A recent medical study came out looking at the natural supplement N-Acetylcysteine (NAC for short) in healing the brain after trauma…
…with fantastic results.
NAC is a potent brain antioxidant and protector — found essential in the healing of the brain after impact injury (such as concussion) so researchers wanted to investigate if this supplement could actually help heal the brain after different types of mental injury as well… such as PTSD and addiction.
It’s not often that a holistic supplement is studied this extensively and found to have such robust positive outcomes, yet it’s not something that I’ve heard a lot about in mainstream medicine.
So today, let me highlight 3 key medical studies that show just how powerfully healing it can be to take an NAC supplement for brain health:
1. Healing PTSD
The Study (published in the Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry, Nov 2016):
- Researchers enrolled 35 Veterans with PTSD and substance use disorders in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of NAC supplementation
- Patients received either 2,400 mg of NAC or placebo daily for 8 weeks, all patients received cognitive behavioral therapy as well.
- The severity of PTSD symptoms improved significantly with use of NAC over placebo (32% improvement, only 3% improvement with placebo and cognitive behavioral therapy alone.)
- Drug cravings also significantly improved with use of NAC over placebo (81% decrease in mean drug cravings with NAC, 32% decrease with placebo and therapy alone.)
- The nucleus accumbens region of the brain, an area affected in both PTSD and substance abuse disorders, is rich with glutamate synapses.
- NAC increases the amount of glutamate in the nucleus accumbens region and has previously been show helpful in the treatment of cocaine, tobacco and marijuana addictions.
And now we know… even PTSD can be significantly helped with NAC supplementation, even in the face of substance abuse disorders.
2. Treating OCD
Another recent study showed that NAC supplementation is useful in treating even moderate-to-severe obsessive compulsive disorder.
In this study, published in the Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry in April 2016, researchers created a double-blind, placebo study that enrolled 44 patients with moderate-to-severe obsessive compulsive disorder and treated half with 2,000 mg of NAC (or a placebo) for 10 weeks.
Compared to placebo, NAC significantly improved scores on two independent Obsessive-Compulsive scales. NAC significantly reduced obsessive and compulsive behaviors, including decreasing hair pulling and skin picking forms of OCD.
3. Smoking cessation
NAC was studied for its role in helping smokers who have been resistant to other forms of therapy, quit smoking.
Researches enrolled 34 patients in a randomized, double-blind placebo study. Half received 3,000 mg of NAC daily (1,500 mg in the morning and 1,500 mg in the afternoon) and half received placebo. All patients received behavioral therapy targeted at smoking cessation.
More than twice as many patients taking the NAC supplement were able to quit smoking entirely, when compared the the placebo group. Almost half of the smokers on NAC were able to completely quit smoking (47%) compared to only 21% of the patients who received the placebo along with therapy.
So the Bottom Line:
Supporting the brain with NAC supplementation helps heal everything from physical injury to traumatic experiences leading to PTSD to addiction disorders… even severe OCD and die-hard cigarette smokers.
You all know that mental health is rooted in the physical, right?
It’s not just *in your head* but a physical change in the brain that is causing that craving, or that urge to wash your hands or pick at your skin, or the impulse to reach for that next cigarette, that created that post-traumatic nightmare that you had, or causes you to startle easily, or to get that next panic attack.
Trauma and stressful life events literally change our brain chemistry and change our brain functioning.
Through the use of NAC, we can help heal the trauma and release the subsequent behaviors that keep us feeling trapped in mental illness or addiction.
The key is, not to ignore stress and trauma.
It’s 100% TOTALLY NORMAL to have brain changes in relation to having experienced life changing events.
It shows that you are aware, open, experiencing life and responding to it.
Your brain is ever evolving, ever-changing, ever adapting.
Some of the adaptations show up in the form of seeking relief from the stress… in the form of PTSD response patterns, cravings and addictions, and self soothing behaviors.
These brain changes are all unhealthy adaptations to unhealthy stressful life experiences that you’ve had to go through.
And they can all be helped. You don’t have to suffer. You absolutely can heal.
And new research is showing that even if you do not have overt psychiatric signs and symptoms after big life transitions, even just experiencing the stressful event at all — no matter how well you feel you coped with it — affects your brain: stress is linked to a higher risk of dementia.
In other words — stress on the brain has long term effects, not just the immediate effects such as PTSD or substance addictions. Long term effects like memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimers… showing up decades later.
A recent study estimated that each stressful life event you experience declines your cognitive function equivalent to about 1 to 4 years of aging.
Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on July 16, 2017, the study looked at over 1,300 healthy adults and were assessed for 27 different lifetime stressful events (such as divorce, death, illness, bankruptcy, job loss, childhood trauma, war combat, physical assault, sexual assault, and many other universally stressful life events.).
Every two years, researchers had these patients return for six domains of cognitive function to be analyzed and documented.
Over time, results showed that patients with larger numbers of lifetime stressful events had worsening brain function later in life, with decreased thinking speed and decreased mental flexibility.
Another study presented at the same conference showed data revealing that depression is linked to Alzheimer risk as well. In this study, over 800 participants were followed for 25 years to see if there was a correlation between depression diagnosis early in life and an Alzheimers diagnosis later in life.
Researchers found that experiencing even a mild depression almost doubled the risk of Alzheimers later in life. And having severe depression made that diagnosis much more common — tripling diagnosis rates.
Here’s the important part:
While you can’t prevent traumatic life events from happening to you, you absolutely 100% can minimize the impact it has on your brain and on your future cognitive ability.
One thing you can do?
Take NAC supplements for a few months after traumatic or stressful events.
Another thing you can do?
Realize that disease is simply the effect of stress being released through your body’s cells, tissues and organ systems.
That is all that disease really is!
From a tension headache to a PTSD response to full blown dementia… the body has these physical responses because it is being affected by, and trying to process and release, STRESS.
If we can relax into allowing the stress to move through us, and off gas… we can mitigate so much of the resultant changes stress has on our body.
If you get tension headaches, if you suffer from addictions, if you tend to have OCD, or depression, or even just a family history of dementia that you would like to buffer yourself from as much as possible…
…one of the best things you can do is to get into the habit of addressing and releasing stress instead of resisting it or fighting it.
To me, all of the issues we’ve been addressing today are related to the Third Eye Chakra and are proof that the amount of energy that flows through the third eye (in the middle of your brain!) and the way you handle third eye chakra overwhelm affects the health of your brain.
I would love nothing more than to walk you through how to have a healthy third eye that is resilient to stress and long term brain changes.
Join in my upcoming Chakra Healing Class right now (spaces are limited as the class is very personalized!) and together we can go through every single chakra level and make sure your are open, off gassing, and healthy so that you can face whatever life challenges and stressful events come your way with resiliency and balance.
I have seen clearly through my past 17 years of practice as a physician that disease is a manifestation of our life experiences… and how we process and heal from the energetic insults that bombard us each day matters.
Stress. Trauma. Depression. Anxiety.
These are states of the body and mind that have long term physical effects on us.
Energy and experiences are one and the same as tissue damage and disease burden. There is nothing that is purely physical, there is nothing that is purely energetic. Rather, our energetic experiences literally change our physical body.
Looking at the energetic health of our body is one way to stay on top of the physical effects stress can bring. This is why to me, looking at the intuitive and energetic states of the body is as important to me as a physician and a healer as looking at lab findings and a physical exam.
I believe they are both so interrelated that we can not, and should not, separate our energetic burdens from our physical ones.
That is why I have spent years creating my Chakra Healing Class — this is the most intensive of all of the health classes I lead.
This one course covers our entire body, from head to toe, on an energetic level.
There is absolutely no health topic that can’t be addressed in this class.
Each week we have a live Q&A phone call where I answer every single one of your health questions from both an energetic health and a physical health angle.
Join me to reserve your spot today… I can’t wait to get started with you!
Class begins in just a few weeks…