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Myelin is an important part of the nervous system and is vital for optimal cognitive function. Read more below to learn how to increase myelin in your body.

Contents

What is Myelin Sheath and Myelin Sheath Definition

myelin

Myelin sheath is a cover (sheath) made out of fats and proteins that wraps around the axon (end) of a nerve cell. It insulates neurons so that they can send electric signals faster/more efficiently.

Myelin is about 80% fats/cholesterol and about 20% proteins (dry mass).

Myelin sheath helps the brain and nervous system function properly (R, R).

Myelin is an outgrowth or extension of a type of glial cell.

Myelin continues to grow throughout our teenage years.

Myelinated axons are white in appearance, hence the “white matter” of the brain.

Myelin Function

Myelin improves the conduction of action potentials, which are needed to send information down the axon to other neurons (R).

The myelin sheath increases the speed of impulses in neurons. It facilitates conduction in nerves while saving space and energy (R).

Myeline helps prevent the electric current from leaving the axon. It permits a larger body size by maintaining agile communication between distant body parts.

When babies are born, many of their nerves lack mature myelin sheaths. As a result, their movements are jerky, uncoordinated, and awkward. As myelin sheaths develop, movements become smoother, more purposeful, and more coordinated.

When a peripheral fiber is severed, the myelin sheath provides a track along which regrowth can occur.

Symptoms of Myelin Loss

Demyelination results in diverse symptoms determined by the functions of the affected neurons. It disrupts signals between the brain and other parts of the body; symptoms differ from patient to patient, and have different presentations upon clinical observation and in laboratory studies.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Blurriness in the central visual field that affects only one eye, may be accompanied by pain upon eye movement
  • Double vision
  • Loss of vision/hearing
  • Odd sensation in legs, arms, chest, or face, such as tingling or numbness (neuropathy)
  • Weakness of arms or legs
  • Cognitive disruption, including speech impairment and memory loss
  • Heat sensitivity (symptoms worsen or reappear upon exposure to heat, such as a hot shower)
  • Loss of dexterity
  • Difficulty coordinating movement or balance disorder
  • Difficulty controlling bowel movements or urination
  • Fatigue
  • Tinnitus

Conditions With Reduced Myelin Sheath (R)

Reduced white matter in the brain is a factor in pretty much all the major conditions involving the brain.  Most of the time (IMO), the conditions are caused by the reduction in white matter, while at other times, the conditions itself cause white matter reduction.

For most of these conditions, the way researchers know that myelin is reduced is by looking at white matter levels.  In each condition, white matter is reduced in one or more brain regions.

There are gender differences in white matter as well (R).

General conditions:

  • Inflammation (TNF, interferon)
  • Infections
  • Immune disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Nutritional deficiencies (such as B12 deficiency)
  • Poisons
  • Drugs (such as the antibiotic ethambutol)

Specific conditions:

  • Multiple sclerosis (R)
  • PTSD (R)
  • ADHD (R)
  • Depression (R)
  • Autism and Asperger’s (R)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (R)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (R)
  • Anorexia and Bulimia (R)
  • Migraine (R)
  • Bipolar disorder (R)
  • Schizophrenia (R) – quite a lot of white matter changes
  • Kleptomania (R)
  • Excessive alcohol/alcoholism (R)
  • Dyslexia and reading disabilities (R)
  • Stuttering and language disorders (R)
  • Cognitive decline in aging (R)
  • Alzheimer’s disease (R)
  • Traumatic brain injury (R)
  • Stroke
  • ALS (R)
  • Tourette’s syndrome (R)
  • Epilepsy (R)
  • Tone deafness (R)
  • Pathological lying (R)
  • HIV (R)
  • Huntington’s Disease (R)
  • Intellectual and motor developmental disabilities (Fragile X, developmental delay, Turner syndrome) (R)
  • Guillain–Barré syndrome
  • Transverse myelitis

More rare conditions:

  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
  • Neuromyelitis optica
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Central pontine myelinosis
  • Inherited demyelinating diseases such as leukodystrophy
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy and adrenomyeloneuropathy
  • Leber hereditary optic neuropathy

Sometimes primary demyelinating disorders develop after a viral infection or vaccination against a viral infection. A likely explanation is that the virus or another substance somehow triggers the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues (autoimmune reaction). The autoimmune reaction results in inflammation, which damages the myelin sheath and the nerve fiber under it.

Genetic Myelin Sheath Disorders:

  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Gaucher disease
  • Hurler syndrome
  • Canavan disease

What Happens to the Myelin in Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition in which the person’s immune system attacks their myelin (specifically the myelin proteins).

When this happens, myelin starts to degrade, affecting speech, balance, and cognitive awareness.

When myelin degrades, conduction of signals along the nerve can be impaired or lost, and the nerve eventually withers.

It’s thought that inflammatory cytokines reduce myelination (R).

Destruction of myelin is called demyelination.

Demyelination happens when the nerves lose the myelin sheath that insulates them.

This can cause many neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or nerve and brain damage. Defective myelin sheaths can also cause nerve disorders (R).

Myelin Increases Intelligence

Since myelin transmits neuronal signals, Myelin may play a critical role in determining intelligence (R).

Myelin allows signals to travel faster, which can make everything in the brain work better.

Myelin controls the speed of impulse conduction through axons, and the synchrony of impulse traffic between distant brain regions is critical for optimal mental performance and learning (R).

Myelination of appropriate brain regions coincides with the development of specific cognitive functions, such as reading, development of vocabulary and proficiency in executive decision making (R).

Incomplete myelination of the forebrain until the early twenties has been suggested as a neurological basis for weaker decision-making skills in adolescence (R).

Myelinated axons are white in appearance, hence the “white matter” of the brain.

Individual differences in normal cognitive development, IQ, reading skills, working memory and musical proficiency are correlated with differences in white matter in specific brain regions mediating these tasks (R).

White matter levels in certain regions are also associated with arithmetic ability, reaction time and cognitive control (R).

Learning complex skills, such as playing the piano, are accompanied by increased white matter in brain areas involved in musical performance (R).

White matter increased proportionately to the number of hours each subject had practiced the instrument, indicating white matter increases when acquiring certain skills (R).

Several studies have noted a positive correlation between white matter volume and intelligence at the level of whole brain white matter volume as well as in specific white matter regions (R).

Prefrontal white matter volume is disproportionately large in humans compared to non-human primates (R).

Cognitive impairment occurs in 40-65% of multiple sclerosis patients.  The deficits are typically in complex attention, information processing speed, (episodic) memory and executive functions (R).

Children’s improved cognitive performance with maturation might result from myelination (R).

In summary, white matter and myelin are associated with:

  • Intelligence (R)
  • Working memory (R)
  • IQ (R)
  • Verbal ability (R)
  • Reaction time (R)
  • Cognitive control (R)
  • Musical ability (R)
  • Attention (R)
  • Arithmetic (R)

When Does Myelin Stop Increasing

Myelination occurs most significantly the younger you are, but myelination of the human brain continues until 55 and throughout life, as demonstrated by specialized brain imaging (R).

Oligodendrocytes vs Schwann Cells

Oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells are types of cells that produce myelin.

Schwann cells produce myelin in the body (outside the brain), while oligodendrocytes are found solely in the brain.

Oligodendrocytes are responsible for the formation of new myelin in both the injured and normal adult brains.

Lifestyle to Increase Myelin

1) Sleep (brain)

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Sleep increases the amount of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in the body, which in turn increase myelin formation.

Sleep is associated with higher expression of genes coding for myelination (R).

Researchers found that the production rate of the myelin making cells (oligodendrocytes), doubled as mice slept (R).

The increase was most marked during the type of sleep that is associated with dreaming (REM sleep) (R).

In contrast, the genes involved in cell death and stress responses were turned on when the mice were forced to stay awake (R).

2) Ketosis (brain)

Ketones (3-hydroxybutyrate) may help support myelin growth by being a source of energy and also a fuel for lipids (R).

The ketogenic diet can improve myelination by compensating for a deficiency in a certain enzyme (AGC1, which helps make N-acetylaspartate  in oligodendrocyte).  This was tested an individual deficient in this enzyme (R).

Ketones work as precursors for fat synthesis in a developing brain, especially phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol in neurons and myelin cells (oligodendrocytes)  (R).

There is a preferential utilization of ketones for the synthesis of myelin cholesterol (R).

High cholesterol in the brain is essential for myelin membrane growth (R).

Oligodendrocytes also use lactate in part to produce membrane lipids presumably for myelin (RR).

3) Exercise (brain)

Exercise can increase myelin after an injury (R) and also increase it in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s (R).

Exercise can also increase mitochondrial function, which increases myelin when consuming a high-fat diet (R).

4) Socializing and New Experiences (brain)

Stress during late pregnancy causes increased myelination in the offspring of rats (R).

The number of myelin-forming oligodendrocytes increases 27–33% in the visual cortex of rats raised in environments that are enriched by additional play objects and social interaction (R).

Enriched environments increase the number of myelinated axons in the corpus callosum of monkeys and rats (R).

Early experience increases white matter structure in human infants (internal capsule and frontal lobes) in parallel with improved performance in behavioral tests (R).

Children suffering severe childhood neglect have a 17% reduction in the corpus callosum area (R).

5) Learning an Instrument and Complex Skills

Learning complex skills, such as playing the piano, are accompanied by increased white matter in brain areas involved in musical performance (R).

White matter increased proportionately to the number of hours each subject had practiced the instrument, indicating white matter increases when acquiring certain skills (R).

Nutrition to Increase Myelin

1) Fish/DHA (brain)

DHA is deposited within the cerebral cortex at an accelerated rate during the last trimester of pregnancy and during the first two years after birth (R).

This early accelerated rate of DHA deposition coincides with the onset of myelination, a process that is sensitive to DHA accumulation and stores  (RR).

A reduction of DHA in the diet negatively affects DHA concentrations within the brain (RRR). Animal models provide solid evidence that the consequences of dietary DHA deficiency are a high

Animal models provide solid evidence that the consequences of dietary DHA deficiency are a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in brain fatty acid composition and deficiencies in learning and memory (RR)

This is possibly due, in part, to negative impacts on neurite outgrowth and myelination (R).

2) Vitamin D (brain, body)

Studies show that vitamin D3 induced a functional recovery and increased myelination in a rat model of facial nerve injury (R).

The vitamin D receptor can increase the production of oligodendrocytes (R).

3) Vitamin C (body)

Vitamin C helps with myelin formation (R).

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbate, is important as a co-factor in several enzyme reactions. Ascorbate-dependent collagen synthesis helps with myelination. Ascorbate added to rat Schwann cells and neurons promoted myelin formation (R).

4) Iodine

Iodine is essential for many bodily functions. Iodine deficiency can impair myelination. Supplementation with iodine can help improve myelin formation in nerve cells (R).

5) Zinc

Zinc is needed for myelin proteins to function correctly. Zinc deficiency can cause problems with myelin formation and can cause defective sheaths to form (R).

6) Choline and Lecithin (brain)

In animal models of multiple sclerosis, the choline pathway can help with remyelination of myelin sheaths. It enhances myelin repair (R).

CDP-choline has beneficial effects on myelin in animal models of multiple sclerosis (R).

After drug-induced demyelination, CDP-choline effectively enhanced myelin regeneration and reversed motor coordination deficits (R).

The increased remyelination arose from an increase in the numbers of proliferating oligodendrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (R).

Lecithin is a component of myelin (R).

7) Vitamin B12

vitamin-b12-deficiency-memory-loss

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause demyelination and problems with early brain development. Therefore Vitamin B12 supplementation may help with sheath formation (R).

8) Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential constituent of myelin. The dry mass of myelin is about 70–85% lipids.

Cholesterol is needed for myelin membrane growth. Its presence is needed in the membranes in order for the sheath to function normally (R).

9) Iron (brain)

Iron plays a key role in normal cell functions. Normal iron levels are needed for myelin formation. Iron deficiency will lead to less myelination. Therefore, iron increases myelination in the body (oligodendrocytes) (R).

10) Lithium

Owing to its GSK3b inhibitory effect, Lithium can help increase myelin (R).

Treatment of adult mice with Lithium after facial nerve crush injury stimulated the expression of myelin genes, restored the myelin structure, and accelerated the recovery of whisker movements (R).

Lithium treatment also promoted remyelination of the sciatic nerve after crush (R).

11) Vitamin K2 (brain)

Myelin membranes are particularly enriched with glycolipids, including galactosylceramide (GalCer) and its sulfated form, sulfatide (R).

Concentrations of sulfatides increase during brain development, parallel to an increase in brain myelination (R).

Decreases in myelin sulfatides content and/or changes in their molecule structure have been implicated as important factors in the disruption of myelin structure, with a subsequent attenuation of myelin efficiency as an axonal insulator (R).

Decreases in the content of myelin sulfatides with age has been implicated as a significant risk factor for behavioral deficits observed in normal aging, and age-associated neurological disorders (R).

Vitamin K has been implicated in increasing sulfatides and there is a positive correlation between sulfatides and vitamin K, which is present almost exclusively in the form of Vitamin K2 or menaquinone-4 (MK-4) in the brain (R).

12) Biotin (brain, body)

Biotin activates enzymes involved in energy production and myelin synthesis (R).

91.3% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) improved clinically with high doses of biotin (R).

In all cases, improvement was delayed from 2 to 8 months following treatment׳s onset (R).

Two multi-centric double-blind placebo-controlled trials are currently underway (R).

13) Folate/Vitamin B9 (brain)

A folate deficiency during pregnancy can also cause lower myelination in rat offspring (R, R).

14) Pantothenic Acid/Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid indirectly helps with myelin formation by helping fatty acid synthesis (myelin is rich in lipids) (R).

Chickens deficient in pantothenic acid developed skin irritation, feather abnormalities, and spinal nerve damage associated with the degeneration of the myelin sheath (R).

15) Copper (brain)

Copper is important for myelination (oligodendrocytes).  When animals are given a drug that binds to copper, demyelination results (R).

16) Phosphatidylserine

A large body of scientific evidence describes the interactions among Phosphatidylserine, cognitive activity, cognitive aging, and retention of cognitive functioning ability (R).

Phosphatidylserine is required for healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin (R).

Aging of the human brain is associated with biochemical alterations and structural deterioration that impair neurotransmission (R).

Supplemental Phosphatidylserine (300-800 mg/d) is absorbed efficiently in humans, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and safely slows, halts, or reverses biochemical alterations and structural deterioration in nerve cells (R).

It supports human cognitive functions, including the formation of short-term memory, the consolidation of long-term memory, the ability to create new memories, the ability to retrieve memories, the ability to learn and recall information, the ability to focus attention and concentrate, the ability to reason and solve problems, language skills, and the ability to communicate. It also supports rapid reactions and reflexes (R).

Hormones to Increase Myelin

1) Pregnenolone (body)

The nervous system can synthesize steroids that are known as neurosteroids. They regulate the synthesis of myelin proteins and also help with its repair.

Pregnenolone is a precursor of other steroid hormones that can regulate myelin formation. An increase of pregnenolone can cause an increase of myelin formation (Schwann cells) (R).

2) Melatonin (brain)

In rats that had a stroke, melatonin helps promote myelination. It decreased white matter inflammation and increased myelination in nerve cells (R).

3) Progesterone (brain)

Progesterone can promote the formation, repair and regeneration of myelin sheaths (in animal models) (R, R, R).

The delivery of progesterone, however, represents a challenge because of its metabolism in digestive tract and liver (R).

Recently, the intranasal route of progesterone administration has received attention for easy and efficient targeting of the brain (R).

Progesterone in the brain is derived from glands or from local synthesis by neural cells. Stimulating the natural formation of progesterone is currently explored as an alternative strategy for neuroprotection, axonal regeneration, and myelin repair (R).

4) IGF-1 (brain, body)

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) has been identified as a growth factor that promotes myelination by stimulating the early events of myelination in Schwann Cells and oligodendrocytes (R).  IGF-1 stimulates two key fatty acid synthesizing enzymes via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway (R, R).

5) Thyroid Hormones (brain)

Triiodothyronin (T3) stimulated many myelin protein genes (R) and enhances remyelination in the adult brain by making myelin cells (oligodendrocytes) mature faster (R).

6) Testosterone (brain)

Males are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than females (R).

Testosterone treatment efficiently stimulates the formation of new myelin and reverses myelin damage in chronic demyelinated brain lesions (oligodendrocytes, working via the androgen receptor) (R).

Clinical trials (phase II) have found treatment with testosterone can increase gray matter in males with multiple sclerosis (R).

The researchers concluded:

These observations support the potential of testosterone treatment to stall (and perhaps even reverse) neurodegeneration associated with MS….This is the first report of gray matter increase as the result of treatment in MS…. (R)

7) Prolactin (brain)

Prolactin during pregnancy is necessary for the increase of myelin cells (R).

8) VIP

VIP (and PACAP) contribute to the myelinating process, including myelin maturation and synthesis, and help regulate the expression of myelin proteins (R).

9) Erythropoietin (EPO) (brain)

Erythropoietin (EPO) induces the expression of myelin genes in oligodendrocytes. They promote neuron repair by inducing remyelination after myelin damage. However, this only happens in erythropoietic EPO receptor (EPOR)-expressing CG4 cells (R).

 Supplements to Increase Myelin

1) Gotu Kola

Gotu kola helps rats make a more rapid functional recovery and a greater numbers of myelinated axons following nerve damage (R).

2) Uridine

Uridine can help treat myelin sheath lesions (R).

3) Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has an active component called withanoside IV. In mice, withanoside IV treatment increased myelin levels (R).

4) SAMe and Methylation

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) helps regulate DNA methylation. DNA methylation plays a key role in myelin development. Hence, SAMe increases myelination in neurons (R).

A folate and B12 deficiency during pregnancy can also cause lower myelination in rat offspring (R, R).

5) Myoinositol

Chronic low blood sodium levels can cause the destruction of myelin. Myoinositol can normalize blood sodium levels, which can help keep myelin normal (R).

6) Ozone Treatment (body)

Ozone treatment can improve nerve health and result in thicker myelin sheaths (outside brain) (R).

7) Grape Seed Extract (body)

In diabetic rats, grape seed extract protects against demyelination (Schwann cells) (R).

8) Lion’s Mane

The mushroom Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus extract) quickens the process of myelination. It promoted normal development of myelin sheaths (R).

9) Forskolin/Cyclic AMP (body)

Cyclic AMP helps increase myelin, especially in the presence of NRG1 (Schwann cells) (R).

10) PQQ (body)

PQQ increases myelin in the body (Schwann cells) (R).

11) Ginkgo (body)

After an injury, Ginkgo increased myelination in animals (Schwann cells) (R)

12) Quercetin (brain)

After an injury, quercetin increased myelin producing cells (oligodendrocytes) (R).

13-14) Flavonoids: Luteolin and Fisetin

The flavonoids luteolin, quercetin and fisetin most significantly decreased the amount of myelin that were consumed (phagocytosis) by a macrophage (R).

The mechanism is through their antioxidant effects, free radicals are required for the phagocytosis of myelin by macrophages. The flavonoid structure appeared to be essential for these effects (R).

The study concludes:

Our results implicate that flavonoids may be able to limit the demyelination process during multiple sclerosis (R).

Pathways to Increase Myelin

1) Acetylcholine and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (brain)

Cholinergic treatments, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), may have beneficial effects on myelination, myelin repair, and myelin integrity (R).

Increasing cholinergic stimulation helps the myelination process (R).

Cholinergic treatments, such as Nicotine, Huperzine A and Galantamine could help promote myelination during development and myelin repair in older age (R).

The acetylcholine muscarinic receptors can increase the survival of precursor cells that increase myelin (R).

2)  Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) (brain)

The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) helps regulate myelin formation in the nervous system. An increase of BFNF levels causes an increase in the rate of myelination. This causes an increase in myelin content and thickness (R).

3) Nerve growth factor (NGF) (brain)

Nerve growth factor (NGF) can help repair myelin damage. It also induces the production of another substance that can help increase myelination (R).

NGF promotes axonal regeneration, survival, protection and production of oligodendrocytes and facilitates their migration to the sites of myelin damage (R).

4) CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor (brain)

The CB1 cannabinoid receptor, which is activated by cannabis, can increase myelin formation in oligodendrocytes (via mTOR and AKT) (R).

5) GSK3b Inhibitors (brain)

GSK3b inhibits myelin-dependent axon outgrowth and inhibition of GSK3b helps increase myelin (R).

GSK3β inhibition stimulates the regeneration of myelin-forming cells and remyelination following chemically induced demyelination (oligodendrocytes) (R).

6) N-acetylaspartate (NAA) (brain)

N-acetylaspartate (NAA) supplies acetyl groups for myelin synthesis. It is essential for the formation and maintenance of myelin.

7) RXRgamma (brain)

A protein called retinoid X receptor gamma (RXRgamma) is known to promote oligodendrocyte precursor cells (R).

RXRgamma must combine with the Vitamin D Receptor to induce gene expression and create these myelin producing cells (R).

8-9) PPAR delta and PPAR gamma (brain)

PPAR delta is a protein that causes energy expenditure and weight loss and also causes myelin cells to multiply (R).

PPAR gamma is a protein that causes a host of anti-inflammatory effects.  It promotes myelin formation and growth (oligodendrocyte) (R).

These are proteins that can cause big effects on gene expression, and a variety of supplements increase/decrease their function.

10) Neuregulin 1 (body)

NRG1 is a protein that helps increase Schwann Cells (R).

Neuregulin 1 is important for synaptic plasticity, inhibiting the amygdala (to shut down anxiety), myelination (Schwann cell maturation, survival, and motility), heart function (cardiac growth factor) and tumor suppression.

11) GDNF (brain)

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is capable of increasing axonal regeneration myelin (R).

Others

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and ErbB3 receptor tyrosine kinase:

Epidermal growth factor receptor plays and important role in myelination and remyelination. EGFR signaling increases myelin repair and myelination (R).

ErbB3 receptor tyrosine kinase is a receptor located on Schwann cells. An inhibition of its expression will result in reduced myelination (R).

Gemifribrozil (R)

What Reduces Myelination

1) Inflammation

It’s thought that inflammatory cytokines reduce myelination (R).

Myelin and oligodendrocyte (OL) destruction occur in cultured preparations subjected to cytokines such as TNF alpha and lymphotoxin (LT) (R).

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes demyelination.

Many studies have shown these and other cytokines to be elevated at lesion sites and in the Cerebrospinal fluid of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, with similar findings in animal models (R).

2) Alcohol

Teen binge drinking is associated with low frontal white matter integrity (R).

In rats, adolescent binge drinking reduced the size of the corpus callosum, and degraded myelin basic protein in the gray matter (R).

Myelin was also damaged on axons in the Prefrontal Cortex (medial) in adolescent rats who binge drinked – and heavier drinking predicted worse performance on the working memory task in adulthood (R).

These findings establish a causal role of voluntary alcohol on myelin and give insight into specific prefrontal axons that are both sensitive to alcohol and could contribute to the behavioral and cognitive impairments associated with early onset drinking and alcoholism (R).

3) Statins

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Statins are drugs that help treat heart disease. Statins have a negative impact on oligodendrocytes and myelin formation (R).

4) EMF Exposure?

One study concludes that EMFs from things like cellphones and WIFI can cause myelin deterioration.

Here’s their conclusion:

Overall, evidence from in vivo and in vitro and epidemiological studies suggests an association between RF-EMF exposure and either myelin deterioration or a direct impact on neuronal conduction, which may account for many electrohypersensitivity symptoms. The most vulnerable are likely to be those in utero through to at least mid-teen years, as well as ill and elderly individuals.(R).

5-6) SIRT1 and AMPK activation

SIRT1 and AMPK activation are normally  good, but when it comes to myelin, it seems like they might not be great.

SIRT1 inactivation increases the production of oligodendrocytes (myelin producing cells). In mice, SIRT1 inactivation will lead to oligodendrocyte production, which then increases the formation of myelin and white matter abnormalities (R).

Likewise, when AMPK levels are high, myelin production is slowed (R).

Caveats

There are many different models that are cited when we say something increases or decreases myelin. Usually, the models and studies brought down aren’t enough evidence to make a conclusion that they will increase myelin in humans.

The article is simply listing these as potential contenders for increasing myelin in humans. In other words, we are saying that it’s possible, in some situations, these substances or pathways can increase myelin.  This post is to be used as a springboard for you to to do further research.

For example, if we mention a nutrient can increase myelin, it might only be the case in animals, in certain models, if you’re deficient, or if you’re a developing child.  It may not apply to human adults who have no deficiency in the nutrient.

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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13 COMMENTS

  • Paul

    Do you have any info on how to improve tinnitus? Thanks.

  • Deborah Williams Elam

    I’m just wondering if Moringa Oleifera has been looked at for MS… and if so, what are the positive effects that can be obtained by consuming it? Are there any drawbacks?

  • George Mills

    My myelin was damaged due to an anesthetic injection in dental surgery, my symptoms mimic Trigeminal neuralgia, I was told there was no cure.

  • Sam

    Thank you for this article, So, you (research) mentioned that SIRT1 increase is worse for myelin formation. SIRT1 can be increased by a number of things, such as resveratrol, but increased SIRT1 is beneficial, protects the brain, for people with APOE4 ? So, what does one to do?

  • Rachel Sommer

    Have you looked into b12deficiency? Can cause stroke.. statins also further depletes b12. Look into it. It is a serious condition that is underrecognized and most medical professionals trivialize it and don’t really understand the condition or the treatment of it. I have it do feel feee to ask questions if you want.

  • Katrin Helmreich

    I really appreciate and love your website – content and layout. It’s so professional and easy to navigate. i also think the links at the beginning of the article to different aspects of the article. So good. Well done and thank you. Katrin, Australia.

  • micheney

    I don’t agree.

  • Davide Bolgarini

    does anorexia nervosa influence the process of myelination during adolescence?

  • Doug

    Thanks, this was a helpful article. Seems like EMF issue maybe goes both ways — it damages myelin, and then you are more EMF sensitive, which makes you more susceptible to further damage, etc. True?

  • Zsazsa

    I was expecting to find Thiamine listed here since your review on it mentions “Vitamin B1 helps with the development of the myelin sheath”.

  • bob

    Which of the improving items would be most effective in combating the reduction from taking a statin?

    I’ve read a lot about the negatives of statins, but I had a stroke in my early 30s (they were never able to explain what caused it. Even with long term monitoring for afib).

    My neurologist insists that it’s an extremely important preventive against another stroke for me so I’m somewhat terrified to just go against directions and quit it. I talked to a 2nd neuro at mayo clinic after the first couldn’t explain the stroke and had no suggestions other than aspirin + a statin and “eat better, exercise more”.

    I make my living as a statistician and am terrified of being made even dumber because of the meds. I already lost enough because of the stroke.

  • Miel Morota

    Hi can i ask how do we acquire the following mentioned ways to increase myelin?these are found in what common food or medication? I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis. Thank you.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Click on the links.

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