Salud Mental

Contents by Year, Volume and Issue

Table of Contents

General Information

Instructions for Authors

Message to Editor

Editorial Board

>Journals >Salud Mental >Year 2013, Issue 2

Prospéro-García O, Méndez DM, Alvarado CI, Pérez MM, López JJ, Ruiz CAE
Inteligencia para la alimentación, alimentación para la inteligencia
Salud Mental 2013; 36 (2)

Language: Español
References: 29
Page: 101-107
PDF: 243.14 Kb.

[Full text - PDF]


Eating is a behavior oriented to get the energy necessary for the organism to survive and to contend with the demands of its environment. Food, besides of energy, provides structure and function, as amino acids are converted into structural or secretion proteins or enzymes. These proteins are synthesized following a strict genetic code. Variants in the genome happen frequently, but only those changes that result in a poor adaptive phenotype are well documented. There are other changes that may go unnoticed due to culture influence, and they may be seen as adaptive because they seem to favor individuals in the short-term. A child that overeats and becomes overweighed is culturally appreciated as a healthy child. However, systematic studies have shown that these feeding styles influenced by culture, in the longterm, result on an irreversible damage to the individual.
Food selection also depends on the functioning of homeostatic and hedonistic systems. The homeostatic system involves the hypothalamus that includes nuclei that promote both appetite and satiety. The hedonic system is constituted by the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens. Stimulation of the ventral tegmental area induces the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens, making the individual to experience pleasure. This system also interacts with the hypothalamic systems that promote appetite.
As it can be seen, food intake is regulated by diverse cerebral systems that are under the influence of one another. Failure in one of these systems may lead the subject to a compulsive, or defective, food intake. We have allowed media and mercantilist interests to govern our diet, instead of allowing our brain and its systems to do it. We should have psycoeducation as a priority in medicine to improve our capacity to select better quality food to eat, without compromising the pleasure of eating.

Key words: Reward system, hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, orbitofrontal cortex.


  1. Clark D, Beyene Y, WoldeGabriel G, Hart W et al. Stratigraphic, chronological and behavioural contexts of Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia. Nature 2003;423:747-752.

  2. Mair W, Dillin A. Aging and survival: The genetics of life span extension by dietary restriction. Annu Rev Biochem 2008;77:727-754.

  3. Katz ES, D’Ambrosio CM. Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Clin Chest Med 2011;31:221-234.

  4. Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: An instrumental variables approach. J Health Eco 2011 Oct 20 [Epub ahead of print]

  5. Rankinen T, Bouchard C. Genetics of food intake and eating behavior phenotypes in humans. Annu Rev Nutr 2006;26:413–434.

  6. Méndez Díaz M, Ruiz Contreras AE, Prieto Gómez B, Romano A et al. El cerebro y las drogas, sus mecanismos neurobiológicos. Salud Mental 2010;33:451-456.

  7. Bermúdez-Rattoni F, Ramírez-Lugo L, Gutiérrez R, Miranda MI. Molecular signals into the insular cortex and amygdala during aversive gustatory memory formation. Cell Mol Neurobiol 2004;24:25-36.

  8. Tremblay L, Schultz W. Relative reward preference in primate orbitofrontal cortex. Nature 1999;398:704–708.

  9. Minamimoto T, Hori Y, Kimura M. Complementary process to response bias in the centromedian nucleus of the thalamus. Science 2005;308:1798-1801.

  10. Naqvi AZ, Harty B, Mukamal KJ, Stoddard AM et al. Monounsaturated, trans, and saturated Fatty acids and cognitive decline in women. J Am Geriatr Soc 2011;59:837-843.

  11. Zhang W, Li P, Hu X, Zhang F et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain: metabolism and neuroprotection. Front Biosci 2011;17:2653-2670.

  12. Jurdak N, Lichtenstein AH, Kanarek RB. Diet-induced obesity and spatial cognition in young male rats. Nutr Neurosci 2008;11:48-54.

  13. Mobbs O, Iglesias K, Golay A, Van der Linden M. Cognitive deficits in obese persons with and without binge eating disorder. Investigation using a mental flexibility task. Appetite 2011;57:263-271.

  14. Valladolid-Acebes I, Merino B, Principato A, Fole A et al. High-fat diets induce changes in hippocampal glutamate metabolism and neurotransmission. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2012;302:E396-E402.

  15. Yilmaz N, Vural H, Yilmaz M, Sutcu R et al. Calorie restriction modulates hippocampal NMDA receptors in diet-induced obese rats. J Recept Signal Transduct Res 2011;31:214-219.

  16. Aron AR, Robbins TW, Poldrack RA. Inhibition and the right inferior frontal cortex. Trends Cogn Sci 2004;8:170-177.

  17. Balcita-Pedicino JJ, Omelchenko N, Bell R, Sesack SR. The inhibitory influence of the lateral habenula on midbrain dopamine cells: Ultrastructural evidence for indirect mediation via the rostromedial mesopontine tegmental nucleus. J Comp Neurol 2011;519:1143-1164.

  18. Li B, Chen F, Ye J, Chen X et al. The modulation of orexin A on HCN currents of pyramidal neurons in mouse prelimbic cortex. Cereb Cortex 2010;20:1756-1767.

  19. Akbari E, Naghdi N, Motamedi F. Functional inactivation of orexin 1 receptors in CA1 region impairs acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in Morris water maze task. Behav Brain Res 2006;173:47-52.

  20. Akbari E, Naghdi N, Motamedi F. The selective orexin 1 receptor antagonist SB-334867-A impairs acquisition and consolidation but not retrieval of spatial memory in Morris water maze. Peptides 2007;28:650-656.

  21. Deadwyler SA, Porrino L, Siegel JM, Hampson RE. Systemic and nasal delivery of orexin-A (Hypocretin-1) reduces the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance in nonhuman primates. J Neurosci2007; 27:14239-14247.

  22. Wayner MJ, Armstrong DL, Phelix CF, Oomura Y. Orexin-A (Hypocretin- 1) and leptin enhance LTP in the dentate gyrus of rats in vivo. Peptides 2004;25:991-996.

  23. Harvey J, Solovyova N, Irving A. Leptin and its role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Prog Lipid Res 2006;45:369-378.

  24. Premack D, Woodruff G. Chimpanzee problem-solving: a test for comprehension. Science 1978;202:532-535.

  25. Abu-Akel A, Shamay-Tsoory S. Neuroanatomical and neurochemical bases of theory of mind. Neuropsychologia 2011;49:2971-2984.

  26. Bandura A. Social learning theory. New York: General Learning Press; 1977.

  27. Umiltà MA, Kohler E, Gallese V, Fogassi L et al. I know what you are doing. A neurophysiological study. Neuron 2001;31:155-165.

  28. Allen JS. “Theory of food” as a neurocognitive adaptation. American J of Human Biol 2012;24:123-129.

  29. Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Baler RD. Reward, dopamine and the control of food intake: implications for obesity. Trends Cogn Sci 2011;15:37-46.

>Journals >Salud Mental >Year 2013, Issue 2

· Journal Index 
· Links 

Copyright 2019