Are we what we eat?
The food one eats modulates the way we think and perceive the world. I investigate how the food supplement tyrosine may enhance the way we control our thoughts and goal-directed behavior and why some people may benefit more than others from this intervention.
The “motto” underlying our research is that “we are what we eat” promoting the suggestive thought that the food one eats has a bearing on one's state of mind. We try to answer the question of how the food that we intake may modulate the way we think and perceive the world. She will focus on tyrosine, an amino acid (building blocks of proteins), which is contained in food such as fish, soy, eggs, milk and bananas. Tyrosine is the precursor (the chemical that precedes another compound in the biochemical pathway) of dopamine—the major modulator in regulating cognitive control, the way we control our thoughts and goal-directed behavior. We will try to prove in her research that the biological mechanism underlying the thought that “we are what we eat” resides in the interplay between tyrosine, dopaminergic supply, and cognitive functioning.