As we have explored previously, elevated blood sugar is clearly toxic for the brain. Higher blood sugar is clearly a risk for Alzheimer’s disease, along with coronary artery disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
But focusing on the brain, I think it’s important to emphasize that elevated blood sugar has wide-ranging negative effects on brain cells and their functionality. Elevated blood sugar is associated with inflammation, and this is a cornerstone mechanism across a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, persistent elevation of blood sugar ultimately compromises the function of the hormone insulin. We now recognize that insulin is important for the health and integrity of the brain not only because of its role in allowing glucose to be used as fuel, but also how it functions as a nurturing hormone. Continue reading
When Grain Brain first hit shelves, one of the first questions I started to hear repeated to me again and again was “This is great and all, but what can I do if I’m a vegetarian?” The answer is simple: you can be a vegetarian and follow the Grain Brain lifestyle, no problem (and if you want to learn more about this, visit our vegan/vegetarian focus page).
Now as similar lifestyles begin to take the spotlight, the ketogenic lifestyle chief among them, the same question, posed about these diets, are coming to the fore. Thankfully, Dr. Will Cole is here to help. Continue reading
Perhaps you’ve noticed, more and more, that the number of plants people are keeping in their home is multiplying. Certainly there’s an aesthetic reason for this, but what if it was impacting our health as well? A recent study in HortScience looked at the impact of plants in hospital recovery rooms to see if the presence of plants impacted the health of these patients, measuring factors like levels of pain and duration of hospitalization.
Let’s investigate what they found.
Without a doubt, we spend a lot of time in this forum discussing the influence of bacteria on the health of the gut, and how that translates into risk for disease elsewhere in the body. As it turns out, there are a multitude of other entities residing within the gut that are absolutely worthy of our attention.
Bacteriophages are a type of virus that can infect bacteria and alter their function. First identified in 1917, bacteriophages have been long overlooked in terms of their potential contribution to human disease.
Our interview today is with Dr. George Tetz, one of the world leaders in bacteriophage research. He has identified pathways whereby bacteriophages can alter gut bacteria in such a way so as to modify their function in the human body. His work relates bacteriophage activity with autoimmune conditions, like Type 1 diabetes. He has also found strong connections between bacteriophages and Parkinson’s disease, a subject into which he’ll dive deeper in our discussion. He believes that these bacteria-infecting viruses may also play a prominent role in other neurodegenerative conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The implications of the science shared in this interview are many! I will state at the outset that some of the discussion is at a level that might be challenging for the non-researcher to understand, but there are some terrific takeaways and I would urge all of you to celebrate with me the accomplishments of this incredible scientist.
Finally, I mention a YouTube video that graphically illustrates the function of these bacteriophages. It’s very well-done, and worth a look.
The ketogenic diet is one of the most talked about and debated diet trends today. You’ve probably heard celebrities, athletes, and neighbors raving about the benefits of this dietary approach. Interestingly, the science backs up its rapid growth in popularity, as a ketogenic diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits for its adherents. The diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve glycemic control in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, help individuals struggling with obesity lower their BMI, and even improve or control symptoms of debilitating neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and epilepsy. There is even some evidence to suggest that a ketogenic diet can play a role in the treatment of cancer! If it is implemented properly, adopting a ketogenic diet can be a very powerful tool in the fight against a variety of chronic diseases.
If you’ve recently made the decision to transition to a ketogenic diet or are exploring the possibility of a change, chances are you might currently find yourself in a world of confusion. What is ketosis? What are ketones? Can I really eat all the fatty foods I want? How can this possibly be good for me?
Allow me to address some of these questions. Continue reading
Five years ago today, we embarked on an incredible journey. Together, we sought to understand the roots of brain health, and how we can help fend off ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s, diseases for which there are no known cures. This journey began with the release of Grain Brain.
In the five years since, science has continued to investigate the roles carbs and gluten play in our health, and our message has moved to the mainstream. As a result, the information in Grain Brain is now accompanied by ongoing changes and revelations in the world of medicine. Today, I want to share with you the five most interesting things I’ve learned/seen since Grain Brain hit shelves. Continue reading
We talk a lot about how environment and lifestyle choices impact your cognitive health, but have you ever considered that where you choose to live may be a key factor in determining the health of your brain? Continue reading
For many of us life is pretty much focused on achievement. Whether instilled in us early in life by our parents or through our educational experiences, it seems that there are benchmarks that we constantly set for ourselves that serve to inform the focus of our daily activities.
As it turns out, if we indeed really want to be productive and achieve our goals, it might well be that our ability to make this happen can be facilitated by actually disengaging from the pursuit. Our lives seem to be constantly focused in considering the future and how our current activities will ultimately play out, and there is clearly a profound upside to this uniquely human attribute. Contemplating how our activities today will impact what happens tomorrow allowed our ancestors, for example, to prepare for times of food scarcity, while today we can embrace how our activities might impact things like climate change in the years to come. Continue reading