A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

November 20, 2008

Dr Russell Blaylock – Nutrition and Behavior

Dr Russell Blaylock Nutrition and Behavior

This blog offers background and supportive material to the topics raised in the video above. References are normally either put in place or added as footnotes, in case of controversy, I’ve added references in place as well as a footnote. The sources of the pictures not extracted from Blaylock’s lecture are accessible by clicking. All references present in this blog were added by me that were not explicitly supplied with the Blaylock video. My own occasional commentary will be given between square brackets, [like so].

Nutrition and Genes

Nutrition controls what genes are operative or not. Mothers help determine the character of the life of children already in the womb, depending on the quality of the food this can go either in a good direction or bad direction.[1][2]

Nutrition as fuel for the brain

  1. The nervous system is the most metabolically active organ in the body. It’s metabolism never ceases.
  2. Because of its high metabolism, the brain produces a lot of free radicals and lipid peroxidation generation. Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer, Parkinson, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, etc…) are characterized by high free radical generation, high lipid peroxidation.
  3. The brain consumes 20% of all oxygen in the blood, 25% of all the glucose in the blood while being only 2% of the body weight. [this article even claims 60%]
  4. Every component of the brain is constantly being replaced. Some lipids are replaced weekly.

Nutrition and behavior

  1. 1910 – George M Gould, MD, first mentioned connection between diet and behavior.
  2. 1935 – recognized that hypoglycemia could imitate anxiety neurosis, hysteria, neurasthenia, and even psychosis.
  3. 1973 – Dr Wendel and Beeb found 74% incidence of hypoglycemia with anxiety associated with schizophrenia.[3]

Hyperactivity-Behavior Connection

  1. 60% of members of families with hyperactive children have diabetes, obesity or alcoholism…. all sugar consumption problems.
  2. 75% of prisoners were hyperactive as children
  3. How excessive sugar consumption triggers hyperactivity [4]:

Crime and Nutrition

  1. Probation Violations: 56% while on a bad diet (junk food, lots of sugar); 8% while on a healthy diet
  2. In particular, probation violation by using narcotics. 47% while on a bad diet; 13% on healthy diet
  3. Dramatic reduction in suicides with improved diet
  4. Alabama Prison systems, change of diet:
    42% reduction in criminal events
    61% reduction in antisocial behavior at one year
  5. Case of Raymond who attempted murder of girlfriend
    Age 4 -spells of weakness so mother gives him a bit of sugar
    Age 13 – radical mood swings, his grades begin to fail
    Age 23 – attempts murder
    Diet: junk foods, donuts, pastries, candy and coffee
    After diet change – no further criminal activity
  6. Study of prison systems in 5 states
    Adult felons had deficiencies of Mg, Zn, folate or B6
    Violent offenders had 5 – 9 deficiencies in all 5 states. “The more violent the more deficient.”
  7. Oklahoma Children’s Center
    Change of diet resulted in 43% reduction in serious crime. Elimination of high fat and sucrose in diet.
  8. Brain Wave abnormalities (EEG) in felons
    • Went from 14 to 2 abnormalities in those with serious offenses through supplementation
    • In one child went from 6 to 0 abnormalities by giving a vitamin
    • Even marginal deficiencies could cause criminal behavior to surface.

Selenium and Behavior

  1. Deficiencies cause depression and confusion [preconceptual care]
  2. High selenium supplementation (227 ug/d) saw significant improvement in mood.
  3. Major role in brain function

Sugar Consumption and Behavior

  1. 1900 Americans consumed 4 pounds of sugar a year
  2. Now 129 pounds a year, 2500% increase [actually in 1999 it was already at 159 pounds a year]
  3. 57% of this comes from processed foods
  4. Leading source is fruit juices and sodas (43%)
  5. Since 1974 consumption of sodas has doubled
  6. Teenagers are drinking an equivalent of 54 teaspoons of sugar a day (nutritionists say not more than 10 teaspoons a day)
  7. Adults age 40-59 increased intake of soft drinks 250% between 1972 and 2001
  8. Over age 60+ increased 300%
  9. Sugar makes the body age faster. People with a high calorie diet have more Altheimer’s disease than normal people.
  10. Estimated that 50% of people have reactive hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia and Aggression

  1. Strong connection between alcohol abuse, hypoglycemia and criminal behavior
    97% of alcoholics are hypoglycemic vs 18% of controls are hypoglycemic
  2. When hypoglycemia is treated:
    71% attain sobriety
    25% for Alcoholics Anonymous
  3. Associated with aggression, especially those with temporal lobe dysfunction.
  4. Indians of Peru – 55% hypoglycemia and aggression very high
  5. Aspartame and MSG both stimulate insulin release from the pancreas and induce hypoglycemia and thus stimulates actual weight-gain.
  6. MSG induces intense rage with micro-injections into the hypothalamus
  7. In presence of hypoglycemia, MSG induced excito-toxicity is greatly magnified
  8. Several amino-acids can make you hypoglycemic: taurine, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine… the latter kind kills babies (sudden death) and it can kill adults


  1. Virkkunen 1983 Study of violent offenders in prison
    • In impulsive violent offenders, blood sugar fell suddenly and rose quickly after a glucose challenge
    • Antisocial offender had a fall in blood sugar that was slow to rise
  2. Ron Prinz University of Florida 1980
    • First to study effects of sugar in children
    • Children ate 40% of calories as sugar
    • The highest consumers of sugar (top 25%) demonstrated significantly poorer measures on attentiveness (hyperactive)
  3. Jane Goldman at the University of Connecticut 1986
    • Giving sugar equal to one coke; decline in mental performance by 30 minutes and highly significant at 1 hour (2x as many mistakes)
    • Harmful effect subsided at 1.5 hours
  4. Judith Wurtman found a strong correlation between sugar intake, behavior and brain serotonin levels
  5. Can create killer mice by lowering brain serotonin
  6. Dr Ralph Bolton studied the Quolla Indians in Andes of Peru, known to be very aggressive. Found that:
    • 55% of male population were hypoglycemic
    • Main diet was mostly potatoes (a very powerful hyoglycemic)
    • Docile males had a normal blood sugar
  7. Egger and Carter (1985) studied 76 hyperactive children who were placed on a low carbohydrate diet, which also eliminated food dyes
    • 82% of the children improved on diet and 28% returned to normal
    • Highest reaction:
      • Yellow dye #5 (tartrazine)
      • Sodium benzoate
    • Most common reactive foods:
      • Soybeans 73%
      • Cow’s milk 64%
      • Chocolate 59%
  8. College Male study Benton 1982
    • Screened for psychiatric history, drug use and medical conditions
    • Given questionnaire on aggressive behavior, hostility, anger and aggressive acts
    • Strong relationship between aggressive answers and hypoglycemia

Nutrients and Behavior: Amino Acids

  1. Tryptophan (precursor to neurotransmitter serotonin)

Nutrients and Behavior: Vitamins

  1. Niacin (vitamin B3)
  2. Vitamin C,D,E,K,A,B and carotenoids
    • All associated with behavioral manifestations when deficient, either in combination or alone
  3. B1 deficiency: Beri-Beri
    • Insomnia, depression, memory failure, chronic fatigue and personality change
  4. National Nutritional Survey of Adolescents
    • 60% deficient in iron
    • 57% in vitamin A
    • 43% in vitamin C
    • 39% in B1
    • 30% in protein
    • 16% in riboflavin

Research in Children

Study of 1.1 million NY Public school children found a daily multivitamin significantly increased CAT scores when sugar was also removed from diet

In the first three bars no dietary changes were implemented. In the first yellow bar, sugar was removed and some of the food dyes. The next bar, some more food dyes were removed. The next year no dietary changes were effected and the last year even more food additives were removed. The CAT scores improved dramatically with the removal of sugar and food additives.

Research in Adults

  1. Tucker et al 1990, found that deficiencies in thiamin and riboflavin impaired neuropsychological performance and altered EEG patterns in a significant number of adults
  2. Study of 260 adults age 60+ found association with status of vitamin C, riboflavin, B12, folic acid and concept learning
  3. Carotene showed a stronger correlation than vitamin A

Brain Allergies

  1. Food allergies associated with neurological effects
  2. Immune factors interact with the brain
  3. Food-triggered immune reactions: Lethargy, stupor, disorientation, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, agitation, rage, panic attacks, criminal behavior and even seizures
  4. Schizophrenia:
    • 88% allergic to wheat
    • 60% to milk
    • 50% to corn
    • 100% to gliadin or gluten
    • put on a gluten free diet almost all schizophreniacs returned to normal
  5. Food allergies often result in craving for the food causing the allergy
  6. Food allergies and hypoglycemia are linked (adrenal effect) [5]
  7. Leading foods for allergy
    • Milk (juvenile offenders drank more milk)
    • Wheat
    • Corn
    • Coffee
    • Eggs
    • Potato
    • Peanuts
    • Soy

Research Showing a Connection Between Nutritional Status and Brain Function

  1. Animals fed lard (animal fat) had impaired spatial learning, temporal memory
  2. Newer studies found impaired ability to learn and remember with saturated animal fats
  3. Omega-3 fats improved depression, memory retention and thinking (brain uses much omega-3 fats for its membrane)
  4. Animal fat absorb pesticides, industrial chemicals and herbicides
  5. DHA and arachidonic acid (omega 3 fats) in baby formulas to improve infant brain quality
  6. Low level of DHA in neurons correlated with violent behavior
  7. MSG injected into hypothalamus or amygdala could produce rage
  8. Lead is known to significantly increase violent behavior, suicide and juvenile delinquency

“N-3” and “N-6” stand for Omega-6 fatty acids (bad) and Omega-3 fatty acids (good), respectively.

References and Further Reading:

  1. Symposium Introduction: Nutrition and Gene Regulation
  2. Gene-nutrient interactions during fetal development
  3. W. Wendel and W. Beebe, ‘Glycolytic activity in schizophrenia’, In Orthomol Psychiatry, treatment of schizophrenia, Eds. Hawkins D & Pauling L. (1973)
  4. There seems to be some controversy on this topic. Read a scope of literature available on the Internet through Google, here.
  5. Hypoglycemia

Recommended Supplemental Video:

Nutrition and Criminal Behavior


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