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:Dr. Kelly Brogan - A Mind of Your Own - Podcast #165

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

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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.

 


References:

www.kellybroganmd.com  

“Vital Mind Reset Program,” by Dr. Kelly Brogan

New York Times bestselling book, “A Mind of Your Own” by Dr. Kelly Brogan

https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Your-Own-Depression-Reclaim/dp/0062405578

“Increase your Brain Health by Changing Your Breakfast: The KB Smoothie” by Dr. Kelly Brogan

https://www.truehope.com/effectiveness/ingredients EMPowerplus by TrueHope

 

Improve Your Mood Part 1 – Podcast #28

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Baris Harvey reviews why your mood is off and shares with the listeners some simple things you can do to help get it back on track. Basically, this is a discussion regarding mood and neurotransmitter health. So if you have overthinking and anxiety issues, listen to this podcast learn how to deal with them. Dr. Justin also explains the importance of female hormones and the adrenals working for PMS, mood issues, or disruption of cycle.
mood disorders

Find out about the key foundational principles that will definitely help with mood changes.  Also learn about the types of food you should eat to keep your blood sugar regulated which is greatly improve your energy and mood throughout the day. Discover how neurotransmitters allow us to feel good in this podcast. Get information on the recommended ratio when taking 5-HTP and L-tyrosine.

In this episode, topics include:

4:58   Fixing your mood with foundational principles

12:27   Foods to eat and to avoid

15:19   Protein, amino acids, and neutrotransmitters

24:40   Female hormones and supplements

33:24   5-HTP and serontonin & L-tyrosine and dopamine

 

itune

 

 

youtuve

 

 

Podcast: Play in New Window|Download

Baris Harvey:  Welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  Before we go into today’s show, I wanna tell you guys about our newsletter.  Go to BeyondWellnessRadio.com and hit the button that says Newsletter Sign Up.  By doing this, you’ll never miss out on an episode.  Be the first ones to hear it as it is sent out to your inbox each week.  Want even more?  Make sure that you go above and click on Just In Health or Really Healthy Now or access straight to us the practitioners.  You can go ahead and send us an email and talk to us one-on-one and even get yourself a free 15-minute consultation.  Dr. Justin even has a free video series on How To Fix Your Thyroid.  So that being said, thank you guys for listening to another episode and coming on.

How’s it going, Dr. Justin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Baris, it’s going great, man.  How are your holidays?  How was the New Year?

Baris Harvey:  It went awesome.  Got–got some–some new clothes, some new jeans, I’m looking a little dapper so I appreciate that shout out to my mom for that.  How’s it going–how was your holidays?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Holidays are great, very good. I’m restful, got a little–little bit of a cold just kinda leading into the holiday but I was kinda got back on my immune-boosting protocol and I was able to get over it in just a few days and–and I’m, you know, definitely better for it.  I mean, most of the conventional solutions for getting a cold really there aren’t much.  I mean, it’s either get a flu vaccine ahead of time or Tamiflu for the most part.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But there’s a lot of nutrients in the national medicine realm and that probably is a good podcast that we should do maybe next week.  We’ll–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Add that to the queue.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, we’ll definitely add that one.  Alright, as a matter of fact, I’ll write that down right now–immune.  Alright, so I–I know one thing for me was like I actually did really well when it came to vaccines because I know a lot of people got sick because, you know, the weather and oftentimes it–it might not even have been the weather, maybe because they’re staying inside more and all that dust accumulates and what not.  I stayed pretty–pretty healthy, to think that I messed up because I didn’t eat that great and that’s when I started feeling like, “I don’t feel like myself.”  So I know people say like, “Oh, does food really make that much of a difference?  And I could tell you, I–I was not–I’m not in my greatest shape, just in, you know, just in that stress off of a couple of weeks.  So, yeah, food makes a big difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.  I’ve been off a little bit with my exercise but I find diet is, you know, 80% of the game, just choosing some good movement patterns, adding some–some resistance in there, doing some good movements.  You don’t need too much once you’re at a high level to really maintain.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  So–and today, well, before I get to today’s podcast, what did you have for breakfast?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Today was just 4 eggs, sunny side up and some–some butter and MCT in my coffee.  Today was pretty simple.  I’ve been doing a lot more collagen recently because to help, just kinda with hair and skin and just anti-aging and also to help with some of my joints.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I’ve been kinda just really rocking out the collagen.  I actually just got my organic acid test back so I’ve tweaked my supplement program a little bit to help improve my health and there’s some things on there, I think we’ll–we’ll talk about in today’s show regarding mood and neurotransmitter health.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.  Now for the listeners out there, yeah, I remember we’re on a–me and Dr. Justin are on a 2-hour difference right now, so usually for my Friday I kinda, I might have been more relaxed when my–my day’s not always as busy so sometimes I don’t–I don’t wake up as early, so sometimes I usually just wake up and just hop on–hop on the call.  You know, compared before and I hop on the call, so I don’t always eat anything.  So I’ll tell you what I’m gonna eat after.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  So after the show, I’ll also have some eggs and then I’ll have some organic, you know, not a lot of ingredients because I think when I say sausage, somebody’s gonna think of like, “Oh, sausage, that’s not healthy,” but alright, if you go to the healthy food store, you’ll notice there’s high quality sausage out there and I just keep it simple like that and just, you know, I think so–I think, well, II do fine with dairy especially if it’s higher in fat, so sometimes I like putting in some organic sour cream, and I do fine with that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Awesome.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, so today’s podcast we’re gonna talk about fixing our mood and this is something that can be–can either–either be like sleep, it can be PMS, that’s something that’s almost joked about, and it–and–and people might joke about it but it–but it’s a real concern, a real matter.  And there are other things that, and–and we gotta be careful here because there’s a–there’s a gray area.  We mention things that might sound a little bit more psychological.  We wanna remember that, you know, we don’t wanna say that all drugs are bad or anything of that fashion.  We just have to be smart that there are some people with more severe cases that–that might need more treatment but you can be on the borderline with some of these things and maybe there’s some underlying things that you can fix yourself.  So if you have like a mild depression or like a mild–or even if you do have severe, there are still things you can fix, but just understand that, you know, also talk to your doctor about these things as well.  So, if you have like some depression issues or some obsessive overthinking, anxiety, today is a show for you, and make sure, you know, that you consume as much of this knowledge that you can and because when you’re mood is off, it–it kinda changes who you are.  And I’ve–I’ve noticed myself like get–not get enough sleep and become irritated and all of a sudden like, “That’s not me, I don’t wanna be mean to other people,” so-and I’m pretty sure you–you’ve had that every once in a while, Dr. Justin, where you just–you don’t get enough sleep and maybe ate something bad and all of a sudden someone’s like, “Whoa!  That’s not you.”  And you’re like, “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s totally not how I act.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  So when we deal with these issues we have foundational principles, right?  These are things that we cannot ignore these if we wanna feel good and have a good mood.  So you kinda have already to it sleep.  Sleep is ridiculously important because sleep actually helps us have good sensitivity to blood sugar.  So what that means is they’ve have done studies where they took healthy college kids.  They cut their sleep in half to 4 hours a night.  After 1-2 weeks later, they were insulin-resistant, meaning the cells in their body were–the receptor sites were numb to sugar, to glucose, and they weren’t taking it into the cell properly and the glucose was accumulating in the blood creating free radical stress, right?  And free radical stress are like it’s basically when the body kinda comes in there and can damage the DNA, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it’s when the body can chip away and–and chip away at the electrons essentially.  Ox–oxidation is nothing more than the loss of electrons and that creates damage to the DNA.  So we wanna really make sure that we have good stable blood sugar and the first way we do that is to getting to sleep on time ideally 10 to 10:30, definitely before midnight, that’s gonna be a great way to make sure our mood is dialed in.  That’s one, from a foundational perspective.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Two, blood sugar.  So if you have thyroid issues or adrenal issues, we don’t wanna be skipping meals, having enough food that can last us 4-5 hours a day is gonna be huge–or sorry, 4 to 5-hour in-between meals, so having your breakfast within an hour of getting up, eating the right ratios of protein and fat and carbohydrates for you is very important, and you should go about 4-5 hours and you shouldn’t be starving at 4-5 hours.  So those are just some really key foundational principles.  Blood sugar and sleep.  You wanna add to that, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, that’s some night we should always make sure that we have down at a basic borderline if you’re not.  If your blood sugar is off, that’s an easy way to get irritable and if you’re not sleeping enough, those are I guess basic foundational thing that you already mentioned so as long as people know that, “Hey, make sure you’re getting enough sleep.”  Those two, basically if those two things aren’t on point, any of these other stuff we’re gonna talk about is just minutia at that point, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, and regarding all the blood sugar stuff, most people are kind of brainwashed regarding blood sugar.  “Oh, my blood sugar drops,” like “Eat a candy bar or something,” or like “Have some candy.”  Like that’s not what we’re talking about here.  So I use a lot of analogies and I think you do as well with your practice and with your patients.  But I always tell patients imagine you got a campfire in front of you, right?  You want that campfire to–you wanna ignite that fire, but you want it to stay lit for a while so you don’t get cold, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And just think of the heat from the energy is like–the heat from the fire is analogous to your energy throughout the day and in-between meals.  So for the most part, the logs in the fire are gonna be really important.  So the logs are like the protein and the fat.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And by protein, we’re just gonna go out there with the assumption, organic, high quality, you know, grass-fed meat, chicken, fish, beef, skin on, good quality fats from like grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, you know, tallow beef, things like that.  So that’s kinda already lumped in to when we say protein and fat, the quality is already built into that.  So that’s are like the logs in the fire and if anyone’s lit a fire before, they probably know they maybe used a little bit of kindling.  And some of that kindling–

Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  May be some paper and that paper in real world terms may mean, maybe some low glycemic fruit, berries, things of that nature.  Or maybe eat some vegetables.  Maybe eat some vegetables like broccoli or spinach, right?  And then sometimes we have things like gasoline that we use in the fire and that maybe like sugar, refined sugar or even–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alcohol.  So if you ever just like have like your match lit and you put a whole bunch of gasoline on it, it goes up and then out.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that’s kind of analogous to how people’s moods are, right?  They go out, they’re like bouncing off the walls, feeling super good, and then they’re crashing with their head on their desk just a little while later.  So we wanna make sure when that fire’s there, maybe we have 80% to 90% good logs, and then we put maybe a little bit of paper in there, using the right carbohydrate, you know, for your metabolic needs.  If you’re working out that morning, you may put a sweet potato in there.  If you’re trying to lose weight or you’re trying to, you know, eat according to healthy thyroid and adrenal function, you may go lower carb in the morning and ramp up carbs later in the day, kinda like an adrenal reset diet where you go higher carbs at night when cortisol is lower and you maybe go lower carb during the day when cortisol’s higher.  So that’s kind of a good analogy there and just thinking you light that fire, right?  The logs are like the proteins and fats and maybe the kindling is like some of the carbohydrates and just choosing the right kindling that’s appropriate for your metabolism.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  So that sounds great.  You also did a podcast on blood sugar in the past as well, so I’m gonna advise all your guys out there to, you know, search that one up.  I can also put a–a link in there as well on that.  We also–we’d talked a lot about different supplements that you can take or–or foods that can help with–helping your blood sugar and what different cravings mean and how to–how to kind of fix these because yeah, low blood sugar, you’re–you’re gonna end up being stressed out and cranky and irritable and have a headache.  So, yeah–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No good.

Baris Harvey:   Yeah, no good.  Alright, we mentioned making sure that our–our diet’s right and you know, avoiding the sweet foods and could there also be some specific foods that just might throw people off?  I know some people just don’t do good with caffeine.  Some people might be allergic to certain foods.  What are just some certain foods that are just like no-nos for people?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, of course, we have foods like gluten.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And for the most part I kinda reverse the effects on gluten where gluten is guilty until proven innocent.  Because there’s such a majority of people out there that will benefit from cutting gluten out.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The fact that gluten is a nutrient-poor food, it’s inflammatory, it doesn’t have the nutrients that we need, it can spike our blood sugar, it’s–can also create leaky guts, and then also it is highly refined with folic acid which a lot of people don’t have the MTHFR genes so then they convert folic acid–they–they can’t convert it and it’s actually can be pretty cancerous.  So there’s so many reason to cut out–

Baris Harvey:  And why and why not eat it versus–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  To eat it, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So a lot of people are like, “Oh well, you know, you’re just being a zealot, you know, not everyone’s gluten-sensitive.”  In my experience, the majority are gluten-sensitive, so I air on the side of cutting it out and keeping it out, that I’m gonna help more people than I hurt from that perspective.  But from the other perspective, the foods you eat on a continuous basis should be nutrient-dense, low in toxins, and anti-inflammatory.  And gluten gets a–a failing grade for all of those category and then we add on the whole folic acid thing and the MTHFR SNP–we’ll save a podcast specific for methylation and MTHFR, but most people can’t covert whether they’re heterozygous MTHFR or homozygous, meaning one gene or two genes, they’re gonna have a hard time converting folic acid into active folate or MTHFR folate.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So gluten’s gonna be a big way there.

Baris Harvey:  And any other foods you can think of that are inflammatory foods or anything–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, anything, omega 6 fatty acids, refined vegetable oils, trans fats, refined sugars.  What sugars are gonna do–the reason why sugar’s so addicting is because when we spike up insulin because insulin gets spiked up because of sugar.  So insulin’s kinda there to pull all that sugar into the cells.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And so for the first part of that when you’re eating some protein and a whole bunch of sugar, it’s gonna shuttle as much sugar into the cells and into the muscles.  What happens is 5-HTP, L-tryptophan and L-tyrosine tend to have an affinity to cross the blood brain barrier faster while all the other proteins are being shuttled into the muscle and into the cells.  So what happens is we get this huge rush of serotonin and dopamine being converted in the brain because L-tyrosine and 5-HTP, we’ll talk about this, but they are amino acids.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And all amino acids–let me say it another way–all neurotransmitters are actually made–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  From protein and amino acids.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So all that protein is, imagine a pearl necklace, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A pearl necklace is the protein and all of the pearls connected to the necklace, those are like amino acids, so a string of pearls together, each individual pearl being an amino acid and then the whole necklace as a–as a whole will be the protein.  So all those amino acids, they actually make up our neurotransmitters.  And neurotransmitters are the little cellular communicators that go in between neurons.  So like take a–kind of give you an analogy here–make a fist, make two fists.  A fist with your left hand and a first with your right hand, and kind of put your knuckles like they’re gonna touch each other right in front of your body, so your knuckles are meeting–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right in front of your sternum and pull them apart just about an inch or two.  So your left knuckle will be like the presynaptic neuron, that’s where the action potential or the currents, the nerve connectivity flows down.  The space between–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Your left fist and your right fist is called the synaptic cleft or the pre–the pre-synaptic space.  That’s where a lot of the neurotransmitters accumulate and then–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The right hand or the right fist will be the post-synaptic neurons.  So again, the currents flowing from the left fist then we have the neurotransmitter, the pre-synaptic cleft that space there where the neurotransmitters accumulate and the neurotransmitters are like a bridge, a bridge of action potential from the left fist to the right fist.  So we have the pre, which is the one leading up to it.  We have the space, which is the–the–the space in between there where the neurotransmitters accumulate.  And then we have the post-synaptic neuron which is the right fist.  And all of these neurotransmitters actually accumulate in between the pre and post-synaptic neuron.  And these neurotransmitters allow us to feel good, so we have serotonin which allows us to feel kinda happy.  We have dopamine that allows us to feel the “I love you” feeling.  It’s that when we get when we’re in love or what we get when we’re eating a bunch of sugar, we have GABA which can relax us, so these are really important neurotransmitters that allow us to feel good.  Do you wanna elaborate on that, Baris, or break it down a little more?

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, I–I think the analogy you used was great, you know, like either–you wrote down some good notes when you were taking anatomy or you had a great anatomy teacher, like I this–I went ahead and did it myself with the two hands and like that’s almost exactly how like it looks, it’s–it’s–has little bulb at the ends–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Baris Harvey:  And your spinning neurons and that’s where–and so–so basically for people to know we are bioelectrical-chemical beings so there are electric surges that get sent to other cells, our–our neuro cells have these little–actually, you know, just where your–this little space, these little gaps in which their communication that actually happens and then, you know, they send the chemicals and depending on if they can’t absorb it or reabsorb that’s where, you know, problems are gonna happen, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So like if someone’s either overstimulated or they can’t reabsorb something appropriate, that’s when, you know, for an example, if someone does cocaine often.  Dopamine is–is the one–the–is gonna shoot out very often, right?  And it’s in–it keeps it in that rather than getting reabsorbed, it keeps it in that synaptic cleft.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  And it’s overstimulated and that’s why people feel amazing, I hear.  I’ve never done it before, but I hear people feel amazing and that’s probably why it–it’s extremely addictive.  Not to the same level but that kinda happens with sugar as well, so I’m not saying that sugar is cocaine but there is a similar mechanism and that’s just why, you know, sometimes your sweet tooth wins the battle when it comes to your willpower.  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, also from that standpoint, there had been studies where they fed rats–the rats had to chance to choose cocaine or Oreo cookies and they found the rats were choosing the Oreo cookies over the–the cocaine and they found the same areas on the brain that were being lit up with the cocaine use were being lit up by the Oreo cookie use.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So at the same standpoint, you know, one is just, you know, more societally accepted than the other, right?  You know–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We don’t look too, you know, friendly on, you know, drug abusers in society.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In my opinion, we should treat them like severe obese people that just can’t–that have no self-control.  It should be looked at between that because people aren’t really getting helped.  Throwing people that are like just neurontally damaged in jail.

Baris Harvey:  Damaged in jail.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s just not–it’s not fixing the problem and they come out as violent criminals.  So we don’t do that with severe obese people that just can’t–can’t stop eating because that’s like a societally accepted thing.  But what happens is the same parts of the brain are being lit up.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what we’re doing with food, what we’re doing with dopamine–excuse me, what we’re doing with cocaine to increase dopamine, what we’re doing with SSRIs or all these drugs, they have one thing in common.  And that is they are changing the location of where these neurotransmitters are.  So again, left fist, right fist, the in between space that’s where the neurotransmitters accumulate.  What they’re doing is, they’re taking all the neurotransmitters that are stored up in this left fist and they’re bringing it out into the middle.  Now here’s where it’s interesting.  When we change the location, when we pull these neurotransmitters out of that left fist and we put it in between in the middle, we get that really good feeling.  But the problem is, the longer they stay outside of the fist and in this space, they break down faster.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So let me say that again, most habits that are drug-induced or sugar-induced, or let’s say it’s like CrossFit extreme exercise-induced or like jumping out of airplanes, any type of like crazy addiction that that’s bringing you negative results in your life, that’s just changing the neurotransmitter location.  And the more you rely on changing the location, the faster these neurochemicals break down, we set you up for long-term destruction because then the amount of neurochemicals that are there drop and those neurochemicals can’t carry the signal from the left fist to the right fist or for the science junkies out there, the pre-synaptic neuron to the post-synaptic neuron.  And that’s important so in–in functional medicine world, we wanna work on things that don’t just change location but actually build up the amount of neurotransmitter in that location.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Because that’s when you start to getting–that’s where it starts to get insensitive, right?  Or–or it’s not communicating the signal strong enough and all of a sudden what used to be, you know, super powerful now you–now the only way you get happy is  with cocaine because nothing is strong enough to–to–to have that feeling, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  It’s like those Einstein balls.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So like if you’ve ever seen them in the museum or on like, you know, cooler places there like the little balls that like swing and like hit a ball and the other ball kinda goes up the exact same place and it kinda swings back and forth and hits?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if you’re on Google Image, just type in Einstein balls and you know what I’m talking about.  But imagine that first ball hitting and that second ball barely moving.  Like that’s what happens if there’s not enough neurotransmitter in between that left fist or that right fist and most of the drugs, let’s just break down a few drugs like Celexa or Lexapro, you know, these are selective serotonin, that means they’re working on increasing serotonin in the synapse, reuptake inhibitor, that means it’s blocking the body’s ability to pull it back up into the pre-synaptic neuron or that left fist.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then you look at other drugs like Wellbutrin, that’s gonna be more of a dopamine inhibitor and there are other drugs for migraines that are norepinephrine inhibitors.  So a lot of these drugs work on just blocking the uptake which in essence changes the location of where these chemicals are.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yeah, definitely.  And yeah, and–and with our–our brain chemicals, too.  There–there are two different kinds and dopamine being so awesome and so powerful, it kinda fits in both categories but, you know, the inhibitory neurotransmitters and the excitatory neurotransmitters, so making sure that we’re stimulating and the right ones are firing in the brain at a certain time like you don’t–you don’t need norepinephrine firing off at midnight when you’re trying to go to sleep unless, you know, someone’s breaking into the house, and yeah, that would totally–but unless something, you know, is bad happening, you need to–I guess and that can be an–an another way to help with some of our mood issues as–as I guess that’s back to our foundational start we talked about the blood sugar and getting good sleep but relaxation and exercise, you know, exercising is a healthy way to one, get your body moving, get the hormones pushing the right direction but also it might not always feel good when you’re doing it if it’s hard but you feel really good after when you get really good sen–sensation and you’re kinda fixing some of your neurotransmitters but also making sure that regular relaxation, you know, if you’re stressed out all the time you’d–if you’re in a crisis we know that we feel–we don’t feel right, but if it’s–if it’s daily, that’s chronic, and we’re letting maybe that person at work or relationship hinder how we feel in our relaxation and you go to sleep every night not feeling well, you kinda create this vicious cycle. Well, now you can’t, you know, maybe that–that’s causing some longer term depression or it can even cause like other problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Those are some really good points, Baris.  So, Baris, let’s talk about some things we can do from a supplemental perspective.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, that’d be awesome and real–real quick, too.  Just for so some resources that people might wanna know about right before we get into the supplements that I know you’re gonna, as well people the mute them–if I can speak English, The Mood–The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Julia Ross, right.

Baris Harvey:  And also Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Dr.–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Daniel Amen.

Baris Harvey:  Dr. Amen.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Baris Harvey:  So those are other great resources, but you go ahead and–and knock some supplement or advice to our listeners.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, very good.  So it really depends on what the problem is because a lot of hormones actually–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Are natural kind of reuptake inhibitors.  So for instance, females especially if they have PMS or any mood issues or disruption in their cycle for instance, you really wanna make sure the hormones and the adrenals are working.  So if a woman has PMS or has issues with progesterone in the second half of the cycle which female hormone symptoms have to do with the combination of estrogen dominance which has to do with progesterone being lower than its ideal ratio in relation to estrogen.  Typically there should be like a 23 to 25 time more amount of progesterone to estrogen and when it drops–when it drops in that ratio, we can start having symptoms.  We can start having excessive bleeding.  We can start having moodiness.  We can start having breast tenderness.  So all of these things can easily be fixed by getting the adrenals and the female hormones working again.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now on that note, we talked about blood sugar and sleep earlier if you don’t make those changes, the sleep and blood sugar and stuff, you will never ever, ever and I hate using absolutes, but for the most part it’s just true and I think you would agree–if you don’t get the blood sugar and the sleep on track, you will never be able to get the hormones on track no matter how fancy a supplement program we make.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  Or you can’t sleep 4 hours a night and eat candy all the time and then take a pill.  It’s not gonna work that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  So at most females for instance, we really wanna make sure that we get the hormones dialed in and the adrenals are gonna be an important component of that.  So that’s gonna be one of the most important parts right there.  And also if a woman has low progesterone that second half of the cycle, they’re gonna be excessively.  When they bleed excessively, then they’re gonna be low on iron and if they’re low on iron, they’re not gonna be able to carry oxygen properly which then–we’re not gonna be able to have aerobic metabolism when we’re burning fat and oxygen for fuel efficiently and then iron’s needed to make thyroid hormone as well.  So it’s like this vicious cycle when female hormones get off, all of these other problems start to occur.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Yeah, definitely.  And–and I know, you know, a lot about this topic and the thyroid is gonna have–have in accord with our energy and our mood, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  You feel lethargic and you’re probably not the happiest person in the world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  So that kinda leads us into the next thing, we have kind of our hormone centers.  We have ATF for females and ATM for males, meaning–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Adrenals, thyroid, male hormones or adrenals, thyroid, and female hormones.  And we wanna make sure those are balanced at some level and by balance, we can kinda push the female hormones or the thyroid back into the right place but if there are other issues pulling it out, we really have to make sure the root causes are–are being addressed.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So on that notes–on that note, looking at thyroid is important.  They did a study where a third of the people who are depressed, they found had low thyroid function and when they just got their thyroid fixed, depression was gone.  So a lot of mood issues can be fixed just by getting the thyroids or getting the adrenals or getting the female hormones working better.  So that’s why you really don’t want to have like a symptom-based approach.  You really want a systems-based–based approach because if you look at the systems that are out of balance and you just start nudging them back into balance and you make the diet and lifestyle and sleep changes along with it, half of those people with mood issues are gonna be fixed off the bat.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, okay.  A real big one that we can all–and I–I think we talked about–we might have talked about this before so I’m gonna go ahead and–and look it up and link it if–if necessary, but PMS that can really throw off some–someone and I know one thing that I notice a lot with the women in my life that have had that, they also sometimes have heavy cycles and end up being anemic or need to watch their iron because iron totally make an interplay with like PMS or what are some other things that a woman can do if she has PMS?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So off the bat–off the bat there with PMS, you really want to get to the root cause–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the blood sugar and the sleep is kinda really important, the adrenals are really important.  With some patients depending on their progesterone, we’ll use a cyclical augmentation program where we actually modulate and give small amounts of progesterone during the second half of the cycle to really get the progesterone levels back on track.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now once that kinda gets on track, we also see that the bleeding becomes less and we can even use herbs such as Chaste tree or Vitex agnus.  We can even use estrogen-modulating herbs like Dong quai or black cohosh and such to really help kind of modulate those things, and remember these hormones actually have an effect on the reuptake of neurochemicals.  So we kinda already talked about how when we block the reuptake of neurochemicals that may be a bad thing–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But if we’re blocking the reuptake by just restoring normal physiology that may not be necessarily be a bad thing because we’re just trying to push the body back into balance.  We’re not trying to make it–we’re not trying to use hormones or supplements like a drug, we’re trying to use them to push normal physiology back and if–if those hormones help and provide enough blocking activation to make the person feel better, well, the issue may have just been hormonal imbalance driving that neurochemical imbalance and that neurochemical imbalance is restored to normal function.  So maybe it’s just the hormones that are actually causing the reuptake issue.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like monoamine oxidase or MAO is a specific drug out there.  Now if we can do something via natural means, it’s always better because natural means tend to have more, how should I say it?  They have more homeostatic mechanisms involved.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So there’s more sensors, if you will, to make sure things are working properly.  When we use the drug, there’s just one objection.  It’s to block–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  An enzyme or to inhibit some type of pathway and there aren’t quite as many feedbacks letting things to know that, you know, we’re imbalanced.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, I hear this would be like fix even one specific thing but if the body doesn’t–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They whack ‘em all.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whack ‘em all.

Baris Harvey: Your body is like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You pop one down and another one comes up.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, like “Okay, why did that happen?”  We don’t know.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Whereas, you know, you eat a food and there are so many different chemicals and signals in there and helps boost certain area but it also just like works in rhythm with your own body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Right, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So the next perspective is we can actually give amino acids to help–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  With boosting up the location of these neurotransmitters. So for instance we have 5-HTP which is a precursor to serotonin and we have L-tyrosine which is a precursor to dopamine.  Now when we do this with a lot of patients, I–I recommend using 5-HTP over L-tryptophan because there’s an enzymatic regulation where you only can make so much serotonin from L-tryptophan.  With some people that may have damage or made them in higher amounts than normal, you wanna use 5-HTP because you’re not gonna have that capacitor or that–what do they call it when–when it prevents it from getting higher or they have it in cars for instance that prevent the engine from going too hot?  I forget the term.  It will come to me in a minute there, but it’s–it’s basically preventing the transmission and the conversion of serotonin.  But if you use 5-HTP–I’m sorry that term is governor.  If you have a governor on something–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The governor prevents it from going too high.  So the governor is taken off when you give 5-HTP so you can actually get higher levels of serotonin than if you just gave L-tryptophan instead.  So I like 5-HTP.  The key is we have to give it with B6, that’s really important.  We need B6 to actually help convert 5-HTP to serotonin and I always give for the most part starting out 5-HTP and L-tyrosine in a balanced formula of 10:1 so 10 times more L-tyrosine than 5-HTP.  So if we’re dealing with 100 units of 5-HTP, we wanna have a thousand units or 1,000 mg of L-tyrosine.  And that’s important because the same enzymes that metabolize 5-HTP which is the amino acid decarboxylase enzyme, that amino acid is the same one that metabolizes L-tyrosine.  So if we’re stimulating this enzyme to–to break down 5-HTP and we’re giving more 5-HTP and this enzyme’s upregulated and we don’t have an additional amount of L-tyrosine there along with it, we can start creating deficiency because of us upregulating that enzyme.  So you always wanna give this long-term, right?  More than a month or two.  You wanna give them in conjunction and ideally with B6 and ideally being on other good multivitamin with B12 and folate and all the other nutrients as kinda there as a blanket to make sure that there’s no nutrients that are missing for neurotransmitter metabolism.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  That sounds good.  And I know that that some people will do really good with 5-HTP like you mentioned and whether that be in a smaller or a larger dose of L-tryptophan, but also there are some people that do–do really well with a GABA.  The gamma-aminobutyric acid–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  Which is our–that natural tranquilizer like a chemical which kinda relaxes us and loosens us up kinda and–and I know I’ve used before in the past as well.  So I–I’ve actually taken–I think it’s Source Naturals, but they had this Theanine Serene which have like–had a little bit of GABA and theanine and I think some magnesium and some other natural herbs, those are really nice.  I forget the formula off the top of my head.  But tell us a little bit about GABA and how that can help you sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So GABA can be helpful, there’s a–this is kind of a controversial school of thought so–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m a big fan of Marty Hinz.  He does a lot of research on neurotransmitters.  Basically, he’s like the catch-all guy that neurotransmitters can fix everything.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And in the functional medicine world, we wanna be careful of absolutes.  I think neurotransmitters can be a real powerful tool in your tool belt to address any type of mood-related issue.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I think we also need a good functional medicine model where we don’t, you know, throw the baby out with the bathwater.  So I think it’s important.  So without the GABA, if you look at Marty Hinz’s type of perspective, he says that dopamine and se–serotonin are gonna be the master regulators of GABA.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Meaning that if we work on dopamine and serotonin, the GABA kind of takes care–takes care of itself if you will.  Now on that note, I’ve seen patients that do well with GABA.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But on the same standpoint, you talk to other people like people that are in Dr. Kharrazian’s camp, they’ll say that GABA cannot cross the blood brain barrier, it is too big, it is too large, the research paper say this, and the only reason why you’d have an effect with GABA is because you have a leaky gut/leaky brain–

Baris Harvey:  Leaky brain.  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then the GABA is passing in there and having that type of an effect.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Now personally myself, GABA does nothing to me.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I have a lot of patients where it’s done nothing and I have had some where they swear by it.  So is that true or is it not?  Well, it’s hard to say.  And with so many people–

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Having leaky guts, maybe there’s more people out there that have leaky brains than we think–

Baris Harvey:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They actually benefit from GABA.  But I like Hinz’s school of thought that we really wanna deal with the master neurotransmitters because a lot of times when we deal with the masters, everything kinda gets taken–

Baris Harvey:  Taken care of.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And can put back in balance, taken care of, exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.  Sounds good.  That sounds good.  And I know that there’s–there’s, you know, a lot of stuff when it comes to all these things and–and we talked about the making sure we get the basic functional–make sure you get your sleep, make sure you relax, make sure you have a healthy mood, and your blood sugar’s regulated.  I mean some–some other functional stuff, you know, anti-inflammatory diet, you know, making sure your vitamin D levels are in check, and you know, you’re taking your fish oil and–and there’s a lot of specifics.  So for–for people that might have a specific question, I urge you to go to beyondwellnessradio.com and we have a tab that says Questions.  You can leave us a question.  You can click on the tab that says Just In Health and Contact Dr. Justin for a one-on-one consultation if you wanna look further into this, you can also contact me as well.  So yeah, you wanna go ahead and–and–and add–and add some?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely.  So we also look at some of the neurotransmitter conversion with dopamine and according to Dr. Dan Kalish who has done thousands of neurotransmitter testing with DBS Labs, he’s found that most people tend to be dopamine dominant–or sorry–I’m sorry dopamine­-deficient, meaning they actually need more dopamine.  So when we look at dopamine, we were thinking L-tyrosine.  That’s gonna really improve dopamine conversion.  Now if we’re doing this whole 10:1 ratio, that’s a good starting point, right?  Maybe 100 mg of 5-HTP to 1,000 of L-tyrosine, maybe bringing that up to 300 mg 5-HTP to 3,000 L-tyrosine, that’s a good place.  We also need sulfur-based amino acids for healthy conversion of dopamine.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, what that means is this.  We have dopamine that gets converted from L-tyrosine, and that dopamine that goes from L-DOPA to dopamine and then it goes to norepinephrine.  And norepinephrine to have that conversion from dopamine to norepinephrine, we need some certain nutrients there, alright?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So norepinephrine to go to epinephrine needs sulfur-based amino acids and there’s two main ones that you could use.  SAMe or methionine or cysteine.  So cysteine’s a pretty rare one.  Dr. Hinz uses cysteine.  I’d use little–I use L-methionine instead because it’s a little bit more cost-effective than SAMe.  SAMe is pretty expensive.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I’ll use L-methionine with patients instead and L-methionine will really help with that conversion of norepinephrine to epinephrine, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So one more time, right?  We need dopamine to go to L-DOPA.  L-DOPA then goes to norepinephrine and then to get norepinephrine to epinephrine, we need the sulfur-based amino acids and that’s where SAMe, cysteine, or L-methionine.  And I urge you not to use NAC.  The research had been kind of on the fence about this, but most people just say, “Hey, NAC is not gonna be what you need to make that conversion.”

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think you’re just better off from a cost-effective perspective, if you could go with the methionine anywhere between 1,500 mg to 3–3 g or 3,000 mg is a good way to go.

Baris Harvey:  And the–so you–you probably recommend not using like L-DOPA itself as a supplement using the precursors instead, correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So regarding using pure L-DOPA, it’s possible there are things such as mucuna pruriens or velvet bean where you can extract L-DOPA directly from that which is actual L-DOPA.  Now that’s really interesting.  I’ve had an experience using L-DOPA.  I don’t recommend using that unless you are working with a practitioner.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I used it and I literally felt like–

Baris Harvey:  Literally, too strong.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I felt like I was incredibly spacey, felt like I was walking around drunk, like it was a terrible experience and I’m like–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright I’m gonna do this–this was like 5 or 6 years ago when I was like in the middle of finals–

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And studying for a really big exam and I’m like, “I’m gonna boost up dopamine because dopamine helps with focus.”  And I just overdid it and it was terrible because I couldn’t study the whole day because I felt so spacey.  I felt like I was drunk.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I said, “Alright, this is a lesson learned.”  So I strongly recommend you do not use L-DOPA unless you are working with a trained functional medicine physician.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hmm.  Right.  I know that–I forgot when I first saw that  and I-I’ve never used it myself so I can’t really give my 2 cents on it but I remember, it’s gonna probably like a–a long time ago when I was just looking for supplement–like workout supplements and those like supposed to help with boosting testosterone and what not, and that’s when I first–but after researching it, I mean I might do a little bit of that but it’s more so with the–with the dopamine-like response.  Yeah, you-you know the opposite like effect, gotta be careful with that, what you supplement with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly and this whole sulfur-based amino acid cascade adrenal fatigue, right?  Where we’re hyper secreting or maybe it’s fatigue where our cortisol’s actually bottomed out, we’re also gonna be kinda whipping the tired horse of adrenal or norepinephrine to epinephrine, so that’s gonna be low as well.  So that’s why adrenal fatigue is really important to helping to fix this whole pathway.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think a good starting dose for anyone here that says, “Alright, well, what–I wanna use some of these sulfur amino acids.  I wanna use some of these neurotransmitter supports.”  I think a safe dose would be 300 mg of 5-HTP followed with 3,000 mg of L-tyrosine with some sulfur-based amino acids, anywhere between 1500 to 3 grand of L-methionine will be a really good starting point.  And just to make sure the 5-HTP you’re getting has B6 in it and make sure you’re on a high quality multivitamin with B12 and activated MTHFR folate and if you need support with this, feel free and you can reach out to either Baris or myself because we do this stuff with patients every day.

Baris Harvey:  Definitely make a part 2 to this because–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  I know, I mean we could so long ahead of this stuff and I–I think we got a good foundation here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  We got some things for people with irritability.  I know like myself and also like, I know mentioned in the beginning like anxiety and some of the overthinking like stuff.  We’re gonna make a part 2 for you and we’re gonna, you know, go into the hormones, estrogen, and the different supplements and neurotransmitters to help you with anxiety and mood and that as well.  So kinda like you had the depression on one side and then the overthinking on the other side and we’ll get to that one as well.  But again, go to beyondwellnessradio.com, go to Sign Up to the Newsletter.  You know, make sure that you won’t miss part 2 and you’ll get it right in your inbox.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, we’re gonna really work on increasing the frequency of the podcast.  We’re gonna try to do 1 a week to really kind of get everyone’s brain candy addiction in for the week hopefully.

Baris Harvey:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if you guys got any feedback or have any feedback on show tips or topics you want addressed, feel free and reach out beyondwellnessradio.com and I think it’s question, slash question, and you can speak your question to us or you can drop us a line and we’ll be more than willing to, you know, listen to what people wants and–want and create show topics based on the needs of our listeners.

 

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