Macronutrients

sunset
Sunset just north of Pittsburgh

A macronutrient is a substance required in large amounts by a living organism. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are macronutrients.

Protein:

Background:

I learned in my residency training that antidepressants are not effective in treating depression in people with severe anorexia. Why is that? Antidepressants work by giving the neurotransmitters, like serotonin, more time to cause their mood-boosting effects. The problem in anorexia is that these people aren’t eating proteins and therefore the building blocks of proteins called amino acids. Your body uses amino acids to make Serotonin! If the antidepressants give serotonin more time to cause its effects but your body hasn’t made any serotonin, then the antidepressant is going to be doing absolutely nothing!

Protein is therefore needed to make neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine.

Essential Fatty Acids:

Background:

The brain is the fattest organ in the human body. Grey matter contains around 50% fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the brain. This is usually obtained via fish oil, but vegetarian versions are available as well. I devoted an entire post to this because I have taken EPA and DHA supplements for one of my experiments.

How I found and addressed my own dietary issues

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