PODCAST: Sugar Links – Insulation, Inflammation and Weight Gain


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Interviewer:Hey everybody! welcome to episode 8 of the sugar chronicles been a while since we’ve posted one of these. And today we have a very special guest Dr. Mike Breen. Dr. Breen thank you for joining us today.

Interviewee:Thank you very much for having me. This is fun.

Interviewer:Yeah So, if you would like to tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Interviewee:Right on?


Interviewee:Well I’m a chiropractor I just started my 32nd year of practice which is remarkable. I don’t know where the time went but the what’s notable about that is that I got into chiropractic work from the kind of a performance athletic side of things. I was a competitive athlete. And so, my background was in the study of human performance and exercise physiology. And all of that stuff got me into the field of chiropractic how I got interested in that was from that angle. But I got down to chiropractic college and of course nutrition is a significant part of chiropractic education which many people were listening. And people in the public would never know they know that’s not the case that people understand that. And quite honestly it was fairly new to me. And yet the first two years there was multiple courses that are in nutrition. And in the first year, the professor of nutrition that I had there was one of the smartest people that I’ve ever met in my life. It was just remarkable and he was talking about a nutritional impact on health at a level that I just had no idea existed. And quite honestly the class was difficult and it was at that point for me it was So, far above my head but I loved going to the class because it was So, fascinating just to see this connection. And that began the whole process of my integration of nutritional knowledge into my business and into my practice of chiropractic. So, that was started back in 1983 actually. And So, it’s been about 35 years of just accumulating data and applying it for many things have changed it shifted and moved as is true in all forms of science. You know you come up with new things about in the nutritional field it has changed a ton but particularly in the last depending on who you talk to but in the last 20 years, 10 years, 15 years. The biochemical understanding of the influence of nutrition has just exploded .and there’s more data now to support the use of nutritional strategies to treat illness than there has ever been in the past it’s really quite remarkable. And I love this stuff and I study it and read just about every single day that there’s something that comes around that I’m interested in. So, it’s been a process a three-decade process and of accumulating information and it’s exciting. I’m excited now 32 years into my business as I was at the beginning as a rookie. So, it’s a neat time to be in healthcare that’s for sure.

Interviewer:Well you be the interaction that I’ve had with you. You are a wealth of knowledge for sure and you’ve impressed upon me the importance of nutrition, sure. And then the other part of that is hearing you talk again right now it gets me excited. Am I too old to like delve into the nutrition?

Interviewee: Never, never know it takes time to accumulate background and there’s value in that. However, this area that is known as functional medicine is a very rapidly rising source of health application. And to start to study it right now for anyone even on an amateur basis is just fascinating. It would be hard to become someone who could be a practitioner above it without a lot of background but could you become understanding of the data to the point where you could clearly help yourself. The answers without question and it being the case. And even be able to give tips and advice to friends and maybe even direct them to becoming a more helpful from a level of knowledge. So, I encourage people to do that. I think it’s a great thing to do. It really is self-empowerment. In the end, we have to be helpful for ourselves. And I think the nature of the way healthcare systems have developed has been that consumers got the sense that they could externalize responsibility. You know that that I don’t have to do anything. I can put the responsibility on a doctor of whatever type to diagnose me in and they will prescribe me something. And all my job is to in the pharmaceutical sense at least is to swallow a pill and that’s all I have to do. And that’s part the problem. Quite honestly is then that an externalization of responsibility that’s led us to the point where we don’t think that we have any control over our own health outcomes. But moreover, we don’t think we need to even pursue it and that’s a big issue. So, once we switch that over and give people a sense that no, no you are the person who will determine your health outcomes. So, people don’t like to hear that but we like to let them know that this is the most empowering thing that you can ever hear is that you get to choose to a large extent what’s going to happen to you over the rest your life from a health perspective.

Interviewer:Right and then and that is very true. And you did you know what it is hard to hear. It’s kind of cool. Can you fix me? Okay can’t you fix me.

Interviewee:Right hell yeah that’s what we’ve grown up in.  Any part of the I say probably I don’t mean to be too negative when I say that but it’s part of the phenomena that exists and to change people’s behaviors that way is tricky.

Interviewer:Yeah, it’s how our brains have been trained.  So, we are here today to talk mostly about sugar and because you know that’s a subject that’s near and dear to me. I’ve battled my addiction to sugar for years. I got pretty good at controlling.

Interviewee:And all the listeners should know that for someone who’s out there who’s who really feels that they are. Darcy has done very well like and it wasn’t easy but you did well.

Interviewer:It wasn’t easy. I did well however I have fallen off.  I have unfortunately and people who have watched me go through my cycles have said this one’s your worst.  Definitely your worst. So, I am at a point this this worked out well that this our meeting today because this past week I thought came. Now it has to do, this has to stop right I know what I’m in for the withdrawals all of that stuff.  So, I attended a year-long program with yourself and Christopher Lawrence. Christopher had been on our podcast previously and we had to have conversations about this. So, we spent a lot of time about talking about healthy eating and not necessarily about sugar. So, today I kind of like to focus on the sugar.  So, tell us a little bit about in your profession if you’re treating someone. Would you like if you were treating me would you relate it back to maybe I have sugar problems that caused other problems.

Interviewee: Well that is an absolute. We know that that’s the case and that’s part of that biochemistry that I mentioned just a couple of minutes ago about the just the rapid rise and the change in the whole understanding of how the body functions. And the influence that our diet which includes sugar to a large extent has on all functions of the body is.  It’s a hard message for some people to hear quite honestly but it’s the very, very best science that exists at this time relates to that and high sugar volumes in our blood. Therefore, high insulin volumes in our blood are most definitely associated with what are called inflammatory tendencies. It actually drives inflammatory phenomena. Again, this is not the inflammation that you get when you sprain your ankle we’re talking about cellular information within the trillion cells of the body. Those cells could be in your brain, they could be in your heart, they could be in your liver, they could be in your spleen, in pancreas, they can be in your bone, it can be everywhere. And what’s really, it’s interesting to me is that 10 people could eat the exact same diet identical with the same sugar volumes etc. And each one of those ten people could get completely different outcomes in terms of inflammatory tendencies. So, really, it’s what inflammation does to initiate changes in our genetic makeup that’s where the really cool stuff is. Now you know me Darcy once I get started I’m like ah shut up this comedian. This could be an hour long right now. If you got one happy to answer another question you just told me to stop it this is where it gets really quite cool. So, back in 1999 but leading up to 1999, there was a very interesting time in science. There was this project called the human genome project. There were two main companies who were doing the best that they can to try to identify the genetic code to unlock the whole long line of nucleotides that exists within our DNA deoxyribonucleic acid which is basically our genetic code. That’s what the genes are is this DNA and it was this race to do it. Interest them from 1999 to 2017 the computer capacity has got was So, much better in that very short period of time. You can send your DNA to it off to a company that me and 23 things and they zip it in the computer and send it back to you right away but back then. I took years and months to develop a computer program to do this.


So, the point is this is they were there trying to identify the genetic code. Why the answer is because we lived at a time back then where the sites was what we call genetic determinism. Which meant that once you’re born with the genes that you were born with that that was your outcome. You were going to have an outcome there. There was nothing you could do. The genes defined what would happen to you. The thought was that if we could actually figure out what the genetic code is and then with advancing science I’ll be able to manipulate the genes and therefore prevent disease that was the thought. So, the process goes like this. Genes actually code for proteins that’s what they do in our body they actually make proteins and proteins make our body work. So, there’s about a hundred thousand proteins in the body maybe 125 depending on categories and things like that. So, those are all the proteins. So, they say okay, well we’re looking for a genetic code that has about a hundred thousand genes in it somewhere in that range. So, they get all them did and they get the computers spinning and whirring am I making it up. I hope you can imagine the net three is and then also the answer spits out and they find 25,000 genes. And in the site’s editorial papers they called it the cosmic joke. They thought that the scientist had So, much certainty that they were going to find these number of genes they just wanted to find the sequel’s. And also, in the universe would gotcha that’s really like a great wave of change. So, the genetic code of human beings is way smaller than what was thought before. But what’s interesting about is that the genetic code of a human being is not remarkably more complex than that of a fruit fly. In fact, there’s some plants that have genetic codes that are actually longer than the genetic code of a human being which is remarkable. So, what that did. Again, I was taking a whole bunch of time and squishing it into a very short period. As it began that the initiation of a new field which had thoughts from before from prior to the turn of the century. But this really accelerated it called epigenetics not just genetics but epigenetics and epi mean above more and more important than. And So, where it all shifted after that was that the interpretation that genes do not self-express. That you are not a victim of your genetic outcome that in fact the environment tells the genes what to do. So, I’ll say it again genes do not self-express. They require a trigger. So, when we consume things or when we’re exposed to things including toxins in these things have an influence on initiating genetic output. We all have genes for good things and we all have genes for bad things as well. So, it depends on how our lifestyle and environment also means the food that we eat but how that actually influences our genetic expression. And if we’re exposed to a bunch of good things then we get very positive genetic expression, healthful genetic expression. But if we’re exposed to bad things, environmental toxins, sugar then we get bad genetic expression, disease, chronic disease. And this is the field of functional medicine is that how do we optimize our environment which is everything that we do but if food is huge it’s a big thing to make sure that we optimize or lead to the most positive level of expression of genetic influence in our body. And to reduce or minimize the negative genetic expression that’s how we control disease by controlling our environment. So, the question was about sugar but the one of the most significant influences and there’s a lot of them. But one of the most significant influences is this inflammatory effect that is kicked in by sugar. Not just oh henry bars, right but everything and in our diet. One of the things that’s So, surprising and sometimes frustrating and difficult for people is to look at where sugar exists in the diet.  So, the macronutrients in our diet are carbohydrate, protein and fat and those are the three macronutrients. So, protein I think most people have a sense of what protein is. Protein you don’t really have to think about it too much. It comes from eaten from you know other sources like that. Fat is fat, we got a pretty good sense of fat you know there’s butter and there’s oils and all those kinds of things. And then we have carbohydrate. But that’s kind of like a scientific term. Isn’t? What is carbohydrate?

Interviewer:Well for me I think of breads grains. I didn’t realize until I came through healthy transformations that it included things like fruit and vegetables and except I had no idea.  I didn’t think that way.

Interviewee:So, what is carbohydrate? Carbohydrate is sugar that’s what carbohydrate is. And So, there are very, very weak carbohydrates and there are very, very dense carbohydrates. So, the weak carbohydrates are things like lettuce. For example, or spinach or those kinds things. So, they are carbohydrate but the sugar concentration in those foods is remarkably low, very highly nutritious stuff very low sugar volume but still carbohydrate. Then we go to the other end of the scale and we have foods not just again not oh henry bars and bottles of coke we’re talking about food that is actually higher up in the glycemic index scale. Which means that it has I it’s important in sugar and these are things like you just mentioned like potatoes and rice and pasta and grains and those kinds of things. And our diet to a very large extent and that is another topic at the table itself. But it has shifted So, dramatically to eating foods that are a part that are very high in carbohydrate density. And So, a lot of the sugar consumption that we get comes from these foods. So, a person says well I don’t eat a lot of sweets and So, as to what their diet is I go. I know you’re not eating a lot of sweets but you still are eating a lot of sugar and they don’t even realize that they’re doing that. And So, that’s the case.  So, understanding explanation all that kind of stuff becomes critically important for people to really understand that. And working towards a diet that reduces sugar volume particularly from the foods that we don’t think are those are high in sugars is a really key thing now for persons eating a lot of refined sugar products. That’s pretty obvious and what is making it sound like it’s easy and it’s not that easy there’s a lot of behavioral management that’s involved in this kind of stuff. But in the end, it’s hard to really grasp onto the behavioral need to do these things if you don’t know how bad it is. You have to have a bit of information to say holy miracle I had no idea that this is what caused that. And now that I know can you help me answers yes that’s where you start to work through the behavioral things. But that that’s a that’s a big piece the sugar which drives inflammatory tendencies. And the inflammatory tendencies therefore affect cellular function which affects genetic output that’s basically the trail.

Interviewer: I think that’s what I need to come back and focus on to start googling than that. So, I have to tell you a quick little story from the other day. I stopped I was out to some of my properties for work and I stopped at lunch. At some bees I thought okay I’m going to get myself a salad, per-packed or something great. And then I’m walking to the checkout, I get to the Halloween candy display. Of course, I can’t just walk by. So, they had mars bars, ready to box of mars bars, 25 mars bars for five dollars in that 9/10. To me that outrageous like I’m not paying that for those little.  I mean fine then right we said I did they had 50 for 749 on sale.  Hey, wait a second dulled, yes what did I do. And its I don’t I’m thinking I think it’s like the outside world media all that kind of stuff that’s how they get you.  And like you have to retrain your brain to think the effects of that.

Interviewee:Totally yeah. You are not like are So, much like everybody else where you look for value. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s more as far as your socks, right. You know you can get the deal and then it’s good to get a deal, right. We all want to do those kinds of things. And in those kinds of circumstances the question would become even though I’m getting a deal I’m getting twice as many mars bars for only two dollars and fifty cents more or whatever it was. Does that make it a good decision, right? And that’s where you know the mindfulness that we work with him. You mentioned Christopher Lawrence before is remarkably helpful to people in having to come to become mindful to stop. And question instead of acting reflexively or instead of acting on it on an economic basis on what to eat. Stopping and thinking about really what should you do. And it again my piece as I suggested just a minute ago is to give people the knowledge the understanding of what does this stuff average to do. If I know that this is producing this outcome or that it has the potential to produce this outcome to initiate negative genetic expression. And again, in my brain it’s easy because I understand this stuff. And So, whatever I’m looking at food is suits my mind automatically goes to that. So, in said it’s a pretty easy thing but for other people that’s what we have to do is get them to the point where they understand this. Then when that reflex kicks in you know what I’m talking about and there’s a pause, there’s a stock you go okay before I reach out and grab it. Let me just stop and think for a second and you don’t have to think for 10 minutes. You think for 15 seconds sometimes and all of that information. It’s amazing how fast our brains work under the circumstances. And if you have something in your in your mind that encounters the reflex to act on the value proposition which is what you acted on in that circumstance then it gives you the strength I guess, is it to be able to learn to make a better decision. And really that’s a huge, huge piece of this because we have fallen into this circumstance cultural solutions.


They’ve fallen into a culture has created this circumstance. Rightly or wrongly, we pass no judgment on that where food is So, plentiful, it’s So, available that we don’t have to stop and think. We don’t have to plan it anymore. You can leave the house at 6:00 in the morning, got come home at 7 o’clock at night. You had no idea or no plan what you’re going to do in terms of your eating when you leave the house and you come over at 7 o’clock at night stuffed with ever never having to plan or think about it. Because it’s always around. And a lot of those decisions you know you think about from a menu what you want but it’s not driven by health. It’s driven by a whole bunch of other factors and that’s where we’ve come. Unfortunately, we need to get back to a point where we understand truly what food is it’s not just a convenience thing. It’s not just a gas tank, it’s like restaurants or not you know filling stations, right. There’s way more to it than that and yet we’ve come to that point where I just need to get filled up. I need energy the whole model.  Food is energy, takes away from its real importance.  Food talks to our genes and if you get that message and you get it loud and clear then every time you stick a fork full of food your mouth it changes the way you look at it. Like is this fork full of food leading to a positive genetic expression or it actually enemies into a negative genetic expression. And its new stuff for a lot of people but that’s truly what it is really is the messenger.

Interviewer: Okay So, you just said something. Did you say food is our genes that have influenced?

Interviewee:It fully influences. You just probably can, probably the most significant influence on genetic expression is what we stick under oath every single day.

Interviewer:I have to keep that in mind I have to…

Interviewee:That’s not one of the meals out of three and not you know one of the snacks we need. I mean every single time, every single time you put something in your mouth it has an influence. Now people would say oh well if I have you know one cookie it’s not going to kill me. Then I go yeah, you’re right. If that was the only cookie ever had your life but people who say if I hope one cookies not going to kill you, it’s never one all right. If yet it’s one in the morning one in the afternoon too. What a diet you know and that wouldn’t kill you either but that applied over the course of weeks months and years and decades then we’ve got ourselves a big problem. And again, that then moves back on to the behavioral perspective about latitudes. And all these other things that you know what we’re talking about is it how people give themselves permission using words like cheat and treat and moderation and all these things which are basically permissions to not do the right thing.

Interviewer:This is my last one. I’m going to be better tomorrow.

Interviewee:Yes exactly.  I need the conversation in your mind was a little different about the impact of those things. And the knowledge of what it actually does and it helps people not talk like that. It helps them yeah talking in a more positive way instead of saying oh, this one won’t hurt me, to quote the commentary your brain is what can I do to help me.  I can’t wait to eat that avocado because it’s going to make my genes again do this. There’s a very positive way of looking at food as if it was to kind of a harm like negative way of looking at it.

Interviewer: There’s an Instagram page that I follow. It’s called the “green health project” and he like strictly vegan and he doesn’t need a lot of fruit. Most of his stuff is vegetables but he does a lot of those types of posts. So, okay more like don’t look at the candy and how you’re going to be satisfied. Look at an avocado as an example or a banana or you know just things like that. So, he’s it’s one of those pages that sort of helped me I go back to that one.

Interviewee:Yeah, good. Pursuing benefit as opposed to avoiding harm a big difference between the two.

Interviewer:I would agree with that.  So, let me ask you this wasn’t on my list but I was just thinking about this, would it be helpful to do a food journal and then sort of somehow be able to relate that back to. Okay here’s my food journal for the day. What have I done to harm myself like you’re not trying I’m trying to make turn it into a negative but make it a reality.

Interviewee:I think what you’re saying is really it’s that is a step that brings awareness to a person. As I suggested before like the person who leaves their house already comes home at night with no plan at all. They fill themselves up. And you know with some with stopping and thinking they could probably remember what they ate but there’s no real need or sense that they have to do that. They just go to the end of the day and they quite else you don’t put much thought into what was put in their mouth that day, right. And the next day to do the same thing all over again. So, their food journals probably more than anything else bring awareness to the person. You stop and maybe you do it right after you have everything or maybe you do it at the end of the day. It doesn’t really matter which one but there’s a point where you stop and you think about it and you write this stuff down. And then it’s like oh my gosh I can’t believe that and I actually ate that and maybe it’s not that to quiet. I’ll see maybe people write things down and they’ll say well I think I did pretty well there. And that’s fine but it just brings a point of knowledge. And we talked about how the knowledge leads to confidence and called it leads to certainty in certain leads to action. But you can’t get to proper action if you don’t develop in all. Its you’re their first place. So, it’s that process of going through. Through that and it helps people become better at understanding what they’re eating and then you add more knowledge once a person goes into that area. I think it’s kind of an it doesn’t have to start there it can start in different places but for some people when it starts there. It just introduces the possibility to potential to start to accumulate more knowledge. And again, as you become more knowledgeable it’s hard to gain more knowledge and still continue to eat a lot of bad food. It seems it’s quite counterintuitive to gain knowledge and still behave in an opposite way.  So, the knowledge part is important to continue to build it. I think food journaling is a good way to start. That being said you got to know what’s good and what’s bad and I think you know when you get right down but most people have a have a pretty good intuitive sense of what the difference is between good food and bad food. You can put two plates down and you know you can put a whole bunch of salad with kind of vegetables and maybe a piece of salmon on it. If a person’s not vegetarian and you can look at that then you can look at another plate that has you know a whole bunch of things you could imagine what it might be. You know a potato maybe but some people again don’t think of potatoes as being sugar. But that’s that would be the case a plate that is absent of vegetables you know maybe just a hamburger with a bun and a whole bunch of those things. Idiot you look at that you go okay which one is healthier for you. Might ask you which one you’d like to eat. I say which one do you think is healthier. People would get the answer correct almost every single time. So, it’s not that we don’t have to in a sense of it it’s the application of that says that that’s really the key thing.

Interviewer:I think if for certain people if they look do if you ask them that question yes, the vegetable plate is healthier but the other ones going to fill me out. And it’s going to keep me fuller and longer.

Interviewee:And isn’t that the irony, be the irony you’re that boy you hit on a key thing right there is that sense of fullness that we get from eating carbohydrates like bread and potatoes. That it’s almost a desired thing in our culture where that the sense of being full. But if that fullness has come from our carbohydrate driven dinner you get rapid rises in blood sugar, you get rapid insulin responses to that which is intended to drive the blood sugars down. Again, and as soon as the blood sugar’s drop then oldest in your hunger you feel hungry again and that’s the real folly of that kind of interpretation. If you had a diet that actually has a higher fat concentration in it which we’ve been told for four years not to do. And in fact, it’s the worst advice that we had culturally and even you know around the world it is caused So, many of the problems that we have right now is the high sugar content of our diet and a little fat. In fact, we need to go the opposite direction. But when you eat food that has a higher fat content and the lower carbohydrate you don’t get hungry. You stay full for a long time. I know you know what we’re talking about there and it’s quite remarkable to people. You can eat lower levels of caloric volume, eating less total calories. But when the orientation of the foods is shifted when you’re having more fabulous carbohydrate. It has more staying power which is a very general commentary but it just last longer because you don’t have these rapidly rising and falling blood sugar levels. It everything stays nice and level right, nice and steady.

Interviewer:Interestingly enough and it took me a while to realize it. But the same effect that I would have eating say a chocolate-bar. How I made an app an hour later. Same effect from potatoes. I have potatoes for dinner I know that within an hour I have to have a nap or sit on the couch because they just make me tired.

Interviewee:It’s a remarkable thing that the glycemic index which is been around since around the 1970s there’s been a little criticism lately that it doesn’t have as much of applicability. But I think in a general sense I think it still does. So, it was developed by Canadian and yeah So, it goes from zero to a hundred. And So, you’ve got the foods that are very low on this scale like lettuce as I mentioned and spinach and you know leafy vegetables and those kinds of things and other vegetables as well would be low on this scale like a number of 20 or lower in some circumstances. And that sugar sucrose was actually given the number of 110 arbitrarily that was as high as it would. The thing that surprises some people is that there are So, starches including certain forms of potatoes that have a glycemic index…


…that is actually higher than sugar. And is it to people who are listening is like how could that possibly be. In the answers it’s just the density. It’s how dense the sugars are and these starches it’s just really dense carbohydrate. And when you hear carbohydrate again, think sugar. So, so that’s what goes on it. So, the response that you get from a potato being similar to a chocolate bar is no surprise at all when you look at it from the glycemic rights perspective. Because to a large extent they’re one in the same thing. People come that can’t be the case. Hey, maybe isn’t their nutritional potato yeah, but we’re not talking about nutrition. There are some no potatoes certainly not a nutritious food like a bell pepper is. But it’s not there’s more nutrition in a potato than there is in a in a mars bar since you mentioned that. But what we’re not talking about nutrition, right. Now we’re talking about the influence of sugar and the density of sugar. And as I said repeating myself buy some potatoes haven’t thought about glycemic index is higher than sugar and sucrose.

Interviewer:That yeah not surprising. Another one that I learned from the program was corn. Corn was always a favorite for me. I love corn. But then when we talked about the glycemic index, oh.

Interviewee:Yeah, yeah, it’s kind of sad you know these foods we’ve raised on quite honestly and associated with fun things barbecues and offers kind of stuff and that’s the cultural piece. And I don’t deny that.  That’s a true thing it and in corn is up there and it’s not as high as a potato. To be fair and for anyone who’s listening you can just type into google glycemic index there’ll be hundreds of different scales that you can look at and you can check these things out. So, again you have to be a little careful. If you said careful you have to become knowledgeable first. Again, there’s that word So, you can kind of understand where the pitfalls are in terms of things that we have commonly eat, but particularly things that we better not just call me but foods that are also associated with interpreted benefit that we thought that they were helpful and beneficial. Not because they actually were but because culture made us believe that they were. And So, they become very commonly eaten and then when we step in and say no, you have to avoid that. What are you talking about I don’t like families but eat these things for six generations. It’s hip button and blah blah and but that’s the shift that’s what we’ve come to know is that really moving away from sugar slap carbohydrate density is a very important thing to do in terms of reducing this inflammatory tendency. It’s a big, big deal.

Interviewer:So, while we’re talking about inflammation, inflammation and being tired together.

Interviewee:Oh gosh! You’re getting some really cool stuff here. That’s a great question. I should say this I’m not a biochemist, I’m a chiropractor. I took some biochemist humanized back in the university at that point quite honestly it was complex and I didn’t see the connection. It nor was it taught that way to be really fair. But that’s where all of this stuff is coming from now. So, I know enough about it and we have read enough to be able to make sense of it. But the question just asks there really boil it down to that and that within the cells of the listeners again config back to their own junior high science classes where you studied the cell, right. And the inside every cell there’s ten trillion of these cells in our body. So, now I get all the different places but within every cell there’s very there’s similarities amongst every single one over whether it’s a nerve cell or a heart cell or anything else. So, of course we have the nucleus of the cell that’s where the genetic material is housed. Another piece of the cell these are called the organelles of the cell is one he’s called the mitochondria. And the mitochondria are the energy the center that’s where the cell takes chemicals. We’ll call it food but it’s not like food that we stick in our mouth is the byproducts of all the breakdown of that. And it actually takes these things, puts them through this very complex stuff. People have nightmares about the Krebs cycle and all the rest of that stuff but and that we know more about that now too. Than we did before but the mitochondria where energy is being produced. The very short answer to your question is that inflammatory tendencies in the cell not only influence the genetic output in the nucleus but that implement inflammatory tendencies also affect the nature of the mitochondria. And they are enable them to produce energy in the same fashion that that they’re able to do when they communication to the mitochondria for proper food sources is better. So, again bad food produces inflammatory tendencies and inflammatory tendencies affects the mitochondria and when the mitochondria doesn’t work properly then we can’t produce energy the way that we’re supposed to. And the other thing is that some of these chemicals actually lead to oxidization that’s a fancy word but oxidase you’ve heard of the term antioxidants. So, antioxidants are these chemicals that are actually seek out these things called free radicals and a free radicalism is kind of a charged particle that is a natural byproduct of function. So, we get free radicals from sunlight, we get free radicals from exercise. So, a lot of normal things cost free radicals is part of our normal physiology. And we all have antioxidants and the antioxidants and then the body process of them and no problem. But when we have high inflammation we have a much, much higher production of these few radicals. And the free radicals can get into the mitochondria and actually cause of oxidation. The oxidation on a car is called rust and it’s not like the mitochondria rust. I’m not going to suggest that you’re going to see rust in the medical areas. You could get in there and look at it but it’s as if there was rust and it just leads to the breakdown of the function. So, therefore again the answer your question is does inflammation lead to fatigue?  Answers absolutely it does because it’s directly connected to the ability of a mitochondria to produce energy.


Interviewee:Fascinating. You know and when we have to get well, when we have chronic disease one of the things that’s required is the energy to heal. Like we have to get better and yet if the nature of the inflammatory problem that has caused heart disease, or has caused type 2 diabetes, or has caused dementia, or has caused anything else. And it requires energy to recover from these things. But the mitochondrion’s cells have been compromised by this exact same inflammation then it becomes harder to do. So, that’s where we really have to concentrate on not just treating the condition of cardiovascular disease. Which is what mainstream medicine and believe me when I say that I knew this was going to come up today. I’m not disparaging medical doctors nor made disparaging medicine. I’m just saying that the model that’s been used for the last 50 years. In light of the new biochemistry, in light of the new functional medicine approach it doesn’t fit anymore. Like you can’t treat cardiovascular disease without treating the function of the cell in the inflammatory nature because one is dependent on the other. That’s really, it’s looking at it in a bigger picture perspective. And So, using medications to treat blood pressure, to treat cholesterol for example you know may mitigate the numbers that you see on the on the blood pressure cuff firm or the cholesterol numbers but is it actually working to actually treat the underlying function of the settle to allow it to function properly.  And answers really not and that’s where functional medicine actually goes into that area.

Interviewer:Okay So, here’s the question. How about a side from pharmaceuticals supplements?  If there are something that in your opinion better than other to. Do you need supplements or can you get it from food boy?

Interviewee:Great question. That’s a really good question. I always when answers question to patients in the clinic I start by saying this supplement are called supplements for a reason. They’re not called substitutes. They’re supposed to supplement a good diet, they’re not supposed to substitute for a lazy diet. And So, there’s lots of people out there who are eating crummy food and they’re taking supplements thinking that they’ve saved themselves. I say that in quotation marks right. It’s true now but it’s all it happens all the time idea. And in reality, they’re not really that I mean they’re better off taking some supplements than if they weren’t at all considering that they’re eating really bad food. But that’s not that’s not a healthfulness. I guess is what I’m suggesting. So, really it starts with food. There’s no doubt about that and this area again of functional medicine makes that very clear. There’s no question that you need to eat a very good diet. And as I said earlier on what you put on your fork multiple times a day and stick in your mouth has greater and said a whole bunch of other things. Toxicity and all these other things perhaps we’ll get to that maybe that would be another one. But that’s a that’s an important thing but food is the basis of it all. So, putting supplements then on top of food basically turns your food into turbo powered stuff. It just makes it better and I’m support that without question I am. Eating really good food is the most important thing. There’s all kinds of debates and I think very reasonable positions that are made about is food quality as good as it was 40, 50, 70 hundred years ago. And we’re talking about soils, we’re talking about all kinds of different things about feeds that they give to animals and lots of that stuff. And that’s again that’s another whole thing as well. But let’s just say that that the food quality is probably not as good as it was before because of all of these influences. And therefore, we need supplement to these other bio chemicals…


…to boost the value of the food. I think that’s a very, very reasonable position. Sadly, the supplement industry is unregulated. There is no agency that oversees truthfulness or the accuracy of most of the stuff that’s out there. And So, truly it is a buyer beware circumstances. So, people like myself people in the health field who deal with nutrition know what the good companies are. But most of the consumers out there you go into a health food store and there’s thousands of things on the counter and most people would have no idea what is a good one which is a bad one. And it’s really unfortunate and sad to say. It frustrates me significantly that there’s companies out there that suggest on the label advance So, much of this particular element. When they actually chemically break down what’s in it. That it doesn’t even have what it says it has on the label and that’s really discouraging. So, you need to get good advice from someone who really knows what they’re talking about and what the good companies are.  That’s a really important piece of massive advice. You might pay a bit more but you’re getting value. Going back to the mars bar point that if you’re paying money for a supplement that doesn’t have what it said it has then it may be cheaper but you’re wasting your money, you’re not getting anything from it.

Interviewer:Well that was kind of what I was going to say. Someone like me I don’t know exactly what to look, right and So, when I go I’ll generally go to a health food store/a drugstore. But for me it’s really based on price. We may look at it or the other thing that I look at is stock on the shelf.  So, the one that there’s the least up that’s usually the one I pick. Because you can’t sell payable everybody else buys it. So, I’m as well.

Interviewee:And you know what you’re saying are see is so truthful and so real and so common. These are cultural things, right. And lots of people would think that way. And yet when we step back and say okay is that really the best way to make a decision based upon you know talking to someone like me for example. And it’s not but I don’t blame you for making those decisions. That’s you know it’s it has some logic to it right but there’s so much more to it than just that. And god bless the people who are in the health food store. Some of these kids who got part-time jobs and stuff they’re doing the best they can. And some of the owners are very knowledgeable. You can get some great advice from some of the people who’ve been in the field for a while. But the point is you have to seek out those who really know what they’re talking about and talk to more than one person. He’ll talk to a few see if you get the same information for different reasons. But the other point I would say about supplements is that I can’t tell you how many times people have said well I’m taking these things after we get into the conversation. Taking of all these things and they start listening off and I go holy mackerel that’s a lot of things. So, I say just bring them to me, stick them in a bag, a plastic bag and bring them to my office. Sitting at this exact table where we’re sitting right now I’ve had people bring bags in and lay down 25 or 30 different supplements of all kinds of different things. And I say are you actually taking all of this stuff which is that could be problematic suggestively as well. That’s another story. I think oh, well sometimes I go in and out and I’m doing some of this and then I get sick of that. So, I take something else and you know this there’s no pattern they’ve bought a lot of stuff. Some of it might have some value, some of it is quite dubious in terms of its scientific value and we try and pair them down. And So, instead of spending all of that money. They might have got them on sale but look at the total amount that they spent here. You’re laughing and maybe you have a similar circumstance. So, we usually get them down to. Again, recognizing the food is important and we get them down to three or four or five key ones. And then when they’re doing that there’s value in some of these others that depend on the company. Some very, very good quality supplements that target very unique function but for the most part what I encourage people to do is to get really good quality when I guess I call broad spectrum. So, these things cover a lot of different functions but they have to be really good quality .and that’s what I encourage. But again, when you do very well with these things, these also encourage the effective communication to the genes. Can I go off of the median temperature stage?


Interviewee:So, fellow who’s known as the father of functional medicine his name is dr. Jeffrey Blanton   is a phd in biochemistry interestingly. And long, long story made as short as possible. In a book that he wrote a great book “i recommend people recall the disease delusion” that he wrote. He speaks of the greatest scientific discovery that he has seen in his entire career and So, he graduated with a biochemistry degree I think in the late 60s early 70s.  He’s been in the field for 47 years. And what it was the first found out about this capacity to communicate directly that the genes as I mentioned earlier on. So, that was identified that that there is this communication but the biggest scientific discovery was in fact that unique chemicals. And there’s a fancy name I won’t describe it up because it’s no department. There are unique chemicals that actually attach to. So, they’re floating around in the cytoplasm which is the space in between the cells and these chemicals will attach to the outside surface of the cell and then they initiate communication which goes to the cell. These are the stuff that’s in the seller called kinase is you don’t need to remember that.  But these kinase is communicating from one to the other, one to the other, one to other, finally gets to that to the nucleus against in the genes and it causes the positive genetic expression. These chemicals to the greatest extent are chemicals that are called phytonutrients and there’s a unique group of them there’s a bunch of them. But these phytonutrients of vitamins plant from. So, plant nutrients appear to have the greatest influence on initiating positive genetic expression. And So, one of the companies that I work with from a nutritional perspective design a unique multivitamin would be very specific and express purpose of putting those nutrients into their multivitamin. So, every time you take the stuff you’re swallowing these things in knowing that these phytochemicals are going to get into your body and they’re actually going to talk to your genes. So, that’s when you get into this stuff. You start to understand how really good quality things are actually made at what their intent is as opposed to. And I get to say this not to spiritually. You’ve kind of the standard multivitamin where you’ve got some items see you come to be vitamins you got a little bit of a and d and all that kind of stuff. And that’s better than a kick in the pants but when you get into this really targeted kind of nutritional support that’s when things really start to work better. So, you take those things you add that to a good diet and that’s when things really start to work. I think you start to thrive healthfulness. You push yourself towards healthfulness by specific decisions and specific actions. And to me that’s like one of the coolest things you can possibly do.

Interviewer:You just lit up.  So, here’s a question on foggy mind. So, if a person was to get themselves on track and you know take a multivitamin a quality one, don’t you know eat properly and all of that kind of stuff.  I know the answer to this but I find it fascinating. A lot of people don’t realize that they have foggy minds right until they come out of it. What can you offer us in that aspect?

Interviewee:Well, these are terrific questions you’re asking Darcy.  We have to say that sites cut constantly evolves, right. So, if you’re in the field of science you have to accept the fact that what is true now might not be true in another 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 years, right. So, right now what we’ve come to learn is So, much different than what we knew 20 years ago and it’s really, really interesting. So, right now what it looks like is connected to the question that you asked a few minutes ago about the mitochondria. And that foggy mind based upon the contemporary size right now it looks as though it is an inflammatory effect on neurons in which the neurons are nerve cells and of course our brain is full of them. And the inability of the mitochondria in a neuron which is a specific type of cell as a post of them might end up mitochondria which would be in a heart cell as I mentioned before any other type of cell. When that doesn’t work properly, brain fog is one of the consequences. So, it’s still the inflammatory effect on the mitochondria but it’s in that unique cell that produces that outcome. If it was a mitochondrion of a different type of cell it would produce a different outcome. Or if it was in the genes of the cell it might produce a different outcome other in the endoplasmic reticulum which is another organelle. It would produce another outcome. So, it’s where the inflammation affects the function of the cell and where is that cell in the body. So, by reducing inflammatory tendencies in general for those people who have identified brain fog it’s not an uncommon thing at all we see it in our program quite commonly. The point you made which is interesting is that a lot of people have been in this state for So, long. They don’t know that they’ve gone and they can’t separate it because it’s constantly there. And it’s not until they actually produce the change it’s like what’s going on. All of a sudden there’s the world and open up opens up that of it. I don’t say that with hyperbole I mean it’s quite literal in some cases. They just don’t. They’ve never seen the world in the same way before. it’s quite a remarkable outcome.

Interviewer: Well, having gone through the program and experience that I know he’s bad. I’ve kind of fallen off the wagon, I’ve been in my sugar banjo face but I am definitely.


I tend to… It’s not that I can’t focus but I’ll be okay. I’m going to do that oh but wait my mind goes over here and then I go over here. And I So, I was telling someone this morning that I thought okay before I come to meet you today I’m going to start my housework. In two hours all I got done was cleaning my desk and cleaning my keyboard on my computer. Because as I would go to get something to clean something else would trigger and I go over here, go over there. And the response that I had to that was your house and looks like your brain.

Interviewee: Interesting. Very interesting thought. That’s a neat comment. Again, going back to the book by dr. Bland, there’s a part of the book which I found to be really, really an interesting way that was described as on this cellular communication. It’s about all of the things that are going on and in a body, that is not working properly that is significantly inflate. The amount of biochemical stuff that’s going on is So, loud that it’s equated to shouting that the noise in your body is unbelievably high when you have an inflammatory tendency. All of these chemicals are shouting and they all want to get hurt. It’s a great analogy for insulin resistance. When blood sugars are continually pushed high then the pancreas pushes out insulin to try and drive the sugar and the blighting into the tissues into muscle and into liver.  But then the blood sugars go high again. So, they know that pancreas does its work and there’s one slit. And it keeps going and going and going, going and over a period of time the tissues become unresponsive to the presence of insulin. That’s what’s called insulin resistance. It’s one of the very starting phase of all the first phases high blood sugar or the early phases of type 2 diabetes. Is this phase called insulin resistance? And it defines the condition to a large extent. But it’s more and more insulin get pushed out as if it’s shouting to the cells. Hear me, listen to me, I want this to happen and it gets louder and louder and louder. So, what we do now we can do it in your group while you’re going through the program. But when we go through one of the sessions in our class we actually have you know six or eight people in the room. Two people are talking about a conversation that we tell what to talk about maybe it’s a type of exercise that they like. Two other people are talking about something else. We’ll give them a topic to talk about. One person is actually watching the television and we tell them that you have to tell us what you’ve heard on the tv. Christopher’s talking to them about habit loops. I’m yelling at them about detoxification. So, the room is full of this noise the person who’s watching the tv keeps turning it up because we’re going to ask them later what it was that they were talking with the tv. But he can’t hear the television because all these other people are talking. So, their voices start to rise, lion rises because I want to tell them oh toxicity and Christopher’s yelling honor because he wants them to hear about habit loops. And all the stuff gets louder and louder. And a woman just a while ago in our grad group she couldn’t handle it like on an emotional level. She just she stopped and she said stop. There’s too much noise and So, the analogy is that’s what happens in the body. It’s meeting the state they will be dr. Blend to the greatest extent that I can describe it. She says the underlying nature of chronic disease is a cellular communication system that’s caught up in a shouting match. Everybody’s yelling and So, part of the nature of eating good food in a supplement is supplementation as you’re brought up is really the attempt to turn down the volume. You just got to turn down the volume. And really eat foods that are bad or turning up the volume. And it’s maybe one of the analogies you could have when you know next time are exposed to the mars bar scenario, right, and thank you for saying that because it provides a perfect example for the people who are listening, is that no I don’t want my volume to go any higher. I’m not going to buy those things even though I get twice as many for only 2.50 cents more. That means less to me then the sense that that I’m going to create a shouting match in me with every single one of those things that I eat. And So, that’s a really neat way of looking at it. And So, it’s trying to calm down the volume. How you got into this. The question was talking about your cleaning, right.  And it’s almost like there’s So, much going on and then you equated you know the house to you to your mind you did it it’s scattered. And it I don’t know that that’s exactly what went on. That would be a big leap you know for clinical perspective but it’s an interesting conversation to have a look. There’s just So, much going on and the whole attempt is to calm that down. Now there’s behavioral ways you can do that meditation, right. You can do those kinds of things to calm it down that I encourage that. I think there’s something to be said about that mindfulness is not meditation but you can use mindfulness to kind of make yourself slow down and stop and consider my boy. This the helter-skelter kind of analogy is a very good one and that your health is kind of connected to this helter-skelter state. And we really want everything just to calm down. That’s how you use food and these other things to create the body to make the body. We’ve come to more close data.

Interviewer:I wish there was a scientific way to look inside and see it all because that’s probably the one thing for me that would work is to be able to okay. What’s going on in here?  Not good. So, I’m just checking the time here I know I’ve taken a lot of your time today. So, I’m going to ask you two more questions, right. This one and then I’m going to ask you if we can have another podcast? What would you suggest for someone like me for food for quick energy to replace the chocolate bars of the cookies candy you know I know I’m slumping right now? What do I go for?

Interviewee: Great. Again, another really good question. What’s key I thought the question was the way that you were did it. And you are not unique. This happens in lots of times. The word that you used was quick. I don’t like quick because what quick means is that it’s quick there and then it’s going out and it’s quick and gone. We don’t want that right we want steady energy. What nice steady energy and when the energy steady then you don’t have the desire for quick. However, I know what you’re talking about and I’ll tell you how I know I think you know the story here. So, I would be a student and I’m studying and you know try to keep my energy up. We all do we all know what we mean by that and back in the day when juices were thought to be very helpful for us. There’s a bit of it and change of the interpretation oh because the sugar concentration in many juices. But I would study for a period of time I’d go into that bit of a flat state. You know what I’m talking about everyone else who’s listening oh that is it’s not that you’re hungry but there’s a sense that you’re just not firing all cylinders all right. I’d go to the fridge take out the orange juice or the apple juice would even pour it in a cup like right out of the jug. Right who I am and you know what I now refer to as a sugar jolt even though it was considered to be healthful and perhaps with lots of pulp. But always other guys I think there’s some level of nutritional value. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Again, it’s just the sugar concentration. Bang take a drink come back to that state you know that would that we covet.  Study for a while half an hour later bang and So, I look back at that face now as much as I thought I was doing something that was helpful because it was a juice it on pop, right that it was the same thing. So, each time it took a jolt if you can imagine graph that was that was a bump of my blood sugar bang up, bang up, bang up and those are all these quick bursts of energy. But was it steady. The answer was it couldn’t be because I have to repeat it over and over again. So, what’s a person has gotten to the point where they get away from the sugars. They start to eat a lower sugar at least in the glycemic index. You’re working on the lower end of the scale with a lot more fruits and vegetables and you push the fat volume up in your diet then you don’t get into the state where you think you need the boost. It’s So, steady that you don’t fall into that state. So, the thing that drives people to eat when they’re in this we’ll call it a ketogenic state onboard. We have to be careful to use that word because some people hear that and they think you know 80% of their calories are coming from fat. That you know that’s adobe. It’s been used in some circumstances. Historically going back, you know almost 100 years now for epilepsy with a very interesting result but people here that they think it’s a you know crazy high fat. And we’re not talking about that we’re talking about mildly ketogenic, just past you know halfway. So, that that slightly more energy consumption is created by fat bananas by carbohydrate and I guess protein to the to a certain extent. So, it’s mildly ketogenic but when you’re in that state, you don’t have the need to get the quick burst. And So, it’s steady all the time and that’s the transition. But boy it’s easy to say it’s a harder thing to conceptualize unless you’ve been there. And once you’re in that state then you don’t have the need. What happens at that point is people still have to behavioral things that they are connected to they go. Okay my vision is as good my brain is clear. I know I don’t need to eat I’m going to walk over to the fridge anyways all the time. And I am admittedly I’m afraid opener. I don’t know how I just hope no, I’d say nine times out of ten I never grab anything I just like looking great. Maybe people out there have it have a similar thing and as soon as I opened the fridge I said what are you doing. It is usually shut the door walk away.


That kind of thing but that’s connected to you know patterns and stuff but I would say seeking quick energy is part of the problem that we don’t want to see quick energy. We want to actually seek steady energy and when you’re in that statement you don’t have the need to have to get these quick boosts.

Interviewer: Okay good answer. Okay So, my last question for this podcast is, is it possible to okay so I’m talking myself personally, I don’t know really all of the effects of my huge sugar addiction what it’s caused. But whatever’s in there. Can I reverse it?

Interviewee:Yeah, I would say to the very greatest estate the answer is yes. Why do I say that? One of the tenants of the of the functional medicine movement is that you don’t use food just to create health. You use food to cure disease that’s a very important thing and I’m not saying these are you know just people who have ideas or thoughts or concept. You know who are spewing these thoughts up this is coming from some very, very high-end science. I mean at the very top universities in the world really. You know a lot of the ones on the east coast the united states you know Harvard and Johns Hopkins and all these places where researchers are being done they’re saying holy mackerel. I dug pits, it’s fascinating to see that when we get this part right the impact that it has on health. So, I would say the answer is yes generally. Now how far along the pathway is a person in in the course of their condition and that theory. That’s a very important of interpretation and if someone is really near the end of their life because of chronic disease. Can food and cure that? You’ll hear some stories about the you know some miracles. I don’t think it’s really a miracle as much as it is the application of proper biochemistry. So, sometimes it happens but for a person at your point in your life you know middle age more or less. Do you have enough time left in your life to actually write the ship and create hopefulness in your life? Yes, just without question there’s no doubt about that. The initiation of positive lifestyle change can be done really in 12 weeks. I don’t know permanently that means people will notice change in 12 weeks. What do the troubles is they go ah, I’ve ever glad that’s over?  Right they go back to their old patterns and they end up clearly back where they were before so. So, 12 weeks I want to make sure that when I say this to the listeners. I’m not saying that twelve weeks is the cure. Twelve weeks is a point in which you will notice change. In the majority of people, they will notice some aspect of change. And as you kind of suggested before that with the brain fog point is that you might not even know what it is that you’re going to experience. You might be hoping for one thing it may be that will change but it might be something completely different. Because you just don’t know how the body’s going to unwind itself but So, the answer is yes. There is no question that you do these things, right and it will have a greater impact on producing healthfulness for the rest your life than any other thing you could do it. When I mean environmental I don’t we just die. We’re talking about exercise as well. We’re talking about detoxifying the body which is a hugely important piece of these persistent organic pollutants that are in our bodies, is another huge driver inflammatory tendencies. And you know detoxicity has been around it’s been in the holistic field for a long while. This is mainstream stuff but we know the significant effects of BPA and phthalates and all these other things. It’s big stuff. So, that and free radical damage from exposure to a whole bunch of different environmental phenomena. And having enough antioxidant in your diet through supplementation to be able to quench these free radicals. Because that’s another driver of inflammation was the big three that the diet the toxicity and free radical damage. I already mentioned exercise all of those things are really important when they’re done properly. You can create health .no question about that.

Interviewer: Excellent. You’ve got me motivated again. Okay Dr. Breen. Thank you. I have a time more question right. So, I’m inviting you back.

Interviewee: I’d love to do it.

Interviewer: Yeah work on a convenient time for you. I know you’re busy. But thank you very much.

Interviewee:Thank you.


Christopher is the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Change My Business Coaching—  a fast growing whole-life coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind.  He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher spent 15+ years working in the corporate world with a plethora of industries and companies. His focus was primarily in planning, strategy, and leadership of change management and communication. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker who truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him at Christopher@ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca.

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