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Tuesday
Jun172014

Save The Brains

What could be more important than our brain through which we enjoy our senses, our motivation and movement, feelings, dreams, stories, and the contemplation of beauty and nature?  It takes a lifetime of loving attention to develop a good human brain that will run a healthy balanced body and serve one’s highest human expression.  But more of our young people are struggling with neurodevelopmental problems and, even as our life spans are increasing, more people are losing their minds earlier.

My son “jokes” that life will be like a bad zombie movie in the near future.  Alzheimer’s alone is now the 6th leading cause of death here!  Five million Americans, or one in eight seniors “live with the disease.”  The rates of dementia are expected to rise very steeply, much like the rates of type II diabetes (and NOT unrelated).  At some point the population of demented “baby boomers” will exceed the rest of the population in the US!  How does each one of us know if we are destined to become one of them zombies? 

Perhaps you have lived with or cared for a demented person and you know that “a waste is a terrible thing to mind.”  The most recent Alzheimer’s statistics claim there are about 15.4 million of you unpaid caretakers giving over $200 billion worth of your efforts each year.  In addition, it cost the nation over $200 billion in 2012.  This is 2-3 times what we spend on cancer!  Drugs can’t fix it and nobody talks about the causes.

You might think it is good genetics that make long lasting brains, but actually it is more about what you do with your genes (epigenetics).  A good “epigenetic lifestyle” allows you to express, or inhibit, your DNA as appropriate to be healthy and thrive!  Controlling environmental inputs like diet, exercise, pollutants and stress will help you realize the full potential of your mind and body. Fundamental to the lifestyle, of course, is a “balanced diet”… but so few of us even know what that means.

VEG

Our nation’s single-minded focus on economics has brainwashed us from the healthy foods our ancestors enjoyed.  Research clearly shows that fruit juices and “wholesome whole grains” are not healthy as advertised.  And these foods are highly addictive. 

 

Stars + Stripes All carbohydrates from sweet drinks to whole grain bread, potatoes and brown rice, are dangerous because of their high glycemic impact on blood sugar.  These “low octane” foods make our blood sugar fluctuate dangerously (See my “Pre-Diabetic State” blog).  Carbohydrates can create dramatic waves of stress hormones like insulin and cortisol that damage the brain.  Add this type of “breakfast” to a stressful morning and you have brain damage.

 

 

In fact, Alzheimer’s disease is called “Type 3 Diabetes” by many researchers. Studies are showing that elevations of blood sugar, even well below what is considered diabetic, are actually much more harmful than we thought.  Blood sugar elevations from these foods, with little exercise, accelerate brain loss and lead to dementia, heart disease, and obesity.  It is somewhat like spilling Coke on your computer (glycation) and setting it in the sun (oxidation).  The sticky and burned proteins are easy to measure on a blood test.  They form the toxic garbage your cells can’t get rid of; Advanced Glycosylated End Products (AGEs).

The second great lie of the “Food Pyramid” misinformation is that most people think a “low fat diet” is healthy. You should know that cholesterol is a vital nutrient, not an evil poison!  Your brain is actually 60% fat including plenty of cholesterol.  Cholesterol is the basis for all your steroid hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol.  Because statin drugs are extremely profitable, the popularity of this hackneyed theory of heart disease dominates our medical landscape and TV.   Good fat in your diet is actually required for optimum health.

The clear scientific evidence of the benefits of fats for the brain and body is not getting out to the public.  Cholesterol becomes dangerous only when it gets rancid or if you make it in smaller particle sizes.  Saturated fats like coconut oil, animal fat, and grass fed butter are very healthy foods for your brain.

Researchers are also saying that there is a pandemic of brain poisoning (developmental neurotoxicity) in the world today that is causing problems at different points in young people’s brain development.  Identification of “neruotoxicant” chemicals lags far behind the rampant invention, production, and dissemination of these chemicals, mostly by the US.  This toxic chemical soup we are all born into is another potent source of “brain on fire”. 

Toxicants are different than toxins because the body has no path of biotransformation to rid itself of these chemicals; they tend to accumulate.  Known neurotoxicants include lead and mercury as well as all the PCB’s, TCE, DDT and related chemicals, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and even fluoride!  Other possible toxicants are the flame retardant chemicals in all our furniture and blankets and the chemicals in our plastic water bottles and can linings.

To study disease models of Parkinson’s in animals, scientists are using dangerous toxicants like “Mancozeb”.  The crazy thing is, these are the very same pesticide neruotoxicant chemicals you can buy at the store to put on your vegetables and roses!  These accumulate in fatty tissue (the brain) and cause continuous neurodegeneration (brain on fire).  It is only later in life, when the brain is burnt toast, that we recognize the disease.  Then, we try to intervene…

Today is the day to begin taking small steps toward a healthy Epigenetic lifestyle and stop “getting older.”  Control your blood sugar levels by getting regular exercise and eating at least 3 meals per day, with most of your food intake in the morning and afternoon.  In each meal be sure to include some protein, plenty of vegetables, and plenty of good fats. Teach your body to burn “high octane” fats instead of those “low octane” carbos that make more fat and destroy the brain.

Control your intake of poisons by finding cosmetic products and house cleaners free of harmful chemicals.  Avoid harmful pesticides by eating and growing organic foods.

As you know from previous blogs there are many people who are sensitive to gluten containing foods.  This means their immune systems are fired up to create continuing inflammation with each exposure.  This can even lead to autoimmune expression against many tissues including the brain.  Getting completely off gluten could be the best decision of your brain’s life.

An epigenetic lifestyle includes brain stimulation to take advantage of your ability to make new connections (“neuroplasticity”).  The best brain stimulation is actually exercise!  Engage in high intensity exercise in a natural environment to stimulate endorphins that make you feel good and hormones to make your brain and body thrive. 

Scott + Gore Range

If your brain is already on fire there are plenty of high tech nutritional supplements proven to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, stimulate neurotransmitters, and promote energy production.  These can clear your brain fog and enhance your endurance. 

Go to my website and download the brain assessment questionnaires to get a baseline of your brain function and dietary influences.  Come in and discuss your situation, get some care and advice; save your brain!  I recommend that you read neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter’s new book Grain Brain or Dr. Kharrazian’s book Why Isn’t My Brain Working?   to get more science and practical information on this subject.

 

Reader Comments (1)

Brilliant, Dr. Scott! Thank you for the important information and for living a life that inspires healthy well-being!
Diane

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Heasley

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