Throughout our entire lives we have been exposed to lead, chemicals, pollution and other toxic substances that can build up in our bloodstream and cause damage to our hearts, lungs and brains - not to mention other parts of our bodies.
You come in contact with these pollutants in your water, the food you eat, and the air you breathe. Your computers, telephones, window blinds, coffee mugs, cars and all types of everyday items carry some chemical, mineral or toxic substance that can wreck havoc on your brain, memory and other bodily functions.
Pesticides and preservatives have been added to the food you eat to enhance their growth, fight off pests and disease, and preserve their shelf life. You use pesticides to fight mosquitoes, ants and other vermin infestation in your home. These pesticides don’t just work on the crops and insects, but are carried through the air to neighboring towns and communities.
There is evidence that these pesticides can increase the risk for mental problems and dementia by about 40%, according to a 14-year study in Utah of 3,000 people 65 years of age or older. They also increase the rise for attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity, Parkinson’s disease, and other memory and neurological disorders by working on the nervous system, just like they work on the insects.
A non-profit group of scientists, called the Environmental Working Group (EWG), compiled results of nearly 96,000 of tests of pesticides in the United States and found discovered a long list of fruits and vegetables that contain toxic levels of pesticides. They recommend the use of organic produce to eliminate the majority of the toxicity.
Metals can be extremely toxic to your brain, especially mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum. Cadmium and lead can be leached from your pipes and paint. Aluminum is found in cookware, antacids and antiperspirants. Your dental fillings, fish and even vaccinations contain trace amounts of mercury. Cigarette smoke is also among the higher toxic producing substances. And, these are only a few toxic materials that can lead to depression, memory problems, inability to focus and concentrate, insomnia, unco-ordination, numbness and behavioral problems.
A four-year study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University showing subjects with higher levels of lead exposure were more susceptible to mental decline, and as the lead researcher put it, “Like five more years of aging on the brain.”
Mental decline from long-term exposure to lead can destroy the myelin-producing cells, and block the development of neurotransmitters, which can lead to the accelerating of brain aging and mental decline.
A study out of the University of Calgary Medical School found that trace amounts of mercury, similar to that found in a dental filling, destroys nerve cells in the brain. Mercury is found in the fumes at the gas pump, cosmetics, air conditioner filters, and often fish.
Since it is virtually impossible to eliminate all these toxic materials totally, Eric Braverman, MD, an integrative physician experienced in the research of the effects of toxins on the brain, recommends a combination of certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients as antidotes to brain toxins:
• Bifidobacteria and lactobacillus are the good bacteria found in traditional yogurt. (The label should say the product contains “live cultures”). This aids in healthy digestion and detoxification of mercury.
• Calcium to reduce the effects of cadmium, lead, mercury and aluminum retained in the body
• Lycopene, found in tomatoes, can help to protect kidneys from mercury damage and reduce the toxic effects of cadmium.
• Magnesium reduces the absorption of some toxic metals and helps in the elimination of them from the body. Take 200 mg - 400 mg. daily
• Rutin is an antioxidant found in citrus fruits that will bind with mercury to help excrete metals
• Quercetin prevents damage to the kidneys from cadmium, removed lead from the brain, and reduces toxicity of metal
• Selenium binds with metals aluminum, mercury, cadmium and lead in order to excrete them Thiamin (Vitamin B1) or a B complex formula multivitamin cuts down on the amount of lead that your body absorbs and enhances mental function (50mg daily).
• Vitamin A to remove lead
• Vitamin C to remove the metals cadmium and lead (1,000 mg daily) and reduce cell damage due to pesticides
• Vitamin E helps to detoxify pesticides, 600 mg daily (Some multivitamins contain this form of vitamin E)
• Zinc helps to remove mercury and, by competing with cadmium, reduces its absorption. When levels of zinc are low we absorb more lead and aluminum, but when sufficient levels are attained the toxic effects of all metals can be blocked.
Foods like garlic, algae (like kelp), and barley are also popular in the prevention of toxic buildup, and can be consumed as food, or in capsule form or powder to detoxify the body and brain, and reduce absorption of metals.
Ron White is a two-time USA Memory Champion, memory expert, and memory speaker. He speaks at seminars and to large groups all over the world on how to improve memory and memory techniques. In addition, his website BrainAthlete.com sells CDs and programs to improve memory skills and advise for success.