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Food, Substance Addiction Breakthrough

From eNewsletter 4/10/2023

DID YOU KNOW that a study published late March in the European Journal of Nutrition found that of more than 6,000 cognitively healthy participants aged 40 to 73 who consumed more than 550 milligrams of magnesium each day had a brain age that was approximately one year younger by the time they reached 55 compared with someone with a normal magnesium intake of about 350 milligrams?

Researchers found this optimal magnesium intake could lead to less age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia.

Please note: 550 milligrams was total intake from food and dietary supplements.

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Steve Minsky MS, HWC

As a Health and Wellness Counselor, Steve analyzes and offer solutions to optimize not only the food you eat, but every aspect of your lifestyle, whether for prevention or healing. More info on Steve's services.


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  • Food, Substance Addiction Breakthrough

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Food, Substance Addiction Breakthrough

Steve: Scientists at The National Institutes of Health have identified genes commonly inherited for all forms of addiction, whether elicit substances or sugary foods.

Not surprisingly, they confirmed a combination of genes associated with the regulation of dopamine signaling. As you may recall from numerous articles written about dopamine in our newsletter, it is the "reward" neurotransmitter.

Discussing their results in Nature Mental Health, the authors state that addiction is heritable and influenced by complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors.

Along with addiction disorders, dopamine signaling mutations also predicted higher risk of mental and physical illness, including psychiatric disorders, suicidal behavior, respiratory disease, heart disease, and chronic pain conditions.

In children aged 9 or 10 years without any experience of addiction, these genes correlated with parental substance use and externalizing behavior. This underscores the importance of thinking about these disorders in tandem.

Parents should screen their kids for dopamine signaling when they're young to gauge risk so they can focus their efforts on fomenting positive dopamine signaling if necessary. There are a multitude of ways to prevent negative expression of dopamine signaling genes.

For example, one of the most important things parents can do is to get their children, teens, or young adults into a routine with activities that nourish the body and mind (i.e., free play, sports, art, science, spiritual). Young people who are inactive and have a lot of downtime are more susceptible to making negative choices that lead to addiction.

Another example is to limit exposure to high sugar foods, whether sweetened or artificially sweetened. A study in Cell Metabolism found that the brain's response to consistent exposure to high-sugar foods was greatly increased particularly because it hyper-excites dopamine signaling.

Even scarier is they found that the brain actually rewires itself through chronic consumption of high sugar foods because it provides such extreme dopamine reward. Thus, you will subconsciously want more and more of it.

No reason to despair. We have ways to optimize dopamine signaling with diet and lifestyle. We've been addressing this since we launched our Pure Genomics genetic screening over 5 years ago.

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