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The Role of Cellular Nutrition in Spiritual-Based Counseling and Related Therapies (A Simplified Overview)

The human mind and body were designed by God to work in the most amazing ways, complete with their own incredible defense and repair systems. Most of the body’s systems are electrochemical in nature. The basic building block of the body, including its tissues and organs, is the human cell.  Immunologists and microbiologists (e.g. Dr. Myron Wentz) have repeatedly demonstrated that by protecting our cells from toxins, radiation, and physical insults, while providing complete and balanced nutrients, we can maintain healthy cells in the laboratory almost indefinitely.

But in today’s environment, with the poor lifestyles that are all too common, the pain, suffering, and lack of peak performance is obvious.

Because the human brain is so instrumental in directing our daily behaviors, it is critical that we try to maintain its health. In fact, “Maintain Your Brain” is the theme of the latest program from the National Alzheimer’s Association. The brain scans below should clearly make the point.  The difference between most neurological abnormalities (e.g. chronic depression, AD/HD, Alzheimer’s Dementia, etc.) and a “normal” brain is brain chemistry. This chemistry also impacts the entire electrical system.

On Left, an adult free of disease. On Right, an adult with AD/HD. Source: Nat’l. Inst. of Health

Most of our health and performance issues begin to become more evident as we age. A great deal of this is related to our greatly reduced rate of nutrient absorption with age.

Additionally, our cardiovascular system is normally stressed from years of abuse. “By age 20, the majority of people have a 15-25% narrowing of their arteries due to plaque formation. By age 40, most people have a 30-50% closing off of their arteries.*

Therefore, not only are the inadequate nutrients that we consume unable to adequately be absorbed, but those that find their way into the blood stream, have a very difficult time getting through our “clogged pipes”.  This concept also applies to oxygen, a key component to all cells, especially the brain.

To cite just one recent research report (out of thousands), it has been learned though NIH sponsored brain imaging studies that clinically depressed patients usually have significant brain shrinkage.  This is also linked to reduced phospholipid activity.  Amazingly, it was learned that if omega-3 fatty acid with a significant amount of EPA was ingested @ of about 1 gm/day of EPA, the brain soon returned to its healthy size, and the phospholipids activity resumed as well.  Even more significantly, the symptoms of depression were substantially reduced at the same time that the brain chemistry changed.  This same report also highlighted the need for optimal levels of full-spectrum nutritional supplements, including antioxidants and minerals, in order for omega-3’s to be fully effective.

In conclusion, if we want our efforts to be most effective in reaching people via our counseling or a host of other intervention strategies, it may be imperative that we help them optimize the health of their brains.  Science has clearly shown us how this can be done.  The use of high quality, balanced, broad-spectrum antioxidants, minerals, and essential fatty acids can greatly improve G.I. tract absorption, cardiovascular transport to the brain, including oxygen flow, an improved “exhaust system” for metabolic waste, and improved physical and mental function.

Cellular nutrition is most effective when combined with the three other types of lifestyle changes: spiritual health, modest but regular exercise, and informed dietary choices that do not spike our blood sugar.  Of additional extreme significance, and thus noted here, is a need to reduce our consumption of trans fats, saturated fats, and omega-6 essential fatty acids while increasing our consumption of omega-3 EFA’s. ** The ratio of 6 to 3’s in our culture is about 20 to 1.  Most experts agree that it should be closer to 2:1 .  This is critical for proper brain function.

To learn more about the “AMA’s Recommendations”, “RDA’s vs. Optimal Nutrition”, and “What to Look for When Shopping for Supplements”, visit AMA Speaks Out and follow prompts.

* Ladd R. McNamara, M.D., Cholesterol Conspiracy, OrthoMolecular Med, Inc 2004

**Janelle L. Cooper, M.D., Dietary Lipids in the Aetiology of Alzheimer’s Disease, Adis Data Information BV, 2003

***Biomed Central, Lipids in Health Dis. 2004; 3:25, November 2004

 Copyright 2006 Medical Research Education Assocates LLC