Don’t develop Grain Brain!

I call the last 100 years “The century of grains and sugar.”

Over that time period, we’ve witnessed an astounding proliferation of grains, especially wheat and corn, along with sugars (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup), in the diet of modern humans. Not only do they come through obvious sources in the forms of breads, bagels, corn on the cob, popcorn, and soft drinks, but also in less obvious sources like “heart healthy” breakfast cereals, salad dressings, frozen dinners, and instant soup.

In his just-released new book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugars–Your Brain’s Silent Killers, Dr. David Perlmutter furthers the case made by Wheat Belly by educating us about how destructive grains and sugars are on the brain. Among Dr. Perlmutter’s deep interests is dementia. He therefore discusses the science behind grain and sugar consumption and the degeneration of brain tissue characteristic of dementia at length.

Particularly enlightening are his discussions about:

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a protein that is subject to our control and can increase or decrease brain tissue and function.
–The link between statin drug use and impaired brain function–including a section entitled “How carbs–not cholesterol–cause high cholesterol.” Dr. Perlmutter is a neurologist, but understands lipids and lipoproteins better than 99.9% of cardiologists.
–The brain-protective power of ketogenesis–The ketone, beta hydroxybutyrate, in particular, that results from strict carb-restriction and reliance on fatty acid oxidation has potential to provide protection from dementia, as well as potentially enhance mind function and increase metabolic efficiency via stimulating activity and growth of energy-producing mitochondria.
–The brain-enhancing power of exercise–Via BDNF and hippocampal growth responsible for maintaining coordination and balance.

This book is packed with information on how to best preserve brain function over a lifetime. His program starts, of course, with elimination of wheat and sugars, then shows you how to build a program of lifelong brain health using nutrition, exercise, and nutritional supplements.

Add Grain Brain to the short list of recommended reads for the Wheat Belly follower.

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47 Responses to Don’t develop Grain Brain!

  1. Bea Pullar says:

    David Mendosa one of my favorite Diabetes writers on line has just reviewed “Grain Brain”.
    He also makes reference to Dr Davis’ insights in Wheat Belly. He ends with a quote from Perlmutter’s website:
    “What is a doctor? This word derived from Latin doesn’t mean healer, it means teacher – one who gives people the knowledge they need to facilitate their own healing processes and achieve a state of well-being.”
    We are so luck that both Dr Davis, and Permlutter do this brilliantly.

    • kenneth simms says:

      I am a 70 year old male, a friend told me about the book wheat belly, a few days later my massage man told me he was following the book and had a big weight loss , and felt so much better. I am at 5-6 and was weighing around180, felt terrible, listless and lazy. I went out and bought the book, As I was reading so many things struck home. I cut out all breads and muffins, etc, started eating a lunch of raw veggies, and non gluten food. i was really busy at the time, also had the worry of a large tumor in my upper leg so stuck to the diet and got on with life, within a very short time, four or five weeks had to put in a few more holes in my belt to keep my pants up. we did not have a scale so the first time I got to our gym I had lost 16 pounds, and I felt better every day. I kept losing weight , 20 , than 25 lbs but the weight was not all, my energy was so much better, I found out I was not hungry all the time. over the past years I don,t know how many family events I had to miss as I would have a bad cold or virus which would go into my lungs.It has been almost a year and I have not had one cold or virus, just knocked on wood< another thing, I would have small aches and pains, not terrible but very noticeable , after about two months I said to my wife, just read about this and realize I am pain free, also telling a friend about the book she told me her son in law and a sister in law , he had terrible skin rash, after years of doctoring and expensive medicine there was no relief and her daughter in law was in bed three or more days of week with arthritis pain , some one had told them about gluten free, they said they might as well try it, after only a month big improvements , after three months, no pain and no rash. these are real people I have met. I really believe in the terrible effects of gluten , still faithfully follow it and keep telling friends, family and total strangers about it. i, who ate desserts and all the goodies now find I can ignore them, do not eat a lot of non gluten breads and desserts but good veggies and healthy choices. I endorse this non gluten and tell so many people because I Iike to pass on this miracle , I get no finanicial gain from this, just being satisfied to help other

  2. Lisa says:

    Dr Perlmutter was speaking on The Current 15 Oct. You can listen here:

  3. Lisa says:

    Meant to add he will also be on Dr Oz on 21 Oct 2013.

  4. Rosanne Swalwell says:

    Help! I’ve been wheat-free for almost 2 months and have had wonderful results but especially feeling so much better than before. BUT….I cannot get regular. I have IBS and a very sluggish bowel. Can you please help as I’ve gone back to eating Bran Buds every morning and in 3 days I’m back to feeling lousy, and my belly is once again bloated but my bowel movements are now regular.

    I’d so appreciate any direction.


    • Inner Space says:

      Coconut, coconut oil, water, nopales (cactus, holds lots of water), have worked for me. Magnesium. Might need to experiment with different combinations of foods at different times. Walking, massage colon.. Protein and fat create bile, which really works. Also, try to be low-stress. Yes, you CAN!

      • Neicee says:

        Rosanne, I too suffer the consequences when ingesting anything with wheat in it. Diagnosed with IBS (never was tested for celiac’s because my level headed doctor said to not eat it and if better I had my answer) but it was very severe for most of my lifetime, yet I still ate the danged stuff occasionally. Had slowed my consumption of it for years, but two years ago happened on to WB. I not only stopped wheat/gluten but most all grains and cereals. All sugars and most fruits. I do use a lot of olive oil, coconut oil, and butter. But, my plate is now 3/4 veggies, the remainder is in protein and good fats. Also, magnesium has helped the lower tummy…..and a handful of nuts a day helps too. Good luck.

    • Fran says:

      I have suffered with constipation my entire life. I read that taking magnesium 500 mg. daily would help this. I have been taking the 500mg for a year and my constipation is a distant memory. My gastroenterologist said it sounded great to him if it is working for me. He said, “It’s funny, Lewis and Clark took magnesium to keep them regular on their journey.” He said he had learned about it in medical school 30 years ago.

  5. Kurt says:

    The calories in my diet since 05 Aug 2012 comprise 70% carbs (350-400g/day), 11% fat, 19% protein. From 16 Aug 2013 (after one year on this diet) blood test results:

    fasting glucose: 81 mg/dL
    hemoglobin A1C: 5.2
    total cholesterol: 104
    LDL: 48
    triglycerides: 99
    C reactive protein: 0.5 mg/L
    all other indicators normal
    height: 5′ 10″
    weight: 145 lbs
    BMI: 20.8
    I’m a 56-year old male.

    Whatever works for you, go with it, is my advice.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      A truly rare exception, Kurt.

      Having performed thousands of such metabolic assessments, this pattern applies to <1% of the population.

  6. James Barnhart says:

    I agree on cutting back on grains but eating cheese, red meat, eggs, butter, etc. might help the brain but what good is that if you end up with heart disease and cancer?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I doubt you read either book, James, as you would find out that you are simply spouting the conventional nonsense!

    • Boundless says:

      > … but eating cheese, red meat, eggs, butter, etc. might help
      > the brain but what good is that if you end up with heart disease and cancer?

      Are you willing to be completely mistaken about that?
      Caution: you are betting your life on your dietary choices.

      Dr. Davis is winding down his conventional cardiac practice because the WB recommendations are dramatically more effective at not just preventing heart disease, but reversing it.

      The WB recommendations are borderline ketogenic. The data from keto cultures, such as the Inuit, suggest that such a diet is likely to be highly protective against cancer (which thrives on glucose from carbs). It’s too early to refine the role of a keto diet in reversing cancer, but it’s abundantly clear that the WB recommendations are not going to increase your risk.