How To Keep Your Body’s Immune System Healthy with Dr. Mark Filidei

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

As we’ve learned in the past few episodes with Dr. Mark Filidei, there’s no shortage of brain burglars that can break into our bodies and steal the health of our minds. In this last episode of the series, Filidei and the Amens discuss the things you can to keep you immune system operating at maximum efficiency to keep those brain burglars from ruining your health.

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Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warriors Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warriors Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain Spect imaging, to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit
Tana Amen: The Brain Warriors Way Podcast is also brought to you by Brain M.D., where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome back. We're talking about the things that steal your brain, toxins, infections, and we're going to talk a little bit about toxoplasmosis. It's really interesting. It's actually a parasite. And when this parasite infects rats ... So, it infects many animals, but when it infects mice and rats, it actually turns them into cat-seeking missiles.
Dr Mark Filidei: They lose their fear.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Which is ... So the toxoplasmosis, the parasite, releases an enzyme that boosts dopamine in the pleasure centers of the mouse's brain. So the rat gets hooked on cat urine. So rather than cat urine, go away, if you want to survive, it's like heroine for ... It's like, "No, gotta have more." And goes toward the cat rather than away from it. So, the cat then eats the rat, and the toxo gets to have sex and reproduce. Because it'll only have sex and reproduces in cats.
Dr Mark Filidei: In cats, right?
Dr. Daniel Amen: And so, it's the classic tale of eat, pray, love. So if a tiny parasite can control the host, can control the behavior of it's host, how much control do we really have over our own behavior.
Dr Mark Filidei: A little scary to think about, right?
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's scary, huh?
Dr Mark Filidei: That's why we'll call it Invasion of the Brain Snatchers, because that's the ultimate example. Yeah, so the cats are obviously normally afraid of ... Or, rats are afraid of cats. They don't want to go there. The toxo plasma takes over their brain, so the cats survive.
Well guess what? In humans, it affects us too. Now, we don't have a thing for cats. But ... Well, some people might. But it turns out that it increases workplace accidents. This is in humans. Increases workplace accidents, risky behavior, pleasure seeking, kind of the same thing.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And suicide.
Dr Mark Filidei: You want more dopamine.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Toxo increases suicidality.
Dr Mark Filidei: Suicidality, so it does kind of take over your brain.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And if you never look, it's easy to call someone bipolar. It's easy to call them depressed. It's easy to call them a personality disorder.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yep.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's so much harder to go, "Why?" But it's so much more fulfilling, right, for you and I.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah, because we can fix it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: When we fix people, we're not fixing their mental health problem. We're fixing their brain problem.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right, the problem that's causing their mental health problem.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The problem that's causing, yeah.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's the whole idea behind the end of mental illness.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's like, these aren't mental, they're brain. And if you don't understand the difference, you lose because you'll start talking to them about their mother.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah, right, talk therapy, and antibiotic.
Dr. Daniel Amen: When they need an antibiotic. So how do people keep their immune system healthy so that can manage the assault that regularly comes our way?
Dr Mark Filidei: That's a great question, and probably the biggest problem we all face now in our society, because we're just bombarded by toxins. The more you know, the more you want to just run away to New Zealand and hide. But we don't, and so you have to deal with it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I know, they just had that mass shooting in New Zealand, so maybe that's not [crosstalk 00:04:25].
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah right, maybe not. Maybe a little island off of Australia, Tasmania. So, problem is, we're super toxic right now with everything. Electronics, food, air. That is immunosuppressive. So I see a lot of line patients, and a lot of them that haven't gotten better elsewhere, because the roadway wasn't cleared.
So it's like a plane for takeoff. You gotta have the runway clear. If it's blocked by metals and mold and whatever, you're not gonna get better.
Dr. Daniel Amen: We have high mercury, high arsenic, if you have candida.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right, all the things that prevent you from being healthy are key here. Your immune system has to win this battle. Whatever bug we're talking about. Antibiotics aren't gonna do it. Herbs aren't gonna do it. Your body has to do it, and it has to be able to do it. So it has to have a good diet, critical. You eat junk, your immune system's not happy, it's not gonna work well.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And McDonald's in the middle of the night is not helping us.
Dr Mark Filidei: Probably not the best. Sugar will immediately lower your immune response. They did a study actually, it was McDonald's french fries, immediately vaso constricted after you eat them.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Oh, you have to send me that study.
Dr Mark Filidei: So yeah, it's pretty wild.
Dr. Daniel Amen: In the new book, I have a whole section, if I was an evil ruler.
Dr Mark Filidei: What would you do?
Dr. Daniel Amen: What would I do? So, McDonald's every day.
Dr Mark Filidei: McDonald's every day, yeah, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Although one of the funny ones you'll like, if I was an evil ruler, I'd have Howard Schultz run for president because he's the world's number one drug dealer, right?
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah, right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I mean, caffeine is the number one drug around the world with Starbucks. And then, I'd put the little Starbucks symbol on the White House.
Dr Mark Filidei: Oh, that's good. And not just coffee, but you know, anti mocha triple frappucino whatever, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right, it's coffee, it's bad fat and sugar.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah, yeah, lovely.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's a bad combination.
Dr Mark Filidei: So, diet absolutely critical. Probably top of the pyramid. You gotta eat well. Don't eat a lot of carbs. Organic is important. It's definitely better. So, reducing your pesticide burden. I recommend everyone go to Environmental Working Group, website. Lots of great information there. Which pans to use or not to use, and personal care products can be really toxic.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yeah, no, there's an app I like called Think Dirty where you can scan all of your personal products and it'll tell you on a scale of one to 10 how quickly they're killing you.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And when I first did that, I threw out half of my bathroom. Now, I've been focused on being healthy for a long time. I just, I didn't even think about my bathroom.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah, no, seriously, one doc that I just talked to, just a kind of quick story, but her whole specialty is infertility. And so, she gets referred by other doctors, these patients that can't get pregnant. They've been to all the fertility places. All she does, she goes to their home, she'll charge them a certain amount of money, and she'll just throw stuff out. Everything has to be green. So it's diet, clean products, she has a hundred percent success rate so far in failures for people that could not get pregnant. So [crosstalk 00:07:32].
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, and around here for Amen Clinics, we have more pregnant women. It's crazy how many babies we had delivered this year. But it's because when people get their brains healthy, their ovaries are more effective.
Dr Mark Filidei: Yeah, everything gets healthy. So toxins are really a big issue, and we gotta eliminate those. So you need to be a brain warrior. You need to be a life cleanliness warrior. Just be aware. You don't have to be a freak about it. You can be if you want, but you just want to be smart.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So boost your immune system through diet, through detoxification.
Dr Mark Filidei: Detoxification, so sweating of any kind, you know, infrared sauna's great. But turns out infrared, not super important if it's near or far. Just sweat. You're gonna get toxins out. Dr. [Genuous 00:08:20], who actually did a study on this, he studied people, had them collect their sweat in an infrared sauna, in a regular sauna, exercising. Metals come out, toxins come out, no matter how you sweat.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, sweating is good.
Dr Mark Filidei: Sweating is good. Exercise, of course, keep everything flowing. So lifestyle is really top of the heap when it comes to keeping everything ...
Dr. Daniel Amen: So it's not an infection, take an antibiotic and you're done.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: That if you really want to help, you have to support and activate in a healthy way, your immune system.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So that it can lock away these infections. Now, what is the place for antibiotics? Because we always know antibiotics can damage the microbiome.
Dr Mark Filidei: Correct.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, what's your thought on that?
Dr Mark Filidei: So yeah, I'm a Lyme Literate doctor, so I treat Lyme with antibiotics when needed. But you always have to be aware, it is gonna affect the microbiome, maybe in an irreversible way, so you don't want to use it unless you really have to.
They do have a place, but temporary. Always being careful to take them with antifungals, so you don't want to get a yeast infection. Probiotics to reduce any damage from that. So gut health is another really important one for just keeping your immune system healthy.
So, how do you have a healthy gut? A good, always keeps coming back, a good diet, feed your gut with things that will make your microbiome happy. Probiotics, maybe, it depends on what's going on. So we do lots of stool testing here at the clinic as well, to see how the microbiome looks, keeping that healthy. Eighty percent of your immune system is in your gut, so that's a priority too.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Eighty percent, Eight, zero, percent.
Dr Mark Filidei: Eight, zero, right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Is in your gut, so keeping your gut healthy is really, it's job one, really.
Dr Mark Filidei: Right, right, because if you think about it ...
Dr. Daniel Amen: And that happens through lifestyle and diet.
Dr Mark Filidei: Critical. People think of the ... What's the biggest barrier between you and the outside environment. You might think it's your skin, but that's not that much. It's about the size of an umbrella surface area. Your lungs are the size of a single tennis court if you spread them all out. Your intestines, the whole tennis court, and everything around it. It's a lot of surface area to police, so that's why 80 percent of our immune system is there. It's got a big job to do.
Dr. Daniel Amen: A big job. Well, thank you so much. What an interesting week.
Dr Mark Filidei: Glad to help.
Dr. Daniel Amen: If you want to see Dr. Filidei call the clinic. Go to We also have integrative and functional docs in our Bellevue, Washington clinic and in our Reston, Virginia clinic. Stay with us.
Tana Amen: If you're enjoying the Brain Warriors Way Podcast, please don't forget to subscribe so you'll always know when there's a new episode. And while you're at it, feel free to give us a review or a five star rating, as that helps others find the podcast.
Dr. Daniel Amen: For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.