Main Speaker: “Neurotrophins, Stress and Body Health” by Ray Griffiths, MSc, mANP, mBANT
March 31st, 2021 @ 11:00 am PST
Neurotrophins are wonderful proteins that can be seen as our brain nourishers – they act as interfaces between what we eat, think, feel and do, and the brain. The human brain is three times larger than other large primates and therefore requires enormous amounts of energy to power it.
Neurotrophins act as an energy management system that help to decide where brain energy should flow. Eating good food, exercising, being with good people and being in an uplifting environment will all support our neurotrophins, to
help deliver ample energy and nourishment to the brain. Eating badly, stress and a sedentary lifestyle will have the opposite effect and deplete the brain of energy, and predispose us to mood disorders and depression. Being bored or uninspired will also have a negative effect on brain energy – why would the brain waste valuable resources on something that we have no interest in? Neurotrophins are sensitive to stress and a large part of the presentation will explore the effects of stress on brain and body health – particularly exploring the positive effects of taking
time to relax and activate our parasympathetic nervous system, and in turn our healing vagus nerve.
Another important aspect of neurotrophin activity is neurogenesis in our hippocampus – a vital brain structure that supports our mood and memory, to help protect us from depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The hippocampus grows 700 stem cells every day that have the potential to become adult hippocampal neurons – however, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise and inspiration may all block their growth.
Talking of stress, it is not all bad – it’s only excessive stress that is bad. Humans have evolved as hunter gatherers who thrive on novel environments which need exercise to discover them. Inspiration, exercise and a life truly lived are what get our brain fired up and energized! In fact small amounts of stress are designed to help us prevent aging and sickness through a process called hormesis. A small amount of stress triggers the production of our own internal
antioxidants and activation of our anti-aging proteins. Humans live four times longer than we should for a mammal of our size. We have wonderful anti-aging mechanisms that we can tap into to help our brain and body live a long and healthy life – but we need to nourish ourselves at every single level of our being to tap into this longevity resource gifted to us by evolution.
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About: Ray Griffiths, MSc, mANP, mBANT
Ray Griffiths is a Registered Nutritionist and Lecturer and hails from the South of England, living in a 16th century cottage on the borders of Essex and Suffolk. He has been researching and practicing nutrition for over 20 years and lecturing for over 10 years. Ray’s MSc dissertation was on the role that mitochondria play in Parkinson’s disease. His lectures and webinars have covered diverse subjects such as: cancer and nutrition, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular health, neurodegeneration, MS and ageing. Ray has a background in Broadcast Engineering and likes to apply a similar style systems philosophy to nutrition and biochemistry – using this approach to challenge and greatly expand existing ideas and concepts. Depression: the Mind- Body Diet and Lifestyle Connection 350 million people world wide are currently suffering from depression One in six will be affected by a depressive disorder during their life time Can our life style choices affect our mood People with depression four times as likely to have a heart attack than no history Hx Heart attack chances another higher Depressed more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol seem to be artificially drawn boundaries between the mind and body. Sometimes sx are seen as psychosomatic and some dismiss as a lesser issue Yet body and brain interact. Gut and brain interact with strong connections How do all the different things discussed on this show affect and interact with depression.