The Good Blood, the Bad Blood, and the Sneaky Blood

 Did you know that some chemicals in the blood that other organs need are toxic to the neurons in the brain?
How does the brain use the good blood while not being poisoned by the bad blood?

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Hello, brain. Yes, you. You’re the brain! You are reading this article with your brain. Wiggle your finger. Your brain is sending signals to your finger muscles and telling it to move. The finger then sends signals to your brain, telling it that your finger is moving. Also, when I told you to move your finger, you had to decide which finger to move!

Yes, our brain is a wonderful organ. Watching the new Pixar movie that Disney just released, Inside Out, does give us (or at least me) inspiration, but it is not how the brain works (even though Inside Out is now my favorite movie). There are cells called neurons that do all the thinking, and these cells need oxygen and glucose carried by the blood to survive. In fact, while the brain is the culprit for only 2% of the body’s weight, it uses 20% of the body’s blood supply! However, there is a problem. Some chemicals in the blood that other organs need are toxic to the neurons in the brain. How does the brain use the good blood while not being poisoned by the bad blood? To show you how the Creator solved this, I’m going to have to give you a little science lesson first.

Red blood cells flow through the bloodstream, distribute oxygen and glucose to the cells, and collect waste products that are no longer needed from the cells. How do they do that? They go through capillaries. Capillaries are blood vessels with walls that are one cell thick. Around the cells are holes that allow blood to “leak” through the capillary. The liquid bathes the cells with glucose and oxygen released by the red blood cells in the blood.

Now, the brain has capillaries, too, but they don’t have “leaks” in them. Instead, it is sealed with protein fibers to keep the liquid from “leaking” out. This is called the brain-blood barrier, or BBB. This is good, because now the brain is isolated from the toxic chemicals in the blood, but now it cannot get the oxygen and glucose in the blood, either. The cells in the capillary wall solve this by taking oxygen and glucose and pulling it through the cell and out to the brain. However, the chemicals and other things in the blood are left in the bloodstream. At least, most chemicals and substances. Some chemicals, like alcohol, can pass through the barrier easily. This affects the neurons in the brain, and when people drink too much alcohol, the neurons are so affected that we say the person is drunk. (I didn’t have to bold that word, did I?) I call this the sneaky blood!

thRCJCKUREThe Creator even warns us in His Word about alcohol. He knows what will happen when you drink alcohol – you’ll make bad choices! Proverbs 20:1: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

The brain is my absolute favorite part of the body! Nothing else in nature shouts “God made me!” quite like it. The best computer company’s best supercomputer isn’t nearly as complex or efficient as our brain. There must be a Creator, a Creator that gave us as humans the most complex and wonderful object in nature for a reason. This Creator is undoubtedly God, the Person who gave us such a brain so we can relate to His image. However, when God made the first two people, Adam and Eve, they sinned against God, and decided to do what God told them not to – eat the Forbidden Fruit. Now, we are all lost in our sin, and that sin must be punished. However, God didn’t want to have to punish us, so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place. Now, all we have to do is accept God’s gift of eternal life! Now we can use our brains to make thoughts like, “I’m so glad God saved me from my sin, and that He gave me a brain that can praise Him for it forevermore!”

Special thanks to my awesome science book, Exploring Creation with General Science, written by Wile.

To find more information about the God who loves us so much, go to the Good News page.

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