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The effect of Nutrition on the brain. “ All disease begins in the gut .” Hippocrates. How do I know this stuff?. A full-service neurologically based chiropractic and behavioral health clinic Specialize in intervention methods for neurological and psychological disorders. Brain Boosters™.

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The effect of nutrition on the brain

The effect of Nutrition on the brain

“All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates

How do i know this stuff
How do I know this stuff?

  • A full-service neurologically based chiropractic and behavioral health clinic

  • Specialize in intervention methods for neurological and psychological disorders

Brain boosters
Brain Boosters™

The Brain Boosters™ program combines the use of three core therapies:

Neurofeedback therapy: Re-trains the brain with scientific and non-invasive tools; allows the brain to send and receive messages correctly.

Nutrition based therapies: Reduces or minimizes toxicity in the body built up from improper processing of nutrients, environmental factors, antibiotics, and other toxins ingested.

Behavior therapy: Social skills development, behavior management, and emotional awareness are important to function in the social world. Interactive and engaging tools are used throughout the session.

Full implementationof the Brain Boosters™ program results in better functioning to meet the demands of daily life-for kids and adults!

School aged student
School aged student

  • Phone calls or e-mails couple times per week from teacher

  • Never with mean or defiant intent, just busy

  • Needs constant reminders to stay in his seat, raise his hand to talk, etc.

  • When he gets up everyone knows about it

  • Frustrated with daily tasks-so smart just doesn’t want to do the work

  • Hard to rope him back in

  • He’s just busy, busy, busy…..

  • At home: argumentative, wants grilled cheese and pasta all the time, frustrated with tedious tasks, irritable, sensory seeking

Let s talk about the gut
Let’s talk about the gut

  • Often referred to as “second brain.”

  • It’s own nervous system-network of 100 million neurons in the gut wall

  • Can continue to function even when vagus nerve (main conduit between the gut and the brain) is severed

  • Single celled organisms-most bacteria-outnumber our own cells 10-1.

  • The gut is home to most of the bacteria in our body

  • Brain chemistry, behavioral phenomena, pain perception, and how the stress system responds are all linked to the bacteria in the gut

  • Two way street: tweaking the balance in the gut can influence the brain and the brain can influence gut response (even mild stress can make one more vulnerable to infectious disease)

Background on the gut
Background on the gut

  • The gut of a fetus is sterile

  • At birth it is immunized with the mother’s normal bacteria

  • The gut bacteria regulates digestion and metabolism; programs body’s immune system.

  • Produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate physiological and mental processes such as:

    • Learning

    • Memory

    • Mood

Gut bacteria produces 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin (a neurotransmitter which influences mood and gastrointestinal activity).

What impacts the gut
What impacts the gut?

  • Dysbiosisoccurs when the bad bacteria take over. This usually happens when the body is unable to break down certain nutrients and it causes a chronic imbalance of the good and bad bacteria. There are several causes of dysbiosis:

  • Alcohol: It is a yeast by-product; increases the risk of yeast overgrowth

  • Antibiotics:  Of course there are times it is necessary to use an antibiotic. Excessive use of antibiotics results

  • in dysbiosis. Includes antibiotics in foods (beef, poultry, milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, etc)

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: (aspirin, Advil) inhibits the growth of the good bacteria. This can result in a

  • bacterial imbalance.

  • Diet: 

    • A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can cause an overgrowth of yeast and fungus.

    • Starches (including grains, sugary fruit, lactose, and starchy vegetables) get broken down as sugar.

  • Elevated hormone levels: Caused by birth control, infertility drugs/treatment, pregnancy, steroids, and other hormone elevating drugs can cause an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut. Chronic stress also alters hormone levels.

  • Prescription Drugs: Meant to be used with specific medical events but were not designed to be used for long periods of time. When people are on prescription drugs, the negative side effects of the drug are compounding and accumulate.

  • Decrease in Immune Function: Stress, sugar, lack of sleep, autoimmune disorders, etc.

Sensitivity vs allergy
Sensitivity vs. allergy

  • Estimated that 18 million Americans have a sensitivity-6 times more

  • than the number with an allergy

  • Those with a sensitivity may experience some of the same symptoms

  • without the attack on the intestinal wall.

  • An allergy, otherwise known as celiac disease, causes biological

  • changes that comes before the onset of many autoimmune diseases.

Physical symptoms
Physical symptoms

  • Abdominal pain and distension

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

  • Acid Reflux

  • Diarrhea

  • Gas

  • Skin irritations/rash

  • Migraines-especially if onset is within a couple hours of eating

  • Joint Pain-often mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis

Gluten and behavior
Gluten and behavior

Fuzzy Brain



Low Motivation

Gluten and behavior1
Gluten and behavior

  • Irritability

  • Impulsivity

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Disorganization

  • Low or lack of motivation

  • What dx???

Gluten and behavior2
Gluten and behavior

  • Gluten and casein can be metabolized in the form of an opiate

  • What is an opiate?......

  • Kids may be getting HIGH off of gluten and casein

  • Research supports it may account for repetitive movements, spinning, head-banging, fixation on certain objects, withdrawal, difficulty with changes in schedule or environment

  • What dx?

Other mood disorders
Other mood disorders

  • Schizophrenia

    • Linked to a gluten sensitivity since 1960s

    • Opiate response similar to Autism

  • Depression

  • Bipolar Disorder

Dysbiosis candida

  • AD(H)D

  • Autism Spectrum Asperger's Syndrome

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Celiac Disease

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Digestive Disorders

  • Down Syndrome

  • Dysautonomia (malfunction of the nervous system)

  • Dyspraxia

  • Ear Infections

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Immune Deficiencies

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Tourette & Tic Disorder

Foods they crave
Foods They crave…..

….usually the ones to avoid

Addicted like a drug addict

(Remember the opiate effect)

What do we do
What do we do?

  • Boost immune system - supplementation

  • Avoid stimulants (caffeine, sugar, etc.)

  • Improve digestion – enzymes and probiotics

  • Improve sleep – routines and dark

  • Quiet time – reading, rest, (no video games, e-readers, etc.)


What to do
What to do…..

AFOA – Always Focus On Adding

  • Vegetables first

  • Grazing – nuts

  • Protein, protein, protein

  • Decrease sugar….insulin ride…..

  • Digestive enzymes

  • Probiotics (25 billion)

  • Vitamins

  • Fish oils (omega 3 only)

Things to think about
Things to think about

  • Favorite foods

  • Behavior after eating

  • Sleep

  • Bathroom habits

  • Stimulation

  • Pain behaviors

  • Emotional “rollercoaster”

Remember school aged student
Remember: School aged student

  • Leader in the classroom

  • “I’m so glad he’s in my class. He really helps my students who have special needs. He takes the initiative but when he needs to pull it back in, he knows. That’s a tricky thing to understand and he’s got it.” –teacher at family night this school year

  • “I have to admit I didn’t believe in what you do, I thought it was all voo doo. But I see it, I notice a difference in him; on the soccer field, it’s like it’s just so clear” –parent of a teammate

  • At home: finishes weekly spelling homework the day he gets it independently, responds immediately to requests and direction, helps out without being asked, handwriting is legible, eats all foods without complaint; verbalizes how different food makes him feel

The effect of nutrition on the brain