Speaker 1 (00:00):
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 (00:14):
I just want to take a second to thank one of our Dr. Gundry podcast sponsors, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box. They deliver fresh, wild caught seafood right to your door every month. And if you sign up right now with offer code DRGUNDRY, you’ll get $25 off your first month’s box, plus you’ll get free scallops for life. Yes, you heard me, free scallops for as long as you’re a member. So to claim your discount, just go to wildalaskanseafoodbox.com and enter code DRGUNDRY, that D-R-G-U-N-D-R-Y at checkout. Again, that’s wildalaskanseafoodbox.com and use code DRGUNDRY for $25 off your first month’s box of wild Alaskan seafood, plus free scallops for life.
Dr. Gundry (01:12):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Well, after my recent interview with Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I got a lot of questions about his stance on oil. Now, as some listeners might know, Dr. Fuhrman and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye about the benefits of certain plant-based oils. That’s why on today’s episode, you’re going to learn why all oils are not bad, find the truth about canola oil and learn why my critics are simply wrong about olive oil. If you use plant-based oils, then you’re not going to want to miss a second of this one.
Dr. Gundry (01:57):
Okay. So first of all, the first question is why do some health professionals say all oils are bad? Well, we really have to go back a number of years to the work of Ancel Keys. You’ve heard me and listened to me and read about me writing about Ancel Keys, who was a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. For those of you who are history buffs, Ancel Keys was actually the creator of the K-ration that kept US troops alive and fed during World War II and the K-ration was named after, you name it, Dr. Keys.
Dr. Gundry (02:44):
When Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack in the mid 1950s, Dr. Keys, who’s a PhD, was tapped to figure out what in the world had happened to Dwight Eisenhower and why this famous general and President would have a heart attack. Dr. Keys was a nutritionist, his entire life’s work was in nutrition. Doctor Keys did a number of studies right after World War II, looking at the incidents of heart disease and the amount of saturated fats and fats overall in diets in countries around the world.
Dr. Gundry (03:28):
He actually looked at over 20 countries. His research was distilled into the now famous seven country study, in which Dr. Keys looked at the amount of fat, particularly saturated fat, in people’s diets and correlated that to either a high risk of heart disease or a very low risk of heart disease. He was actually had a bully pulpit because he was actually appointed by the President to figure all this out.
Dr. Gundry (04:02):
At the same time, there was a professor in England, Professor Yudkin, who had actually looked at very much the same data and concluded that it actually didn’t have anything to do with fats, it had to do with sugar in the diet and that the fat and sugar were actually correlated in the diet. In other words, if you were eating a high fat diet, the odds are you were eating a high sugar diet, a western diet, which is true. Yudkin’s said, “No. No. No. We got it all wrong, you actually have to implicate sugar, not fat.”
Dr. Gundry (04:40):
Now, Dr. Keys was a better public speaker. He had the bully pulpit and so Ancel Keys won that war. The low fat craze got started and that actually started the American Heart Association low fat diet recommendations and that started the low fat movement. The whole idea, as fat was evil, came from Dr. Keys. Now, what’s really interesting about Dr. Keys, and I’ve read everything he’s ever written and I have actually interviewed his housekeeper, Dr. Keys, when he retired, moved to a village in the south of Italy, right above the town of Acciaroli where the world’s longest living people now live.
Dr. Gundry (05:31):
Dr. Keys actually is tied for the oldest living nutritionist, he lived to be 102, but Dr. Keys, according to his housekeeper, actually loved olive oil, and we’ll get to that in a minute, so the original anti-fat doctor in fact used a lot of olive oil. But his legacy persists and if you read any of the bloggers of Keto movements, of Paleo movements, you’ll notice that Dr. Keys is vilified. I think it’s unfortunate because he really didn’t say that all oils are bad, he was a big fan of olive oil. But his point about saturated fat was interesting, it actually doesn’t correlate with other studies, as we’ll get into, but that’s what started fat is evil.
Dr. Gundry (06:34):
Early in my research into fats, I was fascinated, and you’re going to learn all about this in The Energy Paradox, but one of the worst fats in our diet is actually not ingested by us, it’s actually manufactured in our liver and it’s called palmitic acid, so named because palm oil has palmitic acid in it, but the vast majority of palmitic acid in you, sometimes called palmatae, is made in your liver from fructose in your diet. You’ve heard me talk and nauseum about fructose. One of the really scary things about fructose is that if you want to increase the lipids, the bad lipids in your blood, one of the best ways to actually make fat, bad fat, is to eat fructose in all forms, including high fructose corn syrup. And sadly, our American diet is based on fructose, as you’ve heard before.
Dr. Gundry (07:48):
So the fat that occurs in our bloodstream actually comes from the sugars we eat, exactly what Professor Yudkin said so many years ago in answer to Ancel Keys. The research has come around to say the fat theory was wrong. We’ll get into some of the studies about that in a minute. Okay. Are there bad fats? Well, it really depends on what you mean by fat. When I was at the University of Maryland years ago, I was a heart surgeon, my colleague did some very interesting studies looking at the effects of eating a Big Mac on the flexibility of our blood vessels. I actually use a test looking at flexibility of blood vessels in my office, it’s called the EndoPAT, it comes from Israel, and he showed that… He got some healthy volunteers to eat a Big Mac and he showed that the flexibility of their blood vessels actually became less flexible for about two hours after eating a high fat meal from a Big Mac.
Dr. Gundry (09:05):
He showed that, in fact, if you ate a handful of blueberries before you at that high fat meal, then you would pretty much prevent that becoming inflexible blood vessels from happening. He also went on to show that even olive oil would do the same thing, although not to that extent, but he also showed that eating a handful of blueberries before the olive oil would completely prevent that effect. I published data that, in fact, polyphenols, like in grape seed extract, like in French maritime tree bark and in fish oil, another fat, makes blood vessels flexible. If you take away those polyphenols, then people’s blood vessels become stiff. And when you reintroduce those polyphenols, those blood vessels become flexible. So it was actually the presence of polyphenols in the diet that determined whether a fat would have this inflexible power on arteries. So it wasn’t the fat per se, it was how the fat was being delivered. Okay.
Dr. Gundry (10:21):
What about PUFAs, polyunsaturated fatty acids? Now, there was a huge debate following the low fat fear that polyunsaturated fatty acids are really good for the heart. Now, polyunsaturated fats mean that… Let me back up for a second. So saturated fats mean that there are many chemical bonds between fatty acids and a long string and there can be short-chain fatty acids, not too many fatty acids in a row. There can be medium-chain fatty acids, the most famous of the medium-chain fatty acids is MCT oil, medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are fatty acids. There’s long chain fatty acids. The most famous of the long chain fatty acids are EPA and DPA and DHA in primarily fish oil, although we now make these out of algae as well. The most famous of the long chain Omega-6 fatty acids is arachidonic acid, which is so-called the evil Omega-6 fat.
Dr. Gundry (11:43):
Now, so there are Omega-3 fats, there are Omega-6 fats, there are Omega-9 fats, which is olive oil, there are Omega-7 fats, there are Omega-5 fats. We have a mixture in our diet of all these fats. The two that get the most interest is polyunsaturated fats, where these chemical bonds are missing hydrogen atoms in at least one spot. If it’s missing one hydrogen atom in the bonds, then it’s a monounsaturated fat, one unsaturated bond. If there are many missing bonds, then they are polyunsaturated fats. There are saturated fats, where all the bonds are formed. What’s interesting about polyunsaturated fats is they were highly touted as preventing heart disease.
Dr. Gundry (12:42):
Now, there’s some degree of truth about the benefits of polyunsaturated fats and it’s the nuances of these fats that are important. You’re going to learn in The Energy Paradox that, believe it or not, there is a polyunsaturated Omega-6 fat that is critical to forming the membranes in your mitochondria, the little organelles that actually produce energy. It’s actually an Omega-6 fat, the evil Omega-6 fat, and it’s called linoleic acid. There’s an Omega-3 fat that’s a cousin called, sorry, linolenic acid. Now, there’s a difference between the two, linoleic and linolenic, that makes me we want to go to one of the most famous studies of the benefits of fat in the diet called the Lyon Heart Study, Lyon, L-Y-O-N, but most people call it the Lyon Heart Study.
Dr. Gundry (13:54):
In this study, it was a five year study of people who had suffered a heart attack and they were put on a diet that either was the Mediterranean diet with added alpha-linolenic acid to their diet in the form of a spread that was basically made out of canola oil. There’s that word. They were matched against the American Heart Association low fat diet. The trial was supposed to go for three years and the end game was looking at new events, a new heart attack, a need for stents, a need for coronary bypass surgery. The trail was halted at the end of three years because the Mediterranean diet, with the added alpha-linolenic acid vastly had reduced new heart attacks, new stents, new bypass by a huge statistical margin. It was actually a 30% reduction compared to the American Heart Association low fat diet.
Dr. Gundry (15:11):
The trail for compassionate use was stopped so that no one would have to continue on the American Heart Association low fat diet because the other one beat it. Now, that trial was continued by the participants and a subsequent study was published at five years showing that the results held at five years. Now, the results of this trail have been looked at for almost the last 20 years. This study was originally published in 1999. Another study was published in 2006 looking at which components in the two diets made for all the difference. Despite the wildly different components of the diet, the only component that actually accounted for the difference was the level of alpha-linolenic acid in the blood of the participants, which was what they were given as this spread. Nothing else.
Dr. Gundry (16:19):
Cholesterol had no impact, the amount of polyphenols had no impact, the amount of fish, you name it, the amount of red meat, nothing actually correlated with the findings, except the level of alpha-linolenic acid in their bloodstream. Now, I think that’s a good segway into canola oil because this study used basically a component of canola oil in their spread. Now, I’ve been, in recent years, a fairly staunch critic of canola oil, despite knowing this data. I was a big fan of canola oil. In fact, if you look at my first book, there it was, a huge benefit because of that study.
Dr. Gundry (17:09):
But subsequently, almost all canola oil in the United States and Canada is genetically modified so that it can be sprayed with RoundUp. The fact that it was sprayed with RoundUp and it was also genetically modified made me change my opinion that canola oil was no longer an acceptable oil, despite knowing the benefits of the high amount of alpha-linolenic acid in canola oil. Recently, there have been several non-GMO organic canola oils that have come on the market and those of you who are fans of canola oil because of the Lyon Heart Study or the Lyon Heart Study, it’s back on the good list with the proviso that you got to find organic non-GMO canola oil. It’s still pretty rare, but it is available. You no longer have to fear organic non-GMO canola oil when you find it. That’s based on the Lyon Heart Study.
Dr. Gundry (18:24):
Again, what’s really striking about that study, and they’ve been examining this study for years and years and years, the only thing that correlated, that made a difference was the presence of ALA in the bloodstream. I mean, it’s pretty actually striking. Okay. What about Omega-6 fats? Are Omega-6 fats bad? Well, it depends. You have to have Omega-6 fats to make the membranes in your mitochondria. So by definition, Omega-6 fats cannot be bad because you need linoleic acid in your diet because you don’t make it. You do not manufacture it. It’s called an essential fatty acid just like there are essential amino acids because you can not manufacture either alpha-linoleic acid or alpha-linolenic acid, you have to have them in your diet.
Dr. Gundry (19:25):
But what’s happened in our diet is that the ratios between Omega-6s in our diet and Omega-3s in our diet over the last 100 years has dramatically changed. Normally, if you look at 100 gatherers and in their eating wild animals, grass fed animals, and they’re eating tubers, they have in general a ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3s of about two or three to one. In other words, there’s about two to three times Omega-6 fats in the diet than Omega-3 fats in the diet and that seems to be about right. What’s fascinating in your brain is that you actually have about 70% of your brain is fat and the fats in your brain are long-chain Omega-3 fats, particularly DHA, and long chain Omega-6 fats, particularly arachidonic acid and they’re about one to one in your brain.
Dr. Gundry (20:36):
So when you hear that arachidonic acid is somehow evil and it causes inflammation, your body has specific enzyme systems that take primarily the short-chain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in your diet and through enzymatic steps convert them into long chain Omega-3 fats. What’s fascinating is we use the same enzyme system to make Omega-3 fats long, as we make Omega-6 fats long. What’s happened in our diet is that we now have anywhere from 10 to 20 to 30 times the amount of Omega-6 fats in our diet, compared to the Omega-3 fats. If you only have one enzyme system that works on both sets, it doesn’t take a mathematic degree to realize that if most of the fats in your diet are now Omega-6s, you will use that enzyme system to make primarily Omega-6 fats, but we’ll get to a fascinating Omega-6 fat in just a minute, which is now one of my new favorite fats. Okay.
Dr. Gundry (22:00):
Here’s the deal. Omega-6 fats are in PUFAs, they’re in corn oil, they’re in cotton seed oil, they’re in soybean oil, all of these industrial processed oils that are in all the foods you eat, but the biggest problem is the animals we all used to eat, whether they were chickens, whether they were cows, whether they were sheep or whether they were fish, had, in general, a normal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 of about one to two to three to one. But now that we’ve changed the diets of all the animals to an Omega-6 based diet with corn and soybeans as their primary food, we totally changed the fats in those animals that used to be incredibly beneficial for us and balanced in their ratio.
Dr. Gundry (22:58):
What’s more, early on, farm raised fish, farm raised salmon, were fed a diet of ground up small fish because they were cheap. In fact, you’ve hard me riot, you’ve read me riot and in England, when I lived in England with my family, chickens were fed ground up fish because it was so cheap. And chickens, the meat was pale and it tasted like fish because you are what you eat and you are what the thing you’re eating ate. Ground up fish became too expensive to fed to farm raised fish, so now ground up corn and soybeans are fed to farm raised salmon. So amazingly enough, farm raised salmon now have high levels of Omega-6 fats, rather than high levels of Omega-3 fats because they’re no longer fed the same food.
Dr. Gundry (23:53):
They may look like a salmon, they may taste like a salmon, but they’re now an inflammatory food, just like in organic free range chicken, which is fed organic corn and soybeans is an inflammatory food rather than a good food. Just like corn fed beef is totally different than grass fed, grass finished beef because of the inflammatory fats that they’ve been fed. That’s the problem. Okay. Back to olive oil. You’ve heard me say over and over again that the only purpose of food is to get olive oil into your mouth.
Speaker 3 (24:35):
Support for this podcast comes from Pluto TV. Ready to get away from it all, free yourself with Pluto TV. Stream hundreds of channels and thousands of movies and shows all for free. Yeah. Free. No contracts. No subscriptions. No fees. Imagine 24/7 channels of Narcos, CIS, Star Trek, Survivor and everything else from hit movies to binge-worthy TV shows, the latest news, live sports, comedy and more. What are you waiting for? Download the free Pluto TV app for Android or iPhone and start watching now. Pluto TV, drop in, watch free.
Dr. Gundry (25:10):
Is olive oil really that good for you? Well, if you remember, olive oil, Omega-9, a monounsaturated fat, isn’t either good or bad. It is really kind of a fairly neutral fat, but the benefit of olive oil is the amount of polyphenols that it carries. Interesting fun fact, polyphenols are in the fruits of plants. They’re there actually, as you’ve heard me say, as a protection, among other things, against sunburn, among other things, against predators, particularly insect predators. And surprisingly, the polyphenols in fruit leaves are actually more concentrated that an in the fruit. That’s why I take olive leaf extract because the polyphenols are actually higher in the leaves than they are in the olives.
Dr. Gundry (26:16):
The olives are another great source of polyphenols. But when you press those olives, depending on the polyphenol concentration in the olives, that’s the benefit of the olive oil and that’s why I always tell you, more bitter, more better in terms of olive oil because that bitterness is the polyphenols that you’re taking. The olive oil is there to get polyphenols in your mouth. Now, I don’t think it’s without chance that two of the longest living blue zones use a liter of olive oil per week in their diet and that’s Sardinia and Crete. There are other blue zones that I write about in Acciaroli where olive oil is also a huge part of their diet.
Dr. Gundry (27:11):
But perhaps the best study backing the benefit of olive oil is the PREDIMED Trial in Spain, which is a recent trial, where they took people, very much like the Lyon Heart Study, where people had an initial heart attack and were given a stent. These were people 65 years of age and they were randomized into three groups. Now, for simplicity, we’ll kind of not dwell…. Yeah, we will because it’s an oil. Everybody had to follow a Mediterranean diet. One group followed a low fat Mediterranean diet. The second group had to use a liter of olive oil per week. They had to go back to the clinic once a week, turn in their old bottle of olive oil and pick up a new one, so they knew exactly what people were doing.
Dr. Gundry (28:09):
The third group ate the same diet, except they had to eat the equivalent number of calories in nuts, particularly walnuts. They were followed for five years. The initial trial was actually to look at new events of coronary artery disease. The olive group and the nut group had a dramatic reduction in new events, approximately a 30% reduction compared to the low fat Mediterranean diet group, but what the trial found was expanding into other areas and one of those was memory. What they found was the people in the olive oil group, and to a lesser extent the nut group, had improved memory at the end of five years, in other words, when they were 70 years, then they started with compared to the low fat group, who actually memory, as you might have expected, declined during those five years.
Dr. Gundry (29:18):
As you’ll learn in The Energy Paradox, what they found was that the olive oil group had a dramatic reduction in the amount of a fat called ceramides in their blood compared to the no olive oil group that had a high of ceramides in their blood. You’re going to learn all about ceramides because ceramides are manufactured by your mitochondria from palmatae, from palmitic acid, and guess where palmitic acid comes from? You make it from fructose, it’s the only place in your diet that you get it. What they found was, and what I urge people to do in The Energy Paradox, is you want to reduce your ceramides. You want to reduce your ceramide production. And as one paper that I cite famously said, “Death by ceramides.” And if you want to lose memory, if you want to lose energy, then by all means, increase your ceramide production. And if you want to gain energy and gain memory, by everything that you can do, decrease your ceramide production and olive oil helps to reduce ceramide production. Another huge reason to get that olive oil into you. Okay.
Dr. Gundry (31:04):
What about olive oil raises cholesterol? Well, if you like the cholesterol theory of heart disease, and that is one theory of heart disease, then you should know that if you like that theory, that it’s small, dense balls of LDL cholesterol that have the potential to oxidize and oxidation is actually, if you like the cholesterol theory of heart disease, is the problem with small, dense cholesterols. What’s fascinating in my work and other people’s work is that the polyphenols in olive oil actually reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which may be why high olive oil use, like in the PREDIMED Study, dramatically decreased the new incidents of coronary artery disease in that study versus a low fat diet.
Dr. Gundry (32:12):
Now, do cholesterol levels go up on olive oil? Many times they do, but that has nothing to do with oxidized cholesterol, as I constantly reassure my patients. It has nothing to do with whether or not you should your cholesterol. Now, what about olive oil being a fat and there’s nine calories of fat per gram of olive oil, or any oil, versus only four calories per gram of protein or carbohydrates? so there’s twice as many calories per gram of olive oil, of any oil, as there is in protein or carbohydrates. But one of the fascinating things that has been born by multiple studies is that a calorie is not a calorie and you’re going to learn this over and over again in The Energy Paradox. That explains, actually why in the PREDIMED Study, despite consuming a liter of olive oil per week, that’s about 10 to 12 tablespoons of olive oil per day, and eating the equivalent calories in nuts, which is mostly fat, the nut group and the olive oil group actually lost weight over the five years of the study, despite being forced to have 10 to 12 tablespoons of olive oil a day, versus the low fat group that actually gained weight during that study.
Dr. Gundry (33:48):
That’s because we take the calories, particularly in carbohydrates, particularly in fruits, and convert them into fat, particularly palmatae, to store fat for the winter. Just exactly like a great ape does during the summer fruit season, just like a bear does during huckleberry and blueberry season. We make fat from carbohydrates, never ever forget that. What about coconut oil? Don’t you say saturated fats are bad? Well, it turns out that coconut oil actually does have a benefit, it also has polyphenols. But for you polyphenols fans, there are 10 times more polyphenols in olive oil than there are in coconut oil, so coconut oil does have polyphenols, but it’s still not the polyphenols giant.
Dr. Gundry (34:53):
One of the benefits of coconut oil is that it’s a great cooking oil because it has a very high smoke point. Now, that brings me back to olive oil. Olive oil must be bad for you because it starts smoking at low temperature, so that means it’s oxidized and oxidized fats are really bad for you. As many of you who listen to the podcast know, we’ve had one of the world’s greatest olive oil experts on the podcast. Olive oil is the least oxidizable oil of any oil, it actually beats coconut oil in terms of not being oxidized with high heat. In 5,000 years of recorded history of cooking with olive oil, something must be going right with cooking with olive oil, otherwise it wouldn’t be in most of the longest lived people’s diets.
Dr. Gundry (35:49):
Just because something smokes at a low temperature, has nothing to do with whether that oil is oxidized. So quite frankly, I cook in olive oil. I also cook in sesame oil, which brings me to my next point. Sesame oil is primarily a fat of the Omega-6 chain. Gosh, it must be bad for you. But as I study cultures around the world, I’ve noted that, particularly in Middle East cultures, there’s a huge amount of sesame eaten and sesame oil being used. The Japanese fry in sesame oil. Any time I see a culture using an oil, like Koreans use Perilla oil, I always want to do a deep dive into why they’re doing that. It turns out with sesame oil, as you’re going to learn about in The Energy Paradox, there’s some beautiful papers showing that the Omega-6 fat in sesame oil not only reduces inflammation, but actually dramatically improves blood pressure.
Dr. Gundry (37:09):
In a beautiful human trial, people with high blood pressure were asked to take two tablespoons of sesame oil, plain sesame oil, not toasted, a day for 28 weeks. And all of them, these are people with high blood pressure, their blood pressure normalized while they were on the sesame oil. They then removed the sesame oil from their diet and their blood pressure returned to the high levels. So after reading that paper and incorporating it into my and my other patients with high blood pressure program, we’ve noticed in our patients with high blood pressure that their blood pressure is starting to come down quite dramatically if I can get them to use two tablespoons of sesame oil.
Dr. Gundry (38:01):
Now, the great things about sesame oil is it’s flavorless and it has a high smoke point. You can cook with it. You can mix it in with your olive oil. I’m cooking it half and half with olive oil now. I mix it into my salad dressings. I take a tablespoon of sesame oil everyday as part of regimen. So sesame, the components, the polyphenols in sesame, has some fascinating anti-inflammatory properties that we really need to be aware of and you need to be aware of. Same way with perilla oil. You know I’ve been a fan of perilla oil for many years. It also has a lot of ALA, alpha-linolenic acid, in it. Plus, it has another cool component called rosmarinic acid, which is rosemary, and rosmarinic acid has tremendous brain supporting powers. That’s why the Acciarolis in southern Italy chew rosemary constantly and have rosemary in every one of their dishes. They have more people over 100 per population than anywhere in the world, 30% of that town is over 100 and they’re thriving. I have trouble chasing them up hills. Okay.
Dr. Gundry (39:22):
That’s why these oils not only aren’t bad for you, but should be a part of every one of our diets. So critics out there, I’m sorry. Ancel Keys loved his olive oil. And I’m sorry, his research from the 1950s needs a little updating. And please, look at the human trials, look at the animal trials. One of our greatest neurologist, Dr. Bredesen, my colleague Dale Bredesen, recommends olive oil. Neurologists know that there are benefits in olive oil that far outweigh any possible risk there might be in ingesting it. And oil is not an oil is not an oil, it’s what the oil is bringing to you in terms of its component. And if you really, really want to increase the amount of bad oils in your body, then please eat a low fat, standard American heart diet with lots of carbohydrates and lots of fruit and you will manufacture those bad oils.
Dr. Gundry (40:43):
I’ve written papers about this. If you want to kick up your triglycerides, which are the number one risk factor in heart disease, please eat a low fat, high carbohydrate diet. You’ll do just that. I’ve documented this in my patients and published papers on it. Our heart recommendation, our heart diet recommendations are flat wrong. That’s it for today. I appreciate you listening. It’s time for our audience question. Ricky P. on YouTube asks, in the longevity paradox, you mentioned that high levels of serotonin are good for longevity. SSRIs, anti-depressants have a bad reputation, which is why I don’t take them, but I have taken an herb called St. John’s wort, which is supposed to also raise serotonin and it definitely improves my mood. Do you think I should take it. Thank you.
Dr. Gundry (41:45):
Well, that’s a great question. And in fact, early on in my practice of restorative medicines, St. John’s wort was on our list, our check box of lists, that I use on a great number of patients with anxiety and depression to very good effect. You should know, you probably do know, that St. John’s wort is the most prescribed anti-depressant, which is a natural compound in Germany and it is the most used for depression in Germany, so it has a very long history of working in depression and in boosting serotonin levels. I agree with you, I am not a fan of SSRIs and anti-depressants. You’ll hear me talk more about those in The Energy Paradox. One of the things we’re learning is they probably don’t work the way most of us thought they worked.
Dr. Gundry (42:45):
Having said that, through the years, I’ve had a few women patients that developed rashes on St. John’s wort and rashes are a described side effect of St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort is no longer on my list. Although you’re right, in most people it works great and most people will not get a rash, but I guess I got tired of getting phone calls, particularly from women, I never heard it in a man, that they were breaking out in a rash. So now, I use primarily 5HTP, which is the precursor for serotonin and I also use a trademark compound called, Relora, which is magnolia bark extract and phellodendron, an [inaudible 00:43:41] herb, to, I think, equal, if not better, effect. As you’ll also learn in The Energy Paradox, the more we can support your gut buddies making the precursors for serotonin and actually making serotonin themselves, the better off we’re all going to be in the long run.
Dr. Gundry (44:02):
Stay tuned for The Energy Paradox because you’ll learn how to do that. So great question. Particularly if you’re a man, try St. John’s wort. If you’re female, sure, go ahead and try it, but if you start getting itchy or you have a rash, it’s almost certainly the St. John’s wort and it’s best to stop it and try an alternative. All right. Now it’s time for review of the week.
Dr. Gundry (44:28):
My next book in the best selling Plant Paradox series is coming in March and you can pre-order it now at harperwave.com/energy. Energy Paradox is my fresh take to one of the top health issues plaguing Americans, fatigue. It outlines my revolutionary plan for revitalizing mental and physical stamina. You’ll feel better in no time. Learn more at harperwave.com/energy. Frank’s Gaming on YouTube wrote, “All of you books helped me a lot in reversing my declining health and your upcoming book, The Energy Paradox, will be mine as soon as I can get my hands on it. Thanks for your great work Dr. Gundry.” Wow and thanks for that wonderful plug for The Energy Paradox. I just put it to bed two weeks ago. It’s very interesting writing a book and producing a book during COVID, let me assure you. It’ll be out March 16 and there’s so many exciting pearls in there that will astonish you and what we’re doing to ourselves to kill our energy and how we can get our energy back, so thanks for mentioning that and we’ll see you next week.
Dr. Gundry (45:52):
Thanks for joining 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 podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/drgundry because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.