The Gut Connection With Urinary Tract infections (UTI) and Yeast Infections | Podcast #367

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common medical problem affecting millions of people worldwide. The primary source for UTIs is presumed to be the gut. That’s why in this video, Dr. J and Evan talk about how gut bacteria can contaminate the urethral opening, eventually propagate themselves in the bladder, and cause symptoms of a UTI and possible yeast infection.

They also added that women are significantly more likely to get UTIs than men. It is due to anatomical differences that make it easier for disease-causing bacteria to travel to the urinary bladder after accidental transfer from the bowels. They also discuss the other clinical and evidence-based factors with helpful tests to find the root cause of these issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00  – Introduction
1:53   – Urinary System
10:54 – Antimicrobials and probiotics
18:55 – UTI and Yeast Infection

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excited to be here with Evan Brand. Today, we are gonna be chatting all about the gut connection with urinary tract issues, UTIs and yeast infections. Really excited to dive into this topic. This is the common female topic that we deal with. I mean, men deal with UTIs as well but men have a longer urethra area so it’s harder for men to have UTIs with them. Women have a much shorter urethra so bacteria can make its way up to the urinary tract and blood much faster and easier and so probably more of a female issue but we’re gonna dive in. The physiology is similar between the two so men listening will still get something of it as well. Evan, how are we doing today?

Evan Brand: Hey, doing really well. And so, looks like about 90% of infection in the bladder, 90% of these cases of these infections of bladder, urethra and kidneys, it’s all related to E. coli, which of course E. coli are in your poop and can generally just take route up that way and they can migrate and populate within the urinary tract and so women obviously know these symptoms if they’ve had it but it’s you have to urinate more frequently, it’s painful urination. It could be pressure in the pubic area. It could be fatigue. It could go more severe into kidney injury but most women are usually so miserable before they get to that point that they end up doing some sort of conventional treatment. So, why don’t we just talk about the conventional approach because I think it’s great to highlight what people are doing and then what we’re doing differently that we may argue is a far more sustainable solution without the side effects. Antibiotics are gonna be huge and we’ve got some statistics on this. Antibiotics are prescribed for 33% of women to combat a UTI before the age of 24 but of course these synthetic antimicrobials are not without short- and long-term consequences.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m gonna just share one thing here on screen just so everyone can see. So, you can see the female anatomy, right here is the urethra, here’s the bladder so you can see a very short distance from the urethra to the bladder. You can see here in the male anatomy, right at a much longer distance to get up here. Obviously in the urinary tract, you’re just typically with the UTI, it’s the bacteria that’s making its way up here, okay, into the urinary tract that’s causing the infection like Evan already mentioned that’s mostly gonna be bacteria, right?  Usually on the UTI side, it’s gonna be E. coli there, can be some Pseudomonas, it’s mostly E. coli. And so, it’s really easy for women to get bladder infection because you can see it goes up faster. Again, things like birth control pills we’ll talk about and antibiotics really shift the urinary pH and the intestinal pH which has a major effect on the bladder and the urinary tract and it makes it easier for bacteria to grow that tends to be why women are a little bit more susceptible than that for bladder infection obviously but in general you’re gonna see that with birth control pills because how estrogen affects the pH and then also women when they menstruate, right, just that whole vaginal area right there, sloughing off that endometrial lining. All that blood flow does shift that whole entire are to be way more alkaline because bloods around 7.3 pH so it does shift that whole vaginal tract to be more pH higher on the pH side which can increase other bacterial infections more on the vaginal side but hopefully that helps. Any comments on that, Evan?  

Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s totally interesting and this is stuff that maybe you didn’t pay attention to in school and biology class but now in adulthood it’s a lot more important and I think people just don’t even understand the anatomy of it and this is something that according to the research here, 25% of people treated for UTI, they will experience a recurrence 6 – 12 months later. So, I mean, that’s a quarter of these people that now have another UTI and they just go on this merry-go-round. And of course, every time you go on these antibiotics, you’re damaging the mitochondria, you’re damaging your gut microbiome in total, so it’s not just this one thing that you’re doing, it’s the sum to your system and it can really add up.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when we deal with urinary tract issues, I kind of look at, okay, you have yeast issues over here. They’re kind of, they intermingle right and how the different things happen. You have bacterial issues over here, right? So, your UTI issues are primarily bacterial, right, affecting the urinary tract. You can have BV, bacterial vaginosis, that’s another bacterial issue. Usually, Gardnerella bacteria is one that’s affecting the vaginal canal. So, a little bit different, right? Different, you know, same general area, different anatomy per se. You’re gonna have similar sequelae of tissues affecting it, right?  The big difference with the BV issue is you’re gonna get the potassium hydroxide odor which is, that’s kind of the fish smell. That’s what the bacteria in the vaginal canal does, it creates that potassium hydroxide that’s the fish odor. You’re not gonna quite get the odor with the UTI but you will have the burning during peeing. So, that’s gonna be the big differentiating factor. Sometimes, more odor on the BV but sometimes you can have none and then of course more pain during urination on the urinary tract issue and then if that continues to be left up that bacteria will eventually continue to go north and eventually hit the bladder as you can see that anatomy pretty short on video here. But, one of the big common issues is I would say like the big three, anytime I look at this problem, they tend to be the same. It’s gonna be a combination of antibiotic use so we’re wiping out a lot of the good flora in our intestinal tract which also affects the vaginal or urinary microbiome and then that affects the beneficial probiotics that actually make hydrogen peroxide like probiotics usually make hydrogen peroxide which is antibacterial. They’ll make different acids, glucuronic acid, they’ll make acidic acid. Different acid acids that actually help keep the microbes in check. They make hydrogen peroxide H202 and it keeps a lot of the bad bugs down. So, the first thing is we have a wiping out of the beneficial flora that also drive yeast overgrowth too so the same thing where it wipes out the good stuff, the beneficial probioflora, the probiotics the Bifidobacter, the Lactobacillus. The different species within the Bifidobacter and Lactobacillus, right? There’s Rudaea, casei, plantarum, lactis, these are all beneficial species, okay, that keeps the bacteria in check but also when you knock down a lot of the good stuff that can also causes this rebound overgrowth and yeast and that’s a lot of doctors today even on the conventional side tend to give an antifungal after an antibiotic in a lot of these female patients because they see a lot of these symptoms happen frequently. 

Evan Brand: Wow. And, you’re mentioning the antibiotic that starts this whole cascade and that’s not necessarily the antibiotic to treat an existing UTI and then we’re talking about these recurring UTIs. We’re talking antibiotics for something simple like, I’ve heard of some women going in for a dental cleaning or something just that seems benign and then boom the antibiotic just really had forced them to take another fork in the road with their gut health and of course the vaginal health is affected. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now, with urinary tract issues, I mean they’re simple things, right? Sometimes, just after intercourse, after sex, just not peeing. Sometimes that sperm and the semen being up there can kind of create some issues with bacteria so urinating after sex can be very helpful. You’ll see it with younger kids just wiping the wrong direction, right, essentially wiping back to front bringing some of the bacteria in the stool into that urinary vaginal area can be a problem. Sometimes different contraceptive methods like that involve, like a spermicidal intravaginally can sometimes mess up the milieu of flora in the vaginal tract. Having bladder stones or kidney issues can sometimes have problems, going in for a surgical procedure where they put in some of a catheter, you know, those are, you know, gonna be way unlikely but you know just kind of given the gamut of those across the board. And then of course, you know, the antibiotic exposure and I would even say just too much sugar, too much carbohydrate, a lot of bacteria like acellular easy to digest refined processed carbs. So, more carbohydrates, more sugar, more grains, more flours are definitely gonna work, you know, increase those microbes’ kind of having a feeding frenzy if you will.   

Evan Brand: And, how can you find this out? Well, there’s an easy to do at home test that you can buy for less than 10 bucks. You can do these test strips at home. These urinary test strips and if generally, you see a dark purple, you’ve got a big issue and so it’s something that people should have on hand if you’ve suffered for a while. I know a lot of women; they just hate having to go to the doctor’s office and get tested and then they leave with another antibiotic and then they’re on this merry-go-round. So, we talked about the conventional approach, they really as far as it goes antibiotics 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, with the test strips, I think most of them are primarily looking at either immune cell in the urinary tract. I think, a lot of times with yeast or bacteria. They’re looking for, like leukocytes or leukocyte esterase, they’re looking for bacteria or I’m sorry immune cells in there. I know, some of the yeast ones are looking at pH so they’re looking at a more alkaline type of pH. The more alkaline the pH moves from six to seven to neutral, right, neutral is around 7. Into the 7-ish range, that tends to say that okay we have more yeast issues or we’re starting to move back in the direction of bacteria if we’re starting to see some of these leukocytes moving into the urinary tract. 

Evan Brand: Yes. It’s kind of an indirect marker, right? You’re looking at those leukocytes and that’s what you would be seeing in terms of like, the light purple, dark purple, extreme purple on the test strips.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, they’re looking at the immune system starting to come in there and obviously with a BV issue, bacterial vaginosis. They probably need a swab to see what’s going on there, see if it’s like a Gardnerella or a Pseudomonas or Klebsiella, you know, what the bacterial species is. Now, typically with yeast issues in the urinary tract, I’m sorry with, uh, yeast infections primarily gonna be Candida or Candida subspecies. With BV, it’s primarily Gardnerella and with UTI’s it’s gonna be E. coli, typically.    

Evan Brand: Now here is the cool part. Are you ready to talk about some of the transitions you hit on the diet piece of a bit of sugar process things? Maybe we should hit this first and then we’ll talk about, like, the functional strategies that kind of thing. You and I were talking about this before we hit the record that so many people, they want the solution to an issue like this but they haven’t even got the foundation styled in, in regards to their sleep, in regards to stress, proper hydration, nutrient density, lack of antibiotics if possible. Just those foundational pieces, a lot of times, are gonna keep women in a place where they’re not gonna end up with this problem so if you’re just tuning in, somehow you found us and you’ve not been listening for a while and you’re just now hearing us and you’re looking for this magic remedy, you got to make sure you get the foundations in order first because in theory, this should not happen if you’ve got the foundation style then.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct and so first thing out of the gates is just foundational things like hydrating enough because if you have a UTI issue just having constant good water flow and also you know with some electrolytes in the water that can be very helpful kind of having an antibacterial effect. And just keeping that good water flowing, the solution to pollution is dilution so that can really kind of keeping things flushed down. Obviously, being very careful if you’re having antibiotics. Why did you have the antibiotics? Was it for routine preventative things? Was your diet off and your immune system’s weak and you got sick and you needed it? Why, right? So, you want to look at that and if you had chronic antibiotic use, you know, what does the bacteria in your gut look like because odds are, if your bacteria or yeast imbalances are present in the vaginal tract or the urinary tract, you probably, also have issues in the digestive tract. You may have SIBO, you may have bloating, you may have gas, you may have poor digestion, low enzymes, low acids, H. pylori, parasite infection, you may have to look deeper in the intestinal tract and actually work on knocking down some of those microbes fixing the gut and then really work on repopulating some of the good bacteria after the fact to really work on fixing the gut because you start to fix the gut pH and the gut bacterial milieu that does help improve IgA levels and that does help with the immune system in the vaginal area as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. So, if you’re coming in with the UTI, most of the time, there’s gonna be more than just a UTI present. There could be as you mentioned a number of, we have someone coming in and UTI or recurrent UTI is one of their complaints, I can tell you, you and I are gonna wanna run the stool panel and we’re gonna run organic acids because we’re gonna want to look at the whole microbiome and certain things may get missed on the stool and the urine should feel in the gaps like we might find Candida in the urine and it got missed in the stool. So, stool and urine, there are things that your typical doctor and your lab locally is not gonna run. They might run a urine panel but this is not the same urine panel as an organic acid, we’re talking something far more advanced, far more comprehensive whereas the urine panel, locally, is primarily just gonna look for bacteria or maybe leukocytes as you mentioned you might get a positive or a trace or something like that but it’s not a detailed description of what’s going on you mentioned several bacteria too, like Klebsiella and Prevotella, we can identify this on a stool panel. So, that’s why it’s so important to get the data and could we just throw a woman on an herbal UT formula, we could but you know, we want to do our due diligence, we want to do a good work-up on these people too to make sure that we’re not just cut straight to the chase and we skip something huge that we would find on these tests.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. I mean a lot of the antibiotics they’re gonna be using are gonna be like Bactrim or any of these kinds of, um, Mors, Augmentin’s a big one. Bactrim and Augmentin, those are a couple definitely be very wary of any of the fluoroquinolone families because they have significant side effects regarding tensing tendons and ligaments and mitochondria so be really careful of using fluoroquinolones. Of course, when we work these patients up, we’re doing a really good history so we understand how everything came to fruition regarding the UTI, yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. We’re trying to understand it, right? Obviously, with certain things like yeast infections, BV, like making sure things are dry in that area. If you’re in a very moist environment keeping things dry helps because yeast and mold love a very moist environment. So, keeping things dry tends to be very helpful. Soaping up some of those areas you’d be very helpful too that you can use a really nice, um, as long as the mucosa is not like really, um, irritable, you can really use a really nice sulfur soap especially in the outside air if there’s anything yeasty on the outside are, anything internally. There are definitely internal things that we can do. So, on the internal side, just getting water in there, maybe helpful using raw cranberry juice, not anything with added sugar but raw organic cranberries, you know, 4 ounces at a time diluted some water is pretty good. You can drink that. That’s gonna have a nice low pH in it, which helps prevent the bacteria from growing. It also helps with some D-mannose in the cranberries. Can also internally do things like different berberines, can be very helpful, that’s excellent boric acids, another excellent compound. You gotta be careful with these by, enlarged by itself because they can be a little bit irritating so you want some nice things that provide some moisture whether it’s aloe or shea butter. There’s different, like moisture compounds that can provide the moisture so you don’t dry out that tissue as well. 

Evan Brand: You know, how about some of the suppositories. Have you used those before? I’ve seen some of these like pH suppositories, those have been helpful, also I think it’s integrative, I know Aviva Romm did a talk or an article on it one time. There was a specific probiotic that we had used, I think, it was called pro-flora that we had used, uh, that was supposed to be inserted vaginally and that was like a game changer for BV and some other related issues. So, not only taking oral probiotics but vaginal probiotics as well. That has been a game changer for many women. It’s not something we have to go to a lot but it is a good tool if someone just in bad shape and the conventional strategies failed them or made them worse then something like these vaginal probiotics are helpful. So just to be clear, there’s some strains specifically for vaginal health that are taken orally but then there’s also other blends that you can insert vaginally and the women have reported great success with those. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You want to make sure the hydration is there, whether it’s aloe or beeswax or shea butter or coconut oil, some of those can be helpful. Again, the antimicrobials that we may use would be the boric acid, some of the neem, some of the different berberines. And again, we may want to also add probiotics in and around there that can be very helpful. In regards to, like yeast issues or, um, UTI issues, you got to be very careful because when you women menstruate, well more with yeast and more bacterial vaginosis because that’s affecting the vaginal canal more. When women menstruate, that blood is like 7.3, right? So, that’s very neutral to alkaline. So, when you’re menstruating, you’re taking that acidic pH in the vaginal tract and you’re moving it backup to a more neutral pH when you menstruate so that’s gonna actually make it easier for bacteria and potential yeast to grow and you could have a BV issue or yeast issue that can happen due to your menstruation. So, when you’re already more susceptible in that vaginal area, you know, you gotta, you may actually wanna do a suppository in and around your period too, because that pH is gonna move up and that can start to cause microbes to grow. Some women have to be more careful with that, you know, if they have a chronic yeast or bacterial issue just to make sure it doesn’t come back. 

Evan Brand: I want to hit a few more herbs and then I want you to riff on the birth control conversation because I think that’s huge. So, you mentioned berberine and some of the other related herbs. Also, we’ll use the antifungals at the same time. So, you and I have our own custom blends that we use and so we may use something like Pau D’arco, French tarragon, horse tail, olive leaf, things that have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. So, that’s the cool thing about what we do is as you mentioned Backstrom or some of these other conventional strategies. It’s just a big sledgehammer, right? It’s not a targeted tool. It’s one sledgehammer. We don’t know exactly what we’re gonna kill but it’s an antibiotic, were just gonna drop the nuclear bomb into your gut and we’re gonna disturb not only your gut microbiome, we’re gonna negatively affect the production of your nutrients in your gut. We’re gonna negatively affect your mitochondria. We may knock out the UTI but as you saw in the papers, 25% of those UTIs are gonna come back within 6 months to a year and so when we’re coming in with these antimicrobial herbs, also, throwing in antifungal herbs, that’s where the magic really happens because there could be a combination as we talked about. It’s rare to see just UTI, it could be a combination issue meaning there’s some Candida, there’s some bacterial problems, maybe there’s parasites in the gut too. Maybe there’s H. pylori like you mentioned. And so, that’s the fun part is when you take a blend and you’re working people through this protocol. You’re now knocking 4,5,6 issues out all at once in one fell swoop when they originally just came in with the complaint of UTI. When you do the labs, you wanna uncover so much more and that’s where the beauty is. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Here’s one study here looking at the perceptions using contraception birth control pills. So, usually this is like a synthetic estrogen mostly, right, an ethanol, estradiol. I’m looking at the influence on the vaginal microbiota and so really the take home here inside of the gate, the vaginal state was significantly modified hormone administration apparently corrected the alterations uh, but has the potential of being an accurate tool. Where is it? Right here, um, there it is, I’m sorry. Statistically significant association between, this is, um, this is contraception and normal microbiota was observed after three months when the vaginal microbiome was modified at 6 months inflammatory reaction was detected in almost half of the women. So, only seven women but you can, it created an inflammatory state in the vaginal microbiota and then also yeast colonization was increased and it created an inflammatory reaction in three out of seven women and it altered some of the beneficial bacteria in the vaginal area. Now, small study but you can see, you know, three out of seven, it affected this and this is what we see clinically with a lot of our female patients is some of these things can be affected because it’s affecting: one, it’s creation; two, it’s causing yeast to grow impacting some of the good bacteria and how does it do this, it does it mostly via LDH. If you alter someone’s digestive pH, right, let’s say you give them a proton pump inhibitor, you’re gonna have all kinds of digestive issues and maybe even nutrient deficiencies that can affect things long term. Obviously, with birth control pills, there’s other things they do, they can create issues with nutrient absorption or they can cause nutrient deficiencies in areas of B vitamins, folate and also calcium and magnesium. So, we see a lot of women that do birth control pills have a lot of those nutrient problems. So, if you’re on a birth control pill, ideally, it’s better to use something that’s more barrier based or if you want to set it and forget it method, you know, potentially looking at the ParaGard which is a copper IUD, you just have to make sure you can handle the copper. I find if you want to set it or forget that the copper tends to be better than the hormones but ideally, you know, a barrier method it’s not internal all the time. It’s probably better so that just kind of gives you a couple options there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve heard some stories, some horror stories about the copper ones too. So, like you said it cold be a problem but

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not everyone has problems with it. I mean, women that like tend to cramp a lot, they could have, because that cramping, IUD being in that uterus sometimes that can cause pain but it just depends kind of where women are, you know. Some parents may be pushing kids to have a method because they don’t want their kid getting pregnant and maybe they feel like they aren’t responsible enough at maybe 18 or 19 and they set it and forget it method. If you want that, I would recommend doing the ParaGard before you go to a hormonal method. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, for sure. And, not to mention too we’re already in a society of so much estrogen dominance and you and I have done podcasts about the impact of gut imbalances in issues with the glucuronidation pathway which is then causing further issues. So, we could see this estrogen problem in a woman who’s not on birth control. You could still see that manifest in this way and so that’s why you’re getting off of the xenoestrogen, you’re cleaning up your makeup. You’re getting rid of plastics. You’re fixing your gut. You’re improving detoxification. All these other functional medicine strategies are directly impacting your ability to beat this situation. So, we know, we always want people to look at the big picture. Don’t just look for the magic, uh, like, berberine, Pau D’ Arco remedy. And there’s a question here in the chat, ‘how many Pau d’ Arco capsules is needed for someone who has Candida in their gut?’. I have no clue because we rarely use it in isolation. We’re always gonna use it in a blend. And I doubt you have just Candida. You’ve probably got other issues too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Somewhere when they come in, they could have a combination of a little bit of a bacterial, a yeast issue, UTI thing. That could be a kind of combination of 2 or 3 different things happening. This one may be more predominant. So, we never wanna just go all in on one thing. Again, if someone’s having vaginal issues specifically, there’s gonna be things that we insert intravaginally like some of the boric acid, like some of the neem or the berberines and we’ll probably interchange in some probiotics because part of the big problem is you have to get the bacteria flora in the vaginal area, back up to where it should be because it’s the good bacteria that will help keep the other bad bugs in check through their natural acid and hydrogen peroxide production. 

Evan Brand: Well said. 

And so, the point I was making is that I don’t want people listening and going okay just give me the freaking remedy. What’s the natural urinary tract remedy? That’s what I’m here for. And we’ve talked about some of those, you know, the mannose, the cranberry, the berberines, the Pau d’ Arcos, the French Tarragon, this whole blend, you know, that may be the solution but what got you here is important. Have you fixed the other issues that have gotten you here. And so, I hope people see the big picture. Sometimes, you and I are happy to just go boom, hit the oregano oil and were happy to just throw out just this natural solution but like you said before we hit the record, you don’t want people skipping out on the low hanging fruit. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And so, it’s always good to do history. I find the big issue is antibiotics can be a big factor. I also find just some of the low-hanging fruit like the intercourse and hydration can also be a big factor as well. You’ll be surprised. And so, my wife comes to me, she’s like, ‘my friend has this issue, what should I recommend?’. Well, it’s hard, I can’t really recommend a lot of things because I don’t know much about them if eating like crap and they’re not hydrating and they’re drinking lots of soda and they’ve been on lots of antibiotics, you know, I may say, hey, all right, do this [24:34] but that’s gonna be palliative and not fix the whole lead up and how everything went down. And so, the lead up and I call it the timeline history of how we get to this point matters so much because, you know, if not, you were just becoming naturopathic doctors that are using nutrients and herbs like MDs use drugs. Now, again, I think that’s better because a lot of these things are natural, have less side effects but still we want to be holistic and still root cause. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said.  That’s the problem. There’s a difference between naturopathic approach to this issue and functional medicine approach to this issue. So, I think you made that clear, which is, you go to the naturopath, it’s hey, here’s the oversee, functional medicine is gonna come in and say, ‘okay, well, how did you get to the UTI?’. Oh, you took antibiotics, you’re on birth control for 20 years, you had a sexual partner who had extremely poor microbiome health, maybe there was some issue there, maybe you had multiple partners, maybe one of them had H. pylori. You have low stomach acid. You ended up with dysbiosis, then you got Candida overgrowth, then you drank too much alcohol, you loved to do wine in the evenings. You ate a little too much chocolate, you know, it’s like, that’s the more investigative route and that’s where people need to be thinking.  We’ve got friends that are naturopaths, good people, but you just got to go deeper most of the time.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and a lot of times too, if I’m, if someone has chronic issues, I wanna know more about their gut because the microbiome has such an impact especially with IgA and with the overall immune system. So, if there’s chronic issues in the vaginal area, you have to look up to the intestinal tract. Very important. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you would say there’s gotta be some link between the low secretory IgA that you and I are seeing on the stool test and what’s going on with the vaginal microbiome too, right? You would assume that’s a system-wide defense shield that’s gonna be affected.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s part of the mucous membrane barrier. So, mucous membranes in the eyes, the mouth, the intestinal tract, the urinary tract, the vaginal canal. So, if we see low IgA issues in the intestinal tract, that barrier is a little bit weaker. Think of the force field, you know, you see star trek, they put, like their force field up, right, so they, so when the Klingons go to shoot them, it kind of bounces off, right? Think of the force field we have in our intestinal tract and our vaginal canal and our urinary canal that kind of protects and so probiotics can help, obviously getting rid of the dysbiotic microbes can help, avoiding a lot of things that create the imbalances to begin with, which would be a lot of the antibiotics or maybe pesticides or GMO foods that produce a lot of antimicrobial compounds too. All those help avoiding those things too. 

Evan Brand: You know, what’s happening even in the functional medicine world, is that everything’s becoming isolated. Are you noticing that? Like people are focusing on just the gut. So, it’s like this leaky gut formula, this leaky gut protocol and they’re ignoring the fact that you just mentioned this IgA, this mucosal barrier is kind of a system-wide problem. So, there could be oral, vaginal, gut all at the same time, all related to the same dysfunction of these force fields being down. I think it’s just marketing, right? People just want to market that they’re the gut guy, they’re the parasite guy, they’re the Candida guy. I think that’s just a marketing probe but hopefully people are seeing this and of course if they’ve been listening to us for months or years, they’re seeing that this is a system-wide problem, it’s just manifesting in this way. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. In the functional medicine world, a lot of people market to niche areas and symptoms which is fine because a lot of people when they get focused on something, they think they have these issues, they’re going into google or they’re typing that issue. So, for you to be relevant and for that person that has health issues to find you, you do kind of have to market to a symptom but then when you find that person and you talk to them, you wanna make sure that their approach is globally where they look at things holistically and you’re not seeing the gut person that only deals with the gut and they’re not looking at your thyroid or your anemia or your low glutathione. They’re not connecting the dots. So, you got to make sure they’re still able to connect the dots but multiple systems and they’re not just focused on one issue. So, it’s okay for doctors to market to that, you just have to make sure that their philosophy is a holistic philosophy that encompasses everything in there. 

Evan Brand: Yeah and holistic spelled w-h-o-l-e a wholistic, the whole thing, the whole body, the whole person, not just holistic as in natural, it’s gonna be the whole piece and I think that’s where I suffered for a long time because I focused on my gut for so long but I was ignoring toxicity issues, I was ignoring dental issues, I was ignoring tick bite infections. So now, oh crap, I see the whole picture and I would miss that if I just dialed in the gut so and that’s what you and I do. We’ve done this over with clients worldwide, we look at the whole picture. If you’re suffering, if you’ve been through the conventional rabbit hole or maybe you’ve been fortunate to avoid the conventional rabbit hole, you don’t want to go down it but you need help, feel free to reach out. Dr. J and I work with people around the world. We can send these labs that we’re talking about stool and urine. These are at home, these are non-invasive. It’s rare that we need to do invasive testing but most of the time it’s at home functional medicine tests can be sent to your door, you do them, you send them back to the lab. We get the results. We jump on a call. We run you through them. We interpret those. We make a protocol for you and get you better and get you off the merry-go-round. So, if you need help, feel free to reach out, Dr. J is at justinhealth.com and me, evanbrand.com and you can reach out, book a call with us, we’d love to talk with you, help you, find and fix the root causes if you just have UTIs and you think that’s all it is, maybe you’re right but maybe not, either way, we’re gonna help you get to the bottom of it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Excellent. So, for women that are listening and kind of want to recap here, first thing, make sure your diet is right, keep in the process refined sugar, grains, flours out, makes a huge difference. Omega-6, seed oils, in general, should be reduced as well. Hydration, make sure hydration is good, clean and filtered water, um, you know, good mineral water, especially if you have more health issues, more minerals in there is gonna be better. Next thing out of the gate, you know, urinate after intercourse, those kinds of foundational things. If you have chronic gut issues, definitely, get your gut looked at. If you’re on hormone, if you’re on birth control pills, definitely get your hormones looked at and figure out why you’re on them. Most women aren’t even on hormone or birth control pills for birth prevention. They’re on it for off-label issues like acne or headaches or lots of PMS and so most women could totally get off it because they’re not even using birth control pills for the original intention. They’re for off-label use and so that would require looking deeper at the hormones. Next, you can get tested, you can do either a, um, a MONISTAT test to look for yeast, you can get those at the drugstore, you can do one of the strip tests to look for leukocyte esterase or I think it’s nitrites in the urine for more of the UTI issues and of  course, if you have a lot more of the odor-like, uh, issues, you can get a vaginal swab from your OB or your primary to rule out any of the BV issues as well, again, similar solutions, you know, some maybe more internal in regards to what we recommend, some maybe more internal like with swallowing pills so maybe internally, intravaginally and of course the more chronic the issue is, the more we have to really support the vaginal microbiome with the right beneficial bacteria getting in there internally as well. And then, of course, just keeping up with a lot of the menstruation because that can really affect a lot of the, um, the bacterial issues and yeast issues in the vaginal canal because it’s gonna shift that pH from very acidic to more neutral to alkaline at that time of the month when you menstruate. So, hopefully, that’s a good kind of crash course, out of the gates and kind of you guys understand kind of our spitball kind of philosophy and how we look at the whole history and really connect the dots and we have our little toolbox of all these things but we just got to make sure it’s catered to the history.  

Evan Brand: And alcohol too, I think, we briefly mentioned it but alcohols got to go. It’s just, it’s not gonna help you. It’s going to promote all sorts of issues. It’s gonna aggravate the immune system. It’s gonna affect your IgA levels. It may promote dysbiosis and it may promote more yeast problems and so I’ve heard many stories where a woman’s like, oh yeah we went to Napa Valley and we drank wine and ate chocolate and salami and cheese all weekend and now I had a flare up. It’s like, well, yeah, duh, I mean, that’s incredibly damaging. Everything that you’ve done, you binged on wine all weekend so I think wine kind of gets like this people think that they’re not drinking alcohol. Somehow, they think they’re getting off the hook. Oh, it’s just wine, like, it’s so socially cool, it’s like coffee. It’s like coffee and wine, like wine is so accepted into the culture but it can be a big problem, I tell you. Some of those California women, the ones in San Francisco, like, it’s part of the culture here. I had one woman argue with me that she didn’t want to get off alcohol. I said, well, what if it’s gonna help your gut. She’s like, well maybe I’ll consider it. So, sometimes as practitioners, we’re having to bargain with people and try to make trades and make healthy swaps, we’ll swap it for this and try this and what if you do a binder afterwards. So, sometimes, you gotta work with people, they’re not just in a vacuum. We got to work with them and help educate them so that they’re more dedicated to the lifestyle changes but I just want to mention alcohol because I think a lot of people, don’t even consider the impact it has on the gut but then on this flora.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. A couple things with alcohol, number one it’s diuretic so it will increase the frequent urination and kind of make you more dehydrated so good hydration helps prevent a lot of that bacteria from growing. Number two, out of the gates, you know, it may be necessary out of the gates for the first month so as you get things under wrap. There’re also healthier versions of alcohol. I mean, you can always get, like a Cosmo martini that has the fresh lime juice in there and cranberry juice. Just make sure it’s, like not the cranberry with sugar or the lime with sugar. Make sure, it’s fresh lime or actual juice cranberries with, like a nice Tito’s vodka, I mean, Tito’s vodka is, um, it is charcoal filter, right? So, it’s gonna be really clean and you can get some nice cranberry and lime in there that should be almost be beneficial in a way, obviously, you know, keep it, you know, a drink or two maybe once or twice a week max but once you better that maybe a good option to add things back in and just stay away from a lot of the sugary stuff and of course the glutinous drinks and you’ll be in a lot better position.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s a funny thing you have to mention. There’s got to be real cranberries because most of the time you go to a bar, it’s like that. It’s garbage. The heart or it’s the high fructose corn syrup concentrate. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, worst case, you can always just do a fresh lime squeezed in there and see if they have anything that’s just a pure, you know, extract and that’s a much way to do it. Of course, dry or white wines and you know just a good Tito’s vodka is always great with just the lime in and of itself. That’s an easy way to do it and keep the sugar and junk down but also keep a nice acidic pH there which is helpful for the vaginal area. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. We’ll hope, as you mentioned, no I think we covered It so if you need help, we mentioned the links here Dr. J, that’s Justin at justinhealth.com. You can reach out for consult worldwide. Me at evanbrand.com, either way, we’re here to help you guys. We love what we do. We have a blast and it’s fun to educate people. It’s fun to empower people and take back your health and it’s possible. Whatever you’re dealing with it’s possible to make progress so just keep your head up. Stay motivated. Don’t always run straight to that antibiotic if there’s another way. You may try another solution. If you’ve been doing this for a decade now and you’re still battling it, you’re not out of the woods yet, it’s time to look deeper.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Great chat, Evan. Everyone, have an awesome week. We’ll talk soon. Take care of you all. 

Evan Brand: Take care, now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now. Peace. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye 

The Top 5 Causes of Bloating | Podcast #364

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: You too, take it easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye. 

Evan Brand: See you. Bye-bye. 

 

 

Natural Solutions to Address Eczema | Podcast #361

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Bye you all. 

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 

 

 

Functional Medicine Strategies to Help Improve Your Sleep | Podcast #360

Hey, guys! In this video, Dr. J and Evan discuss several functional medicine strategies to better your sleep. Achieving better sleep can lead to many health improvements. Here we’ve provided a list of suggestions from a functional medicine perspective for better sleep. Please note, this list is not meant to be implemented in its entirety. Instead, pick 3–4 changes to implement to improve sleep quality.

Some suggestions are to avoid alcohol (wine, beer, and hard liquor) within 3 hours of bedtime; avoid anxiety-provoking activities close to bedtime. As much as possible, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day because it will help train your biological clock. Also, decrease the light in your bedroom by using a dimmer or reading light with a dimmer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – The importance of light exposure in your overall functional capacity
7:30 – The effect of Vitamin Deficiency in sleep-wake cycle
11:58 – The benefits of water filtration in pineal gland function
13: 59 – Fluoride exposure affecting sleep patterns;
16:53 – The The nutrients that play a big role in the quality of sleep


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, how are you doing today man?  

Evan Brand: Hey, I’m doing really well, I’m refreshed and rested and I think it’s due to some of the supplementation of nutrients that we’ll probably dive into today which is on the topic of functional medicine strategies for sleep issues which are epidemic in modern society. By the way, in Amish society, I was actually doing some slides this morning in a fatigue course that I’m working on before you and I jump on here together and then researching what’s called the old order Amish. These are like the super old school. There’s like a different level of Amish like some will have indoor plumbing, some don’t, some will use a smartphone but they only use it for phone calls that kind of thing but the old order, those are like no phones, no electricity, nothing. Anyway, they have less than 1% of depression, they report virtually zero insomnia and they have 10x, 10-fold the light exposure variation of the general population and they were found to have virtually zero prevalence of seasonal affective disorder which is like a seasonal depression. So, when you look at the Amish, they’re doing a lot of things right that we’re doing wrong in regards to our light exposure which then creates not only mood issues for us, more supposed advanced humans that use technology but also with our sleep and the real mechanism is because we’re not fully charging our batteries in the day. So, this study on the Amish and their light exposure, what they did is they put a light meter almost like a watch on their wrist and they track these Amish people for a couple of weeks and then they compare them to your modern person working in an office environment an indoor environment and because in an office environment, you’re getting such low intensity of bright light, you’re not really fully charging that cortisol in the morning, you’re not getting that initial spike whereas the Amish, they’re working outside, they’re getting that natural sunlight exposure. Even in the winter months, they still had 10x the light exposure of modern, you know, I guess you’d call them civilized people, uh, city people and so that’s a cool like free thing to do which is something honestly, I didn’t realize until I looked into this research. I’m much, much less like mopey in the winter than I used to be. I mean we’re almost in December when you and I are recording these years ago, maybe a decade ago when I had gut issues and all sorts of problems, the winter was so depressing for me. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. I kind of embrace it and I think honestly, it’s because even in the middle of the day at 12’ or 1’oclock, I’ll go outside and just get natural sunlight if I sit on my front porch the way our house is structured there’s not much wind. So, even on a day where it’s 15 or 20 degrees. I could sit out there with no shirt on and get that sunlight exposure. I always feel better, my mood is lifted, my circulation, my blood flow and my sleep is way better on those days as opposed to days where I don’t get out and get that bright light.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. That vitamin D is very, very important, also just getting that good sunlight in the morning kind of gets, it resets that circadian rhythm. So, circadian rhythm is light and cortisol driven as cortisol drops, melatonin increases, this kind of inverse relationship of cortisol to melatonin, so the light kind of helps rest that so you get on the right schedule there as light stimulates cortisol, it hits your pineal gland, it kind of helps charge up the pineal gland as well, very important for melatonin synthesis at night time because as cortisol drops, we have this natural circadian rhythm, cortisol’s highest in the morning, drops throughout the day as it drops, melatonin can increase at night and that light really kind of help reset things so that’s very important. Also, very important as well, melatonin it’s kind of like a hormone kind of neurotransmitter made from the pineal gland, right this area here in the brain and it’s made from amino acids to 5htp or tryptophan, L-tryptophan, it’s an amino acid that’s a building block for melatonin and important cofactor for it as well was B6, as well, an important B vitamin, very important cofactor. So, if we’re eating nutritionally deficient foods, lots of processed carbs, not getting good quality B vitamins, not digesting our protein well, you could see poor digestion and poor nutrient density in the food could easily affect sleep quality.   

Evan Brand: You know what, this is interesting too and sorry I knocked over my water bottle, I was trying to grab my phone to pull up at the D-minder app to look at when you can actually synthesize vitamin D because that’s only at certain times of the day especially when you’re in a more northern latitude. So, anywhere south of I think it’s the 37th latitude, there’s a vitamin D winter and so today believe it or not, it says right here in the app, today which we’re recording is November 29th, it says today is the last day of the year where I can get Vitamin D and I can only get it today from 12:13  to 12:49, so there’s literally barely 30minutes today is the final day to synthesize vitamin D and then that’s gonna last this quote vitamin D winter, meaning that the angle of the sun is gonna be to low in the sky to synthesize vitamin D that will last until I want to say it’s about February, I can’t remember right off top of my head but it’s usually December give or take to January or February. There’s almost a month or two where you can’t make any vitamin D, so I will be supplementing a little more and there’s actually a 20 20 paper on this that was called Vitamin D and sleep regulation and long story short, vitamin D supplementation improves sleep disturbances. It says that vitamin D is involved in the pathways of production of melatonin. So, I didn’t know that, I thought that it was primarily a cortisol, melatonin you and I talked about the seesaw of high cortisol in the morning and at night cortisol drops, melatonin rises bit apparently, the vitamin D receptors and the enzymes that control their activation and degradation interplay with melatonin, so there you go you learn something new every day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, it’s working on what device, so vitamin D is working on melatonin receptor sites? 

Evan Brand: That’s what it sounds like. Yeah, it’s working on synthesis of melatonin. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, synthesis, so you have part of the, that’s what I think I mentioned like charging the pineal gland. I think charging the pineal gland to get in that good light that’s I think you need that good UV light to stimulate melatonin production and then you also need the raw material, right? You need the 5htp tryptophan amino acids, you need the B6, those are all really important cofactors and the light kind of, is an important stimulator to help make it, as well as, time it up too, right, it really times up that rhythm, uh, one of the best things when you have time zone issues. Is get up in the morning to watch that sunrise, you can even do a little bit of caffeine as well to stimulate the cortisol, so you get the cortisol increase while you’re seeing the light. The pineal gland sees that ultraviolet light coming in, it syncs up your rhythm and you do a little bit of melatonin at night and that kind of gets your rhythm right back on track. So, anyone’s traveling time zones, it’s one of the best ways to get back on track, see the sunrise in the morning with a little bit of caffeine and then sunset at night with some melatonin, that gets the cycle all dialed in.  

Evan Brand: So, here’s another paper in the neurology publication and it just said that low vitamin D levels are significantly associated with longer time to fall asleep. Excessive daytime sleepiness and underlying conditions and sleep restricted individuals. So that’s interesting because I know years ago, I was vitamin D deficient and my sleep was worse. Now, granted I had other issues too, I want to make sure, you and I talked about the gut a bit but years ago, it’s interesting to think that my low vitamin D could have been a contributing factor to my sleep problems. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely, you know, a variable, there’s a lot of other issues too. I mean the first thing we’re gonna look at is we’re gonna look at circadian rhythm. So, we’re gonna test cortisol levels and rhythm. We’re gonna see it all throughout the day because one biggest thing that happens, the more stressed and inflamed you get, is you get either a flattening of the cortisol or you can get a flattening with an increase at night and that can make it really hard to relax, really hard to settle down, obviously the flattening throughout the day can cause lower energy the first half of the day as well as a flat mood, right? Because cortisol is a glucocorticosteroid, gluco meaning pertains to energy and stress, corticosteroid meaning inflammation, so it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. So, yeah, we don’t have that arch cortisol in the morning, energy can below and that nice drop at night really helps us relax so that’s one of the first tests we’re gonna look at and then of course, we know melatonin is made from protein. It’s nice to see what’s happening with the protein side of the fence because if we don’t have good just stupid things like, hey I’m vegan vegetarian, I’m not eating enough protein, or I don’t have enough hydrochloric acid or enzymes or I have chronic gut issues like SIBO, IBS, H. pylori, gut bugs, and that’s maybe creating a bottleneck and also creating an inflammation in the gut which is then moving through the tight junctions into the bloodstream, moving it’s way to the brain that could affect the brain, brain inflammation, HPA-axis function, that’s brain talking to the adrenal glands and that could affect everything for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, when I had gut infections, my sleep was disturbed sometimes just because of pain in my gut, I mean so how many people have IBS that also have sleep problems, I can tell you it’s quite a lot, we work with that all the time and another thing too is the parasites, I mean, some argue that the parasites are more active at night. Some people report crawling and other weird sensations of parasites and I will tell you with stealth infections like Babesia, for example, which is an intracellular parasite. Babesia causes major problems with sleep in particular it’ll cause night sweats so some women think of it as hot flashes but it could be Babesia and unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of tick bites over the years and I can tell you with personal experience with Babesia that it would cause me to wake up at about an hour to after I went to bed. So, if I went to bed at nine I would be up by 11, sometimes sweating, sometimes no, but I would just be wide awake it was almost this infection was driving some sort of cortisol response, so after treating these type of infections usually the sleep problems go away and then as you mentioned we could supplement amino acids in the meantime especially because if someone has gut issues, we know they’re not gonna be synthesizing enough serotonin from their gut because the vast majority is made in the intestine. So, if you’ve got gut bugs and you don’t sleep well, you gotta fix the gut bugs if you wanna sleep well. Can you supplement melatonin and 5htp? Yes, and those are very nice natural things but they’re still band-aids, they’re not the root cause. So, like you said a stool test is something that could be an order, a urine test to look at the brain chemistry too because we could see dopamine and serotonin levels and then you mentioned cortisol which we could do via saliva or urine and we could see those inverse patterns. So, another thing I wanna mention is like, Relora. Relora is like a patented version of two different barks. There was one paper on it that it reduced cortisol levels by about 18% in four weeks. Now, I don’t recommend if you have sleep issues, just to go take this, you wanna test not guess. So, I don’t think it’s wise and I’m sure you would agree for people just to go take things that affect cortisol without knowing what your up against. I think it’ll be better for you to try to get some data first. So, don’t assume that because your sleep sucks that you have a cortisol problem because sometimes, we’ll test people that are wired at night and surprisingly they have low cortisol. Maybe it’s just emotional stress or something else but it’s not a cortisol problem and then sometimes people feel okay but at night their cortisol levels triple, where it shouldn’t be and then that’s where the nutrients come in to help to move it in the right direction. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. There also some things out there talking about pineal gland, that’s the gland that makes melatonin could, uh, get calcification and some of the calcification could be connected to fluoride and so may want to think about a high-quality water filtration system at least an under-counter RO system reverse   osmosis that filters out a lot of the fluoride. Just because that’s gonna be essentially it’s a prescription drug in the water and you’re getting an uncontrollable amount, so it’s really good to have a good water filtration system so I have a whole house carbon-based system, as well as, a under the counter reverse osmosis system. So, I’ll highly recommend having both but at least have one for your drinking water in that way you can get a lot of the crap out of the water. So, we’ll put a couple of links of water filtration products that we personally use and recommend ourselves throughout with our family as well as patients. And so that will help at least improve the water quality because that could have a connection with, uh, pineal gland calcification. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, I got into fluoride years ago, just fluoride research and the toxicity of it and how even places, most major cities they add fluoride to the water, you know, so you’ll have like in Kentucky relatively decent water but then at the end they add fluoride to it which is just really criminal based on all the research we know about fluoride lowering the IQ and things like that and so when I was working out of a brick and mortar at a chiropractor’s office, we actually had a few x-rays where people had neck injuries from car wrecks and this might sound crazy but we were able to actually see the calcification on the x-ray, you know, if we were doing like a more of a head type x-ray for some of these neck and head injuries, you could literally see almost like this little darker spot or might have been bright white, I can’t remember, depending on the x-ray machine but you could see it and I was asking the chiropractor like what is that and he’s like well that’s the pineal gland. He’s like maybe this calcification thing is real because you’ll read that online, some people labeled it a conspiracy but I think there’s totally something to it and I have seen images of that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s one study right here, I’m looking at right now, it’s 2018 study, they’re looking at fluoride exposure and sleep patterns among adults and they’re talking about essentially, you know, looking at that level and they’re looking at fluoride exposure affecting sleep patterns. I’ll put the study here in the links but one of the conclusions here reached at the very end, let me kind of scroll down to it said chronic low level fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle and regulation and sleep behavior among older adolescents, U.S. additional prescriptive studies are warranted to examine the effects of fluoride on sleep patterns and determine the critical window of vulnerability for patients and so essentially they’re saying chronic low-level exposure, right. What about higher-level exposure, right? What about the extra fluoride in your toothpaste too, right? These are all some extra things that, you know, it’s just something you want to make sure that you have clean water and one benefit of clean water is keeping the fluoride out which could affect your sleep, also other stuff in the water such as potential parasites and bacteria that may not get hit by your typical chlorine and as well as potential pharmaceutical drugs. So, good health, uh, filtratration is gonna be wonderful. We’ll put the recommended links for the products that we use down below. 

Evan Brand: Speaking of drugs, why don’t we mention drugs. People that are doing different pharmaceuticals for fatigue or for mood issues or for ADD or ADHD, I mean people that are doing stimulants, you know methamphetamine derivatives, a lot of these people depending on the half-life, depending on the metabolism of the drug, depending on people’s digestion, depending on maybe that with caffeine or other stimulants, I mean that’s a huge problem and we are an addicted society to stimulants, I mean caffeine is probably the number one stimulant used worldwide but certainly I have tons of clients even teenagers unfortunately 14,15, 16-year-old, they are taking pharmaceuticals like Vyvanse or other really, really stimulating things to supposedly help them focus better but then they can’t sleep at night so then they’re on social media at night, they’re looking at their blue light screen which is gonna be suppressing melatonin production all night. Now, they’re laying in bed, scrolling on TikTok while they supposed to be sleeping and so there’s no wonder, we have so many teenagers that have depression and anxiety issues too because good sleep is really important for good mood and I tell you, if I don’t sleep as well, mood’s not as good and that’s just common sense because the glymphatic system, ‘G’ like Gary, the glymphatic system works when you’re sleeping and this is almost like a, think of it like a brain detox and with not enough sleep or quality sleep, that system doesn’t work and then our brain, we just can’t think clearly, we make worse decisions, we have less ability to react like in terms of driving and reaction time and speed, I mean, the brain really takes a hit when we don’t have sleep, you know, good quality sleep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Well, let’s talk about some other nutrients that are very important. So, obviously, things like magnesium, very important, magnesium plugs into the mitochondria Krebs cycle supposedly at a minimum 300 to a thousand enzymatic roles in the body. So, it plays a large role in what’s going on with our health and with relaxation. Also, I like to combine a little bit of magnesium and some collagen which is very high in glycine. So, glycine and magnesium are super, superchargers for relaxation and really getting the parasympathetic nervous system up, very relaxing, very calming as well. So, I like that as just kind of a nice diet and lifestyle strategy and again if you make up a lot to go a pee, you may wanna give yourself an hour or two before the bed, before sleep, before you have that, at least an hour so you can kind of pee and get all that extra water out of your bladder. So, a good hour or two, very helpful, very relaxing, very calming. Of course, general lifestyle strategies like wearing good blue blocking glasses, um, just kind of mitigating a lot of the light stuff at the end, putting a lot of your lights on dimmer switches where you can at least not knock down a lot of the intensity down 80% or so, so that’s not stimulating cortisol and lowering melatonin. So, the light at night hits that pineal gland, it’s gonna raise your cortisol and lower melatonin because cortisol and melatonin are in an inverse relationship. Cortisol up, melatonin down so that’s very helpful.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, humans we’re so smart that we’re stupid and we brought the sunlight indoors whereas compared to the Amish, guess what, guess how much nighttime light exposure they have, virtually nothing. Number one, they don’t have electricity so if they want light it’s gonna be a candle and the intensity of a candle, number one the candle is gonna be amber red, there’s gonna be very, very minimal blue light coming from the candle and the intensity of it is a fraction of a single light bulb so, you know, you really screwed up by bringing lights indoors, I mean, they’re awesome but I try not use them so at night we’ll just use like a salt lamp at night, just salt lamps scattered around the home and those are relatively, uh, orange color and then relatively low intensity and then also, you mentioned the glycine. The glycine is awesome, I take glycine almost every day, it’s about, give or take 3 grams, just for a scoop of it and interestingly when my wife went in for a, to get, she had one mercury amalgams which are heavy metal that can affect sleep too, so we’ll talk about detox support, I think we should at least mention it. But when she went in to get her, uh, one silver removed, they actually gave her a glycine mouth rinse which I thought pretty interesting and she said it killed her out, like they had her almost like sit around and then swallow and she said it just chilled her out right before the procedure so it’s kind of like a natural, you know anti-anxiety formula that they were using in the dentist office so that was net. But let’s talk on detox support because I think we’ve talked about this before or at least I’ve mentioned in various podcasts but like histamine can be a problem with sleep so you know sometimes people need to go on like lower histamine diets and then if people have mold or other issues affecting their histamine then maybe like quercetin like a natural antihistamine would be helpful for sleep and or binders so like clays like zeolite clay can actually bind to histamine unlike charcoal. I don’t believe charcoal can but I have seen some stuff on clay binding to histamine so I will take a combination binder of some clay charcoal silica blends before bed and that does help my sleep and you know my wife, she definitely reports that she sleep better if she does charcoal before bed so the mechanism is probably that it’s binding up any nutrient or any toxin rather that’s gonna be stimulating a stress response, some people might benefit better with sleep remedies before bed and some might benefit better with detox remedies maybe you do both but maybe separate them by half an hour or so.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. I’d also say, be careful of fasting too much, some people, they do really well with intermittent fasting and it can be helpful, some need to have some protein and some fat and a little bit of carbs before bed because their blood sugar may go low while they’re sleeping. So, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you know, one of the best strategies is to have a little bit of a mini protein shake whether it’s collagen, magnesium kind of a coconut milk, maybe a little bit of berries in there just a little bit of protein a little bit of fat maybe a little bit of carbs, see if that kind of stabilizes your blood sugar. The goal is if your blood sugar gets too low, your body can utilize cortisol and adrenaline to pick that blood sugar back up, the problem is cortisol and adrenaline as it picks that blood sugar back up, it also wakes you up because it stimulates you, right? And then, you can fall out of sleep and that’s a big concern so managing blood sugar before bed and or if you wake up can be very helpful and I will also do some sublingual formulas if people wake up just to kind of help get back to sleep. Again, the problem with it is if you’re like an hour or two away from when you’re supposed to get up that can be problematic because maybe you’re a little bit drowsy going into the morning but if it’s the middle of the night and you got like three hours or so then you can definitely take that and that’ll help you get back to sleep but, you know, good diet lifestyle strategy is super important and then we have, you know, we have to look at the circadian rhythm and the cortisol levels at night and in the morning because, you know, we’ll look at these, we’ll test these with our patients and that’ll give us a good insight and one of the big things is just trying a little bit of food and or shake in the middle of the night and if that helps you get back to sleep or a little bit before you go to bed, if that helps you from waking up and there’s probably a blood sugar connection.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. If you’re listening to this and your head is spinning, uh, we do consultations and so this is how we tease things apart so you’re just getting an insight into our brains so you’re just kind of tuning into Justin and I riffing, we didn’t plan this, we didn’t schedule this talk in terms of like how are we gonna dive into this, this is us riffing and so I hope you guys enjoy this flow because this is how we think, we’re approaching a situation with a client who comes to us and says, hey I’ve got sleep problems, we’re running through this is in our head almost instantly, the cortisol, the blood sugar, the stress, the emotions, the gut, I mean we’re just kind of filtering this in our head, we’re processing it, we’re listening to your symptoms we’re matching up gut symptoms with skin issues, with mood issues, with sleep issues and then we’re creating almost this mental map in our head, we’re creating this like spider web of what part of the web is disrupted in this person, where do we need to go, what part of the web do we need to reconstruct to get this whole symphony working together because sleep is really a complex thing. There’s a lot of things to be going good, to have good sleep, I mean, it’s no surprise wherein an epidemic of people taking sleeping medications because as you’ve listened if you’ve been somewhat paying attention through this podcast, you’re hearing there’s a hormonal component, there’s a neurotransmitter component, a gut component, an infection component, a blood sugar possibly a blood pressure component, a heavy metals and other toxins components so this thing can get really complex and so if you just go to the doctor and you get ambient or a sleeping medication, all you’ve done is put yourself in somewhat of a drug coma, you’ve done nothing to fix any of these root causes and if you have toxins or other issues creating the sleep problem, you’re just getting farther and farther away and it’s really sad to see how commonly the sleep medications are passed out like candy because what they don’t tell you it’s very difficult to get off of those drugs especially if it’s in the benzodiazepines category where it’s like an anti-anxiety and sleep remedy like lorazepam, those things are incredibly addictive, incredibly powerful drugs that are very hard to get off so we just prefer you guys, think root cause. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary but I guess it is because the conventional medicine approach of this stuff is garbage and then, uh, that was a little mini rant. One other thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 100% right though Evan. 

Evan Brand: So, one of the things CBD can be helpful so there, you know, there’s so many states now that have medicinal cannabis to where you can get a tiny bit of THC. I’m not saying that people need to get high to sleep but I have found that clients in these legal states where they can get like a three to one or a five to one ratio so what that means is like say five parts CBD to one part THC, some of these sublinguals or topicals or sprays or edibles or gummies or flowers concentrates, whatever they like that can be enough to help regulate the nervous system. I think the mechanism is probably tamping down inflammation but there’s probably some nervous system component to it as well and so if you’re in a state where you can’t do THC, you could at least do CBD or try to get some organically grown plants and you could do give or take 10 to 20 milligrams is what I’ll do in tincture form put in under the tongue and it’s not like a sedative, it’s not gonna patch you out in the middle of the day but it will help you be a little more rested so sometimes I’ll do a combination of like the GABA chewables that I’ve got, a couple of motherwort tincture which is like a heart calming herb and then a little bit of CBD, something like that triple combos is pretty awesome. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you know, I do like that a lot. That makes a lot of sense. So, deeper right kind of root cause stuff, we’re always looking at diet, we’re always looking at blood sugar, we’re always looking at inflammation, we’re always looking at circadian rhythm and adrenal function, of course females if we have estrogen dominance and low progesterone is very important for calming and activating the parasympathetic. We want to look at the hormonal imbalances that could be driving things, um, also chronically low thyroid low T3 levels, you can see associated with insomnia and sleep issues, got to look at the insulin, got to look at the thyroid connection there as well, got to make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down, uh, very important. The hard part is anything can cause everything, that’s the hard part so we have to look at the underlying root cause mechanisms, we have to look at the person as an individual we have to look at their diet and lifestyle habits, we have to kind of timeline their history out so we can understand all things that happened, as they either got better or worse in their condition that tells me a lot and of course we go to test, we got to make sure that we’re not guessing but assessing what the root causes are, that’s very important. 

Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Well said, bringing up the thyroid there in the final hour, that’s very important and tons of people with Hashimoto’s right, autoimmune thyroid, they may have this attack on their thyroid where all of a sudden they’re leaking out thyroid hormone and then boom they’re anxious and wired in the middle of the night so great call on that and sometimes like thyroid calming herbs may need to be used and I believe technically in some of these thyroid calming blends we’ve used, I think motherwort is in there, I know Bugleweed is in there but I think motherwort might be in there too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also Melissa or lemon balms, another calming one too. Yeah. So, they’re a very common kind of relaxing. Some of them really work on getting GABA really upregulated and, uh, and going so that’s super helpful. So, people if you’re listening here and you wanna dive in deeper at you know what the potential root causes could be with your sleep or health issues, you know, feel free to head to evanbrand.com, all right, Evan works with patients all over the world and or myself Dr. J here at justinhealth.com, we are available worldwide, they’ll be info where you guys can click, you guys can connect with us and our staff and we’re more than willing to help you, we do specific lab testing, we look at diet lifestyle strategies, we’ll look at potential toxins because sometimes mold or other toxicities can play a role. We’ll really get to the root cause so we can, not just kind of get you sleeping better, we get you healing and feeling better overall, that’s really the key. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing here, sleep issues are really just the tip of the iceberg. It’s very rare to find someone with just sleep issues typically there is a like I mentioned a mood component maybe anxiety, depression, uh, generally it’s lumped into fatigue as well, maybe joint issues, gut issues, skin issues, I mean, so if you find somebody with just sleep issues, cool, maybe that’s an easier case for us to fix but many times fatigue is in the list and sleep, they often go hand in and obviously. So, this is not just important for you to get good rest, this is important for you to have more energy during the day so you can be more productive at your job, be a more productive parent, a business owner, entrepreneur or whatever you’re doing in your busy life. It’s really important that you get this thing dialed in. So, take your sleep issues seriously, please reach out if you need help. Dr. J at justinhealth.com or Evan at evanbrand.com and we’d love to help you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. I’ll put on some of the studies on fluoride as well than below and we’ll put some of the recommended products that we use for water filtration as well. All right Evan, good chat with you man. Hey everyone, have a phenomenal week and we’ll be back. Take care, you all. Take it easy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, how are you doing today man?  

Evan Brand: Hey, I’m doing really well, I’m refreshed and rested and I think it’s due to some of the supplementation of nutrients that we’ll probably dive into today which is on the topic of functional medicine strategies for sleep issues which are epidemic in modern society. By the way, in Amish society, I was actually doing some slides this morning in a fatigue course that I’m working on before you and I jump on here together and then researching what’s called the old order Amish. These are like the super old school. There’s like a different level of Amish like some will have indoor plumbing, some don’t, some will use a smartphone but they only use it for phone calls that kind of thing but the old order, those are like no phones, no electricity, nothing. Anyway, they have less than 1% of depression, they report virtually zero insomnia and they have 10x, 10-fold the light exposure variation of the general population and they were found to have virtually zero prevalence of seasonal affective disorder which is like a seasonal depression. So, when you look at the Amish, they’re doing a lot of things right that we’re doing wrong in regards to our light exposure which then creates not only mood issues for us, more supposed advanced humans that use technology but also with our sleep and the real mechanism is because we’re not fully charging our batteries in the day. So, this study on the Amish and their light exposure, what they did is they put a light meter almost like a watch on their wrist and they track these Amish people for a couple of weeks and then they compare them to your modern person working in an office environment an indoor environment and because in an office environment, you’re getting such low intensity of bright light, you’re not really fully charging that cortisol in the morning, you’re not getting that initial spike whereas the Amish, they’re working outside, they’re getting that natural sunlight exposure. Even in the winter months, they still had 10x the light exposure of modern, you know, I guess you’d call them civilized people, uh, city people and so that’s a cool like free thing to do which is something honestly, I didn’t realize until I looked into this research. I’m much, much less like mopey in the winter than I used to be. I mean we’re almost in December when you and I are recording these years ago, maybe a decade ago when I had gut issues and all sorts of problems, the winter was so depressing for me. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. I kind of embrace it and I think honestly, it’s because even in the middle of the day at 12’ or 1’oclock, I’ll go outside and just get natural sunlight if I sit on my front porch the way our house is structured there’s not much wind. So, even on a day where it’s 15 or 20 degrees. I could sit out there with no shirt on and get that sunlight exposure. I always feel better, my mood is lifted, my circulation, my blood flow and my sleep is way better on those days as opposed to days where I don’t get out and get that bright light.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. That vitamin D is very, very important, also just getting that good sunlight in the morning kind of gets, it resets that circadian rhythm. So, circadian rhythm is light and cortisol driven as cortisol drops, melatonin increases, this kind of inverse relationship of cortisol to melatonin, so the light kind of helps rest that so you get on the right schedule there as light stimulates cortisol, it hits your pineal gland, it kind of helps charge up the pineal gland as well, very important for melatonin synthesis at night time because as cortisol drops, we have this natural circadian rhythm, cortisol’s highest in the morning, drops throughout the day as it drops, melatonin can increase at night and that light really kind of help reset things so that’s very important. Also, very important as well, melatonin it’s kind of like a hormone kind of neurotransmitter made from the pineal gland, right this area here in the brain and it’s made from amino acids to 5htp or tryptophan, L-tryptophan, it’s an amino acid that’s a building block for melatonin and important cofactor for it as well was B6, as well, an important B vitamin, very important cofactor. So, if we’re eating nutritionally deficient foods, lots of processed carbs, not getting good quality B vitamins, not digesting our protein well, you could see poor digestion and poor nutrient density in the food could easily affect sleep quality.   

Evan Brand: You know what, this is interesting too and sorry I knocked over my water bottle, I was trying to grab my phone to pull up at the D-minder app to look at when you can actually synthesize vitamin D because that’s only at certain times of the day especially when you’re in a more northern latitude. So, anywhere south of I think it’s the 37th latitude, there’s a vitamin D winter and so today believe it or not, it says right here in the app, today which we’re recording is November 29th, it says today is the last day of the year where I can get Vitamin D and I can only get it today from 12:13  to 12:49, so there’s literally barely 30minutes today is the final day to synthesize vitamin D and then that’s gonna last this quote vitamin D winter, meaning that the angle of the sun is gonna be to low in the sky to synthesize vitamin D that will last until I want to say it’s about February, I can’t remember right off top of my head but it’s usually December give or take to January or February. There’s almost a month or two where you can’t make any vitamin D, so I will be supplementing a little more and there’s actually a 20 20 paper on this that was called Vitamin D and sleep regulation and long story short, vitamin D supplementation improves sleep disturbances. It says that vitamin D is involved in the pathways of production of melatonin. So, I didn’t know that, I thought that it was primarily a cortisol, melatonin you and I talked about the seesaw of high cortisol in the morning and at night cortisol drops, melatonin rises bit apparently, the vitamin D receptors and the enzymes that control their activation and degradation interplay with melatonin, so there you go you learn something new every day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, it’s working on what device, so vitamin D is working on melatonin receptor sites? 

Evan Brand: That’s what it sounds like. Yeah, it’s working on synthesis of melatonin. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, synthesis, so you have part of the, that’s what I think I mentioned like charging the pineal gland. I think charging the pineal gland to get in that good light that’s I think you need that good UV light to stimulate melatonin production and then you also need the raw material, right? You need the 5htp tryptophan amino acids, you need the B6, those are all really important cofactors and the light kind of, is an important stimulator to help make it, as well as, time it up too, right, it really times up that rhythm, uh, one of the best things when you have time zone issues. Is get up in the morning to watch that sunrise, you can even do a little bit of caffeine as well to stimulate the cortisol, so you get the cortisol increase while you’re seeing the light. The pineal gland sees that ultraviolet light coming in, it syncs up your rhythm and you do a little bit of melatonin at night and that kind of gets your rhythm right back on track. So, anyone’s traveling time zones, it’s one of the best ways to get back on track, see the sunrise in the morning with a little bit of caffeine and then sunset at night with some melatonin, that gets the cycle all dialed in.  

Evan Brand: So, here’s another paper in the neurology publication and it just said that low vitamin D levels are significantly associated with longer time to fall asleep. Excessive daytime sleepiness and underlying conditions and sleep restricted individuals. So that’s interesting because I know years ago, I was vitamin D deficient and my sleep was worse. Now, granted I had other issues too, I want to make sure, you and I talked about the gut a bit but years ago, it’s interesting to think that my low vitamin D could have been a contributing factor to my sleep problems. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely, you know, a variable, there’s a lot of other issues too. I mean the first thing we’re gonna look at is we’re gonna look at circadian rhythm. So, we’re gonna test cortisol levels and rhythm. We’re gonna see it all throughout the day because one biggest thing that happens, the more stressed and inflamed you get, is you get either a flattening of the cortisol or you can get a flattening with an increase at night and that can make it really hard to relax, really hard to settle down, obviously the flattening throughout the day can cause lower energy the first half of the day as well as a flat mood, right? Because cortisol is a glucocorticosteroid, gluco meaning pertains to energy and stress, corticosteroid meaning inflammation, so it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. So, yeah, we don’t have that arch cortisol in the morning, energy can below and that nice drop at night really helps us relax so that’s one of the first tests we’re gonna look at and then of course, we know melatonin is made from protein. It’s nice to see what’s happening with the protein side of the fence because if we don’t have good just stupid things like, hey I’m vegan vegetarian, I’m not eating enough protein, or I don’t have enough hydrochloric acid or enzymes or I have chronic gut issues like SIBO, IBS, H. pylori, gut bugs, and that’s maybe creating a bottleneck and also creating an inflammation in the gut which is then moving through the tight junctions into the bloodstream, moving it’s way to the brain that could affect the brain, brain inflammation, HPA-axis function, that’s brain talking to the adrenal glands and that could affect everything for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean, when I had gut infections, my sleep was disturbed sometimes just because of pain in my gut, I mean so how many people have IBS that also have sleep problems, I can tell you it’s quite a lot, we work with that all the time and another thing too is the parasites, I mean, some argue that the parasites are more active at night. Some people report crawling and other weird sensations of parasites and I will tell you with stealth infections like Babesia, for example, which is an intracellular parasite. Babesia causes major problems with sleep in particular it’ll cause night sweats so some women think of it as hot flashes but it could be Babesia and unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of tick bites over the years and I can tell you with personal experience with Babesia that it would cause me to wake up at about an hour to after I went to bed. So, if I went to bed at nine I would be up by 11, sometimes sweating, sometimes no, but I would just be wide awake it was almost this infection was driving some sort of cortisol response, so after treating these type of infections usually the sleep problems go away and then as you mentioned we could supplement amino acids in the meantime especially because if someone has gut issues, we know they’re not gonna be synthesizing enough serotonin from their gut because the vast majority is made in the intestine. So, if you’ve got gut bugs and you don’t sleep well, you gotta fix the gut bugs if you wanna sleep well. Can you supplement melatonin and 5htp? Yes, and those are very nice natural things but they’re still band-aids, they’re not the root cause. So, like you said a stool test is something that could be an order, a urine test to look at the brain chemistry too because we could see dopamine and serotonin levels and then you mentioned cortisol which we could do via saliva or urine and we could see those inverse patterns. So, another thing I wanna mention is like, Relora. Relora is like a patented version of two different barks. There was one paper on it that it reduced cortisol levels by about 18% in four weeks. Now, I don’t recommend if you have sleep issues, just to go take this, you wanna test not guess. So, I don’t think it’s wise and I’m sure you would agree for people just to go take things that affect cortisol without knowing what your up against. I think it’ll be better for you to try to get some data first. So, don’t assume that because your sleep sucks that you have a cortisol problem because sometimes, we’ll test people that are wired at night and surprisingly they have low cortisol. Maybe it’s just emotional stress or something else but it’s not a cortisol problem and then sometimes people feel okay but at night their cortisol levels triple, where it shouldn’t be and then that’s where the nutrients come in to help to move it in the right direction. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. There also some things out there talking about pineal gland, that’s the gland that makes melatonin could, uh, get calcification and some of the calcification could be connected to fluoride and so may want to think about a high-quality water filtration system at least an under-counter RO system reverse   osmosis that filters out a lot of the fluoride. Just because that’s gonna be essentially it’s a prescription drug in the water and you’re getting an uncontrollable amount, so it’s really good to have a good water filtration system so I have a whole house carbon-based system, as well as, a under the counter reverse osmosis system. So, I’ll highly recommend having both but at least have one for your drinking water in that way you can get a lot of the crap out of the water. So, we’ll put a couple of links of water filtration products that we personally use and recommend ourselves throughout with our family as well as patients. And so that will help at least improve the water quality because that could have a connection with, uh, pineal gland calcification. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, I got into fluoride years ago, just fluoride research and the toxicity of it and how even places, most major cities they add fluoride to the water, you know, so you’ll have like in Kentucky relatively decent water but then at the end they add fluoride to it which is just really criminal based on all the research we know about fluoride lowering the IQ and things like that and so when I was working out of a brick and mortar at a chiropractor’s office, we actually had a few x-rays where people had neck injuries from car wrecks and this might sound crazy but we were able to actually see the calcification on the x-ray, you know, if we were doing like a more of a head type x-ray for some of these neck and head injuries, you could literally see almost like this little darker spot or might have been bright white, I can’t remember, depending on the x-ray machine but you could see it and I was asking the chiropractor like what is that and he’s like well that’s the pineal gland. He’s like maybe this calcification thing is real because you’ll read that online, some people labeled it a conspiracy but I think there’s totally something to it and I have seen images of that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s one study right here, I’m looking at right now, it’s 2018 study, they’re looking at fluoride exposure and sleep patterns among adults and they’re talking about essentially, you know, looking at that level and they’re looking at fluoride exposure affecting sleep patterns. I’ll put the study here in the links but one of the conclusions here reached at the very end, let me kind of scroll down to it said chronic low level fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle and regulation and sleep behavior among older adolescents, U.S. additional prescriptive studies are warranted to examine the effects of fluoride on sleep patterns and determine the critical window of vulnerability for patients and so essentially they’re saying chronic low-level exposure, right. What about higher-level exposure, right? What about the extra fluoride in your toothpaste too, right? These are all some extra things that, you know, it’s just something you want to make sure that you have clean water and one benefit of clean water is keeping the fluoride out which could affect your sleep, also other stuff in the water such as potential parasites and bacteria that may not get hit by your typical chlorine and as well as potential pharmaceutical drugs. So, good health, uh, filtratration is gonna be wonderful. We’ll put the recommended links for the products that we use down below. 

Evan Brand: Speaking of drugs, why don’t we mention drugs. People that are doing different pharmaceuticals for fatigue or for mood issues or for ADD or ADHD, I mean people that are doing stimulants, you know methamphetamine derivatives, a lot of these people depending on the half-life, depending on the metabolism of the drug, depending on people’s digestion, depending on maybe that with caffeine or other stimulants, I mean that’s a huge problem and we are an addicted society to stimulants, I mean caffeine is probably the number one stimulant used worldwide but certainly I have tons of clients even teenagers unfortunately 14,15, 16-year-old, they are taking pharmaceuticals like Vyvanse or other really, really stimulating things to supposedly help them focus better but then they can’t sleep at night so then they’re on social media at night, they’re looking at their blue light screen which is gonna be suppressing melatonin production all night. Now, they’re laying in bed, scrolling on TikTok while they supposed to be sleeping and so there’s no wonder, we have so many teenagers that have depression and anxiety issues too because good sleep is really important for good mood and I tell you, if I don’t sleep as well, mood’s not as good and that’s just common sense because the glymphatic system, ‘G’ like Gary, the glymphatic system works when you’re sleeping and this is almost like a, think of it like a brain detox and with not enough sleep or quality sleep, that system doesn’t work and then our brain, we just can’t think clearly, we make worse decisions, we have less ability to react like in terms of driving and reaction time and speed, I mean, the brain really takes a hit when we don’t have sleep, you know, good quality sleep. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Well, let’s talk about some other nutrients that are very important. So, obviously, things like magnesium, very important, magnesium plugs into the mitochondria Krebs cycle supposedly at a minimum 300 to a thousand enzymatic roles in the body. So, it plays a large role in what’s going on with our health and with relaxation. Also, I like to combine a little bit of magnesium and some collagen which is very high in glycine. So, glycine and magnesium are super, superchargers for relaxation and really getting the parasympathetic nervous system up, very relaxing, very calming as well. So, I like that as just kind of a nice diet and lifestyle strategy and again if you make up a lot to go a pee, you may wanna give yourself an hour or two before the bed, before sleep, before you have that, at least an hour so you can kind of pee and get all that extra water out of your bladder. So, a good hour or two, very helpful, very relaxing, very calming. Of course, general lifestyle strategies like wearing good blue blocking glasses, um, just kind of mitigating a lot of the light stuff at the end, putting a lot of your lights on dimmer switches where you can at least not knock down a lot of the intensity down 80% or so, so that’s not stimulating cortisol and lowering melatonin. So, the light at night hits that pineal gland, it’s gonna raise your cortisol and lower melatonin because cortisol and melatonin are in an inverse relationship. Cortisol up, melatonin down so that’s very helpful.  

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, humans we’re so smart that we’re stupid and we brought the sunlight indoors whereas compared to the Amish, guess what, guess how much nighttime light exposure they have, virtually nothing. Number one, they don’t have electricity so if they want light it’s gonna be a candle and the intensity of a candle, number one the candle is gonna be amber red, there’s gonna be very, very minimal blue light coming from the candle and the intensity of it is a fraction of a single light bulb so, you know, you really screwed up by bringing lights indoors, I mean, they’re awesome but I try not use them so at night we’ll just use like a salt lamp at night, just salt lamps scattered around the home and those are relatively, uh, orange color and then relatively low intensity and then also, you mentioned the glycine. The glycine is awesome, I take glycine almost every day, it’s about, give or take 3 grams, just for a scoop of it and interestingly when my wife went in for a, to get, she had one mercury amalgams which are heavy metal that can affect sleep too, so we’ll talk about detox support, I think we should at least mention it. But when she went in to get her, uh, one silver removed, they actually gave her a glycine mouth rinse which I thought pretty interesting and she said it killed her out, like they had her almost like sit around and then swallow and she said it just chilled her out right before the procedure so it’s kind of like a natural, you know anti-anxiety formula that they were using in the dentist office so that was net. But let’s talk on detox support because I think we’ve talked about this before or at least I’ve mentioned in various podcasts but like histamine can be a problem with sleep so you know sometimes people need to go on like lower histamine diets and then if people have mold or other issues affecting their histamine then maybe like quercetin like a natural antihistamine would be helpful for sleep and or binders so like clays like zeolite clay can actually bind to histamine unlike charcoal. I don’t believe charcoal can but I have seen some stuff on clay binding to histamine so I will take a combination binder of some clay charcoal silica blends before bed and that does help my sleep and you know my wife, she definitely reports that she sleep better if she does charcoal before bed so the mechanism is probably that it’s binding up any nutrient or any toxin rather that’s gonna be stimulating a stress response, some people might benefit better with sleep remedies before bed and some might benefit better with detox remedies maybe you do both but maybe separate them by half an hour or so.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes a lot of sense. I’d also say, be careful of fasting too much, some people, they do really well with intermittent fasting and it can be helpful, some need to have some protein and some fat and a little bit of carbs before bed because their blood sugar may go low while they’re sleeping. So, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you know, one of the best strategies is to have a little bit of a mini protein shake whether it’s collagen, magnesium kind of a coconut milk, maybe a little bit of berries in there just a little bit of protein a little bit of fat maybe a little bit of carbs, see if that kind of stabilizes your blood sugar. The goal is if your blood sugar gets too low, your body can utilize cortisol and adrenaline to pick that blood sugar back up, the problem is cortisol and adrenaline as it picks that blood sugar back up, it also wakes you up because it stimulates you, right? And then, you can fall out of sleep and that’s a big concern so managing blood sugar before bed and or if you wake up can be very helpful and I will also do some sublingual formulas if people wake up just to kind of help get back to sleep. Again, the problem with it is if you’re like an hour or two away from when you’re supposed to get up that can be problematic because maybe you’re a little bit drowsy going into the morning but if it’s the middle of the night and you got like three hours or so then you can definitely take that and that’ll help you get back to sleep but, you know, good diet lifestyle strategy is super important and then we have, you know, we have to look at the circadian rhythm and the cortisol levels at night and in the morning because, you know, we’ll look at these, we’ll test these with our patients and that’ll give us a good insight and one of the big things is just trying a little bit of food and or shake in the middle of the night and if that helps you get back to sleep or a little bit before you go to bed, if that helps you from waking up and there’s probably a blood sugar connection.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. If you’re listening to this and your head is spinning, uh, we do consultations and so this is how we tease things apart so you’re just getting an insight into our brains so you’re just kind of tuning into Justin and I riffing, we didn’t plan this, we didn’t schedule this talk in terms of like how are we gonna dive into this, this is us riffing and so I hope you guys enjoy this flow because this is how we think, we’re approaching a situation with a client who comes to us and says, hey I’ve got sleep problems, we’re running through this is in our head almost instantly, the cortisol, the blood sugar, the stress, the emotions, the gut, I mean we’re just kind of filtering this in our head, we’re processing it, we’re listening to your symptoms we’re matching up gut symptoms with skin issues, with mood issues, with sleep issues and then we’re creating almost this mental map in our head, we’re creating this like spider web of what part of the web is disrupted in this person, where do we need to go, what part of the web do we need to reconstruct to get this whole symphony working together because sleep is really a complex thing. There’s a lot of things to be going good, to have good sleep, I mean, it’s no surprise wherein an epidemic of people taking sleeping medications because as you’ve listened if you’ve been somewhat paying attention through this podcast, you’re hearing there’s a hormonal component, there’s a neurotransmitter component, a gut component, an infection component, a blood sugar possibly a blood pressure component, a heavy metals and other toxins components so this thing can get really complex and so if you just go to the doctor and you get ambient or a sleeping medication, all you’ve done is put yourself in somewhat of a drug coma, you’ve done nothing to fix any of these root causes and if you have toxins or other issues creating the sleep problem, you’re just getting farther and farther away and it’s really sad to see how commonly the sleep medications are passed out like candy because what they don’t tell you it’s very difficult to get off of those drugs especially if it’s in the benzodiazepines category where it’s like an anti-anxiety and sleep remedy like lorazepam, those things are incredibly addictive, incredibly powerful drugs that are very hard to get off so we just prefer you guys, think root cause. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary but I guess it is because the conventional medicine approach of this stuff is garbage and then, uh, that was a little mini rant. One other thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yep. 100% right though Evan. 

Evan Brand: So, one of the things CBD can be helpful so there, you know, there’s so many states now that have medicinal cannabis to where you can get a tiny bit of THC. I’m not saying that people need to get high to sleep but I have found that clients in these legal states where they can get like a three to one or a five to one ratio so what that means is like say five parts CBD to one part THC, some of these sublinguals or topicals or sprays or edibles or gummies or flowers concentrates, whatever they like that can be enough to help regulate the nervous system. I think the mechanism is probably tamping down inflammation but there’s probably some nervous system component to it as well and so if you’re in a state where you can’t do THC, you could at least do CBD or try to get some organically grown plants and you could do give or take 10 to 20 milligrams is what I’ll do in tincture form put in under the tongue and it’s not like a sedative, it’s not gonna patch you out in the middle of the day but it will help you be a little more rested so sometimes I’ll do a combination of like the GABA chewables that I’ve got, a couple of motherwort tincture which is like a heart calming herb and then a little bit of CBD, something like that triple combos is pretty awesome. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you know, I do like that a lot. That makes a lot of sense. So, deeper right kind of root cause stuff, we’re always looking at diet, we’re always looking at blood sugar, we’re always looking at inflammation, we’re always looking at circadian rhythm and adrenal function, of course females if we have estrogen dominance and low progesterone is very important for calming and activating the parasympathetic. We want to look at the hormonal imbalances that could be driving things, um, also chronically low thyroid low T3 levels, you can see associated with insomnia and sleep issues, got to look at the insulin, got to look at the thyroid connection there as well, got to make sure we’re digesting and breaking things down, uh, very important. The hard part is anything can cause everything, that’s the hard part so we have to look at the underlying root cause mechanisms, we have to look at the person as an individual we have to look at their diet and lifestyle habits, we have to kind of timeline their history out so we can understand all things that happened, as they either got better or worse in their condition that tells me a lot and of course we go to test, we got to make sure that we’re not guessing but assessing what the root causes are, that’s very important. 

Evan Brand: Oh yeah. Well said, bringing up the thyroid there in the final hour, that’s very important and tons of people with Hashimoto’s right, autoimmune thyroid, they may have this attack on their thyroid where all of a sudden they’re leaking out thyroid hormone and then boom they’re anxious and wired in the middle of the night so great call on that and sometimes like thyroid calming herbs may need to be used and I believe technically in some of these thyroid calming blends we’ve used, I think motherwort is in there, I know Bugleweed is in there but I think motherwort might be in there too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, also Melissa or lemon balms, another calming one too. Yeah. So, they’re a very common kind of relaxing. Some of them really work on getting GABA really upregulated and, uh, and going so that’s super helpful. So, people if you’re listening here and you wanna dive in deeper at you know what the potential root causes could be with your sleep or health issues, you know, feel free to head to evanbrand.com, all right, Evan works with patients all over the world and or myself Dr. J here at justinhealth.com, we are available worldwide, they’ll be info where you guys can click, you guys can connect with us and our staff and we’re more than willing to help you, we do specific lab testing, we look at diet lifestyle strategies, we’ll look at potential toxins because sometimes mold or other toxicities can play a role. We’ll really get to the root cause so we can, not just kind of get you sleeping better, we get you healing and feeling better overall, that’s really the key. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing here, sleep issues are really just the tip of the iceberg. It’s very rare to find someone with just sleep issues typically there is a like I mentioned a mood component maybe anxiety, depression, uh, generally it’s lumped into fatigue as well, maybe joint issues, gut issues, skin issues, I mean, so if you find somebody with just sleep issues, cool, maybe that’s an easier case for us to fix but many times fatigue is in the list and sleep, they often go hand in and obviously. So, this is not just important for you to get good rest, this is important for you to have more energy during the day so you can be more productive at your job, be a more productive parent, a business owner, entrepreneur or whatever you’re doing in your busy life. It’s really important that you get this thing dialed in. So, take your sleep issues seriously, please reach out if you need help. Dr. J at justinhealth.com or Evan at evanbrand.com and we’d love to help you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. I’ll put on some of the studies on fluoride as well than below and we’ll put some of the recommended products that we use for water filtration as well. All right Evan, good chat with you man. Hey everyone, have a phenomenal week and we’ll be back. Take care, you all. Take it easy. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

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Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/functional-medicine-strategies-to-help-improve-your-sleep-podcast-360

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Brand: You too man. Take care. 

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

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended products:

Dopa Replete Plus

Dopa Replete

Iodine Synergy

Thyro Replete

Adrenal Revive

Adrenal Boost

JIH Thyroid Advantage Panel

Dutch Adrenal Test

Heavy Metal Clear

Heavy Metal Test

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/why-do-i-have-low-motivation-functional-medicine-solutions-podcast-358

 

Why You Can’t Put On Muscle – Functional Medicine Solutions to Avoid Being Flabby | Podcast #357

For most people, Dr. J and Evan state that most of the end goal is to build muscle and tone up. While you may have done your research and watched plenty of workout videos online, many still make a variety of common mistakes that can lead to hampering gains and slowing down their progress.

It would help if you also had protein which contains amino acids, the compounds that help build and repair muscle tissue. While cardio is essential, too much of it can also harm you and possible lack of sleep. Moreover, Dr. J and Evan emphasize that monitoring your diet or food template is vital in the entire process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction

1:53 – The role of protein and diet in building muscles

5:31 – Helpful exercises to stimulate muscle building

12:12 – The gut connection of a flabby body

18:04 – The effect of too much sugar and carbohydrates in muscle growth

30:56 – Helpful strategies and lifestyle modifications to boost muscle growth


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Today, we’re gonna be talking about putting on muscle mass, how to avoid being flabby. We’re gonna be talk about digestion, exercise, being able to absorb and break down protein, also you can work on helping to be, you know, strong, functionally strong, lean, etc. we’re really excited to dive into today’s topic here. Evan, how you doing man?

Evan Brand: Yeah, doing really well and you guys asked for this. We didn’t just come up with this how not to be flabby topic. You guys said this during many so much consultation that Dr. J and I had done personally with people that’s what women say. So, were gonna address that. They say, “I’m flabby and I don’t want to be and what do I do about it?” And if you were to ask like a conventional weight trainer, bodybuilder type person, they’re gonna tell you to probably eat more calories and just work out more harder. And most of the people that have come to us, they’ve already been down that rabbit hole and they’re far more symptomatic and sicker than at the level of where they can just try to hit the gym harder and that’s really to me not the answer because I’m lean. I stay lean. Now, granted I’m not a 50- to 60-year-old woman that has this particular issue, but I don’t have any sort of issue to where I feel like I need to eat less. I don’t count. I don’t measure. I don’t think any of the women and men even listening or watching this, I don’t think you need to count, or measure or weigh. I mean this food obsession. Our ancestors didn’t do this. They’re not out in the past year in, you know, native American times looking at the bison and saying, “oh no, that’s my two ounces of beef, I gotta stop” or “my bison, I can’t go beyond that four-ounce portion that’s too much”. There’s deeper root causes like estrogenic compounds in the environment and mycotoxins that effect your leptin receptors and create this fat storage mode so there is some more modern toxin issues that hopefully we can dive into today.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. So, first thing out of the gates, we need to make sure we’re consuming enough protein. That’s really important. So, protein is essentially the building blocks to help out put on muscle and to keep our body strong and so what’s kind of the general sliding scale. Again, it depends upon how much you’re wanting to exercise, what your goals are right. So, as a female, you’re not gonna just be able to hit some lifting and then get overly bulky, it’s just not gonna happen. But, kind of general scale is about half a gram to one gram per pound of body weight is a pretty good rule of thumb so if you’re a guy like I’m six to 215 pounds, I would probably if I wanna really get bigger, I need to be doing at least 200, 230, you know, grams of protein per day, right? Typically, I’m at about .6 to like three quarters a gram per pound of body weight, so like maybe around 150 grams. I’m usually about 5 – 6 ounces of proteins per meal and so that’s kind of where I need to beat at one protein is very satiating, I’m making sure, I’m consuming fat with it, so, then it’s stabilizing blood sugar. It’s providing a lot of amino acids which are, you know, important for brain chemistry, blood sugar stability, mood. Also, adding fat with it which one fat tends to have good high-quality cholesterol from animal products, so, that provide building blocks for hormones, fat soluble vitamins, really good nutrients. And from there, your carbs are going to be dialed in based on your activity levels, that’s where more starch, if you’re more active, if you are pretty lean, you could probably handle more starch. If you’re carrying extra weight, you want to mitigate the starch, go lower on the starch and focus more on non-starchy vegetables, maybe a little bit of low sugar fruit and kind of time that up. The next thing is stimulus. You’re gonna need to more your muscles ideally and it’s not have to be a crazy amount. It depends on your goals are. If you’re just a woman then you wanna have your muscles just feel solid, that could be something like Pelatis, where you’re doing body weight or cable movements, you know, typically finding a movement where you could do about 12 to 15, as a female, reps, um, with maybe 1 – 2 reps the tank. And I like, 1 – 2 reps in the tank, just because it makes it so you’re probably gonna hurt yourself. The more skilled you are, the more you can go right to failure, that’s better. The less skilled you are with the movement, if you don’t have a good trainer watching you, you know, probably leaving one to two reps in the tank will help prevent you getting injured. But, just recommend starting with push-ups with good full-range push-ups. I like having a borrowed push-up because I can go deeper which is great, my face won’t hit the ground, right, so I can go deeper, go all the way down and then go all the way up, so full range. Here, you can get a TRX which is a suspension trainer, put it in the door jam, I have one over here in my gym and you can do a full range pull so you’re working in the push, pull, and of course you can also do, uh, Lat pulldowns like this, or hands facing to you, so pull up, chin ups in the face, do more of the Lats, yeah, chin ups, more Lats, pull up is gonna be more biceps. So, you’re working, trying to work every single range that comes at you and ideally with the pull up you could get some elastic bands that hook around your bar and that go around your knee that gives you that little extra push. So, the key is just to find simple movements that you can do to failure plus or minus 1 or 2 reps in the tank. That’s a really good stimulus out of the gates and the next thing is really dialing in the protein, so we talked about amounts there and then we can go other things like digestion and other gut issues that could be impairing that protein absorption later on. 

Evan Brand: So, I can hear a woman saying, “you’re nuts, I’m not gonna do a pull-up, there’s no way I can do a push up, I’m not anywhere close to that fitness level”. And I would say, if you’re not, if you do have access to a gym, if you’re into a gym, I’m not anymore, I used to have a gym membership, I don’t need it anymore, I’ve got a good setup at home, so I feel like I’m great without it. But if you were to have access to a gym even for 10 bucks a month. There’s a lot of good ones like planet fitness that are out there now to where you can do some of these assisted like, uh, type exercises where they have assisted pull-ups or they have like assisted, uh, dips where you have weight that literally pushes you. It like, if you weigh 200 you add 50 pounds that it’ll make you feel like you weigh 150 and you can start there. So, you’re really starting with like a negative weight of your true weight. So those machines are available if you could feel like you’re just so out of shape, you can’t even do one push-up or one pull. And you can just go on your knees too, I mean you could start out push-ups on your knees as needed. You gotta find people, where they’re at. So, if you’re like, ‘man I’m too discouraged, I can’t do a freaking pull-up, I give up, I’m not doing anything’, you don’t have that attitude about it and if you could have one piece of equipment, I mean, I gotta say I love the row machine, I’m glad you got one too. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The roller is lovely machine.   

Evan Brand: It works your legs, it works your arms, it works your backs, works your arms, your traps. I mean if I could take one thing to an island, some are gonna argue with kettlebell, which probably is more functional, but in terms of enjoyment, I gotta say, I really enjoy and love the rower and I still think, there’s a place for kettlebells and dumbbells, I mean those are awesome, universal things. But for women, that and, and I just know this based on personal experience. Maybe younger females are not gonna be turned away. But I can tell you, if I try to take a kettlebell to a 70-year-old woman, she’s not gonna be interested in swinging that thing around. She’s gonna be worried about hurting her back or swinging the wrong way and it’s a lot more intimidating than sitting down and just simply rowing. So, this is hard to give one universal prescription because there’s different people listening, but I would say rower is very easy, low impact on your joints and not intimidating at all.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and then what’s the name of the rower that we have? 

Evan Brand: It’s called a concept 2. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Concept 2. Yeah. I think I have the D. You have the D as well? 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I think, yeah. I think the D is, there’s a little different but yeah concept 2-D, it’s a rower. It’s vey very sturdy. You get what you paid for. So, it’s around a thousand bucks but it’s worth it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s worth it, you could stand it up, so it saves a lot of space too. Yeah, I like that more for my interval stuff, so I’ll do a 30 sec on, 20 sec off, I’ll do eight sets of that. That’s gonna be more of like high intensity, just really good cardio interval stuff. I like that, just for keeping metabolism up, keeping the body a little bit leaner and more functional. I like the fact that you’re doing something that’s on the cardio side that’s putting you more into extension like this and you’re using your hamstrings to pull yourself as you slide right back and forward, you’re using a lot of your hamstrings and then a lot of the back where a lot of cardio stuff like, you know, whether it’s a bike or you’re on Peloton or you’re on elliptical, you kind of hunched over in this flexion position. I love the fact that you’re opening things up and extension. So, I like that. That’s good. That’s definitely on the cardio side. Now, like Evan talked about earlier like, easiest thing out of the gates a TRX suspension trainer is great because you can just change the angle in which you’re at so like, if here’s the suspension trainer hanging, and if I’m like at this position, this is going to be, meaning I’m flat with the ground, I’m like a 90 degrees angle from that suspension trainer, that’s gonna be the hardest. So, you can always just change it so you’re at 45 degrees or less. It’s like the equivalent of like kneeling or doing a wall push up, right, the angle is less, um, less perpendicular, therefore you’re gonna have less force, so you can always just do a TRX trainer and just change the angle so that push up or pull up is gonna be less and then in between you can also even do cables, whether you have cables at a gym or you can get some flexible bands that either wrap around like, um, like let’s say, I have a big, um, squat bar, so I’d wrap it around that and so it would be behind me like this and I would do pushes like this where I could do pulls like that, that’s great. Just, if you’re wearing, if you’re doing cables, if it’s not fully secure, I do recommend wearing safety class. People have gotten those things that have snapped and hit you in the eye, you can get some safety ones that like have like a little protective, I wanna say, like a wrapper around the cable. So, if it does break, the wrapper prevents it from whacking you in the eye. Does that make sense? So protective band or really kind of a safety-based cable that’s not gonna break, um, if it does it won’t whack you. So those are good options for you out of the gates for stimulus, because you need to have the stimulus, right? Push, pull, right, pull in the vertical motion, you can even do a row in that motion, uh, you can do hip extension movement which is the easiest thing there is gonna be like a kettlebell swing, that’s gonna be easy or some type of a deadlift, right, it’s gonna be really an easy one there out of the gates. Anything else you wanna say about just the lifting? I recommend just, kind of, keep it simple. Do primal movements that are just gonna one put resistance in that plane of motion and just work within that, plus or minus, you know, 1 – 2 reps of failure. So, you’re not gonna hurt yourself but you also feel a little bit fatigued the next day. 

Evan Brand: Well, just simply moving throughout the day, I mean a lot of people are listening right now, they’re sitting at an office chair, they’re sitting in their car, you and I are both standing up, right now and we both do stand and sit. Sometimes, I’ll put my desk on the very lowest setting to where I’ll just literally be on one knee, like proposing and I will work on one knee for a little while. So, you and I are doing something very unnatural and many people are listening, we’re looking at screens and we’re, um, in a box working on a computer and so that’s very unnatural. So, I try to counteract that as best as I can by trying to either do the row machine on my lunch break and go from sitting to standing to kneeling and just try to do these positions. So, people listening, I’m not saying you gotta stand all day, I did that for a while, they hurt my back, so I think too much of one thing is not good either and if you’re a woman you’re in an office and you’ve got high heels shoes on, you’re trying to do it, obviously take your shoes off, try to go barefoot, you can get a really good like silicone, like rubber mat that they use for like washing dishes at the same time. Yeah, like an anti-fatigue mat, I mean, I would do something like that. These are the simple strategies. Now, would it be more optimal to be out in the sunshine all day, mostly skin exposed grounded, walking the beach 2miles a day and eating grass-fed meat all day and you know having, you know, handsome men, like wave banana leaves and keep you cool. That’d be awesome but people still have to work so I think you’ve got to work in some of these functional strategies with your normal real life. And then let’s go into the more, I guess you would call it nuance but really more of the deeper root causes because I’ve had people lose 50 to 75 pounds by changing nothing in regards to diet and nothing in regards to fitness. These were people that were relatively active. These were people that already had their diet dialed in, they were mostly animal based good quality meats, doing fine on the protein and the fats but they had these other root cause issues and I’d say that the first place would be to go is the gut and you and I have talked about this in other aspects but in other podcasts too but the gut can really be a big place where you gonna become flabby and this is really due to the recirculation of toxins, when you have bacterial growth in your gut, which is an extremely common thing, this is not rare. When you have a bacterial overgrowth, in general, that can create an elevation of what’s called Beta-glucuronidase, which is an enzyme that’s gonna cause you to recirculate hormones and so, you have this personal trainer beating you up and you’re not making progress. If you don’t look at this marker and you don’t fix the gut, you’re likely not gonna have many results and the personal trainer is gonna take it personal. They’re gonna try to hit you harder, they’re gonna try to kill you and I’ve heard this before when women are literally dropping out of fitness classes because the instructor’s just beating, beating, beating and it’s like that’s the definition of insanity. So, you got to get this root causes. If you’ve got this recirculation of these hormones and or toxins like mycotoxins, I don’t care how hard you hit the CrossFit, you’re not gonna get the results that you want. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And also, just if the fats over that muscle, you’re gonna feel a little bit flabby even though the muscle underneath is getting a little bit stronger. So, you know, I always recommend getting your micronutrients dialed in, getting your carbohydrates in check so you’re not overdoing it, uh, because the more carbohydrates you make, the more insulin, the more you’re gonna be storing your fuel as fat. And again, the more your metabolism is higher, you’re more ectomorphic, you’re leaner naturally, you can handle more carbohydrates, right? The goal is that we individualize things for each person because, you know, we talk about low carb or keto, some people don’t need to do that and some people can be keto and much higher levels of carbohydrates. Some people can be ketogenic at 100 grams, for 200 grams of carbohydrates a day based on their activity and their metabolism. Some needs to be like minus 20 or 30 net. So, everyone’s a little bit different, I think that’s the important. There’s some individuality there. I would say the next thing is we, um, if you’re a female, it’s really important, menopause can really throw women’s metabolism off. If there’s low thyroid or Hashimoto’s that can really throw metabolism off. So, if you’re struggling, you’re having a hard time, we have to look at your thyroid function, look at your T3, your thyroid levels, look at antibodies, make sure that’s under control. If progesterone and estrogen is very low especially estriol and progesterone that can affect muscle building. Progesterone is really important for collagen and elasticity formation. It’s part of the reason why women get a lot of varicose veins is low progesterone, which has a major effect on the elasticity of the veins. So very important there. And then I would also say, um, toxin exposure, right? If you have lots of estrogen, if your estrogen dominant from birth control pills or estrogen from meats or milks or soy, that can put you in more of a fat storing mode because these hormones produce more fat and then guess what your fat also has an exocrine function in regards to producing estrogen. The fatter you get then the more fat you get and the more estrogen your fat cells produce. It’s just like downward spiral that just kind of, is a positive feedback loops that gets worse and worse as you go along. So, you really have to look at toxins in meat, pesticides which are all hormone-based, drugs that are gonna have estrogens in it, birth control pills, etc., milks, plastics, eating your foods out of plastic especially plastics that you’re warming things up on or you’re letting UV light hit, definitely not a good thing out of the gates.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said on the thyroid too and your personal trainer is likely not testing your thyroid, so obviously, that’s were gonna be doing. And then also you know, we have a lot of experience with fitness. So, we try to educate people and give fitness plans and advice where we can there. And, I think the big people are skipping the foundational pieces. I mean, it’s fine if you just want to sign up for a class and try to get active but really, I would say, get some of these labs run first. Get your gut looked at so we can see what type of bacterial overgrowth you have, as I mentioned this is an epidemic problem. This is not a rare situation and the gut can be one of the big wrenches in your gears. That’s not allowing you to lose the weight properly and like I said, have people literally lose 75 pounds, just by fixing some of these strategies like fixing digestion. Now, for some people it could go to the other way. Some of these issues with females, it’ll cause weight loss and they’re having issues with getting muscle back, you know, building it back. And so, it depends on where you’re at. Some, they lose muscle and they still have body fat but they’re thin they’re like a skinny fat, they call it, you know, you could have a woman who’s five foot two and she’s 140lbs. And then all of a sudden, she gets sick, loses weight, now she’s 120 but she still looks flabby. That could just be because she lost that muscle due to malabsorption due to these infections like H. pylori. You and I’ve talked about the story of me where I lost 25 pounds without trying, I didn’t really have much weight to lose, but I got super skinny due to my gut infections and so it took me literally several years to build the muscle back but the first step to building back was to get rid of the gut infections and then still working on detox. I had a ton of mold toxin issues and that really screwed up my metabolism to where I was very hungry like 2 – 3 hours, I’d have to eat and no matter if it was a grass-fed steak or what. And now, I could literally go from 7am to 1pm without food and I feel like perfectly fine. I feel satiated, my brain works better, I have more mental clarity, so a lot of it’s the as you mentioned. It’s the blood sugar involvement too so you have to fix that.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% So like the big checklist out of the gates is don’t do too much carbohydrates. Too much carbohydrate, too much sugar will make you a little bit flabby whether it’s through cortisol, whether it’s through inflammation, oxidative stress. Of course, if you’re eating a lot more carbs, right, you’re not really getting enough protein typically, right? Unless, you are someone who’s higher metabolism and really making sure proteins and carbs are dialed in and you’re doing a lot of activity. Most people, they do too much carbs too much sugar, they tend to not be getting enough protein. So, half of your body weight in grams is usually pretty decent out of the gates and then you can go up to one gram per pound of body weight depending on how active you are. So, some are gonna be good, most women are gonna be good, somewhere between a half to maybe two-thirds to three-quarters. And a lot of male people that wanna get really big, they may want to be one gram per pound of body weight. That’s kind of a good sliding scale. 

Evan Brand: Now, in the beginning, I was saying I don’t think people need to count, measure, weigh and then now you’re giving numbers so I just want to clarify kind of where I am with it. I think you can and should, to get a ballpark of where you’re at based on your meals but you should not be obsessing about it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I keep it really simple, right? And so, what is, um, what is about four ounces of protein is gonna be about 25 – 30 grams of protein, right?  And so, for most women, that’s gonna be about a palm to a fist size. And so, when you looking at, picking up, you know, you’re serving yourself a meal, it’s very simple, you know, there’s no weighing or measuring, you’re just kind of like what is about a palm to a fist size in regards to my hand, in regards to that serving of protein on the plate and you just scoop yourself up that amount anyway and that’s your amount. So, there’s no real crazy amount of weighing or measuring, it’s just kind of eyeballing kind of your own anatomy comparatively to what’s on the plate, and that’s usually a pretty good rule of thumb. And you know you did pretty, pretty good it’s because you’re gonna feel satiated after that meal, you’re going to eat about 10 minutes after you finished eating. The goal is we want to feel satiated enough where we can go 4 – 5 hours to the next meal. So, that’s kind of give you enough. We’re not pulling on a scale. We’re not having to measure but you got to know that like in the end, if you’re eating enough, well, what does that really mean? You ate some size amount. What is that size? It’s probably gonna be between 3 and 5 ounces of protein on average and then you can just use your hand as a good frame of reference when you’re serving yourself up. Keep it simple. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Thanks for clarifying that because I said a lot of people, they’re just so brainwashed from conventional dieting and stuff and they get freaked out about food. They have like a PTSD of food portioning and all that and they think they have to do that. And you don’t and once you get clued in with your satiety signals. It’s so easy, you don’t need to think about it and. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a good frame of reference, right? Because in the end, you’ve gotta serve yourself up something. How do you know to serve yourself up this much versus this much, right? You know, usually, you know, 3 – 6 ounces, 3 – 5 ounces would be pretty good. So, like for a guy, right, I’m 6 – 10-ish, right? I have bigger hands to like I may serve protein amounts the size of my hound. So, go between a palm to a palm, to a fist to a full hand is usually that frame of reference. The more active you are, the more stressed you are, the more act, you know, the more you’re doing exercise, move to a protein amount the size of your full hand. The less active you are, you can go to that palm size. And if you just starting out like you’re coming on board like being like a vegan vegetarian where there’s not a lot of protein. Start with a quarter palm then kind of work your way up. And again, if you have problems with your protein, it typically means you have low hydrochloric acid, low enzymes and you have to really work with a good functional medicine person to get your HCl and enzymes up and you may have H. pylori and SIBO and other bacterial imbalances that are impending your digestion so you have to look deeper if those symptoms come up. It’s not the protein, it’s the fact that your digestive system is weaker and cannot tolerate the protein. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. A lot of people blame the meat, ‘oh, I feel bad when I eat meat, so I’m not gonna eat meat’. It’s like, no. That’s, you’re supposed to be doing that. Like, I have a client the other day that was in South Dakota, super strict vegan. And I’m like, ‘okey how dedicated are you to being vegan?’. Like, well, they’re totally like, ‘I’m total dedicated’. Like, okay, so if let’s just role play, I was like, ‘okay, if there were no planes, no trains, no buses, no semi-tracks and it’s the middle of February and there’s a foot of snow on the ground in South Dakota, are you gonna be able to stick to your diet?’ The answer is ‘no way’. I’m like, ‘what would you be eating that’s in the landscape?’ Animals. So, we don’t have to turn into that podcast but I just want people to know, how important these things are. They really do help stabilize blood sugar. Could you make vegetarian vegan diets work? Maybe, if you try really, really hard. But that’s a whole other podcast. Let’s go back to the mycotoxin piece for a minute because something we’re seeing is something called Zearalenone, which is highly, highly estrogenic mycotoxin and it comes from a mold Fusarium which grows in water damaged buildings. Now, you will get exposed to some of this from moldy contaminated grains but I would say that vast majority, 90% of it, I would estimate is probably from buildings meaning whether your mother had mold and passed it in utero and if you are breastfed, if you went to moldy daycare as a kid, moldy elementary, middle, high school, moldy homeschool, moldy college, moldy dorm, moldy office building. I mean this is an epidemic problem. I see it literally every single day, all day and Zearalenone really screws up your estrogen, actually far more than soy. It’s way more estrogenic than soy. So, we do talk about, you know, the pitfalls of doing like soy protein and that kind of thing. But man, Zearalenone will screw you up way more than soy protein. And this is something you have to use binders to pull it out of the system. So, if you’re struggling with weight loss, you are having these estrogen dominant symptoms. Maybe, you’ve worked on the hormone piece, but you’re still struggling. Maybe you’ve implemented something like calcium D-Glucarate to work on that glucuronidation pathway but you’re still suffering, you may need to look into this and we measure this via urine. So, this is where, like you mentioned, a good work-up comes in handy. We’re gonna do urine, we’re gonna do stool as needed. We can look into these different body systems and find the dysfunction but this is the real root cause, functional medicine strategy to have lean muscle mass and lose body fat. And unfortunately, this is a very, very not talked about discussion. You and I talked before we hit record, there’s a lot of talking heads on the internet. People that will say this study says that and this study says that but none of them are actually doing the clinical work and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if we didn’t get results. And we get results because we’re running the right labs, we’re doing the right root cause strategy which is getting these toxins out of the system. And I’ve seen it in children as young as five, I’ve seen it in two, three, four-year-old. I’ve seen it in my own kids, we tested their urine and see mycotoxins. So, this is a problem that it does affect kids. Now, you know, obesity in children usually there is diet issues but I have seen in some cases, I have a lady in New York, her 8-year-old was basically eating paleo but she was obese and she had extremely high levels of Zearalenone. Luckily for this little girl, we were able to do binders, she was able to swallow pills which was great because it made it easier and boom this kid lost weight, she didn’t change anything with diet. She just detoxed. So, honestly with so much toxins that we’re up against, I would say detox support for life is really how I approach the conversational people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, if you’re in a moldy home, you know definitely get your home tested. If you have a lot of mold toxins out of the gate, you know, it depends on kind of where you’re at. If there’s an active mold stress in the environment, I typically recommend work on getting your digestion, your diet, your inflammation dialed in. If there’s no active mold in your environment and then work on dealing with mold detoxification once you have more stability with all your other organ systems and immune function. So, it just depends upon where you’re coming from. If you have like active mold in your environment, that’s the easiest way to detoxify out of the gates is to get the environment kind of more dialed in and we have a podcast on that topic that we can put in the links down below. Evan, anything else you want to highlight for the listeners? So, I mean digestion is really important, HCl, enzymes, bacterial overgrowth, poor digestion, we talked about getting enough protein and again we thought you kind of talked about measuring not measuring but just kind of using your own anatomy as frame of reference because you have to serve yourself anyway in regards to what you’re eating. So, it just gives you a good frame of reference that you know how much to give and then ideally enough so you feel full and that you’ll last about 4 to 5 hours. Now, if you’re working with trainers out of the gates, do enough where you feel sore not overly sore, the next day or two make sure you walk out of the gym feeling more energized than when you started. Make sure you can emotionally repeat what you are doing, you’re not emotionally exasperated and then also that next day or that later on that day. If it’s a morning workout, make sure you don’t feel run over by a bus, make sure you’re doing just enough where your body can adapt to. It’s all about adaptation, can you adapt to it, from it, can you feel better then afterwards. And again, if you’re doing a brand-new movement, you may feel a little bit sore and it’s a new movement so just, you know, try to keep that in the back of your head too.  

Evan Brand: And, if you can’t recover then there’s probably some level of mitochondrial dysfunction. We’re also gonna look at that, if we look at chemical profile testing, there’s a marker there. If we look at organic acids, we can look at mitochondria there. So, for me, after I got exposed to mold, I would tell you, my performance and my recovery was terrible. I mean, I used to recover in like a day or two. It was like 3 days, I was still sore, I was like, man, this is not right. Once I got the mitochondria working better, retested, look at it, I confirmed, hey, that was directly correlated. And we’ve talked about this I think briefly before but the issue of bacterial overgrowth and that producing high levels of lactic acid so you could have a high baseline level of lactic acid which creates this soreness even just from the overgrowth in your gut. So, we’ll have a woman that’ll say, ‘oh my God. I’m sore and I haven’t done anything, all I done was go in the garden, why am I so damn sore’. Their bucket was already so full due to the gut infection. So, fix that, test it, and fix it. The last thing I was gonna say was on the environment, which is that you can’t get well in a sick environment. So, whether that’s bad lighting, LED lighting, try to use incandescent bulbs, like half natural lights, like I’m surrounded by a bunch of windows. Getting that bright light exposure to help regulate your cortisol rhythm, making sure you’re using twilight or some other app at night on your phone, if you’re doing blue light at night, because we know that blue light can make you fat through various mechanisms affecting glucose and cortisol making sure your detoxing making sure you’re not wearing synthetic fragrance, I mean there’s so many people we asked this on the intake form. Do you use scented products? I will tell you, I’m very surprised how many people are seeking out natural functional medicine and they still use scented laundry detergent, dryer sheets. All these synthetic fragrances, they can affect your hormones and they’re not good. They are bad toxins. They’re endocrine disruptors. So, go free and clear. It’s not expensive, every mainstream brand has a free and clear unscented version. So, implement that easily. You don’t want to be wearing endocrine disruptors on your clothes all day, you’re already exposed to those. If you go out, even to Chipotle, which I think is one of the best places you could go if you have to eat out. Even their bowls have those non-stick chemicals in there. So, you’re getting exposed to toxins even if you’re not trying, the last thing you want to do is wear those and put your husband or your kids in those clothes. So, go fragrance free please. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And also, by the way, you know, if you show up to the store like my wife got Thai the other day. I went and picked it up for and they like scooped it and put it in like, like this hot coconut, you know, curry in a plastic container. So, I recommend, if you can, you know, keep a Pyrex container in your car, so if you go out to these places, literally bring your own glass Pyrex. Hey, can you please put it in this. 

Evan Brand: They might. They might comply. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve done it before. I’ve done it with Thai a lot of times because it’s so hot so I’ll just bring it but like hey can you please have the cook put it in this place. 

Evan Brand: That’s awesome. I travel with my own. We travel with our own, you know water bottles, we’ll bring our own stainless-steel cups everywhere we go. So, we’re not drinking water that’s gonna be contaminated with small amounts of pesticide and herbicide and pharmaceutical drugs. You can look up the environmental working group. For people listening, type in, EWG water report. You can put in your zip code. Here in Kentucky, where I am, we have certain chemicals in the water hundreds of times higher than the safe levels that are all highly carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors. So, this is not just, we’re being picky, no, the water in tap water is toxic. So, you need to travel with filtered water and you’re saving your gut. We know that parts per billion of glyphosate damages good bacteria which creates bacterial overgrowth. So, unfortunately it has become more complicated to become healthy. Have you seen those memes, I’m sure you have of like a bunch of skinny people at the beach in the 1960s and all the obese people in the 2020s at the beach and it’s like ‘what happened? ‘. And there was a lot less of that toxic exposure back then than now.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there was also carbohydrates too, I mean there was no trans fat back then. If you look at carbohydrates, if you look at, like, the macronutrients per decade, proteins relatively flat, you’ll see fat drop and you’ll see carb increase. So really, it’s a lot more carbs, a lot less good fat. So, of course, good healthy saturated fats, I mean up until 1988, McDonalds have beef tallow, up until the uh, I think it’s the CSPA whatever one of these vegan groups came in and wanted soybean oil which just disastrous, I mean if you had reasonably non-GMO free, um, potatoes in some beef tallow that’s amazing, that’s actually not even that bad. Um, but they changed it to soy in ’88 so you have a lot more processed vegetable oils, omega-6 that just really damaged, uh, that gets into your cell membrane and really toxifies your cell membrane, and it takes years to come out. So, make sure, you’re consuming really good high quality animal saturated fats and if you’re doing, you know, monounsaturated to keep it like avocado, keep it to high quality cold pressed olive oil and try to get at least half of your fats from high quality saturated fats. That’s important. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. The oils are, men, we can do, let’s do a whole like oil special but in general the seed oils and all that are no good. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you guys enjoyed today’s podcast, let us know. Put it in the notes. Put it in the description, please give us a share with your friends or family, also give us a like and a thumbs up that helps the search algorithm. And if you wanna reach out to Evan, head over to evanbrand.com. There’ll be a link where you can click and work with Evan. Head over to my site, justinhealth.com. I’m Dr. J, we’ll put links down below. If you’re gonna work with us, we are available worldwide. We work with a wide variety of patients from the young, from the old, females, men, etc. A lot of hormone issues, a lot of gut issues, a lot of toxicity issues that’s our specialty. We’re here to help you out and if you want to support us, we’ll put down the links below to different products that we recommend in regards to today’s podcast. Evan, anything else?

Evan Brand: Yeah. Last thing I would say, so many people have already tried everything and been to everybody and seen many, many people before they come to us, so I’m not bragging about that but it just happens to be that you and I are the people who are working with people generally somewhere close to the end of their rope and that puts a lot of pressure on us clinically to make sure that we get good results and we come through with that and you can read hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of 5 star of our clinic reviews, not just the podcast reviews but the clinic reviews too. So, I encourage people that if you’re like, ‘oh God could these guys really help, I don’t know I’ve already seen this person and that person. I’ve seen a lot of people do what was called functional and was not functional like, ‘oh I went to this integrative doctor’ and she ran one blood test for the hormones and that was it, like that’s not a functional protocol. I’m sorry. You didn’t get anywhere close to the functional workup that they’re claiming. So, functional is becoming this marketing term but there’s so many people that are not truly doing that. And I want to just encourage you and give you inspiration that we’re doing the real deal here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Really appreciate it. All right guys, if you enjoy it, thumbs up comments below. We’re here to help. Have a good one you all. We will be back again. Take care. 

Evan Brand: See you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye-bye 

Evan Brand: Bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended Products:

TruePaleo Protein Chocolate

TuePaleo Protein Vanilla

TruePea Protein

Genova NutrEval FMV

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/why-you-cant-put-on-muscle-functional-medicine-solutions-to-avoid-being-flabby-podcast-357

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s an antioxidant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Exactly!

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

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

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

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: And so, every..

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

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

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

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yes. You mean sprouting?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Exactly. Yep. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The alkaloids 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Okay. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Bernd Friedlander: Yeah. berndfriedlander.com

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


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.drberndfriedlander.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/dr-bernd-friedlander-immune-support-extend-life-span-best-supplement-perfect-diet-podcast-353

Recommended products:

Immuno Supreme

Thyro Replete

Iodine Synergy

 

 

The Gut Anxiety Connection | Podcast #352

How do your emotions get affected by your gut state? In this video, Dr. J and Evan talk about anxiety and stress as an example and how we can manage them based on evidence-based practice. Excessive worry and stress can worsen GI problems, and studies show that treatments and good food templates will help people cope with their GI symptoms.

Dr. J and Evan clarify that the brain immediately affects the gut. For example, the thought of eating can stimulate the release of the stomach’s juices before food gets there and vice versa. A sick intestine can alert the brain, just as a troubled brain can alert the stomach and intestines. Therefore, a person’s intestine and stomach distress may cause or be the product of stress, anxiety, or depression. It’s because the gastrointestinal (GI) system and the brain are intimately connected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 –   Introduction
2:21 –  The Importance of Gut Microbiome
4:21 –  The Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health
8:43 –  Strategies on how to Approach Adverse Reactions to Probiotics
15:13 – Potential Neural Marker in Anxiety Disorders

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For the podcast, really excited. Evan and I are gonna be chatting about the gut-anxiety connection. A lot of people have mood issues, uh, mental, emotional issues and they’re connected to the gut. And most people unless you have bloating gas, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, they’re not really connecting any gut issues to their mood especially anxiety. So, we’re gonna try to connect the dots for everyone here today. Evan, how are we going today man? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well, you know, I’ll start out by saying if you were to go to a conventional doctor and the referral for anxiety or depression to a psychiatrist, they’re never gonna consider the gut. They’re never gonna run a stool test or an organic acids test or a mold toxin test. There’s a study done on mice and mice that were exposed to various mold toxins. They have lower levels of dopamine and we know people with lower dopamine, they could be more apathetic, they could be more depressed, they could just be less excited for the world and although the organic acids doesn’t measure GABA, we can tell just based on symptoms, like easily stressed, hard to relax, you need alcohol to calm yourself down or maybe you need chocolate to self-medicate. We know these people probably have low GABA and GABA is the breaks of the brain. At least, that’s how I refer to it. Think of the GABA as being able to inhibit or slow down the sympathetic overdrive and GABA is going to calm that and increase that parasympathetic reaction. Now, the connection is to gut, well, we know, there’s a paper here we pull up just because we like to have a couple studies, there’s one titled, “Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health: The Gut-Brain Axis”. Long story short, the study backs up, what we’ve already known and you and I have been doing clinically for a long time, which is that we’re fixing dysbiosis because we’re finding that when you increase levels of lactobacillus, this is key in producing GABA and so that’s pretty interesting and the study goes on to talk about the different inflammatory pathways and how dysbiosis creating inflammatory proteins in the gut. That’s gonna also affect anxiety. So, dysbiosis alone that’s sounds crazy to some, maybe to mental health physicians but if you have gut overgrowth problems, that could be the biggest single smoking gun for you mood issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% because the gut microbiome very important. It helps modulate the immune system. So god healthy levels of beneficial bacteria, Bifidolactobacterium, Lactobacillus beneficial flora. They’re gonna actually, help modulate the immune system, they’re gonna help with permeability, keeping gut permeability down. They’re gonna help with inflammation reduction. They’re gonna keep the inflammation down. They also help, um, take mold toxins that you may get exposed to and make them less virulent, less strong, less inflammatory as well and then also beneficial bacteria are gonna synthesize nutrients based on the food coming in, so it’s gonna take your poop and it’s gonna take poop and convert it to nutrition versus dysbiotic bacteria is gonna take you poop and make things take your nutrients and make you more toxic, right? So, we wanna really get high levels of nutrition and you’re gonna get endogenous production through health gut bacteria, like vitamin K, different B vitamins, you’re gonna get some fermentation acids that actually make it harder for a lot of bad stuff to grow. So, this is kind of important starting place and if you look at some of the medications that are coming out for more mood stuff, some of the mechanisms seem to be more of an anti-inflammatory on the brain. That’s very interesting because we know, the mechanisms in the past have been kind of SSRI or tricyclics in the 80s and 90s or SNRI, right. These different kinds of medications of course, you have benzodiazepines that work on GABA and the different GABA agonist, right. So, now, we’re working on inflammation and we gotta be careful because we had some inflammatories natural, not natural but anti-inflammatories in the early 2000s, they called, that was called Vioxx that killed 60,000 people. So, we gotta be careful because when you, uh, use a lot of pharmaceuticals anti-inflammatories there could be side effects and I imagine if it’s on mood and the brain, you could see strokes and things like that. So, we gotta be careful. So, we try to use as many natural components foundationally with diet and supplements. First, because of the least likelihood to cause problems. 

Evan Brand: Wow. That’s insane. Well, you and I talked about the impact of exercise on anxiety before, we’ve covered that. We know that exercise is a super potent antidepressant. Here’s something cool about the gut in this particular paper. I put it in the chat for you if you wanted it, but it talks about how Lactobacillus strains upregulated BDNF, which is the brain derived neurotrophic factor and that resulted in increased regulation of the HPA axis. Let me just read the last part again because that’s pretty nuts. Supplemental Lactobacillus increase the regulation of the HPA axis, so here we are working with people using adaptogenic herbs but let it, but the cool thing is we’re actually fixing the adrenals by fixing the gut too, which is amazing and then it goes on further to talk about supplementing with Bifidobacteria and how the patients in the study rated an overall happier mood using six dimension of mood including: energetic, uh, composed versus anxious, elated versus depressed, clearheaded versus muddled, confident versus unsure, and agreeable versus angry. So, long story short, this actually improved the HPA axis functionality, as well as diazepam, or there’s another one here citalopram, that’s an anti-depressant, that’s an SSRI so long story short, this is pretty nuts. Probiotic therapy reduces the depressive symptoms and improve the HPA axis as well as an SSRI. So, there you freaking go. And here’s one more thing, Bifido infantis increases tryptophan, a serotonin precursor. So, we always talk about, okay get tryptophan in the diet but simply the good bacteria can actually make tryptophan, which then makes serotonin and GABA. This stuff is just amazing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I put the study up on screen. So, anyone watching this video here could take a look at it again. If you are listening to audio, we put the video link down below. If you guys want to look, this in the journal clinical practice 2017: Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health. And I’ll just gonna read that conclusion again. Dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression, which are prevalent in society today. Probiotics have the ability to restore normal microbial balance, therefore, have a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression. It gets really powerful there. And again, that’s only one of many things. Now, um, just to comment, I see a lot of people that get their mood worse when they have some of these things too. So, what’s the deal? Well, probiotics can be high in histamine and they be high in FODMAP. So, if you have a lot, if your immune system is so wound up, the histamine from these probiotics may cause problems, also the fermentable nature of these probiotics may cause problems, if you have SIBO. So, if you have massive bacterial overgrowth or your immune system is so wound up, when you can’t process histamine or you’re sensitive to histamine then you have to be careful with these things. So, even though we say, this is good, it doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone. So, we’re just trying to lay out, hey, it maybe good for you but if it’s not, here’s maybe the reason why and we just have to dig in deeper and so there’s really no just magic solution. There’s a lot of tools that we kind of line out and we go in sequential order and work them through with our patients to get the best results possible. 

Evan Brand: I’m so glad, you went that direction with the conversation because me listening to myself as a third person, I’m thinking, oh my God, I need to go out and buy probiotics right now and I’m gonna just feel happier and less anxious and all that. And that certainly was not the case for me when I had gut infections and I tried probiotics, it made me worse, it made my skin worse, it made mood worse, I got more anxious, and what the hell is going on. Well, as you mentioned, there’s a sequential order so I love that and this is why it’s important for you to do, and for I to do what I do because you and I are seeing these things clinically and the trenches is totally different versus somebody with a health podcast. They could look at this study and they could do a whole podcast about this, and then they could trick people not on purpose but just not having the clinical background, they could look at this and go, oh my God, probiotics are gonna be the miracle cure and then people are gonna listen to the podcast, they’re gonna do it and then they’re not gonna have a good reaction like me and they’re not gonna know what to do. So, I’m so glad that you’re integrating the clinical approach to this thing which is wait a second, yes, this is all true but there’s an asterisk next to this study and the asterisk as you mentioned is what if there’s bacterial overgrowth and the histamine bucket’s already so full or what if a mold or a mast cell has problem and the histamine bucket is already so full, so you can’t tolerate these probiotics. So, maybe walk us through what you’re doing, what do you suggest people do if they’ve had a reaction like that to probiotics, maybe they didn’t do it at the right order, or how should they approach this?  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the first thing we have to really do is just calm down the immune system and the biggest factors that we have to do that is the food that’s coming into our body. So really, choosing a good anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense whole foods and, and if we know that there’s a lot of digestive issues, bloating gas, we may have to restrict FODMAPs and fermentables out of the gate to kind of decrease the dysbiosis.  Because when we address like gut microbiome issues, we hit in three ways, right, we starve it, we kill it, we crowd it out. So, starve, kill, crowd, starve, kill, crowd. And so, the first aspect of that is shifting the foods to starve some of these microbiomes that maybe bad and then again it’s gonna be short-lived, we’re not gonna, we don’t wanna go low FODMAP forever, right, because there’s a lot of good foods that have FODMAPs in it and even histamine in it. So, there’s no reason, we’d want to do that but, in the beginning, if we can shift the immune system, calm it down, if we can shift some of the microbes down and then as we start adding different things in supporting our ability to break down food, start adding in adrenal support because when our nervous system is just stuck and our vagus nerve and our parasympathetics are low and our ‘fight or flight’ is high, our immune system is gonna be, it’s gonna be overly sensitive, okay. It’s gonna be overly sensitive and we’re also gonna have poor digestion and when we have more poor digestion, we’re gonna have gut permeabilty issues, we’re gonna break down our food and we’re gonna  have more of these foods in our gut get into the bloodstream and stimulate the immune system in a negative way. And so, if can calm down that immune response through decreasing our sympathetic nervous system whether it’s breathing techniques just good diet and lifestyle, good food, managing blood sugar throughout the day, not over under exercising, good hydration. All of those things are kind of, you know, the foundational marks, that we put as we work up a patient. So, we have that foundation there. 

Evan Brand: Here’s the question that came in from Keith, he said, “what are your thoughts in taking colostrum for gut health? We use colostrum but as you mentioned in that in immune situation, we might not want to use colostrum. I’ve had some people, where their immune system is so just haywire that colostrum does affect them. It’s not super common but there are some cases where we can’t use it and so in that case, we may be coming in with more herbal based leaky gut supports DGL, glutamine, zinc, carnosine, more amino acids  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: amino acids, nutrients. Yeah, I mean colostrum, because it comes from a cow, right? It’s gonna be, more dairy based. Supposedly, colostrum is dairy free meaning, you’re not gonna get the casein and the lactose. So, it depends on how sensitive, you are. Some people, they may be sensitive were they still in a problem. Some may, it may be okey. I tend to just avoid colostrum, just because my patients are very hypoallergenic and so I tend to use more of the more hypoallergenic compounds like the zinc and the glutamine and the DGL and just things like that. Not saying, it’s not beneficial and I’ve had my patients take it and do well with it. So, I’m on the fence with it for sure, I have a little bit of colostrum in my true keto collagen and patients do really well with that. And so, it’s a tool that we put in our tool belt, but for our sensitive patients, I tend to not be the first thing that I jump on for sure. I think we’re on the same page with that.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Uh, here’s a person here, “what about a probiotic that has both Lactobacillus and Bifido, will they cancel each other out?” No, we used those together all the time and some of the most high-quality professional formulas we make. We have combinations because you get different nutritional benefits in the gut from different species. There are some cases, where I have done straight Lacto or I’ve done straight Bifido, just to see how people do? But those are like the one percent sensitive people. The average person, we’re working on, they can tolerate a combination and then obviously, if we’re working on mold or Candida or some other problem, we’re often throwing in Saccharomyces boulardii in there too. So, then now you’re doing Bifido, Lacto and you’re doing Saccharomyces. That triple combo which technically Saccharomyces boulardii, even though it’s marketed and sold as a probiotic technically a yeast will often work that into the protocol and it does so much better.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. Evan, what’s your experience using spore-based probiotics?  

Evan Brand: You know, they give me just terrible gas. My God. It just hurts my tummy; I’ve tried them and I went on them and I went off of them. I went low dose. I went high dose. I mean, we even manufactured some too and I’m like, God, I just don’t feel that good with them, I’ve had some people that are like, hey, this thing is a miracle cure, this is the best I’ve ever felt and good for them. But for me, it just did not go well, so I feel much much better with a low histamine, more I guess, you would just call it living probiotics as opposed to the spores. What about you? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, It just depends, I think patients that don’t do well with your Lactobacillus, Bifidobacter, I definitely have a good bunch that do better with the spore based probiotics. So, depending on the level of SIBO that’s going on, some patients do really great with it. I have no problem myself with higher dose Bifidobacter, Lactobacillus infantis species, so I don’t have with it. But some patients, I know with significant SIBO history just do well on, if they just do much better and supposedly that the spore-based probiotics really help potentiate the growth of these other beneficial flora. So, it does help a lot of the other beneficial flora and they do hang out a lot longer too.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. And I’ve tried a couple of different professional brands. I mean there’s two big brands out there. I tried both. The one I did actually feel pretty good on, a couple others I didn’t feel so good on. So, I think it could be a brand difference too.  There was another question here, “when is the best time to take probiotics with fiber or empty GI?” I don’t know the whole wheat fiber deal. I’ve never heard of that before. I personally take them on an empty stomach and I’ll do them first thing in the morning like before breakfast. I’ll just pop all my supplements or I’ll take them before bed. Unless, I’m taking a binder then I won’t. My thought on it is to try the bacteria in there especially because some of the professional manufacturers, you and I use, we’re using an acid resistant capsule. So, it’s gonna actually bypass the stomach acid and deliver the beneficial microbes to the gut so in that case, that’s why I like it to be there. Just because, there’s not as much competition with the food could just be theory, I don’t have any proof that it works better but that’s how I approach it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean you can definitely have some beneficial effects with some fiber, with some probiotics because the fiber does act as prebiotics and it can help kind of provide the fertilizer for the seed, the seed being the probiotics to grow. I do like it. A lot of your conventional probiotics tend to do better on an empty stomach but I mean taking them with food has some beneficial effects as well with digestion and such and so I say. Try to take most of those with food. I think that’s good. I just wanted to pull one study up here, I think this is interesting, um. Let me pull this up here. So, just kind of support we’re talking about right. This study is looking at neuroinflammation association alterations of the brain is a potential neural marker in anxiety disorders, so we’re just trying to build up the case that we’re talking about here. Preliminary evidence suggests anxiety disorders are also associated with increased inflammation. Systemic inflammation can access the brain and enhance pro-inflammatory cytokine levels that have been shown to precipitate direct and indirect neurotoxic effects. Prefrontal and limbic structures, these are parts of the brain that have to do with higher thinking, uh, emotions, memory are widely reported be influenced by neuroinflammatory conditions in concord with these findings various imaging studies on panic disorders, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety have been reported alterations in the structure and the function and the connectivity of our prefrontal and limbic structures so what they’re saying is inflammations affecting the parts of you brain that are involved. They’re higher thinking, higher function memory cognition anticipating, you know, cause and effect based on your actions, right. Prefrontal cortex is it’s the part of the brain that allows you to anticipate, to think, to plan, um, most of people from our you know from evolution we’ve been more, um, midbrain kind of reptilian brain type of you know, kind of knee jerk reaction kind of response and the frontal cortex gives us the ability to think and certain nutrients have allowed that part of the brain to grow. High quality cholesterol, Omega-3, free fatty acids, amino acids help that brain to grow. But if we’re driving inflammation in that’s gonna have a negative impact. Now what are the things that are gonna be driving inflammation in our diet? Well, Omega-6, refined processed vegetable oils, trans fats, refined sugar, too much carbohydrates, too much sugar, these are all gonna drive brain inflammation. And of course, inflammation in the gut can cause inflammation in the brain. Inflammation in the gut is bidirectional, it is a two-way highway. Inflammation in the body whether it’s like getting exposed to round up or mold toxins can cause gut inflammation. Inflammation in the gut through dysbiosis and food allergens can also cause leaky gut and cause inflammation from the gut to go outward up to the brain and it can activate the microglial cells in the brain which can create fogginess and more immune response that can make us feel worse and more, um, more anxious or depressed based on what’s happening in the gut. 

Evan Brand: I just sent you one, other paper too, which kind of interesting, talking about antibiotics and how antibiotics are gonna drive up depression and anxiety and talked about treatment with just a single course of antibiotics was associated with a high risk for depression and then also anxiety. So, I’m not saying don’t take them, I mean if you need them to save your life. But I will just say, that’s there’s so many people that have been put on these different medications that affect the gut and so when we’re trying to paint the picture here of what went wrong, why did someone become anxious, it could have been that they went in for a routine dental procedure and they were taking the antibiotics, they screwed up their gut, now they have dysbiosis as you mentioned, this big inflammatory link to the brain. Now, they’ve got this bacterial overgrowth, they simply were using something as preventative medicine, these antibiotics and then boom, now they’ve got this overgrowth. And then as you mentioned these bacteria are pooping poop and then that’s going to make you more anxious, so there was a question that came in about, well, “how much time do probiotics take to work for anxiety?” I mean, that’s a really tough question to answer because what else is going on, are there gut inflammation issues, are there bacterial overgrowth issues. What about Candida problems, I mean, there’s other things we have to factor in, so I wish it were just so easy to say hey take this probiotic in three weeks, you’re gonna be less anxious. I wish that were the case but, I think the answer is it depends.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. One study here, I’m putting the study up on screen, so you guys can see, Anxiety exposure and the risk for depression, anxiety or psychosis, journal of psychiatry 2015. So, you guys can see the abstract and the conclusion down below. Take a look at this study, all right. All right, where is it. Systematic Administration of Curcumin Affect Anxiety-Related Behavior in a rat model. So, it’s interesting. So, what we’re trying to look at here is results suggest that curcumin has anxiety-lytic like effect on biochemicals and behavior. Uh, it may be useful agent to alleviate or treat psychiatric disorders similar to those observed in patients with PTSD. So, what are they saying here? They’re saying in this rat study, giving curcumin actually resolved and significantly had a benefit on anxiety. Now, why is this? Well, because it has natural anti-inflammatory benefits and the postulate is that by reducing inflammation in the brain and in the body that also helps the mood and anxiety. Now, we don’t wanna just rely on the supplement. So, people that are watching this right now, don’t just say hey, I’m saying to fix your anxiety get curcumin. Fix all the foundational things that set the table, that drive inflammation and then once you have the foundation then you can go dig deeper and using specific supplements to reduce inflammation like curcumin, like Boswellia, or frankincense. You can also, there’s systemic enzymes that can be taken away from food. There’s a lot of good higher dose fish oil, ginkgo. These are excellent nutrients that can help drive down inflammation. A lot of the bioflavonoids and some of our lower sugar fruit like berries and quercetin, those kinds of things. And other studies on a handful of blueberries a day can reduce inflammation in the brain to. And we talked about that in the past, so inflammation plays a major role and get the foundation right. Because if you have a lot of dysbiosis but you’re trying to take curcumin to cover up the inflammation, fix the gut stuff first, fix the adrenals and the sympathetic overload first, fix the food and the blood sugar and then you can dive in deeper with extra functional medicine nutritional, uh, tools.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good point. And I’ll just say it in another way, which is that you could take all the generic stuff meaning generic natural stuff as you mentioned Boswellia, curcumin, potentially high dose fish oil to reduce inflammation. Maybe you’re gonna lower the anxiety some but you’re still not getting to big root of it which for me was gut infections. I had parasites, I had H. pylori, I had major bacterial overgrowth, I had Candida problems, I had mold problems. All those things were affecting my gut which were affecting my brain so I was having just out of the  blue, anxiety, I mean some points, I was panicking, I thought I was dying in some situations. My blood pressure was going crazy for a while, I mean it was all related to these toxin issues and so I encourage people to get some of the labs run so you can figure out what the heck’s going on. The first place to start obviously is gonna be a stool test. So, we run a DNA stool test that you can do at home and you get that back to the lab and then you can get a really work up on what type of infections do you have. Is it just bacteria or do you have parasite? What about your gut inflammation? Have you measured that? Because if you’re anxious and we see high gut inflammation, we gonna go ding ding ding look at the connection there. And then, we mentioned on the Oak test, there’s not GABA but we can do trial runs. I manufacture a chewable version of GABA that we use, it’s pharmaGABA, which is fermented and bioavailable. So, we use that. And if people have a good response to that, then we assumed that they had a low GABA situation. If they take one or two of those and then they feel better then hey we’re pretty happy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also, let me just. That’s very good and so, if you wanna support the show, some of the supplements that we’re gonna recommend we’ll put it down below in the notes section you know recommended supplements. So, Evan has a chewable GABA. I also have a liposomal curcumin. When you’re taking curcumin, you wanna make sure it’s liposomal. So, it has maximal absorption, only about 15% get absorbed,uh, it’s also better absorbed with black pepper as well, but people that have night shade sensitivity that may be problematic. So, if you want curcumin supreme is a liposomal version, we’ll put down below. Put Evan’s recommended products too. Now, interesting study here, when I look at inflammation in the same rat study. When they looked at the administration of curcumin, they actually saw a decrease in cortisol. So, this is serum cortisol here and as they increase the curcumin, you can see the drop in cortisol. And it makes sense because cortisol is an anti-inflammatory, so, the more your inflammation your body has, the more you’re gonna surge cortisol to help reduce the inflammation. The problem is cortisol is catabolic. It’ll break down tissue and so in the long run, you don’t want cortisol out of the balance because it will start breaking up tissue. So, in interesting enough to see that the reduction in cortisol followed by the increase in the amount of curcumin given to the rats. And the increase in, um, improved mode, the decrease in anxiety. So, that’s powerful. So, we wanna look at everything from a root cause. We wanna have all of our foundational tools and our palliative functional medicine, nutritional tools to plug in. And its good data to back it up, so we, you know, we can see, yeah, these things make sense because I always tell patients I’m talking to, what’s the mechanism, what’s the root cause, are we getting to the root cause and are there anything else we can do palliatively to support the healing of the root cause. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Meaning, okay we could do some chewable GABA, we could do some curcumin, or whatever else to try to calm things down, while behind the scenes, we’re working on getting the mold out, fixing the bacterial balance, integrating probiotics, restoring gut flora, bringing in Saccharomyces boulardii to address Candida. All thes things are, I mean, that’s the art of it, right? That’s the fun and the beauty of what we do and it’s just a blast. Let’s hit this question here from Sarah before we wrap it up. She said, “Are there any thoughts on raw milk to help heal the gut if tolerated, ok? There are mixed thoughts with this.” I’ll rant on it really quick. My thought is because I had a lot of issues with dairy, I personally just do butter and I feel best with that. And I would argue that to help heal the gut, we can use all these clinically shown ingredients that don’t use dairy proteins like the zinc, carnosine, the glutamine, the chamomile, the DGL. So, my bias is to go for that. But, what do you think? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have the same as well, um. I don’t do great with raw milk. I get massive diarrhea, massive bloating issues even raw. Now, the benefit of raw milk is, you have all the cream right the homogenization tends to like kind of damage a lot of the globules and then of course pasteurization destroys all the enzymes that help you handle casein and lactose, which is the sugar in the milk better, the caseins, the protein. And so, there’s that right? And so, you tend to had. If you have problems with dairy, you have a better chance of being able to tolerate it with raw milk. Now, even with raw milk, I don’t do it as well, but I do, I don’t tolerate as well but I do tolerate butter and ghee wonderfully because it’s cut out the casein, it’s cut out also the lactose as well. So in general, if you’re more hypoallergenic probably stay away from it, wait till you’re healthy or try it, um, if you’re relatively healthy and you wanna give it a try, sure, but in general, if you’re having immune issues or chronic inflammation issues, probably stay away from it until you get things under the control and then you have a better baseline and then when you try to add it in, then you’ll really be able to know, if you can handle or not because you’ll, you’ll go from feeling good to not and It’ll be quite clear.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Question from Ty, “what’s the first diagnostic tool we can use to determine the state of your microbiome?” uh, typically two things were gonna do, the stool test, the DNA stool test we use at home and something that Justin and I run clinically on pretty much everyone and then the organic acids test is helpful too because we’ll certain bacteria pop up that maybe the stool test missed or vice versa. So, stool and urine at home, those are thing that we can run and they’re incredible valuable tools, so valuable that I almost don’t even want to work with somebody without those data points because at that point you’re just guessing and we prefer to test not guess. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally, now on those tests, we may look at commensal bacteria like Bacteroides and Firmicutes, uh, Bacteroides and Firmicutes, you want essentially, you know good levels of Bacteroides or Firmicutes. If people have high levels of Firmicutes in relation to Bacteroides that could be a problem but that usually is never the problem in and of itself. Usually, there’s dysbiotic bacteria, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, um, Morganella, right? These are all dysbiotic type of flora that are overgrown, that can throw off a lot of the commensal stuff. So, ideally if we see commensal bacteria off. We want to address the dysbiosis first and then we can use different fibers and prebiotics and probiotics down the road. Once we’ve kind of fixed a lot of the dysbiosis and that kind of help get it back in the balance. 

Evan Brand: Man, I tell you half an hour flies but we gotta run and this is something we could do a part two part three on but the big smoking gun for people with anxiety might in my opinion based on suffering for years and years and years of with different issues, it’s the gut, the smoking gun for anxiety, mood issues, depression, fatigue. A lot of this is coming from the gut. You and I have hit upon how B vitamins are made in the gut too, you did a really eloquent explanation on previous podcast about how you’re making the nutrients that fuel the mitochondria, we went pretty deep into that before so that’s an exciting mechanism that I think most people are not talking about they’re putting people on Adderall or other things to try to boost up their mental energy. You gotta look at the gut so I encourage people to get tested. And if you need help, you can reach out clinically. We have a question from, uh, where’d it go, Pelona, “how can I contact you or have an appointment?” So, uh, Dr. Justin Dr. J, he’s available worldwide, so am I. If you want to reach out to him, it’s at justinhealth.com. You can reach out worldwide, phone, facetime, skype, whatever and then for me Evan, evanbrand.com. We’re available for consults and we can send labs to your door, we run those, we get them back to the lab, jump on a follow-up call, review the results and then make you a protocol, get you feeling better as quick as we can.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I’ll put a list of recommended products and recommended, uh, resources for today’s podcast to kind of back up what we’re saying. Also, you can watch the video on screen where we pull up some of the studies and if you guys enjoyed it. Gives us a thumbs up. Put your comments down below. Let us know what you like and what you wanna see improvement on and recommended topics coming up all right. Evan, thanks for everything. evanbrand.com, justinhealth,com We are here to help you guys. Have an awesome day. 

Evan Brand: Take care though. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/the-gut-anxiety-connection-podcast-352

Recommended Products:

Genetic Stool Test

International DSL GI Map Genetic Stool Test

Curcumin Supreme

TruKeto Collagen

TRUCOLLAGEN (Grassfed)

Brain Replete

Genova Organix Dysbiosis Profile

Genova NutriVal FMV

Signs and Solution for Gut Inflammation and Leaky Gut | Podcast #351

In this video, Dr. J and Evan stress the importance of what you eat and how it impacts the rest of your body. However, what you might not realize is how your food is digested in your body, and when it gets inflamed and leaky, how do you fix it?

A lack of digestive enzymes can cause leaky gut syndrome—another unfortunate result of chronic inflammation in the digestive system. Many culprits cause leaky gut, including stress, medications, poor food choices or quality, alcohol, cigarettes, and even hormone changes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
1:08  – Poor Gut Health Connection to Virus.
4:31  – What is the role of bile movement and production?
11:16 – The influence of gut michrobiota on Inflammation and Insulin Resistance
19:29 – General recommendations on carbohydrates and for a healthier gut


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hi! Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the signs and solutions of gut inflammation and gut permeability or leaky gut for short. Really exciting topic. We see it a lot in our patients every single day. Evan, how are we doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Hey. I’m doing really well. I can’t remember if we covered this on the podcast or not, this specific study but there was a paper that came out all about leaky gut and worsen outcomes with the virus and so people could put in the, you know, what virus in PubMed and leaky gut and we’re finding that a lot of people with leaky gut that’s actually one of the precursors and that’s what’s leading to worse outcomes so this is more important, It’s always important but this is more important now because we know that there’s a massive link and I’ll actually pull this up here and I’ll show you this, American Society for Microbiology, they did this. Did we talk about this yet or not? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s talk about it. Let’s go ahead. 

Evan Brand: This particular paper. Let’s bring it up there. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let me check here. Oh yeah. Let me add it on. Go ahead.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So, there we go. So, poor gut health is connected to severe blank, new research shows and long story short, you can go into this microbiology article but long story short they actually show a picture too. Let me see if I can get to that picture. Here we go. That was the picture. I think, we already showed this picture but forgive me and people listening on audio. Basically, we’re just showing that viral particles with a leaky gut are gonna be able to get into the circulation and that’s gonna increase your inflammatory response so the real goal of today is making sure that your gut is in good shape because therefore you’re not gonna have leakage into your circulation. You’re gonna be far far better if you have that healthy gut barrier. So, that was really kind of the spark notes of that but that’s like a 19 pages paper that you can dive into and many people I think have thought of leaky gut as kind of trendy topic that only people like you and I talk about but this is finally, actually getting into the mainstream. So, I hope gastroenterologists are gonna realize the importance of addressing the gut and I hope they actually start taking it more seriously. Right now, it’s just antibiotics that’s really the only thing that gastroenterologists do for gut, right? I mean steroids maybe and immune modulating drugs in the case of like, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s but beyond that there’s not really much leaky gut conversation going on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. There’s not and again, really, a leaky gut has an effect, right? Or we’ll call it gut permeability, right? If you go on PubMed, a leaky gut is like a slung. If you want to really find it, you want to look at, you know, gastrointestinal permeability, right? These are gonna be the big things, it’s the tight junctions, the epithelial cells and the small intestine, they start to come apart like my fingers here interlocked like I’m saying a prayer, they come apart and then you can see lipopolysaccharides undigested food particulate can slip out. So, this is, um, this is part of the major, major mechanism. Now, with gut permeability, it’s an effect not a cause so I always tell patients, we don’t go in and treat leaky gut, we treat the corresponding vectors of inflammation that drive gut permeability so that could be food allergens, that could be immune stressors like virus, parasites, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, general dysbiosis, poor digestion, antibiotic exposure, creating rebound overgrowth, fungal overgrowth, you know, just poor digestion, lots of stress, increased sympathetic tone and adrenal stress, that’s shutting down the digestive system and making gut permeability more probable. So, these are the big vectors so we always wanna draw a line. What’s the root cause and what’s the effect and gut permeability is in the effect not necessarily a cause.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of, even advertisements now on social media for all these leaky gut healing formulas and that kind of stuff and it always has the word heal involved but you could take as much glutamine and whatever else you want. You could go into an elemental diet and all of that. It’s not gonna get rid of these big root causes and certainly for me, I tried some gut support but ultimately it was resolving my parasite infections. That was the most important thing for me and so, you can test for this. This is not an uncommon situation; you and I personally and clinically see parasites every single week. So, when you hear this idea of like, oh, it’s a third world country problem, you haven’t traveled to Mexico or anything like that. That’s just crap, I see it all the time and I had them and I was not out of the country and I had multiple parasite infections and then that affects your bowel flow, right? Can we talk about the bowel for a minute, what’s the role there, because you and I talked about how you have to have adequate bile to act as sort of a natural antimicrobial but how is this happening. What do you think are the big driving factors for why bile production is just not good? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, first off, we look at the domino rally of digestion. The first thing that has to happen is good, nice aesthetic pH in the stomach. So, we need adequate HCl in the stomach, hydrochloric acid that lowers the pH and again, lower pH tends to have an antimicrobial effect, right? So, if we have to bring the pH down a little bit, that makes it harder for bugs to grow and that pH is also responsible for activating a lot of proteolytic enzymes in our stomach so if we have a good pH, we activate our enzymes, that starts the digestive cascade, we make it harder for bugs to grow and then once all that kind that mixed up food and enzymes and acids and all the stuff in our stomach is all mixed up. That’s called chyme, C-H-Y-M-E, that gets released into our small intestine, our pancreas then produces a bunch of bicarbonate to bring that pH back up to around neutral but that pH being nice and acidic, it triggers bicarbonate and then it also triggers cholecystokinin production, CCK, which then causes the gallbladder to contract so then you get a whole bunch of bile that comes out, you get a bunch of bicarbonate that comes out of the pancreas but then you’re also gonna get a bunch of lipase and proteolytic enzymes, trypsin, chymotrypsin lipase, lipolytic enzymes is coming out of the pancreas as well. So then, you bring the pH back up, you add the fat digestive enzymes, the proteolytic enzymes and then you also stimulate that bile production which then emulsifies that fat. Think of emulsification as you have a nice greasy pan where you cook some bacon on, right? Throw under water, you feel the fat on the pan, throw some dawn soap on there, it emulsifies it. It breaks that up so then you can get it all out the intestinal tract and be able to absorb it, carry on, mycells and be able to use it for lipid bilayer, hair, skin, nail, energy all that stuff. Prostaglandins. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. And though bile is produced by your liver but it’s stored in your gallbladder so people that have had their gallbladders removed which is a very common surgery, a lot of surgeons are very happy to remove gallbladders, I think in many cases, they may have been saved with fixing these other upstream issues but, well, once it’s gone, it’s gone. So, people listening that have no gallbladder, you have to take that into consideration. There was a study here in 2018, it was in the annals of gastroenterology, it found that poor bile flow can contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease. So, you’re really setting yourself up and find all the time with people clinically when they come in, they’ve had gallbladder removal, we see a lot of issues, we see massive bacterial overgrowth problems in these people and I think that’s partly due to not having enough bile being stored anymore like you and I have talked about it before, I think you said it was a 10x concentration in the gallbladder, is that right? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 10 to 15x. Yeah. 

Evan Brand:  So, you’re missing out on that when you have just liver production, you don’t have that storage facility. I mean you have some but just nowhere near what you would have had if you had your gallbladder. So, please. Try to save your gallbladder. You got to fix these upstream infections because that’s gonna be and get off proton pump inhibitors with the help of your doctor if you can because we know that, that suppression of stomach acid is gonna lead to the overgrowth which then fuels these downstream issues to not happen the domino effect, it literally gets stopped or prevented by the PPIs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so, we need good, think of bile, it’s an emulsifier, it breaks down fat, it’s also an antimicrobial and so we create antimicrobial environments by having good, nice, low pH by having good enzyme and acid levels that also helps and then also by having good bile output and plus the longer that food sits there and rots and putrefies because we are not breaking it down into its constituent parts, right? Then it’s gonna create future petrification, fermentation, and rancidification. Essentially proteins and fats and carbs are rotting, right? Then you can get gas and bloating and that just creates this incredible breeding ground for bugs to grow. It’s like you can have this beautiful home that you take care of but if you leave the garbage in there like, a week too long it’s gonna get like, stinky and then you’re gonna get a whole bunch of bugs attracted to it, right? Same kind of thing in our microbiome so it’s really important that we stay on top of, you know, those good health practices.   

Evan Brand: Let’s hit the symptoms and signs and symptoms because people know most of the gut ones but there are some that you and I find clinically that maybe people wouldn’t think are a gut symptom, right? It might not manifest outside of that so we can cover the stuff like unusual color texture, smell, messy poops, you have floating stool. You have maybe alternating diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gut pain. But, what about like, skin issues and what about anxiety and depression and hormonal imbalances and brain fog. I mean, you and I have seen, we lost count how many times we’ve seen cases where we simply just fix the gut and all the sudden, this depression is lifted. I had one client named Miranda, who she had been depressed for, she said quote 20 plus years, all we did is do a gut protocol. I gave her no antidepressant herbs. We simply just did a gut protocol and when we did a six-week follow-up, she said her depression was 90% better and when she said 90% better, she didn’t even sound too excited and I said, are you realizing what you just said to me. You’ve been depressed for over 20 years and you’re 90% less depressed in six weeks of doing a gut protocol like do you realize how profound that is and she goes oh yeah, I guess that is amazing. Thank you. And, I think people, they get so used to feeling a certain way that when the clouds lift. They’re almost not even ready for it but depression, anxiety, I would put at the top of the list for mental health issues connected to these gut inflammation problems, I will tell you. And, you and I discussed this I remember calling you one-night years ago is probably like coming up on be six, seven years ago was like 2014, 2015 and I was like man, I’m having like a panic episode or something and this was when I was living down in Austin and it was H. pylori. It was driving that because as soon as I cleared the H. pylori, all those weird episodes of panic completely disappeared and I’ve seen that more than just the n equals one, me, I’ve seen it many, many times. So, if you have anxiety problems, you go to the psychiatrist. They’re not going to suggest you have gut infections but that’s something you need to be thinking about. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Yep. 110% for sure. Anything else you want to add in that topic?   

Evan Brand: If you’ve got mental health issues, look in the gut maybe even look in the gut before you look in the brain. Now, obviously, we’re gonna be doing organic acid testing and other things to look at neurotransmitters so we’re gonna check out dopamine, serotonin. We’re gonna look at what’s called quinolinic acid so we can look for actual brain inflammation or brain toxicity related to gut infections like sometimes Clostridia, we’ll see will drive up the quinolinic acid markers but we still have to fix the gut. So, if you have a family member, they’re anxious, they’re depressed, they’re fatigued. We’ve seen a massive link between chronic fatigue and gut infection. So, there’s another big one that people may not recognize, the gastro doc may not suggest your chronic fatigue is from a gut infection but it certainly can be skin issues as well. My skin was a wreck years ago. I had major acne even though my diet was clean. It was my gut.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. I also wanna highlight one other kind of variable here. I think it’s really important. I’m gonna pull this on screen here. I think this is really interesting. So, an interesting abstract here and it’s looking at the influences on the gut microbiome on inflammation and insulin resistance so this is interesting because we talk about insulin resistance, right? Consuming too much carbohydrate and refined sugar. All carbohydrates get broken down typically into glucose, fructose or a combination of the two, right? And so, the more sugar that gets released into our bloodstream that gets broken down whether from refined sugar, sucrose which is fructose in glucose, high fructose corn syrup is fructose in glucose 55, 45 concentration and then of course we have starches which get primarily broken down into glucose and then we have fruit which is more on the fructose side. These things all have an impact on our blood sugar and the more insulin resistant we become, we, it drives inflammation. It’s hard to utilize these fuel resources and these fuel sources to get deposited in our fat because our muscles don’t have the ability to store it. our liver loses the ability to store it. We don’t have the activity level. We don’t have the mitochondria stimulation to burn it so we store it as fat. Now, this article is interesting. It talks about obesity as the main condition that’s correlated with the appearance of insulin resistance. Think of this as when your cells get numb to insulin. Now, this is on screen here. People that are looking if you’ve got mental health issues on the audio version, we’ll put the link below for the whole video. Whole bacteria, their byproducts and metabolites undergo increased translocation through the gut epithelium. Translocate, let me give you the translation on that. Here’s your gut. Leaky gut happens, right? Where it talks about gut permeability and things start to translocate meaning move from the inside of the gut back into the bloodstream, right? So, it translocates through the gut epithelium into circulation due to the degradation of tight junctions. This is a leaky gut, right? Here. And it increases intestinal permeability that culminates in inflammation and insulin resistance. So, what this says is the inflammation caused by gut permeability caused by gut permeability caused by lack of enzymes, bile, food allergens, all the gut microbiome issues can actually drive inflammation and insulin resistance. Now, it makes it harder for your mitochondria to generate fuel because you’re not able to get that fuel into your cell and you start to become more of a sugar burner. It’s very difficult to burn fat when you have high levels of insulin, Very, very difficult. So, several strategies focusing on modulation of the gut microbiome using antibiotics, again, we would use antimicrobial herbs, probiotics and probiotic fibers are being experimentally used to um, in order to reduce intestinal permeability, increase the production of short chain fatty acids. Guess what, things like butyric acid, medium chain triglycerides. Those are all very helpful. And again, this helps promote insulin sensitivity and counteracts the inflammation. So, really, really important here. This study, influence of gut microbiome on subclinical inflammation here and this is the 2000, see what’s the study, 2013 study so we’ve known this stuff out for a long time here that the gut microbiome plays a major role on your blood sugar, blood sugar handling and if you’re a diabetic or someone with insulin problems, you need to be looking at the gut. Yeah. look at the diet, look at, you know, getting your diet and your macros in order, make sure your food quality is good and then look at really getting the microbiome dialed in to really help. That could be a missing piece of the puzzle for people that have really changed their diet but not quite gotten the metabolic benefits of losing weight yet. 

Evan Brand: Wow. That’s a good point. You know, when I think back, when I had gut infections, my blood sugar was definitely not as good. I mean, 2 to 3 hours is as far as I could go without having to eat a meal. Now, I could fast all morning and not eat till 1 pm and I’m perfectly fine. I think there is an adrenal component too. I think I’m in a lot better place with that but I can tell you that certainly after mixing my gut, my blood sugar and blood stability is much better. So, I think you’re onto something with that paper and how people that even have gone paleo or animal based or keto. That still has issues with blood sugar regulation. That could be a sign of gut issues and I think even If diet dialed in in some cases what like you’re showing here, there could still be issues with the blood sugar. So, sometimes, it’s portrayed as like just fix your diet and everything else falls into place but you have to consider these other factors and also, I’ll throw in at the, you know, 11th hour here, mycotoxins, we know that mold toxins significantly affect the gut barrier and create a leaky gut. They damage the mitochondria, and we know that certain mycotoxins promote the overgrowth of bacteria like Clostridia and Candida. In fact, the lab will tell you that on paper, for example mycophenolic acid, it’s a very common mycotoxin that we see that comes from water damaged buildings. You breathe that in, that’ll then affect the gut and allow the overgrowth. So, if you’re just treating the antimicrobial herbs or fungal herbs and you’ve missed this giant mold exposure that can still affect the gut, still affect the brain and people won’t get fully better. So, that’s really the beauty of what we do is we try to work through all these puzzle pieces and help you because you could have this guy who says everything is gut and you go all the way down this gut rabbit hole and not get fully better or you go all the way down this insulin resistance rabbit hole and you still miss the smoking gun. You got the leaking dishwasher and your whole kitchen cabinetry. We had a woman in Texas last week, her dishwasher apparently leaking for years. Her entire kitchen has to be replaced now. She’s looking at 25k, just to replace her whole kitchen and she’s been to 10 doctors, 10 practitioners and nobody’s figured it out and I’m not trying to toot my own but I’ll just say I kept suspecting something because she said that she would always feel weird while she was washing dishes at her sink. She would get a little bit of a headache, feel a little bit sick to her stomach, said, ‘huh, is it possible that something’s leaking?’ and then boom brought in the remediator and they found it. There was a leaking dishwasher black mold everywhere.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Mold plays a major role in stressing out the immune system. It can create gut permeability within itself and then obviously drives the insulin problems. And also, people that eat this type of diet, I mean, it’s natural when you have microbiome issues to create a bunch of sugar because these foods are from an evolutionary standpoint, things that had a lot of sugar in it ended up having a lot of nutrients in it, right? Oh, a bunch of berries, some honey, right? And they were very rare in society. It was hard to find a lot of these things. Even fruit, you know, back then, tended to be a lot more sour and bitter and we’ve kind of hybridized and you know selectively grown fruits that tend to be sweeter and more, uh, and more plump and luscious now they taste. And so, we have sweeter fruits today and so it’s natural for people to want to crave all the crap that feeds the bad bugs because the bugs are producing chemicals to make you crave these foods. So, you have to be educated and understand that these foods, even though you’re craving them, you need to like not listen to those cravings sometimes and really shift your gut in it. If it shifts your macronutrients in a way to starve out some of these bugs, it can make a big difference.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I mean, a lot of fruits hybridize now too as you mentioned to be sweeter, so like a strawberry. I’ve seen strawberries as big as my hand sometimes, like, ‘God’, you know wild strawberries, they’re tiny. I mean they’re like the size of a fingernail, if you’ve ever seen wild strawberries out in the yard, very tiny and definitely not anywhere as sweet as the other ones. So, when you hear people talk about fruit, like our modern fruit, like you said it’s not really, it’s more like candy with some, it’s like natural candy as opposed to the more ancient fruits so If I can find like some heirloom apples and that kind of stuff, I’m totally into it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And you know, my general recommendation with carbohydrates, just make sure you earn it, make sure you’re not in a place where you’re inactive and try to get some activity because sugar goes three directions: gets stored in the liver and muscle, okay, so, if you’re working out, you’re always draining that muscle every day, you have a storage reservoir for it a little bit in the liver; It goes to fat or it stays in the bloodstream and gets burned up by the mitochondria essentially. It gets burnt up mitochondria-wise by the muscles etc. So, it’s gonna go either stored, burnt, you know, it’ll stay in the bloodstream but burnt up by the muscles of mitochondria or it gets converted to fat. So, if you’re doing things that allow you to utilize the glucose in that bloodstream, not as big of a deal, but that’s what you really have to look at what activity level is and you have to work with your functional medicine doctor about dialing in those macros and some people they need to starve out certain macros especially the fermentable carbohydrates and a lot of the inflammatory foods especially grains, legumes, dairy. Those things are really, can be, drive a lot of inflammation and that can keep your sympathetic nervous system and your immune system on high alert which just drains a lot of energy from you. Food allergens can make you fat and they can drain energy from you. Yeah. Seeds too. You know, I cut out almond seeds, nut seeds. Yep, even some eggs too for sure. 

Evan Brand: I cut out eggs for her while greens, I mean, some people are way overdoing it on the leafy greens. I can’t tell you the last time I ate a salad. I don’t really care. I don’t do leafy greens. I used to but, you know, I see way too many people doing these like kale smoothies. I had a lady doing like a pound of kale a day. Oxalates were off the chart. We know those affect the gut barrier too so there are downsides to plants. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, it’s all about, you know, how you tolerate it, can you eat and feel good afterwards, how does your stool look? Do you see a bunch of undigested particulates? If so, you may want to work on just chewing your food up more. Taking some enzymes. See if that helps or sauteed it a little bit and see if that moves a needle. Again, there’s almost always a way, we can adjust things so it works but everyone’s a little different. 

Evan Brand: If you need further help, you can reach out to Dr. Justin at his website, justinhealth.com. Now, we do worldwide consultations, phone, facetime, skype, whatever it can connect to, we do it. Lab tests are sent around the world. It’s awesome we have distributors to work with. We can get these things to your door. We sign off on it and get you rolling so we can investigate and look deeper. So, justinhealth and then for me Evan Brand, it’s evanbrand.com. You can reach out and we’re both happy to help you. We love what we do. We’re very blessed for the opportunity to be in the trenches. We’re always improving our own health. We work on our families, our children. We work on everybody around us. We’re always trying to improve them and to be able to do it clinically too is just great. We learn so much from you all and we like to be the shining light in a world of darkness where people have been to countless practitioners and the stuff that to you and I is just common everyday conversation, functional medicine stuff. This stuff to some people is like wow why has nobody ever mentioned that to me before. And for us, it’s like, oh yeah uh-uh, we do it with everyone. So, we look forward to helping you uncover your root causes if you have gut inflammation, what’s going on. There’s something under it so don’t give up, keep pushing forward and please reach out if you need help. We’d love to help you.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Evanbrand.com, work at Evan. Dr. J, justinhealth.com, works with me. We are here with you guys. And, put your comments down below. Let us know the different things that you guys are applying, what’s working, what’s not and if you get overwhelmed listening to this. Try to take at least one action item out of it. I would say action items from a supplement standpoint. We’ll put our recommended supplements down below. We have different hydrochloric acid and enzyme support products that we’ll put down below for links. That’s always low hanging fruit. Again, diet wise, you know, a good autoimmune, lower fodmap diet can really be a good starting point and I would say for liver gallbladder, you know, we have our different formulas. I have one called liver supreme and again some of the hallmark nutrients in these products are gonna be bile, phosphatidylcholine, taurine, some products will have things like Tudca, which can be very helpful for biliary flow. Beetroot can be really helpful. if I didn’t mention Ox Biles. These are all maybe some milk thistle, very supportive for liver, gallbladder function, liver-gallbladder flow. So, very beneficial, we’ll put the links down below so if you guys enjoy the information and you wanna take action feel free to take a look at some of those links and support the show by grabbing some of those products and Evan will have his links down below as well. Anything else, Evan, you wanna add?

Evan Brand: I think, I said, we give people the links. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast if you’re listening on apple that’s probably where most people find us if you’re looking up. Justin’s show, make sure you subscribe there or my show, Evan Brand. We don’t care how you’re listening, you know, obviously we cross pollinate. We put these on each other so make sure you’re subscribed to both of them so you don’t miss it and we appreciate it. give us a review too. I think we should probably do a giveaway. I know some people giveaways so we can give away a book or you know free supplement or something but, in the meantime, give us a five star review on apple, we would love it. That’s how we stay up in the rankings so that we can actually share true functional medicine education to the masses because right now there’s still a lot of people that are in the top charts just theory. They’re not clinicians. They’re not in the trenches every day, all day, I mean we look at an exhaustive amount of lab testing that helps us to really dial the stuff we’re saying in. We then sprinkle in some studies and we stay up on the research but you could keep your head in the research all day and totally miss what actually works and it’s all about what actually gets people the results. So, keep that in mind and make sure you subscribe. Give us a review on Apple, we’ll love you forever. Thank you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% All the links will be below for you guys. Alright, thanks a lot. Evan, great chat with you man. Have a good one. Bye everyone.  

Evan Brand: You too, take it easy. Bye-bye. 


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/signs-and-solution-for-gut-inflammation-and-leaky-gut-podcast-351

Recommended products:

Enzyme Synergy

TRUCOLLAGEN

Liver Supreme

Digest Synergy

Amino Acid Supreme

TRruKeto Collagen

TRUCOLLAGEN (Grassfed)

Probio Flora

Enzyme Synergy

Genova NutErval

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Passwater: Yeah, it’s correct. 

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Toxins, yeah exactly. 

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly

Israel Passwater: Well and yeah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Passwater: Correct. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pharmaceutical drugs, right?

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Passwater: Right. Correct. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Over there. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Yeah. Great question. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Yeah. 

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

Israel Passwater: Yeah. Right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/the-top-5-ways-your-water-could-be-hurting-you-how-to-fix-it-podcast-350

Recommended products:

Clearly Filtered

Water Filtration Device

Whole House Water Filter

 

 

 

 


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