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Nutrition and the Brain: Supplements

We give you a process for assessing whether the dietary supplements you choose to improve your health will actually improve your health.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : Education can achieve some improvement in people's health with repetition and with learning. But with nutritional therapy - memory improves, resulting in a far higher retention of learning. Nutritional therapies are a far more logical way to improve the brain and behavioural health of many people than drugs. Nutritional therapy unfortunately takes a long time to work.

Drugs however work much more quickly, in improving symptoms. So there is a role for both forms of therapy in a patient with illness. However with drug therapy, drugs need to be continued long-term to retain an affect. In effect, nothing has really changed in the brain.

With nutritional therapy there are permanent changes in the structure and function of the brain resulting in permanent behavioural improvements, which may even allow the cessation of medication in the medium-term - over 6 months.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : Psychiatric medicines if used for childhood psychiatric patients do improve health but act more likely by whitewashing a problem. The medications change the chemical levels in the brain and in effect change how the brain functions. However the nutritional supplements actually cause permanent improvements in brain function related to compounding immune effects - in the long run resulting in less brain injury and more brain function.

Erasmus Erasmus : You are better because you feel better, not because the medicines make you act better.


Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Other dietary or medical hints:

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : There is currently no evidence that heavy use of a well-functioning system causes damage to that system. In short, you don't get diabetes by eating sugary food if there is nothing wrong with you.

This means that if you like your sugar, you can have your sugar.

Diabetes develops either because of pancreatic injury to the beta cells of the islets of the pancreas causing a reduction in the insulin production by the pancreas. It can also develop as the pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin to cope with insulin resistance - related to weight and related to the presence of anti-insulin hormones in the bloodstream.

Herbal Medications Natural and Herbal foods

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Our recommendation for supplements:

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : If you are going to take a supplement for yourself, you should do some research into what you are going to do to yourself and your health.

A literature search in a reputable medical database such as NCBI or PubMed should give you the answers you want. The reason I recommend this is that too often on the Internet everyone recommends information that they have learned by reading somebody else's Internet site. By using NCBI or PubMed, you are getting information straight from the horse's mouth, directly from the researcher. In short you are seeing the real unadulterated unfiltered information.

You should check that there do not seem to be any serious side-effects from the use of your supplement.

Sometimes this can be difficult. A patient once asked my friend once what he thought of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a food supplement for good health. My doctor friend replied that he had searched information on the Internet that described a times 3 to 6 fold increase in the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases in patients who took this supplement or were exposed to this agent. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the biological agent used in baking.

Erasmus Erasmus : In this case, the supplement seems to promote inflammatory bowel disease and is probably best avoided as a supplement.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : In another case, the use of olive leaf extract has been associated with the presence of inflammatory reactions with sweating, restlessness and aches and pains. This is likely to be a portentous observation in the use of this medication as a supplement. It implies the supplement is triggering an immune response - resulting in something being "cleaned" out. This is likely to result in positive long-term consequences for your health, although you might not be so happy with the short to medium term effects of your supplement.

it can be hard to make a judgement in a complex circumstance like this. Understanding how Paill Spectrum infection works certainly helps. This reaction is most likely a Paill Spectrum germ killing reaction.

Dr AXxxxx Dr Axxxx : The key observation that confirms that this is a good effect is that in the long-term, with continued use of the supplement, the effect tends to fade. It goes away. Understanding what may be going on is everything - but can be complicated.

Supplements Supplements in Pills

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : Zinc is a mineral supplement is another supplement which causes some medium-term inflammations - most notable when the warmer weather arrives. The good doctor calls them spring "flares". As the levels of Zinc build up the body and warmer weather arrives, immune functions increase. This can sometimes result in an extended period of "clean out". Again the key observation that confirms this as  a good effect is that in the long-term, with continued use of supplement, the effect tends to fade and would go away. Once it has done its job, the inflammation returns to a
"normal" baseline level with removal of the triggering agent. People will usually eventually begin to feel better.

Zinc Rich Foods Typical Zinc Rich Foods.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : Another story about  reactions-  involved the response of a patient to treatment with trimethoprim/co-trimoxazole, (a common general purpose antibiotic).

The patient was taking medication for a bursitis on an elbow. About a week into the medication usage, suddenly he developed  a whole body rash which was extremely red. He stopped the medication and the rash went away. He thought he had suffered an allergy. This was quite reasonable based on what the doctor saw on the picture the
patient had taken on his phone.

However over about a week, the bursitis began to return. He restated his medication because he was in an isolated location with no access to other doctors or to medical care. Strangely enough the rash did not return. It became obvious what had occurred. The first doses of medication resulted in a "clean out" effect , the resulting inflammation triggering a rash. But once the triggering agent was removed from the body, the patient did not develop any further reactions. The reaction was likely due to the death of the infecting agent within the person's body - not to an antibody reaction or allergy at all. Hence restarting antibiotic after a short rest showed no ill effects whatsoever.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : So the Rules on Supplements are:

Erasmus Erasmus : Check that there is good evidence that the treatment is helpful for your symptoms.

You should check that there is a good story (mechanism) as to why the supplement or medication will benefit your health.

Erasmus Erasmus : The story should make sense to you and be sensible.

There should be good evidence as to the side effects of the treatment.


Erasmus Erasmus : You should check that the supplement does not result in a suppression of inflammatory cytokines. This opinion is somewhat at odds with that of many other people in the world, and for a good reason. Many people are afflicted with aches and pains. If you reduce inflammatory cytokines, the aches and pains reduce. Hey presto - happy human.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : If you consider this piece of logic to its extreme, high-dose Prednisone and immune suppressing drugs such as methotrexate should therefore be the epitomy of healthy medicine - because they generally suppress inflammatory cytokines.

No doctor would agree with the logic of this statement.
High-dose Prednisone is dangerous to your health.

Immunosuppressant  drugs such as methotrexate are also dangerous to your health. You should only take them under strict medical supervision and with strict supervision of the side-effects related to these medications as well.

Certainly it is well-known that elderly people, who are on methotrexate long-term, have severely reduced capacities to heal wounds and scratches on their limbs. This is obvious to any patient being treated by any doctor - eventually anyway.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : So my contention is that the reduction inflammatory cytokines may make you feel better, but it is likely to exact a "damaging" cost in the long run.
Many supplements are recommended by the supplement industry for just this reason. They reduce inflammation, they make you less achy and hence they must be good for you. Rubbish!

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : The key issue is the mechanism of the inflammation reduction. Inflammation reduction through the suppression of inflammatory (immune) cytokines is likely to be undesirable in most circumstances. This is because you are suppressing the action of the immune system in protecting you - from what it thinks you should be protected from.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : Using essential oils as a supplement causes a reduction in information via prostaglandin mechanism. Unsaturated prostaglandins are much less inflammatory than prostaglandins derived from saturated fats. This is actually a real level of information reduction - but not cytokine-based inflammatory reduction. As essential oils reduce inflammatory chemicals (prostaglandins which are long chain fatty acids essentially in structure)  , not inflammatory cytokines, the immune response is preserved in using these types of anti-inflammatory agents. NSAIDS, aspirin and ibuprofen being the classical examples, work in a similar way, blocking prostaglandin based inflammation but not affecting cytokine based inflammation.


Cytokines and Health

Cytokines in Action on the Immune System.


Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : The recommendations are:

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx :
   Low fat intake: less than 3% fat, 97% fat free, less than 30 g fat per day.
*    Take a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral every day.
*    Avoid gluten if you are gluten sensitive.

   A diet low in saturated fat and relatively higher in mono-unsaturated fat.
*    A minimum of one egg -sized piece of meat, fish, chicken, egg or dairy products every day. This relates to a minimum protein intake requirement.
   Adequate dietary fibre: 2 teaspoons of Psyllium husk a minimum of twice a day with food.

   Raw Green vegetable intake and a small handful of nuts daily for their cytokine actions- more often described as anti-oxidant actions

*    A diet low in Catechols and vasoconstricting chemicals such as high-dose methyl-xanthines.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : I believe that the constriction in the blood vessels caused by these foods or chemicals may be the main mechanism by which hearing is reduced in age and by which renal function is reduced in age.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : The doctor relates the example of seeing a number of patients who in middle age seem to be having deteriorating renal functions with no obvious cause.

Dehydration can cause a reversible deterioration in observed creatinene levels.

However he believes that over a long period of time, blood vessel constriction becomes associated with inflammation in the kidney. (This may occur as germs are filtered out of the bloodstream into the Kidney). The association of inflammation from infection with vasoconstriction causes microscopic little dots of renal damage and glomerular loss. This causes a slow but steady drift towards renal deterioration.

Erasmus Erasmus : It remains to be seen whether science backs this one. Until then, I think a safe guideline would be to have no more than 2 cups of "instant" type coffee a day or 1 cup of "real" coffee per day.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : My doctor friend also insists that uric acid levels be maintained at low to medium levels and that dehydration should always be kept to a minimum. Again it is the vascular constriction as an adaptation to dehydration which allows local foci of inflammation resulting from germs being filtered out in the kidney, being able to damage the kidney. Uric acid blocks tubules - perhaps irreversibly if crystals form in the glomeruli when dehydration develops.

The driving mechanism for the germ related kidney injury may be nothing more complicated than mouth breathing causing throat irritation or snoring causing throat irritation. This increases the likelihood of bacteria entering the bloodstream and hence being filtered out into the kidney.