Alzheimer's disease is directly related to slowing down the activity of your brain, which is regulated by the brain chemical, acetylcholine. The good news is that I've seen many cases of significant progress achieved, simply by following an acetylcholine protocol, as outlined in my book, The Edge Effect.
A Remarkable Story of Full Recovery: a 55 year-old gentleman came to me with a memory loss issue of a 70 year-old man. Three years later, with an acetylcholine protocol, his memory was restored to that of a 35 year-old.
With Alzheimer's disease, as with any other condition affecting your mind and body, your health is in your hands. If you have any concern that you might be a candidate for this devastating disease, seek treatment as early as possible. We at PATH Medical can help.
We're all aware that amino acids are present and important throughout our bodies. Muscle, for example, is very high in protein and amino acids. But the most exciting area of amino acid research is the study of brain metabolism.
Essentially, amino acids run your brain. Your central nervous system is almost completely regulated by amino acids and their peptides. Communication within the brain and between your brain and the rest of your body's extensive nervous system occurs through chemical "languages" by which brain cells or neurons communicate.
There are about 50 such "languages" that neurotransmitters use to transmit messages from one neuron, or nerve cell, to a specific organ such as a muscle or gland that releases hormones. Neurotransmitters are powerful chemicals that can regulate numerous physical and behavioral processes, including cognitive and mental performance, emotional states, and the pain response.
For a complete brain and body exam, contact us at PATH Medical. We approach a full physical exam the same way you were born - head first.
As you get older, your metabolism naturally slows down. Your metabolism is determined by a massive genetic equation, which takes into account your age and your current health. This equation looks like this:
Rate of Metabolism =
Your hormones [growth hormones, estrogen, testosterone]
Your bone strength, muscle strength, and active neurons [working brain chemistry]
The number of diseases you currently have
As you age, your hormones drop, muscle is lost, bone density is lost, and your brain cells fizzle. At the same time you accumulate illnesses. All of these factor into your metabolic rate. However, by reversing these individual health issues, you can increase your metabolism, feel younger, and lose weight.
When you were young, the food you ate supported your growing brain and body. Yet once you reached your final adult height, you may have experienced weight gain even when you were eating the exact same foods in the same quantities. The problem: Your metabolism weakened over time. To compensate, you need more voltage, or Dopamine, to jump-start your fat-burning furnace. Without it, you'll just continue to accumulate body fat.
The good news is that you can jump-start your fat-burning furnace by concentrating on foods and nutrients that naturally increase your metabolism and boost your dopamine. Your metabolism works as an automatic system that is set by the fuel you throw at it. If you've been eating junk, your metabolism is working like a low-burning fire. However, when you provide it with lots of dopamine, this brain chemical acts like a pile of coal, and ignites your metabolism to burn off your calories.
Remove Foods That Deplete Dopamine
Many common foods actually can deplete your levels of dopamine. For example, sugar and its many hidden forms (high fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, sucralose, molasses, syrup, and others) should be avoided. Better alternatives would be pure honey, or maple syrup because they contain additional vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may benefit your health. Stevia is another natural sugar substitute. It's 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so just a tiny amount will do the trick, and it contains 0 calories.
Also avoid simple carbohydrates and high glycemic foods which are foods you crave if you are dealing with a dopamine deficiency, because they give you the feeling of increased energy in the short term. These are generally the "white" foods such as cakes, crackers, chips, potatoes, white breads and rice, processed foods, etc.
Which Foods Should You Eat?
Instead of sugar-laden and "white" foods, choose more colorful versions that have more nutrients. Whole grain, colorful carbs (such as sweet potatoes, and brown rice) provide lots of energy without being instantly converted into body fat. Although they don't create more dopamine, they won't feed into the food addiction cycle.
Dopamine enhancing foods are by nature calorie dense, so eating in moderation will be key in not consuming more calories than your body needs. Foods high in the amino acid, phenylalanine, will boost your metabolism. These include such proteins as lean beef, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, oat flakes, yogurt, turkey, etc.
The amino acid, tyrosine, is another precursor to dopamine. Tyrosine-rich foods include: beef, chicken, cottage cheese, duck, granola, pork, wheat germ, wild game, yogurt, etc.
By increasing your consumption of phenylalanine and tyrosine, you can reverse your dopamine deficiency. Be sure to add spices to your meals - they are nutrient-dense and provide between 20 to 80 different nutrients. Try to include hot or cold tea to your day - they are metabolic enhancers that can help you burn calories and body fat. Colorful vegetables and salads should be included in your meals as a low-calorie, antioxidant-rich, and nutrient-dense benefit.
Call to schedule an appointment for a full exam. We can help you to reverse the affects of aging so you can be a Younger, Thinner, Healthier You.
Can you have have the spine of a 70-year-old when you feel like a healthy 55-year-old? The answer is YES. Women, especially around the age of 50, can experience loss of bone density after reaching menopause.
To truly understand aging and disease, we have to drill down into the disease. Osteoporosis is commonly hormone-mediated, and frequently in conjunction with declining estrogen levels. Specifically, bone destruction, which is a normal metabolic process, begins to occur more rapidly than bone rebuilding.This process is regulated in part by estrogen, which, along with vitamin D and other nutrients, plays an important role in calcium uptake into bone.
You can see in this broad understanding of osteoporosis, that it is actually the product of an imbalanced hormonal system. It's an outward manifestation of a deeper problem with the brain, which produces or regulates about 90% of our hormones.
At PATH Medical, we look at all organ systems with diagnostic tests to detect problems with Bone Density, Brain Function, Hormone Imbalances, Kidney Health, Heart Health, etc. Then we treat you with a whole-body approach.
Our brain chemical, acetylcholine, is a natural moisturizer that helps retain fluid and maintains the membrane coatings of cells. All acetylcholine deficiencies lead to dehydration.
Because it controls moisture levels throughout the body, when you experience a deficiency, moisture evaporates and dryness occurs, followed by inflammation. This three-part process is the predecessor of arthritis. Arthritis flares up when joint lubrication is lost and the body loses its ability to relubricate, or maintain healthy joints.
Interestingly, when the brain loses its moisture, cognitive deterioration begins. This is why as we age, cognitive deterioration and bone loss often occur simultaneously.
Arthritis can be treated by following an acetylcholine-boosting regimen, including hormone therapies, proper diet, supplements, and exercise. I can help. Call to schedule an appointment or phone consultation.
Serotonin is the brain chemical that allows you to experience pleasure and feel good about yourself. When your serotonin levels are strong, you feel alive and excited about taking on new challenges. At night, serotonin allows the brain to recharge and rebalance as you experience deep, restful sleep, so every morning you begin with a fresh start. That's why I equate balanced serotonin to complete serenity. And when your brain is balanced and refreshed, you'll even find it a whole lot easier to lose weight.
Yet as we get older, serotonin levels begin to wane. You may notice that your mood is the first aspect of your overall health that has changed. While dopamine and GABA deficiencies affect our emotional life, serotonin deficiencies are markedly different, and even more pronounced. Instead of feeling fatigued (low dopamine) or anxious (low GABA), without serotonin we don't feel much of anything. That's why the stereotypical aged person is often portrayed as crotchety or withdrawn. This is an example of someone who has burned out their serotonin.
Both sleep disturbances and depression are associated with low serotonin levels, and therefore influence weight gain. Emotional upheavals can subliminally lead you to self-medicate through food, fostering specific food cravings that when satisfied, can temporarily change your mood. For example, have you ever told anyone "I eat when I'm depressed"? If so, think about the foods you choose when you are in a funk. If you are low in serotonin, chances are very good that you are a "salty snack" binger: simple carbs and salty foods actually provide more energy to combat fatigue, and actually help to release stored serotonin. But even though highly salted carbs, like potato chips, provide the lift you are looking for, they don't provide the nutrition your body desperately needs.
You can boost your serotonin levels in a variety of healthy ways and become younger. You can learn how to get out of a black mood without the help of fattening foods so you can reverse your bad and often dangerous eating habits. You can also learn the tricks you need to get a better night's sleep so your brain can rest, allowing you to make better food choices the next day.
Strategies to Create/Increase Serotonin
If you are low in serotonin, tryptophan is vital because it induces the creation of this brain chemical. Tryptophan is an amino acid the brain and body needs, but cannot make on its own. The foods that are key to producing serotonin are those low-calorie foods that are high in tryptophan, such as avocados, eggs, or cottage cheese. Here's a list of foods containing significant amounts of this amino acid. Try to incorporate as many of these as possible into your diet each day:
While many spices can make your meals more flavorful, specific spices will act as antidepressants, naturally increasing your serotonin levels. Good choices are saffron, marjoram, peppermint, spearmint, dill, nutmeg, licorice (anise), and turmeric.
Many foods that are high in tryptophan do not provide significant levels in diet-size portions. You would have to eat a whole cup of granola to get the levels you need. Another way to increase your tryptophan and other serotonin-boosting nutrients without adding calories is through vitamin and mineral supplements.
Consult your healthcare provider to see which of the following supplements may be appropriate for you. Some supplements can interfere with medications you might be taking - especially antidepressants.
Even when we're young, very few people are extremely high in only one brain chemical, or only low in another. Most of us are a combination of highs and lows. In fact, brain chemicals are synergistically related to each other: When one is high, the other is low. Dopamine and Acetylcholine are the brain's "on" switches, providing you with lots of energy. GABA and Serotonin are the "off" switches - they help calm the body.
When your brain is balanced, you are creating the exact right amount of each chemical, and you'll feel energetic, creative, and calm, and will have the ability to reset your brain with restful sleep at night. But as we get older, the structure of the neuronal highway gets worn down and becomes less efficient as both a chemical producer and transmitter. That's when you start to lose the speed of Acetylcholine or the energy of Dopamine. Without these, you'll feel the low-Serotonin blues, which lead to higher anxiety as GABA becomes imbalanced, which forces a low-Serotonin inability to sleep.
All these symptoms can contribute to your feeling older than your actual age, because they are literally aging your brain. This is why a youthful brain is perhaps the most crucial challenge of aging, and why you must keep your brain as young as possible throughout your life. We at PATH Medical can help you balance your brain for a Younger You.
Part 6 of the Series: Aging and the "Pauses of Life"
Menopause - The Decline in Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and More
Did you know that once menopause begins, the rest of the "pauses" quickly progress, as the imbalances feed on each other? Consequently, your health breaks down. The roll down the hill goes faster and faster, especially if our brains aren't in good shape. The imbalances in the estrogen-progesterone ratio can feel chaotic at best.
When estrogen production flags, the other "pauses" cascade. Loss of estrogen can create: changes in bone density, leading to osteopause; Heart pump failure, triggering cardiopause; Increased risk of breast cancer, triggering immunopause; Loss of memory and other cognitive deterioration, triggering electropause, and other "pauses." You can find out more on the other pauses in other blogs (beginning October 2016).
Most women are caught unaware by menopause. Despite scrupulous efforts to counteract the combined effects of gravity and aging, her arms have probably been getting progressively flabbier since around age 30. In fact, the typical woman begins losing muscle mass starting around age 25, while weight begins to climb. The unpleasant changes ahead are linked to shifting hormonal tides within the female aging body.
I often use the analogy of a boulder dropping into a still body of water to describe how these changes affect everything from mood and concentration to memory and quality of sleep. Imagine a boulder dropping into a calm, deep body of water, representing your 22-year old self at peak reproduction health. There are ripples, slowly spreading out, heading inexorably for the distant shore. As they approach that shallow shoreline (representing you, at about age 50) they gain strength and height, eventually crashing against the shore with tsunami force. The gentle swells and expanding ripples represent the years of perimenopause between about 22 and 50. The devastation of the tsunami represents menopause hitting with full force.
"Freak Outs" and Other Symptoms
Along with hot flashes, the following symptoms can be experienced during menopause:
The fall of estrogen and progesterone cause a cascade of rising blood sugars and lower mental activity. Women begin to feel both hungry and tired so often, they eat more junk food to stay alert and they exercise less. The good news is that we now have the ability to give low dosages of natural hormones that will transform not only the way you feel but the way you look.
GABA and serotonin agents can stop the "freak-outs" many women experience as a result of declining estrogen levels. This occurs because you're losing progesterone, the hormone that keeps you calm. Without progesterone, many women experience a general "sinking" feeling. With the right treatment, this feeling will go away.
If your hot flashes and other symptoms are severe, you may need to let your doctor know - estrogen-containing products can be a most effective treatment.
Progesterone to the Rescue
Progesterone is a medical gift. It's a natural mood balancer, stress reliever, and brain calmer, and it squashes cortisol (our stress hormone). It is a natural diuretic, antidepressant, antioxidant, and a precursor of cortisone and necessary for survival.
By taking natural estrogen and other bioidentical supplements, you can turn back the clock. While there's no medication that will stop menopause from occuring, you can trick your brain into thinking it is 50 forever.
The only way menopause can be successfully treated is by imitating the body's own mechanisms, which means replacing the hormones that the body naturally has lost. By maintaining and increasing hormone levels, you can restore your health and even reverse the symptoms that have been affecting you. Natural hormones have been found to be capable of doing this without causing negative side effects.
You can also strengthen your overall health by supplementing with vitamin D. Typically I prescribe 5,000 units per day as a natural brain builder.
My Rainbow Diet will allow you to control your weight and stop the cascade of illness associated with obesity. It's remarkable how carrying as little as 10 extra pounds can significantly affect your overall health. Keep your meals full of colorful fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
And discuss with your doctor about taking these code-breaking hormones:
Hormonal Treatment Brain Code Action
By understanding the intricate neurochemical relationships among organs, the brain, and the body's various systems, it is possible to marshal appropriate lines of defense against detrimental aging. These include lifestyle modifications, nutrition and supplement therapy, bioidentical hormone replacement, and if needed, prescription medications to help women achieve optimal health and minimize the ravages of "normal aging."
For more information or help, call us at PATH Medical to make an appointment. Early detection is always key towards better health.
It's possible to have too much of a good thing, and that includes the brain chemical GABA. Producing too much GABA ratchets up your nurturing tendencies. At their worst, people with too much of this neurotransmitter expend their energy looking for love and opportunities to give care at the cost of being hurt when their own needs are not sufficiently met. They can fall into the trap of continuously craving and following the judgments of peers and loved ones.
But what happens - and how can you know - when your GABA starts running low? GABA is produced in the temporal lobes and is associated throughout the brain with calming, rhythmic theta brain waves. GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the nervous system, which keeps all of the other biochemicals in check. It controls the brain's rhythm so that you function, both physically and mentally, at a steady pace. By regulating your internal rhythm, GABA directly affects your personality and determines how you handle life's stresses. When your rhythm is thrown off by a GABA deficiency, you may begin to feel anxious, nervous, or irritable.
A balanced brain creates and receives electricity in a smooth, even flow. When your brain is not producing enough GABA, your brain's electricity is generated in bursts. This is called a brain arrhythmia, or dysrhythmia, and it can upset your system in a variety of ways, none more pronounced than your emotional well-being.
The following chart demonstrates a scale of conditions that can occur when your GABA is out of balance. The numbers on the left of the table correlate to the approximate number of brain arrhythmic events that occur during a half second of auditory and visual brain stress testing.
Diet and Supplements
A GABA deficiency in its early stages can be restored and maintained without a doctor. You can balance it with diet, vitamin, and supplement choices.
The more GABA-producing foods you eat, the more GABA you will be able to create.Try to incorporate these foods to encourage the production of GABA (almonds, bananas, beef liver, broccoli, brown rice, halibut, lentils, whole grain oats, oranges, potatoes, rice bran, spinach, walnuts, whole grains).
I have created a GABA-balancing program that I call Brain Calm (you can purchase this on pathproduct.com). It contains valine, isoleucine, leucine, inositol, and the B complex vitamins. This formula is the antidote for being edgy: it decreases the symptoms of anxiety, including trembling, hyperventilation, palpitations, ringing in the ears, and cold or clammy hands.
For more advanced stages of GABA deficiency, you may need the assistance of a doctor to restore balance. You can also read my book, The Edge Effect for more information on restoring an unbalanced brain. At PATH Medical, we can help.
For a satisfying and total brain boosting meal, this chicken dish will be sure to warm and nourish you on cold winter nights. It's high in antioxidant spices and infused with vital-nutrient rooibos tea. The taste and smell of the garlic will be sure to please - plus garlic is beneficial for heart health and is a type of natural antibiotic.
Did You Know . . . about Oregano
There are three distinct varieties of oregano. The most familiar one, found in kitchens across the country, is Greek or Mediterranean oregano. Mexican oregano has a more "earthy" flavor. Cuban oregano is not well known outside the Caribbean, but its distinct taste makes it worth looking for.
To find other recipes, look under the Recipe Category of my blog. They're all a great addition to a Rainbow Diet.
There are benefits to trying something new every day. The world is full of endless possibilities, and just by exploring them, you'll increase your brain functioning.
By trying a new exercise routine, activity, game, task, book, food, or even television show, you are expanding your brain to create new neuronal connections. You don't have to master an activity, or even like it, for it to change your brain.
The point is to get out of your comfort zone for as little as 15 minutes to see what sparks your interest. Find ways that you can expand your experience. For example, if you love to take walks, choose a different route than usual. Even small changes count.
IT'S YOUR MOVE!
All of us are vulnerable to the ADDICTION cycle when we experience a deficiency in our brain chemical, Dopamine. Disturbances in the dopamine "reward system" are associated with addictive behaviors.
Anything you enjoy doing but can't seem to rein in can cause a release of dopamine. When this happens, you will initially feel that surge of excitement, or "rush." This is true whether the addiction is to drugs, alcohol, or shopping. But if you're already low in dopamine and you abuse drugs or alcohol, you'll feel less and less satisfied with each exposure.
Unfortunately, now that you've experienced a good rush, you'll keep craving the experience again. So not only do you become addicted to the substance or experience, but you become addicted to dopamine, even as your brain produces less and less. Because addiction is almost always a self-medication model, it's exactly how the addiction cycle begins.
The catch is that the brain can't keep up with demand. Instead, it strives to reach homeostasis, or balance, so that each time you are exposed to the addictive substance or behavior, the brain releases less dopamine, not more. When this happens, the euphoric feeling doesn't come back at all. Yet low-dopamine people will still continue to drink or smoke, in hope of it's returning. Unfortunately, these addictions affect every part of your health, including your thinking.
The Good News is that you can break the cycle. You need to learn how to increase dopamine in a more balanced approach: first choosing foods, then nutrients, and sometimes even medications, so that alcohol, drugs, or shopping doesn't become your only source of a dopamine rush. By increasing levels of dopamine, you'll be able to help yourself break the cycle of addiction and gain control over your life. You'll also be able to create new brain cells to replace the ones you've destroyed in the past.
Remember, addiction is serious and will sometimes require professional help. We at PATH Medical can help you to restore your brain to a balanced chemical state.
THE CORTISOL EQUATION:
LOW DOPAMINE = BIG BELLY FAT =
A HEAVY BURDEN TO CARRY FOR
BOTH BRAIN AND BODY
When you have a dopamine deficiency, the body naturally increases the production of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the backup energy hormone; it provides us with additional power so the brain and body can continue to function without the right levels of dopamine.
Cortisol is also released when you are under stress, whether or not your dopamine is low. But, when you are stressed, you naturally burn more dopamine, which is why the cortisol is released.
While cortisol can be helpful, I call it the obesity hormone. Even though it effectively keeps your brain running, it does not improve your dopamine levels. It actually forces your metabolism to slow down, because when brain energy falters (low dopamine), the body is forced to send up to the brain its reserve units to pick up the slack, in the form of steroid hormones (cortisol) from the adrenal glands. The cortisol increases the effectiveness of catecholomines like adrenaline and creates the necessary energy, while conveying a feeling of happiness. However, this dopamine substitute is supposed to be a temporary safety mechanism.
When your brain is continually turning to cortisol for energy, it becomes a way of life. In the end, you get puffy, round-faced, blood pressure rises, your appetite increases, and you experience weight gain (especially around your midsection).
It has been linked as a direct cause of belly fat in both men and women: It causes fat to be deposited in the abdominal area where there are the most cortisol receptors. So if you're a "high energy" individual but are stuck with an apple body shape, chances are your cortisol levels, instead of your dopamine, are supporting your body's energy needs.
A big belly is also an indicator that you're at high risk for metabolic syndrome, which from a brain chemistry perspective, is primarily a loss of metabolism: a low dopamine condition. When you see someone with a big belly, think of brain burnout. It is often accompanied by a poor attention span, poor sleep patterns and attention deficit problems.
Cortisol also boosts adrenaline, which can make you feel restless: When your adrenaline is pumping, you might be anxious during the day and not able to sleep at night. These two factors also contribute to weight gain. Anxiety tends to cause us to self-medicate with "comfort foods," and a lack of sleep prevents your brain from resetting its other chemicals to the right levels.
Strategies for Increasing Dopamine:
We at PATH Medical can help you to re-balance your brain. Our exams include a full brain exam, because brainpower is the fire that keeps your mind alive, awake, alert and aware.
To my mind, diets that do not address brain chemistry fail for two reasons, which are:
First, when you restrict certain macronutrients (like carbs or fat), your brain isn't getting all the nutrients it needs, so the body sends out a hunger signal that results in overeating. Instead, my key to weight management is not found in counting carbohydrates, fat grams, or calories; but, instead, in balancing brain chemistry through nutrition - something anyone can do easily and effectively. It is an eating plan you can follow for life.
Second, when we diet, we often deprive ourselves of vital nutrients, so our mental state becomes taxed and we make bad food choices. We are too fatigued, so we eat to boost our energy. We are depressed, so we eat excessively to force sleep. These mental states are aging you far beyond your chronological age. The good news is that by following a diet that enhances brain chemistry, each of these mental states can be completely reversed naturally. That's why my Younger (Thinner) You Diet is all about.
On the Younger (Thinner) You Diet, you will not only lose weight because your are increasing your brain chemical, Dopamine, but as you balance your brain, you will also become more fit as you increase another brain chemical - Acetylcholine. You will become calmer as you learn to stabilize your GABA. And you will be happier and sleep better with more Serotonin.
The Basics of the Younger (Thinner) You Diet
Make sure that you are eating foods that are nutrient dense, rather than calorie dense. This is key in maintaining weight loss and a balanced brain chemistry. You want every square inch of your food to be packed with nutrients, not calories.
The Younger (Thinner) You Diet offers hundreds of good choices: complex carbohydrates, which include lots of fruits and vegetables; lean meats; healthy fats; wonderful herbs and spices that are chock-full of thermogenic nutrients including antioxidants; and soothing, healing teas. A diet rich in these will naturally provide plenty of fiber to aid in digestion. They are also considered "high volume": You can eat lots of them and feel full because they take up space in your stomach, yet they are still low in calories.
Best of all, you can eat healthy-sized portions of these foods and still lose weight, because the nutrients-to-calorie ratio is the highest of any diet around. You won't feel hungry all day, and at night, you'll sleep well. Not only has this way of eating been proven to improve the way you use and burn your food, but these foods support an anti-aging strategy to get you feeling healthier and younger.
Here's a page from my book, Younger (Thinner) You Diet - How Understanding Your Brain Chemistry Can Help You Lose Weight, Reverse Aging, and Fight Disease. These are a few examples of what to eat to balance your brain chemistry and to lose weight. For more help and/or information, make an appointment with us - we can help you with your health and weight loss needs. You can also find some recipes in the recipe section of my blog (at PATHmed.com) or on Pinterest (search for Eric Braverman, MD).
One of the greatest brain defenses is the addition of spices to your meals. Spices function like little brain medications. They are nutrient dense; each can provide between 20 and 80 different nutrients. By using them regularly, you are benefitting by getting more important vitamins, minerals, and even antioxidants.
Every time you add spices, you're adding nutrients and upgrading your meal without having added a single calorie. And because they are nutrient dense, they are thermogenic, which means they naturally increase your metabolism, helping you to burn more of your food as fuel, and to store less as body fat.
In this recipe, the allspice helps reduce blood pressure. Nutmeg can help alleviate depression. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar and boosts your metabolism, making it a super dopamine-boosting meal. The fruit increases your other biochemicals. Spices are also helpful in better metabolizing your food. Try adding yogurt for an extra health boost.
I like to think of tea as the Tree of Life that saves your health. It's a much healthier option than coffee, because it is also high in nutrients and antioxidants, yet does not contain a single calorie. Make an effort to drink SEVEN 6-ounce servings of tea per day - hot or cold.
The health benefits of drinking tea add up fast. Not only does it get you in the habit of drinking more beverages, you are simultaneously flushing out of your system the toxic foods you've been eating. The nutrients in tea speed up your metabolism.
By itself, tea has no calories and can stimulate digestion, cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and give you lots of energy. These are all necessary for losing weight and reversing the aging of every part of your body.
A cup of hot tea is also the perfect antidote for calming an anxious mind. Both black and white tea are derived from the same green tea, but each has a different taste and appearance. White tea is growing in popularity because it has a higher antioxidant value than green and black.
Green, black, and white teas all contain the nutrient L-theanine, which has been shown to stimulate alpha brain waves. These waves are associated with a relaxed but alert mental state, which may increase attention span. Because theanine helps the mind to stop racing, it also seems to help promote a more restful, sound sleep.
The anxiety pendulum - as your brain experiences larger and more frequent swings, whether it's from aging, stress, drug or alcohol abuse, or just burned-out GABA, you have engaged in the GABA deficiency. Beyond cortisol release, a GABA loss directly affects all body systems including heart, the immune system, sexual functioning, as well as the bones, muscles, and skin.
Typical symptoms of low levels of GABA include:
Choose a variety of foods that contain GABA nutrients that are high in Vitamin B. The following list contains foods that are high in glutamine, the amino acid that is a precursor to GABA. Bananas, broccoli, and brown rice are all packed with inositol, another B-complex vitamin that boosts GABA production.
For more help and information, contact my office at PATH Medical for a full check-up. We treat the body as a whole - checking every organ system. We all know that our entire body, from the top of our head to the soles of our feet, are intricately interconnected. Our internal organs do not function independently.
Part 5 of the Series: Aging and the "Pauses of Life"
Immunopause - When you can't fight infections
Do you remember childhood as one long string of good health, yet your adult life is one sinus infection after another? With every hormone loss or brain chemical imbalance, our immune code is broken. As early as the beginning of puberty, our immune response slowly begins to decline, which in turn causes us to get sick easier.
Our immune system provides a layer of protection that keeps viruses and infections from harming the brain and the body. When you enter Immunopause,
your immune system cannot protect you from the constant attack of viruses and infections that surround you. As adults, we experience the switching off of the immune system as increased inflammation, which plays a role in every medical condition from heart disease to dermatitis. Serotonin regulates the immune system, and serotonin agents can boost immunity. As inflammation increases, serotonin levels decrease, creating both low- and high-grade fevers as well as sleep abnormalities. Inflammation acts as the immunopause death code, allowing viruses, fungus, and bacteria into every organ of the body.
Meanwhile, aging can be summarized as oxidation - you are literally burning up, including your dopamine. You need this vital biochemical to suppress illness. For example, that's why adrenaline (dopamine family of brain chemicals) is used as an antidote to an allergic reation, such as to a bee sting.
Infections are Alien Invaders
Infections can grow and develop inside the body when the immune system is asleep at the wheel. Tiny microorganisms are let in through the various orifices and work their way into your cells, wreaking havoc along the way. Infections can contribute to further inflammation, and more dangerously, like in the case of AIDS, can destroy your immune system.
Infections that occur in the body can affect our brain. For example, the common flu contributes to Parkinson's disease. When your immune system is compromised, your dopamine level is diminished. That is why Parkinson's drugs, which build dopamine, can help to alleviate flu symptoms.
Infections can occur anywhere in the brain and the body, sending their own aging code and jump-starting the pauses such as:
Take Action: Strengthen Your Immune System and Get Younger
It's relatively easy to boost your immunity. A multi-modal approach including medications, hormones, supplements and specific dietary suggestions will help you break immunopause. I've included a list of nutrients that will help break the immunopause code. Consider these natural treatments, and consider making an appointment to have a full body check-up. Early detection is your best bet in fully recovering from immune diseases - including cancer. PLEASE CONSULT with your doctor before beginning any new protocol. We at PATH Medical can help.
Studies have indicated that cell phone use could alter brain activity due to the emission of electromagnetic radiation. Today's cell and smartphones emit more radiation than ever before as they transmit complex data.
It's recommended that we keep cell phones at a distance by putting them on speaker mode or using a wired headset whenever possible. The next-best option is a wireless Bluetooth headset or earpiece, which emits radiation but at a far lower level. Just holding your phone slightly away from your ear can make a big difference; the intensity of radiation diminishes sharply with distance.
This is why I think texting is better than talking on a phone, because you have to hold the phone completely away from your brain. Keep in mind that cell phones emit the most radiation when they initially establish contact with the cell towers. To reduce exposure, wait a few seconds until after your call has been connected to put it next to your ear. Also, your cell emits less radiation when you are standing still. When you're moving, your signal moves with you from tower to tower and must generate little bursts of radiation to make each digital connection.
What does it mean when I say that our brains control our bodies? Your Brain is Your Source of Life. It's divided into three parts: the cerebrum, brain stem, and cerebellum. The cerebellum is divided into two hemispheres, and these have identical areas that are designated as "lobes." Each lobe instructs our bodies to perform specific functions and control automatic processes such as breathing, heart rate, and digestion; and it formulates our total health by managing all our internal systems.
Within our brains, there are four neurotransmitters, or biochemicals, that coordinate specific functions. The brain generates and sends an electric current throughout your entire body, fueling your internal systems, and orchestrating your health. The measurements of our brain's four neurotransmitters determine the relationship between brain function or life and the creation and delivery of human electricity.
Dopanine, our brain's natural amphetamine, controls voltage, which is the intensity at which the brain responds to a stimulus, and the effectiveness of the brain's ability to process information (both cognitive and physical).
Acetylcholine governs brain speed, which measures how fast we think or process information. Our brain's speed determines how quickly electrical signals are processed.
GABA transfers, to the body, the signal when you are out of rhythm. Rhythm measures the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain. Rhythm determines how you handle life's stresses.
Serotonin affects synchrony. The electricity that the brain creates moves through your body in four types of waves. Synchrony balances the movement of them across both hemispheres. When out of balance, you will experience sleep disorders and depression.
THE ELECTROCHEMICAL BRAIN
Each cell on your "neuronal highway" is programmed to produce, send, and receive a specific chemical, whose job is to activate brain cells to fire messages at each other by moving to various receptor sites with the brain's synapses. These receptors are like fingers on a glove; each one fitting only one part of your hand. When the receptors capture specific chemicals, your brain alters how your mind and body functions. The brain's chemistry generates the electricity, which then supplies power to the rest of the body.
Each chemical travels along a different path, resulting in a variety of physical processes as well as maintaining a high-powered, fast-moving, stable, and well rested brain. The density of these chemicals is the key to your well-being. If there is an excess of a neurotransmitter (dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA, or serotonin), the synapses are flooded and the signals on your neuronal highway can't get to the next neuron; if there is a deficiency, the nerve signals have nothing to travel on. Different parts of the body will react to brain chemical excesses and deficiencies by overworking or shutting down, leading to physical illness and cognitive decline.
If you are feeling ill and have physical complaints, you know intuitively that something is wrong. You might be experiencing symptoms that are not quite physical - they may be related to the mind and an overall feeling that you're not yourself. Regardless of the symptoms, the solution is to go to the source: your brain chemistry. If your brain chemistry is unbalanced, your body will be unbalanced. The moment you realize that something is off, you have already begun to lose your EDGE.
At PATH Medical, we provide a full body check-up, starting with a "head first" approach. Schedule an appointment, or send me a private message with your email and phone #. Somebody from my office will contact you.
Here's a Serotonin and Dopamine boosting turkey recipe for all year long. Turkey is a lean protein that is high in brain chemical precursors. It contains tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, as well as tyrosine and phenylalanine, precursors to dopamine.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that the brain and body need, but cannot make on its own. Tyrosine is also an amino acid - in abundance, it increases your resistance to stress and acts as one of the body's natural pain relievers. But most importantly, tyrosine is an adrenaline builder. Phenylalanine, an essential amino acid found in high-protein foods, will help to boost your metabolism.
The Easiest Way to Become a Younger, Healthier, Thinner You
Sleep's Effect on Hunger
Have you ever had a restless night's sleep and felt famished in the morning? The cause of your hunger is actually too little sleep. Most of us have a sleep deficit (getting less than 7 hours per night or less than 49 hours per week). The result from being overtired is that your body and your brain are primed to make bad decisions.
When you wake up starving, you might reach for something easy and quick to eat, such as a breakfast of cereal, toast, or a bagel to provide an energy burst as well as satisfy your hunger. But literally feeding your energy needs this way will only slow you down. Your body will turn these directly into body fat. The next carb-heavy meal will do the same thing, and eventually you will train your body to store all carbs and never burn them. This leaves you more tired and ultimately heavier.
Sleep's Effect on Ghrelin and Leptin:
Poor sleep can also affect your internal chemistry. Sleep directly influences two key hormones that regulate satiety and hunger: ghrelin and leptin. Elevated levels of ghrelin increase feelings of hunger, while leptin acts to suppress appetite. Interestingly, serotonin is vital to regulating the brain's response to both of these hormones. When you suffer from sleep deprivation (or a sleep deficit), your body's levels of leptin and ghrelin fall, creating that "hungry but never satisfied" feeling.
To help balance your serotonin levels and regain your health, try my Younger (Thinner) You Diet. It's not necessarily a low-carb diet, but it does require you to choose more complex carbs that provide nutrition as well as the building blocks of serotonin. These carbs are slower to digest, so you feel full longer, and the body has more time to use them as fuel. That way, you're burning more and storing less. You are retraining your body, which will facilitate weight loss. And with more serotonin, you'll also get more sleep.
For more help, you can contact us to make an appointment or schedule a phone consultation.
Part 4 of the Series: Aging and the "Pauses of Life"
Cardiopause - a decline in pumping power, valves and blood flow
Vasculopause - a decline in blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body
Let’s look at the connection between your heart and your brain’s own age accelerators. Basically, when the brain breaks, the heart breaks. Now you have a broken heart and a broken brain. A lack of the following neurotransmitters can put you at risk for cardiopause:
Dopamine: A lack of this neurotransmitter may lead to obesity, which accelerates all forms of heart disease because it causes your blood vessels to become clogged with fat. Addictions (food, alcohol, smoking, cocaine, etc.) can all accelerate heart disease.
Acetylcholine: A lack of this can cause your brain and mind to deteriorate and heart disease can accelerate as a result.
GABA: A GABA deficiency typically begins as a loss of calm and a simultaneous increase in blood pressure. Anxiety and stress are well-known causes of heart disease.
Serotonin: A lack of this brain chemical may lead to depression, which often disrupts sleep patterns. Too little or too much sleep might increase your risk of developing heart disease. What’s more, coronary artery disease is often associated with depression.
When Vasculopause Strikes – vasculopause usually begins around age 50. It is the second limb of heart disease and is equally as important to detect and reverse as cardiopause. It refers to changes in your blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. The vascular system carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart through blood vessels, arteries, and tiny capillaries into the tissues, and back to the heart through your veins.
These are likely scenarios of vasculopause:
Unfortunately, high blood pressure is painless, symptomless, and often unexpected. It affects the middle-aged and elderly who are obese or heavy drinkers. It also affects women who are currently taking oral contraceptives or using recreational drugs.
Pain and emotional distress are certainly age accelerators leading to high blood pressure, and GABA deficiencies leading to pain and anxiety contribute to high blood pressure. If you can boost your GABA, you’ll watch your blood pressure drop.
Cardiopause and Vasculopause can be Reversed:
I have witnessed long-term improvement in patients - in some cases almost full reversals that last for years. These results are possible because we look at heart failure as a systemic issue. In other words, we treat the whole person, not just the pumping condition of the heart (although that’s obviously a key element of our program). This treatment includes making healthy lifestyle changes as well as introducing nutrients and supplements, bio-identical hormones, and medications if necessary that are designed to improve the heart’s and vascular system’s functions and prevent future problems without negative side effects.
My Rainbow Diet is a good place to start as a nutritional approach to controlling high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s an eating plan that is based on incorporating the seven major colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – into the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables of all colors are packed with disease-fighting nutrients.
We at PATH Medical can teach you how to use these nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as the addition of lean protein (especially fish), fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, healthy fats and oils, and lots of spices and herbs, to help you achieve your optimal weight, and to improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and your overall cardiovascular health.
HEALTHY AGING HAPPENS when we can increase our brain functioning, which controls the health of the rest of the entire body.The most common ailments, including arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, loss of skin tone, and even back pain, are all age-related conditions that are affected by an increasingly aging brain.
Yet the brain can be taught to break the aging code and actually resurrect an aging body. By balancing the brain with nutrient supplements, proper diet, natural hormones, medications, and lifestyle changes, I help my patients delay the progression of many of these diseases so that their life can return to a more normal, age-appropriate state. It's a simple remedy: to restore your health, restore your brain chemistry. And the earlier you start, the better your chances of postponing or completely avoiding the ravages of the aging process.
There are plenty of things you can start today on your own: incorporate important vitamins and minerals into your diet, take supplements that your body needs that it may no longer be producing or getting from a typical diet, and adopt a Rainbow Diet. My diet is easy to remember: by eating meals that reflect the colors of the rainbow, you are guaranteeing that you are getting high doses of vitamin-rich foods. What's more, a diet that is high in colorful fruits and vegetables has been shown to provide many benefits to your overall health.
Try this colorful salad with fruits and vegetables that are abundant during the winter months. It's a Vitamin C, A, and Antioxidant-rich salad with the addition of healthy fats.
For further help, you can make an appointment or schedule a phone consultation, so that we can further assist you on your PATH to health and a Younger YOU.
Part 3 of the Series: Aging and the "Pauses of Life"
Gastropause - a weakening and aging of the stomach and GI tract
Gastropause affects the stomach and GI tract and begins around the age of 30 and is related to the brain chemicals dopamine, GABA, and serotonin. The slowing down of nutrient absorption by the entire gastrointestinal tract results in digestive problems from GERD and Irritable Bowel Syndrome to the development of a malnourished state. In some cases, even when we are overweight we can actually be suffering from malnutrition because we choose foods that are nutrient deficient.
Once the deficit becomes major, it requires medical intervention. Deficits can lead to such diseases as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, increase in stomach acidity, gallstones, diverticulosis, GERD, decrease in digestive acids, etc.
CODE BREAKER: Maybe You Were Born Old
Just as the body ages at different rates, some people are born old. You might have old bones, infertility, gastrointestinal issues, or a heart condition. These are problems related to old age, and you were just genetically unfortunate to get them when you were young. I see many patients who even at age 20 or younger have body parts that are age 40 and 50. Take the following "quiz" to determine if you have an aging digestive system. Give yourself 1 point for every TRUE response. Multiply the total TRUE responses by 10. This is your age code for your digestive system. If your age code is older than your chronological age, you need to consider treatment.
After her first visit in my office, I diagnosed something that had been overlooked. Not only are biochemicals and their resulting brain waves produced in specific locations within the brain, but they can also be found in the body, in such locations as the gut. These functional areas are connected to and complement each other. Furthermore, the lobes in our brain instruct our bodies to perform specific functions. These lobes, in conjunction with the brain stem, control automatic processes such as digestion.
Once we focused on balancing this patient's brain, she was immediately able to add new foods back into her diet, and her digestion is improving.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.