Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.
Guy:Imagine if you could supercharge your hormones, strength, mood and health with a short daily routine, a little commitment and guidance with the right techniques. In the short video above, we have Wim Hof (aka The Iceman) walking us through what is known as the ‘Wim Hof Method’.
With over 20 world records under his belt where he has pushed his body beyond what was thought humanly possible, Wim’s message is not to be taken lightly as he shares with us why he believes everybody is capable of much greater things than they ever dreamed of.
“We can do more than what we think.” It’s a belief system that I have adopted and it has become my motto. There is more than meets the eye and unless you are willing to experience new things, you’ll never realize your full potential.” ― Wim Hof, Becoming the Iceman
Some of Wim Hof’s incredible accomplishments include:
He climbed to 6700 meters (22,000 ft) altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts and shoes
Completed a full marathon (42.195 km), above the arctic circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C dressed in nothing but shorts
Holds the ice endurance record in by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 52 minutes and 42 seconds
In 2011, Hof also ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water.
Guy: Hey this is Guy Lawrence on 180 Nutrition and welcome to today’s house sessions. We have a pillar of a guest for you today and his name is Wim Hof, the Ice Man. I must admit I was very excited to hear when Wim was coming on and I had an absolute blast today. If you’re unfamiliar with Wim and his work we’ll get into that in sec. He actually holds over 20 world records which is amazing. He’s done some amazing feats. He’s climbed Mount Everest in his shorts and got 6,700 meters in altitude. He’s only in his shorts and boots. He’s completed a full marathon above the Arctic Circle in Finland in temperatures up to minus 20 degrees Celsius which is minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit dressed in nothing but shorts. He’s also brought the ice endurance record by being fully immersed in ice for an hour and 44 minutes. I can’t handle 2 minutes in a cold shower, think about that. He’s also run a marathon in the Namibian Desert without water.
He’s done all these amazing feats and showing what the human body is capable of. Today he’s coming on the show to get that message out there because he’s sharing what he can now call what is well known as the Wim Hof Method. The Wim Hof method we will get into fully into the Podcast, but he’s essentially using 3 elements which is the breath, the cold and the commitment all from a person. By combining these things if practiced daily, what Wim is saying, everyone is capable if they want to even do what he’s gone on and done. Not that we want to go on and do it, but it’s allowing people to do more than they ever thought was capable of as a human being.
With the right training, using these methods and exercises he’s saying you can make your inner nature stronger and prevent disease. By doing that some of the other side effects like improving sleep, recovering faster, even works with athletes, reducing inflammation which is a big one of course, getting [00:02:00] bottomless energy and so forth and so forth. We dive into it. I will say I thought Wim today was just awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The guy is larger than life. He’s a very happy go lucky guy and he’s very authentic and true to himself which is just an awesome quality to have.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just go with the ride. This episode goes off in every direction possible and then bring it all back and how it can apply it to your own daily life. I have no doubt you’re going to enjoy. I just want to thank everyone for, people have been living reviews. I’m just going to give a shout out to Jess Holley who left a nice review recently. Even if you did say I mumble, which you’re not the only first person to say that, then having a Welshman and a Dutchman as a guest today you’re going to really enjoy it. Let’s go over to Wim, enjoy the show, go on guys. Hi this is Guy Lawrence, I’m joined with Stewart Cook as always, hi Stewart?
Stu: Hello mate.
Guy: Our fantastic guest today is Mr. Wim Hof. Wim welcome to the show.
Wim: Hi Guy, thank you.
Guy: It is a pleasure to have you on mate. I’ve told a lot of people over the last couple of weeks, once I knew you were coming on to the podcast, I go “We’ve got Wim Hof, the Ice Man coming on.” I found there were two responses. The first one was like, “Oh my God,” they are raving fans and they go, “This guys is awesome, I can’t wait to hear it.” The second response was they had no idea what I was talking about. I’m hoping we can please both parties today with the interview because I have no doubt … I have a sneaky suspicion a lot of our listeners will be exposed in your work done for the first time. It did get me wondering how to explain it and it got me thinking as well Wim, if you were in a cocktail party and somebody came up to you and said, “What do you do?” how would you answer that? [00:04:00]
Wim: I would say, “They call me the Ice Man but I’m just an investigator in life” because I’m totally relaxed now. I don’t look for recognition or anything like that. I’m just at ease and I say, “Yeah, cheers man nice drink.”
Guy: Perfect answer mate. Where did it all begin for you? For the listeners who are not familiar with you Wim and your work because it’s so different. It’s not something you sort of wake up and just go, “I’m going to get involved, put myself in cold water and breath work.” Where did your journey start for you?
Wim: It was when I was 12 years I began to have this longing for, thinking about there is a deeper existence. I don’t know what it is, but it crawled up on me. It made me read when I was 12 years old books on psychology and Hinduism and Buddhism and esoteric disciplines. I began to do my practice in Yoga and Karate and Kung Fu and Meditation and all that. It was a great mystery, just trying the utmost to get this feel from the East into my Western body, my Western understanding.
Years later, 5 years later, 6 years later, I came across the cold. It was on a Sunday morning and I felt attracted to a thin layer of ice on the water. I went in and there I felt from within [00:06:00] this is it. It made me feel really connected within. From there I returned every day and my breathing pattern changed because it has to change and it naturally changes because exposed to cold impact you have to breathe deeper. More effectively cold is an impact, is a force on the body. You need oxygen. You learn to breathe effectively deeper. I came across when I went in the cold water, just 25 of these deep breaths and I could sit 5 to 7 minutes under the ice.
Guy: That’s incredible.
Wim: The only thing I heard then was … like being at home. It’s a tremendous deep feeling and it gave me of course a tremendous power, a power connection within the depth of my body. That makes the senses all stronger like you are on drugs. Very silent down there, very powerful because the cold is a force and you need to develop something inside to oppose that. It makes you feel great from within. This is the way that it all started.
Guy: That was all instinctive, that was just you, just following your own instinct and figuring it out for yourself?
Wim: Yes exactly. It was instinct and having read so many books [00:08:00] on esoteric disciplines, Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholic, Mystical disciplines etc. I dind’t get it from the books. It felt intuitively. I had to go into this water and from there something deeper in my brain was ignited, was awakened. From there I began to explore more and more into the human body, the human physiology because it just feels great. It creates a great strong feeling inside. I was longing for that. That was my inner power or … Everybody has it. It is just that I was looking for it and I got the answer inside. Now I’m teaching everybody. I’m seeing that everybody actually is very able to tap in deeper into the physiology the way nature has meant it to be.
Stu: I listened to a podcast recently, Wim, with Joe Rogan and you were the guest. It was an excellent podcast. It was a long podcast, so I got to listen to heaps of your background and story. I noticed that from your experiences in the ice you have set up something called the Wim Hof Method where the likes of Guy and myself could log on and start to learn these techniques. I just wondered if you could just tell me a little bit about what that program actually is and what it does.
Wim: Yes, I’m sorry, I forgot your name again.
Wim: Stu, okay it’s almost soup [00:10:00] Stu.
Stu: It’s almost stew, but it’s hot, so it probably wouldn’t go down that well with you.
Wim: Yeah. I don’t know. I always go for extremes, but easy does it. Make jokes, no war, that’s what I always say. The thing is the Wim Hof Method has been derived after we subjected all what I know from nature in laboratory settings, in research centers. In the universities they saw that the techniques which I adopted in nature, which I learned in nature, that they work on the deepest levels of the immune system. Their hormonal system, they found out that it is the first time we have influenced into the autonomic nervous system like it was never been proved scientifically to be possible. Now we did. 12 people I trained and this is important for the listener.
Guy: When was this Wim when you-
Wim: Two years ago. Finally we could have this study framed, a comparative study, where I was training 18 people into my techniques and in 4 days they were able to show in the hospital to control a bacteria injected within a quarter of a hour. What normally the control group, they suffered from fever, headaches, [00:12:00] uncontrolled shivering, overall agony and my group whom I trained with my techniques-
Guy: For four days?
Wim: They didn’t suffer at all. Yeah, four days.
Guy: They were 12 of them and none of them got sick?
Wim: None of the got sick and it showed that they, in the blood, it showed that they all suppressed the cytokines which is inflammatory bodies in the blood. That means they were able to fend off the reaction of the bacteria injected, the reaction on the immune system which causes inflammation and so you get fever, headaches and all that. They were able to fend it off and had no symptoms at all. The techniques then, they became a method. The techniques are about breathing, little cold exposure and mindset. If I talk about … Just have it over there. Breathing, cold exposure, mindset, that’s it.
Stu: Your breathing as well is different in the way that we’re used to breathing, isn’t it, because I’m guessing … We’re told that a lot of us don’t really breathe that well and we don’t take a big deep lung full of air and we shallow breathe quite a lot as well. How does your breathing differ from perhaps what we’re doing right now?
Wim: There are two very interesting points they saw in the hospital. One is after you do this breathing technique30, 40 times, deep breathe in, letting go, deep breathe in letting go of course you become light headed and loosen the body and tingling [00:14:00] you feel. That’s because oxygen gets into the nervous system and it creates, causes a tingling, that’s one. There’s a lot of, the C02, carbon dioxide, just gets out. Then when you stop after exhalation you will be able to stay one, two minutes without air in the lungs. That’s one. What happens is that simultaneously the PH level goes up, PH level in the blood, and after one and a half minutes without air in the lungs … Hello what is this? Is it finished?
Wim: Are you still hearing me?
Guy: We’re still here, we’re still here.
Wim: I lost side of Guy.
Guy: You don’t want that.
Speaker 3 I touched something, I touched something. I’m very …
Stu: You’ve got electricity in there, don’t touch it.
Wim: Yeah, yeah. There you are, hi mate.
Stu: I tried your experiment after I’d listened to your podcast with Joe Rogan. I thought, “I’m going to try this myself.” First off I tried to hold my breath, just straight off the bat. I just thought. “Right, take a deep breath, hold my breath, how long could I do it?” I got to 45 seconds. Then I did 30 of these really deep breaths and I reckon we’ll ask you to guide us through exactly what that looks like in a moment, but I did 30 of those and I managed to hold my breath for two and a half minutes [00:16:00].
Wim: Nice, how do you feel that? Don’t you feel the inner power then?
Stu: It was very strange because then the next day I thought, “I’m going to apply this underwater.” I went to a local tidal pool with some friends and I said, “Just keep an eye on me, just in case.” I did some deep breaths and then I dove down and I swam across to the other side of the pool and it was quite a long pool. As I was swimming under water I was thinking, “This is really strange. I don’t need to breathe, but I know that I probably should be, but I don’t need to breathe.” I got all the way across the other side of the pool and turned around and started to come back. I though, “There’s something different here.”
Wim: You just became a fish. You know what happens Stu? Is that the PH level, they really go up very rapidly. We breathe to have the PH levels right. When the PH levels are right, you don’t need to breathe, that’s it.
Stu: It’s the way it is.
Wim: You know what happens? It’s genius mam. It’s so simple and nobody knew anymore, the cold taught me. “You just breathe motherfucker,” it taught me, “You go inside and you do that.” This is the way nature meant it to be, bring up your PH levels. Then you become strong without training. You awake this ability, this capability of ours. Everybody is able to do that. After one and a half minutes without air in the lungs, you see that the oxygen in the hospital, we saw this all, we see that the oxygen decreases dramatically. You know what happens in the deepest of the brain then, is the reptilian brain, the primitive [00:18:00] brain, the brain stem, it’s all the same. If we [inaudible 00:18:06] on oxygen, when there is no oxygen it tells, “Danger, danger, danger!” but there is no danger because the PH levels are up. You know why? Because we did it consciously. We’re not like animals. Animals do not do breathing exercises. Only humans can do that. That’s the difference. That’s why I always say a part of this, I always say to people, breathe consciously.
Later on I will explain about this. The thing is after one and a half minute it decreases the oxygen level. Could decrease even up til the measurement device is not able to measure it anymore and it jumps down to 30. It needs to be 100%, but it can lower up to 30% and then it is shut down. The measurement device says, “This man is dead, dead, dead,” but is not. We just tricked the brain and what happens then with this brain stem, this primitive brain, it reacts on having no oxygen there. Then the adrenaline shock comes, boom, and it resets the body completely.
Of course why do you need adrenaline, that’s for a dangerous situation to be able to escape as fast as possible. It brings your body in alert, there you are and there you go, that’s why it is. We get a peak of adrenaline and that resets the body in the right natural way. Then these people in the hospital I taught were able to fend off the bacteria. They got a contact, [00:20:00] resetting the body means also that the immune system is accessible, hormonal system is accessible. You know what they saw? They saw them lying in bed producing more adrenaline than somebody in fear going for its first bungee jump and totally at ease.
Stu: Is that just with breathing or is that in combination with breathing, cold water therapy and then also mindset, some kind of mindset training. Is that those three elements combined?
Wim: No. This is just the breathing and use the mindset as well to go deeper. I will tell you about the mindset. The mindset is nothing more than thoughts. The thoughts translated chemically are neuron transmitters in the hormonal system and in an electrical potential, a signal in the nervous system. They work together, the hormonal and the nervous system. They work as one. This is the hormone, the molecule, whatever particle it is. The other one is the electricity which is the nervous system, they work together. Based on taking blood without movement, me standing before a tank I was gone into the tank for say 80 minutes into ice water or ice cube and to fill it up until my neck. Then they took the blood. I was not moving, but because I knew I was going inside they saw 300%, more metabolic activity in the cell.
Guy: Because you’d seen the ice tank before you got in?
Wim: Yeah. I’ve got to go [00:22:00] inside. I’m ordering inside heat. I’m ordering energy in the cell.
Guy: Is that happening automatically.
Wim: That’s mindset.
Guy: Is that happening automatically, just because without you …
Wim: For that you need the right PH level, right PH level, because a neuron transmitter, together with electrical signal, which constitutes the thought, needs to travel in the body. The travelling is done by the right PH level. Otherwise it’s like gasoline with sugar. A low acidic state of ours doesn’t let a neuron transmitters go freely and it’s not listening so well. With the breathing before I go into the tank, then ordering with my thought, the thought and the breathing together brings up the PH level. Then the thought, the neuron transmitter, is able to travel throughout the body easily and generates or influence cell activity. Anybody could do it.
Guy: The heat being generated inside, is that the autonomic nervous system kicking in that …
Wim: Sure. All these 12 people did it. That’s the autonomic nervous system was until recently, until last year, it was scientifically, people were not able to tap into the autonomic nervous system. After 200 years of science [00:24:00] it all starts in the books, the autonomic nervous system. What is autonomic? Outside of our will. Now it is within our will. That’s because it’s like you swimming under the water, you didn’t think before you were able to that. Then suddenly you find yourself, “I don’t need to breath.” It was always said, “You need to breathe, you need to breathe, you need to breathe.” We think, “We need to breathe, we need to breathe.” All these signs made us think we are not able to tackle disease or to control our food or energy. Now I say, “Yes we are.”
Stu: The autonomic …
Guy: You there Wim?
Wim: Yes I’m here.
Guy: Sorry the camera has gone off.
Stu: It’ll pop back on. Just thinking, when the autonomic nervous system then is basically the … our bodily’s unconscious functions like I guess breathing for one.
Wim: Exactly. If we do not breathe it makes us breathe. Now we are able to consciously intensify this breathing. Thus we change the chemistry in our body.
Stu: I wondered then if we could go back to the breath work and just in order to tap into that breathing technique, if you could maybe just guide us through a few breaths so everybody at home could get a true indication of how we would do this differently than what we’re currently doing right now.
Wim: Yes. Okay there [00:26:00] you are, now we can start.
Guy: I still can’t see you Wim.
Wim: You can’t see me?
Wim: [Dutch 00:26:12] The autonomic nervous system, as I’m explaining I got into and outside of will, outside my control and I touch all kinds of things here on the board. I really got to try them men.
Guy: That’s brilliant, I love it, I absolutely love it.
Stu: This breathing technique, most of us when we get scared for instance we might … we’re hyperventilating. Your techniques, can you just step us through exactly how we would have to breathe to access this?
Wim: Yes We do 35 deep breaths, relax now. You guys relax, are you relaxed?
Wim: What do you think of, your wife or what? I got a joke. As long as you relax it’s okay. Anything that makes people relax is okay. There we go. It doesn’t matter if you … I always say, it doesn’t matter what kind of hole you use, just get it in, and let go. Deeply in.
Guy: 35 breaths?
Wim: Yeah, and let go. Deeply in, yeah and let go and deeply in, and let go. Once again deeply in, let go [00:28:00]. Four deeply in, all right. 30 more, keep on, keep on. I’m light headed, loosen the body. know what happens physiologically. We’ll explain later.
Stu: I’m going to continue to talk as Guy this because I’ve done this at home already and …
Wim: Come on Guy, get him on.
Guy: It’s number 10.
Wim: 26 more.
Wim: Deeper, deeper Guy, Deeper.
Wim: You guide him, you guide him.
Stu: That’s it, slowly out. Not too much out, just slow … that’s it.
Guy: Thumbs are shaking.
Stu: I’m hoping he’s going to clap.
Wim: Go on, go on.
Stu: That’s it.
Wim: 21, Okay, almost 20. Go.
Stu: Keep going, nice big deep breaths.
Wim: Yeah. Go for it, gasp for air, let it go. He’s all almost there. Not so good, get high on your own supply men.
Stu: That’s it Guy, keep on going, a couple of more, couple of more.
Wim: I’ve got the standard watch here.
Stu: We’ll do a breathe hold after, shall we?
Guy: One more?
Wim: Yeah. That go stop.s
P2 That’s it. [00:30:00] You hold your breath Guy and while you’re doing that Wim’s going to be recording. What I’m going to ask you Wim now is as a newcomer to this and I’m interested in your breathing techniques, the cold water therapy, all of these things, what benefits would I expect outside of tapping into the autonomic like nervous system which is huge, but I guess for anybody that doesn’t really know what that is, am I just going to be generally healthier or am I going go to ward off infections? Am I going to sleep better? What will I get out of it?
Wim: That’s just three of them. You get more energy because the chemistry interestin the body is going to be better. You get more energy. Like 52 seconds, 53 …
Stu: Come on Guy, he doesn’t need to be …
Wim: It’s all right, I hate this feeling. It is nice. Yeah man, it’s your body man. Your body talking to you, “Hey where have you been all this time?”
Guy: I got to breathe, my arms are on fire.
Stu: How long did he take?
Stu: 110, Guy that …
Guy: There was a couple of things I didn’t get. The last question, when I breathe fully out, do I breathe fully out or just let go and then hold or …
Wim: You let go.
Guy: Just let go.
Wim: You’ll just let go and maybe one liter of oxygen, air will remain.
Guy: Right, because I thought, the first 15 seconds was the hardest because I felt “Wow, everything’s going to …” I was controlling just to keep this urge that wanted to come through and then it settled down and then. The heat through my shoulders and my arms now is … Yeah wow.
Wim: With this conscious breathing we influence the chemistry in the body. Stu, [00:32:00] about the benefits, you tap in into the hormonal system and what is happiness? Happiness are hormones. What is strength? Those are hormones, like adrenaline and all that. What is health? That’s the immune system. We tap into these both, the systems, and enable us to have a much higher degree in control over our mood, strength and health. That’s it.
Stu: Excellent, because at the weekends, every Saturday we … a group of friends from the surf club, we all go on a big ocean swim. We do this year round. The temperature over here is pretty good. In the winter it might drop down to maybe 16 degrees in the water, but generally it’s about 18 to 20 degrees. There’s one guy in the group and he’s from Serbia. Regardless of what the ocean temperature is he will come in and he will always have a cold shower and we always scrabble, put 20 cents in and get the hot showers coming out and we stand under it for 5 minutes. He always has a cold shower and he never gets sick. He never gets sick.
Wim: That’s it. That’s it brother, brother holy mamma, that’s it. How simple it is. This is what it is. It doesn’t only make you feel good and tap into your systems. The conscious breathing brings, gives you access into whatever creates your mood. It’s not only about involuntarily create a bigger defense in the immune system in order not to become sick, but it also is that you with your will are able [00:34:00] to guide your mood and your strength. Your strength even. That’s what I’ve showed on cellular levels, but those are the benefits. I want this to be shown scientifically on and on and on. Because no money is involved. I don’t see here like 250 a dollar and 175 and hey, a bottle, 60 cents for a breath. You cannot buy this shit. You only can attain the richness of yourself by conscious breathing and take a cold shower and you better believe it, that’s the mindset. That’s all.
Guy: Have there been any studies yet Wim with people with any kind of health issues or illnesses of any kind that have been doing the techniques and have built their immune system and it’s helped them recover?
Wim: Yes, I’m right now into that, in several universities they want to do studies on depression. They see that the blood markers they found in our study, that they relate to whatever causes depression. We got with this shit what we did now, we get these people doing this and they change their chemistry and hormonal balance will be created which caused the depression, as simple as that. Another one is arthritis, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. Another one is another disease and probably very soon in America we will take up studies with different universities, it’s underway. [00:36:00] I say once again, only until the studies have shown I can proclaim I can heal people with this technique. Until now we’ve got a lot of people healed who are using this. We have testimonials about it. I cannot proclaim this. They tell it, they use it and they do it because the world … there’s so much money going on, so much interests and all too very much make belief. The so called gurus, the healers and the woooo. I don’t like that.
Guy: Just going off tangent slightly, is the breath work the same as Kundalini breath work, because I’ve been looking at that at the last few months.
Stu: What is that Guy?
Guy: Kundalini is just movement of energy through the body using the breath essentially and it’s a Yogic practice.
Wim: Yes, I know all about this, I know about the Kundalini, the Ida Pingala Sushumna, the rising force, the subliminal force going up the spine towards the cerrada which is the brain and the pineal gland, epiphysis. I know and all chakras are the glands who interfere into the subliminal energy and they make these colors in geometrical shapes. Those are called chakras, but I’m not dealing that way. Breathing is something we always did. If you are able to consciously manipulate the breathing or using the breathing in a certain way you are [00:38:00] able to tap in where we never have tapped in before. A science stated it like the autonomic nervous system, because no study out of India or anywhere else has been able to show the autonomic nervous system to influence. That’s my credit. The credit is I went on and on and on to look for scientific proof and not only [inaudible 00:38:37].
People tell culture, “I was somewhere,” but still they don’t know the clue of it all. Why? They just do it? Yeah you become stronger, you become this and that. No. We scientifically prove that every person in very short period of time is able to tap in much deeper into its physiology and it doesn’t take years like they say in Yoga, the autonomic nervous, like 5 keys or any esoteric discipline. They always make it so complicated and put a lot of incense and a lot of candles and things like that. That’s not me. I wanted to find a way that suits for the western mind and body. We found it and it is very simple. The mystical is not gone. It is just very simple to tap into the mystical, that’s it.
Guy: Sorry we lost your camera again mate. That electrical charges …
Wim: That’s my excitement again.
Guy: It is.
Wim: I don’t know what, I didn’t touch it, I didn’t touch it, really.
Guy: There we go.
Stu: It’s coming in, [00:40:00] it’s coming in right now. I’ve got a question for you …
Wim: I didn’t touch it.
Guy: I think Guy touched it. I think I did see Guy’s hand.
Wim: You did it? I made you do it. I made you do it.
Guy: Live it alone Guy, just put your hands up so we can see them all the time.
Wim: Control yourself.
Stu: I have a question regarding …
Wim: Not too much breathing yeah.
Stu: He’s breathing too quickly. My question is on recovery for athletes. How, if at all, would your system benefit these guys?
Wim: Very simple for recovery. It’s logical that they need to get rid of their acids. Their acidic state of being. Breathe better and you will see, if you use these strips, strips … base or acidic alkaline strips. You use them in the swimming pool or any bath and you get-
Stu: Like PH strips.
Wim: Yes, you have it, you piss on it, before and after the breathing and then you see that the alkaline degree goes up very quickly. From yellow which is acidic to blue in 20- 25 minutes.
Stu: Got it. That in turn would lead to-
Guy: We’ve lost him. He’s coming back. Yeah it’s all good, I’ve got everyone back, awesome.
Stu: Excellent. Excellent, excellent.
Wim: We were talking about …
Guy: Athletic, recovery for athletes.
Wim: Yes. Once again if you see tomorrow for example with these strips, these aciding PH strips. You see in the morning [00:42:00] you are acidic and if you do 25 minutes of this breathing you see it gets into being alkaline. If you have done performance very much, you’ve exerted so much of your body, you become acidic. If you do 25 minutes of this breathing afterwards you’ll go from being an acidic to being alkaline. Up to what a degree I do not yet know precisely, but every sportsman I work with, they’re improving fast, recovering fast. Not only recovery but also improving in their performance level.
Guy: Do you get them doing the breath work straight after exercise or do you just get them to do it in the morning?
Wim: I have them in the morning doing this to make the body and alkaline. To make it alkaline. To have the right PH level. That the same energy will have a greater output because whatever … if your chemistry is a little bit acidic the performance is less. It’s logical. Influenced in the morning first your PH level and then the outcome of the same in energy input is better.
Guy: Are you using the cold as well as the breath work for that?
Wim: Yes, we didn’t discuss the cold. I explain a little bit about the cold. The principle is we got 125,000 kilometers of capillaries, veins and arteries inside our body. They all contain primitive muscles [00:44:00] and reflexes. Capillaries, reflexes, arteries and veins that have primitive muscles. They help with the flow, the blood flow. If you do not stimulate this it works like muscle, if you do not stimulate the muscle, it becomes … The function of these, all these little muscles and reflexes is to help the blood flow, go through the body. Thus the heart beat goes down. Now it needs to compensate because we act in a destimulative behavior comfort zone. We have no interaction with nature and if you have interaction with nature, then the body adapts and that’s all about the veins. Are all about these channels and these little muscles, they work. I live in New Trivoli, all day these little muscles, they get weaker because there’s no stimulation.
Therefore we take cold showers. The benefits are, benefits is that the heartbeat is going down. It’s being helped with all these millions of little muscles and reflexes. That’s the transportation of oxygen inside the body, is a whole lot better. That’s one. The immune cells, they are better fed with the oxygen. Every second, every minute if you take cold showers, you will see, everybody will see that their heart rate is going down, they feel more relaxed in the head because [00:46:00] a heart rate up is only at performance or danger. Not while in a rest. A lot of people are in their heart failures and blah, blah. Their transportation system is weakened because it’s not being stimulated, but the heart is going. That’s why they get stress hormone inside. A reaction of the primitive brain is when the heart rate is going up adrenaline, adrenaline, stress hormone, stress hormone because there is danger. That’s the way it works.
Stu: Would there be an optimal time to take these cold showers because I’m thinking if I took a cold shower last thing at night it might disrupt my sleep. Would that be true or that would not be true?
Wim: No. It wouldn’t be true. It would make you sleep better. You know why? Because you get in a stressful moment and when you breathe tranquil you get into the stressful moment, but then directly afterwards it shuts down. Now all the stress hormone in the body gets out. You control your stress hormone and you sleep better. You sleep deeper.
Guy: A bit different of a hot bath with Epsom salt, isn’t it?
Wim: You get a little bit numb with a hot bath because the veins open.
Stu: You’d be very well known then for everyone that follows you right now for doing some really amazing things and holding world records as well that are all related to your breathe holding techniques and cold water therapy and exposure. I wondered if you could perhaps just tells us about some of your most memorable world records and [00:48:00].
Guy: Because there’s quite a few.
Wim: It’s like swimming under the ice. You swim under the ice and you forgot to bring on your goggles and you lose sight under a meter of ice.
Stu: I’ve heard of this.
Guy: A meter thick.
Stu: What was the distance that you swam?
Wim: At that time 113 meters.
Guy: 130 meters?
Wim: 13. I calculated it later. I went by strokes. Every stroke was one meter 20. I lost the 50 meter hole because I couldn’t see anymore. the coronae got frozen. You know what happened then? I tried to find and to see, but I never felt the agony of drowning.
Guy: You didn’t get scared or panicked or …
Wim: Absolutely not. I lost fear for dying over there, right over there. It’s a really immense, very impressive experience, sensation. When you’re down there and you find, there is no agony. It’s all split seconds. You get it. Those are the answers I was looking for because in no book, they only proclaim, “Yeah, dying, dying is inevitable. You die and …” It creates fear. There’s no control. Then they talk, the Tibetan tradition or Egyptian, the Bardo Thodol, the book of death and this … They make it dramatically so big. They’re idiots. [00:50:00] The thing is, I bring it back to the little rabbit. A day before a rabbit dies it is still able, not like these elder homes where people are … not being respected, but for being old etc. Taking paled like this candy. Things like that, they die … that’s not a nice way to die. A rabbit, a little rabbit, one day before it dies, it is still able to flee, to fight, to find food, even to procreate possibly and the day after of course it dies at ease.
The day after it’s going to sleep. You know why? Because its PH levels are right. It’s like we are in a building and you need to get out. You are the soul. Then you have to turn off the light, switch off the light. Switch off the light, that’s the nervous system. But as we have wrong PH levels inside the body these neurotransmitters, the nervous system, the electrical system is not able to shut down. Then you get this. Nobody likes to die, like to go away like that because finally you get into the tunnel, the tunnel of the light, which is the spine. That’s about the Kundalini and the chakras and this, but I just say it’s the ganglia of the spine going up to the brain stem. Then DMT is released. DMT is dying and in the dreams. Subconscious to work it out, what you subconsciously took in.
Guy: The methotreptamine. When you’re … [00:52:00]
Wim: Last one, last one, the DMT, it is nice to die then. You see, “Wow, 3D man.” You see the light. You like to die man. You like to go. Whatever it is you prefer.
Guy: Was you seeing that under the ice, did you get to that point, because you said you were close to dying under the ice, or that was the closest?
Wim: No, I was not … and it was not my time, but there was no … I was grabbed finally by a diver and he brought me back to 50 meter hole, unconscious, almost unconscious. Very little consciousness, but I felt no …
Guy: You were at peace.
Wim: No nothing, no fear, no nothing. It was really strange, awkward, but actually nice. It’s not my time. I’ve got these techniques now that we are able to tap into the brain stem and cause DMT as well. That’s aside. What is more important is that these techniques enabled you to control your mood, your power and your health. It’s genius, it’s genius and I didn’t get it from the book. I got it from nature and it made sense, a deep sense. Now I’ve got it in the laboratory setting and now it’s in the scientific books on the university, a full chapter. University books.
Guy: What about when you climbed Mount Everest in your shorts? Did you go all the way up to the top of the summit where-
Stu: No, no, no. Up to seven and a half kilometers in shorts and with no problem. Seven and a half kilometers no problem. It was only prior to this time, three months before I [00:54:00] did a half marathon barefoot with minus 20, beyond the polar circle running barefoot half a marathon. I had some problems with my left forefoot at that time after 18 kilometers. The veins got … Video stopped. Once again. I’m really not touching this. No, no, no.
Guy: I’ve lost all three of us this time. That’s amazing. Let’s keep going.
Wim: Three months prior to the mount Everest I did this half a marathon. My veins were yet not flexible and they need to adapt at those heights. They open up, they close. You open up, that’s adaptation. Open up, close, open up. They didn’t close well and open and that’s why I returned. I said, “I may be crazy, but I’m not a fool.” I go back. That’s it. I had a great experience. I had no problem whatsoever at those heights at being in shorts. I had no problem. I think I can go with a group of 20 persons and do the same.
Guy: One question that popped in there regarding that is altitude sickness.
Wim: Oh yeah. We have shown with almost 50 people now to go in record times up Kilimanjaro, six kilometers, last time in 31 hours from beginning to the top, 31 hours. That’s it.
Guy: That’s incredible.
Wim: It was no [00:56:00] everybody did it and the oldest was 65.
Guy: Because every time I’ve been on altitude I’ve had altitude sickness, really bad.
Wim: Yeah, but not with my breathing.
Guy: I’m going to have to try that Wim.
Wim: Just try and find … I had a guy who almost died twice at 4,000 meters and he told me, “It wasn’t fear.” Now we did in a record time to six kilometers. I had no problem.
Stu: One thing that I wanted to raise because you mentioned that you’d taken groups up to train and-
Wim: I’m going in January again.
Stu: Is that … I noticed that you offer retreats. Would that be a retreat? Is that what it’s about?
Wim: No. Thursday, tomorrow I go back to Poland into the mountains. I have a retreat for people and in one week we will make them able to climb in freezing temperatures in shorts man or woman, regardless of age or even a possible disease they have.
Guy: Are you there Stu?
Stu: I am, I am.
Guy: We lost him.
Wim: No, I’m back. I don’t know, the technique or something. It’s interfering or we do this telepathy thing.
Stu: I think that’s what it is. We’ve got an electrical storm outside in Sydney. I don’t know whether that has a thing to do with it. It could do, it could well do.
Guy: It’s all happening tonight. No cameras.
Stu: It is. We’re 28 degrees and thunderstorms right now. It’s 8:30 at night. It’s hot and sticky.
Wim: It sound good, it sound amazing man.
Stu: It is. Very atmospheric. [00:58:00]
Wim: Listen up guys. Stu and Guy. We have a nice talk.
Guy: Fantastic, loved it.
Wim: I love you guys man, just hanging out with the dudes, right now. Life is so beautiful.
Guy: It’s amazing man. You’re influencing all these people now and they’re coming to Poland, is it to learn your techniques? How often do you run them, if we wanted to come and do one or anyone listening to this? How often are they being run each year or each month or … Wim?
Wim: Yeah, I do it now one, two weeks, three weeks, four, five weeks, six weeks in the winter time, but as you live in Australia why not do it over there on Tasmania or something like that? In the cold, it’s beautiful down there. We could organize something over there.
Guy: Wim, I’m up for it. If you want to come and do one somewhere in the cold.
Wim: It is already being organized, but we could organize more.
Guy: Have you done one over there?
Wim: I’m going to come to Sydney or Melbourne, I don’t know … what is it, Sydney?
Guy: Sydney, yeah.
Wim: In June, that’s in winter time for you guys.
Stu: It is, yeah, it is. Winter isn’t really winter in Sydney. It’s …
Wim: If you guys generate the interest with this then we make it worthwhile going down to say Tasmania
Speaker 1: There’s no time
Wim: There is no time, but we make it happen anyway. If interest is there we make it happen.
Guy: Canberra, Canberra is where-
Wim: I make a documentary about the human physiology. [01:00:00] There is no limit. Life is beautiful. You see, all these guys within a week transforming. That’s the beauty of it and that’s the way we can share it for Australian television as well. The people go back to be natural like the aboriginals before were. We can combine that. I love to do that. I’m into this project with the Massai now in Africa. We first drilled wells over there for them and I generated money for them, but now we want to open an office and to have these people back in the savanna with … back in the savanna. These people do not fear lions. We are full of shit when we go as westerners with this attitude in the city and … If you see lions in the facility then you’re full of shit you feel. These people, these Massai they guide us in the wild.
Thus we regain natural behavior. This is the tourism we are going to develop. We could do the same showing that we go back to nature in a controlled way. It’s not giving up western ways or anything like that. Just tapping into the deeper physiology of ours which is very beneficial in our pressurizing daily jobs and all that. It just brings about more energy, more quality and all, but ultimal respect and harmony with nature and the heritage of Australia which is possibly the aboriginals. [01:02:00] We’ll not become aboriginal, we will become original.
Stu: I love it, I love it.
Wim: Make this happen man, together.
Guy: That’s awesome. There’s a lot of stress people have.
Wim: I peace out, Guy.
Guy: We shall mate. WIm, we have a couple of questions that we ask everyone on the show if that’s cool before we wrap up because we’re just aware of the time.
Wim: Did you say fool?
Stu: He did. He said cool in his Will Shaxon.
Guy: The first one is … I heard you eat one meal a day, is that correct?
Guy: We always ask everyone on the show what did you eat yesterday from a nutrition perspective?
Wim: I had Anton visiting me. He’s staying at my place. Anton is an artist. Sociologist, artist and a former stock broker. He doesn’t like it anymore. he made cabbage. Cabbage with … as he thought he was going with me to Poland he took everything what was in the fridge and made miscellaneous, a mix of all the vegetables and it was really nice. That’s what I ate. I told him, I took him two bowls, I eat once a day. I said, “This is good shit man. Very well done.” That was yesterday. What it is today? I don’t know. If you eat once a day you really like to eat. You really [inaudible 01:03:59] you really feel [01:04:00] the meat. You smell it.
Guy: If you eat once a day you really enjoy that meal when it turns up regardless of what it is.
Wim: That’s it. You have to learn to enjoy every moment again. We have to bring about this deeper physiology. This is what this method does. It brings back the joy, the enthusiasm, the will, the why we live just because it is. If you are really hungry you don’t need to know why you need to eat.
Stu: You just eat.
Wim: Yeah, you go. If you really love your woman you don’t need to know why, about this love. You take the woman and so forth and so forth and that should be every moment. Able, should be able into that feeling, that sense of living. That’s it. That’s the method really about. It’s about happiness, strength and health for everybody.
Guy: Definitely. Our last question is Wim, for you, and we ask everyone on the show, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Wim: Being given?
Guy: Yes. Or even the best piece of advice you’d give?
Wim: Stay yourself, be yourself.
Guy: Be yourself.
Wim: That’s it, it’s perfect.
Wim: Be yourself and nobody else, yeah.
Stu: I don’t think you can argue with that. Absolutely.
Wim: It’s just perfect. We just have to refind and this … to take the covers away, this cover, whatever, all the shit out and be pure. Just be yourself, you’re beautiful, it’s perfect. If you do not understand, if you do not feel be [01:06:00] reconnected. These super techniques, they work. Use them. Use them, abuse them, do whatever, but be yourself.
Stu: With your techniques, the Wim Hof Method and everything else that you’ve spoken about tonight, where can people go to access this information wim?
Wim: That’s always www.theInnerFire, Inner Fire.
Stu: Inner fire, got it.
Wim: InnerFire.nl. NL is for Netherlands.
Stu: Netherlands, got it. www.InnerFire.nl. That’s excellent. We’ll find the Wim Hof Method there and pretty much everything we’ve discussed today.
Wim: It’s quite a bit for free. People can really get a taste of it. They can feel it and feeling is understanding. From there they are able to dig in and to see what they need. We’ve got these fast conditionings and all that. If you do this really then you can go any depth nature has meant to be with us.
Stu: Fantastic, it sound wonderful.
Guy: That’s awesome Wim.
Wim: Live is so.
Guy: It truly is man. Wim, thank you for your time today and thanks for coming on the show. That was brilliant. I have no doubt, everyone that just listened to that is going to want to find out more about you and go to that website and check it out. That was brilliant.
Wim: Yes. Up till the research it was about me. Now it’s about you. That’s the listener. Really, anybody can do this. [01:08:00] I had a great talk with you, hanging out with the dudes.
Stu: That is awesome. Wim, thank you so much. What we’ll do, we’ll put everything that we’ve spoken about today, we’ll transcribe it, put it on the blog and we’ll give you a shout when we’re going to throw it out onto iTunes and all of the other social media outlets as well. It’s been a fantastic talk, really, really appreciate it.
Wim: Great Guy and Stu. Keep it hot. Keep it hot.
Stu: It’s stinking hot right now. I’m going to have a cold shower before I go to bed.
Wim: We keep it cool. Love you guys, bye, bye.
Guy: Later man.
Wim: Right on.
Stu: Bye, bye Wim.
Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.
Guy: No doubt about it, there’s lots of debate with fluoride on the internet. So who better a person to ask than holistic dentist who has over thirty five years in the industry.
The big question is; Should we us toothpaste with fluoride in it?
We felt this would make a fantastic topic for this weeks 2 minute gem. We also discuss fluoride at length in the full interview below.
Our fantastic guest this week is Dr Ron Ehrlich. He is one of Australia’s leading holistic health advocates, educators, and a holistic dentist. For over 30 years he has explored the many connections between oral health and general health, and the impact of stress on our health and wellbeing.
He is also co-host of a weekly podcast “The Good Doctors”, currently ranked amongst the top health podcasts in Australia. Together The Good Doctors explore health, wellness and disease from a nutritional and environmental perspective, looking at food from soil to plate and exploring the many connections between mind and body.
Full Interview: Unravelling the Fluoride, Dairy, Mercury & Teeth Connection
In This Episode:
Fluoride; should we avoid it?
Do mercury fillings effect our health?
The lessons learned from the legendary Weston.A.Price
Guy: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition, and welcome to today’s health sessions. We have a fantastic episode for you in store today. Our guest is one of Australia’s leading holistic health advocates. He is an educator, a broadcaster, and a holistic dentist, and yes. We do tackle our topic today and get into that. He also has a fantastic podcast called The Good Doctors, and his name is Dr. Ron Ehrlich, and he has a wealth of information, and it was awesome to sit down with him for the last, I guess, 45, 50 minutes while he shares his wisdom with us.
We tackle some great topics we feel, fluoride being one of them, and this very debatable mercury fillings is another, dairy for strong bones, so we start delving into these things and what his conclusions have been after probably now, 35 years in the industry. I’m going to also talk about the legendary Weston A. Price who was a dentist back in the ’30s who uncovered some of phenomenal research as well. Awesome subjects, and yeah, you might look at the way you brush your teeth a little bit differently after this episode.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that we currently run two episodes a month generally now, and we interview a guest that we bring in, and [inaudible 00:01:17] discussed and then when we look into bringing in a third episode a month if we can fit it in. We really want to get this content out to you by just making sure we have the time, but what we’re looking at doing is a bit of a Q and A style kind of episodes where we want to answer the questions that we get coming in. If you have a question for us that you would like us to personally answer on the podcast, we will fit your question on there, and we can discuss it and topics at length, so it’d be great to get that feedback from you guys. Yeah, we’ll bring it into a third episode for a Q and A.
I really want to thank you guys for leaving the reviews as well. I’ll do ask often, but they’re fantastic. I thought I’d actually read one out. I’ve never done it before, but we do check every review that comes on. The latest one says, “Thought provoking,” by [inaudible 00:02:08]. I could read that slightly differently but I won’t. They say, “I don’t think there hasn’t been a single podcast where my jaw hasn’t hit the floor with some of the pills wisdom that have been shared. Keep them coming boys.” That is really appreciated honestly. That means a lot to us. Another review we had recently was, “Such informative podcast, five stars as well. I’ve started listening to Guy and Steve on walking and in the gym, so much more interesting than music. It feels like I’m learning while getting my daily exercise. Perfect.” Yeah. We are big advocates of doing two things at once. That’s for sure.
Look. I appreciate it. Keep those reviews coming. It’s like I said it helps our rankings and also, yeah. Keep an eye out as we bring in the third episode. Like I said, drop us an email at email@example.com and just mention the podcast, and we’ll take a look at tackling your questions or some. Let’s go over to Dr. Ron. Enjoy.
Hi. This is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined by Stuart Cooke as always. Hi, Stuart.
Guy: Our awesome guest today is Dr. Ron Ehrlich. Ron, welcome to the show.
Ron: Thanks guys. Lovely to be here.
Guy: I really appreciate having you on, mate. I seem to see your face popping up everywhere. There is a nutritional talk, a seminar on Facebook, social media, and even on podcasts. I thought it would be best for you to describe [inaudible 00:03:32] exactly what you do if you could share that with us first, because you seem to be man of many talents.
Ron: A man of many talents indeed but at the moment … What I really would describe myself is a health advocate. We’re an educator. I’m in the process of writing a book, so I’m soon I’m going to be to call myself an author, and I’m a dentist, a holistic dentist. There, a few different hats there.
Guy: It’s fantastic. Now, I remember seeing you talk quite a number of years ago. I think it was [inaudible 00:04:05]. I’ll jump in, and you walked on the stage and the first thing you said was you get asked all the time what the hell is a holistic dentist. Would you mind sharing out with us the [inaudible 00:04:17]?
Ron: Sure. Traditionally, dentists focus on the oral cavity. As a holistic dentist, what we focus on is the person attached to that oral cavity. That is a small point perhaps. It rolls off the tongue very easily but it’s a pretty important one because it then leads you into understanding what we’re looking at here is the gateway to the respiratory tract. If you think breathing is important which I think we’ll all agree it is, and sleeping well is important then this gateway is important as well. We’re also the gateway to the digestive tract, so chewing is an important first step in digestion. Getting this mechanism working well optimally is an important part of digestion. As well as that, there’s a huge amount of neurology in this area. Teeth is so sensitive that you could pick up 10 microns. A hair is 20 microns, so there’s a lot of sensitivity and neurology in this area. That’s going on and that leads us on to being involved with chronic headaches, and neck ache, jaw pain. It’s the site of the two most common infections known to man, woman, and child, tooth decay and gum disease, and almost every chronic disease is now seen as a reflection of chronic inflammation.
The big breakthrough was that people discovered that the mouth was connected to the rest of the body. No one knew that up until about 30 or 40 years ago, and that was a big, big breakthrough. Because of the decay, we implant a hell of a lot of material into people’s bodies, in fact, probably more than any other profession put together so all the other professions to put together. There’s a lot going on there and when you consider that this mouth is connected to a human being, with all those things going on, then that affects some of the decisions we make.
Stuart: Fantastic. You’ve touched upon a few topics there as well, Ron, that we want to want to delve into a little deeper down the track especially inflammation and chronic disease, things like that. We’ve got a few questions that we have to us for everybody, and they are largely hot topics in your area as well. First stop, fluoride. What’s your take on fluoride?
Ron: There’s no dentist present in this room, myself. The chance of me being stoned by someone is pretty low. It’s almost heresy for a dentist to discuss what are fluoridation in a negative sense. My take on it is this. Of the 140 or so elements there are in the world, 60 of them are required for the human body to function well, optimum. Stuff like calcium, magnesium, zinc … We could go on 60 of them. Fluoride is not one of them. Fluoride is not required for any normal biological, biochemical function, so if it’s not a required element, then it’s a medicine. If it’s a medicine, then it’s the only medicine that is put into the water supply without our individual permission. It doesn’t have regard to whether you’re a 2-month-old baby or you’re a 40-year-old building laborer who is 120 kilos or an 85-year-old woman who is 60 kilos or 50 kilos. There’s not a lot of nuance there in terms of exposure.
We’ve got a medication. There’s an ethical issue there about a medication added to the water supply which I have a serious concern about. Now going back to high school chemistry, fluoride belongs to the same family as the other halogens which are bromine, chlorine, iodine, and fluoride; therefore, halogens, right? We interviewed recently … We’ll talk about my podcast in a moment. I can’t resist getting it plugged in. Anyway, we interviewed a few months ago Professor [inaudible 00:08:23], who is talking about iodine deficiency and iodine is the biggest deficiency in the world. Two billion people in the world have iodine deficiency. Because it belongs to the same family as fluoride, chloride, iodine, fluoride, fluoride has the potential to compete with iodine for the thyroid, so it was used at the beginning of last century right up until the mid-century, mid 1900s as overactive thyroid.
When someone had an overactive thyroid, they gave them fluoride because they knew it would downscale the thyroid function. Here, if you … You guys may not take as many medical histories as I do, but as I get people coming through my surgery, many of your listeners may have been diagnosed with either underactive or overactive thyroid. It’s a huge problem in our society. I have some concerns about including something in the water supply that has the potential to affect thyroid function; that’s number one. In America interestingly enough which has been fluoridated since the 1940s or 1950s, since 1975, the incidence of thyroid cancer has gone up 160% since 1975. Is that to do with fluoride? No. I’m not saying that is. There are lots and lots of reasons why that might be the case, but that’s of concern to me.
Also Harvard University did the study … They did [mineral 00:09:53] analysis of about 30 different studies and there was some suggestion there that in fluoridated areas, IQ levels came down. There is some suggestion that it may affect bone in young men. This thing … Interestingly enough, of the 200 countries there are in the world, only about five of them, I think, it’s Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America and parts of England, they are the only ones that fluoridate. Are we saying that the rest of the world is just so ill-informed that they cannot make a sensible decision? I don’t think so. I think Scandinavia has a good history of looking at research and evidence, and there’s never been a randomized control study which is supposedly the GOLD standard about the effect of fluoride on tooth decay.
For example … I could show you a graph which showed really clearly that in those five countries, tooth decay has come down significantly over the last 30 or 40 years. You would look at it and you go, there it is. There’s proof that fluoride works, but if you go on to the UN side, the WHO side, World Health Authority, there is another graph which shows non-fluoridated countries, trending exactly the same way. What is this all about? A lot of reputation has been built on it. I know that’s true, but I have … In Europe, they do something called the … they have something called the precautionary principle. That is that if something has the potential to cause harm, why not best avoid it? I think that is definitely the better way to go because it’s a really good example of how we approach stuff in western medicine. You eat something that produces the plaque, and the plaque produces the acid, and then it makes a hole in your tooth. Therefore, let’s make the tooth harder. That’s what dentistry does, focusing just on here.
If you ask me, what is a holistic dentist, and I go, “Well, hang on.” This here is attached to the whole body. It’s got a thyroid, it’s got a brain, it’s got bones, it’s got nerves, and it’s got … We need to think about that and the precautionary principle is the one that I would endorse. To get rid of decay, it is far better to say if the hardest part of your body decays because of what you will imagine what’s going on with the rest of your body, why don’t we address what’s going on with the rest of your body and not only get rid of tooth decay, we might also get rid of a whole range of other chronic health conditions in the process.
Guy: You’ve triggered up so many questions already. I don’t know where to jump in.
Ron: In short, guys, I’m not in favor.
Stuart: Again, just to touch on this a little more, water supply aside as the ingredient in our everyday toothpaste, is that something that we should be weary of?
Ron: Now, there is some evidence to support a topical application of fluoride. We now practice use it very sparingly. I don’t personally use it in my toothpaste. I don’t personally apply it to every patient that comes through the door. If I see a tooth surface that is showing the early signs of tooth decay, just a bit of demineralization, then I will clean that surface and I might apply a fluoride varnish to that one surface and instruct my patient not to eat or drink for an hour. The rest of it is a great marketing ploy. I think there is some evidence to support topical application in a controlled way. I know you can make statistics look brilliant. You could say, “By using this toothpaste, we have reduced tooth decay by 30%.” That might be … Your chance of getting tooth decay was to have two surfaces of a tooth filled over five years, and by using this toothpaste, you’ve now got one third of the surface only required, so it’s playing with statistics.
Stuart: Totally. In a randomized study of two people, so [crosstalk 00:14:05].
Ron: I think there’s a place for very careful application of fluoride, but I don’t use it in toothpaste. We don’t use it as topical application in our practice, and we don’t … I personally don’t use it. We don’t recommend it for our patients.
Guy: Fantastic. That was what I was going to ask actually. To recap what you’ve commented on so far being a holistic dentist as well on fluoride and everything, the teeth … Would you be better off actually just changing your lifestyle and nutrition then as opposed to fixing the problem?
Ron: Absolutely. You guys and many of your listeners would be well aware of the work of Weston A. Price. He was a dentist. This is a really interesting story, but you probably haven’t interviewed Weston A. Price, but …
Guy: No. Please touch on it. Yeah, go for it.
Ron: Anyway, the point being, he in the 1920s and ’30s wanted to find out what caused tooth decay, so he went out and he visited traditional cultures around the world. He went to Malaysia, the Malaysian Peninsula, those specific islands, the New Hebrides, up in Scotland. He went to the Swiss isolated villages in the Swiss Alps. He went to Eskimos, he went North American Native Indians, the South American Native Indians. He visited all these different cultures, and what he found was something really unique. What he had was this amazing experiment could never be really repeated now. He had villages that were living on traditional foods and had done so for hundreds of years. What he observed in those villages were that none of them or very few of them had any tooth decay, whatsoever, but more importantly, they had enough room for all 32 of their teeth with some space even
behind the wisdom tooth.
They not only had enough room for their teeth, and we’ll talk about why that’s important in the moment, but they didn’t have any of the diseases of chronic degenerative disease.
They had no heart disease, no cancer, no rheumatoid arthritis, no diabetes, no obesity.
They were structurally, physically, very sound as well as being dentally healthy. What he then did was he talked … He went into the towns, and he looked at the same genetic group.
He really was doing in a way of controlled study, looking at the same genetic group and the one … The genetic group, the same tribe or family even that had moved into the city after 5 or 10 or very soon after a few years was displaying tooth decay, all of the degenerative diseases that are seen in modern civilization. From that, he wanted to determine what was it about traditional foods that was so unique and what was it about our western diet … Remember this was 1935, where people were only eating 12 kilos of sugar a year, now they’re eating … In Australia 45 kilos, in America 60 kilos to 70 kilos.
Put it in perspective here, he was looking at those people and they were healthy. He took food samples from there and he brought them back, and he analyzed them. He found there were three things they all had in common, the traditional diets. Now, they weren’t all Paleo. They weren’t all on Paleo. They were up in Eskimo land. In Alaska, they were on fish and blubber, and da, da, da. In New Hebrides, they were on oats and some seafood, and seasonal fruits, and in the Polynesia, they were on seafood, and they were on some fruits and some root vegetables, all different types of things. They weren’t all along Paleo, but what they all had in common was the traditional diets all were nutrient dense. They had 10 times the amount of water soluble vitamins that may … They likely the … and minerals and they were four times higher in fat soluble vitamins.
You need fat soluble vitamins to incorporate the minerals into your body. They had that and the interesting thing was the best source of these fat soluble vitamins which are A, D, K, E was animal fats that had been grown on pastured lands in traditional ways. This was a fabulous study done in 1935, and I’m about to give a presentation on Friday where I’ve actually done a little bit of a cut and splice of the catalyst program that was on the beginning of this year, so an ABC program in Australia, Catalyst, and it was on gut reaction. One of the senior professors of research at Monash University said, “You know what? There’s this huge breakthrough that’s occurring. It seems that what we eat could be affecting heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and a whole range of other things.” He was saying it like this was an amazing breakthrough, and if we were careful about what we ate, we could actually extend our life by years if not decades.
Stuart: I don’t believe a word of it. Just advertising. It’s just advertising.
Ron: The beauty of that is if you look at that, and you listened to what you would think, “Oh, my God.” Like, “What is going on?” If this is the breakthrough to the medical community in 2015, this is why we’re in the [inaudible 00:19:34] because you can press the rewind button to a lovely little segment of Weston A. Price where he himself taught and says pretty much the same thing in 1935, so it suddenly taken us 80 years to get on top.
Stuart: It’s so tricky as well, isn’t it? You realized that there is such huge power in even these beautiful and yet nutrient dense foods, but then if you were to take that group who were truly thriving and pull them over perhaps with the same diet, but surround them in the conditions that we have today with email, and stress, and pollution, and the rat race, I wonder how they would feel whether that would have a …
Ron: It’s a good point, Stuart. It’s a good point because one of the things … Stress has been of an interest to me over the last 35 years. In fact, today’s rather that would feel [inaudible 00:20:26] guys. I’m sharing this with you. Today is the 35th anniversary of my practice in the city of Sydney, but that’s another story, but for the last 33 years, the model of stress that I have used, the model of health that I have used in my practice is that our health is affected by stress. I define that stress as a combination of emotional, environmental, postural or structural, nutritional, and dental stress. Those five stresses and people say, “What’s dental stress? You’ve just pulled that out of the hat because you’re a dentist.” I’ve just defined for you what a holistic dentist is. Respiratory tract, digestive tract, chronic inflammation, nerve damage, chronic pain, all these materials that we use.
Dental stress is an important thing that’s often overlooked, but they are the five stresses, so what you’re saying is absolutely true. You could be on the best diet in the world, but if you are in overload, stress, the fight-and-flight mode that many of us, in most of their [inaudible 00:21:29], and you are not going to be absorbing those nutrients absolutely right.
Guy: What I noticed myself … I can us myself as an example because I don’t think a lot of us even appreciate that we’re in the stressful mode. We just assume it’s normal from our day-to-day actions. I went to Mexico a couple of weeks ago, and I was actually meditating four days on and off in a workshop, but I didn’t realize how stressed I was until I got there and then slowly started the wrong way. By the end of it, I got, “Oh, my God, I feel like a different person.” I’ve been carrying that for weeks or months prior to it. It’s amazing.
Ron: Go ahead, Stuart. Sorry.
Stuart: I’m just going to say, can you imagine my stress as Guy is away in Mexico meditating, carrying the business and raising a family, so it works well for both of us, isn’t it, Guy?
Guy: It was fabulous.
Ron: Meditation is another. It’s the big one, isn’t it? It’s just such an important part of being healthy in this day and age. I think you should not be without it.
Guy: There you go. Yeah. I’m certainly exploring it and I’m enjoying the process. You can look then along the way, but …
Ron: Stuart, you look like you’re about to say something.
Stuart: I do. I’m going to bring it back on track to the dental route as well. I’ve got another million-dollar question for you. Guy and myself, we’re children of the ’70s and the ’80s. We’re anything. We always had mouthfuls of sweets and pop and fizzy drink and didn’t really care about too much. We’ve got fillings in our mouths; most of our friends have at this age. Should we be concerned about these fillings particularly if they are mercury amalgam?
Ron: Yeah, I think you should. See, the interesting thing is that it’s mercury. I’ll have to explain. The silver fillings in people’s mouth what it used to be called silver amalgam fillings euphemistically, half of it is mercury and the other half silver, tin, zinc, and copper, so it’s an amalgamation of silver, tin, zinc, and copper, mixed up with liquid mercury. That when you plug into a tooth, within an hour goes hard, and within 24 hour goes much harder. It’s a cheap, it’s been used for 170 years in dentistry, and nowadays, if I … I haven’t done an amalgam filling for almost 30 years, but if your dentist who you might ask this question or say, “Should I be worried about amalgam? ” “No. Don’t worry about it. It’s perfectly safe.” Okay. Let me ask you this question. When you’ve done a mercury amalgam filling on your patient, and you’ve got a little bit left over, what do you with the scrap?
I know it’s a rhetorical question, it’s a trick question, but people should ask it of their dentist because the answer is this, it’s against the law for you to put that scrap into the toilet, the garbage, or down the sink. That scrap has to be disposed off as toxic waste.
However, through some twist of faith, it’s perfectly … The only safe place to put this toxic material is in the mouth of a human being. I don’t know whether … To me, that defies logic.
Guy: It’s like the world has gone mad.
Ron: It’s the mercury, but time … The question then goes because when I was placing mercury amalgams in the late ’70s and up to about 1981 or 1982, I was parroting what the university told me and that’s was, “It’s locked in. It doesn’t escape.” A chiropractor who is referring me patients at that time said to me, “Ron, it does escape. Read this literature.” I said, “Okay. I’ll read it. I’ll read it.” I read it and I couldn’t believe it, so I took … There was a piece of patient came in, a bit of old filling had fallen out, so from the records, it’d had been six or seven years earlier, so I sent it off to the Australian Analytical Laboratory to have it tested. It came back 40% mercury, and it had gone 50% mercury. I thought, “Oh, my God.” Hang on.
Guy: [crosstalk 00:25:55].
Ron: I don’t believe this. I don’t believe it. I repeated that with about four other samples and they all came back 37%, 43%, 39%, 41%. Clearly, mercury was escaping and when it escapes, it gets stored in the kidneys, the liver and the brain, so doing a blood test does not tell you whether you’ve got mercury toxicity or not. It is an issue. It’s one that is very difficult for the profession to grapple with and again it goes back to what’s the difference doing a holistic dentist and a normal dentists? If all your focus is here, and you’re trying to restore a tooth as best as you can, as economically as you can, then mercury amalgam is a great filling material. There’s only one problem, and the problem is that tooth is attached to a human being. Apart from it, perfectly fine.
Guy: If you got mercury fillings, is it quite a procedure to change them?
Ron: Look. It’s not rocket science but it seems to … There is some precautions that one should definitely take. You are better off leaving it in your mouth. Obviously, if there’s decay in there, you don’t leave it in your mouth, but if you’re having it removed because you’re wanting mercury removed from your body, then you need to take a few precautions, and in our practice, the precautions that we take are we use a rubber dam which is a shape of rubber that acts like a diaphragm. We punch a hole in that and the tooth or teeth that we’re working on pokes through, so it forms a barrier so that it protects the airway. We also give people a nose piece, because as soon as I put my drill on to a mercury filling, I create a vapor which your nose is very close to, so I don’t want you to be inhaling mercury vapor. We also use a lot of water to dampen down the vapor for us. We also use high-speed suction to avoid the exposure for us and the patient. We move it in a certain way, so we can flick it out rather than grinding out because that creates more vapor. In our practice, we have air purifiers and negative ion generators to help us deal with that as a OHS.
Guy: Cool. Sure.
Ron: There are some precautions, you should not have it just removed. It does raise the issue of mercury … It raises a really important issue and that is dental materials in general. I was attending a course last year from a professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden which is very big on Toxicology, and introduced me to this idea of metal-induced chronic inflammation. By being exposed to metal, on a 24/7 basis, the potential for your body to react by then going into chronic inflammation is there, so in our practice, we’re try and avoid metal as much as we can, and we can pretty well do that. There are some issues around dental materials that need to be considered carefully, but mercury for us has been a no-no for almost 30 years, and whether you’re removing a small filling or a whole mouth, you do it carefully and you support the person. Usually, we work with the person’s naturopath or nutritionist outside.
Stuart: If for instance, I did have a filling, a mercury filling, but I went to the trouble of getting a heavy metal analysis test. Maybe a hair testing kit, and I didn’t have any issues with mercury, happy just to go along and not really pay too much attention to it?
Ron: In our practice is in the city of Sydney, it’s called Holistic Dental Centre. There’s another plug, but anyway … The point about it is that we do not take a dogmatic approach to things to alter it. In a way, I envy those that do, that say, “All amalgam fillings should come out. All root canal teeth should come out. All these, all that.” We’re not dogmatic like that. I think there are two separate issues here. One is should we still be using the material? To me, the answer is definitely no. There is no excuse for using that material in today’s dental world. That’s number one. The second issue is should everyone be having every filling out? The answer is maybe, maybe not. We need to consider each one individually, each person individually. If for example, you were in excellent health however we define that. Of course, you got to be thinking about physical, emotional, mental, all these different …
Ron: Dental. All those different aspects of health, however we define excellent health. If you were in excellent health, and you’re sleeping well, and you’ve got good digestive, all the functions are going well, and … Hey, I don’t lose any sleep over the fact that when that filling needs to be removed, it should be removed, but when it is removed, it should be done carefully.
Stuart: Right. Got it.
Ron: Hair analysis is a gauge. It’s reasonable indicator. I remember I said mercury is stored in the kidney, the liver and the brain, it’s stored in fat tissues, so to get a proper analysis of what mercury load you have, you need to do a heavy metal … A challenge if you like, so you can take a chelating agent. People are exposed to heavy metals. Say you swallowed lead or something. The way that get that out of your body is by using what’s called the chelating agent. An example of that is something called DMSA. You could take DMSA and for you … Firstly, you would measure your urine before, and you’d have a really low level of mercury in your urine or your blood. It’s not a good measure. It doesn’t float around there, but then you take a couple of capsules of DMSA, and then you retest three, four or six hours later, and you collect the urine or a blood, and then you measure the before and the after. What you’ve done is you’ve dragged the mercury out of the organs and you deposited it in the …
Guy: In the urine.
Ron: … urine hence, to be excreted. That’s a more accurate way of determining it, but as I said, we’re not dogmatic about it. We’re very careful. I have some patients that have come to me from all over the place that they’ve had their amalgams removed in two or three sessions, and I’ve had other patients that have taken 10 or 15 years.
Stuart: Okay, got it.
Guy: Great answer.
Stuart: It’s good to know.
Guy: Another question, Ron on dentistry, and it’s a hot topic that will come up all the time for us is dairy consumption. Is this a key to strong teeth and bones?
Ron: Look. One of the things that I’m also very interested in is why public health messages are so confusing and contradicting. You only have to look at who is sponsoring some of the major professional organizations like the Dairy Corporation is a major sponsor of every professional, nutritional organization as well as the Asthma Council as well as … You name it. The Dairy Council are offering some sponsorship. That is, I think, clouds over some of the issues. I think there is some place for dairy, perhaps in a cultured dairy sense. If the dairy is grass fed, that’s a different story as well as opposed to being grained fed, but it’s certainly not an essential requirement for healthy teeth. No. I think fat-soluble vitamins are and within dairy … There are some fat-soluble vitamins, but there are some other issues that go with them. When we pasteurize and homogenize milk, we remove a lot of the enzymes that help us cope with the proteins in the milk, the casein and that is a common allergy that people and food sensitivity that people have.
I think what’s important is that you have … For strong healthy teeth, from the moment of conception … You get this from the moment of conception. In fact, probably for a good year or two, prior to conception, both male and female, to be eating a nutrient-dense diet that is high in vitamins, fat soluble and minerals, fat-soluble vitamins, and has a really broad range of vegetables and good fats and moderate amount of protein … I could go on about what it is, but it is not dairy. Dairy is not the essential [inaudible 00:34:53].
Guy: I appreciate it. You say fat-soluble vitamins, right? Yet, we’ve been told not to eat for God knows how many years as well to digest the vitamins that are fat soluble.
Ron: It’s actually set us up for the perfect storm. We’ve had the food pyramid which is food grains at the bottom, and avoid fats. We’ve had the low-fat dogma coming to us via [inaudible 00:35:18] and every heart foundation and every pharmaceutical company in the world because that’s something that doctors can measure. They can measure cholesterol, and they can give you a drug to lower cholesterol, so it makes them feel like they’re doing something. We’ve had the food pyramid and we’ve had the low-fat dogma, and we still have heart disease, number one. Cancer, number two, one in two male, one in three women. We will get cancer by the time they are 65. We’ve got autoimmune disease, it’s going to the roof. There are over 200 autoimmune diseases. By autoimmune, we mean Crohn’s, irritable bowel, thyroid function, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s, et cetera, et cetera. Then we’ve got diabetes and obesity. How is that food pyramid and low fat diet been working for us over the last 40 or 50 years? Not all that good.
Guy: [inaudible 00:36:13].
Stuart: You touched … You mentioned it like a certain type of dairy and you’re also touching on upon the importance of fat-soluble vitamins as well which led me to think of reminineralization. Are we able, through diet and all of these key nutrients, or be it in a different dairy from fats, whatever, great foods, can we assist our teeth in remineralizing themselves?
Ron: I think the answer to that is yes, up to a point.
Guy: Can you explain the remineralization [crosstalk 00:36:50]?
Ron: Let me just explain what demineralization [crosstalk 00:36:52].
Guy: Okay. Perfect.
Ron: Let’s start what’s the beginning of the problem. A tooth is covered by enamel which is really hard. Underneath enamel is dentin which is considerably softer, and underneath the dentin is the nerve and the tooth, right? [inaudible 00:37:08] on a tooth. Now, within the mouth, there are at least 500 different species of microorganisms that we know of, and they live in perfect harmony. There’s a struggle like the rest of the world, the struggle between good and evil in the mouth as a symbol of struggle that goes on a daily basis between good and evil. If you are eating a good diet, then the good bacteria, just as they are in the gut proliferate, and you enjoy good health. If you’re eating a poor diet which is sugar, refined carbohydrates, grains which often break down into carbohydrate and sugar which breakdown into sugars very quickly, then you have a lot of sugar substrate for the bad bacteria to proliferate. You’re like any living organism that eats, it’s got to excrete. It’s got to go to the toilet. What did it excrete is an acid. The tooth is made up of calcium and phosphate, crystals, and so it starts to demineralize the tooth.
That shows up as little whitish spot on the tooth surface first, then it becomes a brownish spot and then it starts to undermine the softer dentin under the enamel, and then one day, you bite into something, and suddenly, out of the blue, you’ve got a hole. It’s been going on there for a while. Now, if you have the early stage of demineralization where you just got this early stage of decay, white spot, or even maybe the brown spot is starting and you eliminated all those substrates that fed the bad bacteria, and you ate a nutrient-dense diet which we’ve already talked about, then there is the chance to arrest decay and stop mineralization and remineralize the tooth. There are some products that [purport 00:38:54] to assist that. One of those products is called Tooth Mousse.
Tooth Mousse is a dairy product derivative and it’s a bio-available calcium and phosphate.
We do use some of that in our practice. I think the issue of mineralization, remineralization is a really important one, and then you get on to the topic of drinks, and water, and sports drinks, and carbonated drinks, and the alcohol, and the acidity of those drinks, you’re pushing up against it. I had somebody coming in to see me the other day who was complaining about sensitivity around the neck of the tooth. This was around 12 o’clock in the morning, and they told me, I said, “What did you have for … What are you eating?” They go, “Oh no. I’m on a really good diet.” “I started today with fruit juice. I have a big glass of orange juice and a big bowl of fruit, and then I have some muesli or some cereal with some milk. I’ve got low-fat milk. I don’t want to get … You know, I don’t want to be unwell, so I’m going to have low-fat milk.”
The Heart Foundation [text 00:40:00] going there and then she comes in to see me with iced tea. [crosstalk 00:40:05]. I calculated for her, and it was only 11 o’clock in the morning, but she’d already had the equivalent of about 27 teaspoons of sugar, and it was on the 11 o’clock in the morning. Really, what we are up against is dairy is not answer, remineralization is definitely possible. You need to consider the food that you’re eating and the drinks that you’re drinking.
Guy: [crosstalk 00:40:30].
Stuart: It’s so sad because that lady would have thought that she is doing the best that she can based upon the information that she is receiving from the supermarkets, from the government, from pretty much everybody in her circle.
Ron: I’m really … One of the things I’ve come to realize is we’ve got a real problem with our health system. In terms of crisis therapy, there is no better place to be. The level of ingenuity, of skill, of intelligence, of equipment that’s available to deal with a crisis, analysis on the medical health crisis is phenomenal. A friend of mine had a 1-week-old baby, open heart surgery for a heart defect. My 89-year-old mother had a new aortic valve replaced. What they can do is amazing. Crisis therapy, tick that box, brilliant. What’s wrong with the healthcare system is that it’s really not a healthcare system. It’s become a chronic disease management system. Really, between chronic disease management and crisis, it’s a great economic model. It generates billions, literally billions of dollars of profit for the processed in pharmaceutical industry, and for the health industry. I reap … I don’t reap billions of dollars sadly, but dentistry is a product of western diet.
Guy: Culture, yeah.
Ron: If I was a dentist in the Swiss Alps village, I wouldn’t be having a very busy time, so we have a chronic disease management system and that’s got to change. It’s unsustainable financially, the human cost, the loss of human potential is enormous.
Guy: Do you think people are being more proactive?
Ron: Definitely. I think there’s two schools … Actually, Guy, that’s a really interesting … but I think that’s a rising tide. I think there are two schools of thought out there at the moment. One is total faith in the Western health model like, all I need to know is my doctor’s phone number. Apart from that, I’m going to be fine. I’ve got health insurance and my doctor’s phone number always work. They’ll just tell me what medication I need, if I need surgery, so be it. It’s all there for me. There’s the other group that says, “Wait a minute. I know that’s there for me, but I don’t want to get it.” They are becoming far more proactive in their life. I think that’s a rising … That’s a definitely a rising tide.
Guy: I was going to add as well even just for the [inaudible 00:43:08] podcast and blogs and things that are popping up the message and from the growth of our podcast over the last years, people are definitely at least hungry for information, and trying to get it out there for people to proactively change.
Ron: I’d agree with that.
Stuart: I did have a question when we were talking about the remineralization and you touched upon the oral microbiome, and I listened to a great podcast a couple of weeks ago all about that very topic. My question to you is mouthwash. Does that affect the oral microbiome because they were saying that it did at the time, and so I just thought we’d ask the expert.
Ron: Were they saying it did in the positive way or negative way.
Stuart: A negative way.
Ron: Absolutely. That whole issue of bad breath for example is a classic example of … It’s such an interesting topic. I could talk to you for half an hour and an hour on bad breath but basically, there are medical reasons why you have bad breath. It’s dental and medical reasons, and yet it is a 10-billion dollar industry of mouthwashes, breath fresheners, da, da, da, da, da. You name it and most of them are totally ineffective and do not address the root cause of the issue which is the same as tooth decay or bad gut biome or bad oral biome, gut biome. The same diet that promotes a healthy gut biome, guess what? It promotes a healthy oral biome as well. That product that you buy … If you have an infection or you’re dealing with something on a short-term basis, maybe we use a herbal mouth rinse, tincture of calendula which is very effective in a short term, but I wouldn’t recommend that for more than a couple of days for any patient. I certainly recommend a mouth rinse on a regular basis.
Guy: Great. Great questions then.
Stuart: It’s interesting. The microbiome in the gut health now is so huge. You see the next breakthrough but many of us don’t even think that it starts in the mouth, and we’re drinking sodas with all these crazy acids, very harsh mouthwashes and rinses or manner of foods that we put in there would have to have an effect at some point I would imagine.
Ron: Look. Like I said, the two most common infections known to man, woman, or child is tooth decay and gum disease. That only arises through an imbalance of the microbiome in your mouth. If that happens there, why on earth wouldn’t it happened anywhere else in the body and it certainly does. That’s what Weston A. Price found out, big breakthrough in 1935. It’s just taking a little while for the [ballot 00:46:05] to arrive.
Guy: [crosstalk 00:46:06].
Ron: He posted a letter 80 years ago, and it’s only arrived on our shores recently.
Guy: That’s amazing.
Stuart: [crosstalk 00:46:14].
Guy: What does a holistic dentist to do with the care for his teeth?
Ron: I try to eat a good diet. Listen, I work on an 80/20 principle, 90/10. If I get to 90/10, I am saintly. I’m very proud of myself. I’d like to think that throughout, most of my … All my week, I’m on an 80/20 basis. You’ve got to work out what percentage is right for you. Some people think 50/50 is pretty good, and to me, that’s ridiculous; 60/40 doesn’t cut it; 70/30 is not going to make that big a difference; maybe 20 is the bottom line; 90/10 is what I do, and if I was 100% or I’d be a social outcast and known whatever [inaudible 00:47:03]. I think you’ve got to cut yourself a little of slack here because you end up getting so stressed out about what you’re reading, that it becomes pathological in itself, but essentially, the basis of my diet is I eat … The majority of my diet, I’m trying to make vegetables of varying colors, as many colors as I can. I try to keep low-ish carb and by carb level, I mean around 70 gram to 80 grams of carb a day is achievable and if people want to know what that is, I would suggest to get a carb counter and spend a week looking and weighing everything you do.
You don’t have to do it for the rest of your life. You’re just going to do it for a week or two to start getting your head around it. I would try … I had moderate amount of quality pasture fed, preferably organic protein, and by moderate I mean … We’re talking about … For me, who is 80 kilos, I wouldn’t want to be eating more than about 60 grams of protein a day. An egg has got 7 grams of protein, so if I have two eggs in the morning, there’s 14 grams, and a 200-gram piece of steak would have 66 grams right there and then. We eat too much protein. There’s no doubt about it. We eat too much meat, and we eat too much meat for two things. Problems with that is, one, for our own health, it’s not good, and two from a sustainability and planetary point of view, I don’t think it’s good. The other thing is good fats. By good fats, I would include butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil. I do most of the cooking at home, coconut oil. I indulge myself with some roasted vegetables and duck fat occasionally.
Then I have clean water. I actually purify my water. I have a reverse osmosis filter which removes everything and then I might add a couple of grains of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt. If I can taste it, I put too much in. If you have salts, I use either those salts, Celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt which have 60 trace elements in them, and I have moderate amount of seasonal fruit. I restrict my fruit intake, but I do have seasonal fruit and I do have some apples, bananas, berries, preferably organic. They’re very high in pesticides, strawberries and blueberries. Then sea food, moderate amount of sea food. I’m very careful with sea food. The best sea food is I think sardines. A lot of the other … The bigger fish, I wouldn’t touch.
Guy: From the mercury perspective or …
Ron: From a mercury sustain … There’s two issues about seafood. One is sustainability. We have raped and pillaged sea, and we’ve now reduced to up to 90% of its fish stocks over the last 20 or 30 years, so that’s a bit of a problem. The toxicity issue is inescapable, and the higher up the food chain you go, so the big fish are our problem. Then you go to farm fish, and I don’t really want to touch farm fish either because the farm fish are not in a natural environment. They often eat trash fish, so when they scour the ocean, they use big nets and that will take out the fish that can be sold at the fish market, but they have a huge amount of what’s called trash fish which were either too small to eat or a bottom feeders, and so they end up getting milled up to fish meal or they might … I just think farm fishing is not a good … I think sardines are the best alternative, calamari, okay. I don’t eat much. I don’t eat much seafood. It’s overrated.
Stuart: How would you move? What would you do? Are you a marathon runner or are you a crossfit aficionado?
Ron: I’m a functional movement aficionado.
Ron: No. Really, I am. For the last … One of the most liberating things I’ve learned is that if you did 10 minutes or 20 minutes of interval training, high intensity interval training, then your metabolism is up for 24 to 48 hours. If you did a 10-kilometer run, your metabolism would be up for six to eight hours, so you don’t have to do that much to make a difference. For many years, I have attended a fabulous gym. I think he is one of the best trainers in Australia, Origin of Energy in Bondi Junction in Sydney, and Aaron McKenzie is into functional movements. It’s bending, twisting, turning, lunging, reaching, extending, flexing, doing all those movements that we do in everyday life and incorporating them into a workout, and then also focusing on the core. I have tried to do that three or four times a week, and I also do some stairs, high-intensity cardio but only over a short period, and so I don’t … I’m not a runner.
I think people run for various reasons. It’s very meditative. It’s not just the health thing people go out for long runs, but it’s not a really good thing for you. It’s not good for your joints. It’s not good for you. It’s not necessarily a good thing. That’s the first thing. The other thing is I try to wear a pedometer because you could work out for 30 minutes or an hour a day, but you’re sedentary for the 23 hours, and that’s a good thing either. In my surgery, I actually have measured that in a working day, I would walk about 6,000 steps just backwards and forwards from patient, around from where I parked my car to where my surgery is and back again, and to and from. I try and incorporate movement. Every morning, when I wake up in the morning, I do some yoga. I usually do the Salute to the Sun, a few rounds of that. If you’re wanting to do an all-around exercise, that is brilliant. Salute to the Sun, a couple of rounds of that in the morning really gets you going, so yeah. Movement is important.
Guy: A lot of people just don’t move. That’s another thing and another topic but nice to hear you do. I’ve been bringing in yoga to my weekly routine, and I’ve been trying to get
Stu there but he’s not prepared to [inaudible 00:53:46] and come down.
Stuart: Yeah. One day, Guy.
Guy: I’m aware of time. It’s going on a little bit, Ron, and I’d love for you to just talk a little bit about your podcast just to let the listeners know that you’re a podcast to Good Doctors, is that right?
Ron: We do.
Guy: I know Stu has become a fan. He’s been listening to a lot of it lately.
Stuart: I have. I’m loving it.
Ron: Yeah, good. It’s been going for a couple of years now actually, and my co-host, that it’s called The Good Doctors, Health Care Unplugged. Each week we explore. Here comes the introductions too. Each week we … no. Each week we do, we explore health wellness and disease from a nutritional and environmental perspective and we look at food from soil to plate and we look at the connections between mind and body, and we do that because they’re all connected. We really are talking about alternative medicine, we’re talking about good medicine, and my co-host in that is a fabulous doctor in the Mornington Peninsula, integrative holistic GP called Michelle Woolhouse. I personally … we’re up to episode 170, I think, and we do Healthy Bytes which very … Sometimes we interview people, sometimes we have a Healthy Byte which varies from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, and we’re just starting to do book reviews, but I have personally learned so much.
Each week, I get to pretend, and it’s not much of a stretch for me, but I get to pretend that I don’t know everything. I get to ask either our guests or Michelle something, and I’ve learnt so much from that, so it’s a great show. We’re starting to take it little more seriously. We’re going to do some live events next year. It’s going to be really good. It’s a really exciting project. It’s one we both really enjoy.
Stuart: Fantastic. If we wanted to connect to The Good Doctors, the best way to do it?
Ron: iTunes or you could go on to our web page which is thegooddoctors.com.au, and we’ve got a Facebook page, we got a lot of information going out. We’re just about to publish an ebook on what is good health, and we’re about to do a whole series of varying programs. We did a fertility series, we’re doing a cardio series, a cancer series, so there’s a lot exciting things happening there next year.
Guy: I think you’re right. Since we’ve been podcasting, I’ve learned so much. I find it a privilege. We have guests on like yourself, and we currently do them [inaudible 00:56:18] interview, but the absolute variety of knowledge that you exposed to, it’s awesome.
Ron: I’ve started a second podcast as well.
Guy: Have you?
Ron: I have on through my surgery, but it’s called Holistic Health Conversations. It’s where I interview practitioners that we work with around Australia or around Sydney, and also internationally who have a holistic approach to healthcare. That’s starting up in the next couple of weeks as well from our surgery web page.
Guy: Well done. Fantastic. There you go. Ron, just to wrap up, we have a question we ask everyone on the podcast every week. Nothing too technical, but what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Ron: I think the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given … The best lesson I’ve learned is to take control of yourself and keep an open mind because we love certainly, and if you’re going to change your health, there are two things that are important in change, any change. The first one is to accept control. It’s called locus of control. Do I have the control over my health? I know I don’t 100%, but I want to be as much in control of it as I can, so that’s number one. Number two, a tolerance of ambiguity. Meaning things are not black and white, and keeping an open mind and incorporating information and having knowledge is a very powerful tool, so take control and be the best you can be. That’s the best lesson I’ve learned.
Guy: Awesome. It’s funny you come up with that answer because I’ve been [inaudible 00:58:04] the phrase, beginner’s mind, when you approach the things, and that’s come up in the last couple of podcast actually.
Ron: Look, I often say that I only wish I knew as much I thought I did when I graduated from dentistry. When I graduated, I passed all the exams set by all the professors, and I thought I knew it all. Actually, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know, so it’s fun to learn.
Stuart: That’s right.
Guy: Fantastic. What’s coming up next for you?
Ron: I’m just in the process … I’m just finishing a book, and the book is called Simply Be Well. It’s an exploration of the five stresses in life that break us down which I’ve mentioned, emotional, environmental, postural, nutritional, and dental, and the five pillars of health that build us up which is sleep, breathe, nourish, move, and think. It also explores why public health messages is so confusing and contradictory. That’s coming out in the New Year. If people are interested, they can go into my website and we’re going to be … I think I’m going to have the first couple of chapters ready in a couple of weeks, and so we’re going to give them out free, send out the first couple of chapter.
Guy: [inaudible 00:59:10] awesome. Let us know when it’s out. It would be great. Everyone listen to this. Your website, best place to go back to the [inaudible 00:59:19] would be?
Ron: The surgery website, the shdc.com.au. SHDC, that stands for Sydney Holistic Dental Centre.com.au or they go on to drronehrlich. All one word, lower case, dot com, and there’ll be a lot of information on their too. [crosstalk 00:59:37].
Guy: [crosstalk 00:59:36].
Ron: Workshops coming up in the New Year, a Simply Be Well workshop to go with the book, and we’ve got an app that goes with the book as well, so a lot of exciting stuff coming up.
Guy: Awesome. We’ll link to the show notes as well, so people can just go and check it out.
Guy: [crosstalk 00:59:52].
Ron: Thanks for having me.
Stuart: [crosstalk 00:59:53].
Guy: Thanks for coming on. That was brilliant. I really appreciate it.
Stuart: [crosstalk 00:59:55]. We continue to learn which is great.
Ron: Don’t we? Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it.
Guy: With all the years I’ve been working in the health and wellness space, there’s been one thing that has stood out over time. Yes, I believe one of the corner stones of great health is the integrity of the your gut. Not the most glamorous answer I know, but one you seriously don’t want to overlook. Some estimates say that bacteria in our gut outnumber our own human cells 10:1 in our body!
Whether you want to lose weight, recover faster from exercise, increase energy, elevate mood etc, then gut health is worth delving into and applying these simple strategies below.
Welcome to the world of ‘microbiome’. Over to Lynda…
Lynda: What is the gut “microbiome” you ask? Put simply its the trillions of microscopic bacteria that live within your gastrointestinal tract.
Why is it so important to nourish and have a wide variety of gut microbiome? There are many reasons. I have touched on some of these below:
A healthy, diverse microbiome protects you from harmful bacteria, fungus and viruses.
90% of our the body’s serotonin is made in the gut. Serotonin is affected by the health of your microbiome and is responsible for a healthy mood, sense of calm, optimism, sleep and appetite.
Gut bacteria produce and respond to other chemicals that the brain uses which regulate sleep, stress and relaxation such as melatonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine and GABA.
They produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) which promote weight loss, ward off inflammation, protect against colon cancer and are crucial for overall good intestinal health.
They improve the strength and health of your intestinal walls, prevent leaky gut and reduce inflammation by maintaining the tight junctions between the cells in the lining of these walls.
A balanced gut microbiome helps avoid unhealthy weight gain.
Helps to break down toxins and improve the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat.
Helps prevent or reduce nasty symptoms of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
The following are my top 5 gut loving foods. Those that can be easily added to your daily diet…
Don’t be put off by the fancy word. Simply put, polyphenols are compounds found mostly in colourful fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, red wine, green and black tea. Polyphenols ensure that the balance of your gut microbiome is maintained. They reduce inflammation and improve overall metabolism, especially of sugar (glucose) and fats (lipids). This enhances the quality of your health and prevents disease.
Polyphenols contain antibiotic properties and each polyphenol acts as its own prebiotic, promoting growth of healthy gut bacteria. When the cell of a bacteria breaks down it releases a toxin. Polyphenols communicate with your microbiome, reducing the growth of these toxin containing bacteria.
You can find polyphenols in the following foods and beverages:
Nuts and seeds: almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, flaxseeds
Beverages: cocoa, green, black, white tea, red wine
Olive oil and olives
Prebiotics are generally the non digestible, plant fibers found in food. They are the foods that feed and nourish the friendly bacteria already present in your gut.
Inulin is the main prebiotic compound found in foods such as asparagus, onions, garlic, and artichokes. Other forms of prebiotics are fructo-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) and arabinogalactans.
Inulin and GOS have much positive research behind it and are shown to prevent bacterial imbalances in the gut, leaky gut, obesity and its complications.
Foods rich in prebiotic fiber are asparagus, leeks, onions, radishes, tomatoes, garlic, artichoke, carrots, kiwi fruit.
Resistant starch is a form of natural prebiotic that is digested by our good bacteria many hours after eating. As the name states this form of starch is resistant to digestion in the stomach and small intestine. It instead reaches the large intestine intact and goes on to feed our good bacteria. RS contain mostly unusable calories and create little or no insulin or blood glucose spikes.
Good RS sources are boiled potatoes and brown rice, that have been cooled down, cannellini beans, black beans that have been cooled down, green (unripe) bananas and plantains. I like to add 1 tsp of organic green banana flour (I use the brand Absolute Organic which is easy to find) to my smoothies or I recommend that people have 2 tbsp of an RS source for lunch or dinner to cultivate a healthy, well balanced microbiome.
3. Probiotic rich foods
Probiotics are the living bacteria that restore and renew our microbiome. They reduce inflammation in the intestines, improve the quality of the gut and reduce absorption of toxins.
Poor bacterial balance in your gut microbiome can lead to inflammation and can affect your body composition and metabolism in various ways. Any imbalance weakens your gut barrier and leads to an increase in inflammation. Weight control and blood sugar regulation is dependent on a good balance of gut microflora.
Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchee, fermented vegetables, yoghurt and kefir are natural probiotics. They contain their own living cultures of bacteria, which nourish the healthy bacteria in your microbiome.
4. Healthy fats
Your cell walls are made up of fat so in order to do their jobs they need healthy fats such as nuts, nut butters (almond, cashew, macadamia), seeds, seed butters, avocado, oily fish, flaxseeds and olive oil.
Having healthy cells ensures that you are the best version of your inherited genes because whatever enters your cells affects your DNA. Unhealthy fats such as vegetable oils feed the harmful bacteria, the microbes that ignite inflammation, encourage your body to store fat and produce toxins.
Omega 3s, particularly from oily fish reduce gut inflammation and repair the mucosal cells of the digestive system. Gut mucosal cells are damaged easily because they regenerate very quickly- within a 24 hour cycle. They need a constant flow of good nutrition to support their rapid turnover and prevent damage.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Your microbiome and stomach acid stimulate your small intestine to produce the enzymes needed to break down nutrients from the food you eat. If you have an unbalanced or unhealthy microbiome or low stomach acid this important signal is not given and digestion is compromised. You will absorb less fabulous nutrients from your food and if leaky gut is present, undigested food may pass through the intestinal wall causing inflammation.
A simple way to improve your stomach acid is to use Apple Cider Vinegar. I dilute 1 tbsp of this household favourite, in water before most meals and use it as my staple vinegar whenever vinegar is called for in a recipe. Salads, slow cooking, sauces.
In a Nutshell
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that poor food choices such as too many processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats cause disruption in your gut microbiome. So opt for fibrous foods rich in colour, packed full of the ammunition your gut flora needs to ensure you flourish.
A simple option if you are low on time or stuck for choices would be to replace a poor meal choice, like toast & cereal etc with a high fibre 180 Natural Protein Smoothie. Simply mix it with water, a little avocado for extra healthy fats and some low GI fruit like berries which are also rich in antioxidants.
Your gut has the power, it just needs the right environment and your help. Feed it well, save yourself a motza of money by avoiding illness and medications and use your hard earned cash on a holiday instead :)
If you want to delve into t your gut health further, you can start by having it assessed with these tests here.
Lynda is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry.
Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.
If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE
Watch the full interview above or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.
In this weeks episode:-
Internet fame with her famous Ted Talks: Minding my Mitochondria Over 1.3 million views on youtube & counting!
From relying on a wheelchair to being able to bike ride 18 miles! The steps Dr Terry Wahls takes to help overcome her battle with MS (multiple sclerosis) [03:12]
What is mitochondria & why it’s so important [06:10]
What she was eating before MS & how much her diet has changed [07:30]
Why Dr Terry Wahls decided to seek alternative means to conventional medicine [09:10]
Her thoughts on being a vegetarian [16:20]
Why inactivity is deadly [19:15]
This is a must: Dr Wahls’ single piece of advice for optimum health/wellness [28:30]
and much more…
Dr Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine. In addition to being a doctor, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000.
By 2003 it had transitioned to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. She underwent chemotherapy in an attempt to slow the disease and began using a wheelchair because of weakness in her back muscles. In her own words she says it was clear: eventually she would become bedridden by her disease.
To cut a very long story short, she ended up redesigning her diet for her condition so that she was getting those important nutrients not from supplements but from the foods she ate & created a new food plan.
The results stunned her physician, her family, and herself: within a year, she was able to walk through the hospital without a cane and even complete an 18-mile bicycle tour.
If you would like to learn more about Dr Terry Wahls, click here.
Over 1.3 million views on youtube & counting! You can watch the Ted Talks Minding my Mitochondria here.
Guy Lawrence: Brought to you by 180nutrition.com.au. Welcome to the Health Sessions podcast. In each episode, we cut to the chase as we hang out with real people with real results.
Hey, this is Guy Lawrence with 180- Nutrition and welcome to another episode of the Health Sessions. Our special guest today is Dr. Terry Wahls. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s a clinical professor of medicine. In addition to being a doctor, she was actually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000.
By 2003, the transition into secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, get my words out, she underwent chemotherapy in an attempt to slow the disease and began using a wheelchair because, simply, the weakness, and her back muscles had just disintegrated.
And, in her own words, she says it was clear eventually she would become bedridden by her disease. To cut a very long story short, she ended up redesigning her diet for her condition so that she was getting, simply, important nutrients not from supplements but from the very foods she ate and created a new food plan around this.
Over a period of time, the results stunned her physician, her family, and herself, she said. Within a year, she was able to walk through the hospital without a cane and even completed an 18-mile bicycle tour.
And, I just think that the story is fantastic, you know, and whether you have MS or not or chronic disease or you’re, you know, in the best shape of your life, I think the overall message within this conversation is fantastic and it’ll definitely make you think twice about what you have for breakfast tomorrow morning.
As always, you know, if you’ve got any questions just drop us a line to HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com and, yeah, any shares or reviews are greatly appreciated. Until the next time, enjoy the show. Thank you.
Awesome. Awesome. Well, I’ll start with the introduction. This is Guy Lawrence and, of course, we’re joined by Stuart Cooke and our lovely guest today is Dr. Terry Wahls. Thank you so much for joining us.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes.
Guy Lawrence: I have to say, I was just checking your YouTube TED talks video just now and I didn’t realize, but you have reached over 1.25 million people now with that…
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes.
Guy Lawrence: …that talk, that’s a lot of people you’ve touched. Did you expect it to go as viral as it has when you did that?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, I wasn’t expecting a million. I was hoping, you know, I’d get a 100,000 or so, yet, when I last looked it was about 1.3 million. So, I’m very pleased.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s amazing. Normally, it’s a double rainbow or something like that that tends to go viral and finally it’s something with a stronger message, so that’s awesome. So, what we’d thought we’d do just to start, Dr. Wahls, was…
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes?
Guy Lawrence: …you know, we want to expose you to an audience over here in Australia, so could you basically share with us your story? Because we think it’s just incredible.
Dr. Terry Wahls: So, I’m a clinical professor of medicine here at the University of Iowa. In 2000, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. That was on the basis of a problem with foot drop and stumbling and abnormal MRI with lesions in my spinal cord, a history of optic neuritis ten years earlier, and oligo bands in the spinal fluid.
I went to the Cleveland Clinic, an international MS center, for a second opinion. They agreed that I had multiple sclerosis. At that time it was called relapsing-remitting, which meant that you have intermittent episodes that are acutely worse.
They advised me to take disease-modifying drugs and so I took a daily injection of Copaxone. Over the next three years, I had just one episode of worsening or one relapse, so I’d be considered a success, but the problem was I was gradually deteriorating and it was becoming difficult to have, to sit up in my office chair, my desk chair, because of back fatigue.
My physicians suggested that I get a XX?XX [0:04:39] inclined wheelchair because of the worsening back fatigue and that I take medication known as Novantrone and they told me that my disease had transitioned to secondary progressive MS.
And so I did that and, at that time, that’s when I realized that I wanted to do my own reading, my own research, to try to figure out what else I could do, and so I began searching pubmed.gov, reading the latest research, and I retaught myself a bunch of brain biology, immunology, and gradually began to add some vitamins and supplements to help my mitochondria, because I decided that mitochondria were key into my progressive brain disorders happen.
And the vitamins and supplements maybe slowed down the steepness of my decline, but they didn’t stop my decline. By the summer of 2007, I could walk short distances, two canes. I could not sit up in a standard chair. I had to be in a recliner or in bed, and that’s when I discovered the Institute for Functional Medicine, which is an organization which is committed to using the latest basic science to treat chronic diseases.
I can hear you. Can you hear me?
Guy Lawrence: Yes, I can. Well, it’s okay. Let’s proceed with the audio like this. I think this will be fine.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Absolutely.
Guy Lawrence: So, I was interested, Dr. Wahls, in, I guess, mitochondria. So, for our audience, I wondered if you could just explain that, please. What is mitochondria?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes. So, mitochondria are, about 1.5 billion years ago, large bacteria swallowed up little bacteria that were capable of creating energy using oxygen, and that increased the efficiency of those bigger bacteria so that they were able to become multicellular which then eventually became animals and then became mammal and then became primate and then us, of course.
All of our cells rely on these little mitochondria to generate energy more efficiently to run the chemistry of those cells. So our brains are critically dependent on mitochondria. All of our other organs, you know, our muscles, hearts, glands are also dependent on the mitochondria.
Guy Lawrence: Right. Got it. So, essentially, like a battery for our cells.
Dr. Terry Wahls: A battery for the cells.
Guy Lawrence: Yep. All right. The next question I have here would be what you’re eating prior to being diagnosed with MS to what you’re eating now, and how much has that varied?
Dr. Terry Wahls: For years, maybe a decade, I’d been a vegetarian. I was eating lots of vegetables, some rice, and legumes. Then I began eating some fish, still a lot of vegetables, a lot of grain and legumes. I did not have a lot of junk food, just not a lot of processed foods. I was eating most of my meals at home.
When I was diagnosed with MS, I continued to be mostly vegetarian, although I did eat some fish. Then in 2002, I began a paleo diet after reading Loren Cordain’s book and began eating meat. I was eating, you know, vegetables, fruit, meat, but I continued my decline.
2003, I hit the wheelchair, you know, and continued to decline. In 2007, I had a long list of nutrients that were critical for my brain and reorganized my dietary choices to maximize the nutrients for my brain.
And when I created that structure, that’s when there was a dramatic improvement in my function and health.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Right. The other thing that fascinated me as well was the fact that many people don’t look to seek alternative means to improve their condition, like, and just accept, I guess, “This is how it is. This is all we can do for you.”
So, my question would be what made you decide to really seek alternative matters to overcoming MS? Especially through the food you ate?
Dr. Terry Wahls: So, the first seven years I took straight conventional medicine, latest drugs from the top researchers in the country, but when I got into my wheelchair in 2004, that’s when I decided that it was clear that I was likely going to become bedridden by my disease, and at that time I began reading the science myself, slowly piecing together the fact that maybe some vitamins and supplements might be helpful, that maybe mitochondria were very important to the disease and no one was yet talking about that in the MS research community.
And then when I discovered functional medicine, that just deepened my understanding of what the latest science was saying about autoimmune types of diseases and XXthat I was launched and on my wayXX [0:10:18]
Guy Lawrence: How many vegetables do you eat a day now? Do you eat to get the quantities in, because you mention a lot of…
Dr. Terry Wahls: So I would say nine to twelve cups of vegetables a day.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s a lot, and do you juice any of that?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Wow, that’s a lot, but these are XXaudio breaks upXX [0:10:38] So, I will have smoothies where I put my vegetables and some fruit in this high-powered blender I call a Vitamix. It blends everything, all the fiber is still in the juice, and so I’ll drink that smoothie, you know, 18 to 24 ounces of all of that.
I’ll have huge salads, maybe six cups of salad greens every day, and a lot of non-starchy vegetables with that.
Guy Lawrence: Are there any other dietary considerations to take in, you know, I’m just thinking for anybody listening to this with MS. I mean, because obviously, we’ve got chocolate, coffee, alcohol, all these little crazy things like that.
Dr. Terry Wahls: So I’m going to step back a bit. The structure that I teach is three cups of green leaves, three cups of sulphur-rich vegetables that I get out of the cabbage family, onions, XX?XX [0:11:39] mushrooms, three cups of bright colors, and the easiest way to determine that is the vegetable or plant colored all the way through? Eat protein, high-quality protein, preferably animal protein as much as desired, have some seaweed on a regular basis.
If you’re going to have coffee or tea, a couple of cups are fine. You can have herbal teas as desired. A glass of wine every day would be fine. I would specifically avoid gluten grains, dairy, and eggs.
That also means avoiding beer.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right, and why seaweed?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Seaweed for the iodine, selenium, and other trace minerals.
Guy Lawrence: Okay. Okay. And the next question I have for you was the diet you prescribe, would that, sort of, help anyone, even if they didn’t have MS but had other chronic diseases? I mean…
Dr. Terry Wahls: You know, in the hundreds of people I’ve seen in my clinics and the hundreds of followers that I have, I see people being helped with traumatic brain injury, psychological problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, and then we see diabetes, heart disease, obesity being helped, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, asthma.
So, I’d say, in general, if you have a chronic disease, feeding your mitochondria and feeding your cells will have the effect of reducing your symptoms, improving your function and your quality of life.
Guy Lawrence: Okay, and for anyone that is actually just, you know, is healthy and is happy with their health as well, I’m sure, eating like this would benefit them as well. I’m assuming.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes. I’ve had a couple of athletes contact me and tell me that their athletic performance has improved markedly.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, okay. That’s interesting. Yeah. IN your view then, as well, a question I was really was keen to ask, how much of the diet is contributing to chronic disease in the first place do you think? And even with your own condition, from MS, do you think that food is a big player in that?
Dr. Terry Wahls: I think food is a huge player. The chronic diseases that we have are a reflection of how your unique and my unique DNA interacts with my choices around food, the toxins to which I’ve been exposed, my exercise level, and my social/spiritual life, but the vast majority of all of this will be the food choices that we make.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right, and why do you think the fact that most people don’t turn to food initially, like, it just baffles me, personally, you know? I think…
Dr. Terry Wahls: We’re addicted. We are very much addicted to white flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, that when you take that food in it stimulates the dopamine receptors, you release more dopamine in your brain, it enhances your pleasure.
We are addicted to those XXsphereXX [0:15:15] spikes. It becomes very difficult for them to select vegetables, berries, meats, other foods that are health promoting, and instead we do what rats do. They will starve themselves eating the sugar and white flour and kill themselves from the micronutrient starvation. We are absolutely doing that as well.
Guy Lawrence: You know, if somebody wanted to change their diet, should they just go cold turkey and start cutting out the things you mentioned, you know, the sugar, the grains, the gluten, or should they…
Dr. Terry Wahls: If you go cold turkey, you’re going to be going through withdrawal, and that’s going to feel very uncomfortable. If you wind down the bad food as you wind up the good food, that’s less uncomfortable, and, in general, I counsel people that this is a family decision. You’re going to be much more successful if you negotiate the pace of these changes with the whole family.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. Then you mentioned, as well, the fact that you were a vegetarian at one point, as well, and I’m always interested in this topic in particular because I know one of the arguments is about the fact that you don’t get your essential fatty acids from animal sources.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on…what your thoughts are about, you know, fat in the diet.
Dr. Terry Wahls: My brain and your brain is 60 to 70 percent fat, and without cholesterol you have a hard time making healthy cell membranes, you have a hard time making hormones. We need cholesterol. We need to manufacture cholesterol. We need a lot of fats in the omega-3 variety, the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in order to make the XXmylanXX [0:17:16] structures in the brain.
We need a lot of fat to make all those things happen, and, unfortunately, fat has been so demonized that many, many people are relatively starved for these very essential brain nutrients with negative health consequences.
Guy Lawrence: And what would a vegetarian do then to get those essential fatty acids in?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, they’ll have to take in a tremendous amount of ALA, alpha-Linolenic acid. That’s in flax, walnuts, but the body will have to convert that to DHA, which is what your brain needs. That is a complicated step and we can make about five to seven percent of the vegetarian omega-3 into the form that we use in our brain.
And you could also project that those of us with a chronic brain problem probably have enzymes that are even less efficient than those conversions, and so I think it’s very concerning for people with a brain problem or a heart problem. Are they getting enough of these health-promoting omega-3s?
And particularly the animal form? That’s the form that your brain and your heart need.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, absolutely, and what about things like ghee and coconut oil?
Dr. Terry Wahls: So, that, ghee is a butter that has been clarified so the milk proteins are out of it. It’s a saturated fat. Coconut oil is a saturated fat. And both of those fats, I think, can be quite health-promoting. You certainly want to have organic sources for both of those fats.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough, fair enough. The next topic I wanted to cover with you, Dr. Wahls, was exercise. The first question, I guess, does exercise help MS and even people with chronic disease?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Tremendous number of studies that show that strength-training and aerobic-training, either, or, and both, are very helpful for multiple sclerosis, helpful for fibromyalgia, heart disease, depression, basically any chronic health problem.
Our brain expects us to move. In prehistoric times, men would move six to nine miles a day and women two to three. So inactivity is deadly.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I think it’s deadly to the mind as well as the body.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Absolutely.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, which is so important, you know, especially when you’re suffering with some sort of chronic disease, if it isn’t enough just trying to deal with that as well and then if you’re not moving, I’m sure the mind can, you can manifest all sorts of problems through your thoughts.
Were you exercising before? Before you were diagnosed with MS?
Dr. Terry Wahls: So, before I went to medical school, I was big in tae kwon do. I competed nationally and was very much an athlete. During medical school, I still did tae kwon do. I ran. I did biking, cross-country skiing. When I was diagnosed with MS, I knew that exercise would be critical to maintain function as long as possible, so I worked out every day doing strength and aerobic training.
As I got more and more disabled, I could do less and less. In 2007, I could do about ten minutes of exercise. If I did more than that, I was flat out exhausted for four or five hours, but I exercised every day, and I still exercise every day.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and you do resistance-training in amongst that as well?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes. So, right now I’m doing pilates, biking, swimming, and I lift free weights.
Guy Lawrence: That’s fantastic. That’s amazing, and did you ever expect to be getting to this point when you, you know, were in a wheelchair?
Dr. Terry Wahls: You know, when I tell the story of how I got my bike down and decided to try for my first bike ride, my family came out, and we had this pow wow, would they helped me bike ride? And they decided that, yes, they would, and my kids, one ran on the right; one ran on the left, and my spouse biked behind me.
And I still get tears in my eyes talking about that because I had fully accepted that I would never have that come back in my life, but instead, you know, I’m biking. I’ve been able to do 18-mile bicycle rides. I’m lifting weights.
You know, I’m still not normal. My gait, in the morning, looks normal, but by the afternoon you can probably tell that it’s not normal. Standing for a lecture, I can do that for an hour. I cannot do that for two hours. I can walk a mile. I can’t walk longer than that. So I still have a ways to go to be normal, but I’m getting my life back, where, if I hadn’t made these interventions, I would be bedridden by now. Absolutely, I would be bedridden.
Guy Lawrence: But not only that, you’ve not only, you know, changed, turned your life around, you know, you’re touching so many people now with your story, which is a credit to what you’re doing, so, I just think that’s awesome. That really is.
Dr. Terry Wahls: I’m very grateful to have my life back.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I can imagine. I can imagine. With all this information, what do you think the future holds for medicine itself?
Dr. Terry Wahls: I think if physicians don’t get on board with realizing drugs are not the solution, it’s teaching people that lifestyle is how we create health, that teaching people how to eat a nutrient-dense diet, moving their bodies, meditating, creating spiritual and social harmony in their lives…If physicians won’t get on board, realizing that that is how you treat chronic disease, we will be replaced by another profession that understands that.
And so I’m encouraged that there are more and more young physicians and more medical schools embracing functional medicine, thinking that lifestyle interventions are going to be key, but that is the future. I’m not sure which profession is going to be at the cutting edge of that, however.
Guy Lawrence: yeah, fair enough, and do you think drug companies inhibit this message?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, there’s a lot of money to be made with drugs, procedures, quick fixes. That’s what’s funding the research. It’s very difficult to get research that looks at medicine from a systems standpoint.
I mean, you and I, we are incredibly complicated biochemical systems, and, when we’re chronically ill, multiple parts of that system are screwed up, wrong, not working well, so, if you want to restore health, you try to correct as many systems as possible.
That’s a very messy research design. That’s not what’s being funded by our basic science institutes in any of our countries. So the type of research that I’m doing, which is a much more complex systems approach, it’s very hard to get funding for it. It is outside the mainstream paradigm, but that is the future. We have to do systems biology. We have to do systematic repair of these broken thought systems.
Guy Lawrence: If, for people that are listening to this now, obviously outside of the States and they have MS, where would be, what would be the best thing for them to start, the best place to start for them?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, I’d tell them to go to my website, terrywahls.com, and I have a lot of information there. I have books. I have lectures. I have stuff that you can download and see virtually, so you can still get it even there in Australia. We have newsletters. I have my current book. We’ll have a new book coming out next spring, The Wahls Protocol.
So I’m working very hard at putting this information out to the public. At the same time, I’m doing these scientific studies testing my intervention, showing that it’s safe and effective, and we’re getting ready to launch the next study.
So I try to do things in parallel, create tools for the public, and create the science for my medical colleagues.
Guy Lawrence: That’s fantastic. Did you have a video? I notice you had a video series on there as well, so I’m guessing people can, you know, get there and start watching these things and take actions right away.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Absolutely, I think it’s very helpful.
Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.
Dr. Terry Wahls: People need to understand the why. Why it makes sense to give up food that you love. Why it makes sense to do the work of exercising in order to stay motivated to sustain these very uncomfortable changes.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I think it’s very important, as well, to have some kind of support network behind you when doing this, as well. You know, get support of the family and then make the decision to actually say, “I’m going to do this and not deviate and, sort of, try not to get distracted with many other things.”
Because there’s so much information out there, as well, and it can pull you in all sorts of directions without actually, I guess, it confuses the matter, you know? We tend to have a habit of doing that, human beings, for some reason.
Have you got anything in the pipeline for the future?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, we have the book, The Wahls Protocol. I’m working on that. That will be released March 3rd, so that’s coming up really fairly soon. I will be going to the Ancestral Health Symposium in August, presenting some of our research there. We’ll actually talk about two of our studies there. That will be a lot of fun.
Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.
Dr. Terry Wahls: And we are writing up and submitting our research findings, so, again, making good progress there.
Guy Lawrence: Fantastic, and I’ve got one last question for you, Dr. Wahls, and it’s a question we ask everyone that comes on our podcast, and that would be, if you could offer a single piece of advice for optimum health and wellness, what would that be?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Eat a lot more vegetables. Ditch the junk food.
Guy Lawrence: Eat a lot more vegetables. Ditch the junk food. Absolutely. Absolutely. I actually had a nice big salad for breakfast this morning with a little bit of grass-fed steak on it, so I’m quite proud of myself.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Perfect.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. For sure.
Dr. Terry Wahls: That’s my perfect breakfast as well.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I’ve been doing that a lot recently and I definitely feel good about it. Just to mention your website as well, so the URL is?
Dr. Terry Wahls: Terry. T. E. R. R. Y. Wahls. W. A. H. L. S. dot com. When people go there, do sign up for the newsletter, which goes out every, once or twice a month. We have a lot of videos and there’s a lot of educational material right there.
Guy Lawrence: Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. I’ll put the appropriate links on our website, too, and when we send that out.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Thank you much.
Guy Lawrence: Thank you for your time. Apologies for the technical errors. I have no idea what happened there. it, yeah, that’s the first time that it’s done that for us, so we’ll look into it.
Dr. Terry Wahls: All right. Thank you much.
Guy Lawrence: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Dr. Terry Wahls: Bye, bye.
Guy Lawrence: Bye, bye.
Thanks for listening to our show The Health Sessions. If you would like more information on anything health from our blog, free eBook, or podcasts, simply visit 180nutrition.com.au. Also, if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to see cover in future episodes, we would really love to hear from you. Simply drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re listening to us on iTunes and enjoyed the show, we’d really appreciate a review in the review section. Until the next time, wherever you are in the world, have a fantastic week.
Your body can’t make them, so the only way to get omega-3 fats is to eat them. Here’s why they are so important, and how to make sure you are getting enough.
Omega 3s, as they’re known for short, are “good” polyunsaturated fats. They are important for growth and brain function as well as heart health because they help lower triglycerides and total cholesterol. A diet full of omega 3s also has been linked to improved immunity and a reduced risk of high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
There are three types of omega-3 fats. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are most commonly found in cold-water fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is the omega-3 fat found in plants like flaxseed.
Good sources of EPA and DHA are cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines (salmon and sardines are typically low in mercury as well). ALA is found in canola oil, soy products such as soybean oil and tofu, flaxseeds, walnuts and in some leafy green veggies (for example, kale).
Omega-3 supplements are also an option; they are made from fish oil, flaxseed or marine algae oil. When considering a supplement, remember these guidelines: Take with food to avoid a fishy aftertaste or digestive problems, avoid mega-doses unless prescribed by a doctor and remember that supplements will not provide you with the other nutrients found in omega-3-rich foods.
Eat a diet rich in all three types of omega-3 fats. Experiment with healthy salmon recipes and try to get two servings of omega 3-rich fish per week. An example of a serving would be 6 ounces raw or 4 to 5 ounces of canned or cooked salmon. To get some ALA, cook with canola oil, top oatmeal with ground flaxseed, add tofu to stir-fries or sprinkle walnuts on yogurt or salads.