How Your Iron Levels Are Negatively Affecting Your Health | Podcast #346

Iron is a mineral part of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs and throughout the body.

Dr. J and Evan also discuss identifying underlying issues to deal with them effectively. You could be having digestive problems, menstruating for women, or you’re not eating the right foods to source iron or adequately absorb it. So if your body doesn’t have enough iron, it won’t get enough oxygen, and your cells (powered by oxygen) won’t function efficiently. Suppose you’re experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency.

In that case, Dr. J and Evan suggest consuming vitamin C to help increase iron absorption, eat iron-rich plant foods, and have yourself tested to have comprehensive test results and fix your health issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:19:       What is iron deficiency and how to test it?

5:36:      Iron-rich food template

10:04:    Other issues to consider when dealing with iron deficiency

17:09:    Iron deficiency in men

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are are live! It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to talk about about iron levels and how can they negatively impact your health. Of course, we have two sides of the same coin here. We have high iron and low iron. And then, high irons going to be a bigger issue, right? Men don’t menstruate and women potentially, low iron is going to be a bigger issue because women menstruate every month at cycling; it’s a cycling age. Menopausal women, when their cycle tends to cease, then there could be more issues there. But out of the gates, women iron is going to be an issue. Most of the time if it’s hormonal issues and men’s going to be the opposite. We’re going to dive in and give you guys a crush course on both sides of the fence. Evan, how are you doing today, man?

Evan Brand: Doing well! Let’s jump right in. So looking at blood work. If you’re looking at a female, you and I test ferritin which we find conventional medical doctors rarely test ferritin. Ferritin being the iron storage protein and I did a whole video on Youtube. Those are my most popular videos ever on low ferritin and hair loss. We’ve seen how if your ferritin is let’s say 20, that’s far too low. You’re going to experience maybe some shortness of breath, major hair loss. If we can get the ferritine to 70, 80, or 90, women feel much better. Their hair stops falling out and they can catch their breath. So do you mind like, teasing a part when you’re looking at these labs, like total iron versus a ferritin. If you see a female with low total iron, are you really prioritizing that or are you after ferritin or are you going after both? How do you approach it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well the first thing that we look at with iron, we have to see how low it is.Okay? There’s func- I consider functionally low levels of iron. And um, and there could be um, you know more, I just say more acute levels of iron that are are more low. Right? We could have functional imbalances versus the more anemic that conventional medical doctors would say you’re low in iron. We have both side of the fence, right? We have the functional issues, and we have the pathological issues. So the first thing we look at is going to be a CBC, right? On the CBC we’re going to look at red blood cells, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. If we see those start to get low, especially red blood cells you’re going below 4, hemoglobin into the 11, hematocrit below 30s, we have problems. Danger will rob– the red blood cell size is dropping which is the hallmark of low iron. Because we need iron that attaches to hemoglobin that help us carry oxygen. So we have hypochromic microcytic anemia. These are going to be smaller red blood cells, right? Smaller blood cells are going to be on the iron side. On the B12 side, it’s actually the opposite; they’re actually bigger. It’s called megaloblastic anemia. They’re actually too big. The red blood cells are opposite. We think of humans, we start off as babies and as we get bigger right? Red blood cells, they start off bigger and they actually get smaller as they get older. And so, B12 is needed to mature. Red blood cells, and so if we don’t have enough B12, you’re stock in this more immature state which is bigger, and you don’t have enough B12 than you can’t get smaller. Now with the iron, it’s actually the opposite. You actually get too small when the iron is too low. And of course, you can’t carry oxygen which is really important because aerobic metabolism which is how we mostly generate energy requires oxygen. And so that’s like, you know partly the kreb cycle, the electron transport chain, and all that stuff um, requires oxygen. So on that front, just kind of out of the gates there, we’re looking at um, iron from that perspective. Red blood cells, CBC, hemoglobin, and then we can dive deeper into an actual iron panel. And that’s we’re going to look at serum iron, that’s going to look at iron in the blood. Then we can look at ferritin. It’d going to look at our storage form of iron. So iron serum and ferritin are two different things. So think of, You’re driving a car, right? You have your check engine,Or should say you have your gas gate, right, for your fuel, right. Your fuel gauge that’s kind of your ferritin. Are you on full are you an empty? The iron serum, that’s the fuel that’s in the– ready to be, ready to be um, combusted to generate energy. Think of iron serum, that’s what’s in the engine, that’s what’s in the blood right away. Ferritin is going to be what’s in the gas tank. So you know of course If you see iron low on the serum side, you wanna look deeper but it’s not beol or endol. You have to look deeper on what’s  in the gas tank. That’s where iron serum um, sorry, that’s where ferritin will be more helpful and other markers like Iron saturation can be helpful too. Because that tells you how saturated the cells are, and also things like binding proteins. Um those tend to do the opposite, those tend to go up When iron goes um, goes down. So think about it, thinking about iron binding proteins is like fingers right. The more or hands right, the more hungry you are the more hands reaching out to grab stuff right. And so your body creates this protein and will try to reach out and grab these extra irons to create more binding proteins when iron is lower. It’s trying to get that much iron into the cells as possible. Does that make sense out of the gates?

Evan Brand: Yeah it’s a great breakdown. The analogy is super helpful. Because you know some of the blood chemistry training that you and I have looked at, some of the doctors, they will talk about the importance of ferritin. But that visualization of the gas tank Makes a whole lot of sense because you have doctors, if they do recognize low iron, they’ll treat that. But then if you see low ferritin, The woman still doesn’t have the results she’s looking for with regards to hair loss and catching her breath and all that. So once you get the ferritin levels up, Which typically I go for lactoferrin. What are you doing in terms of trying to get the ferritin back up? I know optimizing the gut is some of it, we can talk about that. But what about just straight supplements?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So first thing is you may see higher levels of iron in women that may have low iron. So you have to look at all the markers that I’ve mentioned because if they are inflamed, iron is also a reactive oxygen species right? Think of it as like It’s kind of inflammable if you will and so, and so when you are in inflamed because of poor food, poor diet issues, or toxicity issues, you may have higher levels of iron ferritin because of inflammation. If you’re really inflamed i always I like to make sure that it calm the inflammation down a little bit first before throw iron in there, it’s like gasoline in the fire. So you really want to make sure you know if iron’s really high or looks really high and then we see some inflammation markers like CRP also high, we see a lot of symptoms, right? Brain fog, joint pain, energy issues; Maybe we wait a little bit before we jump on that iron train right away. Maybe we just chew some iron rich foods, you know on the animal side and work on getting the inflammation down. So it depends upon where they’re at.

Evan Brand: That’s smart, let me comment on that real quick. That’s really smart and really wise to say, because people would just jump on that iron train right? Those doctors who prescribe iron probably low-quality form which is going create constipation and other problems. And if they are already having high iron Information due to some toxicity, that makes them worse. I had one high iron when I was first exposed to mold. I actually look back on some of my olde levels. My ferritin was high, my iron was high. And i did some pretty high potent seed turmeric extract, and i was able to get the iron back down. And i’m sure the blood donations may have helped too. But it was interesting to see that on paper, how my exposure to toxicity cranked that up a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and then There is a marker called Seruplasman Which is a marker for copper So sometimes copper and also affect iron as well. Again i’m not too worried of copper If you’re like Paleo and you’re eating high quality organic meat and high quality animal products.   close your typically going to see the zinc and iron products cause you also have copper in there. So i don’t typically get worried about copper unless we’re really I don’t know, eating a lot of plant-based products. And we’re kind of deficient and some of those minerals, and so eating good quality animal products may not be that big of a deal. And also it’s good to look at if we’re doing iron, If someone is vegan or vegetarian, you know there’s different kinds of iron that we use right? So in my line, i have a product called vegan supreme which is an iron disglycente which is found in the glycine, which is good. It it’s better like conventional medicine which is ferrous sulfate which will be more constipating, leaving the stool black-er and darker. Glycinate  tend to be pretty well absorbed so i like that in the glycine Which is same kind of amino acid and collagen and bone broth so i like that. Also, i would say depending on vegan vegetarian you may want to add some grass fed liver. Something like that that’s going to have some other nutrients like B12, vitamin A in there as well. Just depends upon how good or bad someone’s diet is too, if they can eat animal products. And so…

Evan Brand: How about lactoferrin? Do you use lactoferrin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean lactoferrin it’s like it’s like a protein right? It’s gonna also… Yeah, it’s like a milk protein like it increases iron levels, kind of vitamin C in a senseWhere it increases that binding in absorption of iron, is that correct?

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen like a couple of iron lactoferrin combos that we’ve used. Man, it’s like rocketfield to get women back up really quickly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah for me i don’t typically use lactoferrin in general. I’ll do my iron supreme which is the bisglycinate, And then i’ll throw in some potential iron granular Is there a not eating enough animal products (Evan: like a liver) Yeah, like a liver glandular and a little bit vitamin C on top of that. But um, don’t you know, I see a lot of guys out there. I see people say “Don’t eat vitamin c, it’s going to increase your iron.” No, if you’re a guy, eat vitamin C it’s not a problem. It’s in every leafy green vegetable, every high quality fruit that’s out there, it’s too Important. Guys the solution to iron is just give blood. Get a comprehensive blood test once or twice a year. Maybe give blood once a year um, twice a year depending on how many blood tests you get, just give blood is the solution. Don’t avoid nutrient dense food that have vitamin c that would increase your iron. Just give blood and do some testing. Keep it simple.

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s the fun part. When you do comprehensive panels like we’re doing. I just donated a blood, got blood work this morning. I gave a lot of tubes. It was probably not much as a donation, it wasn’t a pint but for me, it was a good slow drip out of my system If i’m running some blood panels throughout the year. And you get data. You get data out of it too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s fun for sure So we talk about you know how to assess these are patterns right? We have our general cbc, we have Iron panel that will include Iron serum, ferritin, Iron saturation um, TIBC, UIBC, which are your similar binding proteins. You can also look up reticulocytes for baby red blood cells you’re losing blood. You’re gonna see a lot more red blood cells because the babies are being formed to kind of filling the gap of the older adult cells that were losing it; it there’s an ulcer or some kind of tummy bleed, IB you know, Irritable bowel disease kind of bleed in the intestines or colon or wherever. So that’s helpful to look at. And in general, you know, if you’re vegan, vegetarian, and you have a history of not getting iron in your body, you gotta fix that. That’s whole different podcast conversation about animal products. We’ll, you guys can go back to our channel, search for that, we had conversations, just on those topics. The second issue for women Is just to get rid of the hormonal Imbalances that are causing you to bleed too much. So if you are bleeding four more tampons, 4-2 days or more, probably just menstruating too much, you know classic cases of hemorrhagic if you will. And there’s probably a lot of estrogen dominance, way higher estrogen, lower levels of progesterone. Maybe progesterone is falling out soon in the cycle and some of the things are diving just excess bleeding and that’s possible too, and you gotta get to the root cause of why that is. Estrogen dominance usually some adrenal stress that affects some underlying issue that is causing that. And of course if you have a lot of digestive inflammation, whether in the stomach area or intestines, or lack of stomach acid, or enzyme you may not be able to break down the high-quality animal products that you’re consuming  that could also create a bottleneck of absorption.

Evan Brand: Yeah when somebody here’s that, they might not realize how big of an impact that could be, right? When somebody here’s what you’re saying. It’s like “oh this gut Ingestion, digestion blah blah blah” But we’ve seen it on paper and clinically Where you have women that are eating paleo, doing breastfed meet, doing a great job with diet, and they’re still very low. Some of it like you said high you know, the excess menstruation but, i’ll tell you personally i’ve seen big changes with my wife’s energy levels after clearing her gut infections out. And we knew that she was having malabsorption. So, and so I mean when your 40 50 or 60 and beyond, you are making Left stomach acid due to age even if you’re eating that grass fed steak, and that liver capsule, who knows how much you’re getting from that. So to me, i think enzymes will be part of a good Iron supporting protocol because you know, people will say you are what you eat. But really, you are what you digest from what you eat. So i think This is a good point to bring up enzymes and acids to make sure that if you have H.Pylori Infection that could be something to address, that will be driving the low iron. Is that a safe statement to say? Is h pylori that big of a smoking gun, that it could drive blow iron due to the malabsorption?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, i mean there’s always you know. There’s always going to be different degrees of how that infection is causing a stress in your body. If it’s there, it’s chronic, it’s creating a lot of  inflammation, digestive wise enzymes have dropped significantly. That may impair your ability to absorb usually there is going to be symptoms that will tell you the severity you know, just things like not having a good bowel movement, having a lot of bloating, or  gassing, or flatulence, and gut inflammation, those are pretty good signs there’s stress going on there. Um, looking at your stools, how formed do they look, are you regular, are there undigested stool pieces in your stool? Those are all pretty good ideas that you’re on a bad track. So it’s good to look at that. Of course if you have chronic iron, and you’re fixing menstruation issues, you’re eating meat, you’re adding in Digestive support that’s all great. You probably want to look deeper and get your got tested and see if there are other bugs in your gut like SIBO, or just general dysbiosis, or parasites or h.pylori, or other issues that could be in place. You gotta look at all of it.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And you mention the inflammation I mean. That could be exposure, that could be the diet, it’s simple. It sound simple but It’s still worth mentioning. We still have so many women that are going to the starbucks drive-thru and getting a pastry, a bagel or a muffin, or whenever, and they have their coffee and that’s it. That’s it for their breakfast and they wonder why they are exhausted. I mean nutrient density is just foundational.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, nutrient density is really important and um, to really have good nutrient density You have to be eating some level of animal products. You’re just not going to get same level of nutrient density from an amino acids standpoint. You’re not going to get the iron, the b12. It’s harder to get the fat soluble vitamin A, I mean you can get some from b12, I mean some from beta-carotene but, you won’t get enough. And if you have insulin resistance, you won’t convert b12, you won’t convert beta-carotene well. You also won’t convert a lot of your ALA-based omega 3. It’s like flax and Chia. You won’t convert that to your longer chain EPA and Your DHEA fats which are good for inflammation in your brain. There’s a lot of precursor things that We just assume like “Oh, we’re getting iron from spinach. I’m going to convert that non-heme iron to non-heme based iron right.” No, I’m getting enough bioflavonoids In my vegetables that are vitamin A right? Well, no. That’s beta-carotene you may not convert that. Or same thing with um, i’m trying to think here what other analogies that you can do. So You have the plant-based iron, you have beta-carotene stuff, you have the vitamin, I’m trying to thank you for what else um, zinc and a lot of your minerals may be tied up in antinutrient plants. You might think you’re getting a lot of this vitamins and minerals but you may be having them tied up with a lot of antinutrients – the lectins, fitates, the mineral blockers, the trypsin inhibitors,  and so you might think you’re getting some of these things on the nutrient label but, there might be some absorptions because of this nutrient blockers. Proteolytic enzyme blockers.

Evan Brand: That’s a good point. So far vegetarians-vegans listening, if you could get them on liver capsules, you’d say get them on some pastured liver would be a great option. If their opposed to that even, I mean what do you do? I’ve seen women from paper suffered for years, and I honestly just used the labs as justification to push them harder into something like liver capsules if they just absolutely don’t wanna do the meat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah liver capsules or going to be ideal That’s where i put my iron supreme which is a ferrous-glycinate, and add in some amino acids like collagen and some kind of free form amino acid to get the protein of without antinutrients and carbs in there as well ‘cause a lot of vegan vegetarian proteins, they’re just very carb heavy right? Rice and beans, quinoa, they’re just you know, they’re just 60, 80% carbohydrate for the protein to get in. So it’s hard if you need to keep your carbs down for insulin, For inflammation or fat burning means it’s hard to do that If you try to stick to a vegan vegetarian diet I need you can do that if you’re adding some protein or rice protein but then, you’re heavily reliant on processed food for most of your protein. And that’s not great so we don’t want to have things to be so processed, like we have to be overly reliant. It probably tells us that your diet needs to be tweaked and adjusted if you’re heavily reliant on processed food to get your nutrients up.

Evan Brand: Yep. Well said. So men definitely get your iron tested too I mean females are probably gonna be more symptomatic than men, meaning, the fatigue, the hair loss-that kind of thing with the low iron. But man, you can have symptoms from that. I will tell you i’ve had, when i went to donate blood, I found my hemoglobin was very high. They’ll cut you off by 20 It’s above 20. You have to get a prescription to donate blood, and then back at the therapeutic blood donation but I would like a 19.6. I felt like I was going to be mentally foggy, mentally cloudy and certainly more brain fog, and I would say my energy levels were a little bit less. And I ask some of the donation people like, “What would you think i will experience based on this level of hemoglobin?” They were like “Oh, man you’re high.” And I go like, “Ok, what should I feel like?” And they actually said exactly what I felt. They thought you would feel cloudy and then I would remember this feeling when donating a pint, boom! It was like this release. Like literally almost like an energy drink after I got that excess iron out. So i tell you, it’s very very therapeutic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and again iron is going to cause oxidative stress. So if you’re a male, and you are over accumulating iron you know, give blood. Get some therapeutic functional tests doneSo you’re actually losing blood via the testing means. And make sure that you know, taking in a really good high antioxidants you know, through organic vegetables, maybe low sugar fruit. Because at least the antioxidants that you’re getting in will help at least buffer the oxidative stress from the iron right? So at least you want to make sure Antioxidant levels from fruits and vegetables Are dialed in and we’re getting healthy. You know antioxidants and maybe through curcumin or other high quality nutrients that help buffer some of that, help offset some of it.

Even Brand: Yeah yeah cool well If you want to get tested uh, Dr Justin able to run blood work, I’m able to run blood work, we do it around the world which is pretty cool; I guess, technically blood work that we do In the United States. Little tricky internationally for blood work (Dr. J: It’s still better but it’s harder), yeah it is harder but for the other, for the functional testing which you can do functional blood testing and that’s what we do. Our panels are much more comprehensive than what you’re going to get down the street from your doctor. So if you need help you can you can reach out And just please let us know If you have trouble a lot of time people are begging their physicians to run a comprehensive fire oide panel, run the antibody, to run the ferritin, you shouldn’t have to beg someone to get these markers done. This is very simple we can literally get your requisition form the same day. You go straight to the lab, you don’t have to beg somebody to run it. So if you need help, please reach out to Dr. J or me Evan Brand We would love to help you with this and other related things too. Whether it’s gut Infections we need to look for Four sources of inflammation driving this. There’s probably some root cause It’s not just magically going to happen like this. There’s probably a couple others– you know, It’s an entangled spider web If you will. So we’re going to kind of tease that. We love doing that; it’s very rewarding when you see a woman who is buying all these hair loss control shampoos and these special products and their get sucked in into by their hair salon, and they just simply needed to optimize their ferritin levels.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah if your iron levels are low, It can impact your thyroid. If your iron levels are low, it can impact your adrenals because you need high quality you need to carry oxygen to be able to um, you have aerobic metabolism, you need to carry oxygen to have good thyroid function. If you don’t have good thyroid hormones Important for stimulating hair to grow, and of course if you’re not breaking down your protein, and or iron you’re not going to be absorbing all the proteins and facts to build up your hair to make our hair healthy. So all those things can play a major role. So guys get blood, get some testing done. Women, make sure people in general, women especially make sure you’re eating high quality animal products or at least something right. Maybe eat some egg yolk. Maybe eat some liver capsules. Just try to do something that ‘s going to meet the middle of it. And then outside of that, get tested as well, and if you’re female and you’re bleeding, you gotta look at the estrogen dominance, and you gotta look at the progesterone. Conventional medicine is just going to throw birth control pills at you and that’s not going to fix the issue. It’s actually going to compound and make the problem worse because estrogen pills can lower B vitamins-B-12, and Folate, and calcium. It can lower other nutrients and it actually makes your estrogen dominance worse right. It’s giving you more estrogen; giving you a consistent level which is better you know, having the up and down but, it’s not fixing all of the hormonal imbalances; Just covering things up. So If you want to get to the root cause, reach out to Evan Brand or myself Dr. J at, we’re here to help.

Evan Brand: Amen! You did a great job. I think we killed it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright. Excellent. By the way, what are my ranges, uh, ferritin 30-40 enough for women, uhm, men you know 60-80sh i think pretty good for that, iron saturation 25 and up. And i think it’s a pretty good kind of starting point there. Maybe binding proteins below 300 that’s a pretty good thing out of the gates.

Evan Brand: Yeah, i had a woman with a ferritin level of 6 She can hardly get up a flight of stairs because she was so short out of breath, her hair was falling out In clumps, her husband is mad at her because she was clogging the shower all the time. Once we got her ferritin back up to the 50s, her hair stopped falling out. She felt so much better. She can run of the stair without passing out. I mean, it was just incredible so don’t underestimate this. I know you guys listen to us on a regular basis. Even some clients they tell us they listen to us while going to sleep. Don’t sleep on this issue. This is something you really got to address.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s an important issue for sure. And for guys, with low iron yeah, vegetarian-vegan, make sure you’re not doing that. Vegetarian vegan, look at the gut. You are probably not absorbing or digesting or breaking It down. Get the gut, look deeper. All right Evan, have a phenomenal day, man! Great chatting with you!

Evan Brand: Take care now you too.


Audio Podcast:

Recommended products:

Iron Supreme

Genova NutrEval FMV

Comprehensive Bio-Screen Blood Test


The Root Cause and Solution of Your Stomach Burning and Upper Left Quadrant Pain | Podcast #355

Pain in your upper left (UL) abdomen under your ribs can have a variety of causes. Several vital organs exist in this area, including the spleen, kidney, pancreas, stomach, colon, and lung. One of the most common origins of these issues is due to digestive problems. Heartburn typically happens when acid comes back up from the stomach into the esophagus. It can result in discomfort and a burning sensation in your chest. The pain can feel burning, sharp, or cause a tightening sensation.

Additionally, Gastroesophageal Bowel Disease, commonly called acid reflux, is a condition that occurs when you experience heartburn more than two times each week. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also a chronic condition that involves a group of intestinal symptoms that usually occur together. The symptoms can differ in severity and duration from person to person. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) also includes any disorder that can cause inflammation in your gut; the most common of these conditions is Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. J and Evan emphasized that having your daily food and environment checked. Possible modification is a basic essential thing to do to avoid gut issues that can compromise overall health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:32    Stomach Burning and Irritation

8:48   Causes of Stomach Cancer, General Inflammation

14:27  Herbs

19:26  Bacterial Overgrowth causing Stomach Problems

27:41  Mood, Stress, Depression and Anxiety Conditions

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. Evan, how are we doing today, my friend? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing great. You ready to dive in and talk about heartburn? One of the most common issues one of the trending issues that’s always trending because us as a modern society, we have a lot of issues with hypochlorhydria, which is the technical term for low stomach acid. And so you and I are going to break down some of the reasons some of the root causes some of the triggers, and then some of the solutions. So where do you want to start? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a great question. So out of the gates here, we’re chatting about what h pylori stomach burning stomach irritation, so there’s a lot of root causes here. I would say out of the gates here, let’s hit H. pylori first. 

Evan Brand: Let’s do it. So I had H. pylori. So I’ll tell you from personal experience, and you and I clinically have seen many, many, many cases of H. pylori, let’s start with a conventional approach to it. So first of all, the testing for H pylori is not very good in the conventional world. And there’s an issue with false negatives. Luckily, the DNA stool test that we use is very effective, and we can find it very accurately. And conventional treatment is going to be what’s called triple therapy, or sometimes quadruple therapy, which is three or four antibiotics at the same time to try to kill this helicobacter infection, which if you look at the microscopic photo of it, it kind of looks like a jellyfish, it’s got this creepy little look to it with a creepy little tail. It’s not a pretty little bugger, but man, it causes damage to those parietal cells which secrete stomach acid. And this is something that was very controversial for many times until the researcher actually infected himself with H. pylori and gave himself an ulcer. Right? You and I talked about that story before. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that was Dr. Marshall. I think in the in the mid 80s. He couldn’t get funding for his research. So he’s like, hell, let me be the subject. And so he just infected himself with it. And h pylori, like you mentioned, is that he had a co shaped helix shaped kind of bacteria that kind of burrows into the gut lining. This it’s controversial because, well, I shouldn’t say it’s controversial, we know that it can cause ulcers and stomach inflammation, we know that it can affect acid secretion. Now, a lot of people complain that it’s an increase your acid levels, H. pylori tends to actually decrease acid levels. It creates an enzyme called urease, which takes the metabolite from urea protein metabolism, it turns it into co2, and then also ammonia and ammonia is got a pH of 11. So in the typical urea breath test for H pylori, they give you a bunch of urea. And the whole thought process is if you have h pylori, you’re going to have more of that urease. And that urease is going to convert that urea into ammonia and co2, then thus a positive co2 level is going to be give you the H pylori indicative for a breath test. Now that ammonia has got a pH of 11. So it will start to neutralize and start to move your stomach pH in the more alkaline direction. So kind of one to six is going to be your acidic scale, okay? One is going to be 10 times more acidic than two, two times 210 times more acidic than three, and then you get to seven, which is going to be neutral, that’s your water. And then everything above that base are alkaline, right? And so ammonia is that 11. So you’re taking that pH in your stomach that should be around one and a half to two and a half and you’re moving it more neutral. And so of course, that can affect a whole bunch of problems in your stomach from indigestion, dyspepsia, you’re not breaking down your proteins, you’re not activating your enzymes. And also H. pylori can thin out that gut lining. So part of the reason why people feel like it creates more acidity is because your gut lining gets thinner, your gut lining gets thinner that’s making you more sensitive to acid in your stomach. It’s kind of like if I got a sunburn, right? If I got a sunburn, and I went out the next day in the sun, did the sun get hotter? Well, it feels harder when I’m in the sun with a sunburn, right? Did the sun get hotter? No, it is your skin’s more sensitive. That’s when you’re out in the sun. It feels like it’s 150 degrees out but it’s not. It’s the same thing with your intestine you got a sunburn got that feels more irritated. Thus that acidity the acid that you’re putting in there may cause some irritation just like going out with a sunburn. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great analogy check your microphone to it sounds like it may switch to your headset, make sure it’s on your USB and I’m going to riff on h pylori for a minute because my personal experience with it was not fun. I lost a lot of weight and I was kind of freaking out honestly like I lost so much weight and I couldn’t stop it and no was no shortage of calories. I was eating plenty of good meats and good fats and I just kept losing weight and I think h pylori is really one of those big stepping stones or maybe the better analogy is the domino effect. And once the age polarize there, as you mentioned, it kind of in activates your enzymatic process. So your pancreatic enzyme function, the release of the stored bile from the gallbladder is going to slow down or be reduced. So this is what I think leads to a lot of the SIBO or the bacterial overgrowth dysbiosis problems that you and I see clinically because when we find h pylori, we go down to page three of the stool tests and then boom, now we see Prevotella and klebsiella and Pseudomonas And all these other bacteria that are thriving so many people have heard of SIBO because it’s trendy, and they’ll come in and they’ll do SIBO protocols. But if they don’t get rid of the H pylori, I’m convinced that’s one of the smoking guns that allows the dysbiosis to take place. So, long story short, if you’re someone listening, if you’ve treated your gut before using antimicrobial herbs, or possibly even antibiotic therapy, and you didn’t get better, or maybe you got better and you relapsed, consider that you’ve missed one of two things mold toxin, which is weakening the immune system or number two h pylori, and it could be coming from your spouse. So if your spouse is not being treated, they could have reinfected you and that’s why you’re on the merry go round and you can’t get off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So h pylori is one of the first things now, people say, well, a large percent of the population has h pylori, and that that is true. And so the question is, are you immunocompromised with that h pylori is an issue we’re not. There are a lot of people that can survive on four or five hours a night sleep. But once you become stressed, and your adrenals become dysfunctional, and your diets been poor for a while, that four or five hours of sleep may not be enough. So you have to look at the context of the person for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. It sounds decent. It could just be the bitrate or something I do believe you have it on your USB now. It just sounds like it’s a little grainy, but it I know on our local and it will be just fine. So it’s, it’s plenty good enough for today. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, excellent. All right. So out of the gates here, just kind of hitting all the right things that we’re chatting about. So we talked about the susceptibility for H. pylori, right. h pylori is going to be one of these things that may be a problem in people that have symptoms. So if you have symptoms, if you have issues, we want to look at that and the gates for sure. I think that’s gonna be a top priority. Anything else you want to highlight regarding other infections? I know SIBO was another one that could potentially affect digestibility and your stomach cebo is going to hit more of your small intestine, but some of that bacteria overgrowth can move its way and migrate to the stomach as well for the gastric area. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well, I think H pylori is probably the biggest smoking gun but like you’re not talked about many times, you can have permission to have multiple things wrong with you. Right? You said that so it’s funny because we’ll see Candida will see bacteria will see H Pylori, which is bacteria will see parasites will see worms. So the cool thing is when we come in with the testing, we’re often using full spectrum herbs. And what I mean by that is we’re going to try to knock out Candida bacterial overgrowth, the H pylori, the parasites, often we can do it in one fell swoop. And it’s really fun to do this in children or young adults, because they tend to get better faster. Like if I see a five to 15 year old kid and we’re working with them. It’s amazing how much faster they get better than like a 70 year old adult, for example. It’s something that I think shows the immune system being weak long term, this can be a bigger problem. So when you hear about stomach cancer, and the ulcers and esophageal problems, and GERD and some of these more scary diagnosis, these, these are likely more long term infections, or it could be the virulence factors, which are something that we test for if you look into the research, H. pylori by itself is not going to cause a ton of problem in the short term. But when it has these virulence factors that essentially strengthens the disease, the way I think about it is like the little whale shark, or actually, whale sharks are huge, but the whale shark with the little fish that kind of swim under its fins, to me, those are the virulence factors, they kind of strengthen the main host there, they’re allowing the H pylori to thrive, they’re allowing that shark to do what he needs to do, they’re helping to maybe eat parasites off of the shark, so they’re kind of helping him hang around. That’s how I think of these virulence factors. It doesn’t change the protocol much, but when we see a ton of inflammation or when we see a ton of gut damage, it’s good to be able to link that back to a stool test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% here, the virulence factors are going to look at those cytotoxic proteins and it’s a genetic susceptibility of this H. pylori is going to produce more toxins that are going to increase your chance of ulceration increase your chance of stomach cancer, increase your chance of just overall general inflammation. So it’s nice to look at the virulence factors. Now we have a couple we have like Virdi,  VagA, iSay, these different virulence factors, these are cytotoxic proteins. And so it’s good to look at that. Now one of the things we’ll also look at in regards to intestinal inflammation to kind of make correlations is we’ll look at calprotectin. Calprotectin is another systemic marker that’s excellent to look at, because it plays a major role with inflammation in the gut as well. And so that’s a really good one. So it’s like a C reactive protein for your gut. CRP is a basically an inflammatory marker for the body. C reactive protein. calprotectin is a protein produced by the white blood cells in the intestine. So when there’s more inflammation, more cytokines, more interleukins, nuclear factor, Kappa beta, all these inflammatory presence, it’s going to give you more of a window that that’s happening now. It doesn’t tell you what the cause of it is. So you need to do detective work and get to the bottom it’s going to be usually one to four or five things. Something of infection, some type of food allergy, some type of immune stressor, whether it’s exposure to mold or heavy metals, okay? It can also be gut permeability where things are getting into the bloodstream and you’re having this, I mean, a logical reaction, those would probably be the big four out of the gates. And then I think, also just if you’re eating a lot of junky inflammatory foods, omega six grains, a lot of pro inflammatory foods, those could also drive it too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I would say there’s probably an autoimmune component to right if you’ve got Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis or something like that, that may elevate that. And I know some of the stuff we talked about, if you try to take our conversation and put it in front of your GI doctor, they may not follow us on some of this stuff. But they will follow us on the calprotectin. I mean, that’s a pretty common marker that it’s going to be tested in conventional gastroenterology. So if you’re trying to like educate your doctor, if they’re willing, enable cool, you know, send them this podcast, hopefully, they’re open to integrating some of these things into their practice. But often, we’ve had many people that have been the GI doctors, 5 10 15 doctors before they come to somebody like us. And unfortunately, they’ve had very poor testing, and they’ve had very poor treatment. That’s why they’re still needing help. And we’re usually at the end of the rope, which you would think puts a ton of pressure on us, but I think you and I are used to and I actually enjoy it. Because in contrast, what we do makes the other people look silly, and our success rate is so good that it’s really it’s a blessing to be able to have some of these tools on hand. And it’s really fun and inspiring to be able to give people hope. And some of these chronic gi issues like heartburn or reflux or GERD, or some of these esophageal problems like what they call like issues with the LES to lower esophageal sphincter that can become very traumatic. And people think that surgery or drug is the answer. But we don’t have to go there in the majority of cases. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, when you start to have you know, a lot of dyspepsia, that’s like the bloating, that’s the nausea, the burping the belching, when you start to have that, right, that lack of acidity in the intestines, if you have a lack of acidity, you also have a lack of enzymes more than likely because acidity is an important trigger for enzyme activation, right, because a lot of our enzymes are pH sensitive. So if you don’t have a nice low pH, they’re not going to activate and also that bacterial overgrowth, and you can look at bacterial overgrowth in the stomach usually be a glucose breath test. Now, the conventional breath test that we use for like SIBO is we’ll use a lactulose blood test, or lactulose breath test where you swallow a lactose solution. And then you’re gonna, you’re going to blow into a bag, and you’re going to get a baseline and then you’re going to swallow the lactose solution, and you’re going to blow every 20 minutes. And you can sometimes see an increase in gas that first 20 to 40 minutes, usually being reflective of the stomach area, usually in that first 120 minutes gives you more of the small intestine. And if you do a glucose breath test, that’s going to give you more of a window into what’s happening in the stomach. Now, typically, what we do is i’m doing more of a store test and I’m getting a global look at bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract as a whole. Obviously, when we’re testing stool, it’s all moving through the intestine. So you can’t say Oh, that bacteria is in that part of the intestine or that part of the colon or that part of the stomach, you can’t really do that because it’s all moving its way out and getting mixed up, right. So a breath test could be helpful for that. Now, for me, it doesn’t necessarily change a lot what I’m going to do, because if I see him does a lot of klebsiella or citrobacter, or I see some h pylori or I see a lot of organic acids showing him parade or fenzbenzoate right are two three phenolacetate, right different markers indican. And that tells me we got some problem especially indicate indicates one of those bacterial overgrowth markers that also has to do with more increased putrefy protein. So that’s going to be a good indication that there’s some stomach issue going on and dyspepsia issue going on. So if I see that that’s going to gear me in that direction to be focused on addressing the stomach. And when we do herbs, guess what you can’t just target one part of the intestine, when you give these herbs is going to move its way through. Some of these herbs are going to target things more specific to h pylori like mastic gum or bismuth. But obviously, some of those are still going to have general antimicrobial benefits that will move down the entire intestinal tract. And some even have anti parasitic benefits too. So it’s hard to just target things we do know there’s a history of herbs that tend to be more selective to certain things in the intestinal tract. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, great, great, great segue to into the herbs. So let’s go into that now. And we’ll be providing some links, we’ll put them in the show notes. We’ll put them in your podcast app. So if you’re listening on your iPhone, you should be able to check if you’re on Justin’s podcast listening, you should see some links for his products. If you’re on mine, you should see mine we have custom formulas that we’ve created in partnership with professional healthcare company so we don’t use any kind of consumer manufacturing. Most supplement companies, they gather products from around the world and they just label them up in a warehouse and ship them out. But they’re not professional. So there’s typically not as much tests. If any testing at all purity potency, those kind of things are not well tracked, we’re very anal about what we do, because we have to get results clinically. And if we don’t, then people don’t get better, and they don’t come to us. So we have a legitimate reason we have to be of the utmost quality. This is stuff that you can’t get through consumer, like Whole Foods, places, or Amazon, these are professional so that that’s, you know, just a little bit about quality. But in terms of the stuff we’re using, as you mentioned, we have different blends. So sometimes we’re going to go with more of like a mastic gum, clove berberine, Wild Indigo blend, these are things that can be both anti inflammatory, anti microbial, anti antifungal, anti parasitic, and then we have some where we’ve got a little bit of gut healing nutrients, like we might throw in a little bit of some dgl into the blends. So now we’re doing two things at once, which is great, we’re killing but we’re also soothing the gut lining, which is probably so irritated, as you mentioned, this thing is thinned out from the infection itself. And then we go into more of the antifungals, too. So we may stack. If we see on the organic acids, you’ve got an anti fungal need, then we’ll throw that into on top of the anti microbial need. And that’s where the magic really happens. There’s a synergistic effect. So rarely Are we going to come in with just oregano oil or just garlic, we’re likely going to use a combination of possibly 510 or even more herbs. And then if you want to comment on that, and then let’s get into the the question of like, where do probiotics fit into this equation? What about digestive enzymes and increasing stomach acid? Where does that fit into this equation? So if you want to hit on the herbs at all, then let’s transition. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so first off, I think people come in with stomach issues saying, Hey, I have an H. pylori issue. And that’s it. So I think, one you have the right to have more than one infection or gut imbalances happening at the same time. So it’s really important don’t get myopically focused on one infection, there’s probably multiple issues. You could have h pylori, you could have some level of bacterial overgrowth that involve other types of infections, like klebsiella, or Pseudomonas or citrobacter. You could have a fungal overgrowth, you could have a parasite infection, as well. So all those things can be present. And also, you’re probably going to have a lot of dyspepsia where you’re having bloating, nausea, indigestion because you’re not breaking down your foods adequately. So you’re going to need to follow my six R’s right and moving the bad foods and again, that could be different for everyone. Some people that could be a paleo template, others it could be an autoimmune, it could be a low fodmap template as well could be a low histamine could be a gassers SCD template. So there’s different templates we’re going to plug in, depending on how sick or how chronic this issue is. And then number two, we’re working on enzymes and acids to really work on digesting things better. And again, acids tend to be anti microbial. Also, bile acids, which are produced by your gallbladder are also anti microbial. So if you have biliary insufficiency, you’re not breaking down your fats, inadequate levels of bile salts will create a a more hospitable environment for bad bugs to grow. So that’s the second are placed enzymes, acids, bile salts, third are repairing the gut lining and supporting the adrenals and the hormones because the adrenals help really provide a good anti inflammatory environment. So if you have imbalances in your cortisol function, you may have a lot of inflammation that’s not being managed by your adrenals. And then of course, on the repair side, you kind of hit it earlier. Some of the repair nutrients that we’re going to use maybe glycine could be L glutamine, it could be zinc. Zinc is very helpful. A lot of studies showing that to be very helpful with gut permeability. I would say DGL licorice, aloe okra, vitamin A. These are really important nutrients that come down the gut lining early I also like ginger and manuka honey. Manuka is used in hospitals in burn units, because it’s very anti inflammatory. So I like a little bit of manuka honey, and my ginger juice tea recipe is wonderful. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s delicious. I’m a huge fan, too. And the good news is, depending on what’s going on, you could start soothing the gut a bit early. So as you mentioned, there is kind of an order of operations. But depending on the case, if someone’s in real bad shape, we may come in with some of those soothing nutrients early. Let’s talk about probiotics, too, because this is a confusing one for a lot of people. They just hear online, a podcast, a blog, a website, they’ll hear probiotics, probiotics, I think it’s time to just throw it in. And a lot of people have a bad reaction to that. I think we actually did a whole podcast on this, like when and why probiotics may make you feel worse, but why don’t you give us just some sparknotes on that, when and why and how do we integrate probiotics entities. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So people tend to have stomach issues in general because they have this bacterial overgrowth in the gut, that’s going to affect the esophageal sphincter from closing. They also have a lack of enzymes and acids. So the food’s rotting, it’s putrifying, and transfer defying and creating lots of different gases as a result. Now, people tend to have a lot of bad bacteria in their gut, they tend to be very sensitive to fodmaps fermentable carbohydrates, fructose, oligo, disaccharide, mono and polyols. And again, probiotics tend to have fodmaps in it because probiotics are inherently fermentable right fermentation breeds bacteria, good bacteria growth, they can also breathe bad bacteria growth, right? And so if you’re consuming a lot of probiotics and you have a lot of bad bugs, it can really create a feeding frenzy just like throwing chum in the water. When there’s sharks around. It creates a feeding frenzy. If you go to your local Lake, I go down to Lake Austin and start chumming the water, right? Well, there’s no sharks down there. So you’re not gonna see any sharks come in, right. And so think of probiotics and a lot of fermented bowls. They may be reasonably good and healthy for you. But if you have sharks in that water, and you chum the water, you just create a feeding frenzy. 

Evan Brand: Wow. And that you’re saying, with probiotics, you’re not necessarily even talking about prebiotics?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Again, people that have more extreme fodmap and SIBO sensitivity. That’s where probiotics start to become more of an issue. You can still have some SIBO and fodmap sensitivity, and you may not get rise to the level where probiotics are problem, right? So people that are out there and having problems with their kombucha or their sauerkraut, you know, it could also be a histamine issue, because probiotics and fermentable are also high in histamine so they could dovetail and be a couple of different things happening at the same time. Either way, if that’s the case, we still have to work on fodmap restriction, because when we deal with gut bacterial issues, we starve on one side with diet changes. We kill on the other side with specific antimicrobials, and then we crowd out and overpopulate on the last component so we we starve kill and crowd. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. And then the saccharomyces comes into the equation too, right? Which is kind of marketed and sold as a probiotic, but technically is a beneficial yeast, I love saccharomyces it’s something- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It crowds out it crowds out so it has beneficial effects of crowding out and also is shown to be very anti cdiff. Anti h pylori, anti blasto and it has immunomodulating benefits increasing IGA levels too. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, we love saccharomyces it helps them mycotoxins too. I’ve seen it in a lot of people. And when I talk with Dr. Nathan, who is a guy who treats a lot of mold patients, he talked about saccharomyces being great for specifically, I think it’s actually metabolizing, or changing the structure of the mycotoxins to make them more water soluble, but there may be sort of a crowding out effect with the mole too. So it’s just a great overall thing. So if you’re working on a gut healing protocol, and you haven’t used saccharomyces, that may be something to chat with your practitioner about, it may be something great to add in. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, I like it, that makes a lot of sense to me. So when we have that upper left quadrant pain, right, your stomach for the most part is going to be just right in usually this area here. So this is kind of your, this point right here is your HCl point. And this points more of your enzyme point. So like pancreas, small intestine is like really right here, stomach’s usually going to be right in this area here. And then you have the esophagus, going up here, obviously, right, and then this esophageal sphincter can stay open. When we don’t have enough acidity and we have bacterial overgrowth, then you can have a lot of that regurge of that reflux happening when we have inadequate levels of assets. So one thing if you kind of take your hand right here, and you follow the sternum down, right, we’re kind of tucks into the left, if you rub it a little bit, and it’s a little bit sensitive. That points normally sensitive anyway, but if it’s really heightened, is a chance there’s inadequate levels of HCl in the stomach. So that’s a good little kind of pressure point there.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and people listening that can’t see he’s showing this down right there at the sternum, and then you can follow the rib line down to the left, or you could follow it down to the right, and you could check both sides. That’s a really cool thing that you can do in person when you’re working with the practitioners, you can palpate these points. And I remember when I was in one of my schooling lessons, we were with the teacher, and we had a lady who lay down on the table and everybody was coming up and palpating and man, this lady about jumped off the table when we hit that HCl point. So of course, we didn’t have a stool test on her but man, I bet she had some infection going on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and it’s good to rub that and then you can kind of rub a couple other spots to see if it really is heightened and then you can also start start treatment. Right, make diet changes, add in support, right? start addressing microbials down the road and see if that changes but again, the biggest thing I really want to highlight for people listening, we live in this antibiotic culture today, right you have an infection, antibiotics, antibiotics, antibiotics, and so what tends to happen as people are in kind of my six are step right the fourth are is moving the bugs right? replace the net or remove the bad foods replace the enzymes and acids and bile salts, repair the gut lining and the hormones remove the infections, repopulate good bacteria, pre probiotics, retest that fourth Rs a movie infections, people go to this first. We live in this like, antibiotic generation people are programmed Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, it’s the biggest mistake you can make. Some people can get away with it. If you’re really healthy and you don’t have an overabundance of inflammation, you can get away with it. Most can’t. And they end up creating a whole bunch of problems. And I tell my patients the first rule of functional medicine right the first rule of Fight Club is don’t make yourself more sick. It’s really important So that’s why that fourth R where that remove that second remove right the first removes the food. Right. The fourth R the second remove is removing the infections, we do it in that order, because we’re trying to calm down the immune system, trying to support our anti inflammatory system so they can deal with inflammation and stress better. We’re working on digesting and breaking down our food or working on motility that allows us set the table so we can come in there and wipe out the bad bucks. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, he kind of alluded to it. But just to make it clear, you’re actually improving your immune system by clearing out these infections. And some of these herbs we’re using may have immune supportive benefits too. So that’s just the real joy of what we do is you’re boosting the immune system, you’re letting the gut heal by removing the infections. It’s just amazing. And when you get the spouse involved too, like if you’re seeing a rebound case where husband feels great and then the wife sick and back and forth, you know, they may be passing the H pylori between each other even children who I mean I was sharing water bottles with summer my daughter when she was two, I tested her when she was two she had real high H. pylori. So I’m convinced I may have given it to her, I don’t know. But luckily, we did herbs and she’s in good shape now. And when we retested her the H pylori is gone. So I’m glad that we’re able to get it resolved. But this is a problem that affects kids. So like when someone hears heartburn, they automatically picture old Betty sitting in the wheelchair with the gray hair and she’s got indigestion she’s got her santech in her hand. No, it’s not just her. I mean, this could be two years old, this could be 10 15 20 30 40 years old. So don’t discriminate. This bacteria does not care what you look like and how big or small your or anything. This is a bacteria that affects all people across the population. So if you have these issues, get tested, don’t guess. And if you need help clinically reach out we work on this issue all the time, it’s one of my favorite things to do is work on these gut infections. So if you need help clinically, we work around the world with people we send testing to your home, you do the labs, we get them back to the lab for reporting. And we jump on a call like we’re doing now and we talk about it and we help you make a protocol help you fix your issues once and for all. So if you want to reach out to Justin, you can have his website, If you want to reach out to me, and like I mentioned, we’ve got some links, we’ve got some gut healing products and some things that we’re okay with you guessing on, there are a couple of things you could do out of the gate. But ultimately, you need to know what you’re up against. Because as we alluded to, you may not have just h pylori, you may have other infections. So coming in with the glutamine, the zinc carnosine, that lm that kind of stuff that kameel, the ginger, the Manuka, it’s awesome. But that may not be the right order of operations, it may help you by some time, but you got to clear the bugs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and there’s a lot of studies out there looking at H. pylori, for instance, with a lot of mood and stress and depression and anxiety related conditions. And they find that when a lot of the H pylori is addressed, some of these changes occur as well with these issues improve or they talk about antidepressant drugs working better now. Now, why is that happening? Now, I believe the reason why it’s happening is because when you address some of these bacterial overgrowth, you’re absorbing your nutrients better, you’re absorbing your protein, you’re absorbing your fat, and in some cases, probably absorbing their drugs better, so they work better because they’re in their system. Now, I personally believe if you’re not breaking down your proteins and your fats, these are functional building blocks for your neurotransmitters, that you’re going to have some issues in regards to your mood and your cognitive function and potentially energy because a lot of the nutrients and minerals and B vitamins have to get absorbed that way too. So if you have issues with your gut, don’t just think hey, this is just a gut issue. Therefore my only symptoms are dyspepsia bloating, gas, nausea, constipation, depression, diarrhea, you could have fatigue, you could have cognitive issues, you could have mood issues, depression, anxiety, sleep, right. So we have to get kind of outside of the we have to go into the extra intestinal world meaning symptoms outside of just your gut related symptoms. And so it’s possible if you’ve h pylori, you may only have fatigue and mood issues, and sleep and it’s very possible. So you don’t want to just get hung up on the digestive symptoms thinking I’m okay. You could have things outside of the gut area. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you don’t even recognize it. And the psychiatrist is certainly not going to suggest that our anxiety and depression is an H pylori infection. And that was it for me. I mean, I had panic attacks and anxiety. I mean, I was a wreck when I had gut infections. I will tell you personally, and clinically, I’ve seen the link between mood issues and gut issues. And I had a lady that I had maybe the last two months, I did not give her any anti depressant herbs at all. All we did is work on her gut and within six weeks, she said her depression was 90% better. And she just said it kind of nonchalantly and I’m like you said you were depressed for 20 years during our initial call or you’re not realizing what we’ve done in six weeks just by working on your gut. We’ve as you self reported a 90% reduction in depression which you’ve had for 20 years. That is insane. That should be on the Billboard. That’s Beyond the headline news, but I think there’s just some ignorance about the link between gut and mood issues. So hopefully the psychiatric world and the gastroenterology world can start to get more integrated because right now they’re still very, very separate which is no good for the population. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, here’s an article in the get the Journal of gastroenterology research and practice. It’s called the rule of H. pylori, and regulating hormones and functional dyspepsia. So if you get right to it, it says H. pylori strains have been shown to affect the secretion of several hormones including five five hyphen ht or five HTP. That’s the serotonin melatonin precursor ghrelin which affects mood and appetite, dopamine gastrin, which affects HDL levels. So and then has, it might be the cause of psychological disorders of functional dyspepsia. So, essentially, there’s a strong connection with H. pylori hormones, and a lot of the neurotransmitters and appetite regulating compounds so really important, right, H. pylori, we have to go above and beyond just thinking this is a digestive issue. It can affect mood, energy, sleep, and of course, hormones as well. 

Evan Brand: You and I talked about this kind of like we’re just like tying our shoes and cooking some breakfast. Would you have for breakfast today? Oh, I had some pastured eggs and bacon and sausage. What about you? Oh, yeah, handful of some avocado because, like we talked about it, like it’s just so nonchalant. But I mean, if this were to be the headline news, like you and I, this podcast we just ate if this were to be like, the trending thing of the week and 300 million people heard this. I mean, we could put a huge dent in the world, I think we’re doing a great job. We’ve got good numbers, but my God, if this was like the trending interview of the week, I mean, just imagine people would have so much more hope for their mental health, their physical health, their heartburn. This is empowering stuff here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And don’t expect your conventional medical doctor to know about this stuff unless they’ve gone through more integrative kind of nutritional, natural, functional type of continuing education. Most dermatologists don’t even understand that your skin has a direct connection with your diet, right? They still have pamphlets in the dermatologists office saying what you eat has nothing to do with your skin. Most people that have eaten crappy and change their diet to be much more healthy, they can tell you one of the benefits you see is your skin, right? We know inflammation, and oil secretions all have a major effect with inflammation, grains and six junky carbs. While Same thing with our gut, there’s that same level of disconnect all throughout medicine, because each, let’s say medical specialty only knows their thing. And you know, when you’re working 60 to 80 hours a week, you’re not going to have the time to really keep up with the literature and what’s happening. And, you know, if you’re relying on your medical school training, well, typically that information has to be around for 20 or 30 years before it gets into a medical school curriculum. So what you’re getting in medical schools, and they’ll be 20 to 30 years behind probably at least 20 years behind time. So don’t expect your doctor to be in the loop on this thing. So you got to really go outside of the box and, and educate. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, I’ve got a very close family member who has a nanny for a well respected neurologist, and the neurologist home is filled with frickin mold. And no wonder the kid has a lot of issues and no wonder the mom has gut issues and the dad has brain fog and everyone’s exhausted and they don’t sleep good and they have skin issues. It’s like your neurologist, those are mycotoxins. Those are killing your brain. Do you not know it? Nope. She doesn’t know. It’s crazy, man. So hopefully we can continue to do good work like we’re doing and spread this word because man. Yeah, we’re still in the stone age’s and a lot of aspects. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, no, I think we’re on top of it. Well, if you guys enjoy today’s podcast, we really appreciate it, head over to or You can subscribe to our email list. You can become a patient we work with patients all over the world happy to help you. Especially in the day and age the last year how things have gotten more virtual. It’s great to have access to good clinicians and doctors, virtually so we can provide that for you. And if you enjoyed today’s podcast, write us a review. Click Below the link you’ll see a link for a review, write us a review. And also share this with friends and family. We appreciate it Sharing is caring. If you enjoyed it today, apply one thing, share it with one person that you love that could help them. Evan anything else? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job and we’ll be in touch next week. So take it easy and have a good one. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one y’all. Bye now. 

Evan Brand: Bye bye.


Audio Podcast:

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DSL GI-MAP Genetic Stool Test

International DSL GI MAP Genetic Stool Test

Genova Organix® Dysbiosis Profile

GI Restore


Low stomach acid could be causing your digestive problems – Podcast #99

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand go in depth and reveal the truth about PPIs or proton pump inhibitors when taken especially over long periods of time. Discover what they do for your body, how it affects digestion, and what other issues they can possibly lead to. 

stomach acidFind out about the roles of hydrochloric acid and enzymes. Listen to this podcast to understand how proton pump inhibitors could be affecting organic acid markers and your body’s ability to generate ATP and energy. Learn how you can get off these medications and do away without taking proton pump inhibitors and then deal with your symptoms in a much better way starting with diet and lifestyle changes and getting in touch with a functional medicine expert to help you and then you can also proceed with any testing needed.

In this episode, topics include:

1:36   Proton pump inhibitors

6:50   The risks of taking PPIs

10:49   PPI and hydrochloric acid levels

17:40   Nutrient deficiency

19:30   Summary and take aways












Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, it’s Dr. J. How we doin’ today, man?

Evan Brand:  Hey, I’m doin’ great and fired up about drugs. So let’s talk about some drugs today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. Oh, by the way, this is your podcast after your newborn.

Evan Brand:  I guess it is. I didn’t realize that. Yeah, she–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  One of our friends actually made us a Not Just Paleo branded onesie.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Onesie, nice,

Evan Brand:  And she’s wearing that today, so I have to put a picture up on my social media if people wanna stalk me, they can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome. And your daughter’s name is summer, right?

Evan Brand:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Excellent! Very cool.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I actually in between I got a dog and my new dog’s name is Butter.

Evan Brand:  Nice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which I love because she melts in my lap. She sits on my lap almost all day, even while on the calls of my patients. It’s really cool.

Evan Brand:  What is she? She looks like a shih tzu kinda but not really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, she’s kinda like a Jack Russell and a Yorkie, just about 10 pounds. She’s a little Paleo doggie. She gets all grain-free, biologically appropriate, raw, good quality foods, grass-fed meat, you know, because dogs are pretty much obligated carnivores, you know, mainly meat and such. So yeah, she does really good. She’s pretty healthy.

Evan Brand:  Good to hear.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. Cool, man! Well, we both got some major changes in our life, probably a lot more for you than for me.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  With the—with the child here and then me got my nice little dog, so love it! And I got two—two cats and a dog and you’re just on—what, you got one dog and a–

Evan Brand:  One dog and one baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And a—and a daughter.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. Great! Very cool. Well, let’s riff on here the proton pump inhibitor topic. A whole bunch of different drugs out there and that family, a couple of common names are Nexium, Prilosec or—or omeprazole. There’s also the purple pill, Nexium. Let’s see—Pepto—no, Pepto-Bismo. Prilosec, omeprazole, Nexium, any others that you—you can come by. There’s like about 8 of them, 10 of them out there.

Evan Brand:  They have so many different names.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so many.

Evan Brand:  It’s honestly hard to keep up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, pantoprazole, esomeprazole, yeah, I mean anything that ends in a -prazole is basically gonna be your proton pump inhibitor. You have the purple pill which is Nexium, your Prilosec, omeprazole is the over-the-counter version of Prilosec. And again, all these drugs they just block hydrochloric acid. So they’re proton pump inhibitors. What’s a proton? That’s basically hydrogen. So it’s preventing hydrogen, which is a positive charged atom from binding to chloride and forming hydrochloric acid. So that’s how it’s working. It’s mechanism of action is—is preventing those hydrochloric acids from being secreted in the stomach and binding into chloride and performing that nice acidic pH which is really important we know from activating proteolytic enzymes, enzymes that help break down protein.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely and if you look at Dr Wright’s Why Stomach Acid is Good For You, we see he tracked several different people. I believe he used—can’t remember the name of it, but the capsule that was actually like inserted, the—the piece of technology they inserted into the stomach to measure–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s called–

Evan Brand:  The acid level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s called the Heidelberg test.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I believe he did the Heidelberg test on all these patients or people in his studies and he showed after age 20, your hydrochloric acid production begins to steadily drop until you die basically and so we’re taking people that already have low stomach acid if they’re 40-45 years old and starting to get heartburn, indigestion, bloating and these other symptoms and they’re lowering that HCl level even more which I just had a note here from Healthline that was talking about PPIs, several studies now link to PPIs to a high risk of pneumonia and an infection of bacteria which is C diff., the Clostridium difficile that you and I see often on organic acids results. So this is not just your gut that’s affected here. There’s other places in the body that can really start to dysfunction if you have low stomach acid and, therefore, you’re not breaking down your food and absorbing your nutrients anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, and then again, where these proton pump inhibitors work is they work on the stomach in particularly the parietal cells, and the parietal cells these cells also produce intrinsic factor which is like this binding compound that helps bind to B12. So B12 in your diet then hits the intrinsic factor made by the parietal. It then gets reabsorbed at the end of your small intestine in an area called the ileum. So binds the B12 in the stomach and then it reabsorbs it in the ileum. So when we have issues with the parietal cells, we can also—we also may have issues with intrinsic factor. There are things called pernicious anemia. So the more we have gut dysfunction, greater chance we’re gonna have stomach breakdown issues, and then we typically go on proton pump inhibitors and there’s a greater chance that there we may have B12 or anemia issues that are B-vitamin based after the fact.

Evan Brand:  Great, so I mean in terms of PPIs, I remember not long ago they were all prescription drug commercials. Now things like Nexium are available over-the-counter, isn’t that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, well, I’m pretty sure omeprazole is over-the-counter now for sure and that was basically Prilosec. That was, you know, a big, big multibillion-dollar drug. I think these drugs we mentioned before the show, they’re like in—always in the top 4 or top 5 money-making drugs. And the problem is when you—when you take a proton pump inhibitor, right? I mentioned the proton something like hydrogen, and it works with your hydrogen potassium pump system in the body, which we mentioned affects hydrogen being produced via the parietal cells in the stomach, forming hydrochloric acid but there’s other areas of the body where these hydrogen potassium pumps are being interfered with and that can affect ATP production, thus your mitochondria. So we see lots of people come back on their organic acids testing with weakened mitochondrial dysfunction. We’ll see the organic acids super low or super high. We’ll see things like cis-aconitate or aconitate. We’ll see different markers like lactate and amino acid markers low for CoQ10, various B vitamins, and it’s possible that a proton pump inhibitors could be affecting some of those organic acid markers, thus affecting your body’s ability to generate ATP and energy.

Evan Brand:  Ah, so let me probe you a little bit further on that. So you’re saying here the cascade of problems that happens is we have this PPI. We’re lowering the stomach acid, so now we’re spending our hard-earned money on grass-fed beef but we’re not actually cleaving the iron and the vitamins and the amino acids from that protein, right? So we’ll show up with very low amino acids on the organics, is that what you’re saying?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct and there’s even research showing that people that take thyroid hormone and are on PPIs have to actually increase their thyroid hormone dosage. So it doesn’t only just affect that, it can even affect medication that are natural in origin. So being on this PPIs, I call it like it’s the first domino of—of your health destruction. Because anytime you impair digestion, you impair all the nutrients that are needed to run your body’s energy systems, hormone systems, detox systems, neurotransmitters and mood systems. So once you start shorting those systems out, any type of short means increase in symptoms. It means depression. It means anxiety. It means PMS. It means fatigue. And so basically our ATP is part of how our body generates energy aerobically and the more our body is forced to generate energy anaerobically, it’s gonna lead to more fatigue.

Evan Brand:  Right, so now–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s gonna lead to more fatigue. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  And I was just gonna say now if you stack someone who already has mitochondrial issues, they’re not producing enough ATP and then you take that and combine it with a toxic load, say there’s still getting exposed to glyphosate, which a new piece of research came out and said 93% of people have glyphosate, the pesticide used in non-organic food, that is going to increase the toxic load, the mitochondria can’t do their work even more, so things like organic diet become even more important than before especially if you have this compromised gut issue. The number—number 2 drug in all US pharmaceuticals is Nexium and you and I were looking at the stats–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that’s the purple pill–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so it looks like less than 10 million but well, on the way to 10 million dollars’ worth of this drug is being sold per year.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right, now here’s the triad, right? People come in or they first get their medication for a Prilosec or a proton pump inhibitor, right? Then the next thing that’s gonna happen is they may start to have mood issues. Now they’re gonna be on antidepressant. Okay, so now they have acid-blocking meds. Now they have a mood issue. And now they start having fatigue, right? And then with fatigue comes like ADD. So now they’re on like an upper. They’re on like a methamphetamine, Strattera–

Evan Brand:  Like a Vyvanse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like a Strattera, a Vyvanse or an Adderall. So now they’re on an upper. They’re on a proton pump inhibitor and they’re also on a mood medication for the depression. Now they’re anxious all the time because they’re on a mem—methamphetamine half the day, right? So now they’re on Xanax or some kind of benzodiazepine. So all these things start to happen. If they’re a guy, they’ll probably start to have low libido because a lot of the side effects of antidepressants are low libido. So now the libido starts going down. They can’t get it up in the bed. Now they’re on Viagra an d now because they’re so inflamed, their cholesterol is going high because their body is ridiculously inflamed so you can see, right? The domino of destruction is acid-blocking medication followed by mood drug, followed by stimulant, followed by anti-anxiety, followed by anti-libido, followed by statin.

Evan Brand:  Ugh!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s a—it’s a common—it’s a common, common pattern. And not to mention people that tend to have all those types of problems, also gonna be inflamed, and when they’re inflamed, they’re also on what else? Pain medication, right? So then it’s gabapentin, then it’s the Enbrel, then it’s an ibuprofen, NSAID, the older meds would have like the Celebrex or a Vioxx and those killed a lot of people, too. So again these medications aren’t—be on, the more problems, the more mitochondrial dysfunction, the more energy, and then as soon as you get on an ibuprofen even though it’s over-the-counter, I mean Wolf et al, 1999 American Journal of Medicine, 20,000 people die a year taking it properly.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  These aren’t meds you wanna be on as a lifestyle medication.

Evan Brand:  Right, right. And then you already alluded to it a little bit, it’s the leaky gut situation going on, the liver burden there, potential autoimmune disease from all of this because now you’re set up for bacterial overgrowths and candida problems and parasitic infections and it gets scary pretty quick, doesn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It does and I didn’t even touch upon the SIBO part.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because you mentioned it earlier, right? When you lower—I should say, when you lower the hydrochloric acid levels, you essentially raise the pH, right? Because we need hydrochloric acid levels to be high for the pH to be low. So essentially when we—when we decrease hydrochloric acid levels, that pH goes high, we have impaired digestion, and that increases chance for opportunistic pathogens—your Staph, your Strep, your Clostridia like you mentioned, your Campylobacter. All those different pathogens start overgrowing that increases chance of leaky gut. We talked about these pathogens having these dangerous metabolites such as lithocholic acid or endotoxin or LPS which can go and create leaky gut and then cross the blood-brain barrier and create mood issues, but it also can drive more SIBO, right? Because SIBO is gonna be essentially bad bacteria moving its way up and we know SIBO symptoms cause IBS so then it’s more medications, right? You’ll be on mesalamine or some type of prokinetic or antidiarrheal medication. I know you were diagnosed with IBS and they put you on a whole litany of meds and this could all potentially stem from proton pump inhibitors.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, they tried to. I never filled the prescriptions. Thanks God. I denied them all. And you and I were looking at some other research which I just sent you the link to that we can put in the show notes is 73,000 people that were 75 years of age or older and free of dementia were analyzed and they found that people had—people that were receiving regular PPI medication, 77% of them had a significant increased risk of dementia compared to patients that were not receiving PPI. So we look at all of these places. I just saw a new giant complex got built right down the street like an assisted senior care facility primarily targeted towards Alzheimer’s and dementia. Think of how many of those people are put on PPIs. I know we have parents and grandparents listening, that’s—that’s a big deal and we’re always seeing these campaigns of Fight for the Cure, Run for the Cure—how about just avoidance? And that was the conclusion of this research here, the avoidance of PPI medication may prevent the development of dementia. So this literally, you’ve done a great job of elaborating this. This literally spreads out like a spider web into every aspect of our civilization.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely and by the way, any type—anyone that tells you they have a cure for something, run for the hills. And the reason why—even when it comes to cancer. When it comes to any type of disease, the reason why there can’t be a cure it’s because when there is multiple causes, there can never be a cure, right?  Because think about it, for there to be drug, a drug has to work on—it works on a mechanistic level. So for instance, proton pump inhibitors, what’s the mechanism? It re—it inhibits proton pump—it inhibits the proton pumps. It inhibits the hydro—hydrogen crossing that, you know, potassium membrane and creating hydrochloric acid. That’s how it works. But what if your acid burn was from drinking too much water while you ate or eating too much gluten or having a lot of emotional stress and eating while you’re driving. So you see how there could be multiple different causes or it could just be old age because Dr. Jonathan Wright show that as you grow older hydrochloric acid levels drop. It could be a gut infection. So how can we have a cure that fixes all of those different causes? We can’t. Now what may happen, let’s say I just got you meditating and got you eating in a more quiet environment, that may help a lot of people but it will never be the cure for everyone. It’ll never be the catch all. But it’ll probably help everyone else. But in conjunction, we can never say it’s a cure because only drugs can essentially cure someone, right? According to FDA rules. But what we are trying to do and what our focus is on is getting the underlying causes addressed and someone may have the same diagnosis, disease or set of symptoms that are caused by different set of underlying causes, so we kinda focus on the big 5 or 10 underlying causes for each issue and that gives the greatest chance of helping that person’s symptoms resolving.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely, well said. If that segment, that 2 to 3-minute segment were aired on national news, it would be the most viral piece of health nuggets that the—the mainstream population has ever heard.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. I mean how can you have a cure for cancer when maybe that woman’s cause of breast cancer was because of her pesticide exposure everyday where the other person over here is because she’s eating too much sugar, and this guy down the street because he’s getting exposed to round-up on a daily basis and then maybe the person that came from, you know, Japan near the—the nuclear spill 3 years ago got exposed to something there, right? But maybe–

Evan Brand:  Or—or just the person who goes and gets the yearly annual recommended mammograms which we’ve seen–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  Bad research about those now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, increases your chance of cancer I think 1% every year. So if you start getting them at age 30, and the time your 60, you got 30% increase there.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So how can we create a drug that actually will fix all those underlying causes? You can’t.  You can’t. So we just gotta make sure we understand that, that there is no such thing as a catch all, even in functional medicine, we focus on body systems that typically get affected when people present with certain symptoms and for the most part, if there’s any catch all that you could—I would let you air on the side of, typically the gut’s a pretty big catch all for everything.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now it may be the gut and the adrenals and the gut and something else, but typically the gut is almost always gonna be a piece of the puzzle, but it may not be the whole puzzle.

Evan Brand:  Right. So you would say, I mean, in most cases, it’s at least half of the battle is getting the gut straightened out because that is going to affect the ability to produce hormones like you mentioned, the ability to uptake thyroid hormones and have all these other systems working properly so it’s not necessarily our starting place but it’s a big piece of the pie.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and a lot times we can’t start there per se because people’s energy systems, their adrenals, their thyroid are so flogged, they can’t generate the energy and if we went after infections, they would feel like crap.

Evan Brand:  Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So one of the first places we do work on is cutting the foods out, the bad foods, and adding the good foods. And then number two, right next to that, is adding the digestive secretions so our patients can break down their foods. Remember good food can be toxic to the body if it’s sitting there rotting. Who wants to go eat the organic spinach that’s sitting on your counter for a week versus, you know, in the fridge for a day or two and then eaten later, right? You wouldn’t wanna eat that. And then also we just touched upon the nutrient deficiency. We talked about B12, right? B12’s important for creating healthy, mature red blood cells. We also need iron for energy and oxygen carrying capacity. We need iron to make thyroid hormone. So if someone’ got a thyroid issue, we gotta look at hydrochloric acid. We gotta make sure PPIs aren’t part of the mix. What about osteoporosis? We need calcium and magnesium digestion. Well, if we got—if we’re on Boniva or if we’re on Osteo—whatever the other medications are out there—Boniva’s the big one, then you know, you’re not getting to the root cause if  you’re also on a proton pump inhibitor and not digesting your minerals or ionizing your minerals, too.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Lots of studies on that.

Evan Brand:  So you literally—you literally fall apart in every aspect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, my gosh! I know! And then also there’s some studies on that talking about basically PPIs having a higher risk of heart attack and—and what could be the potential mechanism? Well, I think it’s partly some of the minerals. Alright, we need magnesium. It’s a natural beta blocker to keep our heart in check. Healthy minerals help conduct nervous system impulse. We also need it to break proteins which typically have antioxidants in them and healthy cholesterol which is an important antioxidant, building block for our hormones. Also things like CoQ10 and L-carnitine.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  To help our heart have the energy and generate the ATP for our heart to pump. So that kinda make sense, right? We got increased cardiovascular, increased nutrient absorption. We altered the gut with the SIBO and with the malabsorption. So a lot of different things come and you also mentioned the cognitive things, too. So you can see how everything gets affected here.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. So where should we go? Where should we go from this? We’ve outlined and everybody’s like, “Holy smokes! Now what?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, so you’re listening to this podcast, great. You’re just listening to it for the—for the brain candy, awesome! Grab some popcorn or maybe some chocolate avocado pudding, right? To keep it more Autoimmune Paleo and just enjoy the show but if you’re like listening to it with a perspective of like, “Yeah, I got some of those symptoms.” Well, what’s your first step? Well, obviously we always talk about diet piece. So I would start with a good autoimmune diet. That’s a good important thing. So that’s no grains, no legumes, no dairy, that the auto—that’s the Paleo filter. The second filter on top of that is the autoimmune one, that’s where we cut out the nuts, the seeds, the nightshades, and the eggs. Patients do that for a minimum of 4 weeks, but if they’re continuing to get benefits at 4 weeks, don’t stop until you plateau. Patients go like, “Oh, 4 weeks in, even though I’m so much better in this area and that area, I’m gonna go back on nuts and eggs.” It’s like, “Well, hold on!” if you’re getting great results, don’t—don’t, you know, mess with the good thing. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. So I always say don’t go on the old foods again—autoimmune foods until you plateau. Number two, once you do that, making sure your digesting your foods is essential. Adding in a good enzyme product. I mean, I have my enzyme synergy product, probably like you have one as well. A good enzyme would be great. Now if you have acid, over acid symptoms, start with an enzyme without hydrochloric acid because people that do have digestive issues, their gut lining is so thin, even something like hydrochloric acid may be too much. Something that’s just an all enzyme would be helpful and then tinker around with a shot of lemon juice or a teaspoon to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. If you can tolerate that then you can start to taper in hydrochloric acid down the road. When you have been on a medication like this long-term, you really wanna work with a functional medicine professional. I always recommend letting the prescribing doctor know what you’re doing, say, “I wanna go off it.” And make sure they’re okay with it. If you have an ulcer and they’re like don’t go off it yet, let’s give it time for the ulcer to heal, you wanna heed that recommendation. So let your prescribing doctor know what’s going on. Make sure they’re okay with it and then do all the diet and lifestyle things. You can always add in enzymes while you’re on the proton pump inhibitor and then you can always make the diet changes and then work with a good functional medicine provided that can help dial in the hydrochloric acid and then go to the 5Rs because what’s inevitable is an infection’s probably present that needs to be addressed next.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so the mainstream practice is not always bad in the case of ulcers like you mentioned. You may need a PPI for a short-time so that you can let that thing heal, but generally speaking, there’s something going on that led to that in the first place so if you’re there, then you may have to dig yourself out of that first before you can jump on it but—but yeah, that’s great advice. So then it sounds like the next step once we get the foundations in order is looking into testing. So let’s rule things in—bacterial problems, yeast problems, parasitic infections.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So SIBO testing, yeast, fungal testing, parasite testing. Also just know that your conventional medical doctor, it’s not in their scope to get you off these meds for the most part.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  If that’s prescribed, then you’re typically gonna be on for a very, very long time. I’ve had many patients that have been on these meds for years. Now most of the time, the underlying cause is never addressed. Therefore, they need it. They have to be on it. So the medical doctor really isn’t motivated, because when the patient misses it, they’re like, “Oops, that hurt. I got that burning.” So it kinda motivates the patient to stay on it and not really look to the—the root cause. But in functional medicine land, we look deeper and we’re able to help a lot of people get off these medications with their doctors help and, you know, and backing essentially so we do it the right way.

Evan Brand:  Exactly. That’s well said. So stool testing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But also the next–so yeah, stool–go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I was just gonna outline that, so stool testing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Maybe some SIBO breath testing. Just getting the baseline, ruling things in, ruling things out, and then what were you gonna say next?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, when we’re on acid blocking medications, especially if our gut lining’s thin, it almost always means we have weak IgA levels and weak adrenals. So we always wanna look at the adrenals because the adrenals help reduce inflammation if we’re inflamed. We wanna make sure our adrenals, our natural anti-inflammatory, our natural ibuprofen’s working to help reduce inflammation, okay? That’s gonna help build up our gut lining, too. We need healthy cortisol levels to build our IgA up. And then also number three, we gotta have good energy, right? So if our adrenals aren’t working properly because they are too busy putting out the fire in your gut. Well, you’re gonna feel fatigued and you’re probably gonna even have brain fog, too. So the adrenals are important and then if you’re having thyroid symptoms, right? Cold hands, cold feet, constipation, mood issues, depression, outer third of the eyebrow thinning, hair loss, right? Any of those symptoms you wanna look at the thyroid, too, because that may be affected as well.

Evan Brand:  Yup. I was gonna say also making sure that you—you outlined it already, but the order of things, too. And like there’s a lot of gut-healing supplements that people may do like I’ve seen just over the past week a lot of people just taking things kind of willy-nilly just because they read about it like slippery elm and marshmallow and all of these gut-soothing herbs, aloe vera, but you may not need to jump straight to that if they infection has not been identified and removed yet. Those things may help and likely can’t hurt, but you’re gonna just be kinda be spinning your wheels and wasting your money at some level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, if you’re doing that, like in my line I have a product called GI Restore we use. I know in your line you have one as well, we’ll use those but we’re always using them in conjunction with getting to the root cause, if not now or in the next month or so. A lot of people use those just to control symptoms. It’s like, alright, instead of an acid-blocking med, here are some enzymes and hydrochloric acid and some soothing herbs and nutrients and L-glutamine. A lot better. A lot of the underlying causes are addressed there but if we’re not causing the lifestyle causes or the food causes, you know, that’s strike 1. If you’re not addressing the infections, that’s strike 2, and if you’re missing the adrenal piece, that’s strike 3, right? So we wanna really have a comprehensive approach that looks at everything. So let’s say we forget everything up to this point, right? Number one, change your diet. Paleo/Paleo-Autoimmune, that’s step one. Step two, get on some enzymes at least. This is where you wanna start working with a functional medicine professional before you go deeper. Step three would t hen be doing the testing to assess the gut and if you have deeper symptoms, address the adrenals and thyroid and then even deeper, maybe the organic acids especially because of the mitochondrial dysfunction that can happen with these medications long-term.

Evan Brand:  Well-said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any other clinical anecdotes you wanna give about patients that you’ve seen on PPIs, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, well, one thing that was interesting last week is a female who her adrenals actually showed up fine, which I was surprised because she had so much fatigue going on but then she showed with Clostridia bacterial overgrowth and she actually had a history of a PPI. I don’t believe she’s on one currently. I think she had a history of one for 10 years, and so she showed with Clostridia bacteria. It didn’t show up on the stool panel but it showed up on the organics and then all the–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ah.

Evan Brand:  All the mitochondria markers were very high, succinic acid and others were very high and then the amino acid portion, it was so low that it hardly registered. And I was like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  Oh my—oh my God. I said, “Do you feel—like how do you feel after you get done with a meal?” She was like, “I feel like I don’t absorb anything.” I’m like, “Well, we can clearly see it here. Your amino acids are flat lined.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  And so it was just really interesting to me because you and I talk so much about adrenals and we work with so many people with adrenal issues that to find someone that has decent adrenals was shocking.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And then I was like, “Okay,” and then you have to wait a few days, you know, to get the other labs and it’s like, “Oh, now the light bulb went off. Here’s why.” It’s a whole another system that’s dysfunctioning that you’re never gonna get that measured by going to the clinic down the street and getting your standard of care yearly check-in. It’s just never gonna happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and also I’m gonna leave everyone here with a couple of clinical pearls. Because the big benefit of this show really is you’re working with two clinicians that are in the trenches working with patients. We aren’t just doing research all week long and making theoretical statements. We’re understanding the big picture. We’re working with people and we’re taking our clinical information and sharing it. Quick clinical pearl number one, separate your enzymes and your hydrochloric acid. A lot of people are taking like an enzyme HCl product, like maybe Super Enzymes is a common one. Good product. But if you were on a proton pump inhibitor and have gut issues, you wanna separate your enzymes from your hydrochloric acid. Why? Because your gut lining may be so thin that you may not be able to handle more than a couple hundred milligrams of hydrochloric acid and now if your enzymes are bound up with that, now your enzymes are limited to whatever amount of hydrochloric acid you can take because there it’s a packaged deal. Where if you get them on separately, let’s say you can only handle a quarter of a capsule of hydrochloric acid, but you can still ramp up the enzymes to 2, 3, 4 caps where before you’ll be stuck with maybe an eighth of a dose.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number one is that. Number two is don’t go on hydrochloric acid off the bat. Focus on enzymes. Add in a—a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, see if you can tolerate it. See if it makes your symptoms better. Take it with food. Some people with mess up the hydrochloric acid stuff by taking it at the end of their meal and it stacks on top of their food and burns their esophagus. So we really wanna emphasize that and last thing, I didn’t really go under the main mechanism, I missed it, I say it so many times with my patients, but I forgot it today. One of the main causes of hydrochloric acid issues, one of the main mechanisms is actually low levels of hydrochloric acid, right? Because GERD and acid reflux happen because of low levels of hydrochloric acid. The food rots, rancidifies, putrefies. Organic acids from that food rotting rise up and then burn the esophagus—the top part where that cardiac sphincter comes in and tightens up and basically closes down the stomach environment from the esophagus environment, and most people with low levels of hydrochloric acid, they don’t get that tightening of the esophageal sphincter, that cardiac sphincter, number one and number two, the get their food rotting and then the get the organic acids rising up. Where if the hydrochloric acid levels were high enough off the bat, they probably would have broke down those foods without any problems.

Evan Brand:  And it would have killed off the potential pathogens in that food as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  Undercooked—undercooked food, mishandled food, sushi, etc. Like I had a female that she went to India, showed up clean stool test, went to India—I think, I don’t know if I had her on enzymes at that time or not—it’s been about a month or so, came back, symptoms and infection. And I was like I wonder what would have happened if the high dose of enzymes and HCl would have been in her travel kit, maybe we could have prevented that situation from happening.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Big time. I got a whole video coming out on what to do when traveling, supplement-wise, and then also some people gotta go a little deeper. They gotta do some GAPS stuff or FODMAP or SCD, specific carbohydrate diet stuff because their guts is really messed up. This is where people like me and you are great resources, so again everyone listening, grab whatever you can from this info here. Listen to it twice. Check out the transcripts. Give us a review. If you’re really liking it, go over to iTunes,,—what’s your little end link after that?

Evan Brand:  I’ll make it iTunes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  It’ll be NotJustPaleo/iTunes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  ITunes, yeah, give us some reviews, guys. We’d love hearing back from you. We wanna provide great information. Our goal is to be able to touch over a million people. I know Evan has. I have, too. Let’s say 10 million people so we can really help change the world and get them off the—the addiction to the conventional medical treatment pathway so to speak.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup, amen. I know when people hear, “Oh, leave us a review.” It’s so easy for this podcast to end and then you just put your phone away or your laptop, but I know it takes a little bit of effort. You actually have to go into BeyondWellness, go into NotJustPaleo on iTunes and you have to literally click Write a Review button on your iPhone or your computer, PC or Mac, in the iTunes app. And then you have to click some stars, whatever stars you think we deserve, and then you actually have to type.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s it.

Evan Brand:  Type the review. Submit. That’s how you do it. I’ve gotten over 200 5-star reviews worldwide but we should get that number to a thousand, 5 thousand, 10 thousand, however many it needs to take so that we continue to beat out Jillian Michaels in her podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know, my gosh. I just can’t stand the eat less, exercise more mindset. It’s so much more nuisance than that, and also everyone knows someone on these medications. Shoot this podcast over to them. Have them listen to it. It could change their life.

Evan Brand:  Amen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s been awesome. Make sure you hi to your wife and Summer for me.

Evan Brand:  I sure will.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, and then by the way, I got Butter here. She says hi, too.

Evan Brand:  Hey, Butter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care. She’s unsalted by the way.

Evan Brand:  Cool!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care.

Evan Brand:  See ya!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Evan Brand:  Bye.



Is Your Gallbladder Preventing You from Digesting Fat?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

A common theme that we see in any patient that is chronically-ill is gallbladder issues and problems digesting fats. There’s always a hormonal fatigue, maybe a thyroid or female hormone component. And there’s also a digestive component, whether it’s maldigestion, inflammation, leaky gut, or an autoimmune condition that’s emanating partly from the underlying gut issue. So let’s journey through the digestive system, starting with the moment you take a bite of food, and explore why your gallbladder may be preventing you from digesting fat.

Digestion Process

Step One: Chewing Your Food

When you take a bite of food, chewing is really important because it increases the surface area of the food and breaks it down. The more you chew, the better exposure you have to bile salts, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid. And these begin that break-down process. It’s best to take smaller bite-sized pieces of food and chew once for each tooth you have, that’s 32 chews at a minimum—work at getting that food to a steel-cut oatmeal-like consistency.  That’s step one.

Step Two: Breaking Down Food in Your Stomach

When you swallow, the food goes down the esophagus and empties into the stomach. The stomach needs a nice, low pH for proper digestion. Our bodies are slightly alkaline on average, about 7.35 or so, and hydrochloric acid (HCl) is the guy to help get the job done. HCl is very acidic, and it drops the pH in our stomach and gets it into that nice acidic range we need for proper digestion.

When the pH is nice and low, it starts to increase enzyme activity. One of the main ones it increases is pepsin, which is a proteolytic enzyme. Proteo- means protein, and -lytic means to break or cut. So the food breaks down further in the stomach, becoming chyme, which is a mixture of the food, enzymes, and acid.

The Role of The Nervous System in the Stomach

Acetylcholine is a really important compound because it’s part of the vagus-nerve stimulation.  So the vagus nerve is actually cranial nerve number 10, right in the back of the skull. And it goes throughout the entire body and has an effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system tells the body to hit the brakes and rest and digest as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight system. This tells the body to go, go, go.

Our parasympathetic nerve fibers from the brain actually start innervating the stomach. We have acetylcholine being produced in the stomach because of this vagus-nerve stimulation from the brain. So chewing your food and not eating on the go is very helpful because it creates a relaxed, stress-free environment for food digestion. That stress-free environment turns on the parasympathetic nervous system. This in turn stimulates the activity of the vagus nerve and production of acetycholine in the stomach.  It helps get the whole ball rolling from a nervous system standpoint.  This is called our cephalic phase of digestion.

Click here to schedule a FREE Consult with a functional medicine doctor to help with gallbladder issues.

Step Three: Breaking Down Fats and Proteins in the Intestines

The chyme enters the small intestine and starts to trigger some enzymes, such as cholecystokinin and secretin, which break down our fats and proteins.

Cholecystokinin (CCK) is stimulated by increased fat, and it causes the gallbladder to contract and produce and release bile salts. The gallbladder is a small organ that sits just below our liver, and it takes bile from the liver. It concentrates bile (making it more potent), and releases it into the small intestine. Bile’s primary purpose is to break down fat; it emulsifies it, like soap on a greasy pan. It’s also a detox mechanism for cholesterol and hemoglobin or bilirubin, which is like the broken-down skeleton remains of red blood cells.Our bile will deplete itself every six hours or so. So one of the big things we can do is eat good fat.

It’s like changing the oil in our car. If we don’t change our oil for a long period of time, things start to get very gelatinous and sticky and sludgy. If we eat enough fat, it’s like giving ourselves an oil change every day because it stimulates our CCK, which allows our gallbladder to contract and then release bile, and it keeps us from getting gallstones (watch the video above for more detail about gallstones and how these form).

Secretin is a compound made from about 22 amino acids. The lower our pH is, the more secretin we get. And this secretin stimulates our pancreas to make and release more enzymes and bicarbonate to break down our proteins. Bicarbonate is important because our super acidic food coming down from our stomach has to be made more alkaline to complete digestion. Bicarbonate acts like baking soda, regulating the pH, bringing it back up to neutral or slightly alkaline.

Symptoms of Gallbladder Trouble

When something isn’t quite right in the steps of digestion, your gallbladder may experience trouble. There are some common symptoms you can watch for, including the following:

  • Right-sided abdominal pain with possibly some right shoulder pain as well
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating and gas
  • Blonde-colored stools
  • Floating stools (extra fat in the stool is like oil and water, and the fat will float to the top instead of sinking, so floating stools aren’t good)

Causes of Gallbladder Trouble


These are a big common cause of gallbladder trouble. Let’s say you’re already Paleo, you’re already gluten-free—all of these things are already addressed. There are still some other allergens that can cause gallbladder trouble.

In order of the most likely offender to the least, these include the following: eggs, pork, onions, chicken, turkey, milk, coffee, oranges, corn, beans, nuts, apples, tomatoes, peas, cabbage, spices, peanuts, fish, and rye. This may seem like a lot, but start with the most likely offenders and work your way down when trying to pinpoint the food allergen affecting you.


Additionally, some medications, whether its birth control pills, antibiotics, and even some other statin and lipid medications, are known to cause gallbladder issues. Almost 20% of all gallbladder issues are induced by medications.


There are also infections that can drive gallbladder issues. A big one is Giardia, a parasitic infection. Giardia can nest itself up in the gallbladder and create inflammation.

For professional advice on gallbladder issues from a functional medicine doctor, click here!

How to Treat Gallbladder Pain

Now in conventional medicine, doctors see the increased bilirubin levels, they see the inflamed gallbladder then they just want to go in and cut that gallbladder out—that’s it. In functional medicine, we want to address the issue causing the gallbladder pain and trouble.

The easiest things, right off the bat, are to make the diet changes, add in some stomach acid. We add in some bile salts and some bile-supporting agents, whether it’s fringe tree, dandelion root, taurine. These can all be helpful for enhancing gallbladder bile flow, increasing the HCl, and cutting out the bad foods.

Get yourself tested to determine the root cause. Do you have an underlying infection? If so, it needs to be treated. Are you taking medications that may be irritating the gallbladder? If so, we need to find a good alternative. Do you have more symptoms outside of the digestive problems? If you have those gallbladder symptoms—the right-sided pain, indigestion, floating stools, nauseous after meals—there’s a really good chance that you have a gallbladder problem and you need to dig in and get to its source.


If your gallbladder is painful and inflamed, it is likely preventing you from properly digesting fat. While conventional medicine is quick to go in and just cut it out, there are other ways to treat gallbladder trouble and get to the true source of the issue, including changes in diet, eliminating offending medications, and killing off irritating infections. Taking care of the source of the problem may regulate your gallbladder and get it back under control.


Healthy Digestion! How Much Fat and Protein Should I Be Eating?

Healthy Digestion How Much Fat and Protein Should I Eat

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

How much fat do I need?

Your body has specific feedback loops that are intimately tied with satiety (feeling full). It’s interesting to know that fat and protein produce specific neurochemicals that make you feel full. Some of these neurochemicals are known as peptide YY, adiponectin, leptin, Ghrelin and CCK. These chemicals have an intimate feedback loop to the appetite centers of our brain. If you eat too many of these foods you will start to feel nauseous.

If you think back to some of the famous Pringles commercials of the 1990’s where they would say, “Once you pop, you can’t stop!” Or just think back to your college days, how many times do you remember eating a whole pizza to yourself ? It’s very easy to eat foods in excess that don’t produce a neurochemical signal to your brain telling you you’re full. The food industry knows this, and that is one of the reasons why they’ve taken most fats out of the food and added refined sugar and artificial sweeteners in their place. it’s wrong to even refer to these items as food, as Michael Pollan poetically puts it, they are more like “Edible food like substances.”

When you wake up in the middle of the night craving something;  do you find your self craving a grass fed steak with asparagus? Or are you craving some potato chips and Häagen-Dazs ice cream? You’ll find the underlying denominator in all these cravings is refined sugar and high glycemic carbohydrates.

Click here to find out more about

How much protein do I need?

How Much Protein I Need

My personal recommendations are 0.5 to 1 g per pound of body weight.  Many people convolute this formula using kilogram conversions and refer to lean body mass, in my opinion this just makes it more confusing. In general the recommendations above are adequate and nearly everyone can calculate their needs within just a few seconds.

Therefore a 200 pound man would need anywhere between 100 g of protein to 200 g protein depending on activity level and particular goals. If this person were training and trying to increase their muscle mass I would recommend staying at the 1 g side.

Strength coaches such as Charles Poliquinn even go as far to recommend 2 g per pound of body-weight. For your average everyday person 0.7 grams per pound is a safe starting place, you’ll find it’s probably far more than what you’re eating currently.

The only individuals that need to worry about their protein consumption are people who have kidney damage or kidney disease. Proteins do not create kidney damage on a healthy kidney,  but if your kidney is already impaired, the extra glomular filtration may be to much for the kidney to handle. Adding extra fats into your diet have a net neutral effect and can be a good alternative if you have kidney damage.

Many people ask about the acid load of protein.  As long as you eat enough high quality vegetable and fruit emphasis on the vegetables, the alkalinity created from the vegetables will be more than enough to balance out the acidity of the meat proteins. The most acidic proteins are soy, grains, casein and egg whites; all other whole animal proteins provide an adequate amount of phosporus which will help neutralize it from it’s calcium leaching effects.

I recommend starting off your day with the first 30 to 60 minutes consuming at least 30 g of protein. Below are different food choices and their protein amount per 4 ounces. FYI the palm of your hand is about 3 ounces, so something slightly bigger than your palm is a good estimate.

Beef- 32 gms. Lamb- 30.2 gms.

Turkey- 32.6 gms. Chicken- 33.8 gms.

Calf liver- 24.5 gms. Venison- 34.3 gms.

Salmon- 29 gms. Scallops- 23 gms.

Shrimp- 23.7 gms. Cod- 26 gms.

Tuna – 34 gms. Sardines- 22.7 gms.

*Tofu- 9.2 gms. Egg- (1) 6 gms.

*Lentils- 1cup 17.9 gms. *Dried peas- ½ cup 6 gms

*Cottage cheese- ½ cup 14 gms. *Yogurt- 1 cup 12.9 gms.

*Kidney Bean- 1 cup 15.4 gms. *Pinto Beans- 1 cup 14 gms.

*Lima Beans- 1 cup 14.7 gms. *Black Beans- 1 cup 15.2 gms.

*Garbanzo- 1 cup 14.5 gms. *Navy Bean-1 cup 15.8 gms.

Walnuts- ¼ cup 3.81 gms. Almonds- ¼ cup 7.62 gms.

Cashews- ¼ cup 5.24 gms. Almond Butter- 2 TBSP. 7 gms.

Cashew Butter- 2 TBSP 5 gms.

*Please keep in mind that beans are two thirds starch. So for every 1 g of protein you get from beans (legumes) you end up consuming 2 g of starchy carbohydrate. This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like legumes or beans as a quality protein source.  I also don’t recommend getting your protein from dairy sources like cottage cheese and yogurt.  The casein proteins in these foods can create inflammation and stress the immune system.  These dairy foods in their raw form are far superior to their pasteurized, homogenize and refined alternatives.

What do I do if eating all this protein and fat is causing me digestive problems?

Causes Digestive Problems

Your stomachs main job is to digest protein. It does this by producing HCl and pepsin which help decrease the pH in your stomach. As the acidity in the stomach decreases, this provides a more favorable environment to help break down protein. As the acidic chyme (pre-broken down protein and food in the stomach) are released into the small intestine, this signals a release of bile from the gallbladder and pancreatic enzymes from the pancreas. The bile from the gallbladder is an emulsifying agent which helps break down this newly entered fat in the small intestine. If the chyme from the stomach is not acidic it will not trigger a release of bile when it enters the small intestine.

As you can see there’s an intricate domino effect occurring in our digestion processes. Healthy digestion in the stomach is the first domino that needs to fall. This domino then triggers healthy digestion in the small intestine. The next domino that falls is healthy absorption of these broken down nutrients in the small intestine and healthy bacterial fermentation and re-absorption of electrolytes in the large intestine.  if one Domino doesn’t fall they can mess up the whole chain!

If you have a digestive problem the first thing I would recommend is supporting your body with hydrochloric acid, enzymes, pancreatic support and bile salts. This greatly aids in your body’s digestive abilities, which helps you to break down, utilize and assimilate all of the great food your putting your body. if your digestion is impaired it’s common to have bloating, gas, stomach burning or Gerd, belching, nausea and skin problems.

Some individuals have a gastrointestinal infection ranging from a parasite, bacteria (H-Pylori is a common one), fungus or viruses.  it’s important to mention  that everyone is entitled to having more than one infection, the more infections you have, the longer the recovery time.

If adding in digestive support doesn’t do the trick you should be screened for an infection either way. The goal isn’t to use natural supplements to cover up symptoms, the goal is to get to the underlying cause of the problem.

The last thing you want to do is use any type of proton pump inhibitors or acid blockers to fix the problem. This may help some of the symptoms in the beginning, but in the long run you are opening yourself up to major problems!

If you need help figuring out your diet and getting your digestion back on track, feel free and schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking here. This will at least give you the opportunity figure out the next steps you need to take to help improve your health!

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