Obliterate Conformity

The rise of sugar correlates with a chronic disease plague that few paid attention to before the late 20thcentury. Today, sugar wreaks more biochemical havoc than a century of wars.  What can we do about it?

Sugar. I spent four and a half decades in her embrace –fondling her thousand and one manifestations.

She was sweet, loving and caring. On a regular day she would give me energy, drive and motivation. On rainy days she’d reward me with compassion or thinly veiled indifference. And when the shit hit the fan, she’d help me forget both the shit and the fan.

Sugar was there from the beginning. She entered my crib in the form of treats. She sang a lullaby and dripped a sweet substitute for mother’s milk. Later, she took my hand and guided me through life’s ups and downs.

I swam with her, intoxicated, as a juvenile, a bachelor, an addict and a multiholic. I felt lost without her, and focused and determined with her. Together we hit the rat race and rode life’s roller coaster, fueled by a Western diet. And after every day of grind, it was her comfort and warmth that I looked forward to, without understanding why.

I didn’t know that she was history’s most prolific assassin.

Nor did I know that life doesn’t actually move like a roller coaster, except on and off sugar.

Either fact is going to be hard to accept, at first. Unless we belong to the Yanomami tribe in Venezuela, or other off-the-grid indigenous people who remain uncompromised by modern diet and Western living standards, we’re most likely still within her grasp, brain fogged.

Sugar messes with both body and mind

Sugar operates in mysterious, multitudinous ways, custom tailored to our individual psychology. She is an empress and a dominatrix, operating on the deepest levels of our subconscious, both individually and collectively.

Today, sugar seems to be nowhere, yet she is everywhere, from staple to culture. When someone dies, we mourn with sugar. When someone is born, we celebrate with sugar. And in between these two events, we eat sugar.

It’s a mistake to associate her with just the sweet stuff. She hides in 80 percent of the processed foods. Her safe house is refined carbs, anything that is canned, processed or packaged. She is wheat, all forms of grains, bread, pies, dough, pasta, couscous, chips, tortillas, soda, yoghurt, rice, pizza, bagels, jams, cereals, waffles, energy bars, muffins, ice cream, syrups, fruit, flour, oatmeal and a thousand others. She is two-thirds of the Healthy Eating Pyramid. She goes hand-in-hand with booze. She shape shifts, mixes and hides in forms that are invisible to her concubines.

There is both a biochemical and emotional edge to her deadly brilliance. The truth about sugar also happens to be the truth about our civilization.

How We Became Her Junkies

A baby with the expectant eyes of a delighted junky will reject her mother’s milk in favor of sugary water (which has zero nutritional value). Children shut up when we give them the standard parental shut-up remedy: candy. An alcoholic in withdrawal eats a Mars bar for relief, per the Alcoholics Anonymous manual. A lab rat that has been addicted to cocaine with intravenous shots, will switch to sugary water in record time.

Sugar is not a nutrient. It’s a drug. And we are her addicts in denial.

In The Case Against Sugar, author Gary Taube tells the story of a pharmacist who got addicted to morphine after being wounded in the Civil War. John Pemperton tried to wean himself off the habit with a mix of sugar, water, caffeine and cocaine. The mixture worked so well that it became the world’s most popular drink. By 1938, a Kansas newspaper editor wrote about Coca-Cola as the “sublimated essence of all that America stands for.”

The removal of cocaine from Pemberton’s secret recipe didn’t slow down Coke’s growth; it enabled it. Coke became the world’s most widely distributed product, and the second-most-recognized word on Earth. (“Okay” is first.)

The secret behind Coke’s “secret formula,” of course, was and is sugar. (One quart, or liter of Coke contains 28 sugar cubes.)

Or take tobacco. Only after R.J. Reynolds dipped their tobacco in sugar in 1913, followed by the rest of the tobacco industry, did cigarettes became more inhalable and addictive. This drove the worldwide explosion in cigarette smoking, and the first lung-cancer epidemic in human history, with today’s cancer death rate due to smoking at 1 in 4.

The addictive nature of sugar is intimately related to the same biochemical nature of illegal drugs, booze and pharmaceuticals, although most scientific studies avoid making this parallel.

Alcohol, opioids, cocaine and other psycho-stimulants work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin regulates our feeling of well-being and happiness. Sugar achieves this effectby allowing a serotonin building block, tryptophan, to enter the brain at a rapid rate. You can test it yourself by eating chocolate, which is rich in both sugar and tryptophan.

When we eat a refined carb snack, we also take an opiate-like hit, along with a drop of comfortable numb and a bit of pleasurable buzz. That’s because sugar also activates enkephalins and endorphins, morphine-like painkillers and pleasure drivers. And beta-endorphins, which stimulate cravings for more sugar and refined carbs. And dynorphins, a class of opioid peptides that increase overall craving.

In the same vein as a classic drug addict, a sugar abuser will incrementally up his dose to stimulate dwindling tryptophan levels in the brain. Just a little bit more. The genius, pull-push motivational mechanism of sugar is both biochemical and emotional. Every bite becomes another nudge that speeds our biochemical tailspin. A tailspin that starts in childhood, with every little piece of comfort and reward.

It’s the surplus and deficit of sugar that appears as “life’s ups and downs”

The difference between sugar and Schedule 1 drugs like heroin and cocaine is that the biochemical damage of sugar accrues slower. And because sugar works invisibly, the damage goes deeper.

Because the drug-sugar analogy goes against everything we’ve been taught, we tend to ask defensive questions.

“If sugar is so bad, why did we evolve a sweet tooth?”  

“Why does the human tongue, roof of the mouth and throat carry special receptors for sugar?”

“Why do babies light up with a smile when sugar hits their palate?”

“Why does Aunt Betty finally shut up and stop complaining 10 seconds after having her chocolate cake?”

“Shouldn’t millions of years of hominid evolution have taught us better?”  

“So why didn’t someone label this stuff with skull images?”

Relative to the environmental problems, wars and all other conflicts that are going on in the world, sugar seems like a minor infraction. We downplay it. We tend to do comparative judgements on what is, more or less, “bad” versus “good” to eat, but oddly the comparison tends to always favor foods with sugar in them.

Instead of examining sugar as an ethical or dietary choice, we need look at its influence on natural selection, evolution and our biochemistry. Both humans and plants evolved with sugar through millions of years of trial and error, to survive and procreate.

For the early humans and their hominid predecessors, life consisted of gathering and hunting food on a daily basis. Our biochemistries adapted to intermittent starvation as a norm. Coming across fruit was a rare delicacy, reserved for spring and summer, for a reason.

Dr. Richard Johnson, an expert in leptin and insulin resistance, argues in his book The Fat Switchthat the metabolic syndrome (having excessive fat) is a biochemical condition to protect us against famine while we were still roaming the plains as hunter-gatherers. Excess fat is activated by an enzyme called fructokinase, which is triggered by fructose, aka fruit sugar. Fructose basically accumulates as fat directly and doesn’t tell us when we’re full, so that the early hominoid could gain the extra few pounds of energy reserves to get to his next destination, with a bit of buffer for the winter.

That extra fat was not intended to stay there

Excess fat around the belly is not a body type, it’s a sign of a metabolic disease that wears and tears us on a cellular level, depleting both body and mind. But sugar doesn’t care about that. It’s sole purpose is entrapment.

Our sweet taste buds evolved to spot the sources for this precious burst of energy. It probably saved more than a few hunters who migrated across the great plains in search of new sources of energy. For the plant, or fruit, that carried her sweet taste, sugar became a way to guarantee survival.

The fruit plant learned to propagate by having herbivores and carnivores “hitchhike” its progeny across the plains. The reward for the carrier was a hit of energy and momentary sense of well-being. Plants have evolved thousands of ways to attract seed carriers, ranging from little parachutes that get carried away by the wind to psychoactive substances that attract the prey to alter their states of consciousness. Yet sugar won the natural selection battle for the best entrapment drug.

Millions of years of natural selection made fructose a leading psychoactive stimulant in helping plants build their dominion. We learned to differentiate the lush fruit that was “ripe” for us to eat by color, taste and smell, unwittingly making ourselves the taxi drivers of plant heritage.

The Paleo man got his sugar high at best once every few weeks during the summer season. He certainly wasn’t digesting 170 lbs of fructose per year (or eating a life-size sugar statue of himself) in highly refined form, like the average Westerner does today. To replicate modern levels of fructose consumption, the hunter and gatherer would have needed to eat about 30 apples per day, every day, for 365 days per year.  That doesn’t leave much time for either hunting or gathering. Instead, the hunter would transform into a shapeless prey, unable to keep up with the tribe. Eventually, the  hyenas would catch up with him.

The hyenas are also catching up with us. The average modern man and woman is high on fructose, non-stop, 24/7/365. Table sugar, also known as sucrose, is made out of fructose and glucose in equal proportions. Even if we manage to say no to sucrose, we still get our hit from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a universal ingredient that’s hiding in practically all processed and packaged foods today. HFCS is also half fructose. Even if you make a conscious effort to avoid refined fructose, you’re probably still eating it in hidden forms.

Jared Diamond, an evolutionary biologist and author of The Third Chimpanzee,has an apt analogy about the introduction of refined carbs into our diets. Imagine the evolutionary journey from a chimpanzee to human as a 24-hour clock. Every hour represents 100,000 years of past time. We go through night, dawn, afternoon, day, evening … all the way to minutes before midnight, as hunter-gatherers, eating high-fat, low-carb diets. During this time, fruit is a rare delicacy. At 11:54 PM, we get the idea to separate plants and animals with a fence, in order to grow monocultures like cane sugar, corn, wheat and other grains, the cornucopia of carbs that we recognize as the birth of agriculture, and thereby civilization. 

The shift to modern civilization was rapid enough to present a toxic dump on our virgin biochemistry. Our cells were attacked, unprepared. After the evolution of a particular lifestyle for over two million years –actually seven million if you include our great ape ancestors –we switched to a high-carb diet only six minutes before midnight (or 10,000 years go). That’s the time you should be in bed.

In the same vein, refined sugar, which is the crack cocaine version of carbs, hit us in the last 0.36 seconds of our existence (the 20thcentury). That’s about the same time it takes to shove an adrenaline syringe into the heart of a comatose junkie, a’la Pulp Fiction.

No wonder we’re having problems adapting to her sweet, refined forms.

Our biochemistries weren’t expecting the invasion of processed carbs

In 1822, when Americans still consumed  6 lbsof sugar per year, a British army surgeon needed nearly two decades to pinpoint  twodiabetes cases in the Wild West. Today, 80 millionhave pre-diabetesand 29 million have type 2 diabetes in the U.S. Soon, up to half of the population is expected to have diabetes.

Sidney Mintz, professor of anthropology, estimates that the Brits were eating 4 lbs of sugar per person per year in 1704 and 90 lbs in 1901,  a 22-fold increaseover the colonial heydays. No one had the guts to tell Queen Elizabeth that her teeth had turned black in the late 16thcentury, or that her Majesty’s army had a hard time finding recruits without rotten dentures. Dental issues only appeared after sugar entered our diets. Pre-agricultural skeletons had perfect teeth. 

Two missionary physicianswho arrived in Kenya in the 1920s wrote that “hypertension and diabetes were absent… the native population was as thin as ancient Egyptians.” It took 40 years of British high-carb diets to convert the slim Kenyans into obese Africans with a host of health issues, starting with tooth decay and leading to “gout, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, and eventually encompassing all of them,” the missionaries observed.

India was similarly transformed into the “Diabetes Capital of the World” with British-introduced nutrition habits in half a century, after millennia of natural, healthy eating habits. Western diets literally wiped out the perfectly healthy Inuit, the Native Americans, the Zulus, the Natal Indians, Polynesian cultures, Yanomamo and Xingu Indians of Brazil, and whoever else was either forcibly or willingly acculturated to our lifestyle.

The problem of sugar boils down to a hormonal imbalance

The two hormones that manage our energy and metabolism, leptin and insulin, adapted over millions of years for us to survive in unpredictable environments.

Leptin tells us when to stop eating. The “satiety hormone” is stored all over our body inside our fat cells. As more fat accumulates, more “I’m full”-signals are received by the brain via the hypothalamus.

Insulin, aka the “energy storage” hormone, is produced by the pancreas. It tells our cells to convert the new energy into cellular fuel (ATP) or store it as fat for later use, effectively balancing our energy needs.

The normal process goes like this. Eating sugar releases insulin. Insulin makes cells convert sugar (glucose) into glycogen (ATP). Excess glucose is turned into triglycerides (fat) and distributed around the body. The extra fat increases leptin levels. Extra leptin, in turn, tells the brain that the body’s energy requirements have been satisfied.

This is a delicate, predictive hormonal cycle that helped our ancestors achieve an optimal weight-and-energy-burn balance. We could run fast, hunt, and avoid predators while also carrying adequate, but not excessive, energy reserves.

Civilization changed all that. A high and constant sugar intake desensitizes the leptin and insulin receptors in our tissues, cells, muscles and organs, causing us to remain hungry, even though our fat and energy reserves are plentiful .

Sugar desensitizing means that even though leptin and insulin levels rise, the receptors for these hormones don’t pay attention. They’ve been “fed up” with the constant bombardment of the respective hormones.

Imagine going into a college dorm room crammed with sweaty sports clothes. After a few minutes, you forget about the stink because your nose becomes desensitized to the stimuli. The same goes for the hormone receptors, except this time we’re dealing with a much bigger problem than smelly socks. In the hormonal world, the problem is known as leptin and insulin resistance.

”In a healthy fat cell, rising leptin levels cause leptin receptors to release triglycerides to use for energy. In leptin-resistant fat cells, the receptors are clogged with triglycerides, and no fat is being released for energy,” points out Richard Byron in The Leptin Diet.

Insulin resistance on muscle, fat and liver cells means that their ability to absorb glucose from the bloodstream is hindered. As a result, the pancreas goes on overdrive, trying to drive down blood sugar levels with even more insulin. The oversupply of insulin desensitizes the tissues, organs and cells to become even more insulin resistant, in a downward spiral. Over time this will likely evolve into pre-diabetes and finally type 2 diabetes. It’s the flush of intermittent insulin that is so destructive to the body, like the engine damage you would get from cranking high RPM on first gear.

According to Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, founder of Metabolomic Medicine, a medical branch that specializes in identifying and preventing blockades to energy metabolism, by the time diabetes has been diagnosed, “damage to coronary arteries has already occurred in 50 percent of patients… because of high levels of insulin.”

Note: Modern medicine advocates insulin shots for Type 2 diabetes, when the problem in fact has to do with excessive sugar intake rather than insufficient insulin production. Hence, the insulin damage is exacerbated further with insulin shots under the standard protocol.

The typical symptoms for a pre-diabetic or metabolic syndrome (high levels of insulin, triglycerides, excess weight, high blood pressure, inflammation) appear several years before the onset of diabetes and/or other chronic complications. 

Fructose is the Darth Vader of carbs, in that it also features what Dr. Johnson termed the “Fat Switch” function, a powerful chemical trigger for storing fat. Most of the fructose is processed into fat in the liver, without entering the bloodstream. This is the reason why Glycemic Index (GI), the measure of how “harmful” different foods may be to diabetics, is misleading. Fructose hardly shows up in the GI since it hardly shows up in the bloodstream.

The more refined the carb, the more fructose, the faster our cells become desensitized, and the more fat is produced, distributed and stored in the body. 

We weren’t designed to eat and get hungry every few hours. In fact, it’s not hunger. It’s withdrawal.

Fat doesn’t make us fat. Sugar and processed carbs do.

The alpha and the omega of civilization

Sugar lies at the root of our cumulative health problems. The direct and indirect health effects related to sugar consumption are hard to assess. Or, it’s more accurate to say that no one has really properly assessed the damage because our focus is on other “threats.”

Take, for example, the terrorism threat, which is responsible, on average, for one (1) American death per yearsince 9/11, the day three skyscrapers collapsed at free fall speeds for the first time in skyscraper history.

Or take drugs.

  • About 570,000 people die annually from drug use in the US
  • 480,000 of those are tobacco related (indirectly related to sugar)
  • 31,000 are due to alcohol (indirectly related to sugar)
  • 23,000 are related to pain medication
  • 22,000 are due to Schedule 1 drug abuse (heroin, cocaine and other “hard core” substances)

All disease is cumulative and multifactorial, which is why there is never a single culprit for any type of disease. If we lead a stressful life, drink too little water, too much soda, breathe polluted air, isolate ourselves from nature with a sedentary lifestyle, eat processed foods with scarce nutrients… we compound causality.

If we accept sugar as a multifactorial agent of disease, we also need to accept the sci-fi- type reality of its disease impact.

In this reality, sugar connects directly or indirectly to nearly 70 percent of all chronic, premature deaths worldwide (a.k.a. NCDs or Noncommunicable Diseases). That’s 30 million casualties globally. In America, NCDs account for88 percent of all deaths, or nearly 3 million people per year.

Yet, sugar is a celebration of our culture and lifestyle. She is the pink Godzilla in the middle of our kitchen, whose existence we deny. We give her permission to pull us into a wet, premature grave, while on a permanent high.

Even if we manage to avoid sugar in its most conspicuous forms, other refined carbs boil down to the same biochemical effects on our bodies. Grains and wheat in particular. It’s important to remember that the USDA recommends grains as our dominant calorie source. Grains and sugar together are the Bonnie and Clyde of biochemistry.

Aside from the direct fatality rate, the crippling effect on life quality is hard to fathom. Once we live with a chronic disease, quality of life is compromised. Our performance is handicapped. What about our creativity, innovation, relationships, vitality and other joys that make life worth living? They become negative energy conducts. We seep energy away from all doors of our being, because of a single negative input.

Chronic disease is about becoming a slave to a malfunctioning body and mind. Ninety-five per cent of the global population was sick with a chronic issue in 2013, according to a Global Health Study.

The cumulative statistics from diseases like diabetes (today’s prevalence: 1 in 10), pre-diabetes (1 in 3), cancer (4 in 10), dementia (1 in 4), obesity (1 in 3) and overweight (2 in 3) spell out a slow-motion species collapse.

That is, if we decide to participate in the collapse. 

With a bit of awareness and education, we can also choose to close the chapter on the most damaging drug in history, starting with the individual. A significant amount of biochemical damage can be reversed in a surprisingly short time with a clean, individualized, wholesome diet.

People who quit sugar feel the effect in weeks. They change their life in months. The ultimate reward is  a long and vibrant existence, without a hint of disease. 

Exactly as nature designed us.

Start your path today

It’s possible to get off sugar without the usual irritability, fatigue, shaking, sweating, nausea, mood swings, cursing, anxiety … with a bit of knowledge about our individual biochemistry and its resistant points. Start by taking a free evaluation of your basic metabolomic health indicatorshere.  The test algorithm is based on the symptomology  of over 15,000 metabolomicclients, who once waged war against sugar related symptoms, yet live a perfectly healthy life today.

You can also enquire about full metabolomic evaluations and individual health coaching here.

Jan Wellmann
Founder & Health Coach
Energy For Living

energy healing

The Healing Metabolism Case Study:
INDIA & Other Westernized Cultures

Indians are sick and dying from the aftermath of Western dietary standards. But they also face a healthy alternative, if they tap into their old traditions. I didn’t discover this fact until 2017, after a decade-long journey that brought me to India on a health quest.

I was in my early 40s when I began to battle a legion of demons. They came in various forms, from microbial attacks, infections and gut disorders to cyclical fatigue and mood shifts that undermined my overall mojo and wellbeing. Every year, the symptoms got just a little bit worse. I surmised it was all part of a natural aging process.

I was dead wrong.

One day, a doctor gave me 72 hours to live, if I didn’t opt for an experimental antibiotic dripper. The infection levels in my blood were off the chart. I survived, but the subsequent infections became even more chronic, a common aftermath of antibiotics.

As an investigative journalist and owner of a health and wellness portal in Los Angeles, I went guinea pig on myself, trying to figure out what the problem really was.  I experimented with dozens of different approaches. Western. Tibetan. Chinese. Holistic. Alternative. Shamanistic. I tried all the miracle cures, supplements, drugs and diets that promised vitality and resistance. And every year I kept getting just a little bit worse.

My healing didn’t begin until I was struck by an insight.

The insight was this. There is no expert, doctor, shaman, drug, pill, or other miracle, that can heal the human body. Only the body can heal itself, if it has enough energy. “Vis medicatrix natural,” a.k.a. “the body heals itself naturally,” wrote Hippocrates, two and a half millennia ago.

The realization contained a catch.

Understanding Bio-Individuality

If we assume that we heal naturally with sufficient energy, the next question is how do we measure and manage natural energy in our body? Our metabolism, or the way we process energy, is as unique as our fingerprint, remarkably different from person to person. Lab tests, MRIs, X-rays or stethoscopes don’t measure energy. Most doctors don’t even recognize energy as a medical concept. Yet cellular energy (ATP) produced by mitochondria covers over 90 percent of our functions, and impairment of mitochondrial energy is increasingly identified as a root causative factor of chronic disease and aging-related decrepitation.

Even when we recognize the importance of energy, the challenge is that the way in which we digest and produce energy through foods, air, water, electromagnetic radiation, even our relationships and sense of purpose, is highly individual. That means, the protocol that heals our energy deficiency must be equally individual to be functional.

The scientific concept of metabolic individuality, or bio-individuality, was established by Linus Pauling, a quantum chemist, biochemist and one of the founders of molecular biology, half a century ago. Bio-individuality is the reason whymost healing protocols are unpredictable, why one medicine or diet that works for one person, can be poison for another. Pauling understood Hippocrates’ insight, but he didn’t have the tools to measure bio-individuality.

The good news is that humans have an innate, evolutionary ability to sense what type of energy our bio-individuality needs in order to prosper and heal. But the ultimate catch-22 of the 21stcentury is that most people also don’t have the requisite energy to tap into this sense. It’s like having a nose, without the sense of smell. Modern lifestyle has desensitized us with toxins and nutrition-poor diets, and then enslaved us to a healthcare model that is obsessed with symptoms, not root causes.

Yes, hospitals and allopathic doctors are great for broken legs, surgery, acute care, but when it comes to a chronic disease, it’s better to hedge your bets.

The catch-22 is particularly true in USA and Europe, but also other Westernized countries like India, where symptomatic medicine has overtaken millennia of natural, functional healing methods. Today, Indians are literally crashing from inadequate energy levels, blithely unaware of their root problem. High performing executives in their 40s or 50s are running on adrenaline and dopamine, imagining that their energy levels are just fine, whereas what’s really happening is that their system is speeding on first gear, with tremendous wear and tear that will ultimately crash the engine.

The final key to my own healing was Pauling’s wet dream, the ability to measure bio-individuality accurately and objectively, without having to rely on biased judgement. Molecular blood tests known as metabolomics track so-called metabolites, the traces of over 5,000 energy processes in the human biochemistry, to identify specific blockades and deficiencies in e.g. the Krebs cycle. Metabolomics is less than a decade old science, but it’s catching on fast. Based on metabolomic information, a doctor or biochemist can recommend a precise nutritional and lifestyle protocol to restart the human engine, to become self-healing again.

Metabolomic data shows that the most fundamental blockades we have in our biological combustion engine are based usually on nutritional deficiencies and/or excessive toxins.  When I began to address both areas, I not only healed but transformed. Within six months of starting the protocol, I was flying mentally and physically. No more recurring doctor visits. No more prescriptions. No more shifting energy and motivation levels. No more excess weight. Just a pure flow in a state of perfect health and energy.

It was a gift that I couldn’t just keep to myself. I shifted my priorities to start helping others.

Coming To India

I came to India in June 2017 to help a friend lose weight and regain his health. I had just spent two years deep in the Peloponnesian mountains of Greece on a bio-individually adjusted nutrition and lifestyle protocol, eager to share my newly found zest.

Pankaj, 54, my friend, was a smart and thriving businessman, but he was also severely overweight, with pre-diabetes, deteriorating energy levels, general inflammation, mood shifts, chronic pain in his torso and lower back.  To my shock, as I would discover, his condition was not an exception in India, it was pretty much the default in his age class.

After Western nutritional habits became the norm during the colonial years, India began its tailspin. The low-fat regimens introduced in the 1980s made matters worse. Excessive carbs, sugar, grains, vegetable oils, compromised air and water combined with scant exercise and a stressful, metropolitan lifestyle, has caused a massive toll on the Indian population. India is about a decade behind the US in terms of its chronic health disaster. The effects are visibly apparent in the shape and composure of Indian bodies, but also in their increasingly stressed and depressed mindsets.

Today, over half of the deaths in India are due to a chronic disease, with cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive issues as the leading causes. Diabetes is rampant in at least one-in-five, but pre-diabetes is becoming as common as obesity. And these complications are for the first time also apparent in children.

India is on fast track to becoming another America, where half of the men and 40 percent of women get cancer, two-thirds are overweight, 70 million have one or more autoimmune conditions, up to 88 percent of deaths involve a chronic disease… and rising.

In the case of Pankaj, I integrated an approach that combined a metabolomic nutrition and supplementation protocol with additional lifestyle tweaks that I had picked up over years of experimentation.

Some of the lifestyle tweaks include getting at least 20 minutes of sun on the skin per day, to jack up vitamin D levels. To get a sweat going with a simple exercise, 3-4 times a week. To detox with heat once or twice a week. To drink at least three liters of water per day, spiced with a pinch of Himalayan salt for better hydration (filtered water doesn’t hydrate as well) or molecular hydrogen. To give up antibiotics by using natural antimicrobials, like colloidal silver. And other simple tweaks.

The big change always begins with the diet, which needs to be bio-individualized. But even before that, it’s necessary to address the most glaring mistakes in the general Indian diet. Sugar and grains are probably the biggest killers in India. They spike up insulin levels, which in turn convert carbs into excessive fat, cause wear and tear on cellular and vascular levels, and over time manifests as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, overweight, food addiction, cognitive issues, and rapidly fluctuating energy levels that have to be compensated with constant snacking of carbs.

Western standards also suppressed some of the healthiest aspects of the Indian traditional diet, which used to be rich in fermented foods and fats like ghee and coconut oil. Today modern Indians cook with vegetable oils that are high in trans fats, essentially an industrial poison that causes oxidative damage.

Like most Westerners, Indians think that low-fat foods help shed fat, whereas the opposite is true. It’s the excess sugar that accumulates into fat. By relearning to eat healthy fats, Indians can transform from sugar burners to fat burners and change the vitality in months.

Another dietary custom that was buried with colonialism is fermented foods. Rich and diverse in bacteria, fermented foods like canned vegetables help the gut function with proper metabolism and manufacture of brain chemicals. Over 90 percent of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is associated with the feeling of wellbeing, for example, is manufactured in the gut. Yet most Indians are bombarded with antibiotics that nuke the gut’s ability to produce brain and body fuels, exacerbated further by a sugar-rich diet that feeds pathogenic bacteria. Gut dysfunction is a major source of chronic inflammation and mood disorders in India.

Lifestyle and diet tweaks can transform the principal sources of biochemical energy, but there is also a bigger picture involved in the healing process.

We expel and accrue energy from multiple inputs and outputs. Relationships can drain or charge us. Prearranged marriages in India wreak havoc in couples, after the initial buzz of romance wears out. Childhood trauma, even if it remains subconscious, can keep us chronically deficient with energy, even if we do everything else right. Our career, hobbies and work activity are massive energy factors… do we feel like we’re part of something meaningful (positive energy) or are we working just to make ends meet (negative energy)? Do we live in primarily urban environment (negative) or do we ground ourselves in nature occasionally (positive)?  Do we work primarily in a sedentary position (negative) or do we get to move around frequently (positive)? The list goes on, and the prioritization of these factors is as individual as our dietary requirement. We simply have to learn to sense what we need in terms of energy, in multiple dimensions of our existence.

Empowering the individual to be self-sensing, self-directing and self-healing again, is the main challenge for the average Indian, today. The alternative is the present: a steady biochemical collapse that afflicts the majority of the population, both on a physical and mental (consciousness) level.

When we address the root causes of our energy processes, the results are nothing short of a transformation. Pankaj reversed his pre-diabetes in less than three months. His sensation of energy went up by a factor of three. He lost 15 kilograms naturally within the first 12 weeks, without restricting his calorie intake (the body achieves an optimal weight naturally, when it gets the nutrition it needs). His skin and hair improved visibly, and most importantly the zest and drive got back up to youthful proportions. Not only is he running his family’s enterprise, but two more startups. Today, Pankaj gets up at sunrise, fully rested and ready to rock.

Other clients in India experienced natural weight loss without calorie restriction. Reversal of diabetes. Two to three times higher energy levels. Ability to rest deeply and soundly. Reversal of autoimmune and diabetes symptoms. Cognitive boost, positivity and  life zest. Miran, who is a 60-year old textile industry executive, used to have chronic fatigue and cyclical crashes during the day, indigestion, overall body inflammation and pain, hair loss, insomnia, depression and anxiety. Six months later, her friends can barely recognize her. Her skin shines, her hair is growing strong again, she is pain free, sleeps soundly, and kickboxes with energy levels that her trainer calls a “5X phenomenon.” Most importantly, she is positive and driven again, performing with youthful capacity.

The principle of Energy For Living is to measure, understand and identify metabolic individuality with the most advanced metabolomic blood and urine tests, but also to coach the client with nutrition and lifestyle practicalities until they have enough energy to be self-guiding and self healing. The key is to understand that there are no miracles outside of the body’s self-regulatory ability with energy.

A typical healing process takes between three and six months. It is energy-giving in itself to observe the full-body-and-mind upgrade that happens in clients, after they get their first nudge in energy levels.

According to metabolomic data of over 15,000 patients, most people live at 30 to 40 percent of their natural energy capacity. Someone with a chronic disease may be down to 10-15 percent of their potential, without even realizing it. The body tends to compensate for low energy with hormones, making one feel as if everything is normal, until the inevitable crash needs to be compensated with coffee, drugs, carbs or energy drinks – the vicious cycle that wears and tears our constitution on a cellular level.

Driven and successful people in their late 40s and 50s are often in this predicament, sensing that something is fundamentally wrong, but ignoring the signs… until they face the inevitable crash. With enough knowledge and awareness, this problem can be reversed. Unfortunately, a lot of people need to experience a crash before they understand the severity of their situation.

Understanding the principle of energy and how critical it is to our performance, stability, happiness, and future, needs to become a key consideration again, especially for people living under the Western paradigm of compromised nutrition and lifestyle.

Indians themselves accept too many Western norms as axioms, whereas their own energetic heritage happens to be the oldest, most versatile and rich in human history. Ayurveda, which predates metabolomic science on nutrition by a cool 7,000 years, states the same energetic principle of bio-individuality, just with a slightly different approach that requires decades of training for ayurvedic masters. The Vedas, the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Sanskrit heritage all boil down to the principle and flow of life energy, which begins in our mitochondria.

By Jan Wellmann
Founder & Health Coach
Energy For Living

There are very few topics more polarizing today than the vaccine controversy. For the majority of people, it is insane to believe that vaccines could somehow develop into a public hazard, given that they may have saved hundreds of millions of lives by bringing smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, whooping cough, polio, and measles under control.

To believe anything but positive things about vaccines connotes the type of fundamental distrust in our institutions that comes naturally to conspiracy freaks, who also believe that reptiles are running the government while flying around in cigarette shaped tubes. To distrust doctors who are supposed to protect and heal us, insinuates that you’ve given up on humanity and are on the way to becoming a hobo who gibbers nonsense at street corners while chewing the same piece of Hubba Bubba for the third week in a row.

The human brain is capable of 100,000,000,000,000,000 processes per second, more powerful than any computer in existence today, so surely if something was wrong with our vaccines we would by now have certain knowledge of the dangers?

Brain researchers would tend to disagree with this logic. The human brain is exceptionally gifted in protecting entrenched belief systems. Confirmation Bias spurs us to agree with people who agree with us. Ingroup Bias helps us to form tighter bonds with people who think like us and become suspicious of any alternative. Status Quo bias makes us apprehensive of any type of change. False Consensus Bias leads us to believe that everyone else thinks like us. Et cetera.

The pharmaceutical industry rides on our cognitive bias default. It spends more than $25 billion per year in advertising plus another $2.5 billion in lobbying per annum to convince us about the stuff that we pop in our mouths or inject in our veins. Their campaigns have been incredibly successful in steering public conversation to the point that any type of doubt expressed against vaccinations is seen as a form of mental instability.

“If you inject thimerosal into an animal, its brain will sicken,”stated Boyd Haley, former professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky as an expert witness in a court case against a vaccine manufacturer. “If you apply it to living tissue, the cells die. If you put it in a petri dish the culture dies. Knowing these things, it would be shocking if one could inject it into an infant without causing damage,” Haley continued, but the judge ruled that Boyd’s “lack of expertise in genetics, epidemiology, and child neurology make it impossible for him to supply the necessary factual basis to support his testimony.”

Boyd Haley is branded for life as a tinfoil chemist, but his only sin was to report what actually happens on a petri dish.

The rates of autism in the U.S. have increased nearly sixtyfold since the late 1970s, when the MMR vaccination was introduced as the first vaccine to use thimerosal as a conservative. The mercury-laden agent is known to be toxic by inhalation, ingestion and even contact with skin, but somehow we don’t have any doubts about its safety when it’s injected into a baby. A paper published in the June 2009 issue of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry (volume 91, issue 4) concluded the routine administering of childhood vaccines containing thimerosal could cause “significant cellular toxicity in human neuronal and fetal cells.” But that report is now exceedingly difficult to find online.

The first injection of MMR is given to babies within a month of their first birthday.

In the past 30 years, the number of vaccinations has tripled along with the tripling of the number of children with learning disabilities, points out Dr. Joseph Mercola of the Illinois Natural Health Center. Mercola, like many of his alternative peers, sees the autism epidemic as the result of cumulative, multifactorial agents, like environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies and heavy metals of which vaccines are only one contributor. But even this type of thinking is considered “anti-vaccine.”

The CDC reported in March 2014 that one in every 68 children in U.S. has ASD (autism spectrum disorder), up from 1 in 150 in 2000. In the 1980s, the rate of autism was one in a thousand. The rate of growth happens to coincide with the increasing number of vaccinations added to the childhood vaccination schedule. Yet, the research into autism is primarily focused on genetic causality, with little regard to environmental effects like toxins or heavy metals.

A genetic causality would imply massive mutations in our collective DNA to allow for a sixty-fold increase in ASD in just a couple of decades, yet the genetic theory gets more than 20 times research funding than all the other ASD research put together.

The polarization between “pro-vaccine” and “anti-vaccine” groups is exactly the type of public discourse that the marketing geniuses at Merck et al are looking to incite. It’s the PR version of the Roman dīvide et imperā, divide and conquer, the objective of which is to undermine critical thinking.

Merck sells drugs and vaccines like MMR with a turnover of $50 billion per annum. In 2011, they paid a $900 million fine for Vioxx painkiller that produced 40,000 lethal heart attacks (and gave another 80,000 surprised citizens a semi-heart attack). They also developed Fosamax, a drug for osteoporosis that causes bones to rot. But if Merck and their coven of paid researchers say that MMR is safe, then MMR must be safe without a doubt. Merck itself is in any case absolutely safe because of The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which protects vaccine manufacturers from  lawsuits. Reagan signed this act into law in 1986, close to the time when the ASD epidemic began to take off.

The latest casualty in the polar divide between the pro- and contra- vaxxers is doctor Daniel Neides, the Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, who got promptly fired after writing an article about vaccine safety. Doctor Neides is neither anti-vaccine nor 100 percent pro-vaccine, but he dared to question the use of formaldehyde (a deadly neurotoxin) as a replacement for thimerosal in flu shots, after getting sick from his own shot.

“I, like everyone else, took the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – the government – and received a flu shot. I chose to receive the preservative free vaccine, thinking I did not want any thimerasol (i.e. mercury) that the “regular” flu vaccine contains.

Makes sense, right? Why would any of us want to be injected with mercury if it can potentially cause harm? However, what I did not realize is that the preservative-free vaccine contains formaldehyde.

WHAT? How can you call it preservative-free, yet still put a preservative in it? And worse yet, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Yet, here we are, being lined up like cattle and injected with an unsafe product. Within 12 hours of receiving the vaccine, I was in bed feeling miserable and missed two days of work with a terrible cough and body aches.”

In other words, doctor Neides expressed doubt. And because of the doubt, Neides now belongs to the rapidly deteriorating hobo caste who has lost his mind. Judge for yourself how imbalanced Neides is from his recent speech at the OAMF Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom convention.

 Another interesting casualty is a recent study titled Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children, authored by Anthony R. Mawson, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Jackson State University’s School of Public Health, who made sure that his team takes no issue with vaccinations. They studied 666 kids, half of them vaccinated, half of them not.

“Vaccines are among the greatest achievements of biomedical science and one of the most effective public health interventions of the 20th century. Among U.S. children born between 1995 and 2013, vaccination is estimated to have prevented 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 premature deaths, with overall cost savings of $1.38 trillion. About 95 percent of U.S. children of kindergarten age receive all of the recommended vaccines as a requirement for school and daycare attendance, aimed at preventing the occurrence and spread of targeted infectious diseases. Advances in biotechnology are contributing to the development of new vaccines for widespread use.”

Despite the enthusiastic pro-vaccine intro, the study mysteriously vanished shortly after being published on Open Access Text, a scientific publication site. One reason may have been the statistical conclusions revealed later in the study, including the following paragraph (see also enclosed tables).

“Mawson and his team found vaccinated children significantly more likely their unvaccinated counterparts to be prone to allergic rhinitis (hay fever) [10.4 percent versus 0.4 percent], other allergies [22.2 percent  vs. 6.9 percent], eczema/atopic dermatitis [9.5 percent vs. 3.6 percent], a learning disability [5.7 percent vs. 1.2 percent], ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) [4.7 percent vs. 1.0 percent], ASD (autism spectrum disorder) [4.7 percent vs. 1.0 percent], any neurodevelopmental disorder (learning disability, ADHD, ASD) [10.5 percent vs. 3.1 percent], and “any chronic illness” [44.0 percent vs. 25.0 percent].”

This translates to nearly five-fold probability in getting ASD from vaccinations. Twenty times higher likelihood for allergies. Five times higher likelihood for ADHD. Two times higher likelihood for any type of chronic chronic disease.  Two and a half times higher likelihood for learning disability. So basically a lot of brain damage, for the benefit of lowering the odds of getting chickenpox, rubella and whooping cough.

These type of findings clearly support the cumulative toxin theory that Mercola and his alternative community support. Most people are willing to accept that there is a higher chance of neuronal damage if the child is living in a polluted environment, drinking compromised water, eating nutrient deficient foods (in or outside of embryo), or exposed to other toxins. There are also plenty of studies that link e.g. pollutants to ASD directly, but none integrate the vaccine component. The logic goes like this: exposure to pollution can increase the odds of autism, but injecting the heavy metals from pollution directly into the baby’s bloodstream is safe.

Expressing doubt is becoming increasingly difficult in the vaccine controversy. Any type of news or research that undermines mainstream medicine, is also likely to be targeted by the brand new Facebook and Google algorithms that are designed to filter out “fake news.”

Just like this article.

CHARTS from “Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children,”



Published in HoneyColony

“Vis medicatrix natural,” a.k.a. “the body heals itself naturally,” wrote Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, two and a half millennia ago. Meaning, given proper nutrition and a safe environment (short on poisons, killer microbes, or flying bullets) the human body self-regulates a biochemical balance that represents an optimal physiological and mental state, otherwise known as “health.”

Health should be our biological norm. Yet, in the last century, it’s become an anomaly.

According to a 2012 study by the England Journal Of Medicine, 60 percent of deaths in 1900 were attributable to acute causes (infections, tuberculosis, influenza, etc.), whereas in 2010, the overwhelming majority of deaths (88 percent) were due to chronic illnesses (cancer, heart disease, degenerative conditions).

Cause of Death 1900 vs. 2010 in U.S. 


The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) points to a grimmer picture. Just one in 20 people worldwide were healthy, while one in three experienced more than five ailments in 2013.

The surge in chronic illnesses over the last century reflects a historic paradigm shift. We live longer than ever, yet we’ve never been a sicker species.

The Riddle Of Chronic Illness

The rapidly escalating variety and number of chronic illnesses is a modern scourge. There are now over 150 autoimmune conditions (58 million cases in America alone) — counting just the ones that have been identified by modern medicine. Half the women and two-thirds of men will get cancer in their lifetime, with over 100 forms of cancer to pick and choose from. Then there is diabetes. Asthma. Arthritis. Cardiovascular diseases. Degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. And a wide spectrum of debilitating mental health conditions like depression.

Our collective health is in a statistical freefall — with petite public awareness of the fact. Like Wile E. Coyote, we’re chasing a Roadrunner (life’s daily grind) over a precipice, then happily skedaddling above the abyss, until we notice someone waving a red-neon warning sign.

In my case, the warning sign was a near-death experience with an antibiotic-boosted superbug. Doctors who kept prescribing more antibiotics nudged me to research natural alternatives. After I healed myself with colloidal silver — a millennia old natural antimicrobial that is deemed quackery by modern medicine — I began to question what else was out there that deserved more attention. I began to pick up new clues about the precipice.

A puzzling number of friends, family, and colleagues were getting sick, becoming sicker, or dying from diseases labeled with incomprehensible modern acronyms. My father shriveled away in front of me from a chronic illness. But I didn’t know at the time. I was simply told by the experts that there was “no need” to continue life support.

Chronic illness takes a long time to develop, which makes it more dangerous than most acute conditions. The body may perform significantly below its energetic potential, degrading faster than it should, before the disease becomes apparent. Living below our natural energy potential is how we jive today — we just don’t know any better.

Even in the later stages of chronic disease, the majority of the people who live with debilitating symptoms, live in chronic denial about it. Their life quality devolves slowly enough to create the “boiling frog” syndrome. The water gets warmer in sufficiently small increments for them to ignore it — until it’s their cells that are boiling.

The ones who decide to get help, face a plastic smile from their doctors. The diagnosis is overwhelmingly “incurable.” Modern medicine has barely caught up with the classification of new chronic diseases. Ergo, patients are treated for symptoms, with immune suppressants, antibiotics, and other pharmaceuticals that may provide temporary relief, but don’t stop the progress of the disease itself.

If you try to gain objective data about your particular chronic condition, you’re faced with a deluge of material, most of which is slanted towards selling you a symptomatic relief. Practitioners of both modern and alternative medicine attempt to cash in on the demand with equal fervor.

You’ll likely confront an informational Goliath, years of trial and error, experimentation and failures, with little odds of real healing — unless you’re lucky enough to discover the proverbial David with a slingshot.

I came across one by sheer accident.

How Do You Spell “Metabolomic”?

You don’t come across the term “metabolomic” too easily unless you spell it into your search bar. You might guess it has something to do with metabolism. Very few doctors are even aware of the term. And like anything new, metabolomics is often met with skepticism, even by those in the know. But make no mistake. According to MIT Technology Review, metabolomics is one of the fastest growing breakthrough technologies. In 2000 there were zero studies published on metabolomics — by 2012 there were over 2,000. Today a vast amount of metabolomic data is being used to redefine nutritional science. But actual metabolomics practitioners are, well, hard to find.

The center of the metabolomics revolution today is in Athens, the hometown of Hippocrates. It is spreading through Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, and the rest of Europe like a word-of-mouth forest fire, about to hit North America. The patients who experience the effects of metabolomics have become its emissaries. Reason being: metabolomics works.

Metabolomics is the first truly Hippocratic branch of medicine that empowers the body to heal itself by identifying and balancing the precise biochemical roots of chronic disease in the human body.

The key to metabolomics is that every individual’s metabolism is as unique as a fingerprint. That’s why the concept of a universal cure for any chronic condition is faulty, whether it comes from alternative herbs or modern drugs. There is no “fix-all” solution, method or approach, unless we first understand what exactly is the cause of the individual biochemical imbalance.

In metabolomics, the novel factor is the precise measurement of how the human combustion engine converts and uses energy. A customized blood and urine test records over 5,000 “metabolites” — the molecular byproducts that represent the biochemical traces of the human furnace. Any blockades, toxin accumulation, mitochondrial wear and tear, or nutritional deficiency shows up as a marker in the scan results, after which it can be addressed with laser-targeted nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle change.

The key to success is individualization of analysis and treatment.

Linus Pauling, a quantum chemist, biochemist and one of the founders of molecular biology, could be considered the father of metabolomics. He predicted a new branch of medicine already in his 1954 Nobel lecture. “We may, I believe, anticipate that the chemist of the future who is interested in the structure of proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and other complex substances with high molecular weight will come to rely upon a new structural chemistry … and that great progress will be made, through this technique, in the attack, by chemical methods, on the problems of biology and medicine.”

Linus Pauling was also the founder of “orthomolecular medicine,” a branch that attributed disease to a biochemical misbalance and its treatment to proper nutrition.

“The nutritional microenvironment of our body cells is crucially important to health, and deficiencies in this environment constitute a major cause of disease,” Pauling said.

By combining the “chemist of the future” with the principle of orthomolecular medicine, you wind up with metabolomics.

I heard the term for the first time in 2015 while visiting a friend in Athens.

George, 49, was convalescing from his own spectrum of ailments. He couldn’t stop raving, with Greek-accented English, about how “metabolix” had changed his life (the pronunciation made me think of Hergé’s Asterix and Obelix, the comic book characters who drank a miracle potion made by the village druid, Getafix, and then proceeded to beat up Roman armies with new vigor). I nodded a placatory “uh-oh” to a range of “miracle” supplements George lined up in front of me. My experience with Getafix type solutions had been disappointing in the past. George could sense my hesitation. The next day he dragged me to meet the leading metabolomic expert in the world, who happened to be his friend. The meeting changed my life.

Learning Through Transforming

Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, 51, doesn’t look like a village druid. He has jet black hair and the presence of a healthy, keen, bright-eyed man in his mid-30s (his biological age was recently measured at 32). He explained the basics of metabolomics to me in the time it takes to clear your throat.

“There are only two reasons for chronic disease,” says Dimitris. “One is lack of proper nutrients, the other is an accumulation of damage faster than the body’s ability to repair. We identify and address both by tracking your metabolites.”

It sounded too simple for me, but I had resolved to suspend my disbelief until further notice. I thought about questions and wiped the sweat off my forehead. I was secretly nervous. I hadn’t done proper medical checks in years. I felt fit, ate consciously, and exercised 3-4 times a week, but I was also 50 years old, way overdue statistically for Judgement Day.

“So, shall we get you fixed up?” he said with a grin, reading my thoughts.

After doing a blood and urine test, I had a follow-up meeting two weeks later.  I was still sweating. If any of what I had read or heard was true, I was about to get a deep insight into both my present and future health. Metabolomic tests utilize a probability curve (based on over 15,000 case studies) to predict your health progression, should you continue your present lifestyle and diet.

The data slapped me in the face.

I wasn’t dying imminently, but I also wasn’t living optimally.  Some of my neurotransmitter levels were off, in the region of 8000%. My Krebs cycle, the process in which mitochondria (the cell’s batteries) turn nutrients into cellular energy (ATP) was operating at about 60 percent efficiency levels. Several other markers were either slightly off, or about to go off.

What struck me most was that I was living 40 percent below my energy capacity. If someone had given the same evaluation of my car’s engine, I would have sued the manufacturer. In California jargon, I was experiencing a bummer. But then another thought occurred to me. Now that I knew the truth about my biochemical misbalance, maybe this metabolomic wizardry also had the tools to fix it.

Dr. Tsoukalas’ nutritionist customized my dietary and supplementation regimen for the next three months. It was the beginning of my most profound physiological shift in life.

The most important realization for me was that we’re all unique in terms of our dietary requirements. There is no single “health diet.” My personal profile was that of a carnivore, a caveman to be more accurate. My body needed pure, organic meat for protein. I had gone way overboard with veggies. I was also consuming too much sugar. Although I thought I had quit sugar a decade ago, the tests pointed to excessive intake of red wine, orange juice and fruit, along with other simple and complex carbs.

My individual plan boiled down to a ketogenic diet, high in fats (up to 65 percent), medium in proteins (25 percent) and marginal in carbs (10 percent). Bread, flour, pasta, rice (which I used to love), even quinoa, flew out the door. I learned to treat fruit as “nature’s candy,” something a Paleolithic man would come across maybe once a week. Sugar, henceforth, was damnation in powdered form. The same went for all processed food. Not only are they void of any nutritional value, they’re also packed with industrial chemicals and preservatives, i.e. toxins.

A note on junk food: the staple American “Cafeteria Diet” contains on average about 12 percent fat, 23 percent protein and 65 percent carbs. This type of diet is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, weight gain, and tissue inflammation, and also an increase of activity in the areas of the brain that process motivational control and reward behavior. It works like crack cocaine. You have to have more junk, to reward yourself, while you journey down the path of obesity and chronic illness.

Learning about a truly functional diet involves breaking numerous Western dietary myths, of which the most destructive is the low-fat myth. The fact is that the more (good) fats you digest, the more fat you burn. The accumulation of fat in the body, which today has reached epidemic proportions (70 percent of Americans are obese, i.e. have more than 25 percent body fat), is mostly due to high carb intake. Excessive carbs convert into glucose and raise insulin levels, which signal the body to store the carbs as fat. The higher your Body Mass Index, the higher the likelihood of fat induced disease, especially coronary and diabetes.

Another myth we’ve been taught for 50 years by medical authorities is that cholesterol is caused by fat, which in turns causes coronary disease. Yet the opposite is true. Cholesterol is vital to our existence, essential as a building block of the cellular membrane, to our nervous system, and hormone production. High cholesterol levels actually indicate that the body is inflamed and attempting to heal. Therefore, lowering your cholesterol levels artificially may be dangerous. Yet we’re constantly being sold foods and pills that “lower cholesterol.”

The list of incongruities between Western diet and what your body actually needs deserves a magnum opus. But it’s good to start from the basics, like the fact that high-quality saturated fats provide a steady supply of energy, reduces inflammation, and helps lose weight, thereby reducing the probability of chronic illness.

As a result, my diet shifted towards virgin coconut oil, high-grade olive oils, saturated fats in meats, eggs, and organic butter and dairy, with special emphasis on monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocado, olives, beef and nuts, along with omega-3 fatty acids in fish.

Ketogenic diet may not be for everyone (depending on the individual profile) but the principle of avoiding carbs is relevant for the majority of our species. Strict vegetarianism is another extremist fad to be avoided, which may be disappointing for a massive health food community, but is also apparent in the number of complications in strict vegetarians. The deeper you dig, the more you discover a golden middle road between plant and meat diet that is both ethical and wholesome.

Aside from the dietary plan, I went heavy on supplementation with metabolically formulated vitamins, probiotics, amino acids, trace minerals, and enzymes. The number of supplements you need to end up taking may cause some head-shaking at first, until you realize that even organic foods have 10-20 times less nutrients than they had only 50 years ago (due to industrial farming, soil erosion, use of pesticides, etc.)

We live in a new, nutrition-scarce reality which requires new methods of survival. Heavy supplementation is one of them. An individualized, nutrition-rich diet is another.

Fast forward three months into my new regimen. 

My typically choleric, ADHD type mindset had calmed down. For the first time I experience what it really means to be able to focus on a single task or be at peace amidst work chaos. I was running sprints up the mountains and disappearing on six-hour hikes into the wild, coming back energized rather than beat. My senses had reached a new level of intensity. My thinking is clearer and more directed. And even though I was pigging out on fats (I’d grab the fat remains of your chicken or beef dinner, if I could), I was getting trimmed up, ripped up and 6-packed beyond my 20s peak.

I got hooked. I began to research metabolomics in more depth. According to Dimitris’ book, How To Live 150 Years In Health metabolomics is able to reverse a wide spectrum of chronic illnesses. A daring statement, which begs a question.

If metabolomics was able to genuinely reverse chronic illnesses that were considered incurable, how did one Greek doctor possess the antidote, while the bulk of the medical community has been blithely unaware?

Convergence Of Coincidence

Success is not just about “smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work,” concluded author Malcolm Gladwell in his study about disruptive thinkers and successful people in Outliers.  The common denominator for people like Robert Oppenheimer, John Lennon, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein was also luck. They happened to be at the right place at the right time, combined with the drive to pursue their field with singular focus for at least 10,000 hours.

Dimitris-e1470748711149Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas is such a character. While the majority of the medicinal community is still stuck in the decade when Duran Duran was hitting the Top-40 Singles Chart, Dimitris is changing the landscape of medicine with a fresh perspective. He doesn’t judge other branches of medicine. Instead he sees metabolomics as the missing link between modern and alternative practices, a way to integrate medicine into a functional whole.

“Modern medicine is essential to cure acute conditions, and even if it is symptomatic in its approach to chronic conditions, it often provides a window of relief for metabolomics to work efficiently. Alternative medicine with its natural supplements and nutritional regiment, on the other hand, works better when applied with metabolomic insight,” Dimitris explained to me during our next meeting.

It took three decades for Dimitris to land in his intersection of medicine. I wanted to find out what got him there, ahead of the pack.

It wasn’t a straight route.

Dimitris grew up in Athens, Greece, with an Italian mother and a Greek cardiologist father. He studied at University of Naples Federico II in Naples, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world (founded in 1224). He was indecisive about his field at first, interested in deeper questions set by both physics and philosophy. But he was also driven to help people.

“As a physicist I would probably have become a high-school teacher. Philosophy … no one knows, a poet maybe,” he grinned.

Dimitris graduated as Doctor of Medicine in 1991. And that’s when he came across the first coincidence that set him on the path of metabolomics.

“I went to buy my first stethoscope, a Littmann. They had just issued a 25-year anniversary edition which contained a book as an extra. What I read in that book propelled me to new thinking.”

The book, written by Dr. Demetrio Sodi Palares (1913 – 2003), a Mexican cardiologist, the father of modern electrocardiography, was about bringing the body back to its metabolic balance, in order to heal heart disease.

“For the first time someone was using data to evaluate feedback, a causative approach. Take for example a headache. Modern medicine prescribes medication that suppresses the symptom. In a causative approach you have to find out why you have a headache. Maybe it’s dehydration, or lack of minerals. Once you find out which, you can address the root cause,” Dimitris simplified.

After six years of studying anatomy, muscles, bones, names, and relationships of body parts, Dimitris was ready to move on. He dug into medical libraries to find more causative studies. He was also looking for his field of specialization, which typically requires another 4-7 years of study. The paradox is, the deeper you specialize in traditional medicine, the deeper you dig into a descriptive field. Which is why, to the shock of his highly specialized cardiologist father, Dimitris decided to become a general practitioner. He wanted to learn about all the broad scopes of human ailments: eye, ear, nose, throat, pediatrics, orthopedics, gynecology, microbiology, with a special emphasis on the causative factor.

Upon graduating as a general practitioner, he opened up a clinic on the island of Zakynthos, Greece. In the next five years, Dimitris would see over 10,000 patients for a wide range of conditions and founded some of the top health centers in the country. The Ministry of Health invited him to become their chief counsellor. In a relatively short time, he became one of the most respected doctors in Greece.

Dr. Tsoukalas’ medical career had reached an early pinnacle, when he decided to jump ship.

Back To The Causative Principle

“I had been giving standard prescriptions to thousands of people. Acute conditions were no problem, but I noticed a drastic increase in chronic patients whose condition kept getting worse, despite the standard medical approach.”

Dimitris began to treat his clients increasingly with nutrition and supplementation, what he calls a “balanced approach.” Since 2000, he had access to an increasing number of causative studies made in institutions like Yale and Oxford, which he adopted for his practice. The new method began to yield positive results in chronic patients for the first time. That was his signal for change.

Dimitris’ colleagues were flabbergasted when he resigned from his executive positions in Greece’s principal health institutions and the health ministry in order to pursue an entrepreneurial career. The jump into the unknown wasn’t a choice, it was the only way forward for him.

Dimitris partnered up with a group of entrepreneurs to build the first detox institution in Greece. He used three years to prepare for this venture with deep research on supplementation and nutrition. By combining heat-induced detoxification with nutritional regimens and supplements, the goal was to provide a functional approach to chronic illness.

The venture faced an uphill battle. Its success was conditional on educating the market with a disruptive idea. A chronic illness patient who is used to going to a white-walled clinic to meet a white-coated doctor and get a list of medically approved prescriptions, doesn’t easily convert to what may come off as an Apache Indian tradition.

The detox program consisted of a 30-day rigorous sweat-and-diet routine. It produced a significant decrease in chronic symptoms, but in order for it to classify as a legitimate therapy, the results had to become objectively measurable.

Enter metabolomic testing.

Dimitris discovered an American lab that was able to measure metabolites in 2006. A single test cost $3,000, which put it out of reach for the majority of patients. The cost was attributable to lack of demand. These were highly specialized, molecular tests that doctors with an anatomical approach had no use for.

Dr. Tsoukalas saw an opportunity.

Birth of Diagnostic Metabolomics

Dimitris had spent a decade puzzling over the causative science behind chronic illness. He had studied how nutrition, supplementation, and microbiology intersected in chronic illness symptoms. With the onset of metabolomic testing, he was at the right place at the right time, with the right knowhow to lead the field with a fresh vision.

Metabolomics had been around as a theoretical field since late 1990s. The first scientific journal on metabolomics was published in 2004. It took Dimitris until 2010 to find a lab that was able to do proper testing cost efficiently. He found the lab by accident, after a medical university submitted a blood analysis of a young boy who was enzyme deficient. A thousand metabolites were pointing to the root cause of his ailment, but also showed another promise. The results were so precise that they could detect extremely small variations attributable to changes in diet and supplementation. This was the objective measurement Dimitris had been looking for.

It was also proof of concept for Linus Pauling’s futuristic vision in the 1970s. To be able to heal disease by addressing specific metabolomics imbalances with customized nutrition.

Dr. Tsoukalas set up the first metabolomic clinic privately in 2010 in Athens, and began to train other doctors, nutritionists, and molecular biologists in the field. Now that results could be proven scientifically, and the cost of treating a patient could compete with regular health checks, the demand took off.

For the past six years he’s been building a diagnostic database that tracks the effects of changes in nutrition and supplementation in his patients, the first one of its kind. With over 15,000 case studies compiled, the diagnostic program is able to analyze and predict the onset of illness with unique statistical accuracy.

The results signal a new paradigm shift — this time for the better.

Reversing Chronic Illness

Eighty percent of the chronic illness patients that enter Dr.Tsoukalas clinic improve with a significant reduction of symptoms within three to six months of beginning treatment.

“All disease comes from an accumulation of deficiencies and excessive damage. It’s as simple as that. Lack of basic nutrients and excess of toxins, for example, put the body out of kilter. Sometimes the combination changes the biochemical balance of the cell, until it becomes unrecognizable to the immune system. The immune system goes on attack against the “foreign” cell. And that’s when you get autoimmune complications.”

With metabolomics testing, Dimitris was able to understand why the standard approach didn’t work.

“Pharmacology would try to suppress the immune system with cortisone, methotrexate, or other immune suppressants, but these are symptomatic treatments that can cause new problems. We don’t preclude them, sometimes they buy us time to address the root cause. Once we do that, the patient is on the way to recovery in less than half a year.”

In the case of cancer, metabolomics is being used successfully in conjunction with traditional approaches like chemo. The reason Dr. Dimitris doesn’t recommend cutting off chemo abruptly is because of the associated stress factor.

“Cancer in my experience is 50 percent psychosomatic. [The] rest is biochemical and mostly epigenetic. We want the patient to feel safe. And that means a delicate balance between traditional and new methods. In the case of aggressive tumors, chemo can buy us the necessary window for metabolomic healing to kick in.”

Deficiencies and toxic loads can also carry through a mother’s pregnancy and influence the development of the embryo’s central nervous system (See List Below).

LIST: Studies tracking mothers’ deficiency and toxic load effect on neonates:

“This is when you get conditions like autism, especially when the child accumulates more deficiencies or toxins after the birth.  We can address the congenital deficiencies in an autistic child and re-establish a natural, biochemical balance. We are treating a lot of autistic children.”

When Dimitris first began to track the over 5,000 metabolic processes in his patients, he realized a chain of effects that most doctors are unaware of.

“You can not rebuild a biochemical balance by addressing just one deficiency. Take for example a car. You need fuel. A battery. A spark plug. A chain of functional parts for the car to move forward. If one step of the chain is off, the whole chain fails to function. The same goes for the human organism. We often have to rebuild entire pathways for the body to rebuild completely. Healing is not possible without addressing all the parts. It’s the whole or nothing.”

This meant a regimen of up to 50-60 supplements per day for some patients. Aside from a prohibitive cost factor, the quantity of pills presented a novel problem. Most supplements contain inactive ingredients (like titanium oxide) and other additives that in themselves can represent a toxic overload in big quantities. Then there is quality. A lot of supplements sold in America for example are sourced from China, with low-grade ingredients.

“We had to research [on] how to make high-quality supplements as pure and organic as possible. And how to combine them optimally so that we could cut down on the number of pills you needed to take every day. Luckily there are synergistic factors we can take into account, like for example vitamin D3 that co-factors with K2 and magnesium. It’s taken 10 years of data for us to make these formulations, to address complete pathways. Today we’re down to about 7-8 pills on average to address basic deficiencies with the Natural Doctor line of supplements.”

The supplementation load typically tapers off after six months, but the metabolomic reality dictates a minimum level of supplementation throughout your lifetime, simply because of the lack of nutrients in our modern food supply.

The Future Of Metabolomics

Dimitris’ mission today is to unleash metabolomics in as many parts of the world as possible. The first metabolomic clinic is due to be set up on the West Coast, and very soon it will be possible to send blood tests for metabolomic analysis from anywhere in the world (to get more information on timing and availability, sign up for updates here). As demand outstrips his clinic’s ability to service, his focus is on training more doctors and nutritionists in the field of metabolomics. The work on his diagnostic software is almost complete, which means that any properly trained doctor can use a smart database to prescribe customized regimens to clients based on their metabolomics values, without necessarily having to rely on Dimitris’ decades long experience in the field. This, he hopes, will accelerate the propagation of metabolomic clinics around the world.

Fifteen years ago Dimitris was studying round the clock with junk food and coffee diet. He developed an autoimmune condition (ulcerative colitis), which he suppressed with pharmaceuticals. He got first-hand experience battling a chronic illness.

“When your body is not operating with full energy, and you try to counteract it with medication or stimulants, you often enter a downward spiral. The body, which is always trying to gain a biochemical balance, releases hormones like cortisol, dopamine, or adrenaline to balance the energy need, which in turn increases tension and anxiety. Then you take something to counter that, and the cycle shortens between exhaustion and tension. A lot of my autoimmune patients are experiencing challenges with their relationships and careers as a result, and they blame themselves for it. They don’t realize it’s not their fault. That’s what drives me in metabolomics. Getting them out of the tailspin, seeing them lift up, and take control of their life and health through knowledge.”

Had Dimitris not healed himself, he wouldn’t be up to the task of helping others today. At 51, he’s never felt readier and more energized to take on the challenge of shapeshifting attitudes through knowledge. To show that change is possible. Healing is real. And that the message is encoded into the body itself.