Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about battling infections and how to increase or supplement amino acid levels in this podcast episode. Learn about the different types of protein powders and which one is the best for you.
Listen to the explanation of why some parasites are not detected initially but during re-test, they are found. Discover the importance of getting food high quality protein in your diet in and what changes you can do to your diet to make sure you’re eating healthy. Find out what amino acids are, how they function and what they are meant to do for your body. They also discuss pesticides and just how harmful they truly are. Also get a healthy dose of information on collagen when you listen to this interview.
In this episode, topics include:
1:00 Re-testing infections and parasites
3:50 Amino acids and markers
17:39 Treatment options and types of protein
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ladies and germs, it’s Dr. J here. Evan, what’s going on?
Evan Brand: How’s it goin’?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice little Monday here—nice little Monday, kinda getting off a nice weekend. We’re supposed to go on the boat this Saturday. Again, Lake Austin has been closed down for a month because of the torrential rains down here in Austin and it rained on Saturday when we’re supposed to go out, so haven’t been on the water for a while so I’m itchin’ to go get back out this weekend hopefully.
Evan Brand: Wow, yeah, and I’ve been mostly with this baby so we’ve gone out to the park a couple of times, but it’s been pretty brutal here. We’ve had like heat advisories and all of that, so it’s been a—a hot start to the summer so far.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow, well, I imagine everything’s probably going pretty good on the fatherhood side?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a wonderful feeling.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. Good for you. Exciting.
Evan Brand: Thanks.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, what’s on your agenda? Any great stories for the week here with patients you wanna mention at all?
Evan Brand: Well, stories are—it seems like whether it’s—maybe this is biased observation because more people have symptoms but parasites are popping up just left and right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And it just seems like I was seeing them once a week and then twice a week and then now it’s like 3, 4, 5 times a week and Blasto is the number one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Number one.
Evan Brand: Most common.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I saw about 4 or 5 people last week with Blasto as well. I’m also seeing a lot of people coming back and maybe you’ve seen this, too. But there’s this hyperplasia phenomenon which we’ll talk about in a second, where we’re treating patients, let’s say for H. pylori, we treat H. pylori, we eradicate it, symptoms improve, and then we re-test and new infection now comes to the surface.
Evan Brand: How do you explain that?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, what I typically tell patients is, the gut typically heals from the inside out, right? It heals from the inner—inner gut lining to the outer gut wall, so infections that are burrowed in deeper into the gut wall may not show up and—and infections that are close to the gut surface where the food lies may show up first on the stool test so typically, let’s say, H. pylori comes back or let’s say Blasto comes back, it’s possible that on re-test those infections are gone and because the gut heals from inside, into the inner wall, that those infections can now come to the surface because there hiding in the crypts, the crypts of Lieberkühn in the small intestine. I think it now comes to the surface and now we can register them and it makes sense, too, because if someone’s got like 4 or 5 infections, they may get 20-25% better after each infection’s eradicated, so we gotta just kinda keep an eye on that, and I always like to manage patient’s expectation and let them know, “Hey, we may have a new infection on this re-test, just kinda keep that in mind, and that could be another reason why you’re not 100% better yet if that is the case.”
Evan Brand: Yeah, I actually saw that. I think that was 3 or 4 weeks ago. A lady that had H. pylori and on the re-test it was gone but then she had Blasto, and it was like, “Whoa! Have you done anything new? Have you eaten new food?” So you necessarily don’t have to have new exposures.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: It’s already in there. It’s just not registering.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, the infection probably just wasn’t coming to the surface enough. That wasn’t enough for that antigen or for leaving DNA enough for the PCR to register, so you just gotta keep that in mind. And what test came up with that?
Evan Brand: That was 401H.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you’re catching a lot more. That’s a—a stool antigen so you know that’s there 100%.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that’s—that’s good. I mean, typically a second round of herbs is gonna be needed and I typically tell people that have had chronic gut issues, you know, more than a year or so, they probably are gonna need multiple rounds, at least 2 rounds of herbals, if not more based on what infections come back.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I think a lot of patients get freaked when we re-test and there’s a new infection, because they’re like, “Did I just get it?” And a lot of times that’s probably not the case. It’s probably something that are always there and just finally registered on the radar screen.
Evan Brand: That’s amazing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, on that note, I know we were talking about seeing people with these infections having malabsorption and seeing lower amino acid levels and we use the organic acids test or the OAT to kind of get a window into these protein levels. Now we can use clinical signs and symptoms, like you know, dry skin that can mean protein or fat, hair issues, common is fingernail issues, so if we see vertical ridging in the fingernails that can easily mean protein issues, low hydrochloric acid, malabsorption of amino acids so that’s a good clinical sign. On top of that we use the organic acids test. Well, we’ll see certain markers such as aconitate, cis-aconitate. We’ll see L-lactate. We’ll see pyroglutamate. We’ll see other amino acids like brain amino acids like picolinate or low vanilmandelate or 5-hydroxyindoleacetate. I know these are all big—you know, $64,000 words so to speak, but these are markers we see on these tests. Now you don’t have to know what they are. You just have to know that they correlate to protein and amino acids and then the question is, what do we do next?
Evan Brand: Right, so the body can make all but 9 of about 20 amino acids. So 9 amino acids are essential.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Because you can only get those through diet. So people have probably of them, that’s the histidine, the leucines, the isoleucines, the tryptophan, valines, etc.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Proline.
Evan Brand: And yeah, and people can supplement with those or you can supplement with even more, just the board spectrum and so today, you mentioned, “Hey, let’s talk about protein powders because that’s a really good source for people to get all of their amino acids assuming it’s good quality protein source and if you have a parasite infection or some type of compromised digestion, then this is gonna be the easy way to get these nutrients in because we’re not having to rely on your good digestion.” Eventually, hopefully, the gut will be healthy enough when we’re supporting you with enzymes and HCl if you’re—if you can tolerate it to where you’re actually gonna be using your bison, your lamb, your elk, whatever meats you like—those are my favorites—and you can turn those into amino acids. But with me, I had the vertical ridges and you saw my nails.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: And that’s when I showed up with those infections so I’ve been there, done that, in terms of seeing actually how this stuff affects you and it is real and there’s a palpable change when you start working through things and you start feeling the dimmer switch come back on, meaning that those amino acids are actually doing something.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%! By the way, have you re-tested your infections yet?
Evan Brand: I haven’t. I have the 401H here and I was waiting for the GI map to arrive which it just did so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great.
Evan Brand: So I’m gonna be doing the 401 and then we’ll do the GI map at the same time and see what happens. I’ll let you know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. I’m waiting on bated breath, Evan.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Very cool. So let’s kinda go over the philosophy of amino acids and protein powders or extra protein support. So obviously we want diet to be number one. That’s kind of the big one. We wanna make sure we’re eating good high quality proteins, fats, the right amount of carbohydrates, typically a combination of non-starchy vegs, fruits and roots, and then good seasonings or minerals on top of that. Now when people have gut issues they may have malabsorption or compromised ability to break down these proteins into amino acids that can be absorbed. So imagine like you get this big pearl necklace, right? Your body has to basically break each pearl off, that’s an amino acid—each pearl is an amino acid—so imagine ripping through and breaking each pearl off that necklace, and imagine like if your fingers are really sore, if you have blisters all over them, it’s gonna be really tough to break each pearl off that necklace. So we wanna make sure we add in hydrochloric acid and enzymes because that will aid our ability in cleaving and breaking these amino acids down. Number one. So we wanna maximize that, but we know because the digestive system is impaired, we can’t just eat more protein. That’s just giving the body more work a lot of times, so we do the best that we can on the diet side to provide the protein but then next is hydrochloric acid. Once we’ve checked that off our list, adding in either freeform amino acids and/or protein powder can be helpful because it’s already broken down or hydrolyzed into its constituents so the body can just take it in and doesn’t have to go through all the effort. It’s like someone coming by with scissors and breaking the pearl necklace up for you versus you having to break it up with your hands.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a great way to—to visualize that. There’s actually an article that I was just looking at this morning about O—Obama and people may think that digestion is just an issue that happens if you have infections or if you have some type of like bacterial overgrowth but I mean, emotional stress like being the president, I would assume that’s incredibly stressful. This article—it was from USA Today, it was when Obama went to the doctor because he had a sore throat—and I’ll send it to you Justin—and they ended up doing a CT scan on him because they thought there was some type of inflammation going on, this—or it actually was a CAT scan, it showed up normal and so then the doctor ended up just putting him on Nexium.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, gosh!
Evan Brand: And said that his sore throat was likely due to acid reflux. So–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It just shows everyone listening here, just because you’re the president or something like a famous movie star or whatever, it doesn’t mean you have access to the most cutting-edge of healthcare. He probably has the most cutting-edge healthcare in the conventional medical world, which is great. Awesome for trauma and acute injuries, not the best for life-long, chronic, degenerative type of illnesses. That’s where functional medicine really takes the cake on that, but it just shows you, even someone at that highest level may still not get the care that he needs.
Evan Brand: Yup, absolutely. So I sent you one article, that wasn’t the exact one I saw but it—it was just talking about how his doctor gave him a clean bill of health and then he just gave him a Nexium prescription. So here we are, back to PPIs. If you people haven’t listened to that episode, I think we dominated that—that conversation. What was that last week?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we dominated it last week and it’ll be, I mean we’re about a month ahead of everyone listening live, so I got a lot of good podcasts in store—but it just shows you, right? We went over the vicious, downward spiral of these proton pump inhibitors because then you have malabsorption of protein which then may affect mood because your neurotransmitters are made from protein and then we have minerals that are really important for relaxation. Well, then there’s your prescription for a Xanax or benzodiazepine. Also there may also increase your chance of osteoporosis, so there’s your Boniva.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Prescription, and then it may also affect your cholesterol and fats for choles—for your hormone precursors and then there’s your low libido and your Viagra or your Cialis. So you can see how this downward cycle really goes fast.
Evan Brand: It does.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then we know that each medication has side effects and those side effects may cause the need for more medication. So you can see it’s pretty scary the world that you—you live in when you just get thrown on whack a mole of drugs for symptoms and we know like there are side effects but really, when it comes to anything, there are just effects.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There are effects. Some are good, some are bad. And in the drug world, you can see that, you know, you don’t—it doesn’t take much. Just listen to a drug commercial. You got the auctioneer coming out, listing out all the side effects, so we know there’s a good chance that if you’re on one of these meds, a side effect will pop up and you’ll be playing the whack a mole kind of thing to help knock it back down.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so the point, and actually this piggyback is really nice. The point we’re trying to make here is that if you’re starting with a compromised gut, whether it is infections, bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, candida, yeast problem, or you are on a PPI for example or you have a history of a PPI, then your amino acids are not going to be absorbing. You’re not gonna be taking those from your food and those amino acids are helpful for—they’re the building blocks of protein. So if you’re trying to build muscle, good luck. If you’re trying to have a healthy, stable mood and you’re trying to create neurotransmitters, that’s gonna be difficult, too. So really, this is perfect conversation. If you didn’t listen to the PPI episode that really does piggyback on this, because at the root of everything, it’s where big bags of fluids and hormones and amino acids that—that make up—they pretty much run the show, wouldn’t you say?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%! And the more stress we’re in, the more catabolic we get. And what catabolism is or being catabolic is breaking down faster than we’re building up. Now when we start breaking down though, guess what tissue the body expends first?
Evan Brand: It’s gonna be muscle tissue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The muscle, it’s the most metabolically active compound. It’s the hardest to maintain, right? So it’s like if you’re trying to go when you’re trying to save money, the first thing you may go to is you may knock down the A/C. I mean, you may knock it out from, you know, 75 to 78, because that’s the first easiest place to save money. Well, it’s like that with your body. Your body is gonna try to save energy and the first place it will go when it’s stressed, it will knock up amino acids and it will break it down into glucose to run your metabolic pathways via sugar. So not the best situation to be in. So number one, we wanna get the sympathetic stress kinda dialed in which, you know, we’re not gonna go into, we’d—we’d done 100 episodes. I’ve done hundreds of videos on this stuff. Get the sympathetics in check with diet, a healthy Pal—Paleo template, sleep, stabilizing blood sugar, a healthy amount of movement, good, clean water and avoiding pesticides and chemicals in your food, and managing in your emotions whether it’s with EFT or meditation, or visualization or gratitude, manage your emotions from that perspective. Once you have that dialed in, that’s where functional medicine just really does a great job in kinda sprouting up and getting to solutions, so on that note, the big—go ahead.
Evan Brand: I was just gonna say, so you’re saying here once again, first things first, is stress. That’s the undertone for all of the episodes. So the healthy adrenals, you’ve kinda alluded to, nourishing that parasympathetic mode that you’re really designed for. You’re really designed to be sitting under from trees, by some running water with the sounds of birds around you pretty much every day, all day–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Until you decide, okay, it’s time to go hunt a bison and then you go hunt for however long and then you eat and then you’re back with your tribe again. So anytime that you’re stuck in the modern world and you’re doing something that doesn’t feel right, it’s probably a modern activity, maybe you’re not built for it. But if you could change your response to that; I’m sitting in traffic, this sucks or oh I’m sitting in traffic, I’m just gonna listen to this podcast instead, maybe that’s how you can pull yourself out of the sympathetic and try to at least somewhat turn that parasympathetic balance back on.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And obviously that will be our podcast they should be listening to, right?
Evan Brand: Hopefully so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course, of course.
Evan Brand: At least one of them in the queue.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Definitely in the queue. So on that note, you really touched upon some good things. So like after this podcast, I’m gonna go do a video, it’s on my board, ready to go. I’m gonna meditate for 10 minutes and then I got 4 or 5 hours or patients. So like I’m trying to like—I’m trying to practice, you know, what I preach as well. It’s tough. You gotta schedule it in. You gotta literally put it on your calendar. It gets really hard. If you have your schedule, your to-do list, and those things aren’t on there, they always tend to get sacrificed.
Evan Brand: Yup. You and I are definitely calendar Nazis. If we—every time we schedule these shows together, we put them on both of our calendars, we have to.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They get—we get it done, exactly.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And so kind of crossing of our list, I’m gonna just roll through the 5Rs and they have actually graduated to 6Rs and you’ll see why because it really dovetails with the opening of our podcast and I’ll—I’ll touch upon that one sec. But the first R is the remove, right? Removing all of the bad foods and that’s all the bad lifestyle things as well. So when we say, it’s also means adding in the good stuff just so we’re clear on that. Second is replacing enzymes and acids and—and bile salts if need be to help us break down these foods. Third is repairing. Repairing the gut lining, whether it’s with collagen or amino acids, and healing, soothing, antimicrobial herbs like aloe or slippery elm and/or things like adrenal support. Number four is removing the infection. We do it in that order because it’s stressful removing the infection so we gotta prepare the body to get the infection removed. Five is reinoculating with probiotics and guess what six is?
Evan Brand: I’m gonna go ahead and say re-test, re-treat.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes! Wow! Excellent!
Evan Brand: Re-test.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, you get like 3 Paleo brownie points for that.
Evan Brand: Great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think a couple of weeks back you had some Paleo demerits and now we’ll give you some Paleo–
Evan Brand: I don’t’ remember–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Paleo brownie points.
Evan Brand: You did. You gave 1 demerit for some reason. I don’t remember what it was for.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I forget. It was long time ago. But sixth R, re-test. Because of that crypt hyperplasia phenomenon, because of the fact that we may have a new infection come to the surface. And anyone that’s been—let’s say, gut issues longer than a year, a year plus—remember a lot of these infection are opportunistic. So once you have one and your immune system’s more compromised and you have lower hydrochloric acid levels, that’s gonna open you up to getting exposed to other infections down the road, whether it’s at a restaurant or just, you know, sketchy water or just intimacy with a partner, all those things are possible, vectors, pets—I got my dog over here in my lap, Butter, and she likes to try to lick and I try to keep that away from my face all the time and if she gets my hands and stuff, I—I go wash them up because pets can be a really strong vector for infections, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and I’d—I thought about that, too. Playing with a big slobbery toy, when you’re playing with your slobbery dog toy and let’s say you have that saliva on your hand and then you go to touch your face, your nose, your mouth, etc. It seems like an easy way to transfer something as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we allow no kisses in our household. I mean, it’s like now she kinda lick, oh, man, cute dog, but no, can’t do it.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So on that note, those are all the things that can lead up to these infections and then create all the malabsorption. So dovetailing, we kinda went off a little bit on the tangent, but we’re back, folks. Amino acids. So with all these infections going on and the stress that can drive our amino acid levels lower from a functional perspective. We talked about some clinical signs and symptoms, hair, skin, nails, that’s easy. Next is gonna be some of these functional tests, like the organic acids test. I mentioned some of the markers out. I’ll spare you again. And then the next step is what do we do from a protein perspective? Well—go ahead.
Evan Brand: I was gonna say, so we could break down some of the options for people depending on how severe their issues are. We may be able to do like a good grass-fed whey protein. I know you like the beef protein. We’ve talked about like an organic pea protein. The one you have to stay away from—I saw the other day, believe this or not, this sounds—it sounds disgusting, it sounds like mixing a grass-fed burger and a McDonald’s burger—it was a whey protein and soy protein blend.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, my gosh.
Evan Brand: Why? Why? Why? Why? So stay away from soy. There’s a lot of genetically modified soy. It’s one of the most highly genetically modified crops. Don’t quote me exactly but I believe it’s something like 97% of the soy in the US is GMO.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s terrible.
Evan Brand: So if it’s not organic soy, you can assume that it is genetically modified. There’s some issues with estrogen and soy and there’s—we could go on. What else would you like to say against soy and soy protein?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, yeah, I know soy definitely is 90% of it is genetically modified, not a big fan of that because with genetic modification comes extra exposure to Roundup or glyphosate. Okay, Roundup is a herbicide or pesticide and it works by chelating and pulling out the minerals and essentially starving the plants so they die. So if you have this Roundup-resistant gene which right—these soybeans are like Roundup-ready meaning they’re resistant to Roundup, that means they can get exposed to it and they’re okay. So Roundup goes in and it hugs away all of the amino—all of the nutrients, now think about it, right? If we’re hugging away all these nutrients and killing the plants around that, don’t you think at some level it’s gonna impair nutrient absorption to some of these plants?
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the research does conclude with that.
Evan Brand: Yup. There was a—a study that the—I’m unsure if they did the study, if they just linked to it, the Organic Consumers Association, they just looked at—I wanna say it was like 20,000 people, I’ll see if I can pull it up but 93% of people had glyphosate in their body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: I probably have some in my body, I guarantee I do.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Even though I do my best to eat 100% organic and be aware of my food sources, I mean there’s—I guarantee there’s remnants in there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: My neighbor just sprayed their yard with Roundup that killed all the weeds–
Evan Brand: Oh, gosh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And they have a little infant, and I just like—I was like, “Oh, no!” But then it’s like, what am I gonna say? It’s already been done, right?
Evan Brand: I saw—I saw the neighbor across the street from me, spraying her driveway in flip-flops.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ugh.
Evan Brand: The big sprayer.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: My God.
Evan Brand: All over her feet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: My God.
Evan Brand: Like it’s—it’s insane. Yeah, so–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, people know not what they do.
Evan Brand: And it’s found in breastmilk, too. There was another Organic Consumers Association article that they linked showing that the toxic herbicide was found in breastmilk. This—and it says it’s finding contradicts industry claims that glyphosate does not accumulate in breast tissue. It definitely does. Unfortunately, breastmilk contains a lot of things that are not good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the problem with a lot of these GMOs is not really any long-term human study. I think the longest is 3 or 4 weeks so you know, these things accumulate and then you gotta also factor and you cook these things, too. That denatures and changes, and some research showing it makes it even more powerful when you cook them. So you gotta be careful, extra pesticide exposure, the pesticides themselves can be estrogenic which again is not good because estrogen tends to cause things to grow like tumors, right? And there’s some study showing the opposite again—you’re not gonna see a bunch of studies on it because you got a multibillion dollar that’s highly, you know, lobbying and the government officials, so you’re not gonna get, you know, transparency in that issue so I think until you have really long, long-term studies going on there and you have some independent people looking at it, it’s just—you’re better to be safe than sorry and go with old foods.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because I always tell my patients, these old foods don’t cause new disease, okay? Old foods don’t, so you can always be—you’d rather be safe than sorry and go with the old foods that have hundreds of thousands of year history of being safe.
Evan Brand: Yup. Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So again the soy protein—a couple of other pieces on—I’ll kinda nerd out a little bit—it’s lower in amino acids as well, lower in sulfur amino acids like methionine and lysine compared to like a whey protein. So lower in sulfur amino acids and also does have phyto-estrogens in it which for guys, you know, with gynecomastia and extra, you know, the man boobs, the moobs if you will, not gonna be the best. Woman that have female hormone issues in their cycling may not be the best either because most women are already estrogen-dominant. Some women who are menopausal go for it because it can help relieve hot flashes but you get a lot of negative things. There are better way to get the estrogens in there in a bio-identical type of way that’s, you know, more controlled and cleaner than go into the soy.
Evan Brand: Yup, and I just sent you a picture. It was of the glyphosate use in the United States and you can just see the US map. It’s in dark brown. If people go to your show notes and look on justinhealth.com, they go to this podcast, they’ll see it but most of the United States in terms of like the Midwest, not Colorado, at least not Western Colorado, Utah, etc. But that’s the desert southwest, you can’t grow stuff out there anyway hardly, except for California and if you look in California, Justin, look over there where you see the—that fertile area–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The middle.
Evan Brand: Yeah, the middle California area–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s like the valley–
Evan Brand: Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Probably by Fresno, up by Bakersfield and such.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s all 88% or greater use. So basically this says–oh, not that’s 88 pounds per square mile rather of–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Evan Brand: Glyphosate.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Evan Brand: So then you look at the charts. There’s also a chart here starting at 1992 and going up the latest statistic they have was up to 2013. Glyphosate use is still on the rise and right now we’re up to a total of about 250 million pounds, I—I suppose this 250 million pounds per year of glyphosate. So you got corn, soy beans, wheat, cotton, vegetables, fruits, rice, orchard and grapes, alfalfa, pasture and hay, and other crops. So this all ties in to that amino acid piece though because if you’re eating non-organic anything, you can assume that glyphosate has been sprayed on that food; therefore, you’re not actually going to be absorbing the amino acids. So even though you may be free and clear of infection, it still goes to show that we really have to stay away from the chemicals and I think I talked with—with you about that on the—an episode when I went to the Farmer’s Market and I was talking with some of these people about their strawberries, and they said, “Evan, just because you’re at the Farmer’s Market, it doesn’t mean that it’s clean. These farmers are still spraying stuff. Unless it is certified organic, you better assume that they have sprayed something on it because it’s tough to keep the bugs off the strawberries.” I got some growing in the backyard. Every time it’s ready to pick, I wake up the next day and it’s gone, something eats it every time. I have it covered in cages and everything. Those little–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.
Evan Brand: I think it’s a bird or something, flying through the little—the little holes in the fence.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It just kind of use his little pecker and getting it.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man. Man—man, I hear you on that one. But with soy though, the biggest thing with soy is it’s also goitrogenic. So what’s goitrogenic means? It’s–okay, cut that one. Wooh, alright, I’m dying in here, man. I’m dyin’ seeing you at Skype. You’re red as a freaking cherry right now.
Evan Brand: Oh, I’m—
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright.
Evan Brand: I’m keeping it in on my show.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we have to cut that one. Take two.
Evan Brand: I’m keeping it on my show.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh you are? Okay.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright, okay we’ll keep on my show. I’ll keep the—the little break down at the end though. Alright, alright. Let’s get real. Van Damme–wooh—Van Damme. So like I was saying, soy is also goitrogenic meaning it blocks iodine uptake and we know we need iodine—healthy iodine levels for good thyroid function. I mean we don’t wanna go so, you know, hyper on the thy—on the iodine because that can drive potential Hashimoto’s but we don’t wanna be blocking it with foods that would block natural iodine uptake. So we have that negative piece. Also the trypsin inhibitor piece where it blocks these proteolytic enzymes from helping to break down protein and if you have digestion issues, you don’t wanna be taking in more compounds that are gonna be causing more digestive issues in the end.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and people that are avoiding meat, if you’re going vegetarian or vegan, you will see these people eating soy protein and soy replacements. So I don’t want to make this all about soy but I did really wanna hit that hard on the whole soy piece because it is so common and so many people are eating it and it’s just not healthy. So really I broke down like the grass-fed whey, the beef protein, etc. These are good things and these are good nutritional insurance policies. That’s the best way I refer to them.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. I agree. The m—my next layer up is gonna be the whey protein. We wanna make sure obviously that’s grass-fed because the grass kind of goes in and it helps make higher quality amino acids because again the building blocks are really important. Pardon my French, but you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit, right? So you gotta have good quality nutrients in there to provide the building blocks. So we gotta make sure those building blocks are present so we have the quality. Same thing with whey protein. We wanna make sure it’s grass-fed. We wanna make sure it’s organic, right? We’re not feeding it a whole bunch of hormones and antibiotics. That way we have the best chance. Now the thing with whey is there’s a tiny bit of lactose in there, about 1%; there’s also a tiny bit of casein, maybe less than 1%. So I typically don’t recommend it to my autoimmune patients off the bat. Once they’re kind—once they’re autoimmune condition is stabilized and their symptoms are stabilized, then we’ll add some whey in or I’ll recommend some whey because whey is great for sulfur amino acids, very high in NAC, very high in a lot of these glutathione precursors, methionine, cysteine, really, really good for glutathione, so I love it plus I’m biased. Whey definitely blends up the best. It tastes the best out of all the proteins out there. I love it. So I’d recommend—I use whey and beef and I’ll use pea and I typically use collagen as a foundation to all of my shakes. We’ll talk about that in a minute. I love it because they can—you can mix it in and it just makes the amino acid profile better for the—for the ligaments and for the gut. So I recommend whey for all my patients that are non-autoimmune or more stabilized and healthy.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so I mean, do you consider whey dairy or not really? Because there is such a minimal amount of lactose available.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, again for my autoimmune patients, I would. But for the most part, you know, you don’t have the casein in there, very very small amount. You don’t have the lactose in there, if you do, a very small amount, right? We’re talking 1% less. So those are the two detrimental components of dairy, is the lactose and casein. So if you pull that out, you got this great product called whey which is awesome for the all the amino acids and great glutathione. So I like it. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it whey if you are—if you are on the healthier side. Typically people can tolerate it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and it’s not a deal breaker if it’s not certified organic. You and I both use professional healthcare companies where they’re proving and making sure that there’s no chemicals, there’s no pesticides or anything sprayed on the pastures, so you really just have to look into the details of the product that you want just because they didn’t pay the big bucks to get the USDA certification. It’s better if you can find that but if you don’t have it, it’s—it’s not a deal breaker if you could verify that it—if the stuff hasn’t been sprayed because I assume there could be some potential whey companies out there that market as grass-fed but still could be chemical—chemical sprayed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No way.
Evan Brand: Yeah way.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. But yeah, a couple of brands. I know, I think you formulated your own. I have my own called True Whey and we were able to source Argentinian grass-fed whey, you know, high quality without all the—the hormones, antibiotics, and there—that’s the one that I use for myself and my patients.
Evan Brand: Yup, and then–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Which one do you like?
Evan Brand: Well, I like—so I like the collagen. That’s what I was gonna—I want you to talk about, your collagen because you actually went through some—some, a lot of work—more work than people recognize behind the scenes for the collagen. So talk about that a little bit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so the difference is, when we come up with products, we’re looking at, “Alright, what’s the best thing that we’re gonna talk ourselves and our family?” Number one, and then we’re also thinking, “What can we also give that’s gonna help our patients heal and get better as fast as possible?” So we’re kinda looking at things from a different spectrum because when we come out with a product, it’s gotta be something that we wanna take, we wanna give to our family and we want our patients to be able to take because we need them to get better. We’re not selling them a product and that’s it, “See you later.”
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We need to make sure there’s a clinical outcome behind it because we’re sitting there and following up and you gotta look in that patient’s eyes knowing that you’re giving them the best because you want the best result out of it. So one of the collagens we formulated was we got it from I think Argentinia—Argentina I should say—it’s Argentinian grass-fed meat sourced and then we were able to source it from that. It was enzymatically processed. The benefit from that is you take collagen which is typically gelatin and you’re breaking it down to these collagen peptides. You’re hydrolyzing it with various water processing and blending processing that makes it broken down so your body can absorb it at the highest level so when you have a compromised gut, you can take it into your bloodstream and use it and typically with collagen you can put it with any of your proteins. So I’ll either mix it in with my pea or my beef or my whey. For my autoimmune patients, we’ll use the pea typically and we’ll mix it in and the collagen provides a high amount of glycine which is great for the gut lining and also a high amount for detoxification, and it provides a lot of building blocks, hydroxyproline-proline, hyaluronic acid for the skin and for the integrity of the joints, the tissue, the gut lining, the nails, the bones as well.
Evan Brand: Talk about, you know, I guess we don’t have to say names but there are companies out there that will sacrifice quality of their supplements because they aren’t working with people so it’s just like, “Here’s your supplement, thank you, have a nice day!” And—and this is being done in our little tight knit community.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I won’t put, you know, specifics up but there—but there are some collagen products that are coming from Tyson chickens. They buy ‘em from the major, you know, the big Tyson chicken company out there and they use their cartilage to make the—the collagen, and again—again, you know, Tyson, right? Your factory farmed, antibiotic, hormone type of, you know, CAFO operation going there and that kinda passes into the amino acids in the protein, so we make sure that we, you know, source the highest quality stuff because we gotta heal the leaky gut. We gotta provide the healing nutrients to get a really optimal clinical outcome.
Evan Brand: Yeah, just to—a note here. If a sales page looks good or if a company is just 90% marketing and then here’s handful of products that exist to go along with that marketing, it’s not to say it’s a bad product. You all know I’ve worked for several supplement companies behind the scenes and so I can tell you this that you have to really pay attention to the quality and you really have to look at their sources. Maybe you and I are on the far end of the spectrum but I wanna be at the top 1% of health and you and I both want our patients to be at the top 1% of health, and I don’t want anybody to settle for less so maybe the price point will be a little bit higher but if you can ensure that you are getting the best then I can sleep at night knowing that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I’m the same way. I wanna make sure we get good clinical outcomes. So the collagen can be mixed in with the whey. It can be mixed in with the pea so on that next route, we have our autoimmune patients and we’ll use some of the pea proteins that are unsweetened, unflavored, because even some Stevia and Xylitol, it may cause problems. So pea can be great. Sometime it causes in bloating in people that may have some FODMAP issue. So pea is a pretty good generic one that we add in and we’ll mix the collagen. Sometimes collagen is great as a standalone if people are really, really hypoallergenic because it’s hydrolyzed. It’s broken down. It’s easy to process so we have the—the whey which is great if you’re—don’t have an autoimmune condition or you’re feeling better. Number two, we have is the beef. I didn’t mention the beef. Beef comes from the actual beef tissue so it’s not quite the—the collagen type. It’s a different type of the piece of the cow which is great and that’s—comes from a trademark called HydroBEEF and we use that in our clinic as well. It’s called True Paleo, that’s a great one. It’s got flavor to it. This morning I did the collagen and the beef, and I like the chocolate and the vanilla. We’ll go back and forth on those and that’s nice. It’s got a little bit of Stevia in there, so we’ll try to avoid that in patients that have gut issues off the bat and we’ll go to the pea or we’ll go just to the pea and collagen or just the collagen by itself. Pea’s still good. It still has a decent sulfur amino acid profile. It’s not something we get exposed to frequently in our diet so we tend to be able to handle it and people think, well, isn’t pea a legume? Yes, but the carbohydrate portion of that pea is removed so you’re only getting the protein portion so a lot of the potential gut-irritating compounds and the various lectins tend to be removed in that carbohydrate portion.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Let’s talk about hemp, too. I’ve tried hemp protein. I think I’d—it’s a cross-reactive for me. It’s in that category of cross-reactive foods for gluten. I think my body believes that it’s—that it’s gluten because it generally tears my stomach up if I do it. So I’ve had hemp protein bars. Actually had a company that they sent me a box of protein bars. They were hemp-based bars and it destroyed my gut. Same thing with hemp protein so for people maybe you can do it. There is some good amino acid profile in hemp and I’m a huge proponent of hemp, all the great things it can do for the environment, the world, textiles, cars, etc.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: However, for me, it just—it doesn’t work as a—as a food source unfortunately.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think you gotta always just test it out and see what works for you. That’s the biggest thing. With hemp, I’ve tried it a little bit. It’s okay. I mean I just go better with other ones and I liked how I feel with other ones. I don’t feel—I don’t get those negative reactions that you get so to speak, but I just feel a little bit better on the other ones.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and there’s some good organic low—low priced hemp proteins–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Out there available.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can think of Sunwarrior. Sunwarrior makes one that’s pretty decent as well.
Evan Brand: I—I think there’s one—maybe I’m wrong but I think there’s one called Manitoba out there that had—or maybe it was Nutiva that had it and they have a relatively–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, Nutiva.
Evan Brand: They have a relatively low-priced organic hemp. So try it out, experiment, that’s what this is all about.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So let’s kinda go back and recap. My number, like let’s say you’re not sick. You’re—you’re pretty good. You’re pretty healthy. High quality grass-fed whey protein is great. Number two is a high quality beef protein that’s coming from more of the—the muscle meat portion of the beef. So good quality grass-fed beef. Next for me is gonna be a pea protein. I use that more for my autoimmune patients especially unflavored and then we have collagen. Collagen’s like the foundational piece because it can be combined with all of these proteins. That’s the beauty of it. You can even use it in your coffee in the morning. So I like it for the benefits, like I mentioned. Bone, skin, hair, nails, and gut lining. I just did a video on collagen today. So look for that for a more in-depth review on that. So you kinda have a hierarchy of whey, beef, and pea and then collagen’s kinda like your switch hit or it can come in there or you pinch it or it can kinda come in there and do its job and help support and provide extra amino acid support to fill in the gaps with that.
Evan Brand: Nice, well-said, and then I’ll finish out just by saying if you have issues with your hair, skin, nails, and you think there is something going on, then it is important to always work back to that root cause. This is sort of the supplement if you will to treat the issues of amino acid insufficiency but as long as you’re working backward to figure out why is that happening in the first place. Is it stress? Is it because you’re scrolling on Facebook while you’re eating your meal at the same time? Is it because you’re stressed out, you’re arguing over the dinner table? Is it because you’re just not even chewing your food well? Is it because you have low stomach acid? You may have H. pylori. Is it because you have infections? Figure all that stuff out and then you can continue to use this stuff when you’re healthy but just making sure that you’re not just—I don’t even know, what’s the analogy there, Justin? Like just—you’re just filling something in just because but you’re not even—you’re just treating the symptom I guess. That’s what I’m trying to say.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, exactly. Yup, you’re just treating the symptoms. And just to kind of add one more layer on top of that, some people they’ve made these changes. They’re switching to a Paleo template or an AIP template, and they are a little overwhelmed, right? They’re making all these changes. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh, what do I do?“ Sometimes a really good shake can help just mix things up and it’s also easy. So people that are stressed in the morning that haven’t quite got enough time in their schedule in their morning because of their commute or because of whatever’s going on in their life, a good shake can be great because it’s already broken down. It’s easy to absorb so that stress won’t affect the digestion as much but it’s also simple, easy and different. You can throw in some coconut milk, maybe a handful of low glycemic berries. If you can do an egg in there or a scoop of almond butter. If not, that’s fine. Throw in a scoop of collagen or scoop of pea or whey protein, then you got a really good nice full, you know, amino acid full fat drink that you can consume pretty fast and it’s easy to digest.
Evan Brand: Yup, I wanted to get your take on this. So one of my friends and you know Nora as well—Nora Gedgaudas.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yup!
Evan Brand: She—she posted something on Twitter and she said a fruit smoothie is the virtual equivalent of freebasing fructose which is a rapid and pronounced way to cause glycation damage. Now if that were like pineapple, mangoes, etc. really high sugar fruits, I would agree. And if it were juiced like a juiced fruit-smoothie I would agree, where it’s just straight juice and no fiber. But if it’s blueberries, I really don’t think that—that saying would really ap—apply because typically that’s you’re gonna have all the fiber attached. What are you—what’s your take?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m on the same benefit and the same kind of, you know, mindset as you there. You’re gonna have all the modified citrus pectin and the MCP still intact. You’re not juicing it, number one, right? So the fiber is still intact. Number two, you’re not using the higher tropical fruits.
Evan Brand: Yup, and I do–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I–
Evan Brand: Try to blend stuff relatively quickly, too, because I know there is likely some damage done the more and longer and higher speed you blend stuff. So if I leave mine a little bit chunky and there’s some blueberry chunks in there, I enjoy that, and maybe it’s just placebo but I would suggest that may preserve some of the benefits.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Oh, and there’s one last piece I forgot to mention, and we do this a lot with our organic acid people, but some people that have really bad autoimmune or leaky gut stuff or malabsorption, we’re leaving you something called freeform amino acids. I forgot to mention this. You get a lot of that in the collagen, too. But with the freeforms, we’ll use it in the pill form, it’s basically amino acids that are already broken down basically ready to go in your bloodstream. There’s virtually no breakdown. So when you—like I mentioned, you eat beef, right? That’s the pearl necklace that gets broken to the individual pearls, but then even that there’s a little bit more work the body has to do even if you take a pea or beef or whey protein but when you do a freeform amino it’s basically ready to go. So people that have severe digestive issues or severe malabsorption, let’s say low BUN or low creatinine, or abnormal glo—globulin or albumin on their blood work, we’ll give them some extra freeform amino acids in capsule form to make it really easy on their digestive system.
Evan Brand: Yup, I’m glad you remembered.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that’s kind of the hierarchy. Yeah.
Evan Brand: Well-said.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any comments on that?
Evan Brand: No, I did in a video. That’s actually one of the most popular videos I did. It was on amino acids. I love them and if people haven’t, they could pick up Julia Ross’ book, The Mood Cure or the newer one, The Diet Cure. And those are awesome, that if you want further reading on aminos, that could be a great place to start.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah, and don’t get fooled by the new ploy of a lot of the food companies. They’re using aspartame now and it’s now re-labeled as amino sweet. So if we’re talking about all these amino acids here and you’re getting all amino jazz like we are, don’t fall for the prey of amino sweet. That is aspartame.
Evan Brand: I thought they just renamed it to neotame. Now they even changed it from neotame? Or I wonder if they’re using both of those names. It was kinda like–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They could be using both.
Evan Brand: I bet they are, because like MSG, you’ll see like the hydrolyzed soy protein and there’s like 50 names for MSG at this point.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: OH, yeah. Same as Splenda. You have Splenda but then you also sucralose which sounds like sucrose which is actual sugar. That’s table sugar, right? So they’re—they’re kinda really shady when it comes to how they’re naming things. They’re really trying to deceive you.
Evan Brand: Yup, so become an avid ingredient reader. I’m sure you are. This is old news, but you’re doing great. Thanks for listening.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Thanks, everyone! And if you wanna support the show, feel free and check out Evan’s store or my store. We formulate our own amino acid compounds and products to help our patients get better and if you wanna take advantage of them, too, feel free and click below the link and also sharing is caring. So give us a 5-star review, whatever you think we deserve and we appreciate you listening. Thank you.
Evan Brand: Yes, we do. Take care!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care, Evan.
Evan Brand: Bye!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye!
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