Thursday, May 11, 2006

FOR THE CRAZY MAKERS

As part of the research for her book, The Crazy Makers, Simontacchi conducted a study on the influence of diet on cognition and mood. She gave a test group of typical high school students -- who had been either skipping breakfast or grabbing a donut or some other carbohydrate-filled nutritionally devoid food -- a breakfast shake of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and omega- 3 fatty acids. She did a before-and-after comparison of their results on a standardized mood test (Profile of Mood States, or POMS), which measures, among other things, tension, anger, depression, hostility, fatigue and confusion. "The results were so good, we had to rerun the statistics to verify the findings," Simontacchi told me. "The drink made a significant difference in how these teenagers felt emotionally." Since low levels of certain amino acids and essential fats have been frequently shown in both animal and human studies to be associated with aggression, hostility and other behavior problems, the results were not surprising to her.

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