Cognitive Health: Thinking Ahead of Dementia
Blended excerpts from Potential Within A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment
Authored by Franco Cavaleri ISBN 0-9731701-0-7
Original post: December 10, 2010
This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts and reference numbering that may be out of order.
Thinking Ahead of Dementia
Diseases of cognition such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis are
characterized by inflammation of myelin and other tissues. Colitis, Crohn’s
disease, and other gastrointestinal disorders are inflammatory afflictions
that involve uncontrolled immune activity. Allergies are distinguished by
overactivity of the immune system and inflammatory process. General
subclinical symptoms of aging are typified by inflammation. Inflammation
begets inflammation; one diseases often increases the risk for a secondary
Brain health, too, is highly influenced by inflammation. The key to better health management is control of the chemistry involved at the root of inflammation.
If NF-kappa-B is at the center of inflammatory activity, then it can be linked to all of the above diseases. If we can better control inflammatory activity, we can down-regulate the rate of biological aging and this includes brain aging.
The prostaglandin hormones that promote inflammation and cardiovascular disease are the same ones that block thermogenesis, our built-in ability to burn fat, which means they advance obesity, as well. The genetic influence of NF-kappa-B causes inflammatory hormones such as prostaglandins and similar hormones (eicosanoids) to be produced at unnatural levels, creating unnatural biological results. We’re not able to eliminate this negative genetic influence completely, but we can restrict it, which suggests we can lessen the intensity of an inflammatory condition and even decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease and brain damage associated with it. In most cases these conditions can be quite easily reversed.
Our recent understanding of these effects has inspired a new era in health
care that’s changing the way health and fitness are treated. This knowledge
has only come about in the past few years and isn’t likely to be part of our
global mainstream health-care programs for some time to come, but we
can begin to apply it now.
NF-kappa-B is able to induce its negative effect on the genetic code only if it can get to the DNA, which is shielded in the nucleus of the cell. The nucleus is a highly protective storage compartment for our delicate genetic material. I-kappa-B binds to NF-kappa-B in the cell’s cytosol (outside the nucleus in the cell’s body), and when tightly bound the dual complex can’t enter the nucleus because the former is too large to penetrate the nuclear pore.
Essentially free radicals facilitate gene expression, and overexpression causes
disease. Oxidation and its concomitant stress have a compounding degenerative
influence, sparking genetic manipulation as well as the nonspecific demolition
of vital molecules, cells, and tissues. Brain tissue is the most vulnerable.
Antioxidant supplements even the score.
Many people say supplementation isn’t natural and that the food we eat
furnishes everything we need. Not so. We’re faced with unnatural levels
of free radicals and chemical poisons. Each day the degree of free-radical
toxicity becomes more dire. Our only hope is to increase antioxidant
potency to proportional protective levels, and food alone won’t cut it.
Protecting our cells from uncontrolled free-radical ricochet will reduce
the risks associated with the NF-kappa-B protein complex. Although
antioxidants of all sorts are required to initiate complete protection
throughout the body, alpha lipoic acid is especially effective because of its
size and chemical nature, which allow it to move freely within the body
and its cells. Alpha lipoic acid and its different forms work in both the
fatty and aqueous tissues of the body protecting cells inside and out.
A supplement mix which includes apha lipoic acid, phosphatidyl
serine, glycerylphosphorylcholine and l-carnitine provides powerful
antioxidant protection for the delicate cells which make up the brain and the peripheral neural network which stems from the brain.