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Show 1002: How Bowel Bacteria Affect the Brain

The ecological relationships of our bowel bacteria have a profound impact on inflammation, which in turn affects many organ systems including the brain.
Show 1002: How Bowel Bacteria Affect the Brain
Photo credit: Ed Chappell
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How Bowel Bacteria Affect the Brain

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Until fairly recently, no one was really interested in the denizens of the digestive tract except for a few gastroenterologists and a few more microbiologists. But now research has shown that the bacteria in our bowels form complex ecological systems, and interest in the microbiome has gone mainstream.

Bowel Bacteria as a Source of Inflammation:

Inflammation is the driver behind many chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, psoriasis and others. But where is the inflammation coming from? Perhaps our standard American diet plays a role.

It turns out that we can influence the ecology of our microbiota by what we feed it. Find out what foods can help calm inflammation, and how this affects neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism or multiple sclerosis.

How exactly does the digestive tract talk to the brain? How do intestinal parasites affect that conversation? It is time to start paying attention to how our bowel bacteria affect brain function.

This Week’s Guest:

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is an Associated Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the recipient of the Linus Pauling Award.

Dr. Perlmutter has written seven books, including The New York Times best-seller Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. His new book is Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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