Diet Drinks Threaten the Brain

The message that we should all dramatically reduce our sugar consumption is really gaining traction and for good reason. This was a central theme of Grain Brain, and these ideas have certainly been validated since I published that book back in 2013.

Unfortunately, as people have learned about the threats of sugar consumption, soft drink manufacturers have decided to emphasize sugar-free beverages, sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as a “healthy” alternative. To be clear, nothing is further from the truth.

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Diabetes, Obesity and Brain Health

Over the past several years I have been writing about the detrimental effects of type 2 diabetes on brain health. For example, we’ve seen an extensive amount of research published that shows a strong relationship between even subtle elevations of blood sugar and future risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, we know that elevation of blood sugar is related to a reduction in size of the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus. As it turns out, this reduction is correlated with both a decline in cognitive function as well as mood disorders. Continue reading

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Probiotics: A New Treatment for Alzheimer’s?

In Brain Maker, we looked at the relationship between the health of the gut and that of the brain, particularly as it relates to how the gut is the origin of inflammation, a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, an inflammatory disorder. With that in mind, shouldn’t we be able to improve our gut health as a way to treat Alzheimer’s? Well, the latest science has something to say about that. Continue reading

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Artificial Sweeteners – Alzheimer’s and Stroke

To those of you who follow my blog, the recent study demonstrating a remarkably increased risk for stroke, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, in relation to consumption of artificially-sweetened beverages should not come as a surprise.

First, let me break down what the researchers did, and learned. The stroke portion of the study evaluated 2,888 adults (age 45+), while the dementia arm focused on 1,484 adults (age 60+). The researchers reviewed food frequency questionnaires for the years 1991 to 2001 and determined how often the participants consumed artificially-sweetened beverages. Continue reading

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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Amy Berger

Several months ago I was contacted by today’s Empowering Neurologist guest, Amy Berger, who told me she was going to write a book about how lifestyle choices affect the brain. The working title of the book was The Alzheimer’s Antidote. In fact, Amy even asked me to write the foreword to this new work. After reviewing the manuscript, I told her that I would be delighted to write the foreword as, in my opinion, this would turn out to be an important and informative text.

Flash forward, The Alzheimer’s Antidote has now been published and is getting great reviews. The book focuses on how a low-carb, high-fat diet fights Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and cognitive decline. Amy walks us through the metabolic origins of Alzheimer’s disease, the fallacy of Alzheimer’s disease being caused by overproduction of beta-amyloid, the importance of exercise and other lifestyle choices, and even the notion of repairing a broken brain.

It’s an excellent book, and I’m hoping you enjoy today’s interview.

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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Molly Fox, PhD

Alzheimer’s disease represents the effects of inflammation on the brain. By now, you are all aware of the fundamental role of our gut bacteria in terms of regulating this process of inflammation in the human body.

Today’s episode of The Empowering Neurologist features my interview with Dr. Molly Fox, a biological anthropologist at UCLA. Her work has connected some important concepts that relate risk of Alzheimer’s disease (using research in various countries), to measurable differences in gut bacteria diversity. It’s a fascinating interview with a very gifted and dedicated scientist.

 

For more interviews like this, check out The Empowering Neurologist library.

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Five Incredible Alzheimer’s Facts You Probably Don’t Know

Today, take a moment to consider these five amazing facts about Alzheimer’s Disease. How many did you know before reading?

  • Alzheimer’s is treatable and reversible. We are constantly presented with the notion that “while there is no treatment of cure for Alzheimer’s, medical science may one day find a solution.” The truth is that researchers have now reversed the condition! Dale Bredesen, and his colleagues at the Buck Institute, have used a novel approach to actually reverse Alzheimer’s in a small sample of patients. Rather that attempt to develop a single drug, the magic bullet approach to disease, Bredesen’s team leveraged 36 different interventions including reducing blood sugar, increasing physical exercise, lowering homocysteine, optimizing vitamin D and regulating hormones, all of which helped to pave the way for Alzheimer’s patients to regain cognitive function.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup and the Brain

Excessive alcohol use can cause fat accumulation in the liver. Ultimately, This accumulation of fat may lead to liver failure that may actually prove fatal.

But it turns out, that there is another form of fat accumulation in the liver that has nothing to do with consumption of alcohol, hence the name non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFDL). NAFDL is considered the most common liver disorder in developed countries, estimated to be present in an incredible 30% of American adults.

NAFDL is often not a benign condition. It is strongly related to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. That means that people who have NAFDL are far more likely to develop things like type II diabetes and ultimately may even develop cirrhosis of the liver.

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