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Sources of Protein for Vegetarians

Sources of Protein for Vegetarians

I’m often asked how someone who chooses to be vegetarian, or vegan, can get enough protein in their diet.

While that’s an important question, I want to start my answer by pointing out that choosing this lifestyle can put you at risk for mineral deficiencies and vitamin deficiencies (like B12 and D). While these are not destined to happen, they are risks, and ones you must control for.

Now, when it comes to protein, think about nuts and seeds. Legumes and soy tend to not end up on my list of best choices, and I’ll explain why.

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Reversing Alzheimer’s with Probiotics?

For the past several years I have been writing and lecturing about the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and changes in the gut bacteria. We know, for example, that Alzheimer’s is an inflammatory condition. As well, we know that changes in gut bacteria enhance inflammation. So it seemed quite reasonable to assume that damage to, and loss of diversity in, gut bacteria could hasten brain degeneration so characteristic of Alzheimer’s. We know, for example, that loss of diversity in the gut organisms as measured in populations in various countries correlates to increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in those countries, as was so eloquently described in my Empowering Neurologist interview with Dr. Molly Fox.

But now it’s time to look at this issue in another way. Let’s ask this question: if damage to the gut bacteria relates to worsening of the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, could restoration of good bacteria using probiotics help the situation? This is quite a question when you think about the implications of what this might mean for the more than 40 million individuals around the world suffering from a disease for which there is no treatment.

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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Molly Fox, PhD

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Molly Fox, PhD

Alzheimer’s disease represents the effects of inflammation on the brain. By now, you are all aware of the fundamental role of our gut bacteria in terms of regulating this process of inflammation in the human body.

Today’s episode of The Empowering Neurologist features my interview with Dr. Molly Fox, a biological anthropologist at UCLA. Her work has connected some important concepts that relate risk of Alzheimer’s disease (using research in various countries), to measurable differences in gut bacteria diversity. It’s a fascinating interview with a very gifted and dedicated scientist.

 

For more interviews like this, check out The Empowering Neurologist library.

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Battling Zika with an Antidepressant?

With each new emerging infectious disease threat, there’s generally a background misguided sense that scientists at our top research institutions are hard at work and will soon present us with a miraculous magic bullet to stamp out this challenge to our collective health. While researchers are indeed looking to develop a pharmaceutical-based therapeutic strategy for Zika, it may be many years until such a drug is finally developed, tested, and ultimately cleared for general use.

Not to be deterred, a group of researchers at the University of Texas went about responding to this challenge by evaluating how the Zika infection might respond to drugs that are already FDA-approved to treat other illnesses or diseases. They reasoned that, if such a drug could be identified, doctors could then prescribe it under the premise of off-label application. Drugs are frequently used by physicians and other healthcare providers for reasons other than those for which they were developed. For example, various blood pressure medications are often used to help patients reduce the frequency of their migraine headaches. A handful of epilepsy drugs are often helpful for people with various pain problems like fibromyalgia. Continue reading

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Michael Lewis

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Michael Lewis

Today’s interview on The Empowering Neurologist is with Dr. Michael Lewis.

Dr. Lewis explains the profoundly protective and restorative effects of omega-3 fatty acids in brain trauma, an all too common experience. He is a renowned expert on brain health, particularly the use of omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of concussions and traumatic brain injury. He founded the Brain Health Education and Research Institute in late 2011 after he retired as a U.S. Army Colonel with a distinguished 31-year career. His pioneering work has helped countless thousands of people around the world and has been recognized by the American College of Nutrition with their prestigious 2015 Humanitarian Award. Dr. Lewis’ work has been featured on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN program, and he regularly appears in the media. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed post-graduate training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is board-certified and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Nutrition.  He is currently in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area, and the author of the book, When Brains Collide.

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