Inflammation causes Brain Fog and Nutritional supplements can help
What is Brain Fog?
Have you ever wondered why you forget names, directions or generally can’t focus on day-to-day tasks? This is generally known as Brain Fog.
Neuroinflammation (inflammation in the brain) may be the culprit. Reducing this inflammation can be helped by simply eating healthy foods and vegetables, monitoring your diet and exercise, although that may not be enough. Evaluating whether neuroinflammation can lead to brain fog, forgetfulness and lack of focus is what we explore in this article and we provide an insight into the best nutritional supplements that can help alleviate these conditions. We explore below how to help reduce inflammation by taking supplements (Herbal, Mineral and Vitamins) and at the end of this article have provided a conclusion to this argument by providing the solutions that can help.
Neuroinflammation is caused primarily by Brain Junk
What is Brain Junk?
Every cell in our body has a lifespan and after they have lived out their useful lives, are replaced with new cells. As we age this process is slower and dying cells are replaced with less and less newer cells. Biological deficiencies, substance abuse and various environmental factors at a younger age could also have a similar effect. As cells die in the brain, their by-products are carried through the CNS and glymphatic system down to our liver and kidneys to be disposed of. When neuroinflammation occurs the canal that allows this disposal process to work is less efficient and can in effect get obstructed with the narrowing of said canals, and so we end up with more and more dead cells in the brain. Part of the reasons brain related illnesses stem from this so-called Brain Junk left over, and from interfering with the normal functioning of the brain, potentially leading to these illnesses and to a lesser degree to the general Brain Fog that we associate with lack of focus or not being able to remember things. This theory is supported by a wide swath of scientific articles. An easy-to-understand article by Harvard illustrates this below.
Neuroinflammation: What happens?
Now we may ask ourselves, what happens to our brains when inflammation becomes chronic? Symptoms of chronic neuroinflammation can range from moderate to severe. In moderate cases, it can lead to various cognitive impairments such as trouble remembering, difficulty staying focused on a given task and regulating mood states (Hein & O’Banion, 2011; Brites & Fernandes, 2015). These symptoms may seem serious, but they are not permanent and can be remedied with proper treatment. However, the more serious aspect of neuroinflammation is its impact on our brain’s glymphatic system, otherwise known as its garbage disposable system. In 2018, researchers Nedergard and Plog found that the brain and nervous system used cerebrospinal fluid, flowing in and out of canals, to clean out any waste that might be found within it. This maintains smooth and efficient functioning for the thousands of activities that the brain has to undertake on a daily basis. However, the problem arises when inflammation within the brain constrains the canals of the glymphatic system and affects the cleaning of certain harmful molecules such as amyloid beta plaques and Lewy bodies. If not properly disposed both, build-up of these substances can lead to severe cognitive symptoms (e.g., long-term memory loss, confusion, and language difficulties) and even possible neurodegeneration (Mukhara, Oh & Neigh, 2020).
Neuroinflammation: Can we use dietary supplementation to reduce inflammation?
The answer lies in enhancing the anti-inflammatory agents and suppressing pro-inflammatory agents within the brain. The general name for these agents are cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins that essentially control inflammation within the brain and body, they are crucial in controlling the activity and communication of different cells during the inflammatory response (Zhang, 2007). When the immune system is activated after an injury or infection, the brain will release cytokines to the area of damage in order to reduce damage and initiate healing. Cytokines are actually a family of different cells that all play varying roles including: chemokines, interferons (IFN), interleukins (IL), lymphokines and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These cells can either have a pro-inflammatory role or an anti-inflammatory role, put simply, they either contribute to inflammation or act to reduce it.
The primary methods to do this are already well known and established throughout health-related science: rest, exercise, proper diet, and hydration. These activities are the building blocks of keeping inflammation within the brain at low manageable levels where they contribute to suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha and subsequently increasing anti-inflammatory counterparts such as IL-109. However, over the years, new research into this field has emerged indicating the successful use of supplementation to counter neuroinflammation. Supplementation can target inflammatory markers by using specific nutrients that directly act on the inflammatory response by influencing the release of our brain’s cytokines. The primary role of supplementation is to provide the brain and body with an adequate amount of nutrients that may have been neglected from a diet. Moreover, there is now emerging evidence regarding a myriad of different chemical agents found in herbs that can significantly impact inflammation and subsequent brain health.
Supplementation: The Broad Impact
Taken individually, these compounds hold various benefits for cognition and brain function, but it is also important to address the collaborative effects that can be observed with they are taken together. For example, nutritional supplementation with PharmaGABA and L-Theanine has synergistic calming effects on the brain improving focus and mental alertness. Combining both herbal extracts Bacopa and Luteolin significantly improve cognitive function by improving blood flow to the brain providing enhanced vasodilation. Moreover, both SAM-E with B vitamins (e.g., B3 and B12) when taken together are effective for regulating mood and ameliorating immune function with Vitamin B12 enhancing the effects of SAM-E.
The overall effect results in a broad impact on cognitive and neurological functions with many compounds complementing and enhancing the effects of the other. Now, you may ask if I am young and healthy, why would I need these compounds? For older individuals whose brains are beginning to slow and show signs of decline, the compounds mentioned above will have a protective effect and provide the necessary nutrients to shield their brains from possible insults. However, for younger individuals, these nutrients will not only help prevent the brain from succumbing to any inflammation-induced damage, but they will also optimize overall cognitive function by delivering what may be missing from diet and lifestyle alone.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In recent years, the science of supplementation has moved from a vague blurry area to one of higher clarity and accuracy. With the growing demand for new methods to improve and optimize our mental performance, which many of us hold dear, new ingredients and compounds are emerging in modern scientific research to address this. Chronic neuroinflammation is a hard-hitting condition that impacts everybody and contributes to the brain fog, attention difficulties and low moods that we may feel, sometimes on a daily basis. As such, in order to move through a life that is filled with constant distractions and responsibilities, it is becoming ever more important to keep the mind healthy and resilient. Now, we have access to hundreds of evidence-based supplementation formulas that help reduce neuroinflammation and keep our mental functions running smoothly. MindSense is a growing line of products that target a host of mainline health topics. (MindSense 1), a Herbal, Vitamin and Mineral Formula, (MindSense 2), a Probiotic Formula designed to enhance and support Brain Derived Nootropic Factors (BDNF) and (MindSense 3), a sleep formula to help enhance our brain repair processes and circadian rhythms with specific compounds proven to help in a wide array of studies. Products such as these are part of a new strategy that aim to provide a complementary nutritional stack that can be taken throughout the day with each of the compounds collaborating dynamically with each other. Hence, if you are feeling under the weather or looking to take your performance to the utmost level, know that there are a host of available methods to help your brain run smoothly and efficiently.