Magnesium Deficiency Causes and Solutions

Magnesium Deficiency Causes and Solutions

By: Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Magnesium is essential for proper function of over 300 enzymatic reactions and for the performance of many vital physiological functions: from heartbeat regulation to muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium is crucial to the body and plays a part in almost every facet of your well-being and that is why a magnesium deficiency can be responsible for almost every symptom dragging you down.



  • Boosts memory function
  • Muscle relaxation and sleep
  • Regulates mood and stress
  • Manages the excitability of the nervous system (calming)
  • Blood sugar control
  • Healthy bone density
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Detoxification pathways in the liver
  • Normal gut function
  • Inhibits calcium-induced cell death
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis, needed for bone formation
  • Vital for proper transcription of DNA and RNA

 A study on magnesium for insomnia in the elderly found that supplementation of magnesium improves insomnia through several measures, including sleep efficiency, sleep time, and concentration of melatonin.



Due to soil depletion and the omnipresence of processed foods, magnesium is becoming hard to find in the average American’s diet. Even within the health-conscious, high rates of prescription medications and antibiotic use lead to digestive disorders and impaired gut function, causing malabsorption of not only magnesium, but of minerals and nutrients in general, despite an otherwise clean diet.

Watching sugar and caffeine intake is important to ensure proper absorption of magnesium. Fluoride in our water supply can also negatively affect magnesium absorption.

A magnesium deficiency can cause:

  • Muscles aches and spasms
  • Poor digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping and insomnia
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Worsened PMS
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Mood swings
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depressed immune system
  • Cavities
  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Depression

…and pretty much everything else you don’t want. Neurosurgeon Dr. Norman Shealy says ,“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency […] A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”

A study by the British Journal of Cancer in December 2015 looked at the incidents of pancreatic cancer by magnesium intake categories of 66,000 men and women, aged 50-76. It found that for every 100mg per day of magnesium less that was consumed, your risk for pancreatic cancer went up by 24%.

If you are concerned about a magnesium deficiency or have other health queries, book your intro consult today with Dr. Justin:



  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish, such as mackerel and salmon, especially eating some of the very small bones
  • Green beans
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • High quality dark chocolate (It’s postulated that women crave dark chocolate around the start of their period because the magnesium helps with cramps and PMS symptoms)
  • Epsom salt baths are excellent as you have a large surface area (your skin) taking in the magnesium. Try 1-2 cups of Epsom salt (which is basically magnesium sulfate) in your bath for some incredibly relaxing effects.
  • An alternate mode of relaxation through magnesium would be to hop into a float tank. Taking in about a thousand pounds of Epsom salt in about 10 inches of water leaves you feeling incredible.
  • An alternate mode of relaxation through magnesium would be to hop into a float tank. Taking in about a thousand pounds of Epsom salt in about 10 inches of water leaves you feeling incredible.


  • Magnesium oxide only has about a 4% absorption rate and is comparable to table chalk. It’s cheap, easy to find, and works well as a laxative.
  • Magnesium citrate, as you find in such products as Natural Calm, is a step above magnesium oxide. It’s also rather inexpensive, works as a laxative, with a higher absorption rate.
  • Magnesium malate is very well-absorbed and acts as a calming agent rather than a laxative.
  • Magnesium glycinate is also calming without the laxative effect. It is well-absorbed as it binds to the amino acid glycine. The glycinate form tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability, and therefore is ideal for those trying to correct a deficiency.
  • Magnesium threonate is a newer form which seems promising due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and mitochondrial membrane.


If you are looking to get some extra magnesium into your diet, try Magnesium Supreme ( a relaxing 50/50 blend of Magnesium malate and Magnesium glycinate.

To listen to Dr. Justin’s podcast with Evan Brand on magnesium, check out podcast #93:


Putting together the optimal functional medicine program – Podcast #116

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss about effective functional medicine programs and how they create and follow protocols. This interview goes in-depth about the world of functional medicine practice.

functional medicine programsFind out why you shouldn’t wait for something to happen before doing anything about it health-wise. Discover the differences between Body System One and Two and how optimal health can be attained. Learn about the various tests you can take and the right tools that are available to further achieve better and more effective results with functional medicine.

In this episode, topics include:

01:26   Get help as early as possible

07:00   Body System One

10:19   Diet and lifestyle

17:16   Body System Two

38:22   Tests







Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, Evan, it’s Dr. J in the flesh. How we doin’ this Monday?

Evan Brand:  Hey, man! I’m doing great. How are you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m doing great. Can’t complain. It’s a little rainy Monday here in Austin. The grass is getting plenty of water which is great. I got the fireplace on behind me, so it’s got that wintery Christmas feel a little bit.

Evan Brand:  Nice. Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can’t complain. How about you?

Evan Brand:  Doing well, man. Hey, we were trying to record this thing, and then we had choppy audio so I wanna repeat what my little rant was because I thought that was important. I’m always curious about what is the catalyst for someone to work with yourself or myself, and I had a lady this morning who had been listening to us for six months and she knew that she had problems. She had a lot of gut issues going on but she continued to just listen to try to fix herself, and then she got the diagnosis of alopecia and now she’s lost over half the hair on her head, and now she’s figured out that that’s the time to come and get help. And I just want that to be a fire under people’s butts listening that you shouldn’t wait until things are so bad that you’re at rock bottom before you get help and unfortunately, that’s the conventional system that we’ve all been brainwashed to do which is we wait until we’re really bad, we absolutely need a doctor or practitioner and then we go get help. And my advice, get help now. If you have symptoms and things are off, and this is something you’ve—you’ve trained me on so much. It’s like, “Evan, look, these issues are not gonna resolve themselves. You have to resolve issues now. They’re not just gonna magically disappear.” Did you wanna speak on that a little bit about people just waiting too long or people just not having enough reason so they think to get help?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, well, there was an interesting scenario just the recently. There was a plumber in my house a few months back and he was doing some work, and there was just like a leak on the faucet, and for some reason the leak went away the next day. So there were two plumbers there and he goes down and looks, and he couldn’t find the leak. And he goes, “Well, maybe it just went away,” and then his partner, the plumber next to him spoke up and said, “You know what? Leaks never go away on their own. If there’s a leak, it’s gonna get worse.” So he went down there and he looked, and he said, “Okay, well, we just need more flow and if you had more flow coming, it would start to leak.” And he looked a little deeper back and he found the leak and just the environment wasn’t quite right enough for the leak to be expressing itself but the whole idea was that these problems don’t ever tend to go away by themselves. So that was kind of the moral of the story and connecting it to your patient, let’s say if you have these symptoms, they’re gonna get worse and the question is, how long do you wanna wait until those symptoms, right? Pain, pay attention inside now—that’s what symptoms are—whether it’s aesthetic, whether it’s inflammatory, whether it’s mood or energy. How bad do they have to get before you start getting a—a fire under your butt so to speak.

Evan Brand:  Right. Well, and my grandparents, their old house, you know, they had issues with their plumbing and they had to wait until their entire basement was flooded and thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of carpet and furniture was ruined due to the flood before they came in and got the issue. So maybe they saved, you know, a couple hundred bucks in the beginning, but then it cost them likely $10,000 or more in the long run because they waited until things just hit an absolute worst-case scenario. So you know, I know there’s a lot of people out there listening that are trying to fix themselves and you and I certainly applaud that. I mean that’s what this is all about, right? Taking your health into your own hands and us teaching you how to fish, but at a certain level, you really just have to reach out and—and don’t be afraid to get better and—and don’t be afraid. You know, we’re real people. We don’t bite and we’re here for you. That’s what this is for. The show is to inspire you and to help you, but there’s nothing that’s gonna replace a one-on-one, you know, with one of us because there’s so many courses and online things, and things that you can look into, but it’s not specialized and I’m against specialization if you only look at one person. But you know, something we’re gonna talk about today is functional medicine is a specialty but we’re breaking that down. We’re—we’re looking at someone. We’re casting a net wide enough to look at every body system, so that we’re gonna figure out what in the world going on with somebody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. And so the template for how we treat patients is pretty unique for—for us as functional medicine clinicians, right? There a lot of nutritionists out there that will primarily just focus on the diet piece. There are a lot of medical doctors out there that I find that will a lot of time skip the diet, maybe focus on more of the hormones and ignore the gut. You have other people that will only work on infections, whether it’s Lyme or a gut doctor. They’re only focused on the infections. So the question is, how do we become the general or the ultimate general practitioner, where we can pull the key issues from the infections, from the hormones, from the diet, from the lifestyle, from the digestive system, and combine them together and mesh it? So we put it all together in a way that is holistic, that represents the underlying cause from each person, because that underlying cause percentage-wise may be different for each, meaning one person that may be 60% diet, 30% infections, and 10% hormones, and others it may be 30% diet, 50% hormones, 20% gut. So you gotta look at it from the perspective of what piece may be the bigger player, and it may not be the same for each person. So we may not know, but if we hit them all in the order that we consider to be the order of priority, that’s gonna give us the highest chance of hitting all of those key issues and not missing them.

Evan Brand:  Right, and during the free calls, you and I block out just a few hours each month for free calls, which we’re always booked up for those and it’s a true honor to be able to offer that to people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  A lot of people ask us, “Hey, Justin or hey, Evan, you know, can you just tell me right now what tests we’re gonna need to run.” And we can’t because that involves a case review, that involves looking at your history, looking at the fork in the road when did things get bad, how long have things gotten bad, what else was going on at that time in your life in terms of stress and travel and relationships and moving. You know, so there really is no one-size-fits-all program. Now there are similar tests that we run on nearly everyone, but at the end of the day, it’s so case-by-case and I know people wanna just get put into a box because it makes them feel comfortable. I mean, think of like Weight Watchers, right? You know, it’s a point system and you can buy their little hundred-calorie snack packs of pretzels. But that’s a horrible box to be in and you don’t wanna be confined there. So it—it’s a box of functional medicine but it’s a box without boundaries, too, because we never know what toolbox or toolkit we’re gonna need to reach into to pull something out specifically based on—on your symptoms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. So we wanted kinda get things dialed in, and we have like the pallet of our tests that we may choose from for body system one. That’s like the hormonal system and we break that up into ATF and ATM, adrenals, thyroid and female hormones for our female patients and then our ATM, adrenals, thyroid and male hormones. And depending on how deep we go is depending upon what kind of symptoms present themselves and how long the patient’s been sick. Typically, the longer someone’s been sick, it may be better to get more data so we can fine tune the plan better, more specific to what’s going on. If someone’s been maybe not feeling good for just a little bit of time, maybe only a few years or a few months, we may run less off the bat because we don’t need as much data. Typically, the low hanging fruit tend to work on people that aren’t as chronic. So that’s kind of a good rule of thumb. So our body system one test are gonna typically include high-quality adrenal tests. Well, and that depends. I know we’re going back and forth and testing, you know, the new Biohealth saliva test that’ll be out soon. We’ve been using the Dutch for a bit of time. We have been using the old Biohealth 201. I have lots of patients that come in with other subpar salivary hormone testing that—that come in. We also look at the DHEA sulfate, which is an adrenal marker of sex hormone precursors from the adrenals, DHEA sulfate. And then we’ll also add on female and male hormones to those tests, whether it’s female hormones, progesterone, estrogen, estrogen metabolites, the different kinds of estrogens, estradiol, estrone, estriol, whether we are looking at the DHEA metabolites like androstenedione or etiocholanolone. Those also get factored in, maybe even melatonin as well. So we’ll look at all these different metabolites on the hormone side and then depending on if they’re showing with thyroid symptoms, we may even run a thyroid blood test or we’re looking at all of the thyroid markers, TSH, T4 Free and Total, T3 Free and Total, reverse T3, T3 uptake, and thyroid antibodies. So those are kind of all of the hormonal tests that we may run. And we even have some different. We may even time it up on day 20 of a female cycle if they’re—if they’re menstruating to get a window into where their hormones are tapping out. We may even look at a full month long panel, testing hormones every other day for a full month, so we can get a window of ovulation and the ebb and flow of the hormones throughout the month, just to make sure it’s optimal for fertility.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. So body system one. I mean, this is the foundation, you know. You talk about these people that just focus on the gut and we’ve dealt with that. I mean a lot of times and I know you hear this just as much as me if not more, “Oh, I’ve already been to 10 specialists or 20 specialists or 20 doctors. They all think I’m crazy or they said it was just the gut. They gave me antibiotics.” If you don’t get the hormones aligned and checked out, you’re kinda wasting your time really because if you have cortisol issues, you’re likely gonna have leaky gut issues which is gonna leave you susceptible to infections. So it’s like if we come in and just hit the gut, which we’ll talk about in a minute, body system two, it’s not really worth it, right? Because if you get the infection gone, but the leaky gut’s still there due to the cortisol issues, I mean, that’s kind of a bigger top of the food chain issue, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and just backing up one bit, everything sits on a foundation. So the introductory foundation for everything is diet and lifestyle.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we’ve talked about this before, but just to make sure we don’t miss it, the foundation is gonna be what you eat, when you eat, the quality of food that you eat, how you sleep, how you move, how you deal with stress, and hydration. So that’s gonna be a really important piece of the puzzle. Making sure we’re eating nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, low toxin foods. Making sure the diet is dialed in for you. Now what does that mean for you? Well, if you’re just a little bit sick, maybe you’re kinda in the middle, it’s not too bad, a Paleo template may be good to start with. Alright, no grains, no legumes, no dairy. If we’ve been sick for longer, maybe we have a history of autoimmunity in the family, or there may be known autoimmunity in yourself or known autoimmune symptoms, well, the next step may be an Autoimmune Paleo template where we go to the next step which is cutting out nuts, nightshades, and eggs. And then from there if there’s excessive gut issues, we may look at specific carbohydrate diet where we cut out salicylates and phenols and peel our vegetables and—and make sure everything’s well cooked and mash our foods. We may even look at a GAPS approach where we focus more on bone broth and soups and—and the same type SCD stuff, more in a liquid, palatable—a liquid, more palatable type of form. And we may even go to a low FODMAP diet where we cut out the fermentable carbohydrates–fermentable oligo-di-po—let’s see, fermentable oligo-di-mono and polysaccharides. So it’s your—your fermentable carbohydrates, your fermentable sugars. So we may add that piece onto it just to make sure that we’re taking as much stress off the body. We’re stabilizing blood sugar. We’re not adding toxins from the pesticides and chemicals and GMO and Roundup and—and the glyphosate and we’re stabilizing blood sugar. We’re not skipping meals and we’re making sure that we’re sleeping good at night and we’re hydrating appropriately in between meals or 10 minutes before, so we’re not diluting digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid.

Evan Brand:  Well said and there’s a ton of overlap in all of those, too. I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A ton.

Evan Brand:  You’re going to be omitting gluten. You’re gonna be omitting–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Many of the dairy components, the inflammatory component, then you’re going to stay away from pesticides and chemicals. I had a guy the other day. He asked me. He said, “Well, I’m not sensitive to gluten. So do I still have to avoid it?” I said, “Absolutely.” There’s no deficiency of gluten ever and just because you don’t think you’re sensitive to it, some of your skin rashes and all that is probably caused from some type of food intolerance. You know, you don’t have to be doubled over in pain from eating a bagel to—to necess—you know, to necessarily have to stay away from it, right? You don’t have to be falling over, needing a morphine shot due to the pain from gluten if you—if you have anything, any symptom, headaches. I mean I had a lady who had migraines for 20 years and it was amazing how simple it was just to get the diet and the gut cleaned up and the migraines went way. So I think people expect massive, massive symptom sometimes to be caused from gluten and otherwise, they don’t wanna get rid of it but you should just get rid of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my thing with grains and gluten is if you’re gonna cheat and you’re gonna do grains, number one, the safest grain for most people tend to be white rice. So that’s tends to be an okay alternative if you’re gonna do a grain, if you’re gonna cheat. White rice tends to be okay. Even better, try doing the safer starch. You know, yucca, plantains, sweet potatoes, let’s see—I said plantains, yucca, sweet potatoes,  squash—those type of safer starches tend to be a better alternative for most. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I was gonna say taro, too. Some people talk about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Taro, arrowroot, yeah, and then also if you’re gonna—like let’s say you’re like, “I’m gonna do bread.” Well, sourdough bread has actually shown to have less gluten because of the fermentation process that gliadin protein tend to be more dissolved in the fermentation process. So if you’re gonna go get all glutened out, take a look at the good, better, best side of it, right? Good or best would be abstaining and doing zero grains. Good may be doing like white rice or better—sorry, better maybe doing like white rice or something that’s fully gluten-free. And then third would be, alright, fine. You’re gonna do a gluten bread, well, it’s gonna at least be fermented, i.e. sourdough bread. It’s fermented, so the gluten and the compounds in there that may be more allergenic are decreased. But the other things–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That Evan and I still wanna touch upon are the lectins, are the phytates and the oxalates, the mineral disruptors, the protein disruptors, and the high amount of pesticide and Roundup that are on some of these products. So you can at least reduce it by going organic and by going the sourdough method so it’s at least fermented and soaked, so the grains are gonna be more palatable and not have the mineral and enzyme disruptors. But again, better, right? Good, better, best. Best is gonna be at least keeping the grains out. Good or better part is gonna be in between, going like a rice protein and then like, you know, good would be doing the fermented sourdough bread option like I just mentioned.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and put it this way, it helps me sometimes to understand kind of the ancestral or the planetary perspective on this. These plants and these grains, they don’t want to get eaten–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah.

Evan Brand:  And digested, right? I mean, they want to pass seed on through an animal and then it come out fully digest—or un—you know, undigested, fully undigested, so that that seed can go back into the ground and grow more grass or grain. I mean, that’s the goal with birds and humans, too, if it goes through and it’s not getting digested, the goal is for that seed to be intact enough to grow more plants, and they don’t wanna get eaten.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So that—that’s enough reason there that—that makes sense and really help me. But like, “Oh, man. Wow. Okay.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s pretty simple, right? You know, from evolution standpoints our role, I mean, it sounds crude is just to be able to pass on our—our seed to our offspring, right? That’s pretty much it. You know, be able to survive enough so you can procreate and pass on your DNA to your offspring. That’s pretty much it. Now there’s two ways of doing it. There’s having claws and weapons and tools and teeth, so you can prevent getting attacked on or preyed on, right? That’s like the wolf or the fox, or maybe us with our weapons as humans. And then there’s the, “Okay, I’m gonna get eaten, right?” Berries, grains, but there’s gonna be seeds and things that are gonna keep the seed and the DNA intact, so eventually maybe it will go back and be able to grow again and pass on its offspring so it can live again, right? So there’s two methods. It’s either you’re gonna fight now or you’re gonna basically submit but live the fight another day by passing itself back into the soil again so it can grow.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup. Should we move on to body system two?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and then last piece that is the foundation with the diet, I’d say is also the emotions. So if there’s a lot of emotional stress, like there’s an active serious relationship issue. You know, not just like hey, you know, you had a fight here or there but you have active relationship problems. Maybe there’s an active divorce issue. Maybe you’re real problem with the child or a family member or maybe a death of a loved one or serious work stress, or stress at your church or where you go to—to have a spiritual connection, or you excessively exercise a ton, right? Those kind of things need to be looked at because they can provide a lot of stress underlying. So we wanna make sure there’s not an active emotional issue because it affects the timeline in which we expect healing to occur. If you’re actively going through a divorce or you’re having serious work issues, we may say hey, our goal is gonna be just to dig out feet in and prevent us from sliding downhill, and we may not be able to gain a whole bunch of ground going uphill.

Evan Brand:  Well said, yeah, and I’ll also mention the electromagnetic fields which I’ve done–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes.

Evan Brand:  Countless podcasts on. I had a lady the other day. She heard a podcast about EMF that—that was on the show and she bought a meter online and anything above 1 milligauss, a measure of magnetic field is bad, right? And this lady had 50 milligauss in her bedroom. And so she lives in San Francisco. She didn’t believe it. She called the power company as I told her to do and they came out and they measured, and sure enough, it was about 25 or 30 milligauss. So her meter was pretty inaccurate, but it was accurate enough to detect a problem that warranted further investigation. And even the power company was like, “Well, this is insanely high.” I mean, you’ll see some people that say anything above 3 milligauss of magnetic fields which comes from power lines is—is bad, but either way, 20, 50, that’s insane and so she’s moving immediately and she said she hadn’t slept well for months and kinda like my story that you and I chatted about when I had to move. I was measuring 7 milligauss in my office and I feel like I didn’t sleep. So I mean, that’s another cause of adrenal hormone issues that you and I are discussing and talking about with people because it’s—it’s an invisible smoke, right? If you had glasses that you could wear and see this stuff, everybody would freak out. But it’s invisible. And like my friend Eric Windheim says, “It’s like fighting a ghost.” So you have to measure this stuff and—and mitigate it, and there’s more. We won’t go into more detail today, but just check out EMF in the search bar on the website, and you’ll be able to find, you know, more episodes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. So we addressed the foundational pieces, diet, lifestyle, emotional stress, meal timing, nutrient density–

Evan Brand:  Environmental.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Toxins from the chemical. Toxins are essentially—the electromagnetic toxins, right? That’s kinda in that toxin realm.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We hit that. We talked about the hormones, ATM, ATF. And then next step is gut function/gut infections. Now typically when we start out with the diet piece, depending on what’s happening symptomatically, if we see a lot of reflux, a lot of bloating, let’s say we have a history of vertical ridging in the nails or we see a lot of undigested food particulate or the stool looks grayer or the stool floats or we have poor hair quality or very dry skin, these are all symptoms that we’re not digesting our food optimally. So to support the diet piece, we may bring some of the digestive support up forward, and bring it into intro phase. What I mean is we may bring in some of the hydrochloric acid, some of the enzymes, some of the bitters, some of the digestive support to help stimulate digestion because we see that as supporting the intro phase. We’re working on digesting foods and making sure that piece is dialed in. So that may have to be brought up forward because it’s—it supports the foundation. That’s number one. Number two is we have to knock out the infections. So as we look at body system two, we really break it down into 5 steps. So number one is remove the bad foods. Number two is replace the enzymes and acids like I mentioned. So that’s the digestive support to make the intro diet piece work better. Number three is repair and repair means repairing the adrenals because we have to make sure that piece is there. because we don’t wanna work on really healing the gut, until we have the hormonal environment dialed in to help reduce inflammation and help heal the gut lining and help improve IgA levels, which is the localized immune system in the digestive tract. We also wanna make sure healing nutrients are present for people that have extra gut inflammation or extra gut irritation. Things like L-glutamine and the healing nutrients, the licorice root, deglycerized licorice root, maybe slippery elm, maybe cat’s claw, maybe some gentle amino acids like L-glutamine, and Jerusalem artichoke, etc. These are healing nutrients that help that gut lining. Number four is the removing of the infections and we’re able to remove the infections most adequately because of the 3 phases before it. Because of the removing the foods, the replacing the enzymes and acids, the repair in the gut lining and the adrenals, now we can come in and we can start working on removing the infections, and the infections are gonna be specific to the stool test we recommend to pick up the infection. So the H. pylori comes back or fungus comes back or various multiple parasites come back, those all need to be specifically addressed with unique protocols for each. And then number five is going to be the re-inoculation with robotics, really receding all of the good seeds after the weeding’s been done. And then number six is gonna be the retesting to make sure one, infections are cleared and two, there are no new infections as last podcast talked about, making sure there are no resistant infections that were burrowed in deeper that are showing their ugly head, and the only exception will be adding probiotics in the repair phase. Because sometimes probiotics can have an anti-inflammatory effect, and depending on how bad the gut is, we may add some probiotics in the ref—the repair phase as well as the reinoculation phase to help support gut healing and inflammation.

Evan Brand:  Well said. I wanna speak just for a minute and see if you wanna add anything to it about the topic of antibiotic use and infections. There’s a lot of hate on the Internet about herbal remedies for infections, you know, whether it’s an M.D. or a naturopath or someone. You know, getting in an argument about saying, “Oh, herbs don’t work. You have to use triple therapy or this antibiotic or this antifungal prescription.” And there’s very, very, very, very few cases where it takes us more than one or two rounds to get rid of an infection using just herbs, no prescription. So could you add something to that conversation, too? I would 95% of patients can address their gut function and their got infections with herbs alone. 5% of the time we may have resistant bugs that we’ve treated, re-test, still there. Treated, retest, still there. Treated, retest, still there. And it’s 2-3 times and we’re not able to knock it out. But I’ve had people go and on the third time, we knock it out. So the antibiotics may be an option for some people. The conventional antibiotics that are typically run like the metronidazole, the Flagyl, which are the most commonly prescribed ones for these infections tend to miss the infection about two-thirds of the time. And then a lot of times the antibiotics prescribed for your typical triple therapy for H. pylori like clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and/or omeprazole like Prilosec, acid-blocking medications, tend to do the same kind of thing. They’ll miss the infections a third half the time.

Evan Brand:  Well, what about this, too? What about creating more resistant strains due to the antibiotics that have been so overused? Which then makes our job a little bit tougher because people have gone through rounds and rounds of this crap and it’s done nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. That’s the problem is you run the risk of having these antibiotics not work in the time where maybe you really need them, like you get in a car accident or you step on a—a rusty nail or some, some kind of infection that’s more acute and more severe based on the exposure of the microbes. So I’m always about conservative to invasive, right? What’s the most conservative type of care off the bat? It’s always gonna be diet. It’s always gonna be lifestyle. It’s always gonna be using antimicrobial herbal medicines that have been around for literally thousands of years to have a strong safety profile, to have the ability to use them long-term without resistance–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also aren’t gonna wipe out a—as many other microbes, any other beneficial microbes the may be present that are helpful for your gut. We won’t wipe those out and create more problems. I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve seen that have been on antibiotics and had devastating side effects, and now we’re treating them from the damage caused by the antibiotics in the beginning. I’ve seen it so many times. Don’t see it with herbs though.

Evan Brand:  I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I see all the time with antibiotics so I’m always very conservative and we go up in—in gradations on what step one is. Herbs. Step two. Herbs. Step three. Maybe herbs. And then if we’re still having issues, then we go and we lean towards the antibiotics, typically on step three most of the time.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup. Well said. And just the fact that this has been used, the herbs that we’re talking about. They’re been used for thousands of years before antibiotics were invented. To me that says something about the success rate and the safety. So when people read concerns about herbs. A lot of times the concerns are unwarranted unless you’re talking about mixing herbs with pharmaceuticals, like you know, 5HTP and SSRIs and stuff like that. Yeah, you can get into trouble. But generally, there’s really nothing to be concerned about compared to the tens and if not hundreds of thousands of people dying due to medical error. That’s now the third leading cause of death. Did you know that? Medical error.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  So—so this—this is real. This isn’t something were just saying on our—on our high horse. You know, this is for real. Look at CDC death or medical top causes of death. You’ll see medical error and this is from the proper, you know, or this is the prescribed rather is what I meant to say, the prescribed dose of a medication is still causing third leading cause of death, is medical error.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know. I know Barbara Starfield has her prized article in the Journal of the American Medical Association 2000, all on how much medications and surgical procedures done correctly, right? Hey, the surgery was a success but the patient died. Hey, the prescription was—was perfect according to what the patient’s symptomatology was, but the patient had an ulcer and died, right? Just like that happens with ibuprofen 19,000 times a year according to the New England Journal of Medicine. So we know there’s a risk with conventional treatments. So we wanna be as conservative as possible, so we don’t have to go to those type of higher risk procedures.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, agreed. Well said. So yeah, the infections are huge. I mean, Justin and I, we have more podcasts on that talking about our own history with infections. So not only are we in the trenches helping others remove them, but we’re doing it on ourselves, too. So this is—this is a huge piece and has been instrumental for me to get my—my weight back when I’ve lost, you know, 20 pounds of muscle from infections. So this is a real big deal in something that has to be addressed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct, and I think the key thing, too, is we’re not anti-medication.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re all about using the correct tool at the right time, but also weighing the pros and cons. Like if we’re, you know, we got our tool bag on or our toolbelt on, right? And we have all these different tools in our tool bag, alright? And we look at this screw and it’s the flathead groove in it, so we know I gotta pull my Phillips head out, right? I’m not gonna look at that screw and be like, “Screw this, my dog must not gonna allow me to use this flathead, throw it away and then try to pull it—the Phillips in there and try to work it.” So let’s say it’s a—a flathead groove, I’m not gonna look at flathead screwdriver and throw it away, and say, “I’m gonna try using a Phillips, right?” I’m gonna go and say, “Well, this is the right tool for it. So I’m gonna put it in and I’m gonna use the correct tool based on what’s presenting itself.” That’s like if you get in a car accident, we’re not gonna look at the patient and say, “Great! Let’s just throw you on some turmeric right now and call it a day.”

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No. We’re gonna say, “Go to the ER. Get the correct test to make sure there are no fractures, no bleeds, no hemorrhaging.” You may even want to be on some higher dose pain meds. You may want to avoid the opiate ones, right? Because of the addiction, but maybe some higher those pain meds acutely just because you’re in severe trauma and pain. And then we’ll get you stabilized and then we’ll get you on a really good routine after. So we look at the right routine. If we see that flathead groove, we’re reaching for the flathead screwdriver. We’re not reaching for the Phillips.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely. And if you break your arm, yeah, you don’t go take a dose of turmeric and fish oil. I mean, you need to get that checked out and make sure there’s no internal bleeding, etc., etc. So there’s no trophy for—for trying to be a hero and dismissing the acute, incredible trauma medicine that—that is offered. You know, it’s just the things we’re dealing with, their 1, 5, 10, 20, 30-year chronic issues and that’s where functional medicine tends to have far superior success rates. You know, 90+ percent success rates that you and I both have.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, and some of the things that are talked about regarding antibiotics, and I’ll put some of the research in the show notes, but antibiotics can create oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. That’s a big issue, so the mitochondria is gonna be the powerhouse of the cell which is gonna help generate ATP which is like the fuel currency for energy, and also creates oxidative stress which is just a way of breaking down your body, right? Oxidation, you leave a rusty nail in the rain, it gets all rust or you leave a nail out in the rain, it gets rusty because of that oxidation process. We have internal rusting. Doesn’t quite show itself like that, a brownish rust, but it happens—it happens internally and that creates a depletion of a lot of your antioxidant reserves. So your body has to use up more vitamin C, use up more vitamin E, use up more nutrients that would typically be used for other healthy functions. So oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are a side effect of some of these antibiotics use. So we really want to make sure if we’re using them—excuse my frog on my throat—we wanna make sure they are used appropriately for the right situation.

Evan Brand:  Well said. Yeah, and I’ll briefly mention, typically for body system two, we’re gonna be looking at comprehensive stool testing. We’ve discussed that. So whether PCR-based testing or otherwise, and then also the organic acids testing. So you hear us talking, maybe it sounds fancy, mitochondrial issues, amino acid metabolite problems, etc. but we can see and I see it all the time. Vitamin C levels, very, very, very low across the board most time on organic acids which is a urine test that you do at home and then you send that back to the lab and then we go over the results and then stool testing, you’re gonna be able to find infections. You’re gonna go through the protocol and then you’re gonna retest and the infections are gonna be gone. So that’s—that’s it for body system two. Let’s go on to body system three, Justin. So detox, methylation, making sure that people are able to actually do things at the end of the line. Once everything has happened, once a good digestion has happened, you’ve absorbed your minerals, your colon’s helping to produce vitamins for energy, your probiotics are doing the things they should be doing, now it’s time to get the stuff out of the body. We’re hoping the liver is gonna be able to do what it can do. We’re hoping you’re pooping, right? I mean, people buy all these fancy detox powders and teas, but it’s like if you’re not pooping but once a week, that’s a huge issue. That’s a great way to detox, poop and pee. How simple and revolutionary is that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. Poop, pee, breathing, and sweating. It’s like un—unreal. So looking at a lot of the detox things, certain nutrients are required to detox. So you can see why number three, why detox is put number three. Let’s just break that down so everyone can get the—understand the concept. Again in this show, we’re really committed to being able to teach concepts because if you get the concept, there’s zero memorization involved in it. Once you get the concept, it’s like riding a bike. You get back on—Boom! You never have to go to that learning curve of falling. So what’s the concept? So number one, if we’re poor foods and eating toxic foods, and foods that are nutritionally poor, what happens to detox? Automatically impaired.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? So why are we gonna work on detox off the bat? Because if we just get that first phase done, we’re starting to work on detox even though we’re not working on it directly, because it’s body system three, we already worked on it in the intro phase. Number one. Number two, we actually start breaking down the foods. That means we start breaking down the proteins into their smaller amino acid constituents and we know how important the sulfur based amino acids for operating phase 2 detoxification. Phase 2 is like the n-acetylation, hydroxylation, the glutathione production, the methylation, and we need methionine and we need cysteine and glutamine and glycine and taurine, and all these really important sulfur aminos, and if we can’t break down our protein constituents into those smaller products, you know? Ripping off the pearl necklace and pulling off the individual pearls, that’s what it’s akin to. If we can’t do that, we’re not gonna be able to run phase 2 and then frankly we need lots of antioxidants and B vitamins to run phase 1. So if we have SIBO or dysbiosis, well, our probiotic production internally from our gut bacteria is automatically forwarded or downregulated because we know good bacteria in our gut produces a lot of those nutrients for us, right? Good bacteria eats poop and poops nutrition, B vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients. Bad bacteria eats nutrition and poops poop. Bad bacteria makes you more toxic. So what is the more toxicity from the bad bacteria due to body system three? It decreases its function. So you can see how we lead up to diet and lifestyle. We lead up to digesting food. We lead up to healthy gut bacteria, knocking out infection, addressing the flora, because all of that sets the stage for body system three, so we can come in there and really support the nutrients that are missing, the pathways that aren’t working properly, and we can potentially even knockout specific heavy metals if we see heavy metals are in there with other types of chelators and compounds that pull the metals out. And some of the test we do—well, I’ll take a breath there, Evan. Any comments?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, well said. I wanted to mention this comes at the end because we want to make sure that everything else has been addressed upstream. I mean we’re not going to go straight to detox if we know that you have infections and we know that you’re still getting, let’s say artificial sweeteners in your diet which can be placing a burden on the liver, right? So we want to see the liver and your detoxification abilities, methylation, this includes anybody with like MTHFR genetic defects. This includes you, too. All that other stuff’s gotta be taken care of first because we want to see what the actual baseline is. Not the baseline when you are doing so much sugar and alcohol and bad fats and artificial sweeteners and all of that that’s got the burden on the liver. So once we get all that stuff out of the way, then we take a look at body system three. It’s the, “Oh, okay, so this is the true baseline,” and then yeah we can look for heavy metals, from dental fillings, amalgams, you know, bad food, bad water, too much tuna fish, other environmental exposures, and then we can start helping to get the detox system working better because if you’re not pooping well and you have an overburdened liver, you’re just gonna be recirculating all these toxins. So then you’re gonna get the joint pain and the allergies and the asthma, and the skin problems, the headaches, the brain fog, alcohol intolerance, I mean, we could go on and on but you gotta get all that other stuff taken care first, so if you go straight to detox or somebody tries to sell you on some detox protocol first when you don’t even know if you have leaky gut or not, I would be cautious and maybe you have more to say about that, but I don’t like the idea of pushing stuff out of people’s body if they don’t even have enough trash men to come gather all of the trash at the end of the road.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, 100%. So we have everything lead up to it and I think you emphasized the whole leaky gut part right because the leaky gut as you mentioned is really the consequence of all of the inflammation, the inability to break down food, the compromised immune system, and then the infections. All of that will lead to leaky gut. So leaky gut isn’t necessarily a result. It’s more of an effect of all of the inflammation and the damage.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? The gluten, the bad foods, all of the inflammation. So that’s kind of the end product that you get there is leaky gut. So looking at everything that you mentioned. How do we quantify it? Because you put some really good points out there. How do we actually know what’s going on from the detoxification side? Well, we’ll look at an organic acid test. Typically as a good starting point because we’ll get a window into various detoxification pathways, whether it’s pyroglutamate or other types of organic acids, sulfate—these are organic acids that will give us a window into how those sulfur aminos are doing. If the demand for them is higher or if they’re depleted. And we’ll also get a window into B vitamin status. We’ll get a window into methylation and we’ll also get a window into oxidative stress by looking at the 8-hydroxy 2-deoxyguanosine for instance. Again, these are all like jeopardy words but these are organic acids that give us a window into all these systems, whether it’s simply xanthorrhoea for B6, whether it’s the amino acids for the brain with vanilmandelate or homovanilate or 5-hydroxyindoleacetate or whether it’s markers for gut bacteria like hippurate or benzoate. So these—these markers give us a big window into what’s happening and the organics can really help tell us what’s happening there from some of those detox nutrients, and we may even look at like a SpectraCell or a NutrEval as well. Again, I lean more towards the organics because that’s my baby.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The NutrEval combines the organics with another blood test for nutrients, too. So that’s a—another side option which at least does contain the organics and that gives us a good window into what’s happening but we always go back to intro, body system one, hormones, ATF, ATM; body system two, the ability to digest, removing food allergens, healing the leaky gut, repairing the gut lining, removing infections, adding in probiotics, and retesting because we gotta make sure new infections aren’t there and the old ones are gone. Number—body system three is gonna be detox nutrients and that’s typically where we follow suit, and we reserve the right to kinda move some things in. Like if I know someone has a ton of oxidative stress, I may throw some extra vitamin C that we may discover on an organics test, I may throw it in with the adrenal protocol. So we do things and we mix-and-match outside of that box a bit, so if any patients are listening, they may think, “Well, Dr. J gave me some detox support in body system one,” and that’s gonna be dependent upon how that person’s presenting, how sensitive they are, and how bad their detox is. We may add some small things in with body system one, because maybe the adrenal support is too much for their liver, and we need to give their liver just a little bit of support so they don’t have a lot of those hormone side effects.

Evan Brand:  Totally, well said. I’m gonna mention two things and then we can wrap it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool.

Evan Brand:  One for me on the organics, which I just love is the quinolinic 5-HIAA ratio–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Looking at inflammation because you could go on and on and sound fancy, but when someone sees inflammation and you’re like, “Look, here it is.” It’s like, “Oh, crap.” Because inflammation, you know, even a conventional physician is gonna talk about inflammation as a cause of disease, right? And so when we can actually prove that to a client or a patient, it’s incredible and it’s very profound to be able to do that and then whether it’s 3, 4, 6 months later when the retest comes, and you can see that that number’s gone down, it’s very, very rewarding for both of us, and lastly, the toxin piece, too, something that Justin and I have been talking about a lot and—and I’m running on—I’m running this test on nearly everyone I possibly can–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Including myself is the GPL-TOX so I can look at the toxic load because I bought a sauna based on my toxic load of insecticides, and this is not a challenge or a push test so even the sickest people, we don’t have to worry about doing any type of chelation which may push some stuff out. You just urinate in—in the morning in a cup and you send it off. And the cool thing is you can run it side-by-side with the organics, so it’s literally the same urine sample. All you have to do is spend a little bit extra investment to get both test run organics and GPL-TOX at the same time, and I had insecticide levels in my body that are known carcinogens that were higher than they should be. And so for me, this is a huge, huge, huge new realm of opening up this. Look, we know there’s detox problems. Let’s fix it, but what are we actually fixing. You know, that had always been the question, right? Ooh, there’s detox problems. Man, you got headaches. You got chemical sensitivity. You can’t handle perfumes, gas fumes. Look, here’s why. And oh, man, is there anything more fun in the world than this? I mean, I—I don’t think so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. I mean, it’s like we’re CSI detectives without all the—the murder and blood, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re trying to put together the—the puzzle piece that’s really getting people’s quality of life back. So just summarizing those tests. We run the organics test. We run maybe the OAT, which is the—the Great Plains Lab organics. We run the GPL-TOX. We may run the NutrEval, the SpectraCell and then we have the heavy metal challenge test where we challenge, with a chelation compound, like DMPS or DMSA or EDTA to get a window into the toxic burden of metals because metals don’t want to stay in systemic circulation. They don’t wanna stay in the blood. They only go on the blood acutely in that first 24 to 48 hours, then they go into the tissue.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whether it’s the brain or the individual tissues or even bones when it comes to lead. So we gotta get a window into it so we have to do a challenge, a provocation agent that can go in into the tissues and really kinda pull things out. It’s like, “Hey, you go outside. You look for bees. There may not bees swarming around, but if there’s a beehive there, well provocation agent’s throw rock into the beehive, right?” You know those bees are in that beehive when those—when that rock hits it and those bees come out, that’s the provocation agents. So we use that same kind of methodology with the heavy metal test. The rock is like the chelation compound that we use to see what’s coming out in the urine and a lot of times we see aluminum, we see arsenic, we see cadmium, and we see a whole bunch of mercury and lead, and it’s different for each person.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely, and then you got blood metals, too. Quicksilver’s Blood Metals is cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand: There’s the Mercury Tri Test, too, for hair, blood, urine. There’s so many different things out there. A lot of them are good. A couple of them are bad, but you know, we’ll help you to make the distinction what is right for you and this is case-by-case. Some people they may not need to investigate metals. Other people they’ll come to us and they’ll say, “Evan or Justin, man, I got metal problems.” And they just have a gut feeling and in those cases, I say, “Okay, cool. Let’s get you checked out.“ It’s not gonna hurt. It can only help you to investigate. So if you have a gut feeling and that gut feeling can be disrupted obviously if you have got problems, right? Because the inflammation in the gut, you might be getting mixed signals, but if you have a gut feeling, ask us, and let us help you to investigative. If it’s something we didn’t bring up yet or maybe it’s early in the game and we wanted to do it later, just bring it up because you never know. You could be onto something that we just haven’t got to yet and that may save us, you know, a month or two of—of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. And again, we’ll the show notes for everything, the full transcription, again in my new Thyroid Book that will be coming out very soon, just putting the finishing touches on it, we’re gonna have a chapter in the book all on this type of discussion, putting it all together because I feel like this is probably one of the key pieces that most functional medicine practitioners and doctors really, it—it’s very esoteric. It’s kind of in the ether. Like how does it all look?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like what does the whole plan look like? And it just kinda like, you feel like almost like they’re making it up as they go and I think is really important if you’re gonna hou—you know, you’re gonna hike Mt. Everest so to speak, I wanna see that map. I want to know how we’re gonna go up there. I wanna know how we’re navigate that crevice and—and get across that—that ledge or that cliff. I wanna kinda feel like it makes sense when we get directions. So I think that’s a really important piece that we’re adding, is that clarity and that, you know, what’s our fu—future pacing vision? How are we getting to the top?

Evan Brand:  Yup, amen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything you wanna add there, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this was great and fun as always, real honor. If people want to schedule, go to justinhealth, J-U-S-T-I-N, to schedule with Justin. If you want to schedule with myself, go to and like I said, we both block out a few hours, so you know, if there’s a spot available, you wanna grab it for the 15-minute free call. See if we’re a good fit, you know, discuss your options together. Justin and I are happy to do that and we look forward to helping you all out. You know, listening to this is one thing. Getting in the trenches with us is another, and I mean without functional medicine, I would likely still be dealing with depression and irritable bowel syndrome and skin issues and fatigue and insomnia and adrenal problems. I mean, every aspect, everything that could’ve gone wrong was wrong in my body systems and just one by one, plucking these things off the list, and there’s never a finish line, right? I mean it’s always a continual journey. So you’re just always pushing to the next step ahead and this is your time. You know, you don’t have to suffer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. I appreciate the hope and the inspiration, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great chat. Great chat. Look forward to chatting with you very soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have an awesome day!

Evan Brand:  You, too. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Coffee, Caffeine and The Adrenal Fatigue Connection

Coffee, caffeine, and the adrenal fatigue
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s video is going to be on the truth about coffee. If you want more info on this, check out my recent podcasts on this topic over at

We have some of the benefits of coffee up top. We’ll break them down and we’ll make sense of it all. Also, we will talk about some of the negative aspects of coffee or how coffee could be or caffeine can be taken in a way that’s negative. It could hurt your physiology.

Again, some people take caffeine in a way that can exacerbate their thyroid or their adrenals or affect their appetite. Also, we’ll talk about how caffeine can be applied and coffee can be applied in a way that optimizes mental and cognitive performance. So let’s kind of weigh out the pros and cons on each side here.

Coffee and Adenosine

Let’s discuss some of the good things here. We have this inhibitory neurochemical called adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory compound, so it helps kind of dampen and relax and decrease energy in your body and how you function and feel. This is kind of like GABA, if you will.

So it’s like, if you have like a calming tea like a chamomile or a flower-based tea, that’s kind of really dampening and causing your body to relax. Typically the exact opposite of why you want to take in coffee. You want to take in coffee so we can actually dampen this adenosine response. This is helpful if we’re looking to get some work done; focus; get some energy going; increase cognitive performance because we’re learning; or we’re taking in new information; or we have to be focused dealing with people all day.

It is very helpful to be able to decrease that adenosine, dampen that. That’s why coffee is better in the morning, in the first half of the day, not taken after the noon time. This is because caffeine has an 8-hour half-life. So we want to work on metabolizing that coffee before it’s time to relax. If you’re drinking coffee too late in the afternoon, it’s going to be hard to shut down.


Find out if coffee really is good for you or otherwise from a functional medicine expert by clicking HERE!


Benefits of Coffee

The benefits of coffee

Fat Breakdown

One of the benefits is this dampening effect which can help us with energy and focus. Caffeine that’s in coffee, about 150mg to 300mg of caffeine per cup on average increases lipolysis. What is lipolysis? Let’s break it down. Lipo- means fat. -lysis means to cut or to break. So it’s fat breakdown. It’s the fancy word for fat breakdown. Having coffee and/or caffeine before workout can actually be very helpful at breaking down and increasing free fatty acids in your body. This is so you can start burning more fat for fuel, really helpful.


Coffee actually has a lot of B vitamins, a lot of alkaloids, a lot of antioxidants that are very beneficial for your health. People forget that. If you’re doing instant coffee or Maxwell House or Folger’s, or maybe some of these cheap brands, there’s a good chance that that may not be the case.


What’s an antioxidant? Well, stress oxidation causes your body to basically lose electrons. So if you have this electron right here, which is like a negatively-charged compound and basically oxidative stress comes in and it pulls away your electron. Antioxidants basically take that and prevent this from happening. So antioxidant is anti-loss of an electron. It keeps those electrons paired together versus being broken up. That is kind of how that works. Oxidation is a loss of an electron, so it’s the anti-loss of an electron.

Positive effects on Cognitive Diseases

There are lots of studies on coffee and its effect on decreasing Parkinson’s, also decreasing Alzheimer’s or dementia-like memory symptoms. There are also some studies on coffee not affecting cardiovascular disease, not attributing and not affecting cardiovascular conditions.

My clinical opinion, if you stimulate the body too much because coffee is a stimulant, that activates the sympathetic nervous system. And part of what happens with sympathetic activation is increased heart rate because that’s part of what happens when we’re stimulated. Heart rate goes up to increase blood and increased oxygenation. So that can put extra stress on the heart. If you do have a heart condition, too much caffeine may be an issue for you. We do know that there are some benefits cognitively, which is great, really good stuff.


Disadvantages of Coffee


Adrenal Stimulation

We know coffee does have adrenal stimulation. What does that mean? It’s going to stimulate adrenaline. We have a couple of different words for adrenaline: catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine. Medicine loves to confuse us, so we have lots of different words that mean the same thing.

So in here, we have cortisol and then we have adrenaline. Those are our big things that are happening. Now these can be okay if we’re healthy and we have healthy adrenal function; it may not be a bad thing per se. It’s getting a little cortisol or adrenal push that may help performance. This may help this increased lypolysis, so that may be beneficial.

Sleep issues

Your cortisol rhythm is like this—here’s your AM, here’s your morning. Here’s your PM, in the afternoon. So typically, you wake up and your cortisol goes down like this throughout the day. If you’re adrenally stressed, and you’re doing coffee too much later in the day, it will have a negative effect on your sleep. Let’s say your coffee happens lower in the day; and then what happens relatively-speaking at night, you start going back up and this can be where sleep issues start to happen.

So I typically recommend not consuming any coffee after eleven or twelve o’clock. I always do it with the good high quality fats in there to time release it. And just make sure if your adrenals are messed up or your rhythm is switched, make sure you go and get your adrenals looked at and supported with a functional medicine doctor. You need to get them back in cycle and then cutting coffee out maybe the right thing for you. It may be. So this is the whole cortisol rhythm thing.

Cognitive Performance Issues

This is a big thing. Dave Asprey has kind of made this famous where coffee is known to have a lot of mycotoxins in it; so you want to avoid crappy coffee that can affect cognitive performance. You want to use coffee that makes you feel good and perform better. So the good sources like I mentioned.  The mycotoxins, the pesticides, the chemicals—so you want to avoid all those and choose high-quality coffee. Mix it and blend it in with fat so you have that time release effect that I mentioned earlier.

Jitters, Anxiety, Tachycardia

The CYP1A2 gene is a specific genotype that has evolved into an enzyme. If we don’t have this gene here, we can have a decrease in the enzyme that metabolizes caffeine. So if we have this enzyme that has decreased activity, we have decreased enzyme activity. That means that we are not going to be able to metabolize caffeine because that’s a poor caffeine metabolizer. This may make it hard for us to metabolize caffeine. So what happens is that caffeine sits in our system longer. That half-life of 8 hours is going to be much longer, maybe 10, 12, 15 hours. A half-life is how much it takes to take the caffeine in your system and cut in half. So if it takes 8 hours to cut in half, every 8 hours we continue to cut that caffeine in half. We want to make sure we’re able to metabolize it fast. If we’re not able to, doing any caffeine at all may cause jitters, anxiety, and tachycardia. This feels like the heart is beating out of your chest.

CYP1A2 genotype

So you got to be careful. This CYP1A2 genotype, if we have that we’re going to have decreased enzyme activity for breaking down caffeine. Now should you go and get a genotype test, personally don’t waste your money. Everyone here who has this issue knows it. They’re sensitive to coffee. They have it –there’s caffeine from tea or coffee, they are sensitive. If that’s the case, definitely you want to avoid caffeine. If you have energy issues, though; and you’re using that to help increase the energy and it’s too stimulatory, then you got to go get your adrenals looked at. Have it checked and assessed, and get on a functional medicine program.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor!


Recommendations for coffee drinking

Now when I do my coffee, I mix it with butter, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil. If you have autoimmune conditions, you may want to do ghee or not even use coffee. You can maybe do a chai tea instead, if you’re sensitive.

MCT gives you these various ketone precursors that are about 6-8 times higher than in your typical coconut oil where MCT is extracted. And then also using good quality butter, we have butyric acid, these short-chain fatty acids that are really helpful. The goal is it kind of time releases the caffeine.

Essentially, if here’s the caffeine coming down the pipe here, it basically time releases it. Now the caffeine comes in much slower. So instead of having this really big bolus of caffeine, when we have the fat in it, you’re going to see what happens is this. We have what I call the magic carpet caffeine ride experience. We now have the fat and caffeine together having this gentle up and down type of effect. This is much more gradual which is nice. You don’t have the up and the down, and you’re also getting a lot of good fatty acids which can help your appetite which is really good.

Coffee and Hydration

You just got to be really careful because when you do too much caffeine, it also put your body in that sympathetic state which can shut down your appetite. This is especially true if you’re doing a lot of ketones. It’s going to cause to pee out a lot of water, so you got to make sure you’re staying hydrated with good water that has sulfur and minerals in it. Whether it’s a Pellegrino, or a Topo Chico, or a good clean filtered water that you add minerals to, it can also affect your appetite.

Coffee and other nutrients

And remember, just because you have a whole bunch of calories of good healthy fats in that coffee, people call it Bulletproof coffee or butter coffee, your body still needs nutrients. That means you’re still not eating grass-fed meat, Omega 3’s, nutrient-rich antioxidant vegetables or low sugar fruit. You’re not eating those because your appetite’s now gone south. So we got to make sure we’re not affecting our appetite so much where we’re missing the other amino acids and nutrients. Our body still needs those for optimal health. So be careful of too much appetite suppression. Ketones can do that. You just got to be careful of it. And also if your adrenals are fatigued, you may not be able to handle that stimulation.

Decaffeinated Coffee

A couple of things you can do is have decaffeinated coffee which could be helpful. You got to be careful because caffeine is a natural pesticide in coffee. Typically, decaf coffee is sprayed in a much higher rate with various pesticide compounds because the coffee doesn’t have that caffeine; so it can be attacked by mold and other things. If you do get caffeine or decaf coffee, you got to make sure it’s a Swiss water process, not the benzene or methyl chloride process that’s involved in decaffeinated coffee in the past. You want to make sure it’s the water-based Swiss water process that just involves water and no methyl chloride or benzene since benzene is carcinogenic.

Quality Coffee

So we got to make sure, if we’re going to do it, have good clean coffee. Try to make sure it’s small sources, make sure it’s roasted. Central American’s pretty good, higher altitude coffee. Don’t go for the blends that can have a lot of different bad beans. Go for a single source if you can. A couple of my favorite coffees are Bulletproof, Premier, Research Labs makes a great coffee; and there is a handful of good coffees that you can find at different shops. Just try to go for single source. Try to go roasted and try to go for companies that have a good reputation, organic if you can. Some places are organic but they don’t pay for the label. You just got to know which ones are of that organic quality standard. So be careful of the appetite.

What’s the Verdict?

So in the end, is coffee good or bad? It really depends. Choose quality. Prepare it the right way with healthy fats. If you have an autoimmune condition, cut the coffee out and use some very benign sources like a chai tea or even do nothing in the morning for a period of time. If you’re going to use butter, use ghee if you’re autoimmune, then progress to the healthy grass-fed butter. Well, if you have adrenal or thyroid issues, and you feel that caffeine is exacerbating things or your problems or your health issues; or it is abrasive on the gut, pull it out for a period of time. Add it back in. Get your adrenals and your thyroid and your hormonal system working better.

So again, this is the truth about coffee. I hope I instilled some really good info. If you feel like you’re having some issues with coffee or with your energies or your adrenals or anxiety or mood stuff, and coffee could be connected, click on screen or reach out below and make sure you subscribe to get access to more great videos coming your way.


Are you deficient in magnesium? – Podcast #93

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss the issue of magnesium and break it down for us by differentiating the various forms. Listen as they share the top conditions that can affect or be affected by magnesium and signs of magnesium deficiency to look out for.

magnesium deficiencyFind out what the different types of magnesium do the body and what they are good for. Discover what foods are nutrient dense and magnesium-rich. When buying magnesium, they advise to look for the quality and who’s selling it or what company is selling it, etc. Also learn about how magnesium & calcium and magnesium & fluoride work together. Listen to this interview and find out as well about magnesium boosting your brain function.

In this episode, topics include:

05:01   Magnesium bank

05:42   Different types of magnesium

09:52   Nutrient dense magnesium-rich foods

11:36   Epsom salt baths

15:59   Magnesium & calcium and magnesium & fluoride

21:42   Research studies on magnesium














Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, Evan! It’s Dr. J. It’s a marvelous Monday here. How’s it going over in Louisville?

Evan Brand:  Hey! This great, this morning, man. I’ve been watching Cardinals actually all morning fly around, it’s—spring is in full bloom, so I’m happy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. Your mic sounds are really good today.

Evan Brand:  Good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Alright, well, let’s dig in today. We talked at pre-show we wanted to dive into the issue of magnesium. So I’ll let you open it up here.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so magnesium—everyone hears about it. A lot people likely supplement with some form of magnesium and we’re gonna kinda break those down, but by some estimates up to 80% of Americans or more are magnesium-deficient, and so there’s a real awesome lady that you and I probably need to get on our podcast which is Dr. Carolyn Dean, medical doctor who wrote the book, The Magnesium Miracle, and I think a new version of it came out in 2014, but long story short, I’m just gonna read off some of the top 22 symptoms or conditions that can affect or be affected by magnesium. So this anxiety, panic attacks, asthma, blood clots, bowel diseases, cystitis, depression, detox, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease, hypertension, hypoglycemia—which my blood sugar is a lot better now that I have more magnesium—insomnia, kidney disease—I’ve read about kidney disease being because if you’re deficient in magnesium, now calcium is going to be able to take root in your kidneys and you’re at more risk of kidney stones if you don’t have enough magnesium—you got liver disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, cramps, back pain, nerve problems, PMS, infertility, osteoporosis, tooth decay, on and on. So I mean, we could probably list a thousand things here together but the truth is even some of the early signs of magnesium deficiency are things to look out for. So this is like the numbness and tingling, muscle cramps, personality changes, heart rhythms, sometimes heart palpitations, things like that. When you’re under excess stress, which is probably the lens that we’re coming at this, and soil depletion, it’s sort of being a double whammy for being deficient. You’re burning through your mineral stores when you are in a state of chronic stress which I’d say 90% of our patients had some level of chronic stress that led to their issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I totally agree. Now a lot of people here. Number one, if you’re eating excess carbohydrate or excess refined sugar, what’s actually gonna happen is you’re gonna be burning through your magnesium to help metabolize your sugar. So your body has to then take that sugar and run it through glycolosis and which basically is breaking down the sugar for energy and then it shoots it into the Kreb cycle where your body spits out FADH and—and NADH which then takes the hydrogens from that whole electrons—so it takes the hydrogens from the Kreb cycle and throws them into the electron transport chain where it generates more ATP for fuel. So if we just kinda back up, right? We have glycolysis is part one where we take that sugar and break it down, then we shoot it into the citric acid cycle aka the Kreb cycle and part of what is happening there is our body has to use magnesium and breaks down, requires magnesium to help generate energy from that sugar, so the problem is if we’re eating a whole bunch of refined sugar, what we’re not getting in is nutrients and magnesium’s one of those nutrients that we’re not getting in so we’re actually robbing Peter to pay Paul. We have to then use up more magnesium to then generate and break down energy from that glucose and/or sugar that’s coming in. So eating lots of refine sugar and carbohydrate especially if it’s not from a whole food, organic source is gonna require more magnesium for us to use than what’s actually coming in. So we start going into magnesium or nutrient debt.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so for me, I mean, a lot of my mood instability in my past and my blood sugar crashes and all of that, it’s not to say that the adrenals weren’t important but getting more magnesium which is why I talk about floating tanks all the time and how helpful they’ve been, just getting in more magnesium has been really helpful. Now a lot of people, they’re just gonna go do magnesium citrate like the Natural Calm which you and I both enjoy; however, that’s just one piece of the puzzle and that’s only one form of magnesium, so maybe do you wanna talk about those together? Like the different types of forms, and how, you know, like magnesium oxide which you’re gonna get at Walgreen’s or your typical–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Cr—crappy supplement store. It’s about a 4% absorption rate, which research is looking at, so I mean if you’re taking 400mg thinking you’re doing good, you’re kidding. Just a tiny, tiny fraction of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, so first off, just to kinda wrap everyone’s head around the situation, right? Imagine you walk into this bank. The bank’s called the Magnesium Bank. Now to make a deposit in this bank, imagine it requires $2 of deposit. Like imagine there’s a $2 fee to make a deposit. So if you go into that bank and you’re not depositing $3 or more, you’re actually losing magnesium, right? So most people—imagine we have this $2 initial fee just to make a deposit. Most people are making $0 deposits if not $1 deposits, so every time they go into that bank, it’s actually costing them more magnesium than they’re actually putting in the bank. Does that make sense, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Yeah. That’s a great analogy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So kinda wrap the head around that, now you mentioned some of the different types of magnesium. So there’s like magnesium oxide which is like your conventional table chalk. So most people, when we look at their supplements, we see magnesium oxide in there and we’ll say, “Hey, you know, this is some expensive chalk that you’re buying there.”  And then number two, typically if they’re doing magnesium oxide, we wanna know what the reason is. A lot of people are taking magnesium oxide because it’s cheap, number one, and some doctors will recommend it because of the laxative effects that they have. So it may not be a bad thing if you’re using it for a laxative effect. I typically will use magnesium citrate for a laxative effect because it is better absorbed, so I do like that part. And many people are getting it like in their magnesium powders or like their typical Natural Calm, they’re—that like powder magnesium. We’ll typically use that for a laxative effect. So we have magnesium oxide’s kinda the low end of the totem pole. Citrate’s one step above and then depending on the next steps, we’ll either go with a magnesium malate because malic acid kinda enters the Kreb cycle so that kinda magnesium can have—it and affect with the Kreb cycle which can be nice and it’s very well-absorbed. And same with magnesium glycinate. So we’ll use magnesium malate or magnesium glycinate. The only issue is because they’re bound to like either malic acid or—or an amino acid glycine, it’s so well-absorbed. Because it’s so well-absorbed, it tends to not create the same laxative effect that magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide has. So we’ll use magnesium malate and glycinate to have that sedative kinda absorptive nutritional repletive effect where we’ll use the citrate more for a laxative effect.

Evan Brand:  That’s great. Yeah, so what do you say you use more? So you use malate more or glycinate? That’s always kind of the debate. I hear a lot of people using glycinate these days when they enter that on their—their intake forms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my Magnesium Supreme that I’m using currently is a magnesium malate blend. So I’m doing that more. Both are really good. I don’t think—I don’t think you can go wrong with a glycinate or a malate, both are very well-absorbed, and their amino acid chelated, so they’re bound to an amino acid whether it’s a malic acid or—or a molecule of glycine. Both are gonna be very well-absorbed. So I think either way you can’t go wrong with those two, just for helping to enhance magnesium. The next one we have is the magnesium threonate which I know you have in your supplement line, Evan, which is great because that’s one of these amino acid chelates that actually is bound to threonate, which actually can cross the blood-brain barrier. So that can help with extra bits of anxiety and they can help with brain inflammation. I find you can still get very good effects with the glycine and the malate as well, but the threonate is very good, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the—so a story about that is I had a female last week that I was working with that had severe anxiety issues. She was on Ativan, the prescription anxiety drug, and within a week of starting the magnesium threonate, she was able to completely stop the anxiety medication and she went from having panic attacks per day to having no panic attacks at all. And I was honestly surprised, I—I did not think that it would be that profound, just magnesium. I mean usually we’re thinking, you know, passion flower or chamomile or theanine or some of these other botanicals. Something that powerful coming from magnesium, it kinda blew me away to be honest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, magnesium is powerful and just stabilizing your blood sugar will help, right? Because remember that magnesium bank, right? It cost $2 for a deposit. If we are mitigating the foods that are causing us to, you know, put less magnesium in our tank meaning we’re choosing foods that are stabilizing our blood sugar, because if our blood sugar is swinging less throughout the day, if we’re not on a blood sugar rollercoaster, that’s gonna help stabilize our blood sugar and we’re gonna need less magnesium to help metabolize the—the nutrients that go into the Kreb cycle. And then number two, we’re adding in nutrient-dense foods that have more magnesium. So instead of coming to that magnesium bank with $1 in deposits, we can come with 5 and 10 and 20 because we’re adding in nutrient dense magnesium-rich foods. So a couple of those foods we may talk about here are gonna be your leafy greens, very helpful. Nuts and seeds are gonna be very helpful, too. Magnesium is gonna be great and especially if you’re eating—I’m sorry, fish—especially fish, mackerel, salmon are gonna be great for magnesium as well as calcium especially if there’s some bones in there. If you eat those little small bones, they’re, you know, small enough where you can chew ‘em up. You can get extra calcium and magnesium in there together. Green beans can be very helpful. Avocado is very good. You can do even a little bit of banana; again if it’s glycemically inappropriate, you’d wanna go more with avocado but it’s higher in fat and low in sugar. You can also do high quality dark chocolate. It’s very high in magnesium. So it’s postulated that many women in and around PMS time, those cramps they’re getting get helped by magnesium, so a lot of women actually crave dark chocolate around PMS. So if you’re reaching for the high quality 85% cacao and up dark chocolate, that’s gonna significantly help with those cramps.

Evan Brand:  That’s amazing, isn’t it? It’s sort of you’re having these cravings and you don’t know specifically why. You’re probably just trying to get some magnesium and obviously chocolate—dark chocolate’s delicious, but for me, I’ve had great success in recommending the citrate form, too; for some of the hormonal changes that happen, sometimes constipation’s happening around the cycle, too, that and the—the cramping have both been alleviated with the citrate. So it’s almost like I would recommend everyone having at least a few forms around and you just have to really have these in your toolbox, and then depending on what you’re trying to treat at that time, you can bring in or cycle out, on or off different types.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and then you have other types of magnesium such as our Epsom salt baths.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Epsom salt baths are excellent because you can absorb a lot of magnesium in the actual Epsom salt bath, and the nice thing about it is you increase the surface area because your skin’s in the actual Epsom salt bath, so you absorb a lot of that magnesium there as well, which is phenomenal. So with Epsom salt baths, you’re getting a lot of magnesium sulfate, if I remember correctly. So that magnesium sulfate gets absorbed into your skin and that can have a very positive effect.

Evan Brand:  That’s it. Yeah, the other one’s magnesium chloride which a lot of people have been emailing me asking about the magnesium oils which have been really, really, really effective and really popular. You have to watch out some of these magnesium oil companies, they’re just big pyramid schemes. So you really gotta look and see who’s promoting. I won’t call them specifically, but there’s a lot of people in the health space promoting specific brands that are huge multilevel marketing affiliate-based schemes and you’re paying you know double or triple or quadruple what you should be paying and you’re not even getting what would be, you know, the highest quality, you know. So you gotta look for the quality and you gotta look for who’s selling it, what company is selling it, etc. You got—always gotta weigh that stuff in. Don’t get wooed just because someone has a—a, you know, a cool voice or a—a nice attitude to him. You gotta really look in and make sure that it’s legit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’m a bigger fan of just buying a product that you like because most multilevel things they kind of coerce you into now having to be the—the buyer and seller of the product where if you just like a product, you know, you don’t wanna have to also be the seller of it, too. It’s easier just to consume it because you like it. I like that mindset better. But shifting gears back to the Epsom salt bath, you can do 1-2 cups of like the Epsom salt which is basically magnesium sulfate and you could sit in that bath for about 10 minutes and that’ll have some incredibly relaxing effects.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I do a few Epsom salt baths per week and then when I was in Austin, at least I was floating. You know, going into the float tank where you’re not getting just a cup. You’re getting a thousand pounds of Epsom salt in about 10 inches of water, and you come out feeling incredible. I was doing that about once a month but I haven’t since. So there is a place here. I just haven’t made it in there yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. Like my biggest thing is having like a nice magnesium drink or like a Tulsi tea kinda decaffeinated holy basil adaptogenic herbal tea at night and then if you’re really having a stressful day, light a couple scented candles, maybe a little bit of lavender oil under your nose and then sit in a nice Epsom salt bath for 10 minutes and that will promote significant relaxation.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. So should we talk about ways that people are running out of magnesium? I kind of alluded to it—the stress, obviously, the dietary exclusion of things that have magnesium in it. Maybe we could talk about just basically people who are burning the candle at both ends and we’re kind of burning up magnesium like jet fuel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so a couple of things here that will influence your magnesium levels. Number one, like I already mentioned eating high sugar foods will do it. Eating nutrient poor foods will do it. Being under emotional stress like you mentioned, because magnesium has about 300+ enzymatic roles in the body according to research, right? And research tends to be, you know, under appreciate, you know, what’s happening from a nutritional perspective. So it’s probably even more and that if we’re under more stress we’re burning it up and it has that many roles, that means we need it. It’s even more important, right? Because what enzymatic system in your body do you wanna short circuit today? And most people know that feeling great meaning having at sits—all systems working on all 4 cylinders. So we know that we need about 500mg of magnesium a day. About 500mg is the upper limit of the RDA. Most people are only getting about 200mg. So if we can choose the right foods like I mentioned, so just getting that little bit of dark chocolate can get you about 300mg right there. You have an avocado and some leafy greens, now you’re—you’re cooking on all 4 cylinders there. And then if we’re choosing foods that are glycemically appropriate, not super high in sugar or not overdoing caffeine, now we’re gonna be able to hold on to a lot more of the magnesium we’re taking in.

Evan Brand:  Now let me ask you this because this is a bit of a controversy. Why is calcium so promoted? I mean, I could just remember as a kid, one of my grandmothers just eating those stupid little—I can’t remember the brand of it. It was a purple box of chocolates. It was calcium chocolates and it’s so heavily promoted. I mean if we have so much research on magnesium now and we’re mostly getting excess of calcium due to all the fortification. Well, why in the world is magnesium—why is this the—the smoking gun or why is this the hidden nutrient? And calcium is so heavily to—to women especially and to people aging for the prevention of osteoporosis. It’s starting to look like the more and more research there is, the magnesium is actually gonna be one of the key players as well as vitamin D and vitamin K to prevent bone loss.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I do think magnesium has more roles in the body enzymatically just according to what the body is gonna use, but I mean we do know the bones are a big storage site of calcium, right? It’s the largest. We also know that half your bones are protein. People forget like, okay, so we gotta eat protein, and if we have digestive issues, we can see how that can contribute to bone loss because the same mechanism that’s involved in breaking down protein is actually involved in ionizing minerals. So you can see when we start to have protein issues and digestive issues and leaky gut, that’s gonna create calcium and magnesium and other mineral problems. And then if you look at just the top 10 foods, right? We’re using HealthAlicious——the top 10 foods for calcium are very similar to the top 10 foods for magnesium. So it’s gonna be your nuts and seeds, your dark, leafy green, your high quality fish, right? Avocado, dark chocolate, a lot of your greens like I mentioned, almonds, canned sardines with the bones especially with the fish, you wanna eat the bones because that’s where more of the calcium, it’s in the fish. So if you’re getting a lot of the high nutrient magnesium foods, you’re gonna be getting a high nutrient amount of the calcium foods. The next question above and beyond diet is do you have extra stress in your life that will require supplementation, whether it’s magnesium and calcium. We always give it in our high quality multivitamin, but we’ll typically give extra magnesium where there’s stress. And if you’re trying to grow and help support bone health, then we’ll add in some extra vitamin K and vitamin D, and maybe even some vitamin A as well as the good quality magnesium and calcium foods.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, see those are the more important pieces and I don’t know if there’s not as much money involved or if it’s just old science or what it is, but you’re never gonna hear your mainstream physician or practitioner promoting magnesium so heavily, but this and vitamin D and vitamin K like and—and protein and good digestion, and making sure you don’t have parasites, all that—this is the real deal. This is the real way to prevent the age degeneration that really does happen, you know, as we get older. I mean, my grandpa, for example, I think he shrunk already like 1-1/2 inches and it’s like, what if I were to give him this information 10 years ago, how much of that would I’ve been able to prevent or maybe even reverse as we start getting these things back in check and not just, you know, having the doctor try to throw him on calcium supplements every time he goes into the office.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, your body can heal, too, right? Vitamin K helps bring calcium into the tissue back into the bone where it belongs, right? Typically calcium will go out into the tissue as a means of inflammation. We know these like little calcium plaques that could hit in the arterial walls of the vasculature in the heart for instance. Well, why is that calcium going in there? That’s part of the Band-Aid process from inflammation. So if we can reduce the inflammation and we can make sure we have enough vitamin K to keep the calcium where it needs to go and then if we can use a lot of our nutrients to help reduce inflammation along with a healthy diet and healthy gut microbiota, we’re in a much better place.

Evan Brand:  That makes—that makes sense. So mainly it sounds like, you know, and maybe this is a tangent but the inflammation piece is really the issue here, and then if you have that addressed and you have your digestion addressed, all that—and you have the diet, some of these things are gonna kinda work themselves out. You’re not gonna need these—these conventional interventions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, people can’t forget how important antibiotics are, too, right? Antibiotics can really, really screw up our gut function, and we need to have very good gut function so we can absorb a lot of our nutrients. So that’s—I think something we cannot forget about are the antibiotic effects.

Evan Brand:  Yup, amen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know for instance they talk about fluoride having negative effects on magnesium as well because magnesium binds the fluoride to form a magnesium fluoride and that can drain your body of magnesium. Because if you’re constantly taking in fluoride, you have a lot more of these fluoride molecules that your magnesium will be binding to. So the more we’re getting in fluoride from our drinking water, which is not very healthy unless it’s coming at a natural calcium fluoride source. If it’s the hydrofluorosilicic acid that’s added to our water supply for the dentin thickness or to help improve the outer structure of the teeth, it’s actually shown to be ineffective when it comes to calcium taken internally. It’s like trying to protect yourself from the sun by putting suntan lotion in your water. It’s much better from a topical perspective, not internally taking it in.

Evan Brand:  It’s a great analogy. It makes us seem really stupid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I mean, for instance there’s one article right here, I’m reading it from the British Medical Journal. It was a research facility out of New Zealand that showed that women who simply take calcium supplements are at a much higher risk of heart disease. Nothing is said about magnesium. People were just left up in the air. Some doctors are saying, “Yeah, don’t take calcium anymore.” Nobody’s talking about magnesium as being the balance point. So I think if anyone’s gonna air in taking something alone, take magnesium alone. I believe people should be on a high quality multivitamin and if you’re taking something by itself, if you wanna get extra calcium it should always be taken with magnesium just because of these—some of these studies showing these negative results of calcium by itself but if you were to take one out of the two by itself, make sure it’s magnesium by itself and if you’re gonna do extra calcium, make sure it’s at least in a compendium of magnesium at a 1:1 or a 2:1 ratio.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so here was another study British Journal of Cancer. This is a new one, December 2015. It looked at 66,000 men and women, aged 50-76, and it—they were basically—they were in this vitamin and lifestyle, they called it a vital study first and then eventually they were kind of looking at the incidents of pancreatic cancer by magnesium intake categories. Long story short, the people that had, for example, every 100mg that they went up in magnesium—or no, they actually have it backwards here. So every 100mg less per day of magnesium, you add in 24% increase in the incidents of pancreatic cancer. So let me just—I’m gonna repeat that just to make sure it’s clear. For every 100mg per day of magnesium less that was consumed, your risk went up 24% every 100.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  That’s a lot. 24%–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is. That’s—that’s big. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is really big.

Evan Brand:  So I think maybe I’m gonna supplement with some right after this podcast today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’m gonna read one more study here. I think it’s important we have a little bit of study—we wanna be more in the clinical side but we wanna kinda back up what we’re talking about. But there was one study here looking at the effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in the elderly, and it was a—a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. That means the patients didn’t know what they were taking and the doctors administrated. The patients didn’t what they were taking. One group has the—the magnesium. The other group typically had a—a placebo that was innocuous. And what they found that supplementation of magnesium appears to improve subjective measures of insomnia, including sleep efficiency, sleep time, sleep onset and early morning awakening and likewise, insomnia objective measure such as concentration as well as looking at like serum renin, which looks at kidney function, as well as looking at melatonin levels and the serum cortisol in the elderly. All these things improved while taking basically the magnesium supplementation.

Evan Brand:  Did it say what form they were taking there?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let me see if I can extract that here. They just talk about it being magnesium. They did not go into any detail here. Let me see here. They talk about—no, they did not go into the exact kind of magnesium. Let me pull up the—the full article and I can break that down here. But any comments on that? I think the sleep part is so important because sleep affects your adrenals, your thyroid, it helps your immune system. There’s so many benefits that happen with sleep and we know that with poor sleep, we increase our chance of all-cause mortality and we increase blood sugar issues. We become more insulin-resistant the less quality of sleep we get.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I wanna add a couple of other comments back about some research on the magnesium threonate. One was looking at when you can elevate the brain and magnesium levels so when you can cross that blood-barrier that you’re gonna change your fear conditioning—they call it fear extinction in the pre-frontal cortex and the amygdala, sort of the fear center of the brain, that when you get more magnesium in there, you’re gonna be able to shut down that Fight or Flight response. So if we’re talking about people that we’re treating with adrenal issues, a lot of times that could be sort of a PTSD-type scenario, so whether it was war or whether it was just significant stress that contributed to PTSD, we can use this as well to try to basically free up that lock that the brain is stuck in that’s keeping them in that chronic stress state. Now another piece of it here, too, was looking at enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. So if you’re looking for like cognition, you know, everybody’s interested in boosting their function, this form of magnesium is something that’s very simple and you don’t really have to go in to some of the heavy hitting nootropics that I’ve written about. You may not have to do that. That may be like phase 2 or phase 3. This might be phase 1 for you to really help with, you know, some of your mood issues and then the last one I wanted to mention was—it was just another study here—on the stress effects. So you got kinda of an anti-aging sleep, cognition, relaxation, memory recall, PTSD, anxiety, all of this stuff can be—can be helped here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. Excellent. Oh by the way, I was checking that study just to kinda give you a whole, kind of a full perspective is that they were only looking at, in that study, magnesium oxide.

Evan Brand:  Wow. And that gave that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Good a results even.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that gave—that a significant result. Now if you break it down though, there’s a couple of things that are looked at in there. I’m trying to get the exact definition here. So magnesium oxide’s the most dense form. We already talked about and basically only 4% of it is absorbed, right? That’s like the elemental magnesium portion of the magnesium oxide. So for instance, if we’re taking like a 500mg tablet, that’s about 12mg. Now in this study, interestingly enough, they did—let me pull it up again here. I got the full study right here. They did magnesium oxide which was very, very interesting, but about 125mg of that was magnesium, elemental magnesium.

Evan Brand:  Ah, so you’re thinking that—that’s—that’s the winner. That’s why it happened.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so they—but they gave—they administered magnesium oxide twice a day. Each tablet contained 414mg of magnesium oxide, as 250mg elemental magnesium. And we know that typical magnesium oxide is about 4%—4% elemental magnesium. So what that means to me is that they had some magnesium oxide that had extra elemental magnesium in it, so these peeps right here in this study were getting—if we do the Math here one more time—they were doing 2 capsules a day. They were getting about 830mg of magnesium oxide and they were getting about half of that was the elemental magnesium which is far better absorbed.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so that takes us right to where—where you were talking about 4 or 500mg per day that you actually want to get. Not 4 to 500 on the label, 4 to 500 that’s gonna actually do something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Yup, big time. And that’s why we like the magnesium glytate—gly—magnesium glycinate and the magnesium malate because of the better absorption with it.

Evan Brand:  That’s awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So kinda looking at everything here, a couple of things I wanna mention. I already highlighted earlier, but there’s a couple of medications that can actually cause magnesium deficiency. Obviously any of your diuretics to help reduce blood pressure because they reduce minerals in general especially sodium because sodium holds on to water, right? Increased water means increased pressure, so diuretics will decrease magnesium. We also have—and again like these are like Lasix, these are things that we give for high blood pressure and then we also have things like medications such as antibiotics, like gentamycin and tobramycin which have an effect of creating magnesium deficiency. Things like prednisone or Deltasone, these are like corticosteroids, which again if you have excess inflammation, guess why you’d be taking those? Well, to help reduce the inflammation. Doesn’t fix the underlying cause. They also can create more blood sugar issues which we know causes further magnesium deficiency and we know they also can weaken the bones, right? So that means we can have an increased need for calcium and magnesium, and then we also note antacids, right? Antacids will cause our body to decrease HCl and less HCl means less ionization of the minerals especially magnesium. And we know insulin. Insulin as a drug can reduce magnesium absorption, but we also note we also stimulate insulin, Evan, eating what?

Evan Brand:  Sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, bingo! So like I mentioned before, the blood sugar part, right? We’re trying to go over core fundamental things here. Fundamental foundational issues is keeping blood sugar in check and then also having an unhealthy digestive tract, right? Any kind of inflammation in the gut, whether it’s an autoimmune condition, whether it’s just a regular gastritis or just a SIBO or a chronic infection, those can also drive nutrients malabsorption issues because again, our gut lining’s irritated. When we’re irritated, we’re less likely to digest and absorb and utilize and assimilate these nutrients.

Evan Brand:  Alcohol’s another one, too, that we haven’t mentioned.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s sugar basically, right? So yeah.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. Totally agree.

Evan Brand:  Think of your alcoholics and some of the issues that they’ve developed, it makes sense that the magnesium deficiency is part of this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, so I think everyone here, one, they should be eating a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory whole food, low toxin diet. That’s number one. And number two is we should be on a high quality multivitamin, so you can click on the link to visit Evan’s site and/or mine. We have some really good high quality multivitamins that we use ourselves personally and with our patients. They are chelated to amino acids like glycinate or malate to help with maximum absorption, and then taking it supplementally if you’re under extra stress, right? Most people in this day and age are gonna reach for the glass of wine at night or reach for benzo, like the Xanax or any of those other family of medications. Just reach for a little bit of magnesium instead. That’s a much better, more of a constructive vehicle to help with relaxation.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely. Imagine all of the bars just serving magnesium tonics instead of vodka or who knows what else. I think about that all the time about the thousands of people that are trying to relax and de-stress at the end of the work week, but they’re doing it in the most damaging and least effective method possible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally. So we’ll put a lot of our references in the show notes, so make sure you subscribe so you can get the emails for that. Evan, do you wanna kinda wrap things up on your end and I’ll do the same after?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I would say just—this is another thing to have in your toolbox. It’s not to say that you need to put all your eggs in one basket–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  And magnesium is gonna be capable of changing your life, but definitely go pick up the book or—or rent it at your library, The Magnesium Miracle. That book was what really convinced me to really look in to this and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  To utilize this more. So I would say that’s just another resource for further research.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I like it, yeah. Number one, take a look at your diet, right? Make sure the foods are anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense and low toxin foods. Make sure they are glycemically appropriate, the right amount of carbohydrate for your specific levels and then number three, make sure your digestion’s working and make sure you don’t have a gut infection, and again—oh, I didn’t even touch upon it—objective testing. What do we like? Well, I like magnesium serum above 2 for your typical Lab Corp range, and I like a red blood cell magnesium 5 or above—5 or above. So magnesium serum is like what’s in the blood. Red blood cell magnesium is what’s actually inside. One’s intercellular, one’s extracellular. Extracellular means what’s outside of the cell, alright, what’s—what the blood cell is floating in, the serum, and then what’s inside the cell. So magnesium serum, 2 or above and then red blood cell magnesium 5 or above if you wanna be more objective regarding some lab testing to assess it. So again, if it’s your first time dealing with this, reach out to myself or Evan if you need more help or guidance in dealing with these issues.

Evan Brand:  Sounds great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, Evan. You have a great day!

Evan Brand:  You take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Evan Brand:  Bye.



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