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How to keep your brain healthy. It's a subject that desperately needs attention and is the mission of the drperlmutter.com blog. Categories are listed to the right and lead to empowering information on topics such as maintaining brain health and improving memory through a gluten free diet. We update this information as soon as it becomes available so check back often!

Treating Mental Health With The Grain Brain Program

Treating Mental Health With The Grain Brain Program

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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To Lower Your Risk of Cancer, Look to Your Waist

To Lower Your Risk of Cancer, Look to Your Waist

By: Austin Perlmutter, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

Years of data now clearly demonstrate connections between obesity and increased risk for cancer. However, a new study published in the well-respected medical journal, The Lancet, is one of the first to examine this risk on a large scale. With over 5 million participants, the actual data is even more potent.

This study focused on development of 22 different types of cancers and the change in frequency of cancer diagnosis with obesity, measured by way of increased body mass index (BMI). Researchers started with over 5 million participants without a cancer diagnosis, then looked at the BMI in those who developed cancer. Ten of the types of cancers showed up significantly more in those with higher BMI’s, with leukemia and uterine cancer, gallbladder, kidney, cervical and thyroid cancers increasing in direct proportion to increases in BMI. Of note, 2 types of cancers (prostate and premenopausal breast) showed up less with increased BMI.  Continue reading

Grain Brain Cookbook Launches Today

Grain Brain Cookbook Launches Today

Years ago, if someone would have suggested that I would someday write a cookbook, I would have scoffed at the notion. After all, my training in neurology focused on identifying diseases and utilizing pharmaceutical interventions in hopes of improving a patient’s health.

In fact, in my early years of practicing neurology, this is pretty much what I did. Nevertheless, I always found myself to be a little bit out of step with my peers in terms of how we approached patient care. Ultimately, I became extremely frustrated by this somewhat myopic approach, focusing almost exclusively on treating symptoms, while the cause of various diseases we were trying to treat remained off-limits to discussion, and even exploration.

The brain remained the last bastion of the dogma that lifestyle issues don’t matter when it comes to health. Over the past several decades the idea of a “heart smart diet” became very mainstream. Women were told to eat calcium rich foods as a way to stave off osteoporosis. But until very recently, brain health and brain diseases were not included in the lifestyle conversation. Continue reading

If You Want To Lower Your Risk For Parkinson’s, Drop The Cookie

If You Want To Lower Your Risk For Parkinson’s, Drop The Cookie

We are hearing more and more about Parkinson’s disease, Especially lately after the death of Robin Williams. It has been estimated that as many as 1 million Americans now carry this diagnosis, And to put it into perspective, this is a number that is larger than the combined number of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and ALS.

An incredible 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, and it is a disease for which there is no meaningful treatment. Certainly, there are medications that are used fairly effectively to reduce the symptoms of this disease, like tremor and rigidity. But again, as stated, there is no meaningful treatment available now or in the foreseeable future.

Having said that, it makes very good sense therefore, to explore the notion of prevention as it relates to Parkinson’s disease. It is in this context that we take a look at a recent publication in the journal, Diabetes Care. In this report, 1565 Parkinson’s patients were evaluated and it was determined that the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was an astounding 40% higher among diabetic patients compared to those without diabetes.

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Low-Carb Diet is Best – Who Knew?

Low-Carb Diet is Best – Who Knew?

As I’m sure many of you are aware, we are getting ready for launch next week of the Grain Brain Cookbook. The mission of the new cookbook is to demonstrate how incredibly wonderful it is to eat low-carb higher fat food in terms of flavor, diversity, and health effects.

Over the past year since the launch of Grain Brain I have done my very best to bring to the public awareness the science that supports our recommendation for a lower carbohydrate, higher fat diet. This is the diet that research has demonstrated to be the most effective not only in terms of various health parameters like markers of inflammation, but weight-loss as well.

So it is certainly highly validating that with just one more week to go until the launch of the Grain Brain Cookbook, the highly respected medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, has published a new research study entitled Effects of Low Carbohydrate and Low-Fat diets: A randomized Trial. This study, supported by The National Institutes of Health, looked at a group of 148 men and women, without cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and placed them either on a low-fat diet or low carbohydrate diet. Those consuming the low-carb diet ate considerably more fat than those who were on the low-fat diet who consumed a lot more carbohydrate. Continue reading