The blood-brain barrier is a protective shield that allows nutrients to enter the brain while keeping harmful components in the bloodstream from passing into the brain. However, many factors can cause a leaky blood-brain barrier. This can allow harmful components to penetrate the blood-brain brain, ultimately causing inflammation and brain health issues. A leaky blood-brain barrier is associated with many mental health issues and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, brain fog, fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia. In the article below, we will discuss natural ways which have been demonstrated to help fix a leaky blood-brain barrier and improve overall brain health.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
Table of Contents
Take BerberineA variety of plants have an alkaloid known as berberine. This extracted substance has anti-inflammatory properties and it can ultimately promote brain health by protecting neurons. Scientists have also found that taking berberine can help lower “bad” cholesterol, improve gut health, and many others believe it may even have possible antidepressant properties. Other research studies have shown that it can reduce inflammation, improve blood-brain barrier permeability and decrease damage following a traumatic brain injury. However, further research studies are still required to demonstrate these effects.
Avoid Exposure to MoldMold and mycotoxins, or toxic metabolites released by mold, can cause severe brain health issues in people with certain sensitivities and intolerances. Exposure to these can also cause a leaky blood-brain barrier. In 2010, scientists demonstrated that exposure to mold and mycotoxins can increase BBB permeability by breaking down the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, low amounts of mold and mycotoxins can also be found in the foods we eat, including nuts, tea, coffee, and chocolate. Charcoal or bentonite clay supplements are powerful remedies that can capture toxins and release them out of the body.
Take B VitaminsAccording to healthcare professionals, B vitamins have been found to help improve a leaky blood-brain barrier. B vitamin deficiencies can ultimately affect brain health. Taking vitamin B1 (thiamine) supplements can help fix BBB permeability. Research studies have also shown that vitamins B6, B9, and B12 can help improve brain health in older adults with increased homocysteine and moderate cognitive impairment. Homocysteine is an inflammatory component that can breakdown the blood-brain barrier. Fortunately, healthcare professionals have found that taking B vitamins can balance the blood-brain barrier.
Take MagnesiumMagnesium is a fundamental mineral that plays a vital role in a variety of structures and functions in the body, including enzyme, hormonal, and neurotransmitter activity. Magnesium is also one of the nutrients that people are most deficient in. This important mineral can increase growth hormones in the brain, support mitochondria, protect the brain from alcohol and help people overcome addiction and withdrawal. Research studies have also shown that taking magnesium can improve BBB permeability. Bananas, avocado, spinach, chard, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate have magnesium.
Take R-Lipoic Acid (RLA) and Acetyl-Carnitine (ALCAR)R-Lipoic Acid (RLA) is a fat-soluble and stable, bioavailable form of lipoic acid or an antioxidant created by the body, that can pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. This essential antioxidant can also protect the brain from alcohol and support mitochondria. Research studies have found that RLA can decrease oxidative stress and inflammation as well as improve BBB permeability and. Acetyl-Carnitine (ALCAR) is an acetylated form of the amino acid carnitine that is synergistic with RLA. ALCAR is neuroprotective and it can help people improve brain fog as well as addiction and withdrawal.
Eat or Take Turmeric or CurcuminTurmeric or curcumin, the spice that gives curry its yellowish color, is another fundamental ingredient for brain health that can help reduce stress and increase growth hormones in the brain. Turmeric or curcumin can also improve BBB permeability and promote overall brain health by maintaining and regulating the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Research studies have also found that eating or taking turmeric or curcumin can help prevent damage to the blood-brain barrier due to glucose and oxygen deprivation by considerably decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body.
Take Vitamin DVitamin D is another fat-soluble vitamin that the skin produces when exposed to the sun. The brain, heart, muscles, and immune system, among other cells and tissues in the body, have vitamin D receptors. This fat-soluble vitamin is fundamental for a variety of structures and functions. Vitamin D deficiencies can also cause a variety of brain health issues and neurological diseases. Scientists have shown that vitamin D can decrease inflammation and improve BBB permeability. Vitamin D has also been demonstrated to help protect endothelial cells and improve BBB permeability in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Take Citicoline or Alpha GPCCiticoline or CDP-Choline is another essential B vitamin and bioavailable form of choline. This substance can help improve brain fog. Research studies have also found that citicoline or CDP-Choline can prevent the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier following a stroke or traumatic brain injury and brain ischemia. Alpha GPC is another form of choline that has been shown to help support the blood-brain barrier. Scientists have also found that it can fix damage to the blood-brain barrier following a stroke or TBI, restoring cognitive function. You can also find some choline in egg yolks and beef liver.
Avoid Exposure to EMFsAccording to a variety of research studies, radiofrequency electromagnetic fields or EMFs emitted from smartphones, laptops, and WiFi can affect the brain and mental health. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields or EMFs can cause a leaky blood-brain barrier. Several other research studies have found that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields or EMFs can increase BBB permeability. Increased blood-brain barrier permeability may ultimately result in the accumulation of brain cell and tissue damage as well as cognitive impairment. It’s important to be aware of the effects of being exposed to these devices.
Many factors can cause a leaky blood-brain barrier, ultimately causing increased BBB permeability, oxidative stress, inflammation and a variety of brain and mental health issues, including neurodegenerative diseases. The blood-brain barrier is a protective shield which allows nutrients to enter the brain while keeping harmful components in the bloodstream from passing into the brain. A leaky blood-brain barrier is associated with anxiety, depression, brain fog, fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia. Fortunately, several natural ways have been demonstrated to help improve overall brain health and wellness as well as help fix a leaky blood-brain barrier. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. InsightThe blood-brain barrier is a protective shield that allows nutrients to enter the brain while keeping harmful components in the bloodstream from passing into the brain. However, many factors can cause a leaky blood-brain barrier. This can allow harmful components to penetrate the blood-brain brain, ultimately causing inflammation and brain health issues. A leaky blood-brain barrier is associated with many mental health issues and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, brain fog, fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia. In the article above, we discussed more natural ways which have been demonstrated to help fix a leaky blood-brain barrier and improve overall brain health.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez References:
- The Star Academy. “How to Repair a Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier.” The Star Academy, The Star Academy, 16 Oct. 2018, thestaracademy.co.za/repair-leaky-blood-brain-barrier/.
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Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic PainSudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological DiseaseDr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.
Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune ResponseDr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.
Gut Zoomer for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate gut health associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The Vibrant Gut ZoomerTM offers a report that includes dietary recommendations and other natural supplementation like prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols. The gut microbiome is mainly found in the large intestine and it has more than 1000 species of bacteria that play a fundamental role in the human body, from shaping the immune system and affecting the metabolism of nutrients to strengthening the intestinal mucosal barrier (gut-barrier). It is essential to understand how the number of bacteria that symbiotically live in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract influences gut health because imbalances in the gut microbiome may ultimately lead to gastrointestinal (GI) tract symptoms, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, immune system imbalances, and multiple inflammatory disorders.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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