Beyond Wellness Radio Q&A Podcast #13

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In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey did a Q&A episode as they answer questions regarding various health issues and challenges from our radio show listeners as well as from the forum.  

Concerns on hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances as well as allergies were just some of the issues that were addressed in this episode.   Know more about the benefits of resistant starch.  Also learn about how the Paleo Diet help to reduce anxiety and improve one's mood.



In this episode we cover:

08:52   Amenorrhea, hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue

16:51   Benefits of resistant starch

21:30   Stomach pain from kefir

26:51   Marked improvement doing Paleo

36:01   How to gain facial fat?

39:31   How long does Vitamin D last in the body?

42:12   Seafood allergy and hormone imbalance







Baris Harvey:  Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  In today’s show we are going to do a Q & A.  So this is from our listeners and also from the forum.  So first thing is make sure you guys go to ITunes and leave a review.  It really helps us out with the rankings in getting this message out.  The second thing is to make sure you continue to send your questions to And we have two from listeners that were courageous enough to send us a question but also we have some from forums as well.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris it is going really good.  How are you doing today?

Baris Harvey:  I am doing really good.  So first question as always, what did you have for breakfast?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I am actually doing a little experiment and kind of get a little bio-hacker crazy right now.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I am actually doing a 21-day HCG program where I am injecting myself with HCG in the morning and I am eating a 500-calorie/day diet.  Very, very specific for the next three weeks.

Baris Harvey:  HCG.  So could you explain for the people that are not well aware of HCG because this one is kind of interesting and what that is and where that comes from.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great question.  HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin.  It is a pregnancy hormone and the whole gist of it, an endocrinologist from the 50’s and 60’s named A.T. Simeons, a British endocrinologist used this essentially as a metabolic reset to reset the hypothalamus and kick starting the body to burn more fat.  And he uses on various patients this 23-day protocol using HCG injections 30 units per day or I think 150 i.u over the course of 23 days.  And there was a specific diet that follow it as well those 500 calories very extreme. But the science behind it is the HCG is present in pregnant women.     

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And with that phenomenon the HCG is mobilizing extra fat that is why women in the third world countries who are malnourished will still be able to bring about a healthy pregnancy even with starvation level of calories.  The question is why?  And the HCG is able to tap into that storage, that secure storage from a fat that normally would not come off but would come off with the levels of HCG that are there and then those calories can be used for fuel.  Now I have used this twice with my patients.  I have used this with my fiancée as well and with great success.  And again the key is you want to really come off with a good diet afterwards and you want to have a good diet before.  If you are already eating like crap and you are not doing good and you have infections and adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues it is not for you.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you really want to make sure you have are already done the right things.  I think it is a really cool little boost to add in there.  And you want to make sure when you come off that you progress back into a healthy anti-inflammatory, low toxin diet eating plan with adequate nutrition and calories.  Doing this type of diet without the HCG would be devastating and destroy your thyroid.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I can tell you right now, having done it for almost a week I have no hunger pangs at all.  I am not hungry at all which is unbelievable.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The only difference is I am not used to my stomach being like, my stomach is not like full.  Like when I eat a meal out, eat light it feels full.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I do not have that full feeling but at the same time I am not hungry either.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  It is funny because a lot these extreme kind of things people do when they are like for their last option kind of thing.   We see the TV shows and when people are like really, really overweight or really have a problem then that is when they try to do the extreme stuff and it is usually the healthier people that can handle something more extreme whereas it should not be like oh, this 21-day detox crazy all out thing or what is the TV show where with like Jillian Michaels, the Biggest Loser, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, Biggest Loser.  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  And they try to do like these exercise programs that is very strenuous and extremely difficult.  And it is like if I am a healthy person I might be able to handle that, you know.  But you are not going to take those same people and like, “Oh well, let us put you through a Sil Fit exercise.”  Like, no!  You know what I mean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  It is the same thing here.  So you want to make sure if you want to do something like this make sure that you are healthy enough and able to handle all of the stressors that can be.  But it looks like Dr. Justin is going to be ah, what is it called?  Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in tricking his body thinking he is pregnant, right?  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  I know.  The thing is this is always the last thing anyone should ever do.  I am tinkering and experimenting with cutting edge techniques to see just what kind of results that I can possibly get.  But this is always the last resort.  And I do not recommend anyone doing it that has an active autoimmune or thyroid or adrenal fatigue or gut issue that is not under control yet. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think maybe at some point we can do a show on this topic and we go a little bit deeper into it because it is really fascinating.  And I see this as a really good opportunity to reset the metabolism because we know metabolism gets screwed up with sugar and toxins and stress.  This could be a good therapeutic thing to add in there.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, so this is basically why a healthy woman probably is able to, after her pregnancy, go back to normal weight probably as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I imagine as well. 

Baris Harvey:  So are you getting that from like pregnant women urine?  (Laughs) or where is this coming from?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. It is coming from a compound pharmacy in San Antonio, Texas but it comes from, extracted from pregnant women’s urine and they put it into a powder and you dilute it with some bacteriostatic water about 10 mL and inject 30 mL per day subcutaneously.  I am doing it right now with my fiancée and she has done it probably once every two years she does it.  She gets amazing results.  And she is able to keep her weight off for about two to two and a half years. 

Baris Harvey:  Wow! Yes, sounds awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is not like one of those things where it comes back right away.  It takes about two years for it to slowly creep up.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, take advantage of trying to be as natural as possible and scient at the same.  Like where you try to find the balance you know what I mean?  So we are not just trying to go full 100% hippie and just say you know do not touch anything out there because there might be some awesome things that can make us live longer than what biology just wants us to have kids and then get out of here.  But you know we want to live as long as possible so we try to find out not just what would make us really healthy but what is also really good for longevity as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.

Baris Harvey:  But at the same time be very smart and careful as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I want to be sure there is no substitute for anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low toxin diet with blood sugar stability involved in it.  So there is no substitute for that ever.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Well, me I was a lot simpler.  I just basically had some Chameleon Cold Brew.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  With some raw cream from the Farmer’s market yesterday.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, great.

Baris Harvey:  It’s a lot more expensive.  It is almost double the price but I try to get like the grass fed really healthy cream versus this grass fed really healthy raw cream and it just makes so much of a difference.   I can try and like hmm and may save a lot of money but it just does not compare.  Like this is so much better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  Love it. Love it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Love it.

Baris Harvey:  So let us get to our Q & A.  We have a couple of questions here so I am going to scroll over and go to the first question.  This is from Keera.  She says, “Great podcast.  I have listened to a few of them but this is one of the few that breaks things down in a digestible manner.  I have a secondary amenorrhea, hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue issue.  Taking Armour with T3 and bioidentical bio-estrogen, progesterone and DHEA.  Having worked with a few practitioners, I still cannot get my thyroid and period to function properly.  And the only solution I am offered is to up the dose on all of them.  And this is still not helping.  Everyone agrees that the dose is too high already but are lost as to why there are not any results.  Any suggestions?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I love questions like this.  Because it really kind of makes me put on my thinking cap.  So I am going to kind of break a couple of things down.  And Baris if I need to decipher anything or I do not break it down enough you can come in there and kind of break it down more, okay?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let us go over a couple of things.  Secondary amenorrhea; that is basically losing your period before menopause.  So this girl has lost her period.  She has got some low thyroid issues, some adrenal fatigue.  And typically, when we have thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue they tend to connect together.  So she is using thyroid support, Armour T4 and T3 and bioidentical Bi-Est.  Now what a Bi-Est is, it is typically a combination of 80% estriol and 20% estradiol.  And again the work of Dr. Jonathan Wright, he found that majority of healthy women in their 20’s and 30’s had higher amounts of estriol than estradiol.  So the Bi-Est has 80% estriol E3 and 20% estradiol.  She was also adding some progesterone in there and some DHEA and she is working with some practitioners, okay.  So again, she is concerned it is not helping.  So, first things first.  When we see hormonal issues we always want to make sure the diet is dialed in.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We could be eating a crappy diet, we could be skipping meals, we could be having blood sugar swings up and down but the biggest stressor on our hormonal system is blood sugar stability, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The adrenal glands will pump out cortisol and it will shut progesterone downstream and then will go into the stressed out state where we are making more stress hormones and sacrificing the sex hormones.  So making sure not going more than 3 to 5 hours without eating and then when she is eating she should not be starving.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   She should be comfortably ready to eat.  So enough protein, enough fat and enough healthy carbohydrates for her.  Now if she is really skinny and fatigued which I imagine she probably is.  People on the amenorrhea side especially the female triad, the runners, the low fat people they tend to be more on the leaner side.  So if she is leaner you want to really get those carbs up.  Healthy safe starches will be a good start. 

Baris Harvey:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Again my problem with a lot of people that use DHEA they do higher amounts same with progesterone and estrogen.  So I want to make sure they are reasonable doses.  I would not recommend going above 10 mg/day on DHEA.  And I want to make sure that all the hormones she is using especially the DHEA, the progesterone, the Bi-Est that they are all ideally sublingual.  That tends to be the best.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I mean you can get some creams that work really well in the vaginal area because there is no mucosal, you know, fat there really.  It goes right to the blood stream. But my bias is more towards drops.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Definitely towards drops.  So I want to know is she Hashimoto’s?  That is a big thing as well.  That is really important.  And I find there is an infection connection, there is a chronic infection link with a lot of what is happening.  When people are not getting the results and they are using specific hormones and they are supporting their thyroid and supporting their adrenals a lot of times there is a chronic infection connection there.  And we want to look a little bit at digestion, bloating, gas.  Is she absorbing her foods?  Is she having bowel movements regularly?  I want to look closer at infection and make sure that there is nothing there.  And also I want to make sure she is properly being dosed with her thyroid.  If she really needs thyroid well we should use some temperature testing to evaluate her thyroid levels, get her into the 97.8 to 98.2 range with a good armpit temperature first thing in the morning.  That can be a great way to assess thyroid function. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also if she is Hashimoto’s, it is a strong infection connection link like I already mentioned. Yersinia is connected, H. pylori is connected, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, Lyme disease.  There is so many different things there.  So I would start at those.  And if Keera wants to reach out to us or schedule a quick consult to review those labs we can always take a look and give her more specific advice.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  You mentioned making sure that you might need a little bit extra carbohydrates specifically maybe more towards the later part of the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:  Especially when it helps with the thyroid often a lot.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And you mentioned too with the amenorrhea, a lot of these athletic women tend to go towards the hypothyroid amenorrhea situation because they are very lean.  She did not talk about her exercise but we can probably guess that maybe she is exercising heavily maybe to reduce.  I know like it is always hard for people that are really active and fit like myself, I play football.  So tell don’t me, “Hey, you have to work out less.”  Like it sounds good but it is like I want to be able to compete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  So sometimes you might either kind of have to back that down a little bit or up the carbohydrates a little bit later on in the day so you can still stay kind of lower carb later on in the day with dinner maybe having a little bit more carbohydrates to make sure that you are boosting that thyroid function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, there was also a study, too the American Journal of Physiology, they did a study back in 1994 finding that they have low T3 syndrome so lower T3 levels that is our active thyroid hormone in exercising women.  So when they get above a certain aerobic threshold they found it will actually lower their T3.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Do not push yourself too hard.  Yes, basically.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  And one that often is like harder for people to usually go just because of the taste but organ meats like make a big difference.  Like that is an easy way to get some naturally occurring hormones in there.  So some of the liver really helps with the thyroid.  I can probably find and may be linked into this but there is a, I think it is called Thyro-Gold but is it basically just glandular.  So making sure that you are getting those glandulars as well.  And you can also get something like desiccated liver if you do not want the taste of liver.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  This girl here is already on Armour so it seems like that is already covered.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But also too that is really important a lot of times this gets ignored by practitioners, is progesterone should be cycled.  Because typically in a cycling woman, progesterone is going to predominate in the luteal phase or the second half of your cycle.  So if day 1 is the first day you bleed, typically progesterone should only be used on day 15 and 27.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if this girl is not menstruating we want to start creating a cycle out of her.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So using progesterone in a cyclical level upping the dose, reaching the climax and dropping the dose over that 15 to 27th day is important.  And I would also be using some upstream adaptogenic support such as chaste tree and such to help with the HPA axis side of it.  Because we are doing the hormone side but we also want to get the brain connected again.

Baris Harvey:  Exactly, exactly.  Alright.  Hopefully that was helpful Keera.  And I will go ahead and send that to you.  We have another question here from Michael or Mitchel but I think it is Michael.  He says, “Can you tell me how to include potato starch in your diet?  I am looking at the bag of powder I bought and I will love to enjoy the benefits of resistance starch.  But how do I take a teaspoon of dry powder?  I have tried adding it to foods but it does not dissolve well.  I am not a fan of smoothies so what do you suggest?”  So it is a pretty simple question but just in case anybody else had a similar question like this one, we will go ahead and tell them how to use resistance starch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Alright.  Good question here.  So again, resistance starch this is a specific type of carbohydrate that does not get broken down by our body fully but the bacteria in our guts love it.  Our microbes, various microbes love it especially the E. rectale and roseburia bacteria they love that.  When you are on a low carbohydrate diet the research shows that these types of bacteria can drop.  So if you are dropping carbohydrates, and you know you are doing a good Paleo type of approach and you are having issues digestive wise, adding these starches in can be helpful because it will feed some of those bacteria.  So recapping resistance starch type 2 that is like your unripen plantain or banana flour, that is really good. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I am a big fan of that.  I have been using that more over than the potato starch just because I encounter a lot of autoimmune patients and frankly I am not convinced that the potato starch is free of alpha-Solanine.  Alpha-Solanine is a night shade.  It is a compound that makes the night shade irritating and potentially an autoimmune risk.  So I have been going more towards the unripen banana just because I can be more certain that there is not an alpha-Solanine component in there.  Now I have not read anything definitive on that but right now I am just playing it safe.  So I have both and I kind of go back and forth and I recommend both to my patients so I am able to have a lot of data points to pool from.


Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.


Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have some people that have Hashimoto’s and we will do the potato flour and they will get a little bit stimulated and they will notice their sleep that night is a little bit rocky.  

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I recommend get to play around with it and see how you feel.  So, the unripen banana flour can be purchased, the company is called Wedo.  I will also put it on my Amazon store, too.  And then the Bob’s Red Mill Potato flour.  That is Bob’s brand and that is a good one as well.

Baris Harvey:   Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go ahead.

Baris Harvey:  Oh yes, I was going to say yes and you just go ahead and put that in water?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, you just mix that in with water.  So there are a lot of people that can be sensitive because the bacteria kind of has a field day when they take this in and they can produce a lot of CO2 and various gas and if it is pathogenic bacteria, even methane.  So first off, if you react to probiotics and you get really gassy and you have probiotic intolerance is what I call it, I strongly recommend start at the smallest possible dose.  Start at about a teaspoon.  If you have any reaction at all, continue to half the dose until you find the dose that works for you.  I mean you may have to get down to literally a quarter or eighth or sixteenth of a teaspoon but once you find it, work your way back up.  So the easiest way really is you just got to kind of put it in some water, suck it up and just shoot it down and then chase it with some more water.  And that can really be an easy way to do it.  That is how I do it.  It does not taste that good but neither does cod liver oil and neither does a couple of other things that we eat every now and then.  So we just kind of have to look at it as you know a medicine and get it into the system to help the gut microbes out.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Sounds good.  Hopefully I pronounced your name right, Michael of Mitchel but hopefully that answers your question.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I want to add one more thing.

Baris Harvey:  Yes go for it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if you also find that you are still having issues with that more than likely a definitive sign for me clinically that there is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth issue, right?  This is when these various pathogenic bacteria like clostridium, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, a lot of these gram negative bacteria accumulate upward from the colon because of the various stress and such.  And so some people need an antimicrobial program to wipe these things out first.  And they also may need to go on some type of a stricter diet that is Paleo/FODMAP-free that helps kind of restrict a lot of these carbohydrates that feed these critters as well.  So if you may need to go an extra approach and pulling out the FODMAPS and getting assessed what kind of infections and what kind of herbal medicines you may do that as well.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  And that question kind of leads up into our next one.  Well, technically it is the last one but I will go ahead and pull this one up.  This is from well, it is a username because we are now on the forum, Mick Jagger.  But it says reason for stomach pain from kefir.  “I have been experiencing bouts of pretty intense upper abdominal pain and pain contingent to my diet.   It seems that the common factor is kefir.  I only tried kefir for the first time a few months ago and it was awesome but it always seems to give me a really bad stomach pain.  I have tried three different organic brands and they all seem to have the same effect.  I was not regular taking any kind of probiotics before but yogurt and other fermented foods have never given me any trouble.  Has anyone know a possible reason for this reaction?  Has anyone ever experienced this?  I probably will stick to the other fermented foods from now on but man, kefir tastes awesome!” Sad face. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) So Baris, do you have any information on what kind of kefir?  Is it based on dairy or coconut-based?

Baris Harvey:  No, it does not say here but just three different kinds of brands so we can I guess assume dairy, water and coconut?  Because they have water kefir as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Baris Harvey:  So those three.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.  So a couple things.  There could be some probiotic intolerance.  It is hard to say.  You know, are we getting the same exact strains of probiotics in each of these things?  There could be different strains of probiotics coming from the kefir that she is having an issue with.  So it is really hard to say.  There could be a probiotic intolerance happening with the strains that she is getting.  I also want to know does she have any digestive issues in general.  How is gas?  How is bloating?  How is digestion?  How is bowel movement?  Things like that.  So I want to know that first.  But depending on that information there could be a SIBO, a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.  There also could be that the specific probiotic strains are pushing some of the bad guys out and it could be more of a detox or a Herxheimer’s type of reaction.   So one, if she reacts to other foods or Mick Jagger, whoever this fictitious person is reacts to these other foods it really just could be a probiotic intolerance just to those specific strains and nuts.  But if there were issues, I would recommend you know, embarking on a really good antimicrobial cleanse and really reinoculating things with good quality probiotics and even soil-based probiotics after the fact. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then eventually adding in some resistance starch and then slowly adding the kefir back in as well and see how that takes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I am really trying to figure out if it was like a coconut.  Because I have had a coconut water kefir and it tastes good but I mean it could be that it is not just pure dairy kefir just because like you said it tastes good. And I have had plain dairy kefir before.  To me it does not taste good.  The ones that taste good are like the flavored ones with you know the carrageenan and all these other additives.  So it could be the additives if you already have some kind of IBS and some kind of gut inflammation.  Some of these additives could be problematic.  And so making sure that you are getting something with like just the ingredient is the fermented product and nothing else no flavors could be an important thing.  So making sure that you are getting one that is just that not peach flavor and all these other things.  If you want to make that, you know, try it yourself and like you have mentioned before, if you are making your own and putting fruit in it if you have something like SIBO you might be having some issues digesting that fructose and this can be some of the problems.  Or just like you mentioned before, you might just have to start off with really smaller doses and your body is just having a problem taking in all those probiotics at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  It probably is based on you know her saying how good it taste.  There is probably some type of potential FODMAP additive into that that could setting things off, too.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, because I mean just like straight dairy kefir.  I do not know about you but it tastes kind of funky to me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is a little sour for sure. 

Baris Harvey:  It is a little sour.  So yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I had an experience one time with the organic pasture’s kefir drink and I had a really tough time with it.

Baris Harvey:  Oh yes and that is the raw.  Everything, right?  The raw milk…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is the raw everything.  I am not sure what is happening if that is having a detox reaction where it is pushing things out or it could be just the fact that there is some casein in there and my body is a little bit irritated with some of the casein.  There are so many variables so it is really hard.  Because I do not really react to any types of probiotics and I take lots of it in at a hundred billion.  And right now, I am doing a couple of hundred billion a day and I have no problem with the various strains I am taking.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Try a water coconut kefir that is usually a little bit easier and still at a smaller dose, too.  Because I remember when I started and I can drink a lot.  And the first time that would be kind of gassy because I would drink like five servings.  Because it is like you would just take two ounces and I am like, “Ah, I can drink a lot more.”  Might get a little gassy from that just because there are a lot of probiotics.  But if you just take the recommended dose you usually do not have too many issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Awesome.  So the next question.  Looks like it says, “You okay?  I am hoping.”  (Laughs)  It says personality changes from doing Paleo.  “I have been at this for about five weeks now which I think is long enough for me to confirm that there is a marked difference in my personality on Paleo.  Mostly it has to do with the lack of the low level anxiety and worry that used to pervade my days.  I also generally feel happier, and more optimistic and friendlier.  Another thing that I have never really realized is that I used to have a slight fear of people or would often feel awkward around people especially strangers.  Now I find myself striking up conversations with anyone and everyone rather than the extreme hi and hellos.  I tend to be more even-keeled and balanced.   It is truly amazing.  Has anyone else experienced the same positive benefits from Paleo?  I would be curious to hear your story.”  So, it is kind of more of a wanting some confirmation if his diet made a difference in his mood.  And I am pretty sure that there is a book called, “The Mood Cure” that probably confirm this as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, absolutely.  So this is actually 100% true.  I have seen it in patients all the time.  There is also a really good study on this.  It is basically from the Neuroendocrinology Letters 2008 called The Gut-brain barrier in major depression.  And it talks about intestinal mucosal dysfunction with an increased translocation or LPS; that is the outer coating of the bacteria.  It is really toxic and how it may play an inflammatory pathophysiology role in depression.  So again what happens is when we are systemically inflamed the tight junctions in our gut, these are like the little epithelial tissue that kind of keep the food on the inside and the blood on the outside.  Well, these zippers kind of get unzipped when you have extra stress and inflammation.  And it can allow a lot of the SIBO or the bacteria in our gut that maybe dysbiotic.   This means more bad stuff than good stuff.  Typically there should be more good than bad but when it is flipped that LPS which is like the outer spiny coat of this bacteria can translocate through into the blood stream and it can play a pathological role, it can affect mood.  I mean depression is just one symptom of mood, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There is a spectrum there, right?  There is anxiety.  There are attention issues.  There is a whole bunch of spectrum issues there.  But again what they found was that when they had higher amounts of lipopolysaccharide IgM and IgA they have more fatigue, they have more gastrointestinal symptoms and they also have more inflammation and depression.  Basically the study suggested that increased LPS translocation may mount an immune attack.  And this immune attack in the brain can basically cause depression.  So from what I understand and from the physiology that we are aware of in our textbooks is our brain, half the cells in our brain are immune cells, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And these cells are called microglial cells.  And inflammation can turn these cells on.  So it is like, Tom O’Brien has a good analogy of throwing, imagine a football field full of mouse traps. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You throw one tennis ball out there and hits one mouse trap and it goes pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!  More hit, more hit and then the initial cascade ripples, and ripples and ripples and creates a cascade of more mouse traps being activated.  And that is kind of how your brain works.  You have a little bit of inflammation.  There are some gluten or some SIBO and this leaky gut happening, it can turn some of this cells on and we get this pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Kind of reaction of these microglial cells being activated.  So this is huge because one of the strongest stimulators of leaky gut which is the first domino of all of these critters and all of these compounds getting into the blood stream is gluten.  Gluten is one of the biggest, biggest, biggest stimulators.  And again gluten stimulates zonulin.  And zonulin is basically pulling your zippers down in the gut and allowing these particles to kind of float through without any issues.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, makes sense.  Definitely makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So exactly what this person is experiencing is a 100% real.  I see so many people have this experience.  I had it myself and again it is so freeing to know that you are not just have to be on an antidepressant for life.  If there really are deeper causes to what is addressing these things and it freaks people out that diet in your gut can actually affect your brain because we just think like they are mutually exclusive things.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, they definitely are. I mean often times what happens when you feel anxious?  You usually feel like butterflies or you feel this like cringe in your stomach, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Baris Harvey:  Or people when they get stage fright and they go like, “Oh, I need to throw up.”  And it is like well, why did that connection get made?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. 

Baris Harvey:  And we think it is just a one way path but it goes both ways.  So the same way that your mind can affect your gut, your gut can also affect your brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And I mentioned before I did not really say the author’s name by Julia Ross actually has a book called “The Mood Cure” and talked about the different foods and also the different amino acids that help with the depression and anxiety and insomnia and all these different personality traits.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes exactly.  And again these other studies the Journal of Affective Disorders increased IgA and IgM response regarding these various bacteria, LPS in chronic depression.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Talking about connecting it to a leaky gut.  You know I will go out there on a limb.  This may sound controversial but what the heck.  The field of psychiatric medicine is just way, way behind the times, absolute decade behind the times.  There may be benefits with psychiatric medicine in the short run.  If someone is in a suicidal risk just to stabilize them and to get them you know to kind of calm down and relax.  But most people are stuck on these psychiatric medications for life.  And the people that are working with them and managing them are not looking at diet.  They are not looking at the gut.  They are not looking at nutritional deficiencies.  They are not looking at digestion.  And it is doing a really huge disservice to the people in the mental health field, the patients.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, can you imagine if this was just like as simple as a vitamin a D deficiency?  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Can you imagine like if we just did a panel and it is like, “Oh look!  You need to get out in the sun more and maybe take the vitamin D.”  And all of the sudden your problems fixed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Not that it is always the case.  Yes, there are way more complications and there are certain kinds from medicines.  But I mean it was that simple there are still probably a lot of people that might have just something small underlying foundation missing.  Maybe they are just not eating the right food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So making sure that you get that foundation first before you go and reach for the medicine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes I agree.  There is no major conspiracy theory behind this.  We do have a lot of well-intentioned doctors that are out there.  But these doctors get stuck in a model that is they are working 80 to 100 hours a week.  They are getting stuck in residencies in medical schools that are just pretty much funded by drug companies.  And the drug companies are putting money there because they want them to have an allopathic pharmaceutical intervention.  And that is where their interests are.  They are funding it because they want to use medications for interventions.  But it is hard.  If you have a medication that you are spending billions of dollars on and you are going to school for ten years for and then you have this thing of like, wow! Vitamin D and like avoid gluten and it is like almost free.  Like you can see there is major competition there.  And there is not much profit to be made there either, too with the vitamin D and gluten.  And a lot of these things are simple and easy.  So you can see what happened, we have a lot of conflicts of interest.  When people are trying to find doctors you really want to make sure you are finding someone that is going outside of the pharmaceutical spectrum.  Pharmaceuticals can be great during trauma and maybe an acute infection or maybe a car accident or things that are really you know intense and acute.  But long term, it tends to not be the best solution.  And you know frankly, the number six cause of death I think, iatrogenic-induced deaths.  That is I think 150,000 people dying a year taking medications properly.  So when it comes to chronic medication use, we always want to look at the underlying cause and see if that medication can be substituted with diet and lifestyle or even natural nutrient or herbal medicine intervention.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is usually harder for somebody to sell vitamin D which they can pick up for like five bucks at the vitamin shop, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, exactly, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Okay let us see.  Next question is from Amy28.  She says, this is an interesting question I am testing Dr. Justin to see if he has any insight on this.  “How can I gain facial fat?”  Now that is interesting.  “I am 5 feet and 95 pounds and I am happy with my body.  I used to be 110 pounds but I lost 15 pounds over the last few months without even trying just by cutting out the junk food.  My body looks very good now but my God, my face (sad face).  I used to have a baby face and relatively chubby cheeks which I liked because it made me look younger.  I look older now because my face is so ‘wrung’” I think is the word?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.  Uh-hmm.

Baris Harvey:  “I want to try Paleo for the rest of the year and see how I feel on it.  Does anyone have any tip to gain weight on my face without regaining the weight on my body?  Thanks.  Good luck.”  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.  That is an interesting one.  So what was her weight, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  She is currently 95 pounds and she is 5 feet tall.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, well that explains all of it.  So a couple of things.  I did an Atkins diet when I was like 18.  I was experimenting with it.  I did it all wrong because I went high protein, low carb and low fat.  And that is like a big mistake that a lot of people make.  And I remember my cheek bones being like so sucked in and looking so malnourished that people would say, “What happened to your face?”  It was not a bad thing, my face is more chiseled and cut but I noticed when I cut the fat out and the carbs, I lost a lot in my face.  So I would first say make sure you are having an adequate amounts of fat.  And because of your weight, I would really up the carbs.  I mean I would use some sweet potatoes, yams in there.  I will get some nice healthy safe starches in there and see how you look and feel and perform and kind of just test that first.  That will be like one of the first things I do.  Now on top of that, we have therapeutic things, right?  These are things outside of just diet.  So you can also supplement and get some really good high collagen powder in there.  That can be excellent just to get extra precursors for skin and for nutrients and help tighten the skin up that can be helpful.  I also use a stem cell based cream called J-Bio Serum.  I think they even have the ability to inject as well. But this cream is excellent because they basically go to the skin banks and they spin off the stem cells or the cytokines from the fat tissue and they pull those cytokines out and they compound it into a cream.  And it works very, very well at skin health.  It works very well at sunburns.  They use it in a fair amount of hospitals across the country with unburned victims.  So I see it helping a ton for skin health and potentially adding that extra collagen in support there.  It is definitely worth a try.  I use it 3 or 4 times a week just for anti-aging on my skin.  For sunspots and wrinkles just to prevent all that.  But that will be something worth trying.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Awesome.  I was just going to say do not be afraid to gain a little bit of weight.  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  The 95 pounds and was she is 5’3?

Baris Harvey:  5 feet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  5 so she is still a little bit small.  But 95 pounds is still a little too small especially if she is active.  I would up the carbs a little bit and make sure there is enough healthy fat in there.  Get some bone broths add some collagen.  If you want to go the extra mile try the extra intervention stem cell creams that I mentioned.

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Definitely.  Sounds good.  Let me go to the next question.  This is from Tim 31.  And it says how long would it take to become vitamin D deficient?  And then he says, “Or how long do healthy stocks of vitamin D last in the body?”  Quite a while I imagine but just wondering if there were any studies on how long vitamin D last in the body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I am not sure about studies I will just give you clinical experience.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I find it takes about six months to a year if someone stopped taking vitamin D for it to drop. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now again this is going to be different because people that are inflamed they just need more vitamin D because they have a harder time absorbing it.    

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that is the big thing.  If you are inflamed and you are overweight you may have a hard time converting this vitamin D.  Vitamin D3 we get half that gets converted to calcitriol; that is the active vitamin D.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it goes to the liver first and then to the kidneys.  So the kidneys are what really activates vitamin D.  The vitamin D that we are taking is not really even active.  It has to get converted. 

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vitamin D3 gets converted and then to the active hormone calcitriol.  So again, I would say six months to a year would be a good recommendation.  And everyone is different so test.  Go on Vitamin D supplementation throughout the winter months or before you go into the winter test and see where you are at.  And after you come out of the winter without taking any of it you could test again.  Do it monthly and see where you are at.  Again it is so individualized for every person.  So it is hard to say but I would say six months to a year.  Good general recommendation is about 1000 i.u/25 pounds is a good general recommendation.  Being above 50 is good.  If you have an autoimmune condition I recommend being between 70 to 100.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Yes.  And like we mentioned before vitamin D supplementation is not really that expensive.  Like the most you can spend is like probably 20 bucks at the most.  So definitely that sounds like basically a pretty good answer.  And testing for vitamin D levels is not that expensive as well.  So make sure that you are getting tested so that way you are not guessing what is going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So the next and last question we have for today’s podcast is from let us see, Megan or Megiani01 something like that.  It is a username.  So do not get offended if it is wrong.  Fish/seafood allergy.  Suboptimal omega 3 to 6 ratio and hormonal imbalance.  She says, “I have had a severe fish/seafood allergy my entire life.  It sucks.  Basically, I have been severely omega 3 deficient since birth.  I am trying to correct some hormonal imbalances and trying to optimize my omega 3 to 6 ratio.  And I am not sure the best way to go about it with this allergy.  I take DHA from algae very expensive and I do not take enough as a result.  I limit exposure to seed and vegetable oils.  What else can I do?  I have heard some people who are allergic to fish can handle fish oil.  I can eat fish sauce made from bones not proteins which is the allergens.  Thoughts?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So typically most people that have allergies they are typically allergic to a protein.  The protein tends to be the issue when we are dealing with allergies.  That is why many people that have a dairy allergy have no problem with butter or people that are autoimmune or even sensitive to butter have no problem with ghee because ghee is pure fat.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So typically the halves in or the antibody and the antigen.  The antibody is protein-based so we need protein to actually build our antibodies.  But our antibodies they are actually responding to protein.  And if we look at gluten, gluten is not really gluten it is gliadin.  Gliadin is the protein that we are responding to.  Gluten is kind of like an overarching…

Baris Harvey:  Slang term.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Slang term for that.  Because “glue in”, they call it gluten because it is like glue.  So that is kind of you know the whole term there.  And then again the other grain, the other prolamins which are proteins in grains.  All those grains like rice have various proteins.  Corn has zein.  Oats have avenin.  I think rye has orzenin.  So these are different proteins.  So it is the immune system responding to proteins.  So in my opinion, I think if your gut is healthy and there are no gut issues and you are having adequate amounts of hydrochloric acid as well as bile salts and there are no bile or gallbladder problems there should not be an issue in taking an oil.  Now I do not know her history 100%.  Maybe she has tried this.  Maybe that is just how it is with her.  But personally, I find allergies tend to be off protein based.  Just like intolerances tend to be more FODMAP or sugar based, right?      

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We look at the carbohydrate people have lactose intolerance.  What is lactose?  That is sugar.  People have FODMAP issues.  FODMAPS are all types of sugars, right?  The fermentable or the disaccharide, mono and poly.  These are all sugars.  So intolerance tends to be sugars.  Allergies tend to be proteins.  And if we are seeing fat issues I would just want to look a little bit deeper at how her gallbladder is functioning and how her gut is functioning and make sure she is able to break that down properly.  Because if we are eating foods and they are sitting in our gut and they are fermenting and they are rancidifying which is basically fat rotting.  Well, we may have symptoms that we correlate to allergies and it may not be.   

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   But on that same standpoint, I would switch it up.  I would try salmon oil, tuna oil.  My favorite is cod liver because you get a glandular cod product from a liver of a fish.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And is also high in vitamin A as well.  So you get the vitamin A plus the EPA and DHA.  So switch up the fish.  See if it is across the board.  I mean see how you feel.  You could do some kinesiological testing.  If that is a value, I am not sure if you get that type of lab testing you need to look at that.  But I would just try experiment and see how you feel, look and perform afterwards.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, sounds great.  Hopefully that was beneficial and sounds really good because I know it is important to have that nice balance.  It is a lot harder these days when we have a lot of the refined foods boosting up the omega 6 ratio.  And we want to try to find a way to balance it.  Yes, if you can get that in without having a reaction that would be awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I would also just go for super high quality brand.  I would use something like Pure Encapsulations.  Use something that is like it is extra filtered, extra pure because there could be some type of protein contamination in there.  So I would really look at maybe Nordic Naturals, Carlson’s, Pure Encapsulations.  I would go to something that is super pure that you know there is no protein that is getting in there.  I imagine you probably be okay with that.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Perfect answer.  Anything else to add in today?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, today was a good show again without having a back and forth conversation.  I just take everything with a grain of salt.  If someone hears these questions and want some more feedback or likes the direction it is going, feel free and reach out so we can apply and give more clarity and just know that we are not really giving any medical advice that we want people to just follow through with blindly because it may not be the right thing for you because anyone is an individual.  So if it sounds like your situation, you know, if you do it you would say you know you are embarking at your own risk.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  If you guys want to talk more to us again you guys can shoot us an email.  Go to contacts.  I even do a consultation.  So yes, definitely if you guys want to talk more about your specific individualized situation let us know.  And also make sure that you go to ITunes and leave a review.  This helps us spread the message and spread the word.  And we would really appreciate it.  And also like I just mentioned then you send in your questions as well so we can have these Q & A discussion.  So go to  And thank you guys for tuning in to another episode and see you guys next time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Thank you.



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