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October 29, 2019

What Does Myelin Do?

Your nervous system is the wiring of your body. It is responsible for all of your senses, as well as voluntary and involuntary functions in your body. Your nerves help you feel pain, as well as pleasure. They regulate the body systems, such as blood pressure and blood flow. Your nervous system also allows you to be conscious and make memories.

As you can see, the nervous system is a huge part of what makes you – YOU. Without a healthy nervous system, you may not be able to communicate effectively or enjoy your active lifestyle.

Keeping your nervous system healthy is the key to living a healthier and happier life. One of the best ways to do this is to protect and enhance the myelin in your body.

What is Myelin?

Myelin is, essentially, the insulation for the wiring in your body. It is a white-colored, insulating sheath which forms around nerves, particularly those in the brain and spinal cord.

Myelin is made up of fatty, cholesterol, and protein substances.

Myelin’s main job is to allow electrical impulses to travel in the most efficient manner along the nerve cells. When myelin is damaged, these impulses may slow down, causing problems in the body.

When your myelin is undamaged, you are able to focus, play a game of handball, prepare your taxes, and the thousands of other things you do on a daily basis.

The myelin in your body will decrease naturally as you age. This is, in part, because oligodendrocytes—cells that produce myelin—are limited by age.

Once you are in your late 50’s, your oligodendrocytes will slow down their production of myelin.  Even if you do not factor in age, the oligodendrocytes in your body are extremely vulnerable.

Other factors involved in the production of myelin include poor sleep quality, a diet that is high in sugar, alcohol consumption, deficiencies in your nutrition, and hormonal imbalances. It is extremely important that we give myelin the best nutrition and the proper environment to help it stay healthy throughout our lives.

How Does Myelin Affect Your Body?

The condition of the myelin in your body has many effects, including:

  • How well you are able to solve problems;
  • Your overall intelligence;
  • How well your memory works (both short-term memory and long-term memory);
  • Your general cognitive abilities;
  • Your coordination;
  • Your motor control;
  • How well you can read;
  • The way your brain develops;
  • Your attention span;
  • Your ability to learn;
  • Your reaction time;
  • Your sensory perception;
  • Your overall mood, and
  • Your perception of reality.

Myelin is truly the unsung hero of your health. Maintaining adequate levels of myelin is important to living a long and healthy life. When Myelin is functioning properly, your nerves are protected as they transmit signals to the body. While you can’t boost myelin production in one day, you can improve myelin in your body by following healthy habits, such as exercising regularly.