Why do I need to know about the blood-brain barrier?
If you’re finding yourself with frequent anxiety, depression, brain fog or some other cognition issue, you could have a leaky blood-brain barrier. It may accompany a leaky gut.
Your brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid along with a protective membrane containing your brain’s blood vessels (capillaries), brain cells, and other tissues that make up your brain. This protective membrane is the blood brain barrier. Its purpose is to regulate the movement of neurotransmitters and other molecules between your blood and your brain. This barrier lets in what is necessary while keeping out what could be harmful. As it blocks substances that would disrupt essential neural functions, it’s truly a barrier between life and death.
Scientific research is increasingly confirming a link between the gut and the brain. With inflammation, such as from high blood sugar or bacterial overgrowth, your blood-brain barrier deteriorates.
When the blood-brain barrier is broken down, it allows salts, sugars, water, and anything else to get in, having very detrimental consequences and increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. The most common causes for BBB deterioration are high blood pressure, poor sleep, and excessive alcohol intake. Other causes include systemic inflammation due to bi-products of high-fat, high carb meals, bacterial infections, and chronic stress.
To avoid or repair ‘leaky brain’:
- Strive for consistent, quality sleep, which clears out cellular waste from the brain
- Avoid frequent snacking which causes blood sugar spikes throughout the day Stable blood sugar is best for your BBB
- Optimized gut health by consuming a high-quality diet made up of whole, organic foods. Dark leafy greens, healthy fats such as avocado, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, and organic berries are good to include
- Stimulate your vagus nerve through meditation, chanting, singing, and vagal nerve toning devices
Keep you blood brain barrier intact for a long and healthy life!