Broken Brain

By Dr. Mark Hyman, Dhru Purohit

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 Aug 1, 2018


The goal of the Broken Brain podcast is to continue the conversations that Dr. Hyman started during the Broken Brain docuseries. Each week we'll invite a new guest that we highly respect to help us dive deeper into the topics of brain health, longevity and living our best life. This podcast is hosted by Dhru Purohit, executive producer of Broken Brain.

Episode Date
The Importance of Dental Care in Whole Body Health with Dr. Steven Lin

Have you noticed that some people can have a mouth full of cavities, while others don’t? Which category do you fall in? If you think that brushing and flossing alone will prevent cavities, you might be interested in hearing about the myriad of other ways we can have good oral health—and how a healthy mouth contributes to a healthy body.

Dr. Steven Lin sits down with host of The Broken Brain Podcast, Dhru Purohit, today to talk about functional dentistry. Just how is this different than conventional dentistry? You’ll find out in this podcast. Dhru and Dr. Lin also discuss the history of the development of our jaws, the ecosystem in our mouths, dangers of mouth breathing, what bleeding gums really mean, and many other fascinating topics.

In this episode, we dive into:

-The value of a smile (3:12)

-Development of our jaws (8:43)

-Dr. Lin’s personal story (12:34)

-Dental health is more than just brushing (16:29)

-What is functional dentistry? (19:24)

-Chronic disease starts in the mouth (23:18)

-The mouth’s ecosystem (28:01)

-Why does one person get cavities and another person doesn’t? (30:40)

-Breathing through your nose and your mouth (36:34)

-Sleep apnea and anxiety (40:34)

-Mouth taping (46:25)

-Nutrients to support a healthy mouth (50:40)

-Bleeding gums and the gut microbiome (54:23)

-Tongue exercises for digestive support (57:28)

-Where can I find a functional dentist? (1:00:43)

Aug 09, 2018
My Personal Journey to Fixing My Brain with Dr. Mark Hyman

As a practicing Functional Medicine doctor, you might be surprised to know that I got sick...really sick. I got so sick that I thought my brain had broken. I had brain fog and couldn’t remember my patients’ names; I was exhausted and just could not function. What I uncovered may surprise you. I’m sharing my story with you today because if you’re not feeling the best, there is hope you can turn your health around like I did.

We’re taking a short break from our regular Broken Brain Podcast episodes and sharing the full-length interview I did with Dhru for our Broken Brain documentary series. It will take you through all the details about how my health suffered and all the things I learned along the way. I will give you an in-depth look at how I healed and all the things you need to know about your own brain such as the importance of certain nutrients, how the brain changes, why chronic inflammation plays such a big role in disease, how toxins impact us, and much more.

In this episode, we dive into:

-Why I got sick (2:06)

-My healing process (7:00)

-How the body affects brain health (10:23)

-What’s the blood brain barrier? (12:04)

-The impact of chemical exposures (16:18)

-Exercise has profound effects on brain health (19:07)

-The new science of the brain—neuroplasticity (21:05)

-Sugar as a brain toxin (22:20)

-Dementia case study “Bud” (23:14)

-Abnormal aging in our culture (28:36)

-Hormones and the brain (34:49)

-Inflammation’s role in brain degeneration (36:12)

-The importance of fats (37:50)

-Nutrients critical for brain health (42:31)

-Learning through play at any age (44:32)

-The power of sleep (45:38)

Aug 03, 2018
Meditation Takes You Deeper Than Sleep with Light Watkins

Why do people meditate? Is it because they need to de-stress—or is it because they want to work smarter and be more productive? It actually can be both and much more. Many benefits can’t even be measured. But, it is a common experience that if you meditate you will feel better; you’ll feel more relaxed, calmer, and focused.

Today, on The Broken Brain Podcast, host Dhru Purohit and expert meditation teacher and author Light Watkins have a deep discussion about the power of meditation in your life. Light and Dhru talk about the history of meditation, different meditation types (including the style Light teaches), and very practical tips on getting started.

Light explains why meditation elicits a relaxation response that is deeper than sleep, why it’s important to have your back supported and sit in a comfortable place, and how his community events called The Shine are wholesome places for people to come together to lift each other up.

In this episode, we dive into:

-What does successful meditation look like (1:48)

-The relaxation response that is deeper than sleep (9:30)

-Meditation types explained (15:25)

-What a consistent meditation practice offers (22:24)

-Steps to getting started (23:34)

-Light’s EASY meditation technique (26:44)

-What does it look like when Light meditates? (28:38)

-Fear of bringing up past trauma and pain while meditating (35:29)

-Real world benefits of meditating (40:30)

-Selling it all...Light reveals his new life (46:35)

-The Shine and bringing people together in real life (46:35)

-Making meditation a regular part of your life (1:02:56)

Jul 26, 2018
Muscle: The Organ of Longevity with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

We use our muscles every day—from our brain to our quads—for the smallest and the biggest tasks. Muscles make up an impressive 45% of our body mass. Did you know that muscle is an endocrine organ and regulates metabolism? Did you know that using your muscles actually can help reduce systemic inflammation?

Today on The Broken Brain Podcast, Functional Medicine practitioner Dr. Gabrielle Lyon joins our host, Dhru Purohit, to talk about muscles and optimizing our body composition by eating protein, strength training, and more. Dr. Lyon specializes in muscle-centric medicine and works with her patients to fine-tune metabolism, balance hormones, and transform body composition.

If you want to learn all about protein, and what it can do for your muscles, how it can increase your energy, and increase your longevity, I hope you’ll tune in to our podcast.

In this episode, we dive into:

* Muscle: The organ of longevity (2:18)

* Obesogenic sarcopenia—what does that mean? (5:08)

* Brain and muscle health in the aging (8:13)

* Importance of maintaining muscle (10:18)

* Everything you need to know about protein (13:21)

* Sources of protein (15:58)

* Plant-based protein (18:04)

* Dr. Lyon’s personal daily diet (20:18)

* Aging healthfully (25:26)

* Building muscle—where to start? (27:51)

* How do I prioritize protein correctly in my daily diet? (32:55)

* Dr. Lyon’s favorite protein supplements (36:06)

* How can the right protein change my life? (37:43)

Jul 19, 2018
Episode 11 with Dr. Elizabeth Boham

If inflammation is implicated in so many diseases, then how do we know we have chronic inflammation? And, once we find out we do have it, how do we know where it’s coming from?

Dr. Elizabeth Boham is our guest this week on The Broken Brain Podcast with host and Broken Brain Executive Producer Dhru Purohit. Dr. Boham is the medical director of the Functional Medicine clinic, The UltraWellness Center, that I founded in Lenox, Massachusetts. She is a Functional Medicine trained physician and also a dietitian.

Dr. Boham devotes her life to helping people in a way that few others can—as a cancer survivor. And, because of her experience working through this disease and healing herself, she was the first person that Dhru turned to when his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now healthy, thriving, and cancer free, thanks to Dr. Boham and her compassion and guidance.

Dr. Boham also talks with Dhru about inflammation, including how to determine if you have it and places to look for it. She shares how she uses nutrition and other lifestyle modifications to turn her patients lives around every day, and so much more!

In this episode, we dive into:

  • How is the Functional Medicine approach different? (3:44)
  • Finding the root cause is a personal journey (7:24)
  • Why increasing movement is a must (10:23)
  • Moving beyond thoughts that hold you back (21:05)
  • Supporting older parents through lifestyle changes (23:28)
  • Practical tools to improve brain health (26:20)
  • Role of butyrates in health (28:42)
  • DHA and how it improves brain health (29:47)
  • Sugar’s impact on the brain (31:24)
  • The importance of sleep and how much we need (36:37)
  • All about inflammation (41:46)
  • What’s the gut’s place in inflammation? (48:07)
  • Nutrition as the first therapy (49:49)
  • Dr. Boham’s personal story with breast cancer (54:05)
  • Three things to do to improve your brain health (59:42)
Jul 12, 2018
Episode 10 with Mike Mutzel

Have you, or a loved one, been on a destructive path, and wondered how on earth are things going to change? Our good friend and Functional Nutrition expert Mike Mutzel opens up for the first time here on The Broken Brain Podcast about his experience as a child and young person doing drugs, stealing, and being on a path that was going nowhere fast.

Mike shares with our host and executive producer of the Broken Brain docu-series, Dhru Purohit, how he pulled himself out of the deep dark hole of depression and turned his life around to be a Functional Nutrition scholar, interviewer extraordinaire, and social media master.

Dhru and Mike cover a wide range of topics in this episode including insulin and leptin resistance, why you want to reduce your body fat, the benefits of time-restricted eating, what plays a role in good health, and much, much more!

In this episode, we dive into:

  • What drugs do to your brain (2:50)
  • Mike’s life-shifting moments (9:54)
  • Who is Metabolic Mike? (12:05)
  • The detriment of insulin resistance (15:04)
  • Leptin’s role in health metabolism and insulin levels (17:50)
  • Reduce your fat, reduce your inflammation (24:17)
  • Skinny fat—why it’s just as dangerous (25:52)
  • Steps to pulling out of a negative cycle (28:05)
  • Benefits of time-restricted eating (31:48)
  • Safety of intermittent fasting through research (34:22)
  • Ketogenic diet - what is it and should I do it? (39:54)
  • Is there a best diet for everyone? (44:09)
  • What other factors play a role in good health? (46:56)
  • Gleaning information from Mike’s recent interviews (51:43)
  • Why would anyone want to be in discomfort? (59:49)
  • Raising healthy kids (1:04:37)
  • Let’s find Mike online (1:07:48)
Jul 06, 2018
Episode 9 with Max Lugavere

What do you do when your mom’s health suddenly takes a nosedive and you don’t recognize the person you’ve known your whole life? If you are Max Lugavere, you drop everything and go on a mission, pouring through all the medical literature to put the pieces together about brain health in support of his mom, who has a rare form of dementia.

Our good friend, brain health researcher, and Broken Brain expert Max Lugavere joins host Dhru Purohit today on The Broken Brain Podcast. Dhru and Max really dig into what foods help your brain thrive like extra virgin olive oil, dark leafy greens, and eggs. They also share stories about the importance of sleep, community, and love.

It’s incredible how loved ones change our lives and inspire us to help others. Max is testament to this and wants to share all he’s learned with you.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • Max’s thoughts on a vegan diet (2:15)
  • What makes a scientific study trustworthy? (7:29)
  • Foods that help your brain thrive (13:00)
  • Max’s recipe for a brain healthy salad (17:13)
  • Benefits of bitter plant compounds (20:53)
  • Genius foods for your brain (22:23)
  • Which plays a bigger role—genes or diet? (26:48)
  • Which oils should we avoid and why (29:31)
  • Max’s inspiration: his mom (33:27)
  • Your brain on sugar (43:38)
  • What sources of research does Max recommend? (56:33)
  • Thoughts on food policy (1:00:16)
  • How important is community for health? (1:02:34)
  • Contemplating coconut oil as a healthy fat (1:04:45)
  • Optimizing brain health with sleep and love (1:08:24)
Jun 28, 2018
Episode 8 with Dr. Rupy Aujla


You’ve heard it said many times: Food is medicine. But, do we really understand how our day to day food choices can make or break our health? The good news is that there are people out there, like Dr. Rupy Aujla, who do, and who are passionate about the role of food in good health. And, he’s using his life to teach others—including the new generation of doctors—all about the healing power of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Dr. Rupy Aujla, host of The Doctor’s Kitchen and Broken Brain docu-series expert speaker, explores the topic of food with Broken Brain Executive Producer Dhru Purohit in this recent episode of The Broken Brain Podcast. They cover everything from how food choices are contributing to sickness earlier in life to moving beyond barriers to healthy eating.

If you think healthy eating has to be time consuming, Dr. Rupy will share with you how he pulls together brightly colored meals in under ten minutes. Or, if you are on a budget, like so many of us, Dhru and Dr. Rupy talk about the true cost of eating organic fruits and vegetables.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • Using food as medicine: The grassroots movement (2:08)
  • Dr. Rupy’s journey to using food as medicine (3:32)
  • Why are we getting sicker at a younger age? (8:37)
  • Moving beyond barriers to healthy eating (15:46)
  • Tips for cooking healthy meals fast (17:02)
  • Eating well on a budget (20:57)
  • The real cost of organic fruits and vegetables (24:16)
  • Educating physicians in nutrition (27:31)
  • Research on food as an effective treatment (32:35)
  • Incorporating variety into everyday meals (34:34)
  • Improving brain health using food (39:47)
  • Tips for eating out at restaurants (47:18)
  • Dr. Rupy’s go-to 10-minute meals (50:54)
  • Practical ways to make a difference and be a role model (53:12)
Jun 21, 2018
Episode 7 with Dr. Maya Shetreat

In our 7th episode of The Broken Brain Podcast, Broken Brain Executive Producer Dhru Purohit and Dr. Maya Shetreat—dirt expert, neurologist, and Functional Medicine practitioner—talk about the role of dirt and microbes in the body. In this discussion, you’ll learn all about hormesis, how small stresses actually stimulate the body to become more resilient. Plus, Dr. Shetreat talks about many ways to get your children outside (let them play in dirt...let them eat some dirt!) and the importance of a whole body approach to health that includes the physical, emotional, and spiritual.

This episode is packed with tips for parents and caregivers to cultivate a healthy microbiome in little people. Even if you’re not caring for little ones, you’ll be encouraged to put down your phone and take a walk in the woods.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • Dirt and the instinct to be sanitary (1:27)
  • Fearing dirt and bacteria (4:38)
  • Implications of a sterile environment (7:57)
  • Steps to a healthy microbiome (11:15)
  • Hormesis: Small stresses that are good for us (15:35)
  • Encouraging loved ones to get outside (22:25)
  • Fear of independent play (26:52)
  • Dr. Shetreat’s approach with patients (34:08)
  • How to create change in your daily life (41:02)
  • What whole body health looks like (49:39)
  • Dr. Shetreat’s inspiration and resources (51:50)
Jun 14, 2018
Episode 6 with Dr. Titus Chiu

In this sixth episode of The Broken Brain Podcast, Executive Producer of Broken Brain and host of this podcast, Dhru Purohit, talks to our friend Dr. Chiu about his approach to brain health and recovery from brain injuries. You’ll hear about his personal story, what happens to your brain when it’s injured, why there is a gut-brain connection, which diet is best for brain health, and so much more.

If you are interested in learning about the best approach to healing after a brain injury, or just how to protect your brain in day-to-day life, check out this informative podcast.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • Dr. Chiu’s life-changing accident (2:47)
  • What is root cause neurology? (8:08)
  • The complexity of brain injuries (10:50)
  • Breakdown in neural networks (18:10)
  • Diet and brain repair (23:32)
  • How to give your brain a break (30:44)
  • Sports and brain injuries (36:13)
  • Neuroinflammation and gut-brain connection (41:02)
  • Tips for protecting your brain (45:33)
  • High-tech and low-tech healing modalities (53:02)
  • Diet for brain health (56:20)
  • Dr. Chiu’s book Brain Save! and where to find him (1:04:55)
Jun 08, 2018
Episode 5 with Dr. Akil Palanisamy

In our fifth Broken Brain Podcast, our Broken Brain executive producer Dhru Purohit sits down with the author of The Paleovedic Diet and Functional Medicine practitioner, Dr. Akil Palanisamy (“Dr. Akil”) to talk about the ways in which Ayurvedic practices can promote a healthy brain and body.

Dr. Akil covers many helpful Ayurvedic topics, like what spices to include in your “Kitchen Pharmacy”, the connection between the gut and brain, if dairy is the right choice for you, social connection, and much more. Dr. Akil also shares his recipe for Saffron and Turmeric Spiced Milk.

In this fifth episode, we dive into:

  • Dr. Akil’s personal health crisis (2:05)
  • Ayurveda and its effect on brain health (4:31)
  • 13 spices in your “Kitchen Pharmacy” (6:01)
  • Alzheimer’s in India (7:57)
  • Ayurvedic practices to help strong digestion (11:12)
  • Dairy - friend or foe? (16:11)
  • Brain inflammation or “leaky brain” (18:20)
  • Improve your health with social connection (24:00)
  • The MIND diet (26:30)
  • Tips to get started to improve your health (31:20)
  • Ayurvedic mind and body practices (33:18)
  • Resources to help you go deeper into Ayurvedic Medicine (37:24)

and much more!

Jun 01, 2018
Episode 4 with Dr. Deanna Minich

In our fourth episode of The Broken Brain Podcast, Dr. Minich and host Dhru Purohit discuss the relationship between food and mood, and how what you eat can increase your creativity, curiosity, imagination, and well being. Improving your day to day life could be as easy as adding colorful foods to your shopping cart the next time you go grocery shopping.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • How food changes your mood (2:00)
  • Tying phytonutrients in foods to body functions (11:59)
  • What do the colors in foods mean? (14:00)
  • Foods, neurotransmitters, and brain health (18:18)
  • Getting out of a food rut with a diverse diet (29:37)
  • Do you have food sensitivities? (32:42)
  • Essential fatty acids and inflammation impact on the brain (44:20)
  • Moving beyond food: more ideas to support a healthy brain (49:56)
May 24, 2018
Episode 3 with Dr. Robin Berzin

Dr. Robin Berzin, Founder and CEO of Parsley Health, sits down today in our third Broken Brain Podcast to talk to Broken Brain Executive Producer and my CEO, Dhru Purohit, about the pros and cons of these dietary approaches, plus functional lab testing that can provide inflammatory markers, and so much more.

Dr. Berzin also goes in depth into what biohacking is—which she describes as “principles and practices to help achieve optimal health”—and shares with you her favorite biohacks.

If you’ve been curious about functional lab testing and which tests to ask your doctor for, this is a great podcast for you to listen to! There are many other pearls of wisdom that you can incorporate into your life right now to improve your health, or feel even better than you already do.

Dr. Berzin has a gift for explaining complicated health issues in simple ways, so that they become easy-to-understand, approachable, and even interesting. When we take the fear factor out of health, amazing things can happen.

In this episode, we dive into:

* The “how to’s” of intermittent fasting (1:38)

* Ketogenic diet—good or bad? (8:17)

* Biohacking for better health (15:50)

* Functional lab testing and biomarkers (29:48)

* Community and our health (40:31)

* Parsley’s practice model (47:05)

May 17, 2018
Episode 2 with Emily Fletcher

This week the executive producer of Broken Brain, Dhru, talks to Emily about how meditation can be life-changing. A regular practice can literally change the chemistry and biology of your brain as well as positively affect your relationships and your work. We’ll learn how meditation can actually give you time back, how it relaxes your central nervous system, can reduce effects of jet lag, is very helpful to new parents, and much more.

Topics Covered

* Why do we have a love/hate relationship with meditation? (2:16)

* All about Emily and her meditation journey (5:04)

* How does meditation help us manage stress? (9:52)

* The financial and emotional cost of stress (13:50)

* Why don’t people meditate? (15:46)

* The difference between mindfulness and meditation (18:40)

* Emily’s work with Dr. Hyman (24:22)

* Finding what matters in our lives using meditation (28:48)

* What does meditation look like for Emily? (36:25)

* Results and when to expect them (40:45)

Teaching kids meditation (47:52)

The science behind how meditation impacts brain health (50:12)

May 11, 2018
Episode 1 with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Dhru Purohit, executive producer of Broken Brain, sits down with our good friend and Functional Medicine colleague Dr. Rangan Chatterjee of BBC’s Doctor in the House to talk about how food, mood, sleep, and relaxation can be applied to conditions that affect brain health, such as anxiety.

Dr. Chatterjee has a deeply personal conversation with Dhru about his son’s health, how lifestyle contributes to chronic disease, and gives many tips on how to go from feeling sick to feeling fantastic. This is a conversation you won’t find anywhere else!

May 06, 2018