Tag Archives: brain health

Walking Barefoot Can Improve Your Health And There Is Science To Back It Up

By Mayukh Saha

“Earthing,” also known as walking barefoot, has transformed from a playful trend to a scientific practice with a plethora of health advantages. It was seen to increase antioxidants in the body, improving sleep and reducing inflammation.

Let us look a little deeper into the benefits, but first let’s examine the theory behind walking barefoot.

Walking Barefoot: An Introduction

Walking Barefoot or earthing, is just walking on grass, sand, or soil barefoot. You need to get off the sidewalk and place your feet on a natural surface.

Studies show that the benefits came from the somatic relationship with the electrons in the Earth.

Our planet has its own charge and we do better when we are in direct contact with this charge.

Now, let us look at its benefits.

The Benefits Of Walking Barefoot

A paper published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health highlighted how absorbing electrons from the planet can improve one’s health.

In another, patients suffering from chronic pain used grounded carbon fiber mattresses and were observed to have better sleep and fewer pains.

Another study discovered that walking barefoot altered the electrical activity of the brain, as measured by EEG. Other benefits that were observed included skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress, and supported immune function.

We have presented some potential benefits in detail:

1: Better Sleep

As per this study, if you are suffering from insomnia then try walking in the park instead of taking pills. You can also present it and improve your sleep cycle, by walking barefoot on grass for approximately 30 minutes, every morning.

2: Can Reduce Inflammation

Earthing can improve the functioning of your organs. This can be multi-fold. One can be due to reflexology, the next can be that you’re getting vitamin D from sunlight (anti-inflammatory property), and lastly, due to the electrons of the magnetic field of the Earth.

3: Can Regulate Your Heart’s Health

Walking barefoot on grass can also help you synchronize your heartbeat. This has several benefits that range from regulating your body’s temperature to hormone secretion.

4: Surface Charge Of RBCs

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine stated that walking barefoot increases the surface charge of red blood cells. These cells then avoid clumping which then decreases blood viscosity. [High viscosity is a significant factor in heart disease.]

Walking should ultimately become just more than an exercise. It should become a form of relieving stress, healing, and replacing the worn-out parts with well-being, on a mental and physical level.

E-Course: Herbal Energetics (Ad)

This is actually a win-win situation for everyone. Once you start walking, you will be exercising your heart and muscles, improving your mental health, reducing stress, and eventually improving your overall wellness. You can easily multiply these benefits of walking by taking off your shoes and connecting with the Earth’s natural electric charge.

It is of utmost importance that you need to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that it is safe for you to walk barefoot.

You can also consult your primary doctor if you are wondering if walking barefoot will be the right move for you.

In a nutshell, it is best for you to just kick off your shoes for a short period of time.

This makes great sense on an evolutionary level too. We have evolved close to this planet and it is recent that we have been keen to remove ourselves from nature. This is perhaps the best time to take a step back and synchronize with the planet.

Source: Truth Theory

Hey! I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, videos, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and I started living as a digital nomad in Europe since 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: justmayukh@gmail.com Love, Mayukh Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

DHA, Light, Algae Oil & The Quantum Brain

What would be your reaction if you heard someone state that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is more important than DNA itself? 

This is exactly what Michael Crawford, the Director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at Imperial College in London, states. 

Michael has won numerous awards and is a great example of a multi-disciplinarian with extensive knowledge in health, wellness, genetics, quantum biology, and more. 

He won the International Award for Modern Nutrition for work on unsaturated fatty acids in early human brain development and health, and in 2012 published a shockwave paper titled“A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signaling throughout evolution.”

Most molecules in nature have changed over the course of a very long “time”, perhaps millions or billions of years to adapt its ability to function in the most energy-efficient and optimal way. 

Is DHA just as or more important than DNA itself? It is a question worth exploring.

The omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA is actually one of only a few that have been maintained because of its efficiency. 

Stated otherwise, DHA has remained unchanged because it has played its role so well and so efficiently within the brain, nervous system and eyes. 

Pulling directly from the Abstract in Crawford’s landmark paper, we find fascinating statements made: 

“While amino acids could be synthesized over 4 billion years ago, only oxidative metabolism allows for the synthesis of highly unsaturated fatty acids, thus producing novel lipid molecular species for specialized cell membranes. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) provided the core for the development of the photoreceptor, and conversion of photons into electricity stimulated the evolution of the nervous system and brain. 

Since then, DHA has been conserved as the principal acyl component of photoreceptor synaptic and neuronal signaling membranes in the cephalopods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and humans. This extreme conservation in electrical signaling membranes despite great genomic change suggests it was DHA dictating to DNA rather than the generally accepted other way around. 

We offer a theoretical explanation based on the quantum mechanical properties of DHA for such extreme conservation. The unique molecular structure of DHA allows for quantum transfer and communication of ?-electrons, which explains the precise depolarisation of retinal membranes and the cohesive, organized neural signaling which characterizes higher intelligence.”

We will get to the juicy part of this compelling information a bit further down, but first, we need to understand the basics of what DHA is and what it does

DHA, Fish Oil and Algae Oil 

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain health, heart health, eye health, a healthy inflammatory response and brain development during pregnancy and early childhood, and much more.

This long-chain omega-3 fatty acid needs to be consumed and it functions in cell membranes throughout the body to help transmit messages between the nervous system. 

DHA is also readily oxidized, so the body uses it and then needs a continual fresh supply to function optimally. 

DHA has been found to support many different facets of health.

Most people automatically equate Omega-3’s to fish oil, but did you know that it is the Algae that contains the DHA? The fish eat the algae, and are thus, an intermediary source. 

But the “fish in the middle” isn’t absolutely necessary.

We can go straight to the source and get nature’s true, pure and original DHA source

In nature, fish don’t make omega-3s. The organism that captures sunlight to create DHA is this golden algae. It is nature’s solar panel. More information on this quantum mechanical effect will be discussed below. 

However, this isn’t to say one should or shouldn’t stop consuming fish. As always, dietary decisions is each person’s right to choice

Consuming a couple servings of salmon per week will give some amounts of DHA and will be nutritionally-relevant, but won’t reach therapeutic intake levels, especially if a person is looking to support brain health and neurogenesis. 

1,000 mg to 2,000 mg of DHA per day over a period of 3 months has been shown to increase DHA levels and help people reach peak Omega-3 levels, which will be elaborated upon in more detail a bit further down.

As an example, an average serving of salmon (3 ounces) provides around 1,240 mg of DHA.

If someone wants to reach these therapeutic levels of DHA intake to support brain health and neurogenesis, this would mean a person would need at least 5.6 to 11.2 servings per week.

While there are certainly salmon and other seafood enthusiasts who will reach these levels, this isn’t a level of DHA most people in the general population reach .

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), the USDA Dietary Guidelines (which by the way is often woefully misaligned in their suggestions for human nutrient consumption and health optimization), suggest adults should consume about 8 ounces per week, which would only give a little over 3,300 mg of DHA per week. 

As of 2019, which was NOAA’s latest update on these numbers, the average American is only reaching a little over 2,400 mg of DHA per week.

Additionally, there are various factors that determine how much DHA is actually in salmon or any other dietary source.

To get the real number for each particular serving, we’d ideally like to know where the fish was raised or caught, what their food source was to acquire the DHA (remember, the fish eat the algae to obtain the DHA), how much algae that fish consumed and how much DHA was present in the algae. There are also other possible environmental concerns to consider.

Thus, determining an accurate and reliable number of DHA quantity can prove to be challenging.

Stated again, we can view the average person’s consumption of DHA per week doesn’t reach therapeutic levels that ensure peak omega-3 levels in the brain and body are reached.

For most people, supplementing can be a more realistic way to reach these therapeutic levels and any additional dietary sources of DHA is an added bonus.

An analogy could be described as that of a bank account. To fill up the account, for most people it is easier to supplement and get known, exact quantities of DHA, whereas the additional dietary sources act as the interest gained by holding money in a bank account and these other sources are a bonus.

Brain Health, Voltage & Nervous System Development

DHA is used as a major building block in the growth of new neurons and has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

This is the protein that is part of a group of growth factors known as neurotrophins, which encourages survival and strengthening of existing neurons and also encourages the “growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses.”

It is also sometimes called the “Master Omega” for maximizing mental and cognitive speed and efficiency. 

Going a bit further, we know that the human brain contains an astonishing 86 billion neurons and has an estimated 150 trillion synapses. These synapses are actually not connected, but are the spaces between neurons.

It is here where neurons send and receive electrical signals that convey information to each other and throughout the entire nervous system. 

In order for this lightning fast communication to take place, efficiency in energy transmission is paramount. 

The human brain contains an astonishing 86 billion neurons and has an estimated 150 trillion synapses.

But because energy can be in low supply due to the amount that neurons need to function, these same neurons must perform a delicate balancing act: they are tasked to produce as much energy as they can, but also at the same time build synaptic connections that branch out and conserve as much energy as they can. 

It has been estimated that the speed of neural signals in the human brain travel about 2 million times slower compared to electronic computers and that these computers are believed to be some 10 million times faster in terms of signals per second. 

However, the human brain overcomes this enormous difference by way of the number of neurons and the number of synaptic connections (recall that it is about 86 billion neurons and 150 trillion synaptics). 

Thus, we can view the human brain as a battery that has voltage–and it is DHA that is responsible for generating this voltage across cell membranes. 

As a brief explainer, voltage is “defined as an electropotential difference between two points” and in this case, it is the difference between the inside and outside of the lipid bilayer of a neuron.

The voltage across a neuron’s membrane is reported to be around .07 volts and if we divide that by the average thickness of a neuronal membrane (5 nanometers), it results in 14 million volts/meter. 

The equation looks like this: 

-(0.07 volts) / (5×10-9 meters) = 14,000,000 volts/meter

As shocking comparison, the voltage required to product lightning in a thunderstorm is only 3,000,000 volts/meter. 

This means that per meter, the voltage in the brain is nearly 5 times stronger than what is needed to create lightning! 

The voltage in the brain is something truly remarkable.

Stepping back into the bigger picture, it is DHA that takes photons from the Sun and transforms that energy into voltage that helps our brain, eyes and nervous system operate.

As stated earlier, it is believed that DHA has remained selected by Nature to help maximize the speed of communication between neurons. 

If we didn’t have DHA in our brain and nervous system, it would be much more difficult for us to compute the sensory inputs we receive through the entire nervous system. 

In their book Neurons and the DHA Principle, authors Raymond and David Valentine describe a very interesting property of DHA as well.

“Because DHA tails are in perpetual motion, these chains do not stand still long enough to bind with their neighbors to form hardened oils typical of butter or lard. Thus, the contortions of DHA chains keep the membrane surface in constant motion even in the extreme cold. 

DHA is responsible for this extreme motion because it keeps itself, neighboring chains, and other membrane components in a perpetual state of movement (e.g., spinning and lateral movement)… 

Neurons and sensory cells harness the motion in DHA tails to boost the speed of their signals.  Hence, DHA becomes a pacemaker of brain speed and without it our sensory system would likely be much slower.”

Similar to that of a gyroscope, DHA acts in a way to maintain continual movement of energy and electricity throughout the brain and nervous system. 

Thus, DHA is needed for brain development and is responsible for 97% of the omega-3 fatty acids found in the brain and is 25% of the brain’s total poly-unsaturated fat content.

In the first 6 months of human life, DHA is necessary and particularly important for the development of the nervous system and brain for a child

The USA has one of the lowest levels in the world in relation to DHA found in breast milk, suggesting mother’s need DHA supplementation before, during and after pregnancy.  A minimum of 600 mg DHA daily has been re-recommended and even more than that has been found to be better. 

In fact, DHA is included in Australia’s public health policy for pregnant mothers.

Synaptamide and Neurogenesis 

Another riveting aspect of DHA is how it relates to something called Synaptamide

This compound is rapidly growing in interest within the biohacking and neurohacking fields and is the topic of exciting scientific research. 

Synaptamide (N-Docosahexaenoylethanolamine) is an endocannabinoid and anandamide-like metabolite that is created from DHA. In the brain, there exists a tightly linked relationship between the levels of synaptamide and its precursor, DHA.

At nanomolar concentration, synaptamide promotes neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis in developing neurons.

Synaptamide promotes neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis and neurogenesis.The graphic above shows different stages of neurogenesis and how stress, running, learning and enrichment play various roles in the proliferation, differentiation and survival stages of neuronal growth and development. 


Because Synaptamide is produced from DHA, the intake of DHA becomes the rate-determining factor of Synaptamide production. 

If adequate levels of DHA is consumed, adequate amounts of synaptamide can be produced.

Look for this specific compound to continue growing in interest and research.

Genes, Telomeres and Fertility

In the nervous system DHA supports gene expression, which means that genes are influenced by DHA.

One very interesting aspect of this is that DHA binds to the nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-?) ligand, which targets genes related to healthy insulin secretion, healthy blood sugar levels and fatty acid metabolism.

The topic of the various PPARs goes deep and is something I’ve spent a lot of time researching. Because it is such a lengthy topic, I won’t spend more time on it here, but researchers may wish to look into these special receptors further. 

Furthermore, as DHA relates to genes and healthy gene expression, telomeres are also a topic that has gained enormous popularity within the biohacking and wellness fields because DHA supports the size of telomeres. Telomeres are sections of DNA that are located at the ends of chromosomes.

Telomeres are the tips of chromosomes and are made of DNA.

In general, the job of telomeres is to protect the longevity of the genetic information in the chromosome, but it is well known that a variety of dietary and lifestyle factors causes the shortening of these telomeres.

Not surprisingly though, DHA has been shown to support the length and longevity of these telomeres.

This field of study is called nutritional genomics, which encompasses nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics and “studies the interaction-mechanisms of nutrients with DNA in human health. In this regard, nutrigenetics studies the effects of genetic variations on the nutritional response, while nutrigenomics investigates how nutrients and bioactive food compounds affect gene functions via epigenetic modifications.”

DHA, Eye Health, Light and the Pineal Gland

While reading a book for an hour, the eyes make an average of over 10,000 coordination movements while the average person blinks up to 15,000 times per day.

In order to do this, there are certain structural components in the eyes that are needed to make this happen. 

DHA happens to be among the most important. 

Keep in mind though that the eyes can only perceive 0.0035 % of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. We perceive this 0.0035% as the colors of the rainbow and the varying shades in between. This portion of the spectrum is what we see as we go about our day.

The retina of the eye contains an astonishing 91 million rods and about 4.5 million cones, all of which have DHA-loaded membranes that act as photoreceptors and capture the visible spectrum of light.

These photoreceptors in the eye convert the energy from photons (waves of light) from the Sun into electricity, which then is relayed throughout the nervous system. 

Rods and cones line the inside of the retina and are photoreceptive to light.

Photons from the sun hit the retina and are converted to an electrical signal that the brain can then translate. DHA is vital to this process and as discussed above, is the reason we are even able to read and interpret these words right now.

Relating to our two outward-facing eyes is that of the pineal gland, sometimes referred to as the “3rd eye” or “Seat of the Soul.” 

Neurons within the pineal gland are also loaded with DHA and it has been shown that changes in DHA levels correlate nicely with the healthy function of the pineal gland and proper melatonin production.

Supports Cardiovascular Health

The liver controls and recycles triglycerides and cholesterol. The liver is manufacturing and distributing triglycerides and cholesterol for a reason, which is to support your natural, overall health. 

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are a class of lipoproteins that carry fatty acids and cholesterol from the body’s tissues to the liver. Typically, about 30% of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL.  

It’s well known that HDL shuttles cholesterol away from tissues and arteries, back to the liver. That is why HDL is called the “good cholesterol,” because it is taking cholesterol away from your arteries.

For cardiovascular and cholesterol health support, omega-3 DHA and EPA act in three critical ways.

As fundamental natural components dictating LDL cholesterol size, omega-3 DHA and EPA side chains are integrated at the molecular level, acting directly where triglyceride particles are made. 

Second, as signaling molecules, they support a healthy inflammatory response in the cardiovascular system. 

Third, as a main component of heart and liver tissues, DHA supports optimal tissue function. 

In addition to supporting healthy cholesterol levels, DHA and EPA have been shown to support the function of endothelial cells and arteries, which helps support healthy blood pressure. 

Mitochondria, ATP and Cardiolipin

DHA accretion is the process of building up stores or reserves of higher DHA levels over time, yet accretion is naturally limited to an average ideal level of about 8% total omega-3 membrane composition, which means that it poses no risk of overdose or side effects

Most people persist at about 4% total omega-3 membrane levels and have very little DHA in their mitochondrial cardiolipin. Mitochondria are most abundant in heart muscle and neurons. This 4% means most people are operating at about half of their capacity for DHA reserves.

This means most people can benefit from DHA accretion (building up to the proper levels of DHA in the body). 

The summary of 16 human clinical studies using algae DHA proves tissue accretion therapy is effective and supports longevity. By using an average 1000mg to 2000mg DHA per day, a person will double total omega-3s in their red blood cells in 90 days and in all cells within 12 months.

Additional studies with similar intake levels support DHA accretion in mitochondrial cardiolipin within the same time periods. Several of these studies will be listed in the Reference section. 

This is where mitochondrial cardiolipin comes into play. Cardiolipin is a lipid complex that can  be created only from certain fatty acids. Cardiolipin is unique in that it is a novel phospholipid made only in the mitochondria. 

As we know, the mitochondria are the quantum power factories for our body and cells and is where energy generation occurs. 

Cardiolipin functions as a proton trap, which gives ATP synthase the voltage needed to enhance electron transfer and reduce electron leakage. 

DHA omega-3 literally helps maintain mitochondrial structure and function

Cellular uptake of DHA and EPA  leads to deposition into the cell plasma membranes, but only DHA is further deposited into the mitochondrial structure as cardiolipin incorporated with DHA. 

This only happens with sufficient DHA intake levels over time, though. The cardiolipin DHA then functions in energy production and organelle integrity.

This again means regular consumption of DHA is important for supporting mitochondrial health. 

Cardiolipin also plays a role that is essential for the particular shape of mitochondrial cristae

As ScienceDirect notes, “Mitochondrial cristae are dynamic bioenergetic compartments whose shape changes under different physiological conditions and has emerged as potential modulators of mitochondrial bioenergetics…’

DHA is the only omega-3 that can be used to make this novel lipid known as cardiolipin, but only when DHA is consistently available in the diet at high enough levels. DHA also has electroconductive properties, which has many uses in the brain, nervous system, eyes and cardiovascular system. 

Because the heart is an organ that gives off a strong electromagnetic field, ensuring the heart is well nourished in this electroconductive DHA is of utmost importance. DHA accretion using Algae Oil DHA will certainly be of great interest to many people reading this.

DHA, DNA and Quantum Tunneling

It is well established today that higher levels of DHA circulating in blood plasma supports healthy DNA and RNA function. 

What is more interesting though is the exact relationship between DHA and DNA

This brings us back to the work of neuroscientist and world-renowned expert on DHA, Michael Crawford.

Crawford’s paper, “A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signaling throughout evolution” puts forth the statement that it is DHA that has actually been giving the orders for DNA’s functions over the past 600 million plus years

Given that DNA makes the proteins that make the many specialized cells that make up reptiles, birds, all mammals and humans, it is a massive statement to make. 

In Crawford’s paper, he explains, “…over 600 million years animal genomes underwent countless mutations with enormous variation in protein composition and structures. We suggest that DHA…[is] the master of DNA since the beginning of animal evolution. Proteins are selected to function with the constancy of DHA: it was the ‘‘selfish DHA’’ not DNA that ruled the evolution of vision and the brain.” 

Stated otherwise, once DHA arrived at the scene hundreds of millions years ago or more, the molecule proved so incredibly efficient and beneficial that it has run the show from that point forward and remained unchanged for millions of years as all proteins around it also evolved efficiently to better fit its needs.

This leads to the elephant in the room: What makes DHA so unique and special?

The work of Crawford states that DHA is “nothing less than a natural semiconductor, with a unique ability to accurately and coherently transmit signals via quantum mechanical processes. That’s why it is concentrated in the eyes and brain. Each is essentially a signal processor. For the eyes, the signal is more or less direct. For the brain, it is modulated, as a semiconductor modulates an electrical signal to compute and store memory.” Source

What this directly means is that as you process this information you’re reading or listening to right now, DHA is literally the primary framework that supports the processing, understanding and remembering of the information, i.e. neurogenesis.

Crawford points out specifically something that should be noted closely, “the unique molecular structure of DHA allows for quantum transfer and communication of p-electrons, which explains the precise depolarisation of retinal membranes and the cohesive, organized neural signaling which characterizes higher intelligence.”

This also involves a process that should be very specially stated, which is that of quantum tunneling. 

Quantum tunneling “is the process through which a particle passes through an energy barrier despite lacking the energy required to overcome the barrier, as would be defined by classical physics.

Quantum tunneling breaks the conventional laws of physics.

In other words, quantum tunneling breaks the “conventional” laws of physics. 

This is where quantum biology comes into focus, as all biological systems at their fundamental levels are made of atoms

Stated otherwise, DHA is facilitating quantum processes that are vital for the existence of life itself. 

In the upcoming book version of The Neurogenesis Protocol, I’ll be discussing this information even more in-depth and sharing things of interest as it relates to light, biophotons, quantum tunneling, DHA, electrons and more. Stay tuned.

Unique Algae Oil DHA

In my quest to stimulate neurogenesis, optimize quantum processes happening in my brain and eyes and boost mitochondrial function, finding the best version of a DHA supplement became the most important task to me.  

After extensive personal experimentation, countless hours of medical paper reading and inquisitive conversations with lipid biochemists, my company Ascent Nutrition now proudly offers a truly rare, unique DHA product whose quality speaks for itself

Ascent Nutrition’s Algae Oil DHA uses a wild-type strain of algae that is uniquely water extracted to produce the cleanest, purest DHA in the world.

Unlike fish oil, this specific golden algae oil is balanced to match human biology for the DHA to EPA ratio, because again, DHA is 10 times more abundant than any other omega-3 in the human body. 

The brain’s Omega-3 needs are 97% DHA and only 3% EPA, which closely matches our superior strain. Many fish oil products have an upside down ratio because it has way more EPA than DHA, which is not how the body is made. 

Once again, DHA can easily retroconvert to EPA in just the right amounts as the body needs it and when the body needs it. DHA really is what we need.

Our Algae Oil DHA can be considered safer than fish and fish oil for both pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as for purity and direct delivery of the right DHA levels for pregnant women. After all, accretion of DHA at an early stage is critical for neurodevelopment.

Be reassured that natural omega-3 DHA-rich oil like Ascent Nutrition’s Algae Oil DHA gives all the DHA needed for the body to harness these secrets-to-life lipids for health benefits in the body and brain. 

Additionally and most importantly, algae oil is backed by at least 16 different human clinical studies and is shown to build up DHA levels in the human body. (See references below my bio at the end of this article.)

In order to build up one’s levels of DHA in the body, the science shows that 1,000-2,000 mg of algae DHA per day over a period of 3-6 months can do just this and will also help support the brain, nervous system and the process of neurogenesis.

I am publicly announcing The Neurogenesis Regimen and only Ascent Nutrition’s Algae Oil DHA supports the science behind The Neurogenesis Regimen.

The Neurogenesis Regimen supports peak Omega-3 levels, synaptamide production and neurogenesis at 1,000-2,000mg of algae DHA per day over a period of 3 months. 

In other words, if you want to build up your DHA quantity to peak levels, support synaptamide production and neurogenesis, consuming 1,000-2,000 mg of Algae Oil DHA over a period of 3 months can help.

3 months of 1,000-2,000 mg of DHA per day equates to 3-6 bottles.

It is better to have a long-term goal of 3 months to 12 months to double the total body and brain DHA levels

A Compound in Broccoli May Help Repair Brain Damage

Cassie B.
February 11th, 2022

Scientists long believed that brain regeneration was not possible, but there’s growing evidence that a compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may be able to carry out this remarkable feat.

In the 1960s, scientists first started to report evidence of brain regeneration in the hippocampus of adult guinea pigs and rats and the cortex of cats. After that, more evidence started to emerge illustrating how the brain is constantly in a state of self-regeneration and self-repair, using neural stem cells to fix aged and damaged tissue.

With this new evidence that it is indeed possible for the brain to regenerate, scientists wanted to find a way to help this process, and one particularly promising neurogenerative agent has emerged in the form of sulforaphane, a biomolecule that is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Sulforaphane is providing new hope for those who suffer from neurodegenerative disease and brain damage.

A study that was published in the journal Genesis showed that sulforaphane may possess significant therapeutic properties that can fight the underlying pathological disturbances that are seen in people with common neurodegenerative diseases. These include inflammation, neuronal death, increased oxidative stress and perturbed calcium homeostasis. In addition to mitigating these factors, the authors of the study also believe that sulforaphane can stimulate neural stem cell activity.

In the study, the researchers were able to determine the optimal concentration of sulforaphane that can be used to promote neural stem cell growth while keeping neurons intact. They also found that exposing neural stem cells to sulforaphane can lead to their differentiation to neurons, which supports their hypothesis that sulforaphane can indeed stimulate brain repair.

And it’s not just the brain that can benefit from sulforaphane. The compound has also been shown to be useful in treating around 200 other health conditions. For example, it has been linked to improved heart health and digestion. It is also believed to have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic effects and may even protect against sun damage.

How to get more sulforaphane in your diet

Sulforaphane can be found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy and cauliflower. Broccoli sprouts are considered to be one of the best sources of sulforaphane.

Researchers note that raw vegetables tend to have higher levels of this beneficial compound than cooked ones, with one study finding raw broccoli to contain 10 times the sulforaphane of cooked broccoli. If you simply cannot consume it raw, it is best to lightly steam cruciferous vegetables to preserve their beneficial compounds. Boiling or microwaving these vegetables is not recommended if you are trying to get the benefits of sulforaphane.

It is important to keep in mind that cruciferous vegetables must be chopped, chewed or cut in order to get the benefits. That’s because sulforaphane is only activated when it comes into contact with an enzyme involved in the defense response of plants known as glucoraphanin, which is released when the plant is damaged.

You can also enhance your intake of sulforaphane by adding mustard powder or mustard seed to your meals. The dietary myrosinase content of mustard seeds and powder can help raise the availability of sulforaphane in foods like broccoli, particularly when you are cooking these vegetables.

Although the researchers believe that further studies are needed, their finding serves as a powerful reminder of just how beneficial nature’s gifts can be when it comes to our health. Including more foods like broccoli in your diet could well have therapeutic value when it comes to brain degenerative disorders, something that is particularly timely as many people deal with the neurological effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

How Regular Exercise Restructures The Brain

Authored by Ross Pomeroy via RealClear Science (emphasis ours),

Physical activity can do wonders for the body. Exercise can trim weight, chisel muscles, and strengthen the lower back, among many other benefits. Less overt, but no less consequential, physical activity can also buff up your brain. Science is increasingly revealing that the brains of those who regularly work out can look very different compared to the brains of people who don’t.

Changes can start to occur in adolescenceReviewing the scientific literature in 2018, researchers from the University of Southern California found that for teens aged 15-18, regular exercisers tended to have larger hippocampal volumes as well as larger rostral middle frontal volumes compared to healthy matched control teenagers. The hippocampus is most commonly associated with memory and spatial navigation, while the rostral middle frontal gyrus has been linked to emotion regulation and working memory. Studies suggest that these structural changes translate to improved cognitive performance and better academic outcomes.

Exercise’s brain augmenting qualities extend into adulthood, even though the brain tends to be less ‘plastic’ (easily changed) as we get older. Rutgers University scientists beautifully demonstrated this in a study published early last year:

The researchers recruited older African Americans, all previously sedentary, to complete twenty weeks of twice-weekly cardio-dance exercise classes held at local churches and senior centers. As compared to the control group comprised of community members of similar age and background who did not exercise, those in the program showed significant improvements in dynamic brain connectivity (or “neural flexibility”) in their hippocampus and surrounding medial temporal lobe, as measured using resting-state functional MRI.

In another study, published in August 2019, scientists looked at 45 sets of adult identical twins, who, within their pair, all differed greatly in physical activity levels. “More active co-twins showed larger gray matter volumes in striatal, prefrontal, and hippocampal regions, and smaller gray matter volumes in the anterior cingulate area than less active co-twins,” the researchers found.

The scientists also probed the twins’ cognitive abilities.

“More physical activity may expedite preconscious processing of visual stimuli and, in somatosensory domain, improve selective attentional processing by dampening the strength of unattended deviant somatosensory signals,” they added.

The brain alterations do appear beneficial, but current twin studies are too small, and the participants too young, to find whether exercise-induced changes can actually reduce the risk of cognitive disorders or improve outcomes such as education or income.

Researchers have also tried exercise interventions on much older adults, even those with Alzheimer’s disease, to see if physical activity could repair their stricken brains. In 2016, a team of scientists recruited 68 older individuals with probable Alzheimer’s disease to determine whether moving more could help with their symptoms. Some subjects aerobically exercised for 150 minutes per week while others underwent a less rigorous control regimen of stretching and toning for 26 weeks. Compared to the control group, the aerobic exercise group improved more on the Disability Assessment for Dementia at the study’s conclusion. Boosts to cardiorespiratory fitness were also linked to improvements in memory and reduced atrophy of the hippocampus.

Working out also augments the brains of otherwise healthy older adults. Getting thirty minutes of physical activity each day does seem to preserve brain volumes in adults over age 70 compared to sedentary individuals, according to a study published in August of last year. Moreover, higher cardiorespiratory fitness was linked to lower levels of brain atrophy in the research.

One way exercise can induce changes in the brain is by increasing levels of the protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the blood, which is linked to neurogenesis. More BDNF may mean more new neurons in the brain. Regular exercise also increases the growth of additional blood vessels in the brain and helps maintain current ones, leading to boosted blood flow for the oxygen-hungry organ. Lastly, physical activity seems to keep microglia in good working order. Microglia “constantly check the brain for potential threats from microbes or dying or damaged cells and clear any damage they find,” Áine Kelly, a Professor in Physiology at Trinity College Dublin wrote for The Conversation.

Regularly moving one’s body may be the closest thing there is to a health panacea, for both outside the skull and inside.

Love Makes Us More Intelligent, According to Neuroscience

 Exploring Your Mind
by Staff Writer,
June 16th, 2020

Some researchers concluded that love makes us more intelligent. This is because our brains have a “love neural network” and a particular biochemistry that activates and increases a series of cognitive functions.

Related Bowel and Brain – The Connection

People often say that, when a person falls in love, they lose their mind in one way or another. Well, actually, neuroscience has proven that the opposite is true! Love makes us more intelligent<t!

When a person’s in love, several things change in their brain and physiology. This experience is very special, precisely because of that.

Anyone who’s in love, particularly in the early part of the relationship, feels more awake and emotionally connected to the world. Also, they’re more empathetic and compassionate.

The fact is that love makes us better human beings. However, in addition to that, neuroscience discovered that love makes us smarter as well. Why? The chemistry of love resides primarily in the brain, and the transformation that falling in love entails also reaches areas that perform cognitive functions.

“To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.”

-Pablo Neruda-

A couple hugging.

Love makes us more intelligent

In order to reach the conclusion that love makes us smarter, a group of researchers from the University of Chicago scanned the brains of several people who were in love. These images, along with other tests, showed that people who love also think faster, perceive other people’s ideas and behaviors more clearly, and are also more creative.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers used electrodes. They placed the electrodes on the heads of the participants and then showed them a series of photographs, including one of their partner. In addition, they also told them different names, including their partner’s name.

Then, the researchers discovered that 12 brain areas activated when these people saw their loved one or heard their name. One of the areas that showed particularly intense activity was the angular gyrus, one of the regions traditionally associated with abstract thinking and creativity. In fact, this activity didn’t stop when participants saw pictures of other people or heard other names.

“Losing your mind”

The results of the study were quite conclusive. Thus, you don’t “lose your mind” when you fall in love. In fact, love really does seem to make us more intelligent.

In this regard, the study researchers compare the angular gyrus to a small robot that can activate a complex neural network, since this area is highly connected to other brain areas.

The angular gyrus plays a role in functions such as number and language processing, as well as highly complex autobiographical data. This means that, along with love, we also acquire a special capacity to understand our own behaviors in a better way. This happens at a deeper level than in normal situations.

This thought and perception increase make people who are in love more capable of understanding other people’s behaviors on a deeper level. Thus, they perceive other people’s characteristics more effectively and recognize their feelings in a better way. That’s why researchers have concluded that loving makes us better people as well.

A couple in love.

Beyond the initial crush

It’s clear that all these brain activations and reactions are more intense during the infatuation stage. However, another study found that the same effects could be observed later on in the relationship. As long as love was present, there were very real benefits, even if that love wasn’t as effervescent as at the beginning.

A University of California study confirmed this. This time, the researchers studied a number of couples who’d been together for an average of 21.4 years. What these couples had in common was they all still claimed to be in love with their respective partners. The researchers found that their brains reacted similarly to the couples we mentioned above, who had recently fallen in love.

One particular observation was an increased amount of dopamine in their brains. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has beneficial effects on a person’s mood and also influences cognitive activity. Basically, it helps to regulate and modulate information flows. In this regard, a dopamine deficit leads to memory, attention, and problem-solving difficulties.

Based on all this evidence, we can reach the conclusion that love indeed makes us more intelligent. Such intelligence not only applies to strictly cognitive matters but also encompasses the broader world of emotional intelligence.

Psychobiotics: Bacteria For Your Brain?

Originally published on February 4th, 2019
By Kelly Brogan, M.D.
Guest writer for Wake Up World

Every functional medicine psychiatrist has case stories of the “probiotic cure” – of a patient with debilitating symptoms, often obsessive compulsive range, whose symptoms remitted completely with dietary change and probiotic supplementation. Is this voodoo or is it based on a growing understanding of the role of the microbiome in mental health and behavior?

For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled “treatment resistant.” Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.

Inflammatory Models of Mental Illness: The Role for the Gut

Working with this premise, where is the best place to begin when we consider how to modify inflammatory states in the body, naturally? You guessed it, it’s the gut. Housing >70% of our immune system, the gut is our interface between the outside and inside world, separated by one-cell-thickness. The resident microorganisms, outnumbering our human body cells by 10:1, develop an ecosystem through postnatal exposures, in the vaginal canal, through breastfeeding, and the immediate environment.  Disruption to the balance of bacteria through medication exposures, gluten, herbicides, stress, and infection can set the stage for the innate immune system to prepare for attack. Depression, associated with compromised integrity of this intestinal barrier, becomes the swirling storm of inflammation, impairment of cellular machinery (i.e. mitochondria), oxidative stress, and inflammation in a carousel-like forward rotation. Specifically, depression is associated with elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a nutrient-binding, inflammatory toxin produced by bacteria that are intended to remain in the gut.

If depression is a downstream collection of symptoms, and inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are driving these symptoms, what is at the source? It appears, from data in animals and humans, that disruption to our gut ecology may be a major player, and the microbiome has stepped to the forefront of cutting-edge psychiatric research.

Enter psychobiotics: “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.” A review by Dinan et al. encompasses the clinical basis for the use of probiotics in mental health with reference to animal studies in which behavioral changes resulted from exposure to bacterial strains such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. In placebo-controlled trials in humans, measures of anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression and anxiety associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

The therapeutic clinical applications of probiotics have been limited to a handful of strains out of the more than 7000 at last count. It appears that colonization is not an expected outcome of probiotic supplementation, and that genomic communication between bacteria and immune receptors may account for anti-inflammatory effects.

Ancient Wisdom

Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.

What do bacteria accomplish in the gut? Do they just help with digestion? According to Selhub et al., they:

Given widespread fermentation practices in traditional cultures, it appears that this dietary wisdom may serve to ameliorate gut-based inflammation and promote optimal nutrient assimilation as described in this review: “Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations .”

In addition to increasing bioavailability and production of minerals, neurochemicals, and fatty acids, fermented foods actually produce methylfolate, an activated form of folate required for methylation: brain chemical synthesis, detox, and gene expression.

Because of the complex coevolution of bacterial strains, cultivated through our food supply, and complementary to our inner microbiomes, we have an opportunity to use therapeutic foods to reeducate an immune system that has been drawn off course. Psychobiotics have the potential to modulate multiple different relevant factors at once:

“This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself.” 

It is therefore compelling to consider the power of reconnecting to the natural world through our food; communicating through our guts to our brains, that nutrients are plentiful, our bodies are safe, and that our inflammatory systems can be put at ease. It is under these circumstances that the infinite complexity of the endocrine, immune, and gastrointestinal systems can play out, unhindered in support of mental health and wellness.

Recommended articles by Kelly Brogan, M.D.

About the author:

Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the NY Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, the children’s book A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is on the board of GreenMedInfo, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Functional Medicine University, Pathways to Family Wellness, Mindd Foundation, SXSW Wellness, Chickasaw Nation Wellness, and the peer-reviewed, indexed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. She is Medical Director for Fearless Parent and a founding member of Health Freedom Action. She is a certified KRI Kundalini Yoga teacher and a mother of two. For more articles, sign up for her newsletter at kellybroganmd.com.