PODCAST: The Truth About How Our Diet Impacts Our Brain with Sonya Reynolds

PODCAST: The Truth About How Our Diet Impacts Our Brain with Sonya Reynolds

What we eat can have a profound impact on our present and future brain wellbeing. There are foods and food choices that complement our brain health and longevity and conversely, there are certain food groups that have strong evidence for compromising brain health. In this episode, Bec speaks with expert neurological health nutritionist Sonya Reynolds about the dietary approaches we can employ that can positively benefit our neurological wellbeing. 

Key takeaways:

  • The significant impact of diet on neurological health, particularly the role of gluten and dairy in inducing an immune reaction that can increase brain permeability.
  • The benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet rich in vegetables, fruits, good quality proteins, and antioxidants for supporting brain function.
  • The potential advantages of a low glycemic or modified Atkins diet as an alternative to traditional high-fat ketogenic diets for cognitive and neurological health.
  • The importance of personalized dietary approaches in managing neurological conditions and improving overall wellbeing.

Episode Timestamps

[0:00:00] Welcoming back nutritionist, Sonya Reynolds

[0:01:20] Does diet really influence neurological health?

[0:02:53] The two biggest dietary triggers for neuroinflammation

[0:05:45] Coeliac disease vs. non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)

[0:08:07] Anti-inflammatory eating

[0:10:43] Sugar and brain health

[0:14:17] Mythbusting the keto diet for brain health

[0:18:32] Traditional keto vs. modified Atkins diet

[0:19:20] Do we need to track ketones?

[0:25:15] Resources for adopting keto styles of eating?

[0:27:58] Addictive foods

[0:36:28] Final summary

Episode Transcript

0:00:00 - (Bec): Today I am joined once again by Sydney-based nutritionist Sonya Reynolds. Sonya is an expert when it comes to dietary interventions for neurological wellbeing. We've spoken to her before about the impact of using her skills as a nutritionist has had on her daughter's epilepsy journey. If this is of interest, make sure you check out our YouTube channel for that interview that was a little while ago. But today we wanted to talk about myth-busting, some of the perceptions around whether neurological health can be impacted by diet and what are some of the specific dietary interventions or changes that could be made to have a profound impact on our brain and nervous system health.

(Bec): So, without further ado, I warmly welcome Sonya. 

Sonya, thank you so much for joining me again for another chat, because I do love tapping into your expertise when it comes to the connections between what we eat and how well we feel, both physically but also mentally. And today we were talking offline about how it's sort of, it's almost like a myth-busting that we need to do that: Diet doesn't affect neurological health, so set the scene. Diet affects neurological health, and here's why: Sonya Reynolds.

0:01:20 - (Sonya): Yes. Thanks so much for having me again, Bec. I love our chats and your community, the myBrainCo community, is so lovely, so thanks for having me. 

100%. The biggest impact that we can have on our bodies is what we put in our mouths. And what are we putting in our mouths on a constant basis? So, thinking about what are we exposing our body to that's inflammatory and inflammatory in our gut? And what we know is this isn't new, that if our gut is inflamed, it can be leaky. So there can be intestinal permeability. And then what can happen as well is that if we've got a leaky gut, we've got this intest.. not only intestinal permeability, but like we say, a leaky brain, which is more about a permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

(Bec): Yeah. Which should be fairly impermeable to most substances. 

(Sonya): That’s right. 

(Bec): But, you know, as our, as our gut or digestive health worsens, it kind of unravels the blood brain barrier, which I continually trip over the words of all the time. So let's talk about the specific ones that have good science, the specific foods and exposures that have really good science, that unravel the brain barrier.

0:02:53 - (Sonya): Probably the biggest two are gluten and dairy. No surprises there. And what we know is that when you're eating these foods, the gluten and the dairy, what can happen is that there can be an inflammatory trigger from eating the food, which then leads to an immune reaction. So certain immune cells are activated and then they go to the brain and make it more permeable, basically, interrupt the blood-brain barrier, because we've got to be careful with our languaging. So, yeah, it's sort of interrupting this, creating permeability, if you will. 

So our body is having a very clear immune reaction to it. So if you've got any sort of neurological condition, number one thing, and we're just talking about this offline as well, the number one thing that you can do is you can remove gluten from your diet and potentially dairy as well. But I would start with gluten personally, because the evidence is there. It's not an abstract association. We know that there's an immune reaction that happens.

(Bec): Absolutely. I was telling Sonya offline that many years ago, I watched a presentation with an, someone who's an autoimmunity expert, Doctor Datis Karrazian, and he presented a case at this health professional symposium that showed the impact on somebody's essential tremor symptoms, so Parkinsonian symptoms as a result of the removal of gluten from the diet. And so what that really, I mean, I already obviously knew that gluten could have some pretty profound pro-inflammatory effects, and that's regardless of whether you're a coeliac or not. So a lot of people think, oh, I'll test for coeliac disease. But actually, there's a very real and emerging problem with gluten, with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity as well. And so it blew my mind to watch how over the course of a few months, with that being a primary thing that was removed from the diet, just how more improved this woman's coordination was. How much better her ability or her ability to run through those neurological tests and, and complete them with more accuracy.

So it is a very real, it has a very real impact and sometimes it gets thrown away or it's perhaps not given the weight that is needed in some of the standard orthodox medical circles, shall we say?

0:05:45 - (Sonya): Yes, you don't have to be coeliac, but I think it's a really low-hanging fruit that you can check because you can do a buccal swab so that doesn't have to be a blood draw and just see if you have the celiac gene or not. 

One of the things that I really recommend my clients to do is if they have a diagnosed autoimmune condition, I highly recommend they get the coeliac gene - the HLA gene tested. Because what we know is that a lot of autoimmune conditions are found in clusters. So you might have Hashimoto's and coeliac disease, or you might have a neurological and coeliac disease. And in fact, with epilepsy, you are more likely to have coeliac disease. So you need to be checking this as well.

(Bec): Yeah, definitely worth checking out.

(Sonya): Yeah, I was looking at the research, actually, and what it was saying, and this is specific to epilepsy, which I have a real passion for, as you know.

(Bec): Yes.

(Sonya): But you could, you know, you could extrapolate across other neurological conditions. What they found was that these people were expressing with neurological symptoms, but not expressing any sort of gastrointestinal symptoms, but they were coeliac. So that was coeliac. No gastrointestinal symptoms. Cause you would think, oh, there'd be.. no. And I'd still question that. But, you know, they're only presenting with neurological symptoms and that presenting feature, which is, I think, really fascinating.

(Bec): Yeah, well, I mean, the.. Anything that we eat, I mean, gluten is one thing, and you mentioned dairy as well, but I mean, anything that we eat that initiates an immune response, which then leads to a… the body to release inflammatory cytokines, which then, you know, isn't just isolated in that one space. It won't necessarily just stay in the gut. The gut is lined with trillions of neurons that trace back to the brain. The enteric nervous system is actually almost as big, if not bigger, than our central nervous system. So it is connected, and it does make sense when you understand how the body is put together, that one affects the other.

0:08:07 - (Sonya): Yeah, totally. And the other things I would be thinking about when it comes to diet is I'd be thinking about, like, a really anti-inflammatory diet. Right? So we know that we want to be eating lots of veggies, good quality fruit, and, you know, having good quality protein, whether that's coming from fish or a vegetarian source of protein, like a pea protein or obviously meat, but giving our body the building blocks - So protein is going to give us the building blocks to create our neurotransmitters as well. So our brain chemicals are made up of protein, amongst other things. But, you know, making sure that we're eating a variety of these proteins and veggies and. And, you know, antioxidant-based foods.

(Bec): Absolutely. So a lot of those.. and a lot of us are deficient because we eat poorly or we've unravelled our gut health over a long period of time with different practices such as, you know, long-term antibiotic use or even certain medications can interrupt the gut. But if we aren't fueling our body with those essential nutrients that drive our pathways, our neurochemistry pathways, then of course, makes sense, right? What you are, you aren't just what you eat, but what you absorb and what your body does with it. So, you know, if we, if we aren't giving the body the right resources, then how could we make feel good hormones? Or how could we manufacture energy, which the brain depends massively on?

(Sonya): Yeah, and that makes me think about the medications, like acid-suppressing medications, for example. One of the things that it's going to do is deplete or reduce your stomach acid. And one of the roles of stomach acid is, is to help with our absorption. So as you were saying, with the absorption picture, we are what we absorb. And if you are being left on a acid-suppressing medication for a long period of time, I see it all the time in clinic. They're low in iron, they're low in B12, and they're not absorbing their proteins efficiently, and it has direct impact on their mood, on their sleep, on their just general wellbeing as well. So I think it's a really important point that you've made about absorption as well.

0:10:43 - (Bec): 100%. So are there any other dietary practices that you see in your patients that tend to cause problems with neurological health?

(Sona): Yeah, look, high sugar. And I think that that is something that is so, you know, we just sort of go, oh sugar, sugar's bad, but people don't really understand the why. But a lot of times what's happening is, again, we're triggering this inflammation. And inflammation can kind of not mean things to people as well, but it can trigger that immune reaction as well. So, for example, you know, giving a child straight fruit juice all the time is an example. And you know, a parent might say, in a non-judgmental way, like, we all, we all do what we need to do to get through what we're experiencing at the time. But they're giving them apple juice from a popper, and then the child is hyperactive and bouncing around and maybe their sleep's even affected, because sometimes we can have hypoglycemia in our sleep and our sleep is affected. So, you know, high sugar intake really does impact mood and brain health as well, and just sort of bouncing around. So one of the things that I really recommend in any sort of neurological condition is, again, talking about protein, but those good fats, so that we can really manage those blood sugar levels. And we're not, you know, causing inflammation from high sugar as well.

(Bec): Yeah, it's a really valid point. One of the hallmarks of many neurological diseases, but not the least of which is Alzheimer's disease is known as type three diabetes. Like blood sugar, dysregulation is a massive risk factor for neurological illness. And so if we are constantly bombarding the system with sugar over time, what happens is those receptors and that insulin that has to come into the body to break it down and transport it into cells so it can be burned for energy. You know, that that system gets really inefficient and slow and gummed up over time if the exposure is constant and, you know, isn't balanced out by things like good fats or also fibre.

(Sonya): Fibre! Yes. So even those people, when they're giving the juice, they're giving it without the fibre. So one of the first things is, yeah, you know, if you're going to have a fruit juice, then you can have the whole fruit, blend it, and, of course, add it to other things. I'd add protein to it and other things as well. So 100% agree. 

And it's really interesting. Something like epilepsy. They're saying now that they think part of the drivers of this condition can be that the brain isn't efficient at using carbohydrates, and therefore it can lead to this sort of mitochondrial issue as well. So they actually recommend that you use an alternative fat, like an MCT or medium chain triglyceride, as an energy source as part of a treatment for seizures.

0:14:17 - (Bec): Yep, which probably is a good segue into some of the next parts of our discussion. Is that so medium train triglycerides, part of the reason why they're so great is it's like ready made ketones, ready made fuel for physical and mental energy, which is fantastic. And part of the strategy there is also the ketones. And therefore we get to the keto diet or eating in such a way that we produce more ketones, and for the benefit of our brain. So something that we were talking about is some of the fear that people have around the keto diet, because, you know, medical professionals like, oh, gosh, don't. You can't use that. You know, it's really hard on your kidneys. But, you know, when we weigh it up against polypharmacy, you know, it can actually have a lot of advantages - if it's done correctly. So let's talk about that first about, you know, polypharmacy versus keto. And then let's go into how to execute keto for the purpose of neurological well-being.

(Sonya): Thanks Bec, the biggest myth is that keto will cause all these bad things, and therefore medication is a better option. And as we know, polypharmacy. Exactly. Many medicines and many side effects. And not knowing what drug is doing what and then what side effects, it's also giving. So you give another medication for that.

(Bec): Yeah.The domino effect.

(Sonya): And I've been there. We did it with our child. We were so overwhelmed and scared that we just. We did what we were told, and we did the polypharmacy. And, yeah, they just kept getting added. And for me, this is before keto was even trendy. I was like, there's got to be a better way. And this is even before Instagram. There was a world before Instagram.

(Bec): Yeah, totally.

(Sonya): And so I really went looking, and I'm like, why are we doing this? Like, why isn't there a conversation? And I'm a nutritionist. Like, I can do this. And I was talked out of it multiple times. And it was only after a few years of being on polypharmacy and she was still having so many seizures that I said, right, this is it. We're going to do it.

(Bec): Yep.

(Sonya): And so what the research says is that usually with a ketogenic diet, you are able to reduce the number of medicines they're on. If not, remove the medicines they're on and reduce their seizures and help cognition and behaviour, like, huge amounts of benefit. 

(Bec): Yeah. 

(Sonya): Now, they scare us off it because the classical keto that they kind of found by accident is very high in fat, and it is hard to do. But if we look at diets that create ketones, you don't actually have to do those mega doses of fat. That's actually a myth as well.

You can be doing low glycemic style of eating, so high protein, lots of veg, good quality fats, and still have all these benefits without having to do the really hard keto and end up with all those… Look, you know, we do have to acknowledge, yes, we want to support kidney function, and we can address that, and the hospital setting will address that. 

So a synopsis of what I'm saying is that you can eat in a way that will have a positive impact on the ketones, which are anti inflammatory for the brain and have positive side effects without going into really high-dose fat, which is what keto traditionally falls under.

0:18:32 - (Bec): Yeah. What is the traditional? Because it was always portrayed as a percentage of fat to carbohydrate to protein. So how high is the traditional keto fat percentage?

(Sonya): So, traditionally, you're looking at about 90% fat. So there's barely any carbohydrates or protein in it. So when we did it, we were told, “We're going to treat this like a medication”. And within days of doing this, very, very high fat, our child was in ketosis and was seeing benefits already. 

What we know is that you can still get into ketosis with, say, 50% fat, 30% protein, and 20% carbs. So you are still limiting the carbs, but you're giving the protein, like, a good amount of protein and a good amount of fats. And that's the… So what I just explained then was a Modified Atkins Diet macronutrient breakdown.

(Bec): Yep.

0:19:20 - (Sonya): But now the research has gone even further Bec. And what they know is that, as I said, the low glycemic index, style of eating... So you're not even measuring carbs. You're just not even having to measure fat or protein, really. Unless, you know, obviously, someone might need to teach themselves that. And that's working with a practitioner like me, is beneficial. But even if you're not showing up with positive ketosis on, say, like, a urinary ketone stick or a blood ketone, you're still seeing benefits in the brain, and they're showing that in an EEG, that there's less, for example, seizures, even in a low glycemic style of eating. So you know, as long as you're having this really good variety of these fats and proteins and veggies and fruit, you can be getting the same benefits as if you're on 90% of fat.

(Bec): Right. And so, um, what. What it sounds like you're saying is, is that unlike the previous versions of the keto diet, where you did have to track your ketones and measure your urine and all of that because of the stress it places on your kidney function and what have you, that you can modify the amount of macronutrients, proteins, carbs, and fats, and you probably won't have to track the ketones quite so readily.

(Sonya): That's a great point that you're making. You should be able to see someone having a benefit from the diet. You will see that they probably have better sleep, better cognition, alertness, you know, hopefully, reduced seizures, for example, or tremors, even if you want to look at it that way. And so you may not have to do that. I generally think that it's good to teach yourself how to get into ketosis. So if we're talking about an adult, generally what I'll do is I will see if they can get into ketosis on a Modified Atkins Diet.

And urinary ketones are fine. Some people like blood ketones, but urinary ketones are fine. And it's easy, right? We on a little stick and it'll go, this is the amount of ketones. And let's be honest, you'll usually have a taste in your mouth. You get like, it's quite an acetone taste, like the byproducts of being in ketosis. So there are signs, “keto flu”, you get tired because our bodies are used to running on carbohydrates, not fat. So there are signs to show you that you may be in ketosis without having to do the urinary or blood ketones. However, I do like people to learn where they are sitting at because then that gives you an idea of, okay, if I eat like this, this is where I'm going to sit. So initially, when we learned the keto diet, we were very dependent on the urinary sticks. And then a couple of months later, we could very much manage diet changes without having to do that.

0:22:38 - (Bec): What I like about the sounds of that too, is that it sounds like it would be a much more nutritionally diverse diet as well, with a better exposure to the micronutrients. So putting aside the macronutrients, if you modified Atkins and you're still incorporating good quality carbohydrates and protein, and you're not just focused solely on foods with fat in them, which primarily offer energy but don't necessarily have a really high value of nutrients outside of those classic fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, and probably things like choline, and that's probably the main things. But they wouldn't have fibres, they wouldn't have B vitamins, they wouldn't have magnesium, which would come a lot from fruit and veggies and particularly B12. So I think it sounds like if you modify Atkins, you're also expanding your exposure to other nutrients which also drive these pathways.

(Sonya): Absolutely. And what I love is that, you know, it's very prescriptive, it's based on person by person. Right?

(Bec): Yeah.

(Sonya): But you know, vegetables fundamentally, wherever they're coming from, are going to be a really good, yeah, micronutrients, antioxidants, all those benefits. So that's why I'm always pro-people putting in veggies as their carbohydrates. And certain vegetables are really low in carbohydrates anyway, like your celery, your green leafy vegetables, your, any of your sort of green leafies, like broccoli, cauliflower. Now I'm trying to think of green leafy beetroot leaves. Like all of these are low in carbohydrates but still full of, you know, B12, folates, all that sort of stuff.

(Bec): And fibre to make us feel full as well.

(Sonya): And fibre. And fibre. And sometimes you might give a fibre supplement separately depending on where they're landing on the diet. If they're having to be on really high amounts of fat, like some people do need to be lowering carbohydrates. But yeah, looking at those polyphenol-type foods as well, Bec, that are going to help feed the microbiome. So things like turmeric and green tea and polyphenols from berries, things like that. They're all going to be really helpful for the gut bacteria as well. And of course fibre. But sometimes they might need a little supplement on the side just to make sure those bowels are moving.

0:25:15 - (Bec): Yeah. Okay, I guess. How does the average person find out how to do this? How to eat for brain and neurological health? What are the resources that they can find?

(Sonya): Number one, if someone's going to do a very classical keto diet, they do need to do it in a hospital setting, Bec. So, we have to make sure that we make that caveat because that is going to need support with, say, potassium for their kidneys and…

(Bec): Monitoring…

(Sonya):  Yeah, monitoring, checking, you know, their weight and their height and things that may be impacted. However, if there's families looking to diversify the way that they eat and know that, okay, we could be eating in a more low glycemic style of eating. There is a better way to eat more anti-inflammatory, then they could work with a practitioner like me. I'm going to be doing a masterclass very soon on how to help your family eat in a more diverse way. But also talk about this evidence, go really deeply into the evidence for the different styles of eating. So I would suggest that you could work with a practitioner. 

One of the other resources I have is that I have a list of the good fats, low-carb vegetables, ideas around what, how you can eat, things like that. That is a free resource as well on my website that's free to anyone that signs up.

(Bec): Okay.

(Sonya): Because what I find is, and I know you're probably the same Bec. We're mums, we work. There's a lot going on in our little, our big brains. Not our little brains, our big brains. And sometimes we just need someone there to give us ideas or tweak what we're doing. Like I find I know, we eat similarly, but sometimes just having someone go Bec, what did you eat for breakfast today? What did you eat for lunch? What did you eat for dinner? Okay, what about if you add this, add that, you know, maybe the protein's not right there. Maybe this is an opportunity to add some MCT oil, or maybe there's some nuts and seeds we could add there. And just be really specific around, you know, that family's eating style just so that they don't have to throw everything out.

(Bec): Absolutely. That's such a good point.

(Sonya): Just add-on to what they’re doing. 

0:27:58 - (Bec): It's such a good point because I think there's a, there's also probably some fear around visiting naturopath, nutritionists or dietitian that you're going to have to completely change the way you eat. But my experience is that if you find out, or you meet people where they're at and you find out what they're eating, like, every family has the same seven to ten meals that they make on rotation. So what could we do? Or what could we add to those meals to make them more nutritious? Sometimes the answer could be, hey, what if we just chucked in a handful of fresh herbs? What if we did a sprinkle of nuts with this? Or that? What if in your eggs, instead of just having eggs, you add in some finely chopped vegetables? What about this? Like, there's a lot of ways to do it without having to take things away, except for gluten and dairy, because, you know, I think the science there is pretty settled. We didn't even go into some of the addictive aspects around gluten and dairy and white-based, wheat-based foods. So, you know, because they light up the same area of the brain that cocaine does. So there's that aspect as well in terms of they're addictive. They're really hard to give up.

(Sonya): And, you know, you'll say to someone, do you eat dairy? And they're like, no. And then you start going, okay. And then they eat chocolate every day. And they're like, you know, there's dairy in there. And then, and in a loving way, like, we all do it right? We all go, I don't eat dairy, but I had sour cream on my dinner last night, and then I had some shredded cheese on my taco. And then, you know, and I find a lot of times these are the kids and the adults that they're really addicted to it. Like, they say, don't take away my cheese. Or they're the kids that are like, I want more milk. I want my bottle. Like, my kids were proper, like, dairy addicts. Like, they loved milk.

(Bec): Yeah.

(Sonya): So. And they had signs and symptoms right when they had it. So things that you can look for is red cheeks. You can see that maybe they've got runny noses all the time. They're getting all colds and flus. They've got tonsillitis. Did you say pimples?

(Bec): I didn't know. I said sniffles.

(Sonya): Oh, sniffles.

(Bec): Yeah. Yeah, I think too sometimes you'll have symptoms, like in those very early stages, and you'll miss it. Cause you'll be like, okay, my kid is really little. And, you know, they're obviously coming down with something. So it can be easy to miss in the early phase. And it's not until you take it out and then kind of rechallenge the body with it. You take it out and you kind of come back to a baseline where your immune system isn't constantly throwing out things to offset the effect of the food. So this whole concept of rotation elimination diet. And if you take it back to a baseline and then you add it in and you are more mindful, or you're more watchful for things that when you'll pick it up. It won't necessarily be. If you're having it every day, you'll think to yourself, I don't really notice any symptoms. It's not until you remove it. And then, and then rechallenge the system where suddenly, you know, your immune system's taken a breath, it's calmed down. It's like, oh, thank God. Okay, right? We don't have to deal. That's a challenge we don't have to deal with right now. And then you add it back in and it's like, good grief. It raises the red flag and it sends all the soldiers out to battle because it's like, oh, we've got that back again.

(Sonya): Yeah, I love that. And, and what we'll find a lot of times when you remove it and you challenge it, that you'll have a bigger reaction than what you did last. Because, yeah, you have really brought out that, and you're noticing it as well, right? Because as you say, you just live with these, um, you know, symptoms your whole life. And you're like, but that's my normal. Like, that's how I feel.

(Bec): Yeah, it's your normal to live in a perpetual state of inflammation. And when I say inflammation…

(Sonya): That's right.

(Bec): It's actually, it's mostly cortisol. Like the body rebalances things that we come into contact with cortisol, like if it's not a complete threat to the host, you know, it'll go, okay, well, I'll calm that down with that. And so it'll throw out this because it's a stressor on the body and then, and then suddenly you've got cortisol, sleep issues. You've got, you know, an inability to cope with stress. Or you start to get like the puffiness around the face and, you know, some of these classic signs like the fatty pad on the back of the neck or, you know, if you, if your liver's overwhelmed, you start to get like irritated where the bra, if you're female, where the bra is, like, you can pick up some of these subtle symptoms if you know what you're looking for.

(Sonya): And that's where it's really great to work with a practitioner as well, Bec. Because we are trying to know to look for these signs as well and symptoms, obviously. But this one client comes to mind that this child just had constant runny noses and they just were always like, well, they're in daycare and that's just, you know, that's how they are. 

Took dairy away. Well, just took milk away. Actually, I think that's even, again, coming back to that overwhelming, like, yes, we want to completely remove it, but I find if people are really stressed Bec, that sometimes even saying to them, I want you to eliminate dairy for six weeks and then do a challenge, they're just like, I can't even. But even just saying, well, what about if you just remove that, that milk and just see? And overnight that child, you know, stopped having a runny nose, like literally overnight. And, and then the dad was like, oh, this really works. And then was prepared to follow through with this.

(Bec): Dairy is a funny one, right, because I find I'm not great with dairy, but I don't have a lot of it. But I could have like a little bit in the one cup of coffee I have a day and a little bit in a cup of tea. But if I have more than that, then it will typically be an issue. If we're talking about milk, as in the cold product that you get from the fridge.

(Sonya): Yes.

(Bec): Ice cream. If I had an ice cream, I would have an instant, instant reaction. Something about the way it's manufactured also must play a role because if I have cheese, I don't have the same problems as well. So, you know, they are produced differently and sometimes just that can have an impact.

(Sonya): Yeah. And I do find a lot of my clients are okay with butter or ghee and, and this is just the pure pretty much fat that's in butter, whereas the other products can contain lactose, which is the carbohydrate in dairy, and casein and whey, which is in the protein in dairy. But a lot of, you know, again, looking at the research, one of the ways we think that dairy can impact brain permeability is via intracranial mast cell activation. And then what they do is initiate that histamine reaction and leading to this brain permeability. We know that it's sending out those inflammatory signals and really, you know, aggravating the immune system. And if you're already, you know - the canary in the gold mine, if you've already got, say, heavy metals and, you know, sluggish phase two detox and you can't remove the bad guy, like a heavy metal efficiently, and then you add in another stressor, as you say, and you're just adding and adding and adding. It’s like the straw that broke the camel's back and your body's completely unable to cope in and then expressing signs and symptoms. 

So taking out something that's a stressor while also looking at other stressors, is a really good way of looking at dairy as well. It's like we're just taking it out so we can just, just see it without this constant bombardment, if you will.

0:36:28 - (Bec): Yeah. I couldn't agree more. So I am going to wrap it up there and say thank you so much for once again sharing your expertise on this subject around diet and neurological health and specifically keto. So if anyone is interested in also tapping into Sonya's brain, don't forget she mentioned those free resources at her website, which is sonyareynolds.com.au. That's right, isn't it?

(Sonya): Yes.

(Bec): And also look out for her masterclass. That sounds very exciting to be confirmed soon.

(Sonya): Thanks, Bec.

(Bec): Thanks, my friend. I will talk to you again soon.

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