Episode 98 – Biohacking Your Brain Fog

by | May 29, 2019 | Podcast | 0 comments

Hey there, and welcome back — it’s WELLthy Wednesday, which means I’ve got another episode for you!

Last week, we talked about the basics around nutrition, supplements and lifestyle hacks that help with brain fog, but TODAY we’re going to take a much deeper dive into functional genomics, advanced nutrient therapy and some of the top biohacking strategies that, not only help with brain fog but enhance the overall function of your brain (and body).

Links + Resources from this Episode:

Meet Your Host:

Michelle Rogers, ND, MSAOM, FDN-P

Over the past several years, I’ve created the most accessible, streamlined and effective virtual practice working with high-achieving women entrepreneurs, go-getters, and other badass women all over the world.

I intentionally blend my background of Functional, Naturopathic, and East Asian Medicine with my extensive experience in the online business world to help provide my clients with the personalized blueprint and strategy they need to get the mental focus, energy and business strategy required to share their gifts, better serve their clients and show up even more for the people they love.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Hey there, and welcome back — it’s WELLthy Wednesday, which means I’ve got another episode for you!

 

Last week, we talked about the basics around nutrition, supplements and lifestyle hacks that help with brain fog, but TODAY we’re going to take a much deeper dive into functional genomics, advanced nutrient therapy and some of the top biohacking strategies that, not only help with brain fog but enhance the overall function of your brain (and body).

 

Click the like button below, if you’re stoked on this topic!   

 

First off, let’s state the obvious — the benefits of working with a practitioner are that you get a personalized approach…

 

Not some random online protocol.

Not some generalized book plan.

Not some remnant of your supplement list from last year.

 

And one of the most interesting ways to personalize your journey is to learn about your genomics — from a functional perspective.

 

What do I mean by that?

 

Well… have you ever had a DNA test done?

 

If so, was it helpful or just a bunch of useless information?

 

I’m not going to go into the controversy of how certain companies sell your genetic data to big pharma (and others), or any of that here, but I AM going to share why I prefer functional genomics testing to SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) testing.

 

Now,  23andme — or other companies looking at SNPs alone — is like spell check, while functional genomics, like the process Youtrients uses, is like a world-class editor. I’ll link to their site in the notes, by the way.

 

When you’re only looking at SNPs, you’re only getting part of the picture. You’re only seeing what’s present, and only present in ONE context — that’s a horrible way to predict risk or disease.

 

You end up overlooking the fact that an ENTIRE paragraph is missing or a few sentences have been repeated.

 

Functional genomics looks at insertions, deletions and extra copies ALONG with SNPs, but instead of just looking at single genes, they look at genetic PATHWAYS and clusters of genes — which gives a MUCH clearer picture.

 

This test is helpful when looking at the bigger picture of your detoxification, methylation, hormonal, metabolic, and executive function pathways and how they  are affecting your health AND how you can modify your lifestyle to optimize genetic expression — optimizing things like nutrition, exercise and even daily routines to give your genes the optimal environment to thrive.

 

In relation to brain fog, the gene groups I would pay SPECIAL attention to would , not surprisingly, relate to your serotonin and dopamine.

 

These genes can tell me how efficient your body can make these neurotransmitters, how fast your body breaks them down, how many neuroreceptors you have available and how well they actually bind to those receptors.

 

Can you kind of imagine how ALL these factors could affect the overall genetic picture? That’s why only looking at one genetic SNP isn’t really giving us the whole story.

 

Now, depending on what your functional genomics picture looks like, there are certain nutrients that can compliment any inefficiencies you might have.

 

For example, if you tend to reabsorb serotonin too slow,  you might be at an increased risk for anxiety, because although serotonin is considered our “happy hormone” — too much of it lingering around can actually lead to anxiety.

 

So, if you tend to reabsorb it too slow, you can actually take certain nutrients to regulate, or in this case, increase its absorption. Things like 5-HTP, Vitamin

B6 and Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12).

 

If you tend to have fewer dopamine receptors — and potentially a lowered pleasure response — you can take certain nutrients to help compliment that dopamine response, things like L-Tyrosine, EGCG (from green tea), Luteolin or SAM-e.

 

Pretty cool stuff, right?

 

ALSO, depending on your specific nutrient needs, nutrition, lifestyle and stressors, there are other nutrients, herbs and adaptogens to consider — things like lipoic acid, NAC, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, L-theanine, Rhodiola and one of my personal favorites, Bacopa.

 

But you have to remember that if you jump straight to these nutrients, without addressing the super important foundational stuff we’ve covered over the last 3 videos, then you’re really not doing yourself a favor.

 

You’re just using these nutrients as bandaids, instead of enhancements.

 

Now, while we’re on the topic of targeted nutrients and herbs, I’m just briefly going to touch on the topic of “smart drugs”, because I said I would.

 

To be perfectly transparent, I’m not recommending that you try these things, because, depending on where you are in the world, these might even be illegal, but if you start doing your own research about biohacking your brain, you’ll definitely run into them.

 

So, first, there’s modafinil, which was originally a medication for narcolepsy and used to keep people alert in the gulf war. It has a similar mechanism of action as amphetamines — like adderall — but supposedly, it’s not addictive. I’m not convinced and the side effects are unknown, so this isn’t something I’m personally interested in exploring.

 

Some people are also using LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms, but instead of taking a full blown dose, they’re taking what’s called micro-doses with potential benefits of better mood, motivation and determination, and feeling more alert.

 

With some people, LSD can help you focus better, but sometimes on the wrong subject.

 

It’s been reported that Psilocybin can help you learn easier, increase neuron production in animals and improve mood and optimism.

 

Super interesting stuff, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this over the next several years.

 

Alright, let’s dive into some advanced lifestyle strategies to help with brain fog.

 

The main ones I’ve seen are neurofeedback, light therapy, brainwave entrainment and simple brain training games, so I’ll go over these briefly.

 

Neurofeedback is a way to take advantage of health tech by using real-time displays of brain activity where you can learn how to self-regulate your brain function.

 

A lot of people report enhanced memory and focus, decreased impulsivity and anxiety, better mental clarity, more restful sleep, improved mood, and a bunch of other benefits after using it, and the effects last long after the training itself has stopped.

 

The goal is to train your brain into a more efficient way of performing, so you actually create new neural pathways. It’s a really cool modality.

 

Next, let’s chat about light therapy. So, when applied directly to the head, light therapy uses red and near infrared wavelengths to stimulate, preserve, and regenerate brain cells and tissues.

 

When you use a high-quality light therapy device — not just some rando light you get at the hardware store — it can actually send photons of light through the skull, which stimulates the mitochondria in brain cells to produce more metabolic energy — this means better memory, retention, reaction time, executive function, and learning.

 

Alright, I’m assuming you know what simple brain training games are — think sudoku — so I’m not going to go into those. You can literally google “simple brain training games” and come up with a huge list.

 

BUT, I do want to touch on brainwave entrainment, because this is actually something I do daily during my spurts of productivity during the day.

 

Now, it’s called brainwave entrainment, because when I want to focus and be productive or creative for work, I want my brainwaves to be more relaxed — usually in the alpha range, instead of the stressed-out hyper-alert beta waves.

 

And when I’m meditating, I want them to be in the theta range, which is even slower than alpha.

 

I’m realizing that the term probably sounds a bit intimidating, but it’s actually really simple. Basically, when you’re repeatedly exposed to an external stimulus, like recurring sounds, your brain is encouraged to adjust to match the frequency of that stimulus.

 

The cool thing is that this happens passively, so I just listen to binaural beats or brain.fm during those activities or times when I want to entrain my brain.

 

Pretty cool, right?

 

So, for the last time, your brain isn’t broken, at least not permanently, BUT fixing your brain starts with fixing your body — it just needs the right information and instructions to get there.

 

So, here’s your homework for this week:

  1. Go back and listen to episodes 95, 96 and 97, if you haven’t already — DUH
  2. Ask yourself if you’ve been using supplements like bandaids instead of enhancing the foundations.
  3. If the lifestyle hacks were new to you, then start with something like binaural beats or brain.fm to see how you respond to brainwave entrainment for meditation or creativity or focused work. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Alright, so tune in next week for WELLthy Wednesday, where we’re going to chat start the conversation around metabolism, and what to do if you’re stuck with a slow one.

 

If you liked this video, please click the like button, share it with someone you love and be sure to subscribe and click that little bell to make sure you don’t miss next week’s episode.  

 

Also, if you’re feeling drawn to work together, I encourage you to check out my WELLth Activation program at wellthywoman.co/activation.

 

Otherwise, thanks for tuning in, and I’ll see you next week!

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