Grain Brain

Grain Brain

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--your Brain's Silent Killers

Book - 2013
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The devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 30-day plan to achieve optimum health.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Little, Brown, and Company,, 2013
ISBN: 9780316234801
Branch Call Number: 613.26 P422g 2013
Characteristics: x, 323 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Loberg, Kristin - Author


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Mar 09, 2019

Haven't read the book but would be skeptical because research supports whole grains being healthy for the brain.

Studies from different countries of a Mediterranean-DASH-diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet designed to be healthy for the brain consistently find that following the diet reduces risk of dementia. Closely following the diet reduces risk more than moderately following it, which reduces risk more than not following it.

Recommendations of that diet include:
Green leafy vegetables: At least six servings per week
Other vegetables: At least one serving per day
Berries: At least two servings per week
Nuts: At least five servings per week
Olive oil as the primary cooking oil
Beans: More than three meals per week
Fish (not fried): At least once per week
Chicken or turkey (not fried): At least two meals per week
Wine: One glass per day

Fewer than four servings of red meat per week
Less than one serving of cheese per week
Less than a tablespoon of butter each day
Less than five servings of pastries and sweets per week.

Jan 11, 2018

This is an excellent pre-Plant Paradox lite. David Perlmutter wrote this book in 2013, or four years before Steven Gundry wrote “The Plant Paradox” and 13 years after Uffe Ravnskov wrote “The Cholesterol Myths.” And, you can see the progressive evolution between the three authors.

Ravnskov establishes a foundation that cholesterol and saturated fats are not bad, they are actually good for the brain. He conveys that the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood is unrelated to the amount of cholesterol and fat you eat.

David Perlmutter will absorb these insights and add the ill effects of sugar, grains, and gluten. And, he will advocate a diet high in fats, high in proteins, and very low in carbs, while avoiding all grains to avoid gluten. Perlmutter will invent blood tests earmarked to diagnose “gluten sensitivity.” While few people have celiac disease (they can’t digest gluten), Perlmutter advances a large percent of the population is gluten sensitive. And, gluten sensitivity triggers the production of cytokines that cause inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. High cytokines levels are seen in patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, MS, autism.

Perlmutter will cure “untreatable” patients with gastrointestinal and neurological disorders by diagnosing their gluten sensitivity, removing gluten from their diets, and shifting their predominant macronutrient from carbs to fat. And, he gets spectacular results. Patients are cured from multiple intractable diseases that no other specialists were able to resolve.
Gundry, in “The Plant Paradox” will take added steps that further restricts one’s diet: 1) lectins that are toxic proteins associated with beans, legumes, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers), also in numerous nuts and seeds; 2) severe restriction of most fruits because of excessive sugar (fructose); and 3) severe restriction on overall proteins, including animal proteins. Gundry gets you closer to being a vegetarian. So, while Perlmutter is a low-carb, high-everything else advocate, Gundry is a low-carb, low-protein, and very selective-fats advocate. Gundry advances that not curbing lectin and other protein leads to inflammation and autoimmune reaction associated with “leaky gut”syndrome. While, Perlmutter is focused on gluten sensitivity to cure everyone of every ills, Gundry is focused on the leaky gut.

I have no doubt both authors are directionally correct. They are well qualified medical experts in several medical fields. Therefore, they bring a multidisciplinary perspective on the subject. It would not be surprising that a large percent of the population suffers from both gluten sensitivity and a leaky gut. And, that using their respective diet protocol could help a lot of people.

Both authors advance that our ancestors diet before the first agricultural revolution (10,000 years ago) was very different from now as it did not have any grains and relied a lot more on plant-based fats. However, they diverge in the amount of animal protein that our ancestors ate. Perlmutter indicates they ate a lot of wild game. Gundry suggests they ate much less of it.

Perlmutter’s protocol is far more accessible than Gundry’s. Therefore, his book still has much merit.

I uncovered a few discrepancies within Perlmutter’s book that do not detract from the overall quality of the book. He indicates that by 85 years old we have a 50% risk of getting Alzheimer’s. However, the risk is less than 10% for individuals without the ApoE4 gene and less than 30% for the ones with one copy of this gene. Only individuals with two copies of this gene have a 50% risk. They represent only 2% of the overall population.

cmlibrary_aghilton Feb 09, 2016

A must read for those who want to know the effects of grains on your brain and body as a whole.

The bottom line for me is that I have been trying the recommendations for about two months and the improvements and changes are already noticeable. I can only speak for myself. If this stuff is fraud or quack science like some here claim it is, then why do I feel so much better?

Jan 25, 2015

This is a mixture of well-documented science and claims that are not substantiated or are sometimes misleading or incorrect. There is little to no scientific evidence that gluten sensitivity is a common problem, and the author does not present any significant research to support his claim that it is—mostly he supports his case with anecdotes about his patients. The majority of his book, and the stronger part of it, has to do with carbs and insulin and blood sugar and diabetes. But that has nothing to do with gluten, which is a protein, and is unrelated to carbohydrate metabolism. He mixes and confuses these two issues, which makes the book misleading. What scientific evidence continues to support is that whole grains, including those which contain gluten, and fruits are good for you and that highly processed carbs and sugar are not. This book does not make a strong case to the contrary, and it confuses information about gluten and carbs, as well as information that helps clarify the difference between good and bad carbs.

Nov 03, 2014

This book is awesome and is a must read for people with diabetes I am diabetic and over the past few days I have managed to reduce my insulin by a quarter. I use a pump with continuous glucose monitoring; I try hard to keep good control. It can be quite discouraging at times. Therefore I am astonished to see the effect that eating few or no carbs has had on my blood glucose levels and on my health. I feel much more in control and hope to astound my endocrinologist at my next appointment.

Sep 14, 2014

A little dry and even boring in some parts, but worth reading. Full of great info.

Sep 07, 2014

A head-scratcher. Not even the experts agree so lotsa luck deciding whether it's junk science or the keys to the kingdom.
I can offer one insight, or rather, data point.
Most to all of his point is that gluten is bad. For instance, [paraphrase:] 'it causes autism'.
I have autism and tested his claim by a month of high gluten intake. My symptoms didn't worsen.

So i suspect that even if he's right, it's a relatively minor matter.

MomTeacher Aug 22, 2014

Lots of valid opinions and insights posted here. I agree that what works for one will not necessarily work for another, that is true. However Dr. Perlmutter makes a valid point when he states that the majority of doctors have always told us that what you eat has no effect on the skin (your body's largest organ). This is troubling. Does that mean I can ingest cyanide and not have any problems? Does that mean the pills doctor's prescribe don't affect us in any way...what about skin rash side effects from prescription medications? EVERYTHING we eat or put on our skin affects our bodies in one way or another. I pose another question. If genetically modified foods are "safe" for human consumption, why is the food industry so opposed to GMO labelling?? Can they not come up with their usual spin to get all the "sheeple" to follow? I don't buy that for a moment. This is similar to the tobacco industry telling the public for years that cigarettes were safe. They had studies proving otherwise that were kept from the public. Eventually, all the studies on the dangers of GMO, wheat included, will come to light but it has to start with the purchasing public. You vote every time you shop for groceries..One person CAN make a difference! The book is DEFINITELY worth the read. It will make you angry that the government that you thought was protecting you is easily bought by lobbyists... Question, question, question, and research, research, research!

Aug 17, 2014

I agree with Peter and Donna - although there was some interesting information such as the positives of a baby arriving by the birth canal versus a C- section, he notes himself around page 158-159 that he is making "logical inferences" when it comes to his conclusions. Anecdotal info is not valid in the scientific community as you cannot base a trend on what happened to 2 or 3 people. Also a number of the studies he quotes are quite old (from the 1990s) or very small samples - eg 700 people which again, would not be valid because a different 700 people may not give you the same conclusion. He also conveniently ignores evolutionary things like our rear molars which are more like a herbivore's (cow, horses) than like a carnivore (cat). We evolved to have grinding molars I would think so we could pulverize grains and legumes since we are true omnivores. I would have found this a better book if he was not so extreme in his views. Let's face it, the spectrum of people getting dementia and Alzheimers is very wide - We are living longer than ever before so it may be associated with longevity - our ancestors supposedly only lived about 30 years so how can you compare? Eat a balanced diet - you don't need this book and for sure you don't need to spend $200+ for supplements for the rest of your life.

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