For a moment, let’s imagine the skull as a castle. The system of flat outer bones mortarred together with connective tissues is just one example of the mind’s many physical defenses. The choroid plexus in the center of the brain, and arachnoid granulations hovering around the brain as a sheath make up the blood-brain-barrier (1). Zooming in to this area, there are epithelial cells along the blood capillaries that bring in the rations necessary to rebuild and maintain the brain, and while in good working order, keep out the dangerous and unnecessary contents that potentially rush through veins and capillaries during unfortunate times.
Hormones like testosterone and estrogen can pass through the blood-brain-barrier (2).
Histamines and antihistamines in the blood stream should not enter into the brain. The brain makes it’s own histamines in the hypothalamus (3). Oddly enough though, there is contradicting evidence that this does happen during clinical trials for testing medicines/suppliments (4). I’ve recently added chamomile and more mint tea to my agenda hopefully to counteract the couple cups of coffee I use to get me through the morning. One good thing is it keeps me from drinking too much coffee (which has histamines).
The human brain-brain-barrier (choloid plexus) filters in vitamins from the blood stream. The brain especially needs sugars, proteins, fats, potassium, chloroid ions, bicarbonate ions, water, and sodium (5).
Vitamin C can enter the blood-brain-barrier(6) via a glucose transport when it gives up a couple electrons, essientially becoming oxidized, to become dehydroascorbic acid (aka DHA) somewhere in the digestive process when it interacts with glucose and insulin. Once in the brain, it will be turned back into Vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid (7), but too much sugar (not enough insulin) impairs the amount of Dehydroascorbic acid that can be made (please see diagram from previous link)
Feeling depressed or having problems with inflammation? Please consider, and/or talk with your doctor, about foods and vitamins that can help heal any possible problems with the blood-brain-barrier. I found this link to have particularly helpful information for good food and vitamins and their role in helping one feel better (9). What caught my eye was that they found magnesium and B vitamins help heal a leaky blood-brain-barrier. These vitamins are some of the vitamins recommended for those recovering from alcohol dependency (10) and candida (11).
What other things do you know of that can pass through the blood-brain-barrier (more specifically the choroid plexus)?
Since I mentioned inflammation, this reminded me of a sad movie about a reporter from the New York Post: Girl With the Brain on Fire. It takes you through her story and recovery. This is the dark side of the immune system. Here is the trailer, but if you’re not ready for the suspense and drama, you probably don’t want to watch it. It’s a bit more spooky and strange seeing actual footage of her on YouTube about it.