15 Lessons Learned From World Leaders in Brain Health

By Samantha Gilbert, FNC, CHNP, CNC     Last updated on September 23rd, 2021

Here are my 15 Lessons Learned From World Leaders in Brain Health.

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:

  1. 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
  2. Broccoli sprouts are intense glutathione promoters.
  3. 90% of flu vaccines contain mercury, and mercury reduces the body’s master antioxidant glutathione, leading to oxidative stress.
  4. Many pharmaceuticals deplete glutathione and shrink the brain, especially acetaminophen and the drug Abilify used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and autism.
  5. 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.
  6. The paradigm shift needed for understanding autism includes: genetic susceptibilities, environmental triggers, and timing and development.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. What’s good for the body, isn’t necessarily good for the brain.
  10. Methylfolate is a suicidal nutrient (read more about this here).
  11. 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.
  12. The brain is a chemical factory and the raw materials needed for neurotransmitter synthesis are nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  13. Humans exhibit great diversity in blood and brain chemistry.
  14. Because of genetics and epigenetics, most people are deficient in several nutrients and overloaded in others.
  15. 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!


31 thoughts on “15 Lessons Learned From World Leaders in Brain Health”

  1. Hi Sami,

    I just came across your site and am looking at setting up a consult with your office in Jan (first available). I have been on the Mensah protocol for about 1 month for Pyrrole. I have seen some benefits but feel like I am still missing something as some days my anxiety comes back in full force. I have taken a SSRNI in the past and felt the medicine within 24 hours of working. I couldn’t stand the side effects though. Walsh mentions that people who are undermethylated respond well to SSRI’s. Would undermethylated people also respond well to SSRNI’s? Thank you for your time!!

  2. Hi there,
    how do you test for under or over methylation? Is it the histamine blood test? My holistic Dr thinks I might swing between the 2, is this possible? My histamine appeared to be in the labs normal range. She says I have traits of both. I have always been a bit ADHD & suffer from mild anxiety, I have no problem getting to sleep & at times struggle to stay asleep. I am heterozygous for MTHFR C667T, MTRR A 664A CBS C699T, CBS A36oA & homozygous for all these COMT V158H, COMT H62H, VDR Bsm, MAO-A R297R, BHMT-08. I am on supplements for Pyroluria ( level was 37.5)
    Where to from here??
    Thank you

    1. Hi Dawn,
      We use whole blood histamine and/or SAM/SAH ratio to check methylation status in addition to other functional labs such as copper and zinc.

  3. Thank you for all you do to teach and shed light in the name of achieving peace in mind, body and spirit. So much Hope Sami! You helped me find my way. So much love to you!

  4. My daughter was tested by Dr Mensah & her test results showed she had copper off the charts, was an under methylator and had a pyrrole disorder. Since both you, Sami & Dr. Mensah have been working with her, she has become a new person!! She is now back to school, (accelerating nursing program), & accomplishing every day things she never could before!!
    Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!

    Your Low Copper Cookbook has also been a great help too!!

    1. You’re so welcome Anita! I’m so happy she is thriving and that my Low Copper Cookbook is a great tool for you! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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