The Mold Gut Connection – How Your Digestive Issue Maybe Caused by Mold Toxins | Podcast #371

If you’ve encountered mold from a water-damaged building or contaminated foods, you’ve likely encountered mycotoxins—toxic byproducts of mold. They’re common environmental toxins, and they have adverse effects on many body systems, including the gastrointestinal tract.

While you’ve probably heard about other symptoms that can follow mold exposure, Dr. J and Evan discuss that mycotoxins can also cause severe problems for your gut. They also talk about how mycotoxins impact gut health and the microbiota and what you can do to help restore your gut health once you are exposed to mold.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
1:57 – Mycotoxins
10:16 – Functional Medicine Approach
13:54 – Dopamine Mechanis
15:20 – Mold Inhalation Effects

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live, It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today’s topic is gonna be wonderful for the podcast. We’re gonna be talking about the mold-gut connection and how your digestive issues may be exacerbated by mold toxins, so great topic here Evan, personally been affected by himself and we see lots of patients all the time with these issues so let’s dive in. Evan, how are we doing today man?

Evan Brand: Yeah man, doing really well, and a lot of people have been to naturopaths, they’ve been the functional medicine people they’ve been a conventional doctor, they’ve been treated for SIBO and SIFO, whether it’s Rifaximin or natural SIBO protocols, maybe they’ve done SIBO diets or some of these rotational food diets and that sort of things, maybe they’ve tried berberine, oregano, garlic, and maybe they’ve made some progress, but then they’re still stick, they’re still suck, I’m gonna mix up my words, they’re stuck  and sick so that’s a bad combination of essays and this is likely due to a mold toxin problem because I’ve seen it too many times and I suffered on my own and even the labs now tell us they give us a cookie-cutter report but that cookie-cutter report nonetheless is still valuable because even the lab has painted the connection between mycotoxins which are essentially mold farts that you breathe in, in a water damage building and the connection to certain bacterial overgrowth, specifically Clostridia but also Candida and the mechanism of why this is so damaging especially to young children is because we know that Clostridia bacteria screw up the organic acid levels called HPHPA and this affects levels of neurotransmitters, so when you get these children, they have behavioral issues, they may be diagnosed with something like PANS, which is a Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. These kids usually have sensory problems, food sensitivity, skin issues, histamine problems, allergies, maybe they’re biting children, maybe they’re angry or irritable, this can all be traced back due to this toxicity.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: 100%. So that’s quite interesting, now you talked about mycotoxins essentially being mold fart, so essentially the mold off-gasses, right? And, your different kinds of mold, right? It could be Penicillium, it could be Aspergillus, right? It could be the black mold, Stachybotrys, these types of things and then they produce various mycotoxins and when we do different tests, like plate testing on homes, supposedly each mold or so can produce about 300 different mycotoxins, whether it’s Ochratoxins, or aluminum is that correct?

Evan Brand: Yeah, which is crazy because we can only test for a very, very small amount on the urine so really, we’re trying to just look for some evidence of this bonfire, we’re looking for the ashes, Oh my god, there must have been a fire here, this big mold exposure, we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg so yeah, you’re right. Our testing is good but it’s still very primitive compared to the amounts of mycotoxins that are being produced.  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah.  And the type of organic acid testing that we’re doing is on the great plains. We’ll look at some of the organic acid compounds that correlate with, like Aspergillus or different mold toxins. Is that correct? What are those big mycotox? What are the big organic acids again? 

Evan Brand: So, it’s all on paper. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Membranes

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, you’ll see oxoglutaric. You’ll see citric acid can be high in a fungal overgrowth too so it’s all page 1. Oxaglutaric, you got hydroxybenzoic which is related to bacteria. I could pull up an O but in general it’s just page one. It’s typically numbers 1 through 18. If you see any big red flags on that either a combination of a bacterial overgrowth specifically a clustering problem and or Candida or fungal colonization and the lab indicates that so tartaric acid would also be on there, carboxy citric acid is also on there. So, in parenthesis, you’ll see under these organic acids now which is great because this has improved over the years that you and I’ve been running these labs. It now says Aspergillus so on number 6, which is tartaric acid under number six, it’ll now say Aspergillus. And you’ll know if that’s elevated, you’re colonized for Aspergillus which means that you’ve now been exposed to a couple situations could have happened either you had a large enough amount of mold, you were exposed to mold, long enough or your immune system was weak enough where now you become a mold factory. So, you can be a mold reservoir, more specifically a mycotoxin reservoir where you just have this exposure at the moldy hotel in Mexico and then you come back home and you’re sick or if you were weak enough, now you’re growing mold. Even if you move to the desert to avoid mold, you stay sick because you’ve got that colonization so with 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Ionization, that’s happening.      

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, you can prove that which is very important because now that would justify the use of herbal antifungals to try to remedy this situation. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: That makes sense. Let me go pull up one of my old tests. Let me see if I can find it. Hold on. 

Evan Brand: Now, the conventional treatment is typically antifungal medications that are gonna knock this out. But, as you and I with our functional practice, we don’t like to use that. So, number 4 would be classified as the fungal, the ferran-2,5-tricarboxylic, you’ve that Ferran carbonyl glycine. Yeah. So, number six. Yeah. So, this is old enough where they didn’t have the molds but on the new ones in parentheses 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Let me say Aspergillus. It is primarily Aspergillus for all three of these. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and the number nine tricarboxylic is Fusarium.  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Fusarium. Yep.  And then Arabinose and Tartaric are also correlated with yeast overgrowth. This test here for instance, I did a great plane and a Genova test at the same time and this one actually came back much higher on the Arabino side than the great plains. then the Genova tested. So, it’s interesting you know different samples and such. But yeah, this one Arabinose is strongly correlated with Candida but then 

Evan Brand: I just ran my own, I’ve got Candida right now too so I’m on a protocol, right? Now, I just run. Yeah. I showed up with Candida and I want people to know because you were a speaker on the event. It was called the Candida summit which I ran like  five years ago and you know we had like 30 people talking about it and I could look back but I tell you I don’t think anybody had made the connection here which was the mold Candida connection back then and now what I’m finding is basically you’re just playing whack-a-mole with Candida until the mold’s gone meaning you may rotate through various rounds of antifungals but out the back door, you’ve got to be using the appropriate binders to pull out the mycotoxins so if you’re just beating Candida down and it keeps coming back. It’s probably the mold, not the Candida that you need to be after. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. And, that’s where it’s good to run a test like this. Also, maybe a urinary mycotoxin test or just make sure your environment’s good because I always tell patients if the environment’s not good and you’re having reoccurring issues then you’re just not getting to the root cause. So, the first thing is to isolate the environment. Make sure the environment, your home, your apartment wherever you’re living run a high-quality mold plate test on there. We’ll put links down below where you guys can access the plate testing.  Isolate that, right? Make sure there’s no water damage or if there’s been leaks. Make sure it’s been addressed and dealt with. Make sure that’s dialed then the second thing is you can run a test like an organic acid test with your functional medicine provider. See if there’s any colonization. And, it that’s chronic, yo can get to the root on that and then you can always run urinary mold where you’re looking at mycotoxins coming out in the urine that can also be helpful but typically if this is good and there’s nothing at the home then you’re probably in pretty good shape and it’s probably more of an acute kind of dysbiosis thing probably from poor diet, poor digestion other bugs, other infections, etc. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And the cool thing is that you can kill two birds with one stone or even three birds with one stone and what I mean by that is let’s say you run that oh and you showed the elevated Arabinose, you know, there’s a Candida problem but if we see tartaric above that’s high and then down below, we see some of the bacterial overgrowth markers, the blends that you and I formulate and have, we might be able to kill bacterial overgrowth, fungal overgrowth and a Candida problem. All in one fell swoop and that’s incredible and you know your gastroenterologist or even your mold doctor is likely not gonna be able to do that. They may come in specifically with itraconazole or fluconazole or nystatin. But as you know, we’re facing this big problem of antifungal resistance just like we’re finding with antibiotic resistance and so now, you’ve got these very virulent strains which are difficult to kill with conventional medications. You and I have talked about this before but the long story short of it is all the different alkaloids and terpenes and beneficial nutrients in the plants, those don’t have this resistance problem. And if you’re mixing this herb and that herb, it’s not one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals ten. You get the synergistic effect. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. You see the same thing with addressing bacteria and other bigger bugs and berberines and Artemisia Wormwoods have synergistic effects. Also, the fact that you get a lot of antioxidants in a lot of these herbs. And so, especially if they’re high-quality, you get a lot of antioxidant support because when you start killing bugs, it’s a lot of oxidative stress that’s happening. And then, when you provide like an antifungal like Diflucan or an Amphotericin or a nystatin or a ketoconazole, obviously, there’s no antioxidants in those drugs and so you’re gonna have a lot of oxidative stress so it’s nice to have a blend different herb in there. One, to prevent the resistance. And then, also, people have yeast issues and a lot of times they have bacterial bugs as well and efflux pumps are a big thing that a lot of bacteria and bugs use to kind of protect themselves. So, I cannot say, like bacteria is like a sinking canoe, right? and essentially, you poke holes in that canoe with a lot of the herbals and think of the efflux pumps as the person in the canoe, baling water, right? So, they try to keep on bailing water, bailing water, so they don’t sink, right? And so, think of the herbals when you inhibit the efflux pumps whether it’s a ginger or different antimicrobials, it’s like taking the buckets away from the bacteria that’s bailing water and allows then to sink that allows them to effectively be destroyed that along with addressing biofilms too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s awesome and the cool part too is you can minimize the die off if you’re doing this right. You know a lot of people when they hear these conversations, they get afraid. They go oh my God, Candida, mold, bacteria, parasites, worms like oh my God, this is a lot of stuff in me. I want it out of me but now I’m afraid. Am I going to feel worse before I feel better and the answer is if you do it properly that should be minimal to a nonexistent problem? I think you and I have refined our protocol so much over the years now that we have these tools and these other therapies in place that are standalone products but we often add those in or if we see that we hit a roadblock or a big bump in the road like a die off, we can change dosing. We can rotate. We can add in other support. We’re always talking about liver and gallbladder and binders and hydration and biofilms. These other pieces, these other variables, these are the make-or-break things for some people. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: 100%. And when people kind of want to go after the gut, we live in an antibiotic like kill, kill, kill generation so people tend to, when they find out they have an issue, they want to go kill, kill, kill and that can be very stressful in the body so it’s always very important to calm down the inflammation, get the immune system stronger, get the hormones that help with anabolic metabolism which is healing, recovering, anti-inflammatory support that kind of sets the table because the more stressed and inflamed you are, your lymphatic system, your detoxification system, your immune system won’t work as good and plus people forget your detoxification system, right? The cytochrome p450 oxidized pathways, especially the phase two pathways, they’re gonna run off of a lot of sulfur-based amino acids and so if we don’t have great digestion and we’re not eating you know good healthy animal protein or good healthy plant cruciferous vegetables. If we can’t tolerate them, we can’t break them down. May not have a lot of those sulfur building blocks to run those phase two pathways and so that’s why kind of getting the deck set so to speak so we can really hit phase two better just not with support but just getting digestion working better and a good diet working better sets the table and allows us to effectively kill so much better.

Evan Brand: Yeah and I know we’ve talked about a lot in a short amount of time, we’ve gone fast so listen back as needed but I want people to understand the connection because of the title of this episode, I want people to understand the mold-gut connection. So, the connection is the following: the mycotoxins weaken the immune system and allow the opportunistic bacterial overgrowth to thrive along with the Candida. So, if you’re working upstream at the SIBO-SIFO situation but you’ve got an underlying mycotoxin problem, you’ve got to address that if you fully wanna get better. The other mechanism of the mycotoxins is a couple. Number one is they damage the microbiome so we know specifically that mycotoxins do the same thing as, like food allergens, they disrupt the gut barrier and create intestinal permeability. So, that’s another reason you want to pull those out of the circulation by using specific binders based on your labs. And then the other mechanism too is we know mycotoxins affect the brain chemistry and specifically lower dopamine so when you get into pain signaling, you get into motivation and mood and just your overall vitality. If your brain chemistry is affected, we can also measure that but it could be directly attributed to the toxin for example in like rat studies when they inject them with mycotoxins or expose them to mold toxin, the dopamine levels crash. So now, all of a sudden, you’ve got this brain chemistry piece to address too, now people have heightened pain sensitivity, they’re depressed. They may be just more flat with their life. Once again, they go to their psychiatrist. They’re not gonna bring up mold toxicity, they’re putting them on an antidepressant medication. They’re never gonna say, “hey, oh your basement is flooded, that’s why you’re depressed and anxious and you have diarrhea”. So, the connection of the gut symptoms too, the diarrhea, any type of bloating, burping, digestive pain especially in children. Children don’t use the same language as adults. So, if your child is complaining about stomach pain that could be one clue that there’s something related. That was my issue for my daughter, Summer. She was complaining of tummy aches so we did run stool on her. She did have H. pylori when she was two. We tested real high. Maybe I gave it to her by sharing water bottles or something but either way, we took care of that and then stomach pain was continuing that was when we had got exposed to mold. Luckily, I got her on binders. Now, she’s in a better place. So, I’ve seen it unfortunately with my own kids and it’s stressful to see your kids suffer but it’s a good lesson. It’s a good learning lesson that your children are not crazy and if your kids are complaining of a chronic issue like this with pain, you know, consider this as a possibility especially if you as the mother are toxic because the toxins go through the placenta and they also go through breastmilk. So, if you have your own digestive skin, whatever problems, mood problems in your kid, has similar issues as you, well, it could be the generational passing of toxins. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, let’s go over that mechanism one more time with dopamine. So, obviously dopamine is a neurotransmitter and when we’re chronically stressed, physical, chemical or emotional, dopamine can go downstream and get converted into adrenaline which kind of helps manage the acute stress response. Is it just a fact that the mold is inflammatory and creating a stress response and activating the sympathetic nervous system that the dopamine is being taken and depleted downstream or is there something else? I want to make sure I get that mechanism hammered down.       

Evan Brand: I don’t know. Type in rat dopamine, mold or rat dopamine, mycotoxin. See if you can find it. There were several papers on this. I don’t know if they discussed the mechanism in it or not. My assumption would be that it’s multifactorial. I think the big mechanism would be that the mycotoxins affecting the gut barrier then affecting nutrient absorption then there’s likely less amino acid conversion to dopamine. So, I’m thinking, it’s more of a malabsorption problem but also we know that ochratoxin for example damages

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Like malabsorption, like it’s affecting the absorption of protein in the gut? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I think that’s one mechanism. I think the other mechanism would be direct brain damage. We know that okra toxin for example damages the cerebellum. We know that the Verrucarin and the Stachybotrys mycotoxins affect the brain and the prefrontal cortex which impairs, like your ability to think clearly. So, I think it’s both. I think it’s the gut damage and I think it’s the direct brain damage too. I am going to pull it up here. Can you see it on screen?  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yep. 

Evan Brand: Let me make it bigger on my side here. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. So many mycotoxins, trichothecenes. We test that in some of the mycotoxin tests. Yeah. Induced neuronal cell apoptosis so some of that could be you’re just causing the cells in the brain and especially in the substantia nigra of the midbrain. That’s where dopamine cells are being produced. Some of it could be apoptosis that means programmed cell death and or inflammation in the olfactory epithelium.

Evan Brand: Interesting.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, it seems to be a neurodegenerative and then look it says it caught ochratoxin A causes acute depletion of dopamine and its metabolites. 

Evan Brand: Look at that. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: So, I wonder if that’s a, it sounds like it’s possibly a stress response, right? Because dopamine can, tends to go downstream to adrenaline. It could be almost like an autoimmune response because you’re having apoptosis. This is neuronal cell death, program cell death. This is part of the reason why apoptosis is important, right? Because if you don’t have good immune function, this is how cancer forms, right? Your immune system helps program cells to die when they need to die. This is apoptosis but if you can’t do that then cells can overgrow hence you have a tumor, right? And so, this is actually happening to unhealthy or the very healthy tissue that you need to be functionally healthy that produces dopamine in the midbrain. So very interesting. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Talking about the hippocampus too, we know that hippocampus, I’ve got two of them. Remember, that’s why a lot of people have brain fog problems and also I would say that short-term to long-term conversion is impaired.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Can you see this one here? The mold inhalation one 

Evan Brand: I’m just seeing that you’re highlighted on the hippocampus word for now.  

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Let me switch back to the other one here. This is mold inhalation. This is interesting. Let’s go pull this up. All tight. Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural cognitive and emotional dysfunction.

Evan Brand: So, this is pretty new. July 2020 paper here so relative. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. So, the ability of mold to cause such symptoms is controversial since no published research has examined the effects of controlled mold exposure on the brain. Patient symptoms following mold exposure are indistinguishable from those caused by innate immune activation by bacterial or viral exposure. Interesting. So, in this study here they added in. See here. Toxic and nontoxic mold stimuli would cause innate immune activation with concomitant neural effects and cognitive and emotional behaviors. We internationally administered intact stachybotrys. This is black mold extracted non-toxic stachybotrys spores and a saline vehicle to mice.  

Evan Brand: You don’t want to be that mouse. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Wow. No. As predicted, intact spores increase interleukin 1 beta, immune reactivity in the hippocampus both spore types decrease neurogenesis. This is forming new neurons in the brain and causing striking contextual memory deficits in young mice while decreasing pain thresholds. So, this is another word saying, causing more pain in the body. So, if you have mold exposure, joint pain could happen, right? And enhancing auditory acute memory in older mice. Nontoxic anxiety. Yeah. Also increase anxiety like behavior. Levels of hippocampal immune function correlated with decreased neurogenesis that’s creating new neurons in the brain. Contextual memory deficits, right? Obviously, less memory and or enhance auditory cued feared memory. I wonder what that means. Maybe it’s just like, uh, you’re more sensitive to external stimuli.    

Evan Brand: I read that. Yeah. I read that as sound sensitivity which is yeah part of the toxin and light sensitivity too so people will often have to wear sunglasses even when it’s not very bright. You and I talked about that in the context of adrenals years ago but that’s also a mold toxin thing. 

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Yep. And an immune activation may explain how both toxic mold and nontoxic mold, skeletal elements cause cognitive and emotional decline. So, it’s really important. We don’t wanna be in an area where there’s a bunch of mold toxins and we can do a whole other podcast on how to mitigate mold toxins as a whole. I mean, of course, get your home tested. That’s the first thing. If you have water damage, make sure it’s mitigated by a professional right away because mold starts to form when sitting water in as little as two days. Got to make sure that’s under control and then if you’re on the fence, get yourself tested, right? We’ll run an organic acid test. Maybe run a urinary mycotoxin test and see what your actual load is but again one of the big telltale cue signs is you know, get your home. If there’s mold there and you start feeling significantly better and you go back, you notice an increase and definitely get your internal mold tested as well via urine. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well. I know we got to wrap this thing up. We got calls to get to but I hope this is helpful for people. We can always get geekier and dive deeper and go longer but I think you guys get the gesture, the connection of the brain toxicity, the gut damage. There’s a mitochondrial element with the chronic fatigue piece. So, if you are suffering from any chronic issue whether it’s mood like depression, anxiety, energy problems like chronic fatigue, low libido, poor erectile function, cold hands, cold feet, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision could be other things but this is a big smoking gun and all of us are inside way too much. We’re not outside like the Amish are all day. They might have moldy homes but they’re not breathing it in the majority of time. They’re outside in fresh air where the toxins are diluted. So, us with our indoor lifestyle as modern humans, we’re at more risk of this stuff and our buckets are already full due to pesticides and other toxicity in the environment so this is a really, it’s an epidemic problem, maybe the biggest one.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: And not everyone is as genetically sensitive, right? Some people, they go into a moldy area. They get brain fog, right away. Some people do fine. Either way, it’s definitely a stressor in the stress bucket and if you know it’s there, you definitely wanna pull it out because it’s gonna help give you more resiliency and more adaptability. Great podcast today Evan. Everyone listening on the audio version, we pulled up some studies and some lab tests on the video version. We’ll put the link down below so you can see the video version. We’ll put some links to some of the labs and the products that we talked about today so you guys can take a look at those. Evan, great chatting with you. Head over to to reach out to Evan via functional medicine nutritional support worldwide as well as, Dr. J myself at for me myself. We are here to help and support you guys wherever you are. Have a phenomenal day everyone.  

Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye.

Dr. Justine Marchegiani: Take care. Bye now. 

The Root Causes of Anxiety – A Functional Medicine Approach | Podcast #370

Conventional medicine labels anxiety as a neurotransmitter imbalance and relies on pharmaceutical drugs to dampen the symptoms. Although, prescription medications can be a helpful and even necessary tool in periods of overwhelming anxiety. But we have so many more tools at our disposal than just medications!

Dr. J and Evan explain that they recognize that anxiety is often the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in functional medicine. It’s the clear and present warning that something is going on below the surface that needs our attention. Our current circumstances may have been the breaking point, but the anxiety manifests in underlying issues. That’s why rectifying these issues is necessary to make anxiety more manageable or even eliminate it!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
2:06 – Acute and Chronic Stress
4:06 – Amino Acids and Herbs
11:24 – Gut Issues
16:26 – Functional Medicine Approach

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the root causes of anxiety, a functional medicine approach, and how to get to the root cause. Really excited about this topic. We see many functional medicine patients with these exact issues and we always want to get to the root cause of why that is so. Evan, how are we doing man?    

Evan Brand: I’m doing good. You know the anxiety story for you and I talking about anxiety goes back literally eight years. It would have been late 2014 when I was in my luxury apartment in Austin and I was calling you and I was saying, “dude, I can’t stop this”. My heart is pounding. I’m freaking out. What the heck is going on and you said, “man, if you go to the emergency room, all they’re gonna do is they’re gonna give you some sort of anxiety medication. So why don’t you go and take about a gram of magnesium and see what happens.” And so, that’s what I did. I think I might have had some pharma GABA or some other tools on hand, maybe some passion flower and luckily, I calmed it down but little did I know back then that I had some of the big root causes of anxiety that were unresolved which included mold toxicity, Lyme, Bartonella, some of these tick-borne infections that drive up the nervous system, unfortunately. Now, knock on wood, anxiety’s been a minimal to non-existent part of my life and It’s incredibly freeing because anxiety can be so debilitating that people become housebound or they become afraid to travel, they become afraid to go on planes. They become afraid to seek the raise at their job. They just want to live in this little cocoon because they’re so afraid and anxiety is also very debilitating for children too. It affects their confidence and their self-esteem and their motivation for school and how they get bullied and so, I mean, we could do an hour on this but think just to open this thing up with a bang, I would say that infections are a big driver of anxiety so whatever that is a tick-borne infection like a Bartonella, Babesia, Lyme situation or gut infections like we’ve talked about a thousand times in the last 10 years together which is parasites, bacterial overgrowth, worms, Candida, anything that’s gonna release a toxin or aggravate the immune system. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. So anytime you look at anxiety, you always have to get to the root cause, right? Obviously, if it’s unresolved emotional stress, your body is designed to create anxiety for a certain situation, like if you, I don’t know, if you have lived in a forest across the street and there are bears, there should be a healthy amount of anxiety so you know, don’t leave food out and you’re just a little bit more careful with your habits so you don’t get attacked by a bear, right? There’s a healthy bit of anxiety there which is good to kind of keep you on edge so you are alert and you make good decisions. We’re talking about things that are, you know, unhealthy amounts of anxiety where you don’t have those types of emotional stressors, right? Obviously, if those emotional stressors are there, kind of take inventory of them and figure out what that corrective action is you need to kind of close the anxiety loop. I always say close the anxiety loop. What is that action? You have to take that allows you to feel confident that you are not ignoring the reason why there is anxiety there. If you did that, great, awesome. Check that off your list. The next thing is like you mentioned, obviously, any type of chronic stress or acute stress can create anxiety, right? And so, chronic and acute stressors do different things to your body. They’re going to cause B vitamins to get recycled and used up at a higher rate. They’re gonna cause magnesium to get used up at a higher rate. They’re gonna put you in a fight or flight position, where your body goes into fight or flight and then that’s gonna cause increases of cortisol, increases of adrenaline and it’s gonna cause your brain to get hyperactive and obviously at the same time it’s gonna affect digestion too when you’re in fight or flight. It’s gonna decrease your body’s ability to make stomach acid and enzymes and it makes it harder for you to break down your food. And so, and then of course, the more stressed you are, now you’re gonna start craving more processed foods that increase dopamine and increase a lot of those, uh, feel-good brain chemicals to buffer that but so, I always look at like what’s the constructive vehicle to fix this, what’s the destructive vehicle. Destructive vehicle feels good at the moment but creates problems down the road. Constructive helps at the moment. May not, maybe not quite as fast but then actually gets to the root cause over time. And so, some of our constructive vehicles like you already mentioned, magnesium, right? Theanine, right? B6, B5, right? And I always look at nutrients first, like nutrients are in the hierarchy before herbs so nutrients first and then, in the hierarchy coming down would be herbs, Ashwagandha, passion flower, Valerian. Those things are nice herbs that kind of activate and stimulate GABA. So, GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. So, it’s the brake pedal on the nervous system. So, think of the gas pedal as adrenaline, as cortisol. That’s the fight or flight nervous system response and the gas pedal is gonna be GABA and the things that are gonna help with GABA are gonna be Taurine, Theanine, GABA in and of itself. And then on the herbal side, things like Ashwagandha have multi-adaptogenic effects. They can increase cortisol and increase stimulation when things are too low but they can also tamp it down when it’s too high. I like my wife. She was really stressed the other day. We are getting our kids out for an easter party and she’s like, “you have something to give me? I am so stressed.” And I’m like, “here you go”. And I gave her a bunch of GABA, Taurine, and Theanine and magnesium, some B5 and vitamin C and some Ashwagandha and she looked at me like two hours later, she’s like, “what the heck did you give me. I’m on cloud 9.” I’m like, yeah, you know that, the better living through chemistry right there. 

Evan Brand: That’s great. Yeah, and motherwort. I love motherwort too. It’s great for the anxiety when you’re having, like, heart palpitations, blood pressure type issues as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hyperthyroid too. They use it on hyperthyroid, as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. That makes sense. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Too high thyroid, it can also be. It can help dampen that down, as well, which is nice. 

Evan Brand: It’s great for grief too so like the cool thing about certain herbs is they can be an emotionally calming tool but they can be a nervous system calming tool too. So, like, as you mentioned, there could be an emotional thing like a bad boss, a bad spouse, a bully. You know that type of emotional anxiety driver but it could be a chemical driver too, meaning like a toxin driving the nervous system to be ramped up. Also, we should talk about blood sugar. I know we’ve done podcasts on this before but you know there’s a big impact on issues with blood sugar. Thank the Lord, my blood sugar is so good now, I could eat dinner at five and not eat till 1pm the next day and I’m stable, like, I can fast for extended periods of time as needed and I don’t have any issue but however when my gut was a wreck which I want people to pay special attention to, if your digestive system is compromised, you’re not gonna be tolerating fasting that well because you’re already so likely nutrient deprived because of the malabsorption due to the infection. So, years ago when I tried doing this type of fast, I would have major anxiety and that’s low hanging fruit so do what you got to do but you got to get your gut tested and then fix the infection first. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, just kind of looking at a bunch of different things. So, on the emotional side, right? If it’s unresolved emotional trauma that’s creating anxiety, you know, someone wrote about DNRS, that’s great. You know, this NLP, where you kind of visualize a stop sign or something to kind of do a pattern interrupt. That’s excellent. EFT, EMDR with eye movement or different tapping on meridian points to kind of dampen down that sympathetic nervous system response. And again, these are gonna be good, you know, uh, more chronic issues. Yeah. If it is an acute issue, you know, a lot of times, just get to the root underlying issue where that issue is acute.  

Evan Brand: I was on a plane one time and the turbulence was so bad and I started tapping on the plane. That really helped. I’m like okay. Even though it feels like this plane is about to crash, I love and accept myself and I’m like okay that’s fine.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Especially things like that. You don’t have control, right? There’s nothing you can do outside of just sitting there and getting through it. And so, it’s better when those things are kind of the case but you know, it’s kind of like, I’m just trying to think of you know an example, it’s kind of like, you go upstairs and don’t turn the alarm on for the house or like maybe did I leave the front door unlocked, right? And so, there’s a natural bit of anxiety. You start going down to bed and that little bit of anxiety kind of creeps in, you’re like, I’m not gonna be able to get to sleep fast if I don’t at least just check on the front door, right? So, let me make, oh good, it’s locked. Oh good, the alarm is on. Good. Now, that anxiety can go down because it’s there for a reason, right? So, if there’s a root cause, act on it, right? If there’s isn’t a root cause, right, but it’s more emotional, you can do some of the tapping and you can work with a practitioner to get to the root cause on that and then of course having better biochemistry will get will make every bit of anxiety better because you’ll be able to adapt to it and deal with it better. And so, of course, like we already talked about with cortisol, chronically high levels of cortisol and adrenaline are gonna be big so you have to get to the reason, the root cause why. And again, foods could be a reason why like gluten, too much processed sugar that can drive up that anxiety. Again, you already mentioned blood sugar fluctuations. If you’re on this reactive hypoglycemia roller coaster ride where blood sugar goes up because you ate too much processed carbohydrate, refined foods, junkie, vegetable oil, omega-6 fats. Blood sugars up and then it can crash right back down. The crashing is where you tend to get a lot of adrenaline cortisol stimulation and on the way up, you get lots of insulin so you get this insulin-cortisol-adrenaline kind of tug of war happening and that can be very stressful on the body. And then, of course, if your blood sugar is chronically high and you’re making tons of insulin that can also be a problem too. High levels of insulin can cause all kinds of problems with hormones, especially in women, it can cause issues with ovarian cysts and testosterone problems. And then, high levels of blood sugar deplete a lot of your B vitamins and magnesium. And so, if we have poor levels of B vitamin and B6 and B5 and B1 and B2 and B3 and folate and B12 and magnesium is depleted, that’s gonna cause more stress and more cortisol issues and it’ll be harder for you to deal with and adapt to that. 

Evan Brand: And I would say, if you have anxiety longer than the week, I would almost consider that chronic. I mean, it’s crazy to me, how many people you have and I’ve talked to over the years who’ve had anxiety for a decade or longer and sometimes as one person commented that anxiety and OCD together is terrible. A lot of times OCD does come hand in hand with anxiety. We’ve done podcasts specifically about amino acid therapy and we use amino acid therapy in our clinics but if you have OCD, anxiety, low self-esteem, worry, negativity, depression, disturbed sleep, those are all symptoms of low serotonin. So, what you need to do is to get an organic acid test so we can measure this and look at the brain chemistry because if you’re not testing, you’re guessing. So, when you’re listening to this conversation about anxiety, I swear to you, you’re never gonna find a psychiatrist that’s gonna say, “hey, maybe we need to run an organic acids test, maybe you have low brain chemistry because you have bacterial overgrowth. So, we’re also gonna run a stool test. If they’re out there, send them our way, we’ll do a podcast with them but I doubt your psychiatrist is ever gonna consider running functional medicine testing on you to investigate this. I don’t care if you do lorazepam or the klonopin or whatever. It’s not the root cause and it’s gonna dig you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any benzo 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Any benzo is gonna dig you further in the hole because now you’ve got this dependency issue and now you’ve got his issue of withdrawal and I don’t know if you’ve read some of the stories on this but my God if people try to acutely stop those benzodiazepines, there’s major major major side effects. So, it’s just not around

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Especially, if you’re on doses, you know, above one milligram or so on a benzo, it can be harder to get off and sometimes the taper can be, you know, six months to a year coming off of it. If you’ve been on it for a while or been on a higher dose. Yeah, you need to kind of do a slower type of taper for sure. 

Evan Brand: And there’s so much, I mean, just think of how many millions. I didn’t look at the numbers here but how many millions of people are on prescription anxiety medication and they never ever get to the root cause. It’s so sad to think about someone that’s been on like a Lorazepam or another benzo for 20 years and they’ve never once asked about the gut. The question came in, how does dysbiosis cause anxiety. What are the mechanisms? Well, I think, one, right out of the gates is gut inflammation. Number two would be nutrient malabsorption because as you mentioned, a lot of these B vitamins are necessary for many processes in the body including energy production so sometimes you have anxiety and chronic fatigue and that sucks too because now you’re too tired but you’re anxious so that’s not a fun recipe either. What else would you say about the gut anxiety connection? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, so anytime you have chronic gut inflammation whether it’s from food, whether it’s antibiotics. Antibiotics are creating rebound yeast or bacterial overgrowth. We could put H. pylori in that category, and other infections, as well. That’s a one you and I already mentioned, creates malabsorption just from indigestion, right? Not enough enzymes, not enough acids, not absorbing things well. Two, you’re gonna have exogenous production of lipopolysaccharides which in and of itself are a toxin, right? They’re produced, they’re part of the gram-negative bacteria in the gut and they’re stressful on the liver and there’s also can go to the blood-brain barrier. And when they’re in the brain, they can create mood and anxiety issues as well. So yeah, lipopolysaccharides, you could have acetaldehyde and mycotoxins from fungus. You could have issues with the parasites producing their own type of internal toxins for sure. Of course, your body also produces through healthy gut bacteria, a fermentation process to make its own B vitamins, vitamin K. Those kinds of things. So, if we have dysbiosis, we typically are gonna have low levels of beneficial bacteria so we don’t have that good endogenous production behind it. And then, of course, that’s gonna over activate our immune system. So now, we have all these toxins kind of slipping through our bloodstream. We have undigested food particles, getting through our bloodstream. Now, our immune system starts becoming hyperactive and that can suck up energy. That can suck up resources. So, there’s studies on for instance H. pylori creating mental health issues, mental, emotional issues, depression and anxiety partly because of the lipopolysaccharides and endotoxins are the same thing by the way. LPS or endotoxins and obviously nutrient absorption problems too.   

Evan Brand: Man, when I had H. pylori, I was super anxious. I don’t know if I was depressed as much but I was definitely anxious and you remember how skinny I got, I mean, I lost so much weight too. So, a lot of people, you know, they look at anxiety on the surface right. And everyone looks anxiety is just like this mental thing and you just need to watch some hoorah motivational video and just get over your fears and that I was like no anxiety goes way deeper than that. You just eloquently illustrated this, the aldehydes from the yeast and the fungus toxins and the bacterial toxins and the parasitic toxins and the mycotoxins. You guys, this anxiety is not in your freaking head. It’s not. It may manifest in your head but the root cause is not in your head unless you’re describing like, this toxin getting across the blood-brain-barrier but beyond that, the gut I would say is the biggest driver of anxiety. I’d say, if I had to pick one place to look, it would be the gut.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, when we look at this, what’s kind of the hierarchy of addressing this? So, of course, you fix the foods, right? Because the foods are one. You’re gonna decrease inflammation from the foods. And the inflammation in the foods is gonna cause gut permeability so you cut out the gluten, the dairy, the processed refined sugars and flours, the junky omega-6. You focus on good high-quality animal-based fats, good healthy proteins, you know, more carbohydrate from fruit and starch, especially if there’s blood sugar issues and then from there, then you work on digesting it. So, make sure enzymes and acids and good digestion are there. Get your gut looked at especially if there’s any type of chronic bloating or motility issues or indigestion, unadjusted food in your stool, diarrhea, then you get your gut looked at and of course if this issue is more chronic, you want to look at your stress handling system so the interplay sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in your body and your nervous system is your adrenals and so you can get your adrenals looked at cortisol rhythm wise, you can do a cortisol panel. Look at your cortisol in the morning and throughout the day. Make sure it’s not too high or it’s reversed. On a good organic acid test, we can look at neurotransmitters like Vanilmandelate which looks at adrenaline. We can get Homovanillate which looks at dopamine, right? We can get the DOPA which looks at dopamine. We could also get 5-hydroxyindoleacytate to look at serotonin and then of course we can look at B6 like a kind of urenate or xanthurenate, right? We can look at brain inflammation markers like picolinate and quinolinate so there’s inflammation in the brain that gives us more indications. We can look at oxidative stress markers like 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine. There are good markers out there to look at these different things to give us a window of what’s happening so you know, we work on the food, work on the lifestyle, sleep. Make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down. Look at the nutrient deficiencies, look at the gut, look at the infection, look at the digestion and then of course, you know, we can always branch out and look at mold or mycotoxins or heavy metals or more toxic burdens down the road. That’s the foundation first and then I would say on top of that, if there’s any type of chronic pattern where there’s an emotional trauma involved that’s more unresolved definitely bring in a good practitioner, you know with some tools in their tool bag of NLP or EFT or EMDR or hypnosis. Anything that you want techniques to get into the subconscious but again the healthier you are the better the emotional stuff is to resolve so if you’re doing EMDR and EFT and NLP and you’re eating processed food and crap, it can still work, but it’s gonna be better when your brain chemistry is healthier. 

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Amen. Well, think about all the people that are in talk therapy and then they go and they go eat a subway sandwich for lunch, thinking that they’re doing themselves a good favor by eating turkey on wheat bread with processed cheese and then they get mayonnaise or sweet and sour sauce on it or whatever the heck they’re doing and then they feel like crap, I mean. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.  I’m not a big fan of talk therapy in the long term. I think, talk therapy is good did you kind of just consciously process something like how did this happen maybe you’re learning some tools to enter into your life from a habit standpoint to fix whatever that issue was but then most of that trauma sits in the subconscious area of the brain which is where 90% of all your thoughts are subconscious and so that’s where you want some of these techniques like we talked about but I think talk therapy is good to acutely process what you’ve observed whatever your experiences are and then talk about, hey what can you do, you know, as a person today as an adult today, um, you know, from a habit standpoint to address it but then after that then you gotta, you know, if you’re in talk therapy months and months later and you’re still just ruminating over the same thing then it’s a subconscious thing you got to work on next.   

Evan Brand: Yeah, and look, don’t let me talk people out of doing it. I’m not trying to do that but what I’m saying is I’ve had people that said, “oh yeah, I’ve been with this therapist for 3 years and I meet with them every week or every other week”. And I’m like, “okay and what do you do with this therapist?” “We talked.”, “Okay and what else do you do?” That’s it. It’s talk therapy and I go, okay, you’ve been doing talk therapy every week or every two weeks for 3 years and you still have anxiety that’s this bad. We got to dig deeper. So, like I said, there’s a role for that but it’s not gonna get you out of the woods. The person who commented about the dysbiosis and anxiety question, they also commented in here said they did have a stool test that showed H. pylori. They have extremely high Morganella which is one of those bacteria we’ve talked about and calprotectin which is gut inflammation over a thousand. Fatigue and anxiety were the main symptoms. We see this everyday all day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Exactly. I’m familiar with that case for sure. And inflammation in the gut can definitely create those types of issues and get to the root cause of it too.  And then, someone writes in, about Accutane too, I mean, this is super common if you get into the dermatology world. I mean, dermatologists, they either cut something. They burn it off with a laser. They freeze it off or they use some type of antibiotic, topical or internal or they use some kind of like, synthetic vitamin A. That’s it. That’s the dermatology world you know in a nutshell and they tend to not get to the root, you know, we’re talking like more chronic acne, chronic skin stuff. They tend to not ever get to the root cause of how or why that’s even there. Diet, sugars, junky, omega-6, poor digestion, poor fats, poor proteins. They don’t really get to the root cause of what that is and so, they recommend synthetic vitamin A, which is Accutane, which again, will decrease the amount of oil produced by your sebaceous glands which can be helpful in the short run if they’re producing too much oil but they can create chronic skin and eye dryness in the long term and they’re not even getting to the reason why your skin’s producing too much oil to begin with. Usually, it’s too much insulin. Insulin is a huge driving factor of excess oil and then of course, you have different food allergens, gluten, dairy, too much sugar. That can also cause a lot of problems with the skin cells. 

Evan Brand: And not to mention, the connection between people that have anxiety and acne. Guess what, they’re both linked to the gut. So, if you have acne and anxiety, you gotta investigate your gut. Please. Please. Please.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. And again, you know, outside of that, you know, we look at different toxins down the road. If we look at heavy metals, there’s different tests. We can look at, to do a challenge test on your metals with a DMPS or some kind of a challenge agent. We can definitely look at mold if there’s mold in the environment that’s important to look at. And again, if you’re in an environment where you feel better leaving that environment then there could be some mold in there, especially, if a history of water damage that was unresolved, definitely want to get your mold looked at or just your home looked at too, especially if it’s something that the whole family is dealing with just get the home looked at to start. It’s usually cheaper and more effective out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. well said. And, heavy metals too. I’m glad you brought that up. You know, mercury and other heavy metals that can stimulate the nervous system and cause issues. So, if you have a bunch of silver fillings in your mouth, you’ve got to consider that. May not be your number one smoking gun, sometimes it is but heavy metals are a big problem and even detox too can make people feel too sick. I mean, you and I have seen this many times. Other practitioners that have handled people before they come to us or they’ve done something too aggressively with chelation or other detox methods and then they’ve ended up worse. So, there’s like a tight rope and that’s where the art of medicine comes in. Everything is not just like cookie cutters. So, too much is a problem. Too little is a problem and that depends on gut and detox and beta glucuronidase and liver and all of it. So, like if your friend got better and you tried what your friend did and you didn’t do well, that might not be your right protocol.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. And then, just to kind of highlight the nutrients in, compared to talk therapy, Julia Ross is out there. She’s like a family therapist person but she’s done a lot of books on amino acids and diet and she had different clients that she used to use talk therapy for years and years and years and said, “hey, let me just try adding in some amino acid therapy to their protocol and let’s see how they do with their talk therapy when we add in the amino acids”. She started to do that and then these patients would come the next week and they’d be like, “Yeah, just, I’m just good. I just don’t even feel the need to talk about it. I’m over it”. And it’s like wow so it’s like it gives people the equipment to kind of, like, process these issues and again I think talk therapy acutely may be fine. It’s just when you’re talking about the same thing for years and years and years, you’re probably not getting to the root cause, right? This is probably just covering up something else, you know. Now, I think it’s better than being on a drug, right? So, if it’s helpful and you don’t need a drug that’s great but, in the end, you know, if you can do some of these nutritional things along with it, you may find that you can just deal with the issues better you know I, the analogy I get patients is, try dealing with difficult problems around the home and not having slept for a couple nights. You’re gonna lose your patience with your wife with your kids. You’re not gonna be able to think right, you’ll be foggy, get some good night sleep and then wake up and deal with the problem. It’s like you’re gonna be way more equipped to deal with it. I think that’s kind of how brain chemistry works when you’re dealing with these stressors. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, I remember in that book too, talking about how, like, amino acids were administered, right? At the beginning of a session and then the people would just immediately like, smile or loosen up or relax and so it’s amazing no matter how much you talk. Long story short, I know we’ve beat the drum on this for a minute but last thing, no matter how much you talk. It’s never gonna change your levels of serotonin just by talking it out. If you have a gut problem that’s affecting your nutrient absorption which is affecting the tryptophan and the conversion with the B6 over to 5HTP and then over to serotonin and then to melatonin so sleep issues too. So skin, sleep, anxiety, they’re all connected depression. We’ve already talked about that. This person here’s putting a bunch of question marks like they’re mad at us. What is the connection between Accutane and depression?   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just a side effect. It’s a side effect of the drug. 

Evan Brand: It could be a side effect. Yeah.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Just the side effects of the drug. That’s all it is. Yeah. So certain drugs, you know, are gonna have side effects. Ibuprofen can cause ulcers and liver issues, right? Just a drug side effect.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well, we got to wrap this thing up. But if you need help clinically, you can feel free to reach out. We work with people around the world. We send these functional medicine labs to your door. We have an incredible logistical team on both sides where it’s incredible. We can help people in literally every part of the globe where people like us don’t exist or maybe they do but we’re better. So, if you need help, you can reach out directly to Dr. J, that’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani at for consults or me, Evan Brand at We’re happy to help. You guys, don’t give up. We’ve been through it. We are warriors ourselves and we’ve worked on our health for years and we love what we do and we love helping people and there’s so much possibility when you can beat an issue like anxiety. So, like I said in the beginning, whether it’s seeking that raise, that new promotion, that new job, that new spouse, you know, that partner, that relationship that you want to grow but you can’t because you’re held back by anxiety. This is a huge huge problem and you can overcome this. So please don’t give up. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. If you guys enjoyed it too, look down below, you’ll see a little link where you can write us a review. We appreciate the review and if, also, it’s benefiting you, feel free to share with family and friends and there’ll be links where you can reach out to us directly to get that extra bit of help. All right guys, have a phenomenal day. Take care. Bye everyone. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.  



How to Get Your Energy Back Post-Infection | Podcast #365

When people start to feel better after an infection, it is often tempting to return to previous levels of work, leisure, and social activities. However, too soon, trying to do too much can often be counter-productive. It is easy to get caught up in a ‘boom and bust cycle of activity that can prolong your recovery.

Dr. J and Evan discuss that if fatigue and other symptoms persist, it’s important to remember to allow yourself time to recuperate by finding the right balance of rest, relaxation, and activity for your circumstances. It is essential to listen to your body and gradually build a physical and emotional recovery plan that can help you get back to your life and stay on track without experiencing too many setbacks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
5:11   – The essential vitamins to boost your immune system
10:12 – What is the goal of the Krebs Cycle?
14:06 – Mitochondria and microbiota dysfunction in viral pathogens;
17:12  – The role of mitochondria, oxidative stress, and the response to antioxidants in chronic fatigue
20:08 – The neurotransmitters from amino acids and tryptophan pathways in B6 deficiency

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: With Evan Brand, really excited today. We’re gonna have a nice conversation on how to get your energy back post-infection. This is the topic that we’ve been getting a lot from our patients and again a lot of our inspired podcasts and videos come from real life clinical work with patients. So, we’re excited to bring you the real-life actionable information here to improve your health. Evan, how you doing today man? What’s cooking?

Evan Brand: Hey. Doing pretty well, uh, cooked some bacon this morning and that was about it with some organic blueberries and so I’m feeling good. my brain is clear and I look forward to helping people on this energy conversation, you know, so many people have chronic fatigue post-infection and they’re not fully bouncing back and so, I think that there are some easy low hanging fruit strategies that we can talk about but I’m just gonna jump straight to the big smoking gun which is looking at your mitochondria. We’re seeing a lot of issues with mitochondrial dysfunction or mitochondrial damage. I’m also seeing issues with neurotransmitters. So, I think, if you are to pick one and only one functional medicine test to look at to investigate yourself after this infection and fatigue, it would be the organic acids because you can get a great window into not only your gut health. We know that with infections, it does damage the gut, we know that there are ACE2 receptors in the gut so people that are ending up with irritable bowel or diarrhea or other problems during and post infection, we can look at that. A stool might be smart too but if you had to start with only one thing maybe the window into your gut via urine organic acids would be good enough. But more importantly, I want to see what the heck is going on with mitochondria and what kind of damage do we have because once you have the data then you can put together a protocol to fix it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agree. So, we know with chronic inflammation, especially like, post-viral inflammation. We know one of the biggest drivers is gonna be oxidative stress, right? So, oxidation is nothing more than your body losing electrons, right? And one of the big things that helps oxidation within any type of infection pre, ideally, we’re doing these things pre to mitigate al of the oxidative stress that’s happening at the mitochondrial level but simple low hanging fruit, out of the gates, is gonna be glutathione, vitamin C, these are really powerful antioxidants. Vitamin D even kind of fits in that category, right?  Your big antioxidants are ADEK, um, I’m sorry, no, those are your fat-soluble vitamins but E is gonna be an antioxidant A is gonna be an antioxidant, right? I would even say E and K would for sure but your B and C are gonna be your water-soluble kind of more antioxidants for sure but the big are gonna plug in, you know, post-viral oxidative stress and/or pre is glutathione and vitamin C, out of the gates. And we can also look at low-hanging fruit on the mitochondrial side, which plugs into the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain is gonna be B1, which is thiamine. I would say B vitamins as a whole was great but B1 has a major, major role and I’d even say B5, as well, pantothenic acid. So, you have thiamine, B1, right? You have Riboflavin, B2. You have niacin, B3; Pantothenic acid, B5; Pyridoxine, B6; biotin, B7; folate, B9; B12 is your methylcobalamin or hydroxyl or adenosine. And so, we’re talking B1 and B5 are gonna be big when it comes to post-viral fatigue. Those are really, really important nutrients that we can add in out of the gates and, why it’s all of this oxidative stress that’s happening when this infection is present. And so, the more you can do things like hydrate, keep inflammatory foods down like the excess Omega-6 fatty acids, um, keep the carbohydrate and the sugar in check, right? That’s gonna play a major, major role in not adding fuel to the fire if you will as well.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you can do oral glutathione. So, we have a combination product, which is an acetylated glutathione along with an acetylcysteine. So, you can give your body the nutrients to make more. You can give the precursors but then you can also take just straight glutathione. There are some liposomal versions. There’s reduced glutathione. There’s a nebulizer version that you can take so you can inhale glutathione if you feel that there was some lung involvement. You may consider doing both. I personally did both. I did oral and I continued to do oral glutathione daily and then, also, during the acute situation, nebulized glutathione with silver. And then, you mentioned B vitamins and you can measure all this, right? So that’s the important thing is, you know, you’re shouting out all these different names but people can look at this, right? We can look at this on organic acids. We can look at the various B6, B12. You can’t look at every single nutrient in the body but you can look at a ton of nutrients from one urine sample. So, it’s pretty awesome. And then, vitamin C, believe it or not, we’re seeing a lot of issues with viral infection and acute scurvy, which is pretty interesting. If you just put it some of this data and scurvy into the research, I guess, it’s due to the oxidative stress. It’s happening quickly and every single person I’m seeing post-infection is showing low vitamin C. So, we’re just keeping people on 2 to 3 grams every day. We’re doing a powdered version with a mixed ascorbate. So, you probably don’t want to do just straight ascorbic acid and you probably wanna do like a sodium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, if you can get some citrus bioflavonoids in there too and just take it ongoing. Don’t wait until you’re sick. We, as a family, we just take vitamin C ongoing because we know it’s important for the health of your capillaries and all that. Can you speak on that for a minute? Like vitamin C and skin and collagen, I mean there’s a role in other things. People think vitamin C, immune, but there’s other benefits to see, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Vitamin C plugs into making collagen, which is all of the connective tissue for your skin, uh, hair, you know, cartilage, vitamin C is really important for that. Vitamin C is a very similar molecular structure as glucose, right? Don’t quote me but it’s similar to I think C6H12O6 or O8, it’s right in that molecular area, looks very similar. So, what does that mean?  That means, vitamin C has a docking site on the macrophage that actually goes and gobbles up bacteria and potential viruses and it’s gonna use that vitamin C that docks onto that macrophage to deal with the oxidation. So, I kind of think of it as like a firefighter going into a house and the vitamin C is like that fire fighter bringing that hose to squelch that fire, to squelch it, right? That’s kind of what I see vitamin C as, right? And, it’s almost like with the macrophage, it has a docking site and that glucose can actually come in there because it looks very molecularly similar to vitamin C and it can almost dock on that receptor site on that macrophage and take that vitamin C where to be used. It’s almost like giving the fire fighter a water hose, taking the water hose out and giving him a gas hose and he doesn’t even know. It’s almost like that and that’s why glucose and high levels of glucose and when it comes to a lot of these post-viral illnesses, you’re gonna see people that have very high levels of blood sugar, insulin resistance and even the extreme on the diabetes side are gonna have most of the side effects of most of the issues partly because of the oxidative stress, partly because of poor levels, you know, when you have insulin resistance that’s gonna affect oxygenation, right? Because, you’re not gonna have good blood flow and when you have poor blood flow and poor oxygenation, we need oxygen to plug into that mitochondria as well. It’s part of, you know, the key nutrients, right? We talked about B vitamins, B1, B5, very important to plug into the Krebs cycle. Well, guess what, when you have a high level of blood glucose and you’re on that pre-diabetic to diabetic side, right, 110 to 126mg/dl on the blood glucose side, your body has to process that and if you just go pull up, you know mitochondria, Krebs cycle and nutrients, right, you’re gonna see all the nutrients that are involved in that Krebs cycle to process that glucose because how it works in the Krebs cycle, everything gets funneled down to acetyl CoA, right? So, you have glucose comes to acetyl CoA, fatty acids come to acetyl CoA, they can also go this way into ketones and then you have protein coming down to acetyl CoA. Acetyl CoA pumps around the Krebs cycle twice and if you look, there’s gonna be nutrients that have to come in there to help that acetyl CoA to come around and a lot of those nutrients are gonna be B vitamins, magnesium, amino acids and so, if you’re coming in with lots of glucose and you’re not bringing in a lot of nutrients to funnel down to the acetyl CoA side, you’re gonna run that Krebs cycle twice and you’re gonna be using more B vitamins than you’re coming in. So, you can actually create a lot of nutrient deficiencies and oxidative stress when you consume a lot more glucose because it’s a transaction fee for your body to process energetically. 

Evan Brand: Nice. Nice. That’s a great way to put it. And, the truth is people are coming into this infection with nutrient deficiencies already due to bacterial overgrowth problems, Candida problems, maybe post-antibiotic therapy, you know, they have issues with the gut now and they’re not making enough of their nutrients in their gut. And so, a lot of people will just depend on diet and they’ll simply, well, can I just get enough on diet, can I just eat liver and grass-fed steak and all that and get enough nutrients from that and I’ll say, look I’ve tested and I know, you have too. Over a thousand people and many of those people were already dialed in with their diet for years before they got to us. Paleo, carnivore, autoimmune, paleo, we’ve had people that have been doing an incredibly job with nutrient density and they still show up with nutrient deficiencies and so I would love if everyone could just eat their way out of this situation but I just think with the modern stress that we’re under we’re dumping a lot of those Bs. You’re mentioning all these that are fueling this cycle. We’re so depleted and burned out emotionally, physically, chemically, we’re exposed to toxins. We’re just not living in Paleo time, so Paleo, you can’t just like paleo your way out of this and you know, that’s why I used to call my podcast years ago ‘Not just Paleo’ and then I got rid of it, just call it Evan Brand now but, um, that was my whole thought at the beginning. It was like, man, if everybody could just eat their way out this and get enough Bs in the diet then you and I wouldn’t be needed. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Let me just kind of break this down for people just so they can get a better understanding of what’s happening here. So, when we have oxidative stress, oxidative stresses, we’re losing electrons. What’s the whole goal of the Krebs Cycle? The whole goal of the Krebs cycle is essentially gathering up electrons. Okay, so, you have fats like I mentioned before, they’re all funneling down to Acetyl-CoA. Proteins all funneling down to acetyl-CoA, right? Then you can see on the carbohydrate side like I mentioned, look at a lot of the nutrients that are involved in funneling the carbohydrates down to acetyl-CoA, different B vitamins, okay?   

Evan Brand: Zoom in so, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  B1, B2, B3, magnesium, all play really important roles and then look at the carbohydrates, look at the amino acids that are involved. Cysteine, that’s a major precursor of glutathione, serine, really important for stress. Glycine, that’s your major amino acid in collagen, right? This is why, when you’re stressed and you’re sick, it’s why your grandma tells you to have chicken soup, right, especially with the whole bone in there because you’re getting a lot of these amino acids in a liquid form. So, if your tummy doesn’t feel good and you’re nauseous, right, because the infections tend to really cause nausea because your energy is going to fight an infection versus digestion. So, it’s trying to shut that down. That’s why your grandma said chicken soup, right? Ideally, we keep the noodles out now. Now, look at the fats, right, look at where the fats can go so the fats go down to acetyl-CoA but it can also go and create these ketones, right. This is beta-hydroxybutyrate. This is a ketone, okay? Now, really important here. So, we have this acetyl-CoA, right, this is kind of our energy currency that everything gets converted from our three major macronutrients, fats, carbs and proteins. And again, if you’re listening at home, there’s a video version of this of me going through it. I know, it’s a little confusing but I’m going to try to make, break it down. Acetyl-CoA comes around this citric acid cycle or Krebs cycle. It’s the same thing. It goes around twice, okay? And you can see GSH that stands for glutathione. Fe stands for Iron. So, if you’re a female and you’re very low iron or you’re anemic or vegetarian vegan, that could be a problem. 

Evan Brand: So, let me pause there, really quick, because I want to point out something. You’re showing here on this cycle that you’ve got to have not only glutathione but you’ve got to have iron so you gave a shout out to the anemic women and what I want to point out is that the women that came into this infection, anemic, which is extremely common. Women have hormonal imbalances. It’s an epidemic problem so many women have heavy periods or maybe post childbirth, their period was screwed up and they’re having heavy menstruation. So, they’re coming into this anemic or they’re coming into this with low ferritin and then that’s compounded by maybe a mold exposure where now they have low glutathione levels. The way you’re showing this cycle here, if you come in with low iron and low glutathione, you’re in big trouble.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re in big trouble. And, women are more predisposed because if they have hormonal imbalances, guess what happens to their period, they get heavier. Heavier period, they’re just gonna lose that iron. Now, men on the other side, men have it, you know, they can have increased iron. They can cause oxidative stress because iron is like, you know can be like gasoline on the fire if it does get too high, right? But you can see glutathione, iron, you can see B vitamins, you can see magnesium, you can even see manganese here and you can see different B vitamins. And, what they do is you’re creating NAD and FADH and they’re grabbing hydrogen, they’re grabbing electrons, okay? So, typically comes around here twice and you get usually two NADHs and one FADH2 per cycle and then essentially all of these things will jump into the electron transport chain next. If I could find that section here, but the electron transport chain is the next big step for that kind of gathers nutrients but for really, for today’s talk, this is the really most important thing and then just kind of highlight, you can see some of these toxins over here that come in, right? You can see fluoride, Hg is Mercury, As is gonna be, uh, arsenic, Al is gonna be aluminum. So, you can see some of these toxins, how they can kind of come in there and sabotage some of these things. And, to kind of highlight one thing, this is an article we saw here. Mitochondria and Microbiota dysfunction with post-viral issues, you can see how the gut microbiome also plays a certain role and why is that? Well, I think, because 80% of the immune is in the gut so if you have a pathogenic or dysbiotic microbiome, it’s gonna affect toxins being produced, right? It’s gonna put you right here in a hyperinflammatory state, right? We already have a lot more cytokines being produced if we have an illness and so we have to be able to calm down our immune system’s inflammation to what’s happening from an immune stress standpoint. And so, the microbiome plays a big role, iron dysregulation, reactive oxygen species, right? Vitamin C plays a major role here. Vitamin, uh, glutathione plays a major role there as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, right there, look at that one, the mitochondrial, the heightened inflammatory oxidative state may lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and so this is what we’re seeing on paper. We’re seeing this in the stool test. We’re seeing this in the organic acid test, this issue with the gut with the mitochondria. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It talks about platelet damage too which is important because what do platelets do, those are your clotting factors. And so, if we can have increased coagulation cascades, that means more clotting, right? And, you can see more clotting events, more thrombosis is that’s a blood clot, right? And so, you can see furthermore, mitochondrial oxidative just make, may contribute to microbiota dysbiosis altering coagulation and fueling inflammatory oxidative response leading to vicious cycles of events. So, this is really important and so things that we can do to be on top of the fatigue is gonna be the same things that we can do to help mitigate a lot of the inflammation. That’s gonna be keeping blood sugar in check, adding in some of these additional B vitamins, um, adding in anti-inflammatory anticoagulants. What do those look like? That could be ginger. That could be curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation effects. That could be adding some extra Cod liver oil that has more vitamin A in it, which is a really powerful antioxidant but it also has natural blood thinning aspects because of the extra omega-3s in there. So, there’s different things we can do to really help reduce a lot of that inflammation. Any comments on that, Evan?  

Evan Brand: Yeah. On the more intense side of supporting hypercoagulability, lumbrokinase is gonna be your most powerful. That’s your earthworm-based enzyme, which is just a cool, cool thing. Natto, there’s also serratiopeptidase, so there are other enzymes that you can use and I personally take those. I take lumbrokinase, one per day just ongoing and it’s been very helpful. I also did a podcast with Dr. Thomas Levy, all about vitamin C IV and he’s got some dark field microscopy photos of people that we’re having blood clotting issues and the vitamin C along with ozone and IV was like a game changer and vitamin C can help energy too, so I don’t want to get too deep in the rabbit hole of blood clots but we’ll just say that the vitamin C is helpful for energy also. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I want to show you guys one other journal article here, role of mitochondrial oxidative stress and antioxidants when it comes to chronic fatigue and so one kind of thing here, it talks about the known role of oxidative stress and how it can relate to essentially fatigue, as well as, potential, uh, specific therapeutic treatments for the mitochondria so that’s really powerful. And, you know, here are some of the big things, they’re gonna talk about vitamin C, talk about B vitamins, talk about glutathione and then also some of the more natural anti-inflammatory things but you know, each study is going to find out focus on a couple of their major things but, people in the literature are looking at these things. It is real and, um, we’re seeing it in our patients and we’re trying to apply some of these things to get people’s health back.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, the way you look at this is what you can do to protect against oxidative stress, we covered that glutathione. What can we do to help support the Krebs cycle? We talked about B vitamins. You’ve also got just things that are gonna help the mitochondria in general, like CoQ10 and then also you can do things like PQQ and there’s other nutrients that actually create what’s called mitochondrial biogenesis where you can literally make new mitochondria. And so, I don’t think it’s in that paper, it does mention CoQ10 there but 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right here in the mitochondria, there are enzymes and coenzymes such as vitamin E, CoQ10 to remove ROS, that’s reactive oxygen species to prevent DNA damage. So, these are really powerful things that we can add in. For example, low CoQ10, they’ll see an increase in damage, so Coq10, PQQ, you know pyro quinolone, right? Vitamin E, and then, you know, we try to give Coq10 with vitamin E together for that same reason to prevent a lot of the oxidative stress while fueling the mitochondria. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Look at the next part there too, talking about exercise. People that come in with chronic fatigue and how they’re having an increased oxidative stress after exercise and that’s a problem that we’re seeing a lot too is people that now are having, uh, post-exertional fatigue, people that are crashing. Even athletes that were really high performing people that now their performance is just in the tank and a lot of that is just this ongoing oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage that’s not, that’s not been supported and you can’t just exercise your way out of this and I get kind of annoyed when I see like those motivational videos of people that are really sweaty like you just nee to suck it up, you know, pain is weakness leaving the body. It’s like, no, you’re wrong, you got to fix the mitochondrial damage. I hate those like raw-raw videos because it’s ignoring all the nutrients. That video really needs to be talking about, hey get your glutathione up, get your ribose up, get your CoQ10 up, come on people, like that’s what he used to say.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And this is a similar marker that we use on the organic acid test, the one that we use 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine, this is very, very similar to that. But this is a marker for oxidative stress so we’ll actually use the same marker on a, um, on a mitochondrial test on the organic acid. So, we’ll look at some of these things to get a window of how stress these pathways are so that’s very powerful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Ribose is amazing. Carnitine is amazing. Acetyl-L-carnitine is amazing. Also, you know, let’s hit the, let’s go up a little bit like that picture there was a like a neurotransmitter picture there that you had. Maybe, we should talk about that a little bit because it’s not directly gonna be a mitochondrial support, yeah, right there, but I think, that’s cool to point out too, which is that, if we’re coming in with nutrients like phenylalanine or tyrosine, eventually some of that may convert over to your neurotransmitters but then also your adrenal hormones like epinephrine and I think a lot of people and I know you see this too, a lot of people are showing up with just low brain chemistry across the board. And so, I’m thinking out loud with you that like, the real magic remedy is the mitochondrial support plus throwing in some of these neurotransmitter supports as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that’s why we talked about B vitamins and I kind of went to the gamut, look how important B6 is in regarding the synthesis of tryptophan to serotonin, really important so you can see how B6 deficiency is really important in this process to convert this inflammatory product here, quinolinic acid, uh, back to tryptophan, it needs B6 or to avoid that whole thing it needs B6 so that’s really important. So, B6 is really important in the synthesis of amino acid tryptophan to serotonin, very important.   

Evan Brand: And so, vegetarians, vegans, obviously, you’re gonna be at increased risk of issues and your recovery is not gonna be as good as someone who’s getting these good animal proteins because you’re gonna be getting adequate tryptophan and other nutrients from your animal-based products. So, even if we could get these people on eggs, if we could get these people on organ capsules, if we could get these people on even like a protein like, I’ve got one we call carnivore collagen, which is a like a beef peptide, I mean something you gotta supplement at some level if you’re not eating those foods. So, please, if you’re a vegetarian vegan and you’re exhausted then look at some of this and hopefully we can convince you to change and improve your diet a bit. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. No, I totally agree. I think that’s really important. I want to see if there’s anything else here, I want to highlight now because that’s enough, that’s powerful enough. Anything else, you wanted to highlight there?

Evan Brand: Well, we hit the urine, we hit the stool. Looking at the gut, you showed the study about the gut changing, we’ve seen that, I mean, you and I were talking about that march of 2020, I mean that was 2 years ago. We were talking about being affected. And so, obviously, our message is the same that it’s always been is get your stool looked at so we can see what kind of dysbiosis do you have going on because if you’re taking all these supplements, you’re doing all these foods but you’ve got malabsorption or you’ve got gut inflammation. You’re not gonna, you know, people say you are what you eat but you really what you digest from what you eat. So, if you have all these other issues in your gut, the grass-fed steak is not gonna be as valuable to you. Now, I’m not saying stop eating it, I’m saying still eat it but we’ve got to improve the digestion and assimilation of that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. And one thing here, I just want to highlight here, just to kind of this article, it’s talking about mitochondrial function in infections in the gut because we’re trying to talk about mitochondrial and energy post-illness, that could be a viral illness, it could also be a gut illness, right? Because, it’s talking right here, even virus dedicated virulence factors and talks about downstream of an infection. It’s fascinating that a plethora of immune responses but, uh, be it against viruses, bacteria or LPS. LPS is lipopolysaccharides or endotoxin, this can come from H. pylori, this can come from SIBO, or dysbiotic bacteria and they strongly impact tht mitochondria which is really, really important because they’re toxic, they kind of throw a monkey wrench in how the FADH and the NAD is kind of moving around the Krebs cycle, collecting hydrogens and then bringing into electron transport chain. It talks about, um, governed by the mitochondria can be translated into active therapeutics to boost immunity against pathogens to over immune responses under control in the case of inflammatory disorders. So, essentially, the more you have these infections there, the more inflammation your immune system creates that can actually impact your mitochondria. Again, when you have a lot of these illnesses, it’s not just the stress from the illness, it’s the immune response from your own immune system that creates inflammation that can actually disrupt your energy pathway. So, sometimes, you’re just fighting against yourself. And so, using nutrients to help modulate the immune response i.e., glutathione, Vitamin D, vitamin C, right, really important nutrients there. I’d also say, you can do things like curcumin, or resveratrol as well. You can have immune modulating effects. These are powerful. So, it’s good to kind of get your immune system in check. Most people that are having longer term, we call it kind of long haulers type issue. It’s typically their immune system has over responded and it’s just creating so much inflammation. So here, this illness, they’re no longer testing positive for whatever this illness is and they’re prolonged 2 to 3 months out and they’re feeling like crap still, it’s because they really didn’t get their immune system’s inflammatory cascade in check afterwards.    

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. So, a couple comments. Number one, you can improve your energy by simply fixing your gut and that’s exactly what that data is showing and that’s exactly what you and I have seen and done clinically, hundreds and hundreds of times. People that were exhausted coming in, we give them a gut protocol, sometimes, not even giving them energy supplements because on paper they look good and all of a sudden, their energy level doubles and all we did is fix their gut so that’s the number one comment. And then number two comment is that, people need to stop waiting for some illness like this to take them down before they take this stuff serious. I mean, you and I are all about preventative approaches meaning getting your mitochondria, you gut, your brain chemistry getting all that stuff optimized now so that you’re a warrior on a daily basis so that when you do come across something like this and there probably will be more things like this that you do to get exposed to, you’re ready and you’re able to handle it and you’re not coming in so sick and looking for this emergency therapy at the end stage, it’s, in some cases, it’s too late. I think, a lot of times you can turn it around but you should have been working on your health years ago before you got this stage.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And a lot of it is, you know, anytime you have some type of illness coming up, the more you can be on top of a lot of these key immune modulating anti-inflammatory nutrients ahead of time and or during versus coming in at the end when the inflammation is super high. It’s like coming in when the fire is a little baby fire and knocking it out versus having a full five alarm and trying to stop it, right? That’s kind of the analogy. So, I always recommend telling people have a couple of nutrients. You may not be taking it everyday but they may in your medicine cabinet is kind of like a, um, you know, last ditch kind of effort to kind of come in there if you start to feel a little bit ill so on my line, we have Immune Supreme, which is nice because you have some green tea in there, you have some echinacea, you have some medicinal mushrooms, you have some antioxidants and some immune modulators, that’s kind of cool. Have that in your medicine cabinet. You start to feel the tiniest thing, start taking that to get that immune system, obviously, you can ratchet up, vitamin D, vitamin C. These are easy first line things, if you have any NAC or glutathione, we can ratchet that up. These are easy things that we can do to kind of take charge of our health and prevent our immune system from throwing us off.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. And, if you need help clinically, we do offer one-on-one consults around the world with people so we’re very blessed to be able to help so many people by getting the proper testing done, making the proper protocol to get you better. So, if you don’t test, you guess, you got to see what you’re up against first, look at your Bs, look at your gut, you know, once we get the data, we can help you more accurately and you’re gonna save a lot more money, a lot more time and a lot more suffering and you’re gonna get out of the dumps out of the trenches, out of the depths of hell, depression, whatever you’re dealing with. You’re gonna get out of that faster if you’re using clinical data and you have a tour guide to your body. So, if you need help clinically, you can reach out to Dr. J at for consults worldwide or me, Evan Brand at and we’re here for you guys. So, we look forward to helping you out.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I appreciate it. Yeah. Anyone that wants to reach out, Evan already gave you the links, really appreciate it. Comments down below, I really appreciate your feedback on that and also, we’ll put links down below with some products that we chatted about. We have different ones that we recommend in our line. Just wherever you go, make sure you get them from a professional grade company because raw material does matter in the supplement world. You can buy, you know, the equivalent of the grass-fed steak from the local farmer or you can get it from McDonald’s, right? And so, we want to get the high-quality raw material that’s tested to make sure there’s no impurities and just building blocks are excellent. Evan, excellent chatting with you man, really appreciate it. Guys, um, have an awesome week and we’ll talk soon. Take care you all. 

Evan Brand: Take care, now. Bye-Bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. 


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The Top 5 Causes of Bloating | Podcast #364

Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. Most people describe bloating as feeling full, tight, or swollen abdomen. Your abdomen may also be swollen (distended), hard, and painful.

Dr. J and Evan describe that gas is the most common cause of bloating, especially after eating. Gas builds up in the digestive tract when undigested food gets broken down or when you swallow air. Everyone swallows air when they eat or drink.

On the other hand, they also talk about different components of why you may be having to bloat that you may not notice. Plus, available testing and lifestyle modifications you need.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:57  – The role of acid-pH level in the digestive system
5:01  – The link of depression and anxiety to bloating
10:02 – The benefits of probiotics and effects of stress to digestive health
18:17 – Functional medicine strategies and testing to find the root cause of bloating

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really excited to have a podcast today. We’re gonna be diving into a couple of different topics. The big one here is gonna be bloating – one of the big root causes of bloating. We’re gonna talk about it from a biochemical functional medicine perspective. Evan, how are you doing man? What’s going on brother? 

Evan Brand: Doing pretty well, excited to dive in and talk about gut infections. I think that’s probably the first place to start because you and I have run thousands of urinary organic acids and genetic stool tests over the years. And years ago, you know, we used to use a three-day stool test. Now, with technology improvements, we could do a one-day one sample stool test and we can uncover so much. So, I’ll just kind of riff on things. I know we like to title things just for marketing purposes and call it top five but we may go into 15 by the time we’re done because just right off the top of my head here, high gut inflammation like how calprotectin may be an issue, low pancreatic enzyme function, bacterial overgrowth, where we’re gonna measure the dysbiosis, H. pylori infections, parasites, worms, specifically Clostridia and Candida can cause a lot of issues with bloating. So, in general, I would just say any gut infection but we can break that down as much as you want to. It could be a huge cause of bloating. And, the problem is this, when you go to a conventional medical doctor or a gastroenterologist and you get some sort of bloating remedy or some sort of digestive aid, maybe an acid blocker, antispasmodic medication. Obviously, these are not addressing these infections. You could take acid blockers for the rest of your life and never clear the H. pylori that’s driving the low stomach acid which then drives the fermentation in the gut which then drives the bloating. So, I just want people to have in their heads a clear mindset of what are you taking, is it actually fixing the problem, are you just masking your symptoms. And in the case of an acid blocker, you’re actually putting yourself deeper in the hole because you’re taking low stomach acid that’s driving heartburn or an infection and you’re making it worse. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, you know, the first catalyst for good digestion is a nice low pH. That good acid pH, we need good hydrochloric acid to make that happen. So, we need essentially hydrogen ions to bind to chloride in our gut and so we need chloride from minerals. So, we need good minerals, good quality sea salt that helps make stomach acid on our own. Now, if we’re under a lot of stress and our adrenal glands are in stress overdrive, it could be cortisol high or low imbalances, as well as adrenaline issues, right? It could be high or low cortisol stress issues that could put us in a fight or flight state and that sympathetic nervous system stimulus is gonna negatively impact our body’s ability to start with making stomach acid and digestive secretions and of course that stomach acid is almost like an antimicrobial. Think of like using lemon or apple cider vinegar is a natural cleaner right. They recommend these online. You can make natural cleaners usually some kind of acid as the foundation of the formula because acids are antimicrobial and so think of acids in your intestinal tract as being antimicrobial. They also, some kind of help tighten the sphincter, the esophageal sphincter from the stomach into the esophagus. It gets tightened with good acidity and so part of the reason why we get bloating and a lot of these gases rise up to the esophagus is inadequate levels of acidity and that keeps the esophagus open and then what happens when that esophagus is open over time, the fermentation acids that occur can actually, eventually irritate the bottom of the esophagus because we didn’t have enough acids to trigger that good closure in the beginning. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. So, then you’ll get these, what are called silent reflux issues sometimes it’s called GERD. And once again, prescription drugs are what’s the common remedy but once again it’s not the root cause. It may reduce the symptoms because if you have that backwash it’s gonna help slow the backwash down but it’s not gonna fix the sphincter so we might come in with extra betaine hydrochloric acid or if you’re extremely inflamed which is that someone can’t tolerate a low dose of it but then we could do something like apple cider vinegar with a meal sometimes bitters. I personally don’t do bitters, I just do HCl and enzymes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We can always test it with ginger. We can always test it with an acid like lemon, lime, or apple cider vinegar, start with a teaspoon of that and mix in a couple ounces of water and then kind of work our way up from there. So, acidity is a really important first step. Of course, if we have inefficient, um, inefficient acidity levels we can almost guarantee, we’re probably gonna have poor enzyme levels and probably gonna have poor bile acid levels, right? Bile acids are important because they help break down fat and bile acids are also slightly acidic, right, in the name of bile acid and it’s also antimicrobial. So, just like we talked about the acids having an antimicrobial benefit on the HCl side, also, bile acids have an antimicrobial benefit. We see in SIBO, a hallmark of SIBO is bile aids insufficiency and so with SIBO we don’t have enough acids there on the bile side so then we have a hard time breaking down fat and then a lot of times that fat will create indigestion, petrification because it’s not being broken down. Now, when we run certain stool tests, we’ll see increases in a metabolite called steatocrit, which is a breakdown of the fat that means it’s not being broken down in the stomach. It’s coming out at higher levels which means we’re not breaking it down. So, steatocrit is a big deal because steatocrit, if we don’t have good fat digestion, we probably have some protein digestion issues, we probably have some enzyme and acid issues and we probably have, um, some gas issues, bloating issues because these things require good digestion and if they’re not being broken down well, we’re probably getting some methane or hydrogen gases kind of rising up from that.

Evan Brand: And you know, we’re taking on the subject of bloating but it’s very common that someone with these issues you’re describing, they’re also gonna have issues with energy and probably mood like anxiety and depression because you’re mentioning this issue with fat digestion, protein digestion. Now, you’re not gonna get the aminos that you need to fuel your neurotransmitter so it’s very rare that somebody’s gonna come to us and say, hey I’m just bloated and I have nothing else. Usually, along with that bloating, you’re gonna have these tangential symptoms too like anxiety, depression, fatigue, and so I encourage people, you can focus on one smoking gun like bloating as your big thing you’re coming in for but you gonna make sure you understand there’s a bigger, deeper connection to your mood issues too. So, this is the person who’s on break, uh, someone just commented about severe brain fog. We could hit that too, uh, but somebody might come in and say, hey I’m bloated and then you tease apart their case and you go, oh so you’re actually anxious too. You’re on antidepressant and an acid blocker and this happens every day, all day. So, just to clarify, number one, we hit a low stomach or we hit infections first. Number 2, low stomach acidity, you mentioned low bile in the gallbladder. Also, let’s give a shout out to people that don’t have a gallbladder, what about these poor people, they’re gonna need a lot of supplemental help for the rest of their life. And so, unfortunately, this is a very very common procedure done in the U.S., where the gallbladders are removed and so these people are gonna need some purified bile salts forever in my opinion. Well, what’s your…?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! They’re definitely gonna need bile salts and some extra enzymes like lipase but again, you gotta get to the reason why that gallbladder issue even happened. Now, most people, it’s women in their 40s who have an overweight issue and so what tends to be driving, that is usually food allergens whether it’s grains or inflammatory foods but also estrogen dominance. So, if you have an imbalance in estrogen, estrogen is gonna help promote more fat storage so you obviously have more estrogen more fat storage. A lot of times you’re gonna have PMS issues too so you may be moody, irritable, um, sleep issues, uh, you could have fibrocystic issues, uh, tenderness, a lot of pain around PMS time. So, you gotta get to the root cause of that as well. So, we started out with just bloating but you can see how then this estrogen issue can affect bile levels and good bile flow because estrogen causes everything to get really stagnant and not flow well and then you’ll start having mood issues and PMS issues and maybe even fertility issues. So, you can see how you start at one point which is bloating, which is the topic of the video but then it can spiral down this other kind of tangential pathway.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Not to mention two, let’s just say it started out with heartburn, I just want people to kind of visualize this. So, let’s say it starts out with heartburn. You go to the target and you buy Prilosec, which is over the counter acid blocker medication, you reduce your stomach acid even more but you feel some relief from the heartburn and let’s say your spouse had H. pylori, you guys pass that between each other, so now you’ve got even more reduction of stomach acid levels, you’re on the acid blocking medication. Now, you’re anxious, you’re starting to get depressed, you’re getting a bit of fatigue. As you mentioned, now, you’re getting some hormonal issues, some hormonal issues like breast tenderness or PMS or ill ability, you’ve got this dysbiosis growing in your gut so you have this bacterial infection. It could be multiple things, Strep, Staph, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Bordetella. And now, you’ve got beta-glucuronidase issues. Now, you’re recirculating all this estrogen. You’re creating more problems with the gallbladder. Maybe, you get the gallbladder removed. Now, you’re in really big trouble then that leads to the diet so then you read some guy on the internet who says, you need to be doing 70 – 80% vegetables. So now, you’re doing all these veggies and you’re even more bloated and you’re even more gassy and you don’t know why. So, you’re eating broccoli, you’re trying to force all these leafy greens down, a lot of vegetables. Maybe, you’re doing a lot of avocados, these higher FODMAP foods that are fermenting in the gut. This is the case where you’ve got a really, to me, the best, most beneficial thing I’ve seen for these cases, get the diet very simple, focus on good quality animal proteins and for a time being minimize your vegetables so that you can let the gut rest. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. From a solution standpoint, yeah, good proteins, good fats and then if we’re gonna do vegetables, make sure they’re cooked steamed, sauteed, maybe use an instant pot and try to make sure they’re on the lower fermentable side. Now, that being said, next, what’s another driving factor of bloating? increase in fermentable vegetables. Now, people are hearing all kinds of things about probiotics being helpful. Well, they are. There’s a lot of good benefits to probiotics and the microbiome and the endogenous nutrients they produce. They, um, whether it’s vitamin K2, whether it’s different B vitamins, really helpful. It also produces acidity which helps keep a lot of bugs and bacteria from growing in the gut, totally helpful. Now, if you already have a lot of bacterial overgrowth and bad bugs growing, sometimes, these extra good bacteria can actually cause more bloating, more gas. And then, of course, because they’re fermentable they can also create histamine too. So, the histamine may create more brain fog or headaches, more destruction there. So, you may have more histamine symptoms, you may have motility issues because they’re producing hydrogen methane gases maybe and that may cause either diarrhea on one side or maybe more constipation on the other side, definitely possible. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good call on the histamine. And so, some of these bacteria on your gut, they’re gonna be releasing histamine too. So, if you’re combining high histamine foods, you’re doing leftovers, let’s say, last night, you made a steak, you’re cooking that leftover protein. That’s gonna be higher in histamine. Combined with the histamine being produced from this bacterial overgrowth problem, yeah, you mentioned brain fog, skin flushing, rashes. So, once again, here we are talking about bloating but we’re trying to elucidate this big spider web of other symptoms that may be going on.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.

Evan Brand: Um, also, what about a stress component meaning someone just simply not chewing enough, they’re rushing through their meals. I think this from a mechanical perspective. If you look at your average person, I mean I saw somebody on the highway the other day, I don’t know if it was a donut, a piece of pizza, it was some kind of junk. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was but either way there’s still people trying to do makeup, scrolling on their smartphone, eating a piece of pizza, all while driving on the highway at the same time and we wonder why they have digestive problems. So, maybe we talk about the impact of not being settled when you are eating and this sort of like, this parasympathetic process that digestion is supposed to be our ancestors, they didn’t have that level of stimulation while they were trying to eat. I mean, maybe there was a wolf trying to come, get their bison killed but beyond that there wasn’t this big sympathetic stress underneath all of our meal times.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We kind of started out the video talking about the parasympathetic-sympathetic balance and how important that is because the parasympathetic is part of that rest and digest that gets the digestive secretion going. It stimulates all the blood flow into the organs, the intestines. So, of course, setting really good boundaries for your meal, you know, I recommend kind of kind of go into a meal five times or ten minutes, just kind of relax, do some deep breathing, have some appreciate, appreciation about your day, the food in front of you, you know, just whatever blessings you have in your life, just try to really get to that parasympathetic state with just good breathing in the nose, right, four to five nasal breaths in and out. Focus on whatever’s good in your life, appreciation. Whatever you have to do, whatever kind of resonating prayer to put you in that state when you just feel better and then go into that meal keep it quiet or if you want to listen to something that kind of allows you to feel good and feel rested or relaxed, that’s fine. And then, go into that meal and make sure you chew your food really well. Try to avoid a lot of hydration with the food, you know, a couple of ounces of water for swallowing some pills or digestive support is fine but try to get into that meal, like, I just had to have a good routine. Get some good hydration ahead of time, try to go into some kind of meditation or prayer for five or ten minutes ahead of time to really get that parasympathetics going and then go into your meal and really just try to chew things up pretty well too, you know, about 30 chews per bite of food on the average, kind of get your food chewed up to about an oatmeal like consistency so it’s really broken down well that’s allow the enzymes and the acids to work a lot better too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You know, what’s interesting is a lot of people are kind of pressure into these business meetings like with their boss or with their co-workers, there’s this like work-meeting-lunch deal where people are going out with people they probably wouldn’t associate with outside of the workplace and they’re going and eating with those people. And so, I would just tell you, if you don’t like it and that’s not your vibe, don’t do it. If you feel more comfortable, more relaxed eating by yourself, don’t do it. I mean, I remember, l had some stressful conversations over lunch and dinner tables before with people over the years and I leave feeling like I didn’t eat anything and that my mind was so focused on even if it wasn’t a negative conversation. If it was on some sort of business deal or the state of the world or something and then I’m eating. I would get up from the table. I’m like, oh crap, did I eat and I didn’t process that and it would sound maybe like unnecessary advice but I think a lot of people need to be picky of what they talk about it at the dinner table.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think anything that’s gonna keep you in that parasympathetic state is great, you know, save the more stressful things before or after and I think, also, just have good boundaries. Try to make sure you get at least 20 minutes for a meal, um, to yourself, you know, I mean, if you don’t have 20, if you can’t put 20 minutes in your schedule for you to consume some good food and put yourself in that parasympathetic state then you got some boundary issues and you got to really work on roping in your schedule and getting some control over it, at least so you have that 15-20 minute to yourself and you can really process that food well. And again, I’m not saying there won’t be some exceptions or some stressful days here or there but on average try to make sure 80 to 90% of the time, you really have control over your schedule to that degree. 

Evan Brand: One of my favorite things to do even in the wintertime here, if I’ve got blue skies. I’m taking my shirt off, I’m going to sit on my front porch where I’ve got a nice comfy front porch patio chair and that chai is warmed up by the sun so I just take my shirt off sit there barefoot and in the chair and eat my bison burger for lunch and the sunlight is a mast cell stabilizer so I noticed the sun helps me if I have any kind of food reactions, the sun will stabilize that, obviously there’s nitric oxide benefits. There’s likely some nervous system benefits circadian rhythm benefits. So, for me, if you can get fresh air on your lunch that’s great and what the heck does sunshine have to do with bloating, well, I mean there’s even some studies on sunlight improving the diversity of your gut and we’re outside all the time now. So, if you just type in like sunlight microbiome, you can read the papers on this, it’s in a microbiology journal about how exposure to the UV rays can improve the gut diversity so it’s no surprise that all these people in offices buildings all day, they got poor diversity. Obviously from other things but lack of sunshine is a negative factor for your gut health. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, also, there’s other bugs that are out there I think we already kind of talked about H. pylori because that can affect the stomach and that can decrease, um, acid production and thus when acid production is down, we know enzyme production is also down and then that can also affect biliary function, biofunction, so we know H. pylori is a big thing. Other bugs can be problematic, right? We already mentioned SIBO, which could be a whole bunch of different bacteria that are overgrown in the small intestine that could be Citrobacter, Prevotella, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Morganella, right? It doesn’t really matter the actual bugs but if there’s an overgrowth there, they can definitely disrupt digestion creating different gases on the methane and hydrogen side and that can create obviously more bloat. Other parasites can cause problems too. So, we see things like Blasto, Blastocystis hominis, right? E. histo, D. fragilis, Giardia, Cryptosporidia, these are all other bugs that could be problematic. Then even things like fungal overgrowth like Candida overgrowth, whether it’s a Rhodotorula species, Albican species, these types of imbalances can cause problems. So, it’s good to test and really make sure that we look at the whole microbiome and see what’s out of balance or not and then from there food wise, I mean, of course, general refined sugar, refined grains, right? These processed foods, excess fiber, lots of raw vegetables, uh, fermentable carbohydrates, right? These things are gonna be on the list, as well. And so, we’ll kind of add those. There are a lot of different things that we have to look at so I kind of gave you the top five or six on this list. Anything else, um, Evan, you wanna add to it?

Evan Brand: Well, I would just say that if you’re coming into this conversation, you’re listening, maybe you don’t have much background and listening to people like you and I talk about functional medicine strategy. Some of this may just go right over your head. You may just tune out because you’re hearing these things which sound exotic and they sound rare, like H. pylori. I don’t have that. Giardia, what the heck is that? Blasto, though I don’t have that. You know, I just have bloating. The reality is these are very common things. The problem is the testing that’s used in the conventional gastroenterology world is very outdated and very insensitive, meaning there’s a lot of infections that go missed and even if these infections are tested for, it’s not likely that you’re gonna find an accurate result. And so, what we’re talking about, these are not rare situations, you and I, between us both, we’ve seen several thousand clients and patients across the world over the last decade and we can tell you that these issues are something we see every day, all day. So much so that in fact when I see a whole big list of infections on the stool test, I don’t get shocked by it. Yep. Uh-huh. That’s it. That’s what we’ve got. So, if you’re listening to this, you’re like, ‘man, that’s not me. I’m just bloated and tired.’ Well, there’s a reason for that. And so, I highly recommend you get tested, figure out what the heck you got, going on because if you’re not testing, you’re guessing and if you’re going and taking probiotics or random enzymes and you don’t feel better or you’re confused about what you should actually taking and not taking and you’re building up a supplement graveyard. It’s time for you to get tested and figure out what the heck you’re up against. And so, if you need help, you can reach out clinically, Dr. J is at you can reach out and do consults worldwide. So, we jump on a video call just like we’re doing here, Zoom, facetime, skype, we can look at your labs that you run at home and we can figure out what’s going on and make you – a game plan to get better. And if you need help for me, it’s Evan, and either one of us, Dr. J,,, we’re here to help you and the cool thing is you can reverse these issues and you can get to a point where you don’t even recognize your gut health. I mean, if I look back at myself even 10 years ago, I had such severe IBS. I did every diet under the sun and I made some progress but it wasn’t until I looked at my gut that I really made the magic happen. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so, just to kind of highlight a couple of things out of the gates, um, we’ll put some links below as well to some of the lab tests that we recommend, whether it’s the stool testing, whether it’s the organic acid testing which does look at bacterial and yeast metabolites. I love the organic acid because it’s very good at picking up Candida and yeast overgrowth, where a lot of times those tool testing will miss that and of course the, um, breath test will not touch any yeast overgrowth. So, it’s nice to have whether it’s stool test, whether it’s the GI map, whether it’s an organic acid, whether it’s a conventional lactulose, breath test, these are all good tests. We’ll put links down below. So, if you guys want to look at getting some of those to start out at the gates, you feel free, you can. Also, I like to compare and contrast like what we do versus the conventional gastroenterologist. So, most gastro docs, they’re just trying to rule out significant pathology, significant disease and so they may cross off the list by doing some kind of an endoscopy, which is camera down the mouth to look at inflammation in the stomach or esophagus and if they see esophagitis or gastritis, you know, what they’re going to do, they’re gonna recommend some type of PPI or Gaviscon or some type of a coding agent to kind of help reduce the inflammation but they’re not gonna really fix the root cause. Most of the time, they pull you off acids, which may be helpful in the short run but it’s forever altering your ability to break down protein or fat and it also can shift your bugs in a negative direction because now you don’t have the good acidity to keep the microbes down. You need the acidity to activate enzymes, you need the acidity to activate your bile salts. So, someone’s jumping in on the questions here saying that hey they feel better on keto but now they’re feeling more constipated. Yeah, super common because what’s happening is you’re cutting out a lot of the foods that are causing problems but you haven’t fixed your digestion, you don’t have enough acidity, enzymes, bile, there may be some bugs that are still impacting digestion and this is why being on good proteins and fats can be helpful but they also reveal weak links in your digestive chain if you’re not breaking down food well. So, just kind of getting back on the gastro doc kind of bandwagon, they’re gonna be looking at pathology inflammation in the stomach, you know, ruling out the big things like blood, um, in the ulceration in the stomach, you know, usually you’re gonna know that because you’re coughing it up but you’re seeing it in your stool. If you have irritable bowel disease symptoms like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, usually, you’re gonna have significant inflammation in the stomach, usually significant diarrhea, blood in the stool, they’re gonna rule that out and then what and then for the most part, once the big pathology things, ulcerations, cancer, massive amounts of inflammation are ruled out, they’re gonna typically give you like IBS diagnosis, whether it’s IBS-D for diarrhea or IBS-C for constipation and they’re gonna just manage whatever symptoms whether those symptoms are with different drugs. So, if it’s constipation, they’ll use laxatives. If it’s diarrhea, they’ll use things like Imodium or Pepto Bismol or anti-inflammatories. They’ll just modulate the symptoms with drugs and that’s it and they’re not gonna really get to the root cause. They’re gonna just try to spot the treat and then that’s where people come to us because overtime, those drugs will become less and less effective, you have more and more side effects, you’re not fixing digestion, you’re creating more nutritional deficiencies, maybe more gut permeability issues, maybe more autoimmune stuff and so these patients then come to us because they’re just tired of putting band-aids over band-aids. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I forgot to mention the endoscopic procedure that is super common, uh, they wanted to do that on me, years ago, when I had IBS and I denied that because I even back then I had read about these infections that people were acquiring from getting scoped meaning the last person that they put the tube down, they didn’t properly clean or sanitize that so then they stick it down your throat and then you leave the hospital just to investigate and as you said, the only thing that’s gonna come out to that is they may say gastritis which is super generic. It doesn’t tell you anything about these infections and they’re not gonna give you an herbal protocol to address the infection causing the gastritis. But now, you’ve left the hospital with Clostridia or some other possibly antibiotic resistant infection that’s involved to evade the sterilizing and cleaning procedures. So, I’m all about non-invasive, accurate, functional medicine testing and that’s why we love what we do because there’s a very rare, maybe one every five years, yeah, is there a case where I’m like yeah, you need an endoscopy because there’s something crazy here.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Usually, with an endoscopy or colonoscopy which is gonna be going up the rectum to look in the colon. Usually, there’s gonna be blood in the stool, some type of significant inflammation, whether it’s excessive diarrhea, excessive inflammation, excessive blood in the stool, excessive weight loss. It has to be at the extreme ends for that to make sense. Most people just have inflammation and a lot of times the tests won’t kind of tell you enough about the root cause, they’re just gonna put you on medications to manage the symptoms and that’s where you’re kind of stuck in between. Now, a lot of my ulcerative colitis, IBD patients, they’ve already done that. Yeah, so then, it’s like all right, they’ve kind of already crossed that off their list any weird cancers, ulcers, it’s already done, they know, they’re just being managed with Lialda, Prednisone, a biologic and then it’s like, now what, right? And so, we still have to get to the root cause of that and get the immune system chilled out and figure out what stressors are there so we can get on top of that too.     

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, I know you and I have seen countless emails being sent to us with pictures of colons and you know different things from these scopes like hey there’s my scope results, you know, what do you have to say about it and the answer is always the same. Okay, there’s something there, let’s work on the infections. And so, uh, yeah, someone in the chat, uh, shelly said, yes that they all recommended me, every time, I go to the doctor. So, yeah, that, I mean that’s all they’ve got, they don’t have the stuff that we’re using maybe in 20 years from now you can go right down the street and get done what we’re talking about but for now you’ve got to seek out somebody like us that’s gonna be able to help you, uh, there’s one person in the chat too asking about a viral impact on the gut, it’s real. I did a whole section of that in my better belly course about that virus in the gut and so it’s definitely a big factor.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and just to kind of, uh, speak, kind of on the line here, so, um, we can, we don’t get censored, there’s certain viruses that are out there, right? There’s an ACE2 receptor site that gets impacted in these different viruses and the ACE2 receptor site, there are a lot of them in the gut and these receptor sites are really important for absorbing amino acids and so if you have any of these maybe chronic viral issues, one of the good things that you can do is actually extra free form amino acids to allow these receptor sites to absorb these amino acids easier, right? I think the free-form amino acids are already broken down. So, if you have this chronic immune stress and you’re having a hard time recovering from the immune stress adding in some additional free form amino acids can be very, very helpful on the healing side.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot and there’s papers on this too but I’ve seen it clinically too. People post viruses that will look at their stool, there’s gut inflammation, there’s low secretory IgA, so we can see there’s been some damage and so we have been able to resolve it. So, yeah, we’ll wrap this thing up but if you al need help, please reach out clinically, we mention the websites one more time, Dr. J, that’s, me and we’re here to help you guys, so you can reach out and we’ll get to the bottom of this. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And sometimes, we’ll even use some kind of an elemental diet with people that have chronic digestive issues just  because it can be hard, breaking protein and fat down and these are really good, important nutrients but sometimes we just got to break it down for them and using some kind of an elemental or a modified elemental, where maybe you make the first four to six hours of the day, really easy to process in some kind of smoothie or shake that has most of the amino acids in free form, maybe the fats more easy to process like in an MCT oil or something like that and then we use a lot of the vitamins and minerals all broken down. That could be very helpful and give the digestive system a chance to rest and some people they notice this because they just feel really good when they fast and so if you fast and you feel really good that’s excellent but you’re still not fixing the problem of getting nutrients in the system so that’s where using some kind of an elemental type of shake can be really helpful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Well, I’m done. I feel like we’ve covered a lot of good stuff here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Yeah. I mean someone asked one question about flour substitutes. It just depends on where someone’s at, so flour, it’s a processed food so out of the gates, if someone wants, um, like a starch, um, I recommend maybe a greener banana, maybe yucca, cassava, maybe a Kabocha, spaghetti squash. Just look at some of the fibers, uh, non-starch, I should say, more starchy carbohydrates that are gonna be grain-free, see how you do with that. And then, if you want an actual flour, you can look at it like an arrowroot or you can look at it like a cassava is pretty good because it’s still grain-free but it’s still gonna be on the processed side. So, ideally, try to keep it grain-free so you don’t have extra gluten sensitivity connection with those.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Definitely. That’s what I was gonna say too. Potatoes, rice, a lot of these things can still create problems for people. I’ve had many people feel like crap on some of these gluten-free breads. So, yeah, it’s still processed garbage in my opinion. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then, someone wrote in about the, um, the onions there. Onions are very high in FODMAPs and that can be a problem and so if you head, your gut feeling a lot better and you can come back in and you’re noticing FODMAPs are creeping into your diet and causing a lot more bleeding definitely kind of, you know, rain that back in and see how much that back in and see how much that kind of brings you back to homeostasis. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. This person told, uh, they said that they’ve had similar issues with cabbage, brussels sprouts, and other similar veggies. So, yeah, I mean I would go more animal-based. See how you feel with just some meat and some berries for a little while. Maybe if you tolerate a little bit of some organic pecans, if you want to do a little bit of nuts but do like a bison burger and a handful of blueberries for lunch and see if you feel better. I suspect you will. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. At least, just try, you know, cutting out the higher FODMAP foods because when you address microbes, right? You starve it on one side with restricting certain foods that can feed it, you can kill it with certain herbals and then you crowd it out with probiotics. And so, sometimes, we have to go back to the killing side and kill the microbes out a little bit more but I always just see how much the starving kind of works. Get the starving going again and then if you have to kind of return to a protocol, where we knock down the microbes with herbs, we can always do that too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we’ve made these protocols a lot. It’s really fun to combine and mix and match and get the synergistic effect of this herb plus that herb. I mean, that’s where the magic really happens and there is an art to this too like you said when to cycle things on when to cycle them off, so there’s not just this one cookie cutter thing that you have to do. You really got to just work with the person. Certain herbs are used for certain parasites, certain ones we use for bacteria, certain ones we use for fungus. It depends on what you got, most of the time it’s a combination of all these bugs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Hey, Evan, great podcast today. Hope everyone at home listening enjoyed it. Feel free to share with friends or family. Put your comments down below. Let me know what things that you guys have tried at home that have worked well or haven’t. Really appreciate the conversation. Evan, have an awesome day man. 

Evan Brand: You too, take it easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye. 

Evan Brand: See you. Bye-bye. 


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Audio Podcast:

Post Viral Immune Support To Improve Energy | Podcast #363

What you eat after a viral infection, when symptoms of fatigue persist, can have a marked impact on your speed of recovery. Dr. J and Evan discuss that specific foods need to be avoided or included in your diet to improve your immune system. So what are the truth and the evidence about diet and post-viral immune support?

The good news is that most people will benefit from some considerations when recovering from illness or infection. Having post-viral fatigue means that you will not have your usual energy to think, shop, prepare or eat as before. Be very practical and kind to yourself. Dr. J and Evan added that diet modification is vital in your recovery.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
1:57   – The role of acid-pH level in the digestive system
5:01  – The link of depression and anxiety to bloating
10:02 – The benefits of probiotics and effects of stress to digestive health
18:17 – Functional medicine strategies and testing to find the root cause of bloating

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J in the house with Evan Brand. Evan, how you doing man? How are your holidays? How’s everything going brother?

Evan Brand: Everything’s going pretty good. I’m trying to start 2022 off with a bang. I suspect it’s gonna be a better year than 2021. People are becoming smarter. They’re becoming more educated. They’re becoming more resourceful. People are waking up. There’s a lot of, we’re in the great awakening and so I think, this is an important time to be alive and an important time if you’re a parent, if you’re a husband, a wife, if you’ve got kids, if you’re a teacher. It’s important time to keep your eyes open and keep your ears to the ground because stuff changes quickly and you got to be like a little speedboot. You got to be able to take turns quick, you don’t want to be the titanic right now, you don’t wanna be slow in taking big turns, you gotta be nimble in these times and so what I’m alluding to is just you got to be able to navigate the world of health which is quickly evolving and that’s true. What we’re trying to talk about today is post viral fatigue and really that’s just the title but this really could apply to bacterial infections and parasites and mold exposure but we just wanted to try to zoom in a little bit specifically on post viral fatigue and things like Epstein Barr virus, many people are familiar with and there’s a lot of people that report their chronic fatigue, picking up after something like EBV, we’ve seen it a lot with the virus going around now which would probably get flagged and censored so we won’t say it but you know what it is and there’s a lot of post, uh, viral fatigue going on from that and so you and I have dealt with some of that, you’re still going through the thick of it right now but I think you’re coming through pretty well, you’re still working and obviously you’re on your feet right now literally standing so that’s exciting and yeah.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For the listeners, I had COVID last week, actually symptoms started on Wednesday. Really two hard days of symptoms, I was able to work the whole time though, I mean I think that the symptoms for my COVID that were, um, tough was I would say achiness and then like sensitivity to cold like it was like 45 degrees out and it felt like it was minus 10. So, I would say sensitivity to cold and then also getting really hot at some points, getting out where I would sweat through my shirt. So hot and cold, achiness/ headaches and then like easily out of breath but I mean for me I mean, it was still fine where I could work and still do the things I had to do. So it wasn’t that bad, I mean, I had a flu in 2013 where I was literally laid up for over two days and I couldn’t do anything so I know laid up feels like it wasn’t even close to the flu of 2013 for me, that was really hard. So, definitely, um, not as bad, I actually was my own worst enemy because on Friday I was feeling like really good like 80-90% better and did like 2-3 hours of housework like cleaning my house like doing all this different stuff because it was a beautiful day and I’m like all right let me get on top of some work, work 3 hours probably walk like 15,000 steps and that next day there was a major relapse in how I felt. It was probably like I went backwards 30-40%. Here I was at 80% probably going backwards to 50. I was like whoa what happened and so then I just kind of got in the straight and narrow and just said okay I gotta really make sure I kind of make sure I kind of keep it easy until I get back to 100% because, you know, um, it just you didn’t realize how much, uh, things could go backwards so fast so you really gotta wait till you get a 100% on things and so overall I mean the only thing lingering for me right now is a slight bit of um out of breathiness and, uh, this little lingering deep tickle cough like right now you can feel it like someone’s tickling the back of your throat with your finger and you want to cough to scratch it, kind of like that and so that’s where I’m at now. That’s like kind of makes it feel like I scratch it right there, right. So, I’m doing some ginger tea, I’m doing with the Manuka honey that soothes it like that helps with the irritation. It’s not knocking the cough down. Doing some, Elderberry, um, doing some thieves, uh, natural cough drops with essential oils, um, also doing some nebulizer so I’m doing some glutathione nebulization so those are couple of things I’m doing and then obviously sinus flushes, the amount of mucus that is coming out of me is out of control so sinus flushes are really, really important because if you do not flush your sinuses, the amount of stuff that stays inside of you, oh my God. So, flushing my sinuses out 3-4 times a day, you know, really good saline reverse osmosis with a little bit of silver in there to kind of keep things flushed out is helping a lot. So, that’s kind of where I’m at but honestly feeling pretty good, um, the whole family got it purposefully, my wife had it and I’m like come over here honey gave her a big kiss and then I kissed all my kids, I’m like we’re done. We’re gonna get this thing all together, be done with it all that way we’re not, you know, I get it next month and then I’m isolating for two weeks and then my kids get no we’re gonna get it all at the same time and surprisingly my kids’ symptoms were 80% less than the adults, super, super minor.  I couldn’t believe how minor it was for the kids, so very interesting. So, that was kind of my experience with, uh, with the big C, uh, so to speak. And also, the big correlation I was listening to someone talk about this, the, a lot of the post C symptoms that we see after, right, people that have dysglycemia, and blood sugar issues tend to be a big driving factor of a lot of these post viral symptoms afterwards. Talking about post-viral fatigue, one of the big things is make sure you manage your glycemia, meaning you’re having good protein, you’re having good fats, you’re not eating a bunch of refined sugar, grains, those kinds of things. Make sure you put good metaphorical logs on the fire, good proteins, good fats to really work on blood sugar stability. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. We’ll I’m glad that you’re coming through it. Regarding the shortness of breath, I would kind of put that in the same category as the post viral fatigue because that shortness of breath can create fatigue and the best thing that’s helped me and has helped many clients is doing the color oxygen. So, ChlorOxygen, you can get that on amazon, it’s readily available. And it’s just a, it’s a liquid chlorophyll extract. So, when you do that within probably 5-10 minutes, you can feel a difference, so it’s like C-h-l-o-r-Oxygen, ChlorOxygen. I would probably do 10-20 drops up to 3 times per day. That thing is absolutely incredible. You can go as high as one tablespoon in 20 ounces of water and just sip on that throughout the day. I had one guy in New York, major, major issues with shortness of breath in the acute and the long term and that ChlorOxygen literally just turned his situation around. So, I’d get some of that stuff. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, it’s C-h-l-o-r Oxygen?

Evan Brand: Yeah, ChlorOxygen. Yeah, and it comes in a little bottle tincture and it’s incredible. Also, something I’ve used personally, I’ve used with several clients too is Ailanthus. Ailanthus is three of heaven which is an invasive tree. I see a lot of it in Kentucky but you can buy Ailanthus tincture and that one is also really, really good. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Is this the one, right here, Is the ChlorOxygen? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s the one. Yep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Cool.

Evan Brand: Get you some of that but should help because that’s the problem is, you know, the shortness of breath was pretty bad for me and I felt better, you know, I got infected a long time ago. It was like August 2020 and then six months later that’s when I started to have some shortness of breath which I was like, holy crap and so luckily, I was able to knock it out, uh, with Demectin and uh, yeah, Demectin really helped me and then the nebulizer and the ChlorOxygen, I would say that combination was an absolute game changer, luckily, I haven’t had any issues since then. But what we are seeing is that the mitochondria have a role in this and some of this post-viral fatigue we’re seeing is due to mitochondrial damage so I’ve been fortunate enough to see a few dozen people now. And in terms of organic acids testing after the virus, and we are seeing that the mitochondria definitely showed dysfunction. You and I talked about this many times on other podcast about the mitochondria. We can measure the dysfunction and so what we’re doing is we’re coming in with mitochondrial support nutrients so CoQ10, we’re coming in with carnitine, ribose, a lot of these amino acids and B vitamins like riboflavin which can help fuel the krebs cycle and then also we can use things like PQQ to help get the mitochondrial biogenesis going, meaning we’re literally making new mitochondria so we can measure this on paper. So, if you guys are suffering, you know, one of us can reach out or you reach out to us rather and then we can get the urine looked at because we can measure this. You don’t have to guess where is this fatigue coming from. If it’s a mitochondrial induced problem, we can measure that. Now, you have permission to have multiple things wrong with you so there could be a dopamine problem, there could be a mitochondrial problem, there could be toxin problem. So, rarely is there one issue causing this fatigue but the goal is for us to try to get as many puzzle pieces laid out in front of us and then make an appropriate protocol.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I’d say, the worst thing about COVID for me right now, coffee tastes bitter like it tastes bitter, almost a little bit sour, does not taste like coffee. I’ve almost been like I’m not even gonna drink it right now until this thing gets better because it does not taste that good but for me I’m just alright, I got, you know, 20 grams of collagen in there, I got some good fats, I kind of look at it as like a meal replacement for me. So, that’s probably the worst thing the whole time. For me, it kind of felt like a cold. I’d say a mild, mild to middle of the road cold. The only thing that really surprised me was that, that back swing where I was like 80% better and then went backwards that was the hardest thing. 

Evan Brand: And, it could have been you overdoing it for sure, I mean, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: oh, you totally did. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean I did have a little bit of that too where I kind of felt like I was better, overdid it and then I heard it again, so. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. So, excuse me, anything else you wanted to highlight on that so far? I would say post-viral stuff, the things that I’m doing right now and I recommend people do, in general, are gonna be Adaptogens and I like medicinal mushrooms. So, Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi. Reishi is great. I love it because it does deactivate viruses. It does build up and support the natural killer immune cells so I do like that, uh, any type of ginseng, Ashwagandha, these are things that help support energy production, support the adrenals, help buffer the HPA excess. So, any of these types of things are gonna be, uh, helpful too.  

Evan Brand: You need to get on some Lion’s Mane too for your taste because what I’m finding is that the nerves are damaged and that’s affecting the sinus. So, the sense of smell, sense of taste, some of that is related to nerve damage. So, I would probably hit Lion’s Mane, maybe like two caps twice a day. That’s been helpful to restore the sense of smell and taste in some people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s probably not damaged. It’s probably just more inflammation, right? 

Evan Brand: Well, the long-term stuff, I’m talking to people just long-term. I’m talking to people that you know 6-8 months later say, I still can’t taste or smell. Bringing in Lion’s Mane, like 2 caps twice a day. It takes a few months but you know it does increase nerve growth factor and so I think that’s the mechanism. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s interesting. Yeah. I do have some Lion’s Mane. I’ll definitely add that in. I mean, I think medicinal mushrooms are gonna be really good to, um, be on top of, uh, just supporting your immune system and like helping with, um, the body regenerate and heal better. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Gabe was asking a question in the live chat on YouTube. How did you guys catch it? I don’t know, I mean I work from home. You know, I’ve got a home office, uh, Justin has a home office as well, you know, I do go out, uh. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Personally, it’s the new variant. The new variant has an R-naught of seven, which is that’s equal to, uh, measles so the delta variant had an R-naught of 2 or 3 so that means for every one person that gets it, it can be passed to 2-3 on average, right. The new omicron variant, it’s seven, so you can literally pass it to seven people so I think my wife was in a yoga class with three people and they were like spread out across that broom like they were like way you know spaced apart, you know, for just all the safety reasons and it was still able to get it so my whole take on omicron, it’s very, um, I think the symptoms are milder than delta for sure. That’s what everything’s been reported but, um, it’s way more contagious. Everyone’s gonna get it at this point, you just gotta have your plan and, um, be ready ahead of time, right? People don’t have a plan and then when they get it then they get stuck and they feel like they have to go to the hospital and you don’t have as many options there so try to have a, um, outpatient plan ready to rock and roll but yeah, you’re gonna get it because the, um, our knot on this thing, right, is that seven which is at a level close to measles so it’s right there. So, if you haven’t got it yet, you will. Anything else you wanna highlight on the immune side, on the post-viral stuff obviously I’m a big fan of ginger, I think ginger is nice because it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, uh, helps with lymphatic. So, if your kind of like have a lot of like stagnant lymph in the chest area or in the neck I really keeps the lymph moving all that’s very helpful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. There was, uh, one person that commented if you’ve had delta you should have some memory T cells that will help if you get infected. Yes supposedly. Supposedly, um.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You definitely should have memory T cells as well as memory B cells, right? So, even if you were to get sick again, um, you’re gonna be able to recruit antibodies way faster, right? Normally when you get sick if you’re first time getting exposed to an infection it takes about a week or so to really get those antibodies ramped up and so even if you were to get sick twice, you’re gonna be able to make those antibodies inside of, you know, 24 hours or so. So, you’re gonna be able to bring those antibodies to the table a lot faster and so that’s, um, that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty helpful. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Other strategies, uh, post-viral fatigue hyperbaric oxygen has been helpful. I’ve seen several clients that luckily have lived in a city where they’ve had access to do hyperbaric oxygen. Essentially, what it is, is it’s replicating being under water under water about 10 to 12 feet so that pressure is helping to get oxygen deeper inside of you. So, some of these tissues may have been starved of oxygen. This sort of mild hypoxia or hypoxemia, you know, you can basically reverse that by getting the hyperbaric oxygen. There are some people that can do there’s oxygen cans, little portable oxygen shots, if you will but it’s nothing compared to an oxygen concentrator with the hyperbaric oxygen so that’s good ongoing, I mean, I’ve had clients with Lyme that have done hyperbaric we know that’s incredible for traumatic brain injuries and concussions and that sort of thing. So, even if this is just a long-term fatigue problem, not related to viral issues at all, you know, hyperbaric is another good tool, you’re looking at probably around 100 a session but, you know, what, what’s your health? What is your health worth? So. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. One thing I did was very helpful was use my infrared sauna the last couple of days. That was helpful, just getting a really good sweat in felt very good, you know, raising that body temperature up can be very helpful just at um at your body knocking down viruses. That’s part of the reason why you get, um, chill while you get the nutshells but, uh, why you get a fever right. It’s part of the reason your immune system is actually knocking down some of that bacteria and or viruses by doing it that way so using an infrared sauna can be helpful too. 

Evan Brand: So, look at your mitochondria, get your organic acids test done, we can measure that and look at mitochondrial function come in with specific support whether it’s B vitamins, adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, you mentioned, Siberian ginseng or Eleuthero. There’s medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps which there is some benefits. There are some papers on cordyceps and athletes and improving blood flow. There may be some level of oxygenation that happens with cordyceps too. So, cordyceps, reishi mushroom, I think the Lion’s mane for the brain and for the nerves would be beneficial, the ChlorOxygen for any of the shortness of breath along with the fatigue, rest, I mean just getting good quality sleep, making sure you got to do whatever you can to get good quality sleep. So, all the same sleep hygiene habits we’ve talked about for a decade together apply in regards to candling down at night if you need some passion flower. Even melatonin, there’s some really cool studies on melatonin. We know, it’s a very powerful antioxidant and we are seeing higher doses of melatonin be beneficial. So, in general, somewhere around 5 milligrams but there are some papers going wat up 30 – 40 – 50 milligrams and beyond. I don’t know a ton about the high dose so I’ll just tell you that the regular dose standard dosing is better than nothing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was that melatonin?

Evan Brand: Melatonin. Yes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Usually, it’s like the higher dose is like 10 milligrams and that’s gonna help with the oxygenation and then 30 – 500 milligrams for the arginine that’s to really increase the oxygenation. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. The arginine for like nitric oxide production. Beet powder, you know, beet powder would be good too. So, anything you could do to create some vasodilation is gonna be smart. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Anything else you wanna add, Evan?

Evan Brand: I think that’s it. If you need help, reach out, get tested, hopefully you get back on the full mend here so, keep, keep rolling. You’re doing a great job and hope everybody is doing well and we’ll be in touch next week. If you need help clinically, please reach out. You can reach out to Dr. J at or me, Evan Brand, at We’re happy to help you guys. Keep your head up. keep moving forward.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think the big thing out of the gates is to make sure you have time to sleep, rest. Don’t overdo it. Just know your body still needs more time even when you, when you’ve gotten through the whole thing to recover. Don’t overdo it. That’s really important. Keep the foundational nutrients dialed in so that would be like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, you know, you can keep those things in there. You may not have to use them at such a high level that you did with the infection but keep some of those nutrients. Don’t go from something to nothing. Keep something in there the whole time, find a medicinal mushroom that you like, find an adaptogen that you like. Maybe keep a little bit of ginger tea going. Something that has some antiviral support and um, you know, try to get a little bit of movement but if it’s making you feel winded then just try to do just enough where you can feel like you’re doing something but not where it’s overly taxing you. I think it’s really important to kind of meet that right in the middle. 

Evan Brand: Last thing, two last things, a low histamine diet is generally pretty helpful because there are a lot of issues with mast cell activation being triggered from this. So, a lower histamine diet, fresh meat, and no leftovers is very important. And then, histamine support. I’ve got a product called histamine support but essentially it’s quercetin plus some other nutrients so anything, you can do to stabilize your mast cells that’s gonna be helpful because muscle activation can cause fatigue, meaning, after the viral issue was over, the immune system can sort of have PTSD for lack of a better terminology and the immune system will go into this crazy state where it will shut you down so that fatigue trying to rebuild that energy back up is re-regulating the immune system so like the quercetin, other mast cell stabilizers are very helpful. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Love it. Love it. Makes total sense and again not everyone’s gonna have that issue but you know, it’s kind of good to know if you fit into that camp. Those are a couple of strategies out of the gates. Anything else, Evan?

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. Take it easy. If people need help, reach out and will be available. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re here to help you guys. I’ll probably be back later on today here. So, keep a lookout, comments down below. Let us know your thoughts on the topic, we appreciate a review. We appreciate shares to friends and family. Really helps us get the word out. You guys have a phenomenal day. We’ll talk soon. 

Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye you all. 


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Audio Podcast:


Natural Solutions to Address Eczema | Podcast #361

If you live with eczema, you know what it’s like to search for relief from red, itchy skin. You’ve probably already tried a variety of products. Unfortunately, some items can leave your skin feeling drier and even more irritated.

Dr. J and Evan emphasize not giving up hope yet! In addition to medications, there are many options you can try at home to help with your symptoms. They talk about drugs and natural remedies that may help replenish moisture and protect your skin’s natural barrier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
4:29 – What is Eczema and Its Signs and Symptoms?
6:51 – The Comparison between Eczema from Rosacea
10:38 – What to eat and not to eat when you have eczema
16:20 – Helpful products that can help avoid and or alleviate Eczema
19:25 – The link of glutathione in skin conditions

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: In the house with Evan. Today, we’re gonna be talking about natural solutions to address eczema at the root cause level. Really excited to chat about this topic here today. Evan, how we doing my friend?

Evan Brand: Hey, doing better. I was super stiff over the weekend so I thought, my God maybe we’ll do a whole, like stiff neck podcast but for now I’m mobile and I’m on my feet so that’s good and excellent. We’re recording this in December and winter is usually a time when people start coming of the woodwork with more skin issues and I think a lot of it is because they’re indoors more than in spring, summer, fall and so if they’re indoors and they don’t have good indoor air quality, they’re gonna be exposed to more dust, mites, molds and other toxins which may aggravate or irritate the skin. Also, in general, when you start to kick on the heater, you’re gonna be drying out your home and so generally your humidity level in your home may be like in our house it’s give or take 10% lower than it is in the summer so with the whole house dehumidifiers, I keep our house at 40% in the summer but in the winter with the heater on, man, we’re down into the mid20s, 25, 28% humidity. That’s pretty dang dry so sometimes it could just simply be an environmental change like that but I think some of it is also related to the toxins that people are getting exposed to. And now instead of playing outside with their kids, now they’re inside all day with their kids and their skin is reacting to those toxins so you’re really got to get your air quality dialed in and the winter to me just exposes the poor air quality that people have. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. I mean especially this time of the year, we have our humidifiers on, it has a tiny bit of moisture into, um, the ventilation system because it’s like, you know, in the upper teens, low 20s so just adds a little bit in there just to take the edge off, I mean that can be helpful to add a little more moisture to the air obviously, you can do more moisturizer on the skin. Remember that is gonna be your internal moisturizer. So high quality coconut oil, grass-fed butter if we can tolerate those things. That’s gonna be the best way to do it but obviously we can add more moisture directly onto the skin but we wanna always internally moisturize with good fat and again hydration as well that’s the carrier for that moisture to the skin so that’s a really important thing. I remember in college, just having chronically dry like my legs were really dry all the time and I realized, you know, at that time I was trying to be a little bit lower fat because I thought that was healthier and I started kind of understanding okay more coconut oil, more saturated fats, I’m like all right and then I noticed the dryness really improved and went away so fat consumption is really important thing for natural moisture to skin. 

Evan Brand: You know, what is interesting now that you mentioned that, I mean, years ago, like my wife and I first got together, I mean, we were eating grass-fed beef but I wasn’t really prioritizing the fats, I wasn’t necessarily seeking them out, I was just maybe cooking with a little bit of butter but I wasn’t intentionally going for good fats and I remember in the wintertime having to put lotion on, man, I don’t use lotion at all anymore. I literally don’t need it, my hands are perfectly dry, they’re not itchy, they’re not patchy like it’s a miracle and you kind of forget where you’ve come from. Once things start to improve, you forget that that used to be a problem where I used to have to put a lotion on. Imagine how much of a hit to the lotion industry you could create if you could simply get everyone optimizing the strategies we’re talking about today, I bet we could reduce the need for lotion by 80%.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally, 100%. 

Evan Brand: And to mention conventional lotions are actually one of the big triggers of eczema because when you look at conventional lotions and some of these products that are advertised, you’re getting into propylene glycol, you’re getting into artificial fragrances, you’re getting into many, many synthetic toxic chemicals that people are lathering on their skin just to supposedly fix their skin but they’re actually making their skin worse so you mentioned like topical coconut oil. There’s many good, like, organic shea butter type lotions out there, like Dr. Bronner’s, they make a really good lotion, um, the everyone brand, I know they make a good soap, I believe they make a good lotion too. Trader Joe’s, they had a pretty good quality, low priced lotion that was really clean ingredients so that’s the problem is like people are trying to do things to fix their skin but they’re actually making it worse with these topical toxins. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, when it comes to eczema, eczema does have an autoimmune component, right? So, eczema is a type of dermatitis, just to be 100% clear. So, think of, you know, dermatitis, think of, like skin inflammation, essentially dermatitis, the derma, that’s the second layer of the skin, epidermis first. Derma, um, dermis is the second layer and then essentially, um, titis is inflammation and so you have different types of dermatitis. Okay, so you have atopic which is kind of the one that eczema, uh, falls into. Atopic is the major one that you’re going to see there. There’s other kind you’ll see contact dermatitis which is kind of what poison ivy kind of falls into. There’s this dyshidrotic eczema, where you get more blisters. There’s hand eczema, there’s neurodermatitis, which is another one as well. Uh, there’s nummular eczema as well and then there’s one last one called stasis dermatitis. Those are the big ones. So, atopic is gonna be where eczema falls under and there’s an autoimmune component, there’s all kinds of studies showing that people that has celiac, Crohn’s, irritable bowel disease issues, lots of different autoimmune issues, there’s an increased risk of eczema, so there’s an autoimmune component there and if you look at a lot of the medications that are used to address eczema, you’re gonna typically have like your anti-inflammatory steroids like cortisone which are gonna be topically rubbed on that area. The problem with that is, it tends to not actually fix it. It just calms it down but it can also thin out that skin and make it more prone to have a flare-up later on so it can be helpful in the short run but you’re kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul, right? And then you have other medications like, um, Eucrisa or Elidel that are, like, kind of more on the calcineurin inhibitors. They’re kind of an immunosuppressant so there’s definitely like an autoimmune component there because you’re coming down the immune response to kind of like chill out, um, the eczema and it can be helpful, those kind of medications could be helpful if you’re working on fixing the underlying root cause, the problem is most people don’t address the root cause and they just rub these medications on and then the problems continue to stay at the root level and so over time it’s gonna come back and get worse and worse and worse because you can’t just suppress the immune system in the long run and expect for a lasting solution. So, these medications may be okay if you’re working with someone to really get to the root cause so that’s pretty much what conventional medicine has for options. It’s gonna have those things. Now, just kind of highlight, um, you have eczema, you have Rosacea and psoriasis, they kind of have an overlap, all right, there’s like an overlap with these three conditions and I want to just kind of show a comparison guide for this because it’s really important. I want to just highlight this really quickly. Um, okay, here’s what I want you guys to see. All right, perfect. So, out of the gates, right, all of these skin issues are gonna have redness with all of them right, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, they’re both gonna itch so there’s gonna be similar out of the gates the big thing with psoriasis, you’re gonna see a lot of the silver and white scales. That’s gonna be psoriasis and the difference with rosacea, you’re gonna see a lot more flushing across the skin, all right. Both are gonna have dry skin, both can have raised bumps. Psoriasis sometimes raised here says none. But the big issue is rosacea, more of a flushness with the redness. Psoriasis, more of the silver, um, scaliness. That’s the big difference. Just so, if someone’s like, what do I have, right, um, that’s kind of the big thing out of the gates there. Hope that makes sense. And there’s a couple of things I wanted to highlight with eczema is food components make a huge difference so autoimmunity, autoimmune diet plays a big role, really reducing inflammation makes a big role. Trying to cut out a lot of the scents and fragrances can play a huge role so of course like free and clear types of, um, laundry detergent, you can do all has a free and clear, Seventh Generation has a free and clear. There’s all kind of different brands that have a free and clear, um, all’s recommended by the, um, eczema dermatology association. So, you really wanna cut out all scent’s fragrances, dryer sheets that play a huge role out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a big, big stressor and it’s a big stressor for people like me that have to smell it, people don’t wanna smell that crap anyway but you’re poisoning yourself, you’re poisoning your children too, you’re sending them off with those synthetic fragrances and those are irritating to the skin but also those can affect the hormones too, I mean, synthetic fragrances, in general, can have some xenoestrogen type compounds to them, meaning that you’re gonna be increasing the estrogen. We’re in a highly estrogenized society and that creates a big problem. Hormonal changes, hormonal imbalances, they are a big factor in skin issues and we see that with a lot of women that have irregular menstrual cycles or maybe heavy bleeding or something that happened especially after childbirth. A lot of times, they’ll be skin issues that would pop out and we fix it in a roundabout way and I want to go back to one thing you said earlier which was the fact that people that have eczema, they may be linked or more common in people to have issues like celiac and that of course takes you to the big gatekeeper of these skin issues which is the gut and so you and I found with hundreds and hundreds, now we’re into the thousands of clients between us that the major way to fix the skin is to obviously do some of the easy low hanging fruit like you said get rid of scented detergents and all that but it’s really focusing on the gut because if you have gut infections, I mean, if you even look at like some of my very, very old earliest YouTube videos, when I have H. pylori and other gut infections, my skin was nowhere to where it is now in terms of my skin health. My skin health in the last seven years has gotten way better and honestly, it’s just been by working on the gut, my diet was already dialed in back then so I just wanna address one thing with people which is that if you’ve already gone polio or autoimmune or keto or carnivore, you’re eating good quality food and you’re still struggle with your skin, you’ve got to dig deeper, it’s time to look in and see if you’ve got these gut infections, bacterial overgrowth, candida, all these things inside your gut are gonna be making toxins disrupting your gut barrier. So, I don’t care how much bone broth you drink, you’re not gonna fix your skin if you don’t fix these infections.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! I mean there’s two categories, right? Infants and kiddos, right, in the first year of life, they’re gonna be a lot more sensitive because of their immune system, so, I mean, of course, the big thing you have to look at is high quality breast milk and really got to look at what the mom’s consuming. The mom’s consuming a lot of potential food allergens. I recommend an autoimmune diet out of the gates. Sometimes, we even have to look at potentially pulling out salicylates. Salicylates can be anti-nutrients in vegetables. Here’s a couple things out of the gates, right. Salicylates are natural chemicals found in many fruits and vegetables, they’re really good things and so out of the gate, I wanna pull these foods out as a means of calming down and chilling out the immune system. Uh, this is really important so you can see, kind of the negligible, the low, the moderate, the high and the very high. I just try to tell patients to, like focus on the 80-20 because there’s so many foods that are, like, really good for you that are high in salicylates and a lot of times it’s not about being perfect, it’s about calming down, you know, kind of the 80-20. So, what are the 20 of things that you eat the most frequently that are the most high and we’ll try to sub that and put that in the negligible to low category that can be really helpful as well. So, you can see the different vegetables, you can see the different nuts and seeds, you can see the different, obviously, meats tend to be on the lower side unless you’re doing a lot of processed stuff, that’s where you get into trouble there. 

Evan Brand: That’s why so many people do so well with carnivore-ish diets. That’s kind of what I say I’m eating carnivore-ish because I still do berries, I still do rice and I feel okay with that, um, I still do on occasion, I’ll do some organic pecans as kind of a treat and those are delicious and those don’t appear to affect my gut or my skin. So, in general, if you’re going for more animal based good-quality fats, you’re knocking out as you mentioned, you’re knocking out salicylates, um, you’re knocking down lectins, you’re knocking down oxalates, you’re knocking down all these things.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Here’s my oxalate guy. We may wanna look at oxalates as well. There’s kind of a members area for my patients here. If you’re a patient, you have access to this area, top right-hand corner of my website. And you can see I have a low oxalate handout as well and again I don’t recommend going crazy out of the gates. I just try to look at what’s the 20% of food that you eat the most and let’s try to cut out the high stuff out, right, and then sub that with the lower one out of the gates. That can make a big difference especially if you have a baby who has a lot of eczema issues. If we can really get a good autoimmune diet, kind of get the oxalates and the salicylates down, that could make a big difference. But, like Evan said, we have to look at gut microbiome stuff, we have to look at things you may be getting in contact with in regards to detergents, even essential oils on the skin. Some of these things can be stressful on the body, so we really got to calm all of these things down. Got to look at good bacteria, maybe have to address bacterial imbalances. Again, if you’re not a baby, you’re an adult, we have to look at the hormones because of times if you’re chronically stressed hormonally with the adrenals or you have estrogen dominant issues as a woman that can affect your immune system and that can make you prone to having some immune imbalances and your immune system is kind of hyper responding and overly sensitive and of course we definitely test the gut because we have SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis, H. pylori, fungal overgrowth, right, fungus and candida can actually produce oxalates too so you can have endogenous oxalate production via candida. These things can stress out your body thus stressing out your immune system. So, really looking at the adrenals, looking at cortisol, looking at the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone dominance, really looking at the gut are you able to digest and break things down, are the anti-nutrients in vegetables a problem. Again, I hate cutting out the anti-nutrients in vegetables, if we don’t have to because there’s a lot of good food there. So, cooking these foods down can help but it’ll lower it a notch. It won’t take a high food to make it a low food. It may not make a high food, maybe like a medium food. So, cooking obviously, avoiding a lot of the raw salad steaming sauteing can help a little bit and kind of lessen that load for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Detox is important and detox can get screwed up by your gut infections. We’ve talked about this before but there’s a pathway called glucuronidation in the body and this gets impaired due to bacterial overgrowth. So, sometimes we’re coming in and fixing the gut but then we’re also trying to upregulate these detox pathways so that could include specific support for the liver that may include binders that may include liver gallbladder combinations, maybe there’s some acid and enzymes that we throw in. You know, when you look at someone’s face or just their skin in general, to me, it’s really the window into their gut, into their immune system. So, if you see somebody with just major, major issues with their face generally, there’s a gut problem, I had a woman, she was young when she first started with me, I think she was around 20, 21, and we got on facetime together and my God, her face was so terrible, she hardly wanted to be seen on facetime but she said, I think, it’s important for you to see me, to see how bad this is, I’m like, yeah, I appreciate you showing me this, and man by the time we got through working through some of the tests and the gut protocols her skin was flawless and I even had to ask her like do you have make-up on, I just want to clarify and confirm do you have makeup. No, I don’t. so, it’s amazing to see what you can do and timeline wise, I mean, we’re talking maybe a few months but within a couple of years, I would say you could completely reverse many of the skin issues that people are suffering with and that’s actually a really short timeline, I mean, we’ve seen people that have had skin issues for decades and as you mentioned they’ve been on these topical steroids or other medications for a very long time and not once has the dermatologist ever said, hey maybe you need to go animal-based with your diet and see how that goes. I’ve never heard that conversation, if you’re a dermatologist out there practicing like that let us know maybe we can chat with you, but in general, that conversation is not happening at all. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m in a lot of eczema groups online, on Facebook and it’s amazing how resistant parents are and I just, people are, in general, to change in their diet when it comes to eczema. It’s unbelievable. They’re like oh, I’m gonna go get this food allergy test from there, like, dermatologist and like most of the time that’s just like an IgE kind of skin prick test and then again IgE stuffs, you know, it’s okay, but it’s, that’s kind of more on the anaphylactic side that tends to not be the massive driver of course, you know, if you have any IgE stuff like environmentally like dander and cedar in Austin, obviously we can get a really good high quality HEPA filter with a activated charcoal filter as well to kind of filter a lot of this stuff out to keep the indoor environment good. I’ll put, we’ll put some links down below for the recommended air filters that we use with our patients. Cutting out all of the scents and fragrances in detergents in laundry, everything, no dryer sheets, all that stuff makes a big difference. Keeping the skin moist does help because if the skin’s already dry, you’re more prone to itching, if you itch it, you increase the inflammation, it’s this vicious cycle and the problem is if you’re kind of naturally oriented a lot of the things that may have like an essential oil or something in there that may be more natural that you may think is helpful because the immune system is already hypersensitive that may actually  flare it up and make it worse and so one of the things that we’ll use, it’s just a really clean super hypoallergenic moisturizer. I’ll put a couple in the links down below that I found to be successful, there’s a couple off the back of my head, I could think of, um, uh, Vanicream makes one called Vaniply, that’s a really excellent one. There’s one by a La Roche-Posay, it’s a Lipikar Baume, that’s another really good hypoallergenic one. Aveeno makes one that’s decent with a little bit of oatmeal in there, the colloid and the oatmeal can be helpful but keeping that skin moist can be helpful so you’re not scratching. It won’t fix it though, right, there’s no magic solution but it will at least help to calm it down and then I find like if you’re a mom and you’re breastfeeding your kid, you have to change the foods that you’re eating because that is going to get passed down to your child and can stimulate their immune system and so typically for a good month or so and then we do a very methodical reintroduction, I know with my wife, eggs were a big trigger for a while and now she can do eggs and like my kiddos can do eggs but for a while, they couldn’t and so we had to keep that really under control for a bit and probiotics did help as well and really helping to support good bacteria help but we had to really do everything kind of full cycle and we did use a little bit of that Elidel calcineurin inhibitor, just a little bit to calm it down but it’d be like foa a day or two and then we would do all the other things and salicylates were a little bit problematic as well so we did try to cut some of those things down and it’s like the, imagine the immune system’s all wound up and we’re just trying to calm it down, calm it down and once you have it below a threshold so to speak, you kind of have a little bit more wiggle room but until you calm it down to that level, you don’t quite have that ability to move. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Well said. There was one other paper too we were looking at on glutathione and this was just a, it was a quite old study but still very, very timely in terms of like glutathione. We have it in our conversations all the time and depressed glutathione levels were observed in patients with psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and other skin issues and so we know that glutathione is gonna be depleted when you’re exposed to toxins whether it’s chemical whether it’s mold toxins or other things, we often see glutathione levels depleted and this is one of your master antioxidants and so you may need to work into the detox protocol, sometimes that can aggravate people so you just gotta work with the practitioner on this because I’ve taken too much glutathione and reacted poorly to it before so you got to go slow  and steady with it, sometimes it’s gonna flare people up if they’ve got a big toxic load and it starts mobilizing things that may overwhelm your system and you may feel worse or have some sort of like a die off or what feels like a Horkheimer reaction. What about zinc too? Do you want hit on like some nutrients for skin too?   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, I think, out of the gates, like probiotics are really helpful. Omega-3 plays a really great role in anti-inflammatory. Vitamin D plays a good role in modulating the immune system. If you’re doing glutathione and you’re breastfeeding mom, be careful because you don’t wanna overly mobilize toxins out of the breastmilk, so you may wanna go really gentle on that or maybe a little bit of NAC and just kind of naturally, you know, increase that very slowly as long as you don’t have any die off, you’re probably okay. I would say zinc is also gonna be excellent as well, it’s gonna be a good building block for the skin, really good building block for the immune system so is selenium, so some of these may just get in a really good multivitamin, uh, some you may get from eating high quality grass-fed meat, fish, some green vegetables, seafood. So, a lot of these may come from whole foods sources, as well as, supplement sources as well. And then, you know, we have some really good anti-inflammatory things that we can do whether it’s curcumin, resveratrol, these are kind of plant-based antioxidants that are very powerful, also, there could be a histamine connection as well. And so, histamine from the environment, from allergens, you know, good air filtration is excellent and then we can do things to help modulate the immune system, like quercetin, like stinging Nettle. These can be very helpful and very calming on the immune system in regards to the histamine response. Anything else you wanna highlight there?

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I think it’s a good start olive lead, we use a lot too and some of the gut protocols and that may help some of the skin issues too. So, it really just depends. I don’t want people to just go out and buy everything we just mentioned and assume it’s gonna fix their issues, I think it’s really important to try to get a good work-up and figure out where your issues are coming from, I think it’s great to be able to look into some of the topical stuff, get rid of your conventional shampoos and conditioners, go high quality organic products with your skin care but beyond that you really need to get some investigation done and figure out what the heck is going on because for years I was doing good clean products topically but I still have skin issues and it was all because of my gut. So, I really encourage people to reach out if you need help. Dr. J and I work with people around the world so we can get at home lab testing done to where we can investigate the root cause of your skin issues and often, we’re gonna be using urine and stool. Those are probably the two most common things you’re gonna be looking at and these are far more effective than what you’re gonna get run from a conventional doctor. We’re gonna be able to tell you what the heck is going on. Your dermatologist is not running stool tests but they should because the issues they’re seeing in their clinic would certainly be improved if they could fix the issues that we’re finding on these stool panels so I think it’s really important to test not guess, figure out what the heck we’re dealing with because you could take probiotics for your whole life and never fix these infections.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. I agree. And again, if you go to the dermatologist, it’s pretty typical, right? They may recommend like oatmeal bath or a diluted bleach bath or Eucrisa or a corticosteroid or Elidel. They may recommend these things but that’s not gonna be the solution. Again, some kids naturally grow out of it because their immune system evolves, gets better, their gut becomes less leaky naturally, um, maybe they start making healthier food choices as their parents become more aware of what’s going on, right? There’s a lot of different things that can shift and things can just, kids can grow out of it, and if you’re an adult that probably may not be that way. It’s a little bit different there. So, you’re really gonna have to make changes and you really have to look at the root cause and not just get hyper obsessed with just something topically that’s gonna fix it and that’ll be it, probably not the case. And so, you really have to look at the gut, you really have to look at stress, you have to look at how digesting and breaking down your foods, you have to look at the nutrients that modulate your immune system like zinc and selenium and vitamin D and glutathione, you have to look at gut bugs that can have a negative effect on your immune system and also beneficial bacterial balance. These play a massive role and again you may have to get stricter with the diet, like some people, a paleo template may be enough. Some have to go to way more extremes like autoimmune, cutting out salicylates or at least being salicylate and oxalate conscious that may have to happen as well.   

Evan Brand: Yeah, and the good news is this stuff is in general pretty reversible, I mean, like I said, we’ve seen amazing before and after, working with people, and it’s just a wonderful thing because there’s so much of your confidence level that comes from having good skin, I mean, in regards to seeking new jobs getting a raise, finding a date, finding a spouse, I mean, your kids, wanting your kids to not have any, uh, self-confidence issues so I mean, I just tell you just the impact of skin, it could change your income if you don’t feel attractive enough, may be you’re not gonna seek that higher paying job or maybe you’re not gonna seek that raise, If you have self-confidence issues because of your skin or maybe you feel like you can never leave the house without making makeup, I mean skin is one of those things that really is important to address so sometimes it seems like a vanity-based thing but that vanity really does turn into success and so I think it’s really important for people not to feel self-conscious and just you know that you can fix this thing so no matter how down in the dumps you are you gotta keep digging.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And skin can be a really good sign if you’re healthy or not and it’s  a lot of times, it’s gonna tell you if you have gut issues, gut, uh, food allergy issues, microbial imbalances, also, consuming good fats, good collagen, good proteins, this is the building block of your skin, so you really wanna make sure you have good dietary, nutritional foundations and we chill out a lot of the food that’s gonna throw off our gut bacteria. Now, topically, there’s a couple of things you can do topically, I mentioned some of the moisturizer that can be helpful to provide moisture relief which then helps decrease the itching, which then decreases that perpetual inflammatory cycle, there’s some soap that you can do that are descent, um, I find just a 10% sulfur soap can be excellent. It’s been used in dermatology for decades but just 10% sulfur soap unscented works wonderfully. Usually, the sulfur comes from like volcano ash or some type of, uh, soil that’s very high in sulfur but sulfur has an anti-inflammatory quality to it. It can have some anti-fungal, anti-bacterial quality so that it can be calming. You don’t wanna lather it on too long because it can be very drying to your skin. But sulfur is good and again, it’s just one part of the equation. There’s no magic solution, magic soap, magic potion, that’s gonna fix it but it can be very helpful as long as you’re plugging in all the other things to the big equation.

Evan Brand: I wonder if that’s because it’s helping with detox support on the skin or something, I mean, if you think about glutathione and the sulfur connection there. I’m mentioning topical sulfur that’s pretty interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Topical sulfur, I mean it’s a lot of different data on it being very helpful for acne, I mean with that it can be very cleansing for the pores, cleaning out the sebum, there’s also the anti-inflammatory effects to it, very helpful with like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, so I think it has some anti-inflammatory qualities, um, to it, I mean it’s been used in dermatology for decades so it’s natural so I kind of like it. 

Evan Brand: Very cool. Well, I think we’ve covered everything I wanted to cover. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean I think a lot of it too, with the sulfur is. There could be a fungal, bacterial imbalance issue, right? And I do think sulfur does have antibacterial, anti-fungal, it also helps break down a lot of the keratin, excess in your skin, so like if you have, um, a keratosis pilaris (KP), where you kind of feel like the bumps in the back of your arm, it can kind of help break down those excess keratins that form in the pore so the back of your arms don’t feel as bumpy, so that’s really good too. I know, a lot of women have that. Of course, you know, getting your omega-3s up can also help that too, omega-3s and zinc. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I was gonna say, my kids had a little bit of that early on. We just bumped up the omegas and then boom, we knocked out the keratosis pretty easily so that’s, that’s probably one of the easier things to address. Sometimes, this thing gets tricky, like you mentioned, there’s no magic bullet or potion, a lot of times it’s a combination of us getting small gains and different categories of the body. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s nice. Just get a nice 10% sulfur soap and you know lather that up, put it on your kids for like 30 seconds, rinse them off, it can be a very helpful kind of cleanse out that keratin, keeps the pores really healthy and it’s totally natural. So, I’ll put some links to the ones that I like, uh, down below on the ones that I personally use. 

Evan Brand: Sounds good. Well, if people need help, they can reach out, we work with people online so wherever you are in the world with skin issues, we’re happy to help. You could reach out to Dr. J at or me, Evan Brand at, and we’re happy to work with you, help you run labs, figure out what we need to do to get you feeling better, more importantly get your skin looking better. If you have issues, don’t give up, uh, it’s okay, we’re gonna get you taken care of.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And to be a great functional medicine practitioner to really solve a lot of these things, you have to be a master general practitioner, you really have to understand the gut hormones, diet, skin. You really have to kind of connect everything together. If you’re like a master skin person and but you don’t have the diet or anything else to kind of interweave and connect to it then you’re not gonna be able to help your patients 100% so, it’s really important that you, if you’re working with someone, you find a master generalist that really understands how all the systems connect and you don’t want to just work with the hormone person or the gut person, you wanna work with someone that really understands the connection so that’s really important that people are interviewing their practitioners, really try to make sure they have a full 360 kind of perspective on it and if you wanna reach out, for Evan, they’re be link there for Evan. And for myself, Dr. J. at We are available worldwide to help you all out and we’ll put links down below for some of the recommended products that we talked about today, things that we actually use with our family and patients. Outside of that, Evan, phenomenal chat with you man, you have an awesome week, and everyone listening appreciates your support, comments down below and share with our friends and family. 

Evan Brand: Take good care. See you next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Bye you all. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


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Audio Podcast:


Why Do I Have Low Motivation – Functional Medicine Solutions | Podcast #358

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

In this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about the physiological issues behind your decreasing motivation and the functional medicine strategies, hormones, and lifestyle changes you need to do to improve your mood and overall health function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00  Introduction
1:41  What are the root causes of low motivation?
4:14  The physiological explanation of low motivation
8:39  Functional medicine strategies to improve motivation
10:53 The role of thyroid function to your body’s overall function
16:38 Lifestyle upgrade to boost your motivation

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are going to be talking about motivation. Really excited to have a nice podcast on this topic. Evan, how we doing today this morning? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well. I’m feeling really motivated. Hence, this topic on motivation. You know, I look around on society and I just see the way that people carry themselves. You know, we’ve become so casual in terms of dress. I mean, when you see people that are just coming out at restaurants, they’re wearing Crocs and sweatpants and, you know, hoodies. People just don’t appear to take good care of themselves, in general. And maybe that’s different in other cities but even talking to people when I bought a sports coat. I talked to the guy at the suit store, and he agreed with me that over the last 20 years, people just become so casual. And with that casual dress, I think that changes people’s level of motivation. When I’m in sweatpants and a hoodie, I feel less motivated, and less ready to charge the world as opposed to when I have on even something like a polo. I think, maybe that’s part of it, but I know there’s a lot of chemical, neurotransmitter, and gut reactions, you know, better involved too. So, what do you think, I mean, am I, am I onto something with the clothing? Have you seen a change even in your lifetime with people? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think people like, I talked to a lot of patients and friends and like, ‘oh you get to work at home and see patients all over the world. That’s awesome, that must be so easy to just kind of get up and get ready’. I’m like, well I still shower and kind of get ready like I’m going to the office anyway, I wanna look good, I wanna feel good, I wanna feel clean, I wanna feel fresh, plus I wanna be able to jump on a video or see a patient, I wanna have a higher level of professionalism on how I look. So, I do think there’s energy just like you said, in just that look in the park, dress in the park feeling good, right? I think that all helps. I think it moves the needle. That makes sense.  

Evan Brand: Well, let’s see some of the root causes of that. I mean, low motivation, in general, the first thing that I think of and maybe your average listeners thinking of, they listen to us for a while, they’re gonna think of dopamine. And that certainly one potential cause and we can measure that using urine organic acids testing. So, we’ll look at the markers for dopamine on that test that we can see, and I would say that 90% of people I test are pretty low and the other 10% are people that have Clostridia bacterial overgrowth. You and I have talked about this before, we did a whole show of Clostridia, I believe, but the mechanism is that if you have Clostridia which is a certain type of bacteria in the gut that will actually inhibit the enzyme dopamine beta hydroxylase and then you have this build up of dopamine. So, you have some of these mood issues that’ll happen because of your gut. So, if you fix your gut, that high dopamine markers normalize. But otherwise, I see, generally, pretty low dopamine and maybe you and I can kind of break down why is that happening. I think chronic stress is a big one. But I wonder if there’s a role of like excess caffeine, have you seen anything look like too much coffee, your stimulants depleting dopamine, what about drugs like the Adderall drugs, that kind of stuff.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think we’ve, with motivation, it’s a couple things right. We have kind of the psychological kind of mindset aspect, I think that’s really important. So, I think number one, you gotta enjoy what you’re doing or you have at least kind of know what your talents or your skills that you’re at. So, you can work on doing things that one you enjoy and two you are actually good at. So, you can perform at a higher level, right? I think it’s a combination of those two things. And I think, also, there’s some people that what if you’re not good at things, right, so I think early on if you’re younger and you’re listening to this as you grow up, you really wanna look at developing talents. tacks and skills set. And you really wanna look at the marketplace and say, ‘where, um, where’s your gaps in the marketplace in regards to skill, whether on the health side or on the tacks side or on engineering. We really wanna look at where you kind of plug yourself into the marketplace, whether there are opportunities and then it’s also good to evaluate your kind of natural talents and skill sets. You kind of look at, you know, what people tell, I’ve always told you good at. There’s different tests out there whether it’s a Myers-Brigg personality test or, uh, I think another test out there called DISC, D-I-S-C test. There’s different tests out there that kind of help you understand, kind where your natural talents are at and then also just really observing and being aware of what you really enjoy doing. Usually, things that you enjoy doing, tend to be better at it because you don’t mind working harder at it. I think those are important, so then when you start doing things, you’ll really enjoy it. Now, on the physiological side, chronic stress well either acutely raises cortisol all over time. That cortisol can become lower which can affect energy and mood and cause your body to break down faster. And of course, that same level of adrenal stress can also lower dopamine, lower adrenaline which can then affect focus and motivation at a biochemical neurological level too. So, I think it’s good to look at both of those, so we can test the adrenal gland and know what’s happening at the adrenal level. We can also look at the neurotransmitters, the organic acid testing and look at various metabolites for Homovanillate, which is a metabolite for dopamine and then Vanilmandelate, which is a metabolite for adrenaline. We can get a window and into both of those metabolites and see how the brain is functioning on the inside.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s a great point. People that are just doing stuff that they don’t enjoy, I mean, how are you gonna be motivated for life if you make up, you don’t enjoy it. I talked to a guy who picks up our garbage and he loves it. He loves his job. He loves driving around with a big truck all day and he makes a great money doing it. He’s happy. So, some people are gonna look at that and say, ‘oh, this garbage man, what a terrible life’. And some people, they enjoy it. So, I do think ultimately as they say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I still love what I do but I still, I feel like it’s still work, I mean, I enjoy it but when I’m away for too long on vacation, I don’t enjoy this much. I rather be working, I really do. I love helping people. I’m really addicted to the hustle and grind of helping people feel better. There’s so many people suffering. For you and I, I think, we’re in a good spot-on loving what we do, but then on the brain chemistry side, I would say that I certainly struggle on. I had gut issues, I certainly struggled with low energy, and partly low motivation and low focus and for a period of time I had trouble reading certain books, like my brain, I just couldn’t process. I had to read, read certain phrases or if someone said a phone number to me, I couldn’t remember just a simple 7-digit phone number. So, I definitely had some brain fog associated with gut issues. And on paper, my endorphins and my dopamine were a bit low. So, I think looking at these mechanisms, I would say Candida, something we could mention too because we know Candida produces acetaldehyde, which is kind of similar to an alcohol molecule and so some people are a little bit drunk on their own Candida overgrowth. So, if somebody that has a lot of sugar cravings or if you have a white coated tongue or if you tested positive for Candida on urine, organic acid, stool testing, we gotta fix that Candida because that’s directly gonna impact your mood, your motivation and your focus. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Now, I work with patients, right? And I look at a lot of the physiological imbalances. So, let’s say there’s hormonal issues, let’s say it’s a female, it’s estrogen dominance, right, lower progesterone, estrogen out of whack, there’ll be a lot of PMS, mood issues, irritability issues. They’re poor energy because of chronic adrenal stress, they’re not digesting their food well. There’s a lot of mitochondrial imbalances, B-vitamins, CoQ10, L-carnitine. You know, it’s hard to be motivated when you have a lot of these physiological imbalances, because it takes fuel to run this system. So, when I look at patients, I get them motivated to fix these things. You know, it’s hard to get someone motivated to just fix their mitochondria or fix their adrenals. So, I always look at, hey what are these health challenges that you’re having right now. What is preventing you from being, doing, or having in your life right now? Like, what do you want to be doing, being you’re having in your life that you’re not able to because of your energy or because of your chronic digestion, because of your, um, mood issues? What is that? I try to get really clear what those things are because if I can figure out, hey, we’ll it’s affecting me for working out whole day, it’s affecting me, um, being able to spend quality time with my kids, then we can lean on, okay we are gonna make these diet changes, so we can help you get back to spending better time with your kids or so we can have you focusing and doing better at work at closing deal, whatever that is. So, if we figure out the why, then we can lean on that why to get people to make the right changes because it’s the really the why is the essence of it. And that really helps to get people motivated. So, there’s the mindset motivation and there’s the physiological biological biochemical side. So, we wanna work on both. So, when I tell people to make these diet changes, not just making these diet changes, we’re gonna do these so we can help move the needle in this area or that area. So, it’s kind of like using psychological tactics that help keep your patient motivated. It’s also important.   

Evan Brand: Nice. That’s really a good point.  We have some part of our population, where there are just biohacker people who wanna see the numbers, right? They wanna see the numbers get better, and they’re happy enough to see succinic acid go from a 24 down to a 5. And we go okay, great we had major progress, the mitochondria look better on paper. Some of our people, they’re cool with just the numbers, but I agree with you, you gotta bring the emotional piece to. It’s not enough to say, ‘hey, I wanna get your dopamine higher because I want you to have enough energy to get out of bed, make your bed, get dressed, wear something nice, get to the office as you close the deal’. There’s a whole symphony of emotion and the neurotransmitter, the mitochondria, the adrenals, all firing together to make life nice and make life enjoyable. And I just see that the number one leading cause of disability in the U.S. is depression and so, I don’t know, I just feel like there’s so much on top potential, on top productivity out of the population, if we can just simply get the gut improve, get the mitochondria improve, get the neurotransmitter improve. I mean, we could totally transform the country. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I totally agree. I mean, I think simply, out of the gates, it starts with food. So, it starts with high quality food, organic, right, low toxin, eating good proteins, eating good fats. I think being more of a fat burner for most people is super important because we just tend, if you just look at micronutrient trends over the last 56 years, we just consuming more processed carbohydrates and of course the fats are shifted to more, kind of polyunsaturated omega-6 kind of vegetable oil. I think number one out of the gates is we switch to higher quality, better, more stable fats whether it’s on the grass-fed meat, high quality fish or if we do any plants it’s gonna be more on the mannose, right, olive oil, some avocados, those kinds of things. That’s important on the fat and then we try to restrict the lot of the refined grains, refined sugar and that’s some kind of first step and make sure that the quality there. in regards to organic, um, no added hormones, some things like that in the pot. That’s a good start for anyone right there. And then from there, we can look at the different hormonal systems. So, if we have chronically high cortisol, usually that’s more of an acute thing but that can cause anxiety, that can cause irritability. Usually, there’s a tire of wire that kind of thing there. And then of course as we have chronic stress, that adrenal pattern can move more to a lower cortisol stay, and that can cause energy low motivation low mood. So, we wanna really look at the adrenals. They’re part of that stress handling system. So, when we look at things that drive the adrenals its physical, chemical and emotional stress and so we wanna make sure there’s nothing on the emotional side that’s driving a problem, right? Marriage issues, kids issues, financial issues, whatever that is, we have to make sure, we’re at least addressing it and it’s in our forefront, we’re not just kind of putting your head on the sand. Physically we need to make sure we’re not overexercising or under so we’re getting some movement or we’re moving our muscles or we’re not overly sedentary, we’re not doing things that cause us pain, right? So, that’s important. Of the chronically in pain, we see a soft tissue person or a chiropractor to really get to the root of that. And of course, what we really focus on is the underlying hidden chemical stressors, that’s just the food sensitivities, the gut imbalances, the dysbiosis, the leaky gut, the hormonal imbalances, the low thyroid, the adrenal imbalances, the hormonal issues, um, the mitochondrial dysfunction, the toxicity, mold, heavy metals, right? So, this is where we, we come in there, we focus on the chemical stressors that play a major input on the adrenals and we chronically stress the adrenals, adrenaline is also produced by the adrenals to kind of get cortisol mobilize and chronic adrenaline stimulation will pull dopamine because adrenaline is a post cursor essentially to dopamine. So, it goes dopamine 🡪 adrenaline. It’s over chronically sti, in a stressed-out state. Your body will make adrenaline and will pull from dopamine to make adrenaline. And dopamine is important for that I love you feeling, it’s really important for focus, dealing with stress and staying motivated. So, we have to get that, the underlying reason why we pullin’ out that dopamine downstream, we have to get the adrenals fully supported.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I’m glad you mentioned heavy metals too. I mean, people and their brain issues could simply be related to mercury toxicity. If you’re someone just walking around and you’ve got a mouthful of amalgam fillings, we know those are estimated 50-ish percent mercury give or take and we know that mercury directly affects dopamine. If you simply just type in, mercury and Parkinson’s or mercury and Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of links to these toxins and brain neurodegenerative issues. So, if you’re somebody who’s just so poor motivation and it’s more on the extreme side, you might get this amount of amalgam out of your mouth. And for my grandfather, he’s pushing 80-years-old, believe it or not, the local, biological then said he’s already having memory issues, it’s too late. The issue of pulling out the mercury could create more problems. He just said, leave it alone. But if you’re 40, 50, 60, 70 maybe you’re still at that age where you can start working at heavy metal detox, maybe you’re using some sort of binder for the meantime but ultimately, you’ve got to remove the source. So, I mean, if you got heavy metal in your mouth, no matter how much chlorella, charcoal, or clay you take, you’ll still get metal on your mouth. So, that could be a huge issue for your motivation and you gotta resolve it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% out of the gates. Also, low thyroid can be a thing. Low thyroid can affect mitochondrial function. It can affect mood. It can affect energy. Obviously, thyroid hormones play a major role in your overall metabolism. And if your metabolism is low and slow or more than likely your motivation would be low. So, it’s really good to look at thyroid function. Now, if you go to your conventional doctor that just gonna look at TSH typically and again if your TSH is overly high, let’s say greater than three and a half four. You know, that’s probably be pretty good sign. There’s probably thyroid issues downstream happening with T4 being on the lower side or T3 being, let’s say, below that 3.0 marker in the United States metric. Um, but again, TSH may still be adequate, let’s say below three and you may still have problems with thyroid hormones downstream, with T4, with T3. Maybe there’s an elevated antibodies because there’s some autoimmunity. It’s kind of like smoldering there. So, you really wanna look at running a full thyroid panel and your conventional medical doctor would typically not do it. So, you gotta reach out to kind of more natural, functional medicine first to do it. So, if you guys want to get that kind of testing done, Evan and I, we all do that testing. So,, There’s links there where you can work with us if you want that type of in-depth testing. But low thyroid can be a deal breaker and it can, in most thyroid issues are autoimmune. So, you have to fix the gut. You have to fix the food. You have to fix all of the digestive issues to really get that usually under control. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point bringing up thyroid. So, I’ll bring up another kind of related one which could be anemias, right? If you got low ferritin, for example, you’re gonna be so exhausted if you have some type of anemia that that’s gonna really affect your motivation as well. So, I get kind of annoyed, to be honest with you, when I see people posting these motivational tracks. It is usually some super fit dude, possibly he’s on steroids, he’s flipping a tire and then yelling over the microphone, and it’s like, ‘you gotta get up and you gotta just do it’. And it’s like, you can’t just do it, like, I love that you’re, you know, 28 years old or maybe you’re on growth hormone and you’re flipping this tire and you’re motivated. But that type of talk goes only so far. And from our functional medicine mindset, like I said, I kind of get annoyed, because then you have this woman, maybe 50, 55 and she looks at herself in the mirror and she’s not happy on what she sees. She got insulin resistant, the diet is not dialed in, the guts affected, the neurotransmitters are low, but mitochondria are damaged because she got exposed to, uh, tick bites and molds. This motivational dud ranting over the microphone, he does not have a friggin’ clue about any of these functional strategies. And so, people then think that motivation is just this simple thing that you could just turn on or turn off. If I could just give motivated, I could do this or that. And it’s like, look, it’s way deeper than that, it’s way deeper than this dude just giving you some hoorah jumping the CrossFit class. And that’s why, that’s all this day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m not a big fan of RAW, RAW stuff because it ignores physiology. I mean, I think there’s the RAW, RAW stuff can be helpful if it shifts your mindset. But mindset cannot be overcome physiology in the long run. It’s like people gonna, uh, an Anthony Robbins, I think Tony Robbins is great, he has a lot of strategy mindset stuff but you come out of this event so motivated. And it’s like, now what, right? It’s kind of like you’re driving your car, right, your old, used car, nothing’s wrong with it but your own E. Some guy comes up next to you and in like a Ferrari and it’s like, ‘man, you just got hit the back gas pillar, go’. And it’s like he hits the gas pillar, he’s out of sight and you’re like, ‘yeah, I don’t have fuel in my car and I kind of force cylinder under horsepower car, yeah I can’t do it. So, the first thing you gotta do metaphorically is you have to fill your tank of a gas. Get the car, get the gas in the tanks if you have fuel. And overtime, upgrade your car, upgrade your health, right? And we start with food quality, we start with good fats and proteins, we start with addressing glycemic issues, not overdoing or removing the processed sugar and the grain, dialing in the carbs on what you need, sleeping better. That’s like trading in your car at the car dealership, right? Literally, just by doing that, you’re starting to upgrade internally and of course from there we can always go down the functional medicine path and look at these hormone systems, adrenals, thyroid, gut function, mitochondrial issues. But we can at least upgrade the car and the fuel by making these simple lifestyle choices that are free and then from that, that gives you more motivation, now you have more energy, now your brain is clearer, so now you can, you know, be clearer on what your goals are. You can get very motivated, you can set timelines to your goals, right. What’s the difference between a goal and a dream? A goal has essentially a dream with an endpoint, a timeline on it, right. I’m gonna achieve this point, right? Take your dreams, make it your goal by putting an aid on it and some action items to go on it. And that takes energy and focus. And if your brain is foggy and overly tired, that’s gonna be problematic. So, I think, just work on those simple things and then once you get a little more motivation there then what’s next. And so, the things that I looked at when people are stressed and depleted, brain inflammation plays a major role with low motivation, so if we can cut out the foods, if we can add in B-vitamins, B6, magnesium, good health omega-3 fatty acids, that’s gonna help with the brain inflammation. That’s gonna help with the neurotransmitters. And then from there, we’re gonna look deeper at the box. This could be SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, H. pylori, parasites and getting the gut really cleaned out is gonna help shell out a lot of the brain inflammation because inflammation is bidirectional. Inflammation in the body can make its way to the gut and create a problem. Inflammation in the gut can make its way out of the gut into the bloodstream by leaky gut permeability causing inflammation in the brain. 


Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. We could start to bring in some of those vitamins, like the omegas, we can bring in some phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine, we can bring as you mentioned the B-vitamins, maybe some Ginkgo, possibly nootropics like the racetam family, pretty common phenylpiracetam or others oxiracetam. A lot of nootropics out there that you could use, but there’s so many people like in the that they’re taking these different nootropics but they’re not addressing anything in regards to their gut or anything, whether hormones. So, I think it’s… 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I have a product in my line could, Dopa Replete Plus which has tyrosine and will have an actual pure L-dopa. That’s a good one. Or someone’s coming out of the gates, I would just even just be using pure tyrosine, pure L-tyrosine with some high-quality B-vitamins can be really helpful because you need the B-vitamins as a cofactor to really help convert to some of these neurotransmitters, some of these amino acids to become the actual neurotransmitters. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You can feel it pretty quick. I mean, that’s the cool thing about amino acids, is that you mentioned. A lot of times, you know, when we pitch people our services, we’re like hey, sign up, you know, give us a call, People haven’t, they haven’t enough motivation to be miserable to do that. Sometimes, I don’t even think about people, they know they want to help but I think they haven’t enough motivation to even call us and reach out to us. So, if you’re one of those people, we’re here but, in the meantime, yeah, maybe you use a little bit of tyrosine. It gets you motivated enough to even reach out to get further health because I think a lot of people get overwhelmed at what’s gonna entail in regards to diet changes. Like, oh, that’s overwhelming, you’re gonna make me cut this out, lifestyle changes, you’re gonna make me cut that out, like oh my God or now I gotta go to bed at 9’oclock, you know, that’s too hard. So, we used this little tool, this functional medicine tool to help motivate people to get them through the protocol. Because you and I could design a perfect protocol, mitochondrial support. We’ve got the gut dialed in. We’ve got the detox, the binders. We got the liver, the gallbladder, the adrenals. It’s all taken care of. But, it’s only if somebody follows through so then you get to the part of compliance which we could do part 2 on that of you want. Like, how do you stay on track but making the plan and getting the labs is the first step and getting the people to follow through is the second one. I think progress ultimately gets people going, because they’ll feel how much better they are but somehow, so, what we’ll use somebody’s brain nutrients just to get them off to get through and follow through.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. From a mindset perspective, it’s kind of like if you have pushed a car before right. You push the car. The hardest thing we’re pushing a car is overcoming the initial inertia of the car, from not moving to moving, right? That’s the hardest part. And so, when we’re dealing with people’s health inertia, it is just getting a couple of habits of moving in the direction that allows the car to start moving. Now, the amount of energy you need to put into that car to keep it moving is far less, right? It’s far less because you overcome the initial inertia of it being stock to moving. That’s kind of health is. You kind of make like a couple of small changes now’s the ball’s rolling and then now you can add, you know, you just can sleep for a little bit, add a little movement in there, and a couple of supplements and now we have a lot more now it becomes even easier to keep that going. And then of course, the key is now, okay, all the energy going into it was moving to the four steps of learning right. It’s unconscious incompetence, you don’t know what you don’t know. Now, you’re consciously incompetence, you know what you don’t know, you’re at least aware of these things. And then you go from step 2 to step 3 you’re consciously competent, someone’s helping you but there’s a lot of energy to keep doing the right things and then ideally you start to move into the level of unconscious competence where it’s automatic, right? It’s like someone who drives a standard transmission, everyone who’s done that they know, like, they’re starting on doing clutch, shift, what, their heads going down looking at the gearbox to stir up. It’s tough, right? But then eventually it’s like, clutch, shift, 1,2, 3, right? It’s easy, downshifting no problem. You don’t have to worry about it, it’s like you’re in automatic transmission because you get the whole thing. So, that’s kind of, well, where habits are, you just start with the ones that really bears the most fruit and then you go up from there. So, that’s kind of kind of look at out of the gates.     

Evan Brand: Well, look, you just did a live on camera because you’re like oh, we’re talking about in that booby. Whip up a capsule, and then boom you pop your aminos just like that. That’s kind of how I am too with protocol, I mean I’ll just feel how I am; I need a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And I’m just consciously making these micro calculations throughout the day. Oh, little low heat, op stressful day, hit the adrenals a little harder.  We’re constantly making these twigs, it’s just a really good place to be. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. I’m gonna go hit some push-ups and some kettlebells, wings, and a little bit of rowing here in a minute. And I’m gonna, um, you know, use some. So, I just try, you know, surround myself with good tools that I could plug into throughout the day to keep that momentum going and then, you know, foundational things, food, water, sleep. So just make sure you, and then of course you can plug in some movement along there right. Those are your three to four big check marks that you gotta hit during the day. And as you start getting that, you can build up from there and that gets you that foundation you need.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Sleep is huge. So, we’d done a podcast on that but we’re always happy to do more. So, we’re wrapping out for now though. People can reach out if they need. We work around the world via facetime, uh, zoom, skype, you know, phone. We can do. We send labs everywhere and you can reach out to Dr. J at and you can reach out to me, and we’re happy to help. And we’ll look at some of these things and we’ll help investigate what could be going on, why’re you struggling. We know that you wanna get that dream business that dream goal, but you gotta make that a reality by optimizing these systems. So, that’s exactly what we do on ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Just literally just boost these neurotransmitters as we’re talking here. So, once you get these tools and place, you’re just gonna be driving, you can take over the world if that’s what you want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%, We’ll put links and recommendations for different things that we talked about product wise in the description of the video. Evan, awesome chat with you as always, my friend. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: You too man. Take care. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan and I, we’ll go now. Bye-bye.

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


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Audio Podcast:


The Neufit Method wtih Garrett Salpeter – Faster Healing and Optimal Performance | Podcast #354

In this video, we have Dr. J and Garret Salpeter, the founder of Neufit Technology. Performance and recovery go hand in hand when training or doing physical activities, regardless if you’re an athlete or not. The Neufit Method improves performance and muscle health and optimizes recovery. Further, this video will tackle optimizing performance in fitness, improving the recovery process, and breaking down the significance of The Neufit Method.

Garret Salpeter emphasizes that even if you are not an athlete, you should know how to let your body rest, heal, and recover properly from any form of injury or physical activity. Everyone has their activity levels to maintain. It may not be sports-related, but everyone demands effort from their bodies on a day-to-day basis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
4;49 – What makes The Neufit Method different?
7:48 – The neurological response to injury and trauma
17:12 – The link of soft tissue of mobilization and nervous system
21:35 – The recent add-ons of Neufit Method
32:31 – Foundational diet changes to improve healing

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. I am with Garrett Salpeter, who is a CEO founder of NeuFit technologies down in Austin, Texas. Garrett is a great friend, as well as, an amazing colleague and he’s got a new book that we’re gonna chat about today. So, I’m gonna go through some of the, I think, the biggest take-home items that anyone listening can use to help accelerate their body’s ability to heal and perform better. Really excited to have Garrett on the podcast today. Garrett, how you doing man?

Garrett Salpeter: Thanks, Justin. It’s awesome to be here. Great getting to catch up with you before hopping on here and, uh, I’m excited to be on and appreciate the opportunity to talk about the book.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Very cool. Love the graphics, love the cover, um, really nice, really enticing, been kind of going through some of the aspects of the book different parts of the book. What was the process of, you know, your last ten-year journey writing this book? I mean, do you just kind of go through and think about your biggest clinical wins with patients like how do you kind of go in and get this thing moving because there’s so much that you can talk about over the last 10-12 years of seeing thousands of patients? How do you go about and just start crystallizing that?

Garrett Salpeter: It’s, you know, it’s an interesting process. It’s something that was on my mind for a while like for a couple of years before I finally decided to start and then I worked on it, you know, in early morning hour before the kids woke up and in evenings and you know, so I worked on it off and on again for a couple of years. The original catalyst for doing it was a combination of two things: one is people telling me hey you know you gotta write a book to share you know you here all these great stories about how these technology helps these create these miraculous recovery stories and then what really motivated me to finally do it is I kept getting ask by people like hey where can I read more about this, hey where’s the book in this and I my answer until recently was well it’s you know stuff that I’ve learned by combining reading textbooks and combining different mentorships and workshops and experiences that I’ve done in the field of physical therapy and functional neurology and pedagogy and physiological psychology. And so, there wasn’t a place where everything was kind of brought together in one way and so that was a big motivating factor for me was to have a resource, to be able to share with people and then, um, and then I kind of fell into this trap of making it, you know, just going like super deep on all these areas that I’m interested in. Originally, the first version of the book was probably too dense and academic and so I had written, you know, I’d got to get up in the morning for an hour before the kids wake up and write this over the course of, you know, a year and a half probably. Got to 130,000 words, which is like a, you know, a huge like a thick textbook encyclopedia type thing. And then, we finally, you know, we’re talking with our team about hey what’s gonna be the most valuable thing that we can offer to people and we decided that it would be something that was more accessible that more people, you know, clinicians and lay people alike would be able to read and so I worked with an editor to help break it down from, you know, from 130, 000 words to 60, 000 literally like cut it half and then this is the finished product.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Because I know you started off your PhD in this type of field in exercise physiology, human performance and a lot of, uh, electoral physiology technology and how it connects to healing. So, you kind of had this thesis kind of in mind and took that and kind of translate it back into a handbook that people can apply kind of day in day out for performance. So, it’s a big shift at the doctoral level, back to the everyday human level. 

Garrett Salpeter: That’s right. It’s been kind of interesting thing, you know, like that it’s very true what I describe to people when ask me for the book before this was out was, you know, I’d say it’s a kind of this breadcrumb trail that I’ve been following through the research and these different disciplines and as part of my journey in trying to piece together this knowledge base in a meaningful way that can be beneficial clinically and in all these different settings, you know, part of my journey like I was  so passionate about learning about this stuff and that I ended up going back to school into this neuroscience based PhD program in emphasis in motor control and I ended up ultimately leaving that in order to launch our product and, you know, do the other things that I’m doing now but we have a PhD neuroscientist who’s our director of research now, who’s been able to do that even better than I could or would. So, that’s great but, yeah, I mean, I literally have had to go all these different directions to piece it together and it’s just, you know, it’s very exciting to be able to come back full circle and package it together into a book like this that draws on all those different disciplines.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Very cool. Because how I first came across you before I moved down to Austin is I found a lot of your YouTube videos online. And one of the things that struck me was you had a lot of these, you know, stories, this kind of timeline, um, situations. Where someone would come in with an injury and you would kind of timeline their ability to heal over 2 or 3 months or so of major injuries that would take six months – twelve months and I was blown away with the idea that you could take people that hey this injury according to conventional orthopedics is a one year to finish to heal and you would take these people and get their injury recovery time down in half or even 60 or 70% faster. I thought that was amazing and it kind of sold itself that hey what you’re doing is working and so that was pretty cool. Can you talk about, you know, some of the tenets that you are applying that you were applying that was allowing you to do better than what the conventional PT, Orthopedic surgery route was?     

Garrett Salpeter: That’s a great question and that is, is kind of like, okay what’s the special sauce, what makes it different and that’s one of the biggest themes in the book that we talk about is making this distinction between hardware and software, between how most typical therapeutic interventions, most traditional physical therapy orthopedic medicine, is focused really enamored with and obsessed with tissue and structure whereas, there’s a whole other side of that coin, right? There’s function like hardware and software. The software, the function, which is of course is controlled neurologically is so often overlooked and ignored in these traditional models. And we’ve found that being able to prioritize the neurological response to injury and trauma is a huge catalyst for this breakthrough and a lot of it, is just as simple as, you know, look if you’re if your body naturally bracing and guarding and creating a bunch of tension around an injury, it can be impairing, blocking some of the blood flow and impairing the ability of the body to send nutrients and raw materials to heal there. So, the tissue of course that hardware component is important but the neurological response to injury is an impediment that blocks or delays that tissue healing process. By putting that first, by looking first at that neurological response to injury by finding where in the body it’s being imposed and resetting ang recalibrating that to an appropriate level, we’ve been able to open the floodgates if you will. So, the body’s natural healing process can progress without impairment and when it goes at its normal rate it’s not like we’re not doing anything we’re just allowing the body to heal and it’s just, you know, so if few people have been able to experience what the body can do when it’s really unleashed so to speak, that those faster healing times seem miraculous and really the miracle is in just removing those impediments, getting them out of the way and allowing the body to do it’s thing because it is a miracle.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, essentially, conventional medicine they’re just kind of, they’re cutting out the injured inflamed tissue, there’s not really a lot of look at how that tissue got injured from a mechanistic standpoint then they hand them off to the PT that’s just stretching, typically stretching or strengthening that area without really looking at that whole chain. So, essentially, you’re looking at everything like it’s connected to the kinetic chain. So, you’re looking at all the muscles and the joints above and below, and you’re looking at the nervous system’s ability to recruit and stabilize those different areas. So, you have your Neubie device, so you’re using that as a means of one I think rehabbing and strengthening the muscle and the nervous, but you’re also using it as a means of detection. Can you talk about how it has dual purposes? 

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, absolutely. So, when we talked about this neurological response to injury and trauma, there’s the concept and then there’s actually the process of finding where in the body it exist and what it’s doing in the body and to understand what it is, one of my favorite metaphors is actually to talk about this notion of imagine a snake was, you know, come in, so I’m in my home office here imagine a venomous snake was coming into my office for me to react like this and you kind of run away or mobilize some energy so I can protect myself, that’s useful, that’s a valuable, you know, it’s a fear-based flight-or-flight response that mobilizes me to take action so I can you know fight or defend or protect myself or run away and flee and that’s valuable. However, if I react the same way to a rubber snake that my rubber snake that my daughter put there, that’s an over reaction that’s inappropriate. I’m wasting this energy, um, you know, trying to protect myself from something that’s not a real threat and our brains and nervous systems do this to us and you know forgetting these examples of like pain and injury for example. A lot of people have these experience, you know, thinking about someone who gets really nervous before they go public speaking for example, something like that. That’s the brain’s way of saying, hey this is life threatening we gotta protect you from this risk of being embarrassed because if you go out there and make a fool of yourself, you could get kicked out of the tribe for example, there’s like a deep survival fears associated with that. I think we all recognize that, you know, that fear is a kind of a hypersensitivity or it’s an overreaction or it’s a little bit mis calibrated to the situation like we recognize intellectually that we’re not really gonna die, if we go out on stage, because it feels like that because we’re overreacting. And the similar type of thing happens where, if we have an injury, you know, it’s football season, we’re working with a lot of professional and college and high school football players, you know, if an athlete goes out and sprains his ankle and they are totally shutting down as a response to that injury and that trauma, if they’re you know creating tension to lock down some muscles and totally shutting down others, that can be potentially productive if like if they were gonna roll that ankle again, it could that bracing could be protected there but if they’re not doing that if they’re trying to rehab and get to normal movements those patterns actually stand in the way, they delay that recovery process, they’re reacting, you know, as if they’re as if they’re pounding that ankle again, like there’s a real snake coming in when really it’s a rubber snake and they’re safe now, they just have to get themselves in the right state where they can heal. And by shifting by first of all identifying where so, to actually answer your question, if we’re able to take the Neubie device and scan around in their body, we can find where those hypersensitivity are in the nervous system where the brain and nervous system are shutting down muscles or creating these bracing and guarding patterns where they’re holding on in other muscles. We can find where those are and then send this very unique direct current stimulation to rest and recalibrate the nervous system and what does that really mean, well, it means, you know, an athlete who comes in with a sprained ankle who’s on crutches or can’t put any weight on their leg often times after that first session can walk normally it can load that weight, the load weight on their leg without pain and they make these amazing transformations in 15 minutes and you think, gosh, what happened to that 15 minutes. Did the ligament that was partially torn, you know, if it was a grade 2 and it’s a partial tear of the ligament, did that ligament heal in 15 minutes? No of course not. What happened was you reset and recalibrated those that suite of neurological protective patterns which some of which are tension, some of which are inhibition or turning off muscles and part of that is also pain. Pai is a protective output of the brain that’s part of that whole host of protective patterns and by resetting that, you immediately restore function back to a normal healthy level. They’re not ready to go back on the football field after that session, however, they’re in a state where they can move better, their muscles can better support that injured tissue as it heals and you’ve opened those floodgates, so healing mechanisms can actually work at their normal rate and do what their capable of doing.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What was always fascinating for me is when you would use the Neubie device to kind of search and scan the different tissue. Let’s say, you had direct pain on the knee, when you would search, you know, let’s say, from the hip down the quad right biceps femoris to rectus femoris into the calf, you would find hot spots or pain areas that would that the Neubie would pick up that you would perceive as pain but they wouldn’t necessarily be in the areas of pain. I think this is kind of what you’re taking about is conventional medicine would say oh I feel pain on the knee they’re focus on the knee. But you would scan it and you would get this feedback, that the patient would feel and they would feel areas of pain totally away from where that is. How does that happen, how does that work?

Garrett Salpeter: So, that speaks to a couple of these really powerful concepts like the difference between structure and function and also this notion that you talked about a lot about getting the root cause of the problem, right, you know, if you’re walking around all day and part of your quad muscles doesn’t work, you’re just kind of collapsing into that knee joint all day long and you’re gonna be setting yourself up for injury and you know eventually the knee starts hurting and you go and treat the knee but you’re not if you don’t go upstream and address that dysfunction or why it happened in the first place, you’re never gonna have a true long term resolution of the problem. And so, what the mapping allows us to do is to find where the dysfunctions are, which..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How do you measure that, like what’s the Neubie putting through like is there resistance in the tissue due to inflammation, lack of blood flow, like what’s causing that feedback at the tissue from a biochemical physiological level? 

Garrett Salpeter: Ah, yes.  So, the reaction, one of the things we’re working on is being able to measure some of these quantitatively and that so we should have some really cool information on that, you know, in the next couple of years as we build out our research program. What we know now, and what we’re identifying are areas where these exact neurologic protective mechanisms are present. So, what we’re doing as we’re scanning around, so if I have an electron pad, like this, and I’m scanning around the body what’s really cool about this current, so traditional first, we need a little context here so this makes sense, traditional electrical stimulation device is alternating current, tens units, Russian stim, they, when you turn them up to a high enough level to really make a difference, they cause muscles to contract and that becomes the limiting factor whereas with Neubie, we can at least to some degree, we can bypass a lot of that protective muscle contraction and speak more directly and powerfully to the nervous system. So, again, a little bit difference between structure and function, thinking directly about the nervous system. When we scan over the body, we’re sending a signal to the nervous system in the brain saying hey this area is being used, this area is being loaded, then we go here, hey this area is being used, this area is being loaded, here, hey, this area is being used being loaded. And wherever the body is working well, the brain sees that and says, you know, if were scanning it says oh that’s just Dr. Justin’s deltoid doing its normal thing, that’s just Dr. Justin’s biceps doing its normal thing. There’s nothing alarming about that, but if we stimulate a muscle or an area that either hasn’t been working recently because that habits or an area where one of these hypersensitivity and these, you know, these protective patterns that are being imposed on the body, if we scan one of those, the brain sees that and says whoa whoa whoa that’s threatening that’s alarming and it fights it, it reacts kind of a trigger point. If you were working on somebody and that you find that trigger point area that’s more sensitive. So, we find these areas of hypersensitivity and then we want to stimulate them and teach the, ultimately the brain, teach the brain and the nervous system that it can calm down that hypersensitivity. So, it’s, instead of you know, it’s like if you’re driving your car either you hit your throttle down harder or you can just take your other foot off the brake. Here, we’re trying to train you, you know, train your body to take the foot off the brake where it hand been imposing these limiting patterns.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So, I know with the Neubie, unlike with your typical tens unit, right, you’re typically not gonna be exercising with like a tens unit, it’s like more like an electric aspirin. It’s kind of blocking the pain going into the brain. Here you’re actually able to move it in rehab. I’m just curious, a lot of different techniques in soft tissue world like Graston and active release technique, part of the reason on how they promote healing is they work on improving blood flow and they help release the fascia from the muscle belly. My experience using it, when I exercise with the pads on the various areas that in the current, I feel like there may be fascial release on that muscle helping to improve pain. Just curious, what’s your take on that fascia and the muscle kind of being mobilize and moving better?

Garrett Salpeter: This is really an interesting topic and there’s a few thoughts I have on that. One is people are doing manual therapy, it’s kind of this interesting..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m sorry just to add one little context. If this is my muscle belly, the fascia is like my shirt on top of it, so when tissue gets inflamed it’s like wearing a wet t-shirt it’s hard to get it off and so, just kind of giving people a visual imagine the we t-shirt on someone’s body that t-shirt is stuck and so helping to mobilize that t-shirt so to speak can help promote healing, go ahead. 

Garrett Salpeter: So, there’s really, really important interesting connection between the movement of tissues and the function of the nervous system, so like in your example if that fascia or that shirt is glued down on the tissue underneath it, you miss out on that gliding and sliding between layers and you don’t get the neurological input from that area, so it goes out, you lose out on that, so the nervous system is this big feedback loop and all of the outputs of the nervous system which of course includes movement and pain. It also includes hormones, it includes heart rate and blood pressure, digestion like the nervous system controls our visceral organ function. So, all of these outputs of the nervous system that are relevant for health and cognitive performance and athletic performance and overall well-being. All of these outputs of the nervous system are vitally dependent on the inputs given to the nervous system and that can that of course is the things that you talk about in functional medicine, nutrition and diet and these lifestyle factors. It all absolutely to do with movement, also these neurological inputs of, including the tissues gliding and sliding over each other are super relevant for the overall health of the nervous system which is super important for the health of the overall body. So, being able to, there’s a few things that happen, being able to get movement in into those tissues is very important. A lot of manual therapists, when they say, you know, I’m releasing adhesions or I’m feeling this tissue move or something like that. A lot of what we’re learning is that, what they’re really doing is not making as much of those structural changes as they think, but they’re actually giving neurological inputs, the mechanoreceptors, the nerve receptors. They’re actually activating those to create more functional changes than structural changes and ultimately though, you need both, like you need the tissues to move over each other and you need to move them through enough ranges of motion to create the inputs so the brain gets enough inputs so they can maintain healthy function and get all the inputs it needs to drive appropriate controls of the body for movement and everything else. And when we’re working with the Neubie, you’re affecting both, you’re moving and affecting structures, you’re getting mechanical tension which can, uh, which can definitely move, you know, create the kind of friction that helps break up issues between the layers of those tissues and you’re getting the neurological input. So, it can work well in combinations with those other, you know, manual therapies and ultimately you need both. I mean, you need good structure, you need good function and, uh, I hope that adequately addresses the question but I think ultimately, we’re trying to work on both.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, we’ll put some links below for people that want to get more information either about seeing Garrett or Garrett’s clinicians at his clinic or if you’re a practitioner and you want to get more information on, um, being able to use this device at your clinic or if you’re someone abroad that wants to work with Garrett’s stuff virtually, we’ll put some information down below. So, someone comes in, right, you give them a work up, you have a full physical exam, you’re looking at neurological signs, you’re testing muscles as well, to help find which muscles are off and on for compensation pattern stuff. You’re using the Neubie, you’re scanning looking for all these areas of dysfunction, you’re always evolving your method, right, the NeuFit method. What else has been plugged into the NeuFit method, the last year or two that you kind of added on recently? 

Garrett Salpeter: So, the biggest thing that we’ve done in the last year is really explored the benefits of using very specific frequencies and this is one of the biggest champions of this type of work is a doctor named Carolyn McMakin, who has seminars on frequency specific microcurrent and the basic premise is that if you, uh, basic premise is resonance so for example, if I have the keys to my car and I go out in the parking lot, I hit the unlock button, this key only unlocks my car, it doesn’t unlock your car or my friend’s car or the other car across the parking lot. It only unlocks my car because that signal resonates with that car. It’s also the same thing if you ever heard of like the opera singer who hits that note, oh, you know, much better than I would dip, and that particular frequency of that note resonates with the lead atoms in glass and it breaks the glass. So, we can apply certain frequencies in the body that will resonate or preferentially go to and interact with certain tissues. So, if you’re trying to recover from an Achilles tendon injury, for example, we can, in addition to our usual treatments working on neuromuscular function, we can use a particular frequency that would direct that signal to the tendon tissue and help even further speed up the healing and amplify the healing effect of that, increase more blood and more resources specifically to that tissue.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is this a new feature on the Neubie, where you can adjust the frequency? 

Garrett Salpeter: So, it’s something that, um, we’ve had, we built it in to the Neubie, because I had kind of glimpses of this and we’ve only started to explore the, you know, the full benefits or more of the benefits of that in the last year and it’s part of, you know, clinicians who are in our, have completed our certification. It’s actually, that’s part of the level two stratification that we put out, um, in the, sometime in the last year and that’s been really exciting to see some of the, some the, you know, outcomes that people have been able to create with that and, you know, that can go down, that goes down a whole road of, you know, like Dr. McMakin, for example, has frequencies for different organs and things like that. We with the Neubie, our work and our scope is more around, you know, neuromuscular conditions and pain and things like that, so you know, we’re not necessarily able to, you know, speak about or make direct claims related to the health of certain organs or things like that, um, but, you know, there are some really cool things that people are able to do with this concept.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. There are two more things I want to hit on the book. You talked about heart rate variability which is essentially the unevenness between the heart beat and it’s a good window into recovery and the parasympathetic nervous system response. How are you gauging the amount of workload that the people you worked with can handle? Are you using HRV? How do you know, you’re doing too much? How do you know you’re on the sweet spot? How do you apply that with your patients?

Garrett Salpeter: That is, that’s a great question and this is I think part of the future of medicine and sports performance training is this notion of stress management and what heart rate variability, what it basically shows us is, it answers the question of how well are you, this individual standing in front of you, how well are you able to keep up with all the stressors in you life right now, you know, if you are, if you’re not, if you’re just like holding on to keep up with everything, you don’t have as much bandwidth to adapt to these subtle changes in air pressure as you don’t have these minor fluctuations in your heart rate, whereas if you are able to keep to keep up with that then you have more bandwidth to adapt to these subtle changes and so, heart rate variability is a great measurement. So, we look at a couple of different things that’s a big one, you know, if we look at someone’s HRV status when they come in for a session, and we see like dang they’re really in a stressed-out state. We may have a more recovery-oriented session with them that day. Over time, we also, you know, for people who have these wearable devices that tract their sleep, check their HRV, we have them do that, we just completed a study with Biostrap, who makes this one that I’m wearing in my wrist. It’s the best clinically validated of these, you know relatively inexpensive wearables, uh, they’re within one percent measurement of the gold standard, uh, of electrocardiograms like when you put electrodes all over the body and 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: that’s called Biostrap 

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, uh, so they have, you know, we worked with them and we saw that doing sessions on the Neubie, that people increased their heart rate variability, they decrease their resting heart rate without doing any cardiovascular training at all, um, also improved sleep and arterial elasticities, blood flow and blood vessel health and so, you know, all of that factors into, to saying looking at heart rate variability is something that we like, we don’t always look at it within a session, sometimes it’s you know, there’s a little bit of a delay in feedback. It’s well, you do something that day, see how their numbers were that night and the next day and then dial it back in the next time they come in. So, sometimes you get real-time feedback, sometimes it’s, you know, a day or two and you have to, you have to kind of start slow, see how much they can handle walk up to that line and you also have to factor in the stresses, you know in there because someone one day, if they’ve slept well and eat well might be and it’s, you know, weekend or something, might be able to handle a lot more than if they come in, in the middle of a week  when they have a deadline, if they just have, uh, a fight with their spouse or fight with their boss at work or something like that and they didn’t slept well the night before and they’re sick and they’re going to be able to handle way different amount of stress and input in those days too.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Which is totally different training philosophy, you know, 10, 20, 30 years ago was kind of like no pain no gain, you have to build a character, this is to toughen you up and it’s like well, really the goal of training is to add a stress into the neuromuscular system so your body can adapt from it and get stronger not so it can get weaker because if you can adapt to that stress, you just breaking your body down versus building it up and training and so it’s really kind of being training smarter versus harder kind of mindset. 

Garrett Salpeter: Amen. Yeah. You know, I just think about it as, if I’m gonna invest the time and effort and possibly money to go to a physical therapy session or to a training session, you know, I just wanna have a return, I wanna have some benefit to show for that. So, it’s about, you know, ultimately about finding, you know, it’s not minimal or maximal, it’s optimal, it’s that kind of bell curve, it’s finding the right amount of input to get the correct output. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.  Very cool. You also started working with Terry Wallis, who is a popular figure in the functional medicine community, especially, on the autoimmune side. Dr. Wallis’ kind of story is for the listeners, she had multiple sclerosis was that one point even in wheelchair bound and couldn’t, you know, couldn’t walk and then was able to make different changes in her diet to help reverse her MS and MS is an autoimmune condition that affects the myelin which is the coating around the nerve so she was able to change her nervous system or her change her immune system, uh, attacking on her nerves so then she could actually start to heal and recover and now she’s fully walking. So, you’re using the Neubie device as a means to help stimulate growth, healing. Can you talk more about that application is? 

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah. So, Dr. Wallis, I’m glad you mentioned some of her story, because it’s super inspiring and she’s now been able to help through her Wallis protocol and her book and her research, been able to help hundreds of thousands of people, stop the progression of or even reverse their MS and it has to do with a functional medicine approach reducing the inciting or damaging influences that are causing the immune system to haywire and create this autoimmune environment. All this stuff that, you know, you know more about than I do and that you talk about your podcast and the reason we worked with her is that she had this limitation in her program where she could get, she could help people stop the progression of their MS and then they get to the point where they say, okay that’s awesome. Now, what can I do to restore the function that I lost, now what can I do, if I wanna be able to drive my car again or you know, not to have caregiver at home or I wanna regain autonomy, I want to be able to walk or play the piano again, like okay, like that’s awesome.  We stopped further damage but now, how can we do that and that’s where we got connected by a mutual friend and she saw, you know, I was describing NeuFit to her and some of the work we’ve done with some other neurological patients and she saw, hey, this kind of fills in, you know, this next step in our program, and since then she’s you know, invited me to speak at several of her, uh, seminars and live and virtual events and she very graciously gave an endorsement for my book and we’ve been able to work with her to share this message and kind of plug in NeuFit as part of her program and so through her, we’ve been able to introduce this to hundreds of thousands of people and many thousands of people have, you know, some have worked with us or gotten their own machine and worked remotely and many more have found NeuFit practitioners, we have on our website, we have a directory that we can link to, a directory of certified practitioners around the world who offer NeuFit and so many of these patients have gone and found people in their community, you know, sometimes they can find someone across town or, uh, nearby that they can go see and do this work, and we’ve seen people, you know, sometimes restore a little bit of sensation and function. Sometimes get out of a wheelchair and walk again and we’ve seen some of these transformational, really inspiring and amazing stories. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, when you work with patients like that, are you doing a scanning method throughout that muscle belly area or are you just generally hitting the major muscles that aren’t working appropriately? 

Garrett Salpeter: So, we typically will do a scan so that we can direct that stimulation, you know, in basically the areas where we’re going to get the most bang for the buck and we typically would do a scan, sometimes you can guess where you’re gonna put the pads and you can guess correctly based on knowing where their impairments are but sometimes there’s some nuances or different segments or different areas that pop up so we do like to do a scan , you know, at least in he first session as part of an assessment and then there we get the information to build a custom program and figure out, okay, where we need to stimulate to help get sensation or function back in the hands and feet or start to build enough strength so they can work towards standing and then walking or start to rebuild, uh, dexterity to be able to do the activity is that they wanna do. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And then last question I have for you out of the gates here would be, nutrition is obviously important, right? It’s the building blocks of all of out nerves, our muscles, right? Quality is important, we don’t wanna add more toxins via, you know, plastics and hormones and pesticides, those kinds of things. What are some of the foundational diet changes, that you work on with your patients to really accelerate improvement? Is it the quality of the protein? Is it a certain amount, is it fats? What are the best bangs for your buck with nutrition to get better, your healing?

Garrett Salpeter: So, we’re looking at everything through a neurological lens and when we do that, we end up drawing many similar conclusions as you do through a functional medicine lens so there’s a ton of overlap. Maybe the way we speak about it or maybe the, you know, something some of the things we prioritize or emphasize are a little bit different but for us, one of the biggest in, especially in these autoimmune conditions right when you talk about the immune system and inflammation gone haywire but also just for brain and nervous system health overall. Inflammation is such a key, because if you eat an inflammatory meal, you’ll see IQ drop 10 or 20 points because the inflammation impairs brain function so significantly, and impairs peripheral nervous system function. [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Blood flow too. 

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, absolutely. So, for us reducing inflammation is one of the highest priorities be whether you’re adding in overall health or you’re looking specifically through that lens of trying to optimize neurological function. So, that becomes a big deal, reducing inflammation. So, we’re looking at you know reduce, cutting out as many Omega-6 seed oils as possible but getting more saturated fats from good heathier sources. I mean, we’ve talking about, you know, grass-fed beefs or pasture-raised other animals or wild-caught fish, different things like that, you know the sources of fat become really important in reducing the Omega-6, having good monounsaturated fats like avocado and olive oil, you know, assuming someone is screened for food sensitivities and none of these things are gonna be like an individual’s person’s kryptonite or something like eggs can be great for some people, have a good health profile, if they have those nice, good dark orange yolks, um, but for some people have sensitivities and shouldn’t have them.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, essentially, you’re really pulling out the inflammatory stuff, the refined sugar, the grains, those kin of things, maximizing good fats, maximizing good proteins, obviously having enough building blocks so the tissue we’re breaking down. There’s enough reserve to build that tissue back up as well. 

Garrett Salpeter: That’s right. Yeah. So, you know, all those sources of fat I mentioned, the meats and eggs, you know also happen to have good, very good sources of protein associated with them, I also like collagen protein, if we’re trying to help someone rebuild tissues, um, and then also when we talked about inflammation and health of the nervous system, the gut is so important. So, you know, I’m a big fan of, uh, you know, different fiber powders that I put in my drinks every morning, um, and then, uh, you know the nervous system also is a big, big, big input. So, trying to do what we can to get that parasympathetic activation, you know, as many times as we can throughout the day to help with digestion is also a huge deal. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are you still doing the ample drink every day? 

Garrett Salpeter: I haven’t done those in a while. I like those, uh, I haven’t done them. Let’s see, nut there was a reason I stopped. Oh yeah, I think I didn’t, I didn’t, I really like the concept, I just didn’t love as much of the like whey and egg white proteins. I’m more of a collagen and you know meat guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m a big collagen guy too. You just don’t get enough connective tissue, amino acids, the hydroxyl proline, proline, glycine, interesting. I have the same situation. What’s one clinical pro you’ve come across recently that you think most of the audience will be able to benefit from like, just anything in the last couple of months that’s like a real heavy hitter that would help a lot of people? 

Garrett Salpeter: That’s a good, that’s a good question. Um, I mean in our realm, when we’re doing a lot more of this, you know, pain, movement, dysfunction, injury, helping people, uh, you know, the frequencies that I already mentioned, the biggest thing that jumps to my mind the last few months is some of this, some of this work that we’ve done on frequencies and, um, being able to find these resonant frequencies that it’s really cool when you feel this kind of resonating effect, it feel like this, you almost get these charges building up so it’s something that admittedly someone would  have to you know, find a provider who has our device in order to experience it but for our practitioners being able to identify this and initially this frequencies were only used really in the micro current realm but use them with stronger power delivery with stronger current levels and deliver that power, that’s been one of the biggest things that really jumps out and, um, I just I have seen, already seen some really cool things happen there so that’s one of the biggest, uh, more for practitioners who do have access to this device admittedly but, uh, it’s really, it’s a really cool effect when you see, when you feel that resonance happened. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Awesome. Well, thanks for all the excellent information, Garrett. Again, the NeuFit method, all kinds of good info and more we talked about the couple of things in the book here as well, um, take a look at it. If you have chronic pain issues, and you’re not healing or you have lingering injuries that aren’t getting over the top, we’ll put a link down below, where you can reach out to Garrett and his staff and we’ll put a link to the book as well. Appreciate it. Anywhere else Garrett, the listeners can go and check your information on it? 

Garrett Salpeter: So, we’re most active social media wise on Instagram and the handle is NeuFit RFP and its N-e-u like neurological F-i-t and then RFP for rehab fitness performance. So, I’m on there, our team’s on there, we respond to DMs and comments and everything about, uh, we’d love to interact with you there, and hopefully if you’re, you know, if you’re interested with the book, hopefully, you’ll, uh, read it, if you check it out on amazon, please do leave an honest review on there. That feedback is wonderful. It helps us know what people like, what people don’t like. What content we can provide more of and I can assure you that having put in the hours on the book, I really appreciate that feedback very well much. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. If you guys are listening and driving, we’ll put links down below where you guys can reach out and support the book. Okay, Garrett, awesome chatting with you. Have a great day man. Good chat. Take Care. 

Garrett Salpeter: Thank you, Justin. It’s been a pleasure. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Same here. Bye now.     


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Dr Bernd Friedlander – Immune Support, Extend Life Span, Best Supplement, Perfect Diet- Podcast #353

In this video, Dr. J and Dr Bernd Friedlander talk about immune system in general. Immune system is the natural defense and it’s an complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that band together to defend your body against invaders. Those invaders can include viruses, bacteria, parasites, even fungus, all with the potential to make us sick. They are everywhere – in our offices, homes, and backyards. A good immune system protects us by first creating a barrier that stops those invaders, or antigens, from entering the body.

The immune system can acknowledge millions of contrasting antigens. And it can make what it needs to eliminate nearly all of them. This detailed defense system can keep health problems ranging from cancer to the common cold at bay when it’s working correctly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
2:20 – The issue behind immune stress
6:25 – Things to know about natural light
17:04 – Who are good candidate for extra glucose?
26:37 – How and when does adding sugar good?
46:46 – The important role of full spectrum light

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Dr. Bernd Friedlander. Dr. Bernd Friedlander has been around, uh, the health space for I’d say more than 50 years. He’s been a health consultant to many professional sports teams and he’s a, let’s just say a quite a figure in the health expansion national health community in the Silicon Valley area for many many decades. Bernd, how are you doing? Welcome to today’s show.  

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Thank you. I appreciate it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, tell us a little bit more about yourself. You’ve been around the block, I mean professional sports, natural health kind of life extension community for quite a long time. How long has it been and how did you get into the space?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Um, I’ve been sort of like when I graduated from college, I got into physical therapy and I was an assistant physical therapist for about ’72 – ‘78 and I worked with, you know, clients with structural injuries and back problems, neck problems, and physical therapy and rehab and recovery from ‘72-‘78. And then I went back to chiropractic school in ’78 and graduated in ’81 and I started working out at UCLA and I was asked by a number of coaches and athletes to work with them since they found out that I was, my background was physical therapy nutrition, which I picked up in 1972 and my other background was chiropractic. So, it, you know, marriage was perfect and I was also a track and field runner in college and I also played, um, semi-professional soccer. So, I had a very good foundation and tool and so, because of that, I started working with UCLA athletes and then later on, they asked me to come in and start working with the Olympic team and develop them for the ’80 – ’84 and ’88 Olympics and we have people from all over the world coming to us at UCLA to work out with us and to perform with us and to learn about that we have and nutrition and all that.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Very cool. So, you’ve been even in this space for 40 – 50 plus years. That’s amazing. Let’s kind of dive in, we have a couple of topics that we chatted about ahead of time that we really wanna dive into. So, immune stress is a big issue that we have today. A lot of immune stressors from our environment from food to different infections, etc. You know, one of the top things you are doing to help improve your immune system, like you know, let’s forget about hydration obviously getting some sunlight, you know, good whole food diet, you know, just kind of all the foundational things. What things that people talk about, um, that you want to add here, people that haven’t, different things, people haven’t talked about enough that you wanna add in that really would help improve people’s immune function and stress?  

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yeah. Well, the first thing I look at is quality of life they have, how do they sleep at night, how do they get up in the morning, how much indoor activity are they getting in front of a computer, a cellphone, all these EMF is affecting our own system, our immune system. It’s, um, not able to function as well as we want to so I just tell them to get out in the sun in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening, go for walks, just be in outdoor not indoor. You know, we were trained to be outdoor most of our lives. Our ancestors are outdoor. We developed from, uh, from the sun and from nature and from the ocean. And that’s why we got here. And by ruining us by being indoor, we’ve changed the attitude of our DNA and RNA and how it functions and that’s why we’re seeing a lot of people getting sick today. It’s not getting out in the sunshine, not developing natural vitamin D. So, I have to tell them to take additional vitamin D everyday and some vitamin A and E and I always include aspirin at night because that promotes many anti-inflammatory mechanisms and it has a tremendous benefit in our blood, in our circulation, in our mitochondria. And first thing I do, because of my background, I wanted to know who we were, how we did get to this stage, where we are today as humans, how did our brain develop and that’s important and it was all related to four billion years ago. Our mitochondria, an organelle bacterial mitochondrion that created everything and started the living systems life in on the planet earth and plants. Everything is developed through these mitochondria and so I went into it and I wanted to research it so much as I can become a sponge for this one organelle, how it works and how important it is. And there’s a fellow named Douglas Wallace, who wrote many articles and is like the father of mitochondria. So, by researching him and reading about him and also about repeating his work in mitochondria, I started learning that everything is based on this one organelle, how do we improve that organelle that mitochondria efficient energy that’s what gives us energy to every cell in our body. And I wanted to learn everything I can about what makes these mitochondria efficiently. An immune system functions on mitochondria, stem cells function on mitochondria repair, regeneration and all disease and aging is a factor due to this efficient mitochondrial function. And cancer cells also are involved because of the mitochondria, how effective is the mitochondria is producing energy, it’s oxidative metabolism and that’s the foundation.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay. So, you get put a couple of things out there, I want to just break them up one by one. Some people maybe listening to this saying, “hey I can’t get outside that many times a day, what can I do to improve, uh, healthier monitors, low blue light, low flicker light, full of spectrum lightning”. What can people do to kind of change their office and their house where they’re out all day to improve light, um, um, uh, light activation via says, um, say like I have full light spectrum on now? What can people do inside their home to improve light, if they can’t get outside as much? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Good question, Justin. I see a lot of patients, uh, there are in cubicles, you know, in dark rooms working. The first thing, I tell them is get close to a window or get enough natural from the sun by being exposed to, uh, somewhere that has windows or in condensing lights that are natural lights, you know. We want to bring back the natural state of light closes to the sun, so we can bring. All these LED lights are not natural.  We’re not getting the natural lightning and like you said blue light is dangerous and that’s where the computers and cellphones and nighttime television and nighttime to, you know, working on texting or using cellphones for, you know, um, you know, being on it too much is creating problems and neurological problems as well and that’s why people can’t sleep well because they’re bombarded by blue light which is dangerous to our brain. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There are some good monitors out there that are eye care monitors that are low flicker, low blue light monitors. Those are great, I have three big ones in front of me that will help decrease the flicker and the blue light, the lighting I have here are full spectrum, so you can look at investing some full spectrum light bulbs to plug into those sources where you have lighting in your office. That helps a lot. Anything else that you personally, um, apply or do in your home or office? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Well, I also to get them out for several minutes at a time. So, if they’re indoors, just go outside for about 5 – 10 minutes, at least expose yourself to some light and then you can go back to work. Don’t stay indoors all day long without exposing yourself to natural light. Because that what creates mitochondrial function, that’s what creates, um, all that natural biochemical process that we need to perform better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. That’s great. Let’s talk about the mitochondria. You kind of already hit it right? The mitochondria are essentially the powerhouse of our cells. They generate ATP, which is like the cellular currency of our body. Vitamin D or I should say sunlight helps charge it. What about diet? There’s a lot of, I should say, a lot of, um, conflicting ideas about it right? I’ve seen many places where the mitochondria runs off of glucose and creates dirty fuel that we really wanna be using the carnitine shuttle and using fatty acids and being a little bit more ketogenic to run the mitochondria and not fueling up with too much carbs. I know guys like Ray Peat talk about more using orange juice and more refined juices. What’s your take on that? I know you’re a little bit more controversial on some of the carb stuff but go ahead. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Um, well, I’ve been, you know, I’ve been following Ray Peat but I’ve also had a chance to meet and work with, um, Linus Pauling and he was a big advocate of orange juice and he explained to me the importance of orange juice with the flavonoids, the vitamin C is natural in orange juice. And the flavonoids, like Apigenin, Arginine and Naringin and Fisetin. These are very important compounds that increase the electron flow into the mitochondria so there’s efficient ATP production and CO2 is the byproduct of efficient ATP. Lactic acid is inflammatory. It becomes an inflammatory nature, and that’s how cancer cells derived themselves by lactic acid. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is lactic acid a powerful stimulator for growth hormone too? Don’t we make that when we exercise as well. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Um, we do but lactic acid causes inflammation in our body and we get cramps and deterioration and joint problems and we break down cartilage and ligaments and tendons. And just simply I used to do with my athletes, I used to give them baking soda, a quarter of a teaspoon to a teaspoon every day, twice a day to help them recover from lactic acid so they have more energy and their recovery is much faster and they don’t break down as fast and then I started adding the collagen bases, the vitamin D, the calcium, and the vitamin C from orange juice. That all helped. So, what I wanted to look at is how do we increase the oxidative metabolism and reduce the reduction state. So, you have oxidation and you have reduction state. And the reduction state is the byproduct of ATP burning in our body for fuel and energy and we wanna be able to bring back the oxidative state so we have the electron flow that breaks the food that we eat into energy which is glucose and that glucose is the metabolism of the gasoline of our body that fuels us and allows us to produce and function and be able to repair ourselves.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, what kind of glucose sources are we talking in, um, from fruit which is gonna be mostly fructose but some glucose or starch which will be more glucose. I mean we’re not advocating lots of refined sugar or processed grains right. What kind of sources and then would this still be a good idea if someone’s maybe more sedentary and insulin resistant? Are these people from who are more flexible, metabolically flexible and more active, how do you make that prescription?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Well, myself in working with many patients, many athletes, I found that one of the best things I did in the morning for my athletes to perform better and I work with the Rams, Raiders, Lakers, uh, you know, all these, um, Kansas City Chiefs as you can sees in the background, I have Howie Long back there, who was one of my patients, is I found that if I can increase uncoupling protein, increase mitochondria, what increases mitochondria, it’s what we eat and the supplements we take like anything that we, uh, if we have coffee. We did a study and we found out that coffee with sugar and cream, actually the athletes perform better and we saw an increase in mitochondrial function. And if we, did it with tea, we found that if we put sugar and cream of milk, we found the same result. So, it’s that, process of in the morning, have the orange juice, have your coffee with sugar and cream and the same thing with tea, we need sugar to operate on glucose metabolism. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is these for every person, I mean obviously you’re a lean kind of more ectomorphic kind of body type, you’re active. So, for you, is that makes sense but that makes sense if you’re overweight though as well? And you’re more insulin resistant, would that be a good recommendation for them or should we allow some of these people to go off of gluconeogenesis to help convert maybe glucose in their body via protein, which is more time released? How do you make that more specific?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Working with, you know, going back to this ‘80s, ’81, ’82, I wanted to study on performance and recovery. That was my job at UCLA. That was what given a job and I worked n caloric restriction diet, I worked on you know mitochondria performance, uh, with the university. And what I found is that, since we start consuming too much carbs, you know pastas and breads and flours and iron rich foods, we have caused more obesity and diabetes and heart attacks. When the oils came into play, all the seed oils from canola to sunflowers, pollock, cotton, all those, we had an increase in heart disease and diabetes and cancer. So, the two things we saw was, when we start producing grains and pastas and breads and flowers, this is a new part of our diet, you know, it wasn’t in a thousand years ago or a hundred thousand years ago, we were a gatherer and a hunter and we ate from the roots and we ate fruits. So, when we changed our diet, we saw a difference in disease stages increasing. And so, people who are, uh, overweight, it has nothing to do with sugar. Its people are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet, they’re consuming too much phosphorus and there’s a gene called Klotho, k-l-o-t-h-o, and that gene regulates kidney function, biologically all our function is controlled by that one gene, uh, upregulating calcium into our bone. Osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, if we have too much phosphorus, we’re removing calcium out from the bone, and we’re generating as an inflammatory condition in the body and that’s why we have osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer and heart disease. But if have more calcium in our diet from dairy products, from eggs, from cheeses and predominantly those kinds of foods and they’re higher in amino acids utilization foods. You know, we found that eggs and milk are the two highest in AAU, amino acids utilization, in our body and by consuming those kinds of foods, we found that people are healthier. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, what about, so, you’re talking about, um, calcium is good, we need more of that. What about magnesium? Where does magnesium sits on that hierarchy?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: It is essential. There’s no doubt because of cardiovascular disease and also it helps calcium absorption into the cells, into the bones, into our bone marrow. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And other patients that you would say, you shouldn’t be doing these orange juice, you shouldn’t be doing the extra sugar, who are these people? You’re dealing with a lot of athletes, someone who’s 30, 40, 50 pounds overweight and more insulin resistant, would you say hey maybe be careful on that stuff? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I’ve taken on a lot of patients, uh, since I retired from chiropractic and I have a group of people that I work with and I have a friend at Ohio State University food and science department and he and his mother have diabetes. They’re not active, you gotta understand, so when I started giving them more sugar fructose or sucrose in their diet, I was able to completely reverse their diabetic problems.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I would, I’d wanna know what was their diet before. Are you reducing the amount of glucose because, we know diabetes has to do with high amounts of, um, glucose in the bloodstream, so there tends to be a resistance to the insulin right and so we have glucose accumulating, so how does giving more of that actually lower your glucose level? Physiologically that doesn’t make sense to me.

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Okay. I had a chance, there was a fellow at UCSF and he and I spoke about two years ago right before the COVID came on, we met at, uh, we met and he was doing stem cells for, uh, the pancreas, how to improve, uh, insulin function again, how we repair the body back to natural state where we don’t have to give them diabetes medication and I had, uh, I asked them one thing, would you do me a favor when you do a stem cells, would you do me a favor, increase the sugar intake in the patient. He reported back to me that he double the effects of the stem cells in diabetic patients and we came into conclusion that glucose and fructose improve the mitochondrial function and produces insulin more efficiently. And he was, he didn’t even thought about that, he didn’t even think that glucose was that essential and  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s in the presence of stem cells, right? What if you don’t have stem cells because I mean we know that, we know that, um, type 2 diabetes over 20,30 years, we know beta cell function of the pancreas and insulin production actually drop and they become insulin dependent over a long period of time. So, if that theory were to make sense, why are people becoming insulin dependent over decades later. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I want you to go back and study a guy named Peori and Bronk, B-r-o-n-k and Peori is another fellow. One from France and one from England. Ray Peat has it in his newsletters, I reviewed their studies. They gave 16 ounces of sugar to diabetic patients and they give a collagen type of diet with, you know, oxtail soup or a lamb shank, things that were high in collagen. They completely reverse all diabetic patients. I have taken retired athletes, you know, had diabetes and heart issues, okay. I studied their diet, I looked at them and these guys are not like active anymore. They’re not like football players or athletes that they were when they were young. They had all these issues with, uh, diabetes and heart disease and I look at their diet and I stopped them having them have breakfast with just toast and peanut butter or oatmeal or you know, without protein. I asked them to start using orange juice, apple juice, grape juice and sugar in their coffee and tea. I monitored them. I was able to get them off any diabetic medication completely and these about 30 to 40 people I monitored and I have so many people that are, uh, one person came to me, um, that was, uh, a fellow who started, was involved in a company that got the solar technology going especially in one of the ballparks that the 49ers played and he was a retired football player as well and he had diabetic problems and he was gonna be put on insulin and he asked me if I would work with him and I said, absolutely. He trusted me enough because of other people in the family that use, uh, were, you know, using me for nutritional consultation all recovered and one of them was a lung cancer patient who recovered 100 percent. And I put them on this higher sugar diet meaning fruits, orange juice, coffee and sugar and all that and his doctor in San Jose says, a month later, two months he came back and he says all your blood report came back perfect. He’s never seen anybody recover that fast. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it’s interesting because I have, I have hundreds of, you know, observations the opposite right? Restricting a lot of those sugars and allowing the body to start burning more fat and then the cells become more sensitive. I guess, the question I would ask is, what was their diet like ahead of time because if someone’s diet’s worse and even though you’re adding all this sugar it could be less sugar and then three would be, how much activity are they getting? Are they burning it all up with their muscles and mitochondria right after they consuming it? Are they sitting all day doing an office job and still, um, maintaining insulin sensitivity while being sedentary? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yeah. No, I got it. I understand, you, uh, nutrition and diet is very important. What I look at, I look at things that causes oxidative damage to the thyroid and to the mitochondria. What are they? High phosphorus foods, unsaturated fats, okay, those and, and overload with iron. Too much iron, causes damage to our blood cells okay.  And so, I’m looking at increasing cytochrome oxidase enzymes by increasing copper, by increasing NAD output, so that’s your B3 niacinamide, your B1, B2. All of these are important. Vitamin D and vitamin A and breaking, and having them eat more of high protein, high cholesterol diet. In my study, I did a lot of research in longevity, and the people that I’ve study and I just lost one patient, three months four months ago, it was on national television. She was 114 years old. Her diet was very high in dairy. That’s how I had her on since ’92 and she was eating that before. Her diet was basically milk, cheeses and a piece of bread. That was her diet pretty much and her coffee and sugar and that’s it. And so, I’ve been looking that for a long time, is studying people that live the longest like in Bolivia, in the area of Georgia and Turkey, and what do they consume is they consume mostly dairy products and they consume things that are natural. They don’t eat much of the pastas and breads and grains and oat meals because that’s not their diet. So, I look at their diet, I wanna make sure if I can raise the NAD+ levels, you know, the oxidative metabolism, that’s the secret. How did I do that? I studies with Douglas, uh, I studied with so many of the great minds out their in mitochondrial research and Klotho research, and I found out that glucose metabolism is a secret, how do we increase that and how do we bring down unsaturated fats, increase saturated fats because high cholesterol actually increases longevity and most of my..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s an antioxidant

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yep. It’s an antioxidant. It helps with brain development. It helps with libido and hormones. And I put everybody at not to worry about high cholesterol, I put them in a diet that’s rich in cholesterol, saturated fats, steric acid, all these things that we need to develop with. And I found by doing all of these with my patients and increasing the glucose metabolism and giving them sugar because most of my patients are very fatigued, they’re tired, they’re depressed, they have anxiety issues, and by just changing them, increases some sugar in their body, I’ve been able to see a difference in all of them. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I would imagine though, these people that are already sick though, probably have a lot of sugar in their body already. They’re probably eating lots of processed grains and flowers and sodas. So, my chole rationale on this whole thing, how does adding more of what’s already there, how does that fix anything because they’re already eating a lot of processed grains and processed sugars, how does adding that in a different form fix it? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Okay. You set the magic work. We’re eating too much grains, pastas breads, what is, those are very high of what? Phosphorus foods.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But they’re also going to break down the sugar in the body, they still break down the sugar. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yes. They break it down differently than if I eat a fruit, okay. If I eat a fruit. What is around that fruit? Minerals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Potato fiber. Fiber as well. Some vitamin C and bioflavonoids. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yes. So, If I’m eating that, I have sugar from a natural source that is not converted, doesn’t have anything to do with phosphorus. Phosphorus is one of the leading causes of diseases today and I’ve studies the Klotho gene from universities, from Stanford, from UCSF, from UCLA and I’ve learned that most of the grains and pastas and breads and processed foods are very rich and high in phosphorus and we’re losing vitamin K, we’re losing calcium in our body and it’s affecting vitamin D levels. And that’s why I agree with you, these processed foods are not our, uh, the foods that we should be eating and they’re not nature, you know, they’re not coming from nature.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Isn’t there a natural ratio too with calcium, phosphorus. So, is it the fact that phosphorus is a problem or is it more that we’re not getting enough calcium to combat the phosphorus?   

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Both. You hit it both.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, if you’re getting phosphor, because you’re going to get phosphorus in animal products too, right? You’ll be getting in meat so, we’re not saying meat ‘s bad, you’re just saying make sure you get enough calcium to balance it off is that what you’re saying?   

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I don’t eat much meat anymore. Okay. I’m learning..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How much meat are you consuming but you’re still doing a lot of collagens though, right? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I do collagen but my predominant diet is now shellfish

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. So, you’re still doing animal protein, you’re just choosing on the crustacean side. You’ve got it. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I’m using more copper rich foods in my diet because cytochrome oxidase enzyme, a complex for, is essential for mitochondrial function and we’re not getting enough copper rich foods anymore. We’re getting too much iron, we’re getting too much phosphorus, we’re not getting enough copper in our diet. So, I’m choosing foods that are higher in copper and less in iron and less in phosphorus and I see a difference in myself. You know.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I know for a long time, you were a big fan of grass-fed meat. Are you still a fan of grass-fed meat? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: No. I think, grass-fed beef, if you’re gonna go for meat, grass-fed is the only one because, it is higher in vitamin E and less in unsaturated fats than the hormone or the estrogenic meats that we’re seeing today because of the hormones and they [inaudible] 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The hormones. And then also you’re getting a lot of goof fatty acids because these grass-fed cows, they’re essentially bioaccumulating the GLA fats from the grass, correct? So, you’re getting a really good high quality, um, uh, I think saturated fat from a lot the, um, fats that are concentrated from the grass. Is that correct?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Exactly!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, you talked about these polyunsaturated. Why are these fats so bad, obviously, the processing of a lot of these fats whether it’s canola or soy, etc., damages a lot of them, right? And so, once they’re damaged and oxidized, they essentially create our building blocks for our membrane. So now, we have a really crappy cell membrane it’s depleting our antioxidant reserves. So, it’s depleting vitamin E, vitamin C. Is that correct? And these fats stay in our cells for a long time. Can you talk more about that? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Okay. In lipid chemistry at Stanford. I had a chance to meet several people there and at the Back institute. And I was asking them questions about cell membrane and mitochondria, and Linus Pauling Institute. They told me in their research that if it’s not saturated fats, if it’s not mono or medium chain triglycerides, anything that is high in unsaturated fats causes cell membrane oxidative damage to the mitochondria, uh, lipids okay, and they become oxidize and become damage, the RNA and DNA of the mitochondria gets damaged. And so, all unsaturated fats will do that to the, um, mitochondrial lipids, okay? And, um, I read several, major published articles on it and also not only does it damage our mitochondria. It also damages our cells in all other parts of the body and parts of the brain as well. And it causes oxidative damage to the thyroid. The thyroid is so important. It’s the organ that controls metabolic function, hormonal function, metabolism, everything. Polyunsaturated oils damage the T4 – T3 conversion. Okay?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Yeah. Make sense. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: And so, every..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Probably effects the autoimmunity, right? Because most thyroid issues have autoimmune component. So, if you drive these polyunsaturated that are damaged, you’re probably just driving more inflammation, right, and you’re depleting a lor of these antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory as well. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: You’re absolutely right, Justin, that we’re seeing an increase in inflammation due to these fats. In nature, we weren’t using oils from seeds. That’s something else. Seeds were made to grow things. They weren’t made to eat and..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Or if we ate them, we soaked them. There was a way that we try to deactivate a lot of these anti-nutrients and lectins via certain methods. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yes. You mean sprouting?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Exactly. Yep. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: So, that’s the other problem with the, um, with the unsaturated fats and there was a lot of, uh, Gilbert Ling showed that it was causing a lot of, uh, cell membrane issues to and, um, the other thing also not only that but it can, it raises estrogen in our body and estrogen is a promoter of growth of cancer and it’s also an inflammatory marker and lowers oxidative metabolism in the mitochondria. Vernon Stevens at Ohio State university and Cleveland, um, cancer clinic showed that estrogen is a predominant marker of all cancer cells. It’s in the cell membrane of all cancer cells and he showed that in his studies that estrogen leads to all these processes and by reducing unsaturated fats, therefore reduce some of the estrogen. By increasing progesterone and DHEA in our diet, we also lower estrogen. And estrogen can cause many oxidative damages, inflammation and raises serotonin and histamine and we have autoimmune disease from that as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Makes sense. Now, with estrogens, are you also worried about aromatase in men for instance high levels of insulin primarily driven by too much sugar. Are you worried about aromatase causing that high level of estrogen and thus increasing cancer risk n men for instance?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Can we put a hole for a second? I have the people here. Hold on.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sure, no problem, we’ll pause it really quick here. Or actually, I’ll just, I’ll keep chatting here while you, uh, jump over. So, it’s a couple of things that we want to highlight here, mitochondria, very important, I mean, I guess some of the things that Dr. Bernd and I may disagree on is about how much glucose a person needs. I would say out of the gates, um, glucose you can get away with more processed glucose and more refined sugars, the more active you are and the more genetically you ten to be more towards an ectomorph, right. Look at Michael Phelps back and I think it was maybe, two Olympics ago, they showed his breakfast or what he ate during the day. It was like pancakes and junk. I’m just saying, it was 10,000 calories, I was thinking, I’m like man, if that guy actually ate 10,000 calories of food that was more nutrient dense imagine how much better he performed. But again, when someone’s that active, they can deal with all the refined carbohydrates and sugars and they can handle it. Now, again, if someone has a gluten sensitivity and, uh, other food allergens such as dairy and cheeses that maybe problematic and that may cause IBS and other types of issues. So, I would say carbohydrate loads should really be dependent upon on how active someone is, um, their genetic predisposition to be able to handle that high level of carbohydrate and also with their what their activity level is. Some people they consume a bunch of carbohydrates bunch of pasta. They are prone to getting tired. Some eat a bunch of glucose and pasta and they actually get more active. Now, I would say also better to do things that are more starchy, squash, sweet potato, an anti-inflammatory because gluten sensitivity is a big deal, uh, the more gluten that you’re consuming and the more sensitive you are to it, the more that may drive inflammation, uh, create gut permeability issues and also, um, increase chance of autoimmunity and so we want to choose safe starches that are gonna be anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense and low toxin. All right, he’s back. I was just chatting with everyone here as we go. So, let’s just kind of dive into the mitochondria, you mentioned aspirin. Now, are you worried about any of the side effects of the acetylsalicylic acid which is essentially is aspirin and then could people also do white willow bark as well if they wanted to avoid the actual pharmaceutical maybe due to the actual bark it said? And are you worried about those side effects?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Not at all. I’ve been using aspirin for I’ve got 40 years for now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For listeners, aspirin is derived from white willow bark. So, if you want to try it, you can also get the actual whole herb, the whole bark, can do it that way too. Go ahead. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander:  So, about 1984, when I was working with, uh, Olympic athletes then I became, uh, I worked with the Raiders and Rams that year and then Lakers, the following year. I studied from a cell physiologist at UCLA. How to improve, you know, mitochondria, uncoupling protein, energy into the, uh, individual performance. And there was a study that somebody showed me that, um, aspirin helps with coffee in raising uncoupling proteins. So, when I gave people aspirin with coffee, with sugar and cream, they doubled their performance level. It was almost like a steroid they said. It was so much they couldn’t believe it. Not only that, we saw, uh, less injuries in our athletes. Our injuries levels were going down dramatically. So, we knew it had to be what the aspirin as well because weren’t getting the strains and strains of calves and ankles, that you know, in athletes that were performing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, hold on. One second, what does that mean uncoupling proteins. Can you kind of break that down what that means?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: That means your improving the electron flow into the mitochondria. You’re getting more, new, uh, ability to take electrons and oxygen and there’s a chemical reaction in the mitochondria, there’s a spin there that goes on. The ATP spin, you know, that gives us that spin to make energy in the mitochondria. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what’s the mechanism is that from aspirin decreasing inflammation and improving just the flow, it’s improving the blood flow of these nutrients? What’s the mechanism? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: It has to be the combination of the coffee, the caffeine, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The alkaloids 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: the high magnesium and the anti-inflammatory mechanism of the coffee and the aspirin that increased that electron flow through the cell membrane and it created a faster spin, so you’re getting more efficient ATP production. And you know, aspirin is also can lower fatty acid sequences which is a major factor in all cancer cells. It’s Otto Warburg says, if you don’t have sufficient oxygen to, uh, as a respiratory function in a cell, then you’re not gonna have efficient energy and cancer cells don’t have efficient energy. They break down to lactic acid and that’s the problem. Well. Aspirin protects us from the lactic acid production, that’s another factor and helps with raising CO2, carbon dioxide, which is the byproduct of energy and why we train in high altitude is because we want more CO2 which helps us in energy and metabolism and this improvement and quality of endurance because of steel too and so we found that aspirin also helps with raising CO2 levels which is essential form more energy and recovery from injuries and all that.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Well, anything else you want to leave the listeners with? And by the way would you recommend just any day generic baby aspirin or do you have any brands that have less fillers or dyes or preservatives in there? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I go and I want you to have. I just get Walgreens brand. Their brand, it’s aspirin Walgreens or any brand that’s not, you know, like bears it’s I see less recipients. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. And if people wanna still get that benefit, they could still try to find some White Willow bark which is what aspirin is made from. So that’s another option natural alternative. If someone wants it to be a little bit more natural in their approach that’s a good option as well. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: About 13 years ago, I was lecturing at an anti-aging conference in Las Vegas and San Jose, and one of the cardiologists, who was also lecturing, we started talking about the importance, there was a lecture on aspirin at the same conference by one of the scientists at Bayer. He showed that aspirin increases a gene called Foxo, f-o-x-o, which is a longevity gene that’s found in longevity people. And aspirin increases this function of Foxo gene to be more efficient and to keep it from burning down or help to over express it. So, we found that it works phenomenally well.  And we went to that conference and we saw all the values of aspirin. It helps with bone growth and bone development and cartilage repair and lowers inflammation, increases CO2 levels. The cardiologists, I asked them, how does this work in your sense of understanding of the heart and the blood flow. He says that aspirin protects us, if we take it every night, from developing a clot, from developing a stroke, from platelets aggregating each other, from oxidative damage.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But, what would you recommend other things like systemic enzymes or higher dose fish oil, would you recommend other natural things or curcumin or ginger first or do you really think aspirin is just as good or if not better than those natural compounds too? 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I have studied every herb out there with Elizabeth Mazzeo. She’s the world leading expert in inflammatory plants. Aspirin was by was far, the only plant, the only natural thing that has prostaglandin 1, prostaglandin 2, which is COX1 and 2 inhibitors. There’s not a compound out there that inhibits both prostaglandins 1 and 2 and many do 1, many do 2, but nothing comes close to doing 1 and 2. Boswellia was the second most powerful under aspirin, Boswellia. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Boswellia, okay, which is essentially Frankincense. And were not putting things like Ibuprofen or NSAIDs in the same category that increased chance of ulcers and liver damage, right? I mean those kill about 20 thousand people taking a year. Taking correctly, they work great but they have some side effects. You wouldn’t put aspirin in that same camp, right?  

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: No, aspirin by far so much better because it doesn’t cost liver damage and the other, you said something very interesting, all these other ones, they have a problem, they cause a hypometabolic function. They don’t improve mitochondrial function. That was the second thing that we did a study with. In lipid chemistry is what increases mitochondrial function and aspirin seems to be the only one besides Fisetin, which is gonna be the next future, that increases electron flow into the mitochondria. And that’s what we’re seeing and I take 325 milligrams every night before I go to bed. That’s what the cardiologist told me that protects us against strokes, blood clots by, uh, you know, anything that causes platelet damage or anything like that, 325. 81 did not do much at all in that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Okay. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: And then, I have many athletes still that I work with, I haven’t taken aspirin in the morning as a protective mechanism against injury, inflammation and at night and they seem to do better when they’re doing that then their recovery is better, the less injuries. And again, anything that I can raise the oxidative function of our metabolism, our mitochondria is what I consume in foods and also what I do with nutrients like B1, B2 and niacinamide and vitamin D and vitamin K. All the quinones are very powerful that’s what William Coker came up with his cancer treatment. How to increase quinones in our body and it was basically oxidative metabolism improvement.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what was the dose of aspirin again? Was it 350 milligrams?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: I take 325. I’ll share with you, there’s a doctor in San Diego who called me up 15 – 20 years ago. I did an article, I did a lecture podcast on Methylene blue, which also helps with increasing oxidative metabolism and increases mitochondria. I got a call from this doctor, he’s very well known in San Diego, very alternative of thinking, you know, he’s not your conservative doctor, but he thinks above the outside the box. And he wanted, he had a patient that had Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. I forgot, I think, it was Alzheimer’s and he saw my, uh, video on podcast from Silicon Valley, and he asked me about methylene blue dosage. He wants to try it on his patient and I told him what to do, how much milligrams per day and all that. Then he asked me, I got a question for you, my father has stomach cancer. So, he asked me what can he do. So, I gave him a hope program and everything and I told him to do a thousand milligrams of aspirin to 2,000 because I saw the research that aspirin and vitamin D3 can reverse cancer. Okay. So, I told him about the D3 and I told him about the aspirin. Six months later, he calls me up wants to know about Parkinson’s and methylene blue and then I realized I was, I realized who he was, I said how’s your father with the cancer? He said, he’s completely cured. I said, “how long did it take him”. “Six months”. “Wow. What did you do with him, I said, “What did I tell you because I forgot it was six-seven months ago”? Yeah. He took a thousand milligrams of aspirin every day, 3 aspirins, morning, afternoon, evening with vitamin K and also baking soda, so he didn’t have an upset stomach. He’s one of the third people that I talked to with colon or stomach cancer that reversed it just by using aspirin. I was amazed, you know, that it just took aspirin to do that.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow. That’s great. 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Many reports and I went to PubMed and Medline and PLOS and I read of Ray Peat’s articles. Aspirin is a wonder drug and I didn’t realize until that study that we went to the anti-aging conference in Las Vegas, where the fellow from Bayer spoke about the importance of aspirin, not only inflammation but prolonging longevity and other factors that are necessary. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Very cool. I mean, I think anyone listening here, if they’re on the fence that’s an option. They can also jump on the herb, I think also keeping inflammation down be your diet’s probably, you know, probably the best thing out of the gates like you mentioned like vitamin D. Anything else you want to leave the listeners with here, Bernd, that you we didn’t have enough time to get but you wanna highlight it before we go here?

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Well, again, like I said, I think the most important is reduce the indoor, you know, climate, uh, get more sunlight, get natural lighting like you said in condensing, full spectrum lighting is important.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct, full spectrum, that makes sense

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: You know, and make sure the most important thing here is what I found in people with weight problems and anybody. I try to get them to have a good breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal. If you’re gonna have it at 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, it is the most important meal and it should be 50 grams, 25 to 50 grams of protein. Don’t have a starch, don’t have a croissant, don’t have a peanut butter sandwich, don’t have an oat meal. Worst thing to do in the morning, you wanna build that thyroid function and you wanna increase mitochondrial function. So, good protein, I love pasteurized, uh, pasture eggs, I love cheeses like Manchego, anybody know or Feta cheese or goat cheese and cottage cheese and I have my orange juice and my coffee every single day. Never have any problems with weight problems or tiredness or fatigue and I sleep like a log every day.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good. Excellent. Well, I appreciate the really good feedback here, Bernd, I mean your wealth of knowledge. You’ve been in this field for nearly 50 years, so I appreciate it the clinical information. Hopefully listeners can take one thing out of this here. I think it’s great, um, again, Bernd website, is it 

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll put the link down below here for you all. Bernd is a great friend and a wealthy of knowledge. Bernd, thanks for everything. Thanks for chatting here today.   


Audio Podcast:

Recommended products:

Immuno Supreme

Thyro Replete

Iodine Synergy



The Top 5 Ways Your Water Could Be Hurting You & How to Fix It | Podcast #350

We need to stay hydrated but is the tap water in your home safe? When we drink water at your house, it must meet strict safety standards as well.

Water can be contaminated in several ways, according to Dr. J and Israel. It can contain bacteria and parasites that get in the water from human or animal fecal matter. It can contain chemicals from industrial waste, spraying crops, and many more. That’s why it is essential to invest in water filters if you can or make sure that your water source is safe to avoid health problems in the long run.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:19 – Fluoride
6:06 – Chlorine
10:45 – How does Clearly Filtered work?
18:47 – Herbicides/Pesticides
19:56 – Pharmaceutical Drugs
26:03 – Contaminants Detected
30:53 – Benefits and advantages of Clearly Filtered

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s doctor Justin Marchegiani here. I have Israel Passwater on the show today. We are gonna be talking about water, water filtration, some of the top five toxins that may be in your water and hurting your health. So, really excited to have Israel on today’s podcast. Israel, how we doing today man? 

Israel Passwater:  Doing good man. Thanks for having me, Justin. It’s a great day, great to be here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, really excited to have you on. Um, one of the reasons why I have Israel on, he’s an expert in water and water filtration and the different technology but Israel also has a product to it’s basically, the better Brita filter right. We all know the Brita filters, right. The problem with them, they make the water taste a little bit better but they don’t filter out a lot of the other toxins. In Israel, it’s a product that actually filters out more of the toxins and It’s a kind of a low-cost product to kind of get into the water filtration space and I’m really excited. I talk about whole house water filtration, a lot of counter top, um, reverse osmosis systems. Those are great, they also involve a little bit of install, you may not be at a property that allows you to do it. So, this technology allows you to do it passively. It’s like a Brita filter for your fridge but gets of more of the toxins and more of the crap out of the water. We’re gonna go into the technology and some of the things that we need to be avoiding in our water to have healthier metabolism. So first off like, what is the number one thing in water today that needs to be filter out that could be hurting our health? 

Israel Passwater: That’s a great question. It depends on who you ask, um, from our perspective fluoride would probably be the number one, because it’s in about 75% of the water supply, uh, internationally and nationally. So, that’s one that we believe to be in science has shown that there are, uh, issues or questions at least on the long term effects of that, uh, so typically when people are looking for, uh, like a water filter that will come about us, they say I’m looking for best water pitcher that filters fluoride or heavy metals or whatever it is you’re, you, you look on the news and you say, oh there was a contamination outbreak and there’s lead in the pipes and it’s in the water supply that’s where you know good parents like us will go and say, okay well, I need to find a solution to that. And that’s usually where people will find us without, oh wow clearly filtered. I think I’ve heard about them. If they haven’t heard of us, oh that’s pretty cool. So that’s usually the start of the journey is realizing that there is, uh, there’s toxins in the water and it’s not ah, oh maybe, oh gosh, I wonder if it’s really a real thing. It’s proven scientific. Um, so that’s usually where people kind of stumble upon us and not to start off with a scare tactic but again, that’s kind of what we do. We provide a layer of safety to bring help, people live healthier lives, you know, so we’re just. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, awesome, yeah. So, we have fluoride. Right now, there’s a lot of misconceptions on fluoride. A lot of people think of fluoride, they think of like, um, calcium fluoride, there’s some natural fluoride in the environment. You know, what we’re talking about is more of the Hydrofluorosilicic acid, more of the synthetic fluorides that, um, you know, a lot of dentists that are well-intentioned topically, may put on someone’s teeth to help make the enamel stronger, the problem is when you’re swallowing it, it’s a little bit different. It’s like seeing the benefits of sunscreen, so you don’t get burned and saying well let’s put in in the water and drink it right, so there maybe, you know, a lot of the data out there, maybe some of the benefits of fluoride, maybe more topical, but we’re talking about ingesting it orally. So probably not the best right? It’s good if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna be on a medication which fluoride is that you actually dose it. You don’t really control the dose when you put it in the water supply. So, I think that’s a good point and uh, keeping that out is beneficial and there’s a lot of studies if you go on pubmed and fluoride in the water supply and fluoride correlations affecting thyroid function and going down and even IQ going down. So, a lot of things there to kind of highlight from an implication standpoint. 

Israel Passwater: I hate going to the dentist. But last time you go to the dentist, they do the fluoride treatment, what they tell you to do, they don’t tell you to swallow it right, they say no, rinse your mouth out, right? It’s like, it’s like they go, okay well, that makes sense but then people realize that you had fluoride and stuff like chloride being in the water. It may serve a purpose but maybe not the purpose they intended it to do so. I think maybe good intentions or at the time in 1920s or 30s when they started fluorinating the water. It was because not everyone had great dental care and access to dental, dental health, you know, so again, the rationale for doing was much different, well, and then it also depends on who you ask but again that was one of the main historical pinpoints why they started doing that but as we know, doctors also used to recommend smoking for lung capacities too in the 1920s and 30s. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And even sugar consumption as well, and anyone that has a kid that has like, you know, typical Colgate toothpaste, go look on the back of it, right it says you know, pinky size, pinky size amount and then it says, if you swallow, call poison control. So you know, there’s some understanding that this stuff is harmful and it’s always better to use a healthier toothpaste as well and get the fluoride out of your water, I think that’s a good first step. Also, I think half of all cavities, I think in teenagers and caused by dental fluorosis, meaning too much fluoride actually, causing the enamel almost crack. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. It’s an over-fluoridation that the concentration. So, yeah, there’s again, it depends on who you ask, but most people that have spent anytime and obviously you have looking and researching and I would encourage everyone and again, I’m a big believer because again, I come an educator’s background, um, again, I want everyone to do their own research, always like trust but verify, um, but the internet is a powerful place and there’s a lot of things, and Justin and I were talking right before we went live and I think the cool part about, you know, living in the society that we have and sometimes scary part is the access to technology that you have at your fingertips on your iphone, uh, stuff you can research, you know, if you have trouble sleeping at night. It’s like there’s a lot of information out there, so again, I like to encourage people, whatever you know, if it’s you know, our brand or another brand, whatever, just do the research, find out what your, what’s on your water supply and you know, be aware you know and obviously drive cautiously in that sense, you know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. People are listening, if they’re really interested, I put a link down below for the clearly filtered water filter, It’ll be right below, so if you guys want to take a look at it, we’re going to just go into what those big toxins are and the technology in a few minutes. So, we hit fluoride, why don’t we go to chloride next, right, I mean chlorine has well-intentioned right? It has reasons there to kill bacteria and kill things like that, but the problem is they leave it in right and it kind of has a smell that everyone knows what that chlorine smell looks like or smells like, because of being in pools and stuff. Uh, let’s go over chlorine. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. I mean it just depends, like again, the rationale for keeping chlorine in the water was that for transportation, you know, the idea was that they’re transporting in pipes long over long distances, you know that was the intent initially. But again, they’ve seen that chlorine vapor can cause long term damage to vital organs and they’ve there’s all sorts, there’s no reason they should be, uh, in the water supply. So, from our perspective, again, that’s another villain that people obviously don’t think about you know. They don’t think about it, oh it’s chlorinated. We’ll, that chlorine smell is, you know, what do you do when you get out of the pool, you rinse off right? It’s like you go to your face. Hopefully it’s salt water, you could. If you’re fortunate enough to have a saltwater pool but you know, what you go, you’re going to rinse off, you don’t want your hair to turn all nasty and green if you have blond hair.  So again, there’s all different reasons that you say, okay well yeah, that’s chlorinated but should I be consuming that. You don’t drink pool water, but again there’s lesser concentrations obviously in the tap water but it does exist. So again, another reason people find us say, okay well, I want to take the chlorine out of my water, oh okay cool, so.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And a lot of times with that motivation, it’s more of just the taste and the smell, they just want the water to taste and smell a lot better right. So, there’s more of an anesthetic to that right?

Israel Passwater: Great point. So, a lot of it, like, if you go on our website, okay, this is I don’t want to make this salesly at all but I think if you look up different types of, uh, the contaminants we remove, a lot of the ones that are cancer caused into parts per billion not parts per million, so parts per billion. Like you take a medicine dropper, drop it in an Olympic sized swimming pool, since we’re talking about swimming pools but stay with the analogy that you take a mess and drop or drop, one drop some of these things are poisonous and parts per billion and that’s considered toxic and you think there’s a lot and the concentration is a lot higher than a lot of these. So, again, people don’t realize this and once they start to realize, they go, oh my gosh that’s really my water and there’s lots of different ways you can check your local water supply and see what’s in there and it’s truly eye-opening and if not scary. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.  And being a functional medicine doctor, I’m very concerned about gut health and I know chlorine has a lot of negative impacts on the microbiota in the gut too. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Oh, I forgot one of the things I was gonna say, a lot of the things you were talking about like odor so like chlorine. Like chlorine taste and odor is pretty standard like when you look at the industry for like water filtration kind of like benchmark. It doesn’t really much, but it’s like oh it tastes good, okay great, it must not be toxic. The problem is, most of the things that are cancer causing and you know, all sorts of detrimental things, you know like are, you can’t smell it, they’re odorless, they’re tasteless and you can’t see them because they’re microscopic. So that’s kind of going around with the sun, this illusion of safety, um, but again a lot of times you can’t see something that’s going to potentially be very harmful for you and your family. And that’s, I mean it’s scary but it’s true though so when people say, oh it tastes fine okay well or like, you know, I think my water taste fine because I live next to an aquifer or something like it. Again, the assumption is it’s safe but reality is that you know, most of the population has again with fluoride that 75 plus percent of the water supply is fluorinated, so. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then can’t chlorine convert to chloramine as well? Can you talk about that one?

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Uh, I’m trying to remember the process but yeah, they, It can, It can interact and one, the interaction sometimes can have detrimental effects as well. I’m blanking on the term, if you can prompt me that’s fine, but the point is these things shouldn’t be in the water supply anyway so, um, so yeah but yeah, so typically that’s how people find out about us or start thinking about us and that’s where we come in is like, a really good option, you know, so it’s like yeah you know, like I’m looking at your success pyramid, you know, like a lot lies underneath the surface and the same thing with water filtration. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It makes sense because they’re putting a lot of these compounds there because they’re trying to prevent, you know, the bacteria getting in the water along the way but in the end you’re gonna drink it and so it makes sense that there is some kind of end stage filtration that we put that water through before it goes in our mouth and we know if chlorine is affecting bacteria in the water well what’s what about all the eight pounds of bacteria in our gut. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah, it’s correct. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, it makes sense, we know 80% of our immune system is there. So, it’s gonna have negative impact with our microbiome, our immune function, so it’s good that we have ways to get it out.

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Especially if you’re immunocompromised too, that’s a real significant topic, you know, for people that are like yeah or just sensitive to certain things. You know, 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%

Israel Passwater: There you go. That’s our website, um, so

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I just pulled up on screen first thing, we hit the, um, the first thing we talked about was fluoride, we talked about fluoride and the Hydrofluorosilicic acid right? Before Hydrofluorosilicic acid, we talked about, you know obviously the percent removal. This is great and this is all confirmed via lab testing is that correct? 

Israel Passwater: Correct. Yeah. That was the thing I was gonna touch on too. Whatever you choose, okay, so like, when I’m talking to people that may or may not know about us or have you know, a medium  interest in water, you know filtration, um, they say, well okay well, you know, how do you compare to brands x, y, and z and go okay well, we do actually if you go on our website, we actually have a few comparisons like how we compare to like, you know like Berkey, Aquatru or some these other brands that you know are might be larger companies might have you know bigger marketing budgets but they again, when it comes down to it, it’s all what is testing is proven to do and then how was it tested, where was it tested and that what are the standards. So again, the cool part about our, uh, filters is they’re tested at EPA and NSF, uh, certified laboratory. Uh, we test stuff all the time, we actually just recently updated our pitcher testing so like for now we’re, uh, up to 273 known contaminants. Oh yeah, that’s a cool video too if you have ever wanted to check it out like the red dye test. But it just kind of gives a powerful visual of you know what our filters are doing and again imagine the red dye being toxin xyz. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Toxins, yeah exactly. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. The cool part again, again our filters are tested. They work and again we feel we have the best option in the space or and again we’re not the only option but we’re probably the best, uh, as far as when you’re looking at water pitchers especially or our point of filter systems like our under the sink or inline filter for your refrigerator, I mean, we really in, again, we have bottles so we kind of fit in the niche of like between like, hey I don’t want to put in a whole house system because there are some good house systems like as you and I were kind of chatting about yeah, but I want something portable, I want something I can take with us, something I’m renting a house and I want to be able to have clean and safe water for my family, we fit in really well, there so. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Very cool. So, let’s continue to hit, so we talked about fluoride, we talked about chlorine which I think is really important for all the reasons, we mentioned chlorine right here 99.5 and also the chloramine which is a metabolite too so we’re knocking a lot of these down. Let’s go into the plastics. I think this is really important because of the microplastics so you have different plastic compounds BPA, various estrogen chemicals. You could probably put, um, pesticides, perforated chemicals in there, different chemical pesticides runoff.

Israel Passwater: Yeah. A lot of time, they think, well how do microplastics or like us pesticides end up in the water supply because when you think about it, you know, I see you know, neighbors of ours out there were like you know roundup  and which is equally horrible but they’re spraying killing weeds and stuff I got to go but what people don’t understand over long periods of time that ends up and seeps into the water supply and then again local municipal water department doesn’t necessarily have the tools in order to filter that out, you know, so again, the assumption of hey it’s safe or with microplastics  a lot of industrial runoff, you know, we build and create things and that ends up also in the water supply too so there’s a lot of different ways because of runoff and seeping and leaching over long periods of time that can come downstream to us and things that we’re just becoming more, uh, clear about it, more, uh intentional about, um, I think that what again why people go. Oh my gosh. There are actual pharmaceutical drugs or another one. How are pharmaceutical drugs..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly

Israel Passwater: Well and yeah

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. With a lot of these chemicals too, a lot of times they’re still like pecs, piping that’s plastic, there’s still some plastic piping. So, a lot of these things may be running through that as well 

Israel Passwater: Which are not BPA-free as we know so and yeah and again BPA is limping like all sorts of nasty stuff too. So again, It’s really just kind of like a systematic like, aha, moment like, oh there’s a problem with my water supply potentially oh okey tell me more about that and that’s typically where people like I said like gravitate to and again gravitate it doesn’t have to be us but again we are certified to remove more contaminants than most of your, your top brands, you know, so uh, again, we feel like we have the best big mousetrap to use the term you never talked about, um, and uh again sometimes, you know people ask me like about a compound, we haven’t tested for. I go, you know what probably but I can’t say it until we’ve proven it but again all of our lab test is available on the website, you can download it and take a look at it. So, the biggest thing, I would like to say too is like for anyone in that space and interested in that, do your research but ask, you know, if the testing data isn’t available on the company’s website or on the packaging, ask for it. If say, hey I want a copy of your testing data and a lot of they can’t prove that or it’s tested for five gallons or in-house. I’ve heard something on the radio today, you know, it was like yeah 4 out of 5 people said that they felt that better, I think it was like a like a protein powder or something like. I gotta go, I go, that’s a perfect example like oh trust me it works it’s fine, well we tested it in-house for people that are on the payroll, you know, so stuff like that, that’s what you have to pay attention to, you know.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yep. That makes a lot of sense. Let me keep by hitting other things. So, we also just have general bacteria and viruses right, I know, that’s really important especially with what’s happening today in the world right, um, so viruses getting that out of the water whether it’s a Rotavirus etc. or just general bacteria, E. coli. Different various cysts, I know, parasitic cysts, Klebsiella, Giardia. These are all different microbes that could be in the water as well. Let me just show that here as well, that’s important. Tell me a little bit more about that and so you’re saying conventional water filtration, they’re not gonna be getting rid of some of these bacteria, cysts, viruses?

Israel Passwater: They won’t, because again they’re servicing like volume. So, one of the things you’ll notice too like when you first makes …, is that they’re again, it’s a catch-all. They’re doing, I would not say they’re doing there best, they’re trying to service a very large population because like at least here in California, is like, when they were building the infrastructure like yesterday, I assigned a new place ice hockey or driving on the freeway through L.A. and he’s going why are the roads so bumpy they go we’ll again because they’re old and they weren’t you know why are we hitting traffic well, they weren’t designed to service this many people. Same thing with the water supply. Again, when California’s infrastructure was built, you know, 100 years ago, it wasn’t planned. They weren’t planning on having this many people live or what again, great place to live, um, whether wise but gain from an infrastructure standpoint for water filtration like servicing a lot of customers and they can’t again. That’s why good filtration takes time, um, so like you know people know it’s like oh wow, how long does it take to develop your water pitcher, usually about 10-15 minutes. I go, oh wow, that’s kind of slow, no it’s actually good because it’s doing its job so, um, it really just depends on how you look at it but again trying to service a bigger catch, uh, a bigger net but against letting some of those particles and contaminants through because again, they can’t, they’re not set up to do that and that’s okay but knowing that you say okay well I gotta go take the next layer, the next step in order to protect my family and myself, you know, so

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense because it takes a while for water to fit through and if you’re trying to get millions of gallons out, it’s gonna be pretty costly and it makes sense to filter it source you know. I mean where it’s coming into the home so it’s most like that this should be just something that everyone should have anyway. So, they’re trying to make the water decently clean, so you don’t get really sick, taking it in but it’s still not gonna have the health properties that we need overall. 

Israel Passwater: Right.  And that kind of goes with the assumption of like, okay so like I have you know even if you have like a whole house system, some of them are rated different rates and some of them aren’t rated at all so it really like depends on it so again that’s the first step but the second step typically is like people like oh well I have a fridge, a refrigerator, LG refrigerator that’s got a filter and it has a light that goes on when I need to replace like filter and they say oh cool great and they asked the same question, oh well, what is the filter actually doing, they kind of have the deer in the headlights look like, I don’t know, I have no idea well it’s again the assumption of safety the illusion of safety is like oh it’s a filter okay it’s like a seatbelt was it crash tested, I don’t know, it’s the seat belt though, you know, so but again we wouldn’t again I’m kidding, it might be a poor analogy but like that’s the kind of assumptions that you walk around with like oh okay, it’s gonna filter okay cool. Well, what does it do, I have no idea but part is that we do have an idea and we can prove it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And we kind of already highlighted the herbicide that is a big deal because of pesticide runoff. It’s coming in from different farms, it’s going into our water supply and again this is like a wide category right, I mean, there’s all kinds of organopesticides and these affect our nervous systems. They are hormone disruptors, so they can really throw off hormones. This is a big one right. Any comments on the herbicides at all?

Israel Passwater: Yeah. I mean especially typically when someone’s asking about the herbicides and pesticides, a lot we have a lot of mothers are asking about that they’re expecting getting out..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 99.99% out so this is great. So, this is really significantly reducing our reduction and just not cut you off but these things are really powerful at very low doses so you don’t need a lot of it to affect your body, right?

Israel Passwater: Correct. Yeah. They get effective dose on or the, the lethal dose but yeah it doesn’t take a whole lot in order to do a whole lot of damage, um, and that’s again a scary thought, you know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So we talked about pesticides that’s important because we’re getting exposure there, I would say the next thing, um, we talked about pesticides and herbicides. They’re kind of the same camp, right? In the same camp there, I would say the next thing after that I think is really important, um will be medications. Can we talk a little bit more about the medications and like statins, antidepressants so if even if we just like pee right these metabolites are going through our kidneys and they get into the water, right? 

 Israel Passwater: Well, because you think, like how on earth could like this kind of stuff be in the tap water and then initially when we started talking about this, I go really there you go, that’s, that’s a thing well yeah obviously our body filters it through our own filter system and it excretes all the toxins that’s what your body designed to do but that also includes trace amounts of insert whatever, uh, pharmaceutical drug you’re taking, you know, so that stuff shows up in traceable amounts in the water supply and people are kind of shocked when they find out, you know, like roundup. Okay I see like, my neighbors sprinting around up on his on his yard or something about ant killer or whatever the toxic thing yeah, I can see that it rains it runs down the drain it goes into the water suppl, makes sense but pharmaceutical drugs, you think, how on earth that well okay, when we think of it from us being the carrier or at least the disseminator of that or if you’ve ever dumped pills down the drain or down the toilet that can also end up with water supply too. So again, there’s a variety of ways that happens, um, but it’s something that we need to pay attention to, uh and something that’s very easily overlooked. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean just looking here on, on the list that you guys are actually testing right deep. That’s insecticides or you know, uhm spray for mosquitoes, right? 

Israel Passwater: You think, okay like that makes sense. You know but some of this other stuff is like, like way hardcore you know. So it’s like..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: This phenol A, obviously a plastic compound, a lot of the hormones that women maybe on which we don’t want men being on right?

Israel Passwater: Correct. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s like GABA medication, right? And then you have, um, just trying, I don’t recall some of these names, Naproxen, that’s some pain medication. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Again, I’m not a medical doctor, my degree in exercise physiology so like but again from a from health perspective, you think of all the things you do, during the week, you know, you know, like I’m a runner you know, it’s like, like training I’m running 60 miles a week, I’m stretching, I’m cross training, I’m taking some supplements, I’m trying to eat healthy and you know not drink too much or whatever it is you’re trying to do but again an easily overlooked one is like what, how, not just how much water you are drinking what kind of water are you drinking so that’s where really people go, oh, yeah you’re right, you know pesticides as we see, you know, its like, you know, those kind of things. They’re there, there proven and uh, I don’t know if you’ve shared with your audience 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For this handout people here, this is uh, anyone listening we have some stuff on the screen shared here. This is the actual lab assessing assessment testing on 100 gallons. This is cool. So, we’re seeing this is also getting removed like we know it and so on the website, you, kind of have it here right, you, kind of have it oh, you had it listed here, what was being removed but then we actually have the lab assessment here so that’s cool. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Yeah yeah.  And again, yeah, we’re going to be adding some features on the website so if you look over the next week or two or three. It’s gonna have some other tools that we’re adding not to tease it but again we, the way it kind of the way I see is like, you know, from not just like we’re not selling water filters will help them educate people too that’s obviously why you and I are connecting on the podcast today but I think it’s important to if you take away nothing else from this podcast other than, hey I maybe need to rethink what other kind of water filter or if you’re not doing it, go do some research and find out some of the ones that’s best for you because again like what I said we’re not the only company that does this but we’re the ones that do it, obviously a greater extent, um, and again we’re decently in our opinion very affordable, easy to work with, um, independently tested and certified. So, I can, I, I see it’s kind of a no-brainer but it really starts with in an individual saying, you know what let me think about that, let me see what, what is my fridge filter is doing or is it doing

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Yep. That makes sense. That’s good. I like that. So, we hit the fluoride right and get a big one, we hit a lot of the viruses and bacteria stuff and then we hit a lot of the plastic compounds we can put, like phthalates in that category, we have to put microplastics in that category. 

Israel Passwater: I’m trying to think of any, like the top offenders too, like for people but again you know, fluorides usually where people like or in heavy metals or where people start you know like..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pharmaceutical drugs, right?

Israel Passwater: Pharmaceutical drugs, radiological elements, obviously, that’s one that we do too but I mean it really just depends on like everyone has a different you know top of their pyramid, they also have a different fear points here so they like whatever is most fearful of them or what’s most recent as far as exposure or you know, you know whatever that is again, we can service of those needs you know so and occasionally someone will say, well what about this and go well if we’re not certified to remove it we won’t claim it because we don’t know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense.  

Israel Passwater: And it’s also too very costly and very timely to do this, so it’s not like we can’t just run down the street and have it done, it’s like no we have to have it send out and it cost thousands of dollars and so we’re very intentional about the ones we test for, um. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Yep. That makes sense. And so just kind of the big five, right, we have pesticides-herbicides, we have fluoride, we have chlorine, we have pharmaceutical drugs, right and we have a lot of the you know, heavy metal here as well too, mercury, lead. These are important right, a lot of pipes used to be lead, I mean there’s a reason why, um, plumbers are called plumbers, I think, what is it the periodic table for, uh, lead, I think it’s plumbum is, is lead, right? How, that’s I think Latin for Lead is like plumbum the, in the periodic table of elements Pb which stands for plumbum and that’s what plumbers got their name from because plumbers dealt with pipes that were literally lead so lead pipes and plumbers were kind of synonymous, so it makes sense there may be still old piping out there in certain areas so you want to make sure you’re pulling the lead out, pulling any mercury out, pulling any, uh, compounds out that could be problematic. So heavy metals, pesticides, plastic compounds, uh, then we would have a lot of our pesticides and then chlorine fluoride. So those would be our top five here today. Anything else you want to talk about regarding other problematic compounds we didn’t dive in deep enough on?

Israel Passwater: No, I, I think I would just encourage everyone there’s a fun open-source tool they call the environmental working group that’s the EWG. They actually have a database where you can pull up your zip code. So, you can punch in like mine’s 19694 so you know where I live now, but it’ll pop up but hey here’s the, the compounds that we found in your lab testing. Yeah, here we go, perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, here’s mine. This Austin, right here. This is Travis country, so you can look here, we see, 

Israel Passwater: Like, well, let’s see, like oh, there you go, yeah and again and also too I wanted to mention that a lot of these substances are regulated by the EPA, so they say well, you know, the EPA is there to protect us and they are but again a lot of these things aren’t regulated or if it’s regulated it’s not to a healthy extent because you shouldn’t be like chlorine, you shouldn’t be ingesting chlorine but it is regulated so

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, and then if we go here. Let me go pull this back up, right and we look at some of the testing, so we so in my area, I think the big one we saw was a lot of bromines, so there’s bromo, your bromochloroacetic acid, that would filter that out and we, I think we saw a bunch, um, you look at what else we saw there, the chloroform, so that that’d be that’d be your chlorine, right? 

Israel Passwater: Right. Correct. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Over there. 

Israel Passwater: And that’s the kind of the fun part is because you can thumb through and our goal is to be as transparent as we can, you know, so like I said, if there’s something we haven’t tested for, we just said, you know what we haven’t done that, we’ll put on  a list, you know, and were  constantly building a list and we’re constantly retesting you know, like I said we retested our pitcher, uh, this year and we’ll be doing the same thing with our inline filters but again, everything were certified to do, is like what we have proof of you know and it’s like yeah

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here’s your chloramine and here’s your, uh, your chloride. So, it’s then you can kind of go in there and say, okay cool like at least have some coverage, um, for some of these issues, so that’s good and high levels of chromium too. 

Israel Passwater: And yeah, I just want to mention, so this information is getting pulled from the universal database, so EWG just proved like, compiles all the data and then kind of google and then it kind of presents it in a very, uh, I think eye-opening way, um, so one of the cool parts is that you say well if you don’t believe me that your water supply is there’s probably something to be worried about, go here and then they’re a non-profit, we have no, we don’t paid by them or anything like that. So again, I like to show that is kind of like for someone who maybe new on that journey, um, towards, if either finding us or finding something else, say you should do something because you should consider this and that’s usually like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense. That’s great. I want to just compare the technology to like you know your general breeder. I’m on your site here right. Where’s the best way to go see that, I know that you have like a comparison on here. Is it a featured pitcher? Is that right side?  

Israel Passwater: Uh, yeah. The comparison I’m trying to think about the comparison, it already should, I should know this. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I went, I went through here earlier and I saw it and I thought it was really good. So, I’m gonna, I’m gonna put her around here as we, as we’re chatting to see if I can pull it up here. 

Israel Passwater: And I’m trying to think, I, we have like a blog session, a session section, excuse me, that like really showcases, like, some interesting articles like us versus Brita versus Aquatru, us or Insert brands. Again, like I said we’re not the only people that do water filters but again kind of goes through like, how we’re.. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here it is. Right here. I got it right here. So, there’s, you know, you clearly filtered standard carbon, zero water, so let’s just kind of go through the big thing here. So the big one is obviously fluoride, microplastics, lead, a lot of the, um, the I think these are volatile organic compounds, right here. So, we’re really filtering a lot out so most are going to do pretty good. In regards to what’s probably more lead and then what else. Let’s, let’s use the easiest one, one of the easier ones to test for too and you know if you have any carbon block filter of any type, it should remove some percentage of that. So again, we never want to just like, to discourage other brands, that’s never my thing, it’s like hey whatever you are, you’re using even a Brita filter for example because they’re the most know brand because they’re been around the longest and they’ve had the most like a said the most marketing budget for longest time but again, it’s going better than drinking tap water, so it’s definitely better amount of good so that, which is a good thing you know so it’s like you know, hey well, you start here and then you move here and move up, you know, but uh, I think too, one of the things that keep in mind too is like, uh, when you’re looking at comparing like, brand A to brand B to brand C. You got ask yourself, you know, three main questions: how is it tested, is it tested, those are two parts and then to what degree, who’s testing it and then also to the other part is how long does it last, you know how easy is it to work with, you know, is it made domestically or is it made overseas that’s the one thing to consider, um. Again, all very important questions to consider when you’re looking at but I think the biggest thing is transparency because there’s a lot of non-transparent, uh, practices and a lot of unregulated. So, we try to be as up like I said as upfront as we can about with people and I think they appreciate that, you know, I do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s good. That’s good. Let’s talk about kind of what like the technology. So, if someone’s researching a brand, someone’s saying I want really investigate a water filter and what makes a water filter great and they want to look at different brands what should they be looking at. So, let’s kind of compare and contrast using the technology you have, how would you know, you’re dealing with good tech? Let’s just kind of contrast what you have and how people should be educated on this. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Yeah. Great question. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I’ll put the screen back up here so you can, you can kind of use that as a guide to walk through it. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah.  That’s fine. So again, our technology, it’s, it’s our own technology. It’s affinity technology, we’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars in multiple years coming up with the filter, uh, yeah, so we actually ever realized what was made up. Well, we don’t disclose the ingredients list but again we’re not using activated charcoal or bone char or anything that’s going to be problematic so it’s all, it’s all up and up and obviously if we’re tested so we need to update that graph, by the way sorry, um, you’re constantly finding things but yeah again the technology basically the way this simple elevator answer is your water supply or your water, uh, your water supply is polluted, we have a technology to remove it. Takes out all the bad stuff, the toxins, the chemical, the PFAS, the lead, uh, the VOCs, and retains the nutrients in the water so that. that’s the secret. So, a lot of times even when you look at like an RO system, RO systems aren’t inherently bad they pull everything out of the water and then a lot of that they added back in the salts and stuff like that. But the cool thing is like, with our filters is that we have the ability to remove all the toxins, so our filters are smart they’d be able to discriminate between filter or sorry between water, uh, nutrients and then toxin. So, that’s really where people go wow, that’s pretty cool and it is. It’s awesome. Like, I said, we put a lot time and energy into that, our design team is constantly working on ways to innovate, uh, we have some new things coming out that I can’t quite share yet but, um, things that I think will be really well received and making a little bit easier for our customers. But the big thing is, we know how to remove the bad stuff keep the good stuff in and the other stuff too, oh yeah, like I was saying, like with the RO systems, uh, they’re about 75% less water efficient, so for every clean gallon of water, it makes, it wastes three and a half gallons. So, for us, we don’t do that. So, we’re also eco-friendly, um, again all of our stuff like you see, our testing data is fantastic. Uh, it’s independently third-party test and lasts a long time. So again, we see it as like a slammed up for the right person who’s obviously open to that, um, but again when we’re looking at different types of filters, you know, yeah like I was mentioning, like our pitcher filter, it takes you know, 10 mins to fill the reservoir. Well, it’s doing its job. So sometimes fast is not a good thing. So 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly! I love the, the water pitcher because one, it’s not expensive at all, especially when we know how important water is to our health. This is like, it’s just about prioritizing our health and knowing that 70% of your body is water and making sure it’s clean, right? You’re literally swimming in your water and if it’s clean then that’s great, if it’s toxic then it’s poisoning us, that’s a problem, and some people are in apartments and they’re traveling they haven’t the ability, so I love the ability to bring it with you and just put it in your fridge. So, I like this as a great option here. Can we talk so like, talk to me about the technology, so we have phase 1. There’s some kind of a medium, it’s flowing through like other brands are using charcoal or bone char. You have your kind of medium that’s a non-toxic medium that it’s, it’s moving through and then what’s, what’s there after that, like what’s the next step? So, there’s some kind of a filtration medium. What’s the next level up after that?

Israel Passwater: As far, as far as our filter or other yes

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s just for yours and then in general. What would other people have? 

Israel Passwater: Yeah, I mean, it’s again, think of layers, so it’s like, you think of like a layer cake, it’s just. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So just, I got the image up so we have like a woven mask, some people would have the charcoal with a bone char because that’s kind of step one, right?

Israel Passwater: Yeah. And then go to step 2, you can scroll through and then

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, then you have your coconut carbon

Israel Passwater: all right and then you go to step 3 and then combine the shell, kind of like holds it together and stuff like that. So again, it’s again, even if we gave you the ingredients list like coke for example, like no they, they keep that under lock and key, what’s the secret, you know recipe for coke, we know right, right part of the sugar, part of this diet, the other thing but again we can give you the ingredients list but the way it’s put together that’s really what comes together. So again, not the first people that come up with the idea like this but again we have the best one. So, uh, but again think of like a meshed layer that can woven together and again it’s how it’s put together and what stage and how it’s composite in and what not. I can’t say much more than that but again, that’s right

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, so most people are just primarily having this stage 2, right? It’s a kind of stage 2 thing or

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You kind of have your pattern on page one. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Right. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: With your mesh and then you have the stage 2 and then you obviously your stage 3 compartmentalized at all. That makes sense. 

Israel Passwater: Most part, you’re not gonna take them apart inside like how is this put together it’s more like how fast is it doing, is it doing it and does the water taste good, again that’s just literally like the way I would have looked at it before, we started clearly filtering like, oh, okay, it goes, it’s going through, it’s not leaking, it’s not gonna leak into the reservoir. Okay great. Awesome. But again, stage 2 up for like a coconut carbon, it’s just like a block of, it’s gonna remove some stuff. That’s better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then we have all of our test results so we kind of know what it’s doing, that’s good. I like it. I think it’s great. If you guys wanna, if you guys enjoy the information and you wanna have an additional level to clean your water, We’ll put the link down below, um, we’re just trying to provide a lot of education for everyone because, you know, I see a big gap in this field is, I recommend a lot of under the counter whole house systems but there’s a lot of people that, that can’t do that so this is a kind of a better mousetrap in that way, um, and we know water is so important. Anything else that, you know, Israel, that we talked about today, we didn’t go deep enough in, that you wanna highlight?

Israel Passwater: Yeah, no, I, I think one of the things too where we play really well is like you’re saying like on the go for people living in apartments and stuff like that. I think for, you know, just a skim, even when you’re traveling that’s why you’re getting more bottles you’ve got to wear filtered bottles which are kind of cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, you got a bottle too? See a filtered bottle that you can bring with you to. That’s great. 

Israel Passwater: Which is good because like you know, my wife and I, we went to Hawaii for work, uh, a couple of about a month and a half ago and it’s like we brought our bottles and I actually brought a pitcher because I go, I want that convenience it actually fits into the refrigerator for like you know a Hawaii size you know, uh, refrigerator. So, I was like, that’s pretty cool, so you know again, we played really well for, for we offered the service then obviously you know great technology, great customer service, um, again, transparent, easy to use, easy to work with and again you know that’s really why I think kind of fun part about us, helping people live healthier lives is that where it, it’s easy to do so

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool, so you got a portable bottle as well with that same mesh and activated charcoal technology that still filters out a lot of that while almost all the fluoride, all the chlorin, heavy metals, so it still has similar benefits as the actual. That’s great.  Wow. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah and most people like because they think like okay well I’ll have to fill up, you know, they have refilling stations at your gym, there’s nothing wrong with that but again they’re they have a filter on it but we’ll kind of filter it well, I don’t really know exactly and that’s where you think, well, you don’t have to worry about that it’s like or if you’re going to the airport now,  that people are traveling now, hope it’s kind of helpfully winding down, you know, it’s like yeah and now that people are back to going they’re really focused on that, so that’s something that you think from an economic standpoint and typically, uh, I believe the stat was most people are spending about 1200$ a year in bottled water so you gotta Costco get the coarse blend, you know, 24, 36, and 48 packs, that’s a lot of money savings too so again if it’s money if it’s you know obviously chemical reduction, uh, indigestion, that’s, uh, something that we can definitely help with, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really good. Well in general, I think really important the solution to pollution is dilution. So you wanna have good clean water. Your cells need to regulate temperature, to pull toxicity out, run to help run our kidney, so really important to make sure kind of as a foundational right, clean food, clean water, good sleep, good movement, these are essentials to being healthy, so here’s another great product that I recommend, that recommend for patients and use myself that I think people would benefit from. Anything else, Israel, you wanna leave the listeners with? 

Israel Passwater: Yeah, no, I think the biggest thing is like, you know, where if, if they’re interested in, you wanna choose, that make sure you did your research like do your homework and that’s with anything if you talk about supplements, uh, anything again, we read you know the back of packages, you know what I’m eating, so the same thing goes  with like water filter so if it’s just us or somebody else, do your homework. Make sure you’re getting into, uh, I think that and we will shine after that but, uh, I think I really, it’s more just like I just again always encourage people to do their homework, think for themselves, question everything and that’s really important because again there’s a lot of misinformation out there or lack of transparency, um, so that’s kind of one of the downsides to our industry. It’s not very straightforward and so you really, really dig into the weeds there and again we’re busy too, I mean I work full time, my work works full-time, you’ve got a life, you’re trying to work out be healthy, you know, all those things but again, if you’re gonna invest in yourself, you can definitely want to make sure, you know, what you’re doing, you know, so if that goes with anything we’re not the whole piece of the pie but we are one piece of that, that’s overlooked like. I said, you know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, yeah. A lot of people that already are using a simply, you know using a filter already and it’s just we’re gonna exchange it out for something better that’s gonna clean the water better and then also I always tell patients, I’m not worried about stripping minerals out, they’re always, they’re already good supplements out there, where you can pinch a little bit of minerals back in. It’s easy to re-mineralize, it’s harder to pull out toxins. 

Israel Passwater: Correct, yeah, correct. And remember, yeah like I said it’s a lot easier to do that than the opposite, you know, so that’s why obviously, we’re around and that’s why it’s something, the way I think it’s like, it’s one less thing to worry about, um, so if you worry about stuff being a parent, you know, being a healthy or not then you know, this gives you. One less thing, you know, have to consider, you know, if it’s at home on the go so. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anytime you can set like your health habits on automatic, like okay I’m just plugging this in and then I’m just gonna continue with my routine and then now, I have a higher quality food or higher quality water, you get the benefit, right? The more we can set these habits on unconscious competence where it’s just automatic, it’s always better. I love that. 

Israel Passwater: Yeah yeah and then one thing on the automatic too that, we’re talking about easy to work with, again, we have a subscription service so again, we ship domestically for free, uh, for anyone on our, uh, subscription and, uh, basically, the cool thing we need to talk about like not having a room with things I forget everything, you know, so I have to have everything written down or a calendar reminder, uh, but the cool part is you know, we can put it on auto ship so if you want one every two, three, four, five, six months, you control them, so the cool part is like that ability to be able to choose not to have to think about it or if you need to push it back, they can do that so again, we make it super easy for you, um, again, we have really great customer service team and we take good care of everybody, so  I think again, that’s one less thing that I have to worry about, you know, imagine like, you know you have that with entire rotation, somebody automatically does that for, you instead of having to go down,  the entire shop, get the oil change and entire rotation so we want to make it easy on you, you know but, um, that’s also powerful to know that you have full control of that too, so

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Anything else, Israel, you wanna leave enlisted with? 

Israel Passwater: No, I just thank you for your time. I’m really, I’m excited, I’m glad I get to be part of your audience and uh and here with you guys today and if they have questions, um, I don’t know if you want to funnel through you to me but they can, I can give you all my contact info, you can share that later too. I’m happy to give a resource to you, if I can and yeah

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any questions you guys, put them in the comments that’d be awesome. You can always come back around on the youtube video and respond back and if you guys enjoy, I’m always trying to hunt down good products and this is definitely one we can add to that list. Everyone and then and I’ll put the link down below. If you’re driving just go down below, first link, click it and you’re good. All right, Israel, phenomenal chatting with you, thanks for dropping all these knowledge bombs and have a phenomenal day. 

Israel Passwater: Thanks Justin, good to see you man. 


Audio Podcast:

Recommended products:

Clearly Filtered

Water Filtration Device

Whole House Water Filter





The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.