Inflammation’s Effect On Brain Health. Finding The De-Aging Switch:
So we all learned in the Neal Barnard post on diet, that certain foods can work against your brain, but some can work for it, too.
And as time goes by, and we all take our fish oil, we’re finding out that one of Dr. Neal’s minor notes is actually a big deal.
In that video, he shares a very interesting way to deal with it using diet.
And it turns out that more people might need that help according to a new report on brain health…
The Short Answer:
- Many foods are unhealthy, especially in the modern diet.
- Diet among other factors can lead to excess inflammation.
- Stanford’s research team found that this can also occur in your brain.
- It appears factors of aging cause increases of both inflammatory compounds & receptors in some brain cells.
- They also reduce energy utilization.
- But the team found exactly which compound and exactly which receptor.
- They were able to delete & block the receptor to prove it.
- Mice under these conditions performed as well or better at cognitive tasks as younger ones.
- We do not have human-ready compounds to do the same thing yet.
- The results of this trial provide a roadmap toward them.
- Some of the best things we can do right now are to use good diet and exercise to reduce systemic inflammation as much as possible.
- Reducing total bodyfat through diet and exercise can lower whole-body inflammation, too.
Read on to find out the details…
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Especially in the modern diet, we have a lot of things that cause inflammation.
Most-notably is the mix of Omega 6 to Omega 3 oils in our food.
It’s supposed to be 1:1 or 2:1, if you believe nutritionists about our historical diet patterns before the age of processed foods.
But in the food we get today, it’s more like 20:1!
When it’s this far out of balance, it’s just another factor that can cause problems.
Not to mention all the other work on the inflammation that can come from just having excess bodyfat.
This can also be a product of the modern diet, that in this case, stems mostly from sugars and fast-carbs everywhere.
The worst part of it, is that bodyfat doesn’t self regulate, so more fat = more hormones = more inflammation.
And when you put that together with the results on fish oil for depression,
You can see that the recent theory that some people have it simply as a result of inflammation in the brain isn’t such a stretch after-all.
Well grab that handful of mixed-nuts, because that’s where the recent work from Stanford comes in.
Because they found out even more information about inflammation in your brain.
We all have different types of cells & compounds in our bodies.
And some of them do wildly different things based on the situation; that are honestly, amazing.
One of those compounds that can either help with blood-flow, or cause inflammation, depending on its “mood” is called PGE2.
Unfortunately, things can also go badly wrong when different biological compounds get out of control.
And so it’s the case with this one, too.
Because Dr. Katrin Andreasson’s team found that it wreaks all kinds of havoc as people get older.
So using both mice and humans, Dr. Katrin found a terrible double-whammy.
Not only do the engines of PGE2 produce more of it as we get closer to retirement age,
But structures in the brain also become more sensitive to it, too.
As we age, the number of receptor sites for this compound seems to increase to about 2x! for some reason.
The result? -More inflammation. Right inside your brain.
But most-interestingly, a huge component of this process comes from the normally-functioning factories of PGE2 going haywire,
Because over time, those “chemical factory” cells turned into our old friends… Zombie Cells!
But wait, it gets even worse!
This process also does something that slows your brain down even more.
For some strange reason, it makes your brain store fuel instead of using it.
So cognitive ability appears to decline from an energy standpoint as well.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Because Dr. Andreasson’s team found the exact site that all this extra PGE2 targets.
And then they blocked it!
In classic scientific fashion, the researchers used both mice & cultured cells and found a way to block the harmful activity.
In very short order, both the receptor-blocked and genetically-engineered older mice were able to navigate mazes,
They were also able to notice changes in their environment just as well, and in some cases better, than younger mice without the inflammation situation.
This was done using experimental compounds in the medicated mice, that are as-yet unapproved for human use.
BUT! They do provide a roadmap to where drug-development could go to keep older brains working just as well as the young ones out into the future.
So what can you do about it now?
Well, in addition to the fact that Aging itself looks like a disease, and one that might even be Treatable!
So is Inflammation. -Or at least too much of it.
Because many foods (like the ultra-processed ones) cause inflammation or make it worse.
And others actually help stave it off.
That’s how we’ve come full-circle, back to Dr. Neal Barnard’s talk on taking care of your brain with nutrition.
If you haven’t read that post & watched the video, you’re really missing out.
And if you follow Dr. Neal’s recommendations, you might even have a lot less inflammation in your brain even as you age!
Source Study: Nature – Restoring metabolism of myeloid cells reverses cognitive decline in ageing
More Coverage: PubMed – Reversals of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction, cognitive, and motor behavioral deficits with blueberry, spinach, or strawberry dietary supplementation | PubMed – Resveratrol inhibits prostaglandin formation in IL-1beta-stimulated SK-N-SH neuronal cells