5 mM glucose border you will 
 start to feel dizzy and distracted and it takes some time for your 
 brains to recover.  Normally your liver takes care of the 5 mM. If it 
 reserves are not sufficient you will start to feel hungry. So, you will 
 need to eat. Everybody knows that you can't study with an empty stomach 
 nor with a full stomach. Doing this way, with the glucose, you can 
 permit to eat little to keep your intestins busy and yet you give 
 enough energy for those parts of your body that are really working while 
 you are studying: your brain. Together with the glucose you take up a lot 
 of wather which is a good carrier for the metabolites. I don't know how 
 you study, but have you ever calculated the effective 
 time per day that you were studying, without breaks or luchbreak? The 
 pure time that you are studying at your desk. In this way I could study 
 upto 16 effective hours per day. In this way information is soaked into 
 my brain. It works very good for me and for a friend with who I studied 
 It is not very scientific to call this bullshit. As a biochemist I can 
 say that it has a biochemical and fysiologic basis. 
> Perhaps as a biochemist you could also cite some literature instead 
> of experiments carried out on your self and 'a friend' ? Can you
> exclude that the sponge-like quality of your brain towards information
> isn't a placebo effect ?

The effect of glucose on the human brain is discribed widely in 
literature. Try MEDLINE. Very interesting experiments have been carried 
out on the effect of glucose and the quality of the sleep. Sleeping is a 
very important part in studying. The brain reorganises information. 
As for your so supposed placebo effect, If you more give fuel to an engine 
and it runs faster, is it a placebo effect? It has nothing to do with 
placebo's. Imagine a double blind controlled experiment, you don't need 
much imagination to see that people without glucose will perform worse.

As to the original question, testing the effect of nutrition on performance
should not be that difficult, but the effect of it to intelligence will 
be much more difficult. 


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