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This is an important book, almost on a par with Uffe Ravnskov's and Malcolm Kendrick's books on the cholesterol myth, and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's books, the one refuting the diet-heart hypothesis and the other on "gut and psychology syndrome". The author is telling us that if we continue to eat as we are doing - living on a diet of grains and carbohydrates, we will destroy our brain and develop Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Or we may develop diabetes (because of the carbohyrates), which in itself doubles the risk of Alzheimer's.

We need to get rid of our bread and exchange it with butter and eggs. Saturated fats and high cholesterol are not the problem. We need to adopt a high-fat diet, including saturated fats. The author explains how our food choices can bring inflammation under control by changing the expression of our genes.

The two biggest myths are 1) a low-fat, high carb diet is good and 2) cholesterol is bad.

It turns out that many of us, though not suffering from celiac disease, are in fact gluten-sensitive. The author is of the opinion that this "represents the greatest and most under-recognized threat to humanity". Gluten triggers "not just dementia but epilepsy, headache, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and even decreased libido". Gluten, and a high-carbohydrate diet, for that matter, stimulates "inflammatory pathways that reach the brain".

Cholesterol, far from being the villain of the piece, is one of the most important players in maintaining brain health and function. "Study after study shows that high cholesterol reduces your risk for brain disease and increases longevity." High levels of dietary fat have been proven to be the key to health and peak brain function.

As also pointed out in the afore-mentioned books, statins are death-bringing, since they reduce your cholesterol level, and cholesterol, also LDL, the fallaciously termed "bad" cholesterol, is a critical brain nutrient, essential for the function of neurons, and plays a fundamental role as a building block of the cell membrane.

Chapter 2 of the book is devoted to gluten's role in brain inflammation. Many people with debilitating symptoms such as migraine, bipolar disorder, uncontrollable shaking, and so on, experience great relief when eliminating gluten from their diet. The author considers gluten a modern poison.

We now know that we can grow new neurons throughout our life. Something called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) plays a key role in creating new neurons and protecting existing neurons. Calorie restriction is an epigenetic factor that turns on the gene for BDNF production. Also physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, targets the BDNF gene, reverses memory decline in the elderly and increases growth of new brain cells in the brain's memory centre.

The consumption of ketones, found in coconut oil, gives significant improvement in cognitive function in Alzheimer's patients (see the books of Bruce Fife). Ketosis (acquiring energy from our fat cells), instead of the process whereby we acquire it from the carbohydrates and protein we eat, is a healthful condition.

There is much valuable information in this book - life-saving information, if you follow Dr. Perlmutter's advice, that is. We are told of the power of fasting, and what fasting and ketogenic diets have in common. We are advised to take DHA capsules (DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid), reservatrol, turmeric, probiotics, coconut oil, alpha-lipoic acid and Vitamin D.

The final chapters are devoted to "A new way of life, The Four-Week Plan of Action". The focus is on food, exercise and sleep. We are provided with meal plans and recipes.

My only reservation is the author's apparent ignorance about the dangers of microwave ovens. He also recommends that we eat canned tomatoes, whereas the illustrious Dr. Mercola (my hero) warns us to stay well clear of these, since the acidity in tomatoes can provoke leaching of the harmful BPA (biphenol-A) in the lining of the can into the food.

But, notwithstanding, to sum up, I would highly recommend that you read this well-written, highly informative, ground-breaking book. The information it contains is basic, essential and perhaps live-saving.
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on 6 April 2014
started reading it for new year and implemented not eating bread (and nudles and anything that contains wheat, barley and rye). three months later
1. a 30 year old cough has disappeared
2. no knee problems
3. no reflux
4. dont seem to catch a cold anymore

and the best is that I can drink red wine again without getting stomach problems.
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on 30 December 2013
Haven't eaten much in the way of carbs since I finished this book! Feeling great :-) recommended to all my friends and family
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on 12 November 2013
If you have a casual interest in brain health or wish to learn about the benefits of low carb living, this book is well worth reading. For me, with some knowledge about these topics already it was a bit disappointing:
1. 25% of us carry the ApoE 4 gene which predisposes us to Alzheimer's. I agree with Dr. P that genes do not equal destiny. But I really wish he had spent more than a few short pages on ApoE. He should have gone into the latest scientific findings etc.
2. He is definately on the extremist wing of the low carb movement. All carbs need to be omitted. This is fine but very hard to do over the long run. I have been low carb for over a year, but I need to be able to eat out and live life so give myself some wiggle room. This gives me a lifestyle I can maintain forever.
3. He talks about the evils of elevated blood sugar. Great, but I would like more considered advice on how to reduce it. When I was at virtually zero carbs, my fasting glucose was right at the top end of normal. Now I eat a few more carbs, it has fallen a bit. Clearly there is more at play here than just reducing carbs and managing protein.
4. Why do all US books have to be padded out with worthless meal plans? More science and substance please.
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on 14 March 2014
if you are interested in food science, and in food as a good medicine, please read this book carefully.
Lots and lots of precious info on how and what to eat to keep your brain in good order while you age gracefully.
A must read!
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on 1 September 2014
Very compelling reading on the subject of gluten intolerance and disease. The style didn't appeal to me which is why I didn't give the book five stars, but I have lent it and recommended it to friends. Personally, I feel far more energetic and healthy when I avoid wheat, so I was already a convert.
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on 26 March 2014
This is the best book I have ever read and I can tell you from first had experience that the gluten free low starch low sugar diet Dr Perlmutter is promoting here really does work for neurological illnesses!
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on 11 September 2014
Very informative and organised book. Two of us read it together in one day as we could not put it down. We have taken on the life style changes and feel the benefits immensely. We are not overweight but have lost a little where needed without counting calories. The recipes given are surprisingly tasty and easy to make. We are vegetarians and we have adapted easily to a gluten free diet by using the recipes and creating our own. The book has inspired us to read more and to watch youtube lectures on this area of thinking....... "The oiling of America" is particularly interesting.We have been shocked and moved by the things learned, especially regarding cholesterol and how the public has been misinformed.
Read this is good for you in so many ways! You may just feel some small changes are good for your health and the writer says that progress is more important than perfection!
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on 22 January 2014
Interesting and informative . Easy to read and easy to adopt practices recommended in book. With the global rise in obesity we must be doing something wrong. This book offers an intelligent and well thought out advice to empowerment and an alternative future.
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on 20 October 2013
The author postulates that our diet can affect our health and the move away from the early human diet, which had a high fat content, to our contemporary diet, where carbohydrates have been largely substituted, is largely responsible. This change has contributed to many modern ailments, not just the widespread problems associated with overweight - heart disease, diabetes etc, but also those of our brain, e.g. dementia.

The book is largely educative and provides well referenced material to substantiate the author's theories. He is unhappy with the widespread use of many drugs, e.g. statins, often based on dubious evidence. He provides guidance on a more healthy diet (including recipe suggestions) and lifestyle.

The style of the book sometimes leans more towards a scientific paper, rather than a popular lifestyle book, but the read is well worth the effort - it cannot be skimmed!
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