Posts tagged: brain health

4 Dangerous Toxins To The BRAIN

Four Dangerous Toxins To The BRAIN
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In the modern era it is more important than ever to understand and take positive action to minimize your exposure to pollutants. Here we illustrate four toxins with references to scientific studies reporting the health concerns associated with their exposure / use.

Heavy Metals: “Heavy metals” is a term originally intended to indicate metals that are high in the periodic table, however within health conversations it generally refers to the metals with high toxicity, including Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr) and Arsenic (As). Heavy metals are often challenging for the body’s elimination systems, with the result that they often bioaccumulate in the body over the course of time, with a small concentration of heavy metals having deleterious effects in the long term. Exposure to heavy metals can damage the brain, kidney, and developing fetus. Effects on the brain are expressed as tremors, irritability, and memory problems. Heavy metal accumulation in the body has been implicated in numerous diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, behavioral issues and more. [1]

Fluoride: In 2006, after years of controversy, the United States NRC (National Research Council) came to the conclusion that fluoride does have adverse effects on brain health. [2] The EPA’s exposure limit for fluoride is 4.0mg/L. A review of multiple studies has shown that a high concentration of fluoride in groundwater is linked with cognitive defects and poor IQ performance in children at school age. [3]

Monosodium Glutamate: Monosodium glutamate is widely used as a food additive in commercially manufactured processed foods. It gives a flavour ‘enhancement’ to foods. MSG acts as an excitotoxin when consumed in excessive amounts and has been linked to numerous health consequences. MSG leads to excessive production of glutamate, which normally functions as a neurotransmitter but the higher level can have negative effects on brain health. MSG has been linked with obesity, neurotoxic health, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. [4]

Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners have been linked with brain damage and obesity. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener has been associated with cognitive problems and neurophysiological symptoms including headache, seizures, anxiety, and depression. [5]

More Toxins To Avoid: 9 Toxins You Should Remove From Your Life ASAP (Plus Safer Alternatives)


[1] Engwa, G.A., et al., Mechanism and health effects of heavy metal toxicity in humans, in Poisoning in the Modern World-New Tricks for an Old Dog? 2019, IntechOpen.…/

[2] Council, N.R., Fluoride in drinking water: a scientific review of EPA’s standards. 2007: National Academies Press.

[3] Grandjean, P., Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: an updated review. Environ Health, 2019. 18(1): p. 110.

[4] Niaz, K., E. Zaplatic, and J. Spoor, Extensive use of monosodium glutamate: A threat to public health? Excli j, 2018. 17: p. 273-278.

[5] Choudhary, A.K. and Y.Y. Lee, Neurophysiological symptoms and aspartame: What is the connection? Nutr Neurosci, 2018. 21(5): p. 306-316.

Top 10 Supplements To Improve Your Brain

Top 10 Supplements To Improve Your Brain
Top 10 Supplements To Improve Your Brain. Graphic © Image © (under license)

How do you like the idea of “improving your memory, your mindset, your mood, so you can be happier, so you can think sharper, have better cognitive function, be able to adapt and react quicker and more effectively… overall, feeling great and living your life at your highest level!” Here are 10 top supplements that have been positively associated with brain health.

1. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D helps stimulate the production of hormones and plays a role in over 1000 genes in our body! Vitamin D receptors are also found in abundance in the hippocampus -the region of the brain where we store both short term and long term memory. Vitamin D also stimulates the production of neurotransmitters, stimulates nerve growth and improves synaptic density. Individuals with vitamin D deficiency were found by scientific study to have a 42% higher risk of developing cognitive impairment!

To get your vitamin D, get a few minutes of sun per day, and consider supplementing 1000-3000iu – especially in winter. Opinions as to the optimal dose of vitamin D do vary considerably. RDA is often listed as 1000iu but many people are taking higher amounts. Dr. David Jockers recommends 1000iu per 25lbs of body weight! Vitamin D should be taken with food, ideally early in the day.

It’s possible to get your vitamin D levels tested and if you are experiencing any kind of ‘brain fog’ or cognitive difficulties, this may be a test that is very valuable! One more tip, Vitamin D works together with Vitamin K2 and it is also advised to take these 2 together.

2. Fish Oil (Long Chain Omega 3s – EPA and DHA)

Extremely powerful for neurological function, mood, memory. It’s advisable to eat wild caught salmon or a high quality omega 3 fish oil supplement thatis rich in EPA and DHA. Flax oil provides short chain Omega 3’s, which are not converted to high chain length Omega 3’s in great quantity by the body. 1-2 grams per day advised to begin with, with food (because it is fat soluble), gradually building up to 3-5g per day. This is considered by Dr. Jockers to be especially valuable for individuals with ADHD, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s and in severe cases he is even building them up to 7 to 10g per day!

3. Probiotics

The “Gut-Brain Axis” is now established as critical to neurological function. 90-95% of our neurotransmitters are produced in the gut! So it is vital to have a good “microbiome” – bacterial ecosystem in the gut – and various mental symptoms have been associated with having a bad balance of bacteria in the gut. Good bacteria in the belly will boost B vitamins, which are vital for healthy brain function – and will overwhelm ‘bad bacteria’. Bad bacteria and parasites are known to release toxins that can damage the brain.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most critical elements for health. Many people are magnesium deficient and this can cause insomnia, ADHD, anxiety. Magnesium is essential to vital functions, helps protect the blood-brain barrier and keep it more resistant to toxins. See this report from on The Best And Worst Forms Of Magnesium To Take As Supplements

5. Vitamin B12

B12 helps with the production of myelin, which is the critical sheath that protects the nerves.
B12 deficiency can cause neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands), fatigue and many other symptoms.

6. CoQ10

CoQ10 is an antioxidant and helps form energy within the mitochondria, the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell. Our levels get depleted as we age. CoQ10 is also regarded as very valuable for heart health.

7. N-Acetyl-Cysteine

This is precursor for Glutathione, known as the “master antioxidant”. NAC has been shown to help accelerate the removal of heavy metals from the body. It may help with immune function, psychiatric disorders and much more. We have a full free tutorial with tons more info on NAC here: Health Benefits Of N-Acetyl-Cysteine.

8. Zinc

Key for reducing inflammation in the body, and is also key for producing the neurotransmitters dopamine (motivating) and serotonin (sense of well being, calming). Research also shows that it improves depression, ADHD and may improve sexual function, especially in males.

9. Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a well known supplement with numerous health benefits, including for brain chemistry. This molecule is both fat and water soluble, which means it can migrate in and out of various organs and act as a ‘transport molecule’. It scavenges free radicals, reduces oxidative stress, and also has a chelating effect on mercury. If being considered as a mercury protocol it is recommended to check out the Cutler protocol, which advises breaking the daily dose into 4 ‘quarter doses’ and taking them strictly six hours apart, even to the point of waking up with an alarm clock to take the 4th dose at the correct time. This is because the half-life of ALA is short in the body and once the level goes down, mercury would be ‘dropped’ instead of taken all the way through to elimination. There is more to the Cutler protocol including “pulsing” and so further research is advised if ALA is being considered for mercury detox.

10. Phosphidatylserine

Phosphidatylserine is a powerful nutrient with brain health effects noted by numerous scientific studies. 200mg a day for 2 months given to children gave significant improvements in academic performance, ADHD symptoms, mood and behavior in a 2014 study.

Thanks to Dr. David Jockers for the video, which these study notes were based on!

How The Bacteria In Our Gut Influence Our Minds

How The Bacteria In Our Gut Influence Our Minds
Graphic © Image © (under license)

Can’t focus? Feeling anxious or depressed? Easily stressed? It turns out the common phrases, “butterflies in the stomach” and “having a gut feeling,” have scientific truths. Researchers have discovered complex bidirectional communication between the brain and the gut. Some scientific sources have even gone as far as referring to the gut as the “second stomach” – and rightfully so. Read on for more on the intriguing relationship between mental health and gut microbes.

How Do Bacteria Alter the Brain?

You’ve probably heard that the brain is the most complex object in the known universe. So how does a bunch of bacteria in your gastrointestinal system influence such a sophisticated and powerful organ?

The intricate link between the digestive system and the brain is facilitated by the vagus nerve. This cranial nerve is part of the gut-brain axis that extends from the brainstem to gut, via lungs, esophagus, and heart. Interestingly, up to 90% of the vagus nerve is exclusive to the gut-brain communication network. So where do the bacteria come into play?

Your gut bacteria break down your dietary intake into short-chain fatty acids that enter the bloodstream. In turn, the blood releases hormones and neuroactive compounds that stimulate the brain, affecting various functions. According to a study [1] published in the Journal of mSystems, gut microbes can even influence gene expression through microRNAs.

The Impact Of Imbalance In Gut Bacteria

According to an article appearing in the Harvard School of Public Health [2], there are trillions of microorganisms or microbes in the human body, with the gut claiming the biggest share. This complex network of microbiota consists of both harmful (pathogenic) and helpful (symbiotic) microbes. Although these two categories typically coexist peacefully, the balance can be disturbed by anti-biotics, certain diets, and infectious diseases.

Dysbiosis or an imbalance of harmful and healthy gut bacteria is linked to a host of neurological health issues ranging from stress, depression, anxiety, autism to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. For a better understanding of the importance of the gut-brain connection, consider the following research studies:

• According to a study [3] published in the Journal of Psychology, “germ-free” mice produced up to 2 times the amount of stress hormone in comparison to a “normal mice” that were in contact with microbes.

• In another study [4], researchers concluded that their findings supported a connection between Autism Spectrum Disorders and the gut microbiome’s influence on the brain. They went on to support the idea of probiotic treatment to address pathogenic bacteria in the GI and improve autism behavioral symptoms.

What are the implications of the elaborate gut-brain connection? In the words of Hippocrates, “All disease (including mental disorders) begins in the gut.” This suggests that medical experts could leverage the power of microbes and a healthy gut to treat or prevent neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders.


[1] Yuan, C., Burns, M. B., Subramanian, S., & Blekhman, R. (2018). Interaction between host MicroRNAs and the gut microbiota in colorectal cancer. MSystems, 3(3), e00205-17.

[2] The Microbiome. (2019).

[3] Sudo, N., Chida, Y., Aiba, Y., Sonoda, J., Oyama, N., Yu, X. N., … & Koga, Y. (2004). Postnatal microbial colonization programs the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal system for stress response in mice. The Journal of physiology, 558(1), 263-275.

[4] Hsiao, E. Y., McBride, S. W., Hsien, S., Sharon, G., Hyde, E. R., McCue, T., … & Patterson, P. H. (2013). The microbiota modulates gut physiology and behavioral abnormalities associated with autism. Cell, 155(7), 1451.