Top 5 Reasons You Are Losing Muscle Mass | Podcast #369
Muscles are essential to everyday movements, and if you noticeably lose muscle mass — especially without knowing why — it can be alarming. Losing some muscle mass is normal as you age. However, losing muscle mass quickly or atrophy, especially in the context of other symptoms, can indicate an underlying illness.
In this video, Dr. J and Evan discuss the top reasons you lose muscle mass aside from aging. Preventing a loss of muscle mass can also be achieved by exercising regularly (such as functional strength training) in conjunction with a balanced food template of lean meats and proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
However, if the loss is due to an underlying illness, it must also be addressed and mindfully managed with a trusted healthcare professional or your functional medicine doctor.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
2:33 – Functional movements
3:37 – Infections
7:21 – Vegan-vegetarian
9:35 – Autoimmune digestive disorders
12:21 – Hormones
15:06 – Types of muscle building
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today, we’re gonna be chatting about the top five reasons you are losing muscle mass. This is really important. All right. If you’re losing muscle mass, it’s gonna be essentially an all-cause predictor of mortality, increased mortality. So, we gotta make sure that we’re keeping our muscle mass and or improving our muscle, especially as we get older, we need good muscle to support and stabilize our body so we don’t get hurt, we don’t slip, we don’t fall, we don’t get injured. We don’t slip a disc so to speak. So, we have to make sure that we are keeping our muscles strong and functional. Evan, how are we doing today man?
Evan Brand: Doing really good. I talked with a guy actually this morning where his mother, due to age and related muscle loss, fell, broke her hip, got in the hospital, had to get surgery, got an infection, died. So, I’m not saying everyone is gonna end up like that. But my God, look at how quickly something just like a fall due to lack of muscle strength and mobility could turn into something scary where you’re hospitalized, you’re getting surgeries, you end up with a hospital acquired infection then you’re on antibiotics then you go septic, I mean, this is crazy and so I hope we can help people prevent. This is such a common story. I mean, how many times have you heard, like, old granny falls, breaks her hip and that’s the end of her. She never recovers. It’s like, that’s not good. And so, fortunately, in the past, up until the past couple years, both of my grandparents right around 80 years old, they were playing tennis and they were still active in mobile so I just encourage you guys, just because you’re getting grow older that doesn’t mean that you need to become a couch potato. Even some of her friends that she’d played tennis with are in their mid-80s, still playing tennis, still moving well on the court. So, I just encourage you to find something that you love first and foremost. Use exercise as a side effect of having fun, meaning, if it’s pickleball, if it’s tennis, if it’s ping pong for all I care, I mean, basketball, volleyball, I mean, whatever you can do it. It doesn’t have to necessarily be intense. That’s all fun stuff, maybe competitive, fine. But exercise is a side effect of it. But if you’re just trying to depend on willpower to go run a mile, I think that’s a terrible long-term strategy and I don’t think you’re gonna like to continue with it, like my row machine, you and I both, we have the same row machine, we love it. You can go on there, and you can do little games, you could do just row, you could pick like, oh, I’m gonna, I wanna burn 10 calories or I wanna grow 500 meters and you have this like goal that motivates you to do something, but at the end of the day, all this physical performance is gonna pay dividends.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Exactly. 100 percent. So, when I kind of, when I lift weights, I’m always trying to do functional movements, I think as you get older, especially as you know, you move into adulthood, you want muscles, right, you want to look fit or lean or trim right? You wanna feel solid but you wanna have functional muscles. One that allows you to do housework or click pick-up your kids easier and feel more confident or do well at your sport or just be able to enjoy life and feel good like if you think about, like, getting into a car, right? You get into a car, it’s like a one-legged kind of squat, right? So, I’m a bigger fan. As you get older, trying to do more unilateral body movements, meaning like a one-legged squat, a one-legged lunge or a lunge obviously with that, you know, you can look at discrepancies in your body. If you’re doing a squat, you know, you have other sides that you can compensate for but when you’re doing one-legged movements either a dead lift or a squat or a lunge or a step-up, it magnifies imbalances in the body. I like that because most of the time, when you’re moving, you’re actually on one foot in a sense and so it’s good to do movements like that so you start to develop a lot of the stabilizer muscles that support you when you’re moving so you don’t get hurt.
Evan Brand: Let’s get into the functional stuff, like the functional medicine stuff, not functional movement but like functional reasons, I’m gonna go ahead and say, number one as a category of infections and you and I can break this down as much as you want. Yeah. I’m gonna say infections because you know my story, you saw me, I lost like, 25 pounds without trying and some of it was related to H. pylori. I think the parasite also wrecked me so I would just say infections as a whole.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah so when you have inflammation in the gut, right, it can be cause by infections like a parasite like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Blasto, H. pylori, bacteria in that category, SIBO, general dysbiosis, bacteria imbalances, right? It creates inflammation in the intestinal tract, right? Whether it’s small intestine, large intestine, if you look at where these nerves sit on the spinal column, they sit in the lower thoracic to lower lumbar spine, and you know, let’s say t10 to L5 or so. Maybe even, maybe even S1 and when you have inflammation in the intestines, it’s on a two-lane nerve root highway from your intestines to your spine back to the muscles, right, so we have what’s called a visceral somatic reflex. So this Visceral means organ, somatic means muscles. So inflammation in the organ can actually take that signal of inflammation put on that two-lane highway to the muscle and it can actually create that muscle to shut down or not be fully facilitated or active and so with inflammation in the intestines can cause that. Now, women know this just think about the average women that has PMS and has PMS symptoms of back pain. It’s their ovaries having inflammation or hormonal imbalance that’s then refluxing to the muscle, right, visceral organ, somatic muscle. So, women know that if they have PMS or if you ever had a gallbladder issue, you feel it in your shoulder, if you have appendicitis, you feel it in that lower right hip quadrant, right? If you have a heart attack, you feel in the jaw down the left side down the left arm so we know there’s this organ muscle connection so a lot of people can have muscle issues because their core and their back gets very weak due to inflammation in their intestinal tract and the more inflammation there is the less likely you’re wanna, you’re gonna, wanna lift and want to do one of them, you know put resistance on your body because you’re just more inflamed and you’re more likely to get hurt and injured.
Evan Brand: Yeah. So, if you, now, not all people lose weight and I’ve seen many women who gain weight magically 20, 30, 40, 50 pounds, sorry ladies, sometimes it happens that way. It’s where you gain weight due to infection but for me and I’ve seen other men the same, you lose weight, so I don’t know, I would just say this, any fluctuation whether it’s weight gain, including muscle loss so you could gain weight and still lose muscle right. You could gain body fat and lose muscle so whether it’s a significant, let’s say 10, 20 pounds or more weight loss or weight gain with no explanation, I would definitely look into the gut, start looking for infections and as you mentioned, the strength is important and people don’t want to get strong if they feel like crap and so for me, luckily, my gut’s much better and now I feel good with resistance training whereas before I was just so depleted. So, let’s go into reason number two, I’m gonna say nutrient deficiencies, now, this ties directly into infections right because in the case of H. pylori, if it’s reducing stomach acid. Now, if you’re eating this good grass-fed steak, you’re not really getting as much nutrition from that and so these nutrient deficiencies compound over time because if you don’t have the amino acids being cleaved off the meats to produce muscle mass that also creates a big problem so nutrient deficiency and we could go any direction you want with this even vegetarian vegans, we could talked about the deficiencies there and how they’re gonna have trouvle with muscle mass.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. So, of course, if we have vegan vegetarian, we’re not gonna get enough carbohydrate, we’re not gonna get enough protein, typically or if we get enough protein, right, let’s look at the combination of rice and bean which is a pretty common one. Well, you end up getting 70 grams of protein to 15 grams or so of carbohydrates so you get a lot of carbohydrates. Now, if you’re not that active or you’re more insulin resistant, you know some, most people are gonna need probably a minimum of half their body weight and in ounces of protein so if you’re like 200 pounds that’s 100 grams of protein. Well, do the math if you’re getting 15 to 20 grams of protein per 70, 75 grams of carbs that’s you know, 75 times five, you’re looking at like 340 to 400 grams of carbohydrates. Obviously, you can fix some of that by doing, like, a protein shake, like protein or hemp protein, you know, you can fix some of that. But again, you’re still relying on artificial sources, not whole food sources. Now, the benefit of the animal product is you’re gonna get all the protein, none of the carbs and you’re typically, if they’re grass-fed and pasture-fed, you’re gonna be getting excellent good fatty acids along with it and you won’t be getting a lot of the excess omega-6 fatty acids like you’re not gonna get on the vegetarian vegan side. So, you have this nutritional density that you get on the animal side which is wonderful and as long as we’re choosing you know, avoiding the factory farm, you know, we’re doing grass-fed pasture-fed, you’re gonna be in great shape and the next thing after vegan vegetarian is low stomach acid so if we have achlorhydria, low stomach acid, and that typically connects with low enzymes too, we may have a hard time breaking down a lot of that proteins. So, I know when you had some of your gut infections years ago, I think you had what Cryptosporidium, Gardia, H. pylori, that’s it Three Amigos, right? And so, when you had this gut infection, you also had lower stomach acid, lower enzyme levels. So, supplementing the enzyme and the acid so we can break down those amino acids and then also adding in or cutting out the bugs is helpful and then sometimes adding in some amino acids in a free form can be helpful because 40% of the Energy that you get from the protein actually goes into digesting the protein. It’s like having a credit card with a 40% transaction fee, right? Very expensive. So, there is some benefit by doing amino acids, if it’s already broken down but we still wanna make sure the whole food is dialed in and that we’re getting enough, uh, we’re getting access to the whole food nutrients via hydrochloric acid and enzymes too.
Evan Brand: All right. Moving on to another cause here, and this is inspired by a comment here from Teresa, she said that she has muscle wasting from my colitis. So, we could just say, any gut issues and that one include autoimmune gut issues, right? So, colitis or what’s called pancolitis would be the whole colon, even celiac, Crohn’s, I mean, any of these autoimmune gut issues oftentimes that’s gonna create a lot of muscle wasting that ties directly into what we just said though which is nutrient deficiencies and infections. A lot of these people with major gut issues, like this, there’s usually a trigger. Now, in the case of like, celiac, obviously, that may or may not have a parasite infection involved but this is still part of the equation and we can use gut healing nutrients to work on this, you can put some of this stuff into remission but you know what, I don’t want people to do, you know, what I don’t want people to do is like eat clean all week and then they go eat garbage on the weekend.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yep. 100%. And so, of course, if you have colitis, right? Whether it’s microscopic or ulcerative colitis, you know, it’s an extreme irritable bowel disease, you gotta look at the foods and then sometimes the foods could even be in vegetables it could be in the oxalates, the phenols, the salicylates, the FODMAP, so sometimes even healthy foods on paper could be problematic and then of course, you know, the grains and the dairy and he refined carbohydrate and the omega-6 fats of course those right. So, getting the inflammation via food is super important, we talked about dysbiosis, we talked about SIBO, H. pylori, of course is super common because H. pylori is notorious for lowering stomach acid and so of course, if we’re just taking stomach acid and enzymes and we’re not fixing the H. pylori, you know, that may not get to the root cause. So, if we’re taking supplements like hydrochloric acid or enzymes or bile support, we also got to make sure we’re getting to the root cause of any additional bugs that could be present and if we’re chronically stressed like the adrenals if we’re in sympathetic fight or flight the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system tends to be more catabolic than anabolic. So, anabolic is building back up, healing, recovering, getting stronger. Catabolic is breaking down. So, from this fight-or-flight state, our bodies always tend to be it. You know, running versus, building and growing and so if you’re catabolic from the adrenals being over active with cortisol, that’s gonna make it hard to build muscle, you’re gonna be breaking down the muscle instead, making glucose out of it and it’s also gonna be harder to digest because your body’s hard wired to take blood and bring it to the extremity so you can fight, flight or kind of run versus to the organs so you absorb and break down. So, that fight or flight is really important in fir digestion, for where the blood goes and also and how it allocates nutrients. It’s more likely to break down muscle than build muscle back when that fight or flight is really active.
Evan Brand: That’s a good call. That’s exactly where I was gonna go next is hormones, I was gonna talk about maybe low testosterone. We’re seeing that in men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, I mean just low hormone levels and women need some level of testosterone too. So, if you do hormone issues whether that is adrenal related cortisol, thyroid hormone, maybe you can riff on that for a minute because I think people are focusing on gut gut gut, which is great but there’s also this other connection of the hormone piece and I will tell you my cortisol was completely depleted when I did a salivary panel years ago. My cortisol was flat all day and it was really tough no matter how much I tried in the gym, I was weak. Like, just my God, I could not make progress, fortunately better now, but man I’ve been through it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Some people, they may be high with their cortisol and we have to use adaptogens to calm it down of course, like good diet and lifestyle things, some may be low and typically you don’t just go low all of a sudden. You ten to be on the higher over stimulated side for a while and then you ten to crash and that’s where that low cortisol kind of comes together and with that chronic cortisol, a lot of times we see low DHEA, and DHEA is important because that’s gonna be a precursor to a lot of men and women’s sex hormones and so women will go more down the estrogen side. Men, it will trickle more down testosterone. These are both anabolic hormones and so if we have lower DHEA, that tells us the adrenal issues that are going on are more chronic and DHEA will go downstream to more of these anabolic building up type of hormones so very important to take a look at your DHEA because that could tell you if you’re more catabolic inflamed place. And also too, if you do exercise, I get it if it’s like your first couple of movements, It’s like a new exercise kind of thing, you may be a little bit torqued. It’s new but you shouldn’t be overly sore after your workouts. If it’s a new thing, fine, or it was really you know, an acute hard workout but in general you shouldn’t be overly sore, you know, more than two days or so later. You really shouldn’t, you should still be able to function like maybe you feel it like it feels like you did something but it’s not overly sore if you are um and it was a reasonable amount of exercise, it wasn’t like you did too much you’re probably in a more catabolic state, and it’s also you could be over exercising too. So, you gotta make sure you’re not over exercising.
Evan Brand: Yeah or I’m thinking like what about lactic acid build-up too due to gut bacteria or a mitochondrial issue due to some sort of toxin where they’re just depleted, they’re not recovering well, they’re not performing well. So, maybe not directly related to muscle mass but I think mitochondrial issues could be something to look into. You and I measure this and look at this on an organic acid test and we often find a lot of issues, I mean we’re in a toxic world with a lot of chemicals, metals, pesticides and so these things damage the mitochondria which to me would directly impair your ability to perform. Is it directly reducing muscle mass? If your mitochondria are damaged, I’m not sure on that. I’m sure we could look into it but it makes sense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Absolutely. So, a couple different types of um ways you can build muscle, right, we talked about resistance training is obviously gonna be my favorite, right? So, we can do resistance training that kind of acts like cardio so if we do let’s say three or four movements back-to-back to back-to-back that kind of acts like cardio like or instance if I do like bicep curls, right, this is resistance training, you’re probably not gonna see a big bump in your heart rate which is bicep curls, right? So, there’s resistance training where you’re not getting a cardio effect and it’s resistant training where you’re actually getting a cardio effect. So, just like, people think cardio, like, oh, I’m gonna try them all that’s cardio. It’s well no, you can do exercise that’s resistance and still have a cardio effect. So, if I just did like bicep curls or tried extensions probably not a big cardio effect. Now, if I did like bicep curls and then I paired that with the next exercise, let’s say kettlebell swings, right and then the next exercise being some type of full body row or a lunge, you can see how you start getting more muscle groups involved. Your heart rate starts to go up significantly. So, that’s nice because there’s some benefit if you look at some of the zone two exercise theories that are out. With zone two exercises, essentially, when you’re working at about 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate so if you’re at typically like you know, typically around if you’re like max heart rate for most people in their 40s or so will be like maybe around usually, it’s 225 minus your age and so if you’re like 40 that’s like what 225 minus 40 would be like what 185 and so you do 185 times 60 or so that should give you then you’re around like typically around 120 or so for your heart rate so they want you to stay around 120 for about 30 minutes. Now, you may find that you kind of have that zone 2 type of benefit while you’re actually doing lifting, if you kind of do it in a circuit fashion, then you choose movements that are more compound, you may find your heart rate stays that high. Now, the benefit of zone two is you get this really nice drop in your resting heart rate. There’s a lot of people that are reporting a lot of their data from like their fitbits or their or rings where they just have a significant drop in the resting heart rate that they wouldn’t necessarily see for like interval training or I’m sorry like a type of a tabata training where you’re like high intensity low, right? So, this kind of steady state thing for 30 minutes, you know, could have some cardiovascular muscle benefits and you may also be able to get some of that like if you do circuit movement so you can, you know, get one of these fitbits and measure your heart rate while you’re doing it and see if you can stay around 120 for that 30 minute phase that kind of put you in that zone two category around 120 or so.
Evan Brand: Very cool. There was a comment in here from Selena, what about muscle wasting with chronic Lyme? Yeah. 100%. Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with Lyme with co-infections from many tick bites over the years and that’s a big big factor because Lyme loves collagen. It really likes to eat up your collagen reserves and then the inflammation it creates, that invites other things like the Bartonella to move in and create more inflammation in your joints. I’m sure that is a big big factor for you. I think you can get better from it. I’ve certainly gained muscle mass even with the infections, I would still throw it in the infection category though. I think the gut infections are a big one too so don’t go all in online and forget the gut bugs because if you’ve got H. pylori, I think that’s a bigger smoking gun for your digestion. Lyme could still wreck you and cause you to lose muscle, I know one of the girls that I used to work with, I saw her recently at a park and she was so skinny, skeleton skinny and she’s had Lyme for like a decade so I know it really affected her in that way but I do think some of that is reversible if you work on the bugs and get your gut better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, people that have Lyme, it’s very rarely it’s just Lyme. It’s like Lyme but then they have, like a ton of dysbiosis, really poor digestion, so it’s usually people are already in this kind of not so great state and then Lyme comes in there and it’s the straw that breaks camel’s back and because it was the thing. They pushed them over the finish line. They just look at Lyme as being the culprit for all of it and therefore, I think it’s all then all they do is focus on that one thing because they think, oh well this is the root cause because this is what happened when everything went sideways and they get myopically focused on just that and then they’re on these crazy herbal antibiotic protocols for years and they don’t fix the other thing so still get back to the basics with your digestion with your, you know addressing the guts, um, really addressing all the stressors, the adrenals, make sure all of that’s kind of dialed in. Also, how did you do with collagen, I mean I found collagen it’s just great for building up that connective tissue because even like in today’s day and age, we’re getting a lot of muscle meat from our protein source, we’re very, we’re not getting enough of our connective tissue or skin or hide or those type of things like the soups and bone broths probably our ancestors used to do. We’re not getting a lot of those amino acids which are really important for connective tissue.
Evan Brand: I do good with it. I do it every day. I do collagen protein every day so it helps man. I don’t have any elbow problems anymore, my knees are better so like my joints are like so much better, my skin is probably better, hopefully that’s helping with the muscle too. She commented that she did have Bartonella and Babesia. So, yeah, that’s a triple whammy, I mean, you gotta keep working on it, I’m not a fan of the antibiotics, this is a topic for another podcast but you had mentioned that you were doing antibiotics and you know that typically causes the Lyme to go into like a cyst form where it hides from the immune system and a lot of people rebound and relapse on that so I prefer herbs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And also, if you go look at all the antibiotic side effects, they all match Lyme as well and so it’s like joint pain, fever, malaise, and so there’s like you see a lot of these conventional or should I say more natural minded medical doctors like oh that’s just
Herxheimer, that’s like but it’s like you literally are giving something that has the same side effects of the disease you’re trying to treat and so that’s why we tend to like herbal treatments that are more gentle and we’re trying not to hurt and we’re trying to kind of choose a low dose of herbs that are gonna allow us to support the immune system, still have an antimicrobial benefit, we’re still providing a lot of antioxidants and nutrients in the herbs which is the benefit of the herbs and they don’t cause as much mitochondrial damage while we work on everything else. So, we’re still not gonna ignore everything else and we’re gonna find a treatment that makes sense and doesn’t make you feel sicker and have this self-fulfilling prophecy that the side effects actually match the disease that you’re taking.
Evan Brand: No joke. I mean, we do a whole podcast. Let’s do one sometime on this but she said that she was tired of antibiotics, it’s been three years. Yeah. I mean, that’s affecting your gut which is affecting digestion. We know antibiotics damage the mitochondria so if someone had muscle mass and they had done antibiotics, obviously, you got to look at the gut so I would recommend that you do a stool panel. Do organic acids, try to uncover it, somebody said I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger with the beard, I hope that’s a compliment. Thank you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. There you go. I like it. Very good. So, I hope this helps everyone out of the gate here. I mean, just kind of like start from the basics like all right, so to keep your muscles strong you have to have one not be stressed, right? So, do not put yourself in a catabolic state. Think of like, your adrenals being an overdrive, think of like good sleep, good hydration, good food, allowing yourself to be in a parasympathetic nervous system state. Deep nasal breathing, right, appreciation, gratitude, right, make sure we have good digestive support enzymes, HCl, we’re eating a really healthy anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low-toxin template, again, I have some patients that have autoimmune conditions where they have to be even more carnivore because they’re really sensitive to the plant nutrients then after that, looking at all the bottlenecks that could be absorbing things or causing absorption problems in the gut, right, like Evan mentioned, Evan had three Amigos, right, Giardia, Crypto, and H. pylori. And then looking at any of the other bugs there and then of course what types of movements are you gonna do, right? You can start out with just walking if that’s kind of a foundational level then you could start off with some type of a you know circuit training, picking three or four movements and going back-to-back-to-back. You could do some kind of a zone two cardio thing where you do about 30 minutes or so at 120 beats per minute and you can do something non-impact. I like rowing because rowing devices you’re using upper and lower body and you’re putting your body into extension or most of the times on like cardio, you’re kind of like hunched over and like doing your elliptical or you’re running like this or you’re kind of in this flexion state where a rower you’re kind of opening up so that’s kind of cool so those are a couple of tools you know to stimulate the muscles and to um make your heart work as well as make your muscles work.
Evan Brand: I love the rower. Hiking too. I mean, hiking is so easy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. Hiking is great.
Evan Brand: I really love it because there’s a lot more variability in your movement as compared to walking on a flat surface so I’m having to like bring my leg up more to go over that rock to go over that tree root like it’s a lot of more leg involved than a flat surface so I love it as long as I’m not getting a tick bite, I’m happy in the woods.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And my favorite functional movements would be like a one-legged squat, uh, it’s excellent and you could just have a chair underneath you where you sit, touch and come back up and you could put up like a phone book on it or something so you don’t have to go all the way down to parallel, uh, a single leg deadlift is excellent and step up. I know, right. I know you can just grab whatever book right. I’m thinking up like the thickest book I could think of right. You know something like that. And then, you could do that and then you could do a step up which is great like on a plyo box and step up. That’s what this is.
Evan Brand: How about, I mean the jumps? Obviously, that’s more intense but man those jump boxes, my God, that’ll, you talk about workout, that’s intense.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. I mean those plyo boxes are wonderful, I mean, I like is that
Evan Brand: What it’s called the plyo like p yeah how you spell that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Like P-L-Y-O like a plyometric box
Evan Brand: That’s where you’re jumping up and down up and down?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I actually like going on top of those and then just jumping off and then get into a squat because then you’re teaching your body like I’m generating all this force and I’m trying to absorb it so you’re teaching your body to be a shock absorber like just soak up energy which is great.
Evan Brand: To think about that, that hurts my knee. Thinking about jumping off, I used to, I screwed up my knee years ago though you know, I was jumping off loading docks like behind warehouses when I was a kid with a skateboard and when you bail off the skateboard I would land flat on the concrete, my God. That hurt. That was done.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Totally. But yeah, if you’re putting your joints in that kind of intensity, make sure your form is good. Some people say don’t go knees over toes, there’s a whole knees over toe guy on I think Instagram that talks about knees over toes but if you do that just make sure your form is good and you’re not causing any inflammation. Make sure you have enough protein and collagen, amino acids on board as well so you’re dialed in.
Evan Brand: Yeah. And if you need help please reach out, we work with these issues all the time. We’ll help you investigate what’s going on. You may have this root cause, you may have that root cause, you may have multiple root causes but we’re happy to help find the puzzle pieces because you can’t fix what you can’t find so that’s where we come in, we’re happy to help you with this issue. If you want to reach out clinically, we work around the world with people we’d love to help. You can reach out to Dr. J directly at justinhealth.com and there’s consults available everywhere, lab testing, we can get it to your door. It’s no problem. If you’d like to work out with me, not physically but work out with the labs, let’s do it at evanbrand.com. So, justinhealth.com, evanbrand.com, we’re happy to help.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re here to help and we’ll put some of the products that we talked about like collagen and some of the nutrient support, we’ll put them in the description below so if you wanna access some of the things that we recommend for our family and patients and take ourselves, feel free and access that. All right guys, hope you have a phenomenal day. Take care of you all. Peace.
Evan Brand: See you. Bye-bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Evan Brand: Bye.
The Benefits of Collagen and Glycine on Your Health | Podcast #322
Collagen is rich in numbers in our bodies. It is an essential part of connective tissues that make up our tendons, cartilages, and muscles. Also, it functions to give fair skin structure, smooth hair, healthy nails, and bone strength.
On the other hand, glycine is an amino acid that your body utilizes to create proteins. It is also responsible for maintaining the connective tissues and making other substances, such as hormones and enzymes.
Dr. J and Evan Brand emphasized that glycine and collagen provide outstanding health benefits. Our body needs glycine to make essential compounds such as glutathione, creatine, and collagen. Also, collagen helps promote muscle mass, relieve joint pain, and reduces wrinkles and skin dryness.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:44 Glycine Benefits
7:20 Fixing Root Causes
10:40 Natural Supplements from Food
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Evan, how are we doing today man? What’s going on?
Evan Brand: I’m doing good. I’m feeling better. I don’t think I even told you about this off the air. But I had a bat house on the side of my house.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A bat house?
Evan Brand: Yeah, bat house. Yeah, to try to get to try to get some bats to basically, you know, take take residents there. So they would eat all of our mosquitoes. And they never came. And I was up on the ladder. I don’t know, this may be two months ago now. And I was up on the ladder. And I was unscrewing the bat house from the house. And as soon as I did that, I noticed it was a wasp nest in there. And as soon as the, as soon as I saw that, a wasp landed on my hand. And last time I got stung, it hurts super bad. And so I wasn’t thinking straight, I thought, okay, there’s a wasp on my hand, I’m gonna get stung, it’s gonna hurt, I might shake my hand and fall backwards off the ladder, this is really bad. So I just turned around and just jumped. And it was probably not crazy high, but maybe eight feet up. And I just jumped and just tried to like, you know, cushion my fall as much as I could and kind of roll after I landed on the grass. But ever since then, man, I’ve had a little bit of some cervical, I probably need to see a chiropractor. I haven’t yet but I’ve had like some cervical tightness. And if I sleep the wrong way, it like flares up the cervical tightness. And so I’ve been using some herbal anti inflammatories and nutrients that we can dive into to help me. But I wanted to tell you that and see if you had any other suggestions of things I should be doing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really great. Yeah, so we’re going to be talking all about inflammation. And we’ll be talking about natural herbal support to kind of help her natural functional medicine support to help kind of reduce that inflammation. Now, structurally, in your situation, there’s probably some level of inflammation directly to that area. So some level of soft tissue, whether it’s active release technique, or myofascial just to kind of help with that tissue. Because when it gets strained or damaged or inflamed like that, it can get a little bit fibrotic, you can get some scar tissue, it can maybe lose some blood supply and oxygenation. So getting some good movement in that tissue to kind of help with oxygenation, make it more pliable, helps making sure those joints are moving well. So really good chiropractic adjustments through there to make sure everything is moving well, alignments, good. So those are the first things out of the gates that I’d be pursuing. Outside of, you know, just some good soft tissue support in your own like a good massage guns helpful just kind of day in day out. And then seeing good massage therapists, maybe some red light to kind of reduce inflammation, too. I think that’s great out of the gates. And of course, you know, we can kind of go into all of the different natural anti inflammatory, inflammatory support that we use typically in practice, and we’ll talk about what what you’re using already as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I appreciate it. I need to get back in touch with my myofascial lady. I just haven’t reached out to her yet. But I think she left town for a while. So she’s still around. I should probably try. I just got fearful I thought, Oh, god, what did I do to my spine? Am I screwed forever? You know, you hear about these people having like car wrecks. And you know, my wife used to work in a chiropractor’s office, and she would see people that were injured from 20 years ago. And I’m like, ah, why, like, surely it doesn’t have to be that way. And I think we have some good strategies that can definitely shorten the recovery timeline. Let me just talk about the topical aspect first. This one thing’s been very beneficial. It is a company called Ned. Hello, Ned is their company. And they actually just send it to me like a year ago, just as like a free Hey, we want you to sell our products. Here’s some free stuff to try out kind of thing. But I loved it so much. I bought more of it, but it’s called a body butter. And it’s just loaded with CBD oil and frankincense and a bunch of other essential oils. It has Arnica in there. So this is just a topical body butter. And I tell you, if I put that stuff on, it’s a significantly reduced pain. And my range of motion is almost 100% if I’m using that topically, so CBD Arnica frankincense, you know, something like that a good blend, or if you like by that body butter, that might be a good option topically.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like that. That makes a lot of sense. So out of the gates, what’s the first thing so more than likely you get some kind of a mini whiplash? I’m guessing you kind of fell more into flexion. Right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you probably had a little whiplash because you probably went forward and then your body had to like kind of seize up to kind of stuff that forward flexion and so it probably just strained you probably had a little spray sprain strain in those back ligaments in the neck. And so getting some good soft tissue out back there will help making sure that joints are moving appropriately will help the problem with like ligamentous tissue, it’s more a vascular, right, you don’t get great blood supply. Or like if you strain your muscle like a muscle belly issue, right, it’s going to heal a lot faster because that tissue is just more vascular, it’s got a lot more blood flow. So anytime you have a vascular tissue, you really need good soft tissue support to really help break down and break down fiber optic tissue, scar tissue and then help that will improve oxygenation and that will improve blood flow. And of course, you know, soft tissue and or red light therapy are all going to be amazing things to really work on the on the blood flow and the inflammation reduction aspects. So that’s good out of the gates. And of course like my good thing in my line, we use something called curcumin supreme. Which is a liposomal curcumin, I like that. I think that’s excellent because it has natural anti inflammatory pathway. So like the big inflammatory pathways that you’re going to see a lot of the medication use are going to be the Cox pathways right cyclo oxygenase pathways. And so like cyclooxygenase, two and cyclooxygenase one are going to be some of the big ones right? Now we can do natural herbs to kind of help produce Cox one and Cox two. So Cox one typically will be reduced by things like aspirin or n sets the problem with these things that can be a little bit more irritating to the liver into the gut. So maybe acutely, it’s okay, but chronically not the best, right? And then we have Cox two as well which these were like the old fashioned, like Vioxx drugs, remember, those, like 15 years ago, caused a lot of stroke and heart issues. Those are like our Cox two pathways. So Cox one and Cox two are some pretty good ones, that major pathways. And of course, we have like our prostaglandin e two, which is an inflammatory pathway as well. And prostaglandin e two is what drives constriction. And it’s what causes more platelets and more stickiness to happen. And so we want to work on reducing some of those pathway. So we want to knock down prostaglandin e two, what’s the best way to do that? Well, high dose fish oil or fish oil in general, of course up a really good whole food, pasture fed kind of paleo templates, it’d be great. And you’re going to reduce a lot of inflammation coming from conventional meats. Again, healthy grass fed pasture fed meats better, right? Less arachidonic acid, which feeds that PG net prostaglandin to pathway, of course, keeping the insulin and the grains and the refined sugar, all that crap in check, all of that inflammation feeds these Cox two and Cox one. pathways, right. And so we want to inhibit those pathways, we want to block them. So more Cox one, Cox two, the more inflammation is going down those pathways. So all the dietary crap sets the table, like my analogy is, imagine you walk into a kitchen and the gas is on the burner. Okay, let’s say it’s been on for a couple hours you smell it? Well, let’s say you pull out your lighter, right? Just a little spark, boom, how’s it gonna explode? Okay, but if you did it without the gas there, no explosion? Well, it’s the same thing. If you have the gasoline going, that’s a systemic inflammation from all of these things we chatted about, that allows the little spark of an injury like that, to set off this whole inflammatory cascade, that’s going to be a lot more, let’s just say amplified in the wrong direction, if you will.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s, that’s a great analogy. So let’s kind of spotlight some of the the key ingredients that we use here. Now some of these we can provide to our clients and to me personally in blends, and then some of them we can do in isolation. So I think the the best one or kind of the best combo for me is really some of the enzymes and then plus tumeric and the boswellia I think that’s been kind of my game changer because I noticed that when I added some extra serapeptodase into my system, I have a blend, I’m using the has some in there, but when I added extra serapeptodase, and also some lambro kinase, my issues, definitely, I would say I felt definitely more mobile, like I have more blood flow. And then of course, my hands and feet were warming up too. So I just know from like a circulation standpoint, that that’s also helping and then we know that tumeric has like an anti coagulating ability. So whether it’s like a tumeric tea or like you mentioned a life was almost a product or even just like a standardized curcuminoid product, something like that is going to be awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like it. So if we kind of break things down by Cox one, Cox two, there’s also the locks pathway that’s like the the leuco trying pathway or the light bo oxygenase pathway. Alright, so lipo oxygenase versus cyclo oxygenase. These are both going to be inflammatory pathways. So if we start with like the Cox, one pathways, things like ginger are also going to be very helpful in that. So ginger is really good. Excellent. You can also do things like you mentioned lumberg kinase, or serrapeptase, that’s gonna just sit in your bloodstream, you’re taking it away from food, it’s not like a digestive enzyme. And that’s going to help hit all these inflammatory chemicals that are in the bloodstream, it’s going to start breaking them down and digesting them. And we already talked about the fact that we have a lot of platelet aggregation. So what that means is over time, those platelets are going to increase scar tissue and in decreased blood flow. So what are the enzymes are going to do is they’re going to break up those platelets isn’t help improve blood flow, improve oxygenation and improve nutrition. So and it’s also going to decrease scar tissue formation. So part of the enzymes are helping blood flow. They’re reducing. They’re increasing oxygenation, and they’re reducing scar tissue so then it helps a lot of the other nutrients also work better. So we already talked about like, some of the Cox one stuff is going to be ginger. We talked about that already. Some of the Cox two things are going to be things like curcumin, lipids, omo curcumin, and my line I have one called Curcumin Supreme, which is a really good one. And then you already mentioned a couple things earlier like Frankincense or boswellia. That’s also going to be another cyclo oxygenase ACE inhibitor and the thing I like about boswellia or frankincense, it’s the same thing. By the way, guys, frankincense is the essential oil version of that frankincense, you can kind of put topically on it. And then you can also take boswellia internally, so you can kind of hit it from both ends, which is really good.
Evan Brand: Yeah, also omegas, I am boosting up my omegas, I’m doing about five grams per day of pure omega, that’s my formula. It’s a triglyceride form of omega as it works amazing. And then also, I’m doing extra course attend, just to really help you know, I’ve had some histamine issues after getting exposed to mold. So for me, I do course attend with an enzyme, there’s a special enzyme we use, it’s a course it’s an enzyme blend that I love. And I actually may start manufacturing it soon. But for now, I’m just mixing these. And the course attend for me is a mast cell stabilizer. Now I don’t know about like trauma, necessarily physical trauma, aggravating mast cells and creating a histamine release. But it would make sense if there’s a stress response from the body, you may be pulling out more histamine, I’m thinking of like a, I don’t know, a car crash or some sort of immediate trauma, you’re probably going to have some histamine to really help increase inflammation, but overall, you don’t want that long term.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Yep, that makes a lot of sense. So there’s other pathways you mentioned, right? So the course attend, like you mentioned earlier, that’s going to help with the TNF alpha pathway. So TNF alpha is another inflammatory cytokine. So think of a lot of these cytokines are like inflammatory chemical messengers, we have cytokines, we have interleukins, we have nuclear factor, Kappa beta, we have TNF alpha, these are all these chemicals, signalers. And so when we have inflammation happen, these type of chemical messengers can amplify inflammation, the effects of inflammation, systemically. And the problem with inflammation is it’s helpful in the short run, because it helps drive blood flow and helps the healing repair process. The problem is, is when it hangs around too long, right? So for like an acute injury, it’s probably good. I think part of the reason why that pain and inflammation is there is to keep you on your butt, so you’re not continuing to damage that area. So I think part of it is, it’s Hey, you hurt yourself, let’s kind of like rest a little bit right part of its that it’s also going to aggregate a lot of immune cells to help heal the injury, preventing infection, it’s also there to help with healing the body up, right, because the body is not about performance when it’s injured, it’s about band aiding the crap out of that area. So the problem with that is the body doesn’t care if it laid down a whole bunch of scar tissue. And that area is now going to be less flex, less flexible, and less mobile. It just wants the body to heal. So now you have to say, Well, I’m also interested in performance too, right? So then you have to look at the fact that like, Okay, I’m going to reduce inflammation, I probably should still be more mobile, I’m sorry, less mobile moving less, because my body wants me to move around less. I’m reducing the inflammation, pain naturally. But I still have to make sure I don’t overdo it. So you have to make sure if you reduce the inflammation, you still don’t overdo it because your body’s creating that pain to keep you from not moving as much. You probably want some movement, but not as much to hurt yourself. And then number two, you really want to remodel that inflammatory scar tissue. And that’s where you know, massage, soft tissue work, adjusting, maybe some some rolling, some foam rolling, gentle things like that to kind of help realign that soft tissue. So it’s more functional and structurally stable. That’s better in the long run.
Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Good point. I forgot to mention that. It’s not called the Theracane but it’s similar. I’ve got this wooden like cane from like a physical therapy office like it’s a, it’s a wooden cane basically, and it’s got the wheels on it. I’ve been kind of digging that into my upper mid back area kind of work in my traps. I’ve been just doing some light stretches. I’ve been doing some lateral pull downs, I love lat pull downs, I’ve been doing some seated rows. I’ve been doing my roll machine. So just gently trying to work the area. And I do that after I take these enzymes. And I do notice that it definitely warms up the area and I do feel more loose. So I’m trying to think of you like you and I always talk about you have this stacking effect, right you’ve got the anti inflammatory diet as the foundation, you’ve got the omegas coming in to hopefully help lubricate reduce inflammation. We’ve got the anti histamine anti mast cell course attend. We’ve got the ginger working on the Cox pathway, you’ve got the tumeric you’ve got the boswellia. I mean, that’s just really the synergistic thing here. And I’m not I haven’t taken a single aspirin. So I’m not actually in pain anymore. But like I said, if I sleep wrong, it might kind of flare me up. So I don’t think I’m fully out of the woods yet, but I think I’m 95% there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. That’s good. So in general, we kind of have our Cox pathways right. Now, arachidonic acid can feed those pathways. So a lot of excess omega six junkie, refined omega six excess junkie animal products can definitely feed those pathways that sets the table like I mentioned gas in the kitchen right below spark and can take it off. And then we have our natural herbals like like ginger can help with Cox one. Fish Oil is actually For Cox two at high doses now if you do high doses of fish oil, you can increase what’s called lipid peroxidation. Because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, it’s more unstable, right? It’s got a lot of these. It’s got more double bonds in it, right? omega three means three double bonds, the more double bonds that are there, the more unstable the fatty acid is to heat and things like that, the more let’s say it can be oxidized. So having extra vitamin C, or extra vitamin E on board when you’re taking extra fish oil, just to make sure you don’t have oxidation is great. And we already talked about things like systemic enzymes talked about, like, you know, curcumin, liposomal curcumin is better due to the absorption, or something with black pepper in it helps with absorption to already talked about things like Frankincense or boswellia is great, you could always do some white willow bark, which is kind of how aspirin is naturally made, right? aspirin works more on Cox one. So aspirin is going to be your other natural source. And you can do white willow bark, which is the natural form of aspirin, which is great. There are things like Tylenol, but Tylenol works more on the central nervous system perception, right? So it decreases the nervous systems, perception of pain. And then of course, at the extreme example, we have opiates, which block the pain receptors in the brain, the the opiate receptors in the brain, not the best thing because you’re just decreasing perception of pain. Obviously, the opiates are way more addictive, right. But we can block some of these natural pain perceptions with CBD oil. So CBD is another great way to reduce perception of pain. But we got to be careful of, you know, Tylenol, or things like opiates, you know, opiates due to their addictive qualities. And Tylenol actually chronically can reduce gluta file and you can just type in Tylenol and low glutathione level. So if you’re taking Tylenol longer term, you definitely want to take it with NAC and or some cloudify and just to be on the safe side. But in general, we want you to try to do more of the herbals and more of the natural stuff out of the gates because that really, really, really can help reduce inflammation.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. Yeah, and the acetaminophen glutathione yeah, it’s a big problem. So that’s why I stayed away. So people listening, if you’re didn’t jump off a ladder like me, and you’ve got osteo arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, or sports injury, or you’re just trying to heal up maybe post operation, these things we talked about today may be something to implement. And then obviously, working on all the other root causes too, because you are not just what you eat, you are what you digest from what you eat. So if you’re doing all these good nutrients, but you’ve got some type of malabsorption issue in the gut, you’ve got ridges on your fingernails, you’ve got thinning hair falling out here, you may need to look deeper at the gut and try to find some of these more root cause issues that led you to that amount of inflammation or slow recovery in the first place. So if you need to reach out, please do so. Our websites are JustinHealth.com. That’s for Dr. J. He works worldwide via phone, FaceTime, Skype, zoom, whatever. And then me Evan Brand, EvanBrand.com. So JustinHealth.com, EvanBrand.com please reach out if you need help. We love helping you guys. This is just a wonderful situation that we’re in to be able to help people across the globe get solutions to their health issues.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And one last thing to comment is people talk about what we know about cortisone and prednisone injections, right for chronic pain, right? This is a common thing. Well, what’s our natural cortisone? What’s our natural anti inflammatory? Well, our adrenals. So if you have weaker adrenal is going into this stuff, you may not be able to make good amounts of our natural kind of anti inflammatory hormones like cortisol or cortisone, right? This is important. Now I had a family friend come up to me recently, they had chronic pain issues. And it was asking me some questions about things. And they were telling me Oh, I just got a cortisone injection. It’s doing really great right now I said, Well, number one, that’s that’s a really big mistake. I said, you can do a cortisone injection only, only one if it’s really debilitating, and you need that to buy you time to fix the underlying issue. The problem with any injections of steroids is they start breaking down the tissue and the cartilage and the ligaments and the bone in the joint. And actually, over time, they’ll stop giving you cortisone injections in an area after two or three injections sometimes, so then now what now you’re kind of stuck. So the only way ever support a cortisone injection, is if that’s buying you time to do all the other stuff and the pain is so debilitating, you’re just doing that to buy you time because if you’re not figuring out and doing all the other stuff, while that quarter zones working, you’re just going to just repeat its pattern over again three to six months later. And that’s not a good situation. So ideally, you maximize the low hanging fruit, hopefully you won’t have to go to that. And then if you have to go to it, you at least use that time to do more of the right things regarding soft tissue chiropractic work anti inflammatory, there’s another device we we use here we’ll put a link below for the newbie device which is a bio electric device that I have and I use that helps reduce inflammation with special bio electric wavelengths. Electricity wise that reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, help improve the muscle integrity in that area. So the muscles take over the stress the joints and the ligaments and that’s cartilage would normally absorb right we want our we want our shocks to absorb The force not the sensitive material in the in the vehicle so to speak, right we have shocks for a reason. Think of shocks in your body as like muscles. Think of the sensitive tissue as ligaments and cartilage, right? Those are going to be more a vascular right poor blood flow the muscles more vascular. So what’s good let the vascular shocks absorb most of that issue most of the inflammation and for so I’ll put the link down below for that too. So you guys have that for references. Anything else, man?
Evan Brand: Yeah, the sauna. The sauna has been helping me too. I love sitting in there. Yeah, that obviously warms me up to so I have the infrared heaters in the front and then the ceramic around the edges. So I do try to rotate make sure that the infrared does hit my back and it does help me quite a bit. So that’s also another beneficial thing. Epsom salt baths are very helpful potentially using a floatation tank, a float tank with just tons of Epsom salt and their magnesium and that’s that’s also another great strategy. So hope this helps people and take care yourself. Like I said, if you need to reach out please do JustinHealth.com or EvanBrand.com look forward to helping you soon.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll be right over recommended products down below so you guys can see that and take advantage of the things that we use clinically for our family, ourselves and our patients worldwide.