The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Derrick MacFabe

In this video interview with Dr. Derrick MacFabe we discuss the fascinating new research that connects changes in gut bacteria to autism spectrum disorder. Dr. MacFabe is on the leading edge of this research so I hope you find this interview as intriguing as I did.

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  • Gela K

    Listened to this interview with my mouth wide open. Absolutely fascinating. I am excited with this new research and I wish it as at the bedside now.

    • David Perlmutter

      An appropriate reaction! This information is empowering and life-changing.

  • Just incredible. Exciting to see and witness the information coming to light. Especially as the mother of a 2 year old child with ASD. Just finishing up Brain Maker, and very interested in finding someone to treat our son. He has been GFCF for 4 months and improvement has been apparent, now searching for the next step while of course subscribing to the Brain Maker Diet. We are film makers and would love to document his progress with your guidance and expertise and provide you with his story for all of your eager fans/patients. An example of our film is a ‘kickstarter’ we put out about our son: http://www.henrysbigadventure.com –while the likelyhood is slim that you’ll see this or watch that, know that your work is meaningful, and gives mothers like me hope for a brighter future for our little ones. Thank you!! Would love to be in touch, if the idea of a personalized film documenting treatment sounds interested, please reach out! simpleflare@gmail.com –also, sorry for taking over the comment forum!!

    • duane

      good luck

    • I am a functional medicine doctor in Austin, Texas. My partner or myself are accepting new patients. http://www.neuronutritionassociates.com. You can also find us listed on the Institute for Functional Medicine website as well as the Medical Academy of Special Needs.
      Dr. Emily Gutierrez

  • Kathy S

    What role do vaccines play in the micro biome?

    • steve5960 .

      my guess – vaccines disrupt the micro biome but more importantly i believe vaccines over stimulate your immune system which resides mostly in your gut and if your immune system is already compromised you may have problems.

    • Regina

      Vaccines with mercury or lead block steps in methylation and other fundamentally essential biochemical pathways in the human body. It is not just a matter of the microbiome. Our biochemical pathways need to be open and facilitated by the enzymes blocked by heavy metals.

      • Clive Powers

        CORRECT. Methylation, imo is another missing link here. A largely overlooked one. Tho, leaky guy is too & all that…but srs. Research this stuff. Add it to whatever you are doing.

        • Clive Powers

          &&this goes well beyond autism. Heavy Metal toxicity affects us all, to some degree. It’s pretty much EVERYWHERE anymore & here we are.

          How to detox from it. Methylation is key.

          Kelp/Iodine + methylation + elimination (gut health) = quite possibly the cure for the “modern condition” i.e. damn near every mysterious disease that’s cropped up in the last 50 years or so.

          There’s herbs that I would fine tune any specific healing goal, but these are what you need & are probably lacking – if you are suffering from mysterious future diseases.

          • Clive Powers

            Speaking as a healer who cured a HEP C patient through natural herbs & diet alone. nbd or nothing. Not like I have any clue about any of this.

  • Xileen Worcester
  • Maria E Martinez

    Dr. Perlmutter: Do you know where is going to be the Integrative Healthcare Conference in Florida (October 9 and 10 of this year 2015)? Dr. Macfabe wrote to me but I do not really know the exactly place and how I can register. Thank you for your help.

  • Jneen

    I am an American presently living in Singapore. Have been reading your books. This weekend in the Straits Times, Dr. Ang Ai Tin of the Thomson Paediatric Centre had an article referring to good bacteria and its role in immunity, prebiotics and a baby’s gut immunity being improved via natural birth (to introduce bifidobacteria & acidophilus from birth canal to babies’ digestive system) and breast feeding. After breastfeeding, supplement with prebiotics and probiotics. Is all this more well known than I thought OR is she reading your books?!? (-: …70-80% of body’s immune cells are located along the gut wall….probiotics/indigestible fibres enable good bacteria to thrive…develop strong natural defences for total well-being. Advertising the product Dumex Mamil Gold at http://www.healthygut.dumex.com.sg for supplementing following nursing at least the first six months. Has DHA & is an internationally patented prebiotic blend Hmmmm.

  • Michelle

    As a person on the spectrum, I can testify, first hand, to the incredible impact the gut microbiome has on sensory processing. I have been fortunate enough to work in the natural foods and wellness industry, and have long been intrigued by the idea of diet and gut health being at the center of the autism puzzle.

    Changing my diet, as well as healing my gut, and supporting beneficial flora has done several things.

    1) Reduced histamine and inflammation responses.
    2) Lessened the number, and intensity, of anxiety/depression episodes.
    3) Calmed a variety of stims, including pressured speech, agitated hand motions, pacing, head banging,
    4) Facilitated the ability to move from hyper focus to multitasking back to focus with minimal agitation and disorientation.
    5) More restful sleep.
    6) Fewer freak outs and meltdowns.
    7) Diminishment of repetitive, compulsive negative thoughts.
    8) Stronger immune system.
    9) There is depth and nuance to the sensory input, now. It’s not everything at the same intense, all encompassing, wall of sensory overload. Each bit of information flows at its own pace, without competing against other sources of input.

    Unfortunately, auditory sensitivity seems to have increased a bit, but I don’t know if that’s because of my gut microbiome, my age (menopause kicked in this year,) or just because all the other noise has quieted enough so that I’m noticing sound irritations more. I struggle with mild misophonia, but it’s not too terrible, as long as I can move away from whatever it is that’s rubbing me the wrong way.

    I’m also having considerable difficulties with spatial awareness in less than familiar places, but the awareness in familiar places is outstanding. That’s probably an age thing, so I’ve started paying more attention to my brain health as a logical extension of my gut health.

    Ten years ago, I was a mess, but then, so was my gut. Now, my gut is getting healthier all the time, and I feel it in my ability to process sensory information in a calmer, more balanced way.

    There’s a lot more to it, but that’s a quick summary. I hope it’s useful feedback. Thanks!

    • Lynn Dell

      This is exciting to read- thanks for sharing! Did you just start consuming more fermented foods, take a probiotic, or both?

      • Michelle

        It was quite a bit more complex than that, and took me a long time to figure out on my own, by trial and error. I’m sure other people can do it in far less time, but I was basically experimenting on myself, and documenting the results. What I did boils down to:

        -Eliminating all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

        – Avoid natural additives such as carrageenan, gellan gum, xanthan gum (basically any thickener or emulsifier.) Basically, I just stopped eating most processed, i.e convenience foods. If it comes in a box, I don’t eat it. This required me to learn how to cook whole foods.

        -Gradual reduction of sugar and starch, until it’s negligible.

        – Candida cleanse (this takes a while to do it right.)

        – Gut healing with l-glutamine and gelatin (bone broth, especially, but also powdered gelatin.)

        – Probiotics. I change them every couple of months to ensure diversity.

        – Fiber and prebiotics

        – Transition into paleo diet for a couple of years. Not a perfect transition to the most conservative version, but the “no grains – no potatoes” part was not negotiable. That was the most important part.

        – Eventual transition to a ketogenic diet, which was not without some scary moments for the first few weeks as my entire gut went through a pretty dramatic shift. While other people experience “keto flu” for several days to maybe a couple of weeks, mind lasted for about 6 weeks. The addition of probiotics, fiber, and prebiotics (on a regular basis rather than sporadically like I used to do,) cleared it up pretty dramatically and quickly once I figured it out.

        Healthy fats are key! Coconut oil and ghee are my favorites. Oh, and fish oil with high EPA/DHA levels.

        – I am also a big fan of mycobotanicals for overall health. Taking a Lion’s Mane supplement for brain health makes me feel pretty good. I also take other medicinal mushrooms for immune health, respiratory health, energy, etc.

        Plus, I do a lot of physically active stuff, like walking, yoga, bellydance, hiking, working out, etc.

        I have been very lucky. I work in the natural wellness industry, and have had access to a lot of information, training, high quality foods, and interactions with others who share my particular path to wellness.

        • Yvonne

          Fantastic brave and determined,the only way to go ,to get better,,,do it yourself Thank you for sharing

          • Michelle

            You’re welcome! I’m indebted to all the parents of autistic kids who would come into my workplace looking for healthy alternatives to help their children. I learned so much from them. Without them, I wouldn’t have had any clue where to start, and I wouldn’t have had much motivation if I hadn’t met their child and seen the effects.

        • sabelmouse

          i see!

    • AutismDadd

      Well done. Great post. Congratulations and thank-you for your overall message.

    • sabelmouse

      how did you change your diet?

  • jake3_14

    Why do only a minority of children develop ASDs if the conditions that encourage microbes that produce proprionic acid are ubiquitous? If there’s a simple cause for ASD, why did the explosion in autism happen only a generation after Americans’ dietary habits changed?

    Also, how do the longitudinal studies that Dr. McFabe mentions account for the effect of “herd infection” that he also mentions?

  • Pingback: Autism | Pearltrees()

  • rockie

    If I’m not mistaken, isn’t this pretty much what Wakefield said? The only difference is that he specifically studied kids who had parents who reported huge behavioral changes in their children following MMR vaccine. The study concluded with saying we needed to further study the environmental contributors to the damage he saw in the microbiomes of the 12 children included in the study.

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