9 Ways to Prevent Toxins From Stealing Your Mind
Modern life comes with a lot of wonderful time and energy savers, but some conveniences are connected to a slew of surprising memory stealers.
Conventional cleaning products, for example, emit fumes that are toxic to brain cells. And recently, scientists reported that exposure to high levels of fine particulate air pollution—the kind you might breathe if you live near a freeway—may contribute to accelerated brain aging and cognitive problems in older women, especially if they have the APOE e4 gene that increases Alzheimer’s risk.
These and other environmental toxins can be inadvertently consumed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Widespread in our high-tech world, they include the chemical BPA in food and drink containers and on cash register receipts, heavy metals like mercury in fish and pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables.
But you don’t have to live like a hermit to protect your mind and save your memory. There are simple ways to avoid many toxins, and fortunately, the human body is designed to detox itself—it just needs assistance in performing the job.
Help is here, in the Amen Clinics’ new BRIGHT MINDS Program, which identifies and treats the 11 risk factors that can damage your brain and rob you of your memory. Toxins are the sixth (see below). Research is showing that addressing all of your vulnerabilities is the best way to keep your brain and memory sharp throughout your life.
The risks are summed up in the words BRIGHT MINDS, which makes it easy to remember all 11 of them:
B – Blood Flow
R – Retirement/Aging
I – Inflammation
G – Genetics
H – Head Trauma
T – Toxins
M – Mental Health
I – Immunity/Infection Issues
N – Neurohormone Deficiencies
D – Diabesity
S – Sleep Issues
Besides the toxins mentioned above, some of the more common ones that patients who come to Amen Clinics have been exposed to include:
- Endocrine disruptors like phthalates, parabens, and oxybenzone, among other toxins, in health and beauty aids
- Lead in water, small plane aviation fuel, and lipstick
- Fine and ultra-fine toxins in tobacco and marijuana
- Alcohol (wine, beer and hard liquor), which can shrink the hippocampus
- Mold contamination in homes and offices (one toxic consequence of hurricane Harvey)
- General anesthesia
- Carbon monoxide, benzene, asbestos and other chemicals that first responders like firefighters, police officers and EMTs encounter in their jobs
If you suspect you may have been exposed to one or more toxins (say, on the job), we recommend that you pay a visit to your health-care provider (an integrated medicine doctor would be ideal) and ask about the following tests:
- Liver function: ALT, AST, bilirubin
- Kidney function: BUN, creatinine
- TGF beta-1 or Real Time Labs if you have been exposed to mold
- Hair and urine tests for heavy metals
There are lots of ways to address the toxins in your life, from eliminating them to helping your body’s natural detoxification systems. Here are nine easy, beneficial moves:
- Limit exposure: Buy organic, limit gasoline fumes or secondhand smoke, avoid handling cash register receipts (BPAs)
- Limit alcohol to two servings a week
- Don’t eat or drink out of plastic containers
- Use the app Think Dirty to scan personal products and eliminate as many toxins as possible (parabens, phthalates, lead, aluminum, PEGS)
- Check out EWG.org for lists of fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest levels of pesticide contamination
- Support your four organs of detoxification: liver (limit alcohol), gut (add fiber), kidneys (drink water), skin (work up a sweat exercising, take saunas)
- Take supplements: NAC, vitamin C, magnesium (for liver and kidneys); pre- and probiotics (for gut); grapeseed extract, green tea catechins (for skin)
- Eat/drink more green leafy vegetables, brassicas, berries, sesame and sunflower seeds, beets, citrus (except grapefruit), fiber, green tea, colorful fruits and veggies, salmon, avocados, walnuts
- Limit processed meats, salt, MSG and artificial dyes and preservatives in food
In the video below, Dr. Daniel Amen discusses toxins and the role they play in rescuing your memory today!
Be hyper-vigilant about your brain health and you could be rewarded with excellent recall and many dementia-free years. To learn more about Amen Clinics Memory Program based on Dr. Amen’s BRIGHT MINDS approach, check it out HERE.