.The Greek physician Hippocrates (about 460 BC - 377 BC), known as the father of Medicine, is the author of the famous phrase: "Let your remedy be your food, and let your food be your remedy." With the advancement and better understanding of science, there was great interest in understanding the relationship between food and health on a molecular level.
Although already consolidated as therapies in the treatment of neurological disorders, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are able to modulate less than half of the neurometabolic overload caused by these diseases, suggesting that additional strategies are necessary to avoid and treat mental disorders.
We know that dietary factors and lifestyle changes help prevent or slow down the decline in brain function related to aging, which begins in middle age. Thus, nutritional neurology emerges providing clinically meaningful results in the management of relevant nutritional interventions in the prevention and treatment of neuropsychosomatic and neurodegenerative disorders.
Changes in dietary patterns, mediated by the bowel-brain axis, are able to modulate numerous neurological pathways, including the synthesis of various neurotransmitters, hormones and chemical elements, neurotransmission, immune function, oxidative stress, neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. In this way, strong evidence suggests that eating habits are relevant in the prognosis and treatment of common neurological disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolarity. In addition, recent studies examining associations between diet and mental disorders have shown healthy eating patterns being inversely associated with the risk of developing various neurological disorders.
Therefore, Nutraceutical intervention appears as a promising target in neuropsychosomatic mediation for the prevention of neurological disorders, and for this purpose we aim to provide an overview of the field of Neurological Nutrition as well as Nutrigenétic, Nutrigenómic and discuss the biological mechanisms that are probably modulated by the diet as to the use of foods and nutrients in promising neurological interventions, directing nutrition to stimulate the production of neurotransmitters, hormones and chemical elements that provide the proper functioning of the nervous system in general and the brain in particular.
The term "Nutrigenomics" refers to the study of how nutrients affect the expression of certain genes. Already "Nutrigenétic" is the study of how the body responds to certain nutrients based on a certain genetic profile.
Genomic research in the area of nutrition can be summarized in five principles:
1. Chemical compounds present in foods can act in the human genome directly and indirectly, by altering the expression of genes and / or their structure.
2. In certain circumstances, some foods may offer a risk factor to certain people.
3. Genes whose expression and control are linked to diet are susceptible genes. Abnormal variants of them may interfere with the incidence and progression of chronic diseases.
4. The degree to which diet can influence the balance between health and disease depends on the genetic profile of each individual.
5. Dietary interventions based on the individual's genetic information may be used to prevent, mitigate or even cure chronic diseases.
The genetic variations found between individuals, to a large extent, are timely modifications in the DNA sequence. These changes are responsible for the variations of phenotypes between different ethnic groups, and their different responses to a given food.
Today it is possible to do tests of nutrigenetics, they have as premise to validate through their genetic profile what better foods for themselves.