Monday, May 5, 2014

Dr. Perlmutter's Brain Health Program in Grain Brain includes a Grain Free, GAPS Style Diet

I don't know anyone who doesn't want to age in good 
health and avoid Alzheimer's. 
We get a lot of information about how to do this, but does this information have to be updated from the 30's and 40's when most of these principles were established? There is a large movement to update classical teachings and Dr. Perlmutter, a neurologist in practice has put up-to-date research and recommendations into a book called "Grain Brain". 

Dr. David Perlmutter says in this interview: the first step is to stop gluten! (My bold):
Research suggests gluten can play a damaging role by the changes it imparts on your microbiome, the bacteria in your gut. But gluten can also wreak havoc with your neurological health via the inflammation it causes. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity may involve 30 to 40 percent of the population and according to work done at Harvard by Dr. Alessio Fasano, it may even affect every single human being.

The reason for this is because gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, has significant effects on your gut cells, which leads to the production of a chemical called zonulin. Zonulin enhances inflammation and tends to make your gut porous and leaky (i.e. leaky gut syndrome). But that's not all. Dr. Fasano discovered that it can also make your blood-brain barrier leaky, allowing foreign proteins to migrate into your brain, where they clearly do not belong.

Listen to the full interview to pick up some brain saving tips.

Let's talk about those foreign proteins mentioned above. These proteins that migrate into the brain are recognized as "foreign invaders" mimicking a life threatening microorganism invasion, like "swine flu" or encephalitis, which then triggers a life saving reaction by the immune system. The reaction however, can go wrong with the confusion of the system when it thinks our own tissues look like gliadin proteins. Dr. Fraser Scott showed that celiac subjects had tissues that look like gliadin back in 2002, but other researchers have shown the same thing in other organs' connective tissues!!! 

This starts a reaction to one's own tissues with the production of anti deamidated gliadin, anti gliadin,  and  anti tissue transglutaminase antibodies (Tg2,3,and 6), especially worrisome is Tg6 but also Tg2, which attack the brain tissues and the tissues around the blood vessels blocking the "blood brain barrier".  Tg6's attack on the brain causes dozens of neurological disorders especially cerebellar ataxia, cerebral calcifications, peripheral neuropathy, epilepsy, migraines and possibly MS. 

Dr. Hadjivassiliou has written an extensive article  "Gluten Sensitivity; From Gut to Brain" on these neurological diseases and the good news is he has shown these conditions improve on a gluten free diet. If you want to see what the blood brain barrier thickened up with Tg6 looks like, go to page nine, and look at the picture labelled "A". The circle in the middle is the lumen of a blood vessel and around it is a cuff of thickness imbedded with Tg6 antibodies. This is very abnormal as the area around the blood vessel is rarely bigger than 1/5th of the diameter of the blood vessel. With one look at the diseased brain tissue's blood vessel you can tell there is something horribly wrong.

This abnormal attack on our own tissues also leads to psychiatric conditions. Here is a case of severe psychiatric symptoms, at one point requiring hospital admission, who improved with GAPS diet and B12 shots.

If your aim is good brain health, the first step is to stop eating gluten. 
You will want to get rid of all grains, though, because of the cross reactive and toxic proteins in them that promote leaky gut and inflammation just like gluten, which is the mechanism for the damage to the brain. 

There is more to do, of course, like remove chemical exposure especially to pesticides, proper dental care by a biological dentist, keeping your vitamin D levels good, keeping your blood sugar levels low and stable, keep your uric acid levels low by limiting your ingestion of fructose to 25 grams a day or less, monitor your B12 levels with a Homocysteine test, supplement with lots of folate (not folic acid, the chemical) probiotics and zinc, exercise moderately and keep your stress levels manageable.

To Your "Brain" Health
Dr. Barbara