PODCAST Alan Goldhamer: Water fasting, diet and wholistic health
While in Santa Rosa I was lucky enough to be able to visit True North Health Centre a couple of times. When I walked in the doors I felt instantly at home. It was such a nice feeling to be surrounded by people who were dedicating themselves to good health and wellbeing, a really positive, loving and caring environment. The founder of True North, Dr Alan Goldhammer was very kind to take some time out of his day to sit down with me for this conversation.
Dr. Goldhamer is the founder of TrueNorth Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides medical and chiropractic services, psychotherapy and counseling, as well as massage and body work. He is also director of the Center’s groundbreaking residential health education program.
Articulate, inspiring and energetic, Dr. Alan Goldhamer is one of the most pioneering and dedicated visionaries in health today. An outspoken professional who doesnt shy away from a spirited debate, he is deeply committed to helping people stuck in self-destructive cycles reclaim their ability to change their lives.
Dr. Goldhamer has supervised the fasts of thousands of patients. Under his guidance, the Center has become one of the premier training facilities for doctors wishing to gain certification in the supervision of therapeutic fasting.
After completing his chiropractic education at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Goldhamer traveled to Australia, where he became licensed as an osteopathic physician.
He is the author of The Health Promoting Cookbook and co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering The Hidden Force That Undermines Health and Happiness. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Stuff we talked about
- True North Health centre
- Herbert Shelton – human life, it’s philosophy and laws
- Natural Hygiene by Herbert Shelton
- Dr Gerald Benesh
- The Pleasure Trap – By Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhammer
- Dr Doug Lisle
- True North Health Foundation
- Dr Anthony Lim
- Dr Peter Sultana
- Dr Michael Klaper
- David Goldman
- Alan and T. Colin Campbell‘s paper on treating hypertension with water fasting
- Another paper on treating high blood pressure with water fasting
- Buck Institute for Education
- Dr Dean Ornish
- Dr Jennifer Moreno’s article on intermittent fasting.
- Dustin Rudolph – Plant Based Pharmacist
(00:04:59)…..WHO IS DR. ALAN GOLDHAMMER
(00:08:30)…..THE PLEASURE TRAP
(00:14:42)…..MODERATION, WEIGHT LOSS AND THE PERFECT DIET
(00:24:00)…..THE TRUE NORTH HEALTH CENTER
(00:46:40)…..FASTING AND HOW IT HELPS IN TREATING CANCER
(00:54:50)…..POPULARITY OF FASTING AS A MEDICAL PRACTICE
(01:01:25)…..FASTING FOR ATHLETES AND CONCLUSION
Alan Goldhamer: Water fasting, diet and wholistic health
This podcast has been automatically transcribed by a software and went for a minor editing. If you notice any mistakes or wrong word entry please help us fix them by leaving a comment. We made sure to be the most accurate as we can. Enjoy!
Andrew: Welcome to this podcast episode 10. Can you believe I’ve done 10 episodes now amazing. Today’s episode is with Alan Goldhammer the founder of True North Health Center, uh where I was lucky enough to be able to visit while I was in Santa Rosa for the McDougal Advanced study weekend. It was it was a really, really cool place
I was I’ve taken on a personal tour there but I Dr. Michael Kelapa along with Dustin Rudolph last week’s guest we we had a personal tour and we were able to look around that whole place. I went to I had lunch there a couple of times and I attended lectures that they put on there for all the guests and I spoke to some really cool people and it was uh, really felt like home to me that place it felt so nice to be fully surrounded and engulfed in people who were just there to try to improve the hell’s health and improve their lives and it was just really really good vibes there.
So today it’s a it was an honor and a privilege to be able to speak to. Dr. Alan Goldhammer. Not only is he the founder and, you know, the dude in charge of True North Health.
But he also, along with Doug Lyall, next week’s guest wrote one of my favorite books, The Pleasure Trap. So that was an instrumental book in my year. I read it, six weeks after I started my Spud Fit Academy my year of eating only potatoes and and it really helped to make me feel better about about the choices that I made. Anyway, before we get into it, uh a bit about me most people listening probably know that I ate nothing but potatoes last year. I lost a lot of weight and I changed my relationship with food and things went really great. So if you’d like to learn more about how to do that for yourself, Then you can go to www.SPUDFIT.com and you can check out the DIY Spud Fit Academy, which is a book that’s for sale on there. It’s also on Amazon. If you want to fight you can order paperback or ebook on Amazon or iBooks as well. It’s called the DIY Spud Fit Academy how to guide to doing your own spud Fit Academy, I also run a private group where I guide people through doing their own but challenge so you can find more information about that are going to Spudfit.com and clicking on the link that says “Take the challenge” and and you can join us in the group and maybe do something about your own relationship with food and possibly improve your health along the way too.
Uh, if you like what I’m doing, then please share it subscribe leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to this. That means a lot to me to try to get the word out about what I’m doing. It’s really really helpful and last but not least.
All right. Onto the onto today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about all things fasting and nutrition and good health. And I really enjoyed this conversation. Alan is a Fountain of Knowledge and also of Good Humor. So I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Spud up!
WHO IS DR. ALAN GOLDHAMMER
Andrew: All right, here we are with Alan Goldhammer of True North Health Center always like to start these interviews off with a very simple question. Who is Alan Goldhammer?
Alan: Well, I’m the guy that’s been doing fasting supervision for the last 32 years here at the True North Health Center. My background is I went to Chiropractic College in Oregon and then I went to Osteopathic College in Australia and I study with a guy named Alec Burton who a lot of experience using medically supervised water only fasting and treating conditions, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes and autoimmune disorders.
And when I came back in the United States in 1984 my wife, Dr. Morano and I founded the True North Health Center. We’ve been doing this ever since.
Andrew: All right. So I guess it’s a long sort of Journey to getting here. So how did you initially get into just nutrition? What was your, what sparked your initial interest in nutrition?
Alan: Mostly I was interested in, it was fourth grade and I was very frustrated. Because I was being beaten consistently by Dr. Lisle in basketball. I knew Doug Lisle growing up and practice didn’t seem to help because he also practiced so I thought I would look for an edge and I read book by Herbert Shelton on natural hygiene. I thought, you know that made a lot of sense.
Andrew: I was looking through your bookshelf in reception. Is that the book I saw there? There’s a, in the bottom shelf. I think it said something about natural hygiene.
Alan: I don’t know if the book that I read was there. Human life. It’s philosophy in-laws was the book that I read by Shelton and yeah, but it made sense and I thought well, I’ll try that plant-based SOS free diet and see whether or not that will give me an edge so I can beat Dr. Lisle. Of course it failed because he adopted the same diet and to this day, He still beats me every time.
Andrew: So that was in fourth grade. I think the grades are different in Australia. How old are you when you were in fourth grade?
Alan: I think I was probably 12 years old.
Andrew: 12 years old, right? That’s a really early to start thinking about that sort of thing.
Alan: Yeah. I was committed to it by the time I was about 16, but again, you know, even though it failed in my desire to beat Doug, It certainly got me interested. I met Dr. Gerald Bennett when I was a teenager and he said that he had the best job in the whole world because the patient’s did all the work the body did all the healing. All he had to do was take credit for the good results and I thought, that’s the job for me.
Andrew: That sounds pretty good to me too. So I first, can’t say I want to say came in contact. That’s not the right word. I first heard of you when I read your book The Pleasure Trap, the one you wrote with Doug Lisle. I did my year of potato only fasting for one of a better word, but I ate only potatoes for all of last year and maybe six weeks into it. I made a video on my YouTube blog called, My thoughts on moderation or something like that and because I’ve been getting all these comments from media experts saying that moderation is what I should be doing. So, I gave my thoughts on moderation and then I got a few messages from people saying you should check out this book, The Pleasure trap. So I got it. And of course, the first thing I read was the myths on moderation the chapter was called and that was what really made me feel good to know that because I hadn’t read these ideas. Anyway, It was just ideas I had on my own and then I read this chapter in the book and it really just made me feel good about the path that I was on.
THE PLEASURE TRAP
Andrew: So first of all, I got to thank you for that it really, yeah it really helped. Anyway, I love the book. I did read the rest of the book as well. Once I read that and there’s a few ideas that I really loved from the book and one of the big Ideas I got from that was that we as human beings are designed to seek food and and seek calories. So, can you talk about that a little bit?
Alan: Well, you know, if you think about humans, in terms of where we evolved, we evolved in an environment of scarcity. In fact, it was so difficult for human beings to get. To eat avoid being eaten that most of them didn’t. The vast majority of humans born in the planet never lived long enough to reproduce and so they didn’t pass on their genes and they’re not your relatives.
They’re losers. The winners were the ones that did get enough to eat did uh survive and reproduce and because they evolved an environment of scarcity the people that survived had basic attributes that allowed them to survive in this scarce environment. And part of that was the brain’s ability to reward the body when it engaged in behaviors that favor survival and reproduction, which essentially is eating and sex. So food and sex become the normal natural stimulants of the dopamine that the body rewards us with which induces the response we call Pleasure. So, foods taste good to us because they result in the stimulation of dopamine in the brain. And the higher the caloric density the more valuable the food is, in an evolutionary view point. And the more dopamine is secreted.
So basically higher caloric density, more dopamine taste better. And that worked fine in the natural setting where foods had limited caloric density. But then when we started processing foods, we learned how to hyper concentrate them and you got hyper normal stimuli that’s a consequence. Now, people can be artificially stimulated to induce dopamine response and that leads to what we call, the pleasure trap. In the case of the dietary pleasure trap, It works very much like uh, drugs do that you know, at first you take drugs because they make you feel good. And then you have to keep taking drugs to avoid feeling bad. Kind of the Hallmark of addiction with food, with chemicals added to the food. Things like sugar, oil, and the like. You eat them because you like the way it makes you feel but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing.
Andrew: Yeah, so that along those sort of lines. I’ve been coaching some people myself not many but a few and, one of the first things I talked about with people when they’re obese and addicted to food is the idea that. if these people were back in the hunter-gatherer times, they would have been the people that were really good at finding food because that’s the way their brains are tuned. Excellent at finding food. And if they happen to stumble across a donut tree back in the day, they would have been the ones in the tribe that were really good at remembering how to find the doughnut trees and really good at, maybe they would have figured out how to help them grow and they’d be good at knowing when they’re in season and all those sorts of things. So they would have helped their tribe survives. Is that an accurate thing?
Alan: I would say that there’s another consideration as the people that are able to gain weight easily generally have pretty good plumbing. That is, they can absorb what they eat. You know, some people can eat a similar amount of food, but they don’t do it as efficient a job of absorbing what they’re eating or maybe they don’t have the sensitive satiety or more sensitive satiety response and so they wouldn’t eat as much. So, I think that if you look at overweight people, you’ll find a couple things. One,They tend to be a little bit less sensitive in terms of satiety, and two, they have an effective and efficient means of absorbing what they’re eating.
So being fat is really more, uh, not so much an assessment of psychology or any other variable as much the fact that you are more vulnerable to the artificial effects of the pleasure trap. So whereas one person may feel full little bit earlier, even eating highly concentrated foods other people don’t get normal satiety feedback and they will gain weight and they’ll gain it predictably and consistently. And so the good news is if you’re overweight, you want to lose weight, the key is to reduce the caloric density of the food, so that your brain is no longer being fooled. The downside, the negative part of it is, if you eata highly concentrated Foods. If you eat the sugar, the oil, of the highly processed foods, you will get fat. The only question is how fat do you want to be? And you know more or less what you eat will determine how fat you’re going to be you’re not going to be able to say, well i’ll just eat a little less. You know, we know that for many people that doesn’t try that doesn’t work.
It also doesn’t work for alcoholics, you know alcoholics, you can tell them we’ll just drink less and you’ll be okay. But of course it doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean some people can’t drink and be well within tolerance, but for those that can’t, you know, the best solution for them is not drink. And for people that can’t control their use of artificially concentrated chemicals like sugar and all, the best strategies just don’t use those at the time.
For people that adopt a Whole Foods, exclusively plant-based diet that’s SOS free, We talk about SOS is the international symbol of danger and also stands for sugar refined carbohydrates oil and salt. If you eliminate SOS and you go exclusively plant food, most people find they will consistently lose weight. Males about 3 pounds a week females about 2 pounds a week.
Andrew: Yeah, I certainly found that with potatoes and yeah, the reason for that story that I told about, you know finding the Donut Tree is to make people think or stop people from believing that they’re broken or something’s wrong with them somehow. So the way you talked about the plumbing being, really good is just, I guess just backs up the point that people are working perfectly. There’s nothing wrong with their body or their mind that’s doing exactly what they should do.
Alan: In fact, if you think about it, the people that gained weight easily were our ancestors. That’s why we have those genes those skinny ones that could eat anything in it, they didn’t make it. You know, like I said, they’re the losers. Once a good gain extra weight. Hold on to their weight. They’re the ones that survived the long boat ride or the when Spring came late. So I don’t think we should look at being overweight as being, our bodies against us. It’s just that we have to live in an environment that’s more supportive to our capacities.
MODERATION, WEIGHT LOSS AND THE PERFECT DIET
Andrew: Yes, those donut trees are always in season these days. Uh, all right. So back to them the moderation myth. So I talked about them the myths of moderation in that video that I talked about that I’d like to hear your thoughts on it as well.
Alan: Well, I think that when you think about moderation you should think about it in relation to any. Activity so you can have uh, you can eat healthy foods in moderation. You can have sex in moderation. You can exercise in moderation, but you can’t really talk about moderating something that has no normal relationship to the human organism.
So I don’t really, you know, uh, look at something, for example and say that if this is a toxic substance in large quantity, it’s still a toxic substance in smaller quantities. It’s just less toxic. Okay being something being less bad. They’ll say, well, using this drug is less bad than using that drug. Something being less bad doesn’t make it good. It just makes it less bad. And so I think what we should try to focus in us is the positive things that we can do that support health and happiness. And those include die,t slee,p and exercise. So getting moderate amounts of exercise, getting appropriate amounts of sleep, and engaging in a health promoting plant-based SOS free diet.
If you do that, most people get so healthy and happy they don’t have time to worry about all the details.
Andrew: Well you said about things being less bad as is funny to me because I’ve been vegan for a long time and people go, “What? you’re vegan? How are you so fat when you are vegan?”. And I go, well, maybe vegan junk food might not be as bad as non vegan junk food, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s good.
Alan: Well, vegan just implies there’s no animal food. I get myself in trouble sometimes speaking at vegetarian groups because I’ll point out that, you know, being a vegan may help you get into heaven. Then because of your moral, ethical and spiritual benefits, but it’s not going to delay how quickly you go there. Unless you also adopt an SOS free diet, you know, french fries, soda pop, all of these things could be vegan in the sense there’s no animal food. But it doesn’t make them healthy. So what that’s what we talked about in exclusively plant food diet. That’s also SOS free. Yeah, and if you do that, then you’ve got yourself in pretty good stead for supporting health and happiness.
Andrew: Yeah, so this SOS free idea. That’s something that I’m working on now because the last year I had on a potatoes as I said, but I did occasionally put salt on them. According to you know, Mcdougald, who says it’s not great. But if you got to put salt on it to help you stick to it then maybe that’s okay. And I use like ketchup or something sometimes and I tried to get ones like ketchup barbecue sauce or whatever that didn’t have added sugar, but sometimes I used it. I never used oil though, ever at all. So what are your thoughts on that is a little bit okay, or you’re better off?
Alan: I think it depends on the person, you know for some people a little bit becomes a lot. It’s very difficult to regulate quantity. And for other people, you know a little bit maybe within their adaptive capacity. So depending on what you’re talking about in the case of something like sodium. You know where our Target is around 1200 milligrams of sodium a day. That’s about the amount of sodium that’s naturally in the food. But there’s obviously a variation in there in terms of how well people can start. If you have a person that has high blood pressure that they’re salt sensitive. They have congestive heart failure. They’ve got a demon, they got swelling, you know, they may be better off completely avoiding the added salt because their tolerances are limited. Somebody else, you know, it may not be as big of an issue if trace amounts of salt are sneaking into the diet. The same kind of thing can be said, for example, when you’re trying to lose weight. The best strategy is eating whole plant food. What about things like dried fruits and juices and blenderized foods? You know for many people increasing caloric density may not be a negative issue and work well, but if you’re trying to lose weight the closer you get to whole food, the easier it is for your brain to regulate precisely how much you’re eating. So just encourage people to shift in that direction whole plant food. So they’re getting up you’re adding fruit. They’re having solid steamed vegetables potatoes rice beans, maybe a little bit of nuts and seeds and avoiding all the meat, fish ???, dairy products and sugar that predominate the average person’s diet.
Ninety-three percent of calories today in industrialized countries are either animal food or highly processed ????. Seven percent comes from fruits and vegetables but a third of that has potatoes but often they started as french fries and potato chips. So, got to realize that fruits and vegetables don’t even make us statistically significant percentage of the diet of most people living in industrialized countries.They’re the decoration on the plate we completely abandon whole foods, and that’s why when you go out to a restaurant or even a store, you’re shocked to find there’s not very much whole foods. Even if you shop at a wonderful store like Whole Foods Market. There’s very little whole foods in Whole Foods Market. Most of it is meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, alcohol and highly processed foods and a little bit of fruits and vegetables.
Andrew: I didn’t notice we don’t have the Whole Foods Market in Australia. Yeah, when I came here in the first time I went there. I was expecting this massive store full of just fresh fruit and vegetables and its really a lot like every other Supermarket have been to probably a little bit bigger that fresh food section, but you still got all these aisles of processed food.
Alan: Of course I kind of think it’s all organic all that, uh process stuff and alcohol and all that. Maybe that’s a way of subsidizing, the store so they can afford to carry healthy foods we’re all interested in.
Andrew: So yeah, that’s it. Interesting way to look at it. So, uh we’ve talked about what the perfect diet is, do personally eat that all the time or do you ever have uh days where you have a little bit of junk food or anything like that?
Alan: Yeah. I’m very fortunate because I live at the True North Health Center. So I have 20 of my 21 meals a week here at work. And of course at True North we have exclusively plant food SOS free food. And at home. I eat the same diet. So, I started an experiment as I said when I was around 16 and I decided I would try it for 50 years and then decide whether it was working, so I’m 58 right now. I’ve still got a few years to go in my experiment so far. It seems to be working.
Andrew: Yeah, right. Uh, so 50 years. That’s a long time.
Alan: I ask my patients to just do the same thing. Once they get on the program. We asked them to stick to it diligently for 50 years and then they can determine whether or not it’s working. And if they want to continue, in fact, I just saw my first 30 year follow up on it. This gentleman is now 85. He was 55 when he first saw me. Had Cardiovascular Disease, he was not happy, having to go on a plant-based diet. But he agreed to do it. He was wondering if he had to do it forever and I assured him. It was just an experiment and we would do it for 50 years. Yeah, so now here he is 30 years later. I haven’t seen him in 14 years and he came in for a check up. He said he was doing just fine, examined him and uh, he said that it seems to be working because all his friends are dead. He told me that one of his children had died of a cardiac arrest who was not doing the program and he said he would continue for 20 more years to honor his commitment to me, but after that he couldn’t make any promises. He made it another appointment in 14 more years when he’s 99, but he said if anything comes up, he’ll let me know.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s awesome. What what about cheat days then like, here all these different diets these days have you know one day a week? You can just have as much junk as you want. Well, what are your thoughts on that?
Alan: I think it’s a lot easier actually just to eat good every single day, every single meal than it is to tease yourself with some of these. Highly attractive artificially concentrated stimulating food. So for me, I don’t consider myself that strong-willed. So it’s easier for me to just eat good every single day, than it is to try to kind of tease myself and then have to have a lot of discipline in resisting and restraining. So for me, it’s easier just to do it right every day.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s on the side I’ve thought of. I’ve tried those days with cheat days before and all that happens is that I spend the whole week planning and looking forward to cheat day and then cheat day comes and I go crazy and then I go back to eating healthy the next day, but I just can’t get the cheat day out of my head.
Alan: I think a lot of people also experience that you know, the longer you do this the more you like the simple whole Natural Foods in the less appealing those artificially concentrated are, so you you miss less and less the longer you do it till eventually you get to the point. You don’t even really remember.
Andrew: Even to the point for me where I arrived it at the McDougal conference the other day and I had a McDougall brownie, which is uh, I don’t actually know what’s in it. I’m not sure what’s in those brownies, but I just assumed it was good because it was a McDougal one. So I ate it, and it was a good brownie, but I really didn’t think about it again until just now and that was four days ago.
Alan: The problem of some of this cheating businesses for some people they have sensitive insulin and blood sugar levels. So if they have a little bit, it’s not that the little bit itself is going to overwhelm them, but the effect that it has on their satiety, on their cravings, and that’s why a little bit becomes a lot relatively easily and then you’re constantly having to fight yourself to try to restrain. Once you get free of it, its kind of, I equate it to being like an alcoholic. It’s a lot easier to just not drink then to try to drink and then try to fight it in with yourself.
Andrew: Yeah, I’ve said that lots of times that I had this realization that my food addiction was the same. I was treating food the same way as an alcoholic would and and I just couldn’t do that anymore.
THE TRUE NORTH HEALTH CENTER
Andrew: All right enough about diet. So we’re at True North Health Center. Can you tell us about what happens at True North Health Center?
Alan: Well, we have some rather novel things that happen here. It’s very unlike most approaches in medicine because our patients actually can get well. Yeah, so if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or autoimmune disease, or lymphoma and you go to a conventional doctor they’re going to tell you to take this drug, and that drug, in this drug and that drug, and the promises if you’ll do exactly what you’re told, you’ll never get well, You’ll be sick the rest of your life. They guarantee it. And that’s why they tell you you’ll be on these drugs forever because they’re telling you, you will never, ever, get well. Whereas our experience is very different. If people are willing to do dangerous and radical things like, eat good, exercise, go to bed on time and undergo medically supervised water-only fasting, they can actually overcome these problems like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. nd they can manage these conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and they can control, uh, the problems in some conditions even uh, such as lymphoma. So there is a hope but it entails healthful living.
And so what we’re about here are where residential health education program. We teach people how to live healthy. So the body can do what it does best and that’s heal itself. And we do that with diet, uh, sleep exercise and with probably what’s most unique is medically supervised water only fasting. So we have patients after, undergoing appropriate medical screening, goal on water only fast for up to 40 days. And then after, they learn and how to use a plant-based SOS free diet, appropriate exercise, and sleep construction. And for the patients that we accept we have very good results. We’ve published a lot of studies, where publishing more now. As a 501 C3 non-profit Organization the True North Health Foundation’s mission is basically public education and research. So we have a research team and we have a website fasting.org and we’re able to try to bring this message of healthful living to the public both through written and as well as we have speakers Bureau, we try to reach out as best we can we speak many of the Chiropractic naturopathic schools, some of the medical schools. We have an internship training program. We train about 30 doctors a year in the use of all right fasting and diet in managing conditions.
We have patients. We have 1,000 patients a year than undergo, uh fasting at the True North Health Center they come from all over the world. The staff of 53 that make up the center staff. We have 53 people currently, that make up the staff of the True North Health Center. They’re involved in uh, we have medical doctors chiropractors naturopaths. We have Clinical Psychology. We have exercise physiologists. We got people that are shafts, that are cooking instructors. Wide variety of skill sets that help bring this message as a whole to our patients.
Andrew: Yeah. That was one of the things that I was really impressed with the other day. I was lucky enough to get to a Tour with Dr. Michael Klappa. And before I came here, I thought I already thought it would be amazing just to go to the place where you go and do water fasting but I didn’t realize the extent of, everything else that’s involved here. So, uh, we’d like you said about, the cooking demonstrations and the lectures you have and what you talked about improving sleep and exercise and all that as well.
So yeah, it’s a really very holistic approach that you’ve got here. It’s not just about come here drink water only for a while and go home. It’s uh, you’re setting people up for life. Um, can we maybe uh, sorry to go backwards a little bit. You said you don’t actually accept everyone or not everyone can water fast. So what’s that screening process that you go through to decide?
Alan: So the way that works is people first go to our website at healthpromoting.com. They complete what they call, the registration forms. And that gets us their medical history information and we often have them, uh, email us their med records. Blood test, whatever they’ve had done already. Then we review that and offer a free phone conversation so they can call and talk to me and I help them evaluate one, whether or not there’s things they can do that they’re not already doing that might be helpful. Two, whether or not fasting might be an appropriate tool for them and three, if there’s anything else we can think of that might be useful to them in terms of getting them back where they want to go.
Andrew: It’s not just come here and fast.
Alan: It’s like once we get to that screening process for the people that are good candidates for what we do. They’ll all be assigned one of our doctors. We have really fabulous doctors here. Dr. Michael Clapper, Doctor Anthony Lim, Dr. Peter Sultana. We also have for naturopathic Physicians. We have chiropractors. So, the assigned primary care doctor goes through their medical history exam on arrival and then guides their care during the stay and that’s available for fall after they’re done. While they’re here, they’re seen twice a day by our staff doctors. Um, uh to make sure everything’s going okay. Their questions are answered. We have three educational programs a day that are live presentations, you know, cooking classes, lectures, meditation, yoga, all that kind of stuff.
Andrew: That’s the bit that’s so amazing to me that I can come here and get so much education. They’re not just here in lying in bed and drinking water there.
Alan: We also have extensive video program we put together that they can watch subjects interest their seen twice a day by a staff doctor to make sure everything’s going okay and their questions are answered and then when they’re done, uh, we prepare, you know recommendations for them. Hopefully that they’ll they’ll stick to when they go home. Many of our patients are also involved in our. To clinical research protocols. So they’re involved in the studies that we’re doing. So there may be some additional monitoring and measurements that are taken questionnaires that are filled out etc.
And then the uh, the goal is to you know, get people to make these Lifestyle Changes in sustain these life changes so we can get. Long-term outcome data.
Andrew: Yeah, and if on that we talked a little bit about addiction and for me it was, quitting food except potatoes to help me break that addiction. Do you find that the water fasting helps to actually break the addiction, addictive behaviors. Is it do you think it changes something in people’s brains that makes them not want to go back to that?
Alan: What we do absolutely know is that there’s powerful changes that occur in fasting. One of them is it involves taste neuroadaptation. We’re doing a study right now that’s quantifying the changes in taste, your actual taste perception before and after fasting what happens is, food when you come in often times is that if it’s SOS free, people aren’t used to if they don’t like it. In fact, you know, this is had a, Patient who is actually the first Union patient. We became a fully covered medical benefit for one of the major labor unions and the very first person they sent us was a diabetic hypertensive guy, gross overweight and they sent him in to get well, but they they didn’t tell him what the program was. They just said go to the true north and they’ll get you well and then you can go back to operating your train. Yeah and the guy shows up and you know, he’s a kind of a crusty guy and he looks around he says, “oh, I think I’m in the wrong place”, and I said no, I got you on the list here and he says, “No, I’m in the wrong place”. I said now you’re here to get well, he says No, I’m not sick. Oh I said you are sick. You got high blood pressure 220 over 120. You got diabetes, your grossly overweight and I thought this would get him, I said, You’re gonna die! And he says, Yeah. Well, aren’t we all gonna die? Yeah. I said well, yeah, but you know, you’re on $800 a month worth of medications if we got you healthy, you wouldn’t need the medication. And he says, “what do I care,the Union pays for the drugs, right?” I said, well, you know, if we get you off the drugs, we might be able to do something about your little problem.
Yeah, and then he kind of started to stand up and I thought, oh-oh, and he says “well why the hell didn’t you just say so?” When we’re trying to check him in, we’re giving him some food and he can’t eat the food. I’m thinking he must have a tumor or something cuz he’s like, and I said, it looks like you’re having trouble eating the food.
“This is not food. He said this is disgusting”. He says “if I have to eat tasteless. Well, like I said rather just die. Why don’t you go out to my truck get my 12 gauge When I’m Not Looking just shoot me in the head”. So we checked him in, he fasts 26 days and when he’s done fasting not only is his blood sugar and blood pressure normal, but now he’s going to eat food after the fast and he can actually eat the food when I asked myself. It looks like you’re doing better with the food now. He says “yeah, you’re damn chefs are only getting the hang of it”. It took 20 minutes to convince him. It was the same food what had happened as he had neuroadapted. And so what used to be tasteless? Well was now, not bad. And he was able to do that. And so that’s one of the real benefits of fasting as people that just don’t like eating good food sometimes, after fasting they find they can eat good food. In fact, that’s one of the signs I have, that I know somebody needs to fast is when good food doesn’t taste good to them.
Andrew: Yeah, at the end of my year of potatoes. I never liked broccoli before right and uh, and yeah, it tastes amazing. Now, I love broccoli.
Alan: You know, it tastes the same as it always tastes, but now you can tell!
Andrew: Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah and even to like brussels sprouts. One of the worst thing in the world and and I came here and had a little bit of lunch the other day and I tried the Brussels sprouts. I wouldn’t say like them now, but they don’t make me want to run outside.
Alan: Well, you know, I’ll make you a bet. Let’s do a fast with you and then let’s see what do you think of brussels sprouts because the potato diet will absolutely help you get neuro-adaptive. Fast is even more powerful. Maybe that’s what it’ll take to get you to like brussels sprouts.
Andrew: All right, I would love to try it one day. I would really, I’d love to. It’s so interesting to me.
Alan: Well, you know, we got a bet when we’re done with this interview.
Andrew: All right. Um, so my idea is I didn’t think about this adaption in taste buds. My ideas before I started the potato thing was, I realize that I was relying on food for comfort and enjoyment and emotional support, and I figured that, if I made my food boring then I wouldn’t get that dopamine hit from eating and I would have to find other areas of life to get those Comfort enjoyment emotional support. Is that something you work on here at all?
Alan: Well actually, it turns out making the food quote boring only works for a while because eventually you should taste ???. The food gets better and better, you can get the same net dopamine. You just don’t get it in an artificially intense bump. Anytime you have that artificial stimulation, there’s also compensatory depression which leads to more overeating. This there tends to be a much more stable response and people don’t get the cravings as much. And it’s interesting some people like, they quit smoking by the second day. They often report no cravings. So coming off a lot of addictions like alcohol and cigarettes actually is much easier fasting, than feeding. Now, some people say “yeah, they’re so miserable fasting. They’re not thinking about the cigarettes the alcohol” but in reality, it’s the metabolic products associated with withdrawal. Just are, it goes too much quicker.
Andrew: Yeah. Okay interesting. Um, so have you, you talk about other addictions and have you, here, treated addiction just like, have people, like a heroin addict or something. Come here to fast, to get off addiction?
Alan: Yeah, we treat a lot of people that are addicted both to recreational and prescription medications. We probably treat more prescription medication addiction than we do recreational because a person that just wants to quit using would go usually to uh, drug treatment facility. People come here because they want to get healthy. This is much more difficult. You know, quitting a drug or drinking or smoking is hard enough, but to actually adopt a health promoting diet and lifestyle. That’s a completely different kind of person.
And so for those people are success rates tend to be quite high now, some people are addicted for example, they become addicted to pain medications because they were given pain medications by well-meaning but misguided Doctors for the treatment of you know, some kind of medical condition. Um, those individuals weren’t crushing Oxycodone to get high. They were taking drugs to modulate pain. Often which can be resolved with things like fasting intuitive care. Once you resolve the pain, then there’s not the psychological dependence that going back to the drugs for nourishment, entertainment or recreation. I think in our patient population we see a very good success rate, but our population is not necessarily the population of the general public at all.
Andrew: Yeah good point. Um, so all right. So we we finish this interview we go and check me in for a fast. What could I expect? What’s a day in the life of a fast.
Alan: Well, first thing we’d go through a proper history exam and review your lab studies. Make sure we have a good game plan. Uh, then what would happen is first thing in the morning, you’d be seen by one of the staff doctors. They would do vitals and they would answer your questions. You’d go to a class at 10:00 a.m. with other people that are participating in the program. You’d have a break, yolu’d have another class early afternoon. There’s another break and then there’d be another class in the evening, uh in the afternoon, you’d also be seen again by one of the staff doctors to get your vitals taken for any cap evaluation. If there was a particular problem that we were treating, you know, you might see the massage therapist a chiropractor or whatever psychologist. Whatever it is that’s relevant. There’s an extensive video educational program you go through those at your own pace. You get a lot of rest. It’s a tremendous time to do introspection.
Uh, people learn how to do yoga, meditation, etc, while they’re here. And then once you’re done with the fasting process, you know, you’ve gotten through your 20, 30, 40, days, whatever it is, then we begin the re-feeding process where we start with fresh fruit and vegetable juices, perhaps broth and then raw fruits and vegetables and then steam starchy vegetables until you’re on a full mix Diet of exclusively plant food, SOS free food.
You might work out with our trainer. We have a wonderful trainer here at David Goldman. You might uh, take advantage of the beautiful area we live in here in Santa Rosa. Lovely hiking and all that kind of stuff. And you’d also interact with 60 people from around the world that are also interested like you in actually getting and staying healthy and often times that seems to be a really beneficial part of this program is that you’ll interact with other people that don’t think you’re a wackjob just because you want to get healthy.
Andrew: Yeah. Everything that you uh, any lifestyle change that you want to make, if you want to go and do a triathlon, you should probably go and join a Triathlon Club and be around other triathletes. So I guess that’s something I hadn’t thought of until just now.
Alan: Being around other people that are interested in fasting and good health that would certainly be a bonus and you know, most of our staff who live on-site or live nearby, they’re intimately involved in the day-to-day activities and so interacting with all the different doctors and staff I think is also helpful for people.
Andrew: I’ve heard people say that fasting can be anyway, a very spiritual journey and that probably means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Is that something you focus on here or is it just something that happens?
Alan: Well, it is interesting that every major religion from the James to the Jews to the Muslims, Hindus, the Buddhists, the Christians, everybody’s got a tradition of fasting.
And the reason is because fasting changes how you see yourself and the world around you. Thr way you think and how you feel. So, we don’t have to do anything to induce that aspect of fasting and we consciously don’t in the sense that we do not have a particular flavor of religion or belief system. The doctors on staff all have different kinds of beliefs and whatever, and we carefully try to avoid injecting our own personal belief systems into our patients. We respect all of their different religious belief systems and try to create a supportive environment where everybody’s supported and we aren’t trying to shove our spiritual or religious belief systems down somebody else’s throat. That’s not who we are. We’re not experts in how to get into heaven or what flavor of religious belief. We’re really focusing on the physical and psychological aspects of fasting and creating a safe and neutral environment where a person can come regardless of their individual beliefs and.
Andrew: Yeah, people are going to just derive it. However, it happens on their own. Yeah. All right, so on to more technical sort of uh issues. I’m interested in uh, in what sort of diseases this is mostly effective for one of the biggest successes you’ve had. What’s the typical disease that’s successful in treatment here?
Alan: Well in general the conditions that are caused by dietary excess are the ones most responsive as you would expect, to fasting and dietary change. So obesity, cardiovascular disease, especially we have published a number of papers on the treatment of high blood pressure. We did a study with T. Colin Campbell from Cornell University.
We took 174 consecutive patients with high blood pressure and 174 people lowered the pressure enough to eliminate medication.
Andrew: 100% success rate.
Alan: 60 stage 3 hypertensives. That is people who have blood pressure of at least 180 or more. Their average effect size drop with 60 points, which is the largest effect of shown in the scientific literature and treating high blood pressure in humans.
We’ve had a fabulous success and we’ve been able to prove that fasting is the most effective way of treating high blood pressure in human beings.
Andrew: So there’s never been any kind of medication that could even get close-
Alan: Not even close. It’s not even close. But fasting is the most effective treatment that uh, that there is in terms of helping normalize blood pressure. Now, it’s true you still have to eat a good diet and live right in order to sustain the results long-term wise, but for people willing to do that and they have essential hypertension. The odds are overwhelming that they will normalize their blood pressure and eliminate the need for medication.
Andrew: People with hot blood pressure like that probably got plaque in their arteries and things like that. I’ve been able to measure that as well.
Alan: Well, we are just now, we’ve measured the the net effect on blood pressure in terms of it looking at bio markers in such we’ll just now beginning to be able to do that.
Yeah, uh in conjunction with the work that we’re doing with the Buck Institute and through our foundation, we’re able to start identifying and looking for those. Uh, we haven’t done things like Dr. Ornish did , Angiograms for example, because there’s risks associated with those factors and we’re not willing to put our patients at risk by doing invasive procedures.
Andrew: I didn’t realize that there was a risk involved.
There is, any time you inject Dye and ????. There’s a certain percentage of people are going to have complications. So okay, you know, I’m glad that other people are willing to do that. For our patients were looking for non-invasive diagnostic markers, but fortunately those would become available. We also treat a lot of type 2 diabetes which as we know is largely aggravated by weight gain, and poor lifestyle choices. We treat lots of Auto Immune diseases where the immune system is attacking its own tissues. So, things like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus. Conditions, like psoriasis, and other related inflammatory conditions, happened to respond well to fasting.
Alan: Yeah, that’s actually a slightly different class of disease, but we do treat ,we do treat people with Fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome. So uh, and also people that just want to break bad habits. They’re smoking or drinking or using drugs and they want to get free of them. So there’s a variety of conditions.
We recently published a paper in the British medical journal on our successful treatment of a patient with lymphoma. Follicular lymphoma stage 3 as amatter of fact. And this person had very large, uh, externally palpable tumors, came in against her doctors advice, underwent 21 days of fasting result for tumors. We now have a two-year follow-up. We’ve got pre-post CT scans, and they actually published that paper as I mentioned the British medical journal read that go on our website.
Andrew: I’ve read that yeah, that was pretty amazing.
Alan: And now since then we’ve done others and we’re have promising results coming back in the management of this condition with other patients as well. So we’re hoping to put together a cohort and actually, eventually do a clinical trial showing just how effective doing essentially nothing can be treating some of these very serious illnesses. So conditions of dietary access often respond well to fasting and dietary change, there are other conditions that maybe don’t respond as well certain or illogical conditions and other problems. And so we tend not to treat those, because we like to have really good results because it turns out no matter how uncomfortable or tensor miserable fast can be, if you have a really good result you forgive us for that. No matter how nice we are, If you don’t get a good result, you’re not going to be a happy camper so.
Andrew: Yeah. You’ve kept me away from food for three weeks and I’m still sick. Come on. What is this now?
Alan: We prefer to have dramatic, preferably short-term results.
Andrew:Yeah, I;m curious about the woman’s Doctor who advised her against coming here-
Alan: He said we were criminal quacks actually. He refused to release the medical records just because he didn’t deal with criminals and uh, fortunately, uh, she did very very well.
Her oncologist wasn’t as antagonistic. Her in colleges was a little bit more, you know, not optimistic that would be helpful. In fact, it was interesting because uh, At a year, I wrote to him and I said, you know ??? Doctor. “So, thank you so much for referring your patient for and if you require only fasting, I’m sure that as you expected and as you know, she’s gone into a remission and we’re looking forward to working with you in the years to come. In tracking this wonderful patients long-term outcome. And because we have a paper that’s been accepted for publication the British medical journal we’d like to invite you to join us as co-author of the paper.”
Yeah. It’s been two years. I haven’t heard from him yet, but I’m sure it’s just because he’s busy.
Andrew: Yeah, very busy. Is there, can you think of a particular case that was even surprised you? Obviously you expect a lot of things too.
Alan: Well, I have to say i’m surprised every single day because I am the biggest skeptic and I don’t believe in anything including what I do. So, it’s like constantly. Oh my god, it worked again. I can’t believe it. I remember saying that in Australia, maybe 50, 60 times during my osteopathic traffic. Well, this one gets well i’ll really be convinced. It’s just so amazing to me that doing nothing intelligently, essentially fasting. Can allow the body to overcome problems that have sometimes been present for years or decades. It’s amazing how good the body is healing itself, if you just get out of the way. And I think that’s what this diet and lifestyle approach is it gets out of the way? It just lets the body do what it naturally would do and that’s try to get well.
Andrew: That’s that was the next thing. I was going to say. I spoke to a friend of mine in Australia who’s a doctor and and he said basically that if, the body knows how to heal itself it knows what to do. It just needs you to get out of the way and let it do its thing.
Alan: I think fasting may be the ultimate getting out of the way.
Andrew: Yeah, uh, so I’ve recently very recently like in the last few days heard about this amazing sounding thing that the body makes called search engines if I’m pronouncing that correctly, uh, can you tell me a little bit more about that?
Because I don’t know that much.
Alan: Have you talked to dr. Clap? I had yeah give you the whole thing.
Andrew: Yeah, it was uh, he talked about uh, something about dropping, uh calories below 500 a day for five days. And then you make these situations and they go to fighting cancer.
FASTING AND HOW IT HELPS IN TREATING CANCER
Alan: Well, we can talk about intermittent fasting and fasting really could be called intermittent feeding because basically it involves narrowing the feeding window.
So maybe you don’t eat before 10:00 in the morning. You don’t eat after maybe five or six at night and that allows to have the increasing fasting ??? between dinner and breakfast so you extend that fasting window to 15 or 16 hours. One of the things that this intermittent fasting does is it reduces your total caloric intake, no matter what diet you’re eating. So people find that they eat less total calories if they narrow the feeding window and having a higher period of fasting ??? with all kinds of biochemical changes including those that you’ve mentioned that might be associated with different changes. We know that water fasting definitely increases IGF-1 and it decreases glucose as well. The reduction in IGF-1 and its reduction in glucose is associated with a slowing of the aging process improve function. We know that fasting and intermittent fasting decreases blood pressure heart rate. It reduces insulin and reduces inflammation. It increases leptin which is the satiety hormone. So people feel more satisfied, fasting increases stress resistance in adaptation. It turns out things like cancer cells don’t neuroadapt well in the fasting state.
That’s one of the Hallmarks behind conventional treatment of cancer is that they have higher metabolic rates. They’re more sensitive to radiation or chemotherapy. Cancer cells are also more sensitive with the fasting state. The fasting state gives the body a selective advantage in its efforts to try to do it. In fact, Valter Longo at UFC showed that if you took 30 rats with cancer. And you give them enough chemotherapy to kill all the cancer cells you kill all the rats, but if you fast the rats and give them the same dosing all the rats survive and you dramatically enhance cancer free survival. So what fasting does is it makes cancer cells more vulnerable and it makes healthy cells more protected from the ravages of chemotherapy.
That’s why they’re starting to use in people now. So try to regulate conventional chemotherapy.
Andrew: So you fast at the same time as doing chemotherapy.
Alan: Yeah, that’s one of the things that’s been, that’s been as being experimented on in some quarters. In fact now there’s some money that’s funding drug research because they’re looking to come up with what are called fasting mimic drugs.
So drugs, that would make the changes in your body that fasting does but without actually having to fast because we know that wouldn’t be practical. Yeah, and then of course, they’d have something to sell and we’re actually the benefactor of that in the sense that some of the research that were involved with, is being funded by people that want to understand the mechanisms of fasting for their own reasons, but for us, it’s going to be useful because we’re going to be come up with reliable biomarkers that will help us who should fast, how long to fast when they’re done fasting, and build a published data that will show the efficacy of this approach in ways that really can’t be refuted.
Andrew: So you talk about um fighting cancer there some cancers that aren’t helped by fasting or is it just good for?
Alan: Well, we don’t know at this point because there’s been very little research done. We do know that conditions that we have in treating like lymphoma, you know do appear to respond to fasting so we’ll have to investigate that further. The other thing that fasting does an intermittent fasting might influence as well, is the gut microbiota.
Andrew: That’s my next question as well.
Alan: You have about a trillion or more cells living in your gut that are you can imagine that most foreign material goes to the body comes in through the digestive system.
Yeah, and so it’s not surprising to find that 70% percent of the immune cells associated with your immune system are in the digestive tract. And you maintain a huge population of bacteria. And those bacteria have waste products. Some of those waste products might be valuable to you like, vitamin K and other nutrients so they may give off. Others may have kind of toxic poo and you know, that’s why some bacteria are so nasty and infection is a lot of what poisons you from the bacteria is their waste products with their or their bacterial poo, as I call it. So, if you have a lot of bacteria living your gut you want to have it giving off waste products their nutritive to you and positive not negative. But that floral balance may be thrown off when you have to say, taking on a botox or either a poor choice diet. And so you get a different type of microbiota growing in your gut now people try to take probiotics or prebiotics and try to alter that. But the most powerful way of re-calibrating the gut microbiota may turn out to be medically supervised water only fasting. Which clears the whole system out much like shutting down a corrupted computer and rebooting the hard drive and then you get the perfect prebiotics which is in exclusively plant food diet. And you grow the normal flora back and now your immune system is back in function at maybe part of the reason why we see so much improvement in many of these autoimmune related conditions because of healing of gut leakage. Normalization of the gut microbiota that reoccurs as a result of fasting and health-promoting diet.
Andrew: So at the end of a fast you would have a smaller population of bacteria that makes sense to me that you would. Actually, it was interesting to go backwards for just a little bit when you talk about making vitamin K because I had an a very prominent low-carb, person in Australia, criticize me and uh, Alan’s got his head in his hands now, uh, criticize me publicly and also email me personally with a long laundry list of concerns about what I was doing and one of them was that I wouldn’t be getting vitamin K in my diet. And I responded that the body makes its own vitamin K. I didn’t know the process behind that and I didn’t know, I was sure that he didn’t need to eat animals to get vitamin K, but I didn’t know how that happened. So I was interested just now.
Alan: It happens. Vitamin K is produced by ??? production in the colon. So that’s a good thing. You know, um, I don’t have experience putting a patient on one food of any kind for a year or so and that’s kind of a unique kind of thing in our diets. We always have people including, whether it’s raw or cooked fruits and vegetables of a variety, you know, depending on what their needs are, but I have had patients who are so sensitive that there was only a very very small number just a few foods that they could eat at all. And of course they do fine and then they desensitize and then eventually you can broaden their diet. And they’re gonna do wonderful. What’s interesting to me is that people would worry about you eating potatoes, but they’re not going to worry about people living on excuse, exclusively refined carbohydrates 25% of the sugar of teenagers in some studies comes from the sugar and soda pop alone. No, I’m like, where? what are they thinking?
Andrew: Yeah, it was pretty strange to me too. And the other thing is an aside, we’re talking about me now, but people would say if you, if you continue this then you’re going to get sick and die and all this stuff’s going to go wrong and I would say, oh I could just eat other food. But you know if this is making me sick, it doesn’t, I’m not just gonna keep on going. Anyway.
Alan: Of course the same fears come up about our use of fasting. You know, like I say even today there are doctors that think recommending fasting to patients is criminal quackery. It’s just the most ridiculous insane thing you could possibly do. And yet now, it’s becoming cutting-edge research because people are starting to recognize the benefits the body has if you get out of the way and do this intelligently. Clearly, you have to pay attention whatever you’re doing. And so you know, if you’re on a fasting diet or on a potato diet, whatever it is, you want to pay attention and let the body be the guide about whether what you’re doing is making sense or not. Clearly. What you do has a positive influence on your overall health life. So congratulations.
Andrew: And on that paying attention like, people that are eating McDonald’s three times a day. They’re not getting visited by the doctor twice a day and having all these Health lectures and oh that. Like no one, you know the same doctor that says this is Criminal quackery wouldn’t then go and supervise their patients twice a day to make sure that their McDonald’s and Pizza and Coca-Cola’s doing them good-
Alan: But it is incumbent upon us making recommendations that are not the norm.
To document the efficacy of that, that’s why we’re publishing papers. And that’s where we’re trying to take it seriously and try to give people the data so they can make an informed decision about what they do or they don’t want to do.
POPULARITY OF FASTING AS A MEDICAL PRACTICE
Andrew: Yeah. So that’s on to the next thing I wanted to talk about is how do we actually get this to be more accepted by the by the medical population as well as the general public?
Alan: Well, I think uh publishing credible data in peer-reviewed journals is in fact the most important thing that we’re going to be able to do because it absolutely, I’ve already seen the effect as we’ve started to publish papers. Thinking Physicians then start to say oh this makes sense to them and they’re open their minds now, you’ll see groups.
Like I’ve been at conferences now speaking to as many as 700 Physicians for continuing ed. So, we know that there are people that are starting to open up their eyes and their minds to this idea of healthful living and clearly what’s being done in conventional medicine has some serious limitations. So I think times are changing but I do think we have to publish credible scientific data, that will be compelling. So, it needs to be well done and that’s why we put a team together here of established research scientist to help us do this riight and it’s not a simple process. It’s not easy to do the studies. It’s not easy to get the studies published. Uh, it’s not quick, fast, easy, or simple but it is doable.
And we have consistent enough results that there’s not going to be any question once people see the data that we’re on to something.
Andrew: Yeah. That was the next thing. I’m going to say pre-empting me. But, one of the important things about uh, scientific studies is that they’ve got to be repeatable and reproducible and say you’re doing that as well.
Alan: We are.
Andrew: Yeah, uh, so can we have just a quick summary of a few of the studies you’ve done we talk about the one with uh, the laddie who fixed her lymphoma.
Alan: What we did, uh, we did two different papers treating cardiovascular disease particular hypertension. The first was medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of high blood pressure and that was published over 10 years ago now in JNPT, and that was the one hundred seventy four consecutive patients with high blood pressure.
We published a second study a year later on the treatment of borderline hypertension. People who have high enough blood pressure that it’s still causing them serious problems, but not high enough to justify the risk of medication. And those patients also responded consistently. We did another paper that looked at Cost effects of treating high blood pressure diabetes in the union project that I mentioned, where we treated over 100 union members and they found they saved more money in the first year than the entire Customer because it turns out it’s cheaper to get people well than cut their feet off, that is heart attacks.
Andrew: Part of thing about this. I was, I was really surprised. It’s gonna sound like an infomercial now or something but I was actually really surprised that how affordable it is to be here. I was expecting it to be thousands, and thousands of dollars. We are dramatically less expensive than most of the facilities in the world that offer medically supervised care of any kind. We are a 501 C3 non-profit foundation, we get support from some very generous benefactors help us. We do have rates that we’ve been able to contain and we have to do that because sometimes people have to be with us for a while. Yeah, so they need to have an affordable rate, you know insurance doesn’t cover the actual stay at the center but will cover our doctor’s visits and lab and all that kind of stuff, but it doesn’t cover staying at the center.
But what we’ve managed to do is we’ve managed to keep the rates very similar to being in a hotel anyway.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. The hotel I’m staying in is about the same price.
Alan: So $149 a night. Gets a person a private room and sure about, all their meals, fasting supervision, educational programs, everything that we do. Including being seen twice a day by the staff doctor.
That is definitely less expensive than than what kind of market rate.
Andrew: Well that’s cheaper in the end because I have to pay for my meals.
Alan: So I actually have, sometimes we even have some of our patients who are in town to do business though. They’ll find it’s cheaper to stay with us than yeah, the alternative.S o, we have tried to make it affordable. And I think that’s important because some people for example, will do a fast but they may need another fast. They may need some more encouragement or support on ongoing efforts. And so we’ve created situation where people can use this in that way. To try to bridge the gap between where they are and where they need to go and it’s not easy. People live in a world design to make them fat sick and miserable where everything’s about giving them what they want not what they need and what they want is to indulge in the pleasure trap and have pleasure, what they need is to learn how to enjoy their life without being caught in the pleasure trap. And that’s what we try to teach people.
Andrew: I think it’s just amazing. I think it is potentially you could charge double what you do and you could still you could make a lot of profit, a lot more profit out of this.
Alan: You definitely would make more profit. But what would happen is the stays would be shorter. And so what I’d rather do is have longer stays with better results and you know, we don’t need to generate a profit. We just need to cover the operation and were able to do that.
Andrew: I just think that’s really admirable so good on it for that. So, is there uh, that’s if you’ve if you had unlimited money unlimited time, unlimited resources.
Is there a dream study that you would like to do the study to end all studies that would-
Alan: Yeah, we’re working on on those right now. Actually, we’ve got, we’re very fortunate to have affiliation with some of the best researchers and the biggest labs in the world. So, I don’t think that there’s going to be a limiting ability to begin to look at these reliable biomarkers.
What we really want to do is we want to come up with a reliable set of biomarkers so you can do simple non-invasive testing. Determine who’s the best candidate, how long they need to go, and then demonstrate the efficacy with what we’re seeing clinically and so, you know this year starting literally, we just got a new medical doctor researcher from Italy here yesterday. So she’s the last piece of the team that we needed to begin. Actually recruiting patients we have even a federally chartered human subjects committee. Now through the ??? Foundation. We’ve got a lot of the pieces that we’ve spent years trying to collect all together now, so we’re very excited that we’ll begin starting recruiting patients for these these studies. And for people that are interested in looking at the research
we’ve already done or that we’re going to do. They will be able to go to our, we have a new website about to launch at fasting.org that currently goes to our existing website.
But soon they’ll be a new fasting compendium website that will open under that later on and people will be able to get all the research has been done in fasting along with our commentary and the information on the work that we’re doing and also if they want to participate in a study, they’ll be, the ability to register through fasting.org.
Andrew: So this will probably not be online until a month or six weeks time by then.
Alan: By then the newest version of the website will be launched.
FASTING FOR ATHLETES AND CONCLUSION
Andrew: Okay. Awesome. All right. Now a little self-indulgent question. So last year was Spud Fit right? Last year was the year of Spuds this year I’m want to make it the year of Fit. Is there, do you know of any sort of adaptation that comes from fasting that can be a good thing for athletes?
Alan: Yeah, it turns out that most of the positive biomarkers that change with exercise also change with fasting. It’s really quite fascinating. And in fact we have we have a fabulous guy on staff here his name. He’s an exercise physiologist and a fitness trainer, David Goldman and he’s been really, he’s very interested in the research that we’re doing in tying all this together and just there’s so much overlap the when you look at the biochemical changes with one and also correlates with the other.
It’s just you know both Alzheimer ??? Prevention biomarkers, the many of the fitness biomarkers. It’s a very very interesting.
Andrew: Yeah, so, oh that’s I find out amazing it is there, Is there something I could incorporate into my life somehow then in fasting like one day a week, a few days a month. What would it be?
Alan: What I would recommend for people that want to do something on their own, the intermittent fasting is probably the most relevant and that you can read an article on our website at healthpromoting.com by Dr. Jennifer Morano. And she goes through all the things you can do safely on your own, in terms of narrowed feeding windows etc.
When it comes to medically supervised water fasting we recommend that be done in a contained environment water. And with exam monitoring. But the intermittent fasting can often be done safely.
Andrew: Is there like, what if I just did one day of water rally is that something do you still need to supervise that?
Alan: It’s not that you need supervision for that, but I wouldn’t recommend one day water only fasting because the most expensive part of fasting biologically is the first couple days. And so you’re spending a lot of things biologically without necessarily getting the benefits. You’re better off doing the intermittent fasting and then when you need to fast past or however long it takes ????
Andrew: Okay, that makes sense. All right, last couple of questions.
Do you have I guess we’ve already talked about goals for True North. I was going to ask you about what your goals are for True North but you’ve talked about the studies that you’re working on so that probably covers it. I guess.
Alan: Well, yeah, we have um, we do want to continue to expand the True North Health Foundation. We’ve got a number of studies that we want to work on. We become basically a human subjects laboratory. And so now other researchers are coming to us with their fasting related questions, and we can recruit patients and we can conduct the fasting for them. Which for them would be very difficult and very expensive. But our foundational make that happen and then they would their access to laboratory evaluations and publishing can collaborate with us and we can get this data out there.
In a way that they or us alone, wouldn’t be successful doing and that’s how we’ve been able to form partnerships with the Buck Institute and will be G Fontana Washington University. So we’d like to see other people interested in conducting fasting related research to know that we’re a very useful tool for them at the True North Health Center.
Um, and we also we always looking for doctors that want to do something worthwhile with their life and they can come and join us on our staff and help us fulfill our mission both clinically and scientifically.
Andrew: Yeah. Okay. I’ve got a friend who I reckon would be interested. Anyway, last question, Donald Trump brings you up later today and says, I want you to be the Surgeon General. What would you what would you what sort of policy one policy would you like to implement as the Surgeon General of the US to-
Alan: Well, what I would do is I’d actually defer to my colleagues either Michael Clapper or John McDougall. Well, I think would be much more suited to being in a political position like that and I would defer to their judgment about the best way to implement policy.
But here’s the thing. The way it is right now, we can talk about one payer systems and two pairs of systems in and it’s not going to matter because right now we’re breathing a generation of future diabetics in our children. And the diabetes and even in kids is increasing geometrically and what’s going to happen is you’re going to have a crushing overload that is it’s not going to matter what Health Care System we have in place. It’s going to crush it unless, we start teaching health promotion.
So the goal with disease management is to prevent disease and that comes from diet lifestyle change. Unfortunately, not enough attention is being directed at that in my opinion. And so I think that whatever we do with our Health Care Systems, we need to start emphasizing. The fact that health is the result of healthful living. Unless people choose to live healthfully. It’s not going to make a whole lot of difference what kind of political system we come up with. It’s going to it’s going to be very disappointing.
Andrew: Yeah my new friend of mine. Dustin Rudolph is uh, the plant-based pharmacist we were talking about this yesterday, and he said that basically it doesn’t matter what kind of Health Care System we get. It’s not going to be enough because people are not healthy. The only way to fix the Health Care system is to make a healthy population.
That doesn’t matter what kind of political policies we put in.
Alan: And you know, if everybody adopted health-promoting diet and lifestyle it wouldn’t be problematic providing the necessary inevitable emergent care that’s necessary because bad things happen to good people, even doing the right things sometimes. But the amount of demand for care would be so dramatically reduced that we could afford to provide excellent Quality Medical Care when it was actually necessary to everybody that needed it. But right now all the medical care we’re providing to very wealthy people that could afford to get it isn’t necessarily doing them that as much good as we want. And so just even if we provide that to people that aren’t having as good in means that doesn’t mean that that’s going to help them get healthier either.
It doesn’t work in the rich. It’s not going to necessarily work in the port what we need to do for everybody is adopt healthful living. That means diet, sleep, exercise. Hopeful living habits are the key to health.
Andrew: I think that’s a good place to finish it. Uh, so thank you very much for having me here.
It’s uh, it’s been a real pleasure to sit down and talk with you and sort of, in a way, It feels like home coming here to be in a Place full of health and people that are trying to you know, do the right things. I wouldn’t have said that a year and half ago, but it really does feel good to be here. Thanks for having me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and just to finish off canoe tell people where they can find you if they want more information. Where should they look?
Alan: Sure, then can go to our website at healthpromoting.com
Andrew: All right. Read the book “The Pleasure Trap”. It was one of my favorites. Thank you and Spud up.
Andrew: All right. I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I did. Uh, it was uh, it was a like I said before it was an honor and a privilege to be able to sit down with a man who’s been so influential in the health, good health movement. Also for the intro and outro I forgot to say that we live across the road from a building site at the moment.
So you might get a bit of background noise with power tools going on and stuff like that. But oh well, there’s nothing I can do about that. This is the beauty of podcasting I guess. Uh, so anyway, that was uh, I hope you enjoyed that podcast. Uh, if you want to know more about uh, the things that we talked about then go to Spudfit.com and uh, and you can find the show notes on there in the in the blog / podcast section of the page just look for the Alan Goldhammer episode and they’ll be I’ll do my best to get links to all the things we talked about and put them in there so you can uh, you can further your learning that way.
So that’s that again if you want to support me and what I’m doing the best thing you can do is subscribe to this on iTunes or wherever you listen, uh, leave a review and until your friends about it. That would be most helpful and appreciated. Also, you can uh, you can take the challenge yourself at click on the take the challenge link to join a guided Spud Fit Academy group with guidance by me.
That’s I’m really proud of that group. It’s a great atmosphere in there and full of really helpful people and of course lots of help and advice from me. And also you can find my book, The DIY Spud Fit Academy a how-to guide to doing your own Spud Fit Academy that’s available on my website and also on Amazon.
So get your hands on a copy of that if you’re interested and uh, That’s it for me. Tune in next week for a really great, uh, mind-blowing conversation. Well, mine blew my mind anyway with uh with Dr. Doug Lyall the co-author of the book I mentioned earlier which was uh, the pleasure trap along with Alan Goldhammer.
So, uh, yeah. I hope you enjoyed today. I hope you enjoy your lives and spot up.
Thanks to my wife Mandy van Zanen for the theme music.
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