What Your Brain is Really Hungry For

What Your Brain is Really Hungry For

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Alzheimer, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases are on the rise. Many people are under the impression that these diseases happen when you’re older, in your 60s, 70s, 80s… but this belief is wrong. Brain damage and deterioration actually starts when you’re young, in your 20s and 30s. It is only once enough damage has occured and symptoms start to show that a diagnosis is made.

How might a young person be causing such damage to their brain that they could end up with Alzheimer’s or other similar diseases? There are a few common patterns:

1) Insulin resistance: in some circles insulin resistance is even being referred to as Type III diabetes!

2) Autoimmunity: which can drive neurodegeneration in the brain.

3) Environmental toxicity: including heavy metals like aluminum, mercury and lead.

Today we’re going to be focusing on the effects of insulin resistance and its role in neurodegenerative diseases. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas creates that allows your body to use glucose (sugar and carbs) for energy. Insulin resistance is what happens when you consume too much sugar and carbohydrates, and your body stops reacting to insulin.

How does this relate to the brain? Well, it is a scientific fact that while the brain only represents about 5% of our body weight, it consumes nearly 25% of our nutrition and oxygen. When you consume too much sugar and carbohydrates, you become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance keeps the glucose trapped in the bloodstream and unable to be used for energy. Your brain becomes less and less capable of utilizing the glucose found in sugar and carbs for energy, and your begins to starve. If the brain is starving for glucose, the fuel needed to power our higher brain function is no longer accessible.

Optimize brain health by clicking here.

Hearing that these diseases can start if your brain is starving for glucose might lead you to believe that you should just consume more glucose, right?  It’s important to remember that excess glucose is what started this whole problem in the first place. Excess glucose in the blood is what caused insulin resistance, and also causes something called AGES(advances glycation end products). AGES are free radical magnets that damages our DNA, accelerate aging, and even cause wrinkles.

What the most up to date research is showing is that our brain can adapt to burning fat or ketones for energy. Essentially 80% of our brain can run off of ketones, so other areas that were perhaps starving now have access to a new fuel that can bring to life parts of the brain that may have been asleep.  One of the most popular fats that are being used are MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), which are abundantly found in coconut oil. These fats are unique because they are easily digested and converted into ketones which become brain food rather quickly.

Next time your sitting down to a meal, it’s a wise choice to avoid the excess sugar and refined junk and eat organic whole foods, especially vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins.  The solid portion of your brain is 70% fat, so make sure you get an extra serving of healthy grass-fed meat, wild salmon, and coconut oil. This will help your brain function at the highest level possible and help prevent the occurrence neurodegenerative disease in your future.

Click here for more ways to improve brain health and functioning.

Looking Deeper at Your Blood Tests – Podcast # 168

Dr. Justin Marchegiani welcomes Dave Korsunsky, founder and Chief Executive Officer of headsuphealth.com, which is a website about tracking health data. Join them as they discuss about blood sugar levels, ketone levels, blood test and other health-related data that can be integrated with smart devices and the website as a means of analyzing your health.

Know about preprandial and postprandial blood sugar readings and glucose functional ranges. Also, find out more about the Carb Tolerance Test and learn how it can provide value and insight to how your body responds to sugar from different food sources.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we talk about: 

05:08   Functional Glucose Tolerance

13:45   Body Composition and Postprandial response

18:16   Quick walk through on Headsuphealth

31:51   Heart Rate Variability

35:54   Stress and its associated markers


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio! My good friend Dave Korsunsky is in the house. Dave Korsunsky, how we doing today?

Dave Korsunsky: Fantastic, Doc. It’s been far too long since we’ve connected, so happy to be back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Love it. So happy we’re connected here, too. Let’s talk about I mean you run the website headsuphealth.com— Heads Up House, phenomenal site where you can track your data. Again, you’re putting lots of new features in there where people can—can plug-in or integrate some of their smart devices, Fitbit, some other ketone or blood sugar reader scales, blood pressure cuffs integrate with lab companies. Lab Corps, coming out soon, you mention Qwest. So great way if you’re kind of like a bio hacker or a health hacker and you want to put everything in one place. Awesome place to look at there. So we have uhm—we have a new feature, where we talked about the new features that are coming up. So we’ll have an affiliate link here below, so if you’re listening to this information and it resonates with you or you want to try plugging it in, we’ll have an affiliate link down below that you can click to get access to some of this information to get your account moving. And again, start integrating some of the features that we’re gonna chat about today.

Dave Korsunsky: Great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. So off the bat, let’s dig in. So, one of the more important things that it’s coming here is we have some newer ketone readers in the market. Uh—one of those readers is called the “Keto Mojo” Cool thing about it is Keto strips are cheaper, which is great. It’s gonna measure ketones along with blood sugar and and it’s also gonna measure hemoglobin and hematocrit. Love it. I’m waiting for just that extra feature of insulin then we got like just freaking lab in the little reader right front of us. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Dave Korsunsky: Every time I see Dorian the founder, I beat him up to say, “Hey, Dorian, can we get an insulin strip?” Because as you know, that’s— that would be a game changing piece of information that currently there’s no way to do that in a consumer test. But if you can start testing things like postprandial insulin just at home after different meals, it’d be awesome but nonetheless, they’ve put a great product out there and it’s really made ketone testing affordable and accessible to people who perhaps couldn’t have access to this before. So that’s a great one. We’re gonna to talk more about it as we go here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the reason why insulin is so important is because you have a lot of people that are insulin resistant with their blood sugar looks decent, let’s say 90 or 95 right? But it’s only decent because insulin is compensating and going so, so high. So insulin is shoveling out that blood sugar into the cell, so then the blood sugar looks lower because the insulin is basically the shovel. You got a lot more shovels shoveling that out. So it’s different coz if your blood sugar is here with high insulin, then you’re developing insulin resistance, right? Coz you have more shovels—cons—you know, compensating for that. If we decrease—and your blood sugar’s good, that means you are insulin sensitive.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we need low insulin to increase ketones, right? Ketones and insular on the scale. So people are like, “Hey, I’m like trying to lower carb or my blood sugar’s low but my ketones are low.” Well, that’s the missing variable is the insulin could be high. So to keep that in mind, we have this little seesaw fat with insulin and ketones. Anything you wanna say about that?

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. We wrote a blog post exactly on that topic. And we talked about why fasting insulin is one of the most important test your doctor probably isn’t running because you’ll—you’ll get a typical fasting glucose test with no indication of whether or not insulin is artificially inflated, keeping that number down. That’s why it’s important to test both at the same time. So, yeah, I would agree. I think it’s incredibly important. I’d love to see the day we can start testing that at home. But right now, the only way to get an insulin test, whether it’s fasting or postprandial or whatever, is at the lab. And we’re gonna talk about that a little later in this metabolic panel that you have cooked up here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely! And we’re gonna do a screen sharing just a few minutes. The key—we’re gonna kinda just dial a couple of key components here. So let’s say you kinda already transitioned from a Paleo template approach or maybe you’re doing a Keto Paleo where you’re focusing on nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, anti-toxin foods, right? But you’re keeping the grains, the dairy, the legumes out and such and you’re doing higher-quality fat, but you’re trying a very lower carb version 20 or 30 net grams. Big thing that we can work on integrating today is some of the heads up features looking at that fasting one hour, two hour and three hour glucose tolerance where we called it a functional glucose tolerance. Meaning, we’re not going to drink that 75 gram of glucose artificial sugar crap at the doctor’s office. We’re choosing a real meal not a fake exaggerated meal, but a real meal that we can see how our blood sugar fluctuates over that three-hour period. And you’ve integrated that in there. And why don’t we go to the screen shot on your side and you can kinda just walk us through how that looks. And just for everyone below here, if you listen to this on podcast, the YouTube channel click the affiliate code below we’re gonna have so you can get access to this information.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. I remember when you and I first started working together, doc. And I was your patient and you educated me on what the functional glucose tolerance test actually was versus the oral glucose tolerance. And the functional glucose tolerance being something you could do at home after any meal. And for those who were unclear, the oral glucose tolerance is the formal test we go to the doctor, drink the sugar and you hang around and get the— the postprandial blood glucose test done. Not really that practical in reality. But the functional glucose reference you can test with anything. So I’ve got my screen shared, can you see it here, Doc?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can see it. You’re up.

Dave Korsunsky: Yes. So, this is something we ended up calling initially we called it the functional glucose tolerance test, but it was just a little too wordy to fit in. So it’s really just a carb tolerance test and actually Rob Wolf talks about this in his book as well, where based on some research out of Israel, there was a study done following 800 different people and they found that you could give two people the exact same carbohydrate source whether it’s sweet potato or bread or lentils and they would have very different postprandial glucose responses. So the key take away was that it’s different for everybody. And back to the functional glucose tolerance, where you’re actually having people test their favorite breakfast, test their favorite restaurant meals or meals they’re eating at home. So here’s how this works and you can see on my screen here I’ve got the future called the Carb Tolerance test and you can just click the plus button here. You can test anything you want. So let’s say you test your—your favorite breakfast of Denny’s bacon and eggs. And all you do is just put a name in here, but this could be anything. It could be a muffin, it could be 50 g of Sweet potato, it could be anything that you’re curious about. You say I eat this food regularly, I want to understand how my body— my body’s postprandial glucose responses are going to be. So I’ve called this anything I want. And what I do is I test my blood sugar before I eat that food. So let’s say that my—my pre-prandial for example was 85, and if this was a fasting reading, I could also take it as such. And then what you do is you just test one hour, two hour and three hours after the meal and update this intro info accordingly. You can also record any subjective symptoms and this could help you identify—even though you may have a nice, healthy postprandial glucose response, there’s also the ability to record subjective symptoms. “Did I have an energy crash?” “Did I get brain fog?” Did I feel hungry 30 minutes later?” or “Did I have digestive issues?” And you can save that and then share it with a practitioner like yourself. So I’m gonna answer my pre-prandial glucose reading here and then hit save. And you’ll see this will create a new entry here. And then all I have to do is just update the one hour and a two hour and a three hour after I go. And just to give you an example of what that looks like when it’s completed is here’s what I did at In-N-Out Burger because when I’m traveling, often you don’t have access to all of the healthy, low-carb food to do a home. So I go to In-N-Out, I’ll get two lettuce wrap burgers with—they call it the protein style. And I wanted to see, does—does just a protein burger with no bun have an effect on my glucose?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dave Korsunsky: And here with the results: 90- 106 at one hour; 89 at two hour; and then back to about 95 at the three hour mark. So, maybe I’ll kick it back—back to you, Doc. And you can share more about what you’re looking for in the postprandial glucose curve as you have your patients test different meals and different foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So, in general, you know, we have this kind of fasting ideally below hundred and 95. Again, we got to be careful in the morning because in the morning and that from when you wake up to 30 minutes later, your cortisol is increasing nearly 50 to 60% in that 30-minute period. And because of that healthy cortisol response, you can actually increase blood sugar and that big spike that’s like, you know, you’re making them over three quarters of your cortisol just in that zero- 30 minutes. So that spike can increase blood sugar and you may think, “Hey, you know, this is partly because of my diet.” And it may or may not be. So just kinda keep it like a little, you know, asterisk next to that and really look at your lunch and dinner ones, especially if you’re seeing an anomaly in the morning. So we like that zero below hundred and 95. We like hour number one, below 140 for extra credit. For extra credit, we like it below 120.

Dave Korsunsky: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Below 120 and then at two hours, below 120 or close to a hundred and below— at three, definitely, below 100. So, kinda keep that as your— as your kind of your baseline. Remember we went out to eat out like a few months back. We went to a steak restaurant. I think I tested mine one hour after a meal and my blood sugar was 70 or 75, right?

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you can eat really well and you can choose foods that keep your blood sugar from spiking. And the whole benefit that is when your blood sugar’s not spiking like that, you’re not over secreting insulin; when you’re not over secreting insulin, you’re not gonna develop insulin resistance and all of the effects of that may have with ovarian cyst or cancer cells or inflammation and our blood pressure. So all those things kinda benefit. So, just kinda highlighting on your side, we can plug those in and we can map them and we can put the notes in there regarding what meals. Then you can say, “Hey, protein style In-n-Out.” “The steakhouse where I did” or “The cheat day where I ate this dessert or this crappy food.” Right? And then you can kinda map it out. And that can provide a lot of value and insight of how your body responds and also there’s the immunological qualities that Rob Wolf has talked about where it may not be a carbohydrate thing. It may be a cortisol response to a food allergen that’s getting your immune system wound up that could— that cortisol can increase the blood sugar as a—as a side side effect.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. And we—we’ve had several users on Heads Up Health test different foods that they thought were metabolically safe for their body and the results were absolutely shocking for someone will test certain foods that they’ve been eating. And I’ll share some results with me anecdotally and I’ll say, “Wow, I thought this food was safe.” And then they tested and it’s—the blood sugar still skyrocketing at the three-hour mark. It hasn’t started to come down at all. It’s a runaway train. And—and people actually had no idea. So this can be incredibly helpful just to make sure that there’s nothing really sabotaging your efforts. And unfortunately, you do need to test these foods yourself. You can’t just rely on things like the uhm— the guidance from the Diabetes Association or from the uh—glycemic load tables. There’s so much individual variance that this is why postprandial blood sugar testing— even if you’re not diagnosed as having a metabolic disease, even just for your own personal health, it is helpful to test different foods and—and just make sure that you are having a healthy postprandial response. So, that’s the new feature we’ve built into Heads Up Health. You can test anything you want and just make sure it’s metabolically safe. All of these readings will be stored. And actually, you can probably add more here, Doc. But after you’ve been on a clean Paleo eating template for several months, you may actually be able to tolerate foods that you couldn’t tolerate before as your body composition improves, your gut microbiome improved. So, maybe, you can comment on how something that might not be metabolically safe now could potentially be reintroduced at some future point after you’ve made some progress on your health journey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So, of course, if you’re not breaking that food down, not digesting it well, that can create a stressor. It could just be a food allergen kinda like gluten. That could be a stress or dairy or casein, right? People on the Keto community, Keto Paleo community, they are notorious for maybe doing excess casein because you know, “Hey, you can do dairy or cheese or all these things.”
Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you got to be careful with the case in uh—from a Ketogenic perspective because that could be__. And uhm—of course, if you have an infection or SIBO or parasite or H. pylori something that’s driving gastrointestinal permeability or the word “leaky gut” That can get your immune system wound up, too. And of course, if you have you know, low levels of probiotics in your gut that can create issues. Coz probiotics help with the immune function to help reduce B vitamins and vitamin K. And of course, you know, good bacteria eats poop and poops nutrition, right? Bad bacteria eats nutrition and poops poop. Essentially, good bacteria provides more nourishment; bad bacteria provides more toxins and stress in your gut.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup. Exactly. So and—and what about body composition as well? Have you seen for example as you increase your lean muscle mass, for example, that may— does that also have an impact on postprandial response? Because we—we talked to a lot of guys who are bodybuilders and they can go out and need a huge quantity of food and—and postprandial responses are very low. So, I know you mentioned gut microbiome, but what about body composition muscle mass in response to uhm— postprandial glucose?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, number one, if you have more muscle mass, you’re gonna have more glut 4 receptors to soak in that glucose. So, think about it as your kid makes a mess on the table, you go with a tiny little sponge to clean it up. That’s like tiny bit of muscle is a tiny of sponge.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Whereas like a huge—like one of those big sponges you used to kinda wash your car you have more muscles equivalent to a big sponge like that. Lots of glut 4 receptors. You can soak about that glucose just like you can go to your table with your kids mess and you can soak it all up and you didn’t even— didn’t even bat an eye, right?

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So muscle does that. Also, muscle, if you have more muscle, that means you automatically have less fat, right? So fats and exocrine gland within itself so it will produce estrogen as well.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what pretty much drives the fat is gonna be insulin. So excess insulin drives more fat; more fat drives more estrogen. So it’s kinda like this vicious cycle. More estrogen can make you more insulin resistant, especially if you’re a guy and then more insulin increases aromatase, which will take your testosterone and bring it downstream to estrogen. So you become more of a female hormonally and with women, it’s actually the opposite. They get more insulin – more insulin will drive the 17,20 lyase enzyme, which then increases androgens and then they get ovarian cyst and then they get more, you know, hair growth, acne. So it’s this vicious cycle our mother nature kinda swaps the roles there.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. I talked to a lot of people who are doing everything right in terms of the macronutrient profiles. They are eating low-carb, they’ve got things dialed in there, but— but little to no exercise. And yes, you will— you will lose that to a certain extent body composition will improve, but there’s—it’s also critically important to be building muscle mass, lifting heavy things and sweating. Those are two of the most important ingredients in my own regimen. Making sure I’m building up lots of muscle mass in in the quads, in the back, in the large muscle groups. And I think that’s something that at least in my experience, people I don’t think appreciate as much as they start down this path. They think that diet alone is going to handle it, but lifting heavy even if you’re just starting out starting to learn some of the functional movements that are— that build a lot of core body strength and really hit the big muscle groups. I think that’s perhaps the next level to get to once you have a solid foundation with the diet. Would you agree?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. And also, say make sure you get your 10+ thousand steps. Yesterday I got a 14,000 steps. That’s helpful because that— the steps really allow you to start basically cleaning out some of that extra—there’s little bit of extra carbohydrate in there. You can clean some of it out coz you’re constantly moving and the extra steps really help. And of course if your— you know, “ I don’t have a ton of time, so I’ll just jump in and do a couple cattle bells swings to failure, some push-ups to failure.” And that could help because the—the push-ups, right? You know, I have a push a bar so I can go really deeply, so I get a full range of motion push-up all the way down all the way up. I can get the upper body going. I’ll do my TRX Rose to get the posterior side nice and some kettle bell swings as well. And if you have a lot of time, throw a Tabata in there coz that high-intensity gets the growth hormone. And growth hormone is really gonna be stimulating a lot of that—that muscle tissue.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. I definitely have a home gym envy, Doc. I’ve been over to your place and I’ve seen your set up. It’s pretty nice, so I definitely would love to have something similar someday in the home.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you’re on a budget, really simple, TRX that hangs over door.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You have the adjustable kettle bells on Amazon and get a push-up bar. Push-up bar is optional but I just like it coz you can get really deep coz I would go so deep I bang my head against you know, the floor. So I can go really deep full range of motion and not have to you know make out the floor, so to speak. So that’s a great option for you.

Dave Korsunsky: Those are great. I’d love to maybe see if we can find some of the recommended products on Amazon— the adjustable kettle bells, the TRX stuff and just actually may be included that here in the notes so people know which ones you’ve tested and they can just go out and get that and try it. So I think that would be uhm—yeah, that’d be cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll get that in the show notes, for sure. Also, let’s just give—we kinda show some of the functional glucose tolerance stuff but you know—you just give us a cursory. Just just give us a quick walk through through Heads Up so someone that they’re gonna click on the link below, they’re gonna get to the site, but then what do they do? How does it work? Give us that like little round up there.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah this is—this is my—my personal data. So let me just refresh the screen here because uh— some of the information didn’t actually come in on the last load. And as you share screen that’s what I wanted. So the first thing we’ll ask you as a new user is, “Which devices and apps you’re using to measure your health?” And so at least everyone who signs up has at least one of these devices. A withing scale an eye health wireless blood pressure monitor or glucometer, a fit bit, uh— my fitness pal for tracking the macros, Apple Health. These are gonna be able to pull in things like heart rate and blood sugars, sleep, macronutrient profiles. So all of that will flow in so you can connect as many of these sources as you want and then you’ll see were also starting to build some of the more specialized sources as well. The ones I showed first were more of the commercial grade stuff, but you can also see we’re starting to integrate devices like the Oura ring and the level breath acetone analyzer and things like Elite HRV and the other HRV monitors are coming in. So uh—we’re also working on the decks com, CGM device so we want to make it easy for people to build their own custom dashboard because everyone’s tracking different metrics. So this is all completely customizable. So that’s step one. And then you’re allowed to build your own custom dashboard. So I’ve got the carb tolerance test data here, but if that’s not something I’m working on, I can just actually hide it. And you can see my top three metrics are glucose, ketones and the glucose ketone index, which is just a ratio of these two numbers. A lot of our cancer patients and people with serious metabolic dysfunction are tracking the—the index of the two numbers. And then you can see I’ve got my weight and body fat readings those can come from a withing scale. They can be entered manually. This year is my heart rate variability, which actually comes in from the Oura ring and so that’s on here as well. Same as sleep. So that ring gives me a good sleep and HRV reports. So this is all completely customizable, breath ketones, resting heart rate. And then really what people try and figure out is how is this affecting my clinical markers? Are my lifestyle changes lowering my inflammation or not? And the only way to see that is to put the clinical markers in the same system as the light markers. And typically, the doctor has this clinical data. So it’s very difficult to compare lifestyle changes to clinical markers and that’s what we wanted to solve here and make it available for everybody. So I could just jump down and look at things like my inflammation markers and say, “Okay, is CRP coming down as I go on a clean Paleo template?” And we can actually link directly to your medical facility and pull this data out. So all you do is click the connect data button and let’s say that you’re sending patients to Quest Diagnostics. They would be able to just link their quest account to Heads Up and all of that information would flow in or if they’re using a more traditional health system and billing their insurance, you can connect Stanford, you can connect UCLA, you can connect the Cleveland clinic. There’s over 10,000 medical facilities in here and what we’ll do is we’ll take all of that data, clean it up and organize it from oldest to newest so people can actually have the full picture of their health and what we’re seeing is patients can look back into their history five 10-15 years into the past. Maybe even decades before they’ve even started working with their current doctor and see these patterns emerging years before the disease was diagnosed. And the reason you—you can’t do that today is because every time you change doctors, your health record get fragmented but when we put it all together for people, then you can start to see, “Wow, actually that trend was visible 10 years before I even got the diagnosis.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dave Korsunsky: But nobody noticed because I moved and my records got fragmented and my doctor can only see back three years, but I can see back 15 years. And that’s where this has the potential to I think really help people uhm— have actually more power and more information on their health. So, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff that goes into the system, Doc, but it’s really meant for patients and then most importantly all I have to do here is go to care team access.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dave Korsunsky: Give you access and you can come in and review all this data whenever you want. And then if I don’t want you have access anymore, I would just disable that access.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you’re listening to this on iTunes or a kind of an audio version, we’ll put a link down below for the YouTube video version as well. So if you’re trying to figure out like kinda find us, we’ll put the link but Justin health.com/YouTube Y-O-U-T-U-B-E and subscribe there. That way, you can see the videos well and then you can also listen to the audio.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. So I just killed the screen share, but that’s a quick walk-through. I wanted to show people the functional glucose tolerance test because it just allows everybody to test their favorite foods, make sure that they are metabolically safe even things you thought might be safe, may not be. So it’s easy to just test and be hundred percent sure and obviously, you can integrate all the other information. So, that’s a little bit about one of the most recent features we just finished up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Dave Korsunsky: And actually we uh— we have a debt of gratitude to Dr. J on that one because he was the one who told me about the functional glucose tolerance test. So we took your vision, Doc, and implemented it into our software program.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. That’s phenomenal, man. Very cool. I’m also gonna be doing a live right now—a blood sugar test to myself kinda see where I’m at and put it out live on air.

Dave Korsunsky: Well, I can’t get you go solo there, Doc. I’m gonna have my Keto mojo here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 87.

Dave Korsunsky: 87—that’s respectable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And just so you know, that’s an hour and a half to two hours after having three eggs cooked in ghee with sea salt and then some butter coffee with MCT.

Dave Korsunsky: Alright. Let’s see what I got here. So uh—you mention the mojo here it is—uh 99 ketone strip. I’m not gonna do the ketone test right now. I’m just gonna do a is to glucose strip. This is about I don’t know, half an hour after I had breakfast which is really just a chicken breast today. I’m traveling so I don’t have access to all my food and uh—clocked in at 82. Respectable 82. That’s where I wanna be, so, yeah, I’m dialed in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s good. Yup. I mean, my ketones are probably around .6 mmol typically is where they are out of, what, like an 80, 80+ percent fat breakfast. I typically get my protein in the morning from collagen. I did some good quality pasteur-fed eggs, but that’s important. And let’s just kinda hit a couple of the other blood sugar markers that we can do. So, I like the functional glucose tolerance. One: because it’s specific to the meals.

Dave Korsunsky: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Where if you do kind of a blood test, so you go to Labcorp, it may be helpful, but it’s kinda like a fixed thing—

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s not something that someone can do all the time. So we can do fasting insulin, which is really nice. And if you’re more insulin resistant, that’s great because your blood sugar may look okay, but it’s nice to see the insulin coming down. And that’s even better coz that tells us that we’re reversing insulin resistance. We can do fructosamine. So, fasting insulin, ideally, below five—the sweet spot.

Dave Korsunsky: So let me—let me jump in on fasting insulin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, sure.

Dave Korsunsky: A lot of people, probably their doctor might not run it for them because there’s not a diagnostic code. My doctor wouldn’t run it for me and it’s extremely important. As you said, to see glucose and insulin to make sure that one is not overcompensating for the other. And so that’s— sometimes to test that, a patient will have to order on their own and whether they get it from you or whether they go or it themselves online, maybe you can just comment on that. My doctor won’t run that specific test for me and—and how could somebody do that themselves if their doctor won’t run it?

Dave Korsunsky: Yes. So, of course, you want to reach out to a functional medicine Doc like myself. There are others out there because in the realm of functional medicine, we’re not actually treat disease, we’re supporting underlying systems that may not be working optimally. We’re fixing diet and lifestyle and we’re trying to bio hack and kinda maximize optimal performance. So it’s a different mindset and if you’re in the insurance model, things tend to be all disease-based, CD 10 code, CPT attached to it and uhm—it’s just you know, if you’re trying to utilize your insurance for this type of healthcare, it’s typically not gonna work.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup. And so what I did just for myself and my family is we just— we just went on to one of the websites where you can order your own tests. There’s a bunch out there and just ordered our own fasting glucose, our own fasting insulin 70 bucks and just got it done and make sure all numbers were in range. So, at least in the United States, this is not available internationally. But within the United States, we do have direct to consumer lab testing. If you’re concerned and you want to know the numbers and your doc won’t run it, do it yourself and track it in Heads up Health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. And again, a lot of people, they maybe listening concerned about you know, cholesterol, eating this much fat and this much good quality protein, again, I just got approved for the highest life insurance policy you can get from uh—you know, grade wise health and my lipids came back 180-185 for total cholesterol HDL is in the mid-60s Trigs were in the 50-60 range. So again, you know, nearly perfect on everything is wide at the highest rating that you can get for life insurance. But just to show you, you know, you’re concerned about thinking about eating these foods and it jacking up your cholesterol, typically not. The biggest thing that will jack it up will be insulin. Insulin will up regulate the enzyme that makes more cholesterol the uh—Hemo Methyl Glutarate COA Reductase enzyme.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup. So, yeah, we–-and that’s great. And you were just actually also, we were talking about a panel we’re gonna put together which is going to be a fasting glucose fasting insulin A1C and fructosamine. So uh— some people may not be familiar with fructosamine and A1C so maybe comment on those and then we’ll will put the panel together on the website people can just go do it themselves, Quest or Lab Corp and we’ll put the functional ranges in the show notes because the conventional ranges are misleading sometimes. So what do you think about those numbers in general?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. So fructosamine, typically is a 10-14 day window. So in the lower, 200 is gonna be great.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A1C in the lower fives—

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Lower 5’s is gonna be great. Of course, glucose, it depends upon the timing. But fasting you know, below hundred, below 95 is great, you know, we got shot it in the 80’s which is excellent. Insulin below five below six is really good from a fasting insulin closer to two or three is—is—is great, too, as well. And again, if we go really low in the insulin, we have a lot of fatigue issues. We do need insulin to help convert thyroid hormones. So we could be driving insulin too low, which could be creating some other metabolic issues. So keep that in the back of your head if you’re Keto, Paleo and you’re still having some symptoms you may need to actually raise the insulin a bit especially if your body comps are already pretty good. So keep that in the back of head. That could be a little something we have to tweak down the road.

Dave Korsunsky: And that is actually something you help me with last time I was in Austin where I had extremely low carb for a really long time. Potentially, it was even keeping insulin too low and I was seeing some elevated cortisol responses and just having some uh— post exercise uhm— insomnia type issues. And I was able to just dial it back a little bit and over time, quickly correct those. So that was one of the things I learned just from my own personal experience was to cycle out every once in a while and—and dial back up the—the carbs maybe from below 25 to 50 or something around there. I know you’d target 100, you’ve mentioned before. So, I think variance is good, basically. And uhm—I I know I personally may have stayed low carb too long I didn’t need to be I was actually— my body composition was good, but that’s a good point. It’s actually being too low can also have some downstream effects on the insulin side as well. Correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. And again, for me, I always default to go in low coz it’s easier to start low.

Dave Korsunsky: Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Kind of stabilized and then move up.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Coz if you’re kinda in the middle, then which way that you gotta go. There’s more variables that you have to move through; but if you start lower, then you start to move one direction.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you know, then you’re okay. Then if you hit a point, you know, you got, you got—so to speak, some uh—you have a direction that you just got to go the opposite to get back to where in case you just start having a negative reaction.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup, cool. Okay, perfect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we talked about those couple of markers there. That’s perfect. We hit those things. Also, let’s chat about the HRV a bit. So I see HRV, your heart rate variability, which is the unevenness between the hearts uh—you know, the heartbeat in each second. It’s not a consistent beat, there’s some level of unevenness, which basically is a parasympathetic response. So the more the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, that’s a great sign of being able to heal anabolic hormones, being able to recover, build, back up, recycle neurotransmitters, build muscle. That’s really good. So we have some devices that we can utilize I mean you can do the Amway device by HeartMath. Uhm—I like the just the Fit bit, making sure sleep looks pretty good. Uhm you can check in with the Oura ring. So let’s dial in with some of the things that you use to help improve heart rate variability.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. That sounds good, Doc. Give me one second here. Can you hear me, okay?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You sound great.

Dave Korsunsky: Alright. So, starting to see a lot of individuals who are starting to look at heart rate variability. I think there’s still a lot of people who aren’t quite sure what is. They’re starting to hear that term, HRV. You might not know exactly what it is. I’ve only recently started introducing it into my regimen. Initially I started by very simple—just purchasing a heart rate monitor— a polar heart rate monitor that you can get on Amazon for 30 bucks and it’s a chest strap. So in the morning you would—you’d put it on and you would fire up an HRV app. And in my case, I was starting with the lead HRV. There’s a number of them out there you can pick one that you like and it will just ask you to sit—sit still for two or three minutes in the morning and it will start doing what’s called a readiness score and it will start measuring that variability. The—the time between each heartbeat and looking at the variance and then it will be able to give you a—a measurement of your level of recovery. How well recovered your body is on a given day and it just can help you inform how hard you should push yourself on your training. So some of the popular apps out there that I’ve come across are lead HRV, bio force and the one I’m using now is actually the Oura ring, which is here and this one actually will measure a number of different metrics. It will measure HRV, body temperature, sleep cycle analysis and give you a readiness score based on all that information. But for those who are not familiar with it, HRV is an excellent measurement to start assessing your level of personal stress, sympathetic versus parasympathetic, your level of recovery from physical training on a given day. And it can be a very helpful metric to understand just—just the level of stress in the body that can have implications for inflammation, can have implications for your blood sugar levels. So for those who aren’t familiar with it, starting to look into doing some basic HRV measurement I think is increasingly becoming a very popular metric that we’re seeing requests for from our users.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Excellent.

Dave Korsunsky: Are you testing? Have you tested HRV? Have you use any products there? do you have your patients measured at all?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t do a lot of testing with it. I just—I haven’t found something that I’ve been streamlined with because there’s many things out there. So like the bigger things for me are like functional glucose testing. I like the Fit bit. If people aren’t gonna be going to the gym, making sure they’re getting enough steps.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a cool one that’s out there I’m liking. Coz I see a lot of people poor posture. It goes on your spine.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then there is an app and that it tells you how straight your spine is.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you put it on for optimal posture and then if you start moving, there’s a screen alert and it shows you where your posture is. So it’s instantaneous biofeedback for your posture.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s—

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. It’s called—I forgot the name of it. It’s Lumo Back or something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. I’m liking that to a certain degree coz if people sit all day, I think it provides a lot of awareness that, “Hey, your posture is pretty bad maybe get a stand desk.” I stand 5-6 hours a day and have a walking treadmill that I slide into my desk and I walk about you know 5 to 10 miles a day while I’m seeing patients. That’s I think helpful. So I don’t go crazy on that, but I think it’s something that I will look more into. I— I wish that Fitbit would integrate and have a heart rate variability aspect, too. I think some of the more expensive ones do, but I like the Flex for the Fitbit. It’s just a little more durable.

Dave Korsunsky: So this is something that I think would be uh— helpful—helpful to a lot of users on our system who are managing autoimmune disorders. They are managing metabolic diseases. They are managing cancer, for example. And if HRV is a proxy measurement for stress and perhaps underlying cortisol and elevated sympathetic nervous system response, maybe it’s not specifically to HRV, but can you share how things like stress can affect autoimmune, specifically, gut disorders and other autoimmune diseases and how measuring and lowering stress can improve symptoms and associated markers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, of course, we have stresses –is in a couple different areas, right? We have like when people think of stress, it’s typically emotional stress, right? It’s work, families, relationship, finance. Like that’s one element to you know, emotional stress.

Dave Korsunsky: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also things are like blood sugar. Having your blood sugar swing up and down because you’re eating too much carbohydrate or you’re skipping meals and you’re not getting enough nutrition and B vitamins and minerals at the meals coz you’re burning that stuff up, the more stressed you are, right?
Dave Korsunsky: Got it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Think of you driving a car. You gas it on the highway. You’re going faster, you’re making fast turns. Well, you go through gasoline at higher rate.

Dave Korsunsky: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the same thing happens with people when they are skipping meals, right? And they’re under a lot of stress. They don’t have the gasoline and the take. The difference is our body just starts shifting in the catabolic physiology where it starts breaking down other tissue. The difference in a car is once you’re on empty, right? That Seinfeld episode, how low can you go? Well, eventually, you just—the car just stops. The difference is if the car was equal to our physiology, we’ll start metabolizing the bumper or we’ll start metabolizing the internal uh—gas, you know, the internal oil and fluids and such, right? The car is not quite like us. Once it’s on, once it’s out of fuel, it stops.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We don’t stop. We break down other tissues and hormones and neurotransmitters and that creates disease because we’re breaking down, we’re getting chronically inflamed. So cortisol is gonna break down of course more neurotransmitters. It’s gonna create— it’s gonna a breakdown gut tissue, which is gonna create more leaky gut and create more immune stress. The more immune stress there is, the immune system sucks up a lot of resources, a lot of energy and of course, when the gut is impaired, when the gut is inflamed, we’re not gonna be able to absorb a lot of those nutrients. So, let’s say you start shifting your diet back to up to a Paleo template or an autoimmune template and you’re not getting better, that’s probably why. Is your sympathetic nervous system is so turned on we have to work on that. We need to support the gut integrity. And there’s probably some infections that have come because your immune system has been shut off. So basically, you left your door in uh— unlocked and now you get five homeless people sleeping your house when you get home, right? That’s the equivalent of you know these parasites. You got to come clean them up, right. You gotta go do all the stuff you need to do in the functional medicine program to get them all dial back in.

Dave Korsunsky: Yes. So my take away from that is heart rate variability is actually a way that people construct to quantify stress because—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Another way to monitor it, right? Like heart rate variability is not “tell me what to do” but it tells me that what I’m doing is actually working.

Dave Korsunsky: That’s exactly right. So if someone is suspecting that they’re doing everything right and they’ve got an autoimmune condition, they’ve got some other condition going on, they know that they have some stress in their life that’s probably exacerbating things. Starting to get some HRV measurement can actually give you some hard data because otherwise stress is just as nebulous thing. “Yeah I’m stressed out. It may be affecting my markers, my symptoms. I don’t really know how to quantify it.” And I think that’s where learning HRV can become extremely helpful especially getting that morning HRV readiness score, where it just says, “you got a great sleep” “your HRV numbers look good” “you can push yourself today” or you can say “Your HRV numbers are terrible. Take today focus on rest and recovery.” And it actually gives you a number of quantifiable, accurate number that can be used to start to calibrate lifestyle, actually understand how stressed your—your system is. And then make adjustments and have some data to work with instead of this nebulous “I’m stressed” term. The HRV can give you real numbers to work with. And there’s some great tools out there. The Oura ring is one. The elite HRV readiness score is another. Not difficult to measure and that can help you start to move the needle in terms of stress response. So, I guess that’s my take away from why I recommend HRV, why I test it personally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what’s your favorite device again?

Dave Korsunsky: Well, right now I’m using the Oura ring. It’s a pricey device that’s the thing, but it incorporates a lot of different things into the uhm— stress response score. It includes a lot of data from your previous night’s sleep. Deep, light, REM, uh— bedtime, wake time, resting heart rate. Things of that nature. So that’s the device I’m using. I also have a Polar heart rate chest strap which I bought on Amazon. I think it was $29 and the elite HRV app is free. So that’s another one. And I know that there’s other HRV apps out there. Pick one you like. Maybe test a couple. Start getting some basic HRV measurements and then it can be just another helpful data point to help you try to assess and measure and improve metrics associated with stress, elevated sympathetic nervous system, poor sleep quality could also contribute to poor HRV numbers. So those are the products I currently am familiar with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Excellent. Well, I have to get them to sponsor the show here, Oura Ring, phenomenal. Alright, Dave, hey, phenomenal show. We’re gonna put links here kinda link to get access all this material here for you guys.

Dave Korsunsky: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Get people over there. We’ll put some of the material and things we talked about in the show notes section underneath. So if you’re listening to iTunes or YouTube, we’ll be able to give you access some of those information there and some of those tools. Anything else you want to share that you think is really important before we wrap it up.

Dave Korsunsky: No. I think it’s always good to—to be on here and just –my whole thing is data-driven health and using having access to your numbers and learning how to figure out what works for you and it’s also great to speak with you and get the clinical perspective on how to interpret these numbers as well. So it was just great to be back. We’ve always got a lot of stuff we can talk about. We could probably go on forever but I think we recovered some good information here so uh— it was it was fun as always, Doc. I’ll be seeing you at Paleo f(x) Not to— not too far from now. Always a fun time so I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to have some fun and uh yeah, otherwise, it’s just great to be on the show.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Great to be here, too. And also you’re listening to this, sharing is caring. Give us a share. Give us the thumbs up. We appreciate it. Spread the word. Uh again, it really fires me up when I see more people getting healthier so make sure you give that a share. Dave, thanks a lot. Great having you here today.

Dave Korsunsky: Okay, great.



Adjustable Kettlebells

TRX suspension trainer

Push up bar

Keto Mojo

Lumo Back App


Oura Ring

Elite HRV readiness

How Sugar Feeds Illness

 How Sugar Feeds Illness

How Sugar Feeds Illness

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

America takes first place… as the top consumer of dietary sugar in the world. Our sugar consumption is a major player behind the skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The average American now consumes an average of 130 grams of sugar per dayfor reference, the daily recommendation for women is a maximum of 20 grams a day! This is more than just sad: it’s dangerous. Today we are going to outline some of the effects of sugar on our immediate and long-term health.

What is Sugar?

What is Sugar

This might seem obvious, but food producers are getting craftier with their labeling as they realize more and more people are making the choice to eat healthier. Sugar goes by many names, with new ones popping up all the time. Some sugars are natural, most are processed, and more and more are being created in labs. Here are just a few names to look out for on product labels:

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey (raw, pasteurized)
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “-ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor and discuss underlying health issues preventing you from living your best life!

What About Fruit?

Yes, fruit technically contains sugar, in the form of fructose. However, there is a big difference between enjoying a piece of fruit as an after-dinner treat, versus having orange juice with breakfast and fruit juices as your beverage of choice throughout the day. Studies have shown that eating fruit whole can lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, drinking fruit actually increases your risk! The fiber you get from eating fruit whole slows the absorption of the sugar and keeps the glycemic index low. Plus, it takes a lot more squeezed fruit to fill a glass than you could possibly eat in a serving, meaning you’re consuming way more sugar than you realize!

The Effects of Sugar

The Effects Of Sugar

Consuming large quantities of sugar has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers!

There are also many health issues caused by sugar that aren’t as talked about:

Sugar depletes the body of critical electrolytes, antioxidants, and minerals, which leads to cell death, muscle spasms, insulin resistance, and other health defects. Its effects on the immune system leave you prone to getting sick more often and more severely.

Sugar feeds bacteria and parasites, like yeast and Candida. It also depletes the body of good gut bacteria, promoting Leaky Gut and other gut infections. Chronic pain, vision problems, and even wrinkles can be worsened by sugar!

Sugar causes chronic inflammation in the body, and inflammation is said to be the root cause of almost all disease.

How Sugar Feeds Cancer

Sugar consumption has been proved to feed cancer cells and speed up the growth of tumors. Too much sugar consumption causes insulin resistance, as well as a specific protein to be released from your pancreas. This protein causes your cells to replicate and become immortal, which is how pre-cancerous cells can begin to take over.

Cancer cells prefer glucose over oxygen, but our mitochondria can’t use the glucose as energy. White blood cells are our immune system’s soldiers, and need vitamin C to function properly. A cancer patient needs lots of healthy white blood cells to fight the disease, however, sugar blocks the absorption of vitamin C in our bloodstream, weakening our immune system.

In summary, sugar causes cancer cells to reproduce and thrive, and blocks the mechanisms that would slow down or kill cancer cells and tumors.


Sugar addiction runs deep, and can be hard to kick. Stay tuned for Dr. J’s thoughts on artificial sweeteners, approaches to beating sugar addiction, and healthy alternatives for sugar.

Click here to talk to a functional medicine doctor about staying healthy this holiday season!

Analyzing Your Blood Test Part 2 – Comprehensive Metabolic Profile – Podcast #151

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into the topic of blood test analysis—specifically the Complete Metabolic Profile (CMP). Learn about the different markers that they look into like the glucose, calcium, BUN, creatinine, Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartame Aminotransferase (AST), potassium and sodium. Know about the different symptoms and health conditions associated with the different blood markers.

Gain some valuable information about functional ranges in blood work and understand how it can provide more information regarding health issues and nutritional deficiencies compared to the general reference range. And lastly, discover some healthy recommendations to address nutritional deficiencies.

In this episode, we cover:Analyzing blood cell

2:56   Glucose Marker

6:10   Calcium Marker

8:20   Protein Marker

10:30   BUN:Creatinine

14:12   Liver Markers






Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani.  I’m with Evan. We’re live on Facebook and YouTube. We’re ready for an awesome podcast. My baby’s doing one week exactly from now we’re really, really stoked. Uh—maybe do a live podcast uh— from the operating room, probably not but maybe something that week, give people some live updates. Evan, how we doin’, brother?

Evan Brand: Life is good. It’s back to school season, so all the school buses are around the city and when people go back to school all of our female clients especially the teachers they start having flare ups of their symptoms. So we got to keep you under control ladies and teachers and men teachers as well. Make sure you’re taking your adaptogens, if you’re going back to school and you’re starting up your teaching again. This is a good time to whip out your—your adaptogen formulas and double the dose of those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Totally makes sense. Also, congratulations on the new car. You got a great deal on a— on a pre-owned Tesla which is really exciting.

Evan Brand: Yeah. It’s like dropping a spaceship. I’m gonna be putting up a YouTube video. Jack Cruise, who is a mutual friend of ours, he said, “Oh my God Teslas are the worst cars for EMF but that’s actually not true. I’ve actually measured using several devices the EMF from a Tesla. It’s actually not bad. It’s actually less, believe it or not, than Honda Accord that I was driving beforehand. I didn’t take a video so people just have to take my word for it, but the Honda Accord in the backseat where the baby was, I was actually measuring 4 mill gauss, which is a pretty high magnetic field. The Tesla’s actually less than that. So videos and content to come.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Unreal. Very cool, man. Well, everything is going here in this front. I’m excited chat with you about today’s topic. Uh—let’s dive in. So, we talked about blood tests in the past.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We talked about the comprehensive—I’m sorry, the uh— complete blood count, the CBC, alright, which is some really cool marker. We chatted about some of the anemia and the B vitamin markers and such. Really cool stuff. Today we want to chat about the comprehensive metabolic profile, the CMP, for short. So really excited to chat about that. Now, let’s go over what the CMP is. So, off the bat, I’ll just kinda give you the list here and we’ll hit the most important ones. Number one: glucose, calcium, we have protein markers, albumin, and total protein. We have electrolytes, including sodium, potassium CO2, and chloride. We have some kidney markers/protein markers including BUN and creatinine. And we have some liver markers including a ALP or alkaline phosphatase, ALT which is alanine aminotransferase or SG PTZ 01. And we have AST or aspartame aminotransferase AST or SGOT, for short. We have bilirubin as well. So let’s start off first with some of the simple ones. So, we have glucose. That’s a really good set kinda general marker. That marker’s gonna be used to look at diabetes, right? 126 or higher is gonna be your diabetes marker. And again, 110 or higher for pre-diabetes and typically, our functional range is gonna be greater than the hundred in the morning is gonna be uh— good a general indicator. Again, glucose fasting is kind of a late stage indicator. It’s not something we want to use as our way to pick up blood sugar abnormalities, in general. I like looking at a functional glucose tolerance. Kind of you can look at fasting in the morning sometimes that can be higher from a cortisol or stress response, otherwise known as the Dawn phenomenon or the somogyi effect. Typically, I like to look at fasting glucose during the day from a functional perspective. So we do a functional glucose tolerance. We tested fasting, let’s say, breakfast, lunch, or dinner and then we look at a 1, 2, 3 hour post meal and just see how that blood sugar is responding. We like below 140 within an hour. Below 120 in two hours and below a hundred in 3. That’s a good general rule of thumb. Ideally, below 120 in one hour and then back around 110 to 100 within two hours and definitely, below 103. That’s—that’s kinda my range. The goal is less blood sugar means less insulin spiking, which is a good thing.

Evan Brand: Yeah, which means less fat storage, too. So when we’re talking about people with uh— a fat loss goal. You’ve gotta have relatively low insulin to be able to do that. If you’ve got high insulin all the time coz you’re eating refined carbs and sugars, blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up, you can’t burn fat. So that’s a really good foundational mark to hit on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I think we need to get a Topo Chico as a—as a sponsor for the show. I love the Topo Chico. It’s like uh—kinda like the sparkling Pellegrino we use here in Texas kinda like a Mexican sparkling water. Uh— absolutely love it.

Evan Brand: Why don’t you email them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I will. I’ll email them. I’ll make them our show sponsor. I mean, this stuff is awesome, man. It’s like, you know, I used to be a soda addict when I was younger. And I kinda have those, you know, nostalgic memories of drinking out of the glass coke bottle, so it kinda brings it back here.

Evan Brand: [laughs] We need to email them. Just tell them. I mean it doesn’t hurt to ask. So put that on your to do list for today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll get Lululemon as a show sponsor and then we’ll get Topo Chico as the show sponsor.

Evan Brand: That sounds great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, you know, while you’re at it, we might as well reach out to Elon Musk and see if we can get Tesla on board, man. That’d be nice for some complimentary free cars.

Evan Brand: That would be great. I don’t know if that will happen with the—the demand right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. I don’t think that will happen. We’re not the Joe Rogan podcast yet. Alright, so any comments on the blood sugar piece we just uh— brought up?

Evan Brand: Yeah. The blood sugar—you’re always gonna get that run. So this podcast people may say why are you doing this on blood? Your— you guys focus on functional medicine. Well because a lot of people anybody— anybody down the street, your neighbor, your friend, or family likely has some of the metabolic panel stuff that we’re outlining today, plus the CBC from our other blood test podcast, and so, this is designed where if you don’t have functional labs, how can we help you to identify these basic labs at everyone under the sun has access to, regardless of what country you’re in. So yeah, glucose, I think you—I think you killed it with that one in terms of the range. Let’s move on what—what else is on your plate here?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we can chat about calcium, too. So calcium is a pretty good marker just for overall blood calcium. Again, blood calcium has to drop down pretty low for them to be a nutritional deficiency.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And calcium, one of the things I look at when I see calcium go too low, is potential hypochlohydria. Well number one, are we consuming enough leafy greens, right? That’s gonna be a major source of calcium, uh— salmon with the bones major source of calcium. Of course, some dairy products are gonna be great but it just depends, right? Well just use grass-fed butter and ghee over any of the milk and cheese stuff. And if you’re gonna do milk and cheese, you want to make sure that we can—we’re not reacting to. We’re not autoimmune and we’re also, you know, trying to choose raw, organic sources to prevent hormones, the antibodies and also have the enzymes intact to be able to process it. But when I see calcium go too high or too low, I think, potentially nutrient deficiency is number one, right? Not getting the right foods. And I also think low stomach acid and enzymes, number two. And if see calcium go high, a lot of times calcium can be utilized as an inflammatory mediator. So I also look at inflammatory markers when I see high calcium on a flipside.

Evan Brand: Yup. Interesting. Yes. So uh—hypochlorydia, these are the people been popping tums because they’ve got heartburn but in reality they could have something like H. pylori infection or they’ve been on prescription acid blockers which are very, very, very, very common. So if you’re looking at your calcium even if it’s out, sometimes it may be out of the general reference range, let alone our functional range then that’s an issue. Do you have a functional range for us since a lot of people are in the US we may be able to give the measure of units for calcium. Do you have that in front of you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Typically, the calcium range, if I remember correctly will be in the mid 9’s. I think it’s like low 8’s to upper 10. Low 8, upper 8 to low 10’s. So I like in the mid 9’s, it’s a pretty good place. Typically, in the middle of the range, tend to be okay.

Evan Brand: Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any comments on the calcium component?

Evan Brand: No. I think you’re doing good. I’m just kinda uh—walk your hand through this. What’s— what’s next on our list?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. So again, I like kinda the middle of the reference range. But next would be uh—protein markers, alright. So we have a couple of protein markers. We have albumin and total protein. And then we also have bun and creatinine, alright. Those are some pretty good markers that we utilize off the bat when it comes to proteins. So number one, I like creatinine above .79. It’s a pretty good place to go right above .79. So for below .79 or maybe some low-protein. And creatinine is a breakdown product of protein as well, alright. It’s a breakdown product, so above .79 if creatinine’s too high, it could potentially be some inflammation going on. It’s very possible there could be some inflammation happening. Uhm— there could be a high workout happening where you know we had a lot of exercise the day before and then we’re breaking down a lot of amino acids from the muscle, right? That’s one component. And then next is inflammation, too, right? There could be some breakdown from inflammation like your kinda—your body’s more in a catabolic state and you’re breaking down. But it can be a good window into protein levels uh—high or low. And then if we look at total protein, I like in the 7. 7 or above is a pretty good place for pro— total protein. If I see it lower, of course, I’m gonna make sure are we eating enough protein? Are we getting about, you know, half a gram per pound of bodyweight? That’s a pretty good rule of thumb, right? They say that 1.2 g per kilogram, right? What does that mean? People don’t think in kilograms in the US, so, I think about a half a gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if I weigh 200 pounds that’s 100 pounds approaching. If I weigh a 150 pounds,

Evan Brand: 100 pounds [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m sorry—If I weigh uh— 200 pounds, that’s a 100 grams of protein. If I weigh a 150 pounds, that’s 75 g of protein. And then a good rule of thumb—

Evan Brand: I like your diet, man. A 100 pounds—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I know, man. That’s it. Exactly.

Evan Brand: Let’s do the BUN: creatinine ratio. So this is something that we see often where this is off. So optimal range, I’ve got a couple pieces of literature here optimal range of BUN: creatinine ratio is gonna be 10:16. A lot of times, we’ll see this altered, where the BUN: creatinine ratio is high. Whether above 16, a couple notes could be antibiotics, could be dehydration, and then in bad cases, some type of G.I. bleeding. So that’s not good. And then you’ve got low issues, where your BUN: creatinine ratio is below 10. This would be issues like we see pretty often. So this would be liver dysfunction, once again, antibiotics, also a diet that’s low in protein. So a lot of older people, I mean, you and I work with a lot of people above age 50, so 50, 60,70-year-olds, they eat less and less protein. It seems they just forget that it’s important they start eating snack foods or their appetite just goes down because they’ve got low stomach acid so they do start to get a distaste for meat. So you’ve really got to use enzymes and HCl with them, ox bile, get their gallbladder working better because if they don’t have a taste for protein, it’s gonna be tough for us to say, you know, “Hey Jack, Hey Jill, we’ve got to get you to eat more protein.” So if you are having a BUN level that is low, or the BUN: creatinine ratio, the BUN: creatinine ratio is low, you might have just a simple issue like not enough protein in the diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, exactly. Yup. A hundred percent. Now, we talked about creatinine. Now, I’m just gonna crystallize BUN a little bit more. So we talked about creatinine going high, right? Uhm—the potential dehydration as well, potential kind of catabolic physiology rights. That can be a big one. It could be a lot of uhm— creatine supplementation, right? That can be one aspect of—of going high. I just gotta keep that in mind. And on the lower side, of course, will be the protein, right? The low-protein not getting enough of that in there, is really, really important. And then on the BUN side. BUN’s a Blood Urea Nitrogen. That’s another breakdown product. On the high side, we look at hypochlorydia, we can also look at adrenal and dysbiosis, right? And then on the low side, it can be malabsorption, low-protein and low enzymes and liver issues. So there’s a handful of different things that can be implicated either way. I love those as a good rule of thumb of what’s happening. And then we could also look at albumin and globulin. And if we see imbalances in the albumin and globulin, that can also mean issues with protein as well. So if we see like albumin to globulin, I think is on the higher side for globulin and the lower side for albumin, we’re also gonna think of potentially more protein issues.

Evan Brand: Yes. So let’s talk about the biomarkers here. You know, Justin and I are talking about functional ranges. You can make it your blood work if you have it in front of you. You may look at that. It may look okay and actually be in range. According to all the sick people that have been in that clinic. So we’re trying functional ranges. So even if something’s not flagged low or high, or using specific markers, Justin and I have taken some extra training in terms of functional blood chemistry analysis. So we’ve got a tighter reference range. So if you don’t see anything out of range on your paper, it might not be, but the functional range is much, much, much tighter and that’s where we find the issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Typically, it’s gonna be the bottom fifth or the bottom and top 15 to 20% we look at more frequently, like with some of the protein things, some of the albumin high or low. If it’s on the high side, we may think dehydration; if it’s on the low side, we may think low stomach acid or enzymes. And some of these markers kinda contradict themselves, so you wanna kinda look at the complete picture so you can get a window of what’s happening. So I mentioned some of the albumin uhm—there. If you wanna comment on that at all, Evan?

Evan Brand: I was gonna move onto the AST. I had AST notes in front of me. Did you want to hit ALT and AST, the liver markers?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm—yeah. Let’s hit that next. It’s one of the common— one more thing on the globulin—So globulin is also one of those things for oxidative stress. So we see globulin go on the high side, that can also mean oxidative stress. Oxidative stress are like, you know, free radical things, right? Oxidation is a loss of electrons. The more you’re losing electrons, the more you want extra antioxidants to help support you out, whether it’s antioxidant, herbs like curcumin, or resveratrol, or green tea, or things like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E. Those kind of things are really helpful. So we have albumin and globulin; We have creatinine; We have total protein; We have uh—those are big protein markers there.

Evan Brand: Good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Next, let’s hit the liver enzymes.

Evan Brand: Yeah. The AST to ALT. I wanted to hit on these because, you know, for my— whether it’s my grandparents, or some of the in-laws, always see markers off with AST and ALT even outside of the conventional range these are some of the markers and I’m gonna see off. So let me give people a bit of background on the— what they call the SGOT, also known as the AST. So this is an enzyme that’s very, very, very prevalent in skeletal muscle, liver, heart, kidneys and lungs. The enzyme can be liberated into the bloodstream following cell damage or destruction. So optimal range here is gonna be 10 to 30 units of A— of AST. If you’re out of the rain, so if you’re too high, this could just be liver dysfunction. So some of the reasons Justin and I may look at your AST and its high, it could be anything that’s affecting the liver. So this could be parasites, this could be bacterial overgrowth, this could be yeast, this could be chemical toxins, like glyphosate. If your diet is not very rich in organic foods, this could be gasoline additives, which is why I got rid of a gas-powered car because my gasoline additives were off the charts on my GPL toxic chemical profile test. Uhm— you’ve got a potential for developing congestive heart failure. So if AST is above 30, so AST—if it’s above 30, and then you’ve got these other symptoms like you have a hunger, your yawning frequently, you’ve got some edema, some of that swelling in the ankles at the end of the day, you’ve got a little bit of shortness of breath with moderate exertion, that may point a picture to some congestive heart failure. That’s possible. Now, the good thing is a lot of that stuff is reversible, but these are just signs that things could go bad. Uhm—and then on AST, you’ve got liver cell damage. That’s possible. So alcohol, that’s huge. We see that a lot with previous alcoholics. People who are trying to get off alcoholics. If it’s tied into the liver, you’re thinking, “If my AST’s high, what’s going on with my— with my liver? Is that the problem?” It could be. Symptoms would be pain between shoulder blades, you’ve got a headache sometimes over the eye, you’ve got those phase 2 liver detox problems, like you’re sensitive to perfumes, or you’re sensitive to fragrances, or you’re sensitive to car exhaust fumes, that’s a big one. Hemorrhoids, varicose veins—that’s also tied into the liver, and excessive muscle breakdown. So if you’re doing a bunch of CrossFit exercise and then you got your bloodwork done, it’s possible the AST could show up high there and that’s not a bad thing. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely.

Evan Brand: We got the low side of AST which I won’t take too long to go over but B6 deficiencies, alcoholism. So B6 as we know, Justin and I have talked about it a million times, alcohol burns through some of your vitamin and mineral reserves, so B6 is one of them. And then once again, protein deficiency or malabsorption. So AST, either way, if it’s high or low, your out of that 10 to 30 functional range, we can find a lot of good information out about you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. So let’s go see what once—what we have reviewed so far. so we hit the uhm—the liver enzymes. And again, liver ALT, the alanine, the “L”part, that tends to be more liver, where the AS can be—tend to be more in the heart side, tend to be more on the heart and the skeletal muscle side. So kinda keep that in the back of your head there. We’re looking at these things. So a heart attack, we may see more of the AST elevated and uhm— liver stress more of the uh—  more the AST for the heart and skeletal muscle, more liver for the ALT. But again, things like gluten can easily raise ALT. I’ve seen that. Also, just excessive exercise before, within 48 hours of the blood test could easily raise them of some of those enzymes as well. So kinda keep that in the back your mind.

Evan Brand: Okay. Yeah. I mean, same thing, I want—it sounds like I’d be repeating myself before going over ALT, but functional range for ALT, 10 to 30.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: Once again is the units. And if people had been doing a lot of uhm— aspirin that could also cause the ALT to go up. So if you’re just somebody who popped—uh chronically pops aspirin, your ALT may go up there. Once again,

alcohols gonna throw off your— your ALT. So pretty common sense really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. And we may also see—if we look at bilirubin, which is a breakdown of a lot of the red blood cells, and if we have excessive breakdown, we may look at potential gallbladder issues or liver, gallbladder stuff going on. So we like, you know, typically, you know, below 1.2 or so, is pretty good for the bilirubin in the gallbladder. If not, we may think there’s some kind of gallbladder issue. We may look at food allergen. We mat really up the bile salts and HCl’s and and lipolitic enzymes— enzymes that really help the fat digestion.

Evan Brand: Yep. Yep. We’ve got— we’ve got a little bit of time left. Should we answer some of these questions here?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think so. And the only thing would say is uhm—some of the sodium and potassium and chloride, if we see some of the sodium low, we may think adrenal dysfunctions. If we see some of the potassium excessively high, right, we might think that’s an adrenal pattern of low sodium, high potassium. If we see lower potassium in general, we may think you’re not getting enough potassium, right? We need 4700 mg of potassium a day, so we have to make sure that is kinda dialed in. Same thing with the chloride, I mean, the real easy thing is with the minerals, is number one, we’re getting sea salt in our water, right? High-quality sea salt in our water, half a teaspoon twice a day, we’re eating lots of green vegetables, either cooked, or juiced, or made in away so you can process and digest it down. And then fix the adrenals. These are all things that are gonna commonly be thrown off by adrenal and mineral imbalances. And sugar and insulin can also throw that off, too. Well, adrenal dysfunction.

Evan Brand: Well said. Uh—we got question from—I believe it’s Nalema. Do you have to worry about potassium intake if your bloodwork does not show a deficiency? If you’re eating a pretty good paleo template, I mean, for example you and I have chatted about our love for avocados, you’re gonna get much more potassium in avocados and bananas. So I think if you’re eating an avocado a day or every couple of days, potassium is probably not an issue. What’s your take?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re gonna get one avocado, you get about 1 g a day. You need 4700 mg or 4.7 g. So I would say, if you’re doing six servings of green vegetables a day and you’re doing one avocado, you’re probably  gonna be okay. But I will just throw it into chronometer. Put your height and weight and just ensure that you are getting that 4700 mg, which again is really easy to not get. I think that’s the DRI. That’s the Daily Recommended Intake, not the RDA which is the Recommended Daily Allowance. So 4700 mg, probably good with two servings, probably six servings of veggies and an avocado a day, you’ll probably be okay, but just run it through chronometer to double check.

Evan Brand: Okay. Cool Samuel—uhm a bit off topic. We’ll do a whole show on this. “How do you feel about making your home a smart home?” “Does it create negative effects from EMF like adding nest products and Phillips hue lights?” Not a fan of uh— LED lighting. I’ve chatted with Mercola about that on my podcast and yes, the nest and all the wireless technology, I do avoid that. I’m hardwired everything. No Wi-Fi, hardwired Ethernet. And uh—funny enough I’d been wanting to turn off the breaker to our bedroom so we could sleep better. And all the sudden the power to the bedroom has been off, but all the breakers look fine. So I don’t know if someone from the universe magically cut off the power to our bedroom, but even though the breakers look normal, there is no power in the bedroom and I’ve been surprisingly sleeping way deeper. Uhm— but we could do a whole show on that, but ideally you stay away from the wireless stuff or you just turn down the intensity of your— your products if you can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I’m on the opposite side of that. You have the nest. I do have the nest. I do love it. I think it’s absolutely awesome. Uhm— and again, for me, I have my Wi-Fi on a wireless timer so once 11-11:30 hits, all my Wi-Fi goes off for the night. And that includes nest and everything. So I set it up so during those hours of sleeping, they are not on, number one. And number two, I have— I used a very, very high-end EMF meter and I’ve tested the nest and such and really, the EMF comes out in those first 10 feet or so, away from it.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I’ve been across the room or sitting in my couch and I aim it at that or it get caught and it’s few—and it take—you got to be pretty close to get that EMF out.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You really do.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Distance. I think your distance should probably much safer. I started doing the Wi-Fi on a timer, then I thought, “What the hell, if I’m sleeping better without it, what am I sacrificing during the day being at home with it. So that’s why I’ve just went hardwired. Maybe I’ll go back, but for now, I’m hardwired and I feel pretty good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I mean—its just, like for me, like I’m at the airport, I’m coming in and it’s like my house is like a hundred degrees. I’m like, “Oh, let’s get it cool, or like, you know, we go away and if like uhm—we’re out of the house, right? It’ll take the temperature up a little bit.

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You save a little bit of money on—on that side of the fence. So there’s pros and cons. I think uhm—if you can like—I’m hardwired right now. But I think if you can put your thing on a Christmas tree timer at night, I think you really, you know, you can at least have it off when you’re sleeping, which I think is really important. I also sleep on a ground and I have EMF blockers in my room as well.

Evan Brand: Yep. For sure. Let’s keep going. Uh—let’s see what else we’ve got here.“What are some blood test markers for thyroid issues?” I believe we did a whole podcast on this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I would see the whole podcast on that. TSH, T4, T3. Real quick, TSH, you know, below 2.5; 1’s ideal; T4 free: 1 to 1.5; T4 total: 6 to 10; T3 total: 100 to like 150-160. Again, go see the podcast on that. We’ve riffed on it for over an hour at a time, so check that out.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Another question is “Redmond’s real salt worth it if you’re having pink Himalayan salt?” I think so. I switch out. I have a lot of salt Celtic sea salt, I’ve got all sorts of different types and flavors and sources. I think they’re all helpful and they’re not gonna hurt you. It’s in that category of my help— not hurt you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And I think, Redmond’s in my opinion just taste better. It dissolves really well in the water. So you throw it in there, dissolves really nice. I mean I’ve used Himalayan and Celtic— doesn’t quite dissolve as good. Maybe there’s a more, uhm—you know, a version that’s ground-up better so it absorb as more soluble in water. But I like the Redmond’s. I love the taste. Love it.

Evan Brand: Yeah. It does taste good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s very good. And it’s lower in —

Evan Brand:—We do the same. Turn off the Wi-Fi after 10 so that’s cool like I said, I used to, but then I’m like, “Yeah, I’m gonna just get rid of Wi Fi completely especially after I was in a Dr. Klinghardt talk about “How you can detox heavy metals if you’re exposed to Wi-Fi” which is pretty interesting on his latest talk. I was like, “Whoa! That’s pretty nuts, so—“

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I mean, I think what happens is you get some people who are the exception to the rule.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Regarding their high level of sensitivity and then you get a lot of practitioners that had had success with that one person.

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And they they start— this is the rule for everyone. I think that’s really excessive, but if you are chronically ill, should you try it? Heck, yeah. You should try it.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But it may not be the end-all or be-all. I mean, I love the convenience of having Wi-Fi. I don’t know this as much, Evan, but I do know that, you know, I’m sleeping at night. Maybe I’ll get into a little bit deeper REM sleep. So I’m not using it at night. I get no benefit by keeping it on at night. So why not just turn it off, right?

Evan Brand: Right. For sure. Uh—we got a question from Vevec. He said uh—“How to differentiate between type I and type II diabetes? Any diagnostic test?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. I mean, type I is gonna be an autoimmune condition. So what’s gonna happen is uhm—typically it’s gonna happen in the first 12 to 13 years of life. That’s when it mostly happens for kiddos. And their reality tend to be behind it, but one of the big things that you’re gonna see, is you’re gonna see just blood sugar just going up super, super high, right? The reason why it’s going up super, super high is because the insulin isn’t there by the beta cell so it cant’ let the—the sugar get into the cell. So you see blood sugar come up super, super high. These people tend not to be big and be more small. You know, more uh—I should say smaller because they don’t have the insulin bringing the sugar into their cell to get the fat up.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But you can also run what’s called the C-peptide test, which will look at the uhm— the beta cell function of the pancreas. And if you see C-peptide on the lower side, uhm— then you’ll know. And you can also run uhm—type I diabetes. I think the beta cell antibodies. You can run to also confirm that too, or pancreatic isolate cell antibodies to confirm that. So there are different things you can do to assess. But you’re gonna know because you just— you’re getting emaciated uhm—and your blood sugar’s off the charts high, for sure.

Evan Brand: Yup. Uh—last question we can take care. Shayna, “What is over a 115 vitamin D level? I mean I don’t take a vitamin D supplement.” First, we gotta make sure that’s actually the vitamin D not the 1,25. That’s a kidney marker but the 25OHhydroxy vitamin D marker. You gotta make sure it’s that one. If it’s that one and you don’t supplement, I’m not too sure. I’ll see if I can find something. Justin, what’s your take?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes. Same thing. I would just—I would look at what your—what the marker is. And then number two, maybe you’re getting out in the sun a lot or maybe your—one of your supplement has some vitamin D in there, you’re not aware of it coz that’s pretty high to get to naturally. So  maybe you’re sunbathing a lot, maybe that’s totally natural. I would just double check that and make sure that’s the case. But double check if it’s 25 versus the 125. That’s the big thing I’d say.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean my wife’s prenatal, for example, there’s a lot of vitamin D in there. Those other formulas that we’ve taken that have vitamin D, so you could really add up to six or eight or 10,000 IU pretty pretty quick. So, yeah, I second that. Look at your protocol. Make sure there’s nothing in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Let me just knock up just one more question here. So regarding alkaline phosphatase—Yeah, less than 50 is low zinc. Again alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme that correlates with zinc. So it’s— it’s a metalloenzyme so when the enzyme’s lower, we tend to have lower zinc. You can also test it Zinc Tally test get some zinc—I think it’s zinc chloride or zinc sulfate.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s the liquid zinc. And then basically the better it tastes, the cleaner and the more like water it tastes, the less you need it. I’m sorry—the more you need it—the more you need it. The more metallically it tastes, and you know, the more metal it tastes, the less you need it. So that’s a good kinda rule over time to kinda look at. And then A1C—again is a marker for blood sugar. If A1Cis really low, right? We want to look at other markers to correlate anemia. So if we see MCV, MCH, MCHC on the higher side, that could be in some kind of B vitamin anemia or if we see RBC hematocrit hemoglobin below, that could be another indicator for an anemia.

Evan Brand: Oh, we got one more question and then we’ll have to wrap it up. It just gets addicting answering questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: Abner—he has buddies telling him it’s ideal to spike insulin before weight training. Is there any benefits to it? I mean, I’ve always thought the exact opposite that you want to have a little bit of a spike after—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Post work out training.

Evan Brand: –weight training.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Post work out. The reason why is people are incredibly anabolic. Most people that have high levels of insulin, it’s anabolic in the terms of uh—generating fat cells, right? Coz anabolic means to grow in fat cells. But if you can use insulin post work out, you can basically have the key to drive protein into the cell. You’re also driving which is gonna help with, you know, protein synthesis, ideally building more muscle. It’s gonna help spike mTOR and then you’re also gonna have effects of driving sugar into the muscle, which it’s just wrung out all that glycogen during the workout. So you’re repleting the glycogen which will have some anabolic effects and it will uhm—it will help lower cortisol, too. It will drive down some of the cortisol because the cortisol has made all the blood sugar so it’s gonna pull all that sugar from the cortisol into the muscle so it can be used to help generate hypertrophy.

Evan Brand: Yup. I just did a little bit of research on vitamin D. If it’s super high, it could be a buildup of calcium in the blood. So other symptoms that could go along with this could be poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, weakness, frequent urination, kidney problem. So maybe look at your other markers on your blood test. See if you got anything off with your calcium, you got anything off with some of the kidney markers and then if you’ve got those other symptoms— frequent urination, things like that, definitely take a look.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. It’s almost always from a supplement so just stop—stop taking the supplement if __ vitamin your body will eventually clear it out in a few days to a few weeks.

Evan Brand: Yup. It should be pretty quick. Well, cool. Any last things you wanted to say before we wrap it up. I think we did a great job on this one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. This is probably my first—my last podcast uh— without a kiddo. So I’ll be officially a dad uh— next time that we are on the air. So pretty excited about that.

Evan Brand: Me too. I’m pumped for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you give me like one fatherly tip or advice here before we go.

Evan Brand: My fatherly advice is just you—you take it day by day and when something happens where you could see yourself stressing out, just remember you have the ability to control how you respond to something. So I like— when the baby is super fussy, and you’re trying to figure out is he tired, is he uh— hungry what is it? I just like take an extra second it’s like, “Okay, let’s run through the day. Okay, the last feeding was this. Okay, maybe it’s too warm in here. Maybe a little too cold.” Before I let my sympathetic nervous system kick in to overdrive, I try to walk through the situation step-by-step and then, “okay” and then that way, I don’t make myself sick by the extra stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. So instead of getting mad at the situation, you kinda like take a step back like kinda problem solve or think what could be the issue before you have an emotional response.

Evan Brand: Exactly, dude. Try—try to not have the emotional response.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right. Try to be more—more logical than emotional about it.

Evan Brand: Which can be hard when you’re tired, and your sleep is interrupted and stuff like that, but you just get better and better every day at it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Appreciate it, man. Excellent.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, today was a great chat. Let’s do more, probably in the next two weeks here, but maybe I’ll jump on here while my little paternity leave here for the week.

Evan Brand: No rush, man. You deserve it. You earned it. Take that paternity leave. Will be here waiting for you when you get back and uh—if people want to schedule, in the meantime with Justin, may be a little bit till he gets back. Til his back in the trench but uh—justinhealth.com He will be ready and willing and for me, evanbrand.com you can schedule with either of us. In the meantime, make sure you subscribe if you’re watching on YouTube and we’ll chat with you again soon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It will be a lot of sleep in down time so maybe I can sink one up in there, so we can have a chat in between.

Evan Brand: Sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, Evan. Great chat. You have a great day.

Evan Brand: Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care. Bye.




Redmond Real Salt


Topo Chico




Dr. Bernd Friedlander – Using collagen to promote optimal health – Podcast #126

Join Dr. Justin Marchegiani as he welcomes his special guest, Dr. Bernd Friedlander in this week’s episode all about collagen. Obtain a lot of valuable information as Dr. Bernd shares his success and expertise in his field of practice when it comes to nutrition and supplement recommendation of collagen in the athletes he trained.

Pick up on some helpful information regarding the different benefits and uses of collagen in issues like wounds, ageing and healing. Listen carefully as they discuss and relate collagen with leaky gut and other inflammatory conditions. Explore all about caloric restriction diet, its health benefits; and apply specific recommendations of these experts when it comes to improving mitochondrial function, carbohydrate, fats, and protein consumption.

In this episode, we cover:

3:57   Collagen: types, benefits, dosage recommendation

14:21   Systemic enzymes for inflammation

21:09   Glycine and Leaky gut

24:40   Caloric Restriction diet

30:58   Mitochondria

41:03   Carbohydrate and Glucose Consumption

48:33   Cholesterol and Fat Consumption







Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. Today we have a great guest Dr. Bernd Friedlander. Dr. Friedlander is a researcher; he’s a clinician; also a physical therapist; doctor in chiropractic medicine; nutritionist; has years and years of experience with uh – human performance and bio hacking at the professional level, as well as the clinical level, that we see all our patients at today. So, Dr. Bernd, welcome to the show.

Dr. Bernd:  Dr. Justin, how are you? I appreciate you having me on your show. I look forward to talking to you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thank you. I know you’re one of the most foremost experts out there on collagen. And I love collagen for all the great benefits. It helps with hair, skin, nails, joints, and it’s such a really excellent amino acid. Would you mind – I know we were – We have a- a product that you help formulate here for us called, “True Collagen” – That’s absolutely great. It’s a collagen peptide formula which I love the peptides, that we deal with so much with leaky gut. And people have a hard time taking the collagels and in breaking it down. And this makes it a lot easier. Would you mind talking about – just kinda collagen and kinda the overall benefits and kinda what your take on it is.

Dr. Bernd: Yes. You know, uh – I got into collagen actually accidentally when I was working with the Los Angeles Raiders. I was working with uh – a number of the athletes there, especially Howie Long.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-huh.

Dr. Bernd: And I was introduced to an Orthopedic doctor back in the 80’s. And – and he was interested in my work with the athletes and how I incorporated nutrition, as well as dietary supplements to the athletes. In the 80’s, you know – they weren’t into that. They were still eating carbohydrate and uh – low fats, low protein. But now, I’d – I’d sort of turned around by increasing the protein levels and reducing the carbohydrate. And uh – that time, I was working with Knox Gelatine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: They developed that formula for me – that I was able to use with my athletes. So the Orthopedic doctor was telling me that he reverse his own serious uh – disherniation that he developed as an athlete. He was a premier high school athlete that was uh – highly recruited by five different universities. And he ended up in Michigan. And his first year in Michigan playing football, he uh – ruptured his disc so badly, that it really destroyed his uhm – possibility to even be a professional athlete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: So he – he ended up going to medical school training and become an Orthopedic doctor. And he tells me, instead of trying to get surgery done, he looked at every aspect of the  uh – spinal cord and to see how he reverse the genera – generative condition – condition that he’s developed-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd:  from sports by healing himself. So he started using Knox Gelatine collagen at that time, which was not a true collagen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: Uh – it was more in the gelatin form.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: But he started taking 3-4 packets a day with vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium. Within six months, the pain was gone. Within one year, he never needed surgery. So we – we discussed this while I was working with the Raiders. How it – beneficial collagen is. And I started really researching at extensively with uh – Linus Pauling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Bernd: And we got the experts in the field and discovered that 99% of the spinal cord is made up collagen. It was the primary protein that developed the spinal cord.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Bernd: And then the nerve, myelin sheath, etc. developed from that. And I started realizing that collagen has many properties: anti-inflammatory, uh – repairing, regenerating, cartilage repair. It also repairs tendons and ligaments. It’s the only protein that does that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. And then regarding the collagen types that you like, you’re a big well – The main collagen that were doing is getting from grass-fed beef. That’s the true collagen, and that’s type I and type IV, correct?

Dr. Bernd: It’s actually type I and type III.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I and III.

Dr. Bernd: Uh – yeah. I and III is predominantly what the human body is made out of. Type II has a little hyaluronic acid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: And that’s usually from chicken cartilage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: Uh – the palm wine never got into chicken cartilage because most of the uh – producers of chicken cartilage are not naturally-fed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: They use soy in corn. And that disturbs the hormonal balance uh – of the chicken, as well as the thyroid – disrupts thyroid function. So I stayed away from chicken cartilage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s amazing. That is very good. So I and III is gonna give us the best bet. Now with the collagen peptides II, we have the digestion benefits, right? Coz they’re in peptide form. That’s why when you put the regular gels in it, it kinda – it makes basically gello. That’s kinda where the word “gello” came from. But this – this type of collagen that you’ve created, you put in a peptide form, so that- when you put it in the water, you literally can see it dissolve and breaking down right in front of your eyes. Can you talk about how you guys do that? And then, how does that benefit us from an absorption standpoint?

Dr. Bernd: Well you know – uh going back to the days that I would work with Knox Gelatine, I – we were discussing this with the R&D Department. And R&D Department put on a show – uh that’s an entirely uh – advance in the field of collagen peptides. They’re not willing to make this kind of collagen. It was too extensive and too high, pricey. So they sort of connected me in how I need to achieve that kind of peptide. Once I started reviewing the research, and working with chemists, and the ideal thing is, you want a hydrolyze uh – peptide form of collagen. So it is 99% absorbed immediately.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Dr. Bernd:  -with 5 to 10 minutes, without any digestive enzymes requiring. As you know, every amino acid protein out there, you have to break it down to hydrochloric acid and pepsin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: And through the stomach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: And the uh – pancreas, through the pancreatic enzyme, trypsin and chymotrypsin. And you also need B6 to convert the amino acids to peptide.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: Collagen doesn’t require any form of enzymes or B6 to be broken down. It’s immediately delivered in the blood to the area that it needs to repair, regenerate, or work with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. So that just really increase the absorption. And with the True Collagen, I play it around to make the neo cell chicken cartilage, that you mentioned. And you can just pour some of it in there. And you can see it literally become emulsify kinda right before your very eyes.

Dr. Bernd: Right. And the other thing about your collagen that you have is, it is the most molecular weight collagen on – on the planet right now so far – very low. And the other thing that don’t people understand compared to all the other collagen out there, our molecule levels is extremely low. Therefore, it’s gonna be assimilated, absorbed immediately. Number two: the density that the structure and the density of the collagen is very important. Uh – we were able to also bring down the density structures to the levels that it is now truly absorbable, uh – utilized more efficiently and you are producing more minerals out of these collagen, as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. And I know we talked in the past about dose. And the typical recommendations I have for my patients currently 10-20 g a day maintenance, and after 40 to 60 grams if you’re trying to get aesthetic benefits, or if you’re trying to rehab joint issues or disc issues, would you say those recommendations are correct?

Dr. Bernd: I would say for maintenance for skin – We did a study with animals back in Japan.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Bernd: In the early 2000 and we found that 10 grams of collagen restores elasticity in the skin, and also helps with bone density. In one year working with human, you want to increase that level because there are so many other factors. You know, density, and structure, and inflammation. So I find that if you do 30 grams in the morning, and 30 grams in the afternoon, or early evening, I have seen people were there joints, shoulders, rotator injuries uh – torn rotators, bone to bone cartilage in the knee or the hip, I’ve seen people and have people testimonials come to me saying that they are able to walk the first time, or use weights for the first time. And using that program about 60 grams. We found about 40 to 60 grams restores and repairs and regenerate injuries.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now what did you notice with your chiropractic patients clinically in practice. What were you seeing with their disc issues? Let’s say before using collagen to after. What were you noticing in their recovery time? How much has it improved?

Dr. Bernd: Well, very important, uh – going towards my latter part of my years with the athletes, I notice the athletes dramatically improved and recovered much faster when I started them on collagen, especially with the Raiders and the Rams, and some of the other athletes. And then when I started introducing it to my patients, I’ve noticed that I was able to facilitate their healing dramatically. So I – I didn’t need to treat them as long – as much as I used to. And they’re are able to function much faster and the pain – the first thing I hear from the patient is dramatically that the pain goes down dramatically. And that’s so important, as you know, reducing – reducing pain and inflammation. So that’s the first thing – inflammation and pain went down dramatically fast. And then within weeks, they’re able to uh – function and move their joints, and are able to sit, or drive without having that discomfort in their lower back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now are there any herbs that you find with really synergistically help reduce the inflammation. Maybe Boswellia or Curcumin? Anything you’ve done clinically?

Dr. Bernd: We’ve done a lot of research and I’m on the board of the AMM University College of Pharmacy and at the Ohio State University, College of Medicine and then working with the UC Davis, UCLA. Uhm – we found that there’s many plant’s out there that are very highly anti-inflammatory. And you mention Boswellia being number one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: We found Boswellia by far number one. Ginger, rosemary, uh – actually turmeric and curcumin was not in the high rank.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hm.

Dr. Bernd: It wasn’t extremely as powerful as some of these other herbs but Boswellia, definitely number one in every situation we did research. And then we found ginger rosemary close. All the other uhm – you know uhm – spices you see out there. Cardamine is very powerful as an anti-inflammatory. And – but then if you add turmeric with ginger and rosemary and Boswellia, it does enhance. But if by itself, it didn’t to as much. Uhm –my number one thing, I’ll tell you by far, is Aspirin. I find Aspirin works all the time for me, because aspirin is a natural inflammatory works on COX-1 and COX-2 inflammatory uh – prostaglandin. The only one that deals with 1 & 2. And number three, it has tremendous antioxidant ability, as well as helps trabecular, meaning it restores bone back with collagen. When taken aspirin with collagen, it helps to bind the collagen to the __ and glue them together.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So regarding the aspirin, would it be just as good or better to do the white willow bark instead? Just to avoid some of the gut or liver side-effects?

Dr. Bernd: No. There’s really not that much that – the problem with people with aspirin is that they already __and vitamin E reduces ulcers dramatically. Uhm – if they take baking soda with aspirin, they can actually buffer the aspirin. So they can take 6 – I have people take 6 to 10 aspirins a day with baking soda. And they have no problem. And that affects uh – one of the side-effects that was – that one person who is dealing with the structural problem was on my collagen, and he started taking 6 to 10. His stomach cancer actually went down dramatically and his father who’s an MD, was amazed by the results. And so he incorporated aspirin for his patients for other conditions such as you know – colon and stomach cancer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And aspirin, doesn’t it have the side-effects of like – Ibuprofen or the NSAID family?

Dr. Bernd: No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug, correct?

Dr. Bernd: It doesn’t cause any liver discomfort or uh – those of the detoxification system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Bernd: And it has so many – it also reduces fatty acid synthesis, which is a – a byproduct of our mitochondrial deficiency.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhh.

Dr. Bernd: When you – if you take aspirin and collagen and coffee in the morning, it doubles the uncoupling mechanism of the mitochondrial proteins. It enhances the mitochondrial to achieve ATP more efficiently.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting. And I think aspirin was created from the while willow bark, too. Correct? So that did come to the herb originally.

Dr. Bernd: Uh-hmm. Yeah. And you can use, like you said, why throw a bark? It’s exceptional. It works. Uhm and usually takes a longer time, but once you have enough in the body, it does work as well or even better than aspirin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very interesting. What’s your take on systemic enzymes for inflammation?

Dr. Bernd: Uhm, you know, for inflammation, I find – I’ve always use Remylin, number one, for that purpose, and Parsitan. Remilyn-Parsitan works for me the most effectively. Uhm – and the research that I look at, it’s always well known in athletic performance. That Remilyn was always number one. Uhm – chymotrypsin, trypsin – all these things uhm – they have some anti-inflammatory mechanisms, but they work more on breaking down proteins more efficiently. And that’s their function. Remilyn and has more of an anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Uhm – uh you know, dealing with prostaglandins-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Prostaglandins, right. Interesting. And what about topical effects of collagen? Maybe putting it on topically or taking it topically? Maybe they heal cuts, or wounds and scars? What’s your take on the best protocol for healing cuts, wounds, and scars?

Dr.Bernd: Well the one you have, the True Collagen, that you uh – provide  to your patient because of the molecular weight is extremely the lowest on the market today. It will penetrate down through the skin a little bit more efficiently. Most collagen, the molecular weight’s too large.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Bernd: It’s like a hyaluronic acid. They are different molecular weight, hyaluronic acids, uh – and for the joints, you need the lowest molecular weight to get in there. For the skin, you don’t need that much. But in collagen, you will get some effect from the low molecular, low density weight of collagen. And people have made like uh – like a topical paste. You know –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: – on their skin. And I’ve heard incredible stories. I myself take it orally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd:  And I’ve noticed just orally, everybody says I’m 68 and I’m out on the sun everyday. They all say, “you got incredible skin, how do you keep it that way?”It’s gotta be collagen because I don’t much other than that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I was – I saw Dave Asprey maybe a year or two ago at the Paleo conference and he was getting all these compliments on his hair growing out, and his skin is vibrant. And he’s just really up to collagen – so 60g a day. I think that mirrors your protocol. The 30 and 30.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And he was crediting a lot of his skin and hair benefits from the higher dose collagen as well.

Dr. Bernd: You know, interesting uhm – three years ago, I had dinner with uh –with one of the doctors, uhm – and he had a client in Chicago who’s working out, who is an osteopath there. And she was working out in the gym, and right across the street is uh – Oprah Winfrey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Bernd: Oprah Winfrey is very close to this guy named Alexis. Alexis is a Bulgarian Powerlifter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Bernd: He had a gym called – in Chicago and he was telling me that, he was taking my collagen – that collagen peptide that you have. And he’s – he has severe bone to bone loss of cartilage on his knee from lifting over 33,000 lbs over his head. And he’s record holder in his country and he was a former Olympic uh – lifter. And he was complaining every day about pain. So the doctor says, “well, let me give you some of this collagen I’ve been taking” So gain a couple pounds of it and in a couple of days, he went back to her and said, “this is the most incredible thing, uh – I started taking uh – 60g of this stuff and I noticed my pain went down” So he went on 100g a day level for six weeks, went to see his Orthopedic doctor, he took an x-ray of his knees, and he says, “My God, what’s going on? You’ve got cartilage growing back in your knee.” And he says, “you know, I noticed __. So uhm – it was – you know, he’s on a hundred because he’s a massive individual. He’s huge. You know, he’s like a football player, but very short and stocky. So when you’re in that kind of dense person and athletic like he is, you need to go even higher.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. That’s make so much sense.

Dr. Bernd: And you don’t have to be on it all the time. You don’t have to be on it – I read from a leading article way back in the 50’s, 60’s from uh – MD, and he was giving everybody bone broth, chicken stock and collagen from different sources. And he was adding it every single day to their diet. And that’s how he restore their health completely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That makes so much sense. And are there any topical products out there on the market are you aware of that you can take in conjunction with the collagen, but topically to put on in any cuts or wounds or things like that to help improve healing and recovery there – reduce scarring?

Dr. Bernd: You know, Yeah. You know – I mean if you ever have a problem with any situation, hydrogen peroxide works so easily and so fast in wound healing. And also somehow, basal cell carcinoma you may see it disappear. Uhm – vitamin E and vitamin C are my two favorite.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: Because vitamin C and vitamin E and hyaluronic acid together, and it is one of the best because you know – Vitamin C and collagen are so complimental to each each other.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, they are.

Dr. Bernd: They work – work synergistically together and uhm – when you have enough Vitamin C, it enhances collagen function and also collagen does the same thing to vitamin C. So having vitamin C just as itself has profound effects.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Dr. Bernd: And if you get – yeah. If you above 10% of the solution, then you gonna see results.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that a 3% hydrogen peroxide? Or is that a food grade?

Dr. Bernd: Uhm – Yes, I’ve used even food grade where I mix it a little bit so I get it down to about 10, 15%. And I myself has a couple of uhm – you know a couple of thins on my – on my nose from being outdoors. I play professional soccer all my life so I’ve been outdoors all my life and then tracks. So you develop this little sunspots.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sunspots.

Dr. Bernd: And I put it on there, and it goes away – it’s gone. If I have, with a Q-tip, I use it topically, and it stings. You want to get it to the level where you have a sting out of it. For about three minutes, it stings and then you just let it go, and the next day, add another one. And then in a few days, it’s gone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. That’s great. Excellent tips.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then let’s talk about some of the gut healings. I know you mentioned just bone broth a few minutes ago, and I know Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the person who created the GAPS diet to help people with gut issues, the gut and psychology syndrome diet. She talks about bone broth and bone broth is really high in glycine. That’s one of the major benefits of glycine. And we know glycine is also really, really, really high in collagen along with hydroxyproline and.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you talk about how glycine really helps to work to heal the gut?

Dr. Bernd: Well collagen and glycine – you know that some – the wall – the lining of the wall is pretty – even in the arteries. People don’t understand that Linus Pauling told me this many years ago, that the lining of the walls of the arteries, of the gut, is predominantly the teflon to smoothness –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: – is made from collagen. That’s why he was a big promoter of lycine, and proline, and vitamin C in his program. It’s because he wanted to increase the – the Teflon, the smoothness, elasticity of the lining of the wall. The cell membrane where uh – nutrients go in and out, water retention in sodium potassium – It’s all controlled by collagen proteins such as glycine. And it helps to heal the gut by sealing the leaky gut syndrome. The gut junctions which get inflamed. And they start you know – proliferating with uh – holes because of the inflammatory mechanisms. And collagen seems to seal that. So if people start taking collagen with their meals, they don’t have the symptoms of leaky gut or Crohn’s or IBS or colitis. They don’t get that kind of symptoms because collagen helps to reduce the inflammatory mechanisms by suppressing MMP-9, which is a major inflammatory component. And – and

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: Collagen is one of the few that reduces the MMP-9 uhm – mechanisms that causes most of the inflammation in the gut and it does that. And glycine does that. So does glycine, choline and alanine. And – and even a little glutamine in there. So you’re gonna get that healing effect that happens. And you’re right, you know – the endotoxins that we consume and produce in the gut, when it leaks out, it causes all your inflammatory conditions, neurological conditions, you know uh – Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s. All these things are caused by that. Arthritis is another component of leaky gut syndrome. So the more collagen you take, the more you having more protection in supporting the lining of the wall and reducing the inflammation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Yeah, I see that. That’s the matrix metalloproteinase nine.

Dr. Bernd: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And there’s a couple of studies I’m looking at – one here, right now on Pubmed in the Journal of Development. They’re talking about that being really – being modulated by collagen matrix formula. That makes sense.  So it’s really helping to modulate the MMP-9, thus helping to reduce inflammation and improve joint inflammation recovery.

Dr. Bernd: Yes. Yes. We got many benefits from collagen. It’s not only just repair and generate, but protection. And also another big thing, you know – uh one of the biggest areas I – I worked on was a caloric restriction diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: And it wasn’t about 20 years later after working with Roy Walford.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: And I uh – I started realizing what is uhm – what are the benefits of caloric restriction diet? Well the major benefits, I started reviewing every single paper from Richard Miller –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: to Lopez to Aschinger and others is that –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Autophagy.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. By increasing autophagy –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: And by reducing inflammation and iron, and reducing polyunsaturated oils, which are the major contributors of ageing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: But here’s what I started, if you reduce certain inflammatory proteins like, methionine, cysteine, and tryptophan, which are devoid in collagen. Now I understood why collagen is such an important protein because it’s devoid of three major amino acids that contribute to basically oxidative stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd:  Glycation, thyroid dysfunction – all proven by these low caloric restriction diets that they saw the markers of what they are looking work for. The stresses on the body, the epigenetic genes that are – are expressed by reducing uh – caloric restriction. It all comes back to these amino acids. There was a link to all these three researchers Richard – Miller –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: work on this, who’s a PhD, MD and some other people like Lopez and Aschinger

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: And the others like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: It showed that collagen devoid of this, is the only protein out there that is safe to consume on a daily basis, that have the caloric restriction benefits.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But you don’t see any problems with – I get that. So maybe we can apply some intermittent fasting in such –

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: – to our weekly regimen. That makes sense. I get that, but eating like grass-fed meat or like fresh salmon, or foods that have a serotonin or 5-HTP or tyrosine in it, is that gonna be okay? Is that gonna cause a problem?

Dr. Bernd: Eventually the serotonin issue raises estrogen and with my cancer patients – I’ve treated over 14,000 patients, and estrogen and serotonin is very high in almost all of them. And they’re contributing to uh – reducing thyroid function, number one.  They also increase nitric oxide and histamine, which is a contributing factor to endotoxins, leaky gut syndrome, and brain function. So what I’ve also discovered, if you compliment collagen with uh – these type of foods-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: That are high in tryptophan, it sort of reduces the uh-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: The damaging effect of-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: of tryptophan, methionine and cysteine. So collagen balances whatever foods you gonna eat. So I remember uh – a very famous MMA cage fighter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: And working with Chris Cyborg who’s number one in the world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ohh.

Dr. Bernd: undefeated. When she was on whey protein, she had a lot of distention and bloating, and gut issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: When we added collagen in a higher level, all the symptoms went away completely. But when she stopped with collagen, they came back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.

Dr. Bren: So it was – So that’s why she realized that how important was collagen to her supplement because it reduced the inflammation, the gut, the bloating, the distention, and the fatigue that she developed from having that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So you think maybe there was a good parity with the collagen adding the extra glycine hydroxyproline-proline with some of the higher amounts of  sulfur amino / glutathione precursors in the way. You think that kind added a good balance to it essentially?

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. And one of the – you gotta be careful with glutathione and sulfur groups, uhm – In all the research that we’ve done and I’ve looked at, maintaining an oxidative uh – metabolism, that means you now looking at the redux signaling. You got glycation of glucose –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: Oxidation of glucose. It’s how everything works and then you have the reduction stage as the byproduct of energy. Okay, you get the reduced state. You don’t wanna convert to reduced state the NADH back to NAD+

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd:  That’s where all the sciences go on. So maintaining a highly NAD+ state, maintains longevity and – and reduces the chances for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And by reducing these amino acids, that I mentioned, these amino acids – even the glutathione amino acids uh – maintain the body in an NADH state in a reduced state. And you want to convert that back to NAD+ And the amino acids that do that, are your choline, lysine, and glycine. You know lycine, choline and glycine are the major ones to contribute to an oxidative state.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very interesting.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. And that’s why –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead. Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: That’s why a lot of the stem cell clinics – are the Ahvie Herskowitz in San Francisco uses my collagen to prep the body to make more stem cells. So when he does stem cells from either the fatty tissue or the – you know from the bone, using bone marrow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: He’ll prep the patient up with collagen because it doubles the stem cell function and improves the stem cells.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that. And you’re just referring a lot of the various pathways that are involved in the Kreb’s cycle which has to do with the mitochondrial function. I wanna talk about that in just a bit. And you were talking a lot about these reducing agents. And just for the listeners at home, all our reduction agent is a –takes on an electron. Oxidation is a loss of electrons; reduction is a gain of electrons. So you have the NAD, plus the H, that’s the electron UVF ADH, too, which add the extra electron. And these electrons, these hydrogen compounds are then brought into the electron transport chain to generate more ATP. So Bernd, can you switch gears and talk about the mitochondria? Just kinda give your Reader’s Digest version of what it is, and what people can do to help improve the mitochondrial function?

Dr. Bernd: Yes. You know, going back to billions of year ago, the molecule that gave life to every living system was a bacteria, called an organelle, called the mitochondria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: And when the mitochondria establish an envelope around itself, they created that – these organelles for energy. Every plant, every animal, every living system has – and this is what the oxidation reduction cycling is all about. And every disease state, like Edison Pharmaceuticals, working on a mitochondrial uhmmolecule that increases mitochondria in the brain, because all degenerative diseases they’re finding are caused by the lack of NAD+ an increased NAD H which is the reduction state of the cell.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd:  And if you can increase the NAD+, you main – well we’re born – we’re born with a  500:1 ratio of NAD+ to NADH.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd:  As we get older, this level starts declining to 200:1 to uh – 100:1 and then it shifts. That’s how a disease starts and that’s how the cell – everything that the body regenerates with, it requires mitochondrial function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: Immune system functions by the mitochondria by producing energy and the byproduct of CO2, carbon dioxide.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Dr. Bernd: And carbon dioxide is a chemical necessary. It’s very valuable in producing energy as well, but it’s an antioxidant. It reduces free radical damage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: – by producing CO2 and people don’t realize that’s why high altitude –  athletes train in high altitude to enhance performance and recovery. We did a study with cancer patients by putting them at high altitude; they were able to recover from their cancer. Because the more CO2 you have, the great ability to recover and to increase NAD+. And SpeckmenSpeckmen the largest study in the world on human –on animals than human, that by maintaining a highly oxidative state, uhm –all the animals that live the longest, all the human uh – uh –cultures that have the highest longevity, he discovered they all had a very high metabolic function due to the NAD+, to the mitochondria being at optimal levels. Sinclair and Garante out of Harvard, they are all working on molecules that produce mitochondrial energy by increasing NAD+ because once you have NAD levels higher, you can get hypoxia, which is one of the components to ageing, and disease, and cardiovascular disease, and then cancer. And then another thing that occurs is fatty acid synthesis which is another molecule that cancer cells switched from oxidative blood glucose they go into breaking down uhm – fats and proteins in our body to make energy for the cancer cells to you know – continue their uh – reproduction and growth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.

Dr. Bernd: If you switch that – Yeah. If you switch that and reduce fatty acid into synthesis – synthesis uh – reduced hypoxia inducible factor 1, you do that by increasing NAD+. That’s how you change the whole element. So, niacinamide and collagen together.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: -works the best for increasing –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: B vitamins – B2

Dr. Bernd: NAD

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: B1, B2, you’re absolutely right and  uh– Cortisone, anything that has air and that has uh – that helps with NAD molecule. And then also reducing the inflammatory uh – conditions of the body, the amino acid that produce inflammation, the foods that produce inflamm– Iron polyunsaturated oils. One of the worst things that reduces NAD levels in the mitochondria. So you wanna reduce polyunsaturated oils and only eat –go to Queen butter olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil. These are promoters of NAD. They’re promoters mitochondrial function and they also promote thyroid. And thyroid is the major organ that regulates the mitochondria and maintains the function of the mitochondria at the optimum levels.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I just wanna make sure I’m hearing correctly. You talked about oxidative stress being a good thing, right? But at the same standpoint, though, iron can create more oxidative stress while I guess like the rusting on the nail that oxidative stress as well. Like that’s the rusting on the nail, right? That’s oxidative stress.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How do we have both of those things that kinda seem like their almost in- in- in conflict?

Dr. Bernd: Well again and at a certain age, we can reduce the levels of iron. We need at –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Bernd: – the age of 40 as much. So by reducing – never take iron with vitamin C. That’s the problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd:  And iron and polyunsaturated oils are another problem. They contribute to glycation and misfolding protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.

Dr. Bernd: So in that sense that’s – that’s okay. That’s what we have to do. But by making sure that we shift our body to a high NAD+ state with CO2, as uh – you know from drinking –that’s we get from baking soda. You increase CO2 levels, you get it from drinking mineral water like, Pellegrino or the German one called __.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: These are the good sources of natural CO2 and that keeps your body at that level.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.

Dr. Bernd: So – so the thing is you always want to keep an oxidative of – oxidation of glucose is the major function of the mitochondria. Once it’s efficiently high and that oxidative state of glucose by breaking down glucose more efficiently, that’s how we get energy. And that’s just basically regulated by our thyroid and reducing estrogen in our body.  Estrogen and nitric oxide and histamine are the major – major contributor factors to deficient uhm –mitochondrial function and lowering thyroid function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally understand it. Regarding the iron, too. That recommendation may be different with females to males, as women do menstruate  every month, you know, up until they go menopausal.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: – late 40s or late 50s. So they’re shedding some of that iron every month in their menstruation. Would you recommend therapeutic phlebotomy or just giving blood, maybe once a quarter or a couple times a year to help reduce some of that iron load as well?

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. And it’s also to produce more red blood cells and it’s like stem cells. You – you’re stimulating the body to make more red blood cells and you wanna do that. It – one of the best things to do that  is every 3 to 6 months. I have friends that do that religiously and that keeps theirs – health up and immune system up, and they seem to do really well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Now regarding some of the oxidation/reduction. So you mention the oxidation agents are like NAD or FADH minus the H2. So,  we’re missing that extra hydrogen. So basically what I’m trying to understand and kind of boil down for the patients is that we’re trying to take those hydrogen, those electrons from the Krebs cycle and we’re trying to move them over to the electron transport chain, so we can generate more energy and have better mitochondrial function. Is that the goal?

Dr. Bernd: Yes, it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Bernd: Uhm, you know, I had wonderful discussion way back in listening to the fellow that invented the RNA DNA with cricket and wasps.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, yup.

Dr. Bernd:  He was on Charlie Rose and about five years ago, four years ago – five years ago, he said on national television, we’re losing the war on cancer and Charlie says, “why?” He says, “we’re not looking at the Krebs cycle, we’re not looking at the oxidative uh – uh effects of glucose – oxidation of glucose in the – in the in the mitochondria.” He says if we start looking at that, and shipped back to understanding how the Krebs cycle, we can win the war on cancer. He said it on national television and he’s actually right. He says that we can increase the NAD+ levels in our body, we should be able to repair anything that’s damaged and reverse conditions that are – you know uh – created by these deficiencies. And so he said the right words and it’s all based on all the Otto Warburg-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: He said that and got two Nobel Prize. Uh, Gombert said the same thing in his works. Solley did the same thing uhm – so did Sir George

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. George. Yeah

Dr. Bernd: So did uh – William Code. They’re all – all five people and minus point agreed with all five of them that this is such an important thing about the oxidation of glucose that goes totally in a deficient or breaks down in the mitochondria due to these elements of free radical damage. And that’s why autophagy, recycling the damage and using it for energy is why you have intermittent fasting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Bernd:  -or exercise or you know – and  that’s what caloric restriction have done. They – they help in autophagy phases –increase the mechanisms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so this is interesting. So we have a phenomena known as advanced glycation and products, that if we consume too much sugar in we coat our proteins with too much sugar, we get our human hemoglobin A1C levels too high, we can increase free radical stress. So where is the balance? Where is the tipping point where glucose goes too high and we create this extra oxidative stress? Is it have to do with insulin resistance? How do you measure that? How you make specific recommendations for your patients regarding carbohydrate and glucose consumption?

Dr. Bernd: Okay, very interesting. You and I, I – I started uh –working with the uh – inventor of the MRI, okay?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Wow.

Dr. Bernd: And we’re looking at brain chemistry. Raymond Damadian is the genius. So we’re looking at cerebrospinal fluid and Raymond is actually the founder of MRI and he founded the Fonar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: And he says that chiropractors are the greatest people to work with because they know how to treat the cerebrospinal fluid which contributes to every neurological disease known to man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: Okay. Concussion syndromes found uh –like the worst one was Jim McMahon

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: And I’ll share this – really important why. Jim McMahon had the worst concussion syndrome of any athlete in the football.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And just for the listeners, he was the quarterback for the Chicago Bears 86; he won the Super Bowl with them as well.

Dr. Bernd: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: And the whole story is on his website and then finally the family uh – sent Raymond uh – send Jim McMahon to Raymond Damadian in New York for a – for his Fonar. The Fonar the only true MRI that you can stand up, not recline, you get the correct posture, the correct flow of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid so you can see what is actually wrong with the body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmm.

Dr. Bernd: And it takes 30 seconds and it is not a claustrophobia effect and it costs almost nothing to do. Any he did a whole evaluation of his brain and –and with the camera that he developed the late uh – early 2000s with the Fonar, he was able to see the cerebrospinal fluid, the ventricles and how it was damaged.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmm.

Dr. Bernd: In concussion syndrome, it is the ventricles –the cerebrospinal fluid is supposed to flow from the brain to the spinal cord.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Bernd: -32 quarts a day. 32 quarts

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Bernd: and half the quarts produced by the ventricles every day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Bernd: And lay – and the concussion syndromes like Jim McMahon and many others and MS patients, they’re only producing 12 quarts or less. And when he had a a chiropractor named Scott Rosa to do an active uh – uh hole to one adjustment, a – you know – atlas only.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: They corrected Jim McMahon in two treatments where his function is back to normal; his dementia is completely gone; he’s functioning full – at full state of mind. And that’s rare; you never see that. We done that with other athletes from the NFL same thing, they restore themselves back to normal and with uh – autism patients –adult autism patient, completely recovered back just by correcting the cerebrospinal fluid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what are the best chiropractic techniques-

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -to help with that? I know sacro-occipital technique is great.

Dr. Bernd: Uhm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Upledger as well. You mention some of the upper cervical whether it’s Atlas Orthogonal, or cervical knee chest, or uhm Nucca. Are there any other specific chiropractic techniques you like for that?

Dr. Bernd: Well, you know, I ask that with Raymond. He believes that chiropractic in general has the best benefit. Yes, if you can isolate the atlas and adjust that correctly, he said that has been the – the best value for treating these conditions. And the results are very quick and fast. And – and another thing I was talking to a Cell Physiologist who works with Raymond, who developed the –uh – a lot of inside for Raymond to develop the Fonar. He says if you correct the thyroid, the thyroid does the same thing. It helps with cerebrospinal fluid function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Bernd: So going back to this glycation, misfolding protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: One of the things we found with Raymond and others, its not sugar that causes misfolding. It’s actually the wrong thing. It is the polyunsaturated oils.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: – in our diet that are the major contributors to misfolding aggregation glycation of – of the – uh proteins. And sugar is so vital for a chemistry to work. Actually my cancer patients, I have the double their sugar intake by giving them more honey, pure cane sugar because that retains the oxidative state of the NAD. That’s how I get to them to switch from the reduction state of NADH back to the oxidative state of the cell.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.

Dr. Bernd: And we found – and it sugar – going back to my 18 uh – 1800,1867, there was two William MDs followed by name of Budd (B-U-D-D).

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: – from England and another Priori (P-R-I-O-R-I). Both of them at the same period we’re treating diabetes. And you know how they reverse diabetes?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhh

Dr. Bernd: They added extra sugar from glucose, fructose such as honey and bone broth or chicken broth and they were able to reverse diabetes. There was uh – recently there was another animal study on diabetes. They gave animals a chow of high sugar and another animal, uh –mice uh –low sugar content. And the ones with the higher sugar, they were able to measure and show that the island of Langerhan’s

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: – in the pancreas was totally repaired and regenerated. They repaired and regenerated a new uh – function in that island of Langerhan’s to produce insulin again. So it was uh – so the is now showing that you know, we need fats; we need cholesterol coz cataracts are produced by low cholesterol diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.

Dr. Bernd: – and statin drugs. And glycation is now contribute to – glycation is also due to low cholesterol and low sugar diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. And now on a Paleo – go ahead, yup.

Dr. Bernd: No, go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: On a Paleo template diet, you know, one of the things we’re doing is we’re really focusing on – again more high-quality saturated fats, whether it’s coconut oil, grass-fed, omega 3’s from salmon. You know, the good healthy fats are gonna be more stable and less and less lipid peroxidation be in the polyunsaturated. So, we’re doing that and then with some of these patients I’m seeing – I’m seeing a lot of diabetics, I do see diabetes reverse quite frequently with lower carbohydrate diet. I mean we see their fasting insulin above 10 and we get back below 4.

Dr. Bernd: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We see that re-established. So, is it because we’re changing the polyunsaturated fats in the fats? And that’s why we’re getting these results? Coz how are we – How can we get both results, you know, doing two different things? So what’s the difference? What’s the common variable?

Dr. Bernd: Uh – number one, I will tell you this – talking to these numerous Cell Physiologists at various universities such as Oregon, uh – working with Linus Pauling Institute over at Oregon State with the Tory Hagen and Joseph Bachman and all that. There’s no doubt and – and Bruce German out of UC Davis, and our Richard Beach out of NIH.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup. Robert.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. And Robert Ward of Utah. They all agree that we need to go back and increase our creams and butters

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: – and saturated fats.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Bernd: That is the most protective mechanism we have today against ageing and diseases. And think about libido and hormones, it’s all produced by cholesterol. Cholesterol produces pregnenolone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: – progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: The major hormones that we need on a daily basis that have the greatest brain protection and protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer, is all produced by cholesterol. By reducing the polyunsaturated levels, we’re noticing that there’s less glycation in misfolding protein. So that is the contributing factor because the unsaturated oils, even the omega-3’s, the fish oils are contributing to these problems because fish oils are uh – you know, cold-blooded animals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.

Dr. Bernd: And they – when you extract oil out of the fish, you give it uh- human.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Bernd: that has a 98.6 temperature, you’re actually creating oxidative damage –free radical damage, and that’s what happens. And so by reducing the – by increasing the saturated fats, the monounsaturated fats, like olive oil-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Avocado, yeah.

Dr. Bernd: you’re protecting the body. You’re protecting the body against oxidative damage. And that is the major contributing factor. And then second, yes, your carbohydrates, pastas and bread, you know, by reducing those, you know, will help, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Makes sense. There’s probably also an inflammatory component there, too. Because a lot of the refined sugar is – again, the refined sugar’s a little bit different and also a lot of refined grains, too, can have an inflammatory component as well, correct?

Dr. Bernd: There was a uh– one of the article done at the Stanford Lipid Chemistry Department and talking the Buck Institute – there, a Lipid Chemistry Department there. They found by reducing these polyunsaturated oils, you actually reduce inflammation. They’ve – one of the biggest contributors of inflammation is polyunsaturated oil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So do you suggest having any nuts at all? Or do you say, no nuts?

Dr. Bernd: No. No nuts because nut- the other problem we have in food is the uhm – you know there’s a gene called GLO 2

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: And GLO 2 is a major anti-ageing gene and it’s part of the kidney. It regulates vitamin D in the kidney. And also helps with calcium absorption in the bone. Uh – so the GLO 2 is damaged by high phosphorus foods. If you look at all the nuts, predominantly most nuts, except for maybe macadamia and cashews, which have the lowest phosphorus levels.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Bernd: Uhm- the higher the phosphorus versus calcium, that is what you wanna uh – you know, look at. Any foods that have a high phosphorus coz that phosphorus  pulls out calcium out of the bone and also causes kidney problems. Some of your kidney stones and gallbladder stones are caused by high phosphorus diets.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we wanna have nuts that have lower phosphorus, higher calcium.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s gonna be your cashews and macadamia nuts. Is that correct?

Dr. Bernd: Those are the two. I remember working with Robert Atkins.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: And Robert, you know, started the Atkin diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: His only nut that he would ever use was the macadamia. He would travel to LA and I’d meet with him at natural product show, and that’s what he would be consuming a little bit. But I do very little of any nuts at all. Uhm – I did look up the ratio of cashew, they e seem to have the lowest amount of phosphorus to the calcium level and that seems to be okay then.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Well, while we’re on that topic, what’s your typical – what’s your typical diet like in a day? Just give me a quick little day in the light. What’s breakfast, lunch and dinner look like for you?

Dr. Bernd: Okay. You’re talking to the wrong person since I was part of the caloric restriction diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Dr. Bernd: You know, I had to do that. But what I –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In general, though.

Dr. Bernd: In general, I – we started taking a natural uhm – prescription thyroid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: Because I started realizing how important the thyroid really is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: As you get older, you need to optimize your thyroid. For 30 minutes, I don’t eat anything, then I have an over easy soft boil of poached egg.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Bernd: That’s my breakfast. Then I have 30 grams of collagen with magnesium, calcium and vitamin D and I put uhm – some anti-inflammatory compounds like Boswellia  and zinc. I always have calcium, magnesium and zinc twice a day, and with collagen and vitamin C. So then I go and I work out, I- I- I work at seven days. I do core exercise, flexibility exercise, you know, I was uh – I took gymnastics in college, so I do a lot of the headstand push up kind of things because that’s what I have to do when I was in college.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great.

Dr. Bernd: Learn how to do balancing with my body. So that’s basically my program I eat very little throughout the day. Uh – once I take collagen in the morning, my appetite diminishes quite a bit. I kinda get a little protein and fruit in the afternoon. And in the evening, I’ll have a light soup with vegetables. I love chicken wings, I like ox tail, lamb shanks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: All the foods that are very high in collagen are – chicken wings are number one, ox tail, lamb shanks uhm – anything with bone is actually good for you. And you know, I steam – I cook all my vegetables because when you cook vegetables, you actually break down cellulose, and you increase the-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nutrients- yeah.

Dr. Bernd: – nutrients and absorption.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: People forget that.

Dr. Bernd: So – yup. And salad’s enough a good thing because we did a study and found that salads contribute to fermentation and gut inflammatory mechanisms and growth of bacteria because of the – anything that is like a green and it’s not cooked like kale and chard and chart, you have to boil 30 to 40 minutes in order to reduce the oxalic acid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: The phosphorus level and increase the nutrients of vitamin K.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. Now I don’t see a lot of excess of carbohydrate in your diet, number one.

Dr. Bernd: No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Number two, are you also adding an MCT oil, too?

Dr. Bernd: I usually take a low MCT with coffee, but not always. I’m more of a __guy. I like to increase my butter consumption in the morning. That’s how I trained my – yeah. I trained the 84 Olympic team by giving them butter in the morning for a workout, before workout.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s amazing. How bad are these athletes diets before you get in there? I mean you work with Howie Long, LA Raider guys- what was their diet like, typically? And how did you change it?

Dr. Bernd:  Uh – Howie Long is actually an exceptional guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: He’s one of the smartest athlete I ever came across.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Bernd: So his diet was not so bad.  He was a big uhm – you know, Italian guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: So he made a lot of uh– but the – the sprinters like the – Ron Brown,  the uhm – Evelyn Ashford they almost – 100-200 meters sprinters, their guy was so bad that one and I was so bad that one of my sprinters who  ended up playing professional football was Ron Brown.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: And he came to me because he’s always injured. He would have ice cream and uh – those Peanut Reese’s cups. That was his main diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Dr. Bren: And he was wondering why he was always injured. Uh – a guy named Robert Devans, uh –  four hundred hurler, who won against Edward Moses. Uh – we changed their diet into more of a fat and protein and less carbohydrate diet. And once we did that, we started using uh – collagen from Knox Gelatine at that time.  You know, uh- it, it really helped and we got more medal winners in ’84 and ‘88 than any other country.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Bernd: Because of the change of the diet. Yeah. And the key was start the morning with protein –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: Because that’s where you increase your metabolism and your thyroid. And if you don’t start the morning with protein, your body’s metabolism doesn’t work. It slows down and therefore, you increase your – you reduce the fat burning mechanism so your body starts storing more fat in the belly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. My recommendation is always 30 grams of protein in the first 30 minutes of waking up. That makes a lot of sense. And it’s amazing how this big disconnect with sports and athletes, that they just cannot think of food as calories to run the engine. They don’t think of it as building blocks to also help repair the bodies. So you get guys that are making tendons and ligaments out of basic crap on their diet.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. And they don’t understand – athletes, they are you know extremely high-intense performers and they’re working out with heavyweight. The muscles grow but the tendons and ligaments do not grow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it.

Dr. Bernd:  So when you start increasing the massive amounts of training, you are increasing muscle, but you’re pulling on the ligaments and tendons.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Bernd: And you’re damaging the cartilage. That’s why collagen is the only protein that helps with tendons and ligaments repair. It’s the only food that we know that has that ability to repair tendons and ligaments.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And when those tissues get damaged coz they’re severely avascular, meaning they don’t have  a lot of blood flow. So as soon as you get injured, it takes forever to repair. And these guys lose a step or two, and they’re out of the league.

Dr. Bernd: Yeah. As a chiropractor, your gonna – uh, we started using infrared lights heat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Bernd: Infrared- uh for infrared, uh – mats, anything to restore circulation to that area. You know LED dial. So any kind of uh- you know, ultrasound. Whatever we can do to increase the circulation. That’s the problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, awesome. That’s great. Today has been an awesome show. Lot’s of uh- brain candy here, today. Is there any other information that you wanna address for the listeners, today?

Dr. Bernd: Well again, like what you said, it’s uh – you know, it’s maintaining a good diet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Bernd: You know, red- especially proteins an increasing your collagen consumption uhm – you know and – don’t overeat.  We tend to eat too much in one sitting. We can actually eat smaller meals throughout the day and maintain a metabolism to increase throughout the day. And the quality of food is important. Reduce the polyunsaturated, number one of ageing. Do not be afraid of sugar and honey and put it in your coffee or tea. Actually that keeps your – uh the brain requires the most amount of sugar than any part of the body and then the heart, because they’re – they’re utilized 24 hours a day. And oxidation of glucose is the main contributing factor for these organs to work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.

Dr. Bernd: And you know – and look at epigenetic, how genes get turned on and off, and we now know that uh – the amino acids found in collagen, the zinc, the magnesium

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm.

Dr. Bernd: The vitamin D, the vitamin K, the green teas- they have the greatest components to helping prevent epigenetic damage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that. That makes so much sense. Now, Dr. Bernd, I ask this question for everyone. If you’re stuck on a desert island and you only can bring one supplement, herb or compound with you, what would it be?

Dr. Bernd: Oh, God. Definitely – being on collagen, I would have to say collagen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I knew it.

Dr. Bernd: Because – And I would have to say Niacinamide would be my second most important one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And that’s B3. Excellent. Well, very good, Doc. Is there any ways people can get in touch with you, if they want to get a hold of you? I know your website is another great to get a hold of you. Any other information for the listeners?

Dr. Bernd: Uh you can So it’s David – Robert Boy – period – Friedlander F-R-I-E-D-L-A-N-D-E-R one zero @ gmail.com

Now understand, I’m not really in practice anymore, I’m more in consultation, research end. And working with doctors like yourself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally makes sense. You’ve been doing this for 40+ years. So good for you. You got a –

Dr. Bernd: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: massive encyclopedia of knowledge there. Well, I appreciate that. Thank you so much. And you, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks a lot, Dr. Bernd. Great having you on the show. Look forward to having you back soon. You have a great day.

Dr. Bernd: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you.



Amino Acids can help Brain Chemistry, Depression and Anxiety Problems

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

About twenty percent of the human body is made up of protein. Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes. The building blocks of our protein is what we call our amino acids. And so today’s video is going to be on amino acids and brain chemistry. 

Again, I had a podcast recently over at Beyond Wellness Radio. Check out Beyond Wellness Radio for a little bit more in-depth discussion. I’m going to go into some different nuances we didn’t really cover in that podcast.  I’m going to break it down on how amino acids can make a difference. I will compare just the conventional and the natural treatment options. It will also include getting to the root cause without all the side effects.

amino acids and brain transmitters

Protein Composition

Amino acids are the breakdown of proteins.  So imagine protein is like the pearl necklace.  So, here’s our necklace and you can see when the necklace is complete, this is your protein.  And the amino acids are nothing more than one link in that necklace.

The protein has to get broken down into the amino acids and then the amino acids can get converted into the neurotransmitters, NT.  So the breakdown is protein to amino acids to neurotransmitters.  And there’s a lot that happens to get this broken down into this.

When we’re under stress, we can take a lot of this and we can shoot it downstream to glucose.  You’re going to see here, we can take a lot of our amino acids even dopamine, and we can even shuttle it downstream into adrenalin.  So we have to be a careful with that because we can easily burn through our amino acids easily.

Digging deeper, we have tyrosine or L-tyrosine, which can get converted into Dopa.  Dopa is the intermediary between L-tyrosine and dopamine.  And you can see the enzymes and the nutrients that are involved in this conversion are essential.


Going back to the chemistry of an anemic person, we will consider the following: low red blood cell count, low hematocrit, low haemoglobin or maybe low ferritin. Maybe your TIBC and UIBC are high and your ion sat is low or maybe your ferritin is below 30.

Again, any of these signs could be an iron-based anemia. So don’t get tripped up doing all this fancy brain chemistry work if you have an anemia.  You have to get that looked at and treated and diagnosed first.

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Amino Acid Conversion

So we have the conversion of L-tyrosine to Dopa.  Dopa then gets converted to dopamine.  Now when we’re supporting someone in their brain chemistry, we’ll use the amino acid L-tyrosine by itself. We will also use the extra Dopa support via mucuna pruriens or velvet bean extract.  So we can use pure Dopa via these herbs and we can even use the upstream compounds with the L-tyrosine.

This is the same thing with tryptophan.  We have tryptophan down here.  So you can see tryptophan gets converted to 5-HTP.  5-HTP is the intermediary in between tryptophan and serotonin.

Nutrients needed for conversion

Both of these require certain nutrients.  We have iron for tyrosine to Dopa and we have B6 in both intermediary conversion.  So when we’re at Dopa or 5-HTP, we need B6 to make that conversion from 5-HTP to serotonin.  We need B6 to make the conversion from Dopa to dopamine.  Very important, these nutrients can easily get burnt out via stress.

Also, you can see the iron nutrients here, too.  They’re involved.  And again, we both have TH enzymes that are involved in the conversion of tyrosine to Dopa, that’s the intermediary for dopamine.  We also have L-tryptophan and 5-HTP, which is the intermediary for serotonin.

Again, the TH enzyme down here stands for tryptophan hydroxylase, where up here, it’s actually tyrosine hydroxylase.  So 2 different enzymes, the abbreviations look the same so don’t get confused on that.

We have this enzyme called the amino acid decarboxylase enzyme and you can see that it’s the same enzyme for each one.  So these abbreviations look the same but they’re actually different enzymes.  These enzymes right here are exactly the same.

Serotonin deficiency

So here’s where it gets a little fuzzy.  If we give a whole bunch of L-tyrosine and we don’t give a whole bunch of tryptophan, what happens is we’re going to create tryptophan or a serotonin deficiency because we’re upregulating this enzyme.  This enzyme up here is upregulated which is fine because we have more tyrosine coming in. But at the same time, it’s also up regulating down here. It’s causing us to burn through more of our serotonin, so what actually starts to happen is we start creating a problem.

We start having more dopamine and we create less serotonin, and this is a long run.  If you’re using a little bit of L-tyrosine by itself, not a big deal.  But again, if you’re going to be on amino acids for your brain long-term, you want to be on a combination of L-tyrosine and 5-HTP or the intermediary, maybe even Dopa and 5-HTP.

Dr. Marty Hinz did some research finding that he could prevent serotonin deficiency when he’s working with his Parkinson patients giving 24,000 milligrams of L-tyrosine. We could prevent the serotonin deficiency by just giving small amount, 50 milligrams of 5-HTP. It was enough to prevent the serotonin deficiency when giving these real high amounts of L-tyrosine-dopamine support.

amino acids


L-tyrosine gets broken into Dopa.  Now when we work with patients, we’ll give a combination of L-tyrosine and Dopa because we want the building blocks, but sometimes we want to be able to override the capacitor. So you can see this enzyme here acting like a capacitor.

So if I give L-tyrosine, only so much can get converted downstream to dopamine.  It bottlenecks so it’s like a governor or a capacitor on an engine when you can only go so fast when you floor the pedal.  So this TH enzyme that has the same effect here is a capacitor on tyrosine converted to dopamine, and this enzyme over here is a capacitor on the tryptophan converting to serotonin.  We will bypass some of that by giving the straight 5-HTP and giving the straight L-Dopa with the L-tyrosine.

So going back, L-tyrosine gets converted to Dopa.  Again, we only can have so much convert here, so we want to make sure these nutrients are present. And then in the intermediary here, if we give extra, we have to make sure we have B6.  B6 is a nutrient across the board.  We need in both reactions. From the food standpoint, sources are nuts and seeds, 4-5 out of the top 10 are going to be meats.  Your chicken, fish and turkey.

Everyone knows that tryptophan will get tired after a Thanksgiving Day meal. That’s the tryptophan in the turkey.  Same thing, 4-5 are going to be meats. So we got to make sure we’re eating good quality meats, nuts and seeds, avocado.  Things like that are going to be really awesome for your B6 levels.

My patients that have brain issues are going to need anywhere between a 100 milligrams to 300 milligrams if you’re at the Parkinson’s spectrum of extra P5P or activated B6, pyridoxal-5-phosphate.

So you can see here, tyrosine we support both the beginning and intermediary nutrients to help dopamine get converted.  And again, we can stress out our dopamine because it can go to adrenaline.

Reasons that Drive Neurochemicals Out of Balance

When we see these problems, all these issues can be genetically based.  They can be nutrient based from a poor diet  or may be autoimmune.  They can be from stress or burning up our nutrients. And it can also be from leaky gut or malabsorption due to SIBO or multiple infections and low stomach acid.

So your big 5 reasons are going to be driving a lot of these neurochemicals out of balance.  And this is the same with tryptophan.  We get tryptophan in turkeys, as the most common, but it gets converted to 5-HTP, we still need the corresponding nutrients, B6, and then we have the corresponding conversion to our active brain chemicals.

Dopamine really goes up when we eat a lot of sugar.  So a lot of people artificially stimulate and burn out their dopamine through sugar.  Dopamine is also the focus and the I-love-you neurochemical and serotonin is your mood, as you’re happy neurochemical.  We need serotonin to feel happy, to feel fulfilled. Typically, we need a combination of them together and they function and dysfunction together.  They’re like brother and sister.  It’s very rare that we just only treat dopamine or only treat for serotonin because of the fact that this enzyme here can create deficiencies.  So we’ll usually use them together as a team.

Now you can see down here we have this quinolinate pathway here.  Without enough B6, we’re going to convert a lot of our tryptophan into quinolinate, which is inflammatory.  Now if we have enough B6, we can actually block this pathway from even happening.  We can block it and we can make tryptophan go more this way, but we can also bypass that by giving 5-HTP.


Precautions and Recommendations

So if you’re inflamed, be careful of taking tryptophan by itself because you can actually drive this quinolinate pathway which is more inflammatory.  So we want to get 5-HTP. If we give tryptophan, we want to give B6 with it and we always want to give B6 together in any brain program.  Again, if you’re just doing the aminos and you’re not getting the B6, then you’re really missing the boat on that.


The big take-home feedback is amino acids are super powerful.  Most drugs are just preventing the reuptake.  The neurochemicals, let’s say serotonin, in between the presynaptic neuron and post synaptic neuron. The longer they live out, the more they get broken.

Most medications are actually blocking the reuptake because our body naturally recycles these serotonins. So we can bring them back in and we can have a longer shelf life.  Now most medications actually come in there and they actually block the reuptake. That will allow more serotonin to accumulate between the pre and post synaptic neuron. The longer they’re there, the faster the body starts to actually break them down and recycle them.

So again, what we do is we trade a short-term increase in serotonin or dopamine for a long-term deficiency.  That’s why most people on these medications actually have to increase the drug dosage to keep the effect the same.  Almost anyone you’ll talk to has had that experience. They have to increase the dosage or even change medications as well.

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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.