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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

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Audio Podcast:

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

Natural Strategies to Help Relieve and Support Your Allergies | Podcast #313

Some people with allergies may find relief by using natural plant extracts and foods that will act as antihistamines. So in this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about allergies and natural and functional medicine approach. 

Dr. J and Evan recommended initial things that can help you manage stress. Stress hormones wreak havoc in the body, especially in the immune system, making seasonal allergies even worse. Consider stress management methods such as meditation, taking time out for self-care, and avoiding over-committing your schedule. Constant house cleaning can get rid of many allergens and help relieve your symptoms. 

Often, allergies will get worse by toxins within our body. The liver is a great negotiator of inflammation in the body, and when it is working overtime metabolizing our stress, alcohol, medications, and processed foods, allergies can flare up. Detox your body by eliminating fried foods, sugar, alcohol, and other toxins from your diet. For more detailed steps and solutions, don’t miss out on the full podcast to fix or avoid allergies!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:36       Conventional Approach on Allergies

7:49       Getting the Diet Dialed In

12:54     Gut Infections Connecting to Allergies

16:08     Air Purifiers

20:30     Natural Supplements

30:29     Low Histamines

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to be talking about natural solutions to help relieve and support your allergy springtime is officially here. It’s like the last week everything around my home has been blooming, it’s been amazing. Love that feeling of that transition from winter to spring. So that’s really exciting. But with that comes a whole host of other challenges with allergies and sinus issues and headaches and, and runny nose and itchy eyes. And we’re going to talk about natural solutions that we implement with our patients clinically in real life that actually get results, not just you know, stuff you read in the blog post, but real stuff. Evan, how are you doing, man?

Evan Brand: I’m doing pretty good. Why don’t we talk about the conventional approach first, I think it’s good when we do that comparison and that contrast for people. So you go down the street, you see the Joe Blow allergy clinic, you’ll walk in, they give you some type of medication and you go home. And that’s pretty much as far as it goes in regards to treating allergies. And you know, they have different options. I know some people get shots. I know some people do nasal spray, some people do anti histamines orally. So there are several options. But they all have the same goal, which is really just a band aid. It’s trying to block receptor sites maybe decrease inflammation somehow from a drug perspective, but it’s not addressing the root cause of the allergies in the first place. And I’m not going to speak for you but my opinion is that allergies are a side effect. Humans have been outside for forever. And now all of a sudden, we can’t tolerate the outdoors and we need drugs to manage us to handle the outdoors. That’s not natural. That’s not primal. That’s not ancestral. I don’t think that there is an ancestral allergy. I think this is a new problem based on the toxicity of the planet, but also other issues that we’ll get into in regards to the internal health of the human host.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, if we talk about some of the mechanisms of how these medications work, I think that’s helpful. Right? So there’s a bunch of ones that are out there. So you have things like Allegra, right or Claritin, I think they work the same way. They’re kind of like an h1 receptor. They’re they’re like an anti histamine and they weren’t they antagonize the h1 receptor. So there can anti histamine, right? I think Pepcid AC also works, I think on the h2. So you have anti histamine ones, whether they’re Allegra or Claritin, they tend to be more on the anti histamine side. Zyrtec similar as well. They’re a h1 blocker. They’re they blocked the h1 receptor as well. And so you have a lot of the anti histamines the problem with those is they come with a lot of side effects like drowsiness, right, drowsiness, brain fog, cognitive, low energy, so not good. If you have to perform, you have to function you have young kids, right? Most people have to be on it, you know, at 100% to be functioning in the daily life. So that doesn’t really work too well. And then you have more advanced things like I want to say Singulair would be one that would be more anti histamine based, there’s, I’m sorry, more steroid based, more corticosteroid based. So there’s ones that are more steroid based, or people that have, you know, more significant allergy, whether it’s throat closing or needing an inhaler, of course, then you have things like albuterol, that may get worse, right. And so these are, you know, the steroids tend to get used when there’s more advanced allergies. And then of course, you have some of the allergy shots, which tend to be a little bit more natural, which tend to be exposing yourself a little bit to the allergen as a way of kind of building up an immune response, that’s not going to be over responsive com that allergy season, those are some of the big things off the bat. And I think you want to highlight Evan?

Evan Brand: Well. I want to highlight the fact that billions and billions of dollars are being spent per year globally with people being on these medications. And it really gives them a false sense of security, meaning, yeah, it might help the symptoms. But this is not getting to why someone is unhealthy in the first place. And I could go down a whole rabbit hole with this. But I mean, just because you get a shot for something, and now you feel a little bit safer. Well, you didn’t under you didn’t address the underlying issue with your histamine intolerance in the first place. Is there a gut issue going on? Is there some sort of imbalance with your gut bacteria, you have a lot of histamine producing bacteria, are you eating a lot of food allergens and your bucket is already so full of allergens, the now the outdoor flower blooming puts you over the edge See, if everything else in your quote bucket is not filled, you should be able to tolerate the outdoor environment just fine. And so I think we should mention mast cell issues. mast cell activation could be triggered by mold. It could be triggered by Lyme it could be triggered by co infections like bartonella babesia. And you’re definitely going to have a lot more issues. Now. I’m not somebody that would say I have outdoor allergies, but I have felt a little different with everything blooming. And I’m just doing my herbal anti histamines to help which we’ll get into but I know that there was an underlying trigger, because for my whole life 30 plus years I haven’t had allergies. And now I feel a little weird a little spacey when everything’s gloomy. So now I’m like, oh, okay, my buckets full from these other things. So all I’m saying is, I just want people to really focus on the whole picture. have their whole health. And if you have allergies, that’s just the warning light or the check engine light on your dashboard, but there’s probably something else under the hood going on that you should address because there might be other issues that are downstream that you don’t even realize are related like allergies and diarrhea, allergies and constipation allergies and insomnia, allergies and anxiety and panic attacks and heart palpitations and blood pressure issues and skin issues. I mean, we could go on and on about how allergies is just one piece of this whole puzzle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep 100% and then just to kind of recap here I made a mistake here Singulair is not a corticosteroid essentially is blocking luco triangles, which are kind of going to be an immune response from the leukocytes. So some of the allergy medications that are going to be on the steroids side that’s gonna be like Nasacort, Nasanax, Flonase will be another Rhinocort, [inaudible], those are going to be more of the steroid options which are going to be more severe. Then you have the leuco trying blockers right which is the Montelukast sodium, which essentially is the Singulair and then you have the h1 receptor site blockers or antagonist. And those are going to be like your anti histamines, right? That’s gonna be like your Allegra, your Claritin, right, your Zyrtac, those are going to be more on the anti histamine side. And some make you drowsy, Allegra may not as much. But in the end, like you mentioned, Evan, these medications are not getting to the root cause, especially if you weren’t born out of the womb with allergies. This is not something that’s something that’s developed over time typically, because your antigen bucket or your stress bucket has been filling up over time. And diet plays a big role. The more inflamed your body is, the more inflamed your body is, the more your immune system will over respond to allergens in the environment. It’s kind of like the more inflamed your back or your joints are. Something very simple like going for a walk may inflame your near back. But we know a walk generally speaking shouldn’t be in flaming your near back, right? So it’s not a proportional response. Same thing with allergies, it’s not a proportional response, your body shouldn’t be responding to allergies, like it’s a virus or some bacteria in the environment it shouldn’t be. And so the first thing we have to look at is what are the big stressors in your stress bucket out of the gate. So the first thing we look at is diet. One, the solution to pollution is dilution. Are you drinking nice, good clean filtered water with extra minerals in it? Are you eating kind of an anti inflammatory diet, a good paleo template, we’re keeping grains and refined sugars out. And especially if you have allergens, dairy and grains are big ones. And you may have to cut out nuts, seeds and eggs as well is a good one out of the gates where you’re focusing on healthy meats, healthy vegetables, dialing in the carbs, according to you, and then also having healthy fats that are going to be away from the process vegetable fats as well as gonna be a good thing out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we’ve seen people have significant improvement just by getting the diet dialed in. I mean, I’ve heard 50 60% improvement with allergies just by eating clean, people that were eating gluten for breakfast and dairy for lunch on their salads, you know, doing the ranch dressing and their bread crumbs and all that crap and then we get him eating clean and all of a sudden the allergies are better and people that are either reducing their medication or they’re able to completely get off their medication, which is a big goal. For a lot of people they feel dependent and they feel scared like well what if I travel or what if I go somewhere and I don’t have access to this medication? You know, they feel the same way they do about their eyeglasses. What if I break my glasses when I’m on a desert island and I can’t see people feel that way about allergy medication they feel very afraid to to try to live without it because they know how they’ll respond. The good news is it’s possible that you don’t need it if you can fix all these other issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And histamine is basically an immune response due to these allergens, right allergens are just foreign antigen, they’re their foreign proteins or compounds in the environment, whether it’s dander in Austin cedars really, really big this time of year, you can see like literally you go on the parking lot to coats the cars, you know this, this yellow cedar. So the first thing is, make sure all the diet and lifestyle things are dialed in. The next big thing, especially if you’re outside a lot during the days, is most people’s sinuses are full of these allergens and dander and pollens and so a good sign is flush protocols and the bee Bay. So during allergy season, morning and night is going to be essential. If it’s really acute, you may do morning, midday and night but morning and night, you want to be able to go to bed with a clean sinus and you want to wake up with a clean sinus. You may even want to do it when you’re at work as well or when you come home from work especially if you’re inside for the day like around six, seven o’clock, maybe do it then so you can get some relief. And of course we’re doing a really good sailing or a high quality filtered water or a distilled water solution. We’re going to be adding in some sodium bicarb and some minerals. So it’s pH balance so won’t irritate the sinus mucosa. If you just do a whole bunch of water up there and it’s not balanced, it could really create irritation. So make sure it’s balanced with minerals. Now we’ll typically do some things that have Xylitol in there, which is very good at breaking up bacterial biofilms and also have some antifungal qualities. So that’s wonderful. I’ll do two to three seconds of flow down each nose blowing in between. That’s wonderful. I’ll even chase it a before with a spray called Xlear rescue spray. It’s wonderful because it has about six different herbs in there, parsley and pati arco and all of oregano, and they’re gently diluted in the pH balance water with some saline. And so I chased that up because as an antimicrobial anti biofilm effect, and then I flush it out each sinus and you can do like a good sinus irrigation bottle is Sinusgator, there’s, there’s the Nasaline, there’s the Neomed bottle, the Xlear bottles, you just type in sinus irrigation or sinus irrigation bottle on Amazon, I’ll put the ones that I like below. If you go to my site, JustinHealth.com/shop I have a recommended list of all the things that I use, Evan does as well. And so take a look at those and we’ll kind of have recommendations below in the link so you guys can see it. But the first thing is get the sinuses flushed out get the crap out of the sinuses, if it’s sitting there for six or eight or 10 or 12 hours, it’s gonna create inflammation. So the first thing is flush it out. And if it’s really sticky, or like has a hard time flushing, you know, use some of those biofilms to break it down. That’s kind of my first recommendation out of the gates there. And in preventing these things from brewing.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. And the rescue is intense. So if you’re, if you’re like super inflamed, take it easy. I love it, though, it feels amazing. And then also, we like silver too. So we will use some professional, we’ll use some professional professional version of silver, we call it Argenton. And that one works great. So I like to do both, I’ll do a little bit of the essential oils. And then if we think there’s like a more colonization issue with mold or something like that in the sinus, we’ll use the silver. And it can be very, very helpful. And I just want to make a note to people because I was one of those guys who said, Well, I don’t have any sinus problems, because I never had any runny nose. I never had like what I thought was a stuffy nose. Like I could breathe fine. But man, when I started doing some of the sinus treatment and these protocols, whoa, I realized I had like 30% more breathing capacity. I’m like, Whoa, I mean, I really opened all this stuff up. I didn’t know it was bad to begin with. So if you’re one of those skeptics like me, who’s like, Oh, I don’t have sinus problems, try it and see what happens. You may feel that you can breathe so much better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. And especially if you’re like you got young kids, because I you see it with young kids all the time. I have young kids, you’re their friends or whatever they’re hanging out with, they got runny noses, like non stop all the time. And I’m like, yeah, your kids probably got a little biofilm colony up there and need to work on flushing it out. Because the more that’s hanging up there. So anytime we see a kid, you know, our kids with chronic runny nose for a day or so we’re flushing that thing out within a day or two, we’re not going to write out and that works phenomenal. And then you can also use things like n acetylcysteine, to dry out those sinuses to which can be very helpful. So there’s a lot of mucus you can dry it out with the NAC, which is excellent. Very, very good out of the gates.

Evan Brand: Yep. So let’s talk about the guts. I want to hit on some of the gut infections. And we hear Justin’s cat if you hear me out. That’s his cat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I just gave him a little kick under the table, like “get out of here!” 

Evan Brand: Maybe he wants some sinus rinsing. I know. So Oh, God would be terrible. No, no, that’d be impossible to do. Alright, so let’s let’s hit on the gut. So because this is this is a big deal. And I’ve had many, many, many, many people with histamine and sinus problems say that the single biggest thing they’ve ever done beyond the sinus rinsing and the actual coat allergy treatments was actually just fixing the gut. And I believe this is because of all the histamine producing bacteria that we see and all these bacterial overgrowth cases. So if you’re coming to work with us clinically, what we’re going to be doing is looking at your urine and looking at your stool to be looking for different infections or imbalances. And the good news is when you use herbs to rebalance all these bacteria, now you’ve drained the bucket so much that you can handle the outdoor environment. And so in fact, even some of the reviews on some of the products we use that people will say, hey, these herbs cured my histamine intolerance. And we did nothing with the sinuses, we did nothing in the quote, allergy realm, we simply fix the gut. So I don’t want people to ignore that. That’s why I was saying I was a little frustrated in the beginning because people will go to the allergy doctor and they never bring up the gut. They never bring up the diet. They just don’t even have a clue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110% So, so the first thing is, it’s like get the inflammation down in your gut. That’s going to be food. Excess refined sugar, inflammatory foods, junky omega six process fatty fats, which are going to be like soy, canola safflower, right if you’re going to do any plant based fats, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil are going to be better some palms gonna be great. animal fats are going to be of course awesome. And then if you can tolerate ghee or butter, great if you have allergies out of the gates pull those out because those can be mucus forming. I always say get your allergy straight in and make those one of the first fats you add back in and see how we do because if we can handle it, I want you to handle it. I want it in There. And the next thing after you have all the food stuff dialed in, and then you’re doing sinus irrigation. I like doing the rescue spray first because it is intense, like Kevin said, so then I put it up there and I chased it with some saline behind it, therefore it flushes it out, cleans out antihistamine, anti inflammatory anti histamine benefits. Because the problem with allergens up the nose if you’re outside, and then you come back inside to a nice clean home, even with awesome air filtration, which air filtration is a huge, important component to this. You’re still breathing all this dander and pollens up your nose all day long. That’s why you got to flush it. And that provides the relief from those allergens. And then of course, we want a really, really good air filtration. So Evan and I are big supporters of the Austin Air healthmate plus, which is good as a couple. They have an allergy machine too, but I think the healthmate Plus is the best out of all of them. Because of the charcoal, the zeolite. It’s a bigger filter last longer. And then it has the potassium iodide coating which filters out the volatile organic compounds, the voc’s which are going to get in mattresses and paints and new furnitures and that’s an extra allergen that could be adding to your histamine bucket as well.

Evan Brand: Oh yeah, speaking of air purifiers, I’ve got a cool update for you here. I’m going to see if I can load the email from one of the head honchos at Austin. Because I wanted to ask them about aluminum nanoparticles, you know, they’ve done some air sampling of what people call Kim Trails. Meteorologists say it’s conspiracy, and it’s a contrail. It’s just exhaust vapor. Don’t worry about it, even though Bill Gates plan just got shut down. They were gonna do the solar blocking, basically, anyhow. But this plane flew into these trails and tested and found that it has aluminum nanoparticles. So long story short, I asked our guy at Austin, and I said, Hey, hoping to find out if this air system can filter aluminum nanoparticles. And the guy who did analysis on the trails in the sky, he found that the aluminum was around 400 nanometers. And the guy said, Yes, four nanometers. 400 nanometers equals point four microns. And the Austin filters down 2.3 microns at 99.97%. So now Yes, our filters will handle this. No problem at all. So whether or not you believe the geoengineering thing is going on whether you simply want to filter, the allergens plus the stuff out in the sky, either way, you’re covered with the Austin and so contact our office if you want to get ahold of Dr. J, or myself, and we would love to help you. I’ve got one right here in my office, and it runs 24 seven. And I wish you could smell the air in here. Because it smells like nothing because it’s so pure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I 100% agree. Like there’s a lot of controversial things that are out there. But here’s the deal. If we just talk about the things that we know, which we know, pesticides are out there, right? We know you have voc’s in your home from paints and that new couch robot and the new furniture. We know that there’s allergens out there. We know this potential smoke, especially if you’re in certain areas in California and the west coast where there’s fires throughout the year. We know those things are part of your stress bucket. And they’re they’re a part of that antigenic load. So you want to at least filter them out. And if we have other things, you know, aluminum salts, and Berry and other stuff going on there great. You’re also going to have benefits from that as well. So want to make sure that’s clear. The goal is to decrease all the stress bucket and you’re going to be inside sleeping eight hours a day, you’ll probably be inside at least 12 hours a day on average. And most people with the environment and the world that today we’re while people work from home. And so having super high quality air is incredibly important. super high quality water is very important. And then having very nutrient dense anti inflammatory, low toxin food is foundational. And then after that we can kind of talk about natural anti histamines and things to help kind of dry up sinuses. So I like NAC. I like propylene I like quercetin. I like stinging nettle. I also like things like potassium, potassium bicarb. I also like things like kidney glandular and D A O dia mean oxidase. My plug here is a product called Allerclear which has some of these things in it. I know Evan has a allergy product as well Evan, what’s yours called?

Evan Brand: Histamine Support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll put the links down below. So if you guys are enjoying the content and you want to support the show, feel free and purchase that from us. We appreciate it. We’re only recommending things that we recommend for our family and friends and patients. So those are helpful. Now again, I always draw a line like okay, what’s conventional medicine doing? Zyrtec? Allegra Singulair? Nasacort, right? We already know they’re like anti histamines h1 antagonist, steroids, right. luco trying blockers. That’s the mechanism over there on conventional medicine, which we know has more side effects right. Now, especially with the steroids, that’s a big one that can stress out your adrenals and create blood sugar issues and potentially can create issues with joint loss and bone loss.

Evan Brand: Let me add one thing before you ever get before you move on. So another mechanism that makes you actually worse and more dependent on those medications is that a lot of those conventional medications Actually down regulate or deplete your body’s do production. So now you’re even in more trouble. So you mentioned da o and you and I like to use that. And that helps with the ingested histamine. Meaning if you’re going to eat a high histamine food, we can give you supplemental do extract, and then that’ll help degrade the histamine coming from your diet. However, if you’re on those medications, you’ve now drained your do and you’re likely going to have more histamine intolerance, digging yourself even deeper in the hole. So I just wanted to add that in while you’re hitting on the comparing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, yeah, so we have conventional on this side. And then we have like all of these natural things, supplements that I just mentioned, quercetin bromelain do now these are better. These are much, much better, less side effects. Some of them are going to be our actual nutrient base like glutathionr building blocks, right, really helpful there. Potassium, super helpful. Kidney glandulars, da L, but a whole bunch other B vitamins and b, 12, and vitamin A. So those are actually really good. But I urge you, right? Don’t just listen to this and say well, I’m going to trade my Zyrtec for kidney or Dr. J’s Allerclear, try to actually make root underlying changes. If eating a whole bunch of grains and dairy and sugar, try to focus on the root cause stuff. Or if you know you’re outside a lot, and you’re not doing sinus irrigation, or you don’t have air filtration, try to get the external environment in your home, external environment in your sinuses and your internal with your body fix first, if you can. Now it’s okay if you go to the supplements at some point, but try not to go to them first, because then we’re just kind of acting like conventional medicine. Even though these have less side effects. Like Evan mentioned, they don’t deplete do some of them build it up. And some of them also have nutrients. So still better. But we don’t want to replace palliative care, which is supplements, we want to get to the root cause as well. It’s all about getting to the root cause.

Evan Brand: And it’s very simple. But I hope everyone is at least taking their shoes off when they enter their house. I mean, what a simple way to reduce bringing in oil and gas and pesticide herbicide who knows what else so you know, if you’re not already take your shoes off before you come in the house. And then if you have any carpet, so there, there are some carpet cleaning solutions that we use that are essential oil based, where if you had a pet, for example, that brings a lot of stuff in from outside, and that’s irritating you you can rent your carpets with this cleaner. And then also laundry solution, we do have some essential oil laundry solution that we use. And that will actually help to treat mold and pollen and all that on your clothing. So if you’re out like rolling in the grass, which is fine, you might want to just treat your clothes a little bit to make sure that they’re okay, but what let’s go back into the supplements because you were hitting on some good stuff. So also, in some of the products you and I use is vitamin C and vitamin C can actually help degrade the histamine. It’s amazing. My body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so essentially there is like anti histamine to granulators they help break the histamine down. Okay. And then there are essentially anti histamines they have natural, they decrease the production of histamine, right. And then we have the DA o enzyme support which does kind of also help degrade the histamine down as well, right because da o dia mean oxidase helps break the histamine down. Like Evan mentioned, a lot of the medications deplete the eo so they actually create long term dependency on it. It’s kind of like people that have proton pump inhibitors or acid blockers, well, it creates more problems because you’re not breaking down your proteins, your fats and your amino acids, therefore you have more issues down the road with other symptoms, right? Got to get to the root. And then Evan kind of alluded it one big other, let’s say, antigen, antigen or compound that goes into that stress bucket is if you’re if you’re washing your clothes, or your sheets, or your laundry with dryer sheets, or any fragrance laundry, no bueno. That’s a big, big thing. If you’re just conventional, at least get the like I like the all free and clear. That’s a good one that’s like dermatologist approved for like eczema and like chemical sensitivity that’s at all major stores. So you can always get the all free and clear. You can do seventh generation free and clear. There’s a couple of other brands that are out there that have just essential oil based no sense no nothing like that. That’s ideal. And ideally, no dryer sheets. And if you need more support to get extra odors out. There’s baking soda is a baking soda company makes one called wash soda wash soda, essentially baking soda for your laundry and it’s got ammonium or pseudo it’s got sodium bicarb in there and it just sucks out any mold or kind of like more pungent smells in your clothes. And so if you need that, that’s a great way to kind of get your clothes and your laundry clean without extra chemicals and crap in it.

Evan Brand: Candles. I mean hopefully I don’t have to beat the drum on this too hard. Hopefully you and you all listening have heard enough of us talking about this. But for anybody new. Please get the synthetic fragrances out of your house, you’re destroying your hormones. You know, man, you’re affecting testosterone and estrogen and women Same thing for you. So any Glade plugins, air fresheners after you poop, turn the exhaust fan on and use essential oils if you have a nasty smelling poops. You know you don’t need to be using synthetic toxic chemicals because that’s filling up your bucket. Then you’re using Pine Sol to clean your floor. So make sure your floor cleaners are legit. And those are clean. Make sure all of the cleaning chemicals you’re using are clean, seventh generation or branch basics. There’s so many good brands now there’s no excuse to not use clean products. When you’re cleaning your dishes, make sure you’re not using synthetic fragrances in your dishwasher. You can use free and clear for that, and your hand soap, your shampoo, your conditioner, your deodorant, everything needs to be cleaned, because you’re just filling up your bucket. If you’re exposing yourself to all that garbage. Now, you could do all that stuff and still feel bad. So that’s where we come in and do some of the functional testing to assess your gut. We’ll look at mitochondrial function, we’ll look at neurotransmitters amino acid metabolism, fat digestion, there’s so much that we look at from the testing perspective, we’re just giving you some good strategies today that can help but there still is a deeper layer that we need to investigate. And that’s where we come in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% out of the gates. And so just to kind of highlight a couple of things there. You talked about the gut. That’s important. h pylori, fungal overgrowth. SIBO can create stress in the gut that creates more histamine. Imagine that histamine bucket filling up. So as you mentioned, gut issues create a lot of inflammation like a lot of these mast cell issues even like mast cell, Mass cell, right? mass cell activation disorder, right? Well, that’s just a sign that you’re inflamed and your immune system is spitting off histamine got to get to the root underlying issue. A lot of people talk about things like it’s the cause, but they’re really talking about the effect, right? Oh, my arthritis, my arthritis. Well, that just means you have an inflamed joint. What’s the cause of that, though? Of course, we know that’s the effect, right? inflammation in that area pain, right? We know that’s the effect, right? But what’s the cause? Right? So you have to always say most people in conventional medicine and even natural medicine, get people talking about the effects, but don’t address the cause. So make sure if you’re labeling anything, it’s only worth labeling something if you can connect it to a cause. If not, you’re just describing the symptoms that are presenting itself, which aren’t hard to do.

Evan Brand: Agreed. So yeah, if you were diagnosed with like a mast cell, or you suspected like masel activation m casts for short, you got to get to the big triggers. I talked about that in the beginning, mold, bartonella, Lyme, babesia, any kind of like tick borne issues, mosquito borne issues, vectors like that, they can aggravate your system and can cause you to be more allergic. So you may have to treat those things. I know, for me personally, you know, I know that just treating Lyme and co infections has made me feel better with some of my reactions. So you may need to dig a little bit deeper. And that’s really where you want somebody on your team because just trying to do this alone. It can be challenging, and you’re going to end up with a supplement graveyard and buy stuff you don’t need. So yeah, the herbal anti histamines are great, but what led you to need those in the first place? That’s, that’s the question need to ask. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I agree. And I can tell you like, there are some low hanging fruits that can do amazing things I’ll give you Case in point I had one patient, literally before me went to Mayo Clinic. She had chronic sinus issues. They’re literally telling her that, that that’s it like she asked she needs she’s already did surgeries didn’t relieve it. They’re telling her I think she can do just cut out cut out simple things like grains, her sinus issues were gone. And Mayo Clinic literally told her, there’s nothing she can do. She’s already on the surface, nothing else they can do all the medications, we just kind of grains gone. It’s like what it was that easy. Like, sometimes you have to kind of shake your your like, you kind of have to like, you know, give yourself a little wake up because you think oh, you’re gonna have to go into some elaborate protocol, and sometimes simple foundational things, move mountains, and you’re like, how did that happen? But that’s why we kind of have our checklist in our flowchart. And we don’t ever skip things no matter how elemental or easy. It seems like it would be it can move the needle sometimes.

Evan Brand: Yeah, now and I would just totally repeat that in a different story. You know, a lot of people, even practitioners like you and I, we could easily get lost in the weeds, we could go down these complex rabbit holes, and then we can lose sight of the foundations. And I see a lot of practitioners doing that part partially due to marketing, right, they have to become the thyroid guy, they got to become a guy. So so they’ll skip over foundations because it doesn’t fit into their brand, which is totally stupid. But my story is I had a female client a few weeks ago, and she just had extreme shortness of breath. And she didn’t know if it was like post COVID or what it was. But anyway, we looked at her ferritin on her bloodwork, and all the doctors had been like 20 doctors, her ferritin was seven. Oh my god, forget you. And I know. I mean, if you’re less than 20, you’re not going to be able to catch your breath. So we started to boost up her ferritin. But in the meantime, based on everything else during the initial call, I thought it could be like a histamine problem as well. So I said why don’t you just I’m going to give you this low histamine God, I want you to just eat low histamine until we get your labs back. When we did the lab review call. She said that it was 90% better. She said that within 48 hours of going low histamine. She was at least 50 to 60% better with her breathing. She could barely catch her breath while we were talking. She could speak in full sense It says without having to stop just just doing the lab review. I’m just pointing out, we didn’t even get to look at the data yet. Just a low histamine approach was enough to get her better. So this is in your allergist is not I’m sorry. I mean, if you’re an allergist out there and you’re prescribing low histamine diet, please email us, maybe we’ll do a podcast with you. But I don’t think this is happening. And there’s people sitting somewhere in an allergy room, an allergy office clinic right now. And they’re going to go home with the medication and they’re not going to learn a single thing about low histamine diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And I agree, sometimes low histamine needs to be added on top of maybe our paleo or autoimmune thing, and I have a handful of patients right now where I had to go to that tool. And it can work amazing now that what are low histamine, paleo foods that are pretty common, any of your age meats, so like bacon, those kinds of things, pepperoni, salami, even if it’s pasture fed, or organic, your citrus fruits going to be a big one, sometimes your nuts and seeds. And I would say sometimes your fermented vegetables and your fermented drinks, even if you’re like, Hey, I’m, I want to get my probiotics and naturally, that sauerkraut or that kombucha may be a problem. Sometimes you have to go and pull that out. And so that’s, that’s a big thing we have to look at. And then also, sometimes mold in the environment could be a big thing. Now, I don’t go there first, because there’s too many other things that typically have to go there. So we’ll add that to our list. And especially if we have visible more for sure. But if people are feeling better coming back in their home, that’s usually a good sign. Most people with allergy season this time of year, it’s a punctuated response. And they really feel worse when they’re outside. That’s when you kind of know that it’s probably more environmental than not, if it’s just mold inside normally, it’s an all year round kind of thing. Would you agree on that, Evan? 

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah, I would agree. Yeah. And with like, our air purifiers and everything, I know that I feel significantly better when I’m in my house. Yes. So to me, I’m like, Okay, good. We I’m kind of the canary right. So I can pick up on things. And so I think if people are in tune enough, you should know, like, if you’re out at the store, and you’re outside, and then you go in your home, Do you get any relief? If not, then your home could be a contributing factor. And we can rule that in RL.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And then of course, the good scientists irrigations wonderful, we’ll put links for that below. We talked about the diet, talked about food, we talked about supplementation, we’ll put links for everything. And then outside of that, hormones do play a valuable a very important role. So women with chronically low progesterone and people with low cortisol, in general, these are kind of natural anti inflammatory hormones. If they’re chronically lower depleted, they can affect your immune system. And so again, we know medications like nasal core, if you destiny, they’re steroids, right? And so they’re giving you steroids to kind of help with the inflammation of the allergens. And so we know if your natural steroids are incredibly lower depleted over time, for many reasons, we mentioned already, looking at your natural progesterone, your natural cortisol levels may play an important role. So taking a look at the adrenals taking a look at the female hormones, especially right around day 20 or in the luteal phase or so is very important. It plays a very important role.

Evan Brand: Good call. I mean, we could probably do a whole part two on that the adrenal allergy connection. Yeah, totally. I know. adaptogens helped me feel better. So I don’t even think we fully understand adaptogens and how they may help with stress response, but they may help with allergy response to I mean, there’s definitely a really cool, yeah, yoked up a whole new can of worms there. So I know. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll leave it at that we may want to do a follow up on this the hormone allergy connection that maybe we’ll save that for another week coming up?

Evan Brand: Well, I hope people enjoy this as much as you and I do. I mean, just listening back and trying to like, listen to our conversation. As an outsider. I’m like, wow, this is such amazing information. And you’re not hearing about this. So I really hope that you guys listening will share this with your friends, your family, and review us go on your Apple podcast app. That’s the best place to review us. And look at Dr. J show. Look at my show. And just click five stars. If you think we deserve it and give us some words, give us some words of affirmation. Tell us what you think. Because this really helps us. And we don’t have to do this. We just love doing it. And we love sharing with people. You know, we get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of 1000s of people listening per year. We just love it. And if we can just put a dent in the world and make people feel better than our job is complete. So please, sharing is caring. And if you need help clinically, you can reach out to Dr. J he would love to help you with these issues. The website is JustinHealth.com. If you’d like help for me, my website, EvanBrand.com has all the info. You can book free calls with our staff and talk to us about your symptoms, your goals, what’s going on, we’ll see if you’re a good fit for care and take it from there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And we appreciate you guys for you know sharing everything and, and writing some good reviews and putting your comments down. It helps keep us inspired and it gives us more ideas of future topics to write about. So put your concerns on there. make notes and things you want to hear about as well love to see it. And that’ll give us good fodder for future podcasts. Hey, Evan, it was awesome chatting with you, man. You have a great week. Take care now.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Recommended products:
Allerclear Histamine Support
Nasaline
Sinus Flush Bottle
Xlear packets
Xlear rescue spray
Navage Nasal Irrigation
NeilMed Sinus Rinse Complete Kit
Xlear Sinus Rinse Kit
Austin Air Healthmate Plus
Air Doctor Air Purifier
Whole House Water Filter
Water Filtration Devices
Clearly Filtered

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/natural-strategies-to-help-relieve-and-support-your-allergies-podcast-313

 

Hack Your Alcohol Consumption and Avoid Hangovers | Podcast #300

Whether it’s a few glasses of wine with friends, beer over sports, or a fun night out, there’s ways you can enjoy drinking yet mitigate the health consequences and skip the hangover. What are some of the consequences of drinking too much alcohol? Gut damage, issues with blood sugar levels and gut permeability, candida overgrowth, adrenal stress, and more. The big stressors of a hangover is the acetaldehyde made from the alcohol and getting the body to process it into acetic acid. The enzyme responsible for this conversion is glutathione-based, so glutathione can help clear alcohol out of your system faster, think: N-acetylcysteine (NaC), liposomal glutathione, vitamin C, milk thistle. Since these help the catalase enzyme to clear the alcohol out of your body faster, it’ll also be better for your liver. These are the kind of tips and tricks Dr. J is dishing out (and more!) today and we’re pretty sure you’ll be using them to help avoid future hangovers. Drink responsibly and be safe!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:46      What is alcohol?

6:03      Alcohol Metabolism

15:18    Alcohol Poisoning

21:33    Blue Zones, Good and Bad choices for Alcohol

35:06   Alcohol Cravings

41:03    Different Types of Alcohol

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Today we’re going to be talking about how to hack your alcohol consumption. Again, people are out there, they’re gonna want to have a little bit of alcohol now and then maybe at the end of the week, maybe to kind of signify like, Hey, you know, the weeks over whatever it is, you’re relaxing, it’s summer, it’s fall, how can we do it in a way that’s one not gonna damage your body. But two, we can also hack the hangover, so we can do it responsibly and mitigate some of the health consequences. All right, Evan, what’s going on man? How are we doing? 

Evan Brand: All doing really well excited to dive into this thing with you read a quick article from USA today that said that since all the shutdown stuff happened, that alcohol sales, does that contribute to consumption as well? I’m sure it does. It didn’t say alcohol. Yeah. So said alcohol sales are up 27%. And this was since June. So that’s a big bump in alcohol sales and people are stressed out and I mean, you and I are working with clients. Everyday, all day people that have been laid off or furloughed or lost jobs or kids can’t go back to school or whatever else is going on with them. And so what are people going to do when they’re stressed? Well, hopefully they go meditate and go to the park, but they’re probably going to have extra alcohol too. And so we don’t want people to make themselves sick. We don’t want hangovers. We don’t want gut damage. We don’t want increased issues with blood sugar. We don’t want increased issues with gut permeability. We don’t want candida overgrowth, we don’t want all those things to happen. We don’t want adrenal stress and sleep issues that then affect energy and motivation and, and productivity. So, you know, alcohol can affect all of the body systems because of the impact on potentially blood sugar and adrenals and gut and all of it and so I think there is a way to do it smartly, which is what we’re going to dive into today. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, everyone talks about alcohol being a toxin, right? Well, alcohol essentially, is ethyl alcohol, and your liver has to metabolize that and break it down. So the metabolism goes like this. Alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, that’s like a toxin, right? ethyl alcohol is the alcohol that we consume. That gets converted into acid aldehyde. And this enzyme here, right, this whole enzyme, it goes alcohol to acid aldehyde. And this is what alcohol dehydrogenase two right here, from alcohol to acid, aldehyde. And an acid aldehyde gets converted to a C to gas, which is basically apple cider vinegar. Okay, now acid aldehyde is the same compound that fungus or Candida actually produces. And that’s why Candida can actually make you feel a little bit drunk. Really, the big stressor. The big hangover stressor, is this acid aldehyde. Usually the body’s pretty efficient at taking alcohol and clearing it to acid out behind. It’s the acid aldehyde process that really has to go from acid aldehyde to Apple, the acetyl acetic acid right here, and we talked about this earlier. I think it was Asian descent right. Asian descent has a very, they they’re really efficient at taking alcohol and going to acid aldehyde. But they have a hard time of going acid aldehyde acetic acid. So this acid aldehyde increases, increases. And this acid aldehyde has a, let’s say histamine like effect. So high amounts of acid aldehyde can really increase that flushing kind of feeling. And so, a lot of people use the medication called Pepcid AC, which is that which is an h2 blocker. h2 blockers are an anti histamine. And what that does is anti histamines take the alcohol to acid out the high conversion they slow it down. So Asians they’re so fast at it, they increase their acid aldehyde like this acid aldehyde goes up. And so what they’re doing is they’re taking a h2 blocker to slow down the alcohol to acid aldehyde conversion again, it may help with the facial flushing and the histamine but not good on the liver because it’s creating more more that more of the alcohol is summer is basically surrounded That liver so your liver has to deal with the alcohol longer. It’s like you’re clogging up the coffee filter and it’s taking way longer to filter that out. Yep, you’re saying acid aldehyde. I think how you pronounce I think how you pronounce it is a sido. Allah cetyl alcohol. Yeah, I’ve always pronounced that as an aldehyde. I think someone where I learned about 10 years ago, they said it that way. I’ve heard it both ways. But yeah, a cetyl alcohol acetal aldehyde. So that’s going to be how it’s spelled. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a big word. And you mentioned the issue with fungal overgrowth. And we’ve seen that a lot with people. Now when we’re talking about brain fog you and I’ve done so many podcasts on cognitive function issues, brain fog, anxiety, depression, those kinds of things. So if you’re somebody who has a Candida problem, maybe we should briefly go into this. This is you if you have a Candida problem. You’re probably not a good candidate for it. Now, could you get away with a little bit here and there, maybe so but if I have clients where we see that they’ve got major brands, Fogg, they have cognitive problems, they have memory problems, they go into a room and they forget why they’re in there, they lose their keys all the time, that kind of thing. And they show up with Candida on their labs, I’m going to tell them, hey, best case scenario, the question always comes up. And what about alcohol? I say, based on what’s going on, probably wise to stay away from it for a month or two while we get your gutter under control. And then let’s add it back in later, and you know, at a small amount and see how you do so I think there are some cases where you know, you and I work with quite a lot of people that are that are quite sick, and they don’t feel very well. So in those cases, we may try to say, hey, you can hack it like we’re going to talk about today. Or maybe just stay away, let’s let’s get your gut in better shape, let’s get your liver in better shape, especially if there’s a big mold problem. I’m gonna say, Man, your liver already needs help and, or if we test their chemical profile, we see they got a ton of pesticide herbicide. It’s like, ah, I really don’t want to add any more toxins to the bucket. So I personally try to stray people away from it, but at a certain point, you know that people want to live their life and have fun and that’s one of the ways people live. in society have fun. So then we go into the hex. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So just kind of talking about the alcohol metabolism one more time, right? We have ethanol, that’s our alcohol that goes to a seal out acetaldehyde acid aldehyde. Right? This the enzyme that’s responsible for that conversion, guess what it is? It’s catalysts. And catalyst is a glutathione dependent enzyme. So having good glue ion function helps you go alcohol ethanol, to acetyl aldehyde. That’s glue to fire independent as catalysts and then acetyl aldehyde to acetic acid or acetate, right? That’s going to be your apple cider vinegar. This is alcohol dehydrogenase to ALDH2. Okay, and so this is the enzyme A lot of people have a hard time with the Asians, they have a hard time clearing that and so the acid aldehyde goes up really high. So big things I want to highlight here, we’ll talk about it in the strategy standpoint. glutathione is good because glutathione clears the alcohol out of your system fast. So things like n acetylcysteine liposomal glutathione s acetyl glutathione, vitamin C, milk thistle, things that help increase catalyze clear the alcohol out of your body faster, that’s less stress on the liver. But then now we have this acetal aldehyde thing that has to happen next. And so typically, I’m going to I’m going to guarantee that a ldh is going to be supported and boosted via glutathione. And a lot of those nutrients some way shape or form. So I’ll try to pull that up here as well on the enzyme standpoint. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think milk thistle is something that’s pretty cool too. I don’t have any papers that are just specifically milk those by itself. But we know milk thistle is very, very beneficial for protecting the liver. So I think if you were to take which you and I have several of our own, like a liver complex or maybe you’ve got Got some and AC milk thistle which the active ingredient is silymarin. And that helps to act as an antioxidant and an anti inflammatory in right paddock cells. And here we go, I’ve actually got something right here that the milk thistle is going to help metabolize toxic compounds lowering the damage to the liver cells in the process. So there’s a guy here Dr. Weston child who was talking about silymarin. And he said, although it’s helpful, he said it’s not a cure all. And it doesn’t reduce all the damage from drinking in excess. However, it can help heal the process once the person has stopped drinking. Bla bla bla bla bla, so a parent Apparently, the in German, Germans in Germany, apparently they’re recommending milk thistle to treat liver toxicity. So yeah, so long story short, I mean, any of the stuff we’re typically doing clinically to help the liver is is going to be beneficial and protective. Now here’s one funny thing. So the wine industry You know, it’s all about resveratrol, right? It’s like resveratrol, resveratrol wine. But, you know, according to just looking at some of these labels and the actual amount of milligrams of resveratrol, you’re getting in red wine, you would literally have to drink like 100 bottles to get the amount of resveratrol that you would get in a single pill supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. Yeah. So a little bit. Yeah, it’s a little off there. I mean, there’s a lot of Blue Zones. These are very healthy parts of the world that live a very long time into the hundreds, you know, over 100, and they do consume some alcohol. So I don’t think alcohol should be looked at like it’s this unbelievable toxin on the body. I mean, I think there may be a mild stress to it, right? But exercise is a stress, right? So I think there’s have been a little bit of stress on the body does help with adaptation. The key is, is allowing your body to receive that stress and allow you to be able to adapt to it as efficiently as possible. Instead of it being the stressor you put in your bucket that causes your bucket to overflow. Now it’s going to be the stressor. helps make your body a little bit stronger. By just getting back here briefly, I found one article here talking about acetyl aldehyde. And it talks about the fact that cysteine and glycine again, which are the two major backbones to making gluten, what’s clewd a file and it’s a tri peptide, right? tri meaning three, glutamine, glycine. cysteine are the three amino acids in glutathione. So it talks about Long live sulfur containing bio molecules, including cysteine and glycine that incorporate acetyl aldehyde might affect cysteine, including ion homeostasis and also plays a protective role in reducing circulating acetyl aldehyde levels. Okay, this is one article called binding of acetyl aldehyde to a glutathione metabolite, so glutathione does bind up acetyl aldehyde. So we talked about an acetyl cysteine. We talked about glycine and bone broth, we are now glutamine. We also talked about things like Milk Thistle are silymarin, which are actually a glutathione recycler, so is cortisol that helps maintain the recycling of glutathione. And then of course, taking lipids, omo glutathione, itself. And then also things like charcoal, I think also have a positive effect at binding up a pseudo aldehyde as well. So look at acetyl aldehyde and charcoal, you can take binders that help you right here, a study of acetyl aldehyde absorption on activated carbons, right, which essentially activated carbons is going to be what you see with activated charcoal. We’ll talk about that in a second. 

Evan Brand: I saw that one. So here’s what you’re saying. You’re basically saying you should make a Grass Fed Whey Protein Shake that’s going to be loaded with cysteine and all that make you a grass fed protein smoothie with a shot of vodka added to it. You’re going to have a good time. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, it depends on how you want to do it. Right. I think that’s there’s there’s definitely a couple of options right? So when I look at alcohol consumption, right, the first part is choosing healthier versions of alcohol. We’ll talk about that in a second. The second is how do you detoxify? So there’s a couple of mitigating effects. Alcohol is a diuretic. Some of the effects that you have on alcohol is the fact that you are decreasing ADH antidiuretic hormone from the post here pituitary. Okay. So, I hate when they do double negatives. Remember double negatives equal a positive. All right, so anti diuretic so diuretic means it’s your diuretic means it makes you pee. So it’s the anti. It’s the anti pee hormone, if you will. So essentially, it’s the anti p anti anti p hormone. So in other words, it makes you pee. It allows what’s in your body from a hydration standpoint to be released out. So that means you’re going to lose a lot of water. You’re going to lose a lot of minerals. So part of the mitigating effect of hangovers is Yeah, you have the seat. Allow the high but you’re also going to be low in minerals and low in hydration. So if you’re going to be drinking more having a Pellegrino or having a nice mineral water at your table or at your home and having a glass of mineral water in between each drink is going to be huge from a hydration standpoint and a mineral standpoint, that’s number one. Number two, you may do a binder during the drink to kind of help mitigate and bind up some of the the acid aldehyde to help bind that up. And then number two, you can add in some things that are can be protecting the liver whether it’s clear to thiam you can do NAC you can do some vitamin C, you can do some you can do some milk thistle. Those are all good options. Now I keep it very simple. I’ll do n acetylcysteine, vitamin C and activated charcoal. And then when I come home, I’ll typically do some liposomal lumify and once I get home, all right and then I’ll also really make sure the minerals are good. I’ll typically sip on something like a tub of cheese Go in between the keep my minerals up. That’s a kind of a really good way to look at it. So alcohol is a diuretic. 

Evan Brand: They need to sponsor you Topo Chico, you know, many times you flashed that Topo Chico bottle over the hundreds of episodes we’ve done they need to send you a free case or two or three.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, exactly. No, I totally I totally agree, man. I got to reach out to him for sure. 

Evan Brand: I found I found one paper wanted to tell you this real quick. So maybe this is a study that maybe it’s been done on humans, and I just didn’t find it in PubMed, but when I found quickly was the effect of activated charcoal on ethanol blood levels in dogs. And apparently, they gave the dogs different amounts of ethanol and then they measured their blood after a dosing of charcoal. And it of course, duh. It just said that blood ethanol concentrations were significantly inhibited by activated charcoal during the first hour after administration and then blood ethanol levels are significantly lower throughout the study in the activated charcoal group. So this is what they do supposedly, this is what they do in poisoning emergencies in the hospital. Like if you go into the hospital with alcohol poisoning, supposedly they pump your stomach full of charcoal. Is that still standard practice? I’m not sure if you- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can tell you personally not that I was ever affected but my college roommate freshman year, yeah, I had alcohol poisoning. I had to take him to the hospital. And we went to the ER. And I watched the whole process happening. They gave me a huge glass of activated charcoal. He was just drunk off his gorge. And he was just they had him sit him up at an angle and he was just out of it. And they were just kind of feeding him. The activated charcoal right down his mouth. 

Unknown Speaker: I witnessed it myself. And then they also had them hooked up to an IV which is good, right? Because then you get the minerals in. Right and then you get the activated charcoal. Now is that worth $1,000 ER bill don’t know, I mean, you’re probably getting a $1 if of activated charcoal and then maybe a $5 IV, right? It’s quite the markup on there. So in other words, folks, if you’re listening, get your $20 bottle of activated charcoal, bring five or six capsules with you take them throughout the night, and then just get your little mineral water, right little Topo Chico sponsor right there. And then sip that throughout the night. And then this is your IV, okay, and then you get your activated charcoal, that’s going to kind of be your little binder. And I have one study right here, I’ll just kind of read the conclusion. And again, it’s amazing how researchers just do not know how to write in a way that connects with the average person. Let me read it and then I’ll translate talks about it talks about right here. This is due to the contribution of hydrogen bonding to the dispersive interaction of hydrocarbon moiety with the act of carbon pore walls after oxidation for the carbons with unaltered decreased surface area The esoteric heat of the acid aldehyde absorption is decreased. Alright, right here. This is it basically activated charcoals, which are these hydrocarbons, bind up acid aldehyde and decrease its absorption. So there’s less acid aldehyde or acetyl aldehyde in your body to be absorbed, because it’s being bound up by the activated charcoal. 

Evan Brand: Let me point out what you’re saying. Because there’s people that are, you know, 17 minutes into this and they’re going yeah, but I don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol is stupid. It’s poison. I haven’t touched alcohol in years. I’m 20 years sober. Hey, he just said acetyl aldehyde. So if you have dealt with gut issues, and you’ve got a Candida overgrowth, that’s why we use binders for people. We’re not giving someone a binder and saying, oh, by the way, this is going to help with your Friday night drink. No, we’re using binders clinically, because it helps with the toxins that Candida and bacteria and parasites and all these gut infections that we talked about. That’s very beneficial for that, but it just so happens to be helpful with the alcohol piece too. So for those people like oh, Alcohol is the devil, which I joke around and say that many times. If I see my dad drinking, I’ll say, you know, I’ll call the devil right? And he’ll laugh. But anyway, for those people that don’t drink Look, the charcoal is still beneficial. Now, here’s one like side tangent, but I think it’s important to mention because it’s a sad reality is that up, women suppose you know, majority are going to go out to if they go out. I mean, whenever everything’s back to normal, they go out to a bar, and date raping still happens. I had a friend from high school who I saw at the gym years ago, and she apparently got dosed with gh B, you know, she was drinking water, and ended up getting date raped, and here she is not even drinking alcohol. I guess someone slipped ghp into her water and you know, next thing she knows that’s what happened. And so, the good news is there’s a study from European Journal of pharmacology, what’s it say here Pharmaceutical Sciences. Long story short, activated charcoal has clinically relevant ghp binding capacity. There you go. So if you have kids that are 2125 30, whatever they’re in college, you’re worried about them. Just make sure no matter what that if they go to a party or they go to a bar or whatever, that they take the charcoal because it’s going to help with the alcohol. But hey, if somebody tries to potentially date rape them, Look, now you’ve got that absorption as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I imagine that you’d also see glutathione as being a big one because fluidify on helps run those cytochrome p 450. oxidase pathway. Yeah, and right here ghp is naturally occurring compound and glutathione peroxidase, which is one of the major enzymes made by Luna found does help deactivate that. So yeah, these are all really good things. I mean, the goal of this podcast isn’t to tell people to drink it’s just the fact that hey, we know people are going to drink and there are people out there that still may drink and be very healthy, healthy minded. I like to consume a little bit of alcohol a couple glasses a week a lot of my patients do you know they want to have a social life not that you have to be drink alcohol to be social but they enjoy making that a part of their life and how can they do it in a way where they enjoy the the spirits and the the the levity that they get from their alcohol drinks, but at the same time, still maintain good health, cognitive benefit, good decisions, you know, and really still having a good social life without having the hangover and or having any negative health consequences. And so these are good strategies to do it. And we’ll talk about alcohol in a minute. But just to kind of reiterate, we had talked about the enzyme conversion glutathione is very important. We talked about the acid aldehyde is where a lot of the negative consequences happen. glutathione and activated charcoal can help with that as well. We talked about some of the liver tonifying herbs, such as milk thistle or silymarin. Things like dandelion or artichoke, things that support liver and gallbladder function can be helpful too. We talked about some of the nutrients like vitamin C and selenium, selenium is a glutathione precursor as well. And then we talked about the three amino acids and acetylcysteine is a core one and glutamine glycine, are really good amino acids. And Evan mentioned whey protein, which is really high in those amino acids as well can be really good supports to help with that alcohol, to acetyl aldehyde, acetyl aldehyde to acidic acid or apple cider vinegar, that’s the conversion process. And we’re just trying to help one either bind up some of that nonsense or help your body converted optimally. So you don’t deal with the deleterious consequences. 

Evan Brand: Let’s talk about the, you know, kind of the good, not so good, bad choices for alcohol. But first, I want to comment back on the Blue Zone thing you mentioned, because that’s interesting. You’re talking about the Blue Zones and how so many cultures around the world where you’re seeing a massive amount of centenarians, people that are living to 100 years or greater. These people, a lot of them do consume alcohol. I remember that story of that guy down in Austin. He passed away a few years ago, but it was that that African American guy, he lived like 113 or something, and he was like, he was like a world war two veteran, he was super famous. There’s a street named after him in Austin now, but this guy, don’t quote me, but I’m pretty sure this guy was drinking whiskey and smoking cigars every day. Wow. But here’s the funny thing about him and all these Blue Zones. Alcohol is just the lubricant for the social life. All these people in these Blue Zones, these are people who they have multiple generations of family living with them. They’re gardening, they’re there, they’re getting exercise, they’re getting sunshine, they’re barefoot in the dirt all day, they’re possibly eating food that’s not sprayed with chemicals. And they have much, much more of a social life than like your typical nine to five or so I think that when you look at those things, it’s hard to say, hey, the alcohol helped them live to 100 because they were relaxed. Part of its that too. Maybe they got a little bit relaxed, so they weren’t as stressed. And maybe they took let life less serious. Maybe they laughed a little more. But then also those people were super social with all their friends and family and data. So maybe that’s contributed to the longevity because we’ve seen all those papers on like social isolation being compared to smoking cigarettes and how toxic being isolated is so it’s kind of like the alcohol is there at the party, but the main benefit was the party in the people at the party.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and I just kind of want to highlight here, because there are many people that are listening to this and they’re saying, you know, they may have a history of alcohol abuse or being an alcoholic. Of course, this isn’t for you. But one of the things I want to highlight of why alcohol can be a problem and some people, some people that really have chronic alcohol abuse, the B six vitamin is incredibly affected by alcohol. And B six is really important for synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin, dopamine, it’s very, very important and B six is important for methylation for detoxification for full A and B 12 absorption. So basics really One article right here it’s called vitamin B six metabolism in chronic alcohol abuse to talk about individuals with chronic alcohol abuse frequently exhibit lower plasma levels of pyridoxal five phosphate, that’s B six, because the liver is the primary source of this coenzyme in plasma. Basically, it talks about that liver. toxicity of ethanol can impair hepatic peroxyl five phosphate metabolism. Now this is a rat study, but they’ve seen the same thing in humans. And basics. He talked about ethanol is diminished in the in the rate of release of pyridoxal phosphate phosphate perfused by the livers. The effects of ethanol in vitro were abolished by four methyl piracetol, an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase, so they found that the alcohol dehydrogenase drug actually increased B six, so something to do with that alcohol metabolism really do ranges that be sick. So what does that mean? What’s the Reader’s Digest version means maybe getting a little bit of extra benefit. Complex on board there couldn’t hurt either way so if you have a history of alcohol in your family maybe you don’t but you want to provide extra support for yourself taking a B complex while you consume alcohol could still be a good thing for you. People that are more at a preventative side not saying if you have it still avoided if you have alcohol issues, but if you want to be extra preventative be complex could be something that you may want to add in on top of that. 

Evan Brand: Cool. Yeah, I’m like a one shot a year guy historically, I remember I took like maybe two shots on my bachelor party for my for my wedding and then I we were out playing pool with my dad and my friends, my best man and all that and I just got to the point where I just felt stupid. I was like, God, even after this small amount of alcohol, I couldn’t comprehend simple things. And obviously, my brain likes to run. And so I was like, No, this is slowing me down too much. And so that’s that’s what kind of got me away from it. But But I may try it and see you know, I think there there are some Good, maybe stress reduction benefits. I’d like to see something on alcohol and cortisol. I wonder if there’s anything on that like seeing if salivary cortisol drops, like, let’s say you’re super stressed. I mean, think about like the TV show where you see the guy get pulled over by the cops. First thing he does is whips out a cigarette and starts smoking to take the edge off. I wonder if you took like salivary cortisol, you know, took a shot of vodka, took salivary cortisol. 30 minutes later, you think you’d see it drop? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think you’re gonna see, you’re gonna see a modulation of serotonin and dopamine, I know nicotine does stimulate dopamine. So you’re gonna see some kind of acute input, some type of acute synthesis of those compounds. Now it’s all about the dosage right? chronicity of it, you’ll actually deplete it more, right? It’s kind of like doing a stimulant, you’re going to get a little bit more dopamine. But if you do it chronically, well, now you’re going to deplete that dopamine and you’re going to need more stimulant to get the same result. But just to kind of highlight that last article. I wanted to read the last sentence that said, the data supports the previous findings that acetal aldehyde is the responsible agent for which acts by accelerating the degradation of intercellular b six. So what does that mean? The more acid aldehyde The more we decrease our B six. So the more we can help metabolize acid aldehyde or cetyl aldehyde with charcoal and glutathione and binders, then we’re going to degrade less B six and then if you really want to support and on top of that, you can do extra B six on top of that extra B vitamins and you’ll be good. Now I consume maybe if I go out I consume alcohol maybe only on a Friday or Saturday. That’s it. I do not do any alcohol during the week. It’s just kind of my personal thing. I like to have that at the end of the week, my hard week done, and I’ll typically do one to two glasses of high quality like a clean dry champagne. I like that I like the bubbles in it. For me bubbles are like my best friend to Chico lots of bubbles. There’s been some studies that the bubble and the carbonation and alcohol actually increases the ability eruption of alcohol into your bloodstream. So what does that mean? bubbles mean you have you need less alcohol to get that alcohol in your bloodstream. So I like that they’ve it’s actually studies on that. Imagine the college study where you sit down and you get one group that’s taking shots of vodka. The other group take shots of vodka with carbonated water and they test your blood alcohol content, yet they’ve done studies like that. I’ve seen them. And so you need less alcohol with the bubbles, which is kind of cool. And then you can do a lot of the strategies that we talked about afterwards. So that’s kind of my strategy. Maybe I’ll drink three. It was my kids birthday this weekend. So I had maybe three glasses of you know, I like a nice, nice champagne. Or I’ll do my Dr. J’s Moscow Mule, which is another great recipe. So we’ll do a high quality Tito’s vodka from Austin and get the potato vodka. It’s filtered as well really clean. I’ll do some Tito’s vodka and I’ll mix that in a nice ginger kombucha and I’ll do a half a wine squeezed and that’s a wonderful drink because you get B vitamins in the kombucha. You get a lot of antioxidants in the kombucha and then you have the the line which provides some extra vitamin C, which does can particularly the thigh own. So it kind of gives you a lot of nutrients that actually help with any acid aldehyde metabolism, which is cool.

Evan Brand: That’s very cool. Okay, so I want to talk real quick about neurotransmitters and bits and you kind of got into it and then we’ll go into maybe the good worse bad kind of choices. So I sent you a in the chat there, I put you a link to this big long paper about neurotransmitters and alcohol. And so we know this but it’s always good to see it in in paper form that both metabolites of serotonin which is they probably were measuring five aiaa, just like we see on the organic acids test, I’m guessing but it talks about here how in humans the levels of serotonin metabolites in the urine and the blood increase after a single drinking session indicating increased serotonin release in the nervous system. And so, you know, if you and I both love, Julia Ross, I’ll speak for you and talk talk about You love her because I love her. I’ve had her on the podcast several times. She’s done amazing work on amino acids. And you know, when she talks about serotonin being low, the deficiency symptoms of serotonin, this these are the things that drive people to drink in some cases. So these are like negativity, depression, worry, anxiety, low self esteem, and then you notice how those people who were kind of anxious and kind of closed in and introverted. Guess what, what happens when they drink, they become extroverted, they’re talking louder, they’re more bubbly, they’re, they’re more happy, they’re more, they’re less anxious, they’re less worried, and that’s because you get that quick boost of serotonin. Now, here’s the problem. And I haven’t read into the paper to confirm this. But I’ve read other papers on this and everybody knows this. If you’ve been in society, what happens at the end of the night when the guy goes home with the wrong girl or the girl goes home with the wrong guy at the end of the night? That’s because you have this temporary boost initially of serotonin and then guess what happens the serotonin crashes and when you have not Not enough serotonin, your decision making goes down, your prefrontal cortex just shuts down and you make bad decisions and you do things that you shouldn’t do. So you have this initial spike, because of the five htt receptors being hit by the alcohol, and then boom, rapidly declines after that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think also alcohol just naturally decreases frontal cortex activation anyway. And so frontal cortex is the part of the brain right here, the neocortex that makes us human beings, it basically allows you it’s impulse control. So I don’t know you get in a fight with someone you’re like, oh, man, I really want to whack that person. But then your frontal cortex is like, Oh, no, don’t do that. That’s not good, right? You’ll go to jail. So your frontal cortex kind of like, Can like take a decision, that may be a bad one that you’re thinking impulsively, and it can shut that down. It also can, it can predict outcome of actions. And so when your frontal cortex is closed down, now you don’t have impulse control. So you just start saying whatever comes to your brain, and then you also don’t think about the consequences of your actions hence bad decisions. Yep. And then also in this paper it goes into how serotonin and not only just serotonin but GABA, you know alcohol is going to have an effect on gab as well. So, you know, people are familiar with GABA, it’s kind of the brakes of the brain, I call it and so when people are doing benzodiazepines, like Valium, and Xanax and those kind of things that’s working on the GABA receptors to calm anxiety. You and I prefer to use things like naturally fermented pharma gabbeh. We like to use things like elfy to help boost GABA, but you know, from a toxin perspective, the Gabba Gabba nergic pathway that’s also affected by alcohol too. So that would probably contribute to the relaxation a bit. Yeah, it’s interesting how the date rape drug which is gamma hydroxybutyrate ghp is actually a GABA metabolite. But it’s amazing that that can have the mind altering effects of memory loss. So obviously it must be a dose dependent type of thing. 

Evan Brand: It is Yeah, I was actually Looking at the GH B page, like a data page on it, it was talking about how at a low dose you get like a little bit of euphoria. But then when you go moderate high dose, yeah, you’re unconscious, you got no memory, it’s bad stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s funny when my wife and I go out to eat, I have my little stomach case. And I have enzymes and HCl on one side, and then I have activated charcoal, NAC or vitamin C on the other. And so when we go out, it’s funny, I just pull it out. And I kind of just set up my little supplements as a as I’m going like trying to always hack things, right. And then I’ll do glutathione later at home, because number one, it tastes really bad. anyone that knows liposomal glutathione. I don’t want it to affect the taste of my meal. But then I do those amino acids while there and so that’s just kind of how I hack it. And I’m guessing too. One thing you could do on top of that is people that are trying to whip their serotonin or dopamine levels up, you can just use amino acids as well, to bump up your brain chemicals, right, so we’ll do tyrosine or l dopa. When appearing is to really help improve dopamine or adrenaline levels. And dopamine is a precursor to adrenaline. So part of the way we support healthy dopamine levels is we fix the underlying stressors that are causing your dopamine to go to adrenaline. And then of course, five HTP with B six and B six is very important because it helps with the conversion of your neurotransmitters. And we talked about the article showing a cetyl aldehyde decreases B six levels. So you can see the interplay here, so you can you know, if you’re smart, right, and you have issues to begin with, just avoid alcohol. But if you don’t, and you want to engage in it and have a couple of drinks per week, and you want to do it safe and effectively and hack it so you feel great doing it don’t have a deleterious effects, B six is one, okay. And then we can even do the amino acids five HTP and tyrosine with B six right, I talked about that. And then we have your binder, we have your glutathione precursor and then we have your minerals or your hydration which could just be a nice bottle of Pellegrino dropped off at the table with some limes and you can get some vitamin C in the lime juice and then you’re set. 

Evan Brand: Let me mention this. The people that have alcohol cravings, so you’re like hey, workweeks done great week let’s chill out a little bit that’s not you craving it that’s you just going to it because you’re enjoying it now the people that have to go to it the people like oh my god, I got to have a drink. Those people need more functional medicine help. So you know, Julia Ross talks about this a lot people that are having cravings for alcohol. You know, these are people that may need something like glutamine to help with the the brain to help the brain feel stable and calm. The people that are low in serotonin, they may crave alcohol as well. So like you said, that’s where the five HTP comes in. If someone’s burned out their catecholamines, they may have alcohol cravings, and some people it manifests as dark chocolate cravings, and some people it manifests as sweet cravings and some people it’s alcohol or it’s cannabis craving so you can have different vices tied into the same neurotransmitter. Same thing with Gabba. If you’re real low in GABA, you’re going to be someone who it’s hard for you to relax your real tightly wound. And you may crave sweets or starches, but you also may crave alcohol. So when you get the alcohol, oh my god, you loosen your shoulders a little bit, that’s a sign that you need help and the GABA department and then reach out to somebody like Dr. J. And let’s help you boost your natural levels and some of its genetics. Some people are just genetically going to be lower, they’re more anxious, maybe family history, childhood, whatever. And some people it’s the stress of toxicity and gut bugs or whatever else. It’s affected neurotransmitters like you and I see when people have gut infections, we’ll look at their serotonin and serotonin is often low. And my theory is that, hey, you’ve got a lot of gut bugs, you’re probably not able to manufacture enough serotonin in the gut, and therefore that’s why you’re anxious and depressed. And that’s why you have to have your alcohol to be happy or to do whatever you have to do but if you fix the gut, we retest the organic acid, boom, serotonin. goes back up to normal, which is really cool to see on paper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yep, totally. And again, alcohol isn’t there is some genetics to it. You’ll see it in a lot of people of Irish descent. Supposedly there’s some issues with with B vitamin or thymine deficiency, which is B one. And alcohol consumption actually further depletes that. So you see it in the Irish population. You also saw in the Native American population, a lot of alcoholism there. So thigh means a big role. That’s kind of why I was saying that. A good B complex would be one and B six can be very helpful as a preventative for people that may not be alcoholics but may have it in their family as a good preventative. Number two, if you are an alcoholic, you really want to look at supporting the adrenals you want to really look at supporting blood sugar, blood sugar is really important. You want to look at treating Candida because of the acid aldehyde in your gut from Candida can still mimic that. You want to look at supporting B vitamins and digestion and absorption. And one of the best things you can do when when you go out to eat is have Some protein and fat with your meal, it’s very helpful. One of the things I’ll do when I consume alcohol is I love oysters. And oysters are very high in zinc. And I’m pretty sure oysters are also very high in B vitamins too, I have to look at that real quick. Yet oysters are very high in B 12. And they’re also very high. And they do have some smaller amounts of timing nice and in full eight. And so that’s really good. So really, if you can go out and actually consume really nutrient dense foods, foie gras, liver, high quality grass fed steaks, you know, good seafood consumption, you’re going to have a lot of extra B vitamins there that will help fill in the gap nutritionally as well. 

Evan Brand: Yep. So let’s get into the good, worse, bad choice if you want to now. So you mentioned vodka already, which is good, because you mentioned it’s going to be distilled. It’s going to be ultra purified. So if you’re looking for just the pure stuff, it’s going to be that and then a golf a would probably be up at the top of the top of the list. Do you mean Yeah, tequila made from a GAVI. So- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One thing to add though the volca I’m a big fan of titos I’m pretty sure it’s potato bass and I think it’s also a filter like seven or eight times and isn’t it also isn’t also go to a charcoal filter.

Evan Brand: Supposedly that’s what we read. I haven’t confirmed it but yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so very clean. So if you want to consume that, and then I’ll do the Vodka with a high quality kombucha to really help improve the self improve the B vitamin nutrient levels too.

Evan Brand: Yep, so so tequila are coming from a GABE that’s gonna be generally really, really clean and then you get into the brown stuff. So you’re going to get into the whiskies. And then of course, you got bourbon which bourbon just means that it was made in Kentucky where I live Nice, huh? Same thing, whiskey and bourbon, same thing like Bourbons made in Kentucky and that’s what that’s what allows it to be called bourbon. So, but that’s but that’s made from grains. And generally grains are going to be genetically modified. They’re going to be sprayed with a lot of chemicals. So if you get a quote, really high grade High School Last whiskey bourbon, guess what, it’s not going to be certified organic and it’s not going to be, you know, GMO glyphosate free. So I would argue that the tequila and vodka choices would probably be far better. Now there’s also one. It’s like a Hawaiian company that makes an organic vodka. I’m gonna see if I can pull it up. It had like a blue bottle. It was like a, it’s called ocean. It’s organic vodka. And it was by a company called ocean. So and they make it from organic sugarcane. So that’s kind of cool. I like that it comes from an 80 acre farm and distillery in Maui and they use solar panels to power the distillery and blah, blah, blah. So it’s organic sugar cane, blended with deep ocean mineral water. So that’s kind of cool. So I think if you could get organic, and that would be smart. Now people that have allergies with corn. There’s another brand called frankly, who makes organic vodka but it’s made from organic corn. So when cause any issues if you had a corn allergy, I don’t know, maybe go for the sugar cane stuff instead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Usually it’s filtered enough, it’s gonna have lot of its proteins. Proteins are a lot bigger so usually those are gonna get filtered out. Vodka’s gonna be the cleanest, there are antioxidants and some of those compounds. So you mentioned Gin, which is made of Juniper Berries which are very powerful antioxidants. Also things like Whiskey for instance, which is made from grains but typically the distillation process filtered it out, and it has different antioxidants in there, so it’s allagic acid which is a powerful antioxidant. And there are some decent compounds in there so your hard alcohols are gonna be good. Vodka’s my favorite because it mixes really well and you can get a high quality one that’s really clean. And we have like a nice dry apple cider, it’s really good, just try to get the one without sugar added. There’s a good brand in whole foods in Austin called Anthem, it’s a pretty good one. Another one is Magner which is pretty good too. Then of course you have your dry wines right so you have like a champagne which is basically a bubbly wine where the grapes come from one province in France right, but then you have like versions of prosecco which is a champagne version in Italy you have cava which is a champagne version in Spain and so I’ll tend to lean to some of the sparkling wines or really clean dry apple cider or really clean like my Dr. J’s Moscow Mule which i have a blog post on how to make and that’s the vodka, the ginger kombucha, half a lime squeeze and that’s phenomenal stuff.  And then of course you have the regular white wine, drier version you have the redder wines, which could have some other types of gluten in there because of the uh the granules of flour that may line some of the bottles, the like the big bins the big like barrels of of actual wine there could be some cross contamination there, and then you have like your flavored liqueurs, and then you have your beer, your lager, and then of course your not so good mix drink with lots of high sugar that’s kind of the spectrum.

Evan Brand: Yeah you notice like we barely even give any credit to the existence of those garbage ones like your Smirnoff  blue dye colored sugary corn syrup cane sugar mixture with alcohol, I mean the stuff like if you go out to like an american restaurant you get a margarita i mean it’s going to be a disgusting combination of artificial colors and dyes and sugar. It’s probably more sugar than there is alcohol in most of those things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I mean I can tell you, market demand though a lot more higher quality healthier alcohol drinks. I’m seeing a lot of sparkling water with a little bit of vodka, and some even just sweetened with a little bit of stevia, I think it’s like the white claw one and there’s another one out there, so there’s a couple of decent ones that are out there that are made from mass consumption. They kind of are dialed in with a little bit of vodka, a little sparkling, maybe even a tiny bit of Stevia and so not as bad. 

Evan Brand: Cool. I’ve heard of the white claw. I haven’t looked it up yet. I’m going to try to see what are the ingredients here. I’ve got an ingredient label here- black cherry-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s another one it’s like fawn and something vaughn and forget. 

Evan Brand: So apparently, it’s carbonated water alcohol which I’m not sure what kind of alcohol it is. It just says it’s a gluten-free alcohol base natural flavor cane sugar citric acid. So yeah I mean I guess I would argue that’s not terrible. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You have to look at some some are low it’s another one bon and vive are one that i’ve seen before that just on the shelf that like pretty low sugar, like for me, i would probably just make my own with kombucha, because i feel like i can i can add more nutrients to it, and have that natural sweetness there.  But so just kind of giving you guys an idea of kind of how we think about it, Evan doesn’t drink at all i drink a tiny bit on the weekend, not during the week, so just kind of how we approach it. One, how do we choose the healthiest version possible. Two, how do we mitigate the side effects with some of the supplements that we recommend during. 

Evan Brand: I’m not opposed to it. I know I would go for it if it’s something clean i would probably go for it. I was just staying away because after my mold exposure you know i developed some histamine issues and when you look into alcohol and dao the enzyme that breaks down histamine the idea is that alcohol down regulates the dao enzyme and then it increases histamine because of that whole acetyl-aldehyde path that we talked about earlier. So people with histamine issues, uh people with gut issues those are probably people that should proceed with caution, but you know, once I feel like i’m on steady ground with the histamine thing i’ll probably try some. Let’s see what happens, maybe i’ll — but here’s here’s the funny thing. I’ve always been so social uh such an extrovert, so outgoing, that anytime i were at a party if i were driving friends around or whatever, i was always more social than the people there and like people would think i was buzzed or think i was drunk because of how social i was and so people have to drink to get on my level of sociability which has always been pretty funny. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I get that. That makes sense. So just kind of recapping for everyone right, choose the highest quality alcohol you possibly can based on that scale that we gave. Vodka, tequila, to whiskey, to gin, to your dryer kind of bubbly champagne, to your dryer red and white wines, to your beers lagers and kind of sugary drinks at the end. So choose kind of the best on that spectrum. Metabolism of alcohol right, ethyl alcohol, acid alcohol, two acetaldehyde acetaldehyde to acetic acid right so catalase enzyme here in that first step glutathione helps with that, and then from the uh acetaldehyde to acetic acid- that’s the alcohol dehydrogenase II, activated charcoal and different sulfur amino acids help decrease that as well. So use those. Be very mindful of alcohol, especially hard alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar. So what happens is your liver does help with blood sugar stability, gluconeogenesis, when you lean up a whole bunch of ethyl alcohol against it, guess what happens? Your liver stops helping with blood sugar and so you when you take in alcohol. You can actually lower your blood sugar because there’s no sugar when you take in vodka for instance. So you’re actually decreasing your blood sugar, now what happens? When this happens it can create cravings, so when you go to a bar or restaurant they want to give you alcohol first a lot of times that’s going to decrease your blood sugar, because what your body can’t help maintain blood sugar stability. So the harder it is you have a lower blood sugar level. What does that do? More cravings, more appetite, more eating sugary and crappy carbohydrates and that can create a blood sugar roller coaster. So have good proteins good fats first before you eat so you can have better blood sugar control, and then use a lot of the supplementation that we talked about activated charcoal, vitamin c, milk thistle, nac, glutathione, and then make sure you hydrate in between to maintain your mineral levels.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. The restaurants know that if they can get you drinking you’re more likely to order that brownie with vanilla ice cream on top. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo. 100%. So I always want to put myself in a position where my cravings are not driving the bus, so to speak. I’m able to make decisions based on what I want versus what my cravings want. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, exactly. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. If you want to reach out, you can check out Dr Justin at JustinHealth.com. He does consults worldwide- phone, facetime, skype, whatever we have to do to connect. That’s what you do. We send lab tests to your door, we help you with a wide range of health issues, you can view more on that website and if you want to reach out to me, Evan Brand that’s the website- EvanBrand.com. Same thing available worldwide. We’re blessed, we love being able to help people, we love being able to help hack things where people can still feel like a normal human. You know sometimes when you’re in this functional medicine health world, you feel like things are restricted. You’ve got these dietary restrictions, and now you can’t do this and now you can’t go eat the birthday cake and da da da da da so the good news is you can hack things like we’ve talked about today and you can still feel like a quote normal human. I really don’t want to feel like a normal human because most normal humans are super unhealthy and sick and overweight and whatever. So I’d rather feel the way we feel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agreed. I can’t believe this is one of our longest podcasts in a while, but I guess there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to uh alcohol consumption and how to do it the right way. So hopefully um the listeners enjoy the extra in depth and the biochemistry and some of the mechanism stuff and uh just you know walk away and apply a couple of components here to make your alcohol consumption healthier. If you feel the need to engage so far.

Evan Brand: Yep or share the content so sharing is caring. Please do and I would love if you’d write a review for us on iTunes because wherever you’re listening on your podcast app you should just be able to click write a review. So do it, I know we’re like we’re real people we’re not just like the annoying pop-up where the app’s like please rate me and you’re like maybe later or you’re like no thanks, don’t do that to us. Actually give it to us, we need it, we appreciate it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We appreciate it. We wanted to get uh in front of more people so they can take control of their health and that makes the world a better place so we appreciate that. Evan excellent chat today really appreciate it. We will be back next week you guys, have a phenomenal week. Take care y’all. Bye now.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/hack-your-alcohol-consumption-and-avoid-hangovers-podcast-300

New Year, New You: Easy Steps For A Healthier You

New Year, New You: Easy Steps For A Healthier You

It is common practice to set New Year’s Resolutions: weight loss, a better self-care routine, implementing new habits or cutting out old ones. However, with 80% of New Year’s Resolutions failing by February, we need to reassess our goal-making.

How to Set An Attainable Resolution

Start with the Why: Ask yourself, why are you setting this goal? Understanding your reasoning can help motivate you to stick to a certain resolution. Additionally, setting big goals without thinking of how you are going to get there can make it seem quite daunting. Breaking a goal down into actionable steps is critical for success.

Example: “I want to lose weight.”

This is an admirable, yet vague, goal. Ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Is it so that you’ll feel more confident in your own skin or rocking a bikini on Spring Break? Or maybe you’re trying to lose weight for your health, to prevent the risk of developing health complications.

Secondly, we need to break down the steps required to reach the end product. There are multiple factors that go into weight loss. Diet and exercise being two of the big ones. Maybe you have something sweet after every meal, and decide to save dessert for an after-dinner treat. That is one small, but compounding factor that is an important part of reaching your bigger goal. If you don’t work out, you can create a plan that works with you. Maybe you decide to walk a lap around the block once per day, and increase the distance every week for 2 months. Then, you start by jogging around the block once per day, and increase that over time… whatever plan works for you- the important part is having a strategy for success!

Easy Steps For A Healthier You

With all this being said, we have taken a couple of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, and broken them down into totally doable steps.

Exercise: After you can explain to yourself why you want to exercise (weight loss for your health, building muscle so that you can carry your kids longer, etc.), you need to create your plan. Three good questions to answer are:

  1. When will you exercise? Decide how many times per week you are going to exercise, and if possible, identify which days those will be. (Ex: I will work out 3x per week, on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday).
  2. What kind of exercise will you do? Will you go to a gym and work on building muscle, focus on running outdoors, or join a sport or other athletic activity (swimming, yoga, basketball, cycling, etc.)?
  3. How long will you work out? Dedicating 20 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour, etc. to your workout on your chosen days of the week will help you set & stick to a schedule.

Starting (or Changing) Your Diet

Again, it’s important to assess your reasons for changing your diet. Whether you eat a lot of processed food, indulge in too many “cheat” meals, or have some underlying health issues that you want to address by cutting out potential triggers- knowing your reason for starting a diet will help keep you on track.

Additionally, it’s good to have a game plan for moments where you will inevitably struggle. Healthy swaps and backup plans.

Some of the most impactful changes don’t have to be hard. Below are a few of the best things you can do for your health, and healthy swaps:

  • Minimizing processed foods: Rather than buying foods in packages and wrappers, opt for fresh foods. Browse paleo versions of your favorite foods, and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. Batch cooking can come in handy– making larger portions of  each meal will enable you to freeze the leftovers. When you would otherwise be tempted by a processed meal from the grocery store, you can just heat up your healthy ready-made meal! Bonus tip: Carry protein cars, nuts, and other easy healthy snacks in your purse/keep them in your car for occasions when you are out & about and in need of fuel.
  • Cutting out gluten: This seems daunting to some, but is in fact incredibly easy. There are gluten-free alternatives for everything, though most of the time, these are processed foods that we want to be avoiding anyways. Swap out breads for other, healthier sources of carbs, such as sweet potatoes.
  • Limiting sugar and alcohol intake: Limit your alcohol intake, and check out our article for tips on hacking your alcohol consumption. Swap out excessively sugary desserts for dark chocolate (80%+). Another delicious and natural treat is a baked cinnamon apple: Dice up an apple into ~½” cubes. Add a tablespoon of butter and a good helping of ceylon cinnamon over the top. Cover in foil, and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes. The final result will be a very soft treat, which can be mixed up. This resembles apple pie, and is free of any added sugar!

Wanting to better yourself isn’t limited to New Year’s. No matter when you start your healthier lifestyle, setting reasonable goals and establishing your “why” is a significant step towards your success.

We wish you a happy and healthy 2019!

Paleo Alcohol: How to Consume Alcohol Safely!

Paleo Alcohol: How to Consume Alcohol Safely!

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Is alcohol Paleo? Obviously not! My definition of Paleo is eating foods that are nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, and low in toxins (independent of macronutrients).  The better question to ask is, is how we can experience a nice buzz while avoiding the dreaded hangover and blood-sugar swings.

My experience with alcohol is that it tends to be the gateway drug to junk food. Most of us have found ourselves, after a few drinks, prone to reaching for some extra sweets or even gluten-rich food, like pizza. Well, if you consume alcohol correctly, your cravings for sweets will be much more manageable.

With the holidays coming up, we will find ourselves at more parties and gatherings where alcohol is served. This goes without saying: you don’t have to consume alcohol to have fun, but many people will be put in social situations where a drink or two may be par for the course.

It also goes without saying, if you are an alcoholic, please abstain from alcohol completely.

So There’s the 80/20 Rule

If you are in relatively good health and on point in your diet and lifestyle 80% of the time, you have about 20% wiggle room to (responsibly!) cheat and indulge. I am a fan of this rule, but I still like to choose the best cheats possible. When it comes to cheating, there is a spectrum: indulge in cheats that may have a little added sugar (ideally not from high fructose corn syrup), healthy proteins, or healthy fats and cheats that contain nutrients (not empty calories) and are non-GMO. This will avoid throwing your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.

Healthier Treats vs. Unhealthier Treats

  • Unsweetened (stevia) organic coconut ice cream is better than Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that’s loaded with casein and sugar.
  • A 90% organic dark-chocolate bar is far better than a Snickers bar.
  • A sweet potato with butter and cinnamon is better than a pizza.

As you can see, it’s possible to indulge and not have to take on the deleterious side effects.

If you have an autoimmune condition or have issues with blood-sugar balance, adrenal fatigue, your gut, or thyroid imbalances, you may want to think about what percentage you cheat, and to what degree you cheat. With most of the previous conditions mentioned, blood-sugar stabilization tends to be an issue. One of the biggest stressors on the hormonal system is blood-sugar stability, so if your blood-sugar stability system is already stressed, adding refined sugar in the form of alcohol may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and prevents you from healing.

I have an autoimmune condition, so I very rarely let gluten touch my lips, but I will sometimes let myself indulge with a gluten-free pizza. Most of my cheats typically include the following:

  1. Sweet potato with grass-fed butter and cinnamon
  2. A green apple with almond butter
  3. High-quality dark chocolate, 80% or greater
  4. Hail Merry tart

Is the 80/20 Rule Right for You?

80/20 Rule: You feel good most of time, but you take relatively good care of yourself.

90/10 Rule: You are tired more often, experiences PMS, digestive issues, low libido, brain fog, hypothyroidism, and memory issues.

100% Rule: You currently have an autoimmune condition, poor energy, poor mood, frequent diarrhea, digestive disturbances, or are overweight.

Need more help properly detoxing alcohol? Click here.

Most Alcohol Contains a Few Compounds I Consider Toxic:

  1. Mycotoxins (fungus)
  2. Excessive sugar, especially when consuming multiple drinks
  3. Empty calories, containing 0 nutrients
  4. May contain gluten, especially if you consume beer

How to Mitigate the Damage of Alcohol and Utilize Paleo Alcohol Versions?

  1. Stabilize your blood sugar before you drink: I always consume protein and fat before I consume alcohol. Protein is primarily digested in the stomach, the same place alcohol is absorbed. Taking in some protein can slow down the absorption of alcohol (in a time-released fashion) into the bloodstream. This provides a magic carpet alcohol ride instead of the roller coaster version where alcohol sneaks up on you fast.
  2. Choose healthy versions of alcohol, and add extra components to the drink that aid in detoxification, prevent dehydration, and mitigate toxins in the body. I typically choose a clean vodka (potato based) or tequila.
  3. Consume Kombucha tea, which is high in various B vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics. Coconut water is also high in various electrolytes, such as potassium. Combining these two together helps prevent dehydration and actually provides some nutritional value to the alcoholic beverage.
  4. Use the juice of half a lime. Lime juice is highly alkalizing and also helps with insulin sensitivity. Remember, alcohol is sugar, so it’s important we do everything possible to decrease our insulin spikes. Insulin spikes will lead to hypoglycemia, and hypoglycemia will add more stress to the adrenal glands and also cause additional sweet cravings.
  5. Adding in sparkling mineral water provides extra minerals and also adds carbonation to the alcohol, which helps with alcohol absorption. The better you absorb alcohol, the fewer alcoholic drinks you need to consume. This is a win-win deal!

My Favorite Paleo Alcohol Drinks:

Nor-Cal Margarita (Thanks Robb Wolf)

What you need:

  1. 1–2 shots of tequila
  2. 1/2 a lime squeezed
  3. Carbonated water (I use sparkling mineral water)
  4. Liquid stevia if you need extra sweetness
  5. On the rocks

Dr J’s Moscow Mule

What you need:

  1. Ginger kombucha 5–8 ounces
  2. 1/2 a lime squeezed
  3. 1–2 ounces of coconut water
  4. Liquid stevia if you need extra sweetness
  5. On the rocks

The Take-Home Message!

Following a Paleo diet is not about being perfect. Yet many people that go Paleo notice remarkable improvements in how they look, feel, and perform. When some people cheat or move away from that style of eating, the side effects are bearable, and many are able to return back to their Paleo diet with no issues. Some people are more sensitive, and cheating with inflammatory foods and beverages may set them back for days—it’s essentially their kryptonite!

There’s always a risk-reward analysis that has to be done, and it’s always good to do a mental check to see if the few hours of fun and indulgence are worth the few days of pain. Again, it’s different for everyone, and it depends on where you are on your health journey. My suggestion is to figure out where you lie in that spectrum, and if you are more sensitive, try some of the suggestions that I made above.

If you don’t listen to your body’s whispers, you will have to endure its cries!

Click here to learn more about alcohol and your health

Paleo Alcohol: How to Consume Alcohol Safely!

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Is alcohol Paleo? Obviously not! My definition of Paleo is eating foods that are nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, and low in toxins (independent of macronutrients).  The better question to ask is, how  we can consume alcohol (paleo alcohol) in a way where it mitigates a hangover, allows us to experience a gentle buzz, and doesn’t cause blood-sugar swings or sweet cravings.

My experience with alcohol is it tends to be the gateway drug to junk food. I think everyone has had the experience after a few drinks of finding themselves more prone to reach for some extra sweets or even gluten-rich food, like pizza. Well, if you consume alcohol correctly, your cravings for sweets will be much more manageable.

With Memorial Day weekend just passing, many of us probably found ourselves at some sort of party or cookout where alcohol may have been consumed. This goes without saying: you don’t have to consume alcohol to be healthy, but, again, many people will be put in social situations where a drink or two may be par for the course.

It also goes with out saying, if you are an alcoholic, please abstain from alcohol completely.

alcohol

So There’s the 80/20 Rule

If you are in relatively good health and on point in your diet and lifestyle, 80% of the time, you typically have about 20% wiggle room where you can cheat and indulge. I am a fan of this rule, but I still like to choose the best cheats possible. When it comes to cheating, there is a spectrum: indulge in cheats that may have a little added sugar (ideally not from high fructose corn syrup), healthy proteins, or healthy fats and cheats that contain nutrients (not empty calories) and are non-GMO. This will avoid throwing your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.

Healthier Treats vs. Unhealthier Treats

  • Unsweetened (stevia) organic coconut ice cream is better than Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that’s loaded with casein and sugar.
  • A 90% organic dark-chocolate bar is far better than a Snickers bar.
  • A sweet potato with butter and cinnamon is better than a pizza.

As you can see, it’s possible to indulge and not have to take on the deleterious side effects.

If you have an autoimmune condition or have issues with blood-sugar balance, adrenal fatigue, your gut, or thyroid imbalances, you may want to think about what percentage you cheat and to what degree you cheat on the cheating spectrum mentioned above. With most of the previous conditions mentioned, blood-sugar stabilization tends to be an issue. One of the biggest stressors on the hormonal system is blood-sugar stability, so if your blood-sugar stability system is already stressed, adding refined sugar in the form of alcohol may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and prevents you from healing.

I have an autoimmune condition, so I very rarely let gluten touch my lips, but I will sometimes let myself indulge with a gluten-free pizza. Most of my cheats typically include the following:

1. Sweet potato with grass-fed butter and cinnamon
2. A green apple with almond butter
3. High-quality dark chocolate, 80% or greater
4. Hail Merry tart

Is the 80/20 Rule Right for You?

80/20 Rule: You feel good most of time, but you take relatively good care of yourself.
90/10 Rule: You are tired more often, experiences PMS, digestive issues, low libido, brain fog, hypothyroidism, and memory issues.
100% Rule: You currently have an autoimmune condition, poor energy, poor mood, frequent diarrhea, digestive disturbances, or are overweight.

Want to know if alcohol is for you? Click here.

In Most Cases, Alcohol Contains a Few Compounds I Consider Toxic:

1. Mycotoxins (fungus)
2. Excessive sugar, especially when consuming multiple drinks
3. Empty calories, containing 0 nutrients
4. May contain gluten, especially if you consume beer

How to Mitigate the Damage of Alcohol and Utilize Paleo Alcohol Versions?

1. Stabilize your blood sugar before you drink: I always consume protein and fat before I consume alcohol. Protein is primarily digested in the stomach, the same place alcohol is absorbed. Taking in some protein can slow down the absorption of alcohol (in a time-released fashion) into the bloodstream. This provides a magic carpet alcohol ride instead of the roller coaster version where alcohol sneaks up on you fast.

2. Choose healthy versions of alcohol, and add extra components to the drink that aid in detoxification, prevent dehydration, and mitigate toxins in the body. I typically choose a clean vodka (potato based) or tequila.

3. Consume Kombucha tea, which is high in various B vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics. Coconut water is also high in various electrolytes, such as potassium. Combining these two together helps prevent dehydration and actually provides some nutritional value to the alcoholic beverage.

4. Use the juice of half a lime. Lime juice is highly alkalizing and also helps with insulin sensitivity. Remember, alcohol is sugar, so it’s important we do everything possible to decrease our insulin spikes. Insulin spikes will lead to hypoglycemia, and hypoglycemia will add more stress to the adrenal glands and also cause additional sweet cravings.

5. Adding in sparkling mineral water provides extra minerals and also adds carbonation to the alcohol, which helps with alcohol absorption. The better you absorb alcohol, the fewer alcoholic drinks you need to consume. This is a win-win deal!

My Favorite Paleo Alcohol Drinks:

Nor-Cal Margarita (Thanks Robb Wolf)

What you need:

1. 1–2 shots of tequila

2. 1/2 a lime squeezed

3. Carbonated water (I use sparkling mineral water)

4. Liquid stevia if you need extra sweetness

5. On the rocks

Dr J’s Moscow Mule

What you need:

1. Ginger kombucha 5–8 ounces

2. 1/2 a lime squeezed

3. 1–2 ounces of coconut water

4. Liquid stevia if you need extra sweetness

5. On the rocks

The Take-Home Message!

Following a Paleo diet is not about being perfect. Yet many people that go Paleo notice remarkable improvements in how they look, feel, and perform. When some people cheat, or move away from that style of eating, the side effects are bearable, and many are able to return back to their Paleo diet with no issues. Some people are more sensitive, and cheating with inflammatory foods and beverages may set them back for days—it’s essentially their kryptonite!

There’s always a risk-reward analysis that has to be done, and it’s always good to do a mental check to see if the few hours of fun and indulgence are worth the few days of pain. Again, it’s different for everyone, and it depends on where you are on your health journey. My suggestion is to figure out where you lie in that spectrum, and if you are more sensitive, try some of the suggestions that I made above.

If you don’t listen to your body’s whispers, you will have to endure its cries!

Click here to know more about alcohol and your health 

 


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