How to Deal With Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed? | Podcast #376

Connections between the brain and gut abound, which can be seen in the dysfunctions that often unite them. Many neurological and mood disorders often have enteric manifestations, GI disorders may present with neurological and psychiatric symptoms, and psychological stress may adversely impact microbiome balance and GI function.

Dr. J and Evan Brand discuss that consideration of the bidirectional relationship of the gut-brain axis will inform individual treatment strategies. Managing external stress-related factors while optimizing gut health may jointly address some chronic health conditions. Specifically, personalized therapeutic strategies that combine stress transformation approaches with gut health interventions, such as functional testing, nutrition, and natural supplements, may help to optimize gut function and bolster related body systems. Learn more about supporting the microbiome and its effect on overall health when you subscribe to this channel!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00 – Introduction
0:46 – Stress
6:41 – Brain Chemistry
7:51 – Water Filtration and Organic Foods
13:56 – Cortisol Patterns
23:13 – Stress and Hormones
30:00 – Testing and Functional Strategies

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s doctor J here in the house with Evan Brand. Really excited. We are back doing our live podcast. Really excited to be back in the saddle. Evan, how we doing, man? What’s going on? 

Evan Brand: Oh, doing really well. I’m excited to talk about stress. My wife, she woke up this morning.Which is like my jaws tight was like grinding my teeth last night and maybe you need to talk about that today. So I thought, OK, everyone is stressed, there’s a lot on everyone’s plate, but it’s really how you respond to it that really determines whether it makes you and you become someone and something and you get success out of your stress. Or do you just get frazzled and burned out and you resort to alcohol and tobacco and other addictions, chocolate and wine and whatever else to cope with that? And I think there’s a lot healthier coping mechanisms or stress for burnout, for feelings of overwhelm. And you and I have done this for years clinically. We’ve helped people through the toughest of cases. You and I have taken the huge load on our shoulders of, you know, trying to be the helper, be the healer with someone that’s struggling. And that’s a lot, that’s a heavy toll on us. So there’s things that you and I do personally. And then there’s things that you and I do clinically and then we’ve got some studies to kind of verify you know, what we’re seeing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% So when I look at stress.You have the actual stress issue, like whatever that stress issue is, right? And so feeling anxious or feeling stressed about an issue is a good thing, right? Part of the reason that is there is to get you motivated to get off your butt to solve the problem. So I always look at the issue and I’m like. Right. Why do I feel stressed? Usually there’s you haven’t closed the loop yet. I call it closing the loops. Problem, right? You take action to resolve the problem, the problem goes away. That’s the closed loop, right? And so you have a lot of people with open loops. Meaning they have a problem out there and they just haven’t even figured out the solution. So when it comes to being healthy and having good neurotransmitters, good adrenal function, good healthy diet and lifestyle habits, good anti-inflammatory type of environment, nutrient dense foods coming in. Good nutrition, your ability to process one that stressor when it hits you, it’s not gonna hit you as hard. It’s not gonna knock you off your pedestal to you’re going to be able to adapt and you’re going to be able to think clearly and troubleshoot whatever the issue is. And so I always look at a problem. I said OK, got it, how do I close the loop on that, what’s the action item to execute? That so I always just kind of get clear, have a list. What are the things I can do and set in motion to resolve the issue. I think it’s really important if you just dust it away. The healthiest adrenal glands eventually is gonna eat away at you because you haven’t closed the loop. So always think about closing the loop on your issues #2 get healthier so these things don’t bug you as much, right? If you have good levels of B6, good levels of magnesium, you’re sleeping adequately, you have good blood sugar stability, Good amino acids. It’s gonna allow you to be able to process it. You’re not gonna activate that fight or flight part of your nervous system. That shuts down the frontal cortex and activates the reptilian brain stem part of the brain that’s all about fight or flee, fight or flee, fight or flee. And so the more you can keep this kind of reptilian brain from being activated, and then you can use that frontal cortex, you’ll be able to sit back, become troubleshoot the issue and close the loop.

Evan Brand: And this is hard if you’ve got toxins, if you’ve got lyme, different infections. I mean we’ve seen in the literature that certain infections and toxins. Basically, decrease the blood flow to that front part of the brain. So you become a monkey. You do become primitive as you mentioned. This reptile brain kicks in and you can’t make good decisions and you certainly can’t comprehend the future. You get stuck living in the day, the hour, the minute with that stress and when you say close the loop, I think that resonates for a lot of people, but many people are afraid to close the loop because this means that they have to end a friendship that’s toxic. They have to end a marriage that’s failing. They have to, you know, fire someone that they don’t like. They have to quit their job because they have a bad boss. So.You know, closing the loop sounds so simple, but this could be a huge roadblock. You know, for people, and I’ve seen it, where you’ve got a woman eating perfectly. She’s doing amazing with her supplements. But for example, here’s the case study. She’s in an open relationship and she’s miserable and she hates it. And she’s jealous and her husband’s with these other women and she doesn’t want him to be. And so there’s issues there. I don’t freaking care how much ashwagandha this lady pops. She’s not going to supplement out of this situation. That’s intense. And there is a place for closing the loop. And you can’t supplement your way out of a situation like that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. In relationship, it’s always good to have healthy boundaries, right? It’s like good fences make good neighbors, right? Having good emotional boundaries and how were relationship operates, right? If your families asking 10 times of you, then, then you, then ten times of you, then they help you on the backside, right, this kind of Arctic give and take that. So you always have to have clear boundaries. I think that’s a really, really important one. There’s an awesome book out there. Um, by Henry Cloud called boundaries. That’s a really good woman. I see patients in relationships. They may not even be a relationship with their spouse. It could be a relationship with family or friends where they’re just kind of a parasitic element of people asking many multiples from that person. Then that person’s providing back and there should always be a give and take. Right. I always tell patients like when you play catch, I throw the ball, you throw the ball, right. Emotionally, there’s a give and a take and it’s back and forth and it’s equal. When I start throwing the ball, you don’t throw it back. I run back over, get the ball, come back, throw it again, that, that, that’s, that’s you know very depleting, right? You missed the give and take, and so you gotta make sure your good, healthy boundaries are there. Also, with relationships, it’s always better to try to restructure. Kind of reboundify the relationship, then just exit. I think exiting a lot of relationships is just, uh, it’s an easy way out. It’s, you know, you just go somewhere and end your and go on to your life. I think it’s always better to see if you can repair or give people an opportunity to repair and get on the same page and see what happens from there. But either way, right, you have all these emotional issues. Get healthy. If you’re afraid to deal with these issues right now, put them on the back burner. No, you have to deal with them. Adjust your expectations of healing and try to get healthier so then you have better energy, better focused, better calmness to address whatever the problem is. 

Evan Brand: This is great advice and it’s uncomfortable and there are situations that are going to be intense, but I would encourage you just to go face first with those now if you have trouble making eye contact with these people. Some of that’s related to brain chemistry too. I see a lot of people that when they get in a stressful situation.They just shut down. They look down, they look away. They can’t face the person and therefore they can’t fully express themselves. That’s usually tied into low GABA, and so we can’t measure GABA on the organic acids. But we can measure serotonin, we can measure dopamine, we can measure endorphins. So before you and I go into a few of these studies and solutions, you know, let’s just give a little back story on some of this. And so, you know, when I had gut infections down in Texas, I had tons of anxiety. It wasn’t me, it was not my personality. It was the gut bugs. And when we looked in my brain chemistry, my serotonin was low. My dopamine was low. I had issues to fully get myself motivated. I still push through, but I didn’t wake up necessarily with that spark like I wanted, and so I know personally and you and I have seen it 1000 plus times clinically the low brain chemistry problem, it’s epidemic and it’s only gotten worse even in the last 10 years. You and I have been looking at these labs. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And so again, there are some people that have been on board here with us for years listening and they’re super advanced. And so just kind of out of the gate, we’re going to just give a brief overview of foundational things. OK. So first thing out of the gate is an appointment my phone because I just changed my whole house water filtration here, and Evan and I were talking about it earlier today. So check this out. I’m gonna hold up my phone. So you can see here.The clean one on the left, that’s a brand new filter. And that all the way up to the webcam. 

Evan Brand: We can hardly see. Go closer. Yeah. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So the one on the left, right, the white one. That’s the new one.That’s the one that was in there for the last three months. I mean that is just nasty, dirty and gross that again that sense. That’s a post filter. So it went through a massive pre filter, went through the huge carbon based filter and then went through that afterwards. And it was dirty. It is nasty. I actually have it over on my on my bar countertop over there. So pretty pretty freaking gross. So, what does that mean? It means, prioritize good clean filtered water. If you don’t have a high water filter water filter system, we’ll put some links down below to the ones that we personally use, but in general, at least get a good quality glass water Topo Chico, Cheryl Steiner, a Perrier, a mountain valley one out of a good glass model was gonna be excellent during the day and then I definitely recommend getting a whole house water filter once you’re in a in a place where you can do it. Some people may be in an apartment, then maybe a temporary housing. You can always get an under the counter filter. There are even some temporary ones that actually go on top but still filter water out pretty well. But that’s pretty nasty. And so 70% of your body’s water in regards to all the liquids. So you need good clean filtered water without all the junky chemicals. Maybe drugs, maybe pesticide runoff? Bull run off, who knows. So the first thing is kind of get your water right. Comments there, Evan?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, this is important because when you’re stressed, you’re gonna be dehydrated. You’re burning through everything. You’re burning through hydration, you’re burning through B vitamins. You and are looking at papers on B vitamins and magnesium for helping with stress. So we know that when you’re burning the candle, and most people in the modern world are.You need good water and the tap water. You can look up EWG and put in your zip code. It’s scary. I mean, almost every single city has insane high levels of trihalomethanes which are carcinogenic as you mentioned pesticide residue, pharmaceutical drugs like heart medications, beta blockers, anti anxiety, antidepressant medications. You know what’s scary? There are studies now being done on bays, some of these inland bodies of water. And there was one down, I think it was in Florida near Miami. Biscayne Bay is one of these most famous bays. They have an issue now where all of the fish. I’ll see if I can pull it up.They now have drugs in them. And it’s because of the runoff from people. So let me pull this up because this is.This is pretty crazy. This was, this actually came out over the summer this year. And I think it’s pretty shocking and most people don’t have a clue. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, there was that famous study on atrazine up at UC Berkeley showing the frogs were essentially having reproductive organ issues like a major. I think they were almost becoming like asexual and their sex organs were like switching some kind of weird dynamic what’s happening. Based on the hormone, like disrupting compounds in these pesticides. And that was atrazine. 

Evan Brand: Did you, did this pull up my screen here? Oh yeah, the screen share, I’m going to share with you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead. 

Evan Brand: Alright, yeah. So here it is. Pharmaceutical drugs showing up in fish from South Florida waters. Yeah, so it’s Biscayne Bay and I know you’ve got 2.5 million Miami residents and a lot of those people are on pharmaceutical drugs and then they’re peeing that out and then some of that runoff is ending up in the water supply and then that runs off into the Bay and then the fish then accumulate those drugs. So they did a three-year study.They found the Valium. They found antibiotics. They found blood pressure medication in the blood and tissue of bone fish. One fish showed 17 different drugs. So here you are thinking you’re getting your fish clean. I’m gonna eat fresh fish. It’s like well. You know you’re looking at antidepressant treatment, medication, narcotics, pain relievers. That’s insane. Now they’re saying good news is that this is a catch and release species. But, what about the other fish that people are eating? So move. I don’t know. Just tuna fish. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So I mean, getting your water clean, getting your food quality clean, organic food. Here’s the atrazine study. And they were talking about it here at UC Berkeley Press release back in 2002. But it was April 16th in the National Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley, essentially what happened here, the frogs were developing, they were becoming hermaphrodite. They were heading both sex organs. So you could see testes here, ovaries, ovaries, and you could see abnormal gonads and male exposure to this type of frog.The frogs have become hermaphrodites. Both male and female due to the hormonal exposure. So you can see because the atrazine environment basically an uncontrolled experiment this would be no atrazine free environment talking about because herbicides been used for 40 years of 80 countries. It’s effect on sexual development and male frogs could be one of many factors in the global decline of amphibians. So crazy, right? Now we’re talking about lowest levels of 0.1 part per billion. So this is real. So that’s why I’m saying out of the gate, easiest thing out of the gate. Clean water, good water filter, organic food, organic food. And then outside of that, right then we could talk about blood sugar, stability, at least a pound worth of protein at every meal. I think it’s a really good making sure you have good fats that aren’t all pufa-based fats. Seed, nut oil based fats, refined vegetable oils, you know keeping it good healthy saturated fats, coconut oil, avocado, olive, you know cold press. You know most of your good quality fats coming from more stable.Had accelerated fat sources. This is great. And then after that you just adjust the carbs for your activity level and kind of your metabolic type, meaning do you need to lose weight? Are you kind of a skinnier person? Are you really active right? The more active and the more at an optimal weight you are, the more carbohydrates you can handle. So you got to adjust it. It’s not a one-size-fits-all on that. 

Evan Brand: Let’s transition. Talk about cortisol. Yeah. This is important for stress. When people think stress, most people think cortisol and you and I’ve run so many of these, probably more than anybody, I pulled up my screen. If you want to pull it up. This is a Dutch panel. That you and I run on almost everyone in regards to hormonal health and what you’re looking for is really the health of the cortisol pattern. So you can see here this particular female, she was absolutely exhausted. You could see for people on audio, you’re missing out, but you could go back to. Uh Justin Health YouTube channel and you can watch this video if you’re listening on the audio and you want to see the the the some of the screen shares. But you want to basically charge your smartphone battery first thing in the morning, get a full charge and that full charge last throughout the day, but in this case this woman, her cortisol pattern was completely shut. She was below range the entire day except for night time. She perked up just a little bit, and that could have been like maybe she was on her phone, she was watching a horror movie or a scary TV show or something an artificially boosted her cortisol. But this is the real issues. So no matter how clean your water is, if your cortisol pattern looks like this, you’re gonna be absolutely exhausted and you were gonna deal with stress terribly. You’re not going to deal with stress. How many people are you seeing like this now versus maybe 5 Years ago, do you feel like it’s becoming more common or no? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean it’s, it’s always tough because we’re, I’m seeing a large percent of the population that are have chronic health issues, right. So I’m always gonna get that, that slice that’s going to be significant. But yeah this type of pattern is, is a big deal, right, because not only is this a sign of you being chronically stressed and depleted, but this is a reverse cortisol rhythm, so you’re gonna be tired during the day and it’s gonna be harder for you to relax at night and recharge. So it makes it really difficult to get that good regenerative sleep wake cycle going. And so these are the people that have.Hard time sleeping at night and getting and reestablishing those good healthy lifestyle patterns that should be in place. That’s what makes it really tough. One thing if you’re just tired, but you can work on getting sleep and and recharging if we can’t. And then also this person, I guarantee you there’s there’s stress handling capacities gonna be at Max, so they’re just gonna like flip out on their kids, flip out on their friends at the simplest thing, or they’ll just be an overwhelmed and they’ll just be in flight constantly ignoring and sweeping all their problems under the rug because they jerked their capacity so low. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, and I know this particular female here was incredibly histamine intolerant. Someone in the comments said, let’s talk about histamine. So there is a component to that. And in her case, she was sensitive to everything, chemicals, fragrances, EMF food. So this was a, you know a pretty sick middle-aged woman, but I mean everything was completely crashed here and so you and I wanted to talk about some of the herbs. Now if we jump right into one of these papers on. What’s called Magnolia and Phellodendron? This is a blend, actually. And it’s usually under the patented name Relora. Some of the professional products you and I use contain Relora. Now. This is a good option for reducing stress and anxiety, but the problem is you really don’t just want to start taking supplements without the clinical data because if you look back at that woman and the cortisol pattern is completely crashed, if we were to go to something like Relora, I would say this is not an appropriate thing to use because if you look at the results of the study of supplementing Relora for four weeks, the salivary cortisol was18% lower in the Relora group. So what that means is they saw less stress, less tension, less depression, way less anger, less fatigue, less confusion, and a higher mood. But would you say in her case that’s not appropriate because she was so crashed already. We don’t want an 18% reduction in cortisol. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now the question is what type of people were in that group, because a lot of these adaptogens, if someones low like ashwagandha for instance. There’s studies on Ashwagandha on helping to lower cortisol as well as increased cortisol. So I would say that the adaptogens are probably not like a drug where they’re gonna suppress. If someone’s already low, they’re probably gonna more help that HPA access kind of adapt. Now there are certain adaptogens like ginseng or licorice that may be more stimulatory even if someone’s high, it may still over stimulate. So you gotta be careful with over stimulating ones, but usually holy basil Holy basil, Magnolia, Ashwagandha tend to be more adaptogenic, so I’d be curious about that. What that sample size was? Were they kind of higher cortisol people? If they were higher cortisol people, then that would totally make sense that the herb was working to kind of bring things back into balance. Does it say it all in that study? 

Evan Brand: We assess salivary cortisol and psychological mood in 56 subjects, 35 women, 25 or 35 men, 20 21 women. They were screened for moderate stress, so that would have been interesting if they would have came in and did a cortisol panel on all these people and showed the before and after, but that’s OK because you and I have seen this a lot clinically and as you described, we’d like to just give the nutrients to let the body do what it needs to do. Meaning we’re not coming in with Cortef necessarily and cranking her up. We’re giving HPA access support and the body can figure this out on its own in many many cases. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the fact that a lot of these symptoms improved. It’s probably not a low cortisol person making their cortisol lower because that those symptoms would get worse, right? They would actually, you know, they wouldn’t be improving, right. So the fact that they’re coming down, there’s probably an improvement. So imagine these people had higher cortisol patterns.To begin with. And that would make sense. But that’s why we don’t even go all in on just any herb, right? Or making these diet changes. We’re getting the inflammation down. We’re increasing nutrient density. We’re also providing all the cofactors to help your adrenals function better, whether it’s vitamin C, whether it’s pantothenic acid B5, whether it’s B6, I have one study in here talking about B6 and Magnesium actually works better than magnesium alone. And part of that is unique cofactors for these nutrients to work better. And a lot of your brain chemicals actually have cofactors for a lot of these conversions of serotonin and Dopamine and norepinephrine to happen, you need a lot of cofactors. And then we can kind of go more into the category of like, well, if your diets crummy and you’re eating a lot of sugar or inflammatory foods, you can actually deplete those pull factors more. Or if you have mold exposure, you may deplete, you may be depleting your B vitamins in your in your in your folate and your B12 and your B6 for methylation purposes. Because that mold exposure is revving up those methylation pathways, you may be utilizing more of your acetylation and glucuronidation pathways for glutathione and acetyl cysteine right. You’re sulfur aminos may be depleted as well and also chronic stress does deplete sulfur because you need sulfur to actually activate dopamine to norepinephrine. And so when you look at those pathways, the more stressed you get, you will actually deplete sulfur and when you don’t have enough sulfur if you have mold exposure coming in.You see how you have a toxin on this side and then you have stress over here and you’re kind of burning that candle at both ends.

Evan Brand: Yeah.Let’s hit Ashwagandha. And then I like B vitamin magnesium when it’s pretty interesting. So ashwagandha, we hear a lot about it. I’d say it’s probably the most popular adaptogenic herb. I mean, you see it in grocery stores now at the checkout counter, I’ve seen Ashwagandha gummies and Ashwagandha pills, which I think in general is good, I have seen at the high dose and I have seen chronic usage in some people. It gives them a little bit of flatness where they just don’t have as much emotions. I’ve just seen, if you look on Reddit, there’s several threads if you type in like ashwagandha at Hedonia, this is basically just the loss of pleasure in life. So there’s some people that are reporting either high dose or long term use of ashwagandha. They just sort of become numb. So I think you need to watch out for that. But in general, you and I are cycling on and off of these things and we’re rotating. Now out of protocols and not necessarily, always in isolation. Just for a couple months, if they have excessive fatigue, maybe we’re adding in some rhodiola, so we’ll look at that in a minute too. But the Long story short is many, many papers on Ashwagandha. This is just one. But you’re always gonna see an anti anxiety activity and you’re always gonna see anti stress. It’s going to improve symptoms of depression and insomnia and it’s going to help primarily by modulating the HPA access and also the sympathetic adrenal medullary axis, as well as GABAnergic and serotonergic pathways, meaning that it may help boost GABA, which calms you down. It may help boost serotonin, which helps you become less irritable, less anxious, and you may sleep better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I just swallow some Gabba and some glycine right now, some amino acids that also help with stress. Love, Mike. 

Evan Brand: I took some right before. Yeah, right before we jumped on. I told you about those gummies and my wife. And so I had a couple. It was like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola I think it might have been some Maca too, but, so that was good. So here’s another paper on ashwagandha. This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled, which is the best, the best type that you want. And they said, compared to placebo, significant reduction in what they’re calling the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale. So significant reduction in that. In a near significant reduction and the depression, anxiety and stress scale. Also reductions in morning cortisol testosterone levels increased in males. So you and I didn’t mention that but. Stress.Those surprise stress is going to negatively affect your hormones too. Stress is going to reduce testosterone. That’s going to affect your sex drive. So when you see that Viagra is being passed out like candy, now you wonder what all’s going into the stress is a big component.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we just saw a major study come out last month looking at the effectiveness of antidepressants. And they’re showed to be, you know, no long term benefit with a lot of these antidepressants. I think that was a Lancet study out of the UK and so we kind of look at a lot of the antidepressants, we look at the mechanism that’s happening there. You know, we know there’s data on things like tryptophan and five HTP and B6 helping. So there’s definitely like, there definitely is like a depletion theory where people are chronically stressed and then as they are stressed, they do deplete their serotonin, they deplete their dopamine. We see that in organic acid test. But the medications for that are blocking these reuptake ports, trying to accumulate more serotonin in between the synapses may not be the right school of thought. And there are a lot of doctors and people and pharmacologists looking in the direction of just brain inflammation. And so everything we do in functional medicine is about reducing inflammation. So when we give this nutrient with this herb we’re doing so many things in the background, diet and lifestyle wise to reduce inflammation. There’s so many variables we’re moving so it’s so hard in functional medicine world to do a double-blind placebo control trial because in those trials you have to typically control a variable or two at once. If you control 10 variables at once, 12 variables, there’s just too many things moving in one Direction to know which one was the deal breaker and like in this one, study over here. I’ll show you. Where they look at tyrosine supplementation. And or stress for cognitive demands. I’m going to pull this trial up here. So this is interesting right here. And this is kind of why we like to test and not guess, right, assessing over guessing. So they looked at dopamine, tyrosine which is a building block for dopamine, right. It goes, it goes phenylalanine and tyrosine and then it goes L DOPA dopamine and then under stressed dopamine can get converted to norepinephrine.Then you actually use a lot of sulfur. From dopamine to norepinephrine. But they talked over here that the potential of using TYR supplementation to treat clinical disorder seems limited and benefits. But then it talks about down here tyrosine does seem to effectively enhance cognitive performance particularly in short term stressful and/or cognitively demanding situations, we conclude tyrosine is an effective enhancer of cognitive function, but only when neurotransmitter function is intact and dopamine or norepinephrine is temporary or depleted. So if we have some functional deficiencies and we may see that based on a stress profile or you know functionally, we may see it on a cortisol rhythm test and we may see it with an organic acid panel, looking at vanilmandelate, looking at Homovanillate and we may see some of these markers either go overly high or overly low, which shows that there’s some significant depletion going on here. And so you can see that this the nutrient tyrosine tend to work better when people actually had a depletion. 

Evan Brand: Well, you made me think of something and we’ve probably talked about this before, but how crazy is it to think about trying to do a proper, supposedly double-blind placebo-controlled study? Because, think of Sally who woke up and had a GMO Gluten bagel with vegetable oil. Instead of real butter for breakfast, she takes the antidepressant. Or she takes the herb and they’ve got Johnny over here who had a grass fed rib eye for breakfast and he took the same medication. They’re going to get totally freaking different results. So you and I were talking about this before we hit record, but it’s so hard to actually look at and appreciate a study that’s going to give you that outcome because like what time do they go to bed? Are they all going to bed at 10:00 PM or Sally staying up till 2:00 AM? No wonder she didn’t get relief from the antidepressant or the antidepressant herb or whatever. So it’s like, my God, when you really break apart using the functional medicine lens, you break apart the sleep, the stress, the diet, the family relationships, like how many of those people are going through a divorce during the study? Those are the seven people that didn’t get relief from depression, right? So it’s very difficult. And I think that’s why you and I can look at these studies and there’s other people that will talk about studies on podcast, but the reality is when you have the clinical experience that would, that’s what makes the difference because we’re coaching people through some of the lifestyle measures, the sleep, the nutrition, the water, we’re not just throwing the herb and saying good luck. It’s just not going to be that effective. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also like we just mentioned earlier. We got a test, right? We don’t wanna guess, we want to assess. And This is why someone may have, you know, no experience with this supplement and say it’s it’s joke it’s it’s snake oil and someone’s like no i had a really great experience because there’s one you may Had a really great experience because there’s one you may not need that nutrient as much if you need something more than someone else, right? Then you may have a better benefit, but also a lot of nutrients work synergistically, right? So this one study looks at magnesium with B6 and they found that this study that, right here, many civilizations regard subjects with severe extreme stress study provides clinical support for the greater benefit of magnesium combined with B6. So both groups did well. They had a magnesium group and a magnesium with B6 and they found the magnesium with B6 actually did better and so a lot of nutrients are synergistic. I mean, I think anyone, most people will benefit from magnesium just because a large percent of the population are depleted in it. Our food supply becomes less and less on it. It’s one of those core nutrients it’s hard to get enough of. So I think it can’t hurt to ever take some of these core nutrients, but a lot of these nutrients are synergistic and so magnesium is very important for stress and relaxation. But B6 also helps with, it’s an important cofactor for all of your brain chemicals to work. Very important cofactor and it helps a lot of your neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA and dopamine and adrenaline all work and convert in the brain. So it’s important that you can’t just ever rely on one nutrient, you got to look at the whole thing and it’s always better to assess versus guests too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and when you click on the podcast and it says helping with stress or feeling overwhelmed, you may think of us talking about meditation and float tanks and scheduling massages and getting manicures and pedicures.And take it a vacation and taking Fridays off and hugging your kids more and having more sex. All those things are great too. But we’re really trying to get geeky here with you guys, because most people that come to us, as you mentioned, they’ve already been to 5 10-15 20. They done the massage and they’ve been through the talk therapy and they’ve been to so many other practitioners. They need the nitty gritty granular stuff like this. It’s really going to get them better. So if you guys are listening for the lifestyle stuff, we try to integrate that and that is important, but ultimately most people are doing a lot of that, and they’ve tried and they’re still suffering. Let me pull something up on Rhodiola. This is pretty cool. I told you years ago how Rhodiola changed my life. And this is a paper that just concludes that Rhodiola is a very effective potent herb for treating mild to moderate depression. And we’re talking in six weeks. So this is not a long thing. Like people think it’s gonna take years and years and years.I’m not saying that if you’ve got mold, you won’t still be depressed. If you’ve got Lyme, you’re still going to be depressed like that. That can happen. But what if I can just give you a tool, which is gonna boost you. Let’s say it reduces your depression by 30%, enough for you to get back into the gym. And now you’re exercising. Now you get the natural endorphin boost, and then you feel more confidence. Now you go on a date with this woman you’ve been wanting to go on a date with, and now you have more fun and oxytocin cause your bonding. But at this this whole snowball effect happened all because I just gave you this herb to pull you out of a dark place. So that’s really what we’re trying to do.


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So we talked about some of the Earth, some of the nutrients, some of our big favorite ones. Of course, movement is going to be helpful. Again, you got to figure out where your level is. If you’re chronically inflamed, movement maybe too much, too stressful and puts you in a more catabolic place because you’re breaking down tissue. Figure out where you’re at if you’re at a good place.You can lift some weights, do a little bit of interval sprinting, whether it’s a walks, walk, run, walk, Sprint, you can do a rower. We like rowers because of, you know, the extension and also there’s less impact on the joint. So if you’re already inflamed, you’re not going to create more inflammation. You can start with some bands or some gentle lifting of weights to kinda you know find that 8 to 12 you know rep 8 to 12 you know, Rep movement, that’s going to give you a good muscle breakdown, give you a little soreness. That’s good. You know, getting 10,000 steps today, these are all simple strategies. Strategies. We don’t have to overthink it. You don’t need to super crazy customized plan out of the gates. Just get some good movement. Make sure you’re, you have good form. If you’re not sure, you can always start with walking or yoga or something more gentle and you can always check out some YouTube videos and do some band work or some cable work or I like the new tonal that’s another good at home device for lifting is really good so you know just get get enough movement in there to get your muscles a little bit sore.

Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got my roll machine right here. I just try to put it on this heavy of a setting as I feel confident with it’s not gonna injure me where I can still go. And I almost use it like a sprinting device. I don’t necessarily just go slow and steady, I try to just kind of sharp relatively fast. Kind of like a Sprint row movement and I tell you it, it can be depleting, but man, I’ve heard many people talk about this, like when you want to get out of your mind with your ruminating, if you’re worried, if you’re thinking negative, you’re going through all these bad things in your life and bad symptoms and all. I’m so, you do these pity parties for yourself when you’re exercising physically. It almost shuts that brain off completely to where you could just focus on like how hard this exercise, how hard this movement is. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% great 100% now outside of the gates here right? There could be some hidden issues that were not addressing and you have to see a good functional medicine provider over there could be you may need to look at your adrenals. Your adrenals could be more depleted like that patient Evan just show where they have significant kind of reverse cortisol pattern. It’s good to know your adrenal pattern because if you have chronic issues, you want to know, hey, this is where I’m at one it gives you a timeline of how long it may take to heal that person may look at look like a 6 to 12 month journey on that. Also it gives you the ability to have, you know, realistic expectations, good timeline, also something like that. We’d probably wanna do a retest on someone that’s that out of balance to make sure they’re back in balance, but also want to look at hidden stressors that could be behind that, whether it’s mold, whether it’s pests, whether it’s, you know, toxicity issues that aren’t being addressed. Whether it’s gut issues we talked about, a lot of these nutrients have to get eaten, so for our diets poor there’s a problem. But also what if it’s good now but we’re not breaking down and absorbing it? That’s where we’d have to do deeper testing on the functional medicine side to see how you’re doing digestive wise with HCL and enzymes. See if there’s any gut bug issues.And then we can also do other intracellular nutrient tasks for their organic acids or nutrients, look at other kind of intercellular nutrients. So there could be some other hidden stressors going on there. I always say just kind of start from the ground and work your way up, start with the low hanging fruit. Keep it simple because that provides a good foundation anyway, but you know if you have chronic issues, you definitely want to reach out to someone like Evan or someone like myself,Doctor J for the deeper issues and we’ll put links down below so y’all can reach out. Evan, anything else you want to add before we wrap things up?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think for people that are, in a short term, acute stress, they have to travel for a wedding. They’re maybe going on a honeymoon. Sounds fun, could be stressful. Travel, new food, new water supply, their new parents. They’ve got small children, those are situations where you may come in, not small children cause those are long term stress, you and I can attest to that but you know, honeymoon, you know, new marriage, whatever. So, so those acute stressors, you could probably do some of these formulas whether it’s Tongkat or Magnolia or Ashwagandha,Rhodiola, holy Basil, there’s many, many options. Extra magnesium, B6, GABA, taurine and acetone. These things are great, but if you have been stressed and feeling overwhelmed for 1,2,3,5,10,20,25 years and beyond, you really don’t just want to go try to get rhodiola and get your way out of it. It’s not going to happen. I’ve tried. I took so many supplements when I was sick and it helped me to stay alive and it helped me to continue to work and be up on my feet but.I knew that ultimately I was missing something, and it wasn’t until I really cleared the parasite, cleared the H pylori, my energy started to come up like I was on Rhodiola while I had parasites.I was still tired. I was less tired, but I was still tired. And I think the problem is like naturopathic medicine. So naturopaths specifically, they may come in and instead of, you know, quartet for cortisol, they give you licorice and ashwagandha, which is great, but then it stops there. So you really have to ask the question why? Why did I get myself into this? How did I get into this? Was this the bad relationship? The moldy apartment? The college dorm? That got me sick? And I think people need to just ask why a few more times. So, like, I’m tired. OK, here’s rhodiola. But it could be.  Hey, I’m tired. Well, why are you tired? Well, because I’m stressed. Why are you stressed? Because I’m in a bad relationship. OK? So we need to work on that. And if people keep asking why, usually you’re going to uncover some stuff. And I just encourage people, don’t be afraid, to look in those dark spots. Don’t, don’t be afraid to look in those corners where there’s some cobwebs of things that you’ve been emotionally shoving away, as you mentioned, dusting in a way or putting it under the carpet. Yeah, eventually those things are going to weigh you down. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, someone in the chat talked about a Epstein barr virus kind of plummeting their energy recently. Well, when it comes to Epstein Barr and some of these viruses like Epstein-barr said cytomegalovirus, it’s very rarely the virus just comes out of blue, comes out of the blue and just knocks you on your pot, right. Usually there’s some level of depletion going on and it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and so. There’s different supports we can do to address viral issues, whether it’s silver or Monolaurin or Rishi, right? Different herbs and nutrients cats claw. But you’ve got to look at how did your body, how did your immune system become so compromised and susceptible to it. And you tend to have to work backwards and fix all of those issues that led up to this point. It’s very rarely something just coming out of the blue and doing all of it. It’s usually a level of susceptibility that you incurred and then this virus came in. So you have to really address everything, never just one thing.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve seen that too, and I’ve seen it with a lot of things that are probably still controversial on YouTube, but we’ve seen things that people put in their bodies that all of a sudden reactivate Epstein Barr and other problems. We’ve seen this in celebrities, we’ve seen this in clients. So yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. But guys, we want to give you actionable information. A lot of people out there, it’s just like sales, sales, sales, market, market leave you kind of hanging. I want everyone to kind of listen and be like, all right, here’s some foundational things. When we’re talking and doing a long podcast, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed. So just pick one or two things, execute, execute, execute action, action, action. And then if you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed that you want to take next steps, you have Evan and I for resources. It’s all about educating. It’s all about empowerment. So we’ll put links down below where you guys can reach out and work on taking the next steps. But worst case, just continue to take action. We’re here to help.

Evan Brand: Absolutely. So go take a bath, do your lavender, your Epsom salt and all that. Get your mind right. But then ultimately you gotta figure out what’s under the hood.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Very good. Evan, wait. Great chatting with you man. Glad we’re back in the saddle.

Evan Brand: You too. Take it easy. Talk to you soon, brother. Take care everyone. Bye now. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye y’all.


Why Do I Have Low Motivation – Functional Medicine Solutions | Podcast #358

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes you to act, whether getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

In this video, Dr. J and Evan Brand talk about the physiological issues behind your decreasing motivation and the functional medicine strategies, hormones, and lifestyle changes you need to do to improve your mood and overall health function.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:00  Introduction
1:41  What are the root causes of low motivation?
4:14  The physiological explanation of low motivation
8:39  Functional medicine strategies to improve motivation
10:53 The role of thyroid function to your body’s overall function
16:38 Lifestyle upgrade to boost your motivation

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are going to be talking about motivation. Really excited to have a nice podcast on this topic. Evan, how we doing today this morning? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well. I’m feeling really motivated. Hence, this topic on motivation. You know, I look around on society and I just see the way that people carry themselves. You know, we’ve become so casual in terms of dress. I mean, when you see people that are just coming out at restaurants, they’re wearing Crocs and sweatpants and, you know, hoodies. People just don’t appear to take good care of themselves, in general. And maybe that’s different in other cities but even talking to people when I bought a sports coat. I talked to the guy at the suit store, and he agreed with me that over the last 20 years, people just become so casual. And with that casual dress, I think that changes people’s level of motivation. When I’m in sweatpants and a hoodie, I feel less motivated, and less ready to charge the world as opposed to when I have on even something like a polo. I think, maybe that’s part of it, but I know there’s a lot of chemical, neurotransmitter, and gut reactions, you know, better involved too. So, what do you think, I mean, am I, am I onto something with the clothing? Have you seen a change even in your lifetime with people? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think people like, I talked to a lot of patients and friends and like, ‘oh you get to work at home and see patients all over the world. That’s awesome, that must be so easy to just kind of get up and get ready’. I’m like, well I still shower and kind of get ready like I’m going to the office anyway, I wanna look good, I wanna feel good, I wanna feel clean, I wanna feel fresh, plus I wanna be able to jump on a video or see a patient, I wanna have a higher level of professionalism on how I look. So, I do think there’s energy just like you said, in just that look in the park, dress in the park feeling good, right? I think that all helps. I think it moves the needle. That makes sense.  

Evan Brand: Well, let’s see some of the root causes of that. I mean, low motivation, in general, the first thing that I think of and maybe your average listeners thinking of, they listen to us for a while, they’re gonna think of dopamine. And that certainly one potential cause and we can measure that using urine organic acids testing. So, we’ll look at the markers for dopamine on that test that we can see, and I would say that 90% of people I test are pretty low and the other 10% are people that have Clostridia bacterial overgrowth. You and I have talked about this before, we did a whole show of Clostridia, I believe, but the mechanism is that if you have Clostridia which is a certain type of bacteria in the gut that will actually inhibit the enzyme dopamine beta hydroxylase and then you have this build up of dopamine. So, you have some of these mood issues that’ll happen because of your gut. So, if you fix your gut, that high dopamine markers normalize. But otherwise, I see, generally, pretty low dopamine and maybe you and I can kind of break down why is that happening. I think chronic stress is a big one. But I wonder if there’s a role of like excess caffeine, have you seen anything look like too much coffee, your stimulants depleting dopamine, what about drugs like the Adderall drugs, that kind of stuff.    

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think we’ve, with motivation, it’s a couple things right. We have kind of the psychological kind of mindset aspect, I think that’s really important. So, I think number one, you gotta enjoy what you’re doing or you have at least kind of know what your talents or your skills that you’re at. So, you can work on doing things that one you enjoy and two you are actually good at. So, you can perform at a higher level, right? I think it’s a combination of those two things. And I think, also, there’s some people that what if you’re not good at things, right, so I think early on if you’re younger and you’re listening to this as you grow up, you really wanna look at developing talents. tacks and skills set. And you really wanna look at the marketplace and say, ‘where, um, where’s your gaps in the marketplace in regards to skill, whether on the health side or on the tacks side or on engineering. We really wanna look at where you kind of plug yourself into the marketplace, whether there are opportunities and then it’s also good to evaluate your kind of natural talents and skill sets. You kind of look at, you know, what people tell, I’ve always told you good at. There’s different tests out there whether it’s a Myers-Brigg personality test or, uh, I think another test out there called DISC, D-I-S-C test. There’s different tests out there that kind of help you understand, kind where your natural talents are at and then also just really observing and being aware of what you really enjoy doing. Usually, things that you enjoy doing, tend to be better at it because you don’t mind working harder at it. I think those are important, so then when you start doing things, you’ll really enjoy it. Now, on the physiological side, chronic stress well either acutely raises cortisol all over time. That cortisol can become lower which can affect energy and mood and cause your body to break down faster. And of course, that same level of adrenal stress can also lower dopamine, lower adrenaline which can then affect focus and motivation at a biochemical neurological level too. So, I think it’s good to look at both of those, so we can test the adrenal gland and know what’s happening at the adrenal level. We can also look at the neurotransmitters, the organic acid testing and look at various metabolites for Homovanillate, which is a metabolite for dopamine and then Vanilmandelate, which is a metabolite for adrenaline. We can get a window and into both of those metabolites and see how the brain is functioning on the inside.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s a great point. People that are just doing stuff that they don’t enjoy, I mean, how are you gonna be motivated for life if you make up, you don’t enjoy it. I talked to a guy who picks up our garbage and he loves it. He loves his job. He loves driving around with a big truck all day and he makes a great money doing it. He’s happy. So, some people are gonna look at that and say, ‘oh, this garbage man, what a terrible life’. And some people, they enjoy it. So, I do think ultimately as they say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I still love what I do but I still, I feel like it’s still work, I mean, I enjoy it but when I’m away for too long on vacation, I don’t enjoy this much. I rather be working, I really do. I love helping people. I’m really addicted to the hustle and grind of helping people feel better. There’s so many people suffering. For you and I, I think, we’re in a good spot-on loving what we do, but then on the brain chemistry side, I would say that I certainly struggle on. I had gut issues, I certainly struggled with low energy, and partly low motivation and low focus and for a period of time I had trouble reading certain books, like my brain, I just couldn’t process. I had to read, read certain phrases or if someone said a phone number to me, I couldn’t remember just a simple 7-digit phone number. So, I definitely had some brain fog associated with gut issues. And on paper, my endorphins and my dopamine were a bit low. So, I think looking at these mechanisms, I would say Candida, something we could mention too because we know Candida produces acetaldehyde, which is kind of similar to an alcohol molecule and so some people are a little bit drunk on their own Candida overgrowth. So, if somebody that has a lot of sugar cravings or if you have a white coated tongue or if you tested positive for Candida on urine, organic acid, stool testing, we gotta fix that Candida because that’s directly gonna impact your mood, your motivation and your focus. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Now, I work with patients, right? And I look at a lot of the physiological imbalances. So, let’s say there’s hormonal issues, let’s say it’s a female, it’s estrogen dominance, right, lower progesterone, estrogen out of whack, there’ll be a lot of PMS, mood issues, irritability issues. They’re poor energy because of chronic adrenal stress, they’re not digesting their food well. There’s a lot of mitochondrial imbalances, B-vitamins, CoQ10, L-carnitine. You know, it’s hard to be motivated when you have a lot of these physiological imbalances, because it takes fuel to run this system. So, when I look at patients, I get them motivated to fix these things. You know, it’s hard to get someone motivated to just fix their mitochondria or fix their adrenals. So, I always look at, hey what are these health challenges that you’re having right now. What is preventing you from being, doing, or having in your life right now? Like, what do you want to be doing, being you’re having in your life that you’re not able to because of your energy or because of your chronic digestion, because of your, um, mood issues? What is that? I try to get really clear what those things are because if I can figure out, hey, we’ll it’s affecting me for working out whole day, it’s affecting me, um, being able to spend quality time with my kids, then we can lean on, okay we are gonna make these diet changes, so we can help you get back to spending better time with your kids or so we can have you focusing and doing better at work at closing deal, whatever that is. So, if we figure out the why, then we can lean on that why to get people to make the right changes because it’s the really the why is the essence of it. And that really helps to get people motivated. So, there’s the mindset motivation and there’s the physiological biological biochemical side. So, we wanna work on both. So, when I tell people to make these diet changes, not just making these diet changes, we’re gonna do these so we can help move the needle in this area or that area. So, it’s kind of like using psychological tactics that help keep your patient motivated. It’s also important.   

Evan Brand: Nice. That’s really a good point.  We have some part of our population, where there are just biohacker people who wanna see the numbers, right? They wanna see the numbers get better, and they’re happy enough to see succinic acid go from a 24 down to a 5. And we go okay, great we had major progress, the mitochondria look better on paper. Some of our people, they’re cool with just the numbers, but I agree with you, you gotta bring the emotional piece to. It’s not enough to say, ‘hey, I wanna get your dopamine higher because I want you to have enough energy to get out of bed, make your bed, get dressed, wear something nice, get to the office as you close the deal’. There’s a whole symphony of emotion and the neurotransmitter, the mitochondria, the adrenals, all firing together to make life nice and make life enjoyable. And I just see that the number one leading cause of disability in the U.S. is depression and so, I don’t know, I just feel like there’s so much on top potential, on top productivity out of the population, if we can just simply get the gut improve, get the mitochondria improve, get the neurotransmitter improve. I mean, we could totally transform the country. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I totally agree. I mean, I think simply, out of the gates, it starts with food. So, it starts with high quality food, organic, right, low toxin, eating good proteins, eating good fats. I think being more of a fat burner for most people is super important because we just tend, if you just look at micronutrient trends over the last 56 years, we just consuming more processed carbohydrates and of course the fats are shifted to more, kind of polyunsaturated omega-6 kind of vegetable oil. I think number one out of the gates is we switch to higher quality, better, more stable fats whether it’s on the grass-fed meat, high quality fish or if we do any plants it’s gonna be more on the mannose, right, olive oil, some avocados, those kinds of things. That’s important on the fat and then we try to restrict the lot of the refined grains, refined sugar and that’s some kind of first step and make sure that the quality there. in regards to organic, um, no added hormones, some things like that in the pot. That’s a good start for anyone right there. And then from there, we can look at the different hormonal systems. So, if we have chronically high cortisol, usually that’s more of an acute thing but that can cause anxiety, that can cause irritability. Usually, there’s a tire of wire that kind of thing there. And then of course as we have chronic stress, that adrenal pattern can move more to a lower cortisol stay, and that can cause energy low motivation low mood. So, we wanna really look at the adrenals. They’re part of that stress handling system. So, when we look at things that drive the adrenals its physical, chemical and emotional stress and so we wanna make sure there’s nothing on the emotional side that’s driving a problem, right? Marriage issues, kids issues, financial issues, whatever that is, we have to make sure, we’re at least addressing it and it’s in our forefront, we’re not just kind of putting your head on the sand. Physically we need to make sure we’re not overexercising or under so we’re getting some movement or we’re moving our muscles or we’re not overly sedentary, we’re not doing things that cause us pain, right? So, that’s important. Of the chronically in pain, we see a soft tissue person or a chiropractor to really get to the root of that. And of course, what we really focus on is the underlying hidden chemical stressors, that’s just the food sensitivities, the gut imbalances, the dysbiosis, the leaky gut, the hormonal imbalances, the low thyroid, the adrenal imbalances, the hormonal issues, um, the mitochondrial dysfunction, the toxicity, mold, heavy metals, right? So, this is where we, we come in there, we focus on the chemical stressors that play a major input on the adrenals and we chronically stress the adrenals, adrenaline is also produced by the adrenals to kind of get cortisol mobilize and chronic adrenaline stimulation will pull dopamine because adrenaline is a post cursor essentially to dopamine. So, it goes dopamine 🡪 adrenaline. It’s over chronically sti, in a stressed-out state. Your body will make adrenaline and will pull from dopamine to make adrenaline. And dopamine is important for that I love you feeling, it’s really important for focus, dealing with stress and staying motivated. So, we have to get that, the underlying reason why we pullin’ out that dopamine downstream, we have to get the adrenals fully supported.   

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I’m glad you mentioned heavy metals too. I mean, people and their brain issues could simply be related to mercury toxicity. If you’re someone just walking around and you’ve got a mouthful of amalgam fillings, we know those are estimated 50-ish percent mercury give or take and we know that mercury directly affects dopamine. If you simply just type in, mercury and Parkinson’s or mercury and Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of links to these toxins and brain neurodegenerative issues. So, if you’re somebody who’s just so poor motivation and it’s more on the extreme side, you might get this amount of amalgam out of your mouth. And for my grandfather, he’s pushing 80-years-old, believe it or not, the local, biological then said he’s already having memory issues, it’s too late. The issue of pulling out the mercury could create more problems. He just said, leave it alone. But if you’re 40, 50, 60, 70 maybe you’re still at that age where you can start working at heavy metal detox, maybe you’re using some sort of binder for the meantime but ultimately, you’ve got to remove the source. So, I mean, if you got heavy metal in your mouth, no matter how much chlorella, charcoal, or clay you take, you’ll still get metal on your mouth. So, that could be a huge issue for your motivation and you gotta resolve it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% out of the gates. Also, low thyroid can be a thing. Low thyroid can affect mitochondrial function. It can affect mood. It can affect energy. Obviously, thyroid hormones play a major role in your overall metabolism. And if your metabolism is low and slow or more than likely your motivation would be low. So, it’s really good to look at thyroid function. Now, if you go to your conventional doctor that just gonna look at TSH typically and again if your TSH is overly high, let’s say greater than three and a half four. You know, that’s probably be pretty good sign. There’s probably thyroid issues downstream happening with T4 being on the lower side or T3 being, let’s say, below that 3.0 marker in the United States metric. Um, but again, TSH may still be adequate, let’s say below three and you may still have problems with thyroid hormones downstream, with T4, with T3. Maybe there’s an elevated antibodies because there’s some autoimmunity. It’s kind of like smoldering there. So, you really wanna look at running a full thyroid panel and your conventional medical doctor would typically not do it. So, you gotta reach out to kind of more natural, functional medicine first to do it. So, if you guys want to get that kind of testing done, Evan and I, we all do that testing. So,, There’s links there where you can work with us if you want that type of in-depth testing. But low thyroid can be a deal breaker and it can, in most thyroid issues are autoimmune. So, you have to fix the gut. You have to fix the food. You have to fix all of the digestive issues to really get that usually under control. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Good point bringing up thyroid. So, I’ll bring up another kind of related one which could be anemias, right? If you got low ferritin, for example, you’re gonna be so exhausted if you have some type of anemia that that’s gonna really affect your motivation as well. So, I get kind of annoyed, to be honest with you, when I see people posting these motivational tracks. It is usually some super fit dude, possibly he’s on steroids, he’s flipping a tire and then yelling over the microphone, and it’s like, ‘you gotta get up and you gotta just do it’. And it’s like, you can’t just do it, like, I love that you’re, you know, 28 years old or maybe you’re on growth hormone and you’re flipping this tire and you’re motivated. But that type of talk goes only so far. And from our functional medicine mindset, like I said, I kind of get annoyed, because then you have this woman, maybe 50, 55 and she looks at herself in the mirror and she’s not happy on what she sees. She got insulin resistant, the diet is not dialed in, the guts affected, the neurotransmitters are low, but mitochondria are damaged because she got exposed to, uh, tick bites and molds. This motivational dud ranting over the microphone, he does not have a friggin’ clue about any of these functional strategies. And so, people then think that motivation is just this simple thing that you could just turn on or turn off. If I could just give motivated, I could do this or that. And it’s like, look, it’s way deeper than that, it’s way deeper than this dude just giving you some hoorah jumping the CrossFit class. And that’s why, that’s all this day. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m not a big fan of RAW, RAW stuff because it ignores physiology. I mean, I think there’s the RAW, RAW stuff can be helpful if it shifts your mindset. But mindset cannot be overcome physiology in the long run. It’s like people gonna, uh, an Anthony Robbins, I think Tony Robbins is great, he has a lot of strategy mindset stuff but you come out of this event so motivated. And it’s like, now what, right? It’s kind of like you’re driving your car, right, your old, used car, nothing’s wrong with it but your own E. Some guy comes up next to you and in like a Ferrari and it’s like, ‘man, you just got hit the back gas pillar, go’. And it’s like he hits the gas pillar, he’s out of sight and you’re like, ‘yeah, I don’t have fuel in my car and I kind of force cylinder under horsepower car, yeah I can’t do it. So, the first thing you gotta do metaphorically is you have to fill your tank of a gas. Get the car, get the gas in the tanks if you have fuel. And overtime, upgrade your car, upgrade your health, right? And we start with food quality, we start with good fats and proteins, we start with addressing glycemic issues, not overdoing or removing the processed sugar and the grain, dialing in the carbs on what you need, sleeping better. That’s like trading in your car at the car dealership, right? Literally, just by doing that, you’re starting to upgrade internally and of course from there we can always go down the functional medicine path and look at these hormone systems, adrenals, thyroid, gut function, mitochondrial issues. But we can at least upgrade the car and the fuel by making these simple lifestyle choices that are free and then from that, that gives you more motivation, now you have more energy, now your brain is clearer, so now you can, you know, be clearer on what your goals are. You can get very motivated, you can set timelines to your goals, right. What’s the difference between a goal and a dream? A goal has essentially a dream with an endpoint, a timeline on it, right. I’m gonna achieve this point, right? Take your dreams, make it your goal by putting an aid on it and some action items to go on it. And that takes energy and focus. And if your brain is foggy and overly tired, that’s gonna be problematic. So, I think, just work on those simple things and then once you get a little more motivation there then what’s next. And so, the things that I looked at when people are stressed and depleted, brain inflammation plays a major role with low motivation, so if we can cut out the foods, if we can add in B-vitamins, B6, magnesium, good health omega-3 fatty acids, that’s gonna help with the brain inflammation. That’s gonna help with the neurotransmitters. And then from there, we’re gonna look deeper at the box. This could be SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, H. pylori, parasites and getting the gut really cleaned out is gonna help shell out a lot of the brain inflammation because inflammation is bidirectional. Inflammation in the body can make its way to the gut and create a problem. Inflammation in the gut can make its way out of the gut into the bloodstream by leaky gut permeability causing inflammation in the brain. 


Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. We could start to bring in some of those vitamins, like the omegas, we can bring in some phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine, we can bring as you mentioned the B-vitamins, maybe some Ginkgo, possibly nootropics like the racetam family, pretty common phenylpiracetam or others oxiracetam. A lot of nootropics out there that you could use, but there’s so many people like in the that they’re taking these different nootropics but they’re not addressing anything in regards to their gut or anything, whether hormones. So, I think it’s… 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I have a product in my line could, Dopa Replete Plus which has tyrosine and will have an actual pure L-dopa. That’s a good one. Or someone’s coming out of the gates, I would just even just be using pure tyrosine, pure L-tyrosine with some high-quality B-vitamins can be really helpful because you need the B-vitamins as a cofactor to really help convert to some of these neurotransmitters, some of these amino acids to become the actual neurotransmitters. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. You can feel it pretty quick. I mean, that’s the cool thing about amino acids, is that you mentioned. A lot of times, you know, when we pitch people our services, we’re like hey, sign up, you know, give us a call, People haven’t, they haven’t enough motivation to be miserable to do that. Sometimes, I don’t even think about people, they know they want to help but I think they haven’t enough motivation to even call us and reach out to us. So, if you’re one of those people, we’re here but, in the meantime, yeah, maybe you use a little bit of tyrosine. It gets you motivated enough to even reach out to get further health because I think a lot of people get overwhelmed at what’s gonna entail in regards to diet changes. Like, oh, that’s overwhelming, you’re gonna make me cut this out, lifestyle changes, you’re gonna make me cut that out, like oh my God or now I gotta go to bed at 9’oclock, you know, that’s too hard. So, we used this little tool, this functional medicine tool to help motivate people to get them through the protocol. Because you and I could design a perfect protocol, mitochondrial support. We’ve got the gut dialed in. We’ve got the detox, the binders. We got the liver, the gallbladder, the adrenals. It’s all taken care of. But, it’s only if somebody follows through so then you get to the part of compliance which we could do part 2 on that of you want. Like, how do you stay on track but making the plan and getting the labs is the first step and getting the people to follow through is the second one. I think progress ultimately gets people going, because they’ll feel how much better they are but somehow, so, what we’ll use somebody’s brain nutrients just to get them off to get through and follow through.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. From a mindset perspective, it’s kind of like if you have pushed a car before right. You push the car. The hardest thing we’re pushing a car is overcoming the initial inertia of the car, from not moving to moving, right? That’s the hardest part. And so, when we’re dealing with people’s health inertia, it is just getting a couple of habits of moving in the direction that allows the car to start moving. Now, the amount of energy you need to put into that car to keep it moving is far less, right? It’s far less because you overcome the initial inertia of it being stock to moving. That’s kind of health is. You kind of make like a couple of small changes now’s the ball’s rolling and then now you can add, you know, you just can sleep for a little bit, add a little movement in there, and a couple of supplements and now we have a lot more now it becomes even easier to keep that going. And then of course, the key is now, okay, all the energy going into it was moving to the four steps of learning right. It’s unconscious incompetence, you don’t know what you don’t know. Now, you’re consciously incompetence, you know what you don’t know, you’re at least aware of these things. And then you go from step 2 to step 3 you’re consciously competent, someone’s helping you but there’s a lot of energy to keep doing the right things and then ideally you start to move into the level of unconscious competence where it’s automatic, right? It’s like someone who drives a standard transmission, everyone who’s done that they know, like, they’re starting on doing clutch, shift, what, their heads going down looking at the gearbox to stir up. It’s tough, right? But then eventually it’s like, clutch, shift, 1,2, 3, right? It’s easy, downshifting no problem. You don’t have to worry about it, it’s like you’re in automatic transmission because you get the whole thing. So, that’s kind of, well, where habits are, you just start with the ones that really bears the most fruit and then you go up from there. So, that’s kind of kind of look at out of the gates.     

Evan Brand: Well, look, you just did a live on camera because you’re like oh, we’re talking about in that booby. Whip up a capsule, and then boom you pop your aminos just like that. That’s kind of how I am too with protocol, I mean I’ll just feel how I am; I need a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And I’m just consciously making these micro calculations throughout the day. Oh, little low heat, op stressful day, hit the adrenals a little harder.  We’re constantly making these twigs, it’s just a really good place to be. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. I’m gonna go hit some push-ups and some kettlebells, wings, and a little bit of rowing here in a minute. And I’m gonna, um, you know, use some. So, I just try, you know, surround myself with good tools that I could plug into throughout the day to keep that momentum going and then, you know, foundational things, food, water, sleep. So just make sure you, and then of course you can plug in some movement along there right. Those are your three to four big check marks that you gotta hit during the day. And as you start getting that, you can build up from there and that gets you that foundation you need.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. Sleep is huge. So, we’d done a podcast on that but we’re always happy to do more. So, we’re wrapping out for now though. People can reach out if they need. We work around the world via facetime, uh, zoom, skype, you know, phone. We can do. We send labs everywhere and you can reach out to Dr. J at and you can reach out to me, and we’re happy to help. And we’ll look at some of these things and we’ll help investigate what could be going on, why’re you struggling. We know that you wanna get that dream business that dream goal, but you gotta make that a reality by optimizing these systems. So, that’s exactly what we do on ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Just literally just boost these neurotransmitters as we’re talking here. So, once you get these tools and place, you’re just gonna be driving, you can take over the world if that’s what you want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%, We’ll put links and recommendations for different things that we talked about product wise in the description of the video. Evan, awesome chat with you as always, my friend. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: You too man. Take care. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan and I, we’ll go now. Bye-bye.

Evan Brand: Bye-bye. 


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JIH Thyroid Advantage Panel

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Heavy Metal Test

Audio Podcast:


Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health | Podcast #326

As an adult, maybe you’re struggling with some of these symptoms yourself, things like anxiety, perhaps depression or mood issues, those types of things. Or many of you have kids with these types of mental health symptoms and problems. Functional Medicine is a form of integrative medicine that focuses on addressing the root causes of a person’s symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves and, in this case, manage stress. Here are Dr. J and Evan Brand sharing their insights about different approaches for stress reduction. 

Dr. J suggested to pay attention to nutrients first and some natural herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, etc. Watch the whole video to know interesting details about functional medicine in mental health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:22      Foundation of Functional Medicine Needs

8:27      Emotional Stress

14:50    How to deal with Stress

19:08    Alcohol as Stress Reliever

30:43    Importance of Exercise

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan. Evan, how are we doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Doing well, the sky is blue, the weather is amazing. I looked at your forecast for this week too, it’s going to be like 75 and sunny all day, every day. So that’s going to be amazing. We’re inside though, maybe we need to do like outside recordings, maybe need to go like, sit out back in a hammock and record with me. So we don’t miss this weather because then it’s going to be cold. And we’re going to be complaining. But no, but long story short, we were talking pre show about just how everything this year has been kind of crazy. And a lot of people are expressing issues with their mental health, their physical health, their emotional health, it’s affecting our clients, it’s affecting potential clients, people that are reaching out to us that have had businesses closed down or potential job losses and a lot of economic issues that have caused a lot of, you know, mental emotional problems for people. So the idea today was, well, let’s try to cover kind of a, a broad stroke, if you will, of how we could use functional medicine to improve mental health. So let’s dive in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So off the bat, like we kind of go back to like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? That’s kind of like the first thing. So I always tell patients off the bat, there’s kind of a foundation of functional medicine needs, that’s going to be clean water, sleep, and then clean food. And now we can kind of get in the middle of it in the weeds with the food and kind of getting your macros dialed in and getting all that kind of dialed in. But clean water, clean food and good sleep. And so I always tell patients, the more stressed you are, the more you need to be rested, fed and watered. And the more those things are kind of stable, and that’s like your foundation, the better adaptable you will be at the dealing with stress, adapting to stress. So the health, health and stress adaptation are intimately connected. So the more stressed you are, if you start going towards alcohol, and processed food, and staying up too late and watching too much news, it’s going to get that fear cycle going, you’re not going to have enough rest to recharge your parasympathetic nervous system, you’ll be too much sympathetic dominant, you’ll be leaning on your adrenals leaning more on cortisol leaning more on adrenaline, and it’s going to be harder for you to digest. You’ll be just kind of on the edge every time with your emotions, the smallest thing will set you off, and you won’t have a good solid foundation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I I think people should really just get rid of the social media apps on their phone. I mean, that was something that I did. I just noticed that if I have the social media apps off my phone, and I have to go to a web browser to check them. It’s much much more inconvenient to do it. So I must I’m much less likely to do it. And also, for me, you have the option of being up speaking to that you hear his little notification sound. Oh, social media-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: – has turned it off right now. Airplane mode, maybe. 

Evan Brand: It’ll, it will, it’s it’s it, you know, there’s been like trials done on how long it takes you to get focused again. And so what I’ve tried to do is to limit my distractions, I think the world now has become a world full of distractions, mainly because people are trying to solve all the world’s problems on their own meaning, you know, I care about the trees getting cut down in the Amazon. So I’m going to go read about this, and then I care about this, I’m going to go read about that. And then you’re so scatterbrained that you kind of lost your own productivity. So I’m not saying that you need to just, you know, put your head in a hole and turn the world’s problems off in your head like they don’t exist. No, I think it’s just a fine line. And I think most people have lost the line of productivity, because they’re so focused on the issues. And a lot of the day to day decisions you make aren’t going to change the world that much like there’s nothing I could do necessarily right this very second, besides maybe donating some money to some organization to stop cutting trees in the Amazon like it sucks. I don’t like to see, you know, you got all this illegal deforestation going on. But there’s only so much you can do. So you got to find a way to to find a healthy way to absorb the media. And most media is negative. So social media, media news. And a lot of it’s not serving you. That’s the only point I have to make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I do think number one, social media is a big one, you kind of have to like, use it, don’t let it use you. Right. So turn off the notifications. Don’t let it kind of be there something that you always go to write, I think deleting it from your phone, or at least maybe on the weekends or periodically, deleting it can be helpful because you’re not going to access it as much on the web browser. I think also people forget that most people use social media as their highlight reel. So they only post great things about their life. People feel bad about it. So I’m very aware about that. And I don’t overly post the highlight reel of my life on there because those things are between me and my family and I don’t need to share it with the whole world every now and then. I’ll get people A glimpse, but it doesn’t need to be there all the time. A lot of people overdo that. And people forget that they’re seeing someone else’s highlight reel and they make it makes their life feel a little bit less than or more inferior. And you got to remember that right? You can’t forget it. That gives you kind of a good perspective and a grounding and and it really just comes back to appreciation. Right, the more you’re grounded in appreciation for what you have that that really shifts that that stress and that sympathetic kind of response of just inadequacy and, and, and, and feeling like your life’s not enough.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And there’s people with it, we know that are incredibly successful in business and wealth and all of that. And these people will go publicly bring up their anxiety and depression. So when you look at someone’s life, and you see all they have it so good, I’m so jealous of this or that car, this house or whatever, a lot of people listening may just shut it down immediately. And they say, Oh, no, I don’t care. I’m not comparing myself. But it’s kind of a subconscious thing. You’re not even really aware that it’s happening. Just look up type in, like Instagram depression, there’s some studies done that it was the most depressing social media. So I don’t want to make it the whole anti social media podcast, but you, you hit on gratitude. And I think that’s really the key. So what I tried to do was like a walking gratitude. It’s very, very helpful. So I’ll just, I’ll take the kids outside, and they’ll just walk, whether it’s in the backyard, whether it’s down the driveway, whether it’s in the you know, by the garage, I’ll just find a place to just walk, walk, walk. And I’m just focusing on the motions of the body just shaking up and down, dude. And I’m just thinking, Man, I’m grateful. I’m so grateful. Look at this beautiful day, look at the sun, look at the blue clouds, or the white clouds with the blue sky. Look at the the contrast, look at the green on the trees. Oh, we’ve got a little bit of yellow coming in on these maples over here. This is gorgeous, Oh, look at that red tree over there. And it’ll really take you out of the fear, it’ll take you out of the worry those repetitive, repetitive thoughts, you know, there’s, and this is not talking to one or two people here on my intake form, which thousands of people have submitted, you and I use a couple different form creation tools. I’ve looked at how many submissions we have. And it’s literally like 95% of people out of these thousands have reported? Yes, they beat themselves up with negative self talk. That’s a question on the intake form. Do you beat yourself up with negative self talk? 95%? Say yes. Now is that because you and I have a population who has symptoms and they want to get better? Or is that indicative of the general population to I would say the general population would be the same?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always kind of I heard someone say this a couple of years ago, they said, Imagine, you know all the inner thoughts about yourself, kind of write that down. Okay. And imagine if someone else said those things to you? Would you be friends with that person? Probably not. Right? So it’s, it’s amazing how hard people are regarding the inner dialogue. And I always just kind of inner dialogue comes through your brain, ask yourself, would you be friends with that person? If someone else said that to you? Probably not. So I always just try to say to people, you know, make sure you would be friends with the person that would be saying, the inner thoughts that you’re actually thinking.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a good call, that’s a really good call, well, you can be your best friend or you can be your worst enemy. And I think it’s easy to become your worst enemy. Because I don’t know you, you’re the one who has to look in the mirror. Right? So you’re always going to be the one to blame yourself. But.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And if that happens, what do you do? Right? I mean, I think if you have that inner dialogue that kind of shifts overtly negative to yourself, what do you do in NLP world, you go and you visualize the stop sign, right? You don’t beat yourself up over it, you visualize the stop sign, and then you then you shift into appreciation. Or some folks will have the elastic band on the wrist and they’ll pull it tight, right to create that negative neuro Association, whether it’s a physical, elastic snap, or whether it’s a stop sign coming in, that’s that’s visually cueing you to stop, however you want to do it, and then just kind of refocus your energy in a non shameful way to, to the things that you have that are great, right? Because that stuff needs to be you need to it’s like weeds grow automatically negative thoughts grow automatically. It takes no effort to be a cynic. In today’s world takes no effort. It really takes a lot of effort to be an appreciator and to focus on the things that you have. So just kind of use some of those cues to stop the negative thought and then shift over into the positive thought. Now I always find too, if you’re some people, it just kind of feels good to be negative a little bit where you’re kind of venting over something. And if you feel that way, just do it while tapping on some meridian points, some of the EFT meridian points because I find at least if you’re going to be negative, this at least decreases that sympathetic tone. And then what happens is as that that nervous system kind of calms down a little bit, it’s easier to shift back into that positive perspective. So you can do some of the EFT points chin under the nose. under the eye doubletap, I find it’s more efficient for me.

Evan Brand: And as you’re doing this, and as you’re doing this, you’re you’re kind of talking about the negative thoughts, it could be, oh, I just thought about irritable, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just just talk about whatever it is, I always like to go into it, assigning it a number. So out of 10, 10 being the worst intensity, where, yeah, you had a five or six or seven. And I try to go into it, taking whatever that number is, I want to cut it in half. So if I’m at a seven, I’m going to cut it down to three, or four, if I’m at a six, I want to cut it down to a three, if I’m at a 10 and want to cut it down below five, I just try to go into it, and have that conversation with myself about whatever that thing is that pissed me off, whatever it is that hey, that difficult patient that that really stressful bill, whatever it is, right. And I just kind of go into it, kind of do a little audit of where you’re at, and then try to get that down until it’s at least half below where it’s at, that kind of puts you back in the driver’s seat. And then it gives you the ability to shift to being positive, because you can’t be positive, it’s harder to be positive when you have that emotional staying at a higher level on that on that object subjective scale I gave you. So if you can cut it in half, that gives you the ability now to downshift from negative into positive to enable just want to make that shift. while they’re at a high level of negative it’s too difficult. That’s Oh, man, doing the EFT can be helpful because one, it gives you permission to be negative, but two, you’re giving your your nervous system, a little bit of a bump to be able to neutralize it.

Evan Brand: That is the the best point you’ve made about the emotional stress piece because this is like taking somebody who’s in the middle of a full blown panic attack and saying, Just chill out. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just chill out, like just relax, like, be be positive, no, can’t do that. Can’t do that. So this is where like the EMDR. And then you can kind of scatter your eyes around while you do it too. Right. So you can go look at like a clock face and go to 1936. Or you can tap while you’re pretending like you’re looking at different clock numbers with your eyes. And because when you move your eyes that uses different cranial nerves, which uses different parts of the brain, and that kind of the whole goal is you’re kind of scattering that signal. Number one, you’re interrupting the pattern. Number two, it’s kind of like if you’re talking about something you ever had it where someone interrupted you and you’re like, What the hell are they talking about? Right? ever have that? That’s kind of what you’re doing a little bit to your brain and in some of the negative thinking you’re trying to scatter that pattern and make it a little bit harder for your brain to go back to and then you’re like, what, what was I mad about? Oh, yeah, that. And then it makes it easier than shift into positive.

Evan Brand: I just tried to go outside to like, for some reason. Well, duh, I mean, humans were meant to be outside. We’re not meant to be in boxes all day. But you know, if you have a thought that is intrusive, you can just go out, and I’ll take a pair of binoculars, and I’ll just go outside and I’ll just watch the birds. Or I’ll go fill up the bird feeder, put it like a sewage feeder. So it’s like a big chunky like fatty CD type feed. I like to go put that out, watch the woodpeckers come in. And if I’m looking at them, and I’m not thinking about anything, yeah, that’s a that’s a great point. So let’s tie the functional medicine piece into what you said because I think what you said is a really good place to pivot which is you can’t take someone because someone listening who’s just so stressed out right now they’re going to they’re going to listen to you talk about tapping or if they’re watching the video on YouTube. So you tap into right What is this guy doing? He’s friggin tapping his forehead. I’m so pissed. I don’t care what what is this gonna do? That person’s a 10. He can’t he can’t even comprehend getting down to a five right now. So So on the maybe you would call it the herbalist functional medicine side, maybe we come in and give that guy or gal a shot of passionflower. Or maybe we give them a couple hundred milligrams of some pharma gabbeh or maybe a little bit of mother wort or maybe some ashwagandha maybe some Holy basil. Maybe we come in with some B vitamins because you and I know based on looking at thousands and thousands of people on organic acids testing that if you’re really really stressed, you’re going to burn out your bees as in Bravo, your B vitamins are going to be toast we know that. Based on looking at these labs, your neurotransmitters are going to be affected. So you may have low dopamine, you may have low serotonin, which is causing more anxiety, but then the low dopamine is causing a lack of energy and lack of drive. So let’s dive into some of these more functional pieces now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so we talked about the mindset stuff. We talked about tools to kind of decrease that sympathetic output and it’s just tapping on meridian points, right acupressure acupuncture points, kind of how energy and nervous energy Nervous System energy flows to the body. It’s just helping that energy flow better whether you call it ci or whether you call it action potential or, or nervous system, nerve flow, whatever you want to say, right? blood flow. It’s all connected, right? It’s all connected, right? So off the bat, we were talking about functional stuff. So when you’re stressed What are important things? Well, blood sugar stability is really important because most people get on a rollercoaster of blood sugar. When they get stressed meaning they’re going they’re overly gravitating towards alcohol, or overly gravitating towards refined sugar, their blood sugar goes up and then crashes down. And then it creates more nervous system stimulation via adrenaline and epinephrine being stimulated. And cortisol being stimulated to bring your blood sugar back up. So I find just keep it really simple, really easy with your meals, you may be more nauseous when you’re overly stressed because stress hormone does cause you to feel nauseous. So this is where you may want to do a soup or a simple smoothie, something really easy where there’s not a lot of digestion, but you’re still getting some proteins and fat in there. Whether it’s some collagen and some coconut milk or just sipping on some bone broth, right, something like that is going to have some good fat protein and it won’t be hard to digest. So if you feel nauseous just still no you should probably be eating but just try to make it something very easy on your tummy. And then think what are some of the nutrients your nervous systems in need when you’re more stressed, so low hanging fruit, B vitamins B complex is going to be very essential. Magnesium is going to be excellent gabbeh l-theanine these are good things that are going to help you relax and wind down having kind of mentioned valerian root or passionflower which are all connected to gabbeh and that kind of inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you just relax a little bit kind of kind of puts the clutch in gear disengages the the gearbox so you can kind of downshift so to speak.

Evan Brand: Did you ever do Kava when you were down in Austin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I mean, I’ve done I’ve done Kava still. 

Evan Brand: Did you go to the bars though? There’s like a cot. There’s like a cup. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, no, I’ve never I’ve never done it at a bar, but I’ve done it. Um, someone brought it over my house. They got it from Fiji. Before I did, it was relaxing. I like Kava that does a lot of gabbeh too, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah, does I felt weird my throat. I felt like well, am I having a reaction to this? Like it numbs your throat so much. It was a bizarre feeling. Yeah, I’m not recommending it. I’m not recommending it as a as a tool. But it could be it could be a good tool. I just thought I’d bring it up. Because when you mentioned like, Valerian I thought, Man, I remember that one time I drink Kava. I was. It was a weird, almost like an out of body relaxation. And I didn’t feel very grounded. It was kind of like whoa, I’m floating in the room. Kind of kind of interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, like I always go to nutrients first. And then I go to my favorite adaptogenic herbs second, so ashwagandha is one of my favorites. Right? ashwagandha rhodiola. Excellent. Excellent x, Holy basil those are kind of like my favorite kind of very relaxed, defying, relaxing tonifying kind of herbs, if you will.

Evan Brand: I like it too relaxefying, Do you get any sort of change in your outlook with holy basil? Because for me, that’s the one that’s most significant. Like I feel like I could take on the world when I get like a, I don’t know five 600 milligram a holy basil. It’s kind of like I am ready for the challenge. It’s a weird because it’s I’m calm. But I’m also energized at the same time. Do you get anything like that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It hasn’t been on my stack for a while. So right now my big stacks on my desk is going to be ashwagandha I do have some some gabbeh chewables and gabbeh sublingual. I mean, I think if you just took people’s works and took, you know, in their, in their place of work, whatever. And you took away all the candy and you just put like magnesium, and you put gabbeh like Lawson jers. Right. Think about how much of a stress reduction had been people’s works. Right. So much better. Maybe some B vitamins.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, if you and I had brick and mortar places what I would do instead of a little you know how old school like front desk, you’ve got a little glass of like lifesavers and peppermints. And a bunch of garbage. I’d have like pre packaged chewable pharma gabbeh sitting there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. chewable pharma gabbeh, sublingual magnesium, maybe some l-theanine shots, right? keep it really simple. I remember in doctor at school before. For finals, we would like make drinks of like ginseng and holy basil. And we like create these like shot glasses all lined up with herbs where we take it. It was fine. I mean, those are some fun times. But um, yeah, so we just got to think a little bit differently and how you deal with stress, just a different mindset change.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I want to go back to what you said how people get into the alcohol and to the sugar and all of that and the carbohydrates and the blood sugar rollercoaster. I think people don’t understand why that happens. So I just want to give people a brief education of why that’s happening from a, you know, neurotransmitter perspective, that way you feel a little more confident that you can change this and you’re not just a victim to the food. So when we look at urine and you measure these neurotransmitter metabolites, we can see that after a period of stress, especially if somebody has been working with us for several years, we can see that Oh, they went through a divorce. Look what happened to their endorphins, for example, the endorphins got burned out. And with the help of Julia Ross, she has an amazing amino acid therapy chart in her books. You can see that the symptoms of low endorphins start to pop up. So these are the people that cry at the drop of the hat. These are the people that hard on the sleeve real emotionally sensitive. If they crave dark chocolate, they’re going for food to comfort themselves or reward themselves. Those are low endorphin signs, we’ll match up those symptoms to the neurotransmitter report on the oat. And then we’ll come in with a therapeutic nutrient like dl phenylalanine, to rebuild the endorphins. And then within four to six weeks, you can have it the 60% difference in symptoms were these people that were running to the cookie because they were stressed or running to the alcohol at night to relax, they no longer need that now, they may still do it. But they literally don’t have the physiological need to do that. Some people say, I just can’t relax until I have that glass of wine. Once you rebuild the brain chemistry, they literally don’t need it anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, if you’re having a stressful day, I mean alcohol Don’t get me wrong is that is a wonderful downer. I mean, it really does help relax people. Now obviously, if you’re going to engage in alcohol, keep it to like a drier champagne, a drier white wine, keep it to a clean alcohol and try to do it after you’ve eaten. So you’re not creating a blood sugar swing, because alcohol can actually lower your blood sugar. And then that creates more cravings and more cravings for junky food, right? So if you’re going to have a glass of alcohol, right, don’t want don’t get drunk. But if you’re going to have a glass, make sure it’s a healthy version, then just try to have some good protein before you have it like so if you go out, for instance, have some oysters, maybe a little bit of seafood, maybe a shrimp cocktail and have a glass of champagne or two or a cabo or Prosecco or something clean, clean, clean alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with that, you know, especially if it’s only if it’s not an everyday kind of thing. I think it’s totally fine. And you know, make sure you’re utilizing some of the nutrients we talked about. So you’re supporting the neurotransmitters as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, check out our podcast, we did a whole one on the whole biohacking alcohol thing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s how-

Evan Brand: So, Sunshine, sunshine is huge. I mean, granted, when you’re in certain parts of the country, you really lose the sun, you really lose it because you get clouds. And, you know, if you’re really high northern latitude, it’s really tough to get sun, I’ve got a lot of clients in Canada, and they just get major, major seasonal depression. And so for those people, like a light therapy box can be helpful. I already know for me personally, it’s affected me like when it gets dark at five 6pm. I mean, I just mentally, I just don’t like it. And so the light therapy box can be very good. A lot of times, you’re going to see those at around 10,000. Lux, that’s a pretty bright, pretty bright light. Of course, nothing is going to beat the sunshine. But if it’s like you’re in Alaska, you literally or, you know, hours of sun per day, whereas before it was 12 hours, and now you’re three hours of sunlight. That’s really tough mentally, so sun can be helpful. I wish tanning beds weren’t so controversial. because years ago, I had a friend who worked at a gym who had a level, I think they called it a level three or level four tanning bed, which was not something that closed on you. It wasn’t like magnetic field balanced. Like I measured it, there was no EMF coming from it. But it was almost like the stage lights, almost like a like a theatrical performance, like a red light up at the top. And you could get a tan, I mean, literally in a couple of sessions. But I did it for mental health. And we know that sunlight in general can really help act as almost like morphine, it can really help modulate these opiate receptors in the brain. I remember coming out of a six or seven minute session, and I was just high on life. I felt so good after that. And I thought, wow, I wish this didn’t have to be so controversial. Because if someone could get access to something like this, if we knew that it wasn’t going to increase risk of skin cancers and such, man, what could it do for all the depressed people out there that have Seasonal Affective issues in the winter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it just comes down to when you’re dealing with sun, it’s just don’t burn, you know, just just don’t get a burn and you’ll be fine. And that’s different for every single person. And so of course, you know, natural sunlight is going to be ideal. I think it’s gonna be excellent. So that’s a good first step for sure. We talked about some of the B vitamins and things and it gets really essential. I think also, you know, just from a financial standpoint, I think it’s really, really good. People talk about it, just having that six month emergency fund, right, try to have, you know, six months of being able to take care of your family, whether it’s food, living mortgage, just try to really make sure at least three to six months if people had that during COVID. I think there’d be way way, way less financial stress for people. I know, it’s a tough thing to do. But I think it’s something to strive for in regards to financial health is just really look for that six months, three to six month emergency fund. I think you’re smart.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And try to get rid of things that you don’t truly need. I mean, I had several people who say oh, you know this or that about budget, but they’ve got the hundred and $40 a month cable bill and they’ve got the the you know, the subscription to this or that that adds up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. So I think with the reducing subscriptions where you can the emergency fund is smarter than from the food security perspective. Two, I remember months ago, you and I were talking about this it was there was talk about some of these meat processing plants and stuff shutting down and I had literally some of my clients freaking out thinking that they were going to run out of meat and not be able to feed their family. I mean, they were probably just watching too much news about the subject. But that’s why I always recommend everyone have a good chest freezer, you can get him for $100 and go on local harvest or eat wild, or just Google local farms around you, we have a farm that I pay him a little bit extra, but they’ll deliver to the house. And we’ll have literally an entire chest freezer full of amazing grass fed meat at anywhere from six to $10 a pound depending on the cut. And we don’t have to worry about going to Whole Foods where we’re going to get shamed if we don’t want to wear a mask, and then we’re buying their overpriced stuff sitting in the fridge. I’ve got my local farm, you know, bringing pastured meats at a fraction of the cost to my door, throw in the chest freezer, I sleep great at night knowing that if something were to happen to the food supply, my children and my wife and I will be well fed. And then of course well what if the electrical grid? Well, I don’t know. That’s that’s, that’s pretty slim chance. I know, people in California worried about that earlier this year, because of the fires, people were thinking, well, what if I have the chest freezer full of meat? And then the electrical grid goes off? Because California turns off my power generator? You know, hopefully, it’s not a long term thing. But you just got a problem solution problem solution, you can’t just get paralyzed by the problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I always talk about it, you got to close the loop, right? You know, you have a problem. When you don’t close the loop. And you think about the solution, and you keep these loops, I call them keeping these loops open. That’s where stress happens when you close the loop. That’s where you feel a lot better, because it’s our problem solution. Problem solution, you’re constantly opening and closing loops all day long. That’s kind of how you want to think about it. So you have maximal you know, stress reduction. So we talked about physiology, right? That’s the foundation because remember, that’s like the this is the vehicle This is a suit, the biochemical suit we have to walk through every day and not everyone’s suit is the same and how we can deal with stress. So if you’re looking coming into this, you know, 20 minutes late, you’re like, Well, what do I focus on, focus on the physiological biochemical suit, because that gives you the ability to adapt. And then from there, you can try to grab one or two things that work best for you. mindsets, really important, dealing with some of these stress can be helpful. Talking about some of the supplements can be helpful. Making sure you’re in a good kind of financial situation can be helpful as well. You know, those are all good kind of strategies out of the gates. Anything else you want to talk about functional medicine wise. So we talked about some of the organic acid testing and looking at neurotransmitters that can be helpful, because I find people that are, you know, let’s say long term stressed out people, we’re going to see a lot of neurotransmitter patterns that are pretty depleted regarding amino acids and dopamine and adrenaline and serotonin. And that may be a longer thing you have to work on replacing with amino acids. So that may not be just a supplement you want to dunk on, they may take a while to work on depleting that, especially, you know, the faster it happens when you work on all the sleep stuff and the diet stuff that gets better, but that the bucket that may need some effort to work on depleting.

Evan Brand: Yeah, the only other functional medicine piece we’re going to be looking into for these like super stress, people’s looking into the gut, we’re going to be looking at gut inflammation. We’re going to be looking at parasites, bacterial overgrowth, all the stuff we normally talk about Candida, because there could be some more functional reasons why someone is going into the cookies, for example, or the alcohol, maybe on a neurotransmitter test, they look okay, but in regards to their gut, maybe they have all these bacterial pathogens are parasitic pathogens that are kind of like begging for some sort of quick burning glucose, right? So we may come in. And I noticed personally just using some Mimosa, I was doing some experiments with not not the orange juice cocktail thing, but actual most of the seed most a tree seed in capsule form. That’s very beneficial for calming down my gut. And I noticed mentally I was calm, just by calming down my gut. So don’t forget about the gut brain access, there is a connection there. And so if you’re having digestive problems now, whether that’s due to stress, or whether it’s due to infections, if you’re having diarrhea or constipation, or stomach cramping or food intolerances, you got to try to address those because it does signal and alert Danger, danger to the brain, meaning if you’re going and eating this allergenic food, irritating the gut that can then irritate your brain and cause issues. So I’ve had some people that have gotten anxious after certain foods, and we know that histamine is a neurotransmitter as well. So if you’re having histamine reactions, even just something like a low histamine diet may be useful to help calm the brain down because of some of the reactions there with histamine. So people think it’s just histamine allergies. No, but it can also affect your brain chemistry. And so you got to focus on that maybe herbal anti histamines or something we would use or some enzymes to help to reduce some of the effectiveness of the histamine on the brain. So I think that’s probably my last piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and those are all valid points. For sure. You know, you talked about histamine, you talked about inflammation, and inflamed brains not going to focus and not going to do as well. So again, inflammation, whether it’s food allergens or deeper gut issues is a big one. Also medical palsy women, you know, lower hormone issues can affect the brain. So try to make sure your hormones are at least at a good stable place because that’s going to help with brain inflammation that’s gonna help with cognitive stuff as well. So everyone’s coming at this from a different place from from a different foundational weakness. So just try to figure out where you’re at and take at least one or two steps, you know, Ford on that. Also exercise can be helpful. So just try to find a couple of movements, simple movements that you can do 510 minutes, that’s going to help really decrease a bunch of stress. So whether it’s a push movement, a pull movement, a set or squat, a bender, a pole, whatever that movement pattern is just try to engage in some of these simple movements, it’s going to really help your mood, it’s going to take a lot of that mental energy and allow you to kind of put it out into that physical movement pattern.

Evan Brand: Oh, 100% Yeah, exercise is key. I should have mentioned it earlier. I mean, I feel amazing after I just do some dumbbells or roll machine or hike in the woods, hike in the field, you know, whatever I could do to move. I mean, that’s in its free, right, it’s free, so and you don’t need any permission to do that. So obviously, if you’re going into a gym and you’re doing the whole mass thing in a gym, maybe that’s not as fun so get outside go somewhere where you know, you have your own space and you don’t have people you know, breathing down your neck, so to speak. But I think with the gut piece, the neurotransmitter piece, the aminos here’s kind of the the summary of today and what’s been going on in the world. A lot of people are just like, hey, things are crazy, I give up. But this is actually the time where you really want to dial things in even more. This is a time where you want to focus even more to keep your body keep your mind keep your your sleep patterns healthy. This is not a time where screw it I’m going to go off the rails and just drink a case of beer. It This isn’t the time to do that a lot of people they’re so stressed they have no other coping mechanism. But I would argue everything you and I’ve been talking and doing and preaching and clinically doing for people. This is kind of like the showdown This is like okay, what did all that work we put in actually do did we were we the last man standing, meaning everyone else got burned out and ended up on you know, anti anxiety medication. And we stayed calm and cool through the whole thing. I think this is the time where you can see all the hard work paying off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I think you’re totally kind of dialed in. Also, one thing I’ve been doing a little bit is a little more meditation and just keep it really simple with breathing. Just focus on breath, you can do kind of a biofeedback device like the Muse that I’ve talked about, we’ll put a link down below for that. That’s one thing I’m experimenting more with. It just kind of gives you that little bit of a thumbs up from a biofeedback standpoint that you’re you’re you’re putting your brain in a pretty good place when you’re meditating. I think it gives people confidence. They’re doing it right. The problem I find with meditation, people are like, Am I doing this right? And there’s just insecurity and what the heck they’re doing. And then that prevents them from being compliant with it. So I think having a extra kind of pat on the back yet you’re doing the right You’re doing good with a some kind of a device that helps whether it’s whether it’s HRV, or the Muse or M wave type of technology, these kind of things I think are helpful to give you the confidence that you’re doing something right.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the floatation tank is awesome. So doing doing a float would be good. deep tissue massage would be great. calming essential oils would be great Epsom salt baths would be great is anything you can do to downshift. We talked about the shifting phenomenon quite a bit, but-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot, there’s a lot of options for sure.

Evan Brand: Okay, cool. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. So if people need help, we’re here for you. We always have been and we intend to be kind of on the front lines, helping people with all this stuff. So if you need to reach out to Dr. J. is the website. If you need to reach out to me, is the website and we’re here for you. So don’t give up. Don’t give in. You got to keep pushing forward every day, you still got to put your pants on, you still got to do the thing, whether it’s take care of your kids take care of your wife, your husband take care of career, you still got to move forward. So I know it’s easy to get kind of stuck and like you mentioned I like the idea of the open loops closing the loops. I didn’t get stuck in these open loops, but you got to close the doors. Try to simplify try to you know, minimize decision making focus on the big things and you’re going to be just fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Excellent and Well, great podcast today to reach out to Evan, to reach out to me we’re available worldwide. If you want to dive in, look deeper at your physiology, biochemistry, neurotransmitters, gut whatever the root issue is. We’re here to help you guys have a phenomenal day. Click down below for all the important links, guys. Take care. Bye.

Evan Brand: Take care now. Bye bye.


Audio Podcast:

The Allergy and Hormone Connection – Natural Allergy Solutions – Part 2 | Podcast #314

Hormones have profound and significant effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health. In this video, Dr. J and Evan continue their discussion on how these chemical messengers have a significant role in regulating your mood, appetite, and weight, among other things. 

Typically, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body. However,  hormonal imbalances have become increasingly familiar with today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle. Besides, hormones decline with age, and some people feel a sharper or dramatic decline than others. 

The bottom line is, your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in precise amounts for your body to function fully. Hormonal imbalances may increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. Although aging and other factors are afar your control, there are many ways you can take to assist your hormones function well. Consuming healthy foods, meditating, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:21     Hormone Connections, Menopausal

8:24    Nutritional Deficiencies, Food Diets

15:58   Proper Lab Testings, Reading Hormone Profiles

22:07   Men and Female Hormones in Allergic Disease

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J in the house with Evan Brand really excited today we’re going to be talking about the allergy hormone connection. We did. We had a nice chat last week on natural solutions, functional medicine solutions for allergies. So I’m actually very excited to go over the hormone connections, we won’t be going into as much on the supplements or, or things that we do on that side of the fence. We’ll put a link down below so you can see that first podcast. This is going to be building off of that podcast. So if you’re coming in late to the game, you want to take a look at that first podcast, we’re going to be really dive diving in and connecting the hormone piece to it. Because there’s a lot of people that have estrogen dominance, menopause, hormonal issues, imbalances in their adrenal function, and part of that could be driving their allergy issue and you really got to look at everything holistically. And we’re going to be connecting the dots for you guys today. It’s always context, context, context. Evan, how are we doing today, man? 

Evan Brand: Doing good, always good to see on a Monday, it’s like the best part of my week is to start off with a bang. So I actually got a lot of good feedback last week on that podcast, too, you know, you and I kind of joke about how it’s a thankless job because we’ll put out an episode get 1000s and 1000s of downloads and not hear much but actually had a lot of people messaged me and said that that allergy when we did was one of the best of the year. So appreciate your feedback. And we’re excited to take it a step further.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, absolutely love it. So out of the gates here, I mean, there’s kind of maybe three categories of patients that I see really benefit from a lot of this out of the gates. So first are going to be our menopausal females,  and menopausal is the one study that we’ll talk about here today that showed menopausal and perimenopausal women having two times the likelihood of having allergy issues. Part of that has to do with the drop in progesterone and the imbalance and progesterone estrogen that can skew the immune system. The other one would be a cycling female who has significant estrogen dominance, massive imbalances in progesterone and estrogen, that’s another kind of category. And then the last would be someone it could be male or female that has significant imbalances and cortisol, right? We know, when you’re having allergic reactions, you’re developing and producing all these inflammatory cytokines, right, interleukin cytokines, and these are pro inflammatory. And our adrenal glands make a natural anti inflammatory hormone called cortisol. And cortisol naturally will have combat and balance out some of the pro inflammatory cytokines. So if we have significant imbalances, and cortisol, cortisol is too high, and and we’re too catabolic, or it’s too low, and we’re not able to combat the inflammation that can really be I think, the starting mechanism of this whole allergy cascade.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And you and I were talking before we hit record about, well, why is it such a problem now, because you look at like tribal societies and such, and you don’t really see any discussion or any big issue with menopause. And we were talking about the difference in the lifestyle, of course, you don’t have the stress as much as we do in the, in the tribal societies, as you do in modern society. You’ve got more family support group, you’ve got parents and grandparents and the whole tribe helping to pinch hit in some of the family roles. And so really, the the, we’ve lost our tribe, and that baseline stress is really just so strong on people that when there’s the transition to menopause, the adrenals have already been weak for 40 years of parenting with just you and your spouse, that, you know, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I agree. I think you also have a lot more environmental toxins, you have increased nutritional deficiencies, you have a lot more pesticides in the environment, all those different things. Now imagine if you’re like, you know, living out in the forest or something in some kind of a hotter teepee, or some kind of a structure, there’s quite a lot of environmental molds, just things decaying around you. So there’s probably a lot of that by a lot of rain getting in there. So it’s amazing, probably a lot more natural mold exposure, maybe being out there but you know, a lot less stress on the other side of the fence as well. So I think we know stress plays a major role on your adrenals because cortisol is a natural stress hormone. It’s anti inflammatory. It’s a gluco corticosteroid, which means it pertains to stress and inflammation. It’s also a very powerful Energizer hormone. And cortisol can pull from progesterone. So we know progesterone does have anti inflammatory effects. So for chronically producing cortisol, that can really start to skew this estrogen progesterone balance. Because as cortisol is being stimulated due to chronic stress and inflammation, progesterone can be pulled downstream to make it because progesterone is a building block of cortisol. And if progesterone is being pulled downstream, what can happen to that natural ratio of estrogen progesterone, it can skew now. Typically speaking, progesterone is always going to be higher than estrogen in general, usually it’s about a 23 to 25 times ratio of progesterone, estrogen, but at that ratio starts to drop. So we start talking about estrogen going up, and progesterone dropping. We’re talking about that more in relative terms. not absolute, we’re talking about the ratio dropping, not the absolute numbers going in opposite directions just to make sure that’s clear for everyone.

Evan Brand: Yeah, let’s also tie in the gut piece. I mean, a lot of people responded to me and said, Wow, I didn’t have a clue that bacterial overgrowth in my gut could create the allergies. But in the same vein, the gut issues could actually create the hormone issues. So let’s talk about that for a minute. When you are looking at stool test, and we’re going to look at beta glucuronidation, being high due to a bacterial overgrowth. Now we have the recirculation of hormones happening as well. So there may be this point where we come in with some of the herbal anti histamines that we talked about. But now we also may need to come in with some of the glucuronidation pathway support like your calcium D glue, great, maybe the sulfur based amino acids glutathionre broccoli seed extract, like broccoli sprouts, we like to use those. So that’s another mechanism. I think that once again, the allergist, they’re going to miss they’re not going to give you a calcium D glucrate, but they might need 200%.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. I’m going to read a study here. I’ll get the exact article here for you down the road. But here is the quote, study in Northern Europe included over 2300 women and track their respiratory health from 2000 to 2012. They found the odds of getting asthma quote, we’re more than twice as high for women going through menopause or transition, or after menopause compared to non menopausal women. So there’s something that’s happening at around Peri and or menopausal timeframe. So let’s say early to mid 40s, to early to mid 50s. Right. There’s that timeframe that’s happening, I think the big thing that’s probably happening is you’re having a drop in progesterone. And then we’re starting to happen as you’re having FSH and LH starting to increase. And I think you’re also starting to rely more on the adrenal glands to fill in the gap. And if cortisol is out of balance or imbalance, there is not enough DAGA you’re gonna find a real deficit and some of these hormones and you’re not going to have the same inflammatory backup generator support, if you will, from the adrenal gland. And that’s a big mechanism that’s active here. And that’s why you’re going to see more Peri and menopausal women affected and again, a lot of women are chronically stressed and they kind of fall into that perimenopausal category younger and younger. I’m seeing a lot more perimenopausal symptoms and women in their 30s and early 40s. Now, which is really interesting. I mean, perimenopause is that timeframe before menopause. Usually menopause is when you have one year 12 months without a period. But you can start to see perimenopausal symptoms start to happen younger and younger and younger, I think because of chronic stress. And that could be hot flash issues. Of course, that could be just a lot of the PMS issues. Usually you start to see cycle, missing cycles, hot flash issues, you can also see a lot of mood changes, vaginal changes, sleep issues, weight issues, you can see mood, irregularity, loss of libido. And now again, a lot of those also connect with PMS too. So it’s kind of hard to connect the two but usually you start to see missing cycles and starting to see some of those hot temperature issues starting to occur. And then of course, a lot of vaginal dryness or a lot of mucous membrane dryness issues as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that was my next question for you is why are you seeing this in younger women? I mean, because this is kind of a new phenomenon, right? I mean, in the last 10 years, you’re seeing this thing is ramping up significantly. So you think it’s just the stress in the 30s to early 40. Women that maybe previously wasn’t as intense. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, chronic stress, chronic inflammation. I think a lot of women I mean, this is this is in general, this is people in general, just a lot of nutritional deficiencies due to chronic poor diets. A lot of women if they, you know, 20 plus years ago, they were in that low fat era, and they weren’t getting good healthy fat and good healthy cholesterol, I mean, that’s going to put a lot of stress on your hormones, because you need these building blocks. To make these hormones right hormones made from cholesterol, your body makes a lot of cholesterol, but could never make enough. And you need a lot of important fat soluble vitamins in cholesterol from good healthy animal products that to ideally make it optimally right. It’s hard to do that on a vegan vegetarian diet, because you’re just missing a lot of those fat soluble vitamins, and long chain omega three fatty acids that you get from high quality fish and such. So that’s I think a big thing as well. And also fats play a really important anti inflammatory role, right? We know good healthy fats, like fish and coconut, or have good anti inflammatory benefits. And we know a lot of the Omega six in plant based diets can be more inflammatory. And a lot of the good healthy omega threes on the plant based side that come from flax or chia, right, these are going to be like alpha linoleic acid, these are going to be omega threes, they have to get converted downstream and they go through different enzymes like Delta five desaturase, that makes that conversion. And if you have insulin resistance, or inflamed, it’s going to be harder to maximally convert that some people say maybe only 20% converted. So there’s a lot of conversion issues downstream. We see the same problem with vitamin A. So if you’re a plant based and you’re relying on a lot of beta carotene, for instance, and carrots plant based products, you may not get a good conversion cuz that’s the UK converted. So if you’re getting vitamin A from grass fed liver or beef, or let’s say called liver oil, right or egg yolks as a maximum conversion there because you’re getting active vitamin A in there versus having to rely on a conversion, and the more inflamed you are and the more stressed you are, it’s hard to convert an activate a lot of these nutrients.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well, you know, you gotta you made a good point, too, you got a lot more women doing things they shouldn’t be doing like going on strict vegan diets, doing plant based burgers, getting off of real Whole Foods. So I think I’m trying to just answer my own question in my head here. Like, why is this being ramped up in younger women. And I think there’s a combination of factors like always, but man, it, you got Bill Gates and other people pushing so hard, just get off meat, meats, bad meats, bad, there’s still so much on brainwashing that we have to do in the population. So I really hope folks listening into the podcast, we really hope that you all are eating good quality fats, especially women, we really don’t want you to be afraid of those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and kind of my pitch on meat versus plant based products. It’s pretty simple. So number one, plants bio accumulate nutrition. So the benefit that you get from animals is they buy or accumulate plants. So for instance, about one meats, one pound of grass fed meat, it takes about eight pounds of plant matter to make that grass fed meat. And so animals face make sure I say correctly, animals bio accumulate plant based matters. So you get a lot more bio accumulated nutrition. So for instance, 16 cups of kale gets you the amount of protein that’s in six ounces of grass fed beef, right, there’s a bio accumulation of amino acids and fat soluble vitamins, and even things like zinc. And then when you go and look at the bioavailability, of course, plants have a lot more anti nutrients than animal products do. So you have a lot more anti nutrients binding up oxalates phytates mineral blockers, protein blockers that make it harder to break down a lot of the nutrients in plants. And then the my sentience kind of emotional argument is, it’s all about taking, it’s all about having the most the largest amount of nutrition per death, okay, it’s really important, you have nutrients per death, if I have one cow kill for my family, that’s gonna feed my family the whole year, right? If you look at a lot of the factory farming involved in, like, let’s say raising high quality plants, and again, this may not be the broccoli or kale in your backyard, right? But if you look at on a wide scale kind of monoculture kind of scale, there’s all kinds of rabbits and snakes, and badgers and all kinds of things that get caught up in the combines when they harvest a lot of these plants. Okay, so there’s a lot of deaths happening. And so then you got to say, well, is that badgers death equal to this cow’s death, right, then you got to look at and kind of weigh well, whose life’s worth more. And then the third argument a little bit deeper is, well, are you taking the life when you’re killing a plant, and I think my personal belief is, it takes life to sustain life. So everything that you kill, whether it’s plant or animal has to have some level of life force to it. And then you’re just playing this game of well, whose life matters more obviously, I can emotionally connect with the cow because it’s got a mommy and a daddy. And it’s cute and cuddly. Maybe not with the kale, right? But all life, it takes life just to stay in life. So there has to be some level of life in that plant, for it to sustain you. Same thing with the animals. And so keep that there. And of course, when we talk about animals, we’re talking about non factory farming, we’re talking about organic, we’re talking about super high quality raising no hormones, no antibiotics, you know, one bad day for that animal. And that’s it. Right. So I just wanted to differentiate that for people that are kind of listening in on the fence with that.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said, well said I liked the way you you put it. Alright, so this study and paper that you had, it also mentioned vitamin D. Now, just in case, we didn’t mention it last time, I just want to make sure we mentioned it now that there is definitely a link between more severe asthma symptoms and low vitamin D. So that’s a very, very easy low hanging fruit that should be addressed. If you’re working on some sort of a histamine allergy protocol. You’ve already hit upon increasing omega threes, your nuts, your seeds, your Coldwater fish, you’re doing your low histamine diet, if necessary, you’re treating the gut infections, but then boom, if you miss vitamin D, that’s easy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. And again, the other component, I would say is glutathione. We need that through digesting good proteins, right? So if we’re chronically stressed, let’s connect the dots here. So if you’re chronically stressed, you’re pouring out cortisol, your adrenals are in this fight or flight kind of sympathetic dominant state. You’re over secreted cortisol, and again, that can also look in a chronic state like low cortisol, right? Your cortisol doesn’t get low unless at some point it was chronically overstimulated. So some people think or feel like oh, my God, like my cortisol must be so my adrenal must be so overstimulated right now because I feel so off but it’s possible that they could be in this state of total dysregulation, and they’re on The lower side. So either way, chronic cortisol stress is going to affect your nervous system because the sympathetic nervous system is what’s engaged when you have a lot of adrenal stress. And the sympathetic nervous system affects digestion, right? It’s the parasympathetic that has the rest, the digest the energize, repair. So if we don’t have enough parasympathetics going, it’s gonna be harder to digest and break down our foods, absorb our nutrients. And this can really one start to create indigestion that can create more cebo and dysbiosis and bad bacterial imbalances. And those bad bacterial imbalances can negatively impact our immune system. And an immune system that’s not correctly primed. It’s overly sensitive and going after allergens that are not like a threat to us, that’s going to create allergy issues. So you see how this hormone adrenal Nervous System digestion, gut, immune connection kind of evolves, right? You can really connect it to a lot of different things because they really dovetail so importantly.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Now, the good news is, once you get the proper labs, it’s less overwhelming, because when you’re saying that back to me, I’m like, Oh, crap, how would somebody even know where to start with it? But once you get the data, it’s really easy for us to go and look at the piece of paper and go, Okay, look, here’s the gut analysis. Here’s the hormone analysis. And then on the gut analysis, we get a clue into the, into the hormones to right, because we’ll see that beta glucuronidation marker, if that’s high, we know Oh, crap. There’s recirculation going on. So this hormone profile now we have answers even deeper, we have a root cause of the root cause. Why is the hormone profile working like this? Well, because of the gut profile, and then you piece in the oats, your piece in the chemical profiles, the mold profiles, you look at where does somebody live environmentally, how much outdoor exposure Do they have, then we look at the diet piece, it makes it much much more digestible. So I just want people listening, you may be able to pull out little pieces of the puzzle like oh, I’m going to boost vitamin D, I’m going to do quercetin to stabilize it. But really, you got to get the data. So that’s what we always want to lean upon. for a couple reasons. One, it helps us to shorten the treatment duration, because then you’re not guessing and checking by just giving herbal anti histamines and sending people on their way. But number two, it’s a good compliance piece, because we can show people look, we have the reason of why you’re feeling like crap. Stick through this protocol, it works so much better. You know, there were times where clinically, I would talk to someone, and we would say, Well, you know, it sounds like this, it sounds like that maybe budget was a concern. It’s in a couple of cases. But we would just give somebody a guess and check protocol. But then we always had to go back to testing later. So really upfront, if you have this going on, get some data, so you know what you’re up against, you’re going to, you know, definitely shorten your timeline, and you’re going to shorten and decrease your cost. Like, if you were like me, I’d go buy this supplement, I’d buy that I’d buy that you have the supplement graveyard, you’re spending much, much more money doing that, as opposed to getting a dialed in protocol made for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. Yeah, if you can see what’s going on is going to help you be a lot more compliant, for sure. And then one other connection here is we know that women who are overweight, they have twice the likelihood of having allergies as well. And again, I think this goes with men as well, when you’re overweight, fat is a major reservoir of interleukins, and cytokines and inflammation. So you can make a lot of inflammation via your fat cells. So the more inflamed you are, right? The whole thing with allergies and asthma and all these different things is the immune reaction that you’re having is an increase in cytokines and interleukins that are pro inflammatory, right. And so when you’re, you have exposure to endogenous allergens in the environment. That’s kind of what’s creating an anti inflammatory response. And then your body is then oversee accreting more inflammatory compounds, they kind of add to the mix, right? So your body’s overdoing it. And you have natural anti inflammatory compounds via cortisol and progesterone in your body. And if you don’t have enough reserves there to kind of let’s say, cover that up or neutralize it. It can really create more and more problems. That’s that’s a big one. I mean, here’s the summary. estrogens role in allergic disease remains complex, as allergenic as allergic disease continues to increase in the prevalence and effect women is fortunately gaining a fuller understanding of its effects. Basically, it’s talking about xeno estrogens and hormonal imbalances driving more allergy issue. It does it because it modulates the immune system, T cells, immune cells, B cells, it’s affecting all of the immune system, because we’re throwing a lot more histamine, leukotrienes and other immune compounds that are just putting our body into a more inflammatory state, if you will.

Evan Brand: Make sense i mean that once again, we’re back to external exposure, meaning potentially environmental but when we say environmental, that’s not just nature, it’s not like that anymore. It’s contaminated. You’ve got so estrogen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly estrogens may polarize T cells and cause more th to immune response that’s kind of more of our antibody immune response. So you may get a lot more of that. Estrogen promotes the class switching of B cells. To immunoglobulin e, IGE is going to be a product that those are eosinophils so it’s going to promote more in a more allergenic side of your immune system via eosinophils. And then of course, estrogen promotes the degranulation of mast cell base fill so base fills are in your blood their immune cells just like you eosinophils are when they start to go into your tissues, they can start they become mast cells, essentially a mast cells produce histamine and we know histamine increases all these leukotrienes and, and cytokines, which are part of this whole allergenic immune reaction. So you can see how all these things kind of, um, you know, roll downstream and create more problems. So when people are listening to this, and you’re like, what the heck is he saying, just focus on this just go upstream. Anytime you get overwhelmed, always go upstream. Okay. Everything kind of gets more granular and nuanced as you go downstream. So hormonal imbalances, imbalances and progesterone, estrogen, especially when you start to have more estrogen dominance, that creates more of a pro allergic response. When cortisol starts to go out of balance, typically, either overly high acutely or chronically low. In a more chronic situation, that’s going to create more allergies, the more your sympathetic nervous system is in fight or flight due to chronic hormonal stress that can create more allergies as well. It affects your ability to digest, rest, repair, and absorb nutrients, and it sets up your digestive tract for inadequate enzyme and acid levels. And it also throws off your gut microbiome start to have more dysbiosis and that can throw off your immune system. Why? Because 80% of our immune system is in our intestines are Gault which is our gastric associated lymphoid tissue, that’s our stomach and our mouth, our mucosal associated lymphoid tissue that’s in our small intestine. hope that makes sense.

Evan Brand: It does. So, if you’re still drinking out of single use plastic water bottles, you got to quit doing that, because you were you were reading through it kind of fast. But basically what I pulled out you were saying that these, you know, estrogens, those have been linked to stimulating or irritating the mast cells. Was that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, let me just read this summary here. This is a big one. So female hormones appear to play a significant role in allergic diseases, with estrogens effect being the most well studied estrogen influences, immune cells, favoring that th two immune response, and it causes our B cells or B cells are basically our body’s ability to make antibodies, right? We have five antibodies, right? neutrophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes, basophils? How do I remember it? Never let monkeys eat bananas. Okay. That’s how we learn about that in doctoral school. And so we start to have a lot of these B cells, which you know, they can be anything of these five, they start to go more towards eosinophils. And again, he for allergy, that’s how we remember that he for allergy now with the exception is parasites can also increase the ascenta fills there for parasite infections can increase your chance of allergies to see all these things connect over. So the potential role for astron and nasm is supported by epidemiological evidence and increase the asthma prevalence and severity in adult women. And by associating estrogen with changes in airway mechanics and inflammation. However, the mechanism by which it may act is quite complex, we know that exogenous compounds of estrogen activity may influence allergic diseases, how well if we’re getting exposure to potentially birth control pills, or plastics, or pesticides, in the water, hormones and the meat all of these things may potentially throw us more into an estrogen dominant state. Now this study is not saying it, I believe it’s it’s really going to be that hormone ratio. So it’s more that estrogen dominance, unnecessarily high amounts of Astrid that definitely is part of it. But I think also that that ratio, or that Oh, right here, and it says with the effects dependent on the concentration of hormones, and the concomitant presence, or absence of factors such as progesterone, so it is kind of alluding to that the absence of progesterone can also throw that immune system into a more allergenic response, which is what I’m highlighting earlier, it’s more estrogen dominance than it is just estrogen by itself

Evan Brand: Makes sense. Okay. And now I’ve got a couple papers here is talking about estrogen is very stimulatory to the mast cells to release histamine. And then the excess estrogen also is going to down regulate the DA o enzyme that clears his domain Oh, bingo, they’re inactive. And at the same time, histamine stimulates the ovaries to make more estrogen. So the net result can be a vicious cycle of estrogen to histamine to estrogen to histamine, whereas progesterone comes in and stabilizes the mast cells and actually up regulates do production, and therefore can reduce histamine. So many symptoms of estrogen dominance are actually symptoms of histamine or mast cell activation. And then we know like mast cells, and histamine play a role in endometriosis and also pmdd. So that’s, that’s pretty cool. And this is an epidemic problem. You and I kind of talk about it. Like it’s this nuanced thing, but no, this is going on in hundreds of millions of women around the world and probably more so in women than men. But this issue can definitely happen in men also.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I don’t want men to kind of feel left out here. There’s a lot of men that have a lot of estrogen imbalance issues as well due to the environment, poor detoxification, gynecomastia excess of just being overweight, there’s some of those same mechanisms that are happening here, member fats can produce estrogens as well. So I don’t want our guy friends to be left out in this here. So just know there’s still a lot of the same mechanisms that are at play. Of course, we’re not going to be you know, hitting the hormones the same way. But we’re going to be looking at the adrenals are same way we’re going to be cutting out environmental hormones, we’re going to be looking at the toxification and your body’s ability to clear these excess of hormones. Of course, if we’re seeing women that come in with birth control pills, we’re going to try to hit that via a different mechanism. without throwing off the hormones, there’s a lot of ways we can hit this. I’m really happy that we’re talking about this because this is something that I see endemic in a lot of my female patients and male too. So I’m glad that we’re on top of this. And we’re not going to be going over too much on the supplement side cut for this because we talked about it last time. So please click down below and look for that previous podcast. But the big thing I would say with my female patients and or hormone patients listening is we’re going to look at potentially using endogenous progesterone, depending on the levels, we’re going to use herbs to help modulate estrogen and progesterone. So some of those herbs could be chaste tree, or maka or dawn quai. There’s a lot of other herbs that we use to modulate that we may use things like ashwagandha rhodiola, ginseng things to help modulate cortisol, of course, we’re going to be fixing a lot of the diet and lifestyle strategies, whether it’s blood sugar, inflammatory foods, sleep, of course, all of the healthy diet and lifestyle, things are foundational. So I’m not going to go into all of that, because that’s all with a podcast within itself. But just kind of keep that in mind. Those are all going to be part of the foundational principles that we utilize. And also I use other palliative things like natural anti histamine, the granulators, which looked at that previous podcast. And then also we talked about sinus flush protocols, and high quality air filtration, which are going to be important components. But you know, see that previous podcast for more instruction on that.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said last thing here, just a note, it was talking about the whole progesterone, estrogen mast cell connection. And why progesterone, of course, is going to stabilize mast cells and upregulate DAO, and it made just a note here. This is why most women feel better early in the luteal phase when progesterone is higher. So if there is like a cyclical pattern to your issues, pay attention to your cycle. That’s probably a good clue there that it is progesterone deficiency.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, part of the reason it wouldn’t feel bad those last couple of days or a week before is because that’s where we have the biggest drop in progesterone. So it’s this big drop that happens. And usually it happens a little too early. And that’s what kind of gets this whole cascade of PMS or pmdd happening, right. And it’s usually just that fall out and progesterone too soon and too hard. Usually around a 21 to 24 it can just fall out harder versus gradually coming down around day 27 or so.

Evan Brand: And you’re saying we can help blunt the drop with some of the strategies, the herbs and nutrients, getting rid of the excess estrogens in relationship all of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And don’t get me wrong. utilizing some of these natural anti histamines that we talked about in podcast one is helpful. But we just have to always draw a line is this the root cause and so I always want to make sure patients know this is not the root cause, but it’s buying us time. And it’s helping us deal with the histamine while we work on all the other diet and lifestyle and hormonal things. And then over time, you become less reliant on those things. And it’s better than taking medications that cause you to be drowsy and brain foggy throughout the day, or even things that add more steroids in your body to which could be more destructive. 

Evan Brand: Absolutely. Well, if you need to reach out and get help, please do. If you need to reach Dr. J, you can at his website, And he does console’s worldwide via phone, FaceTime, Skype, whoever you need to reach him. He’s there. If you need to reach out to me my website, we have all the information in regards to scheduling. It’s a piece of cake and you can book a intro call to discuss your symptoms, your goals, see if you’re a good fit for care, we’d love to help you out, get you off the roller coaster get you off the merry go round, unless you like that kind of thing. But these medical merry go rounds are not something fun. So we want to try to get you off of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. I have three patients this last week. Two women, one man, one man who had a significant 80% reduction in lifelong allergies, doing a lot of these strategies. So I mean, these things aren’t esoteric, like there’s a lot of thought leaders out there that just talk about things, but they aren’t in the clinical trenches with their sleeves rolled up dealing with people working on this and actually getting results. So you know, I have quote, I have, you know, strong experience in this Evan does too, and we’re seeing it so when you guys are hearing the things we’re talking about this isn’t theoretical. This transcends what you’re reading the study. This is real. So I don’t We say that just to give you guys a lot of motivation and hope that if you’re listening, just start applying it. And then if you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed, we’re here for you. There’ll be a link down below where you can click to reach out to us and we’re here to help y’all. And if this information resonates, please find a family member or a friend that you can share it with because we really appreciate that.

Evan Brand: Awesome, we’ll take good care. We’ll be in touch next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good chat with you have a good one, y’all. Bye now. 

Evan Brand: See ya. Bye.


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Audio Podcast:

Root Cause of Mood Issues| Podcast #229

Anxiety, depression and mood swings are more than just that. Those things are real and are not just in our mind.

In this episode, learn various causes of our mood swings and situations that trigger it. Also, natural remedies to ease it and getting to its root cause is included in today’s podcast. Stay tuned!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:03 Causes of Mood Swings

05:40 Medications and Antidepressants

10:12 Going Natural

11:07 Proper Oxygenation

26:29 Environment Matters



Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the podcast. We have Evan Brand here. Today we’re gonna do a live podcast today on mood and natural mood solutions, getting to the root cause of your mood concerns. So we’re live on Facebook here as well live on YouTube. Make sure you click down below, leave us some comments, we want to know what you think we appreciate a share we appreciate the like. Obviously subscribe and don’t forget to smash the bell so you can get notifications of our awesome content coming up. So, Evan how are we doing today man?

Evan Brand: Hey man I’m doing pretty good. I’m looking for statistics right now to make sure we can discuss how many people have depression how many people have anxiety. The Center for Disease Control they study this stuff and so I want to make sure people understand this, its not just

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (Cross talking.) Exactly

Evan Brand: One or two people out in the world that are struggling with mood issues, I mean it’s an epidemic so how big of an epidemic well that’s what I’m about to tell you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, so let’s dive in. So we’re gonna be talking about mood issues. Now I kind of draw the line in a couple different areas because there’s gonna be mood issues that are like all the time and you’re gonna see this in men women and more women. You’re gonna see mood issues that are more cyclical that are involved with their cycle whether it’s at typically it’s in the be, sometimes at ovulation and usually throughout that luteal phase, that last part of a woman’s cycle a week maybe three tool days to a week before they actually menstruate or bleed, have the period that’s when you’re gonna see a lot of mood issues and that could be hormonally based. So you have mood issues that are more cyclical than like an everyday kind of thing there’s that number two blood sugar issues people that are on a reactive hypoglycemia roller coaster and live their life on a blood sugar roller coaster that’s gonna be a problem. Number three, just poor nutrition. Like you’re not getting enough B vitamins and magnesium and amino acids in your body so you’re just – your diet’s just poor nutritionally it’s not nutritionally dense to provide the building blocks, to make all the brain chemicals, and then number four I would say is a malabsorption issue. Meaning, you don’t have the your digestion, is it off, or you don’t have the digestive secretions because of infection or food allergens or gut stress you’re not able to break down those nutrients so maybe the nutrients are coming in but we’re having a deficit on the breakdown side if you will

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s not what you eat, it’s what do you digest from what you eat. So you could have a Paleo diet yes, but if you’re still on an acid blocker or you have some infection you could still be at a deficiency of those amino acids that you need to manufacture brain chemicals

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, and then number five but kind of dovetail with the female hormone issue, but that’d be more on the adrenal stress side highs and lows in cortisol or cortisol rhythm issues. Now, I would say a lot of women that have the cyclical issues probably have an adrenal issue, but there are some people that may have all the time issues that are more Audrina based indoor men may have adrenal based issues, and then connecting to that, I would say with me the thyroid low thyroid hormone is commonly shows up as anxiety. They’ve done studies where they’ve taken people with anxiety and mood issues given one group, lithium the other group actual t3 and they found the actual t3 thyroid hormone saw some of the mood related issues and better than the lithium did. So those are kind of the big four or five things I’m trying to dovetail and we can connect any comments on that the brief over you Evan.

Evan Brand: Yeah, so what symptoms are we talking like when we say mood issues are we hitting, I mean we already did an anxiety podcast, we could talk about depression and that’s part of it are we just saying mood issues as a whole, I mean that could be irritability, that could be anger, I mean do we just tie it all together because really it’s all connected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, your debility, anger, anxiety, depression and then typically those things tend to dovetail with fatigue I think the only if we’re unique most people that have fatigue tend to have those issues, with the exception of maybe anxiety. I’ve seen some people that are very energetic but are anxious kind of that tire but why are you kind of thing but they may not be like fatigue so to speak. So typically you’re gonna see almost all of those issues have a fatigue backbone with the exception of anxiety maybe but you can still be anxious and tired though –

Evan Brand: Yeah, so depression specifically what I found here for statistics in the US about 10% of the US population has reported depression, so I mean how many people are depressed that have not reported it probably a huge amount. So you know if we estimate the US population over 300 million people, 10%, that’s what 30 million people, yes a lot of people, so you know not just you and your brother and your sister and your cousin, no, I mean this is everywhere you go I think the numbers are probably way higher than 10%. I think it’s just that people are not reporting it you know, what are you gonna do like you’re gonna go to your doctor you’re depressed a lot of people are catching on to the fact that all they’re gonna do is get a prescription pad written form and in your intro you said nothing about a deficiency of depression medication, you didn’t say anything about a deficiency of anti-anxiety medication, so people know they know that’s the only supposed cure that they’re gonna get is those drugs and people don’t want to do, I mean you and I talk to people every single day all day and a lot of them do have depression and they know I can’t get help from conventional psychiatry or doctors so then they come to us because they know there’s something else going on it’s not just a pill that I’m missing to fix my depression it’s something underlying and I had depression for I don’t know 10 years I mean as long as I could remember and my mood started to lift significantly after I worked on my gut.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% now looking at a lot of medications acutely a medication may be necessary if you’re in a suicidal place that that may make sense but you have to work with someone to get to the root cause. The problem is most antidepressants that actually don’t work in the long run. What happens is the dose has to be raised up and then as you increase the dose your chance of side-effects increase and side-effects of antidepressants can be weight gain, it could be low libido, it could be other mood issues, it could be energy issue, so there’s other issues that could happen spinning off a various side effects. So like within the depressants we have SSRI medications right that’s your selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, these are like your pre and post synaptic neuron you have all the the brain chemicals here in between the synapses is like your serotonin and there’s react ape ports on the presynaptic neuron where these chemicalsget recycled and a reuptake inhibitor it blocks this. So imagine putting my hand over this part and that way these chemicals cannot go back into that presynaptic neuron and if you guys are listening on podcast feel free and click below to see the YouTube links that you can see my, my little hand puppetry if you will. So that’s kind of SSRI you have SSNRI which is like Selective’s Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor so SNRI. Now, looking at norepinephrine dopamine which is similar you have things like wellbutrin, there’s other medications that are in that category that are working more on adrenaline dopamine kind of cascade because dopamine’s a precursor to adrenaline. So you have those medications on the depression side there’s new lines of antidepressant medications coming out working on brain inflammation. The conventional medicine is starting to understand that brain inflammation is a big impact on mood so they’re giving you these medications to help with that. Now, you got to be careful because anytime you don’t get to the root cause you create potential side effects, so these medications are so new coming out not even sure if they’re even from market yet they’re in the testing process now, so the side effects I’m not sure of yet but I guarantee you there’ll be a whole bunch. Now, looking at functional medicine in nutrition we want to get to the root cause of that brain inflammation, so one of the first thing we look at is to diet and the first thing after that is the gut because inflammation in the gut drastically causes inflammation in the brain, we have this the tight junctions open up this leaky gut gastro intestinal permeability phenomenon occurs undigested particulate bacteria foods gluten dairy get into the bloodstream, they can make their way up to the brain and make an activate our microglial cells which can create more cognitive issues more brain fog and more mood issues. So depression is a really big component so just kind of laying out the medication here and then obviously we have like our our gaba like as a pain medications which are gonna be working more on the gaba receptor sites and then we have ourold tricyclic s–from the 80s which are antidepressants from the 80s, less side effects with those but those still are kind of a weaker SSRI and —

Evan Brand: Well the problem with the benzos is that they’re highly addictive and if you try to come off of those you have a big withdrawal period where there’s going to be potentially more anxiety, more depression, panic attacks, I mean I’ve had people who come to me after they tried to go cold turkey off of a benzo and they’re having night sweats and panic attacks it’s like no you can’t do that, you know those drugs were really really effective so it’s just not something you can do on your own, you really have to have a doctor to help get you off of those drugs and a big problem is two people that are trying to mix supplements with medications – I mean you can’t just go take a SSRI and then go take 500 milligrams of 5-htp that’s just not something that you want to do it’s rare and I haven’t seen any cases of it personally but it’s called serotonin syndrome and that’s when you can boost up serotonin way too much with the drug and a nutrient so this isn’t. I mean when you’re talking brain chemistry you don’t want to come in there and just go to Whole Foods, buy a bunch of amino acids and start popping them if you don’t know what you’re doing

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the side effects are pretty prolific like we talked about nausea, fatigue, poor sleep, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, low libido, weight gain, so all of these things can, can add to the milieu of symptoms that are already there and we’re not getting to the root cause, so we kind of lead it the medications we talked about how important that is we obviously know foods really important because foods where all the building blocks come from so we want diets a very important very nutrient-dense with lots of good healthy B vitamins especially b6 which helps activate a lot of our brain chemicals. So obviously like a paleo temple it’s gonna be a great starting point with healthy organic green vegetables you know lower sugar fruit lots of good anti-inflammatory compounds they’re good healthy omega-3 fats which can help a brain inflammation and help with inflammation in general and lots of healthy good animal products that are gonna be grass-fed not grain fed with all the roundup and pesticides and junk.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I’ve noticed a big difference myself with the fish oil just taking that tends to just level my mood out it’s not like it’s an any depressant effect like you would get from something like rhodiola, that’s one of my favourite adaptogenic herbs for depression. It’s not that significant but it just kind of makes you more even keel, where something like an adaptogen is going to help really boost you and you’re gonna feel altered, almost like you have a buzz from the herbs like, whoa I’m I feel happy I feel great. Yeah ___[10:57] is good for that gotu kola is good. I would say ginkgo could be in that category too because ginkgo will help with the blood flow in the brain, you know some of it could just be poor oxygenation what you think like if someone’s sedentary and maybe they have poor circulation, maybe they have mold issues that’s blocking nitric oxide, I mean how much of depression do you think is an oxygen related issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean anytime you have poor or increased coagulation meaning blood is kind of viscous, it’s like molasses things aren’t flowing well. Exercise helps improve that just getting inflammation down when you’re more inflamed and you have more inflammatory cytokines or interleukins in your bloodstream. Things get stickier and they’re not gonna flow as well, so movement helps getting the inflammation down, helps doing things like ginger tea. Ginger can be helpful. Fish oil is a natural blood thinner so you talk about fish oil. Part of the mechanism on fish oil works is it helps that coagula, it prevents things from clotting and sticking and also a fish oil is like a weak MAO inhibitor so basically, MAO is another kind of enzyme that metabolizes a lot of these brain chemicals kind of naturally and this it has a way of delaying that metabolism so not quite a drug like effect but it does have a mild effect there and again when you do things that are more natural and have mild effects. You have less side effects so fish oil’s wonderful with that also things like St. John’s Wort has some really good depression antidepressant qualities too and a lot of times they’re working on indirectly. They have anti-inflammatory effects they have which then helps with blood flow which then they tend to have maybe a mild MAO kind of you know decreasing the metabolism of our brain chemicals kind of mechanism that’s happening at play. Also one thing about gluten they’ve done, studies on gluten where gluten decreases blood flow to the frontal cortex so oh you have you know your garden hoses up the side of your head is called your carotid they gave people basically functional MRIs and they looked at blood flow and activation and the frontal cortex pre and post gluten and they saw significant reduction in blood flow to the frontal cortex the neocortex which is what makes us humans compared to animals and they saw a significant reduction and also significant reduction in migraines when that blood flow was supported. Meaning, when they cut the gluten down migraine stopped and they also saw that the blood flow was coming up when that happened so kind of outlined the mechanism. Blood flow is a really important component so anytime we can decrease the coagulate, meaning things sticking and we can improve the blood flow, like we talked about that makes a huge difference now exercise helps with the blood flow it also helps stimulate beta endorphin which is the natural antidepressant. It hits that opiate receptor and it’s a nineteen amino acid compound, meaning you need to be digesting and having good protein so the more you’re vegan and vegetarian and you’re not getting good quality proteins in there or you’re not supplementing additional proteins and b12 as a vegetarian vegan in omega-3 from algae you’re in a worse situation because you’re not getting those certain nutrients in

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve got my wife on some herbs right now St. John’s Wort passion flower motherwort dandelion Damiana black cohosh this is a kind of a postpartum mood remedy that we’re using that’s an herbal tincture and I’ve tried it and I feel great. I feel a lift from it too. So, this is something we’re doing for her just because you know a lot of depression we didn’t talk about this yet, a lot of depression is postpartum but then it never lifts right you and I talk with moms every single week. We’ll talk with the mom who says you know you and I will do a history together we’ll say okay let’s go back in time when did this depression start or when did this anxiety start. We’re always trying to make our timeline and so a lot of moms will say, wow this was after my first kid or after my second kid or after my third kid, the depression came on and it never went away and some of that steroid related because we do see a lot of postpartum Hashimoto’s where all the sudden the immune system goes crazy antibodies go up. The thyroid gets attacked the woman becomes hypo under functioning with thyroid or maybe she’s alternating between hypo and hyper and then she’s feeling bad because of that and so these herbs can come in and really help to regulate not only thyroid function, you could do some adaptogens to help adrenal thyroid but then the mood ones too like passion flower. I love it you know I think it’s something everybody could benefit from especially if you’re more on the anxious side where you’re stuck in traffic and you’re freaking out even my grandfather the other day he told me he said, Evan I can’t handle traffic anymore, and my grandma starts making fun of them they were talking about how they got stuck in rush-hour traffic and my grandpa was kind of freaking out kind of panicking getting anxious and he never used to be like that. So I told him, hey maybe we can get you a passionflower tincture. You put it in your purse, you know my grandma’s purse and take a shot of that next time you get stuck in traffic

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, now some natural ways that you can improve GABA levels is there’s some people to talk about GABA is too small or too large to pass the blood-brain barrier, but yeah I don’t know I kind of go back and forth on that so there’s that so you could take a product called Pharma GABA and you can do with sublingually so I’m gonna take one now to kind of promote my parasympathetic nervous system responses.

Evan Brand: I love them. They’re great. I chew them up too so great, great tasting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anytime you’re supporting adrenal stress right because GABA is the brake on the sympathetic fight-or-flight nervous system so anytime you can kind of bring cortisol and adrenaline back into balance, it’s helpful so things that you can do are gonna be ___[16:37] is gonna be excellent, magnesium will be excellent, ashwagandha will be excellent as well that really helps curtail, let’s just say a lot of the at the HPA access dysfunction.

Evan Brand: Let’s go into magnesium a bit because you hit that one but I don’t want to gloss over because magnesium is a huge needle mover. Maybe let’s dive into just a couple different forms for people that they could use. So last night I did some magnesium oil. I did some spray on my legs, my calves, I started to feel a little cramp coming on I thought you know, I was in the sauna over the weekend I was sweating I might not have replenished enough of my magnesium so I did magnesium oil and I slept much better with the oil. So that’s one topical form and then a lot of times you and I talked about magnesium glycinate, ___[17:23]I’ve had really good success with ___[17:25] especially for like muscle relaxation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, so magnesium is gonna be excellent. It’s a natural beta blocker so it can relax your heart so your heart’s not beating out of your chest. Obviously there’s like a thousand enzymatic roles in the body from magnesium so it’s in help with motility it’s in help but blood sugar metabolism it’s in hell but inflammation in the brain I think part of the mechanism and how magnesium works , ___[17:51] it’s highly anti-inflammatory to the brain. I saw a lecture with Russel Blaylock who’s a famous neurosurgeon and he said clinically when he operated on people and he would give them post-op stuck the metal magnesium they heal better than his colleagues patients that had the same procedure, it was like a remarkable difference. He said so supplementing additional magnesium really made a big difference.

Evan Brand: Magnesium threonate, that’s amazing magnesium threonate would be the other form I would recommend just because we do know magnesium threonate and a-actually crosses the blood-brain barrier so when you’re talking about gaba, you know supposedly being too big to cross the blood-brain barrier and the pharma gaba is smaller and is more easily readily available to get through the barrier same thing with magnesium threonate. So yeah if you do one to two grams of threonate that’s going to get to the brain and you’ll feel significant changes, I mean we’ve used it for people with PTSD. You know some of the literature we use professional healthcare companies to manufacture our products and they’ll give us some text sheets on the back end and they’ll have a whole list of symptoms why you would use threonate and PTSD and anxiety is one of them so we know these people think of anybody who’s at a stressful or traumatic event which is pretty much every human ever obviously some more than others. The threonate to me is a good a good remedy I mean if I had like a a trauma clinic or like a PTSD clinic or something or a mental health clinic where you know let’s say you’ve got people having mental breakdowns, you know kind of back in the day like my grandmother her grandmother would talk about oh if you have a mental breakdown you go to this hospital you stay in there for a month and they send you home. I guarantee they weren’t using magnesium threonate because it wasn’t invented back then but that would be something I would have in the protocol for people rather than, yeah, automatically going to the prescriptions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I know Blaylock. I don’t even think Blaylock was using threonate, back things it wasn’t really that big.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Using a standard citrate, probably citrate it’s fine. It’s a cheaper version you can get it in natural calm, it can cause bowel, your bowels to move so some people do better with the ___[19:51]  or a or glycinate or if you know this cognitive issues we can do a magnesium that is a threonate, that better at crossing the blood-brain barrier we love that.

Evan Brand: Yes, I wanted to give you a brief diversion on the magnesium piece because here magnesium, but then they don’t know there’s a lot of different varieties of it that have different effects .

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm yeah, exactly. Now, next passionflower is great which is otherwise known as melissa officinalis. Another great relaxing kind of herb. It tends to be almost like a natural.

Evan Brand: melissa is a lemon balm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, oh yeah I’m sorry yeah yeah, the same thing Melissa and lemon balm tend to be relaxing so a lot of like natural hyperthyroid formulas have that in it so Melissa Melissa and lemon balm are over here passion flowers is similar and then Valerians both sent when they didn’t have relaxing kind of dampening effects and yeah, thank you.

Evan Brand: Yeah theLlatin on because you said passion flower, then you said otherwise Melissa yeah ,passion flowers Latin name is like Pasi flora something and carnie incarnate, uh, something like that I don’t really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s, it’s lemon balm and Melissa are the same thing yeah, flour and then valerian excellent also we can add kava to the mix there’s been research on kava from the Cochrane Database. You know, finding it’s very effective at helping with anxiety without the side effects so kava is excellent.

Evan Brand: Have you tried kava?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve tried it supplementally a couple times. I’ve tried it, someone made me kava tea before, it’s big in Fiji I think it’s very helpful it basically activates those GABA-A receptors is GABA-A and GABA-B and it really activates the A receptors in the brain so it can really help kind of chill you out and relax you.

Evan Brand: I went-I’m going to a kava bar one time when I was down in Austin and drink a shot of it, it tasted like – it tasted and looked like mud water.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s exactly how it tasted look, yeah.

Evan Brand: And I was I was altered, I thought man I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to drive home. I mean I’m really sensitive so maybe my GABA system just got flooded but I was sitting back in the chair kind of like, whoa I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve also seen CBD do very well in the mood side too so that’s ___[22:01]  with the non active THC has, I think is very helpful too I always tend to lean more on nutrition first, so like the B vitamins, b6, magnesium ,will also do higher dose l-theanine amino acid which can help promote GABA production stuff the mental gammas I tend to promote those along with the long-standing adaptogens that have a long term success record, like ashwagandha is excellence I’d say Kava after that’s wonderful lots of studies on it and then- um-any comments on that before we go to the next step?

Evan Brand: Yeah CBD has been helpful for me too. I give it to my daughter so if she complains of a headache or a bellyache or if she seems restless at night we’ll just give her a one milliliter dose which the brand I carry is a 10 milligram CBD, she’ll go right to sleep so it’s a really good settling thing and so for kids too. I mean I didn’t mention the statistics I was looking at some of this stuff from the Center for Disease Control. I mean we’re seeing we’re seeing 20 to 30 percent of children now are reporting anxiety and depression so I have moms that are telling me their kids are suicidal at 5 10 years old. I mean, when I was 5 and 10 years old I had no comprehension of death or mortality so I don’t know if it’s you know the the TV shows and the violence that kids are exposed to in other places that I wasn’t because I was outside on my bike all the time or what but you know as a kid I don’t remember other kids being anxious and depressed. Now I mean it’s almost every single kid that I see there’s an underlying anxiety problem associated with as you mentioned the gut you know we see these kids eating conventional food or get tons of glyphosate they’re good bacteria killed off the bacterial overgrowth are making toxins which are depressing and causing anxiety and the kids, so I mean there is a root cause for the kids too. It’s not where they need to be put on medication immediately same thing with ADHD. ou know these kids are getting diagnosed with ADHD we see that get better with fixing the gut to 100% and there’s herbs for kids too so there’s actually I mean, technically we can just dose adult formulas down but there are some special kids formulas that we do use that are specifically maybe they have a glycerine base as opposed to an alcohol base and passionflower skullcap, things like that you can use those with kids as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% also there’s something called people, may know it call phenibut or for amino 3 phenol butyric acid. Now this components a little bit controversial because there’s, there can be some addictive qualities to it it’s essentially a GABA agonist. Supposedly crosses the blood-brain better it’s a GABA agonist I’ve had some people that had phenomenal results with it ,but I’ve seen it I’ve seen it become a little bit more addictive and people become dependent upon it so it’s one of those things as a double-edged sword. I would never go to it first but I’ve seen people that have done very well with it I think it would probably be better than peeing on a benzo long term but I would always try that, that mean the last thing I would potentially ever go to in my arsenal because of so the so-called some addictive qualities to it

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean it helped, it helped change my change my life and get me through some tough times but, yeah, there’s a huge risk with people not respecting it and overusing it and down regulating GABA so much that you get more anxious you get more panic etc. When you try to get off of it whereas the pharma GABA that you just chewed up you’re not gonna have that potential for that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, yeah, exactly, so we have a lot of the supplementation I would also say if it just depends – because if we have a high cortisol state things that can help lower cortisol make a big difference. Some people have a very low cortisol state and some of their anxiety and mood issues is driven by low cortisol so some people think it’s like, hey this is the solution for that, well it really depends because what if you have low adrenaline and low cortisol well a lot of your anxiety and mood stuff could be from the lower state versus higher anxiety and high cortisol or higher adrenaline and high cortisol be many things to bring it down so we may be doing things more like phosphorylated serine to bring it down and actual gana we may do things to bring it up that are more stimulating like ginseng or licorice if it’s chronically low, and or tyrosine if we see low adrenaline so we got a look at what the pattern is because sometimes extreme high and lows can feel the same and that’s hard people to wrap their heads around.

Evan Brand: Yeah that’s a good point. I mean I had a woman in college who she, she was in Hawaii I remember that we found out her her dorm was super moldy and that’s why she was having all these panic attacks so that was cool too, but she had extremely, extremely high cortisol but just based on doing the initial intake and we talked over her symptoms. She was exhausted couldn’t get out of bed etc, we thought, oh my god I bet her cortisol has flatlined, no it was the opposite it was very sky-high so this is why you know you listen to a podcast you think, oh I’ve got low cortisol I’m tired I’m gonna go take a bunch of licorice, no way if we would have given that to that girl with high cortisol we would have made her blood pressure go up she would have had more anxiety more panic so this is why you have to test you don’t want to guess with this stuff you really want to get the data, maybe we should talk about that now do you think we should move on to testing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so I would say off the bat right we got to make sure the guts functioning well right the absorption of these nutrition where inflammation kind of gets into the bloodstream and goes to the brain really depends a lot on gut inflammation so good high-quality stool testing. I know we talked about doing the GI map task we like there’s a couple others that we do as well but if someone wants to dig in deeper to the gut we have to really fully assess that.

Evan Brand: Yeah so the guts huge urine I mean you’re in great we test for micro toxins through urine we test for chemicals we test for amino acid metabolism we test for bacterial overgrowth and Candida which can affect the mood so getting a urine test will be key and then getting the saliva adrenal test or a urine I don’t know do you do salivary adrenals anymore are you just doing urine

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know sometimes salivary adrenals but I’ve been liking the urinary metabolites because I see a lot of women that have a hard time metabolizing estrogen, so it’s nice to be able to run that one because I can also see how they’re metabolizing the hormones too. So that totally helps if you’re a female and you have estrogen dominant issues. So I maintain a new right estrogen dominance right that that ratio of progesterone estrogen drops right progesterone and estrogen drop like this. Meaning everything drops but progesterone drops faster so it’s nice to be able to see that because that can be a big mood issue – remember progesterone is a natural GABA chloride channel opener meaning we can promote GABA in the brain with healthy levels of progesterone so part of your GABA issue could be lower progesterone as a woman and also progesterone is very anti-inflammatory in the brain even with men with like concussions or any brain trauma they’ll give a couple hundred milligrams of progesterone for a few days after brain trauma to actually curtail the inflammation in the brain, so progesterone is very anti-inflammatory because of its cortisol building block effects of progesterone can help brain inflammation in brain trauma.

Evan Brand: Now let’s go a little further then are you talking supplementing progesterone, are you taking, doing some of these specialized maca extracts to help regulate progesterone estrogen?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Both no, but it depends on how bad it is. If it’s slightly out of balance we always lean to herbs and diet and natural components, if it’s significantly out of balance will use the bioidentical plant base and we’ll dosed it accordingly to accelerate the results.

Evan Brand: Okay and then like estrogen dominance, you’re talking removing plastics removing phthalates and other things from the makeup and environment. Plus maybe you’re gonna be throwing in some herbs to help regulate that maybe like the do you pronounce it ___[29:41]  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah ___[29:42]  more gonna help on the testosterone side, but on the inside we would do more like calcium to ___[29:47]  and all methane, fiber. Right these things are really helpful also there’s some some seed protocols where they’ll, do they’ll, do what’s the seed-

Evan Brand: Alpha linoleic acid omega-3 flax

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah exceed in the first half of the cycle so f for first half of the cycle and then typically a lot of sesame seeds for the second half of the cycle F &S; sometimes they’ll throw some pumpkin seed in there as well and that can help bind up some of the estrogen metabolites too.

Evan Brand: Oh interesting I was going to say I was reading some studies over the weekend about detoxing mycotoxins and actually one of the suggest that things to do was take flaxseed to help bind to toxins so that’s pretty cool it’ll bind the excess estrogen as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I think that’s in our ___[30:36] buying product too isn’t it?

Evan Brand: Yes,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, so that’s really good for mycotoxins and mold and then we already kind of dovetail through the mold mycotoxin coagulate issue it’s in a decreased blood flow so if you have any mold or environmental stuff that could easily be affecting how the blood is flowing to the brain and obviously potentially even getting to the brain and activating those microglial cells – that’s very possible.

Evan Brand: Yeah I’ve got a story people like stories right so we get into the geekiest and then people like zone out on us so here’s a here’s a quick stor.y I was working with a teacher last week she’s in her sixties she’s about to retire and we were discussing her urine test we looked at her urine for mycotoxin. She had a lot of different mold problems and I gave her some of these little plates these little petri dishes and we took him to her school she put him in her classroom. Her classroom came back very moldy and she goes, oh my god. you know this explains why after summer break you know all the teachers leave they come back and she says her and all of her colleagues talk about how they get depressed they get fat they get tired they get anxious etc, when they come back to school. Now obviously people would say, oh it’s just the kids stressing them out, no it’s she’s getting out of the moldy environment. For the summer the mold grows there in the summer they probably don’t run the air conditioners because they’re saving money on budget. during the summer they come back school starts in August or whenever and then they get sick again but luckily in her case she’s retiring so it didn’t matter but this is a real issue with a lot of women in office buildings or school buildings if you, if you feel worse, if you feel more tired, you feel more depressed etc when you go into a certain environment that might not just be the stress of the job or the bad boss this could be a toxin or pollutant in there so you may need to get like a HEPA filter in your classroom or a portable HEPA filter to put on your desk. if you’re in a cubicle and you’ve got people wearing perfume and stuff around you right you may need to try to make yourself have a little healthy bubble if you can’t leave or fix the environment that you have to work in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% also be on top of your environment, so we’ve already done plate testing in your house, in my house, my basement, my new office. And my basement tested great for mold but I’m noticing that the humidity contents going up as we get closer to the summer so like my first two floors it’s like 43 44 % but then my basement where my office is is that 56%. Now the problem is I would run the air conditioning more to knock it down but the problem is it’s already sixty five degrees right now it’s already kind of cool because of you know the nature of basement so because of that because I’m on top of it I’m gonna be getting a whole house dehumidifier. Specific for basement dwellings to remove the humidity from the air that way I don’t have to drop the temperature I can keep the temperature where it’s at and just suck the moisture out of the air and drain it out so based on your feedback, I’m already on top of that and everyone listening, if you have if you have a moldy environment or any environmental symptoms but there are no leaks check the humidity content of your house.

Evan Brand: Yeah it sounds like we’re coming out of left field, like okay we’re talking about GABA supplements now we’re talking about your environment. Your environment it’s a huge piece of I mean, think of how much time you spend indoors, it’s like what ninety five percent of your day. Most people are indoors so the air you breathe can affect your nervous system we know just based on looking at the EPA’s work where they’re sampling the homes that live near highways we know that the pollution from a major highway gets into the home and that actually increases cortisol so you actually have a shorter life span if you live close to a major highway or a busy road or a busy intersection they’ve done. Studies on people that live near four-way stop signs and four-way traffic lights and if you live near those busy intersections the cars are breaking the brake dust gets into the air it goes into your home it contaminates you know your children’s lungs your lungs etc so if you’re in a busy area and even if you’re not in a busier. I mean, here’s the deal, you know I’ve got five acres, I’m out in the country but we still have bad air quality because of the way the wind blows and so when the summer starts heating up the pollutants from the car exhaust will have air quality alert days all the time during the summer so that’s the time where you want air purifiers in your home, in your space. Making sure your airs clean now if you go outside and play sure you’re going to get exposed to the crap, but if you’re in your home you need it to be a sanctuary in terms of free of extra EMF free of mold free of extra humidity free of pollutants you know this is very, very critical especially your bedroom.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% that’s why we recommend also high quality air filtration as well if you go to my site shop, you can click on the recommended products tab and look at some of the products that I recommend, that I personally havem I have multiple same thing. If you go to and click on his store button, he has similar products that we both recommend and talk about and share with each other but if you guys are enjoying this cause and that’s a great way to support us so you can get great products we’ve already tested for y’all.

Evan Brand: Yep, yeah we’ve got like four different brain. I’m always experimenting so we’re trying to get you the best of the best. There’s a lot of crap out there like if you go to Target or Walmart and you go buy a air purifiers thats better than nothing, yes, but is it the best of the best? Probably not, no.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: You get what I pay for you, get what you pay for. You can go buy a $50 HEPA filte.r but you know, I buy more like $500 HEPA filters but they’re you know they’re built like a tank and they’re quality so-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah it’s kind of we are getting like almost a surgical base kind of air filtration.

Evan Brand: Yeah it’s like a hospital in my house in terms of the, the air purity not the not the Candida everywhere on the walls that is affecting people. Have you read about that the candida like ___[36:06] outbreak? It’s very dangerous.

Yes, yes I’ve seen that it’s pretty bad.

Evan Brand:Hhospitals don’t know what to do. I mean they’re, they’re running out of options, you know the antifungal drugs are not working.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah they need to be using more silver and probably even more specific probiotics because I think a lot of these Candida things are coming potentially from people post antibiotic supplementation or post probiotic prescription so I think the components big also, I know surgically my mom’s a surgical nurse for 45 years they’re using a lot more silver, now they’re wrapping all joints in like a silver cellophane after surgery to prevent MRSA an issue, so silver is already being used at that surgical level.

Evan Brand: Good, good yeah we still need more help though, I mean when the center Disease Control says, hey basically don’t even go in a hospital unless you have to, I mean, that’s pretty scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yeah like if I have to go somewhere, I’m, I’m calling a doctor and going directly in paying cash or I’m going to an urgent care place where you’re kind of in and out versus the conventional ER forget about.

Evan Brand: It, it’s just not it’s just not safe so you know obviously the, the hospitals are there sometimes we have to go there but when we’re talking about mood related issues. I mean you could have something as simple as a panic attack, you think you’re dying because if a panic attack you go to the ER and then they go run a bunch of tests on you and send you home with anxiety prescription and nothing was wrong and now you expose yourself to all these pathogens in the hospital and you come home more sick than you went in that’s just not a good thing to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, yeah, 100% same, and today was a great podcast, is there anything else you want to, to the show here?

Evan Brand: The last thing blood sugar. We’ve done so many we always talk about blood sugar but I just forgot to mention it because when we talking anxiety, mood issues there’s so many pieces of the puzzle when I feel low, if I feel depressed, if I feel anxious, if I feel like oh my heart’s starting to race a little bit, I’ll go prick my finger and sometimes I’m at – at like a 68 on my alt my glucose. Is just too low I’m getting that adrenaline response which is driving anxiety so I mean, don’t you know we got so many people practicing intermittent fasting and doing low carb diets etc, and these people depending on the, the stress and their life they may be less tolerable of lower carb less tolerable of intermittent fasting meaning a intermittent fasting was too stressful so I just currently don’t do it and I was noticing that I felt more anxious on those fasts and so for me blood sugar stability is a huge component.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yep I 100% agree and if you guys are liking this content give us the thumbs up, smash that like button and hit the bell as well so you can get notifications. I’ll be doing a live thyroid reset summit QA for all the people that were involved in the thyroid summit so if you guys are enjoying this I am set to go live here another 40 minutes we’ll be taking only thyroid Q&A; topics anyone listening to this as well head over to thyroid reset. Some of oumake sure you subscribe there as well. Evan, anything else?

Evan Brand: Our plugs people have these issues every day all day these are things we work with every day all day ,so if you want help from Justin please reach out to his website you can schedule a call from around the world. For me my site is We don’t care who you work with as long as you get the help you need we’re just happy to be, a be of service to you guys.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah 99.9% of people that we help be never either me cuz they get access to our free content and they start utilizing it and then some need you know deeper more hand-holding and deeper assessment so that’s why we’re here and glad that everyone is enjoying the podcast and we’ll be back. Evan take care

Evan Brand: You too, take care bye

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care, bye.


Blood Sugar | Podcast #194

Welcome to another functional medicine podcast with Dr. J and Evan Brand! This video talks about blood sugar, and other relevant things revolving around it, such as symptoms, Insulin resistance, Cortisol response, and nutrition. Stay watching for additional information about the benefits of fasting and the influence of the gut to the body’s blood sugar.

To effectively listen to what the body needs, knowledge is essential for knowing why it’s doing what it’s doing, so keep subscribing for more videos. Don’t forget to share!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:12  Mood, Blood Sugar, Insulin Resistance and Fasting

06:43  Total Fasting Benefits

11:00  Gut Influences Blood Sugar

18:50  Precautions in Taking Antibiotics

22:00  A1C Test


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Welcome back to the podcast. Evan. Evan Brand, my friend, how are we doing today?

Evan Brand: I’m doing great, man. I’m excited to chat with you. We came up with the idea of chatting about blood sugar. It’s a low hanging fruit that people still don’t dial in, but yet they want a Silver bullet to fix their problems but their blood sugar is still not addressed. It’s like, you can’t skip that and go to this magic supplement if you want to be truly happy and healthy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean, the whole goal of blood sugar stability is not relying on your hormonal system to buffer the high’s and low’s, right? Blood sugar goes too high, right— the pancreas has to come out and drop it down. Blood sugar gets too low, the adrenals have to come out and punch in some adrenaline or cortisol to bring it back up. Maybe even a tiny bit of Glucagon, right? So, you get these hormonal roller coasters where your hormones— like, imagine— Let me just— Let’s say this. Like you’re driving a bumper cart, right? But you’re driving it so smooth that you’re not bouncing off the ends, right? So, most people, they basically pinball or bumper cart their blood sugar through the day, and they’re chronically relying on their hormones for either side. The problem is, there’s implications, and in your mood and how you feel, and in your body when you do that. When you bump on the Left Rail— Let’s call that Left Rail Insulin, that’s gonna increase Insulin, which can then drive and grow your fat cells. And they can also, for females, increase risk of PCOS. It can also cause cells to grow at an abnormal rate ‘cause Insulin’s a growth hormone, i.e. cancer cells. There’s an inflammatory nature to higher or Hyperinsulinemia type of uh— environments because of cells growing, and because of inflammation, and because of the fact that high Insulin tends to shut down the lipolytic enzymes. Lipolytic means the enzymes that break down fat and utilize it for fuel. So then now you become basically relying on sugar for fuel. So this is the analogy of going camping and starting a fire with twigs and paper, and you’re literally feeding the p— twigs and paper in all night long. You can’t even go to sleep because the fire keeps on going out and then you freeze. So we want to rely on foods that allow us to drive down the center of this bumper cart aisle and not have to crash on each side, and then deal with the hormonal issues that may happen because of it.

Evan Brand: Yup. So, tell people what that would be like. These are like the banana and cereal breakfast people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, number one is starting your day with a whole bunch of refined carbohydrates. My— My belief, based on physiology, is we have the our higher levels of Cortisol in the morning. So, we naturally have more mobilization of carbohydrate in our liver from our liver from a Gluconeogenesis or from just mobilizing glycogen in the liver or glycogen in the muscle. So we have more internal sugar in our bloodstream just because of our cortisol levels. So my philosophy is to consume less carbohydrate in the morning at higher quality protein and fat that keep that fat from the nighttime moving, and instead of having fasting, it’s kind of like a nutritional Ketosis where we’re putting nutrition in our body but our body’s still tapping in to our fat reserves, kind of like a starvation state. The difference is, with adequate nutrition our body’s more likely to tap in to the food in our bloodstream versus our muscle tissue in our lean structural mass.

Evan Brand: Yup. And with mood— I want to bring that up. You may be hungry by 10:00 AM and you’re not able to go in between meals. Like, if you’re— if you’re listening, if you’re unable to go from breakfast to lunch and you have to snack in between, that’s a sign that your blood sugar is off. Other signs, we could say, irritable, if you’re shaky, if you get stressed out, you get hangry if your meals are delayed. That’s a sign that blood sugar is off. You mentioned the Insulin pee. So that could be excess body fat if you’re Insulin resistant. What else would you like to add to the list of symptoms? Anxiety, I know, is a big one that which—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anxiety and mood issues. Because of that those bumper cart rails— It’s like the third rail on the sub— on the subway, right, where it’s— there’s like, you get shocked, instead you get depression, you get mood issues. If you’re a female on the high Insulin side, you could get PCOS. As a guy, you’re gonna increase Aromati— uh— Aromatization, which is more Estrogen. And you could get, kind of Comastia, man boobs, just you know, moody or more emotional because guys shouldn’t have that amount of Estrogen in, so it really screws up their hormonal physiology, and that can cause all kinds of different issues. And, you know, just to kind of like outline it, like we want to eat foods that are nutritionally dense but we want to continue to keep our body in more of a fat burning state as a— as a overall percentage, right? And there’s a lot of people out there pushing a lot of fasting or Intermittent fasting or just fasting in general, and it’s like, there’s no magic in eating nothing. There’s no magic in it. Now, there’s some therapeutic benefit. The problem is, most people that are significant Insulin resistant, you’re typically not Insulin resistant from eating a whole bunch of nutrient dense foods. You’re typically Insulin resistant because there’s too much— you know, too much carbohydrate, and especially from refined, processed types of foods. So there’s not gonna be a magic in “Okay. Let’s cut the carbs down by giving you nothing” because you’re still also not providing the nutrients to run those pathways at the same time. So you have one side of the fence where you’re eating a whole bunch of calories that are driving— that are processed and that are driving Insulin resistance. Those calories have also high calories, low nutrition. And now the  magic is, “Let’s eat nothing,” which also has no nutrition. Now, the benefit is, there’s also a lot of inflammatory compounds in these foods.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So people do get benefit because the inflammation does go down, because no— nothing has no nutritions but it also has no inflammation. It also doesn’t have anti-inflammatory foods on the other side. So, we’re missing the nutritional density. We’re missing the anti-inflammatory nutrients and the anti-inflammatory fats, the Omega-3’s, the antioxidants— those kind of things as well. So, my thing is, let’s get the— let’s get the nutrition in there. Get the blood sugar stabilized so we’re snot bouncing off these third rails that are causing all these hormonal swings and emotional mood issues.

Evan Brand: So, it sounds like you’re saying you want to graduate someone up to maybe an Intermittent fasting plan. You might not just take somebody that went from eating garbage to straight Intermittent fasting. But they hear about Intermittent fasting ‘cause it’s trendy, so they don’t go and dial in blood sugar first. They’re just like, “I’m gonna go fast. I’m gonna get off McDonald’s or whatever garbage and go fast,” and they wonder why it doesn’t work. Is that what you’re saying?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, a hundred percent, as we need nutrition around our system. And there’s lots of people out there that are promoting just total fasting, and there’s a lot of people out there that I respect and I like, and I get where they’re coming from. Let— Let’s go over the total fasting benefits.

Evan Brand: Yeah

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One, if you’re massively Insulin resistant, yes it can help. The difference is, well, you’re still not putting the nutrition in your body to run those systems. If we look at glycolysis and our Krebs cycle and Electron Transport Chain, it requires nutrients to run. So, my— my philosophy is, let’s get those nutrients in there. Number two, there’s a benefit because you’re not eating a whole bunch of inflammatory glutinous foods that may have a lot of in— inflammatory reactions ‘cause those foods aren’t good themselves. My thing is though, “Let’s try to get the nutrition in, and let’s also cut the inflammation out as well.” The third thing is that someone’s gut’s really, really, really messed up, that’s— it could be helpful ‘cause then you just dope anything in which can let the gut heal a bit.

Evan Brand: Uhmhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, my thing is, there are other types of diets out there, like the GAPS Diet, or even an extreme kind of elemental kind of GAPS diet where you’re still getting nutrition in but you’re using cooking and processing methods to pre-break down those foods and nutrients so they’re much easier to take in to the body. So there’s— this tends to be a couple of different ways where you can parse this out and try to make it work.

Evan Brand: Yeah. more people think, too, that the fasting is gonna cure everything, but as you mentioned, you’ve got to have these different amino acids. These are creating neurotransmitters that are creating hormones. So, fasting is a stress. It’s a good stress but some people may be too weak for it. So you mentioned the adrenals already but, I know I found, for me, when my adrenals were wrecked, and I try to do Intermittent fasting, I did not feel well. I was sleeping horribly. I had anxiety throughout the day. So for me, I would say, the— the disclaimer amy be, “If you have adrenal stress, you may be unable to adapt to this fasting protocol.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. So, number one, fasting is a stressor on the body. Right? We know it’s a stressor ‘cause our body will produce hormones to downregulate our metabolism. Just go type in Hypocaloric diet and Reverse T3.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’ll see Reverse T3 levels go up. You’ll also see even Cortisol levels go up. Why is Cortisol levels going up? Because your body is trying to start breaking down structural tissue, muscle, etc., to get nutrition from it. It’s like, you know, you’re in debt. What’s the first thing you do when you’re in debt? Let’s cut the phone bill. Let’s cut the cable. Let’s, you know, maybe cut down on that, you know, the— the superfluous, extra expenses that aren’t— you know fundamental. What your body sees muscle is kind of that extra IPhone expense. It sees it as maybe the takeout food from the— you know, from the Sushi restaurant down the street. It sees it like that. Now, we know muscle has really great effects in performance and aesthetic and overall health, so we just make sure that income’s coming in so we can sustain it, right?

Evan Brand: Yup. That’s a great analogy. Another thing too is the Cortisol’s probably a motivating factor, ‘cause in ancient times, if you weren’t eating, your body thinks, “eventually you’re gonna starve and die.” So it’s probably gonna motivate you and maybe give you a little bit of the anxiety to push you like, “Hey. You better go hunt because you can’t just be starving like this all the time.” So, uh— There are benefits, but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. So like— There’s like one camp that’s like— that’s fast their way to health. There’s no magic. It ain’t nothing.

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? If that’s the case, you know, every concentration camp victim in World War II would have the secret to health. That’s just not that way, right?

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, there’s therapeutic benefits once you hit optimal health, and this is where most people in the podcast— they won’t get this far to hear it uh— because they’ll just see the title and just run. But once you hit the level of optimal health, that’s where you can play with uh— Intermittent fasting. I prefer Intermittent fasting more because you’re still getting adequate levels of nutrition to run those pathways. You’re just compressing the feeding window. Right? If you need 2,000 calories of whole food nutrition but you’re choosing a six to 8-hour window to get that in, well, great! So then, you get this 18-hour window where there’s very relatively low levels of Insulin, which can then help increase cellular autophagy, which then can help recycle proteins and have maybe some benefits in extending telomere length. I get that. Right? But let’s get to a place where you can do that and still function, and your nutritional density is super, super high.

Evan Brand: Yep. Well said. Is there anything else we should say about blood sugar? The gut influences blood sugar too. We do find it with a lot of people with gut infections, which is something we test everyone for, with parasites, bacterial overgrowth, etc. Kind of like this fasting thing you’ve mentioned. Some of these gut bugs are stealing your amino acids. Lyme and some of the coinfections with that can take amino acids too. So, if you do have gut bugs, that may be part of the reason why your blood sugar is crap. SO if you’re trying to do adrenal stuff, you’re trying to do fasting work and you can’t adjust, you’ve got to get the gut looked at too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. Right? So a lot of these, let’s just say, uh— microbes or infections, they like processed sugar. Processed sugar is really easy for our body to— to process, right? It’s really easy to take in and to utilize it for energy, and it’s— it’s kind of has its addicting-like effect that can boost up Dopamine. So these critters get that and they produce chemicals inside your body that causes you to crave it. So— That’s why I see a lot of people like, “Oh! Well, just eat what you like and do this, and listen to your body.” O— How do you do that? How do you do that if you have infections or yeast overgrowth or bacterial overgrowth, and these critters are causing you to crave certain things that may not be right for you but may be right for them. That’s where knowledge needs to come in so you understand why your body’s doing what it’s doing. It’s like these uhm— like the metabolic typing questionnaires of like uhm— you know, the 2000’s, where I use that people do these metabolic typing questionnaires, which are great! And you find out if you’re a protein type, a carb type or a fat type. The problem is, the— the pi— the patient’s gut microbes would take the test for them, not necessarily them. [laugh]

Evan Brand: Exactly. I mean, if I ate what I felt like eating when I had a Candida overgrowth, I would ate gluten-free doughnuts all day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah! So there needs to be an educational component there, and I think a lot of people kind of mess that one up, and they kind of get more kind of intuitive on it. But it’s good to have that. But you’ve got to be in a— in a balanced place to use your intuition if not the chemicals, uh— or the— the microbes in our body will produce things that will cause us to override that.

Evan Brand: Yup. Is there anything else we should mention on— on the blood sugar conversation?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. So [stutters] I’m like the analogy king, right? That’s kind of like, you know, you meet someone for the first time. The first couple months, or maybe six months to a year, you’re in this massive honeymoon phase, right? And you just— Everything is just amazing, right? It’s kind of like that with these kind of infections. They’re just— They’re keeping you on this honeymoon phase with all these carbohydrates and all these excess refined sugar, and you may not be able to listen to what your body really needs.

Evan Brand: Yup. Yup. That’s for sure. So get tested. If you have gut bugs, fix those. If you have adrenal issues, fix those because it’s tough. It’s tough to stabilize blood sugar if you have adrenal stress. Like you said, your adrenals can come in and pinch hit. But if you have weak adrenals, you’re getting shaky, you’re having panic attacks, you go to your psychiatrist and you tell them you’re having anxiety issues. How many times are they gonna mention blood sugar?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s very rarely mentioned. And then also, the— the nutrient density aspect too, right? So, plants are great. Plants aren’t quite as nutrient dense. The only exception for that is if you juice them.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right? Five hundred calories of Kale is 16 cups of Kale. Very hard to do that in a day, let alone a sitting. Five hundred calories of grass-fed beef is eight ounces of meat. When I go to a Steakhouse, I’m putting down a 60-ounce steak, not an 8-ounce…

Evan Brand: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …steak. Alright? That’s not a problem. Try putting down 16 cups of Kale.

Evan Brand: Oh my God. Let me mention this while you’re on that topic. I ha an—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, [crosstalk] I’ll drink— I’ll drink some green— green veggie juice that’s got six or seven pounds of vegetables juice in there.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I’m not gonna— I’m not gonna uhm— dilute myself, thinking that I’m gonna have 16 cups of Kale on an actual plate today.

Evan Brand: yeah. Since you mentioned it, let me bring it up. I had a new client…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: …last week. Uh— She’s been a Vegan for two years, and guess what? She just got diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the problem with Vegan Vegetarian diets. Thay work fo— And again, I’m not an “all or nothing” guy.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can say who these diets are great for. People that are more Insulin sensitive, they’re more ectomorph. They tend to like— They take in carbohydrates. They get this propensity to want to exercise and do work, and they— and they love the longer distance exercise. They do well with it. They tend to have uhm— you know, this ectomorph kind of longer skinnier type of body type. They burn fuel really well. They do pretty good with the higher carbohydrates as a percentage, right? Sixty-70%, they do well with it, right— which is kind of the percent of carbohydrates in the food pyramid. Kind of interesting. So they do well with that, right? And, you know, a lot of the good ones, like ____[15:25]. A lot of times to— to keep the muscle on, they have to do some kind of supplemental protein. So do— they’ll do like a pea protein or a hemp protein. They’ll do a high quality protein that doesn’t have all the crap on it too, and they won’t rely in a lot of the soy. So that’s kind of how they get away with it. But people that are more Insulin sensitive, it’s hard to get adequate levels— I’m sorry. The people that are more Insulin-resistant, it’s hard to get adequate levels of protein out of Vegan vegetarian diet. If you do the Math, and you put like the rice and the beans and all that stuff in there, it’s hard to get less than 300 grams of carbohydrate a day and get that half a gram to the quarters of a gram per uh— of protein per pound of body weight. So you’re looking at 300 grams of carbs a day.

Evan Brand: That’s crazy. I know I had her run some of her numbers and it was close to that. I asked her like, “What’s your breakfast, lunch, dinner?” It was just vegetables and pretty much beans like every meal. I was like, “Good Lord!”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you’re do— if you’re doing 2,000 calories, and you’re doing, you know, 300 grams a day, that’s 60% carbohydrate.

Evan Brand: So her A1C level was a 6.7. So, right there, type-2 diabetes, and she’d been promoted a Vegan diet by some nutritionist, and she tried it. And two years ago, she was eating tons tons of uh— chicken and pastured turkey and blah-blah-blah kind of more Paleo template. She felt great. But this lady says, “I promise you’re gonna feel so much better if you do Vegan.” They just started to feel terrible, hair was falling out. The lady said, “Just keep going. Just keep going.” And then now, just last week or the week before, got the diagnosis type-2 diabetes and reach out to me. And I said, the first thing you could do, let’s add in some animal protein just a little bit, just to see how you feel, like half a palm size portion of chicken. She’s like, “Oh my God! Just the idea of meat again sound so good to me. I already feel more relaxed thinking about it.” So it’s like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. People tend to lose the craving of meat because they don’t process it and digest it. And then the Vegan Vegetarians, the— they compare the nutrient density. They— they do it uhm— fraudulently because they compare an unrealistic amount of vegetables that someone would eat in a meal…

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …or even in a day, to a realistic amount of meat that someone could eat in a meal. Eight ounces of meat’s pretty realistic. Even my wife will have an eight ounce fillet at a nice Steakho— Steakhouse and she’ll be able to eat it, and she’s relatively small, right? But putting down 16 cups of Kale is quite difficult. The only exception is— is if you do some juicing.

Evan Brand: Yup. Yeah. Powders. There are some like greens powders…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Powder is what?

Evan Brand: …I don’t know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But still— I mean, that still you’re kind of processing that in too, and you’re not getting some of that fiber, and, God forbid, you had some carrot to that, then you— you’re adding a lot of sugar as well. So you got to be careful with that. That’s a double-edged sword.

Evan Brand: Yeah. We had a question about the type of the gut testing. UH— We do a couple different ones. The ones we use a lot i the GI Map from Diagnostic Solutions. You could check out Justin’s site. You could get testing there. Uh— We run that on everybody and it’s really, really good ‘cause it’s DNA-based, so it’s gonna find infections. You do it at home.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. I love it. Any other questions that we can pull here that are pertinent to today’s talk? So guys, if we’re doing a podcast, we always appreciate keeping the questions uhm— you know, try to tangentially associate  them towards the talk. And I get it. We don’t label our talks. We are like functional medicine improv, right? You see comedy improv actors. We’re functional medicine improv uh— professionals, so we don’t— we don’t typically plan things out too far and ahead. So I— I get it. It’s a little spontaneous.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Tho—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else, Evan, you can…

Evan Brand: Well…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …see there?

Evan Brand: …there was one question that we could hit on uh— just because it— it tied into the gut a bit. “If you must take an antibiotic, what precaution should one take to protect gut health?” I would say, first, if you must take an antibiotic, who says you must take one? Like, I believe I just had Strep Throat over the weekend. My wife looked at the back of my throat. It was yellow and white. It looked nasty. It sure felt like Strep. My throat was hurting, and I’m just doing high-dosed herbs, different types of antimicrobials. If I would have went to a doctor, they would have put me on antibiotics. So I think, first, you have to really evaluate. If you must take an antibiotic, is that for real? Like, are you gonna die if you don’t or are there herbs that you can integrate into it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Find out the scenario and— and if there’s an option to do like an oil of Oregano, or Silver, great. If for some reason, whatever that scenario is— let’s say, it’s a car accident, right? Or let’s say, you know, someone’s doing a procedure for you and saying, “You have to o antibiotics and if you don’t take it, I’m not gonna treat you.” Right? Then, I would look at doing probiotics during and after. And there’s some benefit in the research, too, actually doing it uh— during as well. So, just kind of keep that in the back of your head.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Justin’s selling different probiotics. I do too. You could just check at our sites, He’s got several., I got several. We use professional healthcare companies to make all of our products. So you want to make sure that they’re legit. If you just go to Whole Foods and you buy a probiotic, we can’t guarantee the potency of it. You definitely want to go for practitioner grade for probiotics.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. And then—

Evan Brand: That was—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then I see uh— a question from a patient here. I’ll answer the uh— the question here. Uh— “Heavy eyes, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, currently taking Thyrobalance— two morning, one in the afternoon. PMS, increase in cycle length shortened but the menstruation longer, estrogen problem, so it depends. This patient, I can remember last time we chatted was doing pretty good. So the question is, “Was there a backslide or not?” If there was a backslide, I want to like dig a little bit deeper into stressors or diet stuff. Uhm— But we may want to put like an Adaptogen in there. And I— I don’t have this person’s protocol up in front of us so…

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …maybe some Estrogen-modulating types of herbs like some Maca. I use a product called Femmenessence that I get great results with. And then, of course some adaptogenic adrenal support. Then, make sure all the foundational stuff is dialed in. But I can’t go any deeper without, you know, uhm— doing a one-on-one but I hope that helps.

Evan Brand: Maybe some liver stuff too, like sometimes with the…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmhm—

Evan Brand: …cycle being off. Sometimes it’s just— you could throw a little, simple liver support in, a milk thistle, burdock root, dandelion— something like that— maybe some dandelion tea. It’s in that category— stuff that might help and can’t hurt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and then this person’s also mentioning that they started some GI Clearing, some gut killing herbs as well. The liver, the immune system, and lymphatic system could be a little bit stressed, so couple things you can do like a 3-7 days supplement holiday. Kind of come off for three to seven and rev back up slowly. Also, make sure binders are in there, like uh— activated charcoal or some bentonite clay. And then we can always put the ginger tea in there, and just kind of gradually in— you know, inch it up slowly, just so you can— if— if there’s uh— a p— basically, a point of no return where these things start. You can at least figure out where that point is and then just err on one side away from it.

Evan Brand: Yep. I think that’s good advise.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Awesome. Great.

Evan Brand: [crosstalk] I think we’re out of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …for the great feedback. Excellent and I think we had a great chat today, Evan. Is there anything else you wanted to mention at all or add?

Evan Brand: Uh— Just get— get your— get your A1C tested. Like if you are concerned about blood sugar, if you’ve got Type-2 or Type-1 Diabetes in your family and you’re kind of paranoid about blood sugar, you could go to a pharmacy. They have a test kit called A1C now, and you can get a test kit for like 20 bucks and it’s a simple finger prick you can do at home to test your A1C, which is like your average blood sugar over the last couple to several months. And you could check it. I mean, you could have a— a doctor run this— you know, via blood too. But you could just do an at-home finger prick if you’re curious. And I know Justin has a glucose monitor. He tracks his blood sugar, and— Hey! There it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right here. So— A nice little 20-dollar glucose monitor. Do a functional glucose tolerance test, not the conventional one where they give you 75 grams of a— a sugary solution. Because if you’re not like a so— a soda drinker, uhm— it doesn’t mimic anything in reality. Right? So, 20-dollar guy, gets some strips. Test your fasting. Uh— Do a fasting, one-hour, two-hour, three-hour. Choose a random breakfast, a random lunch and a random dinner during the week. Sometimes people can, like I mentioned earlier, they can mobilize a lot of carbohydrate ‘cause of the healthy Cortisol response. So, your blood sugar in the morning may not necessarily be high because of your diet. It may be high because of a Cortisol response, which is known as the Dawn Phenomenon or the Somogji effect. Very, very similar. One’s because of a hypoglycemic response. One’s ‘cause of a adrenaline Cortisol response that kind of cause the same thing, just the different— a different domino starts uh— the reaction but the results are pretty similar.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. So uh— The functional testing, what number are you looking for?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm— So below a hundred uhm— on the fasting side. You know, 80 to 90 is ideal but below a hundred. And then, within one hour below 140, my preferred is 120. And then two hours uhm— below 120 or my preferred is below a hundred. And then three hours, definitely below a hundred back to around a fasting level. [crosstalk] That kind of gives you a window because most people, you know, during the day, they’re being challenged by the food they’re eating, and that’s what’s driving the Insulin resistance. That’s also the x-factor because Insulin resistance can also be driven by not sleeping enough.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, the sleep aspect is there. Lots of studies on college students. They were, within two weeks of sleep restriction, they were able to make them prediabetic.

Evan Brand: Oh my God.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So sleep resistance, and then why, right? Well, part of it could be because there is research that sleep deprivation can deplete Magnesium. Magnesium’s very helpful for blood sugar as well. So there’s lots of potential. And then also the Cortisol response. Cortisol then mobilizes more blood sugar ‘cause of the stress that’s happening from the mild sleep. So there’s like a hormone response that can cause it, and then there’s the stress that depletes certain nutrients and these nutrients are also important for blood sugar stability. So it happens in a couple of different angles.

Evan Brand: Yep. I’m sure we could chat further but we should probably wrap it up. So check out, if you want a consult with Justin, check out his site, If you like to consult with me, We look forward to helping you guys, and we’ll be back next week for some more fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Give us a thumbs up. Give us a like. YouTube— Subscribe is not enough for YouTube. You got to hit the— the bell button. So smash that bell for us. Hit the thumbs up.— And then, Evan’s got the Candida Summit as well, which is going on now. So make sure you subscribe to that.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: My link is

Evan Brand: [crosstalk] Just wrap up. Just wrap up. But if you guys want to go buy the event, I had a guy this morning, a new client who purchased my Upsell Talk, which is where I did an hour case review of reviewing a client’s labs and making a protocol. The guy said that that Upsell video alone was worth the cause. So if you want to buy it, use Justin’s link, Go check out that event and you can get that talk, or you can see an hour behind the scene, which we never reveal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then, do you have a uhm— a link for my Thyroid Reset Summit?

Evan Brand: I don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: crosstalk] Want me to get you a link so when— when you’re on the podcast here, you can promote it.

Evan Brand: Nah, that’s fine. Use your link. People can have them. Go for it. Go register for Justin’s event. It’s gonna be awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, man. Hey! It’s been totally real, Evan. Great chatting. Let’s talk real soon.

Evan Brand: Take care, man. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You too. Bye.



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








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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 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 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, 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 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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