I’ve had my hands full lately busting medical myths. (Just don’t confuse me with one of those TV myth-busters who wear funny hats and have a penchant for blowing up things.) Today’s myth: Brain and nervous tissue doesn’t regenerate.
Some so-called “experts” use this ridiculous myth to discourage any alcohol consumption. They’ve been telling us for years that every ounce of alcohol consumed destroys thousands of brain cells (or millions, depending on the self-intoxicated enthusiasm of your Driver’s Ed teacher). They drilled this point home by telling us these brain cells died and you could never replace them.
But that’s just not true.
Yes — severe alcohol abuse does lead to brain damage. But it happens when severe, chronic alcohol abusers become malnourished. And it’s actually their lack of B vitamins that directly damages brain centers (e.g. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome).
By contrast, research links moderate alcohol consumption with lower risks of heart disease. (Probably by lowering stress, in my view.) Other evidence links moderate alcohol with better brain health, perhaps because of improved blood flow to the brain. Still other studies show moderate beer consumption benefits the brain due its high content of B vitamins (again).
In addition, mounting evidence shows you can prevent and heal the damage to your brain, even damage caused by dementia, by focusing on proper nutrition.
In fact, research shows you can repair all kinds of damage to your brain and nervous tissue using nutritional and natural approaches such as vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Good nutrition goes a long way
Nutrients such as B vitamins offer many brain benefits — including preventing and reversing dementia and age-associated brain changes. In fact, a new study shows brain levels of vitamin B12 do decrease with age, but they are prematurely low in people with autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.
In this study, researchers measured vitamin B12 levels in 10-year-old children with and without autism. They found children with autism had three times lower levels of vitamin B12 in the brain compared to children without the disorder.
The researchers performed this study by analyzing brain tissues from children who had died. They performed this study — known as neuro-pathological study — following a post-mortem autopsy examination. Performing autopsies was once a standard part of medical practice for three main reasons. First, they ascertain the cause of death for the individual and their family. Second, they help us get better health statistics on causes of death. And third, they allow better kinds of research studies.
But today, modern medicine is so arrogant. They think modern imaging and lab technologies tell them everything they need to know about every disease. But autopsy studies reveal at least one significant finding not known to the clinicians more than 50 percent of the time, including the actual cause of death.
As a forensic pathologist and former Medical Examiner, I know how inadequate the death certificates are when completed by clinicians compared to when a pathologist performs an autopsy and completes the death certificate. That’s why so much of what the government “knows” about causes of death in this country is wildly incomplete, inadequate, and downright inaccurate.
Patients are wildly deficient in B vitamins and don’t know it
As I have always written, to fully understand all the critical roles of nutrition we need to know the levels present in the cells of every tissue. Nutrient levels in blood may or may not relate to, reflect, or represent their levels in tissues. But doctors only measure nutrient levels in the blood — if they measure them at all, that is.
This “deficiency” of medical practice is particularly problematic when it comes to vitamin B12. For example, the new neuro-pathological research studied tissue levels in the brain, and found the differences in B12 levels with aging, autism, and schizophrenia. But they detected no such differences in the blood.
So, all the studies that only look at blood levels won’t detect these key differences in B12 in the brain itself, for neurological health and diseases. This is also one reason why studies with negative findings are important — often they are negative for a good reason, like looking in all the wrong places.
The large deficits of B12 in the brains of individuals with autism and schizophrenia could help explain the neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with these conditions, according to the researchers.
The researchers also observed about three times lower levels of B12 in people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, compared to younger people. They said it was part of “normal brain aging.” And this “normal” decrease may help “adjust brain metabolism to sustain its function across the lifespan.”
Nutritional deficiencies are NOT normal at any age
Doctors also used to consider dementia itself a part of “normal brain aging.” But nobody accepts that myth anymore.
Furthermore, if these low vitamin B levels help explain the neurological symptoms of autism and schizophrenia…why are they just “normal” in older people? Maybe that concept is just another myth…and another part of the problem.
As always, make sure to take a daily B vitamin complex. It will help protect and even heal your brain and nervous tissue as you age.
In fact, it’s one of the foundations of the protocol I’ve recently developed that can help heal your brain and reverse dementia. I’m putting the finishing touches on the full protocol now, and will be releasing it soon. But in the meantime, I’ve previewed some of the steps involved in this month’s issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. (So if you’re not already a subscriber, now is the perfect time to become one.)
1. “Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia,” PLOS ONE, 2016: 11(1); e0146797