Brain Fog And Oxidative Stress: The Main Cause

by Nov 7, 2022Mental Health0 comments

Brain fog is probably the most common type of cognitive impairment. We can define it as a form of mild cognitive impairment. Many see it as just a lack of focus from external stressors. But, there’s an interesting link between brain fog and oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is the production of free radicals in the brain. It’s a natural process. And, it plays a role in regulating neurotransmitter response. The problem comes when we produce excessive reactive oxidative species (ROS).

But, how does this process result in brain fog? And, what can you do about it? Let’s find out.

Brain fog and oxidative stress: One of the primary causes

Brain fog has a plethora of causes. However, the first one highlights the link between brain fog and oxidative stress. The latter comes from excessive ROS production and poor antioxidative responses.

Regardless of the condition, the result is the same. Oxidative stress causes cellular chaos. That can result in cell death and permanent tissue damage. ROS comes from external stressors: diet, smoking, lifestyle, work, and sleep.

The conditions resulting from oxidative stress affect our brains directly. Targeted areas include the brain cortex and the hippocampus. They’re vital structures for the memory network.

Combating oxidative stress to improve cognitive performance

As Entrepreneur explains, cognitive performance decreases with brain fog and stress. That’s because of oxidative stress’ action.

The free radicals released are useful for fighting off toxins. But, our bodies need a balance between them and antioxidants. If that’s not the case, free radicals can damage our DNA and more. That causes brain fog—among other symptoms, like headaches and fatigue.

That means that combating oxidative stress can improve cognitive performance directly. This is why you feel energized and more focused after a good night’s sleep. The same goes for maintaining healthy habits, a good diet, and meditation.

The toxic relationship between the brain and oxygen

Brain fog and oxidative stress stem from the dynamic between the brain and oxygen. In this study, the authors go through the “lethal dance to death” between the two.

Basically, our brains consume around 20% of our basal oxygen budget. It’s necessary to maintain billions of neurons and complex networks. In other words, the brain needs to breathe when thinking. That’s why oxygen deprivation can lead to passing out—and even death.

Thus, oxygen is vital for brain health. But, it’s also toxic.

Oxygen gives rise to free radicals and non-radicals. These reactive oxygen species (ROS) sensitize the brain to oxidative stress. Yet, some of them are also responsible for regulating and maintaining neural progenitors. In fact, some are beneficial to learning and memory.

In other words, our brain and oxygen keep a delicate but vital balance. When that’s disturbed, the result is oxidative stress. Consequentially, that translates into cognitive impairment.

Brain fog and oxidative stress as a result of severe stress

In this review, we can learn more about oxidative stress’ evolutionary role. Increasing evidence suggests that ROS is responsible for neurotransmission regulation. It could play an important role in our “fight or flight” response.

That would explain oxidative stress’ cognitive consequences. Our bodies need excitatory neurotransmission to resolve stressful situations. ROS generation enhances such responses.

As such, it’s useful for short-lasting stress. But, chronic stress turns the tide. It results in the excessive release of excitatory neurotransmitters. In turn, that leads to exaggerated neurophysiological responses.

The holistic takeaway

brain fog and oxidative stress, girl biting a pencil while watching the laptop

Brain fog and oxidative stress may be an evolutionary trait. More studies suggest that ROS can benefit us in stressful situations. Yet, chronic stress and imbalance between ROS and antioxidants create problems.

That’s avoiding excessive stress is the best strategy. Stress can come from many sources: work, life, responsibilities, and more. Regardless of the source, the result is oxidative stress. So, a lifestyle approach is vital.

Of course, you can also tip the ROS-antioxidant balance in your favor. That’s why I recommend ProMind Complex as a supplement. It provides the antioxidants you need to fend off oxidative stress.

To learn why it works, check out my review!

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