A brain food bar might help you forget the “downtime” at work, but what about the brain itself?
Scientists are developing a new bar that’s designed to enhance memory and cognitive function, and it might just be the answer to a simple question.
Brain food bar is being developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, the University at Buffalo, and the University Medical Center of Liege, Belgium.
The idea is to deliver brain-enhancing foods directly to the brain’s central nervous system, and in a lab, researchers are using the food bar to boost memory and cognition.
The food bar can also help reduce inflammation in the brain.
“We know that eating a healthy diet can increase the levels of the neurotransmitter GABA in the blood, which is a neurotransmitter that helps us maintain concentration,” said senior author Jonathan A. Pescosolido, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at UC San Francisco.
“And we know that the brain has GABA receptors, which can be activated by the food we eat.
And that’s where we have this interesting idea that food can help our brain maintain its ability to regulate our activity.”
The team is currently investigating the effects of food-based brain-food bars on cognition and learning in mice.
“Our results suggest that brain food bars might be able to increase the brain activity in the mice that are eating them, and perhaps to reduce the brain inflammation in these mice,” said Pesco.
“We don’t yet know if this would have the same effect in humans, but our hypothesis is that it would, and that’s what we’re working on now.”
The brain food is being tested in mice, and researchers are working on ways to replicate its effects in humans.
“Our ultimate goal is to test whether we can produce these effects in human patients, or maybe even a human with a neurodegenerative disorder,” said co-author Dr. Sarah L. C. O’Brien, an associate professor of neurobiology and neuropsychology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“But the main challenge is that these food bars are expensive and time-consuming to manufacture.”
The research team also hopes that the findings can be applied to the development of a more natural way to consume brain-based foods.
“I think it’s a very exciting idea, but it’s going to take a lot of work to actually make it practical,” said Dr. Daniel D. Reis, a postdoctoral researcher in the neuroscience department at UC Santa Cruz.
“This research is still very early in the research process.
We want to find out what the potential is before we start making it available to people.”