Dr. Kelly Brogan – A Mind of Your Own – Podcast #165

Share:

In today’s video, Dr. Kelly Brogan, an accomplished doctor and author of the New York Times bestselling book “A Mind of Your Own”, joins Dr. Justin Marchegiani as they both discuss the link between gut issues and mental health. Get some useful tips on how to keep your mind clear and active without gut issues hindering it. Get your own mind back with the help of functional medicine. Let’s watch and listen!

Discover some natural ways to be more productive and learn about the different ways to address brain and gut inflammation. Also, stay tuned for some more information about Dr. Kelly’s bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own” and viral articles.

In this episode, we cover:Dr. Kelly Brogan - A Mind of Your Own - Podcast #165

02:41   Depression: Illness of Modern Civilization,

Not a Chemical Imbalance 

04:53   Animal Model of Depression

08:20   Multiple Different Lifestyle Pillars

12:00   Meditation and Productivity

16:42   Supplemental Ways to Address Brain Inflammation

Youtube-icon

 

 



Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Today’s podcast, we have a great guest.  Dr. Kelly Brogan in the house. Kelly is wicked smart. I’ll bring up my Boston ex. You went to MIT Undergrad in Cornell from Medical School. So, it’s a privilege to have her here. She has a New York Times bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own.” Did I say it correctly?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s right? [crosstalk] You got it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A Mind of Your Own, really looking at natural solutions to get your brain back on track and move back on track. And one of the things about Dr. Kelly that I love so much is she looks at how mood is connected with the gut. Because most people, they just want to throw a medication to fix the brain. They fix the symptoms but not actually get to the root cause, which can be in the gut. So, Dr. Kelly, welcome to the show.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you. Total pleasure to be here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, tell us a little bit more about your self, ‘cause you went down this conventional medical rabbit hole, right? MIT, Cornell– You’re diving in deep– you do your residency, uhm– and you’re kind of learning all these conventional treatments for Mood disorders, etc. How did you come out of that alive? And how did you get your training to get to the real root cause and the functional medicine side here.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So, you know, I come from a very conventional mindset, and I was raised by uhm– an immigrant mom. And anyone who has immigrant parents knows that, basically, you follow the rules; you become a doctor, a lawyer and you’re supposed to be making a lot of money.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: And that was essentially, you know– My effort uhm– was to become a doctor. I thought, you know– I figured out through my work on a suicide hotline, actually, at MIT, that we’ve cracked the code of human behaviour. We know that these are genetic illnesses that are reflected as chemical imbalances that require pills for lifelong management. Cool! You know, I’m gonna participate in that model. And so, it really wasn’t into my own, sort of uhm– health journey, which is what you’ll all hear from any turncoat doctor. We had a personal experience where we bumped up against the ceiling of what conventional medicine has to offer. And we learned a broader version of the truth. And uh– you know, I’ve always been a Science Nut. I’m very comfortable on pubmed.com, and I went and researched for myself, you know– the truth about everything I learned in medical school and residency and fellowship. Uh– and what I learned was pretty jaw-dropping. I was ready to hear it though because I had already had my own uh– experience of putting an autoimmune disorder into remission through nutrition. And so, you know– what I learned is that depression, for example– Let’s just talk about depression because it’s a– It’s a emblematic of these more systemic issues in our medical system. But, uhm– it’s not a thing. It’s not a disease in a way we were told it was. And, you know, what I– what I learned through my review of the medical literature is that in six decades, you know– we’ve been trying to validate this idea that depression is a chemical imbalance. The science just isn’t there. I was shocked because I can’t tell you how many hundreds of patients I’ve sat with and I said, “You know, you have a chemical imbalance. It has something to do with Serotonin or Dopamine or Epinephrine, and you know– you need to manage it. And the sooner you accept that, you know– the easier your life is gonna be.” So patronizing. You know, I’ve said that to countless patients. And when I looked to the Science, it just wasn’t there. But, what is there, interestingly, is a science that frames depression as uhm– an illness of modern civilization, right? So, it’s a response on the part of the body, mind and spirit, uh– you know, to the kinds of stressors, exposures, triggers, toxicants that we are encountering today, that we just haven’t evolved to accommodate. And perhaps, we never will. Perhaps we’re not even meant to, right? Because…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …of– of wrong living today, and– and the way that the natural world will ultimately ask us to get back in line. And– and one of the ways that– that asking happens, that– that invitation’s delivered is through symptoms. So, uh– you know, I found  that there are actually a lot of reversible causes of what we are calling depression.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Very good. And I see a lot of patients, clinically, right? ‘Cause I’m working with patients making diet changes or cutting out gluten, grains, refined sugar, a lot of the inflammatory foods, or cutting out a lot of the bacteria in the gut that has this compound called LPS or lipopolysaccharide. And, you’ve talked about that kind of getting into the bloodstream and making its way to the brain, and creating mood issues there. Can you elaborate more on that?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So, you know, I think it’s fairly intuitive for most people– you know, that the gut and the brain are connected, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: You felt nervous about giving a speech and maybe you lost your appetite or you have diarrhea, or something like that. And that makes intuitive sense. But, the other direction– you know, the gut to brain direction, is really something we’re just beginning to develop scientific comfort with. Although it’s been actually several decades since it’s emerged in the literature. When it comes to depression, it’s interesting because the animal model of depression– There is such a thing. In the animal model of depression, the way that they induce it is to inject– Systemically, right?– in these rodents, LPS, as you mentioned. So this– this compound in a grand– grand negative bacterial balls. And the deal is that it’s not meant to be sort of circulating around. So, once it’s breached that gut-brain uh– Sorry– that gut barrier..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …then it can alert the immune system to the need of greater inflammatory response at the gut level. It’s all by design. Everything that the body does makes sense if only we have the mindset and framework to, you know, receive that uh– information. So, you know, through this lens, uhm– the inflammatory response that ultimately results in the symptoms of depression, which are what? Sleep disturbance, social avoidance, changes in appetite, for example, changes in  motivation, fixation on very specific thoughts, uhm– you know, the– the– the driver of that perhaps could be reduced to a gut insult. So, where do gut insults come from? Most of the time, through what we put in our mouth…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …right? So that means that we are empowered to make changes to our brain behavior and cognition through diet, you know. And of course, now we have science that shows that within seventy-two hours of changing your diet, you change that ecology in your gut, your microbiome. Uh– and so, I totally agree, you know, that there are certain foods that really moved the needle quickly. They also happen to be foods that are very addictive in nature, right? You know, things like, wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol. I actually stored coffee in that mix. I know that’s little controversial.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hm– Mmhmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uh– but, you know, so– so, not only are you seeing what you look like without these addictive foods, but you’re also engaging in a pretty deep exercise of changing your gut ecology. And, you know, we could talk about the role perhaps of certain kind of starches in, you know, feeding gut bacteria, ‘cause that’s, you know, part of my approaches to restrict those for the first month.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Interesting. And what’s your experience treating patients ‘cause, clinically, I treat– well, fifty patients a week in my virtual clinic here in Austin. And I’m running Stool test–  sometimes, even multiple Stool tests on different patients, and I’m saying, you know, obviously, “Your SIBO type of overgrowth.” “You’re Methane and you’re Hydrogen overgrowth”. And then, I’m seeing infections like, Blasto, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, E. histo and H. pylori. What are you seeing in your patients? Are you kind of seeing a similar imbalance of those creatures.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s interesting because I– you know, when I departed conventional medicine, my first deep dive was into functional medicine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmhmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– and that’s, you know, uh– I was certified through ADIHM, and I was very interested ‘cause this is how my mind works…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …in quantifying every aspect of my patients’ existence, right? So, I wanted blood and saliva. I wanted hormone testing. I wanted Urine analysis and I wanted Stool analysis. And I did that for several years– yeah, almost a decade, into this work. Uhm– until I came upon uhm– a deep desire to bring this opportunity to more and more people. Perhaps you couldn’t necessarily afford all that testing, or for whom it was just overwhelming, right? And so, somehow, I arrived at the point today, where my approach is actually quite simplified. Such that, I actually come to believe that if you recruit the synergy of multiple different lifestyle pillars. And they’re pretty basic, right? Pretty familiar, too, obviously. So, detoxification…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …looking at daily contemplative practice. Of course, I’m– have my specific opinion on what I believe is one of the more powerful types. I’m Kundalini Yoga uhm– Instructor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: And, also the role of a strict commitment to a therapeutic diet for the space of the month. So, in working with these pillars, even without testing at all– So, in my online program, we don’t do any labs. The outcomes that I have gotten actually more rapid and more robust than when I was mired in the weeds of testing. But when I was, I actually found that there are some common uh– reversible drivers of diagnosis of anxiety, of depression, even OCD, panic attacks, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue– In my practice, the one of the most common ones was blood sugar imbalance, so…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …big one, right? Uhm– so you could test for that. You can diagnose reactive hypoglycemia, or you know you can just do a dietary intervention for ten days and see if that was part of the deal for you, right? So, another big one is wheat and dairy indigenousity. So again, you can test for that or you can just take it out and see how you do. Another big, big, big– big one, probably upwards of 80 percent of my patients have a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, often…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …perhaps driven by mimicry like you’re talking about e– Epstein-Barr, uhm– for example, uh– you know, infection. Uhm– Hashimoto’s, Graves, Postpartum Thyroiditis are big– what I call, psychiatric pretenders, right? If you do not know that you have this going on, you could land your self on Zoloft and Lithium, or more. And that’s why this kinds of testing– unless you’re really committed and you just know, you’re not gonna go the medication route– you know, this kind of testing can really– potentially even, you know, save your life. I’ll be that dramatic about it. Uhm– and, you know, and then, of course, I’d become very passionate about the untold side effects of other common medications, right? So, as drivers of psychiatric illness, so things like birth control pills and acid blockers, statins, antibiotics. Uhm– so, you know, sometimes it– it– it needs to be looked at through the eyes of an expert like yourself. Uhm– but sometimes it’s really simple. You know, and– and engaging in this kind of uhm– you know, pillar approach can– can be really all you need.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Just curious. Can you give us like uh– a day in the life of Dr. Kelly. What does your diet look like, Breakfast, lunch, dinner?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So that’s the interesting uhm– part about this kind of like holistic medicine, if you want to call it that, is the power of your potential to influence and heal patients, I believe, is in direct proportion to your ability to walk the walk, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, you know, you transmit something to the people you are looking to help, simply because you’re living that life. So, I– you know, I walk the walk completely, you know. I asked many of my patients to do coffee enemas, for example, which I learned from my mentor, Nick Gonzalez. And you know, if II didn’t do them, how would I ever convince someone else that it’s effective? And this is why meditation is a tough one for me because I follow the literature on meditation for many years and I never did it. I was too busy. Meditation was for other people. And everytime I sat down to do it, I hated it. I hated the experience of just being with myself and being with my crazy mind, right? So, until i broke through that barrier and actually committed to a daily practice– Now I have a pretty strong 45-minute daily practice…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s great.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …predawn. But, you know, until I did that, I didn’t– I don’t think I convinced a single patient to meditate. You know, we both sort of thought it was a good idea. They weren’t doing it. I wasn’t doing it. So, you know, the real game changer for me, personally, ‘cause I heal my Hashimoto’s mostly just through dietary change uhm– in almost eight years ago now. Uhm– and my life really changed. I’ve really rewired my nervous system and my productivity performance and aligned it with my flow, changed dramatically when I started meditating every single day. And, specifically, when I started meditating before sunrise, uhm– everything changed. You know, I used to be up until 2 in the morning, working. I’m a total workaholic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I wake up everyday dying into this work. I love this work. I– I would do it for free, forever. You know, this is what I’m here to do. But, I would work ‘til two in the morning regularly. And you know, in New York, that’s– it’s the culture here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. [crosstalk] Hustle and bustle.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Totally. Exactly. Totally sanctioned. So, you know, I uhm– When I started meditating at 5:30 in the morning everyday, which I started after in the setting of grief uhm– you know, after my mentor died. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …in my life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Roger that.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I was desperate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. I was totally desperate, and I did it. The nest day, I woke up and I have never missed a day since. Uhm– but, if you’re waking at 5:30, you can’t go to bed at 2:00 AM, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Or you’re gonna be in trouble [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: So now, I go to bed at nine. Do you know how revolutionary that is for a New Yorker…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s amazing.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: ….to go at bed at 9:00 PM? And–  and you would think, “Oh, I’m missing– you know, what is that?– five hours of productivity.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Like, how do I even keep my business afloat. Uhm– but my performance– and again, sort of alignment with– just things unfolding, everything happens exactly, you know, the moment I need to. I don’t need to drive this ship. You know, that’s one of the sort of secret pearls in self-care that you wouldn’t otherwise believe unless you’ve had the experience. So, i’m a big believer in foregrounding self-care as being really my only responsibility. All I have to do every single day is make sure that I have committed, again, to taking care of my self. And the rest is gonna. Is gonna be exactly how it needs to be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So, I think I missed it. What was breakfast again, typically, for you?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, I have this uhm– smoothie often. It’s so funny because sometimes I’ll write a blog that I, you know, spend weeks and weeks and weeks researching. It’s like, you know, ten, 15, 20, 30…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …represent it. And like four people will read it, right?  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mhmmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: And then, one day, I just decided to write uh– the ingredients of the smoothie that I put uh– together. Okay, it’s like egg yolks, coconut oil, uh– plus/minus coconut oil. Uhm– nut butter, frozen organic cherries. It’s collagen powder, uhm– coconut water.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Just, yeah. Basic– basic stuff, but it’s not a green smoothie, right? Uhm– it’s not a ton of Kale and Spinach or anything like that. And it was– It’s like, to this day, the most viral thing I’ve ever written. [laughs] It’s just breakfast, [crosstalk] right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Because if you struggle with blood sugar stuff, like I did, uhm– like many of the people I work with do, It’s like, within the day resolution. Like within one day, you can turn that around. You’ll feel what it is to put, you know– It’s two tablespoons of ghee. Put that much fat into your body for breakfast is an unusual thing uhm– for most people, and it tastes delicious and you actually feel full for some times, double-triple the amount you would have otherwise. So, that’s why I’m actually big– I’m glad you asked– big believer in just beginning with changing your breakfast. Like if you are not ready for the rest of it, just start with there. And see…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …how different you can feel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ‘Cause stabilizing that blood sugar is so important. ‘Cause when your blood sugar goes on highs and lows, you get the Hyperinsulinism, which is gonna create all kinds of problems in your hormones. If you’re a woman, it will turn you into a man, uh– by getting the PCOS stuff going, and if you’re a man, it will turn you into a woman by upregulating aromatase. So, you have that side of the fence. And the blood sugar swings. When they go low, you’re gonna get a lot of Cortisol and Adrenaline, which can create mood issues and create that anxiety and that may be the reason why you’re on the Xanax. [crosstalk] So the other moods stabilizes, right?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly. [crosstalk] You said it so I don’t have to. That’s exactly it. It’s powerful. I mean, I have patients who’d have six panic attacks a day. They’ve had three medications heading to Electroconvulsive Therapy. And all that was going on was Dysglycemia.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge. [crosstalk] Huge. Now we have these cells in our brain, also called the glial cells, and a great portion of the cells in our brain are actually immune cells, which is interesting. And once these cells get activated from stress or inflammation– it’s like  positive feedback loop. It just gets more and more and more. Uhm– what do you do to help decrease brain inflammation? I think you’ll talk about the gut, but is there anything you do supplementally to help decrease that brain inflammation?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So that’s where I am a big believer in this multi-pronged approach, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Because, if we’re– if we’re looking at an anti-inflammatory diet, the typical template of a diet I recommend is not gonna be any major surprise uhm– to anyone– but, the Vegans probably, because it’s uh– you know, a classical sort of ancestral diet. You know…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It was animal food. You know, the nuts and seeds– all vegetables…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I restrict resistant starch for the first month. Uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: like a Paleo template, basically.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s a Paleo template, basically. Includes, uhm– some starchy vegetables, but not uh– white potatoes. So, just to restricting…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nitrates.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …they always– Nitrates are included, so tomatoes are fine. Eggplants are fine. You know, mushrooms are…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just the potatoes, okay.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Just the white potatoes. And uhm– and you know, otherwise, my patients do always reintroduce things like white rice, gluten-free grains, uh– legumes. So, it’s not a long-term Paleo diet. It’s just restricted for that first month. Uhm– so that we can understand what resistant starch does to your microbiome, basically, because when you reintroduce potatoes– Do you have gas and bloating? You know, Are you super tired after you eat white rice? We just want to know that, right, for these potent starches. Otherwise it’s not that uhm– dramatic, but it is– just have this anti-inflammatory effect, ecologically rebouncing at the gut level. And then the meditation components, I just think, as one of the meditations I often recommend is called Kirtan Kriya Carer or _____[18:13]. It’s been studied in  randomized trials, actually, for changes in brain level profusion. Uhm– and the subjective outcomes in terms of resolution of cognitive impairment and Dementia patients, who we have nothing to offer, you know, on a pharmaceutical level. So, literally, all they did was 11 minutes of this meditation every single day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, i’m a big believer in the potential of this ancient  technologies to send that signal of safety at the brain level. And then, of course, you know, when you’re engaging in detoxification– even if it’s as simple as taking the pesticides out of your diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uh– You know, we’re fundamentally changing the way the immune system is being triggered. And as you said, you know, we have evidence that from a gut level, and also from a psychosocial stress level, we could mobilize the immune system in the– in the systemic circulation. That then tracks back to the brain. And like you said, kicks off that alarm. You know, when i was in med school, we don’t even know that the brain had an immune system. We thought that it was a privilege region.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s crazy.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: We didn’t know that what’s inside of the brain. You know, we’re just discovering basic anatomy, still, at this point. So, it’s important to work with the tools that do the least harm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Now, I’ve seen you write this, and I may be off in a little bit. I’ll just throw it out there and you can correct me.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: [nods]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, you’ve talked about the brain-gut connection with mood. Now, being a functional medicine physician, I’m addressing everything: diet, lifestyle, blood sugar, [crosstalk] all the body system, hormone, detox. So, we’re never ever putting in on one magic pill.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But as we fix things, I do see certain amino acid nutrients with certain nutrients, like B6, and certain B vitamins. I have seen that significantly helped a lot of people on the mood side, not every time. So, I know the SSRIs and some of these medications, we think they work by just blocking reuptake of some of these chemicals but that may not be the case. So, what’s your take on the amino acids? I do see benefits, but I know, you–you’ve talked differently about that.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Things like 5-HTP, tyrosine, ___[20:09], L-dopa; those kind of things.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah [inaudible].

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. You know, listen. I am a passionate supporter of natural medicine. You know, and there are many, many, many, many different approaches. Uh– I mean I had patients who’d come– not patients. I know of people who come up of psychiatric medications using flower remedies. So…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …you know, i know that there is not one path here. And that’s the beautiful thing. Uh– but, in my approach, I use no supplements at all for the first month.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– when– I don’t begin medications taper, for the first month either. So, in a context of medication taper, then I actually do use amino acids. Uhm–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I use things uh– you know, the ones you’ve mentioned in particular as a compliment to the purported mechanism of the given medication, and I aIways use a general mix of amino acids. And I find them to facilitate the process. Uhm– I don’t use any supplements as a replacement for medication because it’s not the contraces we’re going for, right? We’re going for uhm— you know, trusting the body, trusting it’s uhm– responses, curiosity about what the body is meaning to tell you. And then also working through a lot of uhm– sort of indoctrinated fear around emotions like, you know, deep sadness, rage, grief– You know, this kind of pain that we are uhm– not, in any way, making space for. You know, to– to investigate with any degree of curiosity because, you know– one of the greatest uh– most meaningful lessons I’ve learned is that on the other side of that process of personal encounter with your deepest, darkest uhm– experience of your mind and body, is a kind of expansive, you know, exposure to these exalted emotions: gratitude, joy…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …even bliss. You know, that becomes available to you when you have the courage to sort of walk through that dark night. So that is a big part of my uh– approach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, some free-form amino acids which is great. What do you do with adaptogenic herbs? I mean, I use Ashwagandha a lot. I find that really help modulate Cortisol, which can thus help along with anxiety and even sleep. What’s your take on adaptogens, and what are your top three favorites?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– I would say, I have a top one favorite. [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Because I’m a big Rhodiola fan.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhh– love it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: And had been for many years. And it’s one of my first introductions to the power of herbal– you know, herbal approaches and herbal medicine, personally. And, You know, I find that it’s a really powerful compliment, not only to support in cognition at the time when many of my patients have been injured by medications on the cognitive front, uhh– but also that inevitable, you know, exposure to stress. I think it’s a really magical plant to dance with. So, I’m a  big fan of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What about nutrients? And I say, BC– uh– B6, or P5P, Pyridoxal-5-Phospate, really essential for helping these neurotransmitters activate. What’s your take on the most important nutrients for you that you see makes the biggest bank for your back and also a B6, too.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Mm– I– I would– In my experience, the most profound single nutrient– because, you know, most of us do offer that as uh– you know, sort of a compliment…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn–

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– in– in the entire birth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: But the one that I had the most miraculous outcomes with is actually B12.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Huge.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: And, you know, through my work with Nick Gonzalez, I’ve had a better ability to contextualize why– that is, in the patients that I work with. They are what he would call parasympathetic dominance, and so they respond especially well to animal-based nutrients, particularly white B12. You know there are cases in the literature of one woman, in particular, who was diagnosed as uhm– having psychotic depression. She was given Electrocompulsive Therapy…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …and uh– multiple medications, and all that she was going on was a B12 deficiency. So, I actually used– have my patients inject themselves uhm– with something like a Hydroxyvaline in a pretty generous dose. Sometimes like 5mg, sometimes several times a week uh– initially, which is obviously considered to be rather aggressive. But uh– it seems to be, you know, quite effective in a short period of time, particularly for uh– you know, cognitive and energy-related impairments.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, Dr. Brownstein’s also a big form of the hydroxyl form. Why do you like the hydroxyls so much– let’s say, over the methyl or the adenosyl?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– I had– I started with a Methocarbamol form.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan:  I just had a couple patients who uh– felt overly activated by it. You know, like whose are wired by it. And– and again, I’m using large doses, so it could have just been that. Uhm– so I– the hydroxyl form is just a– a way to thread the needle, you know, for those patients who might be susceptible to the– the methyl as [inaudible].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then, do you have any opinion on GABA as well? You know, some people say the molecule’s too big to cross the blood-brain barrier. Others are coming out with liposomal forms. What’s your take on GABA?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. I have gone very comfortable using a form called PharmaGABA. [crosstalk] It’s a–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: PharmaGABA, yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. Fermented…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The science got it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …form

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. And, you know, it’s uh– when it works, it works. And who knows if that’s, you know, Placebo. Otherwise, I don’t really care, because if it’s as benign as it is, I’ll apply that Placebo Effect all day long. But I, It’s a fan favorite– you know, of my patients, uh– particularly during the process of moving through a medication taper. It’s a very important uhm– tool.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then, when you’re dealing with people that are on these medications, whether they’re Benzos or SSRIs, or even Lithium and such. How are you dealing, like– Does every– Can everyone have the ability to get of those medications at some point, and who are the patients you don’t want to like take them off. Where it’s really you got to be super, super slow.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Mm– Well, it’s my passionate belief that every single person should be offered the opportunity to come up with psychiatric medications.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I’ll even go farther to say all medications, period. What the most critical ingredient is uhm– is the mindset, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, believe that it’s possible. It’s the readiness to commit uh– to lifestyle, medicine and to self-care. Uhm– which, of course confers the type of empowerment that’s very necessary to move you out of the dependent and helpless position that you are put in as a psychiatric patient. Uhm– but I had taken patients off of– you know I have videos of my website to prove this, so to speak. I’m publishing cases in the purity of literature. Uh– taking patients of up to medications they’ve been on for 25 years. Uhm– I have patients with histories of Schizophrenia, psychotic mania, suicidal depression. And over and over and over again, they’re shedding their diagnosis and they’re completely and totally off medication. I have yet to fail. Uhm– and I don’t expect to. But, I always screen my patients. I have a very skew population, because of these two criteria– the mindset and the belief.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And then, we’ll put a disclaimer. We don’t want anyone getting after uhm– psychiatric medication on their own. We want them to go back to the Prescribing Physician. But on average– just in general, are you typically tapering off about one to two-month timeframe? Is that generally, where you’re at?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Oh, wow. No. It can be years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, years or so?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I’m glad you asked, because…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I think I forget sometimes that that’s not uhm– you know, uh– an assumption. So, I don’t touch uh– medication until my patients, in my online program– until they have gone through this month-long commitment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Meditation, detox and diet. Literally, I won’t touch it. It’s a total requirement. Because I used to do it before I require that, and it was kind of a nice idea. We’ll start looking at your diet now. It’s non-negotiable. Okay? So, that happens first, and then the taper is around 10 to 20 percent of the total dose per month is a typical pace. So, it depends on…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …what you’re taking. It’s one medication at a time. The process can take years. And, you know what? If you want it to last, and you want it to be a permanently chaptered for you, you have a right with that. You know, because it’s an investment in this being, not just a revolving door where you’re back on meds in a couple of months. Uh– but I– I absolutely do not recommend that anyone consider coming off medications, particularly until they have uh– initiated this kind of self-care and physical healing regiment. And you know, in my program, I have an entire module dedicated to tapering, because it’s not a science, unfortunately. Uhm– and there are very few practitioners who know how to do it. And that’s why patients actually become more educated. Then their provided about how to do it. Uhm– it’s a bit of the wild west at this point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, is that course over at kellybroganmd.com?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes! We– It’s called, Vital Mind Reset.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Vital Mind Reset. We’ll put all the links below. We’ll put the links to the Amazon Book as well, “A Mind of Your Own.” So, everyone that’s listening and finding value. Go support Dr. Kelly by getting that book. That’s great. Now, one last thing here before I let you go, Dr. Kelly. Uh– when I use certain amino acid with patients, even some of the free-forms, I’ll start to notice the patient is starting to have some of the– the side effects, as if the drug’s too much. Do you see that at all? And then, do you start to gradually taper if those higher side effects from the amino acids are making the drug work better? Do you notice that at all?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: That uhm– is possible. I don’t often encounter that for whatever reason, uh– but  that’s absolutely possible. And in fact there’s a proprietary formula called uhm– EMPowerplus by TrueHope. It may [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. TrueHope, yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. And, you know, they counsel about that– you know, that it’s very possible that in the setting of uh– nutrient repletion, that medication could become actually almost quasi-toxic uh– so that you would need to begin to ramp down on the dose of medication at that point. So, it’s– it’s highly possible and that’s an incredible reminder. You know, that nutrients are– are very powerful uhm– tools to be used with strategy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Dr. kelly. I think you’re changing the world. I appreciate you coming on the show. Last question for you, “If you’re on a desert island and you can only bring one nutrient, one supplement, one herb– whatever it is, what would that be for you?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Oh, turmeric, of course. [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Turmeric. Okay. Got it. [crosstalk] Crucumin?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah, Crucumin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can [inaudible] can the anti-inflammatory on?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s everything. You know, it’s like a miracle. It’s a miracle herb, and you know the research on it, of course had– had my skeptical mind convinced. You know, with the catalog research on Crucumin, which is one isolate of this…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …very complex herb, is astounding. You know, head to head against medications like Cox-2 Inhibitors, antidepressants. It’s extraordinary. So, I think of it as a, you know, the– the power performer, for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Now, is there anything else you want to let the listeners to know? Any new books, products, online things coming out for you that people should be aware of?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: No. Just you know that we’re here to support your journey. If any of these is resident, it is one hundred percent possible for you. I see it every single day. And so, just to make sure that I plant that seed of potential. And oh, you know, we’re here to support. We have tons of free information on this site, and of course, greater uhm– complex products if needed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And let’s hear those links one more time. kellybroganmd.com– the second one was?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s it. You know…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …all the information’s there. So let’s just keep it simple.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then the book– if you guys love it, go get that book on Amazon. Dr. Kelly, we really appreciate you coming on the show.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you so much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Take care.

 


References:

www.kellybroganmd.com  

“Vital Mind Reset Program,” by Dr. Kelly Brogan

New York Times bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own” by Dr. Kelly Brogan

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Your-Own-Depression-Reclaim/dp/0062405578

“Increase your Brain Health by Changing Your Breakfast: The KB Smoothie” by Dr. Kelly Brogan

https://www.truehope.com/effectiveness/ingredients EMPowerplus by TrueHope

 

Enjoying What You've Read? Sign Up For FREE Updates Delivered To Your Inbox.

Share:
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.