David Perlmutter

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David Perlmutter
Born (1954-12-31) December 31, 1954 (age 69)
Alma materLafayette College, University of Miami School of Medicine
Known forGrain Brain
Scientific career
FieldsMedicine, Neurology, Neurogastroenterology

David Perlmutter (born December 31, 1954) is an American celebrity doctor, author, low-carbohydrate diet advocate and promoter of functional medicine.[1][2][3]

Perlmutter has been widely criticized by dietitians and physicians for promoting misinformation about gluten-containing grains including whole grains which he argues are a main cause of many diseases including brain disorders.[1][4][5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Perlmutter's father Irwin was a neurosurgeon in Miami.[8] David Perlmutter received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is also a fellow of the American College of Nutrition.[9]


Perlmutter is known for advocating a functional and holistic approach toward treating brain disorders and for advocating for the importance of dietary changes.[1][2] Perlmutter serves as a medical advisor for The Dr. Oz Show and Men's Health.[10][11] He is also a contributor to publications such as Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, and Staying Alive.[12][13][14][15]

Perlmutter wrote the book Grain Brain, released in September 2013, promoting the concept that gluten causes neurological conditions, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks.[16][17][18] The book was cowritten with Kristen Loberg, a ghostwriter known for working with other celebrity doctors such as Sanjay Gupta and David Agus. In 2023 it was discovered that Grain Brain contained passages plagiarized from Agus' 2012 The End of Illness, which was also cowritten by Loberg.[19]

He was president of Perlmutter Health Center until its sale in 2015.[20] Perlmutter is a presenter for the Institute For Functional Medicine.[3]

In 2022, Perlmutter published Drop Acid, which advocates for a theory that excess levels of uric acid has negative physiological and neurological health consequences.[21]


Perlmutter has received the 2002 Linus Pauling Award from the Institute for Functional Medicine,[22] and 2006 National Nutritional Foods Association Clinician Award.[23] In 2015, Perlmutter was awarded the "Communications and Media Award" from the American College of Nutrition[24] In 2019, Perlmutter was awarded the Leadership Award from the Integrative Healthcare Symposium.[25]


Perlmutter and his books have faced criticism from other physicians and commentators.[1][26] His endorsement of gluten-free and paleolithic diets has been criticized by physicians and is not supported by anthropological research on the Pleistocene human diet.[27] For example, Nash and Slutzky (2014) have written that "according to Grain Brain, much chronic disease originates in the widespread ingestion of carbohydrates, and these foodstuff, rather than cholesterol or saturated fats, are the premier contributor to an unhealthy individual. Numerous recent studies, however, have provided high-level evidence to the contrary."[26]

Epidemiologist David Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT, has criticized Grain Brain, calling it a "silly book" and saying that "Perlmutter is way ahead of any justifiable conclusion".[6] Perlmutter's opinion that hormonal birth control has long term negative effects on women has also been criticized by medical experts.[28]

Microbiome expert Jonathan Eisen criticized Brain Maker in blunt terms. "To think we can magically heal diseases by changing to a gluten-free diet and taking some probiotics is idiotic... It resembles more the presentation of a snake-oil salesman than that of a person interested in actually figuring out how to help people."[1]

Perlmutter's advice to parents that they should ask their pediatricians about scheduling childhood vaccinations separately[1] is contrary to advice from the CDC[29] and the American Academy of Pediatrics.[30]

A review of Grain Brain by The Health Sciences Academy quotes Perlmutter as saying even whole grains, are "a terrorist group that bullies our most precious organ, the brain" but noted the health data on whole grain consumption is associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. The review concluded that "Perlmutter based his book primarily on belief, selectively citing studies and not including the full body of scientific evidence".[5]

A 2020 paper in Palgrave Communications stated that Perlmutter "has received severe criticism from scientists about his claims that Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be prevented by avoiding grains, or that the link between autism and vaccines is “ill-defined”".[7]

Perlmutter is listed by Quackwatch as a promoter of questionable health products.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Perlmutter is the father of artist Reisha Perlmutter.[32]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Perlmutter, David (February 15, 2022). Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid―The Key to Losing Weight, Controlling Blood Sugar, and Achieving Extraordinary Health. Little, Brown Spark. ISBN 978-0316315395.
  • Perlmutter, David (December 9, 2019). The Microbiome and the Brain. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0815376729.
  • Perlmutter, David (December 15, 2018). Grain Brain Revised Edition, The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers. Little, Brown Spark. ISBN 978-0316485135.
  • Perlmutter, David (November 15, 2016). The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316319195.
  • Perlmutter, David (April 28, 2015). Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain - for Life. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316380102.
  • Perlmutter, David (September 9, 2014). The Grain Brain Cookbook: More Than 150 Life-Changing Gluten-Free Recipes to Transform Your Health. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316334259.
  • Perlmutter, D (1999). "Functional Therapeutics in Neurodegenerative Disease". Journal of Applied Nutrition. 51 (1): 3–13.
  • with Loberg, Kristin (September 17, 2013). Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316234801.
  • with Villoldo, Alberto (February 1, 2012). Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment. Hay House. ISBN 978-1401928186.
  • with Colman, Carol (August 2, 2005) [2004]. The Better Brain Book: The Best Tool for Improving Memory and Sharpness and Preventing Aging of the Brain. Riverhead Trade. ISBN 1594480931.
  • with Colman, Carol (March 11, 2008) [2006]. Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten: Raise IQ by up to 30 points and turn on your child's smart genes. Harmony. ISBN 978-0767923026.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Levinovitz, Alan (June 24, 2015). "The Problem With David Perlmutter, the Grain Brain Doctor". New York Magazine. Yet despite this heightened concern about the accuracy of health information, best-selling celebrity neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter seems to have escaped much scrutiny, even though he has a decades-long history of offering — and profiting from — suspect medical advice.
  2. ^ a b David Perlmutter, M.D. "Entry at". Hayhouse.com. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  3. ^ a b "David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM". ifm.org. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Charlatans like Dr. Oz and Dr. "Grain Brain" Perlmutter are giving doctors a bad name". vox.com. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Book Review. Grain Brain – by David Perlmutter". thehealthsciencesacademy.org. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  6. ^ a b Hamblin, James (20 December 2013). "This Is Your Brain on Gluten". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b Marton, R.M., Wang, X., Barabási, AL. (2020). "Science, advocacy, and quackery in nutritional books: an analysis of conflicting advice and purported claims of nutritional best-sellers". Palgrave Communications. 6: 43. doi:10.1057/s41599-020-0415-6.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Renowned neurosurgeon loved healing, teaching". www.naplesnews.com. Retrieved 2023-05-04.
  9. ^ Hamblin, James (2013-12-20). "This Is Your Brain on Gluten". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2023-05-04.
  10. ^ "David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM | The Dr. Oz Show". Doctoroz.com. 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  11. ^ "David Perlmutter, MD | Men's Health". menshealth.com. 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  12. ^ "David Perlmutter, M.D. | HuffPost". www.huffpost.com. Retrieved 2023-05-05.
  13. ^ "David Perlmutter, M.D." The Daily Beast.
  14. ^ "David Perlmutter, M.D. on mindbodygreen". mindbodygreen. Retrieved 2023-05-05.
  15. ^ "Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D. - Health & Biohacking Expert". Staying Alive. Retrieved 2023-05-05.
  16. ^ Taylor, Ihsan. "NY Times best sellers list". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  17. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - Books - Oct. 6, 2013 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-05-05.
  18. ^ "New York Times Best Sellers October 20, 2013". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Stein, Joel (March 24, 2023). "Giving Up the Ghostwriter". LA Mag.
  20. ^ "Get Well and Live Well Naturally at Hughes Center for Functional Medicine". Hughes Center for Functional Medicine. Retrieved 25 June 2018.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Learn About the Health Effects of Elevated Uric Acid in 'Drop Acid'". Men's Journal. February 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "About the Linus Pauling Award". The Institute for Functional Medicine. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Annual Awards Past Winners". Natural Products Association. 2013-02-11. Archived from the original on 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  24. ^ "Communications and Media Award Recipient David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, author of New York Times Best-Seller Brain Maker". 2016-01-06.
  25. ^ "Symposium to honor three integrative healthcare visionaries, leaders". The Integrative Healthcare Symposium. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  26. ^ a b Nash DT, Slutzky AR (2014). "Gluten sensitivity: new epidemic or new myth?". Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings. 27 (4): 377–378. doi:10.1080/08998280.2014.11929164. PMC 4255872. PMID 25484517.
  27. ^ "Nutrition: Pay no mind to 'Grain Brain'". Duluth News Tribune. 2020-06-02. Retrieved 2023-05-04.
  28. ^ Berry, Sarah (2016-03-16). "Neurologist David Perlmutter gets to the guts of brain health with surprising advice". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2023-05-04.
  29. ^ "Multiple Vaccines and the Immune System". CDC. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Multiple Vaccinations at One Time". healthychildren.org. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Promoters of Questionable Methods and/or Advice". Quackwatch. 20 May 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  32. ^ Redding, Lauren Amalia (2022-07-01). "Reisha Perlmutter - Lady in Blue". Gulfshore Life. Retrieved 2023-05-04.

External links[edit]