Eat Your Way Out of Addiction: Experts
Foods that help make neurotransmitters may assist treatment
By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Oct 17, 2008 8:14 PM CDT
Brown rice contains tryptophan, which helps produce seratonin, a neurotransmitter that is reduced in the brains of addicts. Some neuroscientists believe dietary changes can help fight addiction.   (Paul Cowan )
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(Newser) – Good grub may be enough to rewire an addict's brain. The trick is to serve up meals that revive pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters disrupted by addiction, neuroscientists say. Foods as simple as steak, milk, and nuts can boost the brain's production of serotonin or glutamine, both of which help addicts recover. But drug treatment centers are yet to catch on, the Economist reports.

More trials are needed, experts say, to test the link between nutrition and addiction—and so far they are not forthcoming. Drug companies are unwilling to pay to study an idea they cannot patent, and many governments give addicts little more than rhetoric. Luckily, an Oxford scientist is toying with diets in three prisons to see what evidence he can cook up.