Zena has a wonderful story, and I’m so thankful she would share it with us. In her e-mail, she mentioned she used the Chocolate Almond Cake recipe from The Grain Brain Cookbook for her daughter’s first birthday, and it was a big hit! – Dr. Perlmutter
I have Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4 brain cancer. I was diagnosed in January 2014 after having seizures for 3 days straight in December 2013 (I never had a seizure before). It happened while I was breastfeeding my 6 week old daughter. Today is her 1st year birthday (that’s her in the picture), and I’m still alive! One of my girlfriends got me Grain Brain after I was diagnosed. I read your book and learned a lot about “the surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar.” I’ve been addicted to all three my whole life (I’m 40 years old) and know this contributed to my brain’s silent killers. I learned about the ketogenic diet for the epilepsy that I now have and started trying to eat this way, but it was hard. Then, you came out with The Grain Brain Cookbook, so I bought it and have been cooking like this ever since I received it!
In May of 2012 I was diagnosed was a Meningioma brain tumor following a paralyzing, 15-minute seizure from the waist down on my left side. My tumor is located in my right frontal lobe, posterior. Due to vascular involvement, I was placed on anti-seizure meds and am currently on watch and wait. In the fall of 2012 my youngest son researched paleo diets and we have been following a low carb lifestyle ever since. Not only have we both lost significant weight and inches, my tumor has shrunk along with me in the two subsequent MRI scans in 2012 – 2013. My neuro-oncologist is amazed!
After reading your book, I feel confident that I can continue to positively turn my situation around. Presently I am working on adding the various supplements mentioned in the book. I have a doctor’s appointment coming up and plan on having blood work done as Grain Brain suggested.
In a recent edition of the journal Neurology, German researchers evaluated the size of the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, using a specialized type of MRI scanner. In addition, they measured the blood glucose levels in the same individuals. When the data was analyzed, a direct relationship was found between the degree of atrophy or shrinkage of the hippocampus and blood sugar measurements. Even subtle elevations of blood sugar, far below the level where one would be labeled as being diabetic, were already associated with brain shrinkage.
What’s more, the researchers also performed cognitive testing on these individuals and showed a direct relationship between failing memory and blood sugar elevation.
The take home message here is straightforward. Even mild elevations of blood sugar correlate perfectly with both brain degeneration as well as compromised function. And because your blood sugar directly reflects your sugar and carbohydrate consumption, you can choose to directly influence the size, and more importantly the preservation of function of your brain. As the authors of this report stated:
Moreover, our results indicate that lifestyle strategies aimed at long-term improvement of glucose control may be a promising strategy to prevent cognitive decline in aging.
We’ve all come to accept the notion that our brain will continue to shrink as we age. And nowhere is this decline more impactful than in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, one of the primary brain areas that’s first to decline in Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers measuring the size of the hippocampus using MRI scans demonstrate a clear correlation between shrinkage of the hippocampus and declining cognitive function. So, at least as it relates to the hippocampus, size does matter.
Challenging the status quo notion that loss of hippocampal function is inevitable is new and exciting research showing that we have the potential to actually grow new cells in this vitally important area of the brain, expanding the hippocampus in size and enhancing memory function.
The growth of new cells in the brain, neurogenesis, is enhanced under the influence of a specific protein called BDNF. And while there is no pharmaceutical approach to increasing BDNF, animal research has long recognized that aerobic exercise causes a robust increase in BDNF levels and as a consequence increases both the growth of new cells in the hippocampus as well as increase in memory. Continue reading
I’ve fielded many questions about the efficacy of the Grain Brain lifestyle as a treatment for MS. While each and every person’s case is unique, and you should consult your physician before making any changes, Karen’s story is one answer to those questions. – Dr. Perlmutter
I’d like to share my story because I have Multiple Sclerosis and going grain-free has changed my life.
The signs of MS started in 1988, but it wasn’t until 2004 that I had an attack that left me disabled and forced to retie from a career I loved in education. I have gone through periods of being in a wheelchair, using a walker, and walking with a cane. Today, thanks to going grain-free, I rarely have to use even a cane.
Last February I read Wheat Belly, and knew right then that I needed to cut out all grains to get better. I stopped eating wheat immediately. Soon thereafter, I read The Better Brain Book and just completed Grain Brain.