Episodes

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  • Over the past several years I have frequently referred to Dr. Robert Lustig’s incredibly important book, Fat Chance – The Bitter Truth About Sugar. Dr. Lustig was one of the pioneers in raising awareness as to the addictive issues surrounding sugar as well as its profoundly detrimental effects on human health.

    Today, I’m going to interview Dr. Lustig about his new book, The Hacking of the American Mind. I was honored to be asked to endorse Dr. Lustig’s book, about which I thought:

    Our health, resistance to disease, and ability to function on a date-to-day basis have essentially been hijacked, all in the name of corporate profits. Dr. Lustig explores how industry has manipulated our most deep seated survival instincts to motivate our food choices in away that directly undermines our ability to survive. But more importantly, The Hacking of the American Mind eloquently reveals how we can disengage from this influence and reestablish ourselves on a path to wellness.

    In this new work, Dr. Lustig really puts a lot of the pieces together, allowing us to understand, in a broader sense, why only our health is deteriorating from a physical and mental perspective. During the interview you will hear Dr. Lustig discuss how the manipulation of our food choices is actually an existential threat, and he does a great job in justifying this statement.

  • It’s my great honor and privilege to interview Dr. Bredesen for today’s segment of The Empowering Neurologist. I have known Dr. Bredesen for many years and have followed his work closely. He is clearly a pioneer and trailblazer, but more importantly, he is not afraid to challenge the mainstream medical world’s fixation with developing magic bullets, especially as it relates to dealing with a disease like Alzheimer’s. Rather, he has developed a far more comprehensive program that is proving successful – finally!

    The End of Alzheimer’s has been wonderfully received for its profound scientific foundations, but it is written in a way that is understandable and, more importantly, functional in terms of allowing all of us to make important changes to protect our brains.

    Today’s interview is very important as it crystallizes so much work that has been taking place over the past decade in understanding neurodegenerative conditions.

  • I’m sure by now many of you have heard of ButcherBox, an online subscription that allows you to receive 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork each month. I’ve been very impressed with the mission of this company, how well they are performing, and the quality of their product and customer service.

    Our interview today is with the founder and CEO of ButcherBox, Mike Salguero. Mike will walk us through how the need for this service became apparent to him, and how he ultimately built and scaled ButcherBox- which now delivers 100% grass-fed beef and other high-quality meats to thousands of people across the U.S. (include Leize and I)!

    I think you’ll enjoy not only his story, but also the knowledge that there really is an easy way to eat the very best, most healthful beef available, that is also incredibly affordable.

  • I think it is very clear that, when discussing diabetes, I am almost always talking about type 2. Mostly, this is because type 2 diabetes is so much more common and, to a significant degree, avoidable.

    Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is less related to lifestyle choices as it is an autoimmune condition.

    By and large, dietary recommendations for type 1 diabetic patients center on trying to supply carbohydrates to balance the dosage of insulin that is being used. Our guest today, Dr. Keith Runyan, himself a type 1 diabetic and the author of a groundbreaking book on the subject, challenges this long-held approach. Dr. Runyan believes that by allowing the body to adapt to using fat as its primary energy source, a healthier relationship exists in terms of keeping blood sugar in balance, as well as in overall health. Again, this idea is not generally accepted amongst mainstream healthcare providers, But for those of you who have been following the ketogenic diet story, what Dr. Runyan has discovered does indeed have significant scientific underpinning.

    Dr. Runyan has practiced clinical medicine in the areas of emergency medicine, internal medicine, nephrology, and obesity medicine for 28 years. As mentioned, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 and with conventional advice achieved the “recommended” HbA1c of 6.5-7% over the next 14 years. However, he was disturbed by frequent unpleasant and embarrassing hypoglycemic episodes. After starting regular exercise to train for triathlons in 2007, his glycemic control actually worsened while taking sports gels to prevent hypoglycemia. When he contemplated doing an Ironman distance triathlon, he sought a better method to control his diabetes.

    He came across the ketogenic diet in 2012 and experienced not only an improvement in glycemic control, but also a reduction in hypoglycemia and its symptoms. He completed an Ironman distance triathlon in 2012, without hypoglycemia or the need for sugar or food due to the fat adaptation afforded by the ketogenic diet. He is now an advocate for the use of the ketogenic diet for the management of diabetes and has co-authored the book, The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes, which explains its use and benefits for type 1 diabetes. He documents his glycemic results on his blog.

  • Dr. Steven Gundry is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, New York Times best-selling author, and medical researcher. During his 40-year career in medicine, he has performed over 10,000 heart surgeries and developed life-saving medical technology. In 2008, his book, Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution, revealed his new career shift—using nutrition to help patients heal themselves and avoid surgery. His second book, and the subject of our discussion today, is the New York Times bestseller The Plant Paradox. The book outlines a 90-day plan for some of the world’s most pressing health issues, from obesity to heart disease. Gundry MD, founded by Dr. Gundry in 2016, is a wellness blog and YouTube channel equipping people with powerful tools in the journey to reclaim their health.

    In our interview today we’re going to explore the very interesting world of plant lectins, a unique type of protein that plants developed to protect themselves against predation. As Dr. Gundry reveals in this interview, it turns out that plant lectins may very well be threatening to human health.

    We also cover how artificial sweeteners are threatening to the gut, the dangers of soy, why we should eat foods that are “in season”, and other interesting ideas as they relate to the health of the gut and to inflammation, the cornerstone of virtually all degenerative conditions.

  • We are certainly hearing a lot these days about the ketogenic diet, and with very good reason. It may turn out that this dietary approach is the most powerful intervention we could entertain, in terms of providing the most salubrious environment for the body and the brain!

    I’m going to tell you right up front, today’s interview is a bit scientifically intense, but nonetheless absolutely worthwhile. I had the great honor to speak with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino. He is is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. He is also a Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). His laboratory develops and tests nutritional strategies and metabolic-based supplements for neurological disorders, cancer and enhancement of physical performance and resilience in extreme environments. His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), private organizations and foundations.

    Our time together explored the mechanisms involved in terms of how ketosis is so powerfully beneficial for brain cells and brain health. Again, it is certainly a bit detailed from a scientific perspective, but the information is, in my opinion, hugely valuable.

  • Fibromyalgia seems to be an ever-increasing problem, and while mainstream medicine now recognizes its existence, it is clear that bringing fibromyalgia under control requires far more than simply writing a prescription for an “FDA-approved drug.”

    My guest today is a specialist in treating not just the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but the underlying disorder itself. Dr. David M. Brady has 25 years of experience as an integrative practitioner and over 21 years in health sciences academia.

    He is a licensed naturopathic physician in Connecticut and Vermont, a board certified clinical nutritionist, and completed his initial clinical training as a doctor of chiropractic. He currently serves as the Vice President for Health Sciences, Director of the Human Nutrition Institute, and Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He also maintains a private practice in Fairfield, CT.

    Dr. Brady has published a multitude of peer-reviewed scientific papers and textbooks related to chronic pain, autoimmunity and functional gastroenterology and is a featured contributing author in the medical textbooks including: Advancing Medicine with Food and Nutrients (2nd Ed.), and Integrative Gastroenterology. His latest book, The Fibro-Fix, is the subject of today’s interview.

  • Several months ago I was contacted by today’s Empowering Neurologist guest, Amy Berger, who told me she was going to write a book about how lifestyle choices affect the brain. The working title of the book was The Alzheimer’s Antidote. In fact, Amy even asked me to write the foreword to this new work. After reviewing the manuscript, I told her that I would be delighted to write the foreword as, in my opinion, this would turn out to be an important and informative text.

    Flash forward, The Alzheimer’s Antidote has now been published and is getting great reviews. The book focuses on how a low-carb, high-fat diet fights Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and cognitive decline. Amy walks us through the metabolic origins of Alzheimer’s disease, the fallacy of Alzheimer’s disease being caused by overproduction of beta-amyloid, the importance of exercise and other lifestyle choices, and even the notion of repairing a broken brain.

    It’s an excellent book, and I’m hoping you enjoy today’s interview.

  • Dr. Joe Mercola is my guest today on The Empowering Neurologist. He is a board-certified family physician who has treated over 25,000 patients from around the world. Dr. Mercola encourages and educates people about safe and inexpensive nutritional, lifestyle and exercise options to radically reduce their risk of dying prematurely from dangerous drugs and surgeries, as well as cancer and so many of our common and largely preventable degenerative conditions.

    The topic of our discussion today is his new book, Fat For Fuel. It’s a powerfully user-friendly text that not only clarifies the rationale for powering the body with fat as opposed to sugar and carbs, but also walks the reader through the straightforward nuts and bolts as to how to implement this program and achieve better health.

    And, as many of you well know, Dr. Mercola is the founder of Mercola.com which has been the most visited natural health site on the internet for the last ten years with over 15 million unique visitors every month.

  • Gary Taubes’ new book, The Case Against Sugar, is a riveting deep-dive into the history, politics, perverted science, and subterfuge that have had supporting roles in making sugar so pervasive. Really, who better to write this book than Gary Taubes?!

  • As many of you know, one of the central themes of my recent book, Brain Maker, deals with the importance of method of birth in terms of seeding an infant’s microbiome. We now know, moving ahead, that even issues like immunity and inflammation later in life are significantly impacted by how a child is born.

    As I did discuss in the book, work by Dr. Maria Dominguez-Bello at New York University centers on this fundamental event in a person’s life, if and how a baby passes through birth canal. Importantly, she seeks to understand how this exposure inoculates the newborn child with the seeds for his or her future microbiome.

    In today’s interview, I speak with Toni Harman.

    Toni is a filmmaker and, with her husband, Alex Wakeford, she created a fascinating film, Microbirth, that focuses on just this exact topic (the importance of how we are born).

    Now, with her new book, Your Baby’s Microbiome, Toni does a deep dive and explores the possible health consequences related to cesarean section versus vaginal birth, in terms of the microbiome. The book is fascinating and we are going to jump right in.

    From Amazon.com:

    At least two amazing events happen during childbirth. There’s the obvious main event, which is the emergence of a new human into the world. But then there’s the non-human event that is taking place simultaneously, a crucial event that is not visible to the naked eye, an event that could determine the lifelong health of the baby. This is the seeding of the baby’s microbiome, the community of ‘good’ bacteria that we carry with us throughout our lives. The seeding of the microbiome, along with other processes including breastfeeding, kickstarts the baby’s immune system and helps to protect the infant from disease for its entire lifetime. However, with interventions like use of synthetic oxytocin, antibiotics, C-section and formula feeding, this microbial transfer from the mother to baby is interfered with or bypassed completely. Emerging research shows that bacteria are absolutely vital for human health, and imbalances in the human microbiome significantly contribute to chronic non-transmissible diseases.

    Drawing on the extensive research they carried out for their documentary film Microbirth, authors Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford reveal a fascinating new view of birth, and how microscopic happenings can have lifelong consequences, both for ourselves, our children – and our species as a whole.

  • Despite so many highly publicized breakthroughs in medical science, cancer remains a formidable disease. Deaths from cancer are actually continuing to rise, at a rate of 3.5 to 4% each year.

    My interview today is with Dr. Thomas Seyfried. Dr. Seyfried believes cancer isn’t primarily caused by damage to the genes living in the nucleus of the cell, a widely held belief, but rather represents a problem of how cells produce energy from their mitochondria. Ultimately, this defective energy production leads to increased free radical production which may then go on to damage the DNA of the cell nucleus as a secondary event.

    What is so elegant and compelling about his theory is that it lends itself to a powerful interventional approach centered on simply shifting the energy source of the mitochondria to products derived from fat, as opposed to carbohydrates.

    Dr. Seyfried received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Illinois and also holds a Master’s degree in Genetics from Illinois State University He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine, and then served on the faculty as an Assistant Professor in Neurology. Prior to receiving full professorship, Dr. Seyfried was an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Boston College. Other awards and honors have come from such diverse organizations as the American Oil Chemists Society, the National Institutes of Health, The American Society for Neurochemistry, and the Ketogenic Diet Special Interest Group of the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Seyfried previously served as Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association and presently serves on several editorial boards, including those for Nutrition & Metabolism, Neurochemical Research, and the Journal of Lipid Research. Dr. Seyfried’s research program focuses on gene environmental interactions related to complex diseases, such as epilepsy, autism, brain cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Seyfried investigates many of these diseases from the perspective of, genetics, and energy metabolism. Much of his work, gratefully, also has direct translational benefit to the clinic.

    This is a somewhat science-based discussion, but hang in there as there are some critically important gems of information that we get from Dr. Seyfried. Finally, in the broadcast, Dr. Seyfried mentions a book on this subject that’s geared to a less scientifically minded community. The book is entitled, Tripping Over the Truth, by Travis Christofferson.

  • Today’s interview is with the New York Times best-selling author ofThe Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf. Robb is an interesting guy for sure. He is a former research biochemist and is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on nutrition. He has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top-ranked iTunes podcast and wildly popular seminar series. He has functioned as a review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism and also serves on the Board of Directors of Specialty Health Medical Clinic in Reno, NV.

    Robb has delivered seminars in nutrition and strength & conditioning to various entities including NASA, the Canadian Light Infantry, Naval Special Warfare, the United States Marine Corps, Twitter/Square and Microsoft.

    His 2010 bestseller, The Paleo Solution, really jump started the whole paleo movement. Today, Robb focuses on his new book, Wired to Eat, which offers up a more personalized approach to determining what foods are best for optimizing health, but from an individualized perspective.

  • On today’s program, you’ll discover that diabetes may be reversible by means of nutritional interventions. My guest is Dr. Sarah Hallberg, a strong proponent of a very low-carbohydrate approach, not just for diabetes, but for weight loss and even for the improvement of cardiometabolic risk markers. With her organization, Virta Health, she just released a landmark study on this very subject.

    Dr. Hallberg once gave a terrific TEDx talk that’s worth watching after our interview. She’s the medical director and founder of the Indiana University-Arnett Health Medical Weight Loss Program.

  • Dr. Sara Gottfried M.D. is a Harvard-educated physician, speaker, and author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hormone Cure, and The Hormone Reset Diet. Her new book, which is what we talk about in this interview, is Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years.

    For the past 20 years, Dr. Gottfried has been dedicated to helping women feel at home in their bodies.

    After graduating as a physician-scientist from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Dr. Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California at San Francisco. She is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology,

    The Gottfried Institute is an enormously successful virtual practice. Dr. Gottfried has a disruptive model of how to deliver cutting-edge women’s health to as many women as possible by using technology – including teleseminars, group coaching, webinars, and social media – to reset hormones, reduce stress, and lengthen healthspan among today’s overly busy women, regardless of age and location. As an integrative gynecologist, Dr. Gottfried is a firm believer in treating the root cause of problems, not just the symptoms. She believes in leafy greens and nutrient-dense foods, together with evidence-based integration of botanicals and bioidentical hormones, rather than just prescribing medication. Dr. Sara Gottfried has been featured in publications such as O Magazine, Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Family Circle, Natural Health, Women’s World, Redbook and Yoga Journal. She has appeared on national and international TV, including Fox News and 20/20. Dr. Sara lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and 2 daughters.

    In closing, here’s a great quote from Dr. Gottfried that sets the stage for our interview:

    “I’ve had nearly every hormonal problem a woman can get – I’ve done the leg work and reviewed the studies exhaustively so you don’t have to!”

  • Today’s Empowering Neurologist interview is with Nina Teicholz. Nina Teicholz is an investigative journalist and author of the International (and New York Times) bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise, and this groundbreaking book is what we’re discussing today. The Economist named it the #1 science book of 2014, and it was also named a 2014 Best Book by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mother Jones, and Library Journal.

    The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy. A review of the book in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition read, “This book should be read by every nutritional science professional.” A former editor of the British Medical Journal said, “Teicholz has done a remarkable job in analyzing [the] weak science, strong personalities, vested interests, and political expediency” of nutrition science.

    Before taking a deep dive into researching nutrition science for nearly a decade, Teicholz was a reporter for National Public Radioand also contributed to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Economist. She attended Yale and Stanford where she studied biology and majored in American Studies. She has a master’s degree from Oxford University and served as associate director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

  • Unfortunately, we generally underestimate both the importance of the liver and the risk that we may have for liver disease.

    But there’s an important, and generally silent, health crisis impacting one-third of the American population: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Because its symptoms often don’t manifest until the liver is seriously compromised, many people are not aware that they are at risk. Did you know that if you have fatty liver disease, you are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke), and other devastating conditions, such as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer?

    Award-winning dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick and hepatologist Dr. Ibrahim Hanouneh have teamed up for a life-changing program that will help you achieve optimal health. Skinny Liver‘s four-week program shares the steps you can take to get your liver health back on track, and we’re going to talk about this on our program today

  • I’m sure many of you are acquainted with JJ Virgin. She’s been a powerful force in the area of lifestyle change for better health.

    As fate would have it, four years ago, JJ was confronted with an experience that challenged her to her very core. Her son was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident and he was given very little chance for survival. How JJ dealt with this event, and the ultimate outcome, are deeply inspiring, so let’s get right to the interview.

    All of this is also captured in JJ’s newest book and documentary, Miracle Mindset. If today’s interview resonates with you, I suggest you sign-up to watch her documentary to learn more.