Perlmutter gets even closer to Gundry.
Perlmutter wrote his foundational book “Grain Brain” in 2013, and “Brain Maker” in 2015. Perlmutter’s books get incrementally closer to Gundry’s “The Plant Paradox” published in 2017.
Within “Grain Brain” Perlmutter advanced that our diet based on grains and carbs is unfit for our DNA that has not changed since the Paleolithic era. While few people have celiac disease as they can’t digest gluten, Perlmutter advances that many of us are gluten sensitive. And, gluten sensitivity associated with a diet high in grains and carbs triggers the production of cytokines that cause inflammation and attack the brain. High cytokines levels are seen in patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, MS, and autism. He views gluten sensitivity as having severe neurological implication in addition to gastrointestinal ones.
Within “Brain Maker” Perlmutter explains the mechanism whereby gluten sensitivity triggers the production of cytokines and inflammation. It has to do with the microbiome. A diet high in grains and carbs impairs the balance of bacteria within our microbiome (feeding the bacteria that are not good for us that can impair our metabolism and make us fat, the Firmicutes; meanwhile starving the good bacteria that assists our metabolism: the Bacteroidetes). This microbiome imbalance (an F/B ratio that gets out of whack in favor of the Firmicutes) causes gut permeability (the “leaky gut” syndrome). This will facilitate the crossing of toxins across our intestine wall, cause chronic inflammation, trigger unhealthy autoimmune response, and be at the essence of gastro-intestinal, and neurological diseases (including dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson). Additionally, our immune system controls inflammation. But, our microbiome regulates the immune response. So, there are interesting physiological feedback loops with inflammation as an endpoint.
The above paragraph detailing Perlmutter’s explanation of the role of the microbiome is also right out of Gundry’s “The Plant Paradox.” Both authors agree 100% on this count. Actually, the “leaky gut” is Gundry’s core concept just like “gluten sensitivity” was Perlmutter’s core concept in “Grain Brain” and the “microbiome” is his core concept in “Brain Maker.” The microbiome health status explains underlying causes of gluten sensitivity and leaky gut syndrome. Such health issues are at the essence of gastrointestinal, autoimmune, and neurological diseases.
When both authors address what impairs the microbiome, the parallels between the two are uncanny. Gundry mentions the “7 deadly disruptors” that include:
1) Excessive prevalence of antibiotics (in medicine, cosmetics, agriculture) that decimate our microbiome;
2) NSAIDs that do not harm the stomach, but attack the small intestine, and cause leaky gut;
3) Stomach-acid blockers that reduce stomach acids and allow bad bacteria to thrive;
4) Artificial sweeteners that kill good bacteria and nourish bad ones.
5) Genetically modified foods and herbicides (RoundUp) that trigger the ingestion of glyphosate linked to cancer, kidney and liver failure, and other chronic illnesses.
Meanwhile, Perlmutter in his chapter “Bust a Gut” mentions 3 out of the 5 factors above (antibiotics, NSAIDs, GMO foods). And, elsewhere Perlmutter expands on the ills of artificial sweeteners.
Both authors recommendations on maintaining the microbiome also converge. Gundry recommends a low-carb (low sugar), no grain, high fat diet with fats derived mainly from plants including vegetables, and nuts. Perlmutter recommends the same diet with a focus on prebiotic and probiotic nutrients (Gundry also likes those).
The only material difference between Perlmutter’s “Brain Maker” and Gundry’s “Plant Paradox” is the latter’s concept of lectins that narrows down the choice of plant-foods you can eat. Otherwise, both authors are on the same page.
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