Brain Health and Nootropics with Evan Brand | Podcast #203
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In improving brain health, don’t take the quick fix. There’s more to talk about than just taking supplements. One must deal with diet, lifestyle, and digestion. More importantly, the more one helps the gut, and the more one’s going to help the brain.
Today’s podcast talks about steps in improving brain performance, natural nootropics, medicinal compounds, and pseudo pharmaceutical compounds to help improve cognitive function and brain performance.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
00:46 Steps to improve brain performance
03:42 Get the gut right
16:07 Get the inflammation down
18:32 Focus on your diet
32:03 Resveratrols and alcohols
34:27 Pharmaceutical nootropics
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey! It's Dr. J in the house. Evan Brand, how we doing today?
Evan Brand: Hey man, life is good. I'm ready to talk with you about the brain. I've been tryin' to figure out if my brain is messed up, or what. So you've been giving me some good advice. We were reviewing lab results together off the air so, it's always fun. It's less fun when you have to dig into the trenches on your own but it's still fun. So I– I appreciate your time this morning.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. I'm really excited to chat with you about a whole bunch of things we can do to im— improve uhm— brain health as well as kind of natural Nootropics which are just– essentially compounds, medicinal compounds, even some kind of pseudo pharmaceutical compounds to help improve cognitive function and brain performance. So, you know, why don't we dive in? So, off the bat, one of the first things we can do to help improve brain performance is decrease inflammation in the brain. That's like the low-hanging fruit. The more inflamed we are neurologically, the more microglia cell activation we're gonna have. And that's gonna create brain fog. Mi– microglial cells are these immune cells in the brain. And the more inflammation we have, the more of these brain cells or these– more of these immune cells get activated in part of the side effect of inflammation in the brain. And this immune reaction is gonna be brain fog and cognitive issues. So the first thing, we decrease inflammation. How do we do that? We do it by cutting gluten, and refined sugars, and refined carbohydrates out. That's gonna be the first thing. The inflammatory grains and or refined junk and trans fats. These things are gonna be more inflammatory to the gut. Inflammation in the gut is gonna cause inflammation in the brain. So the more we can actually help our gut, the more we're gonna help our brain. And the second thing is actually decreasing dysbiotic bacteria. Dysbiotic bacteria is a compound called LPS – Lipopolysaccharide. Or another term for– it's actually called endotoxin. And that can make its way through the gut into the bloodstream to the brain. It can create mood issues and cognitive issues as well. So– getting the inflammation in the gut, getting the stress out of a diet, uh– is gonna be huge for cognitive health.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I'm gonna take what you said just a step further 'cause people may have said– they may have heard, “Oh, woah, dysbiosis, LPS, brain, wh– what's going on here?”. So basically what Justin saying is, there's various infections you can pick up from the soil, the food, the water, the air, your partner, your spouse, your kids. You can pass bugs between each other. Justin and I have tested literally countless. Thousands and thousands and thousands–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.
Evan Brand: –of stooling your intestine. What we find is that these gram negative bacteria– produce the LPS. So if you have bacterial overgrowth, whether you call it SIBO, whether you call it dysbiosis, whether you call it IBS from your gastro doc who told you you have that, it doesn't matter what the term is, it matters is if there's bugs in the gut, your brain will not function well. And so, when we talked about the topic of nootropics, which I was actually hired by a publishing company to write a book on this topic, which– which kind of cool. Uh– the thing is, you can't go straight to the brain pills or the smart pills or the– the smart drugs. You can't go straight to that if you just haven't addressed the gut, and you haven't addresses the diet like– you see some dude, you know, drinking a 5-hour energy, and is eating like a gluten-free cupcake, but he wants to improve his brain functions, like– you know, smart drugs and nootropics, this is like a– a level-301 course. Like, 101 brain health is the stuff you just mentioned. The gut, the diet, etc., and then you graduate your way up. But in society, we like the quick fix. So we straight to just buying these pills. Which– I don't know, I'm not judging anybody. I'm just saying– you can spend more money on food first and get your gut fixed, then go to supplements.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So first thing is get the food right, uhm— get the gut right. And the gut, whatever they're saying, get– get the gut right. There could be SIBO, there could be infections, there could be some leaky gut caused by the above: by the food, by the gut, by the low stomach acid and enzymes by the dysbiosis, by the H-pylori fungus parasites. So get that in order first. That's the low-hanging fruit. And again that's the non-sexy stuff on the cognitive nootropic side because if you– look at any blogs or professionals to talk about brain health, a lot of times they're not talking about the gut when they're connecting the brain. Now, Dr. ___[04:14] recently called. I think the brain maker, we talked about like probiotics and these things. I don't think a lot is addressed on infections. I think a lot is addressed on good bacteria and the bacterial imbalances, but not a lot is talked about infections. So that's an important component. So once we have that right, and then we can work on– you know, other nutrients that dial things in. So, a low-hanging fruit for brain health is B-Vitamins. Now first off, are you low in B-Vitamins or do you need more B-Vitamins 'cause you're in stress? Do you need more B-Vitamins because you're not making your internal B-Vitamins because of dysbiosis? And or you're not absorbing it well? So you gotta figure out why need them so–
Evan Brand: Explain that– explain real quick. That's pretty mind-blowing concept for people. You mentioned– m– manufacturing B-Vitamins in your gut, and that being impaired due to dysbiosis.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so– healthy good bacteria actually– eat your poop or actually uhm— you know, eats. Let's just say this: they eat your poop and they poop nutrition back. Bad bacteria– bad bacteria eats your nut– eats your nutrients then it poops poop back. So good bacteria takes no– not so nice stuff and makes nutrition out of it. Bad bacteria eats your– your good stuff, your– your– your vitamins and minerals and actually produces more toxins and the flip side like LPS, or are various things like that at all so it can disrupt your motility as well. So good bacteria will actually improve Vitamin-K, ex– exogenous production and it'll also improve B-Vitamin production as well. So that's really important so if you can tolerate and you can consume healthy fermentable uh– vegetables, uh– probiotic rich foods, that's great. If you can't tolerate it, it probably tells me there's some SIBO or bacterial overgrowth that also needs to be addressed. But, on that note, the next component is, you know, adding some supplemental B-Vitamins can be very-very helpful. So, you know, I have uhm— a mitochondrial support that take that a lot of B-Vitamins in it. I'll even take some stuff that have amino acids with B-Vitamins in it as well. I think B-Vitamins are great low-hanging fruit. And again this is a concept I hear all the time. People say, “Hey I take B-Vitamins and I noticed my urine gets really yellow, you know, I'm just peeing it a lot”. Well, number 1, you're really gonna be able to pee out water soluble nutrients. So you'll only gonna be able to pee out, you know, your– your B-Vitamins so to speak, right? Uhm– take maybe Vitamin-C– too much Vitamin-C will cause those stools. So if you're taking too much Vitamin-C you'll know it 'cause you'll start getting loose stools. But with B-Vitamins, I wanna be peeing my B-Vitamins out. If I'm not peeing my B-Vitamins out, I'm not reaching saturation–
Evan Brand: Uhm…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –right? So, it– let's say this is the amount of– of B-Vitamins my body needs; let's say I take this much, right? I consume this much, right? So the spread that I'm gonna be peeing out will be this much. I don't pee everything out, I'm just gonna be peeing out this spread, right? And the thing is you– you don't know– you don't know how much you actually need on the given day so, I'm fine, supplementally take maybe a little bit on the excess side, and then let my body deal with it. It's not like it's a big stressor uh– where it's a fat soluble vitamin and it's harder to excrete. It's a water soluble vitamin. And we're taking a minerally good forms you know, P5P activated– you know, uhm— methylated B-Vitamins. So they're– they're really good, you know, we're not gonna take any folic acid, we're gonna take activated folate. So I'm taking a re– you know, a reasonable amount of a high quality activated B-Vitamins supplements. I think it's a great low-hanging fruit.
Evan Brand: Yeah, here's the thing that's kind of annoying with the whole methylation conversation is, people come up with their MTHFR genetic defect and they walk around with it with like some type of label, like a, “I'm MTHFR, oh my God!”. And they act like the protocol has to be so different. Justin and I basically treat everyone as if they have methylation issues. All that means, is we're gonna use higher quality nutrients. We're not gonna use a folic acid we're gonna use to activated folate. Maybe you need a little bit higher amount. But so many people get a diagnosis where they look at their gene and they see one snip off, and then like, “Oh my God, can you work with me, I have MTHFR”. Like it's gonna change much. How much percent do you think it really changes in the whole equation?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm– doesn't change that much. I mean, a lot of the things that we're doing kind of already a- b– are built in and around that, right? So of course a lot of the synthetic folic acid were making sure any supplements' not gonna contain that, right? Or it's not gonna contain junky B-Vitamins that you may see in like a 5-hour energy drink. Number 2, we're cutting out fortified foods that are gonna have folic acid in it. Things like orange juice, things like your grains, right. These are the big fortified folic acid foods. Again the government found out a long time ago that, hey, you know, folic acid's gonna prevent like these neural tube birth defect. Uhm– the problem is, you still have a– a large set of population that can– that's still cannot activate that folic acid and con– convert it into you know, folinic acid to LMTH– LMTHF folate, and some can actually create some of these dangerous cancer-like metabolites. So, we wanna make sure we eat like, good quality animal uhm— foods that are gonna have good folate in there. Lots of good green-leafy vegetables, potentially egg yolks, these things that are really high in choline as well. So we're gonna be getting all of our really good folate and then– we would supplement with additional high quality activated folate– activated B-Vitamins. If someone has MTHFR, we may look at supplementing, separating the folate, and the B-Vitamins out from the actual B-Vitamin complex. And we may do various other forms of B-12 like adenosyl or hydroxy B-12, typically sublingually to help bypass the gut as well. BUt, there's 3 major rabbit holes in functional medicine. MTHFR is one. The other one is lyme, and the third one is mycotoxins. And the reason why is– because, any symptom– can be tossed in the basket of those 3 conditions. So if you have any condition– any symptom at all, someone could point you to one of those 3 areas.
Evan Brand: Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And my thing is, this a rabbit hole for those areas, and im— y– you focus on one of those 3, you maybe missing the simple low-hanging fruit underneath, you know, where we should be starting first. So I look at and say, “Okay, maybe we go down those avenues but we're gonna deal with diet, lifestyle, digestion, we're gonna look at your hormones, we're gonna look at your gut, we're gonna look at toxicity, we're gonna make sure you're infection-free, we're gonna make simple changes. We're gonna kind of write off all the foundational stuff and then we may look at doing testing down below to look deeper if we're not seeing resolution. But I can't tell you how many patients I see that– complaining of MTHFR or lyme, or mycotoxins, or mold issues. And they have multiple gut infections, their diet suck, they're not digesting their food, they– don't have good absorption of the nutrition, they're not sleeping well, they have significant nutrient deficiencies, very poor neurotransmitter function, and they're sitting worry about these little rat holes that, you know, you can go down. Not saying those little rat holes or rabbit holes and functional medicine aren't legitimate. I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is– they need to be looked at later on. They're not the low-hanging fruit. And because any symptom you have could be put in one of those 3 categories. It's really easy to be jumped on that track.
Evan Brand: Yes. Well it is now sexy too, and, uh– one of our mutual friends and colleagues Jay Davidson, uh– he's a chiropractor who func— focuses a lot online. He actually turned the corner and he used to just do lyme, lyme, lyme, lyme, lyme. Everything he saw was lyme. And all these protocols he did were all lyme protocols. So you know what, last time we talked, I interviewed him for my summit, he goes, “Evan–“, he goes, “You've been doing it right all along”. and I was like, “What are you talking about?”. And he goes, “Well treating lyme disease, I used to go straight after lyme“. He goes, “I don't do that anymore, I go after the parasites”. Because it turns out if you just get rid of parasites and bacterial infections and you treat those, the lyme disappears with it. He said, “So here I was doin' all these buhner protocols and these other protocols for lyme, but I should have just went after parasites and bacteria”. And now his success rate is even higher. So that just makes me happy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and also a lot of the herbs we may use to go after some of the gut stuff, will have some anti-lyme effects as well. So cat's claw is a big, you know, anti-lyme one. But it's also really good for biofilms. Higher dose berberine and goldenseals, also helpful for lyme. Silver is also a really good biofilm buster, also helpful for lyme. So the lot– you know, a lot of the uhm— adrenal supports like a lutherol and ashwagandha which are really good for the adrenals, also helpful for lyme. So a good functional medicine practitioner, you know, they're gonna create a protocol that has a pretty good net worths targeted, but, you know, other things that were not going after specifically may still get help underneath that umbrella.
Evan Brand: I love saying that. I love saying like, “Hey, we're gonna kill things that might not even show up on the test.” For example, like maybe we've got a false negative of a parasite, but we did this protocol to kill the bacteria, but the herbs to kill the bacteria also have anti-parasitic benefit, so maybe, we got rid of something that you didn't even know was there that was affecting you. So that's the fun thing. Now, let's go back to the topic of the brain. You mentioned a few things. You mentioned the cat's claw. Cat's claw can be considered something that can help the brain. You mentioned ashwagandha, you mentioned adaptogenic herbs. You and I love adaptogens. Wo know, that whether we're talking holy basil, or Rhodiola, or American ginseng, or, you've got like Korean ginseng, there's a many-many ginsengs. These all help in terms of modulating cortisol. And– that's course up your brain. If you've got levels of cortisol that are too high or too low, it kind of mimics the same thing. And this is why you don't wanna guess because– you know, we've seen people where they– they're exhausted, and we think, “Oh my God, this person must have low cortisol.” But then you test it and it's actually high all day. And we're thinking, “Oh, good thing we didn't throw this person on a bunch of licorice because they're cortisol is already so sky high.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: [crosstalk]… I was just gonna say but, if they read online– adrenal fatigue– licorice, I mean it's almost like a– it's a– I mean it's almost like a gut reaction like, adrenal fatigue, licorice. But if you don't know that there's a caveat to that, you could measure ‘self up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it's nice to know your pattern, especially if there's reversed cortisol patterns that's helpful because cer— certain compounds we may give when cortisol's higher versus lower. So it's nice to know that, so we can be specific. And– and also just to kind of highlight higher levels of cortisol can actually atrophy the areas of the hippocampus. And these are areas that are profoundly important for learning and memory. So, someone talks about stress and adrenal dysfunction, can that affect, you know, can I– you know, by supporting that improve my IQ? I would say, yeah. Dave Asprey's done some testing on himself. Uhm– or he's found his IQ's gone up 10 to 20 points, by just improving, you know, inflammation in brain health. So I would say, yeah. If you're brain's inflamed huge– I know in college who would take me very long time to finish test cause I would have to like double and triple check all my questions. And– I would still eating some things back then, you know, 15 years ago, there was causing my brain to be more inflamed. And I was having insecurity in my cognitive re– you know, processes out, just double and triple checking, and just not feeling confident and just being slower in my mental processes. And I noticed that, as I tweaked my diet and got inflammation down and supported some of these brain nutrients, I was able to race through questions faster and– and be accurate but also more– more let's just say succinct and faster going to these tests.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I'm always impressed with your brain, like your brain– I– I don't think I've ever chatted with you where your brain wasn't working properly like you're always able to articulate well, you're always able to like zoom in and zoom out. I've always like, looked up to you for that. It's super cool to see somebody that has a good functioning brain because in society, we have so many people's brains that don't work like yours.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well I appreciate it and I think, number 1 for everyone listening, get the inflammation down, that's number 1. Make sure your food's nutrient dense choline, uhm— you know, lots of green vegetables that have a lot of good B-Vitamins and folate in there. A lot of your good essential fatty acids, that's really important. And then from there, you know, play around with some of the other compounds that could be helpful. So for instance, medicinal mushrooms I think are great. I mean, right now, I– I do Reishi, and I'm doing me– uhm— I'm doing Reishi– is it Maitake–
Evan Brand: Yeah–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –Maitake.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I'm doin'– I'm doing Shiitake and Reishi everyday. So I'm doing 46 caps right now, this good as getting a little bit colder. I'm around sick kids sometimes, you know, so I'm just– keep my immune system pretty strong. And then I met a pretty good high dose of ashwagandha, and then I bump up additional B-Vitamins on top of that. Now you can keep it simple. For me and for my job, I'm constantly having a progra— I mean no– you know, like, run through mental programs and thinking and troubleshooting– I want that high level of cognitive stuff. So, you gotta figure out where you're at, how stressful your life is on a cognitive side. I mean, you can kind of dose at things in– uhm— you know, more steadily. If your– your job isn't that stressful then maybe just a good diet and just a– a few supplements i— is fine. If you're a programmer or you're constantly problem solving then maybe you need more nutrients to the brain.
Evan Brand: I would even argue you could add in like some lion's mane too. I've been having–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah–
Evan Brand: –really good e– experiment, it's up and running, with like a mixture of the lion's mane, the reishi maitake shiitake, and then a little bit of ginkgo, kind of a bonus just for the blood flow aspect. ‘Cause we know that you can help increase the blood flow in the brain with ginko. We also use a lot of bacopa, uh– you and I have used vinpocetine before which comes from the– I think it's the periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine is a really good one and then I've got a couple formulas with like, wild blueberry complex in there, that's really good. And then, there's also uh– I don't know if we mentioned huperzine, which comes from the club moss, huperzine is a good acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: People talk about dopamine and serotonin but– I think, just as much as GABA, acetylcholine is like a forgotten neurotransmitter, and people don't talk about it. But they should because if it breaks down too fast, your memory won't be as good. And if you take huperzine, you can keep the acetylcholine in the brain longer, theoretically improving learning and– learning and memory.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What other ways can we increase acetylcholine outside of taking it, outside of the– the huperzines, or the uhm— the other types of compounds you mentioned.
Evan Brand: I would say focus on the diet piece too, right? Like you could– you could– you could oversee supplement with like Alpha-GPC like the glycerylphosphorylcholine. But, as you mentioned I think earlier about eggs, you know, focusing on eggs is a good source of choline. I wanna say seafood. Don't quote me on it but I wanna say seafood is pretty high in choline as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so you're fatty fish, uh– your egg yolks, uh– your liver, uhm— avocado, these are gonna be your best things for– acetylcholine. Acetylcholine's really-really important. Again, you have autoimmune conditions like myasthenia gravis where you have an autoimmune conditions to the postsynaptic acetylcholine neuron. And then you can get this kind of like, droopy eyes, droopy face kind of stuff. So acetylcholine is really important. And again a lot of that's gonna be your meat-rich products. And again, uhm— there's been research on acetylcholine, right; 800 milligrams a day is ideal, and they find that pregnant women who don't get enough acetylcholine– there's epigenetics that increase. That can create increased cortisol, and increase stress response in these kiddos, born in a– choline– acetylcholine uhm— poor environment. So that's a–
Evan Brand: Ahh…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –really-really important cognitive function. And when you deal with MTHFR issues, making sure there's adequate choline, and the diet is very important. Also building blocks for bile, like really having enough biliary support. Because bile is really important for keeping SIBO at bay, right? Bile salts or bile acids– the acids produced, when, you know, the acidic environment produced when bile is stimulated and secrete in form the gall bladder can really prevent a lot of SIBO overgrowth. That's why with SIBO, it's a common environment that allow SIBO to form is typically at enzyme low, hydrochloric acid low– low bile salts environment really is a driving factor for let– letting SIBO grow. And of course we know the nutrient deficiencies that can happen with SIBO, and then we can easily draw that back up to the brain, 'cause a lot of these vitamins and minerals are responsible for cognitive function benefits.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well we know, there's a link to the thyroid too, you know, if you're hypo– you're under functioning with your thyroid, that can affect your brain. Also, I've seen some stuff about just– you could just– look at the link between hypothyroidism and say gallbladder issues for example, gallstones, occuring in a more hypothyroid environment. So if your thyroid is not working properly, let's say you have antibodies going on. And those antibodies could always be rooted back in something from diet or gut. But, you know, get– getting some blood work could be helpful in this too. If you're trying to figure out, “Hey what other things have I done? I've– I've worked on my gut, I've worked on my liver, brain's still not working”, would you agree thyroid would be a good potential other step in this?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, anything if there's a hormone imbalance that's gonna affect energy typically, when energy's low uh– focus and cognitive will be low. It's very rare that someone is tired but has good brain function. Meaning, memory, retention, you know, verbal fluency, right, a– they're typically connected. You need a baseline of energy for your brain to be functioning well. So if there's low thyroid or low adrenal, that definitely needs to be addressed. There's other herbs we can use, bacopa is another big one that helps modulate a lot of our dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitters. We know dopamines' really important for focus, right? Uh– it's also can be burnt up, it can be converted downstream to adrenaline. So if it was adrenal stress you can burn up dopamine and convert it to adrenaline. Dopamine's also needed for TRH release in the hypothalamus. TRH is the thyroid releasing hormone. It goes from the hypothalamus to the pituitary. The pituitary then makes TSH which is thyroid stimulating hormone which then talks to our thyroid to make T-4, little bit of T-3 and then T-4 gets converted periphery and add this– add the– thyroid receptor cells uh– ___[22:16] as well.
Evan Brand: Try to think of any other things I haven't mentioned from a– from our supplement perspective. Did you mention the Omega? [crosstalk]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It's the– the amino acid I think are really important just because of the fact that they're precursors to all that I just mentioned. Like you just were looking to Omega-3s, great, because 1, uhm— DHCA's really important neurological building block. The EPA fat is really anti-inflammatory so if we have inflammation or cognitive inflammation going on, EPA can be really anti-inflammatory as well.
Evan Brand: You say DHCA but you meant DHA.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, yeah– DHA. De– de– uhm— docosahexaenoic acid, that's the 22 fattic— uh– the 22 fatty acid kind of compound. EPA is uh– Eicosapentaenoic acid, that's a 20-carbon fatty acid compound. And then we have the– uhm— linoleic– lino– yeah, linolenic acid that's like the Flax Omega-3 that's in 18 carbon. So we go from 18 to 20 to 22, and– the higher up you go, uhm— the better.
Evan Brand: Yeah, we– super important for kids, you know, we got a lot of parents listening. We have a lot of– a lot of parents that bring kids to us, and lot of developmental, a lot of– uh– oh I guess I would call it cognitive performance issues at school. Gotta make sure the kids are getting enough Omega's 'cause if these kids are doing like grass-fed steaks, I mean, look at the standard american diet for a child. I mean it's like chicken nuggets and macaroni. I mean, these kids are getting– they're getting no DHA. They're brains are just not supported. So, you know, here's–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.
Evan Brand: And then of course what is the doctor do, they put the kid on like vyvanse, or ritalin or some other pharmaceutical drug to try to fix the kid's behavioral issues–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: I mean, Justin and I– [crosstalk]– Yeah, it's not good. It's not good. I mean, you've– you and I have seen so many cases kids, where like, I– I just actually saw a kids this morning, uh– a little girl, she's 11 years old, she's sort of put H-pylori, she had 4 different parasites, like 6 or 7 different bacterial overgrowth, she had candida overgrowth as well. An the mom's like, “Well, where did all these come from?”. You know, of course we asked about antibiotic history and all that, but the kid can't focus in school, the poops aren't good, I mean, the behavior's not good, they're moody, it's like, man! If we could just get every kid in the world, get their gut in shape, the world would be a better place. I mean, these things don't discriminate. It don't matter if you're 2 years old, or– 200 hundred years old. You could still have bugs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now other compounds that are great. Ginseng is excellent, that kind of falls in the adaptogenic category. I'd also put ashwagandha, and rhodiola in that category as well– right? I mean they're gonna have modulates stress hormones. Uhm– some of them have various glycoalkaloids in there that can be– immune modulating and can also be a little bit stimulating, or– adrenal modulating as well. So it's stimulating where they– can bump up cortisol if it's low. But if cortisol goes too high and some can have a modulating effect as well which is– which is nice. And if you look at some of the herbs like ashwagandha which is one of my favorites, it's– you know, look at herbalists like Stephen Buhner, you know, he kind of gives up the thumbs up a– as a long term herbal approach. And it has some really good immuno-modulating qualities people with lyme can really benefit, or lyme co-infections can really benefit from. So we like that as well. And then you have your uhm— blood flow stimulating compounds like ginko is really good. Uhm– what else outside of ginko— I mean, you can do systemic based enzymes to help thin out the blood which can be really helpful for allowing to improve blood flow. Uh– Gotu Kola is really good like I mentioned–
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –on top of that. And then of course for inflammation like the uh– the– this– this– uhm— Alpha-GPC, these various choline compounds can be really anti-inflammatory to the brain, and then things like resveratrol can be excellent. I went to a conference where uhm— a coach is interviewed for one of the ma– major like uhm— football university, I think it was Oregon– Oregon State. We talked about that, a lot of the uhm— college players now are getting like diluted grape juice. Or– or diluted like gr– like juice grapes after practice 'cause they found that resveratrol and some of the modulating compounds in there can help in brain inflammation. So they're starting to wise up to this stuff at the higher collegiate where brain traumas happen. I mean, I would– I would supplement that as well. I mean, these guys are more active so if there's any extra sugar in there, that's probably not a bad thing but– most people may do better which is the extract without all the extra sugar along with it.
Evan Brand: I would agree, yeah, and it's– uh– probably more purer in extract form–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: –versus like some conventional glyphosate sprayed grapes. You mentioned the fish oil, I mean–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: –we could– we could technically probably say that fish oil would be something for the blood flow because it is–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: –thinning the blood a little bit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is thinning the blood and then, your other anti-inflammatories like Curcumin as well I think are also very helpful because they help reduce inflammation and they can have some immune modulating qualities. So I like that, I mean, if you're gonna reduce inflammation that's gonna have a cognitive benefit. If you can reduce inflammation in the brain like some of these– uhm— choline compounds and or resveratrol, uhm— Curcumin compounds, that can also be excellent as well. Anything else you wanna highlight there?
Evan Brand: Yeah I would say CBD, kind of a dial. I use it almost everyday. I've given [crosstalk] to a lot of my clients–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Benefits, yeah.
Evan Brand: To– tons of good benefits kind of balancing out your CB-1, CB-2, uh– receptor sites, you have everywhere in the body. Now some people, you know, for talking like for pain perspectives, CBD alone doesn't help that much with the pain, they may need a little bit of THC, but you've gotta be in a state where you can access the THC. There's like a 30 different states in the U.S. with either medical or recreational– all of our Canada listeners, they just legalized cannabis completely. So, the doors are wide open now for people to get it and– you know, it may only take a small amount like a 20 to 1 CBD to THC ratio to really help with pain inflammation in the brain. I've had some people who they just get miraculous results. Now, it's not a root cause, right? Like it's not a deficiency–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: –with CBD oils. Some may argue there is such thing as an endocannabinoid deficiency like, we know cannabinoids are naturally in breastmilk so we could argue that we're built to have these. But I still think the other root cause is you gotta hit those first, you know. If this helps you, great. But make sure you still like, fix your gut. I could've taken all the CBD in the world but I still had IBS 'cause I had gut issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, what about beta endorphin? How's beta endorphin connect with CBD? ‘Cause beta endorphins kind of our natural anti– pain, anti-depressant, right?
Evan Brand: I don't know if CBD modulates it like, when I think of beta endorphin being modulated I think of more like Kratom. But I don't know if CBD can– can affect that. I– I won't see it does 'cause I'm not sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I'm looking here, and right now, it says THC has been shown to stimulate β-Endorphin production. And I imagine CBD may as well. So I'm looking at a couple articles right here, yeah–
Evan Brand: Or maybe CBD– maybe– [crosstalk]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –by triggering their release of β-Endorphin, yes.
Evan Brand: Oh, cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There's article– there's articles on this, that CBD and THC. Now the problem with THC is, you know, you're gonna have some cognitive stuff– uhm— I'm not a fan of using any THC before someone's at least 25 years old. Because there's an article came out last week where I can stunt brain development. So, m– males not gonna have their brain fully formed 'till about 25. A woman is more 18 to 20. So I'd be very careful in using THC with someone ben– beneath the age of 25. CBD is not gonna have the same quite effect. But if you look here, there is some research showing that CBD can stimulate β-Endorphin which is good. Now, here's the thing– what is β-Endorphin made of? Right, that's the next question. Uh– β-Endorphin, is actually made of 9– 19 different amino acids.
Evan Brand: Ahh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: People like ___[30:05] that really good benefits using DLPA–
Evan Brand: I love DLPA.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: — DL-Phenylalanine which is a– a– it is a– kind of isomer uh– Phenylalanine which is a precursor to the thyroxine that goes more down the β-Endorphin pathway. Yeah, I'm looking here: the CB-2 re– the CB-2 receptor agonist can invoke the trigger and release of β-Endorphin. So kind of a dial uh– compound. So, I think you're seeing this increase in β-Endorphin which is a natural anti pain, anti depressant compound. We get β-Endorphin– the runners high, right? That's β-Endorphin that worked out high, that's β-Endorphin. Remember, that molecules' 19 amino acids long. So we need protein to make it. So DLPA and or just good free form amino acids are gonna be important, good protein absorption, good digestion. And the CBD, potentially could help improve that stimulation. But again, I– I'm ver– when I hear the word “stimulate”, I'm very careful because– it s– stimulate what? So, there's a building– it comes from something, right? So we wanna make sure the building block to make it are also present as well. I hear “stimulate”, Ithink whipping a tired horse, right?
Evan Brand: Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gotta be careful.
Evan Brand: Yeah you make a good point. Always go into the root. The amino acids are great. ___[31:19] is a huge–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Doing both is probably better, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I– I'm– I– I– I wonder if the THC maybe it helps β-Endorphin more 'cause like I said, some clients report as soon as they add in just a tiny amount. The pain relief is way better. So, maybe CBD does it good, maybe THC does it more, I don't know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, the big thing is, with the THC, you have the– the psychoactive components there– uhm— you have a– little bit of decrease in memory– and– and motivation, and then you have a little bit slower reaction time. So you have some things, and there's some research there to say, “Hey, you know, it can decrease cognitive development as well”. So if you're gonna use THC, don't use it 'till uh– if you're guy until your late 20's. And if you need something therapeutic, try m– moving more towards the CBD end– of the spectrum.
Evan Brand: Yup. So those are question here about, “Is it okay to get resveratrol from red wine or is alcohol ruin the benefits?”. I mean, it is so ridiculously silly that you can do that from wine. I mean, that's like freakin' marketing from the alcohol industry. There's a study I've got here from PUBMED. They call it the analysis of resveratrol, in wines, and they're looking in all these different types. For example most of the red wines tested, they were getting .36. This is 0.36 milligrams per liter of wine. We're talking less than half of one milligram per– per liter of wine! I'm sure there's some to have higher, but that was like the average. They found that– uhm— white wines, they contained an average of .5 milligram. So half of one milligram of resveratrol per liter. And when Justin and I use a resveratrol supplement, I mean, typically, we're doing what, 500 milligrams? If not, more.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And again, I mean, when they do this studies, they're probably not testing organic wines–
Evan Brand: True.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –and they probably looking at the quality of the wine. So, let's just say if you're like– like– your companies out there that are– are lab testing they're wine and– and tryin' to make sure the– the quality is higher. So if it's organic, and the alcohol content's lower– so I know like Dry Creek wines, they do some lab testing where they choose lower alcohol content and it's organic. You probably may have more of those compounds in it, but I wouldn't say, hey, if you wanna have a glass or two– wine every now and then, I don't think it's a big deal. Just choose higher quality ones but I wouldn't– say to yourself, “Hey this is gonna be the only place I'm gonna get this extra resveratrol”. I would probably supplement as– as well on top of that.
Evan Brand: Right. Like a– say, you were trying do a lyme protocol and sometimes we choose Japanese knotweed, they naturally contains the resveratrol. And we're looking at 4 to 500 hundred milligrams. Let's just say your wine was amazing and organic, maybe it's got 10 milligrams of resveratrol per liter. And you're not gonna drink a liter of wine. At least I hope you're not in one sitting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I think you have a lot of food that have just negative uhm— toxins in there as– as well. And so that may negate some of the– that may be a confounding variable that prevents, you know, let's just say, better findings from happening. So–
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –I would just say make sure we just have the– the quality aspect dialed in with the alcohol that you're consuming.
Evan Brand: Yup, well I know we've got to run– we're both uh– late for our clients so we should probably wrap up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, let's just hear one last thing here.
Evan Brand: Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let's just talk about the– the pharmaceutical nootropics. So you– we have things like modafinil approach ___[34:32], which really is used for like uh– narcolepsy or like, just falling asleep during the day a lot, uh– that can be helpful on the cognitive side but it's a drug, there're some not so nice side effect. So you really gotta be careful, right? It can cause sore throats, headaches, vomiting, hallucinations, we gotta be careful with that. We have some of the– the racetam compounds as well, which can fit into that GABA kind of receptor site in the brain that can improve some cognitive stuff there. 5, 400, 800 milligrams a day can be helpful but again there's some side effects. Uhm– it can interfere with blood thinning, it can cause insomnia, it can cause agitation anxieties, so you gotta make sure you keep an eye on that. And then we have things like uhm— you know, the– uhm— obviously the adderall the stimulants, the– the methamphetamines can be very stimulating and can also burn out your neurotransmitters but– acutely can be helpful but not the– the best thing long term. Then we have things like fenavit which also has a GABA like receptor quality to ___[35:29] acid somewhere to GABA, can help kind of relax the brain a little bit, turn on those inhibition or turn– inhibit the brain, turn on the inhibition centers where I can relax and turn things off. But again, there're some addictive components there uhm— that can be a problem. Withdrawal stuff, addiction like stuff so you gotta be careful with that. We might try to use things like L-theanine and GABA, and Valerian root, and things that are more relaxing uhm— then– just use fenavit off the bat. Evan, any comments there.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I– I had friends addicted to fenavit so i— i— it definitely can be very dangerous if you do too much or too often, so, yeah. It works great, I do carry it, I do use it on occasion with clients but you just gotta be careful. I'm glad you mentioned the potential for it, and I do prefer like you said, some of the other herbs instead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It's interesting because I have seen a lot of information online saying it's not addictive, but then you see also–
Evan Brand: People saying it can be–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What's your take on it, what did you see on your research?
Evan Brand: Oh, I don't care who says that it's not addictive. It's freakin' addictive my– my buddy who was addictive to it for a while. He was using about, you know, high dose of it. About a gram or 2 per day. And if he ran out of it, he did not sleep. He had panic attacks, he had uncontrollable shaking, I mean, when you hit that GABA receptor that hard, and then you pull out this phenyl GABA, you do not feel well. Anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, etc. A mutual friend of ours Wendy Myers she's talked about using fenavit or phenyl GABA for sleep. But, you don't wanna be taking that every single night. I mean, you wanna just have good sleep hygiene and go to bed and be able to sleep. You don't wanna have to depend on something like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and if you need, just try to use some more of the amino acids, L-theanine or just GABA by itself first.
Evan Brand: Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm– so that– that's kinda your best first step. Anything else you wanna add here Evan?
Evan Brand: I– I would just say, you know, test, don't guess. We talked about a lot of supplements, you could easily go on amazon and buy a bunch of crap that you don't need. So we would prefer that you get yourself tested because– you're not gonna– you're not gonna find that– “XYZ' is the miracle silver bullet. You know, you've got to work on the full body system. And then once you've a good foundation, then buy your supplements. And make sure they're practitioner grade. ‘Cause you can go the whole foods or, you know, go to Walgreens and you could buy fish oil. But, I don't know if that's gonna be good enough, you know. So we always want you, just go quality over quantity.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Wise words my friend. Well today was a phenomenal podcast. Appreciate the back and forth of you guys. Enjoy to give use the thumbs up, give us the share, we appreciate it, make sure you subscribe if you wanna dig deeper. Feel free and click below here to schedule consults with us if you wanna take that next step. Hey Evan, it was phenomenal chatting, you have a great day and best of luck with your patients.