Despite accounting for only 2% of the total body weight of adults, the human brain burns more than 33% of the sugar in your blood known as glucose. Deficiencies in the availability of glucose to brain cells can result in serious problems in human behavior and cognitive function.
It’s important to realize that glucose is the primary source of fuel for all cells of the body. Brain cells however are particularly dependent of glucose. This is why many people who go too long of times between meals without eating, begin to experience altercations in their ability to concentrate, think clearly and have a balanced mood.
Protein Metabolic Types are especially in danger of hypoglycemia and blood sugar deregulation because they tend to burn glucose very quickly. If adequate amounts of fat and protein are not being consumed in the diet for protein types, there is the tendency for very erratic fluctuations of glucose levels and consequently altercations to mood, energy and mental clarity.
Carb Types don’t have problems with burning glucose quickly. In fact, many Carb Types have the opposite problem that Protein Types tend to suffer; Carb Types tend to burn glucose too SLOWLY. This should not suggest that Carb Types should eat a high carb/high sugar diet. But rather it means that the need for stimulation of glucose metabolism is greater than for protein types.
It should be understood that normalizing blood sugar levels is imperative for maintaining the strengths of personality. This was a major point in George Watson’s 1972 classic, ‘Nutrition and Your Mind’. When a person supplies the correct fuel in the form of protein, fat and carbohydrates relative to their type of metabolism, there is efficient energy that is produced. Over time supplying the body with the improper types of fuel relative to your individual metabolic needs can result in erratic fluctuations in cognitive function and behavior.
PMS, Glucose & Neurotransmitters
Another common health condition that results from unstable glucose levels is PMS or ‘pre-menstrual syndrome’. PMS most commonly results in altercations in mood and behavior as well as in physical pain. Nerve cells of the body are also dependent on glucose for normal functioning. When there is inadequate fuel being supplied to nerve cells, actual physical pain becomes a reality.
As stated earlier, adequate glucose is essential for normal brain functioning. When glucose supplies to the brain are altered, even in very small amounts, there also tends to be problems with the brain’s maintenance of its neurochemicals.
The neurotransmitter Dopamine is particularly responsible for emotional function and control as well as mental acuity. Dopamine is synthesized in part by the amino acid L-Tyrosine. Other critical neurotransmitters for behavior are Serotonin and Acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system. Protein Types who are parasympathetic dominant may tend to have erratic and unstable levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine will lower pulse rate, tending to make a parasympathetic dominant MORE parasympathetic, not a good thing. Acetylcholine is synthesized largely by the B-vitamin Choline and Acetyl-Coenzyme A, which is the energy produced from dietary fats. These 2 nutrients are critical for Protein Types, especially parasympathetic dominants.
Serotonin heavily influences and is influenced by insulin release of the pancreas. Erratic levels of blood sugar, can result in wild swings of this important neurotransmitter. Serotonin is synthesized with the amino acid L-Tryptophan.
Women who suffer from PMS can correct the problem by understanding that maintaining adequate and stable blood sugar is essential for energy production, as well as for the maintenance of the brain’s neurochemicals. This is why eating right for your type of metabolism is so critical. No one person requires exactly the same food and fuel as someone else. And, your body’s metabolic needs can and likely will change. It may be the case that women who are premenstrual may tend to experience greater fluctuations in their metabolism. This can become confusing for women, unless they understand their metabolic type and how it may change.
Controlling Blood Sugar
Getting off of the blood sugar roller coaster and creating glucose stability is vitally important for optimal mental acuity, energy production as well as any kind of physical activity and performance. Since we all need different fuel to balance our metabolic needs, the best thing to do is to learn what your metabolic type is and to eat accordingly to it. Once this begins to happen, energy production and blood sugar transitions from inefficient and erratic to efficient and highly stable.
In my nutrition practice, I teach people that blood sugar optimization is fundamental to creating balance in the body. Regardless of your health struggles, controlling your blood sugar is essential. How this is done depends on your body’s unique biochemical needs and the foods and nutrients that supply the cells of your body.