The Brain’s Immune System

The brain is made up of two types of cell: neurons and microglia cells. Neurons are responsible for communication within the brain and everything we associate with brain activity, such as our intelligence, emotions, and the ability to automatically breathe, digest or maintain a heartbeat.

The microglia cells are the brain’s immune cells. It’s their job to react to foreign invaders, clean up debris and plaque, and dissolve dead neurons. The microglia is necessary for optimal communication and healthy brain function.

Although microglial cells function as the brain’s immune system, they are unlike the immune system in the rest of the body. When a virus or bacteria invades your body, the body’s immune system orchestrates a complex and multi-faceted response. For instance, once an antigen (a foreign invader) is successfully killed, the immune system’s T-suppressor cells call off the attack and send the troops home.

Not so with the brain’s immune system. If an antigen makes its way into the brain, there is no complex orchestration, but rather an all-out assault by the brain’s microglial cells on the invader and, as a consequence, inflammation and degeneration of surrounding brain tissue. What’s worse is that there are no T-suppressor cells to call off the attack, and the microglia cells, in their unrestrained assault, create brain inflammation and chew up brain tissue in a degenerative cascade.

What Stops the Invaders?

The microglia cells not only make up more than half of the total mass of the brain, but they also make up the blood-brain barrier, a thin barrier that lines the brain and allows necessary, nano-sized substances to pass through. The blood-brain barrier is important for keeping antigen (foreign invaders, such as viruses or bacteria) and environmental toxins out of the brain.

Unfortunately, the blood –brain barrier can develop “leaks” for a variety of reasons, including poor blood-sugar stability(particularly insulin resistance), chronic stress, chronic inflammation, poor gut health, poor diet with unhealthy fats(fast food fats), and unchecked autoimmune activity, such as Hashimoto’s disease, alcohol and high homocysteine levels. If you are familiar with leaky gut, then you’ll understand leaky brain, as both the gut and the brain are immune barriers vulnerable to the same problem.

When the blood-brain barrier develops leaks, bad guys get in, the microglial cells go nuts, and a whole lot of brain tissue gets chewed up. This creates inflammation, which is felt in some as “brain fog” and leads to accelerated brain degeneration.

The Leaky Brain Challenge

How do we know if your blood-brain barrier is leaky? A simple and easy way to find out is to do a blood-brain challenge. To do this, simply take 1000mg of straight GABA (not GABA precursors such as theanine).

GABA is a neurotransmitter synthesized in the brain and is responsible for calming or inhibiting over activity. Although some companies sell GABA supplements, the reality is GABA molecule is too large to pass through an intact blood-brain barrier. The fact that this supplement sells so well is a testament to the integrity of the average American’s blood-brain barrier.

So, if several hours after taking 1000 mg of GABA, you feel calm, relaxed or sleepy, you know that GABA, a molecule too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier, has nevertheless made it into your brain and is performing its calming duties. This means your blood-brain barrier has become compromised and your brain is highly susceptible to the immune rampages I discussed above.

Some people, instead of feeling relaxed, will find GABA makes them feel more anxious or jittery. The bottom line here is that any reaction at all indicates a leaky brain barrier.

If you felt no change after taking GABA that is a good sign that your blood-brain barrier is intact and functioning well. For accurate results, be sure to take this test during the day and not at bedtime.

Dr. Dan Walker

A. K. Chiropractic & Massage
Erie’s Reviving Bodywork Studio
At Integrative Wellness Options
4906 Richmond St
Erie, Pa 16509
814-459-2030
814-455-1153
http://www.drdan60.com

The first things to do when a cold or flu strikes

Last time I wrote about some of the “Gold Standard” scientific studies that found little or no evidence that the flu vaccines effectively prevent the flu.

So here’s a review of what you can do to protect yourself and your family from colds and any type of flu this season, and in years to come.

Colds and flu’s are the result of a viral assault on an impaired immune system. They are not an enviable result of viral exposure alone.

A number of factors influence your immune function including diet, well chosen supplements, exercise and proper sleep.

UNDERSTANDING WHAT COLDS AND FLU’S ARE.

Both colds and flu’s are caused by a wide variety of viruses (not bacteria). So antibiotics will not help you because they don’t kill viruses. Cold and flu viruses usually attack your respiratory system.

HOW ARE THESE VIRUSES SPREAD –

The most common way viruses are spread is through hand contact. For example someone with a cold blows their nose then shakes your hand or touches surfaces that you also touch. However, the key to remember is that just being exposed to a cold virus does not mean that you will catch it (Remember it depends on how strong your immune system is. If your immune system is operating at its peak you should not have to worry about getting sick.

HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE –

Andrographis Complex – My patients absolutely love this product. It is especially useful for acute infections particularly Viral Infections. Prevention and treatment of colds, influenza and upper respiratory acute infection’s. Relief of the fever of influenza, relief of mucus congestion and to boost immunity for any other infections.

Increase your Vitamin D intake. One reason for the widespread of cold and flu’s maybe that Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the United States, especially during the winter months when cold and flu viruses are at their peak. Research involving about 19,000 Americans has confirmed that catching colds and flu may actually be a symptom of an underlying Vitamin D deficiency. Less than optimal Vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep – That you have a well chosen supplement program. Increase or start taking Zinc, drink green tea with very little sugar because sugar is fertilizer for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi that can set your immune system up for an assault by respiratory virus. Most people don’t realize that 80% of you immune system actually lies in your gastrointestinal tract. That’s why controlling your sugar intake is critical for optimizing your immune system Reishi mushrooms can also help the immune system. If you need further help please don’t hesitate to call.

TESTIMONIALS:

Here is what one of my patients have said –
For several years, I felt extremely tired all the time. I had no motivation or stamina to get things done. Sometimes I would be so tired; I couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything. I also had problems with a sour stomach and gassy bowels. Dr Walker changed all of that. It has been an eye opening experience for me. I learned how much my diet, and how the right supplements, could change my problems. Now I have more energy and stamina than ever and my stomach and bowels feel better. Most of all Dr. Walker is dedicated and has the knowledge to get you under way to a life changing experience. Robert T.

Dr. Dan Walker

A. K. Chiropractic & Massage
Erie’s Reviving Bodywork Studio
At Integrative Wellness Options
4906 Richmond St
Erie, Pa 16509
814-459-2030
814-455-1153
http://www.drdan60.com