The following is the first of a three part series that comprises a white paper report on Nutritional Protection Against Excitotoxins. In this series we explore the importance of nutrition in protecting the body and brain from harmful toxins and free radicals. To read the complete report on Nutritional Protection, click to download. This is for reference only, all rights are reserved.
Besides reducing the concentration of excitotoxins themselves, there are three major areas in which nutritional supplements may help in preventing damage by excitotoxins:
- Reducing the production of bad eicosanoids
- Reducing free radical damage
- Improving energy production
What Are Eicosanoids?
- Eicosanoids are “super hormones” because they affect the synthesis of virtually every other hormone in one’s body. Eicosanoids are the body’s cellular check and balance system.
- Eicosanoids are controlled by dietary fat and insulin. In other words, eicosanoids can be controlled if one is consuming the correct amount of Omega-6 and Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (“PUFAs”) and controlling a good hormonal balance between insulin and glucagon. Eicosanoids come from the Greek word “eicosa” which means twenty. They are twenty carbon compounds which are powerful substances that influence 60 trillion cells in our body.
- Eicosanoids are either “good” or “bad” and have opposing actions. A BALANCE of these opposing actions spells good health whereas an imbalance spells disease.
- Decreases in insulin, loss of excess body fat and a state of wellness are all indicators relating to a good balance of eicosanoids and are all benefits of the ideal lifestyle.
- An imbalance of eicosanoids can be responsible for many reactions in our body including: allergies, asthma, arthritis, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, chronic infection and Alzheimer’s disease.
What Stimulates the Production of “bad” Eicosanoids?
There is a large nutritional myth that we have to consume high amounts of carbohydrates to remain healthy. In fact, research now suggest just the opposite. Not only is most of our obesity related to carbohydrate excess, but many of the diseases that plague or society, such as arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease are related to this unhealthy practice.
Not only should we reduce our carbohydrate intake but we should also carefully select the type of carbohydrates we do eat. We often times hear the question, “Are all carbohydrates equal in terms of absorption from the gut?” To answer this simply, no!
Carbohydrates are absorbed at highly variable rates. Some are absorbed very rapidly, and others slowly. So why does this matter? The rate of absorption of carbohydrates determines the amount of insulin secreted in response from the pancreas. Carbohydrates rapidly absorbed by the gut flood the bloodstream with glucose (all carbohydrates are converted to glucose). To handle this immediate load of sugar the pancreas has to secrete a large amount of insulin. In over sixty million Americans there is a significant overshoot of insulin that, in turn, drives the blood sugar to levels that impair brain function. We experience this through intense hunger, anxiety, and tremulousness.
But, research now also shows us that excess insulin also stimulates the production of “bad” eicosanoids, which severely damage cells, including brain cells. We further know that hypoglycemia causes the brain to internally secrete excess amounts of glutamate, especially aspartate. 1 We have also seen these excitotoxins stimulate the production of “bad” eicosanoids. At least two major studies have shown that the majority of Alzheimer’s patients have hyperinsulinemia and hypoglycemia. The question that remains unanswered is, “Will changing our diet early in life prevent such neurodegenerative diseases?” Asking this makes it important to note that food should be viewed as an extremely powerful drug.
Another approach to decreasing the amounts of “bad” eicosanoids is by limiting its precursor substance, arachidonic acid, in the diet. This can be done by avoiding egg yolks, organ meats (Mostly deli meats) and red meats. It is also important that you maintain a low fat diet, especially saturated fats, since these fan produce a state of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the cell will not respond to insulin even in high concentrations. This is thought to be the cause of adult onset diabetes (type II diabetes).
Stay tuned for the next part of the series, where we discuss the importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in combating the effects of free radicals on aging the brain. In the meantime, place your order for high quality BioVeda supplements that may help mitigate the potential damage that bad eicanosoids may be causing on your brain and body.
Krill Oil : Top Notch Antioxidant Protection — krill oil contains the unique antioxidant which may protect you from damaging free radicals. Past evidence has shown us that phospholipids are the safest and most effective carriers of DHA and EPA. Sadly though, standard fish oils and some low quality krill oil brands lack the phospholipid complex. Instead they contain omega-3 in the free-triglyceride form. This is less beneficial form. Phospholipids are the building blocks of your cell membranes; they regulate cellular transport and act like the “gate keepers of the cell.” This means that they protect the cell membrane from free radical attacks. If that’s not enough important facts, the most dominant phospholipid in krill oil is phosphatidyl choline, which is slightly composed of choline. Choline has been shown to be crucial in brain development, learning and memory. We also know that choline is important for fetal and infant brain development. Choline is the much needed neurotransmitter acetylcholne (this sends nerve signals to the brain) and trimethylglycine, a highly acclaimed liver protecter.
Fish Oil: EPA/ DHA is an essential fatty acid which stands for docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. This essential fatty acid is an Omega 3 fat, which is usually found in cold water fish. EPA/ DHA are highly unsaturated fat because they contain 6 and 5 double bond’s on their long structural chain. These polyunsaturated fats play a very important role with the function of our bodies. EPA and DHA are vital nutrients and may be taken to maintain healthy function of the following: Brain and Retina- DHA is a building block of tissue in the brain and retina of the eye. It helps with forming neural transmitters, such as phosphatidylserine, which is important for brain function. DHA is found in the retina of the eye and taking DHA may be necessary for maintaining healthy levels of DHA for normal eye function. Mega EPA/DHA is something everyone can benefit from!
Cell Manna: Complete Cellular Whole Food Support – Cell Manna is unlike any other product on the market due to its anti-aging benefits. With over 80 different ayurvedic and Korean herbs, this product’s key benefits are anti-aging, hormonal balance, and overall harmony. Cell Manna was created to provide the nutrients to the cells within the body. We call this micro nutrition which is used to feed specific cells you are targeting (ex. Liver, kidney, etc.). Taken by itself it is an overall rejuvenator for every cell within the body.
CoQ Support: CoQ10 has been available for decades, but now there is an amazing new form of Co Q10 called ubiquinol. Why is this so beneficial? CoQ10 is one of the key elements in the aging process and free radical production. These free radicals are oxygen atoms deficient in electrons that become highly reactive. This in turn causes potential damage to your tissues and DNA. If there was something you could do to limit the free radical production, then you could change the aging process. One nutrient that can help you do just that is Co Q10. The problem is your body requires the reduced form of Co Q10 (ubiquinol) to help you limit free radical production. If you’re younger than 25 years old, this isn’t an issue because your body is capable of converting Co Q10 from the oxidized to the reduced form. but, if you’re older, your body becomes more and more challenged to convert the oxidized Co Q10 to ubiquinol. Another very important reason for using a Co Q10 supplement is to help boost your body’s cellular energy production. Co Q10 helps facilitate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy “currency for all your cells. But if you’re over 25, you need the reduced form of Co Q10, ubiquinol, to efficiently do this. So even if you do your best to eat a healthy diet, your body’s ability to produce Co Q10 and convert it to ubiquinol declines over time.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.