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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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.

Continue reading

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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

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Treating COVID-19 with Vitamin D

Over the past several months I have been writing and broadcasting about the potential role of vitamin D as it relates to COVID-19. Understanding the multiple roles that vitamin D plays in regulating immunity really supports the level of interest that we are seeing in the scientific community at a time when so many ideas are being vetted.

By and large, effectiveness of any intervention is looked at in terms of either prevention of a problem or its actual treatment. And while there is a fairly robust body of literature accumulating that clearly shows higher risk for the disease as well as worse outcome associated with low levels of vitamin D, actually using vitamin D as a treatment for existing disease hasn’t really been extensively studied. Continue reading

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Fructose and Diabetes Risk

Over the past several decades efforts have been made to try to convince us that, as it pertains to sugar, fructose is our best choice. One of the reasons often cited for this messaging was the misguided notion that somehow choosing fructose would help reduce risk for diabetes because “fructose doesn’t elevate insulin.” More on that idea later, so for now let’s focus on the relationship between fructose consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes. Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies Validated

Over the past decade we have been vigorously promoting the concept of Alzheimer’s prevention. Alzheimer’s disease is devastating, not just for the patient, but for families and loved ones as well. And let me be candid: watching my father succumb to Alzheimer’s was the most emotionally challenging experience of my life. Not only that, it also served to strengthen my resolve to do whatever I can to continue to raise awareness of the science that supports the notion that our lifestyle choices do indeed play an important role in determining our risk for this disease – a disease for which there is no meaningful treatment whatsoever. Continue reading

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Fructose, a “Safer Sugar”?

Lately, in an apparent attempt to push back from the negativity surrounding high fructose corn syrup, there seems to be an increase in the number of articles published touting the advantages of fructose as a “safer sugar.” The main point that is so often emphasized is that unlike glucose, fructose does not seem to increase insulin. Increasing insulin, which is how our bodies cope with increased glucose levels, may, when it’s constantly challenged, lead to a state in which we tend to lose our sensitivity to insulin. This means that with time, on a diet that constantly raises our glucose levels, insulin becomes less effective. Losing insulin sensitivity or becoming “insulin resistant” is not only associated with elevated blood sugar and subsequent diabetes, but also a fairly extensive list of chronic degenerative conditions that we want to do our best to avoid like coronary artery disease and Alzheimer’s. Continue reading