The Importance of Fish Oil and Probiotics in Pregnancy

Food allergies, and a specific skin condition called eczema, are rapidly increasing in the youth population. Now, in what may be the largest study of its kind ever performed, researchers are studying a woman’s diet during pregnancy, as well as duration of breast-feeding post-birth, to assess a child’s susceptibility to allergies, as well as risk for conditions like eczema and autoimmune disorders. British investigators, evaluating over 1.5 million people, have come up with some very compelling information.

The research is what’s called a meta-analysis, meaning that it is review of previous studies (over 400 in this case) involving over 1.5 million people, and dating as far back as 1946. The researchers discovered that there was a weak, but nonetheless demonstrable, relationship between breast-feeding and reduced risk of eczema during infancy, as well as reduced risk for type I diabetes. In addition, probiotics seemed to reduce the risk of allergic reactions to cow’s milk.

The data, however, was much more supportive of the relationship between taking a probiotic supplement while 36 – 38 weeks pregnant, and during the first 3 to 6 months of breast-feeding, and risk for childhood eczema. In fact, in those women taking probiotics, risk for eczema in their child was reduced by 22%. The scientist noted that most of the probiotics contained a bacterium called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Continue reading


The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Sarah Hallberg

Do medications “treat” type 2 diabetes? The answer is “no.” While there is a fairly robust list of drugs commonly prescribed by physicians for this situation, these pharmaceuticals tend to treat only the consequences of the disorder, like elevated blood sugar.

In this segment of The Empowering Neurologist,  I have the great pleasure of interviewing one of the most forward thinking experts in diabetes in the country, Dr. Sarah Hallberg. This is her second time on the program, and with good reason. She and her team have just completed a study in which they demonstrate profound success in actually treating diabetes using a closely monitored ketogenic diet. Continue reading


The Low-Carb Diet & Type 2 Diabetes

Over the past several years, we’ve seen the rates of type 2 diabetes in the United States absolutely skyrocket. At this stage, there’s no doubt about it: lifestyle choices are playing a key role in causing this problem.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a threat to our collective health not only because of the harmful role diabetes can play in the body, but because of the myriad ailments that tend to be correlated with diabetes and its impacts elsewhere in the body, from the kidneys to the brain. For instance, did you know that type 2 diabetics may have as much as a 4x increase in risk for becoming a patient with Alzheimer’s?

All of this in mind, let’s look at what lifestyle choices can do to improve the healthspan of type 2 diabetics.


Insulin Resistance and Cognitive Decline

I want to dive a bit deeper today into our discussion of the relationship between diabetes (and even mild elevations in blood sugar), and the overall health of your brain. With that, it’s becoming increasingly clear the lifestyle factors that impact metabolic disease, of which insulin resistance is at the core, also play a key role in influencing the health of the brain and long-term cognitive capacity. Let’s look at this recent study published in Experimental and Molecular Medicine in today’s video. Continue reading


More Good News About Olive Oil

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

Diet Drinks Threaten the Brain

The message that we should all dramatically reduce our sugar consumption is really gaining traction and for good reason. This was a central theme of Grain Brain, and these ideas have certainly been validated since I published that book back in 2013.

Unfortunately, as people have learned about the threats of sugar consumption, soft drink manufacturers have decided to emphasize sugar-free beverages, sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as a “healthy” alternative. To be clear, nothing is further from the truth.

Continue reading


Diabetes, Obesity and Brain Health

Over the past several years I have been writing about the detrimental effects of type 2 diabetes on brain health. For example, we’ve seen an extensive amount of research published that shows a strong relationship between even subtle elevations of blood sugar and future risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, we know that elevation of blood sugar is related to a reduction in size of the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus. As it turns out, this reduction is correlated with both a decline in cognitive function as well as mood disorders. Continue reading