Chris Masterjohn, Phd. talks about Nutrition in Neuroscience
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Chris Masterjohn, Phd. talks about Nutrition in Neuroscience

Nutrition has a HUGE impact on your brain!

Everything in your brain is something you ate, something you made from something you ate, or, in a few cases, something your mother ate. Nutrition impacts your mental and emotional health, the function of your five senses, and your conscious and unconscious control over your body movements.

Join me as I lead you in a safari through the textbook, “Neuroscience,” pointing out along the way all the interesting connections to nutrition. Listen in for part 1 on the basic cellular functions of neurons!

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This episode is brought to you by US Wellness Meats. I use their liverwurst as a convenient way to make a sustainable habit of eating a diversity of organ meats. They also have a milder braunschweiger and an even milder head cheese that gives you similar benefits, as well as a wide array of other meat products, all from animals raised on pasture. Head to and enter promo code “Chris” at checkout to get a 15% discount on any order that is at least 7 pounds and is at least $75 after applying the discount but under 40 pounds (it can be 39.99 lbs, but not 40). You can use this discount code not once, but twice!

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Nutrition in Neuroscience Show Notes

00:37 Cliff Notes

14:55 The primary type of cell in the nervous system is the neuron.

16:32 Glial cells are the assistants of the nervous system.

17:22 Cells in the nervous system are polarized.

18:54 Mitochondria are typically only located at the synapse of neurons and in the middle of photoreceptors; creatine is important for transporting energy in a cell where ATP production is highly polarized.

26:43 Sources of creatine

28:13 Brief overview of how to support methylation

31:06 The polarization of astrocytes and the obligate need for glucose in the brain

37:33 Electrical signaling, resting membrane potential, depolarization, threshold potential, hyperpolarization, and the importance of sodium, potassium, and chloride

45:13 How to get enough sodium, chloride, and potassium in the diet

53:51 The sodium-potassium ATPase uses ATP to pump three sodium ions out of the cell and two potassium ions into the cell, so magnesium and all of the nutrients involved in energy metabolism are important.

58:44 How action potentials propagate

01:03:40 Myelin and the importance of cholesterol

01:06:53 Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder of cholesterol synthesis that results in neurological problems that are corrected by dietary cholesterol.

01:09:32 Calcium acts as a second messenger in the nervous system, and the cytosolic calcium concentration has to be kept very low for this to work, which requires ATP energy.

01:14:22 Other roles of calcium in the nervous system

01:15:34 Sufficient dietary calcium and ATP energy are needed to support the second messenger roles of calcium.

Nutrition in Neuroscience Links

The textbook, Neuroscience.

Mastering Nutrition Episode 48: Creatine: Far More Than a Performance Enhancer

Consuming Creatine in Foods and Supplements, with the internet’s first searchable database of creatine in foods.

Masterclass With Masterjohn 2.34: This is Why We Make Ketones, on why the polarization of astrocytes means the glucose requirement of the brain can never be brought down to zero.

Start Here for Methylation has all my methylation resources collected into one place.

Chris Masterjohn Lite: Why Salt Raises Blood Pressure in Some People

Chris Masterjohn Lite: 3 Ways to Get Enough Potassium

Chris Masterjohn Lite: The Best Way to Supplement With Potassium

When the Brain Is Hungry for Cholesterol describes how dietary cholesterol can become meaningful to the brain when it’s demand for cholesterol is increased above normal.

Research paper: Dietary cholesterol promotes repair of demyelinated lesions in the adult brain.

Several episodes on calcium.

Several episodes on thiamin (vitamin B1).

Chris Masterjohn Lite: How to Manage Your Vitamin B6 Status.

The ongoing masterclass on energy metabolism.    

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  1. Hi Chris,

    When you mention transcripts for the mastering nutrition class are you referencing the Cliff Notes, as they only include summary statements and location on the podcast or video?


  2. At 00:29:02 you say that one needs between 0.5 and 1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Should that not rather be per kilogram body weight?

  3. Hi Chris,

    You mentioned that

    “You can get enough potassium by emphasizing fruits, veggies, legumes, potatoes, and lean proteins, while keeping grains low, only using whole grains and never refined, and keeping fat & sugar low.”

    Reading Weston Price’s work, he observed a couple of ancestral populations that maintained robust health on grains that were stone-ground and then slow-fermented (a Swiss population comes to mind). Would slow-fermented wheat / rye count as a refined grain?

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