Nutritionally Controlling the Autonomic Nervous System by Pat Davidson

INTRODUCTION

What Should I Eat? Nutrition, the Autonomic Nervous System and Health
Avoid hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated and trans fats and get plenty of omega-3 and some omega-6 fatty acids. The pathophysiology and treatment of sepsis. Compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome. How many of these people ever really trace their recommendations all the way down to the most fundamental levels of anatomy and physiology though? What you eat can have a dramatic impact on the balance and function of the sympathetic SNS and parasympathetic PNS nervous systems.

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The book is written in an easy to understand way and is well-researched and documented. I cannot say enough about it. I finally understand why my autonomic nervous system has functioned the way it does and how I can compensate for some undesirable aspects of it. He was my Physician for over 20 years. Miss him a lot. Glad that this book is available it has a wealth of information in it. Thanks Nick for still helping us and I will see you soon tell JC I said hi and can't wait for his soon return See all 44 reviews.

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Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. Some individual items in your diet can affect the SNS. Caffeine is a well-known and readily available legal stimulant that activates the SNS and increases blood pressure. Alcohol increases SNS activity. Study participants responded to the alcohol with several signs of increased SNS activation including an increase in blood pressure.

Researchers reported sympathetic activity nearly doubled after participants received the alcohol infusion. Obese study participants who ate the capsaicin meal had significantly lower sympathetic responsiveness than participants who were not obese. Symptoms of an overactive SNS, according to Dr. Wilson, include excess sweating, high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure and more frequent bowel movements. You may tend to be more outgoing, aggressive or even belligerent.

You may also be prone to anxiety, irritability and nervousness or have an overactive thyroid gland. Another important pathway in the anti-inflammatory response is triggered by the catabolism of heme by the enzyme heme-oxygenase 1. This results in induction of biliverdin which has been shown to protect against polymicrobial sepsis in cecal ligation and puncture[ 24 ]. Furthermore, carbon monoxide is formed which has been shown to ameliorate development of postoperative ileus via reduction of the inflammatory response and induction of IL[ 25 ].

To prevent an exaggerated inflammatory response several control systems are activated at all levels. CARS was at first considered to be a global deactivation of the immune system following systemic inflammatory response syndrome. However, new insights suggest that it is rather a reprogramming of leucocytes leading to a compartmentalized control to prevent excessive inflammation upon infection and injury[ 26 ].

Changes or defects in certain components of the intestinal barrier may lead to activation of the inflammatory system potentially leading to known gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease[ 27 ]. The intestinal cells are bound together with several protein complexes including occluding, claudin and zonula occludens proteins, also called tight-junctions[ 30 ]. Breakdown of this barrier potentially leads to the translocation of luminal antigens, bacteria and their toxic products into the circulation[ 31 , 32 ].

In the case of transmural damage to all intestinal layers mucosa, submucosa, muscularis and serosa luminal content may pass into the abdominal cavity leading to detrimental effects as sepsis. The immunological barrier is formed by enterocytes that are considered to actively participate as innate immune sensors of microbial pathogens and commensal organisms.

Host recognition of microbial components is achieved by pattern recognition receptors, like the cytoplasmic NOD-like receptors and membrane-bound TLRs. Crypt Paneth cells secrete defensins e. It has also been shown that Paneth cells are equipped with the proper molecules to recognize and signal endotoxin, the major component of Gram-negative bacteria[ 34 ].

Goblet cells secrete mucus composed of glycoproteins and water providing a filter overlying the intestinal epithelium and secrete trefoil peptides; small proteins needed for epithelial growth and repair. Gut-associated lymphoid tissue is present in the lamina propria and provides immune surveillance. Finally, sampling of luminal antigens occurs by M-cells and dendritic cells, which present antigens to T and B cells, thereby inducing the acquired immune system.

This response includes secretion of large amounts of IgA by plasma cells. This secretory IgA covers the mucosal surface and has a major role in excluding antigen from passing the epithelium[ 35 ]. Interestingly, the process of digestion and metabolism of nutrients requires a physiological breach of the intestinal barrier, without noticeable activation of the immune response.

This relative hyporesponsiveness to luminal contents during the process of food uptake is not fully understood. The autonomic nervous system may be important in regulation of this process. Excessive release of inflammatory mediators following activation of inflammatory cells by bacterial products is amongst other pathways controlled by the central nervous system. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal signalling pathway is activated causing an instantaneous release of serum corticosteroids that leads to inhibition of excessive inflammation.

In addition to this afferent or sensory function during inflammation, the efferent vagal system is also involved in regulation of the inflammatory response[ 36 ]. Previous studies have shown that stimulation of efferent vagal fibres increases release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter of the vagus nerve.

Stimulation of this neural feedback loop is efficient in reducing the inflammatory response in several experimental models. Direct electrical stimulation or pharmacological stimulation of nicotinic receptors via agents such as CNI significantly reduces the systemic inflammatory response to endotoxic shock[ 40 ].

Furthermore, activation of this neural anti-inflammatory pathway, the so-called cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway reduces the inflammatory response and its sequelae during septic peritonitis and following hemorrhagic shock[ 11 ]. Interestingly, recent evidence indicates that vagus nerve signalling has a dual effect in macrophages.

Besides inhibiting cytokine secretion, the cholinergic nervous system also enhances endocytosis and phagocytosis of bacteria by macrophages[ 41 ]. The spleen has also been implicated in the anti-inflammatory cholinergic pathway; however the underlying mode of action at this stage is elusive. The vagus nerve conveys signals from the brain to the immune cells residing in the spleen via the celiac-superior mesenteric plexus ganglia and the splenic nerve[ 42 ].

Ingestion of dietary lipids, proteins and peptides triggers release of cholecystokinin CCK [ 43 ]. Subsequently the efferent vagal pathway is activated resulting in release of acetylcholine. Such a nutritional intervention with dietary fat has been proven to be very efficient in reducing the systemic inflammatory response, ameliorate tissue damage and preserve intestinal barrier function[ 13 - 15 ].

Interestingly, the protective effects of dietary lipids were shown to be efficient when given before an inflammatory trigger. Even when the nutritional intervention is started after the inciting event it still is effective[ 45 ]. This is especially of interest in acute clinical settings such as trauma in which changes in intestinal barrier integrity are clinically important and may be related to associated complications[ 46 ].

The fact that such a negative feedback mechanism exists seems logical and functional during feeding. During digestion and absorption of vital nutrients, a fierce immune response to temporally present bacterial toxins, antigens and destructive endogenous lysozymes accompanying nutrition needs to be avoided. Next to the dampening effect of lipid enriched nutrition on the inflammatory response, intestinal barrier integrity is also preserved in various experimental models.

This beneficial effect on gut barrier integrity may be explained twofold. First of all, release of acetylcholine can prevent intestinal damage via a decreased release of inflammatory cytokines.

Interestingly, lipid rich nutrition preserves intestinal barrier function early on, suggesting that local inflammation may be of importance[ 49 ]. Another route may be through enteric glia cells since ablation of these enteric glia cells has been shown to directly affect gut barrier function and may result in inflammation[ 50 ]. The effects of lipid rich nutrition on these cells however needs to be further investigated. Stimulation of the autonomic nervous system may be useful as a therapeutic target in acute inflammatory based conditions.

There have been many experimental studies showing a beneficial effect of electrical or pharmacological stimulation of the autonomic nervous system. However, general activation of nicotinic receptors may also have a wide scope of unwanted effects on other cells or cell systems besides inflammatory cells, which have yet to be determined.

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