We are more than our genes! Epigenetics is a field of science that studies what influences our genetic expression. These are the things that turn our genes on and off. Our body is dynamic and it’s changing all the time in response to our environment and daily choices. Epinutrients are the nutritional compounds that alter genetic expression in a positive direction. My guest, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, is a naturopathic doctor and clinical researcher, whose research focuses on the epigenetics of diet and lifestyle. Her book, Younger You, is a deep dive into the science of Epinutrients.
Most of you are familiar with Dr. Terry Wahls. She’s a physician with multiple sclerosis who reversed her symptoms dramatically, going from a wheelchair to a bicycle after implementing diet and lifestyle changes. That program is now called The Wahls Protocol and has been the subject of multiple medical studies, proving its effectiveness for others as well. In this episode, we summarize all the research, from the very first study to the current clinical trial comparing the Wahls & Swank diets for patients with MS. We also talk about a future clinical trial which will compare the Wahls Protocol to medication.
If you’ve ever experienced brain fog, anxiety, or mood issues alongside your autoimmune symptoms, you’re not alone. Doctors know that mental health issues often increase with an autoimmune diagnosis, and a new scientific discovery might explain why. There are cells in the brain called microglia that are actually part of the immune system. And just as our body’s immune system can go into overdrive and cause chronic inflammation with autoimmune disease, the same thing can happen in our brains. My guest is science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa. Her latest book is called The Angel and The Assassin, and it’s all about these little brain cells and how they can help us or harm us.
Stem cell research is an exciting field with great potential for people with autoimmune disease. When we see the headlines, it’s easy to believe a cure is already here, especially since some commercial clinics promise that. In today’s podcast, we separate the hope from the hype. We talk about current clinical trials and what they’re showing, the risks vs. benefits of these treatments, which autoimmune diseases are the focus of the studies, and what we still have to learn. My guest is Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, a physician and stem cell researcher who specializes in multiple sclerosis.
Here’s the deal – headlines are designed to grab our attention, and it’s not uncommon for reporters to simplify, exaggerate, or completely misrepresent a research study’s results. So, when we care about science and how our choices impact our health, how can we be sure we’re getting accurate information? Today, I’ve invited a research expert onto the podcast who many of you know and love: Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, also known as The Paleo Mom. She’s going to teach us how to critique a scientific study for quality, bias, and limits of proof.
There are literally thousands of anecdotal stories into the benefit of the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) as a treatment for autoimmune disease. But until recently, there was no scientific research to back up these claims. That changed with the publication of this study. 15 patients with active IBD (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) transitioned to the paleo autoimmune protocol. Result? 73% achieved remission. In this podcast, I interview Dr. Gauree Konijeti, gastroenterologist and lead researcher, and Angie Alt, the lead AIP coach for the group.