Blood Sugar Regulation Podcast #12

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In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani explains in depth the different mechanisms of blood sugar regulation.   He also discussed the negative effects of having very high and super low blood sugar measurements in our body and how important it is to stabilize one’s blood sugar.

Learn the different blood sugar thresholds, how to use a monitoring device and why constant testing is necessary for blood sugar control.  Also find out how a low-carb, high fat diet as well as some herbs and nutrients such as alpha-lipoic acid, Gymnema, cinnamon, vanadium and chromium help with blood sugar stability.


In this episode we cover:

02:40   What is a healthy blood sugar?

08:46   Monitoring blood sugar

13:10   Hypoglycemia

29:03   Hemoglobin A1C test

34:31   Exercise for blood sugar regulation









Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  Today we have an awesome podcast for you guys all about blood sugar regulation.  There has been a lot of increasing population of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and there are more other issues with blood sugar.  So we want to go ahead and combat that as much as we possibly can.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

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

Baris Harvey:  I am doing very well.  It is bright and early over here in Sta. Cruz.  It is not as sunny as it usually is but you know I feel great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is good.  And by the way, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Baris Harvey:  Basically, I am making my blood sugar regulated, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  I actually did not eat anything this morning.  I was going to wake up at 5 for a workout, woke up in the middle of the night for a little bit so that kind of threw that off.  So I just basically rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and got ready for this podcast.  What about yourself?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.  I actually got off I had about 30 grams of grass fed whey protein and about 20 grams of collagen.  I did a 5-minute Tabata workout, little interval burst training.  And I had three raw eggs and some coffee, some MCT oil and some grass fed butter all blended together.

Baris Harvey:  Sounds delicious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Really good. 

Baris Harvey:  You put in any chocolate in there or something to sweeten?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I put a little bit of vanilla powder in there.

Baris Harvey:  Okay, there you go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Some of Dave Asprey’s upgraded vanilla.

Baris Harvey:  The way to do it.  Now I have one question for you.  This is the awesome part.  How many dishes did you have to clean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  None.  Just the little shaker cup and that was it.

Baris Harvey:  That sounds beautiful.  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.  Absolutely.  (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  So, I would like to put this one on you and ask what is healthy blood sugar?  And what are the mechanisms behind blood sugar regulation?  So you can answer both of those questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Perfect.  So just looking at it from a laboratory range.  Conventional medicine kind of looks at it as typically between 70 and 110 or I would say even 105 these days where outside of the 105, 110 may call that metabolic syndrome, if you will.  And if you go below that 70 or so it is considered hypoglycemia.  Now, in functional medicine world we use more sensitive ranges because we want to pick things up before there is a problem.  And there is a lot of research that blood sugar over 100 is starting to become a problem.   And then blood sugar in my opinion if it starts to go below 80, it is a potential hypoglycemia.  And we will talk about the two kinds of blood sugar patients.  But those are key issues.  We have the high side and we have the low side.  And when we talk about blood sugar regulation prehistorically or just evolution we were around lots of famines and fasting periods where food was scarce.  So if you will look at all the hormones we have, we have a lot of hormones that actually bring blood sugar up.  We have cortisol, we have norepinephrine, epinephrine, somatostatin.  We have glucagon.  We have potentially thyroid hormone, growth hormone, IGF-1.  So lots of hormones actually bring blood sugar up and we only actually have one hormone that really brings blood sugar down and that is insulin.  And the problem with that is as we gotten overexposed to sugar and sugar is the main stimulator of carbohydrates, the main stimulator of insulin we develop insulin resistance.  So that is kind of a big word.  What does that mean?  Well, if any rebels in the crowd here they could think back to their youth maybe they did a little ding dong ditch on their neighbor next door and they went up and rang their doorbell.  What you may find is their neighbor opens the door once, looks around, yeah, those next door kids, you know, punks whatever.  Close the door and go back up.  You knock on the door again they open up or maybe they do not even open up this time because they know that kids are playing tricks on them so they are not going to waste their time.  And the same thing with blood sugar stability is your receptor, your cell does not open up and take the blood sugar into the cell and to use it for fuel.  So all of that blood sugar sits in the blood stream and accumulates and accumulates and accumulates.  And again here is a question that most people just are not aware of.   Baris, do you know how many teaspoons of sugar are actually in your blood stream right now or the healthy level? 

Baris Harvey:  Yes, in about 1.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  1 teaspoon of sugar. 

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So not much.  So next time you put like 3, 4, 5 teaspoons in your coffee or drink, not you but maybe people listening.

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Our listeners are pretty smart so maybe they are not even in that area.  Or you go look at like you know the average Coke with this 30 or 40 grams which is about 8 or 9 or 10 tablespoons!  You would think like, wow!  Like you are really putting a lot of stress on your liver because your liver has to soak that up and then your pancreas had to push out a whole bunch of insulin.  So it is really, really stressful on your body.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  And that kind of flies in the face of conventional wisdom as we kind of have to do this self-regulation of our blood sugar.  We are told that yes we need to make sure that we are eating complex carbohydrates, right?  Every three to four hours.  And if we really have a teaspoon of sugar in our blood I mean our body has the ability to basically hold on to whatever carbohydrate we may have or even (inaudible) or turned into glucose if it has to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  We have other mechanisms of stabilizing blood sugar.  We can use ketones which come from fatty acids.  We can use a process called gluconeogenesis.  Big word, you break it down.  Glucose new forming.  So it is basically forming new glucose from protein.  So we can actually take protein, break it up into glucose.  So we have to make sure we are eating enough protein if not, that protein comes from our muscle not our diet. But a couple of those mechanisms though they actually can be a little bit stressful on the adrenal glands.  So you can go into ketosis by just going really low carb and having a good high fat diet.  That is a great way of going into ketosis so you at least will have enough fatty acids for your brain and for metabolism.  And you have enough protein in the diet so you are not catabolizing your muscle.  But at the same standpoint, some people especially people that have fried adrenal glands, gluconeogenesis are forming glucose from protein is actually cortisol dependent.  So we need that hormone cortisol.  So if you are adrenally fatigued potentially going super low carb for a long period of time may not be the best for you.  You maybe better cycling in and out.  Or it may not be the best for you to be doing intermittent fasting routinely or saving that intermittent fasting for less stressful days. Because we need stress hormones to actually go into this modified type of fasting.  Even though you are not fasting because food is coming in, your body thinks you are fasting and will be breaking down amino acids.  We just want to make sure it is coming from your diet and not your muscle.     

Baris Harvey:  Yes, perfect.  So we talked a little bit about gluconeogenesis, about how our body can make sugar from other things like proteins and how that can be stressful if your health is not at the top shape.  Can you talk a little bit about like post meal?  Like what is a good way for people to measure their blood sugar?  I mean a lot of things, we have to go and take a lab test and do this expensive things but what about getting a blood sugar monitor?  Like how do we use one of these simple $25 to $50 devices to monitor our blood sugar?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I actually have a blood sugar monitor myself and I use it quite frequently.  And basically my fasting blood sugar should always be under 100.  That is kind of a key thing.  But even more importantly what is your blood sugar 1 hour or 2 hour after a meal?  That is really helpful to make sure you are not increasing this glycation, the advanced glycation end-products which comes from sugar coating our blood sugar.  Because I worked in the hospital for a long period of time and I would be the person that would hold the legs of the amputee patients that were diabetics and I would bring their legs and limbs down to the morgue.  And it was really a sad experience in that all that damage was caused by high blood sugar.  And I even saw people go blind.  So blood sugar can be very, very damaging.  So research show once your blood sugar starts going over 140mg/dL that is causing organ damage.  We want to be very, very careful in looking at our blood sugar monitor.  You know, you can get one like at CDS or your typical pharmacy.  Your blood sugar should never go over 140.  So 1 hour after a meal you should not be over 140.  And ideally 2 hours after a meal you should be under 120.  And ideally 3 hours you should be just about back to fasting well under 100 or right around below 90’s.     

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  (Inaudible)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Say that one more time for me, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, so you said immediately after or 1 hour after your blood sugar should be under 140?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, like within 1 hour it should be under 140.  Blood sugar typically peaks at about 45 minutes after a meal.  So 45 minutes to an hour you are going to get a good idea what your max blood sugar would be from that meal. 

Baris Harvey:  Okay.  So you tell people that we should not have over 140 kind of as max.  After that it can be damaging.  Is there like an optimal range or should it just be somewhere under that and you are good?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Under 140 is going to be a really good place.  I mean like myself, my blood sugar never goes above I would say 110.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So will run my blood sugar after a meal and it will be right around 105, 108, 110. That is good, you know.  I have good strong adrenal glands, good strong pancreas, I can manage that.  But again, the healthier you are the better your hormones are to regulate blood sugar.  But that is just kind of a good spectrum where if you are over that 140 hey, you know there are some problems and you are causing damage according to the research.  So that gives you an idea that what you are eating is kryptonite for you essentially.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  So you really need to go back to the meal you just ate.  You can try to test things out if you can get a little bit more carbohydrates into your diet and see if it is working for you or not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And then you can try customizing it to and for you.  So again, if you are super heavy and super overweight and your hormonal system has been damaged to a certain degree, you may have to be very, very low carb.  Maybe to be like Atkins induction level like under 20 grams of carbs and be very careful just because the damage has been done.  I mean look at guys like Jimmy Moore for instance.  I was just on his podcast.  And Jimmy has had great success on a ketogenic diet which is keeping his carbs 20 or below.  And he needs to be at that level.  And people may say well you know, Jimmy has not lost all of the weight but he has lost well over 200 pounds which is amazing.  The question is if Jimmy added the carbs back in where would he be?  That is the question.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because like you know he has damaged his metabolism from the years of higher carbohydrate so for him being where he is at now at his body type is going to be optimized by him keeping the carbs at that level.  So some people like Jimmy have to be at that super ketogenic level.  Other people have a little more latitude.  It just really depends how much damage you created due to high blood sugar and how long.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes. Perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also the genetic predisposition for that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Let us talk a little bit about hypoglycemia.  What would kind of the abnormally low number?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So when people start going beneath 80 that is starting to become a problem for me.  You know we start to see mid 70’s that starts to become a problem.  And you know I will typically have patients test their blood sugar throughout the day and you can kind of do a nice little simple questionnaire, too.  We start seeing sweet cravings, anxiety, jitteriness, those are like strong adrenal symptoms where low blood sugar is there.  People that tend to be on the hypoglycemic side, the chronic hypoglycemia, they tend to be more insulin sensitive.  Meaning they do not get that numbness effect.  So when they eat a whole bunch of blood sugar or sugar I should say, that converts to blood sugar, they develop this phenomenon known as reactive hypoglycemia.  Reactive meaning the pancreas reacts by producing a whole bunch of insulin which drops that blood sugar too low.    

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So your typical person that has insulin resistance their pancreas may react with the whole bunch of insulin but the cells are numb to it so would not be able to break it down.  But these people their cells are more sensitive so when that pancreas responds it just drops that blood sugar like a roller coaster ride.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Because it is not that steady.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so most people start off with that.  That reactive type of thing and eventually they do not have to dip anymore and it just stays high.  Others do the genetic predisposition, their cells are just more sensitive and it just drops right down.  And that actually predisposes lots of women to PCOS.  We have two kinds of PCOS patients they all have to do with blood sugar.  We have the ones that are overweight.  Those are the insulin resistant ones, the high blood sugar.  And the ones that are skinnier, the hypo reactive glycemic patients those are the ones that have low blood sugar.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes definitely.  Okay now there are another two areas of blood sugar.  Again there is the Type 2 diabetics, one onset and then the Type 1.  It is funny because the names used to be called something else.  Used to be late onset adult type but now kids are getting it so they changed it to Type 2.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know.  Crazy.

Baris Harvey:  It seems like a lot of what you are explaining is more of the Type 2, correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so Type 2 is going to be like the insulin resistance and we already talked about that.  And again with parents having blood sugar issues, guess what?  We turn on epigenetics that predispose our kids so that is why our kids are so susceptible.  Because when so many women are having gestational diabetes which is again the worst thing you could ever do because you are turning on genes in your child that are predisposing them.  And I think if more parents have the conversation with their doctors about epigenetics and how their diet literally is turning on genes in their kids they would really think twice.  Because I see too many women that think pregnancy is a free-for-all.  Oh, I am eating for two.  I can do all these things.  I can fulfill all my cravings.  That is really not a good approach because you are building something inside of you and you are turning on genes that could predispose that child for lots of things.  I know that is kind of controversial.  I mean you can go and look at Chris Kresser’s “Healthy Baby Code” or Dave Asprey’s book “The Better Baby Book” and there is lots of research backing this up.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, and..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Go ahead, yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes I was just going to say, we should have to eat a bunch more versus yes we should be more responsible because what goes into your body also can be the formation of this new baby.  So it is like your stomach is not a garbage can and you cannot just dump more stuff in in because that is what your building your baby’s brain cells and its DNA and its genes and exactly what it needs to deal when it comes out to this new world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.  I did not answer the last half of that question and that was a good point.  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and that is where the beta cells of the pancreas are actually destroyed via the immune system.  So the immune system is literally attacking those cells, the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.  And then our bodies do not have the ability to produce insulin so our blood sugar cannot get into the cell because insulin is the key that opens the door to the cell.  Right?  But if you cannot bring that sugar into the cell the sugar accumulates.  And again this autoimmunity, this autoimmune condition really starts at, you know, right out at the gate at the age right at birth, 1, 2, 3.  And if you are exposing your kid research shows to cow albumin, cow’s milk or albumin. If you would ask, that is the protein molecule before the age of 5 there is, from what I understand, an 80% chance that, an 80% increased risk that your kid will get Type 1 diabetes due to this concept of molecular mimicry that the cow albumin looks similar to the beta cells of the pancreas and that our immune system will start attacking that cow albumin and then create antibodies that will then go by accident, right?  Mistaken identity starts attacking the beta cells of the pancreas.

Baris Harvey:  (Inaudible) I grew up in farms and that I am like really strong and fit and healthy and probably drink milk at a young age.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so your question was about A1 and A2 milk?

Baris Harvey:  Yes. I am just wondering if that had anything to do with it or the type of milk made a difference?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Type of milk does make a difference.  I mean you have like raw milk, etc.  All those things are really important.  But I would even suggest cutting out all milk just use breast milk at least for the first year to potentially even 2 years depending on how much, you know what the woman’s responsibilities at work and the household.  But ideally, at least one year would be ideal.

Baris Harvey:  Right, yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And just having that high quality breast milk and nothing else.  And again if you have to make the formula, the second best formula to make outside of human breast milk would be high quality goat’s milk.  And if you look at the Weston A. Price site, just Google Weston A. Price formula what you are going to find is combining goat’s milk with some liver or some cod liver oil.  Those things are going to be amazing for your child.  And ideally making sure it is raw goat’s milk.  But raw milk is going to be better but still off the bat I would still suggest just trying to do only breast milk.

Baris Harvey:  Okay cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Especially..  Go ahead.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, yes go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was just saying that if you have autoimmune conditions in your family, if you have people with conditions like Hashimoto’s or other things around the family I would totally avoid cow’s milk, even raw milk off the bat just in case.  

Baris Harvey:  Yes, better to be safe than sorry.  So back on to Type 1 diabetes. Are these people basically doomed and they just kind of need that medical intervention or are there other ways where they can improve their condition so that way they will be a little less dependent on their insulin from external source?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so we have Type 1 diabetics you know that they were diagnosed typically between the age 10 and 15 because of that autoimmune condition that really happens around like 2 or 3 it kind of starts.  So if the immune system has gotten wound up and has essentially you know beaten up the pancreas to the point where it cannot produce insulin, yes you are probably going to need insulin.  The question is now how much insulin are you going to need?  Now what is kind of put out there by conventional medicine and doctors is that: “Oh, you can eat whatever you want just make sure you know you pop out enough insulin to absorb the carbohydrates you are taking in.”  So what they are really saying is this: cover up your carbs with insulin.  And the problem is insulin in itself is still damaging.  High blood sugar is more damaging but insulin is still damaging.  So if you are popping out a whole bunch of blood sugar you are still going to be creating some oxidative stress.  And if you go into PubMed or go to the Google machine and you type in hyperinsulinism, hyper insulin, high amounts of insulin and whatever disease you want, fill in the blank, cancer, heart disease, right?  Stress, inflammation, autoimmune condition, you are going to see a strong link between high levels of insulin in almost all chronic degenerative disease because insulin cause cells to grow.  So think cancer when you think cell growth.  So getting back to your original question, I kind of went a little bit off tangent, but if you have Type 1 diabetes and you actually need it because there has been destruction of that pancreas and there is not much function left to it, then you are going to have to get your carbohydrates down as low as possible so you can use the least amount of insulin as possible.  So testing your blood sugar, seeing how you respond, finding how many units of insulin you need per carbohydrate and just trying to get down the insulin to the lowest amount possible you know per the highest amount of carbohydrates.  So some people start at like 1-unit-per-10 carbs or 15 carbs or 20 carbs.  So ideally, getting the carbs down as low as possible so you need the least amount of insulin and then just always be confirming and checking with your blood sugar monitor so your blood sugar is not going too high because if you are not getting enough insulin, your blood sugar may go up too much.  And if you get too much then you can go into low blood sugar which can cause even more problems with that.  So just keep an eye on your blood sugar and try to go good quality fats, good quality proteins, low carbs and try to use the least amount of insulin you know for the amount of carbs you are taking in.  That is only going to be done by keeping the carbs down.  But you can also use herbs and nutrients like Gymnema, like alpha-lipoic acid, cinnamon, vanadium lot of natural compounds.  Chromium for instance, that would help with blood sugar stability.  So if you add that on board too with the insulin you may be able to lower your insulin.  So you need less amount of insulin per carbohydrate which is where you want to be but always default to your blood sugar, always be testing the blood sugar.  Test, test, test never guess.

Baris Harvey:  Yes definitely.  So just to take some of these GTF these glucose tolerance factor kind of neutraceuticals can be beneficial.  Like you said the chromium, the cinnamon those kind of things.  One thing this is totally off tangent but I thought of a story that just sounded perfect.  I was training with my bodybuilder friend and he was actually my mentor and he was telling me about because he has even more bodybuilding friends but he is all-natural.  He had a friend that you know after their super intense workout, leg workout the guy would go into the car and drink and entire bottle of sprite, a 2L and then inject himself with insulin to get those sugars into the muscle cells.  So that is just an idea, the mechanisms behind you know the original bio-hackers for the bodybuilders.  And that was like super-duper!  That is probably more dangerous than just taking steroids.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I agree.  I have known people that have actually done that myself where they used insulin because insulin is very anabolic.  It brings things into the cell.  The only problem is if you just give yourself just a little bit too much insulin you are going to go into a hypoglycemic shock and if you are by yourself you can literally pass out and go into a coma because your blood sugar has gotten too low.  So very, very, very dangerous.  I do not recommend that.  At least with steroids there are some ramifications there but you are not kind of just go out into a low blood sugar, potential diabetic or hypoglycemic coma like you would there.  So be very, very careful with that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely not a recommendation at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No!  Not a recommendation.

Baris Harvey:  It is just a story.  In fact the precursor to that story was somebody telling me about that experience that is worse than steroids.  Basically what he was saying is like,” I know people that do things that are even worse than that.”  And those are examples of super dangerous things, nobody do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I know people that have been diabetics and the problem with being a diabetic Type 1 for instance is they can be skinny, and why?  Because they cannot control how much insulin is in their bodies.  And I have known people and if you go look and just Google like Type 1 diabetics in the early 1900’s and 1920’s before insulin was created they literally looked like concentration camp victims because insulin is needed to bring fuel into the cell.  So if we do not have insulin all that stuff stays in our blood streams and never gets into the cell.  So the problem with that is it will actually go into the urine, too.  People use that to test and used to diagnose diabetes because they would literally drink their urine and it would taste sweet.  That is why diabetes was diabetes mellitus for instance which basically means sweet urine, if I understand that correctly.  So I have known people they would not give themselves the right amount of insulin because they knew if they started giving themselves more insulin they would actually get bigger and bigger and bigger because that would suck the sugar from the blood stream into the cell.  So they would eat a whole bunch of junk and stay super lean and ripped up but then you look at their blood sugar and they are like a 250, 280 and it is like hey man!  If you keep that up you are going to have gangrene in those legs.  You are going to start to have eye problems, double vision; all kinds of other eye issues because of the capillaries get affected by all the glycation end products.  So you can play that game into Type 1 diabetic for a while when you are young but it comes back with a vengeance later on.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  All that sugar is bouncing around in the blood stream is not the best idea.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes and then we could do test like hemoglobin A1c which will actually measure how much that sugar is coated.  So there is a specific hemoglobin, the C portion of it.  So hemoglobin carries oxygen and stuff.  You have a red blood cell, red blood cell attach to that the hemoglobin molecule.  We have the C branch of that hemoglobin which gets coated with sugar.  And so the longer, the more sugar in our blood stream the thicker that coat on that outside of the wall the hemoglobin gets.  And we can actually measure that.  And what you will find in these Type 1 diabetics that have not been managing their blood sugar properly we will see their hemoglobin A1c through the roof which just means that blood sugar has just been coating all of that protein and creating all kinds of AGEs which literally ages you and then kind of create the free-radical magnet which just allows all those free radicals to come in there and just attack the DNA.  And essentially it is creating an oxidation reaction which is take a peeled apple, leave it on your counter it starts to brown, that is oxidation, right?  

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nail outside the rain, it rusts.  That is oxidation.  That same type of reaction that is happening inside of you, to your blood vessels, to your cells, to your capillaries and basically aging you faster.  Advanced glycation end products ages you. So it kind of fits itself with the acronym there.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm. Can you talk for just a little bit just in case our listeners are not sure about well, like the measuring of the A1c is and then what a good reading would be?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So typically, A1c you have like 6.1 to 6.4 is like your pre-diabetic range.  Over 6.4 is kind of your diabetic range.  I like the mid to low 5 range.  And again that system measurement is your red blood cell has a hemoglobin attached to it which carries oxygen.  We need oxygen, right?  Go back to the science experiment in high school where you take a candle.  If you were robbed with that experience you can feel free to do it at your house.

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Take a candle, take a glass, mason jar so you do not start a fire and just cover up that candle.  What happens is the candle goes out because the candle needs oxygen for that fire to go.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So that oxygen is again we have the red blood cell, we have the hemoglobin which carries the oxygen but it also has that C component that gets blood sugar accumulated.  And we can measure that and see how accumulated it has gone.  Because some people out there can actually make a whole bunch of insulin to keep their blood sugar low, alright?  So we may not pick them up on a conventional fasting blood sugar because their blood sugar has dropped down because they have good insulin.  But if their blood sugar has been high throughout that period before they fasted let us say one, two, three hours after a meal, that can cause that hemoglobin to thicken with blood sugar and it may show up on the hemoglobin A1c test.

Baris Harvey:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You may see it above that 5.9 – 6 range and that is an indicator that maybe blood sugar is a little bit too out of balance.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Yes, that definitely helps.  Okay and another question.  Now I am just taking from some of the questions that I got from some clients.  But I have had a client tell me that they were told that their doctor thinks that the high blood sugar levels are good enough for diabetics.  That is what I have heard before from clients.  And you were in kind of the Western medicine for a while there learning kind of the behind the scene, is this the case?  And if so, why are they told that it is okay for these other people to have higher blood sugar numbers?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I think a lot of people in the conventional medicine field have just dealt with a lot of people that are not really willing to make changes.  So they are just kind of like, hey, this is what you got to do.  Just take the insulin, get your blood sugar down.  Does not really matter how much or what you eat because they are just looking to manage the condition.  Like the side effects and all of the sequelae of things that happen to Type 1 diabetics, it is just kind of expected to be normal.  So they just kind of written it off that this is how it is going to be for most people.  But you got doctors like Dr. Bernstein who has been eating low carbs.  I think he is in his 70’s and virtually no Type 1 diabetic symptoms and he is doing great.  So you can mitigate all of those side effects.  The problem is conventional medicine really has not come to that decision yet because they would have to put more focus on diet and nutrition.  And that makes it really tough because a lot of that industry is primarily sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.  So it is very, very difficult for people to get that realization now when the industry is sponsored by so much money pointing it in the other direction.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then we look at the strong alliance between the drug companies and the junk food industry.  And let us face it, all of the junk food that has the highest profit margins and the longest shelf life are the junky carbohydrate sugar foods, right?  High fructose corn syrup is really, really sweet and really cheap, too.  So again these foods they have long shelf life, their cheap, their profit margins up through the roof.  People think now calories are important so they now can actually give you these 100-calorie snack packs.  Give you less food, charge you more because it is healthy.  Have shelf life that lasts forever so the profit margin is through the roof.  And this is kind of unholy alliance with the drug company and the food industry.  And it is just the way it is right now and that is what is driving a lot of the conventional, medical education.  So doctors walk out and they are not educated in nutrition.  They are not educated in diet.  And frankly most of them have terrible diets themselves because they went through residency programs where they were working 80 to 100 hours a week.  I mean do you have time to go out and buy grass fed meat, eat good foods when you are working in those kind of hours and staying up all night?

Baris Harvey:   Probably not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No!  It is super hard.

Baris Harvey:  It would be extremely difficult.  And by the way, for those of your out there, what Dr. Justin said, those 100-calorie snack packs they could sell it like that because they are healthy, you might have missed the air quotes. (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Not healthy.  So yes before we go too long and I know you have a full schedule today with your clients to work with.  Just real quick, what are some of the best practices, something that can help if they are diabetic or even if they are not but they have some blood sugar issues?  Some of these practices that they can do like what kind of exercise, foods, supplements?  What are going to be the best things for them to do to keep their blood sugar in check?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So when I see people that have blood sugar issues, I look at exercise as a means to make your body more sensitive to insulin and I also look at exercise as a means to build more reservoirs for blood sugar.  So what I mean by that is, the average person stores about I say 300 to 330 grams of carbs in your muscle and about 70 carbs in your liver.  So you have about 400 grams of carbohydrates storage in your liver and muscles, mostly in your muscles.  So it makes sense if you can put on a little bit more muscle you make your body more sensitive to insulin.  You do not need as much insulin.  Remember insulin and those deleterious side effects and you have more reservoirs for blood sugar.  So if you can use exercise to build more storage sites for blood sugar and you can make yourself more insulin sensitive that is a plus.  But outside of that, you know eating every 4 to 5 hours high quality protein, high quality fats and try to get more of your carbs from vegetable sources.  If you are more carbohydrate sensitive, right?  If you are at a healthy weight, if you are a man with a waist size ideally below 40 inches maybe even less.  A woman under 35 that is a sign that you are going to be more insulin sensitive because your tummy is a blood sugar meter then maybe you can add some carbs from low glycemic fruits like berries or grapefruit or lemon, lime or the berries like I mentioned raspberries, etc. Strawberries.  That could be a good way to kind of dose in some of the carbs.  Maybe you can have some safe starches like squash, maybe a little bit of sweet potatoes.  Again it is all going to be dependent upon how insulin resistant or how insulin sensitive you are.  So I kind of individualize it.  If you are very overweight you want to default with that low carbohydrate diet.  If you are exercising a little bit more dose in the carbs.  Some people are super adrenal fatigued so they may have a harder time going really low carb.  So just kind of figure out what works best for you.  Use a blood sugar meter, kind of use that 1 hour after a meal.  Your blood sugar should not go over 140.  So try eating a couple of things.  Even try eating some bad meals and some good meals and see how your blood sugar is affected so it is catered and specific to what your needs are.  And then you can also try using some blood sugar support like the alpha-lipoic acid, like the chromium, the vanadium, the Gymnema, the Banaba, the bitter melon, cinnamon.  All of these herbs and nutrients are really good for blood sugar stability and regulation.  That is a good start for anyone right there.  But if you are having a hard time with it still, looking at the adrenal glands are going to be vitally important because that is a big part of blood sugar stability and regulation.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Awesome.  Well, that was a great episode and great information Dr. Justin, like always we truly appreciate it.  To get more go to and if you want to ask questions  We will provide you with notes, links also we can answer your questions there.  I highly recommend you go back there and do us a favor go to ITunes and give us a good rating.  That will be helpful in getting this message out to the masses.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And I wanted to end with one last anecdote, Baris before we go here.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, no problem.  I would love to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.  There is a study by Christopher Gardner.  It was called the A-Z Study.  And Christopher Gardner, he is a Stanford researcher. And what he did was he looked at people that were on like an Atkins type of diet, an Ornish type of diet, like your standard American diet and I think one more like a Dash diet or something like that.  And what he found was the people that went on the Atkins low carb, high fat type of diet they actually had the best improvements in all parameters.  So lowest blood pressure, you know improvements in the HDLs, see lower weight circumference, better compliance like the whole nine yards.  They just saw massive, massive improvements all around.  Now one thing that he looked at, there were people that were on the Ornish diet which is kind of like your low fat, high carbohydrate diet and he kind of asked the question why did the majority of people on the Atkins get results but why would there still people on the Ornish diet that still got results?  And you know what he found, Baris?    

Baris Harvey:  What was that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  He found that the people on the Ornish diet that still got great results those were the people that were more insulin sensitive.  They were more sensitive to insulin so their insulin did not go as high and because their insulin did not go as high, guess what?  They could still do well.  But the people that were more insulin resistant those were the people that had significantly more problems.  They did not lose weight on the Ornish Diet they actually gained weight and they actually needed to go on that low carb, high fat type of diet to actually keep their weight down.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is pretty astounding.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t that crazy though?  I could not believe that and I think the threshold was right around 8 grams or 8 units of insulin.  Once you are over that mark you know you are going to do better on the low carbohydrate diet.  So I always measure fasting insulin because blood sugar can be normal but you do not know how much insulin is being pumped out to keep it normal.  And if too much insulin is being pumped out a lot of that sugar that was there and is now inside the cell maybe being shunted towards fat.  So you have to go be careful with that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely, definitely very, very good information.  Again thank you guys for listening and for more information go to or I am sorry rather go to, I should say.  Alright, Dr. Justin.  You have it going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You too, Baris.  Take care.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, bye.


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