Dementia: A Gluten Induced Condition (And What To Do About It)

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My latest painting... healthy brain, holistic healing!  Click the image for more info...
My latest painting… healthy brain, holistic healing! Click the image for more info…


Last week I shared a new study that proves and association between Alzheimers Disease and pesticide exposure… and 4 things you can do to decrease your own risk.


This week, I want to continue with the focus on brain health and share with you a very interesting idea that I’ve begun to embrace whole-heartedly…

…that gluten may be casting a brain-fog over our entire civilization!



Enter this book: Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers, by Dr. David Perlmutter, Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Dr. Perlmutter advocates saving your brain by starting a high-fat, nearly carbohydrate-free diet.


His assertion is that this can prevent or greatly lower dementia risk and progression — and he’s armed with plenty of data to back up the claim.

Dr. Perlmutter states that the evidence for this has been right under our nose for years.


“For example, a study published in Neurology in 2005 pointed a finger squarely at the most powerful metric being glycated hemoglobin. Even back then, it was becoming clearer that there was something going on with blood sugar correlating with rate of brain atrophy… specifically hippocampal atrophy… and cognitive decline.


This notion has gained traction and, I think, is profoundly supported by a couple of more recent studies.


A study published in August 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that even subtle elevations of fasting blood sugar translates to dramatically increased risk for dementia.

The Mayo Clinic published a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012 demonstrating that in individuals favoring a high-carb diet, risk for mild cognitive impairment was increased by 89%, contrasted to those who ate a high-fat diet, whose risk was decreased by 44%.”


He goes further to state:


Gluten-containing foods stimulate inflammatory reactions in a significant number of individuals, well beyond the 1.8% of the population that has celiac disease.

What is so compelling about this newer research is the fact that this reaction to gluten may occur in all humans.


We have to look at gluten sensitivity in a new light, recognizing that its manifestations may extend well beyond the gut.


Gluten sensitivity can be primarily and at times exclusively a neurological disease.”



I have to tell you that my experience with my own patient population echoes this as well.

So here are my recommendations:



Carbs (including sugar) and gluten affect the brain.

Long term studies show this can increase neurological decline dramatically.



Similar to a paleo diet, focus on:

  • high quality high fat diet (coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter, avacado)
  • high quality protein (grass fed beef), wild fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and
  • colorful vegetables.


Consider cutting your gluten and sugar intake in half (or even trying to go gluten and sugar free) for one month and see if you feel more clear headed and energetic.


It’s been my experience that patients who are experiencing a brain fog feel dramatically better in just a few short weeks of reducing carbs and gluten.


That plus hydrating extremely well is my go-to recommendation for patients wanting sharper cognition.

And now you know my top recommendation for you too!

To a clear-headed tomorrow!

xoxox, Laura