Heavy Metals and the Gut Connections – Podcast #175
In today’s podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss the link between heavy metals and
Learn how to treat and prevent leaky gut and other gut problems from occurring. Find out the best natural treatments these two will share. Keep watching!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
01:22 The Heavy Metals and Gut Connection
06:40 Factors Affecting Gallbladder Function
11:20 Heavy Metals Disrupts Detoxification in the Gut Microbiota
12:46 Herbs that Supports the Liver
14:33 Cholesterol’s an Important Building Block for Hormones
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. J here in the house. Evan, how are we doing man?
Evan Brand: Happy Monday to you. Life is good. The sky is blue. I can’t complain.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, man
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, the first thing is, if you’ve got a leaky gut, that’s a problem. So,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, regarding the heavy metals, I mean, it’d be hard that you’d have to do Tissue Burden Test. So, like, you’d have to use like a chelation agent, like a DMPS or a DMSA. Uh— I like DMPS ‘cause they
Evan Brand: Yeah. So like, let’s talk about— You mentioned the bile already, but let’s go back to that for a second. We know that when we get your stool test back, if we look at your elevated fecal fat, to stay out of crit marker, we can know. Okay. You’re not digesting fats well. You’re probably not making enough bile. If you’ve got s— a sluggish liver, sluggish gallbladder function. To
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. A lot of the metals are dumped out via the hepatobiliary system, right? This is kind of like the big issue with a lot of people and potential, like, vaccination issues. Like, there’s some Aluminum ins— in a lot of the vaccines now, and a lot of the people are concerned, because in that first year to a life that hapalic— that hepatobiliary function isn’t quite dialed in yet. So, if you’re getting exposed to some metals, it may be we don’t have quite the mechanisms to get rid of those metals, right? That’s some of the people on the Aluminum side uhm— there’s still a little bit of thimerosal in the flu vaccine still, which is a— Ethyl mercury compound. So, having
Evan Brand: Yeah, it does. So, what’s happening with the low-fat diet then, if you’re not getting that gallbladder to fire, and therefore secrete bile. To me, since like, you’ve got a problem on your hands.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, not having enough fat in your diet is like not changing the oil in your car, right? Everyone has the experience if you
Evan Brand: And then maybe we can chat about stress a bit. I mean, heavy metals are definitely
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, can you repeat your question?
Evan Brand: The question is, “What are all the factors that would— that would affect gallbladder function or suppress gallbladder function, even if you had fat in the diet, too? You heard that part about…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …low fat [crosstalk] being bad? [crosstalk] Well, I eat— I eat a lot of fat. So, what other things could affect the gallbladder?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, number one, toxins can be more fat-soluble, so we want to choose healthy fat-soluble sources or, you know, healthy— you know, fats. Right? Not with the whole bunch of pesticides and chemicals that tend to be a more magnet for kep— for— for— for chemicals, right? Toxins. So, metals are toxin as well. So, if we are, you know— If we are having metals, right? They’re gonna be in the bile. They’re gonna be in the fat. And ideally, the body’s gonna sequester those and pull those out. If we have additional metals, we can give binders like charcoal or clays, or modified citrus pectin or chlorella, which kind of help bind those things up, and help us kind of escort out of the body better. Now, when we have excess adrenal stress, that activates the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system. And when the fight or flight nervous system is activated, it’s gonna make it harder for us to increase stomach acid levels with decreased stomach acid levels. It’s also gonna decrease enzyme levels. So, -when we have lower stomach acid, we need high stomach acid to activate our Cholecystokinin, that’s CCK. And then, CCK’s what stimulates the gallbladder from emptying so, if we have good stomach acid levels, high stomach acid levels, we’re gonna have good enzyme levels. We’re gonna be able to break down the fats better. We’re gonna be able to, then, increase the CCK. And then, that’s gonna stimulate the gallbladder, which will empty, and that’s gonna have potential toxins in the— in the bile as well. So, that bile’s gonna potentially have the ability to break down fat, but there also will be some toxins that will be dumped out. So, we have to have healthy stress levels ‘cause if we have really slow motility, we could potentially reabsorb a lot of
Evan Brand: Yep, well said. So, the whole cascade can really just fall apart at the top of the food chain, as usual, with digestion. So, if you’re eating while you’re stressed out, you’re not chewing your food, your rushing through a meal, maybe your playing on your phone, or reading a newspaper while your eating— just anything that’s generally taking you away from the present moment, which is the parasympathetic process of digestion. If you’re in sympathetic, you will not digest. So, you’ve got to chill out. You’ve got to relax. I tell people if you’ve got five minutes before and after
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A hundred percent. I have one study here. I want to just kind of read the abstract here a little bit. Uhm— so, off the bat, they talked about the gastrointestinal epithelium having several functions. Number one, being a physical barrier ensuring mucosal immune response and excluding or detoxifying harmful intestinal content. So, healthy gut bacteria has a major effect on detoxifying healthy content. So, heavy metals can also disrupt the gut microbiota, but low and poor microbiota, poor healthy gut bacteria can also have an effect on detoxification. So, this is why eating really good foods that don’t contain xenobiotics or foreign antibiotic sources, meat that’s not, you know, conventional, so we’re not getting exposure to antibiotics. Just not getting exposure to antibiotics in our overall life, in general, will have a big help on that. Not eating excess sugar— all of these things can affect our microbiome. Having infections
Evan Brand: Yep. So, let’s go into some of the— the binder conversation a bit. You hit on clay. You hit on— What was the other one you mentioned? Could—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Activated [crosstalk] charcoal is good. Uh— modified citrus pectin is really good. Chlorella— different types of Chlorella is excellent to bind up Mercury in the gut. Chlorella is not great at pulling out Mercury in the body but it’s really good by pulling it out in the gut.
Evan Brand: Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm— The modified citrus pectin is really great ‘cause that’s been shown to reduce Lead. They’ve done studies in— in retirement homes where they’ve seen that significantly reduced Lead. And I like that because it’s not like a liberator. It’s not like maybe a chelation compound that may liberate and— and you know, throw a rock in the beehives, so to speak. It’s more just cleaning up what’s hanging out.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, it’s a little bit different than like a DMSA or a DMPS—
Evan Brand: Let’s chat about herbs a bit, too. I mean, we use a lot of things that can help support the liver.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cilantro’s great, right?
Evan Brand: What about like
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Those are all really good for bioflow. Like a lot of those herbs are very tonifying and supporting to oxidative stress in the liver, like Milk thistle or Silymarin, like the Burdock, or the Dandelion root, or the Fringe tree root for
Evan Brand: Uh— So— So, if cholesterol is too low, like with the statin medication, or if cholesterol is— let’s say, in the 400’s, I guess— is there an issue being too high or too low?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it definitely can be. I mean, it can be. So, if cholesterol’s too high, it can mean there’s low thyroid function, potentially. Uhm— Cholesterol’s like a band-aid, so think about it as if you’ve walked into a thorn bush. You’re gonna need more band-aids that there are
Evan Brand: Yeah, ‘cause you can’t just take somebody and say, “Everyone has to be below 200 with total cholesterol.” This doesn’t
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And again, the reason why I like doing like bile salts sequestering compounds, whether it’s natural stuff, like citrus pectins, or whether it’s like
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’ll see a video about that later on today. So, low cholesterol— And that’s actually NIH study, right there. Off the bat—
Evan Brand: I’ve seen that with depression, too. There’s— There’s…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmhmn—
Evan Brand: …other literature out there about depression with cholesterol being too low, too. So—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, a hundred percent. [crosstalk] No doubt, man.
Evan Brand: That’s a trip. Well, well said about that. Uh— regarding the— the instage for people with heavy metals, the timeline is key here. So, remember, this is a— a marathon. This is a long-term thing. I don’t think heavy metals are something where you could just come in, do a couple months, or maybe even three— six months, and then just say, I’m done with metals. ‘Cause it just doesn’t work like that. The environment is just too toxic with metals. So, this is really something that I don’t know how you want to frame it, Justin, but to me, it’s something that should be daily.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, man. I think it’s gonna be a long-term thing. I think the big exposure for heavy metals for most people is gonna be Mercury filli— fillings. Uhm— Most people call them Silver fillings, but they’re greater than 50 percent Mercury, so— you know, we call them what they are. They’re Mercury Amalgam fillings. Uhm— Some people talk about fish being a big source of Mercury. I think it depends. Uh— A natural chelator of Mercury is Selenium, and Selenium— If you eat fish that are higher in Selenium in relationship to Mercury, that’s gonna— You’re automatically gonna have more of a chelator that will help with the reduction of Mercury. So, like Skipjack tuna is really high in Selenium to Mercury, while the Alaskan Sockeye Salmon uhm— Cod Haddock— So, my in site— I— if— We’ll put it up there. A good Selenium to Mercury ratio type of fish, so you can see where the Mercury’s much higher than Selenium. And again, if you want to consume some of these fish, and you’re a little bit, you know, on the edge about it, you’ll— say, you’re pregnant, or you’re just want to be careful, you can always take a little bit of Chlorella with some fish or some activated charcoal. I’m okay with that, too. But, just know that Selenium is gonna be a natural chelator for it. And also, Selenium’s really important for thyroid inflammation and thyroid conversion. It’s a building block for Glutathione, so, it’s a cofactor with Glutathione production, and it’s also gonna be uhm— tsp— the enzyme 5-deiodinase enzyme that activates T4 to T3. Your inactive to active thyroid hormone will come from Selenium as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. You got to have at least what, 200 mics. And then sometimes, with autoimmunity, we may even bump it up closer to like a 400 hundred
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah, 400
Evan Brand: And, what do you do for fish? How often? What are you doing for fish?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I do one to two times a week, at least. I do Skipjack tuna, a lot of times. That’s got a very high Selenium to Mercury ratio. I also consume it with, maybe some extra really good fats and a lot of the good vegetables along with it. Uh— if I go out and do Sushi, I will typically uhm— bring some activated charcoal along with me, just to be on the safe side.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, I don’t think a hundred percent. I mean, definitely less, but you kind of have to factor in. You know, if you’re more worried about some of the potential toxins that are in there, then, I would always air on the side of taking some activated charcoal. It’s not gonna soak everything up, but—
Evan Brand: Right. So, [crosstalk] you got to choose your battles.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, it’s an adsorbing compound, so it— it’s like a magnet. So, it doesn’t just like bind the stuff, like indiscriminately. It has a— an— a magnetic-like attraction to pull these toxins in.
Evan Brand: Yep. Yeah, that make’s sense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s an adsorbent, not an absorbent. Right. Absorb is like— Think of a sponge absorbing a whole bunch of fluid on— on a countertop. ANd,
Evan Brand: Yep, well said. That’s cool. That makes a lot more sense to visualize it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmhmn—
Evan Brand: Let’s look at some of these questions to see if any of these are pertinent to the— to the equation here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s do it.
Evan Brand: Uh— We had one from Tessa. She said, “If you have low Iron, does this indicate possible heavy metal toxicity?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you have low Iron, hard to say. I mean, I would look at it as, you know, “Are you a Vegan vegetarian?” If you’re a female, “Are you— are you having excessive menstruation?” I would look at those first, number one. number two, there could be malabsorption in the gut. So, I would look at that first. I wouldn’t look at— I wouldn’t jump to the heavy metals with low Iron levels.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I would say, look at infections, too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mn—
Evan Brand: ‘Cause Justin and I are seeing a lot of [crosstalk] parasites.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: —sorption.
Evan Brand: Also, we’re seeing uh— worms. And a lot of these worms, like Hookworm, they can also cause Anemia and steal your Iron. So, definitely get a stool test run. Look for all these big bugs and see if you can find it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent.
Evan Brand: Uh— Here’s one from Addy. She experiences Chronic Fatigue intermittently. She has a doctor’s visit tomorrow. What kind of labs should she ask for? Uh— Addy, if you’re going to a conventional doctor, even if you’ve
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean— So, you said the adrenals, right? And you said [crosstalk] thyroid?
Evan Brand: I said the Oat…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yes.
Evan Brand: …and adrenals.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, and adrenal, yeah. I would add probably thyroid to that as
Evan Brand: `Agreed. Yeah. Well said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Hundred
Evan Brand: Uh— Let’s see here. Most of these are off-topic, so I don’t want to divert us. Too bad. Uh—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. If you guys are asking questions, we love the questions. Try to keep it as much on topic as possible. And again, if you’re liking the show, give us a thumbs up, give us a share. We love the exposure. We want to help more people. That’s our mission. And again, the more exposure we get, the more we can help more people. Plus, we want to answer your questions as well.
Evan Brand: Yup. Here’s one. So, Tessa asked here, how do you increase your stomach acid? Take digestive enzymes, just eat certain
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …eating while you’re stressed, eating in a rush, not chewing your food, just any lifestyle stressors that can impact stomach acid levels. What else would you add, Justin?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, She’s got the cart before the horse. It’s the— the HCl causes the low enzyme levels to the most
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. And— and wer— we’re going a little bit more conservative with our dose of HCl, so if you look at something like a now food super enzyme, they’re gonna have a bunch of enzymes but they’ve got like 700 or 800
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Again, the people that are more sensitive, they’re gonna know. And if you don’t know, just start with the— a tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar. If you do okay there, then you could probably start a little bit higher and work your way up.
Evan Brand: Dilute it or— You’re saying dilute it with a little bit of water, or—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think you could just shoot it down straight.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, for me, I just rather shoot it down straight and get it done with ‘cause it’s so terrible. [laughs]
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. [laughs]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You could always do a shot of lemon juice, as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ‘Cause that gets the digestive support done.
Evan Brand: Yup. Are you saying just for the test or just regularly you would do a shot ACV? I don’t know if that would affect the teeth or not if it’s— if it’s touching your teeth.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh— I— I’d be okay with it. It’s not gonna— It’s n9ot bathing in it, right? You know—
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The acid that in your mouth that sits around your teeth, primarily is from sugar, right? The staph mutan, the bacteria in the mouth, eats a lot of the— the sugar in carbohydrate and then spits off all these acids. So, it’s more of the sugar consumption that creat— creates the acid via the gut— via the bacteria in the mouth.
Evan Brand: True. True. That’s true. Well said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would think maybe that ACV may even kill some of that bacteria as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Acetic acid— you know, a lot of these critters don’t— they don’t like a uhm— you know, acids like that.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. I think there’s one more question here that was on topic— kind of on topic from Neem here. He asked, uh— “How do you go about reintroducing foods after Candida, SIBO, or other infections?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One at a time. One food at a time, every three to four days. Lower those and then increment it up. Any negative symptoms— ANy negative symptoms pull that food out.
Evan Brand: How— How do you approach it? I know there are certain people that say, “Oh, there’s uh— AIP reintroduction. You’ve got to start with like egg yolk, and then egg white, and then nuts.” Have you seen a big difference in the order of operation…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …[crosstalk] or is it really just whatever food?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I do. I have an autoimmune handout, Autoimmune Reintroduction Diet handout…
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …on my blog post. Take a look at that. We’ll try to have it posted in the show notes. But, I try to always start with like egg yolks over the egg, because some people can handle the egg yolk but not the egg and the egg whites. Right? I always like soft poached like
Evan Brand: And then other foods, I mean, people freak out a lot about fruit in Candida. I haven’t seen a big issue with berries. If we’re doing organic berries [crosstalk]… a serving—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: —or two a day is fine. I’m not worried about that.
Evan Brand: There’s so— those people that are like, “Oh my God! You have to do this Candida diet. If you eat one piece of fruit, you’re gonna feed the Candida, and
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We may even up the Carbohydrates during
Evan Brand: Uh— that’s interesting. So, timing— I mean, we always like to talk about carbs with dinner, like maybe a sweet potato—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think carbs with dinner is better. I mean, the way I look at it is I want to stack the fasting period from sleep. I want to stack that period with keeping the carbs
Evan Brand: Well, your brain works better, too. So—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hm—
Evan Brand: [crosstalk] Another benefit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You can up the carbohydrates, you know, post-workout or you can even do it at night before you go to bed, or around dinner time is fine. You can add in a serving or two of fruit. You can add in a serving of, you know, healthy safe starch grain-free versions. That’s all great.
Evan Brand: Awesome. I think that was all the questions. So, if you want to wrap it up, we sure can.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it’s great. Someone asked about
Evan Brand: A lot of fun, you too. If you guys need to reach out, schedule a call. Look up Justin’s site. It’s justinhealth.com. You can schedule a consult there. Also, uh— you’ll check at other things, too that aren’t here on the videos. So, there’s other articles and things.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Full transcriptions.
Evan Brand: If people need to go back and read some of these, that’s on Justin’s site. So, go view that. And then, if you want to reach out, schedule a consult with me. You could do the same thing at my site, evanbrand.com. So we look forward to helping you out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, hey man. You look phenomenal today. You take care.
Evan Brand: You too. See you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care. Bye.
Evan Brand: Buh-bye.
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