5 ways to help your brain drain disease-causing waste

Your body is a lean, mean waste-removing machine.

Every day, you’re excreting waste through your kidneys, your colon, your lungs and your skin.

But when your body’s waste removal doesn’t happen according to plan, it spells trouble for your health…

In fact, as you age, your body’s waste removing process becomes slower and less efficient, and waste products can build up in your body’s cells and tissues. This waste damages your cells, leads to problems with your vital organs and eventually causes disease.

Now, waste build-up is a serious threat to your health in general… but it’s especially hazardous to your brain health.

Research shows that a build-up of waste in the brain contributes to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.

Luckily, researchers are learning more and more about the brain and how it excretes waste. And what they’re learning could help you keep your brain sharp and healthy for many years to come…

The lymphatic system clears away brain waste

The latest research from the National Institute of Health shows that your brain takes a surprising approach to waste removal — it uses your lymphatic system.

Your body’s lymphatic system is basically a biological sewer system. It’s a collection of vessels and junctions that transports waste in clear fluid known as lymph fluid. Eventually, the waste-filled fluid from your lymphatic system gets sent to your heart, which pumps it into your blood stream, so it can make its way back to your lungs, skin, kidneys and bowels for removal from your body.

For a long time, scientists believed the brain didn’t use the lymphatic system for waste removal. But it turns out, it does…

A few years ago researchers spotted lymphatic vessels in the brains of mice. And now they’ve confirmed they’re present in human brains too.

Researchers from the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) saw healthy volunteers’ brains drain waste through lymphatic vessels. Their observations led them to believe that the lymphatic system acts as a channel between the brain and immune system.

Most importantly, researchers believe there may be a difference in how healthy people’s brains drain waste through the lymphatic system when compared to people with neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis. They need to do more research to figure that out for sure. But if they do confirm these suspicions, it could be a major breakthrough for treating and preventing neurological diseases.

“For years we knew how fluid entered the brain. Now we may finally see that, like other organs in the body, brain fluid can drain out through the lymphatic system,” said Daniel S. Reich, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the senior author of the study. “We hope that our results provide new insights to a variety of neurological disorders.”

Encouraging a healthy lymphatic system

Since your brain uses your lymphatic system to clear waste, I have some good news for you…

There are a lot of natural ways to encourage healthy lymph drainage in your body…and hopefully improve your brain health while you’re at it. In fact, Easy Health Options contributor Dr. Mark Wiley recommends a simple five part-plan for maintaining a healthy lymphatic system:

  1. Stay well-hydrated. Getting enough water keeps your lymphatic system from getting congested.
  2. Do jumping jacks, jump squats or jump rope. The pumping action of jumping encourages lymph drainage and boosts blood and lymph circulation.
  3. Do leg inversions. Yoga poses like handstands or legs-up-the-wall pose encourage lymph fluid to flow toward the heart, where it’s brought back into the bloodstream and is eventually excreted through the lungs, skin, kidneys and bowels.
  4. Give yourself a lymph massage. If you massage your arms and legs (working toward your heart), it helps your lymphatic system transport lymph fluid to the heart. Dry brushing toward your heart is also a good way to encourage lymph drainage.
  5. Eat a healthy, organic diet. The less toxins going in, the less work your lymphatic system has to do to get them out.

Check out Dr. Wiley’s plan in more detail here. It’s a great way to help your body (and brain) clear out wastes and stay healthy.

Editor’s note: 38.6 million Americans take a single drug every day that robs their brain of an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health. Are you one of them? Click here to find out!

Sources:

  1. How Your Body Gets Rid of Toxins Naturally — The College of International Holistic Studies. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  2. Aging changes in organs, tissues, and cells — MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  3. The Brain’s Waste-Disposal System May Be Enlisted to Treat Alzheimer’s and Other Brain Illnesses — Scientific American. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  4. NIH researchers uncover drain pipes in our brains — National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  5. Absinta, et al. “Human and nonhuman primate meninges harbor lymphatic vessels that can be visualized noninvasively by MRI.” — eLife, 2017.
  6. Scientists Have Finally Discovered Proof That Our Brains Have a Waste Drainage System — Science Alert. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  7. Lymphatic System: Facts, Functions & Diseases — Live Science. Retrieved October 11, 2017.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.