Researchers from MIT conducted a study this past summer to look at whether healthy food intake was related to increased intelligence in gerbils. The researchers gave one group of gerbils beets, choline and fish oil products. The other group of gerbils did not get these nutrients. Four weeks later they tested them for increased learning by, for example, seeing how well they navigated a maze. The gerbils with with the healthy diet had improved learning. This was not true of the other group. The researchers further validated their results by dissecting the gerbils and finding that there was more brain cell activity in the gerbils that had eaten the health promoting nutrients. Obviously studies of this nature would not be ethically feasible with humans. However, the researchers feel that the findings can be generalized to people. The study shows that the familiar saying “you are what you eat” is literal – it can be visibly observed in the brain.
You can read more about the study here.
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