Food Sensitivity Testing

If you’ve ever had an itchy throat after eating pineapple, or broken out in a rash after munching on a handful of peanuts, you’ve likely experienced firsthand what it feels like to have an allergic reaction to food. Around 15 million Americans are afflicted by food allergies, making them fairly commonplace in the United States (1). But what about food sensitivitslide_mrt1ies? Research is showing that food sensitivity is on the rise, affecting more people than previously believed (1). Additionally, they could be related to a number of conditions and chronic diseases such as migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, dementia, and even obesity (2, 3, 4). Identifying and eliminating certain foods that cause inflammation in one’s diet can lead to a reduction in negative symptoms for certain conditions, favoring evidence that suggests the benefits of food sensitivity testing (2, 3, 4, 6).

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I think everyone thinks about this in the extreme – food allergies – something major that incapacitates you like Celiac’s disease for wheat or anaphylactic shock liking eating bad clams. But things like wheat sensitivity symptoms are often very mild and we get used to them and even dismiss them because we believe what’s happening is only aging.

Here are some self-tests you can use to get some data to operate on.

 

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Eat Fat – Get Thin – Book Review


Eat Fat – Get Thin – by Dr. Mark Hyman

eat fat

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Executive Summary

Obesity is a rapidly growing concern among healthcare professionals. The effects of obesity are far-ranging both psychological and physical.

Scientists and healthcare practitioners have arrived at the conclusion that obesity is a debilitating disease that wreaks suffering on its population. Tradition medicine still insists that the obese are simply suffering from a lack of discipline and need to eat less and exercise more.

But functional medicine because these doctors have so many patients who can immediately try and test new approaches, can quickly tell us what’s working and generally provide sound theories as to why.

This book is a well-constructed book that is a must if you wish to understand why you’re fat and what people have been doing to successfully conquer the poorly researched beliefs and positions that have led us to this state.

Chapter 1 – The Demonization of Fat

There is no scientific evidence that eating fat makes you fat.

Further there is compelling scientific evidence that eating fat is essential for health and weight loss.

There is compelling scientific evidence that eating carbs and sugar makes you fat and sick.

When our government published it’s food guide pyramid in 1992, carbohydrates were the foundation and the recommendation was to eat carbs in the form of breads, rice, grains, pasta, and more 6-11 times per day.

Carbs turn on insulin and insulin stores fat.

Sugar is sugar – whether it’s organic, high fructose corn syrup, agave cactus nectar, honey, or 257 other kinds of sugar.

  • Dietary fat speeds up your metabolism, reduces your hunger, and stimulates fat burning.
  • Dietary fat helps you to reduce your overall calorie intake.
  • Dietary fat, and saturated fat specifically, does not cause heart disease.
  • Dietary saturated fat raises the good kind of LDL (light, fluffy LDL) and raises HDL (the good cholesterol)
  • Diets higher in fat promote more weight loss than diets higher in carbs.
  • Dietary fat reduces inflammation – ( and as a side-note, this relates directly to dementia and Alzheimers)
  • Dietary fat improves blood vessel health.
  • Dietary fat improves brain function and mood.
  • Diets very low in carbs and high in fat can reverse type 2 diabetes.
  • “Good” vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, and soy are harmful and create inflammation and many other very bad effects.
  • Dietary saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil do not raise saturated fats in the blood.
  • Carbohydrates, not saturated fats, turn into saturated fats in your blood, the fats that cause heart disease.
  • Excess carbs stimulate your appetite and belly fat storage and slow your metabolism.
  • Sugar and refined carbs – not fat – are responsible for the obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Diabesity is the combination of obesity and diabetes and affects 1 out of 2 people in this country. It is largely undiagnosed. People with Diabesity are generally carb intolerant just like some people are gluten intolerant.

Are you carbohydrate intolerant?

For questions 1 to 9, score 1 point for a “yes” response.

For questions 10 to 13, score 2 points for a “yes” response.

  1. Do you have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, or obesity?
  2. Are you of nonwhite ancestry (African, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Indian, Middle Eastern)?
  3. Do you have trouble losing weight on a low-fat diet?
  4. Do you crave sugar and refined carbohydrates?
  5. Are you inactive (less than thirty minutes of exercise four times a week)?
  6. Are you overweight (body mass index, or BMI, over 25)? (Go to eatfatgetthin.com to calculate your BMI based on weight and height.)
  7. Do you have heart disease?
  8. Do you have high blood pressure?
  9. Do you suffer from infertility, low sex drive, or sexual dysfunction?
  10. Do you have extra belly fat? Is your waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men?
  11. Has your doctor told you that your blood sugar is a little high (greater than 100 mg/dl) or have you actually been diagnosed with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes?
  12. Do you have high levels of triglycerides (over 100 mg/dl) or low HDL (good cholesterol) (less than 50 mg/dl)?
  13. For women: Have you had gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome?

A score of 5 or more is cause for concern.

 

Chapter 2 – Fleshing Out the Fear of Fat

Dr. Hyman does a good job in this chapter of sorting out all of the conflicting research and presenting the most credible research to support all of these “wild” statements he’s making. As he normally works as a doctor of functional medicine and is the Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, he has a tremendous number of patients and case studies (1000s) to draw from which is very refreshing for the reader.

One of the most pervasive myths is the “Calories In, Calories Out” belief system. I know that I personally don’t want to give up that fundamental idea myself. But the basic flaw in this equation which has been used and believed by doctors and even researchers for hundreds of years is that any food you eat regardless of what it is, gummy bears or kale, will simply affect your body the same way and if you don’t exercise enough to burn the calories you put in, then you get fat. Once you understand that this just isn’t true, you begin to see why eating fat with more calories can help you lose weight.

Not only does fat burn differently in your body, it doesn’t activate insulin and it has a completely different impact on your hormones. While sugar and carbs quickly metabolize and tell you brain you’re hungry again (you must know that’s why so many foods have sugar in them?) while fats tells your brain that you’re full.

We’ve all been told that no matter what we eat, our gut turns it into glucose (sugar) and that’s how our cells are fueled. But carbs weren’t a significant ingredient in our diet until we began growing grains in our fields. So we gradually began shifting to carbs and this accelerated during the mid-1900s as we defined meat as the enemy and carbs as our fundamental dietary source for losing weight. Fat doesn’t turn on insulin and it doesn’t metabolize the same way as sugar and carbs. Our body and in particular our brains were not build/engineered to work off of glucose. All of the research – and that was very scarce at best – used to justify the US migration to carbs was later found to be flawed and biased and worse non-existent.

You only have to look at the numbers of cases of obesity and Alzheimer’s and diabetes to know that this is true.

Tests using a low-fat plant-based diet show better risk on heart failure but at the same time, test subjects gain weight, their triglycerides (blood sugar) increases and their cholesterol goes in the wrong direction. In other words, there are tests that don’t go so well when depriving the human body of fats.

 

Chapter 3 – Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fat

Your metabolism is not a math problem. You can’t label everything with how many calories it contains and “do the math” to find out what will make you fat and what will keep you healthy. You would be better off labeling everything with how many carbs it has and what the glycemic index is (how fast the carbs will burn in your system).

For reference, the glycemic index for most grains, bread, etc. is higher than the index for white sugar. That means that bread will turn to glucose in your blood stream faster than sugar will. So when eating bread, cereal, or any other grain-based product, you should simply picture that as white sugar so you can adopt the proper perspective about how your body will metabolize and deal with all that sugar. The faster your body sees sugar the faster it activates your pancreas and insulin to deal with it. That’s why a sweat roll is a “double-whams” – right after the flour in the roll metabolizes first, then the sugar metabolizes right after it.

The quality of the food you eat matters much more than the quantity or the calories.

Eating more and exercising less doesn’t make you fat – although we would probably argue to the death that it’s true. Actually it is being fat that makes you eat more and exercise less. When your body is storing every bit of glucose as fat it leaves you ravenously hungry and you eat more. It’s the fact that your body is storing fat that makes you eat.

Therefore, finding out what makes your body store everything as fat in the first place is the real question. If you could change that, then you would be less hungry, your body would burn more of your fat for fuel, and you’d feel a little better every day.

Here’s a clue – your body creates insulin when you eat carbs but it does not when you eat fat.

Eating a low-fat diet makes you crave bad foods.

Everyone gets to the condition of obesity differently and some will need the help of a doctor of functional medicine to analyze what it is that made us fat in the first place. Sometimes diet alone cannot reverse the cause of the obesity. Here is an ebook called “Beyond Food” from Mark Hyman that is free and you can download here.

Download Beyond Food eBook

 

Chapter 4 – The Skinny on Fats

Saturated fats in your diets do not affect the saturated fat levels in your blood stream. It is carbs and sugar that cause your liver to produce more saturated fats in your bloodstream.

Some saturated fats can improve your cholesterol ratio.

The most damaging fats are refined polyunsaturated omega-6 oils (from seeds, grains, or beans-like corn, soy, or sunflower oils).

“Saturated fats such as lauric acid (from coconut) and conjugated linoleic acid (from butter) strengthen the immune system and help your cells communicate better, thus protecting you against cancer.

They help your lungs work better. Saturated fats in your body produce something called surfactant, which helps air cross over the lung membranes. Children given butter and full-fat milk have much less asthma than children given reduced-fat milk and margarine.

They are required for you to make hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. They are critical for your nerves and nervous system to work properly.

They help suppress inflammation, despite the common view about their causing inflammation. When eaten with a lot of sugar or refined carbs (think bread and butter, or cookies), saturated fats can cause inflammation. Or if you are deficient in omega-3 fats, they also can cause inflammation. The important thing to know here is that saturated fats cause inflammation only when eaten with refined carbs or sugar or when you donst consume omega-3 fats.

Saturated animal fats contain essential fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients that we need to be healthy, including vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K2, the animal form of vitamin K. Compared to those eating the nutrient-poor standard American diet, hunter-gatherer societies, with very nutrient-dense diets, had levels of these nutrients that were ten times that of the average American.”

“MONOUNSATURATED FATS (MUFA)

Here’s the bottom line: MUFAs are good for you. Populations that consume a lot of olive oil and nuts such as the people of Greece and Italy, have the lowest rates of heart disease in the world”

You can find MUFA in whole olives, olive oil, avocados, lard, tallow (beef or sheep fat), certain types of fish, and many nuts, including macadamias, almonds, pecans, and cashews.

Although modern grain-fed cattle don’t have much MUFA, pasture or grass-fed beef contain substantial amounts on a par with other wild animals.

Plenty of MUFA is one of the key features of the Mediterranean Diet. And MUFA improves your cholesterol numbers.

Although high in MUFA, Canola Oil and other modern vegetable oils are processed in such a manner including high heats and solvents, that the MUFA becomes unhealthy or even toxic.

POLYUNSATURATED FATS (PUFA)

There are two main types of PUFAs: omega-6 and omega-3 fats.

“So, the two essential fatty acids found in food are:

LA-linoleic acid (omega-6): found in commercial seed and vegetable oils and certain nuts and seeds. We do need the LA omega-6 fats in moderation, but only from whole foods like nuts and seeds, or from cold- or expeller-pressed vegetable oils (and only in small amounts).

ALA-alpha linolenic acid (omega-3): found in organ meats, pastured egg yolks, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and flax oil.”

The later is often supplemented because the body is not effective at converting Omega-3 into sufficient DHA and EPA for good health.

“DHA-docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3 that can be made from ALA, but only about 5 to 10 percent of ALA can be converted to DHA): found in fish or algae or wild or pasture-raised animals.

EPA-eicosapentaenoic acid (omega-3 that can also be derived from ALA, and a good anti- inflammatory fat): found in fish or wild or pasture-raised animals.

AA-arachidonic acid (omega-6 fatty acid that can be derived from LA and is good for membrane flexibility and permeability): found in animal foods like fish, poultry, eggs, and meat.

GLA-gamma linolenic acid (omega-6 fatty acid derived from LA): found in evening primrose, borage, or hemp oil.”

While Omega-3 fats tend to be anti-inflammatory, Omega-6 fats cause inflammation. So although some food-sourced Omega-6 is good, the ratio is important and most people get way too much Omega-6 from everything fried – french fries and so on – while our sources of Omega-3 are much less frequent – fish, meat, seeds, nuts. Too much Omega-6 and your blood starts to clot – it gets “sticky” and your risk of heart disease increases.

Here is a list of conditions that Omega-3 can significantly help and chances are great that most people will be deficient because the sources of these in nature are fairly rare in terms of finding their way to your plate – wild caught salmon, cold water seafood, or fatty fish, grass-fed meat and dairy.

High cholesterol

High blood pressure

Heart disease

Diabetes

Rheumatoid arthritis

Osteoporosis Depression

Bipolar disorder

Schizophrenia

ADHD

Cognitive decline

Skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis

Inflammatory bowel disease

Asthma

Macular degeneration

Menstrual pain

Colon cancer

Breast cancer

Prostate cancer

Trans fats are the bad stuff. They are man-made and deadly in any type of food – also known as hydrogenated fats. You’ll find them in margarine, shortening, baked goods, and much more. Some foods such as Cool Whip, because they have less than .5g of trans fat per serving can say “trans fat free” on their label.

Most dairy and beef contain CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which is a naturally occurring transfer that is good for you.

All of the most recent studies – many very large and very credible – demonstrate without doubt that people who eat more fat in their diets have lower risk of heart failure. People who deprive themselves of fat have a higher risk. Fat is an essential ingredient in a healthy diet and without it, you risk heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and mental problems such as Alzheimers.

“The conclusion? Avoid most vegetable oils. Eat more butter, fish, chicken, eggs, and meat. And stay away from sugar and carbs.”

A few words about Statins…

If you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) but have a low HDL (good cholesterol) there is no benefit to statins.

If you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) but don’t reduce inflammation (marked by a test called C-reactive protein), there is no benefit to statins.

If you are a healthy woman with high cholesterol, there is no proof that taking statins reduces your risk of heart attack or death.

If you are a man or a woman over sixty-nine years old with high cholesterol, there is no proof that taking statins reduces your risk of heart attack or death.

Aggressive cholesterol treatment with two medications (Zocor and Zetia) lowered cholesterol much more than one drug alone but led to more plaque buildup in the arteries and no fewer heart attacks.

Older patients with lower cholesterol have a higher risk of death than those with higher cholesterol.

Countries with higher average cholesterol than America, such as Switzerland and Spain, have less heart disease.

Recent evidence shows that it is probably the ability of statins to lower inflammation that accounts for the benefits of statins, not their ability to lower cholesterol.

About 20 percent of people who take statins have side effects, including muscle damage and pain, neurologic problems, memory issues, sexual dysfunction, and more.

Statins have been linked to a dramatically higher risk of diabetes. In one study of almost 26,000 healthy people, those taking statins to prevent heart attacks were 87 percent more likely to get type 2 diabetes. In another randomized controlled trial of 153,840 women, those who took statins were 48 percent more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Large reviews of all the studies show about a 10 percent increased risk. But if all the people who are currently advised to take statins did so, that would mean we would have another 4 to 5 million diabetics in the country!

Getting the Right Tests…(the author provides a list and explanation of recommended tests…

Total Cholesterol, HDL (Good Cholesterol), LDL (Bad Cholesterol), and Triglycerides

Your total cholesterol should be under 200 mg/dl (this depends on your overall profile and risk factors)

Your triglycerides should be under 100.

Your HDL should be over 60 mg/dl.

Your LDL should ideally be under 80 mg/dl (although this matters less than the LDL particle number and size; see the following section on NMR and Cardio IQ test). This also depends on your overall profile and risk factors.

Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 3:1.

Your ratio of triglycerides to HDL should be no greater than 1:1 or 2:1; this ratio can indicate insulin resistance if elevated.

NMR Lipid Profile or Cardio IQ Lipoprotein Fractionation (Ion Mobility)

The NMR test (available from Labcorp) looks at your cholesterol under an MRI scan to assess the size of the particles; particle size is the real determinant of your cardiovascular risk. The Cardio IQ uses a different technology and is available from Quest Diagnostics. It is important to track this as you change your diet. These are really the only cholesterol tests you should have. You should have less than 1,000 total LDL particles and no more than 400 small particles (although ideally you shouldn’t have any!).

Glucose and Insulin Tolerance Test

Measurements of fasting and one- and two-hour levels of glucose and insulin after taking a 75-gram load of glucose help identify pre-diabetes and excessively high levels of insulin, and even

diabetes. You can also just do a fasting and thirty-minute test after drinking glucose; this can be almost as good an indicator of diabesity. Your fasting sugar should be between 70 and 80 mg/dl and your one- and two-hour sugars should be less than 120 mg/dl. Your fasting insulin should be less than 5 and one- and two-hour insulin levels should be less than 30. Most doctors just check blood sugar and not insulin, which is the first thing to go up. By the time your blood sugar goes up, the train has left the station. Be sure to ask that your insulin, not just your blood sugar, gets measured.

Hemoglobin A1c

This test measures your average blood sugar level over the previous six weeks. Anything over 5.5 percent is high. Just measuring your fasting blood sugar is not enough to detect early problems.

Cardio or High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein

This marker of inflammation in the body is essential to understand in the context of overall risk. Your high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level should be less than 1.0 mg/L, and ideally less than

0.7 mg/L.

Homocysteine

Your homocysteine measures your folate status and should be between 6 and 8 micromoles per liter.

Oxidized LDL

This test looks at the amount of oxidized or rancid cholesterol in the blood. This should be within normal limits of the test. It is available through LabCorp.

Fibrinogen

This test looks at clotting in the blood. It should be less than 300 mg/dl.

Lipoprotein(a)

This is another factor that can promote the risk of heart disease, especially in men. It is mostly genetically determined. It should be less than 30 mg/dl.

Gluten Antibodies

Testing IgG and IgA anti-gliadin and IgA and IgG tissue transglutaminase antibodies measures immune response to gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and oats and can help you identify this hidden cause of inflammation and heart disease (and many, many other health problems). Any level of antibodies indicates you may have a reaction to gluten. Your body should not make autoimmune antibodies to gluten. There really is no “normal” level.

Genes or SNPs

Genetic tests may also be useful in assessing your heart disease risk factors. A number of key genes regulate cholesterol and metabolism:

Apo E genes

Cholesterol ester transfer protein gene MTHFR gene, which regulates homocysteine

High-Speed CT or EBT Scan

This high-speed X-ray of the heart can help determine if you have cardiovascular disease. It may be helpful in assessing overall plaque burden and calcium score and can inform how aggressive

you need to be in terms of prevention. A score higher than 100 is a concern, and a score higher than 400 indicates severe risk of cardiovascular disease.

Carotid Intimal Thickness

This test is done through ultrasound and looks for plaque in the arteries in your neck, which correlates with heart disease and stroke risk.

Chapter 6 – Vegetable Oils – A Slippery Subject

Most vegetable oils come from genetically modified crops (GMOs). A growing volume of studies have shown that GMOs are at best marginally harmful and at worst, a significant health threat to the world population.

 

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My Diet for a Healthy Life Over 70

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I’m going to share some of my diet notes. I welcome any questions or discussion.

My dietary objectives are:

  • Reverse obesity naturally
  • Reverse metabolic syndrome and prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Promote more vitality and mental clarity

Dietary structure:

  • 20% protein
  • 50% fat
  • 20% fiber
  • 10% carbs

Notes:

  • lot’s of olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – good fat
  • lot’s of avocados – good fat
  • no cooking with corn, soy, safflower, cottonseed – Omega-6 and GMO
  • no conflict palm oil – don’t purchase from those who use children in slavery
  • fish is wild caught non-farm salmon, sole – high in Omega-3
  • beef is 100% grass-fed organic – no antibiotics, no GMOs, more Omega-3
  • chicken is cage-free/free range organic – no antibiotics, no GMOs
  • eggs are cage-free organic – no antibiotics, no GMOs
  • all vegetables are organic or locally-grown non-certified organic from small farmers where I have surveyed their farm
  • no fruit except occasional blackberry or blueberry treats – to much sugar
  • no dairy, no gluten, no grains, no rice or corn or soy – all are too fast to turn to sugar
  • I drink a modified “bulletproof coffee” with decaf coffee beans freshly ground and brewed as espresso with a tablespoon of XCT Oil and some grass-fed butter which foams when I brew into it. – XCT Oil is high in Omega-3 short-medium chain fats

 

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Grain Brain Diet – A Book Review

Grain Brain

Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brains Silent Killers

Includes Grain Brain Recipes, Grain Brain Cookbook, and Grain Brain Food List

In his book he addresses the causes of…

“ADHD
anxiety and chronic stress
chronic headaches and migraines
depression
diabetes
epilepsy
focus and concentration problems
inflammatory conditions and diseases, including arthritis
insomnia
intestinal problems, including celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and irritable bowel
memory problems and mild cognitive impairment, frequently a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease
mood disorders
overweight and obesity
Tourette’s syndrome”

 

He offers a quick assessment of your risks for the above diseases…

“1. I eat bread (any kind). TRUE/FALSE
2. I drink fruit juice (any kind). TRUE/FALSE
3. I have more than one serving of fruit a day. TRUE/FALSE
4. I choose agave over sugar. TRUE/FALSE
5. I get out of breath on my daily walk. TRUE/FALSE
6. My cholesterol is below 150. TRUE/FALSE
7. I have diabetes. TRUE/FALSE
8. I am overweight. TRUE/FALSE
9. I eat rice or pasta (any kind). TRUE/FALSE
10. I drink milk. TRUE/FALSE
11. I don’t exercise regularly. TRUE/FALSE
12. Neurological conditions run in my family. TRUE/FALSE
13. I don’t take a vitamin D supplement. TRUE/FALSE
14. I eat a low-fat diet. TRUE/FALSE
15. I take a statin. TRUE/FALSE
16. I avoid high-cholesterol foods. TRUE/FALSE
17. I drink soda (diet or regular). TRUE/FALSE
18. I don’t drink wine. TRUE/FALSE
19. I drink beer. TRUE/FALSE
20. I eat cereal (any kind). TRUE/FALSE”

If you get more than 10 “TRUE” then you’re in a danger zone.

 

Here are some tests he recommends.

“• Fasting blood glucose: A commonly used diagnostic tool to check for pre-diabetes and diabetes, this test measures the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood after you have not eaten for at least eight hours. A level between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal; above this, your body is showing signs of insulin resistance and diabetes, and an increased risk for brain disease.

• Hemoglobin A1C: Unlike a test of blood sugar, this test reveals an “average” blood sugar over a ninety-day period and provides a far better indication of overall blood sugar control. Because it can indicate the damage done to brain proteins due to blood sugar (something called “glycated hemoglobin”), it’s one of the greatest predictors of brain atrophy.

• Fructosamine: Similar to the hemoglobin A1C test, a fructosamine test is used to measure an average blood sugar level but over a shorter time period—the past two to three weeks.

“• Fasting insulin: Long before blood sugar begins to climb as a person becomes diabetic, the fasting insulin level will rise, indicating that the pancreas is working overtime to deal with the excess of dietary carbohydrate. It is a very effective early warning system for getting ahead of the diabetes curve, and so has tremendous relevance for preventing brain disease.

• Homocysteine: Higher levels of this amino acid, produced by the body, are associated with many conditions, including atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries), heart disease, stroke, and dementia; it can often be easily lowered with specific B vitamins.

• Vitamin D: This is now recognized as a critical brain hormone (it’s not a vitamin).

• C-reactive protein (CRP): This is a marker of inflammation.

• Cyrex array 3: This is the most comprehensive marker of gluten sensitivity available.

• Cyrex array 4 (optional): This measures sensitivity to twenty-four “cross-reactive” foods to which a gluten-sensitive individual may also react.”

 

Here is the table of contents…

“PART I
THE WHOLE GRAIN TRUTH

CHAPTER 1   The Cornerstone of Brain Disease: What You Don’t Know About Inflammation
CHAPTER 2   The Sticky Protein: Gluten’s Role in Brain Inflammation (It’s Not Just About Your Belly)
CHAPTER 3   Attention, Carboholics and Fat Phobics: Surprising Truths About Your Brain’s Real Enemies and Lovers
CHAPTER 4   Not a Fruitful Union: This Is Your Brain on Sugar (Natural or Not)
CHAPTER 5   The Gift of Neurogenesis and Controlling Master Switches: How to Change Your Genetic Destiny
CHAPTER 6   Brain Drain: How Gluten Robs You and Your Children’s Peace of Mind

PART II
GRAIN BRAIN REHAB

CHAPTER 7   Dietary Habits for an Optimal Brain: Hello, Fasting, Fats, and Essential Supplements
CHAPTER 8   Genetic Medicine: Jog Your Genes to Build a Better Brain
CHAPTER 9   Good Night, Brain: Leverage Your Leptin to Rule Your Hormonal Kingdom

PART III
SAY GOOD-BYE TO GRAIN BRAIN

CHAPTER 10   A New Way of Life: The Four-Week Plan of Action (Grain Brain Diet)
CHAPTER 11   Eating Your Way to a Healthy Brain: Meal Plans and Recipes (Grain Brain Recipes)
Recipes

EPILOGUE   The Mesmerizing Truth”

 

And now I will summarize the key points…

Chapter 1

Dr. Perlmutter makes the point that our ancestors consumed diets of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs and although lifespans were shorter, they didn’t end with Alzheimer’s or any of the neurological diseases currently growing out of control in our society. Today we consume 60% carbs, 20% fat, and 20% protein the result of the movement to “low calorie diets some 20 years ago.”

This modern diet causes our bodies to produce glucose (sugar in the bloodstream) which causes our pancreas to over-produce insulin which eventually leads to Type 2 Diabetes and finally Alzheimer’s which since 2005 has been called Type 3 Diabetes. Characterized by these factors, the body experiences inflammation almost continuously and inflammation eventually damages organs including the brain. It may be genetic pre-disposition that decides which organs go first.

Most undiagnosed cases at high risk of Alzheimer’s have these characteristics…

“- lived with chronic high blood sugar levels even in the absence of diabetes
– eaten too many carbohydrates throughout his or her life
– opted for a low-fat diet that minimized cholesterol
– had undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley”

You don’t have to have Celiac’s disease to have a problem with Gluten. Most people have some level of sensitivity but they have managed the symptoms or failed to attribute them to what they’re eaten.

 

Chapter 2

The list of symptoms for gluten sensitivity are many pages long. Most people simply accept that there are reasons unknown for their symptoms and learn to manage around them without realizing that these are pre-cursers to much more serious problems.

 

Chapter 3

Fat, not carbohydrates, is the preferred fuel of the human body. (and the brain)

It’s important to know what a healthy fat is and to differentiate between those and unhealthy fats.

Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.

Nobody has ever proven scientifically that eating fat increases your risk of heart disease. On the contrary, some studies have proven the opposite.

Some oils that are not good fats include:

soybean, corn, cottonseed, canola, peanut, safflower, and sunflower oils

because they are higher in Omega 6 and lower in Omega 3.

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Chapter 4

Here’s a great article from Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat – I’ll review this book in another post.

New York Times Article “Is Sugar Toxic?”

At the time of the writing of this book, there were 11M adults in the US with Type 2 Diabetes and because these are high risk Alzheimer’s patients, this speaks strongly to the number of patients that have suddenly emerged in the past 20 years.

A1C, one of the blood test measures of insulin resistance, can be correlated to loss of brain mass or size. Or said another way, the higher your blood sugar the smaller your brain. And as this generally goes with body mass, the fatter you are, the smaller your brain and IQ.

 

Chapter 5

Most people believe that cognitive decline is a part of aging. Neurogenesis proves this misconception is not true. Brain cells can and do regenerate themselves which means that within reason, you can reverse Alzheimer’s naturally. You can reverse dementia.

An interesting and little-know fact explored briefly is the role of exercise and fasting in prevention of the risk factors. Exercise and fasting activate your genes that have to do with production of new brain cells and enhance Neurogenic activities.

The Ketogenic Diet has been prescribed for everything from ALS to Alzheimer’s for many years.

There is an extensive discussion of Turmeric and DHA including some research findings for risk factors.

There is an extensive discussion of antioxidants and their lack of effectiveness. He shows how Omega 3 and DHA take on the role of activating the bodies own antioxidant system.

 

Chapter 6

This chapter has an extensive look at Gluten’s role in early childhood disorders such as ADHD and how general inflammation results in many symptoms that we do not currently attribute to Gluten sensitivity.

There is also a discussion of treatment of Autism and clinical successes of removing Gluten from the diet of patients who suffered from sensitivity.

There is also a positive linkage discussed between Gluten sensitivity and depression.

There is also a positive linkage discussed between Gluten sensitivity and recurring headaches.

 

Chapter 7

There is an extensive discussion on dietary change recommendations and supplements.

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Supplements discussed are mainly DHA, Omega-3, Turmeric, Pro-biotics, Alpha Lipoid Acid, and Vitamin D.

 

Chapter 8

In this chapter evidence and research are presented for the case that exercise activates certain genes that enable neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells. A case is made for aerobic exercise over stretching exercises in terms of measured brain size.

 

Chapter 9

There is an extensive discussion with case studies and research on Leptin and Leptin resistance. Leptin is another hormone as powerful in bodily function as Insulin. It is produced in the fat cells and helps tell our body when we are no longer hungry. Here are some symptoms of Leptin problems:

  • 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”

 

Chapter 10

This chapter begins the “Four Week Plan of Action”

The key “takeaways” are that the diet plan will minimize carbs including all types of grains which actually have a higher glycemic index than sugar itself. The diet will emphasize protein – fish, chicken, and beef, and lots of vegetables and plenty of eggs.

 

Chapter 11

Meal plans and recipes.

 

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