Sunday, March 27, 2011

Power Up Your Brain - The Neuroscience of Enlightmenment

Book Review
I just finished reading the book "Power Up Your Brain The Neuroscience of Enlightmenment" by David Perlmutter MD and Alberto Villoldo PhD. I had heard David Perlmutter speak at the NW Naturopathic Convention in Portland, Oregon about 8-10 years ago. He gave an amazing presentation on his treatment for Parkinson's disease. He was pioneering a new treatment method using  IV glutathione for Parkinson's patients. He was getting fantastic results and the videos of his patients coming in for their first visit in wheel chairs or with canes and walkers and then leaving without their wheelchair or without their cane or walker was amazing and he received a standing ovation at the end of his lecture. (The only standing ovation I had seen at a medical conference before.) When I heard him on the radio show "Coast to Coast AM" recently talking about his new book, I knew I had to read the book. I was hoping it would be as amazing as his lecture had been.  The book is basically a manual that teaches you to live and eat in a way to provide your brain with the optimal fuel necessary to send you forward on the evolutionary spiral into the age of enlightenment. David Perlmutter believes the careful feeding of our prefrontal cortex with nutrients that support its function is one of the keys to enlightenment. He says "When our brain functions synergistically, our prefrontal cortex is fully awakened and we have the ability to develop the very highest form of intelligence and creativity and remain grounded and effective in the world. We understand who we are in relationship to our village and our history. Able to think originally, we recongize what holds us back from achieving a higher level of consciousness and what will help us to attain it. We recognize how we can survive and thrive." 

David does not say that our brain is the seat of consciousness necessarily but he does say that our brain and the prefrontal cortex especially "allows us to entertain the ancient notion of a web of life in which all creatures, and even inanimate matter, are interconnected as a part of a field of information and energy." It is his belief that we need to nourish and support this part of our brain if we are enjoy this experience. 

While David examines the role of mitochondria, free radicals and antioxidants, Alberto examines soul retrieval, chakras and how consciousness creates the brain. They share many personal stories from their own individual lives as well as patient case histories throughout the book. Ultimately toward the end of the book they give you an idea of how you can use a variety of nutritional dietary additions, shamanic exercises and fasting to support your prefrontal cortex, enhance your overall state of health and lead you towards enlightenment. They give very easy to understand, and well organized directions to do this. 

The book is a good book to give to someone who is very analytical and scientific minded and does not have any spiritual practices. If they are interested in expanding their idea of what the universe consists of this is the book that will guide them on a new journey. For those of you who already meditate and use some if not all of the shamanic practices in the book, I think you will still find the information on how to support your process of enlightenment with fasting and nutritional changes/additions very useful. 

The only thing I would have liked to see added in this book was more of an emphasis on food and herbs  rather than nutrients and phytochemicals from herbs used as nutritional supplements. I realize many people may want or need the supplements but I like people to be given the choice of the life giving foods and herbs as a method to achieve real lasting health. Supplements are increasingly becoming a problem as manufacturers are using genetically modified products and other objectionable additions in the capsules and tablets that people are taking. In addition some of the supplements suggested are really expensive. 

Here are some things I would have added as part of the dietary suggestions if I had written the book. 
He suggests taking DHA in his weekly list of dietary supplements.  Myself, I would get the DHA as a fish oil supplement rather than DHA . I use the liquid fish oil rather than a capsule as the capsules have their own problems and are not necessary. 

See this past blog for information on fish oil and capsules. You can find great fish oil from Nordic Naturals at Amazon Search for nordic naturals liquid  or go to the Nordic Naturals website at 

When he mentions using pterostilbene as a supplement I myself think of eating blueberries. I freeze 50 or more pounds of them each year to munch all year long right out of the freezer or in some of my favorite dishes. You can go to a local U-pick for organic blueberries and freeze them as a less expensive way to purchase them, or better yet, grow them as I do.  When mentioning sulforaphane as a supplement I think about eating broccoli sprouts which are high in sulforaphane. You can get organic boccoli sprouts here  Organic Broccoli Sprouting Seeds -2.5 Lbs- Organic- Edible Seed, Gardening, Hydroponics, Growing Salad Sprout & Food Storage- Brocolli Sprouts Contain Sulforaphane  When he suggests the use of curcumin, I think of consuming tumeric, the plant which curcumin is extracted from. For good tumeric you can get here at

When he advises folks to take green tea extract, I think about enjoying green tea as a drink during my day rather than an extract in pill form. Mountain Rose Herbs has a fantastic jasmine green tea that I love to drink. Just click on their link directly above or you can find various green teas in eery health food store.

As far as increasing glutathione which he discusses at various points, this is something that just about all of us could use to support our bodies, I consider the use of milk thistle seed which can increase glutathione by 30%. (I am still going to write a blog about milk thistle in the near future.)

All in all, this is a great book. I enjoyed it and suggest you read it. You can get it at Amazon by clicking below.