Try This: Weekly Round Up

Today we’re highlighting some recent links, articles, and studies that have come across my desk and sparked my interest! I hope you enjoy it!

By the way, stay tuned for next week’s Try This email, which is a follow-up to our wildly popular newsletter, Optimal Lab Reference Ranges Cheat Sheet. I think you’re really going to enjoy it!

(1) Study: Can This Simple Test Help Predict Memory Decline 10 Years before It Happens?

A study published in the journal Diabetes Care by researchers in Finland in August of 2021 found that participants who scored high on a two-hour glucose tolerance test—that’s a bad thing—were “more likely to show a decline in episodic memory after 10 years.”

If you are not familiar with it, a glucose tolerance test (GTT) is regularly used by practitioners to screen for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. But this study—and similar ones—are now finding that this test may be helpful in predicting cognitive decline and even Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

This is why so many researchers and experts like Dr. Dale Bredesen and neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter are sounding the alarm and telling everyone they can that we must think of severe cognitive decline as “type 3 diabetes”—diabetes of the brain.

As far as studies go, this one was on the small side, with just 961 adults between the ages of 45 and 74, but it’s part of a growing body of evidence that continues to showcase the impact that insulin resistance has on the body and the brain.

(2) Video: Does High Insulin Cause Migraine Headaches?

One of my friends recently asked if I had any suggestions for his mother, who suffers from debilitating migraine headaches. I sent him this masterclass video by my friend Ben Bickman, PhD, one of the world’s top researchers in insulin resistance, where he helps viewers understand how poor metabolic health can create the perfect conditions for a migraine to develop. 

Most Functional Medicine doctors will tell you that migraines can have a number of root causes, but this video makes an argument that one of the most common root causes is high insulin as a result of a high-carb, high-sugar diet.

(3) Article: The Mask Debacle

All throughout the pandemic, the topic of masking has been a divisive issue, but did it have to be that way? This article in the magazine Tablet argues that it didn’t.

Even if you don’t follow politics, this article is a great read that explores the roots of tribalism in public health and how those in power, while often well intentioned, tried to shut down scientific debate around this topic. Unfortunately, there is a cost to censoring debate, and that cost is a public sentiment of mistrust that takes years to overcome.

One of my favorite Covid moderates, Dr. Vinay Prasad, has covered this topic extensively. In one recent article, he reminded his readers that not only has the CDC not run a single randomized controlled trial around masking, but they continue to publish studies on the topic that are so low quality that their message “borderlines propaganda.”

In my opinion, one of the key lessons from the pandemic response is that there is power in stepping out of tribalism and stepping into the gray area. Trust is created when those in charge say, “Here’s what we do know, and here’s what we don’t.”

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(4) Quote: Celebrating the Gray Area

Speaking of the gray area in life…I thought this quote by my friend Africa Brooke perfectly summed up the importance of stepping into and celebrating the gray:

“It’s never been more important to accept that most of us (I’d argue ALL) exist in the gray area, the in-between, the case-by-case, the ‘I don’t sit neatly on any ‘side’’…the ‘I need more time to think about this before I respond/react’, the ‘I have no opinion on this’, the ‘I’ve changed my mind’, the ‘context matters’. It is possible to honor the gray, AND stand for something.”

Amen to that.

Here’s to your health,
Dhru Purohit

  3. Lenhart A, Chey WD. A Systematic Review of the Effects of Polyols on Gastrointestinal Health and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Adv Nutr. 2017;8(4):587-596. Published 2017 Jul 14. doi:10.3945/an.117.015560
  4. Moriconi E, Feraco A, Marzolla V, et al. Neuroendocrine and Metabolic Effects of Low-Calorie and Non-Calorie Sweeteners. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020;11:444. Published 2020 Jul 16. doi:10.3389/fendo.2020.00444
  5. Mäkinen KK. Sugar alcohol sweeteners as alternatives to sugar with special consideration of xylitol. Med Princ Pract. 2011;20(4):303-320. doi:10.1159/000324534
  8. Suez, J., Korem, T., Zeevi, D. et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature 514, 181–186 (2014).
  9. Mathur K, Agrawal RK, Nagpure S, Deshpande D. Effect of artificial sweeteners on insulin resistance among type-2 diabetes mellitus patients. J Family Med Prim Care. 2020;9(1):69-71. Published 2020 Jan 28. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_329_19
  10. Ruiz-Ojeda FJ, Plaza-Díaz J, Sáez-Lara MJ, Gil A. Effects of Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiota: A Review of Experimental Studies and Clinical Trials [published correction appears in Adv Nutr. 2020 Mar 1;11(2):468]. Adv Nutr. 2019;10(suppl_1):S31-S48. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy037
  11. Liu L, Zhang P, Wang Y, Cui W, Li D. The relationship between the use of artificial sweeteners and cancer: A meta-analysis of case-control studies. Food Sci Nutr. 2021;9(8):4589-4597. Published 2021 Jun 23. doi:10.1002/fsn3.2395
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