Dr David Brownstein: Thyroid, Iodine, Viruses and More Introduction
Well, today we continue our journey into holistic medicine. We are talking to a world leader in holistic medicine. My guest today is Dr David Brownstein. He’s a board-certified family physician. He’s one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine, I think, globally, and is the medical director of the Centre for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan in the United States.
He’s lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practise. He’s written 16 books, all of which are very accessible to patients. So we will, of course, have links to that. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr David Brownstein.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:00] I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I am recording this podcast, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation pay my respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.
Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Well, today we continue our journey into holistic medicine. We are talking to a world leader in holistic medicine. My guest today is Dr David Brownstein. He’s a board-certified family physician. He’s one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine, I think, globally, and is the medical director of the Centre for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan in the United States.
He’s lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practise. He’s written 16 books, all of which are very accessible to patients. So we will, of course, have links to that. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr David Brownstein.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:01:08] You’ve got many years of experience in holistic medicine. You have written 16 books. Incredible! And you’ve lectured internationally. I mean, you are a world leader in holistic medicine, and I’m often intrigued why everybody isn’t practising this. Can you just share with us a bit about your journey?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:01:28] Well, I’m questioning why everyone isn’t into this as well. But my journey began about 30 years ago. I didn’t grow up in a holistic household. I grew up in what I would call a conventional, average household. We didn’t go to the doctor much. We went when we were sick. We took whatever they gave us. We never questioned anything. We didn’t take vitamins.
We didn’t go to chiropractors or alternative health care providers. We just used our family doctor. And I grew up with a severe case of asthma. And so I saw my family doctor a little more than my sisters did. And I decided that I wanted to be a doctor as a little child, as I just found it fascinating too, you know. Medicine, I thought always found interesting and mysterious. And I always liked science. I figured I wanted to be a doctor to help people.
So I geared my undergraduate training to go to medical school. I went to medical school, did a family practise residency because I wanted to model myself after my family doctor and started practising conventional medicine. I had never taken vitamin in my life. I used to tell my patients, don’t take that, because it’s just giving you expensive urine.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:02:39] So I was practising medicine as I was taught. I didn’t deviate one iota and I was going to be a partner in this practise. I was in six months practising and then had a lawyer. We were negotiating sort of a buy-in for partnership for a year. And then suddenly around that six-month mark as negotiation started, I lost sleep for an unknown reason for a few nights in a row. And that was unusual for me at that time.
And after the third night of not sleeping good at all, my wife and I were getting ready to go to work, getting up in the morning, doing our thing. And I just blurted out to her, I don’t want to be a doctor anymore. I’ve been doing this six months. And she said, you know, she looks at me and her first comment was between her and I is we had $100,000 in student loans and this is all I wanted to do. She knew me since I was 18 years old.
I mean, that’s all I wanted to do. And she said the second time I was, What’s wrong? And I said, I don’t know, but I’m treating people with all these drugs. I’m spending 5 minutes with them. And I said, I don’t really know, and I’m trying to treat more drugs with the problems from the first drugs and no one’s getting better. And I said, is that fun? This is just, you know, monkey could do this.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:03:54] And she said, Well, why don’t you do another residency? And now, one of those was enough because what are you going to do? And I’m like, I don’t know. And anxiety came at that point. And, you know, I felt a little bit lost. And, you know, the next day I’m still in sleep that night either.
The next day I see this patient. And this patient had been bothering me to meet his chiropractor for years. Now his wife and my wife work together. We had done things socially with them and he had been talking about this chiropractor for a couple of years. I never refer to chiropractors. I used to tell people that don’t see them. They’re dangerous. Even though I never met one, never knew the philosophy, never knew what they did.
And he said the chiropractor helped him more than just adjusting him. He was doing them, giving him vitamins and minerals and things, and it was really smart and he thought we’d get along. So in my lack of sleep and anxiety and I don’t think I was all thinking clearly because of my regular conventional state of mind, I would have said, I may not need any chiropractor, but I set up a dinner meeting with him for the following Tuesday.
The following Tuesday rolls around and I’m still anxious, still not happy with what’s going on. And, you know, how am I going to do this for the next 30 years? I come home from work. It was Tuesday. I said to Allison, I’m going to cancel this meeting, this dinner meeting. It’s a waste of my time. And she said that would be rude. You already scheduled this. You have to go. And she told me to be nice as I was walking out the door.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:05:16] So I get to the meeting, get to dinner. He’s a nice guy. We hit it off right away. He’s funny. He’s interesting. He’s talking about biochem, functional biochemistry. We all learn biochemistry in medical school, in undergrad, and then you just learn it to pass the tests. It doesn’t really make any clinical sense to you. When we learn it and he’s talking about functional biochemistry, which, you know, he knew a lot more about it than I did.
And we had a nice meeting. And then at the end of the meeting and end of dinner, he hands me a book, Healing with Nutrition by Jonathan Wright. I take the book home. I stay up till two in the morning reading that book, and I focus on the chapter on cardiovascular disease. Now, my dad had his first heart attack at 40.
His second heart attack at 42. In the intervening 20 years, he had two bypass surgeries, numerous angioplasties, and was at 12 medications to control blood pressure. You know, congestive heart failure developed at that point. But he had congenital angina for the last 20-plus years. If he did anything at that point in time, he got chest pain short of breath in popping nitro pills like he was taking candy.
So at that time in my life, I was waiting to get the phone call that he died. My whole family was waiting. You know, he’s going to die at any moment. I mean, it felt like it. He looked bad. He was grey and pasty. And we literally couldn’t walk up like Leslie Black could walk down the driveway without getting chest pain and even Papa Nitro.
So I read that chapter on cardiovascular disease twice that night until two in the morning. I called my dad on the way to work before I left the home. So that might have been before cell phones. I can’t remember that but called my dad before work and I said, I want you to come in the office on the way to your work and I want to draw some blood tests on you.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:07:06] So based on what I read in the book and what I talked about with Dr Robert Radtke was a chiropractor that I met. I drew two blood test, two two blood tests on him, a complete thyroid panel, which I wrote, you know, he only had TH levels drawn and I drew a T4 and T3 and I drew his testosterone levels, which had never been drawn.
So a couple of days later, I get his bloodwork back and his thyroid levels were in the reference range, but in the lower part of the reference range and his testosterone levels read as below detectable limits. They weren’t reading on the test.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:38] And he was in his sixties at the time.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:07:42] He was in his sixties.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:43] Having had cutting-edge medicine, whatever year, whatever year that was the best medicine could provide.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:07:52] He was in the best actress in the area. And so he’s on medication for cholesterol, for hypertension, for diabetes or 12 different medications at that point. So I put him on natural desiccated thyroid hormone and natural testosterone topically, within seven days he calls me up and he says, I’m in chest pain today. First day in, I even could remember, you know, 20 years or so.
And he says, I think I’m feeling better. And then over the next two or three weeks, we’re talking and he’s feeling better. He’s not getting chest pain. He’s actually doing things. He like to fix things. He was very handy. He would go in the garage and cut wood and make things and fix things. And it was back to it. And my mother was telling me, you know, he looks totally different and, you know, what are you doing?
And, you know, he went out to dinner with some friends in that time period. And the wife of the other couple said to my mother, what’s he doing? You look so much better. I want to do this for Leonard, you know. And so three or four weeks later, I get a blood, I redo his blood tests and his cholesterol levels stuck in the 300s were now below 200 without changing any of his bad habits.
And my dad had a lot of bad eating habits and he smoked. He was overweight, never exercised a day in his life. And so as cholesterol falls 150 points without changing anything, his blood work looked markedly better. He looked markedly better. Instead of grey and pasty, his face was pink and looked much healthier. He’s doing work outside. He’s taken walks. Feels like he’s been sort of reborn.
And once I saw the changes in my dad, I knew that’s what I wanted to do in medicine. And I went to the partners and I said, you know, I got rid of my lawyer. And I said to the partners, you know, I need to leave. And they said, What’s wrong? And I said Nothing’s wrong. Like the practise. Like you guys. But I need to go do it. I want to practise holistic medicine. What’s that? And I said, I don’t really know, but I’m going to figure it out.
And I said, Well, why don’t you do it here? We’d like you to do it here. I’m like, I can’t do it in this office. It means I need to be in an office where the… I told him this. I said I need to be an office with a front desk people, the nurses and the doctors were all on the same page. We’re all doing this holistic medicine. And then they said, okay, well, you know, they said, if that’s what you want to do, that’s what you want to do.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:10:17] And so I, I left I did a 180 in medicine and I started reading and going to conferences and educating myself about whatever. What I really focussed on from that moment on was number one, the hormonal system, getting the hormonal system in balance and really looking at thyroid in every single patient. And I have done that for close to 30 years. Every new patient comes in.
It’s a full hormonal and a full thyroid evaluation. And I started looking at the biochemistry of people and pulling out my biochemistry textbook and looking at the pathways and just trying to use things that optimise human physiology and biochemistry instead of using drugs and medicines that they poison enzymes and black receptors 99% of the time. They don’t optimise your biochemistry and physiology. They poison and block things. And there’s a time and a place to use those things. I mean, you know, you’re having an acute heart attack. You want to be in the nearest emergency room where they’re skilled to use heart attacks.
We have tracked the mortality from acute heart attacks tremendously, using drugs of poison and block poison enzymes and block receptors. That’s an acute thing. You want to keep your body healthy so you don’t have to do that. And if you do that, then you know it’s available for you. But I began just sort of looking for things that support the human physiology and biochemistry. And, you know, here I am 30 years later, still learning about holistic medicine.
But I have a better idea of what it is now. And, you know, I’m much happier. And it’s been a great way to practise medicine. It’s been very fulfilling and very interesting. And it’s always changing. You’re always hopefully always learning more and becoming better at it. And they call it practising is because you can’t ever master this thing. You just got to work with it.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:12:02] Do you think that’s one of the, I mean, one of the issues around you’ve said so much there that I feel very familiar with. But you know, the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know. And that is empowering to people who practise holistic medicine. But I wonder whether that’s what stops a lot of people from practising holistic medicine. Is that uncertainty?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:12:28] Well, it’s more than the uncertainty, you know. Here we learn medicine. We go to undergraduate, take all those science courses. You know, most of them you don’t need, right? Most of them were just weed-out courses and just ridiculously silly. That doesn’t make you a better doctor. It doesn’t, you know, you don’t need it. But whatever you have to pass them, you have to get good grades. You have to pass them.
You take that test for entrance to medical school, that’s a pain. You get to medical school. First two years, I don’t know about you. I was not happy with it and it was just too much material and too many tests and too much regurgitation. And, you know, you go to your clinic years, which were better, but you weren’t taught. You weren’t taught this is the way it is.
These are the things you’re taught about pathology, how to diagnose ethology, and how to prescribe that one drug to treat that pathology. That’s it. And we tried to add another drug if you diagnose something else or some things that optimise with it, but you are using drugs that work by poisoning the enzymes and blocking receptors. That’s their focus.
You never learn about health. You don’t learn what health is, how to, how to optimise it, or even how to just help it improve. You’re learning about pathology and how to manage diseases. There’s no health that was taught. In my medical training back then, we looked close to the same age, I think. But in my medical training back then, I recall we had a three-hour nutrition class.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:13:58] Now, I studied a lot in medical school. I don’t know about you. It didn’t come easy for me. I worked really hard at it and so I didn’t go to class too much. I studied. I wasn’t. I was screwed around, but I was sitting there reading and taking notes and making note cards and, you know, memorising and just that’s how I learned the best. But I went to that three-hour nutrition class and I went that nutrition class.
When I started to do this stuff after meeting Dr. Radtke, I pulled out and I kept all my stuff. I pulled out that three-hour nutrition course pack that we got and the only thing we were taught on nutrition was severe vitamin C deficiency, a scurvy and these are the symptoms. Thiamine deficiency is a… you know.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:36] Pallegra
Dr David Brownstein: [00:14:38] Congestive heart failure. You know, things like that. You weren’t taught and then these were all the things of the past and they don’t exist anymore. That’s what you were taught. And you know, when I look back at it, you know, you learnt in that three hours, maybe something in five minutes.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:51] And but we were taught biochemistry, but if we had only been taught biochemistry as a nutritional explanation, that would have been fascinating or physiology. You know, I often say if I had to choice of what I would go back and study, I wouldn’t do a PhD. I’d go back and do biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:15:14] You know, all of us say the same thing. Yeah, yes, all of us – biochemistry. Look at those pathways and figure out how to optimise them. And then you can look at those pathways and figure out how to disrupt them and you know how you disrupt them. As with drugs, the poison enzymes, the block receptors. And so I 100% agree with you. You know, we have a biochemistry group that we kind of we used to meet once a week.
We’re not meeting as much anymore, but we need to get back to that. It was we would pick parts of the pathway and discuss it and, you know, just discuss how we can manage and what happens when it gets disrupted. And that’s how it should have been taught to us. And it wasn’t. It was really taught to us in a format that you were just trying to survive and pass the tests. And then it was what it was inside from this year to year. After that test was done, it flew out over a year.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:03] Which comes back to why more people aren’t practising holistic medicine because I think the prescription pad and the acceptance of that by both patient and authorities and profession is so ubiquitous that you kind of think, well, why would I? In fact, your partner said, what’s holistic?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:16:26] So here’s part two of the story. So one of the partners in that practise was Dr. Richard “Rick”, who was my friend whenever playing tennis. I was playing tennis with him when I was a resident. He was ten years older than me. I wanted to join his practise because I liked him and we were playing tennis and it was a friend. And he was the one I told I had to leave and that was holistic medicine.
So I leave and start doing this holistic medicine. He and I continued playing tennis twice a week, so. After we were done playing tennis, we would go in this little spa hot tub thing. You know, it was in the club together. And I would tell them, Hey, I went to this course and this is what I learnt. Or I’m treating patients with this. It’s really fun. And so five years later, I said to him, he never said much in the hot tub. He just listened to me.
Five years later, we’re in the hot tub. And I said, Hey, Rick, I wrote this book on natural hormones. I need a conventional doctor to read it. Just give me your honest opinion. What do you think of it? And oh sure! So I print it off. I give it to him when we’re done. He calls me up over the weekend and he says, Is all this true? Like Rick, I’ve been telling you this in the hot tub for five years.
And he goes, Well, I don’t like what I’m doing. This sounds much more fun and interesting. Can I join you? And so, we make a plan. He’s going to join me in a year.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:17:44] And, you know, shortly after that time when he said that, you know, I’m done with my desk work at the end of the day and his wife shows up in front of me, unannounced. And I look up, I’m like, Hey, Rosa, what’s going on? And she goes, I’m not happy with you. What’s wrong? And she goes, He’s walking away from a practise. He’s a partner. Because. What are you doing? Like Rosa, we’re going to have more fun. We’re going to make more money.
We’re going to do okay financially. And I don’t know if we make more money, but we’re going to do okay. It is way more fun and I want to work with him. And she points her finger at me and she says, If you guys fail, I’m coming after you. She goes, you’re going to hear from me. It’s because we got two kids getting ready to go to college.
And, you know, I don’t want them to walk away from this. I’m like, Rosa, we’re going to do fine and we’re going have a better time, much more interesting time doing it. So needless to say, we did fine and we’re busy and we’re financially fine.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:18:35] And you use this word, we have much more fun. And I love that because managing chronic disease and writing prescriptions, which are a great it’s a great business model. I mean, you know, I think the $1.2 trillion that the pharmaceutical industry generates every year, $1.2 trillion.
You know, we’ve got a lot of agents out there writing prescriptions, and that’s not all that much fun, but it is medicine as we know it. More fun is actually make working out why people aren’t well and helping them. What an amazing thing to be doing professionally.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:19:13] Trying to get to the underlying cause of maybe why they’re not feeling well. And, you know, I always tell people it’s that you don’t have a deficiency of statin drugs in your system. You don’t have a deficiency of hypertensive drugs. You know, maybe you have a magnesium deficiency or maybe you have a thyroid hormone deficiency which is known to cause elevated cholesterol levels. And so maybe that’s what turned my dad’s cholesterol down to 150 points.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:19:35] Well yeah, as I mentioned at the beginning, you’ve written 16 books, which is just phenomenal. And I think my first book that I read of yours was Thyroid and the Iodine book. And I remember seeing photos of you at the time and you had much darker hair in those days as did I. But let’s start with thyroid and iodine because that’s you hit on that with your father, but it’s a big problem for a lot of people. Talk to us about iodine and well, let’s talk about Thyroid 101, why it’s important and iodine and how common deficiencies are.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:20:11] So after treating my dad, every patient that walked into our, got a hormonal and nutritional evaluation, but really with a major focus on the thyroid. So the thyroid gland sits here in the lower part of the neck. It weighs about 1.5 ounces and it produces a teaspoon of thyroid hormone for a whole year.
A teaspoon of thyroid hormone has to interact with every single one of the trillions of cells in your body 24/7, 365 days of the year. And so to have good health or optimal health, you have to have adequate thyroid hormone to do it. So, you know, here my dad… If any conventional doctor would have looked at this thyroid level said they’re fine. I looked at him from what Dr. Radtke taught me, and when I read that book that here’s a reference range he was in this lower part of the reference range maybe wasn’t optimal. So there’s a lot of literature to support treating people with that.
And so I started putting people on thyroid hormone who were lower or, you know, I was starting med school back then to just check the TSH level. Now they teach them to check the TSH and T4 level, which is better, but T4 is inactive thyroid hormone, T3 is the active thyroid hormone. Why are we checking for T4 and for T3 levels? We get more information out of that. And then, you know, to boot, you should check a reverse T3 level. That’s part of the thyroid pathway that gives you a lot of information.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:21:33] So once I started checking all these levels and checking thyroid antibodies, all of a sudden I started diagnosing all these people with thyroid problems and putting them on thyroid hormone. The cholesterols were all dropping, just like my dad, you know, a lot of people. And most importantly, they were feeling better and I felt like I was treating an underlying cause of the problem and helping them out.
That was about the first ten years of my holistic practise, and I would estimate at that point I had approximately three-quarters of my patients on small amount of natural thyroid hormone. You know, it bothered me during that time period periodically. Why am I, you know, why all these people need thyroid hormone?
I mean, it’s not like I would think we were designed just because we’re getting older, we need thyroid hormone. So I look at the biochemistry and the physiology of thyroid hormone, how it’s produced in the thyroid gland, what cofactors are needed. And I would, you know, I pull my biochemistry textbook out looking at this stuff and I would try various cofactors like selenium or magnesium, and iodine would come into play there.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:22:32] So, nothing helps people like thyroid hormone. And when you put people on thyroid hormone or low thyroid, they felt better, their arthritis got better, their brain gets better, they’re easier to lose weight, their hair gets better. You know, many things get better with thyroid since it affects every single cell in the body.
Well, I kept coming back to iodine because the highest concentration of iodines in the thyroid gland, you can’t make thyroid hormone without iodine. And I live in the Great Lakes area of the United States, which Michigan, if you look on the map, Michigan’s the mitten on the map and there’s Great Lakes surrounding our state. And our soil is one of the most iodine-deficient areas of the world. And the states surrounding us have very low iodine levels.
So I knew we were in what’s called the goiter belt of the United States. And back in the 1800s and early 1900s, you know, there was a huge goiter problem across the U.S., but really concentrated in the Midwest, where I live, in Michigan. So, I figured we were all iodine deficient. There was really no testing for iodine at that time and I would try iodine on and off over the first ten years and it didn’t help.
People didn’t feel better, it didn’t they didn’t feel worse, but they just didn’t feel better. I would use little doses, medium doses, large doses that, you know, there were no side effects that I could really in the vast majority of people that I could say, but it didn’t feel better.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:23:52] And the blood work wasn’t really changed much now, around ten years into practising holistic medicine and one of my journals that I get, this journal, this physician wrote a letter to the editor about an iodine loading test that he developed. So I became interested right away in this gentleman, Dr. Guy Abraham was his name because there was no testing for iodine that was really accurate at that time.
So I called him, found his number, called him, was in the 1990s. And you know, it took persistence on my part. But, you know, he was very unsure of strangers and he felt people not treating him correctly over the years professionally. And he was very rough on me at first because he started sending me articles that he had written, and I would read the articles call him back, try to discuss it with him. And then finally, once he realised I wasn’t going anywhere, he warmed up to me and I flew out to California to meet and we hit it off.
He said to me, Well, I’m interested in you because you’re in the goiter belt of the United States. You have low iodine in your soils. Everyone’s going to below iodine there. And he says, let’s do some testing. So I started collecting urine from patients and sending them urine and finding 97 plus percent of my patients were low on iodine, very low.
Most of them significantly low in iodine. And what I was doing wrong the first ten years is I was using just iodide – “ide.” Iodide the reduced form of iodine. So it’s to clear iodine and if you see a liquid of it, it’s a clear, you know, doesn’t have any colour to it.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:25:28] What I didn’t know Dr. Abraham taught me, amongst many other things he taught me, was a different tissues of the body by an iodide, the reduced form in different tissues by an iodine, the oxidised form – “ine.” And now the thyroid, interestingly, primarily binds iodide. It needs iodide to make, but it absorbs iodide, but so you would think that iodide the clear stuff should be the right form of thyroid iodine for the thyroid. But it didn’t work. Once I started using lugol solution, which is a combination of iodine and iodide that Dr. Abraham had been writing about, wrote all these articles before me, and he educated on why it didn’t work.
And, you know, when I started using it, people’s iodine levels improved. But beyond that, you know, that’s not that important. What’s really important is they felt better and they started getting better energy, better brain function, better here. All the stuff that the thyroid was doing for my patients before.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:26:23] But now I found a few years later, after testing thousands of patients finding still over 97% low in iodine, that instead of three-quarters of my patients on thyroid hormone, I have about less than a quarter. And so I’ve dropped my need for thyroid hormone because I’m using the thin iodide that is physiologically and biochemistry biochemically important for making thyroid hormone. That was a deficiency people are having now not thyroid hormone.
Certainly, a lot still need thyroid hormone, but they need less. My average dose of thyroid hormone went from about two grains, which is 120 milligrams of desiccated thyroid down to 30 milligrams in most people. So I was able to lower the amount of thyroid hormone people needed just from giving them iodide.
Now, you know, I wrote about all that in my book and what I’ve also found is that iodine is needed to make any hormone in the body. Adrenal hormone, ovarian hormone, testicular hormone, pituitary hormones doesn’t really matter. You can’t make any hormones without iodine.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:27:23] So here I was looking at the hormonal system and trying to balance it. I was missing a key nutrient that people want efficient in. And if you look at the from the U.S. government, the enhanced data, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is done every ten years, iodine levels across the U.S. have fallen over 50% over the last 40 years. I came to Australia and lectured, I don’t remember how many years ago now, ten years ago. Many had dark hair then, too.
And so I looked up the data from Australia, whatever it’s called, and I had slides on that the levels of iodine across Australia had fallen to. You guys have iodine-deficient areas just like we do in the major population centres and your levels were not much different than ours. And so with the, you know, if the governments in the powers that become to my practise, which unfortunately they have.
And they say to me, you know, we don’t like what you’re doing, you have to stop all this holistic medicine stuff, go back to practising conventional medicine. But we’ll give you one thing to take with you, and that’s all you can continue doing holistically. Iodine would be it.
Without it, I wouldn’t have to think about it. Iodine is a single nutrient that helps more people. It’s inexpensive, every cell in the body needs it. And, you know, it helps so many different biochemical and physiologic pathways and that’s the one…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:28:41] And now tell me with iodine and you mentioned lugols, I had heard that you could put it along your skin and leave it on there overnight. And if in the morning there was a difference, like it wasn’t there anymore, you’d kind of pick up that it was iodine deficient. Is there a truth to that?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:29:01] So, that’s been talked about in holistic medicine. And I read that, too. And there’s there was a study that looked at this, and what they found was that 88% of the iodine that you paint. So the theory was, since iodine, the oxidised form is brown when you put it on your skin, it turns the skin brown. Those of us can recall putting it under the skin when we were young.
We had cuts, remember that? But so the brown will go away. The theory was that as iodine is absorbed into the body, the brown goes away. So the theory of what you’re talking about is that the body’s really deficient in iodine. You put it on the skin, it turns brown, it’ll go away fast because the body’s absorbing and super fast. If you have enough time, it will stay longer.
So if it stays over 24 hours brown and theoretically you have enough iodine in your system. And if it goes away sooner than that, you don’t have enough iodine. Well, if it’s sublimating off into a gaseous phase, that’s irrelevant. That doesn’t really tell you much.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:29:56] The other thing to keep in mind is the skin holds about 20% of the body’s iodine. I don’t know the exact numbers in my head right now, but the highest iodine concentrations are in the fat and the muscle in the body. Thyroid only holds a small percentage, about 2% of the body’s iodine.
So maybe what you’re measuring by the skin is just the skin iodine level, I don’t know. But if 88% evaporates into a gaseous phase, it’s not a good measure. The best measure is a urinary excretion.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:30:22] And the other thing that I mean, you mentioned soils deficient in your area. Well, I can tell you in Australia, our soils are deficient in zinc, magnesium, selenium. You know, I remember doing the podcast many years ago with Professor Creswell Eastman at Sydney University and he said iodine deficiency was the biggest deficiency in the world. Two billion people suffer from iodine deficiency.
Now going back to high school chemistry, when we looked at the periodic table and we see iodine is part of the halogens which include bromine, chlorine, and fluoride. When we think about how ubiquitous those chemicals are, do they displace iodine from the thyroid gland?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:31:06] So you know, if we could all take our heads back to high school chemistry. Oh, you learn this in college, too, and you learn somewhat of this in med school, although you’re just trying to survive and you don’t really remember it. But now if you look at the periodic table, which has all the elements that are known to mankind. Group 17 of the halides and the halides are fluoride chloride, bromide and iodine.
There’s a new one, Astatine, but there’s no human need. We don’t think that’s in the human body. So the four major halides are fluoride, chloride, bromine, and iodine. Out of those halides, two are essential that we cannot live without. That’s iodine and chloride. And two are not essential. We can live without it or probably toxic to us.
Bromide they’re toxic to us. I mean, they poison enzymes and cause problems in the body. That’s bromide and fluoride. So as you mentioned, the halides, too much of one halide can competitively inhibit another halide. So if you have too much bromide, it’ll push iodine out of the body and the bromide will bind to iodine receptors.
And there’s animal studies that show that when you put bromide in the food source of the animals, they will stop brominating that thyroid hormone. So, unfortunately in our modern world. You guys don’t flouridate your water?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:22] Yes, we do.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:32:27] Good for you!
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:28] We do? Good for you?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:32:31] Good for you. So we don’t have to be the only miserable…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:34] I was going to say…
Dr David Brownstein: [00:32:36] Flouride is an electronegative, a very electronegative halide. It’s highly reactive in the body. It poisons multiple enzymes in the body. It’s not a good thing that we should be putting in our water supply and it regarding fluoride and water for tooth decay that’s been disproven by the WHO studies. And you know that that’s all nonsense.
But so we are getting too much fluoride and we’re getting too much bromide in food and drink and in consumer items and we don’t have iodine. So what’s happened over the years is, as iodine levels have fallen across the world, which they have, the world’s become more toxic with fluoride and bromide. So, the IR deficiency is actually worse than our predecessors, our ancestors had.
This is why you know, my premise is this is why we’re suffering all these health problems and we spend all this money in health care and, you know, or we’re having some major problems. And if you look at countries that have high iodine intake like Japan, they have the longest longevity, longest lifestyle, length of any country out there.
And, you know, the U.S., which spends 20% of our GNP on health care, you know, we’re last compared to every western country out there. You Aussies are much better. You know, your health care isn’t so good either. I remember when I lectured there and I studied up on it. But you better not…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:33:58] With all due respect, I don’t think the United States sets the bar very high when it comes to health care. Now, another and actually, interestingly, before we leave thyroid because you mentioned something else, which I think is really important, and that is that the thyroid hormone is important for every cell in the body. Trillions of cells, every cell needs thyroid. And I think vitamin D is another one.
Those two are essential for every cell in the body. And I’m sure we’re going to come back to that when we talk a little bit about viruses. But another book that you write that I think challenges the norm is on salt and it’s been demonised. Talk to us a little bit about salt and how we’ve got that wrong.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:34:38] So when I started looking at people how to optimise their health instead of just diagnosing, I still diagnose pathology on people. I still do what I was taught in medical school, which is take a history to a physical exam or a lab test and then try and put it all together. But what I was finding, you know, I was taught in med school, any salt is bad and itself can cause hypertension, the lowest sodium blood-people, the better will do.
So I used to tell people, don’t eat salt. Remove salt from your diet and you know, whatever. Most people wouldn’t do that anyways. But I started really looking at my laboratory tests and we started in these biochemistry meetings with my local practitioners here. And when I really, you know, when I started looking at the biochemical pathways, sodium and chloride were so important in all these pathways to make ATP molecules or energy molecules to make thyroid hormone, you need sodium.
You need sodium to usher iodine into the thyroid gland if you don’t have enough salt that’s what really started me when I learnt about the sodium/iodide symporter. It’s a little taxicab that takes iodine from the bloodstream and moves it into the thyroid gland or the breast or the other glandular tissue against a gradient. So you have to use an ATP molecule to do that. Well, you need two sodium molecules for one iodine molecule to do that. One iodine molecule to do that.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:35:57] So, I started really looking at salt levels and electrolyte panels and fasting blood work. And what I found was that the optimal sodium level should be 141 or higher. The optimal chloride level should be… I need my laptop in front of me, but I believe it’s 102 or higher meal equivalence per litre and most people were deficient in that.
So, I started having people try salt and I had them use unrefined salt with this full complement of minerals and not use refined salt which has had all its minerals removed out of it. And lo and behold, they allay cramps. They felt better, they had muscle cramps, it felt better. There aches and pains. They felt better.
They felt better in their brain. And very few people swelled up with salt. Very few people get high blood pressure, very, very few. And interestingly, I was able to take people off their high blood pressure medications once I put them on salt.
So I’m like, oh, this is interesting. Their blood pressure is lower. Why is that? I went back to my physiology and biochemistry and realised that what happens when you lower sodium levels in people, you trigger all these hormonal responses in the kidneys and what happens? You release aldosterone, which is a hormone that helps you hold on to sodium and it releases renin and angiotensin and all these things, these hormones produce in the kidneys to try and help you hold on to salt.
But it constricts the blood vessels and makes high blood pressure go up. The worst thing you want to do in a hypertensive patient is put them on a salt, restrict day. You’re going to make it worse. And what do we give them for hypertension? We give them antihypertensive medications that block renin, angiotensin, and aldosterone. And those are the mainstays of any diuretics that pull sodium out of the body and make them dehydrated.
And those are the main strains of conventional medicine for treating hypertension when they may just be salt deficient. So if you have normal kidney function, people need adequate amounts of salt. And I wrote a book called Salt Your Way to Health, and the book was written, you know, I write a book for one or two reasons. I get excited about something or I get irritated about something.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:37:56] And it’s the sixteen books. You’ve been… Yeah.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:38:00] I have the passion to put something in the book. It’s a lot of work… (Very cathartic) It is cathartic. It is very therapeutic for me. So I was writing my Iodine book, one of the additions to it, I’m on it, sign its fifth edition, and I was finishing the edition of the Iodine book, I think it was the fifth edition, and there was an article in my local paper about, from a dietitian and why no one should have salt added to their food.
Everyone should have minimal salt. And I cut it out and I taped it over my computer screen so I could see it and it just irritated me. And so as soon as I finished the Iodine book, I started writing the Salt book. And I still have that article. I took a picture of it and I still use it in my lectures and I went through the whole history of salt and why did we stop using salt?
It’s like why we stopped using iodine. And I describe that in my book. And when you go through the history of it, you realise they really there’s no science behind that. It was just, it was kind of just a little smoke over there. And then they just took it and ran with it and they just made it. Just say it enough times.
People start believing it, but there’s really not good science behind that. Are there some people need to lower salt their diet? Sure. Your kidney failure. You have heart failure. Those people sometimes can’t handle it for the rest. For we have normal kidney function. You can hand over 100 grams of salt in a day. No one’s going to eat that much.
Cause physically, I don’t think you can do that. But you can handle it with decent amounts of salt if it’s good salt. And, you know, for a lot of people helps lower the blood pressure and helps their whole health status improve.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:39:29] And you mentioned refined salt, so not all salts are the same. What, like Celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt? Are they all refined?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:39:39] I was just looking for a copy of my Salt book, but I can’t find I don’t have it in hand. The salt can be refined or unrefined. So for those listeners out there, we don’t want to refer to salt as sea salt because all salt came from the ocean at some point in its life. And salt have been very important in human existence from the beginning of time.
Cultures, I mean countries and groups of people would only be able to survive where there’s salt, either in salt in the environment, or they had to get salt somewhere because we can’t live without it. And humans would crave salt when they got low in salt. So, when we refer to salt or we’re talking about salt, we should all say refined or unrefined.
Those are the two types of salt, refined salts are thin, a very thin stuff. It’s in restaurants. It can go to the small little holes in the salt shaker. Unrefined salts are a little thicker. It’s got a colour to it because it’s got some minerals in it. Unrefined salt will have its complimentary minerals that wherever it comes from and whatever minerals are high in that area and it gives it some colour to it and the salt industry looks at that colour as sort of dirty.
And so they, they take it out, they bleach it, make it white, and they think we like it better because it’s white. It’s really not a healthy salt is the refined salt. And we find salt like Celtic brand sea salt, there’s a few of them you know, and those are better forms of salt. And you know, in my book I talk about, you know, which forms of salt to use and you know.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:40:59] The other you mentioned there’s a fire, you know, a little fire over there called salt. And so we’ve had a lot of given a lot more credence than it needs. Cholesterol is another one that similarly, you know, it was a simple message to pump out, wasn’t it? Like, don’t eat fat because you’ll get fat. Cholesterol causes…
Dr David Brownstein: [00:41:20] That’s how deaths work. Came to the elevate maybe.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:41:22] And you know we’re on the Cholesterol Sceptics group, which is a very interesting group of highly qualified people like yourself. Talk to us a little bit about how we got cholesterol wrong and statins. We’re not…Yeah!
Dr David Brownstein: [00:41:36] So, I started, so my dad was my first and my best patient and his cholesterol level drops 200 points, about 150 points from just going on thyroid short stature without changing his diet. And like I said before, my dad could eat like the best of them. And it was it was obese and smoked and, you know, didn’t take good care of himself. But, here his cholesterol drops and cholesterol-lowering medications, which weren’t working, that wasn’t dropping his cholesterol.
And so, I… Did he get better, you know, within a short period of time of doing that, took him off his cholesterol medications and his cholesterol stays down and he feels better. So I start researching cholesterol and what I… I knew there was a relationship between cholesterol and thyroid that if you’re low thyroid, you can have high cholesterol levels.
And taking some thyroid hormone can help cholesterol levels. So, statin drugs came on the scene when I was a young physician in the 1990s. And, you know, they took off because Americans are overweight or in bad shape. And, you know, they like my doing and my dad was a typical American. And so, you know, this, you know, miserable lipid panels and high triglycerides and stuff were out there and people were getting heart attacks, you know, too young and all that stuff.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:42:52] So we were taught med school that only any salt is bad for you. A low salt, you know, no salt should be the best. Any cholesterol was bad for you, the lower the cholesterol, the better it is, period. We talked about what’s the importance of cholesterol? You know, why does every cell need cholesterol? Why why does a brain have the highest amount of cholesterol? And we weren’t taught that.
You just thought the lower cholesterol the better. So they started making these drugs to lower cholesterol. They’re still making them. You know, the PCS9K inhibitors now are, you know, generations beyond the statins to lower it even further. So, I start researching statin drugs and I statins work by poisoning an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase.
And if you look at the biochemical pathway where HMG-CoA reductase is up here, below it are all the hormones. So it’s testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, DHEA and all these things that I was doing on my dad and other patients were getting them better. Why would you poison the enzyme here? Everything downstream is going to go down because you’re poisoning the enzyme, and goes this way.
And so, you’re basically, it was a funnel up here and you’re limiting the substrate to cholesterol that needs to be, every cell needs. That doesn’t make sense physiologically and biochemically. I mean, you have to read a study to tell you that’s not going to work long term in people. It’s going to cause too many problems. And so, I started researching and came to get to spend…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:44:15] The statin disaster.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:44:19] And well, I find that when people clean up their diet, when they get their hormonal system balanced to a little exercise, they work way better and stay on drugs at changing cholesterol levels. And the reason cholesterol goes up in overweight people who smoke like my dad, cholesterol is an anti-inflammatory substance.
The body is doing its job, it’s trying to put out the fire that’s going in the arteries because, you know, my dad’s smoking and eating and he’s overweight, you know, and the last thing you want to do in that case is put out the fire manual. You know, it’s like saying because firemen and every house that has a fire, fireman must be causing all the fires.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:44:57] Yeah.It’s there to put it out. And another reason the fires are being caused that we need to search for. So, you know, I find that statin drugs are a problem. I really don’t see a purpose for them in anyone, no matter what their cholesterol well, in virtually anyone, no matter what their cholesterol is. And, you know, there may be a case with familial hypercholesterolaemia when it’s super high.
But I mean, even in those cases, familial hypercholesterolaemia patients are born with genetic tendencies to produce high amounts of cholesterol. If those people reach 50 years of age, they live longer than people who don’t have familial hypercholesterolaemia no matter how high their cholesterol is.
The problem with them is in their younger years, they have a slightly higher risk of heart attacks and death, very slightly higher. So the ones that have super high levels, they might need some therapy to lower the levels. The rest of us as 99.99% of us don’t need that stuff. But…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:45:51] Now, another topic that I know you’ve written on is viruses, which is actually incredibly topical in the last few years. Tell me about how you reflect on the way the pandemic has been handled and what is the best way of dealing with the virus.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:46:06] So, here’s my book on viruses.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:46:10] Yes, we’re going to have links to all of these books and they’re so readable and accessible. I really would recommend them very highly. But go on, tell us about, I’m interested to hear your reflection on this.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:46:22] So when COVID started in December of 2019, the reports out of China where there were three or four atypical pneumonia cases with a novel strain of coronavirus. And these people were had the same symptoms. They couldn’t breathe, they were hospitalised and ventilated, and they died. And so, I remember the first report came out in December of 2019, and I followed every report after that.
And, you know, shortly after that, you know, you were seeing cases in Europe and Italy and Spain and some other countries in Europe and some other Asian countries were reporting cases of it. And then in Italy and Spain, it really took off like wild..
In England, it took off like wildfire. And I’m sure you were doing the same thing as we were. We were watching TV and seeing those pictures of the hospital rooms in Italy and, you know, beds two feet apart or all fully ventilated, bodies stacked up. And they had all the mobile morgues, you know, parked. And they didn’t even know what to do with all the bodies.
They were dying so quickly when they were ventilated. And so, COVID hits the United States in the end of January, beginning of February of 2020. And, you know, we had no plan for what to do. We acted lost, and we paid the price for it. And we have an unhealthy population going into it where the sickest Western country out there, the fattest Western country out there.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:47:46] If co-morbidities predispose you to the complications, including death, you know, the United States and I think, you know, very low down in the…
Dr David Brownstein: [00:47:59] We were trained to probe that problem. And so, COVID hits the U.S. the end of January, beginning in February of 2020, and you could cut tension with a knife from that moment. And everybody’s you know, we’re seeing on the news and every headlines bad.
You know the modelling out of England was that three million Americans would be dead by the end of the year. Three and a half million would have it and one and a half million would be dead. 50% would be dead. Of those who got it and by the end of the year and the more you know, the following year.
So, the headlines were there, they were nothing was good out there. It was all dire. So the first case hits Michigan in February, but the end of February of 2020, where I practise and my office manager comes to me on Thursday, which is the end of my workweek and says, you got to talk to the staff. Why? They’re all going… No one’s coming to work next week, everyone’s scared. Okay.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:48:52] So, we have a meeting in the waiting room, I mean, the tension is just enormous. And I, you know, I’ve been in practise 28 years or something like that. So my staff have grown with me. We’ve gotten older and, you know, I had an older staff and I said, what questions do you have? The first question was, we’re closing the office this weekend, right? Because everything was closing around Michigan.
You know, everything was closing at that point. And I said closing, why would we close? Patients are going to need us more than ever. We actually know how to treat viral infections. We’ve been doing it for over 25 years. And every year when flu season comes around between 20,000 and over, 120,000 of Americans die from the flu and flu-like illnesses every winter season in America.
My partners and I cannot recall one patient dying from the flu, and we can’t recall one patient being hospitalised with the flu. Now, if we have an average of, let’s call it, 50,000 a year that die from the flu times 25 years or so, that’s a lot of patients that have died from the flu and flu-like illnesses and we haven’t seen it. So we felt like we had a good therapy to offer people. The therapy was basically supporting the immune system.
And with the idea that you don’t get over the flu with a drug, there’s no drug that treats the flu. There’s Tamiflu that doesn’t do a very good job and that wasn’t available the first 20 years of my practise anyways. But it’s a lousy drug with too many side effects. Basically with Tamiflu, you get a few less hours of flu and that’s about it.
But there’s no drug that really treats the flu. It’s the immune system has to get you over the flu, you know, so we’ve used a therapy to support the immune system, which is high dose vitamins A, C, D, and iodine. We use nebulized hydrogen peroxide and iodine. And if people needed more therapy, we gave them IVs of vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide, and ozone butt shots.
This therapy has been constant for 25 years with a little modification as we learn new things. Ozone was the latest thing we learned about ten or 15 years ago and our patients did great. So I said to the staff, we have this therapy.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:50:55] Undoubtedly, we’ve treated coronavirus infection since one-third of flu-like illness as our coronavirus illnesses, although we haven’t checked for it. I said, but if it doesn’t work for this strain of coronavirus, we’ll figure out what does we got smart doctors here. We got smart people here, we’re all going to work together on this. But I say close the office.
I said you watch. Everything is going to close. Every doctor is going to close their office and patients are going have nowhere to go but emergency rooms. And look what’s happening in Europe. You go to the emergency room, you get ventilated, you’re going to die, 90% chance you’re going to die. So I told the staff, whoever doesn’t want to work doesn’t have to work.
You’re not going to lose your job. And come Monday, Monday came around. We had 50% of our staff there to work. And, you know, about a week later, we got our first case of our patient sick with COVID. I didn’t sleep the first week as we started treating taking phone call after phone call.
And we were treating people outside in the winter in Michigan, there’s snow, there were sleet, there was ice. And we had flashlights at night. If someone would hold a phone or a flashlight, we’d put the IV in their hand. We became masters of putting IVs in cold people in their hands. We got this whole system down. We have ten cars lined up outside. We had an assembly.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:07] When you say IV..
Dr David Brownstein: [00:52:09] Works from 9…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:09] IV- vitamin C.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:52:13] We’d work ’til nine, sometimes 10:00 at night. We’re wearing winter coats underneath all the gear. And it was there was a little excitement in there, a lot of anxiety and a lot of trepidation. I didn’t know it’s going to work and started getting phone calls, particularly with our nebulized peroxide, that after the second dose of nebulized peroxide, people were having trouble breathing or low oxygen on their pulse axis or breathing better there. They were feeling better.
And I started sleeping and after about seven days and I realise, hey, this therapy is working just like it did for all the other flu-like illnesses. So we’ve ended up treating over, I don’t know, over 1,300 or 1,400 people now. I didn’t have a count in a week and we’ve had a few hospitalisations. We’ve had one death, which was recent.
We haven’t had one up until now. And of course, the one death suit, they were admitted to the hospital and got Remdesivir, which my partner’s patient told him not to do this, but and that was our one death out of 1,400. And we’ve kept so many out of the hospital. And, you know, that’s why I wrote the book.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:15] And just we had Dr Thomas Levy on talking about the nebuliser. But just remind us about the dosage. You know how often one should use that nebuliser and you mentioned it’s with hydrogen peroxide and a little bit of iodine. What… Yeah, tell…
Dr David Brownstein: [00:53:30] So, we use a 0.03% hydrogen peroxide solution. It’s more diluted that…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:36] Yes, because 3% is quite confronting. It’s quite challenging.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:53:41] You know, I’ve had some patients who… and some friends or out of state who just did it right out of the bottle. Yeah, over the counter stuff. I did that. Other would do that. You know, they got better. They had a little more scratchiness to the throat and a little more cough than you do with the 0.03%. But I didn’t see any serious problems with it. But 0.03% has been very safe, been very helpful. And with a little bit of lugol’s iodine in there, I think it’s the best therapy that we’ve seen…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:08] And how long and how often in a day would you recommend that?
Dr David Brownstein: [00:54:14] I instructed people when they were sick to do what, every hour, waking hour, if they could, and then if they felt better to just taper it off. And most people, the what we heard from most people now, this new one, Omicron strain
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:26] Yeah.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:54:26] You guys getting this Omicron strain? It’s not as serious as the original one. They’re not having the breathing problems. You know, it’s more sore throat, achy, it’s just not as serious. But when they couldn’t breathe at the beginning, a man that was early into the illness, they just Pulse Ox is dumped. They looked grey and they couldn’t breathe.
They couldn’t do anything. What they told us routinely, was the second nebulised treatment their lungs open up, their Pulse Ox improved from 90% to 95%. They could breathe again. They felt better again. They didn’t feel like they were going to die. And that’s what we kept hearing routinely through this thing.
And they’re still breathing problems we’re hearing it now, but we use we use nebuliser peroxide for asthma, for COPD, for lung cancer. You know, any inflammation of the lungs, I find a dilute solution of nebulous peroxide very helpful, really, without the only side effect I’ve seen with nebulised peroxide is sometimes a scratchy throat, sometimes a cough. Usually, whatever the cough was, it was minimal. And after this first dose it would go away, but maybe better. On the second dose…
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:55:27] 0.03%, I mean it comes in, I think it comes in 3% usually from a chemist. So that’s quite a dilution. I mean that’s very easy to do. Very easy to do.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:55:38] Very easy to do. You know that’s not your fault. You know, it’s very easy to do, and it’s, you know, I’m tired of COVID right now. Let me tell you, I’ve had enough of it, but it’s not exciting anymore. It’s not… It’s just… It’s not even exciting anymore, just annoying.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:55:54] Actually, when it started, I saw this is an incredible opportunity because we had a global audience captive literally and metaphorically captive audience focused on health like never before, being told co-morbidities were a problem and this was a time for real public health measures. But anyway, listen, we could talk about that for a while.
We just want to finish up now. David, I want to ask you one last question. Taking a step back from your role as a holistic doctor and author, because we are all on a health journey through life in this modern world. What do you think the biggest challenge is for an individual on that journey?
The Biggest Health Challenge
Dr David Brownstein: [00:56:33] I think the biggest challenge is to educate yourself. And part of the reason I started writing books was, you know, I was having to educate people on why these natural therapies should be considered, even though, you know, they’re not mainstream. And there are other doctors who have no knowledge of them. And I wanted my patients educated.
What I found quickly into doing holistic medicine was patients who got the best results were the most educated. They would do their own research. They would talk to me, we’d have a dialogue. And once they understood the theory behind what I was trying to do, I felt like I was driving like a bus or a boat or something, and they would jump on with me.
And in every book, I thank my patients for taking the ride with me because, you know, they’re taking a leap with me. I took a leap. They’re taking a leap with me. And I found that when we’re in this together, we’ll get better results. Then when there’s, you know, people aren’t sure they’re being dictated to, then we understand, you know, go take this drug or go take those vitamins.
It doesn’t you know why? You know, they want to know why. They want to know what it’s supposed to do. And I think that if they’re educated, they can make pretty good health decisions. And if they’re uneducated, they really can’t. They really don’t understand why it’s important to eat well, why it’s important to drink water, why it’s important to maintain salt levels, why is important to get your hormonal system balanced?
And, you know, the patients that seem to do the best long term are the educated ones. And the educated I don’t mean going to college or getting an advanced degree or anything like that. It’s just educate about your health and your body.
We looked we only get this body to be here with. I don’t know if you believe in reincarnation, but maybe we get to come back here again and try it again. We’ll find out somewhere down the road.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:58:17] Right now, we’re here with this body, and I feel like we’re all dealt this poker hand, five-card poker hand. Some people are dealt with straights and flushes and, you know, straight flushes in good hands. And some people are dealt a lot of crap. And however, whether you’re dealt a straight flush or whether you’re dealt a crappy five-card hand poker, you can play that hand pretty well or you can play pretty poorly.
And you can win or lose out of bad hand. You can win or lose out of good hand. And you know, you’ve got to… I wasn’t you know, there’s some defects in my body. I got 65 degrees scoliotic curve. I have severe asthma, which, by the way, is gone. When I cleaned up my diet and got my nutrition. I went off on my inhalers. I play tennis three or four days a week. I don’t need to use inhalers when I play tennis anymore, basically puffers all the time.
And I had an immune defect that doesn’t make me the best to be a doctor. But, you know, I try and optimise what I got and I’ve done pretty well for myself and I feel my patients can do well for themselves regardless of what they’re dealt with.
Dr David Brownstein: [00:59:23] And, you know, the people who do the best are the ones that are constantly learning, constantly educating, and people reading the articles, books, you know. I read everything they give me. I don’t even maybe I read every word of it, but I scan everything they give me and then we talk about it.
And, you know, I’m learning just as they’re learning. And so when you educate yourself, you get to decide what you’re eating for dinner. You got to say what you’re eating for breakfast. You got to decide if you’re going to exercise. I think if they know why it’s important to eat good, why it’s important to exercise, they’re more likely to do that stuff. And that’s played out well.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:59:52] Well, David, thank you. That’s what a great note to finish on because education’s what’s this programme is all about and clearly, your career has with 16 books and everything you do is similarly so. Thank you so much for sharing your time and wisdom with us today.
Dr David Brownstein: [01:00:05] Thank you for having me, Ron. This was fun.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:00:09] Well, we covered quite a range of topics there, of course, and so many of those and more and more, because David, as I mentioned, has written many books and they are very accessible to patients.
So it’s interesting that he sees the greatest challenge as being educating yourself, which I guess is why you’re listening to this programme and actually why I’m doing this programme because I’m educating myself as well. So we will have links to David’s site and there is so much there for you to learn. I hope this finds you well. Until next time. This is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Be well.
This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.