Low Serotonin Signs, Symptoms and Natural Solutions | Podcast #325
Serotonin deficiency has common symptoms, including low mood and poor sleep quality. Most of the time, taking antidepressant medications called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can improve serotonin deficiency symptoms. So in this podcast, Dr. J and Evan talk about the root causes and presentation of this condition.
Our serotonin helps regulate a wide range of bodily functions, including sleep, bladder and bowel functions, orgasm, and emotions. It plays such an essential role in the body, it can be hard to determine whether low serotonin is causing a problem.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:22 Serotonin Neurotransmitter
5:17 PMS for Females
9:00 High Serotonin Symptoms
15:13 Neurotransmitter Nutrients
25:47 Products for A Better Serotonins
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live! It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Today we’re going to be chatting about low serotonin signs, symptoms, and natural functional medicine root cause solutions to get to the root of why everything’s happening, why these mood issues, energy issues, cognitive issues could be a play, Evan, how you doing today, man?
Evan Brand: Doing really well. I’m excited to dive in with you here. This is an issue that I suffered with when I had gut issues. And, you know, once I figured out the connection between gut and mood, it was a game changer because I was focused so much on mood supplements, right? I would take like rhodiola is a natural antidepressant helped to boost energy. I would take ashwagandha to help with hormones and adrenal support. But I didn’t realize that I was missing the smoking gun, which was all the gut infections I had. So I was playing with adaptogenic herbs, long before I had the knowledge I have now about gut infections and serotonin. And so what I first want to tell people is that you can come in and you can spot treat things like you can use different nutrients and amino acids to help serotonin. But in reality, we really need to be focusing on the gut you and I’ve discussed this many times, but a large percentage of serotonin is going to be made in the intestines. And if you’ve got bacterial overgrowth are parasites or other infections, that pathway is not going to be working as optimally and no, this is not a deficiency of antidepressant drugs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly right. So serotonin neurotransmitter helps a lot with motility helps a lot in the digestive tract, right. Also, a lot of serotonin supposedly does not cross the blood brain barrier. There’s a lot of people that talk about this, a lot of the precursor amino acids like five HTP, or even dopamine or tyrosine, the precursor amino acids can actually cross the blood brain barrier and then also convert. So of course, there’s some people that say like, like Kevin just said about the serotonin being made in the gut really important, helps motility probably does have some mood influences just because the guts so important for absorption of all these nutrients, and we need serotonin for reasonably healthy gut function. But we also need to be able to break down all of our protein and amino acids because all these amino acids are the building blocks for all of our neurotransmitters, whether it’s serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, GABA, whether it’s our beta endorphin, all these are really, really important and we have to be able to break them down. So of course, things like low stomach acid, low enzymes, gut inflammation from food allergies, gut bugs, infections, being overly stressed over a sympathetic nervous system output, adrenal dysfunction, high chronic, higher, low cortisol, all of these things are going to shift our nervous system, it’s going to act our activate our fight or flight, nervous system response. And those things can play a major role, and being able to digest, absorb and assimilate. So that’s like kind of a foundational thing, I want to just kind of start with off the bat because we need that to be in place. And then once that’s in place, that gives us a good neurological foundation to not overly activate our sympathetic nervous system response, have the enzymes and the acids. And then of course, we’re making an assumption that we’re eating really good foods that are anti inflammatory, nutrient dense and low toxin to kind of provide those building blocks out of the gates.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, you just highlighted something important here, which is this serotonin issue. And other neurotransmitters too, can be a vicious cycle, in the sense that if you have gut infections, reducing stomach acid levels, now you’ve got this malabsorption issue, so you’re not going to get the amino is any way to manufacture the neurotransmitters. So you could come in, and you could use amino supplementally to try to spot treat. But in reality, if you don’t fix the infection, creating the malabsorption in the first place, it doesn’t matter how well you do on the diet. It’s not about what you eat. It’s about what you digest from what you eat. And I think that’s the important piece of the conversation that’s missing with people is they focus on do this food do that food, but it doesn’t take into account Are you actually absorbing and assimilating that and we know based on Dr. Wright’s work in his amazing book, why stomach acid is good for you that by age 30 40 50 60 and beyond you make less stomach acid just with age alone. And that doesn’t even account for the fact of modern life stress, circadian rhythm issues adrenal issues not chewing your food, that kind of stuff. So your regardless of the lifestyle factors just age alone is enough to create a bigger problem. So let’s just run down the list real quick together here of too low of a level of serotonin. Now you may see various lists across the internet, Justin and I found one that we like from a respected source. So I’m just going to kind of run down the list here of two low serotonin. Course depression. Everyone thinks about that, but also anxiety, insomnia or sleep problems, nervous or worried, poor response to stress, negativity or pessimism, irritable or impatient, self destructive, potentially even suicidal thoughts, low self esteem or self confidence you feel worse in the winter. So you could call it a winter depression if you’d like younger, rage, explosive behavior inflammation. Here’s one that’s interesting. We need to, I think, talk about this further PMS. And then OCD or eating disorders as well have a link to serotonin. So the PMS is interesting. What do you think the meccan mechanism is there?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, a lot of female hormones like progesterone, for instance. And or just healthy progesterone, estrogen balance, have major effects. Basically, they’re like mono amine oxidase inhibitors. So essentially, they almost are like mini antidepressants, they help kind of keep a lot of the neurotransmitters in between the post and presynaptic synapse. So you kind of have this presynaptic synapse, we have a postsynaptic synapse. And this is what’s called the synaptic cleft, right? This is these are where the neurotransmitters accumulate between the two. Okay? And things like progesterone, for instance, they have a mild serotonin reuptake inhibition effect. Now, when you do medications, the problem with medications, the longer you keep those neurotransmitters between the synapses here, the faster those neurotransmitters are recycled and broken down. That’s why over time, people that are on antidepressants, or SSRIs, their dose has to go up, not down, especially if you don’t fix like underlying root issues. So I think a lot of these hormones like progesterone, we know is a GABA chloride channel inhibitor. So GABA is big, because it promotes relaxation, the more relaxed and calm your nervous system is, the less chance you’re going to be burning through serotonin because you’re less stressed. And there’s a mono amine oxidase inhibition effect, right, MAO, inhibitor, so it’s almost like a mild antidepressant in a way for sure.
Evan Brand: Oh, cool. Totally interesting. Yeah. So I mean, it sounds like, you know, part of the protocol could be both, it could be using potentially some hormones, like maybe some progesterone, but also coming in with the amino acids. And then once you figure out what’s going on, after you test, then you could come in and start fixing the infection. So let me just tell just a brief story. I think people relate to the stories here. So I just remember, you know, when I was down in Texas, and I had gut infections, I had just a baseline anxiety level that was so high. Now granted, I was away from home, I had some homesickness, I missed my family, that kind of thing. But this was different. This was related to my gut, because as soon as I was doing no microbial herbs, the anxiety was 25, maybe 50, maybe even 75% better. So I can just tell you, personally, you know, you and I’ve seen it clinically as well. But just personally for me, you know, I was doing supplemental gabbeh, I was doing motherwort passionflower, all the calming herbs. But it didn’t matter how many calming herbs I did, it was just a band aid. It wasn’t root cause. So I just want to make sure people understand that there’s a difference between natural and functional. So natural medicine is like, hey, you’re anxious take passionflower functional medicine is like okay, fine, take passionflower. But why are you anxious? And that’s the secret. The secret sauce?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. I think with you mean, part of the underlying reason was you had multiple gut infections that were not being addressed. Yeah, there was there was that kind of thing in the background, I think that was really important. And so fixing that played a big role, you had some potential mold stuff that was hiding as well. I think there was also some blood sugar stuff that was happening with you as well, that we were looking at, I think you also had like really low blood pressure, too, didn’t you?
Evan Brand: Yeah, my blood pressure was like, maybe 100 over 70.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So on the lower side, so there was definitely very weak adrenals where your mineral corticoids were paying a price and you weren’t able to hold up a lot of the holding a lot of the minerals that your blood pressure was dropping, and so you weren’t able to really perfuse blood flow adequately. Right. So yeah, all these things play a big, big, big, big role.
Evan Brand: I was peeing a lot too. So I was up in the middle of the night, three, four or five times to pee. I now know that that was related to mold, because since using appropriate binders, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night to go pee. So just folks listening, you know, could be an adrenal component as well. But, you know, for me, the excess urination was definitely a mold thing, and it’s luckily resolved.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So you already kind of talked about a lot of the symptoms. Let’s just kind of go over those real quick. So we have our high serotonin symptoms just briefly here. Let’s hit them again. So too high depression, anxiety, nervous being a worrier.
Evan Brand: And these are low stress. These are low. You said to-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m sorry. Yeah, I’m sorry. These were too low depression, anxiety, nervous worry. Anger, PMS, right. And then on the high side, let’s go over the high ones again, briefly. There’s no high Okay, there’s no high for those. Okay, so those are the big ones with the seratonin. Right. Now, we already talked about the foundational things. So when we talk about nutrients, just kind of make sure everyone that’s listening understands Foundation has to be in place, good foods, good digestion, good hydration management of stress, and we can talk about different techniques that help decrease stress. I won’t go into specifics but I’m a big fan of EFT, EMDR, NLP a lot of times techniques or eye movement techniques that can help rewire the nervous system that can help dampen sympathetic nervous system responses. There’s another one that you like Evan, that you did that does a lot of rewiring as well. Which ones that?
Evan Brand: You talk in the brain retraining?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, brain retraining, a lot of that requires NLP?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m playing with a couple of them. Yeah, some of it is kind of NLP strategy. There’s one called gupta. There’s another one called dnrs. They’re just doing our online one. Yeah, they’re online brain retraining, I’m gonna work through the Gupta, the one and I’ll have feedback for people, but I have done the dnrs. It’s basically just trying to rewire your brain, right, you’re trying to tell your brain that your issues are fine, and all of that. So I like it. But I personally, I think EFT is better. I like the tapping aspect of EFT tapping is nice-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You can feel a nice reduction of that nervous system response. It’s like when your brains are used to firing a certain way. It’s like, if you have a big backyard and you go on a hike or you go for a hike, where your local park, there’s a path kind of carved out when you go into the woods and that paths there. Where do you go, you naturally walk on the path, you don’t just go randomly go in the woods with all the sticks and trees and ticks, right? You kind of go on that carved out path, your brain kind of works the same way. So when it’s used to thinking about something a certain way, it carves out a path. And when you jump on that when you jump in the woods and you see that path, you naturally go down that way. And so essentially, the tapping is kind of like it’s a way of like pulling out the machete and kind of carving out a new path in the brain to fire a little bit differently.
Evan Brand: That’s that’s a great analogy. Yeah, that’s a great analogy. You’re saying how basically with this low serotonin that you can get stuck in these pathways of like, pessimism and negative thinking and all of that. So it’s harder to break out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ve listened to Julia Ross lecture one time, because she does. He’s an MFT marriage family therapist. And she has done counseling on lots of people. And she has had clients and patients for decades, where they just couldn’t get over certain issues. And she just started utilizing nutrients and amino acids and these problems that were problems, just naturally, were non issues, they they just became they just people were able to get over them so much easier. And a lot of that is is you need the mental neurological equipment to be able to process and handle them. You know, my my analogy, I get patients, it’s like staying up all night and then trying to do your taxes the next morning, like you just may not be able to have that mental capacity to handle it. And so I look at neurotransmitters, it’s giving you the equipment, you need to deal with these issues, it’s like giving a child adult level problems like they just going to be overwhelmed, they’re not going to be able to handle it and process it. And so if you have the right neurological equipment on board, that gives you the ability to handle it. And then also having these extra strategies in our back pocket. Like I mentioned with the EMDR. EFT Now the easiest thing is you just talk about the problems and you just kind of tap all the different EFT spots, side of the eyebrows, middle of the eyebrows underneath the eyes, underneath nose and chin, collarbone, underneath the nipple area, under the armpit, right. And those are just those are the really good spots you can do you can do right in the parietal line in the center of the brain here. Those are all good spots. And you can just kind of talk about the problem, whatever the problem is, let’s say you’re at a seven out of 10 and 10. Being you know the most sensation or irritability or emote, you know, palette of emotion that you could feel, ideally you want to get below five. So I always just say talk about the problem, talk about the fear, talk about the emotion you’re feeling and try to get it below a five. And ideally, if you can get below a three even better. And so you just keep on doing that it’s a good way out of the gates. And then also NLP kind of comes in where you you really are focused on the pictures that you have in your brain, right? That the pictures that you have in your brain are very important. So you really want to put pictures of yourself succeeding doing the thing, right? And then an easy kind of NLP technique is you can do the stop sign. Have that stuff sign flash in front of your, your, your mind’s eye when you start thinking things that are negative or you can do no stop. Right you there’s a DNR s one that you can tell about to.
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. And then that’s what they do. You basically just kept pace. tell yourself that your brains sending your body false messages. So it’s like this negativity, it’s this fear. It’s this hyperstimulation it’s the overreaction, you’re trying to just shut that down. And the mind is powerful. And I think it’s I think it’s an underappreciated thing. Now, you made a great point, which is that you got to have the fuel in the fuel tank, right. So you could do all the the physical tapping and all that stuff. But if you simply just don’t have any neurotransmitters in the tank, it’s going to be tough to focus on this, it’s going to be tough to have drive to get this done. So that’s where you and I are going to come in. And you know, let’s talk about some of the testing now. So we’re going to be looking at like an organic acids testing. And we’re going to look and measure some of the various aspects. We did a podcast recently on low dopamine, so check that out if you’re interested. But in that same category, we’re going to be able to measure the serotonin marker. And once we look at that we can see where people are at. And then of course, we’re going to factor in what’s going on with the gut to because rarely is the serotonin good To become a dysfunctional problem, unless there’s a gut issue as well. So we may see Candida bacterial overgrowth parasites, H. Pylori, gut inflammation and low serotonin. It’s rarely just low serotonin by itself.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and so it’s good to have the foundation it’s good to have some tapping techniques. Now let’s go talk about some of the other nutrients. So we know things like five HTP, or triptophan is a precursor to serotonin and serotonin. You know, obviously, that neurotransmitter that helps with focus and feeling good. It’s a very, you know, happy neurotransmitter. A lot of times dopamine can overlap because dopamine helps with focus, it’s an I love you neurotransmitter. So a lot of times there can be an overlap in those symptoms. And a lot of times people that have low serotonin could have low dopamine as well. And also the enzyme that metabolizes serotonin that metabolizes five HTP, and converts it downstream to serotonin is the aromatic decarboxylase enzyme. And that enzyme also metabolizes dopamine. So if you constantly take five HTP support chronically, you probably want to have a little bit of dopamine tyrosine support as well, because you can create some functional deficiencies long term. So just kind of keep that in mind. Like in my line, we have a product called brain deplete that has a 10 to one balance of tyrosine to serotonin. And if you’re taking a lot of serotonin, it’s probably okay especially if you’re testing it on the organic acid, but just long term, you probably want to throw a little bit of dopamine, whether it’s tyrosine in there to provide some building blocks, that’s excellent out of the gates. And then there’s a couple of really important methyl support that needs to be there, B six and B 12 are very, very important. B six is incredibly necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, we need B six is an important cofactor and so is b 12. b 12 is methylated B 12. Really important for the methylation of these neurotransmitters. Well, we attach a carbon and three hydrogen to it. That’s methylation. Very important. Also, vitamin C is very important because vitamin C tends to be burnt up and overly utilized when there’s a lot of adrenal stress as well. We talked about five HTP, we talked about some potential tyrosine. And then it’s also nice to throw in a little bit of an adaptogen. Because adaptogens help with the stress response, they help with perceived stress. So even if you’re stressed right now, just giving you some support on the adaptogenic herbal side, will change your perception to it. And so things like rhodiola or ashwagandha, or ginseng, or eleuthero are amazing to help kind of or even macca, especially women do very well, macca are very good for stress perception and stress modulation.
Evan Brand: Yeah, great, great calls. So just to back up what you said, there was a trial done. We’re not fans of drugs, we prefer to try to come at it the natural functional way whenever possible. However, there was a study done that compared antidepressant use, and just in a depressant by itself, compared to antidepressant plus b 12. And 100% of the subjects that got the B 12. And the antidepressant showed at least a 20% improvement with their symptoms compared to the antidepressant alone. So just to tell you one more time, and a depressant plus b 12 20% improvement in the outcome, as opposed to just the antidepressant by itself. And then also Foley, same thing. There’s a paper on Foley, and how that also boost things up. And then I don’t know if you’ve, you’ve played with this one much, but have you seen some of the Selenium extracts? You’ve got some of these saffron and selenium blends like this? Yeah, so it’s pretty cool. I’ll put it in the chat for you. So you can look at this tech sheet, you might have to log in, but I’m gonna send it to you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I’ve put those links to the studies. And we’ll put it in the description notes after the show. So you guys can take a peek at it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, but so just, I just put it for you in the chat. If you want to see, like I said, you may have to log in to see this tech sheet. But this is a cool product. And I’ve used it with some people that were previously on antidepressants, and they got off of it. And many of them reported they felt just as good. And so the Sceletium plant, it’s kind of an indigenous South African plant. Indigenous people used it says for relaxation, stress reduction, calming thirst and hunger prior prior to long hunting hunting trips, which is pretty cool. And it acts like an SSRI. So the Sceletium binds to the serotonin transporters inhibiting the uptake of serotonin from the synapse, resulting in increased serotonin concentration in the synaptic cleft. That’s the same mechanism of prescription SSRIs. So this is a game changer, potentially. And like I said, I’ve had clients that were previously on the pharmaceuticals, and then they did this one, and they like this one much, much better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Yeah, there’s a lot of good options. It’s nice to have some herbals, whether it’s adaptogens or the sceletium, whether it’s the saffron and I think in that the important cofactors need to be there B six b 12. You can maybe even throw in some full weight in there because full weight tends to interact. So I tend to have you know, products that will Be six, we’ll have the seratonin have the dopamine support. And then we always like, I think you’re in the same place always having a really good molti there in the background just to make sure all those cofactors are there. And then of course, having a really good solid diet as a foundation that kind of gives you that insurance policy that the building blocks are there, the cofactors are there, and then you can really hit things more therapeutically after.
Evan Brand: Yep, absolutely. Now, have you played with any of the other testing? You know, we already hit on the test. But there are some companies that do just neurotransmitters Have you ever played with those at all?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the whole idea with some of those is that you may not get a good window, what’s happening in the brain, right. So supposedly, you have the idea one is going to be some kind of like a spinal tap, right, where you really get a window into what’s in the cerebral spinal fluid, which is kind of flowing to the brain, that’s kind of like your ideal, obviously, that’s invasive. And then the urinary metabolites, I think, are pretty good. Because you kind of get a window like, if someone’s buying a whole bunch of food, you kind of get a window by going into their trash what they bought last week, right? It’s kind of like that. So you get a pretty good window of how you’re doing. So if we don’t see a lot of stuff in the trash, or we see too much stuff in the trash, that gives you a window what your body’s utilizing. And so that’s organic acids, we’ll look at with serotonin and we’ll look at five hydroxy and dolo. Last day five HIIA. So that’s helpful to give it give a window into it to know what’s happening. And then we’ll apply some of those nutrients, maybe 100 milligrams of five HTP at a time. And we’ll kind of go out from there. And I like doing it more, you know, at the last half of the day, especially if it’s more calming and relaxing, because some people they may get too tired because of it during the day. So you got to individualize it. And if you’re on a medication, it’s really important if I’m having people that are on meds like SSRI medications, amino acids will help the drugs work better because these drugs work by blocking re uptake ports. And if you’re blocking a rehab, take a port and you’re providing more substrate. Well guess what happens that substrate now is going to increase the symptoms or the potential effects of the drug which can also increase the potential side effects. So I always tell patients, look at the medication that you’re on, make sure you know what the side effects are. And so if we add things in, we look for those side effects to occur. If they do, we go back to the prescriber, and we gently nudge down the dose of the medication under the prescribers controls, we got to look at what those side effects are. That way, if it happens, great, we adjust or we just go slower to so my goal is if we’re going to adjust medication, we’re always doing it from a point of stability, not instability, and we’re always utilizing the prescriber that prescribed it. And if you’re on some of these meds long term, whether it’s an SSRI, or maybe even benzos are the worst, we may need a very, very long term taper, it just really depends. Could be six months up to a year, depending on what the medication benzos tend to be worse, SSRIs tend to be less. And it depends on how long you’ve been on them for Okay, so But either way, we don’t touch medication dosages, unless we have everything in order, we’re stable, and then we have a prescriber that’s involved in the prescription of the medication, monitoring and tapering the dose.
Evan Brand: Well said and there’s a link between antidepressants and gut bacteria to if you just look up and depressants, microbiome, you can find some studies on this. But we now know that these antidepressants are negatively affecting the gut. And we’re seeing changes with bacteria. And in particular, we’re seeing clostridia and other pathogenic organisms that we test for via stool and urine. We’re seeing these pathogenic bacteria overgrowth. So there is a link now between antidepressants and bacterial overgrowth in the gut. So just keep that in mind. If you’re somebody who’s been on these prescriptions for a period of time you’re having gut issues, maybe you’ve worked through some protocols, whether it’s with us or other practitioners, maybe you’re not to the finish line yet, you know, consider the drug could be a contributing factor, I’m not telling you stop the drug, I’m telling you that it needs to be factored in, and we got to try to counteract what that drug is doing. And we’ve seen cases like that, where clostridia just keeps coming back. And the drug, if the doctor was able to remove it from the protocol, then boom, they were able to get well and stay well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, totally. I mean, my personal opinion on medications like SSRIs, or drugs like that. The only, you know, real good application, in my opinion, is some kind of a short term where someone may commit suicide or harm themselves. That’s the only I think, you know, valid reason to be on it at all, is for just pure stabilization. And then working with someone with various therapies, whether it’s talk therapy, whether it’s then I think, combining EFT or EMDR, with that to kind of calm everything down and then utilize the diet and nutrients and then get off the medication. The problem with most medications is once you’re on it, you kind of get stuck, and the prescriber doesn’t want to take you off and they’re also not fixing the underlying root issue. So, you know, my general application is if something’s incredibly acute, that may make sense. But outside of that, you want to always try to work on coming off that way responsibly with all the foundational support underneath, and with the prescriber involved. So if anyone’s listening and they’re on a medication like that, and they just want to come off, don’t do that work with the functional medicine doc, and then we’ll also work with your prescriber to get you off because there’s always going to be some kind of a relapse that happens. And we don’t want anyone to be in a position where their neurotransmitters just really go wonky with a major, something they regret.
Evan Brand: Yep, absolutely. Well, I think that’s all I have to say on it. So if you have any more than let me know, otherwise, we’ll give people some info here where they could reach out if they need help, I know you’ve got some products to mention, I’ve got some too as well. So in your show link in your show notes on the podcast app, you should be able to click there and then boom, check out some of these products. You know, if you’re on drugs, you know, consult with us or consult with your practitioner, how you may work some of these in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, the big ones that I use in my line, of course, a good multi multi support pack excellent brain repletes to have that 10 to one ratio of tyrosine to serotonin with some of the cofactors there I’ll also use serotonin with B six. So in my line, serotonin replete or dopa repletes, are going to be the big ones and the dope replate Plus is my bigger l dopa, which is a it’s let’s say, a little bit more down the line in regards to dopamine synthesis, so it can have a better effect on improving dopamine levels. So those are my big ones. We’ll put the links down below. Evan, what are some of the ones that you have in your store that you use with patients?
Evan Brand: Well, a lot of them I’m ordering through third party, so I don’t have any on my store right now. And we’re moving warehouse. So I don’t have any right this second. But you know, if you’re working clinically with me, I will definitely educate you on those. And then some of the Zimbra and some of those, there’s different professional manufacturers that will use so there’s a couple different brands. But either way you could reach out and we’ll we’ll let you know what we’re going to use.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, maybe a good idea. You have a category on your website, like say, like maybe neurotransmitters so people are listening to this down the road, maybe look for a category on brain nutrients, or neurotransmitters. And some of those will be there too. I have a category on brain nutrients too. So we’ll try to make it easy for you all to navigate. If you need support, we’ll put links down below.
Evan Brand: Awesome. If you need help clinically, you can reach out Dr. J works with people worldwide via phone, FaceTime, Skype, however you need to chat. So please reach out to him at JustinHealth.com. And if you need me, Evan Brand, EvanBrand.com is the website. And we love working with this stuff. I mean, we’ve been able to transform our own lives with these products, we’ve been able to transform 1000s of other lives. And so this is really just a sigh of relief, when you can fix these issues. And you can help people take back not only their mood, but take back their life. I mean, when you optimize these things with brain chemistry, you can allow people to become more focused, you can allow them to become more calm, they can sleep better, they become better parents, they become better husband, better wife, better workers, better CEOs, better entrepreneurs. So it’s just incredible what you can do when you optimize this stuff. And so we want to test not guess, figure out what’s going on, look under the hood. And you can help modulate these things. So please reach out if you need help.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if someone’s coming into this, they don’t know where to go. They’re not quite sure where to start, keep it really simple. Start with the food. Start with a good healthy paleo template out of the gates, maximize your ability to break down protein with HCl, good digestive acid enzymes just start there out of the gates because that’s the building block for everything. And then from there, definitely get a practitioner in your corner to really work on all the building blocks, all the supplements support all the other precursor support so you have that good foundation, and then maybe also dive deeper into a lot of the gut, which could be a lot of bottlenecks. If you have chronic digestive issues. That’s gonna be an important part of the equation as well.
Evan Brand: Totally, totally Well said, well, always fun. I love these brain neurotransmitter episodes. They’re always a blast. I think they’re very helpful, very empowering for people. So please give us a review. We would love it. If you can review Justin’s show on iTunes or my show on iTunes. We really appreciate it. Give us some stars. Let us know what you think. Share it with your friends and family people who are dealing with issues we know that depression anxiety issues are massively increased over the last year. So the thing that we can hope here is that this is a beacon of light to help people know that there is solution to this problem.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% we’ll put some review links below so you guys don’t have to hunt it down too far to do that. We really appreciate it guys have a phenomenal day. Take care y’all.
Evan Brand: Take care. Bye bye.
Top 5 Antiviral Herbs and Top 5 Nutrients to Support Your Immune System | Podcast #276
Currently, global attention on health is at an all time high. With a virus in circulation, it is important that we take good care of our immune health. Dr. Justin, along with Evan Brand share top 5 antiviral herbs and nutrients that could help boost our immune system. Check this informational podcast below.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
9:07 Nutrients for the Immune System
14:51 Antiviral Herbs
24:05 Importance of Good Health
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand, Evan, how was your weekend, man?
Evan Brand: Hey, man, it was pretty good. It was interesting. Of course, we went out to various stores and saw everything wiped out and I’m sure people don’t need any more reminders that the stores were wiped out of toilet paper. And that was really it on, you know, just did the normal thing with the kids. So it was great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent, then yeah, I’m doing a little bit of social distancing because of the corona virus. I don’t think personally, I don’t think it’s gonna be that big of a deal. I know. I think the the media and the hysteria is bonus out of proportion. You know, we have to compare these pandemic issues to previous pandemics to compare reaction. Do we have symmetry in previous reactions, right. And if we look at swine flu, H1N1 in 2009, we had over 1000 people in this country. die from that. I think I think even even more than that, I think over 100,000 in the World Book, we’re only at like, what I think only how many thousand people have died of this. So far 6000? 6000 have died. And swine flu were over 100,000. And we had over a million people in this country with it. And we only have, I think 3500 and change. Now, number two is the big reason why I think it’s not going to be as big of a deal. Because I’m reading lots of anecdotes on people that have had flu like illnesses over a month ago, and that were tested at the ER at their doctor’s office, and that came back negative for flu. So my personal intuition, right knowledge, guided by experience is that this virus has been around a lot longer than we know. Chinese government doesn’t have the best reputation of being transparent to the US government. So I don’t expect the December timeline of, of when everything kind of came to fruition with this virus is being the correct timeline based on previous experience. So I think this virus has been around a lot longer. So a lot of anecdotal stuff. bonds people over a month ago having viruses that were flu like that were deeper respiratory based. And that did not come back positive for the flu. So I think it’s been around a lot longer. I think the incident rate is a lot higher than we know. And so I think over time, as the testing gets better, we’re going to see more, more people positive. And that’s gonna drive down the mortality rate, right? Because we people aren’t messing up the death rate, the death rates, the death rate, it’s hard to ignore a person that dies and they’re going to get tested and assessed for a virus so you’re not going to mess that up. But what you’re gonna mess up is the incident rate. Because unless you don’t have strong enough symptoms, or that risk factor history, no one’s gonna get your test and based on where the testing is limited right now. I think the incident rates a lot higher than we think it is a story on NBC last week guy gets coronavirus it you know I think at the princess diamond cruise ship. Well, his wife in the same quarters as him, didn’t even get it. And part of the immune response we’re going to talk about this here I’m going to do a YouTube video today is the corona virus is actually an RNA based virus. Okay, so most viruses, they’re DNA based. So what happens is this little virus comes in, and it sticks itself to your cell and penetrates into the cell. And it sticks itself actually using these little Corona like clubs, hence the name Corona virus. And then it uses the ACE inhibitor, the ACE pathway, which is the same pathway that a lot of the ACE inhibitor blood pressure drugs use, and they transmit the RNA inside the virus to inside the cell. And that creates what’s called a cytokine, storm or interleukin storm. And then that’s where the initial flu symptoms actually come from. They don’t come from the virus, they come from your immune response to the virus. And so then what happens there is, then then you start to have the symptoms. The problem is, a lot of people have a strong immune response or have a really good healthy cell membrane because adequate vitamin A, that virus literally just bounces off the person. It doesn’t even get, it doesn’t even get to drip the RNA into the cell. And so because of that, you’re not going to really be able to detect an immune response to That person because there isn’t even an antibody response to it. The body just deflected it off. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s interesting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So like to look at an immune response, you’d have to have that virus invade, then your immune system makes that antibody response to it and kills it. But what if that virus can’t even storm the castle wall? Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s part of why so many people who’ve gotten the virus don’t even have any symptoms, meaning they got exposed to it, but they got no symptoms at all. And that’s part of the the theory that you know, I’ve been postulating and other people have been postulating to.
Evan Brand: Well, regardless of what it’s going to turn out to be, we still want to be helpful in whatever way we can to people. So today’s podcast is about antiviral herbs and nutrients that we could use. All of these have studies on them. And of course, we can’t say specifically in the research. Hey, astragalus has been found to be anti viral against this specific Corona virus, but it’s been specifically shown against influenza. And there’s other types of viruses that we have studies here. So it’s not going to be 100%, this herb for this virus, but if we can just assume that some of the same mechanisms are going on, then these herbs should still be helpful, and they’re not going to hurt put it to you that way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And people will talk about, you know, the fact that, you know, the flu virus is a is a has been around for a long time. But at the same standpoint, they’re still tweaking the vaccine every year, because there is mutations that happen and part of what goes on with the flu vaccine is 80% of the time, it’s wrong, because we’re basing it off of the type of flu strains that happened in Asia the season before, and that’s where we kind of predict the strains that we should adjust the vaccine to this year and the wrong 80% of the time. So we know that there’s some mutation that happens right? And so the corona virus isn’t the first one we got exposed to that with SARS, which is sudden acute respiratory syndrome, and MERS, which is Middle Eastern. respiratory send them. So those are two other Corona viruses. This is covid 19. So 19 other ones similar. So let’s kind of just dive into we already talked about what’s happening in regards to the immune response. So the things that we’re trying to support is number one, the body’s healthy immune response to it, and then away modulating the immune response. So we don’t become, you know, more sick or more symptomatic because of an inappropriate immune response. I already addressed how cytokines and interleukins can actually make us feel kind of crappy, which is good, because we want to feel a little bit crappy. So we kind of stop and rest and sleep more, right? Well, we don’t want to feel so bad that our immune response is actually worse than the virus. So I want to kind of draw a line in between nutrients that support our immune system, and herbs that enhance and support and stimulate our immune system. So let’s draw a line. So some of the big nutrients that I can think of off the bat in our top 10 list is So as links are really important one, it’s gonna be fine in a lot of animal products, not seafood, seafood, and that’s going to have a major effect on our immune system. And it’s gonna it’s gonna have an effect on testosterone, it’s gonna have an effect on testosterone, and hydrochloric acid. And our hormones plays a very vital role. We have what’s called zinc fingers, which affects our DNA, adequate levels of zinc have a major effect on our epigenetics and our DNA. So zinc would probably be our number one, I think, on the nutrient side. Anything else you want to highlight on zinc or anything else?
Evan Brand: No, I would say that vitamin C is probably going to be number two, though. Yeah, it wasn’t your number two.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. They’re actually doing studies on Covid 19 and vitamin C right now in China as we speak. So that is something that’s real, and they’re actually looking at that already. And we know that they’re buying lots of vitamin C for a lot of these reasons, preventively. So we know intuitively something’s happening there. I’m going to be very curious. See what the study pans out over the next couple of months in this?
Evan Brand: Yep. I don’t think this is going to be in the nutrient category, but it’s kind of both right because it is it is sort of an immune support, but it also does modulate things and it would be astragalus route. And I personally stay on astragalus pretty much year round, but I go higher dosing in the spring and summertime in case I get tick bites, but there’s been some studies showing that when it comes to the herpes simplex virus HSV one, it was found to inhibit that virus. Another study showed that it inhibits the RNA replication that you were talking about. So it seems like it has a multi benefit, like it can be an adaptogen for the immune system, but it also can help inhibit replication of viruses.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, modulates the interleukin response and actually help stimulate the natural killer cell response which is really important. That’s the first line of invaders. That’s part of the reason why some of these viruses bounce off people because they have a really good th one immune response. These invaders can’t even kind of set up shop to begin with.
Evan Brand: Yep, olive leaf. I love olive leaf-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want to continue hitting some of the nutrients. So-
Evan Brand: Alright, go ahead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So let’s go to N acetylcysteine. We talked about this last week in particular, but ns little systems and amino acid, and it’s also going to help with glutathione. So n acetylcysteine is gonna help with respiratory issues mucus, it’s gonna support the lungs and acetylcysteine will also help occlude a thigh and we know low glutathione is correlated to weaker immune response and the ability to detoxify. And good bio actually helps with lung health. So we know NAC is vital for glutathione. And, and that’s also going to make a huge difference on the lungs and the respiratory system. And NAC is also shown to be very helpful to decrease viral replication. So once the DNA of that virus invades your cell, it’s going to replicate and if it’s replicating and we can put things in there to hit the brakes on that viral replication. That’s going to help immune system catch up.
Evan Brand: Yep, we could go into nutrients forever. I’m just thinking now my head spinning vitamin A higher dose of vitamin A could be critically important. Higher dose vitamin D could be critically important. Maybe 10,000 iu for most people would be just fine for vitamin D, we always like to have K1 and K2 added to it. The funny thing is a lot of the things we’re talking about you and I do these all the time anyway, for people it’s not like it’s a different protocol. It’s just, this is kind of the baseline stuff like we use glutathione on NAC combo all the time. Now it just becomes a bit more important. And, you know, vitamin D, for example, has been shown to reduce the risk of flu, other respiratory infections, including pneumonia, which as you mentioned, last time we talked about this, that’s one of the main mechanisms that people are getting really really ill is when it progresses to a point of pneumonia. So vitamin D alone has been shown to reduce the risk of that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, let me go back and hit vitamin A, according to what some of the research says are zinc, I should say. Zinc is very helpful for modulating the th one immune response, it helps modulate cytokine production and B lymphocytes, which a lot of times B cells are going to be the antibodies that we make, it’s also helps to decrease cell replication of the DNA of the virus, which is very helpful. And it also helps with a pop ptosis. So it helps with program cell death, which is very important, right? We want to keep a lot of these cells from replication, right, the more they replicate, the more it’s going to, it’s going to put more stress on our immune system to kill them. So that’s really important. And then we also know the more zinc deficiency occurs, you know, the harder it is to decrease replications we know zinc plays a big role. And then vitamin A is really important because number one, vitamin A plays a major, major role with the cell membrane, it makes that cell membranes stronger. And let’s just say imagine, like the cell membrane is kind of like the castle wall. It makes it harder for invaders like viruses to get into the cell. So adequate vitamin A is going to really helped make that cell membrane nice and strong and more impervious to things coming in vitamin A also has an inflammatory role. It protects the epithelium, it protects the mucous membrane. So if the mucous membranes stronger, that’s gonna prevent invaders from getting in that way. It also has an anti inflammatory role. It’s in a module eight cytokines as well. So a lot of really, really, really important things. Vitamin A is going to help. So zinc vitamin A, we already talked about an acetyl cysteine. And its effects on viral replication in glutathione and mucus and lung health. And then you mentioned vitamin D, and vitamin D, makes a natural antibiotic called [inaudible], which is antibacterial. It’s in a module a th1 and th2 immune response by helping the T regulatory cells and an overall turn that used to be supporting the immune system. Anything else you want to highlight on vitamin D, Evan?
Evan Brand: I mentioned that the K1 K2 I don’t know if it would have any role in immune health, but we often use it together. So I would just say out looking at the store for a combo, the combo product is generally going to provide more value across the board and just a standard d3. And if you could go for something that’s going to be like a soft gel or even a liquid, I’ve seen a lot of really low quality vitamin D supplements that are in tablets with a lot of fillers and binders. So, you know, keep in mind, the nutrient is not just the important part, you want to make sure you’re getting quality and try to use stuff that doesn’t have a bunch of extra garbage added to it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense. I’d also say lysine is a big one. We see it with herpes viruses, but it’s been very, very helpful to modular immune response, it helps deactivate a lot of the herpes viruses, it definitely plays a strong role in enhancing and strengthening the immune system and also helps with up regulating antibody. So that B cell antibody, the B cells that make your ITG IGA IGM, those antibodies are going to be strongly enhanced with a lysine and so very, very helpful at modulating the immune system and so on. Big I think nutrients that I would kind of highlight here because we want to draw a line between nutrients and herbs. I would say vitamin A, as an apple, vitamin D is in dog vitamin C as in cat, zinc, we could throw a lysine in there. And it was or anything and then zinc, I think we hit all five or six or six or five. A, D, C, Zinc, NAC. I think that’s it. Those are the big five. Anything else you want to add there, Evan?
Evan Brand: We could do we could do plenty more. But I think that’s definitely enough nutrients. I’m excited to talk about the herbs. Those are the things I think have been more powerful. So the next one after astragalus I was gonna-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And just to highlight, we talked about some of these herbs last week, some will be an overlap, some will be some new ones. So if you’re listening to last week, we’re gonna amend and update some of these nutrients here and herbs too.
Evan Brand: Yep, well said. So I was going into olive leaf. I love olive leaf. We use it all the time. So actually like part of my Candida protocol, we’ll have a couple of herb combinations that will have olive leaf combined with say monolauren. So maybe I just stacked those two right on top of each other. Monolauren is a lauric acid coconut extract, it’s been shown to be very, very potent as an antiviral and olive leaf, the main compound in it, I believe it’s pronounced [inaudible]. And that actually prevents the virus from attaching to the cells. So we kind of talk about mechanisms a lot. And people say, Well, why does that matter? Well, because some herbs may prevent the replication of viruses, things like all of actually prevent the virus from attaching to healthy cells. So if you have multiple herbs, you see you’ve got multiple mechanisms, you’re just making yourself even more resilient. So that’s why I’m a huge fan of all of huge fan of astragalus monolauren, those are probably like my my top favorites.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So we hit astragalus we talked about the immune a lot of these things are going to help with either immune modulation, natural killer cell antibody modulation, right the the infantry that comes in afterwards for us and help with viral replication. And then typically it’s gonna modulate the inflammation from the immune response. Usually it’s it’s hitting things in about three to four different ways. And so most are going to fall into that category. So when you hear like things that that’s kind of the mechanism how they’re working. Now, cat’s claws a really big one. We use cat’s claw or cemento a lot with biofilms, they work really good, right? These are protective shields, bacteria and critters use. We also use it with a lot of lime and various co infections. But cat’s claws are great at the immune system, helping with viruses, really enhancing the body’s ability to deal with infections. And again, everything we’re talking about isn’t necessarily the tree anything A lot of it’s a lot of the time it’s just to support our own immune response to what’s happening because our body is really the Ultimate Fighter. In all of this. Everything we’re doing is just trying to give our body’s immune system an edge to address the issue to begin with.
Evan Brand: I yeah, I want to just restate what you said because I think this is the the point that many people are missing which is the body has and humankind has dealt with viruses for forever. All we’re talking about now is what can you do to try to gain the upper hand, it’s not that these things are essential, these things are just going to improve your resilience.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So it’s important to have the right mindset, a lot of people are selling like cures or solutions. And that’s not going to be the case, but it’s really going to be our body to begin with even antibiotics. When the infection gets cleared, it’s still not the antibiotic, right? It’s the antibiotic lowering the level of the infection, and then the immune system can kind of come in and play right, it gives a really, it’s like, if we’re using a lifting analogy, it really gives a very helpful spot. When you’re kind of low in that bench press. It really gives you that little spot to kind of get up through that sticking point for sure. So akinesia will be one of my next favorite ones. And again, when we’re doing a lot of these herbs, a lot of times we want to make sure the whole root is present. So a lot of times with akinesia, you’ll see a lot of flower present. I want the whole root, I want the whole root. I find that has a lot more of the The immune modulating alkaloids that really have the immune benefits, so akinesia is, is excellent and how it reduced virus virus levels, it inhibits the growth of bacteria inhibits the growth of viruses, it’s also going to modulate with the inflammation caused by that immune response caused by the cytokines and interleukins-
Evan Brand: Yeah, and when you’re looking at a supplement label, most people listening are probably already expert food label readers and expert supplement label readers but you should just see in parentheses it should say something like root or aerial parts meaning flower, so you want to see something that’s like a whole complex.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a little bit better. And some have a combination, which is fine, too. Mm hmm. Yep, exactly. And buy from reputable company because when you buy raw material, you can buy the McDonald’s version or you can buy the grass fed local farmer version, right. You want to buy the highest quality, cool. Next oil level right now we use oil of oregano, a lot more when we’re dealing with fungal overgrowth, certain certain gut infections, really good antimicrobial, antifungal qualities also, whatever I can now also as antiviral qualities, I like it a lot. It’s going to knock down viruses, the karva call compound and the oil of oregano is very, very, very, very potent, very potent. And it’s going to have fireball in there and karva call which are going to which are going to be the main ingredients there. And it’s going to have, you know, immune modulating benefits, as well as killing benefits is going to actually help kill parasites, bacteria and can potentially kill viruses too.
Evan Brand: Oregano is amazing. I mean, it’s like one of the most broad spectrum if we ever have a client where, let’s say they just have some kind of symptom we can’t resolve related to the gut, maybe they had a combination of viruses and bacteria and parasites and fungus all in one. If something doesn’t work, the first round will come in and do oregano oil, and it really acts as the it’s it’s the generic spot treatment. I guess you could call it because it may not fungus down a little bit. It may not bacteria viruses. So I mean, really you can’t go wrong with it. Well, once again, I think quality is key. So as you mentioned, you do want to make sure you get something standardized for the Carver crawl that way you’re, you’re getting something that’s potent enough to work. A lot of people say well I have oil of oregano essential oils, no, that’s not the same thing. You’re going to want something like what we use, which is going to be an encapsulated version that’s much more potent, and we use emulsified olive oil. So that allows it to spread out and hit the whole intestinal tract as opposed to you putting a drop of oregano oil in your water and drinking it. That’s not what we’re talking about.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I’ll tell you people that use a lot of the oil of oregano essential oils, I had a parasite in Mexico one time and actually had an oil of oregano essential oil. The problem with it was I could not get enough down my going down my throat without burning my throat seriously, it was so bad. So if you have it, what you can do is get a nice capsule and pour it into it. And that can be very, very helpful because it’s hard to get enough in your system without burning the crap out of your Throw in your upper gi. So having a good encapsulation will be nice. A lot of the capsules you get over the counter will still open up pretty fast. And so you may still feel it in your stomach, a lot of the capsules that we’re going to use are going to be more a little bit more gelatinous. So it buys more time to actually open up in the in the small intestine versus the stomach. Yep. Well, that’s the difference. Yeah. So we hit oil of oregano, we hit astragalus, we hit ekinasia, we hit olive leaf, I would say one of the next ones would be silver. I mean silver has amazing benefits at knocking down viruses and bacteria. Intuitively, we’ve known this for a long time. That’s the reason why we’ve made our forks and our knives out of silver, where it’s because we’ve known that using these type of things to handle our food actually has decreased food poisoning and had antibacterial antimicrobial effects on our food. That’s why we’ve used silverware for hundreds of years on our food. And you hear lots of negative stories about silver and a condition called our argiria. Which is going to be you know, you turn Blue so to speak. Again, this is not going to happen in high quality silver products that are, you know, 15 or less part per million, you’re not going to see it. A lot of these issues are people consuming silver that is way higher on the part per million side. And a lot of times it’s homemade. I’ve had patients and people tell me like, yeah, I make my own silver, I get like some, some sterile silver coins and I put it in a salient solution. I run a current through it, I’m like, holy crap, you have no idea how much silver is in there as a level of parts per million. So if you’re consuming silver, make sure you choose a high quality company. And you know, we actually know the parts per million on there. So you know, it’s the molecule small enough for your body to still excrete it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the stuff we’re using, it’s not expensive. It’s not like silver cost $100 a bottle either. So why people would do that as opposed to just buying a professional brand who does it right. I don’t know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, the naturopath named Dr. David and he talked about this one time and I remember at a conference, he literally took a liter of Silver, and he just chug the whole thing on stage. Everyone’s like, holy crap. He’s like guys, yeah, good silver, you’re never gonna see it being a problem. I was like, Alright, and then the next day he was totally fine. But he consumed a whole liter of silver. That’s insane. But yeah, so his premise of it was Yeah, it’s really just about the quality of silver. It’s really about the quality and how much how big the molecule is.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, I gotta run I’ve got a contractor that just came over to my house but that was the last thing I wanted to mention. Anyway, if you didn’t hit it, I think we hit it over.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. I’m glad we hit it. And again, for people that are having struggling with immune issues or health issues and they want to dive in deeper Evan and I are in the trenches dealing with patients all the time from all over the world. So Evan’s website’s EvanBrand.com they’ll be able to console link there. I am Dr. J. at JustinHealth.com, feel free to schedule online. We’re here to help and if you enjoy the content, put your comments down below what you guys think any questions about your experience with using certain nutrients and antiviral herbs to support and enhance your immune system. We’re really curious To know and if you enjoy the content, make sure you share it with friends and family. We really appreciate it. Anything else you want to say, Evan?
Evan Brand: Yeah, we deal with these type of issues every day all day helping people become more resilient. So now people are just realizing how important it really is to take good care of yourself. This just gives you more reason to not eat bad foods this gives you more reason to go to bed on time this gives you more reason to have healthy relationships and remove bad people from your life. So things like this really shouldn’t change your life that much but if anything, maybe it puts a spotlight on some of the sore spots of your life that you need to improve upon the sleep the stress the work stress their relationships, you know, so please use this time to build yourself up not beat yourself up or or think you know, negatively, just build yourself up. That’s my that’s my message.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And excellent anyone listening. I’ll be back in a few minutes for another live Q&A session. So a lot of questions here. Love to hit them up on the backside. Ever man, you have a great day and we’ll talk to you man.
Evan Brand: Same you take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye.
Top 5 Adaptogens to Improve your Brain Performance | Podcast #272
Welcome to Beyond Wellness Radio Podcast! For today’s episode, Dr. Justin and Evan talked about one of their favorite topics- the adaptogenic herbs. They shared how they personally use it and how it’s good for the body. Also included in the topic are the families of adaptogens, different uses and benefits. Check out this podcast to know more.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:08 Families of Adaptogens
7:15 Adaptogenic Herbs
11:26 Adaptogens’ Different Use
23:24 Social Anxiety
31:15 Dr. Justin’s Top 5 Adaptogen
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house, Evan Brand, how we doing today, my man?
Evan Brand: I’m doing great. We’re diving into like my favorite episode ever. This is like your favorite jam to adaptogenic herbs, we probably I’m not going to say probably I’m going to say we definitely could not work as much and as hard as we do if we were not taking adaptogens. Now maybe you’ve got some secret sauce behind the scenes that you could continue working as hard as you do. But for me, adaptogens are the thing that keeps me going and they keep me feeling refreshed. Even in the most difficult of cases. you’re reviewing labs all day. You’ve got to focus you got to think about the symptoms that the clients reporting to you and you got to make the accurate protocol. You can’t slip up on dosing, you got to make sure you gauge it all right. I mean what we do is brain intensive. So for us, I think adaptogens are like essential but for other people to At these are very, very amazing compounds that should be worked into your to your life and your protocol wherever you can.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% man, so there’s different families of adaptogens. You know, there are some that have immune modulating benefits, there are some that have stress modulating benefits. And then there are some that are going to have hormone kind of sex hormone modulating benefits. So we kind of use them in different criteria. So the ones that help manage stress are going to be things like ginseng, or ashwagandha. And they’re really going to help modulate cortisol. And the big thing about adaptogens that I love is it helps modulate their perception of stress. So much of stress is perception based, where if you internalize something as being stressful, you make more of a negative hormonal response to that stress, where if you can perceive that stress as being less threatening, your hormones respond accordingly. So that’s part of the benefit of adaptogens. You can do it with meditation. And mindset is you perceive stress differently. But you can also modulate your body using herbs that have a similar effect. And guess what? If you combine the two, it’s even better.
Evan Brand: So give us an example. Like, are you talking, let’s say somebody cuts you off on the highway, and that really would have pissed you off before. But now, it’s like, Oh, you know what they’re in a rush.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re just able to keep your cool a little bit better, right? It just makes it, it makes it a little bit harder for you to fully lose your your sh it. Right? It makes it harder for you to lose it. All right. And that’s, that’s nice. People are in stressful environments, work and stuff. Everyone wants to keep their composure, especially if you’re dealing with your kids, you don’t want to yell at your kids and all that stuff, right? So you want to be able to keep your cool. And so ashwagandha is one of those things that I use daily, it helps modulate the immune system, but it also helps change and D help me deal with stress better and again, ashwagandha literally is Sanskrit that means to impart the strength of the horse. That’s kind of cool little saying there and a lot of adaptogens they have they’ve been used for a long time. They kind of have a little bit of a saying around that, you know, imparting energy and strength and, and stabilization.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so ashwagandha is something that has benefits with the adrenal system too. So when you’re talking stress, obviously, there’s this connection between the brain and the adrenal. And what you’re saying is when you’re using these adaptogens, it’s almost like you can sort of either short circuit or maybe the better word is down regulate that stressful connection, meaning like that guy on the highway, who cuts you off, before your fuse would have been so short that that brain is going to go alert, alert, alert, the amygdala, the fight or flight system sets off, and then boom, you get a big shot of cortisol. But in the research we’ve looked at ashwagandha literally can help stabilize that cortisol response to where you might not get as much of a sharp hit of cortisol, it’ll still happen. It’s not like you’re going to be sedated. And if somebody puts a gun to you, you can’t get scared and run. It’s not that it’s just that it’s going to help blunt an excess response of hormones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and that’s really, really important. That’s very important. And then of course, they’re going to me just things like ginseng adaptogens whether it’s [inaudible] ginseng, American ginseng, or red ginseng, or Korean ginseng, they’re going to just help us deal with stress as well kind of similar in that adaptogenic quality. And they’re also typically what they’re doing is they’re modulating cortisol output. They’re modulating HPA access. And of course, when you modulate HPA access, remember that means hypothalamus pituitary, aka your brain. And the a part is your adrenal. So that feedback loop from the brain to the adrenal is modulating, so one, it’s going to make sure that we don’t over yell or over signal, stress hormone production, but it’s also going to help us when we made stress hormones, it’s going to provide what’s called a negative feedback loop back to the brain. That’s it’ll allow us to come down from that stress versus stay chronically elevated. It’s like the air conditioning comes on. It hits 70 degrees, right? It lowers that temperature, but imagine the air conditioning continuing to stay on until it’s at 60. It’s like, Well, hey, I don’t want it to go that cold. I don’t wanted to stop at 70. So think of that’s kind of what your stress responses we manage. We produce those stress hormones, but we just keep ratcheting it up above and beyond what’s needed for that moment.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think another way to say it is you’ve just lost that homeostasis and adaptogens can help you to find that balance more. So for example, if something frazzles you here’s an interesting thing I’ll you know, I think people relate to stories, right. So, my wife took my daughter’s summer to Whole Foods last week, and we get my daughter adaptogens all the time. Just different liquid tinctures with blends, we’ve probably got her on, I don’t know five or 10 different things, you know, reishi mushroom and astragalus and licorice and Eleuthera row and quarter seps. And, and all of it right? And so normally, she if she heard a very, very loud, startling sound, she’d get startled from it. And in this case, it was the fire alarm that went off. And my wife was like, wow, you know, something crazy. She goes, I know that These herbs are working for summer because if something were that loud before, before we had another supplement, she’d cover her ears. And she’d be like, Oh my god, what is this loud sound, but instead the fire alarm goes off. And all she says is, Mommy, what’s that? And just super chill. She didn’t overreact. She didn’t cry. She didn’t scream. She didn’t cover her ear here, the fire alarms just blaring. And she was super cool. So like I said, it’s not that it’s numbing you. It’s just that it’s gonna allow you to not have a big response. They have another example. When I was out at this piece of property, looking at this piece of land, I met the builder out there, and there was a dump truck behind us. And you know how when the dump trucks open up in the bank, and they let all the gravel out, and then the dump truck Door slams, he jumps so hard, and I kind of joke with my wife afterwards, like man, he needs some he needs some adaptogens he overreacted. He acted like he was getting shot, but instead it was just a loud sound. So that’s kind of a sign if you’re somebody listening, how do I know my HPA system is dysfunctional. Well You’re overreacting to things like you said, you’re getting mad at your kids easily. Your fuse is short or you have a very very sensitive startle reflex. Like a loud sound. Oh my god, your heart’s pounding. You need some adaptogenic herbs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And David Winston, I think he has a book on this. It’s literally called ‘Adaptogenic Herbs’. It’s actually online free, you can totally get it. There’s 15 recognized adaptogens that he has in that book. I mean, some of the big ones are ginseng, ashwagandha, asian ginseng, astragalus and cortis apps are great because they modulate the immune system. Eleuthera holy basil licorice is actually considered an adaptogen, Rishi, rhodiola, schizandra, [inaudible], these are different adaptogens that have kind of been well known. So this book is excellent because it really talks about you know, a lot of the the science behind these adaptogens and really to kind of summarize it, the science comes down to this. immune modulating affects stress modulating affects brain communication to Oregon, to adrenal or thyroid affects a better communication from the brains of the organs, better homeostasis, and adaptation to stress, immune modulation, and then also sex hormone modulation. So for guys and women, there’s certain herbs that will use to help reestablish cycle communication and women or help with progesterone, or how modulae estrogen receptor sites and then guys, too, there’s ones that will use to help modulate Lh and testosterone secretion as well. So there’s different ones that we use for stress, mood, sex hormones, and then of course, when you modulate the stress and the sex hormones, guess what happens, you start sleeping better, which then feeds back into the rest and repair and then you your hormones aren’t as stress therefore, the adaptogens have even a better modulating effect because your hormones and your stress is less off kilter. Right? It’s It’s It’s more balanced because the sleep and that is already stabilizing you.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s what I love about ashwagandha for example, is that you could use During the day to help with stressful events, but you could also use it at night. So I’ll take a shot of it or if I’m using a capsule, I’ll do some during the day. And then I’ll also take one or two doses of it before bed. And I tell you, I wake up a lot more refreshed when I have that in my system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and get adapt like the Russians did a lot of research in the mid 50s and 60s on adaptogens pretty cool. One of the Russian Research Scientist he kind of described and adaptogen like this, this is what the definition was, and this is going to be available I think in Winston’s book called adaptogenic herbs. He said, they must be innocuous, they must cause minimal disorders in a physiological function of an organism, they must have a nonspecific action and usually have a normalizing action. Irrespective of the direction of someone’s pathological state that’s really important. So someone could be moving towards a, you know, a disease state and it’s still going to have a modulating benefit, which is really cool.
Evan Brand: I love that. That’s a nice elegant, elegant statement and People may think, well, if these things are so awesome, then, you know, why aren’t more people talking about it? Why aren’t doctors talking about it? Well, in general, as you mentioned, in the 50s, and 60s, Russia is doing all this research. But in America, there’s not any money in this because, you know, you and I, we’ve got our own formulas, which, which will eventually talk about and plug in hope that you all can experiment with. But the money’s not in a bottle of rhodiola that we may sell to you for $20. Right, like there’s just not that huge profit margin incentive. And you can’t patent these things too, because they’re herbs so when you can’t patent something, then you can’t excessively market up and make a ton of money like you can with the pharmaceuticals for example.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. 110% Yeah, there’s less money there. And you know, of course, when the education is primarily driven by by mainstream companies, if there’s no money there, you’re just not going to get the education on it. So the cool thing about the internet and podcast and and YouTube We can provide a lot of these videos and it’s easy, we get it, we just do a recording and it’s out. We don’t have to go through a big publishing process and have everything all, you know, go through a publisher and editor all that we can just put this information out there raw in the flesh, and you guys can enjoy it and digest it even live if people on YouTube listening live right now, which is pretty awesome.
Evan Brand: Do you want to tell any stories about your use with adaptogens? Have you experimented with different things for different issues with mood or sleep or stress?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so in my line, I have a product called ashwagandha supreme so ashwagandha is gonna be one of my favorite ones. I find that really helps with stress and sleep and really helps modulate my stress response. Like I find if I get an argument with someone if I just hit some ashwagandha within 20 or 30 minutes, I’m adapting to the stress of that conversation or whatever’s going on in my environment better. Now it’s really important. Quality with adaptogens is very important because a lot of countries that they grow adaptogenic herbs, they don’t have the best let’s say environmental there’s a lot of mercury or lead in the soil because of what’s going on with the pollution in that environment, and of course, the herbs, then we’ll take on that pollution, because what goes in the soil comes up in the roots. So it’s very important. You want to use herbs from people who test the herbs independently. So Evan and I, myself, for instance, we test the ashwagandha that we put in capsulate. And I found a couple of times where there’s been high levels of lead, and we’ve had to send the raw material back and and use the different manufacturer that that’s it. So really important. You don’t want to just jump online and get the cheapest adaption actually, you know, you pay a little bit more to have higher quality and to have the, the independent analysis done. So that’s important. So ashwagandha and then of course, it’s my favorite blend of rhodiola ginseng ashwagandha, eleuthero a little bit of liquid, that’s my favorite one that’s on my adrenal revive. I love that because there’s enough immune modulating benefits sex hormone modulating benefits. And I’ll go back and forth between those two. And then every now and then I’ll just go into individual ones. I’ll do some gotu kola. Do some Holy Basil, I’ll do just some regime quarter steps. And I’ll just do some individual ones. I think it’s pretty cool people should biohack and test some individual adaptogens per month, and just see how you feel with it, see how you deal with it. But for myself, personally, I have seen amazing benefits and how I can deal with an adaptive stress. Having seen thousands of patients in my career, I see amazing benefits. And again, it depends. I see a lot of hormonal imbalances a lot of women with PMS, so we’ll use different herbs depending on what’s happening there. What we may use things like chaste tree or white pod, or specific phenotypes of maka that are very helpful. And that just it’s amazing the things that you can do, especially when you’re dealing with the woman’s cycle that’s off I mean, it can really create a lot of, you know, havoc in her in her life and mood and such like that. And then obviously it can create menstruation issues, which then create anemic issues so you can have a whole bunch of things spiral out of control. So big fan of what you can do with these adaptogens from a hormonal mood and Energy sleep, stress modulating effects.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And the good news is, as a general rule, they’re pretty synergistic. So the one that I have that similar to your adrenal is mine’s called Adapt. And this is where we’ve got a little bit of B as in Bravo, vitamin added. The cool thing is, is you can have synergistic benefits. So your average person walking down the street, probably knows that B vitamins are good, right? They think B vitamins equals energy. But when you combine adaptogenic herbs with the B vitamins, then you really get the magic happening because you’ve got not only are you helping to fuel the mitochondria with some of the bees and the nutrients, their vitamin C can be added. But then now you’ve got the modulating effects with the adaptogens. And then when you throw in amino acids, then you really get amazing benefits. So if you’ve got nutrients, like your vitamins, mixing it with your adaptogens and then you’re throwing in for example, like a little seed oil tyrosine we use, that’s when the magic happens and then you can really just take on life. Now I do want to say one thing about rhodiola rhodiola changed my life. You know, I was depressed all Throughout my teenage years, mainly due to my gut issues, I think, my mood issues. Yeah, probably gut and toxicity issues. I remember. You know, I spent a lot of time growing up in my grandma’s house who her basement flooded many times. So now, after you and I’ve talked about this for the last year, now my mold journey, I think I had a lot of mold that was causing me depression too. So it’s probably a combination of toxins and gut issues. But one thing that I found really, really early on was rhodiola. And I noticed immediately that my mood was lifted, and the clouds that had been over my head just basically disappeared. But the only caveat to it is if you’re somebody who you have an unstable mood, like you’re possibly trending more towards bipolar rhodiola can make you more manic. So that is one adaptogen where I think you have a little caution. So that’s where you’d want to work with your practitioner. And then I just want to state something a little differently than the way you’ve already said, which is about the supplement quality. So part of you and I’m part of clinical practices, we do implement these herbs into clinic. And then we sell these supplements to the public as well. But we’re using professional healthcare companies that only manufacture and sell supplements specifically to doctors and healthcare practitioners. So we’re not doing what is very common in the nootropic. And the adaptogenic herb community, which is contract manufacturing, which is where you’ve got random supplements for you calm in the middle of Florida, and they grab 30 different herbs from China, and then they put them in a bottle and slap your label on it and sell it. That’s not what we do at all. We have to have professional grade made by professional practitioners. Sometimes our formulations are are created with the help of other functional medicine people natural pass, and on and on and on. And then that stuff is all extremely vetted and tested because at the end of the day, if we don’t get people better, then we can’t keep doing what we do. So we have to make sure we have a therapeutic benefit. So if you go on Amazon, for example, You just type in rhodiola. And you see here some random brand with a label, and it’s 9.99 versus you see a professional brand for 29.99. That 9.99 may not be the same. You’ve got specific alkaloids and parts of the different plants that you need for the act of benefits. So if you look at Justin’s labels, if you look at my labels, you’re going to see the same thing, which is you’re going to see a percentage, and that’s where the magic happens. So, for example, with rhodiola, you have to have a standardized form that’s going to have multiple alkaloids. For example, [inaudible] is one thing we look for in rhodiola. Not all rhodiola standardized to have particular percentage of rosebuds. With ashwagandha. You’ve got the I think you pronounce it with analyze. Yes, the active component on so I just trying to just point this out not to say hey, we’re the best but we pretty much are with the adaptogenic herbs because there’s nobody else doing professional manufacturing like we are.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% now really interesting this is straight from Winston’s book, he talks about adaptogens help the body achieve an adaptive response to stress, they increase the body’s ability to cope more effectively with stress. They work with the body’s reaction to stress and alter the release of stress hormones. When the body’s under stress, it is using more energy and the body’s energy supplies being depleted because nutrients are being converted to energy. This can cause fatigue. So what Winston saying here is that the more stress you perceive, the more you actually deplete other nutrients to make those stress hormones and then you have less nutrients to run other energy systems in the body whether it’s cardiovascular or gut or neuro endocrine, right. So you kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul, it’s like you’re increasing your debt over here. Therefore you’re using a credit card and you’re spending outside of your monthly budget. So one other side benefit that we are getting Using adaptogens is we are a lot with it’s preventing us from using other nutrients in our body to deal with that stress. And now we have a nutrient reserve we can use for other things such as focus on our job performance at the gym energy with our family and friends, which is really cool because we just think about it in the moment, but we forget what that stress does to other nutrients. And now they aren’t available to us.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, and people may argue, well, why now like my grandparents or my great grandparents, they lived on a farm. Why did they didn’t take adaptogens they weren’t just you know, pop in capsules of ashwagandha. Well, we have more toxins than we’ve ever had. The EPA is not doing their job. You’ve got flame retardant chemicals and antidepressant drugs and you’ve got fluoride, and other pharmaceuticals, you’ve got pesticides and herbicides, damaging the gut, which kills bacteria, which then creates nutrient deficiencies and bacterial overgrowth which in damages the gut barrier, and then you don’t have enough nutrients from it. Mitochondria, you’ve got neurotoxins, you’ve got air pollution. So to me, the 21st century is the century for adaptogens. I think these can be our saviors to help us cope with the stressors that even just a generation or two ago, we didn’t have.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% also, we know that we have a lot more oxidative stress in our environment, just from pesticides and chemicals that are more readily available already, you know, just just they’re kind of indebted in our environment. Winston also highlighted in the book here very interesting. He says another effect of normal metabolism is the creation of free radicals. Right? If the concentration of free radicals exceeds the body’s capacity to neutralize them, this can be harmful and can put damage on the mitochondria, the cells energy powerhouse, he says they are neutralized by antioxidants. So Said another way is you’re going to have oxidative stress from you’re going to have free radicals from all this extra stress. Okay? And that extra free radicals is going to cause your body’s antioxidant reserve to go in overdrive as well. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, really important the oxygen, so then your body has to use more antioxidants to deal with the free radicals from that perceived stress. So kinda like the nutrients getting depleted up, we’re also depleting a lot of our antioxidants to deal with the free radicals from that perceived stress. So it’s pretty cool.
Evan Brand: And we measure this too, right? This is not just stuff you’re you’re spouting out of a book, this is stuff that we verify thousands of times over looking at the various testing we run, for example, organic acids testing, I would say 90% of the time or more, we’re seeing vitamin C levels burned out we’re seeing vitamin B as in Bravo, low, we’re seeing nutrients across the board low. So this is not just theory. This is proof. I mean, we’ve got the data of these labs and people even if they’re trying really hard, they’re eating whole foods paleo template, they’re still nutrient depleted and they still need help. They’re still burning the candle at their job. So they need adaptogen. So here’s one question just for people listening on the podcast that didn’t make it to YouTube. Justin host these videos live on his YouTube channel. So make sure you’re checking that out just type in Justin health on YouTube, and you’ll find it so that way you can join us. And if you want to chime in live, you can. But there was one question here from Dennis. He said Can adaptogens help with social anxiety? The answer, of course, is 100%. Yes. Specifically, I would focus on more calming adaptogens. But possibly mixing it with more stimulating so like an ashwagandha rhodiola combo, that would probably be an awesome social anxiety stack. But I would often use amino acids they are too so we’d want to figure out why is the social anxiety happening? Right? There’s probably an underlying thing there. And then, of course, you could use the nutrients as kind of a support.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it just depends. Are you more socially anxious because your HPA access is just an overdrive and then just calming that down helps or is there some kind of subconscious trauma that needs to be resolve them, then we’d use a combination of EMDR, EFT and NLP to address any root cause stuff, right? while we still use the adaptogens to calm down that fight or flight response, so we do both. If it’s if there’s a stronger connection to a root cause then we do those techniques I just mentioned, if not, then we we just address the hormonal and neuro chemical mill you underneath the surface?
Evan Brand: Yeah. And then just taking the question a little further. So is the social anxiety Could it be from self confidence issues or self esteem issues, which would be related to neurotransmitter issues? So for example, if you have low serotonin, you’re going to be more prone to social anxiety, you’re typically going to have lower self esteem, you’re going to be more of a worrier. So we may address that and we would measure that on organic acids testing. And then what about the skin? Like what if your skin is part of the reason you’re socially anxious because you feel like you don’t look good enough or something like that? So then it becomes Well, why is the skin bad? Is it the gut is it the diet so that’s Why we love doing these podcasts to try to zoom in on stuff, but you always have to zoom out to focus on the whole picture
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% and then a couple other things I want to highlight. So we’re talking about connecting things to kind of more theoretical, but one also connect the theoretical into into reality. So Evan kind of highlighted the organic acid testing. So we’re actually testing the adrenal like I’m running a hormonal panel to look at the cortisol rhythm, to look at that, what how that cortisol fluctuates throughout the day, when we start to see HPA access issues, we started to see a disruption in the cortisol rhythm so instead of that nice high, to low to lower to lowest kind of gentle ski slope taper, we start to see either a flattening or we start to see irregularity in the rhythm throughout the day. We also are going to run organic acids that will look at catecholamines, whether it’s a vandal Mandalay that looks at adrenaline or Homo vandelay which looks at dopin mean, or we’ll look at five hydroxy and dolo acetate, which looks at serotonium will look at urinate, or urinate, or kind of urinate or xanthi [inaudible] B6, we’ll also look at eight hydroxy to deoxy guanosine, or fennessy to acid to look at oxidative stress. So again, these are, you know, really big words, they’re kind of foreign. These are organic acids, and they give us a window into the metabolic demand of what the stress is doing to these nutrient pathways. And so from that, we can come in there and we can create targeted supplement programs that support these specific nutrient deficiencies. But the difference is, we’re not just trying to give you a supplements, we’re trying to fix the underlying root cause. So if there’s poor digestion or food allergens, we’re fixing it. If there’s poor sleep or stress management, or blood sugar instability during the day that has to be fixed to blood sugar is a big one. Most people are on this blood sugar roller coaster ride, where they’re constantly having a catecholamine hormonal rush. Every time this blood sugar is going up and down right on the high side. It’s insulin The low side it’s adrenaline and cortisol and then we’re in this insulin adrenaline, cortisol, glucagon, insulin, adrenaline cortisol glucagon roller coaster that’s very energy depleting, like Winston talks about the B vitamins, the nutrients, the antioxidants. So we have to get to the root cause and it’s not just giving you a bunch of supplements. That may be part of it. But we got to have the big picture where we connect the symptoms upstream to the body systems, hormonal gut infection, detox nutrients, mitochondria, and then also connected to the underlying stressors, physical, chemical, emotional, that may have gotten the ball rolling to begin with, we got to go upstream, above below, inside out.
Evan Brand: Yep. And you could take all the ashwagandha in the world, but if you’re eating gluten free muffins for breakfast, and that’s it, you’re going to have blood sugar problems, you’re going to have mood issues, and I don’t care how many adaptogens you take. So, you know people listening to this, they may think, okay, you know, now I’m just going to go out and buy all these adaptogens maybe not You know, we like you to implement these things with the clinical picture. And the clinical framework is Justin kind of outline because you want to be more targeted, I promise, this whole supplement graveyard that I talked about people building up this supplement graveyard, it’s not a good idea. And you’re going to spend much more money in the long run, if you’re just buying this and buying that, and trying this and trying that you need to figure out what is underneath the hood. So that blood sugar issue is so critical. And if you don’t address that, man, I tell you, you’re going to be angry, you’re going to have a short fuse, you’re going to get mad at your kids when you’re having a blood sugar crisis. So getting that under control. And then on top of that, using adaptogens to support you is how we would do it. But this is all within that clinical framework. So 99.9% of you all listening, you’re not doing that. You’re just trying this, trying that try that but you’ve got no framework, so you really need the testing to see what are you up against. And that way, you know, for example, you may use this herb if it’s a low cortisol, we may use this herb if it’s a high cortisol, what if it’s an inverse pattern now we’ve got to start to Let’s say raise morning cortisol but lower evening cortisol. So there’s a timing to this to the circadian rhythm, time of the day framework as well. It’s not just licorice. licorice needs to be known at the right time. So then you get into timing. So once you add all the different layers on, this is why it’s best to hire us. I mean, that’s why we do what we do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so definitely diving in deeper and and quantifying everything and then measuring it and then coming back in three to six months or nine months later and re evaluating it. Yeah, I 100% 100% like that live question here that came in and want to get your take on I have my opinion, too. I’ll get your take first. So there’s different adaptogenic mushrooms that we talked about, like Reishi and cortis apps, right? What’s your take on using those medicinal mushrooms as adaptogens? If you have Candida, would that make your Candida worse? Or is the benefit from those medicinal mushrooms outweighing any potential Candida effects?
Evan Brand: I would say in the case of cordyceps specifically, I don’t see why it would be a big deal. I mean, there’s been a lot of benefit on cordyceps regarding the adrenal system. So to me, if you’re thinking, adrenal stress, higher cortisol, potentially damaging the gut barrier, aka creating increased intestinal permeability, creating leaky gut, then leading to more bacterial overgrowth and Candida to me, I think it’s a no brainer to use adaptogens. And you and I do this every single day all day in the clinic, we use adaptogens during these gut issue protocols, so I would say, Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my general recommendation is isn’t alignment with yours as long as you can add it in and you’re not seeing any symptoms getting worse. Meaning if you have can’t specific Candida symptoms in and around bloating or gas or white coated tongue or [inaudible] or athlete’s foot, or tinea versicolor rash or cognitive issues from the brain fog from the Candida, and it’s not like getting worse. I think it’s okay of course I leaned on some of the other let’s just say fun, guys. Free adaptogens first, but if we have a benefit there, that’s totally cool. Sure the question came in, I want to highlight is there, someone wasn’t really clear, is there an adrenal leaky gut parasite issue? And then what’s the best test to look for this? So off the bat for me, we’re running a GI map test to look for gut issues, whether it’s bacteria, parasite or Candida, but we’re also running an organic acid test, because I’ve seen time and time a lot of systemic Candida issues that may be outside of the gut will show up on an organic acid test as [inaudible] and that are the [inaudible] and that’s a fungal metabolite that comes out in the urine. So that can give us a bigger window to a more systemic, deeper fungal issue. So it’s good to look at both. Yep. What are your thoughts?
Evan Brand: My thoughts are with organic acids. I’m also running michael panels almost every single time now I am looking into mold toxin quite a bit. It’s rare that I find someone negative and I’m finding that mold toxin is contributing to candida overgrowth. So I’m also adding in a lot of that and a lot of binders support to so protocol. Once you get all the proper labs run on someone, the protocol may look like this, maybe some adaptogenic herbs to support the HPA axis, possibly some micronutrient multi support, possibly omega or some type of anti inflammatory herbal protocol, and then the specific detox and or gut work. So anti parasitic, antifungal, anti microbial herbs, liver support, binders, possibly digestive enzymes. And of course, that’s all according to what’s going on. If they’re too inflamed, they might not be able to do HCl, so you gotta heal the gut first. So, you know, obviously, it’s too complicated for us to just say, Hey, here’s exactly the protocol you people listening need to do. There’s 1000 different ways to skin a cat depending on what’s going on on your lab.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and it just my last comment is hey, this is a About the top five adaptogen. So what are the top five my number one ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is number one just for overall stress and sleep. Mood, ginseng, eleuthero excellent for mood. Number three for sex hormone modulation we’re using chase tree or vitex we may also throw in some mock in their white peony. For immune we may be throwing in Rishi or a [inaudible] cordyceps for immune which is very helpful. And then also for additional sleep you may be throwing in something like a holy basil or something a very common kind of adaptation. gotu kola. And we may also throw in licorice depending on cortisol rhythm aberrations during the day higher low fluctuations, we may balance off some of those low levels of cortisol with licorice. Just be careful, you don’t have high blood pressure already because that can increase that that’s kind of my top five on there. Evan, do you concur? Do you want to add or amend anything?
Evan Brand: I mean, I love them. I mean, honestly, if you ask me, it depends my answer or my my list is going to depend on the time of year a lot to, like if I’m doing a lot more hiking and such in the summertime, I’m probably going to hit the rhodiola harder if it’s more winter, less sunlight, just more stress in general from the winter the cold temperatures, you know, some of these adaptogenic herbs have benefits in regards to how you adapt to cold weather. So when we say adapting, we’re not just talking emotional stress and your bad boss or, or your spouse. No, we’re talking literally, you can adapt to colder temperatures, you know, so so the cold-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Which herb is that the cold one?
Evan Brand: Rhodiola can help. Great. Yeah, so if you just look up like cold tolerance or cold intolerance, adaptogens I believe rhodiola is number one, but I’m rarely doing them in isolation these days. So I would just tell you as a whole, when I’ve got a full protocol loaded up, I could be out in five degrees and it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to and your average person who’s going to say I’m freezing to death. I’m at five degrees and I feel okay, so we got to wrap this thing up, but let’s do it will Do more on adaptogens if you guys love this, you know, please give us your feedback and review the podcast on iTunes. We need your help so we can stay on top of the charts spreading this functional medicine knowledge to the masses. So please review our podcast it takes like two minutes. We will love you forever. So go to JustinHealth.com and then forward slash iTunes. That should or if you’re just listening on the podcast app, you should be able to click write a review, give us the stars you think it deserves. And click Send. And then my show it’s the same link or if you’re on the Evan Brand show on your podcast app, click right review. Give us some stars. Let us know how we do and then if you want to reach out, we can help you make a customized protocol where you’re not spending all of your money guessing the philosophy is test don’t guess so you can reach out to Justin clinically. That is JustinHealth.com. We work with people around the world my website EvanBrand.com. And we’ll be back next week for more fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent Evan. Will you did a great job closing things up. You guys have a phenomenal week. And we’ll be back. Take care.
Evan Brand: See you later. Bye now.
The top 5 supplements to enhance your work out – Podcast #83
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about workout supplements including workout timing then they really dig into what they themselves use specifically pre and post workout. Find out more about these supplements that you can use to improve your workouts. Basically you have to remember to get diet and sleep dialed in before adding in any workout supplements.
Discover the different types of protein powders, collagen, and creatine that can be used for energy performance. Learn about the various adaptogens you can also use before, during, and after your workouts as well as what they can do for your body. Get to know more about branched chain amino acids and mitochondrial support or Kreb cycle nutrients when you listen to this podcast.
In this episode, topics include:
2:06 Supplements to improve workouts
3:20 Protein powders, collagen and creatine
12:07 Branched chain amino acids
15:05 What to do for people with adrenal issues
17:31 Why do you exercise?
20:10 Mitochondrial support/Kreb cycle nutrients
Evan Brand: Dr. J, hello, welcome!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, it’s great to be here. How’s your day going?
Evan Brand: Hey, it’s great man! It’s Friday. I think our house is gonna blow down. We’re having extreme winds due to the temperature warning but besides that everything’s peachy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I’m in an exceptionally good mood this Friday. It’s middle of February and it’s gorgeous here in Austin, Texas.
Evan Brand: Good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How is it with you over in Louisville?
Evan Brand: We’re in the mid-60s which is seasonably–unseasonably warm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is.
Evan Brand: And I’m not complaining, blue skies, so I’m in an equally good mood, too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.
Evan Brand: Hey, so yesterday I had a guy that commented on my YouTube channel and he said, “Hey, I’m really lovin’ the podcast with you and Dr. Justin. Can you guys do a show on workout supplements?” And this something I don’t think we’ve covered. Maybe I’ve kind of alluded to it before, but I figured this is a perfect time and opportunity for us to really geek out and talk about how the things that we talk about all the time, how those can be specifically used for workouts. And so for me, I, you know, I guess a backstory before I got into the kind of space where I’m at now. I was the guy taking the pre-workouts that had the amino acids in it. That was great. The intro workout BCAAs and things like that, but that also had caffeine added to it. It has sucralose. It had artificial colors. Just the generic body building stuff that was like 2009 era when body building was really cool and bodybuilding.com supplements were what everybody was taking.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I’m sure you remember those days and–and then that died out and now companies are trying to promote more like Paleo-inspired workout supplements which I’m down with as long as it’s not bunk. So now I’ve transitioned into a different supplement protocol and I don’t really–I don’t really take them that much for workouts but we can at least talk about them. So what about you? I mean, what’s your history in terms of your fitness? Did you use to talk that type of silly stuff and then you transitioned into not silly stuff, or tell me about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so when it comes to supplements pre or post workout I was a personal trainer for many years. So I’ve used some of these things on, you know, with my training clients back in the day before I was a doctor and then today I’m kind of more on the functional medicine side but a lot of these things we use in functional medicine practice, but I still use them myself personally with my patients to help improve workouts. So there’s a lot of different things from protein powders that can be helpful, which is low hanging fruit like diet and good multivitamins and fish oils to anti-inflammatory herbs for workouts that are more inflammatory based where you had, you know, that really extra sore muscle tissue after the workout, to creatine and branch chain amino acids to different things afterwards to help you recover. So there’s a lot of cool things that we can do. We just wanna make sure we have the foundation right and that is sleep and diet first because if we don’t do that, we’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if you will.
Evan Brand: Totally, yeah, so as always, we’ve probably talked about this before. But if you’re listening to this, we’re assuming that you already have the sleep dialed in, you already have the nutrition dialed in, now you’re ready to spend the extra money on some of the supplements to supplement the great things that you have in place. So you mentioned the protein. That was also something that I also switched around to. I was doing just the Optimum Nutrition garbage whey protein quality I’m sure back in the day, now using just a different blend. Sometimes collagen protein, sometimes colla-gelatin protein, sometimes grass-fed whey, sometimes I’m actually just getting into the beef. I know you love the beef protein.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like beef, too, yeah.
Evan Brand: So I’m gonna just kind of switch over and–and integrate that as well, and then what else am I doing lately? I’ve-I’ve done creatine and I–I just, I know you get the water whey, I know, I mean, I know you get the–the increased strength and things why you’re on it, but as soon as I come off of creatine, I feel so depleted so it almost makes me not want to go back on it ever again. What about you?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so off the bat, a real simple thing is once the diet’s there and a good multi and a good fish oil is there as kind of foundation, good protein powder can be helpful, especially if you’re doing a morning workout. So a lot of people will go and they’ll work out on an empty stomach, where if you’re doing maybe a–a 10, 15, maybe a 20-minute workout in the morning, a quick a circuit or Tabata or interval kind of hit type of training, that may be okay. That may be fine as long as you come back and have a good shake or eat your breakfast, that may be fine. Again, in the morning time when you wake up, our cortisol rhythm is at its peak, so cortisol’s the highest and if we’re doing a workout and our body’s reaching for amino acids and nothing’s in the bloodstream outside of access to our muscle tissue, guess what’s gonna be used up?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s your muscle tissue. I’m a–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Muscle.
Evan Brand: It happened to me. I shrunk. I mean, I’m pretty strong and I’ve got a good shape to me now but I mean, I lost 20-25 lbs over a year just a cortisol bomb from excess stress, man. It wasn’t worth it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, well, you’re–you’re jacked up again, so that’s good.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m really happy to see that and I got your on Skype video today so–
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can actually be a testimonial to that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so–so you didn’t answer the question yet. Did you–did you have experience with creatine? Do you use it? Did you use it previously?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So regarding with creatine, creatine I have used it. There’s a couple of different types of creatine. There’s phosphocreatine and this Kre-Alkalyn creatine. Again creatine works by giving your muscle that extra few seconds of instantaneous fuel which is great for like powerlifting or having a really powerful movement pattern for those first 3 to 10 seconds. And I do have experience with it and I do find it to be very helpful. There’s some research showing that it can increase growth hormone as well. It just depends on what your goal is. If you’re trying to get into the gym and maximize your lifts and continue to increase in weight, will it provide a little benefit, a little growth hormone boost? Yes. Do I use it every day? No. My staples are gonna be–I’ll just start off from one, would be protein powder. I like that in the morning because I can just mix it with water and/or collagen, whether it’s whey protein, grass-fed whey, whether it’s branched chain aminos with it, whether it’s collagen or beef or pea, I’ll typically choose one or two. I’ll mix collagen in it and I’ll do that first thing in the morning, which is water, so then I have amino acids flowing in my bloodstream, so when I work out my body can access that and it will grab that over the muscle because it’s–it’s already there. It’s–it’s low hanging fruit if you will.
Evan Brand: Yeah, totally. Yeah, I’ve actually–I’ve, I’ve ran across a study the other day that was talking about Kre-Alkalyn and how it’s no superior benefit over the regular creatine. So I use, I think it’s the German one, the Creapure–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: The type of monohydrate, I just–I get so damn thirsty while I’m on creatine that it’s just–it’s exhausting. I mean, you’re drinking so much more water for me at least to stay hydrated. Even I throw in more electrolytes and everything, it’s just I’m chasing the dragon and that’s why I’ve kind of not taken it very often anymore.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I think everyone here should kind of look and see where they’re at, assess what they’re goals are. If your goal–again, most people frankly their goal regarding health and exercise is just to look good naked.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s–but pretty much it. We wanna go a little bit deeper and be healthy and have energy, but that’s it. Now outside of that, if you’re trying to perform better, whether it’s in your CrossFit, at an exercise or sport, these extra performance things may be worth it for you. So we’re gonna go through a couple of things here. Try them, see how it looks and feels, see if you get an extra benefit and then if you do, then you just gotta weigh it out, is it worth it for you? So we got the superficial side, looking good, and then we have the energy performance side and just trying to kick more butt. If you’re one of these people that it makes your month by having a PR and a certain lift, these supplements may help get you there outside of all the foundational stuff we already mentioned.
Evan Brand: Totally, so I would–I would say I guess we’ll talk level 2, for me, which I guarantee this is where you would eventually go to is–is to the adaptogens. So rhodiola is really awesome for endurance. So I talked about it before when I used to work at the park and I was hiking miles and miles per day, and I was exhausted at the end of the day. As soon as I started adding in about a 500mg of rhodiola per day, my exhaustion was gone. My mood was better. I felt so damn good by the end of the work day, I was like, “Wow, I can hike another 8 hours.” And it’s really a staple supplement for me in terms of performance, and then mushrooms are something that I’ll get to, but I wanted to see if there’s any herbs that you wanted to add to–to the picture here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, I’m a big fan of adaptogens just to help buffer cortisol, to help with mood, also some adaptogenic herbs like eleuthero have been used for many, many decades. There’s a protocol called the Russian Protocol where eleuthero has been used to improve sex hormones like DHEA and testosterone which can be helpful for workout recovery. So that’s a really great adaptogen for overall performance enhancement in the gym. Also Tribulus is one that improves LH which women can help with–or FSH in women, which could help with estrogen balance and in men, it’s LH, which helps with testosterone. So it can be very good to give yourself that anabolic boost in your workouts.
Evan Brand: Yes, some people, I don’t know why some companies, they’ll–if people are looking and you don’t see eleuthero, sometimes you’ll see it called Siberian ginseng. I don’t know why they call it that and not eleuthero but in case you’re looking on a label, that’s–that’s what you’re looking for, it’s the Siberian. I know the Panax ginseng. They have the American ginseng out there, too, but specifically for performance, to me I felt best on the Siberian, the eleuthero, and then combine that cordyceps which is my favorite performance-enhancing mushroom.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I think you and I have talked about that before for other uses.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And cordyceps is great for modulating the immune system, but it also improves DHEA, so I think it’s having that DHEA benefit and regarding ginsengs, a lot of these adaptogenic herbs are in the family known as ginseng. So you have like maca is Peruvian ginseng, ashwagandha is Indian ginseng, red root or I think–I think it’s–let me see here, the Panax angustifolia, that’s I think American ginseng. And there’s a couple other; Siberian ginseng’s eleuthero, and there’s a handful of others going around there. But they add ginseng to it, so they may get confused with the same names, people think they’re the same herbs, so just kind of keep that mind.
Evan Brand: Yeah, there’s like a Korean ginseng I know. The–the reason that–that I like eleuthero is because most of the time when I read research on it, they consider it the least stimulating of ginsengs where you’re not pushing people into like anxiety, but we’re still kinda giving a good adaptogenic effect behind the scenes, and so combining the Siberian ginseng with the cordyceps, with the rhodiola, I mean, that’s an incredible stack just for daily life, but if you are trying to stay up on your game, because here’s the thing, I–I worry about maybe we could digress from the supplements a little bit, is that I worry that a lot of people–well, it’s not that I worry, I see it–a lot of people they don’t have a protocol in place and so they keep working out harder and harder, and they like they keep wanting to get gains, but then they hit this plateau or they push themselves into adrenal issues. I know you and I have spoken about CrossFit a dozen times, and it’s like you don’t have to–you don’t have to beat yourself down like that because then you’ll run into a bunch of other problems and then you’re taking other supplements to try to rebound your health that you screwed up in the first place from a workout that was too frequent, you didn’t have enough rest time in between, didn’t have these amino acids you’ve talked about, didn’t have, you know, too intense or too long in duration, things like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. So if we summarize, protein powder’s great, pre-workout just to get in your system. It’s also great post-workout. Now again people are thinking, “Well, why don’t we just eat protein?” Well, it just takes a few hours to get into that amino acid form, right? An hour to pass the stomach, another hour to to the small intestine, getting into the bloodstream. It may take a couple of hours, so the protein powder gets in your system, in your body in 20 minutes. So that’s why we like that.
Evan Brand: And I know you’ve talked about using freeform amino acid, so when you’re working out, like currently with your plan, are you doing BCAAs in like a powder or are you doing capsules? What’s your kind of preferred method and–and are you taking BCAAs?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so BCAAs are great. These are branched chain amino acid– leucine, valine and isoleucine–no, I think it’s–
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that correct?
Evan Brand: That’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, those are the major ones. Now the benefit of those branched chain aminos is our muscles can take those amino acids up for fuel right away. Typically when our body uses amino acids for fuel, it has to go through a process known as gluconeogenesis. I know if Jimmy Moore, he’d love that. That’s my impression of him. So gluco- means glucose, neo means new, genesis means forming. So it’s the formation of new glucose through protein and it’s a cortisol-dependent step, that’s why, you know, sometimes going too low carb can be stressful on your adrenals, but your body takes that glucose or takes that protein, brings it into glucose, and then uses the glucose for fuel. So it’s a very roundabout way of generating energy. The branched chain aminos are great because it’s just, Boom! It’s right there. We’re just using those aminos for fuel right away. It’s just more direct. So it’s great if you’re doing more intense workouts that could be catabolic and breaking down tissue because you can put that in, you can sip 20 grams of it, according to Charles Poliquin, it’s a pretty good place to be at. During the workout you can do it 10 pre, 10 post. I’ll just have a little cup with me and just sip it during. There’s one that I–I created BCAA synergy on my site that is branched chain amino acids sweetened with Stevia. The majority is sweetened with aspartame and sucralose or Splenda which are bad. So I have that one that I’ve formulated and I use that. It works great. And I like that during the workout. So my favorite off the bat supports are gonna be protein powder, adaptogens like your mentioned–cordyceps, medicinal mushrooms which I consider an adaptogen–and some of the BCAAs as well. Any thoughts?
Evan Brand: Yeah. No, that’s–that’s a pretty good summary and a lot of people they’ll go towards the caffeine, they’ll go towards the stimulants. You really don’t need that. It’s you don’t have to be so jacked up during your workouts. Your goal is to break down the muscle tissue by using more reps and more weight than you did last time and that’s the goal. It’s to break down the muscle tissue, have these little micro tears in there so that you can rebuild it. The goal is not to destroy yourself and if you’re feeling just awful after your workout and even an hour or 2 hours after you just feel dead, you’re pushing it too hard. It doesn’t have to be that hard. A lot of the stuff that I do and I maintain a 6-pack year-round, and I maintain a–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (whistles)
Evan Brand: Which, you know, I–I’m–I’m an ectomorph. I’m naturally skinnier anyway.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.
Evan Brand: So–so I’m able to. People are, “Oh, that doesn’t count. You’re just skinnier.” But it’s strength, too, from the core and I don’t ever really put myself into an extreme state where I’m on the ground exhausted. I’m covered in sweat. I see people all the time. They take pictures of themselves on social media like, “Oh, I’m so dead from my workout.” It’s like, I don’t ever want to feel like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: That’s garbage.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then the 3 rules I give all my patients with adrenal issues or adrenal dysfunction, adrenal fatigue is number one, make sure your workout’s energizing. Number two, make sure you can emotionally repeat the workout. Like in your head, you’re like, “Alright 10 minutes, can I do it again?” If you’re like, “Whoa, no way!” Then you’re probably doing too much. You wanna feel like you can kinda get your arms around like, “Yeah, I can do that again. That’s no problem.” And then number three, how do you feel later on that day if it’s a morning workout or that next morning if it’s an afternoon or nighttime workout? Do you feel hit by a bus? You know, factoring in you slept good and you ate good. Or do you feel pretty good the next day? So if you answer positively to those questions then you’re okay. If you answer negatively where it’s fatigue, yeah, you emotionally can’t do it or hit by a bus the next morning, you probably wanna curtail your exercise, either do shorter workouts and/or more rest time in between, or decrease the intensity a bit, too, if that’s needed.
Evan Brand: Totally, yeah. I would say most people are on one end of the spectrum. One spectrum being they’re not getting exercise at all and they need more and then the other spectrum for some reason, I–I don’t know about you but I don’t have many clients that are in that middle ground. It’s either they aren’t doing anything and they wanna start or they’re training for a triathlon or some goofy mudrunner event, some 48-hour endurance event. I told you about last week with one guy and it’s like we just have to just find a happy medium. You don’t have to be so crazy. Exercise is something that was built into our ancestors’ lifestyle. This is just something we did. If we had our hunter-gatherer ancestors around to watch us and our CrossFit box doing X amount of intensity stuff, they would literally laugh at us because the goal back then was to only use and expend what energy was necessary. And even Dave Asprey talks about this. His main goal is to do the–the least amount possible and still maintain, you know, healthy muscle mass. And I have a similar goal. I could say maybe I’m a little bit step above that, but I wanna do pretty much what I have to do to maintain muscle and feel good and feel strong. I’d be able to sprint as fast as I need to and beyond that, I don’t really care. I don’t really care about numbers. I don’t really care about personal records and it’s not to say that I’m tooting my horn, but this is something, a more realistic approach to people I think than always carrying around like the little journal with the pen and like, “Oh, I went down 5 lbs–”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: “In my bench this week.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: It’s like, who cares, man?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right, I agree. You know, why do you exercise? And I typically exercise to put force and demand on my muscle and bone structure so it grows and stays strong, and then number two, to alter my hormones in a way that keeps me healthy and youthful, right? We know part of the stimulation to the brain comes through movement, so I’m also working out for my brain. I think if that’s hard to get people’s head to wrap around that, pun intended, because exercise has a lot to do with your brain. You’re stimulating the–the motor cortex, the sensory cortex in the brain, which keeps it stimulated, which keeps it growing, because if you don’t use it, you lose it. And that plasticity that the brain typically creating more neural connection is gonna be based on stimulation. So keep the brain moving and Socrates even knew this, too. The–the famous philosopher, he had a lot of his scholars and students in the philosophy schools training with the Olympic athletes of that day because he knew thinking, real thinking, was dependent upon movement and he had them training with the top athletes of that–of that era.
Evan Brand: That’s so cool. Yeah. I–I know for a fact, you know, anecdotally and just when I go out, and I go for a hike or I’m actually in the gym, I just–when I’m done, I’m just like, “Oh, my mental clarity is enhanced so much,” and I mean, it’s such a great feeling. Maybe we can say that’s due to a little spike in cortisol that we’re causing from the exercise. It’s hard to say, but I know the BDNF that we could geek out on, that goes up, too. So it’s–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: Hard to say, but it’s–it’s a real tangible feeling and people out there listening that you may be struggling with motivation and you’re like, “Oh, I just–I need to get motivated to work out.” You know, look at the lifestyle and we talked about the foundations, like sometimes if you need the motivation, the best way is just to do it. You might not, if like if you wait around for inspiration or you wait around to feel motivated to go to the gym, you may never do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right.
Evan Brand: Sometimes you just have to act and then maybe that will start the–the snowball.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 80% of life is just showing up. It’s very rare to show up to the gym and not work out. So if you can just like say, “You know what, I’m feeling like crap today, I’m just gonna show up and then if I leave in 2 minutes or 5 minutes, fine. If I just do a 4-minute Tabata and I’m out, fine.” If you can kind of just get your, you know, have that conversation with yourself to get yourself cajoled to the gym and just do even 4 minutes’ worth or just do a set of biceps or set of squats and leave, fine. But a lot of times momentum starts to grow and you start having a better workout.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I guess maybe we should–I think we have covered everything, but I would say we should talk about what we haven’t recommended for supplementation?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Actually there’s one more thing I wanna touch upon that–that I would like.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So there’s a mitochondrial support product, MitoSynergy that I’ve formulated but I’m gonna just breakdown some of the nutrients in it that I like. So in this product we have the L-carnitine which I like because L-carnitine’s important with bringing fat into the mitochondria. That can be very helpful especially people that have protein issues, you need methionine and lysine to make carnitine in your body. So if you have protein issues, carnitine can be super helpful. Also curcumin, it’s an anti-inflammatory herb. Again some of the inflammation after the workout can be, you know, you can help reduce some of that which is great, so less soreness. So I like curcumin as well. Also ribose. Ribose is an awesome nutrient that’s great for the Kreb cycle and for generating ATP, that’s great as well. And then B vitamins. It’s an amazing what simple activated, methylated B vitamins can do for energy. So I put these all in one bottle but you–anyone listening can look for those things individually and think about it and try to make sure you have those in your workout. We’ll put some links in the show notes as well, but those are some great things. And even Kreb cycle nutrients such as malic acid and succinic acid and fumaric acid. These are Kreb cycle nutrients that our Kreb cycle which generates ATP which is like the currency of energy in our cells, those are some Kreb cycles nutrients that can be used to generate more ATP as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I forgot about taurine. Taurine’s another good one that I’ve used isolated and had–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: Great results with it–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so just–
Evan Brand: For the heart.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, just to summarize that MitoSynergy product, those key ingredients you wanna look for is the ribose, the carnitine, and then on that vein, CoQ10 also fits there well–it fits there as well–the B vitamins and the curcumin or the anti-inflammatory turmeric to help buffer inflammation post-workout.
Evan Brand: Nice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like those. Anything you wanna add about that?
Evan Brand: No, I think that’s good. I mean, the mitochondrial support is good, too, so the–the PQQ is helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I haven’t used it specifically for workouts, but that’s another one and just combi–I mean, there is–there is a synergy without a doubt with all these ingredients together. So kind of mixing and blending, and just kind of taking your time with everything. You know, just do your research and be smart about it, but generally adding things together really amplifies the effect.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m at a place where I’m just trying to formulate things for me that I’m using myself. I know you’re doing the same thing with some of the adaptogens that you’re creating and some of the things that I’m doing. So we’re just like at the place in our health careers where we’re like, “Alright, let’s just start creating–creating what we want for ourselves and then we can just share it with people and if they’re interested, that’s great.” But we can at least break down what about the constituents are so good so that people can apply this information to other things that are out there. So so far I think we have our good, clean protein powders and collagens. We have adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. We have branched chain amino acids. We have creatine. We have Kreb cycle nutrients and B vitamins, CoQ10, and ribose and anti-inflammatory curcumin.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything you wanna add to that?
Evan Brand: Yes, I do. One last thing, something that’s been really helpful for some–a few of my older female clients that are avid bike riders and they’re avid powerlifters and things like that, they’re kinda go-getters, we’ve used the ArthoSoothe gel from Designs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, yes. Yes.
Evan Brand: Because it has the menthol in there. It’s–I believe it’s got maybe peppermint or eucalyptus oil in there as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s got some enzymes, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah and I–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Boswellia, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think boswellia. Aloe maybe even?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: I can’t remember. But I’ve used that with great success and they kind of rub it on their joints, their elbows, their knees, whatever–from a topical perspective, too. And I would–I would consider that a good like post-workout thing, I mean, internally is huge getting the nutrients in. But externally we can do some stuff, too, and that’s definitely superior than some of the creams and stuff you’ll at a generic Walgreen’s or something that are gonna be loaded with methylparabens and all these other preservatives and stuff that you really don’t want in your body or on your skin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great and also one last little thing that can be a gem because a lot of this is post-workout timing, but getting a little bit of extra carbohydrate, maybe 30 or 40 grams, 20 to 40 grams depending on how healthy you are post-workout can make a big difference in increasing insulin and people may think, “Well, insulin’s bad.” But insulin’s also a growth hormone so to speak. It helps bring things into cells. Now most people are having too much insulin. They’re bringing carbohydrate into their cells and converting it to fat, but we can use insulin and spike it by having a little bit of carbs and then putting a whole bunch of protein along with it and that will bring those amino acids into the cells, i.e., our muscles to help our muscles grow but that insulin bump can also help blunt the effects of cortisol post-workout. So higher insulin can actually drop cortisol and again a lot of body builders at a higher level use insulin from an injection standpoint which I would not recommend because you could go hypoglycemic, you can go into a coma or–or shock. So you don’t wanna do that supplementally, but you can use diet to artificially boost up insulin, blunt cortisol, and shuttle more nutrients and amino acids into the muscle for repair.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so not chocolate milk, but maybe a sweet potato with some butter and cinnamon instead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dude, that is my workout–that is my post-carb meal right there, or a little bit of plantains, too. Those are good or some of the yuca rolls. Those can be amazing.
Evan Brand: I’ve never had that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, they got that in Whole Foods now. If you go to like a Estancia, it’s in Austin, or if you go to like a–a big chain is Fogo de Chao.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They have some of these yuca rolls which can be really nice or yuca fries can be great.
Evan Brand: Yummy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like those. Are there any other closing thoughts here, Evan?
Evan Brand: That’s it. I think we wrapped it up and you know, the one thing I kind of hit on early that I didn’t complete the sentence of is just watch out for the garbage pre-workout stuff. There’s lot of these like–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: Fat burners and thermogenics and all of these stiumulants and too much Guarana and–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: 3–400mg of caffeine. You’ve got artificial blue colors. You’ve got–oh, God, there’s so much garbage workout supplements out there. Be smart, I mean, support the body system. You don’t have to have this like super trendy sounding workout, pre-workout thing to get you going. Support the body. Use the mushrooms, use the herbs, use the vitamins, use the proteins, use the real food, use the sleep, the stress reduction, etc. and you’re not gonna need any of that garbage and you’re gonna save your money and your health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I find sometimes it’s good having a little bit of supplement that can give you that little bit of boost or energy because sometimes for me it’s like I just need that little bit of energy kick to get me motivated, so using some, whether it’s the herbs that are adaptogenic or using some of the Kreb cycle nutrients like the B vitamins or the L-carnitine or ribose, for me it can give me that just a little bit of energy kick which allows me to feel more motivated to get up and go to the gym.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I–I’ll do matcha occasionally as well–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Matcha.
Evan Brand: Just kinda pre-workout, yeah, we’re all get–you know, 40, maybe 50mg of caffeine with a little bit of theanine in there, some kinda calm and clear and–and that’s my pre-workout caffeine boost if any.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great, and then what about workout timing? Do you like to do it before 6 or 7pm at night? These are a time threshold for you?
Evan Brand: Oh yeah, yeah, totally. I–and I–I’m sure you would say the same to your patients is I don’t recommend the super late workouts because then people can’t sleep good because you’re bumping that cortisol up too much and pumping out adrenalin and stuff like that, so I try to get a midday workout in and I know maybe everybody doesn’t have the luxury, but I feel best in-between my 10am and 1pm if I can get a workout in between, you know, after breakfast but before lunch, I feel the best. And then lunch is just so delicious, like I worked out legs real hard the other day–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And I came home and I made some elk burgers and I had tons of butter with some purple potatoes and some pink salt–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Purple, huh?
Evan Brand: Oh, I felt so good. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s amazing. Yeah, I think at least a 3-hour buffer before bed. Anyone that has HPA axis dysfunction–hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal issues, adrenal fatigue is the slang–you oughta be careful because it’s easy to get those sympathetics, the sympathetic nervous system, that fight or flight nervous system ramped up and then once it’s on, it’s hard to–to turn off and that can really disrupt your sleep if you work out too late.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and–and what would you say? I’d say 99 out of 100 people listening have some level of HPA dysfunction, so pretty much everybody. Don’t work out late at night.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you do, well, hit up some of the adaptogens, hit up some magnesium powder, maybe some Phenibut after your workout. Do some things to help calm you down and bring you down. That could be a good strategy if you do.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool, Evan. Anything else?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it, man. That was fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anyone listening here that enjoys the podcast, give us a review over on iTunes, click below, so it gets more information and to help kind of keep sharing the word and feel free and write to us because we’ve been doing podcast on viewer’s topics the last few weeks. So we wanna provide everyone listening more great info, so feel free and reach out the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the YouTube channel’s a good place, too. You could check the videos out there that we have and then there’s–the comments are there for a reason. So it’s not that we don’t have stuff that we wanna talk about, but we obviously want to prioritize which you are interested in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it. Awesome, Evan. You have a great Friday!
Evan Brand: Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Evan Brand: Bye.
The Visible and Invisible Stress Connection – Podcast #50
Meet Evan Brand, the new new guest co-host of Dr. Justin Marchegiani for Beyond Wellness Radio. Today’s topic is all about stress and how to handle it. Find out what Shinrin-yoku aka “forest bathing” is all about and what adaptogens help with relieving stress significantly. This podcast discusses about the Paleo template, power poses and how posture can impact your hormones, as well as other lifestyle recommendations.
Evan Brand is the creator of Not Just Paleo who shares great advice on taking control of your own health, happiness, and vitality. Learn more about the different kinds of Ginseng depending on where they’re grown and the kinds of mushrooms you can take as supplements. Listen and discover how to find good quality herbs and what types of blends are recommended.
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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani and welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. We now have full podcast transcriptions over at JustInHealth.com. Head over to JustInHealth.com, click on the Podcast button and you’ll be able to access all shows forward and past. And while you’re there, feel free and sign up for the Thyroid and Hormone Video Series. Some great information there for everyone and while you’re there, you can also sign up for the Podcast Newsletter where you’ll get access to these podcasts right in your inbox before anyone else. While you’re there, you can also schedule a consult with myself, if you wanna dive in to any other functional medicine or health issues.
Again, stay tuned for the show and if you’re enjoying it, please feel free and share it. Sharing is caring. Think of one person that could benefit from this show and share it. And also, feel free and head over to BeyondWellnessRadio.com/iTunes and send us a review. We really appreciate it. Thanks and enjoy the show!
Hey, this is Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Beyond Wellness Radio and I am super stoked that we have our new guest co-host here Evan Brand from notjustpaleo.com?
Evan Brand: Yup, that’s right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Evan. Great! So today we’re gonna be chatting a little bit about stress and–and things you can do to help reduce stress. But again, feel free and check out JustInHealth.com and BeyondWellnessRadio.com. We have all of the podcasts up for full transcriptions and you can subscribe to the YouTube channel to also get the podcast as well. And a lot of nice freebies on the website like our Thyroid and Female Hormone Video Course as well. Evan, what’s going on with you today, man?
Evan Brand: Oh, not much. I’m staring at the clouds hoping they’ll break up so I can get outside and play in the woods later today. But I’m excited to talk about stress today, man, just because it’s such a timely subject for myself trying to multitask 20 different things at the same time without burning myself out. So I’m sure other people are in the same scenario.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and how can people find your podcast?
Evan Brand: They could just search notjustpaleo or I–I’m that cool now that if you just Google Evan Brand, you’ll find me that way, too, and all my podcasts.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good, awesome! I figured it maybe Russel Brand would come up there in the search, too. But–you out–outbid him.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Very cool! It’s good to have your own brand, right?
Evan Brand: Yup, definitely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pun intended.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, yeah, let’s talk about stress. Why don’t you go first?
Evan Brand: Sure, so I guess it’s helpful to talk about my first realization of stress. You know, I’m a pretty relaxed guy overall and I didn’t really get my first taste of stress until I moved down to Austin a couple of years ago and had a–a big, big cool desk job career and all of that and moved down there with my–my now wife, and we got our own place and paying all the big bills, you know, growing up, becoming a man, and–and moving thousands of miles away to–to chase my dream. And I started to have all these weird symptoms like insomnia. I was just laying in bed staring at the ceiling. I couldn’t figure out what was going on because I was exercising, I was eating Paleo, I mean it’s like–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Come–come on, I mean, I’m doing everything right. What’s going on? And so it slowly became harder for me to adjust to stress. I was becoming easily startled. I mean, if I heard a loud boom, I would kinda jump when I used to not jump. So I figured that some–some nervous system taxation was happening and I needed to figure out how to recover it. So I basically just began researching adaptogens at that point and relied heavily on them as a–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: As a stepping stone or maybe a crutch if you will for the time being, and then long story short, I ended up writing the Stress Solutions book, which I still don’t think I’ve given you a paperback copy of, but I basically tried to boil everything that I was going through down–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Into an actionable plan so that other people could apply it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I mean, stress is one of those, you know, things that people just kinda think about emotional stress as being stress, right? As stressful. They don’t think about, “Hey, I’m sitting all day or I have low blood sugar or I have reactive hypoglycemia or maybe I have low stomach acid.” We don’t think of those things as being stressful. And I think with functional medicine, we really wanna highlight the underlying chemical stressors that people forget about, because those are like the–the hidden energy zap of your adrenals, of your body’s reserve, and–and the lower your adrenals are, typically the lower ability that you have to adapt to stress. Because it’s really all about adaptation and that’s one of the cool things that, you know, mean you’re both really passionately about is adaptogenic herbs because they really help your body deal with stress. We just gotta make sure the–the diet component is down because that’s such a–a big factor as you talked about to–to just being the foundation of helping to deal with stress. Having those good meals, having that good sleep. That really sets the foundation throughout the day so you can deal with more stress.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, I think the–the part you’ve kind of alluded to where people mess themselves up with stress is that they get so busy, right? They’re trying to be so productive that they forget to eat. I mean, you and I are probably are guilty of this ourselves sometimes we’re–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: Sitting on the computer and you look and, “Holy crap! It’s–it’s 2 PM and I haven’t eaten lunch yet,” and the blood sugar issues. I mean, you’ve even hounded me before, “Evan, you gotta get that blood sugar in check, man.” And it–it’s a huge deal for general stress. It’s a stress to the adrenals, you’re having to produce cortisol to raise up your blood sugar levels and people that–people may be familiar with cortisol and how it’s–it’s not always evil, you know, it has a place in your body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It does.
Evan Brand: Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to–to get up and–and do your work in the morning when you get hopefully, you get bright light exposure outdoors. But you know, the cortisol picture when it comes to food was a–was a huge deal for me and I had to become more regimented in eating my meals. So if you’re trying to get a take away from this, it would be to eat regular meals. Try not skip meals, intermittent fasting and things like that have a great place but if you’re the type of person that’s listening and you feel like you’re recovering slowly from cuts and wounds and your sleep is messed up and you’re relying on the cups of coffee to keep you fueled up, then you may be–you may want to look at that diet picture and make sure you’re getting enough food but that you’re getting it in somewhat regular frequency, wouldn’t you say?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think so, too. And having a Paleo template, I don’t like the word diet, I like the word template because it allows the individuality of what your macronutrients may be best for you. Again, my default is always to a lower carb Paleo template because lower carb tends to emphasize more on the vegetables and less on the starch and–and sugar or fruit so to speak. Again, there’s a place for starch, there’s a place for fruit. But anyone that has weight gain as a complaint in their top 5, emphasizing the lower carb is a starting point for their low carb Paleo template. I think it’s a really good place to start with.
Evan Brand: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I think, 1 pat p2, sorry to cut you off there, is there are a lot in the Paleo community and this really drives me nuts where they make the exception the rule. Where they may be able to eat something or they may be able to fast all day or they may be able to do that and then they go on and blog and talk about their–them being the exception and this is the rule and recommend it for everyone. And I’m in a unique position because I’m in the trenches dealing with 40+ functional medicine patients a week from all over the world and I get to see the common trends in why and–why and what these people who are sick are doing. And it’s a common trend of blood sugar stability being a major issue as a common trend of skipping meals and not eating breakfast, and there’s a lot of–when these issues are addressed from a–a diet and lifestyle perspective, people see an improvement. So not everyone may be able to fast and do intermittent fasting. Not everyone can skip breakfast. People really have to be more diligent with their meals, the more broken or stressed their physiology is.
Evan Brand: Yeah. A man–a woman I was actually working with yesterday, she said, “Evan, I’ve read all the Mark’s Daily Apple Success Stories and I’ve done everything they’ve done, but yet I’m not losing weight,” and it’s–it’s so simple to see that and you see what works for someone so everybody does all of this self-diagnosing and self-treating and I think that’s a really good part about the Internet is that people are allowed to empower themselves but–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: I think that’s where the role of you and I really come in because people have tried to fix themselves and it just doesn’t work because they’re basing themselves off of someone else’s unique bio-individuality and you’re destined to fail that way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean it’s like if you get summons to court. Let’s say something happened. You’re called to court. I mean do you go online and just try to figure out the hacks so you can do good in court? I mean, 9 times out of 10, the people that represent themselves in court, unless they’re a lawyer themselves, they don’t do too well. So it’s like you get the lawyer because it’s worth it in the end because if you don’t, you know, a lot of bad things could happen. And same thing in functional medicine and the functional nutritional world is that you can waste a lot more time because, you know, you only have your m=1 to go from. You only have just your experience and it’s hard to connect the dots when you haven’t seen a lot of different experienced and–and then connect the commonalties.
Evan Brand: Uh-hmm. And I wanted to talk a little more about the lifestyle part of stress and something that’s really cool in the research lately and that’s Shinrin-yoku, aka “forest bathing”. I think I may have talked–talked to you about it before–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: But for people that–that don’t know, it’s called Shinrin-yoku by the Japanese and when you’re looking in PubMed if you’re, you know, a physician listening and you wanna research it yourself, type in Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, and you’ll see the results these Japanese researchers have taken. There was one particular study that took 420 individuals out into the woods, several different forests and they took them–some out–were out there for a few days and some were out there for just 15 minutes and then the control group were people that were walking down the sidewalk in the city and they took salivary cortisol measures before and after this. And there was a significant reduction, I don’t remember the exact percentage, but–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Evan Brand: A significant reduction in reduction in cortisol levels after just 15 minutes in the forest but even more interesting is that their NK killer cells, they’re immune cells were boosted not only for that day, but even 1 month after. I do remember this percentage, 23% boost in NK killer cells, 1 month after a hike in the woods. So–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Whoa!
Evan Brand: If you have the opportunity to take a trip to the woods or if you have maybe a trail behind you–when I was in Austin on the southwest side of town there was a pretty good patch of woods back there and I would go walk through there at the end of a stressful day and I felt significantly better. Obviously the peace and quiet, not having to hear car alarms and sirens and things like that is helpful in itself but it kinda boils down to the airborne chemicals; they call them the–the phytoncides I believe it is. It’s these airborne chemicals that trees and plants put off. Of course, your body’s gonna benefit from those. That’s what we’ve naturally been exposed to for a million years at this point. So I just wanted to kinda throw that piece of research out there and encourage people to get outdoors. If you’re stressed out at your desk, there is a reason. Get off your desk and go out there and just try to get a change of environment.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s really important to get out there, get your Vitamin D, do some grounding, lots of good benefits and I love having some of the physiology, some of the objective markers behind it. Because you hear some of these things and you’ll like, “Oh, you’re just a hippie or whatever.” It’s cool to have the science behind it because you’re like, “Oh, wow! This is–this is legit. This isn’t just like, you know, some hippie telling me what to do.”
Evan Brand: Exactly. Totally. I know it definitely helps my credibility.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and there’s another cool thing because, you know, frankly we’re not gonna–we’re gonna spend more time inside, most of us. That’s just the way it is. So what can we do to help with that? I’ve invested in my office at home and my office at work to have stand desk where I can have my desk literally go up or down. And I’m sitting right now as you can see on the feed here, but I’ve been standing most of the day and I will stand most of the day. And that makes a huge difference for me, the standing, being able to move around and posture is so important. Amy Cuddy did a TED talk and she again let’s take some of the objective markers here. She took people that were in this kinda slouched over posture and she ran salivary cortisol and she had them stand up and pull their shoulders back, and they went to this power pose with their arms up reaching overhead, kinda like maybe they’re running back when they score a touchdown or Stallone in the Rocky movies once he gets to the top of those steps and he puts his arms up. And she had people literally just take their arms, put them above their head and hold them there for 2 minutes. And she ran salivary cortisol and testosterone and she saw a 20% reduction in cortisol, that stress hormone and an improvement in testosterone just with a postural change for 2 minutes.
Evan Brand: That’s awesome. Yeah, I mean, and I–I write some stuff like that on my lifestyle recommendations when I’ll make a plan. I’ll tell people, “Look, I want you to stand with your hands on your hips and–“
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: “Put your chest up,” and I do feel a bit like a hippie when I’m telling people that, but I’m glad that there’s more verification there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, she ran salivary cortisols, salivary hormones, and you know, we do that in our practice with our patients and it’s great to see simple things like posture. And when I got to the gym I do like foundation training exercises which is like Eric Goodman’s work or I’ll do work where I’ll sit up against the wall, ankles, butt, shoulders and head, and I’ll keep my jaw level with the–with the ground. Then I’ll pull my head back into that postural position and really work on strengthening the deep cervical flexors in front by the neck and stretching those back posterior cervical extensors and really work on good posture because we know posture is so important even to your hormones.
Evan Brand: That’s cool. So, I mean, that all does tie into stress because you–when you are stressed, you’re more likely to curl up in a ball–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You are.
Evan Brand: And just feel depressed, and I mean, there’s no better word, depressed. Your–your physiology is depressed, your posture, I mean, everything about you is exuding depression and stress. So I mean, if you are feeling stressed this may be a time for you to stand up while you’re listening to this podcast and–and try out some of these poses. When I’m out in nature, expressing, and I like to put arms out and put my palms up and just, “Ahhh” just open up like, “I’m powerful!” You know? And it’s goofy but–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: It makes you feel better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my wife caught one time in the office, me doing the power pose reaching the arms overhead, and she’s like, “What are you doing?” And I’m like, “Ahh, power poses. Trying to decrease my cortisol.” And–and she gets it though. So, yeah, those power poses are coo, maybe play a little Eye of The Tiger and you know, get in that position, you know, and get–get pumped throughout the day. So, yeah. I agree. Posture is a–is a big one and it can really help your hormones.
Evan Brand: Definitely. Well, what–what’s the next topic of–of stress? Or what’s the next facet of stress you think that we’ve hit on? We’ve hit on the lifestyle a little bit. We’ve hit on the diet. What am I missing?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I think the diet and the lifestyle stuff, that’s the foundation. Don’t do anything else until you have that mastered because that’s gonna be your best bang for your buck. But you know, we’re big fans of adaptogens. I know you’ve worked at–on it for a bit, designing some of these custom blends and I have some blends in the work here that I use with my patients with various adaptogens. I’m a huge fan of them because, I mean, everyone should be on an adaptogen in my opinion.
Evan Brand: I agree. Yeah. I took my adaptogens this morning. I actually have been experimenting. I don’t have any affiliation with them but I’ve been experimenting with the Organic India Joy! blend–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s a–
Evan Brand: And it’s Ashwagandha, Shankpushpi, Gotu Kola, and one– Bacopa.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bacopa. Ooh, that’s a nice one.
Evan Brand: It’s an awesome stack. I mean, when–actually I didn’t take it this morning. I should have for this podcast but I end up with a perma-grin for a few hours afterwards.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow! That’s good. I’m gonna have to give you one Paleo to merit today for not taking your adaptogens.
Evan Brand: Well–well, no, I did take–I did take Ashwagandha and I take a–a mushroom complex as well. So I’m on some adaptogens but not that one yet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice. Nice. Yeah, I’m on about 800 mg of Eleuthero and also about 600 mg of Rhodiola today.
Evan Brand: That’s great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So it’s just a Rhodiola-Eleuthero day and I’m feeling good. My wife, she forgot to take her adaptogens for the last couple of weeks, just kind of got into that–that stress routine and I could see, like there was a big difference in her mood, and we just got her up on the adaptogens in which she came home from work, her mood was just a thousand times better and you know, she’s–you know, an executive of a really big Internet company so she has a lot of stress on her and–and adaptogens for her make a massive difference–
Evan Brand: That’s so cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: In how she performs.
Evan Brand: Talk–talk about her stack a little bit. I’m sure people are curious about–if she is taking capsules, tinctures, etc.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so for her, we have her on some female hormone tincture blends to help with hormones and keeping her cycle optimized. And then she is on a similar stack as me right now because I create her regimens and programs, so it’s easier for her just to kinda piggyback on what I’m doing. So we use some of the same adaptogens, but typically I go back and forth between Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, I’ll mix in some Panax Ginseng or Red Root Ginseng, and we’ll even do some Holy Basil at night and those are the big ones that I–I tend to go for. Yeah, for adaptogen in qualities.
Evan Brand: So Eleuthero, that’s the same thing as–that’s the Siberian version of Ginseng, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so Ginseng is typically or made up of where they’re–where they’re grown, right? The phyto signature in the soil makes up a huge difference. So for instance, with Eleuthero, that’s kinda more the Siberian-Russia area, okay? And then you have the Maca which is more of your Peruvian Ginseng. You have your Ashwagandha which is more of your Indian Ginseng. Your Panax Ginseng is more of the American Ginseng, American soil. You have the Red Root Ginseng which is more your Korean Ginseng. And then you have herbs like Tribulus which tend to have a better phyto signature growing in Bulgarian soils, so etc. These herbs are really important. You talk to any master herbalist, the quality of the soil is just as much to do with the quality of the herb. So I like, you know, wild crafted, meaning you get guys that go out there and–and pick them up by their hands and–and you get really good quality and you don’t have like, you know, cheap herbs grown in countries where the soil isn’t good and, you know, you get bad soil so maybe there’s some heavy metals in the soil, like grown in industrial Chinese areas and then you get crappy herbs with a whole bunch of metals.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s an important distinction you made. If you’re concerned about that, you know, you can look for the organic. You can look for the wild crafted certification and things like that, and always I mean, I go super geeky sometimes and contact the manufacturer or the company themselves and just say, “Hey, do you have heavy metal testing?” Most of the time, I mean, generally speaking, if a company is reputable, they’re gonna have that testing available and they’re gonna have it done. They’re not gonna have it on the shelves but I’m sure there’s some–there’s some shady adaptogens you can find in a little store on a corner somewhere.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and you know, I always recommend companies that are third-party independently tested as well. Because if a person’s–if a company is willing to go to that extreme that means they’re very, very confident because independent tests don’t lie and–but patients will either choose an adaptogenic herb or will use a blend, a combination blend, and I’m–I’m gonna have some in the works right now that I’m creating in my private line for my patients.
Evan Brand: That’s exciting. I can’t wait to get a batch. You have to send me the–the first bottle that comes off the line.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely and I know you’ve worked on blends with on it. What are some of the blends you’ve worked on?
Evan Brand: Yeah, there’s one that I don’t even know if it’s gonna hit the shelf. I’m–I’m still kind of anxiously waiting to see and one was, basically, it was a workout supplement for women but what I did was is I basically added some adaptogenic support to this workout supplement but also a little bit of blood sugar support, too. Because I’m guessing that women, they’re gonna be busy, it’s a fast-paced woman who wants to work out right after–right after she, you know, gets out of the office, things like that. So what I did is I created a combination of some blood sugar support like some 7-keto but then I also added in some Ashwagandha and some Rhodiola and then I added just a little bit of Cordyceps to give the more oxygen utilization side of things. It was too big. I ended just having so much fun combining the blend. It was–it was too big to fit in 2 capsules. It’d be like 10 capsules or something ridiculous so it would have had to end up becoming a powder and then of course, the whole issue becomes how are you gonna make it taste decent with Stevia and can you get true natural flavors and things like that. So I basically came up with all the ingredients and then sent it over to Aubrey, the CEO, and said, “Hey, here’s what I got.” And then he goes to his stepmom who’s a doctor and she verifies and tells me whether I know what I’m talking about or not, and then it would go onward to, you know, the flavoring department and things like that. So that was probably my biggest and most fun project. But then I just worked on some of the science, too, behind the other pages of–like the Alpha BRAIN for example, the Shroom TECH Sport, the Vira Tech, it was like a vitamin C and alpha-lipoic acid, immune-boosting type supplement, making sure that the science was there to support the use of lysine to balance out your arginine and things like that. I did a–a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, but if I see that product hit the shelves with a–with a label, I’ll be sure to–to have it framed or something like that in a little special box.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, and I saw that you put out some affiliate codes for the–for the some of the Onnit products this morning.
Evan Brand: Yeah, finally.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Daily now.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I finally got a–a 10% code for people. So if you wanna check that out, they can just go to notjustpaleo.com/supplements and then I have my little built-in code where you get 10% off because who likes to pay full price for supplements if you can get a discount, you know?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. Very cool. And you also mentioned Cordyceps, too. And Cordyceps are a mushroom, they’re not necessarily an herb but they have adaptogenic qualities which is cool. They really support the adrenals. They help with glutathione production and they boost up DHEA which is that sex hormone precursor that tends to be depleted with chronic stress.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I take Cordyceps every day. Actually right now, I’m using Lucky’s Market. They have just a store brand of organic mushroom blend. I mean, it has everything. You would love it. It has Maitake, the Shitake, the Reishi, the Cordyceps. I’ve been feeling so good. I told Hannah my wife yesterday, I said, “Babe, I’ve been feeling so good lately because I’ve just added in a couple new combinations of nutrients to my stack, and I–I’ve been on fire.” I mean, I’ve been really feeling good. So if I mean, if someone’s questioning, “Do I really need this stuff?” To me, it’s a 21st century pre-requisite to have a good stack on hand. I mean, life is stressful. You’re pulled in 50 directions. You’ve gotta have some sort of solid basis of nutrients that are going in. Of course, diet–that diet’s the first part. But you know, assuming that you and I are following something like Dr. Justin and I, supplements or that thing that takes you to the next level and separates you from the competition.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I had a patient that, you know, asked me like, “Do I really need this?” And I say, “Well, would you describe your life at all stressful?” She’s like, “Yeah, I have this and–,” and even though it’s like this person wasn’t a full-time, you know, in the corporate world, they were a full-time mom which a lot of times is even more stressful and it’s like, unless you can tell me that your life is stress-free and is relatively easy, you’re gonna benefit with some level of adaptogenic support and/or nutrient support because when we’re stressed we also burn through B vitamins. So I also add in some extra B vitamins and in my patients at some level we do organic acid testing and we’ll look at the B vitamins because they’ll burn through those suckers pretty fast with extra stress. So some level I–I have an adaptogenic herb or two in my protocol. I’ll have extra stress nutrients. Nutrients that go down or should say drop with stress or we’ll be burned up with stress and then a mushroom is great. I’m a huge fan or Reishi just because of the fact of its immune-modulating effect that’s called the Ten-Thousand-Year mushroom so it’s been around longer than any, you know, any supplements so to speak and you know, it’s amazing you hear some of the people in the pharmaceutical industry saying, “Well, some of these supplements or herbs that are untested.” They’ve been around so long, some of them––it’s not even funny. The question is, do we have good quality? And again 95% are crap so we just have to know the right places to get it from.
Evan Brand: Totally. Yeah, I–I love you mentioned that. I mean, some of these drugs will come out and they’ll be out on the market for 2 years and 1 rat study for 6 months or something just proves that it’s safe and then you have ancient Chinese wisdom or something that’s been written in books on hemp and papyrus–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And that’s–that’s the real stuff that we’re really starting to respect and the science keeps continuing to back up the, you know, the evidence and the great value in these things so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Keep an open mind really.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, especially with stress. I mean, you could–some of these scientific journals in these oriental countries, I mean, you have like Reishi being used as a first line therapy in cancer. They’re using Cordyceps mushrooms for kidney transplants. I mean, this is crazy, like–
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: People in the United States have no idea. Just go on to PubMed and punch some of these things in and you get lots of scientific journals in other countries that are researching this stuff and it just doesn’t make its way over here and it’s sad because, you know, medicine is pretty much co-opted by the drug industry so unless a drug company has billions of dollars behind something, it’s not really gonna get out to the everyday person just because it’s so expensive to bring something to market. It’s hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars and if you can’t patent it, you’re not gonna get the money back. So other countries they’re–they’re laws are more lax and it’s easier to bring things to market so it’s–it’s easier, and you know, the US–I think the US and I think New Zealand–it’s either New Zealand or Australia are the only 2 countries that actually market their drugs to the consumer on TV.
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I’ve–I’ve actually had some friends that have come from overseas and they see a drug commercial and are like, “Holy crap! You can do that?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Ask your doctor? What do you mean, ask the doctor? I thought the doctor was supposed to tell you? Nope, you’re asking your doctor these days, you know. So that’s just–that’s a whole another podcast.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. And it’s 70 to 80–the research is clear. 70-80 percent–70-80 percent of the time when the patient goes into the doctor and request the drug because they saw it on TV, they get the prescription. It is a major effect on influence and the doctor.
Evan Brand: That’s incredible.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So kinda tie in this back to stress, I’m a big fan of mushrooms. Alright, huge, huge fan. Helps with stress. I like Cordyceps and I like Reishi and also if you’re dealing with any chronic immune stuff like cancer, Coriolus is another awesome mushroom typically using that in conjunction with Reishi works phenomenal. Love it.
Evan Brand: Sweet. Well, I think–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I take these mushrooms individually, too. Like I don’t use a lot of blends because I wanna get 3 grams of Reishi, I wanna get 4 grams of Reishi. When you look at these blends, I mean, you’re lucky to get maybe 100 or 300 mg.
Evan Brand: That’s a good point. I probably am fairy dusting myself–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: With some of these.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it’s good to just have like just a straight Cordyceps, a straight Reishi, and just kinda mix it that way. That can be a good way to do it. Just mix the whole herb straight in.
Evan Brand: Uh-hmm. I think we only got a couple minutes left but man, we could probably spend 3 hours on this topic. This is–I didn’t realize how–how enjoyable both–both you and I would–would dig in this today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m really happy we have this extra, you know, once or twice a month, we’re gonna be having these conversations and really diving in deep and it’s great because I get to bring my clinical experience working with thousands with patients and you get to bring your clinical experience working with lots of patients as well, and we get to kinda share it with the listeners which is awesome.
Evan Brand: It’s a blast.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Well, anything else you wanna add today, Evan?
Evan Brand: Not really. If people are interested in, you know, they can check out my podcast as well. Dr. Justin, he’s been on there, and I’m still getting emails like, “Wow! That Dr. Justin guy kicks ass.” So check out that episode if you need a good place to start but there’s plenty more where that came from, and you know, 99% of the stuff that Dr. Justin and I both put out is free. So there is hope, stay confident, and stay positive. Take baby steps in the right direction every day and I guarantee you’ll get massive results.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you listen to these podcasts or read some of our blogs and posts and you feel like, “Well, I don’t know where to start.” You know, this is kind of the best step, is to reach out to either me or Evan and we can kinda help guide you in the first couple of steps to take because you know, you’re always gonna do better with, you know, with a trail guide that’s already hiked the mountain a few times, that can help navigate all the pitfalls.
Evan Brand: Definitely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, Evan, hey, it was great talking today, man.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Likewise.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one!
Evan Brand: You, too.