Mind, fook and drugs

Number of ECTS:  6    Price:  720 € 
Teaching Language:  English  Place: Building J
Bellaterra Campus, 08193 Bellaterra

Teaching Period: 17 July to 4 August

Contact: summer@uab.cat

Teacher: Núria Ferré Suana

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Contents overview

Motivation of the Course
The main health problems we suffer are caused by our behavior, especially with regard to lifestyle, nutrition and activity. The main determinant of behavior is the brain, but it is also crucial in processes such as digestion, energy levels and activity. The most current health paradigms ignore the brain and the importance of learning and individual history, promoting such biases in the diet that are producing generations of obese, malnourished and depressed people, unable to develop healthy physical activity. It is time to recognize the failure of current approaches and make a paradigm shift. This is the aim of present course.

The course aims to make students able to understand and explain the role of the most common current foods and drugs in health deviations and consequent problems, and their negative effects on body composition and fitness. Likewise students will be able to define appropriate health goals and propose solutions to correct specific cases, with solutions based on diet and activity patterns.
In addition we propose a revision of a diet considered one of the healthiest, the Mediterranean; at the end of each lesson, we will provide a recipe of Catalan cuisine, so the student can, by his own experience, make a nutritional analysis. We also propose possible routes to visit the country, which allows a direct experience with these products.


  • On understanding behavior effects over body health
  • Psychobiology of energy intake and body weight
  • Hunger, diet and food choices, what are they telling us
  • The drugs: psychopharmacology of food intake
  • “Healthy” foods: fraud and true, economy and policy
  • The water, not so good. Psychobiology of body water
  • Suplements: homeostatic resources, drugs or placebo?
  • Sweat, urine and feces, what they reveal
  • Exhausting training and fasting, deconstructing or enhancing muscle
  • To eat as an omnivore: the best diet, this exists
  • Brain and health: listening to the body, what is it for?
  • Psychobiology of self-constructed health: changing obsolete paradigms

Teaching / learning activities

The lessons will consist of presentations, class discussion, and activity by the student, realization of an exercise for application or extension of the contents of each issue.
Exercise to be realized by the student:
  • Harris & Benedit equation aplication
  • Caloric intake and body weight study discrepancies
  • Experience that modifies the energy balance
  • Examples of internal medium alterations modifying the food prefferences
  • How many “healthy” toxins are you eating?
  • Calculating your water body content
  • Looking at some mineral and vitamin provided by your menu
  • Calculate energy expenditure of a day
  • Calculating your glucose burning capacity
  • Is your gut in good order?
  • What food preferences did you have, and what they mean
  • How to evaluate a permanent diet

The student must present the exercises performed after each lesson, and have a test (oral or written) over his view about the contents of the course

Links and references
To facilitate the access to the texts, all the bibliography is accessible via internet. More references and specifications will be given along the course

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_conditioning. Classical conditioning
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/. Linus Pauling Institute
http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/it-mmfiles/Steroid_Pathways.pdf. Synthesis of steroids
http://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/calories-burned. Calculator of Body Mass Index
http://metaboliced.com/2011/04/27/popping-the-food-bubble-4/. Marketing and fraud in nutrition
http://raypeat.com/. Paradigm change
http://metaboliced.com/2011/08/17/the-omnivores-solution/. Rationalizing nutrition
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1091498/. Human basal metabolism
http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/486041. Dairy products and body fat
http://www.functionalps.com/. Training center based on new paradigms
http://oceanplasma.org/documents/chemistry.html. Sea water and health
http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v57/n2s/full/1601904a.html. Cellular osmolality
https://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-the-dangers-of-salt-restriction/. Salt restriction
http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/gut-microbiome-bacteria-weight-loss. Endotoxemia
http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2004/3/awsi_death/Page-01. Bad Medicine
http://www.pnas.org/content/104/3/1057.full. Uncoupled mitochondria and muscle
https://www.supercentenarian.com/archive/pepck-c.html. Supermice, superfitness and longevity