We discuss the following topics in this episode:
➡️Wellness Journey – Letting go
➡️Article 1 – The link between advertising and obesity
➡️Article 2 – Brown fat & cardiometabolic risk
➡️Rootine Supplement – Zinc
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5 Pillars of Great Health Wellness Program
[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.
Welcome to this edition of the Strive For Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris, and now a word from our sponsors; this week’s sponsor is Real Ketones. Real Ketones is my favorite ketone-based supplementation. I actually used a couple of their products. I’ll use their weight loss sticks because it has caffeine, not for the weight loss properties, but I’ll use it as a pre-workout. I’ll use their prime product, their prime D product because of the vitamin D, the B vitamins.
And I’ll use that as a non-caffeinated ketone product. And then, I use their collagen powder actually as part of my post-workout supplementation. But if you’ve listened to the podcast, you know, I’m a huge fan of ketosis, getting in ketosis, intermittently these products do that. They use the same natural ketones that our bodies make.
And that’s why I love the product. They meet all of our quality and safety standards, and they have some really innovative and cool products to help you with ketosis. And some of your goals, would that be fat loss? Would that be sleep? Whether that be exercise, all of it, you know, they even have a protein powder, so definitely check them out.
The link will be in the show notes, or you can head to our website, theghwellness.com. On the bottom, where it says the wellness link, you can click drink ketones. Okay. And now to this week’s episode, our wellness journey; we’re going to start off with letting go. And I think this is so important because, as humans, we tend to be like Bulldogs.
We tend to hold on to every little grudge or every little incident or every little wrongdoing that happened to us. And. You know, you’ll see people go, Oh, woah was me and blame everything on everybody else. And it was never my fault. And they’re just holding on so tightly to something negative. That’s not doing them any good.
And so I think it’s so important to let go. It can be letting go of a past identity. And I see this all the time with physicians. I see it all the time with former athletes, where their identity is so wrapped up in something in the past that they can’t let go of it. You know, I used to identify as a basketball player.
In fact, you know, usually, I go play basketball on Wednesday nights, but I don’t identify myself as a basketball player anymore. I’m not out there to win; I’m out there to get cardio. I’m out there to have fun. And so that competitive nature is not there anymore because I don’t identify myself as a basketball player.
I identify myself as a guy who is out there to stay in shape and have fun. And so you can change what you identify yourself as. And we talked about this on the health disparity podcast with Dr. Ruan and how his patients, the number one thing that he thinks is important for them to heal is for them to form a new identity.
So let go of that past identity. It may not be who you are anymore, and it may be hampering you from becoming who you’re supposed to become. Let go of those past mistakes. Your past mistakes do not define you. And we’ve talked about mistakes on the growth mindset podcast, where we now look at mistakes as an opportunity to learn.
Instead of saying, Oh, I’m a failure. You know, I can’t do this. I’ve never been good at this. You know, all those negative emotions and negative thoughts, don’t ruminate on them, let them go, let them go. Think about what did you learn from that? How can you prevent someone else from going through that? How can I grow from this experience?
And so stop drudging up your past mistakes and your past failures. Let them go, look at them from [00:04:00] an opportunity to learn and look at them from that lens. And then you won’t look at them as failures. You’ll look at them as a trajectory, as part of your growth, because that’s what they are. They’re not mistakes; they’re not failures.
They’re part of your growth. And when you look at them in that right light, you can let them go. Let go of past grudges, you know, what do they say about revenge? He who seeks revenge should dig two graves because if you’re holding onto a grudge, the person who you’re angry with is holding so much power over you.
When they actually may have no power in your life, that person may not even be in your life anymore. And you’re still holding a grudge. You’re still holding on to negative emotions, to anger. And we know that causes changes in your brain. We talked about that on the anger and social media podcast, we know that causes changes to your hormones.
So you can remember letting go doesn’t mean, don’t remember the letting go means, let go of those negative emotions and negative connotations that you have with that memory because by itself, a memory is a memory, and then we assign emotion to it. Whether it be happy, or sad, or fun, or not so fun, but then you can assign that emotion.
You can say, okay, this was a sad time. And then ruminate on it being said, or you can say this was a time that things were really not going my way, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons that have gotten me to where I am today. So that choice is yours. So that’s what I tell people. It’s okay to let go, but you can still remember.
Remembering and letting go are not the same thing. In fact, you should remember, you should remember what you learned from that. You should remember how that was a growing moment, how that was a pivotal point, but let go of those negative emotions that come with that. So let’s move on to the first article. The article is titled association of chain, restaurant advertising spending with obesity, our favorite topic here on the Strive for Great Health Podcast in US adults.
No, that part wasn’t actually in the title. That would be super weird if that was actually in the title. But Hey, that would mean our podcast is reaching a much larger audience, but what they looked at was, Hey, basically, if we look at advertising rates, advertising, spend in an area, does it correlate with obesity?
So the background here is food and beverage marketing changes consumer preference. A lot of people say that advertising doesn’t work. Advertising doesn’t work on me. Advertising is subconscious, and it’s meant to change your preferences. And what do you mean by preferences? What do you choose in a certain situation.
It’s not so much what do you like? It’s not; that’s not what advertising is meant to change. Advertising is meant to change in a moment of choice. Would you choose product A, product B, or product C? That’s what advertising does because our choices are highly malleable. Meaning there they can change based upon any number of factors, conscious or subconscious.
And what we know is that marketing for fast food or chain restaurants, those types of things is targeted more towards low income and ethnic minorities. And this may exacerbate the health disparities that we see in these populations, in these groups of people. Now, this is something that Dr. Ruan and I talked about a lot on our health disparities podcasts, and it’s staggering.
If advertising didn’t work, why would there be billions of dollars spent on advertising? The top 10 restaurants spent $6.2 billion on advertising and represented 23.3% of that market in 2018. So billions of dollars on food advertising. In 2015, the average adult viewed about 2,800, 2,800 ads in that year.
So we are exposed to tons of ads. [00:08:00] No. That’s like eight or nine ads a day for these type of food places. That’s a lot of ads. Half of Americans food budgets are spent outside of the home, with 72% of that being spent on restaurants. So we are a culture who loves to eat out. You know, I’m in Houston, what’s Houston known for restaurants, there’s restaurants everywhere.
So Americans spent about $863 billion at restaurants in 2019. And this is a crazy stat, a third of the country on any given day we’ll eat at a fast-food restaurant. 33.3% of the country on any given day will eat at a fast-food restaurant. That is a staggering stat staggering because we know that fast food is linked to a higher intake of calories.
It’s linked to higher intake of processed foods, which is linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s lots of really adverse health outcomes. And so the study looked at restaurant advertising, spending per capita, meaning per person scaled to restaurant density, and measured changes in BMI for a group of adults.
So the method is they looked at BMI and then they also looked at data on advertising spending. So what’d they find? So the sample size was mostly older. 37% were above 60, they were mostly female, 56% and mostly insured 53.5%. And the starting BMI was about 29.8, which is almost obese. So the key takeaway here is that again, we’re a very, very metabolically sick country.
Like I said, I don’t like to use the word fat because there’s a negative connotation that comes with that. But we are a country that has a lot of excess calories stored on the body in terms of adipose tissue. So the per capita advertising per quarter was about $4.72 cents on average. Now low-income areas that increased to $4.95 versus $4.50 for high-income areas.
So this collaborates previous data that shows that low-income areas get more advertising spend for these types of junk foods, fast foods, chain restaurants. The majority of this was fast food spending. That was $3.52. And TV was a major platform at $4.24 per person per quarter. Overall, they found there was no association of restaurant spending with increased BMI.
So overall, the more they, the company spent there was not an increase in BMI. However, when they looked at low-income areas, there was a significant increase that showed that every dollar increase in advertising spending was associated with the 0.053 unit increase in BMI. So that may not seem like that much, but think about this at the population level and think about this at billions of dollars and then collectively how much that’s going to increase the BMI.
Now, once you start scaling that up, you see that that’s a pretty significant effect. And most of this effect was driven by fast-food restaurants and TV marketing. They also found that the counties that had a low change in advertising spending over the time period saw an average of $4.52 per person spent and a BMI decrease actually of two 29.92.
That was about 0.12. Those in the highest percentage of advertising spending saw an increase in advertised spending to $5.87 per person, and the BMI increased to 30. So that was an increase of 0.12. So overall, in the low areas of spending the lowest percentage in the study, there was actually a decrease in the BMI slightly.
And in the highest advertising spending, there was an increase [00:12:00] in the spending and an increase in the BMI, and this equated to about 0.4 pounds. And so that seems like a small amount, right?. Seems like a small amount, but again, if you scale this up to billions of dollars and millions of people, you see that this is a very significant effect.
So the food and beverage marketed in low-income areas is less healthy than those marketed in high-income areas. So we moved into the discussion area. Previous evidence shows that the unhealthiest items are marketed towards those most at risk for obesity. And this is really, really sad. So those who are struggling the most with a medical problem are more likely to get marketed to, to eat the things that are fueling their medical problem.
And that’s just a really sad and really grinds my gears at the state of our country. That people who may want to get help, people who know that they have a problem, are being marketed to by big food to continue their problem for the sake of profit. And I actually talked about this with an organization called Live Chair, you know, organization that I’m starting to work with.
And I said, our competition is big food because we’re trying to get people healthier. Big food is strategically marketing to those who need help the most to prevent them from getting the help they need. This is what a lot of the data is showing. It doesn’t say it specifically like that, but that’s the no holds barred takeaway.
And I think that’s really sad. So fast-food restaurants we know are more densely located in low-income areas. You know, this is the food deserts that people talk about, where people cannot get access to healthy foods. In fact, prior research shows that African-American and Hispanic youth and low-income areas are eight times more likely to see fast food commercials.
And Dr. Mark Hyman talks about this in his book, Food Fix, and how these companies know if they, if they ingrain people into the fast-food culture that they have customers for life. And we’ve talked about this on the podcast before a lot of people don’t even know that their eating habits are harming them.
It’s one of the reasons why I recommend to a lot of my clients keep a food journal because people severely underestimate how many empty calories in the form of sugar, and sodas, and how much fast food they eat in a given week. And I’ve seen it time after time, where I have people do a food diary, and we look at it and the person’s like, Oh my God, I had no clue.
I got fast food seven times last week. This is crazy. And this is where it all starts. It all starts to being marketed to when we’re kids. So the limitations of this study, they have low minority enrollment and, you know, they didn’t look at all the restaurant chains. They had 66 of the top 100, and then they had 370 urban centers.
So it wasn’t completely representative of the population. But overall, this was another study, linking advertising spending, linking the habits of big food to adverse outcomes on our health, and nothing is being done about it. These guys can act with impunity. They can do whatever they want to do. They are literally killing people.
The data on that is very clear on the adverse outcomes of eating these foods, yet nothing is being done about it. It’s on us, the consumer, to protect ourselves, but most consumers don’t know that this is even a problem. And that is why I started the Strive for Great Health podcast. And that is why there’s a lot of us practitioners out there doing what we’re doing.
All right. Article two Brown adipose tissue is associated with improved cardio-metabolic health and regulated blood pressure. Really cool study. So introduction, and it links to the study we just talked about [00:16:00] 48.9% of adults are expected to be obese by 2030. I’m going to say that again. 48.9% of adults are expected to be obese by 2030, that’s nine years.
And almost 50% of the population is going to be obese. The medical costs, the lost productivity it’s staggering. The impact is staggering. And this is why a lot of us feel like we’re fighting a losing battle because how can me, you know, as entrepreneurs, small business owners, small-time operation, compete with the billions of dollars at these fast-food restaurants are spending that big pharma is spending.
We can’t; we can only get information out there and hope that we can change consumer preference because your money is what’s going to change the world. If you change your preferences, if we all change our spending habits, that’s when things will change. The dollar speaks, but let’s get back to this study.
So Brown adipose tissue. So this is called Brown fat or BAT. So we have two different types of fat, there’s white fat, there’s brown fat. White fat is more of a storage container. It stores excess calories. So when you eat excess calories, they’re not burned. Then they get stored in white fat.
While brown fat is metabolically active, and brown fat’s main job is to turn stored calories into energy via heat. And there’s also evidence that shows that brown fat may also play a role in metabolism beyond thermogenesis, which is the generation of heat as well. Mouse models and some human models show that increased brown fat improves glucose metabolism, sugar metabolism, improves lipid metabolism.
So improves your cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity. So lowers your blood sugars as well, and increased BAT, brown fat is also associated with lower BMI. We tend to have more as at a younger age as well. So activation of Brown fat is associated with increased energy expenditure to generate heat.
Increased utilization of glucose and fatty acids and improved insulin sensitivity. And so what the study did was they looked at specific types of pet scans to look at the amount of brown fat levels. And then they would take that and then look at the metabolic data and look for a correlation. So what’d, they find, that, they found that the brown fat was more prevalent amongst women, if you were younger and of course, it had an inverse association with temperature.
So the strongest generator of brown fat is temperature. This is why a lot of people do cold therapy, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go pay for it. Just take a cold shower or in, during the winter, go outside without all the layers on.
That’s what I do for my cold therapy. I take a cold shower about three times a week. So what are the results? Well, if you had any Brown fat, basically, you get lower amounts of diabetes, about 4.5% less. So 4.6% versus 9.1%, for dyslipidemia, it was 18.9% versus 20.6%. So a decrease of 1.7% for atrial fibrillation, which is a type of abnormal heartbeat.
It was 2.8% versus 3.7%. So difference 0.9%. For coronary artery disease, it was 3.1% versus 5%, a difference of 2.9%. For strokes, it was 2.1% versus 3.1%. So a difference of 1%. For congestive heart failure, it was 1% versus 2.1%, a difference of 1.1%. And for hypertension, it was 26.7% versus 29.9%. A difference of 2.9.
So study also showed that Brown fat helped mitigate some of the cardio-metabolic health diseases associated with increased body adipose tissue. So this is really interesting. So even if you were at a [00:20:00] higher BMI, if you had brown fat, it helped protect you against some of those cardio-metabolic issues.
And I thought that was interesting. So the prevalence of diabetes was cut from 19.1% to 7.5%. That’s a change of 11.6%. Congestive heart failure, 2.9 versus 1.1. So a change of 1.8 and hypertension, 39.9 verse 47%, change of 7.1. It also showed that even in those who are obese again, we’re still talking about those who are obese, on average, fasting glucose was 91.7% versus 95.1%, a change of 3.4 and not percent sorry.
That was the actual fasting glucose. And that is really important because it may not seem like that’s much, but if your fasting glucose is above 95, you have a three X increase risk of developing diabetes. So that’s actually a huge change. Triglycerides there was a difference of 122.4 versus 148.4, a change of 26.
I mean, that’s a normal triglyceride level one 22 versus a borderline elevated triglyceride level. And then the HDL, you actually had an increase of HDL by 4.2 from 56.4 to 52.5. So what’s the key takeaway here that the Brown fat helped attenuate the effect of increased adipose tissue, increased BMI on HDL levels, fasting glucose, and triglycerides.
And that’s why there’s a lot of research being done in how do we brownify fat, adipose tissue. And so next, the researchers looked at mice with beige fat, version of brown fat in mice, and it functions very similarly to brown fat in humans. So what they did was they knocked out a gene that controls for making brown fat in mice, and they found that the mice who had the brown fat knockout their blood pressure, the systolic, the top number increased by about 3.6 and the bottom number, the diastolic by about 4.2 and the heart rate increased by 18. And then they tried to figure out why did this happen? And they found there was no difference in anatomy the, the heart anatomy between the two mice. They found that under the microscope, the blood vessels didn’t look different.
Now, normally angiotensin II is a vasoconstrictor, increases the pressure in the veins; they found that the mice who had the knockout had an increase in blood vessel tone by angiotensin II. So it was more responsive, and that they found that the blood vessels were less responsive to local changes in flow.
So if you get more flow coming through an area, the blood vessels are supposed to dilate, get bigger to accommodate that, but they found that these mice with a knockout weren’t able to do that. So I think that’s really interesting. It’s showing that there’s a lot more to brown fat that we know, and I’m sure you’re asking, well, how do I increase my brown fat again, the cold therapy, take a cold shower is the strongest way so far that we know. Another is CBD.
CBD is actually been shown to help increase brown fat. So in discussion limitations, they’re relying on pet scans. If you don’t do the pet scans without prior cold stimulation, you can under-report the amount of brown fat. And then this was done in cancer patients, actually. So the results were adjusted by cancer type and stage, but that can have an effect.
And this was the retrospective study, not the first study. This one was. So, you know, they’re not following these people over time. You’re just looking back and correlating results on scans to blood work. But another interesting study showing how not all fat tissue is the same, showing some of the beneficial effects of brown fat and why we try in holistic medicine to optimize brown fat versus [00:24:00] white fat.
All right, supplement discussion. We’re going to talk about Zinc today. What does Zinc do? And before we get into that, I guess I should say we’re still in our Rootine series; talking about the 18 vitamins and minerals in Rootine. Rootine is probably my new favorite supplement. It takes lifestyle, data, genetic data, and micronutrient data.
So not only do you check blood levels, but you check the particular vitamin or mineral is being used for because some of the tests for the blood levels are not accurate. They’re not sensitive. They’re not specific. Or we can’t measure the right compartment. For instance, magnesium, most magnesium is in our bones.
So blood magnesium levels correlate very poorly with magnesium deficiency, us being able to tell if you have a magnesium deficiency or not, Zinc is another one of those, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. So Zinc is the second most abundant trace element in the body. We contain about two grams of Zinc in the body total, but we don’t store excess Zinc in the body, so it must be obtained from food constantly.
And the problem here is zinc levels are low in processed foods. The processing denatures, destroys the Zinc, and then there’s soil depletion. And that has affected the zinc levels in foods. So zinc deficiencies are very, very common. They’re very common in vegans or people who are mainly plant-based.
We talked about that in the nutrient deficiencies podcast. So Zinc is essential for our immune system. Zinc helps by blocking the ability of viruses to replicate. Zinc is involved with protein metabolism, the making of our red blood cells. It’s involved in DNA synthesis, gene expression. In fact, 30% of our Zinc is in the nucleus, which is the inside of the cells, which is where our, our genes are.
Zinc is also responsible for growth and development, reproductive hormones, digestion, antioxidant functions. It’s important for detoxification. There’s a class of enzymes called metalloproteinases. There are enzymes that have a metal at their center who go and do something. That’s the best way to describe them.
A lot of our detoxification enzymes, a lot of our enzymes that deal with heavy metals are belonging to this class. And Zinc is very important for them. Zinc is also necessary for the synthesis of the vitamin A binding protein. So, if you have a zinc deficiency can lead to a vitamin A deficiency; Zinc is important for the communication between nerve cells.
It’s important for carbohydrate metabolism. It’s important for proper insulin signaling. It has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important for lipid balance, like we talked about in the cholesterol podcast, you know, balanced lipid system. It’s also important for bone mineralization. Now, how can Zinc possibly do all these things?
Well, over 300 different enzymes in the body use Zinc. So there’s a lot of processes in the body that depend on Zinc. And one of the reasons why, well, we’ll talk about that in a minute. And the food sources section, so deficiencies are caused by malabsorption. This could be through inflammatory bowel disorders.
It can be from chronic diarrhea. Alcoholism, diabetes can cause zinc deficiency. If you have excess copper or iron intake because they compete for absorption. If you’re taking diuretics, one of the things that can happen is a zinc loss along with magnesium, or potassium, or sodium medications, like ACE inhibitors, which are blood pressure medications that are very common, that can cause a zinc deficiency, H2 blockers, which is like Famotidine.
These are antacids, and then other antacids like Protonix can cause it as well as a medication for the heart called digoxin can cause it no. What are the symptoms and diseases? Chronic infections, infertility, muscle wasting, hair [00:28:00] loss, skin rashes, loss of taste and smell that just have issues, impairments, and growth and healing, food sources.
So animal proteins are better food sources for Zinc. And the reason for this is a lot of plants have anti-nutrients. We’ve talked about this before phytates/oxalates. Plants don’t want to be eaten, and what they did to decrease their chance of being eaten. They can’t literally fight back. Well, some plants can, but a lot of plants literally can’t fight back.
So, and what they did was they tried to make the population that ate them sterile. So if you decrease the amount of predators who are eating you, then that’s a protective mechanism. And so that’s why plants developed anti-nutrients because a lot of them work to bind up key nutrients involved with reproduction, and Zinc is one of them.
And so that’s why animal proteins enhance the absorption of Zinc while the plant anti-nutrients reduce it. And this, is typically phytates, which are found in legumes, seeds, and soy. So that’s why it’s, especially if you’re vegan, it’s so important to listen to our nutrient deficiencies podcast and supplement because categorically excluding any class of food predisposes you to severe nutrient deficiencies, unless you’re really careful.
So what are the food sources? Organ meats, meat in general, you know, red meat, chicken, fish dairy is a great source, potatoes, and dark chocolate. So what are the genes that we look at or can look at SLC39A, SLC30A are the zinc transport genes, APOE4 because Zinc may be protective against the deleterious effects of APOE4.
We talked about APOE4 on the Alzheimer’s podcasts. IL-6, which we generally think of as an anti-inflammatory cytokine and anti-inflammatory messenger. It has some pro-inflammatory action as well. But in general, we think of this as anti-inflammatory. So you can look at genes involved with IL-6 because of the anti-inflammatory action of Zinc.
And then, you can look at the gene MMP, which is a gene involved in the turnover of proteins. Other testing, the metabolite testing. You can look at Zinc, but zinc level testing is not sensitive or specific. So by itself, checking Zinc levels doesn’t really tell you much. Then you want to look at some other things that we can test that are dependent upon Zinc, lactic acid, anserine, carnosine, amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, valine, and then phosphoethanolamine.
These are some of the things that we’ll look at when we do the comprehensive metabolite testing as well. Not only checking a blood level because some of the blood levels are unreliable but checking, what is this doing in the body? Are the things that we can check that utilize this or need this particular vitamin or mineral are those levels where they should be.
So the dose, then we’re talking about elemental Zinc here. The RDA in men is 11 milligrams in women’s 9 milligrams. Most dosing forms you’re going to, or most dosing protocols, you’re going to see between 10 to 30 milligrams. The upper tolerable intake is around 40 milligrams for people. And what happens when you get in the higher doses? You start to get some stomach and GI effects.
It’s usually very well tolerated. So if people do have any side effects, it’s going to be stomach issues, you know, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and then sometimes people, when they take it, they can say that they have a metallic taste. Well, this has been this episode of Wellness Weekly, Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris.
Hope you found it informative because that’s why I’m here. I’m really just trying to get information out there about your health so you [00:32:00] can make informed decisions about your health from a place of power. That’s the whole vision. That’s the whole goal. So please share these podcasts with anyone you think they may help.
That’s why they’re, that’s why they’re here. Thank you for listening, and have a blessed day.
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Thank you again, and God bless.