Nervous System and Brain Function

The nervous system is the body’s communication network, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that reach every part of the body. It plays a crucial role in coordinating and integrating the body’s functions, receiving and processing sensory information, and initiating actions in response to stimuli. The brain is often referred to as the control center of the nervous system and is responsible for processing and integrating information from the senses, controlling movement and coordination, and regulating bodily functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.


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Basics of the Nervous System

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit messages between neurons and other cells in the body. They are produced by neurons and released into the synapses, or gaps between neurons, where they bind to receptors on other cells and transmit the signal to the next neuron or target cell. Different neurotransmitters are responsible for distinct functions, such as controlling mood, sleep, appetite, and memory.

  • A neuron, or nerve cell, is a specialized type of cell that transmits information through the nervous system.
  • A nerve carries electrical and chemical signals to and from the brain and spinal cord, sharing information between different parts of the body.
  • A neuron is a single cell that transmits information through the nervous system, while a nerve is a group of axons carrying signals between different body parts.

By understanding the mechanisms behind these systems, we can target interventions, like exercise and supplementation, to support neurotransmitter balance and improve our symptoms. And if you are experiencing problems with sleep or cognition, understanding the nervous system and brain chemistry may help identify and address potential underlying causes, such as nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.

The Role of Nutrition in Nervous System and Brain Health

Nutrition and supplementation can play an influential role in keeping nervous system and brain health. The processes that enable us to think, move, and engage in the world require a range of nutrients to function at their best, including B vitamins, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Research also continues to develop on the relationship between gut health and nervous system function. Improving nutrition through diet and supplementation can help support optimal brain and nervous system function.

B vitamins like B1, B6, and B12 are crucial for nerve function and brain health. They help with energy metabolism, mood, and cognitive function. Magnesium is vital for maintaining healthy nerves and muscles and supports sleep and stress management. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish and supplements, are essential for brain development and function, including cognition and mood.

In addition to these vital nutrients, antioxidants are crucial for maintaining healthy neurons. Oxidative stress, when the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to counteract free radical exposure, can damage cells and lead to various health problems. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, protecting cells from damage. Foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and supplements, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium, can also be helpful.

Genetic Mutations and Inflammation

Amino acids play a vital role in producing neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain that regulate mood, behavior, and overall cognitive function. Some critical neurotransmitters synthesized with the help of amino acids include serotonin, dopamine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid),and norepinephrine. Additionally, specific vitamins and minerals, known as cofactors, are required to produce and process these neurotransmitters effectively. For instance, vitamin B6 is crucial for synthesizing serotonin and dopamine, while zinc plays a vital role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters.

Our genetic makeup significantly shapes how our brain’s chemical messaging system works. Variations in our genes can affect the activity of enzymes responsible for making and processing neurotransmitters, influencing the levels and activity of these crucial chemicals in the brain. Genetics can also have an impact on our mental health, with specific genetic variations associated with a higher risk of conditions such as depression and anxiety, conditions that are thought to be related to imbalanced neurotransmitters.

Nervous System Nutrigenomic and Wellness Connections

Nutrigenomics can provide valuable insights into how an individual’s genetic makeup can affect their response to different nutrients and how nutrition can impact gene expression. Genetic mutations, which are changes to the DNA sequence, can also impact the nervous system and brain chemistry. Genetic mutations can cause neurotransmitter production and function changes, leading to neurological and psychiatric concerns. Genetic mutations that may affect the nervous system and brain chemistry include mutations in the genes involved in synthesizing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, and mutations in the genes encoding neurotransmitter receptors.

Moreover, Nutrigenomic testing can provide insights into a person’s genetic makeup and how it may influence their response to different nutrients. Using this information to personalize nutrition and supplement recommendations to support the nervous system and brain health can enhance wellness recommendations.

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Several supplements include bioavailable forms of specific molecules to optimizeneurotransmitters like dopamine and GABA and aid the production of neurotransmitters, including Calming Cream, Full Focus, and Mood Plus.

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