It’s All in Your Head – Part I

The Martial Art of Wellness
Volume 12 – September 2013

(Archive of Previous BioNews)


DEAR FRIENDS

ninja

Welcome to this month’s BioNews.  We must learn to free ourselves from the control that others exert over us. As we learn we become FREE, we become powerful.  This pursuit of self defense in wellness, I call “The Martial Art of Wellness”. And as we practice we become Wellness Ninjas.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure a disease after it has manifest is like digging a well when one feels thirsty, or forging a weapon when the war has already begun.

– China’s Yellow Emperor – over 2000 years ago


THIS ISSUE’S TESTIMONIAL ( Back to Biosuperfood and my body is loving it!

I am a healthy person but think we need to add the nutritional components missing in our foods. I have been taking f2 for months but recently stop for a few weeks. That’s when I noticed my body was craving all kinds of snacky foods, that did not make me any more energetic! Back to Biosuperfood and my body is loving it, feeling completely fed. Cravings gone. Hurray!

– A product review submitted for BIOSUPERFOOD F2 Core (180 veggie capsules)


MARTIAL ART OF WELLNESS ( It’s All in Your Head – Part I )

I have been meaning to write about the many disorders of the brain in relation to Bio-Algae Concentrates (BAC) for a long while.  Most of you reading this letter know about “ awakening the genius within “ and the myriad of benefits associated with consuming BAC on a regular basis.  In reading this letter I am certain you will understand more and better the reasons why consuming such a small amount of food can prevent and alleviate so many potential disorders.

Given what we know vis-à-vis the upcoming crisis of brain disorders in America, I decided that I can make enough sense of what is known about brain disorders and pass it on to you urgently.

braindisorders

Growing up as a child I was led to believe that aging was a peaceful affair.  There were several older aunts and uncles in my family that lived over ninety years, and I had two grandfathers that lived to be 84 and 94.  Charles Dumais, my grandfather on my mother’s side, was a pioneer in the town of Roberval, Quebec where I grew up, and he was the first insurance agent in the town.  He lived a quiet life, keeping flower and vegetable gardens around his house.  I don’t recall ever hearing of any health issues with him except that in his last year at 84 he was losing his sight.  I remember vividly when I was 5 years old, on his 84th birthday, grandfather blowing the 84 candles on his cake.  One night the following week he went to bed and did not wake up.   He had never been hospitalized in his life.     His smooth passing left me with a positive impression about longevity and death.  Later, I witnessed the aging and passing of my godmother, Blanche, at 96, her sisters, Cecile at 95, and Charlotte in her late 80’s, and several aunts also in advanced age.  I recall none had apparent signs of dementia or brain disorders.  It was only later, after the 80’s, that I started noticing the increasing plethora of diseases affecting our aging populations.   I noticed dementia in my father starting in his 70’s, and then with my mother in her mid-80’s when, after my father passed, she started speaking to the television.  And currently, my mother-in-law in her early 80s is living with many brain related disorders.

I don’t know what the statistics on diseases and aging were way back then, but we have all heard of this coming epidemic that will severely affect the aging baby boomer population and the generation coming after unless WE do something to prevent it.   Here is a sobering recent headline on dementia.

Nearly half of all seniors who need long-term care have dementia: study

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/nearly-half-of-all-seniors-who-need-long-term-care-have-dementia-study-1.1462841#ixzz2fQrs1Y5r

 

And let me share some  current statistics of brain disorders in the United States, and I will follow with more discussion.

Current Statistics on brain disorders

Condition National Prevalence Data Source
Alzheimer’s disease 4,500,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) 30,000 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association
Anorexia, bulemia & binge disorders 5,241,600 National Institute of Mental Health
Anxiety disorders 19,100,000 National Institute of Mental Health
Ataxia 150,000 National Ataxia Foundation
ADHD (Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder) 17,400,000 Children’s Disease Center/National Institute of Mental Health
Autism 4,600,000 National Institute of Mental Health
Bipolar disorder 23,000,000 National Institute of Mental Health
Blephoraspasm 80,000 National Organization for Rare Disorders
Blindness and visual impairments 10, 000,000 American Foundation for the Blind
Brain or head injuries (traumatic) 5,300,000 Children’s Disease Center
Cerebral palsy 1,000,000 Children’s Disease Center
Chronic epstein barr virus 87, 000 National Organization for Rare Disorders
Deaf or partially deaf 27,000,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Depression (major) 19,900,000 National Institute of Mental Health
Developmental disorders 48,600,000 Children’s Disease Center
Diabetic neuropathy 9,540,000 Children’s Disease Center/ National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Dyslexia and other learning disorders 40,000,000 NIHCHS
Epilepsy 2,300,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/EF
Fibromyalgia 6,000,000 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Huntington’s disease 40,000 National Organization for Rare Disorders
Macular degeneration 15,000,000 National Eye Institute
Mental retardation/mental neurobiological disorders 5,720,000 Children’s Disease Center
Migraines/cluster headaches 45,000,000 National Institute of Health
Multiple sclerosis 400,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Narcolepsy and sleep disorders 1,430,000 National Institute of Health
Neurofibromatosis 78,700 National Neurofibromatosis Foundation/National Institute of Health
Neuromuscular diseases 28,300,000 Muscular Dystrophy Association/National Institute of Health
Pain (Chronic), spinal cord Injuries, phantom limb pain 64,000,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Parkinson’s disease 1,500,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/National Parkinson Foundation
Postherpetic neuralgia 38,955,800 NIHCHS
Restless leg syndrome 14,500,000 The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation
Schizophrenia 2,200,000 National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
Spina bifida 286,000 Spina Bifida Association
Spinal cord Injury 200,000 NASCI / National Institute of Health
Stroke 4,700,000 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Substance abuse disorders (severe) 13,914,500 SA/National Institute of Mental Health
Tinnitus (severe) 42,800,000 American Tinnitus Association
Tourette’s syndrome and other tic disorders 100,000 Tourettes A
Trigeminal neuralgia 2,450,000 National Organization for Rare Disorders
Tumors (brain and nervous system) 350,000 The Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States
Vestibular and balance disorder 90,000,000 National Institute of Health

Reference from: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/brain/in-community/brain-awareness/brain-health/disease-statistics.cfm

If add up the numbers you’ll end up with over 600 million, that is twice the population of the United States.  This means that many of you have one or more of these conditions.  I hope reading these statistics has made you more aware of the likelihood of having a brain disorder and will make you want to do something about preventing and delaying any of these disorders in your life for a long as you can.

 

Disruptions in your brain leads to disruptions in your entire body

brain-bellI am assuming that you are interested in living a long and healthy life.  To do so you must do your best to prevent your brain from slowing down.  Thanks to new advances in science, you can now expect to live longer, and your efforts should give you even more years.  But unfortunately, as we advance our ability to prolong life, there are no significant advances in slowing cognitive decline, which nowadays begins at 40 if you allow it to. After age 60, between 15 and 20% of the population suffer from at least one form of mental disease (senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, etc.), and after age 90, more that 80% are affected. Although older people are affected first, some people begin to experience slowdowns as early as their 20s because of poor eating habits, especially consuming too much sugar.

Our brains control a myriad of vital physiological processes in our body including respiration and digestion but they also allow us to think and feel. Did you know that the speed at which your brain works determines if your body will operate like a well-oiled machine … or on the contrary lets it be shaken by disorder?  This disorder may be of the mind; confusion, forgetfulness, depression, dementia …, or of the body: poor digestion, high blood pressure, poor defense against infections, etc.

If, during your life, your brain processing speed slows down by more than 100ms; your brain will begin to have serious problems doing its work.  In fact, if we take more than 400ms to process a thought or connection, we are no longer consistent physically and/or mentally.

 

More on the importance of the speed of your brain?

You know how long it takes you to get ready for work in the morning, and perhaps you know that you can run a 5k faster than your friend, but do you know what the speed of your brain is? This unknown factor is crucial for your mental and physical health.

imagesYour brain is constantly traversed by electrical currents, moving from one neuron to another, crossing one sector of your brain to the next, processing information received through your senses, your blood, your nervous system, your lymphatic system, and sends millions of commands throughout your body.

Even at rest, billions of electric currents are transmitted inside your brain. But they can also be directed to the nerves and fibers that go to your organs. In this case, a small electric current is sent along a nerve to destination, your hand for example, to order a muscle to contract to make it move, and one returns to the brain to indicate whether the work has been done.

Your brain needs about 50 milliseconds (half a tenth of a second) to react to light, 100 ms to respond to a beep, and, requiring more energy and time, 320 ms to process a thought. So crucial questions for all of us are whether we process our thoughts at the right speed, and whether our brain waves (our frequencies) are synchronized.

 

How do you know if you are having brain troubles?

When your neurons slow down, you may realize that you have lost track of what you were saying, you search for your words, and you cannot remember the name of an actor that you have always known … Your brain hiccups, and your thoughts do as well.  Alongside the memory issues, you may also experience even more annoying discomforts: anxiety, depression, mental anguish, doubts… These small issues may lead to Dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s conditions among others.

Brain Loading 2Do you sometimes feel that your brain does not work like it did before?  Unfortunately, this is probably not an impression. Memory problems affect virtually all individuals who are aging. Some mental operations, such as making quick comparisons and storing unrelated information, peak at the age of 22. Once you hit 27, these abilities begin to decline, according to a study published in the medical journal, Neurobiology of Aging, by the University of Virginia. The decline becomes apparent in categories such as abstract reasoning, brain speed, and solving puzzles. But on average, the real memory decline begins at around age 37.

According to a study published in the October 2010 issue of Journal of Nutrition, it appears that a key factor in memory loss is inflammation of the brain. Inflammation is believed to be caused by immune cells that work too hard. They produce excess inflammatory proteins in the brain, known as cytokines. Ultimately, your brain “swells” as a result of inflammation.  And you lose the keys to your car … again.

 

It’s never too late to take steps to improve the speed of your brain. 

Scientists have always believed that these developments, known as “age related cognitive decline,” were inevitable, and that they were a normal consequence of aging. Therefore, most of us have always believed that we could not do anything to fight them, and had to get used to just living with them. But new research says that this is not the case. In fact, it appears that not only can you slow cognitive decline, you can even reverse it.

Each of us has certain neurotransmitters in surplus or deficit, which determines our brain metabolism and even our mood. When we have the necessary nutrients, our neurotransmitters and our neurons work best. We feel like we are in good form and we will likely enjoy life. So if you suspect a decline or loss in mental faculties, or if you have increasing mood instabilities, or a change in your character, you may have a neurotransmitter imbalance. This can be verified by blood analysis, but also by careful observation of your overall mental state: your mood, your energy and your memory.  This is something that you can do by yourself initially.

Once you think that you are affected by such deficiencies, you cannot afford to wait. You must take measures to restore your balance, which can be achieved by reviewing your diet, stopping the wrong foods and increasing the right foods, reviewing your body and brain fitness, and increasing accordingly your body and brain exercise plan.

 

Our brain requires valuable bio-chemicals to become and remain healthy. 

biofuel_bubblesOur brains not only require fuel made up of fats, sugar, oxygen, amino acids, minerals, trace minerals, and many other nutrients and phytonutrients, but also require exercise just like our muscles.  The speed at which electrical currents travel through your brain also depends on the presence of other complex chemicals known as neurotransmitters like dopamine, acetylcholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, serotonin and many more. They are called “Neurotransmitters” because they transmit electrical signals from neuron to neuron.  And remember that most brain scientists will tell you that we still don’t know much about our brain.  But it is now well-known that chronic lack of certain nutrients and neurotransmitters will slow the operating speed of our brain and likely result in serious illnesses.

American neurobiologist Eric Braverman, a former clinical director of the prestigious Brain Bio Center in Princeton, said:

The body responds to many diseases in a “domino effect”: a small change can affect the functioning of the body. In most cases, the fall of the first domino is the result of an imbalance in the brain. For example, a change in dopamine production increases feelings of anger and hostility. Gradually, as the stress level rises, the heart muscle is exhausted and blood pressure increases. At some point, another vital neurotransmitter, serotonin is requested so that the person becomes insomniac. When reserves are depleted of serotonin, another disorder appears: the compulsion to sugars. The person eats more, grows and kidneys are struggling with this increased workload. Because of obesity, the downward spiral begins: enlargement of the heart, liver fat infiltration and the risk of stroke, heart attack or even cancer.

 

Act first by natural means

Brain balance can be assessed by measuring hormones produced by your brain that determine levels of neurotransmitters. 90% of your hormones are produced or regulated in your brain. Some people may choose hormone replacement therapy, based on bio-identical hormones (hopefully from natural plant sources), to compensate for the decline in hormone production related to age or illness.  But there are no long term studies on the validity or dangers of such therapies.

And you know me; my suggestion is always to act first by natural means. For example, instead of taking bio-identical hormones, simply make changes in your lifestyle, eat a diet of foods rich in amino acids and other phytonutrients, and you will re-invigorate your level of neurotransmitters and regain significant hormone production and brain balance.

farmers market istock

Its about getting out of the way of wellness

In ending this letter, let me remind you that before implementing radical diet or lifestyle changes, you should first “keep it simple” and get out of the way of wellness.  Simple changes in diet, your lifestyle and environment may be necessary to regain balance. Start by removing the obvious culprits that are known to cause brain disorders: excess of sugar, salt, alcohol, protein, junk foods and beverages, and tobacco.  Did you know that stress alone can be responsible for causing major intoxication in the body and brain.    There is no doubt that an overactive and stressful life in the center of a polluted megacity is not as good for your brain health as a life in nature! Of course there are many other stress factors: loss of loved ones, divorce, change of home, loss of employment, etc.  And there are still others that should not be overlooked: a stressful relation with your employer, church, work, spouse, with children, even with your pet(s).  Work just on these at first and you will find improvements within a few days.

 

If you increase brain health, the rest of the body is a no-brainer

There is much research that shows that decline in hormone production may indeed be caused by deficiencies in your diet of essential amino acids and other nutrients that your body cannot manufacture itself. For example, some amino acids like tyrosine elevate your level of dopamine. Serine and acetyl-L-carnitine help raise levels of acetylcholine. Glutamine increases level of GABA, and tryptophan increases serotonin levels.   The good news is that these amino acids are all available in a balanced plant-rich diet.  Such a diet has the advantage of simultaneously giving you not only amino acids, but the many vitamins, minerals and trace elements like chrome, thiamine (vitamin B1), manganese, inositol, huperzine A, vitamin B6, etc., that are required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters.  And in eating such a diet you will increase your brain health.

 

Knowing this you can now shoot for vitality and longevity.

All you have to do is eat more plants, fruits and vegetables, and not too much, drink mostly water, exercise four to seven days per week, breathe and sleep deeply and relax profoundly, implement regular fasting and be happy.  Implement even 25% of theses and you will find tremendous new energy and vitality.  I know it’s easier written than done, but what else are you going to do?   Wait for symptoms, start medicating, become a burden on your family and society?

 

Awaken the Genius Within

Most of you reading this letter are familiar with BAC and it’s nutritional ability to support your efforts at increasing brain health.  Consuming BAC increases your brain’s hypothalamus’ ability to manage hormones within fifteen minutes of eating it.  It’s hard to believe that consuming such small amount of BAC on a regular basis can prevent and alleviate so many potential disorders.  Read “Awakening the Genius Within” to remind yourself of the research and results.  Read the newly remodeled online book “The Magic is BAC” for more detailed information.

 

Next time, we will address Alzheimer’s disease and a whole lot more on how to prevent all sorts of brain disorders.

 

Sources:

 


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