Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Your Brain and Body

With all of the hype around fasting, you may believe it to be just another modern dietary fad, but the truth is that fasting is as old as our species. Until very recently, humans have always had periods of going without food. Fasting is baked into our evolution and our physiology and it can yield benefits to our brains and bodies, at a biochemical level, that we’re only just beginning to understand.

Many of us are blessed to live in a world with abundant food, but that wasn’t always the case. Throughout our evolutionary history, sometimes days, weeks, and months would pass during which food resources were scarce. These periods without food provided small hormetic stresses on our genome — meaning stresses that turn out to be beneficial to our bodies. In the absence of calories, life-sustaining, protective genes responsible for cellular repair and protection are activated, inflammation is reduced, and anti-oxidative defenses are increased.

This means that simply going without food for a while may have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor benefits that are available to anyone, at any time.

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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Leo Galland

Today on The Empowering Neurologist, I spend some time with my long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Leo Galland. Dr. Galland is one of the true pioneers in functional medicine, who has dedicated his professional life to practicing medicine in a way that utilizes the latest scientific advances coupled with the most profound insights of ancient healing systems. Thus, he is able to give his patients the best tools to preserve health, increase longevity and speed recovery from illness.

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Mapping the Human Microbiome – A New Museum Exhibit

The awareness of the role of our resident microbes just seems to be exploding. I’ve recently learned that the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City has just opened an exhibit called The Secret World Inside You that is dedicated to the incredibly important role the vast array of microbes (the microbiome) living within each and every one of us plays in our health.

The focus of the exhibit seems to be dedicated to the notion that we are each an actual interdependent “ecosystem.” This is certainly a new way of thinking about the human body.

The descriptions of the exhibit indicate that it is quite revealing in terms of correlating the human microbiome with things like immune function, detoxification, and regulating metabolism, using animations and other visual presentations. Can’t wait!

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Nutrition for Kids

Childhood Obesity – Not Just the Carbs

Doubling in incidence over the past 30 years, and increasing an astonishing four-fold amongst adolescents, childhood obesity is now an epidemic in America. Make no mistake about it, this isn’t just a cosmetic issue. These children have a profoundly increased risk for a variety of associated medical problems including asthma, diabetes, and even high blood pressure, not to mention the fact that they will likely end up as obese adults with a higher risk for dieases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis and heart disease.

Clearly, the diets of our children have changed – radically. It makes perfect sense, from a biological perspective, to blame the dramatic rise in carbohydrate and sugar consumption for these issues. That’s why we’re all over the idea of promoting a higher “good” fat and low-carb diet for adults and children alike, but there’s another factor to consider. Continue reading