What is the brain blood barrier?

October 04, 2017

According to Wikipedia, the Brain Blood Barrier (BBB) is “a highly selective semipermeable membrane barrier that separates the circulating blood from the brain and extracellular fluid in the central nervous system (CNS). The blood–brain barrier is formed by brain endothelial cells and it allows the passage of water, some gases, and lipid-soluble molecules by passive diffusion, as well as the selective transport of molecules such as glucose and amino acids that are crucial to neural function.”

Unless you’re a neuroscientist, you’re probably like me and are wondering what the h*** that actually means!  So let me break it down for you. 

In the 1880’s, German scientist and Nobel-Prize winner Paul Ehrlich discovered that when dye was injected intravenously (IV), all of the tissues and organs in the body were stained, except the brain and spinal cord.  At the time, he asserted that brain and spinal cord tissue could not bind to the dye the way other tissue in the body could. (source:  http://nba.uth.tmc.edu/neuroscience/s4/chapter11.html).  It wasn’t until 1900 when the term “brain blood barrier” was coined by Max Lewandowsky, a German neurologist. 

The BBB is made up of capillaries.  Capillaries are very small blood vessels lined with endothelial cells. Endothelial cells are found throughout your body and there is space between each endothelial cell.  However, in the brain, the space between the endothelial cells is much smaller, thus limiting things that can pass through to the brain.  Essentially the BBB acts as your brains security system—blocking out harmful pathogens, toxins, bacteria, etc.

Research has shown that VERY small (and I mean small!) compounds are, in fact, able to pass through the BBB…things like certain medications and hormones.  Also alcohol and drugs like cocaine are able to pass through the BBB.

One of the most promising areas of research into diagnosing and treating brain conditions is the use of nanotechnology.  Scientist are finding that breaking down medication into nano-sized particles is showing considerable success in treating brain diseases where no good treatment options had previously been available.

Since the development of our first dopamine-boosting supplement, Synaptamine, Sanus has embraced the use of nanotechnology in our manufacturing process.  And since we began development on our newest product, Cerveau, we have continued to work with a leading nanotechnology company.  That’s how we’re able to include several ingredients into each dose of Cerveau, thus making it incredibly effective in helping to boost the production of dopamine.

We’re committed to being on the leading edge of research and development in the area of natural solutions for brain health and we’ll continue to embrace promising technologies that make our products safe and effective.



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