Antibiotics are an incredible, life-saving tool that we have in medicine. In fact, they are arguably one of the greatest medical discoveries of our time.
However, in America, we see injudicious use of antibiotics, not only in our own bodies, but in the animals that give us the food we eat. In fact, 70% of the antibiotics we use in America today are fed to livestock! Why is this something we should be worried about? Learn more in today’s video.
I found this poem (“For a New Beginning” by John O’Donohue) to be greatly inspirational in dealing with making life changes. – Dr. Perlmutter
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
We are now learning that differences in the various species of bacteria that live within the intestines actually have a profound role in regulating metabolism. For example, researchers have demonstrated that when fecal material (rich in intestinal bacteria) from an obese human is transplanted into the colon of a normal laboratory rat, the animal will gain significant amounts of weight even though it’s diet remains unchanged.
One explanation for this phenomenon has to do with the idea that certain species of bacteria are actually able to extract more calories from food that is consumed. So transplanting these thrifty bacteria allows the animal to actually obtain a higher calorie delivery to its system, even though the diet wasn’t changed.
In fact, researchers have now characterized the complexion of the gut bacteria in humans associated with obesity in contrast to the gut bacteria found in lean individuals. Obese individuals have higher levels of one large class of bacteria called Firmicutes and lesser amounts of another large group, the Bacteroidetes bacteria. The reverse is true, by and large, in those who are lean.
One of the things I explore in depth in Brain Maker is the notion that even depression is now considered an inflammatory disorder. We now understand that inflammatory markers, the same that we see elevated in heart disease are also elevated in the depressed patient. So the question is: If depression is an inflammatory disorder then where does the inflammation come from? Interestingly that is more or less the title of a study that was recently published in a British medical journal in 2013. In this video we take a closer look at the gut microbiome, leaky gut and how it relates to disorders such as depression.
Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, are a relatively new phenomenon, becoming increasingly popular over the last several years. A recent study by the CDC shows that from 2011 to 2013, the number of never-smoking youth who tried e-cigarettes tripled from around 79,000 to over 263,000. E-cigarettes are marketed as a better alternative to traditional cigarettes, but as a new product, data regarding the health effects of these cigarette substitutes has taken time to catch up. However, recent analysis on the chemicals contained in the e-cigarette shows why it’s likely best to avoid the products entirely.
Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are loaded with a vaporizable liquid. This fluid is made up of a number of chemicals, among them propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine and a variety of flavoring substances. While these chemicals don’t sound entirely appealing, the new research shows that the real danger may be in how these compounds change when heated. Continue reading
What if I told you that your gut bacteria have a large role to play in levels of BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which acts like growth hormone for the brain? In this video we look at probiotic supplementation and other ways to stimulate this brain protective hormone.
Yes, it’s true! Simply by engaging in basic lifestyle adjustments like regular exercise and smart dietary adjustments, you can increase production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, in your body, which stimulates the healthful development and production of your brain.
Today’s post is from a close friend of Grain Brain, Max Lugavere. – Dr. Perlmutter
My name is Max Lugavere and I’m a filmmaker, currently in production on a feature-length, millennial-focused documentary exploring the impact of diet and lifestyle on brain health. I also write when so inspired, and was happy to have interviewed Dr. Perlmutter for Psychology Today last year just after Grain Brain came out. As of today our interview has almost 400,000 views.
I became very interested in the topic of diet and lifestyle as it pertains to brain health when, three years ago, my mom, at age 59, began showing signs of cognitive decline. Because her symptoms were somewhat atypical, at the time, it sent us around the country to top hospitals in order to find out “what she had”. It was at that time that I put Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia which currently affects 45 million people worldwide, in my crosshairs.
Over the course of my journey, I stumbled upon an unsettling adage commonly used to describe the treatment of patients with neurodegenerative diseases: diagnose and adios. This off-color remark is commonly used within the walls of medical schools to convey the lack of effective treatment options (short of surgery) for patients who present to neurologists.