Hacking the Holidays – Dr. J Live Podcast #160

Dr. Justin Marchegiani discusses different options, substitutions and modifications that can be made during the holiday season. Learn about what ingredients to use in some of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes including the turkey, stuffing and gravy that can help to still improve your health. 

Gain insight on the different modifications and options that you can use for some of your desserts so you can still indulge without having to feel guilty afterwards. Also, learn about some other cool options including meal timing, fasting, exercise and alcohol intake for a healthier you during this holiday season.Healthy Holiday Recipes

In this episode, we cover:

01:49   Grain-free holiday meal

03:01   Enzyme Support

05:55   Desserts Options

10:36   Timing Recommendations and Alcohol

15:00   Exercise



Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, everyone! It’s Dr. J here.  Evan, Happy Holidays, man! We got a short Thanksgiving Day week. I love turkey day, man. Some time with the family, really good eating. Are you excited too?

Evan Brand: I am and I’ve got blue skies here which is very unusual for this time of year. We’ve got sunny every single day this week. So I’m super grateful for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Yeah, it’s a great time of the year. It’s uh— important year, time of the year to be really grateful and to be extra uh— particular in all the things that we have to be thankful for. Coz there’s a lot of things but it’s easy to be so focused on everything it’s not there. So we got to really focus on all the things that are there. So couple that is just how about, just some really good Intel that we can use to hack our holidays. Meaning we can still indulge in feel good and connect with our family members but not go into a food coma and feel like absolute crap. What do you think about that?

Evan Brand: Agreed. Yeah. A lot of our clients recommend we do this subject because they feel deprived if they’re doing AIP or some type of dietary approach. They feel like that we’re the bad guys and we’re making their holidays not as fun. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So, couple of things if you look at Thanksgiving, it can totally be Paleo, right? We have like basically the centerpiece in the Thanksgiving Day meal is the turkey, right? Awesome. Especially if we can go after the darker meat. That’s gonna be excellent. Good fats, right? Try to buy an organic or at least a Pasteur-fed turkey. It costs a little bit more but the nutrients are to be much higher, right? So you get good fats and proteins there. That’s the kind of a starting point. And then after that, you control your sides. So most people want mashed potatoes and maybe squash which you know, I’m okay doing a little bit more starch in the holidays. I’m okay with that.  It’s better than doing, let’s say a grain-based stuffing, that’s number one. Number two, we try to substitute for the things that we typically have grains. What’s gonna have grains? Well, typically, your gravy is gonna be thickened with flour so we do a gravy that’s gonna be a carrot and celery based and we thicken it with coconut flour if we do it. And we use the actual uhm— turkey stock from the actual turkeys. That’s a huge way to get to the stuffing, I mean the gravy going. And then the stuffing there’s typically some good stuffing recipes out there where we do a celery and carrot-based stuffing and it’s totally grain-free and it taste phenomenal. So, off the bat, you can have your starches. I’m okay with that. Number two, you have the gravy. Because the gravy kinda goes on everything. So if your gravy isn’t too good, you can really mess everything up coz you just basically coating everything with thickened uh—turkey giblets and flour. And then uhm—then after that, you have I mentioned your starches and then after that you can do cranberry sauce, really, you know, super Paleo. You can do like, I’ll do green beans and I’ll cut up some bacon, I’ll layer that on there, too. Uhm—those are kinda my big things off the bat and of course, a really good turkey. We’re gonna smoke our turkey this year. We typically use our smoker this time of the year. Any other thoughts, Evan, off the bat for your? Just with the Thanksgiving Day meal?

Evan Brand: Well, my thoughts are you got me hungry but besides that—<laughs>

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: <laughs>

Evan Brand: But besides that, the enzyme piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand: You and want to talk about enzyme.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: So let’s go into that. So one’s that you and I were talking about off-air was one from designs for health. It’s called allerGzyme. And this is more specific to people that if they’re just going to go off the rails, they are going to do or get it possibly get exposed maybe a cross-reactive issue with dairy or egg or soy or gluten or casein peanuts, things like that. You can take the specific enzymes. They’ve got like a patented version they call it what, Glutalytic in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand: It is supposed to be pretty helpful. And they’ve got bromelain. Way but it’s a very, very super high dose bromelain which is a pineapple enzyme. It’s a really good enzyme. So there’s that. And then you and I both have our own custom digestive enzyme formulas that I say those are the best nutritional insurance policies that you can bring with you like a little glass jar or something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Especially the fact that people forget that I uhm— having a meal like that is gonna be stressful not necessarily because it’s bad because obviously we’re gonna try to make the substitutes. We’re not gonna focus on eliminating. We’re gonna focus on substituting.  So we have the most healthiest options possible but because we’re probably gonna eat such a ton of food, it’s going to be a lot for our digestive system to handle. So we’re gonna really utilize more enzymes and more HCl and maybe even some bile salts to really optimize our ability to actually break it down.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I love it. I’ve got a small little old honey jar that my wife just keeps in her personnel and so if we go out to restaurant or if we got to family member, I’m just gonna pull out those enzymes and popp them down. So that’s can be my strategy and I think everybody who is dealing with bloating, gas, indigestion, a lot of these common symptoms heartburn, you’ve got that excessive heaviness feeling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you already got those symptoms and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, then you’re a person who needs extra care when it comes to using enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So we talked about the meal. We talked about maybe the potatoes and/or the sweet potatoes or the squash. I’ll typically put some extra cinnamon on my squash, too, which is great for blood sugar. And the blood sugar and the insulin kina receptor sites that which is good. I talked about the green beans. I talked about how to maximize the gravy because the gravy is one of those things that’s gonna be layered on everything. So if you can fix the gravy component— and we’ll have in the show notes some Paleo uhm— gravy recipes so we’ll make sure we get some Paleo recipes in the notes.  Uh—we’ll make sure we get some stuffing recipes. Coz those are gonna be the the big— the big things—the gravy and the stuffing. Almost everything else, you can dial it in. The turkey’s pretty good. You can do really good cranberry sauce, you can do uhm— squash, you can do sweet potatoes, you can do regular potatoes or any other sides that we’re missing.

Evan Brand: Yeah. You hit the green beans.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: Sometimes peas, sometimes carrots you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: I think honestly, if you’re eating real food and you just always think, “Am I eating real food?” you’re gonna be just fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Then a couple of things—let’s go to desserts pretty fast. So we’re just kinda laying out the meal options or the meal substitutes, I should say, and then we’ll talk about little hacks that you can incorporate, too. So, off the, my Paleo Apple Crisp is something that I utilize a lot. I actually have it made once a week and it’s basically just a combination of the crust, which is gonna be coconut shreds, pecans and walnuts, kinda crushed up. And it’s gonna be kinda layered over some Granny Smith apples that are cut up. And the Granny Smith apples are basically mixed with butter. And they’re also gonna have a little bit of cinnamon on them and then we also have a little bit—

Evan Brand: I need this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: .. a little bit of organic palm cane sugar. And we like the organic palm cane coconut sugar because it’s got a glycemic index of 15. So it goes into your bloodstream a little bit slower and we try to use the least amount possible. So what I recommend is put the smallest amount whether it’s like uhm an eight of a cup or something in there. And just kinda glaze it and then mix it up. And then try a couple before you know, layer all the nuts and cook it. And then just see if it’s at the sweetness you want. So I don’t need a lot. I just put a very, very small amount. Once I have it, you know, typically, an eighth of the cup or sixteenth of a cup, a very—typically, I just glaze it. I don’t even h measure it. I just gently glaze it over so very small amount. And then once I have it to taste, then I pretty much put uhm—then it’s mixed with butter, of course, right? And then I put that topping right on top and there and then 350 for 30 to 45 minutes till the apples are nice and soft. And then you’re pretty much good to go.

Evan Brand: That sounds delicious. Did you invent that recipe or is that something you found?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I invented that one. That’s a good one. And then if you want mix it up, too, you want to make it more like a cake, you can do uhm—a tapioca and arrowroot flower and then typically you just add the arrowroot flour in with the apples, typically, half a cup to cup each. And then that kind of gives that more of a thickened flavor. And then you can just bake it not use the nuts. And then it comes more like a cake. And that’s a really good option. We have that Apple cake option on there, too. So, apple cake and/or uhm— the Paleo Apple Crisp. Apple crisp I think is a little bit more healthy coz you don’t’ have any flours in there. They’re all just a good healthy nuts and fats.

Evan Brand: Right. Yeah. I have a female client last week. She said she’s going to make a like a pumpkin pie but she’s going to do coconut flour and I think she said coconut flour and Coke and cashews maybe. So I know that there’s options out there. I just don’t eat too much dessert anyway, you know, besides a good piece of chocolate. But if you’re somebody who you’re going to go to one of these events and you think, “You know what I don’t want to miss out” Well then you just make it. You know, let  everybody else bring the meat and veggies. You just bring a healthy dessert. That way, you know that you’re gonna be safe and you’re not gonna cause yourself a flare-up or new problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. For the most part, your turkey’s gonna be good, right? If you’re gonna do your mashed potatoes, fine. If you do cranberry sauce, if you’re gonna do squash, if you’re gonna do green beans or will do like uhm— Brussels sprouts with bacon, that’s typically gonna be good. You’re gonna mess it up with the excess uhm—gravy. So do the gravy right way and you do a healthy stuffing options. So I recommend is if you’re going somewhere, maybe you bring some gravy, or if you don’t bring the gravy, maybe you just uhm— bring the stuffing. And people won’t even know. We bring some of these healthy Paleo options we go places to get invited. People wouldn’t even know the difference a lot of times.

Evan Brand: Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The big thing is for me it’s about, it’s not about, “Oh, Dr. J, you’re being, you know, such uh—so tight about this. You know, why can’t you roll?” Well, the reason why  is I wanna feel freaking good afterwards.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I wanna eat a lot and I want to feel good. And there are great options and I don’t notice a difference in flavor. I can make my option and it will taste just as good. So those are some good options. Anything else you want—Oh, also dessert. Just, you know, if you’re doing a pumpkin pie, you can just leave out the crust are there some really good gluten-free, crust options or you can do coconut uhm— crust option. That’s fine. And you can just do your pumpkin pie without you know, just the lower amount of sugar. That’s totally good right there. Uhm— is or anything else you want to mention for desserts outside of the Apple Crisp?

Evan Brand: I think you covered it. I mean you could bring along a piece of dark chocolate if you’re just super scared and you don’t want to go for any of the more processed things. Bring a cup— bring a bar of dark chocolate with there on the fridge when you get to your family’s house.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And again, you could do Pecan Pie a little bit higher in sugar. You just have to make sure the crust is gluten-free. That’s totally fine, too. And obviously, just some really good maybe some coconut ice cream, coconut vanilla ice cream’s totally cool. And then what about supplement options? So we talked about, number one, the enzymes, HCL and digestive support. Number two, you could always add in some activated charcoal.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Activated charcoal. Number three, you could always throw in some probiotics later just to kinda help soothe and relax the tummy. Number four, well how about the approach like when do we eat the meals? So, number one, I recommend intermittent fasting and adding in some exercise in the morning. Even if it’s just a quick Tabata, or just a quick little weightlifting circuit where you kinda do upper-lower, upper-lower and just kind of a simple circuit for 15-20 minutes. Just something in the morning to really get the metabolism revved up. You may fast a little bit more. You may hold that fast a little bit longer than normal because you know that your gonna feast at the end of the day and all those calories will be coming in there to make up for that deficiency. Most aren’t gonna be working out on Thanksgiving. They’re gonna be relaxing and so it’s not as big of a deal.

Evan Brand: How about alcohol? You mentioned that off-air. You said we need to make sure we talk about that. So you’re recommending after meals instead of before meals saving?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, yeah, I recommend just have a little bit. Well, number one, there’s a couple of strategy. So I may do one glass just to kinda get that buzz in my system fast. It’s like, “Ooh, I could feel it.”  And then I’ll throw maybe a couple of things, a charcoal in, and then maybe there will be like a shrimp cocktail out and have a couple of little shrimps just to kinda get the protein, fat in there which kinda stabilizes my blood sugar level a little bit more so I’m not gonna go wonky. And then I typically just go with like a dry champagne or a dry Prosseco. So it’s very dry kind of a demi-sack, not a lot of sugar white and I like the sparkling. The sparkling has been shown to increase alcohol absorption. There was a—one study out of a bunch of college students. Can you imagine that? I would love to have been in the study in college where they gave them shots of vodka and then the other group got shots of vodka with carbonated water or like soda water. And they measured their blood-alcohol content and they found that the group that had the bubbles with their vodka had a much higher blood alcohol content for the same amount of alcohol. So, go figure. So what’s the moral of the story? You get— your alcohol goes for little bit longer of array when there’s little bit of carbonation or, bubbles in there. And James is saying, “What about Cheetos?” Yeah. So I would do Cheetos with my ginger Kombucha and a little bit of lime. The lime provides extra vitamin C, which is great for glutathione. The Kombucha has extra B vitamins and antioxidants and EGCG in there and uhm—probiotics. So it actually helps detoxify and help your gut microbes while you get a little tipsy.

Evan Brand: See that almost makes me wanna drink alcohol but every time I drink alcohol, I feel like I can’t comprehend simple things, like I like to I like to always have my brain going going going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand:  And for me to shut off with the alcohol, it’s almost stressful. It’s almost like, “Nope, my brain is slowing down.” I don’t like this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we should make sure the demand on our brain is less.

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When the time—we’re not gonna be like opening up the champagne bottles when we’re seeing patients, right?

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We wanna make sure our patients get a 100% of our brain capacity. But when it’s the holidays and we’re just watching some football, and our brain is like 80% off, maybe it’s not that big of a deal.

Evan Brand: <laughs> For sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. But, yeah, we have the activated charcoal. We just have really good quality alcohol. Uhm— again, why does it matter? Coz I don’t want a headache. I don’t wanna feel crappy. I don’t want a ton of breakouts the next day. So we’ll choose uh—and typically, I’ll just get $15 bottle of really good dry Prosseco from Whole Foods. And I try to, you know, if I can go organic or you know, typically, the dryer ones are not gonna have as much sugar. It’s the sugar that’s gonna really throw you off. Uhm—you can also do the dry Creek wines. They have some decent stuff. Again, they don’t have a lot of bubbles like a lot of spike, Prosecco, I do that because number one, it helps with alcohol absorption. Number two, I just like the bubbles.  They don’t have a lot of options with that. So I will check out some of the whole foods or local stores, they have a very low sugar like as for a brewed or a Demi-Sec uhm—Prosecco option.

Evan Brand: The holidays are fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They are. Absolutely!

Evan Brand: I think our next month of episodes is probably be silly. It’s coz that’s the that the holiday vibe. It’s relaxing. It’s like, you know what, the summer time things have cooled off. It’s time to relax, time to rekindle, time to cuddle up, snuggle under your wool blanket next to a fireplace. This is a good time of the year.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I got a fireplace in my office so it’s actually nice coz I actually get to use it this time  of the year, so—

Evan Brand: That’s awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So my dog just like—it’s basically a magnet for my dog. She just kinda—next to it all day. But, yeah, totally. And then uhm—you mentioned a couple things there. We talked about the alco—so yeah, really getting the exercise component going. Coz that really is gonna wring out a lot of the glycogen in your muscles. So think of glycogen as stored carbohydrate in your muscles and imagine you wringing that muscle out. You’re wringing that sponge out so all of that water in the sponge, all that glucose stored in the muscle now gets used up doing the exercise. Now what does that do? It’s like, well, it’s the equivalent of going and having a nice dry sponge to sop up a whole bunch of liquid drink that your kid knocked over, right? So you can just— that sponge is gonna work a lot better and be more absorbent. Think of your muscles as being more absorbent. So when you get extra carbohydrates into your uhm— body from your meal in your celebration that you’ll have a bigger sponge to soak it up.

Evan Brand: That’s a good idea. I don’t know if many people act on it but if they do, they’re gonna see a really good result. Here’s a question for Mike. He says, “It’s crazy. My Oura ring consistently shows my sleeping heart rate 5 to 15 bpm higher even after having just two drinks like red wine. I feel it the next morning. Any suggestions?” Justin, I know what you’re gonna say. Go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, alcohol can drop blood pressure. So it could be your blood pressure is lower than your heart has to be a little bit faster the compensate for that drop in blood pressure. That’s probably what it is.

Evan Brand: So you’re thinking maybe you don’t need suggestions. So I thought you might say, “Oh, just are you doing charcoal? Make sure you do charcoal.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course, right? Like of course, extra charcoal. We can always throw some vitamin C in there, add in L cysteine. And we could even throw in, yeah like in our lines, we can throw in some detox aminos which is kind like your sulfur base, kinda NAC with a whole bunch of other sulfur amino acid in there. That— that’d be fine. I mean, I would do that. You can also throw a little bit of magnesium in there to uhm— to help with the with that component. But uhm—yeah, I would just look at potentially that just being the alcohol and just do all the things that help detoxify.

Evan Brand: Okay. Cool. Awesome. I think that’s everything we’ve hit. I don’t know if there’s any other piece to the holidays you wanted to go over.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I would try to time off like for me, I notice if I have felt any alcohol in my system when I go to sleep, I do not sleep nearly as good so I tried to give myself like a good three-hour washout period before bed. So I don’t have you know a lot of alcohol in my system. I just don’t sleep as good. I literally have more nightmares, I’m more active, I move around the bed a lot more. I had a glass of champagne before bed like a week or two ago and I like literally woke up at a right angle. So I was like laying across the whole head. I’m just way more active. Normally, I don’t move much at all. So again, if I I had that like at seven and I went to bed at like 10, it wouldn’t be a problem. But if I’m having it right up against bedtime, sometimes it could be the__ plus you know, I’m— I don’t know what the alcohol is when I go out if I order it. I try to order, you know, a nice low sugar kind but you have the bottle in front you look at it, so you just try to go off the waiter’s suggestions.

Evan Brand: Exactly. Yeah. I think it’s all good advice the liver-gallbladder support. I mean, that’s always helpful, too. So if it’s milk thistle or if it’s your Cordyceps mushroom. I mean there’s a lot of different products we use for for liver gallbladder support. One of the thing I was gonna mention, too, make sure that you check in with your practitioner if it’s Justin or myself. If you’re taking anti-parasitic herbs, some of these herbs can get intensified with alcohol. So one glass of wine may feel like four. You may not be able to make it home. See—take a  look and see what you’re actually using. I know some of these can create that sensitivity up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Any other suggestions just like meal wise or anything that you guys are doing with your family for the holidays?

Evan Brand: I’m gonna bring some snacks just in case. I mean we don’t know the full spread coz we’re gonna go to like three or four different events.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s tough.

Evan Brand: ..this week and we don’t know exactly what people are cooking, what people are bringing. So just in case, I’m just gonna go ahead and bring uh—I’ve got a couple of some jerky like some jerky strips like some grass-fed steak strips that I’ve got and then I’ve also got a handful of macadamia’s of customer cons would also have coconut chips so I’m just gonna bring some snacks just have that in my wife’s purse just in case just in case we get somewhere and it’s just— I have been to a couple events where it was literally like a casserole, it was covered in cheese and that was the only—that was like the main entrée. There’s no way I could do this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand:  Like you know, with enzymes, I’d be destroyed so uh—that’s— that’s about it. Just be prepared boy scout. Act like I was going to place that had no food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And again, there are some people out there where they may be really happy with her health right now. They’re just like, “Hey, this is a once a year thing and I’m just gonna cheat and really enjoy it. And that’s fine, too. But you know, still you can utilize some of the supplements and strategies we recommended so you at least doesn’t hit you as hard. And if you want to wreck if you want to apply some of the substitutes that Evan and I apply, and I’ve done it for years that in my opinion allow me to continue to feel good. I just— for me, it’s not just feeling good that day. I got four days off  work. I don’t take a lot of time off. I wanna feel good for those four days and I also don’t want to get sick either.

Evan Brand: Yup. Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, any other thoughts, Evan?

Evan Brand: I think that’s it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So any other plans for you this week? Are you taking some time off from patients or—?

Evan Brand: Yeah. So Thursday, Thursday- Friday I’ll be taking some time off. My wife she’s can go out and participate in the consumer holiday on Friday. And I think that’s about it. I’m gonna try to spend some time out in the woods. I may— I may go out and and go for a deer hunt again. I want to get my own dear this year. 99% of it is just sitting out in nature listening to the birds but may be .01% of the time an animal walks by.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: Really, it’s just my excuse to go do some forest bathing. I may try to do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the Japanese term for that?

Evan Brand: Shinrin Yoku.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Shinrin Yoku. I love that, man. That is crazy. Cool. And we also add another herb to our parasite killing line, too. The mimosa Pudica. So I know will be adding that to our stores in the next week or two. It’s one of those things that we are kind of experimenting with. We’re helping to kill bugs and some of the wormies. So it’s something out there that if your patient and you want to inquire about that, we can chat about that very soon.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Stay tuned. I’ve gotten many, many pictures in my inbox of worms that people are pooping out from using this Mimosa Pudica. I was just a guest on the parasite summit, which is how I learned about this formula. And tons of people are taking it now and everybody’s saying, “Oh my God! My stool test showed up negative but I took this stuff anyway. And here’s what I pooped out. Surprise!” And it’s pretty nasty stuff. So Justin and I are talking off like, “Are you going to try some of the stuff?”  I’m guessing we’re gonna have to because we’ve been guinea pigs for everything else. So, who knows if we’ve got some hidden—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Well, what a great call today here, Evan. Happy holidays and Happy Thanksgiving for you and your family. And we’ll talk next week.

Evan Brand: Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You, too.

Evan Brand: Likewise. Bye.



Justin Health Paleo Apple Crisp




Bone Broth & Collagen for a Healthy Gut

Bone Broth & Collagen for a Healthy Gut

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Bone broth seems to be all the rage these days, but what exactly is it about this bone juice that has everyone obsessed? Today we’re going to go over the benefits of bone broth and how it can aid in healing many modern health issues.

The Power of Bone Broth

The Power of Bone Broth

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made from animal bones, tendons, ligaments, marrow, skin, and other flexible connective tissues. In modern times these parts are usually discarded as they aren’t easily eaten on their own. However, when simmered in water for long periods of time, animal bones and tissues make a healing nutrient-dense elixir.

Bone Broth’s Secret Weapons: Collagen and Gelatin

Bone Broth’s Secret Weapons

The protein providing strength to animals’ (including humans!) bones, cartilage, and tendons is called collagen.

When cooked, collagen turns into gelatin, a jello-like substance.

As we will discuss in the following section, collagen and gelatin provide a host of immune-boosting properties, amino acids, and gut lining support to aid and heal many modern ailments.

Click here for help from a functional medicine doctor to determine if you have leaky gut and how to heal it!

Healing Benefits:

Bone Broth’s Healing Benefits

Bone broth is easily digested, unlike many other foods which can be hard to break down. But the real power of bone broth is that it is actually healing to the digestive system. It has been found to aid in cases of leaky gut, IBS, food allergies and sensitivities, and much more.

Collagen is a protein that forms the GI tract lining. Consuming the collagen and gelatin in bone broth helps heal the walls of the gut lining, preventing food and toxins from escaping and causing inflammation and other damage outside of the tract. This is major good news for those suffering from poor digestion and gut-related health issues (leaky gut, IBS, Crohn’s).

The collagen and gelatin from bone broth are also great for anti-aging effects. They keep the skin youthful by reducing wrinkles and improving elasticity, aid the growth of hair and nails, and strengthen your bones! Collagen also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite over time.

Essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and silica are all electrolytes in bone broth which keep you hydrated, help with bone health, and can reduce brain fog and fatigue.

The amino acids found in bone broth include glutamine, arginine, glycine, and cysteine, and proline. Together these amino acids offer a wide range of benefits, including:

-Skin elasticity

-Build up the walls of the intestines

-Aid in proper bile and stomach acid production

-Enhance the immune system

-Anti-inflammatory, reducing oxidative stress and autoimmunity

-Promote human growth hormone

-Liver detoxification support

-Generate glutathione

Amino Acid Benefits


Bone broth is incredibly simple to make, especially when looking at the benefits reaped from consuming this healthy elixir. The collagen, gelatin, amino acids and minerals in collagen make bone broth an incredibly simple and powerful solution to create healthier joints, skin, bones, and gut.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor who can help you diagnose if you have gut issues that bone broth can help heal!









Natural solutions for high blood pressure – Podcast #117

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into a discussion about high blood pressure, something everyone is all too familiar with, and they explain what the root causes are and how you can manage it conventionally and with functional medicine.

Find out what nutrient deficiencies can be caused by blood pressure medications and what you can do about it. Discover how you can manage your blood pressure in the long-term with functional medicine. Also learn some tips on what to eat during the holidays and how to get that mouth feel while eating good food when you listen to this podcast.

In this episode, topics include:

01:45   High Blood Pressure Overview

05:39   Blood pressure myths

10:46   Mechanisms

12:04   Nutrition and stress

20:10   Lifestyle







Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin. Evan, how are you doing today, man? It’s almost Christmas.  December 23rd here, really excited for the holidays. How you doin’?

Evan Brand:  I’m as excited as you are.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great! So the question is have you been a good boy this year?

Evan Brand:  I’m on—I’m on the good list.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good, awesome!

Evan Brand:  What about you? Are you on—are you on the nice or the naughty list?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of course, I’m on the nice list. Now the question is, are you gonna leave some Paleo cookies out for—for Santa, or are you gonna leave some—some glutinous cookies out for him?

Evan Brand:  We actually did buy some organic Annie’s cookie for a Christmas party. I will probably not be partaking in them even though it’s organic which is great there’s the wheat, so I will be avoiding the wheat. I’ll probably buy Miracle Tart for myself for Christmas since I’m part Santa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, exactly. That’s the—the Hail Mary tarts, right?

Evan Brand:  Yes, those are so good. There’s only one place in the whole city you can get them here and so that’s where I go to—to get them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do you guys have a Whole Foods down there in Louisville?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we got Whole Foods. They don’t stock them there though. They stock them at this little local place called Rainbow Blossom. They have random things like Epic. They have Epic products. They have their pork rinds and that’s the only place you can get him.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  And they’re really darn good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow. Very cool.

Evan Brand:  You know what I’m talking about? Epic?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, the Epic bars you mean?

Evan Brand:  Have you seen them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The Epic bars?

Evan Brand:  No. Yeah, but they have pork rinds now. Have you seen them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I have seen them. I have patients that just got some recently/.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the pastured pork rinds. They’re really good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Gonna have to get them for sure. I love pork rinds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Well, we talked pre-show that we were gonna chat a little bit about blood pressure. We really haven’t gone into that so much.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean this is common. Just some statistics at a glance, you got 70 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide with high blood pressure, and if it’s left untreated you run into many, many, many issues. The biggest one that people probably know of is a stroke, and one time probably 25-30 years ago my grandmother had high blood pressure so high that she felt a shooting pain in her brain. So she went to the emergency room. She had my grandfather take her in and her blood pressure was over 220 by maybe 150, 220/150 something like that, just insanely high that so high that the nurse freaked out and immediately, immediately took action to get the blood pressure down. So this is not always the way that people find out they have high blood pressure issues. This could be going on behind the scenes for decades, but there are some simple strategies that we can talk about that can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It goes up naturally with age, right? But that still should not be over 200. That’s just mind blowing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, absolutely. So when you look at blood pressure medications, you know, for the most part, that’s a chronic type of ailment. It tends to happen over a long time and it’s—for the most part, it’s something that’s chronic and that the blood pressure medications aren’t gonna get to the root underlying cause.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now if your blood pressure, you know, you’re upwards of 160—that’s the systolic number. That’s the—the pressure that your heart creates in the blood vessels when the contracts and the bottom number, that’s called the diastolic number, like D for down, it’s the bottom number and that’s kind of where the pressure is in your arteries/heart when your heart’s kind of relaxing. So you pump—the lub dub—that’s the heart contracting and where it’s pressing down, that’s the top number, systolic, and then where it’s relaxing, that’s the bottom number, the diastolic. So when you get about 160 with the systolic, that can kind of be what I call the danger zone. So if you are at that level and let’s say, you haven’t quite made the diet and lifestyle changes, I do think being on a medication at higher levels until you get to the root cause is better because you wanna avoid a stroke or some type of a heart attack, right? So we want to make sure that if it’s high and you’re not doing anything about it, getting that blood pressure down is better, but in the long run we don’t want that to be the only answer.  We wanna look at getting to the root cause and we’ll kinda go over some of the root causes here in just a bit.

Evan Brand:  Great point. So just to be clear if someone’s listening and they have high blood pressure but they’re scared or they do not like conventional medicine you would still advise that person to go get on the drug even if it is short-term because you’re safer on a drug with side effects that lowers blood pressure than having high blood pressure and doing nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, and you were talking–

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Upwards of above 160 and let’s say you already have a lot of a healthy—or sorry, unhealthy habits going on, poor exercise, sugar, inflammation, all that and you don’t quite know where to go yet, again I just would hate to see someone, I’m—I’m a little more concerned and I hate to see someone go and have a cardiovascular incident that could’ve been prevented with some blood pressure medication in the short-term but in the end, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We wanna get on board with the functional medicine coach/doctor that can get to the root issues because the nice thing about blood pressure, it’s easy to monitor. You get one of these $30 Omron blood pressure cuffs, the self ones on Amazon you can monitor it multiple times a day, and then you can see the number go down and guess what? You just call up your doctor. “Hey, Doc, I’m doing some natural things to help lower blood pressure. My blood pressure’s dropping naturally. I like to taper off the medication.” And most medical doctors, if you’re being responsible and monitoring it and you’re telling them you’re doing things they typically have no problem with that if you show them that you’re responsible by keeping track of it.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so off the bat, anything you want to comment on that?

Evan Brand:  Well, so with blood pressure, you know, there’s tons of things that can cause it. I would say we should probably dispel the myth of the salt high blood pressure, I mean, kind of—part of it’s true if we’re talking about the garbage salt, right? The iodized salt, the sodium chloride plus iodide, but with like a good pink salt or a good Himalayan sea salt, there’s so many different options with black salts, there’s volcanic salts, the sodium is not gonna be the problem there, it’s the inflammation combined with a low-quality salt that could be the problem, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, they’ve done studies I think it’s in the Journal of the American Medical Association where like salt even, they—I don’t think differentiated the quality of salt, probably your regular table salt that’s not so nice. I think it increased like maybe 2 mmHg, right? Two or three, that’s like the top number. That’s like going from 120 to 122, 123.

Evan Brand:  Why did that—why did that become such a popular widespread myth do you think?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s a great questions. There’s a lot of things in conventional medicine that are that way. I mean, you can look at grains, you can look at sugar, you can look at trans fat. I mean, you can look at cigarette smoking. You can look at so many different things–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of how they kinda got that way but for the most part the only reason, the only, you know, motivation to avoid salt is if you already have severe kidney damage, maybe the only reason why you’d want to decrease salt consumption is because you have active kidney issues right now. But if you didn’t have that, getting high quality minerals on board will be helpful and again, if your blood pressure is excessively low, salt will help bring your blood pressure up kind of in a modulatory way, but it won’t make it go excessively high. You won’t have high blood pressure because you have more sea salt intake. You will have higher blood pressure but higher and high are two different things. Higher meaning a couple millimeters of mercury bump, that’s where we’re looking at.

Evan Brand:  Makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Except if it’s low—if it’s low, it’ll bring it up much higher because you know, let’s say your adrenals are really key at holding on to minerals and if you’re decreasing your mineral retention because the aldosterone that your adrenals make is low because of the adrenal dysfunction that’s happening, you will pee out more minerals and that—that’s important for regulating blood pressure and that’s also important for their sodium potassium pumps, so if we don’t have enough high quality sodium, those sodium potassium pumps kinda that creates the gradient and how things go in and out of the cell, now if don’t have adequate sodium on board, that can definitely be a stressor for the body.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, makes sense and you and I hear this all the time with people with adrenal problems, if you stand up quickly you may get lightheaded or woozy, you’re not regulating your blood pressure. You may not have high blood pressure, you could actually have low blood pressure in some of those cases, but either way your body’s ability to regulate blood pressure does decrease if there is adrenal stress which definitely there’s gonna be adrenal stress of there’s infections and inflammation, and all the things that you’ve already mentioned, maybe other things like insulin resistance. How do you know if you’re insulin resistant? Well, if you look into—well, there’s—there’s calculators and all of that to look at, what is it? Waist to hip ratio and all of that. But if you look into the mirror and you see that you’re overweight, it’s likely that you have some level of insulin or possibly leptin resistance problems which can then cause blood pressure to go high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely so when we look at blood pressure, one of the biggest things that will throw your minerals off and cause a higher than normal blood pressure is increased fructose consumption, i.e. sugar and just increased elevations of insulin. Insulin will cause a retention of sodium. That’s why one of the first things you notice, you cut out sugar for 2 or 3 days, you lose like 3 or 4 pounds weight, maybe even more. Now you’re not losing 3 or 4 pounds of fat. You’re losing 3 or 4 pounds of fluid because as the sugar goes down, right? One molecule of sugar holds on to—to I think 3 or 4 molecules of water, something like that. So as the sugar goes down, so does the sodium and so does the water. So what happens is you flush out a lot of fluid when you cut down the carbohydrates and cut down the sugar, and with fructose—fructose, high amounts of fructose inhibits this enzyme called en—endothelial synthase. Endothelial synthase is a nitric oxide-based enzyme that’s really important for vasodilating, and dilation means opening up those blood vessels. So if we decrease the enzyme that opens up those blood vessels, it’s like clamping down on that hole. It’s like going out in your garden taking the hose that’s putting out water and putting your thumb over the edge of it to make that stream go stronger and stronger.

Evan Brand:  That’s a trip. Now let me stack on another idea here. If there is adrenal stress, someone’s also gonna be dumping a lot of magnesium which you need that to help relax the blood vessels so you’re compounding the issue and if you are adding the fructose or the high fructose corn syrup or sodas in there, that’s gonna cause blood sugar issues which is gonna create a bigger crisis and the adrenals are gonna have to be more stressed if they’re not already. They’ll be more stressed because they’re having to kick in as the backup generators because then the pancreas and the liver not being able to keep up, so the whole cascade really kinda falls apart at sugar it sounds like.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So we have a couple of different mechanisms. Let’s break them down. So we have just the—the general sugar kind of mechanism with it’s table, you know, your sucrose, fructose, kinda glucose thing that’s increasing insulin and that’s gonna hold on to more fluid and more sodium, and that will increase blood pressure via that way. We have the fructose mechanism that will increase or decrease the endothelial synthase enzyme which will decrease the vasodilation, i.e. cause constriction of the blood vessels, and we also have plasminogen activator inhibitor mechanism. So the higher amounts of insulin we have, our plasminogen activator what that does is it—it decreases or I should say, it decreases clots, i.e. it increases fibrinolysis. So -lysis means to cut. Fiber means like a clot. So it’s breaking down blood clots. So imagine little occlusions from cells sticking together, fibron, it’s gonna decrease those clots and allow smoother flow in the plumbing in the cardiovascular system. So if we decrease the clots, that means the plumbing flows smoother and that means we’re gonna have less pressure to have to push through those clots. So we have the plasminogen activator inhibitor-2 mechanism that also gets drained with higher levels of insulin.

Evan Brand:  Make sense. Should we talk about nutrition now?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  So Omega 3 deficiency is huge, I mean, if you look at hunter-gatherers or if you even just look Ennuit studies, you’ll see that the average Ennuit was consuming anywhere depending on what you look at, but on the low end 10 or 15g, sometimes 20g of Omega 3’s per day and we’re lucky if we get someone to take a 1g or maybe 2g supplement of Omega 3’s. So there’s a huge, huge deficiency and when you look at research linking Omega 3’s to blood pressure problems, what you’ll find is the people who have the lowest blood pressure readings have the highest blood levels or serum levels of Omega 3’s. This is a huge find and this is why I’m very, very passionate about getting people to supplement with some type of Omega 3. We’re gonna assume that most people are not eating enough wild caught fish and also then you run into the issue of the methylmercury in certain bigger fish like tuna. So for me I’m more pushing people towards a supplement because I know a lot of people don’t want to cook fish multiple times a week anyway, so you can look at like a fish oil or a krill oil, but at the end of the day, could you still get some fish into your diet? For sure, a cod or a wild caught salmon would be good, but your—what is it called? StarKist tuna that’s probably sitting in genetically modified soybean oil. You want to stay away from that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and fish oil also is a natural blood thinner. It keeps the cells of from sticking together. So it’s kind of a natural thinner, kinda like a Coumadin or a warfarin, but without the side effects. So it does thin out the blood a bit for sure.

Evan Brand:  Great point. Yeah, that’s why we gotta tell people if they’re going to get surgery you would think, “Oh, man, supplements are fine.” That is one case where we would say, “Hey, look, why don’t you stop taking your fish oil for now if you’re going to get surgery, because we don’t want your blood too thin.” So it is very, very effective for that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. So we talked about vitamin D. There’s also other natural blood thinners like ginkgo which help increase oxygenation by increasing blood flow. Even things like systemic-based enzymes taken on an empty—empty stomach especially serratiopeptidase. So if you have various clotting or you have occlusions in the coronary arteries, taking some of these enzymes on an empty stomach they’re gonna be enterically coated so they’re not gonna be used for digestion. They won’t get exposed and degraded by stomach acid. Ideally they’ll make its way into the bloodstream where these guys can hit areas of plaque or occlusion and break up any fibrin or scar tissues that may be hanging out in there.

Evan Brand:  Here’s another—you—you brought up vitamin D. Here’s a good—a good hack and obviously it may take money if you’re somewhere closer to the polls and it’s wintertime, you’re not gonna have as much sunlight but there’s definitely some research that shows that if you exposed your skin to sunlight, that it’s gonna increase the level of nitric oxide which is isn’t gonna naturally help you to dilate your blood vessels and then, therefore, reduce your blood pressure. So you could be taking a fish oil supplement, you could be going to the beach and getting some sunshine, and then what about stress? We should probably mention stress, too, because a lot of this is we’ve already talked about stress, right? Nutritional stress, mineral stress, but emotional stress, too, if that goes unaddressed and people are harboring anger and negative emotions, that’s not good. That cannot—it’s definitely not helping your blood pressure. Put it that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, all of that will basically increase cortisol and adrenaline which does have a vasoconstricting. It’ll—it’ll put that thumb over the water hose a little bit tighter, incre—increase that flow because of the stress hormone. So stress emotionally knocks over a domino cascade of adrenaline and cortisol, which does have a big impact on the vascular system.

Evan Brand:  Which would be good if you and I were running from a bear, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, totally make sense, right? Because we gotta get blood flow to those extremities, the toes, the fingers, the arms, the legs, so we can run and fight and flee. But if we’re just sitting on their desk or like, you know, driving to work and we’re just boiling and we don’t—necessarily don’t need that type of blood flow. You can see the stress on the vascular system that is caused by that type of hormonal cascade.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I mean this is another example where the ancient wiring system really does try to benefit us but when it’s chronic acute stress which sounds like an oxymoron but you’re dealing with acute stressors like a cell phone notification—ding! And that goes off all day, that’s a chronic acute stressor. Your body doesn’t know the difference, so I encourage people if you have it, get rid of your notifications. I promise the world will not fall apart if you have your phone on silent or even airplane mode most of the time, and then you can get back to life on your terms. Because what I find with people dealing with emotional stress, and—and hypertension is that many people feel like there’s never enough time in the day. They’re always playing catch up and I found personally, if I get up a bit earlier I feel more in control of my schedule. You and I are very, very, very passionate about calendar software, so we love our calendars and couldn’t live without them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  So that—so that’s another helpful thing. But for me, it’s also focusing on the most important things in the morning. You gave me some really good advice when you talked about kind of the morning visualization and all of that. I’ve— I try to do some type of morning meditation, visualization exercise, that helps to increase the amount of control and at the end of the day, the goal is just to reduce your perceived stress. Justin and I can’t wave a wand and say, “Okay, look your stress is gone.” But if we can fix or improve the way that you respond to what you have on your plate, at the end of the day, you’re gonna be much healthier. You’re not gonna releasing cortisol all day. Hopefully, you’re gonna have less food cravings. You’re gonna be less dependent on glucose because you’re gonna be burning ketones and fat, and you’re gonna be in a much better place, mentally, physically, cognitively, blood sugar-wise, everything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A hundred percent and just piggybacking on what you said, just a little bit of sunlight makes a big difference. They’ve done some studies and again a lot of this is correlation not causation, but you know there are some potential mechanisms there, like with the nitric oxide and potentially with the kidney and how vitamin D can really help blood pressure, one study talked about a 10 ng/mL increase, so you know, if your vitamin D’s 30, that’s like taking it from 30 to 40, and someone who’s vitamin D levels are lower can have a 12% lowering of their blood pressure and also people who had the highest vitamin D levels had a 30% lower risk of developing hypertension. Again not causation but correlation but there are some hypothetical mechanisms that we just mentioned that could be at play so a good rule of thumb here especially in the winter months, get your 25-hydroxy vitamin D looked at and if you haven’t gotten it tested yet or you don’t have the ability to test it right now, a good rule of thumb is 25 for every 25 pounds of body weight, you have 1000 IUs of vitamin D is fine. So I’m a little over 200 pounds so I would do about 8000 IUs of vitamin D, maybe round up to 10. Someone who’s half that, obviously 4000 is a pretty good starting point if you’re just trying to figure out, hey, how can I take this vitamin D to lower my blood pressure?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, some people worry a lot about the vitamin K because we’ve talked before about the whole traffic cop analogy of vitamin K helping to direct and keep calcium where it belongs and not into your arteries and things like that. Do you worry much about vitamin K1, K2 supplementation or you just focus on getting plenty of good butter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  If we’re going vitamin D on a high, if we’re using vitamin D and we’re going with it for a long period of time, we’ll make sure there’s a couple hundred micrograms of the MK2 in there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, MK—I think it’s MK4 and MK7.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s see, I’ll have to look at my bottle over here, but the vitamin K 2, the X factor, the activator, that’s what we’ll use and that will significantly help keep the calcium where it needs to be in the bones, and also just getting high quality grass-fed and essential fatty acids, a little bit of liver, all that stuff’s gonna be phenomenal for vitamin K.

Evan Brand:  Excellent. Now I wanted to get back to more lifestyle things. We talked about vitamin D. We talked about Omega 3’s. Exercise is a good one for sure, I mean, the—the basic part of it is just that you’re becoming more insulin sensitive. I mean if you think about how hungry your appetite is when you get done with a good high intensity workout. Oh, my gosh, you can just feel amazing, and if I do a protein shake after an intense workout, I feel like it’s going straight my bicep. I love the feeling but now—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  After super high blood pressure, would we want to tell people, “Look, start with just walking.” You probably don’t want to put somebody on a high intensity interval training if your blood pressure is already 150-160. You might not be able to handle it. You might get dizzy and—and more stressed out than—than we want you to be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly so you have, you know, the mechanism you just mentioned by having the insulin receptors be more sensitive. That means your pancreas has to produce less insulin to get the sugar into your cell, so it can be burned up. Number one. You’re obviously you’re burning—you’re putting less sugar into your body so you’re using more ketones for fuel. So we’re being more fat or keto adapted at that time, and then also the heart just gets stronger. As the heart get stronger, it needs less force to pump. It has a higher stroke volume so it can push out more blood per pump and that obviously will have a—an effect of decreasing the blood pressure and then also growth hormone and/or just exercise will increase nitric oxide. And that will have an effect of—

Evan Brand:  That’s—that’s so cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vasodilating and opening things up, too.

Evan Brand:  Yup. That is so cool. How about—what about indoor—indoor air pollution. You know, the EPA talks about 10 or 100 times more toxic exposures inside your home than outside. So air purification could be a good idea because if you’re breathing in these different toxins, that’s also an invisible stressor that’s gonna be elevating that whole nervous system sympathetic, fight or flight response, which we really don’t need to press that button anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so anytime you put a stressor on your body, whether it’s physical, chemical or emotional, and this kinda fits into the chemical realm, i.e. toxin realm, that can be a stressor on the body and your adrenals and your fight or flight system may respond. It may put you into a sympathetic type of stress response and again we already know what happens with that cortisol increase that’s gonna create constriction. Why? Because the stress response pushes blood flow to the extremities, right?

Evan Brand:  For survival—survival over I don’t know what the—the other side of the coin would be. But your body goes for survival any day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, exactly. Surviving over thriving. The problem is thriving only happens after the survival mechanism is turned off, but most people are constantly living with that survival mechanism turned on and activated.

Evan Brand:  So now this can get a little bit complicated.  So I know this may be tough for us to cover this, but let’s say we have someone that is already on a blood pressure medication like a lisinopril and we’re wanting them to go the natural route or they have intentions to go the natural route. How does that work? Do we bring the doctor on board and we have to say, “Look, you know, I’m working with a functional medicine practitioner. We wanna start using some natural things like Hawthorne or other blood pressure modulating herbs. Can you help me to lower my medication?” You know, how—how should that relationship happen between the prescribing doc and then someone like us trying to help to switch them to something natural or just get them off any type of meds completely?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what I typically tell patients, I say, “Are you interested in getting off your blood pressure medication? Do you wanna get off them?” And almost anyone that’s seeing someone like us, they definitely wanna get off them.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Again, the biggest problem with a lot of the blood pressure medications is they actually perpetuate the need for more blood pressure medications. So what I mean is they actually create nutrient deficiencies. Things like potassium which are really important for blood pressure, magnesium which is a natural beta blocker—these little receptor sites in the heart that the nervous system activates and it creates, you know, more excitability in the heart and that can cause the—the heart to have to pump harder and that can increase the blood pressure in the arteries. So magnesium’s a natural beta blocker, really important for relaxation. People that take it, one of the first thing they notice is they start to relax and wind down. That’s why Epsom salt baths are so popular with people that are stressed. So magnesium, potassium, calcium, various B vitamins, so all these nutrients become more deficient in these types of medications. These medications are known to create these nutrient deficiencies. So like I mentioned before acutely if you’re not in good place, you wanna be on one of these medications until you can get your—your lifestyle and everything in order, and you find a good nutritionist and/or functional medicine doctor to work with, that’s when you can start to move forward and the nice thing is it you just monitor it. You can tell your doctor, “Hey, we’re gonna be doing some things to help lower it naturally. A lot of times they think there’s nothing you can do. I mean, they may be keen on the whole diet and lifestyle thing. They may think that you can’t get down to the point where you are off the medications, but a lot of times they’ll entertain the idea. “Hey, let’s monitor it. Let’s see where you’re at out and you can go from there.” The biggest though misconception you gotta be careful of if you’re only testing your blood pressure during the day when you’re at the doctor’s office, we called The White Coat Syndrome. Just being around the doctor in the office and all the, you know, “Hey, am I gonna get a shot today or a needle or give blood, whatever,” so it’s a lot of stress about getting poked and prodded when you go to the doctor’s office. That can increase your blood pressure as well. So I tell my patients, first thing you get up in the morning. You’re still horizontal. You’re lying down. Take your blood pressure there. Take it at random intervals throughout the day and just kinda make some notations of how your blood pressure ranges. It may be 20 or 30 mmHg higher when you’re more active, but when you’re more relaxed, it maybe 20 or 30 lower, and if you’re sleeping—

Evan Brand:  I had my grandfather—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Sorry, I didn’t—I didn’t mean to interrupt. I had my grandfather do that because he went to his doctor, which he doesn’t like his doctor anyway, and I tell him, “Look, you can—you can get a new doctor.” I don’t—he feels so tuck. I don’t know. It’s just that mindset. Anyhow, 40 difficulty—40-point difference from morning when he first got up, took his blood pressure—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Compared to at the doctor’s office. I mean, we’re talking a difference of 120 to 160. I mean, that’s insane, 40 points. So here you go and it’s not like the doctor is going to monitor you and say, “Hey, let me check your blood pressure again next week.” If they see that high once, they’re gonna put you on the drug.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it.

Evan Brand:  And write that prescription that quick.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and the insurance base model for visits with your conventional MD, there’s just not time to talk about diet nor do they even—are they even educated about it? There’s virtually zero nutritional education and if there is any, it’s based on a pathological level, right? Vitamin C causes scurvy, B1 deficiency causes beriberi, or it’s the food pyramid—eat your 10 to 11 servings of grains a day.

Evan Brand:  Ugh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s not talk about the GMOs or the carcinogenic pesticides sprayed on the food daily.

Evan Brand:  Oh, my gosh. I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you don’t like get the best perspective.

Evan Brand:  I was watching a video by Eric Berg, you know, Dr. Berg?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Watching a video of him talking about glyphosate which I already knew most of it, but it’s just mind blowing that now research is starting to look at how small of glyphosate exposure it really takes to disrupt this whole hormonal health cascade. I mean we’re talking points, parts per billion or are parts per trillion in some cases, I mean, here you are thinking, “Oh, the 80-20 rule, 80 organic, 20 not.” I wanna be as close to a hundred as I possibly can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, a hundred percent, and again glyphosate a.k.a. Roundup, right? That’s the major pesticide sprayed on a lot of these Roundup resistant crops, basically allows them to not have to do any weeding at all, because it kills everything except the plant, i.e. kills the weed and it’s the chelator. So it pulls away minerals, so guess what? It’s pulling away a lot of good minerals, some of the ones I mentioned that are really important for healthy vascular health and controlling blood pressure.

Evan Brand:  Yup. Wow. That’s a trip and you combine that with 24/7 technology, that Fight or Flight mode is going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So obviously getting the adrenals under control, getting the diet under control, getting the—your glycemic load under control, meaning keeping the carbohydrates within range for you. If you’re overweight, getting them close to 50 and getting more to a ketogenic approach starting out is gonna be a great starting point and then getting some of the extra nutrients back in like magnesium, zinc, potassium, folate, B6. These are common nutrients that are deficient in people taking blood pressure medications, right? We’ve talked about the nutrient deficiencies caused by these medications and then also adding things like Hawthorne or a.k.a. foxglove. I think there’s a medication made after these herbs, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I think—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That are—that’s conventionally used.

Evan Brand:  I think they’re—they’re rooted from that. I think they come from the plant.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And of course, they patented and changed it to where it doesn’t resemble the plant anymore but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it. So some medications are actually made from those types of extracts. So we kinda reviewed the diet and lifestyle things, and that these drugs work a couple different ways. You mentioned the lisinopril or the hydrochlorothiazide. These are like water pills. They just cause you to pee more and lose more of the fluid then you have ones that affect the angiotensin-converting enzyme that affects—it’s in the lung

area menu of ones that affect the receptor sites in around the heart whether it’s the beta blockers or the—these adrenergic receptor blockers that affect heart contractility, so there’s a couple different ones there and again in the end, we want to get to the root cause of why you have these blood pressure issues to begin with.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely! I’m sure we can make this an hour—an hour-long show but it always is going to end. You got—you gotta dig deeper and figure out. We could talk all day about the lifestyle and all that, but in some cases, people are doing everything right or what they think is everything right and they still have high blood pressure so there could be some other type of infection or something deeper that is causing the sympathetic stress and we just have to uncover it and I don’t know if I mentioned it to you. I ran a 401H and a GI MAP side-by-side on a female, let’s see about two weeks ago, and the GI MAP showed up with seven infections including two parasites and the 401H showed up with nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Is that not crazy?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is pretty crazy. The other one was–

Evan Brand:  So I sent over—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Was the other one the GI Map?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay. So we got DNA technology on one versus the antigen-based under the microscope technology on the other.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and I have to go on symptoms because I mean those a lot of symptoms, so get tested but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, you know my—yeah.

Evan Brand:  What were you gonna say?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know my method on that. If anyone has got symptoms we always wanna cast a bigger net because we have the possibility for holes in one, so 2 tests as a minimum when we’re looking at gut infections for sure.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And again the nutrients that are so important for heart contractility where we’re always trying to—if we go off on a tangent everyone, we’ll pull it back in and try to relate it, but the nutrient deficiencies caused by some of these infections, these nutrients like the magnesium and the B6 and the folate and all of the other minerals, potassium, magnesium, etc., zinc are really important for heart contractility and blood pressure, so if we have holes in our intestinal tract metaphorically, where we have a decrease in the absorption of these nutrients, that can affect our vasculature and our blood pressure for sure.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so we’re talking SIBO, other you know, any type of bacterial overgrowth problems, yeast problems, parasites, things that are stealing your nutrients basically you’re referring to where you’re not getting fed yourself because you’re starving from the inside out because you’re feeding something else and not feeding yourself or hydrochloric acid levels are low. I mean, could we go as far as to say—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A hundred percent.

Evan Brand:  This cascade could start by having heartburn and then getting put on PPIs which then reduces hydrochloric acid, which then reduces absorption, so then the nutrient deficiencies cause the hypertension.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A hundred percent and I’ve seen so many patients that are adrenally fatigued or have adrenal dysfunction per se, and they can’t really regulate their blood sugar. They have to eat every two hours and their blood pressure gets super wonky, right? It goes down below 90 sometimes and we have to flood their body with extra minerals, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid and eat every two hours just to be able to maintain everything because the glandular system is so out of whack, which again correlates back to blood pressure. Now in this side of the fence, we’re dealing with the lower side which can still create just as many issues, not as quite dramatic as the high blood pressure ones with stroke and heart attack, right? Heart attack is occlusions and blockages in the heart. Strokes obviously conclusions and blockages in the brain. So we wanna do our best to avoid the high stuff and make sure we adhere to as many of these natural strategies as possible.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely. Well said. So if it’s high, implement the stuff that you can, take the free information, and then if you need to work further, work further. Reach out to Justin. Reach out to myself. Get help. Get this taken care of. This is something that is so common, but that doesn’t make it normal. So many people can relate to high blood pressure, maybe you’ve dealt with it or you have a family member that’s dealt with it. I could think of a dozen people off the top of my head and they just get put on the drugs, nothing ever changes with diet and lifestyle, they continue to suffer and will get more symptomatic as time goes on. So don’t be in that statistic. You can—you can get healed and you can reverse this without too much hassle and a relative amount of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so if someone’s tuning in now, maybe they fell asleep the last half hour, well, shame on you. No. But here’s the general gist, okay, here’s the gist. If you fell asleep and you’re waking up now, diet—get it in order, just what Evan said, get the carbohydrates dialed in. If you’re overweight, start with just vegetables and maybe add in a small amount of low fructose types of fruit. From there, optimize fat, become a fat burner, and then on top of that, look at the adrenals, look at your stress, make sure that’s dialed in because of the cortisol response. And then off top of that, look at the nutrients—magnesium, zinc, hydrochloric acid. Look at blood pressure medications, potential being—

Evan Brand:  Omega 3’s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Omega 3’s. You can look at herbs that can help, the foxglove/Hawthorne types of medications or herbs I should say, which are based off of medications as well.  Omega 3’s, blood thinning, gingko, systemic-based enzymes, Hawthorne. These are all really good things to help kind of support and address blood pressure and then get to the root cause, work with a functional medicine doctor that can help you put—put it all together because it could be a little overwhelming if you’re walking into this and you’re like, “Shoot! Where do I start?” And then also a little bit of exercise and then really look at the fructose, because how that has an effect on the endothelial synthase and the blood pressure via the contractility in the arteries.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. And I have heard people say that they like listening to us because it’s relaxing. So you did a great job! In case I did fall sleep for the last 35 minutes, you summed it up. So good job!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Perfect! Excellent and again most people that come and see me at least and I think it may be for you, most people are coming because of a whole bunch of other symptoms, and then blood pressure is kinda like a—an artifact there sitting in the background.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, yeah, that’s exactly the case. They’ve been through 10, 20 people. They’ve been going for fatigue or joint pain, but “Oh, I happen to have high blood pressure, too”. And it’s something that gets thrown to the back burner and I don’t think it should be on the back burner.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and most people there are just seeing their medical doctor, and medical doctors are more than happy to manage it which we mention is great in acute cases, right? But long-term, that’s not gonna be the best option because of the nutrient deficiency. So in the end, you know, don’t look at your medical doctor as the long-term person to give you the answers to fix it. They’re just there to help manage it and again, I mean, who wants to manage, I don’t know, diarrhea forever? You want the diarrhea fixed. Who wants to manage a headache forever? You want the headache fixed. So management’s okay in the short run, but in the long run, it gets pretty frustrating and you want to get to the root cause.

Evan Brand:  Amen. You can only put so much duct tape over that—that red light on your dashboard and you just gotta fix what the problem is. Why is that light on in the first place?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, yeah. Well, this was a great holiday show. I mean, everyone is probably—well, I shouldn’t say everyone but a lot of people are gonna be getting their carbs and the refined sugar and gluten on on this holiday season. I will not be or if I do, it’s good to be in a—a way that is ideally grain-free and lower sugar, so I get the mouth feel effects, i.e, the food tastes good but I don’t get all the collateral damage later.

Evan Brand:  Agreed. So what if you wanted to do like some mashed potatoes and gravy, would you do something like that and try to get a wheat-free gravy taken care of like a slow-cooked turkey they would have some natural gravy coming off of it or what? How would you do it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah, some mashed potatoes, I mean, loaded up with some good butter, heavy cream, and then for your gravy, you just throw some of the drippings from the turkey in there with some celery and I use carrots, and I blend it up just like that and it’s just super thick. If you want to make a little thicker, you can add a little bit of coconut flour and that’ll give you a nice thick gravy there, and if you want you know, don’t go to the potatoes, go to the sweet potatoes that have a little bit of a lower glycemic index, i.e. they don’t—

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They don’t go and then will convert to sugar in your blood as fast, so that could be a good move or you can do the white potato. You can do 25% white potato, 75% cauliflower mash, and you mix it in and it gives a—a pretty similar mouth feel mall feel you won’t really know that much if you’re not using it another glycemic load is decreased by 75%.

Evan Brand:  I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That means less insulin.

Evan Brand:  That’s excellent. Excellent. Yeah, I got my wife converted over to sweet potatoes now. She’s like, “Wow, these are so much better than white potatoes..” I’m like, “I’ve been telling you that for three years.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Anytime I’m dealing with patient’s—the key thing with dealing with patients when you’re making diet changes, the first thing that they go to in their head is like, “Oh, crap. I gotta remove these foods.”

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That creates a stress response. So I’m like, “No. We gotta be solution-oriented.” What’s the substitute? Because there’s tons of substitutes. So if we get them thinking about what’s the substitutes? How can I create the mouth feel? How can I get that taste in my mouth that I want that I’m missing by eating the bad food? How can we get with the good food? So like last night, I wanted a whole bunch of pasta. I’m like, “Oh, I really want pasta.” So I got some miracle noodles which are made from glucomannan, a fiber, basically has zero calories and zero sugar, and I did a whole bunch of butter noodles and I had it with some rotisserie chicken, and it was phenomenal, and I felt like I was eating pasta, but no sugar, no grains, virtually no calories which obviously calories don’t matter but it’s nice that you can eat a lot of it and it’s not gonna impact your insulin levels.

Evan Brand:  That is so cool, yeah, and I’ll speak for—for myself and possibly you, too—put it this way. I love eating if this way of eating was horrible, I wouldn’t do it. I mean, I am not missing out on taste or pleasure from my food at all. I’m more satiated than ever before. I feel so much better. My brain works so much better. The—there is light at the end of the tunnel for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my favorite line is nothing tastes as good as good feels.

Evan Brand:  Say that again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nothing tastes as good as good feels.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Meaning, it—for me it’s more rewarding to feel good later than to get that short taste in the moment of some crappy inflammatory foods. Because in the end it’s great but then I just feel crappy. I’m bloated. I’m gassy. I got brain fog. So you gotta weigh in that, you gotta weigh in the deleterious side effects with that short-term thing and a lot of times, there’s a risk for more analysis you can do where you can do where you can pull out some sugar, maybe use some Stevia or Xylitol or cut down the carbs or do a different source there that’s less inflammatory where you feel good and then honestly, if you’re like, “Screw it!” Well, throw in some charcoal. Take a whole bunch of charcoal to help decrease the toxins. That’s another good Plan B.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I feel like we’re rambling at this point. I feel like this is the talk after the first cider has set in—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  After the main conversation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I know. Nice little tidbit for anyone listening though. These are all gems I think though.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I agree. I agree. Well, let’s wrap this thing up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Go check out Justin’s site. Justinhealth.com and then check out NotJustPaleo.com. You could reach out to one of us, get help, get to the root cause. Justin’s got some free thyroid videos. I’ve got some videos on my site as well you could check out. So plenty of information. There’s no shortage of—of clinical pearls at this point I don’t think.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Anyone that’s—well, everyone that’s getting ready to celebrate their holidays, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and if you’re kinda on the fence here trying to figure out when’s a good time to make changes in your health because you’re struggling, now’s always a great time. The New Year is coming up, so feel free and reach out to Evan or myself. Info is below and we wish you a super happy and healthy new year.

Evan Brand:  Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Evan. You, too.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Yasmina Ykelenstam – Are histamines wreaking havoc on your health – Podcast #106

Dr. Justin Marchegiani interviews health journalist, Yasmina Ykelenstam, in this podcast episode where they go into an in depth discussion about histamine, diet and foods that you may want to keep an eye out for. There are a lot of knowledge bombs dropped in this conversation about inflammation and other gut issues so be sure to tune in and listen closely. 

Learn about the different types of histamine and the symptoms associated with histamine intolerance. Find out how Yasmina got around to getting her life and her health back on track after being diagnosed with histamine intolerance (HIT). Discover how good nutrition helped her cope with her health challenges and get a load of all the brain candy which may be the answers you’re looking for when you listen to this interview.


In this episode, topics include:Yasmina Ykelenstam low histamine chef yasmina

11:15   Testing histamine

19:00   Histamine symptoms

32:03   Histamine categories

36:33   Histamine offenders

43:20   Summary and recommendations








Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani with Beyond Wellness Radio. We have an awesome guest today. I’ve had a couple of my patients who are dealing with histamine issues, so back by popular demand, we have one of the biggest histamines experts out there, Yasmina Ykelenstam is here on the show.  Yasmina is a former CNN producer. She had her own health challenges where she was able to come up with dietary changes; part of that was cutting out gluten and also reducing histamine from her diet and she has a great site over at thelowhistaminechef.com—thelowhistaminechef.com. Great references. Great blog articles there. So everyone, head over there and check it out. But Yasmina, welcome to the show. How you doin’ today?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I am doing wonderful. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. I’m a big fan of your work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks a lot and me as well. I mean, you got a great site up here. I mean, one of the things I see in my functional medicine practice is that I see a lot of patients with histamine issues and we’ll talk about what that is in a bit. But one of the triggers that I see is parasites. People come in, they have a lot of gut bugs which typically equals a lot of inflammation. The more inflamed your gut is, it’s like a ticking time bomb for histamine and I know one of your most recent blog kinda touched upon that, so that really hit close to home for me. So I wanna to just kind of get everyone to get a sense of where you are in this journey. Because you were a producer, you were in media, how did you get over into this natural health side of the world?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Ah, well, my body broke down basically and I thought I was dying. And I—I really didn’t have a choice. I mean, I’ve never liked cooking. I—I mean I was always kind of interested in health but I’ve, you know, to me health meant buying an organic pizza from Whole Foods, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And—and having an organic – with it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, that kind of thing. And so it was really kinda fooling with myself thinking that I was doing the right thing for my body but so it was really all born out of necessity. I mean, for me, stress is my biggest trigger in addition to other issues. But really stress, so working as a journalist in war zones was really not the smartest thing I could for myself and a huge part of the, you know, recovery process was learning how to manage this stress, but you know, the kinda of emotional aspect of it but also the physical aspect and you know, it was born of necessity as it is for so many of us, you know, the kind of wounded healer archetype that is so apt for–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So many of us.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And—and so you know, I started my journey in a very kind of methodical journalistic way, just trying to apply everything I had used as a journalist, you know, I interned at 60 minutes. I worked for the BBC. I started out as a researcher, you know, and then worked my way up to a producer so I was very familiar with kind of intensive like research sessions that go on for you know, 12 hours at a time, when—when–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Pursuing a story and I wanted to do something different with my blog which was—I mean maybe not different, but there aren’t many bloggers who kind of approached things from the scientific standpoint–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is, you know, we’re not doctors, but we’re you know, looking at the medical studies that come out–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And sharing that information with readers so that they can make better informed decisions with their physicians rather than trying to go at it alone. For example, with this parasite thing that I just recently blogged about, showing that parasites are a major trigger of histamine-related inflammation–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  In the body. So you have all of these inflammation symptoms. You know, doctors can’t really pin down. You may be misdiagnosed with other issues and you know, maybe then you find out it’s a parasite issue but your doctor maybe doesn’t wanna test you for parasites which is where somewhere like—someone like you would come along in functional medicine who is more open to kind of thinking out of the box and accepting that, you know, sometimes we need to look beyond the tip of our nose for an explanation and but you know, so the—the information that I share in my post on parasites for example, you know, touches upon different ways of treating them. You know, what tests to ask your doctor for, but also I say, you know, I’m not a doctor, so I’m not sharing exact dosages of herbs that—that you might go out and try and treat yourself with because that’s not the aim of this blog. It’s just to share the information with you so you can share it with other people who are better informed to make those medical decisions with you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. So you started having these health challenges back I think in the mid-2000s, you mentioned I think you were oven in Iraq, and how did you come across the histamine approach? Because histamine’s—it’s—it’s getting more popular but 10 years ago, it had to have been more nuance. I mean, Paleo was just kinda coming out. You had the gluten-free thing kinda happening, too. So how did you grab the—the low histamine piece and make that your niche?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Ooh, wow! That was a—that was sheer luck. That was–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Unbelievable. I literally just—I lost my mind after tracking my symptoms and which foods were bothering me–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  For about 6 months, and then I finally just put everything into Google and it just came up with a forum where I met this wonderful woman who was also a blogger and she was in contact with a practitioner in London who tested for histamine issues. So I flew from Bangkok to London, I think it was a few days later to—to get tested and—and that happened. I—I received a diagnosis of histamine intolerance which was too much histamine in my blood, too little of the histamine degrading enzyme in the body–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Diamine oxidase–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, DAO. Yup. Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  DAO and you know, some people may not know this but histamine is necessary for healing. It’s used as a neurotransmitter. It’s necessary for digestion. You know, histamine is a good thing. You know? Too much histamine is a bad thing. You know, without histamine we wouldn’t be able to fend of viruses or you know, fight bacterial infections or parasites for example. But at the time that I was diagnosed, there was absolutely no information out there and I mean, it was—it was actually quite distressing. There was literally nothing. I was researching and researching and researching. There was one paper at the time and that was pretty much it. But slowly, slowly I started looking deeper into the medical journals and you know, I found out histamine was related to mast cells which were part of the white blood system and that, you know, the origin of histamine release is actually from mast cells–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  As well as foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So and that’s where I came up with this idea that turned out to be transformative. I mean, it completely changed my life that avoiding histamine containing foods wasn’t going to heal me. It was an overall anti-inflammatory diet with the focus on excellent nutrition that was going to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great points. Yeah, one of the things I always tell my patients is kinda this metaphor of the histamine bucket, and basically in that bucket environmental toxins kind of fill up in that bucket. Dietary stress fills up in that bucket. Various drugs or hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiencies or infections, they fill up that bucket and so essentially some of the histamine foods or the higher histamine foods can just be enough to overflow that bucket and a lot of those symptoms start to occur, whether it’s the urticaria or hives, or whether it’s just fatigue or skin issues, or brain fog, etc. and it’s interesting because it’s never just one thing, like the parasite article or some of the higher histamine foods, it tends to be a couple of different things. And—and what are those couple of things that you—that were specific to you and most of the people that write to you?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Well, I look at it—the histamine bucket is an excellent analogy—analogy, metaphor, I always get those mixed up—it’s—for me, it’s the inflammation bucket in the end–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is that things like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I like that.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Gluten–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Become a problem, because you know, the latest research shows that weak—that certain people cannot—are not celiac–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But still have an immediate, acute inflammatory reaction that it—a systemic reaction. So for me, you know, things like gluten, even pets, hay fever, I mean just being exposed to pollen, you know, but for me, stress—stress was really, really the biggest–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Trigger and you know, I eventually figured out that I could provoke an inflammatory reaction that was very severe just by experiencing some kind of major stress and then I realize that being stressed while eating was a huge issue and that’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Where the whole amygdala thing comes in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know? And you know, I realized that if I was able to stay calm while enjoying my food or actually just enjoying my food, not eating a desk, not eating on the run, not worrying about what food was going to do to me, instead focusing on the positives of the food–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  As long as I was able to do that, that made a huge difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that whole Fight of Flight nervous system response really messes up your body’s ability to—to digest and break down foods. So every time you can be on that parasympathetic state, you get more enzymes, you get more hydrochloric acid. There’s a better chance of you breaking down that food fully and being able to utilize it nutritionally.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Exactly. There was a very interesting study. It was a few year’s old but it was about rat brains and they—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  They put rats in front of—and they had to open cages to get to their food and they measured the release of brain histamine. When the rats had to figure out how to get to their food or experience any kind of stress, there was a significant release of histamine in the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  When they were given free access to food and didn’t have to work anything out have any kind of stress, there was no release of histamine in the brain. Now they were only measuring histamine in the brain in this particular study but it’s not unreasonable to—to think that, you know, it might be systemic rather than just in the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s excellent. I love the brain candy, so good. You really—you really referenced a lot of these scientific studies which is great. It makes it a really good reference not only for patients but also for physicians. I mean, you have this really good blog up here now. I’m looking at it and it’s talking about testing for histamine. And this is really interesting because I typically don’t do a lot of testing for histamine unless I have a lot of overt symptoms. Typically we do a lot of food elimination and if we pull out certain foods, or we see probiotic intolerance or we cut out fermented vegetables or the higher histamine foods, or teas or—or DAO-blocking foods and see improvements. That’s kind of how I clinically diagnose, but you talked about of couple of different tests on your site. You talked about testing histamine plasma, looking at DAO or diamine oxidase.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Right, well, I–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go ahead. Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The goals and­—sorry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You’re good.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The—indeed, the golden standard for diagnosis is still considered to be responsiveness–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  On the elimination diet and when I run workshops, I tell people that, you know, working with a doctor obviously but to keep very detailed food diaries and to figure out what’s bothering you and that’s—that’s kind of your approach, rather than just saying, “Well, I think I have a histamine issues. I’m not just gonna eat any histamine foods because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The—the food lists tell me this.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  It’s kind of like figure out your own sensitivity and, you know, I—I tell people to—to put them in a spreadsheet, you know, from the foods you are least reactive to, to most reactive to, and then work towards trying to incorporate foods from the further list on a very long rotation and the ones that you are least reactive to more regularly, obviously.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But the—the testing that exists at the moment for histamine intolerance is only the—the plasma levels of histamine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which are unreliable because histamine fluctuates wildly throughout–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The day and throughout the week and obviously if you haven’t been eating high histamine foods, the amount of histamine in your plasma is gonna be different and then we have also the diamine oxidase test which is also fairly unreliable because, I mean, when I look at the research about DAO, there’s still not entirely sure as to how it’s actually working with the histamine whether it’s indicative of high histamine levels or that’s just enough DAO for some people and also it fluctuates depending on what you’ve eaten and whether you have enough nutrients to manufacture the DAO of that particular day. So the—the 2 tests that we have that most people may be familiar with, the practitioners that—that are going them–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Are unreliable, which is why the elimination diet is the standard.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  When we’re talking about mast cell activation which is a related disorder that doctor Afrin one of the leading specialists in the field has—he wrote a book recently and he says that it’s believed that maybe 1 in 6 Americans suffers from some kind of mast cell activation. Now mast cells as part of the white blood cell system as you know, but just for–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Just for anybody out there listening, mast cells are part of the white blood cell system and within them are contained histamine, interleukins, heparin, prostaglandins which are all inflammatory molecules. They’re needed for healing but when mast cells become activated such as provoked. Let’s say you’re—you have an allergy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And—and so the mast cells break open, process called degranulation–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And they splurged these inflammatory molecules all through the body and they cause inflammation. Now if you need that, if it’s not provoked by allergy, by stress or by trigger foods or by medications that are inappropriate or whatever it is, then we have too much inflammation in other kinds of, you know, inflammation in the body which is another reason that I don’t focus on just a low histamine diet, because we have other types of inflammation in the body. There are foods that correspond to prostaglandins and interleukins also. So we can either drive ourselves insane following you know, a hundred different lists or do what you do—if I have switches to work out our individual triggers and go from there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, so sorry. For testing for mast cell activation is fairly difficult because you need to find an immunologist who’s willing to test you for it. I’ve had situations where people have gone to doctors and attempted to pay out of pocket and been told that they would not give them some tests which is frankly something I’ve really just don’t understand. At least they could give them a referral to somebody else who would be willing—because I accept that people need to work with a—with a physician.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But you know, refer them to somebody who’s open to working with them on it, just don’t tell them mast cell activation is so rare which it absolutely isn’t, that you know, it’s not worth testing, you know. So for mast cell activation, we have as you know, basic inflammatory panels, you know, for the—for the molecules that I just mentioned a moment ago and—and yeah, I’m hoping that more doctors will—will start getting into these tests but they are very expensive and most are not available on insurance which is why many people don’t offer it even if they’re open to it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And is that the mastocytosis you’re referring to when you had that just accelerated histamine in the body? Is that where you’re looking to get diagnosed by your conventional doctor with?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  No, actually, well, there—mastocytosis is one of them. We have—we have histamine intolerance. We have mast cell activation which is just the unstable mast cells, then we have mastocytosis which is a more serious incarnation of mast—well, people with mast cell activation would be happy to hear me say that because they can be just as severe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But the mastocytosis is linked to a type of leukemia called systemic mastocytosis, technically, a myeloperative—I can never pronounce this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And incarnation, but so we have different—they’re all linked. They differ—they can differ in intensity, severity, and progress but they are linked by the mast cells and by the histamine. Mastocytosis is believed to be rare.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  As is the systemic obviously highly rare, but mast cell activation on the other hand—the—can be triggered by so many different things, as we said the parasites, the stress–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The—you know, exposure to chemicals which is why it’s becoming more and more common because we just live in a more toxic world generally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm, right. So like mastocytosis is kinda like the pathological expression vs the histamine intolerance is kinda more of the—the functional kind of impression where you go to a conventional doctor, they may not even recognize it because it’s more in that functional realm where the mastocytosis is more of that in the pathological realm. Is that correct?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Absolutely. I—I would love to see more functional doctors getting into the mast cell activation because that seems to be exceedingly common and I have so many people who—who have turned out to—who have gotten their diagnosis and it’s really quite astonishing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I agree and I like how you hit the inflammation piece. You talked about some of the prostaglandins and we know like prostaglandin E2 is one of the ones that’s more of the inflammatory. We get that with a lot of refined vegetable oils, excess sugar. You also talked about a lot of the immune system upregulation that happens. Well, we have 5 kinds of immune cells typically. In—in doctorate school, we—we learn them by the acronym. At least I did, Never Let Monkeys Eat Bananas. Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Eosinophils, Monocytes, and Basophils—and a lot of them live in the—in the gut, in the MALT and the GALT. They’re inside the—the gut lining. And the big ones are the basophils and these guys in your blood cell, they’re basophils but when they go into your tissue, they become mast cells and mast cells just they—they are the ones that erupt the histamine like you mentioned and histamine’s job is to vasodilate so blood can get in there to help heal, but what’s happening as you mentioned before, Yasmina, is the chronic inflammation that histamine’s just coming out all the time and then you’re getting all of the symptoms of—well, let’s touch upon that. Let’s talk about what are the common histamine symptoms that you’re seeing with people and yourself?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The common symptoms are—okay, let’s see, there’s just—there’s absolutely dozens but here are the most common ones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Migraines, dizziness, brain fog, acid reflux, severe gastric distress, severe bloating of the stomach, inability to pass stools or the opposite, diarrhea, some—some people present with bladder problems. It’s linked to interstitial cystitis by Dr. Theoharides at Tufts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Who is the director of immunopharmacology there and he actually makes a supplement for mast cell disorders called NeuroProtek and there’s another called CystoProtek–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is specifically for people with—with bladder issues. I take NeuroProtek myself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Let’s see, what else—there is—those are the biggies. Rashes, you know, urticaria–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, the hives. Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  What else? Hives, severe exhaustion–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Like a chronic fatigue type—type of exhaustion and in fact, many people are diagnosed with chronic fatigue and there is a mast cell link to there as there is to many different things and those are the biggies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I would say—and, oh and obviously, intolerance just to foods, food allergy like symptoms, hay fever–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  That kind of thing and the thing is, testing for allergies will often come back negative.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Yup, like even–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which confuses people understandably.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, even like an IgG or an IgA test will still—those delayed one will still kinda come back negative, right?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Exactly. You know, my entire life, my test results have unfailingly come back absolutely normal which is why I have been pegged as a hypochondriac and you know, told that it’s psychosomatic, it’s all stress–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And while they were kind of right, stress is involved–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  There were very definite issues that people were missing because they were convinced that it was on my head because I was in perfect health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, and I find, too, with a lot of the food allergy stuff, typically all the inflammation like you mentioned earlier we get this phenomenon known as leaky gut or in the medical litera—literature, gastrointestinal permeability where those tight junctions open up and you get all these undigested food particles and even histamine getting into the bloodstream and so you come back with this test of all these food allergens, you switch your diet around, but guess what? If the—the gut’s still permeable, then you just develop more food allergies, so it’s kinda like playing Whack A Mole.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Exactly. Exactly, that’s it. I try to explain that to so many people and yes, there is some research I came across recently that—that kinda blew my mind which is at that how you cook your food affects allergenicity–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  First of all–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But also can cause mast cell activation even if you don’t actually have a genetic mast cell activation disorder, so for—and it was advance—AGEs—advanced glycation end products.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  That really lovely, crust that you get–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Crème Brulee.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  When you cook something in the oven and you broil it.  Ex–oh, crème brulee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Wow. Yes, exactly. Crème brulee, you know, potatoes, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Anything, it’s—it’s the process of sugar combining with—with fat and browning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And so these AGEs contribute to intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut, through the process of mast cell activation and there was more research on how quercetin, which the—the thing that I take, quercetin helps heal the tight junction permeability of the gut and also, ah, the other one, emulsifiers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Emulsifiers causing mast cell activation of the gut but something that really, really blew my mind was that, for example, strongly roasting peanuts–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  According to this one study, typically increases their allergenicity by 30%.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow, so we–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, sorry. No, I have that wrong. Sorry. Sorry. When compared with raw food antigens–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  IgE antibodies were elevated four-fold against processed food antigens in 30% of humans. So 30% of humans experience a four-fold increase in allergenicity when food is cooked. When ro—when peanuts are roasted. Sorry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if you’re gonna have your nuts–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But peanuts are already highly allergenic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. So if you’re gonna have your nuts, you wanna soak your nuts essentially.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which, you know, everyone’s been telling us for a while. But you know, some of us don’t listen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah and it makes sense because things like a lot of those foods are very high in phytates or oxylates and a lot of these mineral blockers and enzyme disruptors so that kinda make sense, that that—those soaking methods and I know, I think it’s Sally Fallon’s book, what is it? Something traditions. She talks about a lot of the–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, I don’t–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it’s Nourishing Tradition. That’s the book and she talks about soaking the nuts and thinks like that and helping to deactivate a lot of those things, so these old type of cooking things kinda make sense when the science kinda looks at the nitty-gritty so to speak.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, absolutely and you mentioned something super topical which is the ox—oxylates–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And for me oxalic acid turned out to be a huge piece of the puzzle. I focused on histamine for so long I wasn’t seeing the wood for the trees.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And, you know, oxalic acid, you know, found in kale. You know, all the world’s healthiest–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Foods, chards, all the histamine foods but oxalic acid, you know, and I explained it to people like this. So oxalic acid is a plant-irritant protection mechanism as you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And, you know, along with salicylates, fructose–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And—and you know, other things, so the way I explained it, the inflammation bucket as I look at it is we—we are the giant bucket–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Obviously, as with the histamine bucket, and within us we have lots of tiny little buckets. So we have the fructose bucket, the oxalate bucket, the salicylates, you know, all these different little buckets of things, tyramine bucket, all these different things that are found in foods that have the potential to cause inflammation. Well, it just takes one of those little buckets to spill over, for the entire bucket to spill over and cause inflammatory—an inflammatory response. The gluten bucket, the whatever bucket. So you might think that, “Oh well, I’m on a low histamine diet, but I’m still spilling over. I’m still spilling over.” It might be because your salicyclate bucket is full.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But your histamine bucket is empty. So as I tell people, it’s really important to eat a wide variety of foods, and to kind of keep track in your head. Initially, I tell people, you know, use a spreadsheet, write out a weekly meal planner, you know, be aware of the different lists that foods fall into and combine them. I call it the balance plate. So you’ll have a little bit of high salicylate foods, a little bit of low salicylate foods, high histamine, you know, a little bit of low histamine, and just combine it all into one day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So that you make sure that you are not making any one of those little buckets overflow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Really good points. Really good points. I’m gonna put you on the spot. What’s your diet like right now? Because of the things I start off with my patients is typically a Paleo template and then we’ll add on different layers to it, whether it’s like a low salicylate or oxalate kinda thing, with like a specific carbohydrate diet or kind of a GAPS approach or a low FODMAP or even autoimmune approach. I’m just curious to kinda figure out what diet you kinda created for yourself now.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  My diet is in transition at the moment because I’m traveling for the next few months–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And that always make things a little bit difficult. I find myself relying more of proteins when I travel–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Because that’s what I can get easily in restaurants or you know, I can pop in to Whole Foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And buy a—a piece of chicken, you know, some parsnips—not parsnips, sorry, beets.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I’m thinking of England here. Beet roots and fat, but I consider myself normally to be—I—I don’t really use labels but it would—the closest thing it would be is a plant-based Paleo but not entirely plant-based. So I would say that I’s maybe 70% plant-based with 30% proteins and fats and what’s not. I’m—I’m not including fats there basically. But, you know, for me–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  A typical day is I would wake up. I will have a—a green smoothie–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  With very little fruits–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Or a juice with very little fruit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And you know, maybe some nuts because I’m not a big eater during the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  For lunch, it’ll be a—a salad with lots of different greens like all of these different very green greens like 5 or 6 different kinds, cucumber, you know, carrots, lots of anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory herbs like thyme, cilantro, basil, parsley, you know, all chopped up. You know, make a nice dressing with maybe a tablespoon—a teaspoon of mustard which will probably be too high histamine for people–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Starting out but it’s fine for me. I’ll add maybe a little bit of protein to that, usually a piece of fish or something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And then dinner, you know, maybe some noodles made from zucchini.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  With a white bean sauce or I go more protein and you know, more salad, lots of vegetables, just you know, whole foods. My diet changes–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know depending on where I’m traveling to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  What I’m currently doing. Lentil pasta, I love lentil pasta.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Pasta made out of lentils, it’s just amazing. But I find myself always wanting to—I find myself drawn to the higher protein idea. But the problem is that when I look at the longevity studies, for example the ones coming out of the University of Southern California–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Under Dr. Valter Longo–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  All of the life extension studies and disease prevention studies seem to indicate that a lower protein diet is what we want to be focusing on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But of course, that doesn’t take into account different age groups and you know, different—different protein needs over the years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, but that—that is something that’s always in the back of my mind when I go higher protein and all of the studies showing that, you know, the lower rates of disease in vegans and vegetarians. Obviously, there’s problems with all of these studies. There’s a problem with every study if you look hard enough.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But so maybe my—my—I’m skewed towards the ones that lean towards more plant-based diet because that’s usually my personal preference. I just—I don’t like eating too many animals, it’s I feel bad for the animals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I—I totally get it. But one of the things that I wish those studies really took into account is number one, typically a lot of people that are—are more plant-based tend to be more healthy to begin with. They’re—they’re more conscious of being active.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  True.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or avoiding sugar and avoiding alcohol, so you kinda have that biased, too. And the next one is that we really don’t classify what kind of meat. Like are we talking grass-fed, organic meat or we’re talking grain-fed which means a whole bunch of histamine, too, right? And then a whole bunch of–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Antibiotics and pesticides, and I think that really matters, too. What’s your opinion on the quality of the meat?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, absolutely essential. I mean, I—I actually had quite an amusing moment. I mean grass-fed always top preference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, budget-permitting obviously.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And I—I tend avoid chicken unless I’m traveling because of what they’re fed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Because of you know, corn being allergenic–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And the Omega 6 and you know, all of that. And I tend to focus on grass-fed meats, and you know, lamb and things like that and but it was amusing to me, because when I was in France—I lived there for a year recently, and I went into this supermarket. I went to the butcher and I said, you know, in French, “Could you tell me which of your meats are grass-fed?” And he looked and he burst out laughing and he said–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  “But madam, what else would we feed them?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And I thought that was just an amazing answer. Of course, they eat grass.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. Exactly. I know, over here in the US, it’s amazing. It’s totally flipped, right?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, absolutely. Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I’m—I’m terrified when I see some of the things that they’re feeding cattle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know. Well, it’s getting better because people are putting their dollars, you know, where their mouth is so to speak and they’re demanding it which is great and we’re getting more access in a lot of these stores. That’s at least a good shift that’s happening.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Absolutely, if only it didn’t cost so much then we could include more people on this quest for health. That would be amazing. But you know, slowly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Slowly. Exactly. You know, when I–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Hopefully, one day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. Now when I educate my patients on histamines, I kinda break them into like 3 categories. Now I don’t wanna be too nary, if I go over the top, you know, I’ll back up a little bit. But we kinda have like histamines that are just foods that are high in histamines. Like the foods, histamines actually in the food. Then we have like histamine-releasing foods where there may not be a lot of histamine in it but it stimulates a release. And then we have like the histamine enzyme blocking food, the—the DAO or the DAO—the diamine oxidase blocking foods. So I just kinda wanted you to touch upon them briefly and just—I have a list in front of me. I don’t expect you to remember it, but it’s quite a list but the foods that are higher in histamines are gonna be like your nuts and your vinegars and your fermented foods and your aged meats and citrus. The foods that are gonna be histamine-releasing are gonna be like more of milk, chocolate–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Citrus choc–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Citrus fruits, bingo. Yeah, you got it. And then the blocking foods are gonna be like your teas and—and such. But what’s your take on that? Just in general.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I mean, you know, it’s difficult because unless you’ve done genetic testing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  For example, I mean you know, you can—you know, you can figure out if your DAO is impaired or if your HNMT, the histamine-methyl transferase–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is the other histamine degrading enzyme which is only possible to figure out via genetic testing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And also you need to look at the MAO genes and you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  All of this because for example, you can have a food like I—I was very upset for a number of years because one of the most popular high histamine food list had turmeric marked as high histamine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And I just kept saying over and over again, turmeric is not high histamine. It is an antihistamine. It is a mast cell stabilizer. But what it can do is block the DAO. But if you have a person who does not have a DAO problem, then turmeric would be very healing to them. You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So what I say is, you know, we have—and this is a concept that I struggle to communicate to people some—you know, that I’ve worked with in the past is that foods can have opposing properties. You know, you can have like the turmeric that blocks something and there’s also antihistamine, you know, as you explained there’s many different types of inflame—inflammatory cells in our body and you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  What’s good one might not be good for the other.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know? So it’s—it’s all a balancing act and unless you want to live your entire life in fear–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And so focused on your health that you forget to live–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Then my advice to people is just you know, for a couple of months, track what works for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know? And—and try and—and figure out what your tolerances are. You know, try to see how far you can get without filling your bucket and see what it is that helps you empty the bucket. Here are the general guidelines that seem to work for many people based on the research bearing in the mind that a lot of the research is conducted on animals, not humans.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, and at quantities that—at dosages that are much higher than what we would normally get from foods, you know, extracts and what not. So and just—and try and make something for yourself that—that doesn’t completely kill your enjoyment of life and that allows you to have a social life because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, the unhappiness that is created by keeping your—by separating yourself from society by not eating out with friends–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Not eating with your family, you know, serving different foods at home, being you know, terrified of the outside world really because you are so focused on your health is counterproductive because that stress actually causes more histamine release.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So you know, it’s—it’s kind of a never-ending cycle of—of pain and misery and so yes, we have all these different foods with the different properties and with different properties and you know, for example, the—the stem of a—of a plant might have a different property to the fruits or the left or whatever, so you know, the—the studies need to be taken with a pinch of salt and all of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But you know, I think it’s good to be aware of all of this stuff and then kind of step a step back and say, “How can I protect my—my sanity?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And have a good quality of life and still have fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So that’s—that’s my approach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. That’s great. And then the people that have written to you and that you’ve worked with, and also yourself, what have been the major histamine offenders? Like what have really been their kryptonite? Is it more of the histamine-releasing, the—the DAO-blocking or more of the—the high histamine foods based on your experience?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  It’s—it’s really the fermented foods, number one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Fermented, yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So, yeah, the fermented foods, and the—especially the vinegars, the alcohols, and—and you know, the kombuchas, and you know, most people who come to the histamine diet, the low histamine diet, or the antihistamine diet arrived there via GAPS.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Because of the—yeah, I see it time and time again and in fact, that’s how I worked out what was wrong with me in the end. Somebody served me Rejuvelac. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that beauty. But it’s a fermented drink made from barley I think it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, yup, yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But she had fermented it for a few weeks and I think she had combined it with kombucha and she swore up and down that it would heal me. This was a raw foodist.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And—and I drank it all and I—I had—I basically had a seizure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And—but it didn’t happen immediately and that’s the confusing thing as you know with histamine foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Because inflammation takes time to build up so especially if your bucket is already empty-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You can think that something’s not affecting you and also there’s, you know, the power of wishful thinking such as well, you know, a Snickers bar doesn’t trigger me but a tomato does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Wow. Now, let’s really think about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Let’s be honest with ourselves.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, tomatoes obviously better for you than a Snickers bar, right?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Exactly and what are the odds really that the Snickers isn’t doing anything?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything, exactly.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Or are you maybe just you know, kinda lying to yourself. But—but yeah, I know, absolutely it is. So it’s mostly the fermented foods and it’s a–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So are you telling me I can’t have bone broth though?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  There’s a lot of back and forth on that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, I see that.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I think it was the Paleo Mom, Sarah, who said that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, Sarah Ballantyne.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yeah, Sarah Ballantyne and she—I—I think it was her who said that you know, technically because it’s—it’s boiling—as long as you keep it at a temperature where bacteria does not start to accumulate then it shouldn’t be an issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Now that kind of makes sense to me. But at the same time, you know, there’s—I mean there’s just a lot in bones. There’s—there’s a lot of different ‑amines that can cause–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Problems in people. Glutamine for example and I know this is—this is a struggle for a lot of people because they want to heal the gut so they want the glutamine and a lot of people take glutamine supplements and then–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, they—they have some sort of major episode and you know, glutamine is an –amine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  If you’re sensitive to histamine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You are likely to be sensitive to other –amines–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And glutamine, you know, and so to these people, well there’s another interesting study conducted on animals–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s hear it.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which was found that rat mast cells–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  If you expose them to an antigen for a—for a long period of time at very small doses that increase incrementally, the mast cells eventually stop reacting. So this is what I tell people. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t eat anything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I didn’t go out and heal my gut. I ate a sensible diet. I didn’t do any complicated protocols with bone broth or glutamine or whatever. I was—I wasn’t even taking quercetin at the time actually. I just started eating a very healthy diet and I started a process of incremental exposure to things that bothered me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Now I would not advise anybody at home to do this on their own. I literally couldn’t find anybody to work with me and I took a lot chances that could have ended very badly because I had had very serious reactions in the past. So in combination with stress relief and meditation because there’s no point in exposing yourself to something if you are so stressed out about it that you’re causing a reaction to begin with because then the brain begun—begins associating that food even more strongly with a negative—with a negative impact because you know, if you experience something negative, your body doesn’t want it to happen again so you start thinking about this thing and the body might start giving you the feeling of that reaction that you had that bothered you. So I—I’m not sure I explained that very well but that goes back to the amygdala as you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And so the—the process of desensitization took many forms, you know. One was, you know, I called it a—what did I call it? Homebased immunotherapy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Or something—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup. Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Low-dose immunotherapy. And so you know, it was first I would be in a room for one second with flowers, with a big vase of flowers. I’d walk into the room and walk straight out of the room–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Because I had really bad hay fever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, then I would spend a minute in the room and—my best friend walks in and I have 2 flowers shoved up each nostril.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huh.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  She’s like, “What are you doing?” And I’m like, “Immunotherapy!”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. I love it.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But you know, and then I went out and walked through the park then I sat and meditated in the park, you know, and then it just kinda—kinda went from there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it-it’s–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And the same with foods, you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  If—if something bothered me, I would—I would take the food and I would cook it for just a second in a bit of olive oil because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Olive oil boosted DAO in the—in the gut.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, great.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So that’s a great thing. And you know, I found that with many people, oil-based foods and supplements worked better for them when beginning to reintroduce and I don’t know if it’s just literally just shielding something from the gut lining where it’s inflamed and it’s—it’s kind of achy or if it’s, you know, the DAO boosting of—of the oils. But in any case, you know, just—I would just cook something for one second in the olive oil. I would take the food out and then I would cook the rest of my food in that olive oil. And the next time I’d cook it longer and longer and longer, and then I’d leave the food in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting. Very cool. Yeah, it’s like cooking a frog, right? You put a frog in the water, boiling water, it jumps out. You put it in low, you know, temperature water and you gradually heat it up and kinda get it desensitized to that change, you can eventually cook that frog.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  That is absolutely what I tell people. I’m very amused to hear you say that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. It’s a great analogy but I still don’t know anyone that cooks frogs though.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Well, I lived in France for a year, it’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah. There you go. Yup, that’s good. But yeah, that’s the analogy I like it. So just kinda getting all the people that are listening here summarized all the—the brain candy that you’ve dropped here. So we have number one is kind of getting the inflammation down in general. Like figure out where those inflammation triggers are, whether it’s stress in your life emotionally, meditation, sleep, the gluten sensitivity—forget just being celiac but the non-celiac gluten sensitivity. We also talked about the desensitization you—you also touched upon. And I also want to go into a couple of other things. I know you have some really good videos online that have been viewed hundreds and thousands of times on supplements and histamines. I know just—you already touched about quercetin is one of them and you even mentioned the DAO enzymes. What else do you recommend supplementation-wise?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Mangosteen. Well, I’m not a doctor so I can’t recommend anything, but should people wish to discuss with their doctors–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. I would—I would just say–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  The following–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Let’s frame it like this, things that have worked for you and have worked for patients–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or people that have written to you–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And shared them with you.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Right, okay. So mangosteen–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Supplements which are made from the—the skin of the mangosteen, not the actual fruit itself. So drinking the juice is not the same thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Mangosteen supplements work as a mast cell stabilizers, preventing it—preventing them from releasing inflammation along with–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Along with histamine into the body, unnecessary inflammation. It might also be beneficial for hair loss that is associated with histamine issues and mast cell activation which is driven by prostaglandin D2. There is also—hang on, let me look over a little bit—holy basil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You can buy this–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Adaptogen.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Also known as tulsi. Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  It’s absolutely wonderful and if you have low cortisol, it might not be great for you. It acts as a mast stabilizer and antihistamine, highly inflammatory. It’s been one of the most healing things I’ve discovered. You can get it as a tea or as a supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  There is also—it’s important to have—to make sure that you are not lacking in nutrients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I’m finding more and more people and you know, I’ve—I’ve been saying this for years, but people restrict themselves so much that they lack vital nutrients that will help fight the inflammation. So on the one hand, you’re restricting foods because the symptoms go away, but that’s the short-term achievement, because long-term as you deplete your nutrients, you become incapable of fighting inflammation in—in the future. There—probiotics are a really difficult one because on the one hand obviously it’s—it’s a problem with the fermentation and you know, some people if they’re lactose-based but Seeking Health make a–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Histamine-safe probiotic, which is basically they are strains that raise histamine and trigger inflammation but this—and here’s again where it gets confusing but in many cases, this might not be a bad thing in the long-term because they have other positive effects on other types, on other aspects of inflammation. But for our particular needs, they may not be appropriate because in the short-term they trigger this histamine release. So the Seeking Health ProBiota—ProBiota Bifido is what it’s called–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Has the histamine neutral and histamine lowering strains in it; otherwise for people who are unable to tolerate probiotics, a prebiotic foods are a good options. Things like chicory, dandelion, you know, those—those high fiber–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Food—plant. Things like that. And magnesium—a lot of people find beneficial simply because it calms the nerves and it’s necessary for proper manufacture of the DAO enzyme. We have DAO pills—diamine oxidase pills made from—from pork extract.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And those you know, mixed reports on that. They really work for some people. They don’t work for other people. They initially worked for me then did not, and then I just didn’t like the fillers in them but you know, people were talking about a plant-based one, you know, different companies issued patents for them. I also trolled the patents to see what’s—what’s new and what’s coming out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But something interesting that I’m waiting to see more on but haven’t heard anything about it for a while was a handheld device that could measure histamine tent of foods for the consumer. And–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Because a concern to me, although I am not concerned when I eat foods anymore, and you know, although I’m careful about what I eat, I will eat what I want, you know, I will have a baguette. You know, a nice piece of crusty French bread when I’m—when I’m–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  In France, you know, I will have—well, no, ice cream. I just don’t like dairy, that’s the thing. But you know, I will eat what I want within reason because I just don’t deal with any of this on a regular basis anymore. But—oh, no, and I forgot where I was going with this—that’s terrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, you were saying that you were able to do it. You are eating the bread and such because you are able to tolerate it more frequently?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yes, and I was making a point with that, I’m sorry, and I don’t know where I was going. Never mind. But–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s okay. It’ll come back to you. It’ll come back.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  It will come back, but so you know–don’t know where I was though

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We were still talking about the supplements. We were hitting—hit the mangosteen.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We talked about the diamine oxidase. Is there any other supplements you wanna add to that list?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Some people—those are the primary ones that work for most people. Vitamin C.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes, yes. Oh, perfect.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Vitamin C is—yeah. Vitamin C is a mast cell stabilizer–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And also an antihistamine. It’s actually really, really, really powerful and it is even prescribed by the world’s leading mast cell activation experts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  In the field and the one caveat to make sure it’s not–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Corn-based and you know, for obvious reasons, but it’s also it gets worse than that. It’s not just corn but it’s fermented corn.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is not great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And something to watch out for is–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go ahead.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Citric acid–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Mmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Just so people know. They’re often derived from mold.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And that’s something we obviously need to avoid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  You know, people make the assumption that it’s derived from—from lemons. But no.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. And also you mentioned before that you like a lot of Vitamin C that comes from palm, is that true?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yeah, that’s the one I’ve been using.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Simply because it came packaged with quercetin, but that one is now not—no longer being manufactured.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Was that the one by–

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is very upsetting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Was that the one by Between Balance?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  My—Twin Lab, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Twin Labs, yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yeah and it—it’s just out of stock, and people write to me every day about it. But sadly, it’s out of stock.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  My usual preference is for a Whole Food supplement. So something like camu-camu.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But a lot of people are reactive because it’s a berry–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And some of the berries are problematic for us. Acerola cherry Vitamin C.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Some people do well with and you know, I generally get a lot of vitamin C from my diet already but you know, if—if you’re traveling, if you eat something that, you know, didn’t agree with you, vitamin C can sometimes help.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it. And then you mentioned I think in your story. I’m not sure if you said it today or if I saw it in one of your videos or blog post, you mentioned you lost over a third of your hair on your head. Is that—is that true?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Oh, that was—that was awful. That was so awful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know, it does sound terrible. I see lots of patients that have that though and I’m just curious, just on a personal note, do you see a connection between hypothyroid? Because hair loss is a common hypothyroid symptom. Do you see the connection with thyroid issues and histamine issues, too?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  For a lot of people that is the case.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And I, you know, I would encourage people to make sure they have enough iodine in their diet–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Or iodine-containing foods–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Which is a huge problem nowadays.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  But that in my case, my thyroid was although I was at one point told I might be hypothyroid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  I mean, I was still well within range and I was prescribed the—the thyroxine which–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Made me feel awful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Synthroid.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  For a month. Yeah, exactly. And I came off it. For most people-not for most people. For people dealing with mast cell activation or histamine issues, it is very likely that it is either a thyroid issue because we’re already dealing with an—with an immune system breakdown.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Or just general, you know, body breakdown. But also it’s important to bear in mind that one of the most common side effects of inflammation is hair loss, and generally and you can pin it down to interleukins and prostaglandins. And if there is an excess of either of those, then it’s likely that they are contributing to hair loss. So it’s something that should be looked at also. I don’t feel that people who are within the normal range for their thyroid technically what’s considered technically than normal range–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  That the first approach should be to prescribe thyroid, you know, the—the Armour or whatever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, Synthroid, right.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  To people just on the basis of hair loss, I think that further testing for inflammatory molecules should be done and that’s as I said, the interleukins and the prostaglandins, and this is something for people out there who do decide to pursue testing of—of their mast cells for example, it’s important to have a physician who will run a full panel–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Rather than just one or two.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  And you know, as you know, there’s many different tests. There’s the 24-hour and methyl-histamine test which is urine test which is a test for metabolite of histamine which is much more accurate than the histamine plasma test, but there are others and most doctors will only do one. But the thing is you can test negative for excess histamine in your urine. But if you have a high prostaglandin level, or interleukins, heparin–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Or whatever, than can intensity the effects of histamine in the body by up to according to one medical study, up to a thousand times.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ah, okay. So that’s big.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  So if one of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because prostaglandins, go ahead, yup.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Yeah, so—so exactly. So one of your—if one of your levels is off or two of your levels are slightly off, this all compounds and can indicate that you have massive inflammation because they build on each other and they cause the bucket to spill over. Sorry, go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, that was perfect because the prostaglandin E2, the one you mentioned and eicosanoid 2, that’s really—goes high in inflammation. So kinda everything I think you’re really driving the point home on is it all comes back to inflammation. The more inflamed you are, the more that histamine’s gonna have a, you know, a more virulent effect in your body. Is that correct?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great, awesome. Yasmina Ykelenstam:  It’s so nice to be interviewed by a doctor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, thanks. You’ve really brought some awesome knowledge bombs today. I mean, seriously you got all the research going. You got a lot of experience with different people that are writing to you. I mean, I have a lot of my patients that are very familiar with your work and I use a lot of your blogs as references clinically. So I appreciate all the great work that you’re doing, too, and getting the word out there.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Thank you for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure being interviewed by somebody who knows the subject so well and has helped so many people. You asked all wonderful questions and I’m really excited to get the information out there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thank you so much. Her name is Yasmina Ykelenstam. You can find her at thelowhistaminechef.com. Subscribe to the Facebook there and also she’s got some really good cookbooks, as she mentioned there are 25-page eBook all on histamine on her site, so go over there, check it out, lots of good recipes. Last question, Yasmina, you’re stuck on a desert island. You only can bring one supplement. What do you bring?

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  That would be quercetin. That would be the Dr Theoharides NeuroProtek, which is quercetin and luteolin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Alright, everyone go out there and get that. Well, thank you so much, Yasmina. We will post this up and feel free and share it with your peeps at your site, too, to help get this information out there. Thanks so much.

Yasmina Ykelenstam:  Wonderful, thank you.


Amino acids and protein powders – Podcast #100

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about battling infections and how to increase or supplement amino acid levels in this podcast episode.  Learn about the different types of protein powders and which one is the best for you. 

Amino acids and protein powdersListen to the explanation of why some parasites are not detected initially but during re-test, they are found. Discover the importance of getting food high quality protein in your diet in and what changes you can do to your diet to make sure you’re eating healthy. Find out what amino acids are, how they function and what they are meant to do for your body. They also discuss pesticides and just how harmful they truly are. Also get a healthy dose of information on collagen when you listen to this interview.

In this episode, topics include:

1:00   Re-testing infections and parasites

3:50   Amino acids and markers

17:39   Treatment options and types of protein

30:20   Collagen

37:27   Shakes 











Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ladies and germs, it’s Dr. J here. Evan, what’s going on?

Evan Brand:  How’s it goin’?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice little Monday here—nice little Monday, kinda getting off a nice weekend. We’re supposed to go on the boat this Saturday. Again, Lake Austin has been closed down for a month because of the torrential rains down here in Austin and it rained on Saturday when we’re supposed to go out, so haven’t been on the water for a while so I’m itchin’ to go get back out this weekend hopefully.

Evan Brand:  Wow, yeah, and I’ve been mostly with this baby so we’ve gone out to the park a couple of times, but it’s been pretty brutal here. We’ve had like heat advisories and all of that, so it’s been a—a hot start to the summer so far.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow, well, I imagine everything’s probably going pretty good on the fatherhood side?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great. Good for you. Exciting.

Evan Brand:  Thanks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, what’s on your agenda? Any great stories for the week here with patients you wanna mention at all?

Evan Brand:  Well, stories are—it seems like whether it’s—maybe this is biased observation because more people have symptoms but parasites are popping up just left and right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And it just seems like I was seeing them once a week and then twice a week and then now it’s like 3, 4, 5 times a week and Blasto is the number one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number one.

Evan Brand:  Most common.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I saw about 4 or 5 people last week with Blasto as well. I’m also seeing a lot of people coming back and maybe you’ve seen this, too. But there’s this hyperplasia phenomenon which we’ll talk about in a second, where we’re treating patients, let’s say for H. pylori, we treat H. pylori, we eradicate it, symptoms improve, and then we re-test and new infection now comes to the surface.

Evan Brand:  How do you explain that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, what I typically tell patients is, the gut typically heals from the inside out, right? It heals from the inner—inner gut lining to the outer gut wall, so infections that are burrowed in deeper into the gut wall may not show up and—and infections that are close to the gut surface where the food lies may show up first on the stool test so typically, let’s say, H. pylori comes back or let’s say Blasto comes back, it’s possible that on re-test those infections are gone and because the gut heals from inside, into the inner wall, that those infections can now come to the surface because there hiding in the crypts, the crypts of Lieberkühn in the small intestine. I think it now comes to the surface and now we can register them and it makes sense, too, because if someone’s got like 4 or 5 infections, they may get 20-25% better after each infection’s eradicated, so we gotta just kinda keep an eye on that, and I always like to manage patient’s expectation and let them know, “Hey, we may have a new infection on this re-test, just kinda keep that in mind, and that could be another reason why you’re not 100% better yet if that is the case.”

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I actually saw that. I think that was 3 or 4 weeks ago. A lady that had H. pylori and on the re-test it was gone but then she had Blasto, and it was like, “Whoa! Have you done anything new? Have you eaten new food?” So you necessarily don’t have to have new exposures.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  It’s already in there. It’s just not registering.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, the infection probably just wasn’t coming to the surface enough. That wasn’t enough for that antigen or for leaving DNA enough for the PCR to register, so you just gotta keep that in mind. And what test came up with that?

Evan Brand:  That was 401H.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So you’re catching a lot more. That’s a—a stool antigen so you know that’s there 100%.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, that’s—that’s good. I mean, typically a second round of herbs is gonna be needed and I typically tell people that have had chronic gut issues, you know, more than a year or so, they probably are gonna need multiple rounds, at least 2 rounds of herbals, if not more based on what infections come back.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I think a lot of patients get freaked when we re-test and there’s a new infection, because they’re like, “Did I just get it?” And a lot of times that’s probably not the case. It’s probably something that are always there and just finally registered on the radar screen.

Evan Brand:  That’s amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, on that note, I know we were talking about seeing people with these infections having malabsorption and seeing lower amino acid levels and we use the organic acids test or the OAT to kind of get a window into these protein levels. Now we can use clinical signs and symptoms, like you know, dry skin that can mean protein or fat, hair issues, common is fingernail issues, so if we see vertical ridging in the fingernails that can easily mean protein issues, low hydrochloric acid, malabsorption of amino acids so that’s a good clinical sign. On top of that we use the organic acids test. Well, we’ll see certain markers such as aconitate, cis-aconitate. We’ll see L-lactate. We’ll see pyroglutamate. We’ll see other amino acids like brain amino acids like picolinate or low vanilmandelate or 5-hydroxyindoleacetate. I know these are all big—you know, $64,000 words so to speak, but these are markers we see on these tests. Now you don’t have to know what they are. You just have to know that they correlate to protein and amino acids and then the question is, what do we do next?

Evan Brand:  Right, so the body can make all but 9 of about 20 amino acids. So 9 amino acids are essential.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Because you can only get those through diet. So people have probably of them, that’s the histidine, the leucines, the isoleucines, the tryptophan, valines, etc.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Proline.

Evan Brand:  And yeah, and people can supplement with those or you can supplement with even more, just the board spectrum and so today, you mentioned, “Hey, let’s talk about protein powders because that’s a really good source for people to get all of their amino acids assuming it’s good quality protein source and if you have a parasite infection or some type of compromised digestion, then this is gonna be the easy way to get these nutrients in because we’re not having to rely on your good digestion.” Eventually, hopefully, the gut will be healthy enough when we’re supporting you with enzymes and HCl if you’re—if you can tolerate it to where you’re actually gonna be using your bison, your lamb, your elk, whatever meats you like—those are my favorites—and you can turn those into amino acids. But with me, I had the vertical ridges and you saw my nails.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  And that’s when I showed up with those infections so I’ve been there, done that, in terms of seeing actually how this stuff affects you and it is real and there’s a palpable change when you start working through things and you start feeling the dimmer switch come back on, meaning that those amino acids are actually doing something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%! By the way, have you re-tested your infections yet?

Evan Brand:  I haven’t. I have the 401H here and I was waiting for the GI map to arrive which it just did so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great.

Evan Brand:  So I’m gonna be doing the 401 and then we’ll do the GI map at the same time and see what happens. I’ll let you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it. I’m waiting on bated breath, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool. Very cool. So let’s kinda go over the philosophy of amino acids and protein powders or extra protein support. So obviously we want diet to be number one. That’s kind of the big one. We wanna make sure we’re eating good high quality proteins, fats, the right amount of carbohydrates, typically a combination of non-starchy vegs, fruits and roots, and then good seasonings or minerals on top of that. Now when people have gut issues they may have malabsorption or compromised ability to break down these proteins into amino acids that can be absorbed. So imagine like you get this big pearl necklace, right? Your body has to basically break each pearl off, that’s an amino acid—each pearl is an amino acid—so imagine ripping through and breaking each pearl off that necklace, and imagine like if your fingers are really sore, if you have blisters all over them, it’s gonna be really tough to break each pearl off that necklace. So we wanna make sure we add in hydrochloric acid and enzymes because that will aid our ability in cleaving and breaking these amino acids down. Number one. So we wanna maximize that, but we know because the digestive system is impaired, we can’t just eat more protein. That’s just giving the body more work a lot of times, so we do the best that we can on the diet side to provide the protein but then next is hydrochloric acid. Once we’ve checked that off our list, adding in either freeform amino acids and/or protein powder can be helpful because it’s already broken down or hydrolyzed into its constituents so the body can just take it in and doesn’t have to go through all the effort. It’s like someone coming by with scissors and breaking the pearl necklace up for you versus you having to break it up with your hands.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s a great way to—to visualize that. There’s actually an article that I was just looking at this morning about O—Obama and people may think that digestion is just an issue that happens if you have infections or if you have some type of like bacterial overgrowth but I mean, emotional stress like being the president, I would assume that’s incredibly stressful. This article—it was from USA Today, it was when Obama went to the doctor because he had a sore throat—and I’ll send it to you Justin—and they ended up doing a CT scan on him because they thought there was some type of inflammation going on, this—or it actually was a CAT scan, it showed up normal and so then the doctor ended up just putting him on Nexium.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, gosh!

Evan Brand:  And said that his sore throat was likely due to acid reflux. So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It just shows everyone listening here, just because you’re the president or something like a famous movie star or whatever, it doesn’t mean you have access to the most cutting-edge of healthcare. He probably has the most cutting-edge healthcare in the conventional medical world, which is great. Awesome for trauma and acute injuries, not the best for life-long, chronic, degenerative type of illnesses. That’s where functional medicine really takes the cake on that, but it just shows you, even someone at that highest level may still not get the care that he needs.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely. So I sent you one article, that wasn’t the exact one I saw but it—it was just talking about how his doctor gave him a clean bill of health and then he just gave him a Nexium prescription. So here we are, back to PPIs. If you people haven’t listened to that episode, I think we dominated that—that conversation. What was that last week?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, we dominated it last week and it’ll be, I mean we’re about a month ahead of everyone listening live, so I got a lot of good podcasts in store—but it just shows you, right? We went over the vicious, downward spiral of these proton pump inhibitors because then you have malabsorption of protein which then may affect mood because your neurotransmitters are made from protein and then we have minerals that are really important for relaxation. Well, then there’s your prescription for a Xanax or benzodiazepine. Also there may also increase your chance of osteoporosis, so there’s your Boniva.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Prescription, and then it may also affect your cholesterol and fats for choles—for your hormone precursors and then there’s your low libido and your Viagra or your Cialis. So you can see how this downward cycle really goes fast.

Evan Brand:  It does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then we know that each medication has side effects and those side effects may cause the need for more medication. So you can see it’s pretty scary the world that you—you live in when you just get thrown on whack a mole of drugs for symptoms and we know like there are side effects but really, when it comes to anything, there are just effects.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There are effects. Some are good, some are bad. And in the drug world, you can see that, you know, you don’t—it doesn’t take much. Just listen to a drug commercial. You got the auctioneer coming out, listing out all the side effects, so we know there’s a good chance that if you’re on one of these meds, a side effect will pop up and you’ll be playing the whack a mole kind of thing to help knock it back down.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so the point, and actually this piggyback is really nice. The point we’re trying to make here is that if you’re starting with a compromised gut, whether it is infections, bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, candida, yeast problem, or you are on a PPI for example or you have a history of a PPI, then your amino acids are not going to be absorbing. You’re not gonna be taking those from your food and those amino acids are helpful for—they’re the building blocks of protein. So if you’re trying to build muscle, good luck. If you’re trying to have a healthy, stable mood and you’re trying to create neurotransmitters, that’s gonna be difficult, too. So really, this is perfect conversation. If you didn’t listen to the PPI episode that really does piggyback on this, because at the root of everything, it’s where big bags of fluids and hormones and amino acids that—that make up—they pretty much run the show, wouldn’t you say?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%! And the more stress we’re in, the more catabolic we get. And what catabolism is or being catabolic is breaking down faster than we’re building up. Now when we start breaking down though, guess what tissue the body expends first?

Evan Brand:  It’s gonna be muscle tissue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The muscle, it’s the most metabolically active compound. It’s the hardest to maintain, right? So it’s like if you’re trying to go when you’re trying to save money, the first thing you may go to is you may knock down the A/C. I mean, you may knock it out from, you know, 75 to 78, because that’s the first easiest place to save money. Well, it’s like that with your body. Your body is gonna try to save energy and the first place it will go when it’s stressed, it will knock up amino acids and it will break it down into glucose to run your metabolic pathways via sugar. So not the best situation to be in. So number one, we wanna get the sympathetic stress kinda dialed in which, you know, we’re not gonna go into, we’d—we’d done 100 episodes. I’ve done hundreds of videos on this stuff. Get the sympathetics in check with diet, a healthy Pal—Paleo template, sleep, stabilizing blood sugar, a healthy amount of movement, good, clean water and avoiding pesticides and chemicals in your food, and managing in your emotions whether it’s with EFT or meditation, or visualization or gratitude, manage your emotions from that perspective. Once you have that dialed in, that’s where functional medicine just really does a great job in kinda sprouting up and getting to solutions, so on that note, the big—go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I was just gonna say, so you’re saying here once again, first things first, is stress. That’s the undertone for all of the episodes. So the healthy adrenals, you’ve kinda alluded to, nourishing that parasympathetic mode that you’re really designed for. You’re really designed to be sitting under from trees, by some running water with the sounds of birds around you pretty much every day, all day–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Until you decide, okay, it’s time to go hunt a bison and then you go hunt for however long and then you eat and then you’re back with your tribe again. So anytime that you’re stuck in the modern world and you’re doing something that doesn’t feel right, it’s probably a modern activity, maybe you’re not built for it. But if you could change your response to that; I’m sitting in traffic, this sucks or oh I’m sitting in traffic, I’m just gonna listen to this podcast instead, maybe that’s how you can pull yourself out of the sympathetic and try to at least somewhat turn that parasympathetic balance back on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And obviously that will be our podcast they should be listening to, right?

Evan Brand:  Hopefully so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of course, of course.

Evan Brand:  At least one of them in the queue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. Definitely in the queue. So on that note, you really touched upon some good things. So like after this podcast, I’m gonna go do a video, it’s on my board, ready to go. I’m gonna meditate for 10 minutes and then I got 4 or 5 hours or patients. So like I’m trying to like—I’m trying to practice, you know, what I preach as well. It’s tough. You gotta schedule it in. You gotta literally put it on your calendar. It gets really hard. If you have your schedule, your to-do list, and those things aren’t on there, they always tend to get sacrificed.

Evan Brand:  Yup. You and I are definitely calendar Nazis. If we—every time we schedule these shows together, we put them on both of our calendars, we have to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They get—we get it done, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so kind of crossing of our list, I’m gonna just roll through the 5Rs and they have actually graduated to 6Rs and you’ll see why because it really dovetails with the opening of our podcast and I’ll—I’ll touch upon that one sec. But the first R is the remove, right? Removing all of the bad foods and that’s all the bad lifestyle things as well. So when we say, it’s also means adding in the good stuff just so we’re clear on that. Second is replacing enzymes and acids and—and bile salts if need be to help us break down these foods. Third is repairing. Repairing the gut lining, whether it’s with collagen or amino acids, and healing, soothing, antimicrobial herbs like aloe or slippery elm and/or things like adrenal support. Number four is removing the infection. We do it in that order because it’s stressful removing the infection so we gotta prepare the body to get the infection removed. Five is reinoculating with probiotics and guess what six is?

Evan Brand:  I’m gonna go ahead and say re-test, re-treat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes! Wow! Excellent!

Evan Brand:  Re-test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, you get like 3 Paleo brownie points for that.

Evan Brand:  Great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think a couple of weeks back you had some Paleo demerits and now we’ll give you some Paleo–

Evan Brand:  I don’t’ remember–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Paleo brownie points.

Evan Brand:  You did. You gave 1 demerit for some reason. I don’t remember what it was for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I forget. It was long time ago. But sixth R, re-test. Because of that crypt hyperplasia phenomenon, because of the fact that we may have a new infection come to the surface. And anyone that’s been—let’s say, gut issues longer than a year, a year plus—remember a lot of these infection are opportunistic. So once you have one and your immune system’s more compromised and you have lower hydrochloric acid levels, that’s gonna open you up to getting exposed to other infections down the road, whether it’s at a restaurant or just, you know, sketchy water or just intimacy with a partner, all those things are possible, vectors, pets—I got my dog over here in my lap, Butter, and she likes to try to lick and I try to keep that away from my face all the time and if she gets my hands and stuff, I—I go wash them up because pets can be a really strong vector for infections, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’d—I thought about that, too. Playing with a big slobbery toy, when you’re playing with your slobbery dog toy and let’s say you have that saliva on your hand and then you go to touch your face, your nose, your mouth, etc. It seems like an easy way to transfer something as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, we allow no kisses in our household. I mean, it’s like now she kinda lick, oh, man, cute dog, but no, can’t do it.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So on that note, those are all the things that can lead up to these infections and then create all the malabsorption. So dovetailing, we kinda went off a little bit on the tangent, but we’re back, folks. Amino acids. So with all these infections going on and the stress that can drive our amino acid levels lower from a functional perspective. We talked about some clinical signs and symptoms, hair, skin, nails, that’s easy. Next is gonna be some of these functional tests, like the organic acids test. I mentioned some of the markers out. I’ll spare you again. And then the next step is what do we do from a protein perspective? Well—go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I was gonna say, so we could break down some of the options for people depending on how severe their issues are. We may be able to do like a good grass-fed whey protein. I know you like the beef protein. We’ve talked about like an organic pea protein. The one you have to stay away from—I saw the other day, believe this or not, this sounds—it sounds disgusting, it sounds like mixing a grass-fed burger and a McDonald’s burger—it was a whey protein and soy protein blend.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my gosh.

Evan Brand:  Why? Why? Why? Why? So stay away from soy. There’s a lot of genetically modified soy. It’s one of the most highly genetically modified crops. Don’t quote me exactly but I believe it’s something like 97% of the soy in the US is GMO.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s terrible.

Evan Brand:  So if it’s not organic soy, you can assume that it is genetically modified. There’s some issues with estrogen and soy and there’s—we could go on. What else would you like to say against soy and soy protein?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, yeah, I know soy definitely is 90% of it is genetically modified, not a big fan of that because with genetic modification comes extra exposure to Roundup or glyphosate. Okay, Roundup is a herbicide or pesticide and it works by chelating and pulling out the minerals and essentially starving the plants so they die. So if you have this Roundup-resistant gene which right—these soybeans are like Roundup-ready meaning they’re resistant to Roundup, that means they can get exposed to it and they’re okay. So Roundup goes in and it hugs away all of the amino—all of the nutrients, now think about it, right? If we’re hugging away all these nutrients and killing the plants around that, don’t you think at some level it’s gonna impair nutrient absorption to some of these plants?

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And the research does conclude with that.

Evan Brand:  Yup. There was a—a study that the—I’m unsure if they did the study, if they just linked to it, the Organic Consumers Association, they just looked at—I wanna say it was like 20,000 people, I’ll see if I can pull it up but 93% of people had glyphosate in their body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  I probably have some in my body, I guarantee I do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Even though I do my best to eat 100% organic and be aware of my food sources, I mean there’s—I guarantee there’s remnants in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My neighbor just sprayed their yard with Roundup that killed all the weeds–

Evan Brand:  Oh, gosh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And they have a little infant, and I just like—I was like, “Oh, no!” But then it’s like, what am I gonna say? It’s already been done, right?

Evan Brand:  I saw—I saw the neighbor across the street from me, spraying her driveway in flip-flops.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ugh.

Evan Brand:  The big sprayer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My God.

Evan Brand:  All over her feet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My God.

Evan Brand:  Like it’s—it’s insane. Yeah, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, people know not what they do.

Evan Brand:  And it’s found in breastmilk, too. There was another Organic Consumers Association article that they linked showing that the toxic herbicide was found in breastmilk. This—and it says it’s finding contradicts industry claims that glyphosate does not accumulate in breast tissue. It definitely does. Unfortunately, breastmilk contains a lot of things that are not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and the problem with a lot of these GMOs is not really any long-term human study. I think the longest is 3 or 4 weeks so you know, these things accumulate and then you gotta also factor and you cook these things, too. That denatures and changes, and some research showing it makes it even more powerful when you cook them. So you gotta be careful, extra pesticide exposure, the pesticides themselves can be estrogenic which again is not good because estrogen tends to cause things to grow like tumors, right? And there’s some study showing the opposite again—you’re not gonna see a bunch of studies on it because you got a multibillion dollar that’s highly, you know, lobbying and the government officials, so you’re not gonna get, you know, transparency in that issue so I think until you have really long, long-term studies going on there and you have some independent people looking at it, it’s just—you’re better to be safe than sorry and go with old foods.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because I always tell my patients, these old foods don’t cause new disease, okay? Old foods don’t, so you can always be—you’d rather be safe than sorry and go with the old foods that have hundreds of thousands of year history of being safe.

Evan Brand:  Yup. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So again the soy protein—a couple of other pieces on—I’ll kinda nerd out a little bit—it’s lower in amino acids as well, lower in sulfur amino acids like methionine and lysine compared to like a whey protein. So lower in sulfur amino acids and also does have phyto-estrogens in it which for guys, you know, with gynecomastia and extra, you know, the man boobs, the moobs if you will, not gonna be the best. Woman that have female hormone issues in their cycling may not be the best either because most women are already estrogen-dominant. Some women who are menopausal go for it because it can help relieve hot flashes but you get a lot of negative things. There are better way to get the estrogens in there in a bio-identical type of way that’s, you know, more controlled and cleaner than go into the soy.

Evan Brand:  Yup, and I just sent you a picture. It was of the glyphosate use in the United States and you can just see the US map. It’s in dark brown. If people go to your show notes and look on justinhealth.com, they go to this podcast, they’ll see it but most of the United States in terms of like the Midwest, not Colorado, at least not Western Colorado, Utah, etc. But that’s the desert southwest, you can’t grow stuff out there anyway hardly, except for California and if you look in California, Justin, look over there where you see the—that fertile area–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The middle.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the middle California area–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s like the valley–

Evan Brand:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Probably by Fresno, up by Bakersfield and such.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s all 88% or greater use. So basically this says–oh, not that’s 88 pounds per square mile rather of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Glyphosate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  So then you look at the charts. There’s also a chart here starting at 1992 and going up the latest statistic they have was up to 2013. Glyphosate use is still on the rise and right now we’re up to a total of about 250 million pounds, I—I suppose this 250 million pounds per year of glyphosate. So you got corn, soy beans, wheat, cotton, vegetables, fruits, rice, orchard and grapes, alfalfa, pasture and hay, and other crops. So this all ties in to that amino acid piece though because if you’re eating non-organic anything, you can assume that glyphosate has been sprayed on that food; therefore, you’re not actually going to be absorbing the amino acids. So even though you may be free and clear of infection, it still goes to show that we really have to stay away from the chemicals and I think I talked with—with you about that on the—an episode when I went to the Farmer’s Market and I was talking with some of these people about their strawberries, and they said, “Evan, just because you’re at the Farmer’s Market, it doesn’t mean that it’s clean. These farmers are still spraying stuff. Unless it is certified organic, you better assume that they have sprayed something on it because it’s tough to keep the bugs off the strawberries.” I got some growing in the backyard. Every time it’s ready to pick, I wake up the next day and it’s gone, something eats it every time. I have it covered in cages and everything. Those little–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  I think it’s a bird or something, flying through the little—the little holes in the fence.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It just kind of use his little pecker and getting it.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, man. Man—man, I hear you on that one. But with soy though, the biggest thing with soy is it’s also goitrogenic. So what’s goitrogenic means? It’s–okay, cut that one. Wooh, alright, I’m dying in here, man.  I’m dyin’ seeing you at Skype. You’re red as a freaking cherry right now.

Evan Brand:  Oh, I’m—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.

Evan Brand:  I’m keeping it in on my show.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, we have to cut that one. Take two.

Evan Brand:  I’m keeping it on my show.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh you are? Okay.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, okay we’ll keep on my show. I’ll keep the—the little break down at the end though. Alright, alright. Let’s get real. Van Damme–wooh—Van Damme. So like I was saying, soy is also goitrogenic meaning it blocks iodine uptake and we know we need iodine—healthy iodine levels for good thyroid function. I mean we don’t wanna go so, you know, hyper on the thy—on the iodine because that can drive potential Hashimoto’s but we don’t wanna be blocking it with foods that would block natural iodine uptake. So we have that negative piece. Also the trypsin inhibitor piece where it blocks these proteolytic enzymes from helping to break down protein and if you have digestion issues, you don’t wanna be taking in more compounds that are gonna be causing more digestive issues in the end.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and people that are avoiding meat, if you’re going vegetarian or vegan, you will see these people eating soy protein and soy replacements. So I don’t want to make this all about soy but I did really wanna hit that hard on the whole soy piece because it is so common and so many people are eating it and it’s just not healthy. So really I broke down like the grass-fed whey, the beef protein, etc. These are good things and these are good nutritional insurance policies. That’s the best way I refer to them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I agree. I agree. The m—my next layer up is gonna be the whey protein. We wanna make sure obviously that’s grass-fed because the grass kind of goes in and it helps make higher quality amino acids because again the building blocks are really important. Pardon my French, but you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit, right? So you gotta have good quality nutrients in there to provide the building blocks. So we gotta make sure those building blocks are present so we have the quality. Same thing with whey protein. We wanna make sure it’s grass-fed. We wanna make sure it’s organic, right? We’re not feeding it a whole bunch of hormones and antibiotics. That way we have the best chance. Now the thing with whey is there’s a tiny bit of lactose in there, about 1%; there’s also a tiny bit of casein, maybe less than 1%. So I typically don’t recommend it to my autoimmune patients off the bat. Once they’re kind—once they’re autoimmune condition is stabilized and their symptoms are stabilized, then we’ll add some whey in or I’ll recommend some whey because whey is great for sulfur amino acids, very high in NAC, very high in a lot of these glutathione precursors, methionine, cysteine, really, really good for glutathione, so I love it plus I’m biased. Whey definitely blends up the best. It tastes the best out of all the proteins out there. I love it. So I’d recommend—I use whey and beef and I’ll use pea and I typically  use collagen as a foundation to all of my shakes. We’ll talk about that in a minute. I love it because they can—you can mix it in and it just makes the amino acid profile better for the—for the ligaments and for the gut. So I recommend whey for all my patients that are non-autoimmune or more stabilized and healthy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I mean, do you consider whey dairy or not really? Because there is such a minimal amount of lactose available.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I mean, again for my autoimmune patients, I would. But for the most part, you know, you don’t have the casein in there, very very small amount. You don’t have the lactose in there, if you do, a very small amount, right? We’re talking 1% less. So those are the two detrimental components of dairy, is the lactose and casein. So if you pull that out, you got this great product called whey which is awesome for the all the amino acids and great glutathione. So I like it. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it whey if you are—if you are on the healthier side. Typically people can tolerate it.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and it’s not a deal breaker if it’s not certified organic. You and I both use professional healthcare companies where they’re proving and making sure that there’s no chemicals, there’s no pesticides or anything sprayed on the pastures, so you really just have to look into the details of the product that you want just because they didn’t pay the big bucks to get the USDA certification. It’s better if you can find that but if you don’t have it, it’s—it’s not a deal breaker if you could verify that it—if the stuff hasn’t been sprayed because I assume there could be some potential whey companies out there that market as grass-fed but still could be chemical—chemical sprayed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No way.

Evan Brand:  Yeah way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it. But yeah, a couple of brands. I know, I think you formulated your own. I have my own called True Whey and we were able to source Argentinian grass-fed whey, you know, high quality without all the—the hormones, antibiotics, and there—that’s the one that I use for myself and my patients.

Evan Brand:  Yup, and then–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which one do you like?

Evan Brand:  Well, I like—so I like the collagen. That’s what I was gonna—I want you to talk about, your collagen because you actually went through some—some, a lot of work—more work than people recognize behind the scenes for the collagen. So talk about that a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so the difference is, when we come up with products, we’re looking at, “Alright, what’s the best thing that we’re gonna talk ourselves and our family?” Number one, and then we’re also thinking, “What can we also give that’s gonna help our patients heal and get better as fast as possible?” So we’re kinda looking at things from a different spectrum because when we come out with a product, it’s gotta be something that we wanna take, we wanna give to our family and we want our patients to be able to take because we need them to get better. We’re not selling them a product and that’s it, “See you later.”

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We need to make sure there’s a clinical outcome behind it because we’re sitting there and following up and you gotta look in that patient’s eyes knowing that you’re giving them the best because you want the best result out of it. So one of the collagens we formulated was we got it from I think Argentinia—Argentina I should say—it’s Argentinian grass-fed meat sourced and then we were able to source it from that. It was enzymatically processed. The benefit from that is you take collagen which is typically gelatin and you’re breaking it down to these collagen peptides. You’re hydrolyzing it with various water processing and blending processing that makes it broken down so your body can absorb it at the highest level so when you have a compromised gut, you can take it into your bloodstream and use it and typically with collagen you can put it with any of your proteins. So I’ll either mix it in with my pea or my beef or my whey. For my autoimmune patients, we’ll use the pea typically and we’ll mix it in and the collagen provides a high amount of glycine which is great for the gut lining and also a high amount for detoxification, and it provides a lot of building blocks, hydroxyproline-proline, hyaluronic acid for the skin and for the integrity of the joints, the tissue, the gut lining, the nails, the bones as well.

Evan Brand:  Talk about, you know, I guess we don’t have to say names but there are companies out there that will sacrifice quality of their supplements because they aren’t working with people so it’s just like, “Here’s your supplement, thank you, have a nice day!” And—and this is being done in our little tight knit community.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I won’t put, you know, specifics up but there—but there are some collagen products that are coming from Tyson chickens. They buy ‘em from the major, you know, the big Tyson chicken company out there and they use their cartilage to make the—the collagen, and again—again, you know, Tyson, right? Your factory farmed, antibiotic, hormone type of, you know, CAFO operation going there and that kinda passes into the amino acids in the protein, so we make sure that we, you know, source the highest quality stuff because we gotta heal the leaky gut. We gotta provide the healing nutrients to get a really optimal clinical outcome.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, just to—a note here. If a sales page looks good or if a company is just 90% marketing and then here’s handful of products that exist to go along with that marketing, it’s not to say it’s a bad product. You all know I’ve worked for several supplement companies behind the scenes and so I can tell you this that you have to really pay attention to the quality and you really have to look at their sources. Maybe you and I are on the far end of the spectrum but I wanna be at the top 1% of health and you and I both want our patients to be at the top 1% of health, and I don’t want anybody to settle for less so maybe the price point will be a little bit higher but if you can ensure that you are getting the best then I can sleep at night knowing that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. I’m the same way. I wanna make sure we get good clinical outcomes. So the collagen can be mixed in with the whey. It can be mixed in with the pea so on that next route, we have our autoimmune patients and we’ll use some of the pea proteins that are unsweetened, unflavored, because even some Stevia and Xylitol, it may cause problems. So pea can be great. Sometime it causes in bloating in people that may have some FODMAP issue. So pea is a pretty good generic one that we add in and we’ll mix the collagen. Sometimes collagen is great as a standalone if people are really, really hypoallergenic because it’s hydrolyzed. It’s broken down. It’s easy to process so we have the—the whey which is great if you’re—don’t have an autoimmune condition or you’re feeling better. Number two, we have is the beef. I didn’t mention the beef. Beef comes from the actual beef tissue so it’s not quite the—the collagen type. It’s a different type of the piece of the cow which is great and that’s—comes from a trademark called HydroBEEF and we use that in our clinic as well. It’s called True Paleo, that’s a great one. It’s got flavor to it. This morning I did the collagen and the beef, and I like the chocolate and the vanilla. We’ll go back and forth on those and that’s nice. It’s got a little bit of Stevia in there, so we’ll try to avoid that in patients that have gut issues off the bat and we’ll go to the pea or we’ll go just to the pea and collagen or just the collagen by itself. Pea’s still good. It still has a decent sulfur amino acid profile. It’s not something we get exposed to frequently in our diet so we tend to be able to handle it and people think, well, isn’t pea a legume? Yes, but the carbohydrate portion of that pea is removed so you’re only getting the protein portion so a lot of the potential gut-irritating compounds and the various lectins tend to be removed in that carbohydrate portion.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Let’s talk about hemp, too. I’ve tried hemp protein. I think I’d—it’s a cross-reactive for me. It’s in that category of cross-reactive foods for gluten. I think my body believes that it’s—that it’s gluten because it generally tears my stomach up if I do it. So I’ve had hemp protein bars. Actually had a company that they sent me a box of protein bars. They were hemp-based bars and it destroyed my gut. Same thing with hemp protein so for people maybe you can do it. There is some good amino acid profile in hemp and I’m a huge proponent of hemp, all the great things it can do for the environment, the world, textiles, cars, etc.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  However, for me, it just—it doesn’t work as a—as a food source unfortunately.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think you gotta always just test it out and see what works for you. That’s the biggest thing. With hemp, I’ve tried it a little bit. It’s okay. I mean I just go better with other ones and I liked how I feel with other ones. I don’t feel—I don’t get those negative reactions that you get so to speak, but I just feel a little bit better on the other ones.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and there’s some good organic low—low priced hemp proteins–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Out there available.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I can think of Sunwarrior. Sunwarrior makes one that’s pretty decent as well.

Evan Brand:  I—I think there’s one—maybe I’m wrong but I think there’s one called Manitoba out there that had—or maybe it was Nutiva that had it and they have a relatively–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah, Nutiva.

Evan Brand:  They have a relatively low-priced organic hemp. So try it out, experiment, that’s what this is all about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let’s kinda go back and recap. My number, like let’s say you’re not sick. You’re—you’re pretty good. You’re pretty healthy. High quality grass-fed whey protein is great. Number two is a high quality beef protein that’s coming from more of the—the muscle meat portion of the beef. So good quality grass-fed beef. Next for me is gonna be a pea protein. I use that more for my autoimmune patients especially unflavored and then we have collagen. Collagen’s like the foundational piece because it can be combined with all of these proteins. That’s the beauty of it. You can even use it in your coffee in the morning. So I like it for the benefits, like I mentioned. Bone, skin, hair, nails, and gut lining. I just did a video on collagen today. So look for that for a more in-depth review on that. So you kinda have a hierarchy of whey, beef, and pea and then collagen’s kinda like your switch hit or it can come in there or you pinch it or it can kinda come in there and do its job and help support and provide extra amino acid support to fill in the gaps with that.

Evan Brand:  Nice, well-said, and then I’ll finish out just by saying if you have issues with your hair, skin, nails, and you think there is something going on, then it is important to always work back to that root cause. This is sort of the supplement if you will to treat the issues of amino acid insufficiency but as long as you’re working backward to figure out why is that happening in the first place. Is it stress? Is it because you’re scrolling on Facebook while you’re eating your meal at the same time? Is it because you’re stressed out, you’re arguing over the dinner table? Is it because you’re just not even chewing your food well? Is it because you have low stomach acid? You may have H. pylori. Is it because you have infections? Figure all that stuff out and then you can continue to use this stuff when you’re healthy but just making sure that you’re not just—I don’t even know, what’s the analogy there, Justin? Like just—you’re just filling something in just because but you’re not even—you’re just treating the symptom I guess. That’s what I’m trying to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, exactly. Yup, you’re just treating the symptoms. And just to kind of add one more layer on top of that, some people they’ve made these changes. They’re switching to a Paleo template or an AIP template, and they are a little overwhelmed, right? They’re making all these changes. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh, what do I do?“ Sometimes a really good shake can help just mix things up and it’s also easy. So people that are stressed in the morning that haven’t quite got enough time in their schedule in their morning because of their commute or because of whatever’s going on in their life, a good shake can be great because it’s already broken down. It’s easy to absorb so that stress won’t affect the digestion as much but it’s also simple, easy and different. You can throw in some coconut milk, maybe a handful of low glycemic berries. If you can do an egg in there or a scoop of almond butter. If not, that’s fine. Throw in a scoop of collagen or scoop of pea or whey protein, then you got a really good nice full, you know, amino acid full fat drink that you can consume pretty fast and it’s easy to digest.

Evan Brand:  Yup, I wanted to get your take on this. So one of my friends and you know Nora as well—Nora Gedgaudas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yup!

Evan Brand:  She—she posted something on Twitter and she said a fruit smoothie is the virtual equivalent of freebasing fructose which is a rapid and pronounced way to cause glycation damage.  Now if that were like pineapple, mangoes, etc. really high sugar fruits, I would agree. And if it were juiced like a juiced fruit-smoothie I would agree, where it’s just straight juice and no fiber. But if it’s blueberries, I really don’t think that—that saying would really ap—apply because typically that’s you’re gonna have all the fiber attached. What are you—what’s your take?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’m on the same benefit and the same kind of, you know, mindset as you there. You’re gonna have all the modified citrus pectin and the MCP still intact. You’re not juicing it, number one, right? So the fiber is still intact. Number two, you’re not using the higher tropical fruits.

Evan Brand:  Yup, and I do–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I–

Evan Brand:  Try to blend stuff relatively quickly, too, because I know there is likely some damage done the more and longer and higher speed you blend stuff. So if I leave mine a little bit chunky and there’s some blueberry chunks in there, I enjoy that, and maybe it’s just placebo but I would suggest that may preserve some of the benefits.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Oh, and there’s one last piece I forgot to mention, and we do this a lot with our organic acid people, but some people that have really bad autoimmune or leaky gut stuff or malabsorption, we’re leaving you something called freeform amino acids. I forgot to mention this. You get a lot of that in the collagen, too. But with the freeforms, we’ll use it in the pill form, it’s basically amino acids that are already broken down basically ready to go in your bloodstream. There’s virtually no breakdown. So when you—like I mentioned, you eat beef, right? That’s the pearl necklace that gets broken to the individual pearls, but then even that there’s a little bit more work the body has to do even if you take a pea or beef or whey protein but when you do a freeform amino it’s basically ready to go. So people that have severe digestive issues or severe malabsorption, let’s say low BUN or low creatinine, or abnormal glo—globulin or albumin on their blood work, we’ll give them some extra freeform amino acids in capsule form to make it really easy on their digestive system.

Evan Brand:  Yup, I’m glad you remembered.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that’s kind of the hierarchy. Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Well-said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any comments on that?

Evan Brand:  No, I did in a video. That’s actually one of the most popular videos I did. It was on amino acids. I love them and if people haven’t, they could pick up Julia Ross’ book, The Mood Cure or the newer one, The Diet Cure. And those are awesome, that if you want further reading on aminos, that could be a great place to start.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah, and don’t get fooled by the new ploy of a lot of the food companies. They’re using aspartame now and it’s now re-labeled as amino sweet. So if we’re talking about all these amino acids here and you’re getting all amino jazz like we are, don’t fall for the prey of amino sweet. That is aspartame.

Evan Brand:  I thought they just renamed it to neotame. Now they even changed it from neotame? Or I wonder if they’re using both of those names. It was kinda like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They could be using both.

Evan Brand:  I bet they are, because like MSG, you’ll see like the hydrolyzed soy protein and there’s like 50 names for MSG at this point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  OH, yeah. Same as Splenda. You have Splenda but then you also sucralose which sounds like sucrose which is actual sugar. That’s table sugar, right? So they’re—they’re kinda really shady when it comes to how they’re naming things. They’re really trying to deceive you.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so become an avid ingredient reader. I’m sure you are. This is old news, but you’re doing great. Thanks for listening.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome. Thanks, everyone! And if you wanna support the show, feel free and check out Evan’s store or my store. We formulate our own amino acid compounds and products to help our patients get better and if you wanna take advantage of them, too, feel free and click below the link and also sharing is caring. So give us a 5-star review, whatever you think we deserve and we appreciate you listening. Thank you.

Evan Brand:  Yes, we do. Take care!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Bye!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye!



What are Biofilms? – Biofilms And The Hypothyroidism Connection

Biofilms and HypothyroidismBy Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s video is going to be on biofilms and your health, especially your thyroid. We are going into what biofilms are, how they make it very difficult for us to get rid of bad bacteria that is creating problems in your gut; and also how it affects your thyroid and what solutions we can do to help fix it for good.

What are Biofilms?

What are biofilms?

Biofilms are made out of these things called EPS—Extracellular Polymeric Substance. What the heck does that mean? They are nucleic acids, some complex sugars and some proteins all stuck together. It makes a protective force field, so to speak, over the bacteria.

So we have these bacteria called planktonic bacteria. Essentially, we’re not talking about planktonic bacteria. Planktonic bacteria, they’re kind of bacteria that antibiotics kill. Biofilms rest on top of planktonic bacteria. It’s like that protective force field, if you will. So when we look at biofilms, they are like the force field.  If you watch that movie, 300, where they have all these Roman—Greek soldiers, so to speak. Well, what happens in that movie is they have their spear and then they have their shield; and the goal is they use their shield to protect them and they come in there and jab with the spear.

So think of the shield as like what the biofilm does for the bacteria. It protects it from invaders and here’s the thing. Things like antibiotics have a very difficult time even knocking down biofilms. That’s part of the reason why we have this antibiotic resistance. Yes, the medicines aren’t working; but also the biofilms are a big reason why these antibiotics aren’t working and we have natural strategies to help fix it.

Biofilms as Protective Membranes

Just think about it, too, with your teeth. Ever get that kind of slimy coating over your teeth when you wake up in the morning, it kind of feel slick like you got sweaters on your teeth? That’s a biofilm. Now we have these all in our certain bacteria in the gut, especially the bad ones—the gram-negative and gram-positive, dysbiotic or bad ones. So we want to take that coating off. It’s like you got grease on your table and you don’t clean the grease up with soap. You use water and it still feels like that slick coating there. Well, that’s like a biofilm in all your cells and it makes it very difficult when we have a higher amount of bad bacteria in relationship to good bacteria. It’s hard for us to kill it.

Biofilms and Bad Bacteria

Now the bad bacteria puts out toxins and produces things called lipopolysaccharides. If we have fungus, it will produce mycotoxins and endotoxins, things that actually are toxic to our body. They can create leaky gut. They can cross the blood-brain barrier and they can even create mood disruptions, anxiety, depression, and who would have thought all that can come from your gut and it also can disrupt digestion. If we have poor digestion, we can’t break down proteins, fats, ionized minerals and all the things that we eat we can’t reconstitute them into our body and into our energy system. So really important, if we have bad bacterial issues, we want to be able to kill the bacteria. And one of the biggest obstacles preventing us, are going to be the biofilm. So that’s what the biofilms are.

Need more help understanding about the role of biofilms? Get in touch with a functional medicine doctor HERE!

How Do Biofilms Work?

How do biofilms work?

Now how it works is biofilms attach and they’re like this little protective kind of slimy coating. This is kind of phase one here. They attach and then over time, they start to grow. They start to accumulate here; and then here is where biofilms are really difficult is they start to disperse. Then they will start to travel and attach and adhere to other parts of the body. So they will disperse itself down the road.

Now, they were having issues even with biofilms affecting medical transplants such as hips and knees and prosthetic devices. They’re even using things like silver—silver coatings like in colloidal silver to help prevent and break down biofilm. Some of the research, we’ll go over here in a bit shows that silver can help break down biofilm 70-97%. See the references below for that study.

So we really want to be able to affect biofilms because they can affect our guts, but they can also affect even conventional allopathic surgeries. There are a lot of research studies coming out over the last 15 years. It’s becoming a big issue that biofilms are a big problem and they’re trying to address it with these different things such as silver and even Mānuka honey for wound issues because these films are protecting the antibiotics from actually working. They are preventing the antibiotics from working.

Biofilm Effects on our Bodies

The effects of Biofilm on the body

We know gut bacteria has a major effect on our immune system and most thyroid issues are autoimmune. So if we have our immune system attacking the thyroid gland, the gut bacteria, whether it’s out of balance or in balance, it can have a huge effect on our immune system. When we’re out of balance, the more beneficial bacteria we have that that’s low in relationship to the high amount of bad stuff, we’ll throw our immune system out of whack and we can start attacking our thyroid tissue.


Bad bacteria can also create more leaky gut; it can allow undigested food particles to slip through the gastrointestinal tight junctions in our intestinal tract; it can get into the bloodstream where our immune system is not used to seeing and start creating a feeding frenzy, so to speak. And we can get a case of mistaken identity because our immune systems are seeing proteins and particles that are in the bloodstream that typically aren’t there. So it can create leaky gut, it can create more toxicity, it can then put stress on our immune system as well and skew out our TH1 and TH2 balance. And it can create an issue where we’re making higher amounts of TH2 in our body and our immune system is starting to hyper respond to self tissue, autoimmune, self killing self.

Receptor Sites

It can also affect receptor sites. When we have inflammation in the body, whether it’s inflammation from endogenous toxins or inflammation from our body attacking self, that can block the receptor site.

So imagine you’re coming home from work you put your key in the house, but the hole’s filled in. Someone put some Silly Putty in there. Well, now the key doesn’t work, right? Think of the key as like the thyroid hormone. Think of the keyhole as like the receptor site. So if we have something in there, whether it’s inflammatory proteins, interleukins, antibodies—that’s gonna prevent that key or that hormone from locking into the receptor site and creating that metabolic effect that we want.


It can also decrease T4 to T3 conversion. Because one of the big things in our gut, as we have T3 acetic acid and T3 sulfate, and we need this compound called sulfatase which is an enzyme produced by beneficial bacteria. And if we have low amounts of bad bacteria, that’s going to affect our sulfatase levels. Lower sulfatase means lower T4 to T3 conversion. If T4 to T3 converts like this, and we need sulfatase here. And we have T3 acetic acid and T3 sulfate over here, and we need this and this is produced by beneficial bacteria—BB—and if we have more dysbiotic bacteria, so our beneficial bacteria is low, that’s going to decrease sulfatase from happening. That’s going to decrease our T4 to T3 conversion from happening, and T3 is really our active thyroid hormone.

So you can see, if we start to have bacterial issues, that is going to affect our thyroid. Most doctors, most thyroid specialists, they aren’t looking at the gut being a root cause of their thyroid issue. Now on that note, we also know fungus such as candida and parasite infections also use biofilms to help protect themselves. Yersinia is one of them—Yersinia enterocolitica, candida and other parasite infections will still use biofilms to protect themselves. Now that’s important because we know things like Blasto and H. pylori and candida can also affect our thyroid gland, affect our immune system, and also increase inflammation and affect our thyroid gland from working optimally.

So again, it’s good to look at the thyroid. It’s good to look at thyroid support, but if we’re ignoring the gut then we’re ignoring a big piece of the puzzle. And if we ignore the biofilm piece, that’s a huge element that we need to overcome to be able to get the bad bacteria back into place.


Natural Biofilm Treatments

The natural treatments for Biofilms


One of the things I do in my clinic is we use ginger with all of my gut patients. Anyone that has a gut infection. Zingiber officinale is the medical herb name for it, but ginger for short. Everyone knows it by ginger. It’s a natural biofilm disruptor. It’s commonly used in the GAPS protocol as well. We actually put some honey in as well, like a wild clover or a raw type of honey. You can even use Mānuka honey which is shown to be antibacterial and antibiofilm as well, and we’ll juice 3 or 4 cloves of ginger.

I have a video on this where I put it in my Vitamix or your Magic Bullet, blend it up really nice. Add some hot water to it. Throw in a French press. Let it sit for 3 or 4 minutes. Filter it out. Squeeze a quarter of a lime and a little bit of honey in there. And—boom—you got a great drink that you can sip all day that will help keep things moving. It’s a natural prokinetic meaning it keep your guts and your intestines moving. It’s anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant so it keep cells from sticking to each other. It keep things flowing and it’s a biofilm disruptor. There are lots of great studies on this. I’m going to post it below in the reference section. Take a look at it if you need.


They’re using this in hip surgeries today, knee surgeries, all kinds of different medical procedures up to 97% reduction in biofilms are taking the sheets of silver almost like a cellophane sheet. And they’re putting it over the area that was operated, very helpful at preventing the biofilm formation and allowing whatever type of antimicrobial is being used, typically an antibiotic, to be able to work better.


I’ll put a study down below where they use Artemisia and Cipro. The Artemisia actually helped the Cipro work better. So even if you’re conventionally minded here, these herbs are going to help the antibiotics work better. Now one of the problems with the antibiotics is the efflux pumps. They essentially don’t get inhibited, so the antibiotics gets pushed out of the cell back into the bloodstream. It’s because we are not addressing the efflux pump issue.

Efflux Pumps

So again, like I mentioned before, these herbs are going to help the efflux pumps. Efflux pumps are basically, let’s say you’re in a boat. The boat’s taking on water and you put the bilge pump on or you get your bucket and you start scooping the water from the boat, back into the water. That’s like an efflux pump. Just imagine the antibiotics is being the water. Now the problem is, if we want to sink the ship or sink that bacterial component, we don’t want the bilge pump or we don’t want the person to pick up the bucket and start putting the water or the antibiotic in this analogy back out into the ocean. We want that boat to take on water so it sinks. Also, we want that bacteria to take on the antimicrobial and sink. So the herbs tend to also have an effect at inhibiting efflux pumps. Think of efflux pumps as your bilge pump or that someone taking the pale and baling up the water.


This is actually a really cool amino acid compound. It’s a sulfur-based amino acid used in phase 2 detoxification, which is how your body takes toxins and mobilizes it out of the body. Also, it helps with glutathione levels and it also helps take down these biofilms. It’s like soap on a kind of liquid-y oily surface and it helps clean that right off. So NAC is a really great biofilm buster.


Berberines are phenomenal. These are a family of herbs. To name a few, we have golden seal, we have barberry, we have berberine HCL, Hydrastis, Coptis, organ grape to name a few and these are very antibacterial. These are also efflux pump inhibitors. They work really good with Artemisia together. It’s excellent. And they help break down a lot of these biofilms, too.  So when we create protocols to knock down these infections, we combine these herbs together. I have a high amount of berberines in one of my products called by GI Clear One and GI Clear Two.


Cloves are shown to be to be antibiofilm as well. It has that nice little cinnamon smell to it, that Christmas-y smell. Very good, very antibiofilm. We put this in our GI Clear Two product and the cloves help with the biofilms there.

Fix  leaky gut and thyroid issues by contacting a functional medicine expert HERE!

Anytime we deal with the gut issue, we typically always assume biofilms are present because it’s going to allow us, the patient that haven’t got results in the past, it’s going to allow us to work better with any gut issue that’s there. It’ll help kill whatever needs to be eradicated. And then we also have enzymes and these are enzymes taken on an empty stomach a lot of times, whether it’s serratiopeptidase or enteric-coated proteolytic enzymes to go in there and help break down the biofilms. And we’ll even use some enzymes that have EDTA in it, because sometimes these biofilms will take on minerals as a protective shield as well. They’ll make up minerals as part of that biofilm plaque and so sometimes enzymes with some chelators in there can be helpful to break down any of those biofilms.


So in review, what are biofilms? They’re this polymeric substance made out of protein and some sugar. We’re trying to allow the antimicrobials or antibiotics to work better. Biofilms are the protective shield that allow those things to not penetrate and not work well. Biofilms and your thyroid, we talked about how it decreases receptor sites. It affects thyroid conversion and it can increase leaky gut and autoimmunity. It can increase leaky gut and autoimmunity, also prevents the pituitary from working well, too.

And I’ll add one more thing here, just autoimmune. Autoimmune thyroid and that’s Hashimoto’s for short, and we’ll put leaky gut because that’s one of the main mechanisms that a lot of these thyroid issues come from. We talked about all the natural biofilm agents, ginger to silver to Artemisia to NAC to honey Mānuka, the berberines, the clove, and the various enzymes. Now if you have a health issue right now and your gut’s not getting better, your thyroid’s not getting better, biofilms could be a component that needs to be addressed.

So the next step is get some comprehensive stool analysis done, look at your gut, look at your adrenals, look at your hormonal system and your thyroid together, and then come up with a comprehensive plan. If you need help doing that, click on-screen or reach out below so you could access to some of my great information and also working with me one-on-one as well.


Tom Brady’s diet and lifestyle performance secrets – Podcast #77

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dig in a little bit on Tom Brady’s success, some of the people that he’s attributed that to, as well as what he’s doing and how we can extract some tidbits from it and apply it to a functional medicine healthy Paleo template or lifestyle. 

Tom BradyThe emphasis on this podcast is about getting diet and lifestyle dialed in first. There’s a discussion on avoiding inflammatory foods and really eating anti-inflammatory foods in this interview, plus how you can avoid toxicity as well. Find out why we need to go for foods that are anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense and low in toxins which is very much like Tom Brady’s diet. Discover why you need to get sleep dialed in, too. Also learn how to make your own chocolate avocado ice cream when you listen to this podcast.

In this episode, topics include:

00:35   Who is Tom Brady?

1:38   Why diet is important

4:58   Tom Brady’s diet

7:40   Tom Brady’s chef tips

10:57   Acid alkaline diet

20:04   Supplementation









Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s Dr. J.  What’s going, man?

Evan Brand:  Hey, we’re gonna be breaking down some fun stuff about pro athletes’ diets today, so this is fun and something that’s very relevant because anytime the word diet pops up around a celebrity, whether it’s an athlete or not, people are like, “Oh, that’s so weird.”  So hopefully we can bring some clarity to this thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Love it, yeah.  So what kind of inspired this is I’m from Boston, so I’m a big Patriots fan and, you know, less about sports as I get older and, you know, more focused on helping patients, but again, I still watch some of the games especially around playoff times and we just watched the Patriots game last night and it was really a great time, strong defenses on both sides, but one of my favorite athletes is Tom Brady.  He’s a Boston guy, basically was a real late round draft pick around 2000 and has been just one of the best athletes I think, all time.  Not having the best physical stature, not being too fast, you know, not having the best arm, just totally the kind of, you know, great underdog story, and this guy has made it successful in so many different areas and a lot of his success–people aren’t really talking about it, but they’re starting to talk about it more now–is having to do with his diet, with his lifestyle, with his training, which again is such a huge important factor at why he is so successful and people are starting to catch on to it.  So I wanted to dig in a little bit to his success, some of the people that he’s attributed that to, and then what he’s doing and how we can maybe extract some tidbits from it and apply it to a functional medicine healthy Paleo template or lifestyle.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, it sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So off the bat, right?  Diet is super important.  Why?  We gotta hgave 3 kind–my big 3 reasons why diet’s important, is one, nutrients are what runs you body, not calories.  Now all nutrients have calories, that’s a good thing.  So if we’re eating nutrients, calories always take care of themselves.  But in this day and age, we can eat a whole bunch of calories and not have nutrients.  So I like to put our focus on nutrients and if we put our focus on nutrients, calories always take care of themselves and not the other way around.  Next is inflammation and you‘ll see this in Tom Brady’s diet here is avoiding inflammatory foods and really eating anti-inflammatory foods.  Basically, when you’re too inflamed, your body breaks down faster than it repairs and part of the things that are associated with inflammation are gonna be pain, are gonna be lack of range of motion and flexibility.  All of those things that as a professional athlete, you really need to be at 100%.  And last but not the least is toxicity.  Alright, avoiding pesticides and chemicals that we know, there just–there are already known carcinogens.  Why would you wanna put something in your body that’s a carcinogen, that will have to make your liver and your detox system work harder.  Getting exposed to sketchy things like GMOs that have their whole, you know, whole bunch of risk factors there; hormones, antibiotics, all of these things aren’t good.  So if we back up, right?  Our underlying kind of one or two, three tenants that we’re looking at are foods that are anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense and low in toxins.

Evan Brand:   Makes sense.  Yeah, so for him, I mean, we’re basically eating a pro athlete’s diet all of the time, and that’s amazing to think because it’s really not that much different.  Everybody’s looking for the competitive edge.  It’s like this is the starting point.  No matter how many supplements or pre-workout drinks these athletes are doing and growth hormone, and all that stuff, it’s like if they just got the diet dialed in like this, they would significantly increase their–their skills I think.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely, and the reason why I love Tom Brady is because he wasn’t the best growing up and he had to make himself great so training and lifestyle and nutrition was a huge part to get him to that level where a lot–because I’ve worked with a handful of professional athletes in my practice on the functional medicine side and on the–the physical side when I was doing more physical work and a lot of them are just naturally just raw talent.  They just grew just kicking butt in high school, kicking butt in college and a lot of times, they would just kick butt in spite of their workouts, their lifestyle, their diets.  I mean, I would see guys come in and they would train and they would eat McDonald’s afterwards and they would still kick butt.  Now once you get to the pro level, it’s a whole different ball game because you can’t make healthy ligaments and tendons and joint tissue off of, you know, McDonald’s food, right?  Or in other words, you can’t look or perform like a million bucks when you’re eating off the dollar menu.  That’s kinda my slogan.  So the diet plays a really big important factor especially once you get hurt.  Once you get hurt once, one is if you don’t have the building blocks coming back in to heal you, you lose a step.  You lose 2 steps, you’re–you’re out of the game.  It’s that simple.  So the diet is such an important piece.  The lifestyle is such an important piece.  So I like Tom because he has become probably the best athlete all time in football and he had to work at it to get there and he had to take advantage of all of these things that we’re talking about in the show.  So let’s highlight a couple of things.  First, his diet is kinda Paleo-esque.  If we look at his diet, he’s avoiding GMOs.  Everything is 100% organic.  He’s eating–he’s avoiding refined sugar.  He’s avoiding gluten 100%.  And for the autoimmune crowd, he’s even avoiding nightshades.  And he finds nightshades really aggravate his joints and create inflammation in his joint tissues, especially after you’re getting hurried or sacked a whole bunch of times, if you got already inflammation from external physical sources, i.e., a 250-pound linebacker blitzing you and knocking you on your butt, well, if you’re eating extra nightshades or inflammatory foods, that’s gonna be just smoldering fire that, you know, it adds a little bit of gasoline that make you take off.  So avoiding nightshades is important because of the alpha-solanines and the glycol-alkaloids in there that can be inflammatory and that can irritate the joints.  So we already have some sugar.  We have some nightshades.  We have all of the things that are toxic-based like the pesticides, chemicals, GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, and then he really emphasizing a lot of plants.  And when you look at his diet, he’s not doing much fruit.  The only fruit he does is that a smoothie, typically post workout or in the morning.  So if you look at his diet, it’s mainly vegetables for the carbs, a little bit of starch.  He’s doing 20% animal protein, right?  So he’s doing a lot of grass-fed meats, wild Alaskan co–wild Alaskan sock eye salmon, beef, chicken, right?  And it’s grass-fed meat because he’s emphasizing the quality, emphasizing hormone-free, organic.  So the meats are there, lots of vegetables, little bit of fruits, little bit of starch, and then, you know, some good fats.  One of the things he talks about is really enjoying his avocado ice cream.  So he makes ice cream with raw, organic cacao sugar-free, and then mixes in with avocado and blends it up and that’s Tom Brady’s ice cream.  So this guy’s a super healthy guy and he attributes a lot of this success from Alex Guerrero’s who is a traditional Chinese medical doctor or a traditional Chinese like acupuncturist kind of a, you know, non-traditional physician, and he attributes all of his success to Guerrero’s.  He kinda talks about the whole als–acid alkaline diet which we can break down in a few minutes, but he attributes a lot of his success to it.  Not only the diet and lifestyle piece but also he gets to bed by 9 o’clock at night.  My God.  So we all know why that’s important, or at least we talked about that in our previous shows because of the growth hormone output that we get by getting to bed before 10 o’clock is amazing so he stresses the sleep component and the diet component.  I’ll take a breath, Evan, so you can kinda give your analysis, too.

Evan Brand:   Well, I’ve–there’s another couple cool pieces to this thing is that his cook, so we were kinda reading off of an interview that his chef wrote or that, you know, the chef was transcribed and he was talking about using raw olive oil.  So he even has that dialed in where he’s not even cooking with olive oil.  He’s using just cold use only there but cooking with only coconut oil.  He’s using pink Himalayan salt.  No coffee, no caffeine, no fungus, no dairy.  I mean, this is pretty impressive to see and is actually mind-blogging because I hope articles like this and just stories like this will accelerate the growth of what you and I are doing because we need a change, and there was another link that kind of goes deeper and he was talking–this was Brady talking more about his–his teammates that if they ask him about the diet, that, you know, he’ll tell them.  But otherwise, he doesn’t really like preach to the whole team, but this is sort of the small starting point to really make this thing more mainstream.  I mean, if it takes somebody’s favorite football player to have a good diet for them to wanna do it, then that’s–I–I totally commend and support that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and I just–I love Brady because he had to, like this was his–his gateway to get to that level.  He didn’t have that raw talent where he was already there.  He had to work hard and the nutrition and the lifestyle portion was huge.  It was a–a huge portion of it and that’s why I’m such a–a huge advocate for what he is doing and he, you know, he called out the–the junk food industry, the Ge–the General Mills, the Kellogg’s, all the soda, saying it’s crap and saying how it’s poisoning kids, and I really respect that because it’s true.  I’ve been talking about this stuff for years.  We’ve been talking about it for years here and it’s so true that someone can put themselves on a limb and, you know, when you’re making potentially tens of millions of dollars a year on sponsorships and we know that these major food companies, they generate a significant amount of advertising for these stations along with the pharmaceutical drugs as well.  I mean, you can potentially cause yourself millions of dollars in sponsorships but putting yourself out there and saying this stuff.  So I–I really appreciate it from just a, you know, transparency perspective and just putting your–your livelihood out there on the line.

Evan Brand:   That is true, I mean, because who knows how many of these people are sponsored by the big agri and big food companies selling corn and dairy and garbage and if you go strictly on the dollar signs, you’ll never see like a commercial for example for organic broccoli.  It’s just not gonna happen, so it’s just gonna continue to have to be this kinda grassroots people speaking out and, you know, another thing that’s cool here, he was talking about talking the dehydrator.  That makes me wanna buy dehydrator again.  We used to have one at the house but we don’t anymore.  He was talking about dehydrating spirulina.  Taking spirulina algae and dehydrating it.  That’s–that’s pretty cool, making raw chocolate chip cookies, raw granola, and let’s see, makes fruit rolls from bananas and pineapple and spirulina for his kids.  That’s just–that’s really cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, a lot of it, too, is, you know, Tom Brady obviously makes tens and millions of dollars a year so he can avoid that private cook.  I think his wife is worth a quarter of a billion dollars, Gisele Bundchen, so she’s a supermodel so I think she makes more money than him.  So they’re quite the power couple, so money is not an option for having really good high quality cooking at their fingertips.  But one other piece to the puzzle is Brady talks about or in the interview, Alex Guerrero is a big fan of the acid alkaline diet piece and I think there’s some merit to it.  I think a lot of people take it, you know, like it’s gospel and–and utilize everything on that diet as how you should eat.  Now there’s some good components.  If you look at the acid alkaline diet, you’re automatically gonna be eating more green vegetables, right?  That’s a really, really good thing.  A lot of green vegetables.  The problem is though, you could also avoid the green vegetables and eat a whole bunch of fruit, especially that tropical fruits that are super high in sugar, you can go off the deep end there.  So if you look at Brady there, yeah, he’s doing a whole bunch of the vegetables and he’s not doing much fruit at all.  So you can see, yeah, he’s focusing on the more alkaline foods but he’s not going over the top with the high sugar foods.  So he’s got that piece right.  And also he’s not eating any gluten at all.  And a lot of vegetarians kinda provo–you know, really stand on their pedestals saying, “I’m trying to be alkaline,” but we know a lot of vegetarians and vegans still eat a lot of grains and grains are actually 10 times more acidic than meat in general.  They’re typically like a 4 or a 5 where the meats are typically like a 4-1/2, 5, 5-1/2 and above.  So you could see like eggs, fish, chicken, beef, they tend to be a little bit more alkaline than any of the grains.  So that’s a good piece to the puzzle there, because if you’re eating grains and thinking you’re healthy being a vegetarian-vegan, well, you’re actually–that’s 10 times more acidity than meats.  So Brady is doing over 20% or 20% meats, could be higher, who knows?  And he’s emphasizing the quality there and you’re seeing, he’s choosing the alkaline foods that are gonna be lower in sugar ways–which is great and he’s also emphasizing getting his desserts from healthy places like the avocado-chocolate-cacao ice cream which I’m gonna actually make tonight based on, you know, our talk here.

Evan Brand:   That sounds good.  So what does it–he’s just blending those two together I guess, maybe in a bowl or food processor?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, so basically–I’m gonna just google that right now, chocolate-avocado ice cream.  I’ve seen some things of him actually making it but it’s just basically avocado and then you’re mixing in, you know, high quality cacao and just getting like a handheld blender or like maybe a Vitamix and just blending it all up.

Evan Brand:   Sounds like it’d be good to have like some collagen powder to that, too, or for him like some CollaGelatin or something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, yeah, absolutely.  I mean, I think that’s amazing and again, he’s mixing that up and he’s putting that together and again, low sugar, so much good fat, anti-inflammatory.  People forget this but avocado actually has twice the amount of potassium that bananas have.  So anytime someone thinks about potassium or like, “Oh, I’m cramping.”  They’re like, “Have a banana, right?  Well, actually, have an avocado.

Evan Brand:   That’s very true.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right?

Evan Brand:   That’s very true.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   People totally forget that.

Evan Brand:   Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So like this recipe right here, they talk about doing some coconut milk.  They talk about an avocado.  They talk about some cacao powder.  Now in this recipe they talk about adding in maple syrup.  I just wouldn’t even go there.  I will just do maybe a couple of drops of Stevia if you want the sweetness and then they talk about adding just a little bit of vanilla extract.  So if I were doing it right now, for the listeners, I would just do one avocado, 12 or 13 ounces of full fat coconut milk unsweetened, some good organic cacao powder, tablespoon of vanilla, and maybe a couple of drops of Stevia to sweeten it up and that should be exactly what you need to make it work.

Evan Brand:   That sounds delicious.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Like that’s an anti-inflammatory dessert there.  Like last night, I had organic Granny Smith apple covered in cinnamon, and then a little bit of almond butter.  So that was my dessert.  So I have desserts all the time and I try to make it, if you can even call it a dessert.  I try to make it as anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense as possible.  I want the mouth-feel.  I want that satisfaction, but I want to be able to know that my health is kicking butt.  I’m gonna wake up feeling great and energized and with great focus for my patients.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, that’s such a great concept to bring up as your treat should still serve you and should still benefit you and a lot of people think that they have to completely derail themselves for a treat, but I mean, if I’ll go get like a Hail Mary Miracle Tart for example, if I don’t have time to make something, that’s 30 grams of fat mostly from raw almond butter and coconut oil.  It’s like that is incredible.  You could almost use it as a meal replacement if you’re out hiking and you had to, and you’re helping yourself.  So a treat doesn’t have to hurt yourself and I think if people are listening and sometimes we would deal with people that are struggling with sticking to their diet, if they were coming from something more conventional, just realizing that you can treat yourself and we just use the word diet just because that’s what humans do, we all have a diet, but it’s a matter of not feeling like you’re restricting yourself.  Focus on the things you can eat, not the things that you shouldn’t eat because they’re not gonna help you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.  Now a couple of things with the whole Tom Brady issue.  A lot of people are conflating Tom Brady and a plant-based vegan diet because his main chef there, Allen Campbell actually has taken a class from T. Colin Campbell, the writer or the researcher on The China Study, which isn’t really a study from, you know, it’s a–empirical or I should say, it is a study that’s survey-based.  It’s an epidemiological study, not a study that’s actually a laboratory-based, clinical trial-based study.  It’s a epidemiological, meaning surveys were filled out.  So a lot of people are conflating this T. Colin Campbell study with people actually dying of cancer in certain areas because of, you know, this research.  But it’s really not the case.  It’s epidemiological and anyone that knows epidemiological research, you can’t form a conclusion off of it, only a hypothesis.  So that’s really important.  So Allen Campbell, Brady’s cook is a big follower of a plant-based diet.  So he talks about being plant-based a lot of times in some of these interviews but he is not making that for Brady.  He even says that 20% of Brady’s diet is pure good quality meat.  So if you–anyone’s getting confused out there, that’s probably where some of that confusion comes from is Brady’s chef is a follower of a plant-based diet but not necessarily Tom.  So just kinda keep that in mind there.

Evan Brand:   Good point, yeah.  I’m sure that some vegan podcasters out there are like, “Yes!”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:   We–we finally have the–the golden ticket to make this thing reality.  That’s not gonna help you and he would not survive in sports if he was not–if he was omitting the grass-fed beefs and–and wild salmon in–in my opinion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, yeah.  It’s totally impossible.  Now just to touch upon T. Colin Campbell.  He’s a nutrition researcher out of–I think it’s up in Ithaca there, Ivy League school, Cornell.  And he talks about The China Study which he went back into China and did this epidemiological research like I said, and did these various surveys and came up with kind of rationale that people that ate more meat, based on the surveys–surveys had more cancer.  Now Denise Minger broke a lot of these down and found out that those statistics that he, you know, collected via these surveys weren’t necessarily all it’s cracked to up to be and found some other correlations such as people that ate more grains have more cancer.  So if you wanna dig into some of that, look at Denise Minger’s blog on The China Study.  Also T. Colin Campbell did a clinical trial, did a laboratory-based trial on rats.  And what he found with the rats is that if you took the protein down from 20% to 5%, and they were–they were giving a casein and protein which is extracted from milk.  Anyone that knows about milk, milk has two kinds of proteins, casein and whey.  So what he did is he extracted casein from the milk, again kind of unnatural.  One, rats don’t typically eat milk, right?  Unnatural diet.  Scenario number two, is they’re not typically not, just getting exposed casein–they be getting exposed to casein and whey and whey is shown to be an anti-inflammatory and a great precursor for glutathione.  So we know that it’s kind of a scenario that’s kinda utopian, doesn’t really happen in the real world.  And what he found was when he took the protein down from 20% to 5%, that cancer stopped.  Now that’s something to keep in mind but he was giving them a whole bunch of aflatoxins or mold toxins as well to kind of stimulate this cancer growth.  But he found 20% cancer was on, 5% cancer was off.  So he kinda created this book called The China Study, not based off of the epidemiological studies, just basically his idea of what a diet should be and called it The China Study which is the same name of the study he did over in China and they’re not the same thing.  But people think they’re the same thing.  So just kinda keep in mind, there’s The China Study book and the actual China Study.  They are both totally different things, yet everyone thinks they’re the same thing.  It drives me nuts and Brady’s cook is kinda conflating the two here as well with Brady’s diet.  So I want people to realize two different things, kinda T. Colin Campbell’s school of thought on protein and animal products being bad and what Brady is actually doing and applying are two different things.  So just kinda keep that separate there.

Evan Brand:   Now let me jump back to this diet piece.  I didn’t see anything and maybe you did.  Does he talk about taking any type of like protein shakes?  Is he doing some grass-fed whey or anything like that?  Did you see?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now, again I think there’s gonna be some level of secretness here.

Evan Brand:   Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   A secretivity, if that’s a word, because, you know, you’re not gonna let out the exact secret sauce of what’s going on.  But I’ve read in multiple articles.  I’ve studied Tom Brady because I always try to study successful people.  You can learn a lot about their routines and their habits, but he has talked about Alex Guerrero helping him and talking about utilizing many of his supplements and supplementation.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And how supplementation has been a really important part with the diet.  So he has mentioned supplementation.  He has not gone into specifics which kinda makes sense for obvious reasons.  His competitors would probably be checking it out, too.  So there is definitely some supplementation there.  If I were to go out on a limb, I know he’s a big fan of Guerrero’s supplement, Supreme Greens, which does have MSM and a lot of organic green vegetables in there, so there’s the green vegetable MSM piece.  I would imagine there’s some kinda protein support, whether it’s whey protein, probably some collagen in there, probably some anti-inflammatory fish oil, probably some branched amino acids, preimposed exercise and exertion, potentially even some creatine in there, too.  There’s probably a lot of different nutrients for muscles, for joints.  I would be shocked if there wasn’t collagen in there.

Evan Brand:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I will be absolutely shocked.

Evan Brand:   Yup.  And if he’s–if he’s this dialed in, it would be a mistake not to so I bet he does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I think probably some glucosamine sulfate and/or chondroitin in there, a fish oil, definitely some extra protein support like I mentioned, and who even knows what else?  I mean, obviously high quality multivitamin.  This guy is probably getting micronutrient testing.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So his nutrients are just 100% dialed in.  He’s probably doing all of the functional medicine stuff.  Probably working with functional medicine practitioners, too.  I know he sees good chiropractors all the time, so he’s getting really good chiropractic support as well.  So this guy is totally dialed in and he’s really advocating for natural health.

Evan Brand:   That’s neat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Any comments on that, Evan?

Evan Brand:   Well, I think–I think that was a–a really cool little piece of–of news.  I mean, I don’t have much to add to it except that it’s exciting and it’s helping us to turn the tide a little bit more.  We used to have a long way to go for this to be commonly accepted practices, but I think this is really gonna help us to jump start this thing.  Maybe–maybe this story will live for a week or two in the–in the news headlines and we’ll see an–an influx of new listeners.  Who knows?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely.  So kinda just summarizing this here.  What a–one of the best NFL players is doing to stay healthy is diet is almost everything.  He attributes so much to diet which is gonna be gluten-free.  Nearly grain-free from what I can see.  The only thing I see him talking about is a little bit of brown rice.  That’s it and it doesn’t seem like that’s that frequent.  Majority vegetables.  He kinda even shuns fruit which I kinda like.  The only fruit I like to do is the lower sugar fruit in general.  Good quality meats, organic, pasture-fed.  Avoiding the GMOs, avoiding the junk, and lots and lots of vegetables and supplementations, but it’s kinda discrete, and then really emphasizing the sleep portion.  Getting to bed by 9 o’clock, up around 6, getting about I would say 10 hours a night or 9 hours a night which is essential.  And then also, you know, just making sure you’re aware of the acid alkaline piece and that Brady is choosing foods on more on the alkaline side,  but he’s avoiding the ones that are higher in sugar which I think people that talk about the acid alkaline really make a mistake on that.  And they also make a mistake making meat is bad because of the acid balance, but again much more alkaline than grains.

Evan Brand:   Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So today was a pretty good talk.  That’s the general take home if anyone’s tuning in late, or you got that glazed over look.  That’s the general take home there and again, just emphasizing how important diet is, right?  We all wanna be–we all wanna perform like a professional athlete does in our lives, whether we’re an accountant, a teacher, a–a homemaker, a doctor or lawyer.  We all wanna perform at our optimal and diet and lifestyle is gonna be the way because when we perform at our optimal, well, we’re just gonna do better at everything.  But we’re also gonna be able to give more to other people around us, because if we’re on empty, if our cup isn’t running over if you will, right?  We’re just not gonna have much to give and people that get tired and fatigued, get sick and get disease, and then become part of this conventional medical establishment where they’re running more on drugs and more on surgery.  So really get the diet and lifestyle piece in and that will help you in so many other areas in your life.

Evan Brand:   Exactly and I know this is very common and similar to you.  There’s so many people that we work with.  They are these type A go-getters.  Even if they’re not professional athletes specifically, but just go-getters in their business or their IT executives or attorneys, or whoever it is that are trying to perform at their best.  If you’re that rock and you’re whole family, which I’ve always been this way for–for my family, your whole family leans on you and you’re that rock, you  have to keep all these things dialed in, so that you keep yourself healthy because if you burn out, then the whole system kind of collapses.  And maybe your extended family, maybe that’s not like your highest priority but for me, I wanna be able to be there and–and be able to provide for everybody and be the energetic person that’s there and feeling good and sleeping good and inspiring people, and that’s why I stay so dedicated to this whole thing is to be able to help others.  You know, it is with myself at some level, but it’s mostly that I am up on top of my game so I can spread the, you know, spread the health around and–and not be so focused on, you know, sick care of my–of my own self.  That’s why so many people can’t–can’t help others, I think.  This is a–a rant here, but if you don’t have yourself fueled up and you don’t have yourself dialed in, how in the world are you gonna have any energy to provide for others?  You’re not gonna be able to.  You’re not gonna want to, say volunteer or do a podcast, or write a blog.  You–you don’t have it.  You’re battery is on 10%.  It’s like you’re operating throughout your whole business with 10% on your smartphone.  That’s–that’s guaranteed to fail eventually.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, if I would summarize everything we’re doing on this podcast is helping people write essentially deposits in their health account, right?  In their health energy or if we use the health savings account term, right?  We’re trying to have them write deposits into that account so that when it takes time, when it comes time to pull money out or pull energy out because of stress or because of obligations or family or life, that we have a surplus of energy there and we can just utilize it and not ever go into health or energy crisis or debt, i.e. disease.

Evan Brand:   Yup and health is wealth.  It really is.  A lot of people listening, maybe they’re practitioners listening out there, and you are wanting to increase your–your business revenue and all that stuff, you have to still prioritize yourself and it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day of working with people and you can put your own self to the back burner and it’s not selfish, it’s just self first, and if you keep that mind, you’re gonna have a long, healthy and–and happy successful life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Great job, Evan.  Well, any last comments here?

Evan Brand:   No, I think that was it.  This was a good coverage and kind of a different topic than usual but–but really fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Love it.  Well, anyone listening that enjoys it.  Give us a review over on iTunes.  Again, feel free.  Speak your mind and let us know some topics you want us to go into even if we can just tangentially connect it to health, we’d love to go over it and connect with different listener bases so we can grab a hold of more people’s ears and help get their health better.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Evan.

Evan Brand:   Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Bye.

Evan Brand:  Buh-bye.







How to prevent die off reaction symptoms with ginger tea – Candida, SIBO, and parasite die off

How To Prevent Die Off Reactions Using Giinger Tea

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In today’s video, you are in my kitchen and we’re going to be making my ginger tea recipe.  Now I use this ginger tea recipe to help reduce inflammation.  It is significantly helpful for die-off reactions.  So anytime you’re doing a parasite killing program or an H. pylori killing program or a fungal, any type of antimicrobial program, the die-off or the Herxheimer’s reaction can create symptoms. The die-off or Herxheimer’s reaction is nothing more than your body having to process the dead debris and the various biotoxins.

Die-off reaction Symptoms

Die Off Reaction Symptoms

Typically, they’re going to be fatigue, malaise, could be a little bit achy, maybe a headache.  It could be an exacerbation of any of the current symptoms that you’re dealing with.

The ginger is excellent because it’s a natural prokinetic.  What that means is it helps keep things flowing in your body.  When you have like a delayed gastric emptying or food sits in your intestinal tract too long, you can reabsorb a lot of toxins and debris.  So if you’re doing gut killing and all those biotoxins and endotoxins and mycotoxins go back into your system, and you have slower transit time, your chance of reabsorbing those toxins is much higher.

Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger Health Benefits

So the ginger helps keep things moving.  It’s an anticoagulant which means it keeps things from congealing and clotting and becoming more viscous, so it keeps things looser.  Also, it lowers blood pressure and it’s like an enzyme where it keeps things flowing.  It breaks up things, keeps things flowing out of your body faster which means less die-off reactions.

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory. It’s an antiviral and antibacterial.  So it’s one of the best things to drink if you have a throat issue, like an itchy throat or sore throat.  My wife actually has a little throat infection right now and we’re having her gin–drink the ginger tea throughout the day.  So that’s very profound.


Click here to discover all-natural ways to treat conditions from a functional medicine doctor.

How To Make Ginger Tea

So I’m going to just show you the basics of the ginger tea.


  • Ginger
  • Little bit of honey (optional)
  • Little bit of lime
  • Cayenne (optional)

I try not to do the honey unless I feel like I need it just because the honey can add just a little bit of sugar. But it can also take a little bit of that spice off the ginger and make it a little bit more soothing on the throat.  So figure out how it works for you.)

If you have a FODMAP issue or a fungal issue and that honey is feeding it and making your gut or the fungus worse, the honey would be optional.  So I’m going to make it a couple different ways with just the ginger by itself. And then I’ll show you how to add in the lime and the honey is obviously optional.  You can just add in a quarter teaspoon or a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on how much you like to handle.


1. Put the ginger in the Vitamix

So off the bat, the first thing is we get our ginger.  So I get organic fresh ginger from Whole Foods totally rock just like this.  Now this is about two servings’ worth, so about 1, 2, 3 of these nubs or so is about one serving. So this is about two good servings.  It’ll make about twenty five ounces of tea or so, really good ginger tea.

Now, I’m going to take this guy here.  I’m going to throw it in my Vitamix.  These things are like the Cadillacs of blenders.  They are wicked awesome, totally good. They knock things up and will liquefy almost anything, so make sure you have a lid.  So you can see I got about that much water in there.  This will make about one serving or so.  It should come out like almost like a paste, like kind of a gelatinous kind of flowing paste. I’m going to just throw it in like this and we’ll blend it up like so.  Make sure you put your lid on. I got my little mallet here if I have to whack it down in case the gears don’t grab it.

So we’ll just start it off on low here, we will grind away.  And you’ll see it’ll start to catch a little bit.  Once we click it up.  Alright and that’s it.  So we got the ginger all blended up here.  This is the key part.

2. Pour the ginger in the French press

Now I already have some hot water boiled right here.  So what we’re going to do really simply is we’re going to take my French press.  You can see we got a really good French press.  This is by La Cafetière and you can see on it there’s absolutely no plastic parts where some of the bottom ones they actually have some plastic components up in here.  You don’t want the BPA or the various estrogenic compounds that you get in those plastics.  So we’re going to use this.  I’m going to take my ginger.  I’m going to pour in here like so.  So you can see it is pretty pasty.

Now you don’t have to use a French press.  The reason why I do is you get a lot of fiber and it becomes like a very fibrous drink.  It’s not nearly as pleasing to drink.  So we use the French press.

Now I know for me to do two 16 ounces, to do two of these guys right here, full–these are the Klean Kanteens I use. I got to fill it up to about here which is about 32 ounces for me. We’ll fill it up. We’ll feed it up here and that’s boiling water and again we’re using filtered water, chlorine free, fluoride-free.

We got a reverse osmosis system at my house so and we also have one that puts minerals back in, so that’s a really important piece to the puzzle because you don’t want to use water that’s got contaminants in it.

3. Add the lime

Here’s my organic lime.  So you can do it with the lime or not.  We’ll just use one with our–our lime presses here.  We’ll throw it in just like this and we’ll squeeze it right in.

4. Add the honey

5. Add the cayenne

Now you could add honey at this point or a little bit of cayenne.  I’m not going to do any honey.  I’m actually out right now, but I don’t like to do too much of it.  If I do, I typically do about a half a teaspoon.  The recipe calls for about 1 to 1 tablespoon, so I try to always keep on the lighter side. So now we have our ginger tea right here like so.  So I’ll just stir it up.

6. Let the ginger tea sit for 4-5 minutes

Once it sits, it’s kind of been able to breathe and the water is soaking up a lot of the ginger oil in the ginger, basically a lot of the essence and the active ingredient that makes it work, and then we’re going to press it down.

We want the fibers to really–all the natural compounds in the fibers to release into the water.  If we press it down too soon, then a lot of the oils will still be in the fiber at the bottom.  So I want to make sure I give it enough time, so when I press it down I’ve extracted all of those active constituents in the ginger.  So we’ll just give it a few more minutes here.

It’s been sitting here for about a few minutes here soaking all the ginger in our French press. We got one of these Klean Kanteen mugs.  I’m a huge fan of them.  You can put the ginger in here, get an insulated top that is not a plastic which is important, and then you could pour in here and let it sit for–for the most part, four to six hours, and it’ll stay very warm for you.  It won’t get cold either, which is perfect.  So you just throw it in like this and you turn it and you’re set.

Summary & Recommendations

  • We start off with some fresh ginger, organic ginger.
  • We got to have the right tools.  So a Vitamix will work.  If you want to go a little bit budget, the Magic Bullet also works well.  I tried that last week.  That works great.  So Magic Bullet is like 80 bucks.  The Vitamix at about $300.  So a couple ways you can do it.
  • A good French press is important, I like the La Cafetière.  You can find some ones online.  That’s going to help stringe out all of the–filter out all the fiber that’s gonna make it the drink not so pleasurable, if you will.
  • You can add in some good wild clover or honey.   These are optional.
  • The next pieces are going to be the lime and/or the cayenne.  For me, I typically just do the lime.  I do the ginger and the honey I do every now and then.  I typically don’t do the cayenne because it makes the drink a little bit too hot and spicy for me where I just don’t enjoy it.  So for me, we’re just doing the ginger, fresh ground with the lime in there, and typically you can add in the honey if you want and if you enjoy cayenne, feel free and add it in.

So now that it’s been going like, we just take our French press like so.  And here’s our ginger and we just press it right down and–and you’ll see what will happen is it’ll just filter out all of the grounds.  Now I had to learn the hard way.  I did this for months where I just sat down and just slurped all of the fiber to the ginger and it was not fun at all.  So it takes about a few seconds to press it down.  The fiber in here is pretty thick so you got to just kind of muscle it, and then once we get it down like so, we’re going to put it in our Klean Kanteen and we can sip it throughout the day.

So if you’re one doing this because you have a viral infection or an active sore throat, great to sip throughout the day.  If you’re on a die-off reaction program because you have parasite infection or a bacterial infection, you can sip that throughout the day as well and that’ll be phenomenal.

Get professional advice from a functional medicine doctor here.

Again, this video is for anyone in the public and mostly for my patients that are wondering how to do it. This is how I actually do it and I don’t have any of my patients do anything that I don’t do or haven’t done in the past.  So you can see here, here’s our French press, we’re good.  And we can just pour our ginger right into our mug, like so.

Now this actually gives me a full mug and I can store it like this throughout the day.  And the Klean Kanteen is nice because you can just kind of carry it around or attach it to your bag and it stays pretty good.  And the next pieces you can take in, you can pour into your mug, like so.  We can just throw it right into one of the mugs like so, and you can see here it’s pretty clear.  There’s no fiber in it and here’s to an excellent ginger drink and may it help your health and your die-off reactions be as good as they possibly can.  Hope everyone enjoyed this video.

How to Stay Healthy Through The Holidays

 How To Stay Heathy Through The Holidays

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Surviving the holidays with your health intact can be difficult, and maintaining your Paleo lifestyle adds an extra level of challenge. However, there are a number of things you can do to stay focused on your Paleo diet during the season of indulgence.

We’ll cover why it’s important stabilize blood sugar and decrease cravings and exercise to control the extra sugar we consume.  Is alcohol part of your holiday celebrations? We’ll discuss how to bypass some of alcohol’s negative effects, and suggest supplements to add for the holidays.

Come January, when the eggnog and pumpkin pie is just a memory, knowing you followed these principles will result in praises for your holiday-diet successes rather than scoldings for your holiday-diet failures.

Are you anxious not to gain weight over the holiday season? Click here for professional advice.

The Paleo Diet

Paleo is just a trendy term that means healthy. By eating Paleo, or healthy, we consume foods that are more adaptable to the body,  cutting out grains, legumes, and maybe dairy with the exception of butter.  The goal is to optimize health through foods that are nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, and low in toxins.

Paleo Template Diet

Stabilize Blood Sugar and Decrease Cravings

When our blood sugar is in the healthy zone, cravings are controlled, and we’re not relying on our blood-sugar handling system (adrenals and pancreas) to stabilize our blood sugar.

When our blood sugar starts to fluctuate because we’re eating too much sugar or carbohydrates, our blood sugar will rely on our adrenals and pancreas to attempt to stabilize it. This puts stress on our on our body and can compromise our immune system.

Satabilizing Blood Sugar And Decrease Cravings

During the holiday season, vitamin D is less abundant, and there are more opportunities for the spreading of infections.  Keeping your blood sugar in the healthy zone will keep your immune system strong and stave off cravings.

Exercise and Timing

Exercise helps you deplete glycogen, or stored sugar.  Your abdominal muscles are big storage sites for sugar, carbohydrates, and glucose.  The muscles will hold on average about 300 grams of carbs and sugars; your liver about 70 grams.

When we exercise, we’re depleting the stored carbohydrates and sugars out of those muscles, making room to store our next meal. If we don’t deplete the muscle, when the muscle and the liver start getting full, guess where that holiday meal starts going?  It goes into our fat cells, and our fat cells start growing to accommodate the extra storage. This is why the average person gains 10 to 15 pounds during the holidays. Keep the muscle depleted with the right kinds of exercise. High-intensity resistance training is a good option.

The Good, Better, Best Principle

Let’s say you have regular apple pie, a gluten-free apple pie, and a Paleo apple pie that uses pecans, coconut, and macadamia nuts as the crust.  We have three different options:  good, better, best.  Choosing the best option in everything we eat will set us up for success.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is especially true of holiday celebrations. When going to visit friends or family, volunteer to bring a dish or two so you can prepare it following the good, better, best principle.

What to Do if You Drink Alcohol

Alcohol converts to sugar, so it stores in the muscle, liver, and fat cells and can throw the blood sugar off balance.  To eliminate its effect, there are a few things you can do:

  • Consume alcohol after a meal to lessen blood-sugar fluctuations.
  • Choose healthier kinds of alcohol or make your own.  Options include Ginger Kombucha, J’s Paleo Moscow Mule, and Nor-Cal Margarita. Recipes and more information can be found on Dr. Justin’s blog “Paleo Alcohol…How to Consume Alcohol Safely!”
  • Choose a clean, dry champagne or Prosecco or Brut or Cava.  These are all sparkling wines, and the drier, the better; that means less sugar.
  • Avoid: red wines, beer and mixed drinks with added sugar.

Supplements for the Holidays

Just like you would decorate your house for the holidays, it’s a good idea to add extra supplements to your holiday routine. Here are a few you should consider:

  • Activated Charcoal will bind up any toxins, especially in alcohol.
  • Vitamin C in high doses can be very powerful immunity boosters.
  • Sulfur amino acids and/or glutathione can be powerful because they can rev up your detox pathways, which will be stressed due to an increase in bad foods and sugar.
  • HCl enzymes help break down the extra food you may be eating.
  • Probiotics can help keep your gut healthy and feeling good.
  • Vitamin D, 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight for 1 month then have your 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D tested, 50-100 ng/ml is a good place to be on your blood test.

Stay healthy during the Holiday season by sticking to an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, and low-toxin diet.  If you need more help with your diet or health, click here.


To maintain your Paleo, or healthy, diet throughout the holiday season, put an extra emphasis on blood-sugar balance, exercise, and healthier alcohol choices, and add in extra holiday-friendly supplements. When making food decisions, always consider the good, better, best principle, and make the best choice.

Paleo Apple Cake

Paleo Apple Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 1 hour | Serves: 8

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 ½ cups finely ground almond flour
  • ¾ cup arrowroot starch (or fine brown rice flour, or tapioca starch)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs (or ½ cup applesauce—cake will be very moist)
  • ¾ cup organic grass-fed butter (melted) or ghee
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts (optional), or pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9” or 10” springform pan with butter or coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Throw all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a big wooden spoon until everything is coated and uniform. You can kind of crunch up the apples, too, which will release the juices.
  3. Pour it into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is golden brown and the center is moist-set. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream, or chill and serve cold. Makes a great simple dessert or even a healthy breakfast!


Abel’s Favorite Holiday Feasts

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