Category: Grain Brain

Grain Brain – Scientific Validation

Last month I had the great honor to serve as program chairman for an integrative brain symposium held in Hollywood, Florida. What was so exciting for me was the fact that I was given the opportunity to invite some of our most well-respected thought leaders in the field of brain science to lecture on their research.

One of our esteemed presenters was Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., an Alzheimer’s researcher at the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA. Dr. Bredesen provided a unique assessment of the current approaches to dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. It was very clear from his presentation that the idea of focusing on a single drug or single intervention was simply not going to be appropriate if we are ever going to be able to offer up any meaningful therapy for the more than 5.4 million Americans who are afflicted with this devastating condition.

Dr. Bredesen described a “systems approach” to dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, looking at a variety of factors that seem to conspire, ultimately leading to brain degeneration that we know recognize as representing this disease. Using his approach which he termed, “systems therapeutics,” which integrates a variety of parameters, he has actually been able to reverse cognitive decline in this devastating condition.

In fact, he was able to demonstrate improvement in nine of 10 participants utilizing this comprehensive multimodality approach. What is so profound about these findings is that this is the first time that there has been a demonstration that memory loss in patients may be reversed, and, the improvement may in fact be sustained.

Dr. Bredesen described a 36 point intervention that included such things as optimizing sleep, aerobic exercise, keeping homocysteine below 7, reducing simple carbohydrates, increasing ketogenesis, keeping A1c below 5.5, optimizing vitamin D levels , reducing grain consumption, and adding sources of good fat for the brain like coconut oil.

Obviously, I was very excited to hear his presentation as basically he was describing the Grain Brain program. These are the exact concepts I presented in Grain Brain and completely supports all of the recipes found in The Grain Brain Cookbook.

While the research is certainly quite technical, I would encourage you to read the study and pay particular attention to page 5 in which the protocol is described.

Think about it, interventional research for the first time demonstrating actual improvement in brain function by addressing various factors known to be profoundly influential in determining whether the brain functions well or not. This is very empowering information and certainly runs counter to the mentality of “one disease one pill.”

And how validating it is that such well-respected science has demonstrated that the recommendations in Grain Brain, beyond just reducing risk for brain degeneration are now shown to actually improve brain function in those who are already compromised.

  • barbara carroll

    Way to go Dr. P. Your good work is paying off and other medical practitioners are taking note.

    • David Perlmutter

      Thank you Barbara. Good to have you on this journey with me.

  • Lisa Muzic

    This is SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!

    • David Perlmutter

      Empowering news.

  • VicLmech

    This is good to hear. A serious degenerative disease responding to serious lifestyle changes. Good news for healthy living.

  • MikeR
  • Lynn Dell

    So encouraging to read about this! The chart on the study page giving the rationale for each treatment is a very helpful visual aid. And google is a huge help when you don’t understand terms.

    • David Perlmutter

      Such empowering information for sure Lynn.

  • Andrea Winship

    Dr. Perlmutter’s book and now this corroborating research will be huge for those people willing to make changes to their lives; especially diet. With staggering numbers of cases soon to be a reality here, this information could not come sooner. However, there is a dark tale to be told of the industrial food system and how it’s taken over most of our lives. It’s an uphill climb. The truth and information to health is out there, we just have to be willing to find it and re-educate ourselves. I’m reading “Grain Brain” right now and eating up every word.

  • Arorsa

    Fascinating. But, Dr. Perlmutter, I don’t see anything in the study about reducing whole carb intake down to the levels you suggest in your book, only eliminating simple carbs, gluten, and being sure that insulin and A1C are at good levels. So, your thoughts on that? And Dr. Bredesen had his patients each only non-farmed fish, and organic/pasture-fed chicken and meat or in at least one case no meat. So based on all of this — what’s a person to eat in a restaurant?

    • David Perlmutter

      The way to lower A1c is by lowering carbs. I agree this is a small study, but it’s a start for sure.

      • Arorsa

        Thanks, but my question really was: If A1c is already low enough, is it really necessary to eliminate so many whole carbs in order to maintain good brain health? I understand that carbs may be necessary to produce T3.

        • Mary

          Please read Grain Brain if you haven’t already done so. Your answer may be there.

          • Arorsa

            I read it. The answer isn’t there.

  • LLIndgren

    We have done these things, including lowering my husband’s A1C to 4.9, strict diet, recommended supplements etc. He is losing ground. The best we ever did for him was the chelation treatments, hyperbarics and glutathione IV’s. As of last December he has had 10 grand mal seizures…been in your office 2x and several pricey phone conversations.

    • shirleycolee

      Got bless you and your husband. I admire your willingness to search for solutions to difficult health problems. To me, this is what this forum is all about. Sometimes answers aren’t forthcoming and it is frustrating and unfair.

    • LLindgren

      Thanks, Shirley for your kind encouragement. We have worked hard to fight this horrible disease and I really feel we have more control than the average neurologist would suggest. Unfortunately, some obstacles just cannot be overcome.

  • Yvonne Forsman

    Of course memory loss can be reversed! It was never lost in the first place! The memory is NOT in the brain! The memory is stored in the energy field outside the body! Ppl can’t remember b/c of mercury in the brain. Once they detox the mercury out of the brain, their brain computer can again access the memory field outside the body! It is possible that fats in a high fat diet can also repair the brain/usher the mercury out of there. But detox with cilantro does the magic b/c cilantro is small enough to pass the blood-brain barrier. I didn’t make this up, I read it, the knowledge comes from a medical doctor practicing in the US.

    • getawaygrain

      Yvonne can you share where you read that and the MD’s name please?

  • Hcard

    I started eating Dr Perlmutters way six weeks ago. No grain, no gluten basically meats, fish, veggies, fruit and good fats. I also exercise 6-7 days a week, sleep eight hours, plus a small nap. I included dhs, coconut oil, b-12 ok you get the gist. I have MS and was getting weaker by the day. This “way” of living (hate the word diet) has made a huge increase in the hours a day I can be productive. My memory and planning has improved. Dang in six short weeks I feel this good. I am never going back to grains etc. I may have a special treat (sugar type) once in a blue moon, but I can’t wait to see what a year will do!!! Thank you Dr Perlmutter I don’t know if you saved my life, but you saved my QUALITY of life.

    • David Perlmutter

      So wonderful to hear this story. However, remember this: I just shared the information, you saved your own quality of life!

    • Skippy Mardon

      Also check out Terry Wahls and her protocol for MS. Some years ago, her MS kept her in a tilt recline wheelchair –with failing health. After a year on the protocol, and in the years since, she has ridden a bicycle and enjoyed greatly improved health. Her protocol involves many of the things you are already doing, but maybe a few more. All the best, Skippy

  • Donna Schroer

    My mother passed away from Alzheimer’s two years ago. It is a terrible disease as I watched her decline so rapidly. This information and your book and cookbook Dr. Perlmutter have given me hope that with the supplements and diet and exercise I have a better chance of not contracting this awful disease.

    • David Perlmutter

      I wish you the best of health Donna.

  • shirleycolee

    Thank you again for your fine work to ward off suffering, disease and disability. This is what a true physician and humanitarian does. Your father must have been so proud of you.

    • David Perlmutter

      Thank you for those kind words Shirley, and for being a member of this community.

  • Mari

    You ROCK Dr Perlmutter
    Question.. My mother 87 has dementia and is living in a senior center and is considered independent.. How can one monitor what she eats when we all know the food at these centers are not balanced.. LOTS of sugar, etc ?
    Thanks

    • David Perlmutter

      Difficult question to answer. Perhaps try to develop a plan with the home.

      • Mari

        Thank you! Keep up the great work!

  • sandy bikus

    has this been peer reviewed doctor?

  • barbara

    Dr. Permutter, in your book you mention your dad and your comments suggest that he has Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. My mom, 94, also has very advanced Alzheimer’s. Do you feel at this point in her life it would be worthwhile putting your ketogenic diet, DHA supplements, etc into her life. It would be a drastic change for her to take away her ice cream and of course she wouldn’t remember why. She doesn’t even remember whether she has eaten! Thank you for your time.

    • David Perlmutter

      I think this is a valuable lifestyle at any age.

  • Tom Maloney

    I was a huge fan of Dr. Perlmutter’s work, even before my chance meeting with him on an airplane a year ago. His recommendations and others have helped me tremendously. After nearly a couple of years of being nearly grain free, all of my bloodwork is nearly perfect. My weight has dropped and my arthritis pain is virtually gone.
    But in my continuing quest for knowledge, I just read Anthony Fardet’s publication in Nutrition Research Reviews (2010) 23, 65-134 titled “New Hypothesis for the Health Protective Mechanisms of Whole-Grain Cereals: What is Beyond Fibre?” I am a biomedical engineer so I dont necessarily grasp the biochemical discussion. I would love to get Dr. P’s review on this article.

  • dmk

    Aloha from Hawaii, Dr. P!

    Your thoughts on the latest research linking Diabetes 2 to higher risks of developing Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

  • dmk
  • Linda Kalaf

    Thank you Dr. Perlmutter for your book Grain Brain. This book has changed my life. I have encouraged many friends and family members to read Grain Brain due to your research on the affects of sugar and gluten. After two months of restricting my sugar and gluten intake I have lost over 20 pounds. I appreciate all of the work you are doing to educate the general public on the importance of making healthy eating choices and lifestyle changes. I just purchased your Grain Brain Cookbook and can’t wait to start experimenting with the recipes. Thank You!

  • clarekaylene

    We so appreciate your research and quest to bring that research to the public, often with great opposition! We have been on your “protocol” for Alzheimer’s and good health for several months. However, my husband was just told he has gastric issues (possibly eosinophilic esophagitis) and should go off fat almost completely (8 tsp max). Will good, healthy fat exasperate this issue?

  • Kathleen Griffin

    Dr. Perlmutter,

    I just finished reading the Grain Brain and will be buying the cookbook. My father has advanced alzheimers and a home care team had put him on Vitamin D and within 2 weeks I noticed a dramatic difference in his verbalization, fatigue, pain level and mood. I had not yet read your book and never tried a gluten free diet. I was already giving him a probiotic to control his ibs, 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and omega 3 supplement 2 times a day.

    He was recently admitted to a LTC facility and the physician discontinued his Vitamin D and he no longer receives a probiotic, the coconut oil or his omega 3 supplement. He has rapidly declined in the 5 weeks it has been discontinued. What information can I present to his doctor to have her prescibe a gluten free diet and the necessary supportive supplements? Would the senior empowerment pack be a good base of supplements for him?

    I understand sometimes results are limited at his stage of the disease; but my feelings are we should do everything we can to help him function at his best and be pain free. I personally know low Vitamin D levels cause pain. I saw the benefit of the addition of just the Vitamin D and saw the decline when it and his other supplements were removed. I know the diet change and supplements can’t hurt him, and may possibly help him be more comfortable and functional the remaining days he will be with us. Unfortunately, some doctors are very narrow minded.

    Thanks for some direction.

    • David Perlmutter

      The Empowerment Pack does contain many of my suggested key supplements (drperlmutter.com/grain-brain-seven-super-supplements/). However, always consult with his physicians before beginning this regimen.

  • Karen F

    >>>>It was very clear from his presentation that the idea of focusing on a single drug or single intervention was simply not going to be appropriate if we are ever going to be able to offer up any meaningful therapy for the more than 5.4 million Americans who are afflicted with this devastating condition.<<<<
    Don't we think this is true for most 'diseases.' The mentality of "popping a pill" for health is as draconian as taking Benzodiazapines for peace and meditation. Insanity in action.

    Thanks for writing about the "unspeakable" facts regarding research. Don't forget to expound on the great profits of 'Big Pharma.' They'll do anything to stay "afloat" and profitable even get into the medical cannabis biz even though I'm sure they've attempted to keep the healing nature of the 'leaf' underwraps like they did with Laetrile etc. etc. Second Opinion documentary w/ Ralph Moss, Ph.D….a must see to "get it."
    Thanks again….you're the best and most refreshing voice out there and actually participate on your blog. GREAT job!!!

  • flomav

    I am very interested in your work and would like to participate but my doctor is concerned that because I have had one suspected TIA (recent) and show evidence of a silent heart attack (many years ago, verified by ECG) I should take Atorvastatin and 81 mg. aspirin in an effort to prevent heart disease. I have had an MRI and MRA of my brain but no evidence was found of TIA damage. My LDL is 261. Can you address this re my using your system?

  • Audrey

    Dr. Perlmutter, would you consider writing a book of “Grain Brain for Dummies”? It seems my senior friends cannot get through all the biochemistry evidence in the original document. Dr. Davis’s Wheat Belly book is somewhat simpler but he does not emphasize the neurological impact like you do. Seniors are more scared of Alzheimers than cardio issues, so I would like to see more of them work on their diet rather than continue supplementing Big Pharma with statins & cardiac drugs. Thank you for improving our quality of life (& losing weight as a side benefit!

  • Donna Schroer

    I got your Grain Brain cookbook from my son for Christmas Dr. Perlmutter. I’m so excited to start using the recipes. Thank you for putting this together.

  • don
  • Georgios

    Hi DR Perlmutter I read your book and I follow your recommendation to reduce carbohydrates. My question is what about the Italians which are having pasta at least two times a day all the year around?

  • Pamela Sistrom

    My total cholesterol has jumped from high 200s to over 400 since trying my best to adhere to GB diet. I’m pretty sure it has to do with my inability to give up on ice cream, GF cookies and lack of exercise, but having Hx both senile dementia and stroke I’m stymied. Tho RXing me atorvastatin, (again, I’m non-compliant) even MD says in the absence of Hx heart disease, there’s little evidence statins help!

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  • Sad

    My mother has advanced dementia. She has elements of the last stage 7, and elements of stage 6, so I’d call her a 6.5. I’ve kept her on a strict low carb diet, with lots of avocados and whole yogurt and protein. She works out on a total gym once per week, squats to exhaustion, and has lots of calcium and milk protein. We also sit her out in the sun for 40 minutes per week for Vitamin D. We’ve halted her ostioporosis, but sadly, the Alzheimer’s has run it’s course. At 74, her prognosis was a maximum age of 82-83. It’s been over ten years, and I think the program we’ve put her on has probably doubled her remaining lifespan. From that aspect it’s been a success. But I don’t think the diet has helped her mind. I’m not sure it’s been a blessing or a curse, as she is in a constant state of boredom, depression and loneliness, trapped in her mind. It’s also taken it’s toll on our family, so I’m not sure it was worth it all.

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