In order to avoid brain degeneration you must avoid inflammation of the brain. Since the brain doesn’t have pain sensation like other area’s of your body inflammation of the brain shows up as brain fog, balance and coordination problems, and poor memory. Digestion is key to maintaining a healthy immune system for 2 key reasons. One when your digestion is poor then your gut is inflamed and when your gut is inflamed you are likely to have a poor barrier which protects the absorption of foods that are partially broken down and metabolized. These foods are a source of immune reaction and can cause autoimmune , arthritis, hypothyroid, fatigue and generally chronic inflammation in the body and brain. The second reason is the lamina propria sub-layer and the submucosa layer of the small intestine have nodules that are part of the lymphatic system. These nodules contain white blood cells that destroy germs. Another common sense reason that poor digestion will effect your immune system is that many nutrients that are key to a healthy immune system will simply not be absorbed like zinc & B vitamins. When your brain becomes inflamed you have to quench this inflammation! Guess what is the main substance that does this in your brain and even to a large part your entire body?……….. Glutathione! If you’ve never heard of Glutathione then it’s likely you will hear much more about it moving forward as it’s your bodies main antioxidant. In the following paragraphs we will look at a few dietary considerations as well as the concept of oxidative stress, the silent killer. Read carefully to keep your brain healthy!
Soy, Glutamate, and MSG
Well hidden in so many processed foods, glutamate in the form of monosodium glutamate (MSG), soy protein extract, protein isolate, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, natual flavoring or any of the other disguised names for MSG. Its so difficult to avoid as most fast-food chains and restaurants use at least one of these forms of glutamate to enhance the taste of there food. These substances are toxic to your brain due to an excitatory and inflammatory action they have on the neuron. They call it an excitotoxin were it literally excites the cell to the point of self destruction.
Effects of MSG on Aging and Brain Inflammation.
In 1969, Dr. Olney noticed brain destruction of test animals in the area of the hypothalamus called the arcuate nucleus. The arcuate nucleous releases a substance that is necessary for the pituitary to release growth hormone. The pituitary gland, under normal conditions, secretes growth hormone in cycles. There is usually release that occurs when we fall asleep or take a nap! This is an excellent reason for us to take a nap during the day (see restorative pose, Chap. 14), also children are benefited greatly due to the large demand of growth hormone. I have seen recent news stories where schools have stopped providing nap time due to striving to increase education. This is a big mistake, in my opinion. In regards to the above study on MSG and its effect of growth hormone release they found animals fed MSG not only produced less growth hormone, they also lacked the normal release cycles seen in all other mammals, including humans.6
Studies using immature mice have shown decreases in LH, FSH and prolactin which are sex and reproductive hormones, growth hormone, adrenal regulating hormone, and thyroid regulating hormone following exposure to MSG. Deficiencies in these hormones showed up in the animals as obesity, smaller growth, inability to reproductive, and slow metabolism. 9-13
Confirmation from more studies demonstrating males with atrophy of the testes and low levels of testosterone. Females where seen with low LH, FSH and estradiol-17beta which is the main form of estrogen hormone. In There was a 68% drop after MSG was given. 10
The young girls who begin developing breasts, and beginning menses, earlier than normal may be due to glutamate consumption. Since soy contains phytoestrogens and high glutamate levels consuming soy can be a leading factor for this anomaly.13
Studies found that infant animals given MSG have high cortisol levels than normal mice, and after stressful events it would take longer for the high levels to come down to normal levels.14
There is an area in the brain called the hippocampus and it is where your memerory centers are located. Its though that high cortisol can cause damage to these neurons through up regulating oxidation in this area. Damage and degeneration of the hippocampus results in the condition known as Alzheimer’s disease. Its though by some that having cortisol levels elevated chronically from childhood can be quite impactful in ones ability to enjoy memory. The clearence factor is the ability to unwind and I’ve found that treating the high cortisol levels make a big impact on the ability to relax after a tuff day as well as not get so worked up over small events that would otherwise get them excited, elevating their cortisol. Studies have shown that there is a low glutathione saturation in the hippocampus which leads to this damage and inflammation.
Oxidative Stress, Rust
When metal rusts, it’s a sign of the chemical process known as oxidation. Rusting indicates the damage incurred by exposure to oxygen; we say the metal is becoming oxidized. Its when oxygen steals electron from the metal that it distroys the metal changing the physical and chemical properties. Oxidation also takes place when you bite into an apple if left out it will turn brown as it’s exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere. The process of oxidation causes molecules with uncoupled electrons. These are called free radicals and they are linked to DNA damage which creates cancer cells, aging of organs and skin, arthritis and too many other degenerative diseases to name.
We all need oxidants in our body. However too much oxidant molecules can cause injury to our body. Oxidative stress is the technical name for this process. This phenomenon was first noted in 1954 by Dr. Denham Harmon, an organic chemist at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Harmon theorized that oxidants were the cause of aging, as well as the major cause of most diseases. His theory has continued to hold up and has received substantial verification over the past half century.
Most of the conditions that we associate with aging, such as wrinkles, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, are related to excess oxidative stress in the body. As Dr. Harmon stated, “Very few individuals, if any, reach their potential maximum life span; they die instead prematurely of a wide variety of diseases—the vast majority being ‘free radical’ diseases.” Although Dr. Harmon’s research is a half-century old, in the last five years alone, more than five thousand articles on the subject have appeared in research journals. Until recently, tests to measure levels of oxidative stress were expensive and only available to research centers. Today there is, an extremely acurate, over-the-counter urine test available called an oxidata test. Information is available at www.oxidata.com.
ORDER A 4 MONTH OXIDATA TEST KIT
Sources of oxidative stress can be both internal and external. The external ones include exposure to any kind of environmental pollution, petrochemicals, or heavy metals. There are also lifestyle-related causes of oxidative stress, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, caffinated beverages like coffee and tea, excessive exercise, prescription drug-and especially overeating. Trying too hard to get a tan can also hurt too much sun (ultraviolet radiation) contributes to oxidative stress.
Internal sources of oxidative stress include infections (both acute and/or chronic), blood sugar imbalance lead to increased free radicals, high levels of adrenaline and high levels cortisol.
Reduction / Dampness
When your body is subjected to chronic oxidation over a period of time the body can become saturated with electrons. This congests a part of your cell called the mitochondria, its the part of your cell that generates all your energy. When this saturation occurs it’s called reduction. In Chinese medicine they call this dampness. Classically these people will be fatigued usually with a feeling of heaviness. Often the tongue is swollen, observed with tooth marks on the sides of the tongue. This would not be a good time to take high amounts of anti-oxidants. This represents a good example of why nutrition programs should be closely monitored by a competent clinician with the ability to check these levels for you. Many times this shows up with a low oxidata score with abnormal adrenal states.
Vitamine C with very high bioflavinoids
Recent studies have demonstrated that flavinoids are powerful antioxidants, acting against a whole host of dangerous free radicals. In fact, some of the flavonoids can neutralize special free radicals that cannot be neutralized by antioxidant vitamins. It should be noted that there are other dangerous radicals besides oxygen radicals. Many people are unaware of a reactive nitrogen species that can be equally, if not more, destructive than oxygen radicals (free radicals). Vitamins are poor at neutralizing these special types of radicals, while flavonoids are very efficient. I regularly test for nitate levels inpateints and bioflavinoids will greatly help normalize these levels. Many times the liver is doing a poor job and neutralizing these compounds usually due to being overburdened with toxicity Its common for these high nitrate levels to cause swelling and congestion of the sinuses. Many of the chronic sniffls, runny noses and post nasal drips are a result of excessive nitrat levels.
Flavonoids can remove (chelate) dangerous metals, such as, copper, aluminum, mercury, arsenic and lead. Iron and aluminum accumulation is commonly associated with degenerative disorders of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Its the flavonoids and carotenoids that allow plants to survive in the glaring sun all day long. Without flavinoids the sun’s harsh rays would quickly destroy the leaves. Flavonoids absorb the harmful radiation from the sun by neutralizing the free radicals they generate. This is similar to how flavinoids work for us!
Recent years has yelded massive research into the medicinal properties of flavonoids. They seem to be finding they not only protect us from antioxidants, they also help in the treatment and prevention of many cancers.
Oxidata Urine testing
This tests for an end product of polyunsaturated fat chain where malondialdehydes form as a result of free radical attack. I include an oxidata urine test with my stadard lab work up on each of my pateints.3-10
Yours In Healhty,
John Lieurance, DC, ND
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