Taking Charge of Your Health

– Welcome, welcome, welcome to
this WHOLE Life Action Hour. This is Ocean Robbins and I
am thrilled you are with us! You know, one of the great
myths about natural medicines is that they’re not scientific
but the fact of the matter is that for most common illnesses, there is a greater support
in the medical literature for a natural approach than
there is for drugs or surgery. Natural approaches work with the body instead of fighting it. They favor natural compounds
over synthetic chemicals and they’re available to
everybody regardless of patents and lobbyists and insurance company dogma. Foods and herbs are at the
forefront of natural medicine and the natural medicine revolution and from altering the
expression of your DNA to controlling metabolism,
hormone balance, and helping you fight cancer, there is no doubt that plants offer some of the greatest hope
in curbing the tidal wave of chronic degenerative disease and optimizing your long-term health and with us today is one
of the foremost experts on this topic in the world today. Our focus is natural
medicine and we are here with Dr. Michael Murray. He’s a natural, naturopathic doctor who has dedicated his life
to educating physicians, patients, and the general public about the tremendous
healing power of nature. Dr. Murray has personally
collected over 65,000 articles from the scientific
literature and this provides strong evidence on the
effectiveness of diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs
and other natural measures in the maintenance and
health of, in the human body, and in the treatment of disease. Dr. Murray is a graduate, faculty member, and serves on the Board of
Regents of Bastyr University. It’s a non-profit private
university at the forefront of the natural health, arts and sciences. He has written 40 books
which have cumulative sales of over six million copies. He’s also written numerous
articles for major publications that have appeared on, and he’s appeared in hundreds
of radio and TV programs and lectured to hundreds of
thousands of people worldwide. Now I want to be very clear here: nothing we are discussing
today is medical advice. This is coaching and our own
best insights and wisdoms but as in all things, use your own best judgment and consult with a qualified
healthcare professional about your personal
medical needs and choices. With all that said, Michael, welcome. – Ocean, it’s a great pleasure. Anytime I get to speak with
you is always a great pleasure. – Well, we’re so happy
to be with you right now. Thank you for joining
us and taking the time and let’s jump right in here. I have a lot of questions
for you and so too do a lot of our WHOLE Life Club members and let me say this is, just for context, this is a WHOLE Life Action Hour. So this is a project of WHOLE Life Club, Food Revolution Network’s
ongoing membership community and a lot of our members have submitted questions in advance. That’s one of the things members get to do is to submit questions for
our monthly Action Hours and at the end we’ll talk a little bit about how you can join if you want to. So let’s jump right in here
with some questions I have and then we’ll get to
some of the questions from our members, okay? So first of all, what got you involved in the
field of natural medicine? How did this come to pass for you? – Oh wow, well, you know, most
people in our field, Ocean, have a really interesting story and there’s an innerstory
and an outerstory for me and I tell most people
kind of the outerstory but your audience is a little different. I think they, me telling
what really got me into natural medicine will
really resonate with them. I’ve really been blessed in, when I was around 19 I had
been struggling with my knee. I had a ruptured patellar tendon, I’d had surgery about
a year and a half prior and it just wasn’t responding and at the urging of my father, I went and saw a naturopathic physician and this doctor had helped
my dad with Bells Palsy. That’s the condition where
you lose the innervation to the muscles in your face
and this doctor, Ralph Weiss, had literally brought my
dad’s face back to life with some electroacupuncture and other physical therapy techniques and my dad thought it
might really be helpful for my knee and it was. It was a miracle for me and beyond that, it just really resonated
with something deep inside me and I felt quite guided that
this was my calling in life and the more I read
about nutrition and herbs and ways in which you
could improve your health through these natural measures, the more it really resonated within me and I knew that I wanted to
be a naturopathic physician and it’s just been a, it’s
been a great path for me, and I’m very thankful for it. What I’m most thankful about
is, you know, (chuckles) what it’s inspired in me and allowed me to touch other people and hopefully make a
difference in their lives, through it all, I’m just
filled with so much awe in the power of nature. We all have our greatest
devices here and — – Yeah. – I think this day in age
we’ve kind of lost sight of what is the greatest
technology in the universe and that technology is
nothing that man has created, that technology is nature and
the way in which we commune with nature in a really deep
profound way on a daily basis is through the food that we eat. I chose to title my latest
book The Magic of Food and what I wanted to do
there was really crystalize some of these really
wondrous ways in which food impacts our physiology, impacts our life, impacts our health, and I got the idea of
titling it The Magic of Food from a quote from Sir
Kenneth Clark, he said, he wrote 2001 Space Odyssey, he said that any sufficiently
advanced technology is indistinguishable
from magic and, you know, we’re just scratching the
surface in understanding how food works in our body. So it really is magical
and so what I try to do is explain the magic and
I think your audience, they love discovering the
way in which nature works to promote health and healing. So I’m thrilled to be here
and it was Sir Arthur Clarke. I don’t know why I said, Kenneth Clark is another
friend of mine. (laughs) Trying to give him credit for something. – It’s a great quote and there
is some fascinating place where science meets wonder
meets awe and, you know, when we truly, we have barely scratched
the surface of understanding how nature actually works. It’s so extraordinary and, you know, whatever your personal beliefs are about evolution or creation, I think we can all probably agree that there is something far
beyond human comprehension that is amazing going on in this world and so when we approach it
with curiosity and wonder, I think, as humble students, we become capable, I think, of harnessing the powers of
life more effectively for good. When we approach it with a kind of hubris and a kind of arrogance, as
humans are a little prone to do, sometimes we create
unintended consequences. I wanna ask you something
that one of our members asked about and it struck me
as a great place to enter here which is what is a naturopathic doctor? And how does that compare
to an allopathic doctor? How is it similar and how is it different and why did you choose to
go into the M.D. profession? – Right. A naturopathic medicine
is a system of medicine that’s based upon utilizing
nature as much as possible and focusing on the
prevention of disease foremost and then when disease is present, we’re trying to restore balance, not simply suppress the symptoms. Our primary goal in naturopathic medicine is to identify the underlying cause, the root cause of the condition and then remove the obstacles to a cure, and foremost we’re educating
and inspiring our patients and then utilizing all of the tools that we have to heal them. It differs from allopathic medicine which is the conventional
medicine in the U.S. right now and that form is really
more of a symptom approach and trying to treat disease
whereas naturopathic medicine is about promoting health and wellness. It’s just a different worldview. It’s very similar to what’s going on in psychology right now. You know, and psychology, for many years, it was a disease model,
putting a label on a disease, and with this advent of
the positive psychology and a more wellness-based model, they’re studying healthy
people and trying to emulate their psychology to
promote health and wellness and happiness and joy and
all those positive emotions and a much more common
experience for most people. So, yeah, I think it’s just
a difference in philosophy. One is a disease model, treating disease, the other is a promotion of health. – Got it, thank you for that. When you look at the
world of natural medicine and some of the plants
and natural approaches that are out there, are there a few that
really stand out to you, like wow, this is so important and it has not yet been adopted widely but it really, really should be? – (sighs) Oh man, you know, for me, Ocean, health is like the blind
man and the elephant. You know, where we can look
at one particular thing or one particular aspect of
health and make an argument that that’s the most important thing. – Yeah. – When you sit back and
look at the whole picture, you realize that they’re all
just a piece of the puzzle. It’s like we all are familiar
with our cars and (chuckles), you know, what’s the most
important part of the car? – (laughs) Yeah, the one that’s broken! – The one that’s broken, exactly, and so we’re very complex systems and I think the biggest thing
that I’ve learned in my career is that everything is inner-related and we have to pay attention to everything and I’ve got some wonderful patients, one of my favorite
patients was a gentleman that had a very rare genetic disorder. He was the longest lived
person ever with this condition and the dedication, the commitment, just the will to live and
this man was incredible and I asked him once, I said, it was heartbreaking to
watch his body deteriorate and yet he was still
fighting and I asked him, you know, why? And he told me, he says, “Mike, all I can do is all
I can do so why wouldn’t “I do all that I can do?” – Yeah. – And I’ve never forgotten
that and, you know, it’s humbling, you know, we, most of us, are really blessed in that we don’t have a major health obstacle to overcome. You know, most of the
health problems in America are self-induced. They’re fork-induced
(chuckles) or, you know, choice-induced and it’s sad
that people make bad choices and take their health for granted and you don’t really realize
how much people do that until you see somebody that’s really fighting something that, where their deck is stacked against them and here this person would
do anything to have lived a longer life and yet most
people throw away their lives with the choices that they make. – Yeah, absolutely. It’s so true and this life is so precious and it’s more vulnerable
than we tend to realize. They say everyone thinks
they’re gonna live forever until they realize they won’t, you know? And for a lot of people, by the time they realize how
mortal they are, it’s too late. The status quo has taken
its toll which is why we say an ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure, perhaps even more than a pound of cure. And along the way, there are
certain herbs and compounds that can really help us to
detoxify and clean up the mess and also help to revitalize us. So, I’m curious and since
you’ve made the study of herbs something of an art and
science in your life, what are some of the herbs
that you think could do the most good for the most people? – Well, I tell ya, I think we’re about ready
to hit a spice revolution. Spices have been at the forefront
of our culinary experience and you remember the
spice trade, you know, that’s really what led to
the discovery of America. I just don’t think that
spices, in general, have really reached their
highest level of appreciation. We’re starting to see it, right? We’re starting to see spices, you know, really led by the interest
in tumeric and curcumin, its active component, but ginger’s been around
a long, long time. I’m just shocked, you
know, when you look at the, I’m primarily a medical researcher. I collect information from
the medical literature and I try to digest it and put
it out in a way that really people can digest and understand
and apply in their life. There are over 100 double blind
placebo-controlled studies on ginger as a pain reliever
and anti-inflammatory compound. You know, ginger is easy to
incorporate into our diets. – Yes. – I like ginger shots. I mean, fresh ginger shots. I don’t think it gets much
more powerful than that but as you asked me that question, what herb is underutilized
or underappreciated, my mind quickly went to
ginger because I think, in America we have xenophilia. That means we love things that are exotic and sometimes things that
are common like the apple, we take for granted. – Yeah, yeah. – And I think ginger’s
kind of fallen into that and it’s such a powerful medicine. If you look at all the
different applications of use, not only for pain and inflammation, arthritis, migraine headaches,
et cetera, you know, it has great effects on reducing our risks for cardiovascular disease. It has significant anti-cancer effects. There’s as long a list of
applications for ginger as there is for its cousin tumeric but if you go to the grocery store, you can now get fresh tumeric root but compare the price to ginger root. – Yeah. – It’s much greater, you know, there’s, I think you could make
the argument that ginger is the more powerful of
the two but it’s certainly the lesser appreciated
of the two even though the clinical evidence for ginger as a food is much stronger than tumeric as a food. – Yeah. Well, partly because tumeric is, the curcumin in tumeric is
not particularly bio-available unless it’s combined with black pepper or, and/or some source of fat or
its processed in some way, it doesn’t necessarily have
its intended effect so, whereas with ginger you don’t necessarily need the accompanying
compounds for it to be potent. There have been some interesting
studies done on ginger and migraine headaches, actually, which is particularly interesting to me ’cause I have some friends who
are facing migraine headaches and they keep coming back
and the studies have shown that it was actually more
effective than any of the drugs available for migraines but without any negative side effects, only positive side effects. So there’s quite a bit of wonder to be found in nature’s pantry, in nature’s pharmacy, rather, I think. – Yeah. – Ginger’s a good one. Obviously, you mentioned
tumeric and, you know, it’s also potent but tell
me about another one! – I mean all those spices, you know, cinnamon, black pepper,
cardamon, you know, all those spices, I think, they’re gonna have their
day and I think that, that we need, in America, just a greater focus on
incorporating herbs and spices into our daily lives to
a much greater extent. – Yeah. – I devoted a full chapter
in The Magic of Food to that but yeah, I think we’re gonna
see that be the next wave. You know, Ocean, we see a lot of things in
the nutrition field that is, I think, we get these growing fads that really have very little
meat in terms of science or rationale behind them. There’s really strong
science with herbs and spices and so I think they have
not yet hit their day being factors to really
focus on in their health. You know, my God, are you kidding me? Do you think bone broth is gonna create the same sort of effects as (chuckles) some sort of curry soup
or, you know, it’s not. It doesn’t have the same
degree of medicinal components. It’s just not. – Yeah, yeah. – But yet it became a phenomenon, right? Well, we haven’t seen the
herb and spice phenomenon yet but thankfully with your help
it’s gonna help some day. – And with yours! One of the interesting
things about herbs and spices is that they add a lot
of flavor to our food and they tend to replace
some of the flavor we derive from sugar, salt and fat. So in America, we have made those the
cornerstones of our cuisine whereas in Italy maybe, it’s
basil and oregano and marjoram and in Mexico maybe it’s the
cilantro or in other places it’s the cardamon. In India, it’s the tumeric and the curries and all over the world it’s
ginger but in the U.S., it’s salt (laughs) and sugar
and oils and deep frying but when we add more spices and herbs and flavors to our food, then it actually tastes
better and more interesting and so it can tend to
replace some of the flavor we otherwise are deriving
from those other things and so I think that’s one
of the interesting things is how we can rewire our taste buds to enjoy those flavors more
and rewire our kitchen habits to utilize them more and I’ll tell ya, you gotta make friends
with our spice cabinet. Get to know those spices. If you’ve got something
that’s been in there for 10 or 20 years and
you’ve never used it, maybe it’s time to replace
it and start fresh. A lot of us have got some
cobwebs in our spice cabinet but get to know it, rotate it, make friends with what’s in
there, add some new flavors, and reap the benefits. – Oh that’s very well said. You know, we’re talking about
our love for nature basically when we’re talking about herbs and spices and I think it’s really, there are a lot of things I
think are really interesting about our taste buds. For example, there’s a few
examples I can think of, if we look at capsicum, red peppers, very prevalent along the Equator, well, studies have shown
that capsicum ingestion helps people tolerate higher temperatures and what’s interesting is
that when we start eating more red pepper, our desire to eat more spicy
food actually starts ramping up as well as our tolerance. – Yes. – I think it’s really interesting
’cause I think it’s nature is tempting us and then it’s
guiding us so that we have an increased consumption of
these beneficial compounds in red pepper. Dark chocolate is like that, too. If you can take the
(chuckles) someone who’s like loves white chocolate or milk chocolate and you can just start easing them up to a higher percentage of cacao in there, their taste buds will change. I mean, I can admit I
prefer nearly 100% cacao now and I love that bitter taste. Now, I’ve been eating dark
chocolate for many, many years but I think if you talk to people, they will talk about their
progression of tolerance and kind of desire to have
stronger chocolate over time. So I think nature’s trying to
guide us to healthier choices. – The same is true with vegetables. Taste buds change so, to some people who don’t
eat a lot of vegetables, perhaps some of the
people watching right now are in this camp, they taste bitter and — – Yeah, arugula. – Your saliva actually evolves
in relationship to them and produces proteins that
change the way that it tastes so that as you get more
comfortable with vegetables and as you eat more of them, they come to taste sweeter. – Yeah, you know,
arugula’s a great example. I mean, I grew up in a small
town in southern Oregon. We didn’t have arugula. You know, now you can, I’ve fallen in love
with these micro-greens. Do you know what I’m talking about? – [Ocean] Yeah, sure. – These little baby versions
of all of our vegetables and I think they’re, I think they’re higher
in nutritional profile and I think they’re much more flavorful. I made myself a salad yesterday
that was just phenomenal. Just a simple thing, I mean, it takes less than a couple of minutes now ’cause you have all these
nice packaged organic greens and I like these micro-greens
and I like, you know, I even got, I had daikon
radish sprouts, you know? So I’m adding all these
really powerful, you know, sprouts and micro-greens and
put some avocado in there and blueberries and some almonds. Oh my God, I tell you,
that was, and you know, I love eating things like
that ’cause I know it’s doing so much good for my body
but I’m telling you, that was, it’s such a
different experience now compared to what we had
available not too long ago. 20 years ago we didn’t have
that same sort of variety and as far as these micro-greens, I think it’s probably been
within the last five years we’re seeing the assortments
that we have now. – Absolutely and how wonderful
that the world is changing, in many ways in response
to consumer demand and consumer interest. You know the food industry
has made a lot of money selling us junk and I was
recently having the opportunity to meet with senior
executives from Coca-Cola and Mars and Nestle and
Unilever and some of the other major food corporations
and one of the things that I learned in those conversations which may sound obviously but I hadn’t really thought about it from their perspective
was that these companies were really trying to respond
to consumer demand and, in their experience, junk food sells if it’s
cheap and tasty, right? And they don’t stay up all
night trying to figure out how to poison our kids but they are responding to market demand and as they said to me, it won’t do any of us
any good if every company that tries to do the right
thing goes out of business, you know, because they’re
making food that’s too healthy for the consumer and suddenly
they lose market share and fall apart. So some of them are walking a fine line. Now I happen to think that
some of them are profiting off of the worst instincts of humans which is to say they’re
profiting off of addicting us to their products and
so I do have an ethical and moral problem with that. However, I recognize that they
are part of a larger system and we can’t just blame
them without taking some responsibility for
our own consumer choices and I recognize that as we
create a stronger marketplace for healthier foods, we’re shifting the way food is grown, the way it’s processed,
the way it’s marketed even, to establish new market
share for healthier options and I think that’s pretty exciting. – It’s awesome. I mean, you know, your dad and I have seen
a lot of the changes in our food supply since we embarked on our individual missions
of trying to improve the food that’s available
and the food choices that people are making. It’s just, we live in a
dichotomous world because, – [Ocean] Yes. – We’ve never had the availability
of these healthy foods that we do now. It’s fantastic but then we’re still, we’re in that (chuckles), that stage where people
are still, you know, stuck on making choices
that aren’t promoting health with their diet so it’s gonna change and I think it’s gonna change from within. You know what’s cool about
many of those executives and I’m sure that you’ve met some of the same people that I have, a lot of them are really well educated and many of them are very health conscious and they themselves would
never eat the products that they’re making. – Absolutely. I wanna shift to, we’ve got a lot of questions about people with some specific conditions, – Okay. – And, of course, we’re not
giving medical advice here but I would love to ask your insights on some of these topics. One person asked, and they
were anonymous, they said, “Are naturopathic therapies
effective for people “with hypothyroidism and, if so, “which ones have been proven
to be most successful?” Any comments on that? – Yeah, the most common
cause of hypothyroidism now, I mean before it could’ve
been iodine deficiency but now it’s an auto-immune condition, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and there’s a lot we
can do to prevent that but once that’s taken hold
and someone has developed hypothyroidism where, that’s a medical
condition where their body is just not making thyroid hormone, it’s analogous to a type one diabetic that is not making insulin. So we have to give that
type one diabetic insulin and we have to give that
person with hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone. It’s a natural therapy so, you know, hormone replacement therapy is
key to the medical treatment of hypothyroidism. We might be able to see some
improvements in mild cases through some dietary changes. The chief ones: making sure you have an
adequate intake of iodine and then trying to reduce
that auto immune process. You might see some
benefits in sub-clinical or mild hypothyroidism but, in most cases where a person
has a TSH above three, that means significant hypothyroidism. They generally need to be on a thyroid hormone replacement
therapy just like a diabetic, a type one diabetic, would need insulin. – Yeah, absolutely, got it. – It’s a naturopathic treatment. You’re giving the body the
tool it needs to be healthy and you’re giving it
something that’s natural. – Yeah, thank you. We had a question from
Marcel-ene who said, “I would love to eat 100% plant-based diet “but my IBS makes it very
difficult for me to digest “legumes and soy. “What are some of your
thoughts about how I might “overcome this challenge?” – Yeah, what we know about the
Irritable Bowel Syndrome now is it used to be kind of
a wastebasket diagnosis. If you had IBS, it’s because
they ruled out everything else. As far as what causes IBS, there are a number of different things it could be related to. I mean, there’s a strong
connection between our emotions and our mind and our gut. There’s a strong connection
between food intolerances and IBS but what they’re
finding out nowadays is that many people with IBS have small intestinal
bacterial overgrowth. They have an overgrowth of organisms in the small intestines. The small intestine is designed
to be relatively sterile ’cause that’s where we absorb the food, the nutrients from the food. The food should be digested
there and then we absorb it. If microorganisms infiltrate
the small intestine, they start getting to the
food before we have a chance to break it down or absorb it. So it creates a lot of gas, indigestion, and maybe pain, and alternating
constipation and diarrhea, things that we relate to
Irritable Bowel Syndrome. So, if a particular food is
identified as being problematic, in this case legumes, soy,
and lentils and other legumes, then a person may benefit by taking a, digestive enzymes that are
rich in alpha galactosidase. This enzyme breaks down some of the, basically fibers or sugars
that are in these legumes that are gas producing. So, again, if we break down food properly, we can eliminate a lot
of the gas, indigestion, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. So if he’s really committed
to a plant-based diet and is having some issues with these foods that he wants to include, then he can take these
digestive enzyme formulas that are rich in the alpha galactosidase. I work for Enzymedica. We’re the leading supplier
of digestive enzymes. We have, we have a
product called Digest Gold that is kind of the gold
standard in digestive enzymes but we have specific products for these isolated food
intolerances as well. – Yes, thank you for that. We heard from Harlon who said, “We have homocysteine levels of 13 to 15. “What is the concern
about elevated readings “and how does one lower them?” Harlon is saying, “All other blood results
are in the normal range.” – Yeah, homocysteine is a metabolite of the sulfur amino acids,
methionine and cysteine, and elevations, this compound
is associated with, basically, increasing our risk for
cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease, so we don’t want this floating around. Some people are prone to
elevations in homocysteine, and if this is a healthy person that’s doing everything right, getting a good intake of B
vitamins from their diet, they may be, there’s a, I
don’t know if your audience, if you’ve talked about
methylation disorders? There’s a genetic phenotype where people don’t methylate folic acid properly and that tends to lead to health
elevations in homocysteine. So these people need to take
a special form of folic acid called methylfolate,
5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or methylfolate. It turns out that about, oh, somewhere between five
and 20% of Caucasians have this methylation disorder. For some racial groups it’s much higher. Like in Mexicans, it’s up to about 50%. So Hispanics could be up to 50%. So there’s certain populations
where it’s really a problem. I don’t know Harlan’s
background but, you know, I would be concerned if
everything else was good and just this one lab value, I would suspect that he has that, that genotype that is linked
to higher homocysteine levels. So I would recommend
taking a methylated form of not only folic acid but
B-12 and there are a number of companies that offer those supplements and the dosage should
be at least, you know, 400 micrograms for the
folic acid and at least 200 to maybe even 400 micrograms
of the methyl B-12. – Thank you. You just used folic acid and
folate kind of interchangeably but I think it might
be good to distinguish. I think you’re talking about
folate in this case, right? – Yeah, yeah. You know, I’m getting nervous because, I think we’re gonna see a
major public health crisis come to light. Folic acid doesn’t exist
in nature and folic acid is the predominant form of
folate that’s being used for mass food fortification
and, for good reason, low levels of folate, or folic acid, are linked to neural tube defects. So there was this big push for
folic acid supplementation. The problem is is that some people don’t metabolize folic
acid very efficiently and folic acid may carry
some risks for these people including an increased risk
for cancer and, as I said, for certain racial groups, that
risk may be very, very high. So I don’t, I don’t think
(chuckles), you know, did you ever see the movie
The Jerk with Steve Martin? – I did not. – Okay, so I’m gonna, so anyway, he developed this little contraption that goes onto eyeglasses
so they wouldn’t fall down a person’s nose so it was
like a little contraption at the bridge of the eyeglass but then, so he made all this money but
then he started getting sued because people were going blind. So it seemed like a good idea at the time but it ended up being not a
good thing for a lot of people. – Yeah. – I think that’s what we’re
gonna see with folic acid. It’s not for everybody and there’s no, you know, we were talking
about the methylfolate that I recommended for Harlan to get that homocysteine level, I think that’s the safe way to go. If you don’t know, if you
haven’t had genetic tests to see if you are a poor methylater, I think, and you have an
elevation in homocysteine, I would highly recommend
using the methylfolate form. – Yeah, thank you for that insight. Colleen said, “I always hear doctors say “you must get food allergy
and intolerance testing done “if you have leaky gut
or auto immune issues “but I’ve had this done
and some of the foods “that came up on my test that I supposedly “should have no reaction to are the ones “that I do have reactions to. “Have you found these
tests to be reliable? “Also, if I am eating an all organic diet “but the foods they test
with are not organic, “would that make a
difference in the results?” – Yeah, you know, we
don’t have all the answers as to why sometimes people
seem to be reacting to foods that they shouldn’t be reacting to. I’ve always kind of held
the elimination diet with careful food reintroduction as kind of the gold standard. I was talking about
digestive enzymes earlier. In order for, like the classic example
is lactose intolerance. So lactose is milk sugar and if you don’t have the enzyme lactase to
break down that milk sugar, it can lead to gas, bloating, indigestion, and even diarrhea but
if you have that enzyme or you take it supplementally, then the body can break down that lactose and it causes no reaction. I think a lot of times
what happens in people that have food intolerances
and sensitivities is they have an inherent weakness
in their digestive system. Most of us have a weak
link of some sort and, for many people, it’s
their digestive system. Hippocrates, the father
of western medicine, probably said it well. He said, “All health begins in the gut.” He also said, “All disease
begins in the gut,” and we need to focus on not
so much the food sometimes with these people but how
they’re breaking down food. If we can help them break
down the food properly, then they can eliminate the
intolerance and break down the food properly so they
don’t develop antibodies to these food components
and trigger autoimmunity and what not. So what I’ve seen happen a lot, Ocean, is people go and see doctors
and they get tested for food, the food allergies or they
get put on some crazy diets and what happens is their
foods that they can tolerate just keeps getting reduced
and reduced and reduced until finally they
can’t tolerate anything, – Yeah. – Because they’re not treating the cause. The cause is not the food, the cause is their inability
to break down the food so let’s focus on how
we can improve digestion and we can use digestive
aids like hydrochloric acid, various digestive enzymes, various herbs. There’s ways in which we can
improve digestive function and help breakdown the food
so it doesn’t cause gas, bloating, indigestion, and even more serious health conditions. – Yes, thank you. Heidi said, “What foods are best to eat
to give me some energy?” I don’t think she means caffeine. Obviously, we all know
about that but what foods will give more sustained energy? – Yeah, that’s a really good question. You know, we were talking about, I’m gonna answer that question
but I’m just gonna talk a little bit about
biochemical individuality. One of my favorite studies was
a study that was looking at caffeine intake, or coffee intake, and cardiovascular disease. If you look at the literature, it’s mixed. Some studies show that coffee consumption causes high blood pressure
and heart attacks. Other studies show, no, it
actually is good for the heart and reduces the risk of
cardiovascular disease. So, researchers decided
to do a very good study where they asked the question, maybe it’s not the caffeine, maybe it’s the way someone
breaks down caffeine. So they divided people into groups: either slow metabolizers or caffeine or fast metabolizers of caffeine and I’ll just summarize the key finding. If someone was a fast
metabolizer of caffeine and they drank two to
four cups of coffee a day, they would reduce their risk
of having a heart attack or stroke by 27%. Now, if they were a slow
metabolizer of caffeine and they drank two to
four cups of coffee a day, they would actually increase
their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 250%. – [Ocean] Wow! – That’s amazing. So the reason, a lot of these
studies that show green tea and coffee are protective against cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease, a lot of them were done
in Asia and in Asia, about 90% of people are fast
metabolizers of caffeine. Now if you do a study
mainly in Caucasians, you’re not gonna show much of an effect because for every, if you have half, equal amount of people with being slow and fast metabolizers, the negative effects of
caffeine in a slow metabolizer are 10 times greater than
the beneficial effects in a fast metabolizer. So there’s gonna be
some interference there. So the bottom line that I’m
trying to illustrate here is that we’re all individuals and that a lot of the
conventional wisdom is based upon what we see in very large populations that don’t have any bearing on what’s good for you or me as individuals. So that’s a preface to
say that for many people, caffeine is actually a good thing. I prefer natural sources,
clean, organic coffee or clean, green tea. Those are great natural
sources of caffeine that can cause a boost in energy. If we look globally, just about every culture had
some sort of stimulant based beverage that they used on a daily basis as a way to boost their
energy level so I don’t think it’s a bad thing that people
who can handle caffeine. How do you know if you’re
a slow or fast metabolizer? The slow metabolizers know. They just don’t like it ’cause — – If they drink coffee after,
after three in the afternoon, they’re up all night. – Yeah, yeah, and even
sometimes they can’t tolerate even any caffeine. Sometimes they’re so sensitive,
decaf is an issue for ’em. – Yeah. – You know, and so those people, and it’s Heidi that asked the question, I don’t know, she may not, one of the problems with regular, frequent caffeine consumption particularly in slow metabolizers is, they did this, they’ve done these
studies in mice and rats where they gave them
habitual consumption amounts of caffeine and they showed over time that their energy levels, their ability to swim for
longer periods of time, their swimming time just kept going down. So, you know, I think sometimes we need to
reset our caffeine tolerance but some things, things that I like, I think you, it really
starts with breakfast. I think sometimes our
breakfast choices are really not conducive for having energy levels, higher energy levels throughout the day. For some people, if they
have oatmeal, for example, in the morning, a complex carbohydrate, that complex carbohydrate,
that will lead to, what happens when we eat carbohydrates is that insulin’s released
and it forces our muscles to uptake not only glucose
but amino acids that compete with tryptophan for
transfer into the brain. So when we eat a carbohydrate, our levels of tryptophan
availability for transport into the brain goes up really high and so people will have
some sort of carbohydrate in the morning for breakfast
and they’ll be tired. They’ll be tired throughout the whole day. They may be better off using
or eating a higher fat meal or a higher protein meal for breakfast as opposed to a higher carbohydrate. So I find that blood
sugar control is a big key in many people’s energy
levels and so staying away from foods that are gonna
cause a spike in blood sugar is really a good idea
for higher energy levels. – Yeah. Absolutely. There’s a third option. You know what I had for
breakfast this morning? Steamed collards. – [Michael] What’d you have? – (laughs) Call me
weird, but I enjoyed it. – What’d you have? – [Ocean] I had steamed
collards for breakfast. – Oh, steamed collards! Yeah. – A little unusual, I know. It doesn’t fit on the
typical breakfast menu but when you love vegetables,
the more the better, pretty much, right? – I love traveling through
even Europe but, you know, if you travel through Asia and you’re staying at a nice hotel and you eat at the buffet, oh man, it’s fantastic and
it’s just such an array of different types of foods
than what we would consider breakfast foods and, you know, I might have a bowl of
bok choy soup or whatever and so, yeah, not a bad choice. – (chuckles) Cool, thank you. We’ve got lots of questions so let’s see how kind of rapid fire we can get through a bunch of them here. – I’ll keep the answers short then. – Alrighty, so Bea said, “Do you know anything
about amino acid therapy “for Parkinson’s Disease?” – Well, with Parkinson’s
Disease, right now, the drug of choice is Sinemet
and this is a dopamine amino acid based therapy. So if you eat a high protein diet, it actually interferes
with this drug being able to work effectively. So using essential amino
acids as supplements and then going on a low
protein diet helps that drug work better and produces
better clinical response in patients with Parkinson’s Disease so I support that 100%. – Thank you. Sally said, “Everywhere
I turn I hear warnings “about the dangers of dairy,” but she’s asking whether raw versus pasteurized is significant, whether how the animals
are raised is significant, whether goat and sheep
dairy is different than cow and generally and also plant-based and wanting some insight
around these distinctions. What’s your take? – Wow. (chuckles) You know, I’m gonna share
some personal opinions. I pretty much stayed away
from dairy most of my life and a couple of years ago,
maybe three years ago, I was in Sicily and I went down and they had a breakfast
buffet, (chuckles) again, I love their breakfast buffets, and they had about 20
different types of cheeses and all sorts of artisan cheeses and so I sampled a little
bit of many of these and I was like, oh my God, we don’t have anything
like this in America. We do but not to the variety
and volume that they do there. I mean, we’re stuck, when you’re looking at what’s available as far as cheese goes for most Americans, it’s really sad compared to
all the varieties they have, Italy has the highest per
capita consumption of cheese in the world and they
have a great variety. I think there was, my
gut tells me (chuckles), you know, if we look at the, everyone’s focusing on
the microbiome these days and we kind of got the idea
that people are only able to improve their microbiome
through fermented foods and through probiotics but, you know, if we look at historically
really powerful ways in which people probably had
their microbiome affected, it was probably through cheese consumption and I think there will be
a greater appreciation for, I don’t know, the consciously, would we say consciously produced cheeses? I don’t think the mass
produced cheeses in the U.S. are probably healthy but I
do think that artisan cheeses and maybe alternative milk
sources, sheep and goat, they maybe have some better attributes. Yeah. I’m still not a big
cheese eater but I gained an appreciation and something tells me that there maybe something
to cheese consumption having beneficial effects on our health. – It could be. There isn’t a lot of data
for it but that’s also because the studies have been done on what most dairy products
are which is, you know, from animals that live in abject misery and are not eating their natural diet or living in natural ways and their calves are ripped away from them
at birth and, you know, they’re not treated too well. Many of them live on
concrete their whole lives but it may well be that
grass fed cows that live in a natural setting and are treated well, that their milk is
fermented in certain ways, it may be a totally different thing. What, you know, I think that, because we don’t have the data, we have our own instincts. I tend to prefer not
to consume dairy myself because humans are the only species that consumes the milk of another species or consumes any milk after
infancy and so it seems like a somewhat acquired
taste functionally speaking but not particularly natural, although we have co-evolved with cows for some thousands of years now but in the arc of human history, it hasn’t really been a
part of the human experience for all that long. So, I’m cautious about
it and I’m concerned about the way that the cows are treated and about the environmental impacts of it but I think the jury’s probably still out on the health impacts of dairy from cows that are treated right. – Yeah, I agree. I agree with that 100%. – Yeah, Sally also said, “I’m concerned about the
amount of almond milk “consumed in our country
because almonds are so thirsty “and so many are coming from California,” and I’ll actually touch on that ’cause we ran an article on this recently. – Oh good! – 90% of the world’s almonds
are grown in one state of the United States, which is California, and they do use about 10% of
the state’s water actually. – Yeah. – So it’s significant, however, when you compare
the amount of water it takes to produce
dairy milk to the amount that’s used to produce almond milk, it’s about the same actually per gallon and so anybody who chooses
to askew almond milk for dairy milk is not doing
the environment any good turn but we can certainly
look at growing almonds in other places I think and
that wouldn’t be a bad idea for humanity to look at but
I think almonds are, overall, beneficial and there’s a lot
of wonderful things about them. So I haven’t turned away from them but I recognize everything
comes with its trade-offs. – I think these plant milks
are very, very interesting. You know, we’re seeing all
sorts of different variants and there’s all sorts
of different techniques in producing them and they have different
nutritional profiles. What I love seeing, Ocean, is that we have more
palatable choices today than ever before. I mean, trust me, the, the soy milks, rice milks, nut milks that were available 10 years ago weren’t as good as they are today. So we’re seeing improvements
and I think that’s all good. – I think so too. We had a question from Linda who said, “I’m taking 2500 micrograms
of methyl B-12 daily “but MCV 97.5, MCHC 32.1,
suggests malabsorption. “Could it be the vitamin
C taken right after “or something else? “Any suggestions?” – It could be something else. The MCV, that’s telling us the size and 97.5’s not all that bad. Folic acid is also required
for those red blood cells to divide properly so it
may not be just the B-12. Anyone on a vegan diet needs
to be taking supplemental B-12 and I recommend the methyl
form, the methyl B-12. I think that’s a real advantage and it may not be a bad
idea for people to be, with a vegetarian diet, you’re getting very good
levels of natural folic usually but if someone is showing, like Harlan had the elevated homocysteine and now we have an elevation in MCV, I would opt to supplement
with that methyl B folate, along with the B-12, 400
micrograms would be sufficient. – Got it, thank you. Elizabeth said, “I’m very
confused about lectins. “I heard a doctor talk
about the harm they cause “in the body and that they’re
found in so many foods “like legumes and night shades. “Would you address this issue?” – Yeah, I’m laughing because I don’t think it’s much of an issue, I think
it’s a tempest in a teapot. I think the issue’s, first of all, lectins are compounds that
are deactivated by heating and within our gastrointestinal tract. There’s no evidence that
lectins are ever absorbed into our body. So a lot of the fear campaign
against lectins just, it doesn’t stand up to
scientific scrutiny. I think if you look globally, areas where they have a high legume diet, generally we see a very healthy population so I think it’s a problem
and a lot of times, people with blood sugar
issues are being told to stay away from legumes
and legumes, I think, they’re really a great food
for most people with diabetes. We can always have someone
check their blood sugar before or after any food
to see what the impact is but there’s a lot of
good data, clinical data, showing a higher legume
intake is very helpful in controlling blood sugar levels. So I just think it’s a, I think, and you may have a different opinion on it but I think it’s misguided enthusiasm. I think some people may have some issues with some of these foods but I don’t think it’s due to the lectins. – Yes, I’m inclined to agree. Dr. Steven Gundry has made
quite a bit of a book sale activity and supplement
sale activity off of, essentially, vilifying some of the foods that study after study is telling us are beneficial for most people. Obviously, there’s no
one size fits all thing that’s true about everybody
but he’s sort of blaming our health crisis on legumes
and tomatoes and nightshades and there’ve studies seem
to say that most people do better eating more of those foods and he’s not pointing out, you know, I kind of think sugar and processed meats have a little something to
do with our health crisis but for some reason he’s
turning it in another direction and that concerns me. I don’t think most people
need to be scared of lectins. – Yeah, what they need to
be afraid of (chuckles), I don’t wanna spread fear but I just wanna get this point across, the greatest threat to human health today is not sugar or viruses
or anything like that, it’s this ever increasing
environmental load of toxic chemicals that we’re
dumping on our food supply and you can make a stronger
case that the epidemics that we’re seeing in diabetes,
obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, and cancer are more related
to these environmental toxins than you can for any dietary factors. So we need to be
vilifying the right things and not the wrong things and yeah, I mean, we can make, one man’s food
is another man’s poison, that’s true, but we need to focus on the bigger issues like you all have been doing
for kind of the inception of the Food Revolution. It’s just great. It’s just been great
just to see the growth of that movement and because it’s been, it’s been mindful and
thoughtful and it keeps focus on the bigger issues that
need to be addressed. – Absolutely. Well, thank you for that and we’re certainly in this together. I’ve got a few more
questions I would love to see if we can get to and I
know we’re nearing the end of our time here. Patricia asked about calcium
derived from red marine algae, asking if that is effective
at 1,000 milligrams per day and also are there any
other natural supplements besides magnesium that are beneficial for promoting bone density. – Yeah, bone density,
there are a lot of things that can help promote bone density. I think, again, it’s
sometimes more important of what we avoid and, you know,
staying away from the things that rob our bones: sugar, salt, (chuckles)
phosphates from sodas. That’s all really important
to stay away from. There’s a lot of research
right now on vitamin K2. This is an active form of
vitamin K that anchors calcium in our, into our bones, so it’s not just a matter
of supplementing calcium and if you look at the data, the data on calcium supplementation alone isn’t very compelling for
prevention of osteoporosis and there’s some issues
with calcium supplementation and particularly if it
doesn’t also have vitamin K2. So I think K2 is really a
key, a key nutrient for that, a healthy bone. – Thank you. Two more questions. So we have Bonnie asking, saying your recipes in the
Whole Life Club are awesome. Thank you. Thank you, Bonnie, that’s great to hear. “My question to Dr. Murray is this: “I’ve been seeing an
integrative medical team “since January for
microscopic colitis and sibo. “They practically promised “they would help me back to health. “Eight months later I
find that not so the case. “What’s the difference “between integrative and naturopathic?” – Yeah, integrative is
generally medical doctors that are integrating
some natural approaches. I, (sighs) I think there’s,
there’s a fad treatment of sibo. You know, we’ve seen this
entity kind of parade itself under different labels over the decades, chronic candidiasis and before
that, hypoglycemia, whatever, and I’ve seen people really
get messed up by following some of these dietary
treatments and you know what? The most common first
step dietary treatment is a FODMAP diet. So this, basically you’re
telling people to stay away from all these great foods that, there are some things on FODMAP, sugar and whatnot that
you just get rid of, but basically anything
that has a prebiotic effect is being told for people to stay away from and the problem in sibo,
there’s several problems, but we have to restore the microbiome and we’re not giving it any food. – Yeah. – And so what happens is that the, these, they throw antibiotics at it, I don’t know all the
treatments that she’s had. I’ve written extensively on this. There’s information if
she goes to my website,, and just goes to the
search and types in sibo, I’ve written some recent
articles on what I feel is a more rational approach
to sibo which is using, the strategy is to kind of
reinforce what natural measures we have in our intestinal tract that keeps that small intestine sterile and then we want to feed that microbiome in a way that, that promotes health. I don’t know if you’re, if you’ve heard this from a
lot of people on the keto diet, Ocean, but you know a lot of
people are following this fad of eating either paleo or keto and what I’m (chuckles) seeing is that they’re suffering
from more and more intestinal issues and I wrote an article, my latest newsletter, actually my latest
newsletter was on blueberries being effective in osteoarthritis but the one before that I wrote about what I think’ll be kind of
the next probiotic super star. It’s not available as a
probiotic through advances and understanding what’s growing in our intestinal microbiome through improved DNA
sequencing and whatnot. We now have an awareness that
there are all these organisms that are really, really
important and one of them is called Akkermansia muciniphila and if you’re on a keto diet, it’s death to the level
of this critical component of our microbiome. It’s given that name muciniphila
because it loves our mucin and it helps our
intestinal cells make mucin and offer a protective barrier. If you don’t have Akkermansia muciniphila, you don’t have a protective barrier. If you don’t have a protective barrier, you’ve got leaky gut. If you don’t have Akkermansia muciniphila, you increase your risk
for diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease. So it’s a very important organism. We need to feed it, not
starve it out of our body, and that’s what a lot of people are doing through the dietary choices
that they’re making for sibo. So go to my website,, do a search for small
intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or sibo, and you’ll see
some of my recommendations and I think those recommendations
will serve you better than what you’ve been on for eight months. – Thank you and that’s
doctor, D-O-C-T-O-R, Murray, M-U-R-R-A-Y, dot com. Last question from Robin says, “I’m taking supplements,
vitamins, and minerals “based on nutritional
deficiency test results “and I noticed when I went
to the bathroom number one, “it shows bright yellow “and also my bowel movement shift as well. “It doesn’t feel like the
right kind of bowel movement. “I wonder if this has anything
to do with the supplements “I am taking and I’m
curious whether it matters “where I get supplements from. “There are more expensive,
higher quality supplements, “perhaps, in health food
stores or is it better “to take cheaper ones? “Any thoughts and might this be connected “to the color of the urine?” – Yeah, you always kind
of get what you pay for. I like the mission of
many of the companies in the health food industry. It’s changed a bit. I mean, it’s commercialized. A lot of the original
entrepreneurs and kind of zealots that got into the health
food industry sold out but there’s still a lot of good companies and so I encourage people
to get into their local health food store and get
on a good quality multiple. The yellow color is most
often due to riboflavin which is a B vitamin. Just because you take it
and your urine turns yellow doesn’t mean that you didn’t absorb it, it meant that you probably absorbed it, your body was full and it
just got rid of the excess. So it’s doing it’s job. Don’t worry about that
fluorescent yellow urine. It’s not expensive urine. It’s good healthy urine. – Yeah, thank you. Alright, well, we’re
nearing the end of our time. I wanna thank you so much for your wisdom and your decades of research,
your 65,000 articles, that you’ve researched
and for your 40 books and your care for human beings and health and what’s possible
for us to truly thrive. You are a pillar and a source of wisdom that’s deeply needed in these times and I thank you for really
combining the insights of science and the scientific method with understanding nature
and the wonders of nature and the magic of food. You are really an expression
of the integrative approach to health and healing
and we thank you so much for joining us and I
wanna also let everybody who’s with us right now
know that this is a project of Whole Life Club. Welcoming, excuse me, Whole Life is welcoming healthy organic lifestyle empowerment, or
WHOLE, it’s an acronym, and we have a monthly Action Hour. We have recipes, delicious, fabulous, whole foods plant powered
recipes, five new ones every week, an incredible membership community, the opportunity to ask the questions and get the transcripts from
Action Hours like this one and all of the bank of
almost 20 we’ve done so far and this is all available
to you when you join WHOLE Life Club. So you can check it out. There’s a link on the
page next to this video or you can go to W-L-C, which
stands for WHOLE Life Club, to join in today. So go ahead and check it out. If you’re interested, we’d love to welcome
you into this community. It’s all about helping us to
live this day in and day out, week in and week out,
month in and month out, because at the end of the day, it’s not what you do for a day or a week or a month that matters, it’s what you do for
the whole of your life and that’s what this is,
is a whole life journey. So, again, thank you to all
of our WHOLE Life Club members and all the folks who are joining us today who are perhaps not yet
members and thank you so much to Dr. Murray for your
brilliant leadership and wisdom. It’s been a pleasure to
share this time with you. – Thank you. – [Ocean] When it comes
to cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease,
and other chronic illness, what really matters isn’t
how many books you read, how many webinars you
attend or how much you know. What really matters at the end of the day is what you eat and how you live. The science has given
us what we need to know. Now, it’s time for action. It’s time to implement and
optimize your healthy lifestyle. It’s time to get results. It’s time to say goodbye to confusion and hello to clarity. It’s time to say goodbye to bad habits and hello to good ones. It’s time to fall in love
with foods that love you back. It’s time to join in a
community that will support you in achieving your goals. It’s time for WHOLE Life Club. Click the link to find out
more and to join in now.

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