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

The Gut Anxiety Connection | Podcast #352

How do your emotions get affected by your gut state? In this video, Dr. J and Evan talk about anxiety and stress as an example and how we can manage them based on evidence-based practice. Excessive worry and stress can worsen GI problems, and studies show that treatments and good food templates will help people cope with their GI symptoms.

Dr. J and Evan clarify that the brain immediately affects the gut. For example, the thought of eating can stimulate the release of the stomach’s juices before food gets there and vice versa. A sick intestine can alert the brain, just as a troubled brain can alert the stomach and intestines. Therefore, a person’s intestine and stomach distress may cause or be the product of stress, anxiety, or depression. It’s because the gastrointestinal (GI) system and the brain are intimately connected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 –   Introduction
2:21 –  The Importance of Gut Microbiome
4:21 –  The Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health
8:43 –  Strategies on how to Approach Adverse Reactions to Probiotics
15:13 – Potential Neural Marker in Anxiety Disorders

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For the podcast, really excited. Evan and I are gonna be chatting about the gut-anxiety connection. A lot of people have mood issues, uh, mental, emotional issues and they’re connected to the gut. And most people unless you have bloating gas, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, they’re not really connecting any gut issues to their mood especially anxiety. So, we’re gonna try to connect the dots for everyone here today. Evan, how are we going today man? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well, you know, I’ll start out by saying if you were to go to a conventional doctor and the referral for anxiety or depression to a psychiatrist, they’re never gonna consider the gut. They’re never gonna run a stool test or an organic acids test or a mold toxin test. There’s a study done on mice and mice that were exposed to various mold toxins. They have lower levels of dopamine and we know people with lower dopamine, they could be more apathetic, they could be more depressed, they could just be less excited for the world and although the organic acids doesn’t measure GABA, we can tell just based on symptoms, like easily stressed, hard to relax, you need alcohol to calm yourself down or maybe you need chocolate to self-medicate. We know these people probably have low GABA and GABA is the breaks of the brain. At least, that’s how I refer to it. Think of the GABA as being able to inhibit or slow down the sympathetic overdrive and GABA is going to calm that and increase that parasympathetic reaction. Now, the connection is to gut, well, we know, there’s a paper here we pull up just because we like to have a couple studies, there’s one titled, “Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health: The Gut-Brain Axis”. Long story short, the study backs up, what we’ve already known and you and I have been doing clinically for a long time, which is that we’re fixing dysbiosis because we’re finding that when you increase levels of lactobacillus, this is key in producing GABA and so that’s pretty interesting and the study goes on to talk about the different inflammatory pathways and how dysbiosis creating inflammatory proteins in the gut. That’s gonna also affect anxiety. So, dysbiosis alone that’s sounds crazy to some, maybe to mental health physicians but if you have gut overgrowth problems, that could be the biggest single smoking gun for you mood issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% because the gut microbiome very important. It helps modulate the immune system. So god healthy levels of beneficial bacteria, Bifidolactobacterium, Lactobacillus beneficial flora. They’re gonna actually, help modulate the immune system, they’re gonna help with permeability, keeping gut permeability down. They’re gonna help with inflammation reduction. They’re gonna keep the inflammation down. They also help, um, take mold toxins that you may get exposed to and make them less virulent, less strong, less inflammatory as well and then also beneficial bacteria are gonna synthesize nutrients based on the food coming in, so it’s gonna take your poop and it’s gonna take poop and convert it to nutrition versus dysbiotic bacteria is gonna take you poop and make things take your nutrients and make you more toxic, right? So, we wanna really get high levels of nutrition and you’re gonna get endogenous production through health gut bacteria, like vitamin K, different B vitamins, you’re gonna get some fermentation acids that actually make it harder for a lot of bad stuff to grow. So, this is kind of important starting place and if you look at some of the medications that are coming out for more mood stuff, some of the mechanisms seem to be more of an anti-inflammatory on the brain. That’s very interesting because we know, the mechanisms in the past have been kind of SSRI or tricyclics in the 80s and 90s or SNRI, right. These different kinds of medications of course, you have benzodiazepines that work on GABA and the different GABA agonist, right. So, now, we’re working on inflammation and we gotta be careful because we had some inflammatories natural, not natural but anti-inflammatories in the early 2000s, they called, that was called Vioxx that killed 60,000 people. So, we gotta be careful because when you, uh, use a lot of pharmaceuticals anti-inflammatories there could be side effects and I imagine if it’s on mood and the brain, you could see strokes and things like that. So, we gotta be careful. So, we try to use as many natural components foundationally with diet and supplements. First, because of the least likelihood to cause problems. 

Evan Brand: Wow. That’s insane. Well, you and I talked about the impact of exercise on anxiety before, we’ve covered that. We know that exercise is a super potent antidepressant. Here’s something cool about the gut in this particular paper. I put it in the chat for you if you wanted it, but it talks about how Lactobacillus strains upregulated BDNF, which is the brain derived neurotrophic factor and that resulted in increased regulation of the HPA axis. Let me just read the last part again because that’s pretty nuts. Supplemental Lactobacillus increase the regulation of the HPA axis, so here we are working with people using adaptogenic herbs but let it, but the cool thing is we’re actually fixing the adrenals by fixing the gut too, which is amazing and then it goes on further to talk about supplementing with Bifidobacteria and how the patients in the study rated an overall happier mood using six dimension of mood including: energetic, uh, composed versus anxious, elated versus depressed, clearheaded versus muddled, confident versus unsure, and agreeable versus angry. So, long story short, this actually improved the HPA axis functionality, as well as diazepam, or there’s another one here citalopram, that’s an anti-depressant, that’s an SSRI so long story short, this is pretty nuts. Probiotic therapy reduces the depressive symptoms and improve the HPA axis as well as an SSRI. So, there you freaking go. And here’s one more thing, Bifido infantis increases tryptophan, a serotonin precursor. So, we always talk about, okay get tryptophan in the diet but simply the good bacteria can actually make tryptophan, which then makes serotonin and GABA. This stuff is just amazing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I put the study up on screen. So, anyone watching this video here could take a look at it again. If you are listening to audio, we put the video link down below. If you guys want to look, this in the journal clinical practice 2017: Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health. And I’ll just gonna read that conclusion again. Dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression, which are prevalent in society today. Probiotics have the ability to restore normal microbial balance, therefore, have a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression. It gets really powerful there. And again, that’s only one of many things. Now, um, just to comment, I see a lot of people that get their mood worse when they have some of these things too. So, what’s the deal? Well, probiotics can be high in histamine and they be high in FODMAP. So, if you have a lot, if your immune system is so wound up, the histamine from these probiotics may cause problems, also the fermentable nature of these probiotics may cause problems, if you have SIBO. So, if you have massive bacterial overgrowth or your immune system is so wound up, when you can’t process histamine or you’re sensitive to histamine then you have to be careful with these things. So, even though we say, this is good, it doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone. So, we’re just trying to lay out, hey, it maybe good for you but if it’s not, here’s maybe the reason why and we just have to dig in deeper and so there’s really no just magic solution. There’s a lot of tools that we kind of line out and we go in sequential order and work them through with our patients to get the best results possible. 

Evan Brand: I’m so glad, you went that direction with the conversation because me listening to myself as a third person, I’m thinking, oh my God, I need to go out and buy probiotics right now and I’m gonna just feel happier and less anxious and all that. And that certainly was not the case for me when I had gut infections and I tried probiotics, it made me worse, it made my skin worse, it made mood worse, I got more anxious, and what the hell is going on. Well, as you mentioned, there’s a sequential order so I love that and this is why it’s important for you to do, and for I to do what I do because you and I are seeing these things clinically and the trenches is totally different versus somebody with a health podcast. They could look at this study and they could do a whole podcast about this, and then they could trick people not on purpose but just not having the clinical background, they could look at this and go, oh my God, probiotics are gonna be the miracle cure and then people are gonna listen to the podcast, they’re gonna do it and then they’re not gonna have a good reaction like me and they’re not gonna know what to do. So, I’m so glad that you’re integrating the clinical approach to this thing which is wait a second, yes, this is all true but there’s an asterisk next to this study and the asterisk as you mentioned is what if there’s bacterial overgrowth and the histamine bucket’s already so full or what if a mold or a mast cell has problem and the histamine bucket is already so full, so you can’t tolerate these probiotics. So, maybe walk us through what you’re doing, what do you suggest people do if they’ve had a reaction like that to probiotics, maybe they didn’t do it at the right order, or how should they approach this?  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the first thing we have to really do is just calm down the immune system and the biggest factors that we have to do that is the food that’s coming into our body. So really, choosing a good anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense whole foods and, and if we know that there’s a lot of digestive issues, bloating gas, we may have to restrict FODMAPs and fermentables out of the gate to kind of decrease the dysbiosis.  Because when we address like gut microbiome issues, we hit in three ways, right, we starve it, we kill it, we crowd it out. So, starve, kill, crowd, starve, kill, crowd. And so, the first aspect of that is shifting the foods to starve some of these microbiomes that maybe bad and then again it’s gonna be short-lived, we’re not gonna, we don’t wanna go low FODMAP forever, right, because there’s a lot of good foods that have FODMAPs in it and even histamine in it. So, there’s no reason, we’d want to do that but, in the beginning, if we can shift the immune system, calm it down, if we can shift some of the microbes down and then as we start adding different things in supporting our ability to break down food, start adding in adrenal support because when our nervous system is just stuck and our vagus nerve and our parasympathetics are low and our ‘fight or flight’ is high, our immune system is gonna be, it’s gonna be overly sensitive, okay. It’s gonna be overly sensitive and we’re also gonna have poor digestion and when we have more poor digestion, we’re gonna have gut permeabilty issues, we’re gonna break down our food and we’re gonna  have more of these foods in our gut get into the bloodstream and stimulate the immune system in a negative way. And so, if can calm down that immune response through decreasing our sympathetic nervous system whether it’s breathing techniques just good diet and lifestyle, good food, managing blood sugar throughout the day, not over under exercising, good hydration. All of those things are kind of, you know, the foundational marks, that we put as we work up a patient. So, we have that foundation there. 

Evan Brand: Here’s the question that came in from Keith, he said, “what are your thoughts in taking colostrum for gut health? We use colostrum but as you mentioned in that in immune situation, we might not want to use colostrum. I’ve had some people, where their immune system is so just haywire that colostrum does affect them. It’s not super common but there are some cases where we can’t use it and so in that case, we may be coming in with more herbal based leaky gut supports DGL, glutamine, zinc, carnosine, more amino acids  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: amino acids, nutrients. Yeah, I mean colostrum, because it comes from a cow, right? It’s gonna be, more dairy based. Supposedly, colostrum is dairy free meaning, you’re not gonna get the casein and the lactose. So, it depends on how sensitive, you are. Some people, they may be sensitive were they still in a problem. Some may, it may be okey. I tend to just avoid colostrum, just because my patients are very hypoallergenic and so I tend to use more of the more hypoallergenic compounds like the zinc and the glutamine and the DGL and just things like that. Not saying, it’s not beneficial and I’ve had my patients take it and do well with it. So, I’m on the fence with it for sure, I have a little bit of colostrum in my true keto collagen and patients do really well with that. And so, it’s a tool that we put in our tool belt, but for our sensitive patients, I tend to not be the first thing that I jump on for sure. I think we’re on the same page with that.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Uh, here’s a person here, “what about a probiotic that has both Lactobacillus and Bifido, will they cancel each other out?” No, we used those together all the time and some of the most high-quality professional formulas we make. We have combinations because you get different nutritional benefits in the gut from different species. There are some cases, where I have done straight Lacto or I’ve done straight Bifido, just to see how people do? But those are like the one percent sensitive people. The average person, we’re working on, they can tolerate a combination and then obviously, if we’re working on mold or Candida or some other problem, we’re often throwing in Saccharomyces boulardii in there too. So, then now you’re doing Bifido, Lacto and you’re doing Saccharomyces. That triple combo which technically Saccharomyces boulardii, even though it’s marketed and sold as a probiotic technically a yeast will often work that into the protocol and it does so much better.   

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. Evan, what’s your experience using spore-based probiotics?  

Evan Brand: You know, they give me just terrible gas. My God. It just hurts my tummy; I’ve tried them and I went on them and I went off of them. I went low dose. I went high dose. I mean, we even manufactured some too and I’m like, God, I just don’t feel that good with them, I’ve had some people that are like, hey, this thing is a miracle cure, this is the best I’ve ever felt and good for them. But for me, it just did not go well, so I feel much much better with a low histamine, more I guess, you would just call it living probiotics as opposed to the spores. What about you? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, It just depends, I think patients that don’t do well with your Lactobacillus, Bifidobacter, I definitely have a good bunch that do better with the spore based probiotics. So, depending on the level of SIBO that’s going on, some patients do really great with it. I have no problem myself with higher dose Bifidobacter, Lactobacillus infantis species, so I don’t have with it. But some patients, I know with significant SIBO history just do well on, if they just do much better and supposedly that the spore-based probiotics really help potentiate the growth of these other beneficial flora. So, it does help a lot of the other beneficial flora and they do hang out a lot longer too.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. And I’ve tried a couple of different professional brands. I mean there’s two big brands out there. I tried both. The one I did actually feel pretty good on, a couple others I didn’t feel so good on. So, I think it could be a brand difference too.  There was another question here, “when is the best time to take probiotics with fiber or empty GI?” I don’t know the whole wheat fiber deal. I’ve never heard of that before. I personally take them on an empty stomach and I’ll do them first thing in the morning like before breakfast. I’ll just pop all my supplements or I’ll take them before bed. Unless, I’m taking a binder then I won’t. My thought on it is to try the bacteria in there especially because some of the professional manufacturers, you and I use, we’re using an acid resistant capsule. So, it’s gonna actually bypass the stomach acid and deliver the beneficial microbes to the gut so in that case, that’s why I like it to be there. Just because, there’s not as much competition with the food could just be theory, I don’t have any proof that it works better but that’s how I approach it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean you can definitely have some beneficial effects with some fiber, with some probiotics because the fiber does act as prebiotics and it can help kind of provide the fertilizer for the seed, the seed being the probiotics to grow. I do like it. A lot of your conventional probiotics tend to do better on an empty stomach but I mean taking them with food has some beneficial effects as well with digestion and such and so I say. Try to take most of those with food. I think that’s good. I just wanted to pull one study up here, I think this is interesting, um. Let me pull this up here. So, just kind of support we’re talking about right. This study is looking at neuroinflammation association alterations of the brain is a potential neural marker in anxiety disorders, so we’re just trying to build up the case that we’re talking about here. Preliminary evidence suggests anxiety disorders are also associated with increased inflammation. Systemic inflammation can access the brain and enhance pro-inflammatory cytokine levels that have been shown to precipitate direct and indirect neurotoxic effects. Prefrontal and limbic structures, these are parts of the brain that have to do with higher thinking, uh, emotions, memory are widely reported be influenced by neuroinflammatory conditions in concord with these findings various imaging studies on panic disorders, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety have been reported alterations in the structure and the function and the connectivity of our prefrontal and limbic structures so what they’re saying is inflammations affecting the parts of you brain that are involved. They’re higher thinking, higher function memory cognition anticipating, you know, cause and effect based on your actions, right. Prefrontal cortex is it’s the part of the brain that allows you to anticipate, to think, to plan, um, most of people from our you know from evolution we’ve been more, um, midbrain kind of reptilian brain type of you know, kind of knee jerk reaction kind of response and the frontal cortex gives us the ability to think and certain nutrients have allowed that part of the brain to grow. High quality cholesterol, Omega-3, free fatty acids, amino acids help that brain to grow. But if we’re driving inflammation in that’s gonna have a negative impact. Now what are the things that are gonna be driving inflammation in our diet? Well, Omega-6, refined processed vegetable oils, trans fats, refined sugar, too much carbohydrates, too much sugar, these are all gonna drive brain inflammation. And of course, inflammation in the gut can cause inflammation in the brain. Inflammation in the gut is bidirectional, it is a two-way highway. Inflammation in the body whether it’s like getting exposed to round up or mold toxins can cause gut inflammation. Inflammation in the gut through dysbiosis and food allergens can also cause leaky gut and cause inflammation from the gut to go outward up to the brain and it can activate the microglial cells in the brain which can create fogginess and more immune response that can make us feel worse and more, um, more anxious or depressed based on what’s happening in the gut. 

Evan Brand: I just sent you one, other paper too, which kind of interesting, talking about antibiotics and how antibiotics are gonna drive up depression and anxiety and talked about treatment with just a single course of antibiotics was associated with a high risk for depression and then also anxiety. So, I’m not saying don’t take them, I mean if you need them to save your life. But I will just say, that’s there’s so many people that have been put on these different medications that affect the gut and so when we’re trying to paint the picture here of what went wrong, why did someone become anxious, it could have been that they went in for a routine dental procedure and they were taking the antibiotics, they screwed up their gut, now they have dysbiosis as you mentioned, this big inflammatory link to the brain. Now, they’ve got this bacterial overgrowth, they simply were using something as preventative medicine, these antibiotics and then boom, now they’ve got this overgrowth. And then as you mentioned these bacteria are pooping poop and then that’s going to make you more anxious, so there was a question that came in about, well, “how much time do probiotics take to work for anxiety?” I mean, that’s a really tough question to answer because what else is going on, are there gut inflammation issues, are there bacterial overgrowth issues. What about Candida problems, I mean, there’s other things we have to factor in, so I wish it were just so easy to say hey take this probiotic in three weeks, you’re gonna be less anxious. I wish that were the case but, I think the answer is it depends.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. One study here, I’m putting the study up on screen, so you guys can see, Anxiety exposure and the risk for depression, anxiety or psychosis, journal of psychiatry 2015. So, you guys can see the abstract and the conclusion down below. Take a look at this study, all right. All right, where is it. Systematic Administration of Curcumin Affect Anxiety-Related Behavior in a rat model. So, it’s interesting. So, what we’re trying to look at here is results suggest that curcumin has anxiety-lytic like effect on biochemicals and behavior. Uh, it may be useful agent to alleviate or treat psychiatric disorders similar to those observed in patients with PTSD. So, what are they saying here? They’re saying in this rat study, giving curcumin actually resolved and significantly had a benefit on anxiety. Now, why is this? Well, because it has natural anti-inflammatory benefits and the postulate is that by reducing inflammation in the brain and in the body that also helps the mood and anxiety. Now, we don’t wanna just rely on the supplement. So, people that are watching this right now, don’t just say hey, I’m saying to fix your anxiety get curcumin. Fix all the foundational things that set the table, that drive inflammation and then once you have the foundation then you can go dig deeper and using specific supplements to reduce inflammation like curcumin, like Boswellia, or frankincense. You can also, there’s systemic enzymes that can be taken away from food. There’s a lot of good higher dose fish oil, ginkgo. These are excellent nutrients that can help drive down inflammation. A lot of the bioflavonoids and some of our lower sugar fruit like berries and quercetin, those kinds of things. And other studies on a handful of blueberries a day can reduce inflammation in the brain to. And we talked about that in the past, so inflammation plays a major role and get the foundation right. Because if you have a lot of dysbiosis but you’re trying to take curcumin to cover up the inflammation, fix the gut stuff first, fix the adrenals and the sympathetic overload first, fix the food and the blood sugar and then you can dive in deeper with extra functional medicine nutritional, uh, tools.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Good point. And I’ll just say it in another way, which is that you could take all the generic stuff meaning generic natural stuff as you mentioned Boswellia, curcumin, potentially high dose fish oil to reduce inflammation. Maybe you’re gonna lower the anxiety some but you’re still not getting to big root of it which for me was gut infections. I had parasites, I had H. pylori, I had major bacterial overgrowth, I had Candida problems, I had mold problems. All those things were affecting my gut which were affecting my brain so I was having just out of the  blue, anxiety, I mean some points, I was panicking, I thought I was dying in some situations. My blood pressure was going crazy for a while, I mean it was all related to these toxin issues and so I encourage people to get some of the labs run so you can figure out what the heck’s going on. The first place to start obviously is gonna be a stool test. So, we run a DNA stool test that you can do at home and you get that back to the lab and then you can get a really work up on what type of infections do you have. Is it just bacteria or do you have parasite? What about your gut inflammation? Have you measured that? Because if you’re anxious and we see high gut inflammation, we gonna go ding ding ding look at the connection there. And then, we mentioned on the Oak test, there’s not GABA but we can do trial runs. I manufacture a chewable version of GABA that we use, it’s pharmaGABA, which is fermented and bioavailable. So, we use that. And if people have a good response to that, then we assumed that they had a low GABA situation. If they take one or two of those and then they feel better then hey we’re pretty happy. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also, let me just. That’s very good and so, if you wanna support the show, some of the supplements that we’re gonna recommend we’ll put it down below in the notes section you know recommended supplements. So, Evan has a chewable GABA. I also have a liposomal curcumin. When you’re taking curcumin, you wanna make sure it’s liposomal. So, it has maximal absorption, only about 15% get absorbed,uh, it’s also better absorbed with black pepper as well, but people that have night shade sensitivity that may be problematic. So, if you want curcumin supreme is a liposomal version, we’ll put down below. Put Evan’s recommended products too. Now, interesting study here, when I look at inflammation in the same rat study. When they looked at the administration of curcumin, they actually saw a decrease in cortisol. So, this is serum cortisol here and as they increase the curcumin, you can see the drop in cortisol. And it makes sense because cortisol is an anti-inflammatory, so, the more your inflammation your body has, the more you’re gonna surge cortisol to help reduce the inflammation. The problem is cortisol is catabolic. It’ll break down tissue and so in the long run, you don’t want cortisol out of the balance because it will start breaking up tissue. So, in interesting enough to see that the reduction in cortisol followed by the increase in the amount of curcumin given to the rats. And the increase in, um, improved mode, the decrease in anxiety. So, that’s powerful. So, we wanna look at everything from a root cause. We wanna have all of our foundational tools and our palliative functional medicine, nutritional tools to plug in. And its good data to back it up, so we, you know, we can see, yeah, these things make sense because I always tell patients I’m talking to, what’s the mechanism, what’s the root cause, are we getting to the root cause and are there anything else we can do palliatively to support the healing of the root cause. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Meaning, okay we could do some chewable GABA, we could do some curcumin, or whatever else to try to calm things down, while behind the scenes, we’re working on getting the mold out, fixing the bacterial balance, integrating probiotics, restoring gut flora, bringing in Saccharomyces boulardii to address Candida. All thes things are, I mean, that’s the art of it, right? That’s the fun and the beauty of what we do and it’s just a blast. Let’s hit this question here from Sarah before we wrap it up. She said, “Are there any thoughts on raw milk to help heal the gut if tolerated, ok? There are mixed thoughts with this.” I’ll rant on it really quick. My thought is because I had a lot of issues with dairy, I personally just do butter and I feel best with that. And I would argue that to help heal the gut, we can use all these clinically shown ingredients that don’t use dairy proteins like the zinc, carnosine, the glutamine, the chamomile, the DGL. So, my bias is to go for that. But, what do you think? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have the same as well, um. I don’t do great with raw milk. I get massive diarrhea, massive bloating issues even raw. Now, the benefit of raw milk is, you have all the cream right the homogenization tends to like kind of damage a lot of the globules and then of course pasteurization destroys all the enzymes that help you handle casein and lactose, which is the sugar in the milk better, the caseins, the protein. And so, there’s that right? And so, you tend to had. If you have problems with dairy, you have a better chance of being able to tolerate it with raw milk. Now, even with raw milk, I don’t do it as well, but I do, I don’t tolerate as well but I do tolerate butter and ghee wonderfully because it’s cut out the casein, it’s cut out also the lactose as well. So in general, if you’re more hypoallergenic probably stay away from it, wait till you’re healthy or try it, um, if you’re relatively healthy and you wanna give it a try, sure, but in general, if you’re having immune issues or chronic inflammation issues, probably stay away from it until you get things under the control and then you have a better baseline and then when you try to add it in, then you’ll really be able to know, if you can handle or not because you’ll, you’ll go from feeling good to not and It’ll be quite clear.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Question from Ty, “what’s the first diagnostic tool we can use to determine the state of your microbiome?” uh, typically two things were gonna do, the stool test, the DNA stool test we use at home and something that Justin and I run clinically on pretty much everyone and then the organic acids test is helpful too because we’ll certain bacteria pop up that maybe the stool test missed or vice versa. So, stool and urine at home, those are thing that we can run and they’re incredible valuable tools, so valuable that I almost don’t even want to work with somebody without those data points because at that point you’re just guessing and we prefer to test not guess. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally, now on those tests, we may look at commensal bacteria like Bacteroides and Firmicutes, uh, Bacteroides and Firmicutes, you want essentially, you know good levels of Bacteroides or Firmicutes. If people have high levels of Firmicutes in relation to Bacteroides that could be a problem but that usually is never the problem in and of itself. Usually, there’s dysbiotic bacteria, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, um, Morganella, right? These are all dysbiotic type of flora that are overgrown, that can throw off a lot of the commensal stuff. So, ideally if we see commensal bacteria off. We want to address the dysbiosis first and then we can use different fibers and prebiotics and probiotics down the road. Once we’ve kind of fixed a lot of the dysbiosis and that kind of help get it back in the balance. 

Evan Brand: Man, I tell you half an hour flies but we gotta run and this is something we could do a part two part three on but the big smoking gun for people with anxiety might in my opinion based on suffering for years and years and years of with different issues, it’s the gut, the smoking gun for anxiety, mood issues, depression, fatigue. A lot of this is coming from the gut. You and I have hit upon how B vitamins are made in the gut too, you did a really eloquent explanation on previous podcast about how you’re making the nutrients that fuel the mitochondria, we went pretty deep into that before so that’s an exciting mechanism that I think most people are not talking about they’re putting people on Adderall or other things to try to boost up their mental energy. You gotta look at the gut so I encourage people to get tested. And if you need help, you can reach out clinically. We have a question from, uh, where’d it go, Pelona, “how can I contact you or have an appointment?” So, uh, Dr. Justin Dr. J, he’s available worldwide, so am I. If you want to reach out to him, it’s at justinhealth.com. You can reach out worldwide, phone, facetime, skype, whatever and then for me Evan, evanbrand.com. We’re available for consults and we can send labs to your door, we run those, we get them back to the lab, jump on a follow-up call, review the results and then make you a protocol, get you feeling better as quick as we can.     

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I’ll put a list of recommended products and recommended, uh, resources for today’s podcast to kind of back up what we’re saying. Also, you can watch the video on screen where we pull up some of the studies and if you guys enjoyed it. Gives us a thumbs up. Put your comments down below. Let us know what you like and what you wanna see improvement on and recommended topics coming up all right. Evan, thanks for everything. evanbrand.com, justinhealth,com We are here to help you guys. Have an awesome day. 

Evan Brand: Take care though. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/the-gut-anxiety-connection-podcast-352

Recommended Products:

Genetic Stool Test

International DSL GI Map Genetic Stool Test

Curcumin Supreme

TruKeto Collagen

TRUCOLLAGEN (Grassfed)

Brain Replete

Genova Organix Dysbiosis Profile

Genova NutriVal FMV

Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health | Podcast #326

As an adult, maybe you’re struggling with some of these symptoms yourself, things like anxiety, perhaps depression or mood issues, those types of things. Or many of you have kids with these types of mental health symptoms and problems. Functional Medicine is a form of integrative medicine that focuses on addressing the root causes of a person’s symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves and, in this case, manage stress. Here are Dr. J and Evan Brand sharing their insights about different approaches for stress reduction. 

Dr. J suggested to pay attention to nutrients first and some natural herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, etc. Watch the whole video to know interesting details about functional medicine in mental health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:22      Foundation of Functional Medicine Needs

8:27      Emotional Stress

14:50    How to deal with Stress

19:08    Alcohol as Stress Reliever

30:43    Importance of Exercise

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan. Evan, how are we doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Doing well, the sky is blue, the weather is amazing. I looked at your forecast for this week too, it’s going to be like 75 and sunny all day, every day. So that’s going to be amazing. We’re inside though, maybe we need to do like outside recordings, maybe need to go like, sit out back in a hammock and record with me. So we don’t miss this weather because then it’s going to be cold. And we’re going to be complaining. But no, but long story short, we were talking pre show about just how everything this year has been kind of crazy. And a lot of people are expressing issues with their mental health, their physical health, their emotional health, it’s affecting our clients, it’s affecting potential clients, people that are reaching out to us that have had businesses closed down or potential job losses and a lot of economic issues that have caused a lot of, you know, mental emotional problems for people. So the idea today was, well, let’s try to cover kind of a, a broad stroke, if you will, of how we could use functional medicine to improve mental health. So let’s dive in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So off the bat, like we kind of go back to like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? That’s kind of like the first thing. So I always tell patients off the bat, there’s kind of a foundation of functional medicine needs, that’s going to be clean water, sleep, and then clean food. And now we can kind of get in the middle of it in the weeds with the food and kind of getting your macros dialed in and getting all that kind of dialed in. But clean water, clean food and good sleep. And so I always tell patients, the more stressed you are, the more you need to be rested, fed and watered. And the more those things are kind of stable, and that’s like your foundation, the better adaptable you will be at the dealing with stress, adapting to stress. So the health, health and stress adaptation are intimately connected. So the more stressed you are, if you start going towards alcohol, and processed food, and staying up too late and watching too much news, it’s going to get that fear cycle going, you’re not going to have enough rest to recharge your parasympathetic nervous system, you’ll be too much sympathetic dominant, you’ll be leaning on your adrenals leaning more on cortisol leaning more on adrenaline, and it’s going to be harder for you to digest. You’ll be just kind of on the edge every time with your emotions, the smallest thing will set you off, and you won’t have a good solid foundation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I I think people should really just get rid of the social media apps on their phone. I mean, that was something that I did. I just noticed that if I have the social media apps off my phone, and I have to go to a web browser to check them. It’s much much more inconvenient to do it. So I must I’m much less likely to do it. And also, for me, you have the option of being up speaking to that you hear his little notification sound. Oh, social media-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: – has turned it off right now. Airplane mode, maybe. 

Evan Brand: It’ll, it will, it’s it’s it, you know, there’s been like trials done on how long it takes you to get focused again. And so what I’ve tried to do is to limit my distractions, I think the world now has become a world full of distractions, mainly because people are trying to solve all the world’s problems on their own meaning, you know, I care about the trees getting cut down in the Amazon. So I’m going to go read about this, and then I care about this, I’m going to go read about that. And then you’re so scatterbrained that you kind of lost your own productivity. So I’m not saying that you need to just, you know, put your head in a hole and turn the world’s problems off in your head like they don’t exist. No, I think it’s just a fine line. And I think most people have lost the line of productivity, because they’re so focused on the issues. And a lot of the day to day decisions you make aren’t going to change the world that much like there’s nothing I could do necessarily right this very second, besides maybe donating some money to some organization to stop cutting trees in the Amazon like it sucks. I don’t like to see, you know, you got all this illegal deforestation going on. But there’s only so much you can do. So you got to find a way to to find a healthy way to absorb the media. And most media is negative. So social media, media news. And a lot of it’s not serving you. That’s the only point I have to make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I do think number one, social media is a big one, you kind of have to like, use it, don’t let it use you. Right. So turn off the notifications. Don’t let it kind of be there something that you always go to write, I think deleting it from your phone, or at least maybe on the weekends or periodically, deleting it can be helpful because you’re not going to access it as much on the web browser. I think also people forget that most people use social media as their highlight reel. So they only post great things about their life. People feel bad about it. So I’m very aware about that. And I don’t overly post the highlight reel of my life on there because those things are between me and my family and I don’t need to share it with the whole world every now and then. I’ll get people A glimpse, but it doesn’t need to be there all the time. A lot of people overdo that. And people forget that they’re seeing someone else’s highlight reel and they make it makes their life feel a little bit less than or more inferior. And you got to remember that right? You can’t forget it. That gives you kind of a good perspective and a grounding and and it really just comes back to appreciation. Right, the more you’re grounded in appreciation for what you have that that really shifts that that stress and that sympathetic kind of response of just inadequacy and, and, and, and feeling like your life’s not enough.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And there’s people with it, we know that are incredibly successful in business and wealth and all of that. And these people will go publicly bring up their anxiety and depression. So when you look at someone’s life, and you see all they have it so good, I’m so jealous of this or that car, this house or whatever, a lot of people listening may just shut it down immediately. And they say, Oh, no, I don’t care. I’m not comparing myself. But it’s kind of a subconscious thing. You’re not even really aware that it’s happening. Just look up type in, like Instagram depression, there’s some studies done that it was the most depressing social media. So I don’t want to make it the whole anti social media podcast, but you, you hit on gratitude. And I think that’s really the key. So what I tried to do was like a walking gratitude. It’s very, very helpful. So I’ll just, I’ll take the kids outside, and they’ll just walk, whether it’s in the backyard, whether it’s down the driveway, whether it’s in the you know, by the garage, I’ll just find a place to just walk, walk, walk. And I’m just focusing on the motions of the body just shaking up and down, dude. And I’m just thinking, Man, I’m grateful. I’m so grateful. Look at this beautiful day, look at the sun, look at the blue clouds, or the white clouds with the blue sky. Look at the the contrast, look at the green on the trees. Oh, we’ve got a little bit of yellow coming in on these maples over here. This is gorgeous, Oh, look at that red tree over there. And it’ll really take you out of the fear, it’ll take you out of the worry those repetitive, repetitive thoughts, you know, there’s, and this is not talking to one or two people here on my intake form, which thousands of people have submitted, you and I use a couple different form creation tools. I’ve looked at how many submissions we have. And it’s literally like 95% of people out of these thousands have reported? Yes, they beat themselves up with negative self talk. That’s a question on the intake form. Do you beat yourself up with negative self talk? 95%? Say yes. Now is that because you and I have a population who has symptoms and they want to get better? Or is that indicative of the general population to I would say the general population would be the same?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always kind of I heard someone say this a couple of years ago, they said, Imagine, you know all the inner thoughts about yourself, kind of write that down. Okay. And imagine if someone else said those things to you? Would you be friends with that person? Probably not. Right? So it’s, it’s amazing how hard people are regarding the inner dialogue. And I always just kind of inner dialogue comes through your brain, ask yourself, would you be friends with that person? If someone else said that to you? Probably not. So I always just try to say to people, you know, make sure you would be friends with the person that would be saying, the inner thoughts that you’re actually thinking.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a good call, that’s a really good call, well, you can be your best friend or you can be your worst enemy. And I think it’s easy to become your worst enemy. Because I don’t know you, you’re the one who has to look in the mirror. Right? So you’re always going to be the one to blame yourself. But.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And if that happens, what do you do? Right? I mean, I think if you have that inner dialogue that kind of shifts overtly negative to yourself, what do you do in NLP world, you go and you visualize the stop sign, right? You don’t beat yourself up over it, you visualize the stop sign, and then you then you shift into appreciation. Or some folks will have the elastic band on the wrist and they’ll pull it tight, right to create that negative neuro Association, whether it’s a physical, elastic snap, or whether it’s a stop sign coming in, that’s that’s visually cueing you to stop, however you want to do it, and then just kind of refocus your energy in a non shameful way to, to the things that you have that are great, right? Because that stuff needs to be you need to it’s like weeds grow automatically negative thoughts grow automatically. It takes no effort to be a cynic. In today’s world takes no effort. It really takes a lot of effort to be an appreciator and to focus on the things that you have. So just kind of use some of those cues to stop the negative thought and then shift over into the positive thought. Now I always find too, if you’re some people, it just kind of feels good to be negative a little bit where you’re kind of venting over something. And if you feel that way, just do it while tapping on some meridian points, some of the EFT meridian points because I find at least if you’re going to be negative, this at least decreases that sympathetic tone. And then what happens is as that that nervous system kind of calms down a little bit, it’s easier to shift back into that positive perspective. So you can do some of the EFT points chin under the nose. under the eye doubletap, I find it’s more efficient for me.

Evan Brand: And as you’re doing this, and as you’re doing this, you’re you’re kind of talking about the negative thoughts, it could be, oh, I just thought about irritable, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just just talk about whatever it is, I always like to go into it, assigning it a number. So out of 10, 10 being the worst intensity, where, yeah, you had a five or six or seven. And I try to go into it, taking whatever that number is, I want to cut it in half. So if I’m at a seven, I’m going to cut it down to three, or four, if I’m at a six, I want to cut it down to a three, if I’m at a 10 and want to cut it down below five, I just try to go into it, and have that conversation with myself about whatever that thing is that pissed me off, whatever it is that hey, that difficult patient that that really stressful bill, whatever it is, right. And I just kind of go into it, kind of do a little audit of where you’re at, and then try to get that down until it’s at least half below where it’s at, that kind of puts you back in the driver’s seat. And then it gives you the ability to shift to being positive, because you can’t be positive, it’s harder to be positive when you have that emotional staying at a higher level on that on that object subjective scale I gave you. So if you can cut it in half, that gives you the ability now to downshift from negative into positive to enable just want to make that shift. while they’re at a high level of negative it’s too difficult. That’s Oh, man, doing the EFT can be helpful because one, it gives you permission to be negative, but two, you’re giving your your nervous system, a little bit of a bump to be able to neutralize it.

Evan Brand: That is the the best point you’ve made about the emotional stress piece because this is like taking somebody who’s in the middle of a full blown panic attack and saying, Just chill out. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just chill out, like just relax, like, be be positive, no, can’t do that. Can’t do that. So this is where like the EMDR. And then you can kind of scatter your eyes around while you do it too. Right. So you can go look at like a clock face and go to 1936. Or you can tap while you’re pretending like you’re looking at different clock numbers with your eyes. And because when you move your eyes that uses different cranial nerves, which uses different parts of the brain, and that kind of the whole goal is you’re kind of scattering that signal. Number one, you’re interrupting the pattern. Number two, it’s kind of like if you’re talking about something you ever had it where someone interrupted you and you’re like, What the hell are they talking about? Right? ever have that? That’s kind of what you’re doing a little bit to your brain and in some of the negative thinking you’re trying to scatter that pattern and make it a little bit harder for your brain to go back to and then you’re like, what, what was I mad about? Oh, yeah, that. And then it makes it easier than shift into positive.

Evan Brand: I just tried to go outside to like, for some reason. Well, duh, I mean, humans were meant to be outside. We’re not meant to be in boxes all day. But you know, if you have a thought that is intrusive, you can just go out, and I’ll take a pair of binoculars, and I’ll just go outside and I’ll just watch the birds. Or I’ll go fill up the bird feeder, put it like a sewage feeder. So it’s like a big chunky like fatty CD type feed. I like to go put that out, watch the woodpeckers come in. And if I’m looking at them, and I’m not thinking about anything, yeah, that’s a that’s a great point. So let’s tie the functional medicine piece into what you said because I think what you said is a really good place to pivot which is you can’t take someone because someone listening who’s just so stressed out right now they’re going to they’re going to listen to you talk about tapping or if they’re watching the video on YouTube. So you tap into right What is this guy doing? He’s friggin tapping his forehead. I’m so pissed. I don’t care what what is this gonna do? That person’s a 10. He can’t he can’t even comprehend getting down to a five right now. So So on the maybe you would call it the herbalist functional medicine side, maybe we come in and give that guy or gal a shot of passionflower. Or maybe we give them a couple hundred milligrams of some pharma gabbeh or maybe a little bit of mother wort or maybe some ashwagandha maybe some Holy basil. Maybe we come in with some B vitamins because you and I know based on looking at thousands and thousands of people on organic acids testing that if you’re really really stressed, you’re going to burn out your bees as in Bravo, your B vitamins are going to be toast we know that. Based on looking at these labs, your neurotransmitters are going to be affected. So you may have low dopamine, you may have low serotonin, which is causing more anxiety, but then the low dopamine is causing a lack of energy and lack of drive. So let’s dive into some of these more functional pieces now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so we talked about the mindset stuff. We talked about tools to kind of decrease that sympathetic output and it’s just tapping on meridian points, right acupressure acupuncture points, kind of how energy and nervous energy Nervous System energy flows to the body. It’s just helping that energy flow better whether you call it ci or whether you call it action potential or, or nervous system, nerve flow, whatever you want to say, right? blood flow. It’s all connected, right? It’s all connected, right? So off the bat, we were talking about functional stuff. So when you’re stressed What are important things? Well, blood sugar stability is really important because most people get on a rollercoaster of blood sugar. When they get stressed meaning they’re going they’re overly gravitating towards alcohol, or overly gravitating towards refined sugar, their blood sugar goes up and then crashes down. And then it creates more nervous system stimulation via adrenaline and epinephrine being stimulated. And cortisol being stimulated to bring your blood sugar back up. So I find just keep it really simple, really easy with your meals, you may be more nauseous when you’re overly stressed because stress hormone does cause you to feel nauseous. So this is where you may want to do a soup or a simple smoothie, something really easy where there’s not a lot of digestion, but you’re still getting some proteins and fat in there. Whether it’s some collagen and some coconut milk or just sipping on some bone broth, right, something like that is going to have some good fat protein and it won’t be hard to digest. So if you feel nauseous just still no you should probably be eating but just try to make it something very easy on your tummy. And then think what are some of the nutrients your nervous systems in need when you’re more stressed, so low hanging fruit, B vitamins B complex is going to be very essential. Magnesium is going to be excellent gabbeh l-theanine these are good things that are going to help you relax and wind down having kind of mentioned valerian root or passionflower which are all connected to gabbeh and that kind of inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you just relax a little bit kind of kind of puts the clutch in gear disengages the the gearbox so you can kind of downshift so to speak.

Evan Brand: Did you ever do Kava when you were down in Austin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I mean, I’ve done I’ve done Kava still. 

Evan Brand: Did you go to the bars though? There’s like a cot. There’s like a cup. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, no, I’ve never I’ve never done it at a bar, but I’ve done it. Um, someone brought it over my house. They got it from Fiji. Before I did, it was relaxing. I like Kava that does a lot of gabbeh too, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah, does I felt weird my throat. I felt like well, am I having a reaction to this? Like it numbs your throat so much. It was a bizarre feeling. Yeah, I’m not recommending it. I’m not recommending it as a as a tool. But it could be it could be a good tool. I just thought I’d bring it up. Because when you mentioned like, Valerian I thought, Man, I remember that one time I drink Kava. I was. It was a weird, almost like an out of body relaxation. And I didn’t feel very grounded. It was kind of like whoa, I’m floating in the room. Kind of kind of interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, like I always go to nutrients first. And then I go to my favorite adaptogenic herbs second, so ashwagandha is one of my favorites. Right? ashwagandha rhodiola. Excellent. Excellent x, Holy basil those are kind of like my favorite kind of very relaxed, defying, relaxing tonifying kind of herbs, if you will.

Evan Brand: I like it too relaxefying, Do you get any sort of change in your outlook with holy basil? Because for me, that’s the one that’s most significant. Like I feel like I could take on the world when I get like a, I don’t know five 600 milligram a holy basil. It’s kind of like I am ready for the challenge. It’s a weird because it’s I’m calm. But I’m also energized at the same time. Do you get anything like that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It hasn’t been on my stack for a while. So right now my big stacks on my desk is going to be ashwagandha I do have some some gabbeh chewables and gabbeh sublingual. I mean, I think if you just took people’s works and took, you know, in their, in their place of work, whatever. And you took away all the candy and you just put like magnesium, and you put gabbeh like Lawson jers. Right. Think about how much of a stress reduction had been people’s works. Right. So much better. Maybe some B vitamins.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, if you and I had brick and mortar places what I would do instead of a little you know how old school like front desk, you’ve got a little glass of like lifesavers and peppermints. And a bunch of garbage. I’d have like pre packaged chewable pharma gabbeh sitting there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. chewable pharma gabbeh, sublingual magnesium, maybe some l-theanine shots, right? keep it really simple. I remember in doctor at school before. For finals, we would like make drinks of like ginseng and holy basil. And we like create these like shot glasses all lined up with herbs where we take it. It was fine. I mean, those are some fun times. But um, yeah, so we just got to think a little bit differently and how you deal with stress, just a different mindset change.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I want to go back to what you said how people get into the alcohol and to the sugar and all of that and the carbohydrates and the blood sugar rollercoaster. I think people don’t understand why that happens. So I just want to give people a brief education of why that’s happening from a, you know, neurotransmitter perspective, that way you feel a little more confident that you can change this and you’re not just a victim to the food. So when we look at urine and you measure these neurotransmitter metabolites, we can see that after a period of stress, especially if somebody has been working with us for several years, we can see that Oh, they went through a divorce. Look what happened to their endorphins, for example, the endorphins got burned out. And with the help of Julia Ross, she has an amazing amino acid therapy chart in her books. You can see that the symptoms of low endorphins start to pop up. So these are the people that cry at the drop of the hat. These are the people that hard on the sleeve real emotionally sensitive. If they crave dark chocolate, they’re going for food to comfort themselves or reward themselves. Those are low endorphin signs, we’ll match up those symptoms to the neurotransmitter report on the oat. And then we’ll come in with a therapeutic nutrient like dl phenylalanine, to rebuild the endorphins. And then within four to six weeks, you can have it the 60% difference in symptoms were these people that were running to the cookie because they were stressed or running to the alcohol at night to relax, they no longer need that now, they may still do it. But they literally don’t have the physiological need to do that. Some people say, I just can’t relax until I have that glass of wine. Once you rebuild the brain chemistry, they literally don’t need it anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, if you’re having a stressful day, I mean alcohol Don’t get me wrong is that is a wonderful downer. I mean, it really does help relax people. Now obviously, if you’re going to engage in alcohol, keep it to like a drier champagne, a drier white wine, keep it to a clean alcohol and try to do it after you’ve eaten. So you’re not creating a blood sugar swing, because alcohol can actually lower your blood sugar. And then that creates more cravings and more cravings for junky food, right? So if you’re going to have a glass of alcohol, right, don’t want don’t get drunk. But if you’re going to have a glass, make sure it’s a healthy version, then just try to have some good protein before you have it like so if you go out, for instance, have some oysters, maybe a little bit of seafood, maybe a shrimp cocktail and have a glass of champagne or two or a cabo or Prosecco or something clean, clean, clean alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with that, you know, especially if it’s only if it’s not an everyday kind of thing. I think it’s totally fine. And you know, make sure you’re utilizing some of the nutrients we talked about. So you’re supporting the neurotransmitters as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, check out our podcast, we did a whole one on the whole biohacking alcohol thing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s how-

Evan Brand: So, Sunshine, sunshine is huge. I mean, granted, when you’re in certain parts of the country, you really lose the sun, you really lose it because you get clouds. And, you know, if you’re really high northern latitude, it’s really tough to get sun, I’ve got a lot of clients in Canada, and they just get major, major seasonal depression. And so for those people, like a light therapy box can be helpful. I already know for me personally, it’s affected me like when it gets dark at five 6pm. I mean, I just mentally, I just don’t like it. And so the light therapy box can be very good. A lot of times, you’re going to see those at around 10,000. Lux, that’s a pretty bright, pretty bright light. Of course, nothing is going to beat the sunshine. But if it’s like you’re in Alaska, you literally or, you know, hours of sun per day, whereas before it was 12 hours, and now you’re three hours of sunlight. That’s really tough mentally, so sun can be helpful. I wish tanning beds weren’t so controversial. because years ago, I had a friend who worked at a gym who had a level, I think they called it a level three or level four tanning bed, which was not something that closed on you. It wasn’t like magnetic field balanced. Like I measured it, there was no EMF coming from it. But it was almost like the stage lights, almost like a like a theatrical performance, like a red light up at the top. And you could get a tan, I mean, literally in a couple of sessions. But I did it for mental health. And we know that sunlight in general can really help act as almost like morphine, it can really help modulate these opiate receptors in the brain. I remember coming out of a six or seven minute session, and I was just high on life. I felt so good after that. And I thought, wow, I wish this didn’t have to be so controversial. Because if someone could get access to something like this, if we knew that it wasn’t going to increase risk of skin cancers and such, man, what could it do for all the depressed people out there that have Seasonal Affective issues in the winter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it just comes down to when you’re dealing with sun, it’s just don’t burn, you know, just just don’t get a burn and you’ll be fine. And that’s different for every single person. And so of course, you know, natural sunlight is going to be ideal. I think it’s gonna be excellent. So that’s a good first step for sure. We talked about some of the B vitamins and things and it gets really essential. I think also, you know, just from a financial standpoint, I think it’s really, really good. People talk about it, just having that six month emergency fund, right, try to have, you know, six months of being able to take care of your family, whether it’s food, living mortgage, just try to really make sure at least three to six months if people had that during COVID. I think there’d be way way, way less financial stress for people. I know, it’s a tough thing to do. But I think it’s something to strive for in regards to financial health is just really look for that six months, three to six month emergency fund. I think you’re smart.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And try to get rid of things that you don’t truly need. I mean, I had several people who say oh, you know this or that about budget, but they’ve got the hundred and $40 a month cable bill and they’ve got the the you know, the subscription to this or that that adds up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. So I think with the reducing subscriptions where you can the emergency fund is smarter than from the food security perspective. Two, I remember months ago, you and I were talking about this it was there was talk about some of these meat processing plants and stuff shutting down and I had literally some of my clients freaking out thinking that they were going to run out of meat and not be able to feed their family. I mean, they were probably just watching too much news about the subject. But that’s why I always recommend everyone have a good chest freezer, you can get him for $100 and go on local harvest or eat wild, or just Google local farms around you, we have a farm that I pay him a little bit extra, but they’ll deliver to the house. And we’ll have literally an entire chest freezer full of amazing grass fed meat at anywhere from six to $10 a pound depending on the cut. And we don’t have to worry about going to Whole Foods where we’re going to get shamed if we don’t want to wear a mask, and then we’re buying their overpriced stuff sitting in the fridge. I’ve got my local farm, you know, bringing pastured meats at a fraction of the cost to my door, throw in the chest freezer, I sleep great at night knowing that if something were to happen to the food supply, my children and my wife and I will be well fed. And then of course well what if the electrical grid? Well, I don’t know. That’s that’s, that’s pretty slim chance. I know, people in California worried about that earlier this year, because of the fires, people were thinking, well, what if I have the chest freezer full of meat? And then the electrical grid goes off? Because California turns off my power generator? You know, hopefully, it’s not a long term thing. But you just got a problem solution problem solution, you can’t just get paralyzed by the problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I always talk about it, you got to close the loop, right? You know, you have a problem. When you don’t close the loop. And you think about the solution, and you keep these loops, I call them keeping these loops open. That’s where stress happens when you close the loop. That’s where you feel a lot better, because it’s our problem solution. Problem solution, you’re constantly opening and closing loops all day long. That’s kind of how you want to think about it. So you have maximal you know, stress reduction. So we talked about physiology, right? That’s the foundation because remember, that’s like the this is the vehicle This is a suit, the biochemical suit we have to walk through every day and not everyone’s suit is the same and how we can deal with stress. So if you’re looking coming into this, you know, 20 minutes late, you’re like, Well, what do I focus on, focus on the physiological biochemical suit, because that gives you the ability to adapt. And then from there, you can try to grab one or two things that work best for you. mindsets, really important, dealing with some of these stress can be helpful. Talking about some of the supplements can be helpful. Making sure you’re in a good kind of financial situation can be helpful as well. You know, those are all good kind of strategies out of the gates. Anything else you want to talk about functional medicine wise. So we talked about some of the organic acid testing and looking at neurotransmitters that can be helpful, because I find people that are, you know, let’s say long term stressed out people, we’re going to see a lot of neurotransmitter patterns that are pretty depleted regarding amino acids and dopamine and adrenaline and serotonin. And that may be a longer thing you have to work on replacing with amino acids. So that may not be just a supplement you want to dunk on, they may take a while to work on depleting that, especially, you know, the faster it happens when you work on all the sleep stuff and the diet stuff that gets better, but that the bucket that may need some effort to work on depleting.

Evan Brand: Yeah, the only other functional medicine piece we’re going to be looking into for these like super stress, people’s looking into the gut, we’re going to be looking at gut inflammation. We’re going to be looking at parasites, bacterial overgrowth, all the stuff we normally talk about Candida, because there could be some more functional reasons why someone is going into the cookies, for example, or the alcohol, maybe on a neurotransmitter test, they look okay, but in regards to their gut, maybe they have all these bacterial pathogens are parasitic pathogens that are kind of like begging for some sort of quick burning glucose, right? So we may come in. And I noticed personally just using some Mimosa, I was doing some experiments with not not the orange juice cocktail thing, but actual most of the seed most a tree seed in capsule form. That’s very beneficial for calming down my gut. And I noticed mentally I was calm, just by calming down my gut. So don’t forget about the gut brain access, there is a connection there. And so if you’re having digestive problems now, whether that’s due to stress, or whether it’s due to infections, if you’re having diarrhea or constipation, or stomach cramping or food intolerances, you got to try to address those because it does signal and alert Danger, danger to the brain, meaning if you’re going and eating this allergenic food, irritating the gut that can then irritate your brain and cause issues. So I’ve had some people that have gotten anxious after certain foods, and we know that histamine is a neurotransmitter as well. So if you’re having histamine reactions, even just something like a low histamine diet may be useful to help calm the brain down because of some of the reactions there with histamine. So people think it’s just histamine allergies. No, but it can also affect your brain chemistry. And so you got to focus on that maybe herbal anti histamines or something we would use or some enzymes to help to reduce some of the effectiveness of the histamine on the brain. So I think that’s probably my last piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and those are all valid points. For sure. You know, you talked about histamine, you talked about inflammation, and inflamed brains not going to focus and not going to do as well. So again, inflammation, whether it’s food allergens or deeper gut issues is a big one. Also medical palsy women, you know, lower hormone issues can affect the brain. So try to make sure your hormones are at least at a good stable place because that’s going to help with brain inflammation that’s gonna help with cognitive stuff as well. So everyone’s coming at this from a different place from from a different foundational weakness. So just try to figure out where you’re at and take at least one or two steps, you know, Ford on that. Also exercise can be helpful. So just try to find a couple of movements, simple movements that you can do 510 minutes, that’s going to help really decrease a bunch of stress. So whether it’s a push movement, a pull movement, a set or squat, a bender, a pole, whatever that movement pattern is just try to engage in some of these simple movements, it’s going to really help your mood, it’s going to take a lot of that mental energy and allow you to kind of put it out into that physical movement pattern.

Evan Brand: Oh, 100% Yeah, exercise is key. I should have mentioned it earlier. I mean, I feel amazing after I just do some dumbbells or roll machine or hike in the woods, hike in the field, you know, whatever I could do to move. I mean, that’s in its free, right, it’s free, so and you don’t need any permission to do that. So obviously, if you’re going into a gym and you’re doing the whole mass thing in a gym, maybe that’s not as fun so get outside go somewhere where you know, you have your own space and you don’t have people you know, breathing down your neck, so to speak. But I think with the gut piece, the neurotransmitter piece, the aminos here’s kind of the the summary of today and what’s been going on in the world. A lot of people are just like, hey, things are crazy, I give up. But this is actually the time where you really want to dial things in even more. This is a time where you want to focus even more to keep your body keep your mind keep your your sleep patterns healthy. This is not a time where screw it I’m going to go off the rails and just drink a case of beer. It This isn’t the time to do that a lot of people they’re so stressed they have no other coping mechanism. But I would argue everything you and I’ve been talking and doing and preaching and clinically doing for people. This is kind of like the showdown This is like okay, what did all that work we put in actually do did we were we the last man standing, meaning everyone else got burned out and ended up on you know, anti anxiety medication. And we stayed calm and cool through the whole thing. I think this is the time where you can see all the hard work paying off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I think you’re totally kind of dialed in. Also, one thing I’ve been doing a little bit is a little more meditation and just keep it really simple with breathing. Just focus on breath, you can do kind of a biofeedback device like the Muse that I’ve talked about, we’ll put a link down below for that. That’s one thing I’m experimenting more with. It just kind of gives you that little bit of a thumbs up from a biofeedback standpoint that you’re you’re you’re putting your brain in a pretty good place when you’re meditating. I think it gives people confidence. They’re doing it right. The problem I find with meditation, people are like, Am I doing this right? And there’s just insecurity and what the heck they’re doing. And then that prevents them from being compliant with it. So I think having a extra kind of pat on the back yet you’re doing the right You’re doing good with a some kind of a device that helps whether it’s whether it’s HRV, or the Muse or M wave type of technology, these kind of things I think are helpful to give you the confidence that you’re doing something right.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the floatation tank is awesome. So doing doing a float would be good. deep tissue massage would be great. calming essential oils would be great Epsom salt baths would be great is anything you can do to downshift. We talked about the shifting phenomenon quite a bit, but-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot, there’s a lot of options for sure.

Evan Brand: Okay, cool. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. So if people need help, we’re here for you. We always have been and we intend to be kind of on the front lines, helping people with all this stuff. So if you need to reach out to Dr. J. JustinHealth.com is the website. If you need to reach out to me, EvanBrand.com is the website and we’re here for you. So don’t give up. Don’t give in. You got to keep pushing forward every day, you still got to put your pants on, you still got to do the thing, whether it’s take care of your kids take care of your wife, your husband take care of career, you still got to move forward. So I know it’s easy to get kind of stuck and like you mentioned I like the idea of the open loops closing the loops. I didn’t get stuck in these open loops, but you got to close the doors. Try to simplify try to you know, minimize decision making focus on the big things and you’re going to be just fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Excellent and Well, great podcast today EvanBrand.com to reach out to Evan, JustinHealth.com to reach out to me we’re available worldwide. If you want to dive in, look deeper at your physiology, biochemistry, neurotransmitters, gut whatever the root issue is. We’re here to help you guys have a phenomenal day. Click down below for all the important links, guys. Take care. Bye.

Evan Brand: Take care now. Bye bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

Mood Imbalances and their Root Causes | Podcast #250

Depression, being the #1 cause of disability in the US, has tons of other mood issues that come along with it. Some psychiatrists are not telling what are the things that caused us mood issues,and what should we do to lessen it.

For this podcast, Dr. Justin and Evan Brand talks about root causes to mood issues.  Also, learn through this podcast the importance of blood sugar maintenance, sleep, diet, and a lot more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover: 

01:15 Moods and Diet

03:40 Blood Sugar

09:00 Sleep

12:20 Chemicals in Food

14:40 Progesterone and Estrogen

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Evan Brand: I’m doing very well. This is an exciting topic because depression is the number one leading cause of disability in the US and there’s a ton of other mood issues that come along with depression and your psychiatrist is not telling you that you need to detox heavy metals and get infections out of your gut and stop eating pesticides and all the other things that are causing a mood issues. They just give you a drug to treat it and give you a Band-Aid which has save lives but it’s not the root cause so we always love root cause. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So let’s talk about some root cause foundational mood stuff first and we kind of have the Nuance nitty-gritty stuff and then we have the foundational stuff. So the first thing is just your diet, right? We need a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory low toxin dietary template and I I like to talk about diets me template. It provides a lot more flexibility and then we have a framework premise and why we recommend the things that we recommend part of it is foods that are evolutionarily appropriate Foods. We had enough time to adapt to eat, food that are going to be low in toxins, whether it’s anti-nutrients are oxalates are five dates or natural plant Oxalis plants have claws and feet to run and Fun Run and fight so they have berries toxins, right? So we want to make sure were using cooking methods and avoiding toxic plants, especially the more got issues we have and that anti-inflammatory, right? We know foods have the ability to move us to an anti-inflammatory environment good healthy, omega-3 fatty acids good healthy saturated fats of the more process refined omega-6 that are more fragile and they can move it move us more in that Pro in from inflammatory State and then of course the nutrient density foods are going to be super nutrient dense B vitamins minerals. Obviously the food quality is now a big deal because you can have the same kind of meat on on your plate. Looks totally different under a microscope because of the hormones because of the feeding practices cuz the medications and the and the drugs given to the animal while they were having their life and growing so to speak. So we have to look at nutrient density anti-inflammatory status and hormones and toxins are the big things off the bat. 

Evan Brand: I’m glad you about this before but we could just bring it up briefly which studies done on prisoners and when they were giving Omega-3 supplements basically fish oil supplements, they had less violence and less just crazy behavior overall and there’s been some like Psychiatry studies looking at just overall like homicidal rage and suicidal thoughts and those things in there directly correlated with a deficiency of omega-3. Fatty acids 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Omega-3 is really important. Also blood sugar stability. There’s also data on the fact that’s Information I should say. Are you able to see me hear the screen? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I see you perfectly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good excellence. All right, so there’s information showing that. Mood issues anxiety and depression is a result of inflammation in the brain. And we also know that anytime low blood sugar environment can happen right refined carbohydrates blood sugar Spike followed by a drop that’s called reactive hypoglycemia. Those kind of those kind of situations are going to create mood issues and this data on the fact that a lot of violent crimes are committed in a hypoglycemic environment and some of the data on that is because of the fact that low blood sugar and are making shutdown activation of the frontal cortex in the frontal cortex is the part of the brain that’s going to predict the outcome of an action so it can say Hey, you know that person that just pissed you off. I want to go hit him or go call him out. And then that frontal cortex has that like 20 milliseconds of hey, you know, if you do that you may get arrested and it can dampen the impulse so to speak so the more you have good activation of that frontal cortex through reducing inflammation. And then also maintaining good blood sugar and part of that as we become more fat burners and that fat burning environment put logs on our metabolic fire was future blood sugar from going up and down and then avoiding a lot of a refined carbohydrate which tends to make our blood sugar go up and down as well. 

Evan Brand: Well, this is part of the reason people make bad decisions when they go out to a bar into a club and they drink alcohol and go home with somebody that they don’t want to partial partially due to what is alcohol. I mean, it’s basically correct liquid. It’s basically liquid sugar. It’s going to crank up the blood sugar but it’s also going to crank up serotonin and then the serotonin is going to just flat line and when you run out of Serotonin, you can’t make decisions that are smart. And so if you are somebody who is struggling with mood issues alcohol needs to be out of the picture completely for multiple reasons that we just met-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Blood sugar or I should alcohol actually lowers your blood sugar can create a hypoglycemic and where I might just go take a for instance a shot of vodka and just test your blood sugar your blood sugar. Drop restaurants do this on purpose because they know if they can get you some refined carbohydrates and pretzels and some bread and then they can get you some alcohol pretty fast. They’re going to cause a reactive hypoglycemia environments and you’re going to be ordering more food and getting more carbohydrates may be ordering a bigger desert whether or not they understand the biochemistry of it all they understand that if they do these kind of things in the beginning of the meal they can create a larger bill for you at the end of the meal.

Evan Brand: Should have clarified like margaritas and things that have like agave syrup and all the sugary stuff mixed with the alcohol. That’s when your blood sugar is going to go crazy, but I haven’t tested the Vodka by itself. That would be cool to see on a glucose monitor. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly yup 100% you can really create some significant significant issues of significant stressor 100%. 

Evan Brand: So we could spend time and talk about this isn’t for today. But I mean, there’s like a traumas for example, you know any trauma that’s left over in your body, you know physical mental abuse or anything like that yet. You must address promise. I don’t want somebody listening and thinking if they just perfect their diet and get rid of alcohol. Their mood issues will go way there could be super deep traumatic issues that need to be addressed but no we were trying to focus on more like the biochemistry aspect the blood sugar affect adrenals hormones thyroid got those things. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yeah. I totally totally get that for sure. So in general we have the inflammation components to so of course gluten to be a big one there the main mechanism how gluten is in a create more mood issue is going to be through inflammation and it can create gut permeability and that gut permeability can allow various inflammatory cytokines and Undigested food particles to get in the bloodstream that can create more of an inflammatory response and then create leaky brain as well. And then a lot of these inflammatory compounds whether it’s lipopolysaccharides or just inflammatory foods that are unprocessed that you have that immune response these particular can get into the brain but through the astrocytes which of the blood-brain barrier and then that can activate our glial cells in our brain and that can create more cognitive issues more information in the brain and some of the newer families of antidepressants that are coming out very soon. These medications are actually working more on inflammation in the brain problem is like any medication is going to be at have inherent side effects just because of the fact that Any medication does when you block and inhibit various enzymatic Pathways other things happen as a result, like the old vioxx days with these cox-2 inhibitor medications the cox-2 enzyme the cyclooxygenase to enzyme that was being blocked by some of these medications like vioxx. Well, those enzymes also have beneficial effects on recovering liver heart and gut tissue to then you had a lot more stroke and cardiovascular incidences. When you were on this medication. Do you know they worked at enzyme and other important roles outside of just blocking paint. 

Evan Brand: Where they pulled from the shelves. I mean, that’s like long gone, isn’t it? Maybe I should look it up. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah that was pulled like 10 years ago. I make more cat a massive lawsuit around that I think it was on record of killing 60,000 people. Yeah. Yeah. I know really sad but we are going to do you know?

Evan Brand: All right. So let’s talk about the Sleep aspect like for example 3rd shift workers much much higher incidence it personally when you’re working a third shift. You’re messing up your circadian rhythm your serotonin in your dopamine your melatonin your cortisol all these hormones and neurotransmitters that can act as both neurotransmitters and hormones. They all have a circadian rhythm. And if you’re not going to bed with the sun and getting up with the sun, you’re probably not going to be optimally happy now. There may be a few people listening. So I work 3rd Shift for 20 years and Im as happy as a lark. Okay, Mike, maybe you’re unique but as a general human rule going against the sun is not going to result in Good Moods. It’s that simple.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, 100% shiftworks a big one. We know that I can definitely Cradle by The Moody she’s partly because we are hardwired to kind of be on a natural circadian rhythm Right light stimulates cortisol cortisol stimulates, you know alertness and and being awake and then that cortisol drop throughout the day and a Miralax at night and darkness stimulates melatonin antioxidant information helps you recover. So yeah, that’s a really important step into this. Equation for sure. So they sleep component, the food the nutrient density component think it’s really big. Lets go to the next low hanging fruit– digestion. Okay, great. Were eating a really good diet. But now we got to actually break down those nutrients those nutrients so we gotta make sure what you and our food up. Well, we got to make sure we have enough acid and enzymes to break down those amino acids. Those fatty acids those cholesterol compounds cuz they are building blocks for a brain is cholesterol and saturated fats are hormones are building blocks from cholesterol as well. And then our brain amino brain chemicals. They’re all going to come from amino acids, which come from protein. So all of our brain chemicals norepinephrine dopamine Gaba serotonin serotonin than Converse the Melatonin which is our sleep hormone and our antioxidant for the brain, they all come from protein. So we really have poor digestion and their studies actually on H. Pylori for instance cant create mood issues. And what’s the major mechanism? My opinion, the mechanism is the fact that you have poor digestion you have less stomach acid. You have less breakdown of these important building blocks and then hes building blocks can be used to make these healthy brain chemicals that allow you to feel good sleep good and deal with stress. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. I agree. I was depressed when I had h-pylori could attest that my mood was not good and I lost a lot of muscle too, I mean you looked at me and you told me Evan man. I remember seeing a picture of you you had some muscles what happened to you. I was so skinny. Luckily. I’ve regained a lot of that muscle back but mood issues are definitely related to gut infections and I just want to talk about kids for a minute because a lot of parents blame their children or just being kids and that’s why they have a bad mood. I’ll tell you as a father of two mood issues are totally related to what’s going on with your kids diet as well and your kids got so if you send your kid to school with crackers and goldfish and other garbage that’s going to be inflammatory. But also it’s going to affect your blood sugar and they’re not having good protein with their lunch. It’s no wonder they crash. I have bad moods and then they are getting in trouble in school in the teachers calling you saying hey, you know Johnny hit another student today. What would have happened if his blood sugar was well regulated and go ahead. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I saw my son a picture of him. it’s snack time last week. It was really funny. All the kids are there had their lunch box is open and you could see he had like some green apples that were cut off. He had this like grass-fed organic, like beef jerky. They’re just really easy and Ill kind of cut off and he had I think some little bit of almond butter is a hit a really nice snack and he has seen a lot of the other kids. You see the Goldfish. You see a lot of sugary drinks. I’m like oh man, and these kids are just really getting their blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, and they’re not going to be as good I mean, don’t get me wrong nutritions not going to make your one or two year-old a three-year-old who is developing be a perfect angel but it’s going to significantly improve things and make it much much better and it’s in a provide the building blocks. They need one to heal in to grow their nervous system and connect all these synapses in the brain. All these neural connections from all these new skills that there that they are using but two are keeping a lot of the inflammatory dies and chemicals and Foods out that could make things even worse as well. 

Evan Brand: There’s been countless studies on the artificial colors and flavorings increasing the risk of ADD and ADHD. And a lot of these behavioral cognitive issues that are deemed as common so the teachers, you know, well just recommend that the parents speak with the doctor in the doctor puts the kid on Ritalin and that calms the kid down but that’s not the root cause he there’s a root cause of that and this is not hey, you know, Justin and I are awesome in our kids are better than you but I’m just telling you I’ve seen it my daughter hanging out a plate at a playground versus other kids where other kids in the same age group are having emotional breakdowns and they’re crying and rolling on the floor and screaming and just acting out like not how you think a kid would act out just not in control. Where is my daughter would be controlled or emotions would be controlled. Does she still have outburst and cry? Over silly Small Things. Yes, totally. But she’s three years old at the time of this recording. So I’m just saying that as a general rule, but also the chemicals to write when Im just talkin food. Were talkin that you and I both are you’re giving your son detoxification support. I give my daughter detoxification support. We’ve given both of our kids herbs to help treat gut infections and bacterial and things like that in the gut too. So maybe if the diet is dialed in but you’re not seeing any progress Improvement this applies for adults, but also children since were on the subject run a stool test on your 3 4 5 6 10 year old 15 year old kid and you may find gut infections like the H pylori just to mention as another root cause of the mood issue. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly plus it’s probably incidences where maybe some not-so-great food or more refined processed food slipped in with your child at all. And then you probably saw an outburst or behavioral issue, you know, we had an incident. I think on a birthday. We gave him a little bit of gluten-free cake and there’s a little bit of a crash afterwards we could see that in this by observations from you. So it’s all wrong with it. Right now. We definitely want to provide the hormone environment where it allows our kids to grow in NBA Staples possible think it’s really really important. We hit the the food component the digestion component. Let’s talk about four months. So obviously blood sugar has a major effect on our hormones the more I blood sugar goes up and down the more cortisol and adrenaline to get call to the rescue to to bar for that out to the mortgage Reno stress gets put on our body in archery know our stress handling system and the adrenals are a part of the hormonal system is connected with the sympathetic nervous system. So the sympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that deals with fight-or-flight stress running fighting, fleeing confronting and that part of the nervous system the more it gets turned on or flare the more adrenaline and cortisol and stress hormones that are catabolic the break tissue down or going to be secreted and the adrenals also produce a significant amount of sex hormone precursor. So the more we’re stressed and dealing with the catabolic stress side last week and allocate resources to the anabolic repair and Recovery parasympathetic size. And then it makes it harder for us to recover put on muscle feel good turnover on neurotransmitters and just be able to deal with and adapt to stress. So there is that on one side and the adrenals affect the kind of men and women relatively equally but then women have their hormonal side from the ovaries that cycle throughout the month and that part of the Cascades a little bit more unique because cortisol, which is that major stress hormone that we talked about can also be made from progesterone. And so the more we are stressed, the more we can pull from the progesterone. I was thinking create more estrogen dominance so are relative ratio of progesterone estrogen which is typically 20 to 25 to 1 on average for progesterone Dash inserts asked you and this condition called estrogen dominance starts to occur with a percent of that returns coming up and this can create more mood issues more PMS kind of issues breast tenderness cramping back pain in the mood components of they want irritability anxiety depression. All those symptoms can happen as a result of that. So the more we can take away that up and down with our cortisol in the movie that takes out of that the less estrogen dominance will kick in.

Evan Brand: I just want to point out one key Point you’re speaking about ratios a lot of women come to us and say I’ve got so much estrogen. I’m so estrogen dominant know he’s not saying that you have tons of estrogen you saying in relationship to your progesterone. So it’s not that the estrogen is literally overwhelming and you have more estrogen than progesterone. that’s not what’s happening. Correct, correct? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it could be that your estrogen is actually really really high. Im seeing with a lot of my female patients is progesterone is low really low acids also low, but the ratio is still skewed. So Im seeing it like if you are as progesterone, right and he is estrogen what’s happening. Both are low, but progesterone is even lower. So it’s like that.

Evan Brand: Are you saying estrogen overwhelmed progesterone or would that be like an extreme case?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That being extreme case and almost all the time with cases like that. There may be an exhausting is pit Ashton being taken right? You’re definitely would see on the birth control pill side. You may not see it come back like that because a lot of egestion metabolites me to come back on the test cuz youre not, you know the actual the actual estradiol or estradiol hormone. They’re like the analog that it’s a metabolite that has still in that shouldn’t affect but it’s not coming back in the lab. So we just know the fact that if these levels are that high cuz you’re taking it then the warm out there going to be Might as well.

Evan Brand: OK make sense would be a mechanism to cuz if you had like yes High B6 recirculating all those hormones hormones would just make it works. Right if your recirculating hormones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: correct Plastics that I have seen no estrogen kind of facts whether [inaudible] egg. And then of course, you’re going to have hormones in the states right to give it a lot of estrogen type of hormones to make them fatter and kind of woke up. So to speak to the farmers can make more money on the slaughter there is that too. So that’s why you have to mitigate the toxins in the hormones and all the food and then you have to look at detoxification pathway. So well run on the docks tested a little gas gauge in the bottom left-hand corner of stop H3. it’s called the two methoxy hydroxy acid metabolites panel, or I should say reading and it’s a little gas gauge you want to at least in the middle, but you’ll see a lot of decreased methylation so it’s way to the left and that’s a sign that were not metabolizing are Estrogen. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s important. So you have to address hormones and were not saying hey, you just go on thyroid medication. Like that’s not you know, this is a whole system here adrenals are connected to your thyroid thyroids connects. The brains involved. You mentioned the sympathetic nervous system. So if you’re somebody whos working 70 hours a week or not taking days off in your nervous system is so revved up. You can eat a paleo-diet and still have mood issues. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yep. that’s very possible. So we have those kind of hormone issue is and of course any women listening to it mood maybe one component of that. It could be other things as well could be the energy you could be back pain and cramping breast tenderness fluid retention. It could be all the above. 

Evan Brand: We should talk about toxicity and liver and chemicals and metals and stuff for a minute. But why don’t we just briefly mention autoimmunity and the role that I could play in hormone. So if you’re someone who has autoimmune thyroid, isn’t it possible that if you’re going from hypo to hyperthyroid, you may have some mood issues associated with that autoimmune attack or some day is the immune system is bang bang and then some days he knew system is not. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we look at hormones. it’s either ATM or ATF and it’s not you know, the ATM where you get money or the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms government agency ATM is Adrenals Thyroid Male Hormones, ATF is Adrenal Thyroid Female Hormones. So we already talked about the adrenal and the female and the adrenal and the mail. Yes the same mechanism are as we complete DHEA and we kind of lets just say deplete our sex hormone precursor from the adrenals testosterone can also drop and then testosterone can have a significant mood depleting fact as well. So same on the men the little bit less has less pronounced because women have a hormone cycle that that rhythms up and down throughout the cycle or manner kind of like a flat kind of Foghorn. So to speak there isn’t quite as much rhythmic activity. Therefore it’s harder to knock that off so to speak but now with the thyroid issues women are going to be five times more prone to But men still listen because if you have symptoms, we definitely want to rule out the thyroid like you said just having low levels of thyroid hormone can create anxiety for sure and also having high levels can also create anxiety and irritability and also having Hashimoto autoimmune flares which would eventually end with low thyroid but like you mentioned that autoimmune flare can flare up your thyroid autoimmune response was Canaan cause more hormones to dump in the system, which can then create mood swings and irritability and anxiety difficulty sleeping and that can create issues as well. So you really want to look at autoimmune markers for the thyroid TPO thyroglobulin antibodies. You want to look at your thyroid levels because high or low or going to be significantly driving a lot of mood issues most of the time it’s going to be low because low is The Chronic place that people tend to end up but you will see with a cute flares that it will go high or more in the hyper side again in general. it’s going to be harder to catch that but if we see Levels of antibodies we can definitely assume those level of flares may be happening whether or not we catch the high-level on the test. If we know High antibodies are there then it makes sense that’s possible. And then of course some graves for sure, graves will be the other condition where were making antibodies. Where is thyroid receptor site antibodies are TSI with your thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins those can cause thyroid to make more hormones and that’s an autoimmune condition as well. Get ninety-five. 99% are going to be Hoshis, Hashimoto’s 1% grave. So in general, it’s more plausible. If you’re gambling person that you’re going to go on the Hashi side Less on the graves, but you know, you’ll typically were not going to ever run for Graves antibodies unless we see very high levels of thyroid levels like very high levels of T4 and T3, then we’ll definitely say, okay. Lets run TSI. Lets run thyroid what receptor antibodies.

Evan Brand: Your endocrinologist would probably even run even if you beg them. So a lot of times were ordering Special Labs because the primary doctor that someone may have the working with us. We may try to push them. Hey, you don’t try to get your endocrinologist to run this and they just won’t they’re very stubborn. Even when it comes to the TPO and TG antibodies despite the mass of massive increase even just the past 5 to 10 years of autoimmunity with thyroid. You would think that it’s like part of standard procedure and protocol now, but it’s still not my grandfather got his thyroid Labs run. It was literally just TSH and T4 and maybe like T3 uptake, but still nothing else and it’s just crazy. So what are they doing? They they modified your drug based on TSH, TSH one up. Lets give you a little bit more synthroid and people just don’t know why they’re not getting better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and then conventional medicine will look at the graves thing and they’ll just say, okay. Well if you’re not in any hormone the right when you come in and your TSH is buried meaning it’s very low and let’s say below point 3.2.1. Then they may want to look Downstream at them some of those antibodies right? They may look at T4 and then I’m a look at TSI in the thyroid receptor site markers, but outside of that unless they see that they’re probably not going to do much. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, hopefully that’s what they do. But in some cases they may go straight to hey, we need to do radioactive iodine and try to just kill your thyroid off because youre youre over your thyroid overactive. I’m sorry that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If they saw grave markers, that would be the next logical step. They didn’t want a thyroidectomy or they give u p t u or more time is all the shutdown of the thyroid activity or they give the radioactive iodine to just kill the thyroid to begin with.

Evan Brand: Not pretty.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No it’s not so thyroid flares because of Hashimoto’s well that may never come back on the TSH may never come out of balance enough for it to be an issue and your TSH may still be relatively in range, even though your antibodies are going up and down and your T3 may be low or could be going up or down to so you may not even see a problem with that.

Evan Brand: Alright so let’s talk about that was a good diversion. So I just wanted to make sure we hit. Community Casa del Carmen and no pesticides damaging the gut barrier damaging the blood-brain barrier. Even if you’re a vegan listening, please eat some meat but if you’re not, you know the vegetables or not benign neither you can still get a different herbicides pesticides excetera that still damaged your good gut bacteria and create leaky gut, even if youre saying everything I don’t need hormone me. Okay? Well the plants could do at 2 and then also the heavy metals, you know, we’ve seen a lot there’s just Google it look it up on PubMed your Googles evil because they’re suppressing a lot of help people. So use another search engine like one called ecosia ecosia. They plant trees every time you do a search every 10 searches the plant a tree for you so search on a Ecosia, PubMed Mercury depression or you know Mercury anxiety and any like bad mood something that you type up you can find a correlation with a various heavy metal. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I think it’s really really important. So heavy metals various pasta sides various toxins Roundup glyphosate. These are all going to be potentially stressors on your nervous system on your immune system on your brain. I told easiest thing is one just decrease the toxic overload. Just be eating organic higher-quality food. Drink really good clean filtered water. And then number two we can always give support to help run our Phase 1 Phase 2 and R2 toxification Pathways, that’s really important. We could do simple things like activated charcoal with you give sulfur-based Obito acids, we can get glutathione straight into liposomal former reduced form. We can get back Extra B vitamins and antioxidants like milk thistle with cumin and Resveratrol and really powerful things to help with inflammation and in donating antioxidants anything else. You want to highlight their on the detox. 

Evan Brand: I started over the weekend doing some glutathione and a nebulizer. there’s actually a brand out there which I can tell you about a bluetooth ion this mixed with a sodium bicarbonate that you can make Saline solution. I’ve read a Stephen Buhner, the herbalist that you and I love because of his work on Lyme and co-infections. He made a COPD protocol for people suffering with asthma and other lung conditions and came up with a nebulizer protocol with essential oils. And so I’m doing the nebulized glutathione by itself and you just need to put the face mask on you got the nebulizer and I just took a of 200 mg of glutathione intranasally and I tell you my brain yesterday was so clear like, amazingly clear and I’ve actually spoke with some of these people at the company who’ve gotten their patients off of IV glutathione and onto the nebulizer because they don’t have to drive anywhere to get poked with a needle is much cheaper and the results are being seen much better because it’s getting through the blood-brain barrier when you inhale the glutathione vs. IV is not so that’s like my new development on detox and I haven’t done it enough yet to to give you the full, you know the whole story but for right now, My story is very positive. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Very good. So I think we talked about some of the toxic things. And again, it’s pretty simple. it’s like you just got to look at the food. Look at the environments try to increase sweating the infrared sauna good clean hydration could get a grill to go clean water filter JustInHealth.com/water or the ones that I specifically used Evan probably has some as well EvanBrand.com and you can look at his shop as well. But that’s kind of things. I actually use and I recommend personally clean water organic food being able to digest your food and then we talked about some of the various binders that we can do like chlorella for that some of the heavy metals activated charcoal as it’s a really good multi-tasker for a lot very spent the night Clays or folded minerals are really good too. And then they also you know from what we may also do things like Z light or maybe even Coley star means to help that bind up some of that mold as well that could be there environmentally if that’s the case then well have to do some testing on the house and and look again. Is the root cause of that Dilantin I have a guest that were going to get on just a few minutes. It will talk all about that in the next podcast. I will be right after this show. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, we got to wrap it up so that you all can chat about mold. it’s going to be fun. But the sauna would be the last thing I would add animal wrap it up the sauna and I love sweating sweating is the key and you can look at if you just look up PubMed typing like ochratoxin sweat. You can read that mold toxins. In fact do come out when you sweat so there is proof behind that and there’s a reason that our ancestors did like sweat lodges and some of these ceremonial practices they sweat their butt often those things and they were probably detoxing too good thing for them as they did not have any of the hundreds of thousands of manmade modern chemicals that we have today. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s important. that’s great. Awesome animal today was a great chat as always. Hope everyone enjoyed the podcast in the interview before you put your comment down below. Let us know things that you have used to help you detoxify good experience that you had and if you enjoy today¡̄s show, give us a share. We appreciate it, and you can write a review at EvanBrand.com/iTunes and JustInHealth.com/iTunes. We appreciate ya¡̄ll. Everyone has a phenomenal day and we’ll talk real soon.

Evan Brand: The clinical websites. If you want to reach out to Joe is clinically, please do so at his sight JustInHealth.com. You can reach out around the world. We can send test kit’s to your door. You don’t have to drive anywhere and wait in a boring dirty doctors office and read People magazine. You can do it from your house. So JustInHealth.com, and then my side is EvanBrand.com. We look forward to helping you were very grateful for the opportunity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, excellent. Awesome Evan, have a phenomenal day great chat with you is always will be back next week. Thank you. Everyone. 

Evan Brand: See you later. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. Bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

https://justinhealth.com/water-pitcher

Audio Podcast:  

http://justinhealth.libsyn.com/mood-imbalances-and-their-root-causes-podcast-250

Root Cause of Mood Issues| Podcast #229

Anxiety, depression and mood swings are more than just that. Those things are real and are not just in our mind.

In this episode, learn various causes of our mood swings and situations that trigger it. Also, natural remedies to ease it and getting to its root cause is included in today’s podcast. Stay tuned!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:03 Causes of Mood Swings

05:40 Medications and Antidepressants

10:12 Going Natural

11:07 Proper Oxygenation

26:29 Environment Matters

Youtube-icon

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the podcast. We have Evan Brand here. Today we’re gonna do a live podcast today on mood and natural mood solutions, getting to the root cause of your mood concerns. So we’re live on Facebook here as well live on YouTube. Make sure you click down below, leave us some comments, we want to know what you think we appreciate a share we appreciate the like. Obviously subscribe and don’t forget to smash the bell so you can get notifications of our awesome content coming up. So, Evan how are we doing today man?

Evan Brand: Hey man I’m doing pretty good. I’m looking for statistics right now to make sure we can discuss how many people have depression how many people have anxiety. The Center for Disease Control they study this stuff and so I want to make sure people understand this, its not just

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross talking.) Exactly

Evan Brand: One or two people out in the world that are struggling with mood issues, I mean it’s an epidemic so how big of an epidemic well that’s what I’m about to tell you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, so let’s dive in. So we’re gonna be talking about mood issues. Now I kind of draw the line in a couple different areas because there’s gonna be mood issues that are like all the time and you’re gonna see this in men women and more women. You’re gonna see mood issues that are more cyclical that are involved with their cycle whether it’s at typically it’s in the be, sometimes at ovulation and usually throughout that luteal phase, that last part of a woman’s cycle a week maybe three tool days to a week before they actually menstruate or bleed, have the period that’s when you’re gonna see a lot of mood issues and that could be hormonally based. So you have mood issues that are more cyclical than like an everyday kind of thing there’s that number two blood sugar issues people that are on a reactive hypoglycemia roller coaster and live their life on a blood sugar roller coaster that’s gonna be a problem. Number three, just poor nutrition. Like you’re not getting enough B vitamins and magnesium and amino acids in your body so you’re just – your diet’s just poor nutritionally it’s not nutritionally dense to provide the building blocks, to make all the brain chemicals, and then number four I would say is a malabsorption issue. Meaning, you don’t have the your digestion, is it off, or you don’t have the digestive secretions because of infection or food allergens or gut stress you’re not able to break down those nutrients so maybe the nutrients are coming in but we’re having a deficit on the breakdown side if you will

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s not what you eat, it’s what do you digest from what you eat. So you could have a Paleo diet yes, but if you’re still on an acid blocker or you have some infection you could still be at a deficiency of those amino acids that you need to manufacture brain chemicals

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, and then number five but kind of dovetail with the female hormone issue, but that’d be more on the adrenal stress side highs and lows in cortisol or cortisol rhythm issues. Now, I would say a lot of women that have the cyclical issues probably have an adrenal issue, but there are some people that may have all the time issues that are more Audrina based indoor men may have adrenal based issues, and then connecting to that, I would say with me the thyroid low thyroid hormone is commonly shows up as anxiety. They’ve done studies where they’ve taken people with anxiety and mood issues given one group, lithium the other group actual t3 and they found the actual t3 thyroid hormone saw some of the mood related issues and better than the lithium did. So those are kind of the big four or five things I’m trying to dovetail and we can connect any comments on that the brief over you Evan.

Evan Brand: Yeah, so what symptoms are we talking like when we say mood issues are we hitting, I mean we already did an anxiety podcast, we could talk about depression and that’s part of it are we just saying mood issues as a whole, I mean that could be irritability, that could be anger, I mean do we just tie it all together because really it’s all connected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, your debility, anger, anxiety, depression and then typically those things tend to dovetail with fatigue I think the only if we’re unique most people that have fatigue tend to have those issues, with the exception of maybe anxiety. I’ve seen some people that are very energetic but are anxious kind of that tire but why are you kind of thing but they may not be like fatigue so to speak. So typically you’re gonna see almost all of those issues have a fatigue backbone with the exception of anxiety maybe but you can still be anxious and tired though –

Evan Brand: Yeah, so depression specifically what I found here for statistics in the US about 10% of the US population has reported depression, so I mean how many people are depressed that have not reported it probably a huge amount. So you know if we estimate the US population over 300 million people, 10%, that’s what 30 million people, yes a lot of people, so you know not just you and your brother and your sister and your cousin, no, I mean this is everywhere you go I think the numbers are probably way higher than 10%. I think it’s just that people are not reporting it you know, what are you gonna do like you’re gonna go to your doctor you’re depressed a lot of people are catching on to the fact that all they’re gonna do is get a prescription pad written form and in your intro you said nothing about a deficiency of depression medication, you didn’t say anything about a deficiency of anti-anxiety medication, so people know they know that’s the only supposed cure that they’re gonna get is those drugs and people don’t want to do, I mean you and I talk to people every single day all day and a lot of them do have depression and they know I can’t get help from conventional psychiatry or doctors so then they come to us because they know there’s something else going on it’s not just a pill that I’m missing to fix my depression it’s something underlying and I had depression for I don’t know 10 years I mean as long as I could remember and my mood started to lift significantly after I worked on my gut.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% now looking at a lot of medications acutely a medication may be necessary if you’re in a suicidal place that that may make sense but you have to work with someone to get to the root cause. The problem is most antidepressants that actually don’t work in the long run. What happens is the dose has to be raised up and then as you increase the dose your chance of side-effects increase and side-effects of antidepressants can be weight gain, it could be low libido, it could be other mood issues, it could be energy issue, so there’s other issues that could happen spinning off a various side effects. So like within the depressants we have SSRI medications right that’s your selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, these are like your pre and post synaptic neuron you have all the the brain chemicals here in between the synapses is like your serotonin and there’s react ape ports on the presynaptic neuron where these chemicalsget recycled and a reuptake inhibitor it blocks this. So imagine putting my hand over this part and that way these chemicals cannot go back into that presynaptic neuron and if you guys are listening on podcast feel free and click below to see the YouTube links that you can see my, my little hand puppetry if you will. So that’s kind of SSRI you have SSNRI which is like Selective’s Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor so SNRI. Now, looking at norepinephrine dopamine which is similar you have things like wellbutrin, there’s other medications that are in that category that are working more on adrenaline dopamine kind of cascade because dopamine’s a precursor to adrenaline. So you have those medications on the depression side there’s new lines of antidepressant medications coming out working on brain inflammation. The conventional medicine is starting to understand that brain inflammation is a big impact on mood so they’re giving you these medications to help with that. Now, you got to be careful because anytime you don’t get to the root cause you create potential side effects, so these medications are so new coming out not even sure if they’re even from market yet they’re in the testing process now, so the side effects I’m not sure of yet but I guarantee you there’ll be a whole bunch. Now, looking at functional medicine in nutrition we want to get to the root cause of that brain inflammation, so one of the first thing we look at is to diet and the first thing after that is the gut because inflammation in the gut drastically causes inflammation in the brain, we have this the tight junctions open up this leaky gut gastro intestinal permeability phenomenon occurs undigested particulate bacteria foods gluten dairy get into the bloodstream, they can make their way up to the brain and make an activate our microglial cells which can create more cognitive issues more brain fog and more mood issues. So depression is a really big component so just kind of laying out the medication here and then obviously we have like our our gaba like as a pain medications which are gonna be working more on the gaba receptor sites and then we have ourold tricyclic s–from the 80s which are antidepressants from the 80s, less side effects with those but those still are kind of a weaker SSRI and —

Evan Brand: Well the problem with the benzos is that they’re highly addictive and if you try to come off of those you have a big withdrawal period where there’s going to be potentially more anxiety, more depression, panic attacks, I mean I’ve had people who come to me after they tried to go cold turkey off of a benzo and they’re having night sweats and panic attacks it’s like no you can’t do that, you know those drugs were really really effective so it’s just not something you can do on your own, you really have to have a doctor to help get you off of those drugs and a big problem is two people that are trying to mix supplements with medications – I mean you can’t just go take a SSRI and then go take 500 milligrams of 5-htp that’s just not something that you want to do it’s rare and I haven’t seen any cases of it personally but it’s called serotonin syndrome and that’s when you can boost up serotonin way too much with the drug and a nutrient so this isn’t. I mean when you’re talking brain chemistry you don’t want to come in there and just go to Whole Foods, buy a bunch of amino acids and start popping them if you don’t know what you’re doing

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the side effects are pretty prolific like we talked about nausea, fatigue, poor sleep, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, low libido, weight gain, so all of these things can, can add to the milieu of symptoms that are already there and we’re not getting to the root cause, so we kind of lead it the medications we talked about how important that is we obviously know foods really important because foods where all the building blocks come from so we want diets a very important very nutrient-dense with lots of good healthy B vitamins especially b6 which helps activate a lot of our brain chemicals. So obviously like a paleo temple it’s gonna be a great starting point with healthy organic green vegetables you know lower sugar fruit lots of good anti-inflammatory compounds they’re good healthy omega-3 fats which can help a brain inflammation and help with inflammation in general and lots of healthy good animal products that are gonna be grass-fed not grain fed with all the roundup and pesticides and junk.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve noticed a big difference myself with the fish oil just taking that tends to just level my mood out it’s not like it’s an any depressant effect like you would get from something like rhodiola, that’s one of my favourite adaptogenic herbs for depression. It’s not that significant but it just kind of makes you more even keel, where something like an adaptogen is going to help really boost you and you’re gonna feel altered, almost like you have a buzz from the herbs like, whoa I’m I feel happy I feel great. Yeah ___[10:57] is good for that gotu kola is good. I would say ginkgo could be in that category too because ginkgo will help with the blood flow in the brain, you know some of it could just be poor oxygenation what you think like if someone’s sedentary and maybe they have poor circulation, maybe they have mold issues that’s blocking nitric oxide, I mean how much of depression do you think is an oxygen related issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean anytime you have poor or increased coagulation meaning blood is kind of viscous, it’s like molasses things aren’t flowing well. Exercise helps improve that just getting inflammation down when you’re more inflamed and you have more inflammatory cytokines or interleukins in your bloodstream. Things get stickier and they’re not gonna flow as well, so movement helps getting the inflammation down, helps doing things like ginger tea. Ginger can be helpful. Fish oil is a natural blood thinner so you talk about fish oil. Part of the mechanism on fish oil works is it helps that coagula, it prevents things from clotting and sticking and also a fish oil is like a weak MAO inhibitor so basically, MAO is another kind of enzyme that metabolizes a lot of these brain chemicals kind of naturally and this it has a way of delaying that metabolism so not quite a drug like effect but it does have a mild effect there and again when you do things that are more natural and have mild effects. You have less side effects so fish oil’s wonderful with that also things like St. John’s Wort has some really good depression antidepressant qualities too and a lot of times they’re working on indirectly. They have anti-inflammatory effects they have which then helps with blood flow which then they tend to have maybe a mild MAO kind of you know decreasing the metabolism of our brain chemicals kind of mechanism that’s happening at play. Also one thing about gluten they’ve done, studies on gluten where gluten decreases blood flow to the frontal cortex so oh you have you know your garden hoses up the side of your head is called your carotid they gave people basically functional MRIs and they looked at blood flow and activation and the frontal cortex pre and post gluten and they saw significant reduction in blood flow to the frontal cortex the neocortex which is what makes us humans compared to animals and they saw a significant reduction and also significant reduction in migraines when that blood flow was supported. Meaning, when they cut the gluten down migraine stopped and they also saw that the blood flow was coming up when that happened so kind of outlined the mechanism. Blood flow is a really important component so anytime we can decrease the coagulate, meaning things sticking and we can improve the blood flow, like we talked about that makes a huge difference now exercise helps with the blood flow it also helps stimulate beta endorphin which is the natural antidepressant. It hits that opiate receptor and it’s a nineteen amino acid compound, meaning you need to be digesting and having good protein so the more you’re vegan and vegetarian and you’re not getting good quality proteins in there or you’re not supplementing additional proteins and b12 as a vegetarian vegan in omega-3 from algae you’re in a worse situation because you’re not getting those certain nutrients in

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve got my wife on some herbs right now St. John’s Wort passion flower motherwort dandelion Damiana black cohosh this is a kind of a postpartum mood remedy that we’re using that’s an herbal tincture and I’ve tried it and I feel great. I feel a lift from it too. So, this is something we’re doing for her just because you know a lot of depression we didn’t talk about this yet, a lot of depression is postpartum but then it never lifts right you and I talk with moms every single week. We’ll talk with the mom who says you know you and I will do a history together we’ll say okay let’s go back in time when did this depression start or when did this anxiety start. We’re always trying to make our timeline and so a lot of moms will say, wow this was after my first kid or after my second kid or after my third kid, the depression came on and it never went away and some of that steroid related because we do see a lot of postpartum Hashimoto’s where all the sudden the immune system goes crazy antibodies go up. The thyroid gets attacked the woman becomes hypo under functioning with thyroid or maybe she’s alternating between hypo and hyper and then she’s feeling bad because of that and so these herbs can come in and really help to regulate not only thyroid function, you could do some adaptogens to help adrenal thyroid but then the mood ones too like passion flower. I love it you know I think it’s something everybody could benefit from especially if you’re more on the anxious side where you’re stuck in traffic and you’re freaking out even my grandfather the other day he told me he said, Evan I can’t handle traffic anymore, and my grandma starts making fun of them they were talking about how they got stuck in rush-hour traffic and my grandpa was kind of freaking out kind of panicking getting anxious and he never used to be like that. So I told him, hey maybe we can get you a passionflower tincture. You put it in your purse, you know my grandma’s purse and take a shot of that next time you get stuck in traffic

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, now some natural ways that you can improve GABA levels is there’s some people to talk about GABA is too small or too large to pass the blood-brain barrier, but yeah I don’t know I kind of go back and forth on that so there’s that so you could take a product called Pharma GABA and you can do with sublingually so I’m gonna take one now to kind of promote my parasympathetic nervous system responses.

Evan Brand: I love them. They’re great. I chew them up too so great, great tasting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anytime you’re supporting adrenal stress right because GABA is the brake on the sympathetic fight-or-flight nervous system so anytime you can kind of bring cortisol and adrenaline back into balance, it’s helpful so things that you can do are gonna be ___[16:37] is gonna be excellent, magnesium will be excellent, ashwagandha will be excellent as well that really helps curtail, let’s just say a lot of the at the HPA access dysfunction.

Evan Brand: Let’s go into magnesium a bit because you hit that one but I don’t want to gloss over because magnesium is a huge needle mover. Maybe let’s dive into just a couple different forms for people that they could use. So last night I did some magnesium oil. I did some spray on my legs, my calves, I started to feel a little cramp coming on I thought you know, I was in the sauna over the weekend I was sweating I might not have replenished enough of my magnesium so I did magnesium oil and I slept much better with the oil. So that’s one topical form and then a lot of times you and I talked about magnesium glycinate, ___[17:23]I’ve had really good success with ___[17:25] especially for like muscle relaxation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, so magnesium is gonna be excellent. It’s a natural beta blocker so it can relax your heart so your heart’s not beating out of your chest. Obviously there’s like a thousand enzymatic roles in the body from magnesium so it’s in help with motility it’s in help but blood sugar metabolism it’s in hell but inflammation in the brain I think part of the mechanism and how magnesium works , ___[17:51] it’s highly anti-inflammatory to the brain. I saw a lecture with Russel Blaylock who’s a famous neurosurgeon and he said clinically when he operated on people and he would give them post-op stuck the metal magnesium they heal better than his colleagues patients that had the same procedure, it was like a remarkable difference. He said so supplementing additional magnesium really made a big difference.

Evan Brand: Magnesium threonate, that’s amazing magnesium threonate would be the other form I would recommend just because we do know magnesium threonate and a-actually crosses the blood-brain barrier so when you’re talking about gaba, you know supposedly being too big to cross the blood-brain barrier and the pharma gaba is smaller and is more easily readily available to get through the barrier same thing with magnesium threonate. So yeah if you do one to two grams of threonate that’s going to get to the brain and you’ll feel significant changes, I mean we’ve used it for people with PTSD. You know some of the literature we use professional healthcare companies to manufacture our products and they’ll give us some text sheets on the back end and they’ll have a whole list of symptoms why you would use threonate and PTSD and anxiety is one of them so we know these people think of anybody who’s at a stressful or traumatic event which is pretty much every human ever obviously some more than others. The threonate to me is a good a good remedy I mean if I had like a a trauma clinic or like a PTSD clinic or something or a mental health clinic where you know let’s say you’ve got people having mental breakdowns, you know kind of back in the day like my grandmother her grandmother would talk about oh if you have a mental breakdown you go to this hospital you stay in there for a month and they send you home. I guarantee they weren’t using magnesium threonate because it wasn’t invented back then but that would be something I would have in the protocol for people rather than, yeah, automatically going to the prescriptions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know Blaylock. I don’t even think Blaylock was using threonate, back things it wasn’t really that big.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Using a standard citrate, probably citrate it’s fine. It’s a cheaper version you can get it in natural calm, it can cause bowel, your bowels to move so some people do better with the ___[19:51]  or a or glycinate or if you know this cognitive issues we can do a magnesium that is a threonate, that better at crossing the blood-brain barrier we love that.

Evan Brand: Yes, I wanted to give you a brief diversion on the magnesium piece because here magnesium, but then they don’t know there’s a lot of different varieties of it that have different effects .

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm yeah, exactly. Now, next passionflower is great which is otherwise known as melissa officinalis. Another great relaxing kind of herb. It tends to be almost like a natural.

Evan Brand: melissa is a lemon balm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, oh yeah I’m sorry yeah yeah, the same thing Melissa and lemon balm tend to be relaxing so a lot of like natural hyperthyroid formulas have that in it so Melissa Melissa and lemon balm are over here passion flowers is similar and then Valerians both sent when they didn’t have relaxing kind of dampening effects and yeah, thank you.

Evan Brand: Yeah theLlatin on because you said passion flower, then you said otherwise Melissa yeah ,passion flowers Latin name is like Pasi flora something and carnie incarnate, uh, something like that I don’t really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s, it’s lemon balm and Melissa are the same thing yeah, flour and then valerian excellent also we can add kava to the mix there’s been research on kava from the Cochrane Database. You know, finding it’s very effective at helping with anxiety without the side effects so kava is excellent.

Evan Brand: Have you tried kava?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve tried it supplementally a couple times. I’ve tried it, someone made me kava tea before, it’s big in Fiji I think it’s very helpful it basically activates those GABA-A receptors is GABA-A and GABA-B and it really activates the A receptors in the brain so it can really help kind of chill you out and relax you.

Evan Brand: I went-I’m going to a kava bar one time when I was down in Austin and drink a shot of it, it tasted like – it tasted and looked like mud water.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s exactly how it tasted look, yeah.

Evan Brand: And I was I was altered, I thought man I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to drive home. I mean I’m really sensitive so maybe my GABA system just got flooded but I was sitting back in the chair kind of like, whoa I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve also seen CBD do very well in the mood side too so that’s ___[22:01]  with the non active THC has, I think is very helpful too I always tend to lean more on nutrition first, so like the B vitamins, b6, magnesium ,will also do higher dose l-theanine amino acid which can help promote GABA production stuff the mental gammas I tend to promote those along with the long-standing adaptogens that have a long term success record, like ashwagandha is excellence I’d say Kava after that’s wonderful lots of studies on it and then- um-any comments on that before we go to the next step?

Evan Brand: Yeah CBD has been helpful for me too. I give it to my daughter so if she complains of a headache or a bellyache or if she seems restless at night we’ll just give her a one milliliter dose which the brand I carry is a 10 milligram CBD, she’ll go right to sleep so it’s a really good settling thing and so for kids too. I mean I didn’t mention the statistics I was looking at some of this stuff from the Center for Disease Control. I mean we’re seeing we’re seeing 20 to 30 percent of children now are reporting anxiety and depression so I have moms that are telling me their kids are suicidal at 5 10 years old. I mean, when I was 5 and 10 years old I had no comprehension of death or mortality so I don’t know if it’s you know the the TV shows and the violence that kids are exposed to in other places that I wasn’t because I was outside on my bike all the time or what but you know as a kid I don’t remember other kids being anxious and depressed. Now I mean it’s almost every single kid that I see there’s an underlying anxiety problem associated with as you mentioned the gut you know we see these kids eating conventional food or get tons of glyphosate they’re good bacteria killed off the bacterial overgrowth are making toxins which are depressing and causing anxiety and the kids, so I mean there is a root cause for the kids too. It’s not where they need to be put on medication immediately same thing with ADHD. ou know these kids are getting diagnosed with ADHD we see that get better with fixing the gut to 100% and there’s herbs for kids too so there’s actually I mean, technically we can just dose adult formulas down but there are some special kids formulas that we do use that are specifically maybe they have a glycerine base as opposed to an alcohol base and passionflower skullcap, things like that you can use those with kids as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% also there’s something called people, may know it call phenibut or for amino 3 phenol butyric acid. Now this components a little bit controversial because there’s, there can be some addictive qualities to it it’s essentially a GABA agonist. Supposedly crosses the blood-brain better it’s a GABA agonist I’ve had some people that had phenomenal results with it ,but I’ve seen it I’ve seen it become a little bit more addictive and people become dependent upon it so it’s one of those things as a double-edged sword. I would never go to it first but I’ve seen people that have done very well with it I think it would probably be better than peeing on a benzo long term but I would always try that, that mean the last thing I would potentially ever go to in my arsenal because of so the so-called some addictive qualities to it

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean it helped, it helped change my change my life and get me through some tough times but, yeah, there’s a huge risk with people not respecting it and overusing it and down regulating GABA so much that you get more anxious you get more panic etc. When you try to get off of it whereas the pharma GABA that you just chewed up you’re not gonna have that potential for that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, yeah, exactly, so we have a lot of the supplementation I would also say if it just depends – because if we have a high cortisol state things that can help lower cortisol make a big difference. Some people have a very low cortisol state and some of their anxiety and mood issues is driven by low cortisol so some people think it’s like, hey this is the solution for that, well it really depends because what if you have low adrenaline and low cortisol well a lot of your anxiety and mood stuff could be from the lower state versus higher anxiety and high cortisol or higher adrenaline and high cortisol be many things to bring it down so we may be doing things more like phosphorylated serine to bring it down and actual gana we may do things to bring it up that are more stimulating like ginseng or licorice if it’s chronically low, and or tyrosine if we see low adrenaline so we got a look at what the pattern is because sometimes extreme high and lows can feel the same and that’s hard people to wrap their heads around.

Evan Brand: Yeah that’s a good point. I mean I had a woman in college who she, she was in Hawaii I remember that we found out her her dorm was super moldy and that’s why she was having all these panic attacks so that was cool too, but she had extremely, extremely high cortisol but just based on doing the initial intake and we talked over her symptoms. She was exhausted couldn’t get out of bed etc, we thought, oh my god I bet her cortisol has flatlined, no it was the opposite it was very sky-high so this is why you know you listen to a podcast you think, oh I’ve got low cortisol I’m tired I’m gonna go take a bunch of licorice, no way if we would have given that to that girl with high cortisol we would have made her blood pressure go up she would have had more anxiety more panic so this is why you have to test you don’t want to guess with this stuff you really want to get the data, maybe we should talk about that now do you think we should move on to testing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so I would say off the bat right we got to make sure the guts functioning well right the absorption of these nutrition where inflammation kind of gets into the bloodstream and goes to the brain really depends a lot on gut inflammation so good high-quality stool testing. I know we talked about doing the GI map task we like there’s a couple others that we do as well but if someone wants to dig in deeper to the gut we have to really fully assess that.

Evan Brand: Yeah so the guts huge urine I mean you’re in great we test for micro toxins through urine we test for chemicals we test for amino acid metabolism we test for bacterial overgrowth and Candida which can affect the mood so getting a urine test will be key and then getting the saliva adrenal test or a urine I don’t know do you do salivary adrenals anymore are you just doing urine

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know sometimes salivary adrenals but I’ve been liking the urinary metabolites because I see a lot of women that have a hard time metabolizing estrogen, so it’s nice to be able to run that one because I can also see how they’re metabolizing the hormones too. So that totally helps if you’re a female and you have estrogen dominant issues. So I maintain a new right estrogen dominance right that that ratio of progesterone estrogen drops right progesterone and estrogen drop like this. Meaning everything drops but progesterone drops faster so it’s nice to be able to see that because that can be a big mood issue – remember progesterone is a natural GABA chloride channel opener meaning we can promote GABA in the brain with healthy levels of progesterone so part of your GABA issue could be lower progesterone as a woman and also progesterone is very anti-inflammatory in the brain even with men with like concussions or any brain trauma they’ll give a couple hundred milligrams of progesterone for a few days after brain trauma to actually curtail the inflammation in the brain, so progesterone is very anti-inflammatory because of its cortisol building block effects of progesterone can help brain inflammation in brain trauma.

Evan Brand: Now let’s go a little further then are you talking supplementing progesterone, are you taking, doing some of these specialized maca extracts to help regulate progesterone estrogen?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Both no, but it depends on how bad it is. If it’s slightly out of balance we always lean to herbs and diet and natural components, if it’s significantly out of balance will use the bioidentical plant base and we’ll dosed it accordingly to accelerate the results.

Evan Brand: Okay and then like estrogen dominance, you’re talking removing plastics removing phthalates and other things from the makeup and environment. Plus maybe you’re gonna be throwing in some herbs to help regulate that maybe like the do you pronounce it ___[29:41]  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah ___[29:42]  more gonna help on the testosterone side, but on the inside we would do more like calcium to ___[29:47]  and all methane, fiber. Right these things are really helpful also there’s some some seed protocols where they’ll, do they’ll, do what’s the seed-

Evan Brand: Alpha linoleic acid omega-3 flax

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah exceed in the first half of the cycle so f for first half of the cycle and then typically a lot of sesame seeds for the second half of the cycle F &S; sometimes they’ll throw some pumpkin seed in there as well and that can help bind up some of the estrogen metabolites too.

Evan Brand: Oh interesting I was going to say I was reading some studies over the weekend about detoxing mycotoxins and actually one of the suggest that things to do was take flaxseed to help bind to toxins so that’s pretty cool it’ll bind the excess estrogen as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I think that’s in our ___[30:36] buying product too isn’t it?

Evan Brand: Yes,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, so that’s really good for mycotoxins and mold and then we already kind of dovetail through the mold mycotoxin coagulate issue it’s in a decreased blood flow so if you have any mold or environmental stuff that could easily be affecting how the blood is flowing to the brain and obviously potentially even getting to the brain and activating those microglial cells – that’s very possible.

Evan Brand: Yeah I’ve got a story people like stories right so we get into the geekiest and then people like zone out on us so here’s a here’s a quick stor.y I was working with a teacher last week she’s in her sixties she’s about to retire and we were discussing her urine test we looked at her urine for mycotoxin. She had a lot of different mold problems and I gave her some of these little plates these little petri dishes and we took him to her school she put him in her classroom. Her classroom came back very moldy and she goes, oh my god. you know this explains why after summer break you know all the teachers leave they come back and she says her and all of her colleagues talk about how they get depressed they get fat they get tired they get anxious etc, when they come back to school. Now obviously people would say, oh it’s just the kids stressing them out, no it’s she’s getting out of the moldy environment. For the summer the mold grows there in the summer they probably don’t run the air conditioners because they’re saving money on budget. during the summer they come back school starts in August or whenever and then they get sick again but luckily in her case she’s retiring so it didn’t matter but this is a real issue with a lot of women in office buildings or school buildings if you, if you feel worse, if you feel more tired, you feel more depressed etc when you go into a certain environment that might not just be the stress of the job or the bad boss this could be a toxin or pollutant in there so you may need to get like a HEPA filter in your classroom or a portable HEPA filter to put on your desk. if you’re in a cubicle and you’ve got people wearing perfume and stuff around you right you may need to try to make yourself have a little healthy bubble if you can’t leave or fix the environment that you have to work in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% also be on top of your environment, so we’ve already done plate testing in your house, in my house, my basement, my new office. And my basement tested great for mold but I’m noticing that the humidity contents going up as we get closer to the summer so like my first two floors it’s like 43 44 % but then my basement where my office is is that 56%. Now the problem is I would run the air conditioning more to knock it down but the problem is it’s already sixty five degrees right now it’s already kind of cool because of you know the nature of basement so because of that because I’m on top of it I’m gonna be getting a whole house dehumidifier. Specific for basement dwellings to remove the humidity from the air that way I don’t have to drop the temperature I can keep the temperature where it’s at and just suck the moisture out of the air and drain it out so based on your feedback, I’m already on top of that and everyone listening, if you have if you have a moldy environment or any environmental symptoms but there are no leaks check the humidity content of your house.

Evan Brand: Yeah it sounds like we’re coming out of left field, like okay we’re talking about GABA supplements now we’re talking about your environment. Your environment it’s a huge piece of I mean, think of how much time you spend indoors, it’s like what ninety five percent of your day. Most people are indoors so the air you breathe can affect your nervous system we know just based on looking at the EPA’s work where they’re sampling the homes that live near highways we know that the pollution from a major highway gets into the home and that actually increases cortisol so you actually have a shorter life span if you live close to a major highway or a busy road or a busy intersection they’ve done. Studies on people that live near four-way stop signs and four-way traffic lights and if you live near those busy intersections the cars are breaking the brake dust gets into the air it goes into your home it contaminates you know your children’s lungs your lungs etc so if you’re in a busy area and even if you’re not in a busier. I mean, here’s the deal, you know I’ve got five acres, I’m out in the country but we still have bad air quality because of the way the wind blows and so when the summer starts heating up the pollutants from the car exhaust will have air quality alert days all the time during the summer so that’s the time where you want air purifiers in your home, in your space. Making sure your airs clean now if you go outside and play sure you’re going to get exposed to the crap, but if you’re in your home you need it to be a sanctuary in terms of free of extra EMF free of mold free of extra humidity free of pollutants you know this is very, very critical especially your bedroom.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% that’s why we recommend also high quality air filtration as well if you go to my site justinhealth.com/ shop, you can click on the recommended products tab and look at some of the products that I recommend, that I personally havem I have multiple same thing. If you go to evanbrand.com and click on his store button, he has similar products that we both recommend and talk about and share with each other but if you guys are enjoying this cause and that’s a great way to support us so you can get great products we’ve already tested for y’all.

Evan Brand: Yep, yeah we’ve got like four different brain. I’m always experimenting so we’re trying to get you the best of the best. There’s a lot of crap out there like if you go to Target or Walmart and you go buy a air purifiers thats better than nothing, yes, but is it the best of the best? Probably not, no.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: You get what I pay for you, get what you pay for. You can go buy a $50 HEPA filte.r but you know, I buy more like $500 HEPA filters but they’re you know they’re built like a tank and they’re quality so-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah it’s kind of we are getting like almost a surgical base kind of air filtration.

Evan Brand: Yeah it’s like a hospital in my house in terms of the, the air purity not the not the Candida everywhere on the walls that is affecting people. Have you read about that the candida like ___[36:06] outbreak? It’s very dangerous.

Yes, yes I’ve seen that it’s pretty bad.

Evan Brand:Hhospitals don’t know what to do. I mean they’re, they’re running out of options, you know the antifungal drugs are not working.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah they need to be using more silver and probably even more specific probiotics because I think a lot of these Candida things are coming potentially from people post antibiotic supplementation or post probiotic prescription so I think the components big also, I know surgically my mom’s a surgical nurse for 45 years they’re using a lot more silver, now they’re wrapping all joints in like a silver cellophane after surgery to prevent MRSA an issue, so silver is already being used at that surgical level.

Evan Brand: Good, good yeah we still need more help though, I mean when the center Disease Control says, hey basically don’t even go in a hospital unless you have to, I mean, that’s pretty scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah like if I have to go somewhere, I’m, I’m calling a doctor and going directly in paying cash or I’m going to an urgent care place where you’re kind of in and out versus the conventional ER forget about.

Evan Brand: It, it’s just not it’s just not safe so you know obviously the, the hospitals are there sometimes we have to go there but when we’re talking about mood related issues. I mean you could have something as simple as a panic attack, you think you’re dying because if a panic attack you go to the ER and then they go run a bunch of tests on you and send you home with anxiety prescription and nothing was wrong and now you expose yourself to all these pathogens in the hospital and you come home more sick than you went in that’s just not a good thing to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, yeah, 100% same, and today was a great podcast, is there anything else you want to, to the show here?

Evan Brand: The last thing blood sugar. We’ve done so many we always talk about blood sugar but I just forgot to mention it because when we talking anxiety, mood issues there’s so many pieces of the puzzle when I feel low, if I feel depressed, if I feel anxious, if I feel like oh my heart’s starting to race a little bit, I’ll go prick my finger and sometimes I’m at – at like a 68 on my alt my glucose. Is just too low I’m getting that adrenaline response which is driving anxiety so I mean, don’t you know we got so many people practicing intermittent fasting and doing low carb diets etc, and these people depending on the, the stress and their life they may be less tolerable of lower carb less tolerable of intermittent fasting meaning a intermittent fasting was too stressful so I just currently don’t do it and I was noticing that I felt more anxious on those fasts and so for me blood sugar stability is a huge component.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yep I 100% agree and if you guys are liking this content give us the thumbs up, smash that like button and hit the bell as well so you can get notifications. I’ll be doing a live thyroid reset summit QA for all the people that were involved in the thyroid summit so if you guys are enjoying this I am set to go live here another 40 minutes we’ll be taking only thyroid Q&A; topics anyone listening to this as well head over to thyroid reset. Some of oumake sure you subscribe there as well. Evan, anything else?

Evan Brand: Our plugs people have these issues every day all day these are things we work with every day all day ,so if you want help from Justin please reach out to his website justinhealth.com you can schedule a call from around the world. For me my site is evanbrand.com. We don’t care who you work with as long as you get the help you need we’re just happy to be, a be of service to you guys.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah 99.9% of people that we help be never either me cuz they get access to our free content and they start utilizing it and then some need you know deeper more hand-holding and deeper assessment so that’s why we’re here and glad that everyone is enjoying the podcast and we’ll be back. Evan take care

Evan Brand: You too, take care bye

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care, bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqKqHwkdOpc

Gut Health and Anxiety | Podcast #227

The good bacteria in our gut are the ones responsible for the chemicals in our brain. Inflammation or anything that can affect your gut especially when it comes to digesting nutrients can cause a big impact on your brain chemicals. But how does really your gut affect or cause anxiety? Find out more!

Today’s episode talks about giving importance to the gut health which is the one responsible for the digestion of our food and vitamins that are needed by our body. One deficiency in the vitamins needed by our body can already affect our brain chemicals, thus creating mood issues and cause anxiety. Listen as Dr. J discusses the topic together with Evan Brand which gives his own personal experience to highlight the importance of gut health. Continue to find out that anxiety is more than just anxiety. Stay tuned.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani 

In this episode, we cover:

00:35    Effect of Various Medications, Digestion and Brain Chemicals

08:12    Lab Testing

11:05    Bad Bacterias

12:22    Home and Environment

19:44    Seeing the Whole Picture

16:55    Adrenal Testing

24:48     Thyroid Issues

26:24    Blood Sugar Level Optimization

Youtube-icon

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there its Dr Justin Marchegiani we are live here with Evan Brand in the house. Feel free and chime in some of your questions. Today’s podcast is gonna be a part two on anxiety. We’re gonna be connecting gut health to anxiety. We’re gonna be talking about some lab test that we can use to assess the root cause of a-why you may be anxious or moody. So I’m really excited to dive in.

Evan Brand: Yeah man, me too. So I’ll just start with my personal, and I don’t know if you experience much anxiety. I don’t think you’ve ever really said “Hey, I’ve had anxiety” but I definitely did, when I had gut infections. When I had ___[0:35], when I had parasites, when I had bacterial overgrowth, when I had candida overgrowth and when I had kind of a quadruple ___[0:43] that I really think stemmed from me during a round of antibiotics after I got my wisdom teeth and my 12-year molar extracted, you know I had a round of antibiotics after both of those procedures. I think that’s what led to the candida and then probably started to tore away, uh, tear away my gut barrier and then I ended up getting leaky gut situation. You go swimming Barton springs a few times, you swallow some creek water, you get some parasites down in your gut and then all of a sudden everything falls apart and you’re anxious for no reason. So that was at least my, my story, my unusual experience with anxiety ‘cause I’m not an anxious person by nature, but that made me anxious when I had those gut bugs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. I mean gut health is so important because all of your nutrients get absorbed through your gut. So, just a kind of review of physiology because we wanna connect the physiology and the biochemistry to why you feel the way you feel. That way you’re not just taking doctor’s orders, you’re understanding how these things are working. So, so we have our stomach, where we chew up our food, we swallow, it goes down our esophagus into our stomach. Digestion starts when the mouth gets chewing so just chewing up our good proteins is gonna be huge. That starts the digestion process and increases the surface area for hydrochloric acid, and enzymes in the stomach. So we increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach that lowers the pH it makes it more acidic, like ‘cause pH is lower. And that activates certain ___[02:07] enzymes in our stomach like ___[02:08] which starts that protein digestion process, that nicely enters, that enters into our small intestine, which then triggers ___[02:16] so we start breaking down the fat, fats are important because vitamin A, D, E, and K have instrumental effects on our physiology. Fats ___[02:25] vitamins especially, uhm, you know vitamin d for example, for instance has some effects at helping with mood as well. And we also know vitamin K, and vitamin A are really important for, uh, thyroid function and we know thyroid can have a major implication on mood as well, so low vitamin A, low thyroid. But in general all of these proteins and amino acids and even these minerals, these tranquilizing minerals, like magnesium, help our body relax. They chill out our heart, they chill out our mood. ___[02:55] amino acids get broken down in our stomach. They get ionized in our stomach and get reabsorbed again our small intestine. So we know that digestive processes are so important for these nutrients getting to where they need be is important so we can feel good.

 

Evan Brand: Talking to your microphone go close like this.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

 

Evan Brand: I’m not sure if that’s – I think you might be using your built in microphone.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh lemme double check that.

 

Evan Brand: ‘Cause I sounds a little echoey. Go on, uh, go on your little gear box on Hangouts there, see if you see

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yep, you’re right. How about now?

 

Evan Brand: Much – a million times better.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, I apologize for that everyone. So we got a better mic up and ready to go, ex-

 

Evan Brand: We, we still heard you but, now we’ve got that show, that studio quality gone.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

 

Evan Brand: So here’s the deal. Everything you said makes a perfect sense, assuming, you’re actually digesting and assimilating all these nutrients and breaking everything down like you said. And so where the domino goes bad, I mean for a lot of people, it’s just being prescribed in acid blocking medication. So you may think, well, how in the world does anxiety tie in to me being ___[02:55] or some acid blocker. Uhm, the way Justin described it, it was perfect. You take all these amino acids from your dietary protein, assuming you’re eating those. You know for eating a bagel, and, you know, cream cheese for breakfast, that’s not gonna cut it, you know. We’re eating a good, you know, we’re eating a good quality meat, a bacon, a sausage, you know handful of pecans, uh, half of avocado, you know, some blueberries, that’s a hell of a breakfast. If you’re eating that, you’re gonna beginning some amino acids that can be broken down and therefore turned into, for one, create muscle tissue-

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ___[02:55]

 

Evan Brand: Uh, create neurotransmitters. But, if you’re on an acid blocker because you had heartburn and you in one visit with your doctor and they say “Okay you need to be on an acid blocker” you could start that whole domino effect against your health just from something that simple and then you end up with anxiety so then you get referred to your psychiatric doctor and they put you on Xanax and, and, and it’s not a Xanax deficiency, it was the acid blocker messed up our digestion, your digestion issues created the inability for you to absorb your amino acids and make brain chemicals. Now you’re anxious and depressed, so then you get put on anti-depressants. So before you know it in three seconds you’re on an anti-depressants, an anti-anxiety, and on acid blocker. And then maybe you can’t sleep good because just as mentioned you’re breaking down these relaxing things like you’re getting magnesium from your diet. So if you don’t have enough of that, or let’s say you don’t have enough B6 to convert serotonin to melatonin, now you’re not sleeping well so then you get on the fourth med which is a sleep drug. I mean this is how what happens, this is why an average person is on multiple pharmaceuticals.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I don’t even think you talked about uh, cholesterol medications on there as well, right?

                                                                                 

Evan Brand: No I didn’t.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because cholesterol is gonna be the building block for all your hormones so then you have, maybe your cholesterol’s starting to creep up because of inflammation or you’re doing too much carbohydrate which stimulates insulin, insulin jacks up your cholesterol inflammation will also do it too, so for eating inflammatory foods that could do it. And then now your cholesterol’s high, you’re prescribed to ___[05:58] and then the ___[05:59] gonna decrease your, uhm, ___[06:01]  production so now your  ___[06:02] lower. Your building blocks for your hormones are lower and we know ___[06:05] have other conitive mood side effects as well so that’s gonna create more issues. And then from there after that you’re on a libido medication like a viagra, uhm, or something like or xalexa to help with ED and that’s create more side effects and more issues and then God forbid you got some mood issues. You go, if you’re a female now, you got top your conventional doctor, their typically gonna recommend birth control pill or even ___[06:33] on top of that, then you’re just screwed. Because stacking one medication on top of another medication and then all these medication have various side effects that you treat with other medications. And then these medications also create nutritional deficiency. So birth control pills will lower Magnesium, Zinc and certain B vitamins which are really important in ethylating ___[06:55] your neuro transmitters so it’s just really important especially Magnesium for calming and relaxing your heart. For helping, let’s say, be the shifter between your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Meaning, parasympathetic, relaxation. Sympathetic, stress, go, go, go. We need the ability to downshift from sympathetic of stress and go, to the parasympathetic, relaxation and chill out.

 

Evan Brand: Well let’s add one more drug to the mix, that are hundred, that are hundred million Americans are on which is blood pressure medication. 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Right.

 

Evan Brand: And Valsartan and all these commonly prescribed blood pressure medications are all getting recalled now due to containing carcinogenic chemical, you know. There’s like, this type in Valsartan cancer, you can look the research yourself, and these people get put on blood pressure medication because they can’t regulate their blood pressure because as you mentioned, you lose that parasympathetic-sympathetic balance, you’re depleted in Magnesium because you’re not digesting, because you got gut infections or you’re on acid blocker. So now you’re  acid blocker, antianxiety, antidepressant, you’re on like you said, Xalexa, and now you’re on blood pressure, and then you’re on  ___[08:01] at all the same time. None of that is gonna, you know, none of that is gonna contribute to a long healthy life.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, none of it will, man. So really important, we’re trying to get to the root underlying cause here. So, let’s shift gears on the lab testing. There are some lab testing we go to see what’s going on. Number one, just looking at your digestion. Just doing a comprehensive gut test, look at inflammation in your gut. Inflammation in our br- inflammation in our gut will create an inflammation in our brain. That activates the cell called microglial cell, which are essentially immune cells in our brain. When they are activated, they will create a, you know, brain fog. So you know, you know obviously that the more foggy you are, the more anxious you could feel as well. So inflammation in the gut could create inflammation in the brain. So we gotta look at gut functions. We wanna look at a comprehensive gut test, that’s gonna assess inflammation in the gut, like ___[08:50]. Wanna look at your IGA, your immune levels, because your immune system is over active, that could be a sucking up a lot of resources, right. So, for instance, the more your immune system is overactive, that’s like the equivalent of you, let’s just say, leaving the water on in one of the guest bedrooms in your house that you never go to. Water builds huge, and you don’t know why, because you’re not using a lot of water but there’s water being used in the background, it’s kinda like that. You have all these immune resources that are being used in the background, cause your immune system is chronically firing off, so your immune function. Next is looking at various candida overgrowth, yeast overgrowth, which have a huge effect because they produce various acid ___[09:32] and toxic byproducts. And they also create chemicals that makes you crave a whole bunch of sugary stuff. So it becomes harder to stay on a good diet to your template. Next would be SIBO or various bacterial overgrowth. Whether it’s ___[09:44 – 09:48]. These are all bacterial overgrowth that are despotic meaning bad, so we have more of the bad stuff and less of the beneficial probiotics like lactobacillus ___[09:55] and then we have various parasitic infections. ___[10:00 – 10:06] various parasitic infections. And ___[10:08] h pylori which is some kind of bacterial infection too, or worms.     

 

Evan Brand: I’ve seen a lot of crypto the last few weeks, it’s very interesting because during the winter I didn’t see much crypto so I don’t know if that’s because people, for their self maybe are like, Texas, Florida, California clients maybe they’re getting back in Creekson rivers or streams or lakes for the season or what. But I haven’t seen much crypto and then over the last three weeks I’ve seen, I don’t know, probably fifteen to twenty people, including children, even as young as age 2 or 3 years old,

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Crosstalk.) Wow.

 

Evan Brand: Those cryptosprodium, I tell you for personal experience it causes a lot of stomach pain, nausea, it can cause appetite swing, or sometimes you sit down at the dinner table you just can’t eat, you’re just not hungry and obviously, anxiety belong with that because now, if you’re getting robbed of your nutrition because of crypto, you’re not gonna be absorbing your amino acids, and then you can’t make your ___[11:01] for example. Now, you’re tired, you’re wired, you’re stressed, and you just don’t know why. So, um, you did a great job on talking about stool test, you mentioned the candida, we, you find candida on the stool test when you and I look at that. However, we often find it more accurately on the organic acids panel because we’re gonna measure the gases that candida produces rather than the actual candida itself. So in the stool, we’re trying to find the DNA of candida which is a little harder to do, so we often see a lot of false negatives on stool testing. So this is why, we just can’t quickly compare or contrast your conventional gastroenterologist that you get referred to. They’re not gonna be running these type of tests, maybe on ten or twenty years, that could be the whole standard, for right now they’re not running these tests. So even if they did they called it “stool test”, their stool test could not be probably as intensive as the technology we are using because we are kinda on the bleeding edge here. So that being said, the organic acids’ profile, we’’l look at the gacids. And when we look at the gacids, you can also look at the other fungus too, so we can even look at the things in their environment like mold, because on page 1, of the ___[12:05]  there’s different markers that hide in candida but there’s also different markers that we’ve found that indicate ___[12:11] of mold. So you could have mold in your sinus cavity as so close to your brain it can go to the blood brain barrier and that will cause anxiety too. So now we’re talking about, fixing someone’s sinus infection as well as fixing their gut infection, and fixing their home environment. Their home environment because potentially as we’ve seen people like in Florida had one client who shits too much candida in their house. We did this little petri dishes for her house, she shits so much candida in her house, so much anxiety and we fixed her gut and three months later she’s got a white tongue again. The candida comes back and so we give her herbs again, her gut gets better, and then candida comes back. Say we need to test your house, so we test her house, the candida in her house is off the chart. So now what we did is we did the fogger, we fogged her house with the essential oils and the candida in the house is gone. So now she’s staying free and clear of the candida overgrowth. So, this is why you gotta take a step than even the functional medicine people saying “fix the gut, fix the gut, fix the gut” now you gotta fix the home, microbio home as well as well as your internal microbio home. You can’t just cherry pick.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and for every person this may not be the root issue but it’s important. Yeah especially if we can do history and you feel bad or coming out of the house or we can even just start with a decent play testing. And even from the ___[13:26] micro toxin collection after that and if we can see, we can put a check in each one of those boxes ___[13:34] confidence that what we have to start dealing with the home environment right?

 

Evan Brand: Yeah, exactly yes. The home, you know, like, like you said it’s not everyone. Like, I’m kinda over paranoid about the issue now so I’m checking some of the houses. But I’m only finding maybe 20% of the people were testing their home or showing up with the problem. There’s a lot of people coming out, their home is perfectly fine and I just say you know what for a hundred fifty bucks US it’s worth the peace of mind. Work the plates, check your numbers, and worst case scenario I’m wrong and your home is not contributing to your anxiety or other health problems.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I hundred percent agree, and also uhm, one of the things that you brought to my attention is very interesting is that you may have no history of water damage or no apparent water damage in your house at all but you may just have a high amount of moisture in your house because of the climate you live in, and one of the things that you did was you invested in a good quality dehumidifier attached to your ___[14:29] to pull the humidity out of the air. Which then makes harder for mold to grow because mold needs that humidity over fifty percent in the house for it to grow so you were able to decrease the humidity because there’s certain times where you may not have an air-conditioner on. Uhm because you know it’s, it’s sixty or seventy degrees out or fifty degrees out but the humidity still high even though the temperature’s low and that’s one of the benefits that you have of having a cool house to humidifier attached to your ___[14:56] to suck out that moisture which prevents the fuel source for this mold to grow.

 

Evan Brand: Right, and in the spring you’d love to have the windows open right so actually we did this over the weekend, we opened up all the windows. There was one day we have like seventy, seventy-two degrees out so it’s perfect. We opened all the windows up but then I go downstairs and I heard the dehumidifier’s running just in overtime and I go look at the percentage and their up to fifty two percent. So people they opened up their window and mold grows on fifty or above. When you’re like oh, the weather’s beautiful, let’s leave the window’s open for a week straight, you know, or let’s leave the windows open all night or let’s leave the windows open every day all day. That’s allowing all that moist air from outside, assuming that’s the climate’s moist, to come inside, and that’s increasing the humidity in the home. I love the idea, you know, open the windows, ten to fifteen minutes a day, let fresh air come in, wash out from all the ___[15:46], wash out from all the VOCs in your home, but, you don’t wanna do it all the time. A friend of mine, a mutual friend of our’s, Daniel Vitalessi, who lives up in Maine, it’s so moist up there. Uh, I can’t, I don’t remember the full details but I remember him saying about having a mold problem on his previous houses, and it might consider at the podcast, he left his windows open all the time. ‘Cause he like to live in the woods, and he love the sounds of nature and all that so he had his windows open all the time. But I mean all that moisture was just forming on his window sills and so you gotta, you gotta think about the building materials that we’re using. Like our ancestors they were outside all the time, you know, but they had like a buffalo hide, they had bison hide, you know, they didn’t have dry wall, and uh, you know, treated wood and all those sort of stuff. They didn’t have the same building materials that we used today. So, try to compare, “Oh my grandma she lived in the summer and she have air conditioning and her windows are open all the time,” yeah, but her house wasn’t probably made with modern dry wall. So those materials could withstand moisture, our modern day materials are more moisture sensitive.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yup, hundred-

 

Evan Brand: It’s a bit of a tangible. Let’s go back to the testing. So, we didn’t talk about adrenal testing for anxiety, I mean that was one of my problems too is, uh, I would feel pretty good during the day but then at night I would feel anxious before I would go to bed, and I have that night time spike of cortisol that we often see.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so what we do is we look at the cortisol rhythm throughout the day and then the cortisol rhythm gives you a window to how your cortisol, how the outer part of your adrenal glands are doing. So we look at this high to low to lower to lowest type of taper. These tapers are important because it’s set by our HPA access. So we start to see these regulations lower by the morning or higher at night or it’s kind of bouncing around like we call the pinball effect. It’s pinballing that could create mood issues number one. Number two, we also look at the inner part of the adrenal glands called the medulla which make a lot of adrenaline. Adrenaline or no adrenaline, same thing as epinephrine and norepinephrine, medicine uses a lot of words to say the same thing. So, we’d also wanna look at that, ‘cause if we’re really stimulating a lot of adrenaline or no adrenaline that’s helpful to know so we’d wanna run a good cortisol rhythm test to look at free and total cortisol which is great. We’d also wanna look at some of the uh, amino acid metabolizer or some of these neurotransmitters. Like, we’d look at vanilmandelate  to get a window at adrenaline metabolism. We’d look at homovanillate to get a window to dopamine metabolism. And also you’d wanna get a window into B6 because B6, especially at folate and B12 are really important for methylation. And a lot of these brain chemicals like epinephrine and adrenaline, ___[18:28] they need to get methylated. So we, we need these carbon hydrogens to bind it to methylated, to activate it and that requires sulphur amino acids so if we’re excessively stressed or really methylating our brain chemicals ‘sause we’re making a lot of adrenaline, we’re gonna be burying under a lot of sulphur amino acids as well. And we need sulphur amino acids also to detoxify, we may not have a lot of extra sulphur left over to run ___[18:58] we may not have enough of these sulphur compounds to run these other accessory pathways which are really important for what? Detoxifying us from mold, heavy metals, various organic chlorine, pesticides, or stressors in the environment so that’s why it’s really important to look at these other accessory nutrients that are involved in the stress handling response. 

 

Evan Brand: Yeah, let’s take what you said. Let’s dig further. So now you’re deficient in sulphur, you’re not detoxifying properly. You do get exposed to pesticides, go out to a restaurant with your family on a weekend and have a good dinner knowingly eating pesticide and that’s gonna kill off good bacteria in your gut. Those good bacteria are supposed to make your brain chemicals so now we go back all the way to anxiety again. So it is this kinda self-repeating cycle. So this why you can’t just focus on one aspect of your body. You can’t just put all your eggs on the gut basket, all your eggs on the adrenal basket. This is why Justin and I don’t really say, you know, you know, word expert at adrenals, word expert at gut, or word expert at this or that, because if you go in with the microscope and you’re just looking with this one problem, like you could see the thyroid, and see that there’s a problem with the thyroid, that could cause anxiety too, right? Like if you have Hashimoto’s you’ve got antibodies that attack the thyroid and you get a little bit of hormone into the bloodstream that could cause anxiety for sure.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross-talking.) Yeah.

 

Evan Brand: I mean we didn’t talk about that extensively. However, if we just focus on thyroid, okay we’ll gonna give you ___[20:24] or something else to calm the thyroid, did we fix the problem why the thyroid is auto immune in the first place. We fixed the immune system attacking the thyroid by looking at adrenals, and gut and chemicals, all that. Or we just give someone herb to calm the thyroid and that was all we did.

 

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross-talking.) Right.

 

Evan Brand: Because if we did just that, then we fail.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct, and I’m seeing this more and more with various functional medicine doctors that are out there. What I’m seeing there are people, just the thyroid functional person, just the gut functional person. There’s nothing wrong with that marketing stampone, and like I’m gonna market to those people but I’m gonna look at everything once they’re in there, I get that. That’s kinda where my focus is. You wanna reach out the people so they ___[21:06] with you but you’re still looking at the whole thing. I’m seeing people, I’m seeing people only focusing on just the thyroid. Or only focused on just the gut. And then I’m looking at their labs, I’m seeing these people coming to me as patients and I’m like, oh its’-it’s really too bad because had an anemia and anemia was missed because this person was only focused on the thyroid or hey, this person had an adrenal issue or other issues going on and they were only focused on the gut, they didn’t fix those other things. Does that make sense?

 

Evan Brand: (Cross-talking.) It does.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So just be careful. A lot of people out there are focused on, you know they’re focused on, they’re reaching to functional medicine practitioners that are marketing one thing and another for their anxiety but they may be missing in the treatment a whole body system that’s so important. So, when people are out there looking for functional medicine doctors, you know, if you find someone that you like that’s great, just make sure when you interview them, when you talk to them make sure they’re gonna be looking at all the underlying systems, not just focused on one system like the gut or one system like just the adrenals. Make sure you’re looking at the whole thing.

 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think over the next five to ten years this is gonna be a bigger problem just because of the Internet. The Internet allows us do what we do, and we are very grateful for the opportunity. But that also allows other people to go pick up some high profile credential and then market a specific flavour of functional medicine. Like, I’m gonna be the hormone girl, and I had a woman last week and she went to this hormone functional medicine specialist and the lady’s loosing hair, in clumps and clumps and clumps every time she takes a shower, and we look at her blood work, and she’s never been – she goes to this hormone lady, I don’t know how, a hormone functional medicine never tested her, never tested her blood, didn’t look at her ferritin, ferritin level was a six. The lady can hardly catch her breath, she’s got major anxiety, she’s losing tons of hair. Like, look at your ferritin, like, if you don’t fix that, you’re not gonna get your hair back no matter what this lady tells you about your bio identical hormone plant. So, it’s just that, it’s – I think it just comes with the territory of this because as you say people are trying to market, but you gotta make sure that they’re turning over all the rocks.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross-talking.) Yes.

 

Evan Brand:  ‘Cause last thing you wanted to do is go spink like two to three thousand dollars and then now you gotta start all over because you didn’t address the other stuff.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You want the complete picture. Let’s connect this with some other things. Obviously we have female hormone issues like progesterone, low oestrogen or oestrogen dominance if you’re a cycling female. Obviously we have the menopausal kinda side where the hormones could just be low across the board, and we’re starting to have a lot of menopausal symptoms, from low progesterone, low oestrogen, because now our follicles, our ovarian follicles are used up. And then we have obviously on the cycling side, where we’re having a lot of PMS, a lot oestrogen dominance and we have lower progesterone, and that could be another component because progesterone is a GABA Chloride channel opener. So it opens those GABA Chloride channel in the brain, and allows us to relax. A lot of people could have a lower progesterone, oestrogen dominance, or just lower hormones across the board if you’re on the menopausal side. And the crazy thing is, we can also have similar symptoms if our thyroid is also low. This is why it’s so important to why you cannot just, just create a market and for one thing but it’s really important that you look at the whole component to make sure, other patients were hey, thyroid was the missing key to their anxiety, some it was low progesterone, some it was a combination of the two. And unless you’re treating and looking at it, and also treating it, then you know, you’ll know from you know, from experience what levers is moving what.

 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I briefly hit on the Hashimoto’s, I think we should talk about it for a second because this is such a common issue. We’re seeing women with all sorts of different levels of thyroid antibodies. From the tens to the hundreds to the thousands. When the immune system is going after the thyroid, the first thought is, well, we’ve gotta calm down the immune system, we’d better try to stop this attack on the thyroid, but really, it’s fine at the first thought, but really what we’re seeing is we have to be addressing the other causes, if you give someone like a thyroid multivitamin, like it’s got your Selenium, and your Chronium, and  and ___[25:18] and all those stuff. That’s good on a theory but you could stay on a thyroid multivitamin for five years and still never get to the root cause.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. All the thing that I would think is at the low hanging fruit perspective ___[25:30]. So of course gluten sensitivity can create GAD antiobodies and GAD is glutamate, uh, glutamate decarboxylase enzyme which is the enzyme that helps make, uh, uh, helps make GABA in the brain and GABA is that nice inhibitory relaxation chemical, so GABA’s important, gluten’s a strong component in that ___[25:50] response. But also gluten can drive, uhm, Hashimoto’s and that you will see increase in thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies. And these antibodies are gonna stimulate attack on the thyroid, attack the thyroid, and you may spill out hormone and as that hormone spills out to rev up the metabolism create swings of anxiety there as well.  

 

Evan Brand: Have you ever experienced that, I mean you talked about your story with Hashimoto’s. have you ever had a day or a week or a time in your life where maybe a stress or, you know, uh, when you first had your son you’ve had like high in stress  did you ever feel like “Oh my God” like “My Hashimoto’s is kicking in”  did you feel that or-

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I definitely had episodes where I felt like blood sugar fluctuations and that cortisol adrenaline blood sugar swing ___[26:39] issues in the past and I feel that potentially previous gluten exposures have potentially revved up the thyroid and had created some of those symptoms as well. Yeah I have in the past for sure. I tried to medicate that as soona s possible-

 

Evan Brand: Yeah, but it’s not fun the blood sugar piece you implied you hit them. Let’s, let’s – I know we hit that kind on Anxiety Part One, but with the blood sugar, you know in terms of testing, right? We talked about hormones; we talked about gut, organic acids, etcetera… Blood sugar testing, how simple and easy is that? If you’re feeling anxious, I mean I had a time where I had impending doom. I thought my god, the world’s gonna end, something bad is about to happen. I don’t know what it is, I checked my blood sugar, it was a fifty nine.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross talking.) Yeah, yeah.

 

Evan Brand: I mean, whoa.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, I know. That’s gonna be an issue because low blood sugar will drive a lot of cortisol adrenaline to pick it up. Now again if you’re fully ___[27:30] adapted that’s better because you have a lot more ketones there but I still think, uhm, even when you’re blood sugar’s that low could definitely create some issues for sure.

 

Evan Brand: Yeah, so if you have anxiety, I mean, don’t automatically think oh it’s Hashimoto’s, it may might not be. It could be something simple like low blood sugar or high blood pressure. You know when I was having some blood pressure swings, I noticed when the pressure was high, a side effect of that increased blood pressure, was anxiety. So do you take anti-anxiety herbs or do you think blood pressure herbs? For me, it was a combination of both. I took, like, inhibitory things to support GABA, you know ___[28:09] etcetera and I also did some hawthorn berry and  some folate and some other things to help blood pressure. I kinda worked on both. That’s why really, people, you know, email us and say “Oh doctor J can you just give me a protocol for my Hashimoto’s?” It’s like, do you see how bad of a question that is? It’s like we have no idea what the heck is going on. Or can you just give me “Doctor J give me a parasite protocol” We have no idea what’s going on. Like, give me an anxiety protocol. You can’t do that because what’s the mechanism? What is the mechanism behind it? So, you know, in the long run you’re gonna spend so much more money knowing the whole foods or in Amazon buying this anxiety supplement bust, you know, stress busting supplement. Like, might help, probably won’t hurt, but, get the testing done. Get the data, get the rocks turned over. I can’t tell you how much time I wasted just taking this random herb for energy, random herb for sleep. And I had no idea what I was up against.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. Well, excellent thoughts here today. I think we laid some, some good references for various mechanisms. How we can go down this path and of course how the gut is intimately connected. And I talked about the auto immune mechanism a minute ago, just kinda gonna dovetail on that because today’s podcast is on gut health and anxiety. A lot of that mechanism happens and works because of gut prebio ability. So with leaky gut and gut prebio ability have that mechanism where we have that undigested, whether it’s yeast or bacteria or foods include in our casein compounds get into that bloodstream through the gut lining right. We have our tight junctions, they open up especially with exposure to gluten and casein and potentially other endo toxins and fungus metabolites. They’re gonna open up these things get into our bloodstream and then our immune system is now exposed to it or these things now exposed to our immune system and can really heighten that auto immune system response now. And then that’s part of what’s going on here. So auto immunity is a big issue especially if someone’s anxiety is connected to a thyroid issue, there’s a good chance that thyroid issue is auto immunity nature, and then acts the part of it.

 

Evan Brand: Yeah. How simple of a thought. Like your, your dinner at the pasta restaurant could be driving your anxiety in your auto immune condition. Well it’s very well possible.

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, excellent. Today’s a phenomenal podcast. To everyone listening if you wanna dive deeper with Evan head over evanbrand.com you can schedule a consult with Evan. If you wanna dive deeper with myself justinhealth.com click the arrow we can schedule a consult and dive in deeper. Yeah some of the labs we talked about today we’ll put links down beneath the podcast. You can access some of these labs, uhm, some of the gut tests are really important. Some of the adrenal tests, some of the neurotransmitter metabolite tests we’ll make sure we have links down below as well. Evan, any other questions, comments or concerns?

 

Evan Brand: I would just say don’t give up if you do need some type of anti-anxiety medication or something prescribed temporarily while you’re working on the root cause. I’m not judging you for that, neither is Doctor J. The point is we want you to get to the root of this and we see so many people that they wanna get off their pharmaceutical medications and they don’t know how. This is your road map to do so keep your head up, keep focusing on “What else have I not done yet? What other rock do I need to turn over My blood test, and my doctor said I’m fine.” Well there blood test probably sucked, get a better blood test, figure out what the heck is going on.  

 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. You guys liked the show here put some comments down below. I love to hear what you think, like to get suggestions on future episodes. Give us a thumbs up or might share as well. Really appreciate it. Evan, today was great man, we’ll be in touch and we’ll talk this week. Take care everyone here. Bye bye.

 

Evan Brand: Bye bye. 

 


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Overcoming Anxiety Naturally | Podcast #226

Surges of cortisol and adrenaline makes one emotionally stressed. They are gonna shut good blood flow to the body, especially to the brain, thus, causing stress. One bad result of it is the inability of the brain to make good decisions. What’s in it for anxiety? Find out more!

Today’s episode talks about mold and environmental stressors which creates histamine responses, creating mood issues, and ultimately, anxiety. Listen as Dr. J and Evan Brand discuss the important points to address these issues in a natural and functional medicine perspective. Continue for more! Stay tuned.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

00:40    Mold Issues, Blood Sugar and Anxiety

07:22    Fructose

09:45    Emotional Stress

12:22    Fatty Acids

14:14    Going Organic

26:24    Blood Sugar Level Optimization

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey Evan, it’s Dr. J here in the house, how are you doing today?

Evan Brand: Hey man, good morning! We’re- we’re a bright and early today for this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we’re trying to get our podcast in earlier just to free at time in our schedules to get other things done, so I think it’s great. We’re gonna be trying to be uh chatting weekly at 8:AM CST, 9:00 AM Eastern Time. So I’m really excited to be here with you, it’s a phenomenal weekend, the weather- it’s this time of year it’s just absolutely amazing. How is it where you’re at?

Evan Brand: Oh, man, it’s been magical too, it rained for like 48 hours straight, and then, all the sudden, the clouds break up and the sun comes out and the birds are singing and the grass is green and it’s growing so fast now, so, I can’t complain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great man, excellent. Well today we talk about in our pre-show, we were texting yesterday or the weekend about doing a podcast on anxiety, and I think we can- we can just dive right in. So, off the bat, when it comes to anxiety, let’s just kinda touch upon your personal issue with the mold. So we’ve talked about mold and environmental stressors, potentially creating histamine responses, and then creating mood issues. Why don’t we go into your experience with the mold that the mycotoxins and your anxiety?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I- I had for the last 6 months to a year, I’ve had random little spurts where I was having heart palpitations, and some of that was related to my cavitations. I did that podcast with Dr. Stewart Nunnally my surgeon-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: -who cut me open and cleaned out-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -all my 8 cavitations, but that was a huge source of heart palpitations. But after the heart palpitations disappeared, I still had some anxiety. I’d have these random blood pressure spikes, and I’d hit you up, and say, “Dude, what’s going on, my blood pressure, I don’t know”, and now I figured it out. It’s related to mycotoxins because what mold does when you’re exposed, if you’re living in a moldy house or uh apartment, or a condo, or you work in a moldy office, or you’re a librarian, and you’re working around moldy books, mycotoxins prevent nitric oxide production from working properly, and you need nitric oxide to help with your vasodilation. And so, you basically have a constriction of everything which is why my hands and feet have been so cold too is because, nitric oxide is getting blocked by mycotoxins, and so, when I take my detox supplements, whether it’s binders, or supplements like chlorella, I noticed my hands and my feet will warm up and then all the sudden, I’ll feel better, I’ll get more energy, my anxiety just disappears. So I can’t say that this is the only trigger. We do wanna talk about blood sugar and some of the diet pieces too. But I’ll tell you just personal-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: -experience, I’ve had all the adrenal stuff dialed in. I’ve had all the blood sugar stuff dialed in, and I still had anxiety issues, and it was all tied into mycotoxins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But it was better than if you didn’t have the- that stuff dialed in.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah, if I- I mean, if I- if I was not taking daily adrenal supplements, and if I were skipping meals, or not eating enough fat, I would probably be a wreck.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we kinda look at your history like these problems like, you have problems in the past, right, before you kinda got into this field. You had that dialed in, you were better, and then along came the mold mycotoxins stress years later, and then that kinda brought things back to a head again, is that true?

Evan Brand: It is, yeah, ’cause, when I was living in Austin and I was packing up-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -moving back to Kentucky, I mean, we’re calling you like dude, “I’m having a anxiety attack, I can’t control it”, that was all adrenals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I mean, I was- I was literally working with clients on top of a cardboard box with my laptop, ready to pack up and drive 2000 miles across country. So that was more situational anxiety.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I remember that too, there was a lot of blood sugar issues too, I think you are going like 8 hours without eating, and I think we made a couple of blood sugar tweaks that helped a lot.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I was probably going like maybe 5 hours which is just too much for me. Now I can’t do that anymore. And so-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also to remember the end of your day, I think there was just a big gap between when you had dinner when you went to bed. I think you were like eating at 5:00PM, going to bed like at 10:00 and then like not having your breakfast until like 10:00AM the next day.

Evan Brand: Yeah, it was a long time, and I was like 5 hours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You was like a 15, 16-hour gap. But you know, that kinda like an intermittent fasting kind of gap but, for some people, that could be a little bit of a blood sugar stressor because when we go and utilize gluconeogenesis, that’s cortisol dependent. We will forget the gluconeogenesis which is fine, it’s normal, but it’s cortisol dependent. And we don’t quite have enough cortisol or adrenals or a little bit taxed, we may not be able to enter into those processes, uhm, optimally. So that’s something that the he’s mind.

Evan Brand: And I did not have enough cortisol, I did my salivary adrenal-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, I remember that, it was low.

Evan Brand: -it was very low. It wasn’t like completely burned out, I wouldn’t call it adrenal fatigue, but I was at the bottom end of the barrel there without being under the low end of the reference range. My cortisol sum was maybe like a 12, anything below a 10 is terrible and I was like a 12. So I was barely hanging in there with adrenals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, kinda key things to think about, I want people listening to- to think about the underlying mechanism. What’s the mechanism of why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling? This is important because a lot of times, when you’re going to the conventional doctor, really, the underlying mechanism is not addressed. Typically, there’s the genetic predisposition, genetics like victimization-type of mindset where like we don’t know what it is, err- here the- here’s this drug. So people don’t really connect the dots to the cause, right? So we’re tryna trace everything upstream to the cause. So, if we look at the toxicity mechanism, there is this potential inflammation from the toxicity which then may create histamine, and that histamine can easily create issues with vasodilation by blocking uh nitric oxide, is that correct?

Evan Brand: Yup. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I wanna make sure I say it right, so I- I get it confused. There’s laughing gas which I think is nitrous oxi- nitrous oxide, and then nitric oxide is NO, NO, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk]

Evan Brand: Yeah, nitrous. I believe the nitrous oxide, I believe that’s fully different, I’m just gonna type in nitrous oxide, versus nitric…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, one was- one was the laughing gas anesthetic, and then the other one, I think it’s NO.

Evan Brand: Yeah, NO and then I think it’s N- is it N2O, let’s see. Nitric oxide is NO, it’s not the same as nitrous oxide, N2O. Nitric oxide is one molecule of nitrogen, one molecule of nit- uh, oxygen. Nitrous, has 2 molecules of nitrogen and one of oxygen, that extra molecule changes the gas completely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, exactly. So, NO, we’re talking about, not the laughing gas, when you can go see your dentist, and you make a lot of this. And now, one other thing that decreases nitric oxide, NO, is gonna be fructose. Lot of fructose, lot of carbohydrate, this is the one of the major mechanisms behind high blood pressure and extra fructose, and extra sugar, primarily in the form of fructose, right? But that’s gonna decrease endothelial synthase or endothelial uhm, synthase which it helps open up. It’s the enzyme that help with nitric oxide stimulation. Nitric oxide opens up blood vessel. So imagine we’ve got this garden hoses on the side of our neck called our carotids, and these essential garden hoses, if constricted, decreases blood flow to the frontal cortex, which then decreases nutrition, decreases oxygenation, decreases the ability for us to calm down inflammation, and that can manifest itself in depression. And today’s podcast topic is gonna be anxiety. So, very easily there.

Evan Brand: Yeah, you could have anxiety just from drinking soda and eating pop tarts. I went over to my mother-in-law’s-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -and she still has pop tarts in her pantry. I’m like-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh my God.

Evan Brand: -“What the heck is a pop tart?”, so I look at- you know, I ate that as a kid, so I look at-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -the ingredient list, and there’s like 3 different types of corn syrup in there, it’s like-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh my God.

Evan Brand: -corn syrup- it’s like corn syrup solids which is guess what, that’s fructose, you’ve got high fructose corn syrup, so-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Right.

Evan Brand: -small fructose-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: -and then you got like uh another- another corn syrup added in there somewhere- somewhere. On- and then on top of that is, you’ve got enriched wheat and uh, there was some like BHT and bunch of other preservatives in, I mean, so people say, “Oh, well, I- I’m not drinking soda”, but if you’re eating pop tarts, that’s just as bad, you’re still getting high fructose corn syrup, I mean, high fructose corn syrups’ in every process thing ever. You go to the restaurant, you go get a grass fed burger, and you get sweet potato fries, well, then you do the standard ketchup on the table, that ketchup is high fructose corn syrup. So, then you’re in the same boat again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. And then we don’t even talk it about. You know, the high fructose corn syrup primarily comes from corn, so it’s not organic, you’re getting glyphosate which is roundup residue. And then also there’s some that a lot of the processing of high fructose corn syrup conventionally, involves a mercury preservatives. Then there’s potential mercury exposure that you’re getting too. So you have mercury and around up, and then, uhm, then you have the inflammation by the de- by decreasing the uhm- the nnn- nitric oxide which vasodilates. So we have a couple of different mechanisms that are really throwing us downhill.

Evan Brand: Yeah, people are saying, “Okay, why are you on a tangent about ketchup and high fructose corn syrup? How does this relate to anxiety?”. Well, because it’s creating inflammation, and the inflammation makes your blood pressure go up. When your blood pressure goes up, you feel anxious. You can feel flush, you can feel-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: -like your throat is closing, you can feel chest tightness, you can get tremors-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: -or palpitations like, when your blood pressure is up, trust me, I’ve had different personal experience, it does not feel good to have high blood pressure. Even if-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: – it’s just temporary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: Oh, you mentioned the- the life stress too, like the cortisol piece. So cortisol is a big issue with anxiety. You and I have tested thousands of people at this point, we’ve seen high cortisol and low cortisol, both can cause anxiety. So that’s why it’s important to test, not guest, because you may look at someone’s case history and it may sound like, “Oh, my God, this person…”-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -“…gotta have high cortisol”. But then you test it, and they’re just flatlined.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So, uhm, very-very important. So, if you look at the diet and lifestyle stressors, that’s a big component. Of course, emotional stress is gonna be a big one. What’s happening with emotional stress? Typically, we’re having surges of cortisol and adrenaline. Right? And of course, What’s adrenaline gonna do? Adrenaline does cause vasoconstriction, it tends to shut blood flow to the arms and legs to run, fight and flee. So it’s primarily going here for prehistoric survival mechanism, and it tends to be going away from the brain, because you need parasympathetic function to have good blood flow to the in- to the internal organs in the brain. So you’re gonna have less to the brain, and that’s part of the reason why when you’re stressed, and you have over sympathetic, over cortisol, over adrenaline, you tend to have a less blood flow to the brain, and that’s why people make uhm a lot of poor decisions when they’re stressed. There was- I was reading a study at one point when they talked about uh a lot of violent criminals in jail, that a lot of violent criminal episodes have been made where in a hypoglycemic state by the criminal. So-

Evan Brand: Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -essentially with that, your frontal cortex has about, I think it’s like, 25 or 20 milliseconds to shut down and impulse. So like, you see someone like that walks by that like, really, bugs you, you’re- you kinda think, I wanna get them, well then your frontal cortex goes nope, not- not a good idea. So when you have that decreased frontal cortex activation, which could be decrease from cortisol and blood sugar and stress, then you’re gonna have that inability to not- to not uhm dampen down that impulse.

Evan Brand: Well think about, I mean, I just saw a video couple weeks ago of a prisoner who was like sitting in like a courtroom, and he goes up and he just like smacks the lady in the head. One of the ladies is like standing, like testifying, he goes up and smacks her in the head and then he immediately just sits down like he realizes, “Oh, my God, what did I just do?”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Evan Brand: The prisoner diet, I mean, their diet is terrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah, I mean, if we were really were interested in this society, uhm, rehabilitating prisoners uh, you’d start with nutrition. I mean, I would’ve go in there number 1, and involve cri- uh, I’d have criminals working on a farm, producing all their own foods, so society didn’t have to pay for it, number 1. And then number 2, get the nutrition up. It’s impossible to rehabilitate someone with very poor uh, brain function from amino acids or good healthy fats. They done studies before, I’ve- it was uh, in the food connection book, and they talked about adding omega 3’s in the prison. And then helping to decrease the violence rate in the cri- in the prisons like significantly. So-

Evan Brand: I’ve read that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -fatty acids are very important for anxiety and mood and behavior function because number 1, your brain’s primarily fat. It’s 70% saturated fat and cholesterol. But omega 3 fatty acids are very anti-inflammatory. So if we have inflammation and going on in the brain, we have surges of cortisol, right, we have blood sugar fluctuations, we have our microglial cells in the brain are activated, these are our immune cells in the brain, they’re gonna be activated when inflammation is going on, whether it’s from foods or stress, and good omega 3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory fats like omega 3s from DHEA and EPA, these are 20 and 22 carbon chain of fat- fatty acids are very anti-inflammatory.

Evan Brand: A lot of people are against fish or they just simply don’t do enough high-quality fish. So like in- we use triglyceride form fish oil-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -we work with professional health care companies. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: -that’s a product that you may wanna have in your tool box if you don’t already. Don’t just go to ___[13:22] and buy their fish oil and assume that’s gonna be good enough, it’s not, they’re using ethyl ester form which is where they attach an alcohol molecule to the fish oil, your liver has to process that. If your products smells fishy, if you have fish burps, throw it away, rancid by with Justin’s product or by my product.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Evan Brand: Because we wanna get you on a high-quality fish oil for your brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And if you’re consuming fish 3 to 4 servings of fish a week is great, even if you’re pregnant, just really- just focus on high selenium to mercury ratio fish. So your wild Alaskan sockeye, your Cod, your haddock, your skipjack tuna, these are gonna have a higher amount of selenium to mercury, and that will help essentially uhm bind up any mercury that maybe there. And if you’re on a fence and you’re doing sushi, you can always do things like some activated charcoal, things like that, just to be on the safe side.

Evan Brand: Oh, by the way, I bought a TV for the first time in ten years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow!

Evan Brand: And uh, it was because I wanted to watch the new documentary called “Our Planet”-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.

Evan Brand: -tune in Netflix with David Attenborough, and uh, I was looking at some, I mean, our ocean is basically screwed, but uh hopefully we can turn it around. But he was s- showing some of the Bluefin tuna which are like a- almost all the fisheries are being overfished and the whole ocean’s collapsing because we’re overfishing. They were talking about some of this tuna that could be 1000 pounds. It’s like no wonder they’re so toxic with mercury, they’re a thousand pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah, I agree. I hundred percent agree. But uhm, yeah, it’s really important stuff. I’m glad you found the other TV man, I mean, I don’t watch TV outside a couple of Netflix show, I mean, right now, I mean, I watch Game of Thrones last night, that was, man, that is my show right now. Love it.

Evan Brand: I- I’ve never checked it out. But I’ll have to, but people should watch that “Our Planet” because it is- you should watch it too, it’s amazing-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -it really- it- it really says, “Hey look, like, we’ve got a lot of issues, there’s still some beautiful stuff left on planet Earth, but, we’ve really gotta turn things around and, I- I think with our podcast, we’re helping to turn things around from an ecological perspective because we’re encouraging people to get local meats and pastured meats, and we’re trying to turn away from the conventionally factory farmed animals which are creating a lot of damage to the water table and to the soil, and, you know, buying local beef. Because if you go to the grocery store now, you’re gonna see grass fed from Brazil, and they’re cutting down the rainforest in the Amazon to grow uh, soybean and also they raise cattle for grass fed beef. And so, you wanna make sure you’re not buying Brazilian grass fed beef, and you can get it locally, it’s so easy. And then also, with your palm oils. So like if you do snacks like plantains like I do, I love plantain chips or plantain strips. Make sure your palm oil is a certified palm oil, so it’s sustainable and you’re not cutting down the Orangutan, their forest in Indonesia, they’re critically endangered now because of us. Cutting down there, uh, you’ll see it too in the- in the documentary where they just clear cut native rainforest and they’ve replaced it with just a mono culture of palm, uh, palm trees that- that for the palm oil. And so, you know, even look at Doritos like you look at the- a back of a bag of Doritos, even Doritos are contributing to deforestation because the palm oil, it’s in there. It’s not sustainably certified.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So, I mean, what’s the solution is? Okay, ’cause, we need palms, so, or you cut it down just- just plant it as you cut it essentially?

Evan Brand: Well, the- the goal is just to have sustainable farm. And so, I don’t know exactly what the- I think it’s called RSPO, there’s a whole organization that goes in and certifies them, I don’t know if that means they’re helping to protect other land like if they buy a thousand acres, they only, you know, grow palm oil on half of it, I- I’m not sure of like what they’re doing, but I do know that when you see an RSPO certification, it’s gonna say, “Hey, this is a certified sustainable…”-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: “…source” of palm oil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of articles on these types of topics, they talk about, like the- the- the number 1 way you can fix a lot of these things, is you don’t rent these lands to corporations, you have the corporations buy it. Even the corporation buys the land they have a more- s- a stake in the land to keep it solvent so it can produce more product in the future, right? Whatever that there is, right? So, if you- if I buy a land to cut trees, I’m more likely to then replant all the trees so I have more trees to cut in the future. But if I’m just renting it, think about how you treat your car if you’re renting it versus it’s your car.

Evan Brand: Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve seen some articles on that type of uh, topic from a root cause perspective ’cause you treat things differently when you own it, when you have a stake in it.

Evan Brand: Absolutely. You hit a big pothole in the road, alright, “Oop, it’s a rental, so what?”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a rental- right, it’s the same thing when it- when you just have- I- I have logging rights for 10 years in this area. I’m just gonna wipe it clean, it’s not my property, I don’t have to worry about it, right?

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s kind of a mindset. So, uh I think we start first by decreasing the pesticides in the environment, and the glyphosate, number 1, and then number 2, the mono-culture stops. And if you don’t have the conventional GMO crap and the high fructose corn syrup, that’s where all the corn, and the grain, and the GMOs are primarily coming from. So if you just go organic, you’re gonna totally support more local sustainable farming and it’s gonna be in this monoculture formats, putting tons of pesticides, tons of glyphosate, and that’s affecting runoff in our water too. And how does this connect back, well, it’s gonna connect back ’cause it’s a stressor, it’s- it’s inflammatory to the brain. And a lot of times the glyphosate and a lot of these pesticides can affect the brain as to the gut. Because what they can do is, if you look at Stephanie ___[18:40] at MIT it’s gonna decrease that brush border where you produce enzymes. It’s gonna make the gut more permeable and more leaky, and that leaky gut is gonna allow more stuff in your gut to get into your bloodstream like endotoxin which is lipopolysaccharide from bad bacteria, it’s gonna allow undigested food particles to get into that bloodstream, that’s gonna activate the immune system, that’s gonna create more gle- microglial activation in the brain which is gonna create cognitive issues, brain fog, mood related issues. So, anytime we look at the brain, whether it’s anxiety, which what we’re focusing on today. Any inflammation in the gut can then drive inflammation in the brain. Inflammation in the brain manifests in these mood-related issues.

Evan Brand: Yup. When I had- oh, and by the way, Vietnam banned glyphosate. So, good job Vietnam. Uh, I had major anxiety when I had gut infections, and so, my anxiety is much better, but then it was caused from another- another mechanism, right? So, fixing the gut was critical for me to fix my anxiety. Now we could- we probably should do a part 2 on this, ’cause, I mean, we could spend an hour just on omegas and probiotics and restoring gut health but-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: -we haven’t even got into talking about like, uhm, relora, and ashwagandha, and holy basil, and, uh, sensory deprivation tanks, and massage, and acupressure, and acupuncture, and essential oils, and, uh, gaba and- and pharma GABA and theanine and, and uh, lemon balm, and I mean there’s so much to cover with this anxiety conversation but, I’m glad that we disco- we- we discuss all of these major critical pieces first like restoring their- your brain health, making sure you’ve got good omegas, testing and fixing any cortisol issues, avoiding glyphosate so you’re not killing off your good bacteria and promoting bacterial overgrowth because if we just skip straight ahead to the magic pill like your theanine and your GABA, well then people aren’t gonna listen to the first part.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. We wanna make sure the- the biochemistry and the underlying physiology makes sense. If you- if you- that makes sense, we can plug and play various supplements, various diet or lifestyle strategies to helping to affect the root cause.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So we’ll do a part 2. Let’s do a part 2 on anxiety later because I think that we can do a whole hour just on how you use specific remedies, like I’ve got a whole timing to adaptogens, like I may do, you know, ashwagandha more towards the evening to help kinda calm down and settle at night versus I may go holy basil  in the morning to stimulate. So there could be a full circadian rhythm to your supplementation as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And of course, movement has a huge effect. Apparently, I think, mo- movement is gonna help because you’re producing various beta endorphin which has anti-depressant qualities to it. And beta endorphin is- is a 19 uhm amino acid compound. So there’s 19 amino acids that make up beta endorphin. So you need protein to make it, okay, uh number 1. So movement is gonna help with that. I think movement also helps with insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity. So it make yourselves more insulin-sensitive and helps kinda soak up extra blood sugar. So if you have these glycemia issues, it’s gonna help soak up that extra blood sugar that’s hangin’ around. And essen- essentially give you a bigger sponge, A.K.A. bigger muscles, especially if you’re doing more resistance training and integral training, it’s gonna give you bigger muscles to soak up extra blood sugar, as well which is helpful.

Evan Brand: That’s very cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I’ve noticed, my blood sugar has been on the lower end like I was- I actually- my wife let me uh prick her finger to check her blood sugar which is good. We did like a grass fed steak, we did some steamed broccoli with butter, and then we did a big sweet potato. So we have the same exact meal, we ate it at the same exact time, and my blood sugar, within 45 minutes, we’ll call it 1 hour, after that-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.

Evan Brand: -my blood sugar was already backed down to an 80 and hers was [crosstalk]- and hers was a hundred. So I thought, hon, now of course she’s pregnant, so maybe that has an effect [crosstalk], I thought, [crosstalk] blood sugar crashing too quick, how am I already back down to an 80 one hour later and all I had was, you know, I had a sweet potato. I thought for sure, it’d be above a hundred still.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and just could be that you’re really insulin-sensitive. And sometimes if you- if you do too much carbohydrate for you, a lot of low blood sugar issues is from too much insulin. So if you stimulate too much insulin from too much carbs, that can drop a but 80 I don’t think it’s that bad it. I would wanna see how 2 hours looked-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -and 3 hours looked and to see if you kinda leveled out, and then how you felt too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I- I feel kinda low at- at 80. Do you- do you track it all? What number you- you feel bad at ’cause I mean, on the conversation of anxiety, like if I get a bout of anxiety and I feel kinda shaky or irritable or nervous, uh, I’ll check my blood sugar and sometimes I’ll be at- maybe a 70, maybe mid-70s, I’ll start to feel weird at that level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s hard, right? Because what happens is, your faster your blood sugar goes down, the faster adrenaline and cortisol is there to pick it up. So if your blood sugar is like this, and it’s a slow arc-

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -and we’d take a picture of it right here. That’s different than taking a picture of it right there when you eat too much carbs and it’s coming down like this. So the steeper the angle is, the worse for anxiety and mood. Because the steeper the angle, that means you’re crashing at a faster rate, which means there’s more likely that you’re gonna have adrenaline and cortisol lift you up. So the more it’s like this, then it’s kinda tangentially coming down, less chance of cortisol and adrenaline to pick it back up. But if it’s coming like this and you grab a snapshot there, then there’s more likely to be adrenaline and cortisol and you may feel that. So when people say, you know, hypoglycemia issues, you look in the Merck Manual. What does Merck say, oh well, you know, take some sugar pills all this crap, that doesn’t fix the root cause of how the hell you got there.

Evan Brand: That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ‘Cause how you got there, we’re doing that exact same strategy, so what happens is, people that follow those kinds of conventional medical advice for nutrition, they’re on this perpetual blood sugar rollercoaster all the time almost.

Evan Brand: Yeah, the people that like travel with the glucose tablet you’re talking about, yeah, I’ll just eat some candy, let me eat some skittles, okay, my blood sugar is fine now, I had skittles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Does not fix any of the issues.

Evan Brand: And see, I don’t do that. I don’t- I don’t do any processed sugars per se, you know, I had like some blueberries with breakfast, uh, so, I’m just wondering-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk] what the heck is happening there? You already- you over- you overshoot your blood sugar from too much carbohydrates and refined sugar, so you have a really steep drop in your blood sugar, then it comes down, and then you’re like, “Oh, I’m gonna follow the conventional medicine advice”, and so you come back up again, and then you keep on doing these high and low peaks, and you keep on having the smooth it up with extra carbs and sugar, versus kinda come in there like this, where you’re sneaking along, versus falling off the cliff. Does that make sense?

Evan Brand: Oh, absolutely. It’s a much- it’s- it- it’s- people don’t understand, I mean, when we look at like you said, like violent crime in prisons, or we look at car wrecks, or we look at people shooting each other, or we look at any big situation happening where someone’s doing something stupid, I’d put a high amount of money on the fact that it’s probably someone who’s on a conventional American diet, with a crazy blood sugar pattern, and they’re hypoglycemic, you can’t think straight, trust me. My blood sugar is low, I had period where I was like a 58 or a 60, I couldn’t think straight. I mean-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: -you literally can’t think straight and make decisions. All you can think about is, “I gotta do something, I gotta eat something”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And, I’m doing some kinda hand gestations here to kinda symbolize what’s happening with the blood sugars. If anyone’s listening to this on the podcast, feel free and check below. You can access the video here too, so we’re- we’re live on YouTube as well as Facebook to see that.

Evan Brand: Well let’s- let’s wrap it up, but I do wanna go one- one for the question for you, and how would you recommend approaching that? So if you’re someone who, like me, you’re away from refined carbohydrates, except I will do some organic white rice, I will do some sweet potato, those are my starches of choice. Uh, so, in that situation, is it just more adrenal support for me, is it just staying low carb for my breakfast and lunch, and only doing the carbs at dinner like how would you say if I’m looking at glucose and I’m seeing that I’m going back down to like a mid-70’s or an 80, and I wanna hang out around maybe 90, ’cause I feel better there, how would you- how would you achieve that, is it possible to do that with just like fat and proteins?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, number 1, I think with- you’re a leaner dude, so I will first look at like what your activity levels are for the day. If you’re not super active physically, then I’d be focusing on more proteins and fats for- for your fuel source, and then, you know, work on timing more your carbs later in the day. There’s some data that carb backloading, doing carbs later in the day tends to be a little bit better. Again, there are other people- this is so controversial, but I mean, there’s been research on it, people in the backloading carb community kinda know that people tend to do better with carbs at night time, there’s some data where people take their carbohydrates and they put all at the back end of the day, and then while the control group does it throughout the day gradually, and there’s been better weight loss, patterns doing it, like that at night, so there is that benefit. So, I would do more of the carbs at night, and then I would keep more protein and fat as- as kinda your foundational base. Think of protein and fat as like logs in the fire, so if you have a good fire, the logs from the fire gonna keep that fire burning sustainably. The carbohydrates are gonna be like kindling your twigs, and the more refined the carbohydrate, or the more high- higher glycemic index it is, the more it’s like, it- it’s like gasoline or paper, right, it goes up faster. But if you have logs in that fire, that’s gonna keep that fire burning long and strong versus if you just do paper twigs and gasoline, you’re up and out. So, twigs and paper and gasoline is the, uhm, too much refined sugar, not enough protein, fat, and then you have this up and down swings of blood sugar. The logs in the fire are gonna be like the high-quality protein in fat, and then we have to dial in the carbohydrates according to your metabolic needs.

Evan Brand: I need to check it act, I mean, I like data, you and I both do. So, I need to just check- check and see… You- can my body take? Let’s say I do like a grass fed beef steak, right, and it’s like, let’s just make something up, you know, 15 grams of fat and 15 grams of protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: In theory, I should be able to take that beef steak and convert that over to glucose, even though it’s primarily fat and protein, correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, you will be able to do with some of that for sure. I mean, your brain know it needs about 20 grams of glucose today. So you won’t get a- a ton-

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -of glucose out of it, but yeah, you’ll get a little bit of glucose, via gluconeogenesis, and then you’re also gonna get more ketones, right? And people that have- they’re higher in ketosis, their blood sugar may go lower, but you gotta remember, their blood sugar can go little bit lower because they have more- other fuel substrates in the bloodstream called ketones. So, they may be able to go lower. Where some is jackin’ the blood sugar up and down, through a reactive hypoglycemia e- episode, right? Reactive is up, and then you’re reacting by going down fast. It’s a steeper angle of that blood sugar dropping. You’re gonna have less ketones there because you haven’t done the right things in your diet over a period of a couple days or weeks to get in the ketosis, where you have more ketones. Uhm, a- anytime you’re surging insulin, you’re gonna be not- you’re gonna be kicked out of ketosis, because you need lower insulin levels to be making ketones. High insulin blocks ketosis. So for keeping our blood sugar under control, and we’re kinda snaking along and not jacking our blood sugar up too high above a hundred or 110, 120, then we’ll have more ketones, and therefore your blood sugar could drop a little bit lower. But I even see some of this people that are really doing a lot of ketogenic diets then they even go a little bit too long, and I’ve seen people posting 50 and 60 for blood sugar range, that may be a little bit too low. But I mean, tested out, try and see you feel, see how you look, see how you perform and see if we can uhm, connect the dots there.

Evan Brand: That’s cool. So, maybe I find it at 70, if I have some ketones running in the background.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. It gives more- it gives enough ketones in the background. I think that’s the key thing.

Evan Brand: Makes sense. Well, let’s do a part 2 on this later but we gotta wrap it up [crosstalk]-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk] it just depends, if your body needs more glucose because of what you’re doing, uh stress wise, then, you may have a cortisol surge to fill in the gap via gluconeogenesis. So-

Evan Brand: ‘Cause that’s the thing. So, if I’m at a 70, I feel like I’m getting low, you can feel that anxiety starting to creep in at a 70, it’s like well, do I go and eat something like an apple, which I know is gonna raise glucose, or do I go do a beef steak, or do I do a beef steak in an apple to get glucose up?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, O would probably do beefsteak in an apple.

Evan Brand: Do both.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I will probably do both.

Evan Brand: So you can stabilize it with the fat and the protein, but then you do have some actual glucose coming in at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And to get- there’ll be fructose in there, but fructose is 55, 45 or 50, it’s close. So you- even though you get fructose in, you’re gonna get-

Evan Brand: But you don’t wanna do just the apple ’cause if you do just the apple, then you’re up and down again, depending on what type of the apple too. So that’s why we always talk about like putting almond butter, something else on there, coconut [crosstalk]-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Or you even do a Granny Smith which has- has- half the amount of sugar as well. But then you get some of the fiber too. So it’s less- you- you’re not gonna quite have that as much with lower glycemic fruit with full fiber, but yeah, you still- it’s good idea to always have the protein and fat along with it, for sure.

Evan Brand: I stay away from Pink Lady. I tested a Pink Lady apple; I went from like a 75 to like a hundred and thirty with the Pink Lady Apple. I mean, that thing is like just candy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah. [Crosstalk]. Yeah, exactly, that’s why- my- I primarily do Granny Smith, half the sugar and uhm, I’ll typically do it with some cinnamon on it and some almond butter.

Evan Brand: That’s delicious. Woooh!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Well, hey, Evan, let’s wrap things up, we’ll be back next week and we’ll talk a little bit more, we maybe can expand upon this topic or even choose a- a new topic. So appreciate all you guys in the background with great questions. We’ll continue to expand on this conversation here in the weeks to come. Anything else Evan you wanna leave to listeners with?

Evan Brand: Yeah, people just reach out. If you need help, work on your blood sugar, stabilize it, but, you know, this stuff can get tricky. So if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out, we can work with you around the world. Justin’s website is justinhealth.com, my site is evanbrand.com. We look forward to helping y’all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks so much guys, you’d have a phenomenal day, we’ll talk soon. Take care Evan! Bye.

Evan Brand: Bye.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

How Our Emotions Affect Our Physical Health

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Your sense of health and wellness is determined by a combination of things, including how you feel emotionally, psychologically, and mentally.

An exchange of messages is constantly taking place inside of us. Researchers have found that our emotions create signals that our hearts send to our brains. These messages to our brain determine which chemicals and hormones we produce and course throughout our entire body.

When we feel negative emotions—like rage, disgust, suspicion, and anger—the heart sends a signal to the brain that reflects our mindset. Such emotions are unbalanced and disordered, and this is exactly how the messages they send to the brain arrive—chaotic and unhealthy.

Stress and Anxiety

When we have a whirlwind of a day and our emotions are all over the place, our body reads these ups and downs as anxiety. This sets into motion several mechanisms to help us act in response to this nervous tension.

The anxiety or stress from negative emotions enhances the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the blood, and as a result, the stress hormones prepare our body for a fast and potent reaction to whatever is leading to the stress. Our bodies prepare to either deal with the cause of our stress, or to run as fast as we can away from it. You may be familiar with this concept, commonly referred to as “fight or flight.”

Suppressing Your Emotions

If, on the other hand, you are someone who suppresses your emotions, you are probably harming your body in a different yet still intense way. Emotions exist for a reason: they help our physical body react appropriately to the situation we are in and how we feel about it. When we feel emotion and process it healthily, we defend ourselves from the problems at hand and overcome them—both physically and mentally. While the pace of our modern life can make it difficult to process all of the stressors we face on a daily basis, it’s healthier to learn to listen to your body. When we ignore our emotions and let stress overcome us, there’s a serious price we have to pay.

Avoiding emotions can be very harmful to your health, mentally and physically. Research shows that suppressing emotions is linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular ailments. Whether you are facing rage, depression, unhappiness, or disappointment, pushing those feelings to the side causes real physical stress on your body. Over time, untreated anxiety and stress can lead to an enlarged risk of diabetes, memory problems, nervousness, and chronic depression. In other words, making your mind to hide your feelings, paying no attention to them, or trying to convince yourself that there is no need to manage them can literally make you ill.

Having trouble managing stress? Click here to ask a functional medicine doctor how to best manage your chronic stressors!

Developing a Healthy Connection with Your Emotions

If you aren’t used to listening to your emotions, it may feel intimidating or kind of odd. You might have spent a large chunk of your life avoiding your feelings, so you need to gain self-assurance about what you’re feeling and become skilled at trusting your emotions.

There are several healthy habits to positively deal with how you are feeling. Journaling, meditating, talking with a friend, or trying talk-therapy with a qualified professional. You may also be interested in taking adaptogenic herbs as a tea or tincture. Adaptogens are a natural way you can improve your body’s response to stress.

We all deal with our emotions differently. The important part is that you are dealing with the stressors that come up in your daily life in a healthy way, rather than brushing them off, or allowing them to overtake you. Your health depends on it!

Click here to work with a functional medicine doctor and start feeling better today!

References:

  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-purpose-of-emotions-2795181
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322510.php
  3. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/suppressing-your-emotions-physical-health
  4. http://www.ecopolitan.com/Functional-Medicine-and-Beyond
  5. https://upliftconnect.com/relationship-between-food-and-emotions/
  6. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201708/the-role-functional-medicine-in-mental-health-care
  7. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pieces-mind/201707/listening-difficult-emotions
  8. https://www.psychologies.co.uk/self/how-to-boost-your-natural-feelgood-chemicals.html

Depression Solution – Dr. J Podcast #158

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about depression and anxiety. Listen as they discuss some of the possible root cause of such condition. Understand the mechanism of depression and anxiety medications and learn why they may not be the best possible solution to the problem.

Gain an understanding on how diet, especially a vegan diet, becomes an important factor when dealing with depression. Explore how gut infections relate to depression and anxiety symptoms and know some of the natural solutions and recommendations in addressing depression and anxiety.

In this episode, we cover:Depression and Anxiety solutions

00:56   Medications mechanism

03:40   Vegetarian Diet and Depression

05:41   Gut Infections and Depression

14:00   Natural Solutions

18:18   Low Thyroid and Mood Issues

 

 

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Hey Evan, how are we doing today, man?

Evan Brand: Hey man, I am great. We had a fun off-air chat. So I’m excited to chat with you about this important topic today— depression, anxiety, you know, mental health in general. But we’re gonna—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand: ..specifically focus on depression, anxiety. As I was telling you, the center for disease control, they change the ranking over the past couple years. Now depression is the number one leading cause of disability. It’s actually grown over heart disease. It used to be heart disease was number one. Now depression is number one leading cause of disability. So that’s pretty alarming. I predicted this about four- five years ago I could just see the trend of society and now, it’s happened and it’s official.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Depression is really important because a lot of the medications that are out there. I’m just gonna pull out my little Bluetooth headset here—all the medications that are out there, typically, only treat the symptoms. So you kinda have medication from like the 80’s called tricyclics, right? And these tended to—to work with a little a side effects that a lot of the current days SSRI’s or SSNRI’s, right? These are medications that work on blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine or dopamine. And essentially it’s allowing more neurotransmitters to sit in between the pre- and the postsynaptic neuron. So neuron—neuron, pre-post- right? Before, after and then you have all this in between area called the synaptic cleft or the uhm—essentially that’s where a lot of the neurotransmitters would hangout. The longer those guys hang out in that area, typically, what happens is you’re gonna have uhm—a recycling of those neurotransmitters at a higher level. So the longer those neurotransmitters sit in that neuro- synaptic cleft there, the faster they get broken down. So that’s why over time, a lot of antidepressant medications have to go up because of the fact that those met—those chemicals are being broken down at a much faster rate. Does that make sense?

Evan Brand: Yup.  Well, the problem is, too, these medications they’re not addressing the root cause now. I know in some cases, they could be life saving therapies because they pull people out of a super deep depression or maybe they were suicidal. But as time and time goes on, the percentage used to be 80% of serotonin was coming from the gut and then it jumped up to 85 or 90% and then now, I keep seeing new literature coming out that the percentage is almost close to hundred percent now of serotonin from the gut. So we really have to address any gut infections we have to test for those, we have to find them, we have to fix them. If we really want to get to the root cause, the brain, of course, is a factor, but man, the gut seems like the biggest factor to me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, it’s a major factor. And again, uh— one of the listeners here in the live chat brought up a lot of the shootings that have been happening recently. Yeah, these medications have a black label-warning, black box warning on them for suicidal tendencies, violent acts, these kinds of things. So it can really alter someone’s physiology and biochemistry were it may predispose them to—to these kind of violent act. So, again, I look at these type medications really only being used in a life or death kind of, “Hey, we’re gonna get this person stabilize so that  they don’t do something that they’re gonna regret.” But then we have to work on getting them off these medications and get to the root cause.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that really has to be the end goal. We need to have a transitional goal in mind so we can get to the root cause whether we start adding in specific amino acids, amino acid therapy. A lot of these neurotransmitters they come from amino acids. So there’s kind of just like the replacement model of, “Hey, let’s add more amino acids into buildup serotonin and dopamine in the brain so you feel better.” There’s that component, right? And that may be really important especially if you have a lot of malabsorption, like you’re not breaking down proteins and fats, you have low stomach acid or enzymes. It may also be important like you’re a vegetarian or vegan and you’re not getting enough of these high-quality proteins and animal source which tend to be the most nutrient dense. So there’s a lot of different things that may drive that from an amino acid perspective. And you talk about 90+ percent in the gut. The question is, “Can that serotonin cross the blood brain barrier?” I’m not sure we know if it can. From what I understand, it can’t. But uhm—a lot of the precursor amino acids like tryptophan, and/ or 5-ACP can cross the blood brain barrier.

Evan Brand: Uh—got it. Okay. I guess, so you brought the vegetarian/vegan point. This is huge. You and I both work with so many vegetarians and vegans and sometimes, they’re just not willing to add-in things to the diet. So whether it’s like egg or even fish, they just don’t want to add it in. And I’ve seen the most depression anxiety problems from vegetarian and vegan. So I wouldn’t even say it’s like just a coincidence anymore. I mean I’ve seen it so often that it’s just—it’s it’s— gotta be causation in this— in this aspect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, you’re gonna always get higher quality amino acids, proteins from animal products. It’s just how it is. Uhm—you’re not to get a whole bunch of anti-nutrients with them, right? The way animals defend themselves with teeth and with claws. The plants defend themselves are with anti-nutrients, compounds that make it harder to break down uhm—their constituents. The lectins, phytates, mineral blockers, anti-nutrients. They make it hard to break down some of these plant. That’s how plants kind of survive, right? Animals survive through uh—claws, and being able to run, fight and flee. But once you have an animal, right? Once you already killed it and you get that meat in the table, it’s not gonna  possess the same amount of anti-nutrients. And it tends to also have just pure protein and fat where a lot of the plant-based proteins are gonna have a whole bunch of carbohydrate along with it. Unless you’re doing like a pea protein powder or rice protein powder where the starch component has already been removed from the proteins.

Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. Well said. Uhm—let’s talk about some of the gut infections. How this could relate into depression, anxiety symptoms. We could talk about H. pylori. We had a question about that, too. So, we’ll go ahead and address it. How can H. pylori cause depression? We know that it’s gonna reduce stomach acid. If it’s reducing stomach acid, even if you are eating those good quality organic pastured animal proteins, you’re not gonna digest those. So you’re gonna have undigested food particles creating the leaky gut situation that can stress out the liver. We know there’s a link between mood issues and the liver. Sometimes it’s fatigue, sometimes depression, sometimes anger, irritability uh—things like that. And then you’ve got the aspect of the aminos. So I just already hit on. If you’re not digesting these proteins, that first domino could be affected all because of your low HCl production due to the H. pylori then all the sudden, you have no amino acids. Now, you’ve got no raw materials to manufacture neurotransmitters. So this is huge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hundred percent. So—so there’s a couple different components, right? Dan writes, “Can H. pylori cause depression?” Yeah. Well, number one, it’s gonna do it by a couple different ways. Number one, it’s gonna lower stomach acid and enzyme levels which make it harder to break down proteins and healthy fats which you know, fats tend to be a really important building block for the brain. And the proteins tend to be the building blocks for the neurotransmitters. So if we have decrease in the raw material of the brain, right? And we have decrease in the neurotransmitter raw material, then we’re gonna have issues with optimal mood health, for sure. Number two, is a lot of the uhm—bacterial components of H. pylori have what I call lipopolysaccharide or endotoxins, which can cause depression by itself. It does it through going to the brain and creating inflammation to the brain. It passes through the gut junctions, creates leaky gut, goes to the brain creates inflammation and create mood issues in the brain. It also can uhm—it also can just create leaky gut and which can increase the immune system. And when the immune system is kinda over reactive, it  can suck up a lot of energy. And when your energy is lower, it tend to have more likelihood of being depressed and being anxious. Typically, lower energy and depression tend to come hand-in-hand.

Evan Brand: Yup.  I had H. pylori have multiple parasites. So we had a question from Dawn. He was asking what parasites are the most destructive and what parasites would cause the most amount of depression. I don’t know if we can rank it like that 1-2-3. Number one is gonna cause the most depression but I know when I had Giardia and I had cryptosporidium, I had weight loss, I had H. pylori, I had fungus, I had Candida, I had SIBO, you know, pseudomonas and bacterial infections. I was just very, very, you know, not right in the head. My sleep was off which then affect my energy, which then affected my mood. So it’s hard to say like was it chicken or egg. These parasites cause depression or was it the fact that my sleep was disrupted, therefore I wasn’t actually waking up rested. And that made me tired and depressed. Uhm— Justin, do you have any comments to add about that, like parasites, could you rank them at all, saying crypto or Giardia’s worst than dientomoeba or blasto in terms of the amount of depression it creates?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would definitely say you—your parasites that are tending to cause more problems because they tend to be a little bit more endemic. They tend to cause more information. But regarding in which ones, it’s hard to say. I’ve seen people have other parasitic infections that cause more problems uhm— than what they typically say on paper. Like some people have uhm— Dientamoeba fragilis but that’s typically one that may not cause a lot of symptoms. So the question is, well, why did it cause a lot of symptoms for you and not the other person. So, again, things like histo and crypto, it tend to cause more problems, but sometimes you may have a less virulent type of parasite infection and it may cause just as many issues for you. So the question is if you have an infection and you have symptoms, especially if you have  an infection and you have digestive symptoms, we got out work on getting the digestion better and then fixing the infections next.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. So we have a question about “Is it possible to for your partner to give you a parasite or if it enters your body while your system fight it off?”  The literature is not clear on parasitic infections. Now Justin can tell you about like some of the correlations we’ve seen where partners have infections. We know 100% H. pylori is passed all the time. 90% of the time, I have someone that shows up with H. pylori, the spouse eventually has to get involved. We have to get them tested and we end up having to create a protocol for them, too, because I’ve had people where we create a protocol, the H. pylori’s gone on the retest of the stool and then the symptoms come back a few months later. We do another stool test, then all of a sudden H. pylori’s back again like what the hell happened. Typically it’s the partners. So then we have to get the spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend tested. They usually are the source and also we create a protocol for both of them and all of a sudden they get better. Now parasites, though, I don’t know. Justin,  what’s your thoughts on passing all the parasites you know, kinda back and forth between each other? What have you seen?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think that’s a 100% probable. We see it a lot with our chronically ill patients that tend to get reinfected over and over. That’s a factor that we always look at to make sure we get the partner, the spouse addressed coz you can definitely pass it back and forth. And I’m more worried about the inflammation, I’m more worried about leaky gut, I’m more worried about the LPS and the endotoxins making the way to the brain and creating inflammation and symptoms there. I’m also worried about just of the maldigestion, not breaking things down well not having enough stomach acid, enzymes, bile salts. So just affecting the digestion, number one. Affecting the leaky gut, number two. And then eventually making its way to the brain. Leaky gut will also cause leaky brain and that could also create more symptoms as well.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well said.  I mean the leaky brain thing, most people don’t talk about it. I think we’ve— we’ve hit or— we’ve hit on that topic on many episodes but I don’t think we’ve done a full one. So maybe we should add that to the list. The whole leaky brain episode. But, people, you do want to realize, if you have leaky gut and this could just be caused from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. If you’re eating gluten, we know that’s creating the leaky gut situation. That’s creating leaky brain. If you take a GABA supplement and you get relaxed from it, you have a leaky brain. And that’s not good. Because then you’re sitting in traffic, you’re breathing in diesel fumes and other pollutants. That stuff is having direct access through the blood brain barrier, which normally would protect you so that the integrity of that barrier is super important. Uhm—there’s another question here about depression. Could it be caused because of a lack of dopamine? Is supplementing with tyrosine sufficient enough to help depressive moods? Yes and no. The thing with the amino acids is it’s like a spider web. So if you do start modifying serotonin, things can get messed up with dopamine. If you just start pounding L-tyrosine, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gonna fix your problem either. So, really, you wanna get organic acids test first and figure out what’s going on coz we can measure dopamine. A lot of people think they have low dopamine but it’s actually too low serotonin or some people have low serotonin and they think that it’s that. But it’s actually not. It’s actually low dopamine instead. So, vice versa. I hope that made sense. But across the board, you could be low in GABA, you could be low in your catecholamines, you could be low with your norepinephrine, epinephrine, you could be lower cortisol. So even cortisol can be a component of depression because if you’ve got adrenal problems, that cortisol rhythm is too low, your batteries aren’t charged or you’ve got too high cortisol, or your cortisol is all over the place fluctuating high and low, which could all be due to these infections. That’s the perfect recipe for depression. So tyrosine may or may not be the solution for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And I have one article here. It talks about dietary proteins having a substantial effect on the composition of gut bacteria. And they talked about for instance, suggestion of intake of dairy and meat protein at recommended level may be beneficial to maintain balance composition of gut bacteria compare with soy protein. Now, again, some of the studies are rat-based so it’s not gonna be a direct correlation, but having a healthy gut bacterial level may decrease some of that gram-negative bacteria which is some of the not so nice uhm—bacteria that tend to cause more of the LPS, right? The lipopolysaccharide and endotoxin. So if we can get the gut bacteria more in the balance, that may decrease the LPS, help with healthier gut integrity, help with less LPS getting into the brain, which creates a mood issues that way, too.

Evan Brand: Yup. So did you want to go into some of the natural solutions now? I mean, we’ve hit on neurotransmitters a bit. We hit on infection, so finding and fixing those. What about some of the free stuff, like just exercise alone just increasing BDNF, getting the movement, getting the blood going. I mean that’s huge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: I mean exercise has change my life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I would say that the BDNF, the Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor really helps with mood, helps with healthy, uhm— myelination, improvement of brain building uh—keep staying away from grains is really important because that can decrease blood flow up the garden hose. It’s called the carotid artery to the brain. If we decrease blood flow, we’re gonna, one, not be able clear out inflammation as well. We’re also not gonna be able to bring oxygen and nutrition to help the brain, too. So gluten is a big one. I would say, of course, your amino acid, serotonin 5 HCPL tyrosine, of course, B6 is really important. And if we’ve got bacterial imbalances that will affect B6. Also, healthy probiotics can help with gut inflammation. Remember inflammation in the gut will create inflammation in the brain. So healthy levels of Lactobacillus, bifida bacter, probotics will help cool down inflammation in the gut, which may help decrease some of that that glial site activation in the brain, which again is—is an inflammatory cell in the brain. It’s a white blood cell that it’s in the brain called the glial cells and when those get activated, it can create uhm—brain fog and it can also create mood issues, too.

Evan Brand: Oh, I wanna go back to the diet piece. So there is a piece of literature out there, a study of 9,700 vegetarians including some vegans, they were twice as likely to suffer from depression as meat eaters even after adjusting for variables such as job status, family history, and number of children. And then it goes on to talk about the lower intake of omega-3 fats, B12 and folate, which all can affect depression risk. Uhm—so on that note of the Omega 3’s, yeah, DHA, fish oil supplement could be helpful, but also, you’ve got pastured meats. You know, grass-fed beef alone contains so much more Omega threes than your standard typical low-quality meat. So, that is a really, really good piece of the puzzle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Uhm— definitely getting 3 to 4 servings, 4 ounces of healthy fish per week is gonna be great, wild Alaskan, sockeye, skipjack tuna, you know, kinda  high selenium to low mercury type of fish. You can just google that, high selenium to low mercury fish. It’s typically the higher ones are gonna be like the uhm— the shark pilot whale, those things, swordfish are gonna be much higher in mercury to selenium. Skipjack’s gonna be great. Wild Alaskan sockeye is gonna be great. Cod, Haddock, Sole. These are all gonna be higher selenium, lower Mercury. That’s great. And if you want to be on top of it more, you can do your 2 to 4 g of fish oil per day is excellent. That will have EPA and DHA in it.  You know the ones like my Omega supreme has lipase in it. It’s also a triglyceride form, so it’s better absorbed, number one. LS oxidation, number two. And then the actual lipase will help you break it down in case there’s some fatty acid, you know, the digestion uh— digestive compromise things going on in there, too.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. If you’re buying fish oil supplements, people, if it smells fishy, throw that stuff out. It’s garbage. It’s ethyl ester form. If you go to Target, Walgreens, uh— any of these big box stores and you’re buying fish oil, it’s crap. Do not waste your money. Buy professional grade supplement. Check out Justin’s site, justinhealth I’ve also got one, evanbrand Just look us up. Find our stores. And we’ve got good fish oils because if you’re not doing professional grade, you’re wasting your money and there’s actually literature now that if it is an oxidized rancid fish oil, you’re actually creating more inflammation when the whole goal is to suppress inflammation and help depression. You’re making it worse if  you’re doing the low-quality like a Kirkland’s or a Costco or Sam’s Club or these big box uhm—fish oils, vitamin Shoppe, GNC. All those guys. That’s all consumer grade. It’s all ethyl ester. That’s not good. You want triglyceride.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.  And Teresa mentions a low T3. So if you have low thyroid levels, poor T4 to T3 conversion, right? Or lower thyroid or active fiber hormone T3 or tri iodo thyronine, that’s important. Low thyroid can create mood issues. It can create depression. So we’d want to get to the root cause of why the thyroid is low. It could be just a combination of an autoimmune issue driven by gluten and other infections it could be a nutrient conversion issue like selenium and vitamin A, copper, zinc, magnesium. It also could be uhm—you know, gut bacteria issue. It could also be a stress issue like cortisol, right? So adrenal function has major effects on mood, too. If the adrenals are hyper or hypo functioning, there could be some mood issues there. It could be fatigue, it could be anxiety, it could be depression, it could be a combination of all three. Typically, anxiety and depression tend to come together. Some people can have them just individually where they are either anxious or depressed. But some people they tend to ebb and flow between the two.

Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. So if you have thyroid problems, you’ve got to investigate the gut, you’ve got to investigate the adrenals. We talk about that, but we can never stop talking about it because your conventional doc is not bringing this up. When you go there and you show up slightly off with your TSH, they’re not gonna say, “Hey, maybe you have gut infections. It’s causing conversion problems. Maybe you have adrenal problems that’s messing up your conversion of active thyroid hormone.” They’re not gonna say that. So we have to keep talking about it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. And so outside of that, yeah, Tessa makes a note,
“Hey, I don’t have a  thyroid.” Then you really have to make sure you’re on a full-spectrum thyroid glandular and your T3 levels are at a therapeutic level, at least above 3.0 for T3 free. Ideally, I’ll make sure T4 is above 1.0  That’s a really good starting point. And then James mentions, “What about Olympian labs omega-3 fish oil?” I’m not quite sure. It could be good, it may not. Typically, you get what you pay for. Number one, you want to make sure it’s a triglyceride form. Number two and ideally you want to make sure it’s in, you know, this is like a plus, like I , add in the lipase coz I have worked with a lot of patient that have compromised guts and I want to make sure they can break the fish oils down well. So that is another important component.

Evan Brand: Yeah I’m looking at it right now. I can’t find any information about whether that brand is a triglyceride form or not. So I’ll keep digging and see if I could find it. But, Justin and I were biased because we want people to get better. We have to actually follow up with our clients and speak with them. And if they’re not getting better that comes back on us. And so we really want to use and we always use the highest quality professional grade formulas, which tend to have tighter quality control and better certain—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And also just better potency, too. I remember  I had some issues in the supply chain because some of the nutrients that we were getting, were testing positive with some—some metals and some other not—not so nice compounds. So they sent it back to the manufacturer. So the nice thing is we’re always trying to look and make sure there’s no other contaminations where let’s say a lesser quality company may just say, “look the other way and just let it go.” So we’re trying to put that quality control on it to ensure that there is not to be any extra crap in it that could throw you off, so to speak.

Evan Brand: Yes. So I ended up on the Olympia labs website here for this fish oil. It looks like and this is just to cheap, right? So if you see something for 30 bucks for a 120, that— it just sounds too cheap already. So to me, that tells me not gonna be triglyceride form. I read the entire description. I don’t see one word that includes a triglyceride form. So to me, it’s ethyl ester. You could always contact them and say, “Hey, is it up ethyl ester triglyceride?” But I’m gonna bet a hundred bucks that it’s gonna be ethyl ester which is inferior. You don’t want to put that in your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. But again, if you’re doing three or four servings of 4 ounces of fish a week, you may not even need fish oil. Uh—again, if you have extra inflammation, or extra brain stuff going on, cognitive stuff, mood stuff, then I would recommend supplementing it. Just so you get extra bit on top of it. Just to ensure that you know, what you’re getting is getting to where it needs to go. Is there anything else you want to add, Evan, about depression or mood stuff regarding functional medicine here?

Evan Brand: I think that’s it. We hit the gut, we hit the adrenals, we hit the thyroid aminos, liver function, digestive, anti-inflammation. I think we’ve hit all, man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Well, hey,  great talk today. We’re doing some quicker podcast so we can get more content out there to everyone. Hope you appreciate it.  If you enjoy it, give us a thumbs up. Subscribe. Click on the bell now. With YouTube, they make it so you don’t get a lot of the notifications of new videos and new content unless you are subscribed and you hit the bell. So click on that bell. Do it for Evan’s channel as well and myself. That way, you can get all this really good spoon-fed information for you guys to continue to improve your health and your friends and family health, too.

Evan Brand: Yup. If you need to reach out for a consult with Dr. J or myself, go to Justinhealth.com Evanbrand.com You can schedule consult with this. We’ll help you via phone and Skype. We work with people worldwide. We’ll help you get tested, get to the root cause. So look us up. Book a call if you need help. Don’t try to piece it together for suffering. We’re here for you. So have a great day. Take Care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Evan. Take Care.

 


References:

Justinhealth.com

Evanbrand.com

 

5 Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Depression

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

There are millions of people that suffer from anxiety and depression. Natural remedies for anxiety and depression tend to be the last option most people utilize instead of the first!

The main solutions available from conventional medicine are dangerous medications with common side effects (including potential increased risk of suicide) and are proven by research to not be as effective in the long term.

Why would you want to be on a medication long term but not fix the underlying problem? You would never drive your car with the check-engine light on that you’ve covered with a piece of tape. This wouldn’t make you feel confident and happy that you have a long-lasting solution.

Some psychotropic medications may be necessary in the short run to prevent a dangerous episode from occurring, but with a broader understanding of how the body is connected, it’s easy to see the long-term solution is still being ignored.

mood disorder

 

Everything Is Connected

The question I have for you is this: Do you want to treat the effect or fix the cause of your mood imbalances?

Below we are going to address five common factors that can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of moodiness.

1. Nutrition

The food you eat, especially the quality of the food, is very important to achieving optimal health. It’s nearly impossible to be healthy and suffer from depression and anxiety long term. It’s normal to feel sad when someone in your family passes or when you lose a job. My main concern is the long-term depression and anxiety that goes on unaddressed with the only option whispered being a pharmaceutical one. The symptoms of depression and anxiety are typically signs that something’s out of balance in your daily life.

The Quality of Food We Put in Our Body Has a Direct Effect on Our Health.

Fat-soluble nutrients

Fat-soluble nutrients are very important for blood sugar stabilization and are building blocks for our brain. Did you know that 70% of the solid portion of our brain is made from cholesterol and saturated fat? Cholesterol makes up the raw material that lines our neurons, called myelin. This cholesterol padding around the nerves helps conduct our nerve impulses and is important to maintaining healthy cell membranes. Our cell membranes need to be flexible, too, so they can communicate with other cells in our body. Without healthy saturated fats and cholesterol in our cell membrane, our cells don’t have the ability to communicate with other cells optimally.

Refined Vegetable Oils

Eating refined vegetable oils or fake trans fats puts stress on our body. These fats are magnets for free radicals, which cause damage to our DNA. These trans fats also make our cell membranes stiff and hard, which decreases the ability for cells to communicate to other cells.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, especially EPA fat, are shown to help with depression. These fats are also important in reducing inflammation. Half the cells in our brain are microglial cells, which are specialized immune cells found only in the brain. The more inflammation and stress we have in our body, the increased chance we have of turning on our brain’s immune system. Unlike our body’s immune system, our brain’s immune response doesn’t turn off very easily. That’s why a traumatic blow to the head can have deleterious side effects unlike any other area of the body.

A common sign of inflammation in the brain is brain fog. Eating a healthy, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, low-toxin diet with adequate amounts of anti-inflammatory cholesterol and fatty acids can be very helpful at optimizing brain health and keeping inflammation in the body and brain at bay.

2. Digestion 

Adequate consumption of protein is very important for brain health. All of our neurotransmitters are made from protein or amino acids. We need amino acids to make beta endorphins, serotonin, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and dopamine. Without consuming or absorbing enough of these amino acids, mood-related issues can occur. It only makes sense if we are deficient in raw material. Let’s use the example of building a house—the house won’t get completed no matter how hard you try. When we’re missing essential building blocks, our body systems (hormones, digestion, detoxification to name a few) tend to bear the burden.

Adequate stomach acid is very important for healthy digestion and the breakdown of protein into amino acids and the ionization of minerals. We need a low pH (acidic) in our stomach to trigger the domino cascade of digestion that occurs in our small intestine, pancreas, and gallbladder. Without an acidic pH of chyme (ground-up food in our stomach mixed with hydrochloric acid, or HCL) released from our stomach into the small intestine, our body’s ability to further break down, assimilate, and absorb fats and proteins becomes impaired.

Minerals, like magnesium, have a very relaxing or calming effect on our nervous system and are needed for over 300 enzymatic reactions in our body. Magnesium is one of those minerals that tends to be deficient in our food supply. If we have low stomach acid, it’s going to be even more difficult for us to get enough magnesium without proper supplementation of HCl combined with a highly absorbable magnesium supplement.

“Impaired digestion of protein has been suggested by a few studies. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in hypochlorhydria probably leads to putrefactive breakdown of the metabolically useful products of protein digestion, thereby reducing their availability for certain essential pathways. The possible lowering of tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine in the blood may be a precipitating factor in depression in hypochlorhydric patients.”

The Infection Connection

Chronic infections, like H. pylori, are also shown to have an effect on depression by decreasing hydrochloric acid production as well. It’s possible that many people’s digestive issues are caused by a combination of a chronic infections that may also be driving low stomach acid production. The more you learn about functional medicine in the body, the more it’s impossible to ignore the constant connection between other body systems.

Many people have leaky gut caused by the above digestive issues. If you think you may have leaky gut, feel free to click here!

3. Adrenals and Blood Sugar

Eating high amounts of refined carbohydrates and/or sugar can give us a false sense of comfort by altering our mood. The reason why sugar makes us feel good is it shuttles more of the amino acid tryptophan across our blood-brain barrier. This amino acid gets converted to serotonin in our brain, which is the feel-good neurotransmitter. The problem with doing this long term is that our cells become insulin resistant and we need more and more sugar to get the same effects. The more sugar we eat also increases the amount of inflammation in our brain, a double whammy!

neurotransmitters

The ingestion of a high-carbohydrate/low-protein meal facilitates entry of tryptophan into the brain.”

Our adrenal glands’ main job is to help create energy and stabilize blood sugar. The more we have ups and downs in our blood sugar due to a poor diet and refined sugar, the harder our adrenal glands have to work to buffer out the highs and lows. Cortisol levels that are chronically high due to stress can create mood, memory, and depressive symptoms.

Many people already have adrenal fatigue, click here to learn more about adrenal fatigue!

Chronic adrenal stress affects our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This is essentially the feedback loop from our brain talking to our adrenals. Chronic stress can disrupt this feedback loop. This is very similar to an analogy of a thermostat in your house breaking. The thermostat is there to help regulate the temperature in your house, just as the HPA axis is there to help your body regulate stress in your life.

The better you can manage your physical, chemical, and emotional stressors, the better you feel and perform. One simple thing you can do is eat high-quality protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates for your metabolic type. This takes a tremendous amount of stress off your adrenal glands. When your sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight system) isn’t chronically turned on, your body finally has the ability to use your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) to repair and heal.

4. Exercise

Exercise has powerful antidepressant and mood-altering effects by stimulating the production of a compound known as beta-endorphins. Beta-endorphin is a compound synthesized by our body that consists of 19 amino acids (protein is needed to make this). This is why diet and digestion is so important for mental health!

The typical runner’s high that most marathoners experience is that exact thing: a release of beta-endorphin. My recommendation is to be careful of excess aerobic exercise as it can stimulate increased cortisol levels and cause your body to break down at an accelerated rate. This type of exercise can be very addicting because of this great endorphin rush. My recommendation is to perform higher intensity, short-duration exercise that will help mitigate cortisol stimulation and increase anabolic hormones, such as HGH (human growth hormone), which actually help build your body back up.

Studies have shown, higher intensity exercise is followed by a decrease in depression, fatigue, and anger after the exercise.

Some people with adrenal fatigue need to dial in their exercise specific to their energy levels. When your adrenals are fatigued, your body’s ability to repair from exercise decreases, so it’s important to make sure the exercise intensity, duration, and frequency is specific to your level of adrenal fatigue.

5. Toxins 

It’s known as far back as 1933 that our body’s internal toxins can actually cause bouts of depression.

Internal Toxins 

According to a study in the journal of brain behavior and immunology, inject of an endotoxin can increase feelings of depression and social disconnection (see graph below).

I understand the toxin is being introduced via a needle and may not be introduced the same way in the real world but I think it’s important to note that these toxins can influence our mood and emotions. The study also showed that these toxins create mood changes via cytokines which are a product of inflammation.

This study demonstrates that inflammation can have social psychological consequences, which may play a role in cytokine-related depressive symptoms.

Science is starting to show inflammation plays a very important role in chronic disease. We can modulate inflammation by managing our stress and diet which helps put the controls of our health back in our hands!

Conventional medicine commonly ignores these factors and based on my clinical experience, when patients gut bacteria improves as well as their diet so does their mood and emotions.

endotoxin and mood

Reabsorbing Toxins

The reabsorption of toxins from our fecal material can be a major stressor on our body. If we have a healthy gut, our body should evacuate stool in about 20 to 24 hours from when the food was originally eaten. If this time frame becomes delayed, our body has an increased chance of absorbing toxins (mycotoxin and endotoxin to name a few) from our stool. These toxins can be very dangerous and stressful on our body.

“In books such as The Conquest of Constipation, The Lazy Colon, and Le Colon Homicide physicians on both sides of the Atlantic warned that the contents of the colon were ‘a burden, fermenting, decomposing, putrefying, filling the body with poisonous substances’ and creating ‘sewer-like blood’; that auto-intoxication ‘is the cause of ninety per cent of disease’; and that ‘constipation shortens life.’”

Adequate production of HCl and a decrease in consumption of inflammatory foods, such as grains and pasteurized dairy, can help eliminate constipation. Some people’s constipation may be caused by a chronic infection or thyroid condition. If you are having any of these health issues, feel free to click here!

External Toxins

There’s a laundry list of external environmental toxins that can affect our health. Here are just a few: organochlorines, heavy metals, bisphenol A, benzene, persistent organic pollutants, and dioxin.

If you have a couple hours to kill, do a Google Scholar search and type in any disease you like followed by any of the above toxins. There is a good chance that you’ll find a connection. These toxins affect our body’s ability to methylate, essentially turn on and off specific genes and run our detoxification pathways (cytochrome P450 oxidase—phase 1 and phase 2), which help our body eliminate these toxins.

Many of these toxins are estrogen-like compounds (xenoestrogens) and can cause cell proliferation (increased cell growth, like in cancer). Hormones are chemical messengers and are essentially molecules of emotion. Any woman can empathize with the mood changes she may experience around menstruation. These mood changes are caused by hormonal fluctuations. You can imagine the potential hormonal changes we may experience due to all these fluctuations of xenoestrogens in our environment.

Environmental chemicals also have the capacity to destruct our glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol). Evidence suggests that organotins (antibacterial or antifungal pesticides) inhibit the enzymes that help form cortisol. Cortisol is important for stabilizing energy, blood sugar balance, immune support, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure levels. Fluctuations in our blood sugar can create cravings for refined carbohydrates. Eating refined sugar can set our blood sugar up for a roller coaster of disaster, creating states of excitation followed by depression. If you ever felt the highs and lows after consuming a candy bar, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

6. Supplements

There is a family of herbs that is known as adaptogens. These herbs have the ability to adapt to someone’s physiological state. If someone is in a state of excitation, these herbs help bring them down. If they’re in a state of depression, the herbs can help bring them up. These herbs have the ability to help balance adrenal stress and immune modulation, support healthy sex hormone levels, and balance blood sugar.

Below are a few of my favorite adaptogenic herbs:

1. Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng

2. Eleuthero, or Russian ginseng

3. Panax, or Korean ginseng

4. Macca, or Peruvian ginseng

If you need support with your mood feel free to click here!


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.