Detoxification with Dr. Bob Rakowski: Rational Wellness Podcast 69
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Dr. Bob Rakowski talks about how to detoxify your body with Dr. Ben Weitz.
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3:35 Environmental toxins are so insidious, that we just can’t avoid them. Dr. Federica Ferrara is a researcher from Columbia University, who’s been studying this for over a decade and she literally took air samples from very sophisticated mechanisms that she had pregnant women wear all over the country and every single woman, every single day, was exposed to these neurotoxins that were known to cause harm to the developing fetus.
4:44 We can start by detoxing our kitchens and don’t buy any unhealthy, processed foods that you shouldn’t be eating, so you remove temptations. We also need to be concerned about all our exposure to wifi and electromagnetic forces, so unplug your wifi, have a digital sunset, have a day without any electronics, to give our brains a rest.
7:32 In order to detox our bodies, Dr. Bob has been talking about the magnificent seven–You gotta eat right, drink right, think right, move right, sleep right, poop right, talk right, every single day. So, when we’re gonna eat right, we want to avoid the toxins and yet we want to get the nutrients that help our body to cleanse, so detox is a very nutrient dependent, and believe it or not, protein dependent process. We also want to make sure you are pooping right, since this is how we get rid of toxins. Dr. Rakowski also mentioned one of his favorite quotes, from Jack Lalanne, who happened to be a chiropractor, he said, “If God made it, it’s okay; if man made it, don’t touch it.” “Move right actually helps to detoxify. There’s no doubt about it that movement, we’re gonna exhale, we’re gonna blow off carbon dioxide, we’re gonna sweat, that’s a pathway.”
12:10 Poop right means that you should go at least once a day and preferably multiple times. You should have enough fiber so it goes through easy. What controls bowel function is fiber, water and neurologic tone.
13:20 Talk right–every cell’s in communication with every other, so we gotta make those cells right and flexible and responsive and have the right acid alkaline balance. Acid is the top toxin that we make.
13:30 Sleep right, since we detoxify our brain and body when we sleep, and we go through a liver detoxification in the middle of the night.
14:12 If we don’t have good digestive function and we are not pooping regularly, then estrogen and toxins that need to be eliminated will get reabsorbed. And if we have leaky gut, as one in two people have, these toxins will pass through the gut wall directly into the blood stream. Dr. Rakowski says “You are what you eat, and that’s pretty true. You are what you absorb, that’s more true. You are what you don’t eliminate. That’s most true!”
17:58 In order to facilitate liver detoxification, Dr. Bob likes to have his patients do a seven day detox with Medical Foods, like the Ultraclear Renew from Metagenics, and organic, non-starchy vegetables only. If you try detoxing by fasting, within 24 hours of the fast, since the liver is protein and nutrient dependent, liver detoxification will slow down by 50% before you start breaking down your own tissue. Some people try to do liver detox with food and he quotes a study from the Journal of Advances in Therapy that found that food is too weak to replete the depleted cells and bodies, therefore supplementation is advisable for everybody. Dr. Rakowski has treated hundreds of high level celebrities, professional athletes, and Olympians with his 7 day Medical Food detox and he has found that many of the Olympians set a season or personal best within a week of completing the detox. He recommends doing this one week intense detox twice per year.
26:58 Too many in our society don’t get enough sleep and Dr. Bob likes to use calming adaptogens and theanine from green tea, which is a GABA facilitator and is very calming. People need a sleep routine and a dark, cool room without wifi. The best of the best need 8.6 hours of sleep per night. Dr. Rakowski personally takes 50 mg of timed release melatonin at bed. He mentioned an NIH study in which they administered 50 mg of melatonin and vitamin D and they found that it prolongs survivability and prevented lean tissue breakdown in inoperable cancer patients. Melatonin does not cross the blood brain barrier. Dr. Rakowski notes that in the last decade his biological aging has been very slight.
Dr. Bob Rakowski is a Doctor of Chiropractic, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and the director of the Natural Medicine Center in Houston Texas. Dr. Rakowski is available for consultations in person or remote via Skype or Zoom and he can be reached through his website, http://thedrbob.com
Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111.
Dr. Weitz: This is Dr. Ben Weitz with the Rational Wellness podcast, bringing you the cutting edge information on health and nutrition from the latest scientific research and by interviewing the top experts in the field. Please subscribe to Rational Wellness podcast on iTunes and YouTube, and sign up for my free ebook on my website, by going to drweitz.com. Let’s get started on your road to better help. Hey Rational Wellness podcasters, thank you so much for joining me again today. For those of you who enjoy the Rational Wellness podcast, please leave us your ratings and your review on iTunes so more people can find out about the Rational Wellness podcast.
Our topic for today is toxins and how to remove them by conducting a proper detoxification program. Our modern world has many toxic substances in the air, food, water, as well in products … as well as in products that we cook with, clean our homes, apply to our skin, hair, teeth and various other personal care products, products that we use on our lawns, and products that we use in construction and painting our homes. We often find fluoride, chlorine, and sometimes ammonia that are purposely added to our public drinking water as well as small amounts of prescription medicines. We’ve all heard about the lead in the water in Flint, Michigan, but other … But a recent scientific American report found thousands of cities across America with toxic levels of lead in your drinking water. A recent report from the Environmental Working Group demonstrated that there are toxic levels of PFCs, a certain type of chemical, in the drinking water of 15 million Americans in 27 different states. These PFCs are chemicals that come from nonstick cookware, such as Teflon coated pans, stain resistant coatings on carpets, upholstery, and clothing such as scotch guard, lining fast food containers, pizza boxes, candy wrappers, and microwave popcorn bags. These are also in paints, sealants, anyway, I could go on and on about toxic chemicals in our modern environment, and these chemicals make our way into our bodies and often, are stored there. The Environmental Working Group conducted a study in 2009 that found measurable levels of BPA in umbilical cords of nine out of ten infants, as many as 232 chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood of infants before they even stepped foot in the world. I’m glad that we have Dr. Bob Rakowski with us today to give us some information on how we can start to get some of these toxins out of our bodies.
Dr. Bob Rakowski is a chiropractor, kinesiologist, certified clinical nutritionist, certified biological terrain instructor, and the clinic director of the Natural Medicine Center in Houston, Texas. In addition to running a busy chiropractic and functional medicine practice, Dr. Rakowski has lectured internationally for over 25 years on various topics in natural and lifestyle medicine. Dr. Bob, thank you so much for joining me today.
Dr. Rakowski: You’re welcome. I tend to like to smile whenever I’m on camera, but I probably couldn’t help but have a scowl as you were sharing the grim reality of these toxins that, literally, it’s been said, environmental toxins are on the attack, because they’re so insidious. We just can’t avoid them, and in fact, if you don’t mind me throwing out a little research, there’s a researcher from Columbia University, Dr. Federica Ferrara, who’s been studying this for over a decade and she literally took air samples from very sophisticated mechanisms that she had pregnant women wear all over the country and every single woman, every single day, was exposed to these neurotoxins that were known to cause harm to the developing fetus. And so, we’ve gotten to the point where, you know what, they’re everywhere, so what do we do about it? I guess that’s the topic for our beautiful conversation today.
Dr. Weitz: Exactly, exactly. So, what can we do to … Before we go into detox, what kinds of … What do you think are some of the most important things we can do to try to avoid being exposed to these toxins?
Dr. Rakowski: Well, you said a lot of things right there, so the number one rule in toxicology is to separate yourself from the toxic source. So, maybe the first thing you want to detox is your kitchen. There’s a great mentor out there, his name is Bryan Tracy, he asks a couple of simple questions. What’s the one thing that you can start doing that you haven’t been doing that’ll improve your life the most? And what’s the one thing that you can stop doing?
Well, we can do the same thing with nutrition. Most of us are going to make faster progress by stopping putting garbage in our body and if you’re like me, I can resist almost anything but temptation, so if it’s in my kitchen, there’s a little bit of a challenge. I’m more likely to take it then. So, get your, buy your willpower by either shopping online, sending someone else to the store, stay in the periphery, don’t go down the center aisles with all that packaged garbage.
So detox your kitchen and have strategies there, but we’re taking advantage of this beautiful communication medium and this may be beyond the level of what we’re talking about in terms of chlorine from our body, but we’re exposed to wifi and electromagnetics and things at a level that people have just never been exposed to before, and the data shows that there’s problems. In fact, I’m a little older than you, but Henry Kissinger was Nixon’s Secretary of State-
Dr. Weitz: Oh, no. I remember Henry Kissinger.
Dr. Rakowski: Yeah, brilliant guy, but basically this guy says, “You know what, the disease of the modern century with all the exposure is actually gonna be insanity because our brain never unplugs from the input and that overstimulated brain is in a very unhealthy state.” So mental illness is happening earlier and faster. So, unplug your wifi, have a digital sunset, have a day without any electronics, clean out your kitchen, and then a lot of times when people think about detoxification, they think, “Well, okay, I’ll do something to enhance my bowel function.” But you’ve got the liver, the kidneys, the bowel, the skin, and the lungs, all such critical part of detoxification. There’s things we can do for all of them.
Dr. Weitz: Oh, absolutely. Everybody should unplug their wifi at night if possible, just hard wire everything, get rid of wifi as much as you can, don’t have your phone in your room. Don’t have your alarm clock next to your bed. There’s a million things we can do. In fact, just consider the fact that if you’re laying there at night on a mattress with metal coils and you’ve got your wifi on, you’re concentrating all those radio waves-
Dr. Rakowski: Tell them no thank you. No.
Dr. Weitz: So, let’s start talking about what we can do to detox our bodies. How can we really get rid of these toxins?
Dr. Rakowski: All right. So for years, I’ve talked about the magnificent seven. You gotta eat right, drink right, think right, move right, sleep right, poop right, talk right, every single day. And that poop right is kind of the elimination process, but all seven have something to do with it. So, when we’re gonna eat right, we want to avoid the toxins and yet we want to get the nutrients that help our body to cleanse, so detox is a very nutrient dependent, and believe it or not, protein dependent process.
So, if we talk about this wonderful organ called the liver, there is phase one of liver detoxification, which by the way, I like to make the analogy of that’s like burning garbage in your fireplace. So maybe let me take a step back on that. So, partly what I like to tell people is, imagine you have an old time home and you had two ways of getting rid of garbage. You could flush it down the toilet or you could burn it in the fireplace. Well, the toilet, we’re gonna call that the plumbing system, that’d be the bowel and the kidney’s and if that backs ups, guess what? We want to do something about that right away.
But if you burn garbage in the fireplace, now you gotta get the smoke out of the chimney. And so, phase one is actually burning the fire, that is an enzyme dependent process. So the liver has a series of enzymes called cytochrome P450s and there’s more than 75 that are known now, but these are all protein dependent. So sometimes people say, “I’m gonna go on a fast or a juice fast, I’m gonna detox.” Well, if the body doesn’t have the protein from your diet to detox, it’s gonna take the protein from your stores.
It’s gonna breakdown the lean tissue or possibly liver proteins, like albumen and globulin, in extreme cases, even hemoglobin, that can break down. But you don’t want your body breaking down the detox, you want to have it present with the amount of proteins that are needed, and then phase two has a lot of micronutrients. So, as you and I know and have discussed in the past, there’s literally detox formulations by really sophisticated companies where they’ve actually put it to the test. They put it through human clinical trials, exposed people to certain levels of toxins and found out, “Wow, they neutralized them and pass them through when we support them with these nutrients.”
So those are different types of medical foods or functional foods that we can do it, but when we go back to eating right, I have a couple favorite quotes. One is from Jack LaLanne, who happened to be a chiropractor, he said, “If God made it, it’s okay; if man made it, don’t touch it.” Michael Pollan, listed by people as one of the top 100 most influential people on planet Earth said, “Eat food …” Go for it.
Dr. Weitz: No, I was gonna say, the guy who wrote Omnivore’s Dilemma and … Yeah.
Dr. Rakowski: In Defense of Food, the subtitle is, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” And so we break that down, I wish he’d said, “Eat natural organic food grown in nutritious nutrient dense soil, multiple colors every day, mostly plants.” So why mostly … Why not too much food? Well, we’re overeating as a general rule. We have more people dying from overeating than starvation now and that’s the first time in the history of the planet that that’s happening. Why mostly plants? Simple enough, data from Bruce Ames Geneticist from the University of California Berkeley, people that eat the most fruits and vegetables get the least cancer. Those that eat the least, get the most cancer. So we want to get all those good plant nutrients in our system. When it comes to drinking right, we can detoxify with drinking. I’ve got a nice detox tea here in front of me, but there’s plenty of great herbal teas. I have a big propensity towards drinking organic coffee has actually been shown in massive studies to actually increase longevity, and there’s people talking about bullet proof coffee and I actually have a way I believe of making coffee bomb proof instead of bullet proof. That could be another topic-
Dr. Weitz: Bomb proof coffee.
Dr. Rakowski: Bomb proof coffee, baby. That’s the way to go. We don’t want liquid calories, we want to detox with it, and then think right, guess what? You detoxify your mind through meditation. That’s been described as like a shower for your mind. I was sharing that this weekend at a conference. I had about 70 doctors in attendance, but I said, “Just imagine that the doctor next to you hadn’t showered today. Or maybe, how about they haven’t showered this week? Or maybe this month or maybe this year, or maybe ever?” I said, “That’s our mind. We have to shower our mind with good meditation.”
Move right actually helps the detoxify. There’s no doubt about it that movement, we’re gonna exhale, we’re gonna blow off carbon dioxide, we’re gonna sweat, that’s a pathway. Poop right, guess what, that’s certainly gonna be the bowel function and I was actually lecturing at NASA, and believe it or not, a rocket scientist asked me, he says, “Well, Dr. Bob, how exactly does one poop right?” And believe it or not, people don’t know. You gotta go at least once a day, preferably multiple times. You should have enough fiber that it goes through easy. Bowel function is fiber, water and neurologic tone, and it should have a certain color and consistency. Talk right, every cell in our body is potentially-
Dr. Weitz: When it comes to poop, I think that digestive problems are so endemic, they’re so common in our society that I think people have forgotten what proper bowel function is. There’s, I mean, you start questioning how many people have either constipation or diarrhea or gas or bloating, abdominal discomfort, reflux, etc., it’s unbelievable.
Dr. Rakowski: Well, I’ll give you a stat. This is the American College of Gastroenterology. They say one in two, one in two, that could be me or you on this podcast, thank God it’s neither of us, have chronic digestive disturbance. It’s really a crime against humanity.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah.
Dr. Rakowski: Talk right, guess what, every cell’s in communication with every other, so we gotta make those cells right and flexible and responsive and have the right acid alkaline balance. Acid is the top toxin that we make and then finally sleep right, and believe it or not, we detoxify our brain and body when we sleep, and actually studies show, and Chinese medicine is known for thousands of years, how they knew I’m not sure, we go through a liver detoxification in the middle of the night. And so we want to be asleep at that time. So, body’s have good systems. By the way, just on sleep, ’cause I’m kind of a sleep nerd, Anders Erickson, who is probably the world’s leading authority on peak performance wrote a book called Peak, and he said the best of the best of the best in any endeavor, sleep 8.6 hours a night. They nourish, rest, and recover the brain and body, and what a beautiful stat that is. So I’m a big sleep man.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, some of the important things about digestion are that when we do get rid of toxins through our liver, most of those toxins are excreted through our stool and so if you’re constipated, a lot of those toxins are gonna get reabsorbed. So, something like estrogen is just gonna get resorbed and reabsorbed and we’re gonna have problems with all these toxins. So, you gotta be eliminating, so you gotta have good digestive function and then if you have a leaky gut, a lot of these toxins are just gonna cross directly into your blood stream.
Dr. Rakowski: And at least one in two people walking around are dealing with that challenge. Just ’cause I like words and little phrases that are memorable, most of us have heard, “You are what you eat,” and that’s pretty true. You are what you absorb, that’s more true. You are what you don’t eliminate. That’s most true. And that probably needs to raise the level of concern in some people. We want to keep those bowels moving, every single day, and preferably multiple times a day.
Dr. Weitz: So what are some of your keys to making sure people have a good digestive system?
Dr. Rakowski: Well, I’m gonna tell. It’s fiber, water and neurologic tone. And it’s also habit. So we know that bodies have routines and reality is, if people need to use the restroom, they need to know that they need to honor that reflex. So there’s a reflex that’s existent in all of us, but especially in infants, it’s called the gastrocolic reflex, and so when they eat, they poop, when they eat, they poop, when they eat, they poop. So you put something in, something comes out the back end. That seems to work pretty well. But somehow, someway, we begin to start to suppress that reflex and then it becomes suppressed to the point where it becomes nonfunctional and we see too many people. So if they’re gonna retrain the bowel, they want to increase their fiber, they want to increase their water, and then when it comes to neurologic tone, that’s an interesting term, really muscle balance, but by stretching the colon, the colon has a stretch reflex to eliminate. So there’s fibers and I like people to rotate their fibers and get most of them from organic fruits and vegetables, but they can certainly supplement. There’s a form of magnesium that I like a lot called magnesium citrate and it’s a very poorly absorbable form of magnesium, so it pulls water into the gut and it helps that bowel function, but people need to honor their bowels.
I’ll tell a funny story. My kids are now 24, 21, and 20, but when my son was six years old, he already knew the importance of bowel function. So he was shopping at the mall with my wife and he always kept saying, “Mom, I have to go to the bathroom. Mom, I have to go to the bathroom.” He probably likes to shop as much as I did. But Kelly said, “Jacob, you don’t have to go to the bathroom.” He looked at her and said, “Mom, actually I do. I have to poop. Think about all those toxins I’m absorbing.” What a great point, right? And so Kelly did just what you did, she laughed and she took him to the restroom and said, “Okay, you win. Go. Honor your body.”
Dr. Weitz: Did your son become a chiropractor or nutritionist?
Dr. Rakowski: You know what, he has a nutrition company that he owns, and actually, super proud of him, proud of all my kids, but he’s basically retired, financially free by the time he was 22 years old.
Dr. Weitz: Wow.
Dr. Rakowski: But his mother taught him well. But yeah. The picture of health as my kids are, all of them are, solid individuals that honor what they put in their body and honor the functions of their body.
Dr. Weitz: That’s great. So, how do we facilitate liver detoxification?
Dr. Rakowski: We gotta do it with nutrients. And by the way, that’s my top way of doing it, ’cause it’s nutrient dependent and it’s energy dependent, so we’re gonna start with proteins. We gotta have enough protein and it’s known within 24 hours of fast, that phase one of liver detoxification is gonna slow down by about 50% before you start breaking down your own tissue.
So some people try to do it with food and I’ll quote a study from the Journal of Advances in Therapy, they literally took people that were aged matched, health matched, gave one group an organic diet, the other group organic and supplements, they did tissue biopsies of the nutrient level at the start of the study and end of the study, people that got the best organic diet did not improve their nutrition status one bit. But people that supplemented did, so here was the conclusion. They said food is too weak to replete the depleted cells and bodies, therefore supplementation is advisable for everybody.
So, you could play it simple and go with a multivitamin, Omega 3s and plant nutrients and super foods and vitamin D and things everybody needs, but I’m a big fan of Medical Foods and functional foods. So I consume them myself, let’s say conservatively, 300 days a year. And I recommend that to my patient base as well. My rule of thumb in clinical practice, and I see some pretty amazing patients, high level celebrities and athletes and Olympians, when in doubt, detox.
So we’re gonna put people on an intense seven day detox where they’re only gonna do detox support nutrients and Medical Foods and organic diet, and then a pretty big dose. For a big guy, I might do six or seven servings of the Medical Foods a day. I’ve treated some NFL players that have done really well with that, and then at the end of the week, we see how they’re doing and … I’ve got a, literally, an interview I did with an Olympic coach and he said, “You know what, some people might think this is not a good idea in the hard part of training,” he says, “But all my athletes, and I’ve treated over 50 Olympians,” he said, “set a personal best or season best within a week of doing it.”
I like the idea of nothing but Medical Food shakes and organic vegetables, non starchy for that matter, low glycemic index, ’cause you don’t want to spike blood sugar, and get people to get the right fiber, the right water, the right elimination to help their body through. As I tell people, it’s been published now for well over 20 years in the clinical literature, symptoms of chronic poisoning include fatigue, sleep disturbance, intestinal distress, allergy symptoms, headaches, confusion and anxiety, and guess what? Those things can actually temporarily get worse on a detox, and so people will call me and say, “This ain’t working. I’m sick as a dog.” I say, “No, it’s working. The reason you’re sick as a dog is it is working.”
So we can either, one, tough it out, which believe it or not, a lot of people decide to, ’cause after a few days, this too shall pass; we can buffer it with other nutrients, things that support glutathione or bowel function or kidney function, or they can slow down the process. Stop, slow down, support it, or tough it out.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, a lot of people talk about glutathione, NAC, lipoic acid are really important nutrients for facilitating detoxification. Do you use glutathione in your practice?
Dr. Rakowski: Yes, and no. Not to a high level, but certainly I’m going to support it in every different way. It’s a tripeptide, glutamine, glycine and cysteine and so for most people, cysteine, which is a sulfur containing amino acid, is a rate-limiting step, but cysteine, most of it’s derived from something called methionine, I don’t know if we want to get too deep about chemistry, but that requires B vitamins, activated B vitamins and more Bs then to actually help the body convert that all the way down to glutathione.
Another factor is in that pathway, the body can deplete a lot of its cysteine in making something in the body called metallothionein proteins, which by the way is another detox protein, but it clears out heavy metals. You mentioned the lead in the drinking water, but the data shows the modern skeleton contains 500 to 1,000 times the lead of preindustrial humans, so heavy metal detox, guess what, that’s a different thing altogether, and there’s different nutrients that drive that process, as well.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. We do a NutraEval on a lot of our new patients and that includes a heavy metal panel and we see a lot of mercury, a lot of people with elevated metals, very common.
Dr. Rakowski: And certainly that’s gonna deplete glutathione along the same path. So pretty tough game. A good comprehensive doc like yourself that knows what to look for and knows how to guide people through. Guess what, people are struggling and they need what they offer, what we offer.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, a lot of people are shocked to see how high their mercury levels are, and a lot of it’s coming from fish.
Dr. Rakowski: Yeah, I’ve been in clinical practice 26 years and there was a clinic, basically in the same center as mine, called the Detoxification Centers of Texas, and they would actually infuse substances that were known to pull out heavy metal and capture a 24 hour urine, and they did this for the purpose of documentation, really to get insurance reimbursement. But I asked the clinic director, I said, “Look, how long you been doing this?” And she said, “Well, 12 years.” I said, how many negatives have you seen? In other words, nobody had an excess of heavy metals.” She said, “Bob, zero. Zero. It’s just ubiquitous. We’ve got these metals in our system.” Now, are they harmful to everybody? Probably not. We have different sensitivities, but are they harmful to all people? Yeah, and they don’t know it. So it’s a good thing to find out.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, a lot of times, they have unusual reactions. Some people will have elevated LDL cholesterol levels, some people will have … It’ll affect their digestion. Some people, it’ll affect their concentration and memory and so it really can affect your metabolism a lot of different ways and you don’t know it unless you really just test for it.
Dr. Rakowski: Yeah. I think it may be the best kept secret in all of medicine that we can pull these poisons out of the system and like we said, fatigue, sleep disturbance, intestinal distress, allergy symptoms, headaches, confusion, anxiety and other things can all get better with a good detox.
Dr. Weitz: So, after doing a one week detox, what can people do on an ongoing basis to continue to detox and so that they’re continuing to remove metals or remove toxins and reduce their burden as they go through their life?
Dr. Rakowski: If you don’t mind, I’m gonna answer that just a slightly different way. So I recommend the intense week twice a year, but I’ll often be asked at my seminars, “How long should we detox?” And the way I teach that is by saying, “Let’s do a little experiment. I’ll set my watch and let’s all stop detoxing right now.” Which, by the way, the basic element of detox is to exhale. So the room is dead in five minutes. We know that we constantly need to support that, and we know with every breath, believe it or not, we’re taking in these toxins, and as our body makes energy, we create toxins, so we need ongoing daily support, and that’s why I said I’m gonna consume these functional food shakes myself, at least 300 days a year and many of those 300 days, I’m gonna take two or more per day. And so, I actually lectured in Orlando, Florida when Barry Sears, who wrote the book The Zone, released it. And he had the USDA food pyramid, which now they have their plate, which is not much better, but they had their pyramid back then with 9 to 11 servings of processed carbohydrates at the base of the pyramid.
And Barry Sears said this, he said, “If ever there was a terrorist like plot designed to take the health of the world down, this would be it.” But so I created a life pyramid where I have love at the base and purpose and discipline, but I also have a food pyramid. And so the base is gonna be food, organic food, not too much, mostly plants. The next one is gonna be super foods, so there’s tons of those. My favorite is ganoderma, which is also known as reishi. There’s aloe and there’s spirulina and there’s goji berries and acai berries. Lots of berries are actually super foods in and of themselves. And then we move up and I think everybody should take a nice bioabsorbable multivitamin and then they should take omega 3s and probiotics and now we know instead of D, there should be a D3 K2 combo, and those are actually if you’re counting seven. So I like sevens, the magnificent seven. And the seven things we need in our nutrition pyramid. Accompany that with seven good nights of sleep a week and at least seven good bowel movements, and we’re gonna be in pretty good shape.
Dr. Weitz: There you go. As far as sleep goes, there are many in our society that don’t get adequate amounts of sleep.
Dr. Rakowski: Too many, too many, and so there’s a lot of calming adaptogens for the central nervous system. Green tea has an amino acid in it called theanine, and theanine’s very calming, so it buffers the caffeine in green tea. I like straight theanine, which is a known, if your listeners are familiar with the term GABA facilitator, very, very calming.
Melatonin, we now know that melatonin is, believe it or not, even in single cell organisms, it’s a mitochondrial specific antioxidant, enhances human energy production. The gut makes 400 times the amount of melatonin as the brain and melatonin puts the brakes on our stress drive in our body. So since the gut has so much, it likely doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier, but by calming our stress response, that’s often calming enough to put people to sleep. But people need a routine, they need a dark, quiet, calm, cool, peaceful room without wifi, and whatever their routine is, wind down an hour before bed, don’t get hyped up watching sports, ’cause that’ll keep you up for hours, or something that rivals you in any other way.
Have a wind down routine on your body, honor that routine, and figure out what you need for your sweet spot. The best of the best need 8.6 hours a night. Sleep is a little bit like a shoe size, but our military actually did a study and they found out if they gave soldiers less than six hours of sleep for six straight days, they actually functioned as if they were legally drunk.
Dr. Weitz: Wow.
Dr. Rakowski: So imagine those guys walking around with high powered weapons. Sleep deprivation is the norm. So, a good sleep routine and enough hours to have you wake up refreshed.
Dr. Weitz: How much melatonin do you like?
Dr. Rakowski: Well, now you’re asking me. I’m a big melatonin guy, so I actually like to use 50 milligrams of time release … 10 milligrams time released capsules, I take five at bedtime, but the NIH did a study, by the way I’m-healthy, right-
Dr. Weitz: That’s a very high dosage, 50 milligrams.
Dr. Rakowski: It is. They did 50 milligrams at bedtime, not even timed release, just straight up 50 milligrams with a dose of D3 and they found out that it prolongs survivability and prevented lean tissue breakdown of non-operable cancer patients. And remember, it’s not gonna cross the blood brain barrier, and it’s pretty fascinating. I do it myself. I can’t say I do it all the time, and there’s plenty of times when I’m on the road, “Oh, I forgot my melatonin.” Guess what? I still sleep. But someone posted something on the internet how everybody and their brother these days wants to be a bio hacker, doing different things to try to increase longevity, but it’s a mitochondrial specific antioxidant that’s present in single cell organisms that it buffers the stress response and now I’ve been doing that for about a decade, since I saw that study in the NIH. I can tell you that in the last decade, my biologic aging has been very slight. So, I think it’s a complete program, but that’s one factor there.
Dr. Weitz: Wow. Very interesting. Yeah, we usually use 20 milligrams for patients with cancer. Some of the studies seem to indicate, and I’ve had some patients who get nightmares when they go up to 20 milligrams.
Dr. Rakowski: There is another further downstream metabolite of melatonin, which is profoundly hallucinogenic and what’s fascinating about that is there’s a plant in South American, and shaman they use something called Ayahuasca-
Dr. Weitz: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Rakowski: … it’s a downstream metabolite of melatonin-
Dr. Weitz: Interesting.
Dr. Rakowski: Yeah, the shaman actually believe that it increases a higher level of consciousness, and for many it does, but for others, it can cause these profound responses. So I’ll share with you, I was teaching a seminar like I do, many, many times a year, literally taught over 10,000 hours to help professionals around the globe, and I had a 30-year pharmacist in one of my classes that said, “You know what, I love melatonin, I’ve been experimenting with it for a long time,” and here’s what they said, they said they believe the people that have the really most profound responses, in their experience, actually need more and it’s something that they can get through over time. Now, I’m of the mindset that there’s gotta be, possibly, a pathway that needs to be supported in another way, nutritionally, to make it happen. And so, that might be activated B vitamins, it might be some of the minerals, and we know our general population, well, here’s the stats, 99% are deficient of one or more of those things. So when we do a comprehensive program, I think we can help a lot of people with that.
Dr. Weitz: Cool. Cool. Very interesting. Yeah, they use Ayahuasca for patients with PTSD. Apparently, it’s one of the more effective treatments for that.
Dr. Rakowski: Since I’m in a community of such naturally minded people with a lot of means, I literally know dozens, including myself, that have gone with shamans with organic product and realized, “There’s something to this plant.” But part of what I like to say is, “Don’t try this at home. Let’s go with people that have dedicated their lifetime to studying the plants and the rain forest and helping people to understand their body and work through the process.”
Dr. Weitz: What about using high dose melatonin with patients with PTSD? That would be a kind of interesting study.
Dr. Rakowski: I haven’t seen that study. I’m a big fan of thiamine as the GABA facilitator. I don’t know that I want to take the chance on those folks and nightmares, but if we know they handle it right, that might be a titrated up dose. God bless those people. They’ve had more challenges than I wish on any person.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. Great. So, thanks for providing us some great information, Dr. Rakowski. This has been a fun podcast. For listeners who want to get a hold of you, what’s the best way for them to contact you?
Dr. Rakowski: I’ve got a website called thedoctorbob.com, and that’s a good way. There’s a “contact us” tab, and that’s a great way to do it. if you did contact me because of this podcast, let me know, and I certainly want to send our friend Dr. Ben a thank-you note, and one of my favorite things is to share information and I appreciate the opportunity to do it with you and your incredible group.
Dr. Weitz: That’s great, and you’re available for consultations via phone or Skype?
Dr. Rakowski: All the above, yeah. We kind of shifted now away from Skype to Zoom-
Dr. Weitz: Zoom, okay.
Dr. Rakowski: … for whatever reason, but it’s probably been a couple years since I’ve done Skype, but I’ve Zoomed halfway around the world and most of the things I’m going to recommend, I do have connections halfway around the world, ’cause I’ve taught halfway around the world, and we can make recommendations and connect you with a great source for nutrition, poor nutrition, to help you with whatever you’re challenged with.
Dr. Weitz: That’s great. Thank you so much, Bob.
Dr. Rakowski: You’re welcome.
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