Metallothionein and Brain Health

Brain with Metallothionein pills on blue background.
Metallothionein (MT) is a protein that plays an important role in mental health.  The protein was discovered in 1957 and it is known that MT has a role with zinc and copper homeostasis, but also protection against oxidative stress. Poor MT function has been associated with ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  The functions of MT proteins include the following:  
    • Early brain development
    • Powerfull antioxidant capability
    • Detoxification of mercury and other toxic metals
    • Reduction of inflammation after injury or illness
    • Gluten sensitivities
    • Casein Sensitivities
  •  Enhanced efficiency of the interstitial and blood-brain barrier
  • Development and functioning of the immune system
  • Delivery of zinc to cells throughout the body
  • Homeostatic control of zinc and copper levels in blood
  • Prevention of yeast overgrowth in the intestines
  • Regulation of stomach acid pH
  • Taste discrimination by the tongue
  • Protection of enzymes that break down casein and gluten
  • Zinc signalling in brain cells
  • Regulation of tumour suppression genes
  • Transcription factor regulation
  • Zinc Copper imbalances

The key role of MT in brain development is in infancy.  At this period of life the brain has a high population of small, densely neurons.  MT plays an important role in “pruning” of the brain during early development,  this enables the remains cells to grow and develop synaptic connections.  Additionally MT is the primary inhibitory factor that stops the growth process when brain cells reach optimal size.

So the key is to understand that if MT function is substandard than it can cause brain and body health issues.  According to the work of Dr Carl Pfeiffer and the Pfeiffer Treatment Centre concluded that MT is the universal characteristic of autism.

Zinc/copper play such an important role within our body, I guess that is the next blog topic! Have questions just ask, Ref: Nutrient Power, William J Walsh PhD Ref:
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