What threatens our brain?
Toxins have always been a part of our world. But both the type and amount of toxins have changed over the last decades and centuries:
- Pesticides and fungicides are used in the agriculture;
- heavy metals, such as mercury, are found in classic amalgam fillings of our teeth;
- Chemical substances can be found, for example, in solvents, lacquers and paints;
- Fine particulates we find in the air;
- Microplastic can already be found in our bodies, in the water, in the soil;
- Mycotoxins, such as the mould fungi, that form in damp buildings;
- Cigarettes and alcohol are provided by ourselves to a sufficient extent;
- Medications have various (side) effects;
- Radiation probably has an influence on our body cells, in which form we cannot yet define;
- More than 500 additives are added to processed foods.
There are several ways in which toxins can affect the brain, directly and indirectly. In order to act directly, substances must cross the blood-brain barrier. This barrier is usually very effective, it protects our brain from all possible substances and only selected molecules can pass through it. But now the blood-brain barrier can suffer the same fate as the intestinal lining: It can be leaking! Exactly this effect has been observed in the brains of Alzheimer patients. Pathogens such as herpes viruses, oral bacteria (P. gingivales = periodontitis germ) and fungi have been found there. If the barrier leaks, other substances may also penetrate the brain and directly endanger the structures. There are scientists who assume that the amyloid plaques could protect the brain from toxins and pathogens. Simply removing the ß-amyloid plaques would then mean that the brain would be even more vulnerable to the invaders. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why previous attempts in this direction have not achieved any real success.
Another possibility of how toxins affect the brain is an indirect route via inflammation. If the whole system is constantly fighting against various toxins, then our immune system is activated and provokes inflammation. Chronic inflammation affects the entire organism in many ways and impairs the entire metabolic situation. Over time, this can lead to a lack of energy in the brain, which in turn promotes dementia.
What to do?
The first step, of course, is to find out if and what kind of toxin overload affects the organism. Blood tests, for example, provide information on heavy metals such as aluminium, mercury and cadmium. In one study, these substances were found more often in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients compared to a control group. (https://www.drperlmutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Circulatory-Levels-of-Toxic-Metals-Aluminum-Cadmium-Mercury-Lead-in-Patients-with-Alzheimer’s-Disease-A-Quantitative-Meta-Analysis-and-Systematic-Review.pdf)
The second step is to remove the toxins from the environment or alternatively to remove the Alzheimer’s patient from the “toxic” environment.
Afterwards, detoxification must ensure that the toxins are removed from the body as well as possible.
Xu, L. et al. (2018) ‘Circulatory Levels of Toxic Metals (Aluminum, Cadmium, Mercury, Lead) in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review’, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 62(1), pp. 361–372. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170811. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29439342