Brain on Fire — How Inflammation Damages Mental Health

Inflammation is often visible and painful. Red, angry swellings make their presence felt. Yet sometimes inflammation is invisible and painless; you would never know it was there. When inflammation flares in the brain, it does so silently. Chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain is a factor in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases, including depression and dementia. It is also seen in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.

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How Your Gut Talks to Your Brain and Changes Your Mood

It is a curious fact that antidepressants are a common treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. But why give Prozac to someone with abdominal pain? Antidepressants work because the gut and brain are inextricably linked. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut — it travels to the brain. More than half of all patients with IBS are affected by a mood disorder.

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How To Get Enough Vitamin D, When You’re In Lockdown

For those of us who are residents of the Northern Hemisphere, now’s the time to go outside and make some much-needed vitamin D. Except, of course, we can’t. Most of us are in lockdown, and that leaves a big, vitamin D-shaped hole in our lives. Liver stores of this hormone-like vitamin ran out long ago — we can only make vitamin D in spring and summer. Fortunately, backup is available.

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The four stages of vitamin B12 deficiency

If you recently switched to a 100% plant-based diet, you can relax for quite some time. The adult liver can store enough vitamin B12 to last 1–5 years. But after that, and without “careful planning”, your health could suffer serious and irreversible damage.

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The physical symptoms of mental illness

Alicia was certainly different, but she was typical in one regard: she had a combination of physical and mental symptoms. And, as it turned out, there was one underlying cause. Alicia’s brain lacked fatty acids, and this deficiency was manifesting in other parts of her body.

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How your skin colour is linked to your mental health

You probably associate vitamin D with bone health, but that’s just a fraction of the picture. There are receptor sites for this vitamin throughout the brain and deficiency is associated with a range of neurological disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, dementia (including Alzheimer’s) and Parkinson’s disease.

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How intermittent fasting with exercise can boost your brain

Most people practise intermittent fasting in order to lose weight, and it is indeed an effective strategy. Less well known are the neurological benefits, which include improved mood and memory, and reduced risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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Why you need cholesterol for your mental health

Your cholesterol dependency begins before you are born. There is rapid accumulation in the brain of this substance during the last three months of pregnancy. After birth, the brain continues to grow at quite a pace, requiring a large and constant supply of cholesterol. This much-maligned yet essential substance is found in all body tissues. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to make vitamin D, or your sex hormones. As far as the brain is concerned, cholesterol has four main functions, as outlined in this article.

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Is gluten messing with your mind? Find out now.

Sometimes you crave the very foods that are making you ill. These foods can mess with your mind, as well as your body. Of all potential food felons, there’s nothing quite like gluten. This protein can trigger a broad range of symptoms and conditions, from gastrointestinal pain to schizophrenia, from depression to fatigue.

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