Happy Mind, Happy Life

Happy Mind, Happy Life: 10 Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day. A science-backed guide to a calmer, happier you.

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The Key Driver of Chronic Disease That Nobody’s Talking About with David Perlmutter

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  June 7, 2023

What do obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia have in common? They are all chronic diseases that together are the leading cause of death in the world today. And they’re largely caused not by genes, but by our environment, lifestyle and food choices.

This much many of us already know. But today’s guest brings some valuable new information to the table: the role of uric acid. Dr David Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist and six-time New York Times bestselling author, whose work has won him many high-profile awards. He serves on the Board of Directors and is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His latest book, Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid, focuses on the pivotal role of uric acid in chronic metabolic diseases, claiming that lowering its level in the body holds the key to losing weight, controlling blood sugar, and transforming health.

Many of us (including healthcare professionals) only think about uric acid in relation to a painful condition called gout. But, as David explains in this conversation, even slightly raised uric acid levels, can have damaging and widespread implications for our health.

David and I begin by discussing what he calls the ‘evolutionary environmental mismatch’ – how our modern lives are, in many ways, at odds with what serves our biology best. And, of course, one of the key elements that is driving this mismatch is the modern food environment.

Many of us simply think about food as energy or calories but, during this conversation, David and I discuss why we need to start thinking about food as information. Every bite that we eat is giving our body cues and signals. If we give our bodies the right cues and they will thrive. If we give them the wrong cues, and they will start to malfunction.

One of the foods that is giving problematic cues to our bodies is fructose. David and I discuss what exactly fructose is, where it lives and why he is so keen for all of us to reduce the amount we are consuming.

We also talk about the relationship between our fructose intake and uric acid levels, the evolutionary benefit for slightly higher uric acid levels, how increased uric acid can drive fat storage, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. We also discuss what changes we can make with our food choices to reduce uric acid levels in our body.

David explains how certain food choices can make us more impulsive, less compassionate and less empathetic and how the right food choices can help us make better decisions and increase our happiness.

David is a gifted communicator and someone who is committed to helping as many people as possible, live healthier and happier lives. I hope you enjoy listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

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#131 Tim Spector: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Food Is Wrong

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP