Tag Archives: wellness

Genes and Your Health: An Eye-Opening Interview with Sara Gottfried, MD

Ready to look, feel and age younger?

In order to build organizations and the products and services requisite to regenerate Earth, we need health first. It takes energy and tenacity to climb the transformational mountain and endure.

Those of you familiar with my work know I’m grateful to have Dr. Sara Gottfried in my life. Not only is she my brilliant, talented and beloved wife, she’s also a board-certified doctor and a three time New York Times best-selling author, whose work is dedicated to helping others learn how to make functional medicine a regular part of a healthy, high-quality, longer-lived life.

Her most recent best-selling book, YOUNGER, offers breakthrough ways to:

  • Reset “bad” genes
  • Reverse the aging process
  • Turn back the cellular/biological clock 10-years (or more!)

Since I have an inside connection, I scheduled an interview with Dr. Sara after her most-recent book publication to learn more about her research and to find out how you and I can GET YOUNGER!

You can listen to the entirety of our interview at Regen360 Podcast #20.

Your Cellular Age is Probably Older than Your Chronological Age

To begin, Dr. Sara shared how five years ago she ran a simple blood test of her telomeres. She explains, “…those are the little caps on the chromosomes that measure how much you’re aging – so it measures cellular aging, it measures your biological aging – as opposed to your chronological aging…I failed the test.”

At age 44, Dr. Sara had the telomeres of a 64-year old woman. She considers this a turning point in her life, recognizing a biological failure state that needed to be addressed.

“Here I was a doctor – board certified in gynecology – and I didn’t know that cortisol was shrinking my telomeres, increasing my risk of cancer, increasing my risk of belly fat and diabetes…The foundation of your hormones and the next step is to address these levers of growing younger.”

Health Span vs Disease Span

The goal of functional medicine and healthy lifestyle changes is to increase your health span and decrease your disease span. Dr. Sara explains, “health span” is that period of time where you feel fantastic,” compared with the “disease span,” which encompasses cognitive decline and/or Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, the onset of cancer(s), etc.

When you pay attention to key markers and benchmarks indicating our overall health – and then make changes to support the good ones and reverse the bad ones – you will literally, “take what you feel in your prime and lengthen that as long as possible.”

Doctor’s Quick Tip: “Eating leafy greens [kale, chard, bok choy, broccoli, cabbages] adds 7.5 more years to your lifespan.” Dr. Sara recommends we eat one pound of vegetables each day.

Turn On the Good Genes & Turn Off the Bad Genes

“20 years ago, I was taught that you’re stuck with the genes you’ve got. What we’ve learned is…you can actually change the way your genes talk to the rest of your body.”

Dr. Sara likes to highlight the 90/10 rule; the study of epigenetics proves that while 10% of who and what you are is based on the genes you were born with – 90% of your overall health and risk of developing degenerative diseases is due to the little decisions you make each day. This includes what you eat, how you feel about yourself, how much you move, the level of stress (cortisol) you take on in your life, etc.

When you make healthy choices, you literally reverse the degenerative aging process and add years to your life – expanding your health span, so you spend years, or even decades more, feeling fantastic.

Take Control of the Genes Most-Proven to Have Epigenetic Influence

After reviewing roughly 2500 different studies, Dr. Sara focused on the genes that were most-proven to have an epigenetic influence on the biological markers of aging – and which genes really control your health span.

Doctor’s Quick Tip: Take Dr. Sara’s Younger Quiz to identify your base-case. Then use the results to make simple, relevant and life-extending changes for a healthier, vibrant and longer, high-quality life.

You Can Change the Levers of Aging

Here are Dr. Sara’s answers to the root question: “what are the levers of aging and how can we change them?”

  1. Silence the Fatso Gene. By exercising moderately, 30-minutes per day, you can silence the “fatso gene” (FTO gene).
  2. Decrease stress. Lowering cortisol rates decreases blood sugar levels – reducing belly weight and diabetes risk.
  3. Get enough sleep (the functional medicine panacea). Only 3% of the population has the short-sleep gene. The rest of us need 7- to 8.5-hours of sleep per night – on your side as much as possible – to activate the glymphatic system.
  4. Keep vitamin D levels between 60-90 ng/ml. This will support healthy sleep habits, among other, multiple physiological benefits.
  5. Take sauna baths. If you can’t afford to purchase a home sauna unit, hit the sauna at your local gym. Saunas activate the FOX03 (longevity) gene and get cardio-rates up. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a 40 percent drop in mortality for frequent sauna visits.
  6. Test for APOE4 (Alzheimer’s gene). If you have an APOE4 marker(s), use Dr. Bredesen’s Functional Medicine protocol to silence it. I suggest you not only listen to my podcast with Dr. Bredesen, but buy his revolutionary book: The End of Alzheimer’s.


It’s important to remember that we’re all very different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, taking the key tips that resonate the most with your genes, your biological benchmarks (available through routine blood tests) and your lifestyle – you can change the levers of aging and lengthen your health span to live a higher-quality life.

Are you inspired or what? You can listen to the entire, Regen360 Episode 20 Podcast with Dr. Sara on our website, and we also recommend ordering her book YOUNGER to learn more interesting and lesser-known tips for reversing the body’s genetically- and environmentally-programmed aging process.

Episode 49 Dr. Jeff Bland

The world of medicine (and health) is undergoing a revolution. We’re moving from highly specialized towards a new holistic model that is more personalized. This monumental shift is grounded in starting with “root cause”, the logical place to understand the disease. And yet, we’ve moved away from this practicality in standard practice.

There’s a global movement underway in how we treat patients called functional medicine and now being adapted to ourselves in personalized lifestyle medicine. With technology giants like Apple and Google taking on health data collection and beaming it to the cloud, we now have the ability to become what Dr. Jeff Bland calls “citizen scientists”. The opportunities are unprecedented and exciting!

Join me in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show where I interview Dr. Jeff Bland about the advent of function and personalized medicine. He’s the founder of the renowned Institute for Functional Medicine which is setting the professional standard for this new method of practicing medicine, and also bringing the discipline home into our personal lifestyles. Dr. Bland has written 11 books and over 120 scientific peer-reviewed research papers on nutritional medicine and the interface of genetics and environment. He’s been a professor and had the honor of mentoring with two-time Nobel Laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling.

Listen in to learn more about the future of medicine and health, and some organizational concepts for starting or boosting your own movement into your work. There are so many similarities between Dr. Bland’s work and the Institute for Functional Medicine and my work in green building with the USGBC and LEED. Both are movements for health: of people and the planet, and their interconnectedness, which is finally happening.

To understanding that health is personalized, and begins with our lifestyle.

David

Alzheimer’s – finally, a hopeful cure!

This is the first of forthcoming blogs that feature content from my most popular Regen360 iTunes podcast show interviews. As you may know, I select leading global visionaries in health and sustainability who are pushing the envelope and building movements. My goal is to spark all of us into accelerated action that inspires regeneration on a 360 basis.

A few months ago, I had the exciting and inspiring opportunity to sit down with Dr. Dale Bredesen to talk about his encyclopedic knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and his proven protocol that can stop it in its tracks! This was before his New York Times bestselling book published, called The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. A must read for all of us.

Here’s a recap of some of the information Dr. Bredesen and I dove into, all of which aligns with my wife, Dr. Sara’s and my Regen360 followers’ awareness of ‘food as medicine’ and the importance of sustainable lifestyle choices. For me, they both fall under the broader category of health, the feature of my podcast show and all of our work.

Dr. Dale Bredesen and his compassionate research team at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging have spent years studying the neuroscience and biochemistry that scaffold the development of Alzheimer’s disease. He has discovered treatment protocols that prevent, halt, and/or markedly slow Alzheimer’s development. The team’s research sheds hopeful light on what is increasingly viewed by the medical field as the world’s number one health issue.

In this podcast, Dr. Bredesen shared his evidence-based, common sense means of preventing this fatal disease.

THE PROBLEM: Alzheimer’s is Becoming The World’s Number 1 Leading Health Risk

Cognitive decline is accelerating around the globe at a rapid rate. While we’re repeatedly informed that “5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease,” the reality is that by the year 2050, 45 million Americans will have full-blown Alzheimer’s disease (that’s 15% of the current American population), and 160 million people will have it worldwide.

Dr. Bredesen says, “…it has become the third-leading cause of death in the United States, after cardiovascular disease… and cancer. This is going to bankrupt Medicare over the next couple of decades…”

Another thing to note is that about 65% of patients with Alzheimer’s are women, and 60% of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women, making it what Dr. Bredesen calls a “female-centric illness.” In fact, according to Dr. Bredesen, “If you are a woman, the chance that you’ll develop breast cancer in your lifetime has now been exceeded by the chance that you’ll get Alzheimer’s during your life.”

The guiding question to Alzheimer’s research and treatment, led by Dr. Bredesen and others, is this: “What is the most fundamental nature… of neurodegeneration? So we can actually use that approach to design an effective treatment.”

Using this bottom-up research approach, they’ve uncovered the most effective methods of Alzheimer’s treatment to date. Our health followers and those committed to sustainable living won’t be surprised to learn that Lifestyle + Balance = The Most Effective Alzheimer’s Treatment.

THE QUESTION: What is the Most Fundamental Nature of Neurodegeneration?

Most people believe the fundamental cause of Alzheimer’s is genetics. While it’s true that genes are strong predictors, Dr. Bredesen finds that “lifestyle trumps genes when predicting whether a person will develop Alzheimer’s.”

How much do genes play a role in developing Alzheimer’s disease?

As you may of learned in my wife, Dr. Sara’s New York Times bestselling book, Younger, genes certainly play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but not as much as scientists originally thought. The genetic marker for Alzheimer’s is APOE e4. If you’re screened for APOE e4 and results find:

  • 0 APOE e4 markers: You have a 9% chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
  • 1 APOE e4 marker: You have a 30% chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
  • 2 APOE e4 markers (homozygous): You have a 90% chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

Genetic screening plays a significant role in treating Alzheimer’s. This information is critical in determining the future trajectory of your diet, exercise, work, and habits. I did my genetic testing at 23andme.

However, while genetics are an important piece of the Alzheimer’s puzzle, lifestyle has an even greater impact!

Does Lifestyle play a greater role in your chances of developing Alzheimer’s?

According to Dr. Bredesen, Alzheimer’s is more like a syndrome than a disease. It’s not caused by a single agent like a bacterial infection. Rather, it’s triggered by 20, 30, or even 40 different biochemical and metabolic relationships that take place in the brain as a result of your lifestyle.

What you eat, how much you rest, how much you allow stress to impact your life — all of these affect the beautiful, plastic balance that maintains the brain’s healthy “remembering and forgetting” processes. When the balance tips in the wrong direction, the brain starts to forget more than it remembers — and that marks the beginning stages of cognitive decline.

Dr. Bredesen and his team have learned the most effective Alzheimer’s treatment starts with us and our lifestyle choices.

THE ANSWER: 7 Tips That Prevent Alzheimer’s Before it Starts

The following 7 tips can prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s and can notably reverse the effects of existing dementia. Also, they’re fundamental to the idea of Functional Medicine. In other words, as you make conscious choices to diminish Alzheimer’s risk, you simultaneously improve overall health. In Dr. Bredesen’s new book, he calls these steps ReCODE: Reversing Cognitive Decline. In the book, he expands this list to 14 recommendations.

1) Eliminate sugars and simple carbohydrates, as well as gluten and dairy

There is a strong link between insulin resistance, inflammation, and Alzheimer’s. In fact, those with type 2 diabetes more than double their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Dr. Bredesen recommends eliminating gluten as well. “Make foods with a glycemic index lower than 35 the bulk of your diet,” as written in the book and “avoid fruit juices.” Dairy causes inflammation and contributes to leaky gut.

2) Beware the “Berfooda Triangle

The trifecta of high-saturated fats, high-simple carbohydrates and low-fiber are a horrible, proinflammatory triad — dubbed the “Berfooda Triangle. Think cheeseburger, fries, and soft drink,” as written in the book. Minimize saturated fat intake and always balance it with high-fiber, complex carbs which helps reduce blood sugar

3) Finish eating 3-hours before going to bed

This optimizes the brain’s ability to cleanse itself. In order to eliminate amyloid plaques and toxins — and to recycle old, damaged and broken components — the brain needs extended fasting/resting periods.

4)  Give yourself at least 12 hours to fast each day

Along those lines, Dr. Bredesen says, “You want to try to confine your eating to, at most, 12 hours during the day… then you want to fast the rest of the time.”

5) Eat good fats

Neuronal membranes, myelin sheaths, and other neuro-protective tissue require healthy fats from avocados, nuts/seeds, MCT oil, olive oil, as well as healthy, omega-3s. But those with ApoE4 should eat less saturated fat and switch to polyunsaturated fatty acids like olive oil, instead of MCT oil.

6) Treat meat as a condiment

Think of meat as a condiment. Limit meat intake to sustainably-raised meats and ideally, wild-caught SMASH fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herrings), but avoid the possible high levels of mercury and other toxic compounds. Men need about 50 to 70 grams of daily protein and women about 40 to 60, or no more than 1 gram of protein per kilogram of weight.

7) Prioritize oral hygiene

When scientists examine the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, they consistently find microorganisms not found in control samples. These microorganisms are related to fundamental metabolic and toxic perturbations:

  • Inflammation: Withdrawal of trophic support (depletion of cellular growth, health)
  • Toxic binding: (amyloids bind toxins and kill microbes). Researchers frequently come across p. Gingivalis, a bacteria associated with gum disease, as well as other oral bacteria in the brain. Brushing, flossing, and observing biannual dental checkups are key to keeping harmful bacteria away from precious neural tissue.

The effects of lifestyle changes like these don’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes about three to six months to truly notice an improvement. Then, personalized testing and treatment tweaks are made over time to optimize the effects.

It’s an understatement that the information gleaned from Dr. Bredesen in this info-packed podcast is both exciting and hopeful, and his book, The End of Alzheimer’s, provides much more detail and protocol recommendations that are essential for all of us. Ultimately, it puts the power of Alzheimer’s treatment right into your hands. The power of leveraging what you’ve learned here into real-life action could truly transform one of the world’s leading health issues into a thing of the past.

If your interest wasn’t piqued before, I bet it is now. I invite you to immerse yourself by listening to the complete Regen360 Podcast 22, featuring Dr. Dale Bredesen. He gives us hope for a lifestyle-based and drug-free approach to curing Alzheimer’s, as well as other debilitating diseases.

PS: The goal for all of my work is to not only teach and inspire, but to spark all of us into accelerated action that promotes regeneration on a 360 basis. I encourage you to take my BuildMove Quiz to see if you’ve got the right stuff to build your own movement.

What’s the benefit of your labor?

On Monday we celebrated Labor Day. Since its first celebration in 1882 in New York City, the holiday has been dedicated to worker’s social and economic achievements that have helped advance the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

This is my first of many blogs to come, and I’d like to reflect a bit on the nature of our labor and its relationship to transformation. I’ve also got a few announcements for you below, including a priority wait list sign up for my new forthcoming BuildMove pilot trainings.

I’ve experienced several epiphanies that not only changed my life but my relationship to labor. Since that first one in 2001, when I’d taken a hard look at who I’d become: fancy Armani suits, Ferragamo loafers and slicked back hair. I’d strayed far from my true nature and could no longer hear my calling. I realized that I could change my work in the real estate field to add greater value, meaning, and health. I no longer needed to solely work on maximizing profit but could embrace a newer definition to include people and planet – what we now refer to as the triple-bottom-line.
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Episode 33 Izabella Wentz

Are you often cold or have body temperature swings? Do you experience fatigue? Is brain fog or forgetfulness part of your day? Is your gut stable? Allergies?

Many of us struggle with physical challenges and consider it just part of daily life. And for some, the symptoms become chronic, making it hard to live fully. Over 135 million Americans suffer from chronic disease.

Hashimoto’s is the fastest growing autoimmune disease which affects the thyroid gland and causes the body to attack its own cells. It hits about one in five women affecting more than 35 million Americans.

Treatment of autoimmune symptoms requires a different approach than conventional medicine. Just taking a pill doesn’t address the root cause.

Pharmacist Dr. Izabella Wentz was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at age 27. It led to mono and Epstein-Barr virus in college, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, hair loss and carpal tunnel making life unbearable. Conventional synthetic hormone prescriptions were ineffective. She made it her life’s work to not only turn around her own health but help thousands of others. Her recent book, Hashimoto’s Protocol, was a recent #1 New York Times bestseller.

I’m excited for you to meet Dr. Wentz in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show. Join me in learning the symptoms of Hashimoto’s and about her unique protocol for reversing thyroid symptoms and autoimmune damage. Many of us have autoimmune issues beyond just the thyroid and a functional medicine approach can help us heal. I’ve been following a similar protocol for the past few years and find it has helped me immensely to regain my youth and climb mountains. It addresses our liver, adrenals, and gut. Healing protocols treat through nutrition, and stress and toxin reduction.

To healing our immune systems!

David

Episode 30 Dr. Daniel Amen

There are many facets of personal health, from diet and exercise, to blood sugar and heart strength. But one could argue that our brain health is paramount. Without a sound mind, we aren’t living whole. And this is one of our greatest fears! Yet, few of us know how to measure and improve our brain health.

When I took Dr. Daniel Amen’s Brain Fit Score, I was shocked to learn that I only scored 70 out of 100. And apparently, for better or worse, I have a brain type 9. Perhaps my low score was due to a concussion I had at age 12 when flying off an old race horse, or 10 years of tackle football compounded by those snowboarding backwards falls that seem to almost give me blackouts.

I obsess about my personal health data, measuring fasting blood sugar, blood ketones, sleep details, weight and resting heart rate each morning. I analyze the graphic fluctuations the way a Wall Street analyst studies stocks. My WKO4 Training Peaks cycling app has more measurements than we use to track climate change.

But what about my brain? I figure that a good diet, lots of rigorous HIIT workouts and my daily eight hours is enough. Perhaps you’re like me and take your most precious commodity for granted. Well, it’s time for us to WAKE UP and stop leaving brain health to autopilot.

I’m excited for you to meet Dr. Daniel Amen in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show. Join me in learning how to score and improve the health of our brains. Dr. Amen is the founder & CEO of Amen Clinics with over 25 years of operations, including more than 115,000 brain scans from 111 countries. He’s a trained psychiatrist and ten time New York Times bestselling author of 30 books, including Change your Brain, Change your Life.

To improving our brains!

David Gottfried
Host: Regen360 Podcast Show
Author: Explosion Green

PS: The mission of my Regen360 podcast show is to find active solutions that ignite progress and inspire transformation. Listen in and learn about how to improve your brain health with Dr. Daniel Amen. And if you’re digging my podcasts, please leave a review comment in iTunes and send me a note.

Episode 28 Kevin Gianni

As I age, I not only want to improve and sustain my health, increasingly I want to connect with those that inspire me and speak the truth, grounded in wisdom.

The essence of life is health. For me, it’s health of the planet, our home, and living and nonliving species, including us. What’s up for grabs though, is how we choose to live. This includes what we put into our mouths – is it fueling us or toxic?

I’ve been investigating how to optimally fuel my body the past year – focussing on a ketogenic diet [high fat, low carbs, moderate protein]. I’ve also done two fasts – one was five days and the other I lasted four. Each day I stab my finger for morning blood, measuring my fasting blood sugar and ketones. I measure my sleep index and body fat as well. I have a goal of 13%, given my 2-year obsession with cycling and having to pedal my body up the steep hills.

Finding the optimal food plan that fuels your body for optimal performance is tricky. Insulin plays a big part as do other hormones. These are influenced greatly by stress as well as sleep. Exercise helps us stabilize as does yoga and meditation. And of course, there’s getting rid of sugar, gluten and …

As a green building guy for the past 25 years, I’ve been amazed that us greenies work on making the planet more sustainable, but forget about the most basic structure to green: our own bodies. I used to call myself a fraud because I’d create LEED Platinum buildings all day long, but didn’t even know what a green life entailed, or if I was living one. But that’s a story for another time.

My good friend and colleague, Kevin Gianni, did something we’d all like to do, at least most of us. He and his wife, Annmarie, took off to travel the world, much of it in a 36-foot motorhome fueled by vegetable oil. They set off with an interesting quest: to discover: What — and how much — should we eat. As Kevin writes in his inspiring and hilarious book about the journey, Kale and Coffee, “I was an addict in search of the purest dope: raw, vegan, organic food… I was headed down a path of self-destruction.”

I’m excited for you to meet Kevin Gianni in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show. Our conversation is funny, honest, informative and inspiring. Kevin is one of the most genuine and authentic of anyone I’ve ever met. And I’m sure you’ll benefit and be humored by him as well.

To your best health!

David

PS: Kevin writes in his book, Kale and Coffee, “The reason we’re so confused about our own health is that the stories we’ve been told are a series of cuts, edits, and rewrites by the media, health gurus, companies, medical doctors, and researchers– in some cases, by total nutcases.”

Episode 27 Terry Wahls, MD

I often find that what can change someone most dramatically and alter their entire life is a personal health problem. Perhaps you’ve experienced this personally with yourself or a loved one.

Well, that happened to Dr. Terry Wahls in 2000 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Before then, she practiced traditional medicine, mostly treating her patients with drugs or surgical methods.

Her illness progressed to the point where she needed a tilt/recline wheelchair as conventional medical treatments failed her. Fearing that she’d be bedridden for the rest of her life, she used her scientific mind to find alternative treatments based on the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology.

This led to Dr. Wahls not only healing herself but her invention of The Wahl’s Protocol which details how she beat MS using paleo principles and functional medicine.

I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Wahls and share our engaging conversation about food as medicine and how we can heal ourselves without drugs and surgery. She is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa and New York Times bestselling author. Please join us in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show.

To your best health!