Primal Body–Primal Mind by Nora T. Gedgaudas, interesting book on paleo diet needs, grains, a hormone called leptin, and the gut having more neurons than the brain!

Nora Gedgaudas states in her book “Primal Body–Primal Mind”   “Although serotonin is a neurotransmitter widely associated with the brain and mood functioning–including the prevention of depression, anxiety, and insomnia–few are aware that 95% of all serotonin production in the body lies not in the brain but in the gut.  The gut, in fact, has even more neurons than the brain!  The next time you find yourself struggling with mood issues, consider first the quality of your GI health and digestion.  The brain and gut are inextricably linked.” (p.82)

Gedgaudas writes about the discovery of a major hormone in 1994 called leptin which is found in our fat cells.  She states “Body fat is now understood to be a complex, sophisticated endocrine organ.  A primary purpose of leptin is to coordinate the metabolic, endocrine and behavioral responses to starvation.  It powerfully impacts our emotions, cravings and behavior.  It turns out, in fact, that leptin isn’t the only hormone secreted by adipocytes (fat cells) and that dozens of other hormones are produced there, as well.  Many of them are pro-inflammatory in nature.  In fact, leptin itself is an inflammatory cytokine and has a major role to play in the body’s inflammatory processes as well.   It also mediates the production of other inflammatory compounds in your body fat throughout your body….Understanding leptin is tantamount to understanding how to regulate the rest of your endocrine system, conquer your emotions, dramatically improve your health and even prolong your life.  It’s the single most important hormone in the body.  No other hormonal imbalance in the body, in fact, can ultimately be restored to healthy balance without leptin functioning normally.”

“At the top of the management pillar is leptin.  Immediately below it is subservient insulin.  Beneath that are your adrenal hormones, adrenaline, ad cortisol.  Then, comes the pituitary hormones regulating thyroid and growth hormone (and others), then your thyroid, then your sex hormones…on down.  It’s a chain of command….Restoring healthy leptin functioning is the first major step toward ultimately restoring healthy endocrine balance at any age, assuming your endocrine organs are intact and have not been destroyed or removed.”

“The single most potent trigger of hormonal dysregulation is chronic carbohydrate consumption and subsequent blood sugar surges.  It turns out that leptin and insulin are birds-of-a-feather.  The same things that tend to disrupt insulin also powerfully impact leptin.  The worst offenders by far are dietary carbohydrates that are composed of either starch or sugar, and the blood sugar surges they produce–this includes bread, cereal, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, pasta, rice, and alcohol….’Natural’ sugars, like honey, lo-han, agave, and maple syrup, as well as the refined versions, can all be similarly problematic.  High fructose corn syrup is deadly.  Medications of all kinds also contribute to leptin and insulin signaling problems.  Caffeine and other stimulants similarly cause blood sugar to surge.  The consumption of these substances in turn, causes it to stop hearing leptin’s messages.  The next casualty is your adrenals” etc.

***”The only thing that can possibly restore healthy leptin functioning is a diet that is very low in sugar and starch (which includes eliminating grains, breads, pasta, rice and potatoes, as well as sweets) and is sufficient in healthy natural fats.” (pp. 145-149)

“Your body IS your subconscious mind!”–Candace Pert


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