Neurology Meets Gynecology at the Microbiome

I had the great honor to interview one of my favorite people in the world, Dr. David Perlmutter.

He has been my mentor, as well as a mentor for the entire functional medicine community, for more than a decade. I admit I am somewhat of a “groupie” when it comes to listening to every word of his research, perspective and insights.

Listen to this amazing interview which focuses on the importance of your gut microbiome in keeping you healthy and in keeping your brain performing well.  Your gut microbiome is the 100 trillion “good and bad” bacteria in your gut.

Dr. Perlmutter brings a rich understanding to how challenging brain problems – including Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, depression, and ADHD – may very well be prevented. How? With lifestyle changes that protect and nurture the gut microbiome. This includes a ketogenic (low carbohydrate, higher fat diet) and gluten free diet.

About Dr. Perlmutter

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He received his M.D. degree from the University Of Miami School Of Medicine. After completing residency training in Neurology, also at the University of Miami, Dr. Perlmutter entered private practice in Naples, Florida. He now serves as an Associate Professor at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine.

He is the author of many books (all of which proudly sit on my shelf and have been re-read many times!). They include: The Better Brain BookRaise a Smarter Child By KindergartenPower Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment, the #1 New York Times Bestseller Grain Brain – The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers with over 1 million copies in print and availability in 27 languages, New York Times Bestseller The Grain Brain Cookbook, and New York Times Bestseller Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – For Life, and is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of nutritional influences in neurological disorders.

Our Interview

Research has shown that the gut microbiome is important for everyday health. But it can also determine whether you are fat or lean! And it can impact your risk for brain deterioration/memory related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Your gut microbiome can impact your risk for  diabetes as well as many other inflammatory diseases. The gut microbiome has serious implications in women’s health; in particular, in childbirth and breastfeeding.

In his book, “Grain-Brain” Dr. Perlmutter discussed how a diet of high sugar, carbs and gluten affect the brain. Now, in his more recent book, “Brain Maker” he talks about the importance of microbes in your gut. They can impact brain health. His new book, “The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan”, is due out in November. In it he talks about how people can take action to improve their gut microbiome health and nurture their gut-brain health.

Some key points we discussed:

Alzheimer’s Disease is preventable. If you live to be 85 you have a 50/50 chance of forming Alzheimer’s disease, which is completely preventable. There is research available that backs this up.

Artificial sweeteners are bad. They have been found, in both animal and human studies, to alter the bacteria in the gut. This signals to the bacteria that the body is starving. The body holds on to calories and even slows down digestion transit time. People gain weight and increase their risk for insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and a number of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is “type 3 diabetes”. A1C is a critical marker for inflammation in the body. Research shows the higher your A1C (greater than 5.2) the more shrinkage you will have in your brain’s memory center, the hippocampus. Alzheimer’s patients have a smaller hippocampus size.

A ketogenic diet is critical to gut-brain health and it is really what human bodies have been optimized to eat. Fats are a more efficient fuel. They produce fewer free radicals than carbs/sugar/processed foods (which is the diet most Americans consume). The brain loves to burn fat. In fact, there is now an FDA approved food consisting of fats that is used for Alzheimer’s therapy. This food has been shown to improve brain performance. Learn more about what a ketogenic diet is in this previous blog I wrote.

The gut microbiome produces 90% of the neurotransmitters (chemicals your brain needs to do its job) in the gut.

C-Sections carry incredible lifelong impacts to the child. They do not get the important transfer of the mother’s protective bacteria to help them build up their immune system and temper inflammation. There is published literature that C-Section doubles the chance of a child being obese. It also increases their risk for diabetes and Celiac disease. And it doubles their risk for ADHD and increases their risk for autism. One-third of all births in the US are C-Section, and many are not necessarily medically needed. Breast feeding also has an impact on the microbiome. 

And much more! 

Please join me and listen in to this fascinating interview with a cutting-edge expert on this important topic.

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Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

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