The Role Of Phosphorus In The Nervous System
Upon mention of the nervous system, our thoughts naturally gravitate towards the familiar phrases "fight and flight" or "rest and digest," illustrating its immediate associations. This intricate system holds our fascination as it wields authoritative control over a diverse array of bodily functions—ranging from the operations of our adrenals and digestion to the regulation of our sleep-wake cycles. For those who haven't delved into our earlier discussions on the nervous system, let's provide a brief overview of its significance.
Defining the Nervous System
Our nervous system is a network of nerve tissue that encases our central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord, also known as the CNS), the peripheral nervous system (nerves that extend from the spinal cord to the rest of the body, also known as the PNS), and additional nerve tissue. Its purpose is to send information from the brain to the rest of the body, including internal organs. The nervous system's primary function is to govern and impact all of our five senses.
Our nervous system envelops the central nervous system (which includes the brain and spinal cord, or CNS), the peripheral nervous system (which extends from the spinal cord throughout the body, or PNS), and supplemental nerve tissue. Its key duty is to transfer information from the brain to the body, including the internal organs. The nervous system, at its heart, serves as the orchestrator of our five senses, exerting its impact across this rich sensory tapestry.
Nervous System and Neural Signaling
Hearing a familiar song is one example of this. Assume you're driving in your car and you hear an old song start playing on the radio, and the melody begins to stir your memories of when you were a youngster. Certain feelings, pleasant or terrible, may begin to arise, based on the meaning and memories your body has associated with the music. As particular neurons are activated, your brain will absorb this signal and convey to the body in the same manner that the song made you feel when you were younger.
To be sure, we experience these types of neural signaling responses on a daily basis with work, relationships, interactions with other people, the taste of food, music, seeing images, and so on, all of which activate our nervous system to react in a way that the body knows how to act based on how it has been TAUGHT to react in these circumstances. Our bodies are robust when it comes to adjusting to diverse stimuli, and the nervous system plays a part in how we react to these things using our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
The Intricate Role of Phosphorus
So, what does this have to do with minerals, particularly phosphorus? When our nervous system is overstimulated, we use up a lot of minerals as an energy source. Depending on the type and duration of stress, our nervous system will respond appropriately, and may opt to inhibit various processes in the body as a protective measure. This can manifest as sluggish digestion, mental fog, inability to keep muscular mass or tissue such as hair, hunger, or even energy. Minerals are similar to electricity in our cells. If we don't have enough minerals and the necessary ratios of minerals, our cells can't adequately conduct their activities and synthesize enzymes, which subsequently make hormones.
Remember how I said our nervous system is divided into two parts: the CNS and the PNS: the Sympathetic state (fight or flight) and the Parasympathetic state (rest and digest)? Many people feel that being in "fight and flight" mode leads our bodies to dysregulate, but according to Hans Selye's stress response theory, that condition is a sign of a healthy nervous system since it is capable of reacting. You can't protect if you don't react, therefore being in a parasympathetic state is probably more damaging in the long run.
Phosphorus and Nervous System Protection
What does any of this have to do with minerals? Phosphorus, on the other hand, is required for boosting the nervous system, especially to stimulate it to generate energy to protect itself. Our brains are demanding organs that require a lot of energy (at least one-third of our body's energy requirements), and phosphorus compounds are essential not only for the thinking process, but also for its growth. However, phosphorus is essential for our nervous system because phospholipids are required to preserve the myelin layer on the neurons. The myelin sheath acts as a "cover" for the nerves, protecting them from injury. Seizures, multiple sclerosis, and other nerve problems can result if they do.
Intriguingly, the connection between these concepts and minerals emerges. Take phosphorus, for instance—it assumes a critical role in fortifying the nervous system, particularly in its capacity to kindle energy production for defensive mechanisms. Our brains, as voracious energy consumers (accounting for no less than a third of the body's energy requisites), rely on phosphorus compounds not just for cognitive functions, but also for their very growth. Yet, phosphorus holds a particularly indispensable role in the preservation of our nervous system, primarily through its involvement in upholding the myelin layer enfolding neurons. This myelin sheath serves as a protective shield for nerves, staving off potential harm. Disruptions to this sheath, as observed in conditions like seizures and multiple sclerosis, can lead to various nerve-related complications.
Balancing Phosphorus Levels for Optimal Function
Phosphorus is a speed indicator, which means that its levels indicate the pace at which the body produces protein. Increased protein synthesis can result in more enzymatic processes, muscular development, and resilience. However, excessive phosphorus levels may suggest a loss and an over-stimulated nervous system to the point where it is catabolizing and breaking down its own tissue for energy. Anxiety, accidental weight loss, nerve damage, loose stool, or muscle loss are all symptoms of this. When phosphorus levels fall, we may experience symptoms such as weariness, sadness, constipation, failure to lose weight, cognitive fog, or an overall sedative-like sensation.
Central to the intricate dance of bodily equilibrium, phosphorus not only influences the nervous system but also serves as a dynamic speedometer, gauging the pace of protein synthesis within the body. A surge in protein production orchestrated by optimal phosphorus levels yields a harmonious symphony of increased enzymatic activities, fortified muscular growth, and heightened resilience. Paradoxically, a surplus of phosphorus can signal a discordant note, potentially triggering an unsettling scenario where the nervous system enters a state of overdrive, driving it to catabolize and dismantle its own tissue for energy. This disarray manifests through a medley of symptoms, from heightened anxiety and unintended weight loss to nerve impairments, irregular bowel patterns, and even muscle wasting. Conversely, when phosphorus levels ebb, a different tune emerges—laden with weariness, melancholy, constipation, cognitive haze, and an overall subdued demeanor. Thus, phosphorus's dual role as a guardian of the nervous system and a conductor of bodily rhythm underscores its profound influence on our physiological orchestra.
Phosphorus and Nervous System Regulation
Striving for equilibrium in phosphorus levels presents a promising avenue for fine-tuning the delicate responsiveness of the nervous system, especially in the face of stress. Achieving this balance can foster a remarkable transformation, steering the nervous system towards more composed reactions even amidst tumultuous circumstances. The result is a heightened ability to navigate the unpredictable currents of life with a measured and poised demeanor, rendering interactions with uncertain outcomes more manageable. Moreover, this equilibrium plays a pivotal role in guarding against the extremes of overstimulation and understimulation, ensuring that none of the five senses are subject to undue strain or languor. In this intricate interplay, phosphorus emerges as a conductor, orchestrating a symphony of harmonious responses within the nervous system, and by extension, in our interactions with the world.
The repercussions of this balance ripple beyond the individual, potentially extending to the collective dynamics of social connections. As the nervous system steadies itself through phosphorus equilibrium, the resulting stability could radiate outward, contributing to more harmonious exchanges and interactions with others. This harmonization could mitigate the undue amplification of reactions and responses, fostering an environment where both understanding and empathy thrive. By seeking to modulate phosphorus levels, we embark on a journey of not only self-optimization but also of cultivating a more composed and empathetic social landscape.
In conclusion, the intricate web of our nervous system extends its influence far beyond mere physiological functions, resonating throughout our sensory experiences and shaping our interactions with the world. Phosphorus emerges as a pivotal player in this complex symphony, orchestrating the delicate balance between nervous system protection and responsiveness. Its role in sustaining energy production and safeguarding the myelin sheath underscores its significance in maintaining optimal function. Striving for equilibrium in phosphorus levels offers a pathway to cultivating a more composed nervous system, capable of navigating the ebb and flow of life's challenges with poise. Beyond the individual, this pursuit holds the potential to ripple outward, fostering harmonious connections and empathetic interactions. By recognizing and harnessing the profound influence of phosphorus, we embark on a journey of self-optimization and the cultivation of a more empathetic and balanced social landscape.
If you're wondering if you're deficient in phosphorus or how your nervous system is doing, we strongly recommend conducting a hair tissue mineral analysis on yourself to get to the bottom of your problems and see if you can help cure yourself! Begin today by going here and getting the hair testing kit!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach