In this episode we talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting EVEN if you don't lose any weight.
Many start intermittent fasting for weight loss, and some get great results. Some may lose some weight at first, but then they don't lose anymore.
Here's what's important to know...
There's much more to intermittent fasting then simply losing weight.
In this podcast we talk about a study showing three important benefits of fasting even if you don't lose weight.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You're listening to The Doctor's In podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical and in our opinion, awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes. So, enjoy.
Hello, I'm Dr. Martin Jr.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And I'm Dr. Martin Sr.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And this is The Doctor's In podcast. And [00:00:30] this is episode 168. And today we wanna talk about a study done on intermittent fasting that came out kind of middle of last year, that didn't get a lot of press but it's actually a fascinating study that we're gonna talk about and for this time of year, a lot of people are ... you know, we're recording this in mid-January of 2019, a lot of people are focused in on their health, but more specifically about their weight. That's what [00:01:00] people do this time of year, they talk about their weight, they wanna lose a certain amount of pounds.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Sure, it's part of their New Year's resolution, right? I mean, most people say, "Okay, soon as the holidays are done, I'm getting at her." The gyms are always full in January and empty in February.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And it's funny because a lot of times, what ends up happening is that, let's just say I'm starting January second because, you know, who starts January first? There's nothing open and all that kind of stuff so I'm starting January second, so what they do [00:01:30] is that every day that gets closer to that day, they just eat a little bit more and they're like, "I'm gonna be good in a couple days so I'm gonna eat that." And the next thing you know, they're eating a lot of everything and almost ramping up and they to cut it all out on January second, which is very difficult to do, especially sugar. It's still the holidays. There's so many cookies and all these pastries and all this sugar. I'll tell you, there are a lot of people at the beginning of January that are going through the addiction [00:02:00] detox procedure, where they get all the headaches and the agitation and the shortness of mood. So it's interesting.
But this is the time of year that people talk about weight loss. Now, the reason why we're bringing this study up is, we're gonna talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting even if you don't wanna lose weight. Now, here's the thing. A lot of people have heard about intermittent fasting. It's gaining popularity over the last couple years. More [00:02:30] and more people are doing it and they're doing it for weight loss. And what happens is some people do it and they lose weight, other people do it and they don't lose any weight. And we'll talk about why that is in a second. But they don't lose any weight so they stop doing it. What we wanna do is we wanna talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting even if you're not losing weight.
Meaning, as a lifestyle factor, right? Doing it for a healthier lifestyle because, and we'll talk about [00:03:00] why in a second. But I'm gonna give you a statement and whether or not you agree with the statement, it's something that we talk about here and there but I just wanna say it and then we can discuss whether or not you agree with the statement. So, the amount of food that you eat determines whether or not you lose weight. However, the types of food that you eat determines how you feel and how you look.
Now, that's not 100% stable because if somebody has why bad hormones, and their metabolism is [00:03:30] just absolutely destroyed, their body will protect itself, they can cut down food, but I'm saying in general, somebody that has a relatively healthy metabolism, would you agree with that statement?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, I would. Yeah, generally, that's true. And if you look at our diet, what we've done at the Martin Clinic and in food, we talk about the difference in not quantity as much as quality of food. So we always talk about, we're hormone people so we talk about that hormone insulin, and [00:04:00] so we divide food based on-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, we're dealing with people, we're dealing with people that generally have a very difficult time losing weight because their hormones are a mess.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Their thyroid is slowed down, all of those kind of things, but in general-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, that's a ... I agree with that in the general setting.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And the reason why that's important to understand is because what happens with some people who fast and I mean, listen, I've done fasting for a long time, intermittent fasting for a long time and I've been there, so I understand. It's so funny, right? If somebody says, "Well, I'm gonna [00:04:30] start eating at 12 and then I'm gonna stop eating at eight", so, you know, a 16-hour fast and an eight-hour eating window. Well, I'll tell you, when you first start to fast, you try to shove as much food as possible into eight hours, right? So you're still eating the same amount of food. You're not eating less. So you may lose some weight at first, but then it's gonna stabilize pretty quickly because you're still eating the same amount of foods in that shortened window.
And then one of the downsides that people have when it comes to intermittent fasting [00:05:00] is they fall into a habit of binge eating. There was a graphic that I saw that somebody had done for fasting and it was so funny. The top picture was a guy staring at his clock and it said 11:59, and there was a massive plate of food in front of them. And then the next shot was it said 12:01 and the food was all eaten, right? I mean, listen, like I said, I was speaking from experience because I've gone through a lot of fasting and I've tested out a lot of different things over the years and you could go through a period of fasting where you're losing weight. You could go through a period of fasting where you're not losing weight. [00:05:30] But it's a tremendous tool for what we'll talk about in a second.
So you have to kind of decide how you wanna use intermittent fasting, now in our program, we have a weight loss program that we use in the clinic and that we have available online, it's the serial killer program. And we use intermittent fasting as a tool, but then it's also the types of food that you eat in that window that make the difference, right? And the reason why the second part of the statement is the type of food determines how you feel, because everybody will bring up a study [00:06:00] or that guy who ate Twinkies or Krispy Kreme and lost weight. Because he ate a lot less food. But all he was eating was Krispy Kreme. Now, he lost weight, he lost muscle because he got no protein and fantastic, but I guarantee he didn't feel good. I guarantee you, I guarantee you that if he continues that for a while, maybe his blood numbers were okay at first, but you can't do that, I mean, that's a publicity stunt, he's trying to prove a point that it's all calories, but it's not all calories.
So when I'm saying it's the amount [00:06:30] of food, we're not talking the calories equal in that sense. To say that a calorie doesn't matter would be ignorant. It would be ignorant. And we don't say that. Be that types of calories matter. Big time. Some calories hold you over a lot better so you get to consume a lot less in a day time. But that's not what we're saying. So the types of food now, help you preserve muscle, they help you not lose muscle because a lot of ... the problem with a lot of these programs at first, for weight loss-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It's [00:07:00] starvation.
Dr. Martin Jr.: ... they lose a lot of muscle. So their shape kinda stayed the same, in a sense, right? Their shape didn't change, they lost muscle, that's not the point, you don't want to lose muscle. Your muscle is your metabolism, your muscle is how well you finish off your life on the backend. The more muscle you have going into aging, the better things are on the backend.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Absolutely.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We've talked about that on a episode before, you can go back and listen as we talked about the importance of muscle. So that's [00:07:30] what we're getting at here. So you can like at fasting as a way to eat less food. However, if you eat the wrong foods, you're not gonna feel good and it's not gonna work out for you. But there's a study that was done and so let's talk about that. This study was done on intermittent fasting and again, if you're listening and are not sure what that means, it's very simple. The idea of fasting is to shorten your eating window, meaning, the amount of hours in a day that you're eating food.
So, for example, [00:08:00] if the average person and studies have shown this because a lot of people are tracking their eating habits. There's a lot of data now, I saw an interesting study put out, I don't know if it was by [Garmin 00:08:12] or Fitbit. Might have been ... I can't remember, on people's heart rates. Fascinating stuff because they're tracking, we're walking medical experiments now. We're tracking our steps, we're tracking our heart rates, we're tracking everything. Right? Everything is being tracked.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Blood sugar.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Everything is being tracked and we're getting all [00:08:30] this data that's out there now, right? So we know, MyFitnessPal, a lot of people use that, there's a lot of data available. And what they found is that a lot of people are eating for 13 plus hours in a day, so if there's 24 hours in a day, they're eating for more hours than they're not eating. Which is not a balanced ... you know, people talk about a balanced diet, that's not balanced.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Right? Plus, there's been some misconceptions about eating six times a day. [00:09:00] I mean, listen, you can eat six times a day if you have no metabolic issues, but if you have a metabolic issue, pre-diabetes, slow metabolism and you're eating six times a day, that's not good.
Dr. Martin Sr.: No.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It's not gonna help you. And we talk about, again, why that is in that program. But the bottom line is this. Shortening your eating window is the concept of intermittent fasting. And there are different ways of doing that, right? There's different ways of fasting. Like I mentioned earlier, some people will skip breakfast, will start eating at 12, they'll stop eating around 7, 8 o'clock at night, so they got [00:09:30] about a seven, eight hour eating window and then they're fasting for 16 hours. And that's the idea. So as a rule of thumb, when you shorten your eating window down a bit, people feel better. Right? And that good very-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, for different people, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. I think the average person should look at the amount of hours they eat in a day. If they get up and they're eating breakfast by eight in the morning and then they're having a snack at 9 o'clock, that's a 13-hour eating window, and they do that repeatedly for a long time, it's not good metabolically and they probably will be [00:10:00] gaining weight as a result of it. Plus, it's not good digestive-wise, think about all the digestive issues they we have. And it's not good digestion as well, you never get into that rest or digest stage enough. You're just not getting enough digestion going on. So there's a lot of problems associated with a longer eating window.
So we always tell somebody to shorten their eating window while intermittent fasting takes that a little bit to a different level where they really shorten it down and they're fasting part of the time, they're eating part of the time, which is the term intermittent fasting. Now, some [00:10:30] people will fast every other day, right? They'll fast, they'll do a 24-hour fast once or twice a week. But you can still do that and eat food every day because if you eat supper at 6 o'clock at night and then you eat supper the next day at 6 o'clock at night, well that was a 24-hour fast but yet you get to eat food every day. Right?
So there's a lot of benefit to fasting and we've talked about that before but what this study here shows, so this study here was done and they didn't lose any weight. The purpose of the study was not to lose weight. It was done [00:11:00] in men with pre-diabetes. So why don't you talk a little bit about what pre-diabetes is?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Okay. And that is where your cells are resisting the food hormone insulin, right? So every time you eat, you need insulin. Because insulin's got a job to do. So your pancreas secretes insulin. Its primary job is to take sugar, glucose and get it out of your bloodstream and store. I mean, insulin is a storage hormone, right? So [00:11:30] somebody that's a pre-diabetic is someone that is having trouble with insulin. Their cells don't react to insulin as well as they used to and that cells are resisting insulin. They have a high amount of insulin always circulating in their blood. That is pre-diabetic.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They're diabetic already, they just haven't been diagnosed as diabetes because the blood tests are just outside of that normal range, so they got high elevated blood sugars, a little outside the normal range, they got high insulin, but not enough [00:12:00] to be diagnosed as diabetic. However-
Dr. Martin Sr.: They should treat themselves like they are.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes. Because studies show a pre-diabetic gets all the same things that a diabetic does.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Just at a slower rate. Right? Pre-diabetes in your forties and fifties will give you dementia and Alzheimer's when you're older.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And you know, I always love what you say. And people should really hear this in repetition because if they get it, it really can help them a lot. The body has an enormous capacity to store fat. [00:12:30] Almost everybody, but not some skinny people, they can't store fat.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But the body has an enormous ability to keep you away from diabetes. So if you get diabetes, you're bad, man. Because the body has that ability to take sugar out of the bloodstream and store it and store it and store it and store it. And diabetes won't come until the very end. But you're in trouble metabolically way before that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, you're already in trouble metabolically. Yeah, [00:13:00] absolutely.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So what they did in this study I'd they did a form of intermittent fasting, we talk about which type in a second, and they did it in men who were pre-diabetic. So metabolically-
Dr. Martin Sr.: They were messed up.
Dr. Martin Jr.: ... they were messed up. They were diabetic metabolically, they just weren't officially diagnosed with diabetes and a majority of men and women over the age of 40 would classify as pre-diabetic nowadays. Right? A majority of people would be in that pre-diabetic range already. [00:13:30] So we're talking to almost everybody ob the age of 40 right now. So they did this intermittent fasting and they did a form which is fascinating and we've talked about this before and it's what they call early time-restricted feeding. So it's a form of intermittent fasting but it's specifically early time-restricted feeding. And they did it for a reason and we'll talk about that as well, why this may work for some people very well.
So early time-restricted feeding is very simple. They would eat for six [00:14:00] hours in the day and generally around eight in the morning, nine in the morning, until two in the afternoon or three. So their supper was at three in the afternoon. Then they'd fast until breakfast again. And the reason why they did it this way is for two reasons. Diabetics tend to have higher glucose in the morning. And the reason for that has to do with your circadian rhythm. Right? Your hormones are released based on that 24-hour cycle. So one of the hormones that's supposed to [00:14:30] be elevated early in the morning, as you're waking up is cortisol.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Cortisol, yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And cortisol, one of the main jobs of cortisol is to raise your blood sugar levels up so that you can have energy to start your day. The problem is a diabetic, they already have high blood sugar, or pre-diabetes, and cortisol raises it even more. So they have higher glucose levels in the morning. However, this study wanted to match circadian rhythm. They feel that people generally eat with the sunrise, right? And stop [00:15:00] eating before sunset.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I mean, listen, it's a fantastic way to do it if you can. The downside of that has to do with our culture because we generally eat supper as a family, breakfast his chaotic. And we eat supper as a family, right? The family meal in North America is supper. We get together as a family at supper. It's tough to do that if you're stopping eating around 3 o'clock.
However, for these pre-diabetes, that's what they did. And when they found a whole bunch of awesome things when it came to their actual metabolic health. They didn't lose [00:15:30] weight. Because again, I didn't look at the actual structure of how many calories and what they were eating and the types of food they were eating but it was interesting, right? So they ate roughly, in this study, they ate from 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 and they stopped eating around two or three in the afternoon for that six-hour eating window and they felt fantastic. So here we go.
Now, here's what they found in the study. So they found some big indicators here in terms of helping pre-diabetes. The first thing is, the participants [00:16:00] after the study, for five weeks, their insulin sensitivity increased.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Which is good.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Which is very good. Right? You don't wanna be insulin resistant, you wanna be insulin sensitive. Now, the difference between the two is very simple. When your cells are resistant to insulin, the body only reacts one way. It makes more. That's all it does.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It has to.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. It's like a parent yelling at their kids. It's like they're talking to their kids and the kid isn't listening [00:16:30] so what does a parent do? They raise their voice. They just talk louder. And if the kid's not listening because he's not smart enough to catch on, the parents raise their voice even more. Right? So that's basically what happens with the cells also. Your cells are not listening to insulin, so your pancreas is, "Oh yeah? You're gonna listen. I'm gonna send more insulin." Right? And that's what happens.
So when you're insulin resistant, you have more insulin circulating. The flip side of that is, I always picture insulin sensitivity [00:17:00] as whispering in a library. Just quiet, you don't need a lot of conversation, so it's just, your cells are so sensitive to insulin that your pancreas doesn't need to make much.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So you'll get the same job done and the reason why that's important is because insulin, which is so important for your health, when you have too much of it, causes a ton of inflammation, a ton of fat storage. It makes things grow that shouldn't be growing.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: [00:17:30] It's a real fuel for bad cells and ... you name it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It's a powerful growth hormone. Right? And it makes your fat cells grow, if you're a guy it makes your prostate grow, if you've got cancer it could make cancer, makes your liver grow.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It makes your liver grow. The suitcase gets real stuffed when you're making lots of insulin.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So the men in this study who were pre-diabetic, who fasted this method had an increased insulin sensitivity. Now, [00:18:00] a lot of fasting is showing the same thing so it's now just restricted to this type of fasting because a lot of other types of fasting is showing the exact same thing. In fact, if you're pre-diabetic, shortening your eating window is a great way to increase insulin sensitivity. So is weight lifting. So is high intensity interval training. Right? Those are awesome ways of increasing insulin sensitivity. So that was the first thing.
Now another big problem, if you have high blood pressure, you are pre-diabetic, guaranteed. That means [00:18:30] you're pre-diabetic. This type of fasting reduces blood pressure. Again, because blood pressure is a symptom of too much insulin. So they became more insulin sensitive, they had less circulating insulin and as a result their blood pressure improved.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Incredible.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And they didn't lose any weight. So they could have been frustrated.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And I see that a lot, eh. People are frustrated because their only monitor is the scale.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That's right. Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: That's ... "Hey, [00:19:00] I'm not losing any weight."
Dr. Martin Jr.: Think about it. If we were to list, you and I did this not long ago, we did a small podcast a while ago on some blood tests that we think are important but you and I put together a sheet of blood tests that would give you a full evaluation from your brain to your gut to your skin, everything. There are a lot of metabolic markers. A ton of metabolic markers. And people will just look at the scale as the trump-all.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yes.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Right? That's the most important [00:19:30] number. They can feel good, their metabolic health can be healthy but they're like, "I wanna lose 10 pounds." Right? Or whatever. But you're right. So these people in the study, they didn't lose any weight but already, their insulin sensitivity improved and their blood pressure went down. And that's important because we talked about this as well, blood pressure in mid-life, high correlation of stroke at the end of your life, Alzheimer's and dementia. Blood pressure is a [00:20:00] warning sign, is a check engine light, people will think of heart, yes, but it's also a check engine light for your brain. You've got high blood pressure now? Your brain's in trouble later. That's a fact. So that's why this is important. That's why this kind of information is important.
The third thing it does, so we talked about how it makes you more insulin sensitive, it lowers your blood pressure, the third thing is it decreases oxidative stress.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Wow. So the free radicals went down, right? And again, [00:20:30] you just talked about how high circulating insulin is a real factor in aging, right? So if you look at oxidative, what they call glycation end products-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, you give an analogy of what oxidative stress is with an apple.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And I think that's brilliant.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. Well, you cut an apple in half. Just ... it don't take long. Literally within a couple of minutes, that apple's starting to turn brown.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And that's oxygen.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It's [00:21:00] oxygen.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It's oxidative stress, it's rusting out the apple. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. Quickly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And that ages us, oxygen gives us life but it also ages us. It ages our brain. It causes free radical damage. So it causes a lot of problems.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. It rusts you out, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: One of the keys of anti-aging is decreasing oxidative stress. Intermittent fasting, which is why people always talk about the anti-aging benefits of intermittent fasting. And other studies showed it decreased oxidative stress in these pre-diabetic men. And pre- [00:21:30] diabetic men are full of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is another way to get inflammation. So that's why they're loaded with inflammation, because they got high insulin, that creates inflammation, they got high cortisol, that creates inflammation, they got high oxidative stress, that creates inflammation and then that kills our heart or it kills their brain or it kills their gut, it kills anything.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Makes cancer cells.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Pre-diabetes and I don't like the word pre-diabetes and the reason why, any pre [00:22:00] anything, but even then, it should be called pre-disease. Because it doesn't have to go to diabetes, it can shoot to the brain, it can shoot to wherever. Cardiac, they call it pre-diabetes because they're gonna get diabetes but then they're also gonna get something else. But anyways. So those are the three things.
Dr. Martin Sr.: The benefits.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We're not losing weight. And those three things are so important for your metabolic health. So important for our heart, brain, everything we just talked about, right? Again, the reason why they did it this way [00:22:30] is they wanted to align it with the circadian rhythm. Eat at sunrise or eat in the morning. As the day goes on, you stop eating. Right? You and I talked about this, how it would be difficult to do for a lot of people but you know that if you did it, you'd feel better.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We both said the same thing. Like anything else, you have to get used to it, right? Everybody says they can't fast, there's no way I can wait to eat until 12 or one. Until they do it a few times and then they're like, "Yeah, it wasn't that bad." Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. And again, if you're only looking at the scale, [00:23:00] intermittent fasting, shortening your window, it can be a real important factor in even weight loss. But if you turn the ship around and look at it the other way and say, "Well, look, I wanna be healthy." Because our goal at the Martin Clinic is obviously, we understand you wanna lose weight and I mean, who doesn't? Right? I mean, that's a big thing today, I was telling you about a study that came out that since the 1960s, there's 30% more obesity.
Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:23:30] Well, I think you said that the average men is 30 pounds heavier. It was an article-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. And the average woman is 31 pounds heavier than in the 1960s so who doesn't wanna lose weight? Of course it's a big thing today. It's bigger than it ever was. It always was big, but now it's even bigger. I understand that because people, what you see is ... but our goal at the Martin Clinic, it's bigger than that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Because we want you to be metabolically sound, we want to get your insulin down, [00:24:00] we wanna get your inflammation down, we want to-
Dr. Martin Jr.: We want to help people live longer but healthier because as I talked about in that solo podcast, but by the way, it's not easy to do. When you go away and I run on my own.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You missed me, eh?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh yeah, then I miss you. It's not easy to do. But here's the thing. We want people to live longer but like I talked about the statistic that 50% of people over the age of 85 have Alzheimer's. So people say, "I [00:24:30] wanna live to 85 or 90." Well, then you're flipping a coin whether or not you have Alzheimer's and who wants to live with Alzheimer's? Who wants to live with that? And you don't get Alzheimer's ... and here's the thing. Because I was thinking about this a little bit in the week as I wanna writing, doing some articles. It's not what you do in your seventies and eighties that gives you Alzheimer's, it's what you do in your forties, fifties and sixties.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Mid-life. I'm telling you the more I read studies and the more I look at things, it's your stupid mid-life. [00:25:00] What you do in your mid-life, it's not even what you do in your twenties and thirties because you can come back from that stuff.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You can regenerate. You can-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. When you're young, in a sense, right? Like your cells, everything is turning over and it's just you're metabolically healthy. It's when you become unhealthy metabolically, it's what you do in your forties and fifties and sixties that really sets the stage. Now I'm not saying if you're in your seventies you can't do damage. And you can always do stuff to help.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You gotta undo a lot [00:25:30] of stuff, still.
Dr. Martin Jr.: But if you're in your forties, fifties and sixties and you're listening to this, now is the time. You got high blood pressure? Fix that. There's a lot of studies that show that it does a lot of different things. It's not just a little mild ... it's a check engine light. That's a massive check engine light.
Now, your check engine light, you can put a little piece of black electrical tape over it and hide it and act like it's not there.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, that would be blood pressure medication, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, just like "Here, take this." Instead of "Well, what's the root cause? What's causing that?" [00:26:00] Right? Stress causes high blood pressure, yes, but stress causes elevated cortisol. Cortisol raises your blood pressure but also brings your blood sugars up and also causes a raised ... your insulin levels will go up, which causes inflammation, which strains your brain, which leads to Alzheimer's. You could see it's all connected. It's all pieces of a puzzle, right? So that's why we talk a lot to people, forties, fifties and sixties, and then when they're in their seventies and eighties and they want to double down on a lot of stuff to protect your brain.
But we talk to that [00:26:30] age a lot because we want them to understand that they're at the stage now that will really affect their retirement. It really affects their backend of their life. Do they wanna be that 50% at 85 that have Alzheimer's? Or do they want to be the 50% that are 85 and like I see at the gym in the morning, they're 85, they're jumping off the benches and lifting weights and sound everything. Sound mind, sound everything. That's health.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That's the important stuff. Right? When it comes to health, it's aging well. We don't talk a lot about weight, [00:27:00] in a sense, because weight's a symptom of an underlying metabolic or hormonal issue that we would rather fix because you fix that, then the weight will take care of itself. We're more concerned about the metabolic health of somebody.
Now we've gone over and we're way past our time that we like to give ourself for these episodes. So again, if you have any questions, email us, there's a lot of ways to get a hold of us. But we wanna thank you for listening and have a great day.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Thanks for listening to The Doctor's In podcast from martinclinic. [00:27:30] com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It's a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook Live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.
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Dr. Martin Jr.: You're listening to The Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical, and in our opinion, awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes, so enjoy.
Hi, I'm Dr. Martin, Jr., and this is The Doctor Is In podcast, and this is Episode 167. [00:00:30] Now, today I'm on my own. My dad is still on holidays. He's soaking up some vitamin D, some much needed vitamin D. We've had a long winter up north already. It seems like the snow came and it hasn't left even since the first snowfall. So, he's away this week, but rest assured, he'll be back with us again next week.
So today, what I want to do is talk about a little interesting study that came out just this year, in 2019, early [00:01:00] in 2019, talking about the brain, specifically. But, before I get into that, last year we've done a few podcast episodes on the brain and if you've haven't had a chance to listen to those, go back and listen. They're fantastic. You know, one of the big worries that people have is that their brain won't live as long as their bodies, and rightfully so. It's really a normal thing to worry about because if you've looked at the headlines over the last year, for example, in 2018, [00:01:30] dementia became Britain's biggest killer. In fact, it overtook heart disease for the first time. That's happening in a lot of the developed countries in the world.
There's another statistic that is also quite interesting. For example, half of the adults aged 85 and older have Alzheimer's. So, if the purpose of anti-aging is to live longer, that's awesome, however, if our [00:02:00] brain isn't living as long as our body, that can create, obviously, some big issues. That's what we're seeing today. Half of the adults over the age of 85 have Alzheimer's, so it's a big problem. Our brains aren't aging as well as our bodies are.
Now, you know, it's amazing. Our bodies ... Like, the number one disability when it comes to our physical bodies has to do with sarcopenia and osteoporosis, right? A lot of seniors are disabled because of [00:02:30] muscle wasting and bone wasting. That really affects their day-to-day activities. Again, the problem is, is that when the brain ... the same thing happens to the brain, the brain wastes away or it go through an atrophy, you end up with dementia or Alzheimer's, so that becomes, like I said, a big problem.
We also have on our website, a training there specifically called Age-Proof Your Brain. If you haven't gone through that, go to our website, it's free, [00:03:00] and just watch our presentation there. We talk about how to age-proof your brain, knowing that half of the adults, aged 85 and older, have Alzheimer's and that Alzheimer's is climbing the list of top killers, and in some countries, it's number one. Other countries, like Australia, it's number two. So, I mean, it's definitely becoming a problem. But, in that training that we have on our website, we reverse engineer dementia and Alzheimer's, so we talk about how in every case [00:03:30] of dementia and Alzheimer's, there's inflammation on the brain, or neuroinflammation. You'll find inflammation in every case of dementia and Alzheimer's, however, as we've said many times before, not all cases come from the same cause. What I mean by that is very simple. Inflammation is not Houdini. It's not magic. It doesn't just show up on its own for no apparent reason. Something has to cause inflammation. [00:04:00] I know for a long time people have said, "Inflammation is the cause of all disease," but that's not completely true, because something has to cause that inflammation. When you want to figure out what's going on, you have to figure out what's causing the inflammation. You can say that inflammation causes dementia and Alzheimer's, but that's not really true because something causes that inflammation.
In that training, we talk about the three big causes of inflammation in the brain. [00:04:30] We talk about high circulating insulin. What happens after a long period of time when people have elevated insulin, it can shrink the brain, it can cause a problem with how your brain uses glucose, and it can absolutely lead to neuroinflammation and dementia and Alzheimer's. In fact, some studies estimate up to 50% of people with dementia or Alzheimer's, that's the cause of it. That's the reason why they have it is because of high circulating insulin. So, [00:05:00] half the people who end up with a brain issue, as they age, it's because of that.
But, that's not the only causes. You can repair that, or you can prevent that aspect, but it doesn't mean you're not going to end up with dementia or Alzheimer's, because there are two other big causes as well. One, we talk about in the training is free radical damage. Again, that's a big cause of inflammation and that can lead to dementia, Alzheimer's. And another one is leaky gut. [00:05:30] A lot of people are surprised to think that the brain and the gut are so connected, but I'm here to tell you, they absolutely are. That's what I want to talk about for the rest of this shorter episode.
There was a study done that was just released, it talks about specifically ... I'll read you the title of the study. It's Fungi Causes Brain Infection and Impaired Memory in Mice. What they're finding out is this. The most common cause of fungus in humans [00:06:00] is something called Candida albicans. You know, we talk about fungal infections, most of the time you're talking about Candida. It's very common. A lot of people have issues with Candida. However, what they're finding out is that Candida can actually cross your blood-brain barrier, and then that will trigger an inflammatory response. As I mentioned, if inflammation is a cause of Alzheimer dementia, then one cause of inflammation is [00:06:30] actual Candida, an actual fungus.
Now, it's interesting that for the longest time ... and still to this date ... there shouldn't be, but there is still a little bit of debate whether or not the brain is sterile. A lot of researchers for the longest time thought that the brain was a sterile environment because the brain is protected by something called a blood-brain barrier. Now, what's interesting ... and the purpose of the blood-brain barrier is to protect the brain from [00:07:00] junk while allowing good things to get through, things that the brain needs, some nutrients that the brain need. Oxygen and stuff like that have to get through. The brain is really well protected by this barrier, but what they're finding out is that Candida can cross it. Now, can Candida cross a healthy blood-brain barrier? I don't think it can, personally. I think that certain things have to happen which we'll talk about in a second, but here's the thing. If fungus, specifically Candida, [00:07:30] can cross the blood-brain barrier and end up in the brain, and trigger and inflammatory response, in order for that to happen, two things have already gone wrong. This is what I want to concentrate on.
There are two reasons why Candida could become a big problem. Now listen, not only can Candida cause a lot of issues digestively, skin ... a lot of skin infections. A lot of these things can be caused by Candida. But it can get into your brain, and it can lead to longstanding [00:08:00] inflammation which can cause some big issues. But in order for that to happen, two things have to go wrong first. Here they are. The first thing is, the Candida isn't killed when it should be. And the second thing that happens, it's allowed, then, to get into the bloodstream, and it's allowed, then, to get to the brain and go through the blood-brain barrier. So, there's two things. It isn't killed when it should, and it's allowed to get into the brain.
Let's talk about why those two things can happen, and then knowing [00:08:30] those two things can help you stop that from happening in the first place. Now, in order to understand how the first thing happens, how does it not killed when it should be, well, how does Candida get into our system? Obviously it gets in through our digestive tract. It gets into our digestive system. That shouldn't happen. Now, it's important to know this. Your stomach obviously contains acid, hydrochloric acid, and a normal stomach has, as [00:09:00] your hydrochloric acid levels increase, your pH decreases. You want a very low pH in the stomach. That's essential because that means that you have a good amount of acid, a good amount of hydrochloric acid. When that happens, when you have enough stomach acid, and your pH is low enough, you will break down the protein in your stomach, and it kills bacteria, viruses, fungus, and all those things that shouldn't [00:09:30] get through there. That's what's supposed to happen.
However, very few people, and especially after the age of 40, very few people have normal amounts of stomach acid. Unfortunately, one of the things that happens as we age is our stomach acid production decreases, and for a lot of other reasons, which I'll get into. So in an abnormal stomach, when you don't have enough hydrochloric acid, your pH increases, [00:10:00] and when your pH is increased, then you're not breaking down protein properly, and also, Candida, bacteria, viruses are able to pass through the stomach and get into your digestive tract, your bowels. Once that happens, then they start to cause some real problems. Then they start to mount a war against your good bacteria, which again we'll talk about in a second.
Now, before I go any further, I just want to share one little FYI with you. The way that the stomach [00:10:30] works is interesting. As you have a higher amount of stomach acid, hydrochloric acid, and your pH decreases, you know what happens? There's a little valve at the top of your stomach. It's a sphincter. When that little valve is open then the passageway between your esophagus and your stomach is obviously open. When it's closed, it's shut off. Think of heartburn for a second. That stomach acid will go up into the esophagus and cause a whole bunch [00:11:00] of discomfort and pain. But, here's what's supposed to happen. This is what absolutely blows my mind when it comes to the treatment of heartburn. As your stomach acid increases, and your pH decreases, that tells that valve to close. It becomes almost like a bow tie around the top. It's like a garbage ... You know those little tags, clips at the top of a garbage that you tie on? That's what happens. It closes. It's a normal thing that happens. Acid increases, pH [00:11:30] decreases, the valve closes, and everything stays in the stomach. The flip side is this. If you don't have enough stomach acid, then your pH increases and that valve stays open.
So, why is that important? Because heartburn is not a problem of too much acid. It's actually the opposite problem. So, it makes no sense to treat ... Now, you can manage, you can get rid of symptoms of heartburn by taking [00:12:00] an antacid or a proton-pump inhibitor, which actually shuts off the production of stomach acid. However, if it doesn't fix the problem, it actually makes the problem worse, because when you take an antacid and you stop that acid production, you are creating an environment in the stomach that doesn't close the valve in the future, but also, think about that, you're lowering stomach acid, you're allowing all that crap, all that fungus, bacteria, [00:12:30] and then your protein isn't getting broken down. So think of all the issues that happen. And I'm going to talk about in a second, how do you know if you have low acid.
Well, let's get into that now because that's a common problem. Well, the first thing, you have low stomach acid if you get heartburn. If you get heartburn, you do not make enough stomach acid. That's a fact. You could take an antacid and temporarily get rid of the symptoms, but I'll tell you, you're not fixing the problem at all. [00:13:00] An antacid, or a proton-pump inhibitor is literally the definition of a Band-Aid approach. It literally is the definition. It's doing nothing to fix the problem. It's only going to create problems more down the road, because we already know antacids affect your ability to breakdown nutrients properly so that's why there's a correlation between antacid use and osteoporosis, for example. There's a correlation between you not getting enough D vitamin. You can't absorb things [00:13:30] properly. We'll do a future episode, my dad and I, on the importance of the gall bladder, which is another thing that's completely gotten wrong in modern medicine.
So, if you're getting heartburn, you do not have enough stomach acid. That's a fact. If you are bloating or you're belching or burping after a meal, you do not have enough stomach acid. That's a big problem. Also, if the food just feels like it's sitting in your stomach, where it just feels heavy, then you don't have enough stomach [00:14:00] acid, as well. Also, some people with not enough stomach acid will get constipated. Other people will get diarrhea. It can really cause one or the other, or neither. You may not get any of them.
Now, here's another thing, and this is a big thing in women, specifically. Hair loss. Women who have hair loss, or their nails break a lot, or they have ... even men, they get those ridges in their nails, well that's an indication that you're not breaking down protein and you're not getting [00:14:30] the amino acids that are protein, and you're not sending them to the areas such as your hair, your skin, your nails, all those things. That's a stomach acid issue. You don't have enough stomach acid. Now, for women, thyroid, hormones can cause hair loss. There's no question. But the two biggest causes of hair loss in women is hormones and not enough stomach acid. Guaranteed.
Think about it. If you get yeast infections, you do not have enough stomach acid. If you get toenail fungus, you do not have enough [00:15:00] stomach acid ... athlete's foot, jock itch, all those things, because how do you think those things get there? It's an internal problem. Now, you can treat it. You can treat the symptoms of it, which is topically, but unless you take care of the actual issue, you're going to have recurring issues over and over and over. So that's important to understand. Those are some of the big symptoms of low stomach acid. And most people over the age of 40 have a decreased production of stomach acid, which leads to a lot of [00:15:30] these things. So again, as I mentioned, one of the problems with Candida ending up in the brain is it's allowed to live when it should've been killed. That's because of low stomach acid. Now, it's also because the gall bladder may not be working, but again, we'll talk about that in a future episode.
But now, once they pass through the stomach ... So, Candida should've been killed, but because you don't have enough stomach acid, once it passes through, well then it ends up into your intestinal tract. But still, there's one more thing that it needs to do. [00:16:00] It needs to get into your bloodstream. How does that happen? Well, that's where leaky gut comes into play. That's why my dad and I talk so much about leaky gut syndrome, because what's happening is the contents of your gut are literally leaking into your bloodstream. That shouldn't happen. You have a barrier there that's supposed to stop Candida from getting through. It's supposed to stop bacteria from getting through, junk from getting through, undigested food from getting through. [00:16:30] But what happens is if you don't have enough probiotics, good bacteria, then your good bacteria are like the little soldiers that ... they're guards. They guard those little holes that allow stuff to pass through the digestive system into the bloodstream. So when you don't have enough probiotics, if your gut microbiome isn't healthy, then your gut is leaky. When your gut is leaky, then Candida [00:17:00] now passes through your stomach into your bowels and into your bloodstream.
From there, they go through one more barrier. They go through the blood-brain barrier. Now, how does that happen? Well, this is where my dad always says, "Leaky gut, leaky brain," because there is a direct connection between your microbiome in your gut, your bacteria content in your gut and your brain barrier. The same probiotics, the same bacteria [00:17:30] that protect your gut lining, protect your blood-brain barrier. So, if you, for example, have had a history of antibiotic use or a lot of different chemicals that we come into contact with, again, they kill all your good bacteria. What happens is, your blood-brain barrier becomes leaky. Your gut becomes leaky.
So now, Candida has passed through your stomach. It's passed through a weakened gall bladder. It's into your [00:18:00] bowels, and it goes through the bowel lining, into your blood, and then ends up eventually into your brain. Once it's in your brain, it causes a low-grade infection, inflammation, and that down the line, leads to dementia or Alzheimer's.
I am guessing that this is a much bigger problem than researchers realize. I think, as time goes on, they're going to discover just [00:18:30] how big of a problem that is. But, in the meantime, they're moving in the right direction because they're starting to say, "Hey, wait, the blood-brain barrier is leaky. The brain isn't sterile." They thought the brain was sterile for the longest time. There's actual bacteria living in there now.
I saw a study earlier linking Candida ... The amount of people with Parkinson's that have fungus infection in their brain is high. So, there's a correlation there, as well. Not every Parkinson's is caused by Candida in the brain, but some [00:19:00] of them might be. And it's the same thing with dementia or Alzheimer's. Not all of them are going to be caused by this because 50% of the people have a problem with insulin. But, there's a percentage of people that have Alzheimer's dementia that is due to the fact that they've had a brain infection for a long time.
So again, what can you do today? If you're listening to this, and you're saying, "Hey, I'm worried about my brain long-term health. I'm worried. I want my brain to live as long as my body can. I want it to be sharp. I want to be able to think [00:19:30] and focus and make decisions and all those kind of things. What can you do?" Well, I would suggest, go to our website first and watch that training video. We break things down very well there. But listen, when it comes specifically to Candida, well, since there's two problems, you got to correct, or you got to support two areas. You got to support the health of your stomach and gall bladder, and your bowels, and you got to protect your microbiome, which is why we're massive fans of digestive enzymes, [00:20:00] well-made digestive enzymes, and also probiotics. That's why we're big fans of probiotics.
Again, when I talk about a well-made digestive enzyme, well you want to have ... Obviously the enzymes that are in there, you want enough protein enzymes and fat digesting enzymes, carbs and starches. You want all those things in there, which is crucial. But, you also want it made in a way that's going to help promote the increased production of stomach acid. You're also going to want, like for example, in our digestive enzyme, we throw a few things [00:20:30] in there to help kill these things. We built our digestive enzyme to help with leaky gut, for example, because we have stuff like oil of oregano. We have different types of nutrients in there that are actually a little bit of ... that kill stuff, because we know that our gut is constantly being attacked by all these bugs and viruses and all that kind of stuff. So you want that, but then you also want a very good probiotic to protect your blood-brain barrier, and then also to protect your gut so that things can't pass from your digestive tract into your blood.
[00:21:00] So again, this study here, in my opinion, is a big study. I'm hoping that it starts to point researchers in the direction of looking at chronic infections because of poor digestion, and the effect it has, not only on our digestive system, but also on the health of our brain. Thanks for listening, and have a great day.
Dr.Martin Sr: Thanks for listening to the Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at info@martinclinic. [00:21:30] com. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It's a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook Live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.
In this episode we share with you the most important thing you can do to be healthy this year...lowering your insulin.
If you can lower your insulin levels, you'll have a healthier brain, weight, skin, digestive system, heart, hormones, and immune system.
In the podcast we talk about why insulin is the most important biomarker to fix.
We share with you the three best ways to lower your insulin levels.
We talk about why fasting is good for insulin levels and the different ways to shorten your eating window.
We discuss why exercise lowers insulin and the best type to do while you age.
We explain why some can tolerate more carbs than others and the importance of eating below your carb tolerance.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You're listening to The Doctor Is In podcast for MartinClinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical and, in our opinion, awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes, so enjoy.
Hi, I'm Dr. Martin Jr.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Hi, I'm Dr. Martin Sr.
Dr. Martin Jr.: This is The Doctor Is In podcast, and [00:00:30] this is episode 166. Now this is also the first episode of 2019.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Woohoo!
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yep, 2018 is come and gone. We're now into 2019. And one of the things that pretty much everybody does at the beginning of the year is they set these goals for themselves, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yep.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So many statistics on people setting New Year's resolutions, so many people setting all these different goals. And, of course, there's a lot of jokes about that as well, because majority of the people don't even get [00:01:00] through January, and they've stopped. You always hear gyms complaining ... Not gym owners, they love this time of year. But people that go to a gym regularly, they can't wait for January to end, because then they know it will be a lot less quieter in there. Because typically, that's what happens. People start these goals and they fizzle out.
Listen, the bottom line is, after being in healthcare as long as I have and you being in healthcare as long as you have, you know the simple truth is change is very [00:01:30] difficult.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Habits are very, very hard to break. Starting a new habit, especially as we get older ... We don't get more flexible as we get older, we get more stubborn.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Stuck in our ways.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh, yeah. We get so stubborn. We get so routined, and we like our routines. In order for a major change to happen, there has to be a lot of different actions. And I'll tell you, that's hard to do. Everybody gets kind of nostalgic around this time of year, and we overeat over Christmas, [00:02:00] and it's like, "That's it. This is the year, 2019 is going to be the year of me." And everybody has these kind of things.
Listen, that's fine, setting goals and all that. Those are great things. But a goal without an idea of how you're going to do it or breaking those goals down into winnable little tasks, then people are going to fail. It's funny, because people will come up to us and they'll ask us, and we get a kick out of it. They're like, "Is it bad to go to the gym six days [00:02:30] a week?" We'll always say the same thing, "Well, why don't we start with once a week?" And then, "Before you're worried about going six times, why don't we start going one time?"
Going from none to six times a week, that's a big time commitment. Not only are you going to be sore, that's a big time commitment, to go to a gym. If you leave your house, go to a gym, and come home after, that's a good almost two hour time period, right? And then either people say, " [00:03:00] Well, hey, listen. I'll solve the problem, and I'll get a home gym." Which for the 1% of you that can actually do that at home ... I mean, if you have a choice between the couch and TV, and weights in the basement or a treadmill, it's pretty [crosstalk 00:03:15]
Dr. Martin Sr.: How often the treadmill gets used as a clothes hanger ...
Dr. Martin Jr.: I saw an ad, somebody wrote up a pretty funny ad for a treadmill that his wife had bought. He talked about how it was the world's most expensive clothes hanger and how it has all [00:03:30] these great features to hang your clothes on. It was pretty funny, but that's the truth.
Dr. Martin Sr.: That's just reality, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Everybody listening to this podcast can relate to this, because we've all set health goals and we all have not kept them, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That's the reality. We're not going to talk about specific goals on this episode, because that's not what we're here to do. What we want to do is, we want to take a look at what we call the 80/20 rule. In a sense that if you did something really well 80% [00:04:00] of the time, you're going to get results. You don't have to be perfect, no.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Let me give you a recipe for success, not for failure.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, we want to focus in on the 80%, and let's just say this. Science is clear on one thing. Now, we mentioned this in a podcast last year. The eating world, the diet world, is so fragmented right across the spectrum. It's across the spectrum. You have vegans, you have vegetarians, [00:04:30] you have those that-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Carnivores.
Dr. Martin Jr.: ... carnivores that just eat meat. Then you have keto and you have low carb, then you have Mediterranean diet. And then you have all these different variations of that.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Points.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, they're all different and they're drastically different. They all have funny things about them to a certain extent, because you'll always hear people say, "Oh, I'm cutting out a full food group," like carbs is dangerous. And yet, they're a vegetarian, where they've cut out a full food group.
[00:05:00] We've gotten funny when it comes to talking about diet. But science agrees on this, whether or not we want to admit it or not. Science agrees that eating real food is always better for you, eating less sugar. Now, there's disagreements. Some people say no sugar, some people will say no added sugar. But science agrees we're eating way too much sugar right now. We're eating way too many processed foods full of vegetable oils right now.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Agreed.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We're [00:05:30] eating way too often right now.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Agreed.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And we're eating way too much food when we do eat. That's the foundational stuff. But like I said, we want to talk about the 80% now, and here it is. If you can control insulin, then you're going to take care of 80%, probably even higher than that, of a lot of the health conditions that is plaguing everybody today. From weight, [00:06:00] just strictly weight gain, but also diabetes, heart disease, cancer, blood pressure, dementia, Alzheimer's. You're going to give your body-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Aging.
Dr. Martin Jr.: ... anti-aging ... the best shot to protect. If you can-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Energy.
Dr. Martin Jr.: ... take care of that one thing, that 80/20-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Digestive issues.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, let's talk about insulin. Now the problem is, today, that we have too much insulin all the time. So let's just talk about that quickly. I guess the first thing we should [00:06:30] say is that insulin is a crucial hormone. It's vitally important. Without it, you die. It is a powerful hormone, but it's a food hormone, first of all. You secrete it when you eat.
Also, it's a growth hormone. You need it. It's an important growth hormone, it makes things grow. In itself, it's very important. But the problem is when there's a lack of balance in a sense, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You have too much insulin circulating all the time, and you end up with a condition they call hyperinsulinemia, [00:07:00] which is high-circulating insulin syndrome, or you end up with insulin resistance. But the bottom line, what we're going to do today is we're going to talk about probably the three best ways to control insulin. And if you can control insulin, your 2019 will be a lot healthier. It will fix a lot of your problems. That's what we're going to do on today's episode.
To start off the new year, let's talk about probably the most important thing in health, in our eyes, because of what we see here [00:07:30] from interacting with a lot of people. So let's talk about insulin. If you can give one parting thing to somebody, it's control insulin, and they're going to be way better off. Let's talk about that, the three best ways, really, to control insulin.
We'll go through the first one here, which is time-restricted eating. Again, each of these are equally important, and we'll explain why that is. Just because we're saying this one first doesn't mean it's the most important thing, but [00:08:00] it's time-restricted eating. Nowadays, a lot of people know what that is. They may not know it under the term of time-restricted eating, but they've heard the word fasting, or they've heard the word intermittent fasting.
At the end of the day, time-restricted eating is just shortening your eating window, which of course means ... Think about this. If there's 24 hours in a day and you eat breakfast at eight in the morning, and you have your last snack at eight at night, that's a 12 hour eating window. [00:08:30] Essentially in that day you fasted for 12 hours, and you ate for 12 hours. Now, you may not have ate for 12 hours straight, but your eating window was eight hours. Or 12 hours, sorry.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, because you're secreting insulin. And just to give them a little bit of physiology, like what does insulin do? Well, when you eat, you secrete insulin immediately.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And why do you do that?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Because it's got a job to do, right? It's got to take that sugar that you're making from food. It's got to take your calories, it's got to store them. [00:09:00] It's got to take nutrition, it's got to store it. It's got to partition it, so insulin's big job starts right away. I always tell people, "Look, as soon as you eat, you need insulin. You're going to secrete insulin, you need it." And there's nothing wrong with that.
The problem is, what if you're eating every couple of hours? And you eat, and you stop eating, but insulin hasn't stopped working. Insulin keeps going, and as long as insulin is present ... You've said this before, it's part of our [00:09:30] programs in the past. As long as insulin is present, it's impossible to burn-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, you're not burning fat as energy.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You're not burning fat as energy.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No, it stops. The presence of insulin stops the breakdown of fat cells for energy. When insulin is there, you have glucose that's still present. So your body is like, "We've got to do something first with this glucose, so we're not going to breakdown fat cells for energy."
Insulin is one of those things that if it's there, you're not in the best position to burn fat. [00:10:00] Now listen, it doesn't mean you're not going to burn energy. You're going to burn off glucose, and you may rip through some of your glycogen storage and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, if you have a lot of fat storage, you're not tapping into that.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And you're probably not that active. Just about the vast majority of people in their workplace, they don't move.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No, and the biggest problem when it comes to insulin and glucose in a sense, is our storage is full. [00:10:30] As you mentioned, when you eat food, it's broken down into glucose. It doesn't matter what you eat, it's broken down into glucose. Some things are broken down very quickly, they spike your blood sugar levels very quickly. Some things break down slower and your blood sugar levels don't go up as fast. But at the end of the day, everything ends up raising your glucose levels to a certain extent. So that's dangerous, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Martin Jr.: You can't have high glucose, so your body has to do something with it. That's where insulin ... Like you said, you secrete insulin. Insulin comes and says, "Alright, listen. [00:11:00] Glucose, we've got to get rid of you, so we're going to take you and store you somewhere." If you've listened to our previous episodes you know that you have a few places where you can store glucose, that's it.
You have your muscle, which is a limited storage. I always give the analogy of this: There's a carry-on suitcase, then there's that suitcase for your toddler, and then there's the adult suitcase. So you've got the carry-on, and a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger. The muscles are that middle [00:11:30] size suitcase. You could pack some stuff in there, but you can't go away for two weeks with that suitcase.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You're not going to Europe with that one, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: No. Then the second luggage, or storage, is your liver, and the liver is the carry-on. It's the smallest. It's got about 100 grams of glycogen when converted to glucose, basically storage. It can't take that much. So the muscles are full, the liver is full, and then you have that large suitcase, which is your fat cells. You start packing-
Dr. Martin Sr.: That's the one you pay money for.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That's the one that's a big [00:12:00] fee, and it has to be no more than 50 lbs., depending on the airline. That's the one that they get you on their fees. But that's what happens. Every time you eat, if you're not going to use that energy right now, you can't keep it in your blood. Your blood cannot store glucose. It's dangerous. It's like "Alright, let's store it. Alright, muscles are full, let's check the carry-on. The liver is full, alright, pack it in the big suitcase." The difference is you can always, to a certain extent, make more fat cells. And what happens is, a person [00:12:30] starts to run into high insulin when their fat cells are full.
Here's the kicker: Some people can make more fat cells than others, store more fat, so their fat cells never get full. Other people, they can't make as much fat, so their fat cells are full. And when that happens, you become diabetic by definition. You were already diabetic before that, but you become diabetic by definition. Time-restricted eating, it [00:13:00] empties out those suitcases. Because what happens is that if you fast overnight, your liver glycogen usually goes down a bit. Your liver gets cleaned out a little bit.
The longer you fast, you'll start to burn some of the glycogen in your muscles, and then you'll start digging into your fat cells. Once it's gone, you're going to have to start to get rid of your fat cells. That's important. One of the things that happens when you're not eating ... Because as you mentioned, if insulin is present when you're eating, when you're not eating [00:13:30] insulin isn't present. So by shortening the amount of hours in a day that you have insulin present, is a good thing. That's a good thing.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, and it lowers your inflammatory markers. It's a huge, huge thing for, oftentimes, too, digestion. People, a lot of times, are getting symptoms of bloating, and there could be different reasons for it. But one of the things they find is when they cut down their eating window "You know what? My gut is better," [00:14:00] because they're resting. Everything rests.
Dr. Martin Jr.: There are different studies that kind of talk about this, but I don't think it's ever been really looked at too much. But there seems to be something that happens when you eat for more hours in a day than when you fast. For example, if somebody eats for 13 or 14 hours day, they start really early in the morning and they eat really late at nighttime, they just don't digest enough. So then it messes up that digestive pattern, it messes up your insulin, [00:14:30] it messes up a lot of things.
One of the ways that you can lower insulin is by depleting glycogen, by not having insulin present. It's what they call time-restricted eating, which is shortening the amount of hours in a day that you eat. That's one way, that's one thing. And there are a lot of different ways that people can do that. There's intermittent fasting. People fast overnight, and they don't eat breakfast. They break their fast around lunchtime. Then you got those that will break their fast even longer. [00:15:00] Some diabetics do way better when they eat breakfast. They eat lunch and they eat an early dinner, and then they'll stop eating around 4:00 and they'll fast overnight. Then they'll repeat the process.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, a lot of them do very well that way.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That's right. There's a lot of ways of shortening your window, but at least start by eating less in a day than you are digesting. At least start by eating for an 11 hour window and fasting for 13, and then you can work and massage it and find out what works for you well.
Everybody says, "I can't fast," [00:15:30] until they try it. Then they're like, "Really, it's not that hard." So that's one thing. That's just the first thing. Again, it's not the most important thing, but it is there. The second thing we want to talk about is exercise.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. Exercise, of course, is ... I call it the true vitamin E. Is they're anything negative about exercise? No. The idea is any kind of exercise is good. There are some that are better, and we've talked about that on many a podcast. We talk about [00:16:00] the weightlifting, you just can't go wrong. And I don't care if you're 80 years old, the more muscle you have ... It's been proven, scientifically, a thousand times over. But any exercise, any movement is good.
Movement is good. If you can't get to a gym and you're walking, good for you. It's all good. I'll tell you thing. One of [00:16:30] the things that happens, too, that's a benefit and probably is one of the reasons that exercise is so good for you ... They've shown this ... that when you exercise, you are not producing cortisol. Cortisol, which is your stress hormone, goes to bed. Because that's how good exercise is for you. But the one that we like the most, that has the best research behind it to show it to be the most effective in women, [00:17:00] men, kids, blah blah blah, is weightlifting, resistant exercises.
I just know for my own experience, with me being 66 years old ... going to be 67 very quickly in the month of January, send me my happy birthday wishes. Just kidding. But I've found over the years what has helped me the most with my flexibility, with my blood sugars, my insulin [00:17:30] resistance, is exercises and especially weight bearing exercises. I know from personal experience how that has helped me big time in terms of my overall health.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Again, as you mentioned, usually when people talk about exercise, there could be really three types of exercise people think of. There's strength training, which is weightlifting. There's [00:18:00] cardio, which people think of jogging or treadmills and stuff like that.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, treadmills.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Then there's that combination of the two, which is that high-intensity interval training, which is that-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Which is excellent.
Dr. Martin Jr.: ... combination of weightlifting and that. Listen, if you had to choose, if you say "I can only do one of them," then lift weights. There's no question, get stronger. Go back and listen to our episode 131 where we talk about the importance of strong muscles for your brain, for cancer, for all those things. So build muscle first if you can only do one. But then research shows, [00:18:30] if you could do both or all three, a combination of those, that's the best.
Again, what that does, not only does it help lower insulin, it depletes your storage. It depletes those suitcases. It gets the glycogen out of your muscles, it increases the storage. This is a little hack, or a tip, if you want to eat more carbs, well, grow your muscles. Increase the ability you have to store more glycogen, build more muscle. [00:19:00] Anyways, that's just another thing.
Now what's interesting, again, is that weightlifting, they'll burn the muscles out of that glycogen. They'll allow you to store more things in there. It just burns it out, it cleans that fuel that's stuck in there. Weight training is so good for that. Plus, it directly makes you more insulin-sensitive. After exercising, your body is more sensitive to insulin. You need less of it. That's why a lot of people-
Dr. Martin Sr.: That fat storing hormone.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and a lot of people will eat their carbs, in a sense, [00:19:30] around exercising, around weightlifting, because they've depleted that glycogen. They're more sensitive to insulin. They don't make as much insulin. They don't store as much after. That's why they do it, right? But it's interesting, that's the second thing. The first thing we talked about was shortening your eating window down. The second thing was burn off that storage, exercise. And there's a lot of other benefits to exercise as well, but we're talking insulin.
The third thing, of course, is finding your carb tolerance [00:20:00] and eating below that, because everybody has a different carb tolerance. Some can tolerate more carbs. As I mentioned, generally somebody with more muscle can tolerate more carbs. Generally, not always. Some people are just more sensitive to carbs, it sends them into a cascade of bad things. They store more, everything goes off.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And don't fool yourself.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No, and that's the thing. You've got to find your carb tolerance, find that amount of carbs. [00:20:30] Some people, they've got to be keto because they're diabetic, or they've got to be very low carb. Some people do really well when they're low carb, which is 75 grams, 100 grams and under in a sense. And this is just an aside, a lot of times when a study bashes low carbs and then you go look at the study design, they're eating like 30/35/40% of calories from carbs. By no definition is that a low carb diet. But anyways, it doesn't matter.
The point is, find out what that carb tolerance [00:21:00] is and eat below it. And listen, if you have high triglycerides, you're not eating below your carb tolerance. You're eating above your carb tolerance. Those three things there, as you go into this new year you're like, "I want to get healthier, I want to preserve my brain as I age." Again, go listen to our podcast that we did not too long ago on brain health and insulin. If you want to protect your brain as you age, keep your insulin low. If you say, "I want to be healthier in 2019," then commit to lowering your insulin. And you do [00:21:30] that, again, by those three things that we've mentioned.
Again, those are the three big things that we talked about: eating window, exercise, carb tolerance. But there's another big one in there as well that we probably could add to the list, which is managing stress. Because stress causes an increase in cortisol, cortisol spikes your blood sugar and makes more insulin. Manage stress. Again, you could exercise, like you mentioned. It's a great way. And then sleep more.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, and it's so important when you think of it, because [00:22:00] we always talk about ... I don't think we ever go through a program where we don't talk about cortisol and stress, because today we live in a world where stress is a big factor. So yeah, absolutely manage your stress.
We could talk about sleep, or we could talk about eating, we could talk about exercise. All these things are helpful in managing stress. But yeah, for sure, get that cortisol level down, because cortisol [00:22:30] is an accelerator, and it will store fat, and it can mess you up big time. So as much as you can, try and get that cortisol in good management.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Again, thank you for listening. This is an episode we talked about doing a while ago, but we wanted to save it for now because this is the time of year when people are really serious ... I'm doing air quotes in a sense, because people should really be thinking about their health a lot more than they do. But [00:23:00] if you're listening, that's awesome. Try these three things and you'll see a difference in your health in 2019.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Absolutely.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Again, thanks for listening, and have a great day.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Thanks for listening to The Doctor Is In podcast from MartinClinic.com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at email@example.com. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join, [00:23:30] it's a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.