Conditions associated to brain health usually have a late onset in life. Whilst this is generally accepted, these can be heavily influenced by our nutrition and lifestyle throughout our lives.
When it comes to brain health, it is not just about disease, it is also about fueling this organ throughout our lives for healthy cognitive responses. Even before birth, we require the right ingredients for healthy brain development. We then go through school and need to retain information for concentration, learning and development. Through our lives many other conditions such as autism and ADHD are influenced by the health of our brain. We then go through our adult lives and with or without a specific condition, we may struggle day to day with the ability to focus and concentrate. Memory may also be impacted with inability to easily recall the things we used to be able to.
There are many important nutrients to consider when it comes to brain and nervous system health, such as the right balance of essential fats amongst many other nutrients. The brain is the fattiest organ in the body made up of almost 60% fats so you can see why this would be an important consideration. Digestive health is also important here due to the Gut Brain Axis. The understanding of how the microbiome can be influenced to have a positive impact on brain health is an emerging field of nutrition with interesting and positive associations. We then take into consideration that the digestive system is a vital part of both absorption of the nutrients needed for brain health such as vitamin B12, as well as the duties of the microbiome to manufacture of specific nutrients associated to brain health.
As well as nutrient and lifestyle considerations here, genetics are also a key player. For example, ApoE4 has been shown to be a risk factor toward the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease with the percentage of carriers of this gene having a three fold increase in the risk of development. Genetics however respond to our environment, so despite a genetic predisposition or even the onset of a condition, there are many factors we can take into account to support the health of the individual.
Some of the conditions we often work with when it comes to brain health are:
Concentration or Focus Issues
During a Nutritional Therapy consultation, we work using a Functional Medicine Framework to look at the root cause of any condition or symptom relating to brain health. We work using our knowledge and training of the latest scientific research in this area. For brain health as with many other conditions, this requires a multifactorial approach. Conditions associated to brain health often require the balancing of many nutritional and lifestyle factors and we work to the capacity of the individual to help to rebalance and restore as many elements as is feasible to create positive change.
We may also look at Functional testing here and although this is not a first line approach, we frequently run tests such as Genetic Methylation tests, Digestive Health Analysis and also look at targeted nutrition tests such as the Bredesen Panel in the cases of memory loss and dementia.
There is no one size fits all approach and we help to educate and create a workable plan with the simplest of interventions to make the most positive impact on your health.