Enhancing Your Immune System With Vitamin D This Winter | Podcast #321
Getting enough vitamin D is essential to your long-term health. It’s relatively easy to get vitamin D through sun exposure most of the year, but that changes come wintertime. So here is Dr. J and Evan discussing why vitamin D matters and how to keep your levels up, even when the days are short and the skies are snowy and gray.
Vitamin D absorbs calcium and helps you maintain healthy bones. It also contributes to the health of your muscles, nerves, and immune system. So if you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may be at risk of developing rickets, osteoporosis, other bone disorders, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Older adults, people with dark skin, and obesity are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:49 The Importance of Vitamin D in Winter
5:15 Viruses in Winter Season
11:20 Vitamin D Supplements and Benefits
14:03 Vegan Vitamin D
19:01 Vitamin D as Epigenetic Regulator
22:55 Respiration Issues and Blood Pressure Issues
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live is Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to be talking about vitamin D to help enhance your immune system is such a good topic because in the winter months, we’re exposed to all kinds of viruses and bacteria out there and immune stressors. There’s less sunlight, more cold, more sugar, more sweets, more holiday stress. And we really want to make sure that you guys have a strong immune system to be resistant to what’s happening in today’s environment. Evan, how are we doing today, my man?
Evan Brand: Doing really well. I’m ready for the sunshine to come back. You know, I was looking at my D minder app the other day, and the vitamin D window just opened back up. So and the which, technically, according to the way the earth is tilting, we’re actually past the deepest, darkest parts of winter. But you know, late December, because of Northern latitude, and the angle of the sun and all that you literally cannot make vitamin D, even if you’re outside, but naked, you just can’t. But luckily, according to my app, the vitamin D Window, at least from my latitude, just opened up about six days ago. So if there is Sunshine out from about 12 to one or two, there’s a good like two hours a day right now based on my latitude, where I can get adequate vitamin D with enough skin exposure. But the problem is, most people in the middle of the day there may be on their lunch break at their office, you probably can’t get outside enough to get the sun. And if it’s cloudy, of course that cancels it out? And can you undress enough at your office building to get enough sunshine to get enough vitamin D? So, in general, the answer is no. And this is why I would say 90% of people that we’ve tested via blood, we’re going to see vitamin D deficiency. And this is just something you cannot afford to be deficient in
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. So in today’s environment, with the winter being where it’s at, and depending on your latitude and longitude and, and your ability to be outside and expose yourself, getting vitamin D naturally to the sun, and it’s forming kind of these pre cholesterol d3, and that d3 being absorbed into your kidneys and liver, right, it’s odds are going to be pretty low. So we’re gonna have to supplement this time of year, that’s going to be without a doubt. And we got to get our vitamin D levels up to an optimal range as well, because we need to be at least above 50 on the United States metric for vitamin D, that’s important. If you have an autoimmune issue, if you have any cancer predispositions, you probably want to be even as high as 70, to 100, but at least 50 on the vitamin D side to really maintain optimal immune function.
Evan Brand: And this is something you can actually test at home now, which is pretty cool. So there are some labs that you and I can work with, where we can get people some dried blood spot testing. But if you’re working with us clinically, we might as well just run a full blood panel looking into thyroid and everything else. Because if you have other symptoms, you could take vitamin D and not fix yourself, meaning it’s great to optimize that. But you could still have other issues. So you could just do the at home blood panel or if we’re going to get you to the lab, we might as well look at everything else. And you’re not looking at an expensive test. It’s kind of hard to believe that this is not standard practice. But you go to your conventional doctor down the road, and they run basic blood work on you, they’re not going to run vitamin D, unless you ask for it. And even then they may say, Oh, it’s not covered by insurance. So what is your reply? Because it’s generally only going to be maybe 20, maybe $50. US max to test this is not an expensive test.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, no, it’s definitely not an expensive test. Now in general, and give you guys a couple of markers here in regards to the ranges. So off the bat, I already mentioned 50 to 70 is a pretty good range to be in I think for most people, right? If we have cancer, heart issues, autoimmune stuff, we can go 70 to 100. And the metric we want to look for is going to be nanograms per milliliter nanograms per milliliter. In Europe they do or Canada they do nano moles per liter. And the conversion on that I want to say is about two, you multiply whatever the level is here and you multiply it by about 2.25. And that gives you that conversion, right? So for at about 50 or so on the vitamin D here is sufficient, right? That’s the nanogram per milliliter multiply it by 2.25. That’s about 125 nano moles per liter if we’re talking Europe or Canada so you guys can make the conversion 2.25 All right, so 50 to 70 is ideal 70 to 100 is going to be you know if we have cancer, heart disease, immune issues. Now when we supplement with vitamin D, we want to make sure we’re taking d3 if your diets really great, lots of green vegetables, high quality gi butterfat, good kaitou then you’re probably fine. You don’t need k two if your diets not awesome or not great or you want that extra bit of insurance, you can always do vitamin K to with your vitamin D, just to make sure there’s an adequate balance there. A lot of your fat soluble vitamins tend to come and work together vitamin D vitamin K work importantly well because k helps calcium get into the bone D helps calcium be absorbed. From the gut as well, so it’s nice to have some k there. So we’re really helping to put all that calcium back into the bone that we’re now absorbing better in our gut from vitamin D. So it’s nice to have that as an insurance policy to make sure we’re putting and telling that calcium where it needs to go.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said, I just put another paper in the chat for you if you want it. This was from 2006. And it was just talking about how there was back in the 1980s, a guy Edgar hope Simpson proposed that a seasonal stimulus was intimately associated with seasonal epidemic, influenza. And long story short, the fancy way of saying, hey, winter comes and then boom, all of a sudden, you know, viruses become more of a prevalent issue. And then long story short, there was this whole interventional study, which there’s many, many, many, many on this long story short, vitamin D is reducing the incidence of respiratory infections in children. So this is specifically talking about kids. But there are countless of these for adults. And so what’s happening when the vitamin D levels are sufficient, are a multitude of things. But in particular, it’s helping to reduce interleukin six, which is one of those inflammatory cytokines that we’re seeing get people in trouble. So if you can reduce your cytokines, that’s going to be beneficial. And then also another cool benefit is not only as sort of an anti viral, but there’s some anti microbial benefit, which I honestly didn’t know much about this and start till I started reading these papers here that it can actually activate your immune cells to produce some anti microbials. So sort of like a natural antibiotic, if you will, by upping vitamin D concentration. Now, the question is, well, how do people take it? Is it just an ongoing thing, if you think you’re getting into trouble with the illness, do you go high dose of it, I think it depends on what your levels are. So would you say you probably want to get a baseline first to know where you’re at and how you should address it or-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Baseline first, I mean, I would say the wider your skin is, the more fair your skin is. Probably the more efficient you are going to be at converting vitamin D from the sun, right? The darker your skin is think of your your the darkness in your skin, that’s melanin, right, the more melanin you have, so you have kind of different spectrums full on African American, that’s the highest amount of melanin, melanin is like your natural UV block, right, it helps block your skin from the sun’s rays. So due to evolution, and where we evolved, people that evolved closer to the equator, more UV light based on the angle of the Sun hitting it, they naturally evolved with more melanin in the skin, people that have all further away from the equator, less direct UV light, less melanin in the skin, because it’s all about making vitamin D. So the more efficient you are at making vitamin D, you probably are going to be, you’ll probably be able to get away with not supplementing as much or as frequent. The more melanin in your skin, the more you have to be on top of your vitamin D, because unless you’re going to be outside six to eight hours a day, and you’re at a, you know, mid to low 30 latitude, you’re probably just not going to be able to ever make enough vitamin D, therefore, you really have to be on top of everything. And you’re testing. So lighter skin, I think in general, a good rule of thumb is 1000, I use per 25 pounds of body weight, especially in the fall and winter months. And then if you want to take a break in the summer, that’s fine, just make sure you get a test here there to confirm it, the darker your skin is, you may even want to double that in the winter months. And then you may want to follow up and retest come the early spring and see where you’re at kind of monitor where you’re at. If you’re someone that works outside, that’s you have to make that adjustment. If you’re an office person you’re inside all day, you also have to make that adjustment to so in general 1000, I use per 25 pounds of body weight. And then if you have darker skin, you may want to double that for the winter months. And then it’s always good to confirm in the summertime in the winter, and sometime coming off the winter, early spring summer to see where you’re at. And then we can always adjust accordingly. And if there’s any risk of autoimmunity or cancer, we probably want to be testing just a little bit more frequently. Once you kind of know where you’re at, you can kind of guess based on how well you’re doing. And then in regards to vitamin D, you know, I mean, vitamin K, K2, you probably want anywhere between 100 150 micrograms of K2 is kind of where you want where you’re going to be at per day on average. And so if you’re doing lots of green vegetables, if you’re doing sauerkraut fermented foods, you’re doing kaitou from grass fed butter or ghee, you’ll probably be fine. And then if you want that insurance policy of about 150 micrograms, you can always just find a good vitamin d3 with that in there. And then that gives you that extra assurance that you’re okay there.
Evan Brand: Yep. And the other cool thing about this I mean, in terms of how big of a game changer This is for your health for your immunity, we’re talking minor dollars for testing. We’re talking minor dollars for actually buying something now, we’re still going to advise you to go with the more professional product just because that’s what we’re going to use clinically. That’s what we’re going to sell to people so we still do Want you to get a good quality product, but in a pinch, could you get away with something just a typical store brought brand, probably. So we just have a lot of sensitive people. So we’re going to want to avoid a lot of the fillers, you’ll see soybean oil, sometimes you’ll see other things that we don’t like, and some of the cheap brands. So we’re going to try to get you just like a straight d3, possibly with a little bit of gelatin. But even sometimes we’re gonna do like a veggie cap, when you’ve got maybe a little bit of cellulose but-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: MCT oil or olive oil, some kind of a healthier fat versus like you mentioned a soy or something more junky or more like polyunsaturated.
Evan Brand: Yeah, but once again, I mean, you’re looking at, in general, I know some of the professional brains, you and I use, cost wise, you’re looking at, like 50 to 60 bucks for six months. So I mean, you’re talking maybe 10 bucks a month, and that’s for like professional quality. And there are liquid versions that you can use for children as well. I’ve got both of my kids taking vitamin D. Now we do give them some different cod liver oils and omega. So you can get some vitamin D naturally from some of the cod liver oils, you can get a few 1000 iu, but we are still doing a little bit of extra K1, K2 and D3 for the kids. And that’s easy. And my daughter calls it Hummingbird food, because it’s clear just like our Hummingbird food and it tastes a little sweet. So she loves it. It’s like her favorite part of the day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, cuz it’s got a tiny bit of stevia in there. Right. And then you also have, you know, it’s clear liquid vitamin like the MCT oil in there. That’s Yeah, good. Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. So 100% on that, I would say supplementally. Like you mentioned cod liver oil, very good. You can also look at other fat soluble vitamins, the other ones may be vitamin A, right. So if you’re doing high quality, ghee or grass fed butter, you’re probably getting a good amount of vitamin A in there, especially if you’re doing something your tea or coffee in the morning. If you’re eating good grass fed grass fed beef and you’re doing good quality pasture egg fed egg yolks, then you’re going to be set on a lot of that, if you want some additional insurance, you can do some cod liver oil, like I mentioned, you can get a vitamin D that has some vitamin A in it, or just use some of the extra cod liver oil and get some good egg yolks in and you’ll probably be totally fine with that. Anything else you want to add?
Evan Brand: Yep. I would just encourage people not to do. Yeah, I would say I just encourage people not to do the conventional D2 supplement that you’re going to get from a local doctor. For example, if you ask your neighbor down the road to give you some vitamin D, they’re probably going to give you D2. They may give you like a 50,000 iu or possibly even like 100,000 iu that you’re going to get from a pharmacy, it’s going to be loaded with a bunch of binders and fillers. And we find that just those really high doses for a few days don’t really do as much as a lower dose over a longer period of time. So it’s not where you just come in and do 100,000 for a week and you’re cured. Now you really need to just optimize it over a slower period of time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, like myself, I’m not gonna lie, I’ll do sometimes 40 or 50, once a week, to kind of keep my levels pretty good. But I think it just kind of depends on where you’re at. Right. So if if for some reason, you know, you forget to do your vitamin D, I’d rather have people do it like at least once a week. So it’s there because it is a fat soluble vitamin. So it will kind of build up in your system. It’s not like a B vitamin where you just pee it out. But ideally, every day is good, especially in the morning time because think about it, you wouldn’t naturally make vitamin D in the middle of the night or at nighttime, if you’re taking it right, you’d make it more in the morning to afternoon. So take it more in the morning and afternoon. Right, that makes more sense to me from a kind of day in day out how vitamin D will be made in general. And then the other thing is, if you miss it or you forget it, I think doing it at least getting it in there once a week as a fat soluble vitamin, just make sure you test make sure you’re doing well on that. And like you said having d3 is in the B that’s more of the animal version, I think is a lanolin more of a plant version on the D two side. And the thing with it’s more synthetic and it doesn’t equate to improving your vitamin D levels because as to get converted in the body. So there’s a conversion issue that tends to get lapsed on and it won’t move your vitamin D levels is good.
Evan Brand: I have seen some like vegan D3, I want to say they’re like an algae based product. Yeah, I haven’t looked too much into them. I mean, I have had some vegan clients who were like, Hey, I’m just really opposed to any other source of vitamin D. I’m like, okay, fine, we’ll get you some of the vegan ones. I think it’s a lichen. Maybe a lichen or an algae. I mean, I’m okay with it. But I don’t have enough long term evidence to say where I’ve looked at people and regards to their test results to confirm that their levels we’re getting up from the algae or the like and based one, I’m sure if it’s D3, and it says 5000. I mean, in theory, it’s good enough, but I just haven’t I don’t have enough data to say whether you should go for that or not. I would just go with your typical D3
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now vitamin D has a couple of different benefits. You already mentioned a couple things, let’s kind of go over some of the benefits for the listeners. So we already chatted about the the natural antibiotic that’s being produced by vitamin D. It’s called cathelicidin. It’s a kind of an antibacterial enzyme. That’s super helpful at being able to knock down bacteria, okay? It also has antiviral mechanisms as well. It has the antimicrobial peptides, like I mentioned, it also has some antiviral mechanisms. Part of that is it stimulates and can modulate the th one immune response and the th one immune system, that’s where you’re making a lot of your natural killer cells and your helper cells, which are really good. And then also good helper cell can also help you know that your antigen presenting cell can help make antibodies more efficiently. So you’re also going to have better TH2 immune response. So you’re going to make antibodies to whatever that infection is, those tend to come a little bit later in the game, but good signaling to make your antibodies is super helpful as well. I would also say as a couple other studies here that we’re talking about different things, so we have a reduce in our MMP 9 concentrations, we have a reduction in Brady Keinen storm, and our original reduction in our cytokine storm. So basically, we have a lot of inflammatory molecules that get produced, right, Brady keinen cytokines interleukins, MMP9. And basically these are inflammatory type of chemical messengers. And vitamin D can help modulate that and prevent that from being overproduced, which because the more we over produce those, the more our immune system responds, right, and we can create more cytokine storm issues because our immune system kind of is on this positive feedback loop, responding and creating more issues with these cytokines. So we can kind of modulate and bring these cytokines down a bit. And when there’s less cytokines, there’s less chance of a cytokine storm, which is basically our immune system responding. And imagine a fight between two people, you know, one person yells, the other person, that person yells back down, then we’re pushing them we’re shoving, then we’re hitting, and the violence escalates. That’s kind of what happens with the cytokine storm, with your immune system and all the different cytokines and immune chemical signals, so we can keep that modulating a bit, which is very helpful. And vitamin D plays a really important role in that.
Evan Brand: Awesome. I don’t think there’s really, really any other mechanisms that are important for this. I mean, I’m sure there’s other stuff that we could, we could pick out. But, you know, I would argue that, you know, if you’re darker skin in Canada, you’re in trouble. If you’re in New York, you’re in Michigan, you’re in Montana, you’re in Seattle, Washington, I mean, even, you know extremely fair skinned people, Irish people like me, if you’re that far north, and you’re not supplementing, I’ll bet you $1,000 you’re deficient. So it’s pretty easy. It’s pretty easy. This is so easy. But such a game changer. I wish it were the front headlines everywhere.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would at least kind of convince people here just get on vitamin D, from thanksgiving to spring. Yeah, at least do that right, at least make that investment get on vitamin D supplementation from thanksgiving to spring. Or if you want to come off the rest of the year, as long as you’re getting some sunlight, fine, but at least do that that’s gonna give you a good bump. And the fat soluble nutrients, you’ll get over those four or five months, we’ll hang around months afterwards, too, because it takes a while for that for that vitamin D level to build up. Now, what are some symptoms of vitamin D excess. So if you’re not testing and you’re just doing a lot of vitamin D, well, you may have high levels of calcium, you may notice hypercalcemia hyper calcium iya. So if you run a comprehensive metabolic panel, you may see high levels of calcium. You may also notice you’re more nauseous, you’re vomiting, you’re weak, a lot of urination, bone pain, kidney issues, calcium stones, if you’re having any of those symptoms, and you’re not really monitoring your vitamin D, you may want to just double check on that. I’ve also seen clinically that vitamin D toxicity happens less when you have other fat soluble vitamins present. So if you’re noticing that you may want to back off a bit, you may want to really focus on getting good vitamin A and good vitamin K in there, as well, just to make sure you’re not creating a fat soluble vitamin imbalance, I think is a really good kind of thing out of the gates.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s pretty easy. Oh, a couple other things I wanted to mention, this is at the top of the the paper you and I were looking at, you already mentioned like benefits for autoimmune diseases like MS. But also in regards to just helping with epigenetic switching. So you know, all this reading here, because it’s pretty simple. Vitamin D is a powerful epigenetic regulator influencing more than 2500 genes. So what that tells me is you and I seriously, we don’t even fully understand what all this benefits. I mean, we have a clue based on knowing how many genes that can positively influence but who knows, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. So how many other beneficial things are we doing? That science hasn’t even uncovered yet? Probably a ton.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% right. So when you talk about the different epigenetic signaling that can happen, that’s pretty powerful, right? Because we know that I think 800 900 It’s a bunch of different DNA, a bunch of different genes are being affected, and so on. It’s important. We don’t know all the things that could be affected. But we do know that if you get your vitamin D levels up, you don’t really have to worry about everything that you’re doing. That’s kind of the, that’s kind of the important component there, you don’t really have to worry about it, you just got to make sure that you’re doing the right thing. And you’re set. And you’re pretty much good to go.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve got my grandfather testing his now I- Well, I’ve got my grandfather, he’s been on vitamin D for several years now. And I’ve got his doctor to the point where he doesn’t question it anymore. He just runs it. So we’ve got him up, we just got his blood work back. He’s up around 60. And he’s doing 5000 units a day, and he’s hanging out around 60. It took a little while to get up there. So we did 10 for a while. And then now we’re just staying at a baseline of five a day. And he’s doing great with it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So can you repeat the dose again?
Evan Brand: Yeah, we had him at 5000 a day. For a while we went up to 10, because he was only at around a 30 or 40. So we went up to 10 for a little while. And then we backed him down. So now he’s at a five. So we went five, up to 10 for a while now he’s at a 60. So now we’re just going back down sticking with a baseline of 5000 a day with K and it’s working really well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So my kids, they get some vitamin D out of the gates every single day, which is helpful. And then we make sure they get some cod liver oil. And then they’re also getting some really good fat soluble vitamins via gi and such like that. And so out of the gates here, you know anyone that’s supplementing their kids or their family or friends, just make sure you’re getting other good fat soluble vitamins along with the vitamin D, and you’re going to be pretty darn safe out of the gates. And I would say at least try to do some kind of testing going into the winter and or coming off the winter just to make sure you’re on track.
Evan Brand: Yep, and we’ll put some links below I believe you’ve got a professional vitamin D that you use. I’ve got one that I use, there’s liquid, there are different soft gel capsule versions. So we’ll put a couple links for people if you want to check them out. Once again, this is one of the most cost effective but most health impacting supplements to be using it this time. And I think it should be in your pantry and your cabinet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thinks so too. So out of the gates, we talked about all of the immune benefits the immune modulating benefits, we talked about the natural antiviral antibacterial mechanisms. We talked about how they modulate cytokines, decreased chance of a cytokine storm. We talked about the the modulating of all these different chemical messengers. Also important benefits in regarding breathing, right, because we talked about vitamin D can help modulate high levels of angiotensin right. So we have a lot of blood pressure medications, angiotensin converting enzyme medications, right, or ARB right angiotensin receptor site blockers, vitamin D modulates angiotensin two rennen right it modulates it, and that can help with blood pressure. And blood pressure is important, right? Anytime we have respiration issues or breathing issues or blood pressure issues, modulating NAC can help. Alright, I would say the only other thing I really like adding in, especially if I’m having breathing issues outside of vitamin D is throwing either in some Bluetooth ion or some NAC and or both because that can one help reduce mucus when you have less mucus, you have better transfer of oxygen from the alveoli to the bloodstream, right? So you can take oxygen, deoxygenated blood, bring it back in get oxygen, so you just have better transfer of oxygen back into the bloodstream, which is important. And that’s going to help you help you breathe better and it’s gonna help keep your oxygen levels up. If oxygen levels dropped too much, you’re gonna be really fatigued and tired. So the only other thing I would throw in with vitamin D is maybe some NAC and or some glutathione.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said yeah, oral and or in bigger situations, more problematic situations. nebulised bluetooth ion, we had one client who had a brother who had a lot of issues, got him on the nebulizer with the Bluetooth ion and he was stellar within just a few hours. So I think that is another essential supplement to keep in your pantry.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I had a patient just last week she’ll probably listen to this podcast, but she had some breathing issues due to a winter cold, some significant breathing issues and she had seen my podcasts and video on using lipids omo or shoot using nebulised bluetooth ion and I my little nebulizer right over here. Right under there. And I use the nebulizer to fire on with some saline solution. And she said right away her ability to breathe and respirate improve right right out of the gates. Oh yeah shows that you know getting really good glutathione obviously orally into your body is low hanging fruit. But if you need to get it internally right to your lungs, there’s a lot of studies on showing how beneficial that is in helping your breathing and just helping to reduce inflammation in your lungs.
Evan Brand: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. My mother in law she had diagnosis of COPD even though she’s never smoked. We think it was due to chemical exposures probably virally. bacterial issues as well. Same thing got her on the nebulizer. She said it’s a game changer she got off of her inhaler completely after using the nebulizer so it’s pretty unreal.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So what we’ll do is we’ll put some links here we have some vitamin D products and glutathione products that we like and we personally recommend, we’ll put some links here below so if you guys are interested and you want to take a peek and you want to support the podcast, that’s one way to do so. And again we only we only recommend products that we personally use with our family, ourselves and our patients and because we’re in the thick of it rolling up our sleeves dealing with patients clinically every week it’s it’s into our it’s let’s say it’s part of our best interest to have the highest quality product so we can get the highest clinical outcome.
Evan Brand: Totally, totally well if you need help clinically as well if you need advice, we work around the world with people via FaceTime, Skype, phone etc. You can reach out to Dr. J at Justin Health. JustinHealth.com for Dr. J. Me, Evan Brand at EvanBrand.com and we’re available worldwide. So you can use the scheduling links you can book intro calls you can book new client calls, but we are here so please reach out if you need help.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Hey Evan excellent chatting with you my man. JustinHealth.com, EvanBrand.com. Sharing is caring if you guys enjoy it please send us a review we really appreciate it. JustinHealth.com/iTunes, EvanBrand.com/iTunes we’ll put a review link below. We really appreciate you guys. Alright, you guys have a phenomenal day. Take control of your health. Keep your immune system strong during the winter months. Take care y’all. Bye now.
Immunity Boost Tips to Help You Stay Healthy Over the Holidays | Podcast #298
Your immune system likely needs a holiday boost, and you are the only one who can do it. (Things like stress, foods high in saturated fat, alcohol, and skipping exercise can all weaken this key part of the body that helps fight off infection and keep you healthy.) Let’s hear from Dr. J and Evan to help you put yourself at the top of your holiday checklist and give yourself this gift of health.
Check out this podcast!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
2:28 Vitamins, Nutritional Mushrooms
11:31 Blended Formulas, Supreme, Monolaurin
21:07 Essential Oils, Nebulizers
Evan Brand: And here, this is a time of the year where hopefully everybody’s getting together and having a good time. And we had some questions about immunity and what people should be doing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, they’re all valid, valid questions. I mean, this is the time a year right, vitamin D level starts to drop. Usually, we got more viruses out there floating around all different kinds, we have obviously lower vitamin D as well, because the angle of the Sun is dropping a bit due to winter. And then obviously, more sugar consumption, more treats, more candy, more sweets, from Thanksgiving, and Christmas, etc. So all those things are going to have a major effect compromising the immune system, plus people get their end of the year deadlines with work. So a lot of emotional stress, buying gifts, all the family obligations. So all of these stressors summit and could have a major effect on compromising your immune system. So our goal today is kind of to talk about all these things and different strategies that you can work on.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, those old classic Christmas songs, they’ll say, this is the most wonderful time of the year. But in general, most people I would argue, are more stressed. And they’re not as happy this time of the year, which is kind of sad, it really should be a happy time. And so I think first I want to dive into the impact of stress and the immune system, if I may, and want to talk about the influence of stress, whether that’s related to sleep, blood, sugar, emotional, whatever, that is really going to impact a lot of things. But most importantly, it’s going to affect your immunity. And so we know, we’ve seen countless cases where people are going to go from a 40 Hour Workweek and they go 5060 hours, we work with a lot of attorneys, CEOs, we work with executives, we work with teachers, we work with real estate agents, and we always see there’s this kind of a, I call it like the hustle effect where someone will go go real hard, like you said, kind of the end of the quarter sales thing, you know, they really got to get their numbers, or we got to finish this before the semester ends if they’re like a college professor, and then all of a sudden they have a crash from it. Now, if we can kind of come in with some strategic adaptogenic herbs, those can be helpful for the immune system as well. So I think the easiest one, just right out of the gate is going to be Reishi or Reishi. Mushroom, I think that’s going to be your best adaptogen that I would argue has some good stress and blunting effects. But it’s going to be great for boosting up your natural killer cells, which are going to be really important for any type of illness that you may be exposed to.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So of course, like you kind of hit you kind of highlighted a couple things off the bat here, just all of the immune stress due to the holidays, all of the obligations, all of the food stressors. So I mean, of course, the first thing I think we can kind of look at is alright, don’t compromise on sleep, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. And then make sure your diet is at least reasonably well. And I kind of tell my patients, if you know you’re going to be eating a whole bunch of treats or some not so nice food, try to always find a good replacement, you know, try to find something that’s going to be more healthier on the on the sugar side on the dessert side on the treat side. So you have a healthier substitute, especially if you have kids, right? We know once your kids get sick, they tend to be like the little petri dish that carries viruses and bacteria throughout the family. Right. So you want to keep your kids healthy. So kids don’t know any different. Just try to choose a healthier cheat. So I’ll tell you what we’re doing for the holidays, I went to a local trophy, true food kitchen and we got some of their squash pies. And we get we’re getting them for some of the holiday dessert. So they’re going to be a healthier kind of paleo version, cassava type of cross lower sugar but clean ingredients. Now we also use a couple other pecan pie and pumpkin pies that are just really clean ingredients, very little added sugar. And then we try to make a lot of our sides are going to be paleo, right so good clean, heirloom, pasture fed Turkey, organic mashed potatoes, good quality kerrygold butter, like not too much on the carbohydrate side. And we know all that glucose, all that carbohydrate, right is going to convert to glucose in our bloodstream. And glucose tends to have a similar molecular structure as vitamin C so it can bind into that vitamin C receptor site and it can negatively impact our immune system can also abnormally affect cortisol. So if you can get your glucose levels and your glycaemia under control that has a huge impact on vitamin C and your immune system so first strategy is kind of look at the desserts in the in the treats that you’re going to have around for the family and just try to find a healthier substitute for all the core ones and try to look at it as you know 80-20 90-10 in regards to kind of you being on point versus you being off point.
Evan Brand: Yep, yep, good point and then beverages I mean, we do a lot of herbal teas I’m always just brewing some some tea so I think if you have somebody who’s not really entity or if you’re just not a tea person look at something like a hibiscus tea with a little bit of monkfruit or stevia I mean that’s delicious. You won’t know and your your your friends and family they’re not going to know if it’s not like a juice. I mean, some of the hibiscus blends I grew up I mean it almost tastes like juice. I mean the kids just absolutely love it. Even my 18 month old Drink hibiscus tea. So I think something like that would be smart, and just keeping you away from all the corn syrup. I mean, it’s crazy how, you know, you still look at the the table and it looks like we’re still in 1990 you’ll see the the coke and the Diet Coke and the Pepsi and the whatever it’s like, No, we don’t want that. That’s there’s definitely, definitely an impact on sleep, stress, blood sugar, sugar, it’s all connected. So it’s really easy to derail yourself, but it’s so easy to dial it in. So what I would be doing, I would be doing a gram a day of some reishi mushroom, I would be doing a gram a day of some quarter steps mushroom, which is going to be great for energy production, but also just as kind of an adrenal adaptogen. And then with some of the diet tweaks you’re mentioning, and going to bed, I mean, that’s the simple thing. Yeah, to be off to a good start.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s, that’s a big one. So I mean, I just say get the food right, keep the glucose under control. The next thing on top of that is you know, low hanging fruit is going to be things like vitamin D, vitamin D, for dog, vitamin C, for cat, these are all going to be super helpful things. Vitamin D has a major effect on modulating the immune system, right th one th two it affects the T regulatory cells, which can modulate your immune response. Also, vitamin D produces this antibacterial peptide called cathelicidin. And that can have a awesome impact on bacteria that you’re exposed to. So vitamin D is great vitamin C, like we chatted about, it’s wonderful. You can always do things like glutathione. Or if you want to save a little money, some n acetylcysteine. And that can have an effect on glutathione is wonderful at modulating the immune system as well. Especially NAC is very helpful for mucus production and post nasal drip stuff. And which can help with a lot of cough stuff as well. So and acetyl, cysteine and glutathione is wonderful. I’m taking some reishi mushroom here, right now, Reishi has a couple of compounds in there, it’s got the one three Beta Glucan in there, it’s got the various polysaccharides, it’s got things in there called triterpenes. And trader beans actually deactivate virus replication. And so it’s very nice because it can one enhance your immune system, your th one immune system, which is kind of the natural killer cell immune response. But it can also decrease virus replication. And so a virus works by getting into your cells, and they replicate things like zinc, decreased virus replication, things like glutathione, decrease it, and acetylcysteine decreases it. So these are all powerful nutrients that you can use to Reishi, the terpenes decrease it. So if you can do things that naturally decrease that replication, it gives your immune system a huge advantage.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s wonderful. And then with the vitamin D, I believe you and I have access to like an at home professional finger spot prick blood test, where you could check and confirm your levels of vitamin D. However, in most cases, we’re going to be running comprehensive blood panels on people. So if you’re listening, and you’re like, well, I don’t really know where I’m at, or what I should be doing dosing wise. In general, fall, winter time, to anywhere up up to six, maybe 8000, I use of d3 Plus, we have professional formulas we’re using where they have a little bit of K one and K two added as well. And then you could just confirm after two to three months of supplementation with your blood you want to be I would say somewhere 60 to 80, I think is smart, but at least a minimum of 30. I can’t tell you how many people we’ve seen initially where their vitamin D is in the single digits or in the low 20s. That’s a very, very common spot to be with that. I mean, look at people, they don’t spend much time outside anymore. And they’re, they’re covering too much of their skin. And now as you mentioned, this time of the year, when we’re talking in late November, you’ve got the angle of the sun, where if you’re farther north than basically Atlanta, Georgia, it’s almost impossible to get any vitamin D, except for maybe a couple of hours in the middle of the day, you know, but once we get into the deep winter, just the angle of the sun, you just can’t do it unless you’re in like South Florida, basically, South Texas.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Now, vitamin D kind of a good rule of thumb is you can take 1000 views per 25 pounds of body weight and then retest usually within one to two months. If you know you’re low out of the gates, I typically recommend doing whatever one 1000 iu per pound or 1000. I used for 25 pounds of body weight times two. So if you’re like 200 pounds, right, that’s going to be typically 8000 I use times two so like 16 to 20,000 I use for a month and then and then bring it back down to the general recommendation of like that five to 8000 right, you know, layer and again after that first month, you may want to retest that way you can kind of get your levels up fast tests, make sure you’re good. Make sure you’re not over 100 or so. Again, vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so it accumulates over time, but when you pull it out, it also drops slowly over time. It’s not like a B vitamin or vitamin C. That’s water soluble It’s a fat fighter Wednesday. So while the kind of it can increase pretty fast, but then takes a while to decrease it, so sometimes getting it up to 100 or so, and then kind of pulling back a lot, even if the level that you’re at may not be enough to keep it there, you may be at 100 or so in December, and then the time March hits, you’re like at 70. That’s cool, too, because then the springs coming back, and then you’re going to be getting more sunlight. So that works, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s good advice. And then vitamin C. I mean, it really depends on where you’re at with your bowels. I mean, we use a lot of different blends of vitamin C, which kind of helped move the bowels too. So generally, I’m going to be two to three grams a day, I don’t see any issue with that dosing, sometimes we’ll go a little higher. And sometimes we’re at a gram a day. So I think I’d say one to three grams, on average would be about right for for vitamin C, and we’re going to do a mixed ascorbate, if possible. So we’re trying to avoid using just straight ascorbic acid, we find that, especially just that by itself, it doesn’t do much, we really like to see some of the citrus bioflavonoids in there, the course attend the route. And those are the things we use. So if you go to, I don’t know, Walgreens or just generic store and get vitamin C, probably just ascorbic acid by itself, probably not going to absorb much. And so we’ve tested thousands of people via urine organic acids testing, and we always see low vitamin C, it’s a very, very common occurrence. And so I would argue, a mixed ascorbate, like a professional formula that we carry is going to be much, much better. Exactly. So you like the ascorbate. And that’s the one that’s reduced. Correct. I like to do the mixed one. So like a sodium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate. Those three together work awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, like that. That makes a lot of sense. That’s cool. We talked about vitamin C, we talked about some medicinal mushrooms, I have a blend blended formula called immuno boost. And that is a really good one because that’s actually you know, Supreme, and that has some really, really good nutrients in there that are going to be amazingly helpful. And that’s going to have like akinesia in there to net akinesia, it’s going to have some astragulus, which are really good for modulating the immune system, they’ll have some mushrooms in there. So we’ll have some Reishi, it’ll have some pataky, it’ll have some cortiseps in there. Also some monolaurin monolaurin. Excellent, because that’s a very helpful at decreasing virus replication. monolaurin can kind of come in there and it can digest the virus envelope. And the virus envelope is like a cloaking device the virus uses to hide from the immune system. So as soon as the immune system can tag the virus, it’s easier for the body to now go after that virus and destroy it. And so by decreasing that virus envelope, its ability to hide it monolaurin can be used in a very helpful way to expose that to the immune system.
Yeah, I love monolaurin. We both got animals. I hear my dog barking, I hear your cat meowing. It’s like the farm life over here, isn’t it? Yeah, no, totally. Absolutely. So we hit on the sleep, we hit the stress, we hit the mushrooms, we hit the vitamins. You know, I think just a good methylated multi is good. I manufacture one called True multi I believe you manufacture a professional multi as well. Just getting a lot of the bees, bees and Bravo are going to be important because with the stress of whether it’s just your day to day life, your work stress, the emotional stress, whatever is going on with you, you’re going to burn through your bees pretty quick. We’re going to measure those via urine. But your average person, if you’re just someone listening, you’re not actually running organic acids testing to confirm this, just trust us we’ve seen thousands of cases, I’ll tell you a B vitamins are going to burn up quick. So it’s okay to supplement those. And your pee may go highlighter yellow for a little bit. That doesn’t mean you’re wasting your money, you’re just going to pee out the excess and then your body’s going to get calibrated. And you should just have no relatively normal urine. It may always be a little more yellow with the bees. But that’s not an issue. And that, like I said, doesn’t mean you’re wasting your money.
Yes, 100%. So we talked about vitamin D, we talked about the Reishi. We talked about glutathione vitamin D as in dog, I talked about monolaurin and how that kind of helps digest and break down the viral envelope. Let’s talk about astragalus or akinesia or golden seal. These are wonderful herbs that have amazing immuno modulating effects. So I like astragalus as well. It can do a couple of things, they can decrease virus replication. Usually these herbs do kind of they have like two major mechanisms, they enhance the immune system, usually a combination of th one th two tends to support more th one but they also can help the th two side and where they make where they actually make antibodies. So you can help the natural killer side th one or you can help the antibody production side. Usually antibody production side comes in a little bit later in the game. So if you want to avoid getting sick, it’s going to make a bigger bigger difference if you’re if you’re enhancing the th one because that’s kind of the faster acting immune response. Now longer term supporting th two is very helpful because you can have what’s called cross reactive immunity. So your th one immune system may have seen previous viruses in the environment. And it can mobilize antibodies faster even though those antibodies may not already be there, you may be able to mobilize those antibodies faster because the th one immune system has seen similar viruses in the past. So you may get a faster mobilization of these different antibodies. And so yes, in my product is the amino supreme one and a couple of the ingredients, we have the akinesia in that one and the astragulus, which is wonderful. Also andrographis, very similar. Goldenseal, very similar monolaurin, we talked about monolaurin the different medicinal mushrooms, corticeps, shitake, mytaki, Reishi, these have effects on supporting the th one and also the triterpenes help deactivate the virus, right. So what does that mean? virus has to replicate to start creating symptoms, right. And if the virus cannot replicate, you deactivate the replication process. Now, not a big deal, your body can keep it under wraps. And then of course, things like zinc, are going to help with virus replication. So I’ll put a link down below to my product. Um, you know, Supreme, I know you have one similar to Evan, will make sure that’s down below. And these are things that we clinically use with our patients that work really, really, really well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, berberine is a good one, too. I mean, there’s a lot of papers on anti influence activity of berberine. And viral clip, reducing viral replication, using berberine. So for those listening, if you’re doing any kind of anti microbial protocol with us, a lot of times we’re using blends, like in particular one that I have called microbiome support. Number one, I use that a lot for gut infection, so any kind of bacterial overgrowth issues, but guess what, the cool thing about herbs, unlike drugs is you have, you’re killing multiple birds with the same stone. So we could be coming in with the berberine addressing the bacterial overgrowth, but then we’re also reducing viral replication. So I think that’s a great one berberine in isolation would be fine. But something like the microbiome support as a broad spectrum. You know, that’d be smart, too. And for your gut, I’ve got some dgl in that product. So that’s going to be giving you a little bit of gut healing, if you’re eating some stuff that you may be irritating your gut by, you know, that’d be a good insurance policy. And then what about enzymes? Should we hit on enzymes at all?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I mean, you can do systemic enzymes, which can be helpful for just kind of breaking down viral envelope as well or helping with stagnant you know, coagulation, right? If you have increased coagulation, a lot of clotting, poor blood flow. Enzymes can be helpful for that perspective. Also, maybe with biofilms right resistant bacteria have biofilms. What other kind of what were you thinking of em enzymes for in regards to supporting the immune system out?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I was I was thinking like, there’s a couple that we use, like there’s [inaudible]. There’s lumbered open-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -about it from a biofilm perspective, or quagga bility thing? How are you thinking about it?
Evan Brand: Yeah, good question. Probably the biofilm piece because I’ve had a lot of people with resistant infections where will come in with a biofilm support, and then that kind of gets them over the hump. So Lately, I’ve been using a lot of different ones. Beyond balance has done a great job making some particular biofilm products, you have to use us a professional to order it for you. But we’ve done we’ve done good with those. And then there are some other professional companies I’ve been personally experimenting with some lambro kinase. And that’s a much much stronger than something like a sarapeptidase and I’ve noticed a big increase in blood flow, like my hands are much much warmer using lambro kinase. So I know it’s doing something from a circulatory perspective. And I would argue that when you’re taking all these herbs and mushrooms, if you have good blood flow, good circulation, that’s going to deliver the nutrients everywhere.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the key. So when you get really inflamed, usually there’s a lot of poor coagulation, a lot of poor circulation, there’s increased coagulation, right? coagulation, when the platelets kind of stick together and they kind of clot and you get more fibrinogen hanging out right then more fibrin or fibrinogen, because he goes fibrinogen to fibrin, so fibrin, or like the clot, so to speak. The more fibrinogen fibrin you have the more clots you have the decreased blood flow you’re going to have. So a hallmark of inflammation is just a lot more sticky cells. And so if you can make those cells a lot more smooth and less sticky, you do that with a good anti inflammatory paleo template. You do that by keeping your blood sugar down. You do that by keeping inflammation down from grains and other inflammatory foods, hydrating adequate good fats like fish oil, right. Evan mentioned the enzymes also help also ginger ginger is amazing. Ginger actually has antiviral qualities. Go into PubMed, type in ginger or zinjibber, which is I think the technical term Zinjibber, and you’ll see all kinds of studies on inflammation reduction, you’ll see viral particle replication or viral particle adhesion, part of how viruses everywhere they have to stick to a cell receptor site to stick to it. And if that’s removed, Iris can’t stick to it as well right Were you able to flush it off with ginger are good antimicrobials are biofilms. All that can really, really help the virus from causing problems it can really prevent it from causing problems so gingers great good anti viral, helps decrease viruses from sticking to the receptor sites also is very anti inflammatory, supports good healthy digestion and motility as well and can really help with irritation in the throat so like coughing and things like that. Ginger has a natural Tustin quality to it right custom meaning it kind of helps with the coughing and so does you know, decreasing the mucus with like a good n acetylcysteine. And some good really good sinus flushes with xylitol and bicarb. And minerals can also decrease any bacteria or fungus junk up in the nose or even going down the throat via a post nasal drip issue.
Evan Brand: Love it. Love it. Yeah, gingers amazing. I mean, we talked about it. You see it at the grocery store. You look at it, you’re like, is ginger really that special? Yeah, it really is. I actually had a double bag of ginger yesterday with a little bit of raw honey and it was absolutely just so delicious. So therapeutic.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, anything else you wanted to highlight off the bat, I mean, a couple things you can do. There’s some good essential oils that are out there that you can kind of drip into your water and just kind of get a homeopathic dose in your water throughout the day. It’s helpful. I know there’s a couple brands doterra has one called ’On Guard’. And then I think Young Living has one called ‘Thieves’. You know the common theme and a lot of these usually some kind of clove or cinnamon or some kind of like an orange peel s kind of thing. And these are very antimicrobial, very immune supporting and you can always kind of put a low dose in if you have a little throat issue going on. You can always kind of gargle with it too. Or if you’re doing some oil pulling, you know, put a couple of drops in the oil in your mouth and kind of swish that around and give it five or 10 minutes and they can kind of hit the back of your throat and clean out any nasty bacteria or biofilms that are hanging way back in your throat can be very helpful. Just make sure you spit it out afterwards.
Evan Brand: I think diffusing would be smart too, right, why not? You could defuse put some of the oils into the air Just be aware of your pets. I don’t remember what particular oils that were but I did have a client who was getting super into the oils and she was diffusing something and her dog got super lethargic had to take the dog to the emergency vet. I can’t remember so just do a little research essential oil dogs diffuser, there was a couple of stories about you know particular one so don’t go too crazy pumping your whole house full of it and making your dog pass out or something like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yeah, that makes sense. That’s smart. The only other thing I would say besides the essential oil I think we Oh, I think we could also talk about diffuse including ion there are some really good reduced kind of soluble glutathione compounds out there. I’ve one called by third naturals is really good. I’ll put a link down below if you guys want to see I think you have a link as well to it.
Evan Brand: You mean, nebulize? You said diffuse you mean? nebulize?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, I meant Yeah, well, kind of the same thing. But yeah, in general, we basically a diffuser is kind of for the systemic environment. a nebulizer is something like this, that you put in devices device like this, don’t you love that is that i mean is that nebulizer not the best one I’m telling ya, man, it’s great. I gotta clean I gotta clean it out a little bit. But you have the battery here you have the facemask here, you just connect it in like this. Yeah, the one he’s showing for people listening on audio, this is a one by Philips, it’s called inspire in a spire. And then you basically just take the five milliliters of a salient solution, you put right in the top here, and you add your 200 milligram glutathione reduced. And it’s it’s you can’t do it for any glow to find on the one that we’re talking about. It’s by a company called Therm Naturals, we’ll put the link below. And that is a glutathione that’s reduced, that’s mixed with sodium bicarb. So then when you add the saline solution to it, it actually becomes soluble. It’s just total it diffuses into the water 100%. And then you close the cap attached to the battery pack. And then you can do a five minute session or so breathing right in. And that’s helpful. If you have active lung issues, it may not be necessary. If you are already are in good shape, you may just be able to take some oral glutathione or oral NAC. But if you start to have active issues, it can be helpful because you can really increase the saturation right into the lung area to the alveoli. And right into that respiratory tree.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve used it with several clients who’ve had lung issues. And it’s been it’s been great COPD and other issues. It’s been wonderful. So it’s a great, great tool to have, like you said, you probably don’t need it if you’re super healthy. But if you got some going on, you may want that out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s active. And you may want to even look at it using it for a really good silver as well. You could do a silver maybe 10 pm or less on there. It’s very controversial. So kind of do a little research on that. I don’t just recommend that because a lot of conventional doctors don’t like it. But if you’re doing a silver that’s very, very small. It can be helpful if you have an active viral infection in the lungs. But But do your homework on that first, because you don’t want to be nebulizing silver that is a large molecule sighs we want to make sure it can move to the sell adequately.
Evan Brand: Yep. Yep. Good advice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, you triend nebulizing silver by the way?
Evan Brand: I’ve done it, I haven’t, I wouldn’t say I would, I would notice a ton from it, you know, it’s not one of those things where it’s like, whoa, I feel incredible. But I’ve done it, I’ve mixed it. I’ve done the glutathione on silver combo, you know, but I wasn’t in too bad of shape. So I, you know, I can’t say that silver was necessarily a magic remedy for me or not, but I have done the silver up the nose. And I do believe that has helped as well for some of the sinus colonization that can happen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You can do silver up the nose, you can also do silver orally, you know, any of the side effects that you see about silver, like the argyria turning blue, that has to do with very large silver molecules and usually kind of a homebrew. If you’re dealing with a high quality silver brand made by like, you know, a tier one supplement company like the one that I make in my GI33 or like a sovereign silver or like some kind of a silver soul or some kind of a nano silver. That particular is very, very small, and your body’s gonna have no problem excluding it. It’s a very, very large silver molecules that are going to be problematic.
Evan Brand: Yep. Yep. Well said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else Evan?
Evan Brand: I don’t think so. If people need help clinically, please reach out. We’re available worldwide if you want to get a hold of Dr. J. JustinHealth.com, worldwide consult. So even if you just need a call, hey, I need help. I’m concerned I need help to boost myself up. What do I do? You know, we’re here for that. But we love helping people get to the bottom of their issues, using functional lab testing to find and fix the root causes of your issue. So rather than coming in and doing the spot treatment, have a little bit of this a little bit of that. The reality is, hey, here’s what’s going on under the hood, this is what’s putting you at a disadvantage. So we’re going to help fix you. So JustinHealth.com. And for me, Evan Brand, EvanBrand.com and we’ll be back. So stay tuned.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Put your comments down below everyone. We really appreciate it comments below, give us a like give us a thumbs up. And if you want to dive in deeper, we’ll put the links for you guys to make it accessible. Hope you guys have an amazing holiday season coming up. We’ll be in touch. Take care y’all. Bye now.
Evan Brand: Take care.
Coronavirus and Low Vitamin D Levels – Is There An Increased Risk | Podcast #286
How’s it going, everyone? In today’s podcast, Dr. J is looking at how we can help quench that inflammation and how to address low Vitamin D levels knowing that the Coronavirus is causing a lot of inflammation in the lungs. Dr. J is honing in on antioxidants, Vitamin C, glutathione (which will help with electrolytes), and Vitamin D as an immunomodulator (which gives us a better, more intelligent immune response). And what lowers our Vitamin D levels? Lack of sunlight is a big one. If you’ve been indoors almost 24/7, you’re probably not getting enough Vitamin D and this is crucial for physical and mental health. The Coronavirus cannot survive outside in direct sunlight with at least 40% humidity for more than a minute, so going out into your own backyard or walking along the sidewalk while keeping six feet away from any passerbys won’t hurt you, it’ll help you get in some Vitamin D, get some fresh air into those lungs, increase your physical movement, and more!
Dr. J and Dr. Evan Brand also look at Coronavirus case fatality by age, lending us more perspective to help lessen stress. Still, Dr. J encourages you to try and get in the foundational nutrients and minerals to strengthen your immune system: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D (5000 IUs), glutathione or NaC, and Zinc (30-50mg/day).
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
5:15 Why we need to go outside
07:21 Age brackets of coronavirus cases
10:43 Analyzing online data and stats
17:42 Vitamin D correlation
30:56 Vitamin C levels given to coronavirus patients
39:11 About the coronavirus vaccine
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here really happy to be back. We got a fabulous podcast on deck for you today. We’ll be chatting about the correlation and potential causation between low vitamin D and COVID-19/coronavirus infection and symptoms. Evan, how are we doing today, man?
Evan Brand: Doing very well. We got off of this topic for a couple of weeks to go back to some other regular stuff but considering this is still going on—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: There are still everybody on the planet wearing masks everywhere they go and places are still shut down and a lady in Dallas is getting put in jail for trying to open her salon to feed her kids. I felt that it was important for us to discuss some of these things that are coming out in the literature. Things that should be the headlines but they are not the headlines because they don’t involve death directly and they are free mostly or very cheap to implement like vitamin C and vitamin D. So why don’t we go straight into this one paper that you had just sent me over, the one that was titled, “Can Early and High Intravenous Dose of vitamin C Prevent and Treat Coronavirus?” from Dr. Chang because this is pretty, pretty awesome.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let me set table for everyone here first. Okay? So most of the mainstream, kinda conventional approach is to what is going on with coronavirus are very defensive measures, right? Washing your hands, wearing a mask, okay, right? Maybe some social distancing. Maybe quarantine. These are all kinda common sense, you know, defensive measures that are put in place. There aren’t really a lot of offensive measures, right? So we wanna take the time today and just look at some of the things that are in the literature now that there is some evidence out. Maybe it’s correlation. Maybe it’s causation. Again, to actually have causation you need a lot of money and studies, so that probably will never happen but we can use knowledge guided by experience to extrapolate the correlation and apply it and see how it works from n equals 1 standpoint applied in your life. So we are excited to talk about that. Some of the things that we are lining up here are in regards to vitamin D and vitamin C and some of the data on that and the mechanism really is we know inflammation is being caused especially in the lungs by these infections. We know an increase in cytokines can also be produced. Cytokines are these inflammatory chemical messengers that happen as a result of your immune system and/or the inflammation caused by the virus, and so what happens is your body needs things to kinda help quench the inflammation. So there are antioxidants. We call them redox components, right? Vitamin C is in that pathway, so is glutathione. They really help quench and they help give off electrons to deal with and neutralize inflammation, and then there are also nutrients like vitamin D that are immunomodulators. They modulate the immune system and by modulating the immune system, we can have a better, more intelligent immune response, less maybe internal cytokine production. We can also make natural antimicrobial peptides like cathelicidin and others that can really help knock down even the infection as well, because vitamin D helps modulate that Th1, Th2 immune response. So if we have a healthier immune response, it’s theoretically we can go after and deal with the infection. We know the infection rates are—I went over the data last week. A lot of anecdotal, I shouldn’t even say anecdotal, but a lot of the early antibody testing, for instance, Triumph Foods plant here up in Kansas City, I saw 353 workers tested positive for coronavirus, all 100% of them had no symptoms. They did a 3300-patient study for the jails, for the federal jails, 3300 patients had coronavirus. They tested them antibody-wise, 96% had no symptoms, alright? They did study up in Santa Barbara or LA area and they did a study up in Stanford/Santa Clara area, 50 times plus the amount of people that had the infection actually had antibodies. So we know this is not a hallmark of a, let’s say a very virulent infection, and Evan will go over the data looking at the ages. We see a lot of people that are younger are really not really coming down with it. So that’s important to note and the CDC even said from age 0-17, the flu is actually far more severe than the coronavirus on our young people.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so I wanna comment on one thing. I’ll talk about the age in a second but I just wanna point out one thing you said which is that we are finding the infection rate is 50 to 80 times greater than originally thought. Meaning when you look at all these numbers, oh, 1 new case here, 1 new case there. That’s like headline but the reality is way more people are infected than we even know like we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg just based on some of the antibody testing coming out and what we’re finding is I don’t wanna exaggerate it but based on these numbers that are saying 96% plus in these big groups, almost everybody has it or has had it and they’re already making antibodies towards it. So I wanna –
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well…
Evan Brand: Point that out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ll just say we need about 60% to get really this herd immunity level where it’s hard to pass it around. Like if every other person has antibodies for it, it becomes very difficult to pass it around. So over time, most people will get it, right? You know, you can’t—unless you’re gonna totally be in quarantine forever, which I think actually negatively impacts your immune system. It may make you more susceptible to having more symptoms and succumbing of the virus. I think even if you’re older and you have comorbidities, you should still be outside and having reasonable social distancing. Remember, the virus can’t live more than a minute in 75-degree temperature, 40% humidity, only a couple of minutes because we know UVC light kills the virus. We know that. It’s a national disinfectant. So if you are older and you have those comorbidities, you should be outside getting fresh air, you should be getting vitamin D and still keep your distance if you’re concerned, but you should still be outside. Staying inside is not healthy. They did a study up at New York City and they found 60% of people that came in with the infection actually had quarantined. So the quarantine thing is not what it is playing out to be. I think there is more risk factors in that and how it impacts your immune system just staying inside too long.
Evan Brand: Yeah, explain that. It’s like, “Okay, yeah, I was quarantined for the last month. I didn’t go anywhere but yet you still got the virus somehow” I thought quarantine was the magic remedy. You know—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I think moving—
Evan Brand: So how are these people getting it?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think moving is a big thing. I think getting fresh air, I think getting vitamin D and sunlight, I think just being outside does something. You know, we talk about it with—you mentioned in the past with forest bathing how it impacts cortisol levels and helps your immune system. I forget what’s the term for forest bathing? What’s it?
Evan Brand: Yeah, shinrin-yoku.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And it boosts your NK killer cells, too. They found that even—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: Like a 2- to 3-day camping trip in the woods boosted up the NK killer cells which are anti-cancer and many other benefit for a month. So 2 days boosted the immune system up over 50% for a month. So this age thing, you and I talked about this before but you were looking at some Italy stuff and the average age of someone who had a fatality from it was 81 years old, and so we have this picture here from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Korea Center for Disease Control and on and on and on, and long story short, when you’re looking at someone 0 to 9 years old, 0% fatality rate overall; 10 to 19 years old for most countries, 0% overall. It’s not until you really get into the 30-39-year-old, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, that you even break above 0 and then you’re getting into 0.1% in the 30-39 group, 0.3% in Spain for 40 to 49-year-olds, 50 to 59-year-old 0.4%. So still, just really tiny numbers. You don’t get in ’til the—until your 80 plus years old that you’re getting into a 13% plus fatality rate and even then, we know with Dr. Birx who came on TV and said, “Hey, all of the cases that could possibly be related are still gonna be tagged as COVID until further research and then maybe we’ll go back and adjust those numbers later.” So how many 81-year-olds are dying that just happen to have the coronavirus in their system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m not sure if you caught it over the weekend. Dr. Birx said—she was commenting about the head of the CDC. She said that there could be up to 25% incorrect on the CDC data points on the COVID-19 deaths/diagnosis. So she commented that over the weekend which is interesting. I wanna share some data here on screen just to kind of bolster the things that you’re saying. So if you guys are listening to this, you can always jump on the Youtube link as well to get some more information. So here’s the study that Evan was showing here, looking at corona case fatality rates by age. So you can see here 0-9, 10-19, 20-29, so I mean you’re at looking at very minuscule percentage points here, right? Very minuscule percentage points, 30-39 and then it starts really going up significantly once you get into 60-79 but even that, I mean, really it’s 70 and 80 is where it really goes up. You still only have a chance, you know, a 1% to 2% chance in the 60-69, right? Yeah.
Evan Brand: Well, let me point this out, too, real quick while you got that up which is that the percentages are actually gonna be lower than what is showing here because these numbers are based on confirmed cases. So confirmed cases, confirmed death. So if there’s many other people that have had it, they might not even show up here. So, if you know what I’m saying, so on their website. This is a world data website. They’re saying you can’t even take these numbers and really publicly talk about them too much because we haven’t had enough testing. So once we do get tested, let’s say we tested another hundred thousand people and put them in that pool, those death rates would be way, way, way, way lower. Those are confirmed cases and then confirmed deaths. So, basically how many other people are out there that have it haven’t gotten tested and therefore, their numbers don’t get factored in. So it makes it look worse than it even is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So here are the coronavirus deaths from last week, okay? And so how it works is this. You have the top numbers the deaths, the bottom numbers the case. So you divide the top number by the bottom number and then you get a percentage, okay? That’s how you figure out the mortality rate. So when Evan talks about this, this data here is if there are more cases than we know about, right? That makes the denominator the bottom number bigger, right? And what we’re finding is, the cases are actually getting far more bigger because of the fact the asymptomatics. The data is showing a 50X asymptomatic being present. Looking at the Stanford study, they show data there and up at the study up in Chelsea, Mass. in Boston. Study down in the UCLA area. USC did a study. So there’s about 3 to 5 different studies on this already out there. I did a video on this last Friday on my Youtube channel. We’ll put that video in the description so you can go dive into that. So the data’s there. Now, we do know here. This came from Italy. Right here, this study here. It only bolstered what we talked about so you can see it came from a government agency, Istituto Superiore di Sanità. Even though my last name is Marchegiani, I don’t really speak the best Italian. So—
Evan Brand: I had a lady—I actually had a client go, “Yeah, I like listening to you and that Italian guy.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You got it. I gotta brush up on my Italian, right?
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But in general, you can see number 1. It primarily came in 2 major areas here. Right about 60 what, 69%. It came in 2 major areas. There’s a reason why two 2 areas were hit really hard. I can go into it briefly but Lombardi is a big area where there’s a lot of textiles produced there. So a lot of Italian textiles are produced, right? China bought a lot of companies. Italian clothing companies, brand companies, and instead of making it in China, they wanted to keep the Made in Italy type of logo and branding on there, so they fly a lot of Chinese up here to these areas to work on the products in the textile industry in the mills. So part of the reason why these areas were hit so hard is there was a flow of Chinese up here to go work in the textiles. So that’s a big reason why, not to mention there is a just a lot of elderly population up there. Now, let’s look at the data. So if you go down a little bit lower. You could see the average age is a little bit over 80. About 80, 81-ish, and then when you look at the people that actually die, I mean, look you don’t really have an increase until you get in the 60s. I mean, look at that. So this is the deaths here and you can see men are actually being hit, about two-thirds are men and one-third are women, and you don’t have an increase in women until you get to up 90+. That’s probably because most of the men are already dead by then. So you can see that spread right there and then look at the diagnosis, right? So this is interesting because they break down more percent of people had what disease that died of COVID. Now, when you go down at the bottom, a number of comorbidities. Look at this, 3 or more comorbidities, 61%. That is unbelievable. So there—what’s being put, portrayed in the media is that this is an infection that could just take anyone down, right? No matter what. No, that’s not the case. Not even close. The data does not support that. Now, when we actually put reason, logic, and evidence here, there’s a lot less fear guiding people. This is a disease that’s gonna take primarily elderly people, people that have multiple comorbidities. Now is it possible that you’re gonna see a news article with someone who is 20 or 29 passing? Yeah, I mean 0.2% in China, 0.22% in Spain, 0 in Italy, right? Once you hit 30-39, then you had 0.3%. Is it possible someone from this age category could die? Yeah, it’s very possible. You don’t know what their comorbidity status is. There’s HIPAA laws in the United States so, you’re not gonna see reporters saying, “Hey, this person was a type 2 diabetic. Hey, this person eats processed food. Hey, this person whatever.” You’re not gonna get that data. So it’s easy for people to be like, “Ooh, I’m so scared. It’s attacking people that are in their 30s.” You just don’t know about that person and obviously, you don’t even know if the person they’re putting up on screen is even in the last couple of years or their most relevant decade. A lot of times they are notorious for showing younger pictures of people that have passed. That’s pretty common. So I just wanna lay out the data and just look at, you know, what these statistical norms are for these infections so people can get a perspective, and then part of the correlation and why it’s older people is number one, you have had more time to accumulate a disease because the bad habits compounded over time is what creates diseases, right? And then also, certain nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin D go down over age and we’ll look at the data in a second on that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you did good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is here.
Evan Brand: No, I’m glad you pointed out the three—the comorbidities and over 61% of the deaths and I’m glad you showed for people that are just listening, that’s okay. You’re not missing out on much. We’re just talking about the numbers here, so hopefully it makes sense. But the hysteria math versus the reality math, I really like that you put that together because once you talk about the—which really you did even put what’s coming out now. You put on here there’s 50X asymptomatic. Now, we’re seeing it could even be 80X asymptomatic but the real death rate with your 50X asymptomatic math is showing a 0.01 death rate versus if we go up to 80, I mean, it’s gonna be even smaller than 0.01 deaths.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And this is less than the flu already by the way. So the numbers are, just so you’ll understand. Hysteria math is not understanding the full breadth of the case, okay? So not understanding the full population—the extent to which people are affected across the board because the asymptomatics prevent people from being tested that have no symptoms, right?
Evan Brand: Well, can we—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They’re not gonna go to the hospital.
Evan Brand: Now, let me ask you. Let me ask you this real quick, too, based on what you said over the weekend happened. So you’re saying that the hysteria math is even gonna be cut down by 25% now, is that right? Because of what Birx was saying?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Yup, I’ll pull that article up here in a second. But that is what is showing here as well. The hysteria math may even be cut down more and there’s 2 different diagnostics codes. I’ve already talked about it in the past but the hysteria math, the diagnostics codes are U07.1, U07.2. Let me pull this up here as we chat. This will hopefully help you guys out. It will give you a little bit more info here. I’m gonna help you guys out on this, okay?
Evan Brand: And while you’re doing that, let’s talk about what the whole point of today is, so we can’t spend all day on the stats but what people really want to hear is that, well, I think we covered a lot of which one here, which is that the numbers just are not adding up to what is happening in society, with police arresting people, and you know, using helicopters, the surveillance speech, and they’ve talked about these contact tracer programs and apps to track people, and all that. Just weird 1984-style stuff. But what we’re seeing in some of these new papers here and this is more, as you mentioned, correlation. This is not necessarily low vitamin D causes blank, but we’re finding that if someone has a level of 30—30 ng, it’s gonna be ng/mL but if you get a standard vitamin D test, just look at your number, 25(OH )is what you’re gonna look at on your blood work. There’s little to no death at all occurring if the vitamin D is above 30. So if you’re vitamin D is above 30, if you get it, chances are it’s gonna be mild to moderate at most. All the major, major, major numbers of death, those had very, very, very low vitamin D. You’re talking a level of 10, a level of 20. Those are people that are ending up in real trouble. So the mean serum, 25(OH)D level in the critical cases was the lowest. The highest in the mild cases. So when I’m saying this, it sounds confusing like I’m just thinking of someone driving their car listening to this. It may sounds confusing. So I’m trying to make it as simple as possible. High vitamin D, more mild. Low vitamin D, more severe. It’s basically that simple.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And then, here’s an article by Washington Post right here. So during the task force meeting on Wednesday, heated discussion broke out between Deborah Birx from the physician administration and Robert Redfield, he is the director of the CDC. Birx and others were frustrated with the CDC’s antiquated system of tracking virus data which they worried was inflating some statistics such as mortality rate and case counts by as much as 25%, according to 4 people present for the discussion. Two senior administration officials said the discussion was not heated. So we have this 25% number that is interestingly popping up. So I just—I wanted to highlight that and then here’s some of data here briefly I wanted to highlight more than 370 workers at a pork plant in Missouri tested positive, right? We go down here and look at the data. What do they say? All of them were asymptomatic. All were asymptomatic, okay? We go here and look at the—in 4 US state prisons, nearly 3300 inmates tested positive for coronavirus, 96% without symptoms, okay? Now, let me just be clear. Asymptomatic means you develop an immune response. You develop antibodies. You are infectious for 2 weeks or so on average. The infection is no longer shedding after about 2 weeks on average. You have antibodies and now more than likely you won’t be able to get sick for years. Now, we go to the USC study, similar, similar thing here. USC study, they found that the estimate 28 to 55 times higher in the antibodies versus the confirmed cases, okay? We have a study here, Science Magazine, similar type of category here. On this thing here, this I think is looking at Germany though. I think this is up in Europe and the same thing, I had it highlighted here earlier. I will have to come back to this one.
Evan Brand: Well, I saw one thing at the top there where it said that the infection rate was 30% higher. I saw that near the top of that article. It was talking about Germany and did it say Netherlands as well? Yeah, there it goes. Survey results Netherlands, Germany, several locations in the US find that anywhere from 2 to 30% of certain populations have already been infected with it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yup, exactly. There is an actual number down here. I had it highlighted earlier but, let’s see here, 99% false positive—
Evan Brand: There’s a—are you talking about the paragraph right there at the top?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Here it is. There it is, right there. That’s more than 50 times as many viral gene test had confirmed and implies a low fatality rate. So 50 times the amount of viral—meaning there are 50 times more people that had the antibodies than the viral gene test had confirmed. That’s what I’m saying there. So 50 times more people had antibodies which showed previous infection that were actually testing positive for the infection. And then the Guardian right here, coronavirus antibody study in the California, right here in the county here at the high end, was 85 times, okay? 85 times, right there.
Evan Brand: And people are listening and they’re like, “Wait a second. What are you saying? 85 times?” That the infection rate is 85 times higher than previously thought.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For every 1 person that test positive with this PCR-DNA swab, they take the little swab, they put it to the back of your nose and hit the back of your throat, you test positive, right? So when I say 50 times, that means that there are 50 other people that never had the infection symptomatically that are testing serologically positive for it. Meaning they have an immune response showing that they got exposed to the infection. Does that make sense?
Evan Brand: It does. But when people hear that, they go, “Oh my God! Well, 50 times more people are infected, well, I need to stay away from humans ever. Don’t hug your mother for Mother’s Day.” Those were some of the headlines.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, that means that this virus is not as virulent as we thought it is. And maybe—so contagious is meaning, it is easy to spread, right? I think the virus is very contagious. It is easiness to spread. That’s the R-nought number, right? The virulence is how the strong the infection is, right? So you have like a virus like Ebola, it kills 40% of people that it comes in contact with. That’s strong virulence. Ebola, not that contagious. I think it only spread to a couple of thousand people. So usually, in kind of virus world, there tends to be a correlation with the more virulent the virus, the stronger and the more chance that it can kill you, usually the less contagious it is. Now, you have the Spanish flu of 1918, right? Why was that a big deal? Well, we didn’t have antibiotics, right? So there’s a lot of post-viral secondary pneumonia that happens that if you don’t have antibiotics then a lot of times that’s the pneumonia that kills you. Not to mention we had a second wave in 1918 because of people coming back, soldiers coming back from World War 1 in Germany that re-brought back the infection. Not to mention I don’t think we really had a lot of the good sterile things like—we didn’t really have a lot of the hygiene things kinda fully dialed in back then either, and I know there were big, huge changes when they started doing hospitals outside and getting more vitamins. That also made a huge game change there as well.
Evan Brand: Well, good point. I’m really glad that you pointed out that there is the issue of virulence versus how easy it can spread and those often get conflated together. Those 2 things get kinda fused and mended. So the media will make it appear that it is extremely virulent but it could just be low virulence, high contagion. And that’s—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Evan Brand: That doesn’t sell as many newspaper articles or ad clicks or whatever else.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. I wanted to put a couple of studies that came out recently out there. Vitamin D supplementation could possibly improve clinical outcomes of patients infected with coronavirus. Now, these are observational studies, okay? Meaning they didn’t do a clinical control. They didn’t put—they didn’t do someone in a metabolic ward, gave him a virus and then gave him vitamin D, and then did the same thing to another group and gave them the virus and no vitamin D, and randomized it. That’s like the double-blind placebo control study. That’s not this. This is observational and there’s always the healthy user bias. What’s the healthy user bias? The healthy user bias is people that take care of themselves and do the right thing and drink good water and get some sleep and move, and may also have good vitamin D, right? So then people that have good vitamin D, they may be doing a lot of other things right that keep them healthy. And so we may be seeing that in here, so it’s always possible. But in the study, I’ll just put it up here and then people always ask like, “What’s the link? What’s the link?” Right here. This is the link, okay? That’s the link right there. We’ll try to put the links in below the video as well. Let’s look at the study. Let me just go right down to the conclusion. The results suggest that an increase in serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level in the body could either improve clinical outcome or mitigate the severe critical outcomes. While a decrease in the serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level could worsen clinical outcomes. In conclusion, this study provides substantial information to clinical—to clinicians and help policymakers. Vitamin D supplementation could possibly improve clinical outcomes of patients infected with COVID-19. Further research should conduct randomized controlled trials in larger population studies to evaluate recommendations. That’s I think very powerful right there.
Evan Brand: And let me just point this was the same stuff that just a month ago people were getting flagged as fake news and videos were removed and whatever else and people were saying this early on, vitamin D, vitamin C, you and I were saying this and not us directly, but others had been told that this was like misinformation and whatever. No, I mean, it’s coming out more and more to be true and it makes total sense. We knew that from the beginning. It’s just good to have some papers to back it up now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and basically, the cut off was vitamin D status below 30 ng/mL was associated with more severe disease and mortality in the Southeast Asian study, okay? And then in general, one study gave adequate stats was 31.2. So basically, when you went above 30 or 35, things definitely improved. So levels above 34 is associated with an improvement. So that was kinda the general gist. So that’s just kinda highlighting that there and then if we can go here to this study, vitamin D level of mild and severe in elderly cases they found here most male and female subjects had 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels below 30. Also, most of the subjects with pre-existing conditions had 25-hydroxy vitamin D level below 30. So now the question here is, well, is it because they are sick and unhealthy? Now they have a harder time getting outside and getting vitamin D. So maybe the diseases are also causing them to have lower vitamin D and then the diseases themselves make them more susceptible to the infection. So these are always—these I’m just talking about like like confounding variables, things that could be affecting the situation that we’re not really factoring. So I’m just kinda spitballing, you know, off the cup with you guys. Majority of subjects classified as severe 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were below 30, 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were negatively related although clinically—clinical trials could provide more meaningful findings are the causation that 25-hydroxy D levels in COVID-19 severity. Basic healthy solutions such as vitamin D supplementation could be raised even in community levels and awareness of vitamin D benefits in fighting infections such as COVID-19 should be disseminated especially in the vulnerable elderly population. So they found it important enough that we should be raising the awareness of vitamin D in our elderly population. I think that was very, very important and powerful. You wanna comment there?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah, I just sent you a link in the chat from this New York Post story. So let’s move on from vitamin D and if you need a good vitamin D source, we do have professional-grade formulas. So you can—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: Get a hold of us, justinhealth.com or my website evanbrand.com. What we like to use is vitamin D usually around 5,000 units depending on the case and then we have professional versions that are also gonna have vitamin K1 and K2, which are very beneficial and those can help with reducing any potential blood clotting issues because there have been a couple of papers, a couple of articles coming out on people having blood coagulation problems—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: And having more severity so the K1 and K2 would help in theory thin the blood a little and reduce risk. But check out this New York Post one that—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Actually with Vitamin K though, vitamin K may actually increase the clotting. So you may want to be a little bit careful on the vitamin K. Some of the over-the-counter Naproxen is showing to be a little bit beneficial, maybe a little bit of white willow bark aspirin, baby aspirin, or maybe some natural white willow bark could be helpful or some higher dose like nattokinase enzymes. So maybe the systemic enzymes could also be very, very helpful in kinda thinning things out. So be careful with the vitamin K. Now, if you’re getting it from food, from green vegetables or ghee or butter, you’re probably okay. So I wanted to highlight that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I must have said it wrong.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else you want to say?
Evan Brand: I must have said it wrong. Yeah, no you did good. For some reason I was thinking that there was some issue with like the Coumadin and the vitamin K combo. I guess we’re thinking that the blood—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It inhibits the vitamin K.
Evan Brand: It’s gonna mess it up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s gonna mess it up. Now again, like I would never say don’t eat your green vegetables or don’t eat your ghee because I think that there’s enough nutrition and antioxidants in those compounds. Like in this study, we’ll talk about it. They talk about sulforaphane actually helping with a lot of the cytokines and that inflammation. Well, guess what? That’s what the infection is causing. So we wouldn’t ever wanna decrease the nutrients. I just think you wanna hold those nutrients stable and let your doctor, you know, know about that if they’re gonna be adding a blood thinner in there. It’s really only gonna matter if you’re doing something on the more like vitamin K inhibition side, right?
Evan Brand: Okay, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There are other ways to thin out bloods besides that.
Evan Brand: Alright, makes sense. Alright, so check out that New York Post I sent you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, let’s take a look at that.
Evan Brand: That was the Vitamin C one where basically this guy in the US, Dr. Weber, had basically looked at what was coming out of China and so he started implementing it in the US and you know, they’re talking about 23 different hospitals throughout New York.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let me get it on screen. Let me get it on screen here for everyone to see.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So this is it here, New York Post treating with Vitamin C.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and towards the bottom, he was talking about vitamin C levels in coronavirus patients dropped dramatically when they suffer sepsis and inflammatory response, so it makes all the sense in the world to try to maintain this level of it and there’s something else—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Vitamin C is administered in addition to such as the anti-malaria drug, that’s hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, versus—and various biologics and blood thinners. Yeah, it makes.
Evan Brand: And then towards the top where his headshot is, go up where his headshot is, scroll up a little bit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so right there. The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really interesting. Let me kind of dovetail on that. So this is a study, actually out of China. Medical Drug and Discovery, this is early March. Can early and high intravenous vitamin D—vitamin C prevent and treat coronavirus? So this is interesting. So they’re talking about the acute respiratory distress syndrome and they’re talking about early uses of large dose of antioxidants and they abbreviated it as VC, vitamin C, may be an effective treatment for these patients. Clinical studies also show that high doses of oral vitamin C provide certain protection against viral infection, which is great. Neither of these things have side effects, which is awesome. I mean, if you go too high on the vitamin C, you could get loose stool. You may bypass that if you’re doing intravenous. They talk about coronavirus and influenza are among the pandemic viruses that can cause lethal lung injuries, right? The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Viral infections could evoke cytokine storm that leads to lung capithelial and endothelial activation, neutrophil infiltration—that’s the white blood cells getting in there and lots of oxidative stress, right? Which create reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. What’s oxidation, everyone? That’s a loss of electron, like when you’re in doctorate school, right? You remember the saying OIL RIG, okay? Oxidation is a loss of an electron and reduction is a gain of electron. So when someone talks about oxidation, they’re talking about losing electrons and guess what? We have antioxidants. What’s an antioxidant? Anti—it’s an anti-loss of electron compound. So basically, they are donating electrons—they’re donating electrons when electrons are lost. That’s what vitamin D—that’s what vitamin C is doing. And so—so talks about it is usually accompanied by uncontrolled inflammation, oxidative injury and damage to the alveolar capillary barrier. So what happens is with the capillaries, there’s the what’s called Boyle’s law where there’s gases exchanged, right? Deoxygenated gases or deoxygenated blood is being exchanged with oxygenated blood and then it goes back up to the left atrium, back to the left ventricle and then that oxygenated blood goes, but if there’s inflammation and damage to the capillaries and the alveoli in the lungs, you’re not gonna be able to exchange oxygen. That’s why you’re seeing this oxygen drop. So increased oxidative stress is a major insult in pulmonary injury and it manifests with substantially high mortality and morbidity. Now this is interesting, they talked about in the case report 29 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia showed an increase in C-reactive protein. That’s a marker of inflammation. It’s a marker of oxidative stress and they talked about that activation of the Nrf2 signaling plays an essential role in preventing cell injury from oxidative stress. So Nrf is like this anti-aging path that people try to increase with magnesium. They increase this with curcumin. They increase it with bioflavonoids like resveratrol. They increase it with compounds like milk thistle which help actually decrease a lot of this oxidation. Alright, I’ll pause right there, Evan, so you can comment. Go ahead.
Evan Brand: No, I think you’ve hit it all but the best part of this paper is right there at the bottom of your screen there, which is showing that they’re doing—they’ve had 50 and I mean, I’m sure the numbers are much higher than now because more time has passed but that in the treatment of 50 moderate to severe cases, high-dose vitamin C was successfully used. Doses vary between 10 and 20 grams a day and there was another part of this. It may have been another paper I have but basically, it was showing that even 6 grams a day oral was enough to reduce the infection risk and/or to improve symptoms so it’s amazing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s right there. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. Yup, 100%. I think what you said—and I’m putting all the studies up on screen because I know what we’re saying may be a little bit controversial in case people are watching a lot of mainstream news that may be like, “Well, why the heck haven’t we been—have heard about this stuff?” Well, frankly it’s because certain governmental agencies they’re gonna, you know, tell the partyline in food and supplements and natural compounds really isn’t part of that which is kinda sad as this study over here showed, you know, they mentioned that vitamin D should be disseminated especially to the vulnerable population. Meaning that information should be disseminated. Research is saying it, so it’s not me saying it. Of course, that’s kinda where my bias lies because I think vitamins, especially essential nutrients your body can’t make of course should be at adequate levels. Let me go back to this study here. So the oxygenation index improved in real-time so people were actually getting better oxygen exchange. They were cured and were discharged. In fact, high-dose vitamin C has been clinically used for several decades in recent NIH expert panel, and again I’m not saying by the way, right? I’m not saying people were cured. I’m saying the study said that. So that’s not me speaking that, right? We don’t ever cure disease, right? Of course, only a drug can cure disease, right? That’s my legal disclaimer there. Alright, because of the development of the efficacious vaccines, antiviral drugs, because of the developments in these drugs, how they take more time to occur, right? 18 months for a vaccine. Vitamin C and other antioxidants are among currently available agents to mitigate COVID-19 and then the acute respiratory disease syndrome. Given the facts of the high-dose vitamin C is safe, healthcare professionals should take a close look at these opportunity. Obviously, well-designed clinical studies need to be developed so you can create the right protocols. But in general, there’s good data for this and I think this is a first-line thing that I have been saying from day 1. We look at the nutrients we need to support our immune system. What are the foundational ones? Vitamin A, cod liver oil, vitamin C, you know, your leafy green vegetables and some of your low-sugar fruit but also get it supplementally so it’s more therapeutic. Vitamin D, sunlight, some places mostly supplementation to get at that higher level, right? My goal was about 50 ng/mL on the vitamin D. So I think a good standard recommendation is 5,000 IU for every person. It gets pretty decently standard. You could go 10,000 if you’re lower and you need more of a bump and if you’re uncertain, get tested if you can. But if you don’t wanna leave the home, at least 5,000 is a good starting point as well. And then so vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and then we could use something like glutathione or an N-acetylcysteine precursor which have been shown to help with the oxidative stress and they also help decrease viral replication. Not necessarily shown with COVID but it is showing with other viruses to decrease replication. So that’s kinda like my foundational nutrient stack for anyone listening and then obviously, we can throw some zinc in there as well, 30 to 50 mg of elemental zinc per day.
Evan Brand: That’s awesome. Well, let’s wrap it up. We talked longer than I thought we would on this thing but I am glad we kinda broke down some of these papers because people need to see this stuff and once again, this is not gonna be seen in headline, you know, 6 grams of vitamin D can reduce your risk X amount of percent. That just won’t be there. It’s gonna be death toll rises. I saw one headline over the weekend, life changes as we wait for a vaccine, you know, it’s all this cure me, cure me stuff, but I’m not personally waiting for a magic cure to come. I’m implementing all these strategies we’re discussing now to reduce my risk as much as possible. So if I were to get it, you know, hopefully I’d be in that mild to possibly asymptomatic case period.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, people talk about a vaccine coming, I mean, we’ve had 2 other coronaviruses in 2002 and 2003. We have the SARS coronavirus and then 2015, we had the MERS. So there’s been a lot—there’s been a lot of time that’s passed and we still don’t have a vaccine. So people forget that. So the fact that we don’t have a vaccine for other coronaviruses, odds are there probably won’t be one for this and also, we don’t have even a vaccine for HIV. So, I’m not aware of any vaccine for an RNA-based virus. So people can correct me in the description. I’m not aware of any vaccine that is available for an RNA-based virus so the odds are looking at past history there probably won’t be one this time around but I could be wrong, right? I know they’re doing different types of vaccines that are more like protein. They are like taking a specific protein in the virus and they’re trying to make a vaccine that targets that protein but not necessarily attack the virus so they’re doing different things. I think what’s really interesting is the—is if you have a lot of people that have antibodies, let’s go do platelet therapy. Let’s go spin out the platelet. Let’s do a blood transfusion, take the antibodies out of the platelets and then give them the antibodies in an IV. I mean, I think that’s just a common sense first-line therapy along with all of the nutrients, right? That we talked about and then maybe we play around with the hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc protocol as well if we need. So I think we have some really good treatments, palliative acute treatments now where maybe a vaccine isn’t even necessary if we can get things under control and get an adequate amount of herd immunity. It may be totally moot at that point once herd immunity is in place.
Evan Brand: I saw the president talking over the weekend, people were asking like, “How can life go back to normal without a vaccine?” And he just was like, “I think is gonna go away on its own without it, so maybe we don’t need it after all.” But when you see headlines about, you know, X amount of states or X governor says that people must wear masks until a vaccine is created. What if a vaccine does never come? That means you’re gonna wear a mask for the next 5 years and what if those people choose not to get it? Do the people who choose not to get it can’t go back to the grocery store? Like what, I mean, it’s just, it’s weird. They’re not really talking about that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, how did life go back to normal after the 1918 flu? I mean, like 3 million died. Do you know in 1918, Woodrow Wilson didn’t even shut down the economy? They just kept rolling. 3 million people died. How do we go back after that? We did it. How do we go back after a million people died in the Civil War? We did it. How do we go back to life after World World 1 and World War 2 in Vietnam? We did it, you know. I mean, our country, United States is a very resilient, very resilient country. So I’m confident we can do it and I think there’ll be herd immunity in the background that will provide this extra buffer of support. We didn’t even know about antibodies. I mean, they actually were doing some antibody, you know, infusion back then in the 1918. They really didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t have the testing that we have now. So we are lightyears above and beyond a lot of this stuff and I think we even—I don’t even think we had vitamin D supplementation back then. So we are so ahead of the game. I’m feeling really confident and I’m ready for people to get back to work.
Evan Brand: Yup, I hear you. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. We are available around the world with people. So we work by sending lab tests, unless it’s blood we send you out to a lab, but for the other labs we do, you do it at your home. And so if you wanna reach out clinically, get help, boost your immune system up, if you just need to simply run some blood panels or we can look at CRP levels, and vitamin D and things like that, we are available to help facilitate that if need be. So you could reach out to Dr. J at his website, justinhealth.com. My website, evanbrand.com and we’re glad to be here for you. So take good care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, everyone. Great chatting with y’all. If you enjoy the podcast, put your comments down below. Really excited to know what you guys think, what you guys are doing, what’s working for you clinically. We appreciate you spreading the word to family and friends. Sharing is caring and if you wanna write a review as well, evanbrand.com/itunes, justinhealth.com/itunes for a review. We really appreciate it, guys. You take care. Have a good one.
Evan Brand: See you later.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. Buh-bye.
Conventional Medicine to Functional Natural Medicine | Podcast #232
Conventional medicine is a system in which medical professionals treat symptoms in diseases using medicines, or surgery. Functional medicine, on the other hand, is a treatment that focuses on optimizing the functions of the body organs, which involves holistic or alternative medicine.
Today’s podcast guest is Dr. Russell Jaffe. Dr. Jaffe is highly respected in the functional medicine industry. As a physician and scientist who aspired to be comprehensive, objective, empiric and experiential, Dr. Jaffe started his career searching for deeper understanding, wisdom, evidence, and insight in mechanisms of health.
Dr. Russell Jaffe
In this episode, we cover:
00:51 Medical Research to Functional Integrated Nutritional World
10:32 Intermittent Fasting
15:02 Keto Diet
34:15 Importance of Vitamin C
58:56 Importance of Vitamin D
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the beyond wellness radio podcast. Today we have a phenomenal guest, we have Dr. Russell Jaffe in the house. Dr. Russell is a Ph.D. MD nine years all at Boston University. One graduation lots of good knowledge there and Dr. Jaffe was really on the conventional medical side. I really want to dive in we’re gonna get his story and how he converted moreover to the functional natural integrative kind of model. Dr. Jaffe runs the perk supplement company, he also runs the company called Elisa Act which does premier testing for food allergens. Dr. Jaffe welcome to the podcast.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Thanks for having me
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, let’s just dive in. I want to hear your story and how you went into this mainstream medical research kind of world environment over to the functional kind of integrated more nutritional world. How did that happen?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well I was trained in need in academic medicine at Boston University then I matriculated to the National Institutes of Health where I was early on the appointed to the senior staff which is a bit of an indication that my science was acceptable and of course I was skeptical about anything that I didn’t learn in academic medicine in internal medicine in clinical pathology and Laboratory Medicine. In fact, when I heard that Queen Wu, an acupuncturist in Washington DC, could get results that NIH could not get. I went with great skepticism and ended up doing a seven-year apprenticeship with him
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Then I then I heard about yoga and I heard about Dr. Ramamurti Mishra an MD Ph.D. cross-trained in Banaras, wrote the textbook of yoga psychology commentary and Patanjali sutras. I went as a skeptic and I was his acolyte for five years, then I met a Cambodian Buddhist monk named Anti Dharma Aawara and I had the last 30 years of his life from 80 to 110 mostly together
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow that’s amazing
Dr. Russell Jaffe: So, I came as a skeptic but when I… but I was also curious and because I was curious, I went outside my silo I went outside my immediate peer group. Because I can tell you that when I started to bring information about traditional oriental medicine and acupuncture to the National Institutes of Health where it’s practiced today. I can tell you it was met with great indifference and crashing silence. Because these were very smart people who knew that they knew more than anybody else because they were at the NIH and I was you know with them. But I was also outside, curious, finding mentors who had answers, wisdom, traditions that I knew nothing about. You know I mean I knew from nothing. So, I had the time with Queen and with Ramamurti Mishra, Dr. Mishra and with his Cambodian Buddhist monk Anti Dharma, and yes, my world has absolutely turned around if you will. Why? Because I now advocate nature nurture and wholeness, I advocate physiology before pharmacology. I advocate eating what you can digest assimilate and eliminate without immune burden. I can tell you if you get restorative sleep and you keep your neural hormones and balance then gratitude will rise up at least in the springtime when you see the earth renewing itself. So yes, I do think that a functional, integrative, personalized, primary, proactive, predictive, personalized prevention practices is the medicine of the future, and my work is to speed the transition from sick care to health care. Because most people get sick care today, they really don’t get health care. In your clinic they get health care in my world I would like everyone to get health promotion health care preventive, proactive care. But that is a dream today, that is an aspiration. It is also a necessity because the cost of sick care is going to sink the businesses of America. We’re not going to well, let me summarize very quickly who. Uwe Reinhardt, a very famous Princeton health economist. He says, if you just look at the rise of chronic disease today and projected forward a generation or so, everyone’s gonna be in a hospital bed taking care of the person next to them. No one’s gonna be working or paying taxes that’s clearly not a vibrant productive society.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct 100%. Now I’m just curious having it’s such a, you know strong conventional background MD, Ph.D. and having to had such an open mind to pull in other modalities and other forms of natural medicine and you know you’re looking at obviously the outcome you’re looking at the effectiveness. What it’s your colleagues think cuz I mean obviously conventional medicine, the allopathic pharmaceutical surgical approach, it tends to rely on not addressing the root cause and it tends to not have a preventative nature to it. So, when you are looking at these natural forms of medicine obviously prevention kind of comes in we’re gonna be talking about predictive tests that can help us look at and assess and maybe prevent some of these things but what did your colleagues think did you feel like they were threatened? And then what was the atmosphere around with just the drug industry? You know cuz that kind of motion one direction.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well I can. I’m gonna answer your question but before I answer it, Merck Sharp & Dohme gave me their annual award one time. I got the meritorious Public Health Service Award one year; my work was featured in the New York Times at one time. So, I was not unknown or unrecognized, I got to teach every year because NIH has its own University on topics that I was interested in that I was interested in introduced.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: But to answer your question especially about people who have advanced degrees they either come out of what’s called the Decartian Reductionist Mechanistic way of thinking, in which case I will not talk to them because they won’t understand what I’m saying and it probably will be uninteresting or irritating to them. Then there are the people who come out of the Garrettian Rudolf Steiner.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Before that, there was a theorist as Hoenn half before that you can go all the way back to Mymanatis and Hippocrates. But I will mention that Hippocrates practiced on the island of Kos because the conventional doctors and Athens drove him out of town.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Because ah was for radical to their beliefs and now, he’s a father of Western medicine
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Unbelievable so they, you did get some accredited you did get some accolades but not enough to incorporate a lot of these things in mainstream medicine. So, there’s still kind of a block.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well that’s above my paygrade.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: My responsibility at the time was to do my job.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right
Dr. Russell Jaffe: To publish to communicate to inspire to inform to motivate and I’m glad to tell you that many of the people who are skeptical of my enthusiasm at the time have gone on to research in these areas and now they too have come around and an example, a very important example, but it’s just a personal face on this conversation Dr. Tony Lamas, Gervasio Lamas, he is the chairman of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami and he is on the Faculty of Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and he led the tact trial funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute NIH NHLBI he is the superb cardiologist, very conventionally trained, who now has documented the benefits of chelation therapy especially for people with diabetes. And we’re both on the rostrum today, we’re both on the program teaching other doctors. What we find to be the information that inspires us that keeps us younger and I will mention that he and I just got off the elevator just before our interview and he noticed that I had lost 65 pounds and I mentioned
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: I wasn’t going to find them again and I noticed that he had lost some weight. And so we commiserated with each other because it’s not easy to get to your lean weight but you feel so much better your restorative sleep is so much better your digestion so much better your moods are so much better. That from my point of view it’s absolutely worth doing in fact it’s an investment in my future and others have heard this I don’t know if you have, Dr. Justin, but I’m planning to be dancing at 120 and I want you and I want you to be with me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wonderful. That’s wonderful that’s excellent. Well, also you got your CCN as well so you obviously have it your conventional medical training. When did you go and start learning more about nutrition, in general?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: I actually, I actually helped found the IWCN, I was the program director for the first eight years of the certified clinical nutritionist program, I believe that I have CCN number one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow so before we dive into some of these predictive markers and I also want to you know get a sense of your background too because you also started a supplement and lab company which I think is very unique as well, but before we go into that, what would you say, give me a breakdown what’s your typical day like breakfast lunch and dinner, how do you spend your day doing a lot of research what’s that day like?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well thanks for asking. Here’s my day, I’m kind of a farmer which means I go to bed early, I get up early. I get up usually before dawn and I happen to have a wonderful mattress that I love and I stretch before I fall asleep, I stretch when I get up before I get out of bed, then I kind of check myself then I have a morning shower while the coffee is brewing and I do get organic shade-grown tea buried coffee from a wonderful guy who roasts the beans the day he sends it to you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wonderful
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And while the coffee is brewing, I take my shower and I stretch again in the shower and I go through a mental checklist to see if there’s any part of my body that really needs help today. Then the next thing I do aside from putting on some clothes usually, is I make sure I’m well hydrated and I am now following a fellow who believes that it is better, in the long run, to take almost all of your calories in just six hours.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mmm so intermittent fasting?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes, you can call this intermittent fasting. I like to think of it as intermittent digestion or…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: What is it whatever is the good side of fifth to me fasting is, I don’t want to fast.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: I have resistance of the word not in the process but I tell you that my mornings at this point now I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day but please don’t knock me out about this. That’s what I actually do and I’m going to be honest with you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: My mornings I stay hydrated I sip on coffee, I don’t put anything into my coffee there are no extra sweeteners in my home. You’re sweet enough as you are you don’t need to add sugar.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And by the middle of the day I’m beginning to feel hungry, and where am I in the middle of the day? I’m at my R&D center in Vienna Virginia which is also my home. So four days a week I get to think write meditate and then I go out in our permaculture biodynamic food forest garden, where my job is to sit and watch the pollinators pollinate and the birds eat the birds, seed. And then my other job is to pick whatever is right for dinner because we like to eat from our land. We have a biodynamic Community Supported Agriculture CSA that we belong to and once a week we get very fresh food. And yes we go to Whole Foods but we only buy things that are whole. In my home, there are very few packages. We don’t need them. There are devices that make it easy to cook things work very well very quickly, yes we have steel cut oats not rolled oats and yes we put them in water or some broth overnight so they pre swell.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: I’m trying to think what else for me I often in the evening before bed I have about a half an hour where I get in a warm tub of water that has a cup of Epsom salts and a cup of baking soda that helps detoxify and relax. When I’m in the bath five minutes I do deep abdominal breathing just slow rhythmic breathing if you want to know what abdominal breathing is like watching a baby they all know how to breathe in there happen watch most adults, they under ventilate, they hypo ventilate they have so many traumas growing up that they’re daring to move that’s right they breathe from their chest which is not where the action is it’s these little tiny air sacs called alveoli, I really am a doctor at the that you have to expand your lung so I five minutes of abdominal breathing than 15 minutes of active meditation. My friend Robert Leichtman wrote a book called Active Meditation: The Western Tradition and published around 1976, still in addition highly recommend it and anything that Bob Leichtman has ever written because most of us have days that are structured I have earned and I worked hard to get this didn’t happen overnight but I worked hard to get to the point where I had a team with people that could take care of the day-to-day and in fact it’s better for me to not even interact with that because I’m constantly fixing things that aren’t broken.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: But if they if they can’t solve a problem well then it’s mine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Four days a week yeah four days I’m a week I’m at the R&D center in the woods I get eight to ten thousand steps a day in and how do I doing that well I have a hands-free telephone and when I’m talking which I offer them, when I’m talking I’m walking.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense I have a setup here where I’m on a treadmill at my desk and when I’m sitting I have a like basically it’s called the QB and it’s put by spending on us and you can bike. So I do the same thing
Dr. Russell Jaffe: That’s wonderful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And just can just curious about protein consumption in fat consumption.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: oh well it’s, first of all, understand that the clear and the recent studies completely support what I’m going to say. The Greek Mediterranean diet is the healthiest diet the next healthiest diet is the Japanese diet. In both cases you take in lots of fresh things in joyful ways with lots of herbs and you have 60% complex carbs, 20%, of calories from fat and 20% of calories from protein now why do I say that, because if you want insulin resistance then go on a low carb high protein high-fat diet. If you want to increase your risk of atrial fibrillation and magnesium deficiency and all the consequences thereof go on a low carb high protein high-fat diet. It’s in vogue it’s called keto I even hear that South Beach is now a modified friendly keto. I don’t know what a friendly keto is. I know it keto, I know a ketoacidosis is it’s called starvation.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: You will lose weight if you if you do what Bob Atkins and others recommended for many years which is eat a lot of fat a lot of protein and zero as close to zero carbs as you have… weight but you but your bones will melt.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what’s your there’s a lot of data coming out from over at Duke University, Eric Westman, a bunch of other Doc’s on the ketogenic kind of template you know they’re modifying it anywhere between 20 or to 50 grams of net carbs typically around thirty thirty net which typically gets you like eight servings of green vegetables a day. What’s your take on that? Because there’s lots of data with less mass…
Dr. Russell Jaffe: The folks that the folks at Duke are doing good folks at Duke are doing good work there is an integrative medicine group at Duke at they’re part of. However, you can call that what you want you can call it a rose or a petunia it remains what it is it’s not ketogenic. Ketogenic means you deprive yourself of carbohydrates and you force your mitochondria cells, the battery of the cell to use fats and amino acids for energy. So what they’re saying is if you’re truly ketogenic you’re in starvation and what I said before applies now what they’re saying is we want to have a best of both, we want you to have the option of more fat and more protein. So we’re gonna cut the carbs half of what I said. So I said 60% not and I’m remember I said no added sugar so that 60% from fiber nuts and seeds and things you have to chew those are the thing and fruits and vegetables which turn out to be associated with long life and good health and depriving yourself of fresh fruits and vegetables I don’t think anyone today who really knows about the true functional nutrition literature as a fellow of the American College of Nutrition as someone who was on the National Nutrition Consortium appointed by Mildred Seelig at ACN today. I can tell you for sure that the Greek Mediterranean diet is associated with the healthiest long life and the best energetic mood stability symptom reduction from diet alone. Now it’s not it’s more than diet, of course, it’s what you eat and drink it’s what you think and but in regard to eating and drinking with respect to the folks that do they’re trying to take a very overlooked problem identify it and find a solution by splitting the difference. As someone who is in academic medicine, I can tell you I’m splitting the differences often what’s done but it rarely turns out to be very helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When you say splitting the difference do you mean just instead of consuming zero carbohydrate kind of like a carnivore diet they’re doing essentially you know six to eight servings of green vegetables keeping the net below 30. Is that will you mean by splitting the difference?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes I’m saying that the healthiest diet is 60% complex carbohydrates, 60% lots of fiber, 20% from protein, 20% from fat in which they’re very nicely…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Would you customize the carbs if you have a patient that’s coming in with a let’s just say elevation in fasting insulin let’s say greater than 10 or at 15 or a functional or a glucose tolerance that stays up high 2, 3 hours after a meal. Would you make exceptions to cut the carbs lower if you’re dealing with those patients?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: If you want to reduce hemoglobin A1c if you want to improve glucose-insulin ratio, if you want to improve Homa which we studied in our diabetes outcome study which we talked about if you want. But if you want to optimize any of those parameters as you should. You must keep the fat less than 20% of calories, and you must have at least forty to a hundred grams of unprocessed fiber in your diet daily. That means 60% from complex carbs, 20% from fat, 20% from protein. Now if you include seeds and nuts if you include seeds and nuts you get healthy oils but remember that as soon as you remove the oil from the seed or them but, the protective factors are gone and now you have something that air is the enemy now and so there are no edible oils in my house. We cook with broth, we cook with wine, we cook with juice, we cook with foods that are wet. We like wet foods we started all of our meals with something wet and warm. That Americans but it’s a makeover that adds years to life in life to years.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now you talked about 20 wouldn’t… go ahead.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No I was just trying to kind of guild that point which is I had insulin resistance when I weighed 65 pounds more than I did now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: I can tell you the last the last two hemoglobin tests on myself for 4.5% and the best outcome goal value is less than 5% and even a little bit about five and you begin losing years on the far end but losing quality of life today. It’s a bad proposition.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: We need it turns out we need a lot of fiber we also need a lot of probiotic good bugs and then we need a lot of nutrients that come from things like fruits and vegetables. Especially healthy fruits and vegetable.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: To me today the minimum is organic I prefer biodynamic and actually, I would prefer to grow it myself if I quit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s amazing. Now you talked about having the fact go higher that causes insulin resistance. What’re the mechanisms? We know fat doesn’t really have much of an insulin genic response I mean you have some with protein more with carbs. So what’s the mechanism of fat getting higher and causing more insulin and just to be clear right, we want to draw a line between you know process kind of more rancid omega-6 or more trans-fat right and then we kind of have our healthier saturated fats in the category coconut oil maybe gear butter and then, of course, we have our unsaturated avocado, olive oil, those kinds of things.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Let me jump in on that and just just to make a very important point. EVO, extra-virgin olive oil is a fraud waiting to be revealed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay let’s hear it yeah why.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yeah well why because my family I went to Tuscany at the time when you harvest olives and you bring them and overnight they grind very slowly on this grinding wheel you know this is a stone wheel and one comes out is dark green and viscous and delicious and they eat it there and they love it there and you can buy it commercially. What you buy and this is actually what happened we stayed there all night in the morning there was this mountain of spent olive mash outside the building, and this big truck from Bartoli comes by and I say what’s happening and they say, Oh hahaha Portola is going to take our spent olive mash and the first time they process it they’re gonna call it EVO.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: So it’s a fraud waiting to happen. Ghee, on the other hand, can be liquid sunshine Beatrice from hunter wrote about that many years ago but remember the ghee comes from the cow and if that was a healthy cow that’s fine. But most ghee is contaminated with the products at the cow ate including glyphosate, including lead and mercury and… I okay and and now if you want to make a fondue and you want to use some organic grapeseed oil a few drops, I will not tear it out of your hand in fact there is i feel to show you I’m not totally consistent there is a small bottle of grapeseed oil and we made fondue with it. If you tell me you have organic peanut oil and you want to do a stir-fry, I’m killing a few drops of organic peanut oil in a wok or a cast iron pan, it’s fine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s okay.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: But most of the oil should come from Whole Foods seeds and nuts. The complex carbs are what regulate a slow uptake from the gut of sugar and the minerals that are necessary to process the sugar so that you actually enhance insulin functionality by having a lot of fiber in the diet. Now let’s flip to the other side let’s slip to the other side. Assuming that you will agree with me that you’re sweet enough as you are and therefore you don’t need any added sugar.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally hear that.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Now most now most of the studies that the people have cited included sugar and complex carbs as carbs. Sorry, that’s not fair look at the diet studies that use Whole Foods as their source of carbs. They got the best insulin resistance below 20% of fat from calorie… fat as source of calories, less than 20% of calories from that. Now, why is that? It turns out the more fat you take the more rigid are the membranes of your cells and it’s a little complicated biochemistry but trust me I’m not making this up. When the cell membrane itself this is the wrapper around the cell this is a very important packaging but very dynamic of thing membrane when that membrane becomes more rigid the fit between insulin and the insulin receptor becomes less efficient, and you develop insulin resistance but since your…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Doesn’t that membrane get more rigid more with trans-fats though then or like vs higher quality omega 3s or higher quality saturated there’s no difference in that? mm-hmm.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well let’s go back to the trans-fat comment. Kumar Kumaroh and Marianne showed in the late 70s early 80s, trans fats should not be part of the human diet, trans-fats should be out of your diet it’s not hard today because even the companies that used to advocate for them agree the trans fats bad bad bad yes trans fats do make rigid membranes but they’re bad and suggestible. Now stearic acid saturated fats are more rigid unsaturated fats are more flexible and fluid. You want to have more EPA DHA as omega-3, but you want it from a source that was distilled under nitrogen to remove the toxic metals and to avoid air oxidation damage of the delicate EPA DHA then you need enough magnesium in your body because magnesium acts as an antioxidant to protect the EPS, the unsaturated fats when they’re in trend.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting, now when you talk about some of these fish oils how much does it matter if it’s a triglyceride or an ethyl ester what’s your opinion on that?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: In my opinion on that is that there are two points of view, one advocated by company a and the other advocated by company b. There are virtues to both what is critical from my point of view is that the distillation of the oil whether it be a triglyceride an ethyl ester or not, that the distillation be under nitrogen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nitrogen is important is that preventive grantee oxygenation doesn’t happen essentially.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: To prevent what will be irreversible oxidative damage to the delicate essential fats that you are interested in it yes so you must have still under nitrogen and then you want to take the traction that has the most EPA DHA of course, and now you want to micellize that in a soft jell because that will protect it until you swallow it and the micellized little droplets get into the body easier because it’s not easy to take up either the triglyceride or the ethyl ester you need some bile you need a gall bladder that works and as I started to say what’s really important is the quality of the EPA DHA because you can make a case on both sides, which means we really don’t know the answer yet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And of course like you know you run a supplement company so we, you’re going out and you’re trying to find a person that to buy raw material offered there are obviously different tiers right you can go and buy cheaper stuff like you would maybe the equivalent of a burger at your local McDonald’s or you can choose the high quality grass-fed organic beef at your local farmer correct, so you’ve different options on your keys…
Dr. Russell Jaffe: The reason that Park Integrative Health the reason that Park was founded in 1987 was because I wanted to use pharmaceutical quality and above raw materials all the time. And I was told by people who knew better that our cost of goods was going to be so high than I would have a hobby and not a business. So I did something that some people do which is I took the marketing budget and I put it into the cost of goods I put it into the quality of the bottom the quality of our service and we’ve grown quite a nice business, thank you, over service without having more than a few dollars for marketing. Because you’ll never see a sports celebrity endorsing a Park product but if you take a Park product, you’ll feel the difference because if you use the higher quality raw materials and you put them together so that it’s only active ingredients all the time which is something we pioneered. Now you have a safer, more effective form that when you study it as we have in community-based outcome studies delivers feel the difference results and as you know we have an unconditional guarantee because we trust people to feel the difference that Park approach that is use the highest quality and monitor it very carefully, because people will promise the moon and deliver modified dog poop.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Make sense. And then with your a fish oil what’s your opinion do you like the triglyceride, or the ethyl does it matter and then what’s the difference is to kind of put it in in layman’s terms.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well right see the difference is that eventually these delicate fats are going to get into a membrane as part of a triglyceride, and a triglyceride is three carbons, that’s the backbone and coming off of each of those carbons is a long chain called a fatty acid. Now the two position there’s one two three the middle position the tube position of the triglyceride is the source for your cytokines thromboxanes and prostaglandins it’s really important so if you put a racemic acid in there or you put it on mega six fatty acids in there you’ve got a completely different response than if you put in EPA or a DHA in there. So in that sense, you would think the triglycerides are better. But it turns out that the body is going to deconstruct and reconstruct a triglyceride so that’s not so critical and the ethyl ester, not the methyl ester ever the ethyl ester is easily taken up it has better bioavailability so if you say to me this is a person with a perfectly healthy gallbladder, across the coin both of them are okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: If your bile from your gallbladder is limited, well then you should have the ethyl ester.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then when you’re producing the product what’s the how are you preventing the oxidation from happening outside. I’m just keeping the temperature down. Are you putting like a rosemary antioxidant, how are you keeping it stable?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well when I said, first of all, there’s a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil company.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re choosing a good quality right?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No I’m choosing way above a good quality, the best food-grade right right right so there is food grade which you can think of as floor sweet. Then there is quality grade we can think of as better than floor sweet things. Once you get up to American Chemical Society to reagent grade to pharmaceutical grade and above, now you’re at a different level. You’re dealing with different companies you do different they provide different kinds of documentation you do we do third-party pros production testing on all our products because even though we trust our suppliers verified by President Reagan used to say Rastenburg.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly yeah that makes sense.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: So what happens is the fish oil is distilled under nitrogen the middle fraction the concentrate EPA DHA is basically put into a sealed container, it then goes to the place where it’s going to be micellized into the soft gel where it is immediately and without any exposure to oxygen, put into tiny droplets that are easily taken up from your gut. And by the way, you don’t get the burping and the comeback that most officials have you can bite into this fish oil soft gel and you’ll find it very delicate because it’s not rancid.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting and then if you consume, so if you were to consume rancid omega-3s you essentially have more lipid peroxidation correct.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: You would have more lipid peroxidation and it would be a member of studies there have been several studies recently that said, oh we thought fish oils were good but they’re not really good. And if you look at them carefully these were people taking fish shows made in oxygen fish oils that were rancid and should, in my opinion, should not be consumed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: is that just robbing from your antioxidant reserves it’s sucking up more vitamin C what’s it doing in your body?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well it’s doing several levels of harm yes you’re right when you start with something that’s damaged and oxidized than the body has to use antioxidants which is protective but he has to use antioxidants in order to somehow get the oxygen off the molecule that has it. Because when you put oxygen on a molecule like a fat, it’s like putting a hand grenade on the fat. When that oxygen comes off the recoil energy is going to be so high that you’re going to break the membrane of the cell you’re going to damage the cell that’s a bad thing. And now you have a molecule that kind of fits in where an omega-3 or omega-6 should you know triglyceride in a membrane, but it doesn’t have the right shape. It’s got this big extra oxygen on. So peroxides are bad epoxides are bad anything that robs your antioxidants are bad and most people need help with their antioxidants so anything you can do to preserve to enhance the function of your antioxidants like ascorbate. Is to your benefit and anything you do that depletes your antioxidants it’s the opposite.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent and what does that do to your cell membrane? Is it making the cell membrane more inflexible?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: It’s not only making it more inflexible when the oxygen comes off the recoil energy is so high you actually break the membrane and very often the cell is killed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow I really appreciate your biochem background it really helps and I know you’re also famous for doing a vitamin C calibration. Can you talk about the vitamin C calibration and who can benefit from that?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Right so let’s talk about the C calibration also known as the C cleanse and the reason that we focus on a ascorbate, known as vitamin C it’s really an antioxidant does not think of it as a vitamin A vitamin is something you need a little love to activate enzyme catalyst. Albertsons Georgy pointed out that ascorbate is as important to survival as light and oxygen. When you’re that important you’re kind of really important and the end the next question has to be, well how much, how much should I take. Now Linus Pauling famously said 9 grams then he said 18 grams and I got to ask him why he said 18 grams and he said because doctors are so dumb they could only remember a number and if I say it long enough then they’ll remember and I said but doctor timing shouldn’t it be individualized he said of course but doctors aren’t smart enough for that. I think people consumers are and I think that people aren’t a functional integrative and holistic medicine are and so the C calibration the C cleanse means that every 15 minutes you take a certain amount like a gram and a half, three grams, six grams, every 15 minutes and notice I said grams, not milligrams. But of course, you use fully buffered fully reduced l-ascorbic nature’s form is l-ascorbic you want to fully reduced not the partially reduced fully reduced and by the way our source of ascorbic is fermented. It’s done by natural fermentation but under a nitrogen blanket so that during the production of the ascorbate, which is triply recrystallized under nitrogen which is it’s a challenge but it now gives you nature’s form in a concentrated way. And then we have a balance of minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc you need all of them in a proportion so if you need one gram 10 grams or a hundred grams you still get the minerals that help the ascorbate come in and help it work.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so what’s the goal how high do you go up to and then do you ramp down how does the whole process work and why should people be looking for symptom was.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well what they’re gonna do is once a week they’re gonna check their C calibration they’re gonna do it by taking the ascorbate every 15 minutes until they cleanse, until they have an enema from within, until they have a flush something so unique that until you’ve had it you don’t understand it but once you’ve had it once you know what I’m talking about. So you rapidly get toxic matter and fluid pumped into the rectum and evacuated from the tosh that’s why I meant by an enema from within. They do that once a week we do that once a week now in between you take 50 to 75 percent, so let’s say it took 10 grams to cleanse, you take between five and seven and a half grams. I recommend that people start at 50 percent and move up to 75 percent over time. You do the cleanse every week because the amount you need will likely go up over some period of time as you overcome the repair deficit that your body has accumulated for years or decades, and when you finally get to Plateau which means for four consecutive weeks your cleanse is the same amount. Now you know the amount you need on a daily basis, you’re taking three quarters of the amount to do that cleanse and you keep doing that until you get bulky or lose your stool indicating that repair has finally completed and now you do ramp down see now you check it once a week as you need less and less. And the goal is to need less than four grams, and when we checked about 4,200 people that reported their C cleanse. The people who are asymptomatic and healthy cleanse on four grams or less. They’re people who had just a few symptoms cleansed on four to ten grams the average person cleansed on ten to a hundred grams and there are people who need well over a hundred grams which is a hundred thousand milligrams to cleanse but it is safe and for it is safer for people to do this because the amount of oxidative damage, the amount of oxidative toxic material, the amount of nutrient-deficient oxidative processed foods that people are taking in the stress of high tech living has dramatically increased the amount of ascorbate that people need, ascorbate is the mother or maternal antioxidant that sacrifices herself so that all the other antioxidants can be regenerated and protected. so ascorbate is the critical one to test and the c cleanse is the way to find out how much you as individual mean.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So essentially just to kind of recap at your doing about one teaspoon of the L ascorbate reduced powder which is about 3 grams 3,000 milligrams every 15 minutes or you’re taking more of it and you’re trying to get to a place of bowel tolerance where you’re essentially you’ve saturated your bowels or saturated your vitamin C stores and now the stools start to get loose and that number may be higher in the beginning and as your vitamin C levels get more repleted, or topped off so to speak, then that threshold to move the bowels as you said drops. Is that correct?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well no let me clarify my friend Bob Cathcart introduced bowel tolerance. It has a fatal flaw. The fatal flaw of bowel tolerance is you creep up on the amount you need as opposed to the cleanse where you rapidly ramp up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you’re doing degree increments though right teaspoon 3 gram 50 minutes.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No let me say again what I said before. If you’re really healthy if you’re really healthy you use 1/2 a teaspoon which is a gram and a half.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gram and a half got it
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Right if you’re a typical person you do use a teaspoon which is 3 grams but many people there are many people who need 2 teaspoons which is 6 grams and they need it for hours and if you do 6 grams for 4 times in an hour that’s 24 grams if you do that for two hours that’s 48 grams. Most people will cleanse in that time the idea is to rapidly saturate the body with the ascorbic so that the ascorbate can energize the rectum which is really from the kidney embryologically and pump toxic matter and extra water in to the rectum and that would come whooshing out flushing out cleansing up. So yes it’s the same idea, but it’s the next generation after bowel tolerance it’s the C cleanse or the C calibration. And it really depends on how well you are. If you’re really well you don’t need that much but if you’re a typical American, even 3 grams and I just had a someone contact me about this they took 3 grams every 15 minutes for 5 hours.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s a significant amount.
40:45 Yes sir, but if they had done six grams they would have flushed and calibrated but after five hours what they proved was they had a lot of oxidative burdens and they need a lot of ascorbic. So you really do, I really recommend that folks read the literature that we have, this is free to download online, you can look up C cleanse, you can look up joy of living the alkaline way or alcohol a guide, and we want folks to help them we want to help people understand themselves so they can do it smoothly, efficiently, and generally within a couple of hours. So I personally do my cleanses on the weekend and I can cleanse within a couple of hours. But often we hear from colleagues that people try say a teaspoon and that means three grams every 15 minutes, that means 12 grams an hour, but they need 70 grams to cleanse and it’s gonna take them more time than they’re willing to take and. I don’t think it should be your whole day you shouldn’t be sneak on waiting for a cleanse the whole day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So if that’s the case, could you go up in tablespoon increments if you wanted to go faster?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well understand that you want something close to an isotonic iso-osmotic beverage so when you go to 6 grams or 2 teaspoons, you’re now talking about at least eight ounces.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I see.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And if you go and if you go above that you might go to 12 or 16 ounces, most people don’t want to drink that much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I see.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: I have no I have no objection to that. I’m just saying that I don’t make it too concentrated and don’t make it too dilute, you don’t want hypotonic, you don’t want hypertonic. You want as close to isotonic as you can get and that’s why what we recommend is as the upper dose is the two teaspoons in 8 ounces. Could be water could be your herbal beverage could be a juice that you diluted one to one with water. And by the way, some people find if they take the recycled glutamine or they take a dose of magnesium and choline citrate or they take a dose of the digestive guard before the cleanse. That things go more smoothly and more easily.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent and I’m just trying to wrap my head around what the difference between this cleanse and just typical bowel tolerance by vitamin C. Is it because it’s in the L ascorbate reduced form with the minerals, does that make it different? What’s happening is different.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well Bob has gotten himself recommended sodium L ascorbate and he did that because he knew that ascorbic acid would pull the dentin the calcium out of the teeth you know so you don’t know use ascorbic acid. He didn’t want to use a synthetic form and I agree with him on that, but what he said is you just keep taking it until you feel until you until your poop. That’s called bowel tones. Here’s here’s the fatal flaw with bowel tolerance and I spoke with Bob about this and he agreed with it was a very honest guy. When you do bowel tolerance, you have a very high probability that if you have a long transit time long digestive transit time as many Americans do, that you will recirculate toxic matter throughout your body and feel worse in contrast with the C cleanse you quickly ramp up, saturate the ascorbate throughout every cell of your body, and then pump the toxic matter and the extra fluid into the rectum, and it comes out quickly, and you don’t get the recirculation of toxic matter. People don’t want to feel worse on the way to feeling better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well you motivated me. I’m gonna go pick some up and do my own vitamin C calibration very soon. Excellent. So let’s transition the conversation you talked about there eight predictive markers for your health to kind of give a window kind of your check engine light so to speak to see how you’re functioning in an optimal perspective. So let’s just kind of break down those eight markers briefly and let’s do a quick little blurb on each of them, so what’s number one?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well yes. Now with regard to predictive biomarkers, we reviewed hundred-thousand lab tests because we wanted to know what covers epigenetics and epigenetics is everything that’s not genetics. Epigenetics is everything you can influence with your lifestyle. It turns out to be really important, it’s 92 percent of your life Steinhaus epigenetics influences your genes, your genes are not a fixed blueprint they’re rather dynamically acted upon and modified by your habits of daily living, and your habits of daily living are summarized epigenetics and there are eight of these tests and I’d like to go through them and I’d like to point out what’s unique about our interpretation. And some of these are familiar, hemoglobin a1c. And the best outcome goal value is less than 5%. Now today if you ask most diabetologist, most doctors who specialize in diabetes don’t tell you that they don’t want to know the fasting glucose they don’t want to know the fasting insulin, the 2-hour postprandial. They want to know the hemoglobin a1c. It’s the average sugar stuck on to your hemoglobin protein over three or four months. So it’s a very good average risk predictor, it’s an oil cause morbidity mortality predictor, it predicts whether you want to live ten or more years pretty accurately, and the goal that is less than 5%. Now the second test is high sensitivity c-reactive protein, HSCRP, and you do need the high sensitivity version. Pointed out that while c-reactive protein is a good measure of acute inflammation, the more common chronic repair deficit which is what inflammation really is it’s really repaired deficit, that can be measured with a high sensitivity c-reactive protein known as HSCRP and that should be less than 0.5.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that the same as the cardiac CRP? I think it’s the same, right?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes yes sir yes sir. Originally Read Crew who is a cardiologist thought that the high sensitivity test was cardio specific, and it’s sometimes referred to as the cardiac CRP
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That helps.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And yes, yes no I’m glad you brought that up. It is it’s not cardiac-specific, but it is sometimes called cardiac CRP and it is the high sensitivity or the HS CRP that we want and the best outcome goal value is less important
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I see a lot of patients that want the HS CRP but their lab whether it’s a quest or LabCorp only has the cardiac and from what I’ve seen like you just said it’s the same thing.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Oh same thing same thing yeah. So the next test the third test in the sequence is known as homocysteine. This is a plasma test and you must process especially within 30 minutes or the lab shouldn’t even run it, but a plasma homocysteine predicts atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, almost better than any other single marker and when you combine the predictive biomarkers the way we do you’ve covered all of your cardiovascular risks and you notice what’s in here and what’s not in here we can talk about what’s not in here at the end. So the next test is your immune tolerance task. Oh sorry, the homocysteine should be less than 6 the homocysteine should be less than six. And that, yes homocysteine should be less than 6 again don’t pay any attention to the lab range healthy people have a homocysteine less than 6, they have a high methionine, a low homocysteine they are protected from cardiovascular disease and they can methylate which is a very important function for moving things around in your body. So homocysteine value less than 6 on the plasma properly done specially
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if that level is on the higher side what nutrients should we add in to help bring that down? Assuming a diet and lifestyles good.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes well you’d be surprised actually how much B complex including folate, how much magnesium and choline citrate, how much betaine hydrochloride known as trimethylglycine people need in order to keep a healthy homocysteine, and you can look at all these cycles if you want because I’m a biochemist and I do it in my sleep. But the bottom line is you need at least a super B complex, you need folate probably milligrams a day, you need trimethylglycine at least 250 milligrams a day, you need enough ascorbate to protect and two other antioxidants, and with that and with enough magnesium and choline citrate to activate your ATP, you too can have a low homocysteine a nice high methionine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting and they just the back story for everyone listening they can look at it here is Kilmer McCully who was a Harvard researcher that discovered the homeless cysteine atherosclerosis link. Was basically laughed out of Harvard me 10 20 years ago in this discovery, but now it’s becoming mainstream and its even part of your predictive markers for overall health.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Kilmer published in 1967 when I was a young scientist in Boston, I knew him then. He went to the VA and distinguished research career but you’re right he got left by other parties. He was right and he was right, and they were in it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep interesting.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Now the fourth test is the immune tolerance test known as LRA, lymphocyte response assay. Lymphocytes are specialized white cells, and they respond to things that are foreign and harmful, but they don’t respond to neutralizing and helpful things. So you want an LRA the LRA by ELISA/ACT is what we recommend and the goal is to have no intolerance is to be completely tolerant in your immune system, and healthy people with a healthy digestion and a healthy intake of the nutrients they need. The few of them that we found too are asymptomatic tend to have no reactions out of hundreds and hundreds of substances that we can now accurately measure on one ounce of blood, as long as it gets to us within a couple of days.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now with that test, how is that different than your typical food allergy IgG your IgA. Is it companies out there like Everly Wells a big one you see on Facebook all the time which I think is looking more IgG IgA? How is that different from that typical you know food allergy that’s more antibody based?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: The antibody tests were developed in the 1950s, they were outmoded in the 1980s, they’re still offered by most labs because they’re easy to do and impossible to interpret. So when you get an IgG antibody result, you have to ask yourself. Is this a beneficial neutralizing helpful antibody or is this a complement fixing harmful antibody? You can’t tell.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So essentially with the ELISA/ACT, you’re looking at the lymphocytes and you’re able to see if there’s a t-cell kind of mediated response to these foods specifically? Is that how you look more specifically?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes. The innovation that we brought to immunology was the first amplified procedure done on the surface of a white so-called a lymphocyte. And the novelty is that we can do reproducible tests that is less than 3% variance. So we do a functional cell culture more precisely than a physical chemistry lab measures an antibody, and the point you made that you jump to is correct. More important than b-cell antibodies and more important than distinguishing helpful from harmful b-cell antibodies are the t-cell responses which you can only get cell culture, only get from a cell culture.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So the IgG and IgA, that’s more B cell-mediated and…
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Hundred percent. Not more these cells make antibodies
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Antibodies, correct.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: B cells make antibodies through specialized antibody factories called plasma cells. When you do physical chemistry, say hi GG or any antibody measurement, and I don’t care if you used a cooked antigen, I don’t care if you use a freeze-dried antigen, I don’t care if you used an aerosolized antigen, I’m telling you if you’re measuring antibodies you’re doing old-fashioned physical chemistry and you can’t interpret whether it’s good or bad and since you don’t know the function and you need to know the function I say don’t do tests that are intrinsically incapable of giving you the information you need. And then the point you made is well made which is T cells are more important than the antibodies, and you get nothing about the T cells when all you’re doing is old-fashioned physical chemistry. So we outmoded this in the 1980s we have over eighty thousand cases in our database, we’ve done over twenty-five million cell cultures, we published more outcome peer-reviewed studies that show the benefit of this approach when it was applied just by people living their lives. But as you said a lifestyle program, a program to add life to years and years to life, and we’re more excited today than ever because the data continues to come in that we have an advanced approach. It’s part of this predictive biomarkers suite of advanced interpretations and I’m glad to tell you that we at the Health Studies Collegium have been able to pioneer much of this validate it to the satisfaction of our most difficult critics and now make it available to colleagues and consumers.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Now your test for this is the Elisa act biotechnology test now I’m just curious though. Is the liza the same thing as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test? Or is that just kind of a play on words there.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No no it’s very specifically Elisa act, which is the coming together what you said Elisa, with a CT Advance cell culture technique
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay so it’s combining it. Okay.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: So it’s the first time, first time that an amplified procedure was done, not with a sandwich assay like a conventional Elisa introduced by Bursa Aiello in 1953, back then this is using a lymphocyte enzyme that when the cell is resting, when it doesn’t see anything that it reacts against, the enzymes turned off. Because this is the same enzyme that turns the cell on when it needs to go through mitosis and reproduce itself. We were fortunate enough to figure out the specific kinase at the MHC locus for those of you who are super technical. The antigen presenting cell in this autologous ex vivo cell culture wiggles over to thelymphocyte presents the processed antigen at the MHC locus turns on the kinase we see the results of that. This is the bringing together for the first time I’ll be Liza, just as you said and cell culture.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting so you’re able to get the antibody response from that, the IgG IgA IgM, you’re able to get the immune complexes, and then you’re also able to look at that the t-cell activation there too, all three
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Exactly right C lymphocytes are smart enough that they will only react to harmful antibodies. So we get the meaningful harmful antibodies and we ignore the helpful neutralizing antibodies and then yes, we get the immune complexes which is IgM anti-ag G antigen and most importantly we get the T cell reactions.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, very good. What’s the next marker?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes, the next marker, the fifth one is measuring the pH or the acid alkaline state of your urine after rest. It turns out after six or more hours that the urine and the bladder equilibrate with the bladder lining cells and now you get once a day a measurement of cellular metabolic status. And if you lack magnesium, you have metabolic acidosis if you have enough magnesium you have a healthy happy cell. Why is that so important? Well magnesium is not just an electrolyte that balances calcium you need one molecule of magnesium for every ATP molecule to do any work in your cell. You need magnesium to activate your mitochondria so you can get the toxins detoxified. You need magnesium to activate hundreds maybe thousands of enzyme catalyst. You need magnesium to protect essential fat’s in transit, magnesium is nature’s calcium channel blocker. The problem has been that until very recently magnesium has been notoriously hard to get in, it tends to run out as soon as it comes in, and therefore it’s been forgotten. Now what we did was find out how to make inverted micellar nanodroplets, so you combine ionized magnesium salts with choline citrate and now you get enhanced update and chaperone delivery to the cells we’re hungry for it. So now we should remember magnesium.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wonderful, excellent. What’s the next marker.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well the goal value from pH is 6.5 to 7.5 if you’re below that you’re too acid and you need more magnesium if you’re consistently above 7.5 it might be catabolic illness and that’s something you don’t want but we could talk about later.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we want like we want the urine though the saliva it doesn’t quite matter
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No no urine urine and the reason we want the urine is because that’s what we standardized, but more importantly if you put a Kirby Cup, if you put a little plastic discover your parotid gland in your mouth and you collect pure parotid saliva you two can measure the pH of that. But having had that done to me when Frank Oppenheimer was a postdoc and meet at some subjects, very true people will do that. What we call saliva or spit it’s a combination of gingival fluid zero sanguinis exudate some saliva sub submandibular some parotid, it turns out that saliva is not what you think it is. At least not in most Americans mouths and and talk to the dentist. There are very few Americans that have a healthy mouth.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then with the urine, are we testing first morning urination, or they can be another example?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No no no there’s only one time of day. You can only get a meaningful measure after six hours of rest. So when after six hours at rest the next urine… yes, and you by the way during those six hours you can go to the bathroom and go back to bed. You just can’t go to the gym or the kitchen
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it, because you’re gonna create acid byproducts on your muscle activation.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And other than after those six hours of rest, there are somewhere between 20 and 40 variables that influence urine ph at any random time
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That totally makes sense.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Right the next measurement, the next measurement is vitamin D, specifically what’s called 25 hydroxy D but if you just ask for a vitamin D that’s what they’re gonna do. Now there are three forms of vitamin D and there are some experts who say measure all three of them. I do not advocate that, partly for cost and partly for practicality. So if you think there is something wrong with the way their kidneys are processing vitamin D or their liver is processing vitamin D then you might want to do all three different what are called isomers. In general you want the 25 hydroxy d and the goal value is 50 to 80. Now there was recently an article in New York Times, and a very distinguished science writer says, almost everyone in America is low in vitamin D it’s normal to be low in vitamin D so don’t even measure vitamin D and don’t supplement. Now did you understand what I just said it do you understand how silly that is?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely yes okay absolutely.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Let me clarify for everybody, because I know you know this, but when vitamin D is below 20, well of course your bones are gonna fall apart, but more importantly you just tripled or quadrupled your cancer risk.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And you probably tripled your cardiovascular risk. Because vitamin D we call it a vitamin, it’s actually a neurohormone. It actually regulates cell division; it does a whole lot of things and we know in my opinion the best outcome goal value 50 to 80 the vitamin D council I believe says 40 to 70 but that’s close to 50 to 80. And the ranges that we have said were the values that we have said give you a certain latitude. So if you take a little bit too much vitamin D, and you get up to 90 or 100 I have no concerns. So when I say 50 to 80 I don’t mean that 81 is a problem, I’m saying the safer range that we know to be effective and protect you from the profound chronic illnesses 50 to 80. And how much vitamin D do you take? How much vitamin D do you take? Well as much as you need to get into the 50 to 80 range.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah as much as you need.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: And I take and I prefer for people to take drops under the tongue, so they can absorb, well that’s a turkey word be careful of that but drops under the tongue before you swallow them are easily taken up and many many people over forty million according to my colic. Over forty-million Americans don’t absorb vitamin D from their gut. They’ve got to take it up they’ve got to take it up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting
Dr. Russell Jaffe: From their mouth
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah Hollen he’s also he’s also a researcher over ABU as well right at your alma mater?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: that’s where I met Mike Hollen.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay he’s been there for a long time right. 34 years.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: About that he’s developed the fundamental methods in vitamin D research he’s known as dr. sunshine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah absolutely now I’m seeing some people online they’re pushing back a little bit cuz we have vitamin d3 the pre-vitamin D we make on the ski. Somebody hits it that cholesterol I think goes through our liver and gets forming the 25 hydroxyvitamin D, which is calcidiol and then calcidiol hits the kidneys and gets converted to calcitriol. So more people I’m seeing are saying hey we had a measure calcitriol or that the vitamin D that’s activated to the kidneys and they say there should be like one to one ratio on the d3 the 25 hydroxy versus the 125 which is the calcitriol. What’s your opinion on that having that one-to-one or the 125 is?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Having spoken to 12 different world’s experts and their opinions matter and mine doesn’t cause vitamins not my particular expertise. I can tell you they each have a different opinion. With respect to what your folks, were saying if you have the resources and you want to have the maximum useful information. Then at least you would measure the 25 hydroxy and the 125 hydroxy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: But you might want to measure the precursor as well. If you’re going to do that, but I will offer to most people for home the value proposition including how much is this going to cost…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Leads me to conclude for most people to start with 25 hydroxy D. No disrespect on the question but just start with 25 hydroxy D bring people into the 50 to 80 nanogram per ml range. Then if you have any question or if you want to just be a more scientific and evidence-based practitioner, when you get them into range then measure and see if you have a one-to-one ratio.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what if there’s not was it would there be something you would do specifically. I know some data says you should give resveratrol to help with that some today it can be an infection kind of thing. What’s your take on why that may be skewed we’re 25 is higher and 125 is lower?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well you raise several very good points. My friend happens to own resveratrol globally and I can tell you they’re going out of the resveratrol business because resveratrol tall has very low bioavailability. It is a polyphenolic it is in red wine, especially granule red wine. However, because it is very low bioavailability, which means very low solubility. When you give it in the doses that people have tried to give it, you end up irritating the gut and irritating the immune system. So we have for a long time at least the last 25 years advocated the safer more effective polyphenolics and activate your innate immune system and do many wonderful things for you. And that’s quercetin dihydrate as the flavonoid, and soluble OPC ortho proanthocyanidins for the chemists as the flavonol, because you need flavonoids and flavonols. These are the colorful compounds in foods but almost all of them in high doses are mutagenic which means oncogenic which means promote cancer because they have such low uptake and they can be irritating, and if you irritate the immune system enough, it will become very upset.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Make sense
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Flavonol but safer the soluble OPC we have them together in different forms because they help prepare they reduce pain they enhance many functions of the innate immune system and when your innate immune system is functioning, you are in a repair mode where you don’t have to call in the extra troops. What’s called the adaptive immune response which are the lymphocytes and the other delayed immune reactive cells. So, which one is to provide a lot of energy to the innate immune system so it can defend and repair you, so they can recycle foreign invaders down to their building blocks and make them available for the body to build itself up? And then more importantly, after you do defense you have to do repair. Well, most Americans are in defense mode almost all the time. You can think of it this way, during the day we do more defense work when we’re getting restorative sleep, we do more repair work. Ah notice I snuck in restorative sleep. Now if you need restorative sleep, then you might need that salt and soda bath the dichromatic light which we didn’t talk about but that goes along with it the abdominal breathing, the active meditation the magnesium and choline citrate, maybe tryptophane with some zinc and b6 so that your body can make the serotonin and the melatonin. I never give serotonin. I never give melatonin because the body never floods itself with those neurochemicals and neural hormones. I give the tryptophane in a way that it goes exactly in the brain where it’s needed, where the brain turns it into serotonin or melatonin as needed. And by the way, it has a very short life in the body because it’s too potent to leave around. So, we follow physiology before a pharmacology, but that also means we study physiology and frankly most of my colleagues today, they know about pathology and I am a double board-certified pathologist, but they don’t remember physiology and biochemistry flummoxes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree healthy egg yeah biochemistry and physiology and when you apply it that becomes Clinical Nutrition and functional medicine essentially, right?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Absolutely, absolutely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: So now the next, right. The next test is an omega-3 index, want to know where you are omega-3 to omega-6 this is Bill Harris’s test. Can be done on a blood spot, and the goal value was more than 8%, and the quick anecdote is that Bill Harris was in the offices of Professor Patti Deutsch at the Military Medical School, she and I are friends I came by because I was going to confer with her and bill was lamenting the fact that it’s so hard to find adults with healthy omega-3 levels. Patti points to me he pulls out a Lancet he calls me up a few days later he says your omega-3 is 13.2% something like that I said well is that better than eight he said well we think it is if you know that above eight is good we know that above eight is good but let’s say that you were just a consumer or just a listener to this show. You might assume that 13 is better than eight. But I’m a scientist so I had to ask Bill is it really better than eight and he’s an honest enough scientist to say we think it is we pray it is we hope it is come back and five or ten years we’ll have more day. So that’s the omega-3 index. And then we only have one more and that is a urine test, this is the measure of oxidative damage and risk in your DNA it’s called 8-oxoguanine that is 8-O-X-O-G-U-A-N-I-N-E, 8-oxoguanine, and because it’s a urine spot test, we actually have a value per milligram of creatinine. So, your best outcome value is less than 30 milligrams per milligram of creatinine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is a test in organic acid by Genova it’s called 8 hydroxy – deoxyguanosine, it sounds very similar to that I know that’s an oxidative stress marker?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes, yes. I think that we’re talking about the same molecule I can tell that this molecule has several different names, they’re all the same you want the DNA, the nuclear DNA oxidative stress marker that’s the one you are.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it that’s correct good.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Now we help people interpret tests that other labs do. So we folks want to know about these best outcome goal values and how to attain them, then you would talk to our health coaches and our nutritionist. If you want to have them perform they can be performed through our lab or through your lab although the LRA is distinctive to us, and the omega-3 index is distinctive to Bill Harris.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. And then what’s the range you want to be in for the omega-3 again?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Yes, for the omega-3 index you want more than 8% to be omega-3
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And with yours, you were up to 13 you were saying right?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: 13 plus.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay so what we’re going to do…
Dr. Russell Jaffe: At the moment there’s only one person who has a higher value if I remember correctly from what Bill said, and it was actually a youngster, was a teenager but this mom took very much pride in telling us how much omega-3 she got her kids to eat.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if they’re a high threshold for that just because of the lipid peroxidation would you say eight grams, four, six, what’s your high-end recommendation you know we’re assuming farmers pharmaceutical-grade super high quality, so it’s not oxidized.
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Well if the question is how much EPA and DHA do I take and I would never take an oxidized product and I would never recommend anyone do that. But I currently take 8 to 10 grams a day, and that may seem high but I can tell you that given my particular background, that’s what seems to be needed to keep all the other parameters in the range that I would like them to be. So I’m personalizing my intake.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Plus you’re also probably calibrating the L ascorbate which is you know stabilized membranes too, right?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Oh of course and I take the polyphenolics and I take the super B complex that has a full mineral complex, and I occasionally take some extras in because I’m a man. So yes and I take prebiotics probiotics and symbiotic. So yes I actually sent someone a photograph of the 12 supplements that I take a day and I take two to four doses a day of those supplements. Now I’m like everyone else when it comes to opening-closing bottles, I understand that it’s a commitment I have made because it helps me feel and function so much better. By most physical and functional measurements, I’m half my age and if I can keep that up if I can keep that up for another 30 40 years it’ll be a good run.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent Dr. Russell Jaffe, it’s been an amazing podcast. Lots of knowledge bombs lots of great information. Were there any other biomarkers that all the eight?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: No no we got through all eight of them yeah that was pretty quick but thank you for being such a good host and for making sure that I stayed on top
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. I’m gonna put in the show notes here, we’re gonna put the links to the ELISA ACT biotechnology food allergy lymphocyte test. Will put the vitamin c el ascorbate, the potency guard powder links, and everything so if anyone wants information, we’ll put it down below. Is there anything else you want to leave the listeners with here today dr. Jaffe?
Dr. Russell Jaffe: Oh gosh yes, I would like folks to know that in the 21st century we have to save our own lives. You cannot rely on science from the 19th or 20th century. I’m not even sure today you can rely on an expert. As Jackie Mason, the comedian says, in the phone book or wherever you look up your doctor its lists every condition and whether they were present or absence the day your problem occurred. And I’m just trying to be a little bit humorous about it, I think consumers should be very active today learning about themselves through self-assessments, through tests that can be interpreted to best outcome individual levels, as we’ve just been talking. Now, this is a new paradigm, this gives information inspiration and if you put some effort perspiration in, you can recover decades of quality life, and you can feel and function better tomorrow. It’s the best value that I have found in all my years in science and by the, way this is not only how I follow through I do walk my talk. But this is how my parents live near the end of their life and the way my children live today. So put us to the test and find out how well you can feel.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well thank you so much I think you did a phenomenal job taking the hard science, biochem science, and applying it and making it practical so people can apply it so, thank you so much I look forward to having you back soon to dive in deeper and you have a phenomenal day that dr. Jaffe, you take care
Dr. Russell Jaffe: You the same, thanks so much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks so much, bye now.
Why Sunlight is Crucial to Your Health
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
What if I told you that one of the most important nutrients for optimal health is one that you have always been told to avoid?
I’m talking about the sun.
The Importance of Sunlight
We’ve been told to avoid getting too much sun and to always apply sunscreen, or suffer the consequence of skin cancer. Well, folks, science is telling us quite the opposite.
We evolved under the sun, we have photoreceptors in our eyes and in our skin, and the literal color of our skin changed to adapt to our environment. (As humans migrated further from the equator, our skin lightened to adapt to receiving less UV light) (1). One way or another, human beings are powered by light. Whether you’re getting it first hand from the sun or eating plants and animals that come from the sun, we wouldn’t be alive without it.
What does getting adequate sunlight and vitamin D do, besides lowering inflammation, enhancing your immune system, and protecting your brain from aging? Studies show a link between the amount of vitamin D you get from sun exposure and rates of cancer: Getting sun is anti-cancer!
How is Vitamin D Connected to the Sun?
Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a hormone precursor. When our skin is exposed to sunlight and the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum, we create vitamin D. Since vitamin D is so broadly engaged in different processes throughout the body (so far it has been linked to the activation of hundreds if not thousands of genes), its many properties are still only being discovered.
Today we are going to look at UVA and UVB light. (1)
- UVA is around 95% of the rays that we get here on Earth. UVA is prevalent year-round, is equally intense from when the sun rises to when it sets and penetrates through clouds and windows.
- UVB, on the other hand, is the “afternoon sun” they tell you to avoid (cue eye-roll). The time of day and time of year that UVB is present will depend on where in the world you’re living. If we look at the averages in the US, you’re generally going to get UVB between the hours of 10AM-4PM, from April-October. Windows filter UVB, so you don’t get these rays if you are indoors. UVB is not present during sunrise or sunset.
How You See the Sun Determines Your Fate
The results are in: the sun does not cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is linked to sunburns, not sun exposure. In fact, the vitamin D produced by your skin after UVB exposure kills melanoma (skin cancer)! The vitamin D levels at diagnosis of a melanoma patient have a role in determining the outcome. (2)
Get this: People who work indoors are at a much higher risk for melanoma than those who work outside. (3)
It’s not the sun that causes skin cancer; it’s how you experience the sun. Those who work outdoor jobs get consistent, full spectrum ultraviolet light. If you work an office job, chances are you don’t see much of the sun; especially not the UVB light which is present around noontime.
As we know, UVB is absent at sunrise and sunset: the times you would be outside to go to work and come home. Additionally, windows filter out UVB, so indoor workers really aren’t getting this crucial Ultraviolet B.
The Health Benefits of Getting Sun
Catching rays are protective against many types of cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, gastrointestinal cancer, bladder cancer, and more. As far as skin cancer goes, there’s actually an inverse relationship between outside workers and melanoma. This means that the more frequently you are exposed to sun, the less likely you are to develop skin (and other) cancers.
Sun exposure may increase your lifespan. According to one study, “The mortality rate amongst avoiders of sun exposure was approximately twofold higher compared with the highest sun exposure group.” This study provides ground-breaking evidence that avoiding sun exposure increases your risk for all-cause mortality. (4)
We have RNA in our cells, which are basically little messengers. Our skin cells have some ‘empty messengers’ called non-coding RNA, which are activated by the sun. When these skin cells produce vitamin D as a result of sun exposure, these non-coding RNA go into protective mode, reducing carcinogenicity and suppressing tumor formation. This is suspected to be a strategy skin cells employ to protect themselves against ultraviolet-induced non-melanoma skin cancer. (5)
Here’s another crazy statistic for you: In a study done on sun exposure and mortality, it was observed that those with high sun exposure habits had longer lifespans and were less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, nonsmokers who avoided the sun had a similar life expectancy to smokers in the highest sun exposure group. This indicates that “avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking”! (6)
What increases your chances of skin cancer?
- Working indoors
- Getting sunburns
- Intermittent sun: Working a desk job 50 weeks a year, and then once or twice a year taking a vacation and getting a large dose of sun. This correlation may be due to the tendency to sunburn on vacation.
Tips for Healthy Sun Exposure:
- A base tan is great. Avoid “intermittent sunning” and sunburning.
- Do you work a desk job? Eat lunch outside. Find out the time of day UVB is present in your location, and take your break outside during this time for a healthy dose of UVB.
- Sun for your skin type. Darker skin can handle (and needs) more sun. If you are prone to sunburn, work your way up. When your skin starts to get a slight pinkish tint, cover up, move to the shade, or go inside. For fair-skinned individuals, this may only take 15 minutes, though your tolerance will increase over time.
- Wear a hat, not sunglasses. Your eyes have photoreceptors and the type of light they get influences your hormones and circadian rhythm and is tied to many biological functions.
The only way to know your vitamin D levels is through a Vitamin D blood test.
Top Health Benefits of Spending Time Outside
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
There’s no debating it: we are spending much less time outside than ever before. Commuting to and from work, spending 8+ hours a day in our offices, the draw of our electronics as a way to unwind… these are all contributing to Americans spending less than 10% of their life outside. In fact, a study in the UK showed that the majority of children spend less time outside than prison inmates!
It has become ‘normal’ to spend our lives indoors, a convention we must change. We evolved in nature, and the outdoors has much to offer us yet! Read on to discover the top health benefits of spending time outside.
Sunlight and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is among the most common deficiencies, which is due to our inability to get adequate vitamin D from our food and our lack of time spent in the sun. Vitamin D is a vital component of being healthy. It is a key player in protecting against arthritis, dementia, leaky gut, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases. Our bodies require at least 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun time each day. Then our bodies can convert the sunlight into vitamin D!
If you live somewhere that is lacking in sunshine, you can always supplement with a high-quality vitamin D product. Emulsi D Supreme is a concentrated bioavailable source of vitamin D, containing 2000 IU in each drop!
Fresh air does wonders for your body. It has the power to strengthen your immune system by improving the health of your white blood cells, and provides you with the oxygen necessary to kill off bad viruses, bacteria, and infections. The outdoor air improves your respiration by helping your airways dilate fully, then cleanses your lungs by expelling any toxins. Breathing in the sweet outdoors is also energizing: breathing in all that oxygen provides a major energy boost!
Grounding: Fountain of Health
Grounding, also known as earthing, is simply allowing your bare feet to touch the ground. The earth provides free-flowing electrons that your body absorbs in order to ‘charge’ itself. The health benefits associated with grounding are numerous! Grounding boosts your energy levels, reduces inflammation, lowers stress, reduces chronic pain, boosts your immune system, and improves sleep!
Natural Mood Booster
Studies conducted by Stanford show a correlation between time spent in nature and emotional wellbeing. Lower rates of depression, self-doubt, and negativity are found in those who spend time out in nature, along with higher rates of happiness!
Living life indoors is linked to anxiety and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), while time spend outside is shown to reduce both!
Do cold winters prevent you from spending time outside? They shouldn’t! Cold thermogenesis burns fat and boosts immunity. Exercising outdoors is a great idea, too. In the cold, your body can self-regulate its temperature better, meaning you can exercise longer. It also enhances endurance!
How to Spend More Time Outside
Many Americans have trouble getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and finding time to spend outside. If you are committed to living a life full of health, here are some great tips and ideas for getting in some quality time with nature:
- Bring your workout outside: Your yoga mat will be just as happy on the back porch as it would be in the living room! You can also try swapping the treadmill for a jog around the neighborhood.
- Go on a walk while listening to a podcast or calling a friend.
- Eat outside: Whether it be a full-on picnic excursion, or morning coffee on the balcony, everyone’s gotta eat!
- Find someone to pass the time with: If you have kids, there is plenty of family-friendly fun to be had outdoors. If your kids play sports, attending their games and practices will provide you with plenty of fresh air and vitamin D!
- Dogs are another great way to create accountability for yourself; they won’t let you get away with staying indoors all day!
Do you have a favorite way of spending time outdoors? Share it in the comments below!
Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Vitamin D: the “sunshine” vitamin. Over the last decade, the use of vitamin D to treat and prevent illnesses has grown exponentially, and new data is constantly being published which continues to prove the effectiveness of the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is estimated to activate about 8% of our entire genome. As it is so broadly engaged in different processes throughout the body, its many properties are still only being discovered.
Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease
Research shows a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disease, cancer, and other serious diseases. Low vitamin D in the body is linked to a higher risk for developing chronic illnesses, both systemic disease (lupus, arthritis) and organ-specific (multiple sclerosis, diabetes).
Dementia and memory loss are directly associated with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, as are prostate and breast cancer. Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can help treat and prevent many of the common chronic, and sometimes life-threatening, illnesses that are on the rise.
Multiple sclerosis, thyroid disorders, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s, and lupus are key autoimmune diseases modulated by Vitamin D. The Journal of Immunology cites autoimmune conditions as the number-three cause of death. However, the killer isn’t the autoimmune condition itself, rather it’s the inflammation brought on by these conditions which predisposes us to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes that lead to death.
Impact of Inflammation and Leaky Gut
Chronic inflammation can be argued to be the underlying mechanism for all disease. Inflammation leads to leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, and may be due to an autoimmune condition, infections, or the consumption of gluten, sugar, or other toxins. The inflamed gut lining allows food particles and other toxins to slip through into the bloodstream, creating more inflammation.
This also compromises your ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning your body needs to be absorbing fat to absorb the vitamin. In addition, vitamin D is necessary for the gut to produce the stem cells that help it grow thicker and seal any gaps in the intestines.
How to Assess Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiency is at an all time high. We already knew most people were deficient, but recent research has shown that higher levels of vitamin D are necessary than were previously thought, meaning the deficiency is even more prevalent than we realized. Proper levels of vitamin D can help regulate our hormones and inflammation levels, effectively preventing disease.
You may be deficient in Vitamin D if:
- You don’t get enough sunlight. Spending too much time indoors, or living in a place that doesn’t have much sun time, limits the amount of vitamin D your body can make.
- You wear sunscreen with high SPF values. SPF blocks UVB rays, preventing your body from producing vitamin D. Once your skin gets a slight pinkness to it, you know you’ve had enough sun exposure for the day. Instead of reaching for heavy toxic sunscreen, opt instead for non-toxic SPF 15 lotion, seek out some time in the shade, or wear light clothing and a hat.
- The darker your skin, the more sun your body needs in order to produce vitamin D.
The only way to know your vitamin D levels is through a Vitamin D blood test.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
The average adult will benefit from supplementing with about 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Children and petite women do well in the 2,000-4,000 IU range daily. People suffering from autoimmune diseases can benefit from taking super doses of around 40,000 IU a day while they heal their gut lining- however, this should only be practiced under the supervision of a medical professional. When dealing with a cold, taking 150,000 IU of vitamin D3 for three days straight will knock the sickness right out of you!
Emulsi D Supreme is a concentrated bioavailable source of vitamin D, containing 2000 IU in each drop!
Vitamin D – Lab Testing and Supplementation – Podcast #30
Our body naturally produces vitamin D primarily though sunlight exposure or we get it from diet and supplementation. This vitamin which is also a hormone affects our body’s natural antibiotics, regulates our genes and boost up our immune system to stave off disease.
In this podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Dr. Baris Harvey talked about the mechanism of Vitamin D, its different health benefits, the risks factor of vitamin D deficiency, lab testings as well as how to optimize one’s vitamin D intake to improve health and reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases.
In this episode we cover:
05:25 Vitamin or a hormone?
16:04 Calcidiol and calcitriol
18:07 Vitamin D lab testing
26:59 Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
32:20 Vitamin D supplementation
Baris Harvey: Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. Before we go to today’s show I want to tell you guys about the newsletter. Go to beyond wellness radio.com and hit the newsletter signup. By doing this, you will never miss out on an episode. Be the first one to hear it as it is sent out to your inbox each week. One thing more, right above there is tab on justinhealth and that is where you can go straight to Dr. Justin’s website and he has a free consultation available for you guys that want to get a much deeper look. He also has a free video series on thyroid health. So make sure you guys dive in it. Also we would love for you guys to go ahead and give us a review on ITunes. That will be awesome. But to it prove to you that we deserve that review, we are going to give you some awesome stuff today. So, first of all, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?
Justin Marchegiani: Baris, it is going great today, man. It is right in the middle of winter and Austin, Texas has great weather. It is 75° and it is beautiful and sunny. And I know, being a Boston boy growing up, I got like three or four feet of snow this month alone. So, feeling really happy I am not in the North East.
Baris Harvey: Oh, yes definitely. I have the same thing here. It is really warm. I was thinking that it would be a good thing to have some rainfall but, I mean I am kind of spoiled out here. I know people in New York, they are a little chilly right now in that snow. So, I cannot complain.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: Yes. So, in today’s episode we are going to talk about Vitamin D. It covers so much, whether that is hormone influence or immune system. We are going to be a little bit more particular on the immune boosting benefit. But we are basically going to breakdown vitamin D, make sure we are answering mostly asked questions on it and getting that kind of foundation. But before we go into that, what did you eat for breakfast?
Justin Marchegiani: Baris, today was just kind of a simple day, man. It was just four eggs, sunny side up. I know this is kind of my Friday when we record the podcast tends to be similar. A little bit of collagen, some eggs that were sunny side up, a piece of pasture-fed bacon, and some coffee with butter and MCT. And I am rocking it. Right now, I am stacking up my supplements a little bit differently. I am using a combination of Ashwagandha and Eleuthero at relatively higher dosage. I am also on a brain program where I am adding in 5-HTP and L-tyrosine and my brain just feels amazing. And I am going to admit this to everyone I have not been good this week. I have been getting about six to seven hours night sleep. So, I know I preached get an eight and get to bed before above and I have been off. So, even I can make mistakes. But I have been feeling darn good where in the past I would not have felt this good in the morning. And I really attributed it to, I think, adding in these new adaptogenic herbs. But also adding in the brain program, adding in some of the sulphur amino acids and the combination of 5-HTP and L-tyrosine together really has made a big difference for me.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Yes, it is funny that you say that because I was just, you know, especially at that last interview that you guys, you know, we have been hearing, we are really into like the brain stuff and the brain supplementation and how we can improve that. We preached that you should be getting eight hours of sleep but this past week I have not been the best all night, either.
Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Baris Harvey: There have been some days that I have been getting more sleep but when going to sleep pretty late we are making sure that okay, how do I, kind of whatever I might have lost, you are never going to get as much as you could with sleep. But how could I try to make sure that I maximize the nutrients that I put in my body that would give me maybe some that I already got when I slept, you know what I mean?
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: So, try to level it out and then when you do get that full 8-hour sleep and then put that on top of it, it’s just icing on the cake.
Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Love it, man.
Baris Harvey: Definitely. So, myself, I do not want to just, you know, keep it boring because again I did not eat breakfast. But I am going to tell you what I am about to eat after. I will have some organic beef sausages with some eggs and that will probably it, and it really is as simple as like that. Mornings are simple because you know you got stuff to do to get things out of the way. So, if you do not have like any allergy to eggs, eggs are amazing.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, man. Love it.
Baris Harvey: And you know what else? They have a fair amount of vitamin D.
Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, on that note.
Baris Harvey: So, on that note, I have been hearing some things with vitamin D. People try to put it into a certain category. Maybe it does not even need to be stuck into one category but is it a vitamin or is it a hormone? What is going on with that?
Justin Marchegiani: So I would consider vitamin D or vitamin D3 as like a pre-hormone. Vitamin D, activated vitamin D or calcitriol is going to be a hormone for sure because it has some hormone like effects. It is going to affect essentially various immune cells. It up regulates this microbial/antimicrobial peptide called cathelicidin which is really cool. It has effects on about 800 different genes, right? I think we only have like 20-24,000 genes. So, it is kind of like a, you know, a pretty big effect on about 5% of your genes. That is pretty awesome. So it affects your natural antibiotics in your body. It affects your immune system. It affects your genetics. And one of the big things of vitamin D is it is going to be a hormone even though it is a vitamin. And what is happening is we are taking the vitamin D3 through our skin and through supplements and we are converting it to be our liver and kidneys.
Baris Harvey: Uh-huh. Is that conversion still happening? Is it the same when it is through our skin? Does it still being converted to our liver?
Justin Marchegiani: Well, these various sterols that get secreted when you are getting sunlight versus the supplement. So if we are taking the supplement, we are just getting vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. That is vitamin D3. Now we have vitamin D2 which is ergocalciferol that is more synthetic, kind of made in the lab, plant-based kind of thing. Like your vegans and stuff are going to be more on the vitamin D2 but you are going to get better absorption with vitamin D3 and also it is the same vitamin D3 that is made by the sun. Now with the sun though, I am going to recommend sun being the best. But let us just face it; it is not going to be practical for a lot of people especially if the maximum time frame to get vitamin D is between 10 am to 2 pm, right? That is where the angle of the sun and maybe through March and October are the prime parts of the year. So if you are outside those parts of the year or if you are in the area with a higher latitude, you know, not everyone can live in sunny Sta. Cruz, right?
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: And let us say you are going to work like everyone else here does in the world then you may have to be relying on a vitamin D3 supplement.
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm. Yes, definitely. It kind of saddens me to say this but because Sta. Cruz is so amazing but I recently just moved back to the Bay Area so just for the listeners, to let you guys know that yes it is beautiful. And like you said, sometimes it is hard if we are supposed to be outside kind of going along with this paleo concept. Like we have evolved to kind of be one with the sun and the sun powers everything on this planet, including humans. Right? And it is hard when most of us are inside a facility working somewhere, whether that be a desk job or inside of a building or even at home, from those peak hours. Unless, you might get an hour lunch right between there but for the majority of the people, like you mentioned we cannot just go to work shirtless.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Exactly. So, getting back to vitamin D, Baris, I kind of wanted to just breakdown the physiology and the biochemistry of what is happening here.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Definitely. So break it down. And Justin what is the next step?
Justin Marchegiani: So, when we are getting the sun, right? We are taking the cholesterol in our skin and we are turning it into pre-vitamin D3 and that Vitamin D3 is going to get converted by our liver in the 25-hydroxyvitamin D or calcidiol. So we can call it calcidiol just to keep it simple. And that calcidiol gets converted by our kidneys to 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D or just to keep it simple we have calcitriol which is the active one. So we have pre-vitamin D3 going to the liver making calcidiol going to the kidneys and spitting out calcitriol. And again we are going to be making some other different sterols and such when we get sun. So sun is going to be your ideal exposure. Just when we are getting sun, just get your skin pink do not get burned. The scientific literature has got this funky word called median erythemal dose and basically we just convert that in the layman’s speak just get a little bit pink. And now obviously, you got darker skin, Baris so that may not happen for you.
Baris Harvey: Uh-huh.
Justin Marchegiani: But I am fair-skinned so just a little bit pink. Just curious with yourself, do you see a pigment change at all when you know you are saturated?
Baris Harvey: I get dark.
Justin Marchegiani: Okay.
Baris Harvey: Luckily I have a nice balance of where I can basically accumulate a very nice tan. It basically depends. I probably got burned in my life two or three times. You know, one of the times was being on Lake Tahoe. It was overcast you cannot really tell. You know there’s water all around reflection, all the reflection. I got burned then pretty bad. But for the most part I can be outside for a fair long amount of time without worrying about it too much.
Justin Marchegiani: Yes and then just kind of talking about pigment, right? The whole idea of how we evolved pigment on our skin, it is just based on how we evolve on the equator.
Baris Harvey: Right.
Justin Marchegiani: So I evolved in areas that probably were higher latitude therefore, my body was like, “Alright, we need to have just enough melanin so we can make vitamin D.” And you evolved in a place probably closer to the equator and you have more melanin. So just think of melanin or the pigment on your skin as just a natural sunblock.
Baris Harvey: Exactly.
Justin Marchegiani: Some people have more sunblock because they evolved in hotter environments with a kind of more UV radiation from the sun and they are at a lower latitude. And then some people like myself evolved, let us say, Austria, Italy, Irish kind of genes that at higher equator level, not quite as intense sun so therefore I do not have as much of my internal sunblock if you will.
Baris Harvey: Yes, you can almost think of it almost like, would that be the iris of the eye or the aperture of a camera. How much light are you allowing to go in, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Exactly.
Baris Harvey: So, like if you are in a place where there is not that much light, right? The same way when it is dark outside your pupils, they get bigger to try to accept light, “C’mon! Come in light! I need more so that way I can see. Whereas if you are getting an excess of it, there is too much exposure you know. You go from barely waking up and you turn the lights on your eyes you can see then kind of re-adjust or re-calibrate. You know, people with darker skin they have that natural sunblock. And it is always funny to me how some people will tell me, “Oh, well, see that is why you have a higher chance at getting skin cancer because you do not notice it. You got to put it on; you do not notice because you have darker skin you would not get burned right away but you are going to get skin cancer in not putting sunblock on. And I have not really heard too many people with darker skin getting skin cancer. I mean, there are other traits from my descent that I worry about.
Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hum. Uh-hum.
Baris Harvey: Maybe like high blood pressure and some other things I might run in my genealogy. But skin cancer is generally not one of them.
Justin Marchegiani: Yes and people do not really understand, you know, the mechanism of skin cancer. So, if we are getting excessively burned, yes we are going to have a risk of skin cancer. But then the question is what kind, right? This is like the devil is on the details. So when you get burned more you are going to be at a higher risk for squamous or basal cell carcinoma. Guess what? Basal and squamous cell carcinoma really do not kill people. Very easy to treat. Just go to the dermatologist. They just cut it out, you are pretty darn good. It is going to be the melanoma that you got to worry about. And guess what? When it comes to melanoma, it tends to occur on areas that never even get exposed to the sun.
Baris Harvey: Yes, and it is a little bit more different that the squamous cells which are closer to the higher areas like you mentioned. Melanoma is not really that direct sun, that kind of thing. Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: Yes. Tend to be in the areas that never get exposure. And there is also, in some research out there, some epidemiological research and again this cannot prove causation. But they are just finding the more sun exposure the less melanoma. And the hypothesis behind that really is just vitamin D. I think we can say that vitamin D is definitely a causal in decreasing cancer. Because we have so many other studies showing the decreased cancer risk factors with higher vitamin D. We were able to show the ability to control genes with vitamin D. How it affects your T-regulatory cells which helps balance your immune system. This antimicrobial peptides, cathelicidin it helps with your immune response. So we know that cancer is an immune issue, right? Our immune system cannot control these cells. It cannot create apoptosis which is program cell death. So if these cells go out of control they start growing then you are going to start seeing, you know, over 5 or 10 years maybe even longer, a tumor. So, if we can keep our immune system super smart or from Boston, I will just say wicked smart. (Laughs) We are going to keep our immune system in check which will then keep or cells in check, just be at apoptosis. And then also, the diet stuff. We will touch upon the diet in this podcast. But again, they have done studies. I have it on one of my blogs that if you consume glucose you are going to decrease your immune system 50% for up to 5 or 6 hours-that is for 100 grams of glucose. What if you have a coke and then maybe have your cereals and then an orange juice or something all within a couple of hours, then your immune system is shut down for days. And what if you live your life this way? Then you are doubly screwed.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Exactly. So with that being said, because you kind of mentioned a little bit of the pathways, right? You take it mostly from the sun through our skin but also dietary intake. We are getting some from our, actually how do we get it dietarily besides supplements?
Justin Marchegiani: Well, we are not going to get too much dietarily. We get a little bit from fish, a little bit from mushrooms, a little bit from cod liver oil, and things like that. You are not going to get a ton, dietarily. Like at the most, I want to say you can get probably maybe 1000iu if you are on point. But again, that may not be enough if you are severely deficient or could not get outside much or it is the winter. I mean, we know seasonal affective disorder and vitamin D are connected, right?
Baris Harvey: Oh, yes.
Justin Marchegiani: That is why you are feeling blues in the winter time, those winter blues.
Baris Harvey: Exactly. And another thing you mentioned with the consumption amount that is like optimal rates, right? And even if you are getting outside and it is sunny, we are not walking outside naked, right?
Justin Marchegiani: I know, right.
Baris Harvey: Like we are still, for the most part like, maybe we have a short sleeved shirt maybe not. Maybe we are dressing in our dress clothes, right? To go to work or something like that and we have our head and our hands exposed but there is so much more body area that is not getting any hit. So, it will really have to be on like optimal conditions to get it through your food and also the sun.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Exactly, man. And the thing with vitamin D is, you know we got to talk about the amounts, too. So we kind of like have our general levels which should be like right around 50. I want to say it is ng/ml. I always get the reference range a little bit confused, but I think it is ng/ml. So 50 is a pretty good level for your average person. If you have an autoimmune condition or you have any family history of cancer you just want to be, you know, careful. I recommend getting it closer to 70 to 100 if you have any of those risk factors. I do not think there is any issue with safety on that. Vitamin D Council recommends up to 100 with certain people with autoimmune condition. So that is a pretty good reference range to go by.
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm. Definitely. Now, so that means how could someone get this tested?
Justin Marchegiani: Great question. So there are a couple of ways. We already talked about the calcidiol and the calcitriol aka 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. So in general, 25-hydroxyvitamin D is going to be your gold standard for blood test to see where your vitamin D is at. Now, if you have parathyroid issues or maybe you have chronic infections or just chronically ill, getting the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D will also be helpful to look at. Because you want to make sure your 25 hydroxy and your 1,25-dihydroxy are relatively about the same. So, if you are pumping out about 50 to 60 units on the 25 hydroxy, you want to be about the same 50 to 60 on the 1,25. Now the 1,25 dihydroxy or the calcitriol, if you will, is going to be your active form of vitamin D. Okay? So one thing that we see with people having infection or are chronically ill, we see the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D skew up. I had a patient just last week, we ran 25 and 1,25-dihydroxy, we saw the 1,25 super high. So, the question is, what is happening? So what is happening essentially is there is vitamin D receptor site down regulation. So it is kind of like what insulin resistance. The receptor site becomes resistant to the hormone, meaning you need more insulin to bring blood sugar into the cell. Well, the same thing happens with vitamin D. We need more of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D to have the same receptor cell effect. So, we will see when we run 25 we will see it at 40 or 50 and then we will see the 1,25 up well into the 100’s. We see this big, big skew with the immune system. And the body is doing that because it is not having the immune effect of that vitamin D hitting the receptor site and allowing it to do what it needs to do.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Definitely. I would probably think of a better analogy right now. But one thing that I may think of kind of, I mean the same thing as the insulin. But when a certain receptor cell is not, almost not, accepting of the nutrient that is being provided, it is almost like when you are feeding the baby and they are just like so resistant they keep turning their heads like, “No, I do not want to eat, I do not want to eat”. But that does not mean you do not have enough of this certain substrate, you know what I mean?
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: So, that is kind of the thing that first, you know maybe I will get better at one more, we are fine. But the first thing, well, like a little kid that is like rejecting food. It is there, right? And then you want to make sure that you are getting the test in. For the most part, I know there are definitely some in home testing and testing that you can run with your functional practitioner. But could you get this from your normal medical doctor? Just you know…
Justin Marchegiani: Yes, you can probably ask. Yes, you can probably ask. And most of them, they are getting a little more hip to it.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: Like when you deal with conventional medicine, they tend to be, you know, I want to sound straight and they tend to be 10 or 20 years behind the curve.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: But the nice thing is if you are having a hard time, just feel free to reach out to me. These tests are pretty inexpensive even if you are doing cash, I mean, I can do these tests for 30 or 40 bucks. And it is totally worth it. Definitely worth getting it done once a year just to make sure you are on point.
Baris Harvey: Yes, definitely. And I know like you mentioned earlier the vitamindcounsel.org I am pretty sure they have links to where you can get in home testing. But normally, yes your doctor usually has, sometimes it is even baseline nowadays where you can get a vitamin D test. So when you do your normal checkup, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and do that. Now the reference range, you know might be a little different, you know. Have this really wide array of what is considered acceptable. But as long as you are getting it done, you know where you need to be, you can see it on paper.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: But let us say like 15 or 20 they might not think it is necessarily and issue.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So I just want to touch back upon the 1, 25 25 hydroxyvitamin D. So I kind of talked about this vitamin D receptor numbness or down regulation, okay?
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm.
Justin Marchegiani: If you are a person and you are taking vitamin D and then you are testing your vitamin D and it is not moving upward there is a chance that your 1,25 is shooting up and your 25 is not, you are not building a reservoir with the 25 because it is all going downstream to the 1,25 or from the calcidiol to the calcitriol. So it is very possible that is the case. We see that with inflammation and these chronic infections. So, if that is the case, make sure you are running the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D along with the 25 because that way you are not going to be continuing to push more and more vitamin D thinking that that is going to be the right solution.
Baris Harvey: Right. You cannot just get more stuff down the toilet and expect it to hit the flush. You got to actually fix the problem and what is going on.
Justin Marchegiani: Yes. So the deeper question is why?
Baris Harvey: Why?
Justin Marchegiani: So we know that infections, right? Inflammation these things these are going to cause that receptor site to be more numb. So, moving forward, if we want to look at intracellular infections, right? Infections in the blood, infections in the body that could be creating or deforming that vitamin D receptor. So, we know for instance, one infection mono or Epstein Barr. Epstein Barr virus is one of the viruses that in cytomegalovirus, CMV is one of the viruses that cause mononucleosis. So this research showing that it will actually derange the vitamin D receptor site. There are also some researches showing that resveratrol which is like this antioxidant bioflavonoids will actually help the vitamin D receptor site. So one school of thought out there is you know giving some extra resveratrol to help the vitamin D receptor site so it can work better. That is kind of like palliative, in my opinion. It is like a Band Aid over, you know. It is like an ice pack on your head because you are just slamming it into the wall every day.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: The question will be why did the receptor site down regulate? We have to go back to the inflammation and the infection. So, the underlying cause, like it is always the best thing to be at the underlying cause. The underlying cause is to get the infection treated.
Baris Harvey: Uh-humm.
Justin Marchegiani: But in that process, I see it being totally okay adding some resveratrol, some of these antioxidant bioflavonoids to help kind of get the receptor site back into action so it can work a little better.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: I have not seen too much on blood work. I have looked at it a few times. I have not seen it worked, you know, terribly well where you see a drop in it. But I think there are some evidence in the scientific literature, I actually posted this on my Facebook. You know, one of these scientific articles that is over a year and a half ago. And just want to touch upon it now. We could be in the winter, and I did a couple of videos on vitamin D recently and I want to add this element to it. The infection element and the vitamin D receptor cell down regulation. There are things you can do: 1. Resveratrol. 2. Address the infection, address the intracellular infection.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Definitely. See what is super important about what you mentioned right there is that it is not just one or the other. And I know that often, sometimes people, you know think, they go to their Western Medical doctor and it is like, “Okay, I am just getting a Band-Aid.” But then they might go here to the functional medicine and say, “Oh, I am going to get to the root cause but in the meantime feel like crap.” But no, that is not the case, you want to make sure that we do want to find what is the deepest bottom thing, you know, that is causing, wreaking havoc because you do not want to just keep, you know, repeating that the thing is broken. We want to make sure that we solve it and we solve it for good. But in the meantime, like while you are doing all that digging you want to have some help and some relief so that way you do not have to just kind of withhold the negative symptoms whatever that might be. So, a lot of people might think off the bat and this is something that is being said. We do not naturally take those negative symptoms, that they are not obvious, if I can say that. Because most people they will say, “Oh, vitamin D deficiency? Rickets. But that is like hitting rock bottom, right? We do not want to wait until it gets that bad or some people when they are really young. Until we say, “Hey, maybe we should check out this vitamin D thing like.”
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: What are some of the other symptoms we might be noticing if we have deficient vitamin D levels?
Justin Marchegiani: What else could you notice? Well, it is really hard to say because vitamin D has an effect on so many things. I will just give you an example. My father during December came to me and said, “Justin, I want to let you know I have actually lost 10 pounds this month.” And I said, “That is great!” You know. “I noticed you have been eating a little bit of bread, this and that and you have been cutting your carbs and getting your insulin levels.” Then he said, “No, my diet, I have kept it exactly the same. My routine is exactly the same. And I have lost 10 pounds this month just by upping my vitamin D 10,000 IU per day.” I go, “Really!” So then I go on PubMed and I am like Googling and I am like, “Oh, wow!” There was a study six to nine months ago in the American Journal on Clinical Nutrition on postmenopausal females. And what they found was when they supplemented their Vitamin D levels up to 2000iu per day, controlling for exercise and controlling for diet, the group that got the modulatory, the higher level of vitamin D lost the most weight and were able to keep it off. And I am like, “This is interesting.” So, I did go on a little bit deeper into vitamin D and what could it be doing in, you know, it can have an effect on hormone synthesis. It can affect testosterone. It can affect estrogen levels. When we are dealing with these things it is going to have a modulatory effect. You are not going to like super saturate your hormones but like you would if I was giving you topical testosterone or topical estrogen. We are not going to have that kind of effect. But there is a modulating, boosting effect we see with testosterone. We also see an effect on insulin resistance. Meaning, it makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. So, that is pretty cool. So I am like, “Alright, Dad, you are a not post-menopausal female.”
Baris Harvey: I was just going to bring that up. (Laughs) So it works on post-menopausal men as well? (Laughs)
Justin Marchegiani: ”You are not a post-menopausal female, thank God. But, it makes sense. The mechanisms are in place in the literature. And there are some researches on it affecting testosterone. I do not think it is a giant leap to make the connection that it is having a similar effect on your body, you know, on the testosterone and on the insulin-resistant side and that is probably the reason why you are having this weight loss.”
Baris Harvey: Yes. Definitely. Like you mentioned, do not go out there and just assume that if you work out and you want to get super big that you have to take an extreme amount. But what we are saying is that we do see a correlation and a connection. And even when you look at your hormone pathways we see one of those beginning stages of your hormone pathways is guess what? Vitamin D and cholesterol. And you need those as building blocks as foundation. Now you mentioned there are probably some boosting but not like a super saturated form but like in a modulating type of way in which you kind of rebound and tell your body like, “Hey, this is the way that we are supposed to be running efficiently.”
Justin Marchegiani: Yes. And I have read the abstract of this rat study. Again it’s a rat study that you got to put it out there. But they found, vitamin D increased the synthesis by the testes making more testosterone in some of these rats. I was like, “That is really interesting!” And it makes sense. That mechanism is more than likely happening in humans at some level. And we know it is happening in some of the females. We know it is having the insulin resistance effect. So, I mean, make sure your vitamin D, it is just another reason why you want to use vitamin D. So, if you are not motivated by the immune boosting and natural cancer benefits, well, get motivated by some of the esthetic benefits, right?
Baris Harvey: Right. Exactly. Yes. And like you mentioned because it affects our hormones, it affects our skin and all these other things, it is hard to pin down like, “Hey! I am having these symptoms. Do I have vitamin…”, like we cannot kind of immediately do that. And that is probably why it is important to make sure that, hey, just you know, get a test. It is not that expensive if you go into your doctors. Make sure to say, hey, just make sure your vitamin D is getting tested and it probably would not cost you anything extra. And if you have to go outside of your doctor, it would not cost you that much, right?
Justin Marchegiani: Yes, what I will do is, I will put a link in on the show notes, just a way to my store where you can get vitamin D done super cheap. I think it even comes with C-reactive protein, too. So I will put a link in. So if you want it and you cannot get it from your doctor or you cannot find a decent price you can always get it here pretty easily.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Exactly. So now we have a kind of like a baseline of what is kind of happening? Where do we mostly get it from? And then now it will probably be a good idea to understand how do I dose it, right? If I am noticing that I am low or even if I am at baseline like how much should I be internally taking in if am taking a supplement? And with the supplement, is there a superior form? Should I be taking it mixed with some vitamin K? Should I be taking it in a liquid form? What are some of the things when it comes to supplementation that you might tell some of your clients?
Justin Marchegiani: So when it comes to vitamin D, off the bat vitamin K2 is going to be beneficial. I typically would not recommend it with vitamin K2 unless my patients have osteoporosis, they are females or if they are just avoiding like butter. Like if you are getting grass-fed butter in your diet, like I just had a tablespoon or two on my coffee, right? I do not need vitamin K2 supplementation. I am getting lots of grass fed butter on my diet. I am eating ghee. I am eating good quality meats that are going to have other fat soluble nutrients. But if I am looking at someone’s diet and I am not seeing vitamin K2 dietarily, then I will put it in there. So, I always want to make sure it is either coming in supplementally or it is coming in dietarily. Or if people just have a concern for bone health, we will just add some extra vitamin K in there. So that is kind of step one off the bat. So if you feel like you are not eating butter and things like that or definitely you are pure vegan, right? You want to get the vitamin K2 in there. But on that note, I typically recommend the vitamin D3 drops mixed in the Beta MCT oil. So with the MCT, you are going to take that up enterohepatically. Meaning, you do not need bile salts to break it down. Because it is a fat soluble nutrient, right? Vitamin A, D, E and K. So, you are going to be able to take it up naturally via the lymphatic system and not have to break it down with bile. So you get really good absorption. So the vitamin D drops are great. I will put a link in on a couple of my favorite products. I like one by Thorne that has got the vitamin D3 and the vitamin K2. That is a really a good one if you want the vitamin K2 as well. There is also a really good one by Designs For Health called the Emulsi-D. I will put that on the show notes. That is just the more concentrated form of vitamin D. Very good. I am right now, hitting up about 10,000 units a day. But a good general recommendation, go liquid if you can. If not do the pill but make sure your digestion is working. And a good recommendation off the bat is about 1000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight. So if you are right around 100 pounds, 4,000 IU will be great for the first month to start. If you are around 200 pounds that is right around 8,000 IU will be a pretty good place to start. And that is just the starting point. I do not recommend keeping that dose longer than a month. Just a good starting place. Again, Dr. Holick, he is a researcher out of BU, a prolific vitamin D researcher. He says that your body needs just about 2000 IU of vitamin D per day just at baseline. Just to kind of keep things level. So, if you are kind of on the fence and you are like, “I do not know but I have been taking vitamin D and I have not been.” Well, 2000 IU would just be a great baseline. And if you really are uncertain and you are not ready to get tested yet, 2000 will be a great place to start if you are uncertain.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Definitely. And this would probably be, especially for people that maybe overweight or people that are older like you mentioned earlier of if you have darker skin you might need a little bit more, you are at a high risk of being deficient. Another thing that you have mentioned and I do not think that we have mentioned much on the show before is the route. Because these are fat soluble with the liquid, explain to people what you mean it does not need bile salts to breakdown and kind of what is happening when you take a sublingual like a fat soluble tincture versus taking something in? Because somebody could just think, “Oh, what if I just like swallow the liquid?” They might not kind of catch it right off the bat. So, tell us real quick about that pathway?
Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Well, there are some thought that we can absorb some of this if it is liquid sublingually, so kind of through our sublingual tissue and have it go right to the blood stream. And also we know that when we take things like coconut oil or medium chain triglycerides, these are fatty acids that are 6 to 12 carbons longs. And essentially these molecules can be taken up by our lymphatic system. Okay, our lymphatic system is kind of the intermediary between the tissue and the blood. Big thing is when we typically take in fats like if you have a bolus of butter or bolus of meat, your body is going to have your pancreas produce some enzymes, right? Like lipase, etc. And then also your gallbladder is going to spit out some bile.
Baris Harvey: Bile which becomes…
Justin Marchegiani: Which is going to emulsify and breakdown the fat. So, we got some lipase coming from the pancreas, we got some bile coming from the gallbladder and this is going to help breakdown that fat. Essentially emulsify it so then we can absorb it. The nice thing is when we do something on the medium chain triglyceride side of things we can absorb it enterohepatically, meaning just take it up through the lymph glands. We do not need this whole bile output. And this is great because I cannot tell you how many patients I see these days that do not have gallbladders.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: They do not have gallbladders and their digestion stinks because they got gut infections and they are not absorbing the nutrients. So I am a little more biased towards the vitamin D. Again you got people out there like the drug industry and conventional medicine starting to get hit with this. They are just doing 50,000 IU one time per week. Not really a fan of that because you typically would not just go outside and just get your bolus of vitamin D just at one time, right? Because the most you can make at about one unit is about 20,000. So I do not like to go over 20,000 unless it is an acute issue like an infection. So getting it daily is going to be a better thing. And I am a bigger fan of doing it in the morning. Well, it kind of makes sense.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: Because vitamin D is made with the sun so why would you get a whole whack of vitamin D at 9-10 o’clock at night when the sun is down. I know there are a lot of protocols out there that say, “Hey, do your vitamin D at night, it will have a calming effect.” But I just like to use my noggin a little bit and say, “Well, will our body normally make vitamin D at 10 o’clock at night?”
Baris Harvey: Yes. Exactly. I kind of think the same thing. I take a sublingual vitamin D there okay. I take the Thorne. So there is not going to be that much in the afternoon. But there is a heavier amount in the morning. And they did that in that specific reason. There is kind of this expectation of what our body is expecting and what naturally occurs. Then you kind of want to do as best you can to match up with nature. Unless, I guess you work the night shift then you know you might benefit from doing it the opposite way.
Justin Marchegiani: You may. That is a good point.
Baris Harvey: Yes. Basically what you are saying is like let us see about this and also try to match up to try and follow nature as much as possible even if that is supplementing.
Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: These are natural things that us as humans have built but we, you kind of coexist with this technology. So the stuff that we have that we know is good, you know, try to much our technology with what is natural. So one of the best things you can do is to take that in the morning and that is the same way, same time I supplement my vitamin D.
Justin Marchegiani: That is smart, man. That is really good. And I just want to summarize everything. I think we went on to the show being like, “Oh, we are going to talk about vitamin D and immune boosting support but I think there is so much to talk about. We are just going to keep this podcast just focused to vitamin D and I think we will do a part 2 talking about other ways to kind of boost the immune system outside of vitamin D next week.
Baris Harvey: Yes. That sounds perfect.
Justin Marchegiani: Is there anything else you want to touch upon, Baris?
Baris Harvey: I think we got most of it. For the listeners out there, send us any of the questions that you may have about vitamin D and maybe we can throw that in. I am going to make sure that I take that down, questions about vitamin D. So you can go to beyondwellnessradio.com and there is this place right there that you can click and ask away. And you ask your questions so we can go ahead and put it on the show. So, yes I think we got most of it. And if there are other questions, well just make sure you guys go ahead and send that in so that way we can get those answers for you.
Justin Marchegiani: Great.
Baris Harvey: And with that being said, I think we really did a good job in breaking down in giving our listeners a foundation. Anything else that maybe you want to add?
Justin Marchegiani: Well, I just want to set people up here so that if they got a little glossy eyed with all the big words and just it kind of made it, maybe it was a little bit over their heads. I am going to just break it down so they listen to this quick 30 seconds here they will get all of the key points.
Baris Harvey: Yes.
Justin Marchegiani: Alright. So vitamin D3 in your supplements coming in converted to the liver the 25 hydroxyvitamin D, calcidiol and then converted by the kidneys to calcitriol, your active vitamin D. Vitamin D up regulates 800 different genes, cancer protective. Vitamin D has shown that people with higher vitamin D levels are resistant to the flu. It helps balance your TH1 and TH2 immune system, right? Your TH1 are like the Special Forces that go out to go kill everything off the bat. Your TH2 are the forces that stay behind and come out in about a week. Those are your antibodies. It helps your TH3 system, your T-regulatory cells that really balance out your immune system. And if your vitamin D levels are not going up, look a little deeper. There could be an infection. You could be having vitamin D receptor site down regulations. We want to run that 1,25-dihydroxy D. If our 25-hydroxy D is not going up with supplementation let us take the 1,25-dihydroxy D. A good starting point if you are uncertain is 2000 IU per day or anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 IU depending on body weight for the first month. And if anyone listening is uncertain and wants to get tested, check out below the show notes to get more information on how to easily do that. I think that is it, Baris.
Baris Harvey: Yes. We went over a lot stuff in that time. So thank you so much guys for listening. We always appreciate it. With that being said, next time on the show we will get into the immune system part of it. We will go ahead and break that stuff down for you guys and get you guys as much as you guys need. So again, go to beyondwellnessradio.com and hit that subscribe to the newsletter. This will keep you up-to-date as much as possible. Also we would greatly appreciate if you went to ITunes and write us a review. With that being said, you guys have a good one. Thank you for coming on, Dr. Justin. We had a good one.
Justin Marchegiani: Thanks, Baris.
Vitamin D Lab Testing and Supplementation – Podcast #30
In today’s show Dr. Justin and Baris will review the benefits of vitamin D, how to test for vitamin D, resistance and infections. The best way to supplement vitamin D and what to do if your vitamin D lab values aren’t increasing even though you are supplementing it.
Don’t know the difference between vitamin D, D2, and D3? Dr. Justin breaks it down for the listeners and now we know the difference between calcidiol and calcitriol. Know more about light and dark skin pigments and why it’s important to take vitamin D supplementation. You’ll get some infromation from Baris and Dr. Justin about skin cancer as well in this podcast. You can also find out how much Vitamin D dosage you ought to be getting.
Baris Harvey: Welcome to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. Before we go in today’s show, I wanna tell you guys about the newsletter. Go to BeyondWellnessRadio.com and hit the Newsletter Sign Up. By doing this you will never miss out on an episode. Be the first one to hear it as it is sent out to your inbox each week. You want even more? Right above there’s a tab for Just In Health and that’s where you can go straight Dr. Justin’s website and he has a free consultation available for you guys that wanna get much deeper look.
He also has a free video series on thyroid health. So make sure you guys dive in. Also we will love for you guys to go ahead and give us a review on iTunes. That would be awesome. But to prove it to you that we deserve that review, we’re gonna give you some awesome stuff today.
So first of all, how’s it going today, Dr. Justin?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Baris, it’s going great today, man. It’s right in the middle of winter and Austin, Texas has a great whether. It’s 75 degrees and just beautiful and sunny, and I know being a Boston boy growing up, it’s–I got like 3 or 4 pedis now this month alone, so feeling really happy I’m not in the Northeast.
Baris Harvey: Oh, yeah, definitely. The same thing here. It’s really warm. I’m think–thinking to myself, you know, it would be a good thing to have some rainfall but, I mean, I’m kinda spoiled out here, and I know people in New York–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah.
Baris Harvey: They’re–they’re a little chilly right now in that snow, so I can’t complain.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: Yeah. So in today’s episode, we’re gonna talk about vitamin D and not only, I mean it covers so–so much, whether that’s, you know, hormone influence or your immune system. We’re gonna be a little bit more particular on the immune boosting benefits. But we’re–we’re gonna break–basically break down vitamin D by Mindy, make sure we’re answering, you know, most of you guys’ questions on it, getting kind of that foundation. But before we go into that, you know, what did you eat for breakfast?
Baris Harvey: Baris, today was just kind of a simple day, man. It was just 4 eggs, sunny side up. I know this kind of, you know, my–my Fridays tend to be–because this is when we record the podcast–tend to be similar–little bit of collagen, some eggs that were just sunny side up, a piece of pasture-fed bacon and some coffee with butter and MCT, and I’m just–I’m rockin’ it. I took some–right now I’m stacking up my supplements a little bit differently. I’m using a combination of Ashwagandha and Eleuthero at relatively higher doses and I’m also on a brain program where I’m adding in 5 HTP and L-tyrosine, and my brain just feels amazing like I’ve been getting–and I’m gonna admit it to everyone. I haven’t been good this week. I have been getting about 6-7 hours’ night sleep, so–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know I preach getting 8 and getting to bed before 11, I’ve been off. So even I can make mistakes but I’ve been feeling darn good where in the past I wouldn’t have felt this good in the morning and I really attribute it to I think adding in these new adaptogenic herbs–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But also adding in the–the brain program, adding in some the sulfur amino acids and the combination of the 5 HTP and L-tyrosine together really has made a big difference for me.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, yeah. It–it’s funny that–that you say that because I was just, you know, especially that–that you guys, you know, will be hearing, really into like the–the brain–the brain stuff and the brain supplementation and how we can improve that in, like you–you said, well, you know, we preach that you should be getting 8 hours of sleep but this past week, I haven’t been the best on that either.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Baris Harvey: There have been–there have been some days I’m getting more sleep but if we’re going to sleep pretty late we’re making sure that, okay, how do I–kinda whatever I’m–I might have lost, you know, you’re never gonna–you’re never gonna get as much as you could with sleep, but how could I try to make sure I maximize the nutrients that I put in my body? That would give me maybe something I would have got when I slept, you know I mean? So–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: So try to level that and then when you do get that full 8 hours of sleep and then put that on top of it, it’s just icing on the cake.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, love it, man.
Baris Harvey: Definitely. So myself, you know, I–I don’t wanna just, you know, keep it boring because again I didn’t keep breakfast, but I’ll tell you what I’m about to eat after. I will have some organic beef sausage with some–with some eggs and that will probably be it. It’ll probably be something simple like that. I mean, morning–mornings are simple because, you know, you got stuff to do, you gotta get things out of the way, so if you don’t have allergy to eggs, like eggs are amazing, and they don’t have to be just for breakfast food, so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, man. Love it.
Baris Harvey: And you know what else? They have a fair amount of vitamin D so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the bet, absolutely, on that note.
Baris Harvey: On that note, I–you know, I’ve been–been hearing some things with vitamin D. People try to put it into a certain category and maybe–maybe it doesn’t even need to be stuck into one category but is it a vitamin or is it a hormone? What’s going on with that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I will consider vitamin D or vitamin D3 as like a pre-hormone. Vitamin D, activated vitamin D or calcitriol is gonna be a hormone for sure. It’s gonna have hormone-like effects. It’s gonna effect essentially various immune cells. It upregulates this microbial, anti-microbial peptide called cathelicidin which is really cool. It has effects on about 800 different genes, right? I think we only have like 20,000-24,000 genes. So it’s kinda like a–you know, a pretty big effect on about 5% of your genes. That’s pretty awesome. So it affects your natural antibiotics in your body. It affects your immune system. It affects your genetics and, you know, one of the big things with vitamin D, it’s gonna be a hormone even though it’s a vitamin and what’s happening is we’re taking vitamin D3 through our skin and through supplements and we’re converting it via our liver and kidneys.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm. And is that conversion still happening? Is it is the–the same when it’s through our skin? Is it still getting converted through our liver?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, there’s various sterols that get secreted when you’re getting sunlight versus the supplement. So what–you’re taking a supplement, we’re just getting vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, that’s vitamin D3.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now we have vitamin D2 which is ergocalciferol, that’s more synthetic, kinda made in the lab, plant-based kinda thing. Like your–your vegans and stuff are gonna be more on the vitamin D2 but you’re gonna get better absorption with vitamin D3, and it’s also it’s the same vitamin D3 that’s made by the sun.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now with the sun though, I’m gonna recommend sun being the best but let’s just face it. It’s not going to be practical for a lot of people especially if the maximum timeframe to get vitamin D between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., right? That’s where the angle of the sun and maybe through March and October are the prime parts of the year, so if you’re outside of those parts of the year or if you’re in an area with a higher latitude, you know, that–not everyone can live in sunny Santa Cruz, right?
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And let’s say you gotta work like everyone else here does in the world then you may have to be relying on a vitamin D3 supplement.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm. Yeah, definitely. And it–it kinda saddens me to–to say this but because Santa Cruz is so amazing, but I–I recently just moved back to the Bay Area, so just for the listeners, I’ll let you guys know that–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ah.
Baris Harvey: But yeah, that–it is beautiful and like you said, sometimes it is hard if we’re supposed to be outside, kinda you know, going along with this–this Paleo concept like we evolved to kinda be one with the sun and the sun powers everything on–on this planet including humans, right? And it’s hard when most of us are inside a facility working somewhere whether that be a desk job or inside of a–a building or even at home from those peak hours, well, unless you know, you might get an hour lunch right between there, but for the majority of the people that you mentioned we can’t just, you know, go to work shirtless.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, exactly. So getting back to vitamin D, Baris, I kinda wanted to just break down the physiology and biochemistry of what’s happening here.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, definitely. So–so break it down, we in–ingest it and what–what’s the– what’s the next step?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when we’re getting sun, right? We’re making–we’re taking the cholesterol in our skin and we’re turning it into pre vitamin D3 and that vitamin D3 is gonna get converted by our liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D or calcidiol. So we can call it calcidiol just to keep it simple and that calcidiol gets converted by our kidneys to 125-hydroxyvitamin D or just to keep it simple, we have calcitriol which is the active one.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So we have free vitamin D3 go into the liver, making calcidiol, going to the kidneys and spitting out calcitriol. And again we’re gonna be making some other different sterols and such when we get sun. So sun’s gonna be your–your ideal exposure, just when we’re getting sun, just get your skin pink. Don’t get burned.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The scientific literature’s got this funky word called median erythemal dose and basically we just convert that into layman speak, just get a little bit pink. And now obviously you got darker skin, Baris, so that may not happen for you.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But like I’m fair skin, so just a little bit pink. Just curious with yourself, are you–do you see a pigment change at all when–when you know you’re saturated?
Baris Harvey: I get–I get dark.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.
Baris Harvey: I’ve–luckily I have a nice balance to where I can basically accumulate a very nice tan. It–it does–it basically depends. I–I probably got burnt in my life 2 or 3 times. You know, one of the times was, you know, being on Lake Tahoe. You know, it’s overcast. You can’t really tell, you know, there’s a–water’s all around, all the reflection. I got burnt then pretty bad, but for the most part I can, you know, be outside for a fair amount–long amount of time without worrying about it too much.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and just kinda talking about pigment, right?
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The whole idea of how we evolved pigment in our skin–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is just based on where we evolved on the equator, right?
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I–I evolved in areas that probably were higher latitude, therefore, my body was like, “Alright, we need to have just enough melanin so we can make vitamin D,” and you evolved at a place probably closer to the equator–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you had more melanin. So just think of melanin or the pigment in your skin is just natural sunblock.
Baris Harvey: Exactly,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So some people have more sunblock because they evolved in hotter environments with, you know, a–a kinda more UV radiation from the sun.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, they’re at–at a lower latitude and then some people like myself evolved, you know, let’s say Austria, Italy, Irish kinda genes–
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: At a higher equator level, not quite as intense sun so, therefore, I don’t have as much–much of my internal sunblock if you will.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, you can almost think of it almost like whether that be the iris of your eye or aperture of a–a camera, how much light you’re allowing to go in, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly.
Baris Harvey: So like if you’re in a place where there’s not that much light, right? The same way when it’s dark outside, your–your pupils they–they get bigger to try to accept light. “Come on, come in, light. I need more so that way I can see.” Whereas if you–if you’re getting an excess of it, there’s too much exposure, you know, you–you go from barely waking up and you turn the lights on, your eyes you can see them kind of readjust and recalibrate, you know, people with darker skin, you know, they can–they have that natural block and it’s always funny to me how some people will–will tell me, “Oh, well, see that–that’s why you’ll have a higher chance of getting skin cancer because you don’t–you don’t notice it that–you know, you gotta put in on, you don’t notice it because you have darker skin, you won’t get burnt right away, but you’re gonna get skin cancer not putting sunblock on,” and I’m like, “I haven’t really heard too many people with darker, you know, skin getting skin cancer.” I mean there’s–there’s other traits from my descent that I worry about–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Baris Harvey: Maybe like high blood pressure and–and some other things that might run in my genealogy but skin cancer is generally not one of them.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and people don’t really understand, you know, the mechanism of skin cancer.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So if we’re getting excessively burned. Yeah, we’re gonna have a risk of skin cancer but then the question is, what kind, right? Like this is, like the devils are on the details. So when you get burned more, you’re gonna be at a high risk for squamous or basal cell carcinoma.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Guess what? Basal and squamous cell carcinoma really don’t kill people. They’re very easy treat. You just go to the dermatologist. They just cut it out. You’re pretty darn good. It’s gonna be the melanoma that you gotta worry about. And guess what? When it comes to melanoma, it tends to occur on areas that never even get exposed to the sun.
Baris Harvey: Yeah. And–and it’s a little bit more given that you–your squamous cells which are a closer to–to the higher areas like you mentioned like melanoma’s not really that direct sun–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Baris Harvey: Kinda thing. So yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It tend to be in areas that never get exposure and then there’s also, you know, some research out there. Some epidemiological research and again this can’t prove causation but they’re just finding the more sun exposure, the less melanoma and the hypothesis behind that really is just vitamin D and I think we have, I think we can say that vitamin D is definitely a causal in decreasing cancer because we have so many other studies showing the decreased cancer risk factors with higher vitamin D. We’re able to show the ability to control genes with vitamin D, how it affects your T regulatory cells which helps balance your immune system, it helps with this–these anti-microbial peptides, cathelicidin. It helps with your immune response so we know that cancer is an immune issue, right? It’s–our immune system can’t control these cells, right? It can’t create apoptosis which is programmed cell death, so these cells go outta control. They start growing. Well, you’re gonna start seeing, you know, over 5 or 10 years, maybe even longer a tumor. So if we can keep our immune system super smart or if I’m from Boston, I’ll just say wicked smart–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’re gonna–we’re gonna keep our immune system in check which will then keep our cells in check, just via ap–apoptosis and then also, you know, the diet stuff and we’ll touch upon the diet in this podcast but again they’ve done studies. I have it on my blogs that you consume glucose you’re gonna decrease your immune system 50% for up to 5 or 6 hours and that’s a 100 grams of glucose. What if you have a Coke and then maybe have your cereal and then an orange juice or something, all within a couple hours, then your immune system will shut down for days. And what if your–what if you live your life this way? Then you’re doubly screwed.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm. Yeah, exactly. So with that being said, because you kinda–kinda mentioned a–a little bit of–of the pathways, right? So you know, we take it mostly from the sun through our skin but also dietary intake we’re getting some from–from our meat–actually we didn’t–how–how do we get it dietary besides supplements?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we’re not gonna get too much dietarily. We’ll get a little bit from fish, a little bit from mushrooms, a little bit from cod liver oil, like things like that. You’re not gonna get a ton dietarily. Like at the most, I wanna say, you can get probably, maybe 1,000 IUs if you’re on point. But again that may not be enough if you’re severely deficient or–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you’re not getting outside much or it’s the winter. I mean, we know Seasonal Affective Disorder in vitamin D are–are connected, right?
Baris Harvey: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s you feeling blues in the wintertime, those winter blues.
Baris Harvey: Exactly. And another thing you mentioned with the, you know, the consumption amount, that’s–that’s like optimal rates, right? And even if you are getting outside and its–it’s sunny, how–we’re not walking outside naked, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, right?
Baris Harvey: Like we’re still–we’re still for the most part like maybe we have a–a short sleeve shirt, maybe not, maybe we’re, you know, we’re dressed in–in our dress clothes, right? To go–go to work or something like that and–and we get–or we have our head and our hands exposed but there’s so much more body area that’s not getting–getting hit so it would really have to be like on –on optimal conditions to–to get it through your food and also from the sun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, exactly, man. And that’s the thing with vitamin D is, you know, we gotta talk about amounts, too. So we have like our general levels which should be like right around 50, I wanna say it’s NG per mL, I always get the reference range a little confused but I think it’s NG per mL.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So 50 is a pretty good level for your average person. If you have an autoimmune condition or you have any family history of cancer, you just wanna be, you know, careful, I recommend getting it closer to 72 to 100 if you have any those risk factors. I–I don’t think there’s any issue with safety and on that. The Vitamin D Council recommends up to 100 with certain people with autoimmune conditions, so that–that’s a pretty good reference range to go by.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm. Definitely. Now so with that being said, how could someone get this tested?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great question. So there’s a couple ways. We already talked about the calcidiol and the calcitriol aka 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 125-hydroxyvitamin D, so in general 25-hydroxyvitamin D is gonna be your gold standard blood test to see where your vitamin D is that. Now if you have parathyroid issues or you have maybe chronic infections, or just chronically ill, getting a 125-hydroxyvitamin D will also be helpful to look at because you wanna make sure you’re 25-hydroxy and your 125-hydroxy are relatively about the same. So if you’re pumping out about 50 or 60 units on the 25-hydroxy, you wanna be about at the same 50-60 on the 125. Now the 125-hydroxy or the calcitriol if you will is gonna be your active form of vitamin D, okay? So one thing we see when people have infections or are chronically ill, we see the 125-hydroxyvitamin D skew up. I had a patient this last week, we ran 25 and 125-hydroxy, we saw the 125 super high.
Baris Harvey: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So the question is what’s happening? So what is happening essentially is there is vitamin D receptor site downregulation so it’s kinda like with insulin resistance, the receptor site becomes resistant to the hormone, meaning you need more insulin to bring blood sugar into the cell.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the same thing happens with vitamin D. We need more 125-hydroxyvitamin D to have the same receptor cell effects. So we’ll see when we run 25, we’ll see it at 40 or 50 and then we’ll see the 125 up well into the 100s. We see this big, big skew with the immune system and the body’s doing that because it’s not having the immune effect of that vitamin D hitting the receptor site and, you know, allowing it to do what it needs to do.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, definitely. I’ll probably think of a better analogy right now, but one thing that made me think of kind of, I mean the same thing as–as the insulin, but when a certain receptor cell is like not almost not accepting of the–the nutrient that’s being provided, it’s almost like when you’re trying to feed a baby and they’re just like so resistant, they keep turning their head like, “No, I don’t–I don’t want it. I don’t wanna eat. I don’t wanna eat.” But that doesn’t mean you don’t have enough of the certain substrate, you know what I mean? So-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: That–that’s kinda the thing that–first, you know, maybe I’ll get a–a better one more refined but the first thing I possibly think, “Oh, like a little kid that’s like rejecting food.” It’s there, right? And then so you wanna make sure that you are getting the–the right test. And for the most part, I know there–there are definitely some–some in-home testing and–and testing that you can run with your functional practitioner but could you get this from your–your normal medical doctor, just so you know–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you can probably ask–
Baris Harvey: You walk in there and ask for it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you can probably ask but most of them, they’re getting a little more hip to it.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Again like when you deal conventional medicine they tend to be, you know, I don’t wanna sound–
Baris Harvey: It’s behind.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They tend to be like 10 to 20 years behind the curve.
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But the nice thing is if you’re having a hard time, just feel free. Reach out to me. These tests are pretty–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Inexpensive even if you’re doing cash.
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, I can get these tests done for $30 or $40 bucks–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s totally worth it. Definitely we’re getting it done–
Baris Harvey: Yeah,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Once a year just to make sure you’re on point.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, definitely. And I know–I know, like you mentioned earlier the VitaminDCouncil.org, they–I’m–I’m pretty sure they have links to where you can get in-home testing and–but normally links or you can get in on tested and but normally yeah, your doctor usually has–has that sometimes, it’s–it’s even baseline nowadays where you can get a vitamin D test. So when you do your normal check-up, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and do that. Now the reference range, you know, might be a little bit different, like you know, have this really wide array of what’s considered acceptable but as long as you’re getting it done, you know where you–you need to be. You can see it on–on paper.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: But–but if you’re–you’re, you know, listed at like 15 or 20, they–they might not think it’s necessarily an issue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So I just wanna touch back upon the 125, 25-hydroxyvitamin D. So I kinda talked about this vitamin D receptor numbness or downregulation–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so, if you’re a person and you’re taking vitamin D and then you’re testing your vitamin D and it’s not moving upward, there’s a chance that there’s–your 125 is shooting up and your 25 is not–you’re not building the reservoir with the 25 because it’s all going downstream to the 125 or from calcidiol to the calcitriol. So it’s very possible that is the case and we see that with inflammation and these chronic infection. So if that’s the case, make sure you’re running the 125-hydroxyvitamin D along with the 25 because that way you’re not gonna be continuing to push more and more vitamin D thinking that that’s gonna be the right solution.
Baris Harvey: Right. You can’t just stuff more stuff down the toilet, expected to get the flush. You gotta actually fix the problem that’s going on. So–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so the deeper is why. So we know that infections, right? Inflammation, these things are gonna cause that receptor site to be more numb. So moving forward, we wanna look at intercellular infections, right? Infections in the blood, infections in the body that could be creating or deforming that vitamin D receptor.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, we know for instance, one infection, mono or Epstein-Barr, Epstein-Barr virus is the–is one of the viruses, that and Cyto-MegaloVirus (CMV), is one of the viruses that causes mononucleosis. So there’s research showing that it will actually derange the vitamin D receptor site and there’s also some research showing that resveratrol, which is like this antioxidant bioflavanoid, will actually help the vitamin D receptor sites. So one school of thought out there is, you know, giving some extra resveratrol to help the vitamin D receptor sites so we can work better–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s–that’s kinda like palliative in my opinion. It’s like a Band-Aid over, you know, it’s–or it’s like an ice pack on your head because you’re just slamming it into the wall every day–
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The question would be, well, why did the receptor site downregulate? And we have to go back to the inflammation and infection, so the underlying cause, right? It’s always the best thing to be at the underlying cause. The underlying cause is to get the infection treated.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But in that process I see it being totally okay adding some resveratrol, some of these antioxidant bioflavonoids to help kinda get the receptor site back into action so we can work a little better.
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I haven’t seen too much on blood work. I’ve–I’ve looked at it a few times. I haven’t seen it worked, you know, terribly well where you see a drop in it but I think there’s some evidence in the scientific literature and I actually posted this on my Facebook. You know, one of the–one of these scientific articles and this–over a year and a half ago and just wanna touch upon it now with it being in the winter and I did a couple of videos on vitamin D recently and I wanna add this element to it, the infection element and the vitamin D receptor cell downregulation and just things you can do, right? Number one, resveratrol. Number two, address the infection, address the intercellular infection.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, definitely. See and what’s super important about what you mentioned right there is that it’s not just one or the other and I know that often sometimes people, you know, think, you know they go to their–their Western medical doc and it’s like, “Okay, I’m just gonna get a Band-Aid,” but then they might go over here to the functional medicine and say, “Oh well, I’m gonna get to the root cause but in the meantime feel like crap.” But no, that’s not the case. We wanna make sure that we–we do wanna find what’s the–the deepest bottom thing, you know, that’s causing–wreaking havoc because you don’t wanna just keep, you know, rinsing and repeating that the thing is broken. We wanna make sure we solve and we solve it for good. But in the meantime like while you’re doing all that digging, you know, you want some help and some relief so that way you don’t have to just kinda–withhold the negative symptoms whatever that might–might be. So with that being said, a lot of people might think off the bat–oh this is–this is something that’s being said, we don’t naturally take, you know, those negative symptoms. That–they’re not that obvious, if I can say that. Because most people don’t say, “Oh, vitamin D deficiency? Ricketts.” But that’s like–kinda like that’s when it’s hitting rock bottom, right? Like we don’t wanna wait until it gets that bad or you know, some people it’s when they’re really young, until we say, “Hey, maybe we should check out this vitamin D thing, like–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: What are some of the other symptoms we might be noticing if we have deficient vitamin D levels?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What else could you notice? Well, it’s really hard to say because vitamin D has an effect on so many things. I’ll just give you an example. My father during December came to me and he said, “Justin, I–I wanna let you know I’ve actually lost 10 pounds this month.”
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I said, “That’s great.” You know, I–I noticed you’ve been eating a little bit of bread and this and that, and you’ve been cutting your carbs and getting your insulin levels and he said, “No, my diet–I’ve kept it exactly the same. My routine’s exactly the same and I’ve lost 10 pounds this month just by upping my vitamin D 10,000 units, international units, per day.” I go, “Really?” So then I go on PubMed and I’m like Googling, and I’m like, “Oh, wow! There was a study, you know, 6-9 months ago in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, on postmenopausal females.”
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what they found was when they supplemented their, I think their vitamin D levels up to 2,000 IUs per day, controlling for exercising, controlling for diet, the group that got the–the modulatory, the higher level of vitamin D lost the most weight–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And were able to keep it off. And I’m like, “This is interesting.” So then I Google a little bit deeper into vitamin D and–and what could it be doing and, you know, it can have a–an effect on hormone synthesis. It can affect testosterone. It could affect estrogen levels and when we’re dealing with these things, it’s gonna have a modulatory effect. You’re not gonna like super saturate–
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your hormones but like you would if I was giving you topical testosterone or topical estrogen.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’re not gonna have that kind of effect but there’s a modulating boosting effect we see with testosterone. We also see an effect on insulin resistance meaning it makes your cells more sensitive to insulin, so that’s pretty cool.
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I’m like, “Alright.” I’m like–I’m like, “Alright, Dad, you’re not a postmenopausal female–
Baris Harvey: I was just–I was just gonna bring that up. I was like, “Well, so, it shows that it works on postmenopausal men as well?”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you’re not a post-menopausal female, thank God, but there–it makes sense. The mechanisms are in place in the literature and there’s some research on it affecting testosterone so I think we can–I don’t think it’s a giant leap to make the connection that–that it’s having similar effect on your body, you know, in–on the testosterone and on the insulin resistance side, and that’s probably the reason why you’re having this weight loss.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, definitely. So it’s, you know, like–like you mentioned, don’t go out there and just, you know, assume that, you know, if you–if you work out, and you wanna get super big that you have to take an extreme amount, but what we’re saying is that we do see a correlation and a connection, and even when you look at, you know, your hormone pathways, we see, you know, one of those beginning stages of your hormone pathways is guess what? Vitamin D and cholesterol, and you need those as building blocks, the foundation. So, like you mentioned, there’s probably some boosting but not like a super saturated form, like in a modulating type of way, in which you can kinda rebalance and kinda tell your body like, “Hey, this is the way that we’re supposed to be running efficiently.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah and I read the abstract to this rat’s study and again it’s a rat study, I just gotta put it out there, but they found testosterone increased the synthesis, excuse me, let’s back up–Vitamin D increased the synthesis by the testes making more testosterone in–in some of these rats. And I was like, “Oh, that’s really interesting.” And it makes sense that mechanism is more than likely happening in humans at some level. And we know it’s happening in some other females. We know it’s having the insulin resistance effect, so I mean, make sure your vitamin D, it’s just another reason why you’d wanna use vitamin D. So if you aren’t motivated by the immune-boosting and natural cancer benefits, well, get motivated by some of the aesthetic benefits.
Baris Harvey: Right, exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right?
Baris Harvey: Yeah. And–and like you mentioned because it’s, you know, it affects our hormones, it affects our–our skin and all these other, all these–these things are–it–it’s hard to pin down like, “Hey, I’m having this symptom. Do I have vitamin–” like we can’t kind of immediately do that, and that’s probably why it’s so important to make sure that, “Hey, just, you know, get a test–get a test.” It’s not that expensive if you go into your–your doctors. Make sure to say just like, “Hey,” just make sure your vitamin D is getting tested and it probably won’t cost you anything extra and if you have to go outside of your doctor, it won’t cost you that much, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and what I’ll do is I’ll put a link in–in the show notes, just a way to my store where you can get vitamin D done super cheap and I think it even comes with–I think it even comes with C-reactive protein, too. So I’ll put a link in, so if you want it, if you can’t get it from your doctor, you can’t find decent price, you can at least get it here pretty easily.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, exactly. So, now we have a kind of, like a baseline to like what’s kinda happening, where do we mostly get it from? And–and then now–now we–it would probably be a good idea to understand what are the–how do I–how do I dose it, right? If–if I’m noticing that I’m low, or even if I’m at baseline like how much should I be internally taking in if I’m taking a supplement? And with the supplement, is there a superior form? Should I be taking it mixed with some vitamin K? Should I be taking it in a liquid form? What are–what are some of the things when it comes to supplementation that you might tell some of your clients?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when it comes to vitamin D, off the bat, you know, vitamin K2 is gonna be beneficial. I typically won’t recommend it with vitamin K2 unless people–unless my patients have osteoporosis, they are female, or if they’re just avoiding like butter. Like if you’re getting grass-fed butter in your diet, like I just had like a tablespoon or two on my coffee, right?
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I don’t need vitamin K2 supplementation. I’m getting lots of grass-fed butter in my diet. I’m eating ghee. I am eating good quality meats that are gonna have other fat-soluble nutrients, but if I’m looking at someone’s diet and I’m not seeing vitamin D, or sorry, vitamin K2–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dietarily, then I’ll–I’ll put it in there. So I always wanna make sure it’s either coming in supplementally or it’s coming in dietarily, or if people just have a concern for bone health, we’ll add some extra vitamin K in there. So that’s kinda–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Step one off the bat. So if you feel like you’re not eating butter and things like that or definitely if you’re a vegan, right? You wanna get the vitamin K2 in there. But on that note, I typically recommend the vitamin D3 drops mixed with–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A bit of MCT oil. So with the MCT, you’re gonna take that enterohepatically, meaning you don’t bile salts to break it down, because it’s a fat-soluble nutrient, right? Vitamin A, D, E, and K. So you’re gonna be able to take it up naturally via the lymphatic system and not have to break it down with bile. So you get really good absorption, so the vitamin D drops are great. I’ll put a link in to a couple of my favorite products. I like one Thorne that’s got the vitamin D3–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the vitamin K2, that’s a really good one. If you want the vitamin K2 as well. There’s also a really good one by Designs for Health called Emulsi-D. I’ll put that in the show notes. That’s just a more concentrated form of vitamin D. Very good. And I–I’m right I’m hitting up about 10,000 units a day but a good general recommendation, go liquid if you can; if not, do the pill but make sure your digestion is working and a good recommendation off the bat is about 2,000 IUs per 25 pounds of body weight. So if you’re 100 pounds, you know, 10,000 off the bat for the first month is–is gonna be okay. Excuse me, let me just back up.
Baris Harvey: Sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 1,000 IUs per 25 pounds. So if you’re right around 100 pounds 4,000 IUs will be great for the first month to start. If you’re around 200 pounds, right around 8,000 IUs will be a pretty good place to start. And that’s just a starting point. I don’t recommend keeping that dose longer than a month. Just a good starting place, again Dr. Holick, he’s a researcher out at BU, prolific vitamin D researcher. He says that your body needs just about 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day just at baseline, like just to kinda keep things level. So if you’re kind of on the fence and you’re like, “I don’t know but I’ve been taking vitamin D and I haven’t been.” Well, 2,000 IUs will just be a great baseline. If you’re really uncertain you’re not ready to get tested yet, 2,000 will be a great place to start if you’re uncertain.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, definitely. And this would probably be especially for people that might–may be overweight or people that are older like you mentioned earlier, if you have darker skin, you might need a little bit more, you–you’re at high risk of being deficient. So–so these are certain examples, and ano–another thing–thing that you mentioned and I don’t think we’ve mentioned much on the show before is the–the route, because that these are fat-soluble with–with the liquid, explain to people what you mean by, you know, it doesn’t need bile salts to break down and kind of what’s happening when you take a sublingual like fat-soluble tincture versus taking something in, because somebody could just think, “Oh, what if I just like swallow the–the liquid.” They might not kind of catch that right off the bat, so tell us real quick about that–that pathway.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, while there’s some thought that we can absorb some of this if it’s liquid sublingually, so kind of through our sublingual tissue and have it go right into the bloodstream. And also we know that when we take things like coconut oil or medium-chain triglycerides, these are fatty acids that are 6 to 12 carbons long and essentially these molecules can be taken up by our lymphatic system. Okay? Our lymphatic system is kinda the intermediary between the tissue and the blood. Big thing is when we typically take in fats, like if you have a bolus of butter or a bolus of meat, your body’s gonna have your pancreas produce some enzymes, right?
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like lipase, et cetera, and then also your gallbladder’s gonna spit out some fat–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excuse me, it’s gonna spit out some bile–
Baris Harvey: Bile, which is gonna–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Which is gonna emulsify and break down the fat.
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, we got some lipase coming from the pancreas. We got some bile coming from gallbladder and this is gonna help break down that fat, essentially emulsify it so then we can–we can absorb it. The nice thing is when we do something on the medium-chain triglycerides side of things, we can absorb it enterohepatically meaning just take it up to the lymph glands and we don’t need this whole bile output and this is great because I can’t tell you how many patients I see these days that don’t have gallbladder.
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They don’t have gallbladders and they just–their digestion stinks because they got gut infections and they’re not absorbing their nutrients. So I’m a little more biased towards the vitamin D, again you get people out there like the–the drug industry and conventional medicine starting to get hit with this. They’re just doing 50,000 IUs one time per week. I’m not really a fan of that because you typically won’t just go outside and just get your bolus of vitamin D just at one time, right?
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because the most you can make at about 1 unit is about 20,000. So I don’t like to go over 20,000 unless it’s an acute issue like an infection. So–
Baris Harvey: Uh-hmm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know getting it daily is gonna be a better thing and I’m a bigger fan of doing in the morning. Well, I mean, it kinda makes sense because–
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Vitamin D is made with the sun so why would you get a whole whack of vitamin D at 9-10 o’clock at night when the sun’s down. I know there are a lot of protocols out that say, “Hey, do your vitamin D at night. They’ll have a calming effect.” But I just like to use my noggin’ a little bit and say, “Well, would our body normally make vitamin D at 10 o’clock at night?
Baris Harvey: Yeah, exactly. And it–I kinda think the same thing like, “Oh, if I–you know, if–if I take a supplement that might have a little bit of vitamin D in there okay, and, you know, I take the Thorne so there’s not be that much in the afternoon but there is a heavier amount in the morning,” and they did that–that same, they did it in that specific reason, like there’s kind of this expectation of–of what our–our body is expecting and what naturally occurs and you kinda want to do as best you can to match up with–with nature. I mean, unless I guess you work–work the night shift, then you know, you might benefit from–from doing it the opposite way but–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You-you may. That’s a good point.
Baris Harvey: So, but yeah, so just you know, let’s basically what we’re saying is like, let’s–let’s be smart about this and then we’ll try to match it to–to try and follow nature as much as–as possible even if that’s, you know, supplementing. These are–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.
Baris Harvey: Natural things that as us humans have–have built, but we’ve been able to kind of, you know, you kind of coexist with the–this technology so the stuff that we had and we know is good, you know, try to match our technology with what’s natural and you know, one of the best things you can do is take that in the morning in that same way, same time I supplement my vitamin D.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s smart, man. That’s really good. And I just kinda wanted to summarize everything. I think we went on to the show being like, “Oh, we’re gonna talk about vitamin D and immune-boosting support but I think that we’re having–
Baris Harvey: We’re having–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So much to talk about, we’re just gonna keep this podcast just focused to vitamin D and I think we’ll do a part 2 talking about other ways to kind of boost the immune system outside of vitamin D next week.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, that sounds perfect.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is there anything else you wanna touch upon, Baris?
Baris Harvey: I think we got most of it. For the listeners out there, send us any of the questions that you may have about vitamin D and maybe we–we can throw that in. I’m gonna make sure that I–I take that down, questions about vitamin D. So you can go to beyondwellnessradio.com and there’s this place right there you can click and ask–ask away. You can ask questions and we can go ahead and–and put your answer on the show. So yes–so I think we got most of it and if there’s any other questions, we’ll just make sure you guys go ahead and send that in. So that way we can get those answers for you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great.
Baris Harvey: With that being said, you know, I think we did–did a really good job kinda breaking down and giving listeners a foundation. Anything else that you maybe wanna add?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I just wanna set people up here. So if I got a little glossy-eyed with all the big words and just it kinda made it–maybe it was a little bit over their head. I’m gonna just break it down so if they listen to this quick 30 seconds here, they’ll get all of the key points.
Baris Harvey: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright? So vitamin D3 in your supplements coming in converted to the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D, calcidiol, and then converted by the kidneys to calcitriol, you’re active vitamin D. Vitamin D has–upregulates 800 different genes, cancer protective, vitamin D is shown to–people with higher vitamin D levels are resistant to the flu. It helps balance your TH1 and TH2 immune system, right? Your TH1 are like your–the Special Forces that go out to go kill everything off the bat. Your TH2 are the forces that stay behind and come out in about a week. Those are your antibodies. It helps your TH3 system, your T regulatory cells that really balances out your immune system and if your vitamin D levels aren’t going up, look a little deeper. There could be an infection. You could be having vitamin D receptor site downregulations. We wanna run that 125-hydroxy D. If our 25-hydroxy D isn’t going up with supplementation, let’s take the 125-hydroxy, and then a good starting point if you’re uncertain is 2,000 IUs per day or anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 IUs depending on body weight for the first month, and if they–if anyone listening is uncertain and wants to get tested, check out below the show notes to get more information on how to easily do that, and I think that’s it, Baris.
Baris Harvey: Yeah, we went over a lot of stuff in that time, so–for you, guys. Thank you, guys, so much for listening. We always appreciate it. With that being said, next time on the show, we’ll get into the immune system part of it. We’ll go ahead and break that stuff down for you guys and–and get you guys as much as you guys need. So again go to beyondwellnessradio.com and hit that subscribe to the newsletter. This will keep you up-to-date much as possible. Also we would greatly appreciate if you went to iTunes and left us a review. With that being said, you guys have a good one. Thank you coming on, Dr. Justin. You have a good one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks, Baris!