Modulating adult neurogenesis (development of new brain cells) through dietary interventions for hunters?

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Extending Your Hunting Lifespan

Article Review

Purpose: For Extending your hunting lifespan

The purpose of the article I reviewed was to discuss the relationship between neurogenesis, dietary interventions, and your hunting lifespan. Neurogenesis is the development of new brain tissue in specific areas of the brain such as the sub ventricular zone lining the lateral ventricles, the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus, and the median eminence in the hypothalamus.

These three structures are the site for repairing neurons (brain cells) that have been damaged in the brain through neural stem cells (superheroes). In simple terms, there are three locations in the brain where new brain cell development takes place. If neurogenesis is not working efficiently, there is a chance that specific illnesses may arise such as obesity, depression, and decline of cognitive abilities. All of which would decrease the lifespan of a hunter.

By modifying lifestyle choices from a nutritional standpoint in favor of neurogenesis, the neural stem cells can work efficiently at repairing damaged neurons (brain cells). We know that making nutritional choices is incredibly challenging especially when you were raised on certain foods. However, we must keep in mind that slowly making better choices with the quality of foods you consume pays off in the long run as diseases are minimized when doing so.

Dietary components to consider when improving neurogenesis (development of new brain cells) are the consumption of foods containing: curcumin, resveratrol, polyphenols, and flavonoids. Examples of foods that hunters can incorporate that possess these components could be: Turmeric (curcumin), Dark Chocolate (resveratrol), Blueberries (polyphenols), and Green Tea (flavonoids). This is just a starting point for you as there are many others you can incorporate with these components. Research shows foods containing these compounds have a positive influence on neurogenesis by lowering inflammation levels and improving cognitive functioning. Sounds pretty darn ideal for a hunter looking to extend their lifespan to continue doing what they love!

Along with supplementing these compounds, the authors of the study suggest energy restriction by means of reducing caloric intake by 20-40% has been shown to promote neurogenesis and extend the lifespan of many organisms. Meaning, eat less and don’t eat till your full. Eat till you are content. This reduction in caloric intake can also occur through intermittent fasting techniques such as time restricted eating which I discussed on a previous article review.

The authors believe when an individual reduces caloric intake of foods, the brain will increase the number of neurons due to the reduction in oxidative stress. When you eat, the blood of your body heads for your stomach and focuses on digesting and not recovering other tissues. This doesn’t mean never eat. This means the evidence behind intermittent fasting or not eating till you are full should maybe be considered. In the off-season, this reduction of calories would be worth considering. In-season, is a different story depending on the length and physical exertion of your hunt. This idea of reduction of calories for promoting neurogenesis (development of new brain cells) as expressed by the authors needs future research to confirm its validity.

Lastly, the authors discuss the important role in gut microbiota (bacteria colony in your stomach) from the perspective of an individual’s physiology as it shows promise for improving neural (brain cell) functioning. Meaning, the gut microbiota is thought to play a significant role in regulating your metabolism by absorbing the nutrients in foods more efficiently which therefore could lead to lower levels of inflammation. How does this have anything to do with neurogenesis and hunters you ask? Gut microbiota are also considered to communicate with the brain in relation to homeostasis. So, if you do not provide your gut microbiota (bacteria colony in your stomach) with the nutrients they prefer (fiber from plants) then there is a chance inflammation will begin to cultivate within yourself. The brain is one of the first organs to be affected by systemic inflammation as expressed by the authors from analyzing clinical trials. So not eating the foods your gut microbiota likes means more inflammation in your stomach which therefore means the brain is affected in a negative context which won’t be promising for activating neurogenesis.

Conclusion

The information provided is incredibly practical as it offers insight on a new emerging topic (neurogenesis) that could have the potential to positively impact a hunter’s health and longevity. Neurogenesis is under the umbrella of nutrigenomics which is one of my background areas. With this is mind, the information presented is valuable for me as a hunter who is an advocate that neurogenesis can contribute to extending your hunting lifespan.

Overall Assessment

In my opinion, the information presented in the article provides insight on the potential benefits of consuming specific dietary compounds to enhance neurogenesis. As a strength, the authors presented the content in a simplistic manner by giving the reader a foundation of knowledge starting with what neurogenesis is, regulation of neurogenesis, dietary influences on neurogenesis, and future research regarding gut microbiota impacting neurogenesis. The main points covered in the article were articulated clearly. Ultimately as a hunter, I hope to utilize and convey the information in the article to other hunters as I feel it could have a tremendous impact on hunters and the quality of their life.

References

Heberden, C. (2016). Modulating adult neurogenesis through dietary interventions. Nutrition Research Reviews, 29(2), 163-171.

Disclaimer: The information provided from ANION is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; the content presented from ANION is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare professional with questions you may have regarding a medical condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.