A few years ago, I had a patient in Australia who was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, an illness that impacts every cell and organ system of the body. She was a teenager, and her parents were concerned about the long-term treatments for Lyme, especially with antibiotic therapy. Having heard a good report of another teenager with a very similar symptom picture using Annie Hopper’s Dynamic Neural Retraining System to recover from her illness, this teenager and her family opted for Annie Hopper’s program as well, in place of more traditional treatment regimens. Guess what? She got well.
Our nervous system is such a central facet of our overall health. We think of our brain as the central computer that drives our whole system, using our peripheral nerves as the conductors of messages, signals and chemicals. When the nervous system is stressed for whatever reason, it can impact our whole body. These essential oil recipes for healthy brains and nerves can give you some tools that you can utilize to help yourself if your nervous system is not functioning the way that you would like.
You might be surprised to learn the significance of progesterone for brain health, but it can play a role in brain regeneration after illness or injury. Most people associate progesterone exclusively with female hormones, but it has a myriad of different functions relative to the brain. In fact, one study in the Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology journal states:
“Emerging data indicate that progesterone has multiple non-reproductive functions in the central nervous system to regulate cognition, mood, inflammation, mitochondrial function, neurogenesis and regeneration, myelination and recovery from traumatic brain injury.”[i]
One of the major mechanisms of these activities is via progesterone’s ability to function as a neurosteroid, a naturally occurring steroid that is produced within the body and functions to alter neural excitability. Cells in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system can all synthesize progesterone from cholesterol, and progesterone is able to access the brain and nerves to bind to progesterone receptors in the brain.
Certainly, in pregnancy, rising progesterone levels serve to offer protection to the fetus from neural excitation that could be damaging to his or her fragile nervous system. In a similar fashion, there appears to be a reduction in seizure activity following traumatic brain injury with progesterone supplementation, indicating a similar mechanism of calming neural excitation.
There has been significant research done over time to assess the role of progesterone in recovery from traumatic brain injury. Results have certainly been mixed, but there is significant data to show that progesterone has a neuroprotective effect. In one clinical study known as ProTECT II, 100 patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury were assessed.[ii] One group was given the standard treatment for traumatic brain injury while the other was given that same treatment plus three days of intravenous progesterone (the dose was sufficient to create levels that were triple those seen at the end of pregnancy). The mortality rate in the conventional treatment was 33%, and the mortality rate in the group who received progesterone was 13%.
One of the major ways progesterone helps after a traumatic brain injury is by reducing edema in the brain. It does this by inhibiting the expression of the genes that trigger cells to release the inflammatory cytokines that lead to the swelling and edema. It also influences water channels in the brain, allowing the outflow and relieving the pressure of excess fluid. It also inhibits programmed cell death (apoptosis) by upregulating the genes that influence it, thus sparing cells that might otherwise be killed off.
Another of the mechanisms of progesterone’s neuroprotective and regenerative effects is by promoting myelination. Similar to B12, lion’s mane and acetyl-L-carnitine, progesterone can help support healthy myelination of nerves promoting their growth and repair after damage.
Some generalized studies exist on the effect of progesterone on cognition. One such study demonstrated a correlation between progesterone levels and cognition in post-menopausal women.[iii] The researchers looked at the data of 643 healthy post-menopausal women, ranging in age from 41 to 84, who were part of the Early Versus Late Intervention Trial with Estriol (ELITE) study. They conducted neuropsychological tests to assess cognition and memory. No correlation was found between estrogen and cognition, but a correlation was found between progesterone and cognition, with better outcomes on verbal memory tests and global cognition.
Certainly progesterone can be of benefit to women in terms of balancing hormones, but it seems there are many benefits to the brain as well. These neurological benefits would apply equally to men and women, and could be important for those with traumatic brain injury, and any illness that causes neurological degeneration.
[i] Brinton, R D, et al. “Progesterone receptors: form and function in brain.” Front Neuroendocrinol 29, no. 2 (May 2008): 313-39.
[ii] Wright, D W, et al. “ProTECT: a randomized clinical trial of progesterone for acute traumatic brain injury.” Ann Emerg Med 49, no. 4 (April 2007): 391-402, 402.e1-2.
[iii] Henderson, V W, et al. “Cognition, mood, and physiological concentrations of sex hormones in the early and late menopause.” PNAS 110, no. 50 (December 2013): 20290-20295.
This past weekend I got to experience a new product that I see being a huge booster for people’s health – ranging from the chronically ill to healthy but just flat out busy, tired mums! It’s called H2 Absorb. This new supplement H2 Absorb is anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and energizing. It’s a powerful antioxidant that works wonders in the body.
New research has shown that Molecular Hydrogen – i.e. Two hydrogen atoms put together into one molecule, is a powerful antioxidant that selectively targets one of the most damaging free radicals – the hydroxyl group. Well ok great, but there are lots of anti-oxidants out there, what makes this one so special?
One of the great advantages of molecular hydrogen is that it can permeate into every part of the cell- into the mitochondria, even into the nucleus of the cell. It can cross the blood brain barrier, unlike many antioxidants. In fact, once taken in through this water-based delivery system, it is speeding all around the body through the bloodstream, flushing cells with healthy regenerative molecules within minutes.
Free radicals are an inherent part of human biochemistry, and for that matter, not all free radicals are bad – some are needed in the body. However, excess free radicals means too much oxidative stress, which can lead to higher levels of inflammation, residual metabolites such as lactic acid that hinder recovery from exercise and can cause muscle aches and weakness, and accelerated aging.
H2 Absorb couldn’t be easier to take either. It comes in small, individually packaged tablets. You simply drop one in a full bottle of water, reseal the bottle to keep the gas in, and let the tablet dissolve. Then you drink it as soon as possible thereafter. It doesn’t taste like much, you can taste a slight change in the water flavor but nothing unpleasant, it’s kinda bubbly, but wow, did I ever feel the difference within minutes of drinking it. My brain got clear and more focussed, I felt a boost in energy, and I could just feel my whole system getting a little more vibrant. Very few things would give that rapid feedback and benefit. Other colleagues of mine at the conference were reporting the same effects – one person even said her vision was noticibly clearer when she went back into the lectures.
I see this being a huge benefit to my patients, but I know that even as a healthy person, I’ll be taking one of these a couple of times a day – there’s no limit to the levels of energy and brain clarity I want to feel!
You can click here to read more about it – a box contains 60 tablets, which is a 30-day supply. I have always loved Researched Nutritionals for the high-quality supplements they create, and always on the cutting edge of research and science. They’re a company that I can always confidently stand behind.
Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a flavor enhancer that is best known as an additive in Chinese food, but in reality it is added to many processed foods. MSG is a salt of the amino acid glutamic acid, but it is the glutamate form as it is used in our foods. And it just so happens that high glutamate in the brain can turn out to be a very bad thing for cognition, emotions and behaviors – in children and adults alike, causing all kinds of fireworks and dysfunction. Let me explain how MSG damages your brain!