The brain is surrounded by a thin lining called the blood brain barrier, which prevents harmful compounds from entering the brain while allowing helpful nutrients in and cellular debris out. However, for a lot of people the blood brain barrier degrades, allowing harmful toxins and compounds into the brain. This causes inflammation in the brain and symptoms such as depression, brain fog, memory loss, and other brain-based symptoms and disorders.
The strategies for repairing a leaky blood brain barrier are similar to the strategies for repairing a leaky gut because the causes are similar. Some of the more foundations include balancing your blood sugar, removing inflammatory foods and chemicals from your diet and environment, and focusing on a whole foods diet that is abundant in produce.
However, beyond that certain nutritional compounds have been shown to help repair a leaky blood brain barrier:
Resveratrol. Resveratrol is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (protects against damaging free radicals) known to help prevent development of neurodegenerative diseases. Resveratrol can increase your brain's growth hormone, support mitochondria, and protect and restore the blood-brain barrier.
Curcumin. Often used in conjunction with resveratrol, curcumin is the anti-inflammatory component of the spice turmeric. Heavily researched, curcumin can:
Sulforaphane. A phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, this antioxidant has anti-inflammatory qualities similar to curcumin. Studies show it can prevent breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, reduce its permeability, and improve brain functionafter traumatic brain injuries and stroke. If you take sulforaphane in supplement form, make sure it contains the co-factor myrosinase.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a powerful tool in managing inflammation and autoimmunity. Every tissue in your body has vitamin D receptors. Studies show it can help prevent leaky brain by reducing inflammation and reducing blood-brain barrier disruption.
Ways our modern lifestyle contributes to a lack of vitamin D:
B vitamins. Several B vitamins support the health of the blood-brain barrier:
Magnesium protects the brain by:
EFAs are critical for:
Primarily found in fish, Omega 3s are EFAS that support your mitochondria, increase brain growth hormone, and support the blood-brain barrier. When consuming EFAs, it's important to consume the proper ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6. Omega 6 is a necessary EFA but taken in the wrong ratio to Omega 3 it is highly inflammatory. The average American consumes a shocking ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of 25:1, contributing to the epidemic of inflammation-related health disorders. Researchers recommend a ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 that ranges from 1:1 to 4:1. A recommended dose is 3,500 mg for a person eating a diet of 2,000 calories per day.
As you now know, it's important to take great care of your precious blood-brain barrier. Many of the above suggestions also benefit other health issues, so by adopting them you are hitting more than one target at a time. For more information on how to fix your leaky brain, please contact my office.
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