Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/brain-maker-summary/
The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect your Brain – for LifeYou know what we, at GetNugget here, are simply tired of hearing?
Snake oil salesmen. There are bunch of them all around. You can find most of them on your TV, but, unfortunately, there are many of them between covers as well. That’s one of the reasons why we read all of these books for you and tell you what they are about and if they are any good or not.
That’s also why we’ve written so many summaries of books written by scientists. On today’s agenda – we have one more.
And it’s captivating!
Who Should Read “Brain Maker”? And Why?Just like many other books, “Brain Maker” is about the health of your brain. Unlike them, it’s about your stomach as well.
Because, while you were doing your everyday chores, scientists have worked hard and discovered that you could make your brain healthier if you’re eating the right things. And, by extension, prevent some serious brain diseases if you care enough about your diet.
Since it’s a scientific book about human health, as its dedication states, it’s also about you. Whoever you are and wherever you’re living. It doesn’t matter if you are healthy or not – you should always take care of your health.
Which usually starts with critically reading books like the “Brain Maker.”
For now, let’s do this in your stead.
About Dr. David Perlmutter and Kristin LobergDavid Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, is a celebrity neurologist, medical director of the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Florida. He has written articles for scientific journals such as the “Journal of Neurosurgery,” in addition to many columns in popular publications, such as “The Huffington Post” and “The Daily Beast.
Kristin Loberg is an American editor and ghostwriter. She focuses on transforming erudite scientific language into reader-friendly books. In addition to Perlmutter, she has also worked with Phil Town, editing his New York Times bestseller “Rule #1.”
"Brain Maker Summary"A word of caution:
“Brain Maker” suggests that dietary changes may help you prevent brain diseases such as depression or Alzheimer’s. Even though Perlmutter is a scientist, this has not been accepted by mainstream science. (Read our critical review for more).
With that being said, we can move on to what Perlmutter is actually saying.
First of all, it’s important to note that what we’ll be mainly talking about here is your gut and the bacteria which lives there. In Perlmutter’s opinion, your gut bacteria (your gut’s microbiome, that is) is responsible for many health issues.
Like obesity, for example.
You see, 90 percent of your gut’s microbiome consists of two types of bacteria: Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Firmicutes extract energy, and Bacteroidetes break down starch and fibers.
And according to a Harvard research comparing people living in the Western countries with African inhabitants, the problem of obesity may be down to the fact you have more Firmicutes than Bacteroides in your gut. Obesity is non-existent In Africans.
And - lo and behold - the ratio in them is reversed!
But obesity is just a small problem compared to almost any brain disease. According to Perlmutter, your gut may be responsible for many of them.
The evidence is inconclusive, but, apparently, if your gut isn’t protected from certain bacteria, somehow your brain isn’t too. Leaky gut leads to leaky brain, brain inflammation is preceded by gut inflammation.
Unfortunately, unlike other types of inflammation, brain inflammation is something that can’t be seen. So, you may be suffering silently from brain problems that might lead to serious diseases once you’re older.
Simply because you didn’t eat well.
Autism is one of these diseases. If a brain inflammation occurred during childhood, this may disrupt the normal brain development process and result in ASD. For one kid named Jason, this brain inflammation may have started with antibiotics upsetting his gut microbiome during his early years.
According to Perlmutter, it’s exactly because of this that a simple vitamin and probiotics treatment did wonders for Jason. His brain benefitted from the improvement of his gut microbiome. And it may improve even more.
We have to warn you: it’s going to get a little nasty now!
It’s because of a new treatment, called fecal microbial transplant. It involves extracting bacteria from a healthy man’s stool and transplanting it to a patient’s colon.
Uggh! Now, why must things that work for our health be so disgusting!
Jason’s example is one of the many Perlmutter uses to show that the usage of antibiotics has gotten out of hand! Because of the excessive usage, in fact, many bacteria have developed resistance, and because of this, we can’t fight some of them the way we used to.
And it’s a known fact that food may sometimes be just enough!
So, before reaching out for an antibiotic, try a dietary solution! Perlmutter suggests few: gluten-free and fermented foods, fasting, turmeric, coconut oil… What have you got to lose?
Even if they don’t do everything Perlmutter says, they certainly don’t do wrong!
Key Lessons from “Brain Maker”1. Your Organism Is a Microcosm 2. Sometimes the Best Doctor You Can Have Is Yourself 3. Filters and Probiotics
Your Organism Is a MicrocosmScientists aren’t really in agreement with many of David Perlmutter’s ideas. If not for its scientific value, we can accept the central one for its poetic appeal.
Perlmutter, namely, is a proponent of holistic medicine. In his opinion, everything in your body is connected to everything.
In theory, that means that you can control bodily functions and symptoms mentally. This book is about the opposite: if your brain controls the working of your gut, your gut may be able to help him back.
It would be great if proven true!
Sometimes the Best Doctor You Can Have Is YourselfThere is nothing wrong with going to the doctor. But, it’s much better if you do everything not to go. And you can – by exercising, watching your diet, obtaining healthy habits.
Who knows? Maybe the connection is even stronger! Maybe some of the most serious brain diseases you can think of are not irreversible. And you can treat yourself. Through your gut!
Filters and ProbioticsFood is not enough. Chemicals are bad for your health and may sometimes do some serious damage, even if taken as chorine through your water or beneficiary pills. To stop them destroying your gut microbiome, use filtered water and probiotics.
You’ll see for yourself: drinking clean water and yogurt can help you with your health!
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“Brain Maker” Quotes[bctt tweet="This book is dedicated to you. Just as the multitude of organisms residing within your body sustains you, so too does every individual influence the well-being of our planet. In a very real sense, you are an active member of the earth’s microbiome." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“In my own experience, I’ve found that patients report never feeling anxious or depressed until they started having problems with their guts.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“The fact that changes in our gut affect our brain’s response to negativity or emotionally stirring images is just mind-boggling.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“New research performed in just the past few years is telling us that certain types of gut bacteria actually help the body control blood sugar levels.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“I recommend fasting at least four times a year; fasting during the seasonal changes (for example, the last week of September, December, March, and June) is an excellent practice to keep.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“It’s critical to take probiotics with filtered water; otherwise, you’ll defeat their purpose.” username=“get12min”]
Our Critical ReviewWe told you at the beginning that we don’t like snake oil salespeople. Obviously, Dr. David Perlmutter is far above such a description; “Brain Maker” as well. It’s been deemed both “a game changer” and “a lifesaver” by the scientific community, in addition to being called a “must-read” by William Davis, MD, author of “Wheat Belly.”
Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Some of the cases he elucidates and the dramatic improvements he promises seem downright miraculous and have, justifiably so, raised many red flags. Few neurologists and doctors claim that some of his methods seem not just unorthodox, but unscientific as well.
We are neither neurologists, nor doctors, so we can’t really tell you how much of Perlmutter’s book is based on science, and how much on lies and factoids. So, it’s best and safest to say: do read “Brain Maker,” but read it with caution.