Tau Protein & Microtubules: A Novel Strategy for Preventing Neurodegeneration

In the last couple of years, neuroscientists have started looking at tiny components of neurons called microtubules and their role in both the progression and reversal of neurodegeneration. As Max Stock explains below, EHT is one such substance that maintains healthy neurons and helps to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

Max Stock - Nerium EHT How It Works with PP2A

What Is A Microtubule?
Microtubules are one of a few microscopic “organs” found in all our cells. Just like the name implies, they have a tiny tube structure.[1]Microtubules in neurons as information carriers

Their primary function is in the transport of proteins, however, in recent years it has been discovered that they are central to maintaining the structure and integrity of the cell. When one removes the microtubule from the cell, it dies.

Microtubules are also intricately involved in cell division; therefore without them, we would not be able to regenerate cellular tissues or grow.

Neurons have a much higher concentration of microtubules than any other cell in the body, and they are central to the way our nervous system operates, also giving neurons their distinct elongated shape and structure.

When our brains form new neural connections, little “fingers” extend out from the neuron called dendrites. On each dendrite, there are smaller protrusions known as dendritic spines. Axons (the opposite end of a neuron) connect to dendritic spines by forming synapses which is what governs our entire nervous system.

Microtubules inhabit dendrites and their spines as well as axons, coordinating movements by the way they build themselves and transport nutrients. In the dendritic side of a neuron, microtubules are far more dynamic and fast-moving, allowing for the bulk of neuroplasticity to occur.

Therefore, when microtubules start to break apart or malfunction, neurons start to fail, becoming deformed, missing synapses or dying off completely. This is largely involved in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease.

How Tau Protein Regulates Microtubules & Neurons
Microtubules transport proteins which maintain the function of cells, especially neurons. They need proteins to constantly grow, getting longer as the neuron grows and makes more connections.

One of the main proteins involved in keeping microtubules stable is Tau protein.

In neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, one of two common themes occurs that cause the disease: either plaques form due to the aggregation of Amyloid-Beta protein or neurofibrillary tangles form due to the malfunction of Tau protein.

In the latter case, when tau protein malfunctions or breaks down, the structure of the microtubules capsizes, causing the neuron to buckle in on itself and create a tangle.

These tangles act just like the solid plaques, blocking new synapses and neurons to form, eventually creating a “Swiss cheese” effect.

To keep Tau stable, another protein, PP2A, is required which can become depleted in those who are aging. Aside from these two proteins, if the balance of other proteins that microtubules need to build themselves is too high or too low, they are also prone to malfunctioning.

Ways To Preserve The Microtubules In Your Brain
To maintain healthy neurons, we need to ensure that our microtubules remain intact and do not malfunction.
1) Consuming Nerium EHT & Coffee
As explained in the above video, Tau is regulated by PP2A which keeps it as well as microtubules stable.

A natural substance found in coffee has been shown to activate PP2A and in turn, effectively maintaining the structure of microtubules and tau protein. Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide or EHT is the complicated organic molecule that does this.

You can get EHT by drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee or with the supplement Nerium EHT.

Nerium EHT was discovered by Dr. Jeff Stock in the last decade. Extracted naturally from coffee beans, this product is guaranteed to keep the structure of microtubules stable as well as producing cognitive enhancing effects.

Bear in mind that drinking too much coffee stimulates the central nervous system, releasing cortisol which is a stress hormone. Too much of this hormone can trigger inflammation and fatigue. Excessive coffee consumption also restricts nutrient uptake, which can defeat the purpose and reduce cognition in the long run.

Coffee drunk in moderation is otherwise perfectly healthy, promoting cognition and keeping your microtubules in a stable condition!

2) Increasing Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is an essential component found in various forms in all our neurons, with the highest concentration being in the brain and the gut.

Without this compound, neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, memory, cognition and just about every function of neurons would not be possible. It has also been noted that in neurological diseases, there are problems with BDNF generation in the body.[2]Brain derived neurotrophic factor: Epigenetic regulation in psychiatric disorders

BDNF indirectly stimulates microtubules to enter dendritic spines, improving neuroplasticity and overall growth and development of neurons.

There are many ways to increase the levels of BDNF in your nervous system. Stimulating the growth of new neurons by learning new things, whether physical, emotional or intellectual works, as well as eating a healthy diet.

Meditation is a powerful tool anyone can learn to promote optimal brain function, including the release of more BDNF and microtubule stability.

Exercise enhances BDNF as well as neuroplasticity, neurogenesis and overall health.

Learning to play a musical instrument is excellent for more BDNF and has been proven to also increase the size of the brain!

BDNF is composed of 50% amino acids[3]Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor and so supplementing to ensure you are getting enough amino acids in your diet is a great idea!
Chia Seeds are one of the richest sources of amino acids as well as containing healthy omega-3 fats and a good dose of protein. You only need to eat about 2 tablespoons a day. It’s best to eat them ground fine in smoothies.

Fasting is another means by which one can increase BDNF on a daily basis.

You don’t need to fast for the entire day to reap the benefits – going for extended periods of time without food is not going to do you too much good aside from detoxing.

Instead, eat your food in smaller portions at more frequent intervals and try to only eat within an 8 hour period during the day, say between 11 am and 7 pm.

For those of you who would like to try out intermittent fasting or caloric restriction, the below guides shares some useful tips on how to do it as hassle-free as possible.

Another thing to note about fasting is that one should still be drinking water!

3) Avoiding Excitotoxins
Excitotoxins stimulate our brains too much, causing our microtubules and ultimately entire neurons to burst.

One of the worst excitotoxins is called N-Methyl-D-Aspartate or NMDA, also commonly known as the sweetener aspartame. NMDA acts to replace glutamine and glutamate in neuron receptors, which were named NMDA receptors since the invention of this excitotoxin in the 50s.

These NMDA receptors govern neuroplasticity, pain perception or intensity and memory function.

When NMDA plugs up our NMDA receptors, it stimulates the receptors, which causes the cell membrane to release more potassium into the bloodstream. This ultimately causes the neuron to swell up and burst, as well as increasing pain, reducing neuroplasticity and impairing memory function.

Furthermore, it makes the blood-brain barrier more permeable, allowing for more toxins to enter and contribute to the severity of the problem[4]Glutamate Induces Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability through Activation of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors!

Research has backed this up by proving that the FDA-approved amount of aspartame destroys neurons in the brain[5]Biochemical responses and mitochondrial mediated activation of apoptosis on long-term effect of aspartame in rat brain as well as linking it with the onset of mental disorders[6]Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain.

To have good working microtubules and to prevent neurodegeneration, it’s important to avoid excitotoxins such as aspartate, aspartame and many of the E-numbers listed in processed goods in the supermarket.

4) Consume Healthy Fats & Proteins
Good microtubule function demands healthy fats and protein to function.

These fats stimulate the release of ceramides and sphingolipids in the body, which also activate PP2A[7]Long Chain Ceramides Activate Protein Phosphatase-1 and Protein Phosphatase-2A and therefore regulate tau protein and protect microtubules. Aside from this, fats are essential to preserving the myelin sheath which surrounds each neuron and increases the speed at which signals move!

Healthy fats do not include saturated or hydrogenated fats like margarine, which have long fatty acid chains, are very difficult to digest and cause problems with microtubules and neurons.

Instead, healthy fats consist of easy digestible short to medium chain fatty acids, such as omega-3 oils, coconut oil, and olive oil.

Balance is still important here. Ingesting too many fats can create an overload of sphingolipids and ceramides, leading to obesity and other problems[8]Sphingolipids in High Fat Diet and Obesity-Related Diseases. However, this is easier to achieve with saturated fats than healthy fats.

5) Eat More Wholesome Nutrition
The sphingolipids and ceramides mentioned above can also be found in both plant and animal food sources. While uptake of these nutrients is minimal, eating a healthy nutritiously balanced diet still helps us to absorb more.

Vegetables such as spinach, beetroots, sprouts and other leafy greens contain high amounts of ceramides, whereas sphingolipids are often found in animal products like dairy, eggs, and meat.

Green vegetables contain an especially high level of antioxidants. By adding this green powder into smoothies or raw food every day, you can start to boost your health.

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