Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grain Brain

There are few books that I read cover-to-cover in a short period of time. This was one of them. As far as self-help diet books go, I found this one a page turner. Dr. David Perlmutter is a neurologist with training in nutrition. He presents the case that grains can be damaging to our brains. These grains include gluten but he casts the net further by including all grains like corn, quinoa, millet, etc. These grains possibly cause brain damage, dementia, and other serious health problems. He supports his argument by reviewing medical studies and presenting patient testimonials. His chapter on alzheimer's was particularly interesting to me and matches up with some of the research done by Dr. William Davis.

The book is a really great read. The author successfully convinced of the danger of grains and low fat diets. The weakest part of the book were the recipes, as usual. Like all diet books of this type, the recipe section is always the weakest. I never even look or try them. I'm not sure, but publishers must insist on including them. Seriously, if the recipes are that important, sell a companion recipe book along the same concept.

Critics claim that Dr. Perlmutter manipulated data from medical studies to support his claim. Statistics and test data are so easy to manipulate one way or another. The critics are right that it is important to understand how a study was set-up and executed before using the data to support a claim. Dr. Perlmutter may or may not have done this and since I didn't look up each reference (which there is an extensive list) I can't say one way or the other. I think the testimonials  of positive changes after eliminating/reducing grains are enough to warrant more evidence based trials. There is no money for such a thing because these kinds of studies do not involve pharmaceuticals. At the end of the day, it is any easy thing to try. If a patient feels better, then perhaps there was a problem there. A consultation with a nutritionist is always warranted after a radical diet change. And of course one always needs to avoid processed convenience foods and eat healthy, whole foods.

Book Rating: 4 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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