According to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan, the human desire to commit suicide can be caused by an excess of glutamate in the brain. Glutamate — one of the amino acids the body needs, coming from the food. A derivative of this substance is well known monosodium glutamate, as we know, is a common food additive.
Modern doctors are sounding the alarm: the suicide firmly established in the top ten most common causes of death. In search of an answer to the question of why people increasingly take their own lives, a lot of scientists have put forward hypotheses that blame the stress caused by the pressure of big cities, the impact of digital technologies that enhance fragmentation and isolation of people, and even failure in metabolism. Ironically, the latter theory makes sense.
In an article published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the staff of the University of Michigan examined relationship excess neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain and traction to suicide. It is known that glutamate work dependent on the presence of quinolinic acid: it induces cell intensive use of this neurotransmitter. The more human organism of this acid, the more intense on neural circuits run glutamate pulses.
The researchers tested the levels of quinolinic acid in cerebrospinal fluid of hundreds of patients. Two-thirds of them were in a hospital bed after a failed suicide attempt, the others were hospitalized with other problems.
As it turned out, the level of quinolinic acid (and hence the activity of glutamate pulses) is directly correlated with a propensity for suicide. Those who tried to commit suicide, the level of this acid was on average two times higher. In addition, the researchers found, the greater the quinolinic acid was found in the patient, the more painful thoughts overwhelmed him.
Six months later, the scientists re-examined the same people. Who has thoughts of suicide, by their own admission, have disappeared, they have declined and the level of quinolinic acid and neurotransmitter glutamate, respectively. In view of these data, it became clear why inflammation in nerve tissue factor often leading to suicide statistics: during this process and increases the content of quinolinic acid. The scientists added that if the disposal of psychiatrists were effective blockers of glutamine or perceiving its receptors, it may be possible to save many lives. From now known substances such property has a drug ketamine, but for obvious reasons it can not be considered an effective remedy for "the prevention of suicide."
The well-known derivative of glutamic acid — MSG — has a distinct meat flavor and is used in factory production of sauces, sausages, semi-finished products and a variety of other products. It is unclear whether the effect on the risk of suicide consuming supplements with glutamate. However, the relationship between malnutrition and depression has long been proved. This phenomenon has a number of reasons.
First, excessive consumption of red meat and heavy greasy fast food does not have time to digest the food completely, and in the intestine begins the emission of toxic substances of protein nature. Being absorbed into the bloodstream, they depress the nervous system, causing increased fatigue, irritability and depression.
Eating sweets, too, can lead to a nervous breakdown. "Quick" carbs are the property almost immediately absorbed and dramatically raise the level of glucose in the blood, which leads to a transient rise in mood and tide energy. Unfortunately, after two or three hours after eating dessert sugar level falls too sharply, causing an equally sharp decline in mood and fatigue.
Wanting to duplicate the effect of a person leans back on sweets, and "pendulum" mood swings all the stronger. If sweets also contain a high percentage of fat as pastries and cream cakes, they have a similar narcotic sedative effect.
This feature of fatty foods, according to nutritionists, is not only connected with the processes of digestion, but also secured evolutionary. Fatty meats and other hearty foods rarely fall to our ancestors; such luck meant that you can finally eat to satiety and for a time not to be afraid of starving to death. However, this sedative effect lasts long, and fatty food is addictive.
"Sugar, salt and fat stimulate the brain, soothe and relieve stress, thereby causing addiction. Instinct is powerless against them: the more sweets we eat, the more and more you want," — says Eugene Kobylyatskaya nutritionist. Alone mood swings caused by frequent use of fat and sweet, can shatter the psyche, and it is often added to the natural weight gain, which also does not add to the positive.
In 2011, published the results of a six-year experiment of the Canadian and Spanish scientists, during which the researchers observed 12,000 fast food lovers. In these volunteers, there was virtually no other risk factors — they are not drinking alcohol, not smoking, and during follow-up did not experience severe stress.
It would seem that the effect on the psyche of food can be harmful if the person as a whole is healthy, does not suffer from alcoholism and not going through life dramas? However, the 657 volunteers during that time have experienced severe depression, and with some it's happened a few times in six years. Scientists tend to blame it is fast food, and most of all — trans fats contained in prepared sauces and spreads, margarine and mayonnaise. These substances, according to experts, disturb the metabolic processes in the body and provoke adverse changes in the central nervous system.
Taking into account the data on the connection junk food with depression, as well as the latest news about the correlation of suicidal intent with an excess of glutamic acid, the hypothesis that the banal food additive may bring to commit suicide, it seems not so ridiculous. However, to make such conclusions can be then, when the results of further research. In the meantime, scientists are looking for mechanisms that can suppress the negative activity of glutamic acid in the brain.