Getting older is inevitable, but aging is not. What society thinks of as aging—wrinkly skin, poor memory, weight gain, aches and pains—is actually abnormal aging, and it doesn’t have to be this way. There are reasons for these symptoms, and when we tap into the root cause we can prevent and even reverse them and feel youthful despite our age. We can do that using the principles of Functional Medicine, as well as the power of biohacking our biology. My guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy is an expert in biohacking and reversing the aging process. My good friend Dave Asprey is the founder and CEO of Bulletproof 360, creator of the global phenomenon Bulletproof Coffee, a two-time New York Times bestselling author, the host of the Webby award-winning podcast Bulletproof Radio, serial entrepreneur, and global change agent. By employing the principles of biohacking (a term added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in September of 2018 with Dave’s influence) Dave has lost over 100 pounds, upgraded his brain, learned to sleep more efficiently in less time, and become a more effective entrepreneur, husband, father, and overall human being. In this episode, he shares his top tips and tricks for being superhuman and living to be 180 or beyond.
Think about how different our medical system would be if all doctors were required to have an extreme health crisis before practicing medicine. It’s through those toughest times with our own health that many of us turn to Functional Medicine, as we realize conventional care isn’t getting us what we need. But sometimes, being so involved in treating others’ diseases makes it difficult for doctors to even see our own symptoms for what they really are. This week’s guest on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Cynthia Li, is here to share her personal journey through autoimmunity and realizing her symptoms had deeper meaning. Dr. Li received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She’s practiced as an internist in many settings, including Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, and St. Anthony Medical Clinic serving the homeless. She currently has a private practice in Berkeley, CA and recently published her first book which I highly recommend, Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness.
Soil is the most important answer to climate change, and also one of the most underappreciated. Without soil, we have no food, and I don’t think I need to elaborate on how catastrophic that would be. The positive news is that we can work on our soil integrity right now to preserve it for many future generations to come—you might be surprised that using regeneratively raised cattle is part of that solution. There is still hope for our children and grandchildren to inherit a balanced and beautiful planet with abundant food production. Because we rely on soil for food production, big companies are starting to pay attention to the work that needs to be done to preserve it. My guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Tom Newmark, is helping them understand what they can do and how to get involved in saving our soils. Tom was CEO of the dietary supplement brand New Chapter, which was acquired by Proctor & Gamble about seven years ago. Since that time Tom has focused on environmental activism with specific attention on regenerative agriculture. He is the co-owner of Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, an organic and biodynamic farm and ecolodge in the mountainous rainforest of Costa Rica that teaches regenerative agriculture. Tom is the co-founder and board chair of The Carbon Underground, co-founder of the Soil Carbon Initiative, and a founding member of the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative of California State University – Chico.
Trauma comes in many forms, and it’s something we’re all going to face at one point or another. Though it might seem in the moment that we should push away negative feelings and pretend everything is fine, true healing can’t happen unless we open ourselves to our traumatic experiences and work through them. Despite what many of us in search of help have been told, this doesn’t necessarily need to involve years of therapy or countless medications—we already have tools existing within each of us to work through the emotional, mental, and physical effects of trauma and feel happier and healthier. I think you’ll be surprised just how accessible some of these solutions are. This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m joined by Dr. Jim Gordon to take a further look into healing trauma. He is one of the most extraordinary men I’ve ever met and I’ve been lucky to call him a friend for 20 years. Dr. Gordon is the author of The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma and is a Harvard educated psychiatrist and a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. He has worked with traumatized children and families in Bosnia, Gaza, Haiti, post-9/11 New York, and Parkland, among many other areas across the world facing tragedy and trauma. Dr. Gordon also works with veterans and active-duty military to address PTSD.
Age is not the definitive factor it’s made out to be when it comes to our health. We can use our age as a baseline for tracking our health and longevity, but it isn’t stagnant. For example, certain types of testing can help us compare our biological age to our calendar age in order to tinker with our wellness routine and achieve the milestones we’re after. With the right steps, we can slow down and even sometimes reverse the aging process. When it comes to our biological age, or the measure of how well our body is actually functioning for whatever life stage we are in, there are many things that impact it. Diet, lifestyle patterns like exercise and sleep, and stress are all involved in forming our biological age, along with many other factors like blood sugar, inflammation, and genetics. This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m joined by Dr. David Sinclair to explore the topic of longevity and anti-aging and how he reduced his own internal age by more than 20 years. Dr. Sinclair is a professor in the Department of Genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School, where he and his colleagues study longevity, aging, and how to slow its effects.
The gut and brain are strongly interconnected. That’s why in Functional Medicine we always take the gut into account, along with the rest of the body, when trying to understand a brain disease. Unfortunately, conventional medicine likes to look at each part of the body separately, which may be why doctors have a hard time effectively treating neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS. Knowing that the gut affects the brain and understanding the far-reaching role of the microbiome has led this week’s guest on The Doctor’s Farmacy to approach neurodegenerative conditions with a whole new perspective. Dr. Jay Lombard is an internationally acclaimed neurologist, author, and keynote speaker specializing in neuroimmunological conditions and medical mysteries. Dr. Lombard integrates biological, psychological, and existential components in his holistic treatment approach. Dr. Lombard’s clinical experience revealed an interesting pattern: one patient with ALS also had small intestine bacterial overgrowth, then another who had ulcerative colitis, another had Crohn’s, and so on. He started seeing the connection between these bacterial imbalances and Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, and the link to neurological symptoms.