The Effects Of Dietary Intake On The Production Of Neurotransmitters Related To The Onset Of Depression In Humans

2274 words - 9 pages

Effects of Dietary PAGE 6
Running head: EFFECTS OF DIET ON DEPRESSION ONSETThe Effects of Dietary Intake on the Production of Neurotransmitters Related to the Onset of Depression in HumansDavid Samuel FloresGranite State CollegeAbstractTo explore the effects of dietary intake on the production of neurotransmitters related to the onset of depression in humans, I have researched various scientific texts and websites detailing scientific studies relating to this issue. Despite our societal tendency to disregard depression as temporary and insignificant, A World Health Organization report identified depression as the "No. 1 cause of disability in the US and the third biggest, behind heart disease and strokes, in Europe ". (www.health-doc.com, 2008). With depression's increasing incidence throughout the United States and the rest of the world, more studies are being conducted to identify possible causes and treatments. One treatment is through diet therapy, which is based upon the idea that "illness may be treated by providing the body and the brain with the correct amount of nutrients". (www.psychiatry.ox.ac.uk, 2008). Thus, a deficiency of nutrients may truly be a major factor affecting the production of specific neurotransmitters and resulting in the onset of depression.The Effects of Dietary Intake on the Production of Neurotransmitters Related to the Onset of Depression in HumansDepression is a mood disorder characterized by a person's loss of interest in experiencing the things in life that they once found pleasurable, a lack of energy and motivation, and feelings of hopelessness. (Weiten, 2002). Depression is often accompanied by sleep disorders and feelings of greatly lowered self-worth. There are a myriad of factors which can contribute to the onset of depression. Common factors involved in the onset of depression are hormonal imbalances, genetic heredity, right hemispheric dominance in the brain, and varied neurotransmitter levels. (Kalat, 2007). With the hereditary factors involved in depression, the person is predisposed to becoming depressed through genes passed down from prior generations. The right brain dominance factor is a physiological situation where one side of the brain is more active than the other. While these two factors of depression do not appear to have any direct connections to a person's dietary intake, the factors of hormonal imbalance and one's neurotransmitter levels are directly related to diet. The levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in a person's body have been linked through various studies to the onset of depression.What is a healthy diet? This is an important question that many Americans have been mulling over for years. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines diet as: "a: food and drink regularly provided or consumed b: habitual nourishment c: the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason and d: a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to...

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