330: Science-Backed Practical Strategies for Immunity & Decreased Viral Threat With Dr. Ken Brown 330: Science-Backed Practical Strategies for Immunity & Decreased Viral Threat With Dr. Ken Brown

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

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This podcast is sponsored by BLUblox. That’s B-L-U-B-L-O-X, which is an advanced light-filtering eyewear company. You’ve probably seen pictures of me on social media wearing orange glasses of various types at night. And here’s why. In nature, we aren’t exposed to certain types of light after dark, specifically, blue light, because that type of light signals the body that it’s daytime. That in turn suppresses melatonin and can interfere with sleep. This is the reason that a really dramatic study found that camping for seven days straight with no artificial light at all could actually completely reset and heal circadian rhythm and help a lot of light-related problems, like seasonal affective disorder. This is also the reason that I wear orange glasses after dark to block these types of light and protect my sleep, which I am adamant about protecting. I also wear certain types of yellow glasses and anti-fatigue glasses during the day if I want a computer to reduce eye fatigue. BLUblox has orange glasses and yellow glasses. Their orange glasses for nighttime wear are designed to block 100% of the wavelengths between 400 nanometers and 550 nanometers, which are the ones that are studied to interfere with sleep and melatonin production, and circadian rhythm. My kids also wear these kinds of glasses at night. And I noticed a difference in their sleep as well, which is a huge win for a mom. This is especially important when we’re watching a family movie at night or looking at any kind of screen as the artificial light, there is a source of blue light and can interfere with sleep. You can learn more, they have a ton of educational content and check out all of their innovative protective glasses by going to blublox.com/wellnessmama and using the code wellnessmama to save 15%.

Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com. That’s Wellnesse with an E on the end. And this special timely episode is about things that we can all do in a very practical way to help support immune health and to possibly fortify the body against viruses in general. And the quote that I love from this episode and that this episode definitely gave me is that “Calm is contagious.”

And I’m here with Dr. Ken Brown, who is a highly respected and award-winning board-certified gastroenterologist, who is on the front lines of this right now, both in research and in medicine. And we know right now that the virus does have a gastrointestinal aspect, and his research, he shares some things in this episode that I have not heard or read or seen anywhere else, and I think that are extremely practical and pertinent, and might help not only all of us individually right now, but also might help us with the trajectory of this virus, in general.

So, his research began with traditional pharmaceutical drug development, and then he branched out into using very specific polyphenols, which we talk about today, and further effects on gut health. And what we’re finding in the studies, as he explains in depth in this episode, is that the same polyphenols may have an action against not just viruses, but the bacteria that often goes along with viruses that might be the real cause of some severe respiratory distress. Tune in to this episode, for he’s going to share all of his science-backed techniques and the substances that he’s using to keep himself, and his family, and other healthcare workers that he works with safe and healthy as well.

So, without further ado, I want to jump straight into this episode with Dr. Ken Brown. Dr. Brown, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Brown: Oh Katie, thank you so much for having me on your show. This is really exciting. I think it’s been a few years since I’ve done this, so…

Katie: It has and it’s always such a pleasure to chat with you and I love that we can record this one and share it with the listeners today. I think you have such a wide amount of knowledge and on some really fascinating topics, especially gut health, which I am a huge…I love researching. I think it’s one of the most important things that we can look at when it comes to overall health. And I think from there there’s a lot of stuff we can talk about today. Obviously we’ve all heard that gut health impacts the health of the whole body, but I think that’s even more pertinent and important right now. So to jump in there, what are you thinking in the midst of all of this right now?

Dr. Brown: Well, I mean, first of all, I hope that you and your family are doing great and you guys are tolerating this whole process well. I know with the kids you got to keep a very excited attitude while still entertain them and figure out how to, you know, you’re going to continue with your life. But the most important thing is making sure that your family’s good. So first of all, I hope you and Seth and the kids are doing fantastic. Are you?

Katie: We are. We’re going a little stir crazy, obviously and having to adapt our normal lives as I think everybody listening is, but I’m very grateful that we all are in good health and for the extra family time right now and just trying to adapt day by day.

Dr. Brown: Yeah, definitely. Well, I love hearing that and I just want to let you know that I cannot tell you how excited I am to be doing this particular show because I loved your podcast with Tina Anderson. You and her covered so much cool stuff that I’m exactly on line with her, it’s that your gut and your immune system, they go hand in hand. If you do not have a healthy gut, you will not have a healthy immune system. I thought that I would come on here and talk about all that. She did the heavy lifting and you and her covered that. And so now, I am so excited to share some stuff that I don’t think anybody else is talking about and I’m hoping that this will blow your mind.

Katie: I can’t wait. Yeah, that’s a cliffhanger. Let’s jump right in.

Dr. Brown: Well, all right, so everything that we’re going to be talking about, I just want you to realize this is a lot of it is going to be related to COVID-19 pandemic. It’s almost impossible not to not talk about that, but more importantly, everything that we’re going to talk about can be used afterwards because once we get through this cycle, the data that I had been looking at, the things I’ve been evaluating, it’s not just for the COVID-19. This could be extrapolated to other things, other infectious cycles that I can’t believe it’s in print and people are not talking about it. So, this is not a one and done. In fact, I kind of feel like we’re going to end up having some sort of cyclical version of this SARS-CoV-2 borderline influenza type. So, it’s not to make everybody nervous about this, but I think that the more that we start preparing, this isn’t, let’s just hunker down and talk about this one thing.

Because the reality is, is that I think that we’re going to keep seeing more things, maybe new viruses. There’s the potential that this could actually cycle back like the flu. I’ve heard some virologists talk like that. So there’s a lot going on and a lot that we don’t really understand. So, the one thing is that calm is contagious. So when this thing started happening, I started getting anxious like everybody else. And when I do that, I start looking for answers in evidence-based medicine. That way I can at least take some control. And that is what I want to do today, is share some calmness through science. Are you okay with that?

Katie: I love that quote. I think that we could all use a little bit more calm right now. And I think that’s a perfect place to start.

Dr. Brown: Yeah. So in 2017, I did your podcast and we discussed how the polyphenols in Atrantil help in irritable bowel syndrome, SIBO and then gut health. And if you recall, we talked about polyphenols being the molecules that give fruits and vegetables their color, and now they’re thought to be the anti-aging, anti-inflammatory molecules that make the Mediterranean diet so beneficial. But since then, we have been learning more and more about how these polyphenols can do some amazing things. You and Tina discussed probiotics and prebiotics. Now, I’m going to throw a whole new field of study at you, and that is something that scientists are calling postbiotics. Have you ever discussed postbiotics at all with anybody?

Katie: I have not. Not on here. I’ve heard that term, but I don’t have really any knowledge about it. So, explain it to us.

Dr. Brown: It’s a super cool field because what we’re learning is, is that molecules like polyphenols and prebiotics, they function to feed our own bacteria. Now, scientists are realizing that the bacteria can break them down into very beneficial anti-inflammatory type molecules called postbiotics. So now a lot of science is looking into, okay, if we give this and you have a good microbiome, then you will be able to produce these different molecules that can then do X, Y and Z. So, it’s this whole new field of study, but it ties into gut health, the microbiome, and all that stuff. And so, knowing that I have always been trying to stay up with the latest science, but in a very weird twist of fate, this lockdown has actually allowed me the time to dig really deep into studies which are coming out daily during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Now, I’m extremely fortunate to work closely with a wonderful dietician, RN graduate student named Angie, and she has access to all kinds of literature and be able to download it, preprinted stuff, things waiting for publication, things waiting for peer review and I want to call her basically my scientific Sherlock Holmes of finding scientific data to make connections.

What I mean by that is the data’s out there. Who has the time to look at something from 2003, tie it into an article of 2017 and go, “Oh, this ties to this study that’s going on in 2020.” Well, since I’m not working right now and the governor won’t let me do my real job, it’s almost like a twist of fate that I have just been obsessed with this and it has just been this incredible thing. Well, thanks to this lockdown, I’m not doing the usual job, but I feel like I’ve been working harder than ever and we’ve uncovered some pretty cool things. So, everything that I’m going to talk about is based on scientific studies either in the lab with animals or human studies. What I want to let all your listeners know is that we’re in the process of building a reference page on our website so that everything that gets talked about, you can just click on and you can just see the article so that you can read it on your own and interpret it the way that you would like to interpret it.

But this is so that we want to have a repository of these different articles. We don’t have that up yet, but that’s what we’re working on. As you know, time, money, all that stuff to, you know, to keep that kind of stuff going. So, I’m just really excited to share this with you and I think that you and your audience are the perfect place to get this, at least some information out there. Whether it’s what I think it is or whether it’s it can be disproved is irrelevant at this point because we can only go with what we know right now. So, with your help and with your audience, because you’re always trying to better yourself, you’re always doing scientific research, I think that we can make your audience calm.

Katie: Well, I think that is a spectacular goal. Let’s start there.

Dr. Brown: Calmness is contagious. So for every mother that’s out there listening, when you’re calm, that can actually be contagious. So, keep that in mind. I don’t always practice that. In fact, if my staff and my kids are listening, they’re probably like, what? So, I try, but, all right, so super brief. I know that everybody’s been talking about this, but whenever I talk to any of my patients, I get one question. I’m just really confused about all these terms that everybody’s throwing around. So, super brief. Remember that COVID-19 is what everybody talks about. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus which has a very similar structure, like 95% similar to SARS of 2003. The media will tend to confuse people and they’ll say, this is the coronavirus. Have you been exposed to the coronavirus? Have you been exposed to SARS-CoV-2? Have you been exposed to COVID-19? These are all different terms. Think of it this way. SARS-COV-2 is much like having HIV in the sense that it’s a virus.

When you develop AIDS, that’s like having COVID-19. So, everybody keeps talking about the virus and then COVID-19. That is one way to sort of distinguish the two. We do know that the virus binds to a receptor called ACE-2, which is located in your digestive tract and your lungs. People keep forgetting about the digestive tract. Now, recent studies have shown that close to 50% of people who have COVID-19 or who develop the disease, they actually start with gastrointestinal issues. They tend to have worse outcomes. They go to the hospital later and by the time they show up, they’re sicker. And interestingly, around 30% will present with just mild diarrhea, 85% will present with anorexia, not wanting to eat. And many of these people… You’ve probably been seeing on the news…have you been seen on the news at all about the lack of smell, Katie?

Katie: I have been seeing about that. Where is that stemming from?

Dr. Brown: Well, it’s really interesting because when we were looking at 85% of the people just decide that they’re not hungry. Some ear, nose, and throat doctors were saying, “You know, we’re seeing a lot of people that have lack of smell and their taste is changed and that seems to precede a lot of the other symptoms.” And that’s one of the diagnoses or one of the symptoms that we’re probably missing, like it’s a screening tool. Have you had a cough? Have you had a fever? What I’m asking my patients is, are you smelling things normally? Do you still like to eat and do you have any loose stools? Those are the things because they tend to present earlier. So, it’s something that we’re learning, but it’s really interesting. Now, this is a really change…it’s a paradigm shift on whatever has been saying.

New studies have come out that shows that you can shed the virus in your stool four or five weeks after you quit shedding it in your lungs. And I only bring that up because that is something super important to think about when we’re talking about the possibility of this virus lingering and coming back. A study came out yesterday in the Netherlands that they’re actually finding viral proteins in the sewer system. Once it hit the Netherlands, it wasn’t there before, once it hit, and now they’re finding it. So, very clearly in the stool, this can actually affect people in that way. So, it’s one of those things that we’re probably not paying that close attention to and people need to start looking at the GI tract more. Some people have even been testing negative in their throat swabs and in the PCR. That’s called PCR, when they do the throat swabs, but they’re positive in stool.

So doctors are saying, “Hey look, this person looks like COVID-19. They’re negative. Check their stool.” So, everything comes down to gut health. And that’s why I was so excited when you had Tina on and you guys were talking about that. So, that’s where I’m starting with this. Don’t forget about the gut. Why is the gastroenterologist talking about COVID-19? Because I think that we’re very important to helping people get over this pandemic. So, that’s why I was so excited to hear you and Tina talk about that. Okay. So, knowing that I had a little time on my hands and I’ve got this incredible scientific detective with me, we basically spent countless hours looking at hundreds and hundreds of studies and then trying to link these from 2020 to 2003 and before that. what we’ve been finding, as I mentioned, I consider somewhat extraordinary, but I’m a huge nerd and I want to do the spoiler alert for any of your listeners because if they’re sitting around going, well, I don’t know if I really want to hear this guy talk for this long, I’m just going to give you the nuts and bolts of what we have been finding and then you and I can decide how deep we want to go into each one of these things and the science of it. But once again, we’re going to put all these studies up on our website so that you can follow it basically going through. Does that sound fair?

Katie: Yeah, sounds great.

Dr. Brown: All right. So, I brought up the polyphenols in the beginning because it appears that these polyphenols are actually mother nature’s secret weapon in fighting this disease. And I’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six steps that I think we can make a difference in people’s lives. So, step number one, polyphenols and saponins have been shown to actually kill the SARS-CoV virus.

Number two, they have been shown to block the virus’s ability to bind to our cells, meaning they have to bind to be able to infect it. Step number three, they appear to block the ability of the virus to replicate if it makes it into the cell. So, if the virus can infect the cell, then it’ll block its ability to replicate. A quick side note, the way that works, the virus gets into a cell, hijacks it, makes the cell produce more virus. The cell dies, starts causing an inflammatory process. Step number four, people seem to be dying of a bacterial infection that runs with SARS-CoV-2 called Prevotella, something new that the news is not talking about yet. And proanthocyanidins, which are large polyphenols have been shown to kill Prevotella. Companies since the SARS-CoV virus in 2003 have realized the potential of this and they are now developing polyphenol coated masks and wipes for their antiviral activity.

Couldn’t be more relevant right now since all this protective equipment for our healthcare workers is running low. So, I need to find out what happened with the companies that are actually trying to do that. That was like back in 2014. Looking at this, a German company was realizing that the potential of these polyphenols can bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus so tight that they have developed a quick, rapid and inexpensive test where they take the human fluid and then they soak it in a mixture of some polyphenols, quercetin alluvial, in this case, and if the polyphenols bind to the virus, then they know that that is a clumping and they can see through some filters that that’s positive. So in the beginning, we know that we need to kill the virus. You need to not let the virus into your cell.

If it does get in there, try to not let it replicate, try not to sit there and get an infection by a bacteria that it runs with. This has been known since 2003, so companies have tried to not exploit this, but try to take advantage of that. One is trying to put this into wipes and masks and another company is using it as a rapid diagnostic test instead of using the antibody test. So, that is the cliff notes of the rest of the stuff that we’re going to talk about. And I hope I didn’t just lose everybody, but we’ve got a lot more to talk about. I’m going to leave it with that with you, Katie. What are your thoughts on talking about the steps of the virus and that we have a natural science-based possible adjunct, at least, let’s call it an adjunct, related to these viral processes?

Katie: I think that’s fascinating and I wonder because it seems like we’re seeing kind of two very different case scenarios when it comes to this virus. There are people who they’re saying are completely asymptomatic or it’s so mild that people don’t even necessarily know they have it, like people could present with just like, “Oh my stomach was upset for a little while or I had a headache for a day.” Like very mild symptoms. And then we have people obviously in respiratory failure at the other very extreme end. So, I’m wondering are these factors that are maybe coming into play as far as how it’s expressing in the human body? So, that would be one of my questions. And also, you mentioned ACE-2 and I’d love to just have a little bit more of an explanation on what that is and if there are factors that we can do to optimize that in the lungs to kind of keep our lungs strong.

Dr. Brown: Yeah. So, the ACE-2 receptor, this is what they have determined that the virus binds to ACE-2. It’s on the surface of cells, primarily in the gut and in the lung. So, what the virus does is it will come in and it has to have an enzyme called a protease enzyme that allows it to bind to this ACE-2 receptor. It uses a cholesterol… Now, this is super geeky here, but just follow me for a second because we’ll back up and talk about some different things that we can do in life. So, the ACE-2 receptor binds or it uses this protease. The protease allows it to attach and then cholesterol is used to form a lipid raft to let it slide in. Now, a couple things, the ACE-2 receptor can be up-regulated and down-regulated. We know that the people that tend to have worse outcomes are those with hypertension, diabetes, obesity are the big ones.

So just realizing that if you smoke, oh, and the end smokers, sorry, smokers. If you smoke, you actually up-regulate ACE-2 receptors in your lungs, which means if you get infection, you have more receptors that go, come on buddy, right over here. And they just wave them in. We don’t know what vaping does, but we do know that 30% of these people that get this now have pretty serious disease and they’re between the ages of 25 and 45 and everybody’s trying to figure out why. Why is it that these people have these cytokine storms, and they have these different things? Some people are theorizing we need to tease out the data. Is it vaping? We don’t know that yet. So, another thing is, is that hypertension actually, and there’s a whole schematic of how this works, but when you have high blood pressure, you will actually up-regulate your ACE-2 receptors.

So smoking, high blood pressure and obesity with the cholesterol on that putting it together possibly will up-regulate. So, if we can control those three things, you can down-regulate that. Now, this is a moving target because every day I get on and I’m seeing articles being published, I mean, literally daily because it’s coming from all over the world. So, this is probably going to change and people are looking at ACE inhibitors or ACE-2 receptor blockers. There’s a lot of debate on that. They’re looking at different ways to try and attack that receptor itself. But you need a protease to allow it to attach for starters. One of the things that’s super interesting is that as we age and you have bad dentition… I think you’ve got a really cool toothpaste, don’t you?

Katie: We do. Yeah. We have one. Actually like we use hydroxyapatite which is clinically studied to support the enamel.

Dr. Brown: So, check this out. We’re now… And remember this is like every time I wake up there’s a study where somebody, “And this is what we did.” I’d read something and go, “What the heck?” I’m like, “Wait a minute. I saw something on this.” And then you go back and you go, “What?” So, now people are doing that now and somebody had published recently the age effects in oral bacteria. If you have poor dentition, if you have gingivitis and as we age people tend to have more gingivitis, you will grow more Prevotella in your gums and in the back of your throat. Then, just keep that in mind because we’re going to talk about this Prevotella coming up, then people that tend to have gastrointestinal issues including SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and other issues, they tend to have more Prevotella. And then finally right up Tina’s alley, if you have dysbiosis, meaning that the bacteria in your colon are not really diverse and you have a narrow amount of your own microbiome, that is being linked to hypertension.

Somebody read that and then they analyzed the stool and they show that there’s more Prevotella. So looking back, your question was how do we protect ourselves? Well, your microbiome… All health begins and ends in the gut because I’m a gastroenterologist. That’s what I always say. But looking at this, this could be totally true because if the virus needs this bacteria called Prevotella…it’s like a Bonnie and Clyde situation where they both go together, the virus hops into the bacteria and then hides, and then the bacteria becomes the bacterial pneumonia, which is why so many ER doctors are like, “Man, they were fine three hours ago and now they’re just… We put the endotracheal tube in and there’s frothy stuff coming out.” So, it’s so interesting that we have this group of people with this death rate and so many people that are like, “I might’ve had this already.”

So, the antibody thing is like, like what you were talking about is super important. So, proper oral health care, proper gut health care may actually lead to proper blood pressure and we now know that a narrow microbiome can predispose you to obesity as well. So, all those things actually can kind of play into it. Does that make sense? I’m kind of moving all over the map here. I’m trying to plug in a bunch of different studies that I’ve been reading.

Katie: Yeah, that does make a lot of sense. And you’re right, I think there’s so much information coming from all sources and everybody’s trying to make sense of it right now, but I think you’re absolutely right with starting with gut health because at the end of the day, like you said, this is one virus that could very much come back. And if it doesn’t, we’re still going to see other viruses.

And there’s always…every year, there’s new viruses and there’s the common cold and there’s the flu. So, supporting the immune system is always a good idea. And I think that maybe a silver lining of this is we’ve now got all of this new data and research and focus on ways that we can improve the immune system because as of right now, there is not even a conventional medical treatment for this virus. So, truly our immune system is our first line of defense. And I’m fascinated with the gut side too because I know when we first started hearing about this, it was just upper respiratory and then we found out there is a gut aspect as well. So, it makes sense that if we can start and support the gut from the very beginning that that might actually, you know, change the trajectory of the virus in the body.

Dr. Brown: One hundred percent. So, just saying that, now let’s go ahead and look at some stuff that we could possibly do related to the points that I said. So this is the…I’m going to explain a little bit more about the spoiler alert that I started with. Okay? Let’s look at the antiviral capacity. As it turns out, horse chestnuts and polyphenols had been studied extensively in this. Horse chestnut extract is known as Aesculus hippocastanum, a long word, but what that is, is that’s our horse chestnut extract, which is why I know a lot about this because that’s in Atrantil. So, once I started going down the horse chestnut path I went, holy cow. They are looking at this. This is absolutely crazy. There’s scientists coming out with data. These are in vitro studies, meaning these are labs.

After the SARS-CoV infection in 2004 or in 2003, these guys looked at over 10,000 compounds. This is an academic institution in China, including 200 drugs, 500 protease inhibitors, meaning the drugs that President Trump is talking about right now, and over a thousand natural Chinese herbs. What they determined was two compounds had the most virucidal effect, meaning the ability to kill the SARS-CoV virus, one was a blood pressure medicine called reserpine and the other is [vocalization] horse chestnut extract. Imagine reading an article where you’ve been dealing with this for the last 10 years and you’ve been using it for a totally different reason, and these scientists said, “Hey, yeah, that molecule that you’re familiar with is better than 10,000 other compounds that we tested.” Like, oh my gosh. Well, that’s lucky I guess. So then I start diving further into it, me and Andrew started diving further into it, other studies.

So, another group saw that study and went, “Let’s look at the antiviral effect of horse chestnut in killing RSV,” respiratory, whatever virus, that usually it’s a virus that’s not CoV but it is RSV, so it’s a mouse. It shows that it has the ability to do certain things. The reason why this one was so cool was that they infected mice with RSV and they demonstrated that the horse chestnut extract decreased inflammatory markers, specifically one called IL-6. That’s relevant, Katie, because a study just came out where they now are looking at when somebody shows up to the hospital, if they check their IL-6 level, that is a prognostic sign on whether the patient will need an ICU bed or they’re going to do good. That particular inflammatory marker seems to be something that sets off the cytokine storm.

So I’m reading an article that was done…now these are articles that are done in 2004, 2014, these are lab articles showing this. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, this makes total sense.” So, if you block IL…if you don’t allow the body to overreact, then you’re attenuating this cytokine storm, which is killing young people. Then I’ve found two other studies where they’re looking at other viruses like HSV and dengue and the activity of the extract. These people we’re trying to determine because of the other two studies, are we able to make a drug on this? So, they wanted to pull out the beta-escin portion of it. Just meaning like all things, we see this all the time in traditional medicine, if there’s something that works naturally, then somebody is going to try and figure out how do we extract that molecule and mass-produce a molecule so that we can get a patent, because it’s very hard to patent mother nature.

So they compared the whole chestnut extract versus just what was probably supposed to be a drug. And they determined that when they gave pneumonia to mice, and I’m sorry, I know there’s probably animal lovers out here, but this is a lot of the studies that we get, unfortunately, but when they gave pneumonia to mice, they showed that the whole chestnut extract, the chestnut extract did much better in decreasing the inflammatory markers and the mice had much better clinical outcomes. So, trying to just take one little thing out and go, “Oh, I’m going to make this and just move on.” So, just the straight-up antiviral effect is pretty impressive at least in the lab. And so that was the first step, which is we’re going to have an antiviral effect for you. I mentioned, or you said the ACE-2 inhibitor and then I explained that the way that the virus actually gets attached to the ACE-2 receptor is through a protease.

So, right now there are tons of studies, well, not, over 35 when I last checked, looking at protease inhibitors to try and help the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So, protease inhibitors is what President Trump is always getting on TV and talking, because we’re going to talk hydroxychloroquine and aciclovir, and there’s great studies going on with all these protease inhibitors because that’s what was developed for AIDS to treat AIDS. So, there’s two different studies looking at the anti-protease effect of polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to block the SARS-CoV-2’s ability. So in the first part, I’m referencing SARS-CoV-2003, now I’m talking about the virus that causes COVID-19. Two different studies looked at the anti-protease effect. One looked at 3 antivirals and 11 different polyphenols in different classes.

This showed that the polyphenols were as effective as the antivirals in being a protease inhibitor. So then a group out of Turkey and Pakistan read that and their lab published a comparison where they’re looking at the binding strength of one commercial protease inhibitor compared to 26 polyphenols. The conclusion was 24 polyphenols out of mother nature outperformed the commercial Nelfinavir, which is used in AIDS treatment. So, I loved what happened here. One academic institution said, “We read the data from 2004. We’re going to now do a study on SARS-COV-2,” and then another one said, “We want to know if it binds harder to or not as much,” and it outperformed the antiviral that was there, the commercial antiviral. Have I lost you completely yet?

Katie: No. I mean, that’s really astounding. I’m not surprised that mother nature can outperform, but that’s incredible to know we have those tools.

Dr. Brown: It’s pretty wild, isn’t it? I mean, imagine being somebody who studied these molecules for 10 years and I’m just like uncovering one after another going, “No, no,” and I’m like rubbing my eyes. I’m like, “Am I delusional? Am I in an ICU bed right now intubated and this is how I’m trying to cope with this, that I’m seeing that I can help this?” So, now let’s talk about… So the first one was, it has the possibility of killing the virus. The second one has the possibility of not allowing the virus attach. The third one that I mentioned is don’t allow the virus to actually replicate in your cells. What we do know is that zinc is critical to this, but you can’t just take tons of zinc. You have to get the zinc into the cell. Intracellular zinc is the key to this because we have figured out that if zinc is in the cell, it will block what’s called the RNA polymerase of SARS-CoV-2.

So, when the virus infiltrates a cell it hijacks it. It goes up to the RNA polymerase and says, “I need you to replicate me a billion times.” And the RNA polymerase normally does, well, if you’re in the cell, that makes sense, all right, so they tell the ribosome like, “Hey buddy, we got to start replicating this now.” And then the virus gets replicated. So zinc comes in there and says, “Nope, wait a minute, let me see your security pass,” so to speak. And zinc blocks that from happening. But you have to get the zinc into the cell. And what you need there is called a zinc ionophore. So, a zinc ionophore drives zinc into the cell. Guess what hydroxychloroquine is? We’ve all been talking about the antiviral effects of hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, plus aciclovir, but hydroxychloroquine is a zinc ionophore.

That’s one of the methods that some of these virologists feel that it’s killing the virus or helping some people, driving zinc into the cell. So, we found an article in 2014 which showed that polyphenols like quercetin and ECGC act as zinc ionophores, meaning they drive zinc into the cell. So it pushes it in there. We’re looking at doing a mass drug hydroxychloroquine, which new data’s coming out that it may have a toxic effect on anybody on a diabetic medication called metformin. And there’s reasons for that and it can cause some QT prolongation and it can cause… We can run out of the drug and all these other things. And some researchers showed, “Hey, do you know that these polyphenols that mother nature gave us can actually drive zinc into the cell?” Nobody is talking about this. And I’ve been joking around with my team, I’ll say something and people will blow it off and then a month later the news will be like, we don’t…they’ll say something that I’ve been talking about because, you know, to make it into the news. I don’t know what you have to do or do something, but I’m over here going, okay, so this is all, like, okay. Now wait a minute. There’s no way.

Katie, at times I feel like this time off and when I’ve been doing this, it was either divine intervention or kismet or whatever it is that, fate, but it’s just like one step is leading to the next. So, now, so we’ve talked about that. So now I want to talk about this whole thing about this Prevotella bacteria. Nobody’s talking about it yet, but I’ve been looking at a lot of the data, a lot of the research coming out of China, a lot of these doctors, like we don’t understand how some people crash and burn so fast. New evidence is showing that SARS-CoV-2 virus may have this accomplice called Prevotella, which is why it can be so infectious and people can have really rapid pneumonia, crash and burn in hours. And two studies out of China have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 has the ability to integrate with this bacteria called Prevotella.

The virus can actually…has a way to get into the bacterial species and then it can hide. So when you test for it, you’re negative. But it can get the Prevotella to start replicating itself, one of the theories of these different studies coming out. Prevotella is found in the gut and many patients that are dying of pneumonia are being cultured with a Prevotella bacteria as the cause. Here’s what’s wild. 2017 study in cattle looked at giving quebracho to cattle to see if that helped them gain weight, have better milk production and things like that. Well, the conclusion was that it actually made the cattle much healthier and like an afterthought. I never would have seen this article, afterthought. It was the only interesting conclusion there was after checking the bacterial content of these cattle and they just like aspirated the stomach, the only unique factor was Prevotella species were drastically decreased, adding to the fact that Prevotella can actually cause problems in cattle, so they viewed it as a positive thing.

So, quebracho can actually get rid, or at least in this study has been shown to be bactericidal to Prevotella. Sobrato was the molecule that we studied that I always called the workhorse of Atrantil, but because it’s a large polyphenolic compound that is…that can help get rid of different gases and things like that, and it appears that it’s bactericidal to maybe the co-accomplice of SARS-CoV-2. I imagine you’re going to be hearing more about this in the near future as it starts making mainstream media. Right now it’s all over the academic literature where people are like, that makes sense. This makes sense. So, back up a step. Zinc ionospheres, zinc doesn’t allow it to replicate and the bacteria that it runs with it looks like can at least be killed naturally in cattle in that case. Am I getting too nerdy here?

Katie: No, not at all. I’m just sitting here taking notes. That’s so fascinating. And it makes sense because that would explain why we’re seeing these drastically different outcomes and potentially gives us hope both for testing and treatment that lets us…let people out eventually.

Dr. Brown: Exactly. All right. So, studies are showing that polyphenols act as potent antivirals. So, there’s a company that is looking at infusing polyphenol wipes and polyphenol masks to kill the virus. And their studies showed that viral, not just SARS-CoV-2, the antiviral properties of the polyphenols embedded into wipes and masks actually are potent antivirals. So, if you’re breathing it in, it’s like hitting a bug zapper. That’s the way I was thinking about it. It’s like they’re coming in, they’re running at it and they just go, bzzt, and they’re dead. So, that is really cool because as we run out of equipment, this is an alternative. A German company saw that, well, I imagine that’s the one that they saw, and in 2020 they said, okay, we have all this evidence that these polyphenols can do this and they can bind to the viruses and do this. We should make a rapid SARS-CoV-2 test.

So this is a 2020 test that these guys are trying to mass produce and put out where they were looking at quercetin alluvial in which are large polyphenols. And what they showed is that they can label those polyphenols. They can put a patient sample in that has SARS-CoV-2. And if the polyphenols jump on it, like dogpile it, it’ll clump up and then they view these clumps as the way that it actually binds to it. And so the assumption is that you have SARS-CoV-2. The only other way to do it is to use an antibody against SARS-CoV-2, which is very expensive. So their theory is, look, we’ve got a rapid test, we have…that’s dirt cheap, you know, thing that’s out here called polyphenols and we can actually show it in a cheap, fast way and knock this out. So, that to me is some pretty compelling evidence. What are your thoughts on that?

Katie: That is incredible. And I think hopefully, like you said, calm can be contagious. That’s also I think, a glimmer of hope for a lot of us that, I know there’s a lot of feelings of just kind of like helplessness and feeling like there are no tools against this. So, to know that there are actual studies that show some things that we can have access to that might actually really help and that also support the body in various other ways I think is just a huge glimmer of hope right now.

Dr. Brown: So, my wife, for the last several weeks she’ll just supply me with just articles and articles. I’ve never worked this hard to make zero money and I’ve never been this excited about not making any money and working really, really hard. She’s just like, she was, “You’re like a mad man. You just walk around and be like, ‘Well, wait a minute. The zinc…’” She’s like, “You’re mumbling stuff like zinc and, you know, proteases and this and that, and then you run back to your computer and then you get an email and then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘There it is.’” So, she’s like, “You’re crazy.” She’s like, “You just need to just chill out.” Well, that enthusiasm is because I keep thinking that I’m going to find something that’ll just pull the rug out from under me. And as of yet, I haven’t found that.

And Katie, even if this does not translate to a large double blind placebo controlled trial, we don’t have time for that right now. And quite honestly, if I can save one life either through improving their gut health or possibly taking out the virus, then I have a moral obligation to share this. And I feel so strongly about this that I’ve met with my team and we are building a platform that we’re going to give Atrantil away to frontline healthcare workers who are the current heroes. Hundreds of doctors and nurses have died taking care of people, and we can theorize on that as to why are so many young people and health care workers dying now compared to that it should be a very benign disease in 80% of the people, and I think it’s related to the viral load, I think it’s related to the work that they’re still doing while they are probably exposed, meaning they’re wearing their immune system down, and I think it could also be that the ones that are in the hospital may have a slightly more virulent strain so, they’re self-selecting themselves to be targets.

Currently, because of the way we are in the hospital, I don’t spend a whole lot of time in the hospital, but in New York, they’re doing medical drafts, they’re calling doctors out of retirement. They’re taking specialists like myself and they’re saying, “We need your help in the ICU.” Eric and I just did a show where I specifically asked him, “Let’s do a show where basically you’re giving me a refresher on lung physiology and how to run a vent and all these other things because if I get called in, I want to be prepared and I want to share that show with all healthcare workers who are in that same situation.”

So, we feel so strongly about this that we’re going to give Atrantil to frontline healthcare workers, at least a few hospitals that I have connections with around here. Katie, the way I see it, the worst-case scenario is that they have less bloating and they have better gut health. Best case scenario, we would be able to show epidemiologic changes in infection rates in a zonal area. And if we can do that with hundreds of doctors and nurses in two locations, then that would really perk everybody’s ears up and maybe we’re onto something. If we can do that, then this could be something much cheaper than what other people are doing out there and maybe it could be part of hospital formularies. The risk is low. I mean, we’ve been in business now for five years, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people have taken the product and knock on wood, we have not seen any real bad side effects.

So, we know that this is mother nature’s stuff. We’re not altering it. These are full, large polyphenols. So, the way I see it, the risk is low. The potential for helping might be high and the cost is only to us. When we launched Atrantil, I was totally scared that it wouldn’t work and that the science that we had discovered would blow up in my face. I’m very happy to say that it did work. Now I’m scared again, but we have nothing to lose but money. I feel obligated to do this. And I want to thank you for allowing me to share this for the first time and hopefully if this could actually end up being something that then we would be part of the solution. And I’m really proud of my team. I’m really proud of all the frontline healthcare workers and the first responders because we don’t know where this is going to go. But it would be nice to at least give some advice on how to protect your gut, to help your immune system, and possibly help if you were to ever be exposed.

Katie: Yeah, I think that’s an important point, it’s just to reiterate that these are beneficial things to do anyway. And the other, I guess corollary to that, the question I would have is, what, if any, are the risks or downsides of trying this approach? Because I get frustrated in medicine. I understand wanting to have a double-blind clinical study about everything. But like you said, when time is of the essence, you can’t always do that. And so, I tried to evaluate if this is something that could work with relatively low costs and relatively low chance of anything negative happening, then with a risk-benefit analysis, it seems like a thing you would want to try and just see if it works, but are there any like risk or downsides that you can see of trying this approach?

Dr. Brown: Well, the only downside that I would say is that we don’t really know how this would interact with certain narrow therapeutic drugs. So, what I’ve told all my patients are, if you’re on an anti-rejection drug, I don’t know what it’s going to do. I don’t want your body rejecting anything. If you’re on a blood thinner, we don’t really know what it’s going to do. And that’s strictly because it hasn’t been studied. So, the reason why it’s worked, it’s so convenient and I think beneficial to do the people on the frontline, the nurses and doctors taking care of people is that, number one, it’s their choice.

They have an option to do it or not. Many times, the reason why there was a double-blind randomized placebo control is because the doctor is saying, “Take this to a patient,” and many times the patient, usually, not many times, almost always the patient will be like, “Okay, you’re the doctor,” and they take it. Here it is. This is our reference page. This is why we think it’ll help, prove to us that you are affiliated with an institution that we’re at and we’re just going to send it to you. You can throw it away if you want or not, but my suggestion is to take it at least fairly regular. We have not quite figured out that… I personally am telling people that have asked me this, because there’s…you know, I’m working with a lot of nurses and stuff and they’re all like, you know, “Hey, we heard this podcast that you did and I want some of that. How should I take it?”

And I’m like, “I think we should take it one capsule three times a day.” Because if you’re exposed, just on the mechanisms that I was talking about, do you want to kill it when it’s in there? Do you want to zap the bacteria that it’s hiding in? Do you want to prevent it from attaching to the cell? And just in case it gets in, do you want to make sure that you got that zinc waiting there, checking badges to make sure nobody sneaks through? So, I’m suggesting maybe possibly, and this is based on my experience with this, with… I’m just trying to… You know, it’s more frequency. So, at least three times a day and by doing one bottle, each one of these health care workers will get a full month. And that’s…you know, this is…

And imagine, and you know how it is, I mean, you have a business, imagine sitting with your team and they’re looking at you like you want to give the stuff away? And like, “Yes, I want to give this stuff away.” Because if we can then look back and have somebody say, “Hey look, we saw a little pocket in North Dallas and the health care workers exposed, I’m at one of the hospitals where they’re funneling people to, because we’ve got all the proper equipment and all that stuff,” so, they’re going to be high-risk. And if we can eventually say, “You know, look, I get that it’s a moving target.” But if we can eventually say they chose to do it, they had an option, they signed up, they were not coerced, there’s the studies and it works, well, now we’ve offered some… You know, like I said, I feel like I have a moral obligation. If I end up with egg on my face and it’s completely wrong, well, I at least tried, you know? I mean, it’s the whole… I don’t know. I’ve got a poster in my room with that Theodore Roosevelt famous quotes, and I just want to paraphrase that, and you’ve heard it, it’s a long one, but I always think about it, it is not the critic who counts. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. And if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

So, I’m convincing a lot of people that we need to go this route and if we fail, it’s just my money. That’s the way I view it. So, our frontline healthcare workers are currently the people in the arena, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m one of them and I’m making sure that I’m taking it and I’m making sure that my family takes it. And the next thing, I want to talk about a couple of other things not related to Atrantil that I’m also taking and you and Tina talked about some of that, but I’ve got a couple…I got a couple other things that I think you can add to what you guys talked about also.

Katie: Awesome. Well, and before we move on to that, I love that Teddy Roosevelt quote so much. I have it up in my office actually. And I think I also just want to speak to all the parents listening because you’re a parent as well and I feel like a lot of the parents are also on the front lines of this in the arenas now being teachers and managing everything they would normally manage and trying to maintain that calm that I’m hoping is contagious through this episode. And so I just wanted to give a shout out to all the parents who are working extra hard right now too. And I think we as parents have a unique ability to also, hopefully, not to the degree that medical professionals do, but to affect the outcome as well by keeping our family safe. And so that’s why it was so important for me to have you on today and to talk about some science-backed ways that we can do that with our own families. So, let’s talk about the things you’re using in conjunction with this. And I’d love to hear specifically like what are you doing as a parent? What does your daily protocol look like right now? What does your kids’ daily protocol look like right now?

Dr. Brown: So as a parent, I’m trying to isolate myself because I still have to get exposed a little bit. You know, I’m on call every once in a while and I have to do it. So every time I do that, I really try. I’m sleeping in a different bedroom. I’m trying to do the best I can to, you know, do a decontamination protocol when I walk through the house. I’m trying to do most of my telemedicine and things like that at our studio so that I’m not sitting around the house all day because I feel like I would be the vector right now. And I’m really trying to do that. And so the kids and the protocol, I’m taking it serious. If I’m going to ask other people to do it, I’m doing it also. So, I have not hugged or kissed my wife and kids in several weeks because, you know, I’m talking to people and I realize that, well, what happened…and calm is contagious. I’m not trying to do anything, but, you know, you wake up in the middle of the night and you just go, “If I brought this home and there’s a potential that my kids could lose their mother,” that’s the part that always gets me to stop, wash my hands a little longer instead of… You know, our nature is to be social. Our nature is to, you know, hug somebody when you see them. And I love what you and Tina talked about that you don’t… Just because it’s social distancing, it is not social isolation. So, you can be socially connected to people while being isolated.

And so, I’m doing a lot of Zooms with friends and family. I celebrated a birthday with my childhood friends. We’re all over the country and we all poured a cocktail and told stories for about two hours. And that was a great social engagement when everybody’s on lockdown in LA, Florida, Panama and all these other things. So what I’m doing is I’m doing my part and my wife is doing a great job of…I have a huge tennis family and so, you know, it’s all about tennis. And so as long as they’re not touching anybody or doing anything, they’re still doing their workouts. My son, he’s 15 and he gets a daily workout from the USTA training center in Florida and I did it with him yesterday and I’m like, “Dang, this is hard.” A workout for an elite level tennis player is really hard.

And it was pretty funny. So, we’re still working out. We’re going outside. We’re getting walks, lots of parks. I’m reading a ton and my wife is doing a really good job of cooking everything at home so that we’re not risking any of that either. So, it’s one big supermarket run and then we just go through all that food. So, that’s what we’re doing on a day to day level. What I’m giving my family’s a little bit something and I think that we should talk about…are you cool with talking about what I’m looking at that I have no financial bond to or anything like that? But looking at the science, I feel like that everybody should… Risk low, benefit might be really big kind of thing, are you okay talking about other stuff?

Katie: Absolutely. And I’m right there with you on wanting to just try these things and protect our families any way we can. So, I’ve been taking notes the whole time you’re talking to make sure I can put links to the studies and the products we’re talking about in the show notes, but absolutely dive in.

Dr. Brown: Okay. So, one of my new favorite things that I’ve been using a ton of over the last several months and having tremendous success, I started doing it because they contacted me and we were talking about the association with gut and all that stuff is a product called BrocElite. And you’ve probably heard of it. Like Rhonda Patrick always lectures about sulforaphane. Have you heard of that before?

Katie: Oh yeah, I am. I take broccoli and I actually grow still broccoli sprouts because I love them. But yeah, she’s the best I’ve ever heard on sulforaphane. And then the compounds, glucoraphanin and myrosinase and how those all work together. But basically, yeah, explain to us what sulforaphane is and why it’s helpful right now.

Dr. Brown: Yeah, totally. So, you can get it… Johns Hopkins discovered this molecule that is found in broccoli sprouts. And when a broccoli sprouts up or all cruciferous vegetables, they actually have a very high concentration of this molecule that they actually discovered, which is glucoraphanin. And then when you masticate or you chew on a broccoli sprout, myrosinase converts that to sulforaphane. So, I’ve been playing around with this for years, trying to grow my own spouts, forgetting my house smells like weird stuff or the garage smells weird. I was not very good at that because my times are always way off. So then I get contacted by the CEO of BrocElite. It was actually set up through Michael Lovitch and I sat with his Ph.D., and we were going through and I’m like, holy cow. The biggest problem with this is that it’s almost impossible to make sulforaphane stable. And these guys, I may be speaking out of line here, but I believe they’re the only stable sulforaphane supplement. If you go on Amazon and look, there’s 2000 different broccoli sprout supplements, but it’s usually some version of myrosinase plus glucoraphanin. Do you know of another one? You were going to say something?

Katie: Yeah. No, it’s the only one I’ve ever found as well because it’s such a complicated process. And I’ve talked to the founder as well. It’s an extremely involved thing and it took a whole lot of research to be able to do that. And even like you mentioned, I mean, broccoli sprouts can be a pain to grow. I have a tutorial for anyone who wants to, but then there’s a whole process to actually activate the sulforaphane and make sure that you’re getting it, because you can eat a lot of broccoli sprouts and still not actually get the sulforaphane if you don’t have the right temperature, if you don’t chew it. There’s all these factors that come into play. So, this is the first supplement I’ve ever found that actually has results and test data backing up that it’s bioavailable.

Dr. Brown: Yeah. So it was such a great Zoom call because the Ph.D. clearly was like, “I need to get back to the lab.” Yes. I was like, “Well, how do you know that it’s available?” He’s like, “We checked my Nrf2 levels.” You know I’m just like, “What?” So, what happens is sulforaphane turns on a pathway called Nrf2. Now, Nrf2, Rhonda Patrick goes into great detail about how it is actually a potent anti-inflammatory and it’s also a potent anti-cancer. That’s cool. And Johns Hopkins is looking, or they started a study where they’re looking at how when you turn on the Nrf2 pathway, sulforaphane can actually cross the blood-brain barrier. So, they’re looking at it for autism and things like that. There’s a study, but they’re not looking…they’re not using broccoli to do that.

There’s a different one. So, I’ve been using it in my clinical practice since, you know, since the day I found out about them and I can’t keep the stuff in my office. And so, I use it for gut health and it’s a great combination with Atrantil because as their scientist explained, the polyphenols in it actually help it to be absorbed. So, you’re like, “Okay, great. So you like it.” Well, here’s what’s… Once again, what the heck? So, we discovered there’s data to show that sulforaphane turns on the Nrf2 pathway, which actually hits a different surface protease, which is activated by something called a transmembrane serine protease 2. So, they get really sciency on this, but basically it can actually down-regulate the expression to prevent the virus from binding. So, I explained to you that there’s studies to show that polyphenols will bind the protease.

It appears that sulforaphane turns a gene on where they just start closing the doors or they start decreasing the amount that’s there. Earlier you said, “How do we protect ourselves?” I said, “Well, if you smoked, you’re going to up-regulate those receptors.” Here you’re down-regulating those receptors. So that’s one way. And then they actually determined that there’s something called SLP one, which when it’s expressed what it does, and when Eric and I did the show, he explained how when you get an infection in your lung, you go through this inflammatory cascade and a neutrophil, will come in and that’s good and bad. It’ll help kill. But sometimes it breaks down the tissue around it. And that’s how we get these massive pulmonary things. By turning on SLP one, it actually decreases the pulmonary damage by sort of controlling the amount of damage being done by that.

So I went, “Holy cow.” So, my kids are on that. And clearly, it’s like when you start looking at this stuff… I’m a huge fan of CBD. I’ve been into CBD for years and years and years and I don’t have all the science on that because I just started looking into it the last couple of days because I want it… Is there any possibility of that…? I tell all my patients, “Hey, these are anxious times. CBD helps with my anxiety.” And then Angie sent me several articles this morning, which I haven’t gotten to, I was like, “Hey, I’m going on Wellness Mama. Do you think that there’s there anything with CBD?” And then she already sent me some stuff where it’s like it attenuates the inflammatory response specifically IL-6 and I’m like, “Dang, cool.” Our own endocannabinoid CBD specifically increases that. And then the final thing would be melatonin. So, I take melatonin every night. Yes, it helps you sleep. But it also shows that it’ll decrease IL-6 now. So, IL-6 is the inflammatory mediators. So hopefully if, God forbid, if I were to ever get any type of SARS-CoV-2 infection, I’m locked and loaded and…you know, with these different things. So, that’s my little combination there. Atrantil, BrocElite, melatonin, and CBD is what I had my family on and all my patients. So…

Katie: Yeah, we’re on a very similar protocol. I am giving…

Dr. Brown: Oh, I’m sorry. And vitamin D and vitamin C, exactly what you and Tina talked about.

Katie: I was going to say, I am giving them vitamin C and vitamin D and I know it’s controversial, but I am making sure that we are all outside in our own yard but in the sunshine for like a moderate amount of time, not ever sunburn, but…

Dr. Brown: Yeah, for sure.

Katie: That’s also…like light signaling is an important thing for immune health. And also vitamin D is so important and several of us have vitamin D mutations so we don’t absorb it well via supplement so I’m also making sure we’re spending time outside but exactly the same as you. And I will actually write out that protocol that I…and we took Atrantil anyway, but now I’m making sure to be very regular about it in light of all of this.

Dr. Brown: Yeah, pretty well. Yeah. Eric and I did a whole show on why we think these supplements based on science with references and stuff like that. So, yeah.

Katie: Awesome. So, I will have all of those resources linked in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. I know many people listen to podcasts while they’re exercising or driving. So if you are doing that, don’t worry about writing it down. You can find everything in the show notes there, including links to Atrantil. And I love that you guys are also using this as a way to get this in the hands of medical professionals because…and I think you’re delivering on your promise about calm and hope being contagious because you’re right, if we can start showing an effect in medical professionals in certain areas and bubbles, that actually gives us data to hopefully like improve this and all of us get out of our houses eventually. So, you guys are taking it to the frontlines like that.

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This podcast is sponsored by BLUblox. That’s B-L-U-B-L-O-X, which is an advanced light-filtering eyewear company. You’ve probably seen pictures of me on social media wearing orange glasses of various types at night. And here’s why. In nature, we aren’t exposed to certain types of light after dark, specifically, blue light, because that type of light signals the body that it’s daytime. That in turn suppresses melatonin and can interfere with sleep. This is the reason that a really dramatic study found that camping for seven days straight with no artificial light at all could actually completely reset and heal circadian rhythm and help a lot of light-related problems, like seasonal affective disorder. This is also the reason that I wear orange glasses after dark to block these types of light and protect my sleep, which I am adamant about protecting. I also wear certain types of yellow glasses and anti-fatigue glasses during the day if I want a computer to reduce eye fatigue. BLUblox has orange glasses and yellow glasses. Their orange glasses for nighttime wear are designed to block 100% of the wavelengths between 400 nanometers and 550 nanometers, which are the ones that are studied to interfere with sleep and melatonin production, and circadian rhythm. My kids also wear these kinds of glasses at night. And I noticed a difference in their sleep as well, which is a huge win for a mom. This is especially important when we’re watching a family movie at night or looking at any kind of screen as the artificial light, there is a source of blue light and can interfere with sleep. You can learn more, they have a ton of educational content and check out all of their innovative protective glasses by going to blublox.com/wellnessmama and using the code wellnessmama to save 15%.

Dr. Brown: Hey, super quick. Not to interrupt, but I realized we’re probably going a little over than you normally do, but your team sent me three questions.

Katie: Yes, those are the ones I usually wrap up with. Are you up for those now?

Dr. Brown: I’m up for those.

Katie: Okay. The first being, what are a few things about your area of expertise that most people don’t know or understand?

Dr. Brown: Okay, so I’m a gastroenterologist. Most people don’t realize that your gut can affect just about everything. And so because of that, when I’m in clinic, I really do have to play detective and ask all kinds of questions and people wonder why I’m asking about their skin or why I’m asking about their sleep, but because that helps me determine is there an underlying gastrointestinal cause or if your gut is not healthy, is that causing your psoriasis and things like that. And the thing that people don’t realize is they’re like, “Man, why would you like to be a gastroenterologist?” Well, number one, I get to do that. I get to play detective and I have to keep sharpen a lot of things. But number two, I basically get to play video games in people’s digestive system and save their lives by taking out polyps and stuff like that. So, that’s how come I want to be…that’s how come I am a gastroenterologist and people are like, “Yeah, it seems like a horrible job.” I’m like, “It’s the best job in the world.”

Katie: That’s awesome. Yeah. And I think like things like this, it just illustrates more and more that the gut is so, so important to all aspects of health.

Dr. Brown: Yeah. What was the second question?

Katie: Okay. The second is, is there a book or a number of books that have had a really dramatic impact on your life? And if so, what are they and why?

Dr. Brown: So, this is the one where I was…I stared at and I did the normal thing. When you talked about Viktor Frankl “Meaning of Life”, I’d read that one in high school and had to do a report on that. And I was like, yeah, that was a good book. And then I started thinking, I’m like, “What affected my life?” So when I was in sixth grade, I went to a Catholic grade school and we were assigned to go into the library and check out a Pulitzer Prize-winning book. And I chose… And like I was not a good student up until college. I was a really bad student. I was lazy and I said, “Oh, I found a children’s book written in the 1930s. It was a Pulitzer Prize-winning and it was called The Cat That Went to Heaven.” And I thought it would just be like, sweet, I pulled one over on them. And then I did this whole book report, which ended up being massive and huge. And I get called in with all these nuns and they’re like, “Why did you do this?”

I’m like, “I thought it’d be easy,” but I wrote a really long book report. As it turns out, that book is all about Buddhism and acceptance and expanding your mind and things, but you have to really read between the lines. And then a nun said, “I think this book chose you.” And that kind of started…because I was super, super, super, you know, Catholic and didn’t see anybody else’s view. And that was the first time where I went, “Huh, the book chose me.” And that’s the basis of the book. And so a children’s book changed my reference of the world when I was in sixth grade. And since then, I’ve just been on a journey to sort of accept and be open.

Katie: Wow. That is definitely a new one. That’s fascinating. And lastly, any advice that you want to leave with our listeners as parting advice today?

Dr. Brown: For everyone listening, just realize that I see a lot of people’s insights. I look at a lot of colons, old, young, professional models, people that are struggling with their weight, any race, you can name it. And here’s something that you can always just rest on if you see somebody that’s bothering you or whatever, your insides look exactly like their insides. So, take everything with a grain of salt.

Katie: I love that. I love some humor and perspective to end. I think that’s perfect and I really appreciate you and all of the work you’re putting in right now in research and also on the front lines of medicine and I was just so grateful for you for having these products available to us and also to medical professionals. I am also really hopeful that we will hopefully find some strategies and see an end to all of this soon and that we can hopefully help a lot of people in spreading this information. But thank you for your expertise and for your time today.

Dr. Brown: Thank you, Katie. It’s just amazing what you’re doing out there. And I know that your audience really leans on you and you take the time to try and find proper guests. You take the time to do your own research, so, thank you for everything that you do.

Katie: Oh, thank you. And as always, thanks to all of you for listening and for sharing one of your most valuable resources, your time with both of us. We’re so grateful that you did today. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama” podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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