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Episode 105
The Doctor's Farmacy

The New Science Of Immuno-Rejuvenation

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

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People have never been more curious about strengthening the immune system than they are right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has got us all thinking seriously about our health and what it means to have immune strength, now and in the future.

To get the most out of this trying time, we need to be open to looking at our health in ways we haven’t before. My guest today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, is a pro at that, and for this reason and so many others he is considered the father of Functional Medicine.

Dr. Bland has always been a major inspiration for me. I was thrilled to have a video-call with him to discuss new ways of looking at optimal health and immunity in the face of this pandemic.

In trying to better understand COVID-19, Dr. Bland went back to the basics of the immune system. He breaks down the processes at work, explains what the now often-heard phrase “cytokine storm” means, and talks about using food as medicine to promote immuno-rejuvenation. That means we’re not just supporting the current state of our immune system, we’re reviving it from the ground up. We talk about this and so much more on this week’s valuable episode.

Check out Dr. Bland’s article, Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic, here.

You can read my COVID-19 blog, A Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19, here.

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

In this episode, you will learn (video / audio):

  1. Acknowledging the psycho-physical effects of COVID-19 and the three zones of learning the disease offers
    (4:33 / 4:35)
  2. Dr. Bland’s article, Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (8:14 / 8:17)
  3. The flexibility and adaptability of our immune system
    (12:18 / 12:21)
  4. Research from the HIV/AIDS epidemic showing dramatic effects of giving African women a simple multi-vitamin
    (16:32 / 16:35)
  5. Immuno-rejuvenation and why our focus should not be on supporting our immune system but rejuvenating it
    (19:29 / 19:31)
  6. How phytochemicals in plants impact the human immune system
    (24:00 / 24:03)
  7. Himalayan tartary buckwheat and its immuno-potentiating compounds
    (28:03 / 28:06)
  8. How food influences the function of our immune system
    (40:27 / 40:30)
  9. My COVID-19 blog, A Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19, and what we should be eating now to protect ourselves
    (48:28 / 48:31)
  10. Five significant changes Dr. Bland predicts in how we will see healthcare globally post-COVID-19
    (50:56 / 50:59)
  11. The interrelatedness of our immune and nervous systems, and our control over the function of these systems
    (1:00:40 / 1:00:43)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dr. Jeffry Bland

Dr. Jeffrey Bland is considered the father of Functional Medicine. Dr. Bland has been an internationally recognized leader in the nutritional medicine field for over 35 years. He’s authored five books on nutritional medicine for the healthcare professional and six books on nutrition and health. With his wife, Susan, Dr. Bland founded The Institute for Functional Medicine in 1991, a nonprofit organization focused on educating healthcare practitioners on effective approaches to treating and preventing chronic disease by getting to the root cause.

Transcript

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
What we’re learning is that we have a lot more control as individuals over the function of both of those systems, both our nervous system and our immune system, than we previously understood. We’re not just victims.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, and it’s Farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter. Today’s conversation matters to care about your immune system, if you care about what’s happening with COVID-19, and how you can make yourself resilient. If you care about what’s going on in healthcare and the future of healthcare, this conversation is going to matter because it’s with one of my favorite human beings on the planet, Dr. Jeffrey Bland. He is the reason I do what I do. He’s the man who inspired me to study functional medicine, the founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine. He’s the leader in the field of nutritional medicine for I guess 40 years now. Jeff, is that right?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Scary. Yeah, well.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, he’s an incredible scientist. He synthesizes enormous amounts of data from lots of diverse fields, connecting the dots in ways that most other scientists don’t who work in silos. He’s got a degree in biology and chemistry. He completed his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Oregon, but he actually got his feet wet in this whole field of functional nutritional medicine as the Director of Nutritional Research at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in early 1980s working with the two time Nobel laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling, who is his mentor.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I remember meeting Dr. Pauling during the work as part of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, where he was speaking not about biochemistry, but about the need to address the threat of nuclear war. He was quite an amazing man. Dr. Bland is author of lots of books. I’ve read most of them. The Disease Delusion is probably one of the best, Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer, and Happier Life, which is essentially a blueprint for what is functional medicine. I think it’s really great. He’s written over 120 peer reviewed research papers on biochemistry and medicine. He’s always looking to the future and seeing things that no one sees before anybody has seen them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In fact, in functional medicine, we were talking about the gut and the microbiome, we didn’t call it that. We talked about the gut, and dealing with the gut flora, and optimizing gut health 30 years ago when nobody was talking about it. We were talking about insulin resistance and inflammation. I mean, my first book, The Ultraprevention, was written in, I think, 2000 and we talked about inflammation. I only learned about that from you, and now it’s sort of the topic of the day. All the diseases of chronic illness are really related to inflammation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Truly a tireless guy, he’s traveled to over 50 countries training quarter million health workers. He’s just an extraordinary guy. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us today on this podcast. I’m so thrilled to be able to take this time to dig in with you about a few topics, which is what we’re going to talk about today, immuno rejuvenation. We’re going to talk about how to actually make yourself resilient in the face of these diseases of inflammation. One of them, of course, is COVID-19. I’ll start about what is medicine look like in the future? How does it look different than it looks now? Jeff, welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m so glad you’re here and safe. We’re not [inaudible 00:03:46], but we’re going to have a great conversation anyway.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Well, Mark, I’m so glad you’re there. I think you’re serving as a beacon of white light to millions of people who are looking for answers and understanding in this time of a lot of uncertainty and fear. We need voices of clarity, and yours has been that for many, many years now in bringing health information. I call it news to use, really implementable, executable concepts that will make a difference in people’s lives.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
My job has been the Jeff Bland translator.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I don’t know, you’ve done much more than that. You’ve made these things to change lives in very positive ways. I have three sons. My middle son shared something with me yesterday that he has been exposed to in his workplace. He’s working for a pharmaceutical company. They’re actively involved in immune-related medication development and one of the top leaders in their field. Something that was sent around to their employees in the throes of this COVID-19 was to remember the deep psycho-physical effects that this pandemic is having on us. It’s not just biomedical effects, it’s psychophysiological. He said that this graphic that was out all their employees was very powerful that he’s spoken with his family and his daughter’s about.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
They’re all obviously sheltered at home in the State of Washington. Now we’re all talking to one another by Zoom, which is a very interesting way that all of our families are now interrelating. But in this little graphic, he pointed out there are really three concentric zones of learning as we’re going through this epic time. The first is the confrontation of our fear. I think for so many people, this precipitous international global pandemic just throw a spectrum of fear in all of our lives, because unknown is always first approached with a kind of an emotion of fear. And then from that level, then hopefully we move to the next level, which is we learn.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
This is the learning zone era where we start to say, “Okay, I was fearful but now I’m starting to understand more about it. I’m starting to understand what the boundaries and barriers, and degrees are, and what I might do.” And then the last ring outside is the growth zone, which comes from empowered knowledge and it comes from self-efficacy. It comes from people saying, “I’m here to serve. I’m here to be purposeful. I’m here to do all I can in my immediate sphere of influence. I’m here to take charge and be responsible.” That third level is sometimes a difficult one to get to when we have lost her job or there can be so many convening variables.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, I think all of us that are trying in our own separate ways to reach out to provide lifelines, to provide help, to provide service recognizing that we are all in this together. This is the kind of reality that we’re in a globally compressed world now, and that we’re all part of this spaceship that’s traveling through space and time that we need to cooperate.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s true.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, that was a really great lesson to get from for my son, Kyle.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I think that’s true. I think we’re all in a very unique moment, where there’s the fear and the terror. And then there’s like the recognition that “Oh, wait a minute, we’re this one common human being that are in this shared experience at this moment.” Whether we believe in being vegan, or whether you’re paleo, or whether you’re Republican, or Democrat, or Jewish, or Christian, or Muslim, Chinese, or American. It doesn’t matter. We’re all in this together and the global collaboration is really interesting. I think, for me, once the initial shock and sort of the impact of this was really clear and I got my house in order, my overwhelming feeling now is, “What can I do?” Like what can I do to solve this problem?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What can we do? I think, in functional medicine, we do have a perspective, which is a little bit different. You wrote an article called Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic that was published in Medium. I have a link to it in the show notes for the podcast, but in the article, you talked about the role of the host. Not just the idea of this bug that we’re a victim of that randomly will get us, but we have some sense of agency and how we can actually make ourselves resilient. You’ve talked a lot about this. We were recently at a conference together and you gave a talk about immuno rejuvenation, which is sort of a wonderful term. I wanted to you to sort of share when you think about COVID-19 and its horrible effects on us, how did you think about it differently in the context of immuno rejuvenation and immuno resilience?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Upon reflection on the start of this pandemic, I was reminded of an experience that I had actually at the Pauling Institute in 1981-1982. We had a very robust seminar program at the Institute at that time. You can imagine Dr. Pauling had this reach into scientists around the world that were very notable Nobel Prize winners and the like. We had this young physician come in from San Francisco, because the Pauling Institute was in Palo Alto, California. He came down from the University of California, San Francisco medical system as a young internist, [inaudible 00:09:45] doc, to talk about the first patient that he had diagnosed having this unique form of cancer Kaposi sarcoma that was associated with the first examples of HIV AIDS in the country.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
In listening to him talk about the pathogenicity and the seriousness of that infection and the course of events, it was a life changer for me. Because it took this concept of viral infections from kind of an abstract thing that maybe was in the developing world and I wouldn’t see to this whole new thing where the lethality at that point in young-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The 100%.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Yeah, it was. It was unbelievable. It was stripping out people unbelievable talents and business leaders, artists. I mean, every sector of humanity was affected, and we had no treatment. Even the origin of the disease was not fully understood at that time. So, over time, obviously, what’s happened is that we now-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Jeff, I knew that Dr. Paul Volberding because I was trained in UCSF residency program in Santa Rosa. So, I-

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Oh, my word.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… [crosstalk 00:10:57] the AIDS epidemic. We had probably the number one admitting diagnosis in our hospitals of AIDS at the time. He was our crew that we went to and got support from an education from him. So, I remember Paul very well.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Oh, well, thank you for bringing… He really made a huge impact on me. I got to know him better over the years. It was an experience that changed the culture irreversibly. I mean, we’ve never been the same as a culture. We say, “Well, we got over AIDS.” Well, we actually didn’t get over aids. As we know, there’s 700,000 deaths to AIDS a year still on this planet, and 13 million people are still affected, even though we have antiretroviral drugs. So, there is more to this than just finding a medication or than just finding immunization. There is other social, cultural, political, economic, and biological factors that lead to these things.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
That’s when I heard COVID-19, I got thinking about is like, what are the other factors beyond the bug itself? Which we’ve seen so many pictures now of the spec, looks like a mind floating in San Francisco Bay or something. So, the concept for me was then to go back and ask the question, what is our immune system? What does it do? Of course, the AIDS explosion led to developments in immunology that we’ve never seen before. It accelerated science in immunology. Now we start to recognize in the 21st century, that there is something very interesting about the plasticity or about the flexibility or the adaptability of our immune system. It goes back to where our immune system comes from. It goes back to our bone marrow.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I don’t think a lot of people understand that their immune cells are all derived out of their bone marrow. These are called hematopoietic stem cells. They are naive cells at that point. They don’t have a personality. They just sit there waiting to be called upon. And then when they are delivered into the body, they will convert themselves into specific subpopulations of immune defensive cells based upon the environment that the person is under.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, if the person has an environment in which they are already depleted, they can be nutritionally depleted, sleep depleted, overstressed and toxic exposed, that their immune cells when they come out of their bone marrow are going to be imprinted with the experience that their body is already under, which makes them then programmed to be resilient or not resilient to certain things that they’re going to be exposed to. So, you start to say-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, it’s almost like the womb in which the immune cells grow. If they’re not well nourished, they don’t produce healthy immune cells that can function well to make you resilient against infection.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Yes, I think that’s part of the metaphor, but I think the metaphor goes even a little farther than that. It would be almost beyond the womb. When those cells start to be delivered into the body, to use the pregnancy analogy, they then further get manipulated by the environment in which they are delivered like the thymus gland, which sits at the base of our neck; and will tell those cells “Hey, we need you to be the following type of cell because this situation you’re under. Therefore, we need you to be already a cell that’s going to be involved inflammation, because our body is already in a state of hostility. So, you go out and you do battle.” So, the body is already in this state of altered function.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, then when a second wave comes in, a COVID-19, the body has already a presaging way that it’s going to response. We hear about cytokine storms. What are cytokine storms? They’re an immune system that overreact to a specific offender, because it’s already poised somehow to produce a heightened sense of response. Now, who do we know that is more likely to have a cytokine storm and bad outcome from a COVID-19 infection? It’s a person that has comorbidities. Now, what are those comorbidities? Those are diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, obesity, cancer.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Now, what are all those disorders share in common? We know in functional medicine, they all share inflammation in common, of individuals who have an unrest immune system having a bad outcome. When they are exposed to COVID-19, their immune system is already distressed. It’s headspace, its capacity to be resilient is limited, so it goes into hyperfunction. So, what do you do about that? You make your-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
A lot of those diseases you said, we think of some of those diseases of excess, of excess food, of excess calories. But they’re also diseases of deficiency. Many patients are very nutrient deficient, whether it’s vitamin D, or Zinc, and other things that are critically important for regulating immune function, which you talked about in your article. I think, the way you broke down, it’s really fascinating and say, “Well, what does the resilient immune system need to function? What is [inaudible 00:16:27] show about this?” Because we can learn a lot from that by looking at what has been done in the past. You mentioned HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
One of the studies you quoted in that article was from Africa, where they used a simple multivitamin, which had dramatic effects in reducing bad outcome from HIV/AIDS, which seems like kind of heresy when it comes to regular medicine, but it actually was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I remember when that study came out, it was sort of shocking. We still hear “Oh, well, vitamins are a waste of time. They’re causing expensive urine.” But yet in that study, it was really compelling to see how just such a simple multivitamin probably was so effective in that population, because they probably were so nutrient deficient to start with.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Yeah, thank you, Mark. That is a really powerful example of maybe even unexpected consequences. So, we were very fortunate in the early days of the Institute for Functional Medicine to have invited the principal investigator who is a Harvard professor of public health, who had been responsible for that African study, to come and speak to us. Of course, he gave the data from that trial, as you just mentioned, that showed in women who were HIV infected that their outcome was significantly improved versus the women who were not supplemented with a vitamin mineral supplement. This was not a high potency formulation, by the way, you might consider it moderate levels of vitamins and minerals, certainly within the nutritionally safe range.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
He made a statement at that meeting when we had a chance to visit with him that struck me, and it stuck with me ever since. That was, he said, “We had really no idea that the impact of something so simple as a few milligrams of these nutrients that we would have presumed people were adequate, because they didn’t have Beriberi, Scurvy, Pellagra, Xerophthalmia, rickets. They didn’t have the classic nutritional deficiency symptoms, signs, that by adding these back to their formula. That A, not only did they not get as sick, but B, they’re responded to antiretroviral drugs better, and C, their outcomes were significantly improved from that of people that their age matched individuals in their countries since x match that we’re not taking the vitamins.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We’re not talking about a common cold here. We’re talking about HIV/AIDS-

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
That’s right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… a really serious infection.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Exactly. So, if you use that as the kind of the edge of the continuum of virus infections in which, as you said earlier, there was more than a 90% lethality initially. You say, “Well, then what about conditions that are not quite as serious when you have an effect?” Then we start asking all sorts of questions about diet, lifestyle, environment, and its role to play in immuno rejuvenation. I want to emphasize, he brought up this term, it’s a very important term for me. Everyone talks about immune support, but do you really want to support an immune system that’s already damaged? Or would you prefer to rejuvenate your immune system, so that it regenerates its potential to do its work naively starting from scratch?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, break that down. What is immuno rejuvenation? It’s a great term. I love it. I don’t think most people would know what it meant.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Okay. So, what it means is as follows. That each moment, each 10 seconds of our life, we’re producing a million new white blood cells 20 million new red blood cells and 30 million new platelet cells from our bone marrow each-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Every day.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Each 10 seconds.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Each 10 seconds.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Each 10 seconds.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s my that body-

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Let me say that again. Let me say that again. Every 10 seconds, the average person produces 1 million white blood cells, immune cells, 20 million red blood cells, and 30 million platelets per 10 seconds. That’s called immune rejuvenation. Now, on the other side, you’ve got older cells floating around your body that have already been imprinted by whatever your life experiences are, right? Some of those are not so happy. Those are old cells that you probably want to trash and replace with new fresh cells, right? That are going to be rejuvenating the ability of the body to produce an appropriate response to something like a virus.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
The balance of how your body’s going to work depends upon how many new friendly cells, the rejuvenated cells are coming in, and what level of the old pre-conditioned cells leaving. You want to make sure that you’re rejuvenating, not just supporting. Because if you’re supporting, you’re supporting some things that are not so happy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So how do you rejuvenate your immune system? There are people listening right now thinking, “Wow.” We’re in the middle of his viral pandemic, and we can only do so much with social distancing. It’s estimated that 40% to 70% of people on the planet will get COVID-19 before we get a vaccine, before we get enough herd immunity to slow the spread. I hope we come up with something sooner but that looks like the likely case. What can people do to rejuvenate their immune system?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Okay, here we go now. This is where it really gets interesting. So, if you want to answer questions that challenge what we know, often you want to go back and ask, “What have we learned in the past?” Right? What ancient wisdom can we draw forward to understand what we might do in the future? This is the basis of a hypothesis as to how you generate a hypothesis. I asked that question to myself, the very question you just asked, “How do you rejuvenate your immune system?” How do you get these cells to be produced that are fresh and not imprinted with bad messages out of your bone marrow? What I recognize is that there was an advancing field of science that was starting to address this question and it’s called immunophenotyping.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Immuno phenotyping is a long word that means people are starting to ask the question, “How do specific immune cells get imprinted with specific messages to become what they are, their phenotype?” The phenotype is a word that describes how a cell works, acts, and looks. So, how do you get those cells to be imprinted with the right messages to be able to defend against viruses more effectively? The answer to that in part goes back to some ancient wisdom, almost going back to the Blue Zones, [inaudible 00:23:28] work, of how about people that lived without modern medicine without a lot of antibiotics and immunization that didn’t have a lot of infection?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
What kind of things were they doing? Well, they were doing work, they were sleeping well, and they were eating certain diets. Are there any things about those diets that is common related to their immune system? I think there are, and you’ve talked about it extensively in your books and your podcasts over the years as part of your advocacy. It’s really talking about eat right and mostly plants. So, these plants contain, to really look at their composition, some unique things that animal products don’t have. They’re called phytochemicals. What are the phytochemicals in plants? They’re the plant’s immune system. You’ve ever thought about that?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, they’re plant’s defense mechanisms, right? Exactly.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So these interesting features of certain plants, not just the vitamins, and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, but these unique collection of substances that are made off the genes of plants that are hardy in their environment under stress that have had to defend themselves against viruses, and bacteria and mold, are unique to their ability to transmit to that plant. It’s resistance because it can’t go to the doctor and it can’t run away. It has to sit there and defend itself. Ironically or interestingly, these phytochemicals that are unique to the plant’s own defense system, the plant’s immune system, when eaten by humans, have effects upon immuno rejuvenation. This is an aha, this is tying together an interesting global fact of life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, Jeff, you wouldn’t really like this, but I was in touch with someone from the Rockefeller Foundation today about an effort they’re doing to the periodic table of plants in sense of what are the periodic table of the nutrients, these phytonutrients in plants. What are their different properties? Using massive throughput mass spectrometry and artificial intelligence to map out these compounds which we barely begun to identify. And then how can they play a role in our health and wellness long term? They are looking right now. They’re thinking how do we use these to look at [inaudible 00:25:48] properties and things that are going to be helping to regulate our immune system to fight the COVID-19 pandemics?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Those are really fascinating effort that the Rockefeller Foundation is undergoing. You might be aware of it. Doing exactly what you’re talking about.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I think what you’ve just stated is this threshold of where we have been with understanding these things, maybe historically, but not being able to explain them. So, this is through the lens of modern science, how we’re starting to understand the precision as to how these messages that these plant phytochemicals have in instigating effects on our immune system that are very specific to the rejuvenation that lead into immuno phenotyping to defend ourselves against things like viruses. This to me is a fascinating kind of Back to the Future story.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Those are news to use in the sort of things that you know, Jeff, around food. You’re such a master of food as medicine. That’s where I learned the term “Food is information.” People think I invented, I didn’t. I stole it from Jeff Bland. But the truth is, are there are their news to use in the survey of the compounds that you talked about that we should be thinking about eating more of?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Yeah, thanks. So, I think you already know that’s a leading question, you already know where I’ve been going here. I’ve been trying to really study this down into getting my fingers in the soil, and trying to really understand what are those things that are being identified to influence the immune system in such a way that they participate in this immune rejuvenation, not just immune support, not just an inflammatories, but really regulate how the immune system is functioning at a fundamental level. I call this the classic example of upstream medicine, right? Trying to work up to where they are producing a problem. So, one of the things that I hit upon came about as a consequence of a serendipitous series of experiences.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
One of which was a train trip on a bullet train from Harbin, the northern most big city in China up near North Korea and Russia. I took this bullet train with a Chinese American colleague of mine all the way down to Shanghai. It’s a long trip, about 2,500 miles, but the train does travel at over 200 miles an hour, so you can do it on the train. By the way, does it silently and vibration-free, which was amazing. But as we had this conversation of the lands, the landscape of China was zooming past us at 200 miles an hour. I asked him a question, which I’ve been interested in because I’ve been talking to a group of investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical School about a discovery they’d made around a specific interesting phytochemical called 2-Hydroxybenzylamine or 2-HOBA, which was found in buckwheat.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I’d been on this collaboration around 2-HOBA for about six or eight months. So, I asked my colleague as we were zipping across China, I said, “So do you know anything about Himalayan tartary buckwheat?” He just stopped; it was like we froze the train. He looked at me, he goes, “You got to be kidding.” I said, “No. Why? Why would you say that?” He said, “I have been looking for any American that might be interested in Himalayan tartary buckwheat, because it is a cultivar that we have been growing in China. It’s been a major foods stuff for 2,500 years.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
It has 100 times, not 10 times, 100 times, the phytochemical density of immune supportive nutrients of any other plant food.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I said, “You got to be kidding me.” He says “No, you need to follow this. Your interest in Himalayan tartary buckwheat is right on target. It is a very interesting plant.” So, I took that when I got back to the States. Through a long circuitous series of associations, now I am a tartary buckwheat farmer in the United States. I’m collaborating with the only person I could find in the United States that was growing the original cultivar of Himalayan tartary buckwheat on his farm in upstate New York. We are studying it. We’re doing both analysis of the phytochemical content, but more interesting, we’re looking at the immune potentiating activities that relates to immuno rejuvenation. This is an interesting family.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I call it a symphony of different phytochemicals that are present in that cultivars at very high levels. The interesting feature of Himalayan tartary buckwheat versus common buckwheat is a common buckwheat is an interesting plant, like most plants requires fertilization from a pollinator. Whereas a Himalayan tartary buckwheat is a self-pollinator, so it has maintained this term plasm integrity for 2,500 years. It doesn’t change rapidly. Pollinators are very susceptible obviously to genetic hybridization from insects carrying fallen pollen from one field to another, but that’s not what you see with Himalayan. It has really maintained its rigor over these 2500 years.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I mean, the seeds… We’re so lost. We’ve lost 90% of our edible plant species and half our livestock species. We’ve created this [inaudible 00:31:22], which I wrote about in Food Fix. It has really led to this massive, I would call it an outbreak or pandemic of chronic disease that is this slow-moving pandemic. It’s not like COVID-19, but it’s killing far more people and it’s affecting far more people. I mean, 2,300 people die every day from preventable heart disease just in America. I think we have no clue about how the food we’ve created or what we call food-like substances that we’ve created actually are driving so many of our issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Bringing back these traditional plants like Himalayan tartary buckwheat, bringing back these rich phytochemical compounds into our diet is really essential for long term survival of our species and for community rejuvenation, which is in a sense, dealing with the central feature of aging and disease. So, it’s such an amazing story. I know everybody listening is going “Well, where do I buy? How do I get it?” Because as soon as you started talking about it, I actually went online, and started Googling it, and trying to find it, find this thingy. Well, then you say, “But this is one guy. He’s like 90 years old, [inaudible 00:32:29] in upstate New York. We’re trying to like…” I’m like, “Come on, Jeff. Kill me.”

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Well, first of all, Mark, I just want to say that I think all of your books over the years have been absolutely spectacular and enlightening. I think Food Fix is your quintessential book at least today. You probably will exceed that in future books, but I think this is a mandate for every conscious human being to read that book. It is so well done. It is so well documented and so motivational, I think, for people to see that there’s a lot more that they can do in not only their own lives, but in how their lives affect other people’s lives and their choices. So, I really want to apply and to support what you’re doing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you, Jeff.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
It’s a tremendous contribution. It truly is.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That means a lot. So, enough about me, let’s talk about this buckwheat stuff. So, tell us in detail, what are the kinds of compounds that you’re finding and what are they actually doing to our immune system? How does it work? Like take us down the rabbit hole a little bit. If you use big words, I’ll stop you to try to explain them, but I think I am the official Jeff Bland translator. So, I actually can do that.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
You are, there’s no question. So, let’s talk about the portfolio of phytochemicals that are found in tartary buckwheat. So, this has been explored extensively actually for a number of years by the phytochemists and people in food science, and many, many reports. I actually find it very interesting. When I got into this, the literature in the scientific realm was a lot richer than I thought. Several hundred papers that had been published on all sorts of aspects, including doing the full throughput genetic sequencing of the genome of the tartary buckwheat plant and comparing it to others, and what do its genes do that are different than other. So, it’s got a lot of data. I won’t bore you with all of that, but let’s cut to the chase.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
What we now know is that there are probably over 100 different phytochemicals that the tartary buckwheat plant makes out of its genes. They are obviously made as defensive substances because the tartary buckwheat has never had fertilizer. It’s never had pesticides, herbicides, or biocides. It had to live in a very hostile environment where drought and freezing temperatures and bad soil conditions. It turns out that the tartary buckwheat has genes that detoxify aluminum from the soil, which I think is interesting.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, it has its own detoxification mechanisms built into it. It’s just a rigorous vital plant that had to survive against pretty extensive stress all of its 3,000 years of cultivation history. So, the portfolio of these-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I got to stop you there, Jeff, because I just want to make-

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
No, please.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We’re just talking about that wild plants or heirloom plants that evolved environment, which was stressful, have all these mechanisms to protect themselves. Those compounds, I think we coevolved with, and we use them in our biology to protect ourselves. I call it symbiotic phytoadaptation, which is a term I made up. It doesn’t really mean much, but essentially, it’s the idea that we actually are coevolved with these plants to help us stay healthy and revive our immune systems. When we changed our diets in such a way that we’ve stripped out all of these compounds, and we just do protein, fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals, we are missing some of the most important compounds in our diet that are essential for us to thrive and stay healthy.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I like the term that you’ve coined. I think that’s a really great descriptive term. If you then ask me the question, “Okay, this symphony of all these phytochemicals that are uniquely produced by the genes of the tartary buckwheat plant. That’s been this plant that’s had live with proverbial stress. So, it’s produced all these anti-stress, immune strengthening nutrients, how do they actually influence the human immune system?” That’s a very interesting question. This is kind of a story of coevolution. There’s a lot of people who don’t like the term coevolution that we evolved in concert with our plant and animal kingdoms, but I believe that there is such a thing. So, what happens is-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I agree with you. I think there’s a great example people should know. Humans and guinea pigs can synthesize vitamin C, because we were able to get it abundantly from the environment. So, our bodies are lazy. My view is our bodies are lazy. So, why build a biochemical mechanism to create a molecule if we can eat it?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
That’s true.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Now, we’re not eating these compounds, and that’s part of the reason we’re so sick. That’s why these traditional diets actually have shown what wherever you go the traditional diets that include these weird foods and strange compounds, they do better, they live longer, they have less chronic disease. When we’ve stripped them all out of our food, and ultra-processed food is the epitome of that. It’s the epitome of a dead food with no phytochemicals. We’re literally putting ourselves in a situation of threat as a species, I believe. I think we’re seeing the beginning of the end of our species because of what we’ve done to our diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The fact that you’ve gone to China and you’ve learned about this compound. You’ve learned about this plan and you brought it back here. We need this, but times 100, times 1,000, to get these compounds back in our diet. So, keep going. I just had to sort of put that footnote in there.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
No, that’s more than a footnote. That should be a header, because that is the ultimate takeaway. That’s the news to use from what I’m really trying to say. We focus a lot of our energy now on Himalayan tartary Bucky, because it is so unique in the concentration of these immune active nutrients, phytochemicals, but this plays its role across all of the whole plant kingdom.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, I don’t want to just say this is like only found in HTB. But what we have found is that this orchestration of these phytochemicals plays a very unique role in how it influences this conversion of the cells that are in our bone marrow into young vital healthy cells it will quickly turn into those that are needed to fight infection and to defend against disease. They do so through a process in part this way, autophagy, you’re probably familiar with that term. It’s a big, long-winded term that really means house cleaning of damaged cells.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You eat yourself is what it means. You clean it like a little Pac-Man, you clean up your debris and waste problem.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Exactly, right. So, it cleans up the cells in your immune system that are kind of already got a bad message associated with them, and setting up inflammation, and then it makes room, so to speak, for these new healthier cells. It also then influences the gene expression of these new progenitor cells. These new immune cells to be at their full vitality, so it then has an effect to serve. People say, “One has an anti-viral effect.” Well, it’s not specifically anti-viral, what it is immune rejuvenating to allow the immune system to then do what it’s supposed to do, which is to seek out and destroy viruses and bacteria. So, I think-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, what you’re saying is that when you eat buckwheat, it affects the development of your immune cells to make them more vital, active, and resilient in order to fight infection better.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
That’s exactly right, precisely. And then you couple that together with the things that you’ve been talking about like with vitamin A, and with Zinc and with folic acid, and essential fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C. All this work together in concert, but I think often the missing link has been people have not thought about the important role in how food is information to our genes that’s encoded through our phytochemicals. These specific families that influence in very specific ways how our immune system functions. We used to say these phytochemicals are antioxidants. Well, that’s about the most trivial naive description that I can imagine.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I mean, there’s a million things that are antioxidants that have no real direct effect on your immune system. These are really targeted communicators that come from the immune system of the plant to speak to the immune system of our body in very specific ways. And then, you’ve raised a point in your discussions about COVID-19 that I think bears reminding in this point. That is, why is it that we’re seeing men have more serious outcome from COVID-19 than women? Why are we seeing more people Black or Brown genetic origin have more problems? Is it built into their genes? Well, there may be some genetic connections, but they’re very down on the list.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
The most important features are lifestyle factors that have influenced their immune system and that’s what’s coming out. That men generally haven’t treated their immune systems as well as women. Black and Brown individuals often don’t have the access to the quality diets and the quality care. I think COVID-19 might be a lifestyle disease as much as a viral disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes. Yes, I think that is an important point. I think, if you look at who’s resilient to COVID-19, it’s people who are healthier. What’s scary is the fact that I learned recently that 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy, that means 88% are not. There’s a whole spectrum of metabolically unhealthy, but the most unhealthy of that group are the ones who are dying, and getting sick, and going to the hospital, and getting ICU treatment, and in ventilators. So, I think there’s a real imperative right now to recognize that this is exacerbated by Coronavirus. This is a time more than ever to double down on taking care of your health as a personal survival strategy, but also as a public health strategy. We are all in this together.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The more we can do to immuno rejuvenate ourselves to make us more resilient, the faster are we going to get over this. I think your article was really great, Jeff, because you talked about the science behind things like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D, also about the microbiome. Very rare data that we do know, it’s not like there isn’t data out there. I am actually seeing this. So, I was really heartened to see the clinical trials going on at Cleveland Clinic specifically, because that’s where I know it’s happening. We’re looking at N-acetyl cysteine, and vitamin C, and zinc, and melatonin, and a lot of other compounds that are being used to actually help see they can mitigate this disease or to improve outcomes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Even traditional academic medical centers are beginning to recognize this, but we’re talking about is a whole another level of things, right? Not just vitamins and minerals, but a whole another level of compounds that I don’t think most people realize exist and that are so essential. You once taught me about something called conditionally essential nutrients, maybe things like CoQ10 or other things that may be conditionally essential in certain circumstances. Well, I think that phytochemicals are essential compounds for human health. We have just ignored that fact at our peril, and our consequence of that. What you’re talking about and what the Rockefeller Foundation is doing, it’s just the most extraordinary thing. I mean, think about this.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The Rockefeller Foundation understands that the treasure trove of phytochemicals out there in the plant world that we consume can have profound effects on human health and human longevity. They did that in a scientific way that we’ve never had the capacity to do before. Because one, we didn’t have the analytic equipment; and two, we didn’t have the data crunching power and artificial intelligence to make sense of it all. So, I think we’re in this really powerful moment where the idea of food is information is sort of an overarching concept. But the granularity now that we’re getting around it is so powerful and your Himalayan tartary buckwheat story is just an example of that. But there are literally thousands of examples like that, right?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
That’s right. Well, what you just said, Mark, I think is very important for people to kind of pause for a moment to think about. Why is it that we have not given more credence to these phytochemicals? Why don’t they have a recommended dietary allowance?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But I mean, I should be.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Well, let me say why I think they don’t. If you think about those nutrients that have recommended dietary intakes from the federal government, they’re the nutrients who is absence in the diet produces fairly dramatic quick index diseases in their deficiency, like scurvy, like Beriberi, like Pellagra. These are diseases that you can diagnose under fairly quick times of deprivation, like you can put medical students on to deprived diets for a month. You can start to see the symptoms of these deficiency diseases.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that’s what happened in the prisons in Europe. They gave people white rice, and they gave all the brand to the chickens. The prisoners all got serious illnesses because they’re just having neutral rice.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
That’s right. So, we always start in any field of discovery with those observations that are most clearly apparent. So, we started this whole area of nutrition and setting nutrition standards based upon what level is required to prevent a deficiency disease, like 10 milligrams of vitamin C a day, the minimum daily requirement, or something like that. Now we’re saying, “Well, what kind of disorders occur from phytochemical insufficiencies?” These are what have been called long latency nutrient deficiencies. What our long latency? It means it takes a long time to get a disease and the disease is very complex, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis. It doesn’t have one single indicator. So, it can get lost in the mass and it may take 20 years or more to get it.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, you cannot define the same level of specificity for a phytochemical because it may have had an effect upon your immune system, which sets you at risk to all sorts of diseases. So, how do you set the standard when your model is built around a disease? Our model should be built around function. What I’m proposing and I predict is that out of COVID-19, what we’re going to see is new ways of assessing nutritional need based upon immunological function, not just on deficiency.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
If so doing, then you will say, “Well, are there ways of assessing immune function?” The answer is yes. It’s the fastest growing frontier in all of medicine, is understanding the immune system, how to assess its function. Let me throw one last thing in. I asked myself the question, “How many people in American United States today are on immunosuppressive medications?”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, a lot.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
30 million, 30 million. Think of that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Million. Wow.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So, taking immunosuppressive medications by the name, that’s not immuno rejuvenating. That’s the counterpoint. So, the point is that we have a variety of different variables that are influencing how our body is prepared for the insult of a new mutant virus that is playing itself out with this new, more highly effective, and reasonably pathogenic COVID-19. That’s what we’re witnessing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s so true. I wrote an article about what kinds of foods you should be considering eating. Now, I’m home cooking all the time. I’m always thinking about what am I making. Tonight, I made a Moroccan lamb. I use ginger, and garlic, and onions, and spices, and cardamom, and cumin and all these wonderful spices that have beneficial properties. I wrote about some of the flavonoids for example that we know of antiviral properties, like kaempferol which is a spinach, dill, cabbage; or a quercetin which is in dill, and onions, and oregano, and chili pepper; and hesperetin which is in oranges, in grapefruit, and citrus foods; or oleuropein which is in olives and extra virgin olive oil.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
These are the compounds we’re talking about, catechins in green tea, lauric acid in virgin coconut oil and breast milk. Although that’s kind of hard to get. All these other spices that I’ve been using really prolifically in my cooking, ginger, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, chili pepper, oregano. I mean, four of those are in my dinner tonight. So, I think we have to think about actually how we can start to use these compounds on a daily basis in our cooking in our food. The great thing is at the end of the day, you’re going to eat this amazingly delicious food because ultra-processed food just tastes horrible. Like when you actually have had real phytochemical rich food, it’s what actually makes things good. It’s the flavor that they give to foods.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, Dan Barber is on a podcast, and he created Row 7 Seed to create taste in food by hybridizing seeds to create the most flavor. But what he’s done, I think, inadvertently was to find ways to enhance the phytochemical properties of the food, which makes it more nutrient dense and more phytochemical rich. That’s what gives it flavor. Is that a fair assumption?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Absolutely. I think one has to be a little bit careful though to say flavor, because we know that flavor is enhanced by fats and flavor is enhanced by sweeteners. So, I think you would have to ask what flavor is?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, yeah, I don’t think of those as flavors.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Well, those are flavor [inaudible 00:50:42].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You’re right. You’re right. It’s the addictive stuff that we get pushed on by the food industry, but this is just such an amazing conversation, Jeff. I think we’ve covered a lot. I think one of the things I want to touch on is going forward, how is healthcare going to look? How is society going to look through the long lens that you’ve had, 40 or 50 years of thinking about these things and going through so much history? What do you see coming in terms of healthcare and just life in general?

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
So I’m going to pair it back with Dr. Mark Hyman would say if I was to ask you that same question, because I think you may language this a little differently than I, but I think we would both say the same thing. So, I think that there are going to be five significant changes post-COVID-19 in how we see healthcare globally. I’d like to just quickly summarize in. The present system pre-COVID-19, we have separated very seriously community health from interventional medicine. They’re both on opposite sides of the coin. One we call public health, and the other we call medicine-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Clinical medicine.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Generally, public health is stepchild. Interventional medicine is where the action is. I think that that’s going to change dramatically post-COVID-19. I think we’re going to see precision public health become a major part as important as interventional medicine. It will help chart future health care policy and planning. My second point is I think-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Amen to that.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Thank you. Well, I know I’m saying Mark Hyman stuff just in Jeff Bland-esque.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I want to come back to that point. That’s a very important point. Yeah.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Okay. The second point is our pre-COVID-19 has been a diseased-focused, diagnosis-focused healthcare system. So, it’s really a disease care system. What we call a prevention is related to risk factor reduction for chronic diseases. So, it’s all really disease centric. I think post-COVID-19, we’re going to see prevention being redefined to include prognostic markers of immunological function. I think we’re going to ask who are the best people that are at risk based upon the function of their immune systems? Not just the presence of markers of disease. That’s a big change I believe that will occur.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
My third point is that I think present, like pre-COVID-19, our healthcare system, i.e. disease care system, the reimbursement is based upon in state and state contact between a practitioner and a patient. I believe that what we’re going to see after this, it’s already starting to happen is health financing will undergo significant change to include across state border telehealth-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, which we’re doing now.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
… prognostic screening, and group health. I think these are going to be game changers when we really start talking about group participation. You’ve talked about this for years, telehealth and other ways of getting information to people that will empower their self-efficacy, their ability to take charge of their health in different ways by resourcing people that knowledgeable that can give them the guidance and the personalized recommendations they need. The next in my list is presently regulations that oversee healthcare based upon state and national perspectives. It’s almost entirely centric to this interplay between state and national directives or policies.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
I think that’s going to be changing post-COVID to planetary health, that we become a significant driver of healthcare innovation. We’re going to move away from this myopic view of centric views of our local community and our reimbursement systems through insurance companies or Medicare to look at global issues that really if you think of the impact on our economy or our health of this one COVID-19-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh my god.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
… it swamps out everything. All the advances we’ve made in cancer therapy, all the advances that drug companies have made in treatment of chronic disease, they pale in comparison to the impact of this particular event on global society. So, we’ve got to change our whole philosophy to include planetary health systems. And then lastly, we have seen in our culture pre-COVID-19 that epidemics are viewed as solely vector caused. Therefore, their prevention is related to the development of drugs and immunization. That’s been marginally successful. I said, we still have 750,000 people dying of AIDS. So, it hasn’t been completely successful.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
By the way, Jeff, that is actually the message that is being pushed out there today that it’s all about right drug and the right vaccine for COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Yeah, I don’t want to discount it. Both of those are important. What I think will happen post-COVID, however, is to recognize that those are not the total solution. Epidemics will be redefined as multi-causal. The approaches then, we’ll have to engage personalized health improvement, not just finding solutions by drugs and immunization.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Making the whole population more immuno resilient.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
This experience that we’re all sharing through this COVID-19 pandemic, which has pulled us into our houses and it’s made quiet for a while, our industries, has caused us to reflect on what are the real value systems that drive us to have successful outcomes in life? How do we make health a virtue that’s more than just an apparition? But it really deals with how we live, act, and behave each day, interact as human beings, see our value, have purposeful families, interact with people in meaningful ways, and create a stewardship of the planet that has survivability as a legacy. Those outcomes from this disease will change, not only healthcare, but the cultural context by which we all advance ourselves.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think it’s right. I think it is a horrible moment and many people are sick and dying. I wish I could stop it right now. But it is going to change the fabric of society, it’s going to change how we think about ourselves, about our families, our communities, our nations. Particularly the driving change in healthcare you mentioned are really important. I want to come back to the initial point you made about the distinction between clinical medicine and public health. There’s always been a divide. Clinical medicine has been seen as the real medicine, and public health is sort of the poor stepchild or not as relevant. But if you look at the history of health and our health gains, most of them have been through public health, whether it’s sanitation, or clean water, or even vaccines.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think we really have to look at that seriously. What really struck me a number of years ago when I went to Haiti and saw what was happening there and saw how Paul Farmer addressed TB and AIDS, which are infectious diseases not by better drugs, or surgery, more vaccines; but by dealing with the public health issues that he called structural violence, the social, the political, economic conditions that drive disease. We’re seeing that here, we’re seeing the structural violence devastating populations from COVID-19 that we discuss. The poor populations, Hispanic, African American populations, people who have chronic illnesses that are caused by our food system, these are real issues that aren’t going away.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think when we really look at how do we have to address this, it’s going to be through changing the structural system, the social determinants we call [inaudible 00:58:26]. People’s ability to access food to deal with the stresses that they’re dealing with. These social determinants are bigger and more relevant determinants of health than any drug or surgery. And then of course, there’s food. I mean, the food system itself has to radically change in order for us to address this pandemic of chronic disease and the burden on the healthcare system. So, the only way to do that is by dealing with the public health issues and the clinical issues together. We can no longer separate them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
There’s a book years ago called Turning the World Upside Down by Nigel Crisp, who was the former head of the National Health Service in the UK. It was one of those light bulb moments for me when I read the book. I was like, “Oh my god. We have to learn for the developing world how do we address our chronic disease epidemics in the developed world, because they don’t have a lot of resources. They just have each other. They have community health workers.” If I were president or king, I would literally take this moment to train millions of unemployed workers as community health workers and deploy them throughout the country to actually help people do exactly what you’re talking about, immediate rejuvenation, and reclaiming their health, teach them how to grow gardens.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, we had 40% of our food grown in Victory Gardens during World War II. We had federal extension workers teaching young families how to cook and take care of their homes. We need to bring those workers back. I think if that comes out of this, then I think then it won’t be for naught. But I believe you, Jeff, that this is going to be a different world after COVID-19

Dr. Mark Hyman:
While we’re all in it, we really need to huddle together and listen carefully to the things you’re saying. Read that article, we’re going to post it in the notes, because it’s such an important message that we don’t have to be passive victims of this virus that we can take good care of our health in our communities and our families. That’s what’s so great about the work you do, Jeff. You empowered me to really focus on the real solutions for chronic disease. You’ve helped me help thousands of people around the world. I’m just so grateful for that and for your wisdom and for your vision of seeing what’s coming. So, you are my hero.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
It’s reciprocal, Mark. I’d like to leave if I could just one thought with your group. That is when we explore how we, as individuals in our own personal lives interact biologically, socially, physically with the outside world, there are certain processes within our body. I call them antennae that are picking up the signals and translating those signals into our body. The principal one is our immune system interrelated to our nervous system. As we know, the nervous system and the immune system are exquisitely connected. We should actually teach them as two different systems. They’re part of one big system.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
We can control what we’re learning, is that we have a lot more control as individuals over the function of both of those systems, both our nervous system and our immune system, than we previously understood. We’re not just victims. If we can develop that understanding that we are the shop boss of how our immune system is going to defend us against foreigners, and how our nervous system is responding to unexpected event; then we will find a path to health globally. It will be connected to health of the planet, because it will mean seeing behaviors. So, peoples, planets, and plants will all be interrelated.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you, Jeff. That is so wise. Thank you for joining us today on The Doctor’s Farmacy and enlightening us about the power of Himalayan tartary buckwheat among others. I know I’m going to be trying to find it. I know where to get it, but I hope it’s made available to many, many people. Thank you for all the work you do. For people who are looking for a Jeff Bland’s work, you can go to their website, plmi.org. That’s the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute. Check out his book, The Disease Delusion. Look at his article on the COVID-19 pandemic on Medium and you will be enlightened like probably can’t even imagine. So, thank you, Jeff, for joining us today.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
One last quick thing, I think the best place to get in touch and the resource information we put down over the years is probably jeffreybland.com. That’s J-E-F-F-R-E-Y, Bland, B-L-A-N-D.com. Access as all these other portals that you might have interest in finding.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s great, jeffreybland.com. I can’t even tell you the amount of content information Jeff has put out over the years. It’s just staggering. It’s my main source of inspiration. So, thank you, Jeff, for joining us on The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you love this podcast, please share with your friends and family on social media. Leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and we’ll see you next week on The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Thanks, Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you, Jeff.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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