The Economist reports on the role of nutrition in addiction treatment

The article, “Treatment on a Plate,” appeared in The Economist on October 16th.  The article reports on the role of nutrition in addiction treatment.

“A new approach that acknowledges the underlying biochemistry might improve this situation…Its tools are not drugs but dietary changes. The theory is that providing food rich in the precursors of lost neurotransmitters will boost the levels of those chemicals, and thus reduce craving.”

Dr. Aileen Burford-Mason, who prepared Nutrition and Meal Planning Guidelines for Pine River, writes,

Brain chemistry is very sensitive to poor nutrition. The nervous system, a huge circuit of elaborately interconnected cells (neurons, or nerve cells), controls the flow of information throughout the body. These cells manufacture neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, responsible for mood, sleep, memory, focus and functioning. They have calming and anti-depressant effects. It is because of the interaction of these molecules that we can reason, learn and remember, feel pleasure, sadness or remorse, and thus are capable of changing behaviour in response to cues from our surroundings.
Lack or imbalances of these neurotransmitters can reduce motivation and increase cravings for alcohol and drugs. The level of dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine in the brain has been known for more than 30 years to be dependent on a meal-by-meal intake of their precursor molecules (building blocks) as well as the balance of nutrients eaten together.”


To read “Treatment on a Plate” in The Economist, click here

To read Pine River Institute’s complete Nutrition and Meal Plan Guidelines, click here