I recently had the opportunity to participate in a round table discussion focused on the topic of statin medications used to lower cholesterol. As many of you are now aware, a new set of “guidelines” developed by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology was recently issued instructing healthcare practitioners as to when to prescribe this group of drugs.
Incredibly, under these guidelines almost half of the American population between the ages of 40 to 75 and virtually all men over age 60 would qualify for the use of this potentially dangerous class of medications.
Many of you viewed my interview with Dr. Mercola last year.
Just recently, Dr. Mercola and I spoke again, and our conversation is one you need to hear. Here, we dive deeper into the topics discussed in Grain Brain, from proper diet to the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, but we also go well beyond them, fully exploring the gut-brain connection and even the role of gut bacteria in brain health.
After 20 years, the FDA has plans for a major overhaul of the Nutrition Facts label. This is a big deal, as the sticker is required on the majority of American packaged foods. In reality, the Nutrition Facts label represents one of the best sources of information on our groceries. The FDA claims its changes reflect a “greater understanding of nutrition science,” and will lead to a label that will “[address] current public health concerns.” These are important changes, and here’s what’s actually happening. Continue reading
I have posted several blogs relating the fundamental role of inflammation to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Indeed, this is one of the central themes of Grain Brain.
That said, we’ve also got to take a look at the role of inflammation in the developing brain because the same damaging effects of the chemical mediators of inflammation in the adult might well lead to issues in the delicate brains of infants and young children.
In a new study just published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, researchers looked at several parameters in infants including the frequency of febrile illnesses, as well as blood markers of increased inflammation including IL-1 beta, IL-6, and IL-4 which is thought to indicate reduction of inflammation.
As we watch America’s waistline continue to expand, and along with it the perpetual increase in diseases associated with this increased incidence of obesity, it’s really important to identify potential causes associated with this issue. No doubt, our lust for sugar and carbs is playing a central role, as I discussed in Grain Brain. In fact, the number one source of calories in America is now high fructose corn syrup.
It would be simple to call it a day, point an accusatory finger at the dramatic dietary changes that have shifted Western cultures away from fat in favor of sugar and carbs, and do our very best to get this information out to those involved in such areas as public health, product development, advertising, etc., and hope for the best.
But there’s new research that quite clearly reveals that another factor may well be playing a role not only in the soaring rates of obesity, but also in increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome, which is the name given for a group of risk factors known to increase the risk for such conditions as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and others. Continue reading
Doubling in incidence over the past 30 years, and increasing an astonishing four-fold amongst adolescents, childhood obesity is now an epidemic in America. Make no mistake about it, this isn’t just a cosmetic issue. These children have a profoundly increased risk for a variety of associated medical problems including asthma, diabetes, and even high blood pressure, not to mention the fact that they will likely end up as obese adults with a higher risk for dieases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis and heart disease.
Clearly, the diets of our children have changed – radically. It makes perfect sense, from a biological perspective, to blame the dramatic rise in carbohydrate and sugar consumption for these issues. That’s why we’re all over the idea of promoting a higher “good” fat and low-carb diet for adults and children alike, but there’s another factor to consider. Continue reading
Since the release of Grain Brain I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments from mothers, including expectant mothers, about the wonderful health benefits of our dietary recommendations as they relate not only to fetal brain development, but also for brain development during infancy. In this video I address these issues and focus especially on the critical role of the omega-3 DHA in brain development. Watch the video, and keep in mind DHA’s important role for brain health for people of all ages.