Our previous article discussed the First of 3 strategies to support our blood sugar metabolism – the Short Chain Fatty acids. To read the entire article click here. Today we will be discussing the second pathway – the Insulin Signaling Pathway.
The SCFA Pathway
Insulin Signaling Pathway
Insulin Signaling Pathway
The Insulin Signaling Pathway is a biochemical pathway in which insulin improves the transfer of glucose into the cells. When we eat carbohydrates and sugar, the pancreas senses the rise in glucose and releases insulin to help with the transfer of glucose from the bloodstream.
Image from Apex Energetics
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), chromium, biotin, vanadium, certain mushrooms, berberine and gymnema8 have all shown to affect the insulin receptor function – the “lock” which responds to insulin -“the key”. It works by helping the insulin receptor “lock” respond better to the insulin “key” and in turn assists in the entry of glucose into the cells.
Chromium, Vanidium, zinc,9 Alpha Lipoic Acid and magnesium9 to assist in a process that gets the glucose from “storage” in the body to the cell membrane so that the glucose can actually enter the cell. Once it is inside the cell, glucose is then used to either make energy called ATP or get stored as glycogen or fat for later use.
If insulin receptor locks are poorly functioning10, the insulin cannot attach properly or the receptor becomes resistant to insulin. All the communication and signaling process becomes weakened or disrupted.
Without a strong signaling, less glucose enters the cell for energy production.11 Blood glucose continues to rise which results in high blood sugar. Over time, this can create many health problems.
Excess glucose is absorbed by the liver cells12 and stored as glycogen. Once the liver is too full it starts converting the glucose into fatty acids for long term storage as fat. This process requires a lot of energy and can create fatigue after eating. This extra fat can eventually lead to fatty liver, which creates more problems with our metabolism and promote insulin resistance by the liver.
When an individual lives in a world of chronic high blood sugar, inflammation increases and can affect the kidneys, eyes, heart and brain. Thiamine, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E and other antioxidants help with this type of inflammation and related oxidative stress.
Key Products we carry at Renovare that support blood sugar balance and Insulin resistance issues:
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an easy, low cost, non-invasive way of reversing Alzheimer’s – one that didn’t involve turning your life upside down?
Well, perhaps there is. A new study by MIT scientists found they could do just that. Okay, it was in mice, but the results were dramatic, and hold out real hope for a simple, effective treatment in humans.
All it involves is light and sound. . .
Boosted Immune Cells Clear Brain Plaques
Just like a strobe, our brains flicker, generating electrical impulses at different frequencies.
Gamma oscillations range from 25 to 80 hertz (cycles per second) and are believed to have roles in memory, attention and perception. People with Alzheimer’s disease are known to have impaired function in the gamma range.
In 2016, neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai and her research group at MIT tested what would happen if white light were flashed at mice for an hour at a frequency of 40 Hertz (40 times a second).
These mice were specially engineered to develop Alzheimer’s-type symptoms, so the plaques (amyloid) and tangles (tau) typically seen in the disease had built up in their brains, and they exhibited irregular brain activity in the gamma range.
The result of the experiment was that a steady frequency of 40 Hertz was reflected back from the mice in the visual cortex, the area that receives and processes visual information — a not unexpected result. But something else happened that the scientists were unprepared for.
The microglia in the visual cortex were strongly stimulated. These are immune cells that clear debris and toxic waste from the brain.
This light stimulation caused a sizable reduction of amyloid and tau. Dr Tsai described the effect as “most remarkable.”
Better Cognitive Function
For their latest study, published in the journal Cell in March, instead of light, they tested the effect of sound.
Listening to 40 clicking sounds a second, one hour a day for seven days, the mice not only experienced a large reduction of amyloid and tau in the auditory cortex, where sound is processed, but likewise in an area located nearby – the hippocampus – a key part of the brain for learning and memory.
Compared to mice that didn’t receive the stimulation, they performed much better on tests of navigation round a maze, where landmarks must be recalled, and the recognition of objects they’d previously been shown.
As in the light test, the microglia were stimulated, but in addition, there were positive changes in the brain’s blood vessels.
The final experiment was to see the effect of combining both light and sound.
The microglia response was far stronger, and amyloid plaques were reduced not only by a huge amount, but also in a much larger area of the brain. This included the prefrontal cortex where higher cognitive processes take place.
The treated mice performed far better on a set of cognitive tests. For instance, untreated mice shown an object they’d seen before reacted as though they’d never seen it. The stimulated mice spent far less time examining it because they recognized the object.
Overall, the result of combing light and sound was greater than either one alone.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Tsai said, “It was unbelievable. This is the first time we’ve seen that this non-invasive stimulation can improve cognitive function. It’s not a drug or an antibody or anything, it’s just light and sound.”
Shannon Macauley, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine, who was not involved with the study, enthused, “I think it’s an absolutely fascinating paper.” The fact that amyloid and tau fell in both the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex is, she explained, “one of the big jumps in the new paper.
“These are the learning and memory centers of the brain. And there was about a 40 or 50 percent decrease in amyloid and tau levels. It’s an absolutely impressive feat.”
Although the effects fade over time, it would be simple to apply regularly at home by patients, if they’re able, or by a relative or caregiver.
The light-sound therapy has already been tested for safety on healthy volunteers, and early-stage Alzheimer’s patients are currently being recruited for the first human trial.
This Discover Magazine article is a wonderful summary of the emerging research. Discover Magazine is like Scientific American for everyday people. Click Here for article.
This article explains why the Billion dollar blockbuster drug for Alzheimers Disease (AD) is likely to never happen. AD is not one disease but many.
Each of us is unique with unique genetics, epigenetics, and lifestyle/environmental influences so we manifest brain neurodegeneration differently.
AD commonly occurs with Parkinson-like problems as well as white matter brain disease or Vascular dementia. It is more helpful to think of AD as a complex multiple system neurodegenerative disease and move beyond the name of the disease to the root causes. Here are some of the most common root causes from the emerging research and our experience in practice:
Excitotoxicity – the brain over-revving in the internal stress response
Low magnesium a major factor
Excessive toxic stress
Brain imbalances from concussion, life traumas etc. that turn on the yellow sympathetic nerve stress response which stays stuck “ON”
Poor circulation or perfusion
Not enough oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the brain
Low Nitric Oxide a major factor (get tested – cost just 10.)
Exercise deficiency/sedentary lifestyle
Poor blood sugar and insulin regulation.
Diabetes starves the brain for energy and creates massive inflammation damage
Insulin resistance has been called “Type 3 Diabetes” or “Diabetes of the Brain” since 2014 in the research literature.
Creates massive inflammation and damages the blood-brain barrier creating “Leaky Brain”
Loss of microbial diversity a major factor
Creates autoimmune balances that can attack the brain
Sleep is one of the best anti-inflammatories for our brain and body
AD considered by some researchers to be caused by long-term poor sleep
Eating for Disease
Lots of sugar and processed foods
Lots of gluten
Avoidance of vegetables and fresh, living foods
Lots of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial “crap” in our food – best reason to eat organic
What does good balance have to do with preserving memory and brain function?
Our cerebellum, at the base of our brain, governs balance, as well as precision, coordination, and timing. The movements of daily life keep our cerebellum in a constant state of activity.
It’s this constant activity that keeps the rest of our brain on its toes. A healthy cerebellum (with an active lifestyle) feeds our brain a steady stream of information to keep it actively firing.
Bad Balance Leads to Bad Brain Function
This explains why symptoms of cerebellum degeneration, such as bad balance, often tie into loss of memory, poor ability to learn, and weakened brain endurance. Our brain isn’t getting enough “activation” from our cerebellum to keep it charged and running well. Declining balance is also strongly linked to dementia!
Brain Overwhelm from Bad Balance
When our outer cerebellum degenerates, it no longer filters sensory input leading to brain overload.
Symptoms may include restless leg syndrome, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and others that you wouldn’t think could be related to balance.
Do You have Balance Problems?
Do you wobble if you stand on one foot with your eyes closed more than 15 seconds?
Can you walk in a straight heel-to-toe line with your eyes closed without stumbling?
Can you stand with your feet together and close your eyes without swaying?
This could be a sign of compromised brain health and needs to be measured since “What Gets Measured, Gets Improved” With a balance test baseline, we can design a Balance Rehab Program to guide your improvements.
Many who think their balance is fine, are surprised when testing reveals early balance problems that can be helped
There are almost 5000 published papers on force plate balance testing showing it is the gold standard with diagnostic value in conditions ranging from concussion & traumatic brain injury to Parkinson’s disease.
The system we use has a normative database of over 17,000 test results so your results can show if you have the balance of someone years younger or years older than you.
The system shows a Fall Risk Assessment: Low, Medium, and High
The system shows your improvements eg. From high to low fall risk, from the balance of an 80 year-old to the balance of a 45 year-old.
This testing is critical to understanding brain & central nervous system, somatosensory, vestibular, and oculomotor systems.
It is ideal to have a baseline test of your balance. Should you have a concussion or traumatic brain injury, we can quickly see the effects and have a target for recovery.
A groundbreaking paper published in the Journal of Vestibular Research, Does Vestibular Damage Cause Cognitive Dysfunction in Humans,demonstrates that the degree of damage to the vestibular system is directly correlated to changes in the hippocampus, which is a key component of memory and higher cognitive function.
A more recent paper published in the journal Stroke entitled Association of Postural Instability With Asymptomatic Cerebrovascular Damage and Cognitive Declinen discusses the irrefutable link between poor balance, cognitive decline, and small blood vessel disease in the brain. Subjects that had a reduced ability to stand on one leg were clearly shown to have lower cognitive functions of memory and spatial awareness. The lead author of this study urged that those with postural instability (impaired balance) should receive special attention as they may be at greater risk of cognitive decline.
With early detection of balance problems, you have the ability to improve. As with anything else in your body, the longer you wait to act, the less likely you will be able to fully recover much needed function and perform at your highest ability.
The better your ability to balance, the better your ability to think!
Schedule Your Balance Test Now! Call us at (623) 776-0206.
Neuroinflammation or the Brain on Fire is the Root mechanism for Alzheimers, Parkinsons and many of our brain diseases. When our brain is on fire, our brain begins to degenerate. We lose volume and our brain begins to shrink from the inside and outside.
When we tip one way we are making neural connections in the brain, when we tip the other we are removing neural connections in the brain. This moves us towards Alzheimers and other types of dementia.
The research shows us 36 factors that influence towards Alzheimers or towards brain health. They include:
vitamin D – critical for brain health
essential fatty acids
brain derived neurotropic factors
how well our mitochondria works to make energy
glutathione (an essential molecule for antioxidant balance)
improving blood flow to our brain
Reducing oxidative stress
neurotransmitter hormone balance
optimizing our cortisol and stress hormones
improving GABA which is calming to our brain
How do we help people with Neurodegeneration? We help them by dealing with root issues – not covering up symptoms. We work by solving the puzzle of why we are having our issues. We use a functional medicine, functional neurology approach
Two people can be in the same car accident with one suffering traumatic brain injury that lasts for years. The other person, same accident and same “jolting” to their brain suffers less damage and quickly recovers. Why?
Diminished brain resilience syndrome
Diminished brain resilience syndrome (DBR) is increased susceptibility to mild brain trauma, concussion, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. DBR is caused by Toxin exposures, Nutrient-deficient food, Pro-inflammatory essential fatty acid ratios, Leaky Gut, Dysbiosis, Chronic Immune activation, Excessive Stress, Sleep deprivation, Poor quality of Sleep, Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (esp. Magnesium, Vitamin D, OmegaBoost 1300 Pro, Brain E DHA 1200 TG, Poor Detoxification (esp. compromised Phase 2 liver detox). This leads to increased susceptibility to concussion injury, reduced ability to heal, and increased risk to Post- Concussion Syndrome (PCS) & Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
In short, our unhealthy lifestyles make our brain susceptible to injury and inability to heal.
DBR from the typical pro-inflammatory, high stress lifestyle helps to explain our increased number and severity of concussions.
How do we make our brain concussion resistant? How do we support healing after concussion? By solving the puzzle below:
Creating a LifeStyle that fits our unique genetic needs is the solution. Since everyone is different, this journey looks different for each person. Some people need help in just a few of the puzzle pieces above, others need help in all 8 puzzle piece areas.
Creating a customize care process to fit your individual needs with metrics to measure progress is what we do. Investing in our brain health to make our brain concussion resistant is a smart investment with side benefits like:
High level focus, memory, and concentration.
High level energy and stamina
Peak Brain Performance in relationships, school, work, and activites.
Inner peaceful balance and wellness
Increased stress tolerance and improved stress management so big problems feel small
Speaker: Dr. Timothy Gerhart Topic: Living Free of Dementia: Steps to Eating and Supplementing for Peak Brain Performance Foods that make your brain younger Supplements that support brain healing and repair Balancing your brain so[...]