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Christian Natural Health

Christian Natural Health is the podcast that teaches you about natural health from a biblical perspective. I'm Dr. Lauren Deville, a practicing naturopathic physician in Tucson, AZ. In this podcast, my guests and I will cover topics ranging from nutrition, sleep, hormone balancing and exercise, to specific health concerns like hair loss, anxiety, and hypothyroidism. Once a week, I'll include a bonus episode, meditating on a Bible verse or passage. I'll also interweave biblical principles as they apply throughout the podcast--because true health is body, mind, and spirit. Learn more about me at http://www.drlaurendeville.com/
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Now displaying: Category: general
Nov 9, 2018

Today's podcast is in response to a listener question: 

At what point should one focus on prayers of healing in faith vs. nutritional interventions? 

To address this, we'll dig in to the following scriptures: 

1) Trust God to give wisdom — sometimes it’s time to act and sometimes it’s time to be still and trust:

  • James 1:5-8: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
  • Prov 2:5-7: Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.  He layeth up sound wisdom for righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
  • Prov 16:9: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
  • Jeremiah 6:16: This is what the Lord says:  "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."

2) There is a time to act:

  • Phil 2:13: it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
  • 2 Chron 15:7: But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.
  • Prov 13:4: The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
  • Prov 14:23: All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (Hebrew definition of poverty: a need, thing needed, poverty)

3) There is a time to be still and let God act on your behalf:

  • Hebrews 10:35 Therefore,  do  not  throw  away  your  confidence,  which  has  a  great reward;  for  you  have  need  of  endurance,  so  that  you  may  do  the  will  of  God  and  receive  what  is  promised. 
  • Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
  • James 5:7-8: See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
  • Hebrews 6:12:  do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

4) It is wise to ALSO listen to the wisdom of the world (not instead of, but in addition to):

  • Prov 11:14: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
  • Prov 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
  • Prov 13:20: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (So hang out with people who have healthy habits! https://www.health.com/weight-loss/friends-weight-loss)

5) Ultimately: Prov 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” 

 

Nov 2, 2018

Today's podcast comes from this article, Probiotic Strains and What They Do. As always, all of the studies are linked. 

Oct 5, 2018

Today's podcast comes from this article on Seed Cycling and Hormonal Regulation. The referenced studies are linked in the article. 

Sep 7, 2018

Today's podcast comes from this blog post, Glutathione and Autism. 

Jul 27, 2018

Dr. McCann received a B.A. in Music from Brown University and a Master’s in Library Science from University at Albany. She went on to receive her Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) and simultaneously earned a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Tropical Medicine (TM) at Tulane University in New Orleans. She completed both an Internal Medicine residency at Banner Samaritan Medical Center and a Pediatrics residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ.

Dr. McCann practiced medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine where she worked and trained with renowned Andrew Weil, M.D., as one of 35 distinguished fellows in residence throughout the world.

Dr. McCann also became certified in medical acupuncture through the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, studied environmental medicine and chelation with Dr. Walter Crinnion and biotoxins with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. Dr. McCann is on staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, California and has been in private practice in Costa Mesa since 2008. She founded Partners in Health at the Spring Center in August 2009.

  1. Do you specialize in mold primarily, or biotoxin illnesses in general? She specializes in functional and integrative medicine. It turns out that a lot of people who come in have at the root of their issues biotoxin illness and env’t toxicity.
  2. And along those lines: what is your take on why mold and Lyme seem to occur together so often?  She thinks that Lyme and chronic infections are ubiquitous. Ticks are spreading and there is more global warming, so we’re seeing an increase in the level of burden and incidence of infection. Many people are walking around asymptomatic at some level. It takes an inflammatory response, like being in a moldy building that will exacerbate the situation. You can also see it the other way. People might be living in a moldy env’t but tolerating it ok. But then if they get bit by a tick, then suddenly they have Lyme and can’t tolerate their environment anymore. On top of that, our world is so toxic with env’t chemical burden, so heavy metals, solvents etc also contribute to our inability to manage our body burden. She sees these things interplaying quite a bit.
  3. Can you describe for our audience what some of the symptoms might be that would tip you off to consider a biotoxin illness as the root of their issues? Generally it’s a laundry list of symptoms and it will cover many different systems. The more weird, wacky symptoms people tend to have that aren’t easily explained, the more she thinks of this. Some of the big ones: chronic fatigue especially. This is the most common symptom. They can look like they might have other illnesses too. Could look like an osteoarthritis or fibro case, but they’ll have other symptoms too: GERD, bloating, IBS, etc. Neurological symptoms, memory, word finding problems, issues concentrating, light and sound sensitivity, blurry vision. Often neurological symptoms: tremors, tingling, numbness. Respiratory symptoms. Asthma as an adult. It’s good to think of mold and biotoxin exposure with that. When she’s thinking about mold, patients can also get dysautonomia issues, temperature regulation, balance issues, etc, Static shocks, skin sensitivity, rashes. In her own case, she had fatigue and worsening food sensitivities. She went from being gluten and dairy free to suddenly reacting to everything. The list got really long, because she was living in a moldy house.
  4. What is your take on why mold toxicity is suddenly such a huge problem? Why now? It is getting worse. Some of it is because we’re using a lot of antifungals in agriculture, plant stores, etc. Those are self-selecting for more toxic molds in an indoor environment that weren’t there before. Also, in CA at least, construction is very poorly done. If the house is up in 6 mo, and we build with wood and paper which are fuel for the mold. It’s a combo of the way we’re building and poor construction. We just can’t handle the total load too.
  5. If someone is looking to buy a house, or build a new one, are there any red flags to look for in terms of building materials or construction that make a house more susceptible to mold, even if there isn’t any already present? When looking for a house, if it’s current construction, part of it depends on the market and part on the level of sensitivity. Patients need to become advocates for themselves and have a sense of their level of sensitivity. If they’re feeling relatively healthy, they might be better able to walk into a building and smell mold. If you smell a musty smell, there’s mold there. Check out the place using nose and eyes, and look for areas where there might be water damage. Usually it will be hidden, though: in the walls, water leaking behind the walls or a sprinkler system hitting the walls. Those are things that need to be considered. If they want to make sure, there are a variety of tests we can talk about to do pre-emptively. In a hot market, it’s tricky. No seller is going to wait for you to get a mold test back. When looking at new construction, she watches places go up fast: frames aren’t covered, and if it rains, it rains. If it hasn’t totally dried out, then you seal that in. In many instances, you’re better with concrete, bc that won’t become moldy, and plaster instead of sheet rock (older forms of building). Then also take into consideration what your materials should be, if concerned about env’t chemicals. Most of the chemicals we’re exposed to are in our homes. We want to avoid formaldehyde in particle boards, and the chemicals in the foam that they use in building, too.
  6. What exactly is an ERMI vs a HERTSMI test? If someone is looking to test their house or workplace for mold, why is it so important to get these rather than a non-specific mold test? What are the kinds of tests they DON’T want to get, that won’t give them the right information? This is hotly debated: Dr Shoemaker maintains that ERMI is the best, and that’s what we should use. We could use HERTSMI too — some indoor professionals will argue that the air trap test is better. We have to ask what the question is that we’re asking, and from that standpoint, pick the best test. If you smell mold in the bathroom and you think there’s a water leak in the bathroom, you want to test in a way that will access that information. So collect the dust with ERMI or HERTSMI under the sink. Or even open the wall socket and swab in there. If the question is “is the house moldy in general,” that requires a different way of looking at the problem. You might want to do a whole house screening, and you might still want to test in the areas where you’re more likely to have a problem (where the water pipes are). She’s sometimes recommended collecting the dust off the HVAC system as a way of testing the whole house. In terms of ERMI and HERTSMI: the former is DNA PCR looking at 36 different molds. Some are mycotoxin producing and some are not. You get a composite score. The higher the score, the more concerning the situation: the more mycotoxin producing molds. HERTSMI is just looking at 5 mycotoxin-producing molds and they grade the spore count to give you a HERTSMI score. They don’t always correlate, so you have to use the information and understand the info you’re trying to answer when interpreting it. If they think the house is moldy, and it has a musty smell, and it may be in a particular part of the house, do you need a mold inspector? They will analyze the entire house, in all the places that there might be water damage. They can hopefully help the patient identify where they want to do additional testing. Usually a combination of tests can be most helpful. She was in an incredibly moldy house and had an inspector come in to get a baseline outside and a sample in the kitchen where they knew there was a problem. Then they did wall samples in all the places in the house where it appeared there was water damage. With those pieces of information, they could compare the outside ambient air to the inside house air to what was actually in the wall cavity and make a good determination overall.
  7. If someone is looking to hire a remediation company for mold, what are some of the most important questions to ask to make sure they do it right? She’s been more reliant upon her inspectors to refer her to a remediation company. You want to make sure that whoever is doing the inspection doesn’t have a vested interest in finding more mold than there necessarily is. The inspectors write the treatment plan for the house. The more thorough the inspection, the more thorough the remediation should be. Understand that the remediators are there to remove the moldy parts of the house. They aren’t necessarily going to identify plumbing leaks contributing to the problem and solve it. They probably won’t rebuild and reconstruct whatever has been removed. You would need a contractor to do that. She learned the hard way: she had to become her own general contractor. She needed to find a remediator and find the people who would identify the leaks and fix them. They weren’t the same people. In terms of other questions: find out how they will protect the rest of the house. They should put up negative pressure barriers so that any of the work and materials that get removed won’t be spread throughout the house. You need to ask how they’re going to use air filtration systems and what they’ll do to prevent it from coming back. Some remove the damaged material, paint or do fogging. Sometimes the inspectors will recommend a level of cleaning.
  8. What binders do you prefer for biotoxin elimination (cholestyramine, colestipol, activated charcoal, Zeolyte, bentonite clay)? She tends to gravitate toward activated charcoal and clay. Those are generally well tolerated. It depends on the person’s tolerance. Some people prefer one over the other. She doesn’t love cholestyramine or colestipol; she’ll use them if necessary. The former is a powder and it smells foul. If you’re prescribing from a conventional pharmacy, it contains aspartame. Some of that may be financial too: they can’t afford the compounded, clean cholestyramine. Colestipol and Welchol are 25% as effective at binding some of the biotoxins. One of her mentors teaches that the cholestyramine is better at binding ochratoxins and less at some of the other toxins. There may be a possibility of the urine mycotoxin testing to see which is most appropriate. She sometimes will use chlorella and adjusts the dose by tolerance: 1 cap once a day of one of them and titrate to bowel tolerance. Sometimes she’ll do muscle testing. She doesn’t do Zeolyte. The other supplements: phosphatidylcholine is invaluable in helping patients recover from biotoxin illness and chronic infections. Not necessarily the liposomal version. Mycotoxins are tiny and they can pass in between cells. This is a building block of every cell of the body, and it is well tolerated by most people. No toxic effects. The only caveat is that in sensitive people, if you give it to them too fast, they might have a detox reaction, so she starts slowly and then works up. With bentonite: just puts it in water and people drink it. Sometimes they might encapsulate the powder.
  9. Do you ever test for mycotoxins directly, or do you just stick with indirect markers like TGFb1, complement c3a and c4a? She doesn’t test everyone for mycotoxins bc the tests are expensive: $300-700 or so. She does one of them through a test that accepts Medicare. It may depend on the person too, how sick they are and how high a priority it is. Personally she doesn’t find that it is essential to have that test. In terms of the blood testing that Shoemaker has taught us: the TGFb1 requires special handling. It has to be sent to Cambridge Biomedical. Has to be spun down twice and sent on dry ice to Cambridge. Then they started sending it to Viracor instead. The reference range changed and the numbers changed a little bit. She has done thousands of TGFb1 on people over the years. Most of the time, people would have it between 4-5000. But the levels didn’t always correlate with the severity of illness. There are some cases where it will be high and some where it will be low. Not just mold drives TGFb1 so it’s harder to interpret. She will still occasionally order it as a screening. But taking a good history of the medical complaints and a house history. The same thing with c4a: it has to be sent on dry ice, has to go to National Jewish. Quest did it for awhile and they stopped. She’s had patients with c4as who are deathly ill around 3000. Others feel totally fine with 20K. It’s more about the history.
  10. Do you have any great testing recommendations for solvents? She hasn’t found a good test for this. Genova has a test; so does Great Plains and US Biotek. If the primary treatment is going to be some form of detox: sauna, binders, alkalinization, coffee enemas, colonics, etc, then we don’t necessarily have to know exactly what the toxin is. They’ll feel better just with the detox protocol.
  11. Why does mold exposure so often lead to MARCoNS? What is the causal connection there? She doesn’t have the answer to this. Some colleagues find that it’s really important. Some don’t test for it and don’t think it’s relevant at all. She’s decided that it’s not a requirement of the Shoemaker protocol. But if there’s chronic rhinorrhea, chronic sinusitis, some kind of URI issue — even if she doesn’t suspect mold, she might check.
  12. When might you send a patient for a NeuroQuant MRI? Dr Mary Ackerley has done more on this than she has. She’s looking at all the money that these patients have to lay out and whether that will change what she does. Is it necessary A young man came to see her asking for a NeuroQuant, and he had substantial atrophy based on the reports: and he now is terrified of this. But what she’s doing isn’t any different than it would have been without the NeuroQuant, and now he’s scared about that. Some of the benefits: she does order them sometimes, and there are a few additional reports on the NeuroQuant that Dr Ackerley is teaching the community about (the morphology report and the flare lesion report and the triage report) — she’s still learning about some of these additional reports as to how useful they might be in managing patients.
  13. Do you ever use VIP nasal sprays? What are the concerns associated with this? She uses this very little. For the most part, she focuses on doing detox. By the time they get to the VIP in the Shoemaker protocol, they don’t need it. She hasn’t used it much. She was given it personally and didn’t notice a thing. Shoemaker is very clear that you have to be out of the moldy building, give the first dose in the office, and check labs immediately afterwards. Her sense from her colleagues is that generally it’s well tolerated and it may be very beneficial in some patients. Sometimes they may have to take tiny doses and take a long time to ramp up. We have a lot of other tools in our tool kit. If her patients are doing sauna, colonics and coffee enemas, IVPC and the binders, they generally don’t need VIP.
  14. What does an MMP-9 elevation tell you, and is there anything you specifically do about this in terms of treatment, or is it the same protocol you’d use regardless? Same question for VEGF and ADH. She has found them less and less valuable over time. Since we’re still in the learning phases of how to manage biotoxin illness — maybe start with urine mycotoxin testing as a baseline and some of these tests. If the VIP is less than 23, at LabCorp only (can’t send it to Quest), then we can follow that. If, doing all the other things we know to do, it doesn’t come up, then perhaps consider VIP. Hers went up without taking it. The MSH — she used to use it a lot more. She would test it and some people would be non-detectable. A normal range is supposed to be >35, but most people are in the 20s or less. It’s not supposed to change. The MMP-9 means a lot of other things. It’s not just about biotoxins: it could be high in COPD and a variety of other states. She hasn’t found it useful. ADH: she’s tested that and if it’s low, she gave one person DDAVP to try to help their urinary frequency and they didn’t tolerate it. Ask the question, what will you do with the information?
  15. What’s the deal with the low amylose diet? Why is this helpful, and who is it helpful for? Low amylose: amylose is grains. Want to avoid those, but on this diet, corn is ok. But corn is the most moldy food source out there. This isn’t useful if people are going to eat a lot of moldy corn. She has a slide in her lecture about the contamination of the corn in the horse feed in Texas in the 70s. They developed liquefaction of the brain. The owners realized this was from the feed. The horses recovered — but that same corn continued to be used in the human food sources. Lots of hispanics ate a lot of corn in that area and the rates of neural tube defects skyrocketed. The usual rates of spina bifida are 4/10K and the rates were 3 and 4 times that in that area. So the diet: her recommendation is a modified ketogenic diet, removing the grains for people in a moldy environment. We have to stop eating moldy food. Shoemaker didn’t think this was important, and she does.
  16. You mention ISEAI: The International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness. Can you tell us what that is?  She’s on the board. Several of the early adaptors with Dr Shoemaker had a philosophical split and they went on to create this. These folks were interested in learning and teaching about mold exposures and environmentally acquired illness, including env’t chemicals and toxicants in this rubric, working together to be more inclusive of the practitioners and more expansive in their ways of getting people to wellness. There is no right way to treat these folks. We have to use all the tools in our tool kit. We need to identify food sensitivities, heal leaky gut, etc. They are in the process of formulating their inaugural event in the Phx area in May 2019. They anticipate an amazing panel of speakers. She thinks this is a place where practitioners and lay people alike can learn about how to get themselves well. There are different levels of membership too. It will be a fabulous conference and a great resource. They intend to create a certification program so people can have a good foundation of how to treat biotoxin illness and will be pooling resources so that this is as scientific as possible. For more info, see https://iseai.org/

 

Contact Dr McCann: https://www.thespringcenter.com/

 

A few extra resources: to deal with the trauma of mold illness, check out Annie Hopper’s work, Wired for Healing.

 

For vagus nerve dysfunction, check out the work of Steven Porgus on the Poly-Vagal Theory,  or Stanley Rosenberg: Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve.

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Jun 15, 2018

Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno is the President of Salugenecists, Inc. and Chief Medical Director for Village Green Apothecary. Dr. Pizzorno is one of the world's leading authorities on science-based natural medicine, a term he coined in 1978 when founding Bastyr University. He led Bastyr to became the first fully accredited, multidisciplinary university of natural medicine and the first school of its kind to receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been on the Advisory Panel on the Safety and Efficacy of Dietary Supplements for the U.S. Congress in 1993, an ad hoc advisory committee member for the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements in 1996, the first naturopathic doctor to receive an appointment to the Seattle/King County Board of Health from 1996-2002, on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (appointed by President Bill Clinton in 2000-2002), and on the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 2003-2005). He is also the author of numerous publications, most recently of The Toxin Solution.

  1. How many years have you been in practice now? About half a century.
    1. Over that period of time, around when do you think, roughly, you started to see more cases due to toxicity than before? When he was first in practice, in the 1970s, chronic illness occurred as a result of the choices patients were making: smoking, lack of exercise, excess sugar, etc. But about 20 yrs ago, maybe further back, the passive determinants of health—things that happen independent of one’s decisions—are having a stronger effect. These include contaminated water, food, personal care products, etc. We’ve put a huge amount of chemicals and metals into the air, food, and water. The primary drivers of disease are now toxins.
    2. At this point, what percentage of chronic illness do you believe can trace their roots to toxic exposures? The research is evolving, but regarding Type 2 Diabetes especially: when he was in med school in the early 70s, this made up less than 1% of the population. The lifetime risk is now 39%, and 15% of the population already has it. Genetics didn’t change. It turns out sugar consumption hasn’t changed over the last 50 yrs either (sugar consumption peaked about 70 yrs ago). There’s a small correlation between diabetes and sugar, but it’s not very big. Obesity isn’t a cause; it’s the toxins.
  2. You’ve stated in The Toxin Solution that those in the top 10% of toxic body burden have a 12-fold increase in the risk of diabetes. What are some of the biggest toxic offenders that contribute to this risk? Organic pesticides are a big factor, and they’re in 25% of our food supply. Phthalates are also a big factor: these are used to solubilize and stabilize beauty aids. Phthalates bind to insulin receptor sites, leading to insulin resistance. If you look at people with highest levels of phthalates compared to those with the lowest, diabetes risk increases by a factor of 2. But people have so many phthalates: these account for about 1/4 of diabetes cases. Arsenic: 10% of the water supplies in the US have arsenic levels known to induce disease in humans. This poisons the pancreas, such that it cannot produce insulin. BPA also doubles the risk of diabetes, but everybody has these. In addition to cans and plastics, BPAs can also be found on receipt paper.
  3. You’ve pioneered a mountain of research into the effects of toxins on chronic disease. Can you explain what the data gathering process looked like, so we have some context? He’s looked at this data for almost 10 yrs, but he started to get really serious about it 3 yrs ago bc he was working his way through the research on diabetes and toxins first. Then he started putting together the research in PubMed. He found enough to get an advance for a book, and with the advance money, he hired two graduate students to mine through the data and help him answer this question: what percentage of chronic disease is associated with toxins?
  4. You describe how toxins oxidize LDL, damaging the endothelial lining and contributing to 24 percent of heart attacks. Which toxins specifically are associated with this? The PCBs are one of the worst by far. PCBs were banned in the US 40 yrs ago, but they are persistent organic pollutants. They’re very hard to get rid of, and persist in our bodies. The half life can be as little as 3 yrs, or as long as 25 yrs. The difference depends on how much halogenation they have (addition of chemical halogens: Chlorine, Fluorine, or Bromine). Our bodies aren’t good at de-halogenating compounds.
  5. Our non-organic soil is low in micronutrients—you discuss how this leads to increased absorption of heavy metals like cadmium. So this means not only are we getting fewer minerals, but in their absence, we’re getting toxins instead? I assume this is a great argument for why we should be eating organic? How much does that help? He can’t overstate the importance of eating organic. Our bodies are enzyme machines. Enzymes are composed of proteins that are made by our DNA, but the protein is inert until it has a cofactor: these are vitamins and minerals, and particularly the trace minerals. The problem is, in the last 50 yrs, the trace mineral content in our soil has decreased 50-75%. There aren’t enough of them to go around. Not only do we not have enough minerals to make our enzymes work properly, but now, the toxic replacements are so prevalent that they’re displacing the nutrients from enzymes and they don’t work anymore. Unforunately, the “powers that be” put a lot of loopholes into what can be called organic. So if at all possible, get organic from a local farm, so that you can see what they’re actually doing to grow the food. Or grow your own food.
  6. You also include endotoxins among the total body burden associated with diabetes, heart disease, mitochondrial damage, etc. Can you explain what endotoxins are and how we end up with them? Endotoxins (or LPS) come from bacteria in our gut. Some of them come from even our normal bacteria, and when gut permeability is in proper control, we’re fine. But if we have leaky gut, even the LPS from healthy bacteria will leak out into the bloodstream and add tot he body burden. Another even bigger problem are the toxic bacteria that are producing LPS.
  7. HDL is traditionally called ‘good’ cholesterol, because it shuttles fat back to the liver to get broken down as fuel. But you bring up the point that HDL has another job involving toxic elimination, too—can you expound on this a bit? Most detoxification is in the liver, so you have to get the toxins there. HDL is very good at this. HDL is associated with lower heart disease. We’d been thinking that was because it was harder to oxidize than LDL. But now we have another mechanism: the HDL cholesterol takes toxins back to the liver for elimination, which means fewer toxins available to trigger heart disease.
  8. You said you use the indican urine test to measure toxins from the gut. Where do you order this from, and what red flags signal to you that a patient needs this test? Do you just run this on everyone you suspect to be toxic? He used this a lot when seeing patients: indican tests measure indoles and skatoles, primarily from clostridia bacteria. These break down tryptophan and eat serotonin for their own purpose, and produce toxic chemicals. Indoles and skatoles are also called putrecin and cadavarine. Anytime a patient has any indication of a toxic gut, he’ll run this test. In the past, he used to run this test himself. You can also order it online, and monitor people over time to see if they’re detoxifying. A person with low levels of toxicity will get a clear solution. When there’s more toxicity, it turns more and more blue. As you treat, you can track improvement.
  9. Can you explain the connection between alcohol and leaky gut syndrome? The cells that line our guts play an important part in liver detoxification. The problem is, when they do the liver detoxification, they deplete glutathione in the cells. When this happens, they can’t protect themselves from all those toxic chemicals in the gut. Essentially glutathione depletion from excess alcohol consumption leads to leaky gut.
  10. You mention that fiber specifically absorbs toxin-saturated bile. Does this mean it’s as good as colonics for eliminating toxic bile, or is it just something you do in addition to, rather than instead of? Colonics have been an age-old naturopathic therapy. If a person has a toxic gut, this can help as long as you put good healthy bacteria back in. That’s theoretical, though — there aren’t any studies to back it, whereas there are for using fiber.
  11. You mention that people can go to thetoxinsolution.com for daily nutritional recommendations based on their genetics. So they upload their 23 & Me txt file there and just give their email address, or how does that work? They’re developing tools people can license that will allow them to download it. It’s not quite ready yet though.
  12. Is there anything I have not asked you that you want to make sure you communicate to our audience? We have a huge problem with toxins. That was so clear when trying to determine the extent to which toxins were the cause of disease: they couldn’t even find a control group! Instead, they just compared those in the top 10% to the bottom 10%. The first recommendation is avoidance: don’t let toxins into your body in the first place, bc they’re coming from everywhere and they’re extremely persistent.
Jun 8, 2018

Dr Lynch received his Cell and Molecular Biology, BS from the University of Washington and his doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (ND) from Bastyr University. His passion for identifying the cause of disease directed him towards nutrigenomics and methylation dysfunction. Currently, he researches, writes and presents worldwide on the topic of MTHFR, methylation defects and genetic control. You may learn more about Dr Lynch and his work at www.drbenlynch.com. Dr Lynch is the President of www.SeekingHealth.com, a supplement company oriented towards disease prevention and health promotion. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife, Nadia, and three boys, Tasman, Mathew and Theodor.

  1. Your book, “Dirty Genes” strongly emphasizes the importance of lifestyle modification before beginning to add supplements. Can you expound a little on why this is so important?  Lots of experience prove this to be the case. He wanted people to be able to swallow a pill and get better, but usually that isn’t the case. The word supplement means to add to, or enhance. So if you’re living a lifestyle that’s go-go-go, not getting sleep, eating fast food on the run, swallowing food like a snake bc you’re trying to get to your next meeting, it’s detrimental to your health.
  2. The MTHFR gene was your “gateway” of sorts into the world of genetics, and while you spotlight several main genes in your book, this one seems to be the kingpin, affecting all the others. Can you just briefly give an overview on why it is so important? It was the first gene he read about, ironically— but it’s also the first domino. Its role is simple: it’s to make one type of folate which enables other genes to work. If it’s not working, these other 200 genes can stay asleep. You have 200 other genes waiting for MTHFR to give them what they need.
  3. Why is it that a dirty MTHFR can present with depression on some days, and anxiety or irritability on others? What’s going on with the neurotransmitters? If MTHFR is “dirty,” not functioning at its best, homocysteine levels increase. Homocysteine is a valuable component in the body that does certain things, but if it’s too high, it causes genes to turn off or cause inflammation and destruction to other parts of the body. This can directly affect a gene whose job it is to support a compound to help make your neurotransmitters. This gene is NOS3. If you have a dirty MTHFR, NOS3 is also dirty, and if that’s dirty, the neurotransmission and cardiovascular system is also dirty. It can affect all your neurotransmitters. That’s why there’s such a huge range in the moods you can experience, and why there’s no set disease or set mood disorder. It can fluctuate.
  4. You point out how important it is to not take any supplements containing folic acid, though folate is ok (and methylfolate is even better). Can you explain why this distinction matters? The body doesn’t inherently do anything with folic acid. Nothing. The body has to open it, and unpack it and then it can start using it. You have to have readily available nutrients so you can move forward. The body wants active types of folate. (Folate also comes from the word foliage — leafy greens! So that’s a great place to get it from.)
  5. Can you explain what people typically describe when they “over-methylate”, or take too many methylation supplements? What does this usually look like clinically? The term ‘over-methylation’ is like fingernails on a chalkboard. These are terms used bc they give us a quick understanding of what might be going on, but it’s a gross oversimplification. When someone takes too much of a methyl donor: you can get anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, etc. There are no set symptoms. What happens: methylation is the action of taking a methyl group and moving it from one place to another. You’re just taking one thing and attaching it to something else and by doing so, you change its function. You can’t really predict what your body will do with the extra compound that is created.
  6. Your Pulse Method of dosing supplements is very unique, to make sure each person is taking exactly what he or she needs and no more. Can you explain it briefly? The bell shaped curve: the top of the mountain is the middle and the bottom is on L and R. You can have an extreme situation, current symptoms on the lower L which is deficiency. Over a period of time you keep taking the folate and you feel fantastic. Then you keep taking it and slide down the other side, bc you have an excess of that nutrient. Now the symptoms are changing. You have to tune in to your body and see how you feel right then and determine if you need to continue the supplement or not. Remember that a supplement is just something to add to or enhance.
  7. You talk a lot about how “dirty” genes can act clean with a clean lifestyle, and vice versa. Is this true primarily for people with a heterozygous version of a gene, or is it equally true for people who have two good copies as well? Maybe they’re not necessarily “bad” - maybe they’re just different. Having an MTHFR that is working more slowly might have been advantageous for ancestors where they were actually living. Maybe a slower COMT is not bad, it’s actually good—and maybe a faster COMT is actually good in some ways. That said, if someone is born with a slower MTHFR, it’s going to be reduced in function. If you don’t have the cleanest lifestyle and don’t support it, that by itself may be enough to dirty the MTHFR. If someone was born with a faster MTHFR, meaning they were not homozygous of a variant, they also live the same lifestyle and may be able to get away with more bad habits. Look at it as a measure of resiliency.
  8. When you see that there are mutations—let’s say COMT or MAO—how can you tell if they’re a “speed up” or a “slow down” mutation? Is this just clinical, or are there specific mutations that are always one or the other? It depends on the report. Reports should tell you if it’s slower or faster. StrateGene is their genetic report. It tells you the degree to which the gene is slower or faster, according to published papers. They’re also working on their own genetic chip as we speak — they’ve found more clinical and lifestyle relevant genetic mutations that they’re excited to provide. It should be the end of 2018 when their own test comes out. 23 & Me is very accurate; they’re running a good clean show with their chip. There are a lot of Mom and Pop companies popping out where testing is very inaccurate, though.
  9. An article just came out in Nature, suggesting that 40% of variants in a variety of genes reported in direct-to-consumer raw data were false positives. Do you have any comments to shed some light on this? This is not 23 & Me, it’s the Mom and Pop groups mentioned above. For their chip, they’re looking at having a university process their samples. He tours their facilities and it’s spot on. Talked to them about that article: they run controls with every single sample that comes through. They don’t just process the sample; they do a control at the same time, too.
  10. Are the people with DAO mutations typically the ones who end up with elevated whole blood histamine when their guts get inflamed? (I’ve definitely noticed that only some people with gut inflammation end up with histamine intolerance, but not everybody.)  The half life of whole blood histamine a minute. Urinary histamine typically comes from the stomach. Acid reflux is high histamine, as histamine stimulates acid release (which is why there’s no DAO in the stomach). Having a DAO ++ does make you more susceptible to having high histamine, though. If the DAO enzyme gets burdened, you absorb the histamine into the blood stream. Then methylation has to deal with it. But bacteria also produce histamine themselves, and the immune system response utilizes histamine as well. Histamine will stimulate immune cells to take action. So there’s a lot going on — not just the food and drink, and also probiotics. Certain strains will increase histamine. Probiotics that are good for high histamine levels: the entire bifidobacter genus is very effective for modulating histamine. But there are certain strains of lactobacillus that are outstanding at this too. Seeking Health does produce HistaminX to support this.
  11. In the PEMT section, you mention how important it is for your liver to stop eating when you’re about 80% full. Can you explain why this helps the liver specifically? The liver has to process a lot of things. When you overeat, it depends on what you’re overeating. If you’re overeating carbs, you’re creating a ton of inflammation — which is why diabetics have a hard time with eyesight and etc. If it’s fats, the liver has to deal with bile production. If cholesterol ratio is higher than phosphatidylcholine, then bile doesn’t come out very well. You need 10 parts phosphatidylcholine to 1 part cholesterol: and methylation produces this. About 70-80% of your body’s methylation goes toward making phosphatidylcholine. If someone has high homocysteine and they’re pregnant, then we know immediately that their methylation cycle isn’t working very well. Pregnancy is a high methylation time, and women get gallstones, R sided pain, or R shoulder pain. Overeating fat can contribute to this, which can lead to fatty liver, SIBO, fat nutrient malabsorption, etc. Then if you overeat protein, your kidneys and your mitochondria everywhere, including your liver, get overworked bc it’s your mitochondria which get rid of ammonia. We need protein to help us repair our cells—but if you overeat, you have too much ammonia. That is toxic to your brain and cells.
  12. Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you want to make sure you communicate to our audience? No matter where you are, if you’re bedridden and can’t move, or you’re an athlete and high level, finding one simple thing that you can change can make a big impact. If you’re a sprinter, by changing how you breathe while your sprinting, that can make a huge impact. If you’re bedridden and change your breathing, that too can make a huge impact. It’s the basics that keep us going, but they’re easy to forget that. Start with one change. Don’t read Dirty Genes and think you’re going to change everything all at once. Read through it once, and then when you hear something the second time around, stop and put the book down and start working on it. It’s not a book you read once and absorb.
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