What on Earth is a Leaky Brain?

We talk a lot about leaky gut and the complications that result from this condition. However, a similar problem can happen in the brain. The blood brain barrier that keeps the brain as a sanctuary away from things like bacterial components and damaging chemicals can also be breached – and some of the same mechanisms that give rise to a leaky gut can create a leaky brain.

Learn more in my most recent video, as well as in my new book, Brain Maker.

  • Plants with pesco

    This is an incredibly interesting field of study. Though I have only dabbled in reading about it.

    A couple of dietary interventions stuck out: arachidonic acid can cause gross opening of blood brain barrier, and a healthy gut may be one of the keys to a healthy BBB. Consistent probiotics (sauerkraut, kimchi, cortido, un pasteurized miso, tempeh etc…) and prebiotics: blueberries, artichokes, bananas, cooled sweat potatoes etc…) can give you healthy gut, if also avoiding excessive alcohol and avoidance of antibiotics, unless needed. For example: no antibiotics in food (non-organic meats, dairy), but yes to prescription antibiotics to fight bacterial infection.

    Avoidance of excessive arachidonic acid is easy. It is mostly consumed by Americans in chicken, eggs, beef, bacon, cold cuts, pizza and turkey.

    Replacing these foods with ant-inflammatory alternatives: mushrooms, flax, walnuts, cooked greens etc… could do wonders for inflammation and BBB.

    Foods that reduce blood pressure are also great, because it greatly reduces your chances of mini-stroke and both hemorraghic and ischemic stroke. Normal blood pressure keeps vessels and arteries healthy; high blood pressure is very damaging to our vascular tree. Mini-strokes may lead to a devastating breakdown of BBB. Good foods: kale, broccoli, banana, sweet potato….

    • Emmalee

      This is interesting. Due to Fodmaps, only mushrooms would work for me. Any particular type? Thanks.


    what ROLE does this play in the DISEASE: ALS ?

  • Joan Lanier

    Love your videos! One minor suggestion… invest in a lapel microphone. It will improve the audio in your videos tremendously, by cutting down some of the reverb/echoing dynamics at play on your set.

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Amar


    Vegetarian vs non vegetarian diet
    Those who ate less meat or were vegetarian showed lower death rates

    • mamasan

      Whole Health Source had a series of articles recently where he dissected studies about vegan, vegetarian and omnivore diets and longevity.. Omnivores and vegetarians who also ate fish lived longer than vegetarians and vegans. He looked at multiple studies, not one.

  • Lauren Grace

    Dr. Perlmutter. Thanks for all your hard work in this field. As a soon-to-be-college graduate I can tell you, I need to keep all the brain cells I can hold onto. My aunt, who raises grassed beef in Tennessee along with her rancher husband, has been gluten free for several years and swears that her health has improved significantly. She works very hard to share what she’s learned and recommends your book specifically. As my husband and I move forward after this busy season of working and going to school, I’m sure we use your book as a resource for our health and wellness strategies.

    • David Perlmutter

      Best of luck on your journey Lauren. Hope to see you contributing to the dialogue soon!

  • Dawn Auletta

    My copy should arrive around the 1st of May.
    I can not wait until it gets here.
    I am studying to be Integrative nutrition health coach,and I want to have all the information I can find to help my clients with digestive issues feel healthier and happier.
    Thank you for all the work you do !!

  • KD

    Hi Dr Perlmutter

    I find all of this very interesting. As a mother of an 8 year old girl recently diagnosed with dyslexic tendencies and Coeliac disease I have my suspicions as to a link. I am wondering if it is possible to reverse any damage that may have been done to her brain by ingesting gluten? Thanks.

  • Lisa Shaw

    Can’t wait to read bc this is what my son’s Dr. has stated as to what my son is going through. He shows inflammation and has suffered for years with bowel movements in his pants along with several mental problems. Can’t wait to tell of his success story!

  • Joe Texan

    I read your new book and it was great. The FMT stuff was incredible. I see lots of autistic kids and will be telling all the parents to read this book.

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks so much for the review Joe, and for continuing to be a part of this community.

  • Janis D. Jenkins

    I suffered a heat stroke when I was 30 and I’m sure I have a leaky brain unfortunately!!

  • nourished

    Hi Dr P 🙂
    Could you please list some references for the leaky gut-leaky brain connection – would be very much appreciated – thank you!

  • Deborah Webster Senese

    I have late stage neurological lyme disease with seizures and such. The trigeminal nerve on one side has affected that ear, eye & jaw..even vocal cord paralysis and am paralyzed in the right leg. What blood work can I ask my doctor to order to see if this could be a possibility with me? I would appreciate your kind reply. Any & all help is appreciated.

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