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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Leo Galland

Today on The Empowering Neurologist, I spend some time with my long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Leo Galland. Dr. Galland is one of the true pioneers in functional medicine, who has dedicated his professional life to practicing medicine in a way that utilizes the latest scientific advances coupled with the most profound insights of ancient healing systems. Thus, he is able to give his patients the best tools to preserve health, increase longevity and speed recovery from illness.

Dr. Galland received his education and medical training at Harvard and NYU. Regularly chosen by New York magazine as one of the best doctors in New York, as well as listed in America’s Top Doctors, he has appeared on Good Morning America and on CNN, Fox News, and PBS. And now we have the honor of having his wisdom right here on our program.

Today’s discussion focuses on how dietary choices influence metabolism and even appetite. We’ll be talking about the role of the hormone leptin and how it influences appetite, as well as how insulin function is affected by our food choices.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this interview! Be sure to also stay tuned for more information about Dr. Galland’s upcoming book, The Allergy Solution.

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  • Lynn Dell

    Excellent discussion, and a good reminder of leptin resistance and its parallels with insulin resistance. A great reminder of the importance of fiber, and a good introduction to the different types of fat.

    This was the first I had heard as to why it is ok to heat extra virgin olive oil. Hurrah for polyphenols!

    • Marco Piñeros A

      Recientemente estoy leyendo Cerebro de pan, ya estoy en el capítulo 10, sin embargo, con la lectura y comprensión de los datos y soportes de los 3 primeros capítulos, empecé a reducir el consumo de carbohidratos y pan, consumiendo nuevamente carnes y grasas animales y ejercicio; los resultados comenzaron a aparecer: baja de peso, mejor estado de ánimo, mayor lucidez, disposición y energía, y algo más interesante, la sensación desagradable de la inflamación corporal, desapareció. En los 2 últimos días abusé ligeramente de ciertos dulces y del arroz, eso sirvió para volver a padecer de la inflamación y todas sus connotaciones.
      Todo ello es sin haber iniciado el Plan alimenticio planteado en el capítulo 10
      Jamás había creído que la alimentación sana recomendada por Dr Perlmutter, muy bien sustentada en conocimientos, pudiera incidir tan positivamente en mí como ser espiritual que soy, a
      hora, luego de apenas unos 8 días de experimentarla, estoy convencido.
      Muchas gracias Dr Perlmutter por permitirle a cualquier persona de este planeta volverse más capaz de esa manera.
      Marco Piñeros A
      Bogotá, Colombia

      • Lynn Dell

        Here is a Google translation, Dr. Perlmutter – he thanks you for your work, please read:

        “Recently I’m reading [Grain Brain], I’m in Chapter 10, however, the reading and understanding of the data and supports the first 3 chapters, I began to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates and bread, consuming meat and animal fat again and exercise; the results began to appear: weight loss, improved mood, increased alertness, and energy provision, and more interesting, the unpleasant sensation of the body swelling, disappeared. In the last 2 days I [cheated] slightly from certain candies and rice, it helped to return to suffer from inflammation and all its connotations.

        All this is prior to beginning the meal plan raised in Chapter 10

        [I] had never believed that healthy food recommended by Dr Perlmutter, well supported by knowledge, could have an impact so positively on me as a spiritual being that I am,
        hour, after only about 8 days to experience [this new way of eating and exercising], I am convinced.

        Dr Perlmutter thank you very much for allowing anyone on this planet become more capable of that.

        Marco Piñeros A
        Bogotá, Colombia”

        • David Perlmutter

          Thanks Lynn, and thanks very much for the kind note Marco. Wonderful to hear of a true success story, and how you’re taking back control of your health!

          • Benlo

            Thanks for a great session.
            One aspect I just miss in these discussions is the influence of your Blood Group… e.g. Type B will tolerate Dairy much better than e.g. Type O, and Type O will metabolise Full Fat (butter, cream, etc.) better than the others… worth taking that into consideration too in my opinion. Also ENZYMES are critically important (especially as far as e.g. Protein / Lactose metabolism is concerned) – And defenitely missing from the conversation as well, is the ‘puzzle-piece’ of FOOD COMBINING principles.
            Eagerly awaiting the new books “GrainBrain for Life” and “The Allergy Solution” (hope theres some answers about above issues in there)

  • Ri

    thank you so much for this discussion I learned so much! I was literally taking notes as I was listening.. the main point I got from this was that fat=inflammation and the key to health and weight loss is to keep inflammation under control through dietary and exercise protocols. Dr Galland mentions using low fat dairy and I believe you said use high fat dairy but does the fat content really matter? I will definitely be taking a look at his book. Also I grew up on the Mediterranean diet and we don’t use anything other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil so im happy to hear its safe to heat it. Im glad that the connection between leaky gut and leaky brain is becoming more mainstream as the gut is our second brain.

    • Lynn Dell

      Ri, it depends on what kind of fat it is if it equals inflammation. There are many kinds of fats. Some fats, called omega 6 fatty acids, promote inflammation. Others, such as omega 3 fatty acids, mitigate inflammation. Other fats are neutral in this respect. Animals raised on grains tend to have the kind of fats that promote inflammation, whereas organic, non-grain fed, grass fed, wild-caught, etc. animals have less inflammatory fat.

      • Ri

        thanks Lynn 🙂 Dr William Davis said fat content for dairy doesn’t matter but I read that carb to protein ratio for low fat dairy is often better and also less calories so I guess that’s something to consider if one is trying to lose weight.

      • elena vito

        …And a vegan diet does not promote inflamation at all…

        • LB

          This is your experience maybe but i would not project it the ultimate truth. I know enough people that have inflammation and are vegan!!
          While we can draw some general lines and say x, y, z… is healthy but lets not convert multi dimensional reality to a rigid 2D.
          It is interesting to examine with an open mind what ex-vegans have to say also, like Alexandra Jamieson or Lierre Keith etc.
          Life is divers and flexible and truth has many faces

          Thank you

  • Susan Haberly

    May I just add my personal experiences… Once I identified the foods that my gut does not tolerate (nuts & seeds, in spite of long soaking and low-heat baking), lactose-intolerance (however, please research the newly-available-in-the-USA label, A2 milk, for a non-problematic, non-lactase-added, pure cow’s milk now available in certain markets), the onion family, and cane sugar which comes from the grass family (whereas beet sugar gives me no problems)… I stopped having all-day, constant “hunger” since my brain interpreted my small intestine inflammatory response to these foods as hunger. (And, since eating in response to this sensation of hunger, would put into motion the peristaltic waves moving the food along its path in the small intestine, it also moved the irritating foods from the inflamed area, possibly relieving that inflamed area?) My second HUGE discovery is to have begun a new way of eating: 1) consuming a prebiotic w/ each meal (plain kefir or salt-fermented sauerkraut or any vegetables that are “pickled” without using vinegar, but with salt and water instead) – all of which feed my beleaguered gut bacteria, and 2) Resistant Starches (see online with both academic/scholarly articles and general explanations on many, many sites). I now eat resistant starches with my 3 daily meals along with much less protein (eating room-temp. or cold beans and a grain for lunch and a small amount of poultry w/ my cold or room-temp cooked potatoes or grains for dinner), with lots of the fibrous foods (veggies and some fruit) I have always consumed. My immediate results after beginning this way of eating: no chronic all-day hunger (this is the first time in my life I do not need nor desire an afternoon snack nor am I feeling hungry within a short period of finishing a normally-portioned meal); going for long periods without thinking of food nor wanting to eat; and needing to eat less and less each day. Result: watching my figure improve almost daily, having much more energy, no more bad breath (from the ketogenic diet I had tried), sleeping better, and a wonderful feeling of optimism, good will, and overall happiness! This is a way to eat which is do-able and perfect for me. . . . something many unhappy and always-hungry people might want to explore!

    • Hi, how did you identify the foods your gut doesn’t tolerate?

      • Benlo

        One aspect I miss in these discussions is the influence of your Blood Group… e.g. Type B will tolerate Dairy much better than e.g. Type O, and Type O will metabolise Full Fat (butter, cream, etc.) better than the others… worth taking that into consideration too in my opinion. Also ENZYMES are critically important (especially as far as e.g. Protein / Lactose metabolism is concerned) – And defenitely missing from the conversation as well, is the ‘puzzle-piece’ of FOOD COMBINING.

  • Ri

    if I can sum up what ive learned about health and weight loss its not a simple equation of eat less exercise more its all about reducing/eliminating systemic inflammation, protecting and nurturing your gut microbiome and ensuring that your lifestyle choices -sleep, stress, spiritual, social etc are healthy to ensure that hormones especially those that directly effect your weight and metabolism-leptin, insulin and cortisol are functioning optimally and efficiently. Just wanted to share..:)

  • Lisa MSN RN

    Phenomenal doctors…great information!

  • Melissa

    How does this diet affect someone battling SIBO? As high fiber, high resistance starch foods are ones that the bad bacteria feeds off of. Would love some input. Thanks!

  • Bill

    I’ve been reading and enjoying Dr. Galland’s book. It is very informative and useful. I can say the same things of Dr. Perlmutter’s Brain Maker. The problem I’m having is that these two books have seemingly contradictory opinions on whole eggs and whole fat dairy products. Any clarification would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Dr Jeff Matheson

    There is a basic, biochemical property that is consistently missed. Omega-6, the 18 carbon, plant based version (Linoleic Acid) is ESSENTIAL to cellular (especially mitochondrial cell membrane health). The problem today is most Omega-6 is processed, destroying its properties. It is NOT the ratio, no study has ever proven this, somehow it is accepted as fact when it is clearly not. Fish and Krill oil are not good sources of fatty acids as these are way too unstable and oxidize almost immediately upon contact with stomach acid. The populations with the lowest intake of healthy, unprocessed plant oils (NOT Canola, Corn or Soy oil) have the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and probably cancer and autoimmune disorders due to mitochondrial dysfunction. Too many experts are concentrating on biochemical pathways of fatty acid metabolism instead of looking at cell membrane integrity. 95% or more of Omega-6 stays in its native form and directly placed in the cell membrane through LDL and HDL particles.

    • LB

      Am I right to conclude that prof. Peskin has the same message?

      • Dr Jeff Matheson

        He is in fact correct. Multiple people have tried, including myself and have not been able to find fault with his research.

        • LB

          It surprises me that many doctors, Amen, Mercola, Hyman etc. concentrate on omega 3 FA (fish / krill oils)… Should’t the emphasis be on the quality of the omega 6! rather than ‘omega 3 is more important’ ? And what is your opinion on fermented fish oil products? The old debate about Eskimos consume a lot of fish oil… Could it be that people from diff. areas have diff. functional adaptation to what is available in their environment etc. Therefore, a one formule diet to all, does not really exist (?) …

  • Cindy Fanelli Kiley

    Why low fat dairy? And, what is the best way to decide if you’re intolerant to dairy? I’ve had food allergy tests, but I don’t feel they’re accurate. Despite eating an exceptionally healthy diet (mostly keto), I still have leaky guy and chronic, debilitating chronic constipation. I would LOVE an episode on chronic constipation, as many people I know are struggling with this.

    • David Perlmutter

      I personally endorse a little bit of full-fat dairy, however that is where Dr. Galland and I disagree.

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