How your gut can fight MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s and more

My mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was six years old.

I’ve seen her through both the good and the bad years. There have been times when she’s doing well and times when her condition is so bad that she needs a scooter just to get around.

And, through it all, there has been extremely little her doctors have been able to do to help.

In fact, it’s a common story for people suffering from all types of neurologic diseases – not just MS – from Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease to Alzheimer’s. Patients suffer while doctors sit back and scratch their heads.

But, while there may be little to nothing your doctor can do for you if you (like my mom) are living with a chronic neurological disease, there are things you can do at home to improve your symptoms, possibly halt the damage and get your life back.

In fact, according to a new study, just by eating certain foods you can activate a little known pathway in your body – one that alleviates the inflammation in your brain that causes many of the symptoms associated with those neurologic diseases we just mentioned.

Here’s the information you need…

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Halting brain inflammation

It’s no secret that there’s a connection between your gut and the progression of disease in your body, especially when it comes to your brain.

That’s what led researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) to investigate the influence byproducts of the microorganisms living in your gut can have on neurologic disease progression.

And, the scientists found something they weren’t’ expecting…

A pathway that allows your immune cells to actually talk to your brain cells in order to improve your condition…

You see, the researchers discovered that when you eat tryptophan (you know, that amino acid in the Thanksgiving turkey that makes you want to take a long nap), the microbes in your gut break it down to components that can cross the blood brain barrier (something few nutrients can do) and help your immune cells quell the inflammation in your brain — thus limiting the degeneration of your brain cells.

This happens thanks to a special gut-brain “pathway” that’s been linked to multiple sclerosis and most recently to Alzheimer’s and glioblastoma (malignant brain tumors).

According to study author Francisco Quintana, PhD, of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at BWH, “It is likely the mechanisms we’ve uncovered are relevant for other neurologic diseases in addition to multiple sclerosis. These insights could guide us toward new therapies for MS and other diseases.”

Just think… you could start reducing the effects of damaging inflammation on your brain cells — possibly just by eating some turkey!

Tryptophan-rich foods

You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to start feeding your body the tryptophan it needs so your gut microbes can break it down and put it work stopping cell-damaging inflammation.

There are plenty of other foods (already healthy in their own right) that are rich in tryptophan, including:

Just remember that in order to help tryptophan cross the blood brain barrier, it’s best to combine the foods above with a small serving of unrefined carbs, like veggies or sweet potatoes.

You can also get your tryptophan through a supplement known as 5HTP but always start with a low dose and work your way up to a higher dose. Also, avoid 5HTP if you take any sedatives or antidepressants.

Brain inflammation is a major cause of degeneration in neurologic diseases. Combat this inflammation by activating a natural anti-inflammatory pathway in your body using tryptophan to decrease your symptoms and regain your health.

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  1. How the gut influences neurologic disease — Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  2. Brain Inflammation — Integrative Psychiatry
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.