Brain Health

Your Brain Health is critical and should be protected.

The brain is the command center of the nervous system and supports all the body systems and functions.

The nervous system is a complex collection of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that transmit signals between different parts of the body. It receives and sends signals all over the body to keep you safe and healthy.

The brain supports learning and cognition and stores memories.

Just like all our other organs, the brain can become diseased either because of trauma, an excess of damaging molecules (toxins and excess of sugar) or organisms (chronic infection and dysbiosis/imbalance in the normal flora). A lack of what it needs to function and repair leaves the brain vulnerable.

The brain does have the ability to heal (regenerate) and form new brain cells. This means that you can keep your brain healthy and all its functions optimal.

Repair occurs as a result of neuroplasticity and with the support of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt, rewire, rebuild and reorganize both its structure and function. Repeated patterns, exercise, thoughts, emotions, learning activities, life experiences, social interactions and nutrition influence this ability.

BDNF is a protein (neurochemical) produced inside the nerve cells. It is essential for optimal brain function and regeneration. It improves neuron growth and function and improve the signals between neurons by binding to receptors at the synapses (junctions between neurons)

Mitochondria is the power production organelles (generate adenosine triphosphate /ATP) in our cells. It serves as signaling molecules that regulate our genetic expression and is responsible for programmed cell death or apoptosis.

5 Causes of damage to the brain

1. Toxin Load

  • Toxins can damage our mitochondria inside our cells which can result in defective mitochondrial cell function. The neurological and muscle tissue have the most mitochondria per cell.
  • Toxins can come from our external and internal environments. Toxic damage of the brain can lead to degenerative neurological diseases, such as MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Autism, ADD, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression and dementia can also result from toxic trauma.
  • Excess Fluoride in toothpaste, chloride in water and sugar and alcohol in the diet are neurotoxins.
  • Other Neurotoxins include lead, aluminum, mercury, arsenic, artificial sugars (aspartame), MSG (monosodium glutamate), pesticides, herbicides, PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyl’s), flame retardants (PBDE’S) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
  • There are medications that can cause direct brain trauma or disruption of the brain chemistry. Sedative hypnotics and medications like the anticholinergic drugs, which block the brain chemical acetylcholine, can cause impaired memory and cognitive function.

2. Lifestyle Choices

  • Chronic stress results in impaired BDNF, concentration, learning, memory, decision making and emotional regulation. It also results in disruptive sleeping pattern which harms the brain.
  • Lack of enough quality sleep is detrimental to the brain and reduces the BDNF. During sleep the neurons in the brain gets repaired. It is also the time when the toxins in the brain get cleared out from the cells and drained away by the lymphatic system.
  • Exercise supports sleep, improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety and improve the production of BDNF.

3. Chronic Inflammation

  • Inflammation, that is part of the natural defense system, defends the body against organisms and infection. It is also supportive to repair damaged tissue.
  • Chronic inflammation destroys neuronal tissue and slow down the communication between neurons. As a result, it damages and weakens the brain structure and function.

4. Traumatic Brain injury

  • It can start with a blow to the head or a whiplash injury.
  • There does not need to be a loss of consciousness.
  • Just a strong jolt that leads to excess movement of the brain inside the skull can cause trauma to the brain and can lead to symptoms that can linger for days, weeks or even years.
  • Brain trauma leads to chemical responses that lead to an inflammation response that impacts the microglia
  • Brain injury cause a release of the neurotransmitter glutamate that leads to immune-excitotoxicity and potential cell death

“Post-concussion syndrome is a very real neuro-biological problem, rooted in several neural networks that make up the brain’’ – Dr Titus Chiu; Brain Save.

5. Diet choices

  • The lack of a variety of nutrient dense, toxin free, whole foods rob the brain from fuel for energy and function and the ability to repair.
  • High blood sugar causes brain degeneration
  • Excess sugar consumption reduces BDNF.
  • Fasting and omega-3 fatty acids increase BDNF.

Impaired gut health results in impaired brain health. There is a constant bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain via 5 different pathways (WHERE DISEASE AND HEALTH MEETS). Inflammation of the gut barrier results in inflammation of the brain barrier.

Excitotoxicity is the pathological process by which neurons are damaged and killed by the overactivations of receptors.

The EWG provides information on household, personal care, water and environmental toxins.

Microglia are a type of neuro glial cell located throughout the brain and spinal cord. Microglia account for 10–15% of all cells found within the brain. They act as the main form of active first immune defense in the central nervous system (CNS). They are key cells in overall brain maintenance removing plaques, damaged neurons and synapses, and infectious agents. Microglia are extremely sensitive to toxins and pathogens in the CNS.

Symptoms of brain degeneration

There are many symptoms that can hint at brain damage but does not necessarily mean that it is brain damage.

  • Forgetfulness, lack of concentration, memory loss, confusion, slowed reactions and mental fatigue.
  • Mood changes, anxiety, apathy, agitation, depression and irritability.
  • Headaches, sleep disturbance, sensitivity to sound and light, dizziness, blurry vision, balance problems and physical fatigue.

What can be done to improve brain function?

Good food choices for the whole body and especially for the brain

  • Nuts like walnuts and almonds.
  • Coconut and flax seed oil.
  • Seeds like chia seeds, hemp, pumpkin
  • Omega-3 Fatty acids from oily fish, avocado, walnuts, hempseed and others.
  • Berries, red grapes and apples.
  • Quinoa
  • Leafy Greens, broccoli and eggplant
  • Sauerkraut

  • Coffee and dark chocolate.