February Wellness Review 2021

Episode 63

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We have moved our Podcast back to a once-weekly release every Wednesday. The wellness weekly segments are now monthly wellness reviews. They follow the same formats as the wellness weekly with four distinct parts: Wellness Journeys, two different research articles, and a supplement discussion. This month’s review discussed the following:

➡️ Wellness Journeys – Value Creation

➡️ Article 1: The Relationship Between COVID & The Microbiome

➡️ Article 2: The Health Benefits Of Creatine

➡️ Supplement Discussion: Phytosterols

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dr. Richard Harris: Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body. Strive for wellness, strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.

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And now to this week’s episode. Hello, and welcome to The Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris, and this is our February wellness review. So a few updates, I have moved the podcast to only once a week, and we’re going to do it on Wednesdays, is when we’re going to release happy wellness Wednesday.

And so, instead of the wellness weekly, what we’re going to have is a monthly wellness review, and it’s going to be the same format. So we’re going to do the Wellness Journeys, two articles, and then the supplement discussion. So let’s start off with Wellness Journeys. And this one is about value creation. I think this is something that’s very, very important and value is to give something valuable, to receive something more valuable to you.

So we give up something valuable, and that could be our time. It could be money. It could be something else to receive something that we think is more valuable, more beneficial. In marketing terms, we say value equals benefit minus cost. And so there are four types of value there’s functional value, and that’s offering a solution to a problem.

There’s monetary value, which is obviously money, how much stuff costs, what can we buy? Things like that. There’s social value, which is connecting with others. That’s what Facebook was originally meant to do. Social value makes a way for us to easily connect with other people. And then there’s psychological value, and that’s expressing oneself better.

You know, being better able to understand me so I can understand you and vice versa. If you haven’t read any of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, I really highly suggest reading, Talking To Strangers. It’s an amazing book about how bad we are at communicating with other people, especially strangers. And we think we’re all really good at reading people.

And he talks about it in the book, how even FBI negotiators and police officers are really bad at judging people. It talks about how judges would like to look at people and think that they’re guilty or not guilty. And they had to look them in the eyes to do so. And how that’s not necessarily the case; that we’re very bad at reading strangers in these situations, but we think we’re very good.

We [00:04:00] think that people are bad at reading us, but we’re good at reading other people. It’s a really interesting book, highly suggest you check it out, but I’m a huge fan of value. I always say don’t chase money, chase impact, chase value creation. And a lot of times, people like to think about people’s net worth.

And if they have a high net worth, that made a difference, and that’s not necessarily the case. Some of the people with the lowest net worth have made a huge difference in our lives. Think about your school teachers, think about firefighters, think about police officers. These are people who create tons and tons and tons of value every single day.

And I’m so thankful for those people out there who do that. And this goes back to the it’s better to give than to receive. And so we are in creating value, giving something valuable. And in this case to receive something more valuable to us. And in that situation, when you donate your time or your expertise, or you just do something small, like give someone a smile or a hug or complement their effort.

That is creating value. And that is something that we all can do. So we all may not need to start the next Tesla to create value. Sometimes we can create value in others by what we do and what we say, and how we act. You know, my good friend, Dr. Adam Martin, likes to say, be a hope dealer. And I think that’s important because we all have that ability to create value.

And I think a mistake that a lot of people make with value creation is we value ourselves by our salary. And we say, I need to make a certain amount of money. If I make a certain amount of money, then people in my work or whatever will know my value. And we talked about that earlier, your value, the ability for you to create value, may not correlate with your salary.

It may; it may not. And it all depends on what you value. Are you looking at, are you looking at functional value? Are you looking at monetary value? Are you looking at social value? Are you looking at psychological value? So a lot of times, we stay stuck in that monetary value when we’re creating value in other areas.

So, what area of your life can you create value in that’s not monetary value? What can you do to create functional value? What can you do to create social value? What can you do to create psychological value? There are things that we can do to make this world a better place, to create value that has high benefit and almost no cost, like something simple as smiling at a stranger.

And this is something that I’ve worked on recently as well. I’ve talked about this on the podcast that I don’t make nearly as much monetary value as I used to, but I have a much bigger impact now with the podcast and the clinical consulting I’m doing and the holistic medicine approach.

And I think that’s a really good thing for me because I’m a lot happier now. And I know that my goal is to make an impact. It’s not to make money. In fact, it’s funny. People always ask me, well, why don’t you invest in this and invest in that. And what I’ve been doing lately is actually putting my money in companies that are creating value in healthcare, trying to make a difference, whether that’s advancing the profession of pharmacy or helping barbers become health coaches or solving an issue of adherence in, in medications. Now, you know, I’m not anti-med; we’ve talked about this on the podcast. Medication has a role for people. It does.

No, I’m not saying it should be the first thing we go to, but there’s a role for medication, and adherence is low. And that’s why a lot of people end up on a bunch of different medications. And so there is a role for that, and that’s where I’m putting my money. So I want to make money creating value, true value, helping people, [00:08:00] making the world a better place, advancing the profession of pharmacy and medicine, and helping out those who are coming next.

The next generation of pharmacists, the next generation of doctors, and that’s where I am. So I don’t play with the stock market. You know, I have a broker, I send him money, and that’s what I do, but I don’t invest on my own. I’m not in Bitcoin because I don’t want to just make money to make money. I want my money to make an impact, and that’s value creation.

So let’s move on to the first study. This study is about COVID and dysbiosis. And so, of course, if you want the actual articles, head to our strive for great health podcast group, and it’ll have the, not podcast group, our Strive for Great Health Group, and it’ll have a link to the Google Drive for the articles.

So in the introduction, this article talks about adverse effects in COVID are associated with inflammatory markers like  IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and CRP. We’ve talked about some of these markers, these cytokines before these are things that sometimes we check in the hospital that are associated with COVID. And so, patients can develop multi-system inflammatory disorders with COVID.

We’ve seen that quite regularly, where they get COVID, and now there’s dysfunction in the liver. There’s dysfunction in the brain. There’s heart issues; there’s kidney issues. And that’s because of the inflammation. COVID can infect and replicate in the cells in our gastrointestinal tract. And there’s actually evidence of altered microbiome in these patients.

Now, this is something we’ve talked about a lot on the podcast, the microbiome, the importance of the microbiome. And now, this study was looking at the microbiome and immune response in a hundred patients with COVID-19. So, what they did was they had COVID 19 confirmed patients versus controls, and the controls were people with normal colonoscopies.

Now we know in functional medicine, just because they had a normal colonoscopy doesn’t mean that their colon is normal. But they want it to look at anatomically normal individuals versus COVID-19 patients. And so the COVID-19 patients were classified into four groups based upon severity and that it did microbiome testing on both groups.

And so what they found was, of course, in the COVID group, there’s a slight increase in hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes in the COVID patients versus the controls. That’s pretty much what you’d see and expect to see in this population. The COVID patients had a difference in their bacteria.

They had different species; they had more of the Bacteroides species, more Actinobacteria, they were more abundant in the COVID. So in the COVID patients, the Bacteroides are more abundant. The Actinobacteria more abundant in non-COVID, and they looked at antibiotics as well because a lot of people with COVID, unfortunately, do get antibiotics.

And if you did not control for the antibiotics, so it was more Ruminoccocus and Bacteroides and depletion of Bifidobacteria. So I’m going to talk about what this all means in a minute. There’s actually a lot more bacteria that they looked at in this study. I’m not going to name all of them because it’s going to sound like a word salad if I do.

So gut sampling in the COVID patients was associated with disease severity so that they found as certain species were increased or decreased, they positively or negatively correlated with severity even after antibiotic use. So, what basically, this is showing is as the good commensal bacteria went down as our normal floor went down, COVID outcomes got worse.

And then as some other bacteria, some bacteria that’s associated with inflammation associated with certain disease states went up COVID outcomes got worse. And so they looked at this by checking several pro-inflammatory markers, including TNF, [00:12:00] alpha CRP, ESR. You know, we’ve talked about some of these things on the podcast before.

These are ways that you can look at overall inflammation. And so, what this study suggests is that the gut microbiome dysfunction is correlated with the magnitude of immune response. And this is really interesting. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, species negatively associated with these levels are known to play an immunomodulatory role.

And while species that increase inflammation are known to do so in certain conditions. So as we talked about, if good bacteria go down, good bacteria that we know helps the immune system regulate and helps to fight inflammation, COVID outcomes are worse. And then they looked at people who had recovered.

And I think this is really interesting as well. The gut specimens in recovered patients had more of the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, which are two of the most abundant types of bacteria in normal, healthy controls. And so the people who had a recovery had a microbiome that was more like the normal, healthy controls.

I think that’s really important because it’s showing or leading one to suggest that the microbiome plays a role in our active infection. And we’ve talked about that on the podcast before; we talked about a study showing that our gut bacteria help us fight off viruses, helps to alert the immune system to fight off viruses.

So what are the limitations in this study? The study didn’t use a homogeneous treatments or meaning people with COVID got all different types of treatment, so that could affect the results. There could also be a difference in the health status. Remember we talked about the COVID patients were obviously a little bit sicker.

They have more diabetes and hypertension, and these conditions could be one of the underlying reasons why the gut bacteria were different. And then, of course, a large amount of people got antibiotics, and we know antibiotics have a direct effect on the gut, but the authors theorized that inappropriate antibiotic use in this situation wiping out the good gut bacteria could cause a harmful effect. And that’s something that we may have to study in the future. But knowing that the good gut bacteria get killed off by antibiotics and that people who recovered had more of the good gut bacteria, there is an association there now, of course, correlation and causation that usual caveat applies.

And the final limitation is this study was done in China. And we know that regional differences in the microbiome are real, and that can be due to soil, due to air quality, to tons of different factors that can make our microbiome here in America different than a microbiome in China. So what’s the key takeaway here.

The key takeaway is that even during an active infection, what happens in our microbiome can be linked to either positive or negative outcomes in our health. And that’s why gut health is so important to our overall health. One of the main things that we see with abnormal gut health is dysbiosis. So go check out that dysbiosis podcast if you want to learn more about how you can heal your own gut from overgrowth or abnormal bacteria. \

So the second study was looking at creatine; creatine is something that is well known in the lifting community. Maybe not so well known outside of us bodybuilders and lifters. I’m the, well, I’m not a bodybuilder anymore.

I did a little powerlifting back in the day, but creatine is more than just a pre or post-workout supplement. It’s one of the most studied athletic supplements on the planet, but it’s also been studied in a whole host of other conditions. So that’s what this study talks about. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

So for those who don’t know what is creatine, creatine increases our athletic performance, our [00:16:00] energy capacity under high-stress situations. It decreases protein breakdown, and it’s been shown to increase muscle mass, and physical performance is actually being investigated as a treatment option in a whole host of conditions, including diabetes, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, cancer, after injury, so rehabilitation, cognition, cardiovascular disease.

So creatine is actually made in our liver. Endogenous, meaning the creatine that our bodies make, actually supports about half of our needs. 95% of it is stored in the muscles. Now, unfortunately, this is something that vegetarians have 20 to 30% lower levels than non-vegetarians.

And that’s because our dietary source of creatine is meat. That’s where we get our creatine from. Now on the average, one to two percent of our total creatine stores is broken down per day and excreted. But this amount is higher in people who have higher muscle mass or people who are more active. This is one of the reasons why people who have higher muscle mass have a higher creatinine.

Creatinine is a lab that we test quite frequently. So if you go look at your blood work now, If you’ve had blood work recently, you’ll probably see that there’s a number that says creatinine. Now we’ll use creatinine as a surrogate marker for kidney function. But one of the things I get asked all the time, especially in people who have high muscle mass, is they get told by their primary care doc that they have kidney disease.

But the equation that we use to measure kidney function uses creatinine; creatinine is a bi-product, a downstream product of creatine. So if you have more muscle mass, you’re going to have more creatinine. You’re going to have more creatine. And then the caveat here is that if you have high muscle mass, the equations that we use to check your kidney function are not accurate.

They’re not predictive of your kidney function. So that’s a huge caveat. That’s something that I tell people all the time, and you’ll even see people get referred to kidney doctors because of this. In fact, the last time I went to another physician, and it got my blood work checked, they told me, was like, Oh, you have stage two kidney disease.

And I said, no, I don’t. I’m 10% body fat. I was 10% body fat at that time. I have large muscle mass. Creatine, creatinine, muscle. Plus, I take exogenous, meaning supplemental creatine. That’s going to affect that number as well. And this doc did not believe me. And I actually sent them a basic biochemistry paper on the pathway because they needed to be reeducated on this pathway.

So back to creatine, creatine is a source of energy when high-demand states like exercise or when energy production is impaired. So it’s another way for our bodies to make energy when we need energy. One cool thing about creatine is when creatine is used to make energy; it decreases the reactive oxygen species.

We’ve talked about these reactive oxygen species before they’re made in their mitochondria, and they can damage host tissue. And so, therefore, creatine is an indirect antioxidant, which is pretty cool. Depending on the study, you look at creatine improves muscle performance by 10 to 20% on various exercise tasks.

 It’s also been reported to lower blood lipid levels, decrease homocysteine. Homocysteine is a marker of methylation. It’s also a marker of cardiac risk. So we know if you have elevated homocysteine, the risk starts about a 10; numbers above 10, we start to see elevated cardiovascular risk.

Okay. It’s been shown to improve blood sugars, reduce the progression of some forms of cancer, increase muscle strength, lean muscle mass, maximum [00:20:00] strength, and minimize bone loss, improve cognition. It sounds like a lot of really great things. We’re going to dive more into this. One of the things I think is really cool is creatine may help those in a calorie deficit prevent muscle loss, and that’s really important.

So a lot of times, when you look at data on some of these nutritional plans. They put people in a calorie deficit, but they don’t have them exercise. And then they may not optimize their protein intake. And what can happen is people will actually end up losing more muscle than fat, and people are happy because they’ve lost weight, but guess what?

You’ve lost muscle. That’s a bad thing. You’ve lost a lot of mitochondria. You’ve lost a lot of what keeps you energized. What keeps you young. And so creatine may help prevent the muscle loss that’s associated with calorie deficits. I think that’s really important. And that’s why in our fat loss guide, our fat loss course, we emphasize you need to get your protein intake, prioritize protein intake when you’re in a calorie deficit.

So you don’t end up losing more muscle, which is going to make you worse off even though the scale may be moving in a direction. You do not want to lose your muscle mass. So creatine improves oxygen utilization in the brain, has been shown to improve working memory processing speed and executive function.

So a lot of people will actually take creatine as a nootropic. Nootropics are things that actually help our neurons; our brain cells function better. And if our brain cells function better, you’re going to have improved cognition, improved working memory, improved processing speed. So creatine also works on blood sugars by preventing a decline in an insulin receptor called the glut four receptors during periods of rest.

So when we’re not moving, it actually increased them by 40% during rehabilitation. So this is really important. So it’s saying that when we’re resting, we’re not going to be as insulin resistant; if you want to know more about insulin resistance, go check out our insulin resistance podcasts. But when we’re sedentary, when we’re not moving, our bodies become impaired to the ability to use sugar or glucose efficiently.

And so one of the things that we do when we’re moving, we’re active, as we put a receptor for sugar, called the glut four receptor on our muscles. That’s not dependent on insulin. So a lot of the receptors for sugar in the cells are dependant on insulin. This one is not. So when we’re not moving ourselves, we take those down, but creatine helps prevent that.

And then it increases them during rehabilitation, which is very important because insulin resistance is going to impair muscle healing, impair tissue healing. So consuming creatine with carbs or protein actually increases creatine uptake and muscle glycogen levels. So it helps prepare our muscles for the next workout.

Glycogen is a stored form of sugar. We’ve talked about this on the podcast. We may have about 2000 calories or so of glycogen stored in our bodies as a reserve. What’s interesting is creatine seems to do this by increasing AMP kinase signaling. We’ve talked about AMP kinase before, and  AMP kinase is the major metabolic sensing molecule and switch in the cells.

It is something that you want to stimulate. And oftentimes, we do that through exercise, through ketosis, through berberine, a lot of things that we’ve talked about on the podcast before. Creatine has been shown to improve myocardial function, heart function and reduce abnormal heart rate, rhythms, arrhythmias in models of coronary artery disease.

Creatine also has been shown to increase brain bioenergetics. What does that mean? It means that it improves energy utilization in your brain and has neuroprotective effects. That’s also really important, especially for me, someone who carries an APOE E4  gene, which predisposes me to Alzheimer’s. We talked about that in the Alzheimer’s [00:24:00] podcast.

This is something I take to heart. I take very seriously. So in models of neurodegenerative diseases like ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, like Huntington’s disease, like Parkinson’s disease, the problem is that symptoms start when 70% of the neurons are lost. So this is another case of, we need better screening exams for.

Parkinson’s for ALS there’s a genetic test for ALS that, that you can check your susceptibility, Huntington’s disease as well. But things like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, there are some genetic associations, but we need some early warning signals because if 70% of the tissues already destroyed before you have symptoms, that’s going to be very hard to recover and repair fully.

So, right now, prevention is key as we’re still working on early warning signs for these things. So, creatine has a protective effect in animal models of these neurodegenerative diseases. Also, stroke animal models found a 25% reduction in the damage in the brain. So the volume of damage in the brain, another study found a 40% reduction in stroke size.

It’s also been studied in animal models, mouse models, and rat models of traumatic brain injuries. In traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, it decreased brain damage by 36% in rats and 50% in mice. And this was thought to be due to an increased energy availability. We’ve talked about TBIs before in the past; we talked about light therapy.

We talked about ketosis and TBIs. So what happens in brain injuries is that you get insulin resistance in the brain. And so, the brain becomes less able to use glucose efficiently. And if it’s less able to use glucose or sugar efficiently, then you’re going to create energy starvation. And that’s going to lead to a host of problems, abnormal cell functioning, cell death, immune system activation.

And so, in the states like a traumatic brain injury, making sure the brain can get enough energy to repair is important. So creatine and ketones have been used to help people deal with traumatic brain injuries to help athletes with concussions and things like that. Well, creatine supplementation improved rehab in heart failure and COPD patients.

That’s really important. Heart disease, the number one cause of death in America, COPD, is right there; I believe it’s number five or six. Okay. And one study showed an improvement in something called MRF-4,  myogenic regulating factor four, which means that we increase protein expression and muscle fiber area, and peak strength during rehab.

So they had a 10% increase in muscle fiber area and a 25% increase in peak strength during rehab. That’s very important because heart failure, COPD can be very debilitating conditions where people are not able to exercise, lose a lot of muscle mass, and that worsens the condition. Creatine also suppresses inflammatory mediators, suppressors, those inflammatory cytokines that we’ve talked about before through something that we’ve talked about before on this podcast by suppressing NF-KB, which is a master regulator, a master switch of inflammation.

And then creatine in cancer cells. So creatine is low in several types of malignant cells, several types of cancer cells. And it’s also found to be low in the T cells that mediate the immune response. If you want to know more about T-cells, we talk about this a lot in the balancing your immune system podcast; we outline all things you need to know about your immune system.

But T-cells are one of the things that help us fight off infection, but they also police for abnormal cells like cancer cells. [00:28:00] And so creatine transport receptors increase in immune cells when fighting cancer. Now, this is really cool. Now when immune cells are fighting cancer, they need more energy to overcome the cancer cells to fight them off.

And so they upregulate the creatine receptors so that they can get more energy in the cells to fight off the cancer cells. There’s other evidence in Petri dishes that shows that creatine deficiency impairs another type of immune cell called CD8 cells ability to respond to tumor cells. And then, when they put creatine in the Petri dish, these cells were better able to respond to tumor cells.

And so creatine supplementation may improve T-cell-based therapies. We’re seeing T-cell-based therapies all the time. And these are a new way for cancer drugs, the T-cell-based therapies. Now what they do is they take the body’s own T-cells and then engineer them to fight off cancer, the specific type of cancer the body has.

And this is the future of cancer therapy because no two cancers are the same. Even no two breast cancers are the same. We’re starting to find out more and more and more that cancer is not a homogeneous, meaning the same type of disease. It’s different for everybody. So creatine may be a way that we can make this new wave of therapy even more effective.

In conditions like fibromyalgia, creatine was found to improve markers of disability, pain, sleep, and quality of life. And then, four weeks after stopping, they actually went back to their baseline. So that’s a good sign that the creatine was actually having an effect. Creatine’s also been shown to have some antidepressant effects.

It’s similar to the creatine precursor SAME. We’ve talked about SAME on the podcast before it’s a methyl donor. So it’s involved with how we switch our genes on and off. And SAME is something that we will recommend for depression and anxiety, and creatine seems to have a similar effect. Creatine also stimulates collagen synthesis and protein expression in the skin, which can help prevent oxidative damage and UV damage to the skin.

So this sounds like a winner-winner, chicken dinner type molecule. I take five grams of Nutrabio creatine four times a week. I take it prior to my workouts, but I think I’m actually going to start taking a daily, the five grams daily. The see if it makes a difference. Now I do eat meat. I don’t eat a ton of red meat or a ton of meat, period.

I try to make about 75% of my plate vegetables, but I still do eat meat. I enjoy eating meat. So I’ll see if that creatine increase will make a difference. Most people need about two to three grams of creatine a day normally to maintain. If you’re more active, it can be higher than that. And then most of us take about five grams daily, and that’s the amount of creatine that we take.

So Rootine supplement today, we’re going to be talking about phytosterols or plant-based sterols. These are basically plant-based cholesterol-like molecules; they’re in the plant cell membranes. They help stabilize, and they help; they do a lot of the things that cholesterol does for us in a plant.

So what does it do? There are three main types of plant sterols, and you’ll see these depending in different concentrations; there are multiple different, but there are three main ones. And then the Rootine supplement contains all three of them, a plant sterol like we talked about is similar in structure to cholesterol.

And on average nutrition plan, we take in about 200 milligrams of the beta form, beta-sitosterol. That’s the major form that you see. There’s also a Campe-sterol. That’s another one that’s in Rootine. And so [00:32:00] we take about 200 milligrams of beta-sitosterol, but less than 5% is absorbed.

So we’re not absorbing very much of it. What is it used for? We use it as a supplement for BPH to improve urinary symptoms, increase urinary flow, decrease post-void residuals, meaning how much is left in the bladder after you urinate. But it doesn’t seem to decrease prostate size. It’s mainly used for, and what’s well known for is abnormal blood lipids.

So it reduces your LDL, it reduces your total cholesterol, it will reduce the LDL by somewhere between three to eight percent, depending on the study, and five to fifteen percent when compared to diet alone. And it works by inhibiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol. And it may interfere with cholesterol biosynthesis. And this is mainly with this Stigma-sterol version that has been studied in Petri dishes, what we call in vitro. It also may have anti-cancer effects, and it may also help stimulate the immune system. And a lot of times, you’ll see heart-healthy claims on products that have about 650 milligrams of phytosterols on it. The FDA allows you to make a claim that says this product is heart-healthy.

If it has that many milligrams of final sterols, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s actually heart-healthy. So if it’s a bunch of processed garbage or refined oils or things like that, that’s not heart-healthy, but they can put that sticker on there if they have that amount of phytonutrients, which is why nutrition is so confusing here in America.

Deficiencies are mainly caused by poor dietary intake. It’s very rare to have deficiencies here in America, other countries it’s it does happen. Symptoms it’s usually seen as a cholesterol or lipid abnormality. What are the food sources? Legumes, nuts, like pistachios, macadamia, almonds, pecans, walnuts, whole wheat germ, corn, broccoli, blueberries, and brussel sprouts.

What are the genes you want to look at when looking at this? You want to look at the APOE genes? The APOE genes are Apolipoproteins. They are carrier molecules, carrier proteins associated with LDL, and all of the other things in our liquid panels. If you want to know more about them, go listen to our cholesterol, the truth about cholesterol podcast. We talk in-depth about Apolipoproteins. Also, the carrier molecule CETP. This is how, not carrier molecule but a transfer molecule. It’s basically used when these different lipids are handing off things to each other. So that’s important in looking at vital sterile. And then another thing called ABCG8 is another gene involved with phytosterols.

So testing, you can test blood lipids. That’s really the only thing that to test here as far as laboratory testing. The dose, most of the dose, you’ll see in about two to three grams per day. And that might be mixed with all the three major types, or it could be just one type.

Side effects, usually very well tolerated. You might have some GI symptoms if you do have any adverse effects such as indigestion, gas, diarrhea, constipation. There’s a rare condition called phytosterolnemia, which is a condition where your blood lipid panel actually gets worse when you take phytosterols; it’s very rare. I’ve never actually seen a case of it.

And then mega-dosing with this may actually reduce beta-carotene levels and vitamin D levels. And this is actually common with a lot of supplements where if you take really high doses of them, they can deplete other supplements. They may be competing for absorption, or the pathways to activate that supplement may need some other nutrient, and that gets depleted.

So that’s why in general, we’re not a [00:36:00] fan of mega-dosing for large periods of time. For short periods of time under physician guidance, that’s when you should mega-dose otherwise routine dosing. I just made a pun there. All right. So we’re going to end on that. Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast.

Really appreciate you all, my listeners. Y’all have a blessed day.

Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals, to take control of their health, and live a life full of joy and purpose.

You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five-star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform and by sharing this podcast with anyone you think it may help. If you wish to support the podcast, do so by becoming an insider. Insiders get take-home points, discounts on our other wellness services, links to articles and supplements mentioned in the podcast, and the discussion forum to connect with myself and other listeners of the podcast. To become an insider, head to theghwellness.com/podcast, and click on the green button that says become an insider.

Thank you again, and God bless.

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