Ancestral Health & Medicine
Optimizing the Exposome with Ancestral Wisdom
Our genes account for only about 10% of human disease. So if our genes are not causing disease, what is?
The “exposome” refers to the sum of all non-genetic exposures in an individual lifetime, starting from the moment of conception. It starts with the food we eat. With an ancestral perspective, we gain the ideal starting place for the optimal healthy diet. We call this a Paleo template.
But optimizing the exposome also encompasses everything from the water we drink and the air we breathe to the social interactions we have, the lifestyle choices we make, and the health of our parents at the time of our conception.
In short, it’s the word scientists are using to describe the full range of environmental exposures that influence our health.
Like all living organisms, humans are adapted to survive and thrive in a particular environment. When that environment changes faster than the organism can adapt, mismatch occurs. This mismatch—between our genes and our diet and lifestyle—is the driving factor behind the modern epidemic of chronic disease. This ancestral perspective:
- Asks better questions. It’s a critical component to the trends that will define the future of healthcare.
- Provides new insight. It deeply informs our understanding of diet, physical activity, stress management, sleep, and other lifestyle factors.
- Realigns genome and exposome. It provides the key to offering customized nutrition and lifestyle plans for your patients.
7 Ways to Reduce Anxiety with Lifestyle Changes
We’re living in uncertain times—but there are ways to feel less anxious. Find out seven ways to reduce anxiety that are natural, effective, and sustainable.
Why It Makes Sense to Set SMART Goals for Health
Are you ready to take your health goals to the next level? Then read on for a little motivation and to discover how to use SMART goals for health.
Help Clients Recover from Lyme Disease with Diet and Nutrition
Lyme disease can be debilitating, but simple dietary changes can help. Find out how, as a dietitian or CNS, you can help your clients with Lyme disease ease their symptoms using a nutritional approach.
Ancestral Health: What It Is and How It Can Help You
We’re living in a time of innovation, yet we’re sicker than ever before. Find out how ancestral health can halt or even reverse the chronic disease epidemic.
Healthy Fats: What You Need to Know
Fats get a bad rap in our heart-healthy and fat-obsessed diet culture. Yet fats play important roles in immune function, regulating body temperature, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.
What Is Nutrient Density and Why Is It Important?
You’ve probably heard the term “nutrient density,” but do you know what it means? I’ll explain the concept of nutrient density and you can use it to choose the right foods for your nutrient needs.
Well Fed but Undernourished: An American Epidemic
Despite an abundant food supply, research indicates that Americans are significantly deficient in many critical nutrients. Several factors are responsible for the “well fed but undernourished” epidemic sweeping the nation, including a high intake of processed foods, declining levels of nutrients in our soils, and the increasing prevalence of chronic health conditions that influence nutrient needs. Read on to learn about the epidemic of undernourishment in the United States and other parts of the developed world and how you can help your clients maximize their nutrient intake to create a foundation for lasting health.
The Importance of Health Coaches in Combating Chronic Disease
Whether you’re considering becoming a health coach or are a practitioner feeling overwhelmed with helping patients make lifestyle changes, this article is for you. Read on to learn why health coaches are essential to combating the epidemic of chronic disease that we face today.
Is Iodine Deficiency a Bigger Problem Than We Think?
Iodine is important for thyroid health, fetal growth, mental health, and more. However, iodine intake is decreasing, especially in certain populations. Read on to learn the impacts of low iodine intake, who is at risk, and how to treat iodine deficiency.
The Gut Flora-Food Allergies Connection
The prevalence of food allergies and intolerances has risen exponentially within the past decade. Emerging research indicates that alterations in the intestinal flora may play an important role in the development of these disorders. Read on to learn how a disrupted gut microbiome predisposes to food allergies and intolerances and how restoration of the microbiome may be beneficial in the treatment of these conditions.
Environmental Toxins, Drug Metabolism, and the Microbiome
Environmental toxins are ubiquitous in our modern world, and high levels of exposure are associated with several chronic diseases. While we typically think of the liver as the primary site of detoxification, the gut and its associated microbes play an incredibly important role in determining the toxicity of compounds. Read on to learn how the gut influences toxin and drug absorption, metabolism, and more.
Two Reasons Conventional Medicine Will Never Solve Chronic Disease
Chronic disease is shortening our lifespan, destroying our quality of life, bankrupting governments, and threatening the health of future generations. Unfortunately, conventional medicine has failed to adequately address this challenge, and the prevalence of most chronic health problems continues to rise. In this article I explore why that is and outline a new approach to healthcare that would much more effectively tackle the chronic disease challenge.
Research Studies: Why the Media So Often Gets Them Wrong
Red meat on the chopping block again? While epidemiological research is useful for identifying potential associations between dietary and lifestyle factors and various health outcomes, it also has some major limitations. Read on to learn about the perils of observational epidemiology in this case study about red meat and diverticulitis.
The Gut–Circadian Rhythm Connection
In past articles, I’ve covered the importance of the circadian rhythm to good health. I’ve also written a lot about the gut microbiome. But you may be surprised to learn that gut bacteria can directly influence your circadian rhythm. Imbalances in your gut can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect your sleep, hormones, and immune system. Read on to learn more about how these two systems are interconnected and how you can keep your gut and “body clock” happy.
Vitamin K2: Are You Consuming Enough?
Did you know that vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 are different types of vitamin K? Before 2006, the USDA didn’t even distinguish K1 from K2 in foods, (1) but vitamin K2 plays important roles in our bodies—and you might not be getting enough. Read on to learn the difference between K1 and K2, the benefits of vitamin K2, and how to incorporate K2-rich foods into your diet.
The Benefits of a Paleo Diet on Lipid and Metabolic Markers
Metabolic syndrome affects 34 percent of all U.S. adults and 50 percent of Americans age 60 or older. Because metabolic syndrome usually precedes type 2 diabetes and heart disease, reversing it is necessary for long-term health. Read on to find out how a Paleo diet can improve lipid markers and help patients with metabolic syndrome.
How Distraction Is Rewiring Our Brains—and How Mindfulness Can Help
Our modern lifestyles provide nearly endless sources of distraction. Not surprisingly, recent research has shown that this constant input has a significant impact on our health. Read on to learn more about how distraction is literally rewiring our brains.
3 Reasons Gluten Intolerance May Be More Serious Than Celiac Disease
Recent news stories have downplayed the significance of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even going as far as suggesting that it doesn’t exist. But a growing body of evidence has proven that gluten intolerance is not only real, but is potentially a much larger problem than celiac disease.
RHR: Pioneering Researcher Alessio Fasano M.D. on Gluten, Autoimmunity & Leaky Gut
It’s an honor to welcome Dr. Alessio Fasano as a guest on the show. Dr. Fasano is globally recognized for his pioneering research in the fields of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. In 2003, he published the groundbreaking study in the Annals of Medicine that established the prevalence rate of celiac disease at one in 133 people in the U.S – a rate nearly 100 times greater than the previous estimate. He also headed up a team that discovered (in 2000) the ancient molecule zonulin, which regulates the permeability of the intestine and is know known to be a major player in the condition known colloquially as “leaky gut”.
Coffee Is Good for You—Unless It’s Not!
Numerous studies have linked drinking coffee with positive health effects like reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. However, recent research suggests that the effects of coffee on health aren’t the same for everyone, and may depend on genetics and other factors.