Brain Health

Bacteria and Brain Health with Dr. David Perlmutter

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. David Perlmutter explains the importance of gut bacteria and your brain health.

Dr. Perlmutter is an amazing doctor and a pioneer in his field. He’s a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He’s the author of many books, including Grain Brain – The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers, and his latest book is Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – For Life!

Main Questions Asked:

  • Can we do anything to keep our brain healthy?
  • Will they ever consider the bacteria inside us another organ?
  • What treatment do you recommend after a course of antibiotics?
  • Besides LPS testing what other tests do you recommend to assess gut health and leaky gut?
  • What are your big tips for us?

Key Points made by Dr. Perlmutter:

  • In neurology there have been no meaningful treatments for autism, Alzheimer’s – until now.
  • Gut health has a huge role on the brain health.
  • We have 3 pounds of bacteria in our gut and they help our immune system, our nervous system, our hormones, and so much more.
  • Changing the destiny of your brain happens mainly through changing your diet.
  • For the first time we are considering the Microbiome – the bacteria that live in us and on us – as a vital organ.
  • In Ontario they are now doing research on autism and how the chemicals created in the gut by gut bacteria affect a child’s brain.
  • In Arizona they are doing research on treating autism using fecal microbial transplants.
  • We are dramatically overusing antibiotics in North America. Always ask yourself if you really need to take antibiotics or not.
  • Broad spectrum antibiotics are like a weapon of mass destruction to the intestinal bacteria.
  • You should take a broad spectrum probiotic during your course of antibiotics, and continue taking it for a few weeks after your round of antibiotics is finished.
  • Fermented foods and probiotic foods are teaming with good, healthy bacteria for brain health.
  • Prebiotic foods have high levels of nutrients to feed the probiotics in the gut.
  • Your dinner table should contain both probiotic foods and prebiotic foods.
  • Bad bacteria creates inflammation in the intestines, which then causes leaky gut, which causes more inflammation in the body, and this fuels degenerative disease like cancer, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
  • Leaky gut can be measured with an LPS test (lipopolysaccharide testing). When LPS levels are high it indicates you have a leaky gut and bacteria products are in your bloodstream and creating inflammation and damage – including damage to your brain.
  • High levels of LPS is implicated in Alzheimer’s, autism, ALS, and even major depressive disorder.
  • Depression may be caused by a leaky gut! The way to keep serotonin levels in balance is to keep your gut health in check as 90%+ of the serotonin in your body is manufactured in your gut.
  • You are at high risk of having leaky gut: if you were born by c-section; if you’ve taken an antibiotics once every 2-3 years; if you are more than 20 pounds overweight; if you have diabetes (type 1 or 2); if you have food sensitivities; if you have celiac disease; if you have an autoimmune disease; if you have chronic diarrhea; if you have IBS.
  • If you’ve had your tonsils out as a child, or tubes in your ears, you’ve likely already been bombarded by antibiotics and now have leaky gut and bacteria imbalances which predispose you to potential future brain problems.
  • Research is being done on Type 2 Diabetes with fecal microbial transplants and finding that after transplant the gut bacteria are reprogrammed and the diabetes gets cured.
  • Keep an open mind about brain health. Answers are out there and we are learning so much nowe about the brain-gut connection. Educate yourself as much as you can.
  • Stop eating carbs and sugar. Stop eating artificial sweeteners.
  • Eat more fermented foods – cultured yogurt, kimchi, kombucha.
  • Eat more healthy fat – it’s your friend!

Resources Mentioned:

Book – Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers

Book – Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life

Dr. Perlmutter’s website

Video – Explaining fecal transplants

Dr. Permutter’s facebook page

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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