Epigenetics and Skin with Dr. Anne Marie Fine: Rational Wellness Podcast 089
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Dr. Anne Marie Fine discusses Epigenetics and Skin with Dr. Ben Weitz.
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7:09 Some of the most important factors that lead to aging of the skin include sun exposure, air pollution, inflammatory skin care products, our diet, our stress levels, toxins, and sleep. Personal care products that are inflammatory will ironically plump up your skin and make your wrinkles look better but on a long term basis they will prematurely age your skin.
10:25 Genetics probably dictates no more than 25% of your aging, which means that epigenetics and environment are much more important, which should be hopeful for people. You can take the HomeDNA test to look at some of the gene SNPs that relate specifically to our skin.
13:10 Epigenetics is the software that instructs the body which genes will be expressed or not expressed. It is the future of medicine.
14:57 Methylation is putting a methyl group on the DNA and it is one of the main roots of epigenetic marks. It is important to be properly methylated by taking methyl B vitamins but it is not good to be overmethylated, since that can turn off tumor suppressor genes and result in cancer.
17:41 Environmental toxins found in skin care and other personal care products can be endocrine disruptors and can disrupt our hormones, such as phthalates. They can also adversely affect our blood sugar and lead to diabetes.
29:56 To find out if products are nontoxic, we can use The Environmental Working Group as a source. We can also go to madesafe.org, which certifies products as safe. There is also a free app known as Think Dirty, which will allow you to scan the UPC codes and get a score as to how clean or toxic a product is. Dr. Fine also has great resources on her website, Dr.AnneMarieFine.com and she offers an online class on this topic.
33:07 In order to get rid of toxins, the first step to stop using these toxic products. It can be helpful to test for toxins to see what toxins are being stored in your body. Dr. Fine will often do urinary testing for toxins and the Toxic Core test from Genova, which is very comprehensive. We should also test for heavy metals.
36:05 To learn about what is the best type of diet for healthy skin, Dr. Fine’s book, Cracking the Beauty Code: How to Program your DHA for Health, Vitality, and Younger-looking Skin, is a great resource. You want to follow a Mediterranean, anti-inflammatory diet, which includes olive oil, fruits and vegetables, legumes, some meat, and red wine. Inflammation will increase matrix metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that cut up your collagen., and this will result in more wrinkles. You want to consume foods with antioxidants and that push Nrf2, which turns on your own, endogenous antioxidant system. You turn on your genes that make antioxidants. Green tea is the number one beverage for good skin and shown to help with inflammation, elasticity, microcirculation. Fish oil also helps with the elasticity of the skin. Blueberries are anti-inflammatory and pomegranate is also helpful. Sulforaphane from broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables help with detoxifying. Dr. Fine recommends avoiding glycation, such as the browning of the skin of chicken or other meats when grilling or barbecuing.
40:05 Dr. Fine’s favorite nutritional supplements for skin include vitamin C, proline, astaxanthin, carotenoids, lycopene, and collagen products, some of which are better than others.
42:27 Sleep is also very important for skin health and one night of sleep interruption has been shown to epigenetically alter your skin health genes. During sleep your body rests and repairs the glymphatic system of the brain helps the brain to detoxify. Your skin also regenerates and heals overnight.
Dr. Anne Marie Fine is a Naturopathic Doctor who focuses on Environmental and Functional Medicine. She is the Founder and CEO of IAmFine, a line of safe, non-toxic, vegan, and sustainable anti-aging skin care products. She wrote the bestselling book, Cracking the Beauty Code: How to Program your DHA for Health, Vitality, and Younger-looking Skin. You can find more information about Dr. Fine through her website Dr.AnneMarieFine.com and she is available for a free 30 minute consultation by calling 480-510-3448.
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 the 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 health. Hello, Rational Wellness Podcasters. Thank you so much for joining me again today. For those of you who enjoy the Rational Wellness Podcast, please go to iTunes and give us ratings and reviews so more people can find out about the Rational Wellness Podcast. Our topic for today is Epigenetics and Skin Health with Dr. Anne Marie Fine.
Most of the time when the average person thinks about the health of our skin, we think about the exposure of our skin to sun and other environmental factors, and about various products that we apply to our skin. But our skin is clearly also a reflection of our overall health, including health of our digestive tract and our other organs, our metabolism. Our skin health is a reflection of everything we put in our bodies, how we treat our bodies, how we lead our lives. Our skin health is also a reflection of our epigenetics.
For those of you who are not familiar with that term, what that means is genetics, I think most of us understand, is the set of genes that we are born with. These definitely have some influence over what happens with us during our life. But what’s even more important are a set of switches that determines which of our genes get turned on or turned off, or another way to put it, which of our genes get expressed or which of our genes get suppressed, which we’ve referred to as the epigenome. Dr. Fine, who will be our guest today, describes this as the control panel to our genes. We are going to focus on how we can flip these switches to the correct position to have healthy, glowing skin well into our later years in this discussion.
Dr. Anne Marie Fine is a practicing naturopathic doctor. She focuses on environmental and functional medicine. She’s also an award-winning researcher, internationally recognized speaker, and a Founder and CEO of IAMFINE, a line of safe, non-toxic, vegan, and sustainable anti-aging skin care products. Dr. Fine also wrote the bestselling book Cracking the Beauty Code: How to Program Your DNA for Health, Vitality, and Younger-Looking Skin. Dr. Fine, thank you so much for joining me today.
Dr. Fine: Well, thank you, Dr. Weitz, for the introduction. I’m really excited to be here on your podcast because I want to talk about epigenetics and beauty. You’ve already said it so beautifully. Your skin is basically just a reflection of your health on the inside. Even though the title of my book is epigenetics and beauty and really speaking more conceptually about epigenetics and our health, our aging process, our disease processes, which all show up on our skin.
I’m also going to talk about today some of the toxins found in personal care products and the latest advancements of how to address them in ourselves and our patient population, because I feel this is a missing link in how we evaluate and treat patients today. I’m also going to take the opportunity to talk about where I’m taking my practice in 2019, where, to my knowledge, very few practitioners have done yet. I’ve already started taking this to the next level in a personalized way to help patients get better faster. This is my main focus for 2019, engaging my patients in a whole new way, in an ongoing platform that’s palatable and cutting-edge.
Why am I doing this? How did I even get started? More than likely, many of you, and I can put myself in this category, too, is we really overlooked personal care products as a source of toxicants in our patient population. This is a mistake. There’s so much emphasis on the heavy metals and some of the more egregious of the toxins that are in our environment, but the whole topic of personal care products has not received the attention that it really deserves. We have to think about the fact that ourselves and our patients, we basically are just slathering on these products, our shampoos, our conditioners, our body wash, and our face wash and our makeup and perfume and everything. I mean it’s ongoing. Washing our hands. What are we washing our hands with and brushing our teeth? There’s just so many opportunities for exposure during the day that I really wanted to bring more focus to this. Then I also wanted to talk about the epigenetic environment and how it impacts the skin.
At the end of the call, I want to offer a surprise for Dr. Weitz’s listeners. Then with all of that being said, I just want to start with a question. Are you sick of all the toxins out there? Have you had trouble breathing from the wildfires? Have you or your patients been impacted by autoimmune disease or other chronic diseases of aging? That’s where we’re going to go today. We’re going to talk about understanding the relationship between those questions and our health and our patients.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, absolutely. Lots of patients have been complaining for several months now about the aftermath of the fires and breathing all that crap in. Unfortunately, I guess that’s becoming a regular thing every year in California, with the wildfires.
Dr. Fine: Do you know that in many parts of the global world, that wildfire emissions, PM 2.5 in wildfire emissions, now exceeds anthropomorphic emissions from car exhaust and coal-powered fire plants, coal-fired plants?
Dr. Weitz: Is that right? Wow!
Dr. Fine: Yeah.
Dr. Weitz: Well, it’s equally probably related to what we’re doing, but a little more long term. But we certainly need to do something about it. Dr. Fine, what are some of the main factors that lead to the aging of our skin?
Dr. Fine: Everyone always wants to talk about the sun, sun damage, as being the primary skin ager. It does have a pretty good effect on the skin, but it doesn’t end there. Sun exposure is considered an extrinsic cause of aging, but you know what else? Studies are now showing that the particulate matter in air pollution is now being found to prematurely age the skin in terms of loss of elasticity and also in terms of age spots and wrinkling. That’s what I just mentioned before. It’s like air pollution. Who would have thought? But now studies are actually backing this up. They started the studies in places like China, which everyone’s like, “Well, they’re so polluted. Of course.” But they’re now finding it in other places that are not so polluted. We have the air pollution.
We also have, well, the personal care products that you use on your face. Some of them are … They’re inflammatory. They are so cheaply made that these products are inflammatory, which ironically will plump up your skin a little and make you look like your wrinkles maybe look better, but on a long-term basis, if you look in my book, I’ve got a chart on the molecular basis of skin aging, and inflammation is right at the top. We have skincare products, we have the foods that we eat, what we drink. Our stress levels are very impactful on an epigenetic level. We see that in twin studies where the twins don’t age the same. You can look that up on the internet. There are some pictures that are really quite striking at the difference in these twins. One twin had a lot more stress than the other, or smoked. Of course, smoking is bad for your skin, too. Stress levels, food, how you sleep. Basically, it’s stress, toxins, and food are the three main epigenetic modifiers in your body. It’s going to be the same for the skin.
Dr. Weitz: What about smoking marijuana? That’s becoming a new health food. I just came back from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and they were talking about CBD and marijuana. Isn’t marijuana smoke probably fairly bad for your skin, too?
Dr. Fine: I actually don’t know, but that’s a good question, isn’t it?
Dr. Weitz: Yeah.
Dr. Fine: I really don’t know. Didn’t they talk about that at all?
Dr. Weitz: No.
Dr. Fine: No, they didn’t.
Dr. Weitz: Everybody’s talking about all the benefits of it right now its enjoying it’s heyday.
Dr. Fine: Right. Well, I’m sure part of it has to do with the fact that cigarette smoke has so many toxins in it that you’re creating a lot of oxidative stress and damage, and that’s creating DNA adducts and inflammation. I really can’t answer that question, but that’s-
Dr. Weitz: What part does genetics play in as far as your skin health? Maybe you can talk about genetics and epigenetics a little bit.
Dr. Fine: Yeah. It’s so interesting that when I was doing the research for this book, I wanted to see globally how much of your skin aging is genetics and how much of it is something else, because I noticed that years ago, when I started speaking on aging, healthy aging, and people would say, “Well, the reason why you look so young is because of your genetics,” and I’m like, “Seriously? Do you know how well I take care of myself?” I started looking into it, and really it’s only about 25% of your aging can be dictated by your genes, which means the bulk of it is epigenetic, it’s your environment, which I think can be very hopeful for people. The other thing I want to say is I have tested my skin genes because I wanted to see on me, am I a really good ager or am I really a bad ager? But I do so many other things. I’m really helping my-
Dr. Weitz: So how do you test your skin genes?
Dr. Fine: You know what? It was a special gene test just for skin. It’s called HomeDNA. They have one for skin. I tested it, and you know what I discovered?
Dr. Weitz: What?
Dr. Fine: They don’t do that many … Okay, they don’t. I’m sure there’s more skin genes, but what they did, like half of mine were pretty good, like green light, yes. Then half of it were pretty bad, red light. That’s all the Irish skin. It’s like I burn easily and the sun damaging aspect of my genes are very bad because I’m so light and Irish. I feel like, maybe in totality, I’m average in terms of skin aging on the genes. But I thought that was interesting to just see what came up for that.
Dr. Weitz: They picked out particular genes that seemed to relate to skin, or SNPs?
Dr. Fine: Yeah. I don’t have that report in front of me, but it’s HomeDNA. They have different panels. You can do it yourself. It’s very easily available over the internet. You can see what your skin looks like.
Dr. Weitz: Cool, yeah. I mentioned a little bit about epigenetics, but maybe you can talk a little bit more about exactly what epigenetics is and maybe give some examples of some epigenetic effect.
Dr. Fine: Yeah, I’ll do that. Epigenetics means above your genes. It’s like the genes are the hardware and your environment is the software telling the hardware what to do. Your hardware doesn’t really do anything by itself. You’ve got to have software to tell it what to do. Your environment in which you are bathed 24/7 basically is providing information continuously to your hardwired DNA on what to express and what not to express. We are very much in tune with our environment and we can change it moment-to-moment, day-to-day, hour-to-hour based on what we’re doing.
It’s so different than last century’s dogma of your genes are your destiny. This gives us power to change our genetic destiny and to be healthier, but you have to know what to do. You have to know which foods turn on your healthy genes and which foods are turning on inflammation, which foods turn them off. You do have to know how it all works. Epigenetics is very, very exciting. I think this is where the future of medicine is going to be, in epigenetics.
Dr. Weitz: You mentioned in your book a little bit about methylation. Can you explain that and how that can relate to this topic?
Dr. Fine: Well, so methylation is one of the main roots of epigenetic marks. Histone modification is another one and the microRNA would be another one. Methylation is just putting a methyl group on the DNA. Methylation, it’s tricky because if you have too much methylation on a particular gene area, you may turn that particular gene expression off. Overmethylation can produce cancer by turning off tumor suppressor genes. Too much methylation is not good, but too little methylation is not good as well. You can see that in my book. I talk about the rats, with the fat rats with the yellow coats, and their brothers had the same DNA but they were sleek and lean and they had brown coats. It was the same strain and the same genetic makeup. In the lean brown rats, the mothers, while they were pregnant, were fed methyl donors. They came out healthy-
Dr. Weitz: Randy Girdle and the agouti mouse model.
Dr. Fine: Yes, the agouti genes and then the other ones turned out to be overweight and prone to chronic diseases. That chat, in a nutshell, gives you an idea of how important the maternal-fetal environment is for the fetus.
Dr. Weitz: In order to stimulate methylation, we have to take, say, B vitamins in a methyl form, like 5-hydrotetramethylfolate and methylcobalamin for B12, et cetera, right?
Dr. Fine: Right, exactly. That brings up the whole concept of prenatal vitamins and do they have the right forms, the active forms, of the B vitamins that can methylate properly. But MTHFR gene defect, you may not be able to utilize the B vitamins as well, so that’s a consideration, too.
Dr. Weitz: Right. Let’s talk about toxins. What kind of toxins are in the environment and what we can do about some of these toxins?
Dr. Fine: Okay. We’re not going to talk about heavy metals. We’re going to talk more about the ones I talked about, which a lot of them are endocrine disruptors. The endocrine disruptors are something that are going to disrupt the hormone system. They may do so in many different ways. One of the ways that … This is fascinating to me because type 2 diabetes is like the Black Plague of the 21st Century. Yet when we ask our patients are they eating Snickers bars for breakfast with Krispy Kreme donuts, they’re not. They’re not dumping sugar in their system. Typically their diets could use improvement, but what’s not known is there are environmental chemicals that are pushing the diabetes pathway. That would be fantastic for us to know and to recognize and to test for in our patients, because I don’t know about you, but have you noticed your patients’ blood sugars are rising over the years?
Dr. Fine: I’ve noticed it.
Dr. Weitz: Blood sugar levels are rising, hormones are getting lower, and cortisol-
Dr. Fine: Testosterone is in the toilet.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah.
Dr. Fine: I just wrote an article for Thrive Global on The Handmaid’s Tale Becomes A Reality. Are you familiar with that show, that TV show?
Dr. Weitz: Wasn’t that one of the Chaucer’s tales? Handmaid’s-
Dr. Fine: No.
Dr. Weitz: No.
Dr. Fine: It was a Margaret Atwood book that came out in the ’80s.
Dr. Weitz: No, I’m not familiar with it.
Dr. Fine: The premise is that the environment, the world got so polluted that the men became infertile. Then they took a special group of young, fertile women to be the breeders for this whole new society. Then they made a TV show out of it, which is very interesting. Decades later, they made a TV show out of it. It’s kind of scary. I think it’s an Emmy Award-winning show.
Dr. Weitz: Oh, really?
Dr. Fine: But people are acting like it’s entertainment. The reason I wrote my article is that it’s true. It’s already starting to happen. I wrote this article called The Handmaid’s Tale Becomes A Reality. It was published on Thrive Global, which is Arianna Huffington’s new platform. It talks about the toxins in the environment contributing to infertility and really tanking testosterone, sperm counts, sperm motility. I mean the sperm, they swim like crazy, drunken sailors. I mean they can’t really even deliver the goods anymore. I talk about this, and one of the main instigators of the effect on male hormones is this class called phthalates. You’ve heard of phthalates?
Dr. Weitz: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. They’re used as fragrances in personal care products as well as in plastics. They’re really common.
Dr. Fine: The phthalates–
Dr. Weitz: Estrogenic ingredients, of course.
Dr. Fine: It’s like they’re in everybody and they’re really hard to get away from, but what they’re finding in the male babies is that they’re being born … They can correlate this to the higher tertials of phthalates in the moms, correlate to smaller penises and testicular dysfunction and a shorter anogenital distance, which that distance, that is your marker for virility. As that becomes smaller, that is, these babies are being born more feminized. That’s a big one. They’re finding that in adult males that the phthalates are being linked to lower testosterone and all the sperm things I talked about before. The average man today has about half the testosterone that his father had. You can basically look at any adult man today and say, “Yeah, you’re like half the man your dad was.” Right?
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, I know. There have been documentaries. I think one of them was called The Shrinking Male. There’s no doubt. We measure hormones on a lot of the men, and especially free testosterone, almost every man is low.
Dr. Fine: Yeah. It’s true.
Dr. Weitz: Some of these endocrine substances are estrogenic, so they’re really inhibitory for testosterone.
Dr. Fine: Yeah. Pthalates are a big one. Then you’ve got … This is crazy, but these products being marketed to these teenage boys by Axe … You know that company?
Dr. Weitz: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s horrible. All those products.
Dr. Fine: They have extra fragrance in them. Their whole marketing platform is you’re going to be so sexy that you’re going to get not just one girl, you’re going to get two girls. [inaudible 00:23:18] taking their testosterone. They may get a girl, but they’re not going to know what to do with them, right?
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, I know. I’ve seen the commercials with the guy and all the women on the beach, and they’re all chasing them.
Dr. Fine: Yeah. That’s crazy. It’s interesting, I was in Europe over 10 years ago attending a show, a business platform for personal care product development. This is kind of like my entree into this becoming an expert in this area. I started with my global travels to get the information. Anyway, it was a market research talk and it was my first market research talk on personal care ingredients. I was skeptical that anybody could have advanced information on how this was really going to go and I really wasn’t sure I wanted to spend my time in this lecture, but I was totally closed off, “Oh, what are you going to tell me here?” The first thing they’ve said was … And they were really excited, “We’ve got some good information.” They were like, “In the United States, the young male grooming category is going to explode with these Axe products.” I was like, “Oh, should I leave now? Because no self-respecting mother is going to let her teenage boy talk her into buying these terrible fragrance products.” I’m just thinking to myself, “That can’t be right. This is a stupid lecture.” At the time, I had a teenage boy. I went home and two weeks later, he walks in with this bag from the grocery store and I’m like, “What did you get?” Axe products. I’m like, “I buy your stuff for your shower. What are you doing?” I do not approve of those products. I’m like, in two weeks, their marketing research was spot on. Oh, yeah. It’s like you can smell those boys … They’re 10 rooms away and you can smell them.
Dr. Weitz: Now one of the things I’ve noticed, because I only use natural products for myself and my wife, and I recommend for my kids as well, but my kids are kind of on their own now, but I do think they tend to use what I recommend. But you use these natural products and they don’t have, say, sodium lauryl sulfate, but they have some other ingredient that sounds sort of like it, like calcium laureth something else. You wonder is this just another version of this toxic product that’s not on the list yet, but probably will be in a few years? Like we’ll take the BPA out and we’re going to put BPS in, which is probably just as bad, it’s not just not on the list yet. Right?
Dr. Fine: Yeah, worse. Yeah, this is called greenwashing. Well, actually, this is called the case of regrettable substitutions, where they say, “Oh, my gosh. This thing, BPS is bad and worse. The consumers know it’s bad. We can’t sell this anymore.” Then they put in BPS and then BPF and then BPAO. It’s like it’s all from the bisphenol family. I mean you would think that chemists that are involved in this would say, “Well, maybe it’s the chemical family that … ” What they’re finding is that those new BPA substitutes are as bad, just as bad, or even worse in terms of effects than just the BPA, but the consumer hasn’t made that leap, and now they’re like, “Oh, BPA’s back.” Then they see a product, BPA-free, and they’re like, “That’s it. That’s the product I’m going to get,” and you don’t want it. You really don’t want it. That’s why I’m changing the way I practice is because people think they get it. They get it a little bit, they’re starting to get concerned, but they still don’t have the right idea on what actually is good. The greenwashing, your question about the ingredients sounding the same but being a little bit different, is that I … And I also consult with companies who manufacture personal care products and I also lecture to companies in the personal care industry, like CEOs of these companies, and they don’t even know a lot of times what’s truly non-toxic.
There’s a lot of education that has to happen in this arena. They’re slipping in other things that maybe it’s not really any better, and sometimes it’s better. Or this drives me crazy, too. They’re like, “Oh, here’s our blockbuster product for 80 years,” like Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo. They finally took out the formaldehyde-releasing preservative system, which nobody even knows that it had it in there. But I know. It’s interesting. When I had babies, I put it on them, and they screamed and shrieked. There were lots of tears. I’m just like, “This is not truth in advertising. My babies are crying.” I went to the health food store and I got something else. But recently, like two or three years ago, they reformulated it. Wasn’t that nice? They took out the preservative-releasing system that dumped formaldehyde into your product. Of course, they knew at the time they did it that you can’t just put formaldehyde in a product. Everybody knows formaldehyde is a good preservative, because we had to work on cadavers, and they were all preserved with formalin, which is formaldehyde. We know it worked. But they were savvy enough to know you couldn’t put formaldehyde on the label, so they put in formaldehyde-releasing preservative systems that had different names altogether. But if you knew … Like this is what I teach people to recognize. These chemical systems, they get into the product and then the product sits in the warehouse for who knows how long. Then it’s on the truck and it’s on a boat and then it’s at another warehouse. Then it’s on the shelf. Then you buy it two for one. Then you bring it home. I mean years later, the whole time it’s releasing formaldehyde slowly because that product is old. You took it out of the Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo, but it’s like it’s still not a great-
Dr. Weitz: So how do we know how to get healthy products? Is the Environmental Working Group a good resource to look up products?
Dr. Fine: Yeah, they have a really big database on ingredients, so that’s a good resource. There’s also madesafe.org is another certifying organization that will actually certify something made safe. I’m actually on the scientific advisory board for them, so I know what their criteria are. It’s very solid. There’s an app called Think Dirty. It’s a provocative name, but it’s free. Do you know about this one? You put it on your phone-
Dr. Weitz: No, no.
Dr. Fine: Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s a free app on your phone.
Dr. Weitz: What’s it called again?
Dr. Fine: Think Dirty.
Dr. Weitz: Okay.
Dr. Fine: Then I hope that’s right. But, anyway, you put it on your phone, it’s free. When I first got it on my phone, I went into the department store-
Dr. Weitz: You go to download it, you find out it’s some porn site or something.
Dr. Fine: I know. I hope it’s not. I know. But, anyway, you put it on. I went into a department store and I went to the cosmetic counters, which are all toxic, and I started … You scan the UPC codes with this cool thing. It does its thing and then it comes up with a score. It explains which ingredients are causing the bad score. It’s pretty easy. The problem is it’s fairly new, and so it doesn’t have every single product in there. It has some of the more obvious ones in there, but you take it into a health food store or something and with smaller companies, smaller brands, and it’s like, “We don’t have this product.” But if you take it into a grocery store or you take it into Nordstrom’s and you’re at the counter, yeah, you get really terrible scores on all that stuff, including the ones that claim that they’re not allergenic or clean. That one’s fun. Then I have some resources on my website. I have a class. I have a digital class, online class, that I teach-
Dr. Weitz: Hang on. Hang on just one second. I’m sorry. We’ll clip and paste this. One of the other doctors was having a loud conversation in the room right next door.
Dr. Fine: Oh, wow! Are they even good?
Dr. Weitz: Okay. I’m sorry. We have all these toxins. How do we get rid of these toxins from our body? How can we detox them?
Dr. Fine: Yeah. Well, that’s part of what I work with on my patients. But I will say the first rule of environmental medicine is avoidance. The first thing is recognizing that you have a bad product if you need to get rid of it. Then you just have to know what are the ingredients in there. Is it a persistent toxin? Usually not. Usually things like phthalates, they’ve done studies and they’ve taken away the bad products in, say, teenage girls. Within three to five days, their levels start to drop pretty dramatically. Same thing with parabens. But it’s interesting how they never go to zero because they’re not getting them all. That’s the thing that I take away from that. I would say you just have to do a beauty detox. Read my book, look on my website for the resources I have on these bad products. But it does take some-
Dr. Weitz: Let’s say we eliminate these products. How do we get the toxins out of our body? Do you recommend some sort of liver detoxification program?
Dr. Fine: Well, because my focus is on environmental medicine, what I do is I really evaluate patients in the office with a very detailed environmental health history. Then I look at their symptoms and then I test them for certain toxins, so I’ve really got a good picture.
Dr. Weitz: Cool.
Dr. Fine: Because, for example, I worked with a patient who was a natural aesthetician. She told me she didn’t use phthalates or parabens anymore, and I could have said, “Okay, cool. That’s not your problem,” but instead I tested her for phthalates and parabens. What did I find? Phthalates and parabens, because it’s not as easy as you think to get them all out of your life. I do tests, I’m a big believer in testing, and then I design for-
Dr. Weitz: What kind of testing do you do? The urinary testing?
Dr. Fine: I like that. There’s also the Toxic CORE test from Genova, which is very comprehensive. There’s other ones that are not quite as comprehensive.
Dr. Weitz: Okay, cool.
Dr. Fine: That’s an addition, too. Everybody tests for heavy metals. Heavy metals are important still, but I like to know some of these other things because the effects are so insidious. I mean look at testosterone. I mean you’ve got to have your testosterone, right?
Dr. Weitz: Absolutely.
Dr. Fine: Especially if you’re a man.
Dr. Weitz: Let’s talk about what’s the best diet for healthy skin.
Dr. Fine: Oh, the best diet. This is my book. In terms of diet, you want to make sure that you’re having an anti-inflammatory diet, because if you look at my flow chart on how your skin ages, it’s like inflammation is pretty much at the top. You’re basically going to go through and you’re going to increase matrix metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that cut up your collagen. As you get older, you don’t make as much new collagen to make up for the collagen you’re losing. That’s a problem. You increase your NF-kappaB. Anyway, you’re going down the wrinkle pathway starting with inflammation. We want to have … Basically a Mediterranean diet has been the best diet for skin. It’s not vegan, it’s not keto, it’s not Paleo, it’s not vegetarian, but it’s got olive oil, it’s got some red wine, it’s got vegetables, it’s got legumes. It does have some meat, but you want to push the anti-inflammatory foods.
Then the other thing you want to do is you want to consume things that turn on your own endogenous antioxidant system, as oxidative stress is also at the top of that wrinkle pathway. These are foods that push Nrf2, for example, which turns on your own antioxidants and also your detoxifying enzymes in your body. Even though the fruits and the vegetables do have antioxidants in them, the antioxidants, the half-life of those, not very long at all. You probably can’t even eat enough of them all day long. But by consuming foods that push your Nrf2 pathway, you’re telling, you’re turning on your own genes to make your own darn antioxidants and detoxifying enzymes, which are so important. Those are things like olive oil and green tea. Green tea is the number one beverage for good skin and shown to help with inflammation, elasticity, microcirculation. I mean the skin on your face, the stuff right on the top is old, dead skin. Old, dead skin. It’s hard to get blood flow into those levels, and so microcirculation for skin is very, very important to keep it oxygenated and nourished. Green tea has been shown to do that. Fish oil is another one that’s been shown to help with elasticity of the skin. The amount they used in the study that I referenced in my book was only one gram per day. I don’t remember the length of the study, but one gram, as you know, is not much.
Dr. Weitz: Not very much, no.
Dr. Fine: It’s not very much. I mean we typically do more, don’t we?
Dr. Weitz: Oh, absolutely.
Dr. Fine: Yeah, and so things like that. Blueberries are very anti-inflammatory. Your berries are very important. Pomegranate is very important, the pomegranate juice, the sulforaphane, the detoxifying enzymes that…
Dr. Weitz: Which is from broccoli and cruciferous vegetables, right?
Dr. Fine: Yeah. You’re pushing the Nrf2. You want your anti-inflammatory foods to knock down NF-kappaB. Then you want to push up your Nrf2 system. This is how you’re manipulating, I guess, your genes to support good health and good skin.
Dr. Weitz: What are your favorite nutritional supplements for skin health?
Dr. Fine: The supplements that I like for skin health are … I do like vitamin C for the skin because it helps make collagen. Then I have the collagen and-
Dr. Weitz: Do you like collagen supplements?
Dr. Fine: Collagen supplements, I think, are … I’m a little mixed on that because you’re just digesting them in the gut. It’s protein. You’re just digesting it. But it is collagen and it is protein, and protein is good for the skin. I like it from that standpoint, too. I think there’s some newer products that are coming out that have different digestibility and different qualities that can make it better. I do like proline. I do like astaxanthin for the skin. It’s got some really good research behind it and-
Dr. Weitz: It’s an important carotenoid, right?
Dr. Fine: The carotenoids are really crazy good for your skin.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah.
Dr. Fine: Lycopene is very good for your skin. I’ve seen that available as supplements as well. But, gosh, there’s so many that I could say. The other thing that I didn’t mention in diet, but I’ve been mentioned in my book, which is very important, is you’d want to watch your glycation and your food. You don’t want the browning on your chicken breast. You don’t want the grilled meats. You don’t want the glycation because glycation is an irreversible process. That is also aging your skin, and I talk about that at length. I have a great chart-
Dr. Weitz: You want to be careful about barbecuing or avoid barbecuing, right?
Dr. Fine: Yeah, barbecuing is not so great. In my chart, it talks about a fried egg, how many glycating units it has, versus a poached egg. If you poach things, proteins in water, you can see on my chart how much less glycating it is for your skin. Very interesting research.
Dr. Weitz: Interesting.
Dr. Fine: Yeah.
Dr. Weitz: Maybe let’s do one more topic. How about sleep for your skin? How important is sleep?
Dr. Fine: Yeah. One night of sleep interruption has been shown to epigenetically alter your skin health genes. One night of interrupted sleep. I could do several of those in a week.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah, of course.
Dr. Fine: Yeah. I was shocked. I was like, “Wow!” because I was really hoping to find research that said if you have to miss an entire night of sleep, you knock off a little bit. No, it’s just like one interrupted night, that’s it. That was very discouraging, I thought. Sleep is very important. I mean it’s true, there is no beauty without beauty sleep. Your body rests and repairs the brain. Now we know the brain has a glymphatic system and it’s detoxing overnight. Your skin is also … Everything is just regenerating and healing overnight. You do have to sleep.
I want to talk about tai chi for a minute. Actually, I do tai chi. I have a story about it. I have a friend and she said … I was talking to her about my book, tai chi, “Oh,” she said, “I had a client come in once. This woman looked like she was in her 60s, but I asked her she was. She was like 93. I asked her, ‘What do you do?’ She said, ‘In my 60s, I took up a new job of teaching,'” I don’t know, “‘women.'” I don’t know if they were pregnant women or … She was teaching some group of women tai chi. She started doing that in her 60s, and she just looked so youthful. She lived into her 100s. I looked into tai chi and it’s like tai chi, in the study that … There’s more than one study, but in a particular study, they looked at six different gene regions that affected aging. Six. That’s what I looked at, six. Tai chi positively affected all six. Not one of six, not two of six, not three. All six. Six out of six, which makes you think, “I wish [inaudible 00:44:45] more”, right? Well, it affected all six. What’s interesting is that those particular gene regions were mostly involved with DNA repair. That’s something that’s really important. Our DNA, as we get older, it’s crumbling.
Dr. Weitz: Absolutely. Physical activity is so important.
Dr. Fine: That’s a medical term, crumbling.
Dr. Weitz: There you go. Okay. Why don’t you tell us how listeners can find out about your programs and get a hold of you? I know you said you have a special offer.
Dr. Fine: Yeah, I do. I do have a website. It’s drannemariefine.com. My online programs are on there. I’ve got a newsletter and different things like that. Anyway, if you would like to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with me, we can explore how we might work together outside of the podcast to implement some of these things into your life or in the lives of your patients for all the doctors out there. You can contact me at my email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can give me a ring on my phone. Do you want to just put that in your show notes or should I say it to you?
Dr. Weitz: It’s up to you.
Dr. Fine: Okay. You can call me at 480-510-3448.
Dr. Weitz: Great. Your office is located where?
Dr. Fine: It’s in Corona del Mar, California.
Dr. Weitz: Okay. Your book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, right?
Dr. Fine: Yes. Well, not Barnes & Noble. It’s available at Amazon.
Dr. Weitz: On Amazon, great. Cool. The name of the book again is?
Dr. Fine: It’s Cracking the Beauty Code: How to Program Your DNA for Health, Vitality, and Younger-Looking Skin.
Dr. Weitz: Great. Thank you so much, Dr. Fine.
Dr. Fine: Thank you, Dr. Weitz. Thanks for having me on your podcast.
Dr. Weitz: Yes. I very much enjoyed it. We’ll talk to you soon.
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