Simple ways to protect your brain from neurotoxicity
10/09/2018 // Ellaine Castillo // Views

The brain is a complex organ that is central to the many body functions that humans have, which is why it is crucial to take good care of it. Every day, there is a risk of being exposed to neurotoxins that are harmful to the brain. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect the brain from neurotoxin-induced damage.

Neurotoxicity is a condition wherein the brain has acquired damage due to the presence of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins can either be synthetic or naturally occurring. Some examples of neurotoxins include manganese, botox, recreational drugs, anti-psychotic medications, food additives, environmental pollution, nail polish, pesticides, paints, and many others.

Exposure to these neurotoxins can directly or indirectly interfere with brain function. They can work by preventing synapse formation, which could inhibit communication between brain cells. In addition, neurotoxins can also alter the levels of hormones for nervous system development and promote oxidative stress that leads to the degradation of nerves and brain cells. Because of these impaired brain functions and features, neurotoxicity has also been associated with an increased risk for diseases like autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis.

To avoid the adverse effects of neurotoxin exposure, here is a list of things that can help protect your brain:

  • Water filters – Drinking water, especially if it comes from the tap, contains neurotoxins like fluoride. Water filters that use reverse osmosis or ion-exchange can effectively remove fluoride from water. However, activated carbon filters will not remove them. Aside from water filters, distillation units can also be used.
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  • Houseplants – Previous studies have shown that some easy-to-grow houseplants can effectively filter out neurotoxins from the air. Examples for houseplants that act as air filters include English ivy, spider plant, Chinese evergreen, peace lily, Boston fern, miniature date palm, and weeping fig.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric contains curcumin, a bioactive compound known for its wide range of health benefits. One of these is protection against neurotoxicity, especially that which is caused by chemotherapy drugs.
  • Ginger – Ginger is commonly used for cooking but it can also protect the brain against neurotoxicity by reducing excess glutamate levels.
  • Gotu kola – This herb can protect the brain from certain neurotoxins, namely lead, arsenic, aluminum, and excess glutamate.
  • L-theanine – Neurotoxins involved in Parkinson's disease can be neutralized by L-theanine, an amino acid commonly found in tea.
  • Ashwagandha – This traditional Ayurvedic herb can help get rid of excess glutamate levels.
  • Periwinkle – The periwinkle plant contains vincamine, which is the precursor of vinpocetine. Vinpocetine works against excess glutamate levels to prevent neurotoxicity.
  • Folate – Supplementing with folate protects against environmental neurotoxins, such as lead.

To avoid neurotoxicity, you have to be more mindful of the things you consume, the places you go, and everything else that you may be exposed to since neurotoxins can be found almost anywhere. (Related: A hundred health sapping neurotoxins are hidden in packaged and restaurant food.)

Symptoms of neurotoxicity

Some people might not realize that they have been exposed to high amounts of neurotoxins until they have developed severe brain problems. To help identify this neurotoxicity, here are some common symptoms of this condition:

  • Paralysis or weakness and numbness in the limbs
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Memory loss
  • Obsessive compulsive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep disorders
  • Panic attacks

Learn more about how you can protect your brain's health by visiting today.

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