Grain Brain

  • by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg
  • Narrated by Peter Ganim
  • 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 30-day plan to achieve optimum health.
Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.
He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our "smart genes" through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 30-day plan, Grain Brain teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.
Please note that there are many references in this audiobook to information discussed in Chapter 10. Chapter 10 has been recorded in its entirety on this audiobook and all information contained in this chapter can be listened to in the recording.


What the Critics Say

"Dr. Perlmutter provides sound advice, supported by the latest and most well respected medical research." (Russell. B. Roth, MD, Past President, American Medical Association)
"Dr. Perlmutter is the leading integrative medicine neurologist in North America today. His ability to fully integrate conventional medicine diagnosis and treatment with the latest innovations in nutritional and environmental medicine is phenomenal. As a teacher and clinician, he has fundamentally changed how physicians and patients think about neurological degeneration and, happily, regeneration." (Joseph Pizzorno, MD, coauthor of Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine)
"A provocative, eye-opening scientific account of how diet profoundly influences nerve health and brain function. Grain Brain explains how the American diet rich in gluten and inflammatory foods is linked to neurological conditions. Dr. Perlmutter outlines a blueprint for optimal health and a more resilient brain through proper nutrition and lifestyle. Grain Brain is a must-read!" (Gerard E. Mullin, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and author of The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health)


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I've read wheat belly, why we get fat (Gary taubes), and fat chance (Robert lustig) and this book is the weakest of the group of similar low carb books. This book states over and over that there is an association between Alzheimer's and wheat, but association does not equal cause and effect. Cause requires a randomized controlled trial, while associations could have nothing to do with cause and effect. For example, a propensity to develop Alzheimer's may lead to a hunger for carbs. Or hunger for carbs may lead to both eating more carbs and separately lead to Alzheimer's. In other words in order to prove cause and effect you would need to randomize people to either a high carb diet or low carb diet and see the incidences of Alzheimer's. If such a study exist is he doesn't mention it.

He mentions that you should give up dairy but gives no evidence to why this is in any way related to grain/gluten or even scientifically why dairy is bad. Ive reviewed the literature on dairy and I believe milk products to be ideal foods (cheese, milk, whey protein). The book, "the great cholesterol myth" does a more convincing job illustrating why cholesterol is not bad for you.

Grain brain gets off point by too often making non evidence based recommendations. Stating that studies show this or that without giving enough info to find and scrutinize these studies is not convincing. He makes a case for exercise helping the brain, but I didn't hear any journal names, authors, years of publication, or even the methodology of the studies. I will return this book and get my money back.

Not only should you not buy this book, but beware of his claims on supplements. Sure, grains may be not great for you, but to eliminate all carbs is not possible nor necessary to lose weight (he does day that 60 carbs per day are allowed). Read the boom, "mindless eating" by Brian Wansink if you want a more evidence based diet book with more reasonable recommendations.

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- Amazon Customer

Family history of Alzheimers? Read this!

This book shares much information with "Wheat Belly" by Wm. Davis and "What Makes us Fat" and "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taub, but Dr. Perlmutter focuses more on the effects of a high carb, low fat diet on the brain. Conditions like diabetes are discussed thoroughly but in the context of explaining how these diseases impact the brain.

This book was timely for me. I adopted a wheat free/ low carb eating plan in April of 2012 after reading "Wheat Belly" and my "set point" weight dropped by 16 lbs in just a few weeks. This was despite the fact that I already had what most would consider a healthy diet. But, because I cook for family members who have not adopted these eating habits, I became lazy about preparing separate foods and saw my weight creep up a few pounds and some of the other health improvements falter in the last few weeks. This book was an excellent refresher course for grain free and low carb eating as well as a jarring wakeup call about the ways eating habits change our brains. Alzheimer's has a frighteningly high frequency among women in my family, so I am encouraged to learn that I have at least some control about the future health of my brain. Dr. Perlmutter's advice differs in a few ways from Dr. Davis. Dr. Perlmutter recommends fasting and recognizes a correlation between low calorie consumption with greater brain health. This book also says it's okay to cheat now and then. Most of the other books caution readers against cheating, likening carb consumption to dependence on addictive drugs. This is the case I have found to be true. Cold turkey for "carbaholics" is easer than relying on will power and moderation.

I like that this audio book is accompanied by a PDF featuring some the statistics, recipes, etc.

If you have read other books on this topic, I recommend reading this book as well because it focuses heavily on the neurological impact of gluten and carbs. On the other hand, if you have not read "Wheat Belly" and "What Makes us Fat", I recommend these in addition to "Grain Brain" as these books go into more detail about the evolution of the grains we eat today and the illogical processes that resulted in much of the dangerous "conventional wisdom" that many health professionals view as holy writ today.

Narrator does a nice job.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-17-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio