Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy with Ryan Brinkerhoff | Podcast #195

Welcome to a functional medicine podcast with Dr. J and Ryan Brinkerhoff, author at Inside Out Hyperbaric & Wellness Center. Watch this video as they discuss Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and the issues it addresses, such as strokes, concussion, brain trauma, brain inflammation, and autism on kids. Listen as they hit over a lot of major benefits and applications of hyperbarics, suitable candidates for the therapy, and more.

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Ryan Brinkerhoff

In this episode, we cover:

01:00   Mechanisms Involving Hyperbarics

04:00   Protocols Accompanying Hyperbaric Sessions

07:12   Hyperbarics for Wellness

08:45   Adjunct Therapies Synergistic to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

17:25   Inside Out Hyperbarics and Wellness Center In a Picture



Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the podcast. We have Ryan Brinkerhoff here, who is a hyperbaric uh— expert. We’re gonna talk about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and— and what it can be good for. Ryan’s website is insideouthyperbarics.com. He’s at of uh— St. George, Utah. he has a clinic, where he hs treat people with a p— patients with all kinds of different uh— issues from autism to brain injuries, to trauma, to strokes, to aneurysms. And we’re using these types of therapies to naturally help that tissue heal and, ideally, get back to optimal functions as much as possible. Hey, Ryan, welcome to the podcast.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Pleasure to be here, Dr. Thanks you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, great. Well, talk to us about hyperbarics. What— What is this technology? Can you kind of break it down? How does someone utilize it and apply it, and who’s it good for?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Okay. So, hyperbarics, basically, uhm— just kind of paint a picture of what it is— So, you’re getting to a pressurized chamber, and while you’re in there, you’re gonna breathe a hundred percent Oxygen, full-time. And so, there’s a lot of things that happen inside the body when there’s a— when you’re inside the chamber. The first thing is— is— It’s actually a law of Physics. It’s called Henry’s Law.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So the Oxygen, it’s actually being changed from a uh— a gas to a liquid. So instead of travelling a task to red blood cells like Oxygen normally does, now it’s being flooded through the plasma. So when that happens, you can get really, really high doses of Oxygen in the uh— the extremities, and mainly into the brain. So they’ll see Oxygen levels inside the brain go up 700-900% when— when you’re doing this. Uhm— A few other things that happens. Stem cell production goes up, so your body naturally starts using ,the stem cells that are there to help your body go into a healing state. And then uh— another cool feature is this. Its Collagen production goes way up. So we—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh! Interesting.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah. So we actually get a lot of uhm— women in here that are using these Hyperbaric chambers to kind of fight uh— you know, doctor time e— and keep their youthful and vibrant looks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, in general, like, Oxygen saturation in our environment’s what— like, 20, 21, 22 percent. So the whole goal is number one, you’re increasing that overall percentage, and it’s pressurized so i— it’s getting absorbed more efficiently? Is that what’s happening?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right. So it’s getting absorbed more efficiently but it’s also changing the way that it’s delivering throughout your body. So, again— So, like somebody, for instance, with Anemia, right? So, they— They’re suffering from…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …low Oxygen [inaudible] ‘cause they don’t have enough red blood cells to carry it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So, when— when— when you get in a hyperbaric chamber, you don’t even need red blood cells to transport Oxygen anymore, and that— and that’s the reason why they’re starting to put these uhm— in Louisiana right now. They’re putting hyperbaric chambers on emergency vehicles. So, if somebody loses a ton of bloods, and they get stabbed, they’re— or something happens, the whole race to get them back to the hospital to save their life is to what? Give them blood so they can— they can breathe, right? Well…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: If you’re through somebody a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, you do not have to have the red blood cells there. The— The body will still get the Oxygen that it needs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So are we still breathing all the Oxygen or is this Oxygen permeating through our skin or through other means outside of our— our Sinuses?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: No. You’re still breathing it all in. No. You’re still breathing it all in. No—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s just that a higher intensity in it. It’s pressurized so it— it’s getting into the cells— into the bloodstream kind of not necessarily passively but more actively from the pressure?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Exactly. Yes. So…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh— Okay.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …when they get converted from it’s gas to its liquid state, now it’s just free-flowing with the plasma instead of— of needing Hemoglobin and red blood cells to travel. So, that’s why it gets in such higher concentrations.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:Got it. So, therapeutically, we— we’re getting it in there more through an active transport, not necessarily a passive transport.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If there’s Anemia, we’re kind of bypassing that mechanism. And then, having that high saturation of Oxygen, so we’re decreasing inflammation. So if someone has a brain injury, it’s helping that tissue heal. So walk me through it. Someone comes in. They bumped their head. They get in a car accident. Like…

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …what does that protocol look like to help this person get better?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Well, it— it— The protocol really depends on their overall uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: How they are healthwise, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So if they…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …were extremely healthy before they got the concussion, uhm— we start everybody out and about the same level. So, we put them in a Hyperbaric Chamber for an hour. We’ll adjust their Oxygen to uh— a specific level, and then we’ll monitor how they do throughout the session, and then when they get out. Because, as you all know, you can give somebody too much…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …Oxygen…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …an you can have…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …side effects like headaches and Vertigo kick in. So, we— we basically have a process where we are just monitoring our patients all the way through their hyperbaric sessions, and, as essentially, bump people into that 90 minutes uhm— sessions. And that’s the 45-minute to the 90-minute mark is where all the stem cell production happen. So we love to keep our patients in that Goldilocks zone, as long as we possibly can, but we can’t jump right to 90 minutes because then we, in a risk, you know, give them too much Oxygen and have those side effects of— of— of that. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I understand. So, regarding, like, the timing of it, you’re not gonna have to worry about the over Oxygen saturation that you  keep it 90 minutes or below essentially?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right, yeah. Yep. That’s exactly right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. So if this frequency starts 90-minute session, right— like what’s that look like? Everyday, you’re gonna be coming in for the next month? What would that frequency look like if someone had a significant trauma?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uh— So, if it’s significant, we recommend that they come in five (5) days a week. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: And— And the other thing, my— my company does is we actually offer rental units, so we will take Hyperbaric chambers right to somebody’s home.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So, if—if they don’t live in the St. George area, or they’re in a situation where they can’t travel in everyday, w—we’ll put a chamber right in their home so they can get that, you know, health that they need right there from the comfort of their own home.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s great. And then, regarding that, so someone comes in, they’re gonna be doing this probably at least for a month, and then…

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …basically the Oxygen, you said, is helping with the stem cell production. It’s helping with Oxygenation. It’s reducing inflammation. What other mechanisms neurologically is it affecting?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So, one of the really cool ones uhm— that they— they discovered a few years ago was it actually upregulates uhm—the antioxidants in your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So, when I first started studying Hyperbarics, you know, everybody’s always worried about Oxygenate damage in the body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: And— So, they did a study, and after the first session they saw a little rise i—in free radical damage. But then after that, they saw those numbers dropped and they continue to drop throughout all the treatments so it’s stimulates your body to use antioxidants more effectively. So that’s where the other amazing things at Hyperbarics does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And can you use Hyperbarics for like Wellness Care? Like let’s say you’re somet— like— like myself or yourself— You’re already in good health. Could you use his type of therapy just to accelerate your health or improve your health? [incomprehensible]

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Oh! [crosstalk] Yeah. You sure can. So, I have uh— a couple gentlemen here that are getting older. They’re clinical psychologists, and they notice their—their brain wasn’t as sharp as it used to be before they get a lot of brain fog. Well, anytime when they have big meetings coming up or they’re doing podcasts—thing like that—they’ll come in and get the chambers beforehand, go out, and then just chill. Their memory gets i—insanely sharp. The one gentlemen uhm—had failed his last two uh—pre-Dementia screenings. He came in and did about 60 sessions, went back and took those same screenings again, and just aced them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow!

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So— Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what about professional athletes? Are you seeing a lot of athletes that are, you know, putting their body into wear and tear, just sleeping on these things or utilize them a—as an acceleration to help their body heal?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right. Yeah. So we do— We see a ton of marathoners share uh— St. George is a big area. We have an Iron Man competition here…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …and also tons of marathons throughout the year. So, I have a group of marathoners every time when the races are coming up. They’ll come and start hitting the Hyperbarics about a week before. They’ll hit their PR’s and their marathons, and then they’ll come in about a week afterwards to help their bodies heal up from the strain the race put them through. So I always see that with a lot of CrossFit athletes as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, excellent! And how did you actually get into this field? Because uh—This is your uh—Were you in the health field before you jumped in the Hyperbarics?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: No. I actually was and I was actually in the computer technology world. Mainly, uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh!

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …you know, like the in—in the oil industry. Uhm— Hyperbarics all came about, for me, from having been stricken once a disease that, depending on what neurologist I saw, was either ALS or MS, uhm— Uh—It turns out I have Lyme’s disease.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: That’s why I get a ton [crosstalk] of interventions to try to get myself back to full levels of health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: And I could only get about 80%. It was the best I could achieve. And then, once I got in a Hyperebarics and I just saw my—my health accelerate to— to where it is now, I now have no symptoms, whatsoever. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow!

Ryan Brinkerhoff: It would really integral part of giving me back to—to where I am today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are there any adjunct therapies that you think are very synergistic to combining with Hyperbarics, or maybe therapies that you do combine with Hyperbarics at your clinic already?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm— Yeah. So there is a machine called the beamer. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: It’s a Bemer. And it basically—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: P-E-M-F basically, right? Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: That’s it. That’s…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …the one. And uhm— So it— it stimulates microcirculation, right? So we have our clientele. Well, some of them will get in on the Bemer…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: … before they get in. Really open up those capillaries, get everything ready, and then we throw them in a Hyperbaric chamber and it seems to quantify the power and affects the— the other chambers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. So when you combine these therapies, you typically do a Hyperbarics first and then do the P-E-M-F second?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: No. We do the P-E-M-F first to—to really open everything up…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: And then we throw them in Hyperbaric chambers afterwards.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Do you have any good case studies that you typically, you know, any—any recent patient success stories that you want to share?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm—  Yes. So, one thing we do at our clinic is we will donate our Hyperbaric chambers’ time to local veterans…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …when they are not being used by our paid customers. Uhm— On our website, insideoouthyperbarics.com, we have uh— a testimonial on there from uh— a vet who, basically, was suffering from PTSD so bad that his whole life is falling apart. And uh—after about 30 sessions, he was back working again, and after about 90 sessions, he’s completely healed. He’s got a job. He just graduated with high marks from Dixie State University here, and he’s just loving and living life again. And he will be the first one to tell you it was all Hyperbarics that helped healed his brain and get him back to that point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Are there any nutritional strategies that you combine with it or diet or lifestyle strategies? Someone comes in, obviously if you’re just eating McDonalds or crappy food…

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …uhm— i— it may just kind of be like an uphill battle utilizing a therapeutic modality when there’s so much crap going on in their life. How do you combine other healthy lifestyle or diet habits? And what kind of things you recommend?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah. So we have a dietician that uhm— is on staff here that actually teaches at the local college here, too. She’s a professor there. And, yeah, and you’re 100% right. I tell people over time. And you come in here and we’re eliminating inflammation, and then you go out and you get your McDonalds, or you …

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …drink soda cups, you’re counteracting everything that we’ve just done. So, we like to get people on a very good diet. We do tons of supplementation after we checked blood work. We also look at genetics, too, to see if MTHFR and COMT and a bunch of these things are playing roles in— in— in their health. And so we build a whole program around the individual. We don’t have a set program for everybody. We work at everybody as an individual, and it’s up to us to design a program for them. And then we follow through with that program.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are there any objective measurements that you combine with the Hyperbaric therapy? Do you do any like SPECT Scan or like uhm— or like the type of scan that uhm— SPECT Scan that the Daniel Amen does, or do you do any EEG stuff or brain mapping before and after? What’s your experience with that?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm—So we have not done any brain imagery stuff yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm— I got a uh—a neurologist who wants to start doing some studies with us, but there’s actually a couple doctors out there that are really killing I right now, uhm— where you can actually go to their websites and look and see their brain images. And it just shows the brain is actually killing itself. I mean, one of the biggest lies I’ve seen and I was told when I was younger is uh—you know, you only got X amount of brain cells so you got to make sure you take care of them, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: ‘Cause once they’re dead, they’re dead. And I always thought, “Well, you know, our liver is rebuilding itself constantly.” [crosstalk] “Our kidneys, why is [incomprehensible]—”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …[crosstalk] nails, hair, skin, right?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah. Everything is rebuilding. A— And now, With— With, you know, SPECT Scans and things like that, they can actually show the brain is being repaired while you’re in a Hyperbaric chamber. This is one reason why NFL teams are now having hyperbaric facilities installed at all their training facilities. You get a head injury, everybody’s worried about CT now. Well, you get a concussion, they’re gonna throw you right in the hyperbaric chamber because it’s proven to actually heal the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What other nutrients do you combine with it from a supplement standpoint? Do you any of the— the uh—Resveratrol or the Alpha-GPC compounds I’ve seen some interesting research on— on those really helping to cool and quiet the inflammation for all/some of these Nerve-2 compounds like Green Tea, Ashwagandha. What supplements have you seen the best success with it, you use in conjunction with the hyperbarics?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Well, you mentioned a couple of them right there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …is Vestrol is uh—  one that we use. And we always put every uhm—every one of our patients on uhm—anti oxidants…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …a really good antioxidants formula, just to make sure that they have everything there in place so they can combat the oxidative stress and get out with that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what kind of antioxidants outside of like your Vitamin A, D, and K. Anything else uh— specifically?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Those are actually the main ones that we use. Uhm—I was actually hoping to get with you and see if you could help throw me together a little protocol uh—for that as well, ‘cause I know you understand those things better than most— anybody else I listen to on the internet. So, I was— I was gonna try to collaborate with you to develop uh—this specific supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ye—Yeah. I think there are some— definitely some good compounds in there. Uhm—the alpha-GPC compounds are excellent. The uh—The Nerve-II compounds, the Green Tea, the Curcumin, the Resveratrol, a lot of the Mitochondrial uh—nutrients like the Carnitine, and the Ribose, just because there’s a lot of Mitochondria density in the brain. And when these…

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …tissues get injured, right— we need Oxygen for the Mitochondria, but we also need some of these nutrients and— to help combat the oxidative stress. So, yeah, that’s— That sounds great. That sounds awesome.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah. Yeah, it’s— It’s— It’s good stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And was there anything else that you wanted to highlight? Like, what are like— Like, what are the top three peop— What are the top three like average patients? What are they coming in for? Is it just, they bump their head, or is it just like, “Hey, they’re having some brain fog or Alzheimer’s, Dementia”? What are you typically seeing?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm— So, in an average day, we’ll probably see four to five different types of disease processes that people are trying to get help with. Of course, we have the athletes coming in for that— you know, that edge that they can get by using Hyperbaric chambers. But, for instance, one thing that we’ve seen a lot with lately is GI issues. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: There—There’s actually a ton of research now being done with hyperbarics and GI issues, and it all came apart as a— a— a scientist, whose wife have gotten a car accident. She got a major concussion, had some problems, and so, he started throwing her a Hyperbaric chamber. But as he was going a lot to her sessions, he noticed that her symptoms of Crohn’s disease was starting to disappear.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: And— And he talked in front about this and everything like that. And then, as uh— Rice University and the University of Israel, combined on a study that takes a bunch of people with IBS problems, put them in Hyperbaric chambers and see what happened. And it was 80% uhm— or higher that these people were getting reduction with their symptoms or complete elimination. So, now, I’ve been doing a lot of radio spots about that and we are starting to see a lot more focus come to the doors with— with, you know, intestinal issues. Uhm—Another big one we see is brain fog. So, you’ll have people that come in that are tired, wore out, and one of their main symptoms is they’ll have brain fog. Well, when you get tons of fuel in the brain and the central nervous system, the body starts running at a lot higher level. And so they’ll see their brain fog a—and fatigue issues disappear for a week after only one session. So it’s a great pick-me-up for— for those folks who are looking forward to it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow! That’s great. Yeah. I have seen research on the fact that if, yeah, brain trauma or head trauma…

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …a lot of times, the brain, if there’s injury to it, and inflammation, it can actually cause leaky gut. Like a lot of people know, like, “Okay. I eat gluten, I have an infection. I have food allergens like that, leaky gut, ken— kind of those immune compounds can create the bloodstream make their way to the brain and create brain inflammation and brain fog.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But it can also work the other direction. If we have impact or inflammation stress that hits the brain directly, that can easily drive gut permeability then create more gut issues. So that makes sense because if this is the root issue that cause it all, [crosstalk] and we get that better, that could help with the gut permeability down south.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah. It’s funny that you mentioned that, too, because when I uh— when I got super sick, I—I fell and got a—a really bad concussion. And then I develop Rheumatoid arthritis probably about two (2) weeks after that, which I never had, and it turned out it was an issue with gluten at that point. [crosstalk] When I put away the gluten, the RA went away, but I never had that problem with the gluten in ‘til I got that major concussion. So, I— I didn’t know they were studying that but I just answer the question, for me, I’ve had for a very long time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So if there was like— there wasn’t a lot of gut issues, but then the head stuff happened first, that could be the root issues. That—That’s great. So, someone walks into your clinic, what’s your clinic like? How many Hyperbaric chambers do you have? Someone walks in, is— is— what’s the tip of— I know, it’s gonna be customized, right? But, what’s the typical protocol? Three times a week, 60-90 minutes? Ad, how many people can you service at once in your clinic?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So we have three (3) chambers here right now, and plus we have nine rental chambers out there in the field.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So uhm— i— in-house, uh— pretty much all day long, we’ll have one to two of our chambers running at all times, and a lot of times. And then half of the day, we’re pretty much booked up. So folks who come in, uhm—we will get them square away. We do a very extensive medical history because I want to know, you know, are you working in a chemical plant. I want to know a lot about your lifestyle and everything like that so we can help address that. But on a day-to-day basis, uhm—we just have folks coming in. Usually three times a week is what we recommend uhm—unless there are serious, serious issues going on, and then we’ll recommend folks come in five (5) days a week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If someone needs to rent a unit from you but let’s say they’re not in Utah, is it possible for you to get them set up with the rental? Do they have to be relatively local?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right. So we— we travel about ten-hour area anywhere from Southern Utah, but I’m working with a company right now to get it s— set up with some little containers. Because now I way you have just the Hyperbaric chamber. You got to ship. Do you have the Oxygen concentrator to compress…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: …with everything like that. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That could be explosive, right— if it’s compressed like that? [laughs]

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Right. Yeah. So, well, we don’t use compressed Oxygen. We use at what they called concentrator.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: So, the ambient air takes all the Nitrogen— everything else— out of it, and then just push a straight Oxygen to the— to our patients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. So I think we hit over, you know, a lot of the major benefits of Hyperbarics and how could it be applied and who are some of the best candidates, right? We talked about uhm—strokes. We talked about concussions, brain trauma, brain inflammation, potentially, even kids that have Autism as well, right?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uh— Right, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Minor brain inflammation— Is there any other person that this type of therapy’s a good fit for?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm— Anybody that’s just trying to take their health to that next level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm—Like, me with Lyme’s disease, for instance. It’s known in—in the clinical literature now that it is a juggernaut against microbes ‘cause most of the nasty microbes are anaerobic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: And haven’t I actually live in the blood, so when you’re putting that Oxygen right into the plasma, you are not only sending uh— a life source for yourself but you’re actually killing microbes off extremely faster in the blood. So, uhm— And like I said, I—I got to a plateau. I got about 80%. I was stuck there for about three (3) years. And then, once I started the Hyperbarics, it was just the icing on the cake. Not only, I think, eliminating microbes but also getting my body functioning the way it did prior to the infection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Very cool. And is there any other information that you think is important  or that we haven’t quite gone over yet that you want to highlight before we go?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Uhm— One of the main things— I mean, pretty much the main thing I’d like to highlight is Hyperbarics are amazing. They do a lot of wonderful things, but I don’t want anybody to think they can just, you know, go visit a Hyperbaric clinic somewhere and, magically, everything’s gonna change in their body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: You’ll see some benefit but the— the holistic of addressing every part of healing is what really, really is the cornerstone that anybody getting better in any situation. So, uh— I don’t want folks to be misled, thinking I’m saying Hyperbarics can fix everything ‘cause it won’t. But I think it is an integral part o— of somebody’s healing modality if they’d like to try it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. Well, if you’re in the St. George, Utah area, insideouthyperbarics— with an “s”. We’ll put the link down there below. Is there any other avenues or social media places where people could find you online?

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Yeah. We have uhm—Facebook. We got our uh—Inside Out Hyperbarics and Wellness Center. Uhm— And I think we got a YouTube page up as well, where you’ll see a bunch of our videos. It’s just Inside Out Hyperbarics. And uh— we a lot of radio stuff, and hopefully, more podcast stuff with— with folks like you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, great. Awesome, Ryan. Well, I appreciate you jumping on the show here today and dropping some good knowledge bombs. I thank you for everything, and you have a phenomenal day.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Thanks, Dr. J. Well, see you later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you.

Ryan Brinkerhoff: Bye.





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

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

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

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

02:41   Depression: Illness of Modern Civilization,

Not a Chemical Imbalance 

04:53   Animal Model of Depression

08:20   Multiple Different Lifestyle Pillars

12:00   Meditation and Productivity

16:42   Supplemental Ways to Address Brain Inflammation




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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hm– Mmhmn.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmhmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s great.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …in my life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Roger that.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I was desperate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s amazing.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mhmmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nitrates.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just the potatoes, okay.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s crazy.

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

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

Dr. Kelly Brogan: [nods]

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

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.

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

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.

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

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah [inaudible].

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhh– love it.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn–

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Huge.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: PharmaGABA, yeah.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. Fermented…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The science got it.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …form

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, years or so?

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. TrueHope, yeah.

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah, Crucumin.

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

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

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

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you so much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Take care.




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

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


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

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


Brain Fog and Inflammation

Brain Fog And Inflammation

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s talk is going to be on brain fog and inflammation.  So brain fog is one of the number one signs of inflammation in your brain.  Again, there are many different contributing causes to the inflammation which we’ll go over in a second. But if you’re feeling like you’re having a hard time reaching for numbers or names, or speaking smoothly or fluently, or trying to find your keys or just trying to remember facts–brain fog.  That’s telling us that there’s inflammation in the brain. And it’s really important to know that about half of all cells in the brain are actually immune cells.

50 percent of these brains cells are known as microglial cells, and you can see 50 percent.  So that’s quite the large amount of cells in the brain that are actually immune-based and when these cells get turned on. they have a real hard time dampening that immune response.  So when that cell get turned on, it gets faster and faster and faster and faster creating more neural damage.  And we’re going to talk some of the ways these cells actually get activated, because we want to do our best to dampen how these cells gets turned on.

Experiencing brain fog? You can get rid of it and you can learn how to do it by clicking HERE.

Causes of Brain Fog

Causes Of Brain Fog


So first thing is there’s a branch of certain food compounds known as excitotoxins and this is kind of controversial. Again, a lot of the research out about excitotoxins are industry sponsors.  So there’s obviously a bias regarding we don’t want to produce negative studies that are going to take something off the market.

But aspartame, we also have MSG and other compounds.  Little known fact:  When MSG is below 100 percent, they don’t have to call it MSG.  They call it something else like autolyzed yeast extract or something else, flavoring or spices.  So you can get exposed to a lot MSG and not even know it.  But aspartame is still in that same family and it’s known as an excitotoxin.  And literally what excitotoxins are doing, they are activating these microglial cells.  They are exciting and stimulating these microglial cells, and these microglial cells create reactive oxygen–reactive oxygen species, i.e. free radicals that continue to create damage to the brain. And they actually happen to affect the area in the brain known as the hippocampus.  And the hippocampus is an area that affects learning and memory.  So this is really, really important.  We want to do our best to eliminate excitotoxins in our food.

There are couple of articles in the scientific literature by Dr. John Olney.  Russell Blaylock also references more on his books regarding the excitotoxic activity of it.  Also aspartame if you look at the compound, it’s an amino acid called phenylalanine, also aspartic acid and then we have about 10 percent methyl alcohol.  So ethyl alcohol is the one we drink to get a buzz and the methyl alcohol actually is very toxic.  So there is 10 percent of that forming in that can add to that excitotoxic activation.


Gluten is one of the biggest stimulators of a leaky gut and we unzip the tight junctions in our gut.  We unzip it and food can start going through the bloodstream or through the gastric epithelium into the bloodstream.  That can heighten our immune cells and this heightened immune cells basically can affect the astrocytes.  The astrocytes you can think of as they line the brain.  They’re like the blood brain barrier and they line brain.  And when we basically activate those astrocytes, we start allowing gluten and the inflammatory molecules to make its way past the blood brain barrier. This can create more inflammation of the brain.  So we have this whole gluten, leaky gut mechanism This mechanism breaks down our blood brain barrier and allows more inflammation in the brain. So we really want to cut out various glutens and also there are infections, too.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is a big one.  So when our blood sugar goes low, a lot of people just associate that with maybe potentially starvation or in the scientific literature. They talk about it with people giving themselves exogenous insulin and that dropping the blood sugar low.  The problem is most patients that I see, it’s reactive hypoglycemia.

Reactive Hypoglycemia

So imagine they’re blood sugar is low.  Let’s say, they eat a bolus of food that takes their blood sugar up high and then our body reacts by pumping out a whole bunch of insulin that drops that blood sugar.  So then that blood sugar drops down low, even lower than before. And then what’s the first thing that people always say when you have low blood sugar?  “Oh, grab a candy bar, grab a thing or orange juice.”

We are on this vicious rollercoaster of blood sugar up and down.  So we go from high to low and then the pancreas just comes and spits out a whole bunch of insulin and that insulin lowers that blood sugar. And again, what’s happening at low blood sugar, we’re activating more micro glial cells in the brain.  We’re creating more reactive oxygen species and that’s affecting the hippocampus of the brain.

Also, when we go low blood sugar, that puts us in the sympathetic nervous system state, so we are also activating our amygdala as well, which is like the Fight or Flight center in our brain stem. So then it actually kills our appetite, too, so then we’re like, “Oh, I really don’t feel the need to go have some protein or some fat because my appetite isn’t that good.  I’ll reach for the candy car instead.”  I think everyone knows that maybe if they got scared or if they’ve gotten a fight and they saw a really violent scene on television, you may say, “Oh, I lost my appetite.”  It’s because you’re getting a brain stem response from your amygdala that’s putting you in that Fight or Flight pattern–so low blood sugar.

Inflammaton In Chronic Disease


There’s some research in the scientific literature, things like H. pylori and Lyme disease can actually affect and every time we have inflammation, we’re looking at the leaky gut pathway and that can create the leaky brain and then in some patients, for instance, we’re even able to find H. pylori and Lyme in the brain or in the nervous tissue.

So we always want to make sure you’re infection-free.  Everyone has the right to be infection-free.  When have prolonged leaky gut–prolonged leaky gut can definitely increase our chance of infections.

Poor Diet

This is important because seventy to eighty percent of the solid portion of our brain is fat, so we are what we eat. So we have to eat the raw material so we can build our brain back up.  If we’re not eating our essential fat-soluble nutrients, vitamin A, D, E and K, EPA and DHA fats from high-quality fish or cod liver oil, we’re not going to have the raw material to build back our brain.  Plus fat is incredibly satiating and it’s going to have an effect on stabilizing our blood sugar.  The less our blood sugar goes up and down, the less chance we have at activating our microglial cells. And creating this reactive oxygen species or free radicals and creating more damage in the brain.  So diet is really important.

Not to mention, things like magnesium.  Magnesium’s an amazing brain antioxidant.  And there are over three hundred enzymatic roles in the body and it’s also very important for blood sugar metabolism.  So you can see the mechanism with low blood sugar and magnesium in the microglial cells, magnesium is very, very potent at squelching inflammation in the brain.


Brain Fog Supplements Recommendations

Herbal Supplements

Other herbs like curcumin is also very potent at bringing inflammation down in the brain.  Antioxidants like resveratrol or pycnogenol, these are excellent bioflavonoids that can help dampen the inflammation in the brain.  So there’s ginkgo biloba, is another good one.

Again, when it comes to these various herbs, absorption’s important if we have a leaky gut and we have digestive problems.  Absorption may not be there, so a liposomal form can be better and making sure the dose and the potency is perfected because if you have low absorption, you may have to go higher just to get a therapeutic response.  So I hope this kinda gave you some good information.

Regulate Hormones

Also one more thing I forgot to add in here, we have to talk about hormones.  Hormones are really important.  When we have high levels of cortisol, prolonged levels of cortisol can actually cause damage to the hippocampus according to Dr. Robert Sapolsky out of Stanford.  So hormones are important.  High levels of stress.  Lots of cortisol being pumped out or cortisol dysregulation, high to low cortisol can create damage to that hippocampal area.

Also in menopause, I see this quite frequently.  Menopausal women, they’re primarily making more of their hormones from their adrenals, they tend to have lower estrogen.  So decreased levels of estrogen and it’s not just estrogen.  It’s actually certain kinds of estrogen especially estriol and again, estriol is abbreviated E3 because of the tri in there–estriol.  So this is a really potent hormone.  Again you want to make sure you’re lab tested for it.  I can’t tell you how many menopausal women I’ve seen where we just take a look at their hormones, we get their adrenals and their estrogen levels modulated back to just a normal level, not taking it at a very high level, just bringing it back to normal. It’s amazing how brain fog clears right up and when we do everything else in conjunction with it, we get results so much faster.

Get rid of inflammation and clear that brain fog by contacting a functional medicine doctor.

So if any of these topics or issues resonate with you and you have a question about this, feel free and reach out to me below the video.  And look forward to more videos coming your way very soon.


Gluten Sensitivity and Brain Health

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS)?

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a functional condition, not a disease. NCGS could, however, progress into a pathogenic disease.

Imagine a scale with 0 being optimal health and 10 being disease. NCGS may fall in the range of 5 to 8 as it progressively climbs down the scale toward disease.

Researchers have finally started to accept NCGS as a real condition, and they are talking about some of the scientific mechanisms that are driving this functional condition toward a pathogenic disease.

NCGS vs. Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is gluten sensitivity and it is a pathogenic condition. Gluten sensitivity is your immune system reacting to gluten. In testing for celiac disease, we’ll find  elevated levels of antibodies such as endomysial and transglutaminase. In NCGS, we may not see those immunological markers.

We may take the NCGS patient off of gluten entirely, and the patient may get better. Even though the patient isn’t showing the celiac markers, he or she is improving when gluten is removed. The article findings, referenced at the end of this post, concluded that if the NCGS patient doesn’t address the gluten issues, the patient will continue to progress into a disease state.

We can prevent this type of disease from occurring by recognizing that the patient potentially has  NCGS and providing strategies, such as avoiding gluten. This is to fix the gut and reverse the process.

Gluten Sensitivity and Brain Health

Brain Inflammation and Gluten

Gluten has been shown in multiple studies to decrease blood flow to the brain. Our carotid arteries carry oxygenated blood and nutrients to the brain. So when blood flow decreases (the  main issue we see in a person consuming gluten that’s sensitive to it), we’re going to see results such as brain fog and maybe even migraines. So there is a connection between brain inflammation and gluten—the literature already supports this.

How Does Gluten Get to the Brain?

The brain talks to the gut and the gut talks to the brain through what’s known as the gut-brain axis (GBA). This happens via the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight mechanisms and the parasympathetic nervous system’s vagus nerve stimulation.

In the parasympathetic nervous system, when the brain is talking to the gut and sending good vagal stimulation, it’s telling the gut to rest, relax, repair, absorb, digest, and assimilate nutrition.

In the sympathetic nervous system, the brain is telling the body to send blood to the extremities (the hands, the feet, etc.) or to fight or flee. If you get scared enough, you may even have enough stimulation to wet yourself. So different scenarios could result based on how much stimulation you have.

We want more of our parasympathetic nervous system working during the day because we want to be able to utilize all of the nutrients in our diet.

The gut-brain axis is bidirectional—it goes both ways—so if we have dysbiotic materials (bad bacteria, infections, etc.) in our gut, that can affect the signals going back to the brain and create inflammation. Garbage in, garbage out.

The gut has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system. So stress in the gut can affect stress in the body because the body’s going to release cytokines and inflammatory compounds, and even toxins, from the various pathogenic bacteria in the gut. This could affect the overall nervous system function. So inflammation in the gut causes inflammation in the brain and, because it’s bidirectional, potentially vice versa.

Click here if you feel like you are having brain fog, losing your memory, and you want it fixed.

brain health

Bacterial Balance in the Gut

Bacterial balance in the gut is important. We have commensal bacteria in our gut, which can potentially be beneficial bacteria or pathogenic bacteria. What instigates that switch from beneficial to pathogenic will be things like sugar consumption, stress, insulin resistance, and previous or current infections.

If the bacterial balance is heavier on the pathogenic side, it may result in the following:

  • Dysbiosis
  • Vasovagal dysfunction
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)
  • Diarrhea

NCGS Treatments

The article addressed medical treatments for NCGS, and I’ve included natural treatments here as well.

Vagus Stimulation

Dr. Kharrazian’s book, “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” states you can do the following to stimulate your vagus nerve: gargle hard for a couple of minutes each morning, stimulate your gag reflex by touching the back of your tongue, and sing really loud.

In my clinical opinion, this is palliative, or supportive, and is not going to be enough to address the underlying issue. As much as I wish we could sing away our disease or our NCGS, there are things higher up on the hierarchy that are driving these issues.

A7NRA (Alpha-7 Nicotinic Receptor Agonist)

The article addresses these as medications that act on the acetylcholine receptors. Some natural ways we can activate, or stimulate, the A7NRA would be to take compounds such as alpha-GPC or L-carnitine.

CRFR1AA (Corticotropic-Releasing Factor Receptor 1 Antagonist)

This compound is stimulated in the hypothalamus to make adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). The pituitary makes ACTH, which then goes to the adrenals to make cortisol. So this antagonist (medication) is trying to block that receptor and dampen the cortisol response. In the natural-medicine world, we would use things like phosphorylated serine or adaptogenic herbs to get the hypothalamus and pituitary to cool down.


We may use soil-based probiotics or probiotics with specific strains, such as saccharomyces boulardii to increase your IgA. Some people may have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and may not tolerate some probiotics as well, so they may have to use specific strands that are less sensitive.


Antioxidants that have been beneficial in the literature include turmeric, curcumin, and resveratrol. These are beneficial at dampening brain inflammation.

Click here if you want to heal from the damage non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) has caused!


Daulatzai, M. A. February 2, 2015. “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Triggers Gut Dysbiosis, Neuroinflammation, Gut-Brain Axis Dysfunction, and Vulnerability for Dementia.” CNS & Neurological Disorders—Drug Targets. (https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/25642988/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-triggers-gut-dysbiosis-neuroinflammation-gut-brain-axis-dysfunction-and-vulnerability-for-dementia)

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.