Boosting Immunity: Dr Olivia Lesslar

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a question that has been on many of our minds, “does natural immunity still exist?” That’s the topic for this week’s episode. In my conversation with Dr Olivia Lesslar, we discuss the importance of nutrition in developing immunity to disease, what can be done nutritionally, the importance of sleep, the importance of light therapy and so much more.

Dr Olivia Lesslar is a functional medicine practitioner with an interest in complex chronic conditions. She is a concierge medical consultant at LifeSpan Medicine USA. @drolivialesslar.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: LifeSpan Medicine and Boosting Immune Function Introduction

This week we are going to explore a topic that should be on everybody’s mind. Almost all the time certainly should have been on all of our minds right from the beginning of this pandemic. And that is natural immunity. Yes, it still exists. Yes, it is still part of the human experience. And even though you may be excused for thinking it’s not because our experts, who are managing this pandemic, say so little about it and what a wonderful opportunity it is for us all to focus on it. It is still nonetheless reassuringly very real and all the things that I have learned at university about immune function and in biochemistry and physiology and in immunology and pathology. It’s still a thing.

And I make no excuse for exploring this on a recurring theme, particularly in the last few weeks over the Summer Series, you will have noticed that we really did bring back episodes that focussed very much on that. I also left you at the end of last year with Trust the Science with a question mark at the end of it. Part of the Summer Series was The Elephant in the Room, which is specifically about science, and can we trust that science.

Anyway, today we are going to be exploring natural immunity. We’re going to be discussing what can be done nutritionally, what can be the importance of sleep again. We touch on some really interesting parts about the sun. Priming our skin for sun and learning when the best time is to get all the benefits of exposing ourselves to the sunshine. This is going to be, I think it’s really informative. I learned a lot from my conversation.

My guest today is Dr Olivia Lesslar. Now, Olivia is a functional medical practitioner, is in private practise, and does many of her consultations online. She has many private patients. She has a service, a concierge service, if you like, which just is there for you as a patient to manage your health. And she is a great networker, bringing together many wonderful practitioners that she can draw on. 

And I think that is really an important part of being a practitioner — and that is to surround yourself with people who you have confidence in, in the particular expertise, who all have a holistic view on health care and understand how their particular speciality fits into your health as opposed to if your condition doesn’t fit into their interest, then maybe you don’t have the problem or really just go and do something else.

So this is what functional medicine is all about. I’ll let Olivia explain that and define it, but really, it is understanding that there is a lot going on in the human body and we need to respect every part of it. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr Olivia Lesslar.

Podcast Transcript

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:00] Before I start, I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I’m recording this podcast, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.

Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. This week we are going to explore a topic that should be on everybody’s mind. Almost all the time certainly should have been on all of our minds right from the beginning of this pandemic. And that is natural immunity. Yes, it still exists. Yes, it is still part of the human experience. 

And even though you may be excused for thinking it’s not because our experts, who are managing this pandemic, say so little about it and what a wonderful opportunity it is for us all to focus on it. It is still nonetheless reassuringly very real and all the things that I have learned at university about immune function and in biochemistry and physiology and in immunology and pathology. It’s still a thing.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:01:12] And I make no excuse for exploring this on a recurring theme, particularly in the last few weeks over the Summer Series, you will have noticed that we really did bring back episodes that focussed very much on that. I also left you at the end of last year with Trust the Science with a question mark at the end of it. Part of the Summer Series was The Elephant in the Room, which is specifically about science, and can we trust that science.

Anyway, today we are going to be exploring natural immunity. We’re going to be discussing what can be done nutritionally, what can be the importance of sleep again. We touch on some really interesting parts about the sun. Priming our skin for sun and learning when the best time is to get all the benefits of exposing ourselves to the sunshine. This is going to be, I think it’s really informative. I learned a lot from my conversation.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:02:05] My guest today is Dr Olivia Lesslar. Now, Olivia is a functional medical practitioner, is in private practise, and does many of her consultations online. She has many private patients. She has a service, a concierge service, if you like, which just is there for you as a patient to manage your health. And she is a great networker, bringing together many wonderful practitioners that she can draw on. 

And I think that is really an important part of being a practitioner — and that is to surround yourself with people who you have confidence in, in the particular expertise, who all have a holistic view on health care and understand how their particular speciality fits into your health as opposed to if your condition doesn’t fit into their interest, then maybe you don’t have the problem or really just go and do something else.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:03:04] So this is what functional medicine is all about. I’ll let Olivia explain that and define it, but really, it is understanding that there is a lot going on in the human body and we need to respect every part of it. This was a unique opportunity because many of the podcasts, in fact, almost every podcast I have done over the last few years have been done online. 

But in this particular case, Olivia Lesslar was visiting Sydney, and so she came to my office and we sat at my desk, so we were able to chat face to face, which was a wonderful experience, particularly in this time of online zoom overload. To have a real live guest in my presence and to be able to see them live was really a wonderful experience. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr Olivia Lesslar. Welcome to the show, Olivia.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:04:03] Oh, thank you very much, Ron. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:04:06] Olivia, you describe yourself as a functional medical practitioner. What does that actually mean and how does that differ from people’s experience in the medical setting?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:04:16] Look, I called myself at one point an integrative medicine doctor, which I guess I still am because I like to employ different modalities. But I say functional now because I definitely have seen this new wave of patients coming through with all the bloods are fine, their scans are fine, and then there’s a not too subtle hint that maybe it’s just in their head.

I saw that a lot, especially with chronic fatigue syndrome patients. And so it’s known as a functional disorder, whereby there’s something not working quite as well as it should with your day to day life. You know, illness, presentation, symptomatology, whatever it may be. But the scans and blood tests that we use right now just not picking it up.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:05:01] And then functional medicine, as far as sort of that American terminology goes, is about looking for root cause, trying to figure out why a patient has headaches as opposed to giving them Band-Aids for those headaches. Now I have no issues with Band-Aids. They’re very helpful. It helps patients with pain. 

Obviously, we don’t want our patients to be in pain, but we, whatever it is that we do in functional medicine, has a reason. So yes, we’re taking patients out of pain with giving them, I mean, paracetamol, aspirin, whatever it may be. But we’re also trying to figure out why they got themselves in that position and making sure that we are respecting as well what the body’s trying to tell us.

Pain is a very important mechanism, a very important message. What is it saying to us and learning then to make sure that we’re reading our body and listening to our body? Because when patients and doctors, all of us are guilty of this, overuse Band-Aids, we stop knowing how to listen to our bodies, and then you’ve basically kind of fallen into a really bad cycle.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:06:12] I think it’s interesting that you choose chronic pain for pain as an example, because I think a lot of people who are in chronic pain, often go through the blood tests, go through the scans, and the doctor looks at them first and says, “There’s nothing wrong with you.” 

And rather than saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you or I need to send you to somebody who does know what’s wrong.” So delving into that root causes is really important. I mean, we’re looking at this pandemic as an example, and I think this has been an example of how we manage disease in general. Here’s a question that I know is a silly question, but it does need to be asked. Isn’t that true that immunity still a thing? I mean, is natural immunity real? 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:07:00] (sighs).

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:00] I know, I know.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:07:01] It’s a tough one. So, you know, I think I can absolutely understand why people would be a little bit surprised by that question because that hasn’t been brought up it seems at all by our health professionals and authority, maybe in Australia, I’m assuming also as well. And I think part of it really stuck. OK. Yes. Natural immunity is a thing. Wooh stop. End of story. All right. Thank you very much. (laughs)

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:29] Thank you.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:07:30] Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:31] That’s very reassuring to hear, but I think it’s an important public health announcement.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:07:35] That’s right.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:36] Natural immunity is real.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:07:38] Right.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:39] But let’s let’s talk about that a bit more.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:07:42] And the reason why it’s sort of, I don’t see downplayed, but it does feel like that. The reason why it’s not discussed as much. I suspect it’s because of how we’ve been practising medicine for the last few decades, and that is we can’t use a pharmacological fee for something. 

Then there isn’t as much money or resources put behind those ideas. So everyone will talk about, every doctor will talk about lifestyle, diet, exercise. But when you actually ask them what that means, they don’t actually have much more than you should exercise or you should eat well. Have a balanced diet. That’s basically as far as it goes.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:08:24] In the whole pandemic that we’ve experienced in the beginning, there was so much signal about vitamin D and zinc. But then it kind of lost a bit of traction to the controversies around ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine. And I know people like drama and that’s another issue that we have in a society where, you know, it’s people like the drama of the controversy.

But for some reason, even though we knew that vitamin D was important, it wasn’t mandated. It should be. But there weren’t messages about getting out there in the sun and possibly supplementing or encouraging GP’s to ask questions about lifestyle such that we could identify those at risk of vitamin D deficiency so that we could and then test, maybe and then supplement appropriately. It was none of that. I don’t want to be conspiratorial, but it does feel as if a lot of the money got put into that, which was medical lies. Pharmacological lies.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:09:35] So listen, let’s pretend that the pandemic has just been announced and we’re going to manage and you know, we’re going to try and firstly, we’ll go… Why don’t we go through three scenarios? One is to say we’re going to try and put on a good prevention programme and then there’s the person that contracts it, and there’s early treatment, and then where do we go if things start getting really seriously wrong?

So let’s start with, “Okay, there’s a pandemic out there, folks, and we need to be ready for it. What are we doing?”

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:10:06] Yeah. Well, it’s the sort of basic things that apparently doctors are meant to be talking about, right? Lifestyle modifications, diet exercise, and we know what you put in your mouth, the food you eat, the quality, the nutrient density that you take in makes a difference to how well your immune system works. So the one thing I’ve noticed is that people are very quick to talk about how bad food, bad habits can then inform disease.

You eat, you know, fast food and then you get diabetes or you get fat. Or you smoke and get lung cancer. As those sorts of simple correlations, people were more than happy to talk about. But for some reason, even though you can eat your way into a disease, you can’t eat the way out of a disease.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:10:54] Right. Good. That’s good.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:10:55] So eat good food. Make sure that you have all the building blocks that your immune system needs. That’s your vitamin D, your zinc, your vitamin A. Look, you can really go on and on and on. But vitamin C is so important for the immune system, as you know, as a redox molecule. But people roll their eyes above those sorts of things.

First of all, it’s got the word vitamin in it, which apparently feels like a dirty word these days. Second, all doctors will say that as long as you have a well-balanced standard diet, you should be fine. But we know that’s not true. In fact, government data from the UK and Australia actually shows that there are lots of people running around with suboptimal intakes of zinc, vitamin C, et cetera. 

And in fact, I think in Australia, males over the age of 18 have inadequate intake of zinc, and we’re not even quite sure why. And that probably does inform a little bit the fact that testosterone levels are sort of falling off the cliff. That’s by the pile. We know that 70% of people living in old folks’ homes have some form of vitamin or nutrient deficiency. But when you talk about supplementation, how many of these people are being supplemented? It’s next to zero. I don’t know why there’s this disconnect.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:12:16] So yes, what you eat, the nutrient density of your foods makes a difference, and we may actually have to before we’re talking about optimising health, we actually have to start talking to people about really basic things. What are the macronutrients? What are the micronutrients? What are the RDIs? What are your thoughts on RDIs?

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:12:33] Recommended daily intake.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:12:35] Yes. AIs. Adequate intake. And what are the faults with these things? There was a paper that came out not too long ago this year, which is talking about the fact that if you go over the data from back in the day. So the early 20th century when they first put together the vitamin C recommended daily intakes using our modern assays. It’s inadequate what is considered RDI for vitamin C. And so there are always going to be holes in those things. 

And so as long as you know, stay away from processed foods. Eat whole foods, please, if you can, you know, nutrient-dense foods. I eat all the meats, really, and I know there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians do out there. And if you have the genetic ability to transform the pre-vitamins in vegetables into a form that a human can use, fantastic. But if you can’t then you have to be an informed choice, then about your vegetarian veganism and the supplement or choose to add in a little bit of animal products. But anyway, yes, food.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:13:44] And you’ve used the word nutrient-dense, which is a term that many of our listeners have heard many times. And actually, it’s interesting that the quality of the food is where that density is. I mean, I think the soils in which they’re grown, I know our soils in Australia are really deficient in zinc and selenium and magnesium all really critically important. It’s so interesting because some deficiencies come very common.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:14:12] Yeah. So I know that our doctors simply don’t feel that way. And so I tend not to use the word deficiency here. I see insufficiency. So it’s less likely for them to get…

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:22] Because for many, many doctors, if you don’t have rickets, yes, then you don’t have vitamin D problems. If you don’t have scurvy, then you don’t have vitamin C problems. You don’t have a b deficiency without a […].

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:14:34] Yes. That’s actually right.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:36] So what is it?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:14:37] It’s insufficiency.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:38] Insufficiency.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:14:39] Yes, it’s that people are less likely to get upset about that for some reason. You know, funny enough, I actually saw scurvy when I was GP land, so I think it was the first year of GP training, then a woman comes in, gums were bleeding, wouldn’t heal. The rest of it is scurvy. So this is a person living in a first-world country. She wasn’t living on a desert island, you know. And as it is, everybody in Australia is supplemented in some way of shape or form. And people don’t even realise there’s government-mandated iodisation of salt in Australia because we don’t, as a country’s population, we don’t take enough iodine here. 

The government knows that and knows how important iodine is to the iodised salt. Then we have the fancy salts coming through from overseas. You know, Himalayan pink salt, Celtic salts. And then people moved over to that. We started to see […] Right? Because they were taking in less iodine. What else has the government-mandated? Oh well, we’ve got fluoride in the water. That’s a supplementation. Mandated by the government. We can get to control, right? 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:15:55] That’s a whole other podcast. But interestingly, I mean, like, for example, I had my vitamin D levels. I’ve never had them check ridiculous, as that may seem up until about eight years ago. And I was like at a level of 30 and 40. Really low and I would have been like for 30 or 40 years because I’ve done nothing differently.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:16:14] And so for the folks out there, the lower limit of normal in Australia is 49 nanomoles.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:22] Yes, I know. And so you check this a lot on patients. How common is vitamin D deficiency in your patients?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:16:30] It depends on what you use as your reference.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:33] Okay, I shouldn’t use that word deficient. But okay, let’s look at it. I mean, the range is around 40 to 90 or?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:16:41] Mostly 49 to 150 in Australia.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:42] Oh, that’s the ideal one.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:16:44] Yeah. That’s the reference range used here. And you’re absolutely right about the rickets thing. 49 nanomoles were chosen because below that you were at risk of rickets. But you know, optimisation sciences, optimisation health. That’s only a very recent thing, the last maybe 20, 30 years. To be fair, we see it in the US. We’re not really even talking that much about optimisation health care yet, but we are starting to.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:17:11] So how many patients… How common is the suboptimal level this pandemic?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:17:16] Oh, everyone. Everybody.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:17:20] Which is extraordinary.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:17:21] Yes, I have not seen a repeat person, optimally repeat person, for vitamin D here. That’s not supplementing. And since I started taking three or four years ago, I was thinking the other accepted mass supplementation by the government is folic. Or folic acid. You know, white flower in Australia.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:17:41] Right. Yeah, yeah. So okay, so we’ve got a nutrient-dense diet that is setting this up better and possible supplementation to bring this to an optimal level… 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:17:53] For whatever reason, you can’t take in enough of that particular nutrient through vitamin in your food, and there are plenty of those things you know. Plenty of that.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:18:04] I mean, it’s a pity we didn’t hear that. And I know that at the time that the pandemic started, I was president of the Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine. We wrote letters to the TGA or Professor Ian Brighthope, who’s been a guest on the podcast many times, and he wrote letters which were replied, well, so there’s not enough evidence to support them. 

And the next days we found out that remdesivir, didn’t have enough evidence to support it, and that evidence was supplied by the pharmaceutical industry. So if a nutrient-dense diet is one way of building our immune function, give us one or two others.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:18:42] So if you have a respiratory illness, respiratory virus coming your way. How you breathe matters. Nasal breathing or mouth breathing is one of the biggest needles that moved in my health when I switched over. Because you need the nares with the hairs to filter the air, to warm and humidify the air. The reason why we have all these little turbinates in the nose is to swallow hair around so that the mucosa is able to see the air for the immune system. 

Then it hits your adenoids, then it hits the tonsils and goes into your lungs. That makes a difference. How you breathe makes a difference to your immune system or and you know, your immune system relies on you breathing in an appropriate way so that it can sample the environment and put into place mechanisms already, if there’s a virus that catches early. We must breathe. The tidal volumes are really, really high. You don’t do any of the things that we’re talking about before we go straight into the lungs and that can be a problem. So how we breathe matters.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:20:02] Is the nitric oxide….

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:20:04] The nitric oxide, yes, from the frontal sinuses.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:20:06] Yeah, I mean, we would… There was an interesting after the SARS-CoV-1 virus. I saw an article in the Journal of Virology. Very light reading it was which actually talked about because, you know, it’s a focus in our practise. Lower nasal breathing. Talked about the fact that nitric oxide disrupts the reproduction of the virus.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:20:27] Right.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:20:28] So it’s antiviral. Anti-microbial. As well as being a major regulator. So, you know, and we had another guest on the podcast, Rosalba Courtney, who said something to me that I was like, “Whoa, hang on. That was a big one.” She said 60% of the body’s nitric oxide is produced only when you breathe through your nose. So breathing, yeah…

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:20:52] …respiratory absolutely makes sense. We all know that people can get sick when they’re stressed. And, you know, it’s a very rude thing for some reason to talk about mindset, meditation, stress, stress relief and dealing with stress. But it’s such a big deal for our immune system. You don’t want to be in a fight or flight in a sympathetic, dominant state because your immune system is slightly suppressed. 

You need that to be optimal when you’re dealing with a pandemic, and leading off that – sleep. We know that one night with bad sleep, the next day you NK, natural killer cells, can actually be working like 30 to 70% less efficiently. It’s huge, right? How well you sleep and that’s you can go into it. But it’s not just the number of hours you’re in bed with, your eyes closed and your brain’s shut off. But it’s the architecture of sleep. 

Whether or not you’re hitting your deep sleep in the first half of the night, whether or not getting the rev sleep in the second half of the night. How often are you getting up to pee? You know how much of this good quality, non-pharmacological driven sleep are you getting?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:22:13] Because taking a drug to sleep is essentially a chemical baseball bat to the head. You’re not actually getting regenerative rejuvenating sleep and that makes a difference in system as well.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:27] So I mean, I think that was an interesting one, too. By taking drugs or actually alcohol as well, which a lot of people say, it makes you easy to go to sleep, it does. But it acts as a sedative, not as a refreshing sleep. You’re just sedated, so you look for that kind of thing to set yourself up for prevention and particularly getting your nutrient density right and optimal is so, so critical. If you got it done and imagine, you know, you talk about stress, I think we can all agree that people are walking around really stressed and scared…

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:23:05] …And it’s much better to “Live A Life Less Stressed,” I think.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:08] I heard better and then this terrific book about that, but let’s not go into that. Thanks for that. I really appreciate it. That was an unpaid commercial, but then say someone got a diagnosis of COVID and actually, it’s interesting because it was so rare in Australia. And the images coming from overseas was so shocking that people could almost think of it as a death sentence and was sometimes surprised at the different reactions. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:38] But let’s say you did get a diagnosis for COVID, you got tested positive PCR test, you know, you feel a little edgy. What would be some of the things that you would say, “Okay, you’ve got to get right on to this now.”?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:23:52] Well, do you know I got COVID about four weeks ago?

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:56] I didn’t know.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:23:57] So my whole family did in Queensland on holiday. I happened to work very closely with an immunologist of then Professor Pete Smith and so he came around and he’s like, “This is what we’re going to do.” And he provided the conventional aspects to what we were doing and I did the natural… 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:24:13] …And we all survived.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:24:16] So let’s get through it.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:24:19] Right. So he got us on anti-histamines. So, yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:24:24] Wow. Okay, this is something we were talking about before we started to record. And this is the allergic component of this condition, which we never, I, until this morning have not heard really about the use of anti-histamines in COVID. Tell us about them. 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:24:42] So the idea is that some of the damage that’s caused is because your immune system gets a little bit excited. And part of that story is the inflammatory cytokines with inflammatory molecules that are found inside a mass cell. When a mass cell degranulates in the face of what it thinks is an enemy, in this case, the COVID, it will degranulate some of its very active chemicals that including histamine. And so the histaminergic drive of this disease is what will cause, you know, the excess secretions and the itching and the redness and the reactions of the blood vessels to this particular disease.

Now, endothelial health is super important for COVID, but that’s a separate thing. We’ll talk about that later. But we, or at least the professor, was saying that to make sure that we are helping the immune system not go overboard, we took in a bit of an antihistamine daily.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:25:46] Okay. And that was just over the counter antihistamine? 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:25:48] Actually, we did from IV so that was by script. But yes, over the counter such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, any of those are fine. So the idea is that you have a little bit of each one histamine, one receptor blocking and H2 receptor blocking too. So we will hold on to different types of antihistamines daily for about a week and a half or so. Professor Pete also brought over the nasal sinus rinses for all of us. Yeah, like the flow neti pot. Yeah, you just go to your kitchen put out your teapot, you’re cool.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:26:22] Yes. Well, now in neti pot is an interesting one. I actually do that daily and that is you know with some warm salt water, and I’ve had to do some methadone and iodine.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:26:32] Yes. Yeah, we did that twice a day, right? We also had nasal nyx or, and also we were using those sprays to decrease inflammation in that area because you don’t want to have so much inflammation that you also then mouth breathing, which kind of makes everything worse. So we’re doing nasal breathing and making sure that we were decreasing inflammation and secretions. He brought over for me, vitamin C. And so everyone was in vitamin C 500 mg three times a day slash up to three grams a day.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:30] You can use the word vitamins on this programme. (laughs)

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:27:38] So yes. Vitamin C and then for the more vulnerable in my group, my uncle was much older. My cousin who’s breastfeeding also ran an IV vitamin C front. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:47] And what sort of levels would you go to?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:27:51] 30 grams.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:52] 30 grams.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:27:53] Yeah, so 30grams Vitamin C with magnesium, zinc, I also had a B complex in the IV. Yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:59] Because it’s interesting that with vitamin C, it’s often said, I mean, you know, we’ve done programmes with various people from the Orthomolecular News Service talking about very high doses of vitamin c. If you took it orally you can’t reach that. So you can’t reach that. So so taking it orally is a kind of about bowel tolerance level. You wouldn’t go beyond that or it will give you diarrhoea. And what would be the levels of people, I mean, people wouldn’t give diarrhoea 500 gram or two or three, we’re talking about 10 grams? 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:28:31] It would be less than that. But it’s how well you tolerate it. So I take 2 grams of Vitamin C every day so I can tolerate up to, I think only I can tolerate up to 10 grams and no problem. But I also take a liposomal vitamin C, and I think that also does make a difference. The formulation of them for my relatives, we weren’t going past to 2-3 grams a day. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:28:50] But the I.V. The intravenous form allows you to deliver a much higher dose. And how often would you have done that?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:28:59] I did that three times a week in really the two weeks. I didn’t want to push it too much, you know. And to be fair, my uncle, who’s in his 70s and he has some other issues and he actually handled the COVID very well. So I don’t want to overmedication. We were also taking NAC.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:29:26] Look, tell us a little bit about NAC. What sort of dosages we took them to be about 300 mg two to three times a day. And so that is one of the assisting in any way is one of the ingredients that you need to make glutathione. So glutathione is I’m sure many of you listeners know, it’s part of the end result of the trans operation pathway where you go from homocysteine down to and beautifying and so that you need B6 and magnesium as well. And homocysteine is from the 70s saw homocysteine and you go cycle back to the by the wave. 

And glutathione is a really powerful antioxidant. Yeah. I think the point that I’m sure many of my listeners are getting is that biochemistry is why these nutrient-dense foods are so important because every one of these processes is quite complex, much easier to run out of prescriptions, really.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:30:32] But the thing is, it’s a different thing because a prescription is going to artificially blunt a symptom not fixed why you had that problem in the first place, whereas giving the building blocks to what you need, what your body needs to fight an infection, viral parasitic, whatever it is, is as it is more important than blunting symptoms. I totally agree that fixing symptoms or helping symptoms is important. Of course, it is. I can’t be the only thing in your toolbox.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:31:07] Okay, so NAC.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:31:12] NAC. We did something called MitoQ. So MitoQ is a brand that is a paper that was published about the use of mitoQ with regards to mitochondrial output. So trying to support the mitochondria that use a proprietary blend of.. we’re taking magnesium, B vitamins, of course, zinc. At that stage, we were taking zinc drops because I like to be able to take it like that and also a big fan of taking anything of powdered or liquid form because then I know that my patients are having water. 

And you know what? Every day we go out onto the jetty, so we’re very lucky. The house that we were in isolating in had a pool and it also had a jetty on the canals and we would be in the sun for at least three or four days, you know, appropriately and safely, of course. Three or four hours a day, fishing, swimming, all that stuff.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:13] That’s another one of the challenges. Isn’t it? This isolation mentality, which I get about why isolation is important to at certain things, but it does create this perfect storm that sets us up for care I say not failure, but a bigger fight.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:32:33] Bigger fights. Problems. They’re talking about the scourge of mental health problems on children and youth now following two years of lockdown for some places as being the next epidemic. You know, there are consequences for all our decisions, for all our mandates and laws following this, and many countries do things differently. And I get that and I think I’d like to think anyway that everyone was trying their best. The government’s here. But there’s a reason why the Barrington Declaration…

So Barrington Declaration was the proposal basically or a statement, a declaration. That essentially sponsored by a couple of epidemiologists and public health about being cautious with overusing lockdowns, isolation, you know, non-COVID vaccination programmes. Just if you too broad strokes with what you’re doing in what should actually be quite a fineness nuanced approach you may suffer consequences to using a hammer to crack a walnut. I’m a signatory to…

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:33:45] Yes, no, I was too. I was too. And I mean, I think it’s looking at it more holistically. They want to use that word because when the pandemic came out, we didn’t really know what we were dealing with. I understood the idea of, we don’t know this could be terrible, blah blah blah, let’s be super cautious. We have a sick population. I mean, you know, I think the statistic is some 80% of those that have been hospitalised have at least one comorbidity and there’s an average of two or three or four co-morbidities. So you know, when you think half the population have at least one comorbidity, we’ve got a pretty sick population. 

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:34:26] We do. And the fact that we have been focussing on disease care for so long, you know, this is almost like coming home to roots. And so it would have been nice if maybe the powers that be had used opportunity as a pivot point to start talking a little bit because we knew from the very beginning right? People who had those co-morbidities were at increased risk of ICU and blah blah blah.

Vitamin D, right? People who have no Vitamin D were more at risk of ICU and having more severe disease. Now, of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and the media like to take those exceptions and run with it and make, I guess, doctors who will try to talk more about holistic health. Or you’re trying to have a little bit more nuanced approach to this pandemic as being, oh, you don’t care about the fact that even young people are getting hospitalised or dying.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:35:22] Is this tragedy? Of course, it is. You know, if you wanted to talk about what’s going to move the needle the most, let’s talk about metabolic health. Yeah, right. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:35:33] It was an incredible opportunity. It still is, I think. I think we’re going to come to that. I think it kind of highlights how we approach chronic disease as management rather than addressing causes, which comes back to our first question about what defines a functional medical approach looking at causes rather than managing. But also we’re treating disease with medications and now we’re treating this pandemic without medication. It’s something that people are used to.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:36:05] Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:36:05] And they accept.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:36:06] Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:36:06] And they shouldn’t.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:36:07] Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:36:09] So have we got all of that? You’ve got Professor Pete Smith, the immunologist, antihistamine, Nasonex spray, you know, the neti pot..

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:36:18] Oh and we go to Breo as well. So the anti-inflammatory inhalant for the lungs. Yes, but we use it for asthmatic for example. So the idea was just to decrease inflammation so that we wouldn’t have a new system going up into crazy against this virus. And mitigating damage, essentially. So one of the things that we were doing was making sure that we’re doing breathing exercises in the sun everyday, and not absolutely using diaphragmatic breathing, opening up the rib cage, making sure that you were able to actually also have thoracic mobility and taking deep breaths like that because it’s when you do shallow breathing when you’re sitting down in your guts and pushing up against your diaphragm. 

We’re watching TV because you’re sitting at home because you’re in isolation, because of this virus. And none of the air is adding in the small bronchioles. And then you have all this muck sitting there, right? You know, by-products of your immune system attacking this virus in the mucus and whatever. Whatever it is, it is all sitting there it’s like an inflammatory soup causing damage or scarring. So we were making sure that we were out every day doing breathing exercises.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:37:28] It’s interesting, isn’t it? Because then you come back to getting out in the sun and we’re told, be careful. You know the sun is very dangerous. And yet it could be one of our biggest aids in this whole allies.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:37:43] So I do skin checks. Yeah, right? I work very closely with a charity called Skin Check Champions, and we do free skin checks for people, usually in collaboration with someone. So we were doing it in Sydney with the Maryville Group, for example, we set up in a pile of people and get a beer and come in and get their skin checked. And recently we did an activation with a large percent.

Now the whole point of that is about early detection and education, and I’m very close to the guy that started that charity, his name is Scott John Maggs, and he and I both have the same mindset when it comes to this. Yes, early detection is super important. Safe and sensible sun exposure is the message that should be had as opposed to flee fee the sun is out, right? 

You know, being safe is about knowing your skin tolerance, which changes, by the way, depending on the nutrients you put inside you, for example, and knowing as well that you need to be out in the sun to make vitamin D. And that can only happen when your shadow shows within your body.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:38:51] Interesting.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:38:52] The shadow rule. And so…

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:38:52] Safe, sensible and shadow. But then, keep going. That’s really important point there, isn’t it? Getting out in the sun when the shadow we shorter the new one.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:39:06] That’s right, that’s when you can make vitamin D, which are generally speaking. In other words, the ten minutes that you get when you’re having that early 6:00 a.m. jog is obviously wonderful, but that’s not helping your vitamin D levels. And then what happens is the other thing that I see all the time is that you have office workers in their cave, in their office, and then they, the artificial fluorescent light, don’t see the sun, don’t see the sun. 

And then they do that 12 pm burrito run and they burn or they get red. It’s like I’ve got Irish Blood. I can’t tolerate the Sun in Australia and all these other, you know, chicken little stuff. But actually, you haven’t primed your skin for midday sun. It’s called, it’s a concept called photo prevention. It’s in the literature.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:39:53] If you, because skin has opsins, light receptors and those light receptors know which basically what frequency of lights come into the atmosphere. So it knows it’s early morning. Sun is midday sun, and since it’s early morning sun, 6 7 8, starts to prime your skin.

OK, coming up to noon, guys. All right, be ready. So that you can actually tolerate more sun midday. If you see Sun early in the day, the more sun you see the more sun you can see. And of course, the nutrients that you putting in your belly make a difference as well to the skin immune system. 

Because every organ has their own special immunity, the building blocks for that, which is why the clues for skin, what’s necessary for skin is going to be found in products that you slap on your face. So for some reason, people are very happy to buy things to put on the face, but they don’t quite yet make that leap about the fact that you also need that in your body. 

Vitamin C, retinoic acid is vitamin A. These are really important. Vitamin C is the cement that actually holds collagen together, the tripeptide. Vitamin C is the cement holds it together and is an antioxidant because your skin is constantly being exposed to oxidative stress, whether it’s the U.V., UVB in particular, oil pollution. And it needs to be able to deal with that oxidative stress, the antioxidant capacity because this is your largest organ and the functionality of skin is very different to the aesthetics of skin. 

So in other words it’s about functional reform, but it doesn’t care about wrinkles, your body didn’t care about wrinkles, was how you look with regards to, I suppose, wrinkles. What it cares about is its functional capacity to deal with day to day living in the Sun, pollution and being in the water. So when people look at photos of all wrinkles and they go and they stay out of the sun because of that, well, actually, what’s the function of skin, what’s the functionality? How well is it able to protect you? Those are the more important questions.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:42:09] How do you prime? I mean, how do you prime the skin to be able to tolerate that short shadow, healthy vitamin D time?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:42:20] So the prevention is super important. Trying to see Sun earlier in the day to then lead up to midday sun is one of those things. Making sure that you have all the right nutrients on the inside to handle being outside and also taking away rubbish i.e. seed oils, vegetable oils, linoleic acid. And this is actually in the literature, peer-reviewed literature that linoleic acid that is found in high quantities in omega 6 riched oils…

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:42:52] Which are often those that are promoted by the so-called experts. Stay away from saturated fat, animal fats and coconut oil all that go for sunflower, canola… These are those seed oils.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:43:09] Yes, you know basically anything that is I mean, oil is oil. Oil oxidises. So if you are looking at an oil in a clear plastic bottle, you already know that there are either loads of preservatives in there or they don’t care about whether it’s oxidised or not. So anyway, because light oxidises too. So linoleic acid can actually… 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:43:32] Start consuming those kinds of oil to set you up for a bit of a problem to deal with a lot of other things, let alone this priming of the skin.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:43:40] Is the linoleic acid actually predisposes you to the inability to tolerate sun when you get more sunburn when you have more in linoleic acid in your body. Admittedly, as well, you know that omega six and omega-three. So your omega 3s tend to, you know, you’ve got your linolenic acid and EPA and these you got your anti-inflammatory molecules like the protectors and the resultant. 

But omega six, by definition, goes from omega six to linoleic acid to arachidonic acid. And then these are your pamidronic acid from boxes of nutrients. Now, inflammation is important. It’s a signalling molecule. You need to be able to mount an appropriate inflammatory response. But we’re talking about appropriate, and that’s where things get a little bit muddy.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:44:28] And again, you’re talking about this goes on all the time, inflammation and anti-inflation. This is why we need antioxidants to deal with that. So there’s a balancing act there, but it’s when we have too much chronic inflammation, which is the common denominator in all diseases…

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:44:47] Any of the side of the coin where I think that we’re trying to be responsible with patients you can overcome to antioxidants as well. We don’t want to be drinking this stuff. You don’t want to be taking IVs like willy nilly. It’s all about making sure that it’s appropriate for you and your lifestyle. That’s why things change as well.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:45:07] So with this priming of these, I would think, if someone was listening this and going, “You know what? I’m changing my whole attitude to Sun. But getting I mean, this is a process over two weeks, days, weeks, months?”

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:45:21] So I had a patient who was very fair, blue eyes, blonde hair. He was my first, my first concierge patient. This was 2019. You know, we were there listening to this, and he came to me because he had issues, he’s only in his early 40s. He was 41, but he had terrible […], couldn’t walk. One of the things that we did was curcumin, we did some antiinflammatories, we were getting zinc up all these above. 

And he told me and I didn’t expect this, but he said, “You’re interesting, you know, since I’ll be taking part in C and Zinc, I can stay in the sun longer than I’ve ever been able to.” So he used to burn after three minutes and he was now being in sun for 15 minutes. That’s when I started going into… And that for him, it took four months.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:46:09] To slowly build up the internal nutrients and prepare the skin by exposing yourself, you wouldn’t go. I’m getting into this now. I’m getting out of the short shadows, sunshine and I’m going to have how long should one be out in that short shadow?

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:46:25] Yeah, and it depends. The darker your skin, the more time you have to spend in the Sun to make that vitamin D. So what is different, which is why I suppose sometimes testing is very important in this case, the vitamin D. What is it that you’re doing now? Let’s just say it’s you’re spending an hour in the sun every day at times during the day. And what is your vitamin D level? 

Don’t tell you you’re spending adequate time or not, some of us actually have to readjust our lifestyles to be able to deal with that? I know that people go, “Oh, well, my vitamin D is low, I should just take a Vitamin D supplement.”.

Yes, of course, supplementation is important, just like Band-Aids are important, but it’s not physiologic, and there’s so many other things that we get from sunshine as opposed to just making vitamin D that are also important for us. There’s a reason why mental health, some of it, can hinge on vitamin D as well. But on sun exposure. That’s why blue light boxes are utilised in far, areas that are closest to the poles. When they see no sun and the blue light actually helps because of the options in the eyes. It means there are so many reasons to be in the sun. And not just o Vitamin D.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:47:41] I mean, melatonin is a big one. I mean, I think I’ve seen a book which talks about it as the milestone hormone 400 pages just on melatonin. So it’s going to be a lot of effects there.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:47:53] Yes, because so tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is the precursor to melatonin, but tryptophan cannot tryptophan hydroxylase that first enzyme that’s utilised to break down tryptophan. That’s a vitamin D dependent enzyme. So get in some.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:48:12] Yeah. Interesting. You should mention tryptophan because I’ve just recently done another podcast with Todd Penberthy from the Orthomolecular News Service group, and he mentioned something the throwaway line, he said, a lot of tryptophan levels were common in all autoimmune conditions. And I thought, Wow, that’s such a good, such an interesting statement.

Anyway, it’s kind of reminding us again of the complexity of the human body. And I love this idea of what you’re talking about. What you put into your body is even perhaps even more important than what you put on your body in terms of preparing for this. Yeah, that’s is a… I know we both looked at each other’s Oura rings, and these personal devices are very interesting. Tell me about why you’re wearing an Oura ring and I’m not doing a commercial. I’ve also bought a Whoop as well. I’ve done that. I’ve done Oura 2, I’ve done Oura 3. But, I’m interested in you.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:49:20] So I do like toys. Yeah, I do like toys. My dad’s a gadget person so I sort of a bit of a mindset and I think it’s, you know, you can’t really change that which you don’t know. It’d be good to know how alcohol affects your sleep. Because a lot of people will drink alcohol to sleep and they say, “Ah, need this to help me get to sleep.” 

But what is it actually doing to all the different phases of sleep? Because there are plenty. And what is it doing to, you know, how much of deep sleep you’re getting whether or not you can get into REM sleep? And once you get the data, you can start making adjustments for. It’s like with CGM, continuous glucose monitoring.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:50:06] Yes. That’s that little injection. Not as well. No, you do. Because that was something that sticks on for two weeks and gives you a blood sugar ring. And I wear one of those for two weeks and freak out my wife every time I lifted my arm. Put your arm down. But it was so interesting to see how each meal affected my blood sugar. I mean, I didn’t wear it all the time. I mean, you know, like two weeks here, it’s very educational.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:50:32] Just… Exactly. It’s for education purposes. I mean, obviously, there are diabetics who need to use it all the time. We’re not talking about this. We’re talking about people like you and me who are just using devices to get a little bit about information so that we can start to take control. Because for too long, we have outsourced our health through to health professionals, doctors, and some of us, we don’t know much about them. 

So health, some of us know about disease care, which is very important. Some of us know about which drugs you use for which something which is very important. But health and wellness are what the majority of people, I think anyway are hoping to optimise now because there is one thing about living forever that you know how well it feels like living extended living right now means you’re going to be spending the extra 20 years that you’ve bought yourself living in a nursing home, unable to ping yourself. That’s a different story.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:51:31] So anyway, so I like to buy toys because I like information. And then also because the average person who is interested in optimising health is very well research and listening to all the podcasts. And, you know, like yours, for example, and I want to be able to discuss things, these things with my patients. I love the fact that people are taking control of their health and I want them to come to me and be able to discuss this with me. You know, they need to be at the helm of that health boat, so it was also to know what the kids are saying.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:10] Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because if you are that person who would rather outsource your health. If the only thing you know about health is your doctor’s phone number, then you know, there is a whole industry waiting out there to embrace you with open arms. I mean, it’s one of the reasons why the pharmaceutical industry generates one hundred. What is it? $1.2 trillion a year? That’s 1.2 US trillion dollars a year. So there are a lot of people out there that have their doctor’s phone number. But this is interesting, but there’s a downside to it as well here.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:52:44] Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:44] What’s the downside there? Generally, I know what it is for me. I’ll tell you my downside if you tell me yours.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:52:49] Well, so I’m not religious about my, about my tools. So that’s the first thing.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:55] That’s good. That’s important.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:52:56] Yeah, that’s important. Because, you know, when you’re obsessing about the numbers, sometimes you forget to look at the clinical picture. And it’s the same with health practitioners looking at blood results when you’re just looking for blood results, not at the patient in front of you. You can actually lose sight of what it is that you’re trying to do. 

I have definitely had patients who obsess about the data and get themselves anxious about it. They think they’ve had good sleep and then the data coming back so that they didn’t actually have as good sleep as they thought they did. And it will actually ruin the day. “Oh no, I didn’t see that well last night.”. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:34] “I thought I did.”.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:53:34] Yeah, well, but the data says, Well, you know, so there’s definitely that. The downside, I think, is that sometimes people can obsess about the numbers as opposed to how they feel, which is far more important to me. And if they’re, you know, focussing too much on getting all this right, we start to forget as well the fundamentals, the foundations, how we do things, how are you thinking through, how you breathing, are you sleeping, just really fundamental stuff because we all have toys that we like to play, and sometimes it shouldn’t distract you from the basics.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:11] I kind of feel and I do get I can get obsessed but I can get obsessed by it. But actually, the way I’ve chosen to use this is for maybe two months every year. Oh, OK. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to have it on all the time. I’m in the two-month phase and I got this just before Christmas.

I think I’m just going to go through the festive season and see how my eating or drinking affects me and then move into more quiet periods and then get into February and see how I’m going when I’m into the rhythm of the year and that’s it. February, I’m taking the ring off. I might re-engage with the next Christmas for a little bit of time because I do think you can become too obsessed but I think it gives you some great information.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:54:57] Yeah, definitely.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:58] Listen, we’re coming to the end, and I just wanted to ask you this. Taking a step back from your role as a functional medical practitioner because we’re all on this journey through life in this modern world. What do you think the biggest challenge is for us on this journey in our own world? Well. Deals with what meaning of life? Because you know what, so the biggest challenge that we’re facing is as practitioners?

The Biggest Health Challenge

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:55:28] As people. As you as an individual. Forget you’re a practitioner, pretend you’re an ordinary person.

Geez, OK. The biggest challenge for me, I think, is the loss of connectivity. Whatever that means for you. Just looking at the kind of TV shows that are coming up, it’s all designed to have you addicted to staring at a screen. The fact that we’re all in all forms, including me, I lose sleep because I’m watching cat videos, right? Just ridiculous things like that. 

But when I had my family up to Queensland. Yes, we did get sick, but apart from that the community, which I because I know my relatives like my family, don’t live in the same country, don’t live in the same state as me.

Having that community actually showed me how different life can be when you disengage from electronics, from social media, from the narrative that’s being pushed on you. Whatever that means. And, you know, I talk to my patients, so many of my patients come through with issues that in part, this is because of this loss of connectivity. 

New mums who are struggling with thyroid depletion, postnatal depression type of stuff. That’s because we no longer live in the village. There isn’t that you’re too tired to breastfeed, the lady in the next hut will breastfeed for you. We don’t have anything like that. 

Our kids are getting sicker and sicker as we move through because there’s no connectivity with nature, with farm animals, which has actually been shown in papers that decreases the incidence of allergies, asthma and obesity. If your mom which is pregnant with you, she was interacting with farm animals, for example on a farm, dogs, cats.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:57:36] This loss of connectivity, I think, is really dangerous because we don’t realise that that’s happening because we are even more connected, right? The number of followers that we have on Instagram or Facebook. What is actually going through my Facebook the other day and I realise as I was scrolling through, I didn’t know some of the people who are apparently I’m friends with. How bad is that? So I would say that that is a big, big problem for us. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:58:08] Olivia, what a note to finish on and thank you so much for sharing so much great information and knowledge. And what a great way to finish on – get connected. Thank you.

Dr Olivia Lesslar: [00:58:17] Oh, you’re welcome, Ron. Thank you so much for having me. 


Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:58:21] What a great note to finish on: Connexion. I mean, if that’s one lesson we have learnt through this pandemic, it is a timely reminder that while we may have lots of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter or Instagram. There Is something quite special about the human connection, which is the theme we’re going to be exploring a lot more this year in terms of understanding really why that is such a powerful driver and has been such a powerful driver in our journey through evolution if you like and so we’ve been all reminded of how important that is. 

And honestly, I thought, boy, if you had to pick the greatest challenge for our health moving forward as an individual, connecting is one of them and our distraction. You will know from the Summer Series that we’ve also had Jocelyn Brewer talk about digital nutrition and Nir Eyal talking about being indestructible, which we all are very distractable. And that is our big challenge. 

I mean, we walk around constantly being distracted. We need time for letting our minds wander. We need quiet time. We need to reconnect with people. And I’m certainly looking forward to the year ahead as being one of much greater connection. So I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Until next time. This is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Be well. 

And oh, we will have links, of course, to Olivia’s website and LifeSpan Medicine platform. It Is really a great resource. And Olivia is a great practitioner. It was a pleasure having her on today, so we’ll have links to her site on the show notes. So 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.