Dr. Chad Edwards: This is Dr. Chad Edwards and you are listening to podcast number 20 of Against the Grain. Are you tired and fatigued? Are you frustrated with doctors because they just don’t seem to listen? Do you want to fix your pain without surgery? If you answered yes to any of these questions then we are the clinic for you.
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Announcer: Welcome to Against the Grain podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards, where he challenges the status quo when it comes to medicine. We get into hot topics in the medical field with real stories from real patients to help you on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Get ready because we are about to go against the grain. Tulsa prolotherapy
Marshall Morris: Hallo, hallo. This is Marshall Morris and today I am joined by the Dr. Edwards who believes that 80% of medical recommendations are crap, technically speaking there. He is the author of Revolutionize Your Health with customized supplements, and he served in the US army for 23 years both as a soldier and as an officer as a physician. He graduated from medical school at Oklahoma State University. He is the founder of revolutionhealth.org and Against the Grain podcast. Welcome Dr. Edwards.
Dr. Edwards: Marshall, I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for a being here with me.
Marshall: Yes. I kind of feel like a six foot seven height man, almost a little bit. Just a little bit.
Dr. Edwards: What, that’s kind of, you’re like what, six foot seven?
Marshall: Oh, well. Maybe that’s because I’m a six foot seven. So what are we talking about today? What are we getting into, is the hot topic for the podcast?
Dr. Edwards: You know in our clinic the way I practice medicine I think the foundation of our health is through lifestyle. That’s trying to optimize your nutrition, optimize your exercise and optimize we call the three Rs; rest, reduce stress, recover from exercise. That nutrition piece is so important, and I often recommend nutritional supplements. Tulsa prolotherapy
I will use them both to fill in gaps, to help optimize health, but also I will use them almost medicinally trying to help optimize someone’s physiology when most of the time we don’t have the same level of side effects that we would have with a pharmaceutical agent. Tulsa prolotherapy
Marshall: Now you see a number of different patients every single day, and in your observations how many of those patients, what percentage or how many out of 10 have room to further optimize their health? Tulsa prolotherapy
Dr. Edwards: Oh 9.99.
Dr. Edwards: Out of 10.
Marshall: So this is applicable for just about everybody?
Dr. Edwards: Absolutely.
Dr. Edwards: Absolutely. It is rare that I see patients that come in and I really don’t have many recommendations. Sometimes only one or two on some patients, at the same time when patients come in I don’t want to overwhelm them with, “Here’s the 30 things wrong with you and we got to fix all of these today.” You can’t. Tulsa prolotherapy
Each one of these things you know the human body it’s kind of like a web and when you pull on this, like if you look at a cobweb, a spider web, if you pull on the string of one web it distorts the whole web, and if you pull on another string it distorts it that much more.
When we go to intervene on some of these things, it pulls on some of those strings or we are trying to relieve some of the pressure on some of those strings and there’s an implication, there is a fall out, there are consequences so to speak on intervening on any level, on any one of those things.
So we have to be very, very careful about how we address more than one thing at a time, because there will be fallout. Sometimes those things overlap and you can really cause problems, so we just have to be very careful about that.
Marshall: Now, we are getting into a topic today about further optimizing your health with supplements.
Dr. Edwards: Yes.
Marshall: And you talk about this a little bit in your book. So tell me why supplements?
Dr. Edwards: Yes. So there are actually several reasons why most people, when I say most I mean the vast majority, and to further clarify unless you are basically living on a farm or shop exclusively at a farmer’s market, and get optimal food quality, have no toxins, no stress, no medical problems, are on no medications and you are not exposed to any toxic chemical mechanisms — I’m saying toxins again, but when we think about toxins from water, from the environment, from all of those kinds of things, then there’s probably a need for nutritional supplementation because of the strain those things places on your physiology, on the human body.
Marshall: So why would you say most people take supplements? Why do they why do they think that they need supplements? What is the mainstream idea behind supplements?
Dr. Edwards: I think most people do it because they want to increase their health. They think that taking a multivitamin is going to make them a little bit healthier. Some people know they like crab, and so they’re trying to fill those holes, and some people will take something because they feel better when they do, and I think all those are valid.
Certainly there are other reasons but that’s probably most of them. And then a lot of times I’ll get patients, especially if there are a slew of supplements it’s because they’ve been to multiple different naturopathic providers, chiropractors, what we call non-traditional or non-mainstream medical practitioners.
I’m not speaking ill of them in any way, but I’ve had patients that have come in that have gone in to fill in the blank, they saw Dr. Sally Jo whatever kind of medical professional on they’re on 20 supplements. I’m like, “Holy cow, where did you get all these things?” And there may be some level of benefit but 20, that’s just too many. They are probably just not necessary.
So there’s a number of reasons that I tend to focus on, why does someone need nutritional supplements? And again you are right, I do cover this at least the introductory level in my book and the first piece is on food quality. So when we look at the way we should grow food and the way that we should rotate crops, there’s a Jewish concept called forgive me if I butcher the name, but Shemittah where they rest the land every seven years.
We don’t do that. It’s the economics of things, it’s we put our crops in there. We might rotate but it’s to maximize yield and production and not to maximize nutritional value. So there is no question that the nutritional value of most of the foods that we eat are not the same as what we had 300 years ago. The nutritional depletion from some of the foods, and again that goes back to the economics of it. We want to maximize the yield on that land.
Marshall: Why is there such thing as nutritional depletion?
Dr. Edwards: Well, if you have a plant that pulls certain nutrients out of the ground, and you plant that plant, harvest it and then you immediately follow behind with that same plant and harvest it, and over and over and over again, and you don’t replete that, then you’re going to have depletion.
Secondly, and this is discussing theory I want to be open about this, but when we’re looking at hybridization, GMO, certainly those kinds of things we don’t know the implications of those kinds of things on the health implications for those things, but also how does that affect the nutritional value itself, and how does it pull those nutrients out of the ground? We don’t know.
So there are lots of reasons when it comes to the quality of food that we are just not getting the highest quality, plus a lot of our stuff, a lot of our food comes from foreign countries. I love grapes. We’re not in grape season right now. So the last time I bought them they came from Chile.
They are cut off the vine in Chile, put on a track, however long it takes them. If they get here in two days I’d be shocked. We’re talking about something that’s sitting on a truck or a boat or a plane or whatever, and it takes days to get it processed. Many times they’ll pick them before their prime, before they are ripe and because they know they are going to ripen.
If they picked it when they were ripe, sitting on a truck for a week and a half, it’s going to be rotten. It’s like getting black bananas and saying, “Hey munch up,” it might be good for banana bread, but it’s not good for your apoptosis. So anyway, those kinds of things definitely affect the nutritional value for example broccoli.
We often recommend a supplement called glucorafinin or SGS sulforaphane. Multiple studies showing the strong anticancer benefits of this stuff and basically it’s a broccoli seed extract, and one you get higher levels from a supplement than you do from the broccoli seed extract or from the broccoli seed itself.
But the second pieces you just don’t get much in the broccoli that you’re eating unless you are pulling it from your backyard the minute you cut that thing it begins to degrade, and we see that in multiple nutritional ways. The longer that food sits after it’s been picked, the lower the nutritional value as a rule.
The food quality is definitely one of the reasons I think most people need nutritional supplements. The second reason is dieting, those people that are on some kind of restricted diet may not be getting comprehensive nutrition, and they may not be eating as much.
Certainly much of the food that we eat is not as nutrient dense, its more calorie dense, less nutrient dense than what we used to eat especially in fast foods and those kinds of things, and certainly food preparation plays a role in that. If we cook under certain conditions it’s going to deplete some of the nutrients. That would be the second reason because of dieting, that many people need nutritional supplements.
Marshall: Most people they’ll cut something out of their diet, and then therefore not have any of the supplements that was previously getting from types of foods?
Dr. Edwards: Correct or you may just be getting 80% of the same nutrient instead of getting 100% of it, you’re getting 80% of it. You may be cutting it out completely but you may just simply not be getting as much because less quantity of the food. Let’s take a quick break, and then we’ll come back and address the other few reasons why people need nutritional supplements.
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Dr. Edwards: We’re back, so we’re talking about why people need nutritional supplements, and I think we’ve covered a couple of them ready to dive into the next one. This next one is one that I commonly see and I think it’s easily overlooked, and that’s gut health. When you think about the gut, the lining of the intestines, it’s got a very, very important job.
Nutrition is actually two components not one. It’s getting the proper nutrition in and keeping bad stuff out. I think of the gut lining as the wall around the base. I was stationed in Iraq for a while, and we had a big wall around our compound. Getting out of that compound to go on a patrol or go on something, unless we’re flying which I did most of the time, but if you are driving out it was a long process.
You had to go through multiple wavy things with barricades and barriers and dudes with big guns. Then we had to go out and test fire our crusade weapons and all this kind of stuff, so we could go out. In fact a a physician in Iraq if we had an injury of US personnel just outside the gate, it was faster to fly them.
It was faster to launch an aircraft, go get that causality, and fly them back on the helicopter, because we didn’t have to go through all of those things which you can’t bypass, you can’t get around them. The perimeter the wall around the perimeter is like that lining of the gut, it’s got to get stuff in, it’s got to keep stuff out.
The ability of that thing to do its job is directly related to the health of it. If you have a damaged ill unhealthy gut, you’re going to have problems. When you consider something like celiac disease, you have lost the micro villi. That’s the little fingerlike things in the lining of the intestine, where that surface area is very important in order to be able to absorb things.
That can directly lead to mal-absorption syndromes, so that’s celiac disease again. On a lower level if you’ve got some low lying gut inflammation, if you’ve got altered intestinal permeability or leaky gut, if you’ve got bacterial imbalance and those kinds of things, it can directly impact your ability to, number one keep bad stuff out, but also to get good stuff in.
Every now and then I’ll see a patient that we put them on all kinds of things that we think they should be on, and they’re just not getting better. We’ll test their nutritional status and it’s not getting any better, we have to look at the function of the gut. They may just simply not being absorbing it.
Again on a very low level, what if you’re only absorbing 80%, what if you’re absorbing 90 but what if you’re absorbing 40? It can make a big difference in your nutritional status. Sometimes an altered gut permeability and unhealthy gut, the gut health can prevent you from being able to absorb the nutrients maximally and efficiently. That would be the third reason that many people need nutritional supplements.
The fourth reason is toxins, we live in a toxic world, there is a lot of crap in the food that we eat, in the water that we drink and those kinds of things. Just think about most people have heard of BPA or the Biphenyl, those chemicals in plastics and their effect on hormones and all of those kinds of things.
They can directly impact the ability to get nutrients in, but when you think about toxins these toxins are poisons, many of them are poisons in our body. They can directly inhibit some of the biochemical processes, or they can make it where you use up your nutrients.
Many nutrients are co-factors, meaning for example say of an enzyme that converts A to B, and the enzyme works a whole lot better when B12 is attached to it, as just as an example. If you don’t have B12 then that reaction is not going to go as fast. Having higher levels of B12 may help that reaction perform optimally.
Well if you have a toxin that is flushing out B12 then you need to supplement with that, and that’s just an example. Again with the number of toxins that we have it’s just nearly impossible to eliminate all of them. It’s in the air we breathe, it’s in the water we drink, it’s in the soil, these toxins are everywhere. Remember the — it was the Colorado River?
Dr. Edwards: That just got inundated with all that toxic crap that just flushed down the whole thing, and the environmental consequences of something like that are huge. We have to be very careful and then chloride and fluoride, so fluoride is in many sources of water.
Well that competes, and it’s a halide in the periodic table, and that competes with iodine. We need iodine for optimal thyroid function and it’s beneficial for prostate and breast tissue, and those kinds of things. If we have too much fluoride, chloride, bromide, those kinds of things it can be a toxin to our body, and you may need to supplement with iodine.
Lots of competition with toxins. So that’s again just an example of how some of the toxins can affect our nutritional status and what we should be taking. Then there are some other things that can impact what supplements we should be taking, or our nutrition and things like age. Everyone ages at a different rate physically, chronologically we’re all obviously the same, but the older you get the more likely it is that you may need some nutritional supplements.
When you put all these things together, there is just a lot of reasons why someone would need nutritional supplements. High level athletes, you may chew through those things and you just burn up some of those nutrients, and you may need some more. Lots of reasons why the average person needs nutritional supplementation.
Marshall: Now explain to me this, how much of the nutrients that I need or should have on a daily basis should come from my diet, the things that I am eating and should come from supplements?
Dr. Edwards: How much should come from it?
Marshall: Yes is there a break down or should I just — If I need more vitamin C, should I just drink more orange juice or should I take a tablet, a supplement or a tablet?
Dr. Edwards: Sure, so my perspective my opinion is that 100% of you nutrients should come from your diet. We didn’t walk through the Garden of Eden picking supplements off a tree, that’s not how we’re created, that’s not replicating nature. The problem is when you have all of these issues the toxins, the food quality those kinds of things; it’s difficult to get all of that.
My perspective, and what I try to do in my clinic with my patients is merely plug the holes. I don’t want to give them any more than they need but I want to give them all that they need. Most people I would say — For our listeners if they don’t have a functional medicine physician, and they’re like what should I be taking?
I recommend a daily high quality daily multivitamin, I recommend probiotics, I recommend vitamin D and I recommend fish oil, a good high quality omega 3. Those four things just to make sure things are flowing well.
Marshall: Okay. You’re saying that it’s not as simple as saying, drink another glass of orange juice because maybe I don’t need any more calories. Or the sugar in my —
Marshall 2: Exactly.
Marshall 1: — diet and things like that.
Marshall 2: Exactly. When it comes to for oranges and orange juice, I would say, the closer it is to nature, the better off you are. Don’t drink orange juice, eat an orange. No, I’m not opposed to orange juice but you’re getting less fiber, you’re getting more sugar. All of those kinds of things it’s one step processed that we want to replicate nature.
Marshall: Very cool. Thank you so much for getting us into supplements and why they’re important.
Dr. Edwards: Thanks Marshall.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards. Tune in next week where we’ll be going against the grain.
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