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How Nutragen Helps Reduce Inflammation with Dr. Bruce Howe
What have you got going on over there?
I feel great, Taylor. I’m full.
You made us lunch.
I cooked for us for the first time.
What did you make us?
A Nutragen shake and it was awesome.
What was in it?
It was good. The protein from the Nutragen, the blueberries, papaya, flax seeds, hemp seeds, the Nutragen green blend, the pure digestion and the liver cleanse. We got a little bit of everything, some almond butter and then almond milk. It was a full meal. It’s everything you need. It’s like having six salads and a big protein.
We’re getting our protein. We’re getting detox. We’re building the microbiome, which is communicating with the brain to make us happy. It’s this simple, one-stop shop not to have to think about much and you get this amazing foundation of nutrition. From that, you can do whatever you want in terms of your other meals. I’ve loved these shakes and I’ve never been a shake guy before.
It’s designed by a chiropractor and I love them because they’ve healed me in. Why not get behind someone who’s a natural healer and somebody who understands the nervous system and brain repair? Let’s go ahead and support him for everything he is doing.
Beyond being a chiropractor, he looked at his practice and said, “There are certain people who aren’t recovering like I’d like them to. What’s going on?” He went on this great investigation into inflammation, which is in his words this root cause of most diseases or chronic diseases that people are dealing with. He designed this amazing little product line around reducing inflammation and helping give the body all of the essential components it needs to build healthy cells.
What I love too about him is he simplified it. He made it easy for us. Instead of us taking eighteen supplements, this med and that med, he made it all in one easy daily protocol, which is simple. You throw it all in a shake and you take it.
You’re living proof. You can even do it with one hand. It’s relevant to your community. It’s important to be able to do things with one hand if you’ve had a stroke.
You play with the best deck of cards that you’re given or you’re born with. You make it work. The way I look at life, you find the perfections in the imperfections every day. We’re not perfect, but we can strive to be better. We’ll keep going.
We’re never going to be perfect. That’s a pipe dream. If you’re open-minded and you’re dedicated to growing in whatever way is presented to you because we’re all doing different stuff. That one of the premises of this show is there are certain things that we can all do, but there are certain things that it’s up to us to experiment with, explore and figure out what works for us. We’re all different. We’re all here doing different things. It’s important for us to all explore and be open-minded to whatever that growth looks like.
I’m learning to accept myself for this moment in time and it’s okay to be where I’m at. We keep improving every day.
That’s been a journey in and of itself.
It’s been a hardship. It’s been tough.
What’s helped you the most in terms of reaching that acceptance?
I never thought I would ever say it in my life, but to meditate has been profound to help me find my peace within myself.
If you had to describe to our community how to meditate, what would you say from your experience?
I shut my eyes. I do guided or I’ll do something where for ten minutes or twenty minutes twice a day, it’s my time. Whatever thoughts that come in my mind, they come, they may stay and they may leave. I’ll do all things in my meditation and I’ve learned to be okay with it. Before I thought you had to meditate for a certain way, you have to fold your knees, you have to hold your hands in a certain position. Your chest has to be upright. None of that means anything. Shut your eyes and go inward. Inward, I run, I use both hands, I fly, I do whatever I want.
To me, a big part of meditation is this creative, imaginative, explorative place where anything is possible. It’s the Matrix but it’s the Matrix that has an impact on your life. The thought of the things that you think affect you physically.
What’s great about this show is I’m bringing on a new friend of mine who’s our hugging buddy, Dr. Bruce Howe. You will understand why as he comes on the show.
The other thing before we go talk to him and let him share his wisdom with us is he shared this having the attitude of gratitude. To me, that’s important because it’s grateful no matter what’s happening. It relates to what you were talking about with acceptance is looking for that one thing to be grateful in the day. Some days that’s challenging.
You make me smile. You take a stand for people like me and you’re on the show with me because you believe in us and you can relate to us. Thank you, Taylor.
I’m going to throw a bunch of gratitude out to all of our readers and our community who’s helping us along the way by reading, by sharing this episode. If you love the content in this episode or any of the episodes, make sure and share it with someone who might need to read it. If you share this, you never know what might happen in terms of shifting someone’s life. I’ve had moments like that where people send me a book or a podcast and I read it or listen to it, all the sudden I’m on a whole different track in life. If you know someone out there who may or may not be going through a rough time but needs to read something new and a fresh perspective, share this blog. Let’s go talk to Dr. Bruce Howe.
Dr. Bruce, how are you doing?
I’m doing fantastic. Thank you for asking.
For our audience, let them know a little bit about who you are, what you do and then we can go from there.
First of all, I’ve been involved in the chiropractic profession for many years as well as in the area of nutrition. I’ve treated thousands of patients over the years. I have authored a book called Body on Fire: Six Proven Steps to Extinguish Inflammation. That’s been one of my journeys is dealing with inflammation not only in my practice, in my family and people that I love as well as my own personal journey. I would say in lieu of all that, more importantly, I’m a husband and I’m a father. One of the things that we want to talk about now is the importance of incorporating healthy nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, proper hydration, reducing stress, the importance of sleep, etc.
We talk a lot about having a positive attitude and as important as that is because we do know a positive attitude can impact our brain chemicals in a positive way. Something that I have found equally important is what I call a gratitude attitude. Each and every morning I get up and I do what’s called a gratitude walk. I take my dog and I. I go out on a gratitude walk. Get to thank God for all the little things that we often take for granted. The ability to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to smell, to feel the things that we take for granted each and every day. I also ask, “How can I be a blessing to someone now?” When you do that, it’s amazing when that opportunity arises how the blessings come back to you. It’s not that you asked for it, they just do. Sean and Taylor, I want to acknowledge the two of you because I truly believe that you guys are a blessing to people every day because you care and you want to make a difference in the world. You are lawyers. Sean, what you have gone through and the attitude that you have continued to maintain and persevere over the years is admirable. I want to acknowledge you guys for that.
I’ve come to know one of the guys on my walk who has Parkinson’s. I hadn’t known him for many years. During my gratitude walks, I said, “Wayne, I want to make a pact here that each and every day we see each other, that we give each other a hug. We have something to laugh about.” Laughter is great medicine. He’s become my hug buddy. When you hug somebody, it releases a chemical in your body called oxytocin. That’s known as the good mood chemical. When you release that good mood chemical, it’s a great way to start out the day or any time of the day. You guys are my distant hug buddies.
My stance with what you do, the chiropractic world, I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart. The surgeon saved my life, but doctors like you put me back together to be able to see, hear, stand, walk and be independent again. If it wasn’t for doctors like you, I don’t think I’d be doing this show. The gratitude is right back to you and thank you.
Why did you originally get into chiropractic?
Even prior to my interest in chiropractic, it started when I was a kid. We had a large plot of land. We had a vegetable garden, berries and a full orchard. My dad was the original juice man. He used to take all these different things from the garden and he used to juice them. He was the old Acme juicer. You had the plunger. You push it down and the juice, all the fiber and everything come out. It was like, “You want us to drink this, dad?” As a kid, I didn’t like those concoctions.
He used to take the sugar off the table and put the true honeycomb on the table. You got the honey, but you got to chew the wax for gum and granola. He planted the seed early on. That seed has always been there. With chiropractic, I had experience of injuries playing high school and college sports. It was aggressive. I played ice hockey in college. Basically, through some of the injuries, I tried the traditional approach. I did the whirlpools, I did the therapy, I got on the pain meds, etc. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the team chiropractor who examined me and said, “You’ve got more than just a minor injury here that can’t continue to put a Band-Aid on it and drug yourself with pain meds or taking whirlpool. You’ve got more of a problem than that. You’ve got some nerve interference here that if we don’t reduce that by treating you, it’s going to be a chronic problem for you.” That was my introduction. It solved my problem and it wasn’t a Band-Aid approach. That was the initial introduction.
Where did you go from there? You ended up getting into more of nutrition. How did you get from chiropractic into nutrition?
When I was in chiropractic, one of my science classes was known as Histology. This professor was terribly boring but extremely knowledgeable. In the classroom at that time, you know the auditorium types where the seats are like a movie theater and it’s hard to get away with anything without your professors seeing you. I used to doze off in that class a few times. All of a sudden, he’d call me out. He said, “Howe,” and I’d wake up. I’d get a nudge from the person next to me. This is probably the third time that I get called out and the guy next to me nudges me to wake up. I realized I’m probably drooling on the defensive linebacker’s shoulder. Not only is he going to beat the tar out of me after class, but the professor, Dr. Silverman, calls me up in front of the class at the end of the class. He says, “Howe, I noticed you dozing off during the class. What’s going on with you? Are you not getting enough sleep? What are you doing with your diet?”
I’m doing like most people are doing in college. You’ve got a limited budget. You’re going for the mac and cheese, the pizza and the beer. If you know guys that are bartenders, you get free beer and peanuts. That was a turning point for me that I began to realize that as I made changes in my diet, all of a sudden my focus, my energy levels, everything seemed to improve considerably. In addition to that being a turning point for me, I started getting excited while I was taking some of the nutrition courses in chiropractic college.
When you first started doing chiropractic after that, did you start offering nutrition right away or did you start practicing chiropractic?Inflammation is the underlying case of the majority of diseases today. Click To Tweet
I didn’t immediately other than encouraging people to eat better. What I noticed was as great as my results were by offering chiropractic care, I began to question why some people weren’t getting better no matter what I did with chiropractic care. I realized that I needed to offer more to have an impact on inflammation. That was another turning point for me in my practice as I began to educate people then more about nutrition, more about dietary supplements. That was a huge turning point.
For everyone reading who might not be as knowledgeable about inflammation as you are, let them know, in your words, what inflammation is and why we should care about it.
Inflammation is the underlying cause of the majority of diseases nowadays. First of all, it’s important to understand that we have both acute inflammation and we have something known as chronic inflammation. With acute inflammation, it’s our body’s natural response to some type of injury. You’ve got a cut, a bite, a strain, a sprain, postural stress, repetitive stress injuries, spinal misalignment, etc. They can be some of the signs of an acute inflammatory situation. The usual signs are pain, heat swelling or redness. There’s usually some loss of mobility. There are other things like poor diet, environmental toxins, lack of exercise, poor sleep habits and stress, etc.
Those can all cause your inflammation to get out of control and that can lead to chronic inflammation. That fuels the fire. That’s when your body’s natural response to this prolonged stress, which comes from your diet or other lifestyle/environmental factors that we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Be it pollutants from the air or the water and the foods that we consume, which are a lot of processed foods and sugars, etc. In some of the causes of inflammation and some of the dietary foods that cause inflammation, it is particularly dangerous because this affects all the systems of our body and increases our risk for a lot of unnecessary pain, suffering and unhealthy aging.
You touched on something that’s important in there is realizing that beyond the acute inflammation injuries, there are many factors in our environment that are affecting us beyond what we’re eating. That’s an important note because a lot of people will think, “If I watch what I’m eating, then that’s taking care of the main thing.” We’re telling us that these other factors, your environment, your exercise, your sleep are all contributing factors. It might not be just that one piece.
Of the number of things, whether it’s the deficiencies in our diet or lack of exercise, even prescription of medications or even over-the-counter meds can have a significant impact on causing inflammation. The reverse of what they’re supposed to be treating.
I want to get a deeper understanding of how you first start getting into studying inflammation specifically beyond chiropractic, beyond nutrition. Was there a catalyst to you wanting to understand this one specific area on a deeper level?
It was more or less the importance of seeing what my patients were going through and understanding that. Some of my patients were responding and we couldn’t adjust it out, rub it out, stretch it out, etc. There had to be something beyond it that was contributing to this inflammatory process. As you look at the diseases of aging and the many diseases that we have in America now with incredible crisis care that we have for these acute injuries, we’ve got a great emergency room, etc. When it comes to some of the chronic diseases, as a nation, we happen to lead many other nations when it comes to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and the list goes on and on. Why is it that we have all of these diseases and we’re simply putting a Band-Aid approach on them with another new pharmaceutical drug coming out on the market? If you look at the side effects of these drugs in and of themselves, they’re not only toxic but oftentimes they cause more harm than good. In many cases, they cause death.
What you’re touching on there and this is what we believe as a team is we want to address these foundational root aspects of health. What you’ve done in your work and through the companies you’ve created is you’ve taken this foundational root cause of many potential diseases out there and said, “Let’s focus on addressing everything that leads to inflammation.” When we start to do that, all the symptoms are able to resolve naturally because we’ve gotten rid of that one block in the pipe or log in the road. Once you get the log out of the road, everything’s going to flow a little bit better. You’re attacking this foundational element of health and that’s my goal. All the work that I’ve done with people over the years is let’s remove the distractions and let’s do the foundational things first. If those don’t fix the problem, we can start looking at seeing the specialists, the experts and all the more esoteric stuff that’s out there.
We’re all ultimately going to leave this Earth. We’re all going to die. What is it that we can do to optimize our genetic potential between now and that time? If you were to ask anyone, do they want to live to be 100? A lot of people would say, “No way. I don’t want to live to be 100.” Why? It’s because they know a lot of people in their 70s to 90s are decrepit. They’re struggling with their own health. I don’t think anybody wants to experience that, but if you ask somebody that’s extremely healthy, living a healthy lifestyle, would they like to live to be 100 and be healthy? If they could be healthy, still experience a healthy lifestyle, be exercising and doing some of the things that people in their 70s are doing when they’re 100. You’d have a lot of people saying, “If I knew that I was going to live a healthy lifestyle, what would I do differently? If I could live to be a 100, what would I do differently?”
The thing that popped into my head is I’ve heard this saying, it’s thinking about not necessarily adding more years to your life but adding more life to your years. That’s what you’re getting at is not only do you want to live longer, but you want to live with vitality. You want to live with vibrancy. You want the quality of life throughout.
Doctor, I have a question for you too because after going through everything I’ve been through and talking to the people, stroke, etc. What difference do you have with Nutragen with inflammation versus other companies that are on the shelf or that we can find online? Why Nutragen?
I want to start off by basically saying the reason for creating the Nutragen line of products was to keep it simple and to offer certified organic whole food nutrition. All the products that we carry have ingredients in there that have been shown to reduce inflammation in addition to providing multiple benefits. One of the main things is to help the reduction of inflammation. We always take the high road at Nutragen. We do that by recommending that people eat, whenever possible, certified organic whole food nutrition, healthy proteins, carbs and fats. Our government has spent years educating us simply on getting the importance of, at one time, five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables.
Now, that’s seven to nine servings of brightly colored fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens. Even with all that education, only one in ten are doing it. I said, “What if we could take some of the guesswork out of it and make it simple that we’re offering certified organic whole food nutrition that’s gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and lectin-free. Why? We want to reduce the inflammatory process. For many people that have an inflammatory condition out there, these are some of the things that can contribute to inflammation whether it be soy, dairy, gluten or lectins, etc. The fact we’re not offering up multiple bottles of pills after pills. This is whole food nutrition in the powdered form that’s reconstituted in water or your favorite low-calorie almond milk, coconut milk or something like that you can mix it with. That’s the benefit of our product line in addition to being healthy for the body. It’s also healthy for the planet in our packaging because we don’t expose our ingredients to plastics that oftentimes leach into the food and can cause issues with some of our major organs such as our thyroids, prostate and even breast in individuals.It is not always about adding more years to your life but adding more life to your years. Click To Tweet
All the plastics that a lot of products come, they mess with the entire endocrine system. All the glands in the body and they disrupt our hormonal rhythms and it’s overtime consistently doing that. It can wreak havoc in the system.
Even some of the ones that say BPA-free, you have to realize that when these products are being shipped all over the nation and they’re being shipped in trucks that oftentimes exceed temperatures of 110 degrees. You can imagine that the release of the chemicals in the plastics would definitely have been shown to leach into the different ingredients. That’s one of the reasons why we have stayed with our bio compostable and our glass type of containers, even though it costs significantly more for us to have to do that. We want to offer the crème de la crème in our product line.
What you’re getting at is the quality and purity of your products is at the top of your mission.
It’s authentic too. The integrity of the whole thing, the packaging is awesome. I’ve seen the change in the product line and it is amazing what you guys are doing and taking it upon yourself to be responsible.
Why is that important to you? How did you come to designing this product in such a special way?
Having started two previous companies and not taking that into consideration at that time, some of the materials were not available. Some of the bio compostable materials were not available. Even many of the ingredients that we have in our products, which are USDA certified organic, were not available at the time. I said, “As we continue to evolve as a company, we want to offer what we believe is the best of the best out there.” As important as our ingredients are, we felt that our packaging was as important too. As I began to dig into some of the research out there and realized that many of these things were leaching into our ingredients, I said, “Let’s find ways in which we can package our products that will not have an impact on our ingredients.”
We certainly appreciate you guys taking the time, the effort and spending the money to do that. I believe in my own life is that if you want your body, if you want your whole brain, everything to work at the highest level, you have to be putting in the best ingredients. You wouldn’t put frying grease in your race car and expect it to run right.
I decided earlier on that we wanted to offer the best products that I would take and that I recommend to my family, people I love and friends in the world. I made it also a mission to source all of our ingredients. I source all of them. I’ve traveled overseas on many occasions to meet with the farmers who are growing certified organic ingredients that we use in our products to audit the manufacturing facilities which are doing the manufacturing of the products that we acquire. When it comes to your cars, you want to put the best fuel in there. You’re driving a Ferrari. You better put high octane fuel in there. When you’re buying a car, it’s also important to kick the tires. You’ve got to lift up the hood, examine the engine and take it for a test drive. That’s what I do when I’m sourcing ingredients for our Nutragen line of products. I go to different places and I kick the tires, lift up the hood and make sure that the companies that we’re dealing with are practicing good manufacturing practices. That they’re certified organic and they’re following all the standard operating procedures that we importantly include in our product line.
That’s something I would do. Go check and see if they’re doing things right. I often wonder, I’m in the store and you see something that’s labeled organic and you have to trust that it’s true. Sometimes you’re not certain if it’s just marketing or if they’re taking the time to bring a quality product to market. You’re going out and doing that is valuable for people who are investing in your products or investing any product because you want to know that you’re not being lied to. There’s probably a certain degree of deception going on, especially in the food marketing world. Where did you guys start with Nutragen? Was there a first product or did you design the whole foundational line all at once?
We started with our superfood, our Pure Greens because we realized that one out of ten Americans is getting the number of servings of fruits and vegetables. It used to be five to seven. Now they go up to seven and nine. When people were getting five to seven, how are you going to up it to seven to nine when they’re not getting five to seven? That was the impetus to come out with a superfood product that had a variety of these different ingredients in it that had not only the organic wheat grass juice powders and organic barley grass juice, chlorella and spirulina for detoxification and the high chlorophyll levels. The broccoli, the spinach, carrots, the green teas and the resveratrol that’s found in red wine that has been shown to help with cardiovascular issues. Blueberries are good for the brain and whole grain is good for the heart. Artichoke and milk thistle are great for the liver and for detoxification. A whole-body support system is the concept with our Greens superfood product. We’re wanting to make it certified organic, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and without sugars.
You put all this stuff in the superfoods. Why eat lettuce or vegetables if I can eat your food? Why do I need practical food then?
If people were consuming seven to nine a day, that’d be one thing. We know they’re not. In addition to the green leafies and whatnot that we have in our products and some of the different fruits and vegetables in our product, we do have things to support our cardiovascular system, hawthorn berry and organic pomegranate, things that help support our blood glucose levels or cinnamon. We have a special mango fruit that has been shown to help balance blood sugar levels and increase microcirculation in the body and things to help reduce inflammation.
It tastes great too your new flavors. I give it to my kids, my twelve-year-old and my nine-year-old. You know how hard it is to give our kids the vegetables, the fruits, the blueberries, the leafy greens. They don’t want it. I mix it in their drinks and they go, “Dad, we love this.” I’ll make a point to our audience, if you go to the market and cost it out of what it’s going to take you to get as much food in your body versus what you guys give in a tablespoon, you’re cheaper and easier.
Have you guys ever bought a juicer?What you eat affects which nerve chemicals are going to be dominant in your brain. This affects how you're going to feel. Click To Tweet
I’ve never bought one. I briefly owned one.
Do you know of a number of people that have probably bought them? If you were to ask them now where they are, what do you think they’d say?
The person who gave me theirs, it was in my hands and now it’s in Gloria’s hands, who’s our producer over here. It’s on its 3rd generation.
That’s my point. As wonderful as they are and we applaud people who are willing to take the time to do that. Number one, it takes an enormous amount of time to buy all those organic fruits and vegetables, etc. Bring them home, clean them up, juice them, clean your juicer, put it away and make sure that your fruit and vegetables don’t go bad on you to the next time you juice again. You can go out and buy these juices now. They’ll cost you about $10 a pop. A lot of them have a lot of apple juice in them, which is high in sugar. That’s their sweetener. They add a few other things. They’re going to add some spinach, broccoli and a little lemon juice in there, maybe a little ginger and turmeric. You can pay $10 for that and you’re not going to get near what you’re going to find in a product like Pure Greens. That’s loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants, etc. from a variety of 40 some different ingredients. That is one of the impotence of a juicer and that’s something rarely taken out because it’s much more convenient. We’re offering much more than simply what you’d be able to juice in the juicer.
I’ve never used the juicer after my parents gave it to me because I was afraid of the cleanup process. I used it once or twice. You have to take 30 pieces apart to clean it. It sounds to me like in the process of creating these products. You’re probably having a lot of fun researching and experimenting. Was that true?
It was a passion. I try to hit on something that I believe would be acceptable. If you put something in your mouth and all of a sudden, it’s like, “This tastes like somebody mowed the grass and put the lawnmower clippings in here. It’s swamp water.” It’s like, “Who wants to take it again?” Compliance is a big issue. If you can deliver something that tastes pleasant enough that people are going to want to take more than once, you’re definitely going to provide them some significant benefits with the product. If they’re going to take it once, you’re not going to see a lot of benefits.
I’ve been doing random health stuff in my life for a long time and I’d experiment. I’m constantly trying new things. It was the first time someone introduced me to spirulina powder like, “It’s this amazing green superfood.” I was like, “I’ll buy that, start taking it and we’ll see what happens.” I remember the first thing I ever did with it was I took raw dried spirulina and I mixed it in a glass of water. I stirred it up and started drinking it. I took a few gulps and I’d nearly vomited because it tastes like you’re drinking out of a pond. It tastes like you’re drinking pond water. After that, I transitioned into trying a bunch of different greens powders because it has to taste good or else you’re not going to keep showing up. I learned the hard way. Don’t drink raw spirulina in water. It doesn’t work.
You brought up a good point and something that you’re probably aware of. We’ve seen some of these products in the market. We’ve never bad mouthed any companies or products out there. There is a bit of a difference in some of the ingredients that we have. For instance, in our Greens, we don’t use grasses like you’ve seen a lot of these products have barley grass. They have wheat grass. They have oat grass. The grasses are gluten-free because they haven’t matured to a grain. Think about grinding up a bunch of grass, putting that in a bottle. Think about taking the grass and squeezing it or juicing the grass. What you’re getting out of the grass is all the nutrients, the grass, the byproduct after you’ve juiced this fiber. It takes twenty parts of grass. Think of twenty pounds of grass to make one pound of a concentrated juice that is full of nutrients. If you take that juice and dry it, which is what we’ve done and put that in the bottle compared to taking the grass. Simply grinding that up after it’s dried and putting that into a bottle. Which do you think is going to have more nutritious value to it?
It’s the juice clearly. That’s a cool distinction to make because what you’re saying is we took the best part of it, concentrated it and we put that in the superfood versus grinding up a bunch of grass. The grass is like filler. I would make the distinction. I’m a big fiber person. I’m usually an advocate for eating fiber, but the grass is not the type of fiber our bodies digest.
Cows have a lot of stomachs. That’s why they can digest grass well. We’ve only got one.
You were talking about the importance of the type of protein that you guys are sourcing. I’d love to hear more about that because I’ve not done that deep of a dive into what types of proteins are the best.
A couple of things to address are the importance of protein. Everybody needs it whether you’re an athlete, somebody with an active lifestyle or a person that is doing gardening. We need it because of the demands that are placed upon our body on a daily basis, whether they are physical or mental. We need extra protein for muscle repair, recovery, strength, energy and performance. It’s important because protein makes enzymes, it makes hormones and it’s the building blocks for our bones, our muscles and cartilage. If you’re deficient, you can’t repair rapidly enough. That leads to inflammation and acute inflammation eventually leads to chronic inflammation. Have you ever noticed that after you’ve had a high carb lunch that you feel sluggish?
You’re slow. It’s horrible. You’re bloated. It’s terrible.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat protein in the middle of the day, it probably keeps you a little bit more alert in the afternoon?80% of our immune system resides in our gut. Click To Tweet
I did a fast only with your product, the Nutragen. As hard as it was not to eat food and I did my shake so I still added some stuff to it, but it was wonderful and I felt great. I lost weight. I had more energy than I did with having a big meal, even with veggies and protein. It was sustainable. I shared that information with Taylor and with Thai Starkovich, our partner here. Your product is awesome. There are moments where if I miss a meal or if I’m hungry, I’ll go right to your shakes and I’m sufficient. I feel good. I know my body is thanking me. It’s gratitude time because I don’t need all those carbs. I don’t need pasta. I don’t need a three-course meal. I can put enough in my body through your stuff and I feel good.
What you eat affects which nerve chemicals are going to be dominant in your brain. This affects how you’re going to feel. Carbs can make you feel tired because they increase our brain level of the amino acid tryptophan. You guys have all heard of that. That, in turn, spurs the brain to make one of the call me neurotransmitters called serotonin, another good mood chemical. That’s important for normal sleep patterns, learning, blood pressure, appetite and many other functions. We eat protein at rates at a level as another amino acid called tyrosine and that helps to prompt our brain to manufacture other chemical messengers in the brain to keep you energized because they help to promote alertness and activity.
People have asked me before, “What are the best sources of protein?” Certainly, we encourage gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free because it’s for inflammation control. For animal sources, say organic chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, buffalo, wild-caught fish, salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout. Unfortunately, many of the animal sources now of protein are from animals that have been given hormones to make them produce more milk or a growth hormone to increase the size of the animal. They’re routinely given antibiotics in their feed to keep the infections down. We know that chickens that oftentimes don’t even see the light of day. Food is being passed to them on a daily basis on a conveyor belt and they’re getting hormones in there and antibiotics to keep the infection count down. This is true with cows as well. The grass-fed, organic, go for it. The majority of people aren’t doing that. All these antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains that we’re consuming from these animal protein sources. Those are some of the things that will contribute to the underlying cause of diseases of aging now, which is the inflammatory process.
I love what you’re saying because it’s disgusting and it’s wrong. I do talk about coming back home from after being in the hospital for a few months or being in the hospital for quite some time. What do I recommend to people? I tell them the nutrition, you’ve got to change that immediately once you come back home. Taylor has been working and designing a protocol on how to do that. Your product with Nutragen adds to what Taylor’s talking about. It’s not even an elective. It’s a requisite, especially to heal the body. After coming through the trauma, mine was a little intense. The hospital food to the medications and not being able to sustain your body, but the Nutragen mixed with the right ingredients. I would tell anybody out there if you’re coming off a brain injury, stroke, concussion or anything, get this into your body now.
Some of the things that differentiate our plant protein, the peas are grown without any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. There are no chemical solvents used during the extraction process to get the protein from the peas. It’s certified organic USDA pure plant protein. It’s critical for recovery for a number of factors, for brain chemicals, etc. We had a couple of other ingredients. We have a product called Careless. It comes from a unique specialized mango fruit that increases microcirculation. It helps to carry oxygenated blood to all of our tissues in the body and helps to control our blood sugar levels. We put in specialized enzymes in there to improve our digestion of the protein, which is important to reduce inflammation. We put in something from organic coconut milk powders and medium chain triglycerides. These are important because of the fact that they’re absorbed intact. They’re delivered directly to the liver to be used for energy where other types of dietary fats have to be broken down in our intestines, transported into our blood and to be ultimately used as energy. It takes a lot longer. It’s also the taste. We’ve got a plant protein. It’s smooth. It’s not gritty. It tastes great.
I’m going to transition into talking a little bit about gut health and specifically for our audience, a lot of people who are possibly working through brain injuries, that gut-brain connection and why it’s important.
It’s critical. First of all, the inflammatory foods that oftentimes are consumed in our diet nowadays impact our gut. That can be our dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, sugar, processed foods, saturated fats, from some of the meats and processed foods and trans fats. In some severe cases, certain nightshades like eggplant, bell peppers, white potatoes, tomatoes and overconsumption of alcohol. On occasion, I don’t mind some good Don Julio 1942 Tequila. Overconsumption of that and caffeine, they can all contribute to our gut health. We know that 80% of our immune system resides in our gut. There isn’t hardly a day that goes by where you don’t read anything about what we know as our microbiome. That’s all these bacteria that there are trillions of them that are in our guts. How literally the bad bacteria can be found in the brains of people with different diseases such as Alzheimer’s. What are these bacteria? Bad bacteria end up in our brains where they can get transported by the nervous and circulatory system to other areas of your body. That’s the fascinating thing to think that as we can clean up that microbiome, which is impacted by exogenous things outside our body, our environment that’s attacking us on a daily basis or things that we put in, endogenous, i.e. the processed foods, too much alcohol, drugs.
What about prescription medications which are altering our gut as well? All of these things lead to a condition known as leaky gut. It means that the lining of our guts can become inflamed that it causes the lining to be permeable. It means it creates an opening for these inflammatory particles, foods, etc. Nutrients get in through the gut wall, into our bloodstream where they’re carried to various parts of our body causing inflammation. A healthy gut is critical and that’s why we developed our Pure Digestion Plus. It’s more than fiber although we do have both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble is the stuff that basically helps to feed the healthy bacteria in our guts known as probiotics. The insoluble is the bulking agent. Taylor, you said you’re a huge proponent of fiber. It’s the right fiber that we should be getting, soluble and insoluble. You bite into an apple, the inside is going to be soluble and then the outside, the peeling is going to be insoluble. We need both.
There was a period of my life where I first heard about the microbiome and gut health. I was all in. I went on Amazon and I bought every different type of fiber I could think of. These weird roots from Japan, all these different things because from what I had heard about the gut, it seemed one of the most important aspects of health you could invest in terms of what you’re consuming on a regular basis. The most interesting stat I heard back in the day was that in terms of genetic material in the body, there’s 1% genetic material that’s human DNA. There’s 99% genetic material that’s microbial on the body. On a genetic basis, we’re more microbial than we are human.
Those genes reside in the gut. As a society, we consume on average thirteen grams, fifteen grams of fiber a day. We need 25 grams to 35 grams or even more than that. There are some tribes that consume up to 100 grams. I don’t think we could do that because we’d have colon blows. We’re only getting less than half of what we need on a daily basis. The types of fiber are critical, both soluble and insoluble. In our Pure Digestion, we also have prebiotics that feeds the healthy bacteria and we put probiotics in. What’s cool about this is that probiotics are oftentimes ones that don’t make it down to the gut where they need to. They get killed by the acids in our stomachs and our upper GI. If they don’t get down there, they don’t do any good. We have what we call stable probiotics that at the time of manufacture, the amount that we put in there is going to be the same a couple of years later, as opposed to them degrading as they do in many probiotic products nowadays. There are twenty billion of these healthy micro-organisms that we put in on a per serving basis in our Pure Digestion product.
You’re working on two pathways. I’ll elaborate on the probiotic versus prebiotics. Probiotics are the organisms that you’re bringing into the body to help populate. The prebiotics I like to think of as food. Those are the fibers, polyphenols and everything that feeds and helps grow these healthy bacteria. The way I’ve always thought about it is you have trillions of friends and you want to feed your friends good things so that they’re happy.
You also want to destroy the unhealthy ones, which you can do when you overpopulate with the healthy ones. You can start to impact the unhealthy ones.
What’s the difference between the Digestion one and the Cleanse one?
The Cleanse product basically helps with what we call our phase one and phase two liver detoxification pathways that help for effective elimination of metabolic and different environmental toxins that were exposed to. We’re exposed to a lot of things from the outside, from the air we breathe to the water that we consume oftentimes. Even heavy-duty exercise causes a lot of impact on our bodies negatively. You can do not enough exercise which causes inflammation or too much which causes inflammation. Our Pure Cleanse helps to respond to the inflammatory process by helping to detoxify the liver that is our major detoxifying organ. It’s our filter in our body. It’s working on a little bit different pathway as opposed to Pure Digestion, which is having an impact on our gut and the microflora in the gut. This is helping to help detoxify our system that gets polluted from the things that we’ve consumed or what we’re being exposed to on a daily basis. That product is unique as well. Many of the ingredients are proven scientifically to help with phase one and phase two liver detoxification. We don’t just use a sprinkle of the dose. We use a dose that’s used in clinical studies.The reason for creating the Nutragen line of products was really to keep it simple and to offer certified organic whole food nutrition. Click To Tweet
How often should we take the Cleanse?
It varies depending upon the individual. How toxic is the body? How inflamed is the body? I will take it oftentimes for a straight month. I may back off for a month and get back on it for another month. It depends upon the individual and the condition that they’re in. It’s important to work with your healthcare practitioner as well. Hopefully, they know your needs and your body as well. Listen to their recommendations.
I took off a day of Digestion and the Cleanse. I feel different. I feel lethargic at the moment. I don’t know if my body is toxic from everything I’ve been through. There’s a big change because I haven’t taken your Digestion and the Cleanse and I’m missing it.
I try not to go a day without it. I came back from travels after a few days. I pack everything up with me back. We have travel packets. You can have a single serving of every one of our products. Even from our fish oil to our Pure Digestion. I take those with me. I take my shake cup with me. Every single morning, I will have that in my shake, my protein, my Pure Digestion, my Cleanse, etc. It all goes in there. When you’re traveling, you get off your schedule and your sleep schedule. It helps with bowel regularity and removing the toxins from your system. If you’ve imbibed a little bit more than you usually do. I’m trying to keep up with my 23-year-old son. When he goes out and I have to take a little bit more of the Pure Cleanse to get my system detoxified after being out with him.
We’ve been doing a lot of traveling. We went up to Reno for Dr. Adam’s Chiropractic Rocks Conference. I don’t usually take any of my supplements or anything when I travel because I use those times to step away, take breaks and see what life’s like not in my normal regimen. I don’t always notice when I do take things, but I noticed when I stopped taking things, I get back and I take again for the first time, whether it’s the Nutragen or other stuff that I do. Immediately you go, “This is why I do this every day because it makes me feel good.” Stepping away, you realize how valuable something is to your health, your wellbeing and how you feel. That’s always the validation is when I take a break from something and I come back, “Is this making me feel better? Yes, I’m going to keep doing this.”
That is an excellent comment and feedback because I’ve often said that even people that seem to be living a relatively healthy lifestyle and are taking products may say, “I don’t notice that much of a difference.” They stop taking it and all of a sudden it’s like, “Something’s missing here.” That’s an excellent comment and great feedback because we do hear that all the time. I did want to mention something that’s important too that is critical for us to cover here is that we have a crisis in America now. We have 16,000-plus people that die annually from taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, your Motrins, your aspirins, your Advils. We have over 60,000 that die annually from opioids. We have a hundred and some thousand plus that are hospitalized from the effects and overdose or side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. This is a crisis. It is a crisis that we need to deal with and spread the word.
One of the things we have done at Nutragen is to develop a product that targets inflammation specifically. We put our own turmeric, which I have to have a patent pending on. The best turmeric in the world comes from India. Our partner in our company, who are invested in our company, is a manufacturer of some of the best turmeric in the world. Together we have a patent pending with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on our turmeric, the only certified organic turmeric standardized to the active ingredient in turmeric called curcuminoids. Of the major curcuminoids is curcumin, which is found in your kitchen cabinet but unfortunately poorly absorbed in the body. We did something and we added some organic bioenhancers to increase the bioavailability of the product. We didn’t put the black pepper as some companies do because that can be a gastric irritant. We did add the volatile oils of organic turmeric that are removed when you do an extraction. We put them back in to increase the bioavailability. We did a human study and we showed that our turmeric is five times more bioavailable. It’s the only certified organic and we don’t use any chemicals during the extraction process.
We added something called Boswellia, which is also known as frankincense and also ginger, which has benefits for reducing inflammation as well. It blocks the molecules that cause inflammation in our body. InflaMedix capsules that we have that people take and hit that inflammatory process when they’re in acute inflammation. We have a whole dosing recommendation to hit it heavy when they’re acute inflammation. You don’t take two of these, you hit the body severally, but there are some significant doses. We have a dosing chart that we send out with that. Our InflaMedix cream, which is phenomenal because it has Arnica, which all of you probably have experienced if you’ve ever gotten a bad bruise or contusion. We put our turmeric in there, our Boswellia, our ginger. We put aloe vera in there. We put MSM. It’s phenomenal topical that people have been raving about. The combination of those two for acute inflammation along with our A Omega, our fish oil that you can either take in a liquid that is phenomenal tasting without burp-backs. It also has our turmeric in it and has zeatin, D3. It is a one-two punch. This is the knockout punch for pain. It is the combo.
What I do is I take that cream. I take it to a hot yoga class and I rub my body down with the cream. I go into hot yoga and everything opens up. It’s like being on cloud nine in the yoga room, even though it’s hot. It’s a great time. I highly recommend to take the cream and do a yoga class. I got one more question for you, Doctor. This is one we ask everyone. What’s your inspiration?
What inspires me are individuals that have overcome incredible obstacles in their life and never say can’t. That’s what inspires me is to be around individuals that still have a passion, a joy, a gratitude attitude and want to help other people in the world. I watched a video clip. You may have heard of this person, Jennifer Bricker. She was born without legs and she was left at the hospital by her parents. She was adopted by a couple from the Midwest who decided they would raise her like they raised their three healthy boys. Jennifer had a passion for gymnastics. At an early age, she began to jump on a trampoline with her father. Ultimately, Jennifer became the Illinois State Tumbling Champion, without legs. I’m not talking from the knees down. I’m talking from the waist down. She plays basketball and baseball. She said, “My parents always told me never say can’t.”
Our slogan or mine at least is, “I can. I shall. I will.” Had I taken on the can’t word, I would never be walking again.
If you loved this interview, if you feel you need to create this foundation of health in your life, which you do, please go over to Nutragen.com. Start getting on these products to help supplement your life and to help reduce inflammation. Give yourself the foundational elements to be healthy. Do this in combination with everything else that you’re doing. All you have to do at checkout is type in Adventures in Health or Sean Entin. You’re going to get put on our list. You’re also helping to support the show as well as to support your health. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us, Doctor, and sharing with our wonderful community of readers.
Thank you for what you do. Have a blessed day.
- Dr. Bruce Howe
- Body on Fire: Six Proven Steps to Extinguish Inflammation
- Jennifer Bricker
About Dr. Bruce Howe