Category: Science

Here you will find posts related to the most groundbreaking science that is available to us as it pertains to gluten intolerance and brain health. We all have the gift of brain plasticity, meaning that if we apply the conclusions of these studies to our daily lives we can actually grow new brain cells!

Some posts to get you started:
The Process of Neuroplasticity
Increasing Gluten Sensitivity?

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Ketogenic Diet Proves Effective in Alzheimer’s Disease

Over the past several years a mechanistic concept has arisen that seeks to explain the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. This has been called the bioenergetic theory. Basically, it describes a situation in which the highly energy demanding cells of the brain are somehow compromised in their ability to use fuel. Make no mistake about it, brain cells require an incredible amount of energy to perform their function. In the resting state, the brain, which typically represents only 2 to 5% of total body weight, consumes up to 25% of calories burned.

The brain’s primary fuel is glucose. And one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive failure of the brains ability to use this source of fuel, basically a situation in which brain cells are not able to utilize glucose for energy. In fact, specialized PET scanning of the brain can visualize signature areas of the brain that are less functional in terms of glucose utilization that correlate with Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter M.D., and Dr. David Sinclair

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter M.D., and Dr. David Sinclair

Fair to say that we all assume that aging is inevitable. In reality however, there is no biological law that says we must age. Over the years we’ve seen a variety of theories proposed to explain why we age including the accumulation of damage to our DNA, the damaging effects of chemicals called “free radicals,” changes in the function of our mitochondria, and so many others.

Our guest today, Dr. David Sinclair, believes that aging is related to a breakdown of information. Specifically, he describes how, with time, our epigenome accumulates changes that have powerful downstream effects on the way our DNA functions. Reducing these changes to the epigenome is achievable and in fact, even taking it further, his research now reveals that the epigenome can be reprogrammed back to a youthful state. Continue reading

Long-Haul COVID – What You Need to Know Today

Long-Haul COVID – What You Need to Know Today

The term “long-haul COVID” has now entered our lexicon in relationship to this infectious disease. Unlike so many other infectious events, it looks like, in many people, COVID-19 is not monophasic. This means that a significant number of individuals have persistent symptoms for extended periods of time. This experience may now be affecting millions of people globally following their supposed “recovery.”

In fact, the NIH in December 2020 sponsored a meeting to call attention to this specific problem because of its global extent. Indeed, the long-term consequences of COVID-19 are now being described as a “second health crisis,” globally.

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COVID-19 Isn’t Random

One of the common statements often repeated in the media about COVID-19 is that it is seemingly random in terms of both getting the virus and having a poor outcome. But, upon further inspection, that’s not what the actual science is revealing. As we move deeper into our involvement with this virus some important patterns are emerging that make it quite clear that COVID-19 does indeed discriminate.

In a recent article, Dr. Austin Perlmutter explored how COVID-19 is actually an “opportunistic infection,” meaning that it takes advantage of patients whose immune systems are not functioning optimally. In the past we would have considered less than optimal immune function to be a characteristic of people who have had, for example, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, exposure to immune-suppressing medications after organ transplantation, or a diagnosed autoimmune disease. But as Dr. Austin Perlmutter has made clear, we now need to broaden our scope and embrace the notion that so many of our most common degenerative conditions, from diabetes to obesity, actually compromise immune function and allow the SARS-CoV-2 virus the opportunity to do its dirty work. Continue reading

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Choosing Your Cognitive Destiny

In 1998, Dr. Peter Eriksson published a groundbreaking report in the journal Nature Medicine in which he described, for the first time, that the process of growing new brain cells, neurogenesis, occurs in humans. That was only 22 years ago. Prior to his publication it was generally assumed that humans developed brain cells up until our late teen years and it was downhill after that.

We now know that a person retains the ability to grow new brain cells throughout his/her entire lifetime. Importantly, it is now clear that there are various things we can do that will directly enhance this process of neurogenesis. Among the most potent stimuli triggering the growth of new brain cells are physical exercise, a ketogenic diet, whole coffee fruit extract, and there is now some pretty compelling data supporting the role of a particular species of mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (more commonly known as lion’s mane), in causing neurogenesis. Continue reading

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Can A Ketogenic Diet Treat Mental Disorders?

By the Dr. Perlmutter Team

The ketogenic diet appears often in content I share as it offers a host of health benefits for conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and more. That list may now include mental disorders. As I recently discussed with Dr. Uma Naidoo, nutritional psychiatry is centered on how food affects mental health. While dietary interventions are known to serve multiple preventive and therapeutic roles in human health, it is exciting that there is a burgeoning field focusing specifically on how nutrition impacts mental disorders, especially in these challenging times.

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How A Keto Program Helps Parkinson’s Disease

These days so much is being written about the health benefits of lifestyle and nutrition strategies that produce ketosis. Indeed, actually treating certain conditions is now a fair-game discussion because of the robust scientific support being generated from institutions around the world.

I have previously presented information detailing the therapeutic benefit of a ketogenic lifestyle for issues like diabetes (both types 1 and 2), dementia, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. To be sure, there’s some outstanding work being done that demonstrates the effectiveness of a ketogenic program in Parkinson’s disease (PD). And one of the pioneers in studying the ketogenic diet in PD is Dr. Matthew Phillips, a neurologist in New Zealand who we’ve previously featured on The Empowering Neurologist. More recently, I had the opportunity to co-author, along with Dr. Phillips, a book chapter focused on the use of a ketogenic diet as an actual therapeutic intervention for Parkinson’s disease. Continue reading

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Inflammation and Cellular Aging

One topic that’s certainly moved to center stage as of late is immunity. For obvious reasons there is great interest in exploring what we can do to enhance our immune functionality. The key idea, as it relates to functionality, is the notion of balance. While a robust immune system seems like it would be an ideal goal, we now know that excessive immune function may actually prove threatening. Such is the case with the so-called “cytokine storm.” Cytokines are chemical messengers that are involved in regulating immune function. When overproduced, as may occur in COVID-19 infection, cytokines can amplify inflammation with all its attendant destructive manifestations.

Regulation and balance of the immune system deteriorate with aging. So as we age we become more susceptible to inflammation, both acutely as with the cytokine storm, as well as chronically, in disease states like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and various other chronic degenerative conditions. Continue reading

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Can a Daily Fasting Period Reduce Risk for Metabolic Disease?

By: The Dr. Perlmutter Team

Time-restricted eating is likely a familiar concept to those of you who participated in our Summer Fasting Challenge. Time-restricted eating, often termed time-restricted feeding (TRF) in scientific literature, is a form of intermittent fasting that restricts consumption of foods and beverages—“energy intake”—to a specific window of time. For example, as we did together in the Summer Fasting Challenge, 18:6 TRF signifies a 6-hour eating window and 18 hours of fasting.

As we discussed during the Summer Fasting Challenge, and as I have written about in recent blogs, it’s clear that there are health benefits to time-restricting our food consumption. In the realm of scientific literature that supports this notion, a study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews is no exception. This study offered a summary of evidence on the effects of time-restricted feeding on both body weight and markers of metabolic disease risk. The authors of this review looked at 11 human studies and 12 animal studies. Both categories of studies included various TRF eating window durations, ranging from 3-4 hours to 12 hours. Continue reading