Zapped: Your Brain on Electromagnetic Fields

electric brainThere is evidence that EMFs produced by home wiring, appliances, cell phones, and other devices harm the brain. Take these steps to reduce your risk …

You’ve certainly heard the controversy about mobile phones.

Some experts think they cause brain cancer, while others don’t.

But there is an even bigger issue here — how all your electronics affect your brain health, beyond just mobile phone use.

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and the Brain

Whenever an electric current flows through a wire, an electromagnetic field (EMF) is created. EMFs are produced by electricity flowing through power lines, home wiring, appliances, mobile phones, and other electrical devices.

You would expect your microwave, cell phone, and WiFi to be high EMF producers, but so are your fridge, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, and blender.

Radio frequency (RF) is one specific range of frequency of electromagnetic energy used in many types of wireless technologies — including cordless phones, radar, GPS devices, cell phones, and radio and TV broadcasts.

And your delicate brain cells are exposed to it all.

Here are some of the known ways EMF exposure harms your brain:

Free Radical Damage

radiation damages dnaEMFs create free radicals — unattached oxygen molecules that attack your cells much in the same way that oxygen causes metal to rust. (1)

Your brain uses a lot of oxygen which is why it’s very susceptible to free radical damage.

Free radicals can kill cells and even cause DNA damage.

(Image courtesy of Boston University.)

Leaky Brain Cells

Low-level EMFs have been found to rupture delicate brain cell membranes causing them to leak calcium ions. (2

Calcium ions are used by your brain cells to communicate with each other.

EMFs have been shown to break the brain-blood barrier, allowing toxins and chemicals to enter the brain and seriously affect brain function. (3)

Neurotransmitter Disruption

Proteins are integral to brain cell structure and neurotransmitter formation.

brain chemicals between synapsesOver 140 proteins in the brain are negatively impacted by EMF exposure. (4

Neurotransmitters enable your brain cells to communicate with each other. 

They control your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember, as well as regulating mood, cravings, addictions, sleep, and more.

It’s estimated that 86% of Americans already have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels. Neurotransmitter imbalance can affect your brain.

EMF exposure does not help.

Thyroid Problems

EMF exposure affects the structure and function of the thyroid. (5)

Low thyroid hormone levels can lead to a host of problems including concentration problems, forgetfulness, and difficulty making decisions, as well as muscle aches, fatigue, and weight gain.

Wide Range of Symptoms

Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, author of a ground-breaking expose on the hazards of EMFs, reports that patients with a wide range of symptoms, such as dizziness and anxiety, memory loss, ringing in the ears, unrelenting fatigue, and weight gain, can attribute them to high levels of EMFs.

EMFs and Alzheimer’s Disease

There may be a direct link between the electromagnetic fields created by power lines and all types of dementia.

People living within 150 feet of a high voltage power lines are 24% more likely to die of dementia. (6)

Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

One of the weirdest findings is that sewing machine operators have four times the risk of Alzheimer’s caused by strong, continuous EMF exposure over long periods of time. (7)

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 50 minutes spent on a cell phone disrupts brain glucose metabolism. (8)

When you consider that Alzheimer’s is now considered by many experts to be a form of diabetes of the brain, you can see how this could contribute to Alzheimer’s. 

EMFs and Sleep

Dozens of studies have found that even low levels of EMFs can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin. (9)

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. It’s also a potent antioxidant — even better than vitamin C.  (10

woman sleeping with phoneBy suppressing melatonin, EMFs deal a double whammy.

This disrupts sleep, when memory consolidation and new brain cell generation occurs.

And less melatonin is available to prevent free radical damage.

65% of people sleep with their cell phones. (11)

And 44% of those who sleep near their cell phone check for messages in the middle of the night! (12)

Most use it as an alarm clock. 

Don’t expose your head to unnecessary radiation for 1/3 of your life just to wake up in the morning.

This doesn’t make sense. Get an alarm clock, people!

Mobile Phones and the Brain

Mobile phones are a particular worry since they are used so often and so close to the head. You can just as readily find studies to prove they cause cancer as that they don’t. 

But there is more than cancer to be worried about.

emf radiationEMFs can penetrate as much as 1-1/2 inches into the brain and lead to headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, benign tumors, and Alzheimer’s. (13)

The World Health Organization recommends that “consumers should consider ways of reducing their exposure.” It puts cell phones in the same cancer-causing category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform. (14)

Another JAMA study found that simply holding an activated cell phone next to your head for less than an hour changes brain metabolism. (15)

Clinical Neurophysiology reports that mobile phone emissions affect the brain’s “cross talk,” slowing down the brain’s reaction time. (16)

A study in the Journal of Experimental Biology showed that EMF exposure affects the structure and function of the thyroid. (17)

Low thyroid hormone levels can lead to concentration problems, forgetfulness, and difficulty making decisions. 

Cell Phones Even Worse for Kids

As bad as cell phones are for adults, they are much worse for children. 

Dr. Ronald B. Herberman is the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

When he testified before Congress about the hazards of cell phones, he included the image below which compares EMF’s brain penetration in adults and children. (18, 19)

cell phone radiation penetration of brains

The rate of absorption is higher in children than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and their relative size is smaller.

Shockingly, EMFs nearly went straight through the brain of a 5 year old!

It is no shock that some experts believe there is a link between cell phone use by kids and ADD and ADHD. (20)

Steps to Protect Your Brain

No one really knows what living in this ocean of EMFs is doing to our health, but there is much evidence that it is detrimental to our brains.

I don’t expect you will give up your mobile phone. The trend is for people to spend more time on their smartphones, not less.

But there are a few common sense precautions you can take.

  • Keep your phone as far away as you can when it’s turned on.
  • Turn it off when you can.
  • Invest in a mobile phone radiation protector.
  • Don’t sleep with your phone on and next to your head.

pong mobile phone caseProtect your brain from cell phone radiation and optimize your signal with a Pong Soft Touch Radiation-Redirecting Case.

A patented antenna redirects the potentially harmful electromagnetic radiation away from your head, reducing your radiation exposure.

This allows more radiation to communicate with the cell tower, which optimizes your signal.

Your phone’s battery life is also optimized, because your phone doesn’t have to work as hard to communicate with the cell tower. A win-win-win situation!

Minimize your exposure to other EMF sources at night.

Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom or shut off the power to them before sleeping.

Place your alarm clock three feet from your head and don’t use an electric blanket.

A great place to learn more about the effects of EMFs is Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution.

This is an eye-opening read for anyone who is concerned about what electromagnetic radiation is doing to their health. While most of the news is not good, this book brings what could be a complex topic down to earth and gives you plenty of actionable advice.

If you are concerned about what EMFs are doing to your health and your brain, we highly recommend it.

Want more help to boost your memory, focus and mood? Find it in the Be Brain Fit Store.

If you want your brain to be healthy and sharp, learn how to treat it right.

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