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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

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Episode 162
The Doctor's Farmacy

Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired? How To Reclaim Your Energy

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.

If you’re using a different device, our show is available on the following platforms.

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We have an energy crisis on our hands. I’m not talking about fossil fuels, I’m talking about a breakdown of the body’s internal energy systems that now affects even young adults in their prime. 

It might surprise you to learn that it’s not normal to feel tired all the time. Our on-the-go culture has made it the norm. But when we take a look at how the body’s mitochondria function (these are our tiny but powerful cellular energy factories) we see that so much of our modern lives is damaging our mitochondria and resulting in this energy deficit. 

I’m so excited to talk to Dr. Steven Gundry about this topic on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy

Dr. Gundry and I talk about the top seven energy disruptors that his new book explores. You might be surprised to hear that antibiotics are number one. We discuss how they’ve managed to infiltrate our food supply so deeply (even in organic meat) and why hurting our microbiome means hurting our mitochondria and losing precious energy production. Glyphosate, heavy metals, and medications like NSAIDs and PPIs are just a few of the other key villains we need to look at when it comes to being robbed of energy. 

Dr. Gundry does a great job of laying out approachable steps to rebuilding our energy production systems right away. We get into his main dietary recommendations, including the low-down on lectins, why removing gluten isn’t always enough, and why modern fruits can sabotage an otherwise healthy diet. 

I bet most of you can relate to feeling run-down and tired, even when you’re getting enough sleep. There are real reasons behind this lack of energy—I hope you’ll tune in to get all Dr. Gundry’s tips for feeling more vibrant so you can do the things you love. 

This episode is brought to you by Paleovalley, ButcherBox, and Four Sigmatic.

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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. The two main actionable drivers causing our fatigue
    (2:30 / 6:39)
  2. Brain fog is a warning sign
    (6:38 / 10:47)
  3. How our overuse of antibiotics drives fatigue
    (9:05 / 13:14)
  4. Glyphosate’s negative effects on our energy production
    (11:44 / 15:53)
  5. Environmental toxins and our health
    (16:07 / 20:16)
  6. Common OTC drugs that can lead to inflammation, leaky gut, and more
    (21:45 / 27:14)
  7. The mitochondria-gut connection
    (25:25 / 30:54)
  8. The effects of being overfed and underpowered
    (32:27 / 37:54)
  9. The Energy Paradox’s dos and don’ts of eating
    (36:13 / 41:41)
  10. How blue light (or “junk light”) is affecting our energy and why getting a dog is good for your health
    (43:40 / 49:09)

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. Steven Gundry

Dr. Steven Gundry is one of the world’s top cardiothoracic surgeons and a pioneer in nutrition, as well as medical director at The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine. He has spent the last two decades studying the microbiome and now helps patients use diet and nutrition as a key form of treatment. He is author of many New York Times bestselling books including The Plant Paradox, and The Plant Paradox Cookbook, and The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age, and just released The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone. He also is the founder of GundryMD, a line of wellness products and supplements, and host of The Dr. Gundry Podcast.

Show Notes

  1. Get a copy of Dr. Gundry’s new book, The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and Go Has Got Up and Gone

Transcript

Dr. Steven Gundry:
We are so deprived of the energy producing compounds that are available to all of us. if we’ll just feed the microbiome what they need.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to the doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, that’s Farmacy with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y, a place for conversations that matter. And today’s conversation is going to matter to you if you’re tired or you’re sick and tired of being tired, because it’s with none other than my friend and one of the leading thinkers in health and wellness say Dr. Steven Gundry about his new book, The Energy Paradox, What To Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone. I know we’ve all gotten tired from time to time, but it seems like we have a pandemic of fatigue and I’m so happy to be able to talk to my friend, Steve.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He’s he’s one of the world’s top cardiothoracic surgeons. He’s a pioneer in nutrition, he’s a medical director of the international heart and lung center for restorative medicine and he spent the last two decades studying the microbiome and now helps patients using Diet nutrition as a key form of treatment. He’s written so many New York times best sellers. You’ve probably heard about including the plant paradox, the plant paradox cook book, the longevity paradox, and now The Energy Paradox. And he’s also got a great podcast called The Dr. Gundry podcast. So welcome Steve to The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
All right, thanks for having me on. It’s good to see you again. You’re looking well.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you, sir. Okay. So here we go. We have this pandemic of fatigue and personally I’ve had chronic fatigue syndrome. So sadly, unfortunately, I’ve had to become an expert in fatigue, both from the inside out and the outside in and it’s really been a journey to understand what causes people to be tired because it’s one of the most common symptoms that people go to the doctor for. Now sometimes it’s silly and simple. One guy years ago gave a lecture and I actually said, “I’m tired all the time as well. How many hours do you sleep?” He said, “I sleep five and a half, six hours,” I’m like, “I sleep eight.” And he said, “That’d be $500 please.” But it’s more complicated than that for most people. So we just sort of internalized and accepted the idea that, “Oh, we should be tired.” But it’s not normal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So what’s causing this energy crisis. It’s not a energy crisis of oil, it’s energy crisis of ATP which is everybody’s own energy system. So what is the driver of all this?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Well, I think there’s multiple drivers and I certainly get into that in The Energy Paradox. But if I was going to break it down into two really actionable items. Number one, we talked about chronic inflammation and that most of us somehow think that chronic inflammation in one way or another is driving most of our chronic disease processes in one way or another. And people go, “Well, where does chronic inflammation come from?” I think, and many others now think that chronic inflammation is actually coming from leaky gut. And if you would ask me, I think 15 years ago, what I thought about leaky gut, I probably would have called it pseudo science and said, “Oh, come on. Really? There’s very little evidence. But I think thanks to Alessio Fasano and others, we now know that leaky gut probably confirms what Hippocrates said 2,500 years ago, that all disease begins in the gut.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
In fact, Dr. [Pisano 00:03:40] from Harvard now has a new paper out saying, “All disease begins in a leaky gut.” And I think he’s absolutely right and certainly in our practice, I see that really is one of the major driving forces in chronic inflammation. Now, why does that reduce energy? Because 70% to 80% of our immune system lives in our gut lives, along the lining of the gut. And the immune system is a big time energy hog, energy burner. And we devote a huge amount of our resources to powering our immune system and the example I use in the book, which I use with my patients constantly, before COVID, there was obviously the flu and the flu is a virus like COVID. And the flu in and of itself is just a protein that our immune system looks at and says, “Oh my gosh, this is a bad actor, and we’ve got to mobilize our forces and we’ve got to be ready to get this guy.”

Dr. Steven Gundry:
So what we do, the flu does not cause you to be aching and have ache and pain and just want to lay in bed, the flu does not give you brain fog. The flu does not make you channel surf and not think. Your immune system actually needs all that energy. So what we do is we ration energy. We make ourselves hurt. Our immune system makes ourselves hurt so we don’t move. If our muscles hurt, we don’t move. And we make our brain go into standby mode because our brain is the biggest energy hog of all, and if you’re using 20% of your energy to think, you’re taking away from your immune system. And so imagine that the same thing happens in our gut when we have leaky gut. A huge amount of the energy that we would normally have goes to our immune system in our gut. That’s number one.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What you’ve been saying is quite incredible, which is that a lot of the fatigue that we think may have other causes might start in the gut because when your gut is damaged, you’re injured, it literally “leaks” the bad toxic crap, literally in your immune system and your immune system goes, “Ah, what’s this? And I better do something about it.” And It gets very busy and sucks a lot of energy, but it also creates inflammation and inflammation and fatigue just are neck and neck, that’s what the body actually does when you’re having inflammation, it creates a lot of fatigue. You kind of repair, I guess it’s sort of a natural thing. You want to stop and not do anything and let your body heal like animals go lay down until they get better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So you’re talking about the warning signs. How do people know if they’re just a normal tired, or if they have something more severe kind of fatigue? What are the warning signs?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Well, I think certainly, we’re seeing even in a younger and younger and younger patient population brain fog. I think if you had asked me about brain fog 20 years ago when I first started this area, this was a common complaint in seven year olds, eight year olds. But now we see it in 20 year olds and 30 year olds, millennials come in with complaining of brain fog and Malays and it’s like, “I’m really getting old. I thought I was just 30. I just don’t have my get up and go that I used to have.” And this is a warning sign. We’re not supposed to have that. We’re not supposed to have to be powered by a double espressos three times a day and 12 red bulls to get through the day. And I think part of the problem is we’ve thought that our modern lifestyle, particularly social media, we see everybody happy, happy, happy doing everything wonderfully. And we somehow go, “Oh my gosh, that’s what I should be like too.”

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And we have to power through our day, or “I’m a mom with two young kids and I got to be there to get them to their 27 events every day,” and that’s normal to be fatigued, to be not knowing what to do, but it’s not normal. And surveys actually show that at least 50% of the population is fatigued or tired at any particular time. And we’ve accepted that as normal and it’s absolutely not normal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, for sure. In the book you talk about the seven deadly energy disruptors. And as a functional medicine doctor, I noticed a few missing, but we can talk about those, but I mean, things that I see regularly in my practice, but these are really a great starting list. So tell us about the seven deadly energy disruptors.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. I had seven disruptors in the Plant Paradox book and I’ve tweaked that list in terms of energy, because I think there’s some real missing makers that deserve our attention. First of all, antibiotics. We still not only overused antibiotics to treat things that have no business being treated with antibiotics such as viral illnesses. We still, unfortunately practitioners, anytime someone comes in with a sore throat or a cough, the gut sense is to give them broad spectrum antibiotics. And what none of us realized until recently is that broad spectrum antibiotics kill off not only above what we thought we were going to kill, but also our entire gut microbiome. And it may actually take two years to re-establish an entire healthy microbiome after a single round of antibiotics.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
We had no idea of this dense tropical rainforest that we had in our gut that drove so much of our energy and we’ll talk about that in a little bit. Plus the antibiotics as you and I know are in our food supply, particularly in animals from factory farms. It is still legal for veterinarians to dose entire flocks of chickens or entire herds of animals with the claim that they’re treating one sick animal and still as long as the veterinarian says that they need it, they still legally can do it. And as you and I know some of these organic or natural chickens have been tested for antibiotics from certain farms, and they may have a 60% antibiotic pickup rate in normal natural chickens that aren’t supposed to get any antibiotics.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Really. I didn’t know that that’s frightening.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah, it is actually really frightening.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Is that because they use them anyway if one animal’s sick, they give it to everybody?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. There’s always loopholes as you and I have fortunately learned in laws, and the loophole was if the veterinarian thinks there’s a sick chicken and there’s a flock of 100,000 chickens in a warehouse, then he is allowed to treat the entire flock to treat that one sick chicken and the vet, there’s great vets and great doctors and there’s bad vets and bad doctors. If the vet is on the payroll of the big corporation, you see where I’m going.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Absolutely. So what of the other six disruptors?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
So I think glyphosate has rapidly rose to kind of my number two mischief maker of all time. It’s an antibiotic against the earth, in my opinion. It was actually patented by Monsanto as an antibiotic initially. And what we didn’t know, what you and I didn’t know is that, yes, it works with this crazy, it works against the shikimate pathway, how plants make protein synthesis. And Monsanto said, “Don’t worry, humans, don’t use this shikimate pathways, so you’re safe. It can’t hurt you.” What they didn’t bother to tell us was that bacteria and fungi use the shikimate pathway so that when you swallow glyphosate, it actually kills off your microbiome rather effectively.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Plus recent evidence is that it in itself without any other effect is a gut wall disruptor. It breaks tight junctions. And in one paper, I show that glyphosate actually interferes with mitochondrial function. And that’s actually not too hard to believe because mitochondria as your listeners know, are actually engulfed ancient bacteria and they actually carry bacteria signature and they work as a functioning bacteria within all of our cells. So it actually was not surprising as I was researching this to find out that in fact glyphosate affects mitochondrial function. And it’s everywhere.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean it’s on 70% of our agricultural crops, it’s the most abundant agrichemical in use today. It’s on over 90% of our corn, soy and it’s kind of scary. It’s out there and it’s really being looked at from the legal point of view. There’s over 14,000 lawsuits pending against the herbicide. And it’s for human effects, but I think what you’re speaking to is something really more important, which is its effects on the microbiome of the soil and also the microbiome of humans, and they’re interconnected. And I think we literally are destroying the microbiome of the soil which builds the organic matter and leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions from loss of soil carbon, and then you’ve got the microbiome effects on humans, which has all the consequences that you just talked about.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. You’re right. We talk about you are what you eat, but you are what the things you’re eating ate. Well, the same thing is true with plants and plants as you and I know have this incredible rich soil microbiome that would normally assist in feeding the plant and allowing the plant to absorb nutrients. And now those of glyphosate and other biocides, our soil was dead and so we could have a plant that looks like bok choy or spinach, but it does not have the nutrients that it used to have. In fact, our soil is so depleted of the common nutrients that we need like magnesium, for instance, that we don’t have a chance.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, it’s huge. I mean, and the data on glyphosate is people don’t understand, just round up and use on Roundup ready soybeans. It’s not, it’s used on 70% of crops and it’s 220 million pounds a year, that’s usually United States. I think since 1974 is 1.6 billion kilograms of used on crops, United States alone and it’s on 70 different food crops, including corn soy canola. If you have a slice of bread, a bowl of Cheerios, a sushi roll, plate of pasta slice of pizza, chicken nugget, it’s probably going to roundup.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it’s scary when you look at the work from the environmental working group, your Cheerios has more glyphosate per serving than Vitamin D or B12, which actually have to be added to the cereal to enrich it. It’s a big problem and I think you’re right, this understanding of its role of the microbiome is really quite important. So you’ve got antibiotics, glyphosate, and there’s more chemicals that are a problem, right?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. I mean, we’re surrounded with environmental toxins. One of the favorite old ones was BPA in plastics and most of BPA has now been banned, but BPS looks to be even more mischievous than BPA. And these are endocrine disruptors, they’re hormone disruptors, and one of the things people should realize is that estrogen, for instance, is one of the best fat storage hormones that’s ever been invented as any young woman in her teenage years knows that estrogen is designed to make you store fat. And we now have chemicals that mimic estrogen. And we’re a wash in these things.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
For instance, Phthalate is another very important plasticizer, is present in our food wraps any plastic food wraps. So you may get your organic pastured chicken breast, and if it comes in a shrink wrap plastic, you’ll actually pick up phthalates off of that plastic. And one of the really scary things is that there’s really scary correlation between boy’s penis sizes and the amount of chicken their mother ate during pregnancy and it’s an inverse relationship.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, that’s interesting. So you mentioned an amount of chemicals and the couple of that you haven’t mentioned, these are the sort of we call persistent organic pollutants that are really petrochemical driven from oil derivative things, plastics, and so forth. But there’s another class which is heavy metals. And for me, that was the massive driver of fatigue and for many patients. So mercury and lead are the two biggest. And how do you think about those?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
That’s a great question. I look at mercury and lead and cadmium in a great number of my patients. I can tell you that the vast majority of people with high mercury levels in my practice are dentists and sushi eaters. Dentists for obvious reasons. Sushi eaters hopefully for obvious reasons. But one thing…

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mercury in their sushi.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah, mercury. One of the interesting things that at least I see is that heavy metals in general are contained in our fat cells and it’s like tuna maybe have toxic levels of mercury, but that Tuna is doing perfectly fine because the heavy metals are actually in the fat. It’s when people have weight loss that we release those heavy metals from fat. And this was actually demonstrated by Ray Walford in Biosphere 2. You and I are probably old enough to remember Biosphere 2, the experiment in the Arizona desert where they locked everybody in a geodesic dome for a year to simulate a mission on Mars and everybody had to grow their own food and produce their own food. And long story short, it was a horrible failure. People lost about 30% of their weight in six months.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And one of the findings was that heavy metals and organic pesticides went up precipitously, very rapidly and stayed elevated for over a year before they went down. And it was because those heavy metals were there in these participants’ fat cells. And we, as you know, have a horrible system for detoxifying heavy metals. Our liver does a horrible job of it and they’re excreted by our liver into our bile thinking that we’ll get rid of it through our stool, except we’re really good at absorbing heavy metals out of our duct. So we actually set up a vicious cycle, so we excrete it and then pick it up.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And as I talk about in the book, anyone who’s actually on a weight loss program really should be supplementing with chlorella and activated charcoal during that time period because they will complex with heavy metals and knock on wood, we’ve been very effective with those two treatments in bringing down people having metals without the need for chelation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I mean, chelation is a bigger term, but basically there’s ways to upregulate your body’s detox system and reduce the inputs and I think it’s so key.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Hyman. Thanks for tuning into The Doctor’s Farmacy. I hope you’re loving this podcast. It’s one of my favorite things to do and introduce to you to all the experts that I know and I love, and that I’ve learned so much from. And I want to tell you about something else I’m doing, which is called Mark’s Picks. It’s my weekly newsletter and in it, I share my favorite stuff from foods to supplements, to gadgets, to tools, to enhance your health. It’s all the cool stuff that I use and that my team uses to optimize and enhance our health and I’d love you to sign up for the weekly newsletter. I’ll only send it to you once a week on Fridays, nothing else, I promise, and all you have to do is go to drhyman.com/picks to sign up. That’s drhyman.com/picks, P-I-C-K-S, and sign up for the newsletter and I’ll share with you my favorite stuff that I use to enhance my health and get healthier and better and live younger longer. Now, back to this week’s episode.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And you also mentioned drugs that disrupt your energy.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. The big driver that I saw in my paradox was in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. These drugs are actually one of the best ways to create leaky gut that anybody ever came up with. And this was known about by the drug companies when they were introduced in the 1970s. In fact, it was so well known that by law, you couldn’t take these drugs for over two weeks period of time because they were so dangerous with that effect. Now, of course, we eat them like candy. And so anytime we produce leaky gut, we produce inflammation and that inflammation in turn actually produces more pain. And if you have more pain, you’ll take more of these drugs and the cycle continues.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
So one of the things that I really urge people to do is get these seemingly harmless inseds, ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn out of their medicine cabinets. This other group in the same box are the PPIs, the proton pump inhibitors. Now to take people back to high school biology class, we actually make energy in mitochondria by pumping protons across the mitochondrial membranes. When proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, like Prilosec, like Protonix came out, they were a miracle in terms of the treatment of ulcers because we had something to stop stomach acid production. But like any good idea, when we then make them easy to obtain for the treatment of heartburn, what we didn’t know was that these things were not specific for the proton pumps in the stomach. They affect all proton pumps. And proton pumps are what drive mitochondrial function.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And when we poison the mitochondria in our heart and specifically poison the mitochondria in our brain with proton pump inhibitors, it’s no wonder that congestive heart failure strongly correlates with proton pump inhibitors, dementia strongly correlates with proton pump inhibitors, all for the sake of relieving heartburn. So if you want to poison mitochondria, take a proton pump inhibitor.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s an interesting framework. We know inhibits absorb pheno nutrients and it can affect your GI function and cause irritable bowel and leaky gut, all kinds of problems. But the mitochondrial story is an interesting one that hasn’t really been told and I think it all comes down to mitochondria which is really what we’re talking about in terms of energy, right? All these things affect the mitochondria, which are these little energy factories that take food and oxygen and burn them in your cells to produce energy. And all the things you’re talking about well, have adverse effects. All those chemicals, not only by effecting your microbiome, but also just directly effects on the mitochondria.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the key to really figuring out your energy is healing your mitochondria and I think some of the shocking data about the microbiome and I’d love if you could sort of draw this connection a little more is how the microbiome affects the mitochondria, because it’s really what the subject of your book, but I’d love you to sort of maybe tease out a little bit. It’s really all about how does the damage to the microbiome and the adverse metabolic gut compounds influence everything including hormones or appetite mood, brain function, weight, energy, but start with the mitochondria because the idea is that the gut has all these bacteria and they get out of balance and then that’s what happens. And what happens?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
So again, mitochondria are ancient involved bacteria and they actually talk to their sisters, the got microbiome, which for the most part are bacteria as well. In fact, we inherit our mitochondria from our mother, our dad doesn’t give us any. And we inherit, if things work out okay, our initial microbiome from our mother of via birth and also by being breastfed, believe it or not, one of the huge benefits of breastfeeding is that a woman’s breast milk has huge amounts of bacteria and fungi that are also populating the baby.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Okay. So years ago one of my first times presenting at the world congress of microbiota in Paris, I met the director, Marvin Andrus, and he and I were talking. I had a paper on and he says, “I’m going to tell you something.” He said, “The microbiome talks to the mitochondria,” and my eyes went up and I said, “Well, how do they do that?” And he says, “Well, we don’t know yet, but I’m telling you, we’re going to find out that the microbiome talks to the mitochondria because they’re literally sisters.” And I said, “That’s interesting.” And he says, “Yeah, they send text messages.”

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Well, lo and behold, Marvin was right because that the language what’s called the trans kingdom communication system of how the microbiome talks to mitochondria and to our DNA was discovered and it’s as big a discovery as the enigma code discovering World War II, the German code. So what that discovery was is the discovery of post Biotics. And postbiotics, now everybody knows probiotics, friendly bacteria, most people are learning prebiotics, which are the fibers that friendly bacteria need to eat. But when those bacteria eat those fibers, they produce either short chain fatty acids like acetate and butyrate, but more importantly, they produce gases and they’re called gasomessengers or gasotransmitters.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And it’s this messaging system that’s now been discovered that actually talks, actually tells mitochondria what to do, whether to make more energy when things are good or whether to throttle back because things bad down in the engine room. And the whole discovery is like, “Holy cow, we are this incredible symbiotic organism.” I mean, for instance, the Nobel prize for discovering how nitric oxide works and where it came from, it was ordered in 1998 and for years in cardiac surgery and cardiology, we knew what nitric oxide did, but we didn’t know how it did it. But nitric oxide is a gas so a messenger but here’s something really well. So hydrogen gas is a gasomessenger and part of the fermentation process of bacteria eating fiber is to produce hydrogen gas and hydrogen gas is the world’s smallest molecule and it diffuses right across our gut wall.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And one of the shocking things as I was researching this is if you look at patients with Parkinson’s disease, they have a microbiome that does not make hydrogen gas whereas people who don’t have Parkinson’s disease have a microbiome that produce hydrogen gas. And you can give patients with Parkinson’s disease hydrogen water, and that’s water that has hydrogen dissolved in it, and they will symptomly improve once consistently start taking hydrogen water. And so as I joke in the book and in boy scouts what we used to do, we need beans on the camping trip and we’d have big lighters, and we’d actually literally light our farts with this blue flame.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’ve seen that happen at a campfire a couple of times, I definitely have.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Exactly. And that’s hydrogen gas. And little did we know…

Dr. Mark Hyman:
A little methane too maybe, I don’t know.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Exactly. Well, it turns out [inaudible 00:30:33] is actually a gasomessenger as well. As well as hydrogen sulfide that rotten eggs know. And for years, you and I were taught that hydrogen sulfide is a toxic gas, but we now know now that the effect of hydrogen sulfide is that of a hormetic agent, and a hormetic agent is basically that which doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger so that no hydrogen sulfide is not good, a little hydrogen sulfide is good, a lot of hydrogen sulfite will kill you. So a little dabble, do you love these things? And so getting back to your original question, the more we feed our microbiome, the foods that they can make these literally text messages that tell your mitochondria to produce energy, the better off we are.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And again, you look at a tribe the [Hunzas 00:31:35] who they eat about 165 grams of fiber a day. If we’re lucky, the average American may eat 20, probably not, but they are a wash.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think it’s eight is the average American fiber take in.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
If we’re lucky. And half of the fiber we eat is actually insoluble fiber which is actually really bad for you in a lot of ways. So the long story short, we are so deprived of the energy producing compounds that are available to all of us if we’ll just feed the microbiome what they need, and that’s a big part of both.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So a lot of the key is fixing your gut to get your energy back.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. The second key is we are overfed and underpowered. And what the heck does that mean? We in general, Americans eat nearly 16 hours a day, almost continuously from sun up until well after sundown. And we have what’s called mitochondrial rush hour, which living in LA is easy to understand, but simplistically, our mitochondria can handle sugars, fats, and proteins. And we use a slightly different system for making energy from sugar, from fat and from protein and in the good old days when we ate whole food like you advocate, and I advocate, these different components, sugars would arrive first into mitochondria. They’d be followed by protein sometimes later, and a long time later, they’d be followed by fats. And mitochondria have, if you will, basically a freeway, an energy producing freeway.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Now, when these things arrive in a staggered fashion, the freeway moves great. But what happens is with our modern diet, with processed foods, with ultra processed foods, we have combined simple sugars, simple proteins, and easily absorbed fats that hit our mitochondria simultaneously. And the mitochondria actually can’t handle all these. So we actually have stagnation in the energy producing highways, and we have systems on freeways, okay, we’re going to have traffic lights that’s going to control your onslaught of all this, but we get mitochondrial gridlock. And I use the example, so, okay, let’s have breakfast at 7:00 in the morning. All of a sudden, you’re slamming with all three of these components and your mitochondria literally go into gridlock for two or three hours.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
You begin to get sleepy at 10:00 and you say, “Oh, I need a little pick me up. I’ll have a donut and a cup of coffee.” And once again, traffic gets slammed. By that time it’s lunch, we slam it again and so this process of gridlock really never stops until we go to sleep. And even after we go to sleep, there’s still two to three hours of backup, if you will, on the mitochondrial freeways. So our mitochondria really never have a chance. And in researching this book and trying this out on my patients, one of the things that was dramatic was that if I could lessen the period of time that you’re asking mitochondria to handle food, the better off you’re going to be because they have a chance to recover and heal themselves, if you will. And that gets into part two of the book, how do you put this into practice.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So your book is quite extensive and it really goes into detail about a lot of these unusual compounds that come from a disturbed microbiome that have broad spectrum challenges in the body, and this is what we’ve been doing in functional medicine for decades, it’s really the foundation of my practice. It’s really the key to getting people healthy, and I sort of agree with you that a lot of the beginning and the end of health starts in the gut, and it’s really always the first place we start with food and gut repair and functional medicine. But you talk about the plan of how do you do it? What are the do’s and don’ts of The Energy Paradox when it comes to eating?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Well, first of all, and you and I think would agree completely with this, the more you stay away from processed foods, from ultra processed foods, that’s really the fundamental starting point. The more you actually use whole foods and literally foods in their whole stay the better off you’re going to be. Number two, I can’t resist telling people to get lectin containing foods out of their diet. Lectins are part of the plant defense system against being eaten or having their seeds being eaten and these are proteins that Dr. Fasano and others have shown disrupt the gut wall. And they in themselves are antigens that in my original line of work, heart disease attract inflammation to the wall of blood vessels.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And so they are a nasty bunch of compounds, and they’re in so many of our favorite foods such as whole grains. The nice thing about beans is beans are loaded with lectins, but pressure cooking and soaking beans and fermenting beans actually eliminates the lectin problem. So there’s-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Does pressure cooking grains do the same thing?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Great question. Pressure cooking will not break the gluten in wheat, barley or rye. Gluten resist pressure cooking. There is a gluten-like protein in oats that also resists pressure cooking and I can’t tell you the number of people who have gone on a gluten-free diet with autoimmune diseases, with celiac who are not cured. They still have celiac because the foods that they’re eating, like oats, like corn are loaded with lectins.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And just recently, I had a gentleman who we… I don’t to use the word cure due to rheumatoid arthritis, but his markers vanished by following our program and then he was a snowbird and he came back this winter and his rheumatoid. One of his RA markers was elevated for the first time in four years. And I said, “You’ve been cheating.” He said, “No, no, no. Are you kidding? I wouldn’t do that.” And I said, “Well, something’s getting into your diet.” I said, “What do you have for breakfast?” He says, “Oh, glad jazz. I’ve been on pressure cooked oatmeal kick. Every morning I have a bowl of pressure cooked oats.” And I said, “Wait a minute, you can’t do that. It’s on your list. You can’t pressure cook oats.” And he would pull out the list he saw, “Oh, Oh no. That’s the change.” And so we took it out. A month later, his RA was back to normal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, and absolutely I see that so often. Yeah, I see that so often. So getting out lectins, eating whole foods, any other sort of key dietary do’s and don’ts?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. So one of, I think, the shocking benefit of time controlled eating and that is limiting the amount of time during the day that you consume food is probably one of the number one fixes in our current energy crisis. And it seems almost contradictory or paradoxical, if you will, that the more you kind of snack throughout the day, the actual harder it is for your mitochondria to make energy. And the more you live-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We know you have to eat to get energy, but what you’re saying is if you stop eating, you actually are better at the end of the day making more energy.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah, that’s exactly right. To give you an example, we’re actually supposed to have significant downtime for repair work. For repair work for our brains, repair work for our mitochondria, and that would normally have happened because we were sunlight creatures and we were controlled by sun and we get up when the sun came out and we basically go to bed when the sun went down and even the advent of fire 150,000 years ago, we were still exposed to orange light, red light, and we certainly weren’t exposed to blue light.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
So we still had a limited period meeting, and the evidence is if we have a 12 hour window of no eating, which is really easy if you think about it, that’s 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, that’s a 12 hour eating window and you’d have from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM of not eating, we begin to shift into mitochondrial repair. And what’s really exciting is the more you go beyond 12 hours, the better the repair work goes. Let me give you an example. There’s not a lot of repair work done on LA freeways during the day because the traffic is so bad. I drive into LA very early in the morning or to Palm Springs very early in the morning from Santa Barbara and that’s when the repair work is going on because there is much traffic on the road.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Well, our mitochondria do the same thing. If there’s doing work, they have no time to repair. And it’s the repair of mitochondria, undoing the damage of our eating that actually allows mitochondria to get back to full power. So the more we can limit the time period that people eat, the better. Now, the first thing we don’t want to have people do is, “Okay, what Dr. Gundry says, tomorrow morning, my first break fast is going to be at noon. I am going to hold off breakfast until noon,” and I can tell you that 80% of your listeners and my listeners will fall flat on their faces because 80% of Americans are insulin resistant. And with insulin resistance, that’s in the book too, you can’t use free fatty acids fat as a fuel. You can’t, you can’t get to them.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And so you got to build up slowly in tolerance. And we have a six week program of holding people by the hand and changing when they eat breakfast one hour at a time so that we’re going to step wise because people fall flat on their faces with attempting intermittent fasting because they don’t have the availability to mitochondrial flexibility, changing fat metabolism.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Can you talk about a lot of other things that are really important parts of energy, including exercise, packing sun exposure, avoiding blue light which ruins our circadian rhythms, and even getting a dog. And can you talk a little bit about those things before we have to wrap up the podcast?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. I mentioned that blue light from our devices, from our lights, we are constantly being exposed to blue light. And blue light is really detrimental to almost all of our functioning, including our mitochondria. And really we are a wash in what I call junk light. And I think one of the most important things people can do is two things, be exposed to red light at sunrise or sunset. If you’re going to take walks, that’s the time to do it. If you can’t get exposed to red light, get yourself a red light box. There’s a number of red light and near infrared light makers. I particularly use a juve device, but there’s plenty of other ones, and expose yourself to red light.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Interesting, one of the things I’ve learned which I found hard to believe, but we actually produce ATP from melanin exposure from natural sunlight. And so we do photo synthesis exactly like a plant. And it may be why fundamentally we want to be outdoors, we want to be at the beach, we want to be exposed to sunlight. And it may be that we’re far more attune to what sunlight is actually doing for us at a basic level than we thought. Plus, there’s really cool evidence that sunlight actually activates mitochondria. And it changes the way water moves in mitochondria, but that’s a whole nother subject.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
So why get a dog? Two reasons. I’m a big fan in the book of exercise snacking, and there’s really good evidence that walking upstairs for a minute, up and downstairs for a minute, may have the same effect on your mitochondrial function through the production of myokines from our muscle cells as 20, 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill. And the effect of five minutes is even more. So why get a dog? Dogs are going to have to go out at least twice a day and dogs will take you for a walk. The other thing about dogs is the evidence is overwhelming that people who have dogs have a much healthier and diverse microbiome than people that don’t have dogs because the dogs-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They’re licked in their face.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah, let your dog lick your face and they bring in all these amazing dirt microbes into your house that you will mix with.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Amazing. So a take home from the energy book you’ve written is really extraordinary sort of breakdown of a lot of the reasons why we’re all struggling with fatigue, what to do when you get up and go has got up and gone. One of the most important things people can do on day one to really look at what the causes are of their energy deficit and how to reboot it, if you were to summarize the take home from the book, what would they be?

Dr. Steven Gundry:
I think the take home of the book is the more you get processed foods, simple ultra processed foods, and quite frankly, early on, the more you get modern fruit out of your diet, the better, and that always gets people riled up and my Twitter lights up. Modern fruit as nothing to do with healthy fruit. Believe it or not, a cup of grapes as more sugar than a full sized Hershey’s chocolate bar. And I could tell you which I’d rather have, but neither. And these things have been bred for sugar content, and we have to also remember that it’s actually the fruit toast that’s the troublemaker in stopping energy production. Fruit toast goes directly to your liver and regular table sugar is half fructose, folks. Goes directly to your liver and actually stops ATP production.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
And it was one of the most enlightening findings of my research through the last few years. And the more I research how fructose works, the more scared I am of how much fructose is in a typical American diet. So that’s number one. Number two, the less you snack, the better. The farther you stop eating before you go to bed the better. And if you can get a three hour window between the last thing that went in your mouth and going to sleep, it’ll make a huge difference in your energy levels and your sleep patterns.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s so great. So it really is quite an extraordinary thing when you look at how do we get healthy, whether it’s energy or whether it’s autoimmune disease or microbiome or brain issues. And we all come to the same conclusions, this is very simple principles of eat whole food, don’t eat before bed, give yourself a break between eating dinner, all the junk, and you’d go through it. I mean, it’s so simple and yet it’s just so hard for people to think about because there always should be some other thing that we’re being drawn to that might be that thing, but it’s actually what we’re putting in our mouth most of the time.

Dr. Steven Gundry:
Yeah. I mean, we spend so much time talking about, well, we need the anti-inflammatory foods, or we need to take anti-inflammatory supplements. Well, that’s like trying here in Southern California to put out a forest fire that’s coming to your house with a garden hose. And the forest fire is this massive leaky gut that most of us suffer from, and I can tell you that you can have a tumor smoothing and that’s a garden hose compared.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Right. Yeah. Well, Steve, thank you so much for being on the podcast and for your incredible work to bring these principles of health and healing and wellness to so many people. Your book is called The Energy Paradox, What To Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone, maybe show a copy so everybody can see what it looks like. It’s out. You will get it wherever you get your books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, wherever harperwave.com. And you I think will not be sorry, because it’s just a treasure trove of wonderful tidbits and guidance on how to actually reset your energy balance because we are all in an energy deficit and we need to be thinking about how we can get our energy back because that’s what we need to do to live in love and be it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So everybody thank you so much for being a part of The Doctor’s Farmacy audience. We’d love to hear from you, leave a comment, how have you struggled with energy and what have you done through your energy and also subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, share with your friends and family who probably are tired too and we’ll see you next week on The Doctor’s Farmacy.

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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