Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.

Vitamin D Protects Your Brain

Thursday, 11 October 2012 08:49 AM

In the past, vitamin D was called the “sunshine vitamin,” and was known for building healthy bones. But an avalanche of recent studies has shown that it does far more than just protect bones. Among its many functions, vitamin D may reduce the risk of diabetes and many cancers. It is also vital for healthy brain function, especially aging brains. (To learn more about vitamin D3, read my special report "Vitamin D's Hidden Role in Your Health.")
As we age, our brains become more inflamed. With neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, we see much higher levels of brain inflammation. This reaction in the aging brain can lead to a loss of vital brain cells in the memory and cognitive parts of the brain (hippocampus and prefrontal lobes).
SPECIAL: How One Deck of Cards Has Shown to Improve Memory
Studies have shown that vitamin D3 deficiency is very common in the elderly. This makes sense because so many are house-bound and avoid sun exposure. Many also have GI problems that interfere with vitamin D absorption. While the average diet is a poor source of vitamin D, the diets of many senior citizens are even worse.
Studies have shown that vitamin D3 can protect the normal aging brain from neuron loss, especially in the memory areas of the brain, the hippocampus. This means that a higher intake of vitamin D3 can protect your memory.
A compelling number of studies have shown that Alzheimer’s disease is another brain inflammatory disorder, characterized by the following:
• Intense inflammation
• Microglial activation
• Free-radical generation
A number of conditions cause this inflammation, many of which are present in all cases. For a detailed discussion on inflammation and its role in many diseases including Alzheimer's, see my newsletter "Inflammation: The Real Cause of Most Diseases."
Inflammation triggers immunoexcitotoxicity, which is made much worse if a person is deficient in vitamin D3. This may be another reason why Alzheimer’s dementia increases the older we get, from 3 to 5 percent at age 70, to 43 percent over age 80.
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Parkinson’s disease is another neurodegenerative disease of aging that is strongly related to chronic brain inflammation, but different parts of the brain are involved than in Alzheimer’s disease.
I have pointed out in newsletters the strong connection between Parkinson’s and exposure to commonly used pesticides and herbicides. I also noted that vaccinations can dramatically increase one’s sensitivity to these brain poisons, making even very small exposures very toxic. Remember this when your doctor pressures you to get a flu shot!
New studies have also shown that deficiencies in vitamin D3 can cause poisons, such as pesticides and herbicides, to have the same sensitizing effect.
In one study, scientists found that dogs exposed to a drug that damages certain sensitive brain cells developed symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But when they were given high doses of vitamin D3 for eight days, their symptoms improved.
A Japanese study found that giving vitamin D3 before exposure to toxins protected the neurons from damage.
This means that your best protection against developing neurodegenerative diseases is to take vitamin D3 in higher doses than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) every day.
For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.
SPECIAL: How One Deck of Cards Has Shown to Improve Memory

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Thursday, 11 October 2012 08:49 AM
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