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What’s Harming Your Brain?

Neurotoxins are everywhere. Yet, what exactly is a neurotoxin? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a neurotoxin as “a poisonous substance that acts on the nervous system and disrupts the normal function of nerve cells.” The 7 neurotoxins listed below are only a few of the many chemicals we all encounter on a daily basis that can be detrimental to the health of our brain and nervous system. They should be avoided as much as possible.

Glyphosate aka Roundup (Herbicide)

  • Herbicide is found in most agricultural crops like corn and soybeans, genetically engineered crops and grains
  • Found to change brain chemistry, cause anxiety, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, breathing difficulties
  • Induce depression-like symptoms
  • A class action settlement pursuant to which Monsanto agreed to pay $21.5 million to resolve consumer fraud claims involving two of the company’s Roundup® Concentrate products was approved by a federal district court in Missouri on May 30, 2018
  • Jurors awarded $289 million to a man they say got cancer from Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller in August 2018

Aspartame (Artificial Sweetener)

  • Artificial sweetener is used in many low calorie, diet and “sugar free” products including sodas, sweets, yogurt, etc.
  • Causes injury to delicate neurons in your brain, seizures, depression, vision problems, ADD, birth defects
  • Induces dementia symptoms and memory loss

Chlorpyrifos (Pesticide)

  • Pesticide is commonly used on cotton, corn, almonds, and many fruit trees including apples and orange trees
  • Cause dysfunction in nerve signals as well as headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscle twitching, loss of coordination, breathing difficulties
  • Children are particularly vulnerable
  • Linked to neurodevelopmental delays, and in some cases tremors

Aluminum (Vaccinations)

  • Found in most vaccinations, used to cause a stronger immune reaction to the vaccine
  • Children are more susceptible to injury
  • Experimental research has linked it with an increased risk of autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation, and associated neurological complications that may be serious and lasts for the child’s lifetime

Fluoride (Water, Oral Hygiene Products)

  • Found in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and nearly all bottled beverages, including water
  • Can cause arthritic symptoms and thyroid issues
  • High doses of fluoride has been shown to be a neurotoxin that can affect normal development in children
  • Has an additive effect so that the more products we use containing it, the more exposure you’re getting

Synthetic Fragrances (Self-Care Products)

  • Found in thousands of products, including lotions, perfumes, body wash, laundry soap, candles, etc.
  • Increases allergen and neurotoxic cascades
  • Possible relationship between maternal exposure and the development of autism

Triclosan (Cleaning Products)

  • Recently banned anti-bacterial product that has commonly been used in anything anti-bacterial: soaps, hand sanitizers, face wash, toothpaste, etc.
  • Contributes to anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria
  • Linked to thyroid issues, immune disruption, neurotoxicity, and cancer.

These 7 neurotoxins are causing an epidemic of nerve disorders by damaging and interfering with the function of your nervous system. And there are many others. It is important to eliminate and decrease your exposure to these chemicals whenever possible while also keeping your nervous system as healthy as possible.

What You Can Do

Nutrients that help your brain health are present in fish like wild salmon, trout, and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other foods include broccoli, Tumeric, blueberries, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Supplementing your diet with quality organic products and correcting spinal subluxations with Chiropractic Lifestyle Care is more important than ever. Functional Neurology can also be extremely helpful. They equip your body to battle these toxins and eliminate their effects on your immediate and long-term health and quality of life.

One More Surprising Neurotoxin – A Sedentary Lifestyle

  • Excess sitting is highly toxic to the brain; according to UCLA, recent studies on “Sitting” reports that “people who are more sedentary have thinning in brain regions linked to memory.”
  • Excess sitting creates a reduction in the birth of new neurons, reduced plasticity, and increased inflammation.
  • Sedentary behavior is known to be a predictor of Alzheimer’s risk.
  • “About 13% of Alzheimer’s cases may be due to inactivity, and that even a 25% reduction in sedentary behavior would reduce Alzheimer’s prevalence by about one million cases across the globe.”
  • Similar studies reveal that more time spent sitting may be linked to worse cognitive performance overall.

It is suggested that reducing the amount of sitting that people do may be a more effective intervention than adding exercise alone. Yet, it is important to maintain functionality through movement like walking, exercising, and drinking proper amounts of water in order to fully support the body. Also, avoid toxins by using a water filter and drink more water during the day to help flush out any toxins you encounter. Purchase organic produce whenever available. Eliminate sodas and artificially sweetened products from your diet. Replace toxic household cleaners and self-hygiene products with non-GMO, organic products. If you choose to vaccinate your children, think about altering the schedule to decrease the aluminum exposure in a single setting.

Avoiding toxins is not always possible but should be a priority. Make an appointment for a chiropractic checkup to balance your spine, improve the function of your nervous system and reduce the detrimental effects of exposure to these toxic chemicals. Your choices will impact your life today, for 100 years and beyond.

  1. Anderson, R. C., & Anderson, J. H. (1998). Acute Toxic Effects of Fragrance Products. Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal, 53(2), 138-146. doi:10.1080/00039896.1998.10545975
  2. Cattani, D., Cesconetto, P. A., Tavares, M. K., Parisotto, E. B., Oliveira, P. A., Rieg, C. E., . . . Zamoner, A. (2017). Developmental exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide and depressive-like behavior in adult offspring: Implication of glutamate excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. Toxicology, 387, 67-80. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2017.06.001
  3. Choi, A. L., Zhang, Y., Sun, G., Bellinger, D.C., Wang, K., Yang, X.J.,… Grandjean, P. (2015). Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47, 96-101. doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2014.11.001
  4. González-Alzaga, B., Hernández, A. F., Rodríguez-Barranco, M., Gómez, I., Aguilar-Garduño, C., López-Flores, I., . . . Lacasaña, M. (2015). Pre- and postnatal exposures to pesticides and neurodevelopmental effects in children living in agricultural communities from South-Eastern Spain. Environment International, 85, 229-237. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2015.09.019
  5. Onaolapo, A. Y., Onaolapo, O. J., & Nwoha, P. U. (2016). Alterations in behaviour, cerebral cortical morphology and cerebral oxidative stress markers following aspartame ingestion. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 78, 42-56. doi:10.1016/j.jchemneu.2016.08.006
  6. Sealey, L. A., Hughes, B.W., Pestaner, J.P., Steinemann, A., D.G., & Bagasra, O. (2015). Environmental factors may contribute to autism development and male bias: Effects of fragrances on developing neurons. Environmental Research, 142, 731-738. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2015.08.025
  7. Teplova, V. V., Belosludtsev, K. N., & Kruglov, A. G. (2017). Mechanism of triclosan toxicity: Mitochondrial dysfunction including complex II inhibition, superoxide release and uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Toxicology Letters, 275, 108-117. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.05.004
  8. Tomljenovic, L., & Shaw, C. A. (2011). Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe? Current Medicinal Chemistry, 18(17), 2630-2637. doi:10.2174/092986711795933740
  9. Zhang, X., Zhang, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, M., Jin, J., Yan, J., . . . Dong, D. (2017). Mitochondrial uncoupler triclosan induces vasorelaxation of rat arteries. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B. doi:10.1016/j.apsb.2017.06.001
  10. Walton, Alice G. “Too Much Sitting Is As Bad For The Brain As It Is For The Body: Study.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2018/04/12/sitting-is-just-as-bad-for-the-brain-as-for-the-body-study-finds/#63b00cd83830.
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