Natural Solutions To A Good Night Sleep
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Roughly half of all Americans suffer from insomnia, and according to the National Center for Sleep Disorders, around 15% of the population deals with chronic insomnia on a daily basis. What’s more, the WHO (World Health Organization) considers shift-work or sleep deprivation the only non-substance carcinogen known to man. That puts a lack of sleep in the same class as cigarettes, asbestos, and other known carcinogenic chemicals!
Sleep is vitally important to help repair the body physiologically as well as psychologically. Physiological repair, such as building muscles, bones, tendons, joints and ligaments etc., occurs between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM. During this timeframe, HGH (human growth hormone) peaks. You can think of HGH as your anti-aging hormone, consider getting maximal sleep as gaining $2000-$3000 of anti-aging treatment per month for free!
After your body’s HGH peak comes the mental repair. Between the hours of 2 and 6 AM the body psychologically regenerates, and neurotransmitters and other neurochemicals that help with mental health are recycled and repaired.
Cortisol and it’s Circadian Rhythm
The accelerated health risks for poor sleep
Studies have associated numerous health risks with a lack of good sleep. These include:
Increased risk of diabetes
An increased risk of cancer
Decreased immune function
Obesity and excessive weight gain
Poor physical performance
Slow mental acuity
It’s estimated that over $100 billion is lost each year due to the loss of productivity that a lack of sleep causes. Lack of sleep is also the leading cause of 100,000 vehicle accidents per year and the associated 1,500 deaths.
The major underlying causes of sleep deprivation:
17% of all US employees are shift workers who stay up working during the night instead of sleeping. If I can urge you to make one decision as an investment in your health, the first thing would be finding a job that allows flexibility to sleep during normal sleep hours. The research is very clear, the increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and lack of performance will cost you more in the long run financially and physically.
Chronic stressors can be a huge underlying cause of sleep problems. This includes relationship stress, caffeine, chronic illness, infections, blood sugar imbalances, family stress, and hormonal imbalances. One thing that all stress has in common- whether it’s internal stress or external stress- is the increase of cortisol and adrenaline.
Knocking your cortisol and adrenaline out of balance puts a great deal of stress on your adrenal glands. Your cortisol rhythm at night is intimately linked to your melatonin rhythm (melatonin is your night time/sleep hormone). The more you push your cortisol and adrenaline out of balance, the more your melatonin will also be negatively impacted – and so will your sleep.
Stimulants such as caffeine can prevent you from getting to sleep on time. Caffeine has a half-life of up to eight hours, so be sure to consume your coffee or caffeinated tea before 2 PM in order to give your body enough time to metabolize the caffeine before your bedtime.
Certain medications can also interfere with sleep: antidepressants, corticosteroids, allergy medication, and blood pressure medication to name a few. If you are currently taking medication and also have a sleep problem, please look up the possible side effects of the medication you are taking to see if sleep disturbances are a potential side effect.
Dr. Justin’s Top 7 Sleep Enhancing Tips
- Exercise daily. Burst training and resistance training can make a significant impact on your sleep. The right kinds of exercise can increase human growth hormone, which has the ability to blunt potential cortisol spikes and to increase your body’s repair.
- Pick relaxing teas, such as chamomile or sleepy tea, before bed. These types of teas contain particular amino acids, such as L-theanine, which help to increase certain neurotransmitters like GABA to help promote relaxation.
- For certain individuals melatonin can be a great choice. I recommend using a sublingual variety, which helps increase absorption as well as increasing activation time. However, melatonin may not be right for every single person. For some individuals, taking melatonin actually makes sleep issues worse! When this occurs there’s usually an underlying hormonal imbalance present.
- Many of my menopausal female patients have hormonal imbalances that need to be addressed. Low progesterone is a common cause of sleep deprivation and insomnia. Progesterone has a relaxation effect that occurs by opening the GABA chloride channels in the brain, and can have an effect similar to taking a Xanax– without the side effects. Running a female hormone test can help evaluate this imbalance as well as provide the specific dosing information.
- Buy a white noise machine or even download a white noise app- there are plenty available for free! White noise can be very helpful at blocking out ambient noise that could potentially wake you up throughout the night. If you opt for an app, please be sure to keep your phone in airplane mode while you’re sleeping (you should be doing this at night regardless). The EMF from your phone can disrupt your sleep and can even prevent you from getting into deeper phases of sleep!
- Eating a little bit of protein and fat within two hours of your bedtime can help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent cortisol spikes during the night. The suggestion may go against conventional wisdom in regards to eating right before bed, but low blood sugar throughout the night will cause your cortisol to go up, and that cortisol spike can disrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up. A little bit of protein and fat before bed can make a big difference.
- Give yourself at least one hour before bed to wind down. Turn off the TV, tablets, computers, phones, etc. and pick up a non-stimulating book instead. Engaging in meditation and prayer before bed can be very helpful as well. It doesn’t have to be complicated- a simple meditation is simply counting backwards from 10 to 0 with all of your attention focused on your breath, not the problems and stressors of yesterday or tomorrow. Engaging in prayer- especially focused on gratitude and all that you have to be thankful for in your life- can provide a natural neurotransmitter and hormonal boost that can set you up for a great night sleep!
To receive my full handout entitled “33 secrets to a good night sleep,” click here!
Amino Acids for Anxiety and Sleep – Podcast #146
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about some of the effects of amino acids, specifically how these organic compounds can help improve sleep and anxiety. Also, learn about the different ways on how to overcome issues related to sleep and anxiety.
Majority of adults whose sleep are affected by stress and anxiety are more likely to resort to violence and rage. Fortunately, such circumstances can be avoided by incorporating several healthy changes in one’s lifestyle. Listen to this podcast and learn more about this.
In this episode, we will cover:
02:50 Myofascial Release and Active Release Techniques
06:35 Causes of Anxiety
10:39 Macronutrient Gnostic
13:04 Sleep is a Priority
20:36 Different Ways to Distress
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there. It’s Dr. J. It’s wonderful Monday. Evan, how are we doing today, brother?
Evan Brand: Doing great, man. Summer’s here, and I’m hoping it doesn’t fly by. How are you doing?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, man. I got a new set of water-skis, and I was out in Lake Austin ripping it up. I had one run. Anyone who does water-skiing knows this. I had one run that probably lasted over ten minutes, and my legs are feeling like literally just jello right now. And I’m like, you know, I’m not just standing, I’m like making slalom terms, like you know, giant slalom turns. Like doing over the wake and doing jumps doing some tricks. So, I posted some of that. I got them in my iPhone right now. I’m recording on Facebook here on the other phone. So, I’ll post that up to my Facebook page and Instagram later on today so people can see me ripping it up and…
Evan Brand: Yeah. People want to see the behind the scenes. They want to see when you’re having the Polo shirt on. What are you up to?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Evan Brand: They want to stalk you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think that’s a good idea so I’m gonna post that up there. And also, it’s great neurological exercise, right. When you’re doing things, when you got a stabilized in a– in a three-dimensional setting, right. You got to wear a bag on forwards-backwards, left-right. So, you got to really activate all of those proprioceptors and mechanoreceptors, and all of those stabilizing muscles that, typically, don’t get used if you’re doing, you know, just conventional lifting, especially machine-based lifting, right?
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Now we’re [inaudible] …
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Look at you. [inaudible]
Evan Brand: …your abs or just your– your legs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, you know, when you first start, like your abs will be sore ‘cause you got to stabilize, right. “cause you got things rope right here. Yeah. This rope’s pulling you, the boat’s pulling the rope, right. So, if not, you’re bending over, right, ‘cause the rope’s pulling you. So, you got to keep this whole entire posture chain stabilized.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then you need your core in tight ‘cause you got to keep everything upright. Right? “cause sometimes if you hit a bump, you may want to fall backwards. So, you got to keep that core rock solid ‘cause you can go backwards or forwards, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You got to keep that whole entire thoracolumbar chain activated. So it’s pretty cool.
Evan Brand: Sweet. Well, good job. Glad you didn’t hurt yourself. Let’s get into this podcast. We did a– last podcast on amino acids. We talked about energy and we talked about mood.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh. It’s a– by the way, I wanted to ask you. Are you okay?
Evan Brand: Am I good?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Are you okay?
Evan Brand: Is this like a trick question? What do you mean?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I’ve seen you got attacked by the sleeve monster, so I just – I wanted to know. It seemed like you survived the attack, but you know, the sleeve monster made a way with two of your sleeves. So, I just wanted to question you about that. How are you doing?
Evan Brand: I had to rock the tank top today, man.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re rocking the tank top, man.
Evan Brand: I’m feeling good. Well, so, just for listeners, I won’t– I’ll make this quick. But, I had an abdominal wall injury about two years ago. I tore my abdominal wall. I thought it was a Hernia, and got the ultrasound. They said, “It’s not a Hernia but a tore abdominal wall. Be very careful ‘cause if yyou continue to lift heavy weights, you’re gonna get a Hernia.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And, I tried it with you and I was like, “Dude, this scar tissue is not healing.” And you said, “Well go get a Myofascial Release therapist.” And that’s what I did. And now, for the first time, I was – In a couple of years, I was able to lift without pain. So, thank the Lord and thanks so much for the recommendation. Anybody listening, if you’ve got issues with not being able to lift, or you’re having pain in weird areas, Myofascial release is magic.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah, and even better than Myofascial release is Active Release Technique. Active Release takes one step further. Active Release involves Myofascial Release but then it adds in the active range of motion by the patients. So, Myofascial Release is like – they’re kind of moving you in the direction, so they’re finding that adhesion and they’re like, let’s say it’s my bicep, right. So, this is like– so, eccentric contraction means like elongating, concentric means shortening, right? So, this is the conce– say I’d had adhesion right here in my bicep, right? I find the adhesion. I shortened the muscle, right? It’s concentric. And now, I’m lengthening it as I extend out, right? So, Myofascial is like the person is doing it for you. That’s step four, and then step five is then like, you’re actually doing it for you at the end. So, kind of gives you an idea: one’s passive, one’s active. And it’s always good to go from passive into active, because obviously, if you’re in pain, it may be harder for you to do that yourself.
Evan Brand: Makes sense. And also, my low right back, I had issues there where I hurt my back working at UPS in College, and the therapist, she goes, “Your issues not on the right side. Although the pain’s manifesting on the right side.” The issue is on the low left side of my back that was tightening the right side, so, she fixed that area too. So, I’m a huge proponent.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, when I would do like a lot Applied Kinesiology Chiropractic work, we’d like, you know, put people like at a 45-degree angle, like kind of like crawled up like to do in a sit-up, and then we’d hold them like this. We’d apply pressure. Hold them like this. Apply pressure. We can find out like was it an internal oblique, external oblique, just rectus abdominis-like weakness. And then from there, like, a lot of times, I was using the ARP Wave. So, I would use like electricity to go through there. But then, you can also take one of those stones. This gausious stone, I think they’re called. Let me put it out.
Evan Brand: Is it pretty cool?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. these little stones are called gausious stones. And then you can take it. then you can like– let’s say I had adhesion on my bicep, I could like take a little bit like coconut oil. Then I could just work out the adhesion like this, almost kind of like a– like a Graston technique.
Evan Brand: Yep, good work on it like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But it’s not gonna be as functional as like the Myofascial because the Myofascial takes it and really works it within the contractile plains of the muscle tissue and the muscle fibers. That’s the big difference.
Evan Brand: Cool. Cool. Yeah, I mean, you need to test them. Need to do some more hands-on videos. I think people would really appreciate that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, I used to do a lot more of that earlier in my career, and then I’m just booked out three months of functional medicine.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know I just enjoy that– just more because I have so many different issues I can address.
Evan Brand: Agreed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Functional medicine. And I see so many pain issues that normally would be a Chiropractic kind of issue but we fixed with diet and lifestyle alone. But I’d always suggest getting a holistic Chiropractor on board to work on this thing [crosstalk]… just yield so much better and the nervous system functions a lot better. And yeah, Graston’s similar to what I’m saying. Graston’s great. Again, I like uhm– techniques that also involve the range of motion too.
Evan Brand: Cool. You want to chat about amino acids.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I got a patient here coming up soon so we’ll keep this podcast a little bit shorter. So, we talked about amino acids last week. And we talked about them in regards to mood and energy. Today, we’re gonna focus on anxiety and sleep. And again, we’ve done podcasts on this topic before but, you know, it’s a new day. It’s 2017 here in July. You know, new things come our way. New clinical experience gets plugged into that open loop that we have of new information coming in so it’s always good hitting new things. So, off the bat, anxiety can be caused by a couple things, alright. Anxiety, obviously, people know anxiety a pretty self-explanatory. That uneasiness, those feelings that come in, the butterfly little tingly spider sensations to come in, and it can be subtle, right? Or it can be really extreme where it gets to a panic attack level. And a lot of times, things that can drive back can be over-adrenaline or increased adrenaline. It can be caused by increasing Cortisol. And then things that can create increase in adrenaline and increase in Cortisol are gonna be things that stimulate the sympathetic fight-or-flight nervous system so, any stressor that could have an effect on that, we really want to look at addressing. So, blood sugar’s a big thing. People skipping meals tends to drive a lot of anxiety issues. People not eating a balanced meal, within a fat and protein, can create issues because you have lack of blood sugar stability. When blood sugar goes up and down, you get surges of Insulin and you get surges of adrenaline and Cortisol on the dropping end. And all that can create mood issues and adrenaline issues. And then also just looking at the Cortisol rhythm, a lot of people, they make really drop out in the latter half of the day with their Cortisol, which may create more stress on the body to generate– to get the blood sugar up in which can create issues there too. So, that’s just kind of my little opening there.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I had a client a few weeks ago. He’s relatively new so he’s not a super large amount fat eater yet. He’s still kind of stuck on carbohydrates, and he was having panic attacks. I said, “What do you eat for breakfast?” He said, “Oh. It’s a pretty good breakfast.” “What does that mean?” “It was a banana and gluten-free cereal.” And I’m like, “Good Lord. That’s sugar and carbohydrate.” And so, for us, you know, we really want people – if you’re doing like an Intermittent Fasting protocol and you’re pushing your breakfast back, you know. Fine, if you can handle it, but if you’ve got adrenal stress, you’ve got anxiety problems, you know, Intermittent Fasting might not be a good fit for you. You may need to make your breakfast a bit sooner. You may need to do uh– within 30 minutes of waking up, you may need to eat something because if you ate dinner last night at 6 PM, and it’s now 6:00 or 7AM, and it’s 12 hours since you’ve eaten, and you’ve got anxiety, that blood sugar could be crashing and you’ve got to eat. So, whether it’s a coconut, you know, just coconut meat and might not have to be coconut oil. I’ve made some coconut chips, which are pretty cool. Just get some shredded coconut flakes and you can toast them a little bit if you want. Those are great. If you want to do a smoothie. I like smoothies over juices. Juices, typically, they’re gonna have too much sugar if it’s a store-bought juice, so smoothies, you’re gonna have the whole fruit in there. And you can add the coconut flakes or your half avocado, or some other type of fat source. If you just don’t like the coke in the morning or you just don’t have enough of an appetite. I would push someone into eating a smoothie over skipping a meal completely. And then GABA, too, is another thing that people forget about. I call it kind of the Forgotten Neurotransmitter. When you’re stressed, like Justin has talked about with Cortisol issues, you’re gonna deplete GABA, which is kind of the brakes of the brain. And so, your conventional doctors are gonna prescribe Lorazepam or Xanax, or some other sort of benzodiazephine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [inaudible] exactly. Some kind of benzo to help with that, for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and it’s crap. And it’s not addressing the root cause and the issue with pharmaceuticals is it downregulate your own production. Just like Melatonin. Supplemental Melatonin could be helpful but you do turn down your brains productions. So, if you’re taking GABA-ergic drugs, you’re turning down GABA and that’s why people have worse anxiety and panic attacks trying to come off of Xanax and other benzos. And so, for us, we may push somebody towards like a L-Theanine…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …or you’ve got Lemon balm, or you’ve got Chamomile extract. You’ve got Valerian, you’ve got Passionflower. There’s a lot of other cool things you can use to support anxiety without damaging yourself.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. Now, low-hanging fruit, of course diet, making sure the diet’s dialed-in. Reducing inflammation’s gonna be huge, right? Anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, low toxin diet. And we like talking about things regarding food in a template fashion because template allows us to be macronutrient gnostic, meaning, we’re not buying store for that. If someone’s having more Insulin resistance and does better kind of Intermittent Fasting, Cyclical Ketogenic, then we go lower. People are more active, then you need a little more carbs. You make it a little bit higher. So, we’re kind of gnostic when it comes to macronutrients. Macros are protein, fat and carbohydrates. But of course, everything that we want is gonna– you know, needs to be nutrient-dense. So, in the micronutrients side, we can still have very nutrient-dense foods on the micronutrient side, but still be macronutrient gnostic, because all the foods on our palate, if you will. Like for an artist painting something, and we have all these colors to paint from, choose from. Same thing with the diet, we have all kinds of foods on our palate that may be higher carb, lower carb, higher fat, lower fat, but the one common thread– the three common threads, I should say, is nutrient-dense, high amounts of nutrition per ounce of food, anti-inflammatory, coming down inflammation, and also gonna be low in toxins: round-up, pesticides, chemicals, and even things like Lectins and phytates and oxalates and more irritating compounds in the gut too.
Evan Brand: Perfect. One other amino acid we could mention would be L-Glutamine. Even though it’s not necessarily an anti-anxiety amino acid, Glutamine can be great for stabilizing blood sugar. So, I tell women that, you know, especially women because they’re a little bit more susceptible. Keep the Glutamine in your purse. If you’ve got a sugar-craving, that blood sugar’s crashing, you pop open the Glutamine and pour it in your tongue, and within five minutes you can feel a bit better. If you’re having like a blood sugar crisis and you don’t have anything good, or you just don’t want to eat something garbage, L-Glutamine could be another good one. So, Glutamine, Theanine, we talked about Lemon balm, which isn’t an amino acid, but is a [inaudible]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [inaudible] same thing. Yep, Lemon balm. Absolutely. I got my Liposomal GABA here as well. Huge fan of GABA. Some people say that the molecule’s a little bit too big to cross the blood-brain barrier, that’s why I use the Liposomal form. I take a couple hits here, right now on the show.
Evan Brand: Nice. How quick does that hit you?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ughh! I mean, it depends because I’m not really an anxious person anyways so for me, I don’t notice a huge hit but I’m feeling like a little bit more stressed. I do feel like it’s kind of helpful and soothing. So, GABA’s great with that. Also, just really simple, and some of these things, we got to have our hierarchy of treatment in line, right? If you’re doing these things but your diet sucks, your blood sugar’s everywhere, your sleep stinks uhm– and again, it’s kind of contradictory but, sleep will help anxiety the next day, right? Because you’re gonna recharge and recycle a lot of your neurotransmitters when you sleep. So, having good sleep’s definitely top priority. Now, part of your issue is you’re not getting good sleep, then we can talk about that later on the show, but GABA’s great. Also, a little bit of lavender, essential oil’s phenomenal. Do it on your wrists. You can do it right on like kind of a lymph nodes here in the jaw or back at the neck here. May have sip on the lymph nodes, that’s great. Or just even go like this on your hands and then just [does palm inhalation], then you get right into the respiratory system and it starts activating right away. So, a little bit of lavender can be very, very helpful. Then of course, Magnesium as well. These are kind of like low-hanging fruits, right? Magnesium, lavender, Lemon balm, right, or GABA, especially Liposomal GABA, right? You mentioned Melissa, you mentioned Vicky, you mentioned Valerian root. I know you mentioned L-Theanine. They’re all awesome. We may even stacked on there, some Ashwagandha.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I used my Adrenal Revive. It’s got a combo of them in there. But I also have a support that’s called Ashwagandha Supreme that has just Ashwaghanda. So, I used that a lot too. Ashwagandha’s pretty cool. It means Sanskrit. It’s a “to impart the strength of a horse.” So, a pretty cool little translation there.
Evan Brand: You want to know something else cool about Ashwagandha.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What?
Evan Brand: So, the Withania somnifera, the Latin…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.
Evan Brand: …I was looking at the translation. It means ”to induce sleep.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: To induce sleep huh?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, Withania and then yeah– Withania somnifera’s the active name. Yeah.
Evan Brand: Cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Also known as Indian Ginseng as well.
Evan Brand: I love it. I think that’s a great recommendation, and then, Reishi mushroom too. That’s a cool Immune Stress Support that you can take and you can stack on the Ashwagandha too. And then Motherwort, I really like Motherwort. I’ve mainly tried it in tincture. I’ve not tried it in herbal, like a capsule, but I’m sure Motherwort capsules do exist.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. And also, just simple thing we talked about the last time, like B Vitamins, like making sure B12 and B6 are gonna be present. That’s gonna be really important. B6 is really important with neurotransmitter synthesis and communications. We don’t have enough B6 or P5P, Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate. There’s Pyridoxal hydrochloride, but Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate’s gonna be an activated B6, Vitamin B12’s gonna be really important. Especially Vegan vegetarians, there may be some nutrient density issues with some of these things. Can people don’t understand that just look at liver compared to Kale for instance. People think Kale’s a superfood in the veggie community, which I love it. I think it’s great, and it should be a part of everyone’s diet, but it doesn’t hold a candle to liver. So again, some of these animal products are incredibly bioavailable and nutrient-dense, and I like that a lot. We talked about Magnesium, that’s phenomenal. Amino acids, we talked about it last week. We talked about it– 5-HTP…
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …right? Is great for Serotonin. Serotonin can be very, very common. So, man, I take Brain Replete, which got a little 5-HTP in it as well. Sometimes, we’ll take the 5-HTP by themselves though because– just because we get a little bit of individual dose in that way, and it’s got some B6 in it. So, I like that because of the extra Serotonin. Serotonin can be calming and relaxing. A lot of doctors think you don’t need to do GABA if you have the Serotonin and Dopamine kind of dialed-in. GABA’s kind of a subsidiary of that. So, we take care of, you know, the upstream neurotransmitters. The downstream neurotransmitters kind of take care of themselves.
Evan Brand: Uh. Interesting thought. I still think the GABA’s worth having on-board. I know the significant difference. I might need it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s helpful. I mean people that have, you know, panic attack issues or anxiety issues, you know, I give them a bottle like this and they’re doing two/three drops every couple of hours all day long. And, you know, we’re getting to the root cause, right. We’re getting the blood sugar under control. We’re also supporting the adrenal glands because the adrenal glands help that blood sugar stay unstable. So, if you’re that person and if you skipped a meal, you get anxious and you get really irritable. You got a blood sugar issue there and your adrenals probably need more help and more support to get that back on track.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so let me just say in another way. If you’re getting hangry or you’re freaking out because I’m gonna kill somebody if don’t eat, that’s the sign your blood sugar’s off. Those people could have blood sugar issues, along with anxiety issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And even people that do it right. Like, if you do it right, it’s better, because of course if you do more refined sugar, and not enough of those good macros like the fats and proteins, your blood sugar’s gonna drop really fast because– Well, just go camping, right? Go start a fire. Try starting a fire with twigs and paper. The fire’s gonna be up and out, up and out, up and out. That’s your blood sugar, right? Twigs and paper equal refined sugar, excess carbohydrate. Logs and the fire, logs and kindling that equal protein and fat. So, kind of keep that analogy because every time you eat you’re really trying to stog that metabolic fire. And again, of course, you know, we know maybe some gasoline, maybe a little paper may help that fire catch faster. That’s kind of where the macros kind of, you know, the constant decisions involved. So, you got to figure out what works best for you, but for default, right? You want a long-lasting fire, you actually have to show up with some wood, right?
Evan Brand: Agreed. [crosstalk] johnny said that…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …[inaudible] you need some wood to start a fire, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Makes sense? Protein, fat.
Evan Brand: Sorry to interrupt you. Johnny here left comment for– He said he tried float tanks last week, five days in a row and it was amazing for mood and stress. Yeah, I mean the lifestyle stuff’s great too. We always implement that amino acids on top of float tanks. That’s awesome too. James, he had a question, “Any amino acid for instant relief of SIBO and digestive issues, mostly bloating and gas?” What’s your take Justin about aminos and digestion?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, B6 and 5-HTP is very helpful for that migrating motor complex communication. Also, some ginger can be very helpful. But again, let’s face it. You actually have to knock out some of that bacteria, right? If SIBO’s what’s driving that issue, maybe it’s a Citrobacter or Proteus overgrowth, or maybe it’s Klebsiella, right? My old joke in Microbiology class, right, when we’d nerd out, you know. If you’re a bacteria, where is the place to party, right? You go to Klebsiella.
Evan Brand: [laughs]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. It’s bad. It’s really bad, but that’s the joke. So, anyway, Klebsiella, any of those critters could be at bay there. So, you got to knock out the critters, and you may even want to starve them out on the flip side with low fat map kind of Paleo template to start. That can be a good template. You starve them on one side, right? You support the migrating motor complex here. Maybe add in some Hydrochloric acid and enzymes to work on that, and then you kill them over here. And then a slide to the left, and then you add maybe some more probiotics in afterwards. That’s kind of like our sequence for dealing with that. But of course, supporting the adrenals in the process is helpful because if it’s inflammation in the gut, inflammation does what? It’s gonna get the sympathetic nervous system going. What does the sympathetic nervous system do to digestion? Decreases digestion and decreases motility. It decreases Hydrochloric acid and enzyme secretions too.
Evan Brand: Well said. Well said. So, James, get to the root. We like having a unnatural treasure chest of things you can use, instead of, say, Pepto-bismol. But you still got to work back towards that root cause, so fix those gut issues and you won’t need anything for temporary relief. You’ll just feel amazing permanently.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And we talked about a lot of things that are great to use but it needs to all be in the context of – okay, but also get to the root cause.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But also do this too. Just so we’re clear.
Evan Brand: We’re cool. I think this was a pretty rapid-fire podcast. Anything else you wanted to mention on this topic?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Ashwagandha’s gonna be great. Of course, you know, if you’re more on the anxious side, be very careful with coffee. Be very careful of alcohol because that could obviously get more of the adrenaline and the catecholamines revved up, so that component’s really important. Also, meditation’s nice. I mean, I have my little Mwave BAP here. I may go do this here in-between patients.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Plug this in to my iPhone. Plug it on my ear and I try to get into a state of coherence with the heart and brain or in this uhm– connective state. And you can see that based on heart rate variability. So, you can do that. That’s another excellent technique as well. Uhm – couple other herbs I think we didn’t quite mention, but Chamomile’s great. Valerian’s great. Tulsi, or I think it’s Octa Noctum. Tulsi’s great. Holy Basil’s – it’s the same thing, right? They’re all the same thing.
Evan Brand: Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Same name. Uhm– those are all phenomenal. I’m getting some exercise in. It’s huge to help [crosstalk] destress, to decrease anxiety. Uhm– you’ve talked about– I forget what the [stutter] the oriental name of it is, but it’s a– you go at the forest bathings. The Japanese were…
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Shinrin-yoku, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: yeah, yeah. Shinrin-yoku. Wow. Man, I thought I have a tough with it with my last name being Marchegiani.
Evan Brand: I know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Shinrin-yoku. Okay, cool. I like that. [inaudible]
Evan Brand: Samuel left us a comment.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s that?
Evan Brand: Samuel left us a comment before we get off here. He said that he’s halfway through his H. pylori protocol and his anxiety has diminished tremendously. Really happy to hear that Samuel. We see that all the time with gut infections. For me, I had two parasites. I mean I were calling Justin up one night. I’m like, “Yow. I feel like my heart’s beating out of my chest, man, what do I do?” And I had those infections at that time, so like, you know, I had some supplements to help me. But my gut issues were definitely driving my anxiety. And I’m not an anxious person by nature so it was bizarre. But once, I’ve treated the infections, and I’m infection-free now. You know, I’m back to being pretty chilled out again. So yeah. That’s a true testament. What he’s talking about. Gut infections, definitely do drive anxiety. Your doctor’s not gonna figure that out, though. They’re just gonna give you anti-anxiety meds. They’re not gonna say, “Hey. You might have something going on in the gut.” They just got no clue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. Let’s talk about that mechanism, right, that Samuel brought up. So, that’s the mechanism is through Lipopolysaccharide reduction. Lipopolysaccharides, another antonym or synonym for endotoxin, right? Endotoxin’s the outer second layer of these gram-negative bacteria. And these endotoxin’s, one, that can drive leaky gut. Two, when they get into your bloodstream, they can make their way to the brain and create leaky brain. But when they get into the brain, they can create a lot of mood issues and anxiety issues. There’s some studies where they talk about– and they look at what are– you know, uhm– Lipopolysaccharide antibodies and they see people to have these antibodies have like more anxiety and mood issues. And then when they would reduce the bacteria load by knocking out the bacteria, Lipopolysaccharide levels will drop and also their anxiety and mood will improve too. So that’s pretty cool. That’s another excellent mechanism there. Through leaky gut, through the gut, through infections and how that can also drive mood issues. And that has to be looked at, right? You have to actually address the infection to get that and get relief in that area.
Evan Brand: Wow. If I ever became a psychiatrist, I mean, my first place to go would be the gut.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. I mean, Julia Ross has talked about it many times. She’s a MFT so a Marriage and Family Therapist, and she’s talked multiple times, where she has– you know, she has clients and therapy. They were just talking about their issues and [pauses] for decades, right? Just talking about their issues, talking about their problems, start fixing their diet, fixing their neurotransmitters, and then they show up the next like week or next month, and then they’re just like, “Yep. That doesn’t really bother me anymore. It’s not really an issue.” Right? It’s just kind of like they can process their emotions much better. So, things come up, they can process it and move on.
Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s the thing I’ve noticed about adults. They act more like children when they’ve got blood sugar or amino acid issues. If you’re not eating protein, for example, you know, this isn’t to throw to much shade to vegetarian Vegans but you and I see them all the time. You know, they’ve had some temper issues. I’ve talked with some Vegans, they can fly off the handle. And they’ve just got no amino acids to help regulate their mood. So, the mechanism there, if you don’t have amino acids, the raw building blocks for your neurotransmitters. You don’t have GABA, you’ve got no Serotonin, so you have no emotional flexibility. You’ve got low Dopamine, so you’ve got a lack of focus, a lack of drive, concentration. You’re easily bored. You’ve got attention deficit. You know, all these neurotransmitter deficiencies caused from a lack of quality animal proteins in a diet. It can really, really add up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Check this out. It’s a really cool study. I’ve seen this quite frequently. Where they’ve supplemented like fish oils and like fats in jails, you know, actual criminal environments, and they found out like violence in the prisons like significantly, significantly dropped. They’ve done study where they looked at violence, and a lot of violence tends to happen in low blood sugar environments. How about that?
Evan Brand: Cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll read this one study here for you.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The– Let me show you this and get to the conclusion. See if I can summarize it pretty fast. It talked about aggression, and violence often start when self-control stops. Of course, right now, what’s self-control? Self-control’s gonna be caused by the neo frontal cortex. You have about 0.25 milliseconds to take an impulse that you initially– you know, you think of, “I want to punch the wall because I’m so mad,” but then frontal cortex, right? 25 milliseconds, you override it because you’re like, “Ooh!c Broken hand, not good, right? I got to type the next day. I got to do work with it. Not a smart idea. So, then you punched a pillow instead, or you just, you know, go for a run or something, right? So, you got this frontal brain that kind of overrides a lot of that thinking. The problem is – let me just kind of hit a little bit more. “For society to function peacefully, people must control their aggressive impulses. Self-control requires a lot of brain food in the form of glucose. Thus, people who have difficulty metabolizing glucose, breaking it down into a useful form and keeping it at constant levels– I’m gonna highlight that. Breaking it down in the useful forming, keeping it at constant levels are at a greater risk for aggressive and violent behavior. The inability to metabolize glucose is not only a risk factor for health problems and those afflicted with the disorder, but it’s also a risk factor for aggression and violence in all members of society. The healthy metabolism of glucose may contribute to a more peaceful society by providing individuals with a higher level of self-control energy.” This is profound. Now, I’m gonna go highlight a couple things here. A couple missed numbers. People are gonna think here. Well, that just means I have to eat sugar constantly throughout the whole day. You got to be careful, because by doing too much sugar, you can create Reactive Hypoglycemic spikes and drops. So, it’s about having the right amount of Carbohydrate, and not all Carbohydrate’s equal. So more non-starchy vegetable-based Carbohydrates with the right amount of low-glycemic fruit and/or starchy Carbs according to what your needs is, and then you can kind of dose in some of the higher glycemic fruit as well. But this is profound, because table blood sugar have as produce better activation of the neo cortex. And, when the blood sugar drops, guess what part of your brain you’re using.
Evan Brand: Yeah, the reptilian hindbrain.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Reptilian hindbrain. So, that’s fight-or-flight, right? And a lot of spousal issues happen. Yelling and fights and issues happen with friends and family, typically, in and around food and blood sugar being low. So, very important. Let’s say, one big tip is to have your dinner and then talk about issues of stress after the fact that your food in there get your digestion going and get your blood sugar stabilized. And then you can activate that neo frontal cortex so much better.
Evan Brand: Yep. Well said, man. And I’ve seen the same thing here in the west end of Louisville. Pretty, pretty low income, definitely ghetto part of the town. It’s a food desert. There’s articles written about it all the time in the local newspapers here. There’s no high-quality food available. It’s all fast food and junk food, therefore tons of blood sugar issues. There’s the most crime in the city. I mean I [crosstalk] probably have an overlapping layer of food quality and availability, and then crime. And, I guarantee where we see higher quality food, we’re gonna see less crime because people are eating and they’re not losing their mind.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. hundred percent, and you know, we subsidize junk food in our country so it’s two to 20 billion dollars a year. So…
Evan Brand: That’s ridiculous.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Soy and corn, all this crap. It’s artificially cheap. So you know, when you look at the dollar menu, right? The reason why it’s so cheap is because it’s subsidized a ton. Now, again, we just combat that. It’s really simple, right? I don’t look for the government to do anything for me. I just vote with my wallet, and I say, “Okay. Great. Let’s try to, you know, invest in foods that are gonna make us healthier.” Now again, as a doctoral student, I was literally living on nothing, financially. I think I had like– I had just enough to pay my housing, and then maybe, I think at the end of the month, I hahd like– This is like total, I think I had 500 dollars after I paid for my housing. So I’m in the bay area, right? So, that includes groceries, car expenses, everything at 500 dollars at the end of the month. Like, you know, for the whole entire month to spend on food, you know, car, everything. So, I have to be very judicious, and I budgeted everything out, and I would buy like a lot of my meat in bulk from whole foods. I would do a lot of family pack stuff. I would do like if I needed to save money, I would do like organic vegetables frozen. That would help a ton, and then just like lots of good fats, right? Lots of good coconut oils. I’d buy it in bulk, like a gallon. You know, a gallon top of it at time. Like lots of good grass-fed butter. There’s like, I would try to make every dollar I spent just to get the highest amount of nutrient density for me.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Avocados, you can get those for a buck on sale. Five big bag of avocados you can get– I think my wife today, I think she bought five avocados for four bucks or something like that. Or four [crosstalk] avocados for five bucks. So–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, and Costco’s got them pretty good too, and a lot of the food options. I mean, you can get like I think berries for like four bucks. It’s like insane, like you can’t even get a job fast enough. So, lots of good options for you. Again, I lived it when basically, you know– California, I would– you know, when you’re a doctoral student. I was at the poverty level, [laughs] right?
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, I was at the poverty level for where I lived, you know, the bay area in California, and I was able to do it. It was just a matter of priority. And just – I didn’t have a smartphone back then either. I said, “You know what, I rather just take that money and put it towards food.” And then I got one after I graduated, right? So…
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just about priorities and we’re just trying to put this information, this education out there. We prioritize your stuff. Get healthier. When you’re healthier you can do more at your job. You can be better and then you can climb up that economic ladder and continue to improve yourself.
Evan Brand: Yep. Well said. I know we got to wrap this up. We both got calls to get to. Let’s hit this quick, quick last comment here by Dennis. Any idea why Diphenylalanine did not work for me as Julia Ross reports from her patients. I’ll first hit on this. I would say because there’s an underlying issue that you’ve not addressed, Dennis. [crosstalk] Amino acids are not a replacement for getting to the root cause. Amino acids are great to get you from point A to point B, but you still got to dig deeper. So, there’s probably something going on. Whether it’s H. pylori, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, something in the gut that’s throwing off your brain chemistry that you just can’t throw a pill at.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, and again, I’m thinking Diphenylalanine. I’m thinking there’s maybe a pain issue, right? Diphenylalanine helps improve beta-Endorphin. Beta-Endorphin takes 19 amino acids to make. Go back to the gut. But if it’s pain issues, you know, go see a really good functional Chiropractor that will look at things holistically. And then also, feels like structural disc issues or ligament issues, high-dose Collagen, get the gut working better, make sure there’s not protein in your diet. So, you have structure material to heal.
Evan Brand: Yep. Cool. I’m gonna write down our links, which I think YouTube doesn’t allow me. Nope. They don’t allow me put web addresses in the comment box, but if you want to reach out to Justin and schedule a consult, just go to justinhealth.com. If you want to check out my site, you can go to evanbrand.com. Look us up. We have over 200+ episodes of other topics like this. So if we didn’t answer your question today, I’m sure we’ve answered it somewhere someplace sometime. So, reach out. Happy to help you all.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll put it in right now, and I’ll put the what the reference for today’s article in there too. [crosstalk] So, I’ll just put them there now. Awesome, man. I’m gonna jump on to a patient. I know you as well. You have an awesome day, brother.
Evan Brand: Good chat with you, man. See you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye. Bye.