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Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life
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Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,930 ratings  ·  680 reviews
The bestselling author of Grain Brain uncovers the powerful role of gut bacteria in determining your brain's destiny.

Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Little, Brown Spark
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Jan Jaap I did not read both books.

But it looks that Perlmutter is a scientist and Richtel a journalist.

If available, I prefer books by scientists. They can b…more
I did not read both books.

But it looks that Perlmutter is a scientist and Richtel a journalist.

If available, I prefer books by scientists. They can be more accurate because they are working on their subject often for decennia in a dedicated surrounding. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  6,930 ratings  ·  680 reviews

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Start your review of Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's important to pay attention to the microbiome. Eat kimchi, yogurt, and kefir. There, I just saved you 9 hours. ...more
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
The brain and your gut are related.

Do: Take probiotics

Don't: Take antibiotics for viruses

Do: finish all of your antibiotics when you need to take them

Don't: Eat too much sugar or corn syrup

Do: Eat fermented foods like sour kraut, kimchi, and pickles and like

Don't: drink diet soda

Do: drink Kombucha and Kefir

There. Or you can read the book. Seriously, you'll get more out of the book but that's the gist of it.

Ps. Get enough sleep and exercise!
Danielle Robertson
May 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: health-fitness
I really liked this book at the beginning, but after about a hundred pages I can't take it anymore. Each chapter is as formulaic and predictable as an episode of House, with as many health miracles and panaceas as a full season of Dr Oz, and as overloaded with "Bob and Susan" stories as 7 Habits.

Perhaps my expectations were set too high by the book "Nerve" by Taylor Clark Why I LOVE 'Nerve' . That book presented a desirable combination of personal stories and scientific evidence, and the person
Aug 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book emphasizes a few very important points, about the importance of our microbiome to our health. The book presents lots of evidence that our microbiome--the microbes in our gut--serve important roles in our overall health and also to our brain health. Some brain dysfunctions may be due to problems with the microbes in our gut. So, the book has some good recommendations for improving our microbiome. Pre-biotics, probiotics, and fermented foods might all useful for this purpose. Even better ...more
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dewey600s, 2010s
Adding link 5/16/2020
Article reinforces my practice of taking supplemental reuteri
"When Wilmes and his colleagues tested L. reuteri in this chip, they saw that lactate produced by the microbes traveled through the human gut tissue, indicating that it could enter the bloodstream and potentially travel to the brain."
Adding link 4/4/19 -
Researchers have demonstrated a causal link between the gut microbiome an
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nutrition
This was a very informative and excellent read, especially for a newbie like I am in the realm of the microbiome. It covers many bases, including:

1)Composition of microbiome and how this affects you.
2)How your bacteria are determined in large part by your birth and early infancy.
3)Effects of diet and environment on your gut.
4)Links to multiple disorders including depression, autism, Tourette syndrome, obesity, neurological disorders, ADHD, and allergies.
5)Probiotics, prebiotics.
6)Types of food a
Mar 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Perlmutter has a long history of pushing pseudoscience. He preys on those who lack scientific literacy, all so he can make a buck. There are other books written by credible researchers. Giulia Enders' Gut and the Sonnenburgs' The Good Gut are two good examples of scientifically sound books on gut microbes.

Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time and money on snake oil.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I started questioning this book after reading sentences describing how incredible, fantastic and unbelievable the information in this book was, and how it would completely change my life. It was really silly, exaggerated sentences that seemed unprofessional and out of place in a book allegedly presenting medical research to the public. I read this in Norwegian, so maybe those sentences sounded OK in English, but they made me wonder about the author, and finally this made me DNF the book.

When I g
3.5 on this one. I think Dr. Perlmutter's work is important in informing the general public about advances in understanding the human microbiome (gut bacteria), but I think the science is still too early to justify his "magic bullet" analysis. He makes it sound as if this is the cure-all for every type of disease. I find this field of research fascinating and look forward to what comes next. ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
This guy likes to think of himself as a pioneer. But mostly he's a quack. He quotes real scholarly research and then wildly extrapolates way beyond the current knowledge and acts like he's totally sure of his understanding. Given all that, it did open up for me a new understanding about the ecosystem in my body of beneficial bacteria. Its amazing. And it did lead me in the direction of finding out about the human biome project, and great writing on the subject by Michael Pollan, who I respect as ...more
Nancy Dardarian
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very valuable information. I knew a lot of it already but wish I could get all my friends who are troubled by chronic medical issues to read it and experiment for themselves.
Sarah Weber
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book about how interconnected our gut and brain are. If you geek out on health sciences, I recommend this one.
Annie Kate
If you or your loved ones suffer from any autoimmune disease, mental health issue, or degenerative disease--any one of the many health issues that is poorly understood--you will want to consider the concepts in this book.

I plan to post a review of this book on my blog late February, 2016.
Bill Pardi
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Been following a lot of the science found in this book for several years, and my take from living a lot of it is that a)it really works, and b)the American food supply, dietary recommendations, and obsession with antibiotics is slowly killing us.

My one gripe with this book is that his recommended way of changing your eating habits is to buy expensive, often difficult to find ingredients, and make ALL your own food. While that would certainly do it, my reaction when I read the sections
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be mandatory reading for everyone.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Written with too much of a self-help/carny huckster vibe. For an excellent book about microbiomes, try Ed Yong's I Contain Multitudes. ...more
Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer)

There are plenty of 'revolutionary' ideas around food and lifestyle at the moment. Pete Evans, with his controversial Paleo books, and the unfortunate business of blogger Belle Gibson, who lied about having cancer to all her followers and seemed to be beating the disease, simply by switching to a wholefood, healthy lifestyle. You only need to visit a food court in the CBD at lunchtime, or the cafes of Bondi, to see everyone enjoying an overpriced, yet delicious, cold pressed juice. So what are w
John Behle
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are breakthroughs in this book that work. Doctor Perlmutter continually stresses the microbiome-brain connection, but adds that every cell in our bodies is connected to every other one. The SAD-Standard American Diet-is causal in inflammation that leads to our modern, now so common, diseases of excess: diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and now, Alzheimer's. These are the equal to any medieval plague.

Our culture, our society, our prosperity, have force fed us (willingly) with so much ju
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I solemnly swear to treat my microbiome better from now on, but I am not yet ready to go gluten free.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, health
I've read a few books by this author and I always sigh because his books sound like one long infomercial for his website. So I was pleased that little pitfall was avoided with this one.

What I liked the most about this one was all of the research. It was impressive. The author came in well-armed to make his message solid. He was passionate about gut health and it felt a little urgent as he rolled from one point to the next. So 4 stars.
Iona  Stewart
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Doctors are not my favourite group of people though obviously I greatly appreciate those surgeons who saved my life; and I greatly appreciate Dr Joseph Mercola and Dr David Perlmutter.

In this book, leading neurologist Dr Perlmutter, shows us how gut microbes heal and protect our brain. Much of the information he provides us with is apparently new.

I found this to be an extremely valuable book, particularly for those with brain problems, like MS, autism, ADHD, depression, etc.

Perlmutter explain
Joseph Young
Great ad for probiotics. Overall informative about gastro-intestinal health and the link to the rest of your body's function. The book is dishonest in how it attempts to claim possible solutions for other conditions outside of its realm, as opposed to acknowledging that people with other conditions also have medical problems which can be alleviated with these possible solutions. The lack of talk about possible drawbacks to these procedures also makes the book less credible from a scientific pers ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-drink, health
Important information here about cultivating and nurturing a healthy and vibrant microbiome in your intestines. Great for newcomers to mindful health and eating. The last third of the book does gets a little preachy / infomercially, but there is solid research in the rest of the book.

Eat a variety of fermented foods and make healthy choices with your food. Chill out on sugar, and gluten. There, you have it.
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gut to Brain connection. Sally Fallon said it first!!!!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
They should really start to make statistics and research methods a part of the medical board exam so that we don't see more books like this hitting the shelf. ...more
You know, Dr. Perlmutter, if you structured your book correctly, you wouldn't have to spend the first quarter of it telling us, "I'll explain this later, but for now just trust me."

This guy takes a bunch of promising preliminary research into the importance of gut bacteria and then extrapolates it so that a bad gut microbiome is the cause for every disease.
As an excellent example, he argues that cesarean section birth is a cause for autism because children born by c-section are more likely to ge
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I've written a review, but I found this one worthy of the time to take to write one. I'm back on my food kick at the moment, so this book came at a perfect time. David Perlmutter, the author, is a neurologist who discusses in detail the connection between our gut microbes, our brain and really the rest of the body. Our gut is basically a 'second brain', having major impact on what signals are sent to our brain. Our gut is also our defense and when weak, can be penetrated ...more
Chris Jennings
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Everyone seems to be talking about gut bacteria and probiotics these days. But this book takes the conversation a step further and goes so much deeper. Who knew that the brain was so closely tied to the stomach? Feeling butterflies in your stomach when your brain is nervous? It all makes sense now. At times this book is depressing because a lot of our gut bacteria is setup before we're able to do anything about it (natural birth? breastfed as a child? lots of antibiotics as a baby?). But where t ...more
Ginger Bensman
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm fascinated by the ecology of the body and our interdependence with microbes (called the microbiome - "that vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your cells ten to one"). Last year I read I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong (a book with a more scientific message that whetted my interest and has me reading widely on the topic). Brain Maker has a tighter focus - the latest developments and promising research about microbiome's interactions with the central nervous system ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book explains the benefits of understanding gut health and the affect this has on various aspects of our life. Biggest takeaways:

1) gut health is a second brain
2) inflammation (mainly from sugar and gluten) causes various health problems
3) many modern-day medicines only treat symptoms without getting to the root

This was an informative and thorough read. This is a great starting point that I'd recommend to anyone hoping to better understand holistic health.

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Madison Mega-Mara...: #61 Brain Maker 1 1 Nov 16, 2016 06:01AM  

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Dr. Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and four-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 A

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“Our best medical journals are now brimming with high-profile, rigorous studies that show a stunning correlation between high blood sugar and risk for dementia.” 4 likes
“Elevated blood sugar stirs up inflammation in the bloodstream, as excess sugar can be toxic if it’s not swept up and used by cells. It also triggers a reaction called glycation—the biological process by which sugar binds to proteins and certain fats, resulting in deformed molecules that don’t function well. These sugar proteins are technically called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The body does not recognize AGEs as normal, so they set off inflammatory reactions. In the brain, sugar molecules and brain proteins combine to produce lethal new structures that contribute to the degeneration of the brain and its functioning. The relationship between poor blood sugar control and Alzheimer’s disease in particular is so strong that researchers are now calling Alzheimer’s disease type-3 diabetes.14” 4 likes
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