Artificial Sweeteners Change Gut Bacteria

Artificial Sweeteners Change Gut Bacteria

My recent blog revealing a profound increased risk for developing diabetes in people who consume artificially sweetened beverages clearly struck a note, and with good reason. These days we are being heavily lobbied by beverage manufacturers to rethink our position on sugar sweetened beverages, no doubt because of the ever expanding medical literature that indicates that these dietary choices are profoundly threatening to our health.

In comparing risk for diabetes in individuals consuming artificially sweetened beverages compared to sugar sweetened beverages, there was actually a profound increased risk for diabetes in those consuming artificially sweetened drinks. Clearly, this seems counterintuitive. But now, new research is actually revealing the mechanism by which this actually occurs. Continue reading

Statin Drugs and Diabetes

Statin Drugs and Diabetes

Because of the close correlation between diabetes and risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia, you really want to be focusing on keeping your blood sugar under control. A new study has found that exposure to statins may put you at greater risk for diabetes, thereby increasing your chances of experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s.

A Possible Correlation Between ALS and Omega-3?

A Possible Correlation Between ALS and Omega-3?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, and almost universally fatal neurological condition. Recently, I, like many of you, participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise not only awareness of ALS, but also to raise money for clinical research with the hope of finding a cure for this devastating condition.

While the actual cause of ALS remains elusive, new research is revealing that lifestyle factors, especially food choices, may play a significant role in determining risk for this condition.

In this month’s issue of JAMA Neurology, Harvard researchers published results based on an analysis of more than 1 million participants in terms of diet and risk for this disease. In this large group of adults, a total of 995 ALS cases were documented to have occurred during the course of the study.

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Why We Need to Focus on Alzheimer’s Prevention

Why We Need to Focus on Alzheimer’s Prevention

A stunning new report was just published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), revealing an incredible overusage of medications that are basically useless in nursing home residents with advanced dementia. 

The study looked at a sample of 5,406 nursing home residents and reviewed the various medications they were taking. Specifically, the study looked at medications that were deemed to be “never appropriate” in this patient population including various “Alzheimer’s drugs” as well as drugs designed to lower cholesterol, and several others. The report demonstrated that 53.9% of the patients were receiving at least one drug that fell into this category, meaning that they were receiving a medication that is basically useless in this population.  Continue reading

Food is Information

Food is Information

Food is information.  What does that mean?  Well we look at our food in terms of the macronutrients of fat, protein, and carbohydrates and the micronutrients like minerals and vitamins.  But understand that the very foods that you choose to eat are changing the expression of your DNA.

Nutrition and Mental Health

Nutrition and Mental Health

Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder affecting over 1% of the American population. There does seem to be some significant genetic component to this disease in that people having a primary relative with the disease, like a parent or sibling, have a ten-fold risk for developing the affliction. 

In Grain Brain, I discussed the new research that relates gluten sensitivity to schizophrenia, as well as so many other brain disorders. As you are all aware, the fundamentals of the Grain Brain Lifestyle are centered on a dietary plan that is dramatically low in carbs, gluten-free, and high in healthy fats.

In this interesting case report and literature review, researchers at Duke University specifically validate this exact dietary approach in terms of actually having significant clinical benefit in the treatment of schizophrenia, leading to what the authors describe as “modulation of the disease at the cellular level.” 

In the day and age of drugs for every ailment, it is so validating to see our most well-respected medical institutions beginning to embrace the important role of nutrition in health and disease.

Reduce Inflammation to Protect Your Brain

Reduce Inflammation to Protect Your Brain

Everyone is familiar with inflammation. When a joint is inflamed with arthritis, it swells, gets red, becomes painful, and becomes less functional. Inflammation may also occur in areas that are less obvious such as in the coronary arteries. In fact, inflammation as a process is a cornerstone mechanism for the narrowing of the coronary arteries that typifies coronary artery disease. Inflammation is also a big player as relates to the disability that stems from diabetes, And there’s even a strong correlation between inflammation as a mechanism, and cancer.

The past several books that I have published have focused on the important role of inflammation as relates to the brain. Making the connection, for example, between inflammation and a disease like multiple sclerosis, it certainly something many people don’t have much of a problem understanding, since anti-inflammatory drugs are often used to treat this disorder. On the other hand, it seems a bit more of a stretch to connect the process of inflammation with such diseases as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. And yet, this process, inflammation, is a cornerstone mechanism related to progressive destruction that occurs in the brain as we age, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

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