Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu: Dr. David Perlmutter – Everybody Who Eats Needs To Hear This Warning

Key Takeaways

  • Here’s what Dr. Perlmutter recommends people track and measure, health wise:
    • Changes in your microbiome with uBiome
    • Your genetic data with 23andMe
    • Your vitamin D levels
    • Your fasting blood glucose levels
    • Your Hba1C levels
  • High homocysteine is a powerful risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • No Alzheimer’s Disease drug seems to be working or even reducing the rate at which people cognitively decline
    • A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association a few months back, showed that many Alzheimer’s drugs actually speed up the rate of cognitive decline
  • Beta-amyloid plaques are the response to the cognitive decline, not the cause of it
    • In clinical studies/trials, where it’s been attempted to rid the brain of beta-amyloid, patients decline much more quickly
  • Aerobic exercise is the best way to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels
    • Baseline BDNF levels have been correlated with future risk for dementia
  • We can assess the permeability of the gut by measuring levels of LPS (lipopolysaccharide) in the blood
  • “If you become a type 2 diabetic, which is by and large a choice, you have quadrupled your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease”

Products and Supplements Mentioned

  • Get a genetic test with 23andMe
  • David recommends monitoring your fasting blood glucose levels (so your blood glucose levels when you first wake up in the morning) with the Precision Xtra (use these test strips and these lancets)
    • You can also use the Precision Xtra to measure your blood ketone levels with these test strips
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels can be raised in the following ways:

Books Mentioned

Intro

The New Age of Health

  • 5 years ago, the big shock to everyone was the idea that people should eat less gluten/carbs and more fat
  • David is excited about the field of personalized medicine – using data to be far more specific about health recommendations for different people
    • Think 23andMe – Your genetic test results can give you so much useful data that you can then use to optimize your health

What should people be tracking or measuring with their health?

  • You can use uBiome to track changes in your micobiome with different diets
  • You can use 23andMe to get data about your genome, and things you can be doing, health wise, to live a better life based on that data
    • “We should all understand our genomes”
    • You can then uploadthe 23andMe data to a site like Promethease or Dr. Ben Lynch’s website, author of the book Dirty Genes
      • “From that, you learn not just what your genome says but what it means”
  • Your vitamin D levels
    • You can do this with a normal blood test from your doctor
  • Your fasting blood glucose levels (so your blood glucose levels when you wake up in the morning)
  • Hemoglobin A1c (HA1C – aka your long term average blood glucose levels)
    • David says a good range to aim for is 5 – 5.4%

What has David learned from his 23andMe data?

  • He’s a poor methylator
    • This means that he doesn’t have the most favorable genes in the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) pathway (it’s estimated that this is the case for ~22% of Americans)
  • Poor methylators often have high homocysteine levels
    • This matters because homocysteine is a powerful risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Some Alzheimer’s Disease Stats

  • It’s been observed that women who have abnormally low insulin levels have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
    • At the low range, their risk was increased 2.38x, and at the high range, 1.7x
    • Why would this happen? – They’re on extremely low sugar/carb diets
      • So it’s important to find the sweet spot
  • 2 out of 3 every Alzheimer’s Disease patients are women

Alzheimer’s Disease

  • As a primer, check out these Podcast Notes on Alzheimer’s Disease, where Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Dale Bredesen talk in depth about Alzheimer’s Disease
  • As of 2018, we have no treatment
  • The disease affects 5.4 million Americans and 40 million people globally 
    • It costs the U.S. about a trillion dollars annually – it’s predicted to triple by 2050
    • 50% of people age 85 and older will obtain it
  • Nothing seems to be working or even reducing the rate at which people cognitively decline
    • A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association a few months back, showed that many Alzheimer’s drugs actually speed up the cognitive decline
      • One class of drugs studied (used ~75% of the time) are acetytlcholinesterase inhibitors (drugs like Aricept)
        • These inhibit the enzyme that degrades the neurotransmitter acetylcholine
        • It was noted decades ago that people with Alzheimer’s Disease have very low acetylcholine levels in their brain – so the drugs work to increase brain acetylcholine levels
  • Much of the research has gone into trying to get rid of beta-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease patients
    • But it turns out that the plaques are the response to the cognitive decline, not the cause
      • The plaque is an anti-microbial peptide – it’s the brain’s way of responding to infectious agents
      • In clinical studies/trials, where it’s been attempted to rid the brain of beta-amyloid, patients decline much more quickly
      • “We’ve gotta leavve the beta-amyloid alone”
    • Research has shown that you can have a “head full” of beta-amyloid plaques and still be cognitively fine

Exercise, BDNF, and Alzheimer’s Disease

  • “Physical exercise changes your gene expression”
  • It also leads to the expression of atrophic (aka growth) hormone for the brain – also known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
    • BDNF levels can also be raised in the following ways:
    • “But the most important thing you need to buy to improve your BDNF is a new pair of running shoes”
      • Aerobic exercise, and to a lesser degree resistance exercise, has been shown to have a dramatic effect on BDNF levels
        • David recommends aerobic exercise for 20 minutes, 5 days a week, at a heart rate value of (180 – your age)
  • Baseline BDNF levels have been correlated with future risk for dementia
  • What does BDNF do?
    • It acts as a signal to increase the growth of new brain cells in the brain’s memory center (the hippocampus)
      • (Things like stress, low sleep, and bad diet increase cortisol levels in the brain, which inhibits the growth of new brain cells)
    • It increases the connection between brain cells (a process called neuroplasticity)

Fecal Matter Transplants (FMTs)

  • How do they work? – Fecal matter from a healthy donor is transplanted into the patient’s colon
    • It can be done at home
  • So why do a FMT?
    • It repopulates the recipient’s gut microbiome with healthy bacteria
  • “Children with autism have a profound disruption of their gut microbiome. It’s almost like an autism fingerprint.”
    • Children born by c-section have a much higher risk of autism, as they are not exposed to the proper bacteria, compared to being birthed vaginally
    • For this reason, probiotic enemas are also an emerging field of treatment for autism
  • With a properly screened donor, David says FMTs are perfectly safe
    • It’s done at more than 100 hospitals in the U.S, and commonly used to treat clostridium difficile (c. diff)
      • The standard of care treatment using antibiotics has an efficacy of ~26%
      • FMTs have an efficacy, without recurrence, north of 96%

LPS and the Microbiome

Statins

  • Statins are a class of drugs used to lower blood cholesterol levels
  • “If you become a type 2 diabetic, which is by and large a choice, you have quadrupled your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease”
  • One 2012 Journal of American Medical Association study of 150,000 women showed that those taking a statin drug had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 71%
    • A 2015 study of men showed that those taking a statin had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46%
  • At least 50% of heart attacks in America occur in people with “normal” cholesterol levels
  • Taking a statin is associated with cognitive and memory issues
    • Why?
      • Cholesterol acts as a brain antioxidant and serves as a lining for brain cells
      • There are more than 900 receptors in your body for vitamin D, and most of those are in the brain
        • And where do we get vitamin D – the sun (it changes cholesterol into vitamin D)
          • We also make testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and cortisol from cholesterol
  • More on cholesterol:
    • Cholesterol shows up when the coronary arteries are inflamed to heal them 
      • “It’s like blaming the firemen for the fire because they’re there at the fire”
  • David says heart attacks and coronary artery disease have much more to do with oxidized LDL levels, or LDL bound to sugar (aka glycated LDL) (not so much your LDL cholesterol number)

Lifestyle Choices That Cause Inflammation

  • “Inflammation is what Alzheimer’s Disease is – along with coronary artery disease, Parkinson’s Disease, autism, diabetes, and cancer – these are all inflammatory diseases”
  • Poor diet choices are the biggest cause of inflammation
    • Mainly diets high in sugar, which leads to glycation (the term for sugar binding to proteins in our blood) – this challenges the immune system, which increases the production of inflammatory cytokines to mediate the inflammation
    • Inflammatory blood markers are associated with poor memory function, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more

The Gut and Inflammation

  • The one cell lining of the gut is basically the gatekeeper of inflammation in the body
    • When you threaten the gut lining, and LPS gets into the blood, we amp up inflammation, which sets the stage for a ton of chronic diseases

Brain Wash

  • This is a new book David is working on
    • “We’re trying to wash people’s brains and push the reset button, and really call out the ways that every day, our lifestyle choices are being manipulated”
  • The main premise – we need to eat and live more like our ancestors did
  • Some topics that will be covered in the book:
    • David brings up the fact that the genes of our gut bacteria are influencing our genome expression
      • “Those little critters that live within us, are moment to moment changing our gene expression”
    • A mind-blowing fact
      • Plant cells contain RNA
      • When we digest plant cells, microsomes extruded from plant cells, that contain plant RNA, work their way into our gut bacteria and change the expression of the genetic material of our gut bacteria
        • “Food is running the show. Plant food is changing the expression of our bacterial genome.” – This leads to 3 things:
          • It changes our gut bacteria’s rate of multiplication
          • It changes the metabolic products that they produce (like vitamins and neurotransmitters)
          • It changes their location in the gut (they move closer to the gut lining, in order to help keep it intact)
        • Just as a pregnant women is eating for two, we’re all eating for 100 trillion (our gut bacteria)
  • “What we choose to do (or eat), rewires our brain and changes our thinking”
    • “In a very real sense then, our actions (what we eat) determine our thoughts”

What is the one change people could make, that would have the biggest impact on their health?

  • “Embrace the recognition that connection is the most powerful notion that we can leverage for our health and our future”
    • Connection to our genome, our microbiome, our families, neighbors, and to the planet

Random

  • The fiber in fruit helps offset the blood sugar spike
  • Stevia is very damaging to the gut microbiome and associated with an increased risk of obesity
    • Thus, your risk for type 2 diabetes is increased by consuming it

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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