Recently I was in Chicago attending Walsh Research Institute’s Annual Symposium, Nutrient Power: Advanced Methods to Heal Brain Disorders, lead by Dr. William Walsh, PhD, my personal physicians Dr. Albert Mensah, MD and Dr. Judith Bowman, MD, and Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, MD.
As I sat there listening, a feeling of gratitude coursed throughout my body, mingled with moments of holding back tears.
Tears because I couldn’t believe how far I’d come in my own personal journey of overcoming depression, anxiety and disordered eating; and also how much I’ve learned from these gifted practitioners that has completely reshaped the way I work with my own clients.
Many folks think that good brain health is simply a mind over matter issue and that you can just snap out of it if you “really try hard enough.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
And despite pharmaceuticals designed to correct neurotransmitter imbalances, now more than ever our culture is in a brain health crisis. And sadly, the world has it all backwards when it comes to depression.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that cognitive impairments often involve a constellation of factors and in order to really get to the root cause, it’s important to address them all from a functional perspective.
So here are the top lessons I’ve learned for brain health:
- The 3 musketeers of antioxidant protection in the brain are:
• Glutathione: First line of defense
• Metallothionein: Nature’s back-up system
• Selenium: Speeds up the process
- Broccoli sprouts are intense glutathione promoters.
- 90% of flu vaccines contain mercury, and mercury reduces the body’s master antioxidant glutathione, leading to oxidative stress.
- Many pharmaceuticals deplete glutathione and shrink the brain, especially acetaminophen and the drug Abilify used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and autism.
- Food has a powerful gene regulating effect: the wrong foods for your biotype can turn on deviant genes, and the right ones can turn them off.
- The paradigm shift needed for understanding autism includes: genetic susceptibilities, environmental triggers, and timing and development.
- Of the 287 chemicals detected in umbilical cord blood:
• 180 cause cancer in humans or animals
• 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system
• 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests
• Nearly 200 have been banned from the market for years
- Any substance that is tolerated by one individual (or fetus) would not necessarily be tolerated by another, and neurological disorders appear to be expressions of the impact of environmental toxins on genetically susceptible individuals.
- What’s good for the body, isn’t necessarily good for the brain.
- Methylfolate is a suicidal nutrient (read more about this here).
- You may test positive for a genetic mutation (SNP), but genetic tests have no way of telling you whether that particular mutation will express itself in you or not.
- The brain is a chemical factory and the raw materials needed for neurotransmitter synthesis are nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Humans exhibit great diversity in blood and brain chemistry.
- Because of genetics and epigenetics, most people are deficient in several nutrients and overloaded in others.
- For every drug that benefits a patient, there are natural substances that can produce the same effect.
As always, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!