How Does Dopamine Affect the Body? | Podcast #319
You might have heard that dopamine is the “feel good” neurotransmitter. In many ways, it is. In this podcast, Dr. J and Dr. Evan are talking about dopamine and how it is essential for our health.
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That’s why it’s sometimes called a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:58 All about Dopamine
10:15 Specific nutrients
15:06 Sunlight and Dopamine
22:08 Hormonal Changes
27:18 Healthy diets
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to be talking about dopamine. What is it? What are the symptoms of low dopamine? And what are the natural solutions that we can implement that get to the underlying root cause of why your dopamine may be low or even out of balance? Evan, what’s going on, man? How you doing?
Evan Brand: Oh, doing? Well, let’s dive in. This is a fun one. You know, we’ve been looking at dopamine for many years. I mean, over 1000 times, you’ve and I have looked at different clients around the world. And I would say, there are some people that have normal dopamine, like we’ll see it occasionally. But as a general rule, the people that are reaching out to us, I would say, resembled the same as like your typical American because typical Americans probably less healthy than our clients are trying, our clients are trying to be healthy, and they still have low dopamine. And what does this look like symptom wise, let’s go straight into that. So we got to give credit where credit’s due Julia Ross did an amazing job with her book, the mood cure, I think that actually came out maybe the 80s and 90s. But then she’s new versions of it. But she’s got a chart in her book about low dopamine. And so I’m just going to run top to bottom real quick of symptoms, because I think this is where people need to, to think, Oh, this is not just me, this is potentially dopamine or the catecholamines in general. And it’s craving pick me ups. So like caffeine, sweet starches, chocolate, apathetic depression, lack of energy, lack of drive, lack of focus, concentration, attention deficit disorder, easily bored. That’s low catecholamines. And then she goes into treatments, but we’re not ready for that yet. So that’s kind of what you’re, you’re looking for. And this can happen in kids too, right? So parents think, Oh, my kids just a crazy kid. No, they could have low dopamine. We’ve seen it many, many times in children. And I think a lot of it is just due to toxicity for various sources.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so just to kind of dovetail a little bit more kind of root cause stuff, or just kind of laying the foundation, what is dopamine, you kind of already talked about what some of those symptoms are, which are important, but don’t mean it’s a feel good neurotransmitter, it’s going to help with focus, it’s part of the pleasure reward system in the brain. That’s also known as the motivation molecule. It’s also known as the I Love You molecule, it’s that little bit of you know, a little bit of squirt comes out on that dopamine when you have that feeling of connection or loved one with your family or spouse. It’s it’s gives you that little bit of sense of satisfaction when you make your bed or you clean up your home or you achieve something at work or with your family. Right. That little bit of pleasure you get so dopamine is very important. It’s also helps with stress it helps with dealing with signaling from the brain down to the ovaries or to the adrenals. In regards to healthy stress, communication from the brain or healthy sex hormone communication to the to the gonads in man, it can help with libido and women. Healthy levels of dopamine are very important for keeping prolactin in check when dopamine goes low. prolactin can increase and that can throw off the female hormone cycle, it can throw off FSH and LH it can start to cause imbalances in estrogen and progesterone. So dopamine doesn’t just affect one thing, which is just mood. But it helps you manage stress, it helps you feel good and also can affect your hormones, which then can affect a lot of mood issues, especially as a female as you enter the end of your luteal phase. And you go into pre menstrual time, that seven day time before you men straight or it can also have a big effect on guys just causing low libido and giving you a short wire. So all those things are possible connections for sure.
Evan Brand: Wow. Yeah, you did a great job painting the picture. And on the I guess the far end of the spectrum in terms of issues with dopamine is Parkinson’s disease is definitely connected to this right. I’m not saying that low dopamine necessarily, is the cause of Parkinson’s. I think there’s a lot of causes and things that go into that. But the way that they treat Parkinson’s, for example, is they’re going to use some type of a drug like levodopa, that’s going to work on it, they’re going to basically, they’ll give you the precursors for dopamine. And yeah, and then and then in terms of less patho note, you know, less pathogenic levels, like less disease level state of treatment. This is where, you know, all the college students know it’s going to be the whole amphetamine category, it’s going to be like your Adderall, or vyvanse is maybe even cocaine, those are really going to hit those are really going to hit that and they’re going to be agonist what are called agonist of dopamine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so in general that the Kava dopa the levodopa, these basic, more pharmaceutical based dopamine type of analogs are used for sure. The problem with a lot of those is they don’t really give you a lot of the building blocks to make it and then also, when you take a lot of dopamine support, if you take high levels of it, over time, you’re actually going to deplete serotonin because the aromatic decarboxylase enzyme that helps you metabolize dopamine or help you metabolize the precursors, whether it’s phenyl, alanine to tyrosine to L dopa to dopamine. Those require specific enzymes. Those enzymes also get up regulated when you’re taking a lot of those building blocks in metabolizes serotonin. So you can actually create some functional serotonin imbalances when you’re doing high dose dopamine support. Now there is a direct connection, obviously, Parkinson’s, it’s more of an autoimmune issue where your substantia nigra, it’s which are the cells that make dopamine in the midbrain, they get destroyed, you know, for a lot of different reasons. So it could be you space, it could be autoimmune, contributed by gluten or heavy metals, it could be a whole bunch of stuff, right? conventional medicine isn’t really aware of what a lot of the root causes. But we know there’s a lot of weird autoimmune stuff at play. So that’s important to know. Now, if we see someone on the Parkinson side, yeah, we may want to support that it depends on how bad they are, if they need to be on the pharmaceuticals. But if they if they are, you know, we’re going to be supporting all the building blocks like B six and the B vitamin family and fully methylated, b 12. All methylated we’re going to be giving high quality magnesium, vitamin C, maybe a little bit of calcium cysteine. And sulfur amino acids are very, very important when you’re making a lot of these brain chemicals. You need good good sulfur, to help with that conversion, whether it’s cysteine, or Sammy or muthiah. And you need good cysteine to help norepinephrine epinephrine conversion and don’t and dopamine is a precursor to that. So the problem is when you chronically are stressed, your body will take dopamine and it will go dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. And the problem is you’ll pull dopamine to go down these adrenaline pathways. epinephrine, norepinephrine are all going to be catecholamines are adrenaline, right? adrenaline, epinephrine, catecholamines, they’re all the same way of saying the same thing. conventional medicine loves to confuse people. So you have dopamine, it can go down the stress pathway. So fixing whatever that chronic stress is emotional, physical, whatever it is sleep, food, you have to fix that. Or you’re going to be always pulling dopamine to go downstream to your stress hormones. Same thing and women with progesterone, progesterone chronically stressed, you’ll go progesterone downstream to cortisol. So you’ve got to fix that. So you don’t overly pull these good brain chemicals downstream to manage stress.
Evan Brand: And yeah, great explanation of what you’re saying. Sounds kind of crazy, right? Like on your average street corner, this conversation would blow people’s minds. But What in God’s name is this guy talking about? This is not an uncommon situation, though. This is extremely common, like the way you’re talking. And then the way I’m listening, I’m trying to like, listen as like an onlooker to this conversation, they would think, oh, wow, this sounds crazy. I don’t have Parkinson’s. So it sounds like I’m okay. No, there are major, major, major dopamine issues among the general population. And we talked about those symptoms, briefly how it manifests, this could be where you can’t get up in the morning. Now, that could be a low cortisol situation to right, you have permission, as you say, you have permission to have multiple things wrong. So it could be a, you wake up in the morning, you don’t want to get out of bed, when you do get out of bed, you really don’t want to get the day started. You’re just kind of lethargic, you can’t really focus, you can’t concentrate, you’re really having tough time getting yourself together. These are the people that say, Oh, God, you know, don’t schedule anything with me before 11am. Because I am spent I am toast in the morning. It could be a low cortisol, but it could be a low dopamine thing, too. So you would already mentioned some of the nutrients but also, we’d like to use the amino acids like we’ll come in and use things based on testing. So can you guess and check? I guess that’s one question. I want to bring up one conversation piece. Can you just guess and check? Can you look at symptoms alone and then just come in with supplements? Yes, you can. But I would argue that you would probably want to test it because as you’re mentioning the endorphins, the catecholamines, it’d be nice to look at things like your norepinephrine or epinephrine levels on organic acids testing, because if there’s more emotional sensitivity stuff, you and you and I might come in with something like dl phenylalanine, as opposed to just a straight tyrosine. So like tyrosine, we may come in for dopamine, or the velvet being the macoun appearance. We may come in with that for dopamine. But if we see low endorphins, we might want to do a combo. Maybe we do a little bit of DLP, which some converts over to dopamine, but there may be a bigger endorphin problems. So this is where getting a good urine organic acid testing done initially helps because we’ll also look at serotonin and as you mentioned, I want to tell a quick story about what you said. You talked about how supplementing and working on dopamine pathway long term can affect serotonin. I had a yoga teacher as a client one time and she had been taking long term brain support but she was just spot treating like one amino acid but not all the others. And we looked at her brain chemistry and it was completely shifted She had completely boosted up some brain chemistry and completely depleted other brain chemistry. So it’s like a spiderweb is kind of the way I talk about it. Like if you touch this side of the web, you’re going to affect the other side of the web. So that’s why you want to be targeted with your approach when you’re coming in with nutrients.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So, we have specific nutrients. We talked about the conventional medical approach that are giving the cinnamon or the levodopa carbidopa that can create a lot of problems in the long run because it can decrease serotonin. And then a lot of times it can deplete a lot of the sulfur. And so a lot of times there can be a toxicity component with low dopamine, whether it’s mold or heavy metals or pesticides, or just recreational drug use. I’ve heard of patients doing you know, let’s just say more cocaine or more stimulant medications that can actually deplete your dopamine because you’re basically flooding a lot of the dopamine past that synapse. And you’re basically whipping a tired horse right? So you stimulants are like the way of whipping a tired horse right? feeding and nourishing a tired horse. Right? construct vehicles are like good nutrition, sleep, hydration, good adequate nutrient dense foods, right? healthy proteins, healthy fats that’s like constructive vehicles, destructive vehicles are going to be stimulants. methamphetamines, cocaine, Adderall, vyvanse, all these different things that are going to just overly whip you, right? Too much caffeine, too much coffee. That’s like whipping a tired horse. Short term. Can it work? Sure. Right long term? Definitely not. So we were the one to make sure that when we’re working with people, we’re kind of drawing the line between constructive and destructive vehicles, because the goal was never just to fix the symptoms. Now, because we can do that with short term, destructive vehicles. Right, we want to use construct of vehicles that fix it and actually heal it in the long term. We want to make sure whatever those diet and lifestyle habits that kind of drove this to begin with, we want to make sure those are at least neutralize, or we at least have enough habits to kind of balance out the healing on the other side of the fence. So we always got to look upstream. At the organ systems that may not be functioning well. adrenal is female hormones. Looking at adrenaline because adrenaline plays an important role with the adrenal is because when the adrenal is are overly stimulating cortisol or having chronically stimulated cortisol and adrenaline and noradrenaline, or epinephrine, and norepinephrine, same word, don’t get confused there. They play a big role. And so epinephrine and adrenaline, they all are like the first responder that gets cortisol ready to go and prime. So when people talk about cortisol, stress and adrenal stress, it’s impossible to have chronic cortisol stress and not have some type of adrenaline or epinephrine stress alongside because they work side by side.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. And then I’d say the guts tied in maybe not as much with dopamine as it is serotonin. But we rarely see issues like this happening with a perfect gut situation, because we know that the amino acids you’re going to get from your proteins, assuming you’re digesting your proteins, well, those are going to help and act as precursors for brain chemicals. So we will look into the gut to I mean, we can do urine testing, and look at neurotransmitters like I know the guts looks at neurotransmitters a bit I prefer the organic acid panel, you know, from into it, because I do a mold panel with it. So I prefer that for brain chemistry. But the guts still important, and we’ve seen which is kind of interesting. Just by improving people’s gut, we’ve seen neurotransmitters come back online without having to specifically supplement brain chemistry nutrients, which is pretty cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so when we look at someone’s dopamine, we always got to get to the root cause right? Can a crappy diet with just too much refined sugar cause low dopamine? Yes, right? that’s a that’s a destructive vehicle. high amounts of sugar. high amounts of alcohol can flood dopamine past that synapse. And it can create that dopamine rush that people are looking for. Chronic stress can obviously can things just like gluten exposure or some kind of a gut infection or gut inflammation or gut bug? Like you kind of alluded to absolutely how, because it can create stress and inflammation in the gut. And that can create malabsorption of important amino acids, like your dopamine phenylalanine tyrosine, right, your dopamine precursors, all those building blocks, all your sulfur as well. So of course, anything that affects gut absorption can have a major impact on those building blocks, getting to where they have to go, it can create a bottleneck. Anytime we’re just overly stressed whether it’s physical, chemical or emotional stress, that’s going to cause you to convert more of your dopamine to adrenaline, noradrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine to manage that stress. Same thing with women and cortisol, right? Women can go progesterone right to cortisol and that can create estrogen dominance like issues and again, hormones with women can play a big role on your neurotransmitters so adequate levels of progesterone can help but Gabba Gabba can help relax relaxing, right? The more relaxed You are the less chance that you’re going to be converting dopamine to adrenaline. So you see how healthy female hormones and healthy cortisol levels play a role with not needing to over stimulate the neurotransmitters. Well, they’re all connected.
Evan Brand: Yep. Let’s go into just some like basic stuff. I sent you a link in the chat you can check out which is a good list that has some studies to back it up. So I’ll just kind of run through a few of these kind of easy ones that people don’t think about in regards to lifestyle. You hear about people talking about sunlight and dopamine. It is true there is some some papers on dopamine being increased and this is why a lot of people may get more seasonally depressed in the winter. I think a lot of it’s more serotonin but I do believe dopamine has a factor of exercise, of course increases dopamine, meditation, yoga, touch massage, music, we’ve already hit on the foods we’ve already hit on some supplements. Interestingly enough huperzine which we love huperzine I use huperzine and a lot of brain nutrients. So we all we often use huperzine to increase acetylcholine going yet memory learning, but I didn’t know this it also increases dopamine. There’s a paper here it says it increased dopamine by 129% above baseline with huperzine I thought it was primarily working on the acetylcholine esterase enzyme but apparently-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -not connected. Yeah. I know with serotonin and dopamine you can you can help support Gabba just by having healthy serotonin and dopamine so everything’s connected. So when you work kind of, you know, above below, inside out, you tend a lot of these things tend to trickle down and and support that healing.
Evan Brand: Resveratrol. That’s interesting. Resveratrol increases dopamine by 53%. Oregano, that’s pretty cool. We typically use oregano for gut infections, but apparently it’s increasing dopamine levels by decreasing dopamine breakdown. So must be working on that enzyme again.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, makes sense. Interesting.
Evan Brand: Probiotics lacto. Last one here, Lactobacillus plantarum. That’ll increase dopamine. So that’s pretty cool. I mean, we you and I’ve seen this thousands of times where we see that mood issues improve by fixing the gut, and that would include probiotics. So there’s a mechanism that we didn’t necessarily think right off the top of the head lactobacillus helping.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know also vitamin D and curcumin, anything that’s tends to be more on the anti inflammatory side can help I know vitamin D plays a big role, obviously helping with the immune, but that can also play a big role in helping with dopamine as well. Curcumin plays a big role as well and increases serotonin and dopamine levels in mice, which is very interesting. We’d already talked about tyrosine and phenyl. alanine, typically we use tyrosine over phenol, alanine, because it’s a little bit later on in that transition, that conversion, we may even use some l dopa, but I recommend don’t use l dopa, just if you’re an you know, just a regular person trying it out, it’s can be a little bit potent. And if you do too much of high dopamine precursors, especially l dopa, it’s so potent, you can feel incredibly spaced out and almost drunk. It’s, it’s pretty bad. Like you don’t want to be operating a vehicle. If you do too much dopamine, it’s you’re pretty disoriented, and loopy. I’ve done it a couple times by accident as I was dosing up. So it’s harder to do that with tyrosine support. But you know, all your B vitamins all your methyl donors B six, and B nine, which is full eight, or B 12, methylated. You know, B one, two, and three, I mean, riboflavin, niacin are all very important. We talked about the soul for how an important role that plays. And then you know, of course, your good curcumin and fish oil, they all have kind of a mono aiming oxidase inhibition. So mano a means or like, these are going to be things that help break down or model aiming inhibitors. They basically allow these neurotransmitters to hang out between the synapses longer so you have a presynaptic synapse, a postsynaptic. And this is the synaptic cleft where they kind of hang out. And anytime you can delay the breakdown of that, you’re going to increase the levels of that neurotransmitter between them. Now the problem is when you do drugs or SNR eyes, right serotonin or selective norepinephrine, reuptake inhibitors, right? You can get a short term bump, but the problem is, the longer you cause those brain chemicals to hang out there, the faster they break down. So you end up kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. So some of the natural compounds that help that can be better because it’s kind of more of a gentle nudge versus overdoing it and causing more of a problem.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so I want to hit on one thing. Now this is like low dopamine, we’re talking about not high dopamine. But one thing that we’ve seen clinically, I think may be important is the issue with clostridia and Clostridium being a bacteria that really messes up the enzyme. Yes, yeah, long, long word. It’s gonna make me sound smarter than I am. But it’s called dopamine, beta hydroxylase. That’s the enzyme that gets messed up with Clostridium. We’ve seen it so many times. And we see it a lot in kids. And we see it in kids that have behavioral issues. And so that would be a situation where testing comes in. Because you may look at a kid and they go, they’re they’re, you know, bouncing all over the place. They’re not focused. It actually could be a high dopamine situation. We’ve seen it many times, and you have to come in and fix those gut infections. You’ve got to come in and really address that clostridia first and then the brain chemistry will fix itself. So there are some situations We’re just assuming you have low dopamine throwing amino acids and somebody would not be a good strategy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. So when we’re looking at someone, and we’re trying to assess Is there a neurotransmitter component, we’re always kind of looking at the dietary component because if we don’t get nutrient dense foods with lots of good B vitamins and lots of full spectrum essential amino acids, especially from animal products, we’re gonna have problems if we’re not able to break those foods down. with adequate enzymes or HCl, we’re gonna have problems but we have a lot of adrenal stress or hormone imbalances that can play a big role. And hormones play a big role in helping to allow those neurotransmitters to work better in the Hangout longer between the synapses, okay, especially females, because progesterone and estrogen dominance can play a big role in that too. The other component is chronic infections can affect the absorption of a lot of these things and create bottlenecks. But we’ll also run organic acid test alongside to see how these metabolites look. So we may run things like [inaudible] or homovanillic, which gives us a window into homovanillic. dopamine and give us window to vandal Mandalay adrenaline. So if we have higher amounts of adrenaline, that means we’re pulling a lot of that dopamine to make it or if we have low amounts of adrenaline, that tells me that those pathways are probably been whipped like a tired horse for a long time. And now now that amounts low, probably because there’s some level of depletion upstream with dopamine. And same with dopamine. If we see low dopamine that tells us there’s depletion if there’s a chronic high dopamine metabolism. We’ve been whipping that tired horse and we kind of treat I treat dopamine, high and adrenaline high, like the same thing. You’re just over stimulating that pathway. And we got a comment down.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’ve seen it a lot in let’s talk about some of the people like when and where are we seeing this? I mean, technically could be anyone. Right? But I would say after having babies, so women will we’ll see, you know, depleted neuro transmitters after babies. I mean, you’re up all night, you know, you’re young, you’re stressed. You’re you’re breastfeeding middle of the night. So I would say new moms, we see this quite a lot. I think some of the whole postpartum depression. There’s a lot of mechanisms. Have we done a show on that, by the way? Maybe we should add that to the list. Have we done that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, we should do that. Okay, cool.
Evan Brand: So we’ll have to hit that. But I think part of that goes into the neuro transmitters. I know there’s a big hormonal change, too. But I think new moms would be a big one, I would say business owners, CEOs, entrepreneurs, maybe pilots that are changing a lot of time zones, anybody working more than I’d say 40 to 50 hours a week. I mean, you see 60 70 hour work-week people, they’re going to be depleted, I would say, night shift workers, ER workers, doctors, nurses, you know, frontline health care workers, those people generally we’re seeing a lot of brain chemistry stuff. They’re just burning the candle at stress. What else? Am I missing? Anybody? Can you think of any other like big patient population group that will be affected by this?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, I would just say, if you have an eating disorder as well, anorexia, chronic low calorie eating, all those things can be you know, a real thing. People talk about a lot of the benefits of fasting, but if you aren’t getting enough nutrition, that that benefit of fasting becomes anorexia pretty fast, right? Anorexia is basically just starvation, chronic low calorie, which low calorie equals low nutrition as well. And so if you’re chronically fasting, and you’re better leading to a chronic low calorie diet, that’s a problem too. So we have that component we got to keep an eye on so if we’re going to be doing fasting, well, you got to make sure it’s a punctuated fast. Or if you’re doing more intermittent fasting, you still have to make sure you’re getting enough nutrition during that compressed six to eight hour feeding window.
Evan Brand: Yep, that’s good advice. Yeah, the eating disorder. One is huge. And people might not even know they might not be, you know, had to be diagnosed. I mean, even this whole idea of orthorexia, right, where people are trying so hard to be healthy, we did a podcast on that. I think people will get into that by accident, they’re going to low carb, they’re going to low calorie. Maybe they’re having food reactions. So they’re limiting their diet, and then boom, by accident, like you said, the neurotransmitters get affected, then you’re, then you’re not motivated to get back on track. Right. So then, once you’re off track, then what happens? Well, maybe you go into too much sugar or too many cookies. I mean, you can, you know, there are effects. We’re not just talking the brain chemistry in a vacuum here, we’re talking how does this affect your life? Well, you know, getting things done, cleaning, organizing, taking care of your kids, getting your business done doing your taxes, I mean, just all the stuff you need to get done becomes so much harder if it if it’s requiring an extreme amount of effort to get things done. Consider cortisol, but also consider dopamine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you really want to like look at the whole picture. So I know we’re kind of really focused on dopamine today. So people listen to me would say, hey, I want to get my dopamine check. That may be a good call, but I recommend looking at everything looking at least the adrenals looking at maybe some of the organic acids, any gut issues at all definitely look at the gut. Remember, half of all gut issues may be things like energy or brain fog, or mood stuff. So people kind of have their gut connected to like bloating and diarrhea and constipation and acid reflux, that may not be the case. So I always tend to to recommend look at all three body systems, so you have a more holistic look. And we always want to go upstream at the underlying systems that may be out of balance. We also look at the underlying stressors that broke those systems down to begin with, whether it’s chronic exercise, chronic exercise can be people that are looking for that runner’s high that dopamine serotonin hit. And over time, they just that exercise is going to deplete it. It’s like a tired horse, the right amount of exercise not too much. cardio can be very supportive and can be a gentle stimulant, where you go over the top too much CrossFit, too much long distance aerobic that may actually cause a chronic depletion. So we got to, we got to hit it from both sides, we got to look at the underlying stressors, food sensitivities, gluten inadequate sleep, we can look at just over stress, maybe needing to add in things like meditation or visualization or appreciation or prayer, things like that to kind of help hit the gas pedal and help your body relax. Those are all very important too.
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Good call on the athletes. I forgot to mention that when I had a lady who was a runner. And she was a college student. And she was running, I want to say it was either three or five miles a day. And we looked at her brain chemistry, my God. I mean, it was one of the lowest dopamine and endorphin levels I’ve ever seen ever, except for a guy who was a real estate person who was doing cocaine. He was about the lowest brain chemistry I’ve ever seen. But this lady was a close second divorce. Yep. And man, I just told her, I just say, Look, just stop running. I know you don’t want to but stop. You’re addicted to it, but you’re tired. And we just got to run some gentle exercises. I told her go for a walk, go for a hike, lift some weights, but keep your heart rate relatively low. And on the retest her brain chemistry It was amazing. Now granted, we did do some supplementation, too. But yeah, so good call on the the over trainers. How about personal trainers do maybe they’re teaching people to movement? So they’re just like working out all day? I think those people could be at risk as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yep. 100%. So looking at everything here, we always want to get to the root cause. So we talked about some of the nutrients, right, we talked about, we talked about some of the testing that we have to look at here. We talked about the low hanging fruit, right healthy proteins, healthy fats, you know, more more vegetables than fruit and starch out of the gates. Now, if you know that you do better with more fruit and starch because you’re more leaner, you’re already at a good weight fine. People can overdo sugar and carbohydrates to increase dopamine levels too. So that sugar addiction, that’s real people talk about like, Oh, I, I’m an emotional eater. What does that mean? It’s too like, abstract for me. But what I hear is, Hey, I’m whipping that dopamine up. So I feel good and can manage the stress of my day, right? I’m trying to artificially get my dopamine levels up. And that’s not good. So people that are emotionally eating, you’re just trying to get that little whack and dopamine and that little whack of serotonin, which I get it in the short run that that may be okay for you. And that’s a clean piece of dark chocolate, something like that. But if you’re overdoing lots of carbohydrate and sugar, inflammatory foods, not good. We rather use a lot more of the nutrients and other things to kind of get it up. So I really want to get to the underlying cause physical chemical, emotional stress, look at the body systems, get some you know, you want to test not guess, use some of the natural supplements stay away from the bigger you know, l dopa stuff out of the gates work with the good functional medicine practitioner like myself or Evan, EvanBrand.com for Evan, JustinHealth.com for myself, we’ll put links down below and just start with the low hanging fruit. And if you want to dive in deeper, get some testing and start with the foundational things out of the gates. Evan, anything else you want to highlight?
Evan Brand: Yeah, great calls on all of it. Thanks for the website. So yeah, JustinHealth.com or EvanBrand.com. Please reach out. And the good news is you can reverse this and you can change things relatively quick. I mean, we’re talking within just a few months you can have a significantly different profile in regards to your neurotransmitters so don’t give up. If you’re feeling depleted you don’t even have enough dopamine to click the subscribe button. Well, I hope this podcast gave you enough motivation to hit the subscribe button, share it and then if you need to reach out please do we’re here for you. We love helping people and there is always hope so hang in there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We appreciate it guys. Also, down below. There’s a little review link JustinHealth.com/iTunes. Click that review. Really appreciate it. And you guys have a phenomenal day. Take care Evan.
Evan Brand: Take care now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye bye.
Healthy Body & Mind: Self-Care While Social Distancing
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
I know it can be isolating and distressing to be cooped up in the house all day. It really throws a wrench into your normal routine, and is a constant reminder that things aren’t right.
Current events have the world in a panic, and as we know, being in a stressed state, or a state of fear and worry, can keep our cortisol spiked and actually cause a lot of harm in the long term.
With nothing but time on our hands, there is no better time to start focusing on our health!
Exercise: Depending on local regulations and the spaces available to you, there are a variety of ways you can get physical activity in each day. A local trail, a walk around the block, spending time in your backyard, or even doing body exercises in a room in your house are all options for getting in your daily dose of exercise.
Eat Healthy: Remember when you said you would eat healthier if only you had the time to cook? Well, the time is here! Search the web or any cookbooks you have around the house and find a couple of recipes that inspire you.
Work with a doctor: There is no better time to start working on your health. Stress levels are high, which can raise cortisol and affect more areas of our health. By working with a functional medicine doctor (I do my consultations with patients around the world via online video calls) we can get to the bottom of any underlying health issues and come out of this world event stronger than ever before!
Earthing: Connect your feet to the earth to reduce stress and inflammation while boosting the immune system. A connection with nature is a necessity for healthy physical and emotional health.
Humans are social creatures and require connection with their community. While social distancing, connecting is not so easy. Video calls: With Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, Google hangouts, and more there are a variety of apps you can use to connect with loved ones. Face time, even virtual face time, with friends and family can make a world of difference in improving mood, lowering stress, and feeling connected.
Limit your time on social media–while some social media can be a good thing (like fostering a connection with loved ones when you can’t physically spend time together) too much time on social media can affect mental and physical health.
Partake in a hobby: gardening, painting, reading, learning a language, playing an instrument… whatever it is you love to do (or have been wanting to try), there is no better time than the present!
Think positive thoughts: your thoughts shape your reality. At least 10 minutes of positive visualization per day can do a world of difference in improving your perspective.
It can be hard to get the support you need when social distancing from loved ones, especially if many in your circle are feeling fearful or stressed out. I want to remind you that I am only a call away and can help you improve your health through a remote consultation.
- Exercise–at least once per day, move your body!
- Outdoor time–bonus if you’re barefoot!
- Text, call, or video call a friend or family member.
- Cook: at least one meal per day
- Limit time on social media–stop using electronics at least an hour before bed.
- Drink enough water
- Spend time doing something that brings you joy (besides Netflix/social media!)
- Take a walk–even if it’s just once around the block.
- Think positive thoughts
What would you add to this list? What offline hobbies do you enjoy? Have you tried any new recipes recently? Let me know in the comments below!
Mood Imbalances and their Root Causes | Podcast #250
Depression, being the #1 cause of disability in the US, has tons of other mood issues that come along with it. Some psychiatrists are not telling what are the things that caused us mood issues,and what should we do to lessen it.
For this podcast, Dr. Justin and Evan Brand talks about root causes to mood issues. Also, learn through this podcast the importance of blood sugar maintenance, sleep, diet, and a lot more.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
01:15 Moods and Diet
03:40 Blood Sugar
12:20 Chemicals in Food
14:40 Progesterone and Estrogen
Evan Brand: I’m doing very well. This is an exciting topic because depression is the number one leading cause of disability in the US and there’s a ton of other mood issues that come along with depression and your psychiatrist is not telling you that you need to detox heavy metals and get infections out of your gut and stop eating pesticides and all the other things that are causing a mood issues. They just give you a drug to treat it and give you a Band-Aid which has save lives but it’s not the root cause so we always love root cause.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So let’s talk about some root cause foundational mood stuff first and we kind of have the Nuance nitty-gritty stuff and then we have the foundational stuff. So the first thing is just your diet, right? We need a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory low toxin dietary template and I I like to talk about diets me template. It provides a lot more flexibility and then we have a framework premise and why we recommend the things that we recommend part of it is foods that are evolutionarily appropriate Foods. We had enough time to adapt to eat, food that are going to be low in toxins, whether it’s anti-nutrients are oxalates are five dates or natural plant Oxalis plants have claws and feet to run and Fun Run and fight so they have berries toxins, right? So we want to make sure were using cooking methods and avoiding toxic plants, especially the more got issues we have and that anti-inflammatory, right? We know foods have the ability to move us to an anti-inflammatory environment good healthy, omega-3 fatty acids good healthy saturated fats of the more process refined omega-6 that are more fragile and they can move it move us more in that Pro in from inflammatory State and then of course the nutrient density foods are going to be super nutrient dense B vitamins minerals. Obviously the food quality is now a big deal because you can have the same kind of meat on on your plate. Looks totally different under a microscope because of the hormones because of the feeding practices cuz the medications and the and the drugs given to the animal while they were having their life and growing so to speak. So we have to look at nutrient density anti-inflammatory status and hormones and toxins are the big things off the bat.
Evan Brand: I’m glad you about this before but we could just bring it up briefly which studies done on prisoners and when they were giving Omega-3 supplements basically fish oil supplements, they had less violence and less just crazy behavior overall and there’s been some like Psychiatry studies looking at just overall like homicidal rage and suicidal thoughts and those things in there directly correlated with a deficiency of omega-3. Fatty acids
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Omega-3 is really important. Also blood sugar stability. There’s also data on the fact that’s Information I should say. Are you able to see me hear the screen?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I see you perfectly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good excellence. All right, so there’s information showing that. Mood issues anxiety and depression is a result of inflammation in the brain. And we also know that anytime low blood sugar environment can happen right refined carbohydrates blood sugar Spike followed by a drop that’s called reactive hypoglycemia. Those kind of those kind of situations are going to create mood issues and this data on the fact that a lot of violent crimes are committed in a hypoglycemic environment and some of the data on that is because of the fact that low blood sugar and are making shutdown activation of the frontal cortex in the frontal cortex is the part of the brain that’s going to predict the outcome of an action so it can say Hey, you know that person that just pissed you off. I want to go hit him or go call him out. And then that frontal cortex has that like 20 milliseconds of hey, you know, if you do that you may get arrested and it can dampen the impulse so to speak so the more you have good activation of that frontal cortex through reducing inflammation. And then also maintaining good blood sugar and part of that as we become more fat burners and that fat burning environment put logs on our metabolic fire was future blood sugar from going up and down and then avoiding a lot of a refined carbohydrate which tends to make our blood sugar go up and down as well.
Evan Brand: Well, this is part of the reason people make bad decisions when they go out to a bar into a club and they drink alcohol and go home with somebody that they don’t want to partial partially due to what is alcohol. I mean, it’s basically correct liquid. It’s basically liquid sugar. It’s going to crank up the blood sugar but it’s also going to crank up serotonin and then the serotonin is going to just flat line and when you run out of Serotonin, you can’t make decisions that are smart. And so if you are somebody who is struggling with mood issues alcohol needs to be out of the picture completely for multiple reasons that we just met-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Blood sugar or I should alcohol actually lowers your blood sugar can create a hypoglycemic and where I might just go take a for instance a shot of vodka and just test your blood sugar your blood sugar. Drop restaurants do this on purpose because they know if they can get you some refined carbohydrates and pretzels and some bread and then they can get you some alcohol pretty fast. They’re going to cause a reactive hypoglycemia environments and you’re going to be ordering more food and getting more carbohydrates may be ordering a bigger desert whether or not they understand the biochemistry of it all they understand that if they do these kind of things in the beginning of the meal they can create a larger bill for you at the end of the meal.
Evan Brand: Should have clarified like margaritas and things that have like agave syrup and all the sugary stuff mixed with the alcohol. That’s when your blood sugar is going to go crazy, but I haven’t tested the Vodka by itself. That would be cool to see on a glucose monitor.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly yup 100% you can really create some significant significant issues of significant stressor 100%.
Evan Brand: So we could spend time and talk about this isn’t for today. But I mean, there’s like a traumas for example, you know any trauma that’s left over in your body, you know physical mental abuse or anything like that yet. You must address promise. I don’t want somebody listening and thinking if they just perfect their diet and get rid of alcohol. Their mood issues will go way there could be super deep traumatic issues that need to be addressed but no we were trying to focus on more like the biochemistry aspect the blood sugar affect adrenals hormones thyroid got those things.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yeah. I totally totally get that for sure. So in general we have the inflammation components to so of course gluten to be a big one there the main mechanism how gluten is in a create more mood issue is going to be through inflammation and it can create gut permeability and that gut permeability can allow various inflammatory cytokines and Undigested food particles to get in the bloodstream that can create more of an inflammatory response and then create leaky brain as well. And then a lot of these inflammatory compounds whether it’s lipopolysaccharides or just inflammatory foods that are unprocessed that you have that immune response these particular can get into the brain but through the astrocytes which of the blood-brain barrier and then that can activate our glial cells in our brain and that can create more cognitive issues more information in the brain and some of the newer families of antidepressants that are coming out very soon. These medications are actually working more on inflammation in the brain problem is like any medication is going to be at have inherent side effects just because of the fact that Any medication does when you block and inhibit various enzymatic Pathways other things happen as a result, like the old vioxx days with these cox-2 inhibitor medications the cox-2 enzyme the cyclooxygenase to enzyme that was being blocked by some of these medications like vioxx. Well, those enzymes also have beneficial effects on recovering liver heart and gut tissue to then you had a lot more stroke and cardiovascular incidences. When you were on this medication. Do you know they worked at enzyme and other important roles outside of just blocking paint.
Evan Brand: Where they pulled from the shelves. I mean, that’s like long gone, isn’t it? Maybe I should look it up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah that was pulled like 10 years ago. I make more cat a massive lawsuit around that I think it was on record of killing 60,000 people. Yeah. Yeah. I know really sad but we are going to do you know?
Evan Brand: All right. So let’s talk about the Sleep aspect like for example 3rd shift workers much much higher incidence it personally when you’re working a third shift. You’re messing up your circadian rhythm your serotonin in your dopamine your melatonin your cortisol all these hormones and neurotransmitters that can act as both neurotransmitters and hormones. They all have a circadian rhythm. And if you’re not going to bed with the sun and getting up with the sun, you’re probably not going to be optimally happy now. There may be a few people listening. So I work 3rd Shift for 20 years and Im as happy as a lark. Okay, Mike, maybe you’re unique but as a general human rule going against the sun is not going to result in Good Moods. It’s that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, 100% shiftworks a big one. We know that I can definitely Cradle by The Moody she’s partly because we are hardwired to kind of be on a natural circadian rhythm Right light stimulates cortisol cortisol stimulates, you know alertness and and being awake and then that cortisol drop throughout the day and a Miralax at night and darkness stimulates melatonin antioxidant information helps you recover. So yeah, that’s a really important step into this. Equation for sure. So they sleep component, the food the nutrient density component think it’s really big. Lets go to the next low hanging fruit– digestion. Okay, great. Were eating a really good diet. But now we got to actually break down those nutrients those nutrients so we gotta make sure what you and our food up. Well, we got to make sure we have enough acid and enzymes to break down those amino acids. Those fatty acids those cholesterol compounds cuz they are building blocks for a brain is cholesterol and saturated fats are hormones are building blocks from cholesterol as well. And then our brain amino brain chemicals. They’re all going to come from amino acids, which come from protein. So all of our brain chemicals norepinephrine dopamine Gaba serotonin serotonin than Converse the Melatonin which is our sleep hormone and our antioxidant for the brain, they all come from protein. So we really have poor digestion and their studies actually on H. Pylori for instance cant create mood issues. And what’s the major mechanism? My opinion, the mechanism is the fact that you have poor digestion you have less stomach acid. You have less breakdown of these important building blocks and then hes building blocks can be used to make these healthy brain chemicals that allow you to feel good sleep good and deal with stress.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I agree. I was depressed when I had h-pylori could attest that my mood was not good and I lost a lot of muscle too, I mean you looked at me and you told me Evan man. I remember seeing a picture of you you had some muscles what happened to you. I was so skinny. Luckily. I’ve regained a lot of that muscle back but mood issues are definitely related to gut infections and I just want to talk about kids for a minute because a lot of parents blame their children or just being kids and that’s why they have a bad mood. I’ll tell you as a father of two mood issues are totally related to what’s going on with your kids diet as well and your kids got so if you send your kid to school with crackers and goldfish and other garbage that’s going to be inflammatory. But also it’s going to affect your blood sugar and they’re not having good protein with their lunch. It’s no wonder they crash. I have bad moods and then they are getting in trouble in school in the teachers calling you saying hey, you know Johnny hit another student today. What would have happened if his blood sugar was well regulated and go ahead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I saw my son a picture of him. it’s snack time last week. It was really funny. All the kids are there had their lunch box is open and you could see he had like some green apples that were cut off. He had this like grass-fed organic, like beef jerky. They’re just really easy and Ill kind of cut off and he had I think some little bit of almond butter is a hit a really nice snack and he has seen a lot of the other kids. You see the Goldfish. You see a lot of sugary drinks. I’m like oh man, and these kids are just really getting their blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, and they’re not going to be as good I mean, don’t get me wrong nutritions not going to make your one or two year-old a three-year-old who is developing be a perfect angel but it’s going to significantly improve things and make it much much better and it’s in a provide the building blocks. They need one to heal in to grow their nervous system and connect all these synapses in the brain. All these neural connections from all these new skills that there that they are using but two are keeping a lot of the inflammatory dies and chemicals and Foods out that could make things even worse as well.
Evan Brand: There’s been countless studies on the artificial colors and flavorings increasing the risk of ADD and ADHD. And a lot of these behavioral cognitive issues that are deemed as common so the teachers, you know, well just recommend that the parents speak with the doctor in the doctor puts the kid on Ritalin and that calms the kid down but that’s not the root cause he there’s a root cause of that and this is not hey, you know, Justin and I are awesome in our kids are better than you but I’m just telling you I’ve seen it my daughter hanging out a plate at a playground versus other kids where other kids in the same age group are having emotional breakdowns and they’re crying and rolling on the floor and screaming and just acting out like not how you think a kid would act out just not in control. Where is my daughter would be controlled or emotions would be controlled. Does she still have outburst and cry? Over silly Small Things. Yes, totally. But she’s three years old at the time of this recording. So I’m just saying that as a general rule, but also the chemicals to write when Im just talkin food. Were talkin that you and I both are you’re giving your son detoxification support. I give my daughter detoxification support. We’ve given both of our kids herbs to help treat gut infections and bacterial and things like that in the gut too. So maybe if the diet is dialed in but you’re not seeing any progress Improvement this applies for adults, but also children since were on the subject run a stool test on your 3 4 5 6 10 year old 15 year old kid and you may find gut infections like the H pylori just to mention as another root cause of the mood issue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly plus it’s probably incidences where maybe some not-so-great food or more refined processed food slipped in with your child at all. And then you probably saw an outburst or behavioral issue, you know, we had an incident. I think on a birthday. We gave him a little bit of gluten-free cake and there’s a little bit of a crash afterwards we could see that in this by observations from you. So it’s all wrong with it. Right now. We definitely want to provide the hormone environment where it allows our kids to grow in NBA Staples possible think it’s really really important. We hit the the food component the digestion component. Let’s talk about four months. So obviously blood sugar has a major effect on our hormones the more I blood sugar goes up and down the more cortisol and adrenaline to get call to the rescue to to bar for that out to the mortgage Reno stress gets put on our body in archery know our stress handling system and the adrenals are a part of the hormonal system is connected with the sympathetic nervous system. So the sympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that deals with fight-or-flight stress running fighting, fleeing confronting and that part of the nervous system the more it gets turned on or flare the more adrenaline and cortisol and stress hormones that are catabolic the break tissue down or going to be secreted and the adrenals also produce a significant amount of sex hormone precursor. So the more we’re stressed and dealing with the catabolic stress side last week and allocate resources to the anabolic repair and Recovery parasympathetic size. And then it makes it harder for us to recover put on muscle feel good turnover on neurotransmitters and just be able to deal with and adapt to stress. So there is that on one side and the adrenals affect the kind of men and women relatively equally but then women have their hormonal side from the ovaries that cycle throughout the month and that part of the Cascades a little bit more unique because cortisol, which is that major stress hormone that we talked about can also be made from progesterone. And so the more we are stressed, the more we can pull from the progesterone. I was thinking create more estrogen dominance so are relative ratio of progesterone estrogen which is typically 20 to 25 to 1 on average for progesterone Dash inserts asked you and this condition called estrogen dominance starts to occur with a percent of that returns coming up and this can create more mood issues more PMS kind of issues breast tenderness cramping back pain in the mood components of they want irritability anxiety depression. All those symptoms can happen as a result of that. So the more we can take away that up and down with our cortisol in the movie that takes out of that the less estrogen dominance will kick in.
Evan Brand: I just want to point out one key Point you’re speaking about ratios a lot of women come to us and say I’ve got so much estrogen. I’m so estrogen dominant know he’s not saying that you have tons of estrogen you saying in relationship to your progesterone. So it’s not that the estrogen is literally overwhelming and you have more estrogen than progesterone. that’s not what’s happening. Correct, correct?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it could be that your estrogen is actually really really high. Im seeing with a lot of my female patients is progesterone is low really low acids also low, but the ratio is still skewed. So Im seeing it like if you are as progesterone, right and he is estrogen what’s happening. Both are low, but progesterone is even lower. So it’s like that.
Evan Brand: Are you saying estrogen overwhelmed progesterone or would that be like an extreme case?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That being extreme case and almost all the time with cases like that. There may be an exhausting is pit Ashton being taken right? You’re definitely would see on the birth control pill side. You may not see it come back like that because a lot of egestion metabolites me to come back on the test cuz youre not, you know the actual the actual estradiol or estradiol hormone. They’re like the analog that it’s a metabolite that has still in that shouldn’t affect but it’s not coming back in the lab. So we just know the fact that if these levels are that high cuz you’re taking it then the warm out there going to be Might as well.
Evan Brand: OK make sense would be a mechanism to cuz if you had like yes High B6 recirculating all those hormones hormones would just make it works. Right if your recirculating hormones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: correct Plastics that I have seen no estrogen kind of facts whether [inaudible] egg. And then of course, you’re going to have hormones in the states right to give it a lot of estrogen type of hormones to make them fatter and kind of woke up. So to speak to the farmers can make more money on the slaughter there is that too. So that’s why you have to mitigate the toxins in the hormones and all the food and then you have to look at detoxification pathway. So well run on the docks tested a little gas gauge in the bottom left-hand corner of stop H3. it’s called the two methoxy hydroxy acid metabolites panel, or I should say reading and it’s a little gas gauge you want to at least in the middle, but you’ll see a lot of decreased methylation so it’s way to the left and that’s a sign that were not metabolizing are Estrogen.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s important. So you have to address hormones and were not saying hey, you just go on thyroid medication. Like that’s not you know, this is a whole system here adrenals are connected to your thyroid thyroids connects. The brains involved. You mentioned the sympathetic nervous system. So if you’re somebody whos working 70 hours a week or not taking days off in your nervous system is so revved up. You can eat a paleo-diet and still have mood issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yep. that’s very possible. So we have those kind of hormone issue is and of course any women listening to it mood maybe one component of that. It could be other things as well could be the energy you could be back pain and cramping breast tenderness fluid retention. It could be all the above.
Evan Brand: We should talk about toxicity and liver and chemicals and metals and stuff for a minute. But why don’t we just briefly mention autoimmunity and the role that I could play in hormone. So if you’re someone who has autoimmune thyroid, isn’t it possible that if you’re going from hypo to hyperthyroid, you may have some mood issues associated with that autoimmune attack or some day is the immune system is bang bang and then some days he knew system is not.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we look at hormones. it’s either ATM or ATF and it’s not you know, the ATM where you get money or the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms government agency ATM is Adrenals Thyroid Male Hormones, ATF is Adrenal Thyroid Female Hormones. So we already talked about the adrenal and the female and the adrenal and the mail. Yes the same mechanism are as we complete DHEA and we kind of lets just say deplete our sex hormone precursor from the adrenals testosterone can also drop and then testosterone can have a significant mood depleting fact as well. So same on the men the little bit less has less pronounced because women have a hormone cycle that that rhythms up and down throughout the cycle or manner kind of like a flat kind of Foghorn. So to speak there isn’t quite as much rhythmic activity. Therefore it’s harder to knock that off so to speak but now with the thyroid issues women are going to be five times more prone to But men still listen because if you have symptoms, we definitely want to rule out the thyroid like you said just having low levels of thyroid hormone can create anxiety for sure and also having high levels can also create anxiety and irritability and also having Hashimoto autoimmune flares which would eventually end with low thyroid but like you mentioned that autoimmune flare can flare up your thyroid autoimmune response was Canaan cause more hormones to dump in the system, which can then create mood swings and irritability and anxiety difficulty sleeping and that can create issues as well. So you really want to look at autoimmune markers for the thyroid TPO thyroglobulin antibodies. You want to look at your thyroid levels because high or low or going to be significantly driving a lot of mood issues most of the time it’s going to be low because low is The Chronic place that people tend to end up but you will see with a cute flares that it will go high or more in the hyper side again in general. it’s going to be harder to catch that but if we see Levels of antibodies we can definitely assume those level of flares may be happening whether or not we catch the high-level on the test. If we know High antibodies are there then it makes sense that’s possible. And then of course some graves for sure, graves will be the other condition where were making antibodies. Where is thyroid receptor site antibodies are TSI with your thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins those can cause thyroid to make more hormones and that’s an autoimmune condition as well. Get ninety-five. 99% are going to be Hoshis, Hashimoto’s 1% grave. So in general, it’s more plausible. If you’re gambling person that you’re going to go on the Hashi side Less on the graves, but you know, you’ll typically were not going to ever run for Graves antibodies unless we see very high levels of thyroid levels like very high levels of T4 and T3, then we’ll definitely say, okay. Lets run TSI. Lets run thyroid what receptor antibodies.
Evan Brand: Your endocrinologist would probably even run even if you beg them. So a lot of times were ordering Special Labs because the primary doctor that someone may have the working with us. We may try to push them. Hey, you don’t try to get your endocrinologist to run this and they just won’t they’re very stubborn. Even when it comes to the TPO and TG antibodies despite the mass of massive increase even just the past 5 to 10 years of autoimmunity with thyroid. You would think that it’s like part of standard procedure and protocol now, but it’s still not my grandfather got his thyroid Labs run. It was literally just TSH and T4 and maybe like T3 uptake, but still nothing else and it’s just crazy. So what are they doing? They they modified your drug based on TSH, TSH one up. Lets give you a little bit more synthroid and people just don’t know why they’re not getting better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and then conventional medicine will look at the graves thing and they’ll just say, okay. Well if you’re not in any hormone the right when you come in and your TSH is buried meaning it’s very low and let’s say below point 3.2.1. Then they may want to look Downstream at them some of those antibodies right? They may look at T4 and then I’m a look at TSI in the thyroid receptor site markers, but outside of that unless they see that they’re probably not going to do much.
Evan Brand: Yeah, hopefully that’s what they do. But in some cases they may go straight to hey, we need to do radioactive iodine and try to just kill your thyroid off because youre youre over your thyroid overactive. I’m sorry that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If they saw grave markers, that would be the next logical step. They didn’t want a thyroidectomy or they give u p t u or more time is all the shutdown of the thyroid activity or they give the radioactive iodine to just kill the thyroid to begin with.
Evan Brand: Not pretty.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No it’s not so thyroid flares because of Hashimoto’s well that may never come back on the TSH may never come out of balance enough for it to be an issue and your TSH may still be relatively in range, even though your antibodies are going up and down and your T3 may be low or could be going up or down to so you may not even see a problem with that.
Evan Brand: Alright so let’s talk about that was a good diversion. So I just wanted to make sure we hit. Community Casa del Carmen and no pesticides damaging the gut barrier damaging the blood-brain barrier. Even if you’re a vegan listening, please eat some meat but if you’re not, you know the vegetables or not benign neither you can still get a different herbicides pesticides excetera that still damaged your good gut bacteria and create leaky gut, even if youre saying everything I don’t need hormone me. Okay? Well the plants could do at 2 and then also the heavy metals, you know, we’ve seen a lot there’s just Google it look it up on PubMed your Googles evil because they’re suppressing a lot of help people. So use another search engine like one called ecosia ecosia. They plant trees every time you do a search every 10 searches the plant a tree for you so search on a Ecosia, PubMed Mercury depression or you know Mercury anxiety and any like bad mood something that you type up you can find a correlation with a various heavy metal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I think it’s really really important. So heavy metals various pasta sides various toxins Roundup glyphosate. These are all going to be potentially stressors on your nervous system on your immune system on your brain. I told easiest thing is one just decrease the toxic overload. Just be eating organic higher-quality food. Drink really good clean filtered water. And then number two we can always give support to help run our Phase 1 Phase 2 and R2 toxification Pathways, that’s really important. We could do simple things like activated charcoal with you give sulfur-based Obito acids, we can get glutathione straight into liposomal former reduced form. We can get back Extra B vitamins and antioxidants like milk thistle with cumin and Resveratrol and really powerful things to help with inflammation and in donating antioxidants anything else. You want to highlight their on the detox.
Evan Brand: I started over the weekend doing some glutathione and a nebulizer. there’s actually a brand out there which I can tell you about a bluetooth ion this mixed with a sodium bicarbonate that you can make Saline solution. I’ve read a Stephen Buhner, the herbalist that you and I love because of his work on Lyme and co-infections. He made a COPD protocol for people suffering with asthma and other lung conditions and came up with a nebulizer protocol with essential oils. And so I’m doing the nebulized glutathione by itself and you just need to put the face mask on you got the nebulizer and I just took a of 200 mg of glutathione intranasally and I tell you my brain yesterday was so clear like, amazingly clear and I’ve actually spoke with some of these people at the company who’ve gotten their patients off of IV glutathione and onto the nebulizer because they don’t have to drive anywhere to get poked with a needle is much cheaper and the results are being seen much better because it’s getting through the blood-brain barrier when you inhale the glutathione vs. IV is not so that’s like my new development on detox and I haven’t done it enough yet to to give you the full, you know the whole story but for right now, My story is very positive.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Very good. So I think we talked about some of the toxic things. And again, it’s pretty simple. it’s like you just got to look at the food. Look at the environments try to increase sweating the infrared sauna good clean hydration could get a grill to go clean water filter JustInHealth.com/water or the ones that I specifically used Evan probably has some as well EvanBrand.com and you can look at his shop as well. But that’s kind of things. I actually use and I recommend personally clean water organic food being able to digest your food and then we talked about some of the various binders that we can do like chlorella for that some of the heavy metals activated charcoal as it’s a really good multi-tasker for a lot very spent the night Clays or folded minerals are really good too. And then they also you know from what we may also do things like Z light or maybe even Coley star means to help that bind up some of that mold as well that could be there environmentally if that’s the case then well have to do some testing on the house and and look again. Is the root cause of that Dilantin I have a guest that were going to get on just a few minutes. It will talk all about that in the next podcast. I will be right after this show.
Evan Brand: Yeah, we got to wrap it up so that you all can chat about mold. it’s going to be fun. But the sauna would be the last thing I would add animal wrap it up the sauna and I love sweating sweating is the key and you can look at if you just look up PubMed typing like ochratoxin sweat. You can read that mold toxins. In fact do come out when you sweat so there is proof behind that and there’s a reason that our ancestors did like sweat lodges and some of these ceremonial practices they sweat their butt often those things and they were probably detoxing too good thing for them as they did not have any of the hundreds of thousands of manmade modern chemicals that we have today.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s important. that’s great. Awesome animal today was a great chat as always. Hope everyone enjoyed the podcast in the interview before you put your comment down below. Let us know things that you have used to help you detoxify good experience that you had and if you enjoy today¡̄s show, give us a share. We appreciate it, and you can write a review at EvanBrand.com/iTunes and JustInHealth.com/iTunes. We appreciate ya¡̄ll. Everyone has a phenomenal day and we’ll talk real soon.
Evan Brand: The clinical websites. If you want to reach out to Joe is clinically, please do so at his sight JustInHealth.com. You can reach out around the world. We can send test kit’s to your door. You don’t have to drive anywhere and wait in a boring dirty doctors office and read People magazine. You can do it from your house. So JustInHealth.com, and then my side is EvanBrand.com. We look forward to helping you were very grateful for the opportunity.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, excellent. Awesome Evan, have a phenomenal day great chat with you is always will be back next week. Thank you. Everyone.
Evan Brand: See you later. Bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. Bye.
Dirty Cure for Depression (No Really, It’s Dirt!)
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Rates of depression have been skyrocketing. Teen depression rates leaped by more than 60% over the course of only three years. As a society, our mental and physical health is seriously declining. While feeling unhappiness, dissatisfaction or loneliness every so often is completely normal; prolonged periods of these negative feelings takes a real toll on our lives.
Question: When was the last time you got dirty?
No, really, when did you last go outside and bury your feet in the ground or pick veggies straight from the garden?
We live sterile lives indoors. Hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap are never more than a few steps away, and we clean our homes with germ-killing sprays and sanitizers. But what would you say if I told you that research conducted in recent years has revealed that the bacteria and microbes in dirt can aid in enhancing your immune system and boosting your mood?! Let’s further explore the mental and physical benefits of getting dirty.
Dirt Throughout Time
Studies show that children who reside on farms have a significant reduction in allergies, asthma, and gut-associated ailments when compared to children who grow in more sterile environments. This is recognized as “the Farm-Effect,” which links low microorganism exposure to a high vulnerability for developing allergies by limiting the natural progress of our immune system.
If you think about it, it makes sense. For hundreds of thousands of years, we have coexisted with bacteria and microbes and lived lives outdoors. Babies crawl, which in paleolithic times, would have meant spending a lot of time in the dirt! (Plus, babies have a knack for sticking things in their mouth.) Throughout the course of time, until recent times that is, tiny humans had constant daily access to the dirt and all sorts of other microorganisms that boost the immune system and influence gut bacteria. We all require little dirt in our existing lives.
Dirt, Soil Microbes, and Depression
Soil microbes such as Mycobacterium vaccae have been studied for their serotonin-boosting and anti-depressant effects on the brain. Serotonin deficiency has been linked to mood issues including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In a study conducted on lung cancer patients, the patients were injected with Mycobacterium vaccae, afterward reporting less anxiety and an enhanced quality of life.
Ready to Get Dirty?
The microorganisms living in our natural environment have positive effects on our mood, immune system, and more! Below are some of the other top reasons to go outside and connect with nature:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lowered anxiety
- Boosted cognitive function: Being outside engages your senses. Your brain gets a boost as it works to problem-solve and memorize your environment.
- Reduced rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- If you’re playing outside in the dirt, the sunlight is helping you manufacture Vitamin D, and regulates your circadian rhythm, which means better sleep!
- Children who spend more time playing outside are more courageous, energetic, and imaginative!
The growing body of research on the human microbiome continually points to the impact of microbes on our long-standing health. Despite being invisible to the naked eye, millions of microscopic bacteria and microbes exist on your skin and in your gut. These bacteria have vital roles in everything from controlling your mood, to the development of diseases like arthritis and diabetes.
Outdoors as a Cure for Depression
Science knows that microbes in the natural world play a vital role in our health. Several antibiotics (like penicillin) are manufactured from the microbes that originate in the dirt.
The majority of the healthy bacteria our bodies benefit from are found in soil. Children flourish when they are allowed to play outside, but us grownups can get some fun nature time too! Gardening is a hobby that keeps on giving. Reap all the benefits of spending time outside in the sun, fresh air, and dirt. Plus, if you grow organic berries yourself, you can eat them fresh from the garden (without washing) knowing they’re safe and more health-packed than anything you’d buy on the shelf at the grocery store.
As the paleo diet and lifestyle movement carries on, researchers are beginning to take a look at re-establishing the relationship between humans and the earth. Research is ongoing, and the antidepressant effects of getting outside back up what gardeners have been saying for years: gardening is better than therapy and good for the soul!
Dr. Kelly Brogan – A Mind of Your Own – Podcast #165
In today’s video, Dr. Kelly Brogan, an accomplished doctor and author of the New York Times bestselling book “A Mind of Your Own”, joins Dr. Justin Marchegiani as they both discuss the link between gut issues and mental health. Get some useful tips on how to keep your mind clear and active without gut issues hindering it. Get your own mind back with the help of functional medicine. Let’s watch and listen!
Discover some natural ways to be more productive and learn about the different ways to address brain and gut inflammation. Also, stay tuned for some more information about Dr. Kelly’s bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own” and viral articles.
In this episode, we cover:
02:41 Depression: Illness of Modern Civilization,
Not a Chemical Imbalance
04:53 Animal Model of Depression
08:20 Multiple Different Lifestyle Pillars
12:00 Meditation and Productivity
16:42 Supplemental Ways to Address Brain Inflammation
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Today’s podcast, we have a great guest. Dr. Kelly Brogan in the house. Kelly is wicked smart. I’ll bring up my Boston ex. You went to MIT Undergrad in Cornell from Medical School. So, it’s a privilege to have her here. She has a New York Times bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own.” Did I say it correctly?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s right? [crosstalk] You got it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A Mind of Your Own, really looking at natural solutions to get your brain back on track and move back on track. And one of the things about Dr. Kelly that I love so much is she looks at how mood is connected with the gut. Because most people, they just want to throw a medication to fix the brain. They fix the symptoms but not actually get to the root cause, which can be in the gut. So, Dr. Kelly, welcome to the show.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you. Total pleasure to be here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, tell us a little bit more about your self, ‘cause you went down this conventional medical rabbit hole, right? MIT, Cornell– You’re diving in deep– you do your residency, uhm– and you’re kind of learning all these conventional treatments for Mood disorders, etc. How did you come out of that alive? And how did you get your training to get to the real root cause and the functional medicine side here.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So, you know, I come from a very conventional mindset, and I was raised by uhm– an immigrant mom. And anyone who has immigrant parents knows that, basically, you follow the rules; you become a doctor, a lawyer and you’re supposed to be making a lot of money.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: And that was essentially, you know– My effort uhm– was to become a doctor. I thought, you know– I figured out through my work on a suicide hotline, actually, at MIT, that we’ve cracked the code of human behaviour. We know that these are genetic illnesses that are reflected as chemical imbalances that require pills for lifelong management. Cool! You know, I’m gonna participate in that model. And so, it really wasn’t into my own, sort of uhm– health journey, which is what you’ll all hear from any turncoat doctor. We had a personal experience where we bumped up against the ceiling of what conventional medicine has to offer. And we learned a broader version of the truth. And uh– you know, I’ve always been a Science Nut. I’m very comfortable on pubmed.com, and I went and researched for myself, you know– the truth about everything I learned in medical school and residency and fellowship. Uh– and what I learned was pretty jaw-dropping. I was ready to hear it though because I had already had my own uh– experience of putting an autoimmune disorder into remission through nutrition. And so, you know– what I learned is that depression, for example– Let’s just talk about depression because it’s a– It’s a emblematic of these more systemic issues in our medical system. But, uhm– it’s not a thing. It’s not a disease in a way we were told it was. And, you know, what I– what I learned through my review of the medical literature is that in six decades, you know– we’ve been trying to validate this idea that depression is a chemical imbalance. The science just isn’t there. I was shocked because I can’t tell you how many hundreds of patients I’ve sat with and I said, “You know, you have a chemical imbalance. It has something to do with Serotonin or Dopamine or Epinephrine, and you know– you need to manage it. And the sooner you accept that, you know– the easier your life is gonna be.” So patronizing. You know, I’ve said that to countless patients. And when I looked to the Science, it just wasn’t there. But, what is there, interestingly, is a science that frames depression as uhm– an illness of modern civilization, right? So, it’s a response on the part of the body, mind and spirit, uh– you know, to the kinds of stressors, exposures, triggers, toxicants that we are encountering today, that we just haven’t evolved to accommodate. And perhaps, we never will. Perhaps we’re not even meant to, right? Because…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …of– of wrong living today, and– and the way that the natural world will ultimately ask us to get back in line. And– and one of the ways that– that asking happens, that– that invitation’s delivered is through symptoms. So, uh– you know, I found that there are actually a lot of reversible causes of what we are calling depression.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Very good. And I see a lot of patients, clinically, right? ‘Cause I’m working with patients making diet changes or cutting out gluten, grains, refined sugar, a lot of the inflammatory foods, or cutting out a lot of the bacteria in the gut that has this compound called LPS or lipopolysaccharide. And, you’ve talked about that kind of getting into the bloodstream and making its way to the brain, and creating mood issues there. Can you elaborate more on that?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So, you know, I think it’s fairly intuitive for most people– you know, that the gut and the brain are connected, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: You felt nervous about giving a speech and maybe you lost your appetite or you have diarrhea, or something like that. And that makes intuitive sense. But, the other direction– you know, the gut to brain direction, is really something we’re just beginning to develop scientific comfort with. Although it’s been actually several decades since it’s emerged in the literature. When it comes to depression, it’s interesting because the animal model of depression– There is such a thing. In the animal model of depression, the way that they induce it is to inject– Systemically, right?– in these rodents, LPS, as you mentioned. So this– this compound in a grand– grand negative bacterial balls. And the deal is that it’s not meant to be sort of circulating around. So, once it’s breached that gut-brain uh– Sorry– that gut barrier..
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …then it can alert the immune system to the need of greater inflammatory response at the gut level. It’s all by design. Everything that the body does makes sense if only we have the mindset and framework to, you know, receive that uh– information. So, you know, through this lens, uhm– the inflammatory response that ultimately results in the symptoms of depression, which are what? Sleep disturbance, social avoidance, changes in appetite, for example, changes in motivation, fixation on very specific thoughts, uhm– you know, the– the– the driver of that perhaps could be reduced to a gut insult. So, where do gut insults come from? Most of the time, through what we put in our mouth…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …right? So that means that we are empowered to make changes to our brain behavior and cognition through diet, you know. And of course, now we have science that shows that within seventy-two hours of changing your diet, you change that ecology in your gut, your microbiome. Uh– and so, I totally agree, you know, that there are certain foods that really moved the needle quickly. They also happen to be foods that are very addictive in nature, right? You know, things like, wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol. I actually stored coffee in that mix. I know that’s little controversial.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hm– Mmhmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uh– but, you know, so– so, not only are you seeing what you look like without these addictive foods, but you’re also engaging in a pretty deep exercise of changing your gut ecology. And, you know, we could talk about the role perhaps of certain kind of starches in, you know, feeding gut bacteria, ‘cause that’s, you know, part of my approaches to restrict those for the first month.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Interesting. And what’s your experience treating patients ‘cause, clinically, I treat– well, fifty patients a week in my virtual clinic here in Austin. And I’m running Stool test– sometimes, even multiple Stool tests on different patients, and I’m saying, you know, obviously, “Your SIBO type of overgrowth.” “You’re Methane and you’re Hydrogen overgrowth”. And then, I’m seeing infections like, Blasto, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, E. histo and H. pylori. What are you seeing in your patients? Are you kind of seeing a similar imbalance of those creatures.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s interesting because I– you know, when I departed conventional medicine, my first deep dive was into functional medicine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmhmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– and that’s, you know, uh– I was certified through ADIHM, and I was very interested ‘cause this is how my mind works…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …in quantifying every aspect of my patients’ existence, right? So, I wanted blood and saliva. I wanted hormone testing. I wanted Urine analysis and I wanted Stool analysis. And I did that for several years– yeah, almost a decade, into this work. Uhm– until I came upon uhm– a deep desire to bring this opportunity to more and more people. Perhaps you couldn’t necessarily afford all that testing, or for whom it was just overwhelming, right? And so, somehow, I arrived at the point today, where my approach is actually quite simplified. Such that, I actually come to believe that if you recruit the synergy of multiple different lifestyle pillars. And they’re pretty basic, right? Pretty familiar, too, obviously. So, detoxification…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …looking at daily contemplative practice. Of course, I’m– have my specific opinion on what I believe is one of the more powerful types. I’m Kundalini Yoga uhm– Instructor.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: And, also the role of a strict commitment to a therapeutic diet for the space of the month. So, in working with these pillars, even without testing at all– So, in my online program, we don’t do any labs. The outcomes that I have gotten actually more rapid and more robust than when I was mired in the weeds of testing. But when I was, I actually found that there are some common uh– reversible drivers of diagnosis of anxiety, of depression, even OCD, panic attacks, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue– In my practice, the one of the most common ones was blood sugar imbalance, so…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …big one, right? Uhm– so you could test for that. You can diagnose reactive hypoglycemia, or you know you can just do a dietary intervention for ten days and see if that was part of the deal for you, right? So, another big one is wheat and dairy indigenousity. So again, you can test for that or you can just take it out and see how you do. Another big, big, big– big one, probably upwards of 80 percent of my patients have a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, often…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …perhaps driven by mimicry like you’re talking about e– Epstein-Barr, uhm– for example, uh– you know, infection. Uhm– Hashimoto’s, Graves, Postpartum Thyroiditis are big– what I call, psychiatric pretenders, right? If you do not know that you have this going on, you could land your self on Zoloft and Lithium, or more. And that’s why this kinds of testing– unless you’re really committed and you just know, you’re not gonna go the medication route– you know, this kind of testing can really– potentially even, you know, save your life. I’ll be that dramatic about it. Uhm– and, you know, and then, of course, I’d become very passionate about the untold side effects of other common medications, right? So, as drivers of psychiatric illness, so things like birth control pills and acid blockers, statins, antibiotics. Uhm– so, you know, sometimes it– it– it needs to be looked at through the eyes of an expert like yourself. Uhm– but sometimes it’s really simple. You know, and– and engaging in this kind of uhm– you know, pillar approach can– can be really all you need.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Just curious. Can you give us like uh– a day in the life of Dr. Kelly. What does your diet look like, Breakfast, lunch, dinner?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So that’s the interesting uhm– part about this kind of like holistic medicine, if you want to call it that, is the power of your potential to influence and heal patients, I believe, is in direct proportion to your ability to walk the walk, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, you know, you transmit something to the people you are looking to help, simply because you’re living that life. So, I– you know, I walk the walk completely, you know. I asked many of my patients to do coffee enemas, for example, which I learned from my mentor, Nick Gonzalez. And you know, if II didn’t do them, how would I ever convince someone else that it’s effective? And this is why meditation is a tough one for me because I follow the literature on meditation for many years and I never did it. I was too busy. Meditation was for other people. And everytime I sat down to do it, I hated it. I hated the experience of just being with myself and being with my crazy mind, right? So, until i broke through that barrier and actually committed to a daily practice– Now I have a pretty strong 45-minute daily practice…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s great.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …predawn. But, you know, until I did that, I didn’t– I don’t think I convinced a single patient to meditate. You know, we both sort of thought it was a good idea. They weren’t doing it. I wasn’t doing it. So, you know, the real game changer for me, personally, ‘cause I heal my Hashimoto’s mostly just through dietary change uhm– in almost eight years ago now. Uhm– and my life really changed. I’ve really rewired my nervous system and my productivity performance and aligned it with my flow, changed dramatically when I started meditating every single day. And, specifically, when I started meditating before sunrise, uhm– everything changed. You know, I used to be up until 2 in the morning, working. I’m a total workaholic.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I wake up everyday dying into this work. I love this work. I– I would do it for free, forever. You know, this is what I’m here to do. But, I would work ‘til two in the morning regularly. And you know, in New York, that’s– it’s the culture here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. [crosstalk] Hustle and bustle.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Totally. Exactly. Totally sanctioned. So, you know, I uhm– When I started meditating at 5:30 in the morning everyday, which I started after in the setting of grief uhm– you know, after my mentor died. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …in my life.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Roger that.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I was desperate.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. I was totally desperate, and I did it. The nest day, I woke up and I have never missed a day since. Uhm– but, if you’re waking at 5:30, you can’t go to bed at 2:00 AM, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Or you’re gonna be in trouble [inaudible]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: So now, I go to bed at nine. Do you know how revolutionary that is for a New Yorker…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s amazing.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: ….to go at bed at 9:00 PM? And– and you would think, “Oh, I’m missing– you know, what is that?– five hours of productivity.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Like, how do I even keep my business afloat. Uhm– but my performance– and again, sort of alignment with– just things unfolding, everything happens exactly, you know, the moment I need to. I don’t need to drive this ship. You know, that’s one of the sort of secret pearls in self-care that you wouldn’t otherwise believe unless you’ve had the experience. So, i’m a big believer in foregrounding self-care as being really my only responsibility. All I have to do every single day is make sure that I have committed, again, to taking care of my self. And the rest is gonna. Is gonna be exactly how it needs to be.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So, I think I missed it. What was breakfast again, typically, for you?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, I have this uhm– smoothie often. It’s so funny because sometimes I’ll write a blog that I, you know, spend weeks and weeks and weeks researching. It’s like, you know, ten, 15, 20, 30…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …represent it. And like four people will read it, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mhmmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: And then, one day, I just decided to write uh– the ingredients of the smoothie that I put uh– together. Okay, it’s like egg yolks, coconut oil, uh– plus/minus coconut oil. Uhm– nut butter, frozen organic cherries. It’s collagen powder, uhm– coconut water.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Just, yeah. Basic– basic stuff, but it’s not a green smoothie, right? Uhm– it’s not a ton of Kale and Spinach or anything like that. And it was– It’s like, to this day, the most viral thing I’ve ever written. [laughs] It’s just breakfast, [crosstalk] right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Because if you struggle with blood sugar stuff, like I did, uhm– like many of the people I work with do, It’s like, within the day resolution. Like within one day, you can turn that around. You’ll feel what it is to put, you know– It’s two tablespoons of ghee. Put that much fat into your body for breakfast is an unusual thing uhm– for most people, and it tastes delicious and you actually feel full for some times, double-triple the amount you would have otherwise. So, that’s why I’m actually big– I’m glad you asked– big believer in just beginning with changing your breakfast. Like if you are not ready for the rest of it, just start with there. And see…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …how different you can feel.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ‘Cause stabilizing that blood sugar is so important. ‘Cause when your blood sugar goes on highs and lows, you get the Hyperinsulinism, which is gonna create all kinds of problems in your hormones. If you’re a woman, it will turn you into a man, uh– by getting the PCOS stuff going, and if you’re a man, it will turn you into a woman by upregulating aromatase. So, you have that side of the fence. And the blood sugar swings. When they go low, you’re gonna get a lot of Cortisol and Adrenaline, which can create mood issues and create that anxiety and that may be the reason why you’re on the Xanax. [crosstalk] So the other moods stabilizes, right?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly. [crosstalk] You said it so I don’t have to. That’s exactly it. It’s powerful. I mean, I have patients who’d have six panic attacks a day. They’ve had three medications heading to Electroconvulsive Therapy. And all that was going on was Dysglycemia.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge. [crosstalk] Huge. Now we have these cells in our brain, also called the glial cells, and a great portion of the cells in our brain are actually immune cells, which is interesting. And once these cells get activated from stress or inflammation– it’s like positive feedback loop. It just gets more and more and more. Uhm– what do you do to help decrease brain inflammation? I think you’ll talk about the gut, but is there anything you do supplementally to help decrease that brain inflammation?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. So that’s where I am a big believer in this multi-pronged approach, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Because, if we’re– if we’re looking at an anti-inflammatory diet, the typical template of a diet I recommend is not gonna be any major surprise uhm– to anyone– but, the Vegans probably, because it’s uh– you know, a classical sort of ancestral diet. You know…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: It was animal food. You know, the nuts and seeds– all vegetables…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I restrict resistant starch for the first month. Uhm–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: like a Paleo template, basically.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s a Paleo template, basically. Includes, uhm– some starchy vegetables, but not uh– white potatoes. So, just to restricting…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nitrates.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …they always– Nitrates are included, so tomatoes are fine. Eggplants are fine. You know, mushrooms are…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just the potatoes, okay.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Just the white potatoes. And uhm– and you know, otherwise, my patients do always reintroduce things like white rice, gluten-free grains, uh– legumes. So, it’s not a long-term Paleo diet. It’s just restricted for that first month. Uhm– so that we can understand what resistant starch does to your microbiome, basically, because when you reintroduce potatoes– Do you have gas and bloating? You know, Are you super tired after you eat white rice? We just want to know that, right, for these potent starches. Otherwise it’s not that uhm– dramatic, but it is– just have this anti-inflammatory effect, ecologically rebouncing at the gut level. And then the meditation components, I just think, as one of the meditations I often recommend is called Kirtan Kriya Carer or _____[18:13]. It’s been studied in randomized trials, actually, for changes in brain level profusion. Uhm– and the subjective outcomes in terms of resolution of cognitive impairment and Dementia patients, who we have nothing to offer, you know, on a pharmaceutical level. So, literally, all they did was 11 minutes of this meditation every single day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, i’m a big believer in the potential of this ancient technologies to send that signal of safety at the brain level. And then, of course, you know, when you’re engaging in detoxification– even if it’s as simple as taking the pesticides out of your diet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uh– You know, we’re fundamentally changing the way the immune system is being triggered. And as you said, you know, we have evidence that from a gut level, and also from a psychosocial stress level, we could mobilize the immune system in the– in the systemic circulation. That then tracks back to the brain. And like you said, kicks off that alarm. You know, when i was in med school, we don’t even know that the brain had an immune system. We thought that it was a privilege region.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s crazy.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: We didn’t know that what’s inside of the brain. You know, we’re just discovering basic anatomy, still, at this point. So, it’s important to work with the tools that do the least harm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Now, I’ve seen you write this, and I may be off in a little bit. I’ll just throw it out there and you can correct me.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: [nods]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, you’ve talked about the brain-gut connection with mood. Now, being a functional medicine physician, I’m addressing everything: diet, lifestyle, blood sugar, [crosstalk] all the body system, hormone, detox. So, we’re never ever putting in on one magic pill.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But as we fix things, I do see certain amino acid nutrients with certain nutrients, like B6, and certain B vitamins. I have seen that significantly helped a lot of people on the mood side, not every time. So, I know the SSRIs and some of these medications, we think they work by just blocking reuptake of some of these chemicals but that may not be the case. So, what’s your take on the amino acids? I do see benefits, but I know, you–you’ve talked differently about that.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Things like 5-HTP, tyrosine, ___[20:09], L-dopa; those kind of things.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah [inaudible].
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. You know, listen. I am a passionate supporter of natural medicine. You know, and there are many, many, many, many different approaches. Uh– I mean I had patients who’d come– not patients. I know of people who come up of psychiatric medications using flower remedies. So…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …you know, i know that there is not one path here. And that’s the beautiful thing. Uh– but, in my approach, I use no supplements at all for the first month.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– when– I don’t begin medications taper, for the first month either. So, in a context of medication taper, then I actually do use amino acids. Uhm–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I use things uh– you know, the ones you’ve mentioned in particular as a compliment to the purported mechanism of the given medication, and I aIways use a general mix of amino acids. And I find them to facilitate the process. Uhm– I don’t use any supplements as a replacement for medication because it’s not the contraces we’re going for, right? We’re going for uhm— you know, trusting the body, trusting it’s uhm– responses, curiosity about what the body is meaning to tell you. And then also working through a lot of uhm– sort of indoctrinated fear around emotions like, you know, deep sadness, rage, grief– You know, this kind of pain that we are uhm– not, in any way, making space for. You know, to– to investigate with any degree of curiosity because, you know– one of the greatest uh– most meaningful lessons I’ve learned is that on the other side of that process of personal encounter with your deepest, darkest uhm– experience of your mind and body, is a kind of expansive, you know, exposure to these exalted emotions: gratitude, joy…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …even bliss. You know, that becomes available to you when you have the courage to sort of walk through that dark night. So that is a big part of my uh– approach.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, some free-form amino acids which is great. What do you do with adaptogenic herbs? I mean, I use Ashwagandha a lot. I find that really help modulate Cortisol, which can thus help along with anxiety and even sleep. What’s your take on adaptogens, and what are your top three favorites?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– I would say, I have a top one favorite. [laughs]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Because I’m a big Rhodiola fan.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhh– love it.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: And had been for many years. And it’s one of my first introductions to the power of herbal– you know, herbal approaches and herbal medicine, personally. And, You know, I find that it’s a really powerful compliment, not only to support in cognition at the time when many of my patients have been injured by medications on the cognitive front, uhh– but also that inevitable, you know, exposure to stress. I think it’s a really magical plant to dance with. So, I’m a big fan of it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What about nutrients? And I say, BC– uh– B6, or P5P, Pyridoxal-5-Phospate, really essential for helping these neurotransmitters activate. What’s your take on the most important nutrients for you that you see makes the biggest bank for your back and also a B6, too.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Mm– I– I would– In my experience, the most profound single nutrient– because, you know, most of us do offer that as uh– you know, sort of a compliment…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn–
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– in– in the entire birth.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: But the one that I had the most miraculous outcomes with is actually B12.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Huge.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: And, you know, through my work with Nick Gonzalez, I’ve had a better ability to contextualize why– that is, in the patients that I work with. They are what he would call parasympathetic dominance, and so they respond especially well to animal-based nutrients, particularly white B12. You know there are cases in the literature of one woman, in particular, who was diagnosed as uhm– having psychotic depression. She was given Electrocompulsive Therapy…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …and uh– multiple medications, and all that she was going on was a B12 deficiency. So, I actually used– have my patients inject themselves uhm– with something like a Hydroxyvaline in a pretty generous dose. Sometimes like 5mg, sometimes several times a week uh– initially, which is obviously considered to be rather aggressive. But uh– it seems to be, you know, quite effective in a short period of time, particularly for uh– you know, cognitive and energy-related impairments.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, Dr. Brownstein’s also a big form of the hydroxyl form. Why do you like the hydroxyls so much– let’s say, over the methyl or the adenosyl?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Uhm– I had– I started with a Methocarbamol form.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I just had a couple patients who uh– felt overly activated by it. You know, like whose are wired by it. And– and again, I’m using large doses, so it could have just been that. Uhm– so I– the hydroxyl form is just a– a way to thread the needle, you know, for those patients who might be susceptible to the– the methyl as [inaudible].
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then, do you have any opinion on GABA as well? You know, some people say the molecule’s too big to cross the blood-brain barrier. Others are coming out with liposomal forms. What’s your take on GABA?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. I have gone very comfortable using a form called PharmaGABA. [crosstalk] It’s a–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: PharmaGABA, yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. Fermented…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The science got it.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …form
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. And, you know, it’s uh– when it works, it works. And who knows if that’s, you know, Placebo. Otherwise, I don’t really care, because if it’s as benign as it is, I’ll apply that Placebo Effect all day long. But I, It’s a fan favorite– you know, of my patients, uh– particularly during the process of moving through a medication taper. It’s a very important uhm– tool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then, when you’re dealing with people that are on these medications, whether they’re Benzos or SSRIs, or even Lithium and such. How are you dealing, like– Does every– Can everyone have the ability to get of those medications at some point, and who are the patients you don’t want to like take them off. Where it’s really you got to be super, super slow.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Mm– Well, it’s my passionate belief that every single person should be offered the opportunity to come up with psychiatric medications.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I’ll even go farther to say all medications, period. What the most critical ingredient is uhm– is the mindset, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: So, believe that it’s possible. It’s the readiness to commit uh– to lifestyle, medicine and to self-care. Uhm– which, of course confers the type of empowerment that’s very necessary to move you out of the dependent and helpless position that you are put in as a psychiatric patient. Uhm– but I had taken patients off of– you know I have videos of my website to prove this, so to speak. I’m publishing cases in the purity of literature. Uh– taking patients of up to medications they’ve been on for 25 years. Uhm– I have patients with histories of Schizophrenia, psychotic mania, suicidal depression. And over and over and over again, they’re shedding their diagnosis and they’re completely and totally off medication. I have yet to fail. Uhm– and I don’t expect to. But, I always screen my patients. I have a very skew population, because of these two criteria– the mindset and the belief.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And then, we’ll put a disclaimer. We don’t want anyone getting after uhm– psychiatric medication on their own. We want them to go back to the Prescribing Physician. But on average– just in general, are you typically tapering off about one to two-month timeframe? Is that generally, where you’re at?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Oh, wow. No. It can be years.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, years or so?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I’m glad you asked, because…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: I think I forget sometimes that that’s not uhm– you know, uh– an assumption. So, I don’t touch uh– medication until my patients, in my online program– until they have gone through this month-long commitment.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Meditation, detox and diet. Literally, I won’t touch it. It’s a total requirement. Because I used to do it before I require that, and it was kind of a nice idea. We’ll start looking at your diet now. It’s non-negotiable. Okay? So, that happens first, and then the taper is around 10 to 20 percent of the total dose per month is a typical pace. So, it depends on…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …what you’re taking. It’s one medication at a time. The process can take years. And, you know what? If you want it to last, and you want it to be a permanently chaptered for you, you have a right with that. You know, because it’s an investment in this being, not just a revolving door where you’re back on meds in a couple of months. Uh– but I– I absolutely do not recommend that anyone consider coming off medications, particularly until they have uh– initiated this kind of self-care and physical healing regiment. And you know, in my program, I have an entire module dedicated to tapering, because it’s not a science, unfortunately. Uhm– and there are very few practitioners who know how to do it. And that’s why patients actually become more educated. Then their provided about how to do it. Uhm– it’s a bit of the wild west at this point.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, is that course over at kellybroganmd.com?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes! We– It’s called, Vital Mind Reset.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Vital Mind Reset. We’ll put all the links below. We’ll put the links to the Amazon Book as well, “A Mind of Your Own.” So, everyone that’s listening and finding value. Go support Dr. Kelly by getting that book. That’s great. Now, one last thing here before I let you go, Dr. Kelly. Uh– when I use certain amino acid with patients, even some of the free-forms, I’ll start to notice the patient is starting to have some of the– the side effects, as if the drug’s too much. Do you see that at all? And then, do you start to gradually taper if those higher side effects from the amino acids are making the drug work better? Do you notice that at all?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: That uhm– is possible. I don’t often encounter that for whatever reason, uh– but that’s absolutely possible. And in fact there’s a proprietary formula called uhm– EMPowerplus by TrueHope. It may [inaudible]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. TrueHope, yeah.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah. And, you know, they counsel about that– you know, that it’s very possible that in the setting of uh– nutrient repletion, that medication could become actually almost quasi-toxic uh– so that you would need to begin to ramp down on the dose of medication at that point. So, it’s– it’s highly possible and that’s an incredible reminder. You know, that nutrients are– are very powerful uhm– tools to be used with strategy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Dr. kelly. I think you’re changing the world. I appreciate you coming on the show. Last question for you, “If you’re on a desert island and you can only bring one nutrient, one supplement, one herb– whatever it is, what would that be for you?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Oh, turmeric, of course. [laughs]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Turmeric. Okay. Got it. [crosstalk] Crucumin?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yeah, Crucumin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can [inaudible] can the anti-inflammatory on?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s everything. You know, it’s like a miracle. It’s a miracle herb, and you know the research on it, of course had– had my skeptical mind convinced. You know, with the catalog research on Crucumin, which is one isolate of this…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …very complex herb, is astounding. You know, head to head against medications like Cox-2 Inhibitors, antidepressants. It’s extraordinary. So, I think of it as a, you know, the– the power performer, for sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Now, is there anything else you want to let the listeners to know? Any new books, products, online things coming out for you that people should be aware of?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: No. Just you know that we’re here to support your journey. If any of these is resident, it is one hundred percent possible for you. I see it every single day. And so, just to make sure that I plant that seed of potential. And oh, you know, we’re here to support. We have tons of free information on this site, and of course, greater uhm– complex products if needed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And let’s hear those links one more time. kellybroganmd.com– the second one was?
Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s it. You know…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: …all the information’s there. So let’s just keep it simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then the book– if you guys love it, go get that book on Amazon. Dr. Kelly, we really appreciate you coming on the show.
Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you so much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Take care.
“Vital Mind Reset Program,” by Dr. Kelly Brogan
New York Times bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own” by Dr. Kelly Brogan
“Increase your Brain Health by Changing Your Breakfast: The KB Smoothie” by Dr. Kelly Brogan
https://www.truehope.com/effectiveness/ingredients EMPowerplus by TrueHope
Depression Solution – Dr. J Podcast #158
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about depression and anxiety. Listen as they discuss some of the possible root cause of such condition. Understand the mechanism of depression and anxiety medications and learn why they may not be the best possible solution to the problem.
Gain an understanding on how diet, especially a vegan diet, becomes an important factor when dealing with depression. Explore how gut infections relate to depression and anxiety symptoms and know some of the natural solutions and recommendations in addressing depression and anxiety.
In this episode, we cover:
00:56 Medications mechanism
03:40 Vegetarian Diet and Depression
05:41 Gut Infections and Depression
14:00 Natural Solutions
18:18 Low Thyroid and Mood Issues
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Hey Evan, how are we doing today, man?
Evan Brand: Hey man, I am great. We had a fun off-air chat. So I’m excited to chat with you about this important topic today— depression, anxiety, you know, mental health in general. But we’re gonna—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: ..specifically focus on depression, anxiety. As I was telling you, the center for disease control, they change the ranking over the past couple years. Now depression is the number one leading cause of disability. It’s actually grown over heart disease. It used to be heart disease was number one. Now depression is number one leading cause of disability. So that’s pretty alarming. I predicted this about four- five years ago I could just see the trend of society and now, it’s happened and it’s official.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Depression is really important because a lot of the medications that are out there. I’m just gonna pull out my little Bluetooth headset here—all the medications that are out there, typically, only treat the symptoms. So you kinda have medication from like the 80’s called tricyclics, right? And these tended to—to work with a little a side effects that a lot of the current days SSRI’s or SSNRI’s, right? These are medications that work on blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine or dopamine. And essentially it’s allowing more neurotransmitters to sit in between the pre- and the postsynaptic neuron. So neuron—neuron, pre-post- right? Before, after and then you have all this in between area called the synaptic cleft or the uhm—essentially that’s where a lot of the neurotransmitters would hangout. The longer those guys hang out in that area, typically, what happens is you’re gonna have uhm—a recycling of those neurotransmitters at a higher level. So the longer those neurotransmitters sit in that neuro- synaptic cleft there, the faster they get broken down. So that’s why over time, a lot of antidepressant medications have to go up because of the fact that those met—those chemicals are being broken down at a much faster rate. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: Yup. Well, the problem is, too, these medications they’re not addressing the root cause now. I know in some cases, they could be life saving therapies because they pull people out of a super deep depression or maybe they were suicidal. But as time and time goes on, the percentage used to be 80% of serotonin was coming from the gut and then it jumped up to 85 or 90% and then now, I keep seeing new literature coming out that the percentage is almost close to hundred percent now of serotonin from the gut. So we really have to address any gut infections we have to test for those, we have to find them, we have to fix them. If we really want to get to the root cause, the brain, of course, is a factor, but man, the gut seems like the biggest factor to me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, it’s a major factor. And again, uh— one of the listeners here in the live chat brought up a lot of the shootings that have been happening recently. Yeah, these medications have a black label-warning, black box warning on them for suicidal tendencies, violent acts, these kinds of things. So it can really alter someone’s physiology and biochemistry were it may predispose them to—to these kind of violent act. So, again, I look at these type medications really only being used in a life or death kind of, “Hey, we’re gonna get this person stabilize so that they don’t do something that they’re gonna regret.” But then we have to work on getting them off these medications and get to the root cause.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that really has to be the end goal. We need to have a transitional goal in mind so we can get to the root cause whether we start adding in specific amino acids, amino acid therapy. A lot of these neurotransmitters they come from amino acids. So there’s kind of just like the replacement model of, “Hey, let’s add more amino acids into buildup serotonin and dopamine in the brain so you feel better.” There’s that component, right? And that may be really important especially if you have a lot of malabsorption, like you’re not breaking down proteins and fats, you have low stomach acid or enzymes. It may also be important like you’re a vegetarian or vegan and you’re not getting enough of these high-quality proteins and animal source which tend to be the most nutrient dense. So there’s a lot of different things that may drive that from an amino acid perspective. And you talk about 90+ percent in the gut. The question is, “Can that serotonin cross the blood brain barrier?” I’m not sure we know if it can. From what I understand, it can’t. But uhm—a lot of the precursor amino acids like tryptophan, and/ or 5-ACP can cross the blood brain barrier.
Evan Brand: Uh—got it. Okay. I guess, so you brought the vegetarian/vegan point. This is huge. You and I both work with so many vegetarians and vegans and sometimes, they’re just not willing to add-in things to the diet. So whether it’s like egg or even fish, they just don’t want to add it in. And I’ve seen the most depression anxiety problems from vegetarian and vegan. So I wouldn’t even say it’s like just a coincidence anymore. I mean I’ve seen it so often that it’s just—it’s it’s— gotta be causation in this— in this aspect.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, you’re gonna always get higher quality amino acids, proteins from animal products. It’s just how it is. Uhm—you’re not to get a whole bunch of anti-nutrients with them, right? The way animals defend themselves with teeth and with claws. The plants defend themselves are with anti-nutrients, compounds that make it harder to break down uhm—their constituents. The lectins, phytates, mineral blockers, anti-nutrients. They make it hard to break down some of these plant. That’s how plants kind of survive, right? Animals survive through uh—claws, and being able to run, fight and flee. But once you have an animal, right? Once you already killed it and you get that meat in the table, it’s not gonna possess the same amount of anti-nutrients. And it tends to also have just pure protein and fat where a lot of the plant-based proteins are gonna have a whole bunch of carbohydrate along with it. Unless you’re doing like a pea protein powder or rice protein powder where the starch component has already been removed from the proteins.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. Well said. Uhm—let’s talk about some of the gut infections. How this could relate into depression, anxiety symptoms. We could talk about H. pylori. We had a question about that, too. So, we’ll go ahead and address it. How can H. pylori cause depression? We know that it’s gonna reduce stomach acid. If it’s reducing stomach acid, even if you are eating those good quality organic pastured animal proteins, you’re not gonna digest those. So you’re gonna have undigested food particles creating the leaky gut situation that can stress out the liver. We know there’s a link between mood issues and the liver. Sometimes it’s fatigue, sometimes depression, sometimes anger, irritability uh—things like that. And then you’ve got the aspect of the aminos. So I just already hit on. If you’re not digesting these proteins, that first domino could be affected all because of your low HCl production due to the H. pylori then all the sudden, you have no amino acids. Now, you’ve got no raw materials to manufacture neurotransmitters. So this is huge.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. So—so there’s a couple different components, right? Dan writes, “Can H. pylori cause depression?” Yeah. Well, number one, it’s gonna do it by a couple different ways. Number one, it’s gonna lower stomach acid and enzyme levels which make it harder to break down proteins and healthy fats which you know, fats tend to be a really important building block for the brain. And the proteins tend to be the building blocks for the neurotransmitters. So if we have decrease in the raw material of the brain, right? And we have decrease in the neurotransmitter raw material, then we’re gonna have issues with optimal mood health, for sure. Number two, is a lot of the uhm—bacterial components of H. pylori have what I call lipopolysaccharide or endotoxins, which can cause depression by itself. It does it through going to the brain and creating inflammation to the brain. It passes through the gut junctions, creates leaky gut, goes to the brain creates inflammation and create mood issues in the brain. It also can uhm—it also can just create leaky gut and which can increase the immune system. And when the immune system is kinda over reactive, it can suck up a lot of energy. And when your energy is lower, it tend to have more likelihood of being depressed and being anxious. Typically, lower energy and depression tend to come hand-in-hand.
Evan Brand: Yup. I had H. pylori have multiple parasites. So we had a question from Dawn. He was asking what parasites are the most destructive and what parasites would cause the most amount of depression. I don’t know if we can rank it like that 1-2-3. Number one is gonna cause the most depression but I know when I had Giardia and I had cryptosporidium, I had weight loss, I had H. pylori, I had fungus, I had Candida, I had SIBO, you know, pseudomonas and bacterial infections. I was just very, very, you know, not right in the head. My sleep was off which then affect my energy, which then affected my mood. So it’s hard to say like was it chicken or egg. These parasites cause depression or was it the fact that my sleep was disrupted, therefore I wasn’t actually waking up rested. And that made me tired and depressed. Uhm— Justin, do you have any comments to add about that, like parasites, could you rank them at all, saying crypto or Giardia’s worst than dientomoeba or blasto in terms of the amount of depression it creates?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would definitely say you—your parasites that are tending to cause more problems because they tend to be a little bit more endemic. They tend to cause more information. But regarding in which ones, it’s hard to say. I’ve seen people have other parasitic infections that cause more problems uhm— than what they typically say on paper. Like some people have uhm— Dientamoeba fragilis but that’s typically one that may not cause a lot of symptoms. So the question is, well, why did it cause a lot of symptoms for you and not the other person. So, again, things like histo and crypto, it tend to cause more problems, but sometimes you may have a less virulent type of parasite infection and it may cause just as many issues for you. So the question is if you have an infection and you have symptoms, especially if you have an infection and you have digestive symptoms, we got out work on getting the digestion better and then fixing the infections next.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. So we have a question about “Is it possible to for your partner to give you a parasite or if it enters your body while your system fight it off?” The literature is not clear on parasitic infections. Now Justin can tell you about like some of the correlations we’ve seen where partners have infections. We know 100% H. pylori is passed all the time. 90% of the time, I have someone that shows up with H. pylori, the spouse eventually has to get involved. We have to get them tested and we end up having to create a protocol for them, too, because I’ve had people where we create a protocol, the H. pylori’s gone on the retest of the stool and then the symptoms come back a few months later. We do another stool test, then all of a sudden H. pylori’s back again like what the hell happened. Typically it’s the partners. So then we have to get the spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend tested. They usually are the source and also we create a protocol for both of them and all of a sudden they get better. Now parasites, though, I don’t know. Justin, what’s your thoughts on passing all the parasites you know, kinda back and forth between each other? What have you seen?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think that’s a 100% probable. We see it a lot with our chronically ill patients that tend to get reinfected over and over. That’s a factor that we always look at to make sure we get the partner, the spouse addressed coz you can definitely pass it back and forth. And I’m more worried about the inflammation, I’m more worried about leaky gut, I’m more worried about the LPS and the endotoxins making the way to the brain and creating inflammation and symptoms there. I’m also worried about just of the maldigestion, not breaking things down well not having enough stomach acid, enzymes, bile salts. So just affecting the digestion, number one. Affecting the leaky gut, number two. And then eventually making its way to the brain. Leaky gut will also cause leaky brain and that could also create more symptoms as well.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. I mean the leaky brain thing, most people don’t talk about it. I think we’ve— we’ve hit or— we’ve hit on that topic on many episodes but I don’t think we’ve done a full one. So maybe we should add that to the list. The whole leaky brain episode. But, people, you do want to realize, if you have leaky gut and this could just be caused from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. If you’re eating gluten, we know that’s creating the leaky gut situation. That’s creating leaky brain. If you take a GABA supplement and you get relaxed from it, you have a leaky brain. And that’s not good. Because then you’re sitting in traffic, you’re breathing in diesel fumes and other pollutants. That stuff is having direct access through the blood brain barrier, which normally would protect you so that the integrity of that barrier is super important. Uhm—there’s another question here about depression. Could it be caused because of a lack of dopamine? Is supplementing with tyrosine sufficient enough to help depressive moods? Yes and no. The thing with the amino acids is it’s like a spider web. So if you do start modifying serotonin, things can get messed up with dopamine. If you just start pounding L-tyrosine, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gonna fix your problem either. So, really, you wanna get organic acids test first and figure out what’s going on coz we can measure dopamine. A lot of people think they have low dopamine but it’s actually too low serotonin or some people have low serotonin and they think that it’s that. But it’s actually not. It’s actually low dopamine instead. So, vice versa. I hope that made sense. But across the board, you could be low in GABA, you could be low in your catecholamines, you could be low with your norepinephrine, epinephrine, you could be lower cortisol. So even cortisol can be a component of depression because if you’ve got adrenal problems, that cortisol rhythm is too low, your batteries aren’t charged or you’ve got too high cortisol, or your cortisol is all over the place fluctuating high and low, which could all be due to these infections. That’s the perfect recipe for depression. So tyrosine may or may not be the solution for you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And I have one article here. It talks about dietary proteins having a substantial effect on the composition of gut bacteria. And they talked about for instance, suggestion of intake of dairy and meat protein at recommended level may be beneficial to maintain balance composition of gut bacteria compare with soy protein. Now, again, some of the studies are rat-based so it’s not gonna be a direct correlation, but having a healthy gut bacterial level may decrease some of that gram-negative bacteria which is some of the not so nice uhm—bacteria that tend to cause more of the LPS, right? The lipopolysaccharide and endotoxin. So if we can get the gut bacteria more in the balance, that may decrease the LPS, help with healthier gut integrity, help with less LPS getting into the brain, which creates a mood issues that way, too.
Evan Brand: Yup. So did you want to go into some of the natural solutions now? I mean, we’ve hit on neurotransmitters a bit. We hit on infection, so finding and fixing those. What about some of the free stuff, like just exercise alone just increasing BDNF, getting the movement, getting the blood going. I mean that’s huge.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.
Evan Brand: I mean exercise has change my life.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I would say that the BDNF, the Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor really helps with mood, helps with healthy, uhm— myelination, improvement of brain building uh—keep staying away from grains is really important because that can decrease blood flow up the garden hose. It’s called the carotid artery to the brain. If we decrease blood flow, we’re gonna, one, not be able clear out inflammation as well. We’re also not gonna be able to bring oxygen and nutrition to help the brain, too. So gluten is a big one. I would say, of course, your amino acid, serotonin 5 HCPL tyrosine, of course, B6 is really important. And if we’ve got bacterial imbalances that will affect B6. Also, healthy probiotics can help with gut inflammation. Remember inflammation in the gut will create inflammation in the brain. So healthy levels of Lactobacillus, bifida bacter, probotics will help cool down inflammation in the gut, which may help decrease some of that that glial site activation in the brain, which again is—is an inflammatory cell in the brain. It’s a white blood cell that it’s in the brain called the glial cells and when those get activated, it can create uhm—brain fog and it can also create mood issues, too.
Evan Brand: Oh, I wanna go back to the diet piece. So there is a piece of literature out there, a study of 9,700 vegetarians including some vegans, they were twice as likely to suffer from depression as meat eaters even after adjusting for variables such as job status, family history, and number of children. And then it goes on to talk about the lower intake of omega-3 fats, B12 and folate, which all can affect depression risk. Uhm—so on that note of the Omega 3’s, yeah, DHA, fish oil supplement could be helpful, but also, you’ve got pastured meats. You know, grass-fed beef alone contains so much more Omega threes than your standard typical low-quality meat. So, that is a really, really good piece of the puzzle.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Uhm— definitely getting 3 to 4 servings, 4 ounces of healthy fish per week is gonna be great, wild Alaskan, sockeye, skipjack tuna, you know, kinda high selenium to low mercury type of fish. You can just google that, high selenium to low mercury fish. It’s typically the higher ones are gonna be like the uhm— the shark pilot whale, those things, swordfish are gonna be much higher in mercury to selenium. Skipjack’s gonna be great. Wild Alaskan sockeye is gonna be great. Cod, Haddock, Sole. These are all gonna be higher selenium, lower Mercury. That’s great. And if you want to be on top of it more, you can do your 2 to 4 g of fish oil per day is excellent. That will have EPA and DHA in it. You know the ones like my Omega supreme has lipase in it. It’s also a triglyceride form, so it’s better absorbed, number one. LS oxidation, number two. And then the actual lipase will help you break it down in case there’s some fatty acid, you know, the digestion uh— digestive compromise things going on in there, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. If you’re buying fish oil supplements, people, if it smells fishy, throw that stuff out. It’s garbage. It’s ethyl ester form. If you go to Target, Walgreens, uh— any of these big box stores and you’re buying fish oil, it’s crap. Do not waste your money. Buy professional grade supplement. Check out Justin’s site, justinhealth I’ve also got one, evanbrand Just look us up. Find our stores. And we’ve got good fish oils because if you’re not doing professional grade, you’re wasting your money and there’s actually literature now that if it is an oxidized rancid fish oil, you’re actually creating more inflammation when the whole goal is to suppress inflammation and help depression. You’re making it worse if you’re doing the low-quality like a Kirkland’s or a Costco or Sam’s Club or these big box uhm—fish oils, vitamin Shoppe, GNC. All those guys. That’s all consumer grade. It’s all ethyl ester. That’s not good. You want triglyceride.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And Teresa mentions a low T3. So if you have low thyroid levels, poor T4 to T3 conversion, right? Or lower thyroid or active fiber hormone T3 or tri iodo thyronine, that’s important. Low thyroid can create mood issues. It can create depression. So we’d want to get to the root cause of why the thyroid is low. It could be just a combination of an autoimmune issue driven by gluten and other infections it could be a nutrient conversion issue like selenium and vitamin A, copper, zinc, magnesium. It also could be uhm—you know, gut bacteria issue. It could also be a stress issue like cortisol, right? So adrenal function has major effects on mood, too. If the adrenals are hyper or hypo functioning, there could be some mood issues there. It could be fatigue, it could be anxiety, it could be depression, it could be a combination of all three. Typically, anxiety and depression tend to come together. Some people can have them just individually where they are either anxious or depressed. But some people they tend to ebb and flow between the two.
Evan Brand: Yup. Well said. So if you have thyroid problems, you’ve got to investigate the gut, you’ve got to investigate the adrenals. We talk about that, but we can never stop talking about it because your conventional doc is not bringing this up. When you go there and you show up slightly off with your TSH, they’re not gonna say, “Hey, maybe you have gut infections. It’s causing conversion problems. Maybe you have adrenal problems that’s messing up your conversion of active thyroid hormone.” They’re not gonna say that. So we have to keep talking about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. And so outside of that, yeah, Tessa makes a note,
“Hey, I don’t have a thyroid.” Then you really have to make sure you’re on a full-spectrum thyroid glandular and your T3 levels are at a therapeutic level, at least above 3.0 for T3 free. Ideally, I’ll make sure T4 is above 1.0 That’s a really good starting point. And then James mentions, “What about Olympian labs omega-3 fish oil?” I’m not quite sure. It could be good, it may not. Typically, you get what you pay for. Number one, you want to make sure it’s a triglyceride form. Number two and ideally you want to make sure it’s in, you know, this is like a plus, like I , add in the lipase coz I have worked with a lot of patient that have compromised guts and I want to make sure they can break the fish oils down well. So that is another important component.
Evan Brand: Yeah I’m looking at it right now. I can’t find any information about whether that brand is a triglyceride form or not. So I’ll keep digging and see if I could find it. But, Justin and I were biased because we want people to get better. We have to actually follow up with our clients and speak with them. And if they’re not getting better that comes back on us. And so we really want to use and we always use the highest quality professional grade formulas, which tend to have tighter quality control and better certain—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And also just better potency, too. I remember I had some issues in the supply chain because some of the nutrients that we were getting, were testing positive with some—some metals and some other not—not so nice compounds. So they sent it back to the manufacturer. So the nice thing is we’re always trying to look and make sure there’s no other contaminations where let’s say a lesser quality company may just say, “look the other way and just let it go.” So we’re trying to put that quality control on it to ensure that there is not to be any extra crap in it that could throw you off, so to speak.
Evan Brand: Yes. So I ended up on the Olympia labs website here for this fish oil. It looks like and this is just to cheap, right? So if you see something for 30 bucks for a 120, that— it just sounds too cheap already. So to me, that tells me not gonna be triglyceride form. I read the entire description. I don’t see one word that includes a triglyceride form. So to me, it’s ethyl ester. You could always contact them and say, “Hey, is it up ethyl ester triglyceride?” But I’m gonna bet a hundred bucks that it’s gonna be ethyl ester which is inferior. You don’t want to put that in your body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. But again, if you’re doing three or four servings of 4 ounces of fish a week, you may not even need fish oil. Uh—again, if you have extra inflammation, or extra brain stuff going on, cognitive stuff, mood stuff, then I would recommend supplementing it. Just so you get extra bit on top of it. Just to ensure that you know, what you’re getting is getting to where it needs to go. Is there anything else you want to add, Evan, about depression or mood stuff regarding functional medicine here?
Evan Brand: I think that’s it. We hit the gut, we hit the adrenals, we hit the thyroid aminos, liver function, digestive, anti-inflammation. I think we’ve hit all, man.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Well, hey, great talk today. We’re doing some quicker podcast so we can get more content out there to everyone. Hope you appreciate it. If you enjoy it, give us a thumbs up. Subscribe. Click on the bell now. With YouTube, they make it so you don’t get a lot of the notifications of new videos and new content unless you are subscribed and you hit the bell. So click on that bell. Do it for Evan’s channel as well and myself. That way, you can get all this really good spoon-fed information for you guys to continue to improve your health and your friends and family health, too.
Evan Brand: Yup. If you need to reach out for a consult with Dr. J or myself, go to Justinhealth.com Evanbrand.com You can schedule consult with this. We’ll help you via phone and Skype. We work with people worldwide. We’ll help you get tested, get to the root cause. So look us up. Book a call if you need help. Don’t try to piece it together for suffering. We’re here for you. So have a great day. Take Care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks, Evan. Take Care.