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

Part 4 of how 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 2 on the COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS! Mental and emotional health, cognitive performance, and sleep!

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This episode is brought to you by Ancestral Supplements' “Living” Collagen. Our Native American ancestors believed that eating the organs from a healthy animal would support the health of the corresponding organ of the individual. Ancestral Supplements has a nose-to-tail product line of grass-fed liver, organs, “living” collagen, bone marrow and more… in the convenience of a capsule. For more information or to buy any of their products, go to

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Nutrition in Neuroscience Show Notes

00:39 Cliff Notes

12:08 Anatomy of the brain

16:41 The role of the basal ganglia in suppressing the investment of energy in any type of program until there is a worthwhile reason not to suppress it, and how dopamine acts as a signal of value in the basal ganglia via disinhibition

24:56 Why we can view Parkinson’s as fundamentally not a problem with movement but as a problem with a perception of the value of investing energy in controlling movement

28:23 Tonic and phasic dopamine and the importance of COMT-mediated methylation for regulating the tonic level of dopamine

36:34 The importance of GABA in suppressing the programs that dopamine doesn't signal has value in order to make the dopamine signal of value meaningful

37:28 Overview of the autonomic nervous system; the sympathetic nervous system mediates the fight-or-flight response, and the parasympathetic nervous system mediates the rest-and-digest response.

41:11 The roles of acetylcholine and norepinephrine in the autonomic nervous system, and the importance of nitric oxide to the sexual functions of the autonomic nervous system

44:28 Sleep and circadian rhythms, the importance of vitamin A, morning sun exposure, and avoiding blue light at night

48:12 Melatonin synthesis, the importance of vitamin B6, BH4, oxidative stress, vitamin B5, methylation, and tryptophan uptake into the brain

51:10 Why you can't mimic your natural melatonin rhythm with melatonin supplements

52:55 Antidiuretic hormone, the importance of light hygiene for preventing you from getting up to pee in the middle of the night, and why salt might also help

56:14 Whether the timing of carbohydrate, protein, and choline supplements makes a difference for your daytime wakefulness, your nighttime sleepiness, your deep sleep, and your REM sleep

01:00:44 The possibility that glycine and magnesium could help get rid of conditioned fear responses

01:01:30 Thoughts on consciousness; are we a ghost in the machine, or are we just a machine?

01:06:25 The default mode network is fundamentally about our inward, introverted-directed processes, contrasted with the executive control network, which is fundamentally about our relationship to the outside world and our extraverted functions.

01:10:52 How activities that had nothing to do with people skills but allowed me to flex my extroverted muscles, like exploring the outside world on my own, helped me with my people skills

01:16:48 Nutrition cannot replace the cognitive work necessary to have a healthy mindset and life, but nutrition does make it easier to do the right thing for your mental health.

Nutrition in Neuroscience Related Content

Mastering Nutrition: Methylate Your Way to Mental Health With Dopamine

Meat, Organs, Bones, and Skin: Nutrition for Mental Health

The Pursuit of Happiness: How Nutrient-dense Animal Fats Promote Mental and Emotional Health

Start Here for Methylation

Chris Masterjohn Lite: Your Nitric Oxide Genes, Blood Pressure, and Asthma covers nutrition for nitric oxide, which plays a role in the sexual functions of the autonomic nervous system.

Mastering Nutrition: Why You Should Manage Your Zinc Status and How to Do It covers the role of zinc in nitric oxide production

An assortment of other posts on zinc.

My recommendations for better sleep.

Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep, on the role of vitamin A in melanopsin function.

Mastering Nutrition Episode 10: How to Know if Your Genetics Contribute to Your Sensitivity to Blue Light and Poor Sleep, and What to Do About it on genetic variation in the melanopsin protein.

Mastering Nutrition: Why You Should Manage Your Zinc Status and How to Do It, since the opsin proteins are zinc-dependent.

Getting Better Sleep — Cool, Dark, And Lots of B6, Carbs, Calories, and Fat

Chris Masterjohn Lite: How to Manage Your Vitamin B6 Status

Masterclass With Masterjohn: The Antioxidant System

Mastering Nutrition: Why You Need Glycine — A Panel Discussion

Balancing Methionine and Glycine in Foods: The Database

Chris Masterjohn Lite: Get Better Sleep With Glycine

Chris Masterjohn Lite: How to Manage Your Magnesium Status

Nutrition in Neuroscience Research

The textbook, Neuroscience.

Impaired Locomotion and Dopamine Signaling in Retinoid Receptor Mutant Mice

What does dopamine mean?


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1 Comment

  1. So you had a zinc deficiency? And you took supplemental melatonin?
    That sound so much like me !
    It would be great if you discuss the details in a future episode – how did you get zinc deficient, how did you know you were and how did you fix it?

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