Why You Need A Brain Detox And How To Do It

When was the last time you supported your body’s natural detox process of your brain?

At this point, pretty much everyone is familiar with the concept of “cleansing”. You eat a certain way, take specific supplements, and support the natural removal of toxins from your tissues. 

But what most people don’t think about is how to specifically target brain tissue for cleansing. You may not realize this, but your brain actually requires specific care when supporting a detox. Unlike the rest of your body, it doesn’t have lymphatic vessels running through it to remove toxic waste. 

So, how do you promote the natural detox of your brain?

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why promoting the natural detox of your brain is crucial for protecting your brain from neurological disease and for maintaining optimal brain health
  • What makes this organ unique when it comes to detox
  • The glymphatic system is the detoxification system for the brain
  • The ways you could be sabotaging brain health
  • Everything you need to know about how to support the detox of your brain

Why Detox Your Brain?

It may make sense logically that your liver and colon need to be detoxed every now and then, but most people don’t consider the importance of a brain detox. 

Although your brain isn’t in the direct line of fire when it comes to toxic exposure like other organs and systems in your body, there are a handful of toxins that have an affinity for your brain and can drastically disrupt its function. 

Of these toxins, heavy metals are by far the most pervasive. Unfortunately, millions of people around the world are walking around with toxic levels of mercury, aluminum, tin, lead, and manganese. These metals have an affinity for your brain and irritate your nervous system. They interfere with neurotransmission and brain communication and reduce signaling chemicals and neurotransmitter function — leaving your brain disorganized and fried. 

Some of the ways heavy metals impact brain function include:

Mercury

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can deposit in your pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and hippocampus, impacting memory, emotions, and thyroid function. This metal inhibits the formation of your nerve cells, decreases neurotransmitter production, and can block melatonin receptors — inhibiting your ability to get a good night’s sleep. 

High levels of mercury can cause irritability, fatigue, tremors, hearing loss, and even hallucinations in some people.

In addition to its impacts on your central nervous system, mercury also deposits in your liver and kidneys, making it even more challenging to detox this harmful compound. 

Lead

Lead is a potent neurotoxin that’s known to lower IQ in children, creates behavioral disturbances, impairs working memory, and is associated with chronic fatigue, mood issues, and brain fog.

Lead impairs your body’s ability to make heme, a vital component of your red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. When heme production is compromised, your ability to produce energy is greatly inhibited, as oxygen is crucial for the function of your mitochondria. This leaves your brain in an energy deficit which often shows up as cognitive impairment, fatigue, and brain fog. 

Furthermore, lead may affect the production of your neurotransmitters and inhibit the binding and transport of calcium, which are two processes that are vital for brain function. 

Aluminum 

Aluminum is a pervasive toxin that can be incredibly difficult to remove once it’s lodged in your brain cells. It induces oxidative stress, inflammation, and kills neurons. 

Due to its reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, aluminum causes oxidative stress in your brain, which directly impacts your mitochondria. As a result, your brain is unable to produce the energy it needs for all of its vital functions. 

Furthermore, aluminum causes something called microglial activation, which is an immune response in your brain. Activated microglial cells are a hallmark of brain disease and can lead to cognitive dysfunction and symptoms like brain fog[18]. 

Tin

Tin impacts your balance mechanisms (vestibular system) in your inner ear due to its affinity for your cerebellum.

Manganese

Manganese can build up to high levels in your body and become neurotoxic. When this happens, a syndrome called Manganism can occur, which can easily and is frequently misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. 

Environmental Toxins

In addition to heavy metals, other environmental toxins can impact the health of your brain and cause you to feel foggy, forgetful, and not like yourself. These toxins are hidden in plain sight and can be found in:

  • Smoke from cigarettes (even second-hand smoke)
  • Harsh chemicals in conventional cleaning products
  • Toxic exhaust from planes 
  • Automobile exhaust
  • Mold
  • Flame-retardants that are commonly used on furniture
  • Pesticides
  • Fresh paint
  • Alcohol
  • Additives in processed foods
  • Non-organic animal products
  • Artificial colors or flavors
  • Artificial sweeteners like Sweet N’ Low, Splenda, and Nutrasweet (aspartame)
  • Makeup (many lipsticks contain lead)

All of these toxins can directly impact brain health and function, which is why in addition to doing a liver cleanse regularly, you must also be sure to detox your brain. 

So, how do you support the safe and natural detox of your brain? That’s where the glymphatic system comes in. 

What Is the Glymphatic System?

You may be familiar with your lymphatic system, the network of vessels that move a fluid called lymph throughout your body to support immunity and detox. While your lymphatic system flows to almost every area in your body, it misses your central nervous system (CNS). 

This is where your glymphatic system comes in. The glymphatic system acts similarly to your lymphatic system, except its primary function is to clear waste from your CNS. In doing so, it effectively removes soluble proteins and metabolites from your brain and spinal cord.

Your glymphatic system also facilitates the brain-wide distribution of several compounds, including glucose, lipids, amino acids, growth factors, and neuromodulators[1].

Interestingly, research shows that your glymphatic system is primarily active while you sleep and is most disengaged while you’re awake. This gives insight into one of the reasons that getting enough sleep is so crucial to cognitive function.

What Happens When Your Glymphatic System Is Overwhelmed Or Unable To Function?

The discovery of your glymphatic system is relatively new, and scientists still have a lot to learn about this toxin-removal system. However, there’s some research that links glymphatic system dysfunction with neurological disorders. 

It’s hypothesized that this system’s breakdown could underlie the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease due to the accumulation of misfolded proteins that occur in the brain[2].  

One underlying issue that can mess the proper function of your glymphatic system is sleep deprivation. Since this system is primarily engaged while you sleep, it could cause a backup in your ability to process proteins and metabolites if you consistently miss a good night of sleep[3].

This may explain why many people feel anxious, foggy, depressed, and unable to concentrate after a restless night’s sleep. 

Factors That Could Be Inhibiting Proper Glymph and Brain Function

Aside from improper sleep, anything that causes too much stress on your body may disrupt the flow of your for glymphatic system.

Some examples of toxic inputs that could overwhelm your ability to detoxify include:

  • Highly processed food
  • Medications
  • Environmental pollutants, including heavy metals
  • Air pollution/ environmental pollution
  • Alcohol
  • Toxic beauty products
  • Unfiltered water

While all these external factors can add up, there is another potential threat to your glymphatic system that’s internally generated — stress. 

Research shows that psychological or emotional stress can interfere with and suppress your glymphatic flow[4]. This means that to boost your brain detox, you have to watch what goes into your body, along with what’s happening in your mind.

How To Maintain Brain Health and Support a Brain Detox

A brain detox is slightly different from a liver detox, but many of the same rules apply. Support your body, and in turn, you’ll be supporting your detoxification processes. The ultimate goal is to enhance your ability to detox, while simultaneously giving your body the nutrients it needs to naturally remove the toxins that accumulate in your brain. 

Below are five key steps to take in order to support your brain in removing contaminants.

Top 5 Tips For A Healthier Brain

#1 Support Your Mitochondria

Your brain is a very energy-expensive organ. In fact, it uses about 20% of the energy you produce. The problem is when you have a toxic brain, your ability to utilize that energy becomes impaired, and symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, memory loss, and confusion can result[4]. 

This is where your mitochondria come in.

Mitochondria are tiny organelles that are known as the “powerhouse” of your cells. It’s within your mitochondria that all energy production takes place. When your mitochondria are working properly, the food you eat seamlessly becomes the energy that fuels your body throughout the day. 

However, when mitochondria are impaired, the energy your body and brain need in order to keep humming along gets cut off, and you end up in a slump[5]. 

As previously mentioned, several toxins have an affinity for your brain. When these toxins enter your brain, your mitochondria are often targeted and destroyed. This is what leads to the physical and mental fatigue that comes with a toxic brain. 

Supporting your mitochondria and helping them detox can combat some of the detrimental effects of toxins that enter your brain and recharge your mitochondria so they can once again produce an uninhibited flow of energy. 

Over the years, I’ve seen so many clients with impaired mitochondria and fatigue that I created a specific program to assist in mitochondria detox. My Mitochondria Detox Kit includes supplements that support:

  • The removal of pollutants that target your mitochondria. 
  • Reparation of mitochondrial damage.
  • Targeting root cause of mitochondria dysfunction. 
  • Restoration of cellular energy.
  • Overall cellular function for resilience and wellbeing.

#2 Target Heavy Metal Pollutants 

Of all the environmental pollutants out there, none seem to be quite as insidious as heavy metals. To make matters worse, heavy metals have a strong affinity for your brain. In fact, they are the worst offenders when it comes to mitochondrial dysfunction. 

Due to the nature of heavy metals, the best thing you can do for your health is to protect your body from absorbing environmental pollutants that we are frequently exposed to.

Of course, after possibly years of toxic exposure, it is always beneficial to take steps to support your body’s natural detox mechanisms and to facilitate the safe excretion of these toxic impurities.

Due to the way that metals can lodge into your tissues, supporting their extraction takes a targeted approach that can only be accomplished if you know exactly how to support your body’s natural detoxification process. 

As previously mentioned, the heavy metals aluminum, tin, mercury, lead, and manganese-all have an affinity for your brain tissue. Furthermore, thallium, which is released into our environment from smog and combustion engines, and cesium, which is being unleashed into our environment from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, both directly target your mitochondria[6][7][8]. 

Protecting your brain from these heavy metals is one of the most powerful things you can do for brain and mitochondria function. 

Luckily, mother nature has provided us with nutrients that allow your body to naturally boost its defenses against these toxins, as well as support their removal in a way that is safe and effective. 

Silica, a mineral that’s found in small amounts in the diet, can specifically bind to environmental pollutants and support the body’s natural removal of them from your tissues[9]. But binding to toxic contaminants is often only the first step in your body’s removal of them from your body

In addition to minerals like silica, you must also include nutrients that can naturally mobilize and support the excretion of the contaminants affecting your health. 

This three-step process is the key to ridding your body of environmental pollutants like heavy metals completely instead of mobilizing or liberating them only to re-lodge back into your tissues. 

In the mineralization step, you flood your body with minerals that push out stubborn impurities that are trapped in your tissues. Fulvic and humic acid are powerful mineralizing agents. 

During the mobilizing step, you pull those impurities out of your tissues and into your circulation, where they can be shuttled to your liver for removal, naturally. Cilantro extract is an excellent agent for mobilization. 

And finally, the binding process involves catching all those liberated toxins and escorting them out of your body via the urine. Silica, along with grapefruit pectin, are two amazing binders for such contaminants. 

The two supplements included in my Mitochondria Detox Kit supports your body’s natural ability to mobilize intruders, bind and keep them from being absorbed by your system, and directs your cells to repair themselves normally.

  • CitriCleanse includes fulvic and humic acid, cilantro extract, and grapefruit pectin to provide all the nutrients needed to support the three-step environmental pollutant detoxification process. Specifically, the grapefruit citrus pectin in CitriCleanse is amazingly effective at aiding your body’s innate ability to mobilize and excrete impurities. 
  • Ageless AF is formulated with a potent form of silica that is incredibly effective for supporting your body’s natural ability to keep the body’s toxic metal burden low. Ageless AF is gentle on the system and works to keep a range of trivalentmetals – including thallium, aluminium, arsenic, bismuth, tin and cesium  – out of the body so that you can maintain normal health – as well as support your mitochondrial and brain health.

#3 Support a Healthy Inflammatory Response

Inflammation can negatively impact every system in your body, and your brain is no exception. 

In fact, inflammation in the brain has been suggested as one of the primary contributors to mental health issues like anxiety and depression and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s[10][11][12]. 

But how do you control inflammation in the brain? 

Interestingly, the answer lies in your gut. Your gut and your brain are in constant communication, and the health of one directly impacts the health of the other. This concept, known as the gut-brain axis, helps us understand why you feel butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous and why when your digestion is off, it’s often accompanied by brain fog or an inability to concentrate[13]. 

One of the most powerful ways you can control inflammation in both your brain and your gut is by consuming an anti-inflammatory diet. When you consume foods that are rich in nutrients and low in inflammatory compounds, you nourish your gut while simultaneously reducing inflammatory signals to your brain.

An anti-inflammatory diet looks like:

  • Avoiding highly processed packaged foods 
  • Avoiding refined grains and sugar
  • Avoiding artificial flavors, colors, etc.
  • Consuming fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Consuming high-quality animal products like 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and organic eggs
  • Consuming non-refined whole grains and beans 

Some all-star anti-inflammatory foods and spices include[14][15]:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger 
  • Garlic
  • Coriander
  • Onion
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fatty fish 
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

Including more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet while reducing your intake of pro-inflammatory foods can make a significant difference in how you look and how you feel. 

For many people, it can be quite challenging to get enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to combat the inflammatory nature of the world around us today. That’s why I created Daily Detox, which includes many of the superfoods listed above like turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, and onion — to name a few. 

In addition to an anti-inflammatory diet that supports gut health and healing, taking Daily Detox can powerfully boost your natural defenses and help support a healthy inflammatory response.* 

#4 Support Your Liver

At the end of the day, all detoxification pathways lead back to your liver. This means if your liver is sluggish, you won’t be able to carry out proper detoxification in any of your tissues. 

Unfortunately, our world today is more toxic than it’s ever been, with environmental and chemical toxins leaching into almost everything we come into contact with — food, water, beauty products, and even the air we breathe. 

That’s why liver support is crucial if you want to give your body a fighting chance at detoxifying. 

I recommend Daily Detox as a nutritional supplement to take every day for this exact reason. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere and grow your own food, your daily toxic load is likely more than your liver was meant to handle. 

Daily Detox not only includes herbs and foods that support a healthy inflammatory response, but it’s tailor-made to enhance liver function, combat oxidative stress, support metabolism, and upregulate your immune pathways.

#5 Manage Stress

With chronic stress acting as an inhibitor for glymphatic flow, managing stress is vital if you want to support brain detox[16].

There are many different stress-reduction techniques out there, and it really doesn’t matter which one you choose — as long as it works for you. Some of my favorites include:

  • Exercise — Exercise provides an excellent way to reduce stress while simultaneously supporting glymphatic flow. 
  • Journaling — When you write down whatever it is that is bothering you, it can take your troubles right out of your head and transfer them to the paper. It’s much easier to loop on uncomfortable or negative thoughts when they’re swimming around in your mind. By journaling, you give your thoughts a voice, and often you’ll find a solution emerges. 
  • Meditation — Practicing meditation gives your mind a chance to objectify whatever it is that you’re going through. When you can calm your mind through meditation, the big things look much smaller, and it often paves the way for clarity. 
  • Breathwork — Breathwork has been used for thousands of years as a way to calm and balance both the body and mind. Whether you’re focusing on your breath as a meditation technique or moving your breath to move energy, harnessing the power of the breath can create significant shifts in your wellbeing. 

Takeaway

If you’ve been feeling foggy-headed, unable to concentrate, less sharp, or are generally just looking for a way to support your brain health, it may be time for a brain detox. 

Just like a liver detox, to enhance brain detoxification, you must support the pathways in your body that allow for the removal of toxic insults. For your brain, heavy metals are the biggest offenders. And when it comes to targeted brain detox, your mitochondria require the most support. 

Keep your detox pathways flowing with Daily Detox, and enhance the health and function of your mitochondria with the Mitochondria Detox Kit, which will support the body’s natural excretion of the pollutants  from your system for good. 

*These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA. The Mitochondria Detox Protocol, nor any supplements discussed in this article – including Daily Detox, Ageless AF, and CitriCleanse – are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The supplements in the Mitochondria Detox Protocol are not intended to replace any medication or healing modality prescribed by your medical doctor. Please consult with your doctor before beginning a new supplement regimen.

Click Here for References+

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  2. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/nedergaard/projects/glymphatic-system.aspx

  3. Hauglund, Natalie L., Chiara Pavan, and Maiken Nedergaard. “Cleaning the sleeping brain–the potential restorative function of the glymphatic system.” Current Opinion in Physiology 15 (2020): 1-6.

  4. Raichle, Marcus E., and Debra A. Gusnard. “Appraising the brain’s energy budget.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99.16 (2002): 10237-10239.

  5. Nicolson, Garth L. “Mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic disease: treatment with natural supplements.” Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal 13.4 (2014): 35..

  6. Belyaeva, Elena A., et al. “Mitochondrial electron transport chain in heavy metal-induced neurotoxicity: effects of cadmium, mercury, and copper.” The Scientific World Journal 2012 (2012).

  7. Sanial, Virginie, et al. “Unexpected source of Fukushima-derived radiocesium to the coastal ocean of Japan.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.42 (2017): 11092-11096.

  8. Bramanti, Emilia, Massimo Onor, and Laura Colombaioni. “Neurotoxicity induced by low thallium doses in living hippocampal neurons: evidence of early onset mitochondrial dysfunction and correlation with ethanol production.” ACS chemical neuroscience 10.1 (2018): 451-459.

  9. Yantasee, Wassana, et al. “Functionalized nanoporous silica for the removal of heavy metals from biological systems: adsorption and application.” ACS applied materials & interfaces 2.10 (2010): 2749-2758.

  10. Zhang, Jingzhu, et al. “Intermittent fasting protects against alzheimer’s disease possible through restoring aquaporin-4 polarity.” Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 10 (2017): 395.

  11. Lee, Chieh-Hsin, and Fabrizio Giuliani. “The role of inflammation in depression and fatigue.” Frontiers in immunology 10 (2019): 1696.

  12. Felger, Jennifer C. “Imaging the role of inflammation in mood and anxiety-related disorders.” Current neuropharmacology 16.5 (2018): 533-558.

  13. Wee Yong, V. “Inflammation in neurological disorders: a help or a hindrance?.” The Neuroscientist 16.4 (2010): 408-420.

  14. Carabotti, Marilia, et al. “The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems.” Annals of gastroenterology: quarterly publication of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology 28.2 (2015): 203.

  15. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

  16. Kunnumakkara, Ajaikumar B., et al. “Chronic diseases, inflammation, and spices: how are they linked?.” Journal of translational medicine 16.1 (2018): 14.

  17. Wei, Fang, et al. “Chronic stress impairs the aquaporin-4-mediated glymphatic transport through glucocorticoid signaling.” Psychopharmacology 236.4 (2019): 1367-1384.

  18. Thameem Dheen, S., Charanjit Kaur, and Eng-Ang Ling. “Microglial activation and its implications in the brain diseases.” Current medicinal chemistry 14.11 (2007): 1189-1197.

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Wendy Myers, FDN-P, is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of Myersdetox.com. She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!