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Everyday Wellness
Ep. 121 The Truth About Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Insulin Resistance with Dr. Jason Fung
Ep. 121 The Truth About Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Insulin Resistance with Dr. Jason Fung

Ep. 121 The Truth About Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Insulin Resistance with Dr. Jason Fung

Everyday WellnessGo to Podcast Page

Dr. Jason Fung, Cynthia Thurlow, NP
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Oct 31, 2020
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This is everyday Wellness, a podcast dedicated to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals and provide practical strategies that you can use in your real life. And now here is your host nurse practitioners. Cynthia, Thurlow
Today I'm delighted to have dr. Jason Funk, who is a well-known World leading expert in intermittent fasting, as well as low carb, he is a Canadian train to frolla just which means he's a kidney doctor. He has written many best-selling Health books, including the complete guide to fasting obesity code in the Life in the Fast Lane and has an upcoming book coming out called cancer. Code, is an absolute pleasure to have you here with me this morning, dr. Fung, how are you doing?
And thanks for having me on Cynthia. It's
To meet you.
Absolutely. So let's start from the beginning so I know that you are up in Canada. How are things going? You know, given the fact I've heard they're lifted restrictions and now you have more restrictions giving you how are things going there for
you? It's all right. I mean it's you know, I think it was the same everywhere same as in Europe, you know. They had gone everything sort of down from the covid and then now they're seeing this big spike so we're seeing much the same thing but luckily there's not as many hospitalizations
And deaths this time around, which is Big. So there's a lot of cases but there's less in the hospital so that's always good to hear.
Absolutely, let's severity is definitely a good thing, but I'd love to kind of hear your story. I know you also are traditionally Western medicine trained and kind of came to the realization that some of the strategies you are using with your patients were kind of missing the mark, you know, weekend address disease after the fact but from a preventive standpoint. So what initially got you interested, intermittent fasting? I know it.
Let's try my true desire to be able to help and serve your patients. But what kind of got you on that?
Yeah, so as a kidney specialist, what I saw was that about 50% or more of my population had type 2 diabetes, so of diabetes sort of 95% is type 2. So when I refer to diabetes, I generally refer to type to just because it's overwhelmingly the majority of cases. And so if you look at what causes kidney disease, diabetes is sort of
way, way in excess of everything else. So, that's why I sort of became very interested in the question of diabetic kidney disease. And it struck me as very strange because if you have diabetic kidney disease, then really what you want to do is get rid of the diabetes. That way you'll never get the kidney disease because you don't have diabetes. And, you know, there's this feeling amongst doctors that diabetes is sort of chronic and Progressive, but the same time you're saying that we knew it wasn't true.
Complete fabrication because if you lose weight we also knew it was almost for sure that your dad either disappear or get much better. So it was a reversible disease, we knew it like we knew that even as we were saying it was chronic and Progressive so it was you know, one was obviously a lie and it was a basically a lie. We told ourselves because we're doing so badly on getting people to lose weight. So we lied to ourselves to say that this is chronic and Progressive when really, if we're being truthful way.
Should have said that doctors had urging such a crappy job and getting people to lose weight that they're getting the diabetes and therefore getting the kidney disease and that's very close to the truth. And so, that's where I became extremely interested in the question of weight loss. And why we are doing such a poor job, and a lot of it. I think, stemmed from this sort of obsession with calories, which is, you know, it's sort of misses the mark because the body doesn't actually measure calories in anyway. So if it
As you read it doesn't, you know, detected. It doesn't respond to it. Then that's not the most important thing. We should be focusing on and that was sort of the focus of my first book. The Complete guy, the Obesity code, which is a science-based book on sort of what causes weight gain and weight loss. And one of the natural. And the last chapter I talk about intermittent fasting because that's actually a strategy that makes a lot of sense from a physiologic standpoint because I sort of went back to the beginnings as a this is what causes obesity. It's really a hormonal disease and this is what we can do about it and sort of lost track.
Chapter was about fasting and then that's where I started to use it in a lot of my patients and saw a huge amount of success like stuff that honestly just blew my mind likes people that I had been treating for sort of 15 years with type 2 diabetes. And you know, we started fasting and you change their diet and it just went away. Like the I had a guy who I had followed forever and you know, nice guy always wanted to do whatever he could to get better but I didn't have the right.
I used to give them. And then finally, when I change that advice, we got them off. Thank you, as on like a hundred and twenty units of insulin, which is a really massive dose to like, zero. Like, we took them off everything, his sugars or normal. So we actually made him non-diabetic and have been. He's been non-diabetic for about six years now, after 30 years of type 2 diabetes, including 15 under my own care, right? Or 10 under my own care. So kind of ridiculous, you know, and that's where I became very interested in sort of,
Promoting these ideas. So that people won't have to get, you know, bad medical advice. Such as the same one, I was giving for so many years and be able to make themselves better. Because again, if you get rid of that type 2 diabetes, then you are not only at lower risk of kidney disease, but your lower risk of a huge amount of other problems, like heart disease and strokes and amputations and blindness and cancer. So, like really, really important stuff that nobody was
Talking about. I mean, when I started talking about fasting and sort of 2013-2014, that people thought it was insane to skip a single meal. It's like, and I'm like, why can't you miss a meal? And everybody had the consensus, like honestly, like 99.9% of medical professionals were like, no, you can't miss a single meal and I'm like, why? Because if you look at the physiology, the body will just use some of the sugar in the fat because that is literally the very reason we store body fat and blood sugars. Like so that we have a
Case of energy when we don't eat. We figured out long time ago when we were cavemen. If we didn't we weren't able to survive a few missed meal. We wouldn't be sitting here today because we as a species we would all be dead because food is intermittently available. So therefore we have evolved those things. And that's what body fat is. If you have too much of it, let your body use it up. That's all you're doing. You're using the body fat for literally, the reason that we have it and once I started to sort of get people, you know, there's a lot of
Issues that come up during fasting and that's what the complete guide to fasting was sort of a more practical guide on how to do it, why you should do it. And what are the myths, rounded? Because there is turned out to be a huge number of myths around it, you're going to lose muscle and you're gonna you know, we go into starvation mode and all these sort of myths that were actually not rooted in science at all. They're rooted then sort of like Voodoo or something. Like somebody had said it thought it sounded good. I just got repeated and repeated and repeated until
Everybody thought that that must be the truth because everybody saying
it at fear-mongering that, you know, kind of perpetuates Dogma that is largely incorrect. Well, I'm so grateful that you, you know, went on that Journey, it was five years ago that as a nurse practitioner I worked in cardiology for 16 years and my patients were getting sicker and sicker and sicker despite you know multi drug therapy. I mean we used to sometimes were amazed at your patients would come in probably patients like the ones you were seeing 30-plus medications and
Me. It? Really? I kept saying, it all begins with food and a lot of the Physicians I worked with and other nurse practitioners and PAs, thought that sounded a little crazy. And so, for me, I kind of took a deep dive and intermittent fasting. Five years ago, read your book left clinical medicine and kind of now really work on strategies that are nutrition Focus. So on so many levels. I'm so grateful that you've kind of set the tone and the stage for so many of us to be able to, you know, bring that great information to our own patients and clients as well. Now,
Now, one of the things I found really fascinating when I was reflecting on our conversation that we would have today was thinking about those missed opportunities with certain patients. There was that young diabetic. I think he was in his 40s and I think he'd had 13 angioplasty so 13 procedures to go in and put Stenson and decide this wildly obscenely difficult to manage blood sugars. And you know, one of the things that you touched on when you were answering my question was talking about hormones. And so the key hormone,
When we're talking about weight gain and driving, a lot of these metabolic diseases. Metabolic flexibility is insulin. And so I don't per se. Think that everyone that's listening really appreciates how functional insulin is it's not all bad, but it drives so much of illnesses that we're seeing in our westernized cultures, which is just astounding. And so for you has it been, I'm sure it's been like altering. When you're having the conversation, you're inviting your colleagues to challenge some of the beliefs that we were talking.
Caught in our training, you know, that we perpetuated with their own patient population. So let's talk about insulin and the hormonal effects of insulin and what drives a lot of the, the fat issues, you know, baton weight gain that people are experiencing with these highly processed diets. You know, I talk a lot about the value of less processed and actually interviewed dr. Joan Iceland on Tuesday talking about how addicted people are becoming to processed foods. Have a, you know, the seed oils Drive inflammation.
Drives this carbohydrate addiction but let's touch on. It's a little bit so people can better. Appreciate what it does. It's not all bad but a lot of what we're seeing is related to to high insulin
levels. Yeah, exactly. And I think, as you said, I think, you know, it all comes down to food. I think that's really true. And I get the same things when I talk about how important food as you get, these looks from other doctors, it's like, oh, this guy's crazy. And I think that to some extent, what it
Lex is the changing sort of paradigms of medicine that were seeing because if you go into the 20th century, then the major diseases you're talking about. So from 1900 to about 1980 1990, you're talking about infections and pneumonia is and diarrhea, and TV, and all these diseases have been, you know, that our infectious. I mean, even now, of course covid. But you know, we developed all these great antibiotics. So we, you know, penicillin and all this. I mean
HIV drugs and all this sort of stuff. And we got that really well done, but the Paradigm of medicine became sort of. You come to me as a doctor, or as a nurse practitioner. I give you a drug and hey, you get better, right? You have pneumonia. I give you some kind of penicillin or something like that, you get better. And the problem is that the disease has changed. So we got better at that. We got wound up with a lot of chronic diseases because we weren't dying of these infections. So what happened is of course you have chronic
Like diseases like heart disease, like diabetes, like obesity, sort of these metabolic diseases which lead to other things, but we use the same Paradigm medicine. That is you come to me. I give you a drug, so you're diabetic. You come to me. I give you insulin. And the problem is that, that was never the right Paradigm. Because the Paradigm in these chronic diseases, is that you have to prevent these diseases and you have to go back to the root cause, which gets us back to insulin. If you have too much insulin, you're going to gain too much weight and that's
Problem. So giving a drug is not going to help it because you got to get to the root of the problem which winds up being a lot of food. So this paradigm shift that we've seen over the last sort of 20 years, that a lot of doctors are missing because they're still in that mindset of you have diabetes, you come to me and I give you a drug, you have heart disease, I give you a step. You have, you know, cancer, I give you chemo therapy rather than going back and saying, well what is it that led to this heart disease? Well, is from the diabetes.
He's which put him at risk, which was due to the Obesity, which put them, you know, gave him the type 2 diabetes, let's get him to change his Foods, lose weight and therefore not get heart disease. Like that's the Paradigm. We have to be in now and there's a huge amount of resistance because there's no money in it, right? So all the drug companies and all that sort of still want to stay in this old Paradigm of medicine. And so it comes down to sort of insulin because that comes down to the weight which is leading to a lot of these problems. And the thing about insulin is that it's an
Normal form, okay? So it's just does a job, okay? And the problem is that, it's too much. Like if you have too much or too, little of any hormone, you're going to run into problems, if you have too much thyroid hormone, you have hyperthyroidism, you treat it right. If you have too little thyroid hormone, you give it. So, insulin has a job to do. It's a normal hormone is, there's nothing bad about insulin intrinsically, but any hormone is good in the right amount and too much too little, it's bad. So insolent, it.
It's job is to tell you to store calories, right? So you calories are just a unit of food energy. You eat, you have calories. Well, the insulin is what tells you that it needs to be stored, okay, we've known this for 50 years. When you eat insulin, goes up and Insulin does a number of things. It increases sort of glycogen production so you take glucose you string it into long strings called glycogen you start in your liver so it's a way to store.
So sugar, if you have enough glycogen, then what your body's going to do is you're going to take this glucose and you're going to turn it into fat, and that's called the noble epigenesis. If you dietary fat, it actually goes directly into your fat stores. But what insulin does is it blocks you from burning that fat, right? Because your body, when you have insulin, you want to store calories, that's a good thing because when you eat, you need to store some of your way for. I mean, that's the reason you don't die in your sleep every single night. It's because you're a
Able to store some of that food energy away. And when you don't eat such as when you're sleeping, then your insulin is going to fall and you're going to start to pull some of that food energy back out. So either the sugar or the body fat. So even though, insulin by itself doesn't necessarily cause body fat, it's sort of indirectly does because it blocks you from burning fat, because you're trying to store energy, not use it. So the whole that's his job, it's doing what it's supposed to do. But different foods stimulate
Insulin to a different degree. So when we change your diet in 1977 where we said eat lots of carbs, right? So the food pyramid, the original food pyramid which was full of Brad on the base, right? 7 to 11 servings of bread and rice and potatoes, you know, that's what you should be eating. Well, what happened is that? We started eating a diet that is very stimulating to glucose. We know that you eat, Brad York low blood glucose goes up that we can measure it in the glycemic index. So let me pose
Goes up, blood insulin goes up, when blood insulin goes up, all of your energy is being shuttled into storage and that's the big problem. If you're shuttling, all of your energy into storage. So say you eat white bread and jam in the morning and you store it all the way and there's no energy coming back out because your insulin is high, you're blocking the use of any of your stored energy. You're pushing it all into storage, while there's nothing left. So then you'll get hungry at like 10:30, you know, you had your breading, you know, you're white bread and jam in the morning by 10:30. You're looking around.
For a low-fat muffins because there's no energy laughs, you put it all into storage, right? And the same thing happens, insulin spikes way up to take all those energy to calories that you have from your low fat muffin, you store it all into storage and then you're hungry lunch, time comes around, eat big plate of pasta store, it all away in the problem is now you're eating all the time. You're eating five six times a day and that's sort of people that said well we're eating low-fat and therefore eating six times a day so they
Are for eating six times a day must be good, right? The premise, which is eating a loaf, you know, very high carb. Diet was good. That was the incorrect premise but led to us eating six, seven times a day and then telling our kids and everybody who would listen that you should eat small meals constantly throughout the day which is ridiculous because we've actually never do that. And how do you expect to lose weight? If you're eating all the time anyway like it doesn't even make any sense but the problem is that the insolence to hives. Not in that instance, bad is that you have?
Much of the insulin that is your problem and you know, it's not the number of calories that you eat. It's what your body does with those calories. So you have to understand that you know, everybody says it's just the amount of calories, it's not the amount because when you put in food energy into your mouth, your body has two options. You can burn it or you can store it, right? So if you burn it, it's fine. You're not going to gain body fat. If you store it, you won't gain body fat. So the problem is not the number of calories. The problem is what you do with those calories.
He's so that depends on the hormone particularly insulin and that means that the food you put in your mouth, which stimulate insulin to a different degree. The only thing it means is that certain foods are more fattening than other foods. Like they completely logical conclusion because like we came to this sort of ridiculous thing where we say well a hundred calories of cookies are as fattening as a hundred calories of broccoli. It's like, no, they're nothing to say.
Even if you had any brains in your head, you would know that cookies are fattening and broccoli, not fattening, right? Who gets fat eating broccoli like, zero people in history, right? Out of the 7 billion people. I bet you very few, like, not even one I've gotten fat because they ate too much broccoli, right? And I bet you that a lot got eat too many cookies, so if you say okay, well, you know, what's the difference, you eat, a hundred calories of cookies and a hundred pounds of broccoli. The minute you put in your mouth, the insulin response and
Your hormonal response is completely different. Therefore, what your body does with those calories is completely different, depending on, you know, that hormonal stimulus and that's the real issue. So then you have to say, well if the bottom line is that some foods are fattening. Some are not, which is not any different than your what, your grandmother would have said, right? She was said, you're not going to get fat eating broccoli, right? So logical conclusion, then you say well then I should eat less of these high insulin foods and more
These not high insulin Foods, I'm going to fill up on the vegetables and the meat and the eggs and not fill up on cookies and, you know, that kind of thing, right? And that's the only thing that we're trying to say and everybody says, well, you know, you're so anti-science with calories and like know the calories is simply a very low level of thinking. It's a very simplistic level of thinking, what you have to think is the level above it? That is what is the body doing with those calories? What's a whore?
Mona's Franz? What's your body doing? And of course what determines? How many calories you eat? Anyway. Well, it's your hunger, which is all dependent on hormones. What determines? How many calories like people, talking about fat equals calories and - calories out? Well, that's always true, but never, it's almost always misunderstood because what determines calories out is not just, you know, your willpower, it's how hungry you are. If you're hungry, you eat more, if you're less hungry, you eat less, that's the bottom line and what determines, how many calories you?
End right, it's not exercise. Its almost all basal metabolic rate and what controls your basal metabolic rate. Well, it's your hormones. So what you're doing is you're trying to get to a deeper level understanding of what causes body weight gain. So therefore you can make a sort of rational decision insolence. Do. Hi. How am I going to lower insulin? So changing your diet is a perfectly rational way to do that but there's another way to do that and that's intermittent fasting is very simple. It
Has been used for thousands of years. If you don't eat your insulin is going to drop as your instant drop your bottom is going to start pulling those calories out from storage and start using it. And the key is that there's nothing intrinsically unhealthy about. It actually turns out to be super healthy for most people in North America.
Well, I always love your analogy, it's and one of the analogies that I use with attribution is talking about, you know, fat is so tapping into fat, as your fuel source is like going into the freezer, but you have to
Enough time for your body to be able to access those fat stores. Because so many of us like you mentioned with the food guide pyramid and my plate and all this other nonsense pushing a lot of processed carbohydrates. Many of us are not crossing our food properly and so that then makes it nearly impossible to be able to lose weight. And I love that you really re-emphasize the calorie piece because so much of the work that I do is teaching women to kind of let the calorie piece go that it's really more about the macros.
Rose. And so, when we're really focusing on, you know, the hormone peace and recognizing that carbohydrates have a much different impact on insulin, release versus protein and fat and not being fat phobic. I think that's one of the other. Mainstays of my training in the 90s was we were still in the mindset. That fat was bad, all fats are bad and we needed to have low-fat nonfat, which is just full of more sugar which is driving the Obesity issues even higher for sure.
Yeah and I think that was the same so I did a lot of
Training in the 90s as well. And of course, that was sort of the Heyday of the low-fat diet. And if you remember being Cardiology at those step one step, two diets. If you remember, they were terrible like so these days readers, the listeners don't know what they are. Is this was an idea back in the 90s where if you had a heart attack you should lower your dietary fat to less than 10%, which is really impossible, but it was based on the idea that fat caused heart disease.
He's right. So the problem was that that didn't really cause heart disease and so you're just eating this terrible diet that wound up being full of carbohydrates. And most of those carbohydrates were refined and a lot of sugar because people didn't care about sugar back in the 90s, they only cared about fat, that was the only thing anybody cared about. And then if you have another heart attack on this low-fat diet, the step one day, you'd go to a stuff do diet, which one seven percent total fat, which was just horrible stuff. It was all it was well,
Bad as long as you put enough sugar in there, right? So you're eating pasta and cookies and stuff, this is fine, except that it was really bad for you. And then all these studies came out that said, well first of all these low-fat diets actually didn't work at all. So there's a the Leon study and there's a number of other studies and led to this whole, remember the French paradox where they said, hey, these French people are eating way more fat eating this full-fat, Dairy, crazy people. And they're eating like me.
Then like foie, gras and stuff. Like they're crazy. They're going to get hard text. Of course, they had a third of the heart disease that Americans did right because the fat wasn't that bad for you. So this led to this whole discussion about the French paradox and that was where people said well you know we know that fat is bad and they're eating a lot of faster. Therefore they must be doing something else right? Which is the red wine and it's like, okay well that might have been true or not but it was probably that the fat just wasn't that bad for you. And then in the 2000s they came out with all these studies that started to show that. Hey, there's a ton of
Fat sources. Dietary fat Source says, that were really, really good for you. Like Omega-3s in fatty fish and nuts and olive oil Mediterranean diet and avocados and all this stuff, right? It was just, you know, a total repudiation of what we did in the 90s. So then, of course, you know, everybody started eating more fat. And then now, you know, they can people talk about saturated fat and there's a lot of evidence that even the stuff, the butter. So, the tragic thing about the butter of course, was
That people said saturated fat. Like butter was bad for you, right? So you should eat margarine. So you'll remember this stuff. So, oh my God. So margarine was vegetable oils but is worse than that. They actually changed it so that the process that even further into trans fats which we now know are really really bad for you. So it's estimated that these trans fats caused about a hundred thousand-plus heart attacks and death.
Deaths in the United States every year. So that was due to the trans fats. So we told people in other words as doctors and dietitians and nurses, we told people to eat the butter to switch from the butter to the margarine because it will be healthier for your heart and you'll remember Bissell and all that stuff. And in fact, what we told them to eat the margarine was actually causing the heart attacks, like that is so tragic. I can't believe that nobody even talks about name or so. Of course, butter sales.
Dad and margarine sales went up. And then everybody got their heart attacks and then, you know, 20 years later in 2015 or so 2012, people are like, hey, you know, those trans fats were all killing us and now it's totally reversed and butters going back up and margins going back down. It's like, well, why didn't we think that we were so smudge smarter than Mother Nature butter, which is a natural food that we've been eating for thousands of years. Like, why did we think that butter?
We've been eating it for a thousand years and since 1970 it's going to kill us, right? It's like, how does that work as opposed to margarine which we had never eaten. You know, it's much more likely to kill us because our bodies just haven't had a chance to adapt to it. So it was a sort of, a whole tragic story about this, dietary fat thing, cause a lot of disease, a lot of heart attacks, you know, people getting sick and obese and type 2 diabetic. And yet still nobody says like, you know, it was all our fault, right?
As a medical scientific Community, we should never have really gone that far off into the deep end without demanding. The evidence that it was actually true which nobody ever did. And that I think is the big problem, like all the naysayers who said, you know, fats, not that bad for you. There's like, all these guys are quacks, right? They're gonna kill people, like, with their olive oil and their avocados and nuts. Like they're gonna kill people, right? That's what you said, that's what we said in the 90s. It was really, you know, sort of
A tragic time in nutritional history.
Know and I agree it and aren't we as clinicians, aren't we? Obligated to evolve shift and change? I remind people of that, that, you know how I trained at a big research institution on the east coast. And the fact that I started seeing much like you did patterns that just made me think this isn't the right way to be doing things. There has to be something here, that were not, you know, looking more thoughtfully at. So I'm grateful that you are doing a lot of the research. That's
Need to change so much of what's going on, but let's pivot a little bit. So we obviously love intermittent fasting, we embrace it, we love it as a strategy, it's a lifestyle. What are some of the pitfalls that you find with intermittent fasting? And I'm speaking specifically to people that they start fasting, they lose weight and encourages them to continue doing it. They change their diet, they feel great, they're sleeping better, or they're having better relationships with their family and their loved ones. And there are walking poster child of this
Strategy. But for the people that have been doing it for a while, they start having plateaus, this is a question that came up quite a bit. When I mentioned on social media that we were going to connect and so I know there are a lot of variables that can impact plateaus with intermittent fasting, but in your experiences, what are some of the major reasons why this
occurs well yeah, the plateaus are hard because really they happen very frequently in the shorted, stressing for a lot of people and when a plateau happens,
We always say you have to sort of shake things up a little bit. So the problem when you plateau is that what you're doing and what your body is doing, has now reached an equilibrium. So your body always reacts to what you're doing that is the normal process of homeostasis that is if you adjust something your body adjust differently. So just like if you go into a you know, concert is really really that. All right. It's but you get used to it after a little bit or you go into a dark room, you know, you get used to it and then you go into the sunlight. It's like, whoa, It's
So bright. So your body is always adjusting and that happens for everything. So it happens. If you change your diet to write, you can change into a really good diet. You can stop that talk. I mean, we all know that right. Eat what you think is a great diet or, and it's doing great and then you plateau. So same thing with the fasting, it can happen as well. So in that case, there's sort of several ways that you can go, you can either just continue and hope that things will get better. Sometimes it does. I don't say that.
It always does, but sometimes it does. But generally, we would ask people to sort of change things up and there's a several different sort of levers that you can change. So one is, you can change the foods that you eat or you can change your sort of fasting style and that's, you know, to us, it's usually the fasting that gets the change. I mean, sometimes some, it's easier, that's all, and there's different ways you can do that. So you can you decide to work on your sort of foods that you eat? You can change. I mean, no matter what
What you're eating, you can always make changes, right? And generally that is enough to shake it up and it's not to say that one diet like there certain general rules but there's lots of different diets out there. You can, you know, go carnivore. You can go vegan or, you know, there's different ways you can go paleo, or you can cut out, you know, other things, cut out dairy, or something like that. And sometimes, these are triggers for people. So the point is that not one diet is always good for everybody. So one person and this is part of the problem with these sort of
People get into these arguments about diet is that one person says, well, you know, I'm doing this and it's working so good for me. Therefore, it must do good for everybody, but that's not true. So low fat diet does work in a lot of people and a low-carb diet does work in a lot of other people. But you get these people who say, well, I did low-fat and I did well. So therefore low-fat must be good for everybody but that's not true. Like that's good for you and if it's good for you, go ahead I don't really care what I want to do is try and find what's good for somebody else or you could switch and do.
Do low carb, or you can do high protein, or you can do low fat or local, you know, you can do. There's like literally hundreds of different diets out there so you could change one of those and maybe it does better for you. Maybe a low fat diet, that's better for a little bit, then you can change it for a little bit. If, you know, for us most people's foods are relatively, like people get into this state and all of us, do where you sort of eat the same sort of foods, like it's the same rotation, especially true now that nobody's going to end.
Rest, true. It's the same rotation over and over again and that's why you have, you know, this is Chinese food and this is Italian food because as a culture you wind up going into those same rotation. So therefore it's a lot easier to change your fasting and keep your Foods. The same that's just from a purely pragmatic standpoint. So therefore you can change the way that you fast and you can either change it by the way, you time it. So instead of going say you say, you do one meal a day and you go dinner to dinner. Well, you go back.
Vista breakfast. I mean, that's a perfectly legitimate switch and it's still a 24-hour fast, you can change it up. So instead of going 24 hours all the time, you can alternate say between 18 and 36 hours. So do you know change that up. So you're still sort of averaging the same amount, but you're doing short and long short, and long, just like you would do with exercise. So, if you exercise, well, the biggest thing that everybody found now is super super effective is high intensity interval training. Well, this is what fasting is
You're trying to change it up so that your body doesn't get used to it. So if you're jogging at a certain Pace like you get better, get better. Then boom. You get that. Plateaus to where you just flatten out, you're not getting faster. You're not getting slower, but you're not getting a lot better and rubber the 70s. Again, other than being really terrible for diets, was this sort of Heyday of jogging and of course, it didn't lead to a lot of improvement. And then people said, well, why she
Should do instead is do a minute of maximal effort, then rest and then you do it the same, so it's the same thing as exercise. Same thing goes with fasting, so let's go get long and then, short long and then short, or you can do instead of a lenient fast where you have all this and coffee and this and that go to a water fast only, right? It's your increasing, the intensity of the fast by not allowing all these variations or fasting, which is like, you know, tea and coffee and bone broth and all this sort of stuff, which can work as well.
But you're trying to find what you're trying to do is find what works for you, because it doesn't matter if it works for whole groups of patients, it's only matters what works for you. And if cutting coffee is what works for you, then cut coffee. I drink a lot of coffee and you know, I drink it all the time but doesn't affect me, right? So, therefore, I keep it. There's no reason that I would cut it out, just for the sake of cutting out. But if it stopped working, that'd be one of the things I could say, well maybe I should go to a water-only fast, so you can change the intensity of it. You can change that. And then you can change the timings
So instead of going to, you know, a 24-hour fast, then you could go to like a 5-day fast or something like that. And then, the extended fasting is something that I think is highly effective for a lot of people, but it needs to be done. Sort of you have to be cognizant that the longer you go sort of, the more problems you could run into, not that you will. And I'll tell you that lots of my friends and family have done these longer fast, and actually found it quite freeing, but it's hard because it totally
Is sort of the, your normal life. If you do it long, fasts for five days and you're eating dinner normally every day with your kids, and, you know, spouse. It's sort of ruins the whole dynamic, which is one of the reasons hard and why most people don't do it for a long time, but that's an option for you, right? So if you are able to swing it and you can push and he's longer fast in there, that's another way you can change things up so lots of different ways to change it up. So everything from sort of just keeping going to but mostly
So we recommend you in our program, we have this program called the lasting method. So we discussed this a lot in groups and stuff and it's useful because in this, the fasting method.com, you have these circles where people can interact with each other and they can share stories of what worked for them and, and that kind of thing. So, that's one of the things that really helps with the plateaus, is to just change it up and it, it doesn't even matter. If you think it won't work, just change it up and see if it does. If it doesn't, then don't do any more like, it's as simple as that. Like,
That's so hung up on this. What if I go to a low-fat vegan diet? Well, I don't think it's a great diet but hey, try it. What's the worst? That'll happen, right? It'll either fail miserably in which case you know and you won't do it again or the work really good. And then you have another option for you to do, right? It's you don't have to do it all the time. Like if you're getting sick with a vegetarian diet, because you're getting, you know, to few vitamins or whatever it is, you can stop. Like it's okay like there's nothing wrong.
Wrong with changing the foods that you eat. Like, unless it's, you know, for different reasons religious or, you know, environmental or whatever.
Well, I think, you know, that's really key is that rigidity doesn't work. Well, we need to be flexible, whether it's, you know, diet perspective, schedules, Etc. And I think we need to give ourselves some Grace. Now I know that I'm really excited to hear about your new
book. Yeah. So this is actually a little bit different. So this is the cancer code is coming out on November, the 10th.
And I got interested in this because one of the new things that we learned in the two thousands and it wasn't an issue. Nobody ever talked about this in the 90s was that cancer is an obesity-related disease and that's become you know, as we've had this epidemic, it's become more and more clear that this is the case. So the first big acceptance of this wasn't actually till about 2003. When the big study started to come out showing that obesity, that's a huge risk.
ER, for all kinds of cancers now, it's well accepted. It's actually about, you know, almost on par with tobacco as a sort of contributor to cancer. So really a large contributor there and that's how I got interested in this question of, what, how be city that, you know, because I dealing with a lot of VC, that's how I got interested in the question of cancer. Turns out that the cancer question is actually far more interesting and complex than I had thought, which is where this book takes bit of a different turn. It's not just about
Nutrition. So it does talk about nutrition and fasting and cancer, but the first sort of half of the book is really a discussion about what cancer is as a disease and it's not what we thought it was because obviously, it's not just obesity, right? If you smoke a lung cancer and that has nothing to do with obesity. So why do we get cancer? Like, what is cancer? And that's the real important question that again, we never ask. So it's just
Like we talked about obesity, what causes weight gain? We never think about that because we think it's all about college, right? This is the same question. What is cancer? And this is where we've actually made a lot of changes that people have not probably recognized. So I sort of go through the history of the way we think about cancer that is not as different diseases, but as a single disease because the different cancers are quite different breast cancers, different than the melanoma, which is different from liver cancer. So,
The different. But in since about 2000, people have started to look at how cancers behave as a group and that's led to some real Revolutions in the way we think about cancer, which is leading to real Revolutions in the way we treat cancer. So I sort of detail there's how they're sort of been three big Revolutions in their the Paradigm that the understanding of cancer. So we started out by thinking of cancer as a disease of excessive growth. So you have a cell grows too much
Right? So you have a lung cancer, which is starts as a cell turns into a cancer grows too much and then spreads, right? So it's just a spell that grows too much and that Paradigm of cancer needs you, too logical treatment if cancer is too much growth kill it. That's the bottom line. So you develop things like surgery. So you cut it out, use develop things like, radiation, where you burn it, or you develop things like chemotherapy where it's just a poison, it's a selective toxin to the cancer. So cutting burning and poisoning.
It worked great. Like honestly it was a huge sort of Leap Forward and treatment before that there's no treatment after that there was all this treatments or lot of cancers got better is still the backbone of our therapy today. Cell that grows too much kill it, but this Paradigm started to reach its limits by the 70s because we had already done, the studies looked for these poisons. Look for different ways to use radiation and all this sort of stuff. But we're reaching the limits of how far that Paradigm of understanding it.
Take us. So we had to go sort of The Next Step which is yes, this is a cell that grows too much. But why is it growing too much? Like we never answered that question. Why does smoke tobacco smoke lead you to a cell that grows too much? It doesn't make any sense and this was the genetic Paradigm. So that's next great revolution. In cancer understanding was that this was a genetic disease that is there are genes that control growth. And if you have a mutation in those genes that controls growth you
Wind up with a cell that grows too much, right? And that made sense because you had viruses, you had Smokey had asbestos chemicals, and all these different things, radiation, the damages cells causes mutations, and if you hit that critical Gene that controls growth, or several genes that controls growth, then you get a cell that grows too much. So this is doesn't invalidate that first Paradigm, which is the cell that grows too much. It simply adds a layer of understanding that this is a genetic problem of cell growth, right? It's the
genes that cause too much growth. And again, this was a huge Revolution. So through the 70s to the 2010s, probably it was sort of a dominant Paradigm of cancer. It's a genetic disease. And what happens of course is that now you can develop new treatments that attack this new paradigm. So instead of developing drugs, that are just indiscriminate killers of cells, you can now design drugs, that correct, the genes that cause too much, bro.
In this the first few drugs that came out. So there's one called in Mattoon, if there's another one called, trust, choose map for breast cancer, we're just like revolutionary. Like, the late 90s people were like, you know, this is incredible because you can give these drugs without a lot of side effects because you know, these drugs were changing these genetics. They weren't indiscriminate killers of cells. So then what happened of course is that with these first couple of drugs, everybody's like wow we're going to cure cancer. This was the sort of prevailing.
I thought by the 2000s, all we need to do is figure out the two or three mutations that are critical for these different types of cancers, develop the couple of drugs to fix them and boom, you've cured cancer. So you're going to develop one for breast cancer, you're going to develop one for cervical, cancer, going to do this. And so the problem was that and this was called the two-hit hypothesis, that is that you had a couple of jeans that were critical and you hit two of them. And the reason that smoke for example tobacco,
Was causing cancer was not that it's a targeted Gene damage, but it was that if you have a lot of damage by chance, you'll get more likely get those two that hit. But the problem was that we looked for these jeans. So we did the Human Genome Project in the 2000s, we mapped the Genome of an entire human being and then we didn't. We weren't much closer. So then we did the cancer genome Atlas, which was even more ambitious thing instead of looking at the genes of one human, we're
Going to look at cancer cells and we are going to we had like thirty three thousand different genomes and we just compare them and figure out which ones are good or bad. So the problem was that at last count in 2018, we identified about six million different gene mutations in cancers. So cancer didn't have 1 or 2 gene mutations, it had like a hundred. So if you had, you know, a Cancer Clinic. So, somebody with colon cancer, patient a with
Cancer. He had a hundred different mutations impatient be sitting next to him with colon cancer had a hundred mutations that were actually completely different from his neighbor. So this of course, made impossible to go any further with this genetic sort of Paradigm because you can't develop a hundred drugs for patient, day in a different hundred, drugs for a patient, be even assuming you could afford it and they had no toxic side effects. So that brought cancer progress in cancer medicine, basically to a screeching
and halt. So this Paradigm that we had used to look at cancer which we are developing drugs. Is genetic targeted drugs really didn't work like the number of drugs that have been developed and useful or like you know we can count on one hand probably and this is after 30 years of good research, like we spent a lot of money on Research. So the question is again, and this is where we were sort of in 2010 sort of thing where we're making no progress the
Our time were using to understand cancer is not useful. And again you have to go one step deeper and understanding to say okay. Well we know that there are genes that are being mutated which cause excessive growth. Look at we know that that's true.
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ewp but what is causing these genes to be mutated? So the big premise of the second Paradigm was that it's all random but there's nothing random about these
patient's cancer develops. So patient a patient be they've developed that cancer independently right? They had nothing to do with each other and you can look at say patient a say you know living in 1920 and Japan and patient, be with the same cancer, you know, living in 2020 in North America, right? So separated, by half a world by A Century of heart. Those two Cancer's will look identical. They weren't random. It was not a random.
Change. What is it? That has been causing it and this is where we are in the midst of the third. Great Revolution and sort of understanding cancer, which is that this is an evolutionary disease and primarily a ecological disease. That is there something guiding these mutations? And it's actually, a evolutionary process, which is predominantly a response to injury. So when you have a chronic some lethal injury, your body responds in a certain way and the cell. So
You have chronic injury like tobacco, smoke your lungs, sell some will die because of the injury. Some will be okay because they didn't get that much injury, but in between there's this chronic sub-lethal damage. And what that does is from an evolutionary standpoint act as a selective pressure for these cells to become more, sort of independent and sort of survivalist. They need to survive at all costs because they're dealing with this chronic sub-lethal injury and that's what leading them to.
more in their own interest than the interests of the entire environment, which is just like, you know, the lung cells have certain rules to be a lung cell and that lung cell has sort of under this selective pressure has evolved differently to become more independent. So it will grow. It becomes Immortal, it starts to move around where other cells, don't, and that's what the cancer is. It's an evolutionary process. So that's the sort of really interesting part about
About cancer and and then, you know, once you understand that and you say okay well cancer is actually not a rare disease, it's actually very common disease, you know, affects 1, in 10 Americans, that kind of thing. So, therefore if it's such a common disease, then it's not that cancer cells. Like the seed of cancer is always there because the seat of cancer is the same in all our cells. What is it about the soil? What is it? That is allowed
In these cells to turn into cancer. So again, you have to identify the cause and that case it's tobacco smoke. Get rid of the tobacco smoke, in other cases, like breast cancer. You know that if you move from Japan, for example, to America your risk of breast cancer actually like triple. So it's not the genetics of it because that the Gen-X has stayed the same as the environment. And one of those things is insulin insulin plays a huge role in facilitating the growth of certain types of cancer
hours and breast cancer is a classic example where it has, you know, six times the amount of insulin receptors and the reason why is that insulin receptors allows it to kind of get a lot of glucose. And that's one of the things that you can now exploit and say, well maybe you can, you know, try to reduce the hyperinsulinemia which is what causes obesity. If you reduce the hyperinsulinemia, you're also going to put these breast cancer cells at a disadvantage compared to a regular breast cell you're removing.
Some of that fertile spoiled that allows the seed to grow and that's where things like fasting are interesting because they'll allow you to maintain a normal weight. So we know that obesity is related to cancer risk and therefore if you can lose weight you can reduce some of it outside of obesity. Even if you take the same way to patients and you look at people who have high as them versus low. Instant, they have a much higher risk of cancer, so it's sort of a more complete understanding. It's not a book about say, how to cure cancer. Now, you can't do that in or, you know,
For that, you still need those treatments. It's a way to understand cancer in the relationships, that it has. And then what, this third Paradigm is evolutionary Paradigm is as you understand that, this is a cell that has evolved into something that is different, foreign species if you will. So, you know, it's weird to think that your own lung cell has now become a new species, but it's true because our immune system recognizes sort of our own Cells versus foreign cells.
Right. And when it looks like after it says, that's a foreign cell, that's not part of our own body. So that lung cell which has turned into a lung cancer cell has now become sort of almost you could think of as a separate species that's recognized as foreign. Now, if you're talking about foreign Invaders, what you need to do is boost the immune system. So now that leads to a third sort of revolution in the way we treat cancer, we're not trying to kill cells which is Paradigm one. We're not.
Trying to fix genetic problems. You just Paradigm to, we're trying to boost the immune system. And now you have immunotherapy, which is sort of the next, huge wave in sort of understanding how we're going to treat cancer. But it's it gets to back to understanding what cancer is to see how these treatments actually sort of flow. And it's an interesting and I think it's the most interesting story in medicine because it's one that sort of still evolving. And, you know, we still need to try and
Stand up more. And we have such a lack of a fundamental understanding of what this disease actually is and that's what this is sort of an exploration
of. Well it sounds incredibly fascinating. I'm grateful that you know, took the time to explain this paradigms and how intermittent fasting you know there it is still relevant to the conversation as to, you know, keeping this insulin levels low and recognizing that we know that I think cancer is like one of the number two causes of death in the United States and certainly with the
Escalating obesity rates something, everyone needs to be considering and recognizing as well that, you know, with more prolonged episodes of fasting, you'll get, you know, Stem Cell Activation and things that can really boost immunity well, dr. Van, I want to be respectful of your time. I know that you're a very busy individual. How can my listeners find you on social media or on your
website? Yeah. So, my website is the fasting method.com. So there's a lot of links to sort of blogs and free blogs and videos and stuff.
If that we've done and there's also a paid program if you're having trouble with fasting to get the tools and the kind of community that's going to help you succeed. Because even though it's easy to say what it is, it's not always easy to put it into practice, and that's what that's there to help you with. And then on social media there it's you can find me on Twitter and Instagram. It's at dr. Jason funk. That's Dr. Jason Fung on YouTube, just the word of warning. The channel is Jason Fung if you go to dr. Jason
I'm fucking you get into some guy who scammed my name and image and use it to sell a whole lot of stuff. So on YouTube, just make sure you go to Jason's phone which actually has that one of those blue check marks on it. Otherwise I get these messages every so often. It's like, why are you selling this? I'm like, oh, you went to the other side. Did that shit. So anyway, you know there's videos there and, you know, we go over all of these things that we talked about. So, you know, hopefully people will be able to watch that.
At some good
information. There's always a scammer that's out there, right? Thank you for the clarification. Thank you so much for all the work that you do. I mean, I look up to you and admire you greatly and really am grateful for your time today. Thank you so much and thanks for listening to every day. Wellness, if you loved this episode, please, leave us a rating and review. Subscribe and remember, tell a friend, and if you want to connect with us online, visit the link in the show notes.