As many of you know, one of the central themes of my recent book, Brain Maker, deals with the importance of method of birth in terms of seeding an infant’s microbiome. We now know, moving ahead, that even issues like immunity and inflammation later in life are significantly impacted by how a child is born.
As I did discuss in the book, work by Dr. Maria Dominguez-Bello at New York University centers on this fundamental event in a person’s life, if and how a baby passes through birth canal. Importantly, she seeks to understand how this exposure inoculates the newborn child with the seeds for his or her future microbiome.
In today’s interview, I speak with Toni Harman. Continue reading
Eczema is becoming a fairly common problem in young children. This condition is characterized by frequent outbreaks of reddened, inflamed skin with significant itching. But beyond the discomfort, it is now recognized that when children are diagnosed with eczema, they have a much greater risk of other immune issues, like persistent inflammation of the nose and eyes, as well as full-blown asthma.
It’s now become clear that the level of inflammation in the human body is determined, to a significant degree, but the health and diversity of the bacteria living in the gut. In fact, an astounding 70% of the immune cells in our bodies are clustered around the intestines!
So it’s no surprise that researchers have begun looking at ways to modify the gut bacteria in children in hopes of balancing inflammation and the immune system, specifically as this relates to eczema. Continue reading
War has been declared against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, carriers of the dreaded Zika virus. With some pretty solid evidence linking Zika to microcephaly, as well as Guillian-Barre syndrome, governments in affected countries are going all out as they attempt to reduce mosquito populations.
Predictions now anticipate that Zika virus will soon find its way into North America. So the images of trucks fogging neighborhoods in Brazil, that have become so common in the news as this problem worsens, may soon become real-life experiences for Americans in Florida and other southern states.
Allow me to paint a mental picture for you. It’s a beautiful spring day, and a handsome young couple is outside, laughing and smiling, garden hose in hand while they bathe their golden retriever. If you look closely, you might notice that the woman is actually pregnant. What an idyllic scene!
But new research challenges the benignity of the event just described. Unbeknownst to our happy couple, the product the mother-to-be is shampooing her dog in is actually creating a situation that is far from the care-free, happy portrayal we’d like to embrace.
Researchers at the UC-Davis have evaluated the possible relationship between exposure to anti-flea/anti-tick pet shampoos during pregnancy and risk for autism. Continue reading
Since the release of Grain Brain I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments from mothers, including expectant mothers, about the wonderful health benefits of our dietary recommendations as they relate not only to fetal brain development, but also for brain development during infancy. In this video I address these issues and focus especially on the critical role of the omega-3 DHA in brain development. Watch the video, and keep in mind DHA’s important role for brain health for people of all ages.
Yes, there is no problem taking any of my recommended supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding. However, be sure to consult your OB/GYN.
Lynn’s journey to take back control of her health started with the release of Grain Brain, and it’s incredible to read about the results she has been able to achieve thus far. – Dr. Perlmutter
Although I was an active, recreational runner, I started gaining weight with each pregnancy. The teaching for healthy eating during this phase of my life included lots of whole grains, low-fat, and low-cholesterol foods, along with antioxidant nutritional supplements. I developed gestational diabetes with my third pregnancy at age 40, which I controlled by a rather intensive walking program. At that time, I was supplied with a glucose monitoring machine and supplies. In recent years my fasting blood sugar began to rise to the 115 to 125 range, which is a very unhealthy trend, but the gestational diabetes was a harbinger of it, so I was on the lookout.
Sarah’s story is a reminder that gluten sensitivity comes in many different forms. – Dr. Perlmutter
11 years ago, in my third trimester of pregnancy, I developed itchy skin that made my life all but unbearable. I did neither marks nor welts on my skin. I considered myself “lucky” when hives would show so people didn’t think I was totally crazy.
I saw my GP, dermatologists, and of course a psychiatrist. I was prescribed Effexor, Adavan, Xanax. Nothing helped the itch, and I knew these drugs were not what I needed. I wasn’t crazy or depressed. I was crazy and depressed because my skin felt like it was on fire, and no one could help me! For years, I endured this “itch.”
Over the years my digestive symptoms became awful and I knew something was going on with my body. Fear, money, and trust issues kept from going to the doctor. I didn’t want a “pill.” I have searched the internet for many years to my answer, and this year, stumbled upon a list of gluten-sensitivity symptoms via the internet. Finally!
I have been gluten free since May and rarely itch anymore. I want to thank Dr. Perlmutter for writing Grain Brain because when a doctor says something, people listen. It is nice to read something that backs up so many of my feelings.