Using Nutrition and Functional Medicine To Enhance Energy and Mood | Podcast #302

It’s summertime! Summer is the hottest of the four seasons. With the summer heat, this affects our body, activities and our energy level. For today’s podcast, Dr. J and Evan Brand share tips on how we keep our energy up and running. More of the information below. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:02        Electrolytes

07:05     Staying Hydrated

15:47     Adrenal Fatigue or Dysfunction

21:44    Cortisols

26:12    Minerals

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. I hope everyone’s having a fabulous day. I’m here with Evan brand, we’re going to be chatting about ways to enhance your energy. In the summertime when the heat is here, certain things have to be done to really keep your energy up. And we’ll kind of start out here with electrolytes first before we do, Evan, how are we doing today, man?

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well, actually just got done. I would show you the color. But now it’s just clear. But right before this was water, this was electrolytes. And I’ve been doing that every single morning. And my oldest daughter now she begged me every morning Daddy, Daddy, I want electrolytes. Okay, and she loves it. I put a little beet powder in there for her too. And she sucks it down. If you want her to drink an entire mason jar of water. How do you get her to do it? You put electrolytes in it. It’s amazing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. Is this week with any stevia at all to give it a little more flavor now? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, there is stevia in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, that’s good. Yeah, cuz electrolytes by themselves, especially with high amounts of potassium. Pretty, pretty raw.

Evan Brand: Yeah, these are good ones. These Good, these are my brand that we that we make. So they’re good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Yeah, how I start my day every day I go downstairs and I have a nice big mason jar, probably maybe 12 or 16 ounce size mason jar, I fill it up and I use the Redmond Real Salt minerals just kind of coat the bottom and I just do two full swigs of it kind of get 25 or 30 ounces down to start the day. I also when I when I finished my shower, I also do a cold shower and I kind of drink as much as I can out of the overhead shower when it’s cold at the end. So I try to get about 30 or 40 ounces with extra electrolytes to start my day that’s important. Especially in the summer, people are starting their day with a coffee or some kind of a natural diuretic. If you don’t really hydrate intentionally in the morning, you’re going to deplete your minerals. And especially when it’s hot and you’re sweating, you’re going to lose more minerals on top of that, so it’s very important in the summer, especially when you’re engaging in a diuretic like a coffee or tea. You really have to start your day intentionally with at least 30 ounces of water, clean filtered water ideally reverse osmosis process And you really got to intentionally add some additional electrolytes back there to make sure you kind of prime yourself to start the day.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people are like, okay, that’s such low hanging fruit. It is. But it’s something that 99.9% of people don’t do and it has a massive impact on your energy levels. I will tell you, if I skip a couple of days, and I’m not doing electrolytes, my energy will tank and I will tire more easily. So if I’m outside, cutting up a tree, or, you know, I was cutting down some honeysuckle and getting that crap cleaned up. If I don’t have electrolytes in my system, I tire out more easily. So would you say that this is just due to minerals that are fueling Krebs cycle or what do you think’s happening? When you’re noticing fatigue and someone who’s dehydrated or depleted of minerals?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, a couple things right? So our cell membranes work through the sodium potassium pump, right? sodium and potassium out, right? What is it I think it’s two sodium at three sodium into potassium out right? This is the sodium potassium pump. This is how our cells work. So If we aren’t getting enough sodium and potassium, our cell membranes are not going to work correctly. Also our nervous system and how nerves work think of electrolytes as the liquid wiring that helps our nerves conduct in our body, right? We know something called hyponatremia happens many times a year around marathon time when people over hydrate, they actually dilute their electrolytes and they can create a heart attack, the heart just stops, they go into cardiac arrest. Why? Because we need adequate levels of electrolytes for our nervous system and for muscles to work, right? You see this at a subclinical level with cramping? Okay, you can see this at a more acute level with a cardiac arrest due to hyponatremia. So we know electrolytes play a really important role for our muscles for our heart, but we know the adrenals play a big role too. So when someone has adrenal dysfunction, right or the slaying is adrenal fatigue, I like dysfunction better because it’s more descriptive because some people can have this functioning adrenal cortisol is high or low or just somewhere in between but imbalanced. So adrenal fatigue just kind of portrays one side of the adrenal, you know, the adrenal being low, but we know it can it can dysfunction, a lot of different ways that your adrenals play a major role in you holding on to your electrolytes. People think, well, I’m getting enough electrolytes, but they’re not counting in the fact that they have adrenal dysfunction, which makes it harder to hold on to your minerals, because you make things called aldosterone, which are mineral corticoids that help you hold on to your minerals. And the weaker your adrenals are, you may be picking up your minerals at a higher levels that way you got to you got to go over the top. So I start my day with really good fluids, really good minerals. I like Redmond Real Salt. You could probably do Celtic or Himalayan as well. And my wife kind of brought it to my attention last week. She’s like, I’m really chronically thirsty. And then we kind of looked at her routine and she started her day with two cups of coffee with no water. I’m like, that’s what it is. She had a little bit of mastitis last week, you know from You know, breastfeeding and I think a lot of the mastitis happened to just not having a fluid in her lymph. Now, we treated the mastitis with ginger and po group and then infrared light that works phenomenal knocked it out and 24 to 48 hours, no issues. But we looked at what was the root cause, right? We felt like the root cause was just not getting enough hydration to start the day and starting the day with the diuretic that depleted her.

Evan Brand: Yeah, my wife had that wants to when, when my little girl summer was little she had it and we ended up doing I think it was a dehydration issue too, because she was doing coffee in the morning, but we ended up doing like a topical coconut oil lavender essential oil mix, and just rubbing, rubbing, rubbing towards the nipple and then boom. It worked. It was miserable. I mean, it was like the flu. I mean, she got hit like a train. I mean, she was sweating. She had a fever. I mean, it was like whoa, what is wrong with you? And then as soon as that cleared up, all her symptoms went away. It’s kind of crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a couple easy, natural thing that’s been around for a long time is Poker poker works phenomenal. It really helps with the limp and just kind of takes all that coagulation of all those cells kind of stuck together and it kind of loosens it all up. And you can do ginger as well. Ginger is great as well, those are phenomenal. And then if you have access to red light, red light slash infrared light, it’s even better because that just kind of just calms down the inflammation. And then it really helps just kind of dissolve any clots or agglutination that’s happening in there. So I like it. But the last thing you want to do is get your wife on antibiotics that can be passed down to the baby. So there’s a lot of natural solutions out there so we can we can easily just kind of book in this part of the podcast for a separate video on mastitis poke rose how to be a phenomenal thing as well. And gingers going to be a phenomenal thing as well. And then if we kind of go back to the root cause of our episode here is getting me electrolytes and the hydration to start the day is so important because when you don’t have enough fluids to start the day, you’re more prone to inflammatory issues like this. Now this is, you know, mastitis in the breast tissue but you could just have it Extra inflammation anywhere in your body due to not having enough good fluids and good minerals for sure.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So if you’re like, well, I’m a 50 year old woman I breastfed 30 years ago, okay, this still could apply to you because we’ve seen women with various types of edema, where if you kind of grab your ankle and push your thumb in and you’ll see that pit in the, in the front of your shin there that could be related to some type of a lymphatic issue as well. So yeah, hydration is definitely key. And I mean, here’s the deal. I try really, really hard to to stay hydrated and I still probably don’t do a good job. I’ve got the clearly filtered that I keep on my desk just in case I run out and that we’ve already got a glass to pour but man makes you wonder how our ancestors had such you know, I don’t know, we don’t know. But how were they hydrated all the time. I guess they would just stop at a river and drink straight out of the creek and they were probably they were probably not as stressed as we are. So maybe they weren’t depleting as much minerals from the adrenal perspective. Or the the food may have had more nutrition in it? Of course it did and maybe more moisture in it too. I don’t know it just it makes you wonder like we’re our ancestors sitting around drinking mason jars all day. No. How did they stay so hydrated?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, they had access to wells and rivers and there wasn’t the pesticide runoff for all the chemicals. I mean, you wouldn’t touch that today. But you know, also, for our ancestors got a parasitic infection and had severe diarrhea. I mean, it could have easily died, right, we still know amoebic dysentery is like the third, the top five causes of death in third world countries. So we know parasites are kind of a big deal across the world when there’s when there’s not clean filtered water or access to antibiotics if needed. I mean, a lot of these cultures are smarter, they have kind of their own herbal medicines like like we’ve formulated for our patients to help these things, but some people don’t have access to that. So for sure, so the water the hydration components really good and we want to keep it clean. My natural kind of electrolytes support which people don’t Want to start them that you can do celery juice, celery juice is excellent. It’s a lot of really good minerals in there and it has a lot of potassium. So you can get about 20 to 25% of your potassium in one day in certain celery plus, that slows a whole bunch of other many minerals, sodium and chloride. Other things besides just the potassium, but potassium is huge. and celebrate just primes a lot of these minerals that are needed for digestion, right, a lot of the minerals that are needed for hydrochloric acid. So I love celery juice, if you want to start your day with, you know, a couple glasses of water and some good minerals and then throw in some celery juice later, then that really Prime’s up your potassium because the two biggest minerals people are missing on the electrolyte side is going to be potassium and magnesium. sodium and chloride. Don’t get me wrong, people aren’t getting good forms of it, but it’s in a lot of processed food. So people still get a lot of access to it even if they’re eating a standard American diet. Now, I’d argue it’s not the best form, right? We want one that’s full spectrum like when you do like a Redmond Real Salt or high quality seesaw, you’re getting 60 or 70 different trace minerals along with that sodium and chloride. So you’re not just getting one thing, two things, you’re getting a combination of different things, which I think is important. And then we can always add in the magnesium and potassium because those are just hard to get in FDA I think, or CDC, one of the two says that 50% of the population is deficient in magnesium. And I would say about the same is deficient in potassium, if you have any kind of heart issue or arrhythmia stuff, or is anything on the cardiovascular side don’t look any further than magnesium and potassium. They really move the needle a ton. Go ahead.

Evan Brand: Yeah, Carolyn Dean. She’s a medical doctor. He’s written extensively about a fib and other heart issues, and it’s all about minerals and repeating minerals and talking about the soil being depleted. I mean, so minerals in the heart go hand in hand, which is why we talked about when electrolytes are low, you’re going to have issues with energy. So the reason that this kind of spurred today’s conversation was I had a woman over the We can email in and say, Hey, I’m wanting to get in my garden and be active and be outside, but I’m just I’m too exhausted. And she was sleeping fine and diets dialed in and all that. But what are the other missing pieces and it could be something as simple as electrolytes. Now, obviously, when it comes into fatigue and chronic fatigue, we talk about all the different branches of that all the time. But we’re talking today about some of the more action steps you can do regarding low hanging fruit, like the electrolytes, but then let’s go into some of the herbs because there’s a lot of things I do in the summer differently. That kind of keep me going, specifically rhodiola is something I bring out more in the summertime because I’m a lot more active in the summer. I’m riding my bike, at least a few miles a day, and I’ve got this little kid carrier so I strapped my daughter onto the back of the bike and I’m pulling her in this carrier and that thing’s heavy. So it requires a lot more work. And so I’ll usually do somewhere to two to 500 milligrams of rhodiola and I can tell you 100% of my I guess you would just call it my peak output. Imagine if I’m like a electric motor, my peak output of wattage coming out of my legs is much higher on I’m on rhodiola, as opposed to when I’m not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: On this makes sense too, because we, we always talk about the root cause, right? Like, of course, there could be a root cause of just like one, you’re doing too much of a diuretic, and you’re not getting enough of those nutrients and minerals, those micronutrients in the morning, right? That’s always possible, and that’s the low hanging fruit. The second thing is just your need and demand for it’s much higher, right? So you could be having high levels of cortisol or chronic stress, which is going to cause you to dump more potassium, you can go pull open and guidance, physiology. And you can go to the endocrine portion of that or the kidney section of that book, where it talks about cortisol actually increases potassium dumping. Now, this is important. So you may be going on chronometer, right, Justin slash crono meter and because I tell my patients to go there and run their minerals throughout the day, like you can put your breakfast your lunch and your dinner meal in there. And that calorie calculator will look at micronutrients, which is great. And it will obviously look at the macros most look at the macros, this looks at the micro. So it’ll look at your B vitamins and your magnesium and your potassium. And you want about 45 to 4700 milligrams of potassium a day. And then maybe about a gram or so of the magnesium per day. And again, it depends because certain magnesium is like a mallet or a glycinate. They absorb better than like a citrate or an oxide. So it just depends on what kind of magnesium but maybe about 1000 or so total a day, right, everything all factored in. Some people need a little bit more because they’re dumping these things out. Now, you’ll dump potassium out when there’s cortisone stress issues, you’ll dump a lot of magnesium when you’re consuming lots of carbohydrate and alcohol and you’ll dump a lot of B1, especially when you’re doing a lot of alcohol. It’s why a lot of friends people that are Irish descent, there’s a lot of b1 deficiency because there’s a large percent of alcoholics so B1s really important. And B1 can create hard issues to write berry berries. Which is a deficiency for B1, which is B1 is timing right? Find means B one, B two is riboflavin B three is niacin. And berry berry is Swahili it means I can’t, I can’t because the heart can’t pump I can’t, I can’t. So b one’s really important. So what alcohol and sugar and carbohydrate, you’re going to drive B one deficiency. With a lot of that too. You can also drive magnesium deficiency, and that can affect your nerves and your heart and your mood. Magnesium is a natural sedative so it helps you relax. And then of course, our potassium, potassium can help with the heart as well. It’s going to help with blood pressure, it’s going to help with mood. Anytime you affect your cell membranes fluidity and how your cell membrane works, right? that’s going to affect so many different issues, so many different issues. And it’s like, we need to have healthy cells to work for our bodies to be healthy in the first step for healthy cells outside of good hydration and not putting a whole bunch of toxic soup. There is going to be sodium and potassium.

Evan Brand: Yep. So I think a good test, like if you’re somebody who’s getting into this adrenal testing could be valuable. So we do both. We do saliva, we do some urine. I’ve done some blood just to see. But I just wanted to confirm everything that you and I’ve learned, which is kind of that blood testing for cortisol is typically useless. But I wanted to compare and contrast and so I’ve done some blood testing for adrenals. And it was pretty much useless overall. And reason why you and I’ve talked about this before, but unless you have a very big problem, blood doesn’t really change much. It’s not functional. It’s more of like disease state or not disease state, whereas the urine and the saliva we’re running are a lot more functional. So you mentioned this adrenal fatigue or adrenal dysfunction. You know, we’ve seen people who are exhausted, but their adrenal cortisol is showing sky high and vice versa. We’ve seen people who they say they quote feel fine and their adrenal cortisol is flat. So rather than, you know, I’m not going to mention tired people who want to go play in the garden, I’m not going to say go take a bunch of licorice for example, right out of the gate without testing, we’d push you more towards the minerals and all that because if cortisol is already so high, you don’t know that it’s so high, you go on licorice, which is kind of like, I use the analogy like plugging up the iPhone to one of those little portable battery banks. You’re kind of extending the half life of that cortisol. You don’t want to do that if it’s too high. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s a great analogy. I love that one. That’s good. I’m going to add that to my to my Compendium or my my Rolodex of analogies Dr. J’s Rolodex of analogies. I love it. That’s great.

Evan Brand: Yeah cuz that’s you know, cuz cuz part of me wants to go well, let’s talk about this herb, let’s talk about that or but but I kind of have to hold back of doing too many that are going to modulate cortisol in that way because I do find that it’s concerning how many people just go buy something off the shelf or online, because it’s an adrenal booster and they think I’m tired. It’s got to be adrenals and then they’re going to go pop licorice and a bunch of different stimulating genes. And all that, and then they feel more anxious or they feel worse and they don’t know why. So I guess I would encourage people get the testing done first so you know where you’re at, you could still do the electrolytes bump up, magnesium, potassium, everything that we’re talking about behind the scenes, but that might not get you out of an adrenal situation that’s dumping those minerals in the first place. So yes, more minerals, do the chronometer all that but you got to work backwards to Why are you dumping so many minerals in the first place? And another answer for that question is mold. I was up when I first got exposed to mold. I was peeing like three, four or five times a night and obviously I’m too young to have prostate issues. So it wasn’t my prostate. And as soon as I started going higher dose with the binders. I started sleeping through the night and I was not peeing as often through the night and that’s because okra toxin damages and affects the kidneys. And one of the ways of excretion of the mycotoxins is through the kidneys and through the stool, so I was definitely pooping more and definitely paying more which is good. My body should do that. But man, you talk about parched I mean, was like a camel in the desert. I mean, I could not get enough water. It was ridiculous.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And you had to know if it’s a prostate issue or not, because usually prostate the swollen pneus of it’s going to prevent good flow. So you’re constantly going into the bathroom because you never get a complete evacuation, right? So you’re always trying to finish off that first piece. So with your situation, you probably had a lot of flow and a lot of stream and a lot of, you know, volume, but it’s just you were dumped. You were just chronically dumping out that toxin via your kidneys.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’m much better now. Like I said, I’m not up in the middle of the night anymore. So that’s something else to consider. If you’re listening to this and you’re up in the middle of the night. Let’s say you do start out with the coffee, but then you’re doing electrolytes through the day, but you’re up three, four or five times a night peeing. You know, you’re dumping minerals there too. So you kind of have to address that and figure out what’s going on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I also find just the adrenal dysfunction alone can can cause that because when you have a lot of adrenal and aldosterone issues, aldosterone helps you hold on to your minerals and without it, you’re going to dump it so you’ll just pee a lot more in general with adrenal issue so yeah, it’s possible there could be a mold thing. It’s also called possible, the more than likely thing is just adrenal issues in general, just from stress and food and whatever else. So that’s why you have to see someone that can evaluate it. Because Could it be a mold issue? Sure. Could it be just an adrenal issue from poor food and gut stress and just, you know, poor diet and lifestyle? Sure. So we have to really evaluate both of those. Now, I want to go back to one thing you mentioned, I think this is really important to dive into. So blood testing for adrenals. So Evan highlighted this a little bit already. So blood testing is very helpful on the adrenal side to look at pathological level. So if we look at like an am cortisol serum, if we see it very high, that could tell us there could be some definite adrenal excitability. Now high levels of cortisol is Cushing’s right we remember that because Kush, we think push right Cushing’s we’re pushing cortisol really high Cushing, we’re pushing cortisol really high. So if we see high levels of cortisol on a blood test, it’s you know, we’re in the top 20 25% we’re thinking okay, there could be a problem with that, right? Why don’t I like that because People by nature don’t like getting pricked with needles. Okay, so some people just go into the doctor’s office, they could get a lot of cortisone adrenaline going in their body because of that needle prick. And then that’s going to cause a false high reading. So I don’t like it because you can get a lot of false high readings. Number two is, I do a lot of the Dutch test. And I liked the Dutch testing, because I can look at cortisol serum total via the urine. Now I like it for two reasons. One, it’s not a big stressful thing to collect that right, it’s not a needle prick. So you’re not creating a lot of stress during the extraction process. Number two, we can collect that total cortisol throughout the whole day. So we’re not just looking at cortisol as a snapshot in time, we can collect the cortisol throughout the whole day, which gives us a better window of your overall cortisol output for 20 hours. So if we see higher levels of cortisol over 24 hours, we know that this probably isn’t a blip thing. This is probably a more stronger pattern of adrenal dysfunction when we see that and that test can also separate the free cortisol out which is What Evan highlighted earlier, that’s the more bioavailable cortisol. So think of free cortisol, two to 5% of cortisol free, this is the cortisol that’s not bound to a protein. Think of that as if you’re a woman and you have your purse, right? And you have a key in your hand and you’re putting that key in the lock, right? The key in your hand, that’s the free cortisol, right? It can work, it can go into the lock, think of the other 20 keys in your purse, or your back pocket if you’re a guy, right? I remember like back in school, there were these janitors that walk around with these key chains were just like huge, right, like massive t chains. So imagine the key in the hands, the free cortisol, the key in the back pocket or the purse. It’s the total cortisol or the serum based cortisol meaning you have it you’re carrying it around, but you can’t quite use it to open the doors. That make sense.

Evan Brand: Yes, it does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so that’s another Rolodex analogy on the cortisol side. So we can swap one today, right? We can swap one. So in general, cortisol can be an issue and we have to know the right way to test it. So blood testing really good on the pathological side. If you I have a lot of people that just come in with these data already. And if I see someone in the top 25%, I’m like, ooh, could be a problem, right? Or someone in the bottom 25%, that could be a problem, we’ll still do further testing. But you know, there’s a lot of data that comes in. So we have to know how to interpret it either way. So cortisol, we know about it, high or low, could be could easily affect the adrenals. High levels of cortisol, you can still dump minerals, right? Because you’re buffering it for the stress, low cortisol, you may not have enough aldosterone function, because the same area of the adrenals, right? The the the cortex of the adrenals, right? That is the same area Well, dosterone is made. Right? It’s right there. So if you have weaker cortisol area, there could be weaker aldosterone. So it’s good to know that on the testing.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And there’s a lot of people that poopoo this now and they say, oh, Adrenal Fatigue is fake. Adrenal Fatigue is a myth. That kind of thing. We’re not saying we’re not we don’t even use fatigue anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right makes sense, because the functions are better terminology.

Evan Brand: Because that kind of insinuates that the adrenals are tired. And that’s not true. It’s really more of a brain issue that’s kind of down regulating this process. It’s kind of like, you’ve been running from a bear for so long, and you’re starting to eat away all your muscle tissue. Because cortisol is catabolic, it’s breaking down the gut barrier, which is why we see so many gut issues and like CrossFit athletes and stuff like that. It’s breaking the body down. So eventually, the brain has to come in and say, hey, we’ve really got to kind of down regulate this guy system. He’s really been running from the bear. She’s really been running from the bear for so long. So to those people like, mad at us right now, Adrenal Fatigue is a myth. Oh, my God, how dare you guys, you’re charlatans or whatever? People say, No, it’s not fatigue, it’s dysfunction. And you have to support the brain. And you got to support the gut. I mean, the whole system, rarely do we come in. And this is just a, quote, adrenal protocol. It’s going to be a whole program designed to fix the issues that are stressing the whole system in the first place.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I always tell people when you’re working with the practitioner, Right, you always want to talk about certain things are going to be used as a palliative way to kind of get you feeling better, and to jumpstart physiological and biochemical pathways, and other things are going to be root cause and a lot of times they work together, right? So if I work in support your mineral levels, right supplementally if I work on supporting your adrenals while we get your sleep better, while we change your food while we look at infections, while we help with digestion, and good diet and lifestyle strategies, that’s what promotes the healing overall. It’s kind of like if you if you go and you have to jumpstart your car, right? Well, why the heck are you jumpstart in the car? Well, because I didn’t turn the light on in the car, right? Well, okay, so the root cause is we’re going to make sure that lights turned on moving forward. But if we always leave the light on, then you jumpstarting the car’s a palliative issue, right? It’s not a root cause issue. So we’re always doing palliative things in together with root cause things. We always combine the two because a lot of times, that’s what pulls people out of it faster. If you just focus on it. Cost stuff, it takes a lot longer to feel better. And people need to feel better fast to be compliant and get paid. Yes.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, and that’s something that you learn clinically. So when you have people that just write blog articles or do podcasts, but they’re not working clinically, they don’t understand that so they’ll come in and, and I’m not calling anybody specifically out, but just this idea I’ve seen on the internet where or people say, Oh, you know, this whole, it’s a myth. You know, just take adrenal support, you should need it data. Well, here’s the deal. Like if someone has gut infections, and they’re exhausted, and they have poor digestion, and they have no minerals and they can’t sleep. If we give someone calming an adaptogen adrenal support in the evening and maybe some stimulating stuff in the morning based on their, their adrenal profile, if they start feeling better, they’re going to be more motivated to cook because we’ve got to get these people cooking real food. So the adrenal support could be used to help them to stop going to the drive thru because they’re too tired to cook a meal for themselves. Now they have enough fuel in the tank, they can come home they can cook. Now they’re going to feel better because we’re getting More nutrient dense foods, they’re going to have more minerals so they may sleep better, they’re cramping or pain issues may get better. So you kind of have to give people some good functional medicine crutches sometime and there’s no issue with that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. So the minerals are really important kind of getting back to our our clickbait thread of the day, enhancing energy for the summer. Why is it so important for the summer because with higher temperatures, you’re more likely to sweat and get and lose a lot of these minerals. So now if you’re stressed and you have adrenal issues and you’re drinking coffee to start the day, and you’re not adequately hydrating, you’re not getting minerals, and now the heat and the hot of the summer can really compound more of these issues. So you may notice more exhaustion, more fatigue, more heart palpitations or attack cardia or blood pressure issues either low or high. You may have all these different mood or energy issues, and that’s going to be exacerbated by the summer heat because the more you sweat, the more electrolytes you use. So just be very mindful of that. Starting the summer out is really make sure you start the day you get good electrolytes if you go outside, you know bring a nice bottle of extra electrolytes in there whether you put a trace minerals in there from Redmond Real Salt or you get a good Pellegrino or a good sparkling mineral water that has things in it, you know, make sure you’re on top of that. And then if you’re doing a lot of physical work, you can even come back in with a good post workout shake with some coconut water or something that has, you know, a little bit of extra glucose and potassium could be wonderful. And don’t forget about our favorite potassium source, which is going to be avocados, I mean, they got twice the amount of bananas. So people think well, you know, everyone thinks in general, Hey, what’s up but high potassium food, the first thing they jump to is bananas. Potassium is twice the amount in avocados which is great. That’s a good fat too.

Evan Brand: Give you a good reason gives you some good cassava chips and some nice guacamole with some lime or lemon juice squeezed in there we go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, mango. It’s a great way to do it. Anything else you want to talk about in regards to the heat I would say people that are more photo phobic or sun sensitive could have adrenal issues too. So good adaptogen formula is always going to be our favorite, you know, additional B five and there may be some additional tyrosine and some our favorite adaptogens are going to be asked Wakanda and rhodiola ginseng and Aluthro and and maybe holy basil. And again if you have a lot of high cortisol issues you got to be very careful on doing too much of the stimulators too much of the Ginseng’s and things maybe too much you may have to focus more on Holy Faisal and and magnesium and ashwagandha to kind of really modulate the High Courts or maybe even phosphorylated, serine and Gabba. Those are all things we’re going to be more careful to use when cortisol is higher for sure.

Evan Brand: Yeah, omegas are key too. So I noticed that I don’t get as tan and if I’m not taking enough or eating enough fish or taking enough omegas I noticed that I burned more easily. So omega is are pretty helpful in that aspect. And then always looking for a deeper cause to because with good weather people are hopefully outside more and unless you’re in like New Mexico where our friend JW lives where he says he hasn’t seen a tick in 25 years, which is ridiculous. A lot of places have ticks and if you’re getting tick bites, you know even The CDC who underestimates the numbers they estimate 300,000 new cases of Lyme, per year in Lyme and co infections like bartonella, or babesia can cause a lot of issues with temperature regulation problems. So if you’re somebody who you can’t handle the heat, but your friend next to you feels fine, but you’re burning up and you feel like you’re gonna die or pass out in the heat. You know, it could be minerals could be low hanging fruit, but we’re always looking deeper because for me, before I started treating myself for babesia, I had extreme temperature regulation issues, I would just be chilled to the bone in the winter, and I could not tolerate the heat in the summer, once I addressed the babesia. And I’ve had so many tick bites over the years, probably 2025 tick bites over my lifetime, even probably more as a kid I lost count, but, you know, I’ve been exposed to all these pathogens, unfortunately. But my temperature regulation system works a lot better now. So I would just encourage people that if you feel like the odd man or the odd woman out everybody’s fine when it’s 85, but you’re dying, you know, address the low hanging fruit that we discussed, but you know, feel free to reach out To a practitioner like Dr. J or myself and we would love to help you and make you resilient because it sucks if you’re trapped inside in the air conditioning because you can’t handle the heat that’s not a way to live in the summer. I like air conditioning, but I don’t want to have to use it if I want to be out in the sun I want to be out in the sun having fun. So if you need help, please book a call with Justin at, and if you want to reach out to me my website, We work with people around the world, we send lab test to your door, you send them back to the lab, we do a follow up call to discuss the results we make your protocol to feel amazing. So that’s what we do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% really appreciate it. Again, if you guys are enjoying this content, share it with friends or family most important thing is you take one or two things to apply out of this content and make yourself healthier, the healthier you are the better boss or employee or employer or mom or dad You can be to your community and to your family. And that really kind of spreads the wealth right across the board right? healthier people make better decisions, better decisions help the world so I think we’re on the right track there. If you guys enjoy the content, give us a thumbs up. Give us a share. Put your comments down below, let us know your experience with electrolytes and adrenal dysfunction and things that you’ve done that have helped. I really appreciate it. And Evan, fabulous podcast, man, really appreciate the content and the great back and forth, man.

Evan Brand: Yeah, oh, last thing, we could do a whole nother hour on it. But blood sugar. Make sure you address blood sugar. I tell you, I don’t feel as good. I get weak. I get woozy if I’m having a blood sugar crisis. So I’m not saying you got to prick your finger every two to three hours. But I’m saying you got to make sure you’re getting adequate fat, adequate protein. And especially if you’re moving more, you’re going to be kind of burning through those reserves. So you’re not sitting there reading a book, like you’re in the winter, you’re out you’re moving. So you may need to increase calories, increase fat, increase protein, if your blood sugar’s crashing, you’re going to feel weak, you’re going to feel depleted, you’re not going to feel good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you’re having a lot of chronic electrolyte issue, there’s probably some adrenal issues as well. So it’s good to have breakfast in the morning. Don’t do an intermittent fast if you’re having a lot of chronic electrolyte issues. Once you’re more stable and you’re feeling better in that department feel free and go do that. But until then, really make sure you’re having a good breakfast in the morning and even myself, right? I’m doing coffee, I’m doing 2025 grams of collagen protein, I’m doing some butter fat in there I’m doing I’ll do a glass of celery juice in a minute. So I’m still getting, you know, kind of a more of a liquid breakfast because I just like a liquid breakfast in the morning. I like feeling lighter. But then I’ll also make sure I get the extra potassium and good fats and proteins through a good through my coffee, so I won’t just do coffee by itself. I’ll combine it and again, if you’re caffeine sensitive, feel free and use a decaf or a decaf tea. And you can do the same kind of a model with that as well.

Evan Brand: Yep Awesome. Awesome. Well once again, the links you need to reach out, we’re very grateful for the opportunity to help you guys so take good care and we’ll be in touch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Take care. Bye. 

Evan Brand: Bye now.


Audio Podcast:

Low Potassium, Adrenal Dysfunction Your Immune System | Podcast #288

For today’s live podcast, Dr. Justin and Evan Brand talk about Potassium and our immune system. Among other minerals, Potassium also acts great especially in our body, energy, mood, blood pressure and a lot more. Let’s dive into why potassium is important for our immune health. Check this podcast’s transcript. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

2:18 All about Potassium

9:11 Oral Supplementation

18:32 Glucose

20:57 Foods with Potassium

27:11 Vertigo and Dizziness

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani, we are doing a live podcast here on potassium and your immune system. Potassium is an essential mineral. And it has major effects on the sodium potassium pump, how your cells function, energy, mood, blood pressure has a huge effect on the adrenal glands. I’m excited to dive in here with Evan Brand, Evan, how you doing today man? doing really well.

Evan Brand: So we were looking at some papers on this thing. And turns out a national survey found that approximately 98% not nine not 8, 98% of Americans are not meeting the recommended potassium intake. A Western diet is to blame as it favors processed foods over a whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Everybody knows that the American diet is crap. And it’s not just the American diet. Right? This is the standard European diet. This is the standard Australian diet you know, kind of most developed first world Countries they’re doing too much. Too much potassium devoid food. And let’s tie that directly into what we were also looking at which is this paper this based on the names of these doctors. And yeah, actually it shows it right here. When Zhu Zi Yong ha, Province, China, so yeah, so this is a Chinese hospital and Chinese medical universities to study that came out of hyperkalemia and clinical implications and patients with Coronavirus and long story short people that had potassium deficiencies. They had severe hypokalemia, which is the technical term for potassium deficiency. And it said here that the patients responded well to potassium supplements. And they were inclined to recovery so they don’t say directly Hey, low potassium means you’re going to get the virus or low potassium means you’re going to be really sick, but they just talk about how, because of this whole Ace to enzyme thing that you and I’ve covered many times, and the whole relationship to the virus that one of the side effects of the issue can be low potassium, and if you’re already low potassium to begin with, then you can end up in potentially fatal shape, which is not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% in potassium is very important because our sodium potassium pump is requires potassium. So what happens is, you have your cell, and then you have sodium inside the cell and you have potassium outside of the cell. And they do a little switcheroo ski, right. This is called the sodium potassium pump. The enzyme that’s involved in making that happen is ATP. And then you know, it’s an enzyme because of the word Ace next to an ATP ace. So ATP is important because ATP is generated from your mitochondria, right? We have glycolysis outside of the cell in the cytoplasm, and then we have our Krebs cycle, right? And we have our electron transport chain within the cell we generate 36 to 38 or so ATP from that that eight TP part of that ATP runs their sodium potassium pumps that ATP takes that sodium that’s in the cell and that potassium outside of the cell, they do a dance, they switch. So it’s three coming out to come in, right? Boom, just like that. And the cell needs that healthy fluid fluidity to work and to communicate. And if we don’t have that healthy fluidity, we’re going to have side effects. So one of the big side effects is we’re going to have muscle or nerve issues because potassium and sodium are very important for the muscles slash nerves to work, right nerves help control muscles, so very, very important there. You’re also going to see it with you’re going to see it with potential mood issues as well because sodium and potassium play an intricate role with the adrenal glands and part of the reason why people’s potassium gets low outside of a poor diet is going to be because of adrenal function. Now, typically with adrenals. Your dosterone starts to go low, which is a mineral corticoid that exists in The cortex to the adrenals. And what happens is as your dosterone starts going low, your sodium can start to drop. And as your sodium drops, sometimes your potassium can look like it’s not too bad, it can look actually a little bit high, but you could still actually have potassium issues because of the fact that you are your adrenals are weak and you’re pulling out a lot of your minerals. So muscle and cramps are going to be a big deal, weakness and fatigue because your nerves need that. Also, if you don’t have good sodium potassium pump issues, you probably have energy issues because the mitochondria healthy mitochondrial function for ATP is needed for that sodium potassium pump to work so potassium works better when there’s the ATP so that whole sodium potassium pump works. We talked about cramping as well because of the the muscles needing the wiring the fluid wiring sodium and potassium and minerals. So cramping is gonna be a big deal. We’re also going to have potentially digestive issues right? your bowel movements and your motility starts to Coming slower when your potassium drops, so we need healthy levels of potassium. So we have good bowel movements. Also heart palpitations, we need potassium and magnesium. So our heart could pump right our hearts a muscle as well. So if your heart skipping beats or beating harder or faster, that’s a sign of palpitations, which could be from that. And also just achy muscles, muscle breakdown, feeling tired and stiff, right? the breakdown of muscle was known as rhabdo. My license or my analysis, right? And that breakdown is going to be very much helped with good potassium levels, right, you’re gonna have less muscle breakdown, with potassium levels being adequate, of course, tingling and numbness issues are going to be a big one difficulty, you know, using your lung muscles mood stuff because of the adrenals as well. I’ll pause and give you a chance to comment.

Evan Brand: I’m glad you mentioned magnesium too, because, uh huh. You and I were kind of looking with a microscope today, right? We’re kind of spot picking right? One thing to talk about, but all these people that are deficient in potassium, I’m sure they’re going to be deficient in magnesium as well. I mean, we know how hard it is to get it from the food, even if it’s organic, because the soil is so depleted. So it’s a really common problem. And then on that whole mood changes, I just wanted to talk about that real quick. There was one study, and this wasn’t a necessarily a causation, but just a correlation study that we were looking at here. 20% of patients with mental disorders that came into this psychiatric ward 20% of them had potassium deficiency. So it’s not saying directly, the potassium deficiency caused the mood issue, there could very well be other things going on you and I’ve covered hundreds of times about gut infections, which could lead to mineral and electrolyte imbalances you hit on the adrenals. So, of course, as we know, when we hear something like that, we say, Okay, well, if you just give these people potassium, are they not going to have mood issues anymore? And the answer is, they could still have mood issues, even if they supplement Potassium, but it’s interesting and it’s something that often gets skipped. This is really low hanging fruit. Somebody could go to something very nuanced as this particular herb for this retrovirus or this bug, but the person’s just simply dehydrated and they’re not getting enough electrolytes, it could be something very, very simple like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and low potassium is so common, just like low magnesium is common. I think you said what 98% are going to have some kind of an issue.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I think this idea that yeah, I think this study I was referencing was probably just a survey where they looked at diet and figured out whether people were even getting the the the recommended daily amount, and 98% of people are not getting the recommended daily amount are already on the recommended daily intake. So I guarantee magnesium is in the same boat, probably 90 plus percent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. I agree. And then also there are medications that are going to affect potassium, right. We know a lot of the blood pressure medications as well as things that like water pills or diuretics. So if you’re on a BP medication, right, there’s a good chance some of that’s going to be actually driving further potassium deficiency. So low potassium levels are super common because of that. Also, we’re going to have problems with potassium if we consume too much alcohol, right, alcohols gonna cause us to pee a lot more potassium out because things like diuretics are going to cause you to lose more minerals, right? diuretics basically activate a hormone that causes you to kind of continue to pee. And the more you pee with a diuretic in your system, whether it’s, you know, excess coffee, or even access alcohol, you’re going to pee out a lot of those minerals. So that’s kind of like vitally important, right?

Evan Brand: And even Yeah, and even tea, I mean, even tea could be to blame. I think herbal teas can be great, but there is somewhat of a diuretic effect of certainties as well. So if you’re just like sipping on tea all day and not drinking enough just straight water or our preference water with a pinch of salt or water with some electrolytes, actually to it, you know, this can happen easily. And this is not just a problem in athletes, people hear the word electrolyte and they think you only need that if you’re in the NFL No, you need electrolytes just to function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, the problem with a lot of people with their potassium is, it’s hard to get too much if you’re taking it orally, right? Obviously, you go back to like the lethal injection people are actually you know, in the lethal injection in the prison system, people are actually being killed by potassium IV right or injection. Now, it’s hard to get too much potassium orally because some of the vomiting and from some of the vomiting and diarrhea side effects and the nausea side effects that you get from have actually having too low potassium. Well guess what, you actually have similar side effects when you go too high. So usually you get so nauseous, and you’ll either throw off or you’ll get diarrhea. So it’s very difficult. The only way to really do it orally is going to be with an oral supplementation. And you’d have to do a lot of it and all those symptoms would come into place. It’d be really high. The only way you You can get your potassium levels to the point where you’re going to be too high is going to be on an IV. And what they do actually on an IV to reverse potassium overdose is they do a bicarbonate infusion, bicarbonate actually neutralizes that high level of potassium. But some of the major causes are going to be diarrhea, right? So if you have a parasite infection or a gut infection that’s causing chronic loose stools, guess what? You may be having low potassium because of your gut. I have some patients that need five or six or seven grams a day of potassium supplementation, whether it’s because of a stress or a malabsorption issue, but all of their low potassium symptoms go away when they hit that level, meaning like the cramping, the twitching, the heart, the mood stuff all go away when they hit that higher level. So I mean, the goal is let’s fix the stress. So you’re not dumping the minerals as much let’s fix the gut. So we’re absorbing but, you know, I don’t typically don’t recommend doing more than one to two grams of potassium supplementally and we’ll do a good high quality keylight whether it’s a discoloration A or A potassium bicarb or we’ll do a potassium citrate like a new salt, which is a cheap source, and then we’ll try to plug in the recipe of the diet but if we have to go above, you know, we’ll do it incrementally and we’ll start looking for those low potassium symptoms to go away but alcohol is gonna be a big one, chronic kidney issues. uncontrolled Type One Diabetes will do it diarrhea, like we mentioned. So gut issues, diuretics is a big one. So if you’re on a diuretic on a blood pressure meds side, that could be a problem. sweating a lot. So if you’re sweating a lot, yeah, you’re gonna need a lot more minerals. Again how Gatorade was figured out I think it was the 1968 late 60s I want to say was the Orange Bowl one of these big bowl games the Florida Gators were actually playing halftime I think one of the exercise physiologist or PT people, trainers said hey, let’s get these electrolytes in and they had a kick butt second half and they just they killed it and won the game. And part of it was the electrolytes they put it and now we have all these things. Gatorade substitutes, but the real they were called Gator lights, right? Gator lights, not Gatorade. They tasted like absolute crap. So what you have now are a whole bunch of minerals with a whole bunch of sugar and dyes. Back then they just had the minerals and it tasted awful. But from a performance standpoint, they did really well because the other team didn’t have it. So they their muscles were functioning better. So sweating, not having enough full later B vitamins, having high amounts of aldosterone, whether it’s a tumor, or just our adrenals being overstimulated. Some antibiotics can actually have problems as well. And then vomiting vomiting too much can create low potassium too. And then obviously, just that junk food diet, we’ll talk about what it takes to have enough potassium in a minute.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and one thing too, that people miss out on a lot of these new companies, they’re doing a good job because they’re getting away from the corn syrup and the fake sugar and all that stuff, but you still do need based on some of the stuff we’ve looked at. I believe you need a little bit of glucose to help get potassium And your other minerals and electrolytes into the cell. So you’ll see if you look at they call it o RS oral rehydrating solution. This is like the military grade electrolytes. There has to be a little bit of sugar there has to be a little bit of a blood sugar spike, I believe it somehow opens the channel to let the electrolytes in. I’m not sure the exact you know, molecular level stuff that’s going on. But I’ve read into formulas that are just stevia or just monk fruit, some of these natural sweeteners that if they don’t affect blood sugar, you don’t actually get the benefit. So when you look at legit like military grade, electrolytes, they have a little bit of glucose spike associated with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the glucose is better, right? The problem is a lot of these places they have fructose, the fructose doesn’t target the muscles the same way as glucose does. So if you’re looking for an electrolyte formula, you you really want you can get the electrolytes by itself but then if you want if you’re doing a lot of sweating or a lot of glycogen depleting activity, whether it’s football or some kind of a sport that requires a lot of sprinting or running, then you’d want a formula that’s going to have more glucose in it for the sugar source, not fructose. fructose is a problem because it hits the liver more than the muscles. Glucose hits the muscles more than the liver. And like you mentioned, that helps open up that cell with the insulin and helps deplete the glycogen levels and helps that sodium potassium pump work better if you’re using a lot of glucose or if you’re sweating a lot, but if you’re not, and you’re just the average everyday person, probably getting the minerals in without the extra glucose is probably okay.

Evan Brand: Yeah, we talked about mold and detox and sauna and all of that, but I’m really shocked at how many people are doing sauna 234 or five times a week and they’re just drinking water. I’m like, Are you nuts? You gotta be doing electrolytes that is a critical component of detox in my opinion, is you have to make sure you’re replenishing and rehydrating because you’re losing a lot of minerals. You’re not just magically sweating out heavy metals and mold toxin, you’re sweating out minerals and electrolytes. You have to replenish those and you You were drinking a green juice earlier, I think you said your green juice had like 1200 milligrams per bottle or something crazy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, this is a great brand right here. It’s called evolution. They sell them in Austin and Selma, even in target now, which is kind of cool. Like, I like the fact that a lot of these healthier things are coming into kind of more mainstream box stores. But organic greens, I’ll typically drink the celery juice, but I’ve been doing the essential greens, they have the celery is the first ingredient so it’s still great. I love celery because of the minerals in there the electrolytes and then potassium is really high in celery, but it’s got cucumber, spinach, romaine kale, lime and parsley. And then they have a green devotion instead of lime. It’s got lemon, so they go back and forth, but there’s no actual fruit outside of the lemon or lime which is pretty low sugar. And this has got just alone It’s got I’m almost about 1200 milligrams of potassium. So I got about 25 to 30% all my potassium right here. So that’s pretty cool. So I just kill that after I have my really nice good breakfast with collagen and then I’m already a you know, a quarter of the Through my potassium needs for the day, which is great.

Evan Brand: Don’t you feel more like your thirst is quenched to like when I drink regular water compared to something like that. It’s just not as quenching to me as the good stuff, the green juices, they’re more thirst quenching. I’ll do like a little bit of electrolyte through a pinch in, like with some beet powder and stuff like that. And I feel great if I’m just doing filtered water and I’m not using aro I’m using like a carbon system even then though I water just doesn’t cut it for me. I like a little extra bang.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think a lot of people what they’re really craving is they’re craving some water, but they’re also craving minerals, right? And so because they’re craving minerals, if there’s no minerals in there, yeah, you’re going to feel like you’re missing out on something, right? So that’s definitely a big part of what’s happening is your body’s craving the minerals, and if they’re not there, that’s a problem. Also, I’m pretty sure Cushing’s is going to be another potassium issue, right? Cushing’s and potassium is going to be a big problem as well. So now what does that mean? So the kidneys excrete large amounts of potassium when you make a lot of cortisol. So what does that mean? So If you have Cushing’s that’s kind of more tumor induced where the cortisol is so high probably because of some kind of a tumor. But what if you’re in between? Right? What if your your adrenals are just overstimulated, you’re not on the adrenal, you’re not on the Cushing’s disease side but you’re just making a lot of cortisol because of chronic stress. So it’s possible your chronic adrenal stress could be causing you to dump a whole bunch of potassium out. So that’s where when you’re getting stress, under stress, physical chemical emotional, maybe that gluten is causing the stress, right? You’re gonna probably need more potassium, more minerals. potassium and magnesium are the most common ones. It’s so hard to get them most people get enough sodium and chloride because of just it’s in their natural junk food. I don’t get they don’t get the good quality from like a good high quality sea salt or Redmond Real Salt, but they’re getting some it’s really the magnesium and potassium I’m seeing as the big big missing pieces and today we’re really focusing on potassium.

Evan Brand: Yeah, makes sense. I mean, think about what happens when you’re dealing with somebody that’s really stressed right? They may have issues with constipation, they may have issues with Sleep, they may have issues with their blood pressure, they may have issues with anxiety as you hit on earlier, potentially Heart, heart pumps. So all of that, to me sounds like stress induced mineral depletion, which then causes other symptoms and you’re stressed about your blood pressure being elevated. So then that cortisol dump and adrenaline dumps more minerals, and then it become more mineral deficient. So you see how this thing can get out of control. And it sounds really cliche and corny to say, well, stress did it but it really does. And it’s not just the emotional, it’s the gut stress. It’s all of it that we always hit on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Also people are talking about in the messaging. Well, what about if I’m in ketosis and I don’t have glucose to open the cell? Well, I mean, we’re just talking about with x with extra exercise, right extra exercise, extra sweating. If you’re doing a lot of glycogen depleting kind of movement or exercise, you’re probably going to want to do some type of a glucose kind of refeed the night before the movement. And a lot of athletes who do keto still have a punctuated kind of glide And reefy the night before just other tapping their muscles out, because your muscles can hold anywhere between 250 to three to 400 milligrams or grams of glucose or glycogen, right? glucose in the muscles is glycogen, it’s stored, right? That’s the storage form of glucose in the muscles. So a lot of people, they’ll be in ketosis most of the time, they’ll do a refeed the night before, that way they have access to that glucose The next day, and again, depending on how depleting or how long you’re exercising, you probably want a nice little bit of a glucose, electrolyte drink. And again, that’s not most of the time, that’s going to be just more timed up according to exercise and kind of what your metabolic needs are. But for most people, you know, a good natural Gatorade source, guess what coconut water, got a little bit of glucose, a little bit of sugar in there, and it has a lot of potassium, so that can kind of be mother’s nature’s natural kind of Gatorade. It just depends on what you’re doing. If your kids playing football and sweating a ton, they may need a little bit more than that. You’re going to have to just feel it out. See what works. Test it on your own when your practice To sing and playing and see how you feel with that you may not need pure coconut water, maybe just diluted half and a half with a really good clean mineral water. And then you have a little bit of glucose, a little bit of extra potassium plus the other minerals working for you.

Evan Brand: Yep, you want to hit a little bit of the diet piece. Yes, you and I were kind of looking at some of this before you pointed out. Interestingly, and we’ve probably talked about this in previous but if you look at 100 grams of food as a measurement, the potassium per 100 gram of avocado is higher significantly than bananas. If you look at a full avocado, versus a full cup of banana, which maybe is a full banana, you’ve got almost double in the avocado. So you know as a kid, I remember thinking potassium banana, and that’s just kind of this thing you grow up with. But in reality, there’s things that are much much higher like beet greens takes the cake with number one here. 1300 milligram per cup of potassium that is insanity. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So most people don’t get it. So if you’re sitting Get in there. And you’re on keto, right? Well, what are the biggest easiest things you can do? Well, beet greens is number one. Okay? What’s number two salmon, high quality fish that’s per hundred grams. So what’s 100 grams? 100 grams is about 3.3 ounces ish. Let me just double check that hundred grams and ounces. I’m pretty sure that’s what it

Evan Brand:  sounds about, right? Because it says here, potassium per six ounce filet of salmon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So 3.5. So what does that mean? So Alright, so if you’re keto, right, and you want to really be on top of this, or you’re keeping your carbs down, what does that mean? That means Okay, if I eat seven ounces of meat, seven ounces of fish, I’m at 1300 milligrams of potassium, boom, you’re right there. And then you throw in some beet greens with it right? That’s three ounces worth right hundred grams. You’re at another one gram almost. And then guess what? You cut up an avocado with that. Right big avocados. Another 500 I’m sorry, another per avocado. You’re about one gram per full avocado you’re set. Right?

Evan Brand: I want to look up cassava because I love cassava. And what if you like did some guacamole with like cassava chips? I wonder if we’re getting any?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah, so we could do like Yuka in potassium because Yuka in protect you guys same thing as cassava. Yeah. So one cup of cassava is 558 milligrams, boom. 

Evan Brand:  So because our chips and I mean now, some would argue, well, you know, the, the baking process and whatever of the chips, okay, whatever, but it’s still better than zero.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, but a lot of times if you don’t bake it or cook it, you’re not going to be able to get the nutrients anyway. Like, if you look at broccoli, raw versus broccoli steamed, you’re going to see the nutritional value in the content goes up once you cook it, because then the fiber is broken down so you can actually access some of those nutrients.

Evan Brand:  Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So cooking a lot of times can make certain nutrients more bioavailable, too. It’s not Oh, cooking bad all the time. 

Evan Brand:  No, I’m just thinking. I’m just thinking of the one devil’s advocate out there saying oh well you’re eating. you’re advocating Eating, you know, chips fried and avocado oil. It’s like Yeah, I am. I think it’d be great. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it’s okay. I think it’s fine. I mean, don’t make it a staple. But I mean, I think it’s if you’re gonna have something like that it’s all about not going to the place in your head about like, Hey, what do you have to cut out versus Hey, what can I substitute? When you have a substitution mindset versus the cutting out mindset? One, you feel a lot more free and you feel like you’re not missing out on stuff because there’s always a good healthy stuff the tuition option that works. So let’s let’s kind of just create a simple day like what does a day of potassium look like? So off the bat, you know, on the vegetable side, one cup of you know, your typical vegetable greens will be anywhere between 500 milligrams to about 800 milligrams depending on the vegetables, right? Like one avocados gonna be about a gram, right? One cup of Swiss chard is gonna be about a gram. So you’re really at the top with those. One cup of spinach is about 840 milligrams, and then you have on the lower side, which would be like broccoli and brussel sprouts are closest 500 milligrams. So just to kind of give you a sample day here, let’s say we start out with a full avocado, boom, you got one gram of potassium so that now you’re like you’re like really on the way there. If you do a serving of fish like a good six ounce serving of fish, now what? Well now another gram is added, right? No problem. All right, and then now you’re at about now you’re at about two grams. And then if you throw in a green juice like this, you’re over three. And then if you have a serving of squash, or even white potato, or sweet potato, well now you’re at another 500 to 800 milligrams. Okay, now you’re at 35 to 3800 milligrams. And then you just need about four more servings of vegetables. And most people when they have veggies, they’re probably going to have two servings at a time, right? They’ll probably have close to a gram anyway. So you need about, I would say about four to six servings of a good quality green vegetable, you’re probably going to need one full avocado, and then one full serving of a good quality fish. And then you’ll get right about there and then you can always add in an extra avocado, you could always add in a little bit more fish, you could always add in a little bit more beet greens or green vegetables to get you the rest of the way there which is about 4500 to 4700. And then if you’re doing a lot more sweating, you could always throw in some coconut water. So I would say about six servings of green vegetables one full avocado, a good serving of fish and then you can always plug and play coconut water or banana according to what your metabolic needs are. What do you think?

Evan Brand: Yeah, and yeah, very good. And you didn’t mention any nuts which is another easy low hanging fruit so if you can get away with doing like pumpkin seeds, you can get a ton there if you do almonds or almond butter or you put a scoop of almond butter in a smoothie, you can get some there pistachios are super high and then I was looking on this other foods like-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  potatoes potatoes are huge so it means depending white potatoes if you’re trying to keep low carb or autoimmune find Nick’s that go to a squash or a potato but potatoes are very, very high in potassium. He will forget that.

Evan Brand:  Yep, yep. I was looking on this nutrient density chart. Whey Protein is number four 100 grams away, you’re getting over two grams 2200 milligram potassium 400 grams away. So if you can tolerate a good high quality Grass Fed Whey protein, that’d be easy. Think about if you made a smoothie with some greens, some whey protein in there, he threw some pumpkin seeds and a scoop on the butter, man, you’re set.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How many milligrams in the way?

Evan Brand: 2200 for 100 grams of, you know substance 2200 potassium.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: okay, I put 400 grams in the whey protein. Okay, so your typical servings probably like 25. So how many again, per 120 200? Okay, so if you’re doing maybe 25 or 30 grams of protein, which is what most people do in a scoop, I mean, you’re probably about what 500 milligrams.

Evan Brand: I’m going to look up I’m going to see what the serving size is because you and I use a couple professional grass fed powders. Let me see what the what it looks like. Yeah, so so one scoop Typically is 30 grams. So exactly, exactly, yeah, so you could almost call it you could almost call it one third then so you know 2200 divided by 600

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ish 656 50 ish. Okay, that’s cool. Someone else also asked about the vertigo and dizziness Yeah, low potassium can cause that vertigo and dizziness kind of feeling. So we kind of gave the general recommendation of 45 to 4700 milligrams of what you need per day on the potassium side. Most people aren’t hitting it, you’re getting six to eight servings of green vegetables, a high quality serving a good fish and some potassium and maybe I’m sorry, potassium from a full avocado or a green drink or some extra say starch, squash or sweet potato or white potato, you’re gonna be there at about 45 to 4700 milligrams. Most people may need more if they’re sweating, or if they’re under a lot of adrenal stress. So you may want to think about supplementing, if you’re still doing a great job on your food and you’re not there. You may want to fill in the gap, or you may want to just try it out. Add in a couple more of these nutrient dense foods that Evan and I just hit, and see if that fixes the issue. So, a lot of times people have these low potassium symptoms and they see it go away the BR and all I see is you’re going to see a lot of heart stuff, and a lot of muscle cramping stuff, those are going to be big things. So if you see the heart start to get better or the cramping get better. That’s an easy sign that you’re on the right track.

Evan Brand: What do you think, Kevin? Well, I think this is fun, and it’s something that can’t be ignored. So please address this, work on this, tweak it and see how you feel, I definitely feel better. I feel in a better mood. I feel more energetic when I’m staying regular with getting enough electrolytes as a whole. So I think he could be a game changer. And we can run some of these analyses on your body. You and I kind of talked before we hit record about how the blood really doesn’t change much. So looking at serum potassium may not be the best. So there are some other panels that we can look at, but as a whole, when we’re looking at organic acids testing and stool testing and we’re looking at gut infections a lot of times We can infer just based on observation symptoms, and what else is going on that you probably got a new issue. So the good news is, you can fix this, it’s relatively cheap to free to fix it outside of just tweaking the diet a bit at the grocery or farmers markets, but you can make it happen and make a big difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now, someone else chimed in about the evolution drinks and the plastic. I’m not too worried about the plastic with these, these are all cold pressed. Alright, so they’re cold pressed so that the juice that’s put in here is cold and these are refrigerated right away. So you’re gonna have leaching of plastics more when it hits UV light and or higher heat. So not now not that concerned about plastic plus, these things have a short shelf life. So it’s not like the the juice is sitting in there for like a year. It’s just sitting in there a very short amount of time it’s not being exposed to UV light or high temperatures going to being refrigerated, right. So you got to keep all that in mind. So I think if someone’s worried about the plastic, I think the extra extra nutrients that’s in there, it overlays any risk from the planet. Plus you’re not getting the heat you’re not getting warm substances and you’re not getting the UV light so I think the plastic is isn’t as big of a deal versus like a dishonor water that sits in there for a year or two and who knows if it’s going to be exposed to light when it sits out back the the the convenience store or the supermarket thought- 

Evan Brand: That’s what I’m thinking when you go to the gas station. You see the guy taking a smoke break you got the palette of dishonor water sitting there getting blasted by the sun on 100 degree day and then he goes and puts the water in the shelf at the gas station. So yeah, I think you got to choose your battles, right so I mean, the other argument would be well, if you were too busy this morning, you’re working with the kids you got to jump on here with me you got to go into clinic after this. You might not have got that green juice and you would have had zero minerals and zero potassium and zero greens because you didn’t know plastic because you would have tried to go for a blender instead. So you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly plus the higher quality grocery stores like Whole Foods for instance, they got a big dock the truck just goes right up to its full containment and some of the stores refrigerating it. If you’re going to a gas station and you’re kind of limited, some gas stations have the Pellegrino so you could always go by glass at the gas station. That’s probably a safer way but I’m not necessarily worried about the plastic with that but in general, a lot of sulfur in here anyway which will help you to toxify any lingering estrogen. So if you have the option I think it’s worth it.

Evan Brand: All right, well, let’s wrap this thing up. I think we covered a lot if you want to reach out clinically, Dr. Jay and I we work around the world with people we’re very grateful we’re very blessed for the opportunity to help you guys so thank you so much for not only commenting on these live videos, but of course just being there clinically because you help us learn we learned so much from working with people one on one way more than you learn in any book or any study is seeing how do people feel Hey, when you recommended this or that my energy went up 20% we love stuff like that it’s addicting for us. So we’re very very grateful and if you do want to reach out clinically, please check out Dr. Justin at Justin Health. and me, Evan brand at and we’ll be back next week to talk more. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent chatting with you guys. And if you enjoyed the content put your comments down below really want to know what you guys think. And if you have any future podcast recommendation topics we’d love to see it as well and sharing is caring. Get this to your families and friends and people that can use this information to help take control of their health. Alright guys, enjoy the fabulous holiday weekend. Take care y’all. See you later. Bye

Evan Brand: Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Mitochondrial Dysfunction & Other Causes of Chronic Fatigue- Mold & Candida Contribute | Podcast #287

Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Podcast! For this episode, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about chronic fatigue, which is a disorder characterized by extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest. Because sometimes, chronic fatigue can also be associated with mold issues, Candida and etc. Check this podcast out. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:06     Mitochondria

8:26    Toxins that damage Mitochondria

14:40   Mold Issues

22:22   How Mold and Candida affect Mitochondria

31:05   Nutrients and Vitamins

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Today we’re going to be chatting about chronic fatigue, mold issues and other different causes that could drive chronic fatigue. Evan, how are we doing today? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well. We’ve got just a couple of papers on this. And we don’t really more than that, because we have so much experience now ever since I had my issues. And you and I started digging into this. It’s like you and I jumped into the mold whirlwind over the past few years together. And it’s been really fun learning and educating people simultaneously. We’ve implemented stuff in our houses that have been game changers for us. We’ve implemented stuff clinically, that have been game changers for others, but I believe this is one of the biggest triggers of chronic fatigue is mycotoxins and I experienced it personally and so I can tell you my own issue, I was exhausted and I’m still recovering from that and your exercise intolerance goes down and a lot of that has to do with the mitochondrial damage to happen. So could you just give us maybe like mitochondria 101 What like, how do they help people? Why are they so important? What happens when they get damaged and all that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so your mitochondria, they exist inside of yourself, okay? And it’s going to generate ATP. And part of you know, so you have glycolysis, right? That’s going to be outside the cell where you’re kind of taking glucose generating energy. And then you have the Krebs cycle where you’re spitting out different amounts of hydrogen and ATP. And those hydrogens then now go into so you have these things called reducing agents, called FADHNAD and they gather up hydrogens, okay? And then these hydrogens, right, they enter the electron transport chain, they generate more ATP. So you have glycolysis to the Krebs cycle, right, or citric acid cycle, same thing. And then we have from there into the electron transport chain. And this is where we start to enter the mitochondria. And we need things like carnitine to help shuttle fat into the mitochondria. We need B1 B2 to help with fatty acid oxidation in the mitochondria, it’s part of how the mitochondria burns fuel to run the Krebs cycle and to get the electron transport chain set up we need B vitamins, we need magnesium we need carnitine like I already mentioned before, we need creatine we can use things like ribose we can use things like co q 10. These are all really really important nutrients that fuel these different metabolic pathways obviously, intermediary nutrients like Fumarate and malate and succinate. And then different amino acids are involved with the electron transport chain and or the citric acid cycle, Krebs cycle the leading up to it. So all of these pathways, they roll and they really help generate energy and generate ATP, which is that energetic fuel source. 

Evan Brand: And there’s a really good picture of the citric acid cycle some of the stuff that that you and I’ve learned from some of our books and study so we may be able to put that up in the shownotes to where people just want to download it look at it, I think it’s kind of cool because you could look at it and you could just quickly learn all the different nutrients that fuel each part of the cycle. So then I don’t want to say you could spot treat but for lack of a better word, you could kind of spot treat and go, Oh, magnesium, boom, I might be missing that be six. Oh, I might be missing that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yep. 100%. I’m gonna try to pull up a good picture for everyone to see here. So they can kind of wrap their head around it. A picture’s worth 1000 words. So if you guys can kind of understand the concept. I think that makes it a lot easier. I’ll pull that up here in a minute. Okay. All right, cool. Anything else you wanted to highlight on that before we dive in a little bit more? 

Evan Brand: Well, you mentioned a bunch of different nutrients. And so I think the most important part to pay attention to is that today we’re focusing kind of zoomed in. But you mentioned a lot of stuff that people could be deficient in for other reasons that we might not cover today. So parasite infections, bacterial overgrowth, any kind of dysbiosis. That’s not allowing the gut bacteria to produce some of these nutrients that may be involved. But that’s not the highlight of the show today. Today we’re focusing on other triggers and other causes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. Exactly. Very good. So of course, the first thing is we have things that enter the mitochondria. And that major nutrient, that major compound that’s going to enter that mitochondria is going to be acetyl co a, and acetyl. co a is made from fats, carbs and proteins. So the first thing I always tell people is we have to make sure we can digest and break down our fats, carbs and proteins. And we have to make sure we have good proteins, good fats, primarily carbohydrates. You know, of course, if you’re more active, you know, you can always do more safe starches and make sure you’re not doing too many grains and an inflammatory refined sugar. But we need good fats, we need good proteins because that performs and creates a really good building block for that acetyl. co a, and we need that for really, really, really good mitochondrial production. 

Evan Brand: Yep. Let’s dive into this study. This is really cool. One of my favorites, this guy, Dr. Brewer-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you don’t mind, I want to just hit one more thing. Just I want to set the table a little bit more for the listeners. Okay, let me just do this here real quick. All right. This is a really, really good picture. Can you see that on my screen yet?

Evan Brand: Yep, there it is. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, good. This gives you a pretty good idea. So the mitochondria is kind of the powerhouse of the cell. All right. And so when you look at energy, we first have the cytosol that’s outside of the cell. This is glucose. Glucose comes in glycolysis means breaking down glucose. glyco means glucose. And then license means breaking down. So we generate a little bit of energy here, ATP from glycolysis. Okay, then that then that little bit of energy then moves into the mitochondria. So this is the mitochondria here right now. So we have acetylcholine, acetylcholine then starts going into the Krebs cycle, that Krebs cycles in a turn twice and it’s typically forget exactly, I think it’s two to three NADH or going to be spit out for one fa, d h2. And this is going to turn around twice. And then these different electrons, these hydrogens that are collected from the Krebs cycle, the NADH and the FA, d h 22 to 3, NADH, one fA d h two going to enter the electron transport chain, and then more ATP is then created. So I want to say it’s like 36 to 39 ATP are created from glucose to Krebs cycle to electron transport chain, and I want to say it’s two or three for glucose. Like Allah says two or three for the Krebs cycle, maybe six for the Krebs cycle. And the electron transport chain is the majority where it happens. I want to say 33 or so I want to say it’s about 36 to 39 total ATP, per this whole thing and this is a mitochondria right here. So all most of this stuff happens in the mitochondria and then some of it happens outside in the cytosol. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask you. So if someone has major mitochondrial issues according to this picture, it looks like you would still be able to generate some, but it’s going to be a minimal amount of ATP created from glycolysis. Is that true? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct and then glycolysis is going to be dirty fuel right? So you’re going to get a lot more oxidative stress because of the advanced glycation end products that occur when you start making a lot of sugar right? A lot of sugar you coat your proteins right this increases oxidation oxidation and and then require more electrons to stabilize because when you when you oxidize something, right, think of cutting open an avocado, and it browns right or think about cutting open an apple and it browns, you’re losing electrons. That’s what’s happening there. Now you can easily go take a nice lemon or lime and squeeze the vitamin C from that on there, and that will prevent it from oxidizing. So the difference in your body is going to require a lot more antioxidant reserves. If you start creating a lot of oxidative stress, so glucose always burns dirty, okay, and there’s a really good book by Kristofferson called ‘Tripping Over the Truth’. And it’s a book all about mitochondria in glucose and cancer. So there’s a lot of data on this stuff already. So it’s really important to know that’s why we want to be more fat burners, good proteins and you can get carbs, you know, according to your metabolic needs. If you’re more active and, and you’re healthy, healthier and more fit and more lean and more active, then you can definitely add in some good high quality safe starches, but you really want to dial that in according to your metabolic needs. It’s not a set kind of size for everyone. 

Evan Brand: Very cool. Thanks for the picture. That’s awesome to see. So where do the toxins come into the picture? Well, the toxins are going to damage the mitochondria. So as you showed here, you can make some energy outside of the mitochondria. So you can still quote get by, but you may be exhausted if that Krebs cycle isn’t working properly due to potentially some of those nutrient deficiencies you covered that could be fueling the Krebs cycle. Maybe you’ve got infections or malabsorption issues going on. But we know that mold toxin damages the mitochondria law as well and actually sent you another paper in the notes if you wanted to look at it. It’s called mycotoxin its impact on gut health and microbiota. And this is pretty cool, because the end of this paper discusses that if you have good intestinal flora, they say here, it’s now well established that a healthy gut microbiota is largely responsible for the overall health of the host findings revealed that gut microbiota is capable of eliminating mycotoxin from the host naturally, provided that the host is healthy with a balance of good gut bugs. So long story short, and there’s a cool picture on that paper to just I don’t know if you can pull it up, but it’s called frontiers, cellular infection, microbiology, it’s a really cool picture of the gut and it just shows on the right that you’ve got all these different infections, like helicobacter, you’ve got E. coli, you’ve got reduction of beneficial bacteria, and therefore, the mycotoxins are not going to get treated as they should. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I see that right here. Yep. So on that you see a whole lot bunch of decrease in good beneficial bacteria. I can share it right real quick here with y’all. You can see a decrease in a lot of your beneficial floor right here, man, you don’t see an increase in a lot of the pathogenic floor right here. And then of course, you have lipid polysaccharides. These are going to be your endotoxin that are the outer coating of the bad Gram negative bacteria. And then of course, you have more than mycotoxins. And of course, that’s going to stress out the microbiome stress out the immune system is going to increase gut permeability. The more gut more your gut is permeable, aka leaky gut, the more immune stress you’re going to have, because now your immune system is interacting with compounds and toxins that normally wouldn’t Is that correct? 

Evan Brand: Yep, that makes perfect sense. And this makes sense of why probiotics can be beneficial right out of the gate. A lot of people discuss and you and I discussed binders and Bluetooth ion and fixing the environment and all of that, but I mean, this shows here that bumping up your good bacteria is going to be a critical component to so I personally implemented a 50 to 100 billion have some multi stream probiotics and I have felt better. Is that the magic here? No, I’m doing a lot of things, but it has been pretty beneficial.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yep, pull up that pull up that Brewer paper. Now I think that’s going to be the next thing we should talk about. So let’s go over that. 

Evan Brand: This is crazy. This is crazy. So if you scroll down, long story short, in clinic, Brewer and some of his associates in this in this paper, they were testing using urine testing, which is what Justin and I run in clinic as well. We do a urine mycotoxin screen. And right here on the first page. It’s crazy says right here that urine specimens showed that 93% of his chronic fatigue patients these are known chronic fatigue sufferers. 93% of those were positive for at least one mycotoxin

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So if you look here, right, here’s 112 patients 93% had at least one mycotoxin, again you have different mycotoxins, you have the aflatoxin- This is common like peanut stuff okra toxin and then you have the tri coat the scenes which is common in the in the black mold the Stacie buttress black mold, okay, so these different toxins we can actually test and now it’s important. Some people may test these things and they don’t do a really good glute. If I don’t push people that have really poor to toxification they may not push these things out. So you really want to make sure a couple of days ahead of time you do a good Bluetooth ion push and and even that you may just want to even look at the home too and do a really good play test on your home. Again, we use immunologic labs, we’ll put some links down below if you guys want to procure those tests, but some people they may have a hard time pushing it out. So yeah, so number one is I always recommend do a glutathione push. If you feel achy or really bad or brain foggy or tired or fatigued that could be a good time. Also, if you have a lot of mold in the home, especially molds that have these mycotoxins The nice thing about the amino Linux. It’ll tell you if these mycotoxins are produced by the species of mold they find so they see Aspergillus, or different mold that can be produced during water damage, then usually there’s an oak, there’s usually going to be a mycotoxin attached to it. There are some molds that are natural, like in soil and just plant degradation outside. Those are different some more from pet dander and those kind of things. So you’re able to get a window into all those things, as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I just want to say one comment about the push. When I first did my original mycotoxin urine screen, I did do Bluetooth ion for maybe three days and I guess that wasn’t enough because my Michael phenolic acid, which is a mycotoxin that comes from Penicillium, which I was exposed to my level was a 12, which was in the red range, but it was just barely. And then when I retested six months later after trying really hard and doing sauna therapy, which is another way you could actually do provocation. If someone doesn’t have glue defi on, you could do a sauna session, then collect urine, that could also help but six months later, my levels went from a 12 to a 1700 my levels were off the chart, even though I’d been trying for six months to get it out, and I did feel better. Some may look at that. And I’ve had some clients, you know, call me and they’re like, I’m crying. I’m freaking out, my levels went up what’s going on, and we explain most of the time, that doesn’t mean new exposures happen. That just means you’re getting better at detoxification, and you’re pushing more out. And that’s what happened to me. So my levels were really, really low. Six months later, they were really, really high. And then another six, eight months later, they were low again, indicating that I did actually detox it and push it out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now part of the reason why we were able to stick with it is because we knew that you had high levels of mold in your old home, correct? 

Evan Brand: Well, so it was a crawlspace exposure. Looking back at the plates. The house was minimally bad honestly, what I think happened based on talking to Scott force grant, he his theory on it is that my tick bites that I got sort of set the mold in motion because I had the most exposure when I was a kid hanging out in my grandmother’s house. Were her babies basement flooded many times. And I remember going down there and smelling musty basement. So I guarantee you, I’ve had mold toxin, you know, just because I’m genetically unable to detox it like a lot of people are, I probably had it since I was a very, very young child. But his theory was that the tick bites basically weaken the immune system enough to allow the mycotoxins to really take me down. Whereas before, I may have had some symptoms, but it wasn’t as it wasn’t as brutal. So it was the combination of tick bites, and then some more recent mold exposure, that kind of retriggered things. Yeah, and I think it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I think it was a combination because I didn’t really get exposed to that much upon looking back at my plates and comparing those to some of my clients. I’m like, you know what, this wasn’t that bad. I mean, we had a though, I remember them being more high. So everything in the house was in single digits. It was just the crawlspace that was in double digits. And then once we did the fog treatment, everything was back to normal but what really screwed me is when we modified the the hva system. And we were trying to circulate the air in the crawlspace. Better. So the ductwork was changed to make a complete loop system from the crawlspace, sucking that air pumping that air into the house, and then the house pumping back in. So it was a continuous loop. And that’s what really screwed me because that setup wasn’t there before. And that’s what really cranked the levels up. And that’s where, even after we did an initial treatment, the levels went way up. Because now we were bringing in bad air into the breathable air. And so once we reverse that correctly, so if I remember correctly, is you had this crawlspace right, there was mold in the crawlspace. That was really high. The rest of the house was okay, but there was a lot of whole mold in the crawlspace they fixed the ventilation part of the home before they treated the crawlspace. Is that correct? Yeah. So we Yeah, we treated the home silly. I mean, absolutely. I can’t believe that happened. I’m just like, How the heck did these guys screw that up? I know, I know. So So then we treated it again though. And then the reverse the duck system that we had put in we reversed all of that. And then treated it again. And then it was fine. So technically, I could have stayed because the plates were incredible after that, but I needed a bigger house. Anyway, we had another kid come in. So it was a good excuse for me to just say, hey, let’s just go ahead and leave. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right but that was a big trigger for you. And then I think even in the new home that was still a little bit more mold that came back on that home to right near the retreat that address. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, we treated this house as well. We had some high colonies near the kitchen, which is potentially from the kitchen empties out into a screen room. So if those screen doors were always open, bringing bringing in outside air outdoor molds over time can accumulate in the house and make mycotoxins so yeah, we’ve we’ve treated it and now we just do some of the maintenance solution and we do some of the candles and such and now we’ve got it under control. So and then-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also in general, you have the dehumidifier put in so then the humidity is now a lot less in the home. So that helps so there’s less breeding ground for it. And then you also just have air filtration throughout the home. So even if things were to come in your filters would naturally grab it anyway. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I would assume my house is probably one of the few in Kentucky that doesn’t have mold in it because even with our whole house dehumidifiers, I mean, it’s pouring rain as we speak right now the ground rarely dries out because we have so much rain here lately. And even with the whole house dehumidifiers running, we’re barely keeping the house at 50% 45 to 50% humidity if you didn’t have those Running Man, who knows outside right now is like 86% humidity. And you and I’ve discussed this many times on the podcast, but you know, if you have humidity levels above 50% continuously in your home, you don’t have to have a water event. You don’t have to have a dishwasher overflow or a toilet leaking. Just the high moisture from the humidity alone can create mold, and that’s what happens in many homes that you and I’ve tested. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it really happens in areas where the temperature is just a little bit low. So you don’t have the AC because the AC will act with a natural dehumidifier but it’s temperature driven where humidifier is humidity percent driven. So I had a little bit of so if you have a you know 65 or 70, and it’s not quite triggering the AC, that’s where you really get screwed, but it’s not cold enough, not hot enough to trigger an AC but it’s also very humid 6065 70 or it’s just a basement area where basements are really cool but humid, that’s where you really need it because then if you get a humid basement, that’s cool. Well guess what it’s going to that ventually those molds are going to go upstairs to the rest of the home even if the rest of the home is is you know nice in and low humidity because of the air conditioner. So having a dehumidifier is important. I had a little bit of water issues over the weekend I was changing my water filter. And there was like three vowels you have to turn off. I only turned off two out of the three so it leaked a bit. Nothing bad I you know, got three or four towels cleaned it up. But what I did is I went in crank that dehumidifier down to 40%. And within two, three hours, any residual water that was hanging out was all evaporated, gone. But if you had 60% humidity in that basement, that water would just sit there for days on end. Once that water sits for 48 hours. It’s gonna start raining mold toxins. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m glad you got the dehumidifier too. That’s, that’s pretty much essential for where we live with higher humidity. So, back to the chronic fatigue thing. So let’s keep going back on this paper because this is what I had.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you want you can go share your screen here, Evan, you can share your screen if you like. Evan, are you there? Can you hear me? I lost that and guy, so I’ll wait for him to kind of come back on here. I’ll just keep on riffing. While we are waiting for him. I’m just gonna give him a message here.

All right, awesome. So just chatting with Evan here on the on the side here. He’ll be back on the show in just a minute. Let me keep rolling with you guys. So in general, we have the mitochondria we have different mold toxins that can affect and poison the mitochondria. One of the things that we get with fungus or mold is we get things called oxalates. And oxalates can enter the mitochondria enter the Krebs cycle, and make it harder for that Krebs cycle to work and harder to generate energy. So of course, that’s going to be a big component to stressing out the mitochondria. So when we look at molds coming into the end environment, whether it’s mold from outdoors, whether it’s molds or fungal because it kind of have molds, right, and then you have different things like funguses in your gut like Candida, they kind of have a similar mechanism where they’re going to affect and poison the mitochondria. and different things like that can create oxalate and they can really make it harder for the mitochondria to generate ATP. 

I’m going to show a couple of articles here I got an article on mold and how it can affect or Candida and how it can affect the mitochondria. I’m gonna pull this up with you guys here right now so you guys can see it. So this is interesting right here, you guys can see my screen chronic intestinal candidiasis as a possible ecological factor in chronic fatigue syndrome. We talked about Candida syndrome, also known as Candida related complex, putatively caused by an overgrowth of Candida, so that’s an overgrowth, not the Candida is not ever going to be there. It should be there and maybe at very low levels, it’s the significant overgrowth. That’s the problem.

And essentially in response of large number of patient with chronic fatigue to an oral antifungal agent, there’s evidence that Candida infection of the mucous membranes depress our T cells and natural killer cells. Similar abnormalities of the immune function are found in chronic fatigue. So it’s altering our immune function. So our body’s ability to deal with an immune response and deal with infections and deal with stress is going to be impaired big time. This is this is really, really, really important to kind of highlight and then it says, um, and it’s important in preventing reactions like epstein barr cytomegalovirus, herpes virus, there are other viral infections that could play a role with chronic fatigue. Right? And again, with chronic fatigue, the question is what comes first? Is it the chicken or the egg? In other words, when you have a an infection, is it the infection is cause is the underlying cause or did you have a weakened immune system leading up to the infection that caused the problem to begin with. 

That’s really what the underlying issue is, did you get the infection first? Or did the infection come as a result of the weakened immune system, and I’m not sure if it matters too much, we always try to line up what the what the likely causes. But we know here things like Candida and gut issues can affect the T cell and the natural killer cell, this is going to be our th one branch of the immune system. So our th one or those kind of special forces, they get in there and really do a lot of killing ahead of time. And they kind of the first line defense of the immune response. That’s like kind of really, really, really important to highlight and then it talks about here. And so then when you have a compromised immune system, other parasites other viral issues may be an issue then mold may be more of a problem. So now when you get exposed to mold, you may have been able to whip through it no problem you adapted to a bun now it’s like dang I think really knocked on your butt. So then said yes. The immune dysfunction found in the sorter has been considered the primary underlying cause. So this imbalance of cytotoxic T cell and T helper cells and natural killer cells is the underlying cause. It proposed that the chronic intestinal combat is maybe an agent, which leads to the immune depression in many chronic fatigue patients, and therefore, it could be a causal factor in chronic fatigue. So a lot of times we have the guts stuff leads the way. Okay, the guts stuff leads the way and then everything else happens after that, that makes sense. All right, excellent. Excellent. Very good.

I’m going to just take a pause here for one second. We lost Evan here, so I’m gonna see if I can get him back on the show as we chat. All right, let’s keep on rolling. So we talked about some of the guts stuff now you can see some of these things here with Candida and mold. We can see the same thing with CBOE as well. All right, if we look at small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO and chronic fatigue, guess what we’re gonna see similar things and why? Why is it? Well, it’s because of the fact that the God is where 80% of the immune system lives this is important. So when you look at research, research suggests the high prevalence of SIBO among chronic fatigue patients, One study found 77% of chronic fatigue. patients had SIBO why because when you start to have gut issues, the immune system starts to get revved up, right. And when the immune system gets revved up, it gets weakened or you start to create an imbalance like that th one part of the immune system starts to become depleted. And when that th one becomes depleted, that’s going to make it harder for you to go after and deal with other stressors like SIBO like Candida like mold, right. This is why the gods plays a big role is because you have this tube.

That’s technically outside of your body yet when you swallow food, it’s technically outside of your body because when it goes into the bloodstream, that’s now inside, technically, it’s outside of the body, you’re have 80% of the immune cells in the golf, the gastric associated lymphoid tissue, that’s the part of the stomach. And then we have the mall. That’s the mucus associated lymphoid tissue that’s in the in the small intestine. And if you have stressors, whether it’s bugs or bad food that stresses out the immune system, the more chronically the immune system is stressed. It creates imbalances and makes it so other things that now encounter your body like mold or Candida or viruses like epstein barr mano, right? The kissing disease. Now that’s going to create more stress and really, really, really knock on your butt. So we always have to look at what the underlying root cause of everything is. So, so we don’t lose sight of that. So we always want to understand what’s the root cause? What are associated causes and just because it’s an associative cause, you still want to make sure you fix it. Because sometimesyou’re not really sure if there’s three or four different infection 234 different bugs, does it mean that hey, each one is 25% equal, maybe, sometimes one’s a bigger one. And we also have to make sure we set the table. So if there’s food or other issues that are driving the problem, to begin, we got to make sure we fix that. What if those things have created an autoimmune issue? And now you have Hashimoto is because of the mold or because of the bug issue. Right. And now, the thyroids been attacked for a decade. Well, now what do you got to do? You can’t just ignore the thyroid and be puritanical and say, well, the root cause is Candida. 

Therefore, if I only fix the root cause, then everything else should be fixed. No, you may still have to go in there and support the thyroid because the hormone levels have now dropped, or the adrenal levels now have dropped. So you, you, you know, it’s easy to be like, well, the root causes this, everything else goes downstream, yes, but you may have to come in there and support those other pathways so you can get better and feel better faster. If not, you may be suffering for a long time. Really, really, really important points. All right, I’m going to roll with questions guys and see where you’re at with everything. So in general, with foods, big things that are going to stress this out, if you’re eating lots of refined sugar, and you’re and you’re spitting out a lot of candy to the candy doesn’t make a whole bunch of lactic acid, and that can make it and though that can easily eat a lot of your B vitamins, so the more Candida and the more bugs we have, the more you’re going to be consuming and ripping up a lot of your B vitamins. So B vitamins are very important. When you have bad bacteria, it’s gonna make it a lot harder for you to consume a lot of those good healthy B vitamins because your bugs in your gut are going to be consuming it for you. That’s like super, super important bugs in your gut are going to be consuming it. Number two is the bacteria is and it produced toxins. And this is big because these toxins now put more stress on your guts. So put more stress on your detoxification pathway. 

So when you have a lot more gut toxins, like polysaccharide or endotoxin, or the different mycotoxins may be made by Candida, and now your detoxification pathways get stressed. And now the sulfur that your body needs to run detoxification pathway have to get up regulated, you’re going to need more B vitamins like b 12, and fold a and be sick. So you’re going to need more of those nutrients as well to run those detoxification pathways. And so that can also drive fatigue as well because if you’re really like your body only has so many so much resources, so if you’re really toxic, if you’re really toxic, your body’s gonna allocate a lot of the nutrients on the B vitamins side or the sulfur side that may plug into the mitochondria. ….. ossification have less resources over here. So just just very, very, very, very important to keep that in the back of your head. Okay, awesome. Okay, very, very good.

All right, excellent. So it’s very, very important to really keep an eye on all the resources here because the more stressed your detoxification pathways gets, they’re going to pull a lot of that sulfur, they’re going to pull a lot of the B vitamins, and those are all nutrients that would plug into that mitochondrial pathway to begin with. So really, really, really, really important. You need so for people forget you need sulfur to actually make a lot of your dopamine and adrenaline. So dopamine and adrenaline. You need good sulfur. All right. And so if you if you’re chronically stressed, you’re going to be making a lot of adrenalin and eventually you’re going to be depleted because you’re not going to have that good software to take dopamine to norepinephrine, epinephrine, so you deplete sulfur because when you have dope mean that’s your feel good neurotransmitter you feel good, helps you focus. It’s a good reward center neurotransmitter, and that will go downstream, the more stressed your app is epinephrine, norepinephrine, that’s basically adrenaline or catecholamines. And these things are going to get very, very depleted, the sulfur will, will get very, very depleted, the more you’re chronically stressed, and then you’ll have less sulfur. And then the less sulfur you have, you’re going to have less building blocks for glutathione for your methylation, for all your detoxification nutrients, so it really plugs in. You want to look at everything holistically, so it all makes sense. All right, wonderful. All right, guys. Hey, phenomenal chat with you. If you guys enjoy today’s podcast talking about Candida talking about mold and mycotoxins connecting it to the mitochondria connecting it to energy. These are all very, very important components and on how and why everything you know is vitally important, why it all connects. So in general, co q 10. Very important, you know, anywhere between 100 to 500 milligrams a day. B vitamins, you know, a good high quality B Complex especially if we see on an organic acid test more forming a glutamate or more methylmalonic acid that tells us B12. And it also tells us full later benign, we may see things like xanthi urinator, kind of urinate which tell us B6 is important because B6 helps with our brain it is needed for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, right serotonin and dopamine. So if we don’t have good neurotransmitters that’s gonna really really affect our body’s ability to sleep to deal with stress mood, our adrenals right B five is a really important one pens authentic acid, we need it for our adrenals and also plugged into our mitochondria. Krebs cycle amino acids like I’ll see on these mitochondrial tests, we’ll see low sulfur like we’ll see low sulfate or low power of glutamate, or we’ll see low Pokorny, which is a sign of lower amino acids and these amino acids plug in to the Krebs cycle. 

And you can see here I’ll try to pull it up on screen how the amino acids plug in, but there’s a bunch of amino acids and the Krebs cycle. I’ll try to pull it up here. Now, why is this important? Well, because if you have poor digestion, because of mold, because of Candida, guess what’s going to happen to your body’s ability to break down protein? It’s going to drop, it’s going to significantly drop. Okay, I’m going to pull this up here so you guys can see how amino acids plug in. They plug in significantly. Okay, I got it right up here for you guys. Alright, cool. Let me just show this to you guys so you can see it. So this is what the Krebs cycle looks like. Okay, so you have remember this is the glucose here is in the site is all that’s outside of the mitochondria. Okay. All right, and then this stuff here comes in glucose phospholipids animal pyruvate pyruvate to acetylcholine. Now this starts to enter into the mitochondria, so sudo Coase now in the mitochondria, so look at these building blocks a Piru a to acetal koi look what it is people listening here we have a video version two so you guys can see my screen alanine cysteine glycine serine three Nene trip the fan right I so loosing all these things are big these are all essential amino acids that plug in to pyruvate and the seal co a and these kind of provide the building blocks to ratchet through your Krebs cycle and this thing is going to turn around twice. So you have saturate the ISO citrate and then you have alpha ketoglutarate more glutamine more prolene more histidine more origin and get plugged in. Then you have [inaudible] when you have more isoleucine more veiling right these are branched chain amino acids. Now this is part of the reason why working out with branched chain amino acids helpful refining 3d and then it goes from succinylcholine to succinate or we have tyrosine and phenyl alanine, which helps dopamine and adrenaline and then Fumarate to melee, melee to oxaloacetate, which is aspirin gene and aspartate. And then it plugs right back into we’ll see the code so you can see how that works. All right, you can see how that works very, very important amino acids. So if we have very poor, if we have very, very poor digestion, we have low hydrochloric acid, we have low enzymes, that’s an a play a really, really big role in this whole thing. So getting your enzymes and your stomach acid up really having a clean diet, really breaking down your food, and then really working with a good practitioner to look at the mold toxins or the gut stress the Candida in the gut. Right, and it’s more of an overgrowth, maybe looking at SIBO maybe looking at H. pylori or other gut infections. Looking at the environmental mold, if there is mold, how do we fix it right? What’s the root cause of that mold? Is it a muted humidity issue? Do we just need an air filter? Do we have to do a bio balance protocol in the home to get the mold level down right? So we have to look at the whole picture so we get to the root cause I hope that makes sense. 

Any other questions? Feel free I’ll chime in and try to answer them here for y’all. I think we got most stuff here that’s on point kind of already dialed in. So if you guys want to reach out to Evan, is a console link you can feel free and schedule. Also head over to my site to schedule a consult with myself if you want to dive in deeper we’ll put links down below. If you guys enjoyed this content, share it with friends and family make sure you subscribe hit that like button hit the bell so you get notifications. It’s phenomenal chatting with y’all really appreciate it. Just do me a favor try to apply some of this information so that you can make yourself healthier. It’s really important when you’re healthier. You become a better parent, a better person a better employee, a better boss, and it just it really helps the whole world get better the healthier you get the whole world gets better. Alright guys, it was phenomenal chat and you guys have a great day. Take care. Bye


Audio Podcast:

What Is Ozone Therapy: Immune-Boosting Oxygen Treatment

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Ozone (O3) is a potent form of oxygen composed of three oxygen atoms. Ozone is both a natural and man-made gas. In nature, ozone is formed naturally through both lightning and the interaction of ultraviolet radiation from the sun with molecular oxygen (O2). The ozone layer, the range which spans about 6-30 miles above the Earth’s surface, reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation that reaches us at the surface level.

Ozone therapy has been used in medicine since World War 1, though it lacks sufficient research to have made it into the mainstream. Ozone is the strongest naturally occurring oxidant. From the research that has been done on ozone therapy, it has been found to be an effective tool in modulating the immune system, enhancing circulation, destroying bacteria and viruses, and enhancing oxygen delivery by the body.

Benefits of Ozone Therapy

Medical ozone disinfects and destroys microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and protozoa.

The cells that are most susceptible to foregin invasion or infection by pathogens are also the most vulnerable to oxidation. With the use of ozone therapy, ozone destroys cell growth by disrupting cell growth, thereby eliminating the pathogen.

Research has shown promising results in the following conditions though the therapeutic use of ozone:

  • Infected wounds and expedited wound healing
  • Viral Infections and Diseases
  • Bacterial Infections and Diseases
  • Diabetic Foot
  • SARS
  • AIDS
  • Circulatory Disorders
  • Breathing Disorders
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer

Antibacterial and Antifungal 

Ozone has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it a good choice for treating infections and wounds. Ozone gets inside the cell walls of bacteria and fungi to oxidize and destroy the lipids within. In fact, ozone has also been demonstrated to destroy biofilms, which are notoriously hard to treat. This implies ozone may be a useful treatment in cases where antibiotics fail– like against resilient microbial infection where biofilm is present.

Boosted Immune Response

Ozone is a potent immune system modulator–meaning when the immune system is in overdrive (like with autoimmune diseases) it will calm it down, and when the immune system is under-active it will stimulate it–like with cancer and chronic infections. 


Ozone increases antioxidant production more than any other therapy else we know of, including vitamin C. Ozone works by increasing endogenous production of antioxidants (production stemming from within the body).

Increased Oxygen Efficiency

Ozone stimulates increased oxygen uptake, which has very good implications for diabetics.

Improved Circulation

Ozone improves circulation and enables more oxygen to reach the capillaries; therefore providing cells with more oxygen. Those with chronic inflammation tend to have weak circulation.

Ozone Safety Precautions

Ozone is an unstable molecule, and therefore there are risks. Ozone therapy is not currently approved by the FDA, and therefore healthcare practitioners within the United States cannot perform this therapy on patients, although there are many researchers and doctors who believe this powerful therapy warrants further study.

While ozone can be dangerous, when administered correctly it has several healing benefits. Therapeutic dosage of ozone gas can be administered any of the following ways:

Auto-Hemotransfusion: Blood is drawn from the body, mixed with ozone gas, then reintroduced to the body.

Injection: Intravenous or intramuscular injections.

Internally: Ozone dissolved into water as a medicinal drink.

Rectal Insufflation: Ozone gas administered through the rectum.

Topically: Ozone gas can be administered directly to the skin through a sealed bag or special medical chamber.


While ozone therapy is not currently FDA-Approved, and there are certainly risks if it is misused, the benefits surely warrant further research. 


How Parasite Can Weaken Your Immune System | Podcast #285

Here’s another episode of Beyond Wellness Podcast! Parasites tend to live in our bodies. These organisms can enter our body anytime depending on what we touch, what environment we are in and especially on what we eat. If this happens, it doesn’t only affect our digestion but also our immune system. Check out this podcast with Evan Brand to know more about how parasites can weaken our immune health. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

03:11     Parasites in our Body

09:30     Water and Food Components, Pre-digestion

18:32     Parasites effects in Digestion

22:54     Gut Stabilization

27:25     Protocol vs. Personalized Care

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here, we are going to have a fabulous podcast in store for you. Evan and I are going to be chatting about parasites and your immune system. Everyone’s talking about having a stronger immune system today, or at least with all the COVID-19 issues, people are concerned about having a stronger immune system. And we’re going to talk about how gut function can impact your immune system, especially parasites. Hey, Evan, how are you doing today, man? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing wonderful. You know, I think this whole thing’s been a big wake up call for people that have been ignoring their health. I think it’s really brought health to the forefront of the conversation and maybe people that have been ignoring their health or abusing their health or just simply being educated or naive about health issues. I think now people are kind of waking up to crap. There’s actually a correlation between my health on a day to day basis and what happens in society. So if society has some sickness going around, I can be more susceptible. I could be weaker, I could be more violent. Trouble and people don’t like that people don’t want to feel vulnerable. And so one of the biggest things I think increases vulnerability is predisposing factors we’ve talked about this weeks ago with the blood pressure issues and the heart disease issues and some of the other the comorbidities that were popping up with the viral issue now, not to get too off subject, but I did notice yesterday, the CDC finally updated their statistics, because we talked about how every death was being marked as COVID until proven otherwise. And now that they’ve updated that the number of deaths in the US has been cut in half, it’s been about a 50% drop. Now we’re showing even less than seasonal flu deaths. We’re showing like 35,000. So just wanted to point that out that that was updated for on the CDC website over the weekend.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I talked to Dr. Rawls last week, and we had a really good conversation and one of the key questions I asked him was like, Hey, Doc, there’s two diagnosis. For COVID-19 there’s UO 7.1 UO 7.2. And I’m pretty sure that UO 7.2 is a subjective diagnosis for COVID. And I just told him, I said, Do you recall a subjective diagnosis and an objective diagnostic code for the flu or other types of respiratory infections? And he couldn’t recall that, you know, he’s a medical doctor for 35 years. So the concern for me is you have one diagnostic code that’s objective, right? You do a PCR test or some kind of testing to evaluate it right. And then the other one is totally subjective. AKA you have any upper respiratory infections you pass away, or or you pass away have diabetes or Alzheimer’s or cancer, but you also have COVID. Right? SARS 2Cov. virus, well, it just doesn’t feel right that that would be added to the death list. So I think we have some of these confounding variables. And we just got to keep that out there and we got to look at it and compare it to precedents. How does precedents look in regards to previous flu seasons? Even all cause mortality? How does it look? So I think it’s always good to have context. Context builds comfort? 

Evan Brand: Definitely, definitely. But back on to today’s subject, how is it tied in? Well, parasites are something that I’m sure humans have dealt with for a very, very long time. And there’s some people that argue that we could coexist with these pathogens. But our argument based on looking at thousands of people via lab testing is that and just clinically looking at symptoms and their skin and their moods and their sleep. Our argument is that you really can’t coexist with these pathogenic organisms that create inflammation, they disrupt the gut barrier, they’ve reduced stomach acid, they cause malabsorption. They allow bacteria to thrive and Candida to thrive. Maybe when the food supply was not tainted in the soil had minerals and there weren’t chemicals in the food and the water in the air. Maybe you could get away with it. But in the modern world, we just have too much toxin in our bucket to be able to come exist with thee. So you got to find them and then fix them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I tell patients, there’s two ways parasites cause problems, right? Number one is you get exposed to a large bolus of a parasite, whether it’s giardhiam, and some drinking water or e histo, or some worms in some undercooked meats right in such a large amount and overwhelms your system, or you get exposed by smaller amounts, and due to stress, your gut barrier, your IGA levels are weakened, your immune system is weakened, your hydrochloric acid levels are lower, your enzyme levels are lower, and you’re going to have a hard time keeping the area clean, you’re going to have a hard time digesting your food you’re going to have a hard time providing a compounds in the environment that can make it hard for bad stuff to grow. So like when we ferment different fatty acids and we acidify the small intestine like with butyric acid, for instance, or a lot of these acids that get produced through fermentation. Through good healthy probiotics, right? Remember lactobacillus acidophilus, acidophilus, literally translates to acid loving, these acids make it hard for bad critters to grow. Right. And so when we have an environment that is not healthy, we automatically make it easier for critters to grow for parasites to grow. And a lot of the detrimental effects of the parasite that may come in is going to be threefold. Number one, it’s going to stress out your immune system, right, which then sucks energy away from you because takes a lot of energy to fight stuff. Number two, it’s gonna affect your motility and your digestion, right? Your body’s natural response when you get exposed to a pathogen is what usually to excrete it out. So diarrhea, and so that creates very, very poor absorption because you’re flushing things out faster. You don’t have the time to break down protein breakdown back, reabsorb your electrolytes. And then number three, is you’re going to create good gut permeability, right, aka leaky gut and that’s going to create more food allergy issues and even more immune stress because you have immune cells in your small intestine in your stomach, aka the golf and the malt, right gastric associated lymphoid tissue in the stomach, mucosal associated lymphoid tissue in the small intestine, but then when you have gut permeability issues, and you increase that zonulin protein that unzips, those tight junctions, and now undigested food particles and even bacteria like endotoxin or parasite toxins can get into the bloodstream and create more immune stress. And now you start seeing cognitive issues like brain fog, mood and anxiety and fatigue, which most people don’t get it because they’re like, wait a minute, I got a parasite. I should have diarrhea, bloating or constipation. I have digestive issues, but you can have cognitive and mental emotional energy issues alongside of that, and that’s that overall connection.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said great points and not to mention gluten increases on Yulin, too, so you’re talking about just a pathogen. Increasing Zonulin and creating leaky gut. Well, even if you didn’t have infections, you could be eating gluten or some other food allergen that’s increasing. Zonulin, separating those tight junctions and then boom, now all of a sudden, you’ve actually opened the doors. So let’s say you started out with no pathogens, you just had a diet that wasn’t right. Now all of a sudden gut barriers open. If you do get exposed to pathogens, it’s going to be easier for them to set up shop. I just want to cover a couple quick myths or maybe misconceptions about parasites I think people need to hear number one is that parasites are rare. This is a myth. We’ve seen thousands and thousands of clients around the world. The US is where we’ve seen the most clients. And I tell you, one in three, depending on the week could be two and three people show positive for some sort of pathogen, including parasites and so if many people have told us the story, hey, Dr. J. Hey, Evan. I’ve been to the gastro doc. They told me it’s not possible to have parasites because I didn’t go to any third world countries. We laugh at because we’ve seen all sorts of pathogens, I had many different parasites and I have not been out of the United States. And so that that’s Myth number one. Myth number two, I would say would be that you have to have some sort of strong, anti parasitic drugs to to fix them. We’ve had many clients who’ve done right now with antibiotics. And we’ve had them do rounds of anti parasitic medications. And in some cases, they still, they still actually show up positive for these bugs, indicating there is some sort of antibacterial resistance, there’s antifungal resistance, there’s anti parasitic resistance. And so if you’ve beat the drum on drugs, drugs, drugs, you need to just kill harder, you might need to switch your game plan up those those are just a couple misconceptions that come to head there may be more

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very, very, very good points. And I think the key point is Yeah, if you are very healthy, it’s possible that you have enough hydrochloric acid and IGA in immune response to be able to knock it out. But it’s it’s possible that even with a A large amount of the parasite exposure, you’re going to fall prey. And let’s not forget, the number three cause of death and many third world countries is dysentery usually caused by an amoeba or a parasite. So it’s the number three cause of death. Now, obviously, if you’re in a third world country you have, you don’t have good plumbing situation. So you’re going to be just around a lot of people debris that you normally wouldn’t be. So of course, plumbing, indoor plumbing is one of the best things there and obviously clean water. And again, personally, the water can still potentially have parasites in it. If you’re just drinking conventional well water or city water, it’s still possible. So I recommend having a really good whole house filter, or at least a high quality reverse osmosis filter. I’m going to put some links for some of the products that I personally use and have used for years. Down below in the show notes. So we’ll put down kind of the reverse osmosis filter that I personally have as well as the whole house. That’ll give you some extra buffer on being exposed to these parasites via the water supply. 

Evan Brand: Okay, let me let me say this real quick Yeah, where you go off water, which is the fact that even if you are drinking tap water, let’s just say you’re lucky and maybe they use strong enough drugs or chemicals to kill off whatever parasite in the tap water, you’re still going to be getting exposed to small doses of antibiotics, you’re going to be getting exposed to chlorine and chloramines, which are basically like antibiotics as well. We know chlorine does a really, really bad number to the beneficial bacteria in the gut. So let’s just say hey, you didn’t get parasites, but you’re still going to get chlorine. And if you’re taking a shower and unfiltered water, you’re getting chlorine through the skin that could potentially, you know, damage the the skin microbiome, but then the gut as well. So it to me it’s a you have to you got to have filtered water everywhere.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, and you hit the chlorine component. And there are other kind of metabolites of chlorine called chloramines, which it really disrupts the good bacteria in the in the gut and then what is the good gut good gut bacteria produce A lot of different compounds, one, they produce nutrients. And two, they’re going to produce these beneficial acids that make it hard for bad bacteria to grow. So number two, so if we kind of go back if I rehash that again, so you’re going to be weaker because you don’t have the extra B vitamins, and vitamin K and good nutrients produced by your gut. And on the other side, you’re going to have less of these environmentally altering compounds, these different acids that make it hard for the bad guys to grow. So now you have a lot more of a breeding ground because you’re missing the internal endogenous nutrients. And then you’re making it more hospitable for the bad guys to grow. So kind of my tagline over the years has always been good back to your bad bacteria, eats nutrients and poops toxins, good bacteria, eats poop, or pizza eats a good bacteria, eats toxins and then poops nutrients, right. good bacteria makes it hard for the bad guys to grow and then it produces all of these good news. treats as a beneficial byproduct.

Evan Brand: Yeah, let me say one more thing about water and then and then we’ll move on, which is people may say, Well I’ve been filtering my water or I only drink from my fridge filter will a fridge filter doesn’t do much so don’t have false sense of hope there. You really want to have more advanced filtration. But let’s say hey, I’ve got the water on point I’ve got this or that system. Okay, great. But lakes, rivers, creeks, I mean, basically all surface water contains Giardia and other waterborne parasites like crypto. So let’s say you go down to the neighborhood waterhole. You know, like for me it was Barton Springs down when I lived in Austin, I’d go swimming there. I loved it. I it was great water. It smelled fresh, it looked fresh, it felt fresh, but it was still surface freshwater that was runoff and so from runoff and so that very well could have been where I picked up my parasites. Let’s say you go to a waterpark with your kids and it’s probably all heavily chlorinated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everything is pure there and you could get it up your nose and then All of a sudden you swallow it and then boom, it starts the reproductive cycle. So all of the recreational activities associated with water. That’s a really easy place that people don’t think about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then what I typically do is because I’m big fan of waterskiing out in Lake Austin, when I would go, I would hit my GI Claire 4 right afterwards. And I would do some higher dose probiotics as well, just to kind of, you know, if there was a tiny amount of something in there, we could at least flush it out and knock it out right away. But I’ve definitely had some bouts where like, after I was waterskiing, I’m like, okay, something’s off with my digestive system. My foods been really good. So I’ve kind of always been in that pre emptive mode, when I get exposed to water that could potentially be a problem.

Evan Brand: That’s a good strategy. It’s not like you’re saying you’re taking a dose of antibiotics after you do waterskiing. You know, you’re taking some sort of herbal or maybe some sort of binder to mop up any toxins or debris that you got to Christ to so these are safe, low hanging fruit that you’re implementing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so in the water component, it’s really important obviously the food component, especially like pork and fish, and things like that make sure it’s well cooked. Those are just kind of common sense things. Of course, the higher quality, the animals are right and you know better animal husbandry kind of practices, the better, you know, chance that you’re not going to have infections and things like that in there. I mean, there are guys like, I What’s his name? Vondre planets. He was the big raw guy where he eat raw meat, like just straight up raw fish raw beef. I’m not sure I’d ever go that far. Okay, just because I wouldn’t go all in on that. I think cooking is a good thing. It does. One kind of sanitize some of these things, but to it pre digest some of these foods and makes it more accessible for idi our digestive system. And man, if you’re going to ever do raw meat, you better make sure you have a lot of hydrochloric acid production happening or you’re at least taking some HCl and enzymes as an insurance policy.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s hard work. And I think there was a book on that cooking made us human something about that how you know the evolutionary biologist go into cooking and help Cooking activates certain nutrients that you can’t get from raw and therefore that helped increase the size of the human brain and things like that. So, I don’t know not to get off so no, but But no- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s definitely real. Okay. Yeah, that’s real. And then I tell my patients is when they have a lot of gut issues, think of cooking is pre digestion, right cooking is pre digestion. Now, does that mean we want to create a lot of heterocyclic amines or a lot of poly aromatic hydrocarbons through burning? No, we don’t want to burn. But if we can cook that’s excellent any, any additional charring that may happen you just consume a whole bunch of good plant nutrients with it and the antioxidants in those plant nutrients will neutralize any of the oxidative stress from the cooking of those foods.

Evan Brand: Yeah, you’re absolutely correct with the cooking being a pre digestion because when I did have parasites, I was unable to do anything raw, even raw fruit. For example, if I would just do blueberries, for example, I would poop out blueberries that were undigested I was like, Well, what the heck is going on? And so if I hadn’t even quote pre digested in terms of a smoothie, I was fine. But salads and leafy greens, you know, they tore up my gut for a long time until I was able to address my parasite infections reduce that toxic load, increase acids and enzymes go through the five or six hour approach that we talked about bringing in probiotics, knock out the Candida overgrowth that happened as well bring in some beneficial yeast like saccharomyces a lot of those things were were critical for me to expand my diet. I guess the one point I want to make is that the diet is something so many people focus on, but it’s not the root cause in many cases, you could go to 20 different nutritionist, they’ll put you on 20 different diets, but if you don’t address the parasites, I don’t care how strict or how good you are about avoiding, quote, food allergens, you won’t get better if you don’t address the underlying issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And you know, I kind of go back and forth on that because I’ve seen some people where the food’s really just stressed out their guts so much, where their immune system was so compromised. They got an infection from it, like I find a lot of people where we can knock out their infection but they don’t fix their doctor. I tend to find that they get reinfected. So I’m not saying that the food is 100%. But in some people would say larger percentage than others. Does that make sense? 

Evan Brand: True. Yeah, don’t get me wrong. It’s still important. But I’m just speaking to the people that are like, hey, if I just stick on this food elimination diet forever, all my problems will get better. But that’s not magically going to make a grd infection go away, for example.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. I’ve noticed clinically that patients that continue to eat gluten for instance, and we try to knock out like an H. pylori infection, I tend to find more reinfection on follow up tests, or people that really make the diet change, it’s easier to knock out the infection. And I think a combination of that is number one, just less inflammation. And that less inflammation means your immune system can deal with the infection as well. And so when you’re killing it out, the immune system can kind of okay, hey, we knocked out enough of that infection. Let me kind of help out and take over here as well. But if we have some of those stressful foods and the immune system is kind of still in corner, so to speak a little bit weak, and then we’re relying fully on the herbs. So if we can kind of lean on, you know, the herbal strategies, as well as the diet and lifestyle strategies, it provides good synergy.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I would agree it makes perfect sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. So a couple things I want to highlight because we talked about parasites is helping to improve our immune response when we knock them out, or if we’re infection free, right, kind of my attitude is everyone has the right to be infection free and everyone has the right to have more than one infection going on. That’s very possible. The second concern is these parasites can affect digestion. And what nutrients are we talking about? Well, we’re talking about things like zinc and magnesium and selenium. These are very important minerals that need to get ionized. We need hydrochloric acid to ionize them so they can be soluble in our bloodstream and so we can absorb them and utilize them and transport them. We also know antibodies, right or immune cells. IGG, IGA IGA IGM, antibodies are made from protein. So we actually need protein to make our antibody. So if we have deficits or let’s just say bottlenecks in our ability to digest and break down and utilize and assimilate and absorb protein that’s going to be a problem. And then what about our fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, we know is really important for the lung epithelium. I was worried about COVID-19 and lung health. Vitamin A is very important. What about vitamin D? Well, we get it from the sun, right? We also may take it supplementally and get some from our food. So we need good absorption there to take in our vitamin D. What about vitamin C that’s a little bit easier. It’s water soluble, but if we have poor absorption, it’s possible we can have some bottlenecks, especially if our micro v lie in our small intestine are inflamed. Our micro villi are a little vacuum cleaners that suck up nutrients. So if we have inflamed or a trophic v ly from infections or food allergens, that’s going to be a problem. And then what about like our sulfur based amino acids like cysteine, glutamine, glycine, these are the amino acids that make glutathione glutathione is one of our main Master antioxidants it helps with our detoxification pathways. Good at ions are really important redox nutrient and redox means it gives off electrons so when we have a lot of lung inflammation especially with COVID we need to make sure that we are giving off we have enough fluidify on to deal with and give off electrons to stabilize the free radicals oxidative stress, it’s happening from the infection. Does that all make sense? 

Evan Brand: It does. It sounds like a mess when you say it all like that. But it is a mess, meaning you could really get disrupted from a hormonal perspective also, you kind of tied into the zinc and some of that but zinc is really important for mental health to you know, zinc is something that helps to balance out that zinc copper ratio. A lot of people have mental issues, whether it’s schizophrenia, or OCD or ADHD or all sorts of stuff that can be tied into an imbalance zinc copper ratio. So you may think that your mood issue is completely just on its own and a psychiatrist would help but no, it could be totally related to the parasite infection. Then one other thing I wanted to say too is regarding the toxic load you mentioned not having enough of your sulfur based amino acids, these are the precursors to make Bluetooth ion, well then that happens. Now you start picking up more toxins. So if you get exposed to glyphosate or you get exposed to toxic mold and mycotoxins, now all of a sudden, you don’t have any sort of mechanism to get rid of those things. So now you’re even at a more disadvantage. And this is how people can, people that don’t address these issues can become more sick over time. It’s because now the original thing the parasite disrupted the mechanism to get rid of the toxin over here. So now you’ve got a toxin problem over here, and you’ve got a parasite problem over there. And we see how this thing can spin out of control. The good news is it’s all completely reversible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and it’s it’s scary how it can spin out of control. I see it happen quite frequently. I know you kind of just echoed some of the toxicity aspect, but we know a lot of metals and various toxins, whether it’s pesticides or mold toxins that They get removed from our system via the hepatic biliary system, right big words, you break it down a pedo, meaning liver, biliary, meaning kind of the bile ducts and gallbladder. And it dumps it out into the small intestine. So if we have poor digestion or the guts already inflamed, or we have gut permeability issues, it’s possible we could reabsorb some of these toxins and have them go back into our system. So that’s where having binders to kind of like bind it up so we can escort out better and then just having better better gut function to begin with. Because the better gut function we have one our immune system is less stressed to we’re going to have better inflammatory, natural anti inflammatory capacity, because if our adrenals are stressed because of our guts, then we’re going to have weakened cortisol levels, we’re not going to be able to deal with inflammation. And of course, the more inflamed our gut is, the more permeability there is and the more chance that we’re going to reabsorb these toxins and create more stress. That’s why I always tell patients, you know, the first way to Work on toxicity issues is get your gut stabilized because that sets the foundation. So when we push detoxification pathways more and we dump more toxins into the gut, we have, you know, the right things in place to escort out of the body without reabsorbing it.

Evan Brand: Yep, well said and not to mention to these pathogens, they mess up the glue Khurana dacian pathway, and that’s a good pathway that you can conjugate toxins and get them out of the body as well. So you mentioned it’s the hepatic biliary system, you’ve got the glucose sanitation pathway that’s messed up, you’ve got the reduced acids and enzymes, it’s messed up. So yeah-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Methylation probably too.

Evan Brand: I’m sure because you don’t have the nutrients to fuel it, right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And or you’re not absorbing it as well right because b 12 absorption starts in the stomach, right and you make intrinsic factor to bind to the stomach. So if you have an inflamed gut, you know, you may not have enough of that intrinsic factor and then you absorb it later on and the helium of the end of the small intestine So if any inflammation there, it could really affect the absorption of that. And that’s a key nutrient along with full later on methylation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, one other mechanism to just to help people wrap their heads around it is the amino acids. So now if all of a sudden you’re not digesting your dietary proteins, it may be tough to put on muscle mass, you’re putting in all this work in the gym, you’re not getting anywhere, maybe you’re actually gaining body fat, or you just can’t build muscle or you’ve actually lost muscle mass, I lost significant amount of weight without trying despite his eating bison steak all the time, I continue to lose weight. And then the mental health piece, which I already hit on with the zinc and all of that. So if you don’t have the amino acids, now you can’t make neurotransmitters. So then you become more anxious, more depressed, more fatigue, your motivation goes down. You can’t focus you hit on the brain fog earlier, just in the infection. But what about the infection induced malabsorption causing even more brain fog? So it’s no surprise that these issues can affect every aspect of your life and you move to your sleep to your sex drive to your hormones. That’s why it’s really important to figure out what are you Against. And so that’s where we come in with doing a good clinical history because we may uncover something like Justin always talks about a trip to Mexico and then boom, something happened, or was it you went swimming at the neighborhood pool or was it you took a round of antibiotics. So the history is important. But then of course we use and leverage the testing that is so far advanced above what the conventional gastro doctor using at this point, which is kind of sad. I hate that it’s us. Why does it have to be us? We kind of have to be on the bleeding edge here because it’s going to take a while for the conventional gastroenterology to catch up and I did all those conventional tests. So this is not the Poopoo it is just to say look, I did it. I did the barium scan you drink a terrible drink. You lay on this table, they flip you up the X ray you they found nothing and they prescribed an acid blocking drug and sent me home. They had no clue I had h pylori, which was reducing my acid What if I would have done that? I would have reduced my stomach acid even more I would have became even more sick. Luckily, I didn’t go that route.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you would have more nutrient deficiencies more compromised immune system. And again, you know your gut maybe a little bit less inflamed the short the short term but every you’re not going to fixing the root cause and, and your nutrients that you need are going to be malabsorption. That makes a lot of sense. And I just kind of want to highlight people that are listening, you know, we’re talking about immune stress and we were trying to switch the narrative to boosting and supporting our immune system is evident Dr. J saying right now Hey, if you want to have a stronger immune system, especially against COVID should you go do a parasite cleanse right now? No, I’m we’re not saying that. But because if you are doing it indiscriminately, if you’re not working with the practitioner, you may cause more stress right now because you don’t have the foundations lined up ahead of time. So if you have immune stress, if you have gut stress, you need to be working with a practitioner, but at least work on some of the foundational supporting dietary strategies and nutrients to kind of get going. We already talked about some of these things, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, some kind of a paleo template as a starting point. Then work with a practitioner if you think there’s other gut stressors going on, because you may actually make your immune system weaker if you don’t have the right sequence in which you go after these infections, and that may be counterproductive if you’re listening to this podcast saying, I want to make myself stronger in my immune function, and I’m going to go after and do a whole bunch of parasite cleanse, you may actually have the opposite effect. And we don’t want you walking away with negative results.

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a bit of a stressor, right? I mean, it takes work. That’s why we talk about sometimes we’ve got to support somebody and sort of build up their foundation. Before we start picking the interior paint color of the house, you’ve got to get the foundation you got to get the walls you got to get the windows in because if you go straight to kill, kill, kill, you may feel worse, you may have die off and all that. Now you mentioned practitioner and of course we love helping people. So we want people to work with us so that we know the type of care they’re going to receive. We know they’re going to get the right testing. We know they’re going to get the right protocol to fix the issue. But let’s briefly talk about the DIY method because you and I I have so much stuff on our head, you and I both have courses that we’re working on. Yep. And we have so many people that say, Well, I followed such and such cleanse online. And it’s just like a one page PDF. It’s like 20 different supplements that XYZ person says to buy, and then they do it. And then the person comes to us saying, Yeah, I did XYZ cleanse, and here I am, and they’re no better. Maybe they’re worse. Maybe let’s just talk for you and I sake but for the general public to the Compare and contrast of trying to lump everything into a one page PDF document, take all these herbs, everybody on the planet can do this protocol versus more one on one personalized care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so 100% I mean, you’re gonna have people recommend a whole bunch of herbals, recommend a whole bunch of probiotics, maybe some digestive support, and you are not looked at as an individual. When we look at a patient, we’re going to make sure you’re ready for that next step. There’s gonna be a sequencing and how things are added in. We’re going to have to Some objective markers to also quantify how good or how bad your stress handling systems are, whether it’s we’re looking at certain nutrient levels, or we’re looking at hormone levels, or we’re looking at gut permeability or inflammation in the gut. So there’s a whole bunch of things that we’re looking at that are quite objective that help us gauge if you’re ready, and if you’re not ready, what we need to do to get you there. So it’s good to have these objective markers, when you just have a PDF sheet with a couple of herbs on there, and some probiotics, and you just say, Take these here, and then No offense, if things go sideways. What do you do?

Evan Brand: Yeah, and so it gets it gets tricky. It does. And so this is kind of a, you know, a little secret. It’s not really a secret because we’ve talked about it before. Justin’s working on a course I’m working on a course and we’re having this battle between how do you take the hands on hand holding clinical piece that can really steer people from going in the wrong direction? How do you put that into something like that? So that’s what we’re, we’re kind of in the middle of working on now. And You mentioned some of these, maybe some of the lab testing that we can look at. And that’s that’s kind of where we’re different is it’s not just, here’s a protocol, it’s going to be, hey, there’s actually this test on the side. If you want to do that along with the course, you can look at that, based on that interpretation you can get on that lab. Now, you know, if you’re ready, boom, then you can go into something that’s a little bit more broad spectrum and have more success.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And we’re doing a little bit more cutting edge testing regarding some of the PCR test which is a little bit more sensitive. Some of the baselines tool engine testing that’s run at some of the conventional labs can missed off. A lot of times it’s not even run but most of the time it’s not gonna miss stuff. Number two, we may even run some urinary tests to look at systemic yeast issues or bacterial issues or maybe even breath tests. I see many even just conventional gastro is they’re not even doing the breath stuff which a lot more of the cutting edge gastroenterologist like Dr. Pimentel at Cedar Sinai, they’re running breath tests but a lot of the conventional Doc’s aren’t they may run a scope. They may see there’s some inflammation and then not know what to do next. Maybe recommend some acid blockers or some steroids or some, some kind of a biologic salomina, Allah, whatever to kind of get the inflammation down. But then what’s the cause? Right? Where’s the root cause coming from? Is it a food issue? Is your gut permeability? Is there an infection are there multiple infections, so we really want to line things up in a way. And some of the conventional testing can be okay for end stage or more extreme stuff. But it’s tend to not be great when you’re in that in between phase. And even people that are sick, I’ve seen come back as pretty normal. And that can be very, very frustrating as well. 

Evan Brand: Well, I had a female client last week, that same thing happened before she came to me. She went to her conventional Doc, they referred her to a gastro, she brought up all the bloating and burping and burning and all of that. And of course, they don’t say anything besides here’s an acid blocker and let’s go get a scope done. Guess what the camera or the capsule or some piece of technology for the endoscope actually got stuck inside of her and left inside of her. And now she’s having all these complications from it. Well, she’s got to go back get, you know, put under anesthesia again, get cut open so they can cut out whatever piece of the equipment broke off inside of her. And we’ve already run the stool testing and figured out what’s going on. She had an H pylori infection and a couple of bacterial overgrowth, Sky High inflammation was through the roof. We’ve got her on some calming herbs and some general anti microbials. To start, she’s already 50% better. And yet, you know, she did this scope, which revealed nothing so wildly unfortunate how it can happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Well, I think today was a really good chat. And I you know, I appreciate the fact that, you know, we’re talking theoretically, but practically, right? This is theory in practice, right? So we’re actually applying all these things. It’s not just something that we kind of spit balled on on the dry erase board. It’s something that’s been used hundreds, if not thousands of times. So you know, just to kind of juxtapose us versus other Talking Heads online. Most of the things out there may be decent information, but maybe more theoretical, not practical. So the things that we’re doing, and we’re talking about are actually being used, right it’s all been set in Emotion we have a lot of hundreds of, if not thousands of clinical data points. So just kind of want to put that out there to kind of be a good value add for the patient’s listening, and also provide a little bit more confidence, people that are listening as well in regards to what we’re talking about.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that sounds good. Well, that sounds all good. But what does that actually mean? Well, that means that as soon as we press into recording today, we’re jumping right on the call with clients to implement the same stuff that we’re talking about. So that’s what it means. And we love what we do. So if you do need help, I’ve suffered tremendously. And I think through the suffering, it’s really, it’s really taught us both about number one, how to push through and number two, how to gain all the puzzle pieces you need, because there’s different stages of your journey where you may need this puzzle piece, pull that over here now implement that, and it’s a little tricky sometimes. So if you need help, please reach out. You can schedule a call with Dr. J at My website is, and we’ll be back again soon. So take good care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. You guys have a phenomenal week. Take care. Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Dealing with Co-infections and Fibromyalgia | Podcast #284

Here comes another episode of Beyond Wellness Podcast. It turns out that herbs are just more powerful than we know. For this episode, we have Dr. Bill Rawls, who went live with us to discuss co-infections, fibromyalgia. Also, Dr. Rawls shares more information on some of his favorite herbs to address co infections and also formulating them into supplements. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

02:13     Special Herb Formulas by VitalPlan

10:19     Manufacturing

13:25     Dr. Rawl Personal Health Journey

23:40     Gut Infections, Lyme Infections

32:11     Keeping a Strong Immune System

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani in the house with Dr. Rawls. We have an exciting interview, we’re going to be talking about co infections. We’re going to be talking about fibromyalgia. We’ll be talking with Dr. Rawls here about, you know, formulating supplements, some of his favorite herbs to address co infections as well as real live clinical experience. I’m really excited to have Dr. Rawls on the podcast Doc, how are we doing this morning?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, wonderful. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thank you. Awesome. So how did you get into this field? Because obviously you were trained as a conventional medical doctor and you’ve had to go from go from medical school and get all this experience about things on the functional integrative medicine side. How did you make that journey from conventional medical doctor to more holistic, functional medical doctor?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, sometimes life forces you into things that you’re not expecting. I actually went into ob gyn as my specialty because I dealt with wellness and was not heavy Lee And embroiled in medications. So it was it was definitely more active. But it came with really bad night call and bad health habits bad night call my health crash by the time I was at the end of my 40s call it fibromyalgia. Later I found out I was curing the microbes that come with Lyme disease. And my conventional colleagues couldn’t help me. They couldn’t figure it out. They and so I turned away from conventional medicine, became certified in holistic medicine, but found my real salvation with herbal therapy and ultimately got my life back and nowadays 62 better health than most people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow, that’s excellent. That’s really good. So I know you kind of have a lot of specific herbal formulas that you’ve created, you know, you’re over at, as well. And some of your herbs I find very interesting. Can you kind of talk about why you choose why you’ve chose some of the herbs that you have? And just some of your favorite clinically, as well, as you know, personally, because I think you have a story with some of these as well. Can you touch upon that? 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, sure. Yeah, it’s, well, first of all, there are a lot of herbs out there that I think have value for Lyme disease, in really any kind of medical condition, especially chronic conditions. And even I think there’s some applications to things like COVID Yes, that are important. Herbs have antimicrobial properties, because if you look at what the earth is, it’s plant chemicals, what we call phytochemicals. So all plants producing a wide spectrum of chemicals to to protect themselves from various kinds of microbes, insects, free radicals, everything else. So when we take in that fight of chemistry of the plant, it’s especially intense and wild plants that we call herbs, we gain those benefits, we’re basically embracing the natural defenses. Where where it differs between plants is evolution, you know, one plant that evolved in one place will have a different spectrum of phytochemicals than another plant that evolved and another place. So like rhodiola, which is a really nice adaptogen and helps you to stress is grows in really harsh northern climates. So it’s not as much producing antimicrobials, but it produces chemicals that help resist stress, because that’s what the plants having to deal with. Whereas cat’s claw from the Amazon, while it’s having to deal with a lot of microbes, so it’s producing a lot of antimicrobials. So in our formulas, I typically use a balance and I think this is really Really important, um, the antimicrobial herbs like cat’s claw. Another one that I like is [inaudible], Japanese knotweed, garlic if you use a stabilized extract, [inaudible] is another one. Yeah, there’s there’s really a nice list of antimicrobial herbs. And these herbs have direct antiviral antibacterial properties. In fact, some of those herbs, there was actually a study out of John Hall, Johns Hopkins recently that showed these had better and some of these herbs had better antimicrobial properties than antibiotics, which is really cool. But, but you’re not getting just those those antimicrobial properties. You’re getting things that also stimulate immune system and drive things. But you can make the immune system too hot, you can drive it too hard. So I typically balance it with what we call immune modules. It hurts like reishi mushroom and cortisol and salvia militarize, which is a species of red sage. Okay, and so these things balanced the immune system and keep it from getting too hot. And that combination together, along with other supportive ingredients like Luna file can really do wonders for a lot of different conditions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now I find a lot of medical doctors, they kind of jump on the functional medicine or like the CO infection line bandwagon. A lot of them go really heavy on antibiotics, and I noticed you haven’t really taken that path. Have you evolved to this position? Were you more on the antibiotic path? Is there a place for antibiotics? It seems like you lean more to the herbs because it’s the immune building qualities, the immune modulation, the viral replication, a little bit more supportive than killing what’s your take on the strategy that you’ve chosen versus some of the antibiotics.

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, You know it again, faith drives where you go in life so much. And when I when I, I struggled with fibromyalgia for years, and to get over that I started changing my diet, doing better health habits, etc, started doing some herbs. But then I found that I had the microbes was fine, but I immediately jumped on antibiotics and they made me much sicker very rapidly. So, I really was forced in this other direction of herbal therapy. And it was really years before I started figuring out why you know, what’s going on here? You know, I just said there’s a study from John Hopkins showing that some of these herbs were better than antibiotics. No, why are antibiotics such a problem? The problem with antibiotics is they’re indiscriminate. They’re, they target specific microbes, and they they’re very intense. So what happens when you use an antibiotic is you start a race as soon as you start that antibiotic, it’s like will I kill off the targeted the microbe I’m targeting before I kill off all my normal flora and destroy my gut and my system, which trashes my immune system even worse. So when you look at acute infections, and acute pneumonia, acute Lyme disease, antibiotics are effective, because they knock down the numbers. But this thing that antibiotics eradicate microbes is an absolute myth. There is no antibiotic on earth that will completely eradicate a pathogen. It’s always up to the immune system. And a good example of that is if you’ve got an elderly person or someone with AIDS, that has no immune system left and they get something like a pneumonia. It doesn’t matter how much antibiotic you give them, and they are going to die. That’s all right. Do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I find that I find that to be 100% true where antibiotics may be better for more acute infection. But like you said, I think combining the herbs along with it or like right after it just because of the immune building effects. There’s also a lot of data on the fact that antibiotics can create a lot of mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress. And the nice thing about Mother Nature’s antibiotics, they tend to be packaged with a whole bunch of antioxidants as well. And actually nutrition and a lot of cases, right. some herbs actually have extra nutrients like magnesium or zinc and such and can help support the body on the nutritional side as well. And I imagine when you’re seeing a person and there, they have co infections, you may be using other nutrients along with the herbs. I think you already just alluded to glutathione what other nutrients Do you like to stack in there to really work on building up that patient’s immune response?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Sure. Well, just to finish it up on the herbs, I guess, you the when you look at that complex biochemistry of Europe, you’ve got Think about the fact that the plant, it has to kill off the pathogens and not destroy its own normal flora. Yeah, one interesting factor that I found with the herbs is herbs tend to balance the microbiome. They don’t kill the normal Flora like antibiotics do. So you can use them long term for years and years and years without having that bacterial resistance and without disrupting normal flora. So that makes them a really, really useful tool. So in our regiments, we use primarily herbs, but there are some other nutrients that are found to be valuable. As topped the list NAC is a good one and acetal cysteine has a lot of value. Basic vitamins can be beneficial like and but using the natural forms of vitamin E, like the natural phalates instead of fully acid. Correct, some basic minerals, those things are most important for someone who’s struggling with chronic illness though and may not be absorbing those nutrients for healthy people, they don’t need those those nutrients as much. But struggling with chronic illness, I think they can be very important in that recovery process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very interesting. And when you source the herbs, how important is the quality because I imagine you know, just like we go out and we can buy meat from McDonald’s, we can also buy the grass fed organic meat from the from the butcher or the local farmer down the street. How important is quality when you’re sourcing supplements? Because I mean, you’re manufacturing your product. So you’re choosing the raw material that you’re buying.

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, everything you know, and if I can do it, I would grow everything myself and process it all the way through but it’s not practical because what you find is like I said, rhodiola grows in an Arctic regions where catalog grows in the Amazon. So if you want to get that that full spectrum, you’re going to have to get different herbs from different places. So it is really a matter of the trustworthiness of the company and whether they’re doing the things that we need to do. And that tends to cost more. We, you know, I have a supply chain manager that I can I work together sourcing herbs, and we’re looking for the suppliers that we can trace it back to the form that we can, you know, we know that this particular farm is doing the right things to potentiate the value of the Phyto chemistry of the earth. And we know that because we do testing, so some of it is third party testing that the supplier does that you get a certificate of analysis that defines it is the species that you’re looking for that it has that photochemistry that you’re looking for, and it doesn’t contain contaminants, chemical contaminants, like heavy medical, metal, organic toxins, but we don’t stop there, we actually take a sample of that extract that’s coming from that supplier. And we have independently tested to make sure that that’s, that’s the truth. And then we actually test three times during the manufacturing process to make sure that everything is being mixed properly, and that our customers are getting what they want, and that we’re going to have something that actually works and that is the thing that I can do that it’s a real proof in the pudding is that the products work and, and we’ve had great success with them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Yeah, cuz I know like I’ve seen like supplements on Walgreens and CVS, I manufacture my supplements too. And I see things on the shelf. I’m like, that product is too cheap. I know if I buy kilograms of that raw material. At a bulk rate, not even encapsulating or testing, it’s costing more than what’s on the shelf. So I know there’s definitely a quality impact and people tend to look at and price shop, but quality supplements definitely cost a lot more you get what you pay for, for sure. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, no, no. And it’s worth put the money in something that has the value that does have those credentials find.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Now, I know you had a personal health journey, you kind of mentioned with certain co infections in fibromyalgia, which specific herbs or nutrients really move the needle for you that helped you get over some of the infections you were dealing with personally?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah. That’s where I think about Lyme disease, I think a little bit differently. And a lot of other practitioners out there, in that. I feel like more than anything else, what we’ve got here is an insult to the immune system. Mm hmm. And that is true. Driving the whole thing. So when we look at these things that we define as co infections, borrelia, and all the different species of microbes, most of these things are not highly virulent, they don’t have a high propensity to cause disease. Like me, I probably had been carrying these things in my body for years and years, it wasn’t until I trashed my immune system that I got sick. So when you look at this concept of microbiome in the body, we all have pathogens were riddled with access. And if you pick up certain things from ticks, then you’re going to increase your risk of chronic illness. But that’s not going to happen unless you actually trashed your immune system. So whether you’re talking about the vizia, or different species of rickettsia, borrelia, or anything else, all of these things are commonly carried harbored by people that do not become ill ever So typically when I’ve seen patients with the chronic illness, what we call chronic Lyme disease, typically they all have a story, you know, you can trace it back to a perfect storm of factors. It’s, it’s nice, you know, most people, it’s not like, well, I remember the tick bite and I got sick right after the tick bite. When I go back and asset history, it’s more than that. Oh, yeah, you know, my house burned down my business laughs My wife left and I had all this stress. And that’s when I became ill. So I think when we’re looking at this concept, we’re talking about all of the different pathogens in the body start becoming active because the immune system has been suppressed and it becomes a vicious cycle. So we have these things throughout our body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Imagine with yourself, you could probably try to trace it back to residency and years and years of being on call, and and maybe you know, I know medical school, there’s not really much education on nutrition. So maybe your nutrition wasn’t the tip top at that time, but that kind of be the sequence for you if you were to go back in time with that stress. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. You know, I was more I think enlightened. I was trying to do the right thing back in the 80s as far as nutrition, but we were getting bad information. You know, it was like, Oh, you got to eat all this whole grain. 

Unknown Speaker  


Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah. And you know, so it wasn’t until later when I started to question those things. And I was well off gluten before the gluten free craze came along smart but yeah, you know, I I promoted good health practices in my practice, but you take call every second to third night that you don’t sleep and then back in the 80s. It was good people were questioning the value of well Do we really need to sleep added on into that. So yeah, so when I wasn’t on call, it’s like I was going to make up for all the time I was on call by not sleeping. And I was averaging maybe four hours of sleep most nights. And it caught up with me along with just pushing that stress button way too hard and eating on the run. You know, I was telling people how to eat. I wasn’t doing it because I didn’t have time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when you start with the patient, right, what are some of the simple diet and lifestyle changes that you’re making? It sounds like you’re having cut out gluten, which I find to be a huge game changer for me, I kind of lean on to a paleo template and then we kind of adjust macros and such and some people, you know, have autoimmune they need to cut out more foods. Some have a lot of SIBO and maybe even need to do you know, more restrictive things like fodmap but what are some of the foundational things that you do diet wise starting out and it sounds like you kind of set the foundation first and then and then do some of the others immune killing stuff maybe later on when they’re more supported. Is that right?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, we do have In the protocols that we do, we have a diet, a progressive diet program that’s in phases. It’s probably a lot like what you’re doing. But it’s just getting people off processed food. So when it comes to diet, I have three rules, three primary rules that I follow for myself. One, eat more vegetables than anything else. By the end of the day, you should have eaten more vegetables than any other thing. Solid. Number two is eat fresh food that comes from living sources, which I think is really important and that cuts out most of the processed food. Number three, donate any more calories and then you need in a day. And if you do those things, if you can find a way it doesn’t matter whether you’re a vegetarian or eat meat or have some carbohydrates or eat some grains, you know if you’re doing those basic things, You’re probably going to going to gravitate toward a healthier diet. But the big thing for me that I did years and years ago and lost 30 pounds pretty quickly in the process was just giving up bread and things made with flour. That single thing was huge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mhmm. And then when you’re seeing people with CO infant, I think it’s really it’s, you know, solid information. Like I always tell patients start with the low hanging fruit because, one, you’re increasing nutrients on one side, and two, those are foods or they’re suppressing your immune system. So you get a double whammy there. you support the nutrients that support the immune system, and then you decrease the stressors. So it allows that to come up a lot faster and better. How are you assessing Lyme? How are you assessing these co infections? Do you do any specific testing? Are you using symptom survey? Do you do any energetic muscle testing? What’s your perspective on assessing?

Dr. Bill Rawls: You know, when I when I did a medical practice, I did a lot of different kinds of testing. I went through a phase where I was doing just tons and tons of functional medicine testing. And I, as I went through time, I found that I used those things less and less and found less value in them because I could learn so much just by talking to the patients. And I think that’s what so many doctors, especially conventional doctors don’t do is there’s really no rewards in our system for talking to patients. And that’s where you really learn the information. But when we look at this thing we call chronic Lyme disease. I’m not I can I see most illness is more of a continuum with chronic immune dysfunction right in the center. So I think there are people out there that have all the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease that aren’t carrying borrelia but they are carrying other microbes like borrelia, and they have immune dysfunction. So it’s basically all The same symptomatology, even technically they don’t have Lyme disease. And when you look at that, and that that concept of this disruption of the microbiome and picking up all of these opportunities to mystic microbes as we do through life, because we do you know, we pick up bartonella from pets, we pick up mycoplasma, we pick up chlamydia. So these are non tick borne things that all of us pick up that can cause the same symptoms. But about a year or two ago, I sat down in and researched all the microbes that I could find that or have the characteristics that we call stealth microbes, they live inside cells, they they manipulate the immune system, they tend to just have a presence deep in tissue inside cells. And I found well over 100 species of microbes that have the potential to be involved with this kind of chronic illness but can also be present In the body without causing illness. So there are a lot of potential things out there. So everything we’re touching the things that we’re testing for just really, it’s a drop in the bucket, you know, we’re barely scratching the surface. And that’s the cool thing. When you use comprehensive herbal therapy, you’re addressing all of these different things. So it often doesn’t matter is much. So I tend to use testing when people aren’t getting Well, you know, we put them on a basic protocol, change their diet, change their approach to life to put them on a regimen of herbs, and then if they’re not getting Well, well, that’s an indication that to seek out different kinds of testing, but most of the time 50% of the time or more, they will need it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. In my practice, clinically, you know, we set the foundation we work a lot with you know, adrenal stress because the adrenal is kind of our the big interplay with that sympathetic nervous system so we a lot of times we see cortisol imbalances or cortisol rhythm issues, usually from HPA access disruption. So we fixed the stress, we fixed the diet, really support the hormones and you mentioned like rhodiola as being one big, big fan of those adaptogens. And that really supports the immune system. I find addressing a lot of stealth gut infections, I tend to prioritize that first because I know 80% of the immune systems in the gut. So if someone has h pylori or SIBO or maybe a Giardia infection, I clinically find knocking that down one helps them digest their food better. So they’re getting more nutrition from their food. But to these infections aren’t there they are creating gut permeability. They aren’t creating as much inflammation. What’s your take on gut infections and how do you sequence addressing gut infections in relation to like Lyme co infections?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, it’s, you’re right. You know, a significant portion of the immune system is surrounding the gut because the gut has so many challenges with we’ve got so much stuff coming Through our gut, we’re feeding all of those microbes. And if you’re eating bad food, you’re feeding bad microbes. Those microbes are very active as far as neurotransmitters they produce that affect our system, and damage to the colon itself. So you ended up with leaky gut, which I did, I was I did food sensitivity testing when I was in the throes of everything. And I was sensitive to 70 75% of foods that I was eating. And it was because and you see that commonly with leaky gut. So once the gutters damage, you get proteins that are flooding across. So a lot of times I didn’t know whether it was the microbes causing the symptoms or the food sensitivities causing the symptoms. And a lot of times it’s both. So yes, addressing that gut dysfunction is really important. Diet is the first step of course, because what you feed your microbes is so remarkable. Important some people find value with probiotics. I think it’s kind of hit or miss. And I think we’re you know, we’re still learning with probiotics but the thing that I found that addressed those those kinds of problems, more than anything else with the herbs again, especially herbs like berberine and berberine, containing herbs and others that support the gut. slippery elm is really good for protecting the gut and allow it to heal. But the other herbs that I mentioned also have some benefits to the gut to so the herbs tend to suppress the bad microbes suppress the bank microbes in the gut that are causing the SIBO suppress Canada. And if you’re, you know, getting people on good foods that are cultivating that, that normal, healthy Flora then then then you’ll get there. What were the struggle for a lot of people though, is our standard American diet is so bad and that’s what people have been used to since they were children. It’s really, really hard to move them over to a good diet. It’s a very gradual process. So we started out with a pretty strict diet that we, you know, use foods that don’t cause typically cause food sensitivities that cultivate good gut flora and move people to a better place beyond that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I know some of the herbs that you know one of your famous products advanced biotic you have the Japanese knotweed, the cat’s claw, the Andrew graphics, the sask. Birla, which are great for some of these co infections. Do you have any favorite specific herbs that you like for just general parasite cleansing or just some of the herbs you’ve had really good success with clinically?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, all of these things have parasite capabilities. The cat’s claw and underground fists are traditionally been traditionally used. Going beyond that, for people that feel like they need a parasite. So, defining parasite, we’re generally talking about intestinal worms, which are multicellular organisms. And they’re good a classic combination is Artemisia, or warm wood, and black walnut and clove. And those are pretty stronger. So I don’t typically use them long term. Not everybody will need to, though. I mean, it’s, you know, the difference between what we call parasites that are multicellular organisms and the microbes that are in our body which are single celled organisms, protozoa, bacteria, viruses, etc. The all of the the microbes can reproduce within the body, whereas multicellular organism cannot. The only way that you can get intestinal worms is ingesting either eggs or larva. So you have to have that constant re inoculation. These things are not breeding inside your body. So once they die off, they’re gone. If and the only way to perpetuate those things is to keep reenact you lating yourself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How do you categorize amoebas? Like like blasto or like [inaudible], how do you categorize?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, they can they can reproduce in the body but but so some of those things are common and and they can take up residence and hang around for a long time, but your typical worms do not. So people in this country don’t have a big load of worms because we don’t have contamination of our food, typically with eggs, or or larva which comes from fecal contamination is really common in third world countries but we don’t carry as much of an intestinal burden, probably less than humans have ever carried. And in this country, it’s pretty much in been endemic throughout human history because of fecal contamination of food. And again, it’s still really common in third world countries, but not as common here. So I find that just most of the standard herbs would be under graphics and cat’s claw and those kinds of things will gradually take care of those problems. But then for people who feel like they have Giardia or can be Dora the kinds of things that they picked up, which do happen. That Art Museum close, but well not combination is great. And there are other ones that are good too. I mean, that’s a nice thing about herbs. There’s so many choices.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very cool. Now clinically, is there is there any like low hanging fruit like it’s underrated people don’t really think about it as like a big clinical mover but you know for you, it’s better A big clinical success. In your practice, you use it a lot, but it may not be well known any like, Is there one or two big clinical pearls that kind of come to the tip of your head?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Hmm. Wow, probably just herbal therapy. I mean, I think that has more healing you than anything else out there. And there’s no doubt about it. And it’s just, it’s that different approach. You know, so much of what we do and how we’re how I was trained as a conventional doctor, is you, you take the patient, you collect the symptoms, you do a physical exam, you do labs to find the diagnosis and you treat the diagnosis with drugs or whatever. But what I started doing after my life changed by by chronic illness was working backwards to instead of asking the page, asking how a patient is He’ll ask why? Why is this patient You know? And so in my protocols, I always step back to look at the patient’s life, you know, what are they eating? how impressed what kind of exposure to microbes that they have? What kind of exposure to toxins, you know, that list and going down that list, and I always found answers. And most of the time, I could help a patient Well, before we even got to the point of finding the diagnosis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. I think a timeline history is so important I interview patients I like to find out Hey, when did things first start to go sideways? What was going on? And then what happened five years later after you move what happened after the divorce? I like that really understand with that timeline, the stressors and how did it impact you? Did you ever come back from it that you resolve it? Where are you at now and it gets really important because the history I think you know, good doctor will tell you history reveals a lot. I think that’s powerful. Next up any thoughts on this whole COVID crisis. I mean, we can go into it from you know, just your medical perspective, being a medical doctor as well as you know, what are things you’re doing to help protect you and your patients just to keep your immune system strong?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, yeah, that’s we can have a whole nother big session on COVID. And I, I followed it from the beginning. And it’s, it’s quite an enigma. You know, the thing about this Coronavirus that makes it very frustrating is that most people don’t get very sick. It’s not nearly as virulent as I think everybody thought in the beginning. And typically, that concept of virulence is important. If something is very highly virulent than most people will get sick and you can identify the people that are sick very readily and you can quarantine them that’s why quarantine works so well for something like a bola virus. That’s why quarantine worked with the previous SARS and Mears outbreaks because those those microbes were much more virulent, they made people sick. So you could identify the people that were sick and quarantine them and contain it. This thing isn’t nearly as virulent you know, it’s looking at as they’re coming out with serology, it’s looking like this, the the mortality associated with this virus is closer to influenza, maybe even less than a year, I’ve seen that and half of people barely get sick at all, may not even have its symptoms of a common cold. So it is very, very difficult to control it. So whereas I think isolation was a good idea in the beginning to get let the hospitals catch up with supplies and everything else. Because some people do get really, really sick with this thing. Then I think that was a good idea. But I think as we go through time, it’s great. Going to become less and less and less valuable because it’s just going to destroy the economy. But what I don’t hear and what I really, really frustrated about is when I listened to the news when I listened to the medical establishment, I am hearing the latest statistics and what drug they’re looking for all of which have side of really bad side effects and when we’re going to get a vaccine so we can actually control this thing, and absolutely nothing about immune health. Nobody is promoting the importance of immune health. And what I can tell you is the people that keep their immune system healthy, have a much, much, much lower chance of ending up in the hospital and dying from this thing. And, and, you know, we’re just not hearing anything about that. And we do know something about some of the herbs. Some of the things that are already out there have been found a habit tivity again, Against previous Corona viruses. So Japanese knotweed Chinese skullcap some of the things that we’re actually using for line actually have good value have been shown to be effective for Coronavirus glue to fire them has been shown to reduce the severity of the the illness. Ginger, good old ginger tea has been shown to decrease the potential for these viruses defined for the to the respiratory tract. Yeah, so you’ve got all these and vitamin C, Vitamin C is extraordinary zinc. So we have all these natural things and we’re hearing nothing about them. In fact, they’re even being demonized by some people as Oh, we don’t know anything about that because nobody studied it yet. But and this knee jerk thing to to to incriminate natural therapy is being non effective, even though there’s evidence to the client Contrary, nobody’s looking at so I’ve found that to be hugely frustrating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I 100% echo those sentiments. I think we are playing a defensive approach, washing hands social distancing, I think we kind of know intuitively to stay away from people that are sick, right? And, you know, a we can learn to wash your hands. That makes sense, but we need to get offense right. And the offense, like you mentioned, are some of those essential nutrients like I’ve been recommending ginger tea for over a decade. I mean, like you mentioned, the viral replication aspect for ending the virus from sticking on. You know, in this case that that h2 receptor site, you also mentioned, the lethality aspects and I’ve been talking about this quite frequently. And the data coming out of studies out of MIT, USC, Stanford, so when you calculate you know, mortality rate, people listening at home, right, you take the numerator, which is how many people died and then you put it over a denominator how many cases they are. The problem is there’s about 25 to 50 times more people that are part of that denominator that we don’t even know about. So then when you add the 25 to 50, then that makes that death rate a lot lower number two, if there’s 25 to 50 times more people now we got a lot more herd immunity out there, which is preventing that infection from being passed around, which I think is vitally, vitally important. And the other third issue I have is, I don’t know You can tell me because you’re in the medical you know, seen more. They created two diagnostic codes for this infection you owe 7.1 you owe 7.2. You owe 7.1 is an objective diagnosis with the PCR testing. Ul 7.2 is an epidemiological diagnosis that does not require any objective testing. If you have any upper respiratory tract symptoms and you die. You can be classified as you Oh, 7.2 totally subjective. Do you know any other diseases that have two diagnostic criterias and one that’s totally subjective. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, I yeah. Coding System is-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is the flu like that at all?

Dr. Bill Rawls: No, I’m not sure about the flu. But I tell you, the whole coding system is a mess. And I think you and I are right on the same wavelength without one. You know, when when I started hearing, I mean, you’re being really immersed in this concept of microbes for the past 20 years. And just that concept of virulence has been very, very important to me that I don’t think a lot of doctors, including many infectious disease experts, really don’t understand the concept of virulence and how important it is and how these microbes function. But when I first started hearing the reports out on China, they were saying, okay, you know, the mortality that is 2.5% so it’s like, Okay, well, right up front, that’s a whole lot less than SARS, which was 10%. So we’re dealing with something that’s very much less virulent. And then they were saying, well, 80% of people will not be medical care, and that the testing that they were doing it was was not widely available. So right up front, I’m going, Okay, let’s put two and two together here. We’ve got a stated mortality of 2.5%. That of the cases they know about, but probably at least 50% of the mild cases aren’t being reported at all. Yep. And they don’t know about them. That means the actual mortality is probably around point 5% or lower. And now that we’re getting around to doing serology testing, that’s about where it is. Not to say this isn’t a serious illness, and yes, people are dying from it. And I’m not suggesting that we should be complacent about that. But I do think that we should be like you said morally offense of doing things to protect our elderly people that have immune problems. For everybody doing things to protect their immune system, herbs, better diet, sleep, everything, social distancing is very reasonable. But I think that people aren’t approaching this thing from a common sense point of view.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. And I’m gonna be doing a video on this later on. Today I guess some of the data from Italy which are 2-3  weeks ahead of us in this whole situation. But this data showed  about all the people that passed from the infections– 61% have 3 or 4 comorbidities and over 90% had at least 1 comorbidity. And the average age of death is 90 or 81. I look at that and you gotta say, the working age, economy will be shut down or should have a more strategic way. Quarantined people like Sweden, Brazil, that’s number 1. The second component on top of that is the Covid 19 tends to not be doing as well with people that are put on ventilators. 10% survive. So there’s something different with the ventilators, corona vs the flu. I have some thoughts on it, do you have any takes on that?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well I think anytime someone is put up on the ventilator, it’s always low. I mean their whole system is struggling and their lungs are all fluids. But ventilators in general are just really really hard on the body. And it’s anybody ends up in ICU and has a ventilator, they are going to have a very long recovery if they survive. Unless its for like a destructive procedure, something like that, where a person is healthy in the beginning but yeah, this virus does seem to act differently than influenza. It affects cells differently than it can, it has a modus operandi that’s different from influenza. But as you mentioned earlier though I think there are [inaudible] cases of probably influenza. They got bundled under covid too. And there could been some co infections that people have both in influenza and covid. If you look at this thing, there had been like, millions and millions of cases like 15 million cases of influenza since october and the death rate for influenza the last time was 15,000 people in the United States and this is a virus that we have a vaccine for. This vaccine does not work a lot of the time, people are dying and people don’t have a healthy immune system. So, you know it’s been kinda crazy that we got all these spotlights focused on this person on the ICU bed, struggling for covid, you shine the camera down away, struggling with influenza. It’s been such a visible thing and then neglecting some other things out there too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally agree. Use your strategy in using extra ginger, I like that. I think you said Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Are there any specific things, also NAC got a big one with viral application and keeping mucus and inflammation in the lungs and helping those pathways. Is there anything else you wanna highlight that you’re doing in an offensive approach, aside from washing your hands and standing away from the people?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, what i’m doing is I take immune modulating herbs and I think this is something looking at covid. One of the things that the virus does too is the immune reaction so it can be severe and creates a storm and is very damaging. And it has evidence that some stimulating anti microbial herbs like echinacea and astragalus can actually enhance the storm because they’re heating things up you know. So I think the immune modulating herbs are really impt. Take reishi, cordyceps. But I also take some antimicrobials that are not quite so hot. Our products with [inaudble] japanese knotweed, and we have chinese skullcap these are things that are commonly active. We have a product  with glutathione and NAC. I think glutathione is just as valuable. Something that you know you just pick up little bits of information. we get our glutathione from a company called Century and I spoke to the medical director when we were deciding on that as an ingredient, and he said you know I’ve been working with a group of high

cystic fibrosis, in cystic fibrosis is an excess of mucus and there’s a glutathione mechanism

behind that, and he said you know I’ve got him on this product and they’re living normal lives and it just stuck with me. So this the glutathione NAC both have some wonderful new coletek properties and some supportive health promoting properties in the lungs. Vitamin C another study from years ago medical school that really hit home is you know humans of the only humans of primates are the only creatures that don’t produce vitamin C. All other creatures do. And there was an experiment where they took rats and they took the rats and they just tested them in a non-stressed situation and they were producing about the equivalent of us taking 200 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day. So they stressed these rats and then measured how much vitamin C they were putting out and it was the equivalent of us taking 21 thousand

milligrams a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow! 

Dr. Bill Rawls: It just shows that when we’re stressed we burn up a lot of vitamin C, and we use it. Well I typically I’ve been taking extra each day but if I get sick with a cold or a flu I take about a thousand milligrams an hour up to about 6 hours so I’m taking anywhere from 3 to 6,000 milligrams a day. Effort stories if some places doing 16,000 I typically use the buffered vitamin C, take a little bit of zinc with that and the herbs and and drink a lot of ginger tea these days. Yeah I’m following good social isolation practices. You know most of my work is from home now so I’m using good common sense. I’m definitely not being cavalier. I don’t want covid or anything else but you know I was doing that before I’m pretty clear about these things as it was and I’m doing everything I can to keep my immune system healthy and those things are just really critical. With covid or anything else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know well the interesting thing is you know 20 years ago if you were in your OB practice right now you’d be shut down but you’re still able to help people and I’m still able to help people with with the whole virtual environment we have right now so we’re really a really benefiting from the technology and the times we live in.

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, thank you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well doctor, is there anything else you want to leave us with? I’m gonna let the listeners know Dr. Rawls, his website is We’re gonna put the links down below. Dr. Rawl supplements that is we’ll put the links down below and then my favorite product that he has is the advanced biotic, we’ll put that down below. Doc you also have a book coming out, so I’d love to have you come back on the podcast when that book comes out. We can chat about that. Is there anything else you want to leave the listeners here today?

Dr. Bill Rawls: After I took a year off of my life and a lot of people have found that valuable right now, I’m working on a book called for about healthy aging, and the how important this concept of microbes in the microbiome, and immune system gets in the healthy aging process or the aging process and just staying healthy as you age, so hopefully in some months, three months, six months we’ll have all that done out there. But thanks for the opportunity. It’s been a real pleasure 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks Dr. Rawls. We’ll put all the links that you mentioned down below and love to have you back in the next few months when that book wraps up. It was excellent chatting with you. Have a phenomenal day and you stay healthy. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Awesome, thank you very much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now.


Audio Podcast:

Uncommon Causes of Mysterious Weight Gain | Podcast #283

Hello and welcome to Beyond Wellness Podcast! Today’s episode is interesting because a lot of us complain about sudden weight gain, or having no changes on weight loss at all after trying out diet plans. Dr. Justin, together with Evan Brand explains the uncommon causes of weight gain in the functional medicine world. Listen to this podcast or read the transcript below. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:40      Insulin

05:42      Inflammation Toxin, Metabolism

10:30      Carbohydrate-rich food vs. The Proper Nutrients

16:20      Gut Health

21:12      Mold Toxins

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, Evan, it’s Dr. J here. How are we doing today? Man? I’m really excited for a great podcast. What’s happening? 

Evan Brand: Doing very well. We’re going to dive into a mysterious podcast. You have so many people that say, You know what? I gained 10 pounds I gained 15 pounds, I gained 20 I gained 25 30 40 50 100 pounds mysteriously. I didn’t change anything, quote, what the heck is going on? So we hope to shed some light on this because if you go down the street to your conventional doctor, and you tell him Hey, Doc, I gained 20 pounds. What’s going on? 95% of the time, my clients have reported the doctors tell them, you’re just getting old. This just happens when you get old things slow down and you gain weight, you get more tired, you get weird lumps on your skin. It’s just part of aging, and I disagree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I mean, your weight is a pretty good sign of your metabolism. It’s a pretty good sign of inflammation as well. So we call Like your tummy or your gut like the inflammation meter. And of course, there are a lot of variables right common sense things like eating too much. But and then obviously exercise these play big roles right now. There’s also the macro nutrient content of the foods that you’re eating right protein, fats and carbs and we know the carbohydrate connection, right all the way back from Dr. Atkins with you know, the more processed the carbs are, the more refined they are the more starchy the more those carbs break down to glucose and fructose, the more that’s it a stimulate insulin release, and the more the insulin is secreted by your pancreas, the more chance your cells are going to be numb to it if you’re not exercising or more active. So of course insulin then opens up the the gates for glucose and fructose to be stored as fat or glycogen in the liver and then obviously fat in yourself. So of course, there’s a big insulin component. A lot of people know it, they just don’t really know how to test it or how to quantify it. So that’s kind of a common sense thing. We know people have been talking about that. For years, and how we look at that as we’ll look at fasting insulin levels, and we’ll even do a functional glucose tolerance test to see how your body handles glucose and or sugar like fructose. Okay, so we have typical table sugar which is sucrose, which is like half and half glucose fructose. We have high fructose corn syrup, which is 55 45 fructose to glucose. These are going to go into our body, they’re going to stimulate insulin release, they’re going to get stored as glycogen in our muscles or if it’s more fructose, it’s stored as glycogen in the liver. Once those sources are stored, and they’re at capacity, it’s like a rag that you’re cleaning up your kids mess on the table with it’s fully it’s full, it needs to be wrung out once it’s full, all that glucose and fructose gets stored as fat. So that’s one of the first one so we’ll look at a functional glucose tolerance. We’ll look at a fasting level of glucose. And then we’ll do a one hour, two hour three hour after a meal and we’ll see how fast Those glucose levels come down the faster they come down the less insulin spike to make it come down so ideally between 120 and 140 within an hour and ideally below 100 within two hours and definitely below 100 within three that’s kind of my frame of reference and then ideally in the sweet spot on a fasting insulin we want our insulin levels between two and five definitely below seven if we’re going to be testing our blood levels of of insulin fasting in the morning.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and this is not something commonly tested right? I don’t recall I mean, we’ve had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people send just standard bloodwork they’ve got further conventional MD and fasting insulin is rarely on there as standard protocols that correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% not on there. Okay. You’ll see glucose on there but nothing else.

Evan Brand: We see yeah, maybe A1C if you had some sort of history or if you were actually confirmed diabetic but you know, I’ve looked on many people and they don’t even do A1C it’s like, I don’t know how much we run it for maybe 12 bucks, 20 bucks, I mean, A1C is cheap to add on, I just can’t believe it’s not standard procedure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t love A1C because it can definitely be a little bit higher, the more the healthier your blood cells are and the more the longer your blood cells live, they can accumulate more sugar or more glucose over time. So there is that component. So I don’t love it, but it’s nice to have. It’s nice to look at for sure. I agree.

Evan Brand: Better than not having it when you say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I agree as long as you can look at it in context of the whole big picture. And if someone has a false high, you don’t go over the top. That’s why I like my functional glucose tolerance tests with the at home blood sugar meter the best. Okay.

Evan Brand: Make sense? Yeah, that’s the low hanging fruit, right people. You could look back at even just in the 1950s. I mean, the obesity rates were nothing to what they are today. I know my grandparents grandparents were out on 300 acres and eating chickens in the backyard and they ate lard every day. None of them died of heart disease. They all lived into their 80s and 90s. They were outside working the land getting exercise and sunlight every day they were eating foods that were likely much, much richer and micronutrients and minerals because the soil wasn’t depleted. Cliphosphate and other herbicides weren’t invented yet, so they weren’t getting those low dose antibiotics killing the good diversity. It’s possible that and this is just me casually transitioning into the next point, this could be all related to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Why don’t we talk about dysbiosis? Because you and I look at the GI map stool test. And if we look at Firmicutes that are elevated or other bad bacteria, that can make you fat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, of course, inflammation plays a huge role in your metabolism, right? inflammation is going to cause more cortisol to be secreted. High levels of cortisol, it’s an anti inflammatory, but it also creates a mobilization of sugar or glucose. So people think well, like I’m not eating a whole bunch of glucose or carbohydrate, you know, but you could be surging a whole bunch of cortisol because of the inflammation and that cortisol could be mobilizing glucose. And so this is why it’s important that if you are surging, a little bit more inflammation, going for a walk, doing a little bit of a cross, not across CrossFit or interval or some kind of a circuit training to kind of take that glucose and soak it up can be helpful, because the higher that level of glucose is up because inflammation, your cells getting numb to insulin. So that same thing of eating too much carbohydrates, that’s driving up insulin, that same thing can actually happen from inflammation, so independent of just the carbohydrates, so you may have carbs coming in, let’s say from gluten, right? But then you have the inflammation component, the more gluten sensitive you are that can also surge more cortisol, which can then also create more glucose than what you actually ate in the actual bread to begin with. And that creates more insulin resistance, more court, more courts. are mobilizing sugars. That makes sense.

Evan Brand: It does. Yeah. And if you’ve got the cortisol issue that’s affecting your gut barrier further, which is in allowing infections to create more inflammation so it can become a vicious cycle. What do you think about? So for me, I lost weight. When I had all the gut infections, certain people will see they gain weight and when you get rid of their infections, all of a sudden their weight normalizes in the 20 pounds, they gain go back to normal. Do you have any thoughts on why some people lose weight, some people gain weight, I think it depends on the type of infection or what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, it definitely depends on the type of infection and also depends on the individual. Some people can kind of be more prone to be in an ectomorph stage or they, as they go lower calorie as they have malabsorption they drop weight, some people gain weight, it’s just I don’t really have a an exact rhyme or reason why. I tend to see over time though, people will eventually start gaining weight over time. Whether it’s gaining weight because their body fat goes up and their muscle mass goes down and their weight still stays the same, they’re still going to be losing high quality, lean muscle mass over time, you’re never going to see someone’s body fat drop, and then also have their muscle mass go operate the same. So usually there’s gonna, there’s still going to be a reduction in their high quality muscle, even if they are dropping weight, you’ll become more sarcopenia, right? Yeah, you’ll may lose a little bit of weight, but you’re also going to lose muscle mass, bone mass, etc. So in the short run, though, why you lost weight versus someone else, it’s hard to say, you know, there’s probably some genetic variations there. And that may be different from you and your 20s to you and your 50s, right, so maybe a variation of just where you’re at metabolically and as you get older, that may change. But either way, this is why we focus on body composition when weight loss is occurring, because you could have weight loss but muscle mass is dropping, right? So the body, the body composition really matters the most and you can actually gain weight. Have muscle mass drop as well. So this is it. These are important components to keep in mind muscle mass really matters the most. And it’s one of those things if you don’t use it, you lose it. So that’s why getting a little bit of move, whether it’s push ups or pull ups or some bodyweight stuff, or we talked about doing some circuit stuff, some interval stuff to kind of keep those the muscle mass. They’re really really, really important.

Evan Brand: Good answer, I definitely lost muscle. I definitely lost strength. Some people will say, Oh, I wish I had a parasite. And I can lose 20 pounds without trying. It’s like, No, you don’t trust me, that’s not a good way to lose weight at all. And the weight that you’re losing is not body fat, your body is going to hold on to that body fat. It’s not like you’re magically going to get six pack abs. If you get gut bugs, trust me. You’re losing muscle, you’re losing strength, you’re losing, like you mentioned, possibly bone density, bone strength as well. So not a good thing to have. And we know that just addressing those gut infections could be could be huge. So you mentioned the whole insulin cortisol connection, but a lot of what we would consider low hanging fruit for us because we do It all the time every day all day with people is we help them to test and fix gut infections. So if it’s an H pylori issue, causing low stomach acid, you’ve then got the malabsorption of food, the body sort of freaking out looking for nutrients. It’s like okay, I’m not getting well fed, well nourished, let’s go into fat storage mode because we’re not getting fed well, even though the quality is good, it could be a grass fed steak. If the absorption is so bad, it can still trigger that fat storage mode in the body because you’re you’re not getting the nutrients you need.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and again, you could have a lot of carbohydrate rich food and a lot of caloric rich food and not have the nutrients you need. So in general, you kind of already alluded to it, you need B vitamins, you need co Q10. You need alpha lipoic acid, you need carnitine you need a lot of these important nutrients to run your mitochondria to run fatty acid oxidation. So you can generate ATP, which is the cellular currency for energy in the body. So you can burn fat for fuel you need They’ll all be vitamin nutrients for your Krebs cycle, right? Or to run and generate, basically to gain all these hydrogens, right? We call it the reducing compounds FADH2, and NADH, they dump all these hydrogens into the electron transport chain. And this generates more fuel 36 to 38. ATP is going through glycolysis to the Krebs cycle to electron transport chain, right and fatty acid oxidation. So these are very important pathways to generate energy. And when you have someone who’s gaining weight, what that tells me over time, is there an energy store, not an energy burner, and we really want our body to be in this energy burning mode. Because burning means to we’re not our body isn’t allocating it to fat, right? Fat storage, so when we’re allocating it to fat, that means our body’s kind of saving it for a rainy day, which may be okay if we’re saving financially, but not necessarily if we’re saving and we want to be you know, lean and have good muscle mass.

Evan Brand: So let’s keep unpacking what you’re saying, because this is important. We’ve had people say, Well, I’m doing keto. I’m doing little to no carbs, I still can’t lose weight, what the heck is going on? And I know this isn’t the only mechanism. But let me say this one and then if you want to build on it, my thought is if I and I’ve had people who say I’m full carnivore, I’m just eating grass fed steak couple times a day or something like I have zero carbs, why am I not losing weight? Or why am I even gaining weight? My argument would be, as you mentioned, the carnitine and all the nutrients you need to fuel those cycles. If you’re not absorbing or assimilating that grass fed steak due to low HCl infections have some stored inflammation in the gut, it doesn’t matter if the if the food itself is good because you’re still not getting the nutrients you need to run those cycles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So if we are going lower carb, we want to make sure we’re consuming for the most part on a ketogenic template, unlimited amounts of non starchy vegetables for the most part, it’s fine. You know you most people are going to be in that 20 to 30 maybe 40. net car grams per day. And you’re looking at three to four carbs nets with your green vegetables serving. So you can be eight to 10 servings a day on your green vegetables. And you’re probably going to be in that ketogenic range, so that the vegetables tend to not be a problem. And you can do organic and make sure the nutrient density is high. You can also consume things like organ meats, and obviously high quality grass fed pasture fed meats and egg yolks and all those things that are nutrient dense so we can make sure those foods are there and in the diet. Some of the hidden things could be like you mentioned having with you is having inflammation in the gut from infections not having enough stomach acid or enzymes or bile salts. So those foods overwhelm the system and may actually create more inflammation because we can’t digest them. So there also is that as an X Factor, we have to keep that in the back of our head. Most people are going to lose weight, dropping carbohydrates if their carbohydrates were previously high, just because for you know, for one molecule of glucose, there’s three or four molecules of water right behind it. Okay. So as you drop down the glucose, you drop down water weight. And so of course, you’re gonna see that as well that’s like a no brainer. So most people off the bat are going to see some level of drop. If not just the insulin dropping, then the glucose drop or the glucose dropping, then the insulin dropping, and then the insulin, dropping the water, and then the water and then the sodium. And so you’re going to see a massive reduction in water weight, okay? Now, if we’re struggling, and we’re still not seeing that weight reduction, we’re going to have to look at the gut, we’re going to have to look at the inflammation and the food, we’re going to have to look at how you’re digesting the food, is that food nutrient dense. And then if we’re looking at all those things, and we still been following this for a solid month or two, and we’re still having problems, that’s where we have to look at the adrenals aka cortisol, cortisol rhythm, that’s we’re looking at the female or male hormones, definitely more with the females females are going to struggle more because if they if they’re already in estrogen dominance, right, that’s already going to create more storage hormones. They’re like insulin right? Because estrogen is kind of a it’s kind of a growth hormone. could promote more fat growth as well. And then of course, thyroid and it could be a low thyroid, it could be a thyroid conversion issue. It could be an autoimmune issue. And a lot of people improve their thyroid going keto, because one insulin does affect our way conversion. And when you’re typically going keto, you’re not eating grains and things that could stimulate autoimmunity. So kind of like our is a lot of people out there that are like keto is the solution, keto solution, but what if you’re that person? It’s not why. And that’s where functional medicine comes in when we look at those next levels above, and then then we have to get more specific.

Evan Brand: Yeah, here’s another hidden part of this whole issue too, since you brought up estrogen is when we’re looking at someone stole panel, we’ll see the enzyme the beta glucuronidase that goes high, typically due to dysbiosis. There’s other causes as well. But when this enzyme malfunctions if your guts not working properly, now you’re going to recirculate estrogen. So even if you weren’t taking an estrogen birth control pill or anything like that, you’re like, you know what, where Why? Why would I have excess estrogen? Well, it could be what you’ve had in your body is is simply getting recirculated and that’ll cause tons of issues. And so part of our goal is we have to get that enzyme working from that enzyme functioning properly. And some people lose weight just by doing that. I mean, it could be simple as fix the gut and they lose 20 pounds. We see it every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% so the guts a really important component. And then the hormones play a really important role as well. And we already talked about how important healthy gut function is for detoxification and we have in previous podcasts, healthy gut function is important. That’s where we eliminate our stool. we eliminate a lot of toxins via heavy metals or mold via the hepatic biliary system. That’s liver, gallbladder into the gut out the stool, or liver, gut, you know, kidneys out the urine. So we there’s a lot of different ways that we eliminate now. to dive in one step above we’ll kind of get there is things like mold and mycotoxins can slow down thyroid. There’s different studies on like, the mole toxin is Elena and they actually put that mole toxin in the ears of cows. And they do that because that the cows actually convert more of their calories to fats, when they expose them to that mold toxin. So we know different molds can slow down thyroid function, they can affect T4 to T3 conversion, and they can cause more fat gain. So mold can definitely be a component in this whole thing. And it’s not the first thing I go to. It’s not the low hanging fruit. But if we do a good history, and we address the other things and we’re still at a standstill, then then it’s something that we can definitely dive into eventually, if history leads us there.

Evan Brand: Yeah, my wife and I, we were looking back at some pictures of ourselves and we both lost weight. You know, we just blamed it on my wife breastfeeding all the time, we thought Oh, she’s just you know, putting out so many calories. She’s not eating enough. We’re pretty low carb. Maybe she wasn’t eating enough. But we both had lost weight. And then once we improved our air quality, we both gained our weight back so I can confirm that your weight could go either way, just like it came with gut infections. You could lose weight when you’re exposed to to mold or you could gain weight. So it can go either way. Now, for those that have been following for a while, you may know this, but if not Dr. J is working on a thyroid book. So I want you to maybe give us a little more insight on this thyroid mechanism. You mentioned it but what specifically is going on with Is it the antibodies? It’s, that’s the problem is it just thyroid receptor sites being blocked? What’s going on when you’re saying thyroid is one of those pieces of the weight gain?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So mold toxins can affect thyroid conversion, T4 to T3 conversion, you can see an increase in reverse t three, which is our inactive thyroid hormone. It’s kind of like someone being in the parking lot, right? And instead of having an open parking spot, someone just kind of put some cones in the parking spots right? And so you can’t go park in there because the colon there. Well imagine the receptor site is the parking spot and the thyroid hormone is the car. Well if you got a whole bunch of parking spots that you wanted to park in, but now they have a cone in it. Well you can’t dock right that thyroid hormone can’t work. Right think of the cones as reverse T3, it’s blocking the receptor site for thyroid hormone your car from being able to use it. So that’s a big role in thyroid increases your metabolism, heat energy, etc. So there’s that. Also, that’s-

Evan Brand: -so that’s the mechanism that people need to know. It’s that, you know, I think of it kind of like a blank bullet, too. So you’re saying that if that cone is in the way, no matter if the blood level, so you’re saying like free t three could look okay? But if you’ve got elevated reverse t three, that free t three can’t get into the receptor, therefore the metabolism never fires, right? The sparkplug doesn’t fire, is that correct? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And usually with higher levels of reverse t three free t three starts to go down because you only have so much t three building block or T four building block, and it’s either going to go to t t three or reverse t three, okay? And the more reverse t three is increasing. That means less of it’s actually going to the active t three. And then the more reverse t three, it makes that active t three that’s there even less viable. Does that make sense? 

Evan Brand: It does so it’s like a diversion. I’m picturing like a garden hose with one of those little two way splitters. Bingo. And I had this, I remember you and I looked at this in my blood, I had reversed t three almost to a 30, which is really high at one point. And basically the diverter switch was flipped. And so luckily, that is now resolved, and I feel much better. 100% you’re really tired, too. I want to mention that too. Because I want people to know, okay, you’re all getting into this receptor site and all that. Well, how does that affect me on my day to day life? Well, I’ll tell you, from someone who has high reverse t three, you can feel it, you feel that you can’t push the gas pedal, it’s as if somebody put a rock under the gas pedal, and you now can’t get the pedal to the metal. So you’re lethargic, you just feel blah, your mood is not as good. Your energy’s not as good. So these are the people who are like, Oh, I know you’re telling me to go do high intensity interval training. I friggin can’t do it. And it’s because of that issue. And so sometimes you have to work backwards meaning you’ve got to resolve elevated reversed T3. You’ve got to resolve the gut issues to even get the mitochondria working enough to give you the ATP so that you’re actually have enough energy in the tank to do the exercise that you know will make you feel better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So then you have the mold toxins right affecting thyroid conversion and activation. Also, what affects the conversion? Well, typically the enzymes the di dnase enzyme, the five prime di enzyme is coming from the liver. It’s coming from Selenium. So of course it delivers more burden, right, and glue to ion pathways and our top detoxification pathways are stressed. It makes sense why the conversion may be effective because the detoxification pathways are impaired, and then our body. Like it’s always trying to sequester things like it’s going to try to flush things out first, but then if it really has a hard time, it’ll store things in the fat second, so the body will tend to store things more on the fat side of the fence just to kind of keep it sequestered. It’s kind of like your kids running around causing a whole bunch of problems in the home. You’re probably going to say go to timeout or go to your room, right. So they’re not running around causing a ruckus. It’s kind of the same thing with your toxins in your body, hey, you know, hey, mold, I want you to go to the fat cell, right? That’s kind of what’s happening there. And of course, the more fat cell you have, the more the body wants to store they’re just like that just kind of it creates momentum in regards to fat storage and slows down the metabolism. And of course, the less Selenium included IO and you have the less the thyroids going to be supportive. And then if you have, God forbid autoimmune issues, now that autoimmunity is going to be tamped up, and it’s going to be harder for the body to modulate or downgrade that inflammatory response.

Evan Brand: And that’s because you’ve basically gone into attack mode right now you’ve got you’ve got the cop shooting the wrong bad guy, you hit your thyroid, now the thyroid could be damaged and therefore it could produce less active hormone is that right? So I mean, after years and years of thyroid damage, you literally can produce less Is that true?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct and and also the new Treatments needed to quell that inflammatory response is too busy dealing with the mold toxins. Does that make sense? Yep. And then kind of a very similar mechanism, again with heavy metals, very similar again with heavy metals, Mercury lead, are they going to be the big two? And then we also have like cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, those kind of ones as well. So of course, we have those kind of having a very similar mechanism, as I just mentioned, stressing out thyroid conversion, potentially affecting autoimmunity being stored in the fat cell creating stress on our metabolism.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And how does this look because people like oh heavy metals, right, it just sounds so kind of airy fairy in the air. This could be as simple as something we’ve seen this we’ve seen dozens of cases like this. Someone goes in for a routine dental procedure. They go get a major deep cleaning done while they have silver quote silver fillings which are 50-53% mercury. They go get a deep cleaning. After their deep cleaning, the person is scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing. They’re getting millions and millions of micro particles of mercury into the brain via inhalation. They’re swallowing it into the gut. And all of a sudden I gained 20 pounds after a dental procedure. What was the dental procedure? Oh, it was a deep cleaning, ah, bingo. And then if you if we need to, we could do a, like some sort of provocation and then run a urine heavy metal screen to look for this on paper. But if we just go in and do the binders and such to actually get rid of heavy metals, sometimes we could just confirm using an educated guess and history. All of a sudden, the heavy metal protocol we use, boom, they lost 20 pounds. It could be that simple.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it definitely can be that simple. So we have to look at everything holistically. So I think we hit the mole toxin, we hit the heavy metals. We talked about a lot of just the general inflammation. We talked about some of the hormones, we talked about cortisol. We talked about, of course exercise, what exercise does is it’s going to help decrease insulin. It’s going to help improve insulin sensitivity, and it’s going to help me Take more space in our muscle for the glycogen to which is helpful. 

Evan Brand: Justin’s cat is in the background. She is interested in glycogen to she wants to increase her glycogen by getting fed. Yeah, the exercise. Exactly. Well, actually, it’s a boy though, isn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, Dexter.

Evan Brand: Dexter wants to get his glycogen reserves up. And so regarding the exercise piece, you see why people get this wrong. And it’s not their fault. It’s just you don’t know what you don’t know. They think okay, I just need a $10 gym membership. And I’m just going to go pound the weights and magically I’m going to lose weight, right? Because diet and exercise. Those are the two variables that everyone on Good Morning America talks about. Look at this celebrity trainer. If I just do what he does, I’m gonna friggin get in shape. And it’s like, maybe if you don’t have all these other root causes, but the problem is everyone in the modern world based on looking at thousands of toxic people. People are very toxic. It’s not that easy. anymore maybe 100 years ago, it would have been that easy. But now there’s so many other variables, we have to get out of the way so many other roadblocks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And everyone can at least start out, they can at least try it, they can start going with it, that’s fine. And then if they have an issue, then they at least know why we’re on their radar, we’re kind of in the back of their head. Or if they’re going through all the exercise stuff, and they’re just the exercises, speeding them up, and they’re just feeling like crap. And there’s at least a next level we can go to if we need.

Evan Brand: Well, I knew something was wrong with me when I was having three to four days of recovery times when I previously had one to two day recovery times, even though the intensity of the workout wasn’t much different. And also when I was getting diminishing returns, so I put in the work and my weight or muscle mass or strength would stay relatively the same. I thought something is not right. And then that’s when I found out I had gut infection. It’s like, okay, I’ve been getting robbed of all of my amino acids. I can’t even manufacture more muscle mass right now until these infections resolved. And then here’s the funny thing. I literally started building muscle looking more fit With less exercise than I did before here, I was working so hard and go, I worked out less. All I did was clear the infections and then boom, the muscle came on. And people might argue well, oh, and you were just overtraining. And the cortisol was eating away your muscle tissue? No, no, no, I’m talking like going from three days a week exercising 20 to 30 minutes to like, one or two days a week. And I gained more muscle that way. It was crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yep, that can definitely be a thing, you know. So I think we hit a lot of the really important things here regarding the diet component, which is foundational, and that’s going to be your 8020. You know, that’s where 20% of you know, 20% of the results are going to happen. 80% of the results are going to happen from from those 20% right there. Okay, then everything else gets a little bit more nuanced. And that’s where we layer and stack and functional medicine is a good next option. And then of course, all the different toxic things and the hormonal components in the gut and the absorption stuff that all make sense. Anything you want to add to that.

Evan Brand: The good news is you can resolve this and so if you do a good workup on somebody, you can find out exactly what going on. Now, we may not go straight away to do on the blood work, we may not go straight away to doing the cortisol. It really just depends on your history. We’re going to ask you about sleep. We’re going to ask you about stress, we’re going to ask you timeline. So when did all this happen? like we talked about the lady who got the dyno cleaning, and all of a sudden she gained weight after the dyno cleaning, or, oh, you gained 20 pounds after the divorce or you gained 20 pounds after you moved into this new house, right? So we’re going to base our lab testing investigation protocol on what gets uncovered during the history. So you can’t take that lady who got the dental cleaning, and assume that that’s your issue, right? You really want to stack all the puzzle pieces out on the table together and just see, okay, Look, she’s got some mercury here. She’s got the gut inflammation over here. She’s got the elevated cortisol at night. She had water damage in her basement, you see and then we start adding all those puzzle pieces so that way you can get her 20% better, they’re 20% better there. And then you get the person fully well, so if something is The gym is not working. You don’t feel like it’s not working. There’s probably something going on under the hood. And not always but as, as we’ve talked about, we’ve tested thousands of people. modern humans are extremely toxic from gasoline additives to paints, nail polish, hairspray, hair color, the pesticides and herbicides, the pharmaceuticals that are in tap water, I mean, there’s endocrine disrupting chemicals in the tap water if you’re not drinking filtered water, and we’re not talking just a fridge filter, that’s not sufficient. You could get fat just from drinking tap water. And people say, Oh, that’s ridiculous. No, it’s not. You can look at the studies on the Environmental Working Group and many other people have done studies on tap water across the US and across cross globally. And trace amounts we’re talking parts per million of certain drugs like antibiotics and birth control pills and things can end up in the water supply, therefore affecting hormones therefore making you fat. So it’s no surprise when you look at the amount of time toxins, it goes up like a hockey stick just like the obesity rate. Can you blame all obesity on toxins? No, but I think it’s a huge part of the puzzle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% 110% Yeah, I agree, man. That’s really, really important. So I think you hit some really important components there regarding the food stuff. Inflammation toxin. I think we did a really good job kind of laying everything out. Is there anything else you want to touch upon here?

Evan Brand: I don’t think so. Unless you had any questions. I don’t have any on my side.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, there’s one more thing I want to highlight is people talk about eating too much or too much calories. Now, that’s always a possibility. But the problem is when you’re consuming good fats and good proteins and your blood sugar is not on a rollercoaster ride on the foods nutrient dense that you’re eating. The odds of overeating gets lower because of the fact one you have nutritional density to protein and fat signals, a lot of satiating compounds in the brain adiponectin peptide Why Why? It’s gonna simulate colon assisted kinda in a lot of these things are going to help you feel satiated and help you feel full. So it’s harder to overeat fats and proteins. I mean, is it possible, if you’re just doing scoops and scoops almond butter or straight up butter, it’s possible. But if you’re eating at a normal pace, and you’re eating, you know, vegetables and protein sources and good fats together, and you’re not chopping things down super, super fast, I recommend eating till you’re about 80% full, and then kind of giving yourself five or 10 minutes to kind of let things digest because sometimes there can be a delay, and that satiation signal, and that kind of helps your body but Okay, yeah, I’m good. You actually had enough you’ve got to give yourself that equal your 80%, not to your 100% and give it that five or 10 minutes to kind of get that feedback loop back up to the brain and be like, yeah, I’m satiated. I’m, I’m good. So that’s kind of my big strategy on the calorie side. And then of course, of course, of course, of course. eat the right foods. When you do too much carbohydrate. You don’t get The satiating signal that you get with fats and proteins. That’s why the Pringles commercials are the 90s. Everyone knows that if you’re if you’re that old, once you pop, you don’t stop, right? Or everyone has the experience of buying a pizza and eating it, you know, in back in their college days to their whole face, right? They eat the whole thing. Why? Because they like gets, yeah, the Lay’s chips. You don’t get that satiation signal or it comes way late in the game. And that’s why you can overeat carbohydrates, it’s much harder to overeat, let’s say, a dozen eggs, right? You’d be nauseous because of all of those compounds, cck, etc. that will make you feel really nauseous.

Evan Brand: You know, we ought to do we ought to do one of those. React video where you’ll see like health practitioners react to certain videos, you and I need to pull up like a bunch of commercials from the 80s and 90s and just share our thoughts on them because it’s really sickening. If you think about it like the Lay’s motto, wasn’t it a bet you can’t eat just one. It’s like, Well, duh, because you’re getting no satiation. You’re getting no leptin response from that nutrient devoid food with hydrogenated cottonseed oil on it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And they’re also putting a lot of stuff in there to stimulate appetite. They’re putting more things to stimulate it right? You’re using a lot of sodium in there. They’re putting a lot of MSG in flavor enhancers. And then don’t even get me started with the low fat phase. They started adding me olestra and the olestra was the fat but it was digestible. So you’d get disaster pants after you consume it because your body couldn’t break it down. So you’d have the fat you taste the fat, but then it will go out your pants. It was terrible. Remember that stuff, the olestra in the late 90s.

Evan Brand: It’s absolutely horrid. I can’t believe what Americans have gone through in terms of the food supply. If you were someone who lived in a rural area, maybe you bought your food from farmers back then and you kind of avoided supermarkets. Maybe you dodged a lot of this but unfortunately a lot of people are victims to what’s happened with the food supply. So this is just more reason to connect with yourself. farmer buy your food locally, it’s going to have better soil density of nutrients, hopefully, you’re going to have less transit time. So therefore you’re not eating blueberries from Mexico that were picked way too early, and they didn’t develop in origin picked at the peak. So there’s a lot of benefits to going local with your food supply. I could go on a whole rant about that. But regarding the the satiety hormone stuff with the fluids, it’s huge. I mean, and so that message that 80% full thing goes to all those people. And this was me, I’m going to admit it. This was me, even though it was like a grain free cookie, you know, almond flour or something with coconut sugar. You know, I would eat a meal. And I’d be like, hmm, I’m not satiated enough. I need to have something sweet. It’s like I wasn’t getting that, that full signal. And once I’ve detox and mold, I don’t have that anymore. And if I just sit there to table for a couple extra minutes, all of a sudden, Oh, you know what, I am full. I don’t need anything else. And we have that report all the time from people like Oh man, I gotta go run and get my piece of chocolate. After the meal, if you If that’s you, then there’s something not right that’s not now too common response, but common doesn’t mean normal. So if you eat grass fed steak, baked sweet potato butter and cinnamon and a big old fat plate of some butter with broccoli, and you don’t feel good after that, and you’re still running for the cookie or the chocolate investigate because there’s something going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s okay if someone is having a little bit of dark chocolate after a meal, just make sure it’s going to be lower sugar high and Macau, so then you’re not getting much carbohydrate, you’re getting a lot of nutrient nutrition in that or just choose the healthier option. Maybe it’s some low sugar coconut yogurt with some fresh blueberries in there, right? So we can always, you know, kind of look at making your fruit making it like a dessert almost right. So if you’re going to do some low sugar fruit or put some good fats in there, that way one, there’s good fats too. There’s not a whole bunch of sugar in three there’s a lot of nutrient density there so you can kind of still kind of have that little bit of satiation and that like desert feel without having Having all the side effects true and it’s in it’s totally awesome and beneficial to do that. I’m not trying to demonize it or make, make it seem like you should never enjoy yourself. That’s not what I’m saying. But just for those people that say, I have to have it, like if I don’t have my chocolate, you know, you don’t want to be around me those things. That’s when it seems like it’s an excess, but just for enjoyment. Yeah, I think you could do some awesome stuff. Yeah, I mean, if you look at like a 50%, dark chocolate or milk chocolate, right? A whole bar half a bar isn’t that 2025 grams of sugar versus you go have a dark chocolate maybe at 88% like an endangered species brand. Well, now you’re at four or five grams. So you see how there’s a that’s a 90% reduction in the sugar, just from choosing one dessert over another dessert so that it’s a total totally big difference there. So if you guys are like hey, I want something, just choose the healthier option.

Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely and cool. The dark chocolate thing too, even if it is super high dark chocolate content and it’s not much sugar. If you’re going for that too often in your emotions. sensitive and it’s comforting you to have that then your endorphins are probably burned out. We measure that on organic acids testing. Yeah. All the time. Well ask those people Oh, yeah, like, Oh yeah, if I see a commercial, it’s not even sappy, but I cry, and I have to have dark chocolate every day. Well, then you got an endorphin problem most likely. But that’s a whole nother podcast, we’ll save that for a brain chemistry show.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly like my go to right now has been just like some really nice, clean, unsweetened coconut yogurt with a little bit of cinnamon and maybe some fresh blueberries or strawberries, something really simple, nutrient dense with some good fats. And just trying to keep that that mindset of eating till you’re about 80% full is a good indication because that 80% once you stop eating, you may notice you start getting full for the next 10 or 20 more minutes, even without eating because that signals just a little bit behind. So that’s why it’s good to have that mindset. So then you’re not eating too. You’re 100% and then you’re like, Whoa, I gotta undo the belt buckle a notch or two. It’s like Thanksgiving Day dinner, right? That’s what we want to avoid. Very, very good where it’s uncomfortable to move right, we should be able to move comfortably afterwards.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a good statement. We talked about that too, with HCl production and such if you if you eat and then you need to go lay down. Something’s not right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. Well, anything else you want to highlight Evan, I would just say that to the listeners if they want to dive in deeper, and they feel like they need a next step person, a coach to help them get to that next level, head over to You can schedule with Evan, head over to You can schedule with myself, Dr. J. If you want to dive in deeper, sometimes these tests are necessary. Or maybe you’ve already gone a lot of the route that we’ve talked about and you’re ready for those next things where there could be a hormone issue or a toxic stressor and you want to roll it out. That’d be your next step. Anything else? Anything you wanna add in? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job. Check out the sites, Thank you for being there. And we enjoy having you on the other end of the microphone. So stay tuned. We’ll be back next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And people that are listening. If they have friends or family that could benefit please give it a share. Your comments down below we want to know what you think. Whether it’s future topic ideas or just comments on today’s show and make sure you hit the bell and noticing hit the subscribe button and the bell so you get notifications of great content coming your way. Alright Evan, you have a great day, man. Take care. 

Evan Brand: Take care. See ya. Bye. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


Audio Podcast:

The “Dirty Dozen” Ingredients to Avoid

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

With over 82,000 ingredients used in body care products (an 1 in 8 being an industrial chemical), I wanted to share a condensed list of the Dirty Dozen ingredients to avoid. These chemicals range from hormone disrupting to carcinogenic. I want to share with you these Dirty Dozen so that you can make the informed choice of whether or not you want to use products containing these toxic compounds.


These two synthetic antioxidants are used as a preservative in products. Exposure to BHA and BHT is linked to allergic reactions, liver, thyroid, and kidney conditions, tumor growth, and cancer. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has classified BHA as a Category 1 ingredient of concern due to the science confirming its effect on human hormones. These ingredients are often found in lipsticks and moisturizers.

Coal Tar Dyes

These dyes are used to give products color, and coal tar like P-phenylenediamine is used frequently in hair dyes. These dyes are made from a mixture of chemicals made from petroleum–a known carcinogen–and contain heavy metals and aluminum which are toxic to the brain and linked to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimers.

DEA and DEA Related Ingredients 

While these ingredients make products creamy and sudsy, they also cause skin irritation, eye irritation, liver cancer, and disrupt thyroid function. They are often found in facial cleansers, shampoos, soaps, and moisturizers.

Click here to work with a functional medicine doctor to improve your health! 


DBP is used in nail polish to prevent it from becoming brittle. Over time, exposure to DBP is linked to liver and kidney failure, hormone imbalance, and lowers sperm count. It absorbs through the skin and can cause genetic mutations–DBP also causes developmental defects in fetuses, which is one reason why I don’t recommend painting your nails while pregnant.

Formaldehyde-releasing ingredients

DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate are just some of the formaldehyde-releasing preservatives used in body care products, but they should never go near your body. At least, not while you’re alive. Formaldehyde is a chemical used to preserve dead bodies. It is a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing compound) that is dangerous whether it’s absorbed through the skin or inhaled.


Easily absorbed, parabens are estrogen-mimicking preservatives which are extremely damaging to the body. They interfere with hormone production and due to their ability to mimic estrogen, parabens are linked to breast cancer, skin cancer, and DNA damage. Around 75-90% of cosmetics contain parabens, making it one of the most abundant toxins to be aware of.


This blanket term is intended to hide a ‘secret recipe’ of fragrance, but really means it is a chemical cocktail of hundreds out of thousands of chemicals. Companies can hide a wide variety of chemicals by cloaking them with the word “Fragrance” on the label. There is no safety data required on these chemicals, though studies have linked fragrance chemicals to asthma, allergies, and cancer.

PEG Compounds

PEG compounds are common in cream-based ingredients, used to thicken and carry moisture. They interfere with the nervous system and human development–another ingredient to be very wary of when pregnant. They are also carcinogenic and are linked to genotoxicity.


Phthalates are used to make plastics soft and to make fragrances and cosmetics stick to the body for longer. Unfortunately, they also harm thyroid health and trigger death in testicular cells.


Petroleum jelly is used to make products shine, like in lip balm and moisturizer. It is linked to cancer, skin irritation, and allergies.


Ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone” (common in hair products and deodorants) are linked to infertility and hormone disruption.


This ingredient is found in antibacterial body products including deodorant and hand sanitizer. Short term concerns include eye and skin irritation, but in the long run triclosan is linked to antibiotic resistance and hormone imbalances. 


Around 80% of cosmetics include ingredients from the Dirty Dozen list. I know it takes work to find clean products, which is why I recommend using the Environmental Working Groups’ database, Skin Deep, to search for clean products. You can look up the safety of products you already own, or search by product type to find the cleanest household and personal care products.

Click here to work with a functional medicine doctor to improve your health! 


Telomeres: How to Have Younger DNA

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Can your DNA predict your lifespan? Well, maybe partially! New research on telomeres, a structure found on the ends of our chromosomes, may give us a glimpse into our health and longevity.

What Are Telomeres?

The protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes are called telomeres. They protect our DNA similar to how the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces keep the laces from unraveling.

Each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten until they are too short to divide, at which point the cell’s lifespan is over. This is essentially how we age. The shorter the telomeres, the “older” you are on a biological level.

Babies are born with telomeres between 8,000 to 13,000 base pairs in length. Each year of life, we lose about 20-40 base pairs. So for example, at age 40 a person may have lost up to 1,600 base pairs from their telomeres.

The good news is that scientists have found factors that contribute to telomere shortening, and we now know ways to protect our telomeres and stay healthy as we age!

What Shortens Telomeres, and How to Protect Yours

  • Environmental Toxins

Telomere shortening may be expedited in those whose jobs put them in contact with harmful agents, like traffic police officers exposed to traffic pollution. Relative to telomere length of office workers, those who worked near traffic daily had shorter telomere length in each age group. The reduction in telomere length correlated to the number of years the workers were exposed to the pollutants.

Protect your telomeres by reducing your exposure to environmental toxins. If you still use household cleaning products or personal care products laden with chemicals and fragrances, this is your reminder to stop! 

At home or at the office, consider investing in a quality air filter. See the air filters I use for myself and my family to filter out common environmental and household toxins like formaldehyde and other dangerous VOCs.

Click here to work with a functional medicine doctor to protect your telomeres and increase your lifespan! 

  • Stress

They say stress ages you, which rings true even on a biological level. In a study on women who felt chronically stressed, the difference in telomere length between the stressed women versus the control group was equivalent to 10 years of life.

Glucocorticoid hormones are released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. These hormones can reduce antioxidant protein levels, which can cause increased oxidative damage to DNA and accelerate telomere shortening.

Protect your telomeres by managing stress properly. Find what works for you: gardening, yoga, talking it out with someone trusted, meditation, journaling… whatever it takes to help you release stress is worth it–it could save you 10 years of your life!

  • Poor Diet

Antioxidants reduce the rate of telomere shortening and can protect DNA from oxidative damage. In a study done on animals, eating less food kept the animals in a biologically younger state and increased their lifespan by up to 66%.

Protect your telomeres by reducing your serving sizes (most of us are eating servings that are much too large), or try intermittent fasting. Fasting has powerful anti-aging properties including inducing autophagy and helping protect your telomeres.

  • Smoking

Smoking accelerates telomere shortening. One study found that the rate of telomeric DNA loss in smokers was an average rate of 25.7–27.7 base pairs per year. Those who smoke a pack of cigarettes daily lost an additional 5 base pairs. Therefore, as far as your telomeres are concerned, smoking a pack a day for 40 years causes a loss of 7.4 years of telomere length.

Protect your telomeres by saying no to cigarettes! If you are already a smoker, there are plenty of resources available to help you quit. If you’d like to work with me to help get through the withdrawal period, you can click here to talk.

  • Obesity

Researchers have found that a person’s BMI strongly correlates with biomarkers of DNA damage, independent of age. Obesity is associated with increased oxidative stress and DNA damage, which may expedite telomere shortening. In fact, the effect of obesity may be even more severe than that of smoking, at least as far as telomeres are concerned. The loss of telomeres in obese individuals averages out to 8.8 years of life.

Protect your telomeres by eating a healthy diet and moving your body daily! You don’t have to be an elite athlete to move. Try a zumba class, beginner’s yoga, or even start with daily walks. A healthy diet is also correlated with healthy biomarkers. Choose organic foods, and consider trying a paleo or keto diet.


We are faced with choices daily–what to eat, whether to watch TV or take a walk, if we’re going to raise our cortisol by checking our email at 10pm or waiting til tomorrow–and these choices impact our health both short term and long term. It is my hope that with an understanding of the various factors that contribute to living a long, healthy life you feel empowered to make the best choices for you.

Click here to work with a functional medicine doctor to protect your telomeres and increase your lifespan! 


Antimicrobial Efficacy of Essential Oils & How to Use Them

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted from plants, commonly through steam distillation or cold pressed methods. An essential oil from one plant may contain anywhere from a dozen to several hundred individual compounds. Even trace amounts of these components are important pieces of what makes each oil unique.

History of Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used across the world for centuries. Ancient Egypt is commonly referred to as the birthplace of essential oils, where these plant extracts were used for cosmetic and medical purposes as early as 4500 BC. Aromatherapeutic uses of essential oils in traditional Chinese medicine date back to the period between 3000 and 2000 BC. 

Efficacy of Essential Oils

Just about every essential oil has antimicrobial properties and have been scientifically proven to demonstrate anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral activity. In fact, essential oils have even been efficient in fighting drug resistant strains which conventional antibiotics have failed to treat! 

In fungal pathogens, essential oils are able to cross the cell wall and disrupt ATP assembly. In bacterial infections, essential oils destabilize and help break down the membrane integrity. Essential oils have antiviral activity against RNA and DNA viruses, such as herpes (types 1 and 2), dengue virus, influenza (the flu), poliovirus, and coxsackievirus (hand, foot, and mouth disease). 

Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were tested against 22 bacteria, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative– they were effective against all 22 bacterial strains.

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Oregano, thyme, clove, lavender, clary sage, and arborvitae were effective against the bactiera Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia enterocolitica, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus cereus, Arthrobacter protophormiae, Pseudomonas fragi, and fungi Chaetomium globosum, Penicillium chrysogenum, Cladosporium cladosporoides, Alternaria alternata, and Aspergillus fumigatus.

How to use Essential Oils


  • Neat: Before using an essential oil, be sure to check if it needs to be diluted. Some oils can be used neat (undiluted), while others are very strong and need to be cut with a ‘carrier oil’ to dilute the oil. If your oil can be used neat, one or two drops is enough to do the trick! Examples of when you may use an oil neat: zits, blemishes, cuts, scars, burns, mosquito bite, or even as a perfume!
  • Topically: For nicks and cuts, using an antibacterial essential oil can help cleanse the wound and prevent infection.
    • Antiseptic oils include:
      • Tea tree: A very powerful oil, tea tree can establish a very strong barrier to prevent bacterial and viral invaders from entering the bloodstream.
      • Myrrh: Myrrh was used by Greek soldiers in the battlefield to disinfect wounds and stop bleeding!
      • Lavender: Lavender is a more gentle oil which is great for kids, and can be used neat (no dilution). In addition to disinfecting the wound, it is a very soothing oil which can also soothe pain, burning, or stinging sensations.
  • Diluted: Carrier oil options for your diluted oils include:
      • Olive oil
      • Coconut oil, or fractionated coconut oil
      • Jojoba oil
      • Cacao butter
      • Rosehip oil
      • Red raspberry seed oil
    • You may also use vodka or vinegar for a spray (perfume or household cleaner). Aloe vera is a great carrier for lavender to use on burns and bites!
  • Steaming: Inhaling oils can clear the lungs and invigorate the body. I like to diffuse calming oils at night and stimulating oils during the day while I work.
    • Shower: Try dropping 2-3 drops in the shower and allowing the hot water to create an intoxicating steam!
    • Diffuser: A mist diffuser uses cold water to disperse the oil for a few hours.
    • Stove: You can even add a few drops to a pot of water and allow it to simmer on the stovetop.
    • Fabric: Try dropping a relaxing oil on your pillow to help you drift off into dreamland.


With the overuse of antibiotics leading to a rise in drug resistant strains of bacteria, essential oils offer a natural and effective treatment. Essential oils should be considered as an effective cleaning agent in household cleaners, and as a holistic treatment for fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.

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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.