APEX Brain Centers

Nutrition and Your Brain: Understanding Metabolic and Nutritional Therapy

Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal brain health and function. At APEX Brain Centers, we recognize that metabolic and nutritional therapies can significantly impact an individual’s cognitive performance and overall mental well-being. Our experience for the past two decades shows that other health services become significantly more impactful when combined with functional neurology assessments and interventions. To provide comprehensive care for our clients, we focus on the interplay between nutrition and brain function and utilize metabolic and nutritional therapies to support recovery and enhance the benefits of our other brain-based treatments.

The human brain is highly susceptible to the effects of metabolic imbalances and dietary intake. Deficiencies in essential nutrients and exposure to unhealthy dietary patterns can negatively affect brain health and cognitive responses. Our practice at APEX Brain Centers strives to address these issues through targeted metabolic and nutritional therapies. Our approach optimizes brain function in individuals dealing with brain injuries, cognitive impairment, and learning and behavioral disorders such as OCD, anxiety, ADHD, and addiction.

By integrating metabolic and nutritional therapies with our foundational neurological rehabilitative therapies, we aim to enhance the effectiveness of our treatments. Our comprehensive care approach includes functional neurology, low-level laser therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and neurofeedback. Additionally, we employ balance and vestibular therapies, eye movement rehabilitation, frequency-based modalities, and home care programs to support our client’s recovery journey further and promote optimum mental health.

Fundamental Concepts

Nutrition and Your Brain

At APEX Brain Centers, we understand proper nutrition is essential to maintaining and improving brain health. Our food affects our mental health and well-being through various mechanisms, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neurogenesis-promoting properties1. A balanced diet filled with essential nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins plays a vital role in maintaining optimal brain function.

Some essential nutrients that contribute to brain health include:

  • Fatty acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for brain development, cognitive functioning, and overall brain health.
  • Protein: High-quality protein provides the necessary amino acids for creating neurotransmitters and maintaining the brain’s structural integrity.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins, such as B-complex vitamins and vitamin D, are crucial for maintaining adequate energy levels, mood regulation, and overall cognitive function.

Metabolism Basics

Understanding metabolism is vital for appreciating the intricate relationship between nutrition and brain function. Metabolism refers to the complex biochemical processes within cells to create and utilize energy for various bodily functions, including brain function. Impaired brain energetics, such as mitochondrial dysfunction and systemic metabolic dysregulation, are direct risk factors for neurological diseases2.

In our experience, other health services become significantly more impactful when combined with functional neurology assessments and interventions; and, we ensure that foundational neurological and metabolic rehabilitative therapies are in place for all of our patients for optimal outcomes.

We can help enhance brain function and overall cognitive health by improving metabolic processes through targeted nutritional interventions. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients and following personalized metabolic and nutritional therapy plans developed by our experts at APEX Brain Centers can help optimize brain health and reduce the risk of various neurological conditions.

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Understanding Metabolic Control

Metabolic control is essential for maintaining optimal brain function and overall health. This section will discuss the importance of body mass and food intake and the role of glucose and nitrogen balance in metabolic control.

Body Mass and Food Intake

Body mass plays a significant role in determining our resting energy expenditure, the energy we need to maintain vital functions at rest. Maintaining an appropriate body mass is crucial for overall health and brain function. At APEX Brain Centers, we emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy body mass through proper nutrition, regular exercise, sleep enhancement, stress reduction, and progressive interventions such as our Zerona body fat reduction laser therapy.

Food intake is directly related to body mass and overall health. A balanced diet rich in healthy fats, proteins, and essential nutrients ensures our bodies have the necessary resources for optimal brain function. On the other hand, excessive intake of simple carbohydrates and refined and processed foods will undoubtedly impair it. In our practice, we incorporate metabolic and nutritional therapies to help individuals manage their food intake and achieve better metabolic control.

Glucose and Nitrogen Balance

Glucose, a type of sugar, is a primary energy source for the brain. Maintaining adequate glucose levels is essential for optimal brain function. Blood glucose levels that are too high or too low can negatively impact cognitive performance and overall brain health. We recognize the importance of maintaining healthy glucose levels at APEX Brain Centers and adopt dietary modifications and metabolic therapies to support glucose control.

Nitrogen balance, on the other hand, is an indicator of protein metabolism. A positive nitrogen balance reflects sufficient protein intake and a healthy metabolism, while a negative balance indicates protein deficiency or excessive breakdown. To maintain a positive nitrogen balance, we recommend consuming adequate protein through various dietary sources such as meats with healthy fat profiles, dairy products, and plant-based proteins. Furthermore, we can monitor our patients’ nitrogen balance, albumin levels, and more to assess their overall metabolic health.

Nutritional Therapy

This section will discuss dietary approaches and supplement use as key components of our nutritional therapy.

Dietary Approaches

To promote optimal brain health, we emphasize the importance of a balanced diet, focusing on healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and healthy protein sources. This is best achieved through whole foods, in their original form, as opposed to the myriad refined and processed foods that line our supermarket shelves. Over 80% of food in the typical grocery store (food found in all the isles, and not the perimeter) is grossly inadequate to serve our nutritional needs! Excess sugar/carbohydrate intake is one of the biggest problems in our current world leading to all the greatest causes of disease and death, and we work with patients to control this intake. We also stress the importance of hydration, as adequate water intake is crucial for maintaining overall wellness and cognitive performance.

Supplement Use

As part of our metabolic and nutritional therapy approach, we understand that certain individuals may require supplementation to address specific deficiencies or support their dietary needs. Supplements can enhance cognitive function and overall well-being and are used to complement a balanced diet rather than replace it. Our experts carefully assess each individual’s needs, based on comprehensive laboratory analysis such as micronutrient testing, and recommend appropriate supplements to help them achieve their goals and support brain health. Further, no two supplements are created equal; meaning, we choose companies such as Xymogen, to ensure individuals are receiving the highest quality supplements that undergo extensive 3rd party assessments to ensure they are what they say they are. Most store-bought brands are grossly underregulated.

Role of Nutrients in Brain Function

Cognition and Mental Health

Nutrition plays a crucial role in cognitive function and mental health. A balanced diet rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals is essential for optimal brain performance. The synergy between the foods we eat and our brain’s function highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to nutrition and brain function for maintaining efficient and reliable cognitive and mental health.

A diet that promotes inflammation reduction, neurogenesis, and synaptic plasticity can support cognitive health throughout one’s lifetime. Food-derived signals can influence energy metabolism, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function. Furthermore, proper nutrition can aid in the prevention of cognitive decline linked to aging.

Brain Development and Aging

The impact of nutrition on brain development begins early in life. Nutrients play a vital role in the formation of neurotransmitters and the structural components of neuronal membranes. Inadequate nutrition can lead to impaired brain development and may contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative disorders.

Proper nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining and supporting brain function as we age. It helps to ensure sustained mental health and cognitive abilities. A well-rounded approach combining nutritional therapy with functional neurological techniques is crucial to maintaining brain health. Proper nutrition and advanced treatments help ensure our brains have the resources for optimal functioning and vibrant mental health.

Specific Nutritional Therapies for Neurological Disorders

Epilepsy and Ketogenic Diet

In our practice at APEX Brain Centers, we have found that the ketogenic diet, or keto-like diets, can be a helpful nutritional therapy for individuals with epilepsy, among many other conditions. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures by altering the body’s fuel source to fats instead of glucose. This change in metabolism can lead to a state of ketosis, which reduces seizure frequency and severity in some individuals with epilepsy. Individuals must consider this dietary intervention and work with a knowledgeable healthcare professional to ensure proper implementation and monitoring.

Obesity and Dietary Restrictions

Obesity, and all the top diseases it manifests, is epidemic in our society, and it is well-established that there is a strong link between obesity and various neurological disorders, including cognitive impairment and learning and behavioral disorders. At APEX Brain Centers, we understand that addressing obesity through dietary restrictions and lifestyle interventions can effectively support cognitive health and overall well-being. Our metabolic and nutritional therapies promote a diet high in healthy fats, healthy protein, and low in refined carbohydrates to lower obesity rates and support optimum brain function and overall health.

Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation

An essential part of stroke recovery and rehabilitation is the implementation of metabolic and nutritional therapies to support optimum brain health. At APEX Brain Centers, we provide com

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Dr. Michael S. Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Neurofeedback Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the practice of advanced functional neurology. He is one of the most highly sought-after brain rehabilitation specialists because of the life-changing outcomes his patients consistently experience. After over a decade in private practice and working alongside other pioneers in the field, Dr. Trayford developed his multimodal intensive brain training and rehabilitation program built around the science of Neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to learn and grow dependent upon the stimulation it receives from its environment. He later founded APEX Brain Centers to combine his ground-breaking rehabilitation approach with a unique patient and caretaker-centered care model. Under Dr. Trayford’s leadership, APEX Brain Centers has successfully treated thousands of patients and earned the reputation of a world-renowned brain training and rehabilitation practice. Since its inception, Dr. Trayford has been a leader of the Brain Training revolution treating patients worldwide. In addition, he is a published journal contributor and international lecturer. His experience with various patients of all ages and neurological conditions has given him a unique perspective on brain health and human performance. He is also well-versed in collaborating with other health care professionals, making him an invaluable asset to any care team. Dr. Trayford was awarded the Functional Neurologist of the Year distinction by the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation, where he is a proud member and conference lecturer. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Council for the Dementia Society of America and the Board of Directors for the International Society for Neuroregulation and Research. He is also a servant leader who has dedicated his adult life to serving multiple communities through Rotary International and other notable causes. When he’s not treating patients, Dr. Trayford usually reads or researches anything related to the brain, human performance, and leadership. He also loves spending time outdoors with his wife Denise, their two daughters, and dogs in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmichaeltrayford/

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