Many people may question whether or not their brain needs to detox. However, it is interesting to note that while we sleep, our brains shrink by 60%! This is because of how our brain releases toxins. We have vessels that clear out old cells, byproducts, and excess fluid. If you don’t get good quality sleep, then your brain will not get rid of the toxins. Once you have too many toxins, you will start to feel sick. This article will discuss the common toxins, how they affect your brain, and how to detox your brain naturally.
There are hundreds of toxins in our environment that we are exposed to on a daily basis. However, we are going to discuss the main ones that everyone is exposed to. Some of those toxins are:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Carbon Monoxide
- Cleaning Products
- Nail Polish Remover
You may be wondering how you would be exposed to these toxins. Most exposure results from industrial exposure, pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers, or the ingestion of lead-based paints. You can be exposed to drugs and alcohol if you consume them in any way. That is because they are absorbed into your bloodstream and eventually your brain. This is why it is important to know, how to detox your brain naturally!
Carbon monoxide can also be a toxin. (2) Improperly ventilated appliances and engines can allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels. It is dangerous because it is odorless, and colorless. Thus, you may not even notice it absorbing into your body and affecting your brain.
Cleaning products can be dangerous to be exposed to as well. (13) Especially the extremely acidic or alkaline cleaners. Some cleaners contain corrosive ingredients as well. These can cause painful burns to the skin and eyes. They also can cause permanent tissue damage or scarring. You should not inhale fumes from these products because it could cause lung damage. (13) However, cleaning products are still dangerous because once they are on your skin or in your lungs, they can go to your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, these toxins make their way to your brain as well.
We all know that if you consume a product there is a chance you will be exposed to toxins. However, nailpolish is an exception. Your nails will still absorb the toxins in nail polish and send it straight to your bloodstream. Once it is in your bloodstream, it will travel to your brain and cause leaky brain. A study done at Duke University, found that every time we get a manicure, at least one chemical absorbs into our bodies.
Now that you know how you can be exposed to these common toxins, we will discuss the common symptoms that occur with toxic exposure.
Symptoms of Toxic Exposure
All of these toxins tend to show the same symptoms when we are exposed. Those symptoms include:
- Poor Memory
- Brain Fog
- Decreased Brain Endurance
- Unclear Thoughts
- Decreased Mental Speed
- Poor Focus
- Brain Fatigue From Scents
When your brain becomes inflamed it is called neuroinflammation (leaky brain). Leaky brain has caused many problems for people. (2) Some of these problems include ruined careers and damaged relationships. How does leaky brain happen?
Leaky brain issues is common because your blood-brain barrier is semi-permeable. Your brain needs things like glucose, amino acids, fat-soluble nutrients, and ketones to function properly. In order for them to get to the brain, they go through the semi-permeable blood vessels. Your blood-brain barrier also keeps harmful toxins, infectious pathogens, and immune cells out. However, some toxins will still manage to get through. Once that barrier is broken, it can cause brain fog, depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Now that we’ve discussed the symptoms of toxic exposure, we can discuss the causes of leaky brain.
Causes of Leaky Brain
There are a few causes of leaky brain. The main causes are:
- Excessive Alcohol Intake
- High Blood Pressure
- Chronic Toxic Exposure
Your body needs you to sleep and enjoy appropriate amounts of sleep in order to maintain the function of the blood-brain barrier. (5) The most important sleep cycle is REM (rapid eye movement). If you do not get enough REM then your blood-brain barrier will be disrupted. In addition, if you get less than 7 to 9 hours of sleep per 24 hours your brain will not function properly.(1)
Many studies came to the conclusion that long-term alcohol abuse leads to massive functional changes in the central nervous system. The alcohol you drink is essentially ethanol. This enhances reactive oxygen species that damage brain cells.
Studies have also shown that high blood pressure is linked to leaky brain as well. Considering 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, this should be taken very seriously.(2)
Chronic toxic exposure can cause leaky brain as well. This is because once you are exposed to a toxin, it could make its way to your bloodstream. Once it is in your bloodstream, it will find its way to your brain and cause leaky brain. This happens most commonly with household cleaning products.
Now we know what causes a leaky brain, so let’s discuss what to do if you do have a leaky brain.
What to Do
If you discover that you have been exposed to a toxin, the first thing you need to do to decrease inflammation is heal the blood brain barrier. There are several ways to do this:
- Alpha Lipoid Acid (ALA)
- Phosphatidylserine (PS)
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
- Acetyl L Carnitine (ALCAR)
- Sulfaglucose (SGS)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Sleep and Melatonin
- Avoid Mold
ALA contains fats and antioxidants. It is easily absorbed and provides protection against toxins. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) helps cells generate energy. It has antioxidant properties and helps to decrease inflammation in the body. Studies have also shown that patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease can have improved health conditions with ALA. (6)
PS (Phosphatidylserine) is a fatty material called a phospholipid. The phospholipid helps to protect your brain cells. It also delivers messages between the cells. This is crucial in keeping your mind and memory sharp. Studies show that this material decreases as we age. (7)
NAC decreases free radicals. It also has the ability to regenerate glutathione and control the levels of glutamate in the brain. This helps to make our brains more healthy. This is noteworthy because glutamate is helps with learning, behavior and memory. Glutathione decreases oxidative damage brain cells. This is important because oxidative damage is associated with aging. (7)
ALCAR is anti-aging. It helps your brain perform better by protecting against toxic chemicals and stress induced damage. It is able to pass your blood-brain-barrier. Once it reaches your brain, it will improve your mood, learning, and memory.(8)
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also known as ubiquinone, coenzyme Q, and CoQ10. Whatever you decide to call it, it is a material that changes food into energy. Some studies have found that CoQ10 slows aging. In addition, CoQ10 increases ATP. This makes the chances of contracting a neurodegenerative disease decrease. (9)
Sulfaglucose (SGS) is linked to glucose levels in our bodies. Thinking, memory, and learning are closely related to our glucose levels. They are also linked to how efficiently the brain uses this fuel. When we don’t have enough glucose in the brain the chemical messengers are no longer generated. In addition, the communication between neurons breaks down. Hypoglycemia is caused by low glucose levels in the blood. This can also lead to loss of energy. It is also related to poor attention and cognitive function. (10)
The Omega 3 Fatty Acids play important roles in brain function and development. They are polyunsaturated fats that play roles in the brain and mental health benefits. Fish oil has two types of omega 3 fatty acids. The two types are EPA and DHA. Our bodies can make EPA and DHA out of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Fish oil can increase brain function in patients who have memory issues. These would include patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive issues.(11) A highly concentrated form of DHA can support neurological health, eye health, and overall health. This vital omega 3 fatty acid assists in enhancing brain function and decreasing the risk of many degenerative diseases such as heart disease, macular degeneration, and mental health conditions.
As previously discussed, sleep is an important factor in the blood brain barrier. The more sleep you get, (specifically REM) the better off your blood brain barrier will be. (12) When you have a good night sleep, it may literally clear your mind. Researchers found that space between brain cells increases during sleep. This allows the brain to flush out toxins. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and wellness. Scientist also found that sleep is important for storing memories. (12)
Environmental mold is a major toxin for some people. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know that there is hidden mold in their home. When there is water damage in a home, mycotoxins are released into the air. Some people are more sensitive to mold according to their genetics. For those people exposure can cause a lot of issues in the brain. This can make your cognitive function and mental health seem to decrease for no reason. One way mold and mycotoxins can disrupt brain function is by causing “leaky brain.” Needless to say, you should try to stay far away from mold.(3)
Several studies suggest that B vitamins help to support the blood-brain barrier and help heal leaky brain. This is because B vitamins have so many benefits and why they are important when you want to detox your brain naturally. Here is a small list of their benefits:
- They Provide Energy
- They Detox Your Blood
- They Affect Your Mood
- They Protect Your Brain
Magnesium is a mineral that plays many key roles in your body. Magnesium can affect your neurotransmitters and hormones. This is important because they impact your mood and brain. Research shows that it supports your mitochondria and protects your brain from alcohol. In addition it affects addiction and withdrawal.
As you can see, there are many ways that help detox your brain naturally. The most effective methods of detoxing your brain are to stay away from the toxins that we have listed. If you can’t stay away from all of them, you should lime your exposure. This way you won’t have the exposure in the first place. If you are already toxic, then please try some of our suggested ways to detox your brain. You will see the difference it makes!