The 5 Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies

Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Good nutrition is what our body needs to prevent us from having issues that will compromise our health. Watch this video and increase your awareness when it comes to different causes of nutrient deficiencies.

5 Different Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Conventional food
  3. Inadequate Supplements
  4. Infection
  5. Medication



There are couple of different kinds of inflammation. We have an acute inflammation, wherein you cut your finger, a scab forms or above your elbow, a bruise forms. It healed up in a few days and it’s not a big problem. 

What we’re talking about is systemic inflammation. Meaning, it’s systemic throughout the whole body based on diet, lifestyle, exercise. All of these factors.

One of the biggest things that affects inflammation is which kind of diet we eat. We’re eating a pro-inflammatory diet, high in sugar, high in inflammatory compounds like grains and sugar. Those are going to put our body in a more inflammatory state. The more inflamed we are, the more we decrease ability of our body to absorb nutrition. 

Now we have little finger-like projections called microvilli in our small intestine. Think of these finger-like projections like a vacuum cleaner. It’s job is to suck up nutrition. The more inflamed we are, systemically, think of that vacuum cleaner, each finger being a vacuum cleaner. Each one gets clogged and you see less vacuum cleaner until we have knocked – our vacuum cleaner is essentially fully clogged which does not absorb nutrition as effectively.

Conventional Foods

Conventional Foods

We’re just eating foods that are conventional. Conventional foods – meaning foods that aren’t organic. They’re not going to be as high in nutrition because the fact they are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Even GMO things like Roundup. These compounds with chemicals essentially devoid will make the nutrients in the soil very much devoid. Minerals are needed for the plant to essentially produce an optimal spectrum of nutrients. Studies have shown that certain soil that are devoid of manganese, certain vegetables and the fruit will actually have 50-60% less Vitamin C. If we have low mineral soils due to the chemical that our farmers are putting on it, that’s going to affect our ability to get much nutrition from that in the first place.


Supplements to Counter Nutrient Deficiencies

Having high quality supplement is going to be really important. Even if you are actually taking high-quality organic vegetables and eating high-quality organic meat, you’re still going to have some holes there. That is why supplement is there, essentially supplementing the gaps and the holes in the diet. You never want to supplement and eat bad, either. You really want to do your best to make some big change with your diet and also add those in helping building the gap to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

CLICK HERE to know more about the supplements which prevent nutrient deficiency



Infections are very common. These are these low-grade kind of inflammatory zombies, so to speak, in your intestinals. Just sitting there and its causing this drain on your immune system, this drain in your adrenals. If we can really cut down and figure out what kind of infection to go along with (H pylori infection, or a fungal infection, or a parasite infection) and if we can diagnose where the infection is, we can create a protocol that will help remove that.


MedicationsMedications are common and are known to cause nutritional deficiencies. There are actually textbooks on nutritional deficiencies caused by medications. So did you know the most common nutritional deficiency caused by a medication is a statin? This statin medication, which control cholesterol being produced by the liver, they actually decrease your production of your nutrient called coQ10.

CoQ10 is actually really important because the hearts need coQ10 to actually beat each time. We’re having our heart issues, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood pressure. You should really want to make sure our heart has all the nutrients it needs. Two, coQ10 is really important for muscle production. One of the most common symptom you see when you’re on a statin is rhabdomyolysis or you see infected muscle pain or extra muscle soreness. These are very, very common things. Also, in diabetics taking Metformin or Glucophage. These medications cause mixing conditions B12 anemia.

If you’re on medication, give the office a call. At least make sure you’re being supported or the potential nutritional deficiencies that could be caused by the medication you’re up. If you really want to address the underlying cause of your condition, or what medication to prescribe, let us know and we’ll do our best to help.

CLICK HERE to know if your medication is causing nutrient deficiency

Addressing reoccurring gut infections – Podcast #115

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk all about gut testing today. Find out about the protocols they’ve done and what additional tests and new recommendations they have in battling gut issues when you listen to this podcast.

bauchschmerzenLearn how it is quite normal for a new infection to pop up after having been treated with an initial infection. Discover what steps you can take to effectively treat these parasites and other digestive issues. Find out what different parasites can cause infections and how you can get tested for them.

In this episode, topics include:

02:47 Evan’s testing and symptoms

09:19 Next steps and recommendations

14:39 Additional testing and treating new infections

19:30 Dr. Justin’s lab tests

25:40 Conventional vs functional medicine treatment








Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, it’s Dr. J, man! How are things going?

Evan Brand:  Hey, things are good! Winters coming, unfortunately it’s rainy and cold here today. What about—how you doing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s actually about 75 and sunny and really nice today. So it couldn’t be better.

Evan Brand:  I—I do miss the weather. I do miss the Austin weather.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, It is, in general, it is quite good especially this time of year. I was actually last weekend waterskiing just before Thanksgiving and it was perfect. I mean, the temperature of the water was great. I didn’t even have to pull out my wet suit yet.

Evan Brand:  Wow, that’s—that’s awesome. I miss the weather and the food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. And it’s been a while since we chatted a bit. I’m, you know, I need my Evan Brand daily dose here.

Evan Brand:  Hey, man. I agree. It’s a pleasure talking with you as always.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. I know you been doing the Adrenal Summit with Dr. Christiansen, which is great. How did the Summit go?

Evan Brand:  Oh, man. It went good. I think we ended up with like 60 or 70,000 people registered so it was much bigger than Alan and I anticipated. I don’t know why or how it became so much more successful but put it this way, I’ve spent many hours on the phone with HostGator trying to upgrade the hosting. We ended up having to get a dedicated server because they said, “Oh, yeah. With this upgrade should handle your traffic,” and then we upgraded again and still crashed it. So we ended up having to get an insanely expensive server just to handle the traffic. So that’s a good problem to have. I’ve—I’ve not had that much success with something to continually crash and crash and crash websites so that’s cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, that’s a definitely what we call a better quality problem for sure and if anyone’s listening and wants to get access to the Summit, what’s the best way for them to do so.

Evan Brand:  They could just check out and they can check it out. There’s 34 speakers including yours which I think was definitely top three talks for sure. Your talk on conventional versus functional treatment of adrenal issues. They can get your talk, the transcripts, all that stuff if they get the—the full package.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s awesome. Very, very cool. Well, today we talked about gut testing. I know we reported on a podcast we did back I think early in the spring where we reviewed some of your lab tests and then we talked about reviewing some of mine. So today we’re going to review some of my older podcast or my older labs that we did on an earlier podcast, as well as some of yours and some of the retest, and basically the moral the story on this—on this podcast will be recurrent gut infections. Great! You’ve gone through a second, a third round, what do you do? What’s the next up? And typically, other things that happen like what if a new infection comes up that wasn’t present the first time, which happened in your case that I’m really excited to go over.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely. So where should we start? Should we start at my first symptoms when you saw me and you like—you said, “Evan, man, that looks like you got an infection.” Where should we start the journey?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think there will be a good place and then also reviewing the labs that we did back in the spring, kinda reviewing the results of those and then sliding up to present day with you and present day with myself.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I wanna hear about yours, too. So with my—with myself, you know, it took me a while maybe 3-4 months before actually got the test run, wife was busy, we were moving, you said, “Evan, get checked out.” That was like right when I was moving, you know, to—back to Kentucky.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So I the test done. I got the 401H run and that’s where we found the abundant growth of E. coli, that’s where we found the Cryptosporidium, the Giardia. Both of those are bad parasites. You do not want those and so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.

Evan Brand:  That’s when—that’s when you and I talked and crafted a protocol together about what we should do to get rid of these things and then it took me from March until August to get the retest of the same lab. The Crypto and Giardia gone. Great. Did not show up with parasites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Evan Brand:  Something that was detected that wasn’t detected before is H. Pylori. So as of August, the H. pylori showed up and then you and I chatted again about, well, what should we do now? What’s next steps for gut—got gut protocols for H. pylori. So I’m finishing up H. pylori protocol. I plan to retest probably January-February. I’ll do a retest and see—see what’s going on. See if the H. pylori’s gone. Symptoms, skin has improved massively. I’ve showed you and you’re like, “Wow.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I could see it in your videos. You—you’ve better skin tone, a little clearer and less—less redness or irritation. So I can definitely see a huge improvement on your skin.

Evan Brand:  I—I didn’t realize how inflamed my face was and having breakouts.

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

Evan Brand:  So I didn’t realize how profound it was until it’s gone. It’s almost like these infections have played dingdong ditch on my skin for so long that I didn’t remember what clear good skin should feel and look like. So that—that’s a massive improvement. Energy levels have gotten better. Sleep is way better. I was waking up in the middle of the night all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  When I had those parasites especially around full moons. Now I’m getting some of the best sleep. Also adding the fact that I moved away so—from those high electromagnetic fields, now I’m sleeping better than I have since I was probably 8-9 years old.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  Like I feel like I’m sleeping like a little baby, like a kid again, and it’s remarkable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. So in general just kinda going back and letting the listeners know a little bit more about your history in case they’re coming into a this a little bit late. You did have a history a while back with IBS, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s what started this whole journey back 2008-2009–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  When I was in college. I mean, the first thing I had to do when I went into a building was figure out where the bathroom was because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  I may have to run to the bathroom and that was a—a life, in a lifestyle strategy that I assumed, maybe some people dealt with but it just became normal, right? I mean, I didn’t think anything of it. I knew it sucked. I knew it wasn’t fun but I didn’t know there was a way out. And I went to the conventional docs, they prescribed three drugs which I did not fill any of the prescriptions, acid blocker, anti-spasmodic and some other type of drug, did not take any of those. Removing gluten basically cured 80% of the issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  But 20% of the issue remain where I had this cyclical issue with my gut where every month or every couple months, you know, symptoms would pop up. Maybe get some loose stool and then things would go back to normal. And you think, “Oh, maybe it was just something I ate, maybe I got gluten somewhere, but no it was these infections.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and the big thing, too, some of the symptoms that you experience after you cut the gluten out even though you had these infections, you had a big improvement with some of the IBS symptoms—bloating, diarrhea, constipation, those kind of things. But you still had other symptoms, right? You are very blood sugar sensitive. You had the cold hands and cold feet, and sometimes you’d have some like some panic attacks, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anxiety, heightened anxiety.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I remember—I remember calling you when I was still in Austin. We were going to move and I said, “Dude, I cannot slow my heart down. My—my heart is beating out of my chest. This is abnormal.” Now granted there was a huge amount of lifestyle stress. I think we were moving–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Evan Brand:  Driving cross-country in two days. I mean, there was huge–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huge.

Evan Brand:  Impending stress, but I was still adrenally fatigued where I was not able to handle it. And my adrenals showed low which I’m going to say is due to some of the malnutrition cause from the digestive issues. My fingernails had the vertical lines. The weight loss like I told you and you saw me when I moved to Austin, I was about 160 pounds and I was down to like high 130s or 140. I lost 20 pounds in a year without trying which some peeps, “Oh, Even, I want that problem.” No, you don’t. No, you don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. It’s definitely not a good type of weight loss, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, exactly. So weight has stabilized. I’m actually approaching 150 pounds. So I’ve gained back—what is that? About 12—mmm, give or take 5, 5 to 12 pounds, just depending on what my official starting point was when the weight loss stopped.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And very little diet changes because you were really on point. I think the only thing we tweaked in your diet is pulling out a little bit more dairy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, unfortunately I had to get rid of the—the organic raw, grass-fed cheeses that I love. The—they’re gone. So now I just do a little bit of butter, some ghee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you did a lot better. I remember seeing your skin really improved when we pulled out the—the dairy, that last piece there.

Evan Brand:  Yeah. Yup, absolutely, man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then tell me about that the—the cold hands and cold feet. How’s that improved since we knocked out the Crypto and the Blasto—or no, Crypto and Giardia?

Evan Brand:  Cold hands, cold feet still there like I told you. I—I’m wearing these elk moccasins with sheep skin in them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any change at all? Any change at all? 5, 10, 15%?

Evan Brand:  I—I say nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  I think—I think no change at all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But the bigger change you’d say would be more of the mood stuff, the anxiety, those kind of things?

Evan Brand:  Oh, for sure. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Evan Brand:  I mean mood’s much better. Brain fog, you know, if we looked at—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Brain fog, yup.

Evan Brand:  If we looked at the 02, you know, we had high candida markers on there.

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

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so the yeast problem was also causing bloating which was unusual for me. I’d never have bloating before. And when you see—we see people joke about, “Oh, I feel pregnant.” No, for real like you can have massive yeast problems that can be—that can be successfully treated. So the—so the yeast gone. I have no bloating issues anymore, but the cold hands, cold feet, we gotta figure that one out. So if you help me figure that one out, I’m gonna be eternally grateful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and it could be some type of inflamed—inflammatory type of thing that’s affecting your thyroid or your adrenals. We’d have to look at your adrenals again. That’d probably be the next step and we got some—some potential test coming up soon. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Thyroid—thyroid looked good. I remember we talked about that. We looked at antibodies, looked at thyroid levels. I’d have to look back again but it checked out okay. There was no—no Hashimoto’s, nothing that looked really out of whack. So maybe we’ll have to see once this new adrenal test that I told you about the other day, once we get that run on ourselves we’ll have to see what’s—what’s changed. Maybe there’s still some lingering adrenal issues. I would say so, because any type of days where I’m really pushing it, you know, 12-16 hour days, I feel it. I’m like, “Oh, that was too much, too hard.” So I think there’s still some adrenal recovery going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And one thing we miss though during your last lab test. I have your lab test up here now. Do I have permission to—to go over it?

Evan Brand:  Sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, cool. Your TSH came back really good, 1.290.  Your T3 actually looked pretty good, 3.5. One thing I noticed though is your T4 Free was very high, 1.82. That’s off the charts. So I would be curious to see what you’re reverse T3 levels are like. I would not be–

Evan Brand:  I don’t think it was on the panel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nope.

Evan Brand:  Was it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, it was not.

Evan Brand:  Darn it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would not be surprised if your reverse T3 levels were very high because I’m seeing a very high amount of T4 and then a good amount T3. So there’s a—a spillage with that T4 to T3 conversion. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an increase in reverse T3, which you know, are the metabolic blanks that fill up the—the space for the bullets and the clip, right?

Evan Brand:  So, wouldn’t this be pointing us back to the adrenals again?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  As a major factor?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, one thing that I think we’ll have to do next–yeah, one thing I think we’ll do next is we could talk about looking at the new Biohealth Adrenal Test that’ll be coming out soon which I’m really excited about that we talked about last week.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  As well as comparing it to the Dutch. I love to see looking at both of those side-by-side what kind of Intel we get and I wouldn’t be surprised over time once we get you fully infection-free because that H. pylori, like we said, is still there. So that’s probably affecting stomach acid and enzyme levels and mineral absorption.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we gotta make sure you’re on hydrochloric acid. How’s that going with you?

Evan Brand:  Oh, I take enzymes like Skittles, so I love them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about hydrochloric acid thought?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, HCl, I’m getting about 600, 4 to 600 mg–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Per meal?

Evan Brand:  With each meal. Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would say taper it up to 3000 mg per meal, so about five capsules of HCl combined. In Dr. Jonathan Wright’s book about, you know, why you need stomach acid. He finds people may need, clinically up from 1000 up to 5000 mg of betaine. So I kind of go somewhere in the middle because I don’t want you to get a peptic ulcer.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I would—I would try inching up to 4 to 5 capsules slowly in the middle of the meal and just make sure you’re not getting any warmness or irritation.

Evan Brand:  So you’re thinking about of a—a gram on the low end then?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  On the low end, you should be starting there and then working your way up. I’ll go up to at least 3 g.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay. So-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  300 mg, 3 g.

Evan Brand:  So what—what I’ve been using, I’ve been experimenting with the pure—I’ll—I’ll send you—I’ll send it to you about the Pure Encapsulations one where they have— I wanna say there’s 250 HCl in each capsule, and then plus—plus all the enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So what I do with patient like yourself–

Evan Brand:  So would you say add–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm., go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I was gonna say, so with these extra enzymes I’m not sure if I really need X amount of protease x 5, so I wonder–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! Yup.

Evan Brand:  H—HCl by itself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bingo! You’re leading me.

Evan Brand:  Then would be the solution.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. So when I’m dealing with patients, typically anyone that has a gut-related issue where we see digestive-related issues or digestive-related gut infections, depending on how bad their gut is, we’ll either separate the enzymes from the HCl just so we can get the pill count more reasonable for the HCl because a lot of the combo ones are about 200 mg. So you need about three times more pills to get the same HCl amount and that becomes a little, you know, convoluted when you’re taking 15 or 16 capsules per meal.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So would like the HCl like in my line, it’s HCl Supreme at anywhere between 1 to 5 capsules which that’ll—the 5 will get you about 3 g or 3000 mg on the high-end and then play with the enzymes been 1 and 3, 1 and 2 will probably be fine with the enzymes per meal.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay. I’m gonna do it. Let’s see what happens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when I say play with it, what I mean is with the HCl you have a palpable effet, right? You get the irritation or the—the warmness, right? Those—that kind of feeling with the HCl. Take in the middle the meal. With the enzymes, it’s hard to say. So get the HCl dose gonna fine-tuned first and then once you have the HCl dose, just taper up the enzymes and see if you notice an improvement with how you feel. Like it may just be lighter after a meal, better bowel movements. You just feel like there’s less bloating or less digestive issues, better regularity, start with one. See how you do and then go up to 2, and see if you notice an improvement with any of those symptoms I just mentioned. If you notice an improvement, keep it at the higher dose. If you don’t notice an improvement, you can just keep at the one capsule per meal kinda standard dose.

Evan Brand:  So how do you feel about upping the pepsin, because I’m—we’re gonna be upping in pepsin closer to a gram there for it, you know, 3 g of betaine, we may be at a gram of pepsin. How do you feel about that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s fine. No problem with that.

Evan Brand:  That’s good. Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup, no problem with that. So looking at your test I would just say the thyroid, I’d like to redo it with the reverse T3 and then follow up with those 2 adrenal tests just because it’d be really great to biohack that and present it to the listeners.

Evan Brand:  I know. Were—were the antibodies on there? I couldn’t remember.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They were and they came back good, 5 on the TPO which is great, you know, anything below the teens is fine, and then below the one on the thyroglobulin antibody which look good as well.

Evan Brand:  Cool, excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, very cool. So recapping, right? You came back with Crypto-Giardia to start and some fungal issues, right? And then we retested and then we saw Crypto and Giardia gone–

Evan Brand:  H. pylori.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But H. pylori popped up. So this is kind of irritating for a lot of people that have an infection. They get it treated. We see some results with those initial infections being knocked down but a new one pops up. And typically what happens is gut infections can kind of burrow in to the gut wall, so they go, you know, more superficial, right? More distal, the proximal in relation to the gut wall. So they—they burrow deeper in. So typically what happens is the gut lining heals from inside—or I should say from the outer layer to the inner, deeper gut—gut wall layer. So outer layer to deeper gut wall and if infections are penetrating deep into the crypts or into the gut lining or gut wall, then it may take time for them to show up on a stool test. So t typically we knock out those infections, they can hide in what’s called the crypts and we can get this crypt hyperplasia phenomenon where they dive deep into the crypts, so if you look at your hand where your fingers meet your palm, that little indentation, that little U spot, that’s like the crypts. So imagine the outer gut lining, right? The outer gut lining is like the fingertips and the inner gut wall is like the palm, and it can hide in where those fingers actually meet the palm and that’s like the analogy of the crypts in relation to your hand, so you can physically see it. So that’s kinda, as we go deeper in, and we go from like the first knuckle to the second knuckle to the actual palm part where the infections burrow deeper in in relation to your gut.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and we’ve discussed that on previous podcasts about healing from the inside out or the outside in, however, you—you want to say it but this is the proof right here. I mean, here these infections are they’re gone but then something else is still there. So basically what you’re saying is with this H. pylori, you’re saying that would’ve been a deeper infection, so maybe longer-lasting or you—you’re thinking maybe H. pylori, the Crypto-Giardia, but since we’re working from the outside in and we’re working deeper now that the H. pylori has now revealed itself. Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think it was always there and now because the immune system has been supported by just knocking out some of these infections, and the gut has kind of healed somewhat, so we’re kinda getting down into the deeper parts of the gut where some of these infections may have been buried deep. And H. pylori is known to burrow deeper into the gut lining, too, right? So scen—two scenarios, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Number one—actually three scenarios. Number one, the infection wasn’t there and it was a new—it was reinfection over the last 2 or 3 months during treatment. Scenario number two is the infection was missed by the lab or scenario number three, the crypt hyperplasia phenomenon and you know, sometimes it can be typically two or three. The lab may have missed it. That’s why a lot of times we run 2 tests with patients that we highly suspect of gut issues and as you talked about, I’m not sure if we mentioned it, but your GI Map that we ran side-by-side the 401 missed the H. pylori. So little bit different, but the 401 also is the H. pylori antigen where the GI Map was a DNA test for the H. pylori. So the antigen’s the gold standard, right? We have a higher level of false negatives than positives. So the fact that we got a positive on the test is a really good sign we know it’s there.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So again, infections kind of burrow in to the gut lining deeper into the gut walls, so the gut’s gonna heal from the outside in and being deeper into the gut wall where those fingers meet your hands so to speak, and that’s what tends to happen we get these infections come into the surface. So with you, we have the H. pylori present but the Blasto—or the Crypto and the Giardia is clear. Is that correct?

Evan Brand:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent because the Giardia and the Crypto are much more virulent infections than H. pylori.

Evan Brand:  I know. I’m glad those were gone. I was thrilled. That was a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so we tweaked your protocol a little bit and we’re gonna check in and see where you’re at in the next month or two.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we’ll see January, come round the time of my birthday or so. We’ll see what’s going and hopefully I’ll be sym—you know, infection-free for my birthday. That’d be a good goal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. Anything else you wanna add to what we just chatted about?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I’m excited to talk about yours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely. So I did some lab tests, too. Okay and I’ve been doing lab tests for years on myself, so it’s always fun to see what new stuff comes back, plus some–

Evan Brand:  So where should we start—where should we start your journey. I wanna hear what you think is your starting point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I mean right now gut-wise, I’m pretty darn good, like no real symptoms with my gut unless I eat some bad food. So I try to, you know, for the most part be 80% Autoimmune Paleo, and with the exception of, you know, some nuts and here and there and a little bit of butter here and there, but outside of that I’m pretty–

Evan Brand:  Chocolate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Pretty sure, yes, a little bit of dark chocolate. That’s kind of debatable but you know, high-quality 90% organic, you know, good dark chocolate. So that’s kinda where I live most of the time.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And typically I never cheat with gluten. If I cheat, I try to always make sure it’s a gluten-free cheat just because, you know, why not? I have options to do that and I know how good I feel being off that. So that’s where I’m at there.

Evan Brand:  I agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have a previous history of Hashimoto’s, I mean slightly elevated antibodies, so I gotta be careful with gluten. So I’m really diligent to make sure that’s a priority to not get exposed to that kryptonite for me. That’s number one. Number two, I’ve done gut test and I’ve had relatively good success with being clear with infections. I came back I think in 2009 with the equivocal Giardia infection. I cleared that out. I had a lot of fungal stuff in the past. So I’ve really knocked out fungus, little bit of Giardia in the past. And my most recent lab test in the 401, I actually came back clean. I mean nothing. No growth, no bacterial issues, no, nothing. So I was really excited about that and then on the GI Map test, I did come back with a little bit of C. diff, a little bit of salmonella, a little bit enterococcus overgrowth, a little bit Morganella morganii, and then a little of Geotrichum fungus and–and some lower enzyme. So you know, I’ve upped my HCl, upped my enzymes, we’re knocking out some of the bacteria and that bacteria isn’t that bad. That’s kind of benign stuff, so we’re knocking that down right now, and then I also ran the DRG. So I ran the DRG, the GI Map, and the 401H, all at the same time, which is really cool. And on the DRG, I came back with a little bit elevations in fecal fat which we kinda suspect right because my enzymes were lower so we’re upping the enzymes, upping the HCl a bit, that’s—I’m confident it’s helping. E. histo came back slightly elevated. Come back—came back at 688 on the GI Map—I’m sorry, on the DRG. Anything 350 or higher is considered positive and–

Evan Brand:  So let—so say that one more time. So anything above 350 is a positive for the histolytica and you were what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was 688, so I was–

Evan Brand:  Ahh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Almost twice the limit.

Evan Brand:  Tell people—tell people what that is, just so they don’t like glaze over and glaze over and go like, “Whoa! Histolytica, what is that?” Talk us through it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so a Entamoeba histolytica, it’s an amoebic infection. The histo- means cell, -lytic means to cut, so it’s an amoebic infection the cuts through cells, right? Doesn’t sound too nice. We see it quite frequently but it’s, you know, on the nastier side. It’s a pretty bad infection. Dr. Kalish was one of his weak links that really knocked him out for a bit, infection-wise. Other people and clinicians I know have gotten it and been hurt by it, but it’s a nasty infection. It’s an amoeba. So it’s gonna be small. You’re not gonna see it in your stool. I do a lot of waterskiing in Lake Austin so it’s possible it maybe some water. I swallowed some water and I got it that way. I go to Mexico quite frequently, so it’s hard so it’s hard to say what the vector was, but we’re knocking it out. We’re knocking it out right now. I’m on a protocol, just about to be finished, and I’ll be retesting soon and we’ll report our retest results for the listeners.

Evan Brand:  Awesome, awesome. Yeah, I think—I think it’s probably—my guess is the waterskiing. Now, what makes me wonder though. Let’s just say that if—maybe you did swallow water, you probably did, but what if it went up your nose, too. So let’s say you fall off the skis, the water goes up the nose. Could you get the same level of—what would you call that? I guess you would just call it an infection. Would—can—can you get that same amount or is the same amount of susceptibility to the infection nasally as opposed to orally?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would say it’s possible for sure. I would say it’s definitely possible. I’m not a—I don’t see many nasal parasitic infections. I mean you’re gonna have a lot of IGA and immune membrane protection there that’s gonna help kind of knock things down. Plus I think–

Evan Brand:  Well, I just wonder—sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, no problem.

Evan Brand:  I was just wondering if you get it up your nose and then you feel it drain down into your throat and then go into the GI tract that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s what I would imagine what happened because your body’s gonna produce mucus and things to—to slide it down into the gut because the gut’s got a highly acidic environment where it can kinda be like bleach on that dirty picnic table and kinda clean things up. So I would imagine the body’s gonna start the immune response there, and also flush it into the stomach.

Evan Brand:  But if HCl was low due to–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Stress.

Evan Brand:  Stress.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, poor habits, eating gluten.

Evan Brand:  Then that could have led to the inability for that infection to become more invasive, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  So now that the enzymes are there. If you’re in the same situation again. Let’s just say maybe it was from skiing, if you’re taking enzymes now as a pre-ski supplement, then it’ll you know, that’s—that’s gonna significantly increase your protection. Wouldn’t you say? Because anything that does–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  Get down, there—there’s protection there. So maybe you did like an Epic barn and enzymes before you went skiing or something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, maybe maybe some enzymes, some probiotics, HCl, maybe a little bit of herbs. I tried to do a little bit of herbs with some probiotics just to make sure that doesn’t happen. But there’s, you know, there’s the two types of scenarios where this happens, right? There’s the opportunistic bug where you’re your immuno compromised, you’re stressed, your diet’s not good. A lot of physical, chemical, and emotional stress overload and your immune system is now weakened and then these critters kinda sneak their way to the front door, right? That’s like the first scenario. Scenario number two is you get hit with a whole bunch of infectious debris, and it’s like having a gang of people outside your door knocking it down, where you’re kinda defenseless, right? So scenario is kind of a chronic set up where you’re compromised. Scenario number two is you‘re just overwhelmed with the amount of debris coming in there and it’s harder for your immune system to respond.

Evan Brand:  Yup, could you speak on the conventional treatment for this. I think sometimes you and I we love functional medicine so much, we forget that there are conventional practices out there which are typically very inferior for this type of issue?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, for conventional parasite, the most common medication that’s gonna be prescribed is gonna be Flagyl or metronidazole that’s gonna be thrown at people. Typically 1 to 2 weeks at the most, and that may work a third of the time, and quite frequently it won’t work at least two-thirds of the time and then you have more conventional docs that have—are using more let’s say advanced type of antibiotics that may work better where it’s a paromomycin or it’s Nidazole or Alinea or Humatin, so there’s other medications that may be used. Again I like to use the herbs first because of their safety record, tend to be a little bit more selecting towards the bad critters and away from a good, and then to also working its biofilms, too, and they have synergistic effects like berberines and Artemisia work really strong together and if you add in silver, it can also make the herbs work better and then you have other herbs like clove or grapefruit seed extract that may be beneficial for fungus as well. So there’s a lot of synergy that you get with the herbs and you can do it longer term without the side effects that you get from the antibiotics.

Evan Brand:  I love it. I love it. Well, thanks for bringing that up because I know you’ve had clients and patients say the same thing they say to me which is, “Oh, Evan. I’ve done all the herbs. They don’t work.” And it’s like maybe you’ve just not done the herbs long enough. Maybe the practitioner didn’t create a protocol that was effective enough, but the herbs do work and you and I see it every single week in the clinic that it’s real and you absolutely can’t get rid of infections with functional medicine and the right type of approach.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and again it’s gonna come down to what’s the infection and then the dose, you know, we’re using much higher doses. I mean, typically, if you look on the instructions of some of the supplements we’ll use, the dose is probably 75% less recommended and then we use a lot of herbs and nutrients together synergistically. And the key is in my opinion that really helps is we’re building up the immune system by making the diet, the lifestyle changes, supporting the adrenals and/or other hormonal imbalances before we go after the infection. That’s what really supports the immune system so it makes the whole process of eradication much easier and easier to—to rebound back from both.

Evan Brand:  Well, that and the fact that you and I both use professional healthcare companies to manufacture our product. So if we’re comparing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  A consumer grade herb say from Now Foods or Gaia Herbs or something like that, which can be great. Compared to a professional healthcare product, I mean the quality is completely different, much, much higher. So when you get, say 250 mg of something, you’re actually getting that or you’re getting close as you can to that, versus with consumer grade products that you may buy at Whole Foods, you can’t say the same about absorption rates and bioavailability, things like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely and then we’re combining it, and then the real key thing is we test afterwards, right? You never wanna guess. You wanna test. So then we’ll follow up with that retest and like in your situation, we know the H. pylori came—the H. pylori was—was there, right? That was a new infection. So now that’s on our bull’s-eye. We tweak your protocol a bit and make sure everything’s dialed in and then we go back to the drawing board. So the next step for you is while we’re doing all these things with the H. pylori is get that adrenal re-tested and see where we’re at with it and then the next step would be support whatever systems are out of balance with the adrenals and the thyroid and make sure you’re infection-free.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’m going to continue to—I took a little break from adaptogens but I’m gonna continue to add adaptogens back again. I can feel it. I got out of the sauna the other day and I was—I took a shower. I just had a real, real light breakfast, didn’t—didn’t have much at all and—and I had some shakes going on in my hand, so I knew it was a combination of maybe like a healing reaction, but some adrenal stress, too. I could feel it. I was like, “Oh, man.” It’s like Justin, he’s in my head. “Blood sugar, Evan. Blood sugar.” So you know, I had to eat something and—and felt significantly better. But I know there’s still—there’s still some work to be done on the chemical front, too. You and I—we’ll have to do another show if we haven’t already on the GPL talks and we need to get you checked out, too, because I had those insecticides on that GPL that were off the charts and those are probable carcinogens. So that’s a whole another, a whole another podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, we’re gonna have to get that done and we’ll do a whole podcast on that. So kinda wrapping things up for you, knocked out 2 infections, Crypto-Giardia, awesome, really, really good there. Myself, I just came back with the E. histo and a little bit of bacteria and a very small amount of fungus, cleaning that up, been doing that for the last two months, getting ready to retest soon, and again the key thing is doing 2 tests was helpful. I find this really helpful–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Especially when you really want to rule out gut stuff and then outside of that, following up with the retest and making sure everything else is dialed in.

Evan Brand:  Yup. Are you doing any—any oreganos for like that geotrichum or some of the other fungus.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm. Yeah. My line—I used the GI Clear 5 and I use that at 6-8, 6-9 capsules that I hit it up pretty hard and then I—

Evan Brand:  Wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I followed up with the GI Clear 4 in my line and then I rotate between the 1 and the 6. I went back and forth and I add a little bit of silver, you know, again, I could do a little bit more intricate things because I know I’m gonna do it, but sometimes with patients the big thing you gotta do is compliance ,right? So if you get too intricate with patients, it may create some compliance issues. So I try to keep it more simple, but for myself I—I played around with mixing some things on and off which can be helpful, but again even just going at it straightforward would probably knock the infection out. No problem.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, man, so you’re—you’re hitting it pretty darn hard then, 9 of those a day?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah, just about done though. I think I used my last GI Clear 4 this morning so I’m switching over to probiotics I think tonight and then I gotta get those tests back in and retest by the end of the year.

Evan Brand:  Yup, how long—how long was your—was your protocol. Was it—did you do 4, 6, 8 weeks?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I did about 8-10 weeks.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was off for a little bit because I was traveling. It was tough to—to bring everything but I—

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was able to maintain it pretty well. Typically if I cheat with the herbs, I’ll at least take morning and night so when I wake up–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And when I go to bed, so at least can get both those in.

Evan Brand:  So if compliance is 90%. Most cases you’re gonna do well. Like you said, if the foundations are already built into place and diet, lifestyle, stress management strategies, all that’s in place, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, so the key things is if I miss my afternoon dose, I make sure if I’m supposed to get 6 of 1 pill, I wanna make sure it’s 3 and 3. I don’t do 2 and 2, and then just say, well, I’ll go with a, you know, a 30% less dose. No, I keep the dose the same. We just double up.

Evan Brand:  Now, so do you believe—do you put faith in the idea or the term, a healing reaction, or do you think that’s just an overhyped term that’s kind of an excuse for someone that’s not getting supported properly, meaning someone’s hitting something too hard but the practitioner maybe is not giving them the proper liver support or if this person is not pooping enough and they’re really constipated that they’re having some of that autointoxication that way.  I mean, is there something to healing reactions or do you think that there’s maybe another part of the wheel that just hasn’t been cranked at the same time that you’re killing this stuff off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think both. I think if someone’s having a healing reaction to start at the normal dose, it tells me that their infection is quite virulent and their immune system and lymphatic system and detox are having a difficult time. I went right up to the full dose with mine and I’d no problem, like not one symptoms.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Maybe a tiny but of lethargy or fatigue. No issue. So if a patient goes up to that full dose and they have reaction, it tells me something. It tells me there’s probably a lot of debris the body is trying to respond to and—and kinda flush out and it’s having a difficult time, so you know, our list making sure diet and blood sugar is there and making sure sleep’s there, and making sure waters there, right? Once that’s off our list, making sure we have adrenal support, digestive support, and nutrient support. Good, now that’s off our list. Then we go to the infection and if we’re still having that, during the infectious time and we’re pooping regularly and bowel movements are regular, well, the real simple thing is we cut everything down, cut it out 2-3 days, get symptom-free, add everything one at a time half dose to full dose, and if we’re really sensitive we may go quarter to half to three-quarters to full. Then add the next product in and as long as we don’t have a negative reaction, we go up to the full dose. If we have a negative reaction, we back off, go to the next product. Like so if it’s at 4 caps, the reaction happens, well, great. Back down to 3. No problem.

Evan Brand:  Move on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Go to the next one. Move on. And then once you get everything back in, then you got back up to the first one again and you try inching it back to the full dose. So that’s my supplement reaction or my detox protocol, and then we’ll typically add in side-by-side that is some ginger tea, some activated charcoal, and/or bentonite clay or diatomaceous earth. I typically pick one. I’ve been going more with the charcoal in the DE these days. We’ll even throw in some fiber. It just depends with patients.

Evan Brand:  I love charcoal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Charcoal is amazing. I mean, I’m visualizing this. It’s so fun because it’s almost like being a sound mixer. You picture—you picture the guy at the concert, you know, he has this little lever over here, this little dial. He spins this dial this way, backs this dial down, pulls up this little switch, flips that level, turns that button—boop! I mean, it’s his—it’s so fun to do this stuff, man. It never gets old.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I totally agree. So regarding the healing crisis, I think it means something, but I always tell people, don’t be the tough person. Don’t try to tough it out. It means something.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Back off. Get the ginger tea in. If you want to throw in some charcoal in between meals or some extra fiber, fine, and then we’ll gradually increase at one by one. Now typically anyone that has a long history of autoimmune stuff or gut stuff, I always go slow but sometimes you get people that are doing pretty well and then you’re like, well, let’s just back right in to a full dose and they get hit by a bus.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we just go back, quarter, half, three-quarters, full or we just start at a quarter half and then increase and any negative reactions, back off to the last safest dose, or—and then move on to the next supplement.

Evan Brand:  You’re not going to win a trophy if you finish your protocol faster than somebody else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Most times if we had add the detox support and curtail the dose, it’s like throwing the lobster in the water that’s already cold. It doesn’t scream, you know, you can—you can just turn it up slowly. No problem. You throw the lobster in the hot water, man. Those things make a, you know, some nice screamy noises that aren’t too pleasant. Even though I love lobster, I hate that—that part so–

Evan Brand:  I’ve—I’ve not cooked lobster to—to experience that myself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, yeah. I have a lot of empathy for animals but I also know it’s the circle of life, and there’s a lot nutrient density, but that’s the whole analogy is, going back, is if you slower you don’t get the—the nasty effects, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Instead of lobster screaming at your body and your tummy and your limb screaming.

Evan Brand:  So for you hopefully on retest, everything’s gone. We’re hoping nothing extra shows up for you like a deeper H. pylori infection.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s the goal. Yup. I’m i’m feeling pretty good about it, man.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool, very cool. Well, anything you want to address, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this was well said and we should wrap it up. I think if we keep going then people will fall asleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  yeah.

Evan Brand:  So hopefully this was entertaining and I mean, talk about a level of transparency, I don’t think there’s anything higher than what we’re doing and what we’re talking about, so I hope you all enjoyed that and—and appreciate that fact because it—it’s rare to find this level of transparency and we have nothing to lose. I mean, this is—we’re in the trenches every day. So I mean, this is what it’s all about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think people will really have a lot to learn seeing that their—their doctor or their healthcare practitioner is in the trenches, too, and doing it and still working on their health. And again, I can’t think of any people on, you know, health people on the iTunes or on the Internet world that are getting this level of transparency and exposure out to their listeners.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, not that we have the time to go and—and research, but I feel like we would’ve known by now if somebody was revealing everything. There’s this weird perception, you know, where if you’re the practitioner, you’re the expert, you know, you’re the—the caretaker that everything is just 100% perfect and that’s not true. There’s many different exposures. I mean, you and I do as much as possible as we can to do everything right, but you still go skiing in water where there could be something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  I’m convinced that I got the Crypto and/or the Giardia from swimming in Barton Springs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  I took in a huge amount of water. So life still happens and as much as you and I can do the things to try to create these little bubbles of you know, a nutrition bubble and lifestyle, and all these great little parts of our ecosystem, we still operate in an ecosystem that is generally pretty toxic in terms of all the things that are out in the air, food, water, soil and you’re going—you’re going to come across stuff and it is just about what do you do to increase your resilience against these things once you kill them off, like you said was some of the post infection support, you know, people may hear—hear this and think oh kill, kill, kill, but eventually we’re strengthening us, too, as the host and so that’s why you and I, you know, maybe we take an extra day off or we go spend some more time in nature because that’s the stuff that’s going to heal you in the long term. You know, you can—you can continue to go through rounds of a gut killing protocol, but at the end of the day, if you’re not healthy, you’re going to continue to get reinfected because the host is weak and if the host is weak, then I mean, that—that’s something Reed Davis said to me, that I though was pretty profound. He’s like,
“Kill, kill, kill.” He said, “But you gotta fix you, too.” The host has gotta be resilient. So that’s where the adaptogens and all the other fun stuff that we chat about comes in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and if you guys listening and really enjoying it, give us a nice review on iTunes. You can click the link below. We appreciate your support. Anything else, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, man. Great chat today. I look forward doing this again real soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye.

Evan Brand:  Bye.


HCL and enzymes to improve digestion – Podcast #64

HCL (Hydrochloric acid) activates pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin, which then helps digestion by breaking the bonds linking amino acids, a process known as proteolysis. Enzymes break down proteins, cellulose, starches and other foodstuffs. This makes it possible for the intestines to absorb nutrients. Enzymes begin thedigestive process in the mouth, as they’re secreted by salivary glands. They work to break down starch into sugars.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand address some topics around digestion in today’s podcast and also talk about various digestive supports. Learn more about the importance of hydrochloric acid and enzymes needed for digestion. Find out why and how the conventional model does not succeed in getting to the root cause of digestive issues.

stomach-acid-HCLThis interview really is all about the bases and the foundations of digestion but also touches upon the subject of gallbladder issues and other gut inflammation that can be avoided with proper digestive support. Discover how you can optimize your HCl levels and learn about the various enzymes that help in the digestion process as well as find out what the role of bile salts are.

In this episode, topics include:

00:56   digestive issues and digestive support

8:09   gallbladder stones, flushes and surgery

10:51   hydrochloric acid doses

13:35   enzyme support

16:25   gut infections







Podcast: Play in New Window|Download

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, how are we doing today, man?

Evan Brand:  I’m doing great.  What about you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Doing pretty good.  Actually just got back from San Francisco.  Nice little week up in the Bay Area and back to a nice hot weather here in Austin, Texas.  Nice hot summer.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s–you can tell that it’s slowly sliding into fall here in Kentucky and I’m not ready for it yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Imagine the foliage.  It’s probably awesome up there.

Evan Brand:  It is when it turns.  It hasn’t turned yet.  In another month or so it’s gonna be crazy beautiful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  So we talked before the show about addressing some topics around digestion.  Especially how to use various digestive supports.  I got a email question this week where a patient wanted to–want–wanted me to elaborate more on this topic.  I think this would be a great topic to discuss today.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely.  Everybody–not everybody, but a lot of people have digestive issues and that’s kinda where I like to start with people most of the time.  If you fix that, you fix a lot of other stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so regarding digestive issues, there are various digestive supports you can use to help.  So HCl or betaine HCl, various enzyme support products whether it’s like protease or lipase or trypsin, like protein or fat digesting enzymes.  And then there are things like bile salts which can also be helpful for emulsifying and breaking down fat.  So those are kinda like our 3 that we’re gonna contrast with today.  So the first foundational one is HCl.  And again HCl can vary depending on how much you need, anywhere between 1 to 3 or 4 grams per meal, and HCl is really important because that HCl really helps lower the pH in your stomach and that nice low pH activates a compound, a proteolytic enzyme called pepsin.  It takes it from pepsinogen which is inactive to pepsin which is active.  And when it’s active, it really starts to hold protein digesting process.  So we need this nice low pH in our stomach and that nice low pH activates these protein digesting enzymes and that starts the digestive process and that nice low pH mixes in with all the food and that’s–this is called chyme and that chyme then gets released into our small intestine and without that nice low pH, we don’t get that trigger from our pancreas and gallbladder to release bile salts from the gallbladder, and then various enzymes like trypsin and proteolytic enzymes–that means protein digesting, and then also lipase, fat digesting enzymes.  So again, this whole domino rally here of kind of, you know, what has to happen first, second, third, really happens with hydrochloric acid.

Evan Brand:  Yup.  And hydrochloric acid, if people don’t know, is a good thing.  This is a time where acid is more is better most of the time.  People may have this idea from the mainstream media––I just a commercial the other day that still makes me gag about Zantac and all these other Nexium and all these companies competing on who has the best acid blocker and 99.9–and correct me if I’m wrong–99.9% of the time, the issue is too low stomach acid and not too much and people that have like a faulty lower esophageal sphincter from stress or whatever,  that could actually cause some of that acid to sneak back up into the esophagus where you don’t want it to, but if we have the HCl levels optimized, that could prevent some of that stuff from happening.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, one of the big feedbacks for it, that esophageal sphincter, that’s where the part of your stomach and your esophagus meet.  One of the main mechanisms for that esophageal sphincter tightening is nice high levels of hydrochloric acid, but also keeping dysbiosis down in the stomach.  So it’s one of these things where if we have inadequate levels of HCl in the stomach, well, we start to have bacterial overgrowth because food sits and rots and ferments and putrefies in the stomach and then part of that whole putrefaction process and rancidification fermenting process, we have various organic acids that rise off of that and then because everything is disrupted, that esophageal sphincter is left open and those acids will rise up and actually burn that lower part of the esophagus and the upper part of the stomach creating inflammation.  And then you go to your conventional doctor and they say, “Oh, you have esophagitis or gastritis,” right?  All you have to do is just break down the medical speak.  Cut the word in half.  Esophagitis or gastritis, stomach or esophagus, -itis meaning inflammation.  It’s like, well, wait a minute.  I already know those inflammation there, right?  If you have pain in your throat, it’s probably esophagitis.  If you have pain a little bit lower, it’s probably gastritis.  The question becomes now, what’s the cause?  Now your conventional doc will just throw a–an acid-blocking medication like Nexium or Prilosec or omniprazole, etc.  But again, what’s the underlying cause?  We already talked about the fact that lack of acid will create this environment where this food rots and then the esophageal sphincter stays open and organic acids rise up.  So if you know that mechanism, giving a medication that’s blocking the acid, actually makes the problem worse.  So when–once you have this biochemical physiological understanding, you can see how the problem is actually being made worse in the long run.  You may get symptomatic relief in the short run but you have a massive amount of other problems because now you can’t ionize minerals.  You can’t break down protein optimally.  There’s gonna be more dysbiosis, more gut infections because we don’t have the ability to sterilize the environment so now we’re set up for a whole host of long-term issues.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’m trying to think of a good analogy.  I know you–you’re always killing it with those, but it’s almost like blaming the firemen for the fire.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Does that count as an accurate analogy for that situation?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that makes sense.  I mean, most medications are designed to manage symptoms and there’s nothing wrong with that like in the short run.  You know, a day or two, right?  But the problem is when symptoms are managed and you have the false expectation that the underlying cause was fixed, that’s where problems become long-term because then now you’re stuck using this long-term and then because the–your whole gut physiology is screwed up, you can’t come off it.  And the conventional medical model is really about managing symptoms and then essentially you get hooked on these drugs because the symptoms now once you come off are now really bad and you just–you can’t–you can’t deal.  Any comments on that, Evan?

Evan Brand:  No, I think that’s a great overview of how the conventional model once gain does not succeed in getting to the root cause of digestive issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and these medications, I mean, they’re like in the top 5 every year.  These proton pump inhibitors.

Evan Brand:  Billions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, billions, top 5.  I mean, right next Synthroid and–and Lipitor.  I mean, they’re–and your anti-depressants.  They’re right up there in the top 5 every year and like I–the analogy I kinda tell my patients–you know, when you’re stressed and you’re taking these medications, they’re really lessening or they’re really taking off or–or turning off your force field.  So imagine like the Star Trek ship, it’s got that nice force field around it so when the Klingons come in there and attack, it’s got the force field up and it can –it can defend itself but when we lower our hydrochloric acid levels and things come into our environment, we’re not gonna be able to mount an attack against it.

Evan Brand:  Great.  Yeah, I was hoping you would navigate into that territory.  What happens then once that acid level is low over a period of time?  It’s not just the crappy digestion, it’s not just the burping and the heartburn, indigestion.  It’s not all that.  It goes way deeper and that’s kinda what you’re alluding to now is that other stuff downstream, these next dominos in line, those get messed up, too, and you run into all sorts of things like biliary stasis, gallbladder issues, and all that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So I don’t know if you wanted to move down south, down the system, and talk about that now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, if we don’t have enough hydrochloric acid, that nice low pH and all that chyme, which is just mixed up food, right?  If you don’t have that nice low pH, our gallbladder isn’t triggered to contract.  And if we’re not contracting that gallbladder, bile salts sit too long in that gallbladder and aren’t being emptied periodically, kinda like changing the oil in your car, things can get really grimy and get sludgy and that can potentially create a stone over time.  And these stones then at some point when you eat a fatty meal, that gallbladder contracts, it’s like wrapping your hand around a porcupine and squeezing.  It’s not gonna be a–a good situation.

Evan Brand:  That’s a good one.  Let’s–if you have–if we have a minute here, I wanna talk about gallbladder flushes real quick, because I know a lot of people do those and they read about them like drinking like a cup of olive oil at the end of a fast and I just, I get asked about that and I just think it sounds crazy.  So I don’t ever have a complete answer on it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of doing that off the bat.  There may be a desire and a need for that down the road.  But if your digestion isn’t working and you’re not breaking down food and then you go do this big flush and there potentially is a stone in there, and that gallbladder is contracting because of all the olive oil and/or apple juice you’re taking in, and that gallbladder contracts down around that stone, right?  Visualize yourself grabbing a porcupine and squeezing, that there could be some inflammation and you may end up going to the ER, and then you’re gonna be pushed to have that gallbladder taken out always.

Evan Brand:  Mmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I mean, I’ve saved hundreds of gallbladders just because gallbladder issues are almost always due to food allergens and a combination of low level stomach acid which, you know, may be driven by even a deeper infection, but definitely the food and the stomach acid off the bat is the first perfect storm element that really sets you up for gallbladder issues.

Evan Brand:  Wow.  Yeah, gallbladder surgery.  It’s ridiculous how common it is, act like it’s just as simple as getting some stitches on a cut.  “Oh, yeah, let me just pull your gallbladder out real quick.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I know, I mean, I wonder–I wonder if most of these medical doctors had the same kind of mindset like if we dealt with our car, like if we just say, “Hey, you know, you’re having a little bit of a issue in your car today with this issue.  Let me pull open the hood.  “Yeah, oh yeah, what’s this thing right here?  Let’s pull it out.”  You know, I–I guarantee you they’d be a little bit more selective over their car but when it comes to their patients, they’re just like, “Yeah, let’s pull it out.  It’s not working.”  I say, “But why?  And is there anything we can do conservatively to prevent that?”  Like–

Evan Brand:  Incredible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Some of the things we talked about that are virtually free.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, we can’t make billions.  We could talk about all these supplements and we’ll never make billions off of these things.  I mean, a bottle of hydrochloric acid is gonna be less than 30 bucks, you know, so it’s just insane.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know and on that note, hydrochloric acid is a powerful supplement to start off it with anyone that has chronic health issues.  Typically, how we dose it is we start off with 1 capsule per meal and I like to take it in the middle of the meal.  Why in the middle of the meal is because, well, if you have gastritis which is that gut inflammation, right?  Gastro meaning stomach, -itis meaning inflammation.  So if our gut lining is thin and we’re inflamed and we put a nice hydrochloric acid capsule right against that mucosa and it starts to dissolve, well, it’s like touching a scab on your hand or on your arm.  It’s gonna be more sensitive.  So we take it in the middle of our meal, kinda like an Oreo cookie.  It’s like the cream filling, not–not at the beginning, not at the end.  And we start off with one and we take it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We see how we do and then each day we work up to 2, to 3, to 4.  Again, there’s this whole idea, we can go up to warmness or HCl tolerance.  That can be good.  I’m–I’m also very careful of going above 4 or 5 capsules just because I don’t wanna cause a–a ulcer in the small intestine.  So it–this called duodenum, that’s where the stomach connects in with the small intestine.  When all that acid goes into the duodenum, our pancreas has to make a whole bunch of bicarbonate to start to neutralize that acidity.  So if we’re jacking it up really high where we’re doing 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 capsules per meal and you’re not still feeling warmness, I get a little concerned because I don’t wanna cause a duodenal ulcer.  So 4 or 5 tend to be a pretty good place that I stay at for patients, especially if they’re seeing a benefit of foods feeling lighter.  They’re feeling like it’s digesting.  They’re having, you know, better bowl movements.  They’re having less burping or gas.  We’ll stay at that 4 or 5 mark.  I don’t like to go too much above that unless we’re closely monitoring them.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I got nothing to add there.  That’s great advice and I typically take 1.  I’m great with 1 but I’m still one so I’m still producing a–a decent amount for now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.  Yeah, yeah.

Evan Brand:  Until I get older.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly.

Evan Brand:  Like an old man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.  And it–hydrochloric acid levels do go down with age, so we gotta keep in mind that because a lot of, you know, elderly patients, they’re having all these bone issues and osteoporosis issues and it’s like, “Man, like, you know, Boniva and all these other medications are not gonna fix the issue,” because a lot of times it really starts in the digestive system.  We’re just not breaking down and ionizing these minerals and we need good levels of hydrochloric acid to ionize minerals, so we can absorb them into our bloodstream and utilize them.

Evan Brand:  I don’t know if you agree with this, but to me, optimizing HCl levels to me is probably one of my top 3 to 5 foundational things I could ever do for somebody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I couldn’t agree more, 100%.

Evan Brand:  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now the next thing on top of that is we’ll also add in enzymes and depending on how–how chronic or how long someone has had gut issues, I either use a combination product with enzymes and hydrochloric acid together with bile salts for my patients that aren’t doing too bad.  Like patients that have more chronic issues, we’ll separate them out because a lot of times their gut lining is thinner.  They have this gastritis issue where that gut lining has been worn down and they will only be able to handle maybe 1 or 2 hydrochloric acid capsules.  But they’ll need a lot more enzymes.  So if we package the enzymes together, we kinda hit the wall sooner, because we only can do 2.  Where if we have the enzymes separately, we can go up to 3, 4, 5 enzymes per meal and it’s just the enzymes, and because the enzymes aren’t as abrasive we can hit a more therapeutic level with them and have better protein and fat digesting or digestion capacity even when the HCl has hit the wall at a 1 o 2 state.

Evan Brand:  Interesting.  So sometimes, people can get away with just enzymes and they won’t need the hydrochloric acid and combination with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean, I typically recommend enzymes separately but we’re still giving HCl by itself.

Evan Brand:  Right, okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So like, we may hit the wall at 1 for instance.  Some of my chronic gut issues, they’ll hit the wall at 1, but great, I mean, that doesn’t meant though you’re getting enough enzymes, well, we’ll work on upping the enzymes separately to 3 or 4 or 5 and seeing how we do.  And some patients even after that, if I see a lot of fecal fat in their stool test, we’ll even add a separate product by itself that just has high amounts of lipase which is a fat-digesting enzyme and high amounts of bile salts.  And with my chronic gut issues, we can–my chronic gut patients–by this combination here of combining HCl and enzymes or HCl enzymes and fat digestive support, we can get their body’s ability to break down some of these nutrients better which buys us time to start getting the gut and the adrenals fixed because if we absorb better nutrients, if we absorb the nutrients from our good diet better, we’re gonna be able to use those nutrients to help heal our body and then if we get to the underlying adrenal stuff, infections, dysbiosis, SIBO, etc., we’re gonna be able to fix this problem long-term so maybe in 6 months or so, we can pull them off from of these digestive support products as long as they’re managing their stress and–and eating well.

Evan Brand:  Great point, yeah, and I see that people wanna self-diagnose themselves or they’ll zoom in on this tiny, tiny problem.  But sometimes we can’t get to those tiny problems if we don’t zoom out and hit on the foundation that’s going to help improve that tiny problem downstream where we may not even need a specific protocol for X, Y, Z tiny problem because we fixed–we zoomed out and fixed the big thing that’s at the top of the chain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and a lot of my patients have H. pylori infections and H. pylori is this gram-negative bacteria that actually produces toxins called lipopolysaccharide or endotoxins, but it also produces an enzyme called urease which takes the urea which is a by-product of protein metabolism, right?  Protein’s di–protein digestion primarily happens where?  In your stomach.  So it takes that urea and metabolizes it into CO2 and ammonia.  Ammonia has a pH of 11, so it will actually lower your stomach acid levels, meaning it will raise the pH, right?  Remember low pH, 2 or so, is where you’re–where you’re nice and acidic, where your stomach should be so it will actually raise the pH, okay?  And that will make your stomach acid levels go lower, alright?  Don’t get that confused, so when pH goes up, stomach acid levels go lower, so it’s kind of an inverse opposite thing and that will affect your body’s digestion.  So we can’t just give HCl or enzymes and just say, “Hey, the problem’s fixed, even though I’m feeling better.”  Because if there’s an infection, especially H. pylori, we gotta get to the root cause.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, what’s your favorite for that?  Do you like the breath test?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Breath test can be helpful and what’s the breath test looking at?  It’s looking at an excessive amount of CO2 essentially.  Well, why CO2?  Well, we just mentioned, right?  What’s the mechanism?  Urease from H. pylori takes the urea and pumps it out to ammonia and CO2.  So it’s the–the by-product of what the H. pylori is doing.  It’s what’s making the CO2 go up.  So breath test can be helpful.  We’ll look at stool antigen and stool PCR, which is stool DNA.  And then we’ll also look at blood which is IgG, IgM, and IgA and that’s kinda looking at an immune response to the H. pylori.  But I like the–the stool the best.  That’s gotta be my favorite, PCR and stool antigen which are great.  So we’re looking at a piece of the DNA and we’re looking at a piece of the actual infection in the stool.

Evan Brand:  Nice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything you wanna add, Evan?

Evan Brand:  No, I’m loving it.  Keep going.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I find a lot of conventional docs, they miss the digestive support element and even the functional medicine docs, they miss the digestive support element or they don’t hit it at a therapeutic level, that’s step 1.  And then step 2 is they miss that deeper underlying infection.  And a lot of times, it may not just be an H. pylori.  It may be an H. pylori, a parasite, and a fungal issue.  So I see a lot patients because you know, candida programs are really pop–you know, popular these days, or they’re just doing a candida program but they have candida, but they also have an H. pylori infection and a parasite, and again, H. pylori and parasites, they’re more on top of that pyramid in our infection hierarchy where it’s kinda like if you just knock out the candida, it’s like pulling grass out at the surface–I should say, it’s like pulling a weed out at the surface.  If we don’t get to the root, that weed’s gonna grow back so a lot of people are treating gut issues even SIBO for instance, but there’s a deeper issue underneath at the root that may be an H. pylori or a parasite, and all the SIBO programs and all of the candida programs may not be enough to get to the root issue.

Evan Brand:  Great, yeah.  Great point, and once again, cookie cutter doesn’t work, that’s why you need a practitioner to do this stuff.  It gets–it gets complex sometimes real quick.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know you have a lot of experience, too, so as well as if anyone’s like thinking about this and like, “Alright, you know, I’m gonna try some of this HCl.  I’m gonna try this.”  If you wanna dig in deeper and see if there’s any other root causal issues, that will be your next step to–to dig in at least ensure there’s nothing else lingering under the surface.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything else you wanna add, Evan?

Evan Brand:  No, I think this is a great overview.  I think we can make it a lot longer, but there’s no need to because we have covered the bases and the foundations of digestion pretty well, so good job.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you, too. And I think, you know, what we’re specializing is really foundational information because you can get minute and you can do this study or that study, or this isolated nutrient or whatever, but again, if the foundation isn’t there, people aren’t gonna benefit.  They aren’t gonna get better so I hope people just walk away with a good foundational take home and also, remember one thing.  Hydrochloric acid, taking HCl is not gonna lower your own production, okay?  So that’s a good thing.  It’s not like taking testosterone where your–your, you know, the organs act–that make testosterone actually shrink, right?  You’re not gonna have that issue so with taking HCl, it’s not gonna affect our body’s production of it.  It actually takes the stress off our gut so we can actually heal.  So kinda keep that in mind, too.  If we take some of these things, even long term, it’s not gonna hurt our own internal production.  It’ll actually only help it.

Evan Brand:  Great point.  Yeah, I’m sure a lot of people are questioning that.  Is it safe long term?  And the answer is yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, because the–the main signal for HCl production is gastrin and they’ve done studies looking at gastrin levels while on HCl over periods of months and time, and the gastrin levels did not drop while on HCl which is good.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, Evan, man, hey, great talking to you, bud.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, sounds good.  You, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Evan Brand:  Okay, bye.








Infections, Digestive Issues, Brain Fog and What To Do Next – Podcast #61

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about gut bugs and multiple gut infections in this interview. While you’ll see some symptoms when a person’s experiencing a gut infection, remember it’s not always the case as there are times when people don’t get any symptoms at all. Find out what types of specialty labs to order to test for gut infection by calling your functional medicine practitioner.

gut infectionsGet in-depth information on what the usual suspects are for gut infections and watch out for where you could possibly get them. Learn more about allergy medications and discover the effective treatment protocols to knock out these gut bugs by listening to this podcast.

In this episode, topics include:

3:03   Where do gut infections come from

11:15   Compromised gut health immune system

13:32   Allergies and allergy medications

16:30   Treatment protocols, enzymes and HCl

18:56   Infections and recovery







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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, Evan!  What’s going on, man?

Evan Brand:  Hey, not much.  I’m excited I got to talk with you this week.  I was curious if we were gonna get together and do this thing.  I was like, “Oh, man! I need my–my weekly dose of inspiration.” So glad we’re getting to do this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vice-versa.  I always enjoy talking to you as well.  What did you have for breakfast?

Evan Brand:  I woke up and my wife said, “Hey, I made some sausage for you.”  So it was just some of the Applegate, no hormones, no antibiotics, sausage links.  Had about 5 of those puppies and just some lemon water and that’s it so far and I’m still feeling good and that was a couple hours ago.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Yeah, myself, I did a great little green drink.  So I took some celery and some parsley.  Took a whole lemon, one carrot, some kale, cucumber and about 3 or 4 ginger cloves and I had them all juiced up, but you know, nice coffee-mug size.  I drink that.  Had some coffee, butter, and MCT oil all blended up and then I’m also sipping on a whey protein shake.  So I got a lot of micronutrients in my green drink.  I got some good fats in my butter and MCT coffee, and then I got some extra protein and amino acids in my grass-fed whey protein.

Evan Brand:  That shake sounds pretty potent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, it was very spicy with the ginger.  I love ginger.  I mean, ginger is phenomenal.  I have it part of my programs with any gut killing program because ginger is very anti-inflammatory.  It’s a prokinetic so people that have delayed gastric emptying or digestive issues, and also keeps the lymphatic system moving.  It’s an anticoagulant so people get inflamed–either things move in the body much slower from a lymphatic and detox perspective so keeping the ginger in there really keeps things moving.

Evan Brand:  Ah, that makes sense.  Yeah, I’ve had some ginger kombuchas–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love those.

Evan Brand:  Like some home-made.  I’ve had some of the ones that are in the bottles but I’ve had a couple like home-made ones at some health fairs and it’s enough to make you squint your eyes after you drink it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I was quite hot after I drink it.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that’s what I had.  I’m actually heading to Kansas City this weekend.  What are you up to?

Evan Brand:  I don’t know yet.  I know I’m gonna be here in town.  My buddy, Matt, was in town last weekend from Charlotte, so I think I’m just gonna do a rest and relaxation, engage my parasympathetic mode all weekend.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very cool, very cool.  We talked again pre-show–we wanna talk about gut bugs a little bit.  I’ve done a lot of shows and posts on parasites and gut bugs.  Again, we’ll try to look at it from a different perspective, so anyone that’s listened to our old stuff it won’t be repetitive.  And again we wanna walk–we wanna have people walk away with some, you know, take home application, but I see a lot of people with gut bugs and gut infections and they don’t even have any digestive symptoms at all.  They have no diarrhea, no bloating, no gas, no constipation, no reflux, none of that stuff.  But on the test we find gut infection.  Sometimes even multiple gut infections.

Evan Brand:  So where do these things come from?  I mean, when I–I first hear that I think of people traveling to a tropical place but I know that’s not necessary to get a gut bug.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so I’ll give you for instance.  I had a patient–we can go back in time to let’s say the mid-2000s when this person was in Brazil and they noticed they got sick and things were–weren’t quite the same.  Had gone to multiple different GI docs, after the fact and nothing came back.  Now this person’s main symptom and they some digestive symptoms but their number one symptom was fatigue.  Fatigue.  So we ran some tests.  We did some of our functional, more specialty labs, and this is kinda where it gets hairy because I have a lot of people that come in that have digestive issues and they say, hey I’ve gotten my conventional blood work done or my conventional stool test at my local hospital done and I did not come back with an infection.  Let’s not go this route.  And I say, “Huh.” I’ve done this thousands of times. I’ve had this conversation like it’s Groundhog’s Day, right?  And I’ve seen people come back with infections where they’ve already been tested by their conventional labs and hospitals and they–they come back negative there but they come back positive on mine.  So moral of the story, this guy that had the chronic fatigue came back with a couple different infections and we were able to catch it on the test.  We just started to treat the infection, his fatigue started getting better.  Now if we just relied on the conventional setting, we’d never would have even got the info to know that his person had a major infection and conventional medicine doesn’t look at these infections of even existing in a chronic state.  Infections are acute.  You have diarrhea.  You have, you know, all of the traveler’s diarrhea, you know, things like that, maybe even throwing up and once that’s gone, you’re–that’s it.  You’re over the infection.  That’s kind of the mindset.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and the problem is, even if the conventional model were able to identify it, they’re not gonna be able to properly address it with some of the things we–that we may talk about today as the treatment options for lack of a better term.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so there’s an antibiotic out there called metronidazole or Flagyl and we run a specific genetic stool test and we find a lot of people that come back with infections are also resistant to that antibiotic.  I see it all the time.  So you’re typical doctor is just gonna prescribe Flagyl and say “Here you go. Infection be gone.”  But I see a lot of my stool tests that this comes back resistant.  Now before I even was doing genetic testing for antibiotic sensitivity, I already intuitively noticed that a lot of people were being treated with Flagyl and–and metronidazole and tinidazole and other antibiotics like this and they weren’t working.  Like meaning that person would feel a little bit better for a bit of time and then the symptoms would come back so I knew intuitively something wasn’t right and then now with some of this newer technology we can see that there’s actually antibiotic resistance.  So that kinda makes sense, my intuition was kinda proven right and that’s why a combination of herbs specific to what the infection may be is gonna be the optimal way to–to knock out the gut bug.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so let’s dig a little deeper.  Where do these things come from?  You mentioned the Brazil case.  That’s definitely interesting, but say somebody that’s not traveling internationally?  Where are they gonna pick these things up or how are they gonna get into the system and allow to become problematic?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great question.  So a lot of these infections are just opportunistic, right?  There needs to be some level of immune stress, adrenal stress, stress in that person’s life for these infections to kind of take foothold.  That’s kind of one scenario.  Scenario number two is you just get exposed to a lot of that parasite or a lot of that infection and–and the–the bolus, the amount on that infection that’s there is just overwhelming to the system to begin with.  So it’s typically either a small amount where the body is just not able to handle it because of chronic stress.  A large amount that really overwhelms the body and typically one or two tend to be kind of, you know, in effect.  And then most of the time people go to their conventional doctor and doesn’t come up for the–all the–the many reasons that we talked about.  So reason number one, chronic stress.  Their immune system is somewhat compromised to begin with and then number two, there just a very large amount of the infection there and then what tends to happen is the infection starts to compromise the body’s ability to breakdown food.  So then we have stress in the gut.  The first thing that happens when our sympathetic nervous system starts activating is the inability to secrete hydrochloric acid.  Hydrochloric acid is needed for protein digestion.  HCl for short is what activates our proteolytic, right?  Remember medicine uses big words to make you confused.  Proteo, protein.  Lytic, cutting or break down.  So activates your proteolytic or protein breaking down enzymes called pepsin in the stomach.  The nice low pH of all of that acidic chyme.  Chyme is just mixed up food.  Take the food, put it in the blender, that’s chyme.  When that food comes out that stomach into the small intestine, that nice low pH does two things.  It causes a stimulation of secretion of cholecystokinin which causes the gallbladder to contract and produce bile salts or stimulate the release of bile salts and that CCK also causes the pancreas to produce a whole bunch of lipase which breaks down fat, right?  That LIP, right?  Lipid, that’s the–the fat abbreviation and then it also stimulates the pancreas to produce some proteolytic enzymes–trypsin, chymotrypsin, etc.  So we have this whole digestive domino rally effect here and when the gut becomes inflamed, when there’s stress in the gut, one of the first thing that gets compromised is hydrochloric acid secretion and once HCl secretion gets compromised, enzyme secretion gets compromised, bile salt secretion gets compromised and then foods tend to sit and rot and ferment and putrefy and rancidify creating more stress.  So this–it’s this downwards spiral cycle and then over time the gut lining becomes thinner and thinner, leaky gut starts occurring, more and more food allergy start occurring, and then the patient symptoms get worse and worse and worse overtime.

Evan Brand:  Mmkay.  So you–so you kinda answered that in a long winded way which is good.  So basically–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Sorry about t

Hashimoto’s Disease and The Infection Connection

hashimoto's disease

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Hashimoto’s Disease, is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues. In people with Hashimoto’s, the immune system attacks the thyroid. This can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid does not make enough hormones for the body’s needs.

While a healthy immune system resists infection, a weakened immune system welcomes it in with open arms. Infections thrive in unhealthy environments. And once a bug (parasite, bacteria, fungus, or virus) moves in, it can be difficult to exterminate.

Infections can worsen autoimmune conditions of the thyroid (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease) and other parts of the body. It can also create inflammation, disrupt detoxification, and wreak havoc on the digestive system. So the bug has moved in—here’s what you need to know to minimize infection and protect your thyroid.

Bacteria in the Gut: The Good vs. the Bad

Our gut needs good bacteria to function and thrive. A ratio of 80% good bacteria and 20% bad is a healthy level of gut bacteria.

An imbalance in this bacteria (e.g., 80% bad and 20% good) is called dysbiosis. Overgrowths of yeast (such as Candida) or infections (such as H. pylori) can cause this imbalance.




Good bacteria consume toxins and send nutrients to the body. Bad bacteria consume nutrients and send toxins to the body. Those bad bacteria can lead to a leaky gut.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition that’s driven by bacteria that’s migrated from the large intestine into the small intestine. They’re in the wrong place. This can produce toxins in the gut and disrupt peristalsis (the wavelike contractions that move stool through our intestines).

If we have a delay in peristalsis, we can reabsorb a lot of the toxicity. This is called autointoxication.

Infections in the gut can be particularly challenging and difficult when they accompany an autoimmune condition.

If you are concerned that you might have a gut infection, please feel free to reach out here for help!

Infection with an Autoimmune Condition (Hashimoto’s)

When we have an autoimmune condition, this simply means the body is making antibodies that can’t tell the difference between the invader and the body itself. Antibodies are proteins that fight invaders such as bacteria and viruses. So while the antibody may fight the invader, it will also attack a specific part of the body.

In the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the body makes antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPO) causing thyroid breakdown. In Grave’s disease, the body makes antibodies to thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) causing thyroid breakdown.

Infection Leads to Leaky Gut Leads to Thyroid Breakdown (Hashimoto’s)

The bad bacteria (overgrowths of infection) in the gut pave the way to a leaky gut.

When our gut becomes leaky, undigested food particles pass through “leaks” in the gut and enter the bloodstream. The surface proteins on gluten, for example, can look very similar to the thyroid and cases of “mistaken identity”. This is known as molecular mimicry. This is true for other body tissues as well. Dairy can look like the pancreas, for example.

So the immune system starts making antibodies for the thyroid because it can’t tell the difference. And then know, the thyroid is under attack.

Infection and a leaky gut are two of the prime mechanisms that exacerbate the breakdown of the thyroid.


immune system


Infections That Impact the Gut and Thyroid

A few common infections that are found when dealing with leaky gut and thyroid issues follow:

  • Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori)—This bacteria is common in greater than 50% of the population. It can drive autoimmunity in Hashimoto’s. Also, it is linked to other autoimmune conditions. It is transmitted through saliva or fecal contamination.
  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)—This bacteria looks similar to the thyroid, so it can exacerbate autoimmunity. It can be acute or chronic and is transmitted by the deer tick.
  • Yersinia enterocolitica—This parasitic infection can trigger thyroid conditions and autoimmunity. It is transmitted through contaminated food and water.
  • Candida—This fungal infection disrupts digestion, throws off good-bad gut bacteria balance, and creates constipation. It is transmitted through direct contact and can be spread by contact with contaminated objects.
  • Epstein-Barr virus (mono, the kissing disease)—This virus causes an imbalance in the immune system and is present in 80–90% of the population. It’s connected to many autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto’s. It is transmitted through saliva.

Removing the Infection Isn’t the First Step

Addressing infections can be stressful on the body. Being unhealthy means having an imbalance in gut bacteria, poor gut function, adrenal issues, energy issues, a bad diet, poor sleep habits, etc. When we are unhealthy and we knock out an infection, our body has to deal with the dead debris.

The infections are like soldiers fighting on a battlefield. We introduce our natural or herbal antibiotics to destroy the infections. Massive numbers of soldiers (the infections) are falling all over the battlefield.

Our immune and detoxification systems have to send out the medics to help pull the soldiers off the battlefield, but there are just too many soldiers (too much infection debris). The medics (our immune and detox systems) get backed up. And there’s a huge line of soldiers that still need help.

Once our immune and detox systems are backed up, this creates a Herxheimer reaction. In this reaction, the harmful biotoxins from the infectious debris accumulate. Then, they start creating stress on our immune, detoxification, and lymphatic systems. The medics are stressed—they can’t keep up.

To eliminate the stress of infection debris on the body, removing infection should be the fourth step in a five-step (the 5Rs) strategy that can be found in detail at this link, and briefly below:

  1. Remove hyperallergenic foods.
  2. Replace enzymes, acids, and bile salts.
  3. Repair with healing nutrients and adrenal support.
  4. Remove infections
  5. Reinoculate with probiotics.

Removing infections can leave the gut empty. It will even knock out some good stuff, too. And weeds (bad bacteria) tend to grow automatically in this world. Gardeners don’t go to Home Depot to pick out weeds to plant. Weeds just happen. So it’s important to reseed the gut with the good bacteria after removing infections.


Studies have shown that when certain infections are removed, we see a significant decrease in the amount of thyroid antibodies. This means that these infections are driving the immune system to destroy the thyroid faster. So if we can knock out the infections, ideally naturally, herbally, and safely, we can reduce the self-destruction of our thyroid tissue. That’s the goal.

Determining if you have a thyroid and infection connection can be difficult. Please don’t self-diagnose, but feel free to click here for help.


Featured image from

Benvenga S, Guarneri F, Vaccaro M, et al. Homologies between proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi and thyroid autoantigens. Thyroid, 2004 Nov; 14 (11): 964–66.

Corapçioğlu D, Tonyukuk V, Kiyan M, et al. Relationship between thyroid autoimmunity and Yersinia enterocolitica antibodies. Thyroid, 2002 Jul; 12 (7): 613–17.

Molina V, Shoenfeld Y. Infection, vaccines and other environmental triggers of autoimmunity. Autoimmunity 2005 May; 38 (3): 235–45.

Tomer Y, Davies TF. Infection, thyroid disease, and autoimmunity. Endocr Rev, 1993 Feb; 14 (1):107–20.

Wentz, Izabella. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause. Wentz, 2013: 238–241.

Resistant Starch Podcast #8

Our gut is home to millions of good and bad bacteria.  The goal of resistant starch is to act like a prebiotic, where it feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut which then produces short chain fatty acids, specifically butyrate, that is so beneficial to digestive health. 

The elevated levels of butyrate create a better gut environment for good bacteria while making it more inhospitable for bad bacteria in which to live.  Like soluble fibers, resistant starch helps reduce one’s appetite as it increases feelings of satiety that can result in weight loss.  Good sources of resistant starches include cooled potato flour and unripen banana flour.


In this episode we cover:

03:04   What is resistance starch?

09:10   Mechanism of resistant starch

15:39   Resistant starch for weight loss

20:00   Unripen banana flour and cooled potato starch










Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  You guys can check us out at for more information.  Today we are going to be talking about resistant starch.  We are going to give you guys kind of a 101 about this resistant starch.  A lot of people are kind of confused about the entire topic.  So we are going to kind of break it down for you guys so that way there is easier understanding of the topic.  So first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it is going great, my man.  How are you doing?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, I am doing very well.  So talking about resistant starch the question that comes up what was your breakfast like?  Did you have any this morning or was it something different?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Today was not too much different.  I mean I try to mix up the eggs and such but I did my raw eggs Rocky style, pasture-fed eggs.  It was such an easy breakfast and it is super nutrient dense with some good quality Bulletproof Coffee.  Tomorrow I will probably just use some high quality whey protein and some collagen instead just to kind of give my gut a break from any egg proteins.  So I try to mix it up.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about you?  What did you have for breakfast?

Baris Harvey:  Just because it seems like I fast every time before we have a podcast.  I am going to tell the listeners what I ate yesterday for breakfast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good.

Baris Harvey:   So that way it is going to be fun because then it is just me augmenting every single time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good.

Baris Harvey:   But yesterday I had a late breakfast.  So what I did was I made some curry chicken.  So had the coconut milk, had the turmeric and curry spices and the broth all in there.  Some different herbs and I just cooked up some chicken breast and threw that in the mix and then had that over a little bit of white rice and then I just had some grilled veggies on the side.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it, man.  Making my mouth water already.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  I did not want to hold out too much because I just realized like every time it is like, “Well, I just fasted.”  And then everyone is like, “Does this guy even eat?”  (Laughs)

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   (Laughs)  I know, right.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  So starting off, this sounds like almost a scary word.  Like what is resistant starch?   Why does my food have such a strange name?  But let us get into it just a little bit.  What is resistant starch?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I consider resistant starch as essentially a prebiotic.  So what that means is you have beneficial and/or negative bacteria, right?  We have dysbiotic bacteria, bad stuff or pathogenic bacteria that create metabolites and toxins like endotoxins and LPS which make your gut leaky.  And we have healthy beneficial bacteria which can ferment and produce lots of nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin K.  That is why having good healthy gut bacteria is important because you actually get nutrient spit off from this bacteria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So really, really cool stuff.  So when we talk about prebiotics and resistant starch these are certain nutrients that actually feed the beneficial bacteria.  So we feed that beneficial bacteria; the goal is that we are going to get more of the good stuff that these bacteria typically produce.  So that is kind of the whole premise of resistant starch.  And it is really there because we are usually typically just focused on let us just throw a whole bunch of good bacteria in the gut.  Whereas the resistant starch focuses more on how can we feed and kind of cultivate the bacteria that are already there.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  And then so just hearing the name resistant starch we can break that down pretty simply and know that well, it is a type of starch, right?  It comes from a carbohydrate food and it is resistant to digestion.  So what kind of makes it, because in my head I am thinking, okay this is coming from carbohydrates.  What makes this a little bit different than fiber, right?  Because there is soluble fiber and there is like insoluble fiber.  Is this somewhat similar to the soluble fiber now?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, so the soluble fiber that is the type of fiber where like our body is able to absorb it.  But soluble fiber helps more with binding things up, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we have like citrus pectin which a lot of these things are actually, or apple pectin, these things are used in a lot of detoxification protocols because they help bind things up.  They are actually going to bind hormones up, too.

Baris Harvey:  Like a sponge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, like a sponge, yes.  So they tend to be a little less abrasive, right?  So those are like our non-soluble or I should say soluble starches right there.  And then we have our insoluble starches.  Those are the ones our bodies just cannot even touch.  So like our insoluble will be like our psyllium husk for instance.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And our insoluble they are going to be adding more bulk to stool.  So insoluble like adds bulk to the stool, makes the stool a little bit thicker and like more hardy, if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And then we have our soluble which is more for like binding things up.  So you are going to get more of your soluble starch in like your vegetables.  Like in your celery, in your greens, you know all of these different places.  So that is where getting a lot of your vegetables and low glycemic fruits are going to really benefit the soluble side.  But when it comes to the resistant starch, these are the ones our bodies really cannot break down much at all.  And they actually have more beneficial effect on the bacteria in our guts.  So we have four main types, right?  Type one is typically going to be found in your grains, your seeds and your legumes, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now I am not necessarily a huge fan of the type one because they are let us just say they can cause more gas.  And then also a lot of the foods in the type one are just more inflammatory; grains, gluten.  A lot of them are not too good for you.  So I am not a big fan of type one.  We have type two and three which tend to be my favorite.  And those are the ones that I tinker with right now.  So like in type two, these are like more starchy foods like raw potatoes and/or unripen bananas.  Right now I am using a resistant starch from a company called Wedo and it is basically ground up unripen banana powder.  And it is nice because it is a little bit more on the lower glycemic side and for patients that are potentially autoimmune, right?  The whole autoimmune protocols, we are going to avoid the night shades which are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers.  So the green bananas can really be a good option for people that are autoimmune but still want to have some of the benefits of the resistant starch.  So going with the Wedo unripen banana powder one to two tablespoons in the morning mixed with some water can be a great alternative.  That is your type two.  Your type three is basically going to come from foods that are cooked and then cooled.      

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  So these are going to be like typically potatoes that are cooked up and then cooled.  There is a company called Bob’s Red Mill it certifies you know the quality, making sure it is gluten-free based on Elisa testing.  And it is already cooked and then cooled and it is already in a powder form.  So I use the Bob’s Red Mill Potato flour and I will mix one to two tablespoons of that in some water and that can be beneficial.  And I am kind of switching off back and forth right now just seeing which ones I like and seeing how my body responds to them.  So I will keep all of the listeners up-to-date on my experimentation.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, sounds good.  It is funny that you mentioned the banana and I kind of like the unripen banana because I have used this Garden of Life probiotic formula and the one that is in a powdered form.  And there is actually some like unripen banana in there and it is probably to feed that bacteria that is in their probiotic formula.  And many times I just thought, “Oh, it is kind of like a flavor kind of thing going on.”  But there is probably a big reason as to why they chose that as their company was kind of based on probiotics with the Primal Defense, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  Yes, exactly, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So my next question is what are some of the mechanisms like how does this work?  How does this resistant starch function like soluble?  It is almost like a fermentable fiber now.  It is what it is sounding like because we are not necessarily eating it but our gut flora is.  Like what was a little bit more of the mechanism?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so let me just make sure I classify it so people can kind of like create the dichotomy in their heads of what we are talking about.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we have like non-resistant starch polysaccharides.  These are our soluble and non-soluble, right?  These are not resistant.  They are non-resistant starch polysaccharides.  Then the next category is resistant starch.  So we are putting more of our focus on the resistant starch.  I do think though it is beneficial to get some of that non-resistant starch polysaccharides and I mentioned where, right?  From some of the vegetables.  And if you have gut issues, cooking some of these things down, putting them in broths, doing an SCD approach for some people maybe the way to go at first.  So for some people, resistant starch may produce too much fermentation and cause way too much gas and bloating.  So just kind of contrasting both types of fibers and kind of which direction to go and maybe resistant starch is not the best way for you to go right now.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So back to your question.  Just reiterate that for me and the viewers one more time.

Baris Harvey:   Yes, what is the mechanism going on here?  How does resistant starch work?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, essentially it is going to be feeding some of the beneficial bacteria in the gut.  And when these bacteria are fed by the resistant starch they actually spit up this compound called butyrate.  Butyrate is great.  There are a couple of things.  It is actually butyric acid.  Hold on let us create the link here.  Butyric acid, oh that is the same fatty acid that is in butter.  Just so you know eating butter is really good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, grass fed butter is really good because basically we are just kind of creating some of the acid compounds that we get from grass-fed butter.  But again it is really good because we get our flora and our small intestine to start fermenting some of that butyric acid which is a short chain fatty acid.  So we have short chains which are like butyric acid that is like butter, right?  We have our medium chain which is kind of like coconut oil, like lauric acid that is kind of like our 8 to 10 carbon chains.  And we have like our longer chains which are going to be like fish oil, DHA, EPA, krill oil.  So short, medium and long.  So we are kind of just focusing on the short chain.  So when we eat this resistant starch the bacteria in the gut especially the roseburia and the E. rectale bacteria will actually start producing this butyrate, the butyric acid.  And butyric acid is really cool because the colonocytes, cells in our colon and our intestines, like it and they feed off of it.  So it is healthy for the cells and the colon.  It is healthy for the cells and the intestinal tract.  And it also lowers the pH in our intestinal tract.  Now lower pH is really important because it makes it more inhospitable for a lot of the bad stuff to survive.  So really one, it is shifting and feeding a lot of the bacteria, the healthy bacteria in the gut.  Lowers the pH so it creates a more inhospitable environment and that bacteria as it lowers the pH it feeds the good stuff, too.  And the good stuff kind of like smacks down a lot of that SIBO, a lot of that bacterial overgrowth that may slide back up from the colon into the small intestines.  So it really helps those three ways.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  So it is funny because when you look at the digestive system of herbivores, you notice that oftentimes when you look at the way that their body breaks down a lot of these fibers because they have the ability to do that, it turns it into these short chain fatty acids.  And so technically, like when people compare gorillas to us and say, “Well, these guys are vegetarians and that is why it can work for their bodies.” It is funny that when you look at the science behind it that they are technically eating a higher fat diet because they can break down this fiber but we cannot.  But what you are saying is some of these resistant starches end up becoming some shorter chain fatty acids, right?  Because our bacteria are feeding off them and kind of making this conversion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That is exactly what is happening.  So a lot of people that are vegetarians they are just like, “Oh, yes you know, fat is bad we are going to eat all of these great vegetables.”  And I am like, “Yes, just so you know, the bacteria in your gut is making all the things that I am telling you to consume, just so you know.”

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it is like you know the deeper down you look you see how important these fatty acids are.  And I cannot stress how important it is, one of the biggest benefits is really lowering that pH.  I see so many women today and when you look at vaginal tract or yeast infections or urinary tract infections, the reasons why these things occur is because of a more alkaline pH.  So I do not want to get into a whole alkaline-acid thing.  We kind of touched upon that in the last podcast.  And maybe we will do a podcast just on that.  But the big thing that we see in a lot of these UTI infections is a more alkaline pH and that allows some of these bacteria, the bad stuff to grow.  And so when you look at things like acidophilus or lactobacillus, these translations literally convert over into like meaning acid-loving, acidophilus, acid loving.  So when we know bacteria is good and it is literally referring to more of these good quality acids and that is the thing.  It is creating the environment so the bad stuff cannot grow.  And just a little kind of tidbit for a lot of women out there birth control pills actually make your urinary tract more alkaline.  That is why women on birth control pills get more yeast infections.  Just a little food for thought out there.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that is why I am pretty sure if you look on the label of that you may see that as a potential side effect and other list of a hundred things in the back, right?

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs) Yes, at least.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  Right.

Baris Harvey:  So basically the bottom line for the basic process of what is going on why resistant starch is beneficial is because it is basically not necessarily food for us but food for our good guys, right?  Food for our friendly bacteria.  And they in turn make shorter chain fatty acids and you mentioned the butyrate as like the main fatty acid production that they make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  And I have seen people literally lose weight adding some of this resistant starch into their diet.  So everyone is thinking, “Well, how is that?”  Let us talk about the mechanism.  So one thing the research is showing is that it has an effect on decreasing insulin resistance.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we kind of talked about insulin resistance.  So how a hormone work is it has to bind to a receptor site.  But if that receptor site is clogged and numb to the hormone, it is not going to have the effect.  So what the starch is doing is it is feeding some of these bacteria that is producing all of these good compounds and those compounds like butyric acid and the lowering of the pH that is making the cells more insulin sensitive.  So we need less insulin.  If we need less insulin guess what?  Insulin is a fat storage hormone wherein we are more than likely be tapping into fat more for fuel and we are going to be storing less fat.  Because it is virtually impossible, it is very difficult to be burning fat with high insulin, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  When insulin is high your body is switched over to burning sugar for fuel. When your insulin is lower you are switched over to burning more fat for fuel.  So anyone that is trying to lose weight and change their body composition, the goal they should be thinking is how can we lower our insulin so we are burning more fat?  That is the key question.  And resistant starch can be a really excellent solution because it is making the body more insulin sensitive.  And how is it doing that?  Well, it is creating butyric acid which is a really helpful thing.  And it is also creating a lot of these nutrients as well.  It is creating more satiety in some of these people.  They feel less hungry after their meals.  There is less chance of over consuming foods that may cause insulin spikes.  And the big thing is colon cancer is a major problem.  So for feeding our colon cells properly that is huge because that means they are not going to be I should say having abnormal cell growth.  That is what cancer is, right?  It is these cells growing out of control.  So if you go in into like any PubMed or Google Scholar database, if you look at insulin resistance it is literally connected to Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, Alzheimer’s.  So you can use these tools just to make your body more insulin sensitive and you can utilize glucose better, you are just doing some much to improve your health in general.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  What is happening here is now we are technically eating less calories.  It is not that calories are the most important component of weight loss but it is feeding the right guys, it is making you feel full longer.  And you also mentioned it is helping with our insulin sensitivity and that does in turn lower our blood sugar levels.  So it seems like it is going to be really, really great.  So you mentioned a couple of ways that we can get it.  If somebody wants to be somewhat on a lower carb, Paleo type diet how would they implement something like this into their diet?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great question.  So you kind of already talked about lower carbs.  So I am going to answer your question but I am going to touch on one key thing that is really important for the listeners.  So what the research show is that the lower carbohydrate you go you actually starve out some of these beneficial bacteria.  So they have done studies where they looked at low carb versus high carb versus moderate carb.  And what they found was on these lower carbohydrate diets some of these E. rectale and roseburia bacteria actually decreased.  Like a significant decrease because some of that prebiotic in the carbohydrate is reduced to the point where these bacteria starve out.  And if they are starving out they are not going to be there producing a lot of the beneficial butyric acid which then has all the lowering of the pH effect and all that good benefits we talked about.   So now we have this quandary because we have people that need to be on a lower carbohydrate diet just because of metabolic syndrome, because of cancer risks, because their metabolism is damaged.  So how did they get the benefit?  Well, this is where it is great because they can go low carb and the research showed if you add some of these resistant starches back in they can get that beneficial bacteria back up and get all of the benefits we talked about just from starting to add that Bob’s Red Mill potato starch in.  One to two tablespoons or even adding in a little bit of the Wedo unripen banana powder can be a great way to get that back in there.  Did I answer your question?

Baris Harvey:  Yes, that answers it perfectly.  So basically you can still stay low carb and just take a tablespoon of some of the raw potato starch from Bob’s Red Mill or the other one you mentioned, you said Wedo?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Yes from Wedo.  Yes.  That basically is a really good overview.  Allows people to know where they can find it.  And you also mentioned so somebody who maybe is a little bit more active; maybe does not have to worry too about the carbohydrate intake, there are also some food sources that maybe something that they heat and then cooled.   So what are some of those sources maybe like sushi, what else, what else do we have?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was actually joking around with a patient saying now is this a good excuse to go to In-N-Out and then just get the French fries and let them cool off a bit and then eat them?   (Laughs)

Baris Harvey:  Laughs

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I was pondering that one for a bit.  Honestly, it is kind of tough with food.  I mean I guess you could do some of the plantains and get them a little bit unripen.  Then you can maybe sauté them up with some coconut oil.  Those could be a good option.  I really think the easiest option is just getting some of the powders.  I think you will start seeing the supplement industry kind of taking off with some products in these various forms in the next year or so.  I was actually into this stuff like six years ago.  The problem is there was a company that had a really good prebiotic mix but they put a lot of corn in there.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I felt very, very gassy and bloated afterwards and I really think it was just some of the corn and maybe some of the cross reactivity with the gluten that was causing an issue.  So I see the benefit here with some of the potato because it is a little bit more benign and even the unripen banana flour because it is even safer if you have an autoimmune condition.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yes, definitely.  Definitely.  Well, that sounds good.  That was a great overview for people.  It is a shorter podcast today.  Just want to give you guys a kind of a brief, a 101 on resistant starch.  I know it is kind of daunting when you hear that resistant starch, like it sounds so scary of a word for your food to have such a name like that.  But yes, definitely a beneficial thing to have to include into your diet and it is not that expensive.  I mean it really is not, it is pretty cheap.  And like I said, you can also if your body can handle it, you can probably do some cold sushi and maybe some plantains.  But some potato starch, like a tablespoon is totally doable and not that expensive.  So if you are having some digestive issues this can be an easy cheap fix.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Any other thoughts that you wanted to add in before we wrap up today’s show?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I want to just say one more thing, the base thing if you want to really be on a healthy eating plan is you want to make sure that the foods you eat provide really good signals to your brain that you are full, right?  That is called satiety.  That is really important.  The nice thing is these short chain fatty acids are excellent at producing some of these hormones or these neurotransmitters such as leptin and peptide yy and glucagon.  These basically talk to the brain and kind of tell you that you are full.  That is why putting high quality butter in your coffee that is why it is a great day.  Because it can really help tell your brain you are full.  And that is why adding some resistant starch in because it can get your gut to produce some of its own butyrate and its own short chain fatty acids which really will help keep your appetite in check so you are not overeating.  And also it is shown to help reduce inflammation.  And we know all diseases and all conditions are connected to excessive inflammation.  And some of the people I want to thank is Richard Nikoley.  He has produced some great blog posts on this topic and really thrown it out into the blogosphere.  So he has been a really great resource for me to help learn and kind of trace back some of his references and the scientific literature as well.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, there is one little last thing!  Because this is a good thing.

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  One last thing, right?  Is this thing out there called SIBO.  And SIBO is basically bacteria from the colon migrating up from the colon from large intestines into the small intestines.   That has been one of these big issues.  And what resistant starch has shown to do, it actually helps that ileocecal valve that is where the small intestine meets the colon, the large intestine and actually helps to tighten that up just a little bit.  And that prevents some of that bacteria from migrating back into the small intestines.  So that is one other benefit.  I know we are packing up so much information here.  I just kind of want to recap it though.  Type two resistant starch that is going to be your unripen banana powder.  Type three is going to be your potato starch that is already cool, one to two tablespoons in the morning.  That is the application for all of this.  And then just see how you look.  See how you feel.  See how you perform.  See if you feel better.  See if you lose weight.  See if it will make you gassy.  And it is just something that you can try and it is pretty cost effective.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Well, that wraps up the show today for you guys.  Thank you so much for tuning in and listening.  It helps us a lot if you go to ITunes and give us a five star rating and share this with your friends or anybody that you personally know that can benefit from this.  So again, thank you guys for listening and we will catch you next time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Thank you.

How to Treat Gut Infections: Antibiotics or Natural Herbs?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Gut infections are common, and they can prohibit healing and cause a leaky gut. They must be treated to keep the body healthy, but are antibiotics the right choice for you? For some serious infections, antibiotics might be a good choice, but there are deleterious side effects.

herbal antibiotics

Let’s explore why antibiotics have side effects; why antimicrobial, or natural, medicines may be a better choice. And also, what the benefits are of natural medicines.

Antibiotics Pros & Cons

Antibiotics are one of the true miracles of the twentieth century. The invention of penicillin and other antibiotics over the last 50-75 years have saved thousands if not millions of lives!

We live in a world today where antibiotics are handed out like candy, and as a result our gut biome and our health are finally paying for it. Most conventionally trained physicians are still not recommending a round of probiotics after an antibiotic treatment. In my professional opinion, this is an absolute must if antibiotics are ever to be used.

There is a phenomenon known as antibiotics resistance where we are creating superbugs from excessive antibiotic use. I saw a patient just last week who over a 10-year period was given over 100 prescriptions!

This excess antibiotic use causes rebound overgrowth in the digestive tract, essentially causing the bad or sometimes pathogenic bacteria to proliferate. As a result, it will take up most of the space in our GI tract.

antibiotic resistance

If you use the garden analogy for our gut bacteria, everyone knows it takes virtually no effort for weeds to grow, yet, it takes good eating habits, stress reduction, and sometimes supplements to keep the good bacteria predominating. In the garden analogy, the healthy plants or vegetables growing.

When to take Antibiotics?

The bad bacteria in our gut can produce toxins and make it harder for us to absorb nutrients from food. In acute serious infections, antibiotics may be the right choice. With these chronic everyday situations, herbal medicines have a longer and safer track record and tend to be more selective to the bad bugs without causing as many side effects.

I was in a serious situation this last summer with a hand infection from a cat scratch and I was very close to using an antibiotic to treat the infection. I actually had the prescription in my possession, yet after 3 days of natural herbs, the infection resolved. If the infection hadn’t started resolving so soon, I would have had no hesitation to use the prescribed antibiotic.

What Are Efflux Pumps?

Bacteria or infections have a phenomenon known as efflux pumps. The antibiotic enters the cell, where it is metabolized. The efflux pumps then force the antibiotic out of the cell and into the extracellular space or back into the gut.

Imagine you’re in a canoe on a river, and the canoe has a hole in it. The canoe starts taking in water. Your natural response would be to grab a bucket and start bailing water from the canoe.

Efflux pumps are very similar to the bucket. The bucket takes the water that shouldn’t be in the canoe and bails it back into the river.

The same thing happens with the bacteria. That bacteria wants to thrive, and it knows the antibiotic isn’t good for it, so it takes the antibiotic. Just like you’d bail water from your canoe, the bacterial will shoot it’s way back into the intestinal track where it thinks it belongs.

efflux pumps

Our goal, however, is to kill the bacteria, so we must inhibit the efflux pumps. If we inhibit the efflux pumps, the bacteria will retain the drug or the antimicrobial, which will procure its demise. If the canoe is analogous to the bacteria, we want the canoe to take on water faster. So knocking out the person with the bucket (the analogous efflux pump) is the goal.

Do you think you have an infection, click here!

How Can We Block the Efflux Pump?

When we create protocols to knock out these infections, how to block the efflux pump is the question that is first and foremost in mind. There is a family of herbs called berberines, and it includes the following:

• Goldenseal
• Oregon grape
• Barberry

These herbs have efflux-inhibiting properties. They have been used in cancer medications, infection-treatment plans, and other treatments. They actually block the function of the efflux pumps.

If you’re going to use an antibiotic, at least use it with a gram of goldenseal to block the efflux pump. This will prevent the bacteria from shooting the antibiotic back out into the extracellular space or the gut.

However, a better choice, which may give a far superior result, could be to take a combination of berberines and other herbs. This is especially effective if you are in relatively good health and making good dietary changes. This healthier lifestyle will boost the immune system, giving you a better chance of responding to the herbs.


What Are Natural Ways to Address Gut Infections?

  •  Local killer: Goldenseal is one local killer that will target the area of the infection.
  •  Systemic killer: Artemisia or wormwood are systemic killers that will get in the blood and target the whole system.
  • Infection-specific killer: Herbal cocktails are created specifically to fight a certain infection. If you have a virus, we may use silver; If you have a Lyme disease coinfection, we may use neem or noni; And if you have a gut-bacteria issue, we may use oil of oregano.

There is an excellent synergistic effect when combining local and systemic killers—wormwood and Artemisia combined with goldenseal. The goldenseal makes the Artemisia stronger.

The Viscous Cycle of Infections:

Most people with a chronic unaddressed infection are kept trapped in a viscous cycle of a weakened immune system, nutrient malabsorption, and a leaky gut.

Our body needs nutrients to run its energy systems, and we derive those nutrients primarily from food. With a chronic leaky gut due to infections, we are assured to develop food allergens to even so-called healthy foods, like broccoli and beef. Thus, our diet becomes more restrictive as the root cause to many of these gut issues gets commonly missed.

With the additional stress to our digestive system, we also lose the ability to make adequate levels of enzymes and HCL. These compounds help break our food down, but they also help kill potential foreign invaders in our food, like bacteria and parasites.

As you can see, it’s common for people, over the years, to collect their gut infections like souvenirs on their mantle. The more gut bugs or infections you have, typically the longer it takes to recover.

If you want to break the viscous cycle of gut infections, click here!

gut infections cycle


Efflux pumps are the real problem, and that’s why a lot of antibiotics have side effects. The protocol for most antibiotics is only about 10–14 days. With a natural antimicrobial program, the protocol can be 60–90 days, allowing us to slowly break down the whole efflux pump system.

Natural programs include using specific herbs, like the goldenseal, and utilizing the synergistic effect of stacking local, systemic, and infection-specific herbs.

Use Mother Nature’s natural herbs first and foremost. Antibiotics can be beneficial when used in combination with the appropriate natural herbs, but antibiotics should be the last-resort approach.

If you have a gut infection, tough-to-remove parasite, H.pylori infection, or viral infection, these are common blocks that keep you from healing and cause a leaky gut. If you need more help to eliminate these gut infections, click here.

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.