Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain's Silent Killers

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by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg (With)



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316234801
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/17/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,106,174
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

David Perlmutter, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is a frequent lecturer at symposia sponsored by institutions including the World Bank, Columbia University, New York University, Yale, and Harvard, and he serves as an associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Linus Pauling Award for his innovative approaches to neurological disorders; the National Nutritional Foods Association Clinician of the Year Award; and the Humanitarian of the Year award from the American College of Nutrition. He maintains an active blog at and is the author of Brain Maker, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, The Grain Brain Cookbook, and Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten.

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Grain Brain

The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

By David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg, Peter Ganim

Hachette Audio

Copyright © 2013 David Perlmutter Kristin Loberg Peter Ganim
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-23480-1


The Cornerstone of Brain Disease

What You Don't Know About Inflammation

The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.


Imagine being transported back to the Paleolithic era of early humans who lived in caves and roamed the savannas tens of thousands of years ago. Pretend, for a moment, that language is not a barrier and you can communicate easily. You have the opportunity to tell them what the future is like. From a cross-legged perch on a dirt floor in front of a warm fire, you start by describing the wonders of our high-tech world, with its planes, trains, and automobiles, city skyscrapers, computers, televisions, smartphones, and the information highway that is the Internet. Humans have already traveled to the moon and back. At some point, the conversation moves to other lifestyle topics and what it's like to really live in the twenty-first century. You dive into describing modern medicine with its stupendous array of drugs to treat problems and combat diseases and germs. Serious threats to survival are few and far between. Not many people need to worry about crouching tigers, famine, and pestilence. You explain what it's like to shop at grocery stores and supermarkets, a totally foreign concept to these individuals. Food is plentiful, and you mention things like cheeseburgers, French fries, soda, pizza, bagels, bread, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles, scones, pasta, cake, chips, crackers, cereal, ice cream, and candy. You can eat fruit all year long and access virtually any kind of food at the touch of a button or just a short drive away. Water and juice come in bottles for transportability. Although you try to avoid brand names, it's hard to resist because they have become such a part of life—Starbucks, Wonder Bread, Pepperidge Farm, Pillsbury, Lucky Charms, Skittles, Domino's, Subway, McDonald's, Gatorade, Häagen-Dazs, Cheerios, Yoplait, Cheez-It, Coke, Hershey's, and Budweiser.

They are in awe, barely able to picture this future. Most of the features you chronicle are unfathomable; they can't even visualize a fast-food restaurant or bread bar. The term "junk food" is impossible to put into words these people understand. Before you can even begin to mention some of the milestones that humans had to achieve over millennia, such as farming and herding, and later food manufacturing, they ask about the challenges modern people deal with. The obesity epidemic, which has gotten so much attention in your media lately, comes first to mind. This isn't an easy matter for their lean and toned bodies to grasp, and neither is your account of the chronic illnesses that plague society—heart disease, diabetes, depression, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and dementia. These are totally unfamiliar to them, and they ask a lot of questions. What is an "autoimmune disorder"? What causes "diabetes"? What is "dementia"? At this point you're speaking a different language. In fact, as you give them a rundown of what kills most people in the future, doing your best to define each condition, you are met with looks of confusion and disbelief. You've painted a beautiful, exotic picture of the future in these people's minds, but then you tear it down with causes of death that seem to be more frightening than dying from an infection or being eaten by a predator higher up on the food chain. The thought of living with a chronic condition that slowly and painfully leads to death sounds awful. And when you try to convince them that ongoing, degenerative disease is possibly the trade-off for potentially living much longer than they do, your prehistoric ancestors don't buy it. And, soon enough, neither do you. Something seems wrong with this picture.

As a species, we are genetically and physiologically identical to these humans that lived before the dawn of agriculture. And we are the product of an optimal design—shaped by nature over thousands of generations. We may not call ourselves hunters and gatherers anymore, but our bodies certainly behave as such from a biological perspective. Now, let's say that during your time travel back to the present day, you begin to ponder your experience with these ancestors. It's easy to marvel at how far we've come from a purely technological standpoint, but it's also a no-brainer to consider the struggles that millions of your contemporary comrades suffer needlessly. You may even feel overwhelmed by the fact that preventable, non-communicable diseases account for more deaths worldwide today than all other diseases combined. This is tough to swallow. Indeed, we may be living longer than our ancient relatives, but we could be living much better—enjoying our lives sickness-free—especially during the second half of life when the risk of illness rises. While it's true that we are living longer than previous generations, most of our gains are due to improvements in infant mortality and child health. In other words, we've gotten better at surviving the accidents and illnesses of childhood. We haven't, unfortunately, gotten better at preventing and combatting illnesses that strike us when we're older. And while we can certainly make a case for having much more effective treatments now for many illnesses, that still doesn't erase the fact that millions of people suffer needlessly from conditions that could have been avoided. When we applaud the average life expectancy in America today, we shouldn't forget about quality of life.

When I was in medical school decades ago, my education revolved around diagnosing disease and knowing how to treat or, in some cases, cure each disease with a drug or other therapy. I learned how to understand symptoms and arrive at a solution that matched those symptoms. A lot has changed since then, because we are not only less likely to encounter easily treatable and curable illnesses, but also better able to understand many of our modern, chronic diseases through the lens of a common denominator: inflammation. So, rather than spotting infectious diseases and addressing sicknesses with known culprits, such as germs, viruses, or bacteria, doctors are faced with myriad conditions that don't have clear-cut answers. I can't write a prescription to cure someone's cancer, vanquish inexplicable pain, instantly reverse diabetes, or restore a brain that's been washed away by Alzheimer's disease. I can certainly try to mask or lessen symptoms and manage the body's reactions, but there's a big difference between treating an illness at its root and just keeping symptoms at bay. Now that one of my own kids is in medical school, I see how times have changed in teaching circles. Doctors in training are no longer taught just how to diagnose and treat; they are equipped with ways of thinking that help them to address today's epidemics, many of which are rooted in inflammatory pathways run amok.

Before I get to the connection between inflammation and the brain, let's consider what I think is arguably one of the most monumental discoveries of our era: The origin of brain disease is in many cases predominantly dietary. Although several factors play into the genesis and progression of brain disorders, to a large extent numerous neurological afflictions often reflect the mistake of consuming too many carbs and too few healthy fats. The best way to comprehend this truth is to consider the most dreaded neurological ailment of all—Alzheimer's—and view it within the context of a type of diabetes triggered by diet alone. We all know that poor diet can lead to obesity and diabetes, but a busted brain?


Flash back to your moment with those hunters and gatherers. Their brains are not too different from yours. Both have evolved to seek out foods high in fat and sugar. After all, it's a survival mechanism. The problem is that your hunting efforts end quickly because you live in the age of plenty, and you're more likely to find processed fats and sugars. Your caveman counterparts are likely to spend a long time searching, only to come across fat from animals and natural sugar from plants and berries if the season is right. So while your brain might operate similarly, your sources of nutrition are anything but. In fact, take a look at the following graphic that depicts the main differences between our diet and that of our forebears.

And what, exactly, does this difference in dietary habits have to do with how well we age and whether or not we suffer from a neurological disorder or disease?


The studies describing Alzheimer's as a third type of diabetes began to emerge in 2005, but the link between poor diet and Alzheimer's has only recently been brought to light with newer studies showing how this can happen., These studies are both convincingly horrifying and empowering at the same time. To think we can prevent Alzheimer's just by changing the food we eat is, well, astonishing. This has many implications for preventing not just Alzheimer's disease but all other brain disorders, as you'll soon discover in the upcoming chapters. But first, a brief lesson on what diabetes and the brain have in common.

Evolutionarily, our bodies have designed a brilliant way to turn the fuel from food into energy for our cells to use. For almost the entire existence of our species, glucose—the body's major source of energy for most cells—has been scarce. This pushed us to develop ways to store glucose and convert other things into it. The body can manufacture glucose from fat or protein if necessary through a process called gluconeogenesis. But this requires more energy than the conversion of starches and sugar into glucose, which is a more straightforward reaction.

The process by which our cells accept and utilize glucose is an elaborate one. The cells don't just suck up glucose passing by them in the bloodstream. This vital sugar molecule has to be allowed into the cell by the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin, as you may already know, is one of the most important biological substances for cellular metabolism. Its job is to ferry glucose from the bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells. Once there, it can be used as fuel. Normal, healthy cells have a high sensitivity to insulin. But when cells are constantly exposed to high levels of insulin as a result of a persistent intake of glucose (much of which is caused by an overconsumption of hyper-processed foods filled with refined sugars that spike insulin levels beyond a healthy limit), our cells adapt by reducing the number of receptors on their surfaces to respond to insulin. In other words, our cells desensitize themselves to insulin, causing insulin resistance, which allows the cells to ignore the insulin and fail to retrieve glucose from the blood. The pancreas then responds by pumping out more insulin. So higher levels of insulin become needed for sugar to go into the cells. This creates a cyclical problem that eventually culminates in type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes have high blood sugar because their body cannot transport sugar into cells, where it can be safely stored for energy. And this sugar in the blood presents many problems—too many to mention. Like a shard of glass, the toxic sugar inflicts a lot of damage, leading to blindness, infections, nerve damage, heart disease, and, yes, Alzheimer's. Throughout this chain of events, inflammation runs rampant in the body.

I should also point out that insulin can be viewed as an accomplice to the events that unfold when blood sugar cannot be managed well. Unfortunately, insulin doesn't just escort glucose into our cells. It's also an anabolic hormone, meaning it stimulates growth, promotes fat formation and retention, and encourages inflammation. When insulin levels are high, other hormones can be affected adversely, either increased or decreased due to insulin's domineering presence. This, in turn, plunges the body further into unhealthy patterns of chaos that cripple its ability to recover its normal metabolism.

Genetics are certainly involved in whether or not a person becomes diabetic, and genetics can also determine at what point the body's diabetes switch gets turned on, once its cells can no longer tolerate the high blood sugar. For the record, type 1 diabetes is a separate disease thought to be an autoimmune disorder—accounting for only 5 percent of all cases. People with type 1 diabetes make little or no insulin because their immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, so daily injections of this important hormone are needed to keep blood sugars balanced. Unlike type 2, which is usually diagnosed in adults after their bodies have been abused by too much glucose over time, type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and adolescents. And unlike type 2, which is reversible through diet and lifestyle changes, there is no cure for type 1. That said, it's important to keep in mind that even though genes strongly influence the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, the environment can play a role, too. It has long been known that type 1 results from both genetic and environmental influences, but the rising incidence over the last several decades has led some researchers to conclude that environmental factors could be more instrumental in the development of type 1 than previously thought.


More than one hundred eighty-six thousand people younger than age twenty have diabetes (either type 1 or type 2). Just a decade ago type 2 diabetes was known as "adult-onset diabetes," but with so many young people being diagnosed, the term had to be dropped. And new science shows that the progression of the disease happens more rapidly in children than in adults. It's also more challenging to treat in the younger generation.

What we're beginning to understand is that insulin resistance, as it relates to Alzheimer's disease, sparks the formation of those infamous plaques that are present in diseased brains. These plaques are the buildup of an odd protein that essentially hijacks the brain and takes the place of normal brain cells. And the fact that we can associate low levels of insulin with brain disease is why talk of "type 3 diabetes" is starting to circulate among researchers. It's all the more telling to note that obese people are at a much greater risk of impaired brain function, and that those with diabetes are at least twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

This statement is not meant to imply that diabetes causes Alzheimer's disease, only that they both share the same origin. They both spring from foods that force the body to develop biological pathways leading to dysfunction and, farther down the road, illness. While it's true that someone with diabetes and another person with dementia may look and act differently, they have a lot more in common than we previously thought.

In the last decade, we've witnessed a parallel rise in the number of type 2 diabetes cases and the number of people who are considered obese. Now, however, we're starting to see a pattern among those with dementia, too, as the rate of Alzheimer's disease increases in sync with type 2 diabetes. I don't think this is an arbitrary observation. It's a reality we all have to face as we shoulder the weight of soaring health care costs and an aging population. New estimates indicate that Alzheimer's will likely affect 100 million people by 2050, a crippling number for our health care system and one that will dwarf our obesity epidemic. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States, has tripled in the past forty years. No wonder the U.S. government is anxiously looking to researchers to improve the prognosis and avert this catastrophe. And in the next forty years, more than 115 million new cases of Alzheimer's are expected globally, costing us more than one trillion dollars (in today's dollars)., According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.8 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 and another 7 million went undetected. Between 1995 and 2010, the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes jumped by 50 percent or more in forty-two states, and by 100 percent or more in eighteen states.

Excerpted from Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg, Peter Ganim. Copyright © 2013 David Perlmutter Kristin Loberg Peter Ganim. Excerpted by permission of Hachette Audio.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction Against the Grain 3

Self-Assessment What Are Your Risk Factors? 15

Part I The Whole Grain Truth

Chapter 1 The Cornerstone of Brain Disease: What You Don't Know About Inflammation 23

Chapter 2 The Sticky Protein: Gluten's Role in Brain: Inflammation (It's Not Just About Your Belly) 45

Chapter 3 Attention, Carboholics and Fat Phobics: Surprising Truths About Your Brain's Real Enemies and Lovers 70

Chapter 4 Not a Fruitful Union: This Is Your Brain on Sugar (Natural or Not) 103

Chapter 5 The Gift of Neurogenesis and Controlling Master Switches: How to Change Your Genetic Destiny 126

Chapter 6 Brain Drain: How Gluten Robs You and Your Children's Peace of Mind 149

Part II Grain Brain Rehab

Chapter 7 Dietary Habits for an Optimal Brain: Hello, Fasting, Fats, and Essential Supplements 181

Chapter 8 Genetic Medicine: Jog Your Genes to Build a Better Brain 194

Chapter 9 Good Night, Brain: Leverage Your Leptin to Rule Your Hormonal Kingdom 205

Part III Say Good-Bye to Grain Brain

Chapter 10 A New Way of Life: The Four-Week Plan of Action 219

Chapter 11 Eating Your Way to a Healthy Brain: Meal Plans and Recipes 244

Epilogue The Mesmerizing Truth 287

Acknowledgments 291

Illustration Credits 293

Notes 295

Index 313

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Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain's Silent Killers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Are you experiencing any of the following signs: Being overweight? Being unable to change how your body looks, no matter how much you exercise? Being unable to lose weight or keep weight off? Constantly craving "comfort foods"? Fatigue after meals? Feeling consistently anxious or stressed-out? Feeling hungry all the time or at odd hours of the night? Having a tendency to snack after meals? Having high fasting triglycerides, over 100 mg/dL - particularly when equal to or exceeding cholesterol levels? Having osteoporosis? Having problems falling or staying asleep? High Blood Pressure? Regularly craving sugar or stimulants like caffeine? The presence of "love handles"? If you're like me, you probably answered yes to almost all of these. But there is a common answer that can alleviate these symptoms simply without medication and by what we eat and what is in what we eat. Funny how the food pyramid is where most of us gain our information on what's good for us, but you'd be surprised at how wrong the information has been that has enabled our society not only to gain larger waistlines, but also smaller brains. Did you know that the larger your waistline is, the smaller your brain really is? Not to mention that the risks of diabetes, obesity, dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer, auto immune disorders and even brain disease is all being elevated now but what is in our food and what we are consuming? Evidence now points to those with risks of diabetes and are also overweight, studies have shown that degenerative brain cognition is now being proven that link the two together? If that doesn't shock you into awareness, I don't know what will. In the latest book, Grain Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter takes readers into the heart of what our diets and eating habits are doing to our health. Now science is proving that gluten is linked to increasing the risks of common neurological ailments such as ADHD, anxiety disorder, Tourette's syndrome, mental illness, migraines and even autism. He discusses gluten's role in behavioral and movement disorders and shows you how simple dietary changes may make significant improvements in our overall neurological health. He teaches you what's been happening and what we are doing that is literally killing us slowly. But there is hope, he shows you how to begin turning back the clock on some of these old habits and bring us closer to a healthier lifestyle without the need for medication or crazy fad diets. Learn the real secret behind high fructose corn syrup and even why eating fruit may be bad for you. He'll show you what supplements are worth taking, when and why, along with a great beginning exercise and healthy eating plan. He shows you what to eliminate from your kitchen and how to avoid those seemingly innocent food labels that fool you into thinking what you're buying is really healthy when its not. There is simply so much great information that even Dr. Mehmet Oz has commented that this is"An innovative approach to our most fragile organ." This book is packed with easy-to-follow strategies, delicious recipes, and weekly goals to help you put the plan into action, along with real life stories of transformation to gain control of your life, regain wellness and enjoy lifelong health and vitality. I received Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter compliments of Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. I've been working on my own healthier eating plan for three weeks and found the information in this book instrumental to aid me in my way to a stronger more well balance lifestyle. I already knew that grains were something most farmers feed their stock to fatten them up so it made sense that it would work on us as well. It's great to know that some of the things I was doing was great, but also the reduction of how much fruit I was eating didn't make sense until I read through the chapter on sugar, Chapter 4, Not a Fruitful Union -This is Your Brain on Sugar (Natural or Not). What I read literally shocked me and made complete sense. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and plan on changing what I buy and what my family eats to ensure a healthier lifestyle for all of us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited about this book and wanted to find something novel and appreciable in it, but now after having wasted my time with it, I feel too disinterested to even write a proper review. But as a physician, I feel compelled to write something here to caution others about this nonsense. This book can mislead people into harmful approaches to their diet and health. The author makes fantastic claims in his title and synopsis to grab your attention, but utterly fails to make his case with quality, peer reviewed, scientific bases for his dramatic assertions. Consider: ridiculous pages filled with promises and rants supported by things like a sciencey looking pie chart that purports to compare the fat, protein, and carb content of our modern diet (whatever that means) with out ancestors' diets. Of course, they ate almost half fat and half protein, with a smittering of carbs, etc. Nevermind that he doesn't tell us how he knows that, or more about the so called ancestors (who, btw, didn't the cavemen supposedly die in early age?) Laughable garbage like this through and through. Bad plagiarism of Atkins and others' theories mixed with pseudoscience and fad mania. It seems to be fashionable these days for everyone and anyone to write a book. Mediocre contributions to literature that lack virtue is bad enough, but disseminating unproven hypotheses with such conviction is just wrong. He pulls dubious 'facts' out of his hoohaw and expects us to accept it because of his credentials. What an abuse of trust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book blew me away.  It was such an easy read, but yet was full of great detail and science backing up all of the claims.  I highly recommend!  You cannot read this book and not be motivated to change your lifestyle for the better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a healthcare professional working with cardiopulmonary patients with diabetes, "early" alzheimers, obesity, "dyslipidemia" (diagnosed by allopathic providers) among many other comorbities the information in this book is groundbreaking, It's well researched which allows me to share with my colleagues and excellently presented so that I can share it with my patients as well. Consequently I bought several books to share. From Behind "Enemy Lines"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book, with cutting-edge research on brain health. While it focuses on Alzheimer's, there are many other topics of brain health being affected by diet - depression, etc. And while the cover makes you think that gluten is the main problem, it is certainly not the only nutrient to blame. The book is also highly readable, being very well-written.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite Grain Brain, by Dr. David Perlmutter, is a breath of fresh air. Great detail is given about how gluten, sugar, and other carbs cause inflammation, wreaking havoc on your hormones, blood sugar, brain, and waistline. Numerous examples are given of patients he treated with this program and they lost weight, or improved their abs dramatically, or overcame diagnoses like ADHD. Sleep habits and exercise are also covered as they have an effect on the brain and how it functions. I was not aware that leptin is directly tied to the amount and quality of sleep a person gets, but it is the hormone that sends the signal from the full stomach, to the brain, to stop eating. If you don’t sleep properly, this hormone malfunctions, causing a person to eat more than necessary. Perlmutter’s theories are backed up by a multitude of studies cited in different publications, including top medical journals.  I learned so much about metabolism and have already started his diet plan. I plan to buy the hard copy book as well, since it is easier to work through than the audio version and I will want to refer often to the instructions in chapter 10. Since there are 3 Parkinson’s diagnoses in my immediate family, and diabetes as well, I am vitally interested in preserving my brain and body and will give the Grain Brain diet a try. Having tried many different diets in the past, I do know that I tend to lose weight only on lower carb diets. I have always enjoyed butter and real fats, so I am looking forward to the emphasis on these healthy fats as well as the salmon and avocados!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Within the last 20 years I have been increasingly gaining weight even though I ate what I was told is healthy and I always work out. This book explains why I am gaining so much weight. At 52 I still can't lose weight quickly but after following this plan I feel better, my brain fogs are gone and my arthritis is not as painful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book presents a major challenge to conventional thinking about sugar, gluten, and carbohydrates in general. The author musters an impressive amount of evidence that suggests we have not been told the truth about what our diets are really doing to us. It's not simply a matter of obesity, but herein lies a path to better brain health without drugs in our advancing years. In the 3 weeks or so since my wife and I bought and read Grain Brain I've seen 2 articles in major media claiming Dr. Perlmutter doesn't know what he's talking about. The nutritional Establishment is circling the wagons. All I can say is read it, and do an honest assessment of your health and how you feel. As a long time proponent of the Atkins diet I found vindication for my feeling that carbs were screwing with my metabolism in several ways. The proof is in how I feel, and what my doctor says when he sees my blood work improving. But be advised: Dr. Perlmutter's prescription will rock your world as well as change your habits and life. It is going to require a new way of thinking about what you eat, and a commitment to your improved health.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the first page to the last, it all came together for me and after only a few weeks of following the plan, i feel better than i have in years! Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His recommendations are a complete 180 from the traditional training I received as a registered dietitian.  However, I stumbled on this book in researching ways to help my daughter with narcolepsy.  The science makes sense and for her, this has been a dramatic improvement in what we thought was a hopeless quest. I am extremely grateful that we found this book.  My only reservation is that it seems to focus more on gluten, and does not go into other factors in leaky gut  such as oxylates.   Even though it has only been a little over a month, we see dramatic improvements.  Narcolepsy is not specifically one of the brain disorders addressed, but it is a brain disorder.  The explanations of the science behind this very different approach has helped me to interpret and support her.  The changes in her behavior, mood, and symptoms speak for themselves.   Thank you Dr. Perlmutter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you know that all of us are gluten sensitive to some degree?  And the thing that our health system is trying to keep  from us is that many of our diseases/disorders are actually misdiagnosed.  All you need to do is change your diet,  and you may no longer have the symptoms of ADHD, MS, and Cervical Dystonia, to name only a few.  Of course, this is why our health system doesn't want you to know the power of your diet because then you wouldn't be relying on medications and your doctors anymore. The author of this book is both a licensed nutritionist and neurologist, and the research he presents is astounding. Everything he wrote made perfect sense.  Personally, I have Cervical Dystonia, and 3 months I went gluten free.  While the author points out it can take 3-6 months to get all of the gluten out of your system, I have already felt a change in energy and stomach problems.  Now I just hope it helps the neurological disorder I was diagnosed with 3 1/2 years ago.  As a vegan, I have been taking his suggestions to heart and have been adding different foods to my diet to improve the health of my brain.  I have recommended this book to everyone I've seen in the past couple weeks.  Please read it!  It will do you and/or your family a world of good!
awall43 More than 1 year ago
definitely got more than I expected. Gave a compelling argument against GMOs and emphasized just how far we have been removed from our food sources. I was impressed enough to follow the authors guidelines as much as I can. Avoid wheat products, pay more attention to the Glycemic Index of my food choices, & buy organic as much as I am able. I will recommend this book to my family & friends.
Kentu More than 1 year ago
Finally, the truth will-out At last the world is starting to wake-up! [Even Dr. Oz gets it.] For so long the cause of body-wide inflammation has been misidentified/ignored, in spite of the research showing the damage done. Now, maybe, we [the human race, especially "western civilization"] can begin to make the changes- start the long clime out of the man-made hole we've put our food-chain into. I've no doubt that the creative and motivated individuals can help find a path out of this food "dark-age".      Kentu
dunbar305 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, although sometimes long in the tooth.. Great advice, I picked it up because my daughter has celiac disease, of which my wife and I tested negative. But I've cut out gluten since I bought this book and am sleeping better, and have more energy within a week. I've also noticed when I splurged/cheat with gluten, I have a darker outlook, feel more stressed over minor things... I'm going to try more Dr Perlmutter has suggested in this book, because the small stride I've taken are remarkable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly I am beyond disappointed in this book, which I admit I was more than eager to read. Let me tell you why: 1. His offensive over-simplification of complex diseases. Personally, I have Type I Diabetes. During his entire introduction, he only makes a distinction between the two variations of diabetes ONCE. Otherwise, he lumps them together with the ambiguous umbrella term “diabetes”, never once going into depth of what the disease entails. Instead, he generalizes, writing that diabetes is a preventable disease and that it is attributed to obesity. While these conditions are true for those suffering from Type II Diabetes, it is not true for Type I, which is largely attributed to epigenetic factors. This lack of distinction seems to undermine the complexity of this disease and the importance of Type I diabetes as a disease in coexistence with the Type II variety. 2. Additionally, in the very opening statement, he claims that cancer, diabetes, and a variety of other diseases were not a common cause of death among members of the previous generation. As I have already pointed out, diabetes is a fairly broad term to be throwing around. For this reason, it is important to point out that he is implying that Type II diabetes was not a common cause of death in previous generations. But I must also point out that it is not common now either. While T2 Diabetes is a contributing factor to premature death, it is often not the cause. Instead, complications related to T2 Diabetes often causes mortality, such as kidney failure, heart disease, among other serious complications. That alone is another over-simplification of this complicated issue. But beyond the diabetes portion, Perlmutter also fails to draw a distinction between correlation and causation. For instance, cancer was not as profoundly deemed caused of death in previous generations, not because of its lack of existence, but more because of its lack of diagnosis. This is because the diseases listed (cancer, diabetes, etc.) often do not have profoundly immediate symptoms such as is the case with tuberculosis, which is quite easily diagnosed by the manifestation of physical symptoms. 3. In one sentence of the introduction, Perlmutter claims that the carbohydrates in fruit can be equally as damaging as those found in gluten-ridden products. While it is true that fruits are often saturated with carbohydrates, they are not nutritionally equal to gluten products such as a slice of bread. This is because, while high in carbs, fruit also happens to be calorically sparse while being nutritionally dense, unlike bread and grain products. Because this book can easily be portrayed as the pro-gluten-free-diet type, some may draw the conclusion that by including fruit-based carbohydrates into the argument, he is promoting a less fruitful diet as well. Any other doctor will tell you that this leap in logic is irresponsible and unhealthy. 4. Perlmutter disenfranchises genes as part of human development by attributing most of brain development and health to food consumption and lifestyle choices.  First off, genes play an important role in brain and mental health. For instance, depression (and other brain/behavioral abnormalities) often carries a genetic predisposition factor. One who is not predisposed to develop clinical depression is unlikely to develop such a serious disorder through the high intake of gluten and carbohydrates alone. This argument simply disqualifies decades of research that have linked genetic factors to mental health and the production of specific hormones within the brain (by the way, hormone production is regulated by GENES, not your stomach). 5. Not only does he undermine decades of gene-based research, Perlmutter also admits that there is sparse evidence to suggest a correlation between lifestyle choices (such as diet) and brain/mental health. So, really, he is combatting his own argument. While there is no direct link between correlation and causation, it seems unlikely for causation to exist without any sort of correlation between two factors. Anyone who knows anything about statistically significant research knows this to be true. 6. Lastly, he falsely summarizes major diet changes among homo sapiens over the past hundreds (or even thousands) of years. He mentions that past diets were high-fat low-carb whereas today’s diet is apparently low-fat high-carb. This information is false and can be disproven with any simple analysis of the nation’s average daily intake. People today consume more calories than they did previously; most of these calories are from fat. How is that part of a low-fat diet? Also, the majority of American’s have a diet primarily consisting of processed and pre-prepared food which have also shown to be high in fat: polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated.  All forms are “bad” fats. The only part of his simple explanation is that we do indeed eat a very high-carb diet, full of breads and grains. Overall, then, it could be suggested that we went from more of a plant-based and somewhat meat-based diet (aka high-protein, low-fat, low-carb diet) to one that is full of processed grained, fatty meats (rather than lean), and limited fruit/vegetables (due to over-subsidizing on processed foods compared to natural foods) in our diet (aka a high-fat, high-carb, low-protein, high-sugar diet).  So, while I was hoping for a more technical, well-documented and cited analysis of the connection between grains and brain/mental health, I was very disappointed by his dumbed down take on the issue. It would seem to me that he was more interested in appealing to the ill-educated masses than to be scientifically accurate with refutable, well-cited sources. I would never suggest this book to anyone, nor would I recommend this book be used as a source in an academic discussion of such a topic. All-in-all don't waste your money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by my GYN due to my complaints about trying to eat healthy with no apparent results, my bloated belly, poor sleep, brain fog, and continued weight gain even though I was upping my walking and exercise. Reading this book was difficult because it is reading to learn and obviously written by a doctor. I had to read and put it down and then keep coming back to it until I had finished it. I was very impressed by most of his data and his credentials. It provided me with motivation to try at the very least decreasing my carbs which I found pretty easy. I also was able to add things I actually wanted and continue some things I was already doing. Over the past 3 weeks I've lost 6 lbs, am sleeping better, have clearer thinking, reduced bloating, and more energy! I feel that it is important information that needs to be shared.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was skeptical. The only MD who disagrees with this book may be one of the old-school thinkers who may be in fear of losing business if the world becomes healthier.  Of course this book and others like it are here for the information to be absorbed and incorporated into helping us understand how our bodies function better.  I have made slight changes to my diet over the past year and have honestly noticed a positive difference in my health due to the information from this book in particular, and I was VERY skeptical at first.  Now I have added bits and pieces that work best for me from other books as well and my health improvements are undeniable.  That's just my personal opinion of course.  Good luck to everyone on discovering what works best for you! Now, go out and get some exercise!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding, easy to read - limited scientific vocabulary - fully detailed explanations that make sense. Lost 14 lbs in two weeks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husbands Dr. recommended this book in an effort to lose weight and arthritic inflammation. We have been strictly following his guidelines for three weeks and have seen remarkable results. My husband has lost 22 lbs and I have lost 13lbs, we both have much more energy and sleep better. This is a lifestyle change not a diet and as a self proclaimed carb addict it has taken some adjustment, however it has been well worth it. Give this book a look, it will be worth your time.
BobD24 More than 1 year ago
There is some scary stuff about my health I did not know and in this book what I thought might be happening inside me is well documented. It would seem I've spent most of my life killing myself, but see how to stop and what to do to heal and live longer and healthier. You may be shocked and you may have a hard time believing it, but the test to see if Dr. Perlmutter and his assertions are right takes about three months of skipping bagels, toast and buns, and using Stevia in place of sugar any and everywhere you can. I've started and I sense changes happening already. You only have your life to lose by not learning about the effects of gluten and sugar on your body.
SunniNM More than 1 year ago
Mind blower--great information presented in a very readable and verifyable format.
1q1q1q More than 1 year ago
Eye opening. Would also recommend that people add iodine (kelp) and either coconut oil or good quality olive oil to their daily diet. Since switching to gluten free diet ,adding the iodine and coconut oil, I can feel the clarity in thinking and quickness in response. Love it!
skrnana More than 1 year ago
As we fatten as a nation, it is great to read something that appears to actually be based on medical fact, backed by studies and reputable journals and takes us away from the continued use of statins and shows cholesterol for what it truly is - a necessity that our body makes and needs. I will miss all my breads that I have finally learned to bake so well, however! But I will gladly give that up to decrease my risk of getting diabetes and Alzheimer's. I watched how diabetes affected my dad, and ultimately early signs of Alzheimer's before he died.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had arthritis so bad that I couldn't button a shirt or open a door , I cut out sugar, a lot of flour i have no problem now. Diagnosed with bipolar I'm very excited about this . I know I have felt better than I have in years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well-written book with an unusual approach to Alzheimer's treatment