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You may have heard that nutritional supplements aren’t a necessity for those with a well-balanced diet. But with 93% of the population not eating the daily minimum of nutrients, chances are supplements could dramatically improve your health. In the first part of a series on nutritional supplements with BrainMD Chief Science Officer Paris Kidd PhD, Dr. Daniel Amen, Tana Amen, and Dr. Kidd explain how to properly add supplements to your routine as a nutritional health insurance policy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. Here we teach you how to win the fight for your brain, to defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD and addictions.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we've transformed lives for three decades using brain SPECT imaging to better target treatment in natural ways to heal the 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 nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information, visit BrainMDHealth.com. Welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast, and stay tuned for a special code for a discount to Amen Clinics for a full evaluation as well as any of our supplements at BrainMDHealth.com. We have a very special guest. I'm actually really happy and excited to introduce Dr. Paris Kidd. Actually, I'm gonna let you introduce Dr. Paris Kidd because you have worked so closely with him in developing our supplement line and you are so knowledgeable and I've had so many people ask us questions. We are just so honored to have you here to be able to answer these questions. Why don't you tell them-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well I stalked him.
Tana Amen: I know.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So that he would come and work with us.
Tana Amen: This is so great.
Dr. Daniel Amen: When we decided to develop BrainMD, I wanted the best scientists in the world to help me develop our products, and at the time, Dr. Kidd was the chief scientist for Doctors Best and because of his own contract, he couldn't do that. Paris has a PhD in cell biology from UC Berkeley. He's been in the supplement industry 35 years and he's just one of the sweetest, brightest, most well respected people in the nutritional supplement industry. He is the chief science officer for BrainMD. We are grateful to call him our friend.
Tana Amen: Very, yes.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Thank you very much. It's really a pleasure to work with both of you.
Tana Amen: Thank you and we're so excited because I get so many questions and I know generally some general information about supplements but I want to be able to really supply this information in more detail to our people because they're really curious. They're hungry for a lot of information.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Right.
Tana Amen: So can we start off with why should people take supplements? That's the big question.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Or should they? Or what a lot of family doctors say, "It's no more than expensive urine."
Tana Amen: Expensive pee.
Dr. Daniel Amen: "You don't need them if you have," and this is the kicker, "if you have a balanced diet," which no one does.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Right, right. Let me preface this by saying there's a lot of fake information available to people now and there's a lot of warfare between different parties about dietary supplements, so I follow the science. I've been following the science all this time. Science is what I do. So, I go to the primary sources to get all this information. One thing that's very, very clear is that survey after survey indicates that all over the world, people are not getting sufficient vitamins and minerals from their foods. Very, very clear. There are markers for the availability of vitamins and minerals and there just is not enough being provided by the foods to a large extent because the foods are way poorer quality than they used to be. They're a lot more calorie dense and a lot less nutrient dense.
So, it's very important that people understand that vitamins and certain minerals called essential minerals are important for life. If we don't get them, we die, so these are substances that actually run our enzyme systems that make energy from our foods and allow us to use that energy to maintain our tissues and to grow and to do all the things that make us human. So, these are not arbitrary luxury items. These are items that are absolutely required for health, and we differ also in our genetic makeup. Everyone has a unique genetic makeup and everyone has genes that don't work as well as they should. Therefore, each person will have certain increased requirements for particular vitamins and minerals, and therefore it makes for a very, very good preparation, I call it nutritional health insurance, for people to take supplements in order to be sure that all of the vitamins and minerals they're getting.
Then, beyond that, we have other types of dietary supplements such as many herbals that have been shown to improve function when they are taken under controlled circumstances, and so as I followed the clinical trials, what I am seeing is that there are literally thousands of clinical trials conducted at the best academic and research centers around the world that are showing that vitamins and minerals and herbals and other types of dietary supplements actually improve health. So, we can go from the concept of sort of surviving all the way through to optimal health and for those of us who deal with the brain, we want to have our brains working as best they can.
Therefore, for BrainMD, I'm assisting you to make the very, very best supplements that we can to optimize the functioning of the brain. Another factor is that stress, the stress of living in today's world, including all the chemical pollutants to which you're exposed, emotional stress, stress from infections and stress from whatever ...
Tana Amen: Not sleeping.
Dr. Paris Kidd: ... Source, lack of sleep, et cetera, depletes nutrients. It draws nutrients from the body. So does alcohol. So does smoking. Even passive inhalation of cigarette smoke, and also a lot of medications, some of which people take for granted ...
Tana Amen: Birth control pills.
Dr. Paris Kidd: ... Will deplete nutrients. Birth control pills, acetaminophen. I won't give the brand name for that, but people can easily figure out what that is. Acetaminophen is terrible on the liver because it draws many of the liver's nutrients out.
Tana Amen: Ibuprofen.
Dr. Paris Kidd: So, for all of those reasons and for other reasons, it's a very, very good idea to be on a dietary supplement regiment.
Tana Amen: So it's like an insurance policy almost.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah, yeah. I call it nutritional health insurance.
Tana Amen: Right, so I love that. You actually read my mind and you answered most of my questions in that one, which is great, which is why I love ... You're just amazing. You're this wealth of information.
Dr. Paris Kidd: You flatter me.
Tana Amen: Because it's not just diet but it's true. What you say is so true. People will say, "But I eat healthy." Okay, that's great, but are you sleeping? Are you getting super high quality food? You're not polluting your diet with other stuff. Are you sleeping enough? Are you meditating and praying and not exposed to stress and environmental toxins?
Dr. Paris Kidd: Let's just take the are you eating ... Because when people tell me, I hae a really great diet. Don't you remember for the Daniel plan?
Tana Amen: Oh yeah, no, no, what they think is great is not great.
Dr. Paris Kidd: We went into this kitchen of a woman. Weren't you there with me?
Tana Amen: Yeah, I was. We did it together.
Dr. Paris Kidd: She said she was a pescatarian. You know, she ate just vegetables and fish, and then ...
Tana Amen: But there was, like ...
Dr. Paris Kidd: We pull out Captain Crunch in the ... Then all the chocolate she had hidden around.
Tana Amen: Pancake mix and syrup.
Dr. Paris Kidd: According to the CDC, 93% of the US population does not have five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the minimum required to get the nutrition you need, and a study we did here at Amon Clinics, we looked at 50 consecutive patients. 49 of them had suboptimal levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Tana Amen: Right, so you can test for this.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah.
Tana Amen: I mean, you can be tested to know whether you are where you're at with your nutrients.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Right, and more than 90% of Americans aren't getting enough vitamin D and more than 50% aren't getting enough magnesium.
Tana Amen: Well, that's what we do here is we test people. We want to know. We're not just gonna give you randomly, willy-nilly. One thing I love that you said was genetics. I'm one of those people. I don't like it but the fact is I was born with lousy genetics, okay? It just is what it is, and I know people will often say, "But that's not fair. I shouldn't have to worry about that." Get over it, life's not fair. That's what I tell my daughter all the time. It's like a fair is a place with bad food and farm animals. It has nothing to do with life.
Dr. Daniel Amen: [crosstalk 00:09:00]
Tana Amen: Right. Get over it and just fix it. Do what you need to do.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah, and I've had genetic issues since I was born too, but just thinking about the vitamin foliate. Some 50% of Caucasians have a mutation in the enzymes that manage foliate and there are some 40 some mutations known just around that vitamin alone. There are mutations known in the enzymes that manage all of the other vitamins and essential minerals, so with 25,000 genes minimum, we're bound to have mutations, and so each of us has to be sure that we're getting the full allowance that's recommended by the authorities and more, because, after all, this is the human condition, right?
So, we know that we're gonna go across the lifespan and then our health is gonna be challenged more and more as we get older, and so having a good diet is one part of it. Having a good supplement program is another part, and then comes physical exercise, mental exercise, clean lifestyle, getting enough sleep and all of that, and then we keep our fingers crossed and hope we can have a really full and happy and productive life.
Tana Amen: So, why do you think so many people fight taking supplements? They think they shouldn't have to but why do you think that when they know it's that easy to just sort of fill that gap?
Dr. Paris Kidd: You know, I've been doing this for 30 some years and there has been an ideology, there has been an idea system that poo-poos supplements. That has evolved and I think the American public, through their own instincts, are finding that when they take supplements, they feel better. So, even the dietician community, who initially, 30 years ago, were talking about not taking supplements. The vast majority of them now have a supplement program, and those are the most conservative nutritionists of all as you probably know.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, the editors at the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA have published editorials saying a multiple vitamin a day was essential to help prevent chronic illness. So, in your mind, what are the minimum things people should take?
Dr. Paris Kidd: Thank you so much for asking.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You're welcome.
Dr. Paris Kidd: A really, really good, powerful, well rounded, well absorbed multiple vitamin mineral such as BrainMD's NeuroVite Plus, which I've worked with Daniel to get to the point that it's a highly optimized multiple, and then they should also take Omega-3, Omega-3 EPA and DHA, which are practically vitamins because we can't make those in the body. We can make small amounts but they're practically insignificant, and so we have a product called Omega-3 Power, which is very highly concentrated in EPA and DHA. It doesn't give that burp feeling when you take it.
Tana Amen: Right, fish burps.
Dr. Paris Kidd: We screen it for more than 250 potential pollutants and so it's a very clean, very beautiful product.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So I was in ...
Dr. Paris Kidd: I take both of those myself actually.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... One of the big box stores ...
Dr. Paris Kidd: I give them to a lot of my friends.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, two capsules is 2.8 grams of fish oil, 1,440 milligrams of EPA and DHA.
Dr. Paris Kidd: EPA and DHA. Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So, I was in one of the big box stores last week and so I just went and looked at their fish oil. You had to take 10 of their capsules in order to equal two of Omega-3 Power.
Tana Amen: So you're not saving money in a sense.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Not at all.
Dr. Daniel Amen: But you're also irritated taking [crosstalk 00:12:43] ...
Tana Amen: Oh, I can't. Yeah, that'd be terrible.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Not at all. Not at all.
Tana Amen: What about vitamin D and probiotics?
Dr. Paris Kidd: Well, vitamin D is very, very important for all of the tissues and including for the brain ...
Tana Amen: And immunity.
Dr. Paris Kidd: ... Perhaps especially for the brain. Well, it used to be that vitamin D was thought of as the bone vitamin, but actually we have systems in all of our tissues that respond to the presence of vitamin D, and vitamin D is absolutely essential for brain development and for the processing of information and the brain. It's important for the cardiovascular system, the heart and circulation. It's important for immunity. It's important for the joints. Every organ system features some role for vitamin D and that's partly because it's actually converted to a hormone.
The surveys indicate that because we're covering up so much because of fear of skin cancer and all of that, there's an epidemic of deficiency of vitamin D all around the world, and also people who have darker skin tend to screen out ultraviolet and therefore don't make as much vitamin D as they could. So, vitamin D is really a crucial vitamin. It's a master hormone. It becomes converted to a master hormone in the body and it's absolutely crucial for health.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Did I hear you say 90% of people are low in vitamin D?
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Right, right, and so we have a five ...
Tana Amen: Almost everyone we test.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Almost everybody that I test clinically.
Dr. Paris Kidd: We have a 5,000 IU vitamin D supplement.
Tana Amen: Which I love. Yeah, it's great.
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah, and I take one of those a day.
Tana Amen: Me too.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Then Neurovite Plus, there's 2,000 ...
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah, Nueorivte Plus has two.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So if you take them both, it's 7,000. People go, "Oh my gosh, that's so much."
Tana Amen: No, that's the only way that my vitamin D has finally been stable is taking that 7,000 a day. Not everybody has to. [crosstalk 00:14:32] ...
Dr. Daniel Amen: So what I want you to do, if you are listening to this podcast, is before you just go out and take 10,000 units of vitamin D, go get your level checked. I live in Southern California. The sun is out 330 days a year. My level was 17, so normal is between 30 to 100. Optimal is more like 50 to 100 and under 20, according to a recent study, is associated with twice the risk of cancer than those who have vitamin D levels over 40, so how stinking simple is this? Measure your level. Optimize it, so initially, because my level was slow I took 10,000, and you know one of the big benefits for me? My appetite went away, and I'm like, "Why did that happen?"
Then I read a research study that said when vitamin D levels are low, leptin, the hormone that tells you to stop eating, doesn't work anymore, so you actually become leptin resistant. So, giving you more leptin's not gonna help. Vitamin D turned off my appetite and then I was able to lose the weight so I didn't become a dinosaur. You know, big body, little brain. You're going to become extinct.
Tana Amen: Well, and I think we can't underestimate probiotics also in that mix, right?
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah, no. Probiotics are all the rage these days and people hear that they have 1,000 species of bacteria in their intestinal contents and that those bacteria weigh as much as three pounds. It's very, very true that those bacteria are build into our health. It's called symbiosis, which is where we give them shelter and perhaps we give them certain foods that they need and then they process, help us to process foods. They help us to absorb foods better. They help with our immunity. They help with our brain function. They help with our mood and all of that.
However, when a person goes to look for a probiotic supplement, they really need to find out if that particular supplement or the particular bacterial types that are in the supplement, have actually been tested for human benefit, okay?
Tana Amen: That's interesting. I know that's true for dogs to, but they don't ... It has to be good for that species of ...
Dr. Paris Kidd: Yeah. Right, right. So, in these bacteria you have the genus, the species, but you also have the strain. Even the strain level is important.
Tana Amen: Interesting.
Dr. Paris Kidd: So, what we did actually was identified a combination of two special strains that have been shown in clinical trials to improve brain function even as they improve digestive function. We carried the very clear, specific combination that had been used in those trials and we called it ProBrainBiotics.
Tana Amen: I like that.
Dr. Paris Kidd: So that's one of the very few probiotics that are available for brain function.
Dr. Daniel Amen: All right, when we come back, we're gonna ...
Tana Amen: Thank you.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... Talk about more specific issues around dietary supplements to support different functions in the body, and then we're also gonna talk about kids. Stay with us. Thank you for listening to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free signed copy of The Brain Warrior's Way and The Brain Warrior's Way Cookbook we give away every month.