Brain: the Essential Organ of the Human Life


The brain, which has a volume of only 1,130 cm3 and weighs just 1.5 kg on average, contains more than 100 billion neurons, which is more than 14 times the world population. It is interconnected with over 180,000 km of nerve fibers, long enough to encircle the globe four-and-a-half times.

Because the brain has very important role to control the complicated body functions it has an excellent defense system. Firstly, it is well protected by the blood brain barrier, which prevents harmful substances from reaching the brain. Secondly, the brain has a specialized immune system, which monitors the presence of any intruders or the formation of internal injuries.

Nevertheless, the brain remains vulnerable to attack and damage by free radicals, especially in people over the age of 50 in whom the brain’s natural antioxidant enzymes progressively lose effectiveness. In fact, excessive persistent oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the brain have been linked to the development and progression of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and to cerebrovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke and vascular dementia.

For these reasons, neurologists have started to pay close attention to the preventive and therapeutic effects of micronutrients on brain health.

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