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Nutrition, Your Brain, and Your Body
An Interview with Dr. Alan Logan


A few weeks back, at a small research meeting in Toronto, Ontario, my good friend Dr. Alan Logan handed me a book I hadn't heard of before.

Amused, Dr Logan went on to tell me that I was seeing a sneak peek at his new book discussing how nutrition can impact both brain and body health.

At this point, I was excited — for two main reasons.

First of all, I'm interested in nearly everything Dr. Logan has to say on the subject of nutrition. As both a seasoned practitioner and a well-published scientific author, Dr. Logan is a wealth of knowledge — sort of like a walking encyclopedia. Whether he's talking about how nutrition affects the gut, how it can impact skin quality, or how it can impact stress and emotion, he's always got something interesting to share — and I always learn something.

Sure, he's a naturopath (and some naturopaths are pretty out there), but Alan is as well-referenced as they come and his strength is seeing connections between different fields of study. It never ceases to amaze me when he somehow fits legitimate scientific references from psychology, neurophysiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, microbiology, and nutrition journals all in the same breath.

Of course, the other reason for my excitement was the fact that I've never been quoted on the back cover of someone's book before. That, in itself, is pretty cool. However, I sorta had to like the book before offering a quote. So I spent the next week with the book, taking notes, and preparing questions for Dr Logan, hoping to goad him into an interview.

In the end, here's what I ended up sending Dr. Logan for the book's back cover:

And I meant every word of it. Seriously, this book is one of the best I've read on this topic and, as a special treat for the Testosterone audience, I've cajoled Dr Logan into sharing some of his insights.

John Berardi: Alright Alan, with this interview I want to cut through some of the nonsense that's out there regarding nutrition, brain health, gut health, and more. I always love your mixture of common sense, healthy caution, and actual research support so let's get right into some of the fundamentals of brain and body health.

For starters, I'd love it if you could explain to the readers your overall thoughts on how nutrition can impact brain health.

Dr. Alan Logan

JB: So what might one expect to happen if some of these nutrients are out of balance? In other words, how can a poor diet impact brain structure and function?

AL:

JB: In your book, The Brain Diet, you discuss how a heart-healthy diet is also a brain-healthy diet. What's the connection between the two?

AL:

JB: One area of nutritional research that's particularly interesting but often ignored is the research on culinary herbs. You do a great job of discussing them in your book. Can you give some examples of culinary herbs and what sort of beneficial properties they might have for brain and body health?

JB: At this point, let's take a step back. I'm about to start delving into some potentially controversial questions and topics so before I do, I want to talk about your background a bit. In other words, I want the readers to know that you're legit and that they should listen to you.

So please share with them a little about your background.

AL:

JB: Ha, ha... of course it has been.

Seriously though, that's a pretty impressive resume. Next, I want you to impress me with some rapid-fire answers to some rapid fire questions. Here's how it'll work. I'm going to throw out a topic and I want you to respond with a just a few sentences. Make them your most important thoughts on each topic.

Ready?

JB: (Playing jeopardy theme song) First — the importance of antioxidants in brain and body health.

JB: Now that we know how important they are, how can we develop an appropriate feeding/supplement strategy to protect against oxidative damage?

AL:

JB: Next topic; inflammation. Why is it such a brain and a body problem?

JB: Ok, same as with antioxidants, how can we develop a feeding/supplement strategy to minimize inflammation?

JB: You speak a lot about fish oil in your book — how it impacts both the body and the brain. Care to share with us fish oil's greatest hits?

AL:

JB: What about fish oil contamination? Do we really have to be worried?

JB: Ready for another hot button topic? Let's talk detoxification. There are a lot of wackos out there talking a lot of nonsense about detoxification. Let's come clean on detox. What is it, do we need it, and do I really need to stick coffee up my butt?

JB: So what's your preferred detoxification strategy? I don't have to fast for a week, do I?

AL:

JB: Ok, the hits keep coming. Speaking of gut health, there might be more wacky stuff on this topic than on detoxification. And that's hard to believe. Alan, what are we talking about when we're talking about gut health?

JB: What are some of the consequences of poor GI health?

AL:

JB: So how can we develop a feeding/supplement strategy to improve our GI function?

Bifidobacteria

JB: You mention soil depletion in your book. Health experts are always harping on this topic but I wonder — how much depletion actually is going on?

JB: So is it true that we really can't get enough nutrition from our fruits and veggies?

JB: What about organic fruits and veggies; should we stick with those? And what if we can't afford the higher prices?

AL:

JB: Okay, that ends the rapid fire portion of the interview — great job! I do have a few more questions, though.

Although a lot of experts discuss different foods, nutritional interventions, and supplements for combating GI dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative damage, etc, it's sometimes difficult to figure out which interventions should be prioritized over others.

For example, in one book I recently read, the authors had mentioned over 150 different supplements, at least 20-30 for each condition such as poor insulin management, chronic inflammation, poor arterial compliance, etc. As it'd be both impossible and undesirable to take all 150, how should one prioritize?

AL:

JB: Here's even a more pointed question, Dr Logan. In addition to your food intake (which I'm assuming is very good), what supplements are you taking daily right now?

JB: In your book, you discuss the Japanese quite often. Although I think Japanese women are some of the most beautiful in the world, there must be another reason.

AL:

95-year-old Japanese athlete.

JB: Many of the Testosterone readers prioritize muscle mass and strength. This means relatively high calorie diets, maximal Testosterone concentrations, and a ton of training (often including weight training, cardio work, and interval work).

Now, I know that higher Testosterone concentrations, chronic high calorie diets, and chronic training stress are likely to give us a few strikes in the longevity dept. So are there any special things the average Testosterone reader would have to do from a nutrition and supplementation standpoint in order to strike a balance between big muscles, lots of training, and optimal brain and body health (as well as longevity)?

AL:

JB: Alright, Alan, let's wrap it up here. I don't want to spill all your secrets in one interview. Thanks so much for taking the time out to talk with me. And feel free to pop by Testosterone any time to help keep the readers on track.


About Dr Logan

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