Dr. Daniel Stickler, MD brings you weekly episodes of The Ironman Executive. We explore the world of enhancing human function and performance through advances in science, medicine, and technology. Upgrade your human operating system to Human 2.0 and live the epic life you desire.
Getting Back on Track: Why Medications May No Bet a Good Idea
Our guest for the week is Hyla Cass, an integrative psychiatrist practiced in the field even before the term was coined. Her 25-year long practice is marked by the non-drug, natural system boosting approach, which landed her the nation-wide acclaim along with numerous awards. She is here to talk to us about the subversive effects of medications, the systems approach to medicine, as well as about enhancing our cognitive performance.
Side-effect Are Still Effects Stuffing oneself with medication rarely comes without the so-called side-effects. What is important to realize, however, is that the ‘side-effects’ are actually the ‘effects’ of a medication; they are a part of the whole bodily response to, or indeed against, that medication.
The purple pill for instance, one of the proton-pump inhibitors, is a fairly available drug that may, in a long run, because the system adjusts and later craves for its usage, cause many hitherto unforeseen and avoidable microbiome problems. Therefore, Instead of forcing the system and suppressing it into an unnatural submission, much more profound effects can be achieved by letting the brain and body work out the problem by themselves.
“the medications upset homeostasis of the brain and can cause more problems than they solve”
Take a Pill VS. The Systems Approach Medications are not necessarily bad, but overprescribing them certainly is. Write off a patient with a simple prescription has become the expected doctoral practice nowadays. Much better than the simple pill approach is to, when treating a person, take the whole system into account and boost is. Taking both internal and external factors into consideration, the systems approach goal is to give the body the best possible chance to overcome an issue by itself, mobilizing its own natural resources.
Take trauma for instance; any trauma related disorder can be likened to a program that runs in the back of one’s mind, essentially affecting everything. Taking a pill would solve nothing; we need to clear up the underlying program first before treating an issue.
“We need to respect what the individual biochemistry is doing @hylacassmd”
Endless Charts and Diagrams Today’s medicine falls into a trap of overcharting the treatment process, neglecting the individuality of each case. Everything is subdued to sort of a medicinal syllogism; a symptom is always followed by a prescribed treatment route which in effect negates the fact that every case is, just as people are, different.
The situation is not all that new, it became effective with the branching specialization of medicine, and can be solved by, while of course keeping the specialist medicine, returning to a more holistic approach to treatment.
Empowering Your Brain Another field of practice for Dr. Cass that perfectly fits into the systems approach is the cognitive function enhancement. Being the best possible version of ourselves is best achieved through slight, or not so slight lifestyle modifications. Sleep is one factor, diet or exercise another. The exposure to toxins, and the genetic predisposition thereof, may also play a crucial role concerning the quality of life.
Resource Links Dr. Hyla Cass’ Website
Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutrition Reclaim Your Brain Free Ebook Dr. Cass’s Articles
Epigenetics – the Meeting Point between Genetics and Nutrition
Our guest for the week is Dr. Lucia Aronica, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford Cancer Center and an expert on epigenetic medicine. Her main focus revolves around genomics of nutrition, that is, the correlation between diet and the changes in epigenetic landscape. Holding a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Dr. Aronica has spent the last decade researching the influence lifestyle has on our genomes. Her endeavors landed her not just a few recognitions, Marie Curie Global Fellowship Award being one of them. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on food, diet, as well as sheds some light on the role epigenetics plays in weight loss.
Not All Food Should be Counted as Such Coming from Italy, pasta and bread were an inseparable part of Dr. Aronica’s early life. But Mediterranean diet, hailed as it is, accounts for much more that the iconic, yet not so healthy duo. This diet holds precedence over typical ‘western’ diets mainly because of the olive oil, which pitted against omega 3 seed oils, strikes a dashing victory in terms of weight and triglycerides loss. The concept of food is also differently conceived in the Mediterranean diet. The quick fixes are not counted as food in Italy, nor should anywhere else: one has to find the time for some cooking.
Nature and Nurture Working Together The single best way to attain nutritional health is to strike a steady and sustainable balance. Genetics does play a role and, to an extent, predestine the type of diet a person needs. But, it would be false to assume that our lifestyles do not play their role, for it is they that influence the epigenetic image in our cells. The combination of genetics and lifestyle make each of us different and nutritionally unique. Still, there are a few universals, one of which marks a respective correlation between the decrease in carbohydrates and the decrease of triglycerides. The latter in turn has an effect on cardiovascular risks and the amount of bad cholesterol that strikes the arteries. Lowering the carbs, therefore, plays the role in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
The Stanford Studies Dr. Aronica is currently playing a role in one of the largest studies concerning weight loss. It is a follow-up to an earlier, Stanford A to Z study, where more than 300 women were subjected to four popular diets, (Atkins, Zone, LEARN, and Ornish) measuring their results after one year. At the surprise of many, the very low-carb Atkins diet came out on top in terms of weight loss, cholesterol, and blood pressure. The new study will be bigger, include both men and women, and explore more thorough results like micro-biome and body composition change, as well as the changes in epigenetic landscape.
Epigenetics as a Growing Discipline Gastric bypass patients yielded significant knowledge regarding the epigenetic research. The different epigenetic image and the weight-loss they experienced after the operation proved that the epigenetic markers are potentially reversible, in this case from ones found in obese to those seen in lean people. These markers may also be transmissible to future generations, but further study is needed to see whether sperm incorporates these epigenetic changes. Epigenetics is a growing branch of medicinal science, today even able to predict the risk of type-2 diabetes. But what of tomorrow? The future discoveries are imminent, due to the change in approach. Namely, instead of looking at a few genes or a few hundreds of them, epigenetic researchers, Dr. Aronica among them, are bent towards looking at the entire genome. Also, epigenetic research is determined to explore the DNA in its entirety, including the non-coding regions. It is quite a feat, but the outcomes potentially exceed the effort by a margin.
Resource Links Dr. Aronica’s Stanford Research profile The Stanford A to Z study The Follow-up Study
New Studies in Longevity and Age Extension
Aaron Traywick is the founder at Ascendance Biomedical where they focus on helping people get the treatments and care they need to save their lives. They also specialize in helping fund and facilitate research by taking initial studies off shore before bringing the data back to the FDA. Learn more about this process as well as two studies they're currently working on.
He shares some of the results they're seeing and potential for the industry with this particular treatment for longevity and life extension overall. Enrollment is currently open for trials to test “Bucky-balls” (also known as Fullerene-C60 and “Bucky-balls”) for their capacity to increase lifespan and maximize human performance.
Learn more about the Senolytic Treatments we talk about in the interview and sign up to join the study here
Apeiron Academy educates and trains Epigenetic Human Potential Coaches in genomic precision wellness and human potential optimization. Get all the details here.
Global Healthspan Policy Institute
Daniel Schmachtenberger - Systems Approach to Your Health, Wellness and Business
Daniel Schmachtenberger enlightens us on how to use a science systems approach to our health, wellness and business.
Listen in on how human behavior affects the systems we function in every day - economic, social, political and how we can make these systems stronger and more resilient by changing the human body's systems.
Genetics and Genomics - How They Relate to Dietary Patterns
With today's guest Nicola Pirastu we learn the difference between several common genetic terms, how your diet choices may or may not be good for your personal health and how your diet can impact your genes and their expressions.
Genetics Vs Genomics The terms genetics and genomics sound alike, and they are often used interchangeably. But there are some important distinctions and similarities between genetics and genomics and how they affect our dietary patterns. But firstly, what do they mean?
Genetics is the study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living organisms are transmitted from one generation to the next via DNA, and it comprises genes, the basic unit of heredity.
Genetics dates back to Darwin and scientist Lamarck, whose studies of pea plants in the mid-1800s established many of the rules of heredity. Genetics involves the study of specific and limited numbers of genes, or parts of genes, that have a known function.
In biomedical research, scientists try to understand how genes guide the body’s development, cause disease or affect our eating or dietary patterns.
Genomics, in contrast, is the study of the entirety of an organism’s genes – called the genome.
Genomics is the branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes.
Genomics is a much newer field than genetics and became possible only in the last couple of decades due to technical advances in DNA sequencing and computational biology. (It is notable that the term genomics was first coined in 1986 by a Jackson Laboratory scientist, Tom Roderick, Ph.D.)
Genomics play huge roles in our dietary patterns as they help us know why our body relates to different foods and why our food preferences may or may not affect our overall health. For example two men of the same age were placed on a diet and eat fruits and vegetables high in sodium and saturated fat.
One develops hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and eventually atherosclerosis, while the other lives a long life without such chronic disease. In another case, two postmenopausal women consume similar diets low in choline.
One develops liver dysfunction due to the choline deficiency, but the other does not. Why individuals experience different health outcomes even though they eat similar diets and practice comparable lifestyles is an important question that’s been on the minds of nutrition and other healthcare experts in the medical community for decades.
While it’s long been suspected that genetics plays a critical role in determining how a person responds to dietary intake, only recently has research in the field of nutrigenetics demonstrated this.
Learn the difference between nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics? Nutrigenetics: This is the study of the relationship among genes, diet, and health. Nutrigenomics: This involves the study of the interaction between nutrients and genes at the molecular level. Nutrition scientists have looked at whether genetic testing ends up improving eating behaviors. The evidence is mixed. A recent large randomized controlled study found there was little apparent benefit.
The two weeks study comprised of 200 people. Three groups of participants were given personalized dietary advice, with variations based on their regular diet, including blood biomarkers such as cholesterol; and genetic variants. A control group was given conventional dietary advice.
At the end of the study, the three groups that received personalized nutrition advice had all improved their eating habits, compared with the control group.
But the improvements in each of the three groups were about the same. “It didn’t seem to matter whether they were personalized based on current diet.
Nutrigenetics and Personalized Nutrition The field of nutrigenetics is relatively new. In 2003, the Human Genome Project, which identified all the
The Father of Gene Therapy Shares What the Future Holds With Genomics
Pioneer in the world of Gene therapy, Dr. Theodore Friedman shares with us today the exciting future of what gene therapy holds. Listen in as we hear how manipulating certain lacking or misbehaving genes from causing disease has been proven in several types of diseases through clinical experimentation and how it will benefit future generations. We discuss whether or not it will be a solution to all disease. What the census is on how fast it will take or the prediction of genomic therapy within the scientific world. Gain greater awareness of gene modification within the world sport arena (Olympics), what kind of testing has been approved, used and how the tests are able to find modified genes or the presence of agents used to deliver those editing genes. What is the ethical answer of testing in sports when certain individuals naturally have genes that give increased ability to perform at a higher level than others?
Applying Gene Therapy Attack of genetic disease - using your genes as your tools for treatment rather than pharmaceutical drugs. The Molecular Biology field starting asking this question in the 1970s of how to manipulate genes in cells and living organisms to prevent the expression of disease causing genes. Introducing new genes or modifying genes with experimental testing certain diseases are being able to be manipulated or managed. How will the genes be edited with those that have existing diseases present not just a gene known to cause disease? Not all genes can be manipulated – there will still need to be preventative action, people will still have illnesses as not everyone has access to genomic testing and information on how to prevent disease through gene therapy. How will all of this sophisticated knowledge be delivered to all types of people? For gene manipulation to work the editing gene has to be delivered at the right time, to the right cell in the correct controlled situation for it to work properly.
Using Gene Therapy to Enhance Sport Performance Which if you didn’t hear in the 2016 Olympic Games there was testing for a gene known as EPO (Erythropoietin) within athletes.
As this awareness has been around for a decade and through research and scientific understanding testing was made available for detection of EPO distributed through the AAV virus into the person’s genomes.
With new technology emerging testing will and will not be possible depending on how the gene is manipulated or delivered into the athlete’s correct cells.
Most are being edited through various agents/viruses that more often than not do leave a fingerprint or sequence that may be found in current approved tests.
Other attributes of enhancing an athletes’ performance is to use gene therapy to knock out or minimize a gene such as Myostatin which may inhibit muscle cell growth and differentiation.
This also can be tested by looking for a mutant myostatin gene – which may be detected by a mixture of several different genomes.
Don't miss the Gene Based Dieting Live Webinar happening in Early December! Learn how your genes can predict your best dietary outcomes. With amazing outcomes of over 1500 clients within our medical practice.
As a physician entering my 18th year of practicing medicine, this podcast is re-charging my enthusiasm to practice medicine again. I am board-certified in "everything that can go wrong with human body". Listening to Dr Stickler, I’m learning how to change that to “everything that can go right with the human body”. Great for professionals and those interested in taking charge of their own health.
Best biohacking podcast from an MD
Have you ever noticed that your regular doctor only has 5-10 minutes to spend with you? Do you think you're getting the best care and attention for your specific needs? Most likely the answer is NO, so listen to Dr. Dan to find out how you can take control of your health. Don't depend on the government and big pharma to look out for your health, you have to be in the driver's seat. Have an open mind and start being an information sponge.
Top Shelf Info for the Discriminating Biohacker
Dr. Dan's interviews are superlative! I have been listening to health podcasts for over 5 years and I've learned more from his podcasts than I thought was possible. The interview with Les Dethiefson PhD on the gut biome was fabulous - I think I may have listened to every gut biome podcast on iTunes! Thanks Dr. Dan and thanks for going deep into subjects. We can handle it ;)