Is My Brain Healthy? How Does Inflammation Change My Brain
Imagine someone buys you the car of your dreams, whatever car you want.
The only catch is that one car will have to last you the rest of your life.
How are you going to treat that car?
You’ll get it serviced regularly, have an MOT every year, have it insured, check that tyres and put air in them, put washer fluid, oil and fuel in it regularly too.
After all, it keeps you safe and alive.
Your body is that car.
One of the best ways you can take care of the vehicle that is your body is to think about your levels of inflammation.
Chronic levels are a red warning light on your dash board.
Your dashboard is your brain.
Do you know what the symptoms are that trigger the red light?
If not, I’ll try to explain the effects for you to look out for:
Inflammation is key to keeping you well and safe. It’s key to keeping you alive.
Slice your finger with a kitchen knife, get bitten by a bug, or catch the flu, and you'll experience the side effects of inflammation—the immune system's powerful mechanism for healing damaged tissue and battling invading germs.
You may notice swelling, redness, or pain from the bite or cut, or develop a fever and fatigue.
These are all signs that short-term inflammation is protecting your health.
Factors that cause brain inflammation
But inflammation has a downside. If it becomes chronic—due to chronic stress, low antioxidant levels, pain, infections, leaky gut or gut inflammation, illness, ageing, poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity —it may contribute to thinking, memory and mood problems.
The brain can become inflamed like the rest of the body.
Inflammation in the body releases immune cells called cytokines that activate inflammation in the brain.
The latest research now cites inflammation as a primary cause in many cases of chronic depression, especially in cases where people don’t respond to antidepressants. This is because the medications do not address brain inflammation.
Brain inflammation doesn’t hurt like an inflamed ankle would.
Instead it causes various symptoms, depending on the person, including:
Brain fatigue and poor mental focus after meals
When something triggers inflammation in the brain this hinders communication between neurons so they fire more slowly, creating symptoms such as brain fog, slower mental speed, slower recall, and slower reflexes.
Brain inflammation also shuts down energy production in the neurons, so brain endurance drops, making it harder to read, work, or concentrate for any length of time. This also leads to depression.
The blood-brain barrier and brain inflammation
One of the biggest risks to triggering brain inflammation is a leaky blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a thin lining that surrounds the brain and is designed to allow only nano-sized particles in or out as needed.
However, like the gut, it can become damaged and “leaky,” allowing foreign invaders in. Although the blood-brain barrier degrades easily, it can also regenerate through dietary and lifestyle changes similar to how you can repair leaky gut.
For instance, high stress degrades the blood-brain barrier, but normalising stress levels can allow it to repair.
What can you do to reduce inflammation?
Address chronic stress levels in your life
Stabilising your blood sugar
Eat less inflammatory foods
Pay attention to chronic health issues
Take powerful antioxidants
All these factors can help restore the blood-brain barrier which will have the long term effect of reducing brain inflammation.
Nutrients that help reduce brain inflammation
Remember: only put the very best fuel in your engine.
Amino acids known to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Two such nonessential amino acids that help to rebuild the blood-brain barrier and leaky gut are:
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that plays a huge role in immunity and inflammation. It’s a powerful antioxidant, so it can reduce inflammation by neutralising free radicals that cause oxidative damage to your cells.
Several B vitamins support the health of the blood-brain barrier:
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency disrupts the blood-brain barrier and supplementation can restore it.
Vitamins B12, B5, and B9 (folate) can restore blood-brain barrier integrity.
Vitamin D is a powerful tool in managing inflammation and autoimmunity. Every tissue in your body has vitamin D receptors. Studies show it can help prevent leaky brain byreducing inflammation and reducing blood-brain barrier disruption.
A vital mineral for more than 300 biochemical processes in your body, magnesium affects brain neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones. Many people are deficient.
Magnesium protects the brain by:
Protecting the blood-brain barrier
Increasing the brain’s growth hormone
Omega 3 fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids (EFA) are fats our bodies need but can’t produce on their own, so they must come from food sources or supplementation.
EFAs are critical for reducing inflammation.
It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the US population is deficient in EFAs.
Primarily found in fish but also in algae and some nuts, Omega 3s are EFAS that support your mitochondria, increase brain growth hormone, and support the blood-brain barrier.
Other ingredients that help:
If you start to feel your “head clear” when you have made changes to reduce brain inflammation, that’s a sign you’re on the right track.
You have taken steps to keep your vehicle safe and road worthy. You’re tuned up and ready for life.
ps I've put tonnes of anti-inflammatory ingredients in Mood Me to keep things super simple for you to put the very best fuel in your body