A high-carb diet may lead to brain inflammation, says Dr. David Perlmutter
Celebrating five years since Grain Brain was published, David Perlmutter doubles down on his warnings.
- The re-release of David Perlmutter's Grain Brain continues the doctor's plight against high-carbohydrate diets.
- Perlmutter believes excess carbohydrates and gluten can lead to anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer's disease.
- A half-decade of research on brain health and the microbiome backs up Perlmutter's argument.
Sustainability and prevention are counterintuitive to human biology, which likely explains why we tweet out screeds against climate change from smartphones that are, themselves, contributing to climate change. Is it hypocrisy if we're ignorant to all of the mechanisms behind our folly? When contemplating the bigger picture, absolutely, yet every animal leaves a planetary imprint. Some are just larger than others.
We think in years, not generations, centuries, or epochs. More to the point, we think in seconds. The fact that those seconds add up to hours (and so on) often eludes us in the moment. We're not designed to consider eras even if our imaginations entertain them.
Thus, we design our lives due to a combination of genes and environment; once we become accustomed to a particular way we consider it "right" largely because it's what is known to us. That doesn't mean we're privy every foundation or potential consequence of our decisions, however. The closer we are to an object the harder it is to see.
This is as true of internal conditions as external realities. For example, a number of circumstances have led to the current obesity epidemic, a truly flustering and illogical disease for an animal that, for the better part of a quarter-million years, was stealth and strong, aware and healthy, intimately connected to the environment at every turn.
We had to remain cognizant of our surroundings. Being comparatively slow and weak to other mammals, homo sapiens were middle predators: we hunted and were hunted. Our ascent to the apex is a relatively new phenomenon. By the looks of it, we're squandering our throne in every respect.
Evolution granted us bipedalism, which gave us cardiovascular stamina unknown in the animal world; opposable thumbs, to craft elegant tools; and an imagination that allows us to put those tools to use. Foresight is our special skill: we can see decades down the road and implement changes necessary for reaching our goals.
Which makes one wonder why we're such terrible eaters. We literally consume junk that no other animal would touch. The same chemistry that enabled us to battle seemingly insurmountable diseases led to the creation of foodstuffs, products sold for consumption that have no actual food in them. Or high-carbohydrate, high-sugar "food" that's destroying our microbiome, which, as we're continually finding out, plays a much bigger role in our emotional and mental health than previously conceived.
Neurologist David Perlmutter likely didn't know the effect that his book, Grain Brain, would have on a nation. His anti-gluten crusade has been both championed and decried. Yet in the five years since its release, a credible amount of science has been on Perlmutter's side. He recently sat down with CBS to discuss Grain Brain's expanded edition to make the claim that high carbohydrates leads to brain inflammation, potentially resulting in anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
The segment strangely opened with a quote from the sugar lobby — not exactly who you'd turn to for unbiased commentary. While Perlmutter addressed this strange incident on his blog, he recently reiterated his sentiments about excess carbohydrates, claiming it's a "diet that's sending really bad signals to our genome, which then expresses genes that enhance inflammation, that degrade our antioxidant quenching ability, that compromise our ability to detoxify."
Photo credit: Pierre Gui on Unsplash
Perlmutter reminds us that we need carbohydrates, especially fiber. Knowing what carbs to eat is different than avoiding them altogether. As Perlmutter recently wrote in Men's Health, beyond gluten, it's the sugar and high glycemic foods that need to be avoided:
In a 2018 report in The Lancet that involved 18 countries on five continents, risk of death during the study in those with the highest carb consumption was increased by 28 percent, while it was decreased by 23 percent in those who ate the most fat. And as it relates to the brain specifically, a stunning report in the journal Diabetalogia shows a dramatic correlation of A1c, a marker of average blood sugar, with dementia.
Perlmutter's great strength is in recognizing the interdependence of life, the causal impacts we often don't consider. Emotions are sometimes treated as ephemeral states, not the product of biochemistry. That's a problem: everything we eat has an emotional effect, because all foods affect our internal chemistry. It's not a stretch to realize that depression and anxiety, states in which our chemistry and equilibrium are thrown off balance or depleted, is influenced by the foods we eat.
Ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce brain inflammation, which Perlmutter argues is a "cornerstone mechanism related to progressive destruction that occurs in the brain as we age, as well as Alzheimer's disease." Aging itself increases inflammatory chemicals; add aggravating foods to this process and obviously we'll suffer the consequences. We pay with our minds the cost of our waistlines.
Prevention and sustainability need to remain the focus with so many food (and foodstuff) options and so much dietary misinformation circulating. During our evolutionary ascent we've created too many bad choices, then got stuck believing they were just the way life is. The CDC estimates that up to 40 percent of annual deaths are preventable through lifestyle changes, including diet. Eating better is not a hard price to pay. We just need to make healthier decisions about what goes inside of our mouths.
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A strange weakness in the Earth's protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
- "The South Atlantic Anomaly" in the Earth's magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
- The information was gathered by the ESA's Swarm Constellation mission satellites.
- The changes may indicate the coming reversal of the North and South Poles.
Is the Magnetic Field Reversing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e3e0b16dac3b05dab808a4ddf04d198b"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/51usJ74pPP8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Would you ever have sex with a robot?
- In 2016, "Harmony", the world's first AI sex robot was designed by a tech firm called Realbotix.
- According to 2020 survey data, more than one in five Americans (22 percent) say they would consider having sex with a robot. This is an increase from a survey conducted in 2017.
- Robots (and robotic tech) already play a vital role in speeding up manufacturing, packaging, and processing across various industries.
From homemade dildos to Harmony, the AI sex robot<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3f7451615568e74c6a839f04329c9902"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-cN8sJz50Ng?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>"...amid an economic crisis, with restaurants and retailers closing their doors and larger companies laying off and furloughing employees, the sex tech industry is booming."</em><br></p><p>A Bustle <a href="https://www.bustle.com/wellness/the-sex-tech-industry-is-booming-amid-economic-crisis-22819801" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">article</a> published in April 2020, weeks after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, explored the drastic boost in the sex tech industry. According to the research, <a href="https://www.dameproducts.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dame Products</a> (a popular sex toy retailer) experienced a 30 percent increase in sales between the months of February to April, and popular sexual wellness brand <a href="https://unboundbabes.com/?utm_source=%7Bsource%7D&utm_medium=%7Bmedium%7D&utm_keyword=unbound%20babes&utm_matchtype=e&device=c&utm_campaign=%7Bcampaign%7D&utm_adgroup=%7Badgroup%7D&gclid=CjwKCAjw1v_0BRAkEiwALFkj5qYbdEwANUjCdRkCeVZ2HZzHjcGmpYbsOXYcMcNneLc2nySvrbaalBoChEsQAvD_BwE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Unbound</a> reported selling twice as many toys as normal in this period.</p><p>While the new coronavirus was crashing the economy in other ways, the sex tech industry was one of the few that actually saw improvements, likely due to people all over the world being advised, encouraged, and in some instances forced to stay at home.</p><p>Something similar happened in 2008, <a href="https://www.villagevoice.com/2010/08/23/the-great-recession-is-a-turn-on-for-the-sex-toy-industry/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">during the recession</a>: the sex toy industry was one of the only industries at the time that didn't gravely suffer. </p><p><strong>The evolution of sex tech from stone dildos to artificial intelligence.</strong></p><p><a href="https://sofiagray.com/what-is-the-history-of-sex-toys-from-stone-to-silicone-and-beyond/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The history of sex toys</a> is quite interesting. A 28,000-year-old siltstone dildo was uncovered in Germany in 2005. Luxury bronze dildos have also been found in China that are at least 2,000 years old.</p><p>Aside from various materials being shaped into dildos, there has always been an interest in how to advance sex technology, even before it involved actual technology at all.</p><ul><li>The 1700s: Steam-powered vibrators (such as the Manipulator).</li><li>The 1800s—1900s: The invention of the first electric vibrator (the Pulsoson) and "beauty tools" being used for sexual satisfaction (such as the Polar Cub massager)</li><li>The 1920s—1940s: The introduction of hand-held massagers (the Andis Vibrator) and compact devices (such as the Oster Stim-U-Lax)</li><li>The 1940s—1960s: Japan introduced the "Cadillac of Vibrators" (The Hitachi Magic Wand), which eventually made it's way to America.</li><li>1965: The invention of silicone, which most modern sex toys are made of.</li><li>The 1980s—1990s: The invention of the rabbit-style vibrator, made more popular with one of the first showings of a sex toy on television ("Sex and the City"). </li><li>The 2000s: Visual porn website Pornhub launched and sex toys became increasingly popular. Erotic literature also became more common and popular, with "50 Shades of Grey" and others like it. </li><li>The 2010s and beyond: Sex toys and technology start to blend, and the world's first internet-controlled sex toy was launched in 2010 by Lovense.</li></ul><p>In 2016, "Harmony", <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cN8sJz50Ng" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the world's first AI sex robot</a> was designed by a tech firm called Realbotix. </p>
From television shows to real-life applications, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more popular in all areas of human life.
Credit: Willyam Bradberry on Shutterstock<p>In 2020, more than one in five Americans (22 percent) say they would consider having sex with a robot. <a href="https://today.yougov.com/topics/science/articles-reports/2020/03/19/2020-both-men-and-women-are-more-likely-consider-h" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">YouGov conducted a study</a> in February 2020 that compared results from a similar study from 2017.<br></p><p>According to the results, 6 percent more people in 2020 are comfortable with the idea of having sex with a robot than in 2017.</p><p>YouGov points out that the increase in consideration is particularly significant among American adults between the ages of 18-34 years old. Additionally, how people feel about having sex with a robot has also changed. In 2020, 27 percent of Americans said they would consider it cheating if they had a partner who had sex with a robot during the relationship, compared to the 32 percent reported in 2017.</p><p><strong>"If you had a partner who had sex with a robot, would you consider it cheating?"</strong></p><p>The results from this interesting study also reveal that many people (42 percent) believe having sex with a robot is safer than having sex with a human stranger.</p><p>Robots (and robotic tech) already play a vital role in speeding up manufacturing, packaging, and processing across various industries. From television shows to real-life applications, artificial intelligence is becoming more and more popular in all areas of human life.</p><p>According to YouGov, "a <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-12/amazon-plans-high-end-echo-ramps-up-work-on-alexa-home-robot" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a> report outlining Amazon's plans for an Alexa-powered robot that follows and helps you around the home may redefine how these machines service humans in the near future." </p>
This space expansionist ideology marked the beginning of what Arendt called "earth alienation."
On Wednesday 30th May, billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX company launched its first human passengers into orbit from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, opening a door to the commercialization of space.