Alzheimer’s disease affects a staggering number of Americans today—5.5 million. Even more shocking, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that number could increase to 16 million by 2050.
In fact, if you live to be age 85, your chances of getting Alzheimer’s is 50/50.
It’s not all bad news, though, as my guest today is here to assure us!
Dr. David Perlmutter on Preventing Alzheimer’s
Dr. Perlmutter is on the forefront of research about ways to protect and support the brain in a world where Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain-related diseases are on the rise.
He is a Board-Certified Neurologist, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and four-time New York Times bestselling author. You’ve probably heard of his popular book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been interviewed by everyone from Larry King, Oprah, Dr. Oz and many others.
While Dr. Perlmutter is all for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s (currently there isn’t one), as a functional medicine doctor he’s also all about acting on the medical research that shows this disease is largely preventable with the right lifestyle choices.
Dr. Perlmutter sums it up well (by quoting former President John Kennedy):
The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.
I couldn’t agree more. Take a listen!
In This Episode You’ll Learn
- the devastating way Dr. Perlmutter’s lost his own father to Alzheimer’s, and how it fuels his mission now
- reasons why Alzheimer’s is largely preventable, and how peer-reviewed research shows this
- the (limited) role genetics plays in developing Alzheimer’s
- the link between Alzheimer’s and elevated blood sugar
- why Dr. Perlmutter wrote his book Grain Brain and what he thinks about diets that promote ketosis
- concrete steps anyone can use to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s (and one free thing that reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by half!)
- ways to increase brain stem cells and protect your brain (and why you should start now)
- scientific reasons why friends are good for your brain and how to make sure you have good social interaction
- why feelings of joy and acceptance actually fight stress, disease, and brain degeneration
- how chronically elevated cortisol can harm the brain and the gut
- surprising ways a certain level of stress can actually be good for us (also called the hormesis theory)
- the clinically proven effect of gratitude on the brain
- what your brain does while you sleep, and why it’s so important
- the dramatic way artificial sweeteners affect the gut and which ones are brain-safe
- why diet soda drinkers have twice the risk of developing diabetes
- whether gluten-free diets are really dangerous and what to know about health headlines
- what to guard against if you avoid gluten
- controversy about Dr. Perlmutter’s dietary advice, and his excellent answer
- the shocking fact that elderly people with the lowest cholesterol have the highest risk for dementia
- why “bad cholesterol” (LDL) is generally misunderstood
- benefits of DHA and its importance for brain development (and the best natural source)
- why most of us (52%) don’t get enough magnesium, and the supplement form Dr. Perlmutter recommends
Resources We Mention
Institute for Functional Medicine (Symposium on Brain Disorders)
Dr. Perlmutter’s Books:
- Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers (2013)
- The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan (2016)
- The Grain Brain Cookbook (2014)
- Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life (2015)
More from Dr. Perlmutter:
More from Wellness Mama:
DHA (800-1000 mg for at risk individuals or inflammation)
Whole coffee fruit concentrate
Chelated magnesium (with pea protein)