Meditation Using Muse Device with Ariel Garten | Podcast #304

We all have thoughts, and none of us are good at meditation at first, during, or maybe at the end. Here’s Ariel Garnet, introducing us to the Muse and the use of an approach NOT to get rid of those thoughts but to help you make yourself aware of those thoughts and increase the choice of what to do with those. 

Are you doing it right? The Muse uses Machine Learning Approach, which has an algorithm that analyzes brain wave activity. There, it shows focused attention (when it’s quiet) and distracted or wandering thoughts (when there’s a storm pick-up). Also, concentrated attention and meditation have a natural anchor such as word, part of the body, or our breath, which is more accessible.  Ariel added that we have different forms of meditation and focused attention is the most common one. It puts the attention to your breath instead of following your thoughts and shifting it to yourself. 

What’s the minimum dose? Twenty (20) minutes can be heavy, so it’s acceptable to do it up to what’s bearable for beginners and usually ten (10) minutes for regulars. It also shows that there are improvements with the body’s cognitive function, inhibition, and decrease in stress. Don’t miss the full video to see how it works!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:36      Muse Meditation Device

3:49      Basics of Meditation

9:30      How Muse Gets the Data

13:34    Biofeedback Devices

21:07    How Muse Works

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are alive. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Ariel Garten, the founder of the Muse meditation device, really excited to have her on today we’re going to talk about this awesome new cutting edge technology. And we’ll kind of also just bring it back down to the basics of meditation. What is it? What are the benefits? What’s happening in your brain and how to actually apply it? Ariel, welcome to the podcast.

Ariel Garten: Thank you my sincere pleasure to be here. Hello, everyone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit more about yourself? And how did you make this journey into meditation and then what made you want to come up with this new technology to enhance that?

Ariel Garten: Sure. So my own background is a training in neuroscience. So I was fascinated by the brain and how it works. I then became a psychotherapist and began dealing with patients every day helping them shift their own mental state and recognized how difficult it was. And meditation was a skill that I was taught as something to use inside of my practice with my patients. But I would teach my patients to do it, and they would rarely actually start the habit. So it became this really frustrating process of teaching someone to meditate, and then not actually seeing the benefits rolling out into their life. I, at the same time was working in a research lab with Dr. Steve Mann, and he had an early brain computer interface system. So using eg electrodes, we could track your brainwaves and then turn that brainwave activity into sound. And we really had this aha moment, myself and my co founders of muse, Chris and Trevor, we had this aha moment that if we can make this invisible, intangible process, in your mind, visible and tangible, maybe we could apply that to meditation, maybe we could actually help people hear what was going on inside their mind while they meditated. And in doing so actually get people to start and maintain their meditation practice, if they could get real feedback and have real data from their brain. And that was born.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So you have this kind of biofeedback, that kind of help you distinguish if you were in a good kind of brain wavelength state, so to speak. And then how does that how does that sound compute? So like, is it what’s the wavelength in your brain? That’s supposedly good? And how does it know that you’re there? And how does it How does it do all that connection back and forth?

Ariel Garten: Sure. So the old school approach to doing biofeedback or neurofeedback on meditation, is just to look at your band. So if you’re in beta band, you’re thinking in your brains all over the place, you’re likely not meditating. If you’re an alpha, you’re seeing an increase in meditation. And if you’re seeing some data, then there’s even more meditation. That was the old school way of doing meditation. At this point, we’ve now taught literally hundreds of thousands of people to meditate using news. And so we use a machine learning approach. And we have an algorithm that understands when you’re in focused attention, versus when your mind is wandering. So it analyzes every aspect of your brainwave activity at that moment, and knows if you’re specifically in focused attention, which is the fundamental of a focused attention meditation, or if your mind has wandered and is distracted. And what we do is we turn that into a sound that’s very easy to understand that it’s your mind. So when you’re focused, the sound is quiet. And when you’re distracted, you hear a storm pickup, it’s like my mind is stormy. Oh, okay, let’s bring it back to calm. And when you focus a calm again. And when your mind gets distracted on a thought up mind to stormy, then bring it back down to calm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s interesting, because I find a lot of people and even myself when they’re doing a meditation, one of the first things they kind of think to themselves is, am I doing this, right? Like, I’m not sure there’s kind of this hesitation of is this, is this all wrong? So I kind of like the fact that you get a little bit of a feedback. And so let’s say you’re using the device, right? And you get the storm clouds coming in, what should be the focus, like, what should that switch be to bring you back on track? 

Ariel Garten: Sure. So you bring your attention back to your breath. So a focused attention. Meditation always has a neutral anchor, it could be your breath, that could be a word, it could be a part of your body, breath tends to be the easiest because your breath is always there. By simply counting your breaths, you’re bringing yourself back to a neutral anchor. You’re taking your mind out of your wandering thoughts into a place that is neutral and unintentional. Because most of us spend our life just wandering in our thoughts. Most of us just spend our life with the mind with thinking that just keeps going and we assume it’s supposed to be that way. But when you actually start a meditation practice, and recognize that you can identify when you’re thinking and choose to take your mind away from there and put your attention on something else other than your thoughts. At that moment, you fundamentally change your relationship to your thinking. You fundamentally can now choose the contents of your mind. And since most of the things in our mind are negative, repetitive, not particularly helpful, when we’re able to actually have choice over the contents of our own mental space and how we attend to it, you can dramatically shift the amount of stress, negativity, anxiety etc. in your life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, very interesting. All right, so now someone’s coming into this or like, Hey, I haven’t even started meditating at all yet. So what does meditation look like for you is it just kind of what you kind of implied earlier where you’re just bringing that anchor, bringing that focus of that anchor back to the breath. And you’re just focusing on that, while you breathe in and out throughout the nose is that pretty much it to keep it simple for the listeners?

Ariel Garten: Totally. So that is the basis of a focused attention meditation, there are lots of different forms of meditation of focused attention is the most common. And what you’re simply doing is you’re putting your attention on your breath, your mind will eventually have a thought, because all of us have thoughts, it’s okay, you then notice that you have that thought, and instead of following the thought and thinking about your grocery list, or your husband, or whatever, you choose to say, Nope, I’m gonna let that thought Go and bring my attention elsewhere. Other than my thinking, I’m going to bring my attention back to my breath. And you just do this very simple activity over and over again. And the simple activity triggers those profound results, by the fact that you are actually now shifting the relationship to your own mind.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting, okay. And so it’s okay, you shouldn’t beat yourself up, if your thoughts go off, just kind of recenter it back, be the observer of that, like, there should be no shame or any of that kind of feeling. If you can’t quite do it, or you can’t quite stick on it.

Ariel Garten: Exactly. None of us are good at meditation at the beginning, or even halfway through or even at the end. You know, we all have thoughts, and that’s okay. You’re not trying to get rid of your thoughts. You’re trying to make yourself aware of them and increase the choice about what you do with those thoughts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. All right, interesting. So what’s the minimum dose to get some benefits? So if someone’s coming in is five minutes enough? Like what what do you recommend as a beginner to kind of see some benefit, but make the make the step to commit? Pretty easy?

Ariel Garten: Yeah, so with studies with news, we’ve looked at 10 minutes of meditation per day, and at 10 minutes of meditation, over six weeks, in trial studies, we’ve been able to see improvements in your relationship to your body, so less self reported, headache, nausea, etc, you’ve been able to see improvement in cognitive function as measured by the script task and go nogo tasks, improvement and inhibition, and obviously, a decrease in stress and improvement in calm. Okay, so in a lot of the studies in the literature, they look at 20 minutes a day, but 20 minutes a day is a lot to meditate for a novice. So the best amount of for you to meditate right now, if you’ve never meditated is whatever amount you can bear it for initially. That could be three minutes, that could be five minutes, you just want to start and try to do it consistently. Just five-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Five minutes be done twice a day?

Ariel Garten: Absolutely. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. All right, cool. And what’s the goal wavelength that we want our brain to be in during this meditation state.

Ariel Garten: So there’s, as I said, the old school way was to look at a goal wavelength. Now it’s no longer so much about the goal wavelength, it is about the state that you are in, and our brains are much more complicated than simply being an alpha or simply being in beta. Okay, what we see when you meditate is a significant increase in alpha activity. And also sometimes an increase in beta coherence. When you it’s not so just as simple as alpha, because alpha peak frequency changes as you age, okay, so when you’re young, you have the most amount of alpha at around 10 and a half hertz, let’s say, quite fast. As you age, your alpha peak, frequency slows down. So your alpha peak might be at 11 hertz, 12 hertz. And so as you engage in meditation practice, some of what might you might be looking to do is both to increase your alpha activity, and potentially to increase your alpha, decrease your alpha frequency to a faster wave. So it’s, it’s a lot more complicated once you start looking at the nuance of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, all right, got it. And then what’s our active wavelength state when we’re just totally alert, doing stuff and working throughout the day?

Ariel Garten: Again, hard to say, when you’re active and engaged, you tend to be in beta waves when you’re thinking, but being in flow has a slightly different brainwave characteristic. And we also have different brain waves that we emit from different parts of our head. Okay, so you know, high, high, theta frontal midline, is going to be associated with really high attention, but high data from another part of your brain is also associated with mind wandering and ADHD. You know, it’s nuanced.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, got it. That makes sense. And so how is the device grabbing all this Intel? So is it I know it’s a device you put I think you guys have a Bluetooth connection or Bluetooth connection now. Correct?

Ariel Garten: Yep. So it is four channels of eg data. So it kind of slips on just like a pair of glasses. For those of you looking at the YouTube you can see the device now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Video guys, if you’re listening on the podcast, we’ll put the YouTube link below if you want to see the actual demo.

Ariel Garten: Yep. Or you can go to We also have videos there. That shows you what the device looks like. And so there’s two channels of eg data on the forehead and two behind the ears. And so that’s enough to track your brainwaves associated with focused attention versus mind wandering. And then that data sent to your smartphone or tablet where it interprets your brain activity. And lets you know, when you’re in the meditation zone and when you’re not. So you’re getting this beautiful guided feedback during your meditation. And then after the fact you see data, charts, graphs, scores, things that actually show you moment to moment what your brain was doing, and let you see your improvement session on session.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, that’s really cool. And now when you’re doing the muse, you have the device on. Is there any concern at all from you with the Bluetooth radiation that that’s connecting the headset to the to the phone or the smart device?

Ariel Garten: So the Bluetooth antenna faces outwards? So the radiation is going out towards your phone? It’s okay, low energy. So I mean, the amount of radiation that’s coming off there is infantile asmall, relative to even having your phone on the table. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, good. That’s good. Excellent. All right. So we have this device on right we’re utilizing it. What do you notice as correlation with a device meaning like if I’m eating diet changes, certain supplementation? I’ve noticed some patients of mine that have done the Muse device before and they’ve done magnesium and l theanine and different nutrients they’ve noticed, improve Muse scores, what associations have you guys made just on your own or clinically in practice with your patients?

Ariel Garten: Oh, that’s a great question. Nobody’s ever asked me that. That’s super cool. Definitely, we notice when people start to meditate, they start to improve more habits in their life. So this is actually something that you see in the meditation literature that when somebody starts a meditation practice, it then becomes easier to adhere to the other things that you’re trying to do. Because you become more mindful, and you become more intentional. So you know, the the suggestion there is that you’re then more likely to take your supplements, you’re then more likely to help, you know, improve your sleep patterns. One of the things that we see when people start musing is that they report better sleep, and that they use Muse before they go to bed in order to improve their sleep. And so I we haven’t actually looked at what are the things that make your meditation better, but we’ve looked a fair amount at what are the things that when you meditate, also seem to be getting better in your life and in your health, and got their vast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So you’re looking at Muse and then the effect benefits of it versus hey, these things over here may actually help make that Muse session better.

Ariel Garten: Yeah, and we have a number of studies running. So there have been over 200 published papers using Muse both as a clinical grade eg and a meditation tool. And the Mayo Clinic recently ran a study with breast cancer patients awaiting surgery. And they saw that using Muse through their surgery process was able to decrease the stress of surgery, improve their fatigue and quality of life. And now Mayo Clinic is looking at this relative to breast cancer patients going through chemotherapy, because they’re interested in understanding the impact of meditation with different forms of other interventions, be it surgery, chemotherapy, etc. And they’re also looking at a number of other disease states and studies using news to see how meditating with news can improve the outcome of those states.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So what was your experience like with other neurofeedback devices? While you were a clinician seeing patients? We did you have a lot of experience with those devices? And then did you feel like Ah, this could be better, or we need to make something more portable for patients? What was your experience like with that early technology? And then how did it morph with the newer one?

Ariel Garten: So as a clinician, I didn’t use neurofeedback devices, but I had experience with biofeedback devices, and definitely felt that they gave interesting information, but that they didn’t actually give information about the brain. You know, they might tell you what your heart rate is doing, what your galvanic skin response is, but all of those are downstream effects of what war probably was initiated in your own mind. You know, the the anxious thoughts, the triggers that were mental that then ramp the body that then ramped the mind in this feed forward way. So, you know, we saw that there was a great opportunity. It was really at the beginning of the tracking movement, where you had wearables that track your sleep and your steps, but absolutely nothing that tracked your brain. And so we were able to develop Muse as an eg that would track your brain during meditation. And then since then, we’ve added more biofeedback methodologies to the same device. So in the Muse to you have eg degree feedback on your brain, there’s accelerometers and gyroscopes give you feedback on your body, there’s a breath sensor so you can get feedback on your breath rate and train yourself for different breathing exercises. There’s a PPG sensor to track your heart rate. And so you can actually hear the beating of your heart like the beating of a drum and learn to tune your interoception your understanding of your own internal state, and to know when your heart is increasing and decreasing can help you train your heart rate variability. So we’ve you know, pilot On a whole bunch of biofeedback methodologies on top of the neurofeedback as we’ve been on the path of creating and releasing news over the last six years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So biofeedback would be more things related to heart rate breathing or neurofeedback is more biofeedback, specific to the brain wavelength, that kind of stuff. Okay, good. That makes sense. How does this correlate to like devices that are HRV heart rate variability, which a lot of people like the M wave devices that kind of connect heart connection to the brain and that coherent state of coherence we hear of that helps with with parasympathetic kind of repair and stress reduction. How does that? How do they connect? Is there a connection at all?

Ariel Garten: I can talk about that a little. It’s a cool question. So when you’re looking at your HRV, most people don’t understand what it is. So when you breathe in, your heart rate increases. As you breathe out, your heart rate decreases, this pattern is called your sinusoidal arrhythmia. And what your HRV is, is the difference between the fastest heartbeat on your intake and your slowest heartbeat on your exhale. So that’s why extended exhales actually make you more relaxed, because your heart rate is slowing more and more and more throughout the course of your exhale. And so an extended exhale is actually going to increase your heart rate variability. Now, when you’re super stressed, you have a very shallow change between your increase and your decrease of your heart, you’re probably breathing shallowly and your heart rate is going in parallel. So when you’re super stressed, you just see like a tiny wiggly line for your heart rate variability. When you’re relaxed, you have a great increase in decrease a great like up and down a nice, beautiful sinusoidal wave that goes with your HRV. And so that’s how you see the increase in your HRV. When you’re relaxed. In terms of the correlation with meditation, as you do the breathing through your meditation and relax your body and take your mind away from stressful thoughts. You are typically inherently increasing your heart rate variability, the correlation is not perfect one to one. But as you start to relax the mind and the body relaxes through deep breathing, you also see a beautiful change and shift in your HRV. And when you look at long term correlations for HRV, you see that people who are depressed for example, have very low HRV. And people who are not depressed and unhealthy states have an increase in HRV. So the kinds of effects you get with meditation also parallel the kinds of things you might see in somebody’s HRV.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. Is that a device? Or is that a biofeedback tool that you may add to the Muse at some point.

Ariel Garten: Um, so with the existing Muse Muse to and are new and Muse as you’re able to see a graph of your heart rate. So you can actually see your heartbeats like the increase in the decrease, you can visually see your HRV, we don’t give you an HRV calculation, because there’s actually a little bit of a controversy in the scientific field around how accurate instantaneous HRV is. So the pure science says that you need long term calculations of somebody’s heart rate in order to really get their HRV. So we’ve steered away from a specific HRV calculation, but you can see it on the graph like you can see actually what’s going on in your heart. And it’s quite amazing. You can see when your HRV is good, and when it’s short.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool, what other little kind of nuances with the device you can share with us that could be could apply to improve our health on top of what you already mentioned so far.

Ariel Garten: Sure. So we have a new device that just came out Muse s, and for those of you watching the video, it is right here. It is a soft, comfortable form factor, and the module just pops off, you can watch the band. And we made it specifically for people who want to track their brain overnight and help them to fall asleep. So we found a lot of people were using us to help them fall asleep. And but you’d have to take your Muse device off when you fell asleep. So we made Muse s super comfy, so you can just fall asleep with it on. And we give you these beautiful things called sleep journeys, guided sleep journeys, they’re guided meditations that lull you into sleep. And you also get a soundtrack that’s actually built from your body that’s designed to entrain you into sleep faster. So you might hear the beating of your heart like the chirping of crickets and the soundscape. Or the movements of your body like the lapping of waves, you’re literally hearing your own body. And then what we do is as you start to get into a rhythm and slow down a little bit, we actually slow down the soundtrack in a way that’s designed to train you to fall asleep faster. And so it’s a super beautiful experience. And then towards the end of this year, we’re releasing comprehensive eg sleep tracking. So you’ll be able to see all sorts of details about your night’s sleep even you know coffee details like the amount of sleep spindles you had.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really cool. I think anytime you’re trying to teach someone to develop a new habit, especially when they don’t have a lot of confidence, it’s important to have a coach or someone to kind of pat them on the back or give them encouragement that they’re doing the right thing or, or feedback after doing the wrong thing. And I think the benefit of this device, it really provides that little bit of a meditation coach over your shoulder to give you a pat in the back or give you feedback if you’re not on the right track. So I think it’s really beneficial. Because if people can can do it and feel confident about it, they’re more likely to make it part of their kind of day in day out habits.

Ariel Garten: Absolutely. That’s literally why we built this, whether you’re somebody who’s never meditated before, and is just like what’s going on, or you’re an expert meditator who wants more insight into your process. This is a device that’s literally like a little coach or guru inside your head, encouraging you showing you what’s going on giving you your feedback, so that you can know when you can improve.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So how does this work? So you put the device on? Is there any way you can do it while we’re on live on the podcast here?

Ariel Garten: Not while holding my microphone simultaneously.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’d be amazing. 

Ariel Garten: So so this is the Muse here. It slips on. Great, it then would connect to the app on my phone. So here is I don’t think you can see there’s too much glare right there. There you go. There’s the Muse app. And so inside, that’s my notification that I have new content available. Inside the Muse app, you have meditations for the mind. And there you can set the length of time that you’d like to meditate for the soundscape you’d like to use what you’d like guidance or not. We also have meditations for the heart, where you’re hearing the heart like the beating of the drum, you can actually see your own heart rate variability and what it’s doing more meditations for the breath for the body. We have an entire section of guided content here. Let me open that for you. Where we have literally hundreds of meditations for stress, anxiety sleep, we say if you’ve got a problem in your life, we’ve got a meditation for that. So whether it’s performance, workplace, etc you can go in there and really find the thing that you’re trying to work on or is bothering you and get a meditation and guidance and insight to help you in that process. With or without your Muse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. I totally love it. I’m really excited to try this out get my own device go and that’s awesome. We’ll put a link here for the listeners, And the discount code will be welcome 10 we’ll put the links below. So if you guys are driving and you’re active, we’ll put that below so you can access the later areas or anything else you want to leave the listeners with right now.

Ariel Garten: Really the understanding that if you’ve tried meditation before, and you’re like, I don’t know, I’m not good at it, whatever. Put all of that behind you because literally anyone can meditate. It’s not about whether you’re good at it. Whether you feel like you did it well or not. None of that matters. Meditation is just a process that you practice a little bit every day. And when you do it you will start to see the fruits and the benefits in your life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it is there anywhere else people can get more information about you or the device.

Ariel Garten: At There’s lots of information about the device, the neuroscience behind it and more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Ariel, thank you so much for being part of the podcast.

Ariel Garten: My sincere pleasure. Thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you.


Audio Podcast:

Brain Health and Nootropics with Evan Brand | Podcast #203

In improving brain health, don’t take the quick fix. There’s more to talk about than just taking supplements. One must deal with diet, lifestyle, and digestion. More importantly, the more one helps the gut, and the more one’s going to help the brain.

Today’s podcast talks about steps in improving brain performance, natural nootropics, medicinal compounds, and pseudo pharmaceutical compounds to help improve cognitive function and brain performance.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

00:46    Steps to improve brain performance

03:42    Get the gut right

16:07    Get the inflammation down

18:32    Focus on your diet

32:03    Resveratrols and alcohols

34:27    Pharmaceutical nootropics


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey! It’s Dr. J in the house. Evan Brand, how we doing today?

Evan Brand: Hey man, life is good. I’m ready to talk with you about the brain. I’ve been tryin’ to figure out if my brain is messed up, or what. So you’ve been giving me some good advice. We were reviewing lab results together off the air so, it’s always fun. It’s less fun when you have to dig into the trenches on your own but it’s still fun. So I– I appreciate your time this morning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. I’m really excited to chat with you about a whole bunch of things we can do to im— improve uhm— brain health as well as kind of natural Nootropics which are just– essentially compounds, medicinal compounds, even some kind of pseudo pharmaceutical compounds to help improve cognitive function and brain performance. So, you know, why don’t we dive in? So, off the bat, one of the first things we can do to help improve brain performance is decrease inflammation in the brain. That’s like the low-hanging fruit. The more inflamed we are neurologically, the more microglia cell activation we’re gonna have. And that’s gonna create brain fog. Mi– microglial cells are these immune cells in the brain. And the more inflammation we have, the more of these brain cells or these– more of these immune cells get activated in part of the side effect of inflammation in the brain. And this immune reaction is gonna be brain fog and cognitive issues. So the first thing, we decrease inflammation. How do we do that? We do it by cutting gluten, and refined sugars, and refined carbohydrates out. That’s gonna be the first thing. The inflammatory grains and or refined junk and trans fats. These things are gonna be more inflammatory to the gut. Inflammation in the gut is gonna cause inflammation in the brain. So the more we can actually help our gut, the more we’re gonna help our brain. And the second thing is actually decreasing dysbiotic bacteria. Dysbiotic bacteria is a compound called LPS – Lipopolysaccharide. Or another term for– it’s actually called endotoxin. And that can make its way through the gut into the bloodstream to the brain. It can create mood issues and cognitive issues as well. So– getting the inflammation in the gut, getting the stress out of a diet, uh– is gonna be huge for cognitive health.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m gonna take what you said just a step further ’cause people may have said– they may have heard, “Oh, woah, dysbiosis, LPS, brain, wh– what’s going on here?”. So basically what Justin saying is, there’s various infections you can pick up from the soil, the food, the water, the air, your partner, your spouse, your kids. You can pass bugs between each other. Justin and I have tested literally countless. Thousands and thousands and thousands–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.

Evan Brand: –of stooling your intestine. What we find is that these gram negative bacteria– produce the LPS. So if you have bacterial overgrowth, whether you call it SIBO, whether you call it dysbiosis, whether you call it IBS from your gastro doc who told you you have that, it doesn’t matter what the term is, it matters is if there’s bugs in the gut, your brain will not function well. And so, when we talked about the topic of nootropics, which I was actually hired by a publishing company to write a book on this topic, which– which kind of cool. Uh– the thing is, you can’t go straight to the brain pills or the smart pills or the– the smart drugs. You can’t go straight to that if you just haven’t addressed the gut, and you haven’t addresses the diet like– you see some dude, you know, drinking a 5-hour energy, and is eating like a gluten-free cupcake, but he wants to improve his brain functions, like– you know, smart drugs and nootropics, this is like a– a level-301 course. Like, 101 brain health is the stuff you just mentioned. The gut, the diet, etc., and then you graduate your way up. But in society, we like the quick fix. So we straight to just buying these pills. Which– I don’t know, I’m not judging anybody. I’m just saying– you can spend more money on food first and get your gut fixed, then go to supplements.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So first thing is get the food right, uhm— get the gut right. And the gut, whatever they’re saying, get– get the gut right. There could be SIBO, there could be infections, there could be some leaky gut caused by the above: by the food, by the gut, by the low stomach acid and enzymes by the dysbiosis, by the H-pylori fungus parasites. So get that in order first. That’s the low-hanging fruit. And again that’s the non-sexy stuff on the cognitive nootropic side because if you– look at any blogs or professionals to talk about brain health, a lot of times they’re not talking about the gut when they’re connecting the brain. Now, Dr. ___[04:14] recently called. I think the brain maker, we talked about like probiotics and these things. I don’t think a lot is addressed on infections. I think a lot is addressed on good bacteria and the bacterial imbalances, but not a lot is talked about infections. So that’s an important component. So once we have that right, and then we can work on– you know, other nutrients that dial things in. So, a low-hanging fruit for brain health is B-Vitamins. Now first off, are you low in B-Vitamins or do you need more B-Vitamins ’cause you’re in stress? Do you need more B-Vitamins because you’re not making your internal B-Vitamins because of dysbiosis? And or you’re not absorbing it well? So you gotta figure out why need them so–

Evan Brand: Explain that– explain real quick. That’s pretty mind-blowing concept for people. You mentioned– m– manufacturing B-Vitamins in your gut, and that being impaired due to dysbiosis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so– healthy good bacteria actually– eat your poop or actually uhm— you know, eats. Let’s just say this: they eat your poop and they poop nutrition back. Bad bacteria– bad bacteria eats your nut– eats your nutrients then it poops poop back. So good bacteria takes no– not so nice stuff and makes nutrition out of it. Bad bacteria eats your– your good stuff, your– your– your vitamins and minerals and actually produces more toxins and the flip side like LPS, or are various things like that at all so it can disrupt your motility as well. So good bacteria will actually improve Vitamin-K, ex– exogenous production and it’ll also improve B-Vitamin production as well. So that’s really important so if you can tolerate and you can consume healthy fermentable uh– vegetables, uh– probiotic rich foods, that’s great. If you can’t tolerate it, it probably tells me there’s some SIBO or bacterial overgrowth that also needs to be addressed. But, on that note, the next component is, you know, adding some supplemental B-Vitamins can be very-very helpful. So, you know, I have uhm— a mitochondrial support that take that a lot of B-Vitamins in it. I’ll even take some stuff that have amino acids with B-Vitamins in it as well. I think B-Vitamins are great low-hanging fruit. And again this is a concept I hear all the time. People say, “Hey I take B-Vitamins and I noticed my urine gets really yellow, you know, I’m just peeing it a lot”. Well, number 1, you’re really gonna be able to pee out water soluble nutrients. So you’ll only gonna be able to pee out, you know, your– your B-Vitamins so to speak, right? Uhm– take maybe Vitamin-C– too much Vitamin-C will cause those stools. So if you’re taking too much Vitamin-C you’ll know it ’cause you’ll start getting loose stools. But with B-Vitamins, I wanna be peeing my B-Vitamins out. If I’m not peeing my B-Vitamins out, I’m not reaching saturation–

Evan Brand: Uhm…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –right? So, it– let’s say this is the amount of– of B-Vitamins my body needs; let’s say I take this much, right? I consume this much, right? So the spread that I’m gonna be peeing out will be this much. I don’t pee everything out, I’m just gonna be peeing out this spread, right? And the thing is you– you don’t know– you don’t know how much you actually need on the given day so, I’m fine, supplementally take maybe a little bit on the excess side, and then let my body deal with it. It’s not like it’s a big stressor uh– where it’s a fat soluble vitamin and it’s harder to excrete. It’s a water soluble vitamin. And we’re taking a minerally good forms you know, P5P activated– you know, uhm— methylated B-Vitamins. So they’re– they’re really good, you know, we’re not gonna take any folic acid, we’re gonna take activated folate. So I’m taking a re– you know, a reasonable amount of a high quality activated B-Vitamins supplements. I think it’s a great low-hanging fruit.

Evan Brand: Yeah, here’s the thing that’s kind of annoying with the whole methylation conversation is, people come up with their MTHFR genetic defect and they walk around with it with like some type of label, like a, “I’m MTHFR, oh my God!”. And they act like the protocol has to be so different. Justin and I basically treat everyone as if they have methylation issues. All that means, is we’re gonna use higher quality nutrients. We’re not gonna use a folic acid we’re gonna use to activated folate. Maybe you need a little bit higher amount. But so many people get a diagnosis where they look at their gene and they see one snip off, and then like, “Oh my God, can you work with me, I have MTHFR”. Like it’s gonna change much. How much percent do you think it really changes in the whole equation?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm– doesn’t change that much. I mean, a lot of the things that we’re doing kind of already a- b– are built in and around that, right? So of course a lot of the synthetic folic acid were making sure any supplements’ not gonna contain that, right? Or it’s not gonna contain junky B-Vitamins that you may see in like a 5-hour energy drink. Number 2, we’re cutting out fortified foods that are gonna have folic acid in it. Things like orange juice, things like your grains, right. These are the big fortified folic acid foods. Again the government found out a long time ago that, hey, you know, folic acid’s gonna prevent like these neural tube birth defect. Uhm– the problem is, you still have a– a large set of population that can– that’s still cannot activate that folic acid and con– convert it into you know, folinic acid to LMTH– LMTHF folate, and some can actually create some of these dangerous cancer-like metabolites. So, we wanna make sure we eat like, good quality animal uhm— foods that are gonna have good folate in there. Lots of good green-leafy vegetables, potentially egg yolks, these things that are really high in choline as well. So we’re gonna be getting all of our really good folate and then– we would supplement with additional high quality activated folate– activated B-Vitamins. If someone has MTHFR, we may look at supplementing, separating the folate, and the B-Vitamins out from the actual B-Vitamin complex. And we may do various other forms of B-12 like adenosyl or hydroxy B-12, typically sublingually to help bypass the gut as well. BUt, there’s 3 major rabbit holes in functional medicine. MTHFR is one. The other one is lyme, and the third one is mycotoxins. And the reason why is– because, any symptom– can be tossed in the basket of those 3 conditions. So if you have any condition– any symptom at all, someone could point you to one of those 3 areas.

Evan Brand: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And my thing is, this a rabbit hole for those areas, and im— y– you focus on one of those 3, you maybe missing the simple low-hanging fruit underneath, you know,  where we should be starting first. So I look at and say, “Okay, maybe we go down those avenues but we’re gonna deal with diet, lifestyle, digestion, we’re gonna look at your hormones, we’re gonna look at your gut, we’re gonna look at toxicity, we’re gonna make sure you’re infection-free, we’re gonna make simple changes. We’re gonna kind of write off all the foundational stuff and then we may look at doing testing down below to look deeper if we’re not seeing resolution. But I can’t tell you how many patients I see that– complaining of MTHFR or lyme, or mycotoxins, or mold issues. And they have multiple gut infections, their diet suck, they’re not digesting their food, they– don’t have good absorption of the nutrition, they’re not sleeping well, they have significant nutrient deficiencies, very poor neurotransmitter function, and they’re sitting worry about these little rat holes that, you know, you can go down. Not saying those little rat holes or rabbit holes and functional medicine aren’t legitimate. I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is– they need to be looked at later on. They’re not the low-hanging fruit. And because any symptom you have could be put in one of those 3 categories. It’s really easy to be jumped on that track.

Evan Brand: Yes. Well it is now sexy too, and, uh– one of our mutual friends and colleagues Jay Davidson, uh– he’s a chiropractor who func— focuses a lot online. He actually turned the corner and he used to just do lyme, lyme, lyme, lyme, lyme. Everything he saw was lyme. And all these protocols he did were all lyme protocols. So you know what, last time we talked, I interviewed him for my summit, he goes, “Evan–“, he goes, “You’ve been doing it right all along”. and I was like, “What are you talking about?”. And he goes, “Well treating lyme disease, I used to go straight after lyme“. He goes, “I don’t do that anymore, I go after the parasites”. Because it turns out if you just get rid of parasites and bacterial infections and you treat those, the lyme disappears with it. He said, “So here I was doin’ all these buhner protocols and these other protocols for lyme, but I should have just went after parasites and bacteria”. And now his success rate is even higher. So that just makes me happy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and also a lot of the herbs we may use to go after some of the gut stuff, will have some anti-lyme effects as well. So cat’s claw is a big, you know, anti-lyme one. But it’s also really good for biofilms. Higher dose berberine and goldenseals, also helpful for lyme. Silver is also a really good  biofilm buster, also helpful for lyme. So the lot– you know, a lot of the uhm— adrenal supports like a lutherol and ashwagandha which are really good for the adrenals, also helpful for lyme. So a good functional medicine practitioner, you know, they’re gonna create a protocol that has a pretty good net worths targeted, but, you know, other things that were not going after specifically may still get help underneath that umbrella.

Evan Brand: I love saying that. I love saying like, “Hey, we’re gonna kill things that might not even show up on the test.” For example, like maybe we’ve got a false negative of a parasite, but we did this protocol to kill the bacteria, but the herbs to kill the bacteria also have anti-parasitic benefit, so maybe, we got rid of something that you didn’t even know was there that was affecting you. So that’s the fun thing. Now, let’s go back to the topic of the brain. You mentioned a few things. You mentioned the cat’s claw. Cat’s claw can be considered something that can help the brain. You mentioned ashwagandha, you mentioned adaptogenic herbs. You and I love adaptogens. Wo know, that whether we’re talking holy basil, or Rhodiola, or American ginseng, or, you’ve got like Korean ginseng, there’s a many-many ginsengs. These all help in terms of modulating cortisol. And– that’s course up your brain. If you’ve got levels of cortisol that are too high or too low, it kind of mimics the same thing. And this is why you don’t wanna guess because– you know, we’ve seen people where they– they’re exhausted, and we think, “Oh my God, this person must have low cortisol.” But then you test it and it’s actually high all day. And we’re thinking, “Oh, good thing we didn’t throw this person on a bunch of licorice because they’re cortisol is already so sky high.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: [crosstalk]… I was just gonna say but, if they read online– adrenal fatigue–  licorice, I mean it’s almost like a– it’s a– I mean it’s almost like a gut reaction like, adrenal fatigue, licorice. But if you don’t know that there’s a caveat to that, you could measure ‘self up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s nice to know your pattern, especially if there’s reversed cortisol patterns that’s helpful because cer— certain compounds we may give when cortisol’s higher versus lower. So it’s nice to know that, so we can be specific. And– and also just to kind of highlight higher levels of cortisol can actually atrophy the areas of the hippocampus. And these are areas that are profoundly important for learning and memory. So, someone talks about stress and adrenal dysfunction, can that affect, you know, can I– you know, by supporting that improve my IQ? I would say, yeah. Dave Asprey’s done some testing on himself. Uhm– or he’s found his IQ’s gone up 10 to 20 points, by just improving, you know, inflammation in brain health. So I would say, yeah. If you’re brain’s inflamed huge– I know in college who would take me very long time to finish test cause I would have to like double and triple check all my questions. And– I would still eating some things back then, you know, 15 years ago, there was causing my brain to be more inflamed. And I was having insecurity in my cognitive re– you know, processes out, just double and triple checking, and just not feeling confident and just being slower in my mental processes. And I noticed that, as I tweaked my diet and got inflammation down and supported some of these brain nutrients, I was able to race through questions faster and– and be accurate but also more– more let’s just say succinct and faster going to these tests.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m always impressed with your brain, like your brain– I– I don’t think I’ve ever chatted with you where your brain wasn’t working properly like you’re always able to articulate well, you’re always able to like zoom in and zoom out. I’ve always like, looked up to you for that. It’s super cool to see somebody that has a good functioning brain because in society, we have so many people’s brains that don’t work like yours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well I appreciate it and I think, number 1 for everyone listening, get the inflammation down, that’s number 1. Make sure your food’s nutrient dense choline, uhm— you know, lots of green vegetables that have a lot of good B-Vitamins and folate in there. A lot of your good essential fatty acids, that’s really important. And then from there, you know, play around with some of the other compounds that could be helpful. So for instance, medicinal mushrooms I think are great. I mean, right now, I– I do Reishi, and I’m doing me– uhm— I’m doing Reishi– is it Maitake–

Evan Brand: Yeah–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –Maitake.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m doin’– I’m doing Shiitake and Reishi everyday. So I’m doing 46 caps right now, this good as getting a little bit colder. I’m around sick kids sometimes, you know, so I’m just– keep my immune system pretty strong. And then I met a pretty good high dose of ashwagandha, and then I bump up additional B-Vitamins on top of that. Now you can keep it simple. For me and for my job, I’m constantly having a progra— I mean no– you know, like, run through mental programs and thinking and troubleshooting– I want that high level of cognitive stuff. So, you gotta figure out where you’re at, how stressful your life is on a cognitive side. I mean, you can kind of dose at things in– uhm— you know, more steadily. If your– your job isn’t that stressful then maybe just a good diet and just a– a few supplements i— is fine. If you’re a programmer or you’re constantly problem solving then maybe you need more nutrients to the brain.

Evan Brand: I would even argue you could add in like some lion’s mane too. I’ve been having–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah–

Evan Brand: –really good e– experiment, it’s up and running, with like a mixture of the lion’s mane, the reishi maitake shiitake, and then a little bit of ginkgo, kind of a bonus just for the blood flow aspect. ‘Cause we know that you can help increase the blood flow in the brain with ginko. We also use a lot of bacopa, uh– you and I have used vinpocetine before which comes from the– I think it’s the periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine is a really good one and then I’ve got a couple formulas with like, wild blueberry complex in there, that’s really good. And then, there’s also uh– I don’t know if we mentioned huperzine, which comes from the club moss, huperzine is a good acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: People talk about dopamine and serotonin but– I think, just as much as GABA, acetylcholine is like a forgotten neurotransmitter, and people don’t talk about it. But they should because if it breaks down too fast, your memory won’t be as good. And if you take huperzine, you can keep the acetylcholine in the brain longer, theoretically improving learning and– learning and memory.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What other ways can we increase acetylcholine outside of taking it, outside of the– the huperzines, or the uhm— the other types of compounds you mentioned.

Evan Brand: I would say focus on the diet piece too, right? Like you could– you could– you could oversee supplement with like Alpha-GPC like the glycerylphosphorylcholine. But, as you mentioned I think earlier about eggs, you know, focusing on eggs is a good source of choline. I wanna say seafood. Don’t quote me on it but I wanna say seafood is pretty high in choline as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so you’re fatty fish, uh– your egg yolks, uh– your liver, uhm— avocado, these are gonna be your best things for– acetylcholine. Acetylcholine’s really-really important. Again, you have autoimmune conditions like myasthenia gravis where you have an autoimmune conditions to the postsynaptic acetylcholine neuron. And then you can get this kind of like, droopy eyes, droopy face kind of stuff. So acetylcholine is really important. And again a lot of that’s gonna be your meat-rich products. And again, uhm— there’s been research on acetylcholine, right; 800 milligrams a day is ideal, and they find that pregnant women who don’t get enough acetylcholine– there’s epigenetics that increase. That can create increased cortisol, and increase stress response in these kiddos, born in a– choline– acetylcholine uhm— poor environment. So that’s a–

Evan Brand: Ahh…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –really-really important cognitive function. And when you deal with MTHFR issues, making sure there’s adequate choline, and the diet is very important. Also building blocks for bile, like really having enough biliary support. Because bile is really important for keeping SIBO at bay, right? Bile salts or bile acids– the acids produced, when, you know, the acidic environment produced when bile is stimulated and secrete in form the gall bladder can really prevent a lot of SIBO overgrowth. That’s why with SIBO, it’s a common environment that allow SIBO to form is typically at enzyme low, hydrochloric acid low– low bile salts environment really is a driving factor for let– letting SIBO grow. And of course we know the nutrient deficiencies that can happen with SIBO, and then we can easily draw that back up to the brain, ’cause a lot of these vitamins and minerals are responsible for cognitive function benefits.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well we know, there’s a link to the thyroid too, you know, if you’re hypo– you’re under functioning with your thyroid, that can affect your brain. Also, I’ve seen some stuff about just– you could just– look at the link between hypothyroidism and say gallbladder issues for example, gallstones, occuring in a more hypothyroid environment. So if your thyroid is not working properly, let’s say you have antibodies going on. And those antibodies could always be rooted back in something from diet or gut. But, you know, get– getting some blood work could be helpful in this too. If you’re trying to figure out, “Hey what other things have I done? I’ve– I’ve worked on my gut, I’ve worked on my liver, brain’s still not working”, would you agree thyroid would be a good potential other step in this?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, anything if there’s a hormone imbalance that’s gonna affect energy typically, when energy’s low uh– focus and cognitive will be low. It’s very rare that someone is tired but has good brain function. Meaning, memory, retention, you know, verbal fluency, right, a– they’re typically connected. You need a baseline of energy for your brain to be functioning well. So if there’s low thyroid or low adrenal, that definitely needs to be addressed. There’s other herbs we can use, bacopa is another big one that helps modulate a lot of our dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitters. We know dopamines’ really important for focus, right? Uh– it’s also can be burnt up, it can be converted downstream to adrenaline. So if it was adrenal stress you can burn up dopamine and convert it to adrenaline. Dopamine’s also needed for TRH release in the hypothalamus. TRH is the thyroid releasing hormone. It goes from the hypothalamus to the pituitary. The pituitary then makes TSH which is thyroid stimulating hormone which then talks to our thyroid to make T-4, little bit of T-3 and then T-4 gets converted periphery and add this– add the– thyroid receptor cells uh– ___[22:16] as well.

Evan Brand: Try to think of any other things I haven’t mentioned from a– from our supplement perspective. Did you mention the Omega? [crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s the– the amino acid I think are really important just because of the fact that they’re precursors to all that I just mentioned. Like you just were looking to Omega-3s, great, because 1, uhm— DHCA’s really important neurological building block. The EPA fat is really anti-inflammatory so if we have inflammation or cognitive inflammation going on, EPA can be really anti-inflammatory as well.

Evan Brand: You say DHCA but you meant DHA.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, yeah– DHA. De– de– uhm— docosahexaenoic acid, that’s the 22 fattic— uh– the 22 fatty acid kind of compound. EPA is uh– Eicosapentaenoic acid, that’s a 20-carbon fatty acid compound. And then we have the– uhm— linoleic– lino– yeah, linolenic acid that’s like the Flax Omega-3 that’s in 18 carbon. So we go from 18 to 20 to 22, and– the higher up you go, uhm— the better.

Evan Brand: Yeah, we– super important for kids, you know, we got a lot of parents listening. We have a lot of– a lot of parents that bring kids to us, and lot of developmental, a lot of– uh– oh I guess I would call it cognitive performance issues at school. Gotta make sure the kids are getting enough Omega’s ’cause if these kids are doing like grass-fed steaks, I mean, look at the standard american diet for a child. I mean it’s like chicken nuggets and macaroni. I mean, these kids are getting– they’re getting no DHA. They’re brains are just not supported. So, you know, here’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.

Evan Brand: And then of course what is the doctor do, they put the kid on like vyvanse, or ritalin or some other pharmaceutical drug to try to fix the kid’s behavioral issues–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I mean, Justin and I– [crosstalk]– Yeah, it’s not good. It’s not good. I mean, you’ve– you and I have seen so many cases kids, where like, I– I just actually saw a kids this morning, uh– a little girl, she’s 11 years old, she’s sort of put H-pylori, she had 4 different parasites, like 6 or 7 different bacterial overgrowth, she had candida overgrowth as well. An the mom’s like, “Well, where did all these come from?”. You know, of course we asked about antibiotic history and all that, but the kid can’t focus in school, the poops aren’t good, I mean, the behavior’s not good, they’re moody, it’s like, man! If we could just get every kid in the world, get their gut in shape, the world would be a better place. I mean, these things don’t discriminate. It don’t matter if you’re 2 years old, or– 200 hundred years old. You could still have bugs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now other compounds that are great. Ginseng is excellent, that kind of falls in the adaptogenic category. I’d also put ashwagandha, and rhodiola in that category as well– right? I mean they’re gonna have modulates stress hormones. Uhm– some of them have various glycoalkaloids in there that can be– immune modulating and can also be a little bit stimulating, or– adrenal modulating as well. So it’s stimulating where they– can bump up cortisol if it’s low. But if cortisol goes too high and some can have a modulating effect as well which is– which is nice. And if you look at some of the herbs like ashwagandha which is one of my favorites, it’s– you know, look at herbalists like Stephen Buhner, you know, he kind of gives up the thumbs up a– as a long term herbal approach. And it has some really good immuno-modulating qualities people with lyme can really benefit, or lyme co-infections can really benefit from. So we like that as well. And then you have your uhm— blood flow stimulating compounds like ginko is really good. Uhm– what else outside of ginko— I mean, you can do systemic based enzymes to help thin out the blood which can be really helpful for allowing to improve blood flow. Uh– Gotu Kola is really good like I mentioned–

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –on top of that. And then of course for inflammation like the uh– the– this– this– uhm— Alpha-GPC, these various choline compounds can be really anti-inflammatory to the brain, and then things like resveratrol can be excellent. I went to a conference where uhm— a coach is interviewed for one of the ma– major like uhm— football university, I think it was Oregon– Oregon State. We talked about that, a lot of the uhm— college players now are getting like diluted grape juice. Or– or diluted like gr– like juice grapes after practice ’cause they found that resveratrol and some of the modulating compounds in there can help in brain inflammation. So they’re starting to wise up to this stuff at the higher collegiate where brain traumas happen. I mean, I would– I would supplement that as well. I mean, these guys are more active so if there’s any extra sugar in there, that’s probably not a bad thing but– most people may do better which is the extract without all the extra sugar along with it.

Evan Brand: I would agree, yeah, and it’s– uh– probably more purer in extract form–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: –versus like some conventional glyphosate sprayed grapes. You mentioned the fish oil, I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: –we could– we could technically probably say that fish oil would be something for the blood flow because it is–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: –thinning the blood a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is thinning the blood and then, your other anti-inflammatories like Curcumin as well I think are also very helpful because they help reduce inflammation and they can have some immune modulating qualities. So I like that, I mean, if you’re gonna reduce inflammation that’s gonna have a cognitive benefit. If you can reduce inflammation in the brain like some of these– uhm— choline compounds and or resveratrol, uhm— Curcumin compounds, that can also be excellent as well. Anything else you wanna highlight there?

Evan Brand: Yeah I would say CBD, kind of a dial. I use it almost everyday. I’ve given [crosstalk] to a lot of my clients–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Benefits, yeah.

Evan Brand: To– tons of good benefits kind of balancing out your CB-1, CB-2, uh– receptor sites, you have everywhere in the body. Now some people, you know, for talking like for pain perspectives, CBD alone doesn’t help that much with the pain, they may need a little bit of THC, but you’ve gotta be in a state where you can access the THC. There’s like a 30 different states in the U.S. with either medical or recreational– all of our Canada listeners, they just legalized cannabis completely. So, the doors are wide open now for people to get it and– you know, it may only take a small amount like a 20 to 1 CBD to THC ratio to really help with pain inflammation in the brain. I’ve had some people who they just get miraculous results. Now, it’s not a root cause, right? Like it’s not a deficiency–  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: –with CBD oils. Some may argue there is such thing as an endocannabinoid deficiency like, we know cannabinoids are naturally in breastmilk so we could argue that we’re built to have these. But I still think the other root cause is you gotta hit those first, you know. If this helps you, great. But make sure you still like, fix your gut. I could’ve taken all the CBD in the world but I still had IBS ’cause I had gut issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, what about beta endorphin? How’s beta endorphin connect with CBD? ‘Cause beta endorphins kind of our natural anti– pain, anti-depressant, right?

Evan Brand: I don’t know if CBD modulates it like, when I think of beta endorphin being modulated I think of more like Kratom. But I don’t know if CBD can– can affect that. I– I won’t see it does ’cause I’m not sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I’m looking here, and right now, it says THC has been shown to stimulate β-Endorphin production. And I imagine CBD may as well. So I’m looking at a couple articles right here, yeah–

Evan Brand: Or maybe CBD– maybe– [crosstalk]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –by triggering their release of β-Endorphin, yes.

Evan Brand: Oh, cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s article– there’s articles on this, that CBD and THC. Now the problem with THC is, you know, you’re gonna have some cognitive stuff– uhm— I’m not a fan of using any THC before someone’s at least 25 years old. Because there’s an article came out last week where I can stunt brain development. So, m– males not gonna have their brain fully formed ’till about 25. A woman is more 18 to 20. So I’d be very careful in using THC with someone ben– beneath the age of 25. CBD is not gonna have the same quite effect. But if you look here, there is some research showing that CBD can stimulate β-Endorphin which is good. Now, here’s the thing– what is β-Endorphin made of? Right, that’s the next question. Uh– β-Endorphin, is actually made of 9– 19 different amino acids.

Evan Brand: Ahh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: People like ___[30:05] that really good benefits using DLPA–

Evan Brand: I love DLPA.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: — DL-Phenylalanine which is a– a– it is a– kind of isomer uh– Phenylalanine which is a precursor to the thyroxine that goes more down the β-Endorphin pathway. Yeah, I’m looking here: the CB-2 re– the CB-2 receptor agonist can invoke the trigger and release of β-Endorphin. So kind of a dial uh– compound. So, I think you’re seeing this increase in β-Endorphin which is a natural anti pain, anti depressant compound. We get β-Endorphin– the runners high, right? That’s β-Endorphin that worked out high, that’s β-Endorphin. Remember, that molecules’ 19 amino acids long. So we need protein to make it. So DLPA and or just good free form amino acids are gonna be important, good protein absorption, good digestion. And the CBD, potentially could help improve that stimulation. But again, I– I’m ver– when I hear the word “stimulate”, I’m very careful because– it s– stimulate what? So, there’s a building– it comes from something, right? So we wanna make sure the building block to make it are also present as well. I hear “stimulate”, Ithink whipping a tired horse, right?

Evan Brand: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gotta be careful.

Evan Brand: Yeah you make a good point. Always go into the root. The amino acids are great. ___[31:19] is a huge–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Doing both is probably better, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I– I’m– I– I– I wonder if the THC maybe it helps β-Endorphin more ’cause like I said, some clients report as soon as they add in just a tiny amount. The pain relief is way better. So, maybe CBD does it good, maybe THC does it more, I don’t know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, the big thing is, with the THC, you have the– the psychoactive components there– uhm— you have a– little bit of decrease in memory– and– and motivation, and then you have a little bit slower reaction time. So you have some things, and there’s some research there to say, “Hey, you know, it can decrease cognitive development as well”. So if you’re gonna use THC, don’t use it ’till uh– if you’re guy until your late 20’s. And if you need something therapeutic, try m– moving more towards the CBD end– of the spectrum.

Evan Brand: Yup. So those are question here about, “Is it okay to get resveratrol from red wine or is alcohol ruin the benefits?”. I mean, it is so ridiculously silly that you can do that from wine. I mean, that’s like freakin’ marketing from the alcohol industry. There’s a study I’ve got here from PUBMED. They call it the analysis of resveratrol, in wines, and they’re looking in all these different types. For example most of the red wines tested, they were getting .36. This is 0.36 milligrams per liter of wine. We’re talking less than half of one milligram per– per liter of wine! I’m sure there’s some to have higher, but that was like the average. They found that– uhm— white wines, they contained an average of .5 milligram. So half of one milligram of resveratrol per liter. And when Justin and I use a resveratrol supplement, I mean, typically, we’re doing what, 500 milligrams? If not, more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And again, I mean, when they do this studies, they’re probably not testing organic wines–

Evan Brand: True.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –and they probably looking at the quality of the wine. So, let’s just say if you’re like– like– your companies out there that are– are lab testing they’re wine and– and tryin’ to make sure the– the quality is higher. So if it’s organic, and the alcohol content’s lower– so I know like Dry Creek wines, they do some lab testing where they choose lower alcohol content and it’s organic. You probably may have more of those compounds in it, but I wouldn’t say, hey, if you wanna have a glass or two– wine every now and then, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Just choose higher quality ones but I wouldn’t– say to yourself, “Hey this is gonna be the only place I’m gonna get this extra resveratrol”. I would probably supplement as– as well on top of that.

Evan Brand: Right. Like a– say, you were trying do a lyme protocol and sometimes we choose Japanese knotweed, they naturally contains the resveratrol. And we’re looking at 4 to 500 hundred milligrams. Let’s just say your wine was amazing and organic, maybe it’s got 10 milligrams of resveratrol per liter. And you’re not gonna drink a liter of wine. At least I hope you’re not in one sitting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I think you have a lot of food that have just negative uhm— toxins in there as– as well. And so that may negate some of the– that may be a confounding variable that prevents, you know, let’s just say, better findings from happening. So–

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: –I would just say make sure we just have the– the quality aspect dialed in with the alcohol that you’re consuming.

Evan Brand: Yup, well I know we’ve got to run– we’re both uh– late for our clients so we should probably wrap up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, let’s just hear one last thing here.

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s just talk about the– the pharmaceutical nootropics. So you– we have things like modafinil approach ___[34:32], which really is used for like uh– narcolepsy or like, just falling asleep during the day a lot, uh– that can be helpful on the cognitive side but it’s a drug, there’re some not so nice side effect. So you really gotta be careful, right? It can cause sore throats, headaches, vomiting, hallucinations, we gotta be careful with that. We have some of the– the racetam compounds as well, which can fit into that GABA kind of receptor site in the brain that can improve some cognitive stuff there. 5, 400, 800 milligrams a day can be helpful but again there’s some side effects. Uhm– it can interfere with blood thinning, it can cause insomnia, it can cause agitation anxieties, so you gotta make sure you keep an eye on that. And then we have things like uhm— you know, the– uhm— obviously the adderall the stimulants, the– the methamphetamines can be very stimulating and can also burn out your neurotransmitters but– acutely can be helpful but not the– the best thing long term. Then we have things like fenavit which also has a GABA like receptor quality to ___[35:29] acid somewhere to GABA, can help kind of relax the brain a little bit, turn on those inhibition or turn– inhibit the brain, turn on the inhibition centers where I can relax and turn things off. But again, there’re some addictive components there uhm— that can be a problem. Withdrawal stuff, addiction like stuff so you gotta be careful with that. We might try to use things like L-theanine and GABA, and Valerian root, and things that are more relaxing uhm— then– just use fenavit off the bat. Evan, any comments there.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I– I had friends addicted to fenavit so ii— it definitely can be very dangerous if you do too much or too often, so, yeah. It works great, I do carry it, I do use it on occasion with clients but you just gotta be careful. I’m glad you mentioned the potential for it, and I do prefer like you said, some of the other herbs instead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s interesting because I have seen a lot of information online saying it’s not addictive, but then you see also–

Evan Brand: People saying it can be–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s your take on it, what did you see on your research?

Evan Brand: Oh, I don’t care who says that it’s not addictive. It’s freakin’ addictive my– my buddy who was addictive to it for a while. He was using about, you know, high dose of it. About a gram or 2 per day. And if he ran out of it, he did not sleep. He had panic attacks, he had uncontrollable shaking, I mean, when you hit that GABA receptor that hard, and then you pull out this phenyl GABA, you do not feel well. Anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, etc. A mutual friend of ours Wendy Myers she’s talked about using fenavit or phenyl GABA for sleep. But, you don’t wanna be taking that every single night. I mean, you wanna just have good sleep hygiene and go to bed and be able to sleep. You don’t wanna have to depend on something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and if you need, just try to use some more of the amino acids, L-theanine or just GABA by itself first.

Evan Brand: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm– so that– that’s kinda your best first step. Anything else you wanna add here Evan?

Evan Brand: I– I would just say, you know, test, don’t guess. We talked about a lot of supplements, you could easily go on amazon and buy a bunch of crap that you don’t need. So we would prefer that you get yourself tested because– you’re not gonna– you’re not gonna find that– “XYZ’ is the miracle silver bullet. You know, you’ve got to work on the full body system. And then once you’ve a good foundation, then buy your supplements. And make sure they’re practitioner grade. ‘Cause you can go the whole foods or, you know, go to Walgreens and you could buy fish oil. But, I don’t know if that’s gonna be good enough, you know. So we always want you, just go quality over quantity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Wise words my friend. Well today was a phenomenal podcast. Appreciate the back and forth of you guys. Enjoy to give use the thumbs up, give us the share, we appreciate it, make sure you subscribe if you wanna dig deeper. Feel free and click below here to schedule consults with us if you wanna take that next step. Hey Evan, it was phenomenal chatting, you have a great day and best of luck with your patients.

Evan Brand: Take care. Bye bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care, bye.


Analysis of resveratrol in wine, from PubMed

Brain Hacking and Brain Supplements – Podcast #25

Do you suffer from memory lapses, mental exhaustion, or problems with concentration?  These can be linked to several factors like lack of sleep, stress, lifestyle and diet or even menopause for women.

Find out in this podcast how one can overcome brain fogginess and improve mind performance through proper diet of good fats, sleep and the right exercise for brain health.  Learn more about PQQ, CoQ10 and other brain supplements as well as some adaptogenic herbs that powerfully boost one’s cognitive function.

In this episode we cover:

01:58   What Dr. Justin ate for breakfast

03:30   Building the right foundation

08:17   MCT

27:41   PQQ, CoQ10, Omega 3

42:52   Caffeine Benefits








Podcast: Play in New Window|Download



Baris Harvey:  Welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  In today’s show we are going to talk about brain hacking and brain supplements and overcoming brain fog. But before we dive in to the show today let me tell you about our newsletter.  Make sure that you go to and hop on the newsletter.  By going on to the newsletter, you will be the first to see all of our updates on our podcasts and any other awesome information that we have for you.  Also I want to make sure that you guys go to which is Dr. Justin’s site where he has all of his content and information for you and he also has a video series on thyroid health that you guys should definitely dive into.  It is loaded with information and helpful tactics that you can start implementing today.  So make sure you go to and signup for the newsletter.   Also go to and you can sign up to the newsletter as well and you can be ready to receive the first copy of my book as soon as that is done.  So that is what is up for today.  So Dr. Justin, how is it going?

Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it is going great today.  We have a nice little morning here.  Just running a current across my wrist here to help stimulate some collage repair.  Just hit a little bit of PQQ which is a compound to help up regulate mitochondrial function and actually repair mitochondrial neurons.  So I am doing that to make sure I am in the zone today.   And breakfast today was just four eggs sunny side up and then a little bit of protein powder afterwards with some butter and MCT in my coffee.  How about you?

Baris Harvey:  Yes awesome.  I drove down to the Bay Area this morning. So I actually had some Trail Mix, had some organic beef jerky and had some cashews, almonds and a little bit of cranberries.  So that was my snack for this morning.   

Justin Marchegiani:  I am glad to hear you had no oatmeal on your Trail Mix.

Baris Harvey:  No oats.  None of that.  No.

Justin Marchegiani:  Good.  That would definitely be a Paleo.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Right, exactly.  So you mentioned the PQQ that you are taking.  In today’s show, we are going to talk about kind of like this brain hacking, this is kind of like a big thing.  But even for people that, let us say they are trying to hack it, optimize brain function.  There are a lot of people today that have like brain fog or overall issues.  Let us help all these listeners out and try to find a way to remove some of those things that are blocking their brain from doing what it should be able to and get people able to focus, able to sustain a long day, able to fully utilize, I believe, which is our super power as humans, is our brain power.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And before we go into that 100%, I think it is important that there are some great supplements out there and I am all into bio‑hacking and tweaking certain things.  But I just want to say if you do not have the foundations right, you are just going to be pissing your money away on a lot of expensive stuff.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So like I get results with my patients because I am annoying about the foundations.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So let us go over like some of the foundation.  So if you are having brain fog, brain fog is typically a cause of inflammation.  So if you are having inflammation just look at the first couple of things.  Just do an audit first of physical stress.  Are you over exercising?  Are you not getting enough exercise?  Personally, my biggest thing on exercise is the fact that it helps with brain stimulation.  It helps with increasing a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor which helps increase synaptic activity, which means it helps connect brain neurons together, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  If your brain neurons communicate faster and better, you are going to be able to have better brain power.  You are going to be able to mile on it better.   You are going to be able to create better habits faster.  You are going to be able to perform better.  Have better stamina, better focus.  Be in the zone longer and easier.  So again, I look at things like exercise is more like stimulating brain as well as hormones.  Okay that is like one foundation.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  Do not exercise too much because chronic cortisol from over exercising will eat away parts of your brain.   Dr. Robert Sapolsky over at Stanford, he wrote the book, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.”  He is kind of a stress doctor.  He looks at the stress response from one species to another.  And what he has found is that excessive levels of cortisol literally will eat away at the hippocampus.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  The hippocampus is there in the brain, the bottom part of the brain that helps control memory and learning.  So again let us get cortisol modulated so we are not eating away our hippocampus.  So on the physical stress side of things, do not over exercise.  Choose smart exercise.  So smart exercise could be anything depending where you are at, right?  If you are obese and you are not doing much just get out walking a little bit.  Get out and do some isometric movements where you are doing the isometric lunge or an isometric squat with really good form.  If you are already today are on some resistance training, it will be good using functional movements, right?  Squatting, pulling, pushing, bending, things like that are going to be great.  And then if you are there as well, you can also add in some high intensity interval training using whatever modality you want.  Whether it is rowing or biking, running or sprinting.  You do not have to make exercise that complicated.  Now if you are training for sport specific things because you are an athlete and you are competing, well, obviously you have to do the movement pattern that you are going to be competing in or choosing movements that are going to translate to performance on the field.  So we are not getting in to sport specific stuff.  We are just getting into how can you make your muscles and your body perform well, physically.  But also, how can you do it so you can choose movements that will mentally allow you to perform well and make more BDNF.

Baris Harvey:  Definitely.  I think that is a great portion because like you said before, we have to understand that our bodies were designed to move.  And not only is movement just going to help us burn fat or build muscle but there is also some brain activity that is going on.  It is the communications with the neurons between your muscles.  It is like you mentioned earlier, you have a stimulation thing currently running to your wrist and it is using the electricity and stimulating your muscles.  And we have to understand like those are brain chemicals that kind of manipulate our muscles.  And having that awareness is really a good way to stimulate our body and also not to overdo it though and not to stress your body out because it is easy to do that as well.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  Like for instance, I am stimulating production or increase blood flow which will hopefully translate to additional collagen being lined down and to help build up cartilage.  But I am also sleeping really well.  I am also eating a very anti-inflammatory, I am eating, you know, high anti‑inflammatory fats.  I am also taking extra collagen support so I have the building blocks, right?  A lot of bio-hacking devices they stimulate.  But the problem is if you do not have the building blocks then it is like whipping a tired horse.  So if you combine the two it is almost like magical.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  You just mentioned too, you are eating a really good diet and that plays a big role.  And there are a lot of foods that can be beneficial.  One food in particular when it comes to like fats, it is something that you often put into your coffee every day.  Or even like cook with Caprylic acid from like coconut oil, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Can you tell us about how MCTs can be beneficial to our brain?

Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.  So MCT is the medium chain triglycerides.  You are going to get some MCTs in coconut oil.  The problem is, MCTs typically consist of Capric and Caprylic acid, 8, 10 and 12 carbons in length.  Those are kind of your medium chain triglycerides.  The problem is most of your MCTs is going to be in the 12 carbons.  So taking in supplemental MCT that is 8 to 10 carbons primarily, you are going to primarily get 8 and 10 carbons in MCT.  So people say, “Oh, well you get enough MCT in coconut oil.”  In my opinion, that is nonsense because you are not getting the beneficial ones, the 8 and 10 carbon ones.  So using MCT is going to be awesome.  Using it in your coffee is great.  So there was a research done at Harvard, Dr. Veech and he has done a lot of research on ketogenic diets.  And basically, ketogenic diet since your body is using various ketones whether it is acetoacetic acid, acetone or hydroxybutyrate, things like that, your brain can actually run on them.  He has done research to show up to 80% of your brain can run on them.  So there are a couple of ways when you think about it, right?  Some people may benefit cutting their carbs super low.  That is one theory.  That is one approach that may work.  Some people may do a cyclical ketogenic where they go low carb, you know, 20, 30, 40 grams of carbohydrates.  And that is a little debatable because Ben Greenfield has done some research showing that he has been able to keep his carbs at 200 and still be in ketosis.    So it really depends upon your activity level.  And so we have the dietary aspect but we can also just put something like MCT which will easily shove downstream into ketones.  So we can still have the benefits of ketones even if we are not going super, super, super low carb.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  So that is one aspect.  And he has found that the brain can run very efficiently off these MTCs and some areas of the brain actually love it.  So you kind of get the same kind of physiology that you would get with fasting.  So a lot of research has shown that your brain does better, you know, fasting sometimes.  That is kind of where the whole school of thought of intermittent fasting or low calorie dieting has shown beneficial effects.  In my opinion, you can try to tap in to some of these benefits by using MCT in your coffee to get some of these benefits that, you know, so you do not have to starve yourself.  So you actually feel full and satiated and not tired and not down regulate your thyroid because low calorie diets will mess up your thyroid.  Just go to PubMed and type in low calorie diets and hypothyroidism and you will see a whole bunch of studies on that.  So that kind of gives you just the bird’s eye view off the top there.

Baris Harvey:  Okay.  Cool.  So we are not going to be glucose deficient, are we?

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, your brain needs about 20 grams of glucose a day to function.  So if you are getting enough fat in your body and you are keto‑adapted, meaning your body is used to running off with ketones, you are not going to have a problem.  Although I do recommend if you are doing more glycolytic exercise, you are probably going to feel better getting a little bit of sweet potato in your diet.  A little bit of safe starch in your diet, if you are doing a CrossFit style of movement.  So it really depends.  Like some people who are, I would say, they are carbohydrate sensitive, they cannot tolerate much carbohydrates.  You are better off starting ketogenic and not going into some of these high intense glycolytic movements for at least a long period of time because you want to get your body keto-adapted.  And you can create lots of cravings if you are doing glycolytic movements for longer than 45 minutes of an hour.  Like if you are someone who maybe has metabolic syndrome and you are just jumping into a CrossFit, may not be the best thing for your blood sugar and your metabolism off the bat.  A good ramp up and may be a good way of doing it and starting ketogenic can be a good way to really feed the brain with those ketones that it may need.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, awesome.  We are talking about getting the foundation right.  And you also mentioned that is only the real big reason why you are successful with your clients.  It is because you harp a lot on the foundations on the basics.  Make sure you remove the inflammatory foods and give them the anti-inflammatory, antioxidants foods into the diet.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  I think one of those foods that people know that are good for the brain and like the more agriculturist I go, berries, berries are really good.  They are good for your brain because of their antioxidants.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  What are some other just good foods that we should be adding to our diet like that might have really good flavonoids or other kind of brain nutrients or minerals that we might not be getting but we should?

Justin Marchegiani:  So one, you know making sure you are eating foods that are going to stabilize your blood sugar.  Because blood sugar dips are actually going to cause problems in your brain, right?  You are going to increase your microglial cell activation with low blood sugar dips.  So I would say not just what to eat but eating the right amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates for your body to have stable blood sugar for at least 4 or 5 hours.  Because that will prevent dips in blood sugar and those dips in blood sugar will create hormonal cascades that will again, you will go into a low blood sugar dip that will activate the adrenal glands to produce adrenalin and cortisol.  And that will activate the microglial cells in the brain to produce glutamate and you will basically starve the frontal cortex for blood.  And then again that is why a lot people do stupid things with low blood sugar.  There are actually a couple of studies on this.  They have done studies of violent crimes where they find a lot of violent crimes are done with super low blood sugar, crimes of passion.  Because you got about, I want to say, one tenth of a second to have the frontal cortex clamp down on the impulse of punching the guy that you are really pissed off at.  So if your brain is starving because your blood sugar is dipping up and down because you are going into reactive hypoglycemic drops of blood sugar, it is just going to make you stupid and make you do stupid things.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   So basically that part of your brain, your, you know, the prefrontal cortex is going to be basically turned off and your decision making, basically the things that makes us human, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  This is going to be turned off and we are just going to be a baboon, literally.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  You are like literally functioning or relying upon the brain stem, right?  The reptilian brain to make very reactionary stupid decisions.  So like the concept that I am referring to is reactive hypoglycemia.  That is when you eat potentially too much carbs for your body to handle.  Your body reacts, that is why it is called reactive.  Your body reacts by spitting out a whole bunch of insulin and drops that blood sugar too low.  When that blood sugar is too low the fight or flight nervous system has to turn on.  And that turning on activates parts of the brain that can create glial activation which is like the immune cells in the brain.  And that can activate inflammation or starve out blood flow to the frontal cortex and that can prevent you from making good decisions.

Baris Harvey:  So do not eat the little chocolates when that is on the counter when you are buying a car decision or any of those kinds of things.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And make sure you are well-fed.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, that is why I am a big thing of having breakfast in the morning.  Even things like good coffee and butter and fat.  If you are under a lot of stress and maybe you are exercising, too, you know have a little bit of protein and fat together in the morning.  You know, not just fat but have a little bit of protein as well.  Because protein you can always convert some of those amino acids into glucose via gluconeogenesis.  Your liver can take some of that protein and just cleave it off and create some glucose from it.  And when you go to gluconeogenesis, it is a nice time-release form of glucose.  It is time released so you actually get nice slow and steady supply.  So you do not get this reactive hypoglycemic drop afterwards.

Baris Harvey:  Okay, perfect.  So we want to make sure we are stabilizing our blood sugar.  We do not want making irrational decisions.  Another thing, that is probably a beneficial one that you ate this morning are eggs, right?  Eggs have B vitamins and choline.  You test a lot of people in your practice.  Are you seeing some people you know that seems like such an easy fix.  People that are B vitamin deficient then they can easily take maybe some B vitamins and making sure that they are getting some darker meats or some organ meats and making sure that they are getting the B vitamins covered and helping their neurons.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  So regarding the patients and the practice, we may see on a CBC some of their indices high.  These are like the markers like the MCH, MCHC, MCV, RDW.  These are key markers that are indicative of B vitamins issues like B6, B9, B12.  May run organic acid test and find some of these B vitamins low.  I am seeing a lot of people with methylation defects especially the MTHFR reductase defect.  So we are using some specific folate that has been converted to an L-isomer form so that it can be converted better to folate.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  Obviously we have seen a lot of people with gut issues too that have damage and they are not able to absorb B12 as well.  So it really depends.  I mean, people if they are eating a bad diet high in refined sugar, they are automatically going to have B vitamin issues because you need B vitamins to absorb and metabolize sugar.  And if the sugar that is coming in does not have B vitamins with it you are going to become deficient.  And again, most of the time the people eating good quality grass-fed meat, organic vegetables, safe carbohydrates for their metabolic demand, they are going to be okay and we will kind of follow up with a good general multivitamin, with some really good soluble B vitamins there.  Or we will look at the blood work or the organic test and we may supplement with some individual ones depending on their unique deficiencies.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Interesting because it is funny too often times we were so just like just poor forms of B vitamins inside of like the five-hour ENERGY or something like that.  And this is just usually like caffeine and B vitamins but it is like three or five dollars per dose.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to supplements.  And I have tried to research the best companies where you are going to get the best absorption and the best bang for your buck.  So going with good companies is definitely the way to go.  And saving money on it I mean you are better off not taking anything, for sure.  But you know, supplements they are meant to supplement a good diet.  They are not called replacements.  They are not designed to replace the diet.  They are meant, you know, you take them with your grass-fed meat and your really good spinach salad or your safe starch.  It is meant to supplement.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  Like nails.  The food is like the board and the nails are like the vitamins.  So we want to use good vitamins to hold everything together.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  One thing, we should probably bring up briefly is sleep.  And we have done a whole episode on sleep before.  So people make sure if you guys have not heard go back into our archives and make sure that you, or just even start to go to YouTube and search Sleep Beyond Wellness Radio.  When we talked about sleep and how it affects the brain and people should know this immediately but for some reason we still find ourselves or many people, not necessarily me all the time, sleeping 6 hours and then wondering why we are having this crash in the middle of the day and you know, go into Starbucks and try to get coffee.  Briefly just to talk about again how important sleep is but also how it affects your mental focus.

Justin Marchegiani:  Sleep is vitally important.  I got an email from Ben Greenfield this week and he posted a really cool blog via WellnessFX and he also put a really cool info graphic on board too.  And some really good quotes in this article and we will put it on the show notes, from athletes regarding their sleep time.  So for instance, I got a couple of quotes here.  Let me pull it up.  So Usain Bolt, right?  Fastest guy in the world says, “Sleep is extremely important to me.  I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.”  That is one person right there.  Roger Federer gets on record 11 to 12 of sleep at night.  LeBron James 12 hours of sleep at night.  Again there are studies that after four days of restricted sleep athletes’ maximum bench press drops 20 pounds.  Studies have shown split second decision making ability reduced by about 5%.  And again tennis players with adequate sleep get about 42% boost in the accuracy of their shot.  So again sleep is very, very important.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Check this out.  You know I have mentioned to you before my football team, we would work out like 6 am and which means we get to the facility..

Justin Marchegiani:  So the worst thing a coach can do.  That is the stupidest thing.  It is like you got this mindset in sports where it is like toughness comes from like crucifying yourself.   It is just stupid training.  It is just like, well, you can just be better by having willpower and not using our physiology to help us get better.  I am sorry I interrupted.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I know, that is totally true.

Justin Marchegiani:  It drives me nuts!

Baris Harvey:  But check this out.  I forgot why we did this.  I am glad that we did.  But I think we had our bye-week.  Last week we decided not have our 6 am lift in the morning and basically I got to sleep in a little bit.  And we instead worked out in the afternoon around 3 o’clock when your body is most prime to do so.  This was the first week in about six weeks that I remember being like physically sore.  When my legs felt sore in a good way it is as if like, “Oh, okay I am building muscle because all my other workouts were pretty inefficient because I am tired.  How am I supposed to perform this way?”  So I just thought it was interesting.  Sleep is vitally important when it comes to not just training but your mental performance and almost every aspect in life.  So sometimes people you want to push harder, push harder but if you are not sleeping I mean, you are kind of wasting your time and you could even be hurting yourself.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  It is just trying to work harder not smarter.  I mean, I remember in high school because I play football and I remember doing conditioning at the very end of practice.  It is like the stupidest thing.  It is like let us just ingrain in our body poor motor patterns, right?  Let us just work on and develop our skills and poor motor pattern.  It is just like silly.  You much rather keep the conditioning separate and the fine tune motor skills when you are prime so you can really build up those motor pathways.  Especially in certain sports, I remember in football for instance, we have linemen and linebackers running you know 30, 40, and 50 yards sprints.  But it is like wait a minute, each play, what are you running on average?  5 to 10 yards?  I mean the lineman is running 2 or 3 yards.  So it is like, why are we not doing sport specific movement that actually carries over?  And so much of these coaches, they are just doing things to do it not because it correlates and actually really makes sense.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I probably should not be doing the same thing my 290 pound teammate is doing.  He is probably lifting stuff super heavy and maybe 10 yards sprints at the most for him.  Whereas I can probably go a little bit farther, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Baris Harvey:  So super important.

Justin Marchegiani:  And I do not want to burst anyone’s bubble but I have treated a handful of college athletes, professional football players and such and that is one sport I would more than likely, I could change my mind, but I will not allow my kid to play.  I see lots of neurological deficits.  I think you are going to be seeing an epidemic in the next 10 or 20 years of massive amounts of brain injuries.  So if you are an athlete, man!  Especially football, you need to be on magnesium.  You need to be getting lots of ketones being produced.  So ideally either lower carb.  But if it is glycolytic stuff, you want to get some MCTs in there, PQQ, CoQ10, magnesium is really important.  Again if you ever get head injury, one of the best things you can do is to go low calorie the next day or two to help increase cellular autophagy, to help clean up the damage.  And those are a couple of things sleep is used.  Like the last week, I have been going to bed at 10 o’clock and getting up at 7:30 to 8 o’clock and I have been feeling so much better because I have been listening to my body.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   I mean the past week I had to take a nap in the middle of the day because I was so exhausted.  But, man, I just felt so much better and so much more productive.  And this will mean l will listen to my body and say, “Hey, you need to, you know, shut it.”  And I mean that is what it feels like and what happens sometimes when people end up getting sick because they are evading sleep.  They are not giving anything back to their body and their body just does not know it.  I am going to have to shut you down for you.  And when you get sick and then we are going to force ourselves to stay in bed, you know what I mean?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So, I just felt like I did not get to that point but I was like, “You know what?  It is the middle of the day but I am going to take an hour nap before I go back to school.”  And I felt like so much better.  Yes, so sleep is super important.  It is no wonder why you might be cranky or grumpy, you cannot even focus.  And also like we talked about like the blood sugar regulation and how that throws off your decision making, your mood and your focus.  If you are not sleeping that is also going to mess with your metabolism and you are going to crave more of those things.  So it just makes it so much harder.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So you eat the right foods, you eat some more fat.  You want to balance it and make it balance per who you are individually.  But if you go to sleep more and you eat the right foods and preferably if you can some more fat it makes it a lot easier to regulate those cravings.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  Exactly.  So kind of my thing is, we have macronutrient quality.  I am macronutrient agnostic, meaning you just change the ratios up and down according to your needs.  Now my bias is low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate protein.  That is my bias because I kick ass there.  And I find a lot of people who are metabolically damaged kick ass there.  And a lot of people have been on a low fat movement so they just do so much better getting high quality fat in their diet.  But from there, there are some people that are athletes that are super, you know, healthy already and they may be able to handle a little bit of white rice or some sweet potatoes or a little bit of glucose from other safe starch sources.  So again, it is to figure out what works for you.  I ran people low carb, super low and then we ramp up and we will taper up exercise and we will see how we feel.  We may find that we do not want exercise that much and we just go super low ketogenic and then cycle in and out every three or four days.  And figure out kind of where you feel your best.

Baris Harvey:  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  So what do you think?  Are you ready to talk some supplements a little more?

Baris Harvey:  Let us talk some supplements.  Let us get to the fun part.  We always got to make sure that we will do the right things first.  Because like we said supplement is a supplement.  That is the whole point of it.

Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Baris Harvey:  But they are fun and that is why, you know, that is what we shoot at and keep at.  Let us talk some supplements.  Of course you talked about vitamin B12 as one of those basic things that should be covered.  You know, make sure that you are getting that.  Also you want to talk about this, it is not necessarily that new but it is starting to get a lot more coverage, the PQQ.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Let us talk about that and how it affects mitochondrial health and overall brain function.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  So PQQ is Pyrroloquinoline quinone   PQQ.  It was created in the 80’s I want to say or discovered in the 80’s basically through like a fermentation reducts reaction of a certain B vitamin in the gut bacteria.  There are a couple of things.  It helps with the regeneration of the mitochondria.  And mitochondria are like these little powerhouses of your cells.  They are like little furnaces that help create energy or ATP which is like the cellular currency that your body runs on.  It also helps regenerate mitochondria and that is important because guess what?  A lot of the medications that people are on, yes, they actually damage their mitochondria.  And a lot of the drugs and the pesticides and the environmental chemicals that are out there, yes, they also damage your mitochondria, too.  So a little bit of PQQ will be something that could be very helpful.  It is typically combined with CoQ10.  There are a couple of brands that are out there.  Dave Asprey has got a good one.  I have used his.  Typically the dose is between 10 to 40 mg depending on where you are at.  Like today I am already on 20 mg.  I will take another 10 hits after here just to keep me really focused and plowing through my day.  Let me think here.  My train of thought was just lost for a second.  I need some more PQQ. (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huhh.

Justin Marchegiani:  So yes, 20 to 40 mg tends to be a really good place.  There have been some studies in the show that helps with Parkinson’s.  It is also neuroprotective and helps with oxidative stress.  And oxidative stress is kind of, you know, the damage from free radicals which are little guys that come around and knock off little pieces of your DNA.  So that can be a good compound that is helpful.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  Talk a little bit about CoQ10 and maybe why that is linked up with it or even why that can be beneficial itself.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  So CoQ10 is a fuel used by the mitochondria as well.  It is basically kind of the coal in the mitochondrial furnace, if you will.  Very helpful.  A lot of people specially people that are on statins for instance, they are going to have problems with production of CoQ10 because the mevalonate pathway is blocked by the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme of the statin.  So just basically when the statin blocks the production of cholesterol downstream a couple of steps you are going to see CoQ10 produced.  So if you are on a statin definitely a no-no for your brain.  CoQ10 again is a cellular currency.  So if you are eating good grass-fed meats, you are having a little bit of glandular meat, you are going to do really, really well in that department.  If you are getting over 50 years old and/or you are on statin, you need to supplement with some CoQ10.  That is going to be very helpful.

Baris Harvey:  Okay.  Definitely.  Another kind of basic one that people might not forget or something that people should probably be taking anyway, let us talk about some omega 3 or like a DHA supplement.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so omega 3 you have two kinds of, well actually there are three more, there are three facets.  Alpha-linoleic acid which is the parent omega 3 comes from like flax.  Not a big fan of it because only about 10 or 20% of it gets converted into your 20 carbon and 22 carbon DHA and EPA.  So not a big fan.  If you are insulin resistant or you have inflammation you will not be able to make any conversion.  So getting some quality EPA.  EPA is going to be great to tune down inflammation.  DHA is going to be a better building block for the brain.  So getting high quality EPA and DHA in will feed your prostaglandin one and three pathways.  And these pathways are your natural anti-inflammatory.  They activate certain enzymes known as the cyclooxygenase enzymes or the COX enzymes.  These are the same enzymes that Vioxx knocked too much and it caused heart and stroke problems.  But when you take natural compounds they tend to have a modulating effect not a drug effect so you do not get all the side effects.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  Another one that is good for the brain and anti-inflammation is curcumin.

Justin Marchegiani:  Curcumin is excellent.  If you look at a lot of what the drug companies are doing today they are trying to create drugs that have derivative effects of turmeric or curcumin.  They are trying to create compounds that have the same effect.  Because if you look at what they are doing turmeric is having a massive effect at blocking various inflammatory mediating compounds, nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB), TNF alpha (TNF-a), C‑reactive protein, so very helpful.  Again if you are just taking turmeric and you have all these bad lifestyle habits, they are driving inflammation, again we kind of already addressed that.  But if you are doing your best to knock down inflammation and you are taking turmeric, it is just another way to just kick butt better.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  And I strongly recommend if you are going to do turmeric, I find that people do a little bit better with a liposomal turmeric.  There is a patented one by a company over at Italy; I want to say the company is Indena. The compound is trademarked as Meriva.  Yes, Mereva is great.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Liposomal better absorption.  Again a lot of turmeric does not get absorbed to the gut.  So liposomal tend to be a better way to go.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Liposomal is usually really good.  You said Meriva.  I know there are other ones that might have Meriva.  And they might have black pepper in it as well because black pepper is supposed to help with the absorption.  So these are the things that you should be looking for in your curcumin supplement.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  And also, the CoQ10 I use is liposomal as well.  I just see too many people that have gut issues so we want to use things that have a liposome, if possible because you are just going to maximize absorption, so CoQ10 with the liposome.  One of the brands that I use is called Q‑Best.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  I will try to put it on my store in my site so if people want to support the show they can go to the and they can check it out there, too.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  Another one that you can find like in your breakfast, like the eggs and maybe liver, is choline.  How about maybe choline or even things that are kind of other nutrients like Alpha GPC and Huperzine?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, these are just awesome compounds that are going to help with brain repair.  There was a study in Italy using Alpha GPC to reduce oxidative stress post-stroke.  Excellent stuff there.  There are actually some products that I have used that combined the Alpha GPC with the PQQ. Those worked very well.  We also have compounds like Piracetam or Aniracetam.  These are from the nootropic or racetam category.  Piracetam is water soluble.  Aniracetam is fat soluble.  You take the aniracetam with your butter and coffee is a good what to do it.  But that is going to up regulate and have an effect with GABA.  It is going to have an effect with GABA.  The mechanism really is not known too well but has effects in increasing vascularity, blood flow and also somewhat acting as a stimulant but also having a calming effect.  Because GABA has that like inhibitory relaxation effect, too.  So you get this steady relaxation yet you are very focused at the same time.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  And you will see things like Modafinil or a compound known as Deprenyl, also Provigil.  I think Modafinil and Provigil are the same names.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   They are the same.

Justin Marchegiani:  And they have a similar effect.  People do not know exactly how they worked.  But they activate some of these acetylcholine cholinergic ACh receptors that again affect the memory.  So, these are good things to try.  I always recommend using more of the nutrients before you go into some of these things.  Because you may find just using things like fish oil and turmeric and also one that everyone should have in their diet is magnesium.  Because our diets are so deficient in magnesium.  Just go to PubMed and type in incidence of magnesium deficiency and you will see like almost a 50% reduction in the last 50 or 60 years in our food.  So, getting a magnesium dimalate or a magnesium glycinate or if you have some brain issues you can use magnesium threonate and do a topical and have it go right to the brain and have a dampening anti-inflammatory effect.  Fair amount of studies on using magnesium to help with brain inflammation, there has been studies on rats, studies on people.  Dr. Russell Blaylock has found that when he put patients after brain surgery on magnesium, they recovered and did so much better than patients that were not put on magnesium.  And he was just looking at all of these counterparts that were not doing it.  And his patients would just get better faster just using things like turmeric, magnesium, fish oil and avoiding a lot of the oxidative stress compounds like glutamate and MSG and aspartame and Splenda.  Things that cause microglial activation, these are the white blood cells of the brain.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  Definitely makes a big difference.  Now you mentioned the racetams and these are kind of like weird category of like not really a hundred percent sure if they are supplements or they are pharmaceuticals.  They are kind of in between.  And always of course people need to be smart out there when it comes to these pharmaceuticals.    But how have you gotten a chance to use some of the racetams?  And give something like your experience about it.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  I have done well with Piracetam.  I pretty much top out about 800 mg.  I do well with that in my coffee.  Well, not in my coffee but I take it with my coffee.  I like PQQ 20 to 40 mg tends to do awesome.  Also a big fan of adrenal glandulars, you know.  Taking adrenal glandulars that have adrenal support tend to be helpful.  I am a big fan of adaptogenic herbs.  And these are a family of herbs that can help modulate their stress response up or down.  So if you are feeling low and you need that extra kick it will help bring you up.  If you are overly stressed it will help bring you down.  One of the biggest ones that I am just a huge fan of and then it also has a nice profile to help with sleep is Ashwagandha or withania somnifera.  Ashwagandha is actually Sanskrit, means something like to impart the strength of the horse.  So it is a pretty cool little translation.  But they did a study here.  I will kind of reiterate the study; it was double blind placebo control study.  And in 64 subjects and they were giving about 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice a day for 60 days.  So they started off the study giving people this General Health Questionnaire 28.  It is basically a questionnaire that has been kind of certified and assessed.  And it looks at anxiety.  It looks at insomnia.  It looks at social dysfunction and depression.  And then it also had an anxiety stress scale or the DASS along with it.  They looked at these various scales.  We can put it in the show notes.  But you are going to see the placebo and you will see the actual study where the groups that used the Ashwagandha right afterwards, massive, massive improvement in stress reduction with the group that were actually using the Ashwagandha.  Every single category improved.  The PSS questionnaire improved.  The GHQ questionnaire improved.  The Social Anxiety questionnaire improved.  And there was a significant difference in the modulation of the salivary cortisol as well, which is really cool.  And it was the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine.  Again, you are not going to see much of these studies here in the US because of the competition with the pharmaceutical companies.  You are just not going to see it but you will see it in other journals.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  And you know it is funny about that too, you mentioned a lot of these adaptogenic herbs.  But even if you go to the like the natural food store and you go the vitamin section and you grab a lot of these like brain boosting stacks.  A lot of them are going to have amino acids that kind of influence the mood, right?  Like L-tyrosine and L-theanine and GABA and all these different amino acids that are kind of like mood regulators.  And we notice that when we are in a good mood we are able to function better.  Like we mentioned before if you are grumpy if you are stuck in traffic and you are starting to yell, you are probably not going to make the best decisions.  You are not going to focus.  But when you are in a good mood, you are relaxed and you are able to focus.  And you feel better and you will make better decisions and you would eat better.  If your emotionally distressed and you have lower EQ you might end up like, “Oh, okay.  Well, maybe I am just going to eat like way too much dark chocolate and just eat a thing of ice cream and sit on my couch and watch a movie or something.”  Right?  So our mood is really important too.  And like you mentioned, there are a lot of drugs out there to cover up and change the mood.  So it is going to be hard competition in the US to kind of fight with the pharmaceutical mood enhancers.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.  And let me just read the conclusion of the study.  So again, this was a double blind placebo control study.  60 days with all the various questionnaires that assessed everything and all the salivary cortisol but also looked at the physiological stress response.  The conclusion was the finding of this study suggest that a high concentration of full spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves the individual’s decisions towards stress thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.  And that is the Journal of Indian Psychology and Medicine, 2012 July.  And I will shoot you over that link here, Baris and we will put it in the show notes.  But this is important.  Getting a high quality herb and again using the whole herb.   I find people tend to do better with the whole herb not just like a standardized extract but the whole herb.  And I try to make sure that the herbs that I procure are all organic and independently tested to make sure that there is no concentration of chemicals, arsenic or metal or things like that.

Baris Harvey:   Definitely.   Now one thing that we did not mention yet which is probably one that I think a lot of people use is caffeine.  So talk about caffeine real quick.

Justin Marchegiani:  So caffeine can be an awesome source, an awesome boost because it is going to help.  One, it is going to increase free fatty acid oxidation so your body is going to mobilize more free fatty acid and hopefully start to burn them for fuel.  Hence, if we are doing a little bit of caffeine in our coffee, right?  Caffeine also has same various alkaloids that are antioxidants.  If you are choosing good quality, clean coffee that is better without the pesticides and chemicals.  If we add in the butter, the butter is going to make the caffeine more time released.  Time release is good so we do not get the massive bolus of caffeine which is going to shoot up our blood sugar.  So we get more of a magic carpet caffeine ride, if you will.   And then we add in the MCT which is going to increase more fatty acid precursors in our blood stream.  It is like we got it made.  We are set.  We are stimulating more fat burning.  We are time releasing the caffeine so we are not getting a punctuated stress response but more of a time released.  And then we have the MCT which drives that precursor for ketones so our brains have a steady source of fuel for like 3 to 6 hours, it is great.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I have only used Piracetam before but meaning to try some of the others.  But I heard that caffeine actually helps with the racetam.  It actually helps basically make it work in a synergistic way.  So if you are taking one of those, having that Bulletproof Coffee might be even more beneficial.  So it is kind of neuroprotective and will help your brain function very well and then making sure that you are eating the right diet.  So maybe if you can pick and choose some of these other different stack that you might want to add in to try to up your performance.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And again like you got some studies here like the Cochrane Collaboration.  That is like a big review on collaborative that looks at studies and looks at med analysis.  They found like Piracetam, there was no evidence to support it.  But there are others studies out there that show positive effects with post-stroke.  There were studies out there that show positive effects following heart and brain surgery.  Positive effects with epilepsy and aphasia.  There were also positive effects with learning disability people.  So again, like why is the Cochrane Collaboration seeing a bad result?   I mean you got some studies and not all studies are created the same way.  So I think if you looked at some of the studies that were producing positive effects, you probably are going to see something different in the dosaging that it is there with the studies that were having negative effects.  And you see that a lot with herbs and nutrients where they are just using either bad quality nutrients or herbs or they are not using the therapeutic dose to get the right response.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Exactly.  Definitely.  Anything else that you want to add in?

Justin Marchegiani:  So with Piracetam I kind of topped out at 800 mg.  Figure out kind of where you are at.

Baris Harvey:   Same here.  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  I could not go higher.  I just felt like crap if I went higher.  So the big ones for me are going to be Ashwagandha, magnesium, let us see here, PQQ, CoQ10.  These are all simple ones.  You can add in the Piracetam.  The foundational stuff like MCT, good quality fat in your coffee, stabilizing blood sugar and sleep.   But I also said there are other families of adaptogenic herbs that work very well.  Some like Eleuthero or Siberian ginseng works excellent.  There is a protocol and is a Russian protocol that is used in a way to allow Eleuthero to have anabolic effects in increasing sex hormones like DHEA dehydroepiandrosterone.  And that is an anabolic sex hormone that if you look in the research, it is going to have a neuroprotective effect.  Just google DHEA and neuroprotective effects and you are going to have really good support there.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So using that, yes, that is another great way to boost up your anabolic sex hormones that will help repair your brain.  Even some people if they are adrenally stressed, taking a little bit sublingual bio-identical DHEA can be very helpful too, to protect your neurons.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.   Definitely.  Same thing here.

Justin Marchegiani:  Now one more thing, too.  If you are like a female who is menopausal with that sudden drop in estrogen come menopause, because your ovaries are not spitting it out like you used to when you were cycling, that sudden drop can actually cause brain inflammation.  And estrogen tends to be very anti-inflammatory.  The estriol especially tends to be very anti‑inflammatory for the brain.  So if you are menopausal and you are starting to have some issues, look at getting your adrenals looked at as well as getting your female hormone supported to help prevent that brain stress.  And also female hormones in women who are cycling low progesterone or estrogen dominance can also create brain stress.  And if you look at progesterone, that tends to also be very neuroprotective.  You just want to make sure you take it in an appropriate way so it does not screw up your cycle.  And in my opinion, I find cycling females do not do better with progesterone cream because you cannot time it right in their cycle and its spills over the follicular phase and just messes up the timing.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  And make sure that you are balancing it right.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Same thing here.  Doing a lot of the MCT.  Doing the different adaptogenic herbs on a daily basis.  I take turmeric.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is another good one.  Green tea.

Baris Harvey:  Turmeric and green tea.  Bacopa.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  On a daily basis.  So all of those are very beneficial and I am making sure that I am getting a lot of fats in my diet.  Usually when I am making a smoothie, my sweetener is usually going to be berries.  Like frozen wild berries.  So I am making sure that they are not like super-duper sweet.  But I am getting a lot of the lower glycemic type fruits that have more of the antioxidants.  And then at the end I might dump a couple of you know, three raw eggs in there and I am getting some of the B vitamins and choline and different parts of each of that bringing a lot of those brain nutrients in there.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, there was a study looking at blueberries because of the OPCs in the blueberry, the oligomeric proanthocyanidins.  They are the various anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids.  They did a study looking at blueberries and it having a reduced neurological inflammatory effect.  So that is pretty cool.  Just a handful of blueberries.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Exactly.  Let food be thy medicine.  And it is so crazy that we are looking at food right here and how it can be beneficial but somehow we are just like, “Oh, yes we will just wait for people to have Alzheimer’s and just give them drugs.”  Or we can just eat really, really good food.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, yes.  And then also I forgot to even mention one last thing, gut infections can definitely cause brain inflammation.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Because these gut infections, whether it is SIBO producing lithocholic acid or endotoxins or mycotoxins from fungus or the various biotoxins from parasites, these can create toxins and poison the brain.  I mean, acetaldehyde produced from fungus can make you feel drunk and brain fogged.  I find with people going on an anti-candida program, if it is candida they feel significantly better.  If they have gut infections, getting rid of those infections help them feel significantly better.  If they have conditions like Lyme or Lyme co-infections like ehrlichia or bartonella or babesia or things like that, getting those infections cleared out and supporting the immune system they do feel a lot better.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   So just making sure that we eat right for our type.  And if we can, if our body allows us, probably more fats, right?  And some of these really high quality MCT fats.  Making sure that we get enough sleep and treating ourselves right, just relaxation, making sure we have high quality sleep.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Moving appropriately and making our muscles move and increasing our brain capacity.  Like we interviewed, Oh, my goodness! I am losing it.  The guy from… See now I am going to feel bad.  I have not eaten all these beneficial foods yet this morning so my brain is not super on point.  But I will remember it eventually.  But he talked about…

Justin Marchegiani:  Is this the guy that does the all-day energy diet?

Baris Harvey:  No, no, no.

Justin Marchegiani:  Not Yuri?  Okay.

Baris Harvey:  Not Yuri but do what you love for exercise, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So if you can, if you want to play like basketball or tennis…

Justin Marchegiani:  Are you thinking about Mark Sisson?

Baris Harvey:  Not Mark Sisson.

Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Baris Harvey:  We interviewed him when we did..

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I think you are thinking of Kevin Geary from Rebooted Body.

Baris Harvey:  Kevin Geary, there you go.  Rebooted Body.  I was thinking of a fit life.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Kevin Geary, yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, I had the K in my head but just not, yes, Kevin Geary when he talked about do what you love.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Hiking and doing all these things.  Especially if you can have like some kind of sport.  You are going to be involving your brain more, right?  So these are fun ways that you can do things.  Go swimming, move your body and your brains is going to get activated and plus you are going to be put in a good mood.   So when you are in a better mood you are more motivated to do what you need to do.  I find it a lot easier when I am happy and I am in a good mood.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  I am going to cook a really good meal that is healthy for me versus like I feel crap.  It is really easy to fall right into the trap to be like, “Well, let me just order a pizza.”  You know what I mean?  So making sure that you get these things down.  Eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, moving your body and then the cherry out on the top is once you get those foundational things put down what kind of supplement can you do to get to the next level, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And like you mentioned before if you still have, you have mentioned this analogy before, you still feel that e-break.  Like you are working so hard but there are still things that are not there, you probably have some things still holding you back.  And you mentioned the gut infections.  You might be eating some food that you might be sensitive to, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So making sure that we get those out of the system.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, making sure if you got hormonal stress, get your adrenals or thyroid looked at.  If you got chronic infections or leaky gut stuff get your gut looked at.  Again, if your thyroid is not working well, you need thyroid hormone to activate basically cellular metabolism in almost all cells.  So if you got low thyroid hormone, you want to get that fixed because taking PQQ or even CoQ10 is not going to be the answer.  It will be a Band-Aid but would not be the real true answer.  So we have like things in the functional medicine hierarchy that should be in alignment before we do other things.  But it is just a good starting point.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, yes, yes.  Definitely, it sounds awesome.  Anything else that you want to add today?

Justin Marchegiani:  I would say everyone or anyone listening that wants to start this out and just get their diet and their blood sugar and their sleep going first, start their day with momentum.  Whether it is getting up and doing the Tabata or a high intensity interval.  Having some good protein and fat to start their day, put some MCT or butter in their coffee.  Take a little bit of magnesium or some adaptogenic herbs to start your day.  You are going to just create momentum and momentum continues to create more momentum.  And just starting your day on these upper planes so you feel like you are running downhill not running uphill is always helpful.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode.  Make sure that you guys go to ITunes and leave a review.  So if you go to there is a button right there that you just click and it will send you right to it.  It makes it really easy.   Continue to send in your questions.  So if you guys have any questions that you want answered from any of the doctors, make sure that you send that in.  If you guys have somebody that is like a great doctor that you have or a great practitioner that you have read their book and we might have not come across them, send us an email and we will go ahead and check them out and see if we might want to bring them on the show.  Because there are always these awesome people that are popping up but you know sometimes they are not always on our radar for a while.  So if you guys have any suggestions for a guest or someone who you want to hear on the show, let us know and we will reach out to them and see if we can get them on the show.  If you guys are finding that you might have any of these e‑break like symptoms and you feel like you are not going 100% like you could be, make sure that you go to and schedule yourself a consultation.  So that way, Dr. Justin can do his detective work and see if there is something hidden that you have not found that could be holding you back.  And again go to and signup for the newsletter.  That is the best way to stay updated and have all of the information available to you.  So thank you guys again.  Go ahead.

Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks so much, Baris and everyone listening.  Sharing is caring.  So keep sharing the show with all of your friends and family that could benefit.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Thank you.

Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks have a good one.

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