Overcoming the Effects of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress on Your Brain Health

Overcoming the Effects of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress on Your Brain Health

July 02, 2020

Written by Sara Uffelman

Fact checked by The Brain Blog Team

The Effects of Brain Inflammation and Oxidative Stress on Your Brain Health 

The stress of today’s world is unavoidable but did you know it can cause destructive brain inflammation, along with oxidative stress damage? With a pandemic and stay-at-home orders in place, unemployment numbers skyrocketing and protests around the world, it’s no wonder that we’re all more anxious than we’ve ever been. Unfortunately, this level of constant stress takes a toll on your brain health.

Research has shown that chronic stress and anxiety can trigger immune cells to create brain inflammation. Normally, inflammation is a natural defense mechanism, helping your body to fight off pathogens. However, when inflammation is excessive, as it can be when stress kicks in and exacerbates it, it can be destructive.

Science Daily says that “nearly 40 million people in the United States (18 percent) experience an anxiety disorder in any given year. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that 1 in 13 people suffers from anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide with specific phobia, major depressive disorder and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders.” As you can imagine, THAT is a lot of inflammation.

Inflammation and anxiety also contribute to oxidative stress on the brain, which happens when molecules known as “free radicals” damage cells, cause illness and contribute to aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The brain, with its high oxygen consumption and lipid-rich content, is highly susceptible to oxidative stress.”

Both brain inflammation and oxidative stress can wreak havoc on your cognitive ability and actually contribute to your risks for dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. So how do you fight these two brain health risk factors?

Lifestyle Choices to Reduce Brain Inflammation and Oxidative Stress 

Medical journalists at Healthline state that “it’s impossible to completely avoid free radical exposure and oxidative stress. However, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of oxidative stress on your body. The main thing you can do is to increase your levels of antioxidants and decrease your formation of free radicals.”

Your diet is your first line of defense against brain inflammation and oxidative stress. Antioxidants are one of the antidotes to inflammation and oxidative stress and they come naturally in fruits and vegetables like cherries, dark leafy greens, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes, and in fish, nuts, turmeric, green tea, onion, garlic and cinnamon. Adding these items to your daily diet are one way to help minimize the effect of free radicals.

Some Do’s:

  • Use caution around chemicals and other contaminants like radiation, cleaning products and pesticides 
  • Exercise consistently - Shoot for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of walking or other aerobic activity 
  • Get plenty of sleep - Your brain heals itself when it’s sleeping, ridding itself of toxic chemicals and other irritants 
  • Eat a healthy diet and try fortifying your diet with nutritional supplements

Some Don’ts:

  • Don’t smoke - Cigarettes are a source of harmful chemicals to the lungs and brains 
  • Don’t drink too much - Over consuming alcohol is destructive to brain health 
  • Don’t overeat - Research shows that eating continually throughout the day and overeating at meals contributes to oxidative stress 

Supplements to Reduce Brain Inflammation and Oxidative Stress 

Several supplements have been shown to reduce brain inflammation, while helping stave off oxidative stress. These brain health supplements are sometimes referred to as nootropics, or cognitive enhancers.  Natural nootropics are preferred, as they come without the harmful side effects of synthetic and pharmaceutical brain supplements. When you’re shopping for brain health supplements, look for a natural formula that will support your long term brain health and improve cognitive functions. Here are some of the well-researched natural ingredients that have been shown to reduce brain inflammation and oxidative stress.

  • Vitamin E: This nutrient is a strong antioxidant, protecting brain cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. Learn more about the health benefits of Vitamin E.
  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids are plant-based pigments found in leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli, as well as in the yellow, orange and red pigments synthesized by plants. There are 3 carotenoids in particular  (Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin) that when combined have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Learn more about carotenoids and their connection to cognitive brain function.
  • Omega-3s: Omega-3s are known as essential fats, which means our bodies can’t produce and we have to receive them through diet or supplementation, are found in cold water fish like salmon, as well as certain nuts, flax seed and chia seed. They are used specifically to fight inflammation in the brain.  Learn more about the power of Omega-3s.

Interested in learning more about supplements for brain health? Read our Brain Blog on the Best Supplements for Brain Health.

Reduce Brain Inflammation and Oxidative Stress with Daily Memory Health® Supplements  

The Memory Health® supplement is clinically proven to improve cognitive function and was even granted a patent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically dementia and Alzheimer's. It was developed by leading researchers, who were examining the critical role of nutrition for brain health. The Memory Health formula has been scientifically-proven to support long-term brain health and improve memory and cognitive performance. The clinically proven results were published in the scientific Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and its patented formula includes Carotenoids, Omega-3s and Vitamin E.  

Learn more about the clinically proven ingredients in the patented Memory Health supplement.

UPDATE: Recent clinical research has confirmed that cognitive performance can be improved in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment following daily supplementation with the Memory Health® formula.

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