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A neurotransmitter important in mental function, muscle function, and function of the autonomic nervous sysem.
A long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid with 18 carbons, three double bonds, in the Omega-3 family (18:3n-3). It cannot be manufactured byt he human body and thus, is termed essential.
A long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid fromt he Omega-6 family. AA contains 20 carbons and four double bonds. it is the brains principle Omega6 fatty acid. Arachidonic acid is found primarily in animal fats and is often too high in modern diets. This fatty acid can be converted into the powerfully inflammatory PGE2 substances. Alpha linolenic acid, EPA, and DHA can counter the effects of arachidonic acid. GLA from borage or primrose oil is often used to counter the PGE2 substances as well.
The energy currency of the body. ATP is used by all cells of the body to carry out their daily activities. The production of this compound is heavily dependant upon dietary nutrients, including fatty acids.
Central Nervous System
The brain and the spinal cord are considered the central nervous system. Nerves that run outside of the skull and spinal column are known as the peripheral nervous system.
A sterol found int he diet of animal fats. Cholesterol is a vital component of the bodies chemistry used to form steroid hormones such estrogen, testosterone, and cortisone. The human body makes about 3,000mg of cholesterol daily-the rough equivalent of one dozen eggs. Roughly one fourth fo the lipids (fatty substances) in myelin occurs as cholesterol.
A nutritional substance the brain uses to make neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Choline is sometimes used as a supplement to enhance mental function.
ALso known as ubiquinone, CoQ10 is a nutrient that serves two primary funcitons. It is an antioxidant and also functions as key nutrient in mitochondrial generation of ATP. Thus, CoQ10 is very important in brain energy production.
A system of enzymes the body uses to detoxify foreign or harmful chemicals.
The enzyme that converts Omega6 fatty acids such as linoleic acid and GLA into arachodonic acid. High carbohydrate diets may activate this enzyme causing the body to make too much of the arachodonic acid. This feeds the im=nflammatory pathways.
Delta 6 desaturase
The enzyme that converts dietary linoleic acid to PGE1. It also converts alpha-linolenic to PGE3. This enzyme is needed to make DHA from ALA. Linoleic acid and linolenic acid compete for Delta 6 desaturase so if there is too much of one fatty acid, the products of that fatty acid predominate.
A long-chain polyunsaturated fatty derived from dietary alpha-linolenic acid. DHA is also found in foods such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. It contains twenty-two carbons, six double bonds, and is an Omega 3 fatty acid. This is written "22:6n-3." DHA is the most-important omega-3 fatty acid found in the brain and is highly concentrated in the retina.
A long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid derived from dietary alpha-linolenic acid. It contains twenty carbons, five double bonds, and is an omega-3 fatty acid. EPA can be made into PGE3, an anti-inflammatory substance that helps counter the effects of the inflammatory PGE2 substances. EPA is not found in the brain, but can be converted into DHA for use in the brain. EPA is important in the brain's blood supply.
A long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid from the omega-6 family. It is used as a supplement to increase production of the body's PGE1 anti-inflammatory system. It is also used when the enzyme delta-6-desaturase is thought to be blocked. GLA should be used with great caution in cases of seizure or cancer.
The potential of a sugar or carbohydrate to raise blood sugar levels. High glycemic index foods tend to raise insulin levels higher. High insulin may stimulate the conversion of omega-6 fatty acids into the inflammatory arachodonic acid.
A sulphur-containing nutritional antioxidant. It helps protect the body from free-radical damage. Glutathione is also important in the body's detoxification process. Glutathione stores inthe brain become depleted in some brain disorders and in aging.
An enzymatic antioxidant that is dependent upon the trace element selenium.
One of the essential fatty acids , meaning the human body cannot make it. LA is written 18:2n-6, meaning is has eighteen carbons and two double bonds, and is of the Omega 6 family. It must be obtained from the diet. Modern diets often contain too much linoleic acid relative to other fatty acids.
A highly inflammatory substance made from arachodonic acid. The body needs this substance, but problems occur when too much is produced.
Also known as phosphatylcholine
A general term used to describe fatty molecules derived from the diet. Fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, and waxes are included in this group. Cholesterolis technically not a fat, but a sterol. However, it is still considered a lipid.
A damaged fatty acid (or other lipid) molecule that developes when free radicals or free oxygen react with and unsaturated fatty acid. Lipid peroxids are very damaging to biological systems, especially the cell membrane. Lipid peroxides int he nervous system are very detrimental. Lipid peroxides are also found in rancid oils. Thus, one might think of lipid peroxides inthe body as rancid fats.
An unsaturated fatty acid that contains one double bond.
A neurotransmitter involved in aggression, alertness, and concentration. It is made from the dietary amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine.
Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio
A comparison of the amount of Omega 6 fatty acids to Omega 3 fatty acids. Ancient diets were estimated to contain 1:1 ratio. Modern diets contain as high as a 30:1 ratio.
Peripheral nervous system
That portion of the nervous system outside the skul and spinal cord that supplies, for example, the skin, limbs, and the organs fo the abdominal cavity.
A component of the nerve cell membrane made up of two fatty acids, phosphate, and choline. ALso known as lecithin. High in eggs and soy. It is used as a supplement ina number of brain disorders.
A component of the nerve cell membrane made up of two fatty acids, phosphate, and ethanolamine.
A component of the nerve cell membrane made up of two fatty acids, phosphate, and inositol.
A component of the nerve cell membrane made up of two fatty acids, phosphate, and serine. PS has been used as a supplement in a number of brain disorders.
A chemical messenger that relaxes blood vessels and prevents platelets from sticking together excessively. Prostacyclin production is encouraged by Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, and other factors.
- Hormonlike substances that are derived from fatty acids. Some are strongly inflammatory, while others tend to be anti-inflammatory. Beyond this, they ahve many other functions in the body. The most commonly described prostaglandins include:
- PGE1, PGE2, PGE3
- Made from LA and GLA, is an anti-inflammatory
- LA-linoleic acid
- GLA-gamma-linolenic acid
- Made from AA; is a powerful inflammatory substance.
- AA-arachodonic acid
- Made from ALA; is mildly anti-inflammatory.
- ALA-alpha linolenic acid
Fat molecules that contain no double bonds. the body can easily make these so they are not dietary essential. Excess saturated fat int he diet can impair the production of neural fatty acids and therefore adversly affect the brain.
An antioxidant enzyme that neutralizes the superoxide free radical. Teh enzyme requires zinc and copper. In mitochondria, the enzyme requires manganese.
A chemical messenger that causes blood vessels to spasm and platelets to clump. It is formed fromthe fatty acid arachodonic acid.
Trans fatty acid
An unsaturated fatty acid that has been altered in way that cause a flip-flop at the position of the double bond. This changes the fatty acid fromits normal curve shapre to an arrow shape. Tehse ahrmful fats are more likely to be solid at body temperature, they change cell membrane fluidity, and have been found to enter the brain in animal studies. These undesirable fats should be avoided.
Fats that contain double bonds between their carbon atoms in one or more locations. Common dietary fats linoleic and linolenic acid contains two or three points of unsaturation, or double bonds. DHA is a highly unsaturated fatty acid containing 6 double bonds. Those with higher number of double bonds are more susceptible to damage and require greater antioxidant protection.