Guest: Dr. David Perlmutter
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Best-selling author Dr Perlmutter will visit Australia as a keynote speaker at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium (22 – 24 April 2016) to educate Australian health professionals on the link between the gut microbes and brain health. The Symposium will highlight the latest advances in nutritional and integrative medicine, covering a range of fields. BioCeuticals,Australia’s leading provider of practitioner-only nutritional and therapeutic supplements, is at the forefront of evidence-based Integrative Medicine.
Segment overview: Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, talks about his mission to uncover the food, the facts, the science to control your genetic destiny.
Health Professional Radio – Genetic Destiny
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. Our guest in studio today, Dr. David Perlmutter is here to discuss his mission to uncover the food, the facts and the science to control our genetic destiny. He’s a board certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He’s a recipient of the Linus Pauling Award and the Author of #1 New York Times Bestseller, Grain Brain as well as the Grain Brain Cookbook, The Better Brain book and Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten. How are you this afternoon, Dr. Perlmutter?
Dr. David Perlmutter Well I’m doing great, Neal. Thanks for having me.
N: Thank you and welcome to Health Professional Radio today. You’re on a mission to present research about the link between what goes on in our gut and what goes on in our brains, not only in our early life but especially as it relates to some of the mental illnesses associated with old age. You’re going to Australia as a keynote speaker at the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium, April 22nd through the 24th of this year and you’ll be presenting research related to such. Talk about this mission that you’re on to uncover these facts and talk about how what we eat directly affects our genetics.
P: Well, you said quite a mouthful there no pun intended and that is what we eat affects our genetics. I mean, I have to admit that in my day coming up through medical school, etc. we were pretty well inculcated with the knowledge that our genes were locked in a glass case and pretty well determine everything we would be and what our destiny would be all about and that was it, this code that was immutable and nothing we could do, whatever change it nor would we want to. We now recognize that there’s been a large body of people then said “No, it’s not nature, it’s nurture, it’s the food we eat, it’s the environment in which we live etc. that shapes our health destiny”, for example. But what’s really become evident in over the past several years is very, very exciting and that is that it’s both, it’s both our genes and it’s our environment because our environmental choices: where we choose to live, what we choose to eat, the amount of exercise we get, how much stress we experience, even the sleep that we do or don’t get. Moment to moment, affect the expression of our genetic code. In fact more than 70% of the genes that we have that deal with health and longevity are under our direct control, meaning that we have our own genetic destiny in our hands. We can change our genetic destiny as it relates to health, any moment we want to just by making shifts in the type of foods that we eat, for example. That’s probably the biggest player.
N: So basically the foods that we eat can begin to manipulate the message that our genes send out to cells?
P: That’s right and our DNA is wonderfully receptive to the various chemicals that are derived from the foods we eat and even the supplements that we take. For example, we know that there is a brain hormone if you will, a growth hormone for the brain that goes by the initials BDNF, Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor. And we really want to have as much of this as we possibly can because we have a lot of BDNF, our brains will grow much more in terms of new brain cells and in addition, make faster and better connections between the brain cells that we have, now that’s called neuroplasticity, it’s the fundamental of how we learn something. So we want to do our best to have this, the highest level of BDNF that we can and we know that the most powerful pill that you can take to increase your BDNF goes by the name of aerobic exercise. Who knew? Aerobic exercise dramatically enhances the genes, your DNA that codes for the production of this chemical, BDNF that allows your brain to grow new brain cells specifically in the memory center. It’s why we’re such powerful advocates of aerobic exercise as an Alzheimer’s preventive program. And that in fact has been published in the journal of the American Medical Association. Studies that demonstrate that those individuals who exercise more and regularly, have a dramatic reduction in their risk for developing Alzheimer’s, Dementia. Again, that is a disease for which there is no treatment. All I’m asking your listeners to do is pay attention to that. Twenty minutes of aerobics each day, turns on the genes to make this brain protective chemical. Now there is a supplement that does the same thing, it’s called DHA, it’s an Omega 3, it’s found in fish oil, it’s found in Krill oil and certain types of Algae oil as well. And it does basically the same thing, it turns on the genes that make that chemical, that cause your brain to make new cells. So Neal, as we’re having this conversation, you are undergoing stem cell therapy right now. You are growing new stem cells in your brain right now and you could enhance that process by aerobically exercising, by taking a DHA supplement or eating good cuts of wild fish like salmon that have lots of DHA in them. There are other things you can do from the herb department like turmeric that enhances BDNF production, lots of things. And it’s not available by prescription, who knew?
N: Okay, it’s great information and I understand totally. But let’s just say, just for the sake of conversation, that all I can do at this point is continue go to McDonald’s, go to Hardee’s, to go Burger King or whatever. Are there alternatives that a person can do who’s caught up in the fast food GMO rat race to slowly yet effectively change their diet thereby changing the message in their genes?
P: Half way measures work half way. So back to our discussion I think you’d ask me about supplements. There is no supplement that you’re gonna take that’s going to offset that type of diet. It’s just not going to happen. So you can choose not to eat fast foods and you can choose to eat more appropriately. Even if it’s not organic, if you choose to go to regular grocery store, you can still choose vegetables and choose foods that are lower in carbohydrate and this is available, it is a choice that people can make no matter where they live. I mean, Grain Brain, for example is translated now into 27 languages. So it’s written for people around the world to make these changes, to recognize that dietary carbs and sugar are going to destroy your brain and your heart and your immune system if you’re at risk for cancer, you name it. All of the bad things that you don’t want to happen and yet you can choose not to eat those foods. If you went to McDonald’s you could get a salad, if you went to Hardee’s you could get a salad, you can do other things and you know as well as I that it’s really up to you that you can make those right choices. But again I want to emphasize, you’re not gonna be able to offset a crappy diet by taking a handful of nutritional supplements and yet I see a lot of people who try to do that, it’s not gonna work for them.
N: Okay. So you’ve got a person that is looking for results, they take your advice, they get your book, they start eating correctly. Are we talking of 90 days, 30 days to see at least some type of improvement as far as (crosstalk)
P: Two to three weeks.
N: Two to three weeks and we’re talking about…?
P: But not just memory but energy, sleep, clarity of thinking, enjoyment of life, things really settle down when you get the inflammation dropping by. Inflammation is what people are familiar with when you are bitten by a mosquito, your skin gets red and painful. It’s the same chemical mechanism that goes on in your brain when you have Alzheimer’s, it’s the same mechanism that narrows your coronary arteries when you have heart disease. So we’ve got to do everything we can to reduce inflammation and job one is to get rid of the sugars and the carbs. Over the past few decades we have been given this fear of fat, the advent of no-fat this and no-fat cookies and you name it because fat was demonized, nothing could be worst advice for the human body. We’ve been eating fat for couple of million years, suddenly our food becomes sanitized and we were sold this bill of a goods in order to help farmers sell their products, their grain products and sugar. But finally the data is so compelling, indicating that in fact that’s the wrong recommendation and let’s be real clear that a diet that’s higher in fat and lower in carbs as I advocate in Grain Brain is a brain smart diet. You can make a choice.
N: Well as you head to Australia for the 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium, talk a little bit about what you plan to present to your colleagues in Australia.
P: Well I’m really looking forward to that. The people who are gonna attend this are really very forward thinking because it’s a very integrative approach that we’re taking, looking not just at treating diseases with a radiation surgery and magic bullets or pharmaceuticals but really taking a step back and trying to let the audience know how they can leverage lifestyle modification like diet for example and avoidance of antibiotics when possible because of their detrimental effect upon health. So I’m really looking forward to it because this is the type of audience that is really avant-garde, really progressive, wanting to make a change and really not satisfied with the status quo in terms of how medicine is practiced. Medicine is reactive, reactive to situation of illness. What we’re talking about at the upcoming conference is being proactive, keeping people healthy in the first place.
N: Now Doctor where can our listeners get more information about this Symposium and about you?
P: Well, the Symposium is actually listed on my website in upcoming events and my website is drperlmutter.com. You’ll probably have a link for that on your site, my Facebook is David Perlmutter, MD and I post every day.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. And we’ve been in studio this afternoon talking with Dr. David Perlmutter. He is the Associate Professor at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine and also a frequent Lecturer at symposia sponsored by such Medical Institutions as Harvard University, The University of Arizona, Scripps Institute and many others. And we’ve been in studio talking about the upcoming 4th BioCeuticals Research Symposium to be held in Australia, April the 22nd through the 24th and talking about his mission to uncover the food, the facts and the science to help us all control our genetic destiny through what we put into our mouths. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. Perlmutter.
P: Oh Neal my pleasure and thank you again.
N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe through our podcast on iTunes.