Dr. Gundry (00:00):
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Speaker 2 (03:37):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry (03:51):
So I want to start off with the basics. I think everybody knows, but let’s get real basic. What the heck are genes and what makes understanding your own unique set of genes important?
Kashif Khan (04:05):
Yeah, sure. And that’s an important place to start because we have this sort of this mystique about what our DNA is. It’s literally an instruction. So we have 57 trillion cells in our body. Each one of them has an instruction manual inside it, telling those cells is what to do. So the ability to understand your DNA is like reading that instruction manual, understanding now, how am I operating inside? It’s your literal operations manual.
Dr. Gundry (04:31):
Now I’ve written about this in a number of my books, but I think it’s important for people to realize that even though we seem to be a rather advanced animal, at least in our opinion, that one would have thought because we’re such an advanced animal that we might have by far the most genes of any other animal. What say you?
Kashif Khan (04:55):
Well, our DNA, our current DNA is 250,000 years old, right? So we are the same as people from that long ago. Evolution takes time, if you believe in that. And what we’ve understood now is that the pace of what’s happening in the world, industrialization, commercialization, globalization versus the pace at which we’ve evolved, this is why we think there’s so much illness, because we’re not designed for what we’re doing. And we can dive into that, what our DNA is telling us.
Dr. Gundry (05:25):
But there’s actually, correct me if I’m wrong, sand fleas have more genes than you and I.
Kashif Khan (05:33):
Sure. Yeah. And we’re this degree away from being pigs. We’re closer to bananas than we are to certain animals. Genes are very interesting things, a nuance in an instruction completely changes the outcome.
Dr. Gundry (05:49):
Okay. And that’s a good stepping off point. So what do genes have to do with chronic disease and aging? I mean, are we built in to chronically age and get disease? Or what do you think?
Kashif Khan (06:04):
This is where we think that the genetic industry has gone wrong, because the belief is that genetics is only for genetic conditions, right? You have sickle cell syndrome or some rare condition where a switch was turned on or off and it equals the problem. What is then said is, well, chronic diseases like diabetes, cholesterolemia, breast cancer, you are not born with these things. They happen in and around age of 50. Maybe by 60 you have two of them, that’s kind of the American dream if you’re not taking care of your health, right?
So what we believe is that if you understand genetically where is your suboptimal, [inaudible 00:06:37] you understand [inaudible 00:06:39] you have an 80% chance of Alzheimer’s, for example. What you’re also saying, I have a 20% chance of not getting Alzheimer’s. So which [inaudible 00:06:47]? So the truth is that the people that have this weak genetic profile, they don’t do something properly. The environment, nutrition and lifestyle choices for the 80% and the 20% were different. So what we’re saying is that if we understand your risk, here’s your profile that you may not be doing something properly, and your DNA will determine that, we now know what food, what exercise, what environmental exposures are wrong for you that will lead to the disease. That’s the gap that has been missing from genetics.
Dr. Gundry (07:18):
Got you. In one of my first books, The Plant Paradox, I profile a woman who was really one of my mentors by the name of Edith Morrey and she lived two weeks shy of her 106th birthday. And I actually met Edith when she was in her early 90s and I thought she was 65. Literally, I mean, I had to look at the chart several times, I didn’t believe it. So why, I guess with question a lot of people say is, well, she lived to 106 because she had good genes. So are we mistaken about that or did she play her genes right?
Kashif Khan (08:07):
So there’s two answers there. First of all, there are very specific genes that speak to aging, and if you have the good version of those, you’re much more likely to live that long. Then there’s what was she wired for and what did she do? What were her habits? So there’s good genes. There’s actually a gene called FOXO3, which is the longevity gene. If you have the good version of it, you’re just much more likely to live a long life because your body fights off all the things that are aging, like stem cell regeneration, all that type of stuff. Your body just does it better. You’re better at surviving and thriving.
Then there’re things like, well, you look at what is the number one killer? Cardiovascular disease. We all know that, right? 30% of Americans are going to die of cardiovascular disease. So what causes that? It’s not the heart. The heart’s usually doing well, it’s usually the arteries, right? The inflammation in the artery that leads to cholesterol, et cetera. So we can determine what quality hardware do you have? Are you a grandmother that can smoke till she’s 90 years old? Not that we would recommend that to anybody, but some people can get away with that because they have stainless steel arteries. Some people don’t, much more prone to inflammation, which means that you’re going to get that disease earlier. So now if you know you are that person, that genetically we can determine you have the bad quality hardware, well, you need to be making different choices than the grandmother that has the stainless steel arteries, right? You’re putting yourself at greater risk. So those are the questions that we can now answer.
Dr. Gundry (09:27):
Yeah. That’s a very good observation. One of the things that we do routinely in our clinics is we do measure for the APOE genotype. We also measure the MTHFR mutations. And number of years ago, I met a black woman in her 90s, in perfect health, who carried the APOE4 gene, which is, quote, the Alzheimer’s gene. But here she is in her 90s, she has no chronic diseases. She’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and bright minded, she’s sharp. And I started to talk to her about her diet, which is my interest, and she said, “Out of the box, I wanted to eat green things. Even as a kid, I just used to shock my parents, that all I wanted to eat was greens. And they didn’t get me.” She grew up in the south, kind of gravy and biscuits, and she didn’t want it. All she wanted was greens. And I went, “Wow. Knowing what I know about your genetic profile, you couldn’t have chosen a better nutritional lifestyle. And here you are the proof of it. You’ve done great.” So I think your point is very well taken.
Kashif Khan (10:47):
Yeah, for sure. We see that over and over again, the diet choices. The number one thing people want to know is what do I eat? Because you’re going to eat anyway, right? So you might as well be eating the right thing. So when it comes to the latest fad of the keto diet or paleo or vegan, well, it works for certain people and doesn’t for others. Why? Because there’re certain genes you need to do that function of, okay, I’m going to go on a keto diet, which means I’m going to eat a lot of fat. Are you a fat metabolizer? There’s a gene that actually determines that. And if you’re not, you might feel good for the first couple of months, but then you’re going to start to get lethargic and the issues will kick in.
Should you be a vegan? Well, again, could be great for certain people, but there’re certain genes that produce the enzymes required to break down the beans, lentils legumes, where you get to all your protein from. So if you don’t do that well, again, first couple months you’ll feel great, eventually it’s going to start to taper off. The same is true for any type of diet. You can understand how you’re wired, what you’re supposed to eat and just feel a lot better.
Dr. Gundry (11:44):
Yeah. So what about mental health? People have believed kind of from the start that mental health is a disease, but we’re now beginning to realize maybe we are completely wrong about that. Do genes play a part in this process?
Kashif Khan (12:01):
I would say the two biggest areas where we focused our research that needed the most help was female hormones health and mental health. Why? Because mental health was such a gray area. Think about the process, it’s objective. You’re asking questions and you’re trying to understand how do you perceive, how does the patient even perceive what they’re experiencing? What they’re saying may not be what’s really happening. Right? So we now can be empirical because we can look at the genes that drive the neurochemicals.
So I’ll use myself as an example. I’m a guinea pig. My family, when I was growing up, there was a lot of addiction. I had a cousin that committed suicide, to be straightforward, because of this lineage of what we call reward seeking behavior. Why does it happen? Your dopamine, that’s the chemical that allows you to feel pleasure or reward. There’s one gene called DRD2 that determines how dense the receptors are. How much you can actually use. So that’s step one. Step two is there’s a gene called MAO, which determines how quickly you break the dopamine down to sort of get back to normal. Then there’s an enzyme called COMT, so another gene creates that to sweep everything away. So my family has the lowest density of dopamine receptors, so we don’t really feel much. We have the fastest MAO and the fastest COMT. So whenever there’s pleasure or award, it goes by like that and it’s felt way down here.
So what are the potential outcomes? Depression, because I don’t experience the world the way the people around me do, just the pleasure isn’t there. Or addiction, because I find something that feeds that pleasure and I go down that route more and more and more and more because of that low dopamine, it drives me there. Or achievement, because instead of going down the pleasure route, I went down the reward route. I started feeling good about achieving things and whatever I did yesterday wasn’t good enough anymore. And if you look at my family, they’re all business people, they’re all entrepreneurial and they’re all addicts. And now that I know that about myself, I’m healthy because I’ve understood why my brain works the way it does.
Dr. Gundry (14:12):
All right. But wait a minute now, I’m really depressed listening to this. And our audience is going to say, well, wait a minute now, if I have those genes then basically I’m screwed and there’s nothing I can do about that. But you’re not saying that, right?
Kashif Khan (14:29):
No. And this is the most important part of everything we could talk about. When it comes to genes and everything we’ve heard, it’s always been, I don’t want to know because I’d rather just live life without the anxiety of being told I have 80% chance of something. Why? Because there’s never been a belief that you can do anything about it. So now what we did in our research, we spent the last three years studying 7,000 patients. The failure in genetics is you only study the DNA. You send somebody your blood or your saliva and the lab test the DNA. They never meet the people. They don’t understand how they behave, who they are, what their environment load is on them.
So we made the effort to sit in front of and clinically review 7,000 people. One by one by one by one, to understand what were the lifestyle habits? What were the diet habits? What medications were they on? Everything about them to now be able to say, of the 80% and the 20%, here’s what the 80% did wrong and here’s what the 20% did right. Now that we know that you’re in this profile, take me for example again, prone to depression, which I have suffered from earlier in life before I knew this, what do I need to do? I need to deal with my dopamine levels. So there’re supplements like [inaudible 00:15:42] that help you boost dopamine, right? There’s cold exposure. And you wonder why as a kid, I used to enjoy skiing so much. Because that cold temperature boost your dopamine levels. There’s temperatures dysregulation. When I go in the shower, I switch from hot to cold, because that again boosts your dopamine levels.
It’s structuring your day so that you feel you’re not chasing the reward, but you’ve already put it in place. Right? So now all of a sudden, I’ve created an environment that’s suited to my DNA and I’m thriving in it as opposed to it being a burden. So that’s the biggest thing is, yes, we’ll identify the profile, but now what do I do? That’s what we figured out.
Dr. Gundry (16:23):
That’s fantastic. Now a lot of people who kind of pooh-pooh DNA say, well, DNA is really not that important. It’s epigenomics, it’s what you tell your DNA to do. Where do you stand on all that?
Kashif Khan (16:41):
You put it very beautifully. That’s exactly what we’re talking about here. What we’re saying is, your DNA tells you how you’re wired. Right? I’m a Ferrari. I was built as a Ferrari. Take that Ferrari off-roading, it’s not going to work out so well. Right? But I could have a beautiful Jeep SUV that I take off-roading, no problem. They’re both cars, right? We’re all humans, but we’re wired differently. So the epigenetics is now what load am I putting all my genetics that causes the expression of these problems?
Simple example, like myself, I have low dopamine. The load of cold temperature causes that gene to work harder and now expresses differently. The avoid of cold and sitting in a regular temperature room, I feel not so good. So the expression is the key. That’s the thing where we’re saying, we’re identifying here’s what’s kind of wrong. Here’s what you need to work on. Here’s what you marry with it, the right habits, so you’re at your best. How you get the best out of this. You talk about sleep, cardiovascular diseases, diet, hormones, mood and behavior, inflammation. We can speak to any one of these things from this perspective.
Dr. Gundry (17:54):
So for you, it turns out living in Toronto, just to continue the idea, is a great idea.
Kashif Khan (18:01):
Dr. Gundry (18:02):
Because you can go get a blast of cold right now or roll in the snow and you’ll do well.
Kashif Khan (18:08):
So it’s a double-edged sword because I feel great in the winter. All my friends are complaining, they’re sitting at home with a fireplace, I’m like, “No, let’s go outside [inaudible 00:18:15].” Right? So that’s one. But the other end of it is genetically I don’t deal with vitamin D so well. So I used to have the winter blues, like a mood disorder. I would feel horrible in the winter mentally. It was an extra load. The dopamine plus this. So it was even worse in the winter. Why? You know that clinically when we test DNA, sorry, vitamin D, you look in the blood and see how much is there. That’s step one. There’s three steps genetically. Step two, there’s an entirely separate gene that takes the vitamin D from the blood to the cell where it’s actually used. Right? Then there’s a third gene that determines how well you connect and bind it, so you could do a really good job.
So now look at me, slightly darker skin. I have a sort of Middle Eastern equatorial background, so my ancestors spent a lot of time in the sun. So I do a good job of taking that vitamin D from the sun and putting in the blood, but I do a horrible job of transporting it because my ancestors had too much vitamin D. Now fast forward a millennium and I’m in Toronto and I’m in the winter working indoors because of COVID, we’ve had the worst lockdown in the world here, right? So all of a sudden it was horrible. So I’ve had to boost my vitamin D, not only the amount, but I split dose several times a day because I just can’t transport it fast enough to use it. So these little insights can truly change the game for somebody.
Dr. Gundry (19:39):
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I think that’s fantastic. I’ll give you a great example. We were up skiing in Park City earlier this week and we brought a good friend and the skiing wasn’t very good so we decided to do some hiking. And my wife and I had our ski jackets on, and our friend who is quite thin, he brought a very lightweight jacket, and I said, “You’re going to freeze to death out here,” because he’s not from that area. And he said, “No, no, I’ll be fine.” And so we’re starting our hike and it’s like seven degrees and he’s taking off his light jacket and he says, “Oh, I’m dying of the heat.” And we’re looking at him like, are you crazy? But you’re exactly right. And interestingly enough, the more cold exposure he had, the more he was enjoying the entire experience. Yeah.
Kashif Khan (25:27):
Yeah. And people think he’s crazy, but it’s just genetically wired. He’s designed to do that activity.
Dr. Gundry (25:34):
Yeah. That’s a perfect example. If he is listening, I won’t mention your name. So okay. So this is great information. Let’s move to that. You say that chronic disease will soon be a choice. Is that what you’re trying to get to with all this?
Kashif Khan (25:55):
Yeah. In our research, what we’ve done is we said, hey, people can go on our website and buy the DNA test and learn about themselves. That’s one. But we’re saying there’s a lot more to this. We’re saying, if we map our biochemistry, here genetics is your instruction manual. We also have to understand biochemistry. How does the body work? All these systems, hormones, brain, et cetera, what’s actually going on? When we marry the two, we start to understand why disease happens. Right? And now instead of dealing with the well, I’m just going to wait and see, which is kind of like what happens right now, you can ask the question, do I have that why, that red flag?
I’ll give you an example. When it comes to genetics, a lot of people talk about the BRCA gene, breast cancer. Right? And every woman is scared of that four letter word BRCA. But then if you ask that same woman, what does BRCA do? They don’t know. Right? So they’re scared of something that they’re not even aware of what it is because they’ve been told to be scared. So BRCA is a gene that repairs things, it repairs other genes and it’s a tumor suppressor. So if you have cancer, it will go to work to try and fix it. So if you have the bad version, it’s not really doing its job of fixing or repairing or fixing DNA damage, et cetera. That’s not why you get cancer. That’s how you fight cancer. So let’s then ask, why? So you start by looking at, well, most women, this is not all, but most women get breast cancer in and around the menopause age. That’s typical. Right?
Then you start to ask, well, what’s happening in biochemistry? Before we ask about the genes. And we start to look at, well, it’s not menopause equals cancer, it’s some women are estrogen dominant. Meaning that in that hormone cascade, they just net out a lot more estrogen. It could have been testosterone, et cetera, they just have a bigger pool of estrogen. And this is step one of three. Step two is, what is that byproduct? Because when you have your monthly cycle, you’re not clearing estrogen, you first convert it into a byproduct. Either 2, 4 or 16 hydroxy estrogen. 2 is clean, that’s what you want. It’s the nice stuff. 4 and 16 are highly toxic, potent toxins. Right? So you may be producing one of those. So now you’re estrogen dominant, maybe also estrogen toxic.
Step three is you’re supposed to clear that toxin. Different detox things happen in your body that help you get rid of it, including the menstrual cycle. Maybe you don’t do that so well. So genetically we can now map and understand these three things and predict. Even then, this doesn’t equal a problem. What happens when you’re menopausal is you no longer have a menstrual cycle. So you’re no longer clearing this toxic metabolite, but you might still be producing it. So what does your body do to protect you? It starts to store it in fatty tissue. It wants to keep the toxins away from the organs and avoid any problems. And where do women have fatty tissue? In the breasts and the hips. And what’s in the breast that was never meant to deal with that level of toxic insult? All these sensitive glands. Their cellular structure wasn’t designed for that. Your lungs were designed as like a filter first. Your gut was designed as a first line of defense. Inside your breast, no.
Even then some women don’t get sick. So what’s the difference? That’s when you get into the epigenetics, which is, okay, now you’re in this bracket. Estrogen dominant, estrogen toxic, you don’t clear it well. Estrogen toxic insult towards your breast because that’s where you’re storing it. Right? Some women, 85% of North American women will spend a long time on a birth control pill. That’s more estrogen fueling the estrogen toxic fire. Some women, an increasing number, will go on a hormone replacement therapy as they get into menopause, which is fine, but they might be taking the wrong one mismatched to their genetics. More estrogen fueling that fire. Some women are exposed to hormone disruptors, something as simple as a Teflon pan, which literally acts as an estrogen mimic. More estrogen fueling the fire. So that’s when you take this profile, it’s not BRCA causes cancer.
After all this estrogen dominant, toxic, stored in the breast, too much birth control, even more estrogen, that’s when BRCA is supposed to get to work and suppress the damage being caused. But if you understand all this, you don’t need to wait for BRCA to get its work done. Let’s just develop the right habits. You don’t ever cause the tumor in the first place. Right? And you name a chronic condition, it can be spoken of at this level because we now understand biochemistry, why it happens and what genes drive each one of those steps. So you can look at your map and say, oh, I do this well and I don’t do this well. Here’s where I need to focus.
Dr. Gundry (30:27):
Got you. All right. So let’s talk about The DNA Company. Why did you decide to start this company? What’s the ultimate goal?
Kashif Khan (30:35):
So I actually was sick. I don’t come from this space. I was in the PR and marketing business. I used to help companies grow. And I’m now 42, when I was around, I guess I was around 36, Eczema, psoriasis, crazy migraines. My business partner would have to drive me home because I couldn’t function from the migraines. Acid reflux, depression, like I told you. And each one of these things was being treated. And you’ve spoken of this more than anyone else, it’s like a pill for this, a scan for this. It was all siloed and nothing was getting better. Everything was just sort of being managed. And I thought, I’m 36 years old, why is this happening? I haven’t done anything wrong, but I didn’t know what I actually did wrong. Right?
So the sort of tipping point was when we had a renovation and they were using this epoxy, this toxic glue, and my eczema got so bad that I couldn’t open my eyes. Literally they were shut because my skin just flared up. And that’s when kind of that light bulb went off that it’s not just me, it’s stuff that I’m exposed to that turns those dials up and down. That’s when I started to dive into of my genetics and started to understand that there’s the way I operate. The reason why my business partner would drive me home, because the thing that was affecting me, wasn’t affecting him. Right? There was a manufacturer downstairs in our building that was putting toxic pollution into the air vents that when I would breathe in, I would get a migraine, that when he would breathe in, nothing would happen. Why? Because there’s a set of genes that drive your [glutathionylation 00:32:08] pathway, your ability to bind onto a toxin, send it to the liver to clear it.
You’re supposed to do that. Guess what? I’m missing one of those genes. It’s not even about what version or what variant, I don’t even have the gene, and that’s possible for certain genes. So this step of getting rid of the toxin, I didn’t do it. So it caused this inflammation and I would get these crazy migraines. And I started to see that all of these problems, the eczema, psoriasis, they were rooted in the central hub of a few genetic failures for which now the load of the toxic exposure is too much stress, not enough sleep, started expressing all these various conditions.
So I literally walked away from our PR company. I handed the keys to the staff. I said, “Thank you for helping me build this. It is yours. I found what I need to work on.” And we built The DNA Company on the belief that if you understand your genetics, but you also understand what choices to make, the epigenetic choices on top of those genetics, you should be able to be healthy, when it comes to chronic disease. And we haven’t looked back since.
Dr. Gundry (33:12):
Now Dave Asprey is one of your investors, is he not?
Kashif Khan (33:16):
Dr. Gundry (33:18):
And he’s become a good friend. Tell me how the two of you met and what he likes about your product.
Kashif Khan (33:26):
I would say about a year and a half ago, we were at this point where the research was looking very good. We had partnered with 20 or so clinics that were helping us research, and we said we now need to get this out there. We just start helping people. And so I said, I need somebody that can work with us to be the voice and speak and tell people that this is the real deal. So I found out that Dave was going to be at this conference and I got on a plane and I flew there. And I followed him around for 45 minutes until he agreed to spit in the tube. And he finally said, this guy is pestering me so much, I’ll give you my slide, but just go away. Right? So what we found was Dave had used to have a real problem with mold. He had a so serious issue with mold and he was never able to figure out sort of the root cause.
There was a lot of things he was doing to help it and support it, even when it comes to supplements he’s a guru, right? In our conversation with him, we specifically showed him why he has those problems. Exactly what the body is supposed to do with mold and why he has the problems, but his peers don’t. That’s the thing that set the light bulb off for him. He had done a $50,000 full genetic sequence, flew somewhere in Europe where all these scientists sat with him, and he said that he learned more in one hour from this $400 test than he learned from that $50,000 experience. Because we speak to the condition as opposed to, here’s this version of this gene, now go try and figure out what that means.
Dr. Gundry (34:53):
Yeah. I think that’s a very differentiating factor. So I mean, how do you compare yourself, I mean, there’s lots of companies that can do genetic tests like 23andMe and ancestry.com. So keep talking, why is The DNA Company different?
Kashif Khan (35:14):
So I would say the key thing, if you were to ask, how is it different than everything else? Because there are a lot of genetic tests out there. Well, genetic science is studying the sick, right? It’s studying sick care and trying to work with pharma to say, how do we learn from genes to make more drugs? 23andMe’s biggest investor is GlaxoSmithKline. They gave them $300 million. Why? Because they want the data. Right? And so the test isn’t designed for, how do I help you? It’s designed for how do I get the data that the data buyer wants, who is paying me a lot more money than the test buyer is paying. Right? So in that we realized that we do need to understand why the sick are sick, but we need to understand more why the healthy are healthy.
So when I tell you you have an 80% chance of Alzheimer’s, but you don’t have it yet, I also tell you that it also means you have a 20% chance of not getting Alzheimer’s, I need to understand the habits of the 20%. Because the person that wants their DNA, they’re proactively thinking, how do I stay healthy? Or if I have a condition, how do I reverse it? They’re not looking for a band-aid, right? So we deliver the information. Our research was structured in a way where, let’s study the healthy and understand what they did right. What were their environment, nutrition, lifestyle habits with the same weak genetics, for whatever condition you want to talk about, and they didn’t get the condition? Because here’s the habits that we now need to teach to the person with those same weak genetics. That’s the way we look at DNA, which nobody else does, because they’re all trying to be part of the sick care system.
Dr. Gundry (36:49):
Got you. And just for disclosure, I’ve recently submitted my saliva to The DNA Company. We’ve got the results, I haven’t seen them yet. So I promise everybody, I’m going to start sending stuff out on Instagram and this is going to be fun for you, it’s going to be fun for me because I’m probably a wonderful train wreck now. But so far I’ve been doing a lot of good things, I think, but we’re going to find doubt.
Kashif Khan (37:20):
Dr. Gundry (37:20):
So can you actually use this test, let’s talk about nutrition recommendations. Because you mentioned when we started that certain things aren’t going to work for everybody. Can you give us a few examples of how you could eat for your genes? Like for instance, are there people who keto is a really good idea? And contrast that with a vegan. So what’s in it for the genes?
Kashif Khan (37:50):
So that’s another reason why Dave invested. As we know, he’s sort of one of the fore founders of this keto movement, he was very early. Right? And we showed him how for the person who is wired for it, it’s the best thing they can do. For the person who’s not wired for it, they may get tricked into thinking it’s good because anybody that goes on a keto diet feels good in the first few weeks, because all of a sudden there’re no starches, no insulin spikes, et cetera. But if you’re not a saturated fat metabolizer, which we can determine genetically, longitudinally over time you’re not going to do well. You’re going to start to feel sick, there’s going to be a bit of brain fog because your body is going to be struggling to get through all that fat. There’s literally one gene that does that function. And if you don’t have a good version, it’s so easy to determine and make the right choice looking at this one gene.
Same thing with being a vegan. We have to look at two things, your ability to break down vegan foods, but also deal with the inflammation that comes from certain greens, like for example, kales and spinach. Remember these plants were designed to defend themselves and so they produce certain chemicals to defend themselves. Some people, no problem. Some people that’s going to cause them bloating, gas issues, et cetera. So we’ve figured out that in the gut, there’s a gene called GSTM1, which determines how well you filter toxins. Meaning that for that person that eats that plant, which is fine, that has those toxins that were not meant to enter the bloodstream, some people get rid of it, some people don’t. And that’s why two people eat a kale salad, one feels amazing and one is bloated and can’t eat their next meal. Right?
It’s so easy to understand what is right for you because the genes don’t lie. If you look at it from the perspective that we look at it, it’s very different than saying, here’s your genetics, quote-unquote, versus here’s what the habits of the healthy are. Here’s what they did right. So yeah, when it comes to diet, and that’s where everybody should start because you’re already eating, you eat all the time. So you might as well eat the way your body is designed to eat.
I’ll give you one more simple example. So I’m South Asian background, like Indian subcontinent. So I’m told that genetically I have a bad heart, because heart disease is huge in the South Asian community. What’s actually going on is we have bad, we talked about this earlier, endothelial, the inner lining of the blood vessel. It’s more prone to inflammation. So how do you deal with the inflammation? B complex. It’s B12, B9, that methylation that you were talking about, the MTHFR. So your ability to reduce inflammation in the body is powered by your methylation system. There’re certain supplements you need, B12, B9, to power the methylation, to push it.
So my ancestors didn’t eat beef, because in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, first of all, the Indian Hindus thought that beef was holy and it was also too expensive. Why kill the cow when you can drink the milk? There was a lot of poverty for a lot of time. So they ate instead goat and sheep and lamb. The B12 that comes from these animals versus the cow, very different. So genetically I can’t absorb B12 in my gut. So when Indian people go to the doctor and they’re told you don’t have enough B12 because you’re a vegetarian, go take this pill, and the level doesn’t change, then they say take more, it’s because you literally can’t even metabolize it. You need to take a sublingual under the tongue, which is the version you used to get from the goat and the lamb and the sheep, which you’re now genetically wired to take. So it’s not just about your food, it’s also about your supplements. What version? What dosage? There’re all these choices on the shelf, which one is for me? Well, your genes will tell you that.
Dr. Gundry (41:32):
Yeah, that’s a great example. I tell a hilarious story about one of my patients who carries the MTHFR mutations and so he has to have methyl B12 and methyl folate, and it has to go under his tongue, because he doesn’t absorb them like you. So I give him these things and we measure these and we also measure homocysteine. He comes back three months later and his homocysteine is still high, his B12 is low, and I go, “You’re not taking it.” He says, “I take it every day.” I say, “No, you’re not.” I say, “You’re not taking it.” He says, “I do. I take it every morning.” I say, “You put it under your tongue, right?” He says, “No.” He says, “It’s so sweet, I sweeten my coffee with it.” Then I thought, ah. I said, “Go home, start putting it under your tongue. I’ll see you in a month.” Sure enough, once he put it sublingual, everything resolved. So you’re right. And so you could tell somebody, here-
Kashif Khan (42:33):
Yeah. You don’t need to go through that trial and error. We can upfront know exactly what you’re wired to do and you follow those instructions, right?
Dr. Gundry (42:40):
Yeah. And I’m going to bring up one more example of, I have a couple of very committed high keto dieters who go on it, huge high saturated fat diet. And their cholesterol numbers go through the roof, which quite frankly didn’t worry me. And they’re feeling great, like you said. This is about two months into it. But all of their endothelial inflammation markers, which would’ve been normal, are now through the roof. And they go, “But I feel great.” And I say, “I’m just telling you long term that you may feel great right now, but this is just waiting to give you a big surprise, and it’s probably going to be sooner rather than later.” And they wouldn’t have known that.
Kashif Khan (43:35):
Yeah. You’re right on, because that’s sensorial. People go by feeling, because why wouldn’t you? But there’re certain biomarkers you can test for and then you understand where you’re really at. Right? But the question is why? What did I do wrong? So that’s where genetically we can sort of dive into what you did wrong.
Dr. Gundry (43:53):
So how does The DNA Company encourage users to keep up with their health recommendations? I mean, what’s in it for them once they know all this stuff?
Kashif Khan (44:03):
Yeah. And that’s another big part of genetics, which is, it’s not one and done. Like here’s your report, you bought it, go away. Right? That’s kind of how-
Dr. Gundry (44:12):
Have a nice day.
Kashif Khan (44:13):
Yeah. It’s more like, you should continue learning from that. Because your DNA doesn’t change, right? Once you’ve been tested, those are the cards you’ve been dealt. The science keeps evolving, so what we do is we keep updating the algorithms and the report. So you log back in six months into the portal, and you’re learning more things. Right? There’re new genes that have been added. There’s new science on those same genes that you looked at before. There’re more recommendations. We learned about this supplement. We learned about this food. We learned about blue light filter glasses are right for some people and some people don’t need them, as an example, right?
So the one thing that you should be able to keep coming back for and keep learning and learning and learning is your genetics, as opposed to a blood test as a marker in time. Here’s today, that report is no longer good in six months, you need to do it again and again and again. So it’s kind of that gift that keeps on giving and we structured our research in that way to make sure that every time you log in, you’re learning more and more and more.
Dr. Gundry (45:10):
Yeah. I think you just mentioned a point that’s so important to make. I can’t tell you how many people that we’ll do a genetic test on, like the APOE4, and then two years later, I’ll see them and they’ll say, “Can we test my APOE4 gene again? Let’s see if I’ve changed it.” And I’m going, “No, no, no, you don’t understand. That’s unchangeable, I’m sorry. But what you do with that gene is very changeable.” I have a huge practice in APOE4s because of that, and knock on wood, we’re very successful knowing what you can do with that gene.
Kashif Khan (45:58):
That’s exactly what people should do. DNA is guidance. Where do you focus? What’s not working? Now it just makes the clinician’s job easier, and if people are fortunate enough to work with someone as brilliant as you, the solutions are already there. You take the trial and error out, the one size fits all is removed. Here’s exactly what this person needs to focus on, and by the way, Dr. Gundry has the best in practice of how to fix that thing. Right? So that’s what you can do with this tool.
Dr. Gundry (46:27):
All right. Okay. So somebody does your test and how do they work with an existing doctor, clinic or health team? Because quite frankly, so many well-meaning healthcare people, doctors, nurses, just say, “What do I care about your genes? That’s your genes and you’re screwed,” or something like that.
Kashif Khan (46:53):
I agree with that. We struggle with that regularly, and we realized the difficulty was the education gap. First of all, clinicians are busy. Their staff is busy. They already know enough stuff. They don’t want to know more. They do what they do. So we did two things. First of all, the report that the consumer gets is so easy to understand because we speak to the conditions, and that’s been a big problem with genetics, is that it’s not easy to use. Right? Here’s your list of genes, what does that mean? Someone has interpret it, right? So the reports speak to the conditions, anxiety, low, medium, high risk. Here’s why, and if you want to geek out and learn, here’s the genetics information also. Right? So that’s one. The reports for the consumer, I would argue that you don’t need anyone’s help to understand exactly what’s being said.
On the other hand, there are some people that say, now that I have this, I want to fix things. I want to work on things. So there’s two answers. We have coaches that are trained on genetics that can help people, right? That you can work on it. I need to lose 10 pounds. My mother had breast cancer, I don’t want it. We can build programs to help people with that. But for your clinician, we build clinician summaries that go straight to the red flags. Right now, all of a sudden, the clinician doesn’t need to go through a stack of paper to figure things out. It’s like sleep, here’s why they can’t sleep, and here’s what’s recommended.
Because they’re prescriptive, we have to give it to the clinician. We can’t give it to the consumer. Right? But if you want it for your clinician, just tell us and we’ll send it to them and all of a sudden they have the kind of document that they want. They don’t want to go learn something again. They want, tell me what it is and what to do about it, and I will help you with that. So that’s what we did, those two things. Easy to use report, clinician summary that fits the way a clinician thinks and works so that they’ll actually use it for you.
Dr. Gundry (48:33):
All right. Well, this has been great. Where can your listeners get their own DNA Company test?
Kashif Khan (48:41):
So if they go to the website, we actually added sort of a discount for your audience. First of all, we love the work you do. I’ve read your books and my family has been following you for some time. So if people go to the website, thednacompany.com/gundry. Right? So thednacompany.com/gundry. When you get to the checkout, there’ll be a discount built in. So you’ll see that when you get to checkout. It’s our sort of gift back for listening today. We appreciate and value everyone’s time, and thank you for joining us. So just do that. thednacompany.com/gundry. You can get the test report and you’ll get a discount. If you need more support in terms of coaching, being directed to a clinician that’s tuned in to this type of science, just contact us through the website, we will help you with all that also.
Dr. Gundry (49:32):
Right. Yeah. And just for my listeners and viewers, you should know that for over 20 years, we’ve been doing specific genetic tests that we knew now for over 25 years, that we could do something about. But you are absolutely right. Most genetic tests that you get, it’s gobbledygook and you’re given absolutely no guidance. So I’m very excited about what you’re doing. And so-
Kashif Khan (50:00):
I can’t wait to dive into your DNA and expose it to the world.
Dr. Gundry (50:04):
Oh, I know. Oh my gosh. I’m such a private person, but okay. Take care. Thanks very much. And please check out The DNA Company and slash Gundry and get yourself a discount.
Kashif Khan (50:18):
Sounds good. Thank you.
Dr. Gundry (50:19):
All right. Take care. And go get some cold.
Kashif Khan (50:23):
Dr. Gundry (50:24):
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Heather Dubrow (51:33):
Hi everyone. It’s Heather Dubrow, telling you to check out Heather Dubrow’s World on PodcastOne. Every week we discuss the hippest, hottest news trends in health, wellness, parenting style, and so much more, including all things Housewives and Botched. Download new episodes of Heather Dubrow’s World on Thursdays and Fridays on PodcastOne, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music.
Dr. Gundry (51:54):
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcast. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, you could always find me on YouTube, at youtube.com/drgundry. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.