What makes your brain tick?

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What makes your brain tick?

Various investigations have established a relationship between diet and brain development and functions. Some examples include neural tube defects during early pregnancy due to folate deficiency, impairment of visual function in infants due to essential fatty acid deficiencyduring pregnancy and the effects of tryptophan or tyrosineintake on theproduction of the neurotransmitters.  However, taking these supplements randomly and without consulting your doctor could trigger side-effects and create an overall negative impact. It is important to check the potential toxicities of individual nutrients. On the basis of these studies, appropriate purity standards can be developed so that the risks associated with their consumption becomes negligible.

Prebiotics and probiotics: new concept in dietary supplements:

A probiotic is a microbial dietary supplement that beneficially affects the intestinal tract.  Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients and what they essentially do is selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of one or a number of bacteria in the colon. In other words we can say that prebiotics induce change in intestinal flora (bacteria). Commonly, probiotics are used to prepare fermented dairy products such as yogurt and other freeze-dried cultures. Researches are now trying to incorporate probiotics in fermented vegetable and meat products. These dietary supplements can help a lot by immunity enhancement and alleviation of lactose intolerance (intolerance to milk).

Though these studies are yet inadequate, they do suggest that that probiotics could even help in reducing the risk of rotavirus-induced diarrhea, and colon cancer. Evaluations continue to determine how these can be used as functional food ingredients.

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