McCarrison Society

Health Through Nutrition, A Birthright

Video : Nutritional Armor — Brain and Behavior. CAPT Joseph Hibbeln, M.D

An excellent IHMC lecture from Joe Hibbeln (Capt. Joseph R. Hibbeln, M.D., USPHS Acting Chief, Section on Nutritional Neurosciences LMBB, NIAAA, NIH) one of the leading lights in science in this field, and responsible for supporting unfashionable but very important research in the fields of lipids.

His predecessor Professor Bill Lands has been steadfastly bringing this message for 50 or more years, and is a true visionary in the field.

“Everyone who has observed people knows that their behavior and emotions can change radically when hungry. However, our brains are highly complex metabolic organs that need specific nutrients and not just calories for optimal neurodevelopment and lifelong function. Internationally recognized NIH scientist CAPT Joseph Hibbeln, M.D. takes stock of the impact on mental health of deficits and excesses of brain specific nutrients in our current diets that substantially reduce emotional distress in modern societies. One in five children and one in four adults have mental disorders. Restoring historically normal intakes of omega-3 fatty acids can improve disruptive child behavioral problems including ADHD, by 40%, potentially reducing risk for a lifetime trajectory of disruptive behaviors. Dr. Hibbeln’s observation that the nutritional benefits of eating fish in pregnancy on higher IQ outweigh the small effect of trace mercury, is cited as foundational by The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, the World Health Organization and the FDA. Dr. Hibbeln originated the field of omega-3 fats in depressive disorders and is currently assessing the efficacy of omega-3 fats for reducing suicidal behaviors among US Veterans as the Co-PI of the BRAVO (Better Resilience Among Veterans on Omega-3’s) study. Brain critical nutrients for US military personnel may reduce the burden of mental health and substance abuse problems and increase their reliance to stress. Current diets of our poorest citizens may be especially impoverished in critical brain nutrients and impairing full utilization of educational and social opportunities.
CAPT Joseph R. Hibbeln, M.D. is the Acting Chief, Section of Nutritional Neurosciences Laboratory of Membrane Biophysics and Biochemistry, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland. He is physician, board-certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, a lipid biochemist, a nutritional epidemiologist, and he serves as a Captain in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). Dr. Hibbeln has authored more than 120 peer reviewed scientific articles.

Dr. Hibbeln is internationally recognized as originating the field of omega-3 fatty acids in depression and impulsive disorders. His active contributions toward understanding nutrition in mental health include being the Co-PI of the BRAVO study which is assessing efficacy of omega-3 fats in reducing risk of suicidal behaviors among US Veterans. He examines if nutrients essential to fundamental brain function can improve child neurodevelopment and reduce risk for aggression, addictive disorders and suicide. He seeks to determine if resuming historically normal intakes of essential fats might substantially reduce emotional distress in modern societies.”

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