Food and Food Constituents, Acute Effects on Human Behavior
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA MILITARY NUTRITION DIV
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Scientific and popular interest in the effects of nutrients, food constituents, and nutritional supplements on the brain and behavior has been growing dramatically. The use of products sold as dietary supplements in the United States has become a multibillion-dollar industry. This growth can be attributed in part to a federal law passed in 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act DSHEA, deregulating the sale of nutritional supplements, as welt as a wide variety of other, naturally occurring compounds. Before DSHEA, the sale of supplements in the United States was highly regulated, and relatively few products were widely available. Now a whole range of dietary supplements, including many that are purported to affect the brain, can be purchased in virtually every pharmacy and supermarket in the United States. The more popular supplements claimed to affect CNS functions include the following individual amino acids herbal products such as ginkgo biloba, St. Johns wort, kava kava and ginseng weight loss products, which often include ephedrine and caffeine melatonin antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals. This article is focused on food constituents as opposed to dietary supplements, the distinction being that many so-called dietary supplements, as defined by DSHEA, are not naturally present in foods for example, melatonin, ginkgo biloba, ephedrine, St. Johns won, and kava kava. Many of these naturally occurring products would be classified as drugs if conventional, pre-DSHEA criteria were used. In fact, pure ephedrine is defined as a drug in the United States, but when the same compound is naturally present in an herbal product, it is classified as a dietary supplement. For legal and regulatory purposes, the definition of a dietarysupplement the United States, as defined by DSHEA, is extraordinarily broad.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition