The Cure for Brain Diseases May Lie in the Gut

In 1637, French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes proposed that all living beings are similar to machines.

He claimed we are made up of clockwork mechanisms that function independently of one another.

Descartes argued that our bodies could be taken apart, studied and put back together to gain a better perspective of the larger picture.

This theory, known as reductionism, became the status quo for medical research.

But now, almost 400 years later, doctors are discovering just how interconnected the body’s systems really are.

And the world of medicine could be about to change again …

Discoveries Beyond Descartes

Most recent medical breakthroughs have focused on diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

In comparison, brain disease discoveries have lagged.

That’s because medical researchers have mostly focused on the brain as the sole source of neurological disorders.

Now, with the number of people with neurodegenerative diseases on the rise, researchers are looking for better answers.

Not just answers. But better treatments and, one day, cures.

Related story: Deadly sugar discovered to alter hundreds of genes in your brain

Descartes’ early findings weren’t incorrect, per se. He just didn’t have the complete picture.

And thanks to new, revolutionary research, we are moving closer to seeing it.

Here’s why now is the time for a "gut check" …

Time for a Gut Check … Literally

Imagine a world without debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

We may be getting closer. That’s because researchers are looking for the cure for brain diseases in the gastrointestinal tract — or simply, the gut.

‘Poor gut health may be a precursor to bigger problems.’

Why is that the best place to look?

You see, inflammation is thought to be the culprit behind nearly every human degenerative condition.

This includes those involving the brain.

Related story: Eat more of this brain-boosting nutrient

Remember, inflammation is the body’s response to infection or injury. It’s easier to detect when we see it or feel it, like when we have joint pain.

But when, say, the lining of our gut is inflamed, we are at risk for a whole host of problems. And we may not even know it.

It’s become clear that a healthy lining in the gut plays a vital role in our overall health.

And researchers are starting to build the case that poor gut health may be a precursor to bigger problems.

Survey Says …

David Perlmutter, one of the top medical researchers on the subject, describes this phenomenon:

"One of the most important elements involved in maintenance of gut wall integrity is the degree of balance and diversity of the various organisms that live within the gut.

"These organisms and their genetic material are collectively referred to as the human microbiome."

Here’s how it tries to keep your gut healthy …

"The microbiome is tasked with shoring up the gut lining and therefore reducing permeability.

"This helps to reduce inflammation in human physiology.

"When the gut bacteria are altered by any number of events — including over usage of antibiotics, exposure to environmental toxins and even inappropriate food choices — the integrity of the gut lining can be challenged."

Side Effect or Contributing Cause?

Researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center have started publishing data about the bowel issues associated with Parkinson’s disease.

But those could be a contributing factor rather than a result.

Christopher B. Forsyth and his team recently showed that major gut leakage — also known as "leaky gut" — can occur in Parkinson’s patients.

(You can click here to read their research.)

Their research further reveals that an increase in gut leakiness enhances inflammation.

On top of that, it produces a unique protein called alpha-synuclein. This protein is thought to interact with dopamine, which helps to control voluntary and involuntary movements.

Both are characteristic of this disease.

(The Michael J. Fox Foundation has reportedly donated almost $50 million to research on this protein. You can read more about it here.)

This breakthrough research challenges the notion that brain disease must stem from the brain.

That’s not the only study linking compromised gut-wall integrity to disease.

ALS: Another Brain-Gut Connection

ALS is another neurodegenerative disease that received a lot of attention in the past few years, thanks to the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge."

It is also being linked to poor gut health.

Image Credit:

At the University of California-San Francisco, Rongzhen Zhang’s team came to a similar finding as Forsyth’s team.

That is, just like Parkinson’s, with ALS there is also an increase in gut leakage and inflammation.

Inflammation is a long-associated factor with ALS. (Click here to read Zhang’s research.)

These are just two examples of the groundbreaking research between brain disease and gut health.

The research looks promising, but we are only just beginning to understand the impact of gut bacteria on our brains and bodies.

Let’s hope progress and cures for these life-altering diseases come speedily. It would be a giant step forward for us all.

Happy and healthy investing,

Your thoughts on “The Cure for Brain Diseases May Lie in the Gut”

  1. I’m interested to see what If anyone knows about the following: Sodium Chlorite/food acid mixture 1drop per cup of water.

    MMS is a 22.4% solution of sodium chlorite (NaClO2) in distilled water. When sodium chlorite is mixed with a food acid, it will produce chlorine dioxide.

    Please understand, this is only a question for my own personal benefit. I have not tried it or am I in any way connected/affiliated with any group associated with promoting this substance.

    However, I am interested in the connection of tummy/health/mind and health in general and I appreciate the articles in that Brad publishes.

  2. I thought physical gold was the answer! Just teasing. The lining of your stomach and intestine, your brain, nerves, and the rest of your body is made up of cells. If you want to understand health and longevity you must understand the structure and function of cells. Study cell structure, the C Cycle, and the Q Cycle. You may discover what defines most illness and ageing. You may even find a chemical that is available from some druggists or health food stores that will add many decades of healthy living. Two bucks a day. Beats a monster silver account any day.

  3. Hi Ken,

    From your post: “get a good quality Probiotic and take it every night before bed. Taking it at night will give the Probiotic more time to remain in the gut.
    Ken ”
    One of the things that seems out of whack with probiotics, is that whenever there is a study identifying “good” gut bacteria systems separate from “bad” bacteria systems, the main characteristic is a narrow or wide range of bacteria. Maybe tens of thousands of species of bacteria.are present in the gut of the healthy, and maybe a couple of hundred or fewer in the gut of the unhealthy.

    Near as I can tell, the probiotics on the market are made with an extremely narrow range of bacteria.

    Recommendations to use commercially produced probiotics should be reserved until we actually have strong evidence suggesting it has benefit Today, it doesn’t.

  4. About the probiotic, I would recommend NOT taking it when the stomach is empty, as the strong acid will likely destroy most of the good bacteria before they reach the intestines. It’s the same thing with yogurt’s live culture.

  5. Ha ha! The interconnectedness of the body is something that has been known by some for hundreds of years. Allopathic medicine has just “discovered” something that’s been known for a long time. As always, they’re light years behind the eight ball.

  6. So the gut leaks a unique protein called alpha-synuclein into the brain, blocking the paths between the thought center and the motor control. The Gut leaking began after some food containing an unknown agent that caused diarrhea. The body’s reaction to a bug is to flush it out, causing the good flora to be flushed out. Couple that with genetic susceptibility.
    The brain initially finds a path around the blockage. More Gut leaking cause more blockages until 5 years later you notice a slow down or delay in motor control.
    These blockages can be seen on a MRI image known as “white matter”.
    10 years later motor control is possible only with the aid of drugs Carbidopa and Levodopa.
    My take on what happened to my wife.
    If you have a relative with any type of brain disease, and you have an illness with diarrhea, (or antibiotics) get a good quality Probiotic and take it every night before bed. Taking it at night will give the Probiotic more time to remain in the gut.

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