It’s no secret that air pollution affects our lungs…
Breathing the toxic chemicals that spew from factories and vehicle exhaust causes chronic respiratory disease, asthma, and emphysema, not to mention lung cancer.
What you may not know is that your brain can also suffer irreversible damage from the effects of air pollution…
In a 2015 study, researchers compared the cognitive development of two groups of school children, ages 7 to 10 years old, for a period of 12 months. One group attended schools in high-traffic areas, and the other group attended schools in less polluted areas.
Over the course of the year, children in the more polluted environment saw only a 7.4 percent increase in cognitive skills, while their peers, who breathed cleaner air, saw their skills increase 11.5 percent.
If breathing in toxins can impact the brains of children this significantly in just a year’s time, can you imagine what the same polluted air is — and has been — doing to your brain over the last several decades?
The tiny particles infecting your brain
Arian Saffari is a chemical engineer who collects, sorts, and studies air pollution particles in a lab at the University of Southern California. He’s most interested in ultra-fine particles 200 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Particle pollution is usually a mixture of solids and liquids floating in the air, so it’s airborne, in much the same way you might think of viral or bacterial microbes.
PM2.5 particles are present in pretty much all air pollution, and invade our lungs most easily because they are so small. That means they do the most damage, causing oxidative stress, inflammation and cell damage.
More and more evidence is confirming that these nanoparticles are also responsible for triggering cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease:
- A University of Southern California study found that older women who live in areas where PM2.5 air pollution is higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standard are 81 percent more likely to develop cognitive decline, and 92 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Researchers at the University of Toronto reported that people living within 164 feet of a major road were 12 percent more likely to develop dementia than people living more than 656 feet away.
- University of Rochester researchers were able to prove that inhaled PM2.5 particles can get through the nasal membranes of mice and travel along neurons directly to the cerebellum, where they trigger inflammation.
- In a review of 18 epidemiologic studies from six countries, all but one showed an association between high intake of PM2.5 particles and signs of dementia.
There’s a lot you can do to protect yourself
Although it’s hard to avoid air pollution, there are quite a few steps you can take to greatly reduce your chances of falling victim to pollution-induced Alzheimer’s disease.
First you’ve got to give your body a hand at ridding itself of particulate matter and other forms of pollution… and then you’ve got to combat the effects of years of exposure while boosting your brain protection. Here’s how…
- Eat broccoli sprouts. Read more about how this superfood can help rid your body of the toxins you breathe.
- Consider oral EDTA chelation. Chelation uses a binding agent to “grab on” to harmful contaminants, binding to them and sending them out in the wash, so to speak. Learn more here.
- Load up on B Vitamins. A Columbia University study showed that supplementing with Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid dramatically reduced the negative impact of air pollution on DNA.
- Load up on antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, dark chocolate, kidney beans and cherries to combat the oxidative stress behind cognitive decline.
- Supplement with CoQ10 and PQQ. Together, these two enzymes help protect the brain’s neuron cells (the cells that pollution particles hitch a ride on to get directly to your cerebellum) by boosting mitochondria and reducing oxidative stress.
- Boost your body’s master antioxidant. Your body produces less glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant, as you age. The best way to boost it is to get moderate exercise, and eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Rooibos tea and holy basil can also stimulate production of glutathione.
- For more tips, check out the deadly truth about pollution and disease.
Editor’s note: There’s an effective heart therapy you doctor is likely remaining tight-lipped about. But you can learn everything you deserve to know in Dr. Michael Cutler’s guide, Chelation: Natural Miracle For Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health. Click here for a preview…
- The Polluted Brain — Science
- Air Pollution, Forest Fires, and Industrial Toxins: Your Best Detox Strategies — GreenMedInfo.com
- Detoxing from Air Pollution (and Forest Fires) — Natural Mentor
- Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in China — Cancer Prevention Research
- How Air Pollution Damages the Brain — Physicians for Social Responsibility