Highlights from Jonathan Otto's interview with Dr. Nick Delgado, for the Depression & Anxiety Series. Dr. Delgato discusses the value of a plant based diet for longevity and slowing the aging process.

Dr. Nick Delgado - Part 1

Dr. Delgado: The first, there has to be an understanding of how does the body work? We have to understand that the gut plays a major role in all of health. We know that the human body has more bacteria than human cells. There’s genetics involved with those bacteria. When the gut is filled with natural fiber from unprocessed, whole foods, it generates hydrogen. Now, molecular hydrogen has been shown to help reduce and [inaudible ] or take away free radical damage. It donates an unpaired electron. The body and the gut work together in incredible fashion.

Also, we know, that if we chose the right plant based whole foods, we get vital chemicals and nutrients. These are natural chemicals that the body gets from plants that helps to detoxify all of these harmful conditions that we’re exposed to, whether it be toxins and smog or foods or plastics. There’s xenoestrogens, there’s pesticides. All of these things have to be detoxified. There’s been classic experiments done where people have been given high quantities of fibrous foods and they increase the amount of bowel movements every day, up to four a day, and they have larger, softer stools. All this fiber attaches to bile acids which are sometimes forming deoxycholic acid, which can call colon cancer. As it pulls all these harmful chemicals out of the body, it reduces the exposure during the period of time that a person is at risk. We really have to think of our bodies as a daily situation. There’s three things that detoxify the body, molecular hydrogen, methyl donors, which we include MSN, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, phosphatidylserine, dimethylglycine, DMG, TMG, trimethylglycine. What these do is they contribute a molecular compound that detoxifies chemicals. We basically look at that and then we include the fact that the diet itself, the selection of the diet. Now, there’s a lot of confusion about diet these days. Everyone says eat more protein and avoid plant foods and the nightshades. There’s a lot of confusion.

The reality is when you look at a book written by Brooke Goldner. Doctor Goldner stated bye bye to lupus. In her book Goodbye to Lupus, she points out her own personal odyssey where she had very high levels of lupus. The lab tests confirmed. She was concerned. She wanted to get pregnant. She wanted to get married. She was just petrified because she had this horrible disease. It was debilitating to her. Her joints ached. She was fatigued. She couldn’t function. She learned about a plant based, whole foods diet, oil free, because when you remove the oils, you get the fats from the whole nuts and seeds, avocados and olives. You really get a situation where the body’s getting massive amounts of fiber, massive amounts of vital chemicals to detoxify. All these chemicals just move right through the body out through the digestive track, producing more hydrogen. It’s interesting that from a biochemical standpoint, we’re looking at balancing the hormones, which is partly the foods we select. We know that xenoestrogens and the meats that we eat are loaded with estrogens for example. Now we have a whole group of people developing prostate cancer, breast cancer, because of the high consumption and the dependency on animal products as our source of protein.

It’s interesting that people even think they need eggs, that that’s the standard, the best source of protein. Even egg whites are touted as appropriate. Yet, we trigger worse autoimmune conditions with eggs and the foreign proteins because like with milk and eggs, they’re viewed by the body as a foreign invader, a protein antigen. Our body then sets up a system with the white blood cells to try and remove these foreign proteins, but then it starts attacking our own body proteins. We really have to calm down the inflammation. We have to reduce the exposure of these highly inflammatory foods, namely all animal product, meat, cheese eggs, dairy product. We have to move towards plant whole food nutrition.

Now, just taking plant whole food nutrition isn’t enough. We really should understand that people selectively have individual compatibilities. We’ll do an additional test. Say, an aloe test, SAGE medical test. There’s a few that measure what’s called IGG, the white blood cell’s response to the foods that you eat. If we select the foods that are most compatible for you, then your body’s immune system will calm down, the inflammation will reduce and you’re going to come out with, in most cases, removing or getting rid of the offending agent that caused the autoimmune condition.

When a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, the common form of treatment is to resort to multiple types of medications to try and calm down the inflammation. Yet, these medications, although they might reduce the symptoms, they don’t really get to the cause of the problem. We really have to look at a simple step program. I would suggest three simple steps. Number one, radically change the diet. Improve it or think about every food that you eat. Is it whole? Natural? Is it particularly plant based? You get all the protein you need by eating fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and all the whole natural foods in that category. When we get those foods, we also reduce the toxins in the body. Because of the high fiber content, we also get the benefit of more hydrogen production in the digestive tract, which has been known for centuries to be critical to helping to reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage.

We also get the benefit of nutrients. Dimethylglycine comes from apples, trimethylglycine. We get MSM. We get a phosphatidylserine. These are what’s called methyl donors. We take supplements also to ensure that the person’s getting these methyl donors. That also further detoxifies these harmful chemicals that are causing havoc and inflammation in a person with an autoimmune condition.

Also, we have to look at the balance of the hormones, in the case of Hashimoto’s and thyroid conditions. Instead of the body attacking the thyroid and destroying it, we have to support and remove what’s called endocrine disruptors. Doctor Edwin Lee is a famous endocrinologist. He’s been looking at this quite a bit. He’s been also identifying the fact that by supporting proper, what’s called T3, T4, which is the type of iodine within the molecule of thyroid production. That it’s not enough just to take the typical Synthroid that doctors prescribe, we need the full T3 and T4. It may be within the range, but it may be low within the range. The symptoms, cold hands and feet, fatigue, loss of hair, just a host of symptoms when people have thyroid conditions. We really have to look at how the diet, the herbs that we consume, the very amount of activity, the exercise, our sleep patterns, all of these things affect how the body processes and creates and generates proper hormone balance, how the body eliminates toxins and chemicals and byproduct of waste and how the body frees up its immune system to no longer waste its time dealing with protein antigens, harmful, unnecessary, excess proteins say from animal meat and dairy. It let’s the white blood cells now start to deal with the normal factors in the body, microbes and ... now start to deal with the normal factors in the body, microbes and viruses and various types of injuries. So, the body, once it’s set in the right state, the right diet, the right supplements, the right hormonal balance, all of this together is going to help a person with an autoimmune condition to essentially return to a more normal state. We have a number of doctors who are actually suffering from autoimmune conditions. I’ve been working with athletes with Crohn’s disease and other very serious digestive disorders. Celiac disease, a lot of times we think it’s simple, just cut out the wheat. Now wheat for about maybe 7% of the population is inflammatory, and that’s where we can do these simple tests.

I always ask people, “Do you know if you were breast fed or not?” Because the breast milk during the first two years sets up the immune system to be in a proper format to fight diseases, but most cultures now introduce formulas, and these formulas aren’t even human milk-based. They’re often dairy-based, so that can trigger an allergy to that particular foreign protein, in this case dairy product, for the rest of that person’s life. We look at then how is a child brought into the world, what foods are they fed, is food introduced too soon into the digest tract because it takes at least a year for the digest tract to get mature enough to handle foods and they’ll say, “Oh, little Johnny, we gave him some meat. Oh, we were able to feed him some eggs or feed him dairy product. Let’s give him all this protein,” and now you’re setting up that child for an autoimmune condition for the rest of their life.

And then they’ll enter into the western world and a lot of our foods center around because the meat and dairy industry want us to believe that’s the best source of proteins. So what we have to do is help that person move away from that kind of diet. Embrace a whole foods, oil-free, vegan, vegetarian-type diet. I just call it plant-based, whole food nutrition and because it’s unprocessed the body starts to react in a positive fashion. It’s rich in vital chemicals. These are natural, over 300,000 vital chemicals that we know of in plants alone that soothe and calm down the body, fight free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and actually get to the cause of these health problems. We can eradicate most of them.

By last count, according to the book, “How Not to Die,” Michael Greger stated over 22 known chronic diseases could be prevented or reversed if we all started following a healthy diet. I include healthy supplementation and the balance of hormones. That combination, those big three, you’re going to see some amazing results for most everyone.