Gluten Sensitivity: Understanding the Condition, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Gluten sensitivity is a common issue affecting millions worldwide. As a gluten-sensitive and vegan person, it’s essential to understand how gluten affects your body and how you can manage your condition effectively. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of gluten sensitivity, its comparison to celiac disease, symptoms, causes, and potential treatment segments. We’ll also delve deeper into more possible treatment segments and lifestyle changes.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity is when the body reacts negatively to gluten, wheat, rye, and barley protein. It is often confused with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks itself when gluten is consumed. However, gluten sensitivity does not cause the same intestinal damage as celiac disease but can still cause digestive issues and other symptoms.
Comparison between Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity share common symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. However, there are significant differences between the two conditions. The primary difference is the level of damage caused to the small intestine. In celiac disease, gluten consumption triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine lining, leading to various health problems.
In gluten sensitivity, gluten consumption triggers symptoms, but the small intestine’s lining is not damaged. Celiac disease can also be diagnosed through blood tests and biopsies, while gluten sensitivity does not have a specific diagnostic test.
Another critical difference between the two conditions is the severity of the health implications. While gluten sensitivity can cause discomfort and affect the quality of life, celiac disease can be life-threatening if left untreated. Celiac disease can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, and an increased risk of certain cancers if left untreated.
It is essential to note that gluten sensitivity differs from a wheat allergy, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to wheat proteins. In contrast, gluten sensitivity is not an allergic reaction but an immune response to gluten proteins.
Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity is a condition that can manifest itself in various ways, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Here’s a closer look at the most common symptoms:
- Bloating, gas, and abdominal pain – Gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation in the gut, leading to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea or constipation – Gluten sensitivity can cause changes in bowel movements, leading to diarrhea or constipation. The changes may be sudden, and they may be accompanied by discomfort and pain.
- Nausea or vomiting – Some individuals with gluten sensitivity may experience nausea or vomiting after consuming gluten-containing foods.
- Headaches and migraines – Gluten sensitivity has been associated with headaches and migraines. While the exact mechanisms behind this link are not yet fully understood, it’s believed that inflammation in the gut can trigger headaches and migraines.
- Joint pain and muscle stiffness – In some cases, gluten sensitivity can cause joint pain and muscle stiffness, debilitating and affecting an individual’s quality of life.
- Fatigue and brain fog – Gluten sensitivity can also cause fatigue and brain fog, making it challenging to concentrate and perform daily tasks.
- Skin rashes and itching – Gluten sensitivity can cause skin rashes and itching, such as dermatitis herpetiformis, a skin condition characterized by itchy, blistering rashes.
It’s worth noting that not everyone with gluten sensitivity experiences all of these symptoms. Some individuals experience only a few, while others experience more severe symptoms.
If you suspect you have gluten sensitivity, speaking with a healthcare provider to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is essential.
Causes of Gluten Sensitivity
The cause of gluten sensitivity is unknown, but research suggests that it may be related to the gut microbiome and intestinal permeability. In people with gluten sensitivity, the gut lining may be more permeable than usual, allowing the gluten to pass through and trigger an immune response. Additionally, some research suggests that gluten sensitivity may be related to other food sensitivities and allergies.
One of the leading theories about the cause of gluten sensitivity is related to the gut microbiome and intestinal permeability. The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live in the gut and play a critical role in digestion and immune function. Studies have shown that individuals with gluten sensitivity have altered gut microbiota compared to healthy individuals, which may contribute to the development of gluten sensitivity.
Furthermore, gluten has been shown to increase gut permeability, which can lead to the release of inflammatory substances into the bloodstream. This inflammatory response can trigger symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity.
Another theory behind the development of gluten sensitivity relates to other food sensitivities and allergies. Individuals with gluten sensitivity may also be sensitive to other foods, such as dairy or soy. In one study, researchers found that individuals with gluten sensitivity were more likely to have antibodies against multiple food antigens, suggesting that the condition may be related to a broader immune response to food.
It’s essential to note that while these theories provide some insight into the potential causes of gluten sensitivity, further research is needed to fully understand the condition’s underlying mechanisms.
Possible Treatments for Gluten Sensitivity
To diagnose gluten sensitivity, doctors start by ruling out Celiac disease and wheat allergy. If those tests come back negative, they may recommend an elimination diet. An elimination diet involves removing all sources of gluten from the diet for several weeks and then reintroducing them one at a time to see if symptoms return. If symptoms return with the reintroduction of gluten, it is likely that the person has gluten sensitivity.
The treatment for gluten sensitivity is to follow a gluten-free diet. This involves avoiding all foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging, as gluten is found in many processed and packaged foods. It is essential to read labels carefully and be aware of hidden sources of gluten, such as sauces, dressings, and soups.
Following a gluten-free diet can be more complicated for vegans with gluten sensitivity, as many vegan foods contain gluten. However, following a vegan and gluten-free diet is possible with careful planning and attention to food choices. Some vegan, gluten-free foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, quinoa, and gluten-free grains like rice, corn, and millet.
In conclusion, gluten sensitivity is a common condition that affects many people, especially those with autoimmune disorders. The symptoms of gluten sensitivity can vary, but they typically include gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, joint pain, and fatigue. While the exact cause of gluten sensitivity is unknown, research suggests that it may be related to the gut microbiome and intestinal permeability.
The treatment for gluten sensitivity is to follow a gluten-free diet, which can be challenging but is essential for managing symptoms and maintaining overall health. For those following a vegan diet, it is important to be mindful of hidden sources of gluten and to focus on whole foods and gluten-free grains.
However, many gluten-free alternatives, such as quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth, are available. Additionally, it’s important to address any underlying gut health issues contributing to gluten sensitivity.
If you suspect you have gluten sensitivity, it is essential to speak with a healthcare provider to rule out other conditions and get a proper diagnosis.
A gluten-free and plant-based diet can help manage gluten sensitivity symptoms and improve overall health. These foods contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help support the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve gut health.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and prevent inflammation. Legumes and beans are also excellent sources of fiber and protein and contain essential vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc. Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which help reduce inflammation and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Gluten-free grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth are excellent sources of fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium and iron. These grains are also easy to digest and have a low glycemic index, making them ideal for people with gluten sensitivity.
Gluten-free flours like almond, coconut, and rice flour can be used instead of wheat flour in baking and cooking. These flours are naturally gluten-free and provide healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Adapting to a gluten-free and plant-based diet can be challenging, but many resources are available to help people make the transition. Some helpful tips include:
Reading labels carefully – it’s essential to read labels carefully and avoid gluten-containing foods.
Experimenting with new recipes – many gluten-free and plant-based recipes are available online, in cookbooks, and on social media.
Stocking up on gluten-free pantry staples – keeping a well-stocked pantry with gluten-free grains, flours, and other ingredients can make it easier to cook and bake gluten-free.
Consulting with a registered dietitian – a registered dietitian can provide personalized advice and support for people with gluten sensitivity.
By making these dietary changes, people with gluten sensitivity can manage their symptoms, improve gut health, and support overall health and well-being.
Supplements can help manage gluten sensitivity by supporting the gut and immune system. Some supplements that may be beneficial include:
Probiotics: Probiotics can help support the gut microbiome, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Look for a probiotic supplement with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.
Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes can help break down food more effectively, which may reduce digestive issues caused by gluten sensitivity.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the gut caused by gluten sensitivity.
Probiotics, digestive enzymes, and omega-3 fatty acids have all been shown to help reduce inflammation in the gut and support overall digestive health. However, consulting with a healthcare provider before starting any supplements is essential.
Lifestyle changes can also help manage gluten sensitivity symptoms. Some changes to consider include
Stress Reduction: Stress can exacerbate digestive issues, so finding ways to reduce stress levels can be helpful. Activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce stress.
Exercise: Exercise can help improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the body. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.
Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for overall digestive health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Gluten sensitivity can be challenging, particularly for those who follow a vegan diet. However, understanding the condition, symptoms, causes, and treatment options makes it possible to manage gluten sensitivity effectively. Avoiding gluten-containing foods, making dietary changes, taking supplements, and making lifestyle changes can help manage gluten sensitivity symptoms. If you suspect you may have gluten sensitivity, it’s essential to work with a functional medicine doctor with expertise in nutrition to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs.
If you’re struggling with gluten sensitivity, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. We can help you develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and helps you manage your gluten sensitivity effectively. Don’t let gluten sensitivity control your life – take the first step towards optimal health today.
- De Palma G, Nadal I, Medina M, Donat E, Ribes-Koninckx C, Calabuig M, Sanz Y. Intestinal dysbiosis and reduced immunoglobulin-coated bacteria associated with coeliac disease in children. BMC Microbiol. 2010 Oct 26;10:63. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-10-63. PMID: 20977738; PMCID: PMC2988723.
- Fasano A. Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer. Physiol Rev. 2011 Jan;91(1):151-75. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00003.2008. PMID: 21248165; PMCID: PMC3277000.
Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity – Dr. J. Podcast #161
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into a discussion about the link between gut infections and autoimmunity. Gain knowledge about leaky gut, how it occurs in the body and it’s connection to Hashimoto’s.
Explore the different stressors which affect gut health and contribute to a weakened immune system. Learn about Dr. Justin’s 6-hour template, which includes his expert recommendation regarding healing, nutrient and supplements.
In this episode, we cover:
00:34 Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity Connection
04:05 GABA and the Blood Brain Barrier
06:48 Hashimoto’s and Gut Health
12:23 6-hour Template
22:40 Thyroid Health: T3, T4
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hello, ladies and germs! Dr. J in the house. Evan, how we doing, man? How was your Holidays? How’s your Thanksgiving?
Evan Brand: Holidays were great. Let’s dive in. I know we’ve got a short limited of time. But we’re doing this on the fly because this conversation of gut health and gut infections and autoimmunity is huge and hardly anyone is talking about this. Conventional doctors don’t have a clue about the link between gut infections and autoimmunity, so dude, let’s dive right in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That sounds phenomenal. So we talked about in the show, kinda chatting about leaky gut and autoimmunity, which is really important because leaky gut is kind of like one of the primary mechanisms of autoimmunity kinda starting, which is kind of gastrointestinal permeability cells in the gut called the tight junctions. They start to unzip, kinda like you unzip your coat on a hot day and undigested food particles can get in there in this kind of creates this uhm— cascade of reactions call molecular mimicry, where certain food proteins— the surface proteins on these foods are similar to surface proteins of the thyroid or the brain or the pancreas, the beta—the beta cells of the pancreas, whatever. So you have this kind of immune system getting primed to similar proteins in foods which then prime the immune reaction for the immune system. It starts attacking these tissues in the body. So that’s kinda one of the first defenses is this autoimmunity leaky gut, molecular mimicry and that while they gut’s leaky, you have undigested bacterial compounds also getting in there, too. And then kinda just perpetuate and windup that immune system. And then also make it prime to—for other infections that kind of slip in there because the immune system now has weaken. Other infections can slip in. And typically, we’re gonna have a lower stomach acid environment so you’re gonna have less sterility in the stomach coz that low pH really prevents a lot of bacterial and critters from growing. But now that pH is like, you know, it’s like walking over to the dirty picnic tables and normally you spray it down with maybe some bleach. Or let’s say in a healthy version, maybe a really good antimicrobial essential oil. But now, we don’t have that because of the stress from the gut.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Now, Hashimoto’s for example, is probably most common autoimmune condition that we’re going to see and deal with and that probably you guys listening are aware of. Leaky gut has to take place for Hashimoto’s to happen. That’s one of the dominoes that happens. So you’ve got the leaky gut situation. You possibly got the gluten in the diet. You got the immune stress, which could be internal or external. So bad boss, bad spouse, bad relationships, bad job— those are kind of the big dominoes we see. And when you all those up together, that’s how you get autoimmune disease. It’s really just that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And then we have people on the live chat here. And again, this is a great reason why you should subscribe to our YouTube channel—justinhealth. Uhm because we have these podcast going live as well and we’ve also incorporated other technology in the background to get a higher quality audio versions. So if you want better audio, you can subscribe to Youtube, but also check out our podcast uhm—Evan Brand, notjustpaleo and then beyond wellness radio myself. So just keep that in the back of your head. And then your question was—I just missed it. We talked about—Oh, yeah! Leaky brain. Leaky brain is connected as well coz we have these live questions coming in. And so we are multitasking like it’s no tomorrow. So leaky brain’s important because we have these called astrocytes or the brain blood or the blood brain barrier which is kind of the interplay between systemic blood and then the passing over to the brain. And we have the cells called astrocytes. And again, same thing, when we have gut lining integrity, it tends to affect integrity of the lungs, integrity of the sinuses, integrity of you know, vaginal wall area, urinary tract. So you have people that have gut issues—gut integrity issues. It almost always can cause sinus issues, brain fog, brain issues, UTI issues, bladder issues, right? So you have all of that mucous membrane barrier, it’s gonna be compromised throughout the body not just the gut. But the guts kind of that first major domino that falls and then everything else tends to follow along with it.
Evan Brand: What you think about the GABA test for the blood brain barrier, where you take like a 500 mg GABA and if it works and you get relaxed, that says you have a leaky brain. Do you agree with that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m not sure I buy that because I’ve seen people that do—that are really healthy and that do well with GABA.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And they, you know, symptomatically, they’re doing pretty good. They’re eating well. Again, certain supplement companies have kinda put that out where they have a GABA challenge. They say, “Hey, GABA is this really big amino acid compound and it shouldn’t go through that blood brain barrier; therefore if it does, that means your major blood brain barrier is permeable.” I’m not sure I buy that. I think it’s something to keep in mind, something to try. I have a lot of patient that have gut issues and they’re sick and that use GABA or will only give them GABA and they don’t notice much benefit either.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, you know, how do you sparse that? That’s hard.
Evan Brand: I know. Who knows, man. That’s a good question.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Everyone tries to be a little bit trendy and nuance in this functional medicine field.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because they wanna make a name for themselves.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I get that from a marketing perspective, but just looking at the clinical application, I’m not sure there’s ton. But, heck, if you have GABA and you want to try it and you get uh—benefits, that’s great. I notice a little bit of improvement with GABA. Like when I take it, I feel little but relax. I also do that with Ashwagandha as well. I feel it with magnesium. Someone chimed in and asked if magnesium can be taken with Ashwagandha. Yeah, sure. I’ve no problem with that.
Evan Brand: Works great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hope everyone’s listening had a great Thanksgiving, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Tesa wants to know, “Have you reversed your Hashimoto’s, Dr. J, by healing the gut?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, so we have to be careful when we say reversed, right? So have we decrease the inflammation? Have we address underlying issues that made people susceptible to having autoimmune attack? And we—can we lessen those and decrease them to the point where we are no longer symptomatic because we have the inflammation down or quench enough? Yes. I’m just very careful because you know, eyes in the skies and people listening in they’re— they’re looking for that the cure the cure-all word, right? We just got to be careful. We don’t cure anything. We support the body’s ability to—we support the underlying stressors that cause the issue to begin with. And we support the underlying systems that weren’t functioning well. And then the body can start to get these symptoms under control because the symptoms are just a manifestation of the symptoms— the systems not working. Symptoms occur because systems aren’t working. Systems breakdown because of underlying stressors. As functional medicine doctors, we come in, we fixed the underlying stressors, we support the systems that aren’t working and then the body starts to heal itself, right? The body’s on autopilot. We just got to get the stressors in the systems work. If the system’s working, then get the stressors out of the way.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. So you had some— you had some gut bugs and things going on, do you care to talk about your story for a minute with the – Hashimoto’s?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I have—I have a low level of Hashimoto’s kinda in the background, I had elevation antibodies TPO and thyroglobulin antibodies and you know, I had some adrenal stress going on. And I just really worked on fixing the gut issues, which I had a handful parasites—Blasto, uhm— yeast, significant yeast overgrowth and H. pylori. Addressing those, fixing nutrient issues to help with the antibodies, fixing the digestion, fixing gut bacteria balance is of course working on stress reduction, sleep, all those important diet and lifestyle things. And again, the antibodies for me are just still slightly elevated, but there they’re in a range where you know, functionally my thyroid is not beaten up to the point where I need any thyroid hormone. My TSH is in a pretty good place and my T3 levels are pretty good. I actually have to go on for test real soon. So, yeah, I mean it’s possible to—to address the stressors and the system dysfunction to the point where you may not— you can call yourself cure. We just won’t call you cure for me, a functional medicine perspective.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Agreed. I need to get my thyroid panel run to. You’ve been pushing me to do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You should.
Evan Brand: I need to do it. I mean you and I both have had these infections. I had H. pylori as well. I had a Crypto, Giardia and yeast and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. So, you know, that’s a fun thing about Justin and I. We both had all the things that we deal with in the clinic. So when you guys are looking to work with somebody, it’s— to me it’s a lot more honorable if you’ve had somebody that’s been in the trenches themselves, where we had to fix us to keep going to help other people. I think that’s always pretty cool. Uhm— what else I know we would have limited time, but what else should we mention here about kinda this autoimmunity piece, the gut piece. We mentioned the leaky gut, we mentioned some of the triggers just in a roundabout way. So Candida, bacterial infections, parasites, H. pylori, low stomach acid, gluten in the diet, dairy, possibly eggs, other food sensitivities. These could all contribute to that permeation of the gut barrier; therefore, causing the situation.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred Percent. So, let me just kind of answer some of the things that you’re talking about while injecting some of the live questions we get. That’s the reason why the show is so unique compared to other shows coz we are off-the-cuff. This is the real deal here. So some patients are talking about having a lot of mucusy stools, right? And uhm— wanting to know where they should go for help, right? Of course, I recommend coming to see either myself or Evan, but typically one, we want to make sure food allergens aren’t driving this, right? Number two, we want to make sure we have enough digestive support on board to help those foods be broken down enough. So if there’s fat maldigestion issues, of course, adding in more bile salts or more lipolytic enzyme, right? Lipase— things like that. Uh— protease—proteolytic enzymes, right? These are all really important. And then, of course, once we can have the deck kinda dialed in, if foods are still a problem even with that, we may make them more palatable. We may go with more crockpot kinda GAP specific carbohydrate kind of eating template, where the foods are just easy—more processed via cooking, they aren’t raw, they are peeled or mashed. We’re decreasing salicylates and phenols and potential gut irritants so those foods can be consumed better. And then, of course, we’re gonna look deeper at the hormones because hormones have a major effect on inflammation and energy. And a lot of people that have gut issues, their guts are inflamed, we have to support the inflammation of the gut lining. And then, the big one is getting rid of the infections.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s where you know, we’re probably go next.
Evan Brand: (laughs) Yes. You’re right. So uh—Cent50 here, who asked the question. Yeah, the loose, mushy stools, I mean that was me. I had Cryptosporidium, I had Giardia, I had H. Pylori, I had bacterial overgrowth. Until my gut issues were addressed, just FYI, I had IBS for 10 or 15 years of my life and conventional doctors had no solutions for my—my stools. And it wasn’t until actually cleared out the infections that my bowels and my stools became normal again. And so, yeah, you got to get yourself tested. Justin and I run several different companies. Uh—stool testing just depending on you know what—what we’re looking at. But, yeah, get a comprehensive stool test. Your conventional doctor may be able to order through your insurance, if you tell them you want diagnostic solutions Lab, it’s unlikely. You probably have a functional medicine guy like us to run it for you. But either way, once you get the diagnostic tool, you can fix this pretty quick.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot of healing nutrients. So like, when we work with the patient, we kinda follow that 6-hour template— template that I’ve created over the last decade or so. There’s a lot of ones that are out there— three hours, four hours. In my opinion, a lot of them stink and they’re the wrong order. So the six that I’ve created and began to follow as well, in my opinion, is the exact clinical order which I follow things. So the first hour is removing the bad foods. And again, it’s not cookie-cutter because that maybe just getting someone from a standard American diet to a Paleo template. That may be taking someone from a Paleo template to an autoimmune template. Maybe someone on an autoimmune template and the Paleo template taking them to a GAPs or specific carbohydrate diet or low FODMAP template. I had patient last week who’s been Paleo for three or four years—chronic pain, chronic issues, chronic mood issues, chronic sleep issues. We took him from a Paleo template to an autoimmune-Paleo template and all of the symptoms went away in one week.
Evan Brand: That’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: This is someone that’s like already been on point for a long time and we just pulled out a few foods. So we have those— that kind of progression because you’d be surprised, the smallest things that we do have a huge effect. And it’s like, whoa! you would’ve thought I would have created the awesomeness protocol ever and found a you know, this hidden infection that everyone missed and got rid of it for that kind of improvement to happen. But sometimes it happens, we’re just removing some food. So, first, I remove the foods, second, I replace enzymes, acids, digestive support, bile salts, too. Third hour is gonna be repairing the gut lining. It could be also repairing the thyroid and adrenals and sex hormones, too. Fourth hour is removing infections. That’s where we go after— bacteria, parasites, uhm—fungal overgrowth. Those kinda things. We may even go after co-infections future podcast on that soon enough. Fifth hour, repopulating or reinoculating probotics. Some of these nice and beneficial bacteria. They’re transient. They only hang out for a month or so and pass on. So, getting some of that it in there periodically is helpful. Sixth hour is retest. We want to make sure infections are gone. And maybe even address family members too to make sure they are not being passed back and forth you know, playing hot potato.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Riley asked a question about—he said, “Evan is your IBS completely healed now after addressing anything?” Uhmm—kind of a confusing question about addressing anything. Yeah, I don’t have IBS anymore. I’m infection free, no more H. pylori, no more parasites, no more bacterial overgrowth, no more yeast overgrowth and I feel good and feel completely normal, which was an amazing thing because after so long, you know, it took me to be so long to get here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And with your situation, right? Like if you start eating bad foods again and your immune system got compromised, you may have another critter or two that pops back. You may have some inflammation from the food and such. And then those symptoms, they start coming back, right? So it’s not like a cure, like, “Hey, you have scurvy. Here’s vitamin C.” And then as long as the vitamin C is there, you’re good forever, right? It’s like, “Hey, there may be other stressors that may cause the systems to weaken again and those IBS symptoms start to occur, right?”
Evan Brand: Oh, Totally! Yeah. I mean I could go— I could go out to a restaurant and get some type of contaminated food and all the sudden creates a leaky gut situation. Maybe I pick up a gut bug, maybe I was eating while stressed during a week and I didn’t chew my food good. And then I picked up a parasite and have to start all over again. So, yeah, definitely, you know, you could always backtrack. You’re—you’re never permanently in a good place.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And again, one thing I see out there on Facebook, and I see it marketed, and it’s– I have to call—I’m not gonna call anyone out directly—
Evan Brand: No, come on. Do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll call out the concept. But lots of people, they’re like, “You gotta heal leaky gut. Here’s a gut healing program.”
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you look at it, a lot of times, you know, it’s bone broth or just a lot of healing nutrients and a lot of probiotics, right? And maybe a little diet change. But if we go look at the six hours, what are they really doing? They’re doing the third hour, maybe a little bit of the first, maybe a little bit of the second, maybe a little bit of the fifth, right? They’re kinda skipping around. They don’t have a system and how it’s being integrated a lot of times. And I would say 99% of the time, it ignores going after and getting the infections fixed. Totally ignores it. Because you know, these people are recommending a general program to like thousand people at once in a huge kind of a webinar kind of style, right? Well, how do you get all the types of testing and customize everything in that format? You can’t. So it’s a very general kinda overview approach. And in my opinion, it’s going help some people, which I think is great. It’s admirable. But it’s also gonna a miss a lot of people and those people that don’t get help may lose faith in functional medicine or say, “This is not for me.” So I’m just kinda calling that out because think about it, right? If the root cause of what’s going on is an infection component and you’re doing let’s say the first, second, third, fifth alright but you’re not getting rid of the infection. Well that’s like me giving you this healing aloe, right? You get a sunburn, you come back from the beach, I give you this aloe, right? The underlying cause of the sunburn is the— is the sun. And then you go back out the next day and you get sunburned again and I just give you more aloe. That’s the equivalent of what a lot of these people are doing. Well, just have some more bone broth, have some more of glutamine, have some more of this healing compound for your gut lining. So we got to get to the root cause. A lot of people are just being very general out there. And you know, the listeners of our show will get it and say, “Hey, I see that the missing piece there.” And that’s why we have those six hours that way coz then you can look at it and you can say, “Hey, this is a really specific way we go about addressing things here.”
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said, man. And that’s the food is medicine, people. And we love the food as medicine people, but that’s why you know, we pursued functional medicine because the food is just the first step, right? It’s just one pillar of the house. It’s not gonna hold the house by itself as a single column. And also, I want to mention the order—the order of operations. If somebody just go straight to bone broth and probiotics and L-glutamine, that’s the wrong order. And sometimes people get worse. They’ll come to us and say, “Oh, Justin and Evan—“
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: “I took XYZ probiotics coz I heard it on a podcast or a blog and I felt terrible and I had a flare up of my condition. Can you explain what happened?” Yes, if things are just terrible in the gut,. sometimes you have to hit the reset button. You can’t immediately just add in all these probiotics and expect it to work. Sometimes we have to fix the balance first and eradicate the bad guys before the good guys can come back in. So that’s why the order of operation is just a second when Justin said it’s so important. And this may explain why you’re spinning your wheels even though you’re all—you’re doing everything about the Paleo gurus are saying to do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We just want to make sure everyone’s educated. I mean, we have some people out here, they’re chiming about, “Hey, I really want a functional medicine doctor but I don’t have the—the money for it.” Well, guess what? The best thing that you can do right now is be listening to our podcast coz all this information is free.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’re providing tens and thousands of dollars for free information off of people and I get messages all the time. “Hey, made a couple of these changes or recommendations and my autoimmune condition for 10 years is gone.” Right? I didn’t cure him. I promise. I didn’t cure him, right? The body just heals itself, right? We got to say that as our disclaimer. But that’s you know, what’s that worth. When someone is you know, seeing a rheumatologist for 20 years on lots of expensive medication that’s tearing up their gut and their body and creating more symptoms than they’re actually helping. What’s that worth? So just utilize the pickup as much of the free intel as much as possible. And then you know, allocate some savings or HSA or flex spending. So if you want to dig in deeper, that’s an option. But utilize as much of the free stuff as possible because the diet is the foundation.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 50% is gonna be the diet so work on that first. Once you max that out, and you’re seeing some decent results, then you’d want to go in deeper. You can reach out, for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And you can contact likely so. You can contact your conventional doc and try to get some stuff run through insurance. But it’s likely that they don’t have accounts with these functional labs and they likely just aren’t going to do it. Fut if you’re really lucky, you’ve got a really good M.D., you may be able to push push push push at least get the lab so you have the data. Now what you do with the data? Well then maybe that’s where you come to a functional medicine guy that can help in terms of creating a protocol. But getting the data should not be impossible.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And a lot of functional medicine docs that do a podcast or websites, I find that they take information, they wrap it up and they try to make people feel so confused where they walk away from the podcast or the video, being like, “What the hell just happened? What I do now ?” And they walk away feeling less certain. I want to make sure no one walks away from any podcast or video I do, gaining more certainty. And at least walking away with one action item that they can add into the repertoire of whether it’s a lifestyle or a supplement or just a different perspective on the6 hoir healing so they get better and they feel more confident.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I watch a couple of functional medicine videos like over the weekend and they were like hour-long videos I made it through 10 minutes. And I thought, “This is not gonna help me at all.” So I decided to turn it off. So let’s do it, let’s do our action steps and summary here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So of course, we have our six hours, right? So everyone listening kind of our general feedback is gonna be a Paleo autoimmune template to start. And again, depending on where you’re at, that maybe really a lot of— really overwhelming for you, cutting out grains, legumes, dairy and primarily having healthy fats, proteins, uhm more veggies and fruit instead of starch. And having healthy fats like you know, if we’re doing a Paleo, maybe a little butter or ghee. If we’re going fully AIP, no nuts, no seeds, no dairy. Just coconut, Olive oil, may be avocado oil, some healthy animal fats. And that will be a good starting point for people. And then again, an AIP or an SCD or autoimmune diet, again, I’m just kinda laying out the Paleo template to start coz that’s probably the easiest buy in without pre qualifying anyone. I would say that after that, at least getting some digestive support going there. And again, you know, the ones that we formulated, we recommend the most coz we’ve put our stamp of approval. High-quality HCl or enzymes. In my line, it’s HCl supreme or enzyme synergy or I’ll add in the liver supreme for extra bile support for digest energy. And Evans line—Evan has a similar products as well. Uhm— so that’s a good starting point there. And then seeing where you’re at, I think is the next step coz there may be infections, there may be other testing that has to go in deeper. So I think if you can get that, that’s number one. And then I think if you can just make sure the hydration component and the sleep component is dialed in next, that’s a good second step. And that gives most people of really good you know, path to go down and if people are listening, they’ve already done that and they’re like, “what’s next?” well, that’s where I think you’d want to reach out and do a little bit more testing because that’s what I think the infection component and/or the hormone component and/or the nutriend malabsorption component from the infection could be the next vector we’d really have to put up in our sites, so to speak.
Evan Brand: I’m gonna address one comment here and then I’ll bring up a question then we could uh—we could wrap it up. Leslie mentioned the diet’s the foundation which kinda sucks no more pigging out in the middle of the night. The good thing is that could be related to infections. I mean for me, for example, when I had parasites, I would get these food cravings that just didn’t make sense and it wasn’t me. It’s these bugs. They are stealing your nutrients, they want food so they’re cannibalizing your muscle tissue and when you’re eating, they’re messing up your ability to digest especially coz I had H. pylori. My stomach acid levels were lower. I was basically hungry all the time and I was losing weight. Getting to like a scary point of weight loss. So really, the diet is not too hard once you just address your gut bugs, that— the whole like binging type thing on food, it really doesn’t happen once your gut is healed, once your adrenals and your thyroid are helped out and your blood sugar’s more stable. It’s not an issue. I mean you could fasted for a long time and feel stable. You shouldn’t have to get hungry or go on a crisis stage. Justin, a question for you. Uh—some doctors say T3 doesn’t matter; they don’t test it on Thyroid labs. The person’s taking T3 now slowly increasing. Would you be lowering T4 when adding this?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would typically be adding more than likely a T4, T3 put together so there’s gonna be a combination of both. Most doctors don’t care about uhm—T3 because the major pharmaceutical companies, Abbott’s the big one, that has a patent on Synthroid is a synthetic T4. It’s easier to monitor uhm— giving a T4 the half-life’s five days, so it’s really easy. It’s not like a T3, which could potentially have more side effects. Uhm—and it’s patentable, right? It’s the basically tetraiodothyronine with the sodium salt on it. So that’s how they get the patent to it. Uhm—again, they don’t m__ it because that’s just not what they do. They give you the T4, they get the TSH back in range. All your thyroid symptoms could still be present. Cold hands, cold feet, anxiety, mood issues, hair thinning, you know, gut here fitting things you know, gut stuff, constipation all could still be there, but if the TSH is in range, they’re happy. They checked off the list, you’re gone. So that’s where you got a dig in deeper. You got a look at the T4, T3 conversion. You got to look at the autoimmunity. You got a look at the nutrients. You gotta look at the adrenal conversion, the gut conversion connection and the liver detox conversion connection, too.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. Should you ignore TSH? No. It’s definitely worth factoring TSH in. You just don’t want to use that as the end-all be-all only marker. But you— but when you have the free T3 and the reverse T3, the TPO, the TG antibodies kinda all the stuff we run, the TSH makes a lot more sense when you got a full picture.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We like to keep TSH in the equation and look at sometimes people come in with the TSH that’s perfect, but their T4 T3 conversion sucks. And then what do you do? You know when you’re treating the TSH or are you treating the actual patient? So we’ll try to increase thyroid hormones, see if symptoms change and we’ll try to support HPT access communication with specific herbs. And of course, stress modulation and getting infections— getting rid of infections coz that can really mess up the HPT access, the Hypothalamus Pituitary Thyroid connection.
Evan Brand: Yup. For sure. Uh—Leslie and a couple other comments about you know, where to go next? Well, I mean, you know, if people may say, “Oh, we’re biased.” But the answer is get tested. Our philosophy is “Test, don’t guess.” So if you’re confused, you’ve got symptoms that don’t make sense, get tested. That’s the first step. You can look at adrenals, thyroid, gut, get all the puzzle pieces laid on the table. That way you’re not just buying random supplements that you might not actually need. We’ve seen so many people with 20 and 30 supplements that they’re taking and they still feel terrible. And we cut that down to five supplements because it’s based on labs and all of a sudden people get better. So you know, save up your money for that. Maybe you don’t go buy the next newest supplement you hear about. Maybe you— you focus on investing into some testing first.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: And you can check it out on Justin’s site. It’s Justinhealth.com You can look at the supplements, the labs on there. Same thing on my site, Evanbrand.com and we’re happy to help. So, feel free to reach out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And also, couple of people asked about Dr. Gundry’s The Low Lectin Protocol. I think it’s the plant paradox. Again, my thing is if you’re just going to a Paleo template, you’re gonna cut a lot of those lectins out. If you actually cook some of the plants, some of the starches, some of the vegetables and lower the lectins even more, if you still have a lot of gut issues, upgrading it to an autoimmune protocol, you decrease lectins more. If we still have issues and we can move to a specific carbohydrate or GAPS protocol and we decrease lectins even more. So it just depends on where you’re at cooking knocks a great chunk of that out and just going to a Paleo template, where we’re cutting out grains, legumes, dairy and focusing more on non-starchy veg, uhm— lower glycemic, low sugar fruits and safe starches that aren’t grain-based, you’re gonna have a huge effect and grains, where most of the lectins and irritants come from. So again, that— my opinion matches people making things a little bit more complicated than they have to be.
Evan Brand: Marketing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: I mean, he’s done a good job that book is spread.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It has gone viral. Everyone asked me about it all the time. I can’t get a go of a— one day without a patient asking me about it. So I have to follow it. I think I found it on fast reads on Amazon. So I got a—like uhm—abridged version of it that I’m siphoning through.
Evan Brand: Nice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve got a couple of services where they do these summaries. And it’a great. I mean I get 90% of the information.
Evan Brand: Exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Suck it up in a half hour and I’m like, “Oop, got it!” That’s it. On to the next one. Well, any other questions you wanted to answer here, Evan?
Evan Brand: I think that’s everything. I think that’s all we can—we can chat on today and we’re gonna do a podcast soon on co-infections. We’re gonna talk about Lyme, Bartonella and Babesia Uh—Justin and I, I mean, we’ve literally got the books like right here that we’re—we’re diving into. We wanna make sure we’re the most educated and current up-to-date with our information before we broadcast to you guys. So make sure you hit subscribe on Justin’s YouTube channel while you’re at, hit subscribe. And uh—we’ll be back again soon.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And one last thing. Patient asked here—person asked here on the chat list, uhm—“How do you—how do you choose your functional medicine doctor? How do you trust them?” He said, “I can’t trust them. How do I choose them?” Well, number one, I think they should have some kind of content out there whether its video, audio and/or blog post where you resonate with their information. Like their philosophy, their information, you should resonate. I find most patients are the biggest reason why they don’t get better is because, number one, compliance, and number two, they’ve been burnt and the past or they failed in the past and therefore they’re kind of priming their subconscious to fail again. So they don’t follow through and they’re off to the next one other, you know, they’re making a 180 move in can’t see someone else because some little thing happened. They’re not following through enough. So I think keeping—one, making sure you choose someone based on their philosophy and the information and making sure you resonate at an emotional level and just a logical level. Here’s the plan, generally speaking, right? And then number two, making sure you’ve given enough time and then follow through uh—for it to work.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. I’ll address— address this last question, then we’ll roll here. Uh—Is it common to have to go through a few rounds of infection killing protocols? Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It can.
Evan Brand: You can. It took me a couple of rounds to go through, some herbs to knockout things coz I have multiple infections. When you’re trying to kill five or six or seven things at once, yeah. I can’t take multiple rounds. Why is that? Depends on the person’s immune system health or stress levels, how long they’ve had infections, the amount of damage that’s there, how much inflammation is there, are they sleeping well, do they have a good diet. You know, there’s million factors to answer why that— why that could be. Hope that helps.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.
Evan Brand: Andrea is asking a question about his father’s prostate cancer. PSA levels are rising rapidly. Can we cast opinions or advice?
Evan Brand: I can’t. Justin?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s about thyroid, it’s about uhm— prostate issues?
Evan Brand: Yeah. Prostate. Prostate cancer this drug—Enzalutamide had been recommended for father’s prostate cancer PSA levels are rising rapidly. Can you cast opinions or advice?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, let me describe– I have one formula here that’s been helpful. Yeah. I have one compound here that I’ve been using here, just I had a couple of supplement companies reach out and I’m using it. It’s the pomegranate extract, and the flower pollen extract and its cranberry extract. So cranberry, pomegranate and flower pollen. This is an excellent support. Lot of research behind those extracts as well. Lycopene is phenomenal, getting adequate levels of selenium 200 mics a day is phenomenal, enough zinc as well is phenomenal saw palmetto’s great. These are excellent compounds that help. Lycopene is phenomenal as well. Again, the diet has to be in place. You want to get the lifestyle things going and again, these things don’t grow overnight. They probably taken decades to kind of move. So coffee and Coffee enemas may also be helpful to kind of early push detox in a faster more acute kind of way. But some couple of compounds that I mentioned are phenomenal and wouldn’t hurt getting them on board in the meantime.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And look at my podcast I did with the lady named Dr. Nasha Winters.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: She did a book that’s called, “The Metabolic Approach to Cancer” She— she had cancer herself and she’s been holistically supporting people with cancer for about 20 years. So uh— look up Nasha Winters and uh look up her book and you could implement some strategies there hopefully.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also, get the insulin levels under control. Make sure fasting insulin is five or below at least. That’s important because insulin is gonna cause a lot of cells to grow and then also making sure xenoestrogen exposure is mitigated, right? Don’t drink out of plastic bottles, avoid pesticides and GMO’s and glyphosate and Roundup. These are chemicals that you’re gonna get from conventional foods. Obviously, eat organic, right? Pasteur-fed meats. Again, these things— I shouldn’t have to repeat them, but I just can’t assume that everyone knows these stuff.
Evan Brand: They don’t. Not everyone does. So, yeah, keep repeating it and keep preaching. And I think that’s all the questions. So we did— we did really good. That was fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I heard a quote back. It’s a quote from the 1940s, where Joe DiMaggio was interviewed and they said that Joe said, “We noticed that you sprint on and off the field every single time at full speed no matter what.” And he said, “Well, there may be someone coming out to see me for the first time ever that seeing me play the way I’m playing and I wanna play at 100% every time.” And then maybe some people that are coming out for the first time seeing us play here, and we want to make sure that they get that information that we may assume that other people uh— may have, right? The equivalent will be like us jogging on the field, so to speak, if we just assume that.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. Well, reach out if you need help. Justinhealth.com You can schedule with Justin. Evanbrand.com if you’d like to schedule consults with us. We should have some availability in the next 3 to 6 weeks or so. So just take a look and we’re happy to help you soon as we can.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, by the way, I’m adding in the Mimosa Pudica as well. So I’ll be reporting back on that in the next couple weeks. I think you as well Evan. So we’ll chat about that. Again, I just got that in stock. That’s the Para-1 in my store. I think you have it in your store as well. So, we’ll put that in the show links, too. So that’s a cool new herb that we’re working on. We have a couple other herbal compounds in the mix that we’re using for different types of co-infections that we’re researching uhm—in the background, too.
Evan Brand: Awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, Evan, great chatting with you, man. You have an awesome day. We’ll chat soon.
Evan Brand: You too. Take care
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Evan Brand: Bye.
Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Vitamin D: the “sunshine” vitamin. Over the last decade, the use of vitamin D to treat and prevent illnesses has grown exponentially, and new data is constantly being published which continues to prove the effectiveness of the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is estimated to activate about 8% of our entire genome. As it is so broadly engaged in different processes throughout the body, its many properties are still only being discovered.
Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease
Research shows a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disease, cancer, and other serious diseases. Low vitamin D in the body is linked to a higher risk for developing chronic illnesses, both systemic disease (lupus, arthritis) and organ-specific (multiple sclerosis, diabetes).
Dementia and memory loss are directly associated with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, as are prostate and breast cancer. Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can help treat and prevent many of the common chronic, and sometimes life-threatening, illnesses that are on the rise.
Multiple sclerosis, thyroid disorders, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s, and lupus are key autoimmune diseases modulated by Vitamin D. The Journal of Immunology cites autoimmune conditions as the number-three cause of death. However, the killer isn’t the autoimmune condition itself, rather it’s the inflammation brought on by these conditions which predisposes us to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes that lead to death.
Click here to schedule a consult to determine if autoimmune diseases are causing your health to suffer!
Impact of Inflammation and Leaky Gut
Chronic inflammation can be argued to be the underlying mechanism for all disease. Inflammation leads to leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, and may be due to an autoimmune condition, infections, or the consumption of gluten, sugar, or other toxins. The inflamed gut lining allows food particles and other toxins to slip through into the bloodstream, creating more inflammation.
This also compromises your ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning your body needs to be absorbing fat to absorb the vitamin. In addition, vitamin D is necessary for the gut to produce the stem cells that help it grow thicker and seal any gaps in the intestines.
Click here to schedule a consult to determine if autoimmune diseases are causing your health to suffer!
How to Assess Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiency is at an all time high. We already knew most people were deficient, but recent research has shown that higher levels of vitamin D are necessary than were previously thought, meaning the deficiency is even more prevalent than we realized. Proper levels of vitamin D can help regulate our hormones and inflammation levels, effectively preventing disease.
You may be deficient in Vitamin D if:
- You don’t get enough sunlight. Spending too much time indoors, or living in a place that doesn’t have much sun time, limits the amount of vitamin D your body can make.
- You wear sunscreen with high SPF values. SPF blocks UVB rays, preventing your body from producing vitamin D. Once your skin gets a slight pinkness to it, you know you’ve had enough sun exposure for the day. Instead of reaching for heavy toxic sunscreen, opt instead for non-toxic SPF 15 lotion, seek out some time in the shade, or wear light clothing and a hat.
- The darker your skin, the more sun your body needs in order to produce vitamin D.
The only way to know your vitamin D levels is through a Vitamin D blood test.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
The average adult will benefit from supplementing with about 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Children and petite women do well in the 2,000-4,000 IU range daily. People suffering from autoimmune diseases can benefit from taking super doses of around 40,000 IU a day while they heal their gut lining- however, this should only be practiced under the supervision of a medical professional. When dealing with a cold, taking 150,000 IU of vitamin D3 for three days straight will knock the sickness right out of you!
Emulsi D Supreme is a concentrated bioavailable source of vitamin D, containing 2000 IU in each drop!
Click here to schedule a consult and determine whether a vitamin D deficiency may be affecting your health.
Top Cancer-Fighting Foods
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Rates of cancer in our country have been trending upward at an alarming rate. In the 1900s, one in 20 developed cancer, nowadays, it’s one in three! The cancer industry spends most of its time creating new guidelines for treating cancer, rather than preventing it. And when we look at how much money is brought in through chemotherapy drugs, radiotherapy, surgeries, and all other aspects of typical cancer diagnostics and treatments, it’s clear that we have to take prevention into our own hands.
Everyone creates cancerous cells in their bodies, however, in healthy bodies with strong immune systems, they mutated cells are quickly disposed of. There are many health aspects to consider in cancer prevention, in this article we are going to focus on the top cancer-fighting foods.
Foods such as berries, lemons, and tomatoes are more than just pretty to look at, they are antioxidant powerhouses!
Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries all have a high ORAC score (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) and are rich in gallic acid (which is antiviral and antifungal). Superfood berries such as goji and Camu Camu berries also boost your immune system.
Have you ever heard that eating carrots boosts your eyesight? Well, you have more options than just carrots, and boost more than just your eyesight! Eating the rainbow actually helps your body deal with harmful blue light, which prevents eye-related disorders as well and protects your cells.
Click here to schedule a consult to ensure you are lowering your cancer risk.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale, collard greens, arugula, and spinach are all rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta-carotene. They are antiviral and antifungal, and the chlorophyll that gives these veggies their green color purifies the blood, eliminates toxins, and rebuilds new blood cells.
Many conventional oils actually destroy cell membranes and lead to diseased cells. Opt instead for olive oil, coconut oil, or even grass-fed butter! The phenols present in these oils will boost your immune system and contain anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Powerful mushrooms have been used for centuries to fight cancer and boost the immune system. Reishi, Cordyceps, and maitake are some of the most powerful mushrooms for a wide range of health benefits. They can be consumed whole or taken in capsule and tincture form.
Over 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut, so a healthy microbiome is crucial for a healthy you. Eating probiotics, even taking them in capsule form, has been suggested to have the ability to stop tumor growth! Probiotics can be found in foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and raw milk kefir and yogurt.
If you aren’t getting enough probiotics in your diet, check out our probiotic supplement!
Herbs and Spices
Ginger, turmeric (used alongside black pepper to ensure proper absorption), ginseng, oregano, raw garlic, thyme, cayenne, parsley… the list goes on and on! Herbs and spices are great immune boosters that contain a wide variety of micronutrients and antioxidants. Several of these are not only immune-boosting but also stimulate your natural detoxification processes and are anti-inflammatory!
- Ginseng is widely studied for its role in protecting the body against a variety of serious diseases and disorders, including cancer.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant with many benefits, including its ability to defend against cancer and infection. Pharmaceutical companies try to imitate the abilities of turmeric in the creation of drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. An alternative to eating turmeric is taking Curcumin Supreme, which contains three different bioactive forms of curcuminoids from the spice turmeric.
- Oregano is an estrogen-removing herb, which makes it particularly powerful in preventing prostate, breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
- Ginger boosts the body’s glutathione levels and is also anti-parasitic.
More green vegetables that are rich in vitamin C include brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Glutathione, known as the master antioxidant, is present in these veggies, along with other powerful antioxidants called sulforaphane and indoles, which are responsible for the stimulation of detox enzymes which protect the structure of DNA.
Nuts and Seeds
Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds are all full of healthy fatty acids. You can take your health-game to the next level by finding these nuts and seeds sprouted (or by doing it yourself!).
Dark chocolate, when 70% cacao or above, contains magnesium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The anti-cancer effects are probably related to its ability to reduce insulin resistance, which in turn helps prevent the growth of tumors.
Sprouts, particularly broccoli and kale sprouts, contain the same compounds as the whole vegetables, but in up to 100x concentrated forms! These nutrients decrease the body’s carcinogenic load by stimulating detoxification processed.
Make your meals count! Food can be more than just tasty, it can be medicine. The simple addition of a side of green vegetables, seasoning your meal with fresh herbs and spices, garnishing your plate with sprouts, or indulging in dark chocolate or raw yogurt topped with berries for dessert can all contribute to your health and longevity in the long-term.
Stay tuned for our upcoming article in this series, featuring supplements and lifestyle changes for cancer-prevention.
Click here to schedule a consult to ensure you are lowering your cancer risk.