A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, brings into question existing recommendations in the US and UK, many of which are now being revised, for moderate alcohol consumption. Previously, we believed there was a bell curve-like relationship between consumption and brain heath, with high risk existing for those who abstain and those who drink heavily, and a slight reduction in risk for those who drink a modest amount.
But this new study, which measured the size of the hippocampus in drinkers, brings new evidence to light that contradicts this commonly held belief. Let’s take a look.
It’s fairly common knowledge these days that there are some really important health benefits associated with consuming olive oil. No doubt, one of the reasons that the Mediterranean diet turns out to be so healthful is because it is rich in olives and olive oil. And this may explain why following the Mediterranean diet is associated with significant risk reduction for things like breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.
But it’s been a bit challenging to try to delineate specifically what it is about olive oil that makes it so special as it relates to health. There are multiple chemicals found in olive oil that are bioactive in a positive sense, and new research has identified yet another chemical and mechanism that may explain why olive oil is so good for us. Continue reading
Several years ago, when I wrote Grain Brain, I had a long discussion with our publisher centered around choosing the best subtitle. Ultimately, we decided to emphasize the toxic role of sugar and carbs on the brain, and with good reason. Since that time, there have been a large number of studies that have confirmed the thesis that elevated blood sugar is profoundly detrimental, not just for the brain in general, but for brain function as well.
As the authors of a new paper entitled, Brain atrophy in ageing: Estimating effects of blood glucose levels vs. other type 2 diabetes effects point out, our brains shrink as we age with as much as 5% volume loss occurring between age 60 and 70. And as you would expect, this correlates with declining function.
A lot of the research has shown that type 2 diabetes (T2D) is what accelerates brain aging. But as this new study shows, it’s not the diagnosis of T2D that is the issue. Well before that diagnosis is made, brain structure is affected by blood sugar, even in the “normal” range! Continue reading
Today I’m going to write in a way that’s perhaps a bit out of character. While we generally focus of the impact of lifestyle choices on health and disease resistance, this missive focuses on gratitude.
As I write, I’m waiting to board an evacuation flight to get away from Irma, an event that will rewrite the definition of natural disaster. Our home is in Naples, Florida in the highest level flood zone and I’m well aware that when we are able to return, our house of 30 years may well be totally destroyed.
And yet, sitting here, I remain so grateful for so many gifts. The love of family and friends, the incredible support I receive from all of you, and the wonderful opportunities I have had to fully engage my life mission.
I’ll certainly get back to all of you on the other side of this experience, but for now, let me say, “thank you!”
A lot of times I’m asked about the impact of caffeine consumption on ketosis. Does it help? Hurt? A new study out of Canada seeks to answer this question.
Antibiotics play an important role in medicine. Without a doubt, they can be absolutely life-saving. However, our own CDC tells us that about 30% of antibiotics used in America are used inappropriately or unnecessarily. That said, we are all generally familiar with the consequences of antibiotic abuse, including the creation of antibiotic-resistant organisms, as well as changes that can happen to the gut microbiota.
But there’s a new discovery with reference antibiotics that is turning out to be very important. We as physicians have always been trained to believe that antibiotics, while affecting bacteria, have no effect on the cells of the human body. We are now learning that this may not be the case. As you will see in the video, new research is demonstrating that antibiotics may have a dramatic effect in terms of damaging mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles that live within our cells. When we recognize that problems with mitochondrial function underlie many of our degenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the idea that commonly-used antibiotics might threaten mitochondrial function becomes quite important.
I’m very excited to bring you this research study from my friend Dr. Emeran Mayer. It’s a very intriguing report that demonstrates not only how changes in the gut bacteria correlate with irritable bowel syndrome, but, in addition, how these changes in the gut bacteria correlate with the size of various brain areas.
In addition, the authors were able to correlate how the changes observed in the gut bacteria actually linked to early life trauma. This seemingly connected the dots between early life trauma and the observed differences in brain morphology.
I understand this may sound complicated, but hopefully the video will make this more understandable.
Headaches are becoming all the more common in our society, and the impacts of this ailment are becoming all the more clear, from decreased workplace productivity to general adverse health effects.
The problem with headaches, as they’re treated nowadays, is we only focus on treating the pain once it has started. Rarely do we aggressively target what is causing the headaches to prevent them in the future. That’s why we need to look at lifestyle changes. Here are some things I want you to consider as you figure out how to avoid suffering from headaches.