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The Secret for Resilient Brain, Stellar Health & Longevity with Dr. David Perlmutter

Dr. Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and five-time New York Times bestselling author. He serves on the Board of Directors and is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition.

Dr. Perlmutter received his M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award. He serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and has published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals including Archives of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and The Journal of Applied Nutrition. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer at symposia sponsored by institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, Columbia University, Scripps Institute, New York University, and Harvard University, and serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

His books have been published in 32 languages and include the #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain, The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar, with over 1 million copies in print. Other New York Times bestsellers include Brain Maker, The Grain Brain Cookbook, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, and Brain Wash, co-written with Austin Perlmutter, M.D. He is the editor of The Microbiome and the Brain authored by top experts in the field and published in December 2019 by CRC Press. His latest book, Drop Acid, focuses on the pivotal role of uric acid in metabolic diseases, and will be published in February, 2022.

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Why should you drop acid?

This may seem like a very provocative question. But we’re talking about a very specific type of acid. One you should be aware of. When levels of this acid build up, it can cause a lot of damage to your metabolic health.

We have Dr. David Perlmutter on our show today to discuss the topic in more depth. Dr. Perlmutter, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and five-time New York Times best-selling author. He’s here to talk about the central idea behind his new book, Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid—The Key to Losing Weight, Controlling Blood Sugar, and Achieving Extraordinary Health.

Maintaining excellent brain and body health is essential in unlocking your limitless life. It allows you to leverage all the tools we teach. Listen in as Dr. Perlmutter gives you actionable steps you can take right now to drop (uric) acid levels and regain control over your metabolism, lower inflammation, and increase your overall well-being.

***If you’re inspired, I want to invite you to join me in my brand NEW 7-day course, specifically designed to boost your confidence. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I give you step-by-step guides using the accelerated learning model to make you unstoppable in a short time. Visit kwikconfidence.com to join me today.***

"Now that we understand the connection to uric acid, it has become a really powerful new tool to help you regain your metabolic health and live a longer, healthier life."

Dr. David Perlmutter

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Uric Acid & The Body

  • Uric acid is a specific acid in your body that generally needs to be lowered in most people.
  • In high levels, it can send a powerful, destructive signal to your metabolism.
  • It tells your body that you may not have food in the future, which triggers you to make and store fat while also raising your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • High levels keep this signal in the on position all the time.
  • In America, 88% of adults have at least one component of what is called metabolic syndrome.
  • Symptoms include high blood pressure, increased body fat, high blood sugar, dyslipidemia, and problems with cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • This means only one in eight American adults are metabolically intact.
  • Understanding the role uric acid plays in this metabolic puzzle means it has become a powerful new tool to regain metabolic health.
  • The biggest issues that lead to a dysfunctional brain are things like inflammation, elevated blood sugar, and the actions of chemicals called free radicals caused by oxidative stress.
  • All three of those are amplified when uric acid is elevated.
  • You can use tools and techniques to improve your memory that were created based on the ability to understand how memories are stored and retrieved.
  • But fundamentally, that all depends on your brain being in good working order.
  • Which makes it vital to avoid these destructive threats to the brain.

The Urid Acid Breakdown

  • Uric acid is made from the metabolic breakdown of something called purines.
  • Purines are the breakdown products of the DNA and RNA that’s found in certain foods like alcohol and fructose.
  • Fructose is metabolized directly into uric acid.
  • The higher your dietary fructose levels, the higher your uric acid, which leads to high inflammation—and that’s bad for your brain.
  • Despite the word fructose meaning fruit, the actual consumption of fruits is associated with a slightly lower uric acid.
  • So don’t cut fruit out of your diet, but don’t go overboard in how much you eat every day.
  • You have to watch for the hidden sources and hidden names for fructose that can creep into your diet and stimulate uric acid.
  • One of the things uric acid does is amplifies inflammation.
  • Out of all the organs in your body, the brain is least able to cope with inflammation.
  • Uric acid is tested in annual blood work, but you can buy a home uric acid monitor and test your levels on your own.
  • Your target is anything under 5.5.
  • Low levels of uric acid help keep your risk of various cardiometabolic issues lower.
  • In a lab, you may hear the normal level is 7 but Dr. Perlmutter says that’s way too high.
  • They’re testing for increased risk of gout, not necessarily for your metabolic health.
  • One study out of Japan followed 90,000 people—42,000 men and 48,000 women—over an eight-year period of time.
  • Those individuals who had high levels of uric acid had a 16% increased risk for what’s called all-cause mortality, which means dying for any reason.
  • They also showed a 39% increased risk for death from cardiovascular disease and a 35% increased risk of dying from a stroke.
  • A more recent study—also out of Japan—followed 1,600 people over 12 years.
  • They checked in every two years to do an examination of how well their brains were working.
  • They found that the group who had uric acid levels above seven had an 80% increased risk for dementia.
  • The risk for Alzheimer’s specifically increased by 55%.
  • And the risk for mixed dementia or vascular dementia was increased by 166%.

Combatting Uric Acid

  • There has been a lot of experimental work done here in America, Turkey, and Japan on interventions to lower uric acid by using gout drugs.
  • One drug that dramatically lowers uric acid is called allopurinol.
  • It turns out that quercetin is actually on par with allopurinol in terms of effectively dropping uric acid levels by targeting an enzyme involved in making uric acid.
  • A small study out of Oxford looked at 22 young men with elevated uric acid levels.
  • It put them on 500 milligrams of quercetin.
  • In two weeks their uric acid levels fell 8%—which is a big drop.
  • Quercetin is an over-the-counter supplement that can be found in any health food store or online. You don’t need a prescription.
  • There is another bioflavonoid called luteolin that acts similarly and is very effective at 100 milligrams a day.
  • DHA, which is an omega-3 found in things like fish oil, is also effective in improving the downside of fructose consumption.
  • It doesn’t mean that taking a lot of DHA means you can eat all the fructose you want.
  • But it does significantly lessen the liver side effects, for example.
  • These results were seen in laboratory models measuring the relationship between what fructose can do and having high DHA consumption.
  • DHA turns on neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons, and neuroplasticity is one of the best things you can have to protect your brain.
  • DHA also targets inflammation.
  • It’s a natural COX-2 inhibitor.
  • When Dr. Perlmutter started 35 years ago, there wasn’t treatment for Alzheimer’s, and neurology was mostly treatment of headaches or the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
  • He felt like he was treating the smoke and ignoring the fire.
  • Over time, he learned it was possible to attack the underlying mechanisms of these metabolic issues that are setting the stage for the brain and body to deteriorate.

Focus On Your Metabolic Health

  • At their root, chronic, degenerative conditions—brain disease, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—are metabolic issues.
  • When Dr. Perlmutter started diving into the science of uric acid, he realized it’s a powerful new tool to use.
  • Fructose leads to metabolic mayhem, but it’s only recently we’ve understood how or why.
  • The literature on fructose was published in The Lancet in 1970 saying that fructose consumption was related to gaining weight, higher blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar.
  • But how it happened was still not understood.
  • Now, we know that the metabolism of fructose leads to uric acid and that sends a signal to the body to begin storing fat.
  • Focusing on diet in addition to supplements can help combat uric acid build-up.
  • Avocados and extra virgin olive oil are healthy foods to eat, along with fiber rich vegetables.
  • Dietary fiber is critical for the health of your gut bacteria.
  • Eat minimal amounts of shellfish like scallops and mussels, as they can bump uric acid levels.
  • You can use other trackers like fitness trackers or glucose monitors to biohack your health.
  • By watching how different foods and activities impact your body, you can adjust your lifestyle choices to affect the measurable parameters that are important to you.
  • The bottom line is you want to keep your metabolic health in check.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot, tag us (@DavidPerlmutter & @JimKwik), and tell us one simple step you’re going to take to regain control of your metabolic health.
  • I’ll repost a few of my favorites and gift a copy of Dr. Perlmutter’s new book, Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid—The Key to Losing Weight, Controlling Blood Sugar, and Achieving Extraordinary Health.
  • Be sure to visit dropacidbook.com for more information.
  • Order your copy, here.
  • If you want more information on Dr. Perlmutter’s research and other work, visit his website, drperlmutter.com.


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