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There is so much misinformation out there concerning what helps and what damages the immune system that it’s often difficult to know where to start. In this final episode with “Eat Dirt” author Dr. Josh Axe, he and Dr. Daniel Amen discuss the best practical tips you can utilize today to build up your immune system to be strong and healthy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's 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 Warrior's 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 amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, welcome back, everyone. We are having a really great week with Dr. Josh Axe, and he has a book called Eat Dirt and a public television special that actually did really well. I saw that title and I'm like, "Okay. Why is that title on this program?" Tell us.
Dr. Josh Axe: Yeah. So, with eat dirt specifically one of the things that I've always encouraged people to do is get outdoors more, to start. There's a couple great studies that have shown that when we are outdoors more, especially children that grow up on farms are healthier and have less allergies than children that don't. People that have pets actually have better immune systems, stronger immune systems and less allergies. Then I started reading a study, and this was from National Geographic many years ago, and the title in National Geographic was Let Them Eat Dirt. It was all about this tribe of people who had stronger immune systems, because the children were playing in dirt and actually eating dirt. Then another study came out of Japan, and they found that when people consume something called soil based organisms, they're a type of probiotic that live in our soil and actually strengthens our immune systems as well, helps us fight allergies, autoimmune disease, all kinds of different health conditions. So, I was so impressed with this study.
Dr. Josh Axe: So, here's the thing. our ancient ancestors would have gardens, or they would consume foods from their local region. When you pull carrots out of the ground and even after you wash them off, there are still little, brown specks embedded in the carrots. Those actually are not necessarily part of the carrot. They are the soil based organisms that have been implanted themselves on the carrots, which actually help you break down and better digest your food. Also, they act as a natural immunization to really strengthen your immune system to prepare it for different invaders that your body might be exposed to.
Dr. Josh Axe: This is what makes local honey so amazing, raw. Whenever you buy honey, people have probably heard this, buy raw, local honey. Why is local so important? Because honey contains over 200 different types of microbes that when you consume a tablespoon or a teaspoon a day, when allergy season comes around, your body is literally built up an intolerance to pollen and other things that are in your environment that actually strengthens your immune system. So, when you hear, "Hey. Take honey for seasonal allergies," it doesn't really work if you already have the allergy. It works through, hey, you're consuming it on a daily basis, local honey throughout the year, which then naturally starts to strengthen your immune system and sort of helps your body adapt to the different things you're exposed to in your surrounding.
Dr. Josh Axe: So, in Eat Dirt, I really get into how to heal leaky gut, how to overcome autoimmune disease really generally just strengthen your gut and your immune system. Again, one of those tips is being outside and then consuming soil based organisms, consuming foods from your local farmer's market, where you're getting some of those really unique probiotics there as well. Anyways, that's a big, big basis of the book, and we saw great results. I've had so many people, especially patients with allergies and autoimmune disease, who have started following the advice in that book and said they really couldn't believe the breakthrough that they saw in their health after following some of the advice there.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, when you get your gut healthy ... It just made me think of one of my daughters who, like a lot of mothers, she was so freaked out by germs that she really didn't want my grandchild playing in the dirt. So, she always had hand sanitizer, and I'm like, "Don't do that, because not only the toxins in hand sanitizers that people aren't talking about, but also limiting the diversity in their microbiome, which can hurt them over time."
Dr. Daniel Amen: You mentioned raw honey. When I was a an intern ... No. Actually I was a third year medical student. There was the idea that raw honey could have botulinum toxin in it, and the doctor ... There was a child who had floppy baby syndrome, and I'm like, "Aren't you going to do an MRI on his brain and find out that his brain's okay?" He said this to me, he said, "The mother had raw honey. I think he was exposed to botulinum toxin. I'm going to teach you how to not order unnecessary procedures."
Dr. Daniel Amen: I remember being really anxious about the fact that he was not looking at the baby's brain. That night, it turned out he did not have botulinum toxin. He had a choroid plexus tumor, a tumor in one of his ventricles, and that night he had a stroke that permanently blinded the child. It was so instructive to me. Well, how the heck do you really know unless you look, which is one of the reasons I'm so passionate about imaging. But what about the idea of people, they get really concerned about raw milk and raw honey because of the potential toxins in them?
Dr. Josh Axe: Yeah. I think there's a few things to think about there. Again, I'm not recommending you go and buy it from somebody who is selling it out of their bathtub, but I do think that there's a time and a place for getting things raw and especially getting things local. I'll just say this. Since the beginning of time, or up until 100 years ago, for the most part, most people consumed raw milk. Most people consumed raw honey. I mean, we've been doing it for a long time. I think we just have to be conscious of over sanitation. There is no doubt that the overprescription of antibiotic drugs today has caused a lot of harm in a lot of people, not to say though they haven't saved lives. I think this is where we run into issues a lot of times with the medical system, is that we've taken a drug that can save lives when somebody has a serious infection, but we started using it for basic childhood issues that children should just naturally be able to fight off on their own.
Dr. Josh Axe: Anyways, all that being said, I think buying from a reputable company. I buy raw honey at Whole Foods Market. I buy manuka honey from Whole Foods Market. So, you can buy raw honey in many, many places. In terms of the raw dairy, it's an interesting one. I've bought raw dairy from ... By the way, I own, I co-own with my business partner, Jordan Rubin, I own 5,000 acres of certified organic land. I own a 1,000 acre hemp farm where we grow CBD products in Tennessee, and I have 4,000 acres in Missouri where we have a dairy fermentation facility. We actually grow mushrooms there as well. We create essential oils. So, we have a really amazing facilities.
Dr. Josh Axe: That being said, I've been really close to this raw dairy question for a while. I think when you're following the right practices, raw dairy doesn't have to be scary. But, again, it's a good question, because it's hard to know, right? It's hard to know. If you're not raising the animal yourself, and milking it, and drinking it right after, how is somebody going about preserving that milk? Is it warm for several days before they sell it to you? In my mind, if somebody is milking a cow and drinking the milk, as people have been doing since the beginning of time, it's fine, but I do think they're ...
Dr. Josh Axe: I would say this. I think the media blows up anytime there is a raw milk issue, where somebody has an issue, it's blown way out of proportion. To my knowledge, I haven't really seen people ... If people have, the number is so minimal compared to the damaging health effects of pasteurization and homogenization. But all that being said, I've seen a lot of people be able to consume raw dairy products and especially raw honey products and have no health issues whatsoever. That being said, I don't recommend raw honey for children under the age of one, when there is that risk.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, how can people learn more about your work? I know they can go to draxe.com. It's just an amazing resource with I guess thousands, maybe tens of thousands of articles on it. They're thoughtful. They're well referenced. It's a site I've gone to many times when I want to learn something new. How do people connect with you?
Dr. Josh Axe: Yes. So, I would encourage you guys, one, check out some of my new books. I just wrote a new book called the Collagen Diet. If you're a person watching this and you're really struggling with any type of digestive issue, joint issue, or beauty issue, and you want to really improve your health, you can go to amazon.com or your local bookstore. Check out my book, The Collagen Diet. If you're looking to improve your brain health and your blood sugar and weight loss, check out my book, Keto Diet, or just go to Amazon and just search my name, Dr. Axe, D-R and then Ax is A-X-E. So, just go to amazon.com and search Dr. Axe.
Dr. Josh Axe: You can find a lot of the different things I've put out there over the years, see through everything from a collagen to bone broth and other supplements in my books. Then, also, hey, if you've got a health problem, you can also just search my name on Google search, Dr. Axe Hypothyroidism, Dr. Axe MS. I've written a lot of articles on these things as one. If you're on social media, you can definitely follow me on Facebook there or watch my videos on YouTube. But I'd say starting off by getting one of my books, either Keto Diet or Collagen Diet's a great place.
Dr. Josh Axe: I do want to say, Dr. Amen, as well, I know you've read some of my articles over the years. I have read many of your articles, your books. I've watched you on ... Your PBS show was one of the first I actually watched. I was just so impressed with that, with what you've done over there. Just so you know, I'm just so on board with your mission, especially helping people with their brain and neurological health, because it's just a big deal. We are at war today. There are so many chemicals and things we're exposed to, and even social media today and being on our phones all the time, none of this is good for the brain. So, I love your balance. I love your perspective and helping people do what we're doing together, which is using food as medicine, and helping people live better and healthier lives. I'm just so honored to be on tonight.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Wow. Thank you so much. Let's be friends. We have the same mission, which is to help the world get healthy. It's not going to happen from the government. It's really going to happen from people getting healthy and then sharing that with other people. So, tell your friends about Dr. Axe. Tell them about the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. We will be back. Thank you so much, Josh.
Dr. Josh Axe: Hey, thanks, Dr. Amen.
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