Maria Shriver's Journey: Redefining Women's Health and Alzheimer's Prevention - Transcript

Dr. Mark Hyman: Coming up on this episode of the doctor's pharmacy.

Maria Shriver: You can actually eat for your brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right.

Maria Shriver: And and you can actually live a life that will be as long as you possibly can. And I wish someone had talked to me about this when I was thirty or when I was a young mother.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Are you ready to prioritize wellness? Maybe you wanna make more informed choices on the latest health trends or simply understand the science. I'm doctor Mark Hyman. I'm a wellness expert, and I wanna welcome you to my podcast health hacks. In every episode, I'll provide guidance on how to live a longer healthier life, helping you wade through all the health ads and the sound bites to bring you the science back facts, along with practical tools and insights to make informed decisions.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Health hacks is available in audio and video, so you can tune in wherever and however you enjoy your guests. Join me every Tuesday for a new episode. Just search for health hacks where my goal is to empower you to live well. Now before we jump into today's episode, I'd like to note that while I wish I could help everyone by my personal practice, there's simply not enough time for me to do the scale. And that's why I've been busy building several passion projects to help you better understand.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, you, if you're looking for data about your bio, check out function health for real time lab insights. And if you're in need of deepening your knowledge around your health journey, well, check out my membership community, doctor Hyman Plus, And if you're looking for curated trusted supplements and health products for your health journey, visit my website, doctor for my website store and a summary of favorite and thoroughly tested products. Hey, everybody. This week's guest on the doctor's pharmacies, Mark Shriver, who's a powerhouse of a woman and a human being is advocating for how we transform her thinking about Alzheimer's, women's health, self care, agency around her health and has actually shared her own health data. And we found some surprising things about her health that are preventing her from being fully superwoman.

Dr. Mark Hyman: She's kinda almost superwoman, but she's gonna be fully superman after this. You're learning about that and how you can use that information also to uplevel your health. We talk about function health and the work we've done to help empower people around their own health data and have agency and become the CEO of their own health. So I think you're gonna love this conversation with Marie Shriver. Maria, it's so great to have you on the doctor's pharmacy podcast.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome.

Maria Shriver: Thank you. I feel like I've arrived. I'm on your podcast. Wow.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh my god. It's a

Maria Shriver: big deal for me.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Yeah. You said you you said you skipped on a meeting with the president to come here.

Maria Shriver: I actually did. I I live, the first lady traveled

Dr. Mark Hyman: that Okay.

Maria Shriver: Yes. Because I had made a commitment to you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, thanks for being on the podcast. We're gonna talk about a lot of things today because you you've really been in the thick of dealing with how to make our health care system better and how to make our approach to Alzheimer's better and how to deal with women's health, which really has been neglected as part of medical science. And you just came back from Washington with an incredible initiative that potentially gonna get $12,000,000,000 to focus on women's research. And and it's basically talking about how we're we're really neglecting dealing with the fundamental things that people need to know about their health. And the the things that we need to know and to actually make women's lives better, health better, and just the rest of us.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So I mean, your work as an advocate as a spokesperson, as a champion for those who aren't getting champion is really inspiring. And And I saw your speech, in the White House the other day, and it was just really amazing. And it, you know, in that speech, you talked about your mom, which I never really heard the story I knew about JFK, you know, John Kenny, who had a lot of health issues, he had added since disease. He had gut issues, he had back pain, and And I've always thought, you know, he had undiagnosed celiac disease because it kinda connects the dots on a lot of his symptoms, but I didn't know about your mother. Mhmm.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So maybe you could share a little bit struggles your mother had, because I think it's emblematic of the kinds of things that people have in America today, women have, and even men that don't get addressed. They're chronic symptoms. They're neglected. They go doctor after doctor. They don't get the help they need, and they're confused.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And they're suffering needless and there is a way out. And we're gonna talk about how people can find out more about their health. But can you share your mom's story and what it was like growing up and what you kind of, you know

Maria Shriver: Well, it was interesting because because my niece was at the White House when I talked about my mother very briefly in my speech. And she was like, I didn't know that we were allowed to talk about Gramma like that. And she said, and I appreciated that you didn't talk about it in a gossipy way, but you talked about it in an empowering way. Yeah. And So I'm an only daughter.

Maria Shriver: I have 4 brothers and really throughout my life.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Pretty tough.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. It's made me, I think, understanding of men, but also how to work certainly in a man's world, which is what I started when I started in journalism, which was totally male dominated. But my mother, while I was growing up, was always quote sick. She had stomach issues, technically gut issues, and the medication she was given for that gave her sleep issues and that sort of stuff. And so she would go from doctor to doctor trying to find out exactly what was wrong with her.

Maria Shriver: So she ate what I think now is called a low fob diet. He ate kind of bland food as did my grandmother. My mother was told she had Addison's disease, but I think She only was given that diagnosis because her brother was given that diagnosis. Yes. President Kennedy.

Maria Shriver: And I think they didn't know what was wrong with her. So they just said, oh, well, You have a brother who has that, so you have it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And so they treated her for that even though she never had that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Mhmm.

Maria Shriver: But pretty much my entire life, she was trying to figure out what was wrong with her quote, stomach. That's how it was explained. And nobody spoke about celiac disease, but they did eat food that was bland. They did talk kind of amongst themselves about stomach issues, but I watched my mother kind of try to get answers. I watched her being told to rest.

Maria Shriver: Being told that she was perhaps under stress. And this was It

Dr. Mark Hyman: was dismissive.

Maria Shriver: Well, yeah, it was dismissive, and it was at the same time as somebody who was building the largest movement in the world for people with intellectual disabilities. So telling somebody

Dr. Mark Hyman: created a special

Maria Shriver: She created a special Olympics. She changed the, really, the government how we deal with people with intellectual disabilities, how we deal with child development issues, the institute at NIH bears her name because she lobbied her brother to create that. And That

Dr. Mark Hyman: was because her sister Rosemary had had

Maria Shriver: Had in touch with disabilities. Correct. And so she took what was her family's pain and really turned it into purpose. And I witnessed that growing up. So even though she struggled mightily with her health, she also worked as she would say, her can off to try to change the world for families like hers who didn't have sport programs for people with intellectual disabilities, didn't have camps, didn't have housing, didn't have education, and tried to change the world for people like her sister.

Maria Shriver: But I watched her struggle while doing that with her own health. And I never, as a daughter, understood, what was going on. And then eventually, I became caregiver and witnessed all of the different things she was taking to try to get some relief from what she was feeling. But I think she is kind of indicative of so many women, you know, being told to relax. Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Doctors waving their eyes thinking it's hormonal Yeah. Thinking their hysterical, which is why women were not included in trials because they were not, quote, dependable clinical trial subject because they were, quote, hysterical at certain times of the month. So I think that's one of the big reasons we're so far behind So she would be happy if I were using this story to

Dr. Mark Hyman: close the research gap when it comes to women, but she would not

Maria Shriver: want me to dwell on

Dr. Mark Hyman: No. But, you know, there's so many people walk around not feeling great.

Maria Shriver: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And whether it's whether it's, you know, really serious things that irritable bowel that can be incapacitating and

Maria Shriver: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Or whether it's things just like feeling tired or not quite at your best or little brain fog or lower energy or sleep issues. And Yeah. People just thinks these are the abnormal things. And, you know, we were talking a little bit earlier about how, you know, you've been noticing more fatigue and other issues and Yeah. You're you're a go getter.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're you're kinda running a hundred miles an hour. Yeah. But you're not feeling, as you did. And you, you know, if you go to doctors and doctors and your doctor probably gonna how you Mark, what's going on.

Maria Shriver: Well, I go to the doctor and my oh, my blood tests are always good within normal range, and I really take a preventative approach to my health or I try to. You know, I think as we age, we think, okay. Well, certain things just come with aging. Right? Yeah.

Maria Shriver: But what I think is citing in this space is there are people like you and so many others who are saying you don't have to quote, feel bad as you age. You can longevity is something to work towards. You can

Dr. Mark Hyman: live well. I think if you also start

Maria Shriver: young, I think that's another big thing. People weren't talking to me when I was in my twenties, thirties, forties about, you know, living a healthy long life. They weren't talking to me about the power of nutrition, mental health, emotional and spiritual health. That wasn't in the zeitgeist like it is today. But I think for so many millions of women, even this conversation, they're like, oh, great.

Maria Shriver: But I'm taking care of kids. I have a full time job. I'm taking care of my parents. Where am I gonna get time. Yeah.

Maria Shriver: To go to 5 doctors to figure out what's up with me. Where am I going to get that kind of time to prioritize my own health

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: To get on the preventative bandwagon.

Dr. Mark Hyman: The thing about it, Maria, since your mom was going from doctor to doctor Yeah. Even as the sister of the president of the United States, She still couldn't get answers. Yeah. And the same thing is happening today because people don't have access to the right kind of information or care. You said you go to your doctor, said I'm feeling a little this and if a little of that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And they're like, well, I don't know. You're you must be stressed. And it's the same thing your mother got. Your tests are fine. I don't know what's wrong with you, but it's probably on your head.

Dr. Mark Hyman: In the subtext. Right?

Maria Shriver: Yeah. I said to you when I came in here, am I gonna die? And you said yes. But I was like, not right away.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But not right away. Yeah, we're all gonna die, I think. I mean, unless we can figure out how to hack gauging, but somebody somebody's trying to

Maria Shriver: hack gauging it crazy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It is. I'm not a big fan of, you know, they don't die movement, but I do think we can live better longer.

Maria Shriver: Don't die movement?

Dr. Mark Hyman: There is. There is a guy who's trying to figure out how to not die. Brian Johnson, he's doing the podcast. Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. He's spending 1,000,000 of dollars trying to figure out how to not die, which, you know, is a great experiment for the rest of us to learn from, but, but For you, it's striking to me that it's almost a parallel story. You know, you go to the doctor. You get your checkup. You're saying, I'm not feeling as well as I used to.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Maybe you're not having the serious issues that your mom had. But there's a sense of a dwindling help in things that are not optimal. And you don't really have access to the kind of a care even though, you know, you could access anybody in the world and

Maria Shriver: you try to access you. I am coming on the podcast so I could access you. Oh, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. You get a free pass. You'll be a patient.

Maria Shriver: No. But I think you were, you know, we've known each other for quite a long Hyman, and I think talking to functional doctors, I think looking I've always been someone who looked at alternative. You know, I was always into acupuncture and to what else was out there. Yeah. I've always been that kind of person as a reporter looking for What else is out there that I don't know about?

Maria Shriver: Are there alternative forms of medical care that can help you feel better in the in the Hyman. And I've never been a big pill person myself. You know? So I've never even when I remember when I was getting divorced, somebody said, well, you wanna take, you know, some med because you're depressed. I was like, no.

Maria Shriver: I don't wanna do that. I wanna feel this. Yeah. No judgment at all against people. Who do?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Because I think

Maria Shriver: oh, yeah. Absolutely. And I have lots of friends for whom it's been incredibly helpful. But I think that that's a reaction really to watching my mother. My my reaction to all of that is watching my mother be prescribed everything.

Maria Shriver: So I had a reaction. Like, I don't wanna take anything because I watched that up close. So I think we all have a reaction sometimes to what happened with our parents or watching our parents, and I certainly do.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. And so despite your going to the best is you're still not getting the right diagnostics and and the right information about what's really going on under the hood for you. And you recently did some blood tests with fun and health.

Maria Shriver: And we found a

Dr. Mark Hyman: lot of interesting things. We

Maria Shriver: did some blood tests with function health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Nothing nothing catastrophic, but it's the little things that that we can find early. And and that can help us on this sort of transition from wellness to illness and kind of turn back that tide. And we're gonna get into it in a minute, but it it also strikes me that your work around father who Sergeant Traver, who started Peace Corps, for those who don't know, because maybe there's people in their twenties who never heard of president Kennedy or anything. I don't know. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's amazing. You'll believe it. I actually had a friend who, when I turned 64, she she put on a Beatles song for me on the YouTube, and it was, you know, when I turned 64, And she's like, look, there's the Beatles, and it was like a cover band. And she didn't actually know who the Beatles were. So

Maria Shriver: Wow. Really?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Really? So I'm just saying, Sergeant Traver was the father of the Peace scored. And Of the war on poverty

Maria Shriver: and head start and job core. Yeah. And what we now know is AmeriCorps and foster grandparents.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So much

Maria Shriver: and legal services for the poor, all of these. And I say that because these programs came out of his brain. They came out of his creativity. They came out of him being somebody who worked in government, but who was also incredibly creative. In that role, which isn't usually what you hear in government.

Maria Shriver: He was restless. He was creative. He was driven. He was relentless. And he was incredible intellectual, went to Yale, was the editor of the Yale Daily News, went to Yale Law School.

Maria Shriver: So he was served in the war on a submarine. He his mind was extraordinary. So watching a mind like that that could create all of these things that could come up with ways of getting the past and turned into real programs that help and still help millions of people to watch that go to, like, I don't know what a fork is. I was I thought to myself, now I have to try to understand that. First, I wanted to try to understand it.

Maria Shriver: What is that? What happens in the brain? When does that happen to the brain? Was there something that we could have done? Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Was there something we missed? And so that began a journey for me First is a reporter, then as an author, then as a documentarian, then as a film producer.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Advocate. And now you're working with Cleveland Clinic.

Maria Shriver: And then really Well, as I went through it, I was noticing actually what led me to women was I was noticing that more and more women seemed to have Alzheimer's. And when I went to all the researchers, they would say, no. That's just because women live longer. That's the only reason. And I was like, no.

Maria Shriver: I don't think that's true. And so I partnered with the Alzheimer's Association, and we did a report that took 2 years. I was first lady of California at the time. It's called the Shriver Report. And we changed the narrative single handedly around Alzheimer's to put women at the front and center of that disease because it turned out that women were 2 thirds of those who got Alzheimer's.

Maria Shriver: And so now when you talk about Alzheimer's, people talk about women being disproportionately impacted I started the women's Alzheimer's movement to fund research into what is that? Yeah. What's happening in women's brains in their fifties? Yeah. Or their late forties that might make them more susceptible in their seventies.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. No. This is such an important point. I'm gonna get back to your own lab test because it it sort of speaks to how do we focus on prevention or finding the things that are out of balance that actually can lead the disease. And I think your dad I mean, you had the chance to meet him and your mom.

Dr. Mark Hyman: In church, actually, in the best part of my day.

Maria Shriver: That's the best place to meet them. That's where they were every day.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, I'm a Jew went to church. I was like, yeah. I went to Sunday Mac.

Maria Shriver: Good because he have to be educated about all religions. He takes all of us.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But I knew who he was and to see him in that state of kinda mid stage Alzheimer's was was really heartbreaking. And I think for me, a lot of my work has been around. How do we prevent these things? And now your work is like, well, why does this happen? How can we detect it early?

Dr. Mark Hyman: What are the things we know about the disease? That can make a difference and prevent this trajectory from, you know, a brilliant mind to basically an absent mind.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So your work a lot has been trying to sort of navigate the the understanding of the root causes and how do we look at these things and how do we do more research about it and how do we detect early. And the good news is there's a lot of things that we can do. And we know, for example, in Alzheimer's, the diet plays a true role. You can exercise plays a role. The nutritional status plays a role.

Dr. Mark Hyman: The b 12 and vitamin d and methylation. We know the toxins play a role that the gut microbiome plays a role that insulin resistance and blood sugar play So these are all modifiable risk factors. People don't think of preventing Alzheimer's. They think of preventing heart disease. Well, I

Maria Shriver: think what's interesting about that is that when I I've been in the kind of all time was advocacy space for 20 years because my dad was diagnosed in 2003. And lifestyle was not a part of the conversation when he was originally diagnosed. And then when as I started researching it as a reporter and started then looking at women and trying to understand what was union Hyman. I said, is there anything women is it lifestyle connected? Is there anything we're doing?

Maria Shriver: How we live? Is it menopause? Any of these things that everybody's like, no. No. Lifestyle has nothing to do with any of this.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. Jump to today. In the last 5 years, there's been a sea change around how we talk about Alzheimer's about saying now you have people saying, well, maybe half of these cases could be preventable due to lifestyle choices. Made early on, right, what you're talking about. That was when I started, it was only plaques and tangles plaques and tangles.

Maria Shriver: Right? That's tau Plaxentango.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Amyloid. Yeah. It's just basically the stuff that happens in the brain.

Maria Shriver: Right. So but but no one spoke about the importance of exercise. Nobody spoke about diet. Nobody spoke about nutrition in the brain. So I think this is a sea change in the Alzheimer space.

Maria Shriver: Nobody even talked about prevention No. Of Alzheimer's. We opened the 1st women's Alzheimer's Prevention Center at the Cleveland Clinic. And everybody's like, you can't say that. And I was like, why not?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. You absolutely can.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. But now you can.

Dr. Mark Hyman: The data's there. I mean, interesting. You know, you know, the data about anybody. We've spent 1,000,000,000 and 1,000,000,000 of dollars on drug discovery for Alzheimer's, all of which had failed miserably in my opinion. Maybe we delay the admission to nursing home by a few months, and that's a grand success.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But the only trials that I've seen that really have shown a difference in slowing or even reversing it have been aggressive lifestyle intervention trials like the finger trial where they use them, you know, multimodal intervention of lifestyle, diet, exercise, so forth. And then aggressively treating risk factors. And they showed that they were able to slow or even to reverse a cognitive client. Mhmm. And then Richard Isaacson's work, you know, you know, very well.

Dr. Mark Hyman: He's he's done a a even a more personalized approach where he looks at their biomarkers and those are nutritional levels and customizes and personalized approach to what's going on. And it has tremendous success compared to, like, what we see in in difficult medicine, Dale Bredesen, who also has been doing this. I've treated many Alzheimer's patients. And by doing this, by taking a deep look at their biology and their biomarkers, their nutritional status, their metabolic status, their hormonal status, their toxic levels Mark got help. All these things we can actually modify and change the trajectory of people's health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And this is really why we created function health was to help people identify things early on and not just gonna wait until something really serious happened.

Maria Shriver: When we talk about women in Alzheimer's, so it disproportionately, as I said, Alzheimer's disproportionately impacts women. Yeah. But also disproportionately impacts black and brown women. Right? Right?

Maria Shriver: And so so many people don't have access to really what you're talking about.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You

Maria Shriver: know, some of these more kind of concierge medicine approaches. Looking at biomarkers and looking at so I'm really interested in how to democratize all of this to make it accessible to people who don't have money who might be in maternal health deserts who might be in just health deserts period.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So

Maria Shriver: with the prevention center, I always looking at how do we bring this kind of home. How do we bring this the education to people? How do we bring doctors who can talk about this Yeah. In a way that people aren't scared. I think the conversation, I I do a lot of work around how do you speak about this in a way that people can go, oh, I don't have to be so scared.

Maria Shriver: Oh, maybe I could do this today. Maybe I could do this tomorrow. Bringing it kind of to Main Street is the challenge.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Think it's right. I mean, we need to democratize the information out there because it's not there's a lack of information or knowledge or scientific evidence. It's just that it hasn't been presented to the public in a way that they can access and use, and they have to go through the firewall of the health care system and the doctor who is not to his or her detriment has not been trained. My daughter's in medical school now. And, like, Rachel, have you learned about insulin resistance or microbiome or Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Or toxins. Like, no. Like, the things that actually matter most

Maria Shriver: Or women's health or menopause. But this is why I think, you know, when I talk about women's health, it starts by also changing the way medicine is taught in schools. Right? It's by incorporating so many doctors said, well, I had an hour about menopause. I never even talked about perimenopause, much less postmenopausal women.

Maria Shriver: You know, that was like not even in the 10 book. So you're talking about a sea change, not only with doctors who are practicing, but for those coming into the space. And then also when we talk about women's health or when we talk about Alzheimer's getting people interested in working in that space in the geriatric space. Right? Geriatric psychiatrist Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Geriatric doctors. It's not young people going into orth it's not sexy. They're going into orthopedics.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like my daughter, that's what she wants to do. Orthopedics.

Maria Shriver: Because that's where the money is. Right? And so this is a challenge on so many levels. It's a challenge on how do we talk about it. How do we bring it home to Main Street?

Maria Shriver: How do we change medical schools? How do we bring doctors who are working up to date? Yeah. How do we make it enticing to go into the space as we're an aging country.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: You know, in California, I did a big report for Gavin Newsom about what does California, which is an aging state. You don't think of California that way. What do we need to do to be ready for the tsunami of baby boomers who are gonna get Alzheimer's and dementia? Right? We're not ready.

Maria Shriver: We're not ready as a nation. We don't have caregivers, which also disproportionately falls on women. So I think it's a exciting space to be in, but it's an urgent space.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It is. Yeah. I mean, it's it's really kinda why why we created function, how us to democratize access to people's own health data Yeah. And make it very low cost, you know, for 4.99 a year, you get over a 110 biomarkers and testing twice a year to track your numbers and see what's going on. And and in that data, you get empowered with not only just the information about what's going on, but you get empowered with insights and actionable steps to actually improve things.

Maria Shriver: That's the key.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And things that your doctor may not know. So we're taking all these scientific evidence, all the expert knowledge extracted from all the world's top experts, both traditional and functional medicine and and helping create a personalized guide for how you can up level your health and you need to do to explore if there's different issues going on. So I think 4.99 is still a fair bit of money.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But it's it's certainly a lot less than people spend, for example, on coffee. Usually, every day is like a dollar. I

Maria Shriver: saw in there that you have, like, you could gift it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Right. I was like, okay. Well, That's actually something that's an interesting concept. By the time you finish buying somebody flowers or coffee, you could add it Well, coffee for you for the

Dr. Mark Hyman: next year. So it's really about empowering people to help data. And and even people like you who are, you know, super active and powerful and doing stuff in the world and energetic There's always little stuff that you can find that

Maria Shriver: That you can find too. Yeah. Absolutely. And that's what I'm curious about.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So when we did your test, we found out some good news. Right? Your

Maria Shriver: Yeah. Let's start with the good news. I'm not gonna die right now. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're not gonna die yet. Yeah. In this Hyman, and you're 6 year plus younger than your front law enforcement.

Maria Shriver: That to be better. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So you're an overachiever. I got it. Yes. So

Maria Shriver: I wanna be. I have grandchildren. Yeah. I have you know, adult children and I wanna be around for them. And I don't I think that's the other thing watching a parent or 2 parent.

Maria Shriver: My mother ended up with lots of strokes. To later in life. And I think being a caregiver for 2 parents is a lot.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. A lot.

Maria Shriver: Emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually in every way. Right? And then I think once you've watched that up close, you think about yourself, And if you have children, you think about, okay. Well

Dr. Mark Hyman: How do I keep myself healthy?

Maria Shriver: Keep myself so that my children Don't

Dr. Mark Hyman: have to do that.

Maria Shriver: Don't have to do that. Maybe they're not capable of doing that, or maybe they don't have the money to do that, or maybe they're not in the same town. There's all these things. So I think to myself, how Can I be as independent for as long as I can be as strong as I can? So when I go to the gym now, actually, I say that the trainer I said, give me an exercise that can help me with my overhead compartment in the in the plane.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. I wanna lift the bag in the overhead compartment. Right. Give me an exercise. I have a granddaughter who weighs 30 some pounds.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You wanna pick her up? Give me

Maria Shriver: I wanna pick her up. I wanna walk around with her.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: I don't wanna say when she says, Mark gee, lift me up. Lift me up. I don't wanna go, oh, you. I can't. I wanna be able to lift her up.

Maria Shriver: And then the next one up. And the next one, it's so When I go to the gym today, I'm looking for To

Dr. Mark Hyman: be functional.

Maria Shriver: To be functional. Yeah. To be able to be strong for those things, to be independent from my kids so that they're not overwhelmed because I found it overwhelming to be a caregiver. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, it's Mark. And think, you know, what you're talking about also is how do we prevent those things that actually are preventable? Like, Alzheimer's is preventable. Heart disease is preventable. Diabetes are preventable.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So many things we see autoimmune disease is preventable, but people don't know what's going on under the hood until it's too late. So we found that you're six years younger, which great, and you can get younger.

Maria Shriver: Oh, yeah. We're going back to my chest now. Right. We're gonna go to the bad news now. My son said, you're not really gonna talk about your own blood tests on the thing.

Maria Shriver: Are you? I was like, Yeah. Actually, I think I am.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But Well, it's empowering for other people to hear because people are walking around thinking they're fine. So we didn't find anything really terrible, and you're sixty one years old biologically, which is good.

Maria Shriver: That's okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And you could get younger. I I just got a year younger in the last 5 months by doing a whole bunch of things on my own function results. So I was able to sort of optimize my health. Just learn email. How old

Maria Shriver: were you on your results?

Dr. Mark Hyman: 53.

Maria Shriver: 53. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So Wow. Now there's different biomarker tests for aging, but you wanna look at all these things because they reflect really what's going on under the hood. And And we found

Maria Shriver: can get me to 50.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. The other thing, you know, Marie, is that your family history is significant. Right? You have a history of maybe, you know, celiac or autoimmune disease with your mom's stomach. Yep.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You know, certainly your uncle had that and your cousin has that. And we know it's in in Irish family. So right there, Somebody should be looking at autoimmunity, at gluten, and things that are not normally checked on a regular panel, and we we did find some things. Also, you know, your family history of Alzheimer is concerning, and we wanna make sure that the things that tend to promote Alzheimer's are not showing up in your blood test. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: If you wanna look at your be vitamin levels. We wanna look at something called homocysteine. We wanna look at inflammation. We wanna look at your metabolic health, like, in some resistance. And these are things that are not usually checked on your annual physical.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So when you looked at your doctor, they said your tests are quote normal. Looking at 20 or 30 things. You know, we looked at over a 110 things on your labs. Right. And a few things popped up.

Dr. Mark Hyman: One was you have low levels of inflammation. Mhmm. Now inflammation is one of the things that drives Alzheimer's. You know that Right. Alzheimer's is a disease of inflammation in the brain, just as almost all chronic diseases.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Heart disease, diabetes, cancer.

Maria Shriver: So why would I have low levels of inflammation?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Higher levels.

Maria Shriver: I have higher.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Higher levels than we thought.

Maria Shriver: Oh, I don't have low.

Dr. Mark Hyman: No. So you want low. You want something called C reactive pro Again, a test not normally checked, it should be under 1. Right. Yours was 1.4.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Not terrible, but it's like a trend. Right? I don't want you to have

Maria Shriver: wanna be on that track.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And we also saw this low level of autoimmunity. Now why you have this autoimmune marker? It doesn't mean you have an autoimmune disease. It just means you have this low grade autoimmunity, which means your body is somehow attacking itself. And then we can figure out why.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? It may be something you're eating and maybe glute maybe heavy metals, and maybe things that if left untreated could progress and lead to more serious inflammation in your body. And

Maria Shriver: But we don't know what it is.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And we can find out. Like, we had, for example, you had high levels of mercury that were from probably eating fish. You know, people eat a lot of fish. Yeah. The thing is healthy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. But all our Oceans are polluted. So mercury is a big, for example, factor.

Maria Shriver: I had high levels of mercury.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You did.

Maria Shriver: Oh my gosh. I thought I had low level.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, your your level range on the lab reference range according to Quest is 0 to 10. But there's no biological requirement for mercury. It's no safe level of mercury. It's a neurotoxin.

Maria Shriver: Okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman: See, no more swordfish

Maria Shriver: for me.

Dr. Mark Hyman: No more swordfish. It's no more tuna.

Maria Shriver: Favorite. I

Dr. Mark Hyman: don't I

Maria Shriver: don't like tuna, but I

Dr. Mark Hyman: do like swordfish. It is one of the worst. Swordfish Mark worst.

Maria Shriver: Oh, I'm I'm not a big I don't like sharks at all.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So that's not an issue. No. I know you you have some pandemic in Canada.

Maria Shriver: The IV.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh, yeah. Swordfish It's so high.

Maria Shriver: Hurt me. This is gonna be a hard show

Dr. Mark Hyman: for me. For giving up, the risk of Alzheimer's, you might wanna give up

Maria Shriver: short time. Bye bye.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But the high mercury, for example, is in is yours was 9 and, you know, 10 is the limit, but 9 isn't good. The normal level is 0. And so we don't know what's stored in your body. We need to look at that. These are things that are not checked.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Like, for example, heavy metals are not checked in your general checkup, but they should be.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Because they're risk factors. For autoimmunity, for Alzheimer's, for fatigue, and some of these things you were just mentioning, low grade fatigue. Well, no, yeah, you're busy running around, but maybe it's not normal. Like, if your body was working properly, you should have energy to do whatever you want. Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You know, and I think, you know, I'm turning 65 this year, and I I just last month, I went to Patagonia and I climbed them out and it was fifteen miles, and it was a mile straight up and miles straight down and took, you know, 13 hours, and I was able to do it. Look at you. I know. But but we should be able to do our bodies can do that.

Maria Shriver: But if

Dr. Mark Hyman: if we don't optimize them, they don't, we send it to clients. So we wanna look at factors that may be triggering some of this low grade inflammation. And for me, it's a it's a red flag if you have a family history of Alzheimer's.

Maria Shriver: Gotcha.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And you've already done your APOE testing. Yes. Which test did you have? Which

Maria Shriver: Well, we're actually Richard Isaacson did it. So I don't know which test he did.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Did you, I mean, did you have an OE for?

Maria Shriver: No. I don't.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So you didn't have the Alzheimer's team. Really good, but a lot of people who get Alzheimer's don't.

Maria Shriver: Correct. So it

Dr. Mark Hyman: may not be just that, but there may be other factors. So I really wanna look at that. You also said, you know, I'm a little tired and maybe of as much energy, and I saw your iron levels were low.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So I

Maria Shriver: need to eat more meat.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So maybe you need to eat more meat, or maybe we need to think about if you're losing blood somewhere and it, you know, could be sign of, you know, that you need a colonoscopy or

Maria Shriver: I just had a colonoscopy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right. That's great. So you don't know if you're having vaginal bleeding.

Maria Shriver: Nope.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So then I wonder, you know, maybe you're you're not having proper absorption in your gut. Maybe you do have a little bit of gluten sensitivity. Maybe you do have I

Maria Shriver: definitely have some feeling of gluten sensitivity.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. So this is, again, this is something that we needed to dig deep in. And then if we find, oh, probably the reason for your iron deficiency Mhmm. And your elevated inflammation and this low grade autoimmunity within ANA is maybe because you're gluten sensitive not full celiac, but enough Yeah.

Maria Shriver: I've tested for celiac and no.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But enough that it creates a little bit of a damage to your gut and you're not absorbing things. So these are the things that are super fixable. So I'd say Don't eat fish. Let's get your body to detox for mercury. Let's get you off gluten, see what happens.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Let's retest your test and see how they're doing. So there's really powerful things we found in your lab. Okay.

Maria Shriver: So I'm gonna come back. We're gonna retest all of these things. We're gonna change it. I'm gonna come back and see how old I am and whether I We're

Dr. Mark Hyman: gonna get you younger. You're gonna get you under butter.

Maria Shriver: On my blood test.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So I'm gonna get you under 60. Under 60. I'm gonna get you under 60.

Maria Shriver: We're gonna get to 50.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We'll get you to 50.

Maria Shriver: Yes. In my mind, I'm, like, 45. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, I did another test, that's a different scale. We can do that for you too. It it grades it differently, but I'm 43 on that test. So I'm I'm happy about that. That's that's the number I try to use, but 53 is this other calculus that is is based on when we do with function health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But the other thing we found, Mark, is, you know, and this was a little surprising that you could your traveling dehydrated maybe. Yes. But your kidney function was just slightly off.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And so this is something that is going on in our society that can be caused by many factors. It can be caused by inflammation, immunity, heavy metals, obviously high blood pressure, diabetes, you don't have those. No. You have low blood pressure.

Maria Shriver: Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And so those things often need be addressed. And so we're we're finding things early Mhmm. So that we can do something about it, and you're not gonna end up having some problem with your kidneys later on.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You know, I don't want that. And you didn't even know that.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? So these are the things we were finding on on the function help panels that allow people to become empowered. And then you get guidelines on exactly how to fix it and when to go to the doctor. So for example, for the kidney function, it might say, gee, in the recommendations, you need to go see a kidney specialist to just double double check what's going on.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So we we really have learn all these things.

Maria Shriver: I always wonder, like, you know, a lot of times you do these and they're like, go to this doctor. Go to this doctor, and I'm like, oh, yeah. You know, then it's like, it's a time issue, but I know that it's, I mean, I will do it. I Well,

Dr. Mark Hyman: there's certain things that are really important, but most of the things I would say 80% of the things we find people can take care of on their Right?

Maria Shriver: Okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It might recommend, you know, do you need to do a maybe a a different kind of gluten sensitivity test? You maybe need to do a different heavy metal We need to look at why you're losing iron if it's something that's losing, or maybe it's just your diet. So we would fix these things. We saw your vitamin d was a little bit low. It's just really tweaking things.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And I think your energy level will come up. You'll feel better. You'll feel stronger. Your brain will be clear. And more importantly, you know, we're gonna mitigate the risks of you ending up with the same issues that your dad had.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. No. I don't want that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: What's really interesting now is and soon we're gonna be offering this on the function help panel. There's even blood tests where you can detect in the blood biomarkers of Alzheimer's years and years before you ever have a symptom.

Maria Shriver: So people always talk about that. You know, do you wanna know if you have the Alzheimer's Jean. Do you wanna know if you can find it? Because then what? As long as we have no cure, is that actually gonna freak people out.

Maria Shriver: Is that gonna, you know, be helpful in any way? And I think this is a debate going on with doctors.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Right? Goes on. I hear it a lot. Right. But people are like, I don't wanna know.

Maria Shriver: That's not gonna be helpful to me until we find a cure. Yeah. Which I totally also understand.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's true, Maria, if you're operating from the traditional medical paradigm where drugs are the solution.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But if you actually look at the data around Alzheimer's or heart disease or diabetes or cancer, most of these conditions are lifestyle driven conditions. So there's really significant things you can do with your diet. With exercise, sleep, stress management, nutritional supplements, fixing your microbiome, dealing with heavy metals. There's so many things you can do to lower your risk and it's all data driven. It's not like the data isn't out there.

Maria Shriver: Right. Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But it takes decades for scientific discoveries to actually be implemented into medical practice. I don't know if you ever heard of the story of Samuel Weiss with Evini's physician. Mhmm. And he delivered babies, and he saw all the midwives in the clinic. Delivering babies, and none of their patients were getting childbirth fever, which was killing a lot of women at the time.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And he noticed they all washed their hands before they delivered babies. This was the 1800 And then he mentioned his physician colleagues, gee, maybe we should wash our hands. Maybe we're causing some problem with the patients who are dying caliber fever. And they're like, oh my god. You're a heretic.

Dr. Mark Hyman: How could you ever imply that doctors have been hurting your patients? You're banished. And he ended up, like, disgraced and banished for the rest of his life. And it took 50 years for doctors to realize they need to wash their hands before surgery.

Maria Shriver: Oh, mg.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? So that's kinda where we are now in medicine. It takes decades before the evidence that's out there that you're trying to promote a Cleveland Clinic that we're trying to do research on, but it's so slow. And so really this approach of being the CEO of your own health, taking control having agency in the market.

Maria Shriver: I can help you. Believer, and that's why we my son and I started Mark. Yeah. Our protein bar was also to really get people to start thinking about eating for brain health. A 100%.

Maria Shriver: You know, when we went to start mache, people Mark like,

Dr. Mark Hyman: what is mache?

Maria Shriver: Mache is a protein bar made for your brain that we started. My son, Patrick, and I started because I'm a protein bar fanatic.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And I was taking all these supplements supplements. You had suggested Richard Isaacson had suggested Rudy Tansy had suggested. He was like, why don't you make a protein bar for your brain and put in some of the things you're doing.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: So we made Mark, which has now been out for 2 years and has been incredibly successful. We've been online and now we're going into retail. Mhmm. And then we fund research at the Cleveland Clinic through the women's Alzheimer's Movement.

Dr. Mark Hyman: To the profits from Moscow to

Maria Shriver: fund ratio. Of them, but a certain part Your

Dr. Mark Hyman: son gets a few dollars. Yeah. He gets a few dollars on pay.

Maria Shriver: He's a young boy. Right? So you have to but I think my goal was really to try to create a a company of all brain healthy products that could actually fund 1,000,000 and 1,000,000 of dollars of research. That was my vision for the company. So starting with the protein bars, but also trying to at the same time educate people about eating for brain health.

Maria Shriver: And bringing that into the zeitgeist just like people talk about eating for heart health. Yeah. But making that something that people think about because We hear now. I think post COVID people now talk about brain fog. They talk about their brain in a different way Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Than before COVID. I've noticed. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Well, COVID really affects the brain.

Maria Shriver: Right. And we have a whole mental health epidemic, right, that we're talking about. So I think that in a way, this is a new era for young people and people my age as well to talk about what does it mean to eat my brain health? What does it mean to eat to prevent Alzheimer's? What is what I put in my mouth?

Maria Shriver: Does it have any effect on my brain or just on my thighs? Like, so we right. But we I was raised. Like, it's everything you eat is either gonna make you fat or thin.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right? Right.

Maria Shriver: No one talked about is it good for your brain? Right. Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right.

Maria Shriver: So I'm hoping that Mark will begin this conversation. Ignite this conversation, which is what it's been doing. And these bars are delicious. They're nutritious. They have, you know, omegas.

Maria Shriver: They have vitamin d. They have the they have the things that support a healthy brain. Yeah. And they're it's a mission focused company.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And they taste good.

Maria Shriver: And they taste good. They're addictive, but I'm really proud of that, and I'm hopeful to build a company, as I said, that will really educate and also taste good.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, it's such an important thing you're talking about because You're right. And we think about heart health and eating for heart health, but nobody's talking about how do we take care of our brain? Right. How do we protect our brain? How do we improve our brain function, whether it's for mental illness, depression, anxiety, PTSD, or all the way through to Alzheimer's and dementia, or just brain fogging, just trouble focusing and cognitive issues.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So many people struggle with this.

Maria Shriver: Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And I think we have so many tools and so much knowledge about how to improve our brain function. I wrote a book, you know, 15 years ago called the Ultramind solution, how to fix your broken brain by fixing your body first. Right? And so the idea is There's so much

Maria Shriver: about a book about how to get younger.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You know, are they?

Maria Shriver: I better go pull that off the shelf.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Gonna be a hundred years old before you finish all the book. But true. So but the whole point of that book was that there's things you can do for your brain to improve your general cognitive and just to be sharper and more alert and more on it, which makes you have a better life, right, in every way, because your brain's not working. You can't have good relationships. You can't do the work you wanna do in the world.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You can't do things that you'd like to do in hobbies. You just feel like sitting in front of a TV or scrolling

Maria Shriver: into that we have to be people say to me, like, oh, can I eat the Mark? And I won't Alzheimer's. I'm like, no. You know? But do they go do you have a pill I can take?

Maria Shriver: Yeah. I'm like, no. We have to

Dr. Mark Hyman: multiple multiple factors.

Maria Shriver: We have to be operating on multiple platforms. Right? We have to also not just say like, oh, if I do X Hyman Z, that means it's a continuous constant commitment, right, that we have to make as individuals regardless of our age. I also talk a lot about you're never too old. To embrace a brain healthy lifestyle.

Maria Shriver: You're never too old to start walking or lifting weights or

Dr. Mark Hyman: Just sense, a brain healthy life style. Yeah. Because a radical idea, Maria.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. I know. And when I wanted to originally start with the to create a bar, I went to several companies and said, you know, I wanna create a bar for a brain healthy lifestyle and people are like, no one's gonna buy that. Yeah. No one knows what you're talking about.

Maria Shriver: And it actually took my son.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're a little ahead of the curve.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. But it took my son to say, mommy, just bet on yourself. Take your own money. Just go do it. Yeah.

Maria Shriver: People will understand what you're talking about. And it took him to tell me

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: That I could invest in myself and now kind of brain products are the fastest growing area of CPG space

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Period. Right? But even somebody like me needed somebody to say, like, you could go do this. Let's go. You know, even though every other company told me, like

Dr. Mark Hyman: No.

Maria Shriver: Nobody's gonna buy a bar from a woman your age talking about the brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But it breaks into the zeitgeist that that this is a thing that could happen that you can actually do something for your brain. Yeah. So what what's in March? And what does this stand for?

Maria Shriver: It stands for Maria Owens Shriver Health.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Alright. I love that.

Maria Shriver: I love that. And, you've been very helpful. To it. And we've just reformulated it, but it the goal was to make it low sugar. It's 14 grams, 13 grams of protein.

Maria Shriver: And to put in the things in there that support a healthy brain. You know, you have to be really careful about what you say and

Dr. Mark Hyman: don't say. What are what are those things

Maria Shriver: omegas vitamin D vitamin B 12. It has Cognizant in it now. It's got Ashwagandha, lion's mane, It has pretty much everything you advised me to put into it.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And these are the things that just from as a doctor that are that are evidence based that have been shown to improve brain function and health and prevent disease. So they're not just sort of a random bunch of ingredients.

Maria Shriver: You really thoughtfully put

Dr. Mark Hyman: together like lines main increases neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. And Bingo. I use it for people with traumatic brain injury and who have various health issues in their brain. So I I mean, I take it. So Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I think it's such a beautiful thing to be able to actually break conversation open about we can do something about our brains that we can actually eat for our brains as opposed to eat for heart or eat for wait or eat for whatever we eat for. But then our brain is something we need to think about. And that concept is is a huge breakthrough Notion.

Maria Shriver: It's changed how I look at my own life. So it's changed how I eat. It brought meditation into my daily life. You know, resting my brain, prioritizing my sleep for my brain, exercising, as I said, now not to be thin, But for my brain building up BDNF, right, doing that, how I engage with people continuing to engage because we know social engagement, is good for your brain. So when I think of a brain healthy lifestyle, it's what I eat.

Maria Shriver: It's how I sleep. It's the practices. It's how I exercise. It's who I engage with. It's it being a continuous learner.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: It's trying to prioritize my health. To adapt to, you know, to be optimal. You know, it's like doctors always say to me, well, this is good. You're in the normal

Dr. Mark Hyman: range now. I don't wanna be normal.

Maria Shriver: I wanna be in the optimal range. And I think making that a part of our conversations with our doctors, which are only allowed to last for 15 minutes. Right? How do we get to optimal? Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And how do you get to optimal starting at a young age?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: That was not in my Zeitgeist when I was 30 or 40. No.

Dr. Mark Hyman: There's this concept that, I I read about from a a scientist named Robert Heaney, who was a vitamin researcher, and he talked about concept of long latency deficiency diseases where we we we Long latency deficiency diseases. So what that means in English Yeah. Is that For example, if you don't have, enough vitamin d in the short run and you're super deficient, you get rickets. That's a short term disease from vitamin d deficiency. But if you're suboptimal, right, you're talking about optimal levels.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yes. If you're suboptimal, you'll get osteoporosis. Yeah. Or heart disease or dementia, other things that are caused by chronically low levels or insufficient levels of the things that norm normally Mark in check And in in the function health panels that we've done on over 30,000 people, we have 3,000,000 Mark. We've checked 67%.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And this is a health board population, Maria. 67% are deficient in nutrients at the level from the reference range, not the optimal level, but the level from the lab reference range, which is pretty darn low. And so a lot of people are walking around with low grade things that may not be visible unless they do a deeper dive on their biomarkers and their health. And then they can easily change those things and fix those things. So we're gonna do that with you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We're gonna fix your iron. We're gonna fix your vitamin d. We're gonna figure out why there's inflammation. We're gonna get Mercury out of system. We're gonna make sure we double check what's going on with your kidneys.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We're gonna make sure we're well hydrated. And I guarantee you, The next time you do your panel, all these things will be normal, and you're gonna feel better. And we're probably gonna see a change in your biological age.

Maria Shriver: Okay. So

Dr. Mark Hyman: I can't promise under 60.

Maria Shriver: For the sequel. You say you promised under 60.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You have

Maria Shriver: you promised to bring it down.

Dr. Mark Hyman: 6 months. We'll get you we'll get you at least to your younger. And then I

Maria Shriver: think that would be actually really a good little experiment that we can do because I think I'm like so many Hyman. You know, you're running around. You're you're taking care of multiple people. You're working. You're doing all kinds of things.

Maria Shriver: And you think you're okay. And you think you're paying a 10 and you think you're going to the eye doctor and the dentist because I also know, like, that's your oral health. When we talk about Alzheimer's, we talk oral health. We talk about hearing.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: That's a big part of now Alzheimer. So if you have hearing issues, we now know that that you know, leads you to Alzheimer's quicker. So because

Dr. Mark Hyman: you miss

Maria Shriver: because you miss things. You isolate and social isolation and having a lack of community and a lack of interaction with other people. So really important to check your hearing, really important to check your oral health, really important to check your blood test, all of these things. And then you're, like, going to the doctor all the time.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But you've been to many doctors and you've had my work done.

Maria Shriver: Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And they've missed all this stuff found on your function health panel. They never looked at it. They never did those tests.

Maria Shriver: Back to my doctor.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Don't yell at her because it's not her fault. Yes. It's how we're trained. We're trained to look for diseases to diagnose diseases and not to look for imbalances or or early transitions on the way to disease. Like, okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We'll treat you once you get diabetes. Before that, there's nothing we can do. We'll treat you once you, you know, have some serious illness, but We don't really look at all the biomarkers that we now have available. And when your mom was going through this, we didn't have this level of testing and diagnosis We didn't

Maria Shriver: Or conversation, by the way.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And and people were kinda dismissed. And I think today, people are dismissed. People walk around with what I call FLC syndrome. That's when you feel like crap. You know?

Dr. Mark Hyman: And it's, like, maybe subtle, and you don't have a a diagnosed disease, but you know something's not right, and you're not at a 100%. The question is how do you get to optimal and how do you live a 100 healthy years? You have to understand what's going on in your body.

Maria Shriver: I remember a doctor saying to me, you know, most men don't come in unless their wife or their mother sense them in. And most women feel like they have some they're gaslit. They're not taken seriously. These are the stories that I hear from women of all ages. You know, I I tell them I have gut issues or I tell them the birth control that I'm on isn't working or I wanna know what is the long term effects of the birth control that I'm on or all of these conversations and they're often met with we don't know.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. Because we don't have the research, which why the initiative that I'm working on with the president, the first lady, the federal government, is to just try to close that research gap that affects women so that so often when women do go to the doctor, they are met with. We don't know because we don't have the research. We haven't done the research. To tell you about endometriosis.

Maria Shriver: We haven't done the research because it hasn't been funded.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And so when researchers go to figure out what are they gonna research. There has been no money to research with it, and we're gonna change that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's incredible, Maria, because we we need change the way we do research to not just be driven by pharmaceutical solutions. And that's primarily what's been done. And there's literally the government has spent 1,000,000,000 of dollars trying to find the cure for Alzheimer's through drug research, and it's failed miserably. And yet there's all this evidence in literature from smaller studies that point to treatable causes and mechanisms for prevention of a whole host of illnesses, including Alzheimer's. And so When you look at nutrition studies, when you look at lifestyle intervention studies, when you look at multimodal interventions where you're doing all sorts of things together like the finger trial or Richard isis data, Those are really hard to do, and they're not funded.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And the amount of suffering we have is just staggering, and it's getting worse and worse. So even though we have the best health care system in the world. We have the best doctors, best medical, institutions and hospitals. We're getting sicker and sicker spending more and more money And we're not focused on the problem, which is what the root causes, which is the things we should be studying, which are what you've been talking about.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. And I think also it's kind of a mindset, which I try to talk to a lot of people about of believing that you deserve. You deserve an answer. You deserve a response. You deserve the research.

Maria Shriver: I talk a lot about that with women who go, well, they can't help me or they don't know what's wrong with me. So I'll just go home. Yeah. And I think it's like a bigger conversation about what do you deserve when you go in, who's your advocate? Can you use your voice to advocate for yourself?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Do you feel worthy of advocating for yourself? So often that We assume the doctor knows more than us, which of course they do. So we we silence ourselves so often We don't push back.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Do you

Maria Shriver: think well, I deserve that? I don't matter. I'm guess I made it up myself. And so changing our mindset when we go in, going in with a list of questions, going in with your symptom written down

Dr. Mark Hyman: so

Maria Shriver: that you can better advocate for yourself and then knowing I deserve an answer. I deserve to be told what else is out there for me. Is it really important, I think, take on the mind the emotional mindset Yeah. When you go to the doctor. And when you think of yourself as a machine, as an entity, What do I and I think for women that has often certainly was for me, you know, like, to adapt that mindset before I go in.

Maria Shriver: I deserve an

Dr. Mark Hyman: A 100%. And I think, you know, I always say to people, they need to be the CEO of their own health.

Maria Shriver: Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And not just abdicate that to the the health care system where the providers But even if women do that, and I and this is where I think the challenge in health care is right now, even if women do that, there's such a lag between the scientific evidence about what really works from lifestyle nutrition and things that are 80% of what you can do to improve your health that doctors don't learn about. That when you even ask them these things, they may have good hearts. They may have be very smart. They may be extremely well trained in their specialty. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But they may not actually be able to get to the answer. Right. So you love swordfish, but did your doctor ever ask you how much swordfish you're eating or ever check your mercury level? Right. Probably not because that's not in the paradigm that we think out even with the best doctors.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So the reason we created function health was to actually help people get access to the biomarkers that matter. They're not being checked. That your doctor's probably not looking at and doesn't understand because they're not trained in it. It's not their fault. So you could be the best advocate and then go to the with all your questions and all your self agency and all your symptoms, and they're still not gonna get to the right answer because they're not looking in the right place.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's so

Maria Shriver: And they also don't have the research. So it's a multi pronged thing. Right? So it's kind of getting a mindset pushing, you know, the this initiative that we're doing, you have to push your local congressman or women here with local senators, and you have to vote these are issues that make a difference in your daily life. So if you want for me, I want my daughters and your daughters and everybody else's daughters and granddaughter to be able to go to the doctor, advocate for themselves, have the right mindset, feel they are worthy and deserving

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And also

Dr. Mark Hyman: Get the right answers.

Maria Shriver: Get the right answers. Right? And I I think it's multi fold. So that's why I'm trying to work at the national and the federal level. I'm also working at the communication level of the empowerment level of your worth this.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. And that I'm trying to develop a food company that also is part of that education of telling you you can actually eat for your brain. Right. And and you can actually live a life that will be as long as you possibly can. And I wish someone had talked to me about this when I was 30 or when I was a young mother focused on getting all four of, you know, the kids to the doctor, making sure I was on top of that, making sure my husband was on top of his health, Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And keeping myself at the low end of the totem pole because I was

Dr. Mark Hyman: Women's typically here. Right.

Maria Shriver: Or my kids, or somebody else other than myself. And I think that that's an important conversation changer as well as all of these other things, but they have to go together. Yeah. And that's what I'm trying to do. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's amazing what you're doing. I mean, you're basically doing policy change at the highest level in the White House and funding women's health research and Alzheimer's research or Yeah. We're doing work at Cleveland Clinic Advancing multi pronged approaches that are really quite different in looking at prevention of Alzheimer's that nobody's really talking about. You create a food company that's a brain health food company that helps sort of start the conversation that we can actually do something for our brain proactively or focus on so many things that act actually make a huge difference in the world. And we gotta keep you healthy because I know.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right?

Maria Shriver: And we're opening a women's health center at the Cleveland Clinic. So this is You know, somebody said to me recently, Mark, like, why do we have to have a women's health and research center Why is that important?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Everything else has been the men's research center, but they don't call it that.

Maria Shriver: But people don't understand that the drugs that you're taking. Yeah. Have been tested on men. The dosages have been tested on men. When I tell that to people, they're like, wait.

Maria Shriver: What?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And if you go back in history and learn, it's because doctors decided that women weren't dependable for trial. So they were just not included. So all of these things have changed because somebody became aware. Mhmm. And then fought for the change.

Maria Shriver: And I always try to tell that to people that there's so much you can do to create change that will benefit you and also millions of other people at all levels. Yeah. So whether it's on the federal level, the local level, the national, whatever, there's so much change that's needed. And it begins with how we see ourselves, how we talk to ourselves, how we think about ourselves, and then moves out from there.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. It's it's so inspiring your work because, you know, you could just be hanging out and enjoying life and doing cruisers in the Hyman, but you're You're you're really, you know, in the trenches, doing this hard work to improve our awareness around health and Alzheimer's and women health and Yeah. And being proactive about people's health. And it's really, you know, we're both on the same missions. We worked together for years on these projects, and I think it's a big problem.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And it seems sometimes

Maria Shriver: Big opportunity. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And it seems it's surmountable, but, actually, it it is fixable. And I think with things that you're doing with function health, which essentially is a really disruptive technology company that's the data driven health care company that allows you to get your data and do things with it that actually will fix your health. And not have to go through and wait 50 years till the health care system catches up.

Maria Shriver: I was at the office, and we were talking about me coming on here to talk about my blood test and the guy that does marketing for Marsh.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: 10 or he's like, I just volunteered to be in the beta.

Dr. Mark Hyman: On the beta test.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. And I just went and did my blood test. Yeah. And he's a young. I don't know how old he is.

Maria Shriver: He probably in his twenties.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And

Maria Shriver: so I thought to myself, that's a really good sign. Yeah. That a young man Yeah. Heard about that and took the initiative to go do that, or I talked to my son that I was coming on here twenty six years old. He goes, I wanna do that.

Maria Shriver: I wanna understand. So imagine that to me was so exciting that Christopher said, I wanna do that blood test. Yeah. Because I can then track myself.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Exactly.

Maria Shriver: Till I get to your age.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: And look at I'm doing it at my age. Imagine how great it's gonna be for him.

Dr. Mark Hyman: A lot better. So early. Right?

Maria Shriver: Yeah. This gonna be he's gonna have a total different trajectory and their kids. Mhmm. So the work we do now will benefit these other generations, which is why it's exciting to me. And when I think about wow, that's why I do what I do.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. Because it will change somebody's visit to the doctor 5 years from now, 10 years from now. When I'm gone and I think always it's good to have a mission that's bigger than you. Yeah. That will go on that you probably won't even be able to achieve in your lifetime.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: I remember the first time when I testified for Alzheimer's funding. Now with all the doctors said, oh, we have the cure. It's in a vial in a in a lab.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Right. None of that.

Maria Shriver: That was 20 years ago. But I don't get discouraged. Yeah. I just think, like, let's just keep going. Let's just keep going because it's going to help someone.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It will happen.

Maria Shriver: It will happen. And it won't happen if we all get discouraged.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right.

Maria Shriver: If we all stop believing, if we all stop having hope, then nothing's gonna happen. So do I think, you know, the president has said $12,000,000,000 for women's health. It'll close the research gap. It'll bring about equity and health. Do I think I'll get it in my lifetime?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. Actually, I do.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. It's true. My brothers are like, no. You're not. I'm like, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I will.

Maria Shriver: But I think it'll transform my daughter's health, my granddaughter's health, your granddaughter's health, it'll transform that. And this will transform the way my son engages in his health care journey, and that to me is incredibly powerful and inspiring.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. So true. We all get to choose where we spend our energy, our life energy, our Hyman, and common, who's a a singer said, and we're gonna put your one grain of spiritual sand on the universal scales of humanity. Now you don't have a grain. You're like a dump truck.

Maria Shriver: The the secretary of health and human services said to my brother at the White House the other day, he goes, you know, I called your sister a pit bull And my brother was like, what? He goes, she's a border collie.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And then my other brother was like,

Maria Shriver: can he say that? I was like, that's okay. You know?

Dr. Mark Hyman: You grab on to something and you keep going. And that's something that's beautiful.

Maria Shriver: But I think it take I mean, I watched my mother. Right? I watched my father. You know, he thought he could solve poverty

Dr. Mark Hyman: with

Maria Shriver: the war on poverty, the office of economic opportunity. And when they asked him when he started that in the Johnson Administration, he believed but he could do that. He was unsuccessful.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, not at all. I mean, compared to Ben.

Maria Shriver: Yeah. And he started Yeah. A conversation In neighborhoods, he started programs that still go today

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: That have changed people's lives. My mother was like I'm going to make it so that people with intellectual disabilities are treated as equal citizens under the law. Right? So I'm going to make it that they have access to all kinds of things, jobs, speaking opportunities, sports programs, you name it, She got, like, 75%, 80% of the way there.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: He got, you know, maybe 50% of the way there. Right? And so with my work with Alzheimer's Mark changing women's health research. If I can get 75% of the way there

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: That'll been a good use of my time here on earth.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's good. And so we're gonna We're

Maria Shriver: gonna get me to 50. So then I have

Dr. Mark Hyman: another 50 here. And we're we're gonna get you feeling better even though you're already doing amazing, and we're gonna treat things that are gonna make a big difference for you. And we'll have you back to talk about What happened? What you tweaked. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And how did it make you feel learning these things about yourself that you didn't know?

Maria Shriver: Great. I'm a big believer in information as knowledge. I'm like, oh, yeah. I like that. And but what really makes me excited is, like, that you're gonna help me do something about it.

Maria Shriver: That's what really helps me. And then I realized then I have to be a partner in that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah.

Maria Shriver: I have to take responsibility That's

Dr. Mark Hyman: right.

Maria Shriver: For that. And so I think it's not like You know, oh, you're just gonna give me a pill and I'm gonna become 50 and be all good.

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right.

Maria Shriver: You know, but that you're asking something of me

Dr. Mark Hyman: That's right.

Maria Shriver: And I think that is important.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It is.

Maria Shriver: That, well, participants. I step up.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And, you know, we and I can work together because we're friends, but not everybody can access Yes. Me. With the building about it.

Maria Shriver: Can't access Mark. I've known Mark for a

Dr. Mark Hyman: really long time, and I've not been able

Maria Shriver: to access smart. So It's big to access Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But but the beautiful thing about function is You can read your books. No, no. I port all of my experience and knowledge in We pulled in all these other experts in knowledge and experience. We pulled in all the scientific research. I mean, I read a lot of scientific papers, but I can't read the 9 or 10,000,000 papers that are online.

Maria Shriver: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I'll never get through them my entire lifetime. So all that is going in through technology

Maria Shriver: Through AI.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Through through AI machine learning is It's not just an AI independent thing, so it's not gonna take over your life. But it's it's using this this ability to sort of suck up all this information, read every textbook, read every scientific paper, talk to every knowledge expert incorporated that into insights and guidance for how to support your health and correct the things that we find. And and in my experience, 80% of the time, people can do this without having to go to the doctorate. There are things that are self care solutions, whether it's what you eat, exercise, sleep, stress, supplements, other things that people can do, it will uplevel our health and correct the things that we find. And for the 20% You might need to go see the doctor, but then we're gonna tell you if you go see the doctor, here's how to be your advocate.

Dr. Mark Hyman: If you have a thyroid issue. This is probably the type of testing you need or the type of further treatment you need. Or if you have high mercury, this is the kind of thing you wanna think about doing. You might need a doctor's help. You might not get that when you go to your doctor.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So, really, we're building a knowledge system, not just ability to get your lab tests, that helps guide people, and as your co pilot for your health and a repository for all your health data, I mean, you can track over time because right now, health care is so analog. It's so it's so disconnected. And you can, you know, you go to one doctor in his lab test there, and they can't see them from the other doctors. It's just a mess.

Maria Shriver: I know.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, it's really I mean, I I was like 2024, and, you know, you've got an iPhone that can, you know, basically be like a supercomputer that could take you to the moon. But you can't even get your health care data all in one place in a coherent way that makes sense. It tells you what's going on with your body. So that's really what we're doing, and it's really a way of making empowering and changing. And I I hope this will help people shift into a more proactive state to prevent things like Alzheimer's to be empowered around what's going on to not just accept Oh, I'm tired.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh, you're a woman. This is normal. Oh, you're supposed to have PMS. Oh, you're supposed to have whatever, but actually find the real reasons for it. It's it's pretty exciting, and I think I think it's gonna be great.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And for people who wanna sign up, then go to function health, dotcom forward slash mark to skip the wait list. There's a 150,000 people on the wait

Maria Shriver: Oh, you get to skip the way Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, if you listen to this podcast, you do. Oh, wow.

Maria Shriver: You can go and mache and get a bar and eat it while you wait got off the wait list. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: You definitely wanna check out Maria's work. We'll put the links to her White House initiative on Women's Health. It's incredible. Watch her speech. Check out Marsh.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We'll put the link in, and what's the website for Marsh if you want it?

Maria Shriver: or if you can read it. Yeah. On the Sunday paper, you've been in the

Dr. Mark Hyman: Sunday paper. Is great. How do they how do they find

Maria Shriver: Go to Maria Shriver Sunday Paper.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Okay. Great. That's great. And, also, you can learn about her work at Cleveland Clinic, and we'll put the link in there for the women's Alzheimer's Movement a

Maria Shriver: lot going on.

Dr. Mark Hyman: It's a lot. 1 of you're tired. And, Oh my gosh. Just keep it up. We're gonna keep going the till we're having our hummed birthdays together.

Maria Shriver: Oh, that's great.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And, celebrate together. So thanks for being on the doctor's shorts and podcast. Thanks for you do to make the world a better place.

Maria Shriver: Thank you. God bless.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Thanks for listening today. If you love this podcast, please share it with your friends and family. Leave a comment on your own best practices on how you upgrade your health and subscribe wherever you get your podcast. And follow me on all social media channels at Doctor Mark Hyman, and we'll see you next time on the doctor's pharmacy. I'm always getting questions about my favorite book podcast, gadgets, supplements, recipes, and lots more.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And now you can have access to all of this information by signing up for my free picks newsletter at doctor hyman.comforward/markspicks. I promise I'll only email you once a week on Fridays, and I'll never share your email address or send you anything else besides my recommendations. These are the things that have helped me on my health journey, and I hope they'll help you too. Again, that's doctor Hyman. Mark you again, and we'll see you next time on the doctor's pharmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman: This podcast is separate from my clinical practice at the Delta wellness center and my work at Cleveland Clinic And Function Health where I'm the chief Officer. This podcast represents my opinions and my guest opinions, and neither myself nor the podcast endorsements of views or statements are my guests. This podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Now if you're looking for your help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner, you can come see us at the UltraBonus Center in Lenox Chusets. Just go to If you're looking for a functional medicine practitioner near you, you can visit in the search, find a practitioner database It's important that you have someone in your corner who is trained, who's a licensed health care practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.

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