Nutrition experts have long debated whether there is an optimal diet that humans evolved to eat. Studies show that modern hunter-gatherer groups across the globe generally have phenomenal heart and metabolic health, yet they eat a variety of diets, and tend to avoid the chronic diseases that kill most Americans. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Anahad O’Connor, a bestselling author and reporter for The New York Times. He joined the paper in 2003 and writes for Science Times – the paper’s weekly science and health section – and the Well blog. Anahad covers nutrition, medicine and chronic disease. He has published a number of groundbreaking investigative stories for the Times, including a series in 2015 that exposed Coca-Cola’s funding of scientific research that sought to downplay the role of sugar-sweetened beverages in the obesity epidemic. In 2018, he and his colleagues won an award from the Association of HealthCare Journalists for Planet Fat, a series that examined the food industry’s role in the spread of global obesity. Anahad is a graduate of Yale University and is a frequent guest on national news programs, such as PBS NewsHour, Good Morning America, and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is also the author of four books.
The hardest part about achieving a dream often isn’t actually achieving it, it’s stepping through your fear of the unknown when you don’t have a clear plan. Having a teacher or boss tell you what to do makes life a lot easier. But nobody achieves a dream from the comfort of certainty. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Alex Banayan, the only national bestselling business author under 30 in America. His book, The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers, has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Over the course of his unprecedented seven-year journey, Alex interviewed the most innovative leaders of the past half-century, including Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Larry King, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Jessica Alba, Quincy Jones, and more. Alex has been named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Business Insider’s Most Powerful People Under 30, and has been featured in major media, including The Washington Post, Fortune, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC News. Alex is an acclaimed keynote speaker, and has presented the Third Door framework to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world, including Apple, Google, Nike, IBM, Snapchat, Salesforce, and Disney.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Joan Rosenberg, a psychologist who is known as an innovative thinker, acclaimed speaker, and trainer. She is a professor of graduate psychology at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, CA, and is a two-time TEDx speaker and member of the Association of Transformational Leaders. Dr. Rosenberg has been featured in the documentary I Am, The Miracle Mindset, Pursuing Happiness, and The Hidden Epidemic. She’s been seen on CNN’s American Morning, the OWN network, and PBS, as well as appearances and radio interviews in all of the major metropolitan markets. Her latest book, 90 Seconds to a Life You Love: How to Master Your Difficult Feelings to Cultivate Lasting Confidence, Resilience and Authenticity, was released this past February. In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Rosenberg talk about how to work through unpleasant feelings, and how to build emotional strength to create the life of your dreams. They discuss why worrying about what other people think of you is really just a distraction from feeling vulnerable, and why harsh self-criticism is one of the most destructive things we can do to ourselves. They also talk about why speaking your truth is the most important action to take to cultivate confidence, authenticity, and resilience.
In Functional Medicine, we put a heavy emphasis on gut health. We know that a strong gut is not just essential for digesting food and absorbing nutrients, but that it plays a vital role in the immune system and affects the health of the entire body. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Marvin Singh, an integrative gastroenterologist. Dr. Singh graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and completed his residency training in internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, followed by a fellowship training in Gastroenterology at Scripps Clinic and Green Hospital. Dr. Singh was also trained by Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Singh uses cutting-edge tests and personally designed protocols to develop a truly individualized plan for his patients based on their genetics, microbiome, metabolism, and lifestyle.
When it comes to addiction, Functional Medicine can offer a comprehensive approach to treating the whole person. Mind, body, and spirit need to be taken into account, as well as diet and lifestyle interventions and the ever-so-essential aspect of a supportive and uplifting community. With a systems-based approach, we can cover all of these areas and more, to create long-term recovery. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. David Haase, a leading educator and innovator in the emerging field of personalized systems medicine. He graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed his medical residency at the Mayo Clinic where, despite the undeniable brilliance and dedication of the doctors around him, he saw countless instances of patients getting better not because of medical advances, but in spite of them. After years of turbulent reflection, Dr. Haase founded the MaxWell Clinic in Tennessee with the expressed goal to better understand and enable the human body’s miraculous ability to create health. He treats a wide range of conditions and has a special expertise in neurodegenerative and other brain-related challenges, fatigue, and other conditions caused by mitochondrial, inflammatory, and immune dysregulation. Dr. Haase also teaches internationally, including for the Institute for Functional Medicine.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. John Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service, and Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies and non-federal institutions and foreign governments. His clinical and research work has focused on enhancing the effectiveness of addiction treatment and recovery support services, stigma reduction, and addiction and criminal justice. In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Kelly talk about the current approach to addressing addiction in our country, and the power of language when it comes to destigmatizing addiction. They discuss how the opioid crisis became a self-manufactured epidemic and the importance of building an effective public health infrastructure to combat the opioid crisis and other substance use disorders. They also talk about the best way to support a loved one with an addiction, and the importance of social connections for long-term recovery.
How many times have you chalked up weight gain, brain fog, and feeling tired to getting older? The many symptoms we assume to be a natural part of the aging process are far too often related to one single pillar of health: sleep. In fact, 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, yet most people who have it never get diagnosed. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Mark Burhenne, a practicing sleep medicine dentist in Sunnyvale, California. He received his degree from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, and the Dental Board of California. Dr. Burhenne is passionate about helping people understand the connection between oral and overall health. He spends a lot of time educating patients and readers about the importance of healthy sleep, and is the author of the #1 bestseller, The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain according to the CDC, a debilitating reality that costs the country upward of $635 billion each year in treatment and lost productivity. At the same time, the United States is in the midst of a prescription painkiller epidemic. Widespread over-prescription of painkillers has resulted in opioid misuse and addiction, a problem that’s muddied the conversation surrounding chronic pain even further. On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Shounuck Patel, an interventional and functional orthopedics specialist with offices in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Dr. Patel has a clinical interest in the biomechanical etiology of musculoskeletal injuries and pain conditions, and the holistic treatment of the whole-body continuum with innovative orthobiologic treatments, osteopathic manipulation, and therapeutic exercise.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Deena Margolin, a marriage and family therapist and mindfulness teacher in Los Angeles who works primarily with children and families. Trained in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Deena explores how the mind, brain, and our relationships come together to shape who we become—and how we can harness the potential of neuroplasticity, the mind’s incredible ability to change throughout the lifespan, to grow healthier and happier.
This week on The Broken Brain Podcast, Dhru interviews Dr. Roland Griffiths, a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Griffiths’ principal research focus in both clinical and preclinical laboratories has been on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. His research has been largely supported by grants from the National Institute of Health and he is the author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters. In 1999 he initiated a research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the effects of the classic hallucinogen psilocybin that includes studies of psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, psilocybin effects in beginning and long-term meditators, and psilocybin effects in religious leaders.