Posts tagged ‘Parkinson’s Disease’

Nutrition for Brain Health (3rd in a series)

This is the promised third article in my neuro-degeneration series. I will attempt to summarize what nutrients are most effective in preserving brain function.

One of the most important antioxidants for brain health is glutathione. It actually protects against brain cell death. The two primary nutrients from which the body makes glutathione are n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or undenatured whey protein. If you are dairy sensitive, NAC is obviously the best choice. Another important point about glutathione is that Tylenol depletes it. So, it is important to avoid any product containing acetaminophen (generic Tylenol).

Further dietary and lifestyle changes include: no aspartame, no hydrogenated oils (or other sources of trans-fats, like canola oil), reduce your intake of warm weather oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, peanut and soy oils). You can also take pure sesame seed oil capsules to prevent the conversion of these oils into pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Take the following basic nutrients:

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Antioxidants

Minimize your intake of refined carbohydrates; think deserts, sugary drinks, bread, pasta, white potatoes and white rice. You can substitute brown rice and quinoa pasta for regular pasta; brown rice for white rice; and sweet potatoes for white potatoes. Another choice to lower your carbohydrate intake is riced cauliflower. It is quite bland and works well with sauces and gravies.

You also want to rebuild your brain nutrient reserves. The best way to do it is to:

  • Take omega-3 oils, as much as 10 gm/day for 4 months. Then, reduce the level to 2500 mg per day for maintenance. However, it isn’t wise to take this much without a doctor’s supervision. I would advise a red blood cell fatty acid ratio test to determine your need for omega-3 oils and to monitor your progress. As I mentioned in the prior article, I have access to a lab where the test is only $70.
  • Make sure to keep your antioxidant intake high to protect the fats in your body from going rancid. Remember: Your brain is almost exclusively fat.
  • Avoid cheap over-the-counter oils, as they may contain mercury and carcinogens. Also, many of them are processed with heat and are, therefore, hydrogenated, even if it doesn’t say so on the label.
  • Do NOT eat farmed (Atlantic) salmon, ever. Wild salmon is OK; as much as 6 nights per week.
  • Avoid tuna, swordfish, shark and other large, predatory fish. The toxins in the ocean are more concentrated the higher up the food chain you go.

The following section is specific nutrients that cover these areas (NOTE: all dosages are for adults. If you need children’s doses, please contact me):

  • N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC): 240 mg per day or
  • Un-denatured whey protein: 21 grams per day (usually 3 scoops)
  • To protect your mitochondria:
    1. CoQ10, a minimum of 10 mg per day, although I find 200 mg or more is a better choice. Personally, I take 600 mg daily and have done so for years.
    2. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) has been shown to both protect mitochondria and to help them multiply. Damaged or decreased numbers of mitochondria are a key factor in aging.
    3. Acetyl-l-carnitine, 680 mg per day
    4. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), 240 mg per day. Food sources of ALA include organ meats and dark green leafy veggies, as well as high quality flax seed oil or freshly ground flax seed. Preground flax seed goes rancid too fast. ALA also increases insulin sensitivity in diabetics and inhibits tumor growth. Extra benefits!
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are important to brain health, as well as being anti-inflammatory. A red blood cell fatty acid test will tell us how much you need to take.
  • A good complete B-complex. I favor High Performance Stress Relief, which is an all-natural, low potency, highly absorbable B-complex. The dose for the average individual is 1 with each meal.
  • Vitamin D3. Nearly everyone I have tested is deficient in this critical vitamin, which acts more like a hormone. I generally prescribe 2,000 to 5,000 IUs per day. In some instances, I give 10,000; but, in that case we need to monitor the blood concentration with periodic blood tests.
  • Resveratrol is a powerful anti-oxidant that preserves the length of the telomeres in cellular reproduction, slowing the aging process. I have two products containing resveratrol: HerbaVital from Medi-Herb (3 per day) and Reseravert-HP from BIotics, (1 per day). I prefer the Medi-Herb product, because resveratrol has a maximum dose daily of 240 mg. Higher doses can be counterproductive.
  • Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory effects. 1500 to 3000 mg per day are very helpful. I have an excellent product, or you can take 1 tablespoon in coconut milk for absorption. I tried it, but I don’t find it palatable. The capsules are much more doable.

Finally, with regard to lifestyle, the following recommendations are important:

  • Regular spinal adjustments. As I pointed out in the first article in this series, spinal adjusting has a very positive impact on brain function. {Ogura, T, et al, Division of Cyclotron Nuclear Medicine, Tohoku University (Graduate School of Medicine), Sendai Japan, published in Alternative Therapies Health Medicine Nov-Dec 2011; Vol 17; No. 6; pp.12-17}.
  • Low-level laser therapy to the brain. I have such a laser and have been using it on my head injury, with good results.
  • Walking (30 minutes per day)
  • Other exercise in moderation that you enjoy: yoga, swimming, biking, dancing, etc.
  • Puzzles (crossword or Sudoku) that engage the brain. I start each day with this to get my brain going.
  • Piano playing. One 30 minute lesson per week, with practice 30 minutes per day. This is much better for our brains than our addiction to electronic devices.
  • Minimize or avoid television watching.

If you want to add any of the items in this article to your brain health protocol, please let me know so that I may order what you need. I also highly recommend the fatty acid test (obviously, since I’ve mentioned it multiple times!). Knowing your ratios can tell us how seriously your brain function is at risk. If you already have early symptoms – memory loss, tremor, coordination problems – it becomes even more important that you get tested, so that we can reverse the process.

February 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment

Traumatic Brain Injury and Its Aftermaths – Dementia, Parkinson’s and Encephalopathy

This is the first in a series of articles. I recently attended a conference on Brain Injury and Neurodegeneration taught by Dr. Dan Murphy. Much of his information is extremely relevant to what is happening in America today, especially with regard to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. So watch this space for additional articles.

The first topic I would like to address is brain injury. That may seem like it doesn’t apply to you, but rest assured brain injury is ubiquitous in America today. Typical sources of trauma include:

  1. Sports injuries – whether with a concussion or without. Some of the sports with the highest incidence of brain trauma include football and soccer.
  2. Car accidents with whiplash injuries. In the U.S., these are the primary cause of traumatic brain injury. {Amen, Daniel MD, Making a Good Brain Great, Harmony Books, 2005, p. 28}
  3. Clear-cut accidents where you bump your head – either from a fall, on a kitchen cabinet or on the car door. The kind of injury most of us just brush off.

The reason I took the class is that I had a serious concussion about 20 years ago and am now experiencing some effects from it.

So, first of all, what causes traumatic brain injury? Remember, the brain is very soft, gelatinous tissue housed in a very hard skull. When you experience a blow to the head, or a whiplash type event, your brain slams “against the walls, ridges and sharp bony edges in the skull, ripping small blood vessels, causing multiple minute bleeds and over time many areas of tiny scars.” {Ibid. p. 25}

Furthermore, brain injuries are additive. A person may not initially have symptoms when they injure a certain part of the brain, because the brain has built-in reserves. “The next brain injury, even if it seems minor, may wipe out the reserves, causing major problems.” {Ibid. pp 25-26} Therefore, it is important to build your nutrient reserves to protect your brain. I will cover that topic in my next article.

According to the Rand Corporation, the top four degenerative diseases that will bankrupt the U.S. health care system are dementia, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They all have a common denominator – INFLAMMATION! Watch this space for further discussion of how you need to change your lifestyle and your nutrient intake to reverse the adverse effects of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).

Additionally, a very important tool to affect brain function is chiropractic adjustments.  A recent in-depth study of the effects of chiropractic adjustment validates the effect adjusting has on brain function. {Ogura, T, et al, Division of Cyclotron Nuclear Medicine, Tohoku University (Graduate School of Medicine), Sendai Japan, published in Alternative Therapies Health Medicine Nov-Dec 2011; Vol 17; No. 6; pp.12-17}.  There have been a variety of studies from Winsor (1921) through Korr (1979) that have claimed that compromised spinal function causes increased sympathetic tone, which is linked to immune system dysfunction, pain, vascular compromise with subsequent additional neurological dysfunction and reduced systemic health. This study, using the most advanced technology currently available, supports this model. What can we deduce from this? Regular chiropractic adjustments maintain the flexibility of the spine, reduce pain and inflammation – including in the brain. The overall result: improved mental and organ function and improved quality of life.

December 5, 2015 at 1:51 am Leave a comment


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