How Brain Health Affects Setpoint Weight
When you think about brain health, you probably don’t think about setpoint weight, too. You probably think brain health refers only to mental capacity. For instance, a person with excellent brain health has the ability to concentrate, learn, solve problems, and remember. A person with poor brain health lacks some or all these skills. Or, they may have diseases that affect brain health, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or brain cancer.
Though mental capacity is an important component of brain health, it is not the only area influenced by the brain. Rather, the brain controls every function of your body, and that includes setpoint weight.
What is setpoint weight?
Setpoint weight is the weight your body strives to maintain regardless of the number of calories you take in or exercise off. It is the level of fat your body “thinks” you should have based on communication between the hormones, digestive system, and brain.
An elevated setpoint is a primary reason for your inability to lose weight permanently.
How poor brain health raises setpoint weight
You have probably been cautioned to eat slowly because it takes 20 minutes after eating to realize you are full. That’s because when you eat or drink anything, the stomach and gut release satiety hormones. It takes the brain an average of 20 minutes to register these satiety hormones, letting you know it is time to stop eating. Though hunger resides in your stomach, the feeling of hunger comes from your brain. Obviously, this function has a lot to do with whether you are thin or overweight.
And that’s just one way of the ways the brain influences your weight. The hypothalamus, an almond-shaped gland located in the center of the brain, plays a crucial role in many important bodily functions. Some of the essential responsibilities of the hypothalamus include:
- Maintaining a balance of internal bodily functions, such as respiration and blood pressure
- Stopping and starting the production of hormones throughout the body
- Regulating certain metabolic processes, including appetite and body weight
The hypothalamus is, quite simply, the control center of the body. It keeps the internal bodily functions operating smoothly and properly.
How does this apply to setpoint weight?
Well, the hypothalamus is responsible for balancing calories in with calories out so that, ideally, the body never becomes too fat or too thin. If you eat too many calories, the hypothalamus balances this out by suppressing your hunger and increasing your metabolism. It can also make you fidget more so that you burn off excess calories.
If you eat too few calories, the hypothalamus does the opposite. It increases your hunger and decreases your metabolism. It also makes you tired and lethargic so that you burn fewer calories. This is how good brain health, via the hypothalamus, keeps you at a healthy weight.
Brain health, hormones, and setpoint Weight
Weight gain is a sign that the body is getting the wrong messages from the brain and hormones. Research now shows inflammation of the hypothalamus is one of the causes of an elevated setpoint weight.
How does this work?
The hypothalamus is largely regulated by the hormones leptin and insulin. Leptin is one of the satiety hormones telling the brain whether you have or have not eaten enough food. Insulin decides whether the body stores or burns fat.
When the brain is healthy, it receives signals from leptin and insulin correctly so that when calorie intake increases, you simply burn more calories. Your weight, then, balances at your setpoint weight. A healthy, non-elevated setpoint weight means you automatically maintain a healthy weight without dieting, calorie counting, or carb counting.
However, neurological inflammation causes these signals to stop working. Instead of working to keep you naturally slim, your hypothalamus and hormones now work to hold on to extra fat. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to lose weight. Poor brain health keeps you close to your elevated setpoint weight. If you do manage to lose an exceptional amount of weight, it will do everything it can to get your weight back to your setpoint — plus several more pounds.
And it’s all triggered by neurological inflammation.
Leaky Brain Syndrome and neurological inflammation
Before discussing neurological inflammation, it’s important to know that inflammation itself is not a bad thing. Inflammation is a crucial component of the immune system. It is the body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders. This can include germs, toxins, injuries…anything that harms bodily tissues. Inflammation attacks and kills these foreign invaders, heals any injuries they caused, and removes any debris left behind by the invasion and battle.
Inflammation is only bad if it becomes chronic. Many studies show chronic inflammation may be the underlying cause or contributing factor to most health conditions and diseases. That’s because the inflammatory response releases chemicals that disrupt hormones, insulin response, and other vital bodily processes. Over time, this can damage various organs and other areas of the body.
Scientists have been trying to find a solution for chronic inflammation for some time now, but they never thought they would have to find a solution for neurological inflammation, too.
You see, neurological inflammation isn’t supposed to occur in the brain. The brain is such a delicate organ, affecting every function in the body, that it has its own defense system called the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier keeps foreign invaders out of the brain’s fragile environment while letting blood flow and proper nutrients inside. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
But if the blood-brain barrier is damaged, it causes leaky brain syndrome, a condition that allows toxins, pathogens, and bacteria to enter the brain’s fragile environment. These foreign invaders activate what is called microglial cells, causing neurological inflammation. This inflammatory response can lead to many mental, emotional, and physical problems.
Poor brain health and elevated setpoint weight
New, cutting-edge research shows a definite link between poor brain health — aka neurological inflammation — and elevated setpoint weight. Indeed, these studies indicate it may be nearly impossible to lose excess weight until brain inflammation is healed.
Here are just a couple of major studies showing neurological inflammation raises setpoint weight.
- Researchers at University found a link between obesity and hypothalamic injury (which includes neurological inflammation) in humans.
- A 2016 study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found hypothalamic inflammation interferes with the homeostatic control of energy balance, leading to weight gain and obesity.
Factors causing poor brain health
There are four known factors that cause poor brain health, specifically neurological inflammation: poor-quality diet, stress, toxins, and chronically low levels of brain-boosting nutrients. Let’s briefly discuss each of them.
Overconsumption of refined carbs, sugars, processed fats, and overly processed foods increases the risk of neurological inflammation.
Many studies show a link between a poor-quality diet and poor brain health (neurological inflammation.) One such study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, found eating too many sugary, high-fat inSANE foods definitely inflames the hypothalamus. Another study published in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience discovered that certain saturated fats are dangerous because they inflame the hypothalamus.
Neuroinflammation also destroys neurons in other areas of the brain in charge of willpower. This causes intense cravings that lead to overeating, another factor that elevates setpoint weight.
Research shows stress increases the risk for many health conditions. Now, we’re learning it also causes neurological inflammation.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that chronic stress triggers neurological inflammation, which negatively affects short-term memory. How can stress impact brain health? It is believed stress triggers a release of immune cells from the bone marrow. These immune cells then travel to the areas of the brain that deal with stress.
Toxins in the environment
Studies show toxins in the environment to be a major cause of neurological inflammation. Toxins are everywhere. They are in our foods, the air we breathe, and the items we touch. Toxins are in household cleaners, dryer sheets, air fresheners, and pesticides. Unfortunately, you cannot totally avoid environmental toxins.
Chronically low levels of critical brain-boosting nutrients
Studies show there are four nutrients critical to brain health that most people are deficient in. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Folate, or vitamin B-9, is essential for synthesizing and copying DNA, supporting nerve function, making new cells, and much more. It is also a crucial nutrient for fetal health.
Though many foods contain folate, studies show many people are deficient in this nutrient. Research shows folate deficiency affects mood and cognitive function, especially in older individuals, and increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The reason so many people suffer from folate deficiencies is that most people can no longer produce the enzyme needed to absorb folate. Therefore, they cannot absorb folate from all traditional sources. Another reason for folate deficiency is that folate in food is very unstable and is rapidly lost during processing. For example, leafy greens stored at room temperature can lose up to 70% of their folate activity within 3 days, and cooking them causes 95% to be lost.
Citicoline is another nutrient essential for brain health. It helps support the brain’s energy-producing centers. It also plays a crucial role in proper neurotransmitter function.
To get optimal amounts of citicoline, however, you’d have to eat over a dozen eggs a day. This is the reason most people are deficient in this nutrient.
Often called the “universal antioxidant,” CoQ10 resides in your mitochondria, the energy-producing part of your cells. It sparks energy production in every cell of your body, especially your heart and brain.
CoQ10 is plentiful in many foods, especially meat products. However, most people are deficient in this nutrient for a few reasons. The first is that many people are low in the B vitamin and trace minerals needed to absorb CoQ10. The second is that higher levels of environmental toxins have increased the body’s demand for CoQ10. Using statin drugs for cholesterol also reduces levels of CoQ10, as does advancing age.
L-carnitine is an amino acid proven to move fatty acids into the mitochondria to be used for energy. This makes l-carnitine a potent fat-burning nutrient.
Again, many people are deficient in l-carnitine, either because of an inadequate intake of this nutrient or because they cannot absorb it.
How to improve brain health and lower setpoint weight
You can improve brain health and lower setpoint by correcting each of the causes of neurological inflammation. The following are scientifically proven ways to heal brain inflammation and lower setpoint weight.
SANE Setpoint Diet
The SANE setpoint diet focuses on whole foods as close to their natural states as possible. The goal is to be so full of SANE foods you won’t have room for inSANE ones. SANE setpoint diet is easy to implement into your life and customize. There are no calories to count or complicated menus to remember. There is no deprivation or hunger.
All you need to remember is to choose foods from these four food groups:
- Non-starchy vegetables: 10+ servings per day
- Nutrient-dense proteins: 3-5 servings per day
- Whole-food fats: 3-6 servings per day
- Low-fructose fruits: 0-3 servings per day
These foods have been scientifically proven to heal brain inflammation, trigger fat-burning hormones, and lower setpoint weight.
It is super important for your brain and your weight that you take time every day to de-stress. Find the things you love doing, and do them often. Meditate. Listen to music. Take a leisurely walk. Watch a comedy movie. You’ll be surprised how even the simplest of activities relieve stress — as long as they are enjoyable.
Reduce exposure to environmental toxins.
As previously mentioned, you cannot totally avoid environmental toxins. The best you can do, then, is to reduce your exposure to them. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Switch to organic produce. This avoids many pesticides and herbicides
- Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles. (They contain toxic BPA)
- Use natural household cleaners.
- Reduce stress. (Stress releases toxins in your body)
- Vacuum your carpet frequently. This removes dust mites and other toxins.
SANE Vitaae is the first formulation clinically proven to reduce and eliminate neurological inflammation, thus lowering setpoint weight. Vitaae is a pharmaceutical-grade nutraceutical containing all four of the brain-boosting nutrients discussed above in the combinations and amounts necessary to reduce brain inflammation. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to shed pounds once you start taking Vitaae!
Next step: Learn how your brain health effects your setpoint weight with SANE
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