by Justin Gregory Maguire

Introduction and historical relevance

It was during the early days of my bodybuilding experience that I first heard about peptides, not knowing what these biological compounds were. My curiosity sparked and so began the journey into a world full of healing and performance possibilities. Peptides are by no means a new discovery in medical science, in 1923 insulin was synthesized and became the first commercial peptide available to treat and save countless lives battling with diabetes[1]. Although peptides were discovered in 1901[2], the viability to create stable peptides for administration was compromised due to the factors involving metabolism and short half-life cycles. Fortunately, due to modern medical advancements in cellular medicine, scientists are finding new and exciting ways to make a broader range of peptides capable of enduring metabolic breakdown whilst also ensuring a more pronounced impact on cellular restoration. 

The power of innate peptides

Over 7000 natural peptides have been discovered expressing endocrinological, immunological and neurological modulation, with most research targeting the efficacy in the treatment of both diabetes and cancer[3]. However, throughout this article our focus will be on the cognitive influence specific innate peptides provide whilst also highlighting reference to specific exogenous peptide therapies that enable improved brain function.  

Safety and considerations

Peptide therapy is generally considered safe[4] due to the modulatory and not stimulatory role most peptides exhibit within the body. However, specific peptides which directly alter blood sugar and or cardiac rhythms such as GLP1[5] and MK-677[6] should be considered with due caution. Thus, if you are considering the use of peptide therapies consult with a professional who understands the risks and benefits of including this tool within your health strategy.  

Gut-Brain-Axis and peptides: microbiome influence on cognition

Most neurologically active peptides are produced by the microbiome in the gut[7]. From gestation to birth and through to adulthood, our microbiome plays a crucial role in our ability to not only produce energy but also the development of peptides[8]. Notably, psychopathologies have a close correlation to dysbiosis[9], in which dysbiotic gut metabolites disrupt the nervous system and innate immunity, leaving one feeling stressed, depressed, and inflamed. Specific increases of actinobacteria and poor concentration of Bacteroidetes have been noted through cross-sectional analysis in those struggling with depression[10], along with a decrease in parasympathetic peptides such as GLP1 (glucagon-like peptide 1), PYY (Peptide YY), Ghrelin and Oxytocin[11]

Correlations of mental health and performance

The motto ‘there is no health without mental health’[12] holds weight beyond sociological consideration and crosses over into both biochemical and psychological frameworks. Physiological overwhelm stemming from both internal and external environmental factors needs to be identified to be understood, providing us with an opportunity to develop a course directive change and thus accelerating optimal cognition along with overall well-being. 

Progressive medical advancements/opportunities

Advancements in molecular diagnostics have afforded our generation with an opportunity to not have to simply suck it up and get on with feeling depressed, tired, and even intellectually disadvantaged!

Through analysis of active metabolites such as those depicted in an OAT (Organic Acid Test) along with cross-analysis of FBCA (Functional blood chemistry analysis) stool analysis we can see where your body is falling short in its ability to produce neurochemicals, enzymes and cofactors all needed to maximize your brains full potential.  

Solutions during optimization 

Reforming biological terrain is essential for improving our cognitive function, yet it’s often not a quick fix, which when you struggle to focus or keep a smile on your face may be overwhelming, to say the least. 

Often during my time with patients, I explain that one should not embark on a detox until the nervous system is in a place to do so. This is where the use of peptides can make a difference! 

Now there are many peptides (as mentioned above), thus to provide educational information (please consult with your Dr. or health care provider before starting any peptide therapy), I will indicate my top choices to get a derailed mind into optimal cognitive drive. 

Exogenous Peptides 


What makes this peptide one of my favourite cognitive peptides is its ability to improve melatonin production in the pineal gland[13]. Melatonin is vital as a powerful antioxidant that acts to improve mitochondrial DNA expression, a vital feature when we are looking to regulate autophagy, thus ridding the brain of cellular debris that would otherwise congest our ability to think, function, and live fully. 

BPC 157 – 

Body protection Compound, otherwise known as BPC 157, is a peptide found in our gastric juices and thus directly impacts the gut-brain axis in a very profound way. BPC 157 Modulates the activity of both tryptamine and dopaminergic receptors[14] thus providing possible support to psychopathologies ranging from addiction, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and major depressive disorder. 

Certain bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infections dramatically induce cytotoxicity to dopaminergic and tryptamine receptors, often leaving the host with damage to neurons in the brain. During the analysis of diagnostics, I found it common for those who express neurological dysfunction to have some form of microbiome contamination. 

Through the use of BPC 157 whilst reforming the microbiome terrain likelihood of a successful intervention is much greater. 


Initially designed to treat traumatic brain injury, Cerebrolyin has immense pleiotropic value to the brain. Notably, Cerebrolysin contains high amounts of BDNF (brain-derived nootropic factor), NGF (nerve growth factor), and P21 all of which are nootropics that instigate the restoration and regeneration of neuron cell bodies. 

Improvements in memory and attention have been noted through clinical trials in Cerebrolysin’s ability to aid cognitive enhancement, notably due to its influence on alpha brain wave activity[15].


Selank was developed by the Russians in 1983 as an anti-anxiolytic peptide aimed at improving performance through increased stress tolerance. This is by far the most effective peptide I have experienced to have a dramatic and relatively immediate effect in those struggling with GABA[16] (gamma amino butyric acid) receptor imbalance. 

Selank is the combination of a gut peptide called Tuftsin with 3 additional amino acids added to the peptide chain.

The addition of the 3 amino acids enables the stability of the peptide to be utilized in the nervous system without undertaking rapid breakdown. 

For those with any history of substance abuse, this is also a phenomenal peptide to aid the repair of the hippocampus and MAO gene expression. 


Heavy metal toxicity is a big issue amongst those with ADHD[17], Semax may, however, provide a solution to aid those with heavy metal-induced ADHD by counteracting the neurotoxic effects; and inhibiting neurodegeneration caused by dopamine oxidation. 

For those facing an increase in glutamate toxicity, Selank may be a valuable aid in expressing its role in modulating NMDA receptor activity and excitation. Essentially any environment in which Calcium ion flow has been disrupted would benefit considering the use of Semax as a restorative and supportive aid. 

Final words

Mental health is a vital part of our perceptive experience in life, without a healthy mind we perceive even the most ideal reality as a potential hell. Strangely in my time around the world, having lived in both first and third-world economies I can safely say that I have seen more smiling faces in those living closer to nature than those residing in big cities. Could this be our western diet, technological pollution, or simply increased work pressure? Whatever the reason, we have an opportunity to circumnavigate the imbalance caused by technological and societal progression and restore our best possible cognitive opportunity.

Given that our microbiome exhibit 150X more gene expressions than our innate human cells, I believe that investigating not only our gut terrain but also its correlative effect on our biochemistry is a wise move toward not only improving mental performance but importantly perceptive well-being over life. 

If you are motivated to think clearer yet feel a bit lost as to where in your body the problem lies, I would like to offer you a comprehensive physiological symptoms review. 

It’s not a short form! But for every good reason: to be thorough in finding solutions all possibilities need to be considered! 

If that beautiful brain of yours is screaming at you to get on with it and start your healing journey, then I am honoured to present to you AC’s provisional symptoms diagnostic form: 

For those wanting a little off-cuff advice as to how they can start dealing with dysbiosis and improve mental performance the below two links will take you to 

  1. Dysbiosis management Adrenal restoration measures

Finally, I wish you a wonderfully joyful and productive 2023. One filled with endless accomplishment and limited stress. 

Helping you to stay Optimized


  [1] Wang, L. et al. (February 2022). Therapeutic peptides: current applications and future directions. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 19 December 2022

[2] Stawikowski, M. Fields B, G. (Feb 2013). Introduction to Peptide Synthesis. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 21 December 2022

[3] Fosgerau, K. Hoffman, T. (January 2016). Peptide therapeutics: Current status and future directions. Available at: <> sourced: 22 December 2022

[4] Nickel, B. (2019). Is Peptide Therapy Safe? [online] Available at: <,any%20side%20effects%20you%20experience.> sourced: 22 December 2022. 

[5] Russell-Jones, D. (Sep 2010). The safety and tolerability of GLP-1 receptor antagonists in the treatment of type-2 diabetes. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 23 December 2022) 

[6] Filho, J Z I. (May 2022). Major approached the use of GH secretagogue (MK-677) for muscle gain in elderly: A brief systematic review. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 23 December 2022

[7] Skonieczna-Zydecka, K. et al. (Nov 2020). Gut Biofactor – neurocompetent metabolites within the gastrointestinal tract. A scoping review. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 19 September 2022 

[8] Yahfoufi, N. et al. (Jan 2020). Adolescence and Aging: Impact of Adolescence inflammatory stress and microbiota alterations on brain development, aging, and neurodegeneration. [online] Available at: <> sourced 20 September 2022

[9] Mlynarska, E. et al. (2022). The role of microbiome-gut-brain-axis in the pathogenesis of depressive disorder. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 18 September 2022 

[10] Sonali, S. et al. (Apr 2022). Mechanistic insights into the link between Gut dysbiosis and Major depression. An extensive review. [online] Available: <> sourced: 25 September 2022

[11] Mlynarska, E. et al. (2022). The role of microbiome-gut-brain-axis in the pathogenesis of depressive disorder. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 18 September 2022

[12] Logan, C A. (2015). Dysbiotic drift: Mental health, environmental grey space and microbiota. [online] Available at: Logan Journal of Physiological Anthropology (2015) 34:23 DOI 10.1186/s40101-015-0061-7 source on: 19 September 2023

[13] Goncharova, D N. et al. (Jan 2005). Pineal peptides restore the age-related disturbances in hormonal functions of the pineal gland and the pancreas. [online] Available:<> sourced 23 December 2022 

[14] Sikiric, P. et al. (Apr 2016). Brain-gut Axis and Pentadecapeptide BPC 157: Theoretical and Practical Implications. [online] Available at: <> sourced 23 December 2022 

[15] Alvarez, A X. (2000). Oral cerebrolysin enhances brain alpha activity and improves cognitive performance in elderly control subjects. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 23 December 2022

[16] Volkova, A. et al. (Feb 2016). Selank administration affects the expression of some genes involved in GABAergic neurotransmission. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 23 December 2023

[17] Min-Jing, L. et al. (Jun 2018). Heavy metals’ effect on susceptibility to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Implication of Lead, Cadmium and Antimony. [online] Available at: <> sourced 24 December 2022


  • Whole foods
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid all food allergens, which can weaken the system and can be an adrenal stressor
  • Fasting and detoxification/cleansing diets should be avoided, at least initially
  • Avoid refined sugar
  • Adequate protein
  • No caffeine

Botanical Support

  • Ginseng: Has steroid-like activites, can increase resistance to a whole load of stressors, can prevent shrinking of the thymus gland and can prevent adrenal hyperplasia.Can prevent adrenal atrophy in cortisone treatment
  • Licorice:It can increase cortisol half-life and is extremely useful in correcting low cortisol states, giving the adrenal gladns a rest and chance to restore. Can help prevent shrinking of the thymus and immunosuppression from the admnistratino of cortisone. May lessen the amount of cortisone needed to achieve a therapeutic effect. Dose:1/4 teaspoon of 5:1 solid extract three times/day or strong licorice tea or capsulated licorice 2 caps 3x day

Stress Management

  • Get adequate sleep. 8 hours of sleep beginning at 10p.m. is much more restoring to the adrenals than 8 hours beginning at 1.00 a.m. Nap if needed but not enough to interfere with night sleep
  • Relaxation: Breathing or skilled relaxation exercises, listen to relaxation tapes, meditate, biofeedback
  • Accept nurturing and affection
  • Laugh


  • Light to moderate exercise. Do not push yourself and begin at a level that you can handle

Natural light

  • Get outdoors into natural light as much as possible. Direct sunlight is not necessary. Natural light is essential for healthy adrenal function.
  • Use full spectrum light in the home and work area
  • Green light: Some research has come out about the benefits of green light. Obtain a Par 38 dichromatic 150-watt spot of flood green light to have as an ambient light somewhere in the home

Suggestions for dealing with dysbiosis:

  1. Eat two large chopped salads each day: Normal flora feed on vegetable fiber. Eating chopped salads will help normal, beneficial bacteria to thrive
  2. Chew your food thoroughly: This improves digestion, breaking down food particles and mixing them with salivary juices. The better your digestion, the easier it is to treat dysbiosis
  3. Don’t eat a lot of meat: You don’t have to avoid it completely (unless allergies are an issue). Eating too much meat can feed certain species of undesirable bacteria.
  4. Avoid dairy products
  5. Eat plenty of RAW vegetables: Raw foods contain enzymes and aid digestion
  6. Find and eliminate any allergens: avoiding hidden allergies will reduce the burden on the immune system.

Eliminate the following food from the diet


  • Beet sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Honey and related products
  • Honeycomb
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses


  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry
  • Coconut (oil meal, milk, eat)
  • Currant
  • Date
  • Date plum
  • Fig (all varieties)
  • Grape
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Loganberry
  • Mango
  • Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Persimmon
  • Plum
  • Pomelo
  • Prune
  • Raisin
  • Raspberries


  • Chinese yam
  • Morel mushroom
  • Plantain
  • Poi
  • Tapioca
  • Taro
  • Yan (sweet potato)

Nuts/Nut butters

  • Brazil nut
  • Butternut
  • Cashew
  • Cola nut
  • Hickory nut
  • Macadamia nut
  • Pecan
  • Pistachio
  • Walnut


Apple cider vinegar

Bakers yeast

Black tea

Brewers yeast




Cocoa butter

Cream of tartar



Animal products




Bel paese









Port de salut





Food that are permitted


  • Watermelon
  • Apples
  • Backberries
  • Blueberries
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches

Nuts/Nut butters

  • Almond
  • Chestnut
  • Hazelnut
  • Filberts
  • Pine nuts

Animal products

  • Beef (lean cuts)
  • Chicken (no skin)
  • turkey
  • cod
  • haddock
  • plaice
  • salmon
  • trout
  • tuna
  • oysters
  • mussels
  • red snapper
  • hake
  • kingklip


  • Bok choy / pak choi
  • Broccoli, whole – 3/4 cup
  • Broccoli, heads only – 3/4 cup
  • Broccoli, stalks only – 1/3 cup
  • Broccolini, whole – 1/2 cup chopped
  • Broccolini, heads only – 1/2 cup
  • Broccolini, stalks only – 1 cup
  • Brussels sprouts – 2 sprouts
  • Butternut squash – 1/4 cup
  • Cabbage, common and red up to 3/4 cup
  • Callaloo
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery – less than 5cm of stalk
  • Chilli – if tolerable
  • Chives
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Leek leaves
  • Lettuce:
    • Butter lettuce
    • Iceberg lettuce
    • Radicchio lettuce
    • Red coral lettuce
    • Rocket lettuce
    • Romaine/Cos lettuce
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Seaweed / nori
  • Spinach, baby
  • Squash
  • Swede
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip
  • Water chestnuts

Herbs and spices:

  • Basil
  • bay leaf
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • cumin
  • curry
  • dill
  • ginger
  • mint
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • tarragon
  • thyme
  • turmeric

Maguire G Justin, July 2022. 

Inflammation is arguably the biggest contributing factor toward cellular ageing, yet most are unaware of how to negate excessive inflammatory outcomes within their bodies. Glycans are chain-like structures that are composed of single sugar molecules linked together by chemical bonds1, which are also associated with the early signs of age-related diseases. Estrogen has the ability to reduce glycans2, an ability in which estrogen’s roles in modulating neurotransmitters and hormones may be contributing to its anti-ageing effect. This article serves to provide insight into the important role estrogen plays in influencing behaviour, focusing on the diverse impacts that different estrogen types and respective receptors have upon physiology. Additionally, further resources are explained how one may improve the functionality of estrogen by supporting hepatic and gastrointestinal health.
Properties of Estrogen 
The physiological properties and reactions of estrogen fall into a wide category of effects, some of which we will discuss in greater detail later in the article. To gain an appreciation of the importance of estrogen, it is necessary to look at the huge range of its effects on the human body, which are highlighted below.

In women, estrogen:

  • creates the endometrium
  • regulates the menstrual cycle
  • reduces vaginal dryness

In both men and women, estrogen:

  • Slows bone loss
  • Anti-ageing 
  • Uplifts mood
  • Lowers LDL
  • Increases HDL
  • Reduces Lipoprotein (a) and homocysteine
  • Positive effect on neurotransmitters
  • Supports memory and motivation 
  • Supports puberty development
  • Reduces incidence of heart attack
  • Increases progesterone receptor sensitivity
  • Increases sexual desire

Signs and symptoms of low estrogen

As a man, I never used to think that estrogen deficiency was something I needed to consider yet it is important to know that a deficiency of estrogen influences both men and women, in particular as regards cardiovascular and psychological health. A few common symptoms of low estrogen are as follows :

  • hot flashes/night sweats (in both men and women!!!)
  • sleep disturbance
  • anxiety
  • depression 
  • memory loss/lapses
  • emotional instability
  • brain fog
  • vaginal dryness
  • low libido (in both men and women!!!!)
  • headaches (one of the biggest neglected contributing factors to migraines!)
  • weight gain 
  • heart palpitations
  • hair loss
  • painful intercourse 
  • elevated blood pressure
  • dry skin/wrinkles
  • joint pain 

Types of estrogen and estrogen receptors 

There are three types of estrogen in human physiology:

  • estradiol 
  • estrone; and
  • estriol 

Additionally, there are two types of estrogen receptors (ER) in the human body:

  • ER beta; and
  • ER alpha 

At particular stages of a woman’s life, specific types of estrogen predominate, specifically::

  • estriol during times of pregnancy 
  • estradiol in pre-menopausal women; and 
  • estrone in post-menopausal women

The activity of the different estrogen receptors produces a wide variety of effects on physiology and neuroendocrine activity. Increased activity of ER alpha has been shown to induce carcinogenic cell growth in breast tissue3 therefore to avoid oncogenesis it is paramount to modulate levels of estrogens likely to activate ER alpha.

Each estrogen exhibits a unique affinity for specific ER receptors, namely:

  • estradiol binds to both ER alpha and beta
  • estrone binds predominantly to ER alpha; and
  • estriol binds predominantly to ER beta.

When considering bio-identical hormone therapy in those who have a history or family history of cancer, it is, therefore, safer to opt for estriol given its lack of affinity for ER alpha receptors.

Estrogen’s influence on neurochemistry and neurological health

Estradiol has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation and to protect the cortex, striatum and hippocampus of the brain4.
Given that:

  1. the cortex is responsible for perception and awareness
  2. the striatum is responsible for maintaining motivation and the reward link associated with neuroplasticity and
  3. the hippocampus is largely responsible for memory recall

It is clear that estrogen plays a pivotal role in sustaining and preserving the optimal functionality of the brain.  

ER alpha also serves an important purpose in promoting the output of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), dopamine, neuropeptide Y, glutamate, neurotensin and even somatostatin5. Potential for neuronal excitation is therefore closely linked to the activity of ER alpha and the respective availability of estrogens associated with that receptor. 

Every action has a reaction, a cause and an effect: and in any situation where we excite the nervous system, some level of inflammation will ensue. ER beta then steps in to modulate any potential excessive ER alpha activity by promoting the inhibitory neurotransmitters oxytocin and serotonin6, which put the brakes on to reduce neuroinflammation and stop the brain from burning itself up.

Both ER alpha and beta are essential in modulating NMDA receptors7 which facilitates glutamate’s role within the hippocampus to improve memory recall. Where excessive glutamate activity causes neuroinflammation and the associated depletion of antioxidants, GABA acts as an antagonist to excessive glutamate activity, thereby neutralizing the likelihood of neurodegeneration. ER beta activity modulates the activity of GABAb receptors8, and this balanced activity of ER alpha and beta receptors serves to facilitate improved cognitive function in addition whilst negating the potential of excitotoxicity. 

Estrogen metabolites through hydroxyl pathway

Depending on the health and activity of the liver, estrogen can be metabolized into either beneficial or detrimental metabolites. Sulfation and glucuronidation form vital conjugation pathways of hormonal metabolism and when the function of these pathways becomes compromised DNA damage can result. 

There are three hydroxylated estrogen metabolites:

  • 4-OH-E1: most toxic estrogen metabolite which may instigate DNA damage/mutation (Often estrone is metabolized through this pathway) 
  • 2-OH-E1: aids in DNA repair, anti-inflammatory properties and modulates glycan activity. 
  • 16-OH-E1: Increases protein binding, may render other hormones ineffective and reduce receptor activation throughout endocrine complexes.

In order to support the liver’s ability to optimally metabolise estrogen the following nutrients are essential:

Phase one liver detoxification nutrients (Modification)

  • B-complex
  • Vitamin A, C, E, D3
  • Folinic acid
  • Milk thistle
  • Citrus bioflavonoids
  • Antioxidants
  • Thiols (garlic/onions)
  • Copper, Selenium, Zinc and Manganese

Phase two liver detoxification nutrients (conjugation)

  • Calcium  d-glucarate
  • Amino acids
  • Cruciferous vegetables 
  • MSM
  • N-acetyl-Cysteine 

High estrogen does not mean estrogen efficiency, on the contrary, high estrogen levels may be associated with unwanted xenoestrogens – foreign chemicals with a similar structure to estrogen –  being present within the body, Xenoestrogens disrupt natural feedback mechanisms, which instruct regulatory outcomes of optimal and healthy hormone production. Essentially, therefore you can have a situation of high total estrogen yet still exhibit symptoms of estrogen deficiency. It is therefore very important to support the detoxification of harmful estrogens.

Some possible causes of high  estrogen are as follows:

  • obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • peri-menopause
  • liver disease
  • high-fat diet
  • estrogen replacement (not moderated correctly!!!)
  • ovarian tumours
  • high beef consumption (if not organic or grass-fed)
  • medication 

Assessing the state of your estrogen health takes more than simply looking into blood tests. Although blood chemistry analysis is useful to determine total hormone levels,  hormone metabolism and activity are best understood through the utilization of a dried hormone urine analysis. Both blood chemistry and dried hormone analysis are therefore required to capture the full picture of estrogen activity and concentration in the body.

For those living in the UK I would suggest the following two tests through Omnos
Use this code to receive a 5% discount on the tests once you check out:  AUTONOMIC

For those looking for nutrient support to aid the liver I recommend the following:

Integrative therapeutics Lipotropic formula/complex 

  1. Protocol’s Protoclear
  2. Designs for health’s LV&GB complex

along with one of the following:

  1. Integrative therapeutic’s blue heron
  2. Metagenics Metafiber
  3. Allergy Research Group Gastrocleanse 

For those looking to help eliminate high xenoestrogens and restore optimal health estrogen production I recommend one of the following:

  1. Designs for health: Fem guard and balance
  2. Vitamia: Fem Balance
  3. Vital Nutrients: Hormone balance 

For more information as to how you can restore your mental and physical health through rectifying hormonal imbalances, reach out to or visit


  1. GlyTech Inc., 2018. What are glycans. Available at: (sourced 20 July 2022) 
  2. Jurić, J., Kohrt M, W., Kifer, D., Pezer, M.,  Nigrovic A, P.,  Lauc, G. June 2020. Effects of estradiol on biological age measured using the glycan age index. Available at: (accessed 20 July 2022)
  3. Liu, Y., Ma, H. and Yao, J. March 2020. ERalpha, a key target for cancer therapy: A review. Available at:,as%20well%20as%20cancer%20inhibition. (sourced 20 July 2022)
  4. Bryant D, N. and Dorsa D, M. Aug 2010. Roles of estrogen receptors alpha and beta in sexually dimorphic neuroprotection against glutamate toxicity. Available at: (accessed 20 July 2022) 
  5. Kelly M, J., and Ronnekleiv O, K. Mar 2009. Control of CNS neuronal excitability by estrogens via membrane initiated signalling. Available at: (sourced 20 July 2022)
  6. Walf A, A., Frye A, C. Jun 2006. A review and update of mechanisms of estrogen in the hippocampus and amygdala for anxiety and depression behaviour. Available at: (sourced 20 July 2022) 
  7. Tang, B., Ji, Y., Traub R, J. Feb 2008. Estrogen alters spinal NMDA receptor activity via PKA signalling pathway in a visceral pain model in the rat. Available at: (sourced 20 July 2022) 
  8. Saleh M, T. and Connel B, J. Jun 2003. Estrogen-induced autonomic effects are mediated by NMDA and GABA(a) receptors in the parabrachial nucleus. Available at: (sourced 20 July 2022) 

Maguire G Justin, Nov2022.


Cholesterol and its influence on behaviour

Introduction – historically misinformed cholesterol

Cardiovascular disease has historically been associated with cholesterol, leading the public into demonizing this protective sterol, resulting in the misappropriate use of statins and fibrates[1]. Pharmacology is by no means an evil entity, and in some cases, the use of drugs is essential to enable health to flourish. Tackling high or low cholesterol should however be approached through a broader lens, one in which underlying immunological and endocrinological activity is considered. Additionally, suppressing cholesterol may insight unwanted outcomes of psychological distress, this article serves to enlighten intricacies that otherwise may not be considered in the role cholesterol plays within the management of both molecular and psychological health.

What is cholesterol

Cholesterol is a sterol biosynthesized by all animal cells, providing structure to cell membranes[2].  Cholesterol was first discovered by François Poulletier de la Salle in 1796 and later between 1913-1929 lipoproteins were identified by Nikolay Anichov, accelerating studies of cardiovascular lipid studies into full swing with contributions respectively by Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown in 1974[3].

There is but one type of cholesterol with different types of protein carriers, each of which plays a role in maintaining biological processes in the body. Most of our cholesterol is synthesized by our bodies, with only one-third coming from dietary sources[4]. Cholesterol has a wide range of functions, including:

  1. The structural component of cell membranes
  2. Raw material to produce bile acids to enable absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  3. Raw material (precursor) to the production of steroid hormones
  4. A component of myelin, which protects our nerves
  5. Aids thermoregulation at a cellular level
  6. Involved in Vitamin D absorption from the skin

Thyroid and cortisol impact on mitochondria – impact on cholesterol

The state of the immune system dramatically impacts cholesterol synthesis and transport. Immunological compromise impacts cholesterol health, often leading to initial elevation and in some cases depletion[5]. Compromised mitochondria function has been associated with different pathologies[6] linked to dysregulated cholesterol levels. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in the regulation of mitochondria activity[7], enabling mitochondrion to support the production of adrenal hormones[8] thus modulating communication between both the peripheral and central nervous systems. Thus, we need to understand the activity of metabolic hormones when we are looking into the causative factors of poor cholesterol profiles.

Cortisol dominance is often expressed in cases of hypothyroidism[9], given that cortisol instigates elevated levels of oxidative stress[10], increases in LDL (low-density lipoprotein) can closely be associated with both elevated cortisol and poor thyroid hormone levels. Common causes for elevated cortisol[11] and insufficient thyroid hormone levels[12]can be traced back to both hepatic and gastrointestinal health.

Microbiome diversity and our nervous system develop at the same pace[13], thus alterations to our gut flora due to stress directly influences reactivity in the nervous system to stress. Poorly modulated stress leads to dysregulation of thyroid and cortisol function, resulting in mitochondria dysfunction which leads cholesterol metabolism to focus on repairing micro-abrasions caused by oxidative stress, resulting in atherosclerosis and eventual cardiac health compromise.

Recommended testing

  • Omnos Thyroid panel
  • DUTCH – omnos
  • Stool tests – omnos

Low cholesterol and the dangers of poor mental health

Much focus is given to elevated cholesterol, yet low cholesterol is neglected as a major cause of disease[14]. Causes of low cholesterol could be linked back to ongoing immunological compromise, leading the body into a position of exhaustion, and not being able to synthesize enough cholesterol. Other factors that may induce low cholesterol include:

  • Hyperthyroidism – linked to hepatic compromise of sulfation pathways
  • Liver disease
  • Gastritis
  • Intestinal hyperpermeability
  • Malnutrition
  • Manganese deficiency
  • Genetic enzyme disorders
  • Iron overload – hemochromatosis

ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) impacts the way in which a person is able to learn, communicate and interact with the world. Ranging from anger to social isolation, ASD impacts the way in which a person is able to fully express themselves in a safe and productive manner. Low cholesterol was found to in 19% percent of ASD cases within a meta-analysis of this condition[15]. Improving how the body is able to manage and produce cholesterol in those affected by ASH may provide relief from inflammatory conditions commonly associated with the condition.

ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ) ranges in 3 broad classes of expression, all of which limit a person’s ability to feel calm and peaceful within moments of emotional and intellectual challenge. ADHD often leads those affected by the condition into impulsive and at times destructive behaviour. Disruptive and aggressive behaviour has a close association with children impacted by ADHD. Through investigative analysis across the United States of America, children with low cholesterol levels were threefold more likely to have been suspended or expelled compared to those with higher cholesterol[16]. Identifying causative factors which may compromise innate cholesterol metabolism may provide relief to aggression/frustration often experienced in those with ADHD.

Through case series retrospective analysis, it was found that patients with lower cholesterol had a higher tendency to attempt to commit suicide[17]. Cholesterol plays a contributing role within the available concentration of serotonin in cerebral spinal fluid, thus improving symptoms of depression and lowering the likelihood of suicide. 

Through retrospective analysis, it was found those addicted to cocaine had low cholesterol profiles[18]. An investigative analysis of both genetic vulnerability and current physiological function may provide insight into what additional preventative measures could be incorporated in the fight against addiction, namely restoring immunological reactivity and the associated impact on cholesterol.

Improving cholesterol requires focus on not only the intake of cholesterol but the functionality of physiological and immunological systems both of which play an integral role within a homeostatic balance of cholesterol metabolism. For those with low cholesterol consuming enough cholesterol from dietary sources may prove beneficial in supporting the body’s need for this sterol.

Foods that are  high in cholesterol include the following:

  • Eggs – 2 yolks = 500mgs of cholesterol
  • Brain – 3oz = 1000mg cholesterol
  • Liver – 3oz = 372mg


Cholesterol gives the body the ability to regulate and repair. Dysregulated cholesterol metabolism not only leads one into possibly cardiac disease but also may instigate a whole host of behavioural disorders. Approaching the reformation of cholesterol needs to consider more than just incorporating statins or fibrates (although they are also useful in specific situations), rather restoring cholesterol function entails looking into the whole body and cellular metabolism. Through the identification of internal environment disruptors (heavy metals, toxins, pathogenic flora, mycotoxins, candida, etc..) we can support, remove, detoxify and restore cellular health, in particular, that of the mitochondria, thus providing a greater opportunity for lipid health renewal and lowered incident of mood or behavioural disorders.

Kris Gethin testimonial

[1] Soliman, GA. 2018. Dietary cholesterol and lack of evidence in cardiovascular disease. Available at: (Sourced: 28 October 2022)

[2] National library of medicine: National center for biotechnology information. Oct 2022. Compound summary: Cholesterol. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[3] Kuijpers, P. 2021. History in medicine: the story of cholesterol, lipids and cardiology. Available at:,cholesterol%20for%20the%20first%20time. (sourced 28 October 2022)

[4] Kapourchali, R F. Surendiran, G. Goulet, A. Moghadasian, H M. Oct 2016. The Role of Dietary Cholesterol in Lipoprotein Metabolism and Related Metabolic Abnormalities: A Mini-review. Available at:,the%20body%20(endogenous%20cholesterol). (sourced 28 October 2022)

[5] Anderson, J C. 2018. Impact of dietary cholesterol on the pathophysiology of infectious and autoimmune disease. Available at: (sourced 28 October)

[6] Naviaux, K R. Mitochondrion. 2019. Perspective: Cell danger response biology – the new science that connects environmental health with mitochondria and the rising tide of chronic illness. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[7] Sinha, R H. Singh, B. Zhou, J. Wu, Y. Farah, L B. Ohba, K. Lesmana, R. Gooding, J. Bay, BH. Yen, M P. Autophay 2015. Thyroid hormone induction of mitochondrial activity is coupled by mitophagy via ROS-AMPK-ULK1 signalling. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[8] Lam, M. Lam, C. mitochondria’s impact on adrenal gland diseases. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[9] Gassama, S. Ndoye, O. Mbodj, M. Akala, A. Cisse, F. Niang, M. Ndoye, R. 2000. Serum cortisol level variations in thyroid diseases. Available at:,often%20allow%20normal%20cortisol%20values. (sourced 28 October 2022)

[10] Simsek, S. Yuksel, T. Kaplan, I. Uysal, C. Aktas, H. ‘Pyschiatry Investigation 2016’. The levels of cortisol and oxidative stress and DNA damage in child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse with or without post traumatic stress disorder. Available at:,axis%20dysfunction%20and%20mental%20disorders.&text=It%20was%20also%20reported%20that,production%20of%20reactive%20oxygen%20species. (sourced 28 October 2022)

[11] Panduro, A. Iniguez, R I. Sepulveda-Villegas, M. Roman, S. Genes, emotions and gut microbiota: The next frontier for gastroenterologist. Available at: (sourced: 28 October 2022)

[12] Knezevic, J. Starchl, C. Berisha, T A. Amrein, K. Thyroid-gut-axis: How does the microbiota influence thyroid function? Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[13] Yahfoufi, N. Matar, C. Ismail, N. 2020. Adolescence and aging: impact of adolescence inflammatory stress and microbiota alterations on brain development, aging, and neurodegeneration. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[14] Budzynski, J. Tojek, K. Wustrau, B. Czerniak, B. Winiarski, P. Korzycka-Wilinska, W. Banaszkiewicz, Z. 2018. The cholesterol paradox among inpatients – retrospective analysis of medical documentation. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[15] Tiery, E. Bukelis, I. Thompson, E R. Ahmed, K. Aneja, A. Kratz, L. Kelly, I R.  Am J of Med Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric genetics Vol 141B, Issue 6, Pg 666-668, 2006. Abnormalities of cholesterol metabolism in autism – spectrum disorders. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[16] Zhang, J. Muldoon, F M. McKeown, E R. Cuffe, P S. Am J Epidemiol. 2005. Association of serum cholesterol and history of school suspension among school-aged children and adolescents in the United States. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[17] Modai, I. Valevski, A. Dror, S. Weizman, A. J Clin Psychiatry. 1994. Serum cholesterol levels and suicidal tendencies in psychiatric inpatients. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

[18] Buydens-Branchey, L. Branchey, M. Psychosom Med. 2003. Association between low plasma levels of cholesterol and relapse in cocaine addicts. Available at: (sourced 28 October 2022)

Maguire G Justin, July 2022.

Time for another word picture that hopefully leads to some curiosity. Let’s say you, a friend, a family member or that co-worker Greg who won’t stop recommending their favourite book, is struggling with weight gain. However, it’s not just weight gain. They, or you, are just out of it. They are not as part of the conversation as they usually are. When asking if they are okay, or vice versa, they say everything is fine and they are just stressed. Of course, we all experience stress on this blue marble of ours, but surely that can’t be all? There seems to be this monkey on their shoulder, but it’s not their shoulder. It’s more like the jerk is hanging around their neck.

Weight gain is well known to have an association with a struggling underactive thyroid1; however, did you know that poor thyroid activity contributes to depression, infertility, anxiety and poor cognition2? If not, you’re in for a few knowledge bombs about the thyroid that will not only blow brain fog out of your mind but also improve the way you tolerate stress.

Thyroid function is fully appreciated when we appreciate the impact that stress and cortisol have on production, conversion, and release. Our Nervous systems are highly organized networks, providing feedback to either accelerate or halt the function of our metabolism, including that of brain function! Two major systems namely: The HPA axis and HPT axis work in concert with one another to monitor energy requirements for physiological function, essentially influencing the activity of our cell’s powerplants, the mitochondria3. Excessive stress caused by lifestyle and environmental factors compromises communication within both metabolic networks, setting off a cascade of metabolic dysfunction. Below are two diagrams that accurately depict how stressors negatively impact the function of both the HPA axis and HPT axis:

With poor feedback mechanisms of thyroid hormone and function, hypothyroidism develops. There are namely three classifications in which hypothyroidism can be identified4:

  • Primary hypothyroidism – cases in which the brain is screaming at both the thyroid and liver to produce thyroid hormone, but little hormone is produced. In these cases, high levels of oxidative stress are often seen, decreasing the availability of vital precursors required for thyroid hormone production.
  • Secondary hypothyroidism – cases in which the brain is not stressed but the thyroid and peripheral organs are unable to make thyroid hormone. In these cases, stress often impedes both the thyroid and peripheral organ’s ability to produce and convert thyroid hormone, often, due to the impact TDO (tryptophan 2, 3 dioxygenase) has on depleting a vital enzyme required for thyroid hormone conversion.
  • Peripheral hypothyroidism – cases in which cortisol levels elevate to the point of which the liver uses the same enzyme required to convert thyroxine (T4) into triiodothyronine (T3) but instead converts thyroxine into rT3 (reverse T3). Reverse T3 has a higher binding effect on thyroid receptors and increased the ability to lower the availability and production of triiodothyronine.

Additionally, Autoimmune Hashimoto’s – in cases of autoimmune thyroid compromise the immune system has become increasingly dysregulated and as such our body’s own antibodies start to attack our thyroid gland. Often toxins and environmental pollutants are to blame, in which case cortisol is often flooded to contend with the stress of toxins, thus inhibiting innate immunity and increasing activity of adaptive immunity to recognize a perceived threat, that of our proteins being released by the thyroid gland.

Women seem to be at the highest risk of developing hypothyroidism, with 2-8 times the volume of hypothyroid cases reportedly being associated with women5. Additionally, poor thyroid activity impacts the fertility of women, due to the synergy thyroid hormone plays in the production of progesterone and regulation of prolactin. From painful periods to miscarriage, poor production of progesterone has been associated with multiple female endocrinological pathologies.

Increasing levels of prolactin do not only affect women but also have an impact on men too! Prolactin levels play an inhibitory role in the production and regulation of dopamine6, as such when thyroid levels decline and prolactin levels increase, the likelihood of impulsive and habit-forming actions is increased, increasing the development of not only cognitive impairment by psychological distress too. Mental health performance, therefore, is heavily reliant on healthy thyroid hormone function.

Below are a few lifestyles and dietary considerations one can implement to address poor thyroid function:


  • Eating principles: low sugar, low fat (saturated animal proteins), high fibre, low cholesterol
  • Calorie percentages: 70% complex carbohydrates, protein 12-15%, fat 15-18%
  • Therapeutic foods: oats, kelp, seaweed, artichokes, onions, garlic, dulse, Swiss chard, turnip greens, egg yolks, wheat germ, cod roe, lecithin, sesame seed butter
  • Fresh juices: carrot, celery, and/or spinach with powdered kelp or dulse
  • Avoid goitrogens (which can reduce thyroid function) unless cooked: broccoli, turnips, cabbage, carrots, kale, rutabaga, soybean, spinach, peanuts, yams, radishes, millet, green peppers, beets, celery, lettuce, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collards, kohlrabi, peaches, pears, strawberries, apples, apricots, blackberries, raspberries, prunes, cherries, honeydew, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, peas, sorghum, bamboo shoots
  • Avoid known food sensitivities


  • Short cold spray to thyroid after warm bath/shower Or
  • Cold mitten friction to thyroid after bath/shower
  • Alternating hot and cold compresses to thyroid gland daily: Hot compresses moulded to neck for 3 minutes hot followed by 30 seconds to 1 minute of cold compresses. Repeat 3-5 times
  • Cold shower to middle and lower back to stimulate adrenals
  • Constitutional hydrotherapy treatment to help stimulate digestion


  • Do not use an electric blanket-the body’s metabolism will be slightly raised in the body must generate its own heat to keep warm
  • Exercise daily to stimulate the thyroid gland and elevate the body’s metabolic rate

Struggling with ADHD, depression, infertility, and weight loss may all have an association in the way of which your thyroid is functioning. Before you commit to a series of anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, and even possibly harmful hormone fertility therapy, I would highly recommend you run a comprehensive thyroid hormone panel. For those reading this email-based in the UK, Omnos provide an affordable solution and for those living in the United States of America I would suggest a panel offering through Ulta Lab tests

Analysis of findings can be illusive, as such I am offering a free analysis to the first 10 enquiries, based on their thyroid hormones findings provided through either Ulta labs or Omnos. In order to take advantage of this opportunity email the following to

Email address:
Major concerns:

And complete these initial provisional symptoms exam

I look forward to helping anyone reading this article, struggling with the symptoms of a poor thyroid, which for those of you unaware include but not limited to the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating.
  • PMS
  • Cold intolerance
  • Muscle cramps and tenderness.
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Seasonal exacerbation of symptoms.
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Frequent cold and flus
  • Low libido
  • Absence of sweating
  • Brittle nails
  • Easy bruising
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry skin and scalp
  • Hair loss of the scalp,
  • groin, outer eyebrows. YOUR
  • Pale, cold, scaly, and wrinkled skin.
  • Poor wound healing
  • Swelling of the hands,
  • face and eyelids.
  • Yellow/ivory skin colour
  • Itchy skin
  • Immune system disruption 


  1. Sanyal, D. and Raychaudhuri, M. Hypothyroidism and obesity an intriguing link. Available at:
  2. Nippoldt B, T. can thyroid disease affect my mood?. Available at:,Unusual%20nervousness
  3. Akil, H. Relation between the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid (HPT) Axis and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis during Repeated Stress. Available at:,thyroid%20(HPT)%20axis%20regulation.
  4. Krucik, G. Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid): Everything You Need to Know. Available at:
  5. Orlander R, P. Is hypothyroidism more common in men than females? Available at:
  6. Fitzgerald, P. and Dinan G, T. Prolactin and dopamine: what is the connection? A review article. Available at:

Whole grains, fruit and legumes form a large part of dietary trends setting the scene in a new plant-based culture; however, the consumption of these foods may be detrimental to your health! Inflammation is by far the leading contributing factor to a whole host of diseases, ranging from anaemia all the way to autoimmune compromise, yet how does eating ‘healthy’ contribute to the rise of inflammation within our given lives and bodies?

Given the rapid rise of autoimmune compromise along with obesity and chronic inflammation, our efforts to eat healthily have increased, yet many of us are still finding ourselves in a state of pain, fatigue, and mitochondrial compromise. Now, what if I were to tell you that eating white rice instead of whole grains may benefit your weight loss and improve your overall state of inflammation? Think about, Asians have been eating rice for centuries, and up until the recent introduction of the ‘western’ ideal diet they have had the lowest incidence of diabetes, obesity and even cancer, certainly, there must be a few golden nuggets of information that we could integrate from their lifestyles into our own nutritional efforts? Well, truth be told, refining carbohydrates may be one of the biggest pieces of their health puzzle!

Lectins are protective proteins that bind to carbohydrates of certain plant foods, enabling a greater chance of survival of plants against the grazing of animals and in our case, humans. Foods such as legumes, whole grain products and even fruits picked before fully ripened contain high amounts of lectins. Given that lectins impact our mineral use, immunological reactions, and overall state of inflammation, aiming efforts to avoid lectin toxicity may prove paramount to lowering many of our nutritional and dietary concerns when trying to lose weight, improve energy and fix pervasive anaemia.

Eureka! The answers are always in the details, you see with all our modern-day fads and nutritional ‘remedies’ we have simply forgotten to ask the question why!

Why did so many all over the world strip the husks from grains before munching down on some sushi, well it’s pretty clever thinking if you ask me, rid the source of nature’s toxic defence (lectins) and presto your body does not have to deal with constant attack i.e. inflammation.

Here is a list of high lectin foods to avoid if you’re struggling with ANY inflammatory disorder:

  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (raw)
  • Tomatoes and peppers

And here are some good choices to incorporate on a low lectin plan

  • Broccoli/brussel sprouts
  • Leafy green veggies
  • Pasture-raised meats

Now the healthy picture doesn’t just stop at eating white rice…hahaha…. far from it! Excluding preservatives, particular sources of dairy (no, not all dairy is bad for you BTW) and opting from seasonal fruits, all provide immense benefit in regulating how your mitochondria regulate energy metabolism. Not so long ago, our ancestors ate in accordance with the seasons and for a due reason, you see our mitochondria respond to energy metabolism dependent on environmental climate and associated biochemicals produced in different seasons. Therefore, when we eat in accordance with what nature makes available, the likelihood of our mitochondria developing confusion drastically lowers along with mitochondrial associated diseases!

The modern diet feeds bacterial overgrowth, in my opinion, due to poor seasonal eating and excessive consumption of lectins throughout one’s diet. Stress in all forms suppresses healthy bacterial growth and liberates glucose, sugars which unwanted and unhealthy bacteria feed off to produce aldehydes!!!!

So exactly what are aldehydes, and why is it such a concern? Well without bogging you down with too much science, aldehydes are necessary for acetylation in the nervous system, if and only IF they are converted into acetyl Co-A. However, most cases of bacterial overgrowth deplete many of the nutrients required to have this conversion take place, leaving your liver in a state of excess aldehydes and a clogged detoxification pathway, ie non-alcoholic fatty liver!

Nonalcoholic fatty liver increases the potential of diabetes, loss of cognition, impaired sex hormone production and poor cholesterol metabolism. So…. if your gut is producing Aldehydes that are hijacking your liver’s ability to detox, guess what? You’re also going to have metabolic issues, i.e., mitochondrial dysfunction. Interestingly through a diagnostic I run called the organic acids test, we can distinguish if indeed your mitochondria have become dysfunctional due to either excessive bacterial overgrowth, yeast accumulation or even poor aldehyde detoxification!

I get it… you are trying to fix up bad habits and yet here again comes another health claim that may make you feel as though you’re thrown off track again, truly that’s not the objective! What is important is to ascertain what is ACTUALLY going on in your body, instead of taking the advice from others who may have never had to deal with inflammation, autoimmune compromise, depression, obesity or immense and intense brain fog.

I am dedicated to enlightening your efforts, providing objective findings that you can use to validate choice, choice which should not have your calorie starving only to continue to put on weight and feel awful. If you have tried everything from: ‘if it fits your macros’ to ‘Atkins’ and possibly the ‘lupus diet’ and yet you are still struggling, then it may be time for a more targeted approach to your health.

It may be time for Autonomic Coaching