Dealing with “Grain Brain” with David Perlmutter MD: GFS Podcast Episode 020

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david perlmutter grain brainGluten-Free “Grain Brain” & David Perlmutter, MD

This week’s Gluten Free School Podcast sits down with the author of Grain Brain David Perlmutter, MD to chat about his book and the truth behind gluten-free carbs.

Here’s the breakdown:

00:40 —  Introducing David Perlmutter, MD author of “Grain Brain” to the show

05:36 — How gluten is strongly related to ADHD, headaches, depression, epilepsy, and more

07:48 — Dr. Perlmutter explains the ‘blood/brain barrier.’ What’s leaking in our brains?? 

10:29 —  How carbohydrates are toxic to the brain and gluten’s link to dementia

14:27 — How many teaspoons of sugar in that freshly squeezed orange juice?

15:27 — 2 conditions that are the root cause of every neuro-generative disorder and how to avoid them.

16:13 — Your food choices directly effect how rapidly your brain shrinks.

17:33 — Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes is preventable through diet.

21:12 — The link between cholesterol and brain health. Is LDL really that bad?

25:25 — Why statin drugs threaten brain function and what to take if taking statins.

27:53 — What should we be eating to save our brains.

33:01 — You can change your genetic destiny.

34:28 — 3 additional dietary recommendations beyond going gluten-free.

CLICK HERE to listen and subscribe through iTunes!!!

Then take a moment and leave a review on iTunes sharing what you’ve learned and why others would benefit from subscribing as well!

The links referred to in this episode are:

David Perlmutter, MD’s website

Purchase the Book HERE

Follow Dr. Perlmutter on:




I must also say that I have been blown away by the book “Grain Brain” after having had the pleasure to review a copy.  It’s got a great set of recipes in the back, but the information presented by Dr. Perlmutter is truly poignant for us all to hear.  In this day and age where neurological and various psychological issues abound, it’s refreshing to find a neurologist so interested in diet that he’s willing to say something that goes against the mainstream.

This book is currently on several best seller lists including #7 on the NY Times Best Seller list.  For the sake of your brain… read “Grain Brain”.

Leave a comment or question below about “Grain Brain” and neurological issues!

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  1. Christine says

    Great podcast – Thank you for talking with Dr Perlmutter.
    I saw Dr William Davis on CBS morning back in January, bought Wheat Belly that day and one week later, Jan 14th 2013 I became gluten free…and am loving it. I am a new person.
    Within days my joints stopped hurting, acid reflux and heartburn disappeared, within a few months my skin changed, my rosacea calmed down, I had energy to burn and the added bonus I am losing weight (60lbs so far)!
    I will never go back to my old ways but now and again I fall into bad sugar cravings – trying to learn how to combat these but I have a new lifestyle and I will never go back!

  2. says

    I am fascinated about everything I am learning ref ‘Grain Brain’ etc My wife and I have a small country pub and would like to embrace more ‘gluten free’ recipes. I am, however, scared about the bad press that beer/real ale gets from the good doctor. How bad is beer on the gluten scale?

    • says

      It’s up there… you can’t drink it if you’re gluten sensitive or celiac… You’re only choice is to go for a GF beer or spirit… apple cider is generally GF… but yeah… regular beer is off the menu

  3. Joan Silveri says

    I have been picking up this book in the book store and putting it back down. After listening to this podcast I am going to buy it. So much important information. Thanks for bringing it to us.

    • says

      Cheryl, there are better low-glycemic flours out there like coconut and almond. And I’d also suggest considering how often you eat the GF breads and pastas… I have GF pasta maybe once a month… but if you’re eating it every day or multiple times a week, then perhaps consider spacing it out longer so that it’s more of a treat rather than a staple or go-to option.

      • Asa says

        It’s hard to make up breakfasts on the go if I am trying to stay away from gf bread/toast in the morning. I often then just end up with a raw carrot or two, what is your suggestion for a healthy and natural gf breakfast?

        • says

          Hi Asa, I totally know what this is like! Firstly, consider making a smoothie! They are easy to throw together and then take with you on the run. I have several recipes here on the site. Secondly, soup is incredibly easy. Just heat it up, eat it and go. I make at least 1 crockpot soup/stew each week. Third, what about making a quiche or egg muffins in tins (there was a recipe a posted the in beginning of January that would be perfect! You can make a bunch and again… grab and go!

          Ultimately, you can eat ANYTHING for breakfast. It’s just a time of day. There are no laws or rules against eating something that resembles lunch or dinner for breakfast.

  4. says

    Great podcast Jennifer. I have been reading his book, but it was great to hear him speak, and answer all your on point questions. He was very compelling, and I will continue on my journey of being gluten free, and over time , grain free. The research can not be denied.
    Keep the conversation going Jennifer.
    Diane Stibbard – Canada

  5. says

    Excellent interview w Dr P! Love his book and his significant contribution to the evolution that must take place for so many completely refractory, non-repsonsive to medications. We see these problems everyday in our offices and so much appreciate the new ways to measure these problems. We live in remarkable Galileo Times. The easily available new lab technologies completely refute the naysayers on food immunity issues – appearances are out, immunity is far more than IgE, and with these issues, as you both so accurately point out, so many don’t come to the office w overt GI symptoms. Lab data, hard evidence takes us beyond what we see to the Reality that lives in so many who were previously considered untreatable.

    • says

      Hi Dr. Parker, Thank you for the compliment, but as you could probably tell, Dr. Perlmutter is very easy to talk to! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a note. It’s so refreshing to know that there are practitioners out there seeking new solutions that actually make sense to these health concerns (like celiac, gluten sensitivity and other related issues).

  6. Cindy says

    Fascinating! Jennifer, what do you know about folks tapering off their anti-depressant medications after going gluten-free? My husband was diagnosed with bi-polar depression in 2010. In May of 2012, we discovered he was gluten-sensitive. He immediately went off gluten and the change has been absolutely dramatic, completely for the better. Now we are considering reducing his medications with the guidance of his psychiatrist. But his psychiatrist is not knowledgable about gluten effects, does not advise going off meds, but will support us. Do you know what Dr. Perlmutter or another knowledgable psychiatrist would advise in this case?

  7. Gordon Garriott says

    I have recently read the grain brain book and am wanting to start following the gluten free diet.
    I am a marathon runner/triathlete and do lots of intense long distance running, biking and swimming.

    So, my question is: how do I obtain that instant glucose fuel I need to sustain me in a long 3 hour plus run/workout??.

    I have always fueled myself with lots of carbs before a major (longer than 90 minutes) workout, ie. bagels, pretzels, peanut butter, bananas, yams, what should I do about replacing those carbs or should I replace them???

    I normally consume those little pouches of “powerbar” glucose gels during my long training runs and they seem to work well to keep me going. I really notice the difference when I forget to take one every hour during a 3-4 hour training run, I just totally run out of gas and can hardly continue. I also use electrolytes mixed with water and electrolyte sports drinks and energy/protein/carb bars.

    Should I discontinue using them or is it ok to continue to use them considering the fact that I am burning them up as I run. I only consume them when I run or as energy replacement after a run.

    If I have to discontinue using them what can I use for that fuel that I need to avoid running out of glucose and “hitting the wall” at some point.
    if you could respond I would be very relieved

    • says

      Hi Gordon, I’m certainly not an expert on sports nutrition, however a client of mine is an endurance athlete like yourself and she’s really worked hard to pick the healthiest, whole versions of foods possible to use when training.

      There are other theories out there about the benefits (and problems) with carb-loading which I’m sure you may be aware of. However there is another trend out there of shifting your body from being a carb-burning machine to that of a fat burning one. You could check out The Fat-Burning Man podcast as I’m sure Abel James has probably covered this issue. There are scientific studies out there that do show that it’s possible and more efficient than simply carb-loading.

      In the meantime, I’d check out the Sport line from Vega as it’s a much healthier variety of ingredients than in your “Powerbar” gels. Hammer nutrition also has a good line, but Vega uses the purest of ingredients I can find aside from eating real food.

      I hope this is of some help to you!

  8. says

    This is by far the most hopeful information that I have found on avoiding Alzheimer’s! (and cancer, ADD, etc.) I am sharing this information with friends and family and asking them to spread the word. I am sure that if everyone here passes on this site and reads Dr. Perlmutter’s book that maybe more doctors will pay attention. My father is beginning dementia and I asked his doctor what he could do. I said he has always been a sugarholic. The doctor said that as long as he doesn’t have diabetes then not to worry! How sad!!!
    Thank you for sites like this that are informing the public!

  9. Charles Griffin says

    Oxidation by free radical damage to the endothelial tissues appears to be the real problem related to cholesterol and heart disease. Dr. Perlmutter further explains the oxidation issue and possible solutions when he was interviewed by John Quinones in an ABC investigative report that can be found at

  10. Vicki Montague says

    This is interesting. I reviewed the book earlier this year. I continue to eat a balanced diet…I am not one for removing food stuffs all together. I eat everything in moderation and still believe this is best…although no gluten! ;)

  11. Kelly says

    Great, great interview with a great neurologist who really cares about helping people improve their brain health and who shares how and why we should modify our diet instead of taking medicine to keep our brains and bodies functioning well. Thank you so much!

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