In Part 1, I covered 3 things that you DO NOT want to do to your brain if you want it to work normally throughout your senior years—smoking, anticholinergic drugs and heartburn drugs. Here are some more “do nots”:
Antibiotics. Being mycotoxins (fungal poisons) they directly poison the brain. But, perhaps more importantly, they have disturbing indirect effects on the brain by killing off the good bacteria in our intestines. There is a powerful connection between our brain and the gut which is lovingly called our “second brain”. For example, these bacteria make more neurotransmitters (such as the “happy hormone”, serotonin) than the other brain in our heads. The bacteria also make nutrients and facilitate absorption of nutrients from the diet that are needed for brain health. Obviously, sometimes antibiotics are imperative—but only 50% of the times that they are prescribed. If you must take one, start Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics immediately and continue for months.
Agricultural chemicals. Roundup is a perfect example. I picked that toxin because you may have recently seen it in the news in regard to cancer-related lawsuits against the manufacturer (Monsanto/Bayer). It is ubiquitous and unfortunately is just one of the agricultural chemicals that damage our microbiome (collection of gut bacteria) which as I just stated is critical to brain health. If you can’t afford to eat a lot of organic foods, perhaps just focus on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen which details the worst. Also, glutathione is the body’s master detoxifier, so it is smart to boost your levels of a probiotic bacteria (me3 contained in Reg’Activ products) which makes it for you right in your gut.
Sugar / High fructose corn syrup. As you know, acquired high blood sugar is called “Type 2 Diabetes”. These days, many experts call Alzheimer’s disease and/or Cancer “Diabetes Type 3”. For one thing, sugar kind of sugar coats / caramelizes our proteins. That keeps our cells from working correctly and causes inflammation. We need to remember that refined starches quickly turn to sugar and even excess protein can turn to blood sugar. High fructose corn syrup is an obvious problem in soft drinks, but it sneaks into a surprising number of foods like ketchup, salad dressing, prepared meals and…well, there is just no substitute for reading the ingredient lists on labels. Besides that sweetener’s unhealthful effect on blood sugar, insulin and fat storage, it also harbors mercury. Mercury is the most nerve damaging metal on the planet (except for those that are radioactive).
Excitotoxins. In his landmark book, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Russell Blaylock, MD describes how some substances kill neurons (nerve tissue). Among them is MSG (which goes by a lot of aliases). Also, included are the “adjuvants” like mercury and aluminum which are added to various vaccines to purposely annoy the immune system into action…they also annoy the brain.
In the next installment, I’ll cover some of the positive steps we can take to boost brain health.