Category: Grain Brain

In this section you will find everything pertaining to the release of my newest book Grain Brain. Whether you are wondering how to prevent Alzheimer’s or what to eat when pregnant, Grain Brain explores the connection between proper nutrition and brain preservation and development.

Some posts to get you started:
Grain Brain A Bestseller
Food For Thought

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Blood Sugar and Your Brain

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

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Shape Up For Summer!

This spring, I’m partnering with CBN to launch a transformational health and wellness challenge unlike any other. YOU are invited to take part in a FREE 8-week Shape Up for Summer Challenge to achieve your personal weight loss goal. The challenge starts on April 5th and ends May 31st. The challenge will focus on ‘food I.Q.’ by using The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan philosophy – a scientific approach that helps with mental clarity, memory, improves overall well-being, embraces healthy eating and weight loss. To join the challenge, click here now. Continue reading

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Prevention of Alzheimer’s

There’s so much in the news these days calling attention to the fact that diabetes is associated with a profoundly increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, just watch my recent interview with Dr. Melissa Schilling on the subject.

But there’s an important point that is absolutely critical to understand. While it seems like a good idea for diabetic patients to take medication to control blood sugar, the research seems to indicate that diabetics taking these drugs do not improve their situation, in terms of lowering their risk for Alzheimer’s.

To be clear, I am not saying that diabetics shouldn’t take their blood sugar medications. But I am saying that this looks like this one very important issue, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, is not improved by medications designed to help normalize blood sugar. Continue reading

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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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Eating Fat, Fighting Alzheimer’s

Today, in honor of Brain Awareness Month, I went to the Alzheimer’s Association’s web site to explore their “10 Way to Love Your Brain”, which include:

Fuel up right. Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Really?  From what I’ve learned, we need more fat in the diet to protect the brain against dementia, not carbs at the expense of healthy fats. It even looks like the Mayo Clinic, publishing in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, totally agrees. Continue reading

Coffee? Pour a Cup!

Coffee? Pour a Cup!

While I don’t have the exact statistic, it probably isn’t far off-base to state that many, if not most, Americans start their day with a cup of coffee in their hand. For many years, the science on coffee has moved in competing directions, from studies that call it dangerous for long-term health, to those that endorse daily mass consumption.

In Grain Brain, I briefly explored the health benefits of coffee, notably as an activator of our Nrf2 pathway, and it’s a topic I return to in Brain Maker. Now, learn how coffee plays a roll in influencing the composition of our gut bacteria, and how that daily cup of joe might be fighting a leaky gut. Drink up!

Let’s End The Era of “Diagnose and Adios”

Today’s post is from a close friend of Grain Brain, Max Lugavere. – Dr. Perlmutter

My name is Max Lugavere and I’m a filmmaker, currently in production on a feature-length, millennial-focused documentary exploring the impact of diet and lifestyle on brain health. I also write when so inspired, and was happy to have interviewed Dr. Perlmutter for Psychology Today last year just after Grain Brain came out. As of today our interview has almost 400,000 views.

I became very interested in the topic of diet and lifestyle as it pertains to brain health when, three years ago, my mom, at age 59, began showing signs of cognitive decline. Because her symptoms were somewhat atypical, at the time, it sent us around the country to top hospitals in order to find out “what she had”. It was at that time that I put Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia which currently affects 45 million people worldwide, in my crosshairs.

Over the course of my journey, I stumbled upon an unsettling adage commonly used to describe the treatment of patients with neurodegenerative diseases: diagnose and adios. This off-color remark is commonly used within the walls of medical schools to convey the lack of effective treatment options (short of surgery) for patients who present to neurologists.

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ICYMI – LIVE with Kelly & Michael

 

Just last week, I had the pleasure of joining Kelly Ripa and guest host Anderson Cooper on LIVE with Kelly & Michael to talk about Grain Brain. While my segment was short, I like to think it was packed with actionable information that you can use to help eat your way to a better brain. Remember, go gluten-free, and low-carb, and load up on healthy fats, and you’ll be well on your road to a healthier tomorrow.

New Study Validates Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy Treatment in Adults

Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of different conditions including head trauma, infection, brain tumor, and stroke, but by and large most cases of epilepsy have no readily identifiable cause. Epilepsy affects some 2.3 million adults in America and close to half a million children. Further, about one in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives. It’s been estimated that there are approximately 150,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed in the United States each year and overall about $15.5 billion in medical costs as well as lost earnings and production are attributed to this disease.

The mainstay of treatment for epilepsy is pharmaceutical intervention. As I recently noted, more and more we are seeing surgical procedures being performed for those individuals who have not had a significant improvement with drugs. I indicated that at least some individuals are gluten sensitive and may benefit from a gluten-free diet which potentially could keep them from undergoing potentially life-threatening surgery as a treatment for their epilepsy.

But it is also important to understand that there’s another extremely effective dietary intervention that has proven itself quite useful in the treatment of epilepsy.

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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. Continue reading